Saturday, 17 November 2012

TNA Turning Point on Challenge - TV Review

It’s time to take another trip to the Impact Zone as we take a look at TNA’s most recent pay-per-view offering, Turning Point, shown this past Wednesday night on Challenge here in Britain.

The show began with title action as Magnus challenged Samoa Joe for the TV title in a no disqualification match.

Well, if you don’t know why I won’t review any of Nick Aldis’ matches by now…..

Mixed tag team action followed as Knockouts Champion Tara and her boyfriend Jesse took on Knockouts Tag Team Champions ODB and Eric Young.

It’s been well documented how much I dislike Mr. and Mrs. Young, but I have to admit that I may have found another wrestling couple who can give them a run for their money in that respect.

Normal mixed tag rules didn’t apply in this one, which meant that the guys could hit the girls and vice versa. No chivalry in TNA I guess!

The action was okay and really can’t be faulted, but this is one angle I hope comes to an abrupt conclusion so I don’t have to put up with these couples any more.

The Tag Champions came out on top in this one, with ODB slamming Jesse so her old man could seal the deal with a top rope elbow.

The second title match of the evening saw Joey Ryan challenging Rob Van Dam for the X Division title, with Ryan’s buddy Matt Morgan banned from ringside.

It was pretty obvious who was going to win this one. As RVD took his challenger to school early on the announcers spent most of their time putting Ryan down, saying that he didn’t have a chance.

The match itself wasn’t that bad. RVD came out with all of his usual impressive stuff, and Ryan did a good job of controlling the match for a while, proving that he’s slightly more than a Dirk Diggler wannabe.

But in the end his challenge was a short one as RVD sealed the win after a Five Star Frog Splash from the top rope. The champion didn’t have much time to celebrate though after Matt Morgan took him out with the Carbon Footprint on the stage.

The next match saw Aces & Eights member Doc going up against everyone’s favourite legal man Joseph Park.

There’s something about Joseph Park that makes it impossible to dislike the guy. He may be the size of a brick wall but he plays the part of the ultimate underdog to perfection.

This was a great piece of storytelling. Doc went to take Park to the woodshed but found himself frustrated by him time and time again.

Park, despite being petrified, kept coming back, and when Doc clobbered him with his spiked belt while the referee’s back was turned the big man was busted open. But when Park saw his own blood on his hands something snapped inside him for a few seconds as he invoked the spirit of his brother Abyss and took Doc down with a Black Hole slam.

It wasn’t enough to get the pin though, and moments later Doc took Park down with a choke slam for the three count.

The formerly hooded thug then tried to do further damage with the hammer he’d tried to use earlier, only for Bully Ray to run down to the ring to save his man. Bully then helped Park to his feet and raised his hand, much to the approval of the fans.

Then it was back to championship action as Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian challenged Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez to the Tag Team titles.

I really enjoyed this one. Both teams came out of this one incredibly well, and it proved to be a perfect advertisement for 21st century tag team wrestling.

Hernandez and Guerrero looked even better as a team than they had before. Their team work looked crisp and well executed, and it really didn’t seem as if they’d only been together for a few months.

As for their opponents, kudos once again to Daniels and Kazarian. They looked great as they used Guerrero as their personal crash test dummy, targeting his ribs to good effect.

But perhaps the most impressive of them all was, once again, big Super Mex. Big Hernandez may be one of the best big man tag team wrestlers in recent memory. He’s perfect at coming in and cleaning house after getting the hot tag, and he compliments smaller wrestlers really well.

The champions came out on top in this one when Hernandez lifted Daniels on to his shoulders and Guerrero took him out with a body block from the top rope. Nice work all round.

Three way action followed, with Bobby Roode, James Storm and A.J. Styles fighting it out for the number one contender’s spot, with the loser of the fall not getting another World title shot for nearly a year.

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but this has to be the first three way match I’ve seen in ages where, apart from one move, you didn’t see two of the guys teaming up against the third.

And for me that’s what made this match good. Apart from the spot where Roode and Storm took Styles out with a double suplex these three were clearly in it for themselves and weren’t looking for help from anyone.

The stage was set when Roode was taken out early, leaving Storm and Styles to start things off proper. Throughout the match we saw plenty of one on one encounters, and the three-way action wasn’t overdone.

All three men were at the top of their game as they put in great performances. However, the action did seem a little too long at times. Perhaps it would have been better if the match lost five minutes or so. I’m sure that it wouldn’t have spoiled the flow of the action.

The Cowboy came out on top in this one, with Storm taking Styles out with his Last Call super kick for the winning pin.

The penultimate match saw Aces & Eights leader Devon taking on Kurt Angle.

I’d heard that a few reviewers had been quite critical about this match. To be honest with you I can’t understand why.

From the beginning these two put on a well-executed encounter. Devon is starting to grow into the role of cult leader, while Angle is, well, Angle, capable of putting on a good match with anyone.

Both guys looked good in what was an evenly-fought encounter, but when the rest of Devon’s crew came out of their cubby hold I thought we’d end up with one of those mass brawls.

Thankfully that didn’t happen. Angle managed to apply the trusty old ankle lock for a second time, and that was enough for Devon as he finally tapped out to give Angle the submission win.

Angle then quickly headed for the hills to avoid another attack, with Doc barking threats at him from the ring.

The main event saw Austin Aries challenging Jeff Hardy for the World title in a ladder match.

As far as ladder matches go this wasn’t too bad. As with the previous match I’d heard a great deal about this one, and most of the things I’d heard turned out to be true.

The action was, as expected, both great and brutal in equal measures. The ladders were used to good effect throughout, and we saw some sick bumps from both protagonists, especially from Hardy.

Both guys, and quite a few of the ladders, took a hell of a beating here, and we also had the rather unique sight of Aries finding the belt controls, raising them as Hardy made one of his many ascents. Okay, we’ve seen this sort of thing in other ladder matches, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of the combatants raise the belts himself as his opponent was about to grab them.

This didn’t stop Hardy though. After grabbing a bigger ladder from underneath the ring and stopping Aries from grabbing the gold one final time he took his man out with a Twist of Fate on top of a ladder perched on the top rope. After both Aries and the ladder went flying Hardy scaled the bigger ladder one final time so he could grab the gold and retain the title.

In conclusion - you know what? This wasn’t too bad!

If you take out the somewhat annoying mixed tag team match then this year’s Turning Point turned out to be a pretty enjoyable show.

The performances varied from good to great, but overall I finished my late night/early morning viewing feeling that I’d watched some very good matches, with the Aries/Hardy encounter the cream of the crop for me, earning the no-prize this time around.

So after another enjoyable TNA experience there’s only one more thing left for me to do and that’s to give Turning Point the thumbs up.

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