Sunday, 16 September 2007

TNA Turning Point 2006 on TWC - TV Review

This is it folks, the end of an era, with Total Non-Stop Action presenting their last ever pay-per-view on The Wrestling Channel, or TWC Fight as it’s now known, before heading off to pastures new in the more mainstream world of Bravo 2, as it’s time to take a look back at Turning Point 2006, with our regular hosts, Mike Tenay and Don West.
We begin the show with another one of those Kevin Nash tournament things, the Paparazzi Championship Series, featuring Senshi, Jay Lethal, Alex Shelley, Sonjay Dutt and Austin Starr. Fought under elimination rules, it’s your usual, fast-paced X Division style encounter which makes for a good opening for the show, with some great exchanges between all five athletes. The performances of Senshi and Starr at the end of the match were great, with Senshi getting the win with a roll-up after Shelley returned to the ring to distract Starr as he went for a second 450 from the top rope.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash chats with Eric Young, who is dressed in a robe, about the upcoming bikini contest. So let me get this straight - Eric Young is in a bikini contest? Am I hearing this right?
Then it’s back to the ring for the first ever inter-gender bikini contest between Tracey Brooks and Eric Young. It’s more than obvious that Vince Russo is booking the show again, because out of all the TNA PPVs I’ve seen this year, this has to be the worst segment I’ve seen in all of them. There’s no point me telling you how it went or who won, because I frankly don’t care.
The “hilarity” continues as some blonde bird knocks on the door of the dressing room of “Michael Hickenbottom” and “Paul Leveque, until some big fat guy in a thong comes and knocks on the door. What the feck is going on here?
Thankfully, normal action resumes with Christopher Daniels defending the X Division title against Chris Sabin, with X Division pioneer Jerry Lynn as the special referee. As with their previous match, it’s a top notch encounter here, with both men pulling out all the stops in a thrilling and very enjoyable contest, just what the doctor ordered after the piss poor bikini contest. These guys work so well together it’s unbelievable. But once again Daniels came out on top, pinning Sabin after the BME, despite having problems with his neck and his hip, his hop problem having come about after elbow dropping Sabin while he was prone on the floor, jumping from the middle rope. After the match, Lynn tried to get Sabin to shake Daniels’ hand, but when the Fallen Angel said a few things to the special referee, Daniels ended up getting slapped from his troubles, and the two had to be pulled apart by several other officials.
Next up, we get a visit from the public face of TNA management as Jim Cornette makes his way to the ring. We then get a segment involving some baseball players I’ve never heard of, which is basically a plug for a book one of them, an argument, a brawl, and Lance Hoyt saving the day as he took the former WCW Kiss Demon down with a big boot, so it looks like we’re going to get some more non-wrestlers competing in a wrestling ring. You can tell Russo is back, can’t you?
Backstage, Borash chats with Rhino about his upcoming match with A.J. Styles. Rhino talks about trying to help Styles, and how the Phenomenal One would rather handle things in a different way. But just as the interview is about to end, Styles attacks him. The brawl takes them throughout the backstage area, and through the fans in the arena, until they eventually get into the ring. Rhino’s power game and Styles’ aerial tactics were and perfect combination in this match, and they worked extremely well together, with Styles’ heel turn adding that certain something to his game, and it was Style’s heel tactics that brought him the victory. After Rhino countered a Styles Clash attempt by back-dropping him over the top rope, Styles appeared to have suffered a severe knee injury which brought out several officials as well as the trainers, who spent several minutes checking over the injury, and just as the trainer went to the ring announcer to tell him that Styles would be unable to continue, Styles popped right back up, jumped into the ring and pinned Rhino with a schoolboy roll-up, dancing up the ramp afterwards, before Rhino chased him out of the arena.
Backstage, that blonde bird catches up with someone trying to do a Vince McMahon impression. Mentions of cocks and oily guys follow, before the impostor does the McMahon strut while walking off. Russo is definitely back.
Then, as Tenay and West begin to talk about the upcoming matches, the Rhino/Styles brawl returns to the arena, and the two of them are soon separated by security.
Backstage, Borash interviews Konnan and the LAX about their upcoming flag match with America’s Most Wanted. Konnan’s promos are fast becoming some of the best things about TNA, and he certainly cut a great promo here.
Back in the arena, it’s time for America’s Most Wanted and the Latin American Xchange to face each other in a flag match, with the winning team’s national anthem being played. This was a tremendous match, fought with a ton of drama, and I know I’ve said this several times before, but Hernandez was once again extremely impressive, especially with his suicide dive over the top rope. Once again it was the LAX who came out on top, thanks in part to James Storm. As Homicide and Chris Harris tried to hang their respective flags from the ladder in the middle of the ring, Storm climbed up behind up Homicide and clobbered him with a beer bottle. Unfortunately, some of the glass from the bottle got into Harris’ eye, taking him out of the match, and giving Hernandez the chance to climb the ladder and raise the Mexican flag. As AMW argued over what happened, LAX stood proudly in the ring as the Mexican national anthem was played.
Backstage, Borash interviews Storm, who tells everyone how Harris quit the match, obviously not realising his part in the proceedings.
Then we go onto the latest pot shot at WWE and D-Generation X, as the Voodoo Kin Mafia, dressed as “Paul Leveque” and “Michael Hickenbottom” come to the ring. What follows is utterly embarrassing, as we get a fat oily guy, a piss-take of the Spirit Squad, and Kip and B.G. James offering Triple H and Shawn Michaels a million bucks for a fight - and this was a shoot. Once again, you can see Vince Russo’s fingerprints all over this crap. I’m left wondering exactly what purpose this series of skits serves.
With that crap out of the way, Borash interviews championship challenger Christian Cage and his new/old bodyguard Tomko. As usual, it’s a great promo from the former champion here, as he proclaims that he’ll regain the NWA title in the upcoming triple threat match.
Time for the second title match of the evening, as the monster Abyss defends his NWA World title in a triple threat match against two former champions, Sting and Christian Cage. Of course, Cage has Tomko along for company. This one would have been worthy of main event status, had another bout not been in that slot. Great performances from all three guys, with a great back story, lead to a great match in which all concerned played their parts to perfection. We saw Tomko stomping Abyss’ head into the thumb tacks, before the monster came back strongly and pinned Sting after the black hole slam. After the debacle of the VKM segment, this was just the thing we needed.
Backstage, Borash talks to Kurt Angle about his re-match with Samoa Joe, saying that after he defeats him, he won’t face him again.
Main event time, as Samoa Joe, now sans undefeated streak, gets his re-match with Kurt Angle. It’s a solid enough wrestling match, with both men putting in a great effort, but once again my concerns for Angle’s apparent health problems spoiled my enjoyment somewhat. The action towards the end of the bout, with the submission and counter-submission attempts were tremendous to watch, and as the referee took a snooze, Angle tapped to Joe’s rear naked choke. But seeing as how the ref was out of action, the submission didn’t count. The official also failed to notice Angle’s attempted chair shots, but did wake up in time to see Joe applying a second choke to get the tap out victory to end what was an exciting contest.
In conclusion - when you matches like Daniels v Sabin, Rhino v Styles, and Joe v Angle, you know that as far as their wrestling product is concerned, you know that TNA are heading in the right direction. However, when you see things like Eric Young in a bikini contest, and the D-Generation X parodies, you know that Vince Russo is back on the scene. What worked in the mid-nineties in the WWF doesn’t really work now in TNA, and this writer really hopes that these kind of skits will quickly become a thing of the past.