Rate The Booking: TNA Turning Point 2010
Consistency. It's a word I like and something I'd swear by in terms of booking. Of course, when you throw all your eggs into one basket, it is kind of hard to stay consistent.
That's the story of Turning Point 2010. While months of planning went into Bound for Glory, Turning Point came 4 weeks later, and an injury combined with lackluster at best Impacts in between led to a poorly hyped Pay Per View. However, that's not to say that some of the booking didn't work. It is to say that it just wasn't an exciting show to watch. Let's take a look at the booking side though:
Jay Lethal(c) vs. Robbie E. for the X Division Title - Right before BFG, "Shore" debuted. Due to a marketing opportunity, most of the hype surrounding this group was centered on the conflict Cookie has with JWoww from the actual Jersey Shore show. Somewhere lost behind that is Robbie E's quest to take th X Division title to represent Jersey "the right way". This is a good story, but how on earth could you book Robbie to win already? The guy can work and certainly could have earned the title down the road, but this is a guy that has never worked for a major promotion and he wins the title in a month? Plus, you weaken Jay Lethal in the process and that's never a good thing. While I was fine with a lot of the booking of this show, this one I cannot justify. The only way I'll be ok with this is if Jay Lethal moves up the card as a result. Even still, should Robbie be getting this title over someone like Kazarian who could hold the title for Immortal/Fortune?
Mickie James vs. Tara - This wasn't a bad match, but the booking was pretty bad. The problem here is that these two women are supposed to have incredible amounts of tension to the point where they'd want to kill each other, but in no way has TNA made it known why that's the case. All they've said is "they didn't like each other in the other company". To me, that's not enough. Thus, when you give these women a heated battle on TV with just one month of feuding, it seems silly. If you are going to do that, build the tension over time. That's one thing that TNA lacks and its forsight. I can't remember a feud that has gone on for more than a month of so, which ultimately hot shots angles and makes the matches make no sense. In this case, the match was good, but too much too soon. Plus, they brawled after they were both DQ'ed, which would have been fine, but it lasted too long. The segment dragged ass more than an itchy dog on a white carpet. I've never heard a bell rang so many times! The "let them fight" chant was nice, but this lasted way too long for what it was.
Motor City Machine Guns(c) vs. Team 3D for the World Tag Team Titles - I'm glad this one was kept simple. This was Team 3D's sendoff and it needed to just be a solid contest that put over the Guns. It did that and it was a nice moment. Probably the best match on the card and the only thing that saved this from being an utter disaster. Team 3D can't go ver well anymore, but they did well to make the Guns look good. About the only thing I'd change was the fnish as I didn't like the move that the Guns finished off 3D with. Other than that, TNA kept it simple and it worked. Gee, I wonder why?
Tommy Dreamer vs. Rob Van Dam - After seeing this match, I have less of a clue as to why this match happened. People were speculating that the "mole" within EV2.0 would turn here, but I never thought that would be the case. That person would more logicallly turn on the entire group against Fortune. Thus, what was the point of this match. The guys beat the hell out of each other, Tommy Dreamer legitimately hurt his wrist, then they just hugged it out? Talk about filler matches. This match served absolutely no purpose and about the only positive is that RVD won. I'm not a big RVD guy, but if he's one of your top guys, he should probably have better opponents than Dreamer. This was an utter waste.
Fortune vs. EV2.0 (if EV2.0 loses, someone gets fired) - Basically, what needed to happen here happened. EV2 lost finally (why they won at BFG is still a mystery to me) and Sabu was fired. However, if you thought something this simple could go off without a hitch, you'd be wrong. For one, there was no "turn" by anyone. All that speculation for nothing. If there is one after this, what's the point? You build up angles to culminate at Pay Per Views where people have to pay for the big developments. Missing those opportunities is just bad for business. Also, the announcers royally screwed this one up. For some reason, they kept saying that the guy who got pinned woudl get fired. So Sabu got pinned and they said he was fired. Then, Ric Flair came out and said that he chose Sabu to get fired. So which way was it? It was said that Fortune could pick, so why didn't the announcers get the memo? It's little things like this that really hinder TNA's growth. If everyone in the company can't be on the same page, how can you truly move forward. Which brings us to........
Abyss vs. The Pope in a Lumberjack Match - One week, this got a lot of TV time around a casket as it was pushed as a "last rites casket match". The very next week, no mention of caskets was made and the match was presented as a lumberjack match as if the casket match idea was never brought up. Sadly, I believe this to be a one week jab at WWE since Kane has walked around with a casket for months. If that's the case, it was a pretty big failure. If the case was just to try a gimmick match and it was scrapped due to this, again EPIC FAILURE. Here's the problem. The match ending was obvious and it just has no eb and flow. Bischoff helped his goon win and that's fine, but Abyss is the monster enforcer of the group. Of anyone, he shouldn't need help. However, he hasn't won a match in months and now he needs help to win. Why should anyone buy him as a credible enforcer if he can't beat anyone? A character like his doesn't belong in a stable like this anyway so all around it's a bad fit. Same with this match. It felt thrown together and it just furthered the "Eric Bischoff can do what he wants" story. Not good all around on this one.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Samoa Joe - This is one match where I thought the booking was excellent. There are two security guards that are on Immortal's side and they helped Jarrett win. Simple heel logic and it works. The problem is that I don't care. I just don't care about Jeff Jarrett and to be honest, I don't care about Jarrett eventually feuding with Kurt Angle. This takes Kurt away from the title which he SHOULD either have right now or be chasing. He need not waste his time feuding with a career midcarder who is only thought of more highly due to his starting the company. This match was ok though and was booked well for what it was.
Jeff Hardy(c) vs. Matt Morgan for the TNA Title - This would have maybe been a great match down the road as Morgan became an unlikely source to turn on his group and take the title. However, you knew he was going to bed fed to Hardy on this night and that's exactly what happened. It sucks as Morgan has a ton of potential and has gotten title shots but never given the chance to run as champ. This wasn't the time as they are trying to get Jeff over as THE heel of the company, so he was basically going to lose. Unfortunately, the booking was horrible. Hardy won clean and while wrestling poorly. Jeff Hardy is not the least bit intimidating wrestling heel and to be honest, is quite boring. If this is what the main events are going to be like, well then it's going to be Hulk Hogan NWO part 2 minus the charisma. This is not a good start to Jeff's heel reign and I felt that this match was awful. Plus, Morgan is big and strong, but was booked to look like crap. You could argue that taking 3 "twist of hates", which may be the stupidest name for a finisher ever, makes him look strong, but if you watched the match, you'd see that he got dominated by a smaller wrestler. That's not good for Morgan. Abyss or Bischoff or anyone in Fortune should have done something to help Hardy here. It would have made him more hated for needing help and made Morgan look better. Unfortunately, I'm about ready to sell on Immortal and Jeff Hardy as a heel. Bad booking so far.
And what's the deal with the big celebration with confetti? How much like the NWO do we have to be? You beat a guy who lost to Brian Kendrick a month ago.......is that worth a big celebration?
So there you have it, a bad Pay Per View. It's amazing how bad planning can bite you in the rear end. TNA better hope that the next two weeks on Impact are solid, because those need to be the time where the next Pay Per View is set up. If they run into issues where matches are changed or hotshotted, you could get a disaster like this again, and TNA cannot afford back to back terrible Pay Per Views. And just to refer back to our opening thought: CONSISTENCY. Book all of Immortal the same in that they help each other win things beause they are in control. That needs to be their M.O. and it always works for a heel group. Remember, simple almost always works.........