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   Fri, November 13, 2009



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COMMENT





Impact: Turning Point just around the corner
By BLAINE VAN DER GRIEND - SLAM! Wrestling


As everyone continues to buzz about the impact (no pun intended) that Hulk Hogan will have on TNA, tonight is the go-home show for Turning Point this Sunday on pay per view, featuring appearances by a former WWE Tag Team Champion, as well as legendary stunt man, Super Dave Osborne. Plus, AJ Styles turns back the challenge of Samoa Joe in a non-title encounter.

The show opens with a highlight package of all the hype, surrounding Hogan’s signing with the company, including the conference/meeting last week with Dixie Carter and all TNA talent, executives and staff members.

From there, we enter Mick Foley’s office, and Foley is with JB and believe it or not, Super Dave Osborne! (Real name and he does have one: Bob Einstein.) Foley says he’s excited to have Osborne there tonight and has always been a fan of his work. Osborne then promotes his apparent comeback special, which airs this Saturday on Spike (this could actually be a success, as it follows UFC 105). Foley then responds to Osborne’s cheap plug with a cheap plug of his own, as he promotes his new book, which will be available next year. Osborne then makes sure Foley understands that he’s running things tonight. Foley says he isn’t that crazy, but will give Osborne control to book one match and it can be with anyone he wants (clearly TNA has not learned from WWE’s mistakes). Foley says whatever Osborne books tonight cannot be a title match and if he’s going to use the Knockouts, he must keep it clean. Foley leaves Osborne in charge for the time being and leaves the office. Osborne then turns to JB and says Foley’s crazy and has obviously had more head injuries than he has. Black Machismo then steps in and comically asks where Hogan is. Osborne then asks who Black Machismo is (way to get young talent over). Machismo refers to Osborne as Marty Funkhouser, who is the character that Osborne plays on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Machismo says he heard that a legend has accepted his challenge tonight and demands to know who it is. Osborne says he’s going to have to wait to find out and Machismo leaves, once again asking where Hogan is. JB then asks Osborne if he’s been following his tweets and Osborne says he doesn’t use Twitter or Facebook and sticks to actually calling people. This segment was a complete waste of five minutes.

Match #1: Dr. Stevie vs. Abyss and if Stevie loses, he leaves TNA for good

Mick Foley joins the announce team for this one and for the first few seconds, they collect Foley’s thoughts on Hogan signing with the company, since he was absent from the meeting last week (busted!). Foley says he was very much in the loop as to what was going on, and even thought nobody officially told him that Hogan had signed, he did receive an e-mail about it. Stevie is introduced from Bellevue Hospital (which actually does exist. I looked it up) in New York City. Abyss attacks with a big boot in the early going for two. He tries the shock treatment, but Stevie counters with an eye rake and then deliver the Stevie kick for two. Abyss retaliates with the blackhole slam and from the blackhole, we get a blackout as the lights in the arena shut off. When they come back on, both Abyss and Stevie are down (who writes this stuff?). Stevie rolls over and pins Abyss for the win.

Winner: Dr. Stevie by pinfall

After the match, Stevie grabs a chair, but Foley charges into the ring and prevents him from using it. Foley then attempts to use the chair on Stevie, but the lights go out again and this time, Foley catches a fireball to the face. The lights come back on and Raven makes his return, as he stands in the ring with Stevie and Daffney and delivers an evenflow DDT to Foley.

After the break, JB interviews Raven, Stevie and Daffney about what just transpired. Stevie asks Abyss if he understands now and says he’s never going to leave TNA and he’ll be here forever. Raven says the last time Foley tried to come between him and one of his childhood playmates, Tommy Dreamer, his father figure Terry Funk was burnt. He then compares the relationship between himself and Abyss to two elderly men sitting on a park bench and reminiscing about old times, when they used to play in the sandbox. He says both he and Abyss had abusive childhoods, but for Abyss, it either leads to prison or insanity, while Raven’s has led him to be the equivalent of a serial killer who hasn’t been caught yet (did I just hear that right?).

Tenay and Taz announce that next week will be a special interview with Sting, to get his reaction on Hulk Hogan signing with TNA and where his own career goes from here.

Match #2: Alyssa Flash vs. Traci Brooks

I’m not sure, and correct me if I’m wrong, but Alyssa seems to be channelling Lady Gaga down under, which looked downright scary. The story of this match is Flash working Traci’s arm for the majority of it. She delivers a shoulderbreaker for a near fall. Traci fights back with a flatliner, but Flash eventually locks in a fujiwara armbar, forcing Traci to tap.

Winner: Alyssa Flash by submission

After the match, Traci blindsides Flash and displays a vicious side of her, as every word out of her mouth is some kind of curse word, which could also have been a rib by the guys in the truck, who were bleeping everything.

Match #3: Black Machismo Jay Lethal vs. Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart

Neidhart didn’t look as bad as I expected. He was the aggressor in the early going with a back body drop, but Lethal answered back with a double axehandle and the fans for some reason were not behind Lethal at all (there were strong boos at one point). Neidhart floored Lethal with a clothesline and Lethal responded by snapping Neidhart’s neck off the top rope with a running hotshot, shades of the Macho Man for two. Neidhart then caught Lethal coming off the ropes with a powerslam for the win (you’ve gotta be kidding me).

Winner: Jim Neidhart by pinfall

Footage is shown of Lauren interviewing Bobby Lashley. Lashley said that if Scott Steiner has a problem with him, there’s no need to bring his wife into this. One of the stagehands then interrupts and tells Lashley there’s something he might want to see. Lashley follows him to the production truck and watches a video of Scott Steiner saying he’s not in the Impact Zone tonight and all he wanted was to be Lashley’s friend, but Lashley just wanted to punch him at every opportunity. Steiner then reveals that he’s in the hotel where Lashley’s wife Krystal is staying and he plans to show Bobby that his wife is in love with Steiner. Lashley then rushes out of the truck and commandeers somebody’s car to race to the hotel and the production team follows (this is like an episode of Cheaters).

Back in Foley’s office, Dave Osborne tells JB that he wants to put together the best match possible and asks JB what he would do. JB tells him that he’s got to do something with the X-Division (I couldn’t agree more).

Match #4: The Beautiful People and Awesome Kong vs. ODB, Taylor Wilde, Sarita and Tara

Tara applies an inverted camel clutch with a bridge on Rayne in the early going, shades of the Great Muta. Taylor and Sarita get in some double teaming, as Taylor first delivers a steamroller on Rayne and then Sarita backflips off Taylor’s shoulders with a moonsault for two. ODB then comes in and delivers what Tenay called the Bronco Muncher (seriously?). ODB follows it up with a fallaway slam, but as she nips up, she’s knocked down by Lacey, who’s knocked down by Tara, who’s knocked down by Kong. Kong tries the awesome bomb on Taylor, who slips out the back, only to get caught with an implant buster on the rebound, giving Kong the pin.

Winners: Awesome Kong and The Beautiful People by pinfall

Dave Osborne and JB are joined by the X-Division guys in Foley’s office. Dave says this is going to be special and requests that each of these guys go out and busts their ass to give the fans the best match possible. He then dedicates this match to Mick Foley, who’s in the hospital, following the fireball attack by Raven.

Kurt Angle then gives his two cents via pre-taped interview on the signing of Hulk Hogan. Angle says he’s worked with Hogan before and he’s seen what he can do and he’s very excited about this new relationship between TNA and Hogan (I wonder how much Angle is getting for this interview).

Camera crews are now at the scene, where Bobby Lashley has arrived at the hotel and it looked like he just ran the 100 meter dash to his room, but I’m more impressed that the production crew was able to stay with him. Lashley then finds Krystal and asks if she’s okay and she says yes. Steiner then comes out of nowhere and attacks Lashley with the pipe (the production crew could’ve warned him). Steiner then breaks the room lamp over Lashley’s head (that’s going to cost him) and says Lashley’s baby has Steiner’s eyes (Steiner officially has the best mic work in TNA).

Kurt Angle comes to the ring, making his triumphant return from injury. He says Turning Point could very well be the most important match of his career (which says a lot). He says guys like AJ Styles and Matt Morgan took him to the limit and proved that they were men and they strive for competition, which he respects. Angle continues that he has no respect for a punk, who comes in off the street and tries to end his career. He says Desmond Wolfe knew he had an injury and he went after it, yet just two weeks later, Angle stands back where he belongs, in his ring. Wolfe then appears on the tron and says he’s not in the Impact Zone tonight. Instead, he’s in a safe and secluded area (the audio and video are completely out of sync, but I guess that was part of the storyline). Wolfe says he can see that Angle is crazy tonight and he should be. Wolfe says he doesn’t have to beat Angle, because he’ll leave that to the Matt Morgan’s of the world (last I checked, Morgan didn’t beat Angle either). Wolfe says he has one goal in mind and that’s to end Angle’s career and take his place in TNA. He says he’s not in TNA to play. Wolfe then appears behind Angle and tries the clothesline that put Kurt on the shelf a couple weeks ago, but this time, Angle was ready and ducked. He then proceeded to beat the daylights out of Wolfe and sends him to the outside. Angle grabs a chair, but it’s a swing and a miss and Wolfe capitalizes with a DDT on the concrete floor. Wolfe then picks up the chair and levels Angle in the cranium.

Match #5: Amazing Red and The Motor City Machine Guns vs. Homicide, Sheik Abdul Bashir and Kiyoshi

Homicide brings with him some kind of object, which is wrapped in the Puerto Rican flag. He places it by the announce table. Kiyoshi delivers a low clothesline on Shelley and then an extended facebuster. Homicide goes to unwrap the object, which is revealed as the barbwire bat, which he apparently jacked from Mick Foley’s office. He’s stopped by security before he gets a chance to use it and Homicide is escorted away from ringside, making this a handicap match. Shelley delivers a flatliner to Kiyoshi into the turnbuckle and tags Red, who flips over Kiyoshi’s back with a spinning front kick on Bashir. He then delivers a tilt-a-whirl DDT to Kiyoshi, followed by a corkscrew plancha. Meanwhile, the Guns drill Bashir from each side with a kick sandwich in the corner, followed by a neckbreaker by Sabin, combined with a high crossbody from Shelley for the win.

Winners: Amazing Red and The Motor City Machine Guns by pinfall

Lauren interviews Desmond Wolfe, who says his mission in TNA is to be Kurt Angle. He says he’s followed Angle since his career started and he’s looking to replace him, because he’s younger, better looking and healthier, and he just left a piece of Angle to crawl into their match at Turning Point, so he can finish him off. Wolfe says he’s going to end Angle’s career and Angle will bow to his howl.

Team 3D and Rhino make their way to the ring. Brother Ray says there’s a lot of changes going on in TNA right now and last week, Dixie Carter said with change, comes choice. Ray says last week, he chose to deck both Matt Morgan and Super Mex with chairs and he regretted that decision then, but no longer regrets it now. He says Rhino has tried for weeks to tell him and his brother that these young punks were trying to eliminate the veterans of the business and claim their spots and he then apologizes to Rhino for not listening. He says nobody is going to take his spot and he’s going to make sure of it. He then calls out Hernandez and Morgan, who apparently just happened to be standing by the entrance tunnel, as they came right out immediately. Morgan takes exception to Ray just calling them out and says if he has anything to say to them, he can walk his fat ass up the ramp and say it to their face. Ray then says Morgan calls himself the DNA of TNA, but the reality is that Brother Ray has spilled more DNA in TNA than Morgan gets time in the shower (I have no idea what that means). He then calls Hernandez an uneducated Mexican with no green card (and Jericho was the one criticized for racial comments). Hernandez responds that he and Morgan have earned everything they got and they just took it because they could. Ray says that earlier this week they issued a challenge for a six man streetfight against them at Turning Point, if the two of them could find a partner. Morgan refers to him as Blubber Ray, which was kind of funny and says they have no problem beating the three of them by themselves. Suddenly, the Pope D’Angelo Dinero answers their prayers and says if they’re looking for a third man (and I don’t think they were) then they’ve got one. He says just like Morgan and Hernandez, he’s the future of TNA and the Pope is pimpin’.

Lauren interviews the British Invasion and says that TNA has lifted their suspension, provided that they go through this match tonight against Beer Money, where if Beer Money win, they get added to the tag title match at Turning Point. Magnus says it’s beyond pathetic for this company to not stick to their punishment and allow the Brits to wrestle tonight (why would he complain about getting paid?). He says this is unfair and they shouldn’t have to wrestle tonight. Williams adds that they’ve overcome all adversity that has been placed before them and this will be no different. Eric Young then speaks on the Hogan situation and says he was a Hulkamaniac when he was three, but today, the World Elite have earned their spots and Beer Money will be a broken tag team tonight.

JB interviews AJ Styles, who says perhaps he should apologize to Daniels, since it’s obvious that the man attacking him wasn’t Daniels. He then delivers a sarcastic apology and says it’s ridiculous for Daniels to think he only went through with the match, knowing that Daniels was hurt (wasn’t AJ hurt too? He’s the one who was attacked). AJ says Daniels just wants what he’s worked so hard for and Joe has been the one stirring the pot, but there are no more mind games to be played and tonight, Joe will get what he has coming to him.

Match #6: The British Invasion vs. Beer Money Inc.

Roode starts the action with a flying forearm to Magnus, followed by a back body drop and then Storm comes in and both members of Beer Money clothesline both Brits over the top to the floor. Williams at this point wants to leave, but Magnus reminds him that if they do, Beer Money gets a title shot. Williams then returns to the ring and eats a flapjack from Roode. Big Rob attempts to pass the Brits a chair, but Magnus tells him to leave, because they don’t want to be DQ’d. The Brits deliver a bowtie double neckbreaker to Roode for two. Roode then comes back with a double blockbuster, which looked amazing. Storm tags in and goes nuts. He delivers a neckbreaker to Magnus and brings Williams in the hard way and delivers a bulldog on him. He then positions Magnus’ feet on the middle rope and delivers a DDT from that position, shades of Randy Orton. Beer Money deliver a double suplex on Williams. They then deliver a clothesline into a neckbreaker on Magnus. In an awkward predicament, Roode passes a chair in the ring to Magnus, who out of instinct, wants to use it, but Williams stops him. There’s an awkward pause for about 10 seconds, until Storm dropkicks Williams into Magnus and sends him to the outside. Beer Money then deliver the DWI (driving while ingesting) on Magnus for the win.

Winners: Beer Money Inc. by pinfall

After the match, Lauren catches up with Beer Money, who say they’re going to prove that they’re the greatest team of all time in TNA.

Another awkward segment with Matt Morgan, Hernandez and Pope Dinero backstage. Morgan and Hernandez don’t trust Dinero, as Hernandez says he doesn’t trust a guy who wears sunglasses all the time. Pope says it’s all about respect and those other three are holding the three of them back.

JB interviews Daniels, who asks if he should be upset that his best friend accused him of being involved in attacks perpetrated against him. He asks if he should be upset that his best friend challenged him to a match last week, when he knew that Daniels was just dropped on his head by Samoa Joe and wasn’t at 100 per cent. He says in wrestling, there are no families, no team and no friends. Daniels adds that he’s just as good a wrestler as AJ Styles and he refuses to be the wolf in sheep’s clothing (great line), because he’s smarter than that.

Match #7: AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe

The match starts with almost a game of cat and mouse, as AJ chases Joe around the ring for a bit and finally catches him with a dropkick. Joe fights back and buries a boot in AJ’s face in the corner. He then delivers a powerbomb into a pinning combination for two. Joe tries an STF, which he switches to a crossface, but AJ reaches the ropes. AJ tries a backflip out of the corner, and looked like he was going for the inverted DDT, but Joe avoided it and delivers a vicious clothesline for two. Joe tries another powerbomb, but AJ slips out the back and delivers a spin kick. AJ then tries the Styles clash (stupid move), which Joe counters with a back body drop. AJ retaliates with the Pele. Daniels then comes to ringside and gets on the apron. He and AJ argue for a bit, until AJ delivers a right hand to his friend. Joe capitalizes and locks in a rear naked choke, forcing AJ to blackout and the ref declares Joe the winner.

Winner: Samoa Joe by ref stoppage, due to rear naked choke

Daniels then has a smirk on his face to close the show.

Final thoughts:

Definitely not as good a show as the last two weeks. Not a great go-home show either. Two things I have been impressed by is the booking of the World title match and the booking of Desmond Wolfe. Other than that, the matches were a bit lacklustre. I don’t know who thought up the idea of Jim Neidhart going over Jay Lethal in such decisive fashion and Dave Osborne being there made no sense. I don’t like the addition of Pope Dinero to the 3D vs. Morgan and Hernandez feud. He really doesn’t belong there. The X Division match and the main event were okay, but nothing spectacular. Best match on the card was the tag match with the Brits against Beer Money. I’d give tonight’s show 4 out of 10 at best.