Pruett's Pause: TNA Turning Point - Jeff Hardy and Austin Aries have a spectacular Ladder Match, James Storm is Number One Contender, A.J. Styles is eliminated from title contention, and more
By Will Pruett
- With the new announcing situation in TNA, we are now seeing a three man booth on pay-per-view. Todd Kenely seems to be leading the broadcast, with Taz and Mike Tenay filling in as the color guys. This is the right setup for Taz and Tenay, but I'm not sure Kenely is the right guy for it. I still maintain that Jeremy Borash is the best play-by-play guy that isn't Jim Ross in wrestling.
- Samoa Joe and Magnus had a really nice opening match. They didn't go too far and overshadow the main event, which would have been possible. They simply had a match fitting their feud. Joe and Magnus were extremely impressive here.
- Part of me wishes Samoa Joe would have lost to Magnus here. Magnus still has a ton of untapped potential, and as good as Joe is, Magnus could use weekly exposure to establish his character and personality. Magnus feels like a grab bag of untapped potential right now.
- Eric Young and ODB have a very fun comedic chemistry. Sometimes it is a little over the top, but its difficult not to smile when they are in the ring together.
- Jesse is actually better in the ring than I expected him to be. The mixed tag match was a nice comedic piece. My only major qualm with it is making the Knockout's Championship the centerpiece of a comedy feud and thus making it a comedy division.
- Joey Ryan's character doesn't seem to have a natural reason to feud with Rob Van Dam's, aside from the X Division Championship. I don't mind that being the only reason, but they should probably focus on the championship a little more if that will be the case.
- Rob Van Dam did give Joey Ryan the opportunity to look like a legitimate threat in the ring. That is something Ryan will need for a few months in a row. Ryan and Morgan have a budding partnership, but Morgan can't be the only legitimacy that Ryan has.
- I can understand why TNA decided to extend the run of the Joseph Park character. He is a tremendous amount of fun to watch. His promos and his ring work are all so much more entertaining and compelling than anything Abyss did.
- Did anyone else notice Taz accidentally calling Joseph Park Abyss? It's a simple mistake, but it also shows that Taz is usually checked out and phoning it in.
- DOC looked frightening and violent. Joseph Park continued to tell the story of a man who never knew he could wrestle. Park was the more compelling component of the match, but DOC held up his end.
- The moments where Bully Ray raised Park's hand was great. It rounded out their story and the babyface turn of Bully Ray nicely.
- Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero's formulaic tag team matches are working for the moment. The two of them compliment each other well. I'm not in love with their act or Chavo's constant reliance on his late uncle's move set and residual heat.
- I liked the new look and new music for Christopher Daniels and Kazarian. I hope that this defeat as a team doesn't signal the end of the team. They are way too good together to break up and I don't see an upside to ending this tag team now.
- The triple threat match on this show was excellent. The last ten minutes of it were very entertaining and fun to watch. All three men worked very hard and had a nice high-stakes match.
- I am glad that Bobby Roode and James Storm didn't go all the way with doing their old Beer Money spot. Their intense blood feud ended just a month ago and they shouldn't really be willing to cooperate to that extent.
- A.J. Styles being out of World Championship contention for a year could be really interesting. What if he returns to the X Division and attempts to conquer that? What if he targets the tag titles? Styles has an interesting story arch coming up and it should be fun to watch.
- I would have rather seen Bobby Roode win the match, instead of James Storm. Roode would be a great challenger for Jeff Hardy and I worry that Storm will split the audience too much. Storm is being used in odd ways as a babyface ever since TNA decided not to go forward with him winning the Bound for Glory Series.
- Kurt Angle and Devon had a wrestling match that wanted to pretend it was part of a blood feud. That pretense hurt the match.
- I don't want to see Devon in main event situations. He isn't talented enough in the ring to pull it off.
- Jeff Hardy was like a sparkly purple flying thing in the ladder match.
- Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy had a really great ladder match. There was plenty of superfluous risk and ridiculous reward. There was also a crowd that, while pretty much alive, didn't adequately show just how good this match was. This match outside the Impact Zone and given room to breathe would have been one of the best in TNA's history.
- Hardy took some very hard and slightly disturbing falls in this match. It makes me feel sorry for him and performers like him. After revolutionizing the ladder match in 1999, he has had to top himself constantly. There's a certain point where this is dangerous and detrimental to the wrestling business. This match was good, but there is no reason to expect Hardy to top it. He will try though.
This show, purely based on the in-ring content, gets an A grade from me. The stories had their moments of weakness, but the show was entertaining and it flowed well throughout. At only one point in the entire three hours was I bored of this show, and that involved Devon.
It looks like next month we are going with James Storm vs. Jeff Hardy. It can be an exciting moment with two top babyfaces colliding, but I'm worried. TNA had the opportunity to tell a similar story going into Bound for Glory, but they failed to do so, then scrapped it completely. Will they redeem themselves with Storm vs. Hardy?
Let's do some good old fashioned talking about this show! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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