Impact Wrestling’s second pay-per-view of 2012 looks to be a good one, as certain rivalries will come to a head and several belts will be on the line. Despite the go-home show being labeled as Star Wars themed and there wasn’t really much in the way of any Star Wars on that show, the international presence and mostly coherent stories should be enough for Sunday night’s Against All Odds to be a success.
As of Thursday night, four belts will be on the line and weirdly enough, you have to go way back to November 14th to the last time a belt changed hands in the company. Consider it a safe bet that a couple new champions will be crowned tonight, starting with the most important one of them all.
Bobby Roode (Champion) vs. James Storm vs. Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy, 4-Way for the World Title with Sting as Guest Enforcer
[ad 6]Depending on how you look at it, it may or may not have been a good thing that Hardy missed the London tapings because all three of the other guys have pretty much been mixing it up non-stop on that tour, perhaps giving us too much of a taste of the main event. However, this might still be the perfect match for an event titled “Against All Odds,” as all four men are looking at a steep climb. Jeff Hardy would be the real Cinderella story as it’s been almost a full year since he’s battled back from substance abuse and subsequent discipline. Bully Ray is the real dark horse as he’s the perennial tag expert, lackey, or goon, but his stuff has been so on point lately you could almost justify a victory lap with the belt for him.
But nay, I’m taking James Storm, with most likely a pin on Ray or Hardy to plant the seed of a tumultuous, controversial rivalry between he and Roode that could last months. You’ve already authenticated Roode as a main event guy, so with times as they are there’s no real reason to keep the belt on him any longer, less Storm look that much more like a chump. I’m still not buying Storm’s one week reign as champ as something anyone remembers. This should be a fun, chaotic match with a little bit of everything, and one I see Storm emerging the victor. Expect a 25-30 minute melee, as these guys could make it feel like ten.
Crimson and Matt Morgan (Champions) vs. Samoa Joe and Magnus, Tag Team Title Match
In the end, that dinky little wild card tag tourney Impact put on last month served two agendas: swerving Kazarian from his friend and establishing a Franken-team between Joe and Magnus. Personally, I love their team dynamic; I love how Magnus tried so hard to get under the skin of his countrymen; I love they have combo moves and when they stand next to each other they look like a lower-cased ‘a.’ And while I also appreciate Crimson in the ring, I’m just starting to wear on Matt Morgan, who bounces around from no personality to concussion gee golly scientist to split personality bully. The dude almost has as big an identity crisis at The Pope…almost. I’m going with the challengers here and hoping it means Crimson starts his ascent to the top.
Gunner (w/ Eric Bischoff) vs. Garett Bischoff (w/ Hulk Hogan)
This match is more of a side attraction when you think about it–just something to get over how much elder Bischoff and Hogan hate each other. I’m sorry but I just can’t get psyched about a match involving a guy who just graduated from referee school or whatever. Gunner will have to carry this match, which is saying a lot because that dude’s greener than a recycling bin. I don’t think this match has a lot to gain story or momentum-wise, but it stands to lose a lot if the writers play with a heel turn or something way too obvious. I’ll go with Gunner to win and continue the father-son chase.
Austin Aries (Champion) vs. Alex Shelley, X Division Title Match
These two had quite the exhibition tonight with Douglas Williams thrown in there for a 3-way dance, ultimately seeing Shelley pinning the champion for the win. Will history repeat itself? Probably not. I honestly think Shelley is just staying loosened up until Chris Sabin comes back and on Aries’ side…come on. The guy has been a five tool player since re-arriving in Impact and if anyone will keep their belt another 3 or 4 months, it’s A Double. Speaking of which, do they know they still have a TV Champion, or has that title been canceled? I’m going with Aries and his brainbuster in, next to the main event, what should be the must see match of the evening.
AJ Styles vs. Kazarian (w/ Chris Daniels)
Talk about two veterans going through the motions here. I don’t want Daniels-about-to-gouge-Styles’-face-with-screwdiver emotion, but this hasn’t been the most interesting angle by far. As far as we know, Kazarian’s reason for turning on AJ could pretty much still be “because the writers said so” and we’d have to accept that. All bullcrap aside, AJ has punked out to these two over the past few weeks, so I’m calling for redemption, a Styles Clash, and a win for The Phenomenal One.
Gail Kim (Champion) vs. Tara, Knockouts Title
When Tara faced off against Velvet Sky and Mickie James for the No. 1 Contender spot, I pretty much gave her 0% to win the match and summed up her inclusion as “oh yeah, she still rides that motorcycle ten feet and gets off as an entrance.” This one I’m pretty unsure about, but not for lacking of watching. Women’s titles always hold the least consequences in wrestling, but I still see Tara way down on the totem pole to snatch this thing. The only exception would be that she would transition the belt to Madison Rayne in a call-back feud, but we are getting ahead of ourselves. Gail Kim wins because she violently attacks her foes in their off-time, and, just because, really.
Jesse Sorensen vs. Zema Ion, No. 1 Contender Match for the X Division Title
Is anyone else bothered that he’s changed his name to Ion and he is no way a scientific character? No? Just me, then. In my head, it makes sense for Sorensen to win and try to chase Aries, but that mini-feud was just visited a couple months prior. However, Zema Ion, while trying as hard as he can to be a jerk, can just as easily switch back on his pretty guy smile and fight the good fight against Aries. Unless Alex Shelley is indeed supposed to win the belt tonight, meaning anything’s possible. In what will no doubt be the opening match, look for a fast paced crash course full of close falls here, eventually seeing Sorensen take the match. I had good memories of his clashes with Aries, so let’s gear up for round two!
[adinserter block=”1″]What do you guys think? Feel free to post your picks in the comments section so we can compare and contrast and argue about men fake fighting in tights.
Full TNA Impact Wrestling Against All Odds 2012 card…
Crimson and Matt Morgan vs. Samoa Joe and Magnus for the TNA World Tag Team Championship
A.J. Styles vs. Kazarian
Austin Aries vs. Alex Shelley for the TNA X Division Championship
Gail Kim vs. Tara for the TNA Women’s Knockout Championship
Jesse Sorensen vs. Zema Ion determines number one contender for the TNA X Division Championship
Bobby Roode (c) vs. Bully Ray vs. James Storm vs. Jeff Hardy Four Way match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship with Sting as special enforcer
Gunner vs. Garett Bischoff
Joe Leininger lives in Jacksonville, FL via the greater Philadelphia area. He dabbles in all things sports, pro wrestling, and television, and more of his work can be found at The Playing Field Blog and DestiGeddon.