November 11, 2012
Countdown to TNA Turning Point
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling
This year’s edition of Turning Point offers something for now and something for the future, as the main event has a stipulation with the benefit of being logically connected to the storyline, and a number-one contender’s match just might actually be more about who loses than who wins. Here’s a breakdown of the matches you can expect from tonight’s show.
The majority of the matches are building on very recently-hatched stories or new title reigns, so momentum would seem to make the winners really easy to call. I’m going to go with a “no surprises” theme for most of the contests and we’ll see what happens.
Tara & Jesse vs. ODB & Eric Young
Tara and Jesse have one hundred percent of the momentum here, and ODB’s victory on Thursday smacks of throwing her a bone before tasking her and Young with losing the match. Much vigorous making out from the victorious power couple will likely follow.
DOC vs. Joseph Park
DOC? I know it’s an acronym for Director of Chaos, but it’s really not a very threatening sounding name. Too bad Gallows was taken. Park isn't all that threatening in his nervous and jittery state, either, but it's got to be time for the beast to awaken within him. Nonetheless, DOC needs the win here so Park will be on the verge of victory before he’s beaten like a Stinger by DOC and his friends.
X DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
Joey Ryan vs. Rob Van Dam
Van Dam seems to be the definition of a transitional champ here as he has just been keeping the belt warm in between Ion and Ryan. Morgan is technically banned from ringside, but I don’t suppose that will keep the big man out of the affair. New champion tonight.
Devon vs. Kurt Angle
A little trickier to predict, since Aces & 8s probably won’t interfere twice in one night, and I really think that will happen in Park’s match. Plus, if Devon loses, would he be on the outs already? Devon wins, without help, but not cleanly.
NO DQ TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP Magnus vs. Samoa Joe
This is another fresh reign that seems too early to turn around on Joe, so I say the belt stays put.
TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez
Again, new champs here, what is served by a quick swapping of belts? Not much, and Daniels & Kazarian possess plenty of entertainment value even without the title. Champs retain.
#1 CONTENDER'S MATCH Bobby Roode vs. James Storm vs. AJ Styles
Since the loser is out of the heavyweight championship picture for almost a full year, it’s the third man that becomes the most intriguing. I see Roode somehow removing himself from the picture at a crucial moment, giving up on the win just to make sure he doesn’t get branded with that stipulation; it would also make sense for him to somehow manipulate Storm into getting the loss. So, that adds up to Styles getting the win almost by default with Storm and Roode continuing their bitter feud. I may have way over-analyzed this one.
LADDER MATCH: WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy
Yet another newly minted champion, and why have Hardy lose to Aries the very next month? Regardless of its place in an overall story arc, this match is a definitive main event and should be drawing people to order the PPV on its potential alone. Hardy wins his specialty match but Aries gets to brag about taking him to the limit.
I also have to re-post Matt Bishop’s thoughts from his latest Weekly SLAM!: "While the match should be fantastic, I feel bad for [Aries and Hardy] because they are going to kill themselves for the 1,100 people in the Impact Zone and about 8,000 people on pay-per-view."
Wrestlers often speak of putting on the same performance for 50 people as they would for 50,000; I suppose Hardy will be the litmus test, and I expect he and Aries will prove it true.