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COMMENT





TNA Turning Point a success
By BOB KAPUR - SLAM! Wrestling


Even though tonight's NWA-TNA pay-per-view was called "Turning Point", one could argue that the company reached that destination last month. It was, after all, their first foray into monthly PPV's, a change from their former weekly offerings ie: their first chance to compete in the WWE's proven playground. Well, it appears that they were able to "Survive" November, so let's see if they'll be able to stave off "Armageddon" this month.

If they stick with the strategy of showcasing their young stars, then by all means, the company has a legitimate shot. If, however, they plan on hitching their wagon to the stars of yesterday (read: Scott Hall and Kevin Nash)and doing bad sketches about WWE then, well, not so much. Nowhere is this more evident than when comparing the two main events of the show.

The first of the two pitted the aforementioned Outsiders and the NWA champion Jeff Jarrett (collectively going by the "Kings of Wrestling") against Jeff Hardy, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, and the company's brightest star, AJ Styles. As predicted, this was an overbooked train wreck whose only saving grace was Styles' performance, as he tried to wring out something decent out of the old-timers.

Earlier in the night, Savage had been knocked out by the Kings, and they stuffed him in the back of a limo which promptly sped away from the arena. The Kings took full advantage of their numbers advantage, and dominated Styles with numerous power moves (albeit in slow motion) for most of the match. When Hardy finally came in after the hot tag, the match took even more of a nosedive. Nash took out the referee, Hardy got hit with a guitar, and all five men got laid out somehow, at which point the match, and the PPV, reached its ultimate low. Free from his limousine prison, Randy Savage shuffled down the ramp and entered the ring to rally his team. Slower than molasses, and looking like he was about eighty years old, Savage clamped a sleeper hold on Jeff Jarrett, while Styles and Hardy did the same to Hall and Nash. Savage mercifully ended the match by punching Jarrett, and sitting on him for the pinfall victory. After the match, commentators Don West and Mike Tenay hinted (threatened) that his win may have earned Savage a title shot against Jarrett at the company's next PPV, "Final Resolution" on January 16th.

Better in every single way was the last match of the night, which saw America's Most Wanted take on the team of Triple X in a "six sides of steel" tag team cage match. The stipulation here was that the losing team would have to disband permanently. Clearly, neither team wanted that to happen, so they fought tooth and nail to ensure that their tandem would remain intact.

This was a fantastic match filled with exciting high spots from bell to bell. Within minutes, Triple X's Chris Daniels was the first competitor to get busted open, but by the end of the match, all four were feeling the effects of the cage. Triple X gained a quick advantage by using AMW's own handcuffs against Chris Harris and locking him up in the corner. This allowed Triple X to double-team James Storm, and they brutalized him unmercifully. A top-rope double-team went wrong, though, and Storm was able to get the key from a prone Daniels and free his partner. The match picked up in a major way after that, and the bodies started flying with reckless abandon. Skipper went for a move off the top rope, but got hit with a huge powerbomb. He recovered from that, and then hit one of the most scary-looking moves ever. With Storm sitting on top of one of the corners of the cage, Skipper climbed up to the next corner over. With incredible balance, Skipper walked the top of the cage like a circus tightrope performer, and hit Storm with a HUGE hurancanrana absolutely incredible. They followed that up with a TNA trademark "tower of doom" spot, with all men hitting simultaneous moves from the top of the cage down to the mat. AMW were able to recover first and soon thereafter hit Elix Skipper with Triple X's own signature Power-Plex finisher, and covered him for the pinfall, thereby disbanding Triple X forever. After the match, Skipper and Daniels (whose cut was gushing like Old Faithful at this point) lamented their loss, while AMW celebrated their win on the rampway as the show came to a close.

NWA-TNA's next pay-per-view show is "Final Resolution", taking place on January 16th.

NWA-TNA Turning Point Results

"Preview" Match: The Naturals (Andy Douglas and Chase Stevens) vs. Mikey Batts and Jerelle Clark

Standard tag team match, with The Naturals playing the heel role. The match starts off quickly, displaying the athleticism of both teams. The Naturals beat on Batts for a while, until he gets the hot tag to Clark. Clark gets some quick hits in, but his offense is short-lived, and The Naturals put him away fairly quickly with the Natural Disaster, and get the pinfall victory.

It is announced that a limo has pulled up backstage, sporting Connecticut license plates - could it be Vince McMahon, there to protest their plans to show the controversial footage of NWA-TNA stars "welcoming" the WWE, who were at the Universal Studios cutting a PPV vignette, to their studio?

The Kings of Wrestling cut what might be the cheesiest promo of all time, as they're shown driving in a limousine, sporting Elvis wigs and mocking their opponents. At least it was short.

Match One: NWA Tag Team Championship Match - 3 Live Kru (Champions) vs. Team Canada (Challengers)

It's kind of sad that BG James is still using the entire Road Dogg gimmick, several years after it was cool. The crowd is solidly behind the Kru for this one, but unfortunately for them, they don't have the proximity to the ring that Coach D'Amore has. His chicanery (or is that chic-eh!-nery) helps Team Canada escape a loss after Killings hits an impressive scissor kick on a prone Young. In the confusion, BG James attempts a pump-handle slam, but instead, gets nailed with the hockey stick by the returning Team Canada member, Johnny Devine (welcome back!). The stick shot leaves James laying for the three, and just like that we've got NEW tag team champions!

Winners:... and NEW NWA Tag Team Champions... Team Canada at 8:26
Match rating: 7/10

During the preview, we were told that later tonight, we would see the controversial footage of the incident that took place at the Universal Studios, where some of the TNA roster invaded the area where the WWE were shooting vignettes. WWE have apparently threatened to sue NWA if they do so. The occupants of the limousine from earlier tonight are a fake Vince McMahon and Triple H. Over the course of the night, they try to seek out the tape and vow that it won't be shown. Some funny moments ensue, reminiscent of the WWE's "Huckster" and "Nacho Man" parodies from a few years ago.

Match Two: Kid Kash, Frankie Kazarian, and Michael Shane (w/ Traci) vs. Hector Garza, Sonjay Dutt, and Sonny Siaki

The story of this match is that Dutt wants revenge on Kash for the villain's disrespectful attitude towards Dutt's hero, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka at last month's show. Dutt really gets to show off his abilities here, and he and Kash show off a quick sequence of moves and counters in the early moments. The bad guys punish Dutt's arm for several minutes before he tags in Garza. Garza hits an outstanding moonsault that the overhead camera picks up really nicely, but can't get the win. Traci's interference backfires, and she leaves Kazarian prone for a twisting tornado splash by Garza, who follows that move up with a pinfall for the win.

Winners: Hector Garza, Sonny Siaki & Sonjay Dutt at 10:55
Match rating: 6/10

Match Three: Abyss vs. Monty Brown Serengeti Survival Match

Besides a pin or submission, the other way to win this match is to slam your opponent into a pile of thumbtacks. Standard big-man match full of power moves and stomps. A table and chair are introduced, and ultimately, Brown is able to take control. He wins after bombing Abyss (well, mostly the back of his head) into a pile of thumbtacks. Disappointing finish, as it looked like Brown didn't have Abyss positioned in the right spot to land his shirtless back square in the pile.

Winner: Monty Brown in 11:17
Match rating: 5/10

Match Four: Pat Kenney and Johnny B. Badd vs. Glen Gilberti and Johnny Swinger

Jaqueline is the guest referee in this match, which is generally unremarkable. This match reminded me of how much I like seeing Kenney and Swinger in the ring, and how little I missed seeing Johnny B. Badd (whose Little Richard look-alike gimmick is very much weakened by his short hair and no moustache). Gilberti gets into Jacqueline's face once too many, she slams him, and Badd hits the TKO for the pin.

Winners: Johnny B. Badd & Pat Kenny at 7:45
Match rating: 5/10

Backstage the Kings of Wrestling kidnapped Randy Savage.

Match Five: Raven vs. Diamond Dallas Page

Erik Watts is at the commentary table, and they continue to imply that he is a pivotal figure in this feud. The match quickly becomes a hardcore affair, as the two brawl into the crowd, and exchange shots with a steel trash can. In the ring, DDP, who surprisingly looks pretty good in the ring after his two-year absence, is ferocious in his attack. The two exchange finishing holds, but neither man can get the pin. Two hooded druids come to the ring, presumably to help Raven, and Watts runs to the ring to even things up. From out of nowhere, he turns on DDP, and clobbers him with a clothesline, revealing his true colours. DDP recovers, though, and nails Watts with a Diamond Cutter. Raven gets one as well, and DDP pins him (thereby making Watts' turn completely pointless in terms of effectiveness).

Winner: "Diamond" Dallas Page at 11:53
Match rating: 6/10

Match Six: X-division championship match - Petey Williams (Champion) vs. Chris Sabin (challenger)

The story here is that Sabin has developed a counter to Petey's flip-piledriver finish, thus the champ's advantage is gone. A fantastic match which really showcases the talents of both men. Petey gets the crowd going with a slingshot hurancanrana. Sabin cranks up the volume even more with a leap from the top of the wall separating the ringside seats and the stands, over the crowd, and onto Williams who's standing on the floor outside the ring. More high-flying action takes place, until Williams slows things down by locking on a SharpShooter like a true Canadian. Petey tries to hit a top-rope filp-piledriver, but Sabin counters, and hits a piledriver of his own. Coach D'Amore saves his man from getting pinned, drawing the attention of the ref. This allows Williams to reach into his trunks and pull out some brass knuckles, which he uses to waffle Sabin in the head. A pinfall later, and Williams retains his belt, much to the delight of D'Amore and the rest of Team Canada.

Winner:... and still X-Division champion... Petey Williams at 18:10
Match Rating: 8/10

Match Seven: The Kings of Wrestling vs. Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, and Randy Savage

Winners: AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy & Randy Savage at 18:00
Match Rating: 3/10

The controversial video airs. Pretty tame, as anything and anyone affiliated with WWE was blurred out of the broadcast, presumably to avoid any legal troubles.

Match Eight: America's Most Wanted vs. Triple X

Winners: America's Most Wanted at 21:00
Match Rating: 9/10

Overall show rating: 7/10


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  • Check out Phenomenal: The Best of AJ Styles Double DVD

    "Bloodthirsty" Bob Kapur's blood lust was satisfied following the six sides of steel match. He wants to wish Jason Clevett a happy birthday and that Team Canada getting all the gold was an appropriate present