Turning Point 2006
Date: December 10, 2006
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Don West, Mike Tenay
Wrestlemania is over so it’s time to go back to TNA land. This is the final PPV of 2006 but as usual I’ll be going backwards for the next few shows. The main event here is Angle vs. Joe II after they hotshotted the first match in their series, which we’ll get to next time. The other main event is Abyss defending the world title against Sting and Christian, which I think is the same match that happened next month at Final Resolution. Let’s get to it.
The opening video….is a puppet show? I think it’s supposed to be Christmas themed but it’s really weird and turns into a highlight reel of the feuds. It’s 2006 so TNA didn’t have this down yet. Now there’s a fire extinguisher putting the video out. Ok then.
Senshi vs. Alex Shelley vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Austin Starr vs. Jay Lethal
This is the opening match of the Paparazzi Championship Series which is something that I don’t think anyone really got the definitive idea behind. This is an elimination match and Nash, the guy who started the whole thing, is on commentary. Starr is Aries with longer hair. Nash talks about bringing Jerry Lynn into the X-Division back in Mexico City in 61. Only two in the ring at a time and Lethal starts vs. Shelley.
Shelley crawls on his knees as Tenay explains the PCS as best as he can. Shelley goes into the ropes and gets the rope kicked into him. He tries to show the wound to Starr who isn’t that interested. The winner of this gets 5 Series points, the runner up gets 4 and so on down the line. Shelley takes him to the mat and tags in Starr who gets dropkicked. Lethal tags in Dutt who elbows him down for two.
Alex comes in again and takes over for a bit, only to get punched down by Lethal. Dutt and Lethal are a semi-regular tag team so the chemistry makes sense. Nash accuses Dutt of being on steroids in a funny bit. Dutt walks the ropes but Starr crotches him from the apron. Nash: “What do you think feels worse: that or a paper cut?” Senshi comes in and is SERIOUS. He’s the wild card in this as he’s not affiliated with either “team”.
Dutt sends him to the floor and sets for a dive but Starr takes his head off with a clothesline. Starr sets for a dive to the floor but Shelley tags himself in and they yell at each other. Lethal dives on Senshi as they argue and the heel team decides on stereo suicide dives, but Shelley stops so Starr can dive alone. Back in Dutt DDTs Shelley for two. Nash talks about winning silver in the 68 Olympics in two man synchronized swimming as Dutt DDTs Shelley and puts him in the camel clutch for the submission.
Down to four now and Jay comes in to fight his partner. Dutt runs to the ropes and Senshi tags himself in. Lethal doesn’t see it so Senshi can kick his head off for the pin to get rid of Lethal. Off to Starr with the Pendulum Elbow. Jumping elbow gets two. Senshi comes in and fires off a bunch of kicks for two on Dutt. It’s basically a handicap match at this point. Dutt avoids a charge in the corner and hits a missile dropkick for two on Starr.
He takes Senshi down as well and a Lionsault gets two on Starr. There’s the camel clutch to Starr but Senshi makes the save. Brainbuster is countered and Dutt gets some two counts, but the second brainbuster attempt works, setting up the 450 to pin Dutt. Down to two now and they slug it out. Senshi hits a springboard enziguri for two. Starr escapes a move called the Crusher and loads up the 450 but Shelley comes out for a distraction. Senshi rolls up Starr for the pin.
Rating: C+. Not bad here as all five guys were pretty good. There’s nothing great in the whole thing but it was entertaining enough. The PCS thing went on for awhile and got funny after awhile, but I don’t think it ever really accomplished anything. I guess it was a BCS parody, but it went on WAY too long.
Eric Young is worried about his bikini contest with Tracy. JB tells Eric to man up.
We recap the Roode vs. Young feud. Roode wants the fans to love him so he wants to sign Young to work for him.
Time for the bikini contest. Brooks looks good, Eric wears a t-shirt with a bikini on it. Roode protests so Eric takes the shirt off to reveal Spongebob boxer briefs. Those don’t count so he takes those off to reveal a Spongebob Speedo. WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS??? Young wins and Roode jumps him. Roode yells at Brooks, telling her to do whatever it takes to sign Young or she’ll be the one that gets fired.
We go to the back where the interviewer is going to talk to “Michael Hickenbottom and Paul Levesque”, known as Dumb to the Extreme. Big Fat Oily Guy comes up to visit them. I HATE this stuff. It’s not funny, it’s not original, and NO ONE BUYS IT. But that didn’t stop TNA from doing this for MONTHS.
Quick recap of the X-Title match. It’s Sabin vs. Daniels with Lynn as referee. Lynn mentored Sabin and now is worried about what he’s created.
X-Division Title: Chris Sabin vs. Christopher Daniels
This is the second match and we’re 40 minutes into this show. But hey, we got SPONGEBOB! Jerry Lynn is guest referee and was disrespected by Sabin lately. Feeling out process to start and Sabin controls with a headlock. There’s no hair to grab to cheat so he grabs the ear. Daniels speeds things up and takes him to the mat with an armbar. He rams Sabin’s face into the mat a few times for good measure.
Suplex sets up a slingshot moonsault for two. Sabin counters with an amateur based stomp to the foot and a drop toehold to put Daniels in 619 position. A springboard missile dropkick puts Daniels on the floor as the challenger is in control. They go to the ramp with Daniels having his back worked over. Back in the ring Daniels is sat down in the ring and Sabin hits a running single boot to the back of the head. Cool move. It was like a one footed dropkick.
Off to a neck crank which Daniels breaks pretty quickly and hooks a backslide for two. The fans chant for the Fallen Angel but Sabin chokes him between the ropes. Legdrop to the back of the neck gets two. We get a dueling chant which is about 95/5 in favor of Daniels. STO gets the champ a break and he pounds away. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two. Out to the floor again and Sabin goes back first into the barricade.
Something like a baseball slide puts Sabin down and Daniels drops an elbow from the top to the floor for two. Back in Sabin dropkicks him down and hits a pretty sweet springboard tornado DDT for two. Daniels comes back with a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. A Death Valley Driver gets two. Downward Spiral sets up a Koji Clutch but Sabin gets a rope. Release Rock Bottom sets up the BME and it’s over.
Rating: B-. I was getting into this more during the end, but Daniels dominated him at the end and took some of the drama out of it. Good match though and Sabin was always good for a watch in his solo stuff. Daniels against someone other than AJ is ALWAYS an upgrade and the fans were into him a lot here.
Lynn demands that Sabin shake Daniels’ hand but when Sabin won’t do it, Daniels gets in Lynn’s face and earns himself a slap for some reason. This feud went on for a good while.
We run down the rest of the card almost an hour into a show.
Here’s Cornette for an announcement of some sort. He brings out some baseball players, one of whom has a book. One of the EVIL players rips some pages out of it, until Lance Hoyt makes the save. This drew a loud WE WANT WRESTLING chant.
We recap AJ vs. Rhyno, which was the start of AJ’s heel turn and subsequent dive into being a clueless schmuck. Rhyno had said he was trying to help him and AJ didn’t like it.
Rhyno says he sees selfishness in AJ, which he used to see in himself. AJ jumps him during the promo and we lose the camera so we go to a shot of the crowd. Ok now they’re brawling outside. Their match is next but this is just pre-match brawling. They head into the arena with Rhyno throwing him into a wall as they brawl in the crowd. AJ comes back and pounds away but Rhyno punches him down the steps. This is what we call padding because there are only six matches plus the bikini deal, so they don’t have enough wrestling to fill in a three hour show. AJ tries a charge but gets backdropped to ringside. Hey a bell.
AJ Styles vs. Rhyno
AJ pounds on him and whips him into the corner so hard he rolls forward. Off to a surfboard hold and AJ does his drop down into a dropkick sequence. Styles knocks Rhyno to the floor but won’t dive on him because the fans would like it too much. Instead he slides to the floor and tries a springboard off the barricade, only to jump into a belly to belly onto the concrete. Back in a spinebuster kills AJ for two.
They slug it out and we finally hear about how this is about AJ growing up poor and wanting to shake that mantle off himself, which Rhyno can relate to but AJ didn’t want his help. Rhyno throws him to the floor and AJ hurts his knee. The match stops now as the medics take a look at AJ. He says he can finish but the knee buckles. The referee goes to make the match stoppage announcement…and Styles rolls in rolls Rhyno up for the pin.
Rating: C+. This was going really well until the stoppage in the middle of it for the knee injury. The fans thought it was awesome and while I’m not sure I agree with that, it was certainly a good match but the run time (seven and a half minutes, with two or so being spent on the injury) hurts it a lot. Still pretty fun though.
AJ dances on the ramp.
More stupid DX nonsense with “Vince” here. This actually makes my eyes roll.
Rhyno and AJ brawl even more. This filler stuff is REALLY getting annoying.
We recap the flag match, which is American’s Most Wanted vs. AMW for national supremacy I think. LAX points out that they’re American citizens with the right to burn a flag, which AMW doesn’t care for.
LAX says they’ll win and get to hang their flag and have the Mexican national anthem played.
LAX vs. American’s Most Wanted
LAX has the tag titles but this is FOR HONOR. You win by hanging your country’s flag, even though both teams come in with the other’s flag. But EVEN THAT is overly complicated because the flags are already hanging in the corners. I think you have to steal the others’ flag and replace the one in your corner with that one. Brawl to start but Gail Kim, AMW’s chick, hits a GREAT moonsault to the floor to take out LAX. Storm goes for the American flag, which I guess is how you win.
James gets put in the Tree of Woe but Homicide can’t drive a chair into his face. Harris won’t free him though as he needs to dive on Hernandez. Yeah apparently you have to steal your own flag (as in the one that represents your country, not the own flag you brought with you, so it’s your flag but not YOUR flag) and put it in the corner that’s designated yours’. There’s a ladder involved for some reason, despite the fact that you could stand on the top rope and get the flag.
LAX is dominating as Homicide hits Three Amigos for a big reaction. Gail offers a distraction and Harris superplexes Homicide down. Hernandez pulls down the Mexican flag and now we’re told that you have to hang the flag above the ring like it’s in a ladder match. Could this be any more overly complicated? Well yeah actually it could but it’s pretty annoying. Gringo Killa is loaded up but Gail comes in and ranas Homicide. You know the good guys are pretty big cheaters in this match.
Now Gail, the Canadian-Korean, takes the American Flag but gets stopped by the Cuban most famous for his success in America as a Mexican import. Now Petey freaking Williams, who is in the middle of this somehow, comes in to try a Destroyer on Konnan but Hernandez makes the save. SuperMex dives onto Storm but mostly misses. Harris and Homicide go up and start to hang the flag but Storm comes up with a beer bottle. He breaks it over the head of Homicide but the glass gets in Homicide’s eyes, allowing Hernandez to come in and hang the flag to win.
Rating: D+. The match was ok, but SWEET GOODNESS did they overly complicate things here. There were three run-ins and they didn’t bother to explain what in the world Petey had to do with this. This match was just ok but the overbooking really hurt things. If they’re this short on time, why in the world are they leaving these matches at like ten minutes?
Gail yells at Storm post match. Konnan brags about winning and says this is about having class. The Mexican national anthem is played and we just kind of sit here and listen to it. That’s all it is for about two minutes. LAX stands there saluting while the Mexican national anthem plays. Like I said, there’s filler and then there’s this show. This is ridiculous.
Video on Samoa Joe.
Storm rants about Chris Harris quitting instead of really being hurt. This would be their split. Storm wants an apology by Thursday.
Here’s the Voodoo Kin Mafia to waste even more time. The announcers say this is for, and I quote, “The next really bad skit in their series.” They’re dressed like “Shawn and HHH”. After doing the DX intro, they bring out “cheerleaders”, with Tenay and Mike saying spirit more time than should be legally allowed. They bring out Fat Oily Guy for a dance and that’s it. Oh wait, no it’s not because Road Dogg wants to talk.
He says that sometimes people have issues differentiating between parody and reality TV. “Surprise surprise, we’re not Hickenbottom and Levesque.” Yes they’re actually saying this. They claim that Vince is mad about the parodies they’ve been doing which I don’t buy for a second, but this is TNA so who cares? They claim this is like when they went to WCW in Atlanta and then going to a house show.
This is REAL remember. The fans chant SCREW YOU VINCE and this is freaking stupid. Now they’re talking about Vince’s balls and issue a million dollar challenge: they offer Vince a million dollars to have a fight (“no angles, no spots, no finish”) with Vince’s two guys, meaning Shawn and HHH. If Vince doesn’t accept, he’s gutless. They’re FINALLY done after spending ten minutes on this nonsense.
This was one of the DUMBEST segments I’ve seen in years. TNA is so obsessed with catching WWE and making them look stupid that they have no idea how bad it makes them look. Yes, Shawn and HHH were reunited as DX at this point and had a pretty goofy feud with Vince and Shane over the summer. And you know what? IT DREW RATINGS AND MONEY. Road Dogg and Billy Gunn are standing in a ring complaining about them stomping on DX’s legacy, as if ANYONE has cared about the New Age Outlaws in the past 6 years prior to this show. There’s a reason you’re in some minor league people.
Second, they would wind up claiming victory when no one showed up for their challenge (the same night as a WWE PPV). Do they honestly think ANYONE cares about this nonsense? Did TNA really believe they were going to get fans, as in the smarks they cater to, to believe that Shawn Michaels and HHH or Vince McMahon were going to appear on a show that at this point was pure minor league level stuff? Is that what I’m watching a PPV to see? A “shoot challenge” from a couple of washed up has-beens?
Third, why in the world are we wasting PPV time on it? This show is already WAY short on wrestling, with tons of brawls and segments already because this company can’t manage to put on seven matches. There are six matches on this card, one of which goes past fifteen minutes. Based on what I can find, this show has about SEVENTY FIVE MINUTES of wrestling on it, with the whole broadcast running about 170 minutes.
That translates out to about 44% of the show being used on wrestling. Think about that. We’re getting an hour and fifteen minutes of wrestling, but we have time for a bikini contest, two brawls, this nonsense, and who knows what else. This is a great example of why no one took this company seriously for years and why a lot of people still don’t.
We recap the world title match. Sting wants Abyss to be his own man and calls him Chris, Mitchell says Abyss is an animal, Christian is involved because you can’t have a title match without there being three people in it more than two straight months.
Christian says he’ll get the title back while Sting and Abyss are having their soap opera. Tomko knows what Abyss’ secret is too.
NWA World Title: Christian Cage vs. Sting vs. Abyss
Abyss beat Sting for the title last month by DQ, in I think the only time that rule (which to be fair was established as a regular rule but has since been taken away) ever came into play. Tomko and Abyss stare it down before the match but nothing comes of it. Sting fights them both to start and sends Abyss out to the floor. Christian gets thrown out there too so Sting dives onto both of them. The guy will do some big spots when asked to.
Tomko throws Sting into the steps and Christian takes over for a bit. He goes back inside and runs into the champion who throws him around like a monster is supposed to. A corner splash puts Christian down and Sting is back in. Total control for Abyss at the moment as he stomps on Sting. Christian ducks a charge though and hits a tornado DDT for two. The Canadian goes after the knee of Abyss and knocks Sting to the floor.
Abyss tries a gorilla press but Christian escapes and gets to the corner. That doesn’t work that well as Abyss tries to load up a superplex but Sting comes in to make it a Tower of Doom. Stinger Splash to Abyss and Sting shrugs off some Christian chops. Stinger Splash to both guys in the same corner but Christian goes to the eyes to break up the Scorpion. Rollup gets two for Sting on Abyss. Abyss gets knocked to the floor and Tomko kicks him in the face. Unprettier is countered and Sting hooks the Scorpion. Sting, ever the idiot, goes after Mitchel and lets the hold go. That guy never learns.
Tomko throws in the belt but Sting avoids the shot and slingshots Christian into Abyss to keep the champion on the floor. Death Drop gets two as Tomko pulls the referee out. Tomko comes in to stomp Sting but Abyss jumps him. A clothesline puts Tomko on the floor and Abyss throws Christian over the top to the outside. Here comes a chokeslam to Sting but Mitchell wants to throw in tacks.
The fans chant for Chris (Abyss, not Christian) and he doesn’t want to use the tacks. He pours the tacks out but tries to chokeslam Christian instead, only to have Tomko kick his head off. Abyss gets kicked into the tacks and Sting tries to talk to him. Since this isn’t overbooked enough, Christian brings in a chair to pop Sting and a Black Hole Slam lets Abyss retain. They were trying to pull the referee out again there.
Rating: D+. This is where TNA loses me again. It’s a Russo problem more than anything else: there’s a decent match in there somewhere, but you can’t find it because of all the other stuff. We had in a 12 minute match, tacks, a chair, a ref bump, an attempted ref bump, a psychological therapy session, Tomko interfering, Mitchell interfering, and maiming. Why can’t it be three guys fighting for a title? Why is that such a bad thing? TNA comes off like it has a severe inferiority complex so it throws all this other stuff out there because it’s ashamed of what their regular product looks like. This was a good example of that.
Angle says this is the last match he’ll have with Joe. After tonight everyone will know he’s the best.
Angle talks about wrestling a guy from Iran and losing because he never thought he’d see him again. They did have a rematch though, in the gold medal match. Joe deserves a rematch. No one has ever hurt Angle like Joe did and Joe wants to hurt him again. The back and forth verbal servicing goes on for a few minutes, because Heaven forbid two people in TNA don’t like each other or don’t spend five minutes praising the other first.
Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle
The fans chant you tapped out at Joe, because they turn on their favorites at the drop of a hat. Now they say Joe’s Gonna Kill You. Now they’re split. This crowd needs therapy. They go to the corner quickly and then Angle takes him down with a wristlock. Kurt tries a half crab which goes nowhere. Joe comes back with a short arm clothesline and chops in the corner, followed by punches and kicks.
Angle starts to come back but gets backdropped over the top to the floor. Joe follows him to the outside and they slug it out, only to have Angle take over and hit a dive to the floor. Joe gets his head rammed into the steps a few times HARD. Angle goes inside but Joe is like screw that and comes back, only to get stomped down again. They go to the mat and Joe grabs a keylock.
Angle counters that and sends Joe into the steel cable in the corner to take over. Belly to belly stops a brief Joe comeback. Off to a body vice and Angle is in control. That doesn’t last long as Joe comes back with right hands and a release German suplex to put both guys down. Angle counters the Clutch and it’s Rolling German times. There’s the ankle lock but Joe rolls through. Angle rolls through the MuscleBuster into an ankle lock and Joe is in trouble.
Joe rolls out of it again but Angle immediately comes back with the Slam for two. Ankle lock goes on but Joe rolls around well enough that he pulls Angle into the Clutch. Angle counters THAT into the ankle lock. Joe does the same counter he did before into the Clutch again and Kurt is in trouble. THAT gets countered into the ankle lock with the grapevine.
Joe makes the rope which puts him in a short list of people that have escaped the grapevine. Angle changes up to going for a pin, in this case off a belly to belly superplex. Joe counters the Slam and down goes the referee. Joe hooks the Clutch again and Angle taps but there’s no referee. He goes to get the referee and Angle kicks him low. Angle goes to the floor and gets a chair but it hits the rope and bounces into Angle’s face. Joe pulls him into the Clutch and Angle taps for the win.
Rating: B+. Was there any need for the chair ending? Really? Either way it doesn’t mean much but Angle tapped like he should have so it doesn’t matter. This was a good match though and they had the crowd going really strongly by the end. The problem here though is that this is the second match and it happened at Turning Point after the first one at Genesis. It falls a little lower based on that. Still very good though and a great main event.
We take a long look at the match we just saw.
Overall Rating: D. The main event really is good and is worth checking out, but that’s really all that saves this show from being really bad. The problem here is that there are so many things standing in the way of it being a passable show. Stuff like the Voodoo Kin Mafia stuff and the TON of stalling and six matches on the whole card really makes this show look bad. More importantly than that though, it makes the company look like they have no idea what they’re doing and it makes them look like they’re incapable of filling up a three hour show. That’s a really bad sign, but at least they would improve…eventually.
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