PPV REPORTS 12/11 TNA Turning Point PPV: Caldwell's Alternative Perspective review
Dec 11, 2005 - 7:12:00 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
TNA Turning Point Alternative Perspective PPV Review
December 11, 2005
From Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida
- Jeremy Borash and Shane Douglas stood at the entrance way to introduce the show. Borash said TNA will reveal a surprise that will change the face of pro wrestling in 2006.
(1) Lance Hoyt & The Naturals (Chase Stevens & Andy Douglas) beat Joe Doering & John Bollin & Buck Quartermain. Hoyt and The Naturals came to the ring without music in an awkward start to the show. Joe and John, who went through TNA’s training camp a few years ago, are pretty green. Hoyt received a mixture of boos and cheers. The honeymoon’s over. Hoyt hit an inverted Outsider’s Edge on John for the win.
- Borash and Douglas talked about the first “live barbed wire match in North American history” between Sabu and Abyss. The ring crew began taking down the ropes to set up barbed wire ropes for the opening match of the actual PPV.
- A video package for Rhino aired.
- James Mitchell channeled Raven and cut a literary promo on behalf of Abyss. Mitchell explained Abyss’s fear of barbed wire dating back to when he was institutionalized earlier in life and surrounded by barbed wire. Abyss grunted repeatedly as Mitchell told Abyss’s story. Solid promo that provided a strong back story to Abyss’s character.
- Sabu was in the locker room preparing for the barbed wire match as he dressed in front of a picture of the Sheik.
- Another video package for Rhino aired.
- The camera focused on the barbed wire in the ring. Jeremy Borash pulled out an apple and checked it with Johnny Damon of the Boston Red Sox. Borash ran the apple across the barbed wire to show how sharp the wire is.
- A video package for America’s Most Wanted vs. Team 3D aired.
- Don West stood ringside running down the PPV card. He asked a small boy ringside about Christian Cage’s debut. The kid wasn’t sure how to respond. This led to a video for Christian-Brown.
- No Jeff Jarrett promo on the pre-show? Wow. Let’s go to the PPV.
Live PPV Show Review
- The show began with a video package for Sabu-Abyss. Quick and to the point intro this month.
1 -- ABYSS (w/James Mitchell) VS. SABU -- BARBED WIRE MATCH
Abyss stomped on Sabu before he could enter the ring. Sabu picked up a barbed wire baseball bat and took a swing at Abyss. Abyss ducked. They locked up and teased barbed wire spots. Way too early for the tease spots. Sabu shoved Abyss across the ring and Sabu went face first into the barbed wire ropes. Sabu landed a right hand then Abyss delivered a knock down right hand. Abyss caught Sabu in mid-air and dropped him throat first across the top rope. Too bad the camera missed the move. Sabu broke free of the ropes and pulled a sharp object out of his boot. Sabu drove the object into Abyss’s shoulder and drew blood. Sabu went for a springboard leg splash, but Abyss moved and the back of Sabu’s leg caught on the top barbed wire rope. Sabu slumped to the mat. Abyss went for a charging splash, but Sabu caught Abyss with a drop toe hold. Abyss ate barbed wire. Abyss blocked a splash then hit a chokeslam onto a steel chair. Sabu crotched Abyss with a barbed wire chair after Abyss went for a splash. Sabu slammed the chair over Abyss’s back sending Abyss to the outside. Sabu flew over the top rope with a leg whip splash. Abyss recovered and suplexed Sabu across the top rope. Sabu slumped to the mat as his pants nearly ripped off revealing biker shorts underneath. Abyss placed a barbed wire board in the middle of the ring and went for a chokeslam, but Sabu bit out of the hold. Sabu charged Abyss and Abyss caught Sabu in mid-air for a lift up slam into the barbed wire board. Tenay said no one has seen anything as brutal as this match on PPV. Ever heard of ECW or Japanese Hardcore wrestling? Sabu teased a ref bump then Abyss charged Sabu. Sabu moved and Abyss went stomach first into the barbed wire and a barbed wire board propped up in the corner. Abyss held onto the barbed wire then Sabu pushed Abyss onto the second barbed wire board creating a sandwich. Sabu splashed the top board, squishing Abyss in the barbed wire. Sabu sat on the board for the pin.
Winner: Sabu at 10:59. It was obvious the most hyped match of the show wasn’t going very long when Abyss and Sabu didn’t build any tension and went right into the barbed wire tease spots. I thought this was well developed, a bit below expectations considering Tenay’s over-hype, and a better way to start the PPV than last month’s Raven-Credible match. (**1/4)
- We went to footage from earlier in the day when Jeff Jarrett, Chris Harris, and James Storm walked out of a limo. Storm chucked a beer bottle in a flower bed. I believe that’s a $250 littering fine.
- Backstage, Shane Douglas was with 4 Live Kru. Kip James talked about violating Team Canada. ???
- Mike Tenay and Don West killed time as the ring crew took down the barbed wire and set up the regular ring ropes. Tenay narrated backstage footage of the medical staff tending to Abyss’s battle wounds. James Mitchell consoled Abyss and told him he conquered his fear. Good follow up. Nicely done.
2 -- ALEX SHELLEY & RODERICK STRONG VS. AUSTIN ARIES & MATT BENTLEY (w/Traci Brooks)
Shelley brought his tripod and camera to the ringside area for voyeur purposes. They went right into high flying spots before Aries grounded Shelley. Aries hit a double foot drop kick to the chest. Shelley bit Aries’s fingers to take advantage and tag in Strong. Aries attacked Strong and tagged in Bentley for double team work. Strong has the mannerisms of Arn Anderson. Strong dropped Aries across his knee with a back breaker. Each team exchanged momentum and tags before Shelley and Strong took control and worked on Aries. The heels continued to cut off Aries from Bentley. Eventually, Strong and Shelley disconnected on a double team move and Aries escaped to his corner for a tag to Bentley. The action broke down with all four wrestlers battling in the ring. Strong took a dive from the apron to the floor then Bentley caught Shelley with a superkick to the chin. Bentley scored the pin for the win.
Winners: Matt Bentley & Austin Aries at 8:04. Just not enough time to develop a story in the match. The action was off and rushed. (*3/4)
- Monty Brown was backstage staring at a “Bob the Builder” doll. Brown ripped on Christian Cage for not adhering to the “dress code up North.” Regionalization moment #1 of the show. Brown said Christian couldn’t take his spot at #1 Contender even if Brown gave him the spot. Brown delivered the “Pounce. Period” line then Jeff Jarrett came up from behind Brown. Jarrett said it doesn’t matter if Brown wins tonight because Christian is management’s hand picked golden child.
- Raven walked to the ring and confronted Larry Zbyszko. Zbyszko offered the release to Raven. Raven responded with the thesaurus and lame put downs. Raven looked at the release then laughed. No one seemed to be in on the joke. Borash introduced Chris K. (no -anyon).
3 -- RAVEN VS. CHRIS K
Chris ran to the ring and jumped Raven. Chris planted Raven in the center of the ring and went for a moonsault at 3:00. Raven rolled out of the way and Chris ate the mat. Raven went for an ankle lock, but couldn’t grapevine the hold. Chris fought out of the hold. Raven dropped Chris on his back then sent him over the top rope to the floor with a knee lift. The fight spilled to the entrance ramp. Raven hip tossed Chris on the ramp then Chris rolled all the way down to the ringside area. Raven took a chair and brought it into the ring. Raven went for a drop toe hold, but Chris blocked the move. Chris went for a reverse huricanrana but Raven turned it into a powerbomb on the chair. I don’t recall the match being a No DQ match. Raven hit the Evenflow DDT and scored the win.
Afterwards, Zbyszko ran into the ring and said he’s sick of Raven. Zbyszko said he doesn’t care what Raven wants, he just wants him to sign on the bottom line and leave. Raven threw a punch and Zbyszko fought back with hard right hands. Cassidy Riley ran into the ring and fought for Raven. Security held back both sides.
Winner: Raven at 5:45. Nothing to the match other developing the storyline. Kanyon was in good shape and looked like he’d been working out. (*1/4)
- Team Canada teased tension in the locker room. D’Amore slapped Eric Young across the face and told him to get his act together. Jeff Jarrett walked into the picture and asked D’Amore about the big announcement. D’Amore said he would get to the bottom of the issue by the end of the night. Jarrett said TNA can’t wait to get the belt off his shoulder. Jarrett said he just feels the biggest screwjob in history is coming his way.
4 -- TEAM CANADA (PETEY WILLIAMS & A-1 RALPHZ & ERIC YOUNG & BOBBY ROODE w/Scott D’Amore) VS. 4 LIVE KRU (B.G. JAMES & RON KILLINGS & KONNAN & KIP JAMES)
Konnan used his shoe at 2:00. That was quick. Killings dropped a leg to Petey’s crotch. Time for the same spots in every Kru match: Killings reverses whip, ducks a clothesline, and hits a spinning leg kick; B.G. ducks a clothesline, hits a punch, dances, and hits a knock down punch. Team Canada worked on B.G. outside of the ring then double teamed him inside the ring. Kip took a tag and called everyone a bitch. The action broke down inside the ring. Kip hit a Fameasser on Roode then Konnan stole a chair from Team Canada. Konnan cracked the chair over Kip’s head. Konnan told Roode to cover Kip. Roode hesitated then made a cover without ever taking his eyes off Konnan.
B.G. walked into the ring and questioned Konnan. Konnan cracked a chair over B.G.’s head. Konnan hugged Killings then Killings asked Konnan if he was going to hit him next. Konnan smiled and left after screaming at B.G. and Konnan.
Winners: Team Canada at 7:18. Just another chapter in this never-ending storyline. Predictable, formulaic match without any benefit to Team Canada. (*)
- Backstage, Elix Skipper, David Young, and Simon Diamond talked about A.J. Pierzynski while reading media articles from USA Today and Sports Illustrated. Diamond, who was wearing a chest protector for a catcher, said his team was going to take out Dale Torborg, Chris Sabin, and Sonjay Dutt. We saw video of the media appearance Pierzynski made on ESPN Cold Pizza. Bobby Heenan came to the ring - apparently straight from the beach - to do color commentary for the six-man tag match.
5 -- DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH (DAVID YOUNG & ELIX SKIPPER & SIMON DIAMOND) VS. SONJAY DUTT & CHRIS SABIN & DALE TORBORG (w/A.J. Pierzynski)
Sabin, who is from Detroit, came to the ring wearing a White Sox jersey. We’ll, he’s not going to be well-received in Detroit anymore. Torborg, who apparently couldn’t find his KISS Demon outfit, came to the ring in jeans instead of wrestling gear. The camera focused on the broadcast table throughout the early part of the match and they missed action outside of the ring. Dutt and Sabin worked on David Young before Torborg tagged in. The heels fed him for right hands. Torborg threw Dutt over the top rope onto all three members of DITR. Pierzynski teased DITR with a baseball bat. The action returned to the ring and Diamond took the offensive advantage on Dutt. Diamond wound up like a pitcher and hit a right hand on Dutt. Skipper caught Dutt in midair and blocked a head scissors before slamming Dutt neck-first across the bottom rope. Dutt came back with a head scissors on Young. Torborg tagged in and cleared the heels. The action broke down in the ring. As the referee was distracted by action outside of the ring, Diamond used catcher’s gear to knock out Torborg. Diamond went for a pin, but Pierzynski pulled the referee out of the ring. Heenan came over and explained to the referee that Pierzynski doesn’t understand what he’s doing. Heenan continued to distract the ref as Pierzynski took home plate from Johnny Damon. He went into the ring and smashed the plate over Diamond’s head. Sabin hit Cradle Shock on Diamond. Dutt hit the top rope Hindu Press. Pierzynski remained in the ring as the referee ignored his presence and counted a three count for the babyfaces.
Afterwards, Pierzynski pulled a Sharpie out of his sock and signed home plate. Tenay threw out the lamest “no place like home” line I’ve possibly ever heard. Chris Sabin took the mic and presented Pierzynski and Torborg with TNA championship rings. Wait a second. Was that Sabin with mic time?
Winners: Dutt & Sabin & Torborg at 7:57. There are officially no rules in TNA. This show has now reached “Twilight Zone” level. Jarrett had no promo in the pre-show and Sabin actually spoke on the mic. Standard, formula wrestling. (*1/2)
- Backstage, Christian cut a standard promo on Monty Brown, using his catch phrases to connect with the audience. Christian vs. Brown is a “Contender’s match,” not a “#1 Contender’s match.”
6 -- MONTY BROWN VS. CHRISTIAN
They locked up and Brown shoved Christian across the ring. They talked trash before Christian slapped Brown. Brown responded with punches to the face. Christian reversed a whip to the ropes and landed punches and slaps. Christian played to the crowd then slipped to the outside when he felt the Pounce coming. Christian slipped back into the ring as Brown chased outside. Christian mocked Brown’s mannerisms. Christian sent Brown to the outside then hit a top rope splash. Nice. Back in the ring, Brown press slammed Christian over the top rope to the floor. Brown followed out and teased a whip to the guardrail before sending Christian back into the ring. Brown worked on Christian with power offense. Christian removed the top turnbuckle padding then Brown sent Christian to the opposite turnbuckle. The action spilled to the outside once again. Brown tried to press slam Christian into the guardrail, but Christian blocked and shoved Brown into the guardrail. The action returned to the ring at 8:40. Christian hit a discus clothesline then tried to use power moves on Brown. Brown blocked and put Christian up top. Christian fought back and hit an awkward Tornado DDT. Christian made a cover but Brown kicked out. Christian went up top and hit a frog splash. The crowd chanted, “Eddie, Eddie.” Christian took a brief moment to make a cover and Brown kicked out. The ref took a brief bump as Brown hit the Alpha Bomb. Brown made a cover but the referee delayed in counting. Christian kicked out in time. Brown tried to shove Christian into the exposed turnbuckle, but Christian slipped out and Brown ate the turnbuckle. Christian hit the Unprettier for the win.
Winner: Christian at 12:32. The match never reached a second gear. Brown and Christian each need a specific opponent to work with in order to raise their respective in-ring performance. This wasn’t the right fit for either wrestler. (**1/2)
- Shane Douglas was backstage with Team 3D. Douglas asked D-Von and Brother Ray where they’ve been. Ray said they’ve been representing TNA in Japan. Ray said they plan on taking the NWA Tag Titles. Plenty of passion from Ray. Good promo.
7 -- AMERICA'S MOST WANTED (CHRIS HARRIS & JAMES STORM) VS. TEAM 3D (BROTHER RAY & BROTHER DEVON) -- Tables Match
3D attacked AMW before the bell on the entrance ramp. AMW’s pyro continued to go off as the action broke down outside of the ring. Ray set up a table on the entrance ramp. The action eventually reached the ring where Devon split Storm’s legs with a diving headbutt. Devon and Ray set up a table in the ring and went for a 3D, but Harris saved Storm. AMW tried to send Devon through a table propped up in the corner, but Ray tackled Devon and saved him. Harris placed Devon on a table then went up top. Ray caught Harris and went for a suplex on the table, but Storm pulled the table out of the way. Devon set up a table below the ring on the outside. Ray threw Harris over the top rope onto Devon and Storm. The action continued outside of the ring. Ray landed stiff chops to the chest. Back in the ring, Storm tried to put Ray through a table after punching Ray in the crotch. Devon moved the table out of the way. AMW went for a 3D on Devon through a table. Harris went for the second part of the 3D, but just threw himself on the mat and sold a kick to the back. Ray was nowhere near Harris and apparently missed his spot. Terrible. They took the match home with the Death Sentence on Storm, eliminating him. The action spilled to the outside then up the ramp where Harris took a 3D.
- After the match, security tended to Storm. Tenay said they are receiving word that Storm suffered a neck injury. A little quick for a prognosis but Storm looked out on his feet.
Winners: Team 3D at 9:40. Team 3D is way out of shape. If I was management, I would demand a better return on investment when Team 3D can’t show up to the PPV in a decent shape to wrestle. The horribly botched spot near the end was a testament to 3D not being mentally prepared for the match either. (3/4*)
8 -- A.J. STYLES VS. SAMOA JOE -- X DIVISION TITLE MATCH
Joe carried his towel, which is still covered in Christopher Daniels’s blood. Styles jumped Joe before the bell and took the fight to Joe. Styles kept Joe at bay with a brutal offensive attack of his own. Joe came back with sick body kicks before taking Styles to the outside. Joe kicked Styles across the ringside area with a flying kick to the face. Back in the ring, Joe punched and slapped Styles before dropping a knee to the throat. Styles fought back, but Joe caught him off with a stiff kick. Joe sat on Styles with a seated Sentaun. Joe began washing Styles’s face in the corner, but Styles grabbed Joe’s foot and fired up to his feet. Joe quickly dropped Styles with a slap to the face that sent Styles scurrying the corner. Joe ran in with a foot to the face that snapped Styles’s head back. Joe flipped Styles to the apron. Styles seemed like he was going for a springboard move, but he was out on his feet. They set up a springboard spot a third time and Joe caught Styles in mid-air for a powerbomb. Joe locked in a Boston Crab and bent Styles’s back in an awkward position. Joe sent Styles to the corner at 11:10 then followed in. Styles caught Joe and flipped him over the top rope to the floor. Joe staggered to his feet then Styles flew over the top with a running Shooting Star Press onto Joe. Nice. Back in the ring, Styles covered Joe for a nearfall. Joe ducked a clothesline and went for a Full Nelson Slam, but Styles flipped out. Styles hit a back flip Reverse DDT for a nearfall. Styles picked up Joe then bounced off the ropes. Joe caught Styles with a snap powerslam for a nearfall. The fans chanted, “This is awesome.” Joe kicked Styles in the chest and Styles taunted Joe to keep it coming. Styles ducked slaps and punches then went for a powerbomb. Joe blocked the move so Styles kicked Joe in the chest. Styles went for a second powerbomb attempt and connected. Styles made a cover, but scored a nearfall. Styles bounced off the ropes and walked into a sick clothesline. Joe made a cover, but Styles kicked out at one. Joe hit a sick powerbomb and Styles kicked out at one. Styles did a Superman Comeback and Joe wasn’t sure how to react. Styles hit a soccer kick then took Joe to the top. Styles set up for a Muscle Buster, but Joe blocked his own finisher. Styles and Joe teased spots then Styles hit the Styles Clash on the mat. Styles made the cover, but Joe kicked out. Styles went for a pinning combination, but Joe caught him in the Kokina Clutch. After fighting off the hold for a while, Styles appeared to be out cold. The referee called for the bell awarding Joe the win.
Afterwards, Joe took the X Division Title as the fans clapped. Joe held up Styles as Don West speculated that Joe finally understood the code of the X Division. Instead, Joe clocked Styles over the head with the belt. Joe took a chair into the ring and set up Styles for the Muscle Buster. Christopher Daniels’s music hit and Daniels ran to the ring. Daniels scored the initial offensive advantage then Joe came back with punches to the head. Daniels staggered backwards to the corner before security intervened.
Winner: Samoa Joe at 18:58 to capture the X Division Title. As expected, state of the art wrestling between Joe and Styles. Again, the two men saved a downer PPV with an outstanding performance. Joe is the most dynamic wrestler the company has. Continuing to build his heel character is TNA’s ticket to success. Joe-Daniels should be a good feud with Styles moving into a program with someone else or taking time off to sell the beating from Joe. (****1/4)
- Rhino was backstage with Shane Douglas. Rhino talked about putting his career back in line since coming to TNA. Rhino said he clawed his way to the NWA Title and plans on winning the belt.
9 -- JEFF JARRETT VS. RHINO -- NWA TITLE MATCH
Jarrett and Rhino went through the feeling out process before Jarrett grounded Rhino with a leg scissors across the shoulder. The action spilled to the outside at 3:00. Well, at least there were three minutes inside the ring. Rhino took Jarrett to the stands and up to the second level. The action spilled to the area below the grandstands. Rhino sent Jarrett into the side of the entrance structure. Rhino took Jarrett over the guardrail to the entrance ramp. Rhino hammered away on Jarrett with right hands. The camera zoomed in on Jarrett’s forehead, which was covered in blood. Rhino slammed a chair over Jarrett’s back. Yep, no rules in TNA. Rhino took Jarrett to another side of the arena and set up a table. Rhino cleared out several fans then tried to splash Jarrett, but Jarrett moved. Jarrett climbed up the scaffolding above the table. Rhino met him up top. Jarrett slammed a chair over Rhino’s back and Rhino fell off the scaffold through the table below. Jarrett and Rhino took the fight to the entrance ramp. Rhino came back with a suplex on the ramp. Rhino left the ring area and went somewhere to retrieve a table. Rhino slid the table onto the entrance ramp. Rhino placed the table against the entrance tunnel in a spot similar to last month. This time, Rhino scored with a gore through the table. The table didn’t break and both men slid right through the tunnel on the table as if it was a surfboard. Both men struggled to their feet. The referee said both men have a count of ten to make it to the ring. Where did that come from? There are no rules in TNA. From behind, Team Canada jumped Rhino and threw him down the tunnel. He referee began counting. Team Canada dragged Jarrett to the ring and threw him inside the ring. Rhino came charging down the ring and ran inside the ring at nine. Rhino attacked Jarrett then Petey Williams charged the ring. Rhino threw him out then Eric Young. Rhino went up top, but Petey crotched Rhino on the top turnbuckle. Jarrett went up top and hit a superplex for a nearfall. Rhino didn’t sell and immediately hit an Ace Crusher for a nearfall. Rhino charged Jarrett in the corner and speared the referee for a ref bump. Rhino hit a suplex then Bobby Roode entered the ring. Rhino gored A-1, who flew into the ring. Roode caught Rhino from behind with a Northern Lariat suplex. Jarrett made a cover, but the referee was down. Jarrett scored a nearfall when the referee came to. Jarrett grabbed a guitar and cracked it over Rhino’s head. Jarrett made a cover and the referee was slow to count another nearfall. Jarrett didn’t believe it. Jackie Gayda came to the ring and slapped Jarrett. Rhino hit a gore and scored a nearfall when the referee was slow to make the count. Rhino set up two chairs in the ring. Rhino took Jarrett up top and went for a powerbomb, but Scott D’Amore ran to the ring with a flag. Security dragged Jackie to the back, but let D’Amore ran to the ring and cracked the flag over Rhino’s leg. Jarrett hit the Stroke on the chairs for the win.
Winner: Jeff Jarrett at 17:30 to retain the NWA Title. The usual shortcuts. The usual outside interference. The usual illogical finish. The usual compromise of rules. Can’t say the match wasn’t exciting, because it was. But there were just no signs of either man advancing his in-ring performance. (**)
- Afterwards, D’Amore and Jarrett celebrated then the lights went out. Tenay screamed about not knowing what’s going on. An image of a scorpion came on the screen as the fans chanted, “Sting, Sting.” A spotlight was fixated on the center of the ring where a chair, black boots, baseball bat, and a pair of black boots were. Jarrett and D’Amore weren’t sure how to react. Tenay asked if Sting was the face of wrestling in 2006.
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