wrestling / TV Reports

Against All Odds 2008 Breakdown

February 15, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn

Against All Odds 2008
by J.D. Dunn

I should point out that TNA’s slogan has changed from “We are wrestling” to “Cross the Line.” So now Larry doesn’t have to keep track of how much wrestling is on the show because they no longer promise it. See how easy that problem was to solve?

  • February 10, 2008
  • Live from Greenville, S.C..
  • Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Don West.

  • I should point the sheer coolness of the opening video package. I can’t really explain it succinctly. You just have to see it.
  • Opening Match, TNA Tag Team Titles: AJ Styles & Tomko vs. B.G. James & Bob Armstrong.
    The Armstrongs bring the motherfucking Marines with them. I’m a Navy man, but that’s admittedly a pretty cool visual. AJ wants to know why Tomko sided with Christian Cage, but Tomko tells him not to worry about it because they have this whole match thing coming up. AJ gets cocky and does the Hillbilly soft-shoe. BG clocks him and tags in Bob. They manage to maintain an advantage with doubleteaming, but Bob decides he wants Tomko. WRONG FUCKING MOVE, COTTON HILL! Tomko gently beats the hell out of him, which just sort of reinforces that putting a Social Security-eligible guy in there as a tag title contender probably wasn’t a good idea. Tomko misses the Kill Shot big boot. BG gets the hot tag and cleans house. AJ accidentally wipes out Tomko but survives the Pump-Handle Slam. He gets distracted trying to help out his dad, though, allowing AJ to hit a springboard kick to the leg. Tomko returns, and the champs deliver the Tornadoplex at 7:50. This is about what you’d expect from a match where one team is over a century old. *

  • After the match, Kip James runs in and helps the hobbled BG James to the back.
  • In the back, Karen Angle nags Kurt Angle and Jeremy Borash. She wants more romance and quality time from their relationship. Kurt has a funny comeback, telling her that every second she spends with him is quality time for her. He blames everything on her period and tells her to get out.
  • Payton Banks vs. Tracy Brooks.
    Tracy’s new music sound suspiciously like Aerosmith’s “Ragdoll.” They go face to face, which means that, with the size of their implants, Tracy has to go to Charleston. I have to say that Rain as a Tracy clone is pretty hot but for the bizarre Tourettes-ish facial expressions she has. Tracy spears her early and takes her to the floor for some choppery. Payton yanks her into the steps. Back in, Payton hits the Lungblower for two. Lots of weak brawling follows. Kong/Kim this ain’t. Payton misses a charge and posts herself, allowing Brooks to roll her up for the win at 5:06. I’m thinking I like these ladies more in the managerial roles. 3/4*

  • SCOTT HUDSON IS BACK! He gets a word with Petey Williams and Scott Steiner, both of whom claim to be the most muscular in TNA.
  • X-Division & World Title #1 Contender Match: Scott Steiner vs. Petey Williams.
    Okay, so Jay Lethal copies Randy Savage. Shark Boy copies Steve Austin. Now, Petey Williams copies Scott Steiner. Granted, Petey’s just doing mind games (allegedly), but that’s a lot of copying. Petey tries to match power, which goes about as well as you might think. He gets in one good kick, but Steiner catches him in a belly-to-belly suplex and just starts dismantling him with power moves. A super Fallaway slam gets two, but Steiner picks him up. He wedges the metal cases for the contracts in the corner, but Slick Johnson stops him from tossing Petey into one of them. Petey recovers and tosses Steiner into the case in one of those fickle hands of irony moments. It only gets two. Petey starts racking up the nearfalls with a slingshot Codebreaker and a crossbody. Steiner blocks Petey’s version of the Steiner Recliner, so Petey hits a Tornado DDT for two. Steiner goes low, but Petey fights back and goes low himself. That sets up a missile dropkick. Someone who may or may not be Grace Jones (Don’t bother e-mailing me. I know it’s Black Panther.) runs down and distracts Petey long enough for Steiner to hit the Last Ride and pick up the win at 9:23. Steiner had no interest in selling anything other than occasionally falling over for Petey. *1/2

  • In the back, Borash gives Angle some tips on how to treat the ladies. AJ wanders in and gets the complete misapprehension that they are homosexuals – or, in AJ’s usual parlance, faggots. Angle is confused, so Borash decides Karen and Kurt should renew their vows. Not on PPV, though. You’ll have to pay for their TV show. Hey, wait a minute!
  • TNA Drinking Title: Eric Young vs. James Storm (w/Jacqueline).
    Storm attacks from behind, but EY comes off the top with a crossbody and chases off Jackie. Storm gives him the pale, amber, brewed-from-the-finest-hops-and-barley mist to take over. He hits the Eye of the Storm. A senton misses, though, and EY hits a moonsault for two. He sets Storm on top and scoops Jackie up too when she comes in. DOUBLE DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Jackie’s oversell is hilarious. She grabs a bottle of brew and tosses it to Storm. Her distraction backfires, though, as Rhino runs in and GORES Storm out of his boots (which is apparently the only acceptable way to gore someone in wrestling). Young covers for the win at 7:49. Goofy fun. **1/4

  • Rhino also wants to say something – but not tonight. No, you’re going to have to pay for the TV show. Hey, wait a minute!
  • Jim Cornette explains that the South Carolina Athletic Commission would not sign off on a Barbed-Wire Match, so it will take place in Orlando. He uses a tomato to demonstrate what barbed wire does to human skin. Rachel Leigh Cook did it better with an egg and a frying pan. But then everything Rachel Leigh Cook does is art. Cornette is pretty damned good at making the match sound really important.
  • TNA Knockouts Title: Awesome Kong (w/Raisha Saed) vs. ODB.
    I really have to question the decision to take the best woman’s wrestler in the world and turn her in Ranjan Singh. They could have at least called her Skandra Akbar for reference sake. Anyway, this match-up is pretty cool. Kind of like Alien vs. Predator. ODB tries a bodyslam, which doesn’t go so well. She bails and tries to get a drink but Saed distracts her with Islamic propaganda. Kong starts destroying her with clubbing forearms and such. ODB gets fired up and hits a few dropkicks. The Thesz Press gets two, but ODB *still* can’t bodyslam her. Kong hits the Implant Buster for two. Kong goes up, but ODB catches her and powerslams her off the top. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! ODB has the brew shakes, so she takes a nip and fires off forearms. Saed distracts her long enough for Kong to recover and hit the backfist. That sets up the Awesome Bomb at 6:55. I got no problems with this. I don’t think it was significantly better than the WWE Divas, though. **

  • Barbed-Wire Massacre II: Abyss vs. Judas Mesias (w/James Mitchell).
    Apparently, in storyline terms, both guys are sons of Mitchell. That just ruins the suspension of disbelief right there because I can’t imagine two women in the world who would want to screw James Mitchell. Then again, I can’t think of one woman who would have sex with Paul Bearer, but he fathered Kane somehow. And here we thought “Father James Mitchell” was a religious reference. I wonder if Wrath and Mortis were also his kids. Both guys tease going into the barbed-wire early. Abyss tries a vertical splash to a barbed-wire chair on Mesias’ chest. Even if that worked, it would be a bad idea. Mesias uses the chair to crotch Abyss, though. To the floor, Mesias drags out a barbed-wire board, but Abyss clubs him and stretches it across the ring and railing. Mitchell jumps him from behind, so Abyss goes after him with a chokeslam. But he’ll ruin his crazy, yellow pimp suit! NOOOO! Mesias saves Mitchell and the crazy, yellow pimp suit… the top half anyway. Back in, Mesias rips at his flesh with the razor wire (like a tomato!). Abyss presses him into the barbed-wire board, though. That freaks out the fans. To the floor, Abyss chokeslams Mesias through the other barbed-wire board. He stops to chase down Mitchell and gives him the Black Hole Slam. He adds one to Mesias, but it only gets two. Abyss sets up a barbed-wire panel in the corner, but Mesias spears him through it. The fans chant, “That was awesome!” Mesias charges again, but Abyss catches him with the Black Hole Slam at 14:51. Lots of sick spots. Like a lot of Abyss matches, the quality generally depends on how willing his opponent is to take that journey into violence with him. I’m actually a bit surprised Abyss went over here, but I guess he’s the master of the Barbed-Wire Massacre. ***1/4

  • Booker T vs. Robert Roode (w/Payton Banks).
    I should point out that this is pretty clearly a retread of the Jim Duggan-Buzz Sawyer feud from Mid-South where Sawyer “accidentally” fell backwards and elbowed Duggan’s girlfriend in the back of the head. The major difference is that it didn’t have Bill Watts on commentary saying that the incident proved that women belong in the kitchen. Booker storms the ring and beats Roode from pillar to post. He drops Roode across the railing right in front of someone’s buxom grandma. Back in, he stomps a mudhole in Roode. Payton begs for mercy, and Booker instinctively nearly takes a swipe at her. See, now *that* would be an interesting angle. Booker spends a month chasing down Roode only to realize how easily an accident like that can happen. Okay, so it’s not O. Henry, but still. Roode blocks the Book End and hits a dropkick. Roode charges right into a superkick. SPINAROONIE! Booker crotches Roode on the post and wraps his leg around it. Back in, Booker misses the side kick and crotches himself on the top rope. Roode charges but gets backdropped to the floor. Roode decides he’s had enough and runs to the back. Booker chases him down for a brawl, and both guys get counted out at 9:19. This really needed to be drawn out a bit more anyway, so I have no problems with this either. **1/2

  • The brawl continues into the loading center where Payton is waiting for him in a car. Roode yanks her out of the car and drives off. Ha ha ha!
  • In the back, Kurt tells Karen of his plan to renew their wedding vows. She’s ecstatic. AJ… not so much. Oh, just wait, AJ. Something tells me you may just have a shot at her yet.
  • X-Division Title, Hardcore Street Fight: Johnny Devine & Team 3D vs. Jay Lethal & The Motor City Machine Guns.
    Big brawl in the aisle to start. Jay pummels Ray and drags him in the ring. Ray begs off but gets jabbed silly. Lethal grabs someone’s dead-end sign and smashes it over Ray’s head. Team 3D gets whipped into Devine, and the faces hit triple Tornado DDTs for two. Plunder gets tossed in, and the faces hit triple garbage can shots for two. The MCMG apply sleepers, but Team 3D throws them back and suplexes Lethal at the same time. Ray powerbombs an inflatable doll, which Tenay notes is the first time he’s ever been forced to say that sentence. He needs to hang out at Lawler’s house more. The Guns recovers and hit Total Elimination on D-Von. That gets two, and Ray clubs them from behind. Both Guns eat 3Ds. Lethal gets beaten down but he refuses to die. SoCal Val hops up on the apron and begs for mercy, so Ray drags her in and threatens to destroy her pretty face with a cheese grater. Lethal makes the last second save and ranas Ray to the floor. He destroys both D-Von and Devine on the floor. OOOOHHHH YEAAAAAHH! The Lethal Combination gets two on Devine. A superkick on D-Von gets two. Ray sneaks up on him with the Full Nelson Bomb. They get the tables, but Lethal fights out of trouble and puts Devine through the table with an elbowdrop. That picks up the unlikely win at 13:09. SoCal Val is euphoric. If you can get past the ridiculousness of Devine fighting for the dissolution of a title he holds, the match is quite good. Lethal looked like a superstar during the last half of the match. Gotta give Brother Ray a lot of credit for trying like hell to get the story over. The actual angle, I think, is detrimental to the X-Division, but you can’t fault the effort behind it. ***3/4

  • TNA World Title: Kurt Angle (w/Karen Angle) vs. Christian Cage.
    Samoa Joe is your special enforcer, making him the Russo equivalent of the magician’s wand that distracts you while you’re supposed to be looking for the secret compartment in the hat. If that doesn’t make sense, let’s just say Tomko is the rabbit and you’ll understnad at the end of the review. Angle steamrolls him with a shoulderblock, but Christian grounds him with a side headlock. Angle picks him up and tosses him to the canvas. CC avoids a charge, and Angle posts himself. Christian follows him to the floor with a dive off the top. Back in, Christian goes up, but Angle drags him off the top. Angle beats him down against the ropes, prompting Joe to get in Angle’s face about it. Angle belly-to-bellies Christian to the floor instead. Angle and Joe get in each other’s faces again. Kurt just blows him off and slams Christian into the ring apron. I would be remiss in not mentioning Kurt’s stripy knee-high socks that are goofy to the point of being distracting. Back in, Christian gets a full-rotation German (almost) to come back. Even Joe winces at that one. The Edge-o-Matic gets two. Christian armdrags out of the Angleslam and tosses Angle to the floor. Spiffy counter as Christian tries his Pendulum Swing Kick but Kurt catches his foot and turns it into the Anklelock. Christian reverses to a rollup for two. Angle blocks the Unprettier and hits the Angleslam! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Christian goes up, but Angle runs up and hits the SUPER ANGLE SLAM! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Don West can’t believe it. Mike Tenay can’t believe it. Karen can’t believe it. Christian gets the Unprettier, but it only nets two a two. Angle swings but takes out the referee. Joe hops in to replace him as Christian applies Kurt’s Anklelock. Kurt makes the ropes, but Christian drags him and Karen both in. Joe decides to allow the man-on-woman violence, but Kurt breaks it up… by accidentally avalanching Karen in the corner. AJ Styles tries to interfere with a springboard, but Joe YANKS him down and splats his face on the apron. That was awesome. Angle gets a chair but misses his swing. He goes low, though, and completes the chairshot. He sets up for another, but thank God, Tomko runs down and stops him. Oh, but it’s THE SHOCKING SWERVE! Tomko delivers the Dick Driver or whatever his version is called. That allows Angle to get the pin at 20:39. I know what you’re going to say: “That wasn’t really a swerve because Tomko didn’t say he was on Christian’s side.” No, but West and Tenay certainly thought he was, and you can’t get two sharper minds than those. ::rolls eyes:: Plus, TNA went out of their way the last month to make sure it looked like he was NOT on Angle’s side. *That’s* the swerve. ***1/2

    The 411: All grousing about Russo finishes aside, the PPV actually did not suck thanks to a handful of good matches on the undercard. Abyss tried to turn his body into hamburger (Mesias: And *I* helped.). Lethal looked like a million bucks. Even the main event had some quality wrestling outside of the “they’ll-never-expect-this… again” finish.

    Mild thumbs up.

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