PPV REVIEW: TNA Turning Point 2008

TNA Turning Point 2008 event poster - www.retroprowrestling.com
November 9th, 2008,
The Impact Zone, Florida. 

The main story heading into Total Nonstop Action Wrestling’s Turning Point pay per view event was the coming together of the Main Event Mafia, the heel stable consisting of World Heavyweight Champion, Sting, TNA Legends Champion, Booker T, Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle and Scott Steiner. 

(NOTE: This is a review that I originally wrote live back in in November 2008. I recently found this in my archives and decided to add it to RPW, hence the different formatting from my normal reviews. Youtube videos and links have been added in as an edit in 2017)

Forming an alliance against the TNA Originals (Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Jay Lethal and others), the Main Event Mafia continued their dominance of TNA throughout a stellar card packed with gripping wrestling matches.

It was up to the high-flyers of the company’s X-Division to kick things off, as Eric Young, Petey Williams, ‘Black Machismo’ Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, Doug Williams, Volador, Tanahashi, Consequences Creed, Homicide and Jimmy Rave competed in a thrilling ‘X-Division Rankings’ match.

Fought under Lucha Libre tag rules (whereby, as soon as one wrestler leaves the ring, another can take his place without a tag being made), the match was set up to determine contendership for the X-Division title.

Full of exciting flips, spots, counters and jaw-dropping action, the highlight of the match saw Jay Lethal and CMLL’s Volador trading holds and rolls in an intense back-and-forth battle, whilst Homicide’s devastating tope into the crowd was impressive, but sadly put him out of action.

Ultimately, after everyone else had been eliminated, it was down to long-time fan-favourites, Lethal, and ‘Showtime Eric Young’ as the final two, with Young finally picking up the win.

With the match wrapped up, Eric called Lethal, Williams and Creed back to the ring as he delivered an impassioned speech about their future in TNA.

Yet after an early highlight to Turning Point, Turning Point 2008 did begin to sag somewhat.

The Knockout’s tag-match pitting Knockout Champion Awesome Kong and her manager/valet, Raisha Saeed against ‘Hardcore Queen’ Roxxi and former Knockout champ, Taylor Wilde, simply couldn’t match the previous bout’s energy and excitement.

Despite a strong build-up on TV, what we saw here was little more than your standard tag-team match with a predictable ending. Thank god then that it was kept quite short.
Things continued to be somewhat lukewarm with the next match though, to be fair, this wasn’t the fault of either competitor.

‘The War Machine’, Rhino, defending his pride and his country against ‘evil-foreigner’ and reigning X-Division Champion, Shiek Abdul Bashir in a non-title bout had been built up on the Impact television show as an epic grudge match as Rhino looked set to seek revenge for Bashir’s spiteful comments towards the U.S.A.

For the most part, the bout started off as just that but before long everyone; the live audience, the television audience and even, seemingly, the wrestlers themselves, were heavily distracted by the arrival on the front row of what announcer Mike Tenay referred to as ‘some familiar faces’.

Even before they were visible on camera, the crowds in the impact zone soon turned their backs on the match in hand when music duo, the Insane Clown Posse arrived on the scene in full makeup, along with former TNA, WCW and WWE star, Scott Hall.

The arrival of the trio apparently wasn’t supposed to be part of the show, yet despite everyone’s best efforts, their presence at ringside became much more interesting than the battle in the ring.

That Bashir even went so far as to acknowledge the threesome suggested just how furious the wrestlers were with this distraction, and was, on the whole, a bad idea; lending credence to an otherwise unprompted appearance and sapping every inch of interest out of the match he was supposed to be having.

In the end, it was Rhino who picked up the win before storming off backstage without so much as a raised arm or acknowledgement of victory. Whether this was planned, or whether it was out of sheer annoyance at Hall and the ICP, we’ll probably never know.

But if things had taken a turn for the worse with the previous two matches, things looked to get a lot better with the TNA World Tag Team Title match.

Despite a rather confusing backstage skit in which challengers the Motor City Machine Guns apparently turned on TNA authority figure, Mick Foley, Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin were greeted as firm favourites as they headed to the ring to face reigning champions, Robert Roode and James Storm, better known as Beer Money, Inc.

Where the previous tag team match failed, this one delivered on all accounts and was a testament to the talent of both teams, in particular, Beer Money, Inc.

With the right look, great chemistry and an abundance of skill both on the mic and in the ring, Roode and Storm should surely be looking at some kind of ‘Tag Team of the Year’ awards, and their efforts against the dynamic duo of Shelley and Sabin showed why.

An altogether enthralling match which saw the champs retain in a fast and furious contest.

With the undercard out of the way, it was onto a four-pronged main event featuring the top talent in TNA.

TNA Turning Point 2008 event poster - Christian Cage vs. Booker T - Legends Title match - www.retroprowrestling.com

First, Booker T successfully defended his TNA Legends Title (a belt he apparently created and simply awarded to himself) in a good, if hardly spectacular, contest against Christian Cage.

In an added stipulation, if Christian lost the match, he’d be forced to become a member of the Main Event Mafia. Somewhat predictably, he did indeed lose the match, and looks set to join the squad on TV unless, of course, rumours about his apparent move back to WWE, come true.

If that match was only ‘good’, then the next match was absolutely fantastic. In an exhilarating ‘Falls Count Anywhere’ bout, ‘The Monster’ Abyss took on Olympic Gold Medalist, Kurt Angle.

Without so much as a single dull moment, Angle and Abyss brawled all over the Impact Zone, leading to some great spots around the entrance way including Kurt’s smooth, breathtaking somersault off the stage onto his opponent.

The end came when Angle eventually managed to push Abyss off a raised platform and through the Spanish announce table (those poor Spanish announcers, when will they ever catch a break in pro wrestling!?!) for the win.

Despite the limitations of the old and grey Kevin Nash, his grudge match against ‘The Samoan Submission Machine’ Samoa Joe, was still nonetheless enjoyable, thanks in no small part to former world champ’, Joe.

Though hardly the best match on the Turning Point card, this bout did have its moments, culminating in a win for Nash following a low-blow and a ropes-assisted pin.

TNA Turning Point 2008 event poster - AJ Styles vs. Sting - TNA Title match - www.retroprowrestling.com

Finally, it was time for the main event. On a card where the matches ranged from mediocre to very good, Sting vs AJ Styles for the World Heavyweight Championship, had a lot to live up to.

Thankfully, it did.

A great battle between the veteran, Sting, and the young lion, Styles, both men gave it their all in an exciting contest which swept the crowd along before interference from the ‘Mafia enabled the Stinger to retain the gold.

All in all then, a great show which saw the Main Event Mafia hold onto their dominance of Total Non-stop Action Wrestling. Match of the night undoubtedly went to Kurt Angle vs Abyss, but many of the wrestlers on the card deserve kudos for putting on one fine performance. 

Over the coming weeks, I'll have a few more TNA wrestling reviews from the past few years. Be the first to check them out by following Retro Pro Wrestling on Twitter, or hitting like on the brand new Facebook page.

Post a Comment