NWA-TNA Against All Odds
February 13th, 2005
Coming into this PPV it practically had one selling point, the AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels Iron Man match. Now even though I love Daniels, I generally find his matches with Styles overrated, but I’m always willing to give them a chance.
Petey Williams vs. Elix Skipper
Given like 5 more minutes this could’ve been good, but as it is it’s two guys just throwing out moves for 8 minutes. They don’t get over any kind of story or add any psychology to the match. You can throw out all the moves that you want but if you haven’t got any psychology or story you’re screwed. Unless you’re just going for mindless violence, then it’s excusable but this is supposed to be competition. Skipper’s supposed face turn is news to everyone as well. The problem with the finish is you could tell all along that Skipper was reversing the Canadian Destroyer. At least he doesn’t use the shitty POD as his finisher anymore though.
Frankie Kazarian and Michael Shane vs. BG James and Jeff Hammond
This is a total disgrace to not just Frankie, but wrestling in general. Plus, considering Frankie is one of my favourite wrestlers, him jobbing to a f*cking NASCAR Driver doesn’t thrill me too much. Add on it’s a frigging elbow drop he jobs to where Hammond “drives” around the ring like a retarded monkey, it pisses me off a little.
Raven vs. Dustin Rhodes
I just love how this match gets 5 minutes more than it should have. What’s hilarious is you can tell Dustin is done 5 minutes in, and considering Raven has never really been able to work a one man show, you can tell this one is a disaster. They make sure to include the spot where one guy comes off the top and gets caught by the other’s foot. But what would happen if he didn’t put his foot up? The guy coming off the top would land on his feet and wouldn’t be doing a move. It makes no sense. And Dustin makes sure his Superkick misses by a fair bit as well. I like Raven, but I can’t say that for this match if you want to call it that.
NWA World Tag Titles: AMW vs. Kid Kash and Lance Hoyt
One of the main things AMW are credited on are their supposed great selling, but this is their usual selling with them selling the move fine but then just moving onto the next move like nothing happened. All 4 don’t exactly set the world on fire with their performances either. They just come out and put in a formula and add nothing else to the match at all. Hoyt should’ve played a power house of the match, but AMW sell his stuff hardly different to the way they sell Kash’s offence. The perfect finish would’ve been a member of AMW having to cradle Hoyt due to his supreme power and size, but they just finish him off with the usual in the Death Sentence.
Metal Mayhem: Abyss vs. Jeff Hardy
This is pretty much what you’d expect from Jeff these days. He can’t wrestle a proper match to save his life so he has to resort to the stuff he was doing in 2000-2001 in the various TLC matches. Thing is though all these spots have already been done and done better years previous to this by guys like Hayabusa. That isn’t to say that you have to cut up each other with light tubes these days to get over a hardcore brawl, the simple addition of psychology and a story can make a match much better. Just look at Super Dragon/Scorpio Sky from PWG. Nice hardcore spots where they got over the fact that they really hate each other and want to kill each other.
Jeff’s dives these days are so sloppy as well that it’s any time that he’s going to end his career because he can’t do anything these days when it comes to diving off ladders. The match is a very ECW style spotfest with a lot of setting up to spots before hand. There’s only about one spontaneous spot I can count. Jeff grabbing the first envelope and it not turning out a title shot was pretty much given since there’s no point in adding the stip of two envelopes with one containing a title shot and the other nothing. Jeff getting unprofessional on the tables is hilarious. He was just making such a fool of himself, even if this match didn’t already make a fool of him.
Monty Brown and DDP vs. Team Canada
This is something you’d expect out of WCW around 1998, which is the era TNA seems to be stuck in. This match leaves me wondering why Roode hasn’t been picked up by WWE. He’s not a great wrestler but he’s the kind of hoss Vince creams over. There’s nothing to speak of in this match as all the match is DDP and Brown dominating the start, Team Canada working over DDP and then the finish.
X-Division Title, 30 Minute Iron Man: AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels
These two have met all over the country. They’ve fought in Ring of Honor, IWA Mid-South, the NWA 55th Anniversary, Jersey All Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Their matches usually get a lot of hype behind them, but I’ve never really gotten the hype behind them. Some call them Styles and Daniels’ best matches, but I prefer Daniels’ match with Paul London and the 4-Way Iron Man with Low-Ki, Spanky and Doug Williams in ROH, but Styles is a whole other story. Styles gets credited for being one of the best in the world but one thing he has a major problem with is selling. Just look at his 2nd match with American Dragon in ROH where he blew off all the arm work and his performance at ROH’s 2nd Anniversary Show where he was selling the leg like death one minute and then doing a Springboard 450 the next. You could really make the comparison between Styles and Kurt Angle since both are all about flash with no reason.
One main focus of the match here is Daniels’ rib work and it’s some damn fine body working, even reversing a hiptoss into an Abdominal Stretch. Styles’ problem is that all his selling is short term and he only seems to think about selling the rib work when Daniels is working the ribs. Just watch when he does his Springboard Forearm, he doesn’t thinking to sell the ribs upon landing, he just lays there and then gets up a few seconds later. He doesn’t think to sell the ribs or acknowledge that they’re any trouble. The first fall made perfect sense, with Daniels getting up his knees on AJ’s 450 and nailing him with the Angels Wings. Styles sells the 450 well, but sells the Angels Wings as a knockout shot rather than holding his ribs. The move was focused on destroying AJ’s ribs, not knocking him out.
In the final 10 minutes they seem to forget the rib work though and Styles wrestles the rest of the match as rattled rather than his ribs hurting. Daniels rib work made perfect sense. Making it hard to breath for AJ makes it harder for him to make the 30 minutes, but he just forgets to keep working them and favours impact moves. Styles could’ve at least sold the ribs in the final stage though. He doesn’t even grab his ribs off Daniels’ Blue Thunder Driver or STO. The rib work may no longer be a focus, but he could at least have acknowledged that his ribs were still giving him trouble. Daniels acting like a complete dick the whole match is a real treat though.
Styles winning the 2nd fall by a cradle was the smart move, but it was not well built to prior. They had just thrown moves at each other for 5 minutes for no rhyme or reason and then he gets it off a flash cradle. Styles should’ve got only a little offence in that period from 20 minutes-25 minutes to make the fall come off as more of a fluke. Another thing they were trying to get over was Styles fighting from behind after Daniels winning the first fall, but him trading offence with Daniels kind of negates that. Daniels should’ve in the final 10 minutes though if he wasn’t going to work the ribs was try and just hold Styles off with chokes and other moves. It would’ve fit the psychology as it still makes it hard for Styles to breathe. The finish to the regular match was really done well though, with Daniels combining his two strategies into one, trying to destroy Styles’ ribs and try and make him not able to breathe. He does the first with the Complete Shot and then the later with the Koji Clutch and making blood pump out of Styles’ head.
The 90 second sudden death fall period is really stupid though. It doesn’t even protect Daniels as 90 seconds after having AJ choked out; he gets finished off with the Styles Clash. The finish comes off a little anticlimactic as well due to the time it took Styles to hit the Styles Clash with Daniels attempting to fight it off and all. The match had a lot of good points and a lot of bad as well. The first 20 minutes despite a few minor squabbles were done really well, but then the final 10 practically negated everything the first 2/3 was trying to accomplish and just turned into your basic movefest. ***
NWA World Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Kevin Nash
This is a match where it didn’t end up sucking as some might it would, thus everyone went crazy about the match. Even though it wasn’t as bad as expected, it still doesn’t mean that it’s a good match. The match is your basic Jarrett main event with him getting his ass kicked to start, then he dominates his opponent in the ring and then to finish there’s the near falls and his opponent getting screwed in some way. It happened to Jeff Hardy, it happened to Monty Brown and it happens to Nash.
Why is Nash getting a title shot as well? He got elimination first in that little 3-Way and now he’s getting a title shot because he and Jarrett had a differing in beliefs? He could’ve at least won a match or something, rather than, you know, nothing. It’s nice they attempt a bit of psychology with Jarrett attacking Nash’s leg, but we know what’s going to happen. The legwork adds up to nothing because Nash is going to power up and forget about all the leg work because he’s a monster or something along those lines. Jarrett’s use of the Cello is nice from the standpoint that he’s not allowed to use his guitar, but it comes off looking very comedic with the handle falling off and all. The fact that it’s a Cello adds to the comedy as well.
One thing I’ve never gotten about TNA main events is that they’re allowed to brawl around in the crowd as much as they seem fit and use all the weapons they want but when it comes to the finish, the ref gets knocked down because there’s people running in and JJ has to get over as a dastardly heel. But how can you get over as a dastardly heel when weapons were allowed to be used earlier in the match? I never thought though that I would see Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman, Billy Gunn and BG James in the same ring in a World Title match on PPV though. The Stroke is such a weak finisher since Nash’s face comes nowhere near to hitting the mat. You’re going to have to get a guy like Jack Evans to make the Stroke look deadly though. The match is just your usual JJ Formula and just because Nash tried, the match isn’t good by any stretch.