TNA Turning Point 2012 Preview & Predictions

TNA Television Championship
Magnus vs Samoa Joe (c)

In the first Bound for Glory rematch of the night, Magnus once again challenges Samoa Joe for the TNA Television Championship. The feud spans back to their brief stint as Tag Team Champions, but has since taken on a life of it's own. The latest reasoning being Magnus not believing Joe to be a good representative for the Television Championship, seen "the world over". They've fought each other regularly for the past couple of months, but Joe always seems to come out on top via a variety of submission maneuvers. The addition of the No Disqualification stipulation strikes me as the perfect opportunity for Magnus to finally win his first singles title. Look for a weapon or some illegal move to put Joe down for good. Personally, I'd keep Joe's TV title reign going a while yet, to rebuild a little credibility for the much derided Championship, but he's held it a respectable length of time and I could definitely see TNA experimenting with Magnus' viability as a Champion going forward.

Prediction - Magnus defeats Samoa Joe via pinfall to become the NEW TNA Television Champion.

Tara & Jesse vs ODB & Eric Young

This will clearly be the comedy bout of the evening, designed to keep things light and fun. Probably booked either after a despicable heel victory or right before in the main event in order to let the crowd catch their breath. This match will be the epitomy of filler, especially looking at who's involved. In a rare turn, I'd actually prefer the women to carry the majority of this match over the men. Tara and ODB have a nice little feud going, which will most likely lead to a Knockouts Title match down the road, whereas Jesse is as green as they come and EY will be too busy grappling with the referee to care. In recent weeks, I've actually grown to pity ODB, carrying a mixed tag team/marriage, with one partner always absent. I know it's because EY is off filming his nature show, but I'd like to see ODB take her "husband" to task, maybe even kick him to the curb eventually. But not tonight.

Prediction - ODB & Eric Young defeat Tara & Jesse via pinfall.

TNA X Division Championship
Joey Ryan vs Rob Van Dam (c)

In what could be the dark horse bout of the night, this is Joey Ryan's first real opportunity to showcase his talents to the TNA fans. It's not a Gut Check, it's not against a retired trainer, it's not Open Fight Night, this is a fully fledged title shot at a pay per view, so he better be on the top of his game. The feud itself hasn't really gotten going yet (if ever). Ryan has simply targeted RVD and gotten a sly victory over the Champion. What won't work in Ryan's favour is his new associate, Matt Morgan, being banned from ringside for the bout. I'm sure we'll see him after the final bell has rung, but until then Joey is on his own. As for who will come out of Turning Point victorious, this may be a strange opinion to have, but 'Hollywood's Own' may infact have more clout going forward than the legendary RVD. If you think about it, Ryan's coming off a hot angle, he's a rising star, carrying promos and getting infinitely more airtime than Van Dam. It's sad to see TNA play hot-potato with the X Division Championship, but the fact of the matter is RVD doesn't need it. Hell, he's such an afterthought these days, I wouldn't be surprised if TNA wanted to cut him loose and save on his fee. One man's career is winding down, the other's is gearing up. I think it's time for a Mustache Ride.

Prediction - Joey Ryan defeats Rob Van Dam via pinfall to become the NEW TNA X Division Champion.

The Director of Chaos vs Joseph Park

Coming hot on the heels of his month-long imprisonment at the hands of Aces & Eights leading upto Bound for Glory (How did that imprisonment work exactly? I feel sorry for the member that had to take Park to the bathroom!), the naive attorney Joseph Park has requested a match against one of his captors. It just so happens, he's managed to unmask the former Luke Gallows, current Director of Chaos, making his choice of opponent crystal clear. I'm always happy to see Abyss have a match on a card, but in his current non-wrestler persona, it's borderline maddening. I anticipate a solid five minutes of selling a brutal beating at the hands of Doc, with all the usual hardcore tricks finding their way in (even if this is meant to be a straight wrestling match). It'd be easy to feed Joseph Park to the Aces & Eights to establish their credibility somewhat, but I have a sneaking suspicion this will be thematic payback for Park's imprisonment and he'll rightfully get the pin over a very surprised Doc. They'd do well to harken back to Park's mysterious Black Hole Slam he pulled out of nowhere on Bully Ray a few months ago. It'll close the door on the Aces & Eights chapter and further the Abyss conspiracy.

Prediction - Joseph Park defeats The Director of Chaos via pinfall.

TNA Tag Team Championships
Daniels & Kazarian vs Guerrero & Hernandez (c)

In a somewhat sort-of almost rematch from Bound for Glory, Daniels and Kazarian demand their return match for the Tag Team Titles against current Champions, Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez. However, this time, it will be without the main event magic of AJ Styles and Kurt Angle, which carried the majority of their previous encounters. That's not to say both teams can't stand on their own though, as we saw this very same match last month on Impact Wrestling and the former World Tag Team Champions of the World put in a tremendous effort. While the new Tex-Mex tag team triumphed at the last pay-per-view amidst the frantic confusion of a triple threat match, I don't think their luck will carry them much further. I mostly get the feeling TNA put the Tag Titles on Chavo specifically, in an effort to prove what a big deal he is. After a month of no signs of breaking out, all the while the former Champions are on a massive roll, I can't see reason to justify this continued faith in Chavo. Sure, he's a Guerrero, but he's never going to break out of Eddie's shadow. Leaving the Titles with Tex-Mex, you'll simply have another boring listless tag team ala Mexican American. Whereas the WTTCOTW are setting this division on fire and any longer without their moniker, they run the risk of losing valuable momentum.

Prediction - Daniels & Kazarian defeat Guerrero & Hernandez to become the NEW World Tag Team Champions of the World!

Devon vs Kurt Angle

Having been singled out for an epic beating by Aces & Eights several weeks ago, the Olympic Gold Medalist, Kurt Angle, goes in for revenge on the highest profile member unmasked so far (kinda says it all about the story, doesn't it). Where earlier in the night, the victim Joseph Park is sure to get a measure of vengeance, I doubt Kurt Angle will be so lucky. If TNA really want to build the credibility of Aces & Eights as a force to be reckoned with, the best wrestler on the roster is the perfect place to start. If anything, it'll be interesting to see how Devon fares in his highest profile singles match yet. Having already eliminated the Icon, Sting, on this week's Impact Wrestling, Angle's backup is in short supply. Namely, Garret Bischoff and Wes Brisco, two youngsters anyone with a brain cell can see are turncoats in the making. I'm expecting a majorly screwy finish, involving Garret and Wes coming to Angle's aid in the face of Aces & Eights, only for them to floor him from behind and become the latest "patched-in" members of the rebel group. All of this allowing Devon to take advantage for the hollow victory.

Prediction - Devon defeats Kurt Angle via pinfall.

TNA World Heavyweight Championship #1 Contender's Match
Bobby Roode vs James Storm vs AJ Styles

In what could very well be match of the night, the three former Fortune members duke it out for the right to be number one contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. A desired reward indeed, but the real kick to the match will be who takes the pinfall, as whoever loses will be barred from the World Title picture until Bound for Glory 2013 next October. That's ten whole months knowing full well you're not top of the deck, leader of the pack, best of the best. A devastating blow to whomever takes the fall and sure to send them off into a brand new direction for their character. No doubt filled with resentment and hostility. The easiest choice would be Bobby Roode, just coming off of one period where he wasn't allowed to compete for the World Title, would absolutely blow his top to spend the next year on the proverbial bench. However, that wouldn't be very surprising at all and whoever wins the match will simply be fed to Jeff Hardy to continue his reign of terror, so they can't be a genuine threat. My every instinct points towards a continuation of the Roode/Storm feud, but that's gone on a year now and despite five star matches, should probably end. In my opinion, Roode (being the only heel) makes for the best future opponent against Hardy, so he'll get the pin over AJ Styles, who after a solid year of bulls*** angles meant to sully his name, flies into an impotent rage.

Prediction - Bobby Roode defeats James Storm and AJ Styles via pinfall to become the NEW #1 Contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Ladder Match
Austin Aries vs Jeff Hardy (c)

Ladies and gentlemen, your main event of the evening. In a rematch from last month's Bound for Glory, 'The Greatest Man That Ever Lived' Austin Aries attempts to regain World Heavyweight Championship gold from 'The Charismatic Enigma' Jeff Hardy.

While Aries' title reign over the summer was decidedly muted due to his forced face turn, there's been a decided reawakening in him since his heel turn on Jeff Hardy last month. Like most of the greats in professional wrestling, one gets to the top of the card as a heel, everyone begins to support them (as a sign of respect for their good work) and this unfortunately leads to them losing that "IT factor" which made them popular in the first place. Austin Aries most definitely fell prey to this and has ever since been in the process of rebuilding his credibility. It began shortly before Bound for Glory with Aries' "tearing up the script" promo and subsequent kick to Hardy's balls. In the weeks since, Aries has been on top heel form, getting in the face of the Champion at every turn. Most notably during Hardy's victory celebration, where he brought cookies, balloons and a healthy disdain for whatever that monstrosity is that Hardy calls a custom World Title. Following up on this, Aries went so far as to steal the REAL World Title back, to "keep it safe" (can't say I blame him).

Unfortunately, even with this renewed vigor and spring in Aries step, I don't think it'll be enough to win back the World Heavyweight Championship. In a sane world, Aries would be handed the belt and carry it for years, he's that damn good. However, what he doesn't have is contract negotiations looming i.e. leverage. For months now, Jeff Hardy has been making noise about his contract being up in February and how he wouldn't mind one last big money run in the WWE. Wanting to dissuade their biggest merchandise seller from leaving, you can literally see TNA throwing undeserved accomplishment after undeserved accomplishment at him. First he "wins" the Bound for Glory Series, then the World Heavyweight Championship. What next, the Impact Zone itself? Nothing about the past couple of months has felt like a natural progression for he or his character, merely a desperate plea to make him stay. I mean, look at what Hardy has done with the World Title since he's had it...throw it away and replace it with one of his own visage. Apart from that, bland promo after bland promo that I can sum up in one word "creatuuuuuuures" *sigh*.

Despite the obvious politics in play, I fully expect Austin Aries to go out there and bust his gut putting Hardy over. He'll have to be particularly careful with the ladder in play, as Hardy is renowned for his sloppy ringwork and relying on insane bumps. The last Hardy ladder match I can remember is from Against All Odds 2011 when he took on Mr Anderson for the "Immortal Title" and my god was it a wretched affair. An utter disgrace of a main event. You could probably put it down to Hardy having been in the throws of his latest drug binge, what with his infamous Victory Road performance only a month afterwards, but it still doesn't bode well. The fact of the matter is he's lazy, sloppy and a danger to those around him. I pray for Austin Aries' safety.

Prediction - Jeff Hardy defeats Austin Aries to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

Written by Mark Clements

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