December 3, 2004
Styles and Raven reach a Turning Point
By JASON CLEVETT -- SLAM! Wrestling
This Sunday, December 5th will be the second shot at a monthly pay per view by TNA with AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy and "Macho Man" Randy Savage against NWA Champion Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall headlining the stacked show. Styles, the only triple-crown TNA winner is ready for the challenge.
"It's the same as stepping in the ring with Dusty Rhodes and Larry Zybysko, facing guys who have been there and done that," Styles told SLAM! Wrestling. "Especially Hall, Nash and Macho Man who were a part of the mecca of wrestling. It will be neat and Jeff, Macho and I will take care of business."
It is going to prove to be quite the challenge for the 5'10", 215-pound dynamo facing off against the 6'7" Hall and the 7' Nash. "For me that is simple, all I have to do is chop them down to my level. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash don't have the best knees, especially Nash with all of his surgeries. I will just get them down to my size and take care of business."
Another match that should be interesting is the challenge between "Diamond" Dallas Page and Raven. The two are renewing a 1998 WCW rivalry that also included Chris Benoit and featured some of the best matches of that year. Raven can't wait to lock up with Page again.
"I love beating the crap out of DDP. It's always a pleasure to beat him up. I can never get enough of taking DDP's head, rubbing it across the mat, using it for a lampshade and then punting it across the room," he said.
There have been a lot of rumors floating around about the future of TNA and the possibility that financial backers Panda Energy might be pulling out of the company. Raven responds to this as only he can. "Panda Energy is going to pull out? Don't they have a condom on? Why would they need to pull out. Condoms are 97% safe so I don't see the point of pulling out."
That said, Raven feels there has been a lot of positive change in the company's two-and-a-half year history.
"It's been dramatic. One of the key points in making a successful company is putting the right people in the right places, and that can be one of the hardest things. That was why I loved working for ECW because Paul E. was a genius who knew how to accentuate your high points and hide your weaknesses. It isn't an easy skill to master, once ECW's first PPV happened, they became more successful because their influence went down the toilet. That was part of the reason I left. Even Paul E. couldn't masquerade the fact that what he had wasn't enough to be influential anymore. You have to have the talent in the right places. He no longer had the talent or the capabilities, but TNA does. It is just finding the right sequence and places to put people. Everyone is an armchair quarterback and says 'use this guy or that guy.' It's not that easy."
Styles agrees that to have come this far has been a huge success.
"People didn't think we were going to make it this far, and coming up on this second PPV it's a big one. The match I am in is huge and we have some other great matches as well," the former NWA champ said. "AMW vs. Triple X in the cage, whichever team loses never gets to tag again. That is something different I have never heard of that before. That is going to be an awesome match, so will the X-Division title match between Petey Williams and Chris Sabin. On our pay per views there is always something to look forward to."
Styles is by now used to being a major player in the promotion. He has been concentrating on the X-Division as of late, coming within inches of defeating Team Canada's Williams at Victory Road, but admits that he enjoys the spotlight of being in the main event.
"I have to admit I would still like another shot at the X-Division title, that's my baby and where it all started for me. I am sure that Petey and I will face off in the future, we did well with the time we had but it can only get better. Being in the heavyweight division that's fine and dandy as well. The top spot is there and I want to be in that spotlight."
Whether a long time fan or first time curious buyer, you can sense the enthusiasm both Raven and Styles have for Sunday's Turning Point broadcast, and it will likely translate into a stellar show.
"It will be a good PPV. Victory Road I felt was very good, and we have made some changes, no midgets this time, sorry if you liked them, but we need more time to get over our guys who can wrestle," Styles concluded.
Jason Clevett will be celebrating his birthday while watching Turning Point. Well wishes, gifts and proposals can be sent to email@example.com.