TNA Turning Point Hitlist: Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries in a ladder match, A.J. Styles vs. James Storm vs. Bobby Roode, Joseph Park vs. DOC, Devon vs. Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe vs. Magnus, Rob Van Dam vs. Joey Ryan
By Jason Powell
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TNA Turning Point Hits
Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries in a ladder match: A very good ladder match with some crazy bumps and a decisive finish. I'm still not sure why they had two belts placed above the ring. It doesn't make sense from a storyline standpoint, and it may have drove some viewers away given that over 60 percent of our voters suspected that there would be a controversial finish with each wrestler taking a title belt. The only real flaw in the execution of the match is that they didn't build up great drama during the near grabs. I never felt like the match was going to end. Part of the blame for that goes to the production team for showing too many hard camera shots that let viewers see when a wrestler was going to break up a near grab. Overall, though, Hardy and Aries worked their asses off and delivered a satisfying pay-per-view main event.
A.J. Styles vs. James Storm vs. Bobby Roode: This match was so much more intriguing due to the stipulation that the loser of the match won't be allowed to challenge for the title until Bound For Glory next year. Number one contenders matches are a dime a dozen these days and there's no way I would have had as much interest in htis match had they not raised the stakes. They should brand this as an annual match for Turning Point to help give the show more of an identity. The first ten minutes of the match felt uneventful because no one believed it would end during that time and the fans didn't seem to be passionate in cheering for Styles or Storm, so the atmosphere was flat. The closing minutes of the match were very entertaining with some believable near falls. Here's hoping the plan is to revamp the Styles character over the next 11 months. It feels like he's done everything there is to do in TNA, and his character comes across too whiney.
Samoa Joe vs. Magnus: Another good outing from Joe and Magnus. This match opened the show, but it would not have felt out of place had it been featured later in the night. I still don't care about the TV Title and I'm not sure what purpose it really serves, but I have enjoyed the work of Joe and Magnus during this feud.
DOC vs. Joseph Park: The reveal of the former Luke Gallows as a member of Aces & 8s on a recent edition of Impact was flat, but he really is a strong addition to the roster. Park was star of the match. He plays his part so well by doing all the little things to make it seem like he's a non-wrestler. His split personality gimmick is intriguing. It will be interesting to see whether one of his personalities is actually aligned with Aces & 8s. Either way, I give credit to him and anyone else who played a part in breathing new life into his act.
Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian: A good tag match with the usual formula of Chavo selling and Hernandez performing his big man moves in short spurts. It's a shame that Hernandez never progressed to the point that he could do more, but at least they recognize his limitations and work around them. Daniels and Kazarian continue to be the most entertaining tag team. They may not provide the big laughs that Kane and Daniel Bryan have, but their act is much more consistent and they work very well in the ring together.
Eric Young and ODB vs. Tara and Jesse: A fun comedy match. The Young and ODB comedy act felt fresh again because of Young's layoff. It will be interesting to see whether he re-signs. If he doesn't re-sign, can TNA just retire the Knockouts Tag Titles? On second thought, can they just retire those belts whether he stays or goes?
Rob Van Dam vs. Joey Ryan: A good match that the announcers could have made better. Ryan was the underdog and he got in enough offense that he should have gained some respect in defeat. However, the announcers were too busy goofing around because Todd Keneley knew the name of Ryan's Mustache Ride finisher to actually tell us the story.
Overall show: This wasn't as hot as the Hit count may seem to imply. It was a good show with some good matches and some passable matches. The energy in the Impact Zone left a lot to be desired. Turning Point would have come off so much better if this same show was held in a different venue. This was the type of event that left me feeling like I received a good return on my investment, yet it didn't do anything that left me anxious to see what's next. It's refreshing to see TNA pay-per-view main event matches deliver. The days of the undercard matches being strong and the top matches dragging things down and leaving viewers with a bad taste in their mouth appear to be over. This is such a key when it comes to viewers feeling satisfied with their purchase. I've sat through mediocre shows with a strong main event that was so much better received by our readers than good shows that happened to have forgettable main events.
TNA Turning Point Misses
Devon vs. Kurt Angle: This should have been a brawl given the nature of the Aces & 8s storyline. Rather, it was just another Angle wrestling match. This felt like a buffer match designed to bring the live crowd down rather than a hot semi-main event involving a former TNA Champion and one of the faces of the heel faction. I'm still shaking my head at Devon losing because they need him to mean something as long as he's one of only two unmasked Aces & 8s members. I'm also baffled by Aces & 8s standing there while Angle forced Devon to tap, and then looking like doofuses when Angles eluded them afterwards.
Three-man booth: A minor miss. TNA has four regular broadcast team members (excluding the Spanish broadcast team), yet Jeremy Borash, who does the best work of the four, was the only guy who wasn't utilized in that role. Todd Keneley does a decent job of calling the action, but he has zero chemistry with Mike Tenay and Taz. He does a good job of directing traffic by feeding it it either man specifically, but he seemed to scale back the banter to simply agreeing with their assessment or praising them for their takes as the show went on. The good news is that it seemed to bring out the best in Tenay, who was armed with some good info early. I can't give the initial go a Hit, but I do believe most of their problems are chemistry based, so it's probably just a case of the trio needing more time together.
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