Iron Man steals Against All Odds
By JASON CLEVETT -- SLAM! Wrestling
For many fans who planned on ordering TNA's latest Pay Per View offering, they were plunking their money down to see X-Division Champion AJ Styles defend against "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels in a 30-minute Iron Man match. The two, who have battled all over the world in countless promotions, didn't disappoint. It seemed everyone was pulling out all the stops, as even the main event of NWA Champion Jeff Jarrett defending against Kevin Nash was a decent match, even if overbooking and the return of a few familiar faces dragged it down.
It would seem a clear message was sent to TNA, as fans chanted "Drop the title" at Jarrett early in the match. Things started "methodically" and it seemed that the match would end up being a sleeper. Things took a creative twist when Jarrett, who was forced into a stipulation that if he used his trademark guitar would lose the belt, hauled out a cello instead. Unfortunately for him, the handle broke off when he lifted it from the case. The men brawled throughout the backstage area and the fans and Jarrett ended up being busted open. Jarrett took out Nash's wheels with the cello and then slammed his legs in the case, before locking on a figure-four leglock. Nash fought out and when Jarrett attempted to use the cello, Nash fought back and powerbombed him onto it, taking out the referee in the process. It was at that point things went overboard, as first "The wrestler formerly known as Billy Gunn in the WWE" hit the ring and attacked Nash. As the referee dealt with eradicating Gunn, Sean Waltman, looking like Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, hit the ring and connected with a bronco-buster and an x-factor. Nash covered for a close two count. Gunn tried to use the NWA title, but former New Age Outlaw teammate BG James stole it from him. Nash kicked out of the stroke, Jarrett kicked out of a chokeslam, and a lowblow and second stroke by Jarrett allowed him to keep the belt for another month.
The match, while entertaining, showed again why TNA is frequently compared to WCW -- former WWE stars marring the main event scene while hungry, young, talented stars put on a hell of an undercard.
It doesn't get much more talented then AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels, and the match that unfolded met expectations. The red-hot Orlando crowd ate up everything the duo did, from the opening matwork to Styles' running hurricanrana to the floor. The crowd dueled, chanting for Styles and Daniels as Styles worked over the challenger's arm. Styles faked out a springboard to the outside, then hit it anyway. The storyline of the match unfolded as Daniels went to work on Styles' ribcage while AJ continued to go after Daniels' arm. The first pinfall occurred halfway through the match when Styles' 450 splash hit Daniels' knees, and the Fallen Angel connected with "The Angel's Wings" finisher to get the duke.
Styles kicked out of several pin attempts before being locked in an abdominal stretch. Styles rebounded with a handspring elbow and springboard forearm. Daniels took a page out of Styles' book with a backflip inverted DDT, but Styles returned the favor with his own Angel's wings for a near fall. Daniels fought out of a Styles Clash but was rolled up to even things up to one fall apiece with six minutes left. Daniels busted open Styles by sending him into the ringpost and then worked over the cut as the clock continued to count down. Styles rallied but Daniels locked him in the Koji Klutch, which Tenay explained he learned in Japan. Styles fought to avoid passing out or tapping out as the time expired, making the match a draw.
Irate, Daniels demanded sudden death overtime, and Dusty Rhodes granted his wish. It backfired as Styles pushed Daniels off of a frankenstiener and sent him crashing to the mat. Daniels blocked a leap off the top, Styles blocked an Angel's wings and rolled Daniels into the Styles Clash for the win and adding another great match to the legacy of Daniels vs. Styles.
The next TNA Pay Per View is "Destination X" on March 23th
TNA "Against All Odds" Results
The show kicked off with another great intro package before having Shane Douglas talk about the title match outside of Jarrett's locker room and Scott Hudson outside of Kevin Nash's.
Match one: "Primetime" Elix Skipper vs. Petey Williams
A hot opener that see-sawed between both men. Williams took advantage early on with a slingshot-hurricanrana to the floor. Primetime came back with a top rope butterfly suplex for a two count. Skipper suplexed Petey over the rope and hit a guillotine legdrop and then attempted the rope-walk-rana but Petey sent him crashing to the mat. Skipper blocked the Canadian Destroyer, the two traded nearfalls, and Skipper finished things off with a new DDT-type move dubbed "Sudden Death."
Winner: "Primetime" Elix Skipper at 7:58
A video recap of the BG James & Jeff Hammond vs. Kazarian & Shane feud aired.
Match two: BG James & Jeff Hammond vs. Frankie Kazarian & Michael Shane.
What a waste. A waste of time, a waste of two incredible talents in Kazarian and Shane. The fans absolutely dumped on this match and rightfully so. For those who don't know, Hammond is a NASCAR announcer, and why anyone outside of racing fans would care is beyond me. The less said about this the better, Shane accidentally superkicked Kazarian and Hammond hit an elbow for the pin. Ugh.
Winners: BG James & Jeff Hammond at 5:32
A stupid segment involving Dusty Rhodes, Larry Zybysko and Jeff Jarrett's lawyer about the guitar stipulation wastes my time some more.
Match 3: Raven vs. Dustin Rhodes
Raven and Rhodes met face to face and Raven spit in the country boy's face, resulting in getting tackled and pounded. They brawled early on before Raven snared an anklelock. Rhodes and Raven both attempted bulldogs that failed, and Rhodes rebounded with a clothesline. Rhodes got his own anklelock, but Raven fought out of it and rolled Dustin up with help from the ropes for the win. He then tied Rhodes up in a straightjacket and whipped him with a belt.
Winner: Raven at 8:12
A video promoting the IMPACT debut of Tryton followed by a recap of America's Most Wanted vs. Dallas & Lance Hoyt aired.
Match 4: NWA Tag Team Championship: America's Most Wanted (champions) vs. Kid Kash & Lance Hoyt (challengers)
Why did they change Dallas' name? It was so much cooler. Another strong performance by AMW. Storm started strong against Kash and was hiptossed by his partner into the challengers. The tide turned towards Kash & Hoyt as Kash hit a moonsault for a two count. Harris tagged in and went house afire, taking Hoyt down with three clotheslines and a delayed suplex. Storm hit Kash with "the eye of the storm" but was hit with a top rope side slam by Hoyt. A beltshot by Kash on Storm got a two count. Hoyt tried to powerbomb Storm, but it was countered and AMW hit the "death sentence" legdrop for the pin.
Winners: ... and still NWA Tag Team Champions ... America's Most Wanted at 12:25.
Match 5: Full Metal Mayhem: Jeff Hardy vs. Abyss.
A crazy match that was marred at times by Hardy being off. Still, the guy deserves credit for some of the insane bumps he took, including a overhead belly-to-belly suplex over the top rope through a table. The rules were that the first person to climb a ladder and grab a envelope with a contract for an IMPACT title match would be the winner. The two brawled up the rampway and set up a table, where Hardy stunned Abyss and climbed to the top of the set, crashing through Abyss and the table with a swanton. Hardy climved the ladder in the ring and pulled down an empty envelope. Abyss tossed him from the ring through four tables at ringside and then climbed the ladder to get the envelope with the contract in it for the win.
Winner: Abyss at 15:42
Match 6: "Diamond" Dallas Page & Monty Brown vs. Team Canada
Another fun, if unmemorable, match. DDP has really been rejuvenated in TNA. Everyone worked well together, and Brown used his power to gain the early advantage. Johnny Devine joined Scott D'Amore at ringside to cheer on Bobby Roode and Eric Young. Brown scored with the pounces on Roode, and DDP connected with the Diamond Cutter on Young for the win.
Winners: DDP & Monty Brown at 9:15
Match 7: 30-Minute Iron Man X-Division Championship: "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles (champion) vs. "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels.
Winner: ... and still X-Division champion with 2 falls to 1 ... AJ Styles in 31:42 including overtime.
Match 8: NWA Championship: Jeff Jarrett (champion) vs. Kevin Nash (challenger)
Winner: ... and still NWA champion ... Jeff Jarrett.
Overall Event Rating: 7/10
Jason Clevett is a long-time TNA reviewer from Calgary.