A2Z Analysiz: TNA Turning Point 2008 (Sting, AJ Styles)

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Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – November 9, 2008

Introduction

This is the first November Turning Point, by the way. The opening video highlights the Main Event Mafia storyline, and why is Booker T talking like he’s from Jamaica all of a sudden? In the arena Jeremy Borash is waiting for the MEM to show up, and they all snub him except for Scott Steiner.

MATCH #1: X Division Rankings Match – Eric Young vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Jay Lethal vs. Consequences Creed vs. Jimmy Rave vs. Doug Williams vs. Homicide vs. Volador vs. Tanahashi vs. Petey Williams

Dutt is accompanied by SoCal Val. Rave and Creed start the match. Creed gets tossed to the floor and Dutt replaces him, and when Rave gets knocked to the floor Lethal takes his place. Homicide and Tanahashi are next to show their stuff, followed by Williams and Williams (no relation), and then Young and Volador. The action comes fast and furious from every corner of the six-sided ring. Volador and Dutt battle it out, and Volador eliminates him with a super hurricanrana at 6:50. Unfortunately for Volador he’s next to go when Rave hits him with the Rock the World at 8:04. A pattern starts to emerge, as Rave is the next eliminated after Doug hits him with the Chaos Theory at 8:51. The referee loses control and people are coming in and out of the ring at will. Young and Creed get knocked to the floor and Homicide hits the Tope Con Hilo but bounces off the guardrail and apparently injures himself out of the match at 10:10. Next to go is Creed, when Petey hits him with the Canadian Destroyer and pins him at 12:53. Tanahashi and Doug immediately attack, and Tanahashi hits him with a Frog Splash for the elimination at 13:26. Doug and Tanahashi double-team Lethal, but Black Machismo weathers the storm and traps Tanahashi in an inside cradle to eliminate him at 14:59. Moments later Young hits Doug with the Wheelbarrow Neckbreaker to get the pin at 15:46. That leaves Young and Lethal to battle it out for a title shot. They go back and forth briefly and then Young hits a Northern Lights Suplex from out of nowhere to get the pin and earn a title shot at 17:18. That was fun chaos but no one really got a chance to shine, and it makes me wonder if they have 17 minutes to give the X-Division, why not just let Young and Lethal go out there in a singles match and tear it up?
Rating: **½

MATCH #2: Knockouts Tag Team Match – Roxxi & Taylor Wilde vs. Awesome Kong & Raisha Saeed

Kong (current Knockouts Champion) and Saeed are accompanied by Rhaka Khan. Wilde and Roxxi rush the ring to kick off the contest. They wisely focus on Saeed, because Kong is Kong and all. Wilde shows no fear, throwing dropkicks at the woman she beat for the Knockouts Title back in July and lost it to in October. Khan interferes from ringside, giving her team the advantage. Kong and Saeed work on Roxxi, who really has horrible ring gear. Khan is very tall, but not very coordinated and everything she does looks awkward. Eventually Roxxi makes the hot tag and Wilde is all over Saeed. The match breaks down with all four women in the ring at the same time. Roxxi low-bridges Kong, sending her tumbling to the floor, and then following her out with a cross body block off the top rope. That gives Wilde the opening to hit a German Suplex with a bridge for the win at 9:06. That was solid stuff all around, particularly any time Kong was in the ring.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #3: Rhino vs. Sheik Abdul Bashir

Bashir’s X-Division Championship is not on the line here. Rhino is angry and goes right after Bashir from the bell. They fight outside the ring briefly, and when they go back in Bashir uses some dirty tactics to deliver a low blow and take control. Bashir works Rhino over both in and out of the ring. Rhino fights back with the usual Rhino stuff. I worked a show with him recently, really nice guy and really fun to work with, by the way. Anyway, Rhino hits a spinebuster and sets up for the Gore but Bashir cuts him off with a kick. Bashir gets into an argument with referee Shane Sewell, which gives Rhino a chance to recover and he hits the Gore this time for the win at 8:19. That was exactly the match you would expect from Rhino and Bashir.
Rating: **

MATCH #4: TNA World Tag Team Championship Match – Beer Money, Inc vs. The Motor City Machine Guns

Beer Money has been the champions since 8.10.08, and this is their third defense. They’re accompanied by Jacqueline. Sabin and Storm start the match for their respective teams. The Guns control the early part of the match, as Shelley and Sabin fly all over the ring. Roode and Storm come back on Shelley and beat him down in their corner. This goes on for several minutes while Shelley tries to make the tag but gets continually cut off. Jacqueline takes her cheap shots on the floor as well. Finally the tag is made and Sabin is on fire. Shelley recovers to help Sabin with some awesome double-team moves. Sabin hits Roode with a huge tornado DDT but it only gets two. Roode gets knocked to the floor and Shelley wipes him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Sabin hits Storm with a super rana and Shelley follows with a Frog Splash but again it only gets two. The Guns continue the double-team assault but the champs keep up with them as the match breaks down. Roode hits Sabin with a spinebuster for two. It being TNA, they do have to do a Tower of Doom spot, and all four men are down. Even though all four men have been in the ring for quite some time, referee Rudy Charles all of a sudden becomes concerned with removing Shelley from the ring, so Jacqueline comes in and tries to interfere. Sabin bodyslams her and the Charles is distracted with getting her out of the ring. Storm spits beer in Sabin’s eyes and then they hit the DWI to get the pin and retain the titles at 17:01. That was a really cool match with lots of great tag team action. These two teams would go on to do even greater things.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #5: TNA Legends Championship – Booker T vs. Christian Cage

T has been the champion since 10.23.08, and this is his first defense. That also makes it the first defense of this belt ever. Seriously, what the hell is Booker T doing with that Jamaican accent? It’s so stupid. He’s accompanied by his wife Sharmell. I remember these two wrestling about 6,254 times on Raw in 2003, and I don’t remember the matches being very good. Cage takes an early advantage on the mat so T takes a powder to regroup with his wife. That seemed to be a good idea, as he hits a spinebuster pretty quickly for a two-count. They take it to the floor and T dominates. Back in the ring the Legends Champ hits a superkick and otherwise keeps Cage off his feet. Cage comes back and tries a Texas Cloverleaf but T fights it off with a rake to the eyes. A series of reversals ends with Cage hitting the inverted DDT for two. Cage goes up top and Sharmell distracts him and he gets crotched. T hits a superplex but Cage kicks out at two. Cage comes back with an Edge-o-Matic for two. He throws T to the apron but suffers for it when T hits him with an Axe Kick. That gets two. Once again Cage goes for the Texas Cloverleaf and this time h e locks it on. Sharmell gets on the apron and Cage breaks the hold. Cage hits a Rock Bottom but it only gets two. He goes for the Unprettier but T pushes off and goes for an Axe Kick but Cage avoids it and gets an O’Connor Roll, but T reverses that to get the pin at 11:46. That was a lot better than their 2003 matches. I’m pretty sure this was Christian Cage’s last match in TNA before going back to WWE.
Rating: ***

MATCH #6: Falls Count Anywhere Match – Abyss vs. Kurt Angle

Abyss is the aggressor early on, working Angle over with strikes. He hits an early Shock Treatment for two. They take it to the floor and fight in the crowd. Angle uses a chair to wear down the Monster right in front of the commentators. Abyss crawls up by the foot of the entrance ramp as Angle walks up the ramp itself. That puts them in perfect position for Angle to hit a ridiculously long somersault off the ramp to wipe Abyss out and get a two-count. Abyss fights back and they continue fighting up around the entrance ramp, and they knock each other through one of the walls! The crowd is juicing on this. The cameras lose sight of them, and moments later they come out on the other side of the ramp! Back in the ring Angle reclaims control and goes to work on the leg. Abyss comes back by squashing Angle in the corner and hitting a side slam for two. Angle comes back with the Angle Slam, but you think just one of those is going to end any match? Angle gets a chair but Abyss punches it right back into his face. Abyss then throws Angle face-first into the chair in the corner. He follows up with a Chokeslam but Angle kicks out a two! Now Abyss sets a chair on top of Angle and goes for a splash off the second rope but Angle moves. Angle then blasts Abyss with the chair and sets it on Abyss. You know what they say, tit for tit. Angle hits a moonsault right on the chair but Abyss kicks out at two! That would have been a good finish. Abyss comes back and goes for a Tombstone Piledriver but Angle slides it into the Ankle Lock and Abyss kicks out of that. Angle then charges right into a Black Hole Slam but Angle kicks out of that! They roll back to the floor and go up by the Spanish Announce Table and climb up some scaffolding. Abyss goes for a press slam but Angle fights it off and knocks Abyss off the scaffolding through the SAT. That’s enough for Angle to get the pin at 17:59. I expected nothing out of that match, and while it was finisher-heavy like a lot of Angle matches, they did some really good spots and some things I had never seen.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #7: Samoa Joe vs. Kevin Nash

They start slugging right away and Joe shows more fire. He hits the Big Joe Combo for the first near-fall of the match before taking the fight to the floor. Nash is able to reverse the momentum out there and sends Joe flying into the ring post. He then gets a pair of pliers out to remove one of the top turnbuckle pads. That takes a while, so when Nash tries to hit Joe with a chair he misses. Back in the ring Joe whips Nash into the exposed buckle to almost no reaction. Nash comes back and pulls Joe into the steel, and then takes control. Joe fights back with a running boot to the face and a senton for two. Nash rolls to the floor and discreetly grabs a steel chair, so when Joe goes for a suicide dive he runs right into a chair. Back in the ring Nash gets a two-count. The straps come down and Nash hits the Jackknife! Joe kicks out at two, so Nash rams his face into the exposed corner again. Joe is busted open now so Nash continually rams his head into it. Nash hits another Jackknife and Joe kicks out again! The referee takes a bump and Nash hits a blatant low blow. Nash cradles Joe and puts his feet on the ropes for extra leverage to finally secure the pin at 11:31. That was much better than I was expecting it to be, and Nash really had to do a ton to keep Joe down, so at least at this time they cared about making Joe look strong.
Rating: ***

MATCH #8: TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match – Sting vs. AJ Styles

Sting has been the champion since 10.12.08, and this is his first defense. They start off with some chain wrestling and Styles has the early upper hand. Styles dropkicks Sting to the floor and the champion walks away to regroup. Back in the ring Styles continues to dominate. Sting comes back and press slams Styles to the floor, which is pretty impressive. That finally gives the champion the advantage, and he tries to keep Styles grounded. Eventually Styles comes back with some punches and a sort of Pele to take Sting down. Styles hits a back suplex and then the springboard flying forearm for a two-count. Sting fights back and hits the Scorpion Death Drop but it only gets two. He goes up top but misses a flying clothesline. Even so Sting is able to connect with three Stinger Splashes and goes for a superplex but Styles reverses to a sunset bomb. Styles hits the Spiral Tap and when he goes up for another one the Main Event Mafia runs out to distract him. He tries a Pele but he misses and Sting gets a La Magistral cradle for the pin at 14:44. Dull match, witless ending, and thanks for nothing.
Rating: **¼

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