TNA Wrestling held their Turning Point pay-per-view last night from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. With the event being held in Orlando and coming off of Bound For Glory last month, Turning Point is considered by many to be a throwaway effort. Below are my full thoughts on the event on a match by match basis in the order in which they occurred:
TNA opened the show with the X Division Seeding match which was done to rank the X Division workers for the X Division title. The match included Consequences Creed, Jay Lethal, Eric Young, Petey Williams, Jimmy Rave, Homicide, Doug Williams, Tanahashi, and Volador. The match was a fun, fast paced opener which is something that I have come to expect from the company’s X Division workers. The match wasn’t the spot fest that some may have hoped for but there was enough quick moving action to keep my interest throughout. Eric Young won the match, becoming the number one ranked X Division worker when he pinned Jay Lethal (who seeds #2). After the match Eric Young cut a very effective promo on the Main Event Mafia. It was some of the best mic work that Eric Young has done as he took a stand for the younger workers of the company.
Throughout the night TNA did backstage segments with members of the Main Event Mafia and the younger workers of the company. This entire pay-per-view was to establish the angle and it resulted in some very good backstage mic work throughout the night. Critics are going to be quick to point out similarities to the New World Order, however, last night’s TNA show one of the more entertaining shows that the company has done all year.
Up next was a TNA Knockout Tag Team match with Roxxi & Taylor Wilde taking on TNA Knockout Women’s Champion Awesome Kong & Raisha Saeed. The match was very well done and saw Taylor Wilde pin Raisha Saeed in her bridging suplex to get the win for her team. All four women looked good and the match seemed to make the Knockouts relevant once again. Taylor Wilde has underperformed, however, looked much better and more comfortable in the tag team match last night. Raisha Saeed (who is known as Cheerleader Melissa on the indy circuit) is a very talented worker and should get more opportunities to wrestle in the company.
Rhino and Sheik Abdul Bashir had kind of a weird match. The work was decent; however, Scott Hall and ICP were in the front row for it. I was more distracted watching Hall and the two clowns than I was covering the match. Rhino ended up getting the win after hitting Gore.
Prior to Beer Money Inc. defending the TNA World Tag Team Championship against The Motor City Machineguns, they did a backstage segment where the Guns disrespected Mick Foley (who was trying to talk to them) and it resulted in a brawl breaking out backstage. The segment kind of goes with what we’ve been told of how Sabin and Shelley act in real life backstage although I thought that it was weird to do it before they went out to face a heel tag team. Nonetheless, Sabin & Shelley had a spectacular match with Robert Roode & James Storm. All four men displayed a tremendous work rate with Shelley & Sabin putting on a spot fest, showing that they are still one of the best tag teams in the business when given the opportunity. Beer Money also showed just how underrated that they are as a tag team as Robert Roode stole the win after pinning Chris Sabin who had beer spit in his eyes.
Booker T and Christian Cage had a very solid match against one another with Booker retaining the TNA Legends Championship with the stipulation being that Cage must join the Main Event Mafia. Christian Cage’s future with TNA is certainly up in the air as he is expected to leave the company so it will be interesting to see how TNA plays it out at tonight’s Impact taping. The match was what most people would have probably expected from Booker and Christian. Nothing in particular stood out, although their work rate was on par with what was displayed throughout the night.
Abyss and Kurt Angle had the match of the night in their Falls Count Anywhere match. While I am not a huge fan of gimmick matches, if TNA wants to do them, this is how they should be done. Abyss hit his finishers, Angle hit his arsenal and the fight took to the crowd. There were a lot of good spots, with Angle hitting a somersault off the ramp onto Abyss outside on the concrete. They filmed the spot in a way that made it look bigger than it was; however, Angle is still insane for even attempting it. The match ended on the scaffolding above the Spanish announce table with Angle hitting Abyss with a European uppercut and sending him crashing down through the table for the three count. Mike Tenay said after the match, “ladies and gentlemen that was freakin’ awesome” and I could not agree more.
Samoa Joe vs. Kevin Nash was your basic uninspired effort by Kevin Nash. The booking was also weird because it was basically a No DQ match then referee Rudy Charles started to get bent of shape over low blows and chokes. It didn’t make much sense after he let shots on the outside and shots to the exposed turnbuckle go. Nash was Nash and ended up going over Joe -a move that I consider to be more than eye-rolling. Obviously TNA wanted to use Turning Point as an event to establish the Main Event Mafia as the most dominant stable of all time, but Nash over Joe. Come on!
The main event was Sting vs. AJ Styles for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. AJ had to fight off the Main Event Mafia, who hit the ring towards the end and the crowd was split 50/50 for it. The match was decent, but nothing compared to Abyss vs. Angle and the Tag Team Championship match that was on the undercard. Sting looked more impressive than he did at Bound For Glory and seems to be embracing the role as the company’s top guy. I want to give Styles the majority of the credit because of how good of a worker that he is. Styles can work with anyone in this business and make them look as good as he wants to. That’s not to denigrate Sting because he can still go, however, Styles is that good.
TNA Turning Point was one of the better TNA pay-per-views of 2008. The event had some questionable creative calls such as the Main Event Mafia winning every match, however, TNA still delivered with nearly three hours of entertainment. Gimmick matches were limited and there was not near as much overbooking. This is one wrestling show that I wouldn’t mind watching again. TNA took a throwaway pay-per-view and used it to establish the Main Event Mafia and I felt like they accomplished that. The work rate by most of the workers was phenomenal and the show featured very good backstage mic work and in-ring promos. Whether you like the Main Event Mafia idea or not at least it’s something we haven’t seen in awhile and adds a new element to TNA Wrestling which has been stale for way too long.
Richard can be contacted at richard [at] grayinternet.com
Richard Gray is a professional wrestling journalist and frequent contributor to Rajah.com. He has been covering the world of professional wrestling since 1999 and has had the opportunity to cover ground breaking stories such as the demise of ECW, the WCW buyout, the Benoit tragedy, Bobby Lashley leaving WWE, and more. For more on Richard check out his web site, Wrestling News World.
– “Richard Reacts” Archive By WrestlingNewsWorld.com’s Richard Gray