Against All Odds 2012
Date: February 12, 2012
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Jeremy Borash
We’re back stateside again and I’m genuinely excited for the main event. With Russo officially out of creative now, things are looking up in TNA and it only took them ten years to get this far. The main event is Roode defending against Ray, Hardy and Storm in a four way which could actually go to any of them. That’s not something I’m used to in multi-man matches as you can almost always write off someone. Let’s get to it.
Hardy arrives to open the show.
We get a video of Hogan talking about how awesome TNA is. It’s followed by a video about the fourway.
Borash is in Tazz’s place. I can’t complain there.
Zema Ion vs. Jesse Sorensen
This is a #1 contenders match for the X-Title. Tazz has had a death in his family apparently. I’m sorry to hear that. Ion walks into a northern lights suplex and gets clotheslined outside. Sorensen ranas him to the floor to start and Ion steals the football that Jesse gave a fan. What a villain! Sorensen misses a baseball slide and Ion puts the football by the steps. Back in and a missile dropkick puts Jesse down.
Ion fires off a moonsault to the floor and his knees hit Sorensen right in the head. That gets a nine count but Ion breaks up the count for no apparent reason. The referee throws up an X and the match is over at 3:36. I’m not going to rate it because they only just got going when the injury occurred and I don’t think it’s fair to grade part of the opening to a match. It was ok though.
There’s a different ring announcer here also.
Christy is in the back with Roode who says that he always get things done and is still the champion. Hardy has had a bunch of chances but has always failed. Roode has beaten Storm time after time. He doesn’t get what Ray’s problem is. Roode can’t wait to laugh at Sting after he wins.
Here’s Robbie E who issued an open challenge earlier today. He has Big Rob with him and talks about the challenge. Anyone that wants a shot (not mentioned if the title is on the line or not) can come get it.
TV Title: Robbie E vs. Shannon Moore
…..REALLY? They have all these people on their roster that can’t get on TV at all and they pick Shannon Moore? Well at least it’s not Eric Young. Shannon armdrags Robbie around and Rob tries to take a walk. Robbie uses his usual basic offense as Moore tries to speed things up. JB talks about going clubbing with Robbie in Topeka, Kansas. Robbie knocks him through the ropes and into the barricade to take over. Back inside we hit the chinlock which is quickly broken.
Shannon keeps trying to go up but Robbie stays on him. Moore makes his comeback and a bulldog gets two. Out to the floor and an Asai Moonsault puts the champion down. Back in and I think Moore spits at Big Rob. Moonsault press misses and a clothesline gets two for the champ. Robbie goes up but gets crotched and a top rope rana gets a near fall. O’Connor Roll gets two but Robbie kicks out, sending Shannon into a right hand from Big Rob. An inverted DDT keeps the title on Robbie at 9:25.
Rating: C. This got a lot better as things sped up, but I could pop in a Best of Robbie E DVD if I ever need help sleeping. He’s so boring on offense and I have no idea why this was given ten minutes. I’d assume it has something to do with the time being short, but if not then they need help. This did improve as it went along though.
We recap the Knockouts Title feud. Tara won a triple threat and that’s about it.
Knockouts Title: Gail Kim vs. Tara
Tara takes over quickly to start with some snapmares by the hair. Gail gets sent to the apron but she pulls Tara down by the hair to take over. Big boot gets two. Gail hits a missile dropkick and Madison walks out on her. They’ve been having problems lately. Kim works on the knee which has been bothering Tara lately according to JB. There’s an Octopus Hold by Gail but Tara stumbles into the ropes.
Top rope rana puts Tara down but Gail doesn’t cover. That allows Tara to snap off a powerslam and both girls are down. Gail gets up first and tries another top rope rana but Tara backdrops her off and a moonsault off the top hits Gail. The landing hurt Tara’s knee again though. She loads up Widow’s Peak anyway but the knee gives out and Gail hits a knee crusher and Eat Defeat for the pin at approximately 7:00.
Rating: C. This was a decent match with a story being told in the knee injury of Tara. That’s far better than what I’m used to in women’s wrestling anymore so I’ll give this the benefit of the doubt. Also it had an Octopus Hold in it and that makes any match instantly better.
James Storm says he’s ready for Roode and it’ll be a big party when he wins the title.
Recap of the tag title match. Crimson/Morgan beat Magnus/Joe after the latter won the Wild Card tournament. The challengers won a kind of handicap match in England and then got beaten up in England, meaning the only time they’ve had success against the champions is in a two on one situation.
Tag Titles: Magnus/Samoa Joe vs. Crimson/Matt Morgan
Morgan and Joe start things off. Morgan shrugs off some shoulders to start and hits a shoulder of his own for two. Off to Crimson and Magnus with the power guy taking over. Back to Morgan and the champs double team a bit. Suplex gets two for Morgan and it’s Red Boy again. Magnus hits a clothesline to bring Joe back in as the challengers take over. A big boot to the shoulder by Magnus sets up a Joe backsplash for two.
There’s a chinlock by Magnus to Crimson as things slow down and we enter into a traditional formula. Crimson misses a right hand and Magnus suplexes him for two. Back to Joe who peppers Crimson in the corner with right hands. A big boot out of desperation put Joe down and there’s the double tag to give us Morgan vs. Magnus. The big man cleans house with knee lifts and a double clothesline.
He charges into a Magnus boot though, but it doesn’t seem to matter as a spinning slam into a Rock Bottom (I think Chris Harris called it the Catatonic) gets two. Magnus and Joe can’t hit their double team finisher but Crimson accidentally spears Morgan. Crimson is sent to the outside and the snapmare and elbow combination gives us new champions at 10:00.
Rating: C+. Pretty good tag match here and I’ll overlook the questionable booking for the sake of giving me something to like on this show. Nothing has been bad but this first hour has come and gone with nothing significantly above average at all. Joe getting a title is a nice sight though.
Bully Ray tells the feeble woman called Christy to go home. He has the number of all three guys and is in the best shape of his career.
X-Division Title: Austin Aries vs. Alex Shelley
Feeling out process to start as things begin quickly. Shelley pounds away with chops and strikes. The fans are split here as Shelley’s Sliced Bread attempt is countered with a shove. A clothesline puts Aries outside and he hides under the ring. He comes out from the other side and shoves Alex to the floor so he can hit the suicide dive. Back in now and the champ is in control.
Aries works on the shoulder of Alex. A kick to the shoulder gets two and we go to a neck crank. Pendulum Elbow misses and Shelley comes back with a clothesline. Sliced Bread is blocked again but Aries is rammed head first into the buckle. Aries heads to the floor to hide under the ring again but as he comes out, Shelley is waiting on him with a suicide dive. Back in Finlay’s Celtic Cross hits for two for the challenger.
Aries takes out the knee and hits the Pendulum Elbow. Not playing to the crowd and wasting time makes your offense more efficient. Who knew? He loads up the Brainbuster but Alex knees his way out of it. They fight to the apron and a Death Valley Driver to the apron nearly kills Shelley. That and a double ax from the apron gets two. 450 misses and Shelley hits Sliced Bread #2 for a VERY close two.
Aries fires off a bunch of knees to the face and hits the Brainbuster for another close two. Shelley fires off some kicks but can’t hit Sliced Bread again. The fans think this is awesome and I can’t really argue with them. Aries counters and hits another Brainbuster which sets up the Last Chancery to finally gets him the win via tap out at 15:11.
Rating: B. This is what the opener should have been a shorter version of. Having this match in the middle of the card is a good idea because the crowd was getting bored and needed something to fire them up. When all else fails, have two small guys go out there and fly everywhere with near falls. It’s tried and true and almost always works.
Hardy says his back is still hurt but he’ll be fine. Creatures, mount up.
We recap AJ vs. Kaz and the Daniels factor in a video that I think was used on Impact.
AJ Styles vs. Kazarian
Kaz is in a shirt which he tries to remove but Daniels says no. AJ controls with a headlock and rips the shirt off himself. They fight over the arm as the fans are all over Daniels. Kaz gets sent to the floor and AJ is in control. Backbreaker puts Kaz down as Styles is working on the back. A flying forearm puts Kaz on the floor for a minute but AJ gets it back inside to avoid Daniels.
A bridging Indian Deathlock with a facelock cranks on Kaz’s back even more. Kaz comes back and slams AJ down so that the spinning springboard legdrop (Wave of the Future maybe?) can get two. Spinwheel kick gets two. Now Kaz works on AJ’s back with a hard whip in and a jumping Russian Legsweep for two. Leg lariat gets the same. Kazarian hooks a double chicken wing on the mat but AJ fights up to his feet.
They slug it out and AJ takes over with a pair of clotheslines and an enziguri. Styles sets for an atomic drop but slams Kaz face first instead, getting two. Styles Clash and Fade to Black are both countered and Kaz hits a dropkick to regain control. AJ grabs a jawbreaker but can’t hit the Clash. Kaz kicks him to the apron and hits a slingshot DDT onto said apron as we hit the floor. Slingshot cutter gets two back in. This is getting good.
AJ is sat up on the top and Kaz hits a running superkick to almost send him to the floor. Kaz goes up for the Flux Capacitor (C4) but AJ knocks him down with a headbutt. Moonsault into the reverse DDT gets a very close two. AJ tries a suplex into a neckbreaker but Kaz reverses into a hard Downward Spiral to put everyone down. They go into a pinfall reversal sequence which gets two for both guys and ends with a Pele to put Kaz down. AJ is sent to the apron and loads up a springboard forearm but instead hits a gorgeous Asai Moonsault to take out Daniels. He tries to springboard at Kaz but jumps into Fade To Black for the pin at 18:37.
Rating: B. Can’t argue with this one either. AJ is always awesome to see when he has time and the ability to be himself. Kaz can do great stuff too, but I could do without Daniels ever being near AJ Styles again. At the end of the day, AJ is going to win the feud with him again, just as he has every time they’ve feuded.
Gunner and Bischoff are in the back and they have a towel for Hogan to throw in to save Garrett.
We recap Garrett vs. Gunner. Gunner was a killer for awhile until Garrett Bischoff beat him with the Nepotism Driver. Garrett got DDTed on the floor but came back with a new trainer: Hulk Hogan. Tonight it’s basically Hogan vs. Eric with Gunner and Garrett as their surrogates.
Gunner vs. Garrett Bischoff
Garrett comes out to Hulk’s music. Garrett controls to start with his usual stuff. He’s in the workout pants still. Gunner takes over for a few moments until Garrett hooks a backslide and front facelock. At this point he has less of a moveset than Andy from Tough Enough. Gunner pulls him into the middle buckle and takes over again.
The beating goes on for several minutes and there’s nothing to say. It’s a guy with experience and some ring skills beating on a guy who knows a total of about 5 moves. This is getting ten minutes on PPV in the second to last match on the card, making it longer than the tag team title match. Gunner works over the neck for the most part.
Eric gets in Garrett’s face so Hogan decks him. Gunner hits probably his fourth neckbreaker but on the next attempt Garrett grabs the rope. Hogan picks up the towel but Garrett says no. And then Gunner DDTs him for the pin at 11:57. Yes, it actually got that much time. Why does this surprise me?
Rating: F. There is no justification for this match to get this much time on a PPV. None. I can’t stand this story because it’s not about Garrett or Gunner. It’s about Hogan, just like it always is. Hogan isn’t putting anyone over, because that would make him look weak and Impact Wrestling is all about him and Bischoff. I know I sound like some whiny fan boy here but this has been old since it started and it’s just going to keep going. How many people can’t get time on a PPV so that Eric’s son can be out there and bore everyone to death?
Sting, in blue and white facepaint, says he’s the enforcer so that everyone is on their best behavior. It’s SHOWTIME!
Video on the main event. The idea is that Roode will do whatever it takes to keep the title and tonight he’s up against huge odds. Everyone talks about how much winning means to them.
TNA World Title: Bobby Roode vs. James Storm vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray
Sting is the guest enforcer. This is the match I’ve really wanted to see and I don’t think there’s a wrong answer for a winner here. The match will be judged on how well it goes to get to the ending, which is a very rare situation. There’s a ton of time here too. Even after spending ten minutes on the intros, we have almost half an hour if needed. Ray cuts off Christy and does his own intro. Somehow he’s lost an inch from when he talked about himself earlier in the night. Hardy gets a CRAZY pop. I’m pretty sure this is one fall to a finish.
Roode wants to work with Ray but Ray just glares at him. Yeah it’s one fall. Roode keeps pitching his tag team idea but Ray walks to the floor and folds his arms. Hardy and Storm team up and play ping pong with Roode’s jaw. Sitout front suplex by Hardy sets up a neckbreaker by Storm for no cover. They invite Ray into the ring but he’s cool to chill on the floor. We get word that Sorensen has a neck injury and will undergo further tests.
Storm tries to steal a pin on Hardy but only gets two. Beer Money reunites for a bit for a double suplex on Hardy but there’s no union there. Ray comes in and beats on Hardy as Roode and Storm are on the floor. The fans chant D-Von’s Better at Ray. Superplex gets two on Hardy. Storm rams Roode into the steps but Ray kicks James through the ropes. Ray talks to Roode, saying he wants a spike piledriver. Hardy counters though and Storm is back in.
Hardy and Storm try a double superplex but Ray comes back and adds a powerbomb to make it a Tower of Doom with Roode taking the brunt of it. Ray tries to pin everyone and gets a bunch of twos. Bubba Bomb to Hardy is countered into the Twist to send Ray to the outside. Roode plants Hardy but Ray breaks up a spear attempt for some reason. Ray fires off a corner splash at Jeff but takes the referee out instead.
Bubba Bomb hits Hardy but there’s no referee. Sting tries to wake up Hebner as Ray FREAKS. Ray walks into the Twist but there’s still no referee. Roode spears Hardy down because main event guys have to use a minimum of two spears a year. The referee is back and the Last Call (perfect one) kills Roode. Ray makes the save by pulling the referee out. Storm dives to the floor and hits the poor referee again. Hardy hits the Twist on Roode in the ring and loads up the Swanton but Roode rolls away.
Roode brings the belt in but Sting pulls it away. They get in each others’ faces and Roode shoves him. Roode says hit me but Sting won’t do it. He spits at the Stinger and Sting accidentally hits Hardy with the belt. It’s Summerslam 97 all over again! Roode insists that Sting count but Sting takes forever…and he counts three for the pin at 15:14.
Rating: B-. Good match but it came off as a little underwhelming. The Against All Odds theme was a good idea, but Storm and Ray stayed down forever off moves that weren’t really anything of note. This also illustrates the main problem in the main event: it’s been focused on Sting vs. Roode rather than Roode vs. anyone else. That’s ok at times, but it’s going to have to end in a match between them and hopefully not in another Sting title reign.
Roode laughs a lot to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. There was more good than bad here, but the bad parts were pretty bad. The second half minus Garrett vs. Gunner is a very solid effort and a good sign of what this company is capable of. The first hour looks like a total mess but I have to wonder how much their timing was thrown off by the injury. It’s a good show, but with some pretty decent sized adjustments it could have been very good.
Zema Ion b. Jesse Sorensen via countout
Robbie E b. Shannon Moore – Inverted DDT
Gail Kim b. Tara – Eat Defeat
Samoa Joe/Magnus b. Matt Morgan/Crimson – Middle Rope Elbow To Morgan
Austin Aries b. Alex Shelley – Last Chancery
Kazarian b. AJ Styles – Fade To Black
Gunner b. Garrett Bischoff – DDT
Bobby Roode b. Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy and James Storm – Roode pinned Hardy after a belt shot from Sting
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