Friday, 14 September 2007

TNA Against All Odds 2006 - PPV Review

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed one of TNA’s pay-per-view offerings, so what better place to re-start than with their most recent offering, Against All Odds, from the Impact Zone at the Universal Studios in Florida, and shown on a one week delay on the Wrestling Channel here in Britain.

We begin with footage of both Christian Cage and Jeff Jarrett arriving at the arena. Jarrett is greeted by Team Canada’s Scott D’Amore and Eric Young. After D’Amore and Jarrett discuss the Jackie Gayda tape, he tries to convince that Sting is really gone from the company.

Tag-team action opens the show, as Austin Aries and Roderick Strong go up against the Naturals in a re-match from the recent tag-team tournament. I must admit that I’ve never really been a fan of the Naturals for some reason, but they put in a good showing, as did Aries and Strong, who really impressed me with their team work. The Naturals won the bout after unleashing their natural disaster finishing move.

Our announcers Mike Tenay and Don West then run down the rest of the show, and we see a backstage segment where Director of Authority Larry Zbyszko tells Jeremy Borash that he’ll be law as far as the main event goes.

In the locker room, JB interviews America’s Most Wanted about their upcoming title match, before he talks to Coach D’Amore about the Jackie Gayda tape. Zybyszko then arrives and lays down the law with regards to the main event.

Four way X division action follows, with Alex Shelly, Petey Williams, Matt Bentley, and Jay Lethal. Shelly looks like a skunk with his new hairstyle. As is expected from the X division, tons of high-flying action, with Lethal getting the pin on Williams when he was distracted when Jackie Gayda came into the arena and attacked Shelley.

Backstage, JB interviews Rhino about his upcoming falls counts anywhere match with Abyss. Usual hyperbole until Zybszko appears again to lay down the law to Rhino about the main event.

Footage airs of the break-up of the 3 and 4 Live Kru, and the formation of two new teams, the Latin American Xchange and the James Gang.

Back in the Impact Zone, and Homicide and Machete of the LAX take on the James Gang. Konan does the usual microphone work before the bout begins, as Kip once again has that damn awful hairstyle. While it’s good to see the former New Age Outlaws back together, this won’t go down as one of their best bouts. It was okay, but nothing more, as BG pinned Machete after a pump handle slam. Afterwards, as Konan attacked BG with his belt, Bob Armstrong came out to make the save as Konan and his men ran for cover.

Backstage, JB is outside Zybyszko’s office when referee Mark Johnson arrives, wanting to referee the main event. Zybyszko informs him that the main event already has a referee.

Then it’s the first of the three title matches as America’s Most Wanted defend against Sonjay Dutt and Chris Sabin, with Sabin clearly hampered by an ankle injury. AMW spend a great deal of time targeting Sabin’s injury, before he was able to make the tag to Dutt. But with only fleeting help from Sabin, Dutt just couldn’t do enough to win the match after he was pinned following a leg drop from the top rope. Afterwards, AMW handcuffed Dutt in one of the corners, and they were about to clobber him with a steel chair until a hopping Sabin made the save.

Backstage, JB talks to the champ Jeff Jarrett. Usual stuff from Double J as he predicts a title victory for himself, until he’s interrupted by Monty Brown, Annoyed with Brown’s antics, Jarrett promises Brown a title shot in the near future.

We then see a video package of the history between Rhino and Abyss, before we go back to the arena and the falls count anywhere match. It’s an arena wide brawl, and then some, which sees the two monsters literally beat the crap out of each other with anything they can get their hands on, before Rhino goes Abyss from the bleechers and down through four tables below, which allows Rhino the pin opportunity afterwards.

Backstage, JB interviews X-Division champ Samoa Joe. The submission specialist talks about his upcoming three way against Daniels and Styles. Returning to the arena, and the medics are still attending to the fallen Abyss, before the monster is eventually helped to his feet.

A promo package than airs looking back at the situation involving X-Division champion Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels and A.J. Styles, before we move on the match between the three, with the X-Division title on the line. These three had a lot to live up to after their tremendous bout last year, and they just about managed to live up to expectations, with everyone pulling out all the stops, and impressing everyone who was watching, with Joe keeping his unbeaten streak going, retaining the title after a muscle buster on Styles. An early match of the year candidate here.

A video package then airs showing the back story of the feud between Team 3-D and Team Canada, before JB interviews for former Dudley Boys backstage. Brother Ray tells us how pissed off he is, while a bandaged Brother Devon says nothing.

Then it’s time for the match itself, as Eric Young and Bobby Roode of Team Canada, along with Coach D’Amore, go up against Team 3-D. The move to TNA has definitely revitalised the Duds. This is the best I’ve seen from them since One Night Stand last year. Certainly a lot better than the tag title match, Roode and Young worked well as a team here, but the bout ended with Brother Ray pinning Young after a 3-D. Afterwards, AMW come out and attack Team 3-D, and attempted to put them through a table, only for Ron Killings to make the save. Killings then put Young through a table himself with a leg drop from the top rope.

The Professor and DW then discuss the upcoming main event, as well as what TNA management is doing. JB then interviews Christian backstage, as he talks about the biggest match of his twelve year career. We then see a video package building up to the main event match.

Then it’s time for our main event, as Jeff Jarrett defends his NWA World title against Christian Cage, and the special referee is none other than Earl Hebner. A great title match here with tons of drama - Hebner getting clobbered twice while replacement ref Mark Johnson got a kick in the balls from Jarrett, both Jarrett and Christian wrestling their best matches in ages, and Captain Charisma pinning Double J after the un-prettier after over twenty minutes of great action. Afterwards, wrestlers and fans alike storm the ring and hoist the new champion into the air.

In conclusion - this is the first TNA pay-per-view I’ve reviewed since Victory Road, and judging from what I’ve seen here, the company seems to be moving in the right direction, although my only gripe here was the fact that there were just two singles matches on the card. But in all an enjoyable offering from the TNA crew here.