November 05, 2010

Previewing Turning Point 2010

Random swerves, a big new heel faction sprouting up, inexplicable face and heel turns, a world champion who is barely glimpsed on television... Yep, it must be that time of the month again.

Let's hit it...

Generation Me vs. Ink Inc

For the second month in a row, I'm forced to assume that TNA are adding things to the PPV without informing the fans because, for the second month in a row, TNA didn't bother to run down the full card for the PPV on the go-home show despite the fact that they had 3 hours of TV time to do it. In this case, I'm assuming that this match will be added. There was build up in the weeks leading up to Turning Point and on the go-home show, the match was rumored to be on the card. There was no match announced for this Sunday, but in this company that doesn't mean it's not happening.

There hasn't been much build up for this one and a lot of what there was happened in a youtube video.

Still, it's pretty straight forward for what it is. Ink Inc are pissed about GenMe's lack of respect and want to beat some into them. It's simple and uncomplicated, and you can't say that about every match on this show.

These teams had an Xplosion bout recently that wasn't bad. I'm not expecting an amazing match out of them here, but I am expecting a decent to good one. Anyone thinking this is going to be on the same level as GenMe vs. MCMG is fooling themselves, but as card fillers go, this beats the hell out of Ink Inc vs. Orlando Jordan & Eric Young.

The fact that this was added to the PPV (I'm assuming) when they already had 8 matches on the card makes me think Christina Von Eerie might debut here. Outside of that, there don't seem to be any other implications, so it really just boils down to who needs the win more. The Bucks are coming off of several high profile losses against the Guns and really need something to get them rolling again. Ink Inc seem to be catching on with the fans, but if these teams are going to be feuding, there's no reason to put the faces over in the first PPV match, especially if they're the ones reportedly getting a manager/valet soon.

Of course, the writers could always put Jennifer Blake with the Bucks like I suggested weeks ago...


Who should win: GenMe

Robbie E (w/ Cookie) vs. Jay Lethal (c)

"Boring!" "Who are you?" "Turn his mic off!"

Hear that? Do you know what that is? That's the sound of the iMPACT Zone fans telling management that the Shore sucks. I haven't seen enough of Robbie to decide if he's any good in the ring, but the jury is back and the verdict is in, and it says that this gimmick is just plain stupid. It's been a consistent ratings-killer, the only heat it's gotten is "Go away!" heat. How much more proof does TNA need that these 2 shouldn't be in this spot? Oh, but I guess the TMZ plugs supersede all that, huh?

I will admit, the Jwoww thing has gotten TNA some mainstream press. So what? That press hasn't translated to higher ratings (quite the opposite), which is the whole reason for doing publicity stunts in the first place. So if it's not drawing ratings and not getting over, I see no reason in the world why Robbie should win this match.

Jay Lethal just won the X-division title (twice) a month ago. Considering that he may start rivaling AJ Styles for the accolade of Most X-division Championships Won Ever before too long, as well as how horribly booked every single one of his previous title reigns were, I'd like to see him get at least one good run with that belt. Lethal is one of the very few X-division guys that TNA seem to have any interest in using at all right now -- there's no point in jobbing him out this soon after winning the belt to a guy who's only purpose on the program is feuding with a reality show.

Who should win: Jay Lethal

Tara vs. Mickie James

With the exception of Tara lying down for Madison Rayne, I really like how this feud has been set up. I also like that for the first time in a loooooong time we have a Knockouts PPV match NOT involving any members (past or present) of the Beautiful People.

Tara thinks Mickie had something to do with her being fired from WWE and Mickie's explanation is a bit vague, perhaps purposely so. It's not really necessary and none of it actually happened (in reality, Tara quit and Mickie was fired), but it gives the match some context and makes it about a little more than it would have been if Tara were just being presented as a speed bump for Mickie on her road to the title, even though that's essentially what she is.

The Knockout division has gotten a lot better recently -- longer matches, more focus on the women who can go in the ring, less emphasis on TBP (finally). I don't know how or why this change has happened, but it started when Mickie showed up, so I'm going to assume she was the trigger. Having signed the former top woman in WWE, TNA now has someone with legit star power to build the Knockout division around. I'd like to see these 2 get a proper feud at some point, but it's way too early for Mickie to be jobbing to anyone. She needs to be firmly established as THE woman to beat in this company and that's not going to happen if Tara goes over here.

Who should win: Mickie James

Rob Van Dam vs. Tommy Dreamer

Oh please... do I really need to explain this one? Rob Van Dam is a main eventer and Tommy Dreamer is, well... Tommy Dreamer. I'm mildly interested to see where they're going with Van Dam's paranoia, even though he looks like an idiot for believing a single word Bischoff says at this point. It could be leading to Van Dam turning heel, which would be the logical way to go with it (although the timing is all wrong). Or it could be leading to another Russo-swerve where Tommy actually is working against him, which would make no damn sense at all.

Either way, it doesn't change anything. Van Dam is the commodity here. Putting Dreamer over would be counterproductive and pointless. Sorry, Tommy, but it's true.

Who should win: Rob Van Dam

Fortune vs. EV2

Really? We're still on this one? Wow...

Everything I said about this feud last month still applies and it's even more true now than it was then. Fortune are part of the new top heel faction in the company and EV2 are just there for Rob Van Dam to play off of right now.

Seriously, why is EV2 still around? What reason is there for this faction to exist anymore? Bischoff crapped on Dixie for signing all the ECW guys and yet he's allowing them to stay in the company now that him and Hogan are running things? What kind of sense does that make?

Fortune have been horribly booked ever since Immortal was formed and long before that as well. They need to be put over as a strong, dominant force, and jobbing them out to EV2 again won't accomplish that. Even though the stipulation (and the Final Resolution poster) makes me think Fortune will lose so they can expel Doug Williams from the group and get back to the "core 4" as Kaz put it, that would still be idiotic. Fortune need to win this match and that's all there is to it.

Who should win: Fortune

Who should be fired from EV2: Sabu. Since returning to TNA, I don't think this guy has had a single match where he didn't botch something. He's washed up, his work is sloppy, he's got no hair left and I have no interest in seeing him anymore.

Pope D'Angelo Dinero vs. Abyss

Lather, rinse, repeat. I like that the Pope is one of the main guys opposing Immortal and he does deserve to get a big push out of this, but with the exception of Jarret, it's just too soon for any of the heels to be jobbing.

I'm not terribly interested in this one if I'm being honest. I don't see these 2 matching up very well. Pope getting a rematch against AJ for the TV title would be a much better way to go. Maybe they're saving that for later. I hope so because this match kind of feels like it only exists to keep both men in a holding pattern until more interesting opponents for them become available (AJ for Pope, Samoa Joe for Abyss).

Who should win: Abyss

Jeff Jarrett vs. Samoa Joe

Jeff Jarret is not a main eventer. He is not a top star. He is not a draw, ratings, money or otherwise. He's just not. And no matter how hard he's pushed himself over the years, no matter how many world title reigns he's given himself, that has not changed and it's never going to. The man is a midcarder; always has been, always will be. He has some value as a character, but as a wrestler, I really could not care less about him at this point.

Anything I say in this blog about how Immortal need to go over and look strong in order to establish themselves doesn't apply to this match because one guy in it is Jarret and the other guy is Samoa Joe.

Joe was made to look like a fool at Bound For Glory and Jarret punked him out on iMPACT when that was the absolute LAST thing Joe needed. Joe got a little heat back on the go-home show, but he needs a hell of a lot more than that if he's going to get back to where he should be. Joe should win and, quite frankly, he desperately needs to win this match.

Unfortunately, I don't see that happening. Jarret has proven time and time again throughout the history of TNA that he doesn't believe in putting young guys over. Hell, you could say that he's done a lot to actively avoid and prevent it. He was running creative during the Main Event Mafia debacle, remember? And I recall reading a report a while back that Vince Russo had wanted to book Sting to job to Christopher Daniels and James Storm when he feuded with them and that Jarret wouldn't let it happen. Was the report true? Beats me. But does it sound like something Jarret would do? Yeah, it does.

Jarret going over in this match would do nothing for anyone, including Jarret. He's not one of the main guys in Immortal -- he's just a peripheral character. Immortal is Hogan, Bischoff, Hardy, Abyss and Fortune. Jarret's just there to bitch about how, "Dixie Carter stole the company that AH founded, with MAH blood, MAH sweat, MAH tears!" when in actuality, she was the one who saved the company by buying it when it was going out of business. There is no reason on earth why Jarret should go over in this match, especially not when Samoa Joe needs this win so badly.

Jeff Jarret has the chance to do the right thing for business here. The question is, has he learned anything from his past mistakes or will he once again revert to form?

Who should win: Samoa Joe

Team 3D vs. Motor City Machine Guns (c)

Team 3D are retiring and they've received one last title match. If they win, they retire as the 24-time tag team champions. If the Machine Guns win, they get a huge feather in their cap as being the team that retired Team 3D. There's nothing really elaborate about it, and yet this is the match I'm looking forward to the most.

Unfortunately, it also comes with a lot of questions because we know now that 3D have resigned with the company. This match would have a lot of meaning if they were really retiring, but that's not the case. If they're retiring from they're on-air roles, then fine. But if this is a prelude to them starting singles careers, then I don't like it. I didn't care the last time they tried that and I'd care even less if they did it now. Ray turning on Devon and starting a feud between them -- same deal. And God forbid this is all some big fake out they cooked up just to get the Guns to put the titles on the line. I'll be livid if that happens.

In this day and age, when wrestlers retire but never stay retired (ex. Foley, Flair) or stick around long after their time is up and tarnish their legacy as a result (ex. Sting, Nash), I'd love it if Team 3D decided to buck the trend. You've had an amazing career. Take a page from Shawn Michaels' book and retire while you're still on top. Put over Sabin & Shelley as the best tag team in the world today and bow out with some class. No one would think less of you for it. Hell, I'd think more of you for it and a lot of other people would too.

Who should win: Motor City Machine Guns

Matt Morgan vs. Jeff Hardy (c)

Wow, talk about random, eh? No offense to either guy, but this match isn't really much of a selling point. The fact is, Ken Anderson was originally going to be in this spot until a botched chair shot put him on the shelf with a concussion. Then the writers hotshotted Morgan's face turn and inserted him into the main event with 2 weeks of build up. This time last year, when Morgan had momentum coming out of an outstanding match with Kurt Angle at Bound For Glory 2009, that might have worked. Right now, not so much.

Morgan needed to be rebuilt before he got a shot like this. In fact, off the top of my head, the only recent matches of his that I can remember are ones that he lost. He's just not a viable contender at the moment and getting jobbed out to a glorified midcarder like Jeff Jarret in 5 minutes last week did absolutely nothing to help his case.

That aside, while I don't like how Morgan wound up in this match, I do like that he's getting an opportunity like this -- an opportunity that he really should have gotten a year ago. I also like that Morgan finally has a chance of being portrayed as something other than the 7 ft monster who is often quickly and easily beaten by opponents half his size.

Morgan can gain a lot of credibility here by headlining a PPV against Jeff Hardy for the world title, but right now that's probably the most that can be gained from this match. This Immortal storyline just started and the faction is still getting its feet under it. Morgan should be booked as a guy who can take Hardy to the limit, but Jeff isn't losing that belt yet, nor should he... unless the jury finds him guilty of those drug trafficking charges, but that's a different topic for a different column.

Who should win: Jeff Hardy

On paper, I certainly don't hate this card. Hell, it's probably one of the stronger PPV cards the writers have put together this year. Sure, the hype has been questionable, but when is it not in this company?

I'm not expecting any surprises here, but I'm expecting some good matches. Hopefully, they'll resist the urge to overbook every single match involving the Immortal storyline with some kind of screwy finish involving ref bumps, outside interference and all their usual played out parlor tricks.

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