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Impact Against All Odds recap & reactions: Hosses steal the show

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Impact’s Against All Odds event (June 12, 2021) featured Kenny Omega needing help to put Moose down, Don Callis firing Sami Callihan, Deonna Purrazzo working her game plan like a Virtuosa, NJPW’s Satoshi Kojima using the Forbidden Door to take on a past foe, and much more.

Let’s break down the card from top to bottom.

Impact World Championship: Kenny Omega retained against Moose. (Full details here.) AEW’s Daily’s Place hosted the main event. The finish involved a referee bump and outside interference. Moose charged for a spear, but Omega pulled the referee in the way. That’s when the Young Bucks ran in to superkick Moose. A BTE Trigger was icing on the cake. The Bucks helped Omega lift Moose up for the One Winged Angel to win.

After the match, Sami Callihan made an appearance and cleaned house. His intention was to injure Omega, so Callis used his EVP powers to fire Callihan. Sami was supposed to be in line for the Slammiversary main event against Omega on July 17.

The match itself was pretty good. It began on the cheeky side as Omega had to realize Moose’s power posed a legitimate threat. The tone became more serious the longer the match wore on. Both men showed psychology throughout. Moose’s shoulder was damaged, and his offense reflected that. Moose dug into his bag of tricks favoring moves that didn’t require his injured arm.

The finish was where they left me feeling unsatisfied. It was another tiresome cheat by the Elite. Impact and Tony Khan talked a big game about having a clean match, however, they did not anticipate this chicanery. The main appeal of Omega headlining Impact events is putting on great matches against unique opponents. Having him cheat to win dampens that appeal. If Moose is expecting a rematch, he’ll have to figure out a way to force his hand. Omega isn’t interested in a second round.

Callis’ decision to fire Callihan was shocking, but it left me wondering if Scott D’Amore could just hire him again.

Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo retained against Rosemary. The Demon Assassin had the early advantage until Purrazzo began working the arm and shoulder. That damage prevented Rosemary from executing her signature moves. Rosemary couldn’t clasp her hands on her butterfly buttbuster finisher, so Purrazzo escaped for a Russian leg sweep. The champ then transitioned to the Venus De Milo double armbar. Rosemary slowly inched toward the ropes to use her foot for the break. Purrazzo took Rosemary down and removed her knee brace. The champ thought about using the brace to hit Rosemary, but the referee’s threats for disqualification finally got through. Purrazzo maintained pressure for a pump kick. Rosemary did the spooky sit-up gimmick to fire up for a spear. Rosemary hoisted Purrazzo into the fireman’s carry position. Purrazzo escaped then used kicks to the knee to set up a Gotch piledriver for victory.

Purrazzo’s game plans are pretty straightforward. Work the arm. If she doesn’t get the submission, then she works for the Gotch piledriver. Purrazzo has done this several times in title defenses, and yet the matches always feel fresh. She has a knack to turn up the aggression for a charismatic performance.

Impact World Tag Team Championship: Rhino & Deaner retained against Crazzy Steve & Black Taurus. Eric Young instituted the Freebird Rule to substitute Deaner for the occupied Joe Doering. Young was ringside to act as coach to motivate Deaner. Decay was rocking and rolling when Rhino broke up a pin on Deaner. Taurus went for a flying attack to Rhino, but the bull tweaked his knee landing on the floor. Steve was in control of Deaner when Rhino clubbed Steve’s knee, which caused Steve to hit his head on the turnbuckle. Deaner pounced for a DDT to win.

Young was very good in his role as coach. Despite the knee injury, he still commands respect on screen. Deaner finally got a chance to pick up a winning pin. Time will tell if this is the beginning of his evolution toward success or if it amounts to nothing.

Knockouts Tag Team Championship: Fire ‘n’ Flava retained against Kimber Lee & Susan. Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz used quick tags and fluid teamwork to stay on top. Hogan put Susan down with a fisherman’s neckbreaker in the beginning of the end. Steelz climbed the corner for a frog splash, but she spied Lee charging in hard to save Susan. Steelz audibled to a flying dropkick to clear Lee from the ring. Steelz went back up top again. This time she landed the frog splash on Susan for the win.

Lee and Susan put up a tougher fight than I was expecting. They were ready for the title opportunity, and it showed. Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t overcome Fire ‘n’ Flava’s excellent chemistry. Hogan and Steelz work so well together. When they go on a roll during matches, their movements are quick and effective. They strategically wrestle two steps ahead.

Tenille Dashwood defeated Jordynne Grace. Kaleb Konley and Rachael Ellering were ringside. Grace steamrolled Dashwood early with a powerslam and a full nelson airplane spin. Konley dragged Dashwood to safety to regroup. Grace gave chase, but it backfired when Konley and Dashwood pulled her off the apron crashing to the ground. Dashwood was in control picking away at Grace until Thicc Mama Pump caught a crossbody and turned it into a fallaway slam. Grace had a sweet tumble transition into securing a rear naked choke. Dashwood was fading. The referee did the arm lift routine to check consciousness. On the third lift, Konley caused a distraction. Ellering yanked him off the apron. Grace let go of the submission to shout at Ellering. Grace wanted to prove she could win without any help. Grace tried to finish with a Grace Driver, but Dashwood countered for a small package win.

After the match, Grace reached her boiling point. She was angry at Ellering and angry at Dashwood for mocking her. Grace charged into the ring to mash Konley with a Michinoku Driver. Grace exited alone without Ellering.

Grace bit the dust once again. All those losses piled up the pressure on her shoulders, and she wasn’t able to handle it. Grace was in the driver’s seat for this bout, but she lost focus when it mattered most. She has nobody to blame but herself. While Grace’s frustration is understandable, her outburst at Ellering was uncalled for. I like that she finally bubbled over though. It added a level of intrigue to advance the story.

W. Morrissey defeated Rich Swann. (Full details here.) Power versus speed. Morrissey turned the tide with a boot to the spine during a handspring cutter attempt by Swann. Morrissey followed up with three powerbombs to win.

This was a classic big man versus little man story that could have went either way. Morrissey prevailed in the end and looked scary in the process. Swann’s will to win is immense, so you know the punishment had to be intense to keep him down. I don’t know who I want to see Morrissey pound next, but I know that I want to watch.

X-Division #1 contender: Final ruling was a no contest. Ace Austin, Chris Bey, Rohit Raju, Petey Williams, and Trey Miguel competed in a five-way to earn a shot at Josh Alexander and the X-Division Championship. The match had total non-stop action. The closing sequence began with Williams executing a super Canadian Destroyer to Ace. Trey broke the pin, then he took control with a Lightning Spiral slam. At that point, Madman Fulton made his presence felt. He destroyed all of Ace’s opponents. The coup de grâce was a four man demolition by Fulton. Madman caught Trey in his arms on a crossbody, goozled both Rohit and Williams, and also caught Bey trying a hurricanrana. The end result was a double chokeslam combined with a double forward slam.

Madman dragged Ace’s body on top of Rohit and ordered the referee to count the pinfall in Ace’s favor. The referee refused and deemed it a no contest due to Fulton’s destruction.

Fulton was badass at the end. These competitors have all had tons of X-Division opportunities in their careers, so I’m not too frustrated at the non-finish. At least, it made sense and looked cool. The X-Division is traditionally a smaller man’s game, but Samoa Joe, Abyss, Bobby Lashley, and Brian Cage have all held that strap. Give Fulton a chance to rumble. He would be an interesting test for Alexander.

Joe Doering defeated Satoshi Kojima. NJPW sent Kojima through the Forbidden Door. Violent by Design and Eddie Edwards were ringside, but they only had minimal activity during the contest. Doering controlled the pace with methodical power moves to break down Kojima. The action picked up when Kojima connected on a flying elbow drop.

Doering came back with a spinebuster. Both men ran the ropes for Doering to collide into Kojima on a crossbody.

Doering aimed to finish it with a powerbomb, but Kojima escaped. The legend unloaded a clothesline to the back of Doering. He followed with a cutter. When Kojima wound up for his patented lariat, Doering countered into a DVD. Doering continued his attack with a short-arm clothesline and spinning sitdown powerbomb for victory.

That was a nifty hoss fight. Doering is a beast. Every move he does looks like it hurts. I’m surprised Doering earned the win, although, perhaps I shouldn’t be if this ends up being Kojima’s last date in Impact for the near future. I hope Kojima sticks around a little longer, because there is more story to explore with Edwards by his side against Violent by Design. However, Kojima’s days in the ring may be coming to an end sooner than later.

Street fight: Sami Callihan & Tommy Dreamer defeated Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows. The plunder included a broom, trashcan and lid, street sign, chain, cookie sheet, frying pan, and ring bell.

The big spot was a Magic Killer to Dreamer through the table.

Callihan made the diving save to break the pin. Callihan grabbed a baseball bat to smash the Good Brothers. He blasted Anderson in the head for the win.

It was a fairly standard brawl with scattershot action. I was expecting a little more ferociousness from the Good Brothers given how important it was to eliminate Callihan. I was going to say Callihan picked up momentum for Slammiversary, but he’s fired now. I do think it was illogical to place this bout as the opener when the whole purpose of the match being booked was to keep them away from the main event.

Against All Odds was an enjoyable evening of wrestling overall. The hosses shined throughout to steal the show. Moose proved he can hang with the Best Bout Machine. W. Morrissey and Joe Doering were savages intent on dishing out pain. Kojima provided a babyface rooting interest. Jordynne Grace displayed creative ways to show her strength. Black Taurus’ mix of power and agility is a marvel. Madman Fulton’s four-man slam was rowdy.

The Knockouts division also performed well. Despite the predictability with heavy underdogs, the champs worked their craft as best they can for entertaining affairs.

We’ll close with a promo from Maclin.

Against All Odds is available for viewing through the Impact Plus app.

Share your thoughts on Against All Odds. What was your favorite match? Who stole the night?