Turning Point: Velvet falls at the first hurdle
At TNA’s Turning Point, we saw two matches with Knockouts involved. The first was a mixed tag team title match featuring challengers Ink Inc. with Toxxin taking on the champions Mexican America with Sarita – it would be the first time either woman had faced each other, inside TNA or outside – whiel the second had Velvet Sky defending her Knockouts Championship against the newly-returned yet already crowned Knockouts Tag Team Champion Gail Kim.
Ink Inc. and Mexican America have had a decent feud with a buildup and it finally led to the debut of Christina Von Eerie as Toxxin to neutralise Sarita and Rosita. The tag titles were retained when Sarita pinned Toxxin after hitting her in the back with a tag belt. Meanwhile, Gail came into Turning Point with a huge wave of momentum, and before the match Karen Jarrett showered her with praise, calling Velvet a “skanky bitch” in the process. Classy. In the Knockouts Championship match, thanks to judicious interference from Karen and Madison Rayne, Gail won the title. How did each of the matches fare? Let’s break it down and take a look at what was oak, what was pine, and what was chipboard…
TNA Tag Team Titles match:
Mexican America (Hernandez, Anarquia, Sarita with Rosita) (c) v Ink Inc. (Shannon Moore, Jesse Neal and Toxxin)
Even though it wasn’t very long and it came towards the end of the match, Toxxin and Sarita worked very well together. Their exchange was smooth and crisp, and their interaction got a good response from fans. I suspect we will see a singles match between the two, especially considering how the ending came about…
One of TNA’s biggest problems is interference in matches. This was on display tonight, as first Rosita distracted Toxxin long enough for Sarita to grab one of the tag belts, clock Toxxin in the back and toss the belt out of the ring before pinning her. Understandable as it is (after all, Rosita’s not going to be at ringside just to play cheerleader for her team), it’s a predictable ending. However, one tiny detail detracted from this end.
When Sarita had the belt and was coming back into the ring with it, we clearly saw Toxxin turn her head, see Sarita with the belt…and turn around to be in position to take the hit. This absolutely made no sense and for a split second, I thought that she might move, having Sarita hit Rosita by accident and Ink Inc. would win the titles that way. But no, she took the blow and Mexican America retained the belts. I thought that if this was the most head-shaking moment of the night, then I was good. Then came the Knockouts title match.
Knockouts Championship match:
Velvet Sky (c) v Gail Kim
Gail’s first post-WWE match on live television went off without a hitch. She showed no ring rust and worked well within Velvet’s limitations. It was actually a fun match with a few near-falls that made the anticipation build. It allowed Velvet to look strong, like a credible match for Gail which was something she needed. Velvet has some good kicks in her arsenal as well.
Having Gail win reduces whatever prestige the title has. It continues to be the proverbial “hot potato” in the company. Short reigns do nothing to help a belt, nor a company that wishes their belt to be seen as a real prize. In addition, TNA has once again cut the legs out of its own homegrown talent by rushing a belt onto a former WWE employee. Granted, Gail was the cornerstone of the original TNA Knockouts division but that was a few years ago and in her absence, originals such as Angelina Love and Velvet Sky had stepped up to the plate. As Lee explained here TNA has done a real disservice to Velvet and sent a clear message to it’s other talent.
Once again, way too much interference at the end. It was bound to happen once we saw Karen come out, but it should have been a clean, one on one match. However, it made Gail look extremely weak in that not only could she not pin Velvet after Madison hitting her finisher on Vel Vel but then she required both Karen and Madison’s interference to even hit Eat Defeat (which we heard JB call it, despite seemingly being banned from using that name). In addition to making Velvet look weak, it also made Gail look weak, needing help from two other people. This was a no-win situation. However, I don’t blame Gail in this instance. You want to put the blame somewhere, put it on the bookers of TNA. Once again a decent match is overshadowed by the overbooking.
Quite simply, your money would have been better spent buying Chikara’s High Noon iPPV over Turning Point – and you can still order the replay to see why everyone’s giving it high praise. Their booking makes ten times more sense.
- Jennifer Logsdon