To your left, you see the new TNA Heavyweight Champion of the World, Jeff Hardy. Last night, Hardy was victorious in his ladder match against Mr. Anderson, and as a result, his name now appears in the title’s lineage for a second time. The match was a good one, albeit not an instant classic, and it was nice to see it contested cleanly with no interference.
The other big match on the show saw Jeff Jarrett strike a line in the win column, defeating Kurt Angle in a highly anticipated grudge match. As stipulated prior to the matchup, Kurt will now have to walk his ex-wife Karen down the aisle and give her away to Jarrett when the couple renew their vows on the March 3rd edition of Impact. This match was a very back-and-forth affair, with both men kicking out of several near falls. Jarrett hit the Stroke, a Super Stroke off the ropes, and a chair shot to Kurt’s dome, but was unable to secure the three count on any occasion. In the end, it was a countered sunset flip attempt that did Kurt in. Hmmm. After the match, Kurt left his boots in the middle of the ring, seemingly indicating he was done with wrestling. We’ll see. A quick Kurt Angle note before we move on, I really wish he’d shave that fuzz off of his head/face. I understand if he’s trying to look on edge and kind of hopeless since Karen left him, but he looks like he should be stumbling around in a bathrobe drinking whiskey from a coffee mug. Shave it, Kurt. Anyway, a recap and analysis of the rest of Against All Odds after the jump.
- Robbie E was named the #1 contender to the X Division Championship when travel problems prevented Max and Jeremy Buck from making it to the show. Massive disappointment here. I fully anticipated the triple threat match to steal the show. As a result of the change, Robbie E received his title match immediately, and promptly lost to Kazarian.
- Scott Steiner & Beer Money scored a win over Rob Terry, Gunner, & Murphy. A not-so-pretty Frankensteiner secured the win for the face team. Immediately before the match, Steiner had a warm-up bout against the English language backstage. Luckily, Robert Roode stepped in and made the save on the language’s behalf.
- Samoa Joe defeated the Pope, but not without some help from Kato, a seemingly Green Hornet inspired photographer. The mask-wearing photog prevented Pope from bailing on the match early, and menacingly chased him back into the ring. Samoa Joe went for his clutch maneuver, and the Pope tapped out before the move was even fully applied. After the match, Pope busted Joe’s head open on an exposed turnbuckle. Seeing his own blood, Joe became enraged and chased his opponent off. This match, and everything surrounding it, was weird.
- Madison Rayne retained her title in a last knockout standing match against Mickie James. A Tara run-in and some brass knucks came into play, so expect James to complain/be granted a rematch.
- Matt Morgan called out Hernandez to get some answers about his actions on Thursday’s Impact. This led to Hernandez cutting a promo on all of white America, and what seemed like his attempt to incite a race war. This awkward segment ended with Hernandez obliterating his former partner and leaving him laying in the middle of the ring.
- RVD had his hand raised in victory after a 5-Star Frog Splash to Matt Hardy. Surprisingly, both men had an audible cheering section in this one. It’s hard for me to imagine anyone cheering Matt Hardy after some of his antics as of late.
- In a street fight, Bully Ray notched a victory over Devon…I think? Earlier in the night, Devon told his boys not to get involved in the match, and it was said that it would be a one-on-one contest between the former members of Team 3D. Predictably, his boys got involved anyway, and the trio hit all the classic Dudley spots – a “Whassup” headbutt, a “Get the tables!” shove, the whole nine yards. Anyway, after Ray handcuffed his half-brother to the ring ropes, he floored Terrell with a big boot and covered him for the three. Despite the fact that neither of Devon’s sons were technically participants in the match, Ray’s hand was raised in victory after he pinned one of them. After the match, Ray continued the assault, powerbombing Devon’s boy through a table. Before leaving the ring, he verbally lashed Devon, repeatedly telling him how week he was.
All in all, this was kind of a disappointing show. The Angle/Jarrett match was good, if not a little ridiculous with all the kickouts. The main event was decent enough too. Nothing else on the show really stands out as having been Pay-Per-View worthy, and the all-around strangeness of the Pope/Joe match and confusing Ray/Devon finish have no place on big events like this. Any momentum that the show had going for it came to a screeching halt in the aftermath of the Dudelys match, as the time it took the trainers to clear the ring really let the air start hissing out of the balloon. The story of Angle leaving his boots in the ring is marginally interesting, although I’m sure it doesn’t truly signal retirement. The one ray of hope I do take from this year’s Against All Odds is that we’ll likely see an AJ Styles Vs Jeff Hardy World Title match in the near future, and hopefully the pound-for-pound best wrestler in the company will reclaim his belt.