TNA Turning Point 2006 –
The Anderson Breakdown
Hello there friends. Considering that this is the fifth consecutive PPV review I’ve penned in less than a month’s time, I guess introductions really aren’t that necessary. Still though, if we haven’t formally been introduced: Hello ________ (your name here), I’m Ken.
I hope everybody is having a fine December, and I hope everyone has someplace warm or somebody special to share Christmas with.
Me, I’m lucky enough to have both. How I got so fortunate? Your guess is as good as mine. Certainly I’ve done enough questionable things in my life to make me unworthy of the wonderful family, cozy home, and beautiful girlfriend I’m currently blessed with, but I’ll happily take it — especially at this time of year.
In between working 50 hours a week, keeping myself healthy, and reviewing mediocre-to-poor grapplin‘, I’ve been busy preparing for the holidays. Me, my girlfriend, and my twin brother (former intranet wrestling columnist Jay Bower) spent Saturday putting up a fine Christmas tree. Lord knows, at Christmas time, a fine fat tree is a must (ten thousand cool points to anyone who actually got that Berenstein Bears Christmas reference. Once the tree was firmly erect, we poured generous glasses of nog, got out the lights and ornaments, and commenced in some good old-fashioned trimming.
And on Sunday, whilst my girlfriend prepared for her week (she’s a kindergarten teacher), me and my brother went to the Jags/Colts game. It was a fine blowout by Jacksonville – aroyal rapin’ if you will (apologies to any of you who have been legitimately molested by a king). I knew it would be a good showing for us, and I suspected it would be a close game, but I honestly never envisioned the slaughter that took place. Of course, if you pay attention to the media though, Indy beat themselves. By 28 points. Go figure.
What’s that you ask, fine reader?
SPEAK A BIT LOUDER, MY MONITOR IS THICK.
Images from the game?
Anyway, all in all, I couldn’t be a happier guy. Everything seems to be going great. I’m not saying this to talk myself up, or to make you, random destitute reader sleeping in a trash can, feel worse about your life. I just feel like sometimes I don’t take enough time to slow down and really ponder how good I have things, so I figured I’d put it in writing this holiday season as long as I’m here in front of my computer.
“GOSH KEN, GET A MYSPACE.”
“JUST GET A MYSPACE!”
“SAYING ‘GET A MYSPACE’ DOESN’T EVEN MAKE THAT MUCH SENSE, BUT GET A MYSPACE!”
Well friends, we’re off…
“TNA… WE ARE WRESTLING.”
You know, it’s funny how things work out. Just last week in my ECW December to Dismember review, I mentioned how incredible the Trans-Siberian Orchestra are. I even included a fine image of TSO in concert here in Jax. Though they aren’t the most underground performers in the world, it’s still somewhat rare to come across someone else who actually likes them.
Anyway, whose music is featured in the intro for Turning Point, you ask? Is it Bananarama? Perhaps The Moffats? No, it’s The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. If I was some mega-delusional self-mark, I’d be all, “TNA READ MA’ REVIEW AND THEY TAILORED THEIR ENTIRE PPV INTRO ROUND MA’ REVIEW — NO BIG DEAL.”
Instead, I’ll merrily call a spade a spade, or in this case, a coincidence a coincidence.
Still, a FINE MUSICAL CHOICE TNA!
And an absolutely incredible video package to open up a show I am certifiably psyched for.
Before we go any further, allow me to further expand on “psyched.” If you’re immediately tempted to throw broken Pez in my direction while screaming “TNA FANBOY!!!!!!!”, please dig through my archives and read my reviews of just about any TNA PPV other than Genesis. It won’t be pretty. You’ll find me using a lot of the cursewords. I’ll utter phrases like “TNA is dead” and “I’ve lost all goodwill towards TNA” enough to permanently destroy any credibility my “net opinion” ever held. One month I’ll rant and rave about how the X-Division is hurting TNA and needs to go, and then praise the X-Division the following PPV. I realize these things. I don’t exactly try to mask it. Point being, I’m not a TNA fanboy. Never have been, probably never will be.
What that being said, I’ll give credit where credit is due: TNA has been INCREDIBLE since their prime time debut a few Thursdays ago. Furthermore, this here Turning Point PPV that I’m bout to spin in ma’ tape player might just be the best built PPV, from top-to-bottom, of any U.S. wrestling promotion in months.
Hence, I’m certifiably psyched.
As a further aside, I love how TNA used holiday music and holiday font for their overlays in the PPV intro video. I don’t know why wrestling has been so reluctant to promote more seasonal megacards in the last few years. I’m a huge sucker for Halloween, and Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and Valentine’s Day (“GOSH KEN, HALLMARK INVENTED VALENTINE’S DAY TO ROB YOU OF YOUR SOUL! DONUT YOU NO?!?!?), and I’ve always been a huge mark for holiday wrestling tie-ins.
Remember how freakin’ GREAT Halloween Havoc used to be? For me, it’s right up there with the Great American Bash (4th of July themed PPV!) as my favorite series of shows in NWA/WCW history.
Remember the awesome holiday-themed Clash of the Champions shows?
St. Valentine’s Day Massacre?
I’d KILL for another truly holiday-themed PPV.
Ok, I really need to get to this show.
We are LIVE from Orlando, Florida for TNA: Turning Point 2006. We get our typical small-scale fireworks show and rapid camera pans to kick things off. Don West is in a tie, and Mike Tenay has once again stolen the tuxedo from someone a good two sizes smaller than himself.
Low-Ki vs. Jay Lethal vs. Alex Shelley vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Austin Starr – Paparazi Challenge Series
Kevin Nash is the first one out tonight, and he will be joining us on commentary for this evening’s opener. In case you were unaware, this is a great thing. Not so much for the wrestlers in the ring, but for the fans at home ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” more specifically, me. Less than 20 seconds after sitting down, Kevin Nash is proudly bragging about bringing Jerry Lynn into wrestling in 1961 in Mexico City, along with El Santo and Hurricane Ramirez.
On a side note, Kevin Nash isn’t even making an attempt to dye his hair anymore, which I’m all for. To me, Kevin Nash can sit comfortably next to Eric Bischoff in the “men who actually look better with gray hair” gentlemen’s club.
During the ring intros, Kevin Nash is careful to go out of his way to put Austin Starr over while almost completely ignoring Alex Shelley. If and when TNA finally pays this off and has a babyface Alex Shelley feud with a heel Starr/Nash combo (or even Starr alone), it’s going to not only be awesome, but it might also be the best X-Division storyline in ages.
From what Tenay and Nash are saying, this match will be the first in a series of matches between these five men. Different types of matches will take place over the next few weeks, which leads us into those famous words from TNA. “Well, the series will be judges on a point-based system … …. it’s really quite simple.” Mike Tenay then goes on to explain the famous, nearly indecipherable TNA point system. God bless him for trying.
How does Nash want the tournament to play out? “On the up-and-up,” of course. In other words, says Nash, he will settle for “NO Tomfoolery.”
For the record, this match is taking place under elimination rules.
Sonjay Dutt’s shoulder is all taped up for some reason. According to Kevin Nash, Sonjay Dutt tore his shoulder because he’s “on the gas.” Classic. To further the awesomeness, Kevin Nash likens Senshi to the Ultimate Warrior. Of course, this does absolutely nothing for Senshi or Dutt, but really, how can you hate Nash?
Alex Shelley and Austin Starr do a bit of light arguing about something, and out of nowhere Jay Lethal comes diving right between the two of them with a tope suicida to the outside on Low-Ki.
Sonjay Dutt sneaks up behind Alex Shelley, hits an inverted DDT, rolls it into a camel clutch, and gets the submission.
Because Alex Shelley was eliminated first — says over-complicated TNA rules — he gets a “point.” Strangely, Sonjay Dutt gets “no points” for, you know, eliminating Alex Shelley.
Jay Lethal jumps in and hits one of his AWESOME combos, but Senshi blindsides him with a kick and rolls him up for a three count.
Lethal is out.
Sonjay Dutt is EXHAUSTED. Says Kevin Nash, “I guess it doesn’t do much for your endurance… … .. the steroids.“
When Dutt hits a springboard, Nash says, “I wonder where he pulled that one out from .. .maybe a syringe.”
The thing is, Nash is just POUNDING this joke into the ground, but it isn’t getting any less funny. Go figure.
Austin Starr hits a brainbuster on Sonjay Dutt, goes up for the 450 splash (that doesn’t look too good on the knees), and scores the pin on Dutt.
We’re down to Senshi and Starr.
Starr hits Senshi with the brainbuster and sets him up for the 450.
ALEX SHELLEY IS BACK OUT!
Shelley distracts Starr temporarily, giving Senshi the opportunity to sneak up on Austin Starr and score the pinfall.
Turmoil between Nash, Shelley, and Starr is teased.
JB is in the back with Eric Young. For whatever it’s worth, Eric Young is wearing a pink robe tonight and his hair is blonde again. It might have been blonde for the last few weeks (months maybe) and I just didn’t notice, but as long as we’re going for full disclosure, I figured I’d go ahead and throw it out there.
According to Jeremy Borash, the TNA bikini contest is about to begin. From what Borash has heard, Traci is willing to do just about anything to win the contest, including, “… … … getting naked.” Eric Young is in the bikini contest himself. He flashes his penis at Borash, promises a win, and walks away.
TNA Bikini Contest – Traci Brooks vs. Eric Young
Jeremy Borash is in the ring standing next to two incredibly cheesy inflatable palm trees. Traci Brooks is out first, and minus the perfectly square jaw, she’s not looking too shabby. Eric Young is out next, and as he walks to the ring, the pyro goes straight up his pink robe, seemingly burning his testes.
As Traci strips to an extremely corny generic knockoff of Melissa Ethridge’s “Only One,” the crowd slowly dies.
Mike Tenay and Don West say that this bikini contest is “like a trainwreck.” They actually say this with a laugh, like it’s a good thing to be getting for our hard earned PPV money.
When Eric Young finally removes his pink robe, he’s wearing a bikini t-shirt underneath.
Robert Roode is all, “That’s not a real bikini, TAKE IT OFF.”
Five minutes later, Eric Young finally strips off the bikini t-shirt and he’s wearing SPONGE BOB BOXERS UNDERNEATH!
FINALLY, after several more minutes and a threatened DQ, Eric Young removes his boxers to reveal a SPONGEBOB SPEEDO.
What the f*ck is this?
The crowd politely applauds.
Jeremy Borash does a long-winded “The fans will now determine who won the bikini contest with their applause!”
Needless to say, Eric Young “wins.”
Eventually, Robert Roode attacks Eric Young, and Eric Young escapes and dances down the aisle in his underpants.
Man, is this f*cking stupid.
This all sets up an equally long-winded (yet surprisingly awesome) heel promo by Robert Roode. Roode tells Traci that unless she finds a way to recruit Eric Young to Robert Roode Enterprises, she’s fired. According to Roode, the fans love Eric Young, so if Young becomes a member of his stable, the fans will love him as well.
Mind-numbing, nearly show-killing segment here. This thing literally went longer than Joe-Angle at the last PPV. If one of the major matches gets shortchanged on time tonight because of this bullshit, you’re going to be looking at one angry grapplin’ fan here.
Idiotic beyond belief.
Still though, ROODE FOR CHAMP.
The mega-hot blonde announcer (no, not Borash) is backstage standing in front of a locker room supposedly occupied by “Michael Hickenbottom and Paul Levesque.” The locker room is labeled “DUMB TO THE XTREME.” Before she can enter though, a fat, bowtied stripper comes grinding up on her, forcing her to flee for her life. The camera zooms in on the stripper, who smiles awkwardly and is all, “Does anyone know where catering is? ALRIGGGGHHHHHHH.”
Chris Sabin vs. Christopher Daniels – X Division Title Match
Though guys like Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles have always been the true backbone of the X-Division, the focus of this match is all placed squarely on the shoulders of Jerry Lynn (who’s also the special enforcer for the match here tonight). Let it be know that I have absolutely no problem with Jerry Lynn — in fact, his death metal theme is one of the cooler things I’ve heard in TNA — but he probably isn’t the guy you want to be putting this much focus on. Furthermore, it’s kind of goofy that Mike Tenay and Don West discuss Jerry Lynn’s “massive influence on the X-Division” when most of TNA’s audience started watching long after Lynn had since hung up his tights. It would be nice if we were treated to some kind of in-depth explanation of what it is that Jerry Lynn has done for TNA and the X-Division over the years.
I lost track of time whilst watching this match, but I’d guess it was in the neighborhood of 11, maybe 12, minutes. Personally, though I really like Christopher Daniels, this really bored me here tonight. Much of the live crowd seemed to agree, as there was very little heat for the match. The most obvious problem here is that TNA fans will generally play along with the storylines and cheer the babyfaces / boo the heels. Here, I had absolutely no clue who was truly supposed to be the “good guy.” Chris Sabin has been pushed as the premier X-Division babyface for months now, but now he’s got tension with Jerry Lynn (who may or may not be a babyface). Chris Daniels has been playing babyface for the last few weeks, but he’s suddenly got heet with AJ Styles, who at this point, hasn’t really turned heel yet. Hence, nobody has any f*cking clue what’s going on.
Anyway, I hate to say it, but this was a really bland match. Nothing really stood out to me here. Daniels won with the moonsault to retain the X-Division title in a match that I’ve literally almost forgotten already.
Afterwards, Chris Sabin and Jerry Lynn got into a verbal altercation. Strangely, after all this build up between the two of them, Jerry Lynn ended up slapping Christopher Daniels, who had nothing to do with any of this, right in the face. Apparently, Daniels doesn’t have proper “respect” for the X-Division.
Decent, if nonsensical, enough. Maybe Lynn vs. Daniels (assuming they don’t change things yet again) will be fun.
Jim Cornette makes his way to the ring and thanks TNA fans for ordering the show tonight. Unfortunately, Jim Cornette is also here to waste even more PPV time with baseball nonsense. Now, you’re probably not going to find a bigger baseball fan on the planet than myself, but this is just pointless.
AJ Pierzynski and Dale Torberg come out first to remind us that the White Sox did in fact win the 2005 World Series.
David Eckstein is out next to let us know that when he returned to St. Louis after winning the World Series MVP, he was greeted with chants not of “CAR-DIN-ALS!” but of “TNA! TNA!” Whether this really happened or not, I have no clue, but it certainly doesn’t sound overly convincing coming from Eckstein’s mouth.
This segment is just dying.
This truly benefits nobody. Whatever slight “buzz” this generates in the mainstream sports community (which I’m guessing will be slightly less than the very little it garnered the first ten times TNA did it) will certainly be negated by the negative buzz it generates in the wrestling community.
Jim Cornette then invites David Eckstein to PLUG HIS BOOK.
As Eckstein begins plugging his book, things fall apart.
The TNA fans begin loudly chanting “WE WANT WRESTLING! CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP! WE WANT WRESTLING!”
Jim Cornette gets flustered and — like a grandmother scolding her promiscuous granddaughter — gives the TNA fans a classic look which says, “THIS IS GOOD FOR THE COMPANY, CUT-IT-OUT.”
“WE WANT WRESTLING!”
David Eckstein begins talking about how much he loves Rhyno, before awkwardly saying, “You know who else I really like is that Lance Hoyt.”
Dale Torberg then begins ripping pages out of Eckstein’s new book one by one. Things degenerate into a HORRIBLY awkward “pull apart” between the baseball players, with Lance Hoyt, of all people, making the save and attacking Torborg.
Hoyt clears the ring, and then celebrates with David Eckstein and his brother.
You know, a Pierzynski/Eckstein feud could actually be somewhat entertaining in a limited fashion, and might actually give TNA a small boost, but any chance of that happening might have been killed out of the gate by the TNA crowd here tonight. I honestly can’t say I blame them. This might have worked on Impact, but not on an already-loaded $40 PPV.
Again, I say, if this cuts into any of the three main events, I’m not going to be happy.
A video package for AJ Styles vs. Rhyno airs. The package is notable only for the clips of the classic sit-down interview that Mike Tenay had with Styles two weeks ago on Impact. Probably the most unintentionally hilarious thing I’ve seen in ages, thanks in almost full part to Mike Tenay.
Rhyno is in the back with JB. He is fired up tonight and cuts an AWESOME promo on AJ Styles. According to Rhyno, he tried to help Styles, but Styles wanted absolutely nothing to do with him. Now, he’s going to have to teach him a lesson about respect.
Styles jumps Rhyno out of NOWHERE, and apparently, we’re now under way.
Rhyno vs. AJ Styles
AJ Styles and Rhyno spend the first few minutes of the match brawling through the crowd. Though the whole “Rhyno brawls through the Impact Zone” thing is about as played out as Saved by the Bell jokes (minus the “I’m so, I’m so “¦ SCARED” thing, which will never get old), the inclusion of AJ Styles into the mix at least makes things somewhat interesting.
My suspension of disbelief is temporarily shattered though when Rhyno loudly yells at the Orlando fans to move out of the way so that he can be thrown through a gimmicked wall by AJ Styles.
Styles then charges Rhyno, and Rhyno hits a NASTY backdrop on Styles, sending him about six feet into the air over the guardrail. In a shocking moment worthy of inclusion in TNA’s 50 Greatest Moments DVD, production actually shows a replay. I know, I know. Worry not though, my clock hasn’t stopped yet.
As things finally spill into the ring, the referee calls for the opening bell.
It should be noted that, from what I’ve seen, AJ Styles makes a great heel.
Rhyno ends up on the outside and AJ Styles grabs the top rope to hit a plancha onto the outside on Rhyno. Right when I start to think to myself, “Gosh Ken, high-flyers aren’t very heelish,” AJ Styles changes his mind and holds off on the plancha. The crowd booes this HEAVILY.
VERY nicely done by Styles.
Things spill back outside.
AJ Styles jumps at Rhyno, but Rhyno catches him in mid-air and hits a GREAT belly-to-belly on the outside.
Rhyno backdrops AJ Styles onto the rail and AJ immediately clutches his knee. By the RIDICULOUS, insulting overselling of the announcers though, we know the injury is bogus. Mike Tenay immediately apologizes to the fans for “having to see that,” and let’s us know that the “referee is making the signal that AJ Styles is legitimately hurt.”
I’ve never been big on paying $40 to be treated like an idiot.
Of course, to the shock of roughly no one, AJ Styles was “working us” and the injury is bogus. After playing possum for a minute or two (opossum if you’ve got a hard-on for needless letters), AJ Styles heelishly reveals himself to be ok, rolls up Rhyno, and gets the pinfall.
Mike Tenay is heartbroken, saying that “AJ Styles fooled us all.”
Speak for yourself Tenay.
Incidentally, what a strange anomaly that Mike Tenay is. How can someone be so knowledgeable about the history of wrestling, so well spoken, and so tuned in to the sport on one hand, and so utterly terrible as an announcer on the other. Tenay on Wrestling Observer Live and Tenay behind the mic in Tenay are like two totally different people. WOL Tenay is awesome. TNA Tenay is just ABSURDLY horrible. The facial expressions. The overselling of everything. The condescending way of speaking to the audience. Man.
Fun match while it lasted.
Horrible finish (thanks in large part to the announcing).
The mega-hot blonde is in the back once again, this time with a very, very unconvincing Vince McMahon impersonator. “Vince” goes off about how he’s going to show up TNA. “Vince” is all, “where’s my son in law?” The pretty blonde amusingly replies, “You mean the guy with the sledgehammer and the really big nose.” “Vince” then holds up a cage with a rooster in it. “It’s a cock! Don’t you know, I love cock! Didn’t you see the skit on TV. Oh you didn’t? Well then, YOUR FIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRED.”
A cute enough knock on the WWE, but it’s immediately wrecked by Mike Tenay and Don West, who go into a goofy diatribe about how “controversial” TNA is.
AJ Styles and Rhyno come out of nowhere to continue their brawl. Security quickly restrains them. AJ acts all heelish, and Rhyno is all “I WANTTTTTTTTTT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!”
AMW vs. LAX – Flag Match
Two points of interest from the ring introductions: 1) Gail Kim is ridiculously attractive. 2) LAX still have the best entrance in American wrestling.
Things start off immediately outside the ring, with all four men brawling wildly. Hernandez flips Homicide from the inside of the ring onto James Storm at ringside. Hernandez acts like he’s going to come flying over the top rope himself, but James Storm cuts him off with a superkick. Notice how I tend to arbitrarily call both members of AWM by the name James Storm.
Gail Kim climbs up to the top rope and hits an AWESOME moonsault to the outside onto Homicide.
LAX then pulls out the ladders, allowing the wacky highspots to commence.
The crowd is all “LAX! LAX! LAX!”
Homicide pulls off the three amigos, and the crowd is all “EDDIE! EDDIE!”
While both men brawl on the ladder, allow me to explain the rules of the match to those of you who may not have been following Impact too closely this month. Both teams have their respective flags mounted on flagpoles in opposite corners. The object of the match is to grab your flag, climb the ladder, and hang it from a mount above the ring. The loser will then have to salute the winner’s flag. Simple. Old-school. Awesome.
GAIL KIM WITH A DROPKICK FROM THE TOP ROPE ONTO HERNANDEZ!
CC* is all “GAIL KIM! GAIL KIM!”
Gail Kim grabs the American flag, climbs the ladder, and prepares to mount it herself. Konnan sneaks into the ring though and just SLAMS her by the hair into the mat. Konnan rules — except when he’s roughing up Gail. Yeah, that’s right. We’re on a first name basis now.
Petey Williams — the oxymoronic Canadian protector of all-things American — makes the save to a minor spattering of boos.
LAX gets the better of him though, and Hernandez just FLIES right over the top rope with a Taker-like pescada.
In a downright bizarre spot, Homicide and Chris Harris both climb opposite sides of the ladder and start stringing up their respective flags. It’s weird, they’re just casually standing next to each other on the ladder, paying ZERO attention to each other. I mean, they’re literally within inches of each other just casually stringing up their flags, making NO effort to stop each other or knock the other one off the ladder.
FINALLY James Storm grabs a beer bottle, climbs up the ladder, and knocks Homicide over the head. A piece of the glass flies into Chris Harris’ eye though, allowing the Me’hicans to hang their flag and win the match.
Turmoil runs amuck with AMW.
The Mexican National Anthem plays, which LAX genuinely seem to get into.
Some of the crowd pays the anthem no respect, and the other half of the crowd politely stands (you know, because they’re not racists).
Incidentally, the Mexican national anthem at times sounds like a DEAD RIP-OFF of theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
A decent match, and LAX rock, but I doubt I’ll remember much about this next week.
James Storm is in the back, and he’s AN-GRAY. Chris Harris is a quitter, says Storm, and he’s going to have to set him straight this Thursday on Impact.
A decent angle to finally break AMW up.
Whoever is responsible for TNA using their PPV’s and television to actually promote the following week’s show is a-ok in my book. Continuity is a tough concept for promoters these days, but personally, I enjoy the hook.
It’s now VKM time, and personally, I’m excited. God knows whatever is about to happen will almost certainly be more entertaining (for better or worse) than the first half of this largely forgettable show.
Kip and BG James make their way to the ring. Kip James is dressed like Shawn Michaels, and BG is dressed like Triple H. Their makeup jobs are actually pretty good, as both men bear more than a passing resemblance to the man they are parodying. Though we all know that they are imitating Shawn Michaels and Triple H, the announcers still use the goofy “Hickenbottom and Leveseque” references that only .05% of the mainstream wrestling audience is going to understand. Sure, we know who they are supposed to be, but the large majority of the audience is probably scratching their heads all, “The f*ck is Hickenbottom and Leveseque?” If parody is what they’re going for, it’s perfectly legal to just go ahead and say “HHH and Shawn Michaels.”
The live crowd is all “DX SUCKS!”
As “HHH” starts to begin his “Are you ready” routine, circus music starts playing and 5 men dressed like the Spirit Squad come prancing to the ring. They try to attack DX, but when Michaels and HHH as much as look at the Squadders, they bump like they’ve been punched out cold.
Pretty funny, actually.
The “DX stripper” then runs to the ring and starts dancing.
Now, says James and James, it’s time to be serious.
BG and Kip peel the masks off their faces and get down to business. What we just saw was parody, says BG, but what is coming next is ‘reality TV.’
BG pines on about how ironic it is that Vince McMahon forced him and Kip James to invade WCW many years ago, but now that the shoe is on the other foot, Vince McMahon wants to sue VKM. Well, says BG, Vince is BOUT to really get something to sue over.
Crowd is all “SCREW YOU VINCE!”
BG James is officially issuing the “One Million Dollar Challenge.”
HHH and Shawn Michaels vs. BG and Kip James.
Anywhere, any place.
In a SHOOT!
“Prove how big your balls are Vince!”
BG starts going apeshit, calling HHH and Michaels a couple of “pussies” and telling McMahon that he’s “full of shit.”
One million dollars is the challenge.
It doesn’t matter if it’s in the WWE or in TNA.
One million dollars.
The crowd is JAZZED over a match that will never, ever, ever happen, and VKM storm off to the back.
Though the obvious intranet reaction to this segment is bound to be “this is stupid,” or “this is lame,” or “these guys are too old for this shit,” I think you’ve got to take a step back and look at the big picture here. TNA just is not in any way true competition to the WWE right now. They could be if they continue to grow, but right now, the WWE is just too big of an international beast to take on. But, as any basic advertising or marketing course will tell you — perception is reality. If you can’t realistically compete, it’s very, very smart to at least create the perception that you’re on an equal playing field.
Additionally, Vince McMahon has just gone so completely insane in the last year that I could actually see him foolishly accepting the bait and doing something stupid to bring attention to TNA.
How could this possibly be paid off, you ask?
One way and one way only:
Monday Night Impact.
I’ve got my fingers crossed. Thursday just isn’t a wrestling night anymore. They’ll get their 1.0’s on a weekly basis, but I just can’t see TNA doing much better than a 1.3 or so on Thursday Night. There are just too many other options. Monday Night is wrestling in America though. It has been for almost 15 years now. A Monday Night time slot would all but guarantee TNA an automatic ratings bump of at least a half point, maybe more. I don’t know what Spike TV officials are so afraid of. Surely Monday Night is less risky than Thursday.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Christian is in the back with JB and Tomco. I don’t know how it happened, but in the last month or two, Christian has completely regained his coolness. To the point that I wouldn’t mind seeing the NWA Title back around his waist. He really looks motivated as well, and some of his promos over the last few weeks have been amongst his career best.
Christian doesn’t give a shit about Sting or Abyss, he’s focused on the thing he’s been focused on his entire life: himself.
“You can’t stop Christian Cage, you can only hope to contain him.”
Christian Cage vs. Sting vs. Abyss
I don’t have the heart to go play-by-play on this match, so instead, I’ll give you a fine haiku.
*Wow how generic.
Belt shots, Thumb tacks, and Ref bumps.
Live crowd didn’t care.*
Man, that was bad. The match, not the haiku. Well, maybe the match and the haiku. Just a heatless, heartless, plodding, by-the-numbers mess. Every single bad wrestling clichÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â© that you could possibly list was present in this match. Ridiculous ref bumps that left the referee laying on the mat covering his face for ten minutes straight? Check. Heel managers jumping up on the apron, leading the referee to stop his count and run over to reprimand the manager? Check. Satchels full of thumb tacks that the announcers oversell like the fiery red planet of Mars is about to drop from the sky and scorch the earth barren? Check.
This doesn’t even take the Jim Mitchell factor into effect. If you remember correctly, Sting lost the title at last month’s PPV after being disqualified for pushing the ref, correct? Correct. Well, at the very next PPV, Jim Mitchell is doing about five trillion things that could easily result in a DQ, but the referee just plays idiot instead of doing anything. Sting has Abyss pinned? Fine, Jim Mitchell will just pull the referee out of the ring at 2, breaking up the count. DQ? No way, just a mean finger poke. Jim Mitchell throws Abyss a weapon. DQ? No way, just a mean finger. Jim Mitchell jumps up on the apron repeatedly. DQ? No way, mean finger.
If there’s one new character that I’d just love to see in wrestling, it’s a legitimately credible referee. A referee who’s gimmick is a) he doesn’t take shit from anyone b) he doesn’t get bumped and play dead for twenty minutes and c) he’s in no one’s pocket. A referee who’s character is utilized for main event matches where the intention is to have a clean finish. If he’s calling the match, you know things are going to stay clean. You can look at the PPV card ahead of time and say, “Hmm, Angle/Joe III is being refereed by Matt Jones. I can safely order this PPV knowing that I’m going to be treated to at least one clean match.” That’s my pipe dream. And I don’t even smoke a pipe.
Anyway, after an awkward, COMPLETELY heatless finishing sequence where Sting and Abyss went from lovers to enemies 17 times, Abyss gave Sting a Black Hole Slam into a pile of thumbtacks (DQ? Naw) for the pin.
Awful, poorly booked, and not even a tenth of the sum of its parts.
Kurt Angle is in the back with Jeremy Borash. Win, lose, or draw, says Angle, tonight will be Samoa Joe’s final crack at the Olympic Gold Medalist. After tonight, the entire world will know who the world’s best wrestler is.
With around half an hour left, it looks like we might be a decent length match here tonight too.
Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe
The entrances are notable for one thing and one thing only: Kurt Angle rising from a hole in the floor in a robe like he was Emperor f*cking Palpatine. This is a good thing.
Instead of trying to go play-by-play on this match, I’m instead going to turn off my computer monitor, take my fingers off the home keys, and just enjoy it without trying to overanalyze things.
Roseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeebud (Garfield’s Christmas references, themselves referenced from Citizen Kane, RULE)
Alright friends, I just got finished watching the match. I even watched it twice. I guess that makes me roughly twice as cool as __________ (insert name of other, lesser net columnist here).
Would you like the good news or the bad news first? If you, fine reader, would prefer to hear the good news first, please jump immediately to subsection A. If you’d prefer to hear the bad news first, please find your way to subsection B.
Good News: This match was much, much better than Angle/Joe I.
Bad News: TNA booking wonkiness killed the match dead in its tracks after over 15 minutes of incredible action.
Bad News: TNA booking wonkiness killed the match dead in its tracks after over 15 minutes of incredible action.
Good News: This match was much, much better than Angle/Joe I.
With that out of the way, allow me to expand.
Angle/Joe II was absolutely everything I had originally hoped for when Angle jumped to TNA. It was action-packed, back-and-forth, and incredibly stiff. I mean, WICKEDLY stiff. Angle in particular was just stiffing the crap out of Joe in this match. A couple of punches looked like they might have even crossed the line between “working snug” and “legitimate spuds.” The match featured a nice mixture of chain wrestling, brawling, and high spots.
As most of you probably know by now, the emotional climax of the match (apex, if you will) came when Angle and Joe started reversing each other’s submission holds back and forth. For over five minutes, they traded ankle locks and Joe-clutches. It was awesome. The crowd was RED hot. And it seemed like the finish could come at any time.
And then TNA had to go and be all stupid.
After nearly 20 minutes of incredible, clean action, the crowd had literally reached meltdown proportions. The Impact Zone was literally shaking the fans were so into the match. And then, after the previously noted five minutes of submission reversals, TNA just COMPLETELY killed the crowd with a stupid, horribly-executed, totally unnecessary ref bump.
It was like a punch to the stomach.
All air went out of the place.
And the match never regained its steam.
A true shame.
Joe eventually tapped Angle out, but by the time it happened, nobody really seemed to care.
A very, very good match that would have easily been great had it not been for the crowd-killing, entirely unnecessary ref bump. In fact, had the match ended with a tap-out right before the ref bump occurred, I think this match would have easily been in the ****1/2 range. Unfortunately, TNA booking severely damaged the one wrestling match that most people ordered this show to see.
I would put this match somewhere at or around ****.
Good stuff while it lasted, but for what it’s worth, I actually preferred Edge/Cena from this past Monday’s RAW (I’d put it at ****1/4) over Joe/Angle II. Both suffered from bad finishes, but in RAW’s case, it was a lot more forgiveable.
The thing that kills me is that the ref bump that killed the match didn’t even really factor into the finish at all. The match still ended almost perfectly clean, and nothing that happened while the ref was done had any true impact on the outcome. Why then was it even necessary? Beats the hell out of me.
TNA Turning Point is the perfect example of a company biting off their nose to spite their face. For everything great thing that TNA did tonight, they immediately undid it with some worthless, unnecessary, played-out wrestling clichÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©. I’m just so tired of all the insulting ref bumps, wonky finishes, inconsistent rules, and generic nonsense. TNA is much better than this.
Not a great show by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m keeping the faith.
Now, I’m off to get some food. Tonight, I begin the final leg of this massive month-a-half span of wrestling review. A review of Armageddon should be up and posted before the end of the week, and it’s a show I’m actually very much looking forward to. I haven’t read any spoilers as of late, but traditionally, these Smackdown-only PPV’s tend to be surprisingly awesome. From there, New Year’s Revolution will close things out until the Rumble (unless TNA sneaks another PPV in there that I don’t know about).
When I decided to try to review every single PPV during this treacherous span, I honestly thought it would all but kill off what little was left of my love for wrestling. Believe it or not, I’m actually much more optimistic about wrestling than I’ve been in a long, long time. TNA is picking up steam. RAW was legitimately great on Monday Night. And Michael Hayes has been doing an awesome job with Smackdown. ECW”¦ well, the less said about that the better =)
Finally, I’ve never asked for anything from you, fine readers. I wouldn’t be sitting here at work typing 20 pages about a wrestling PPV for free unless it was something I genuinely enjoyed doing. But there is something special that I’m saving for. Without giving too much away, it’s in the shape of a circle, contains a sparkly diamond, and will go around the finger of a beautiful young girl that I’ve been seeing for a few years now, and hope to make my wife. If you’ve enjoyed my nonsense for the last five or six years, and you’ve got a few extra bucks you’d like to contribute to the engagement ring fund (via Paypal at this email address), it would be much appreciated. If not, no big deal. We’re all friends, and the holidays in particular make funds tight for everyone.
Finally, on the off chance that you don’t get a chance to read my Armageddon review before Christmas, I hope everyone has a fine holiday season. Whether it be Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, whatever. Be safe, have fun, and enjoy your time with friends and family. From there, we’ll watch the Rumble, enjoy the road to Wrestlemania, and take in Summerslam. Then, we’ll do the whole holiday thing all over again.