A2Z Analysiz: TNA Against All Odds 2007 (Christian Cage, Kurt Angle)

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Impact Zone – Orlando, Florida – February 11, 2007

Mike Tenay and Don West are on commentary.

PRESHOW MATCH: Jay Lethal & Sonjay Dutt vs. Serotonin

Kazarian and Johnny Devine are representing the group in the ring while Maverick Matt adds support from the floor. Serotonin attacks before the bell, but Lethal and Dutt weather the onslaught and take control. Matt trips Lethal from the floor, allowing Kazarian to kick Lethal off the top rope. Devine tags in and puts the boots to Lethal. Serotonin isolates Lethal, and Matt makes sure to get his cheap shots in. Devine goes for a moonsault but Lethal gets his knees up. Tags are made and Dutt is a house afire. Dutt takes both opponents down and hits a Lionsault on both of them and gets a two-count on Kazarian. He knocks Devine to the apron and hits Kazarian with a super hurricanrana and then locks him in the Camel Clutch, which Devine breaks up. Lethal takes Devine out with a missile dropkick, and then wipes him out with a suicide dive. With the referees back turned, Maverick Matt sneaks in the ring and hits Dutt with a superkick and Kazarian gets the pin for Serotonin’s first win at 5:14. That was solid preshow stuff.
Rating: **¼

Raven makes his way down and even though his boys won the match, he gives them each one shot with the kendo stick anyway. I don’t think this angle was ever explained. Raven is ridiculous and was never as good or interesting as he thinks he was.

MATCH #1: Little Italy Street Fight – The Latin American Exchange vs. Team 3D

The LAX are the tag team champions, but the titles are not on the line. They attack Team 3D from behind and beat them up with the weird restaurant décor that’s supposed to simulate Little Italy I guess. They fight all over the arena, with strikes and slams and suplexes all over the place. I’m not really sure what the strippers are doing there. Back in the ring LAX works over Devon together. Then Hernandez goes to mix it up with Ray outside of the ring. Homicide finds a pizza cutter and uses it on Devon’s disgusting forehead, causing blood to flow. Ray gets back in the ring and counters the pizza cutter with a cheese grater. Homicide is busted open now and Team 3D is in control. Random members of the Latino Nation come out to support LAX but they get beat up too. Hernandez puts Brother Ray through a table and Homicide follows with an elbow drop off the top rope for two. Devon gets back up and dispatches Hernandez. He hits the Saving Grace on Homicide for a near-fall. Moments later Hernandez is back and he hits the Border Toss on Devon for the pin at 9:27. That was a decent garbage match.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #2: Senshi vs. Austin Starr

These two had a couple of really good matches in Ring of Honor over the years. Senshi goes on the attack right from the bell and dominates his cocky opponent. Starr comes back by knocking Senshi to the floor and hitting the Heat Seeking Missile. Back in the ring Starr goes to work with his unique offense, which includes back rakes. I find it funny that many criticized Hogan for using back rakes but loved it when Starr (or Aries) did it. Wrestling fans are strange like that. Senshi fights back with a hard clothesline and then unleashes a series of hard kicks. He hits the Tidal Wave for a two-count. They fight over a suplex attempt and Senshi hits the rolling wheel kick. Starr avoids a charge in the corner and tries the Crossface Chicken Wing. Senshi forces his way out of that and hits a shotgun dropkick. He goes up top for the Warrior’s Way but Starr avoids it. Starr goes back to the Chicken Wing, and then turns it into an O’Connor Roll, and after a series of reversals it looks like both men’s shoulders are down as the referee counts three. As it turns out Senshi got his shoulder up for the win at 8:22. The match was solid but the finish looked goofy and did nothing to help either guy.
Rating: **¾

An angry Starr throws chairs into the ring and gets on the mic to demand that the match be restarted. Bob Backlund comes out and puts the Crossface Chicken Wing on and drags Starr to the back. That did even more to hurt Starr.

MATCH #3: Tuxedo Match – Christy Hemme vs. Big Fat Oily Guy

The Big Fat Oily Guy is announced from Stamford, Connecticut. Oh, I see what they did there. This is part of a truly bizarre angle in which Christy was fighting to be taken seriously as a wrestler and for equal rights for women and was treated with complete sexist disregard by Kip James and Jim Cornette, yet was somehow portrayed as a heel. It may have been the most offensive angle of all-time. This is just a travesty of a match. Christy wouldn’t get decent until later on, and the Big Fat Oily Guy isn’t a wrestler of any sort as far as I know. Why would Christy try a sunset flip? So that she could get balls in her face is the answer. While the referee checks on her she kicks Big Fat Oily Guy in the junk and then pulls his pants off to win the match at 2:29. That was just insulting on every possible level.
Rating: DUD

Kip James comes out and rips Christy’s shirt off as the crowd cheers, showing that the fans and commentators in TNA are a bunch of sexist pigs. How on earth is Kip a babyface in all this?

MATCH #4: Basebrawl 2 – Lance Hoyt w/ David Eckstein vs. Dale Torborg w/ A.J. Pierzynski

Torborg is a former professional wrestler known mostly for playing the KISS Demon in WCW, is now the strength and conditioning coach for the Chicago White Sox. Hoyt takes the first advantage and knocks Torborg to the floor. He tries a suplex but Pierzynski nails him with a low blow and Torborg gets the suplex instead. Eckstein tries telling the referee to turn around, but you know how that goes. Pierzynski throws Hoyt into the guardrail and then back into the ring. Torborg goes to work on Hoyt now, hitting another suplex. He whips Hoyt into the corner, and it looks like Hoyt wants to climb up and try a moonsault, but he stumbles a little bit and ends up with more of a cross body block instead. That was a good adjustment. Hoyt follows up with a big boot and goes to the top rope. Pierzynski cracks him with a steel chair and Torborg gets the pin at 4:20. But wait, Eckstein is able to convince the referee that Pierzynski used a chair and the match is restarted. Eckstein then hits Torborg with the chair, and Hoyt hits the F-5 to get the pin for real at 0:26. The finish seemed unnecessarily convoluted, but at least they kept the match short, and I liked the involvement of baseball guys in TNA.
Rating: **

MATCH #5: Motor City Chain Match – Rhino vs. AJ Styles

The two combatants are attached by the wrist. Hanging from one corner is a nightstick, which is Rhino’s weapon of choice apparently, and on another corner is a key to unlock the chain. AJ shows fear early on, which Rhino capitalizes on to take the early advantage. It doesn’t last long though, as AJ uses Rhino’s anger against him to take control. They play tug of war around the ring post and Rhino pulls AJ into the steel. Back in the ring Rhino slugs away. Rhino hits a belly-to-belly suplex and signals for the Gore but AJ counters with a nice dropkick to the face. AJ takes control now and goes after the key but Rhino pulls him down. The Phenomenal One is able to stay in control though, pounding away on the War Machine. AJ hits the springboard flying forearm for two. He tries to get the key but Rhino pulls him down again. Rhino goes on offense now, hitting a spinebuster for two. He’s able to grab the nightstick now, and AJ is in trouble. Rhino swings and misses and AJ kicks him low, and then pulls the chain back into his groin too. Ouch. Finally AJ is able to grab the key and unlock himself. AJ hits a Frog Splash, and then wisely shortens the chain and cuffs the other end of it to the ropes! That’s awesome. AJ hits the Pele but gets cocky and Rhino is able to hit the Gore from out of nowhere! For some reason referee Earl Hebner kicks the key over to Rhino, who frees himself. That’s ridiculous, why would a referee do that? Rhino unleashes his fury now, hitting a spinebuster and grabbing a table from underneath the ring. He hits another belly-to-belly suplex and goes for a Gore, but AJ moves and Rhino crashes through the table. That’s enough for AJ to get the pin at 15:08. I really hate the spot with Hebner kicking the key to Rhino, but other than that they used the chain creatively and effectively.
Rating: ***

MATCH #6: X Division Title Match – Chris Sabin vs. Jerry Lynn

Sabin has been the champion since 1.14.07, and this is the first defense of his fourth reign. They chain wrestle to start and Sabin takes a powder. Sabin continues to avoid Lynn in an effort to frustrate the challenger. They go back to chain wrestling and Lynn appears to have the upper hand. Sabin uses alternating dirty tricks with stall tactics as we pass five minutes with very little happening. Lynn tricks Sabin into missing a dive to the floor. The spot proves pointless though as Sabin takes control back in the ring. Sabin focuses on the back, a good strategy to set up for his finisher, the Cradle Shock. After several minutes Lynn fires back with his usual flurry of offense. Lynn hits a super hurricanrana for two. Sabin recovers and goes right back to the back. He hits a spinning sitout powerbomb but Lynn kicks out. Sabin tries the Cradle Shock, but Lynn escapes it and hits a TKO for two. Lynn goes for the Cradle Piledriver but his back goes out on him and Sabin drops down and grabs the ropes for leverage to get the pin at 13:34. It took them a little while to get going but they put together a decent little match when they finally did.
Rating: **¾

Eric Young Contract Deal

Robert Roode and Ms. Brooks make their way out to brag about signing Eric Young to an exclusive contract with Robert Roode, Inc. This angle made no sense at all. Why would Roode want to sign Young? And where did it ever go? Roode berates the crowd and Young. That was a waste of PPV time.

MATCH #7: Mixed Tag Team Match – Petey Williams & Gail Kim vs. James Storm & Jackie Moore

The men star the match with some basic chain wrestling. Jackie tags in and Petey hits her with an atomic drop before tagging his partner. Gail whips Jackie around a bit, getting some revenge. Petey and Gail outsmart their rivals early on, maintaining the advantage. The Tennessee Twosome uses some questionable tactics to gain control, and they work Petey over in their corner. Storm hits the Eye of the Storm and Jackie follows with an elbow drop for two. Jackie puts on a side headlock and Petey suplexes his way out of it. Storm comes in and charges but Petey avoids him and hits slingshot Codebreaker, a dropkick to the back, and the Canadian Legsweep. The women tag in and Gail hits a sloppy headscissors and a bodyslam. After a sloppy knee drop she goes up top and hits a missile dropkick for two. The referee gets distracted and Storm hits Gail with a simple right hand and Jackie gets the pin at 8:50. There was plenty of man versus woman action in that match, why did the referee have to be distracted for THAT finish? TNA makes no sense sometimes.
Rating: **

The brawl continues after the bell and the Tennessee Twosome sets Petey up for the Death Sentence, but Pirate Chris Harris comes out to make the save!

MATCH #8: Prison Yard Match – Sting vs. Abyss w/ James Mitchell

This is another candidate for worst feud ever in TNA. To win this match you have to put your opponent inside the little cage and lock the door. The set is very elaborate. For some reason the match starts outside, so they both make complete entrances and then walk backstage. Okay then. They spend some time brawling around outside, which makes me wonder why they would construct that giant set in the arena. Speaking of the arena, they make their way in there and Sting grabs a barbed wire baseball bat and goes to town. Abyss’s arm is all bloody now. The cage gets lowered and Sting decides to go after Mitchell. Sting takes Mitchell’s belt off and punches him in the head with it, and then whips him repeatedly. Mitchell is busted open as well. Obviously this gives Abyss time enough to recover. Abyss throws Sting around and brings in both a table and a barbed wire board. Sting tries to fight up but he runs right into a Black Hole Slam. Abyss tries to lock Sting in the cage, but Sting fights out and explodes out of the cage with two Stinger Splashes and a Scorpion Death Drop. Mitchell interferes again to distract Sting, allowing Abyss to take him down and set up a table. Abyss puts Sting on the table and starts to climb up the little cage, but Sting gets off the table, puts the barbed wire board on the table, and powerbombs Abyss off the cage through the barbed wire table. That’s enough for Sting to shove Abyss into the cage and lock the door at 11:56. That was just a mess.
Rating: *

Sting, the Good Christian, chokes Mitchell out and has to be pulled off by security.

MATCH #9: NWA World Heavyweight Title Match, Unofficial Enforcer Samoa Joe – Christian Cage vs. Kurt Angle

Cage has been the champion since 1.14.07, and this is his first defense. This is Angle’s first shot at the World Title in TNA. Cage already had Tomko as his bodyguard, and he added Scott Steiner as a “consultant.” Angle countered with Samoa Joe, who somehow became the unofficial enforcer, whatever that means. They end up on the mat straight away, and just guess how that one goes. Samoa Joe makes his way out, entrance music and all, and pulls up a chair. Angle continues on the advantage, even going for an early Ankle Lock before the battle spills to the floor. This match makes me long for the days of Team RECK. Cage gets distracted by Joe and Angle hits an Olympic Slam into the ring post. Back in the ring Angle continues to focus on the back. Cage avoids a charge in the corner and Angle runs shoulder first into the post and crashes to the floor. Back in the ring Cage keeps Angle down on the mat while the crowd tries to will the challenger back into it. Angle regains the momentum and throws the champion around. He grabs the Ankle Lock but Cage uses the referee to crawl to the ropes, and then hits a low blow behind the ref’s back. Cage hits the Unprettier but Angle kicks out at two. Ah yes, the parade of finishers has begun. Angle hits the super belly-to-belly suplex and then seven rolling German Suplexes. But he didn’t invent that move! What disrespect! Amazingly that only gets a two-count. AJ Styles comes running out and Joe chases him to the back. With the referee and everyone else distracted, Cage waffles Angle with a chair. Cage hits a Frog Splash but it only gets two. He hits another Unprettier but again it only gets two. The referee gets bumped and Cage gets into an argument with Joe. The straps come down and Angle hits the Olympic Slam but by the time the referee gets back in he can only count to two. The referee gets bumped again, and Tomko runs out and throws Joe into the steel steps, but when he gets in the ring Angle starts throwing German Suplexes on him. Scott Steiner gets in the ring and Angle fights him off too. Joe clears Tomko out and then wipes out Tomko and Steiner with an elbow suicida. Meanwhile, back in the ring Angle puts on the Ankle Lock but the referee is still out. Cage breaks it with the lead pipe Steiner brought with him. The champ then hits another Unprettier and this time Angle is done at 19:03. It was a little heavy on the interference, but at least the run-ins made sense. Angle and Cage have good chemistry together.
Rating: ***½

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