Against All Odds 2008
Date: February 10, 2008
Location: Bi-Lo Center, Greenville, South Carolina
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Don West
I’ve actually done the show after this which is a rarity for me in these reviews since I more or less do random shows more often than not. Anyway this is one of the shows that wasn’t in the Impact Zone which is always kind of interesting to see. The main event is Angle vs. Christian with Angle defending the title and Joe as guest referee. Other than that the card looks as dull as ever. Let’s get to it.
We actually get the Star Spangled Banner with a big military thing. BG James and his dad Bob Armstrong (why do they have different last names?) are in the group of marines.
The opening video is about war or something like that. We see clips of presidents saying things that have nothing to do with war at times. Uh there’s something about barbed wire and the Hallelujah Chorus. This was in a word, odd.
Tag Titles: Bob Armstrong/BG James vs. AJ Styles/Tomko
James (Road Dogg) won the Feast or Fired tag title shot and picked his 67 year old dad instead of Kip James (Billy Gunn, you know, his partner in one of the most successful teams of all time) because TNA thinks we know who Bullet Bob Armstrong is or even stupider, that we care who he is. Members of the National Guard are at ringside. I’m trying to remember why there would be a very patriotic theme to this show and nothing is coming to me.
AJ is the Prince of Phenomenal and a clueless putz at this point. Aj wants an explanation from Tomko about why he hasn’t called AJ this week and has been hanging out with Christian so much. I’ll spare you all a lot of jokes here. Tomko says worry about the tag match, not anything. Armstrong looks like he’s waiting in line at a soup kitchen or something.
James vs. AJ to start. Very basic stuff to start as AJ acts like an idiot and James drills him. Oh dear it’s Armstrong time. Armstrong slaps AJ down and it’s off to Tomko. More slaps abound and we thankfully get someone in there that isn’t on Social Security. And yes I get that Armstrong probably used to be very good. That being said, he’s pushing 70 here. I get that he may want to do this and may be in great shape, but the problems here are numerous.
First off, he’s 67 years old. Do you think it’s safe for a man born in the 30s to be in there against men that are much stronger and faster and in better condition? I don’t care how well trained he is or how great shape he’s in. It’s too much of a safety risk for my taste.
Second, this is taking up ring time from ANYONE else that could use it. Having it be his dad is nice and sweet but no one knows who he is, this is a one off appearance, no one cares it’s just pointless all around.
Third, it makes AJ and Tomko look bad because every spot with Armstrong in there they have to sell like crazy for him. Also they have to slow things WAY down for him to keep up with them. Again, if you want him there as manager or support etc, fine but let someone that isn’t more trouble than they’re worth be out there. I’ve never been a fan of matches like these in the slightest. Point being here, where Tomko, the enforcer for the top heel in the company, is having to sell for a man that hasn’t been a regular competitor in years.
It takes AJ interfering to let Tomko take over. Kurt and Karen are watching. AJ gets two on Armstrong. Now we get to see the monster known as Tomko hammer on a man older than Pearl Harbor. Off to James and AJ now and there are the punches. AJ misses a springboard forearm and it hits Tomko. Pumphandle for two on AJ. Styles manages to get a dropkick to the knee though and the champions’ finisher, the Tornado Plex (Combination spinning neckbreaker/side suplex) ends James.
Rating: D. This is a glorified handicap match and a bad one at that. Road Dogg is a guy that I liked in the ring despite him not being focused on as far as his wrestling went. However he was in way over his head here as he had to carry his dad the entire time. I’m sorry but I do not see the point of this at all and I don’t know anyone that doesn’t work for TNA that does either.
Karen is panicking and she screeches a lot. She wants to know when’s the last time Kurt did something special for her. Kurt says whenever she’s in his presence it’s special. It’s so weird to think they would be divorced later in the year.
We run down the card.
We recap Traci Brooks vs. Payton Banks, both of whom worked for Robert Roode. Allegedly he hit Traci so she left him. This is the required grudge match.
Payton Banks vs. Traci Brooks
Banks is awful and Brooks is only good at looking naked and coming out to a knockoff of Rag Doll by Aerosmith. Traci slaps her and takes her into the corner to start us off. Total brawl to start so far as it’s mainly just pounding and choking. We hit the floor for awhile which gives us more brawling. All Traci so far. How exactly do you hit someone with authority?
Payton takes over and we go back into the ring. Backcracker gets two. Crowd is totally behind Traci here. She gets a bad running kick to take over. Traci goes up but Banks knocks her off and continues her punching. Ah never mind as Traci grabs a quick schoolgirl for the pin after nothing of note at all.
Rating: D+. Well they were clearly trying. They had some aggression out there but at the same time the lack of skill kind of hurt them. Again, Traci is one of those chicks that needs to just stick to wearing tight or non-existent clothing. This wasn’t the worst match ever, but it’s nothing good at all.
We recap Steiner vs. Petey Williams. They both had Feast or Fired cases and Steiner elected to trade his out of fear. Naturally he had the world title shot and now wanted it back. Williams is Maple Leaf Muscle at this point. The winner gets both cases.
Scott Hudson of all people talks to both guys. Apparently the other case was the X-Division Title shot. Petey lists off why he’s awesome and Steiner says he’s had more matches defending his matches with his world title than Williams has had matches. And yes that’s how he said it.
Petey Williams vs. Scott Steiner
Petey likes to copy Scott which he was told not to do pre-match. They pose for a bit which is a bit more disturbing than it should be. Steiner easily overpowers him of course so Petey tries to speed things up a bit which doesn’t work either. Some strikes work a bit for Petey but it’s hard to fight against a big overhead belly to belly. Elbow and pushups follow.
Another belly to belly off the top gets two but Steiner pulls him up. Steiner gets an Angle Slam off the top but again pulls Williams up. He goes to the floor and gets the two cases, wedging them between the ropes as you often see done with chairs. The referee stops him but Williams manages to shove Steiner into the case. Rana takes Steiner down for two. Canadian Destroyer is countered into an Alabama Slam for a long two.
Steiner Recliner can’t get on though as Williams rolls him up instead for two. Williams hits a dropkick and a slingshot Codebreaker to set up a top rope crossbody for two. Williams puts on the Steiner Recliner which is as miserable of a chinlock as I’ve ever seen. Tornado DDT gets two for Williams. Steiner gets sent into the other case and a missile dropkick puts down Steiner. Rhaka Khan debuts and distracts Petey so that a Last Ride can end Petey.
Rating: C-. Better match than you would expect but Steiner was never in any real danger here. I never got the appeal of mini Steiner in the form of Williams. Steiner never really went anywhere until the Mafia came up. This was watchable but at the same time it wasn’t anything great at all.
Kurt is pissed about Karen leaving him earlier. Jeremy has a book coming out apparently and is going to give Kurt tips. JB plays Kurt and Kurt plays Karen. Is this supposed to be funny? Kurt slaps him and says he needs something bigger. Thursday is Valentine’s Day and JB suggests they renew their vows on Impact. This is getting downright creepy. Naturally AJ comes in and it’s not funny.
We get a video about the Drinking Championship and Eric “training” for it at bars. This is of course, stupid.
World Beer Drinking Championship: James Storm vs. Eric Young
One very awesome thing is that you can tell that Storm and Roode’s songs were merged together to make Beer Money’s music today. That’s very awesome. Yes this is an official championship match. The belt has a beer bottle attached to it. I hate to admit it but the pyro fear thing makes me smile. Storm jumps Young as he high fives fans and we need a bell. Hey there’s a bell!
Young gets a Thesz Press out of nowhere to get some punches in. A clotheslines sends Storm to the floor so Young can hit a top rope cross body to really take over. Jackie is out there too and being her usual irritating self. Back in and Storm is able to spit beer in his face thanks to Jackie’s interference.
Storm gets an enziguri to the head and it sends Eric to the floor. Hiptoss to Young on the exposed concrete gets two back in the ring. We head to the floor again and Young gets a suplex onto the concrete. Storm gets an Orton DDT back in the ring for two. Apparently the barbed wire massacre match is going to be in the Impact Zone due the athletic commission in this state, meaning it’ll be taped.
Storm in control here until he misses a charge in the corner and here comes Eric one more time. Belly to belly by Eric gets two. This is a better match than it probably should be. What it has to do with drinking is beyond me but whatever. A front flip from the top misses by Storm but Eric’s moonsault hits for two.
I hate when that happens: big spots like those should end matches. Jackie comes in, her head goes into Roode’s balls and a Death Valley Driver to both at once gets two. See what I mean? Jackie tries to interfere and Rhyno pops up, returning from his relapse with alcohol I believe, and Gores Storm so Young can get the pin to retain.
Rating: D+. This was good until the ending when it got stupid with the kicking out every five seconds. Rhyno returning set up more of him vs. Storm which is a stupid feud over a stupid concept. Either way this was just ok but the big spots being kicked out of every time got annoying.
Rhyno says he’ll explain things on Thursday.
A chick is with Jim Cornette at the Impact Zone. Apparently this was taped almost three weeks prior. He shows us how sharp the barbed wire is.
We recap ODB vs. Awesome Kong. Kong is the new champion and ODB is the one chick she hasn’t beaten. End of storylines.
Knockouts Title: ODB vs. Awesome Kong
They pull each others’ hair and ODB tries a slam which fails completely. ODB hits the floor and Raisha Saed, Kong’s mouthpiece, gets in her face. Back in and ODB is sent into the corner and a splash crushes her big old boobs. Out to the floor again with Kong in control but her knee is hurting. ODB grabs her boobs which is enough to wake her up somehow.
This is dull if you didn’t get that. Kong tries the powerbomb but ODB fights her off and sits on the top rope. Kong hits the spinning backfist to the head and we’re back on the mat again. Thesz Press is caught so ODB, who isn’t a small girl by any means, tries a dropkick. The Thesz Press from the middle rope gets her down though but she still can’t slam Kong. Implant Buster gets two.
ODB nips up to avoid a middle rope splash and slams Kong for two. Gee maybe if it was bigger than a slam it would have worked. She gets a shot from her flask to wake her up. ODB can’t put Kong down still though. She hits Saed though and there’s the spinning backfist and the Awesome Bomb from Kong to retain.
Rating: D-. This was sloppy, dull, not interesting and just weak overall. They tried but the similarity of styles hurt it too much. You need power vs. speed rather than power vs. power. It took the Beautiful People to stop Kong and they were a breath of air into the division. This was pretty weak though.
James Mitchell says he’s going to send Mesias in and Abyss is going to be in pain. This feud went on so far too long that it’s unreal. Mitchell could certainly talk though.
We recap this part of the feud. There was something about Abyss shooting his father who was James Mitchell and he and Mesias are brothers or something. It’s a huge mess if you didn’t get that part.
Judas Mesias vs. Abyss
This was taped three weeks ago and is in the Impact Zone down in Orlando. There aren’t any ropes but rather barbed wire. Abyss pushes over a cameraman on the way to the ring. For some reason that made me chuckle. The fans are behind Abyss here. Well that’s good since he’s the face. The lack of ropes makes things look really weird here.
Abyss does the arm pose and Mesias looks at him. It’s weird seeing the face tower over the heel like he does here. They fight to try to push the other into the wire but neither has any luck. Mesias hits a dropkick and Abyss hits wire, cutting his arm a bit. Mesias goes in also, but in his case it’s side first. Drop toehold sends Abyss into the wire. This is going to be one of those matches where all we’re doing is sending people into the wire isn’t it?
Abyss slides under the wire as the fans chant who’s your daddy. He finds a chair wrapped in barbed wire and the fans want blood apparently. Abyss puts the chair on the chest of Mesias but it goes into Abyss’ crotch. That has to hurt a bit no? Barbed wire chair to Abyss’ head. BIG cut over the eye of Abyss.
Mesias brings in a barbed wire board with a slight bit of help from Mitchell. They’re on the floor now with Mesias in control. Abyss finds another board and Mesias is bleeding from the side. The new board is set up between the railing and the table like a platform. Abyss tries to chokeslam Mitchell through it but gets blocked by Mesias and it’s back into the ring. Chokeslam onto the barbed wire is blocked but a gorilla press drop isn’t and Mesias is all cut up.
Abyss’ arms are a mess. There’s ANOTHER barbed wire board being brought in by Abyss. Mesias gets up on the apron so Abyss chokeslams him down onto the board that was set up like a platform. Time for Abyss to go after Mitchell now and it’s a Black Hole Slam for the manager. Mesias pops up somehow and it’s a Black Hole Slam for him too.
Abyss gets hit low to shift the momentum again. Mesias more or less tackles Abyss into the boards for Abyss’ first major bump of the match. They slug it out and Mesias thinks it’s smart to charge at a guy whose finisher is a swinging slam. It connects onto one of the boards and this is over.
Rating: C+. Well they got the violence stuff pretty well I guess. All things considered this was pretty good. Thankfully this feud was OVER after this as I couldn’t take much more from it. Tenay saying that Abyss could be added to the list of hardcore legends like Funk, Brody, Cactus Jack and the Sheik is a big nauseating but you get the idea. Better than you would expect but just what you would expect if that makes sense.
Robert Roode blames Booker for Sharmell’s injury. Also she looks like a horse. Not a bad promo as it was simple but effective.
We recap the feud which more or less is Roode accidentally hit Sharmell at the PPV last month. This feud went on forever and it never got particularly interesting, mainly due to the girls in it being non-wrestlers. Roode said it wasn’t his fault and he said that Booker should be thankful.
Booker says nothing of note.
Robert Roode vs. Booker T
Sharmell isn’t here due to the injuries. Booker goes straight for Roode as it’s a brawl to start. A brawl in TNA? NO WAY!!! Side slam by Booker is one of the first break in a lot of punches. Roode has had virtually no offense in nearly two minutes. He’s thrown to the floor where Payton Banks tries to tend to him. Back in the ring and Roode FINALLY gets some offense in.
Nothing special but at least it’s a change in the pace here. And never mind as Booker reverses and kicks his head off after being on defense for about 30 seconds. Banks gets in the ring for no apparent reason and Booker almost does what Roode did to Sharmell the previous month. The distraction lets Roode take over though and he has his first real advantage all match.
Knee to the ribs puts Booker down for two. A clothesline is almost countered into a Book End but Roode reverses. Dropkick gets two on Booker and we hit the chinlock. Booker fights up and gets a superkick and a spin kick to put Roode down again. Spinebuster sets up the Spinarooni. Dang he’s so angry he almost forgot to break dance.
Booker kicks Roode in the leg for no apparent reason and Roode rakes the eyes so they can slug it out for a few seconds. Scissors Kick misses but Roode is backdropped to the floor. The brawl is on the floor until Roode is thrown back in. And never mind as he goes through the other side and they head up the ramp. Yep it’s a double countout. Screw me running.
Rating: D. The match was just ok but the ending cripples this. It was nothing great anyway until then and all this means is it sets up a mixed tag later to end this feud that I think went on even longer afterwards. This was a feud I never got into and didn’t really care at all. Weak match, awful ending.
They fight more in the back as Roode tries to get away. Roode throws Banks out of the driver seat of a car and speeds away in it.
We get a video on the main event which is completely pointless.
Kurt tells AJ and Karen about the renewal of their vows. This would result in AJ accidentally marrying Karen. Just go with it. Karen leaves and Kurt talks to Christian and says this is his last shot and that once Kurt wins he’s in charge. Oh and Joe better stay out of Kurt’s way.
We recap Team 3D vs. the X-Division. Team 3D has Johnny Devine, the X-Division traitor and its champion with them. The deal is it’s a street fight and if Team 3D/Devine win then the X-Division is gone. If the X guys win then Team 3D can’t wrestle until they’re under 275lbs each. Oh and if an X guy gets the win they get the title. Not sure if they have to pin Devine or not.
Bubba says that Lethal has heart but the Guns don’t. This is supposed to be a very serious promo but it doesn’t come off as one for some reason.
Jay Lethal/Motor City Machineguns vs. Team 3D/Johnny Devine
This is a hardcore street fight and Lethal had been rapidly rising through the ranks recently. I’d expect a showcase match for him here. It seems that any X guy can pin any evildoer to win the title because that’s how wrestling titles are supposed to be right? As expected it starts in the aisle. It’s Lethal vs. Ray on the table. Now those two are in the ring. The other four are off fighting…somewhere.
Lethal in control as the Guns are in the ring now. There’s a sign that says USE MY SIGN. Lethal takes it and it’s a Dead End street sign underneath the paper. Triple plancha by the X guys to take out the heels on the floor in a cool spot. Everyone in the ring now as the X guys have controlled the whole time. Triple Tornado DDT get 2’s all around. Someone brings in the weapons including an inflatable woman. Oh dear.
The kitchen sink is brought in of course because that’s been funny the last 19 times it’s been done right? Another triple cover gets two. The Dudleys get a double suplex on Lethal. The heels take over and the fans want tables. The X Guys take over again for a bit. This is one of those messes of a match which has no flow at all and is just a big fight that goes back and forth.
3D to Sabin and one for Shelley as well. Lethal takes D-Von down but Ray kills him with a clothesline. The fans still want tables. So Cal Val is crying over Lethal. This is before she turned on him I guess. Lethal flips off Ray as Val tries to intervene. Ray grabs her by the hair and whips out a cheese grater. He licks her face for no apparent reason until Lethal can make the save.
Big chair shot to the head of Ray by Lethal but D-Von pulls the referee out just in time. Remember what I said about Lethal doing this on his own? It’s literally 3-1 at this point and Lethal is getting near falls out there. Lethal Combination gets two on Devine and then he gets two on D-Von. He walks into a Bubba Bomb though which somehow only gets two. Dude the Guns have been down what, five minutes now on those 3Ds?
D-Von sets up the tables and the Dudleys are suddenly faces. Lethal fights off the Dudleys again but here’s Devine with that street sign. Jay gets it and pops Devine over the head with it, sending him to the table. Top rope elbow through the table and through Devine saves the X-Division. This match ran twelve and a half minutes and I kid you not it was 3-1 for at least four of those.
Rating: C+. Lethal dominance aside this was ok. The ending is completely absurd and Lethal looks way too good here, but the main issue is that this went on too long. The match was too wild and the first half is very hard to follow. Still though, not bad although I wasn’t bored at all with it. Exciting but not good for the most part, but I think that was the point so I’ll let it slide.
Sonjay Dutt comes out to celebrate with Lethal.
We get the same main event recap from earlier.
Christian says he knows more than everyone else. Oh and no one knows who Hudson is still which is kind of funny. Christian says Joe deserves a title shot but not tonight because this is Christian’s night.
TNA World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Christian Cage
Samoa Joe is the Special Enforcer which he’ll get a title shot in exchange for being. After the Big Match Intros it’s time to go. Karen is at ringside as is Joe. They slap it out a bit in the ring and it’s a long feeling out process. Kurt controls with a headlock on the mat as we’re waiting on something to actually happen. Angle takes Christian down with a shoulder and it’s back to the headlock, but time by Christian though.
Belly to back gets two but Christian moves out of it and back to the headlock. Joe is on the floor and looks rather bored. Somebody get that boy a Twinkie before he passes out. On another note, more headlock. Kurt is sent into the post and Christian dives off the top to crush Kurt on the floor. Back in the ring now with Christian taking too much time and getting dropped on his shoulder from the middle rope.
Joe gets out of his chair and gets on the apron a bit which disrupts Kurt’s mojo a bit and it’s back to Christian. And never mind as he gets suplexed up and over the top rope. Kurt tries to get a weapon but Joe knocks it out of his hand and shoves Kurt down. Christian takes over again but Kurt grabs an Angle Slam out of nowhere and drops him on the apron with it. Sick bump there.
Back in and Angle gets a buckle bomb for two. Off to a body scissors by Kurt now as we need a breather I guess. I can live with that as they’ve been going for about ten minutes now. Rolling Germans by Kurt has Christian reeling. He manages to reverse the third one though and Kurt is flipped over his head and lands on his face in a nice bump. They hit the ropes a lot and Kurt runs into a flapjack. Edge-o-Matic gets two.
The Canadian goes up top and Christian tries the running the corner suplex but Christian bites the head and hits a frog splash for two. Angle Slam is reversed into an arm drag and we hit the floor. Kurt tries to German him off the apron but Christian holds the ropes for dear life. Back in the ring there’s the ankle lock and Christian is in trouble. There’s a rope though and we’re back to Kurt being in control.
Straps go down but the Angle Slam is reversed into a sunset flip for two. Angle rakes the eyes and this time gets the Slam for two. Well of course it was only for two. Moonsault misses and Christian goes up. Running suplex misses but the second time he manages to get a Samoan Drop from the top for two. Angle gets in his face but Christian is able to grab an Unprettier out of nowhere for a long two.
The referee takes a clothesline and Christian grabs the ankle lock. Joe comes in as the replacement referee and checks for the tap. Karen tries to help but gets pulled in as well. Christian lets go of the hold and gets slapped by the chick. Kurt saves his wife and Christian gets a rollup on Kurt for two. Karen gets knocked down and a double clothesline takes down both guys.
Joe puts Karen in a chair at ringside and here’s AJ for the interference. Joe grabs AJ off the apron and they fight into the crowd. Kurt grabs a chair while those two fight in the audience (read as Joe massacres him). Christian gets the chair but also takes a low blow. Tomko runs in to save Christian from the chair shot and then turns on Christian, hitting a spinning neckbreaker. Angle wakes up the referee and gets the pin to retain.
Rating: B-. Well it was good but at the same time it was overbooked beyond belief. It was way too overdone with there being Karen, Joe, AJ and Tomko all getting involved as I guess a 20 minute match between Angle and Christian wasn’t good enough. This was pretty good but the angles in the main event at this time were pretty bad as everyone and their mother knew it was just wasting time until we got to Joe vs. Angle with Joe taking the title. Good wrestling, bad booking.
Ad for TNA I guess ends the show.
Overall Rating: D. I watched this on Wednesday and Thursday and now it’s about 11:40 on Thursday night and I don’t remember half of the card. This was not only forgettable but once I did remember it, it was bad. This didn’t work for the most part as everything was either bad or forgettable. The best match is the main event and that’s just slightly ahead of ok. It’s not much of a show but this wasn’t the best era for TNA at all. Everything was a mess and nothing was incredibly easy to care about. Anyway, there’s another TNA PPV for you all.
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