By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
Impact Wrestling Turning Point
Taped October 27, 2023 in Newcastle, England at Walker Activity Dome
Streamed November 3, 2023 on Impact Plus and FITE.TV
Matt Rehwoldt and Tom Hannifan provided commentary. Again, they aren’t in England so I presume this has already been dubbed in. This is a small arena with attendance maybe 800; it appears to be similar in size to the crowd when I was in Chicago for Bound For Glory.
Impact Wrestling Turning Point Pre-Show
* As the show began, two wrestlers I didn’t know were already in the ring. Grado came to the ring and got on the mic. He said he was told he could pick any teammate he wanted for this match, and he chose Rhino!
1. Grado and Rhino defeated Ryan Richards and Mike D at 4:23. The two guys I don’t know have good physiques. Grado started. Richards, wearing boxing trunks, couldn’t get Grado up for a German Suplex. The commentators were busy running down the lineup and not paying much attention to the action. Mike D is quite muscular and he has a big tattoo on his back, and he reminds me of Josh Woods. Hannifan said Mike D has earned a “developmental contract” with Impact Wrestling. Rhino made the hot tag at 4:00 and he cleared the ring. He nailed a Gore to pin Richards. Yes, Rhino was in the ring about 30 seconds.
2. Leon Slater defeated Mark Haskins (w/Vicky Haskins) to retain the North Title at 10:44. Haskins, of course, had a nice run in ROH at the end of the Sinclair era, right up until the pandemic. I always describe Slater as the Black, British version of Nick Wayne because they are roughly the same age and body build; the sky is the limit for both of them. Haskins attacked before the bell. Haskins hit a dive through the ropes and paused to pose. In the ring, Haskins stomped on the left arm and he grounded Slater. He applied a crossface at 3:30 and cranked back on Slater’s head.
Slater fired back with a handspring-back-elbow and he fired up the crowd. Haskins hit a hard clothesline at 7:00, then a neckbreaker over his knee, then a flipping sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall. They traded kicks, with Slater landing a superkick at 8:30 that dropped Haskins, and they were both down. Haskins nailed a buzzsaw kick to the head. Slater fired back with a running stunner at 10:00 but Vicky quickly pulled Mark to the floor to avoid the pin. Haskins nailed an impressive flip dive over the corner onto Mark on the floor. In the ring, Mark hit the Swanton 450 Splash for the pin; you just have to see it. What a stellar match.
Impact Wrestling Turning Point Main Show
1. Josh Alexander and Eric Young defeated “Subculture” Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster (w/Dani Luna) at 14:02. Josh and Webster opened, and Webster hit a senton. EY entered at 2:30 to face Andrews. Webster hit a basement dropkick on Josh’s knee in the corner at 4:30, and Andrews hit a standing moonsault for a nearfall. Young grounded Webster. Josh hit a back suplex at 7:00 on Webster, as Team Canada worked him over. Andrews hit a moonsault from the apron to the floor on Josh; they got back into the ring and brawled. Mark hit a Code red on Josh for a nearfall at 9:30 and we got a “TNA!” chant, which Tom acknowledged.
Webster hit a Falcon Arrow for a nearfall. Josh fired back with several German Suplexes on Mark Andrews. Josh hit a forward Finlay Roll, and EY hit a top-rope elbow drop. Josh covered Mark for a believable nearfall. All four brawled. Eric and Josh applied simultaneous Sharpshooters in the center of the ring, but Subculture reached the ropes at 11:30. Mark hit a Stundog Millionaire on Eric, then one on Josh! Morgan hit a Swanton Bomb for a nearfall on Young. Eric nailed a piledriver on Webster for a believable nearfall, but Mark made the save. Eric was flipped into Josh’s groin. Webster hit a Frankensteiner. Webster accidentally struck Andrews! Webster hit a backbreaker over his knee on Webster, then the C4 Spike piledriver on Andrews for the pin. That was every bit as good as you’d expect it to be.
* Tom Hannifan told us that Leon Slater has signed a TNA contract and we saw footage of Scott D’Amore offering Slater a contract in the ring, which Slater quickly signed.
2. Gisele Shaw defeated Alex Windsor at 8:38. Rehwoldt said these two are “old rivals.” I actually never saw Shaw before she signed with Impact so I’m not aware of their history. Windsor is a 13-year pro and her long black hair reaches the small of her back. Standing switches to open. Gisele grounded her early on; Tom pointed out that Shaw doesn’t have her entourage in England. Gisele hit a superkick at 4:30. Windsor fired back with a clothesline and they were both down. Windsor hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall at 7:00. She hit a kneestrike to Windsor’s face, then a second one for the clean pin. I assumed Windsor was winning here.
* Simon Miller (who does some pretty funny light-hearted wrestling recap shows on youtube) cut a backstage promo. He said Joe Hendry was upset about something he said, and that Hendry is thin-skinned.
3. Rich Swann defeated Trey Miguel at 11:45. An intense lockup to open and a bit of a feeling-out process. Swann landed a kick to the face that sent Trey to the floor at 3:00. Rich set up for a dive but Trey caught his head and hit a stunner in the ropes, then he slammed Rich’s back on the ring apron, and Swann clutched at his lower back as he recovered on the floor. Trey knocked Swann off the ring apron back to the floor. In the ring, Swann hit a one-legged dropkick at 6:30. They traded chops and slaps to the face. Trey nailed a Poison Rana and a superkick, and both men were down at 9:30.
Trey hit some Yes Kicks to the chest, then a swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall, and he was shocked he didn’t get the win there. Swann hit a stunner out of the corner, then the second-rope 450 Splash for the pin; Miguel appeared to get a shoulder up before the three-count but the ref ruled the match was over. I think it was timed to be that way to have a controversial finish; this isn’t a case where the ref screwed up. A good match, but not a great match.
* Dani Luna spoke backstage and she’s confident she can beat Jordynne Grace. I’m doubtful!
4. Jordynne Grace defeated Dani Luna at 8:48. Grace has the muscle definition, but Luna showed throughout her NXT-UK run she is quite the powerhouse too. (If you haven’t seen Dani in a while, I’ll compare her to Rachael Ellering; the power is there.) Intense lockups to open, then shoulder tackles with neither woman going down. Dani hit a suplex for a nearfall at 3:30. They hit a headbutt that dropped both women. They got up and traded forearms and chops. Dani hit a German Suplex and a clothesline for a nearfall at 6:30. Jordynne nailed a Cop Killah/backslide driver for a nearfall. Impressive. Dani put Grace on her shoulders, but Grace hit several elbow strikes to the head to escape. Jordynne hit a pumphandle sit-out powerbomb for the pin. That was hard-hitting.
* Footage aired of Yuya Uemura opening his feast-or-fired briefcase to find out he has been fired. We saw footage of Simon Miller giving this angle a “thumbs down.” Hendry then went to have lunch with Simon Miller and they wound up fighting! A decent angle to set this match up.
5. Joe Hendry defeated Simon Miller at 8:21. Miller, who is bald, wore a singlet. I’ve seen his YouTube show for years and of course can see he is quite muscular, but he’s far more ripped than I expected. He got on the mic and said he is “more popular than all the wrestlers in the back.” We cut backstage and Hendry has a new song and video, which jokes that he looks like “Mr. Clean.” Hendry hit the ring and had the crowd waving their arms. Of course, Miller attacked him from behind; he grabbed the mic, but Hendry clotheslined him.
Hendry chased Miller. They finally got into the ring and the bell rang at about 1:30. (I start my stopwatch at first contact or the bell, whichever comes first.) Hendry hit some chops and a delayed vertical suplex. Miller hit a sideslam for a nearfall at 4:30 and he applied a headlock to slow down Hendry. Hendry powered out and hit a suplex. Miller hit a spear. Hendry hit a series of Yes Kicks at 7:30. Hendry hit his chokeslam-style slam to the chest for the pin. Okay.
* Footage aired of the TNA “Gut Check” (tryouts), with Scott D’Amore, Josh Alexander, Gail Kim and Joe Hendry present, scouting all the wrestlers trying out. They showed Mike D from Belgium and Harley Hudson winning contracts; I’ve seen the pink-haired Harley once before.
6. Moose and Brian Myers defeated Chris Sabin and Frankie Kazarian at 15:52. Sabin wore his X Division Title belt. Stalling early then Myers and Kazarian locked up, with Frankie hitting some deep armdrags. Sabin and Moose entered. Kazarian hit a springboard legdrop on Moose for a nearfall at 5:30. The babyfaces caused Myers and Moose to land faces on each other’s groins at 7:30. The heels began working over Sabin in their corner. Sabin finally hit an enzuigiri on Moose but couldn’t tag out.
Kazarian got the hot tag at 11:30. He hit a sutnner on Myers for a nearfall, then a legdrop on Moose in the ropes. Kazarian hit a slingshot DDT on Myers for a nearfall. Moose hit a second-rope twisting crossbody block and he kipped up at 13:30. Sabin hit a Code Red. Moose hit a headbutt; he leapt off the ropes but Frankie caught him with a stunner and everyone was down. Frankie hit a lungblower. They all fought on the floor. In the ring, Frankie applied a Crossface-chickenwing, but Myers went through the ropes to escape. Frankie turned around, and Moose cut him in half with a spear for the pin. That got really good in the final few minutes.
* A video package aired showing highlights from the past Trinity-Deonna Purrazzo matches. Apparently, if Deonna loses here, she cannot get another match for the title.
7. Trinity defeated Deonna Purrazzo to retain the Knockouts Title with Gail Kim as special referee at 16:11. Hannifan said thiis is Trinity’s first UK match in roughly 18 months. An intense lockup to open and mat reversals. Trinity wore a UK flag-themed one-piece and has the UK flag in her hair. (Seriously, how much time and effort goes into making that happen?) Deonna rolled to the floor at 4:00 to regroup. Back in the ring, Trinity tied up the left arm. Deonna snapped Trinity’s left arm backward at 6:30 and she began working it over, tying it up in the ropes. As expected, most of this match has been fought on the mat. Deonna crashed shoulder-first into the ring post at 10:00.
Trinity hit a bulldog and a short-arm clotheslne, and a mid-ring buttbump for a nearfall. Deonna fired back with a Mafia Kick for a nearfall, and they were both down at 12:30. Trnity hit a Samoan Drop for a nearfall. Deonna applied a Fujiwara Armbar, but Trinity reached the ropes. Deonna nailed the Queens Gambit sudden piledriver for a believable nearfall at 15:00 and she argued with Gail Kim. Trinity applied Starstruck (Master Wato’s Vendeval). Trinity hit a Bubba Bomb, re-applied Starstruck/head submission hold and Deonna tapped out. Deonna attacked Trinity after the match! She gave Gail Kim a two-handed shove, then a second one, so Gail shoved her back. Deonna slapped Gail, so Gail hit the Eat D’Feet on Deonna.
* Backstage, Will Ospreay spoke about how both he and Eddie Edwards were first foreigners to win titles for their respective promotions in Japan. Hannifan said the Will Ospreay-Josh Alexander match from Chicago will air Nov. 16. He talked about how Ospreay had a bad experience with Eddie Edwards during a brief stint in TNA in 2016.
8. Will Ospreay defeated Eddie Edwards at 18:21. An intense lockup to open and Hannifan acknowledged that Ospreay will be a free agent in 2024. Ospreay hit a running huracanrana. Eddie hit some chops; Ospreay hit a running knee at 3:00. Eddie hit an overhead release belly-to-belly suplex. He dropped Ospreay with a knee to the gut and slowed him down on the mat. This crowd is 100% behind Ospreay and Hannifan said Edwards “enjoys being the away team.” Ospreay nailed the handspring-back-enzuigiri at 6:00. Ospreay nailed a springboard flying forearm for a nearfall, then a Mafia Kick, sending Edwards to the floor. Ospreay hit a plancha to the floor at 7:30.
Ospreay hit a top-rope flying forearm to the back of the neck and he set up for the Hidden Blade, but Edwards again rolled to the floor. Ospreay went to the floor, but Eddie immediately rammed him back-first onto the edge of the ring. In the ring, Edwards hit a Backpack Stunner at 9:30. He hit some loud chops. Ospreay fired back with an enzuigiri, then a Stundog Millionaire stunner and they were both down. Ospreay trapped Edwards’ head in the corner and kicked him in the face at 12:00. Ospreay hit a mid-ring Spanish Fly, then an Oscutter for a nearfall. He set up for Stormbreaker but Edwards escaped.
Edwards nailed a Blue Thunder Bomb. Ospreay hit a Hidden Blade but Edwards popped to his feet and hit the Boston Knee Party running knee, and they were both down at 14:30. They were on all fours and traded headbutts, then they traded forearm strikes as they got to their feet. Edwards unloaded some LOUD chops. Ospreay hit some Kawada Kicks, but he again couldn’t hit Stormbreaker.
Edwards nailed the Tiger Driver butterfly powerbomb for a nearfall at 16:30 and we got a “this is awesome!” chant. Edwards hit a kneestrike to the collarbone. Ospreay leapt to his feet and hit a HIdden Blade. He nailed a Styles Clash for a believable nearfall, then the Hidden Blade to the back of the neck, then the Stormbreaker spinning faceplant off his shoulders for the clean pin. “An absolute thriller here at Turning Point!” Hannifan exclaimed.
* Ospreay got on the mic and said he grew up as a “TNA kid” and loved watching AJ Styles, and he’s thrilled that TNA is coming back. He acknowledged that his future past February is up in the air, but he wishes TNA well. (Obviously, stopping well short of saying he would sign there.)
Final Thoughts: The thrilling main event you’d expect from these two and that was easily best match; it’s two guys that easily mesh together. I’ll give the Subculture opener a distant second place, but it was really good. Even though it was shorter, I’ll go with Grace-Lunca for third place, ahead of the Moose/Myers tag for honorable mention. I continue to be in awe of Tom Hannifan, as he speaks so knowledgeably about the history of TNA/Impact’s history, even though he was clearly not part of the organization at the time. I don’t know if that’s just great homework, or a voice in his ear, but I just think he’s so incredibly valuable. Hannifan and Rehwoldt are easily the best Impact commentary team since Tenay and West were here.