PPV REPORTS KELLER'S TNA AGAINST ALL ODDS PPV REPORT 2/10: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live event
Feb 10, 2008 - 7:36:22 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
KELLER'S TNA AGAINST ALL ODDS PPV REPORT
FEBRUARY 10, 2008
LIVE FROM GREENVILLE, S.C.
-The show opened with Bob Armstrong and son B.G. James standing on the stage with a Marine Corp band for a singing of the National Anthem.
-A video package aired with a politics and war theme with soundbites of various wrestlers talking about rivalries. Clips were included of less than flattering clips of Presidents Clinton, Nixon, and Bush (43). Production-wise it was solid, but the connections between the real life politics and TNA clips were a stretch.
-Mike Tenay and Don West introduced the shwo.
1 -- A.J. STYLES & TOMKO vs. B.G. JAMES & "BULLET" BOB ARMSTRONG - TNA Tag Team Title match
The Marines accompanied the Armstrongs to the ring. Tenay noted that both B.G. and Bob attended the same Marine boot camp in S.C. 30 years apart - 1957 and 1987. Tenay said Tomko and Styles have to work together to successfully defend the tag titles. Did either of these teams once mention the other by name in a promo leading up to this match? Styles talked about the issues they each have with Christian and Kurt Angle. Tomko told him to get his head on straight or they'll lose the tag titles. Jeremy Borash then did formal ring introductions to give this a big match feel. He's done this for big matches dating back to TNA's beginning. B.G. and Bob got a mixed reaction from the crowd - mostly respectful cheers, but hardly a hometown homecoming star reception. B.G. got the best of Styles, so Styles tagged in Tomko. Bob also tagged in, and Tomko, a potential breakout babyface star for TNA, has been booked in a position to be an asshole toward and sell for a 67 year old babyface. Tomko sold briefly for Bob before B.G. tagged back in. A minute later Tomko powerslammed Bob. Styles snuck in to steal the cover, but Tomko pulled him off. Styles tagged in officially and made the cover, but Bob kicked out. They went backstage to Karen Angle and Kurt Angle watching the match and arguing cartoonishly with each other. At 6:00 B.G. scored a near fall on Styles. Styles came back with a dropkick to B.G.'s knee. Tenay said "it was almost like B.G.'s knee popped." Almost. Tomko and Styles gave B.G. the Tornado Plex for the win. Afterward, Kip James and Bob ran in to check on B.G., who sold a serious knee injury.
WINNERS: Styles & Tomko in 7:00 to retain the TNA Tag Titles.
STAR RATING: *
-Karen yelled at Kurt backstage, turning up the grating, annoying voice to 11. She asked Kurt when was the last time he did anything romantic for her. He said now wasn't the time to bring that up. He said she has quality time every single second she's in his presence. He told her to take her friend PMS with her to the store and buy Midol. She stormed away. Kurt called her a bitch.
-Tenay and West hyped upcoming matches on the PPV.
2 -- PEYTON BANKS vs. TRACI BROOKS
They brawled at the bell in the ring, then it spilled to ringside. Traci was the aggressor at the start, but then Banks made a comeback and controlled the offense for a minute. When she went for a shoulder tackle, Traci moved and then schoolgirled Banks for the win. Brooks celebrated and had her back turned to Brooks. Brooks clotheslined her from behind.
WINNER: Brooks in 4:00.
STAR RATING: 1/2
-Tenay threw to a video feature on Scott Steiner and Petey Williams. Then the returning Scott Hudson interviewed Steiner and Petey. Scott has morphed into Shane Douglas in look, voice, and mannerisms. Petey told Steiner he is the definition of definition. He stressed he is "totally natural." That's like someone proclaiming they're "totally straight" or being "totally frank" when no one indicated they suspected otherwise; it just makes people wonder why they're protesting an accusation nobody made. Steiner yelled into Petey's ear, calling him a "little pimple popping punk." He said he's had more world title defenses than he's had matches, but he didn't quite say it smoothly. He also warned him not to copy him in the ring. Petey told him to turn down the volume. With Hudson back, does that put Tenay on notice as play-by-play announcer? Did TNA think fans wanted an interviewer who wasn't also a female model? Or did TNA think they weren't quite capturing the worst days in WCW enough with the talent and staff already in place? Hudson can be very good, and he can also be corny and overact, depending on what he's asked to do or sell.
3 -- SCOTT STEINER vs. PETEY WILLIAMS
Scott didn't like it when Petey did push-ups and posed. He chased him outside and into the ring, where Petey met him with a sidekick to the gut followed by a spin kick. Steiner fired back with an overhead suplex. Steiner made a comeback, clotheslined Pete, scored a two count, and then did push-ups. At 6:00 Petey went on a flurry of offense, but it wasn't enough. When he went for the Canadian Destroyer, Steiner blocked it and powered Petey to the mat for a near fall. Petey schoolboyed Steiner for a near fall, then dropkicked him into the middle rope. At 8:00 Scott went for the Steiner Recliner, but he headbutted and mulekicked his back into control of the match. He hit a top rope dropkick next, then played to the crowd and waited for Steiner to stand. A tall, muscular black woman came to ringside and stood on the ring apron. She flexed and distracted Petey, leading to a powerbomb by Steiner for the win.
WINNER: Steiner in 10:00.
STAR RATING: ** -- That was a fun match. Petey helped hold up the agility quotient as Steiner is pretty clunky at this point in his career.
-Borash plugged upcoming PPV matches while sitting on a chair next to Angle. Angle interrupted and asked for advice now that Karen stormed off. Borash said he's known as a ladies man and he's coming out with a book on the subject, titled "Borash's Guide to Banging Broads." He should use that as his opening line for his totally fulfilling one-night stand targets. Borash leaned in and whispered in his ear romantically. Angle called him a perv and slapped him. He said he says stuff like that all the time anyway. Borash asked what day Thursday was. Angle said Impact day. Borash reminded him it's Valentine's Day. Oh good, another chance for TNA to show how clever and entertaining they can be with a themed variety show rather than promoting sensible wrestling. Borash again demonstrated how Angle should romance Karen. He leaned in and said, "I love you." Styles walked up and saw that. Angle and Borash tried to explain they were role-playing. Not sure even that fully excuses what just took place.
-A video feature aired with everyday men being interviewed who had other similar titles (some self-proclaimed) as Eric Young's drinking championship. One was a Battleship champion, I think. They went to Young being funny in a bar messing around with video games, then speed drinking beer, then entering what he called his meditative stage. He said his mom and dad couldn't be more proud. He told James Storm to bring his A-game. A lot of guys wish they could have his physique if all they did was sit in the bar and drink all the time. Without special help, most people who drink all the time look more like Brother Ray or Tank Abbott.
4 -- ERIC YOUNG vs. JAMES STORM
Storm jump-started the match. They brawled at ringside. Young got the better of it and his a high leaping crossbody block onto Storm on the floor, launched from the top turnbuckle. They kept the pace up for several minutes, mostly at ringside. Tenay said this is the first TNA PPV with matches taking place at two separate arenas in two cities. Tenay said the South Carolina athletic commission would not sign off on the barbed wire match, so it would air from Orlando (pre-taped, but Tenay didn't mention that). Young hit a moonsault for a near fall. Jackie entered the ring. Young used her as a battering ram into Young's mid-section, then lifted and suplexed both of them at once. He covered Storm and scored a near fall at 8:00. Young went for a cover with his legs on the rope for leverage, but he couldn't reach the ropes and still keep his cover as he was too far from it. As Jackie distracted the ref (in TNA, that means the finish is coming soon), Rhino entered the ring and gave Storm a "Gore! Gore! Gore!" Tenay asked where he came from. Young made the cover and the ref turned and counted to three. Two matches in a row with a woman causing a distraction on the ring apron led to the finish. Let's go for three in a row!
WINNER: Young in 9:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4
-Crystal interviewed Jim Cornette in Orlando. He explained that the match wasn't allowed to take place in S.C., but TNA advertised it and wants to deliver on it. The fans live were not mic'd at this time, as they weren't told this ahead of time as far as I know, and some may have paid to see that match in person. TNA knew for weeks it wouldn't be live in that arena. Cornette shredded a tomato with barbed wire. He said the match could change the participants' lives forever.
5 -- AWESOME KONG vs. ODB -- TNA Knockout Title
Tenay noted that Kong weighed in at 272 and 3/8ths pounds. Okay, that's officially dumbest thing I've ever heard on a wrestling show. Three-eighths pounds? What scale even measures that? And who cares about anything other than rounded off pounds when there's no weight classifications in this division. It's okay for little kids to say they're four-and-a-half years old, but it's not okay for adults to give their with half-pounds added, much less eighths. ODB tried to lift Kong for a slam, but Kong didn't move. Kong no-sold some chops, then forearmed ODB to ringside. ODB took a swig from her flask, re-entered the ring, and again tried to lift her for a slam. ODB kicked Kong and whipped her, but Kong reversed her and splashed her in the corner. Kong took the brawl to the floor for a minute. Back in the ring, ODB teased a comeback, but Kong outpowered her. ODB flipped out of a powerbomb attempt and dropkicked Kong. Kong staggered but didn't fall. She followed with a Thesz Press off the second rope for a two count on Kong at 5:00. Kong gave ODB an Implant Buster for a near fall. Kong went to the top rope, but ODB met her there and carefully powerslammed her to the mat for a very near believable near fall. ODB finished off the contents of her flask and ran in place, then charged at Kong with forearms to the chest. Raesha Sayied jumped onto the ring apron and distracted ODB, leading to Kong hitting the Awesome Bomb for the win. I had no idea they were going to do three matches in a row with a woman on the ring apron causing a distraction leading to the pin, but it was a safe bet considering how dismal TNA's booking is. Amazing. Do they ever take a step back and consider what they do from match to match?
WINNER: Kong in 8:00.
STAR RATING: **1/4 -- Nice job playing into ODB's size and power meeting someone with even more size and power. Good execution and good story, but kinda short. Probably good it was short, though.
-A promo aired with James Mitchell talking about Abyss suffering in this match. He said he's going to show Abyss the truest parental love possible by ordering Judas Mesias to send him straight to hell and end his "miserable, retched existence once and for all." It's always good when the bar is set so high, only death in the ring can reach it.
6 -- ABYSS vs. JUDAS MESIAS (w/James Mitchell) - Barbed Wire Match
Jim Cornette introduced the match from ringside, hyping it as the most violent and gory match in wrestling. "Let the carnage begin," he declared. They threw each other into the barbed wire which surrounded the ring instead of ropes. Messias hit Abyss with a chair wrapped in barbed wire. Abyss later pulled out a barbed wire wrapped table and set it on the apron and ring barrier. When Mitchell walked up to him, Abyss set him up for a chokeslam through the table. Messias intervened. He slid Abyss and the table into the ring. He scraped Abyss's body with a strand of barbed wire. Abyss came back and dropped Messias stomach-first over the table on the mat, then slammed him the same way onto another table at ringside. He then cornered Mitchell inside the ring and gave him the Black Hole Slam. Messias charged into the ring with the Tommy Dreamer Comeback, showing zero effects from the beating he's taken or the slams onto the barbed wire tables. Abyss finished Messias with a Black Hole Slam onto a barbed wire table. Tenay concluded, "The dysfunctional family finally settles their differences." Really, this is an example of differences being settled? Now they can all get along or at least move on after this bloody, violent match?
WINNER: Abyss in 13:00.
STAR RATING: **1/4-- It was what it was. It defies a star rating other than it largely delivered what people would have expected based on the build up.
-Hudson interviewed Roode who said he takes his apologies to Booker T back. He said he hates everything about Booker T. He said he hates the way he looks, smells, walks, and talks and his "horse-face skanky wife Sharmell."
-A video feature aired on the Roode-Booker feud.
7 -- BOOKER T vs. ROBERT ROODE
Booker slide into the ring. Roode stomped on him immediately. That's a lesson for all future wrestlers. Don't slide into the ring face-down when your grudge-match opponent is already in the ring waiting for you. Booker took over quickly and pounded on Roode for several minutes, including at ringside. At 4:00, Banks entered the ring and distracted Booker. Roode then took control of the match. Okay, that wasn't at the end, but it does mark four matches in a row that a woman's distraction led to an advantage for a heel. Roode went on offense for several minutes. Booker came back at 7:00 and did the Spinarooni. This feud is intense enough, the Spinarooni might not fit the tone very well. The crowd popped, but it gave Roode enough time to recover (making Booker look dumb) and throw him out of the ring. Booker yanked Roode's leg into the ringpost, then beat on him at ringside. Roode retreated to the back at 8:00. Banks followed. Booker chased them to the back. The crowd loudly counted both wrestlers out along with the ref. The crowd booed the finish. Booker kept beating on Roode all the way out of the arena to the parking area. Roode tried to escape into an awaiting car. He actually yanked Banks out of the driver's seat and sped away. Booker declared, "It ain't over."
WINNER: Double countout in 8:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Good intensity, but short for a grudge match with an unsatisfying finish.
-Angle announced to Karen backstage that they're going to renew their vows on Thursday's Impact. Karen did a 180 and said she was so excited. Angle said with his wife on his side, he can't lose tonight. He said this will be Christian's last title shot because after he beats him, he will abide by his rules in his kingdom. He told Samoa Joe to stay out of his way.
-Hudson interviewed Team 3D and Johnny Devine. Brother Ray told Hudson he's new, so keep his mouth shut and his ears open. Ray said "win, lose, or draw," the Machine Guns are just a flash in the pan tag team. Anytime a heel says "win, lose, or draw," they're losing.
8 -- TEAM 3D & JOHNNY DEVINE vs. MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNNS (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) & "BLACK MACHISMO" JAY LETHAL
They brawled from the start. West and Tenay apologized ahead of time, saying they wouldn't be able to call all of the action. They incorporated a Dead End sign, tras cans, and other apparatus including a kitchen sink and a blow up doll. Everyone was in the ring at the same time. At 3:00 all three faces covered all three heels separately for a three-channel stereo pin attempt. Devine hit Lethal with a computer keyboard which apparently has magical powers as he sold it much more than all of the other weapons he was hit with earlier. The crowd loudly chanted they wanted tables. Devine suplexed Lethal onto a trash can in center-ring. As Ray was about to hit Lethal with the dreaded cane, Sabin and Shelley made the save. They went on the attack against Devon leading to a two count by Sabin after a high-low at 7:00. Ray clotheslined the Gunns from behind to change the course of the match. As the beating continued on Lethal, So Cal Val cried, "Stop! Stop!" at ringside. She stood on the ring apron, distracting Ray. Ray yanked her into the ring. That's five live matches in a row a woman has been directly involved in the match. He grabbed her by the hair and threatened hit her with a cheese grater. Lethal made the save and gave Ray a low-blow with the grater, then checked on a crying Val, and then gave Ray a head scissors off the top rope. As the ref counted a pin, Devon yanked him out of the ring. Lethal dove onto Devon on the floor, the backdropped a charging Devine. Shelley and Sabin were KO'd during all of this at ringside. He hit Ray with a flying clothesline in the ring for a two count. He gave Devine a Lethal Combination for a near fall at 10:00. Then he kicked Devon in the face and scored a two count. Ray gave Lethal a sitout full nelson powerbomb for a near fall. Good flurry of action the last few minutes with Lethal moving 100 MPH to try to fend of three heels at once. Team 3D set up the table, getting a pop from the crowd. So Cal Val continued to cry at ringside. Lethal backdropped Devon over the top rope, then took Ray down with an enzuigiri. Devine entered with the Dead End sign, but swung and missed. Lethal didn't, KO'd Devine onto the table. He pulled off his shirt, went to the top rope, and hit a top rope elbow through the table for the win. Tenay said that finish showed why this PPV is named Against All Odds. Sonjay Dutt joined Lethal and Val celebrating in the ring.
WINNERS: Devine & Machine Guns in 12:00 so Machismo won the X Title.
STAR RATING: *** -- Good chaotic brawl. The final minutes with Lethal alone on offense were especially exciting and well timed.
-A video package aired with the greed theme hyping the Christian vs. Angle match.
-Hudson interviewed Christian Cage. He said it appears to him Christian knows more than he's letting on. Christian made a Rogaine crack about Hudson being bald and asked who he was, then said that at the end of the day the only thing that matters is the World Heavyweight Champion. He said he, Joe, and Angle have never seen "eye to eye" (to eye). He told Joe to do what he's being paid to do.
9 -- KURT ANGLE (w/Karen) vs. CHRISTIAN CAGE
Karen Angle's at ringside. That gives us a chance to see seven live matches in a row where a woman gets involved in a turning point in the match. Angle applied a headlock. Christian, being a good sport, didn't rake Kurt's eye to escape. Christian eventually stood and powered out of it, then a minute later applied his own headlock. Angle escaped a minute later, but Christian reapplied the headlock. Christian leaped of the top rope a minute later, landing on Angle at ringside. They showed Joe at ringside. He got out of his chair to get a closer look as Angle took control of the match in the ring at 5:00. Joe stood on the ring apron and warned Angle to break when the ref called for it. Angle suplexed Christian to the floor. When he grabbed a chair, Joe stopped him from using it. Angle lifted Christian and rammed him back-first toward the ringpost, but staggered a bit and missed. Back in the ring, after a few minutes of back and forth action and some two counts, Christian climbed to the top rope. Angle met him at the top, but Christian shoved him down and got off the frog splash for a two count. Christian tossed Angle to the floor. Angle fought back and attempted to back suplex Christian off of the ring apron to the floor. Christian held on, so Angle entered the ring and applied an anklelock. Christian crawled to the bottom rope and forced a release. Angle went for an Angle Suplex, but Christian escaped. After several counters, Angle rolled up Christian for a near fall. Christian went for an Unprettier. Angle raked Christian's eyes to escape, then gave him an Olympic Slam for a near fall. Karen yelled at the ring at ringside. They went to a wide shot of a big looking crowd on the floor and lower deck of the arena. Christian avoided an Angle moonsault off the top rope. Christian climbed to the top rope. Angle suplexed him off of the top rope. Christian kicked out, then surprised Angle with an Unprettier. He went for the cover. It didn't matter because Karen hadn't interfered or jumped onto the ring apron yet, nor had Joe factored in yet. Angle kicked out at the last second. Angle went to clothesline Christian, but Christian ducked, so the ref went down. Joe replaced the ref as Christian applied an anklelock on Angle. Joe asked if Angle was going to tap. Angle teased it, but instead crawled toward the bottom rope. He reached it, but Christian yanked him back to center-ring. He dragged Karen in, also, as she held onto Angle's hand. She shoved Christian. Joe told Christian to have at her. She slapped Christian. He threatened to hit her. Angle got up and charged at Christian, but Christian moved and he crushed Karen in the corner. Christian schoolboyed Angle for a two count, counted by Joe. Both collided mid-ring. Joe carried Karen to a chair at ringside; West said they can't have her interfering anymore. Styles ran to ringside and was going to interfere, but Joe yanked him by his ankles to the floor. Angle grabbed a chair. Joe beat on Styles in the crowd. Angle swung the chair at Christian. Christian ducked and grabbed the chair. Angle kicked Christian between the legs, then hit him across the back with a chair. Tomko ran out to stop Angle from using the chair. He was going to hit Hurt, but instead he lifted Christian and dropped him. Then he walked to the back. Right, we can't have a fresh talent get over with the fans as a babyface or that would spoil Jeff Jarrett's eventual return. Plus, TNA has a glut of top babyfaces with, you know, Joe, Booker T, Eric Young, and the return of Rhino. There's just not enough room for all of that top babyface talent and Tomko to join them. Talk about booking against the wind.
WINNER: Angle via pinfall to retain the TNA World Hvt. Title in 21:00.
STAR RATING: ***1/2 -- Just too much interference at the end. The star rating was higher at 17:00, but just too much of a clustermess at the end. This promotion's booking team needs to dial it way down and trust their talented roster to tell their story from beginning to end. They are sabotaging near falls every meaning anything in the body of a match because they don't count until there is massive interference.
-A video closed the PPV touting the thin line that separates good and evil. It came across as a justification for their lousy booking of characters, failing to consistently define wrestlers as worth cheering and almost everyone as terribly flawed and untrustworthy. It closed with the motto: "TNA: Cross the Line."
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