There you have it, folks. TNA's second pay-per-view (PPV) offering of 2012 is in the books. Against All Odds went off tonight -- not without a hitch but we'll get to that later -- but it wasn't the abomination that the Orlando promotion is seemingly known for.
And that's not without just cause. The wonky booking of TNA has largely overshadowed the talented group of performers they have and has left many people who wouldn't give TNA a chance with a lot of ammo to use when burying the company and even some TNA apologists grasping at straws when explaining their storyline choices.
Going into the show, the big angle was that of the TNA World Heavyweight title; as it should be. While the WWE can afford to have one of its biggest stars -- John Cena -- toil around with Kane, TNA needs to put its most prestigious belt at the forefront and it's been doing a good job of that.
Bobby Roode continues his fine role as a rulebreaker and was set to take on his former partner James Storm as well as fan favorite Jeff Hardy and loudmouth toughman Bully Ray with Sting as the special enforcer.
None of those four men have made it any secret that Roode isn't at the top of their favorites list and it's almost fitting the event was named Against All Odds as the champ would go on to defend his title despite having the deck stacked against him.
But that wasn't all TNA had in store for us. Check out the full recap after the jump.
The show opened up with what promised to be a hot opener between Zema Ion and Jesse Sorensen battling it out for number one contendership to the X-Division title. The match was only minutes old when Ion leapt out at his opponent on the outside and ended up catching Sorensen with a knee to the dome, knocking out the young TNA star cold.
Legitimately injured, the match went to a countout but Ion did his best to work the unexpected occurrence into his cocky, arrogant character. Latest word from TNA is Sorensen suffered some sort of neck injury. Here's hoping it's nothing serious and he's back inside the ring soon.
Next up, Television champ Robbie E came out to issue his open challenge which was answered by Shannon Moore. A decent little match-up took place which was won out by the champ after his bodyguard, Robbie T, coldclocked Moore behind the referee's back.
Gail Kim then retained her Knockouts title despite having her Knockouts tag team partner Madison Rayne leave ringside mid-match. Kim was able to fend off Tara's challenge but it looks as if the tag champs may implode which would open up Rayne as a potential challenger to Kim's throne.
The tag team straps were up for grabs in the next match as champions Crimson and Matt Morgan took on the team of Samoa Joe and Magnus. A by-the-numbers tag match -- not that there's anything wrong with that ... if it ain't broke, don't fix it -- which saw a super hot finish. Joe and Magnus ended up taking the belts from Crimson and Morgan which saw a good reaction from the crowd.
Long-time foes Austin Aries and Alex Shelley collided with the X-Division title at stake next and in what was the match of the night, Aries retained his title. The two X-Division matches were perfectly placed on this card. One -- despite its unexpected and premature ending -- opened the show up and one was the mid-show main event. The X-Division matches are a surefire way to get the crowd pumped up and the title match was no exception. Aries and Shelley have been wrestling each other for years and have the back and forth to show for it which led to a really fun match.
A.J. Styles took on former friend Kazarian in the next match. Kazarian is seemingly under the control of Christopher Daniels for some reason and the former Fortune member obeys "The Fallen Angel's" every command. A good match between the two that saw Kazarian pick up the win after a Fade to Black finisher. Daniels celebrated and gloated in the ring while Kazarian looked beside himself. Not sure where TNA is going with this but hey, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
The co-main event was ... ugh ... Gunner versus Garrett Bischoff. Gunner won. Who cares? This was insulting to everyone watching this. Absolutely no one cares about Eric Bischoff's kid and the fact they keep trotting him out like he's ... ANYONE is a disgrace. This match absolutely killed any momentum the show had going into the main event.
Speaking of the main event, as stated previously, Roode won. And he should have. The TNA title had been jumping around too much before Roode got a hold of it and it's good to see someone bring back some legitimacy to it. Granted, Roode won after goading Sting into trying to hit him with the belt only to have the special enforcer nail Jeff Hardy with it but that's the champion's character.
As evidenced by how he won the title -- smashing a beer bottle over his partner's skull -- Roode is sick and tired of not getting what he feels he deserves and will do anything to make sure he keeps the belt.
I would love to see Bully Ray get a title run before he retires -- at 40-years old, he isn't too long for the in-ring world -- but Roode should hang onto the belt as long as possible. He's still got two money feuds in Hardy and James Storm in the wing, there's no reason to forgo that.
I would love to see Storm upend Roode eventually only to have Bully Ray come in a month or two later to take the strap. Let Ray have his time in the sun until Hardy -- playing up their long history -- defeats him for the title. Roode and Hardy about a year from now sounds pretty good.
Overall, pretty good show aside from the Gunner/Bischoff debacle.
What say you, Cagesiders?