With some big battles between old guards and young lions, Impact Wrestling’s Against All Odds show comes to us from Columbus, OH, featuring Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt on commentary. Dave and Gavin Hillhouse bring you the action for SlamWrestling.net, taking turns doing play-by-play and colour commentary.
Frankie Kazarian VS. Eddie Edwards (w/ Alisha Edwards)
G: Last time I was really into Impact, Edwards was their big babyface if I remember correctly, so this is an interesting watch.
D: Edwards starts with a wrist hold and hip toss, but soon enough the match devolves into slaps and spits in the face. Kazarian drops Edwards in the middle of the ring with a neckbreaker, then Kazarian suffers the first big tumble while getting thrown over the top rope. After Alisha rakes his back and jaws at some front row fans, Edwards connects with a suicide dive and missile dropkick sequence.
Hannifan and Rehwoldt make sure the fans know that this is the first match between these two, and that they were both trained by Killer Kowalski. In fact, they say it a lot. Kazarian takes control with a springboard hurricanrana, but when he tries for a springboard leg drop, Alisha blocks him from the apron.
G: Alysha’s disco ball top is cool, and I really wish Edwards had matching gear.
D: Kazarian does his springboard hurricanrana anyway from another side of the ring, so Alisha’s efforts were easily foiled. She gets involved again by placing Edward’s leg on the ropes to stop a pinfall after a Kazarian belly to back piledriver, and she’s ejected for her interference. The end comes as Edwards brings Kazarian down with a superplex, but with both men’s shoulders’ down the ref counts to three, then calls it off, before Kazarian reverses a sunset flip to get the win.
G: The mark of a good heel is how well they sell getting thrown out by the ref, and Alisha killed it.
Winner via pinfall: Frankie Kazarian
D: Nick Aldis, Bully Ray, Heath, and Jonathan Gresham all promote their willingness to win – and I must say I’ve never noticed how much Bully Ray sounds like Paul Heyman. At the end of his rant, he is kind enough to remind us that his name is, in fact, Bully Ray.
The ABC (Ace & Bey) (C) VS. The Good Hands (John Skyler and Jason Hotch, w/ Brian Myers) – for the Impact Tag Team Championships
G: The Good Hands come out with Myers immediately dishing out some smack talk on their behalf, but ABC let their entrance and sweet Bullet Club theme song speak for itself. Bey starts off against Skyler, who takes early control with a headlock. Bey gets slammed but counters with a rollup for 1. Hotch gets tagged in and gets arm dragged around the ring by Bey, who tags in Ace to hit a leg drop and moonsault combo for 2. Skyler comes back in and lures Ace to the outside, and he gets ambushed by Hotch when he chases Skyler back inside the ring.
D: Hotch looks very relaxed on the apron watching the action. A little Ken Dryden-esque, in fact. Note: A few minutes into the match, we have a problem with the streaming and jump back in not long before the ending.
G: The Good Hands hit a Magic Killer on Ace, but he kicks out at 2. Skyler tags in Hotch and they go for the Favour, but Ace fights his way out with an enziguri. Bey hits a DDT to take Skyler out of the equation, and Ace uses a headscissors to toss Hotch into a cutter from Bey, which Ace follows up with the Fold for the win.
Winners via pinfall and STILL Impact World Tag Team Champions: The ABC
Trinity and Deonna Purrazzo talk about their teaming tonight, while keeping an eye on their upcoming match for Purrazzo’s World Title.
Masha Slamovich VS. Killer Kelly – Dog Collar Match
D: Once both Knockouts are tied together with the dog collar, the bell rings and they slowly march towards one another. Once within striking distance, they trade blows before Slamovich gets the first chain attack by pulling it back across Kelly’s mouth, then wrapping it around her hand and arm and stomping on the chain.
G: These two are looking to make the name “Knockouts” literal with some fun little unprotected headbutts.
D: A tug of war comes to pass on the floor, with both women pulling the other into the ringpost in turn. Back in the ring, hard forearms go back and forth until a double clothesline sends them both to the mat. Once back up, Kelly uses the chain to hit a short-arm clothesline on Slamovich, who soon afterwards sends Kelly to the floor with a kick, and then follows her out, wrapping the chain around the ropes, then using them to hang Kelly off the floor for a few moments.
They untangle and get back into the ring where Kelly almost gets a three-count using Slamovich’s Snowplow, but Masha shows her how it’s done by using the same move for the win.
Winner via pinfall: Masha Slamovich
G: Masha Slamovich is easily one of the best names in wrestling right now.
Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley are in the interview room, both pumped for what they hope will be title victories tonight. Sabin is up for his first.
Chris Sabin VS. Trey Miguel (C) – for the X Division Championship
G: Trey runs around to start off the match, dodging Sabin to make him angry. Sabin catches him with a swanton off the apron and a gutbuster, followed by a knee to the gut and a slam for 2. Sabin places Trey up on the top rope, but Trey slips down, kicks Sabin and hits a neckbreaker for 2. Trey slows down the pace by grounding Sabin and pounding him with wild fists, before pinning him for 2. He continues the onslaught with some chops, but when he goes for a DDT, Sabin hits him with a backbreaker and flatliner combo.
D: Hashtag update: Against All Odds was trending #10 at the beginning of the show, and now it’s #9. That was important enough to make the commentary, so I’m passing it on to you, Slam Wrestling readers. (Spoiler: they never update it again, so #9 was the best it got)
G: The two go out to the apron, where Trey misses a stomp and gets tossed into the post. Trey hits a kick, but Sabin answers with a wild spear onto the apron. The two struggle back to their feet on the outside, before Sabin brings Trey back inside and locks in a hammerlock. He continues the attack on the midsection with a spear in the corner before locking in a torture rack backbreaker and turning it into a cool slam for 2. Trey goes for a flying attack, but Sabin catches him with a knee and locks in an abdominal stretch. He hits a pumphandle slam for another 2 count. Trey gets a burst of offense with a figure four suplex before locking in a painful looking Koji Clutch. Sabin goes back to the midsection with a strike, but it doesn’t slow down Trey as he hits a reverse DDT and transitions smoothly into a dragon sleeper. Sabin reverses it into a pin for 2, but falls victim to a flurry of strikes. Sabin answers with a gutbuster and an Angel’s Wings for 2.
D: The crowd is finally coming to life a bit during this match. I’ve seen and heard a lot about Impact crowds, and this one is largely staying true to my expectations.
G: Sabin looks for the Cradle Shock, but Trey fights out of it. Sabin hits a kick to the gut, but Trey fights back with a meteora. Trey hits his own Cradle Shock, but Sabin kicks out. Trey rolls out of the ring and grabs a can of spray paint from under the ring. He distracts the ref with one can of paint, and while he disposes of it, pulls out another and sprays Sabin with it. He rolls him up, but only gets a 2 count. Trey brings Sabin up to the top rope, but proves a mistake for him as Sabin hits a Chicago Skyline. Sabin grabs some water and splashes his eyes with it, but upon entering the ring, he runs into a kick from Trey. The two trade reversals before Sabin hits a beautiful Styles Clash, but he only gets a 2 count from it. He doesn’t slow down, hitting a Clothesline from Hell before hitting a Cradle Shock to pick up the win and capture his 9th X-Division Championship.
Winner via pinfall and NEW X-Division Champion: Chris Sabin
D: The show moved on awfully quickly from Sabin’s win. Would have been nice to let him have more of a moment.
Moose, Rich Swann, Mike Bailey, and PCO VS. Bully Ray, Jonathan Gresham, Heath, and Nick Aldis
D: 8-man tag match … awesome (these are always too chaotic to call properly). The winning team will, by the way, immediately begin a Fatal 4-Way for a shot at the World Title. Gresham and Bailey start off with some acrobatics, while Swann and Heath soon tag in and start a dance-off. Moose comes in and doesn’t dance – he beats Heath to the mat and tags in Bailey, who lands kick after kick on Heath.
Ray tags in and talks a lot of smack on Bailey until he takes a superkick to the throat. PCO’s turn – and he takes out everybody on the other team in turn, spending most of his time against Gresham and landing a second rope leg drop. Moose tags in and hits a powerbomb for a two-count.
Swann tags in blindly and is accidentally speared by Moose, allowing Grisham to pin Rich and move the match on to part two.
Bully Ray VS. Jonathan Gresham VS. Heath VS. Nick Aldis – Fatal 4-Way for a title shot at the Impact World Championship
G: All three other competitors immediately target Ray, hitting a series of kicks and clotheslines to force him outside. Heath and Aldis fight in the ring, but join forces again when Ray comes back in the ring, and Heath and Aldis hold Ray’s legs apart, and Gresham hits a flying headbutt to the nether region. The 3 remaining wrestlers trade roll-ups, trying to end it early, but nobody gets anything. Aldis hits a suplex on Gresham, but Heath comes in to take him on; Aldis sends Heath outside, and Gresham sends him out before hitting them both with a suicide dive.
D: This is a cool concept for a match, by the way, especially how there’s no break in between.
G: Ray slams Gresham into the post and grabs a chair. Before he can use it, Scott D’Amore comes in and grabs the chair from Ray. The two trade some harsh words in the ring, before Scott gets fed up and hits Ray with the chair. Heath hits Ray with a Wake-Up Call, and Gresham hits a splash, but Aldis breaks it up. Gresham looks for a superplex on Aldis, but Heath turns it into a powerbomb. Heath pins both of them but gets a pin on neither. Gresham locks in a submission hold, and Aldis climbs to the top rope and hits an elbow drop on both of them. Aldis grabs Heath and locks in the King’s Lynn Cloverleaf to tap out Heath and punch his ticket to Slammiversary.
Winner via pinfall and #1 Contender: Nick Aldis
Steve Maclin gets a turn to share his thoughts about the night’s event. He’s as confident as everyone else.
Gisele Shaw & Savannah Evans (w/ Jai Vidal) VS. Trinity and Deonna Purrazzo
D: Shaw starts off with Purrazzo, with the former taking a stiff clothesline from the champ. Trinity tags in and drops a split-leg drop on Shaw before Evans comes in only to be dropkicked into the opponents’ corner. Back to Shaw and Purrazzo, with Gisele landing a solid, spinning back elbow. More tags see Trinity leap from the apron with an X-Factor on Evans.
G: Gisele Shaw looks and wrestles like a true star; if Trinity doesn’t beat Purrazzo, she should definitely be next in line.
After all four enter the ring and take one another out, Purrazzo shoves Evans into a kick from Trinity. That brings Shaw in to distract the ref, allowing Vidal to drop Trinity on the outside. Despite this, Purrazzo rolls up Evans for the win.
Winners via pinfall: Purrazzo & Trinity
As the heels continue a beating on Purrazzo, Trinity returns to the ring and saves her Slammiversary opponent.
The Design (Angels, Kon, & Cody Deaner) VS. OVE (Sami Callihan, Jake Crist, Madman Fulton)
G: The match starts off with all competitors brawling all around the ring. Weapons are used very early, with everyone looking to deal as much damage as quickly as possible. Crist and Deaner fight in the ring, with Crist hitting a flying clothesline. Kon takes a metal sheet to Fulton on the outside, and Crist hits a dropkick onto a chair, onto a trash can, onto a Deaner. Crist gets extreme by rolling a barbed wire wrapped rolling pin on Deaner’s back. Sami hits an exploder on Angels, tossing into a chair, before grabbing a staple gun and trying to take it to Angels’ face. Angels avoids it and looks for a sunset flip, but Sami counters by just stapling his chest. Sami tries to staple Deaner, but Kon turns it onto him.
D: I’ll be honest, I was really hoping there wouldn’t be any stapling tonight. Oh well.
G: Fulton comes in to take on the Design, but he gets double-teamed by Angels and Deaner. He hits a combo move on the both of them by putting Angels in Deaner’s arms and hitting Deaner with a cutter. Sami yells for Fulton to get out the barbed wire, and the two pull out two boards laced with wire. Angels grabs on to Fulton’s hair to avoid getting slammed into the wire, before wrapping some of the wire around his hand and hitting a big Brodie Lee lariat. Crist comes in and hits a Samoan Driver onto Angels, but Angels retaliates and sets him up for a superplex onto the wire. Sami comes in and tries to piledrive Angels, but Angels escapes and kicks him. He looks for a frog splash, but Crist intercepts him with a flying cutter. Deaner comes in and looks for a suplex on Sami, but Sami turns it around and suplexes him onto the barbed wire. Sami grabs a bag of tacks and pours it onto the ground, but before he can piledrive Deaner onto it, Kon comes in and chokeslams him onto them for a 2 count.
D: Kon falling on Callihan for the pin and being surprised that his hand landed on thumbtacks was kind of funny.
G: Fulton comes in and he and Kon fight up the ramp before chokeslamming each other off the stage and through a table. Deaner and Crist fight on the apron, with Deaner slamming Crist through the barbed wire board. Deaner and Angels set up a table and a ladder back in the ring, and Angels hits a frog splash off the ladder onto Sami on the table. This move miraculously only gets a 2 count, and Deaner retrieves a baseball bat from outside of the ring. Sami ducks his swing and Angels catches the bat in the face, allowing Sami to hit the Cactus Driver 97 for a 2 count. He drives the bat into Deaner’s face before hitting another Cactus Driver 97 onto the barbed wire to pick up the win.
Winners via pinfall: OVE
Steve Maclin (C) VS. Alex Shelley – for the Impact World Championship
D: Shelley chases the champ to the floor for a breather in the opening moments, but Maclin chops him and drops him to his knees. Shelley focuses a dropkick on Maclin’s left knee, sending him to the floor for another break. Back in the ring, Shelley has Maclin on the mat, stretching his left arm from several angles, transitioning into a straightjacket.
When Shelley misses a running kick, Maclin lands a German suplex followed by a solid suicide dive. The fight remains outside long enough for Maclin to hit a suplex and drop an elbow off the apron, but once back in the ring, Shelley focuses on the left arm again and prevents Maclin from continuing his attack.
G: Maclin’s spear to Shelley on the outside from under the second rope was scary fast and accurate.
D: Shelley keeps his attacks concentrated on sharp attacks with a chop block, and a crucifix pin into a Border City Stretch which Maclin fights free from, only for Shelley to lock in a figure-four submission.
G: “You don’t try to outswim a dolphin, you cut off its fins” Matthew Rewholdt
D: As Maclin fights to escape the leglock, Maclin rips the turnbuckle pad off the second rope. Opting for high impact moves, Maclin hits a Busaiku Knee and a diving headbutt off the top rope. Maclin drops Shelley with his KIA, and Alex stays in the match by getting a foot on the rope at the count of two.
G: Recognizing the moves that Shelley uses as moves he’s likely taught to other famous wrestlers is a really cool analytical experience
D: Shelley’s run into the exposed (but still padded) turnbuckle and then dropped with a running powerslam, but he still kicks out. Maclin takes a dive into the exposed buckle, and then another, and a superkick leads to a Shellshock … which leads to a victory!
Winner via pinfall and NEW Impact World Champion: Alex Shelley
G: I liked all the matches. It was solid. I wish that the dog collar match got a better crowd reaction, since it was one of the highlights of the night for me.
D: The main event made the night better, which is exactly what it was supposed to do. We’ll see how things go in the long run with the “classic” stars going over the youth.
June 9th, 2023: Slam Wrestling’s Countdown to Against All Odds