Hello and welcome to the long anticipated return of a WrestleEnigma trademark; the Enigmatic Debate. Today is a special edition, in that it will be all about TNA IMPACT Wrestling and its upcoming Turning Point pay-per-view. The panel for this edition will consist of myself, Charlie Groenewegan and Kevin Berge.
In case you’re a new visitor to the site or just forgot what the Enigmatic Debate is all about, here’s a basic summary written by WE original RiZE;
The Enigmatic Debate revolves around any and every topic related to pro wrestling.
Ultimately, the goal of the series is to spark debates.
As writers, we’re here to challenge the thinking of readers by presenting topics too difficult to warrant simple answers. We’ll also include weekly thoughts on programming and pay-per-views.
Turning Point Predictions
Doc vs. Joseph Park
Kevin: Joseph Parks is the hardest character to predict right now in TNA because he is a complete enigma. His supposed search for Abyss was dropped, leaving the only explanation of his character completely unexplained. DOC is similarly hard to predict simply because he’s a brand new character who has not really been explored at all yet.
As far as the actual match, this is two real wrestlers in Chris Parks and Drew Hankinson going at it, so it has potential to be solid action. The main concern is that having both men sell themselves as non-wrestlers could make it so neither is able to deliver.
I see DOC winning here to give DOC more momentum though, after the match, we should see a reawakening of the monster in Park who will destroy Aces and Eights, causing them to retreat. That way both will have momentum going forward.
Charlie: DOC is a cool name and all, but it won’t last. It just can’t. This is where DOC’s Ring Ka King name, “Isaiah Cash” should eventually be brought up. He’ll be the Director of Chaos, Isaiah Cash. Just sounds better when you call him by an actual name.
Anyway, I’m not so sure about this one. I can’t really imagine Park getting a clean victory, yet I can’t see the same for DOC. I definitely expect to see more members of A&8s show up though. They’ll either help DOC win, or simply beat the hell out of Joseph Park causing a DQ.
Ryan: This match is only taking place to establish Doc’s dominance, or at least that’s what you have to believe. He was unmasked just two weeks ago, and this past week brutalized Sting with the ballpoint hammer. Now, at Turning Point, I can’t see TNA squashing his momentum so soon against a non-wrestler such as Joseph Park.
We may see Abyss reemerge soon after this match to take on Aces & 8s in defense of his brother. Or perhaps Abyss could be revealed as a member of Aces & Eights in a swerve. Either way, I expect the return of the “The Monster” Abyss to be sparked by this match in some way.
Tara & Jesse vs. ODB & Eric Young
Kevin: Ugh, this match. This won’t be good. I believe all four have talent as wrestlers even newcomer Jesse, but the story will bog this down in far too much comedy to be sensible or well done. Nothing about this story right now is good. It is bad comedy mixed with bad acting and poor scripting.Eric Young and ODB will reunite in victory with ODB pinning Tara again, and ODB will get a real match against Tara for the title down the line.
Charlie: I’m looking forward to this match more than anybody should. I’ve been a fan of Jessie’s since his debut in OVW and I honestly think that he’s a future TNA World Heavyweight Champion. I do, however, wish for two simple things: 1.) Please, TNA, call him by his full name! 2.) If you’re going to do that, at least spell it right….
It’s “Jessie”, not “Jesse”.Anyway, I’m gonna mark out when Godderz & EY lock up. When Godderz debuted at BFG, this is the feud I wanted to see. It’ll be good seeing EY back in a TNA ring, but I don’t expect them to win. The, “Hollywood couple” will cheat their way out of this one.
Ryan: I don’t understand why this match is even happening, honestly. ODB beat Tara and Jesse by herself on IMPACT, so now she suddenly needs Eric Young’s help on pay-per-view?Head scratching logic if you ask me. Nonetheless, I see ODB picking up the pin on Tara to gain a Knockout’s Championship match at Final Resolution.
X-Division Championship: Rob Van Dam (c) vs. Joey Ryan
Kevin: I really hope that Joey Ryan wins because I really don’t want RVD as X-Division champion. That said, I have learned to never predict against RVD. He always seems to win on PPV even when it seems like the other guy could use the momentum a lot more (which is all the time).
That said, it shouldn’t be long before Ryan becomes champ. He’s one of the most reliable options to put the title on right now, and RVD has to lose it to somebody.
Charlie: This match could really go either way. Despite being banned from ringside, I wouldn’t be too surprised if Matt Morgan shows up to help his sleazy friend out. Then again, “No Job Rob” is RVD’s nickname for a reason…
I think Joey Ryan winning would be best for the storyline aspect of things. Having Morgan help could increase tension between “The Blueprint” and management/Hulk Hogan and also energize the “feud” between Joey Ryan and RVD.
Ryan: I’m going to go with Joey Ryan here. RVD seems to be just a transitional champion and can invoke his rematch clause to milk another match out of this feud (because the X-Division seemingly doesn’t have another direction to go at the moment.) I see Ryan going on to have a nice reign, before Jesse Sorenson returns and defeats Zema Ion and win the title sometime before Destination X so he can be the one to earn a world title shot.
I know, Sorenson seemingly isn’t world title material, but it makes for a nice story for him to come back and become a main event star.
Devon vs. Kurt Angle
Kevin: This match is so superfluous. TNA is obviously waiting to continue the Bully Ray/Devon feud, building their big pay-per-view match for Final Resolution, so they decided to keep Devon at the forefront by having him face Kurt Angle in a match that has almost no heat.
The story is basically that Angle was a guy attacked by Aces and Eights which is the same story that half the roster has now. The only intrigue in the story is that Wes Brisco has some connection to Angle. While I don’t know if Brisco has the talent to be a mainstay on the roster, he at least adds another possible layer to the stories going on right now though Garrett Bischoff could have been in the same place instead.
On Sunday, it seems clear to me that Devon will win. It will be thanks to outside help, maybe from Wes Brisco himself who could be a prospect for Aces and Eights, but Devon will win to get Angle more frustrated and involved against the group and to make Devon look better.
Charlie: I feel like this match could be a good one. Two wrestling vets in Devon and Angle. As a prediction, there’s no doubt that Devon will win. Having him lose would be a big setback for Aces and Eights as he’s one of their top guys.Devon will win, but it won’t be clean. I expect either Wes Brisco or Garrett Bischoff (More so Wes…) to screw Angle out of this match. Brisco could turn on Angle and reveal himself as a member of Aces and Eights. If not, then what? He’ll just be that weird guy Kurt Angle always hangs out with backstage on IMPACT.
Ryan: There’s no way that this match finishes cleanly. Devon can’t afford to lose just yet and Angle losing probably wouldn’t be a great way to go either. This match is all about Aces & Eights interfering and attacking Angle just like they did Bully.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bully and a couple of other faces make the save and unmask another member of Aces & 8s. After all, Devon and Luke Gallows can only carry a stable so far, right?
No DQ, Television Championship Match: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Magnus
Kevin: This match could be a brutal contest. Samoa Joe has a knack for having great matches, and Magnus gets better by the month. The two don’t have unbelievable chemistry, but they have a great story and know how to deliver on brutality here.
What makes this even more interesting is that the result is a bit hard to predict. On one hand, Joe makes a lot of sense as TV champion, and he can have a lot of great weekly matches with the title on the line. On the other hand, Magnus could use a real singles title to really get his career going and moving up.
Picking Magnus to win matches lately though is like predicting Chris Jericho to win as a heel. It barely ever works out. That’s why I think Joe will win. He just looks stronger and more poised at this point.
Charlie: This is a pretty tough call. I could see this match go either way, but I’m leaning towards Samoa Joe. Joe has been a dominant champ so far and I expect that to continue with this match. Only thing I wonder is, if he loses, what’ll happen to Magnus?
Ryan: I believe this match could easily steal the show with these two big brawlers taking part in a heated No Disqualification match for the Television title.Joe won the title just weeks before Bound for Glory, so especially with RVD prematurely losing his title as I predicted, I can’t see Joe losing here. He should defeat all challengers as a dominant, fighting champion to get himself back over as a main event caliber talent.
As for Magnus, I’m honestly not sure where he goes from here. He may well be the future of the company, but TNA is stacked with guys who seem to be a higher priority right now.
World Tag Team Championships: Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez (c) vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian
Kevin: This is a match that needed to happen to give Daniels and Kaz some closure. That’s all it is. Chavo and Hernandez are champions, and they will move on as champions in what seems to be a completely dead division. Daniels and Kaz need to move on and up hopefully after a loss here. Now would be the time to consider a World Title reign for Daniels. The guy has earned at least a brief, one month reign.
I’m not sure what happens with Chavo and Hernandez. They probably challenge a makeshift team of some kind for a while until TNA actually builds their division up more.
Charlie: It’d be cool seeing Daniels & Kazarian regain the belts but, at the same time, that’d kill off any credibility for Chavo and ‘Nandez. I think the team of TexMex (Or is it MexTex? Either way, get an official name already… LAX 2.5 or something) will retain.
Maybe Daniels and Kazarian could then take a break from tag teaming and go for singles titles. Daniels could give Hardy a run for his money, while Kazarian could do the same with Samoa Joe. Meanwhile the pairing of Robbie E & Robbie T or Gunner & Kid Kash will step up to the plate by Final Resolution.
Ryan: Daniels and Kazarian are much more entertaining as champions than Chavo and Hernandez will ever be, but I see Chavo and Hernandez retaining to establish their credibility.
I really don’t see where TNA goes from here, barring they get a time machine and can bring back the Motor City Machine Guns (and Chris Sabin’s knees.) My guess is two random heels team up and this division continues to lack any real teams. It seems to be the trend these days.
#1 Contender’s Match: Bobby Roode vs. James Storm vs. AJ Styles
Kevin: Here’s the match that has me really interested. While Roode/Storm is over, the lasting effects of the feud still remain. These two are now both rising, top stars, and one should be the next World Champion. In fact, I will be disappointed in the company if James Storm does not become the champion in the next three or four months.
AJ Styles in this match seems like the odd man out. He is a man without a direction since his wretched storyline with Daniels finally ended. TNA seems to be building him toward wanting to become champion again, but I don’t know where that leads… unless he’s pinned.
Storm should win this match and will, but who he pins matters. If he pins Roode which is very possible, Bobby will be left with nothing as his character is about being champion. Styles losing though is a much more compelling idea. As a face, his desperate climb to find purpose and reclaim the World Title could give AJ needed direction that doesn’t work as well with a heel. The more I think about, the more I believe we will see Storm pin Styles.
Charlie: I think James Storm will win and AJ will bite the bullet in this one. Storm has been ready and deserving of the World title (Or a feud over it at the very least) for sometime now. This is his chance and his time as he’ll pick up the win and re-enter the World title hunt for a face vs. face feud with Hardy going into Final Resolution.
As for AJ, it’s just too bad. Having Roode get pinned would be a mistake because that’d kill off any top heels hunting for the title. Bobby Roode and Austin Aries are the only true main event heels who are chasing the World title. Roode won’t get pinned, thus keeping a top heel in title contention. As I said, AJ will get pinned making him incapable of going for the World title until BFG ’13 in October of next year. A perfect story would have AJ get pinned here, bounce from feud to feud until Slammiversary, then enter and win the 2013 BFG Series.
Ryan: There’s no doubt in my mind that AJ Styles gets pinned in this match, therefore can’t receive a world title shot until Bound for Glory 2013. It makes for a nice story, with him winning the BFG Series and finally recapturing the title for the first time since 2009.That brings down the options to win the match to James Storm and Bobby Roode. And considering Roode recently had his reign, I see Storm winning this one and facing Jeff Hardy at Final Resolution. Remember, Hardy’s contract is set to expire soon, so this could be his send off and a passing of the torch of sorts to Storm.
Kevin: I think the only question with this match is how great it will be. All the pieces are there for it to be one of the best of the year. It has a stipulation that these two men were born to work within: the ladder match. It has two men who have already proven themselves to have a great amount of chemistry that made the BFG main event special.
The one thing it is missing is emotional impact. This feud has not developed in a way that makes me interested in its development. The script as of late for these two is too bland. Jeff is neither sympathetic nor dominant, yet Aries doesn’t even feel like a threat to the Charismatic Enigma.
It could be and probably will be great, but this is no Styles/Daniels or Roode/Storm in terms of emotional impact. That said, the result is obvious. Hardy wins because he has to. He won at BFG and losing the title right back would be a ridiculous decision.
Charlie: Jeff Hardy will retain. It’s just too early for him to lose the title. That’s the only reason I see him retaining. It’d be way too soon for Hardy to lose the title.
Ryan: This match is pretty predictable, but I’m still looking forward to it.
Hardy and Aries showed obvious chemistry at Bound for Glory and have had a decent feud. Now, it all culminates in the match Hardy specializes in and a match that fits the style of Aries to perfection. I think it could be TNA’s match of the year as Hardy wins to remain champion.
Thoughts On the Ongoing Matt Morgan Storyline?
Kevin: I love what TNA is doing with Morgan. It is cool, interesting, and plays across a formula that has always worked in wrestling. You have a young wrestler disrespecting a legend and denying authority. Hogan doesn’t have to do anything except be a symbol which is what he’s best at.
To add a little to the story, they should have Morgan bring up several wrestlers who already surpassed him in the race to superstardom. Mention Bobby Roode, James Storm, Austin Aries, and, hell, even Devon now.
I like how Morgan and Ryan are also a partnership. The Joey Ryan interview on TNA Today really further explained the relationship between the two, and I like it. However, if any of this leads to a match between Matt Morgan and Hulk Hogan, shoot me now….
Ryan: Despite it being somewhat similar to WWE’s recent Big Show storyline, I like it. He’s a giant that feels like he’s been held back and is now willing to go through to anybody to grab the so-called “brass ring.” A Morgan/Hogan feud would work well in getting Morgan over as a monster heel and future world champion.I also like how Morgan is with Joey Ryan, who’s in a similar situation. The two can rise to stardom together before an eventual feud.
How Has Bully Ray’s Face Turn Worked So Far?
Kevin: The TNA main event/upper mid-card scene is now composed of faces Jeff Hardy, James Storm, AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Bully Ray, and Mr. Anderson vs. the heels Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, and Devon. That is not a balance.
Bully Ray has that ability to sway fans anyway he wants. He even got a little heat pushed onto Hulk Hogan for denying Joseph Park his match with Aces & Eights. Bully Ray’s face turn has been a success, and it should get even better when he finally gets his hands on Devon.
However, with all that said, his face turn has left a big hole when it comes to top main event heels. Bobby Roode and Austin Aries could attempt to close that gap, but it’d take more than those two to fill Bully’s void. That’s why I think Daniels should be brought to the main event and even Mr. Anderson should turn heel.
Ryan: I think it’s a breath of fresh air for Bully’s character, but he’s coming dangerously close to becoming too much of a face in my opinion. Bully works best as a heel or as a tweener. He needs to keep a bad ass edge about him, because when that’s gone he goes back to being Blubber Ray. Until he loses his edge though, I’m fine with the face turn.
Who Would You Like To See As the Next Revealed Member of Aces & Eights?
Kevin: Keeping the leader aloof is well done, but I feel like a star that the crowd knows need to be revealed as part of the group next. It doesn’t have to be the leader, but it needs to be someone that the crowd doesn’t suddenly have to get acquainted to. So, in other words, not a Gut Check contestant or Wes Brisco.
Instead, I’d like to see someone like Garrett Bischoff, Mr. Anderson, Robbie T, etc. be revealed in the role. Just someone who has no direction and could use a partial role in the group. That said, I hope they don’t reveal too many people as the group does not need too many true faces to the group.
Personally, I would love to see Anderson switch sides even if that is very unlikely. He could really use the heel turn.
Charlie: There’s no doubt in my mind that Wes Brisco or Garett Bischoff are next on TNA’s list of, “Who to reveal next”. I don’t really mind those two being revealed. However, if it were up to me, I think it’d be cool seeing (From the current roster) Crimson, Gunner, or Kid Kash revealed. All three seem like a perfect fit for the A&8s.
Apart from those three, and Jeff Jarrett, I don’t really want to see anyone else from the TNA roster in the group. Luke Gallows’ involvement in A&8s was predicted and even somewhat confirmed when news went out about him signing an official TNA contract. Some people might answer with Chris Masters, but I have zero interest in seeing him in TNA. Same goes for John Morrison, to be honest. Jay Bradley, Shaun Ricker, or Rudy Switchblade would be cool to see. Whoever is revealed next, I just hope it’s a surprise.
Ryan: A bigger name for sure.
As I said earlier, Devon and the man formerly known as Luke Gallows can only carry a main event stable so far. At some point, bigger names need to be revealed so that Aces & 8s is a credible stable. Not the leader, but someone who will get more people into the angle. Maybe Pope returns as a member and reveals his attack was a set up. Seems like an odd idea, but Pope could use any storyline he can get at this point.
Is Christian York the Best Contestant to Come from Gut Check So Far?
Charlie: Uhm, yes. Let’s take a look at all previous Gut Check winners:
Alex Silva? He’s in OVW. He had a pretty weak showing against Robbie E and only earned a contract because Ric Flair went off script during his segment. I like Silva, but he does need some more time in OVW.
Taeler Hendrix? She was enjoyable, but went directly back to OVW. As a heel, she’s one of the most entertaining personalities in OVW. She could still use some work but, when she’s ready for TNA, she’ll be great.
Sam Shaw? Shaw was pretty impressive but, then again, he went directly to OVW too. He’s probably the least deserving of OVW in the Gut Check bunch, but I could see the reasoning. He’ll just get better over time.
Joey Ryan? He’s good and all, but I think York’s Gut Check was better. First off, Joey Ryan didn’t even pass his initial Gut Check against Austin Aries. In his second attempt, at Bound For Glory, he only won with help from Matt Morgan. His Gut Checks have been pretty tainted despite being a talented performer.
York is a seasoned veteran and looked much better than Zema Ion in their match last week. Plenty of internet fans have praised York’s work (face or heel) and some even, “threatened” or “guaranteed” to stop watching TNA forever if he didn’t get signed. So, yeah, that’s some pretty solid support.
I do believe York had the best Gut Check, and he could deliver for TNA right out of the starting gate.
Ryan: The only contestant even close would have to be Joey Ryan, who’s probably better on the microphone but doesn’t seem like the overall package that York is nor the in-ring performer. York seemed to get over with the IMPACT Zone without the overly cheesy gimmick of Ryan and could probably go farther as a singles star right now.
I hope York goes straight to the main roster though, because having him rot in OVW for six months would be a waste of his talents. Unlike Alex Silva and other Gut Check winners, he seems like he could make an impact (pun intended) from day one.
Thanks for reading the return installment of the Enigmatic Debate. Stay tuned to WrestleEnigma.com for more on everything professional wrestling, including another ED, that will preview WWE’s upcoming Survivor Series pay-per-view.
For more of a in-depth preview of what’s to come at Turning Point, view the TNA’s Before the Bell preview show below;