Total Nonstop Action Proudly Presents…
TNA Turning Point 2011
Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the always prevalent and occasionally relevant Cewsh Reviews! We have a special treat for you tonight as we migrate south to Orlando seeking warmth and a good wrestling show, as we review TNA’s Turning Point 2011. Now this is TNA’s downtime of the year, much like WWE’s period after Wrestlemania, but apparently nobody told TNA this as things have developed rapidly since we last imbibed Aunt Dixie’s Jailhouse Road Show. After successfully defending his TNA World title against Robert Roode at Bound for Glory, Kurt Angle promptly lost it in a 5 minute match to Roode’s partner, James Storm. This incensed Roode so much that he turned heel on Storm and wrenched the title away from him, giving us a decidedly heel Roode as champion. At the same time, James Storm and Kurt Angle both found themselves injured and unable to wrestle Roode, so TNA looked to their eternal backup plan and tapped AJ Styles to fight Roode here to defend the honor of what is left of Fortune. Of course AJ ALSO got himself injured coming into the show, so who knows what might happen. Billy Gunn: main eventer? Sounding more and more likely.
But that’s just one of the various delicacies laid before us tonight, so let’s dig in and see if this show is as sweet as we’re hoping, or as rotten as we fear. Either way, it should be a culinary adventure.
So without any further ado, let’s do a motherfucking review!
Segment 1 – OPENING VIDEO FEVER!
Cewsh: Right, so you know how usually in these opening videos, companies generally show clips from matches and some promos and maybe (especially in TNA’s case) use some kind of wacky visuals to get over how cool this show is going to be? Well someone at TNA apparently got bored of this and decided to try their hand at the world of SATIRICAL METAPHORS. These being the same people who thought that Samoa Joe would get over by murdering people with a machete, you might have reason to be a bit skeptical of their ability to pull this off.
The video starts off showing people on the streets in poverty, soldiers shooting at people and a stock ticker going by on Wall Street as Barack Obama talks about this being our time. Then Robert Roode pops up and says, “Oh hey guys, its also my time.” Then they show Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton lying about their respective issues and in case you were wondering where TNA stood on the hot button issue of Bill Clinton sleeping with Monica Lewinsky, they insert a reaction shot from the single most nonplussed man in the history of Earth.
"Dude I Am So High Right Now."
But wait! George Bush shows up and says Mission Accomplished, and then Robert Roode betrays James Storm. Because George Bush BETRAYED US GODDAMIT WE’RE KICKING THIS METAPHOR’S ASS.
And see, then they launch into actually showing Robert Roode’s betrayal of James Storm and his twisted turn to the dark side and its compelling, extremely so. The actual minute in this video that directly shows and hypes the feud is amazing and makes everyone look great! Which makes the whole weird political thing just so head scratchingly miserable. You’re producing videos for a wrestling show, guys, not directing a Green Day video. Simmer down and let’s just see people get beat up, okay? Right.
Segment 2 – TNA Television Champion – Eric Young © vs. Robbie E w/ Robbie T.
Cewsh: Now HERE is a match featuring a bunch of people who couldn’t pick a metaphor out of a police lineup.
If you haven’t been watching TNA lately, you may not be aware of a few key things here. The first is that Eric Young is even crazier than he was whenever it was you last saw him and is even more entertaining. From attacking actually television stars like Scott Baio and Ronny from the Jersey Shore because he’s the Television Champion, to wearing at least 3 pairs of random tights at all times and just stripping as matches go on, Young has ratcheted the crazy up higher and higher each month, and I’m pretty sure he can’t be far from reaching full on batshit mode, at which point he will no doubt be invincible. Robbie E, on the other hand, spent several months floundering around as a jobber after his initial momentum wore off, and after the release of Cookie things weren’t looking good for him until he sought out the services of BIG ROB TERRY to serve as his official bouncer and bodyguard. And just like that, the formation of Robbie E and Robbie T was complete and they came gunning for Young and his wacky title of wackiness.
This Man Is Dangerously Insane.
The match they wind up having is sort of your general Eric Young comedy fest. Robbie E spends the majority of it selling Young’s crazy offense and reacting to Young’s crazy antics, with Robbie T occasionally getting involved with some nasty lariats. Somewhere in the past few months that Terry has been off screen for no reason, someone taught the man how to come off as genuinely aggressive and menacing, because here in this role he is miles more comfortable and confident than he ever was before on his own, and as a result, the partnership of Robbie E and Robbie T works like gangbusters almost to a Shawn Michaels and Diesel extent.
It works so well, in fact, that Robbie E sneaks himself a victory over Young due to Big T’s interference and grabs ahold of his second TNA championships in the offing. Both Big T and Little E were totally irrelevant a month ago in this company, but things change quickly and TNA, and suddenly these too may be the act to watch in the entire company.
Deal With It.
74 out of 100.
Vice: TNA usually starts off shows in fantastic ways. For example, as of the day of me writing this, I woke up to a check for $976 and a new Portal shirt. And my back wasn’t hurting, either. Sure I dreamt of zombies eating me, but who cares. It was a great start.
This match was like waking up to a blowjob. Only when your eyes finally come to their senses, you realize your girlfriend isn’t actually blowing you. You look down and find some strange emo hipster draped across your lower body with a bigger cock than should be physically and proportionally possible, and puts yours to shame. Then before you can say “it’s over”, she dumps YOU, with the other man’s semen flying out all over you as she says it. Ok, this match wasn’t THAT bad, but it wasn’t nearly the standard that TNA has set.
Now we’re in a strange situation. See, usually TNA PPVs start off amazing, and then it’s completely downhill from there, and you have to dodge its shitiness, kind of like Indiana Jones being chased by that asshole boulder. So the burning question is.. is THIS going to be the peak of the show, or will it have its ups and downs like a heart monitor?
Little E Over Eric Young Following Some Big T Interference.
Segment 3 – TNA World Tag Team Championships – Mexican America © w/ Sarita vs. Ink Inc. w/ Toxxin.
Cewsh: In case that segment header didn’t make it clear, this is actually a six person intergender tag team match for the titles, with the representative lady of each team being an official part of the match. Also, for the uninitiated, Toxxin is indy darling Christina Von Eerie who I am roughly as fond of as Vice is of Daffney.
Anyway, so apparently Mexican America are not going to go away just because I close my eyes and tap my heels together, and have even managed to get themselves the TNA World Tag Team titles along the way. I would congratulate them, but I couldn’t offer up a word of praise to Anarquia if it was the magic word to get me into the World Largest Ball Pit. Of course, since they’re dastardly foreign heels, I suppose, we have to have some patriotic faces to oppose them. So leading the charge is former Navy special interest story Jesse Neal who waves the American flag like its done something to make him angry with it, and Shannon Moore, who 10 out of 10 military men would refer to as “a dork”. I don’t know if you’re getting the general sense yet of how little I want to watch this match, but I’ll do it anyway because that’s how much journalistic integrity I have, dammit.
Now see, a big part of the storyline between these two teams is that Hernandez put out Jesse Neal by giving him an extremely sloppy powerbomb that landed him right on his shoulder (true). When Neal came back, he and Moore crashed a tattoo parlor and gave Anarquia an embarrassing tattoo right then and there (not so much true) and now Anarquia is super pissed about it, which is totally reasonably since HE NEVER INJURED ANYONE. So the match revolves rather heavily around Anarquia wanting to beat someone up, and Ink Inc wanting to take Anarquia’s pants off to show the world the embarrassing tattoo, which is apparently on his ass. So the entire premise of this match is built on the foundation of naked man ass. Soak that in for a second. Inevitably they do just that and strip Anarquia down to his strategically placed shirt and then the other members of Mexican America cheat and win the match, because they’re the only ones who actually remembered that the purpose of a wrestling match is to actually pin someone.
So how do I feel about this match ultimately?
1 Cheek Out Of 2.
50 out of 100.
Vice: Well, the boulder is still rolling. This isn’t a very good match by any means, though it’s not terrible. I’ve never much liked these sorts of matches as the flow is generally interrupted by the women. See, men cannot fight women, and women cannot fight men. So if a woman is tagged in, it’s all “WHOOOOOOOOA NELLLLLLY!!!” (if you read that in Earthworm Jim’s voice, I give you a gold star. If not, I hope there’s a picture of your childhood on a milk carton somewhere), and the match comes to a halt as the other woman comes into the ring. And then it’s just a fair fight and whatnot. So luckily, the women weren’t even tagged in until the end, and they actually got highlighted very well all things considered.
You know what else was highlighted fairly well? Anarquia’s ugly, bare ass. All too well, in fact. It’s something I don’t quite understand, as they were showing off the tattoo that Ink Inc. gave him. Which was overtop his kidney on his lower back. Yet they basically flashed his cock to a large part of the Impact Zone. I assume his penis was on full display due to one fan in particular who, during the spot, covered his mouth and pointed right towards Anarquia’s crotch.
Yeah. To me, that means DICK OUT. Again, the tattoo was over his kidney. There was no need to get his ass out. I am not repulsed by seeing ass, but I am repulsed by lack of logic. TNA should have apologized for the full frontal male nudity by giving us some full frontal from Sarita. Yeeeeaaaaah boooooooi.
Mexican America Over Ink Inc. Following Shenanigans.
Segment 4 – Austin Aries And Kid Kash Are Being Interviewed.
Cewsh: Should you find yourself being a backstage interviewer, and confronted with a choice of which of these two men to hold the microphone in front of and ask your questions to, please, please stop and consider the last time anyone even heard Kid Kash’s voice on camera. Predictably, an all Kid Kash edition of promo time was awkward and dragged on forever, with Aries standing over it all like a benevolent dictator determined to allow his countryman to give it his best shot before having him killed for failing so hard.
Aries' Reaction Upon Hearing Kash's Promo.
This could have been avoided with proper backstage interviewer etiquette. Make good decisions out there, boys and girls. If you see a cape, roll the tape. If Cewshy no like, cut off the mic.
Segment 5 – TNA X Division Championship – Austin Aries © vs. Jesse Sorenson vs. Kid Kash.
Cewsh: Austin Aries is such a dick, that if he were to be fossilized, future civilizations would think that he was some kind of fertility relic. I think we’re all familiar with this by now. But in the story of this match, he’s sort of secondary to the personal feud that has developed between Kid Kash and Jesse Sorenson. Kash, pushing 40 and having never made it in any reasonable definition of the phrase, decided one day at random that he hated the youngster Sorenson and would make his life a living hell. Sorenson, for his part, seemed totally disinterested in Kash, which only made the old man that much angrier, and when Sorenson got himself an X Division title match, Kash bullied his way into it, making it a triple threat. Always one to see an opportunity, though, Aries formed a partnership with Kash, where Kash would get to destroy Sorenson and Aries would win the match. Which has never worked in any match ever for anyone…
…except that it works like a charm here for nearly the entire duration of the match. Kash immediately starts tearing into Sorenson right as the bell rings and Aries helps out when necessary while remaining mostly out of the way altogether. Sorenson does his best to pull the plucky babyface routine by firing up and fighting back, but unfortunately he doesn't have the skills to match up and just gets butchered.
Kid Kash Gives The World's Most Hardcore Purple Nurples.
Time and again he gets shut down by his elders and betters. Eventually the partnership begins to fall apart as Kash keeps forgetting about the agreement in the heat of the battle, but Aries decides enough is enough anyway and just school boys Kash when his back is turned and winning the match right out from under him, no questions asked.
I really appreciated, watching this, that they did something with a triple threat match that is so rarely done. They built a clear story into the match, and then stuck with it all the way to the end, and as a result, Aries looks like a genius, Kash looks like a destroyer, and Sorenson looks as sympathetic as it is possible for dough to look. This was a symphony of good booking, the likes of which I’m unaccustomed to from TNA in these types of situations. But hey, I’ll take it.
76 out of 100.
Vice: A-DOUBLE TO SAVE THE DAY.
I actually really like Sorenson for some strange reason. He’s young, he’s loaded with potential, and has one of the cheesiest, dumbest, most 80’s gimmick/personality I’ve seen in ages. He is a wrestler that comes out with a college jacket and signs footballs for kids in the crowd. And they don’t care at all. It’s great.
"Just What I Always Wanted, Alex Riley's Autograph."
What was very unique about this match was that Aries and Kash came into the match with an alliance and a gameplan, and actually stuck to the thing until the very end. Usually alliances fizzle apart in 3 minutes, or the very first pinfall attempt. Whichever comes first. But no, it stuck. But because it stuck, that also made the match fairly shitty, as it was a fairly plodding dissection of poor young Sorenson. He showed a lot of heart and had a few cool hope spots, but he got his ass kicked. And it wasn’t the most entertaining of beatdowns. If it was Joe and Low Ki kicking the shit out of him, good lord it’d be orgasmic.
The ending was definitely the highlight of the match, with Kash killing Sorenson, only for Aries to sneakily place his foot on the ropes and yell “REF! REF! REF! REF!” as he dove down out of sight, crawled to the other side of the ring, and then rolled Kash up for the victory while he was bitching at the ref. It was insanely clever and all kinds of awesome. A-Double is just so damn fantastic. I wish I could be him for a day.
Austin Aries Over Everyone Else Following Sneaky Tactics.
Segment 6 – And Now AJ Gets To Talk? Is It Charity Day?
Cewsh: AJ Styles is backstage, and boy is he ever steamed. He goes on at length about how Robert Roode is a huge jerk for turning heel on his best friend and turning his back on Fortune, and saying how awful it is to do such a thing…which is funny, since the first two times AJ himself won the title, he did it as a heel and the third time he turned heel soon after and joined Fortune…who were heels. And included Roode and Storm. Because they were all heels. This wasn’t all that long ago, AJ. You probably ought to ask your best friend Daniels about it, seeing as he just did this exact same thing to you, and after threatening to kill you in front of your children, you seem to be cool with it.
Good lord wrestling sounds ridiculous when you look at it like that.
"Whatchu Talkin' Bout?"
Segment 7 – No Disqualification – Christopher Daniels vs. Rob Van Dam.
Vice: I missed 90% of this match due to my computer dying, because of a favor Mrs. Cewsh bestowed upon me. If it was a great match, people would be talking about it. But I haven’t really heard a peep, so I’m going to assume it was not that great. Just like Mrs. Cewsh. BOOM.
SPITE SPITE SPITE SPITE SPITE.
Cewsh: I'm going to be completely honest with you, I have no idea why this match is taking place. If I had to make an educated guess, I would say that Van Dam took exception to Daniels' treatment of AJ, so he got in Daniel's face and then Daniels interfered in some matches and was generally a pest so RVD got himself a NO Dq match to teach him a lesson.
How'd I do?
Now let's all remember that Christopher Daniels is in Mega Heel Daniels mode here, and he makes that clear right off the bat as he grabs a mic and decries the circumstances that brought them to this unhappy place and asking Van Dam if he might see clear to make a gentleman's agreement to not use weapons in the match. Van Dam agrees and off they go, chain wrestling up a storm. In a lot of ways, this match quickly becomes what people remember the Van Dam/Lynn matches for ECW too be. There's a lot of smooth chain wrestling, a good many fun and innovative moves and counters and the men coming out looking like equals (which is more than can be said for Van Dam/Lynn in 2011). They wrestle all over the ring and down the ramp, with Van Dam reeeeeeeally stretching his gentleman's agreement by liberally chucking Daniels into any hard surface he can fit the man's pointy head into. Daniels takes exception a nd grabs a chair, but as anyone who has ever held a chair within 8 miles of Rob Van Dam can attest, introducing a chair to Rob Van Dam is like introducing spinach to Popeye. Inevitably Daniels earns himself a Van Daminator and a Five Star Frog Splash, and a nice cold loser's shower to cap it all off.
This match didn't have the emotion of Daniels' recent matches with Styles, and it wasn't as technically compelling as either man is capable of, but it was entertaining, thorough and really contained no significant flaws whatsoever. I'll take it.
75 out of 100.
Rob Van Dam Over Christopher Daniels Following A Five Star Frog Splash.
Segment 8 – Crimson vs. Matt Morgan.
Vice: Ok, I’m going to take a bit of my hatred back, as I also missed this match entirely. I was not looking forward to it.
Cewsh: Hey, remember a the past few months when i've said nice and hopeful things about Crimson? I've suggested that he seems dedicated and that he has potential, and I really truly believed that until he ran up against the brick wall that is Matt Morgan and now i'm just not sure man.
See, the feud between these two started when they both wanted to get a piece of Samoa Joe at the same time. They were initially respectful of one another, but as these things tend to go, shit broke down big time and now they're having themselves a showdown to determine who the proverbial big dog in TNA really is. That story, laid out in that way, sounds terrific. Its one of the classic wrestling storylines and seems designed to elevate Crimson in a very simple and effective way. There's only one 7 foot problem...
The match begins with them doing the general sort of macho posturing and face to face GRR WE'RE GONNA FIGHT FEEL THE INTENSITY stuff to absolutely no reaction whatsoever from the crowd. Then then just start doing moves with no rhyme or reason to them, neither man displaying any reasonable grasp of anything resembling a plan, until they start locking in long, loving restholds. At this point, the match is as exciting as it is going to get. Then they do some more moves, and some more moves and somzzzZzzZzZzZZZZZZzzzzZz. I don't exagerrate when I say that watching these two flit about like they're trying to brush a moth off of each other's faces is sleep inducing to an extreme degree, and the crowd must agree as I think several of them are actively taking naps in the crowd.
Eventually the two stand toe to toe in the middle of the ring, no selling the entire match, and start hugging each other and giving each other what are either the most gentle punches in the history of fists or some incredibly lazy massages. The ref, apparently deciding that this display of gentle touching was far too intense, tries to get in between the two men. They shove him out of the way and he calls for a Double DQ because things are just out of control. Morgan and Crimson can't fight their urges, however, and embrace again, tapping each other gently on the shoulder until security breaks them up so that they don't tear down the entire arena with their wild passion.
FEEL THE FURY
Yes, this match was just putrid. Crimson obviously does not have the range to carry out any sort of intense role yet, which is disappointing but understandable from a rookie. But Matt Morgan has been wrestling consistently for a decade now and he does this EVERY TIME. Hernandez, Abyss, Dinero, Anderson, Joe, every single time they give Matt Morgan someone to work with, he not only derails whatever momentum that person had with his amazingly dull matches, but he makes finishes and angles look goddamn ridiculous. After so many years of this, I feel comfortable labeling him as the Kofi Kingston Momentum Killer of TNA. Beware the Isle of Morgan, you brave souls. Your push will disappear, never to be seen again should you run aground there.
Sorry Crimson. Better luck next push.
49 out of 100.
Double Disqualifications For Everybody!
Segment 9 – The Greatest Promo Team of All Time.
Cewsh: Bully Ray and Scott Steiner are backstage and THAT’S ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW HOLY SHIT WATCH THIS RIGHT NOW.
I need a cigarette after watching these two together.
Segment 10 – Scott Steiner and Bully Ray vs. Abyss and Ken Anderson.
Vice: Aaaaand now we’re back.
You know those times when you catch up with grandparents you rarely ever see, mostly around the Thanksgiving/Christmas period? And they sit down with you and tell you all about how they used to garden back in the 20’s, and how they used to be such a rapscallion back in the day because one time they did not say “Oh well how kind of you for holding the door for me. Thank you, ma’am, you’ve been ever so kind to me” that one time back in the 30’s?
This match was juuuuuuuust about as boring as that. I love two of the people in here, think one can be very good, and the other is tolerable, but not one fucking thing clicked. While watching, I had one of those long thoughts about what the hell I’m doing in life and what all kinds of wrong and crazy directions I have taken to arrive at this point, having to not only watch this match, but then spend time reviewing it. It just made me sad.
Cewsh: WE WANT STEINER. WE WANT STEINER. WE WANT STEINER.
Abyss is the story here, as he's kept out of the action for most of the match until burying everybody and winning with his Black Hole Slam clean for what seems like the first time this decade. Then, Ray and Steiner put him through a table to make him pay for embarrassing them, and he just goes ahead and stands right up like nothing ever happened. Now there are two ways this could go. Either Abyss looks like an annoying, no selling twerp as he usually does, or he looks like an unstoppable monster, and thanks to the total brilliance of Bully Ray's selling of how terrifying this was, the foot is planted firmly on the side of the latter. As such this match has itself a fine finish, and once again Bully Ray deserves to be making a salary roughly comparable to his weight squared. He is that valuable to TNA right now.
67 out of 100.
Abyss Over Anderson Over Ray and Steiner Following A Black Hole Slam.
Segment 11 – Karen And The Jarrettes.
Cewsh: Karen Jarrett is backstage with Madison Rayne and Gail Kim. They talk about how Velvet Sky is apparently super skanky whilst they remain perfect role models to all and Karen hypes Gail up as the perfect Knockouts Champion. They go on at length about how slutty and oversexed that Velvet is, which is kind of a problem since a) two of the women saying these things have happily gotten naked for money and Velvet hasn't and b) slut shaming is wrong anyway. Karen's reign of Knockouts terror continues, and a large part of me is certain that Gail is going to win the title tonight and become a double champion with Karen as her evil benefactor. But they can't possibly be willing to take the title off of Velvet this quickly after acting like her title win at Bound For Glory was the defining moment of her career, can they?
Segment 12 – TNA Knockouts Champion – Velvet Sky © vs. Gail Kim.
Cewsh: They can, and they did.
In case you were wondering how Gail Kim has been since she left WWE and has been given the chance that everybody kept asking for to show her skills as a wrestler in a new company, the answer is that she has been exactly the same as she was in WWE. She's a good talent with good execution and a solid grasp a face and heel work and that is offset occasionally by a tendency to be out of position on spots and a void of charisma as a heel. This is who she is as a performer whether it be Mexico, TNA, WWE or TNA again. Here she capably carries Velvet to a match that is competent and focused and as a result they produced the first Knockouts title match in months that wasn't actively humiliating for the participants involved. Is Gail the model of perfection that people thought her to be during her early Knockouts run? No, she needed Kong as a foil for what she accomplished there. But is she a breath of fresh air in a division staffed by people who seem to have no idea how to do a victory roll?
Yeah, she pretty much is.
65 out of 100.
Vice: It’s good to see Gail Kim back in TNA. That said, there wasn’t anything really spe—
You know, I’m going to be honest here. Unbeknownst to Cewsh, I was playing Halo CEA during this match. I love hot women, but genetically enhanced super soldiers wearing a car’s worth of armor is far more enticing to me at times like this.
Cewsh: I am so docking his pay.
Gail Kim Over Velvet Sky Following Shenanigans.
Segment 13 – Eric Bischoff Is A Supportive Parent.
Cewsh: We find Eric Bischoff backstage, seemingly talking on the phone to his wife about how she's to blame for their son being such an ingrate and how she should have used birth control 27 years ago to save Eric the trouble of having to deal with all of this nonsense with his son. He looks like he has quite a bit more to say on the subject of the Morning After Pill and disrespectful sons, but he doesn't get to share them, because Bully Ray comes running up and freaking out because Abyss got up after being put through a table. Now, despite the fact that every ECW match seemed to feature half the roster no selling everything from table spots to burning branding irons, getting up after taking a table bump has apparently made Abyss into Gallactus and Bully Ray wants to go home to his blankie. Bischoff tries to console Bully on his sudden onset case of Wussitus as they walk off camera, conceivably to get some hot cocoa.
Segment 14 – Jeff Hardy vs. Jeff Jarrett.
Cewsh: I'm still rather displeased that Jeff Hardy still has a job for this company after his history working here, so i'm going to dedicate exactly three sentences to reviewing this match, showing a similar dedication to hard work as the man himself. Ready? These will be doozies.
1. Jeff Hardy showed up.
2. He then beat Jeff Jarrett three times in a row.
Here Is Match One In Its Entirety.
3. The matches were pretty good.
Okay, okay, since I love my readers i'll tack on a fourth line. But don't tell your parents i'm spoiling you.
4. Lastly, and most importantly, Jeff Hardy wore THIS:
Because Honestly, Why The Fuck Not?
72 out of 100.
Vice: Please find another career, Jeff Hardy.
Jeff Hardy Over Jeff Jarrett Following A Roll Up.
Segment 15 – TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Robert Roode © vs. AJ Styles.
Cewsh: At some point, all of our heroes have to fall.
When I started watching TNA wrestling in the Spring of 2003, AJ Styles was the man I came to see. Various highlight videos circulating around the internet back then had led me to believe that the man was awesome incarnate, and when I saw him on the shows I was instantly amazed by him. His grace was unparalleled, his moves were unequaled, and his potential seemed unknowable. I thought then that he was only a hop, skip and a jump from becoming one of the biggest names in wrestling through his uniquer combination of exciting moves, a relatable character and an incredible well of fan support. That was nearly 9 years ago. In the time since then, AJ's potential has never quite added up to what we all expected it to become, and while he's had success here and there, he ultimately just never quite got that green light to be TNA's top guy all the way. Yet his fans always waited patiently, secure in the idea that AJ would last pretty much forever and that the next chance was always on the horizon.
But those chances have dried up.
Bearing in mind fully that AJ Styles came into this match with a bum ankle, this match firmly drove home what had been gradually growing on me for most off the past year. AJ Styles is wearing down. Little by little his matches have become slower paced and more focused on brawling and storytelling, areas he had never specialized in before. Little by little he began to look older and older and more and more ridiculous when people would call him a young talent. More and more, the greatest high flying wrestler of the past decade began to transition into something different, that could be sustained for the long haul. The days are growing long, boys and girls. Enjoy what you can while you can.
Roode, on the other hand, is cresting a wave here in a big way. After finally getting his opportunity to take the ball and run with it, he isn't disappointing as his bastardly betrayer character is not just affecting, but is also almost frighteningly natural to the man. Considering he was everyone's hero a month ago, its startling the degree to which is wearing Bastard like a second skin and its to be lauded and he deserves all props possible for managing to keep on despite injuries to everyone he feuds with.
So why am I dedicating so much time and space to in depth discussions on the crossroads these two wrestlers are meeting on? Well firstly because its a significant part of this match and the story it tells, and secondly because its the only part of the match that is really worthy of any meaningful comment. AJ fires up, Roode cheats, lather rinse repeat as necessary and Roode snaps up a sneaky pin for the win in his first title defense. The result of the match wasn't in doubt to anyone, and the match quality was about par for the course for these guys, especially with Styles hampered by his ankle injury. The result is a fine match that falls sadly flat and never quite picks up from the hot start. I'm not ready to write Roode off for this in his first title defense just yet, but hopefully next month he can produce something a little more main evently, lest he start to fall into Rob Van Dam territory. And nobody deserves that.
77 out of 100.
Vice: Now we’re talking. Main event time. I’ve been flipfloppy with Roode over the past few years, but lately he has been on fire, and the video package leading up to this match made him look like a god. And it made him seem like he actually had some real personality. This is just good shit here. He’s up against AJ, who always puts on a great PPV performance*
*When not wrestling at Turning Point 2011.
Not long ago, AJ completely mangled his ankle, and he was put in a position where he HAD to perform. Storm and Angle, the other most credible people they have that could fill in, are both down with injuries. So it’s either AJ being a company man and a respected veteran, or TNA switching things up completely and giving Roode a completely new, random, untested person to work with. AJ it is. While ankle injuries hurt pretty much everyone’s performances, someone like AJ really does need a working lower half more than most people. He works his ass off here, and I have to give him props for that. Roode also works his ass off here, and I have to give him props for that. But this match just didn’t click like it should have.
I was thinking that even with AJ being injured, they’d still have enough smarts and passion to put on a good match. What we got was fairly acceptable considering the circumstances, but it was a fairly underwhelming end to the show. Though in a way, that’s actually quite the compliment to TNA, as most of their shows end in complete disaster, confusion, and frustration from everyone—including the wrestlers themselves. What a weird way to end the show.
Hopefully someone recovers or steps up to the plate to face Roode and put on a great showing with him. He needs to show that he belongs and that the “young” homegrown talent can run with the ball, so the belt doesn’t fall back into the hands of guys like Sting.
Robert Roode Over AJ Styles Following Some Good Old Fashioned Cheating.
Cewsh: I'll just come right out with it. I didn't enjoy this show. The matches all dragged when they weren't actively offensive to the senses, the promos felt uninspired (with the exception or Ray and Steiner), and the crowd, normally hot for anything, were actually so bored that they spent the last half of the show openly chanting for Scott Steiner during every match. Vice and I watched the show together, and while there normally tons of chatting and joke making as we watch the proceedings, the atmosphere in the chat was more like we were attending a funeral as we tried in vain to find anything to even say to one another about what we were watching that didn't come out as “Well this is boring.”
TNA has been a lot of things in its existence. Its been insane, self destructive, petty, laughable, and fantastic in various combinations too many times to count. But rarely has it been boring. I think I would honestly prefer self destructive..
Cewsh's Final Score: 67.2 out of 100.
Well that'll do it for us this time, boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed this thorough study of a show that had more in common with an insurance seminar than an entertaining wrestling show. Luckily we have the cure for what ails you, as our next review will be the exact opposite of dull as we enter the zany and ridiculous world of Chikara for the very first time to cover their very first iPPV event Chikara High Noon 2011. I have no idea what is in store with us, but between wrestling insects, bunnies and Eddie Kingston with a live mic anything is possible. So until then remember to keep reading, support independent wrestling and be good to one another.