Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Countdown to Against All Odds 2008 - Part One

I'm going to the upcoming TNA pay-per-view, "Against All Odds," which will be held in the spacious, luxurious Piggly Wiggly Sportatorium in beautiful Greenville, SC. Along with the spouse and three of my closest nearby friends, Will will be accompanying me to the big show. (Weee-eeellll ...)

So, in honor of this being the first ever pay-per-view wrestling show I've ever attended, I'm going to get myself jazzed up for the show by taking a look back at the "Against All Odds" shows that have come before. This will include the usual dorking out with stats, comparative analysis, and sparkling wit and cynicism by yours truly. First on the docket: Against All Odds 2005

Against All Odds 2005 – February 13, 2005

This was TNA’s fourth monthly pay-per-view, following the dissolution of their weekly pay-per-view programming. Pre-show matches included Phi Delta Slam d. Lex Lovett & Buck Quartermain, and Disciples of Destruction d. Jerrelle Clark & Mikey Batts.

Match one: Petey Williams vs. Elix Skipper
As one of the earliest TNA pay-per-views, this one really established a standard of starting things off with a competent X-division showcase that would get the crowd going for the rest of the show. Skipper – admittedly, the least talented of the Triple X faction (behind Low Ki and Christopher Daniels) – holds his own against Williams, and minus a few botches in some transition moves, this one works for what it is, and that’s to establish the momentum of what you want the rest of the show to be. Skipper thankfully eschews that crap-ass Play of the Day rocker dropper-style spinning neckbreaker variation, in favor of the Kryptonite Krunch (Air Raid Crash) driver. Skipper d. Williams.

Match two: Michael Shane & Frankie Kazarian vs. BG James & Jeff Hammond
And this is how you don’t follow up a hot match. Hammond, announcer for TNA at the time & NASCAR lead analyst, pinned Kazarian with the “Pit Stop” elbow drop; Hammond makes an arm motion as if he’s changing gears, then runs a three-quarter lap to his left around the ring, ending his run at the head of his opponent and dropping an elbow. Yes, it’s exactly as shitty as it sounds. Shortly after this match, Kazarian would sign with the WWF for a brief period. James/ Hammond d. Shane/Kazarian.

Match three: Dustin Rhodes vs. Raven
“Sucky ducky, quack quack!” has to be one of my favorite promo quotes in the new millennium, so thank you, Dustin Rhodes, for your one and only contribution to wrestling’s majesty in the 2000’s. This match follows up the gradual decline in quality of Raven’s opponents since the opening of TNA’s monthly pay-per-view cycle. Victory Road 2004 – Abyss & Monty Brown; Turning Point 2004 – DDP; Final Resolution 2005 – Eric Watts; and now, Dustin Rhodes. I wouldn’t have predicted that Raven would be the same guy that would take the TNA World belt by the middle of the year. And yet, three years later, Dustin still works for TNA … wait, sorry; “Black Reign” works for TNA, Dustin mostly just hangs around backstage, probably eating out of a dumpster. Raven d. Rhodes.

Match four: NWA World Tag Team Titles – Kid Kash & Lance Hoyt vs. America’s Most Wanted (James Storm/ Chris Harris) (c)
Kash & Hoyt lost the tag tittles to AMW on the first ever ever-ever-ever Impact show (on Fox Sports South). Kid Kash is my hero, and his team with Hoyt has been one of my favorite teams in TNA history, even though Hoyt sucks fat dongs as far as his charisma goes. AMW are sharp as usual, and I find myself pining for a Kash return to TNA at some point in the (near) future. At the very least, Kash should make good on his promises to return to the Tri-Cities wrestling scene and clean that shit up. AMW d. Kash/Hoyt.

Match five: Full Metal Mayhem – Abyss vs. Jeff Hardy
"Full Metal Mayhem" is TNA's answer to "Tables, Ladders & Chairs." This was Jeff Hardy and Abyss’ first pay-per-view match against each other; Jeff Hardy would go on to defeat Abyss in a falls-count-anywhere match at Destination X 2005. This was also the period in which Hardy looked his most motivated, as he’d been sloppy as hell during his end run in WWF. Hardy also took some solid death bumps from Abyss, including one incredible overhead belly-to-belly from ring to floor through a table outside the ring. But the new spot that replaced the Skipper huracanrana from the cage top at Turning Point 2004 was Hardy’s swanton from 10 feet up off the entrance ramp. And after all that? Abyss d. Jeff Hardy

Match six: Team Canada (Bobby Roode/ Eric Young) vs. Monty Brown/ Diamond Dallas Page
Team Canada was an incredibly solid faction, during a time when stables were rounding the corner toward being a rarity again; Team Canada had even outlasted WWF’s Evolution crew. A1 was the body-builder guy who could take the losses and do the necessary jobs when needed, Petey Williams was the light heavyweight wrestling machine, and Roode & Young, representing the Canadians in this match, were a solid tag faction. Can’t really remember what circumstances led to the amicable relationship betwixt the Alpha Male & DDP; probably little more than “faces teaming up to keep the heels at bay,” which is so simple it just might work. Of course, Canada takes the loss; unfortunately, Don West does NOT call Scott D’Amore (Team Canada’s manager) a “fat piece of shit” (that wouldn’t happen until Lockdown 2005). Brown/DDP d. Team Canada.

Match seven: TNA X-Division Title, 30:00 Iron Man Match – Christopher Daniels (c) vs. AJ Styles
This was the first 30 min Iron Man match between Daniels and Styles; they would go on to meet each other under these circumstances a second time at TNA Bound For Glory 2005. This was another precedence established by TNA: The repeat booking of their most successful match-ups (See Against All Odds 2006, Joe vs. Daniels vs. Styles II). These two have some great chemistry, and so much happens in the first few minutes that you’ll think more time has passed than really has; sometimes, that kinda feeling happens when very little happens. I’d submit this is a better Iron Man match than Hart/Michaels at Wrestlemania 12. Styles d. Daniels, 2-1 in the all important Iron Man match component, the “Sudden Death” ending.

Match eight: NWA World Heavyweight Title – Kevin Nash vs. Jeff Jarrett (c)
Every time Nash took a step forward, I was expecting him to fall over in pain from a detached quadriceps muscle. This match toodled along quite satisfactorily from the start – surprisingly so, actually. But the way that the backstage vignettes have been hyping the stipulation that if Jarrett uses a guitar he loses the title, I’m feeling a bit suspicious. And sure enough, when Jarrett bring out a fucking cello(!) to El Kabong Nash, my opinion of this match goes in the porcelain throne. Jarrett d. Nash; Jarrett wouldn’t lose the title until May’s Hard Justice, just one month away from a one year reign as the champion.

Comparatively, here’s how the matches stack up against each other, from best match to worst:

1 – Christopher Daniels vs. AJ Styles
2 – Abyss vs. Jeff Hardy
3 – Kid Kash/ Lance Hoyt vs. AMW
4 – Petey Williams vs. Elix Skipper
5 – Kevin Nash vs. Jeff Jarrett
6 – Team Canada vs. Monty Brown/ Diamond Dallas Page
7 – Dustin Rhodes vs. Raven
8 – Frankie Kazarian/ Matt Bentley vs. BG James/ Jeff Hammond

Next week: Against All Odds 2006, or, Former Mid-card Comedy Act Makes Good


Will said...

It should be a good show. I have been to a few WWE PPVs in my day. I went to Royal Rumble 2002 in Atlanta, SummerSlam 2000 in Raleigh, NC, and Unforgiven in 1999 in Charlotte, NC.

I am looking forward to this just as much as I am those and the fact that it is in my back yard is even better. I have to give props to TNA for using the Bi-Lo center and hope the numbers come out so they will come back for PPV or even a Impact.

Not to jump on the heels of your next review but the main event of this year's event is the same as last year's. Christian versus Angle for the belt.

Oh and WWE had a midget Royal Rumble type match on RAW. Oh the competition between the two organizations is fierce with WWE pulling out their "big guns". Geez!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jake Palumbo said...

The fact that your venue is called Piggly Wiggly Sportatorium = dopeness