Kenny Omega’s belt collection is fully intact thanks to his friends the Young Bucks. Because if it wasn’t for them, he may have very well lost the Impact World Championship to Moose on Saturday at the Against All Odds event, which aired on the company’s Impact Plus streaming service. The match was a solid capper to a show that was full of decent matches, but really delivered with the last two title matches.
In the first of those, Deonna Purrazzo successfully retained the Knockouts Championship against the demonic Rosemary.
This was all Rosemary in the opening minutes, and she had Purrazzo hurt with her berserker style attack, both inside the ring and on the floor. But then Purrazzo tied up Rosemary’s arm in the ringpost and kicked it, causing Rosemary to shriek in pain.
The injured arm allowed Purrazzo to go back to her patented submission style, and she worked it over, trying to set up for her Venus De Milo submission. Rosemary was able to absorb a lot of pain, though, and she fought back valiantly, even reversing an Armbar into a Submission Crossface of her own. But Purrazzo was single-focused, and she broke out of that, to go back to attempting to lock on the Venus De Milo. At one point she had it on, but Rosemary grabbed the rope to break it.
Purrazzo then tried a different tactic, tying up Rosemary’s legs and then undoing the challenger’s leg brace. Ultimately, that proved to be the difference-maker. Because when Rosemary fired back and went for As Above Down Below, her knee buckled. That gave Purrazzo the moment she needed. She kicked Rosemary in the weakened knee, then scooped her up and hit a Piledriver to get the pin.
They told a great story in this one. Purrazzo is so talented and really is head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. At this point, there’s really nobody left for her to face… perhaps a recent WWE departee may be the one who can topple her?
As good as that match was – and it was the match of the night up to that point – Omega and Moose may have even been better. The unique setting and the presentation also helped, since it was done in Daily’s Place in front of live fans (members of AEW’s developmental roster), and had a never-seen-before commentary team of AEW’s Tony Schiavone who was joined by both Scott D’Amore and Don Callis from Impact.
That said, there were some negatives, namely the ring introductions by Justin Roberts, which were bogged down in usual nonsensical over-the-toppery, which really was unbefitting of a title match.
The match itself was better. Omega was very tentative to mix it up with Moose fairly, so went to the eyes to gain the advantage, and then a choke. But Moose powered up and heaved Omega halfway across the ring. Omega used some more dirty tactics, and then tried for an early One-Winged Angel, but Moose was able to block it.
Omega was able to even things out with his speed and aerials, sending Moose to the floor and hitting a Flying Swan Dive. But when he went for a High Cross Body in the ring, Moose caught him and slammed him down hard. Later, Moose avoided a Moonsault attempt and Kenny crashed hard. This let Moose take over, and he methodically punished Omega with stomps and power moves. But when Moose went for a running stampede attack on the floor, Kenny sidestepped him, and Moose went flying into the ringside chairs – that looked great.
Omega then took over, beating up Moose for an extended period on the floor. D’Amore covered for this well, saying that the referee had been given advance instructions to give some forbearance to the 10-count rule, distinguishing this from the normal AEW casual disregard for the rules.
Omega pressed his advantage in the ring, alternating between kicking Moose and disrespectfully slapping his face. He then locked on an Armbar, but Moose broke it and started to mount a comeback, despite the weakened arm.
He blasted Omega with a big Uppercut and a series of Dropkicks for a near-fall. But Kenny shifted into higher gear, and hit a Snapdragon Suplex and some V-Triggers that downed Moose. They exchanged forearm shots in the middle of the ring, but Omega got the edge with a big Clothesline and a huge Double Underhook Suplex. He followed that up with some more V-Triggers that flattened Moose. He tried again for the OWA, and got Moose in position, but Moose escaped. But he landed on his shoulder and was in so much pain, it looked like the doctors were going to call the match. Moose shoved the doctor aside, and then dropped Omega with a Spanish Fly. He went for the Spear, but Omega pulled the referee in the way, and Hebner got flattened.
With the ref out, the Young Bucks ran in and they took out Moose with some Superkicks and some BTE Triggers. They then placed Moose on Omega’s shoulders for the One Winged Angel.
The Bucks woke up Hebner and he counted the pin.
After the match, the Bucks and Omega were celebrating their tainted victory when the lights went off. When they turned back on, Sami Callihan was in the ring, and he blasted the Bucks and Omega with his baseball bat. Don Callis came to the ring and demanded that Callihan cease and desist. Callihan signaled his defiance by bringing a chair into the ring with the intent to harm Omega with the bat-chair combo. Callis went ballistic, and fired Callihan before storming off – followed by Scott D’Amore, who appeared angry by Callis’ decision – leaving Callihan to hurl some profanities at him as the show came to an end.
This was very good, and probably one of Moose’s best matches ever. Omega did many of his greatest hits, but he kept his customary fake gymnastics and over-dramatic theatrics to a minimum, which was good. Moose looked like a strong force to be reckoned with, and if they upped the crossovers even more, he would be a good candidate to represent Impact in the battle. The way he lost kept him strong. And the ending also made Sami look like a good threat to Omega as well – perhaps leading to a potential pairing with Jon Moxley, given their hardcore histories, to eventually cost Omega both titles down the road.
Against All Odds – Full Results
Match 1: The Good Brothers vs. Sami Callihan and Tommy Dreamer – Street Fight
They started off with fists a-flyin’, and the match quickly moved to the floor, where the weapons came into play, including chairs, the ring bell, and a broom. After a while, the Good Brothers were both downed, but instead of going for the kill, Dreamer and Sami left and went to the back. But it was only to bring out more plunder, including garbage cans, cookie sheets, a chain, and a pool cue.
But the Good Brothers were able to use those implements of destruction more effectively, and soon both Sami and Tommy were in pain. At one point, the Brothers had Dreamer down for the count, and were too far away for Sami to break up the pin, so he dove onto the referee instead – that was creative.
Later, Sami made another save after the Brothers put Tommy Dreamer through a table with the worst Magic Killer ever. Shortly thereafter, Sami walloped the Brothers with his trusty baseball bat, and pinned Anderson to end things.
This was a pretty tame street fight, and didn’t really have a great flow. The Good Brothers really have not had a great match since arriving in Impact, and this one continued that unfortunate streak. But Sami looked strong, which is good since he has the next world title shot at Slammiversary.
Winners: Tommy Dreamer and Sami Callihan
Match 2: Joe Doering (w/ Violent By Design) vs. Satoshi Kojima (w/ Eddie Edwards)
These two started off with several mid-ring collisions, and surprisingly, it was Doering that went down first. But Kojima went down second, and stayed down for a bit, as Doering delivered some big powerful hits and strikes for several minutes. Kojima came back, though, and eventually hit his trademark chops in the corner that staggered Doering. He took over, and even was able to stave off interference by VBD on the floor, going toe-to-toe with Rhino and coming up standing.
Kojima slipped out of a Powerbomb and hit a DDT for a near-fall, and looked like he was in good shape. But he couldn’t withstand a Spinning Powerbomb, and Doering got the big win.
This was fine. Doering has been booked great as the unstoppable monster, and this match only helped continue that momentum. Not sure whether this means an end of Kojima’s run in Impact, but as he lost convincingly, it seems that he’s served his purpose.
Winner: Joe Doering
Backstage, Rosemary rallied Decay, hoping for two wins by their faction tonight.
Match 3: Ace Austin (w/ Mad Man Fulton) vs. Chris Bey vs. Rohit Raju vs. Petey Williams vs. Trey Miguel
The winner of this one becomes the number one contender for Josh Alexander’s X-Division Championship. Not surprisingly, this one was too quick to call early on, with everyone going at a dizzying pace. Trey hit the first major spot of the night with a somersault dive on the floor that took out everyone else. Everyone got their moment to shine in this one, with an extended sequence where Rohit was dominating everyone, moving between the rest and taking his shots. Later, Austin hit a Springboard Legdrop on two opponents at the same time, which looked nice.
Later, Petey hit Austin with a Super Canadian Destroyer that should have ended things, but Trey broke up the count. Trey then went for a top rope move to end things, but Mad Man Fulton popped up and grabbed him. Soon, he had every one other than Austin in his grasp, and in a neat move, he picked all of them up and hit a single man Tower of Doom spot on all four. He then dragged Austin and put him on top of one of the others for the academic pinfall. But, instead of counting the fall, the referee threw out the match, ruling it a no contest because of Fulton’s interference.
This was good, with lots of X-Division action. The ending was a clever way to spin off into an Alexander-Fulton feud, if that’s the way they want to go (and they should). Fulton looked really impressive here, and he and Alexander could have some fantastically physical matches.
Winner: No Contest
Match 4: W. Morrissey vs. Rich Swann
Swann used his speed to hit and move in the early moments, and he had some success, even sending the big man to the floor and hitting a big Somersault Senton off the apron. But when things got back into the ring, a huge boot knocked Swann out of the air and into the world of hurt. Morrissey then just bullied with Swann, using his strength to ground Swann, whip him into the corners, and at one point, literally tossing him aside like a bag of garbage.
But Swann was able to deke a kick attempt, and Morrissey crotched himself on the top rope, buying Swann some room. A big dropkick on the floor dropped Morrissey, and then Swann followed up with a 450-Splash off the apron onto Morrissey who was lying on the floor.
In the ring, Swann hit another 450-Splash, and followed that up with a Phoenix Splash, but Morrissey kicked out! Morrissey then picked up Swann, heaved him up onto his shoulders, and rocked Swann with a big F-5. Instead of going for a pin, Morrissey went for a Chokeslam. Swann got out of it, but then went for a Reverse Handspring Elbow, but instead got a boot in the back. Two Powerbombs followed, and despite Swann’s defiant bird-flipping, he couldn’t withstand a third one, and got pinned.
This was good. Morrissey has major star power and the way he’s run through Willie Mack and now Rich Swann has solidified that. He really should be moving up into title contention, and hopefully they don’t mire him in the midcard too long.
Winner: W. Morrissey
Backstage, Gia Miller interviewed Deonna Purrazzo, Kimber Lee, and Susan. They predicted that all of them would leave the show wearing titles.
Match 5: Tenille Dashwood (w/ Kaleb) vs. Jordynne Grace (w/ Rachael Ellering)
This was a battle of dirty tricks by Dashwood vs. Grace’s power. Grace was dominant early on, but when Kaleb got involved, things leaned the other way. At one point, he and Dashwood yanked Grace hard off the apron, dumping her hard on the floor. After that, Dashwood took control, cranking on submission holds and generally using some cheap shots to sap Grace’s strength. It didn’t work entirely, though, and Grace caught her in a Low Cross Body attempt and hit several Powerslams that hurt Tenille.
Grace had Tenille in trouble, but Dashwood was able to escape and even hit a High Cross Body for a pinfall attempt, and then a big Running Elbow that stunned Grace. At one point, Dashwood had Grace stacked up in a pin attempt and Grace had to grab the ropes to break the count. Grace recovered and locked on a Sleeper Bear Hug that nearly had Dashwood out, but Kaleb’s interference made Grace break the hold. Rachael tried to assist Grace, but Grace told her to stay out of it, wanting to prove to everyone that she wasn’t the weak link of their team. As Ellering tried to explain her actions, Grace got rolled up by Dashwood and pinned. After the match, Grace was mad. Ellering gave her a pep talk, and that inspired Grace to run into the ring and take out Kaleb.
This was fine, and continued Grace’s slow burn. Dashwood does just enough in her matches that nothing is mind-blowing, but the matches are decent.
Winner: Tenille Dashwood
Backstage, Brian Myers was giving Sam Beale more wrestling lessons based on the action so far. Jake Something walked in and made some snide comments about Myers. The two went chest-to-chest, but before anything got physical, Myers delivered his newest lesson to Beale: don’t take the bait. And he left.
Match 6: Kimber Lee and Susan vs. Fire N Flava (c) – for the Knockouts Tag Team Championship
Between Susan and Fire N Flava, this match may break records for the loudest and most-sustained in-ring trash-talk chatter ever. There was some comedy early on, which isn’t necessarily for the best in a title match, but not unexpected with Susan in there. When Lee was in there, the match fared better as she used her submission skills and strength effectively. A nice spot saw Steelz reverse a Powerbomb attempt into a Hurancarana. Later, the champs hit a nice Combination Sliced Bread #2 on Hogan.
The end saw Fire N Flava put Susan down. Steelz was going for a Frog Splash to end things, but Lee ran in to try to break things up. So Steelz adjusted and hit her with a Missile Dropick that sent Lee flying out of the ring. Susan was still down, so Steelz went back to Plan A, hit the Frog Splash, and got the pin.
The match was good, and the ending was right. Susan is still a bit too much of the ha-ha, and at this point, the character has really worn out its welcome.
Winners, and still Knockouts Tag Team Champions: Fire N Flava
Match 7: Decay (Crazzy Steve and Black Taurus) vs. Violent By Design (Rhino and Deaner) (w/ Eric Young) (c) – for the Impact Tag Team Championship
The story in this one was that Deaner was being out-minded by both members of Decay, and would constantly need to get yelled at by Young to get his head back in the game. Rhino fared a bit better physically, using his size and power to great effect.
His clobbering offense allowed VBD to isolate Black Taurus, and they beat him down for several minutes. Taurus was able to get free after an Air Minotaur, and he tagged in Steve, who frenzied all over Deaner, who again had to seek words of wisdom from Young.
Decay really had Deaner’s number, and they nearly had him pinned, forcing Rhino to make the save. Taurus tried to take out Rhino, but instead, he ended up on the floor where he tweaked his knee. This left Steve alone 2-on1 – actually, 3-on-1, as he had also had to deal with the distraction of Young on the outside. That was his undoing, and after he turned to confront Young while standing on the turnbuckles, Rhino knocked him down, and then Deaner yanked him up and spiked him with a DeanerDT for the pin.
This was a by-the-book match and the story of Deaner’s need for Young to keep him focused is a good one. Taurus is fun to watch, and it would be neat to see him in a singles run at some point, because he is so unique.
Winners, and still Impact Tag Team Champions: Violent By Design
A Maclin vignette aired. He still enjoys his Jamesons.
Match 8: Rosemary vs. Deonna Purrazzo (c) – for the Knockouts Championship
Winner, and still Knockouts Champion: Deonna Purrazzo
Match 9: Moose vs. Kenny Omega (c) – for the Impact World Championship
Against All Odds - June 12th, 2021
Skyway Studios - Nashville, TN and Daily's Place - Jacksonville, FL
The two title matches really delivered, with the Moose-Omega match being really well-done. For the most part, the rest of the matches accomplished what they had to, either by wrapping up storylines, building up some big talents (Doering, Morrissey, and Fulton in particular), or continuing the build for Slammiversary. This show demonstrated how good the AEW-Impact crossover can be – hopefully they can build on this even more heading into Slammiversary. That, and the potential arrivals of some recent WWE departees could poise Impact very well for the rest of the year.