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Against All Odds: Angle still TNA champ
By CHRIS SOKOL - SLAM! Wrestling
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For weeks and weeks, Christian Cage fought, scratched and clawed his way back to becoming the number one contender. At Against All Odds he received his final rematch from Kurt Angle, but true to TNA's colors, interference was the downfall for "Captain Charisma." Although TNA wackiness did consume the closing moments of the PPV, nothing could take away from what could easily be considered an "Instant Classic" main event.

The stage was set, as Jeremy Borash read off the super special in-ring introductions. In one corner was the champion, Kurt Angle with wife, Karen by his side. In the other, the challenger, Christian Cage. Behind both men was the special enforcer for the match, Samoa Joe. When the bell rang, the crowd got hot and so did the action, as both men went full speed ahead and put it all on the line.

The wrestling was nothing short of spectacular. Both men demonstrated once again that they can "do it all." Plenty of near falls were counted, as Frog Splashes and Angle Slams were hit. Near the end of the match, it appeared as though Cage had the belt in his grasp after an Unprettier, however, Angle was able to kick out at a two count.

Angle got up an charged at Cage, who ducked, causing Angle to take out referee Andrew Thomas. Cage captilized on the mistake and put Angle in the Ankle Lock, as Samoa Joe jumped in the ring to officiate. Karen Angle got involved and after a miscue, was squashed in the corner by Kurt and carried out by Joe.

"The Phenomenal" AJ Styles tried to get involved, only to be pulled down by Joe and thrown over the guardrail. The two brawled all the way to the back, as Angle and Cage grappled over a steel chair. Angle was finally able to use the chair on Cage's back, but as he was going to hit him again, Tomko ran down and pulled the chair away.

Tomko and Angle argued, as Tomko was about punch Angle, however, he turned his back on Cage and laid him out with a TKO. Tomko then left for the back as Angle woke up Andrew Thomas who crawled over and counted the three to declare Kurt Angle still the TNA Heavyweight Champion.

TNA Against All Odds 2008 PPV Report

The South Carolina National Guard came out, along with former Marines, "Bullet" Bob Armstrong and BG James, to present the colors as the national anthem was sung. The Against All Odds video package was played, followed by the traditional Mike Tenay and Don West hype job.

The TNA Tag Team Championship match looked to be the opening contest, however, before the match could get started, AJ Styles grabbed a mic and asked Tomko where he stood. Tomko told Styles that they needed to get their act together, because they were going up against a great tag team in the Armstrong's.

Jeremy Borash did the ring announcing and got things started.

Match One - TNA Tag Team Championship Match - AJ Styles and Tomko (C) vs. "Bullet" Bob Armstrong and BG James

This match was awful. Why "Bullet" Bob Armstrong was in the ring as long as he was is beyond me. He brought the match down so much. Tomko was able to finish off BG James with a wicked suplex to get the win. After the match, Kip James came down to check on BG. Sign of the night goes to the fan who called "Bullet" Bob and BG the "Old Age Outlaws." Good stuff.

Winners Via Pinfall and STILL TNA Tag Team Champions - AJ Styles and Tomko

Match Rating - 4/10

Back in the dressing room area, Karen Angle ran down Kurt Angle, who told her to take some Midol and chill with her friend PMS. The two argued some more and Karen walked out. Mike Tenay and Don West then ran down the rest of the card and a package was shown to recap the feud between Traci Brooks and Ms. Payton Banks.

Match Two - Ms. Payton Banks vs. Traci Brooks

This was a decent match. Back and forth action, with Ms. Payton Banks getting in some good shots on Traci Brooks. In the end, Banks missed a charge at Brooks and caught the ring post, allowing Brooks to roll her up and get the win. After the match, Banks hit Brooks with a northern lariat and the two brawled, with Banks running to the back.

Winner Via Pinfall - Traci Brooks

Match Rating - 5/10

A package was then shown to hype the Case vs. Case match between Scott Steiner and Petey Williams. In the back, Scott Hudson caught up with both Steiner and Williams. Williams gave probably the best promo of his entire career, while Steiner basically said he was going to finish him off.

Match Three - Case vs. Case Match - Scott Steiner vs. "The Maple Leaf Muscle" Petey Williams

This was actually a pretty good match. Scott Steiner was able to keep up with the quicker Petey Williams. Williams was able to counter the power of Steiner and almost got off a Canadian Destroyer, however, a mystery woman, apparently thats TNA's big thing now, appeared and distracted Williams, allowing Steiner to come back and hit a Last Ride Powerbomb for the win.

Winner Via Pinfall and Holder of Both Cases - Scott Steiner

Match Rating - 7/10

In the back, Jeremy Borash was shown with Kurt Angle, who was crying about Karen Angle leaving him. Jeremy Borash told Kurt that they should renew their vows on Valentine's Day on Impact. They even acted out a little bit of a love scene on how things should go. AJ Styles walked on their little skit and walked out as they tried to explain. A package was then shown featuring Eric Young and the Drinking Championship.

Match Four - TNA Drinking Championship Match - Eric Young (C) vs. James Storm w/ Jackie Moore

This was another okay match. Some good action. Jackie Moore tried to get involved by tossing James Storm a beer bottle and distracting the referee, however, Rhino returned and hit the Gore on Storm, knocking him out and allowing Eric Young to make the cover and get the win. After the match, Rhino said that he was back and ready to kick some ass, starting Thursday on Impact.

Winner Via Pinfall and STILL TNA Drinking Champion - Eric Young

Match Rating - 6/10

Crystal was then shown in Orlando, FL, with Jim Cornette, who explained that the South Carolina Athletic Commission was not going to allow Barbed Wire Massacre Two to take place in South Carolina, so they were going to hold it at the Impact Zone. Cornette then demonstrated how violent the match could get, by scraping a tomato on the barbed wire. A package was then shown to highlight the feud between The Awesome Kong and ODB.

Match Five - TNA Knockouts Championship Match - The Awesome Kong w/ Riesha Saeed (C) vs. ODB

This was a really entertaining match-up. Lots of near falls and close calls. It appeared as though ODB had things going her way, even with the attempted interference by Riesha Saeed, but, eventually the interference became overwhelming and when all was said and done, it was a spinning backfist and a Kong Bomb that was able to put her away.

Winner Via Pinfall and STILL TNA Knockouts Champion - The Awesome Kong

Match Rating - 7/10

Back at the Impact Zone, James Mitchell told Abyss that his mother wouldn't be there to save him, and he would be taken out by his step-brother, Judas Mesias. Jim Cornette then spoke on how TNA was not responsible for the outcome of Barbed Wire Massacre Two. Good little addition to put over the dangerous elements of this type of match.

Match Six - Barbed Wire Massacre Two - Abyss vs. Judas Mesias w/ James Mitchell

This match was nowhere near the level of Abyss vs. Sabu. This one was pretty tame, with Abyss taking most of the beating. James Mitchell caught a Black Hole Slam and was taken out the equation. Judas Mesias then speared Abyss through a Barbed Wire Board, before getting Black Hole Slammed on another and pinned for the three count. Decent match overall.

Winner Via Pinfall - Abyss

Match Rating - 6/10

In the back, Scott Hudson caught up with Robert Roode, who said that he didn't regret his actions and said he was going to break Booker T's jaw just like he did to Sharmell. On the other side, Jeremy Borash spoke with Booker T, who said he was going to finish the job he started with Robert Roode.

Match Seven - Booker T vs. Robert Roode w/ Ms. Payton Banks

This match was more of a brawl, with Booker T taking out his pent up aggression on Robert Roode. This match eventually wound up out of the ring and to the back, as referee, Mark "Slick" Johnson applied the ten count and counted both men out. Ms. Payton Banks then jumped in a car, as Roode and Booker T continued to brawl. Roode pulled Banks out of the car and sped away, leaving her behind as Booker T yelled that it wasn't over between them.

Winner - Double Count Out

Match Rating - 6/10

In the back, Kurt Angle told Karen Angle that they were going to be renewing their vows on Impact. AJ Styles ran off at the news, while Kurt Angle proclaimed that this was Christian Cage's last opportunity to win back the belt. AJ Styles is definitely going to object at the marriage ceremony.

A package was then shown to hype the Hardcore Street Fight. Scott Hudson caught up with Johnny Devine and Team 3D who said they were going to end the X Division. Team 3D also said that they were going to walk out, still one of the greatest tag teams in pro wrestling. Team 3D does have some good mic skills.

Match Eight - Six Man Tag Team Hardcore Street Fight For The TNA X Division Championship - If Johnny Devine and Team 3D wins the X Division is Terminated - If Jay Lethal and The Motor City Machines Guns Win, Team 3D has to weigh in at 275 pounds a piece or less, if they want to continue to wrestle in TNA

This was a great match. Lots of weapons and all out brawling, mixed with some great wrestling action. So Cal Val got thrown in the ring after Jay Lethal was busted open. Brother Ray was about to use a cheese grater on her, but Lethal made the save. Lethal and The Motor City Machine Guns fought back, with Lethal putting Johnny Devine through a table with an elbow drop for the win. After the match, Brother Ray tried to steal the belt from Lethal, who hit him with a plancha and took the belt back. He and So Cal Val hugged, while Sonjay Dutt ran down to the ring to present him with the belt.

Winners Via Pinfall - Jay Lethal and The Motor City Machine Guns - NEW TNA X Division Champion - Jay Lethal - Team 3D must now weigh in at 275 pounds apiece or less if they want to continue to wrestle in TNA

Match Rating - 8/10

Scott Hudson was in the back with Christian Cage, who asked Samoa Joe not to screw him over, but this was his last opportunity to win back the TNA Heavyweight Championship, but he did agree that Samoa Joe did deserve at TNA Heavyweight Championship match. Samoa Joe then came out to serve as the special enforcer, as Jeremy Borash did the in-ring introductions.

Match Nine - TNA Heavyweight Championship Match - Kurt Angle w/ Karen Angle (C) vs. Christian Cage - Special Enforcer - Samoa Joe

Winner Via Pinfall and STILL TNA Heavyweight Champion - Kurt Angle

Match Rating - 9/10

Overall Event Rating - 7.5/10

Chris Sokol is from Long Island, NY and is an avid text messager.