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Against All Odds PPV Preview, OR
Looking Ahead to the 2005 Grammys
February 11, 2005

by Jason Longshore
Guest TNA Expert for OnlineOnslaught.com


This Sunday marks both TNA's 4th monthly PPV, this one called Against All Odds, and the 47th annual Grammy awards.  As a longtime music fanatic, and working in music retail, the Grammys have always been one of the few awards shows I've watched on a regular basis.  This year will be different, due to my card carrying TNA 

fan membership status.  I thought it might be fun to steal a gimmick from other OO writers and use this year's Grammys to preview Against All Odds...

B.G. James/Jeff Hammond v. Michael Shane/Frankie Kazarian
Best New Age Album

The Grammys have roughly 946,000 categories and all of them don't fit into a 3 hour broadcast.  Fortunately, that means we don't have to see awards given out for categories like the Best New Age Album. 

Unfortunately, Against All Odds only has eight matches and they had to put this one on the PPV.  Jeff Hammond has been the guest announcer on Impact due to the tie-in with FSN's NASCAR coverage.  This all started because Shane and Kazarian decided to laugh at Hammond while he was learning some tricks of the trade from B.G. James and the 3 Live Kru.  I really can't blame them, but anyway.  3LK decided to stick up for their racin' buddy, and here we are.  Hopefully it's short, hopefully Shane and Kazarian beat down Mr. NASCAR, and hopefully the fans' love for anything 3LK will keep the crowd from dying.  The best thing about this match was Shane and Kazarian's line about NASCAR standing for Non Athletic Sport Centered Around Rednecks.

Elix Skipper v. Petey Williams

Best Rap Album

While rap is one of the top selling genres of music today, it usually isn't treated with a whole lot of respect at the Grammys.  That has been changing somewhat in recent years, Outkast's Speakerboxx/The Love Below won the overall Best Album award last year.  However, the nominations this year are a bit ridiculous.  Critical and commercial favorites Jay-Z and Kanye West (more on him later) are rightful nominees.  Nelly's Suit album was questionable, but not a horrible choice.  However, To the 5 Boroughs by the Beastie Boys and DEFinition by L.L. Cool J are laughable.  Their longevity got them the nominations, not the quality or sales of their records.  If you want critical favorites, you could nominate releases from De La Soul, K-OS, Mos Def, or Talib Kweli.  If you want commercial hits, you could go with Twista, G-Unit, Ludacris, or Juvenile.  If the nomination committee hasn't heard of you, you're screwed here.  

Speaking of a lack of respect, the match should be far better than your typical second match on the card.  Williams was the longest reigning X Division champion before dropping the belt to AJ Styles last month.  Skipper was the star of December's PPV with his hurricanrana off the top of the steel cage.  Although both have had excellent matches with a wide variety of opponents, this is the first time they've crossed paths on PPV.  There is no back story behind the match, but it should be a good one nonetheless.  The winner should be in good position to challenge for the X Title in the future.  My guess is Skipper gets the win to move up the ranks and eventually face off with former partner Christopher Daniels.  Williams will be fine without the win, the Team Canada gimmick will keep him over. 

Raven v. Dustin Rhodes

Prince's Musicology Album

While he received quite a few nominations, Prince was left out of the coveted Album of the Year derby.  Musicology had the double dose of critical acclaim and commercial sales, but it wasn't enough for a shot at the most prestigious award of the night.  Being released early in the year could have hurt its chances, it seemed to be lost in the shuffle a bit. 

The Raven/Dustin feud started out well.  Raven pulled out his old "let's break some guy's fingers" trick that works so well, this time on Cassidy Reilly.  This brought out Dustin, who defended Reilly.  Rhodes and Raven's nemesis from last month, Erik Watts, decided to take young Reilly under their wing.   This led to Raven costing the team of Rhodes/Reilly a match against his (hopefully) future lackeys, the Naturals.  That's pretty much it.  It hasn't been a main feature on Impact for the last couple of weeks.  That's a shame, I think this is another match that should be much better than the build up.  I guess that's the drawback of only having four hours of TV to build to a PPV, some matches get lost in the shuffle.  I could go either way on the finish, but I'd lean to a Raven win that starts his march back to the World Title picture.

Scott Hall/Bobby Roode v. DDP/Monty Brown

Velvet Revolver

When I first heard about Scott Weiland joining up with the former Guns N' Roses (minus Mr. Rose), I thought it was an awful idea.  Here was a talented band trading one troubled frontman for another.  It looked even worse when not even a few weeks after the announcement, Weiland was on his was to rehab again.  I didn't think an album would ever appear out of these guys.  When the album finally came out, I was disappointed on the first listen.  I thought it sounded too much like Slash and the boys trying to sound like Stone Temple Pilots.  However, after a few listens, I've come around to it.  Contraband deserves the nominations it received. 

I wasn't too impressed with the pairings in this match either on first look.  DDP and Brown have shown each other respect since their match-up at Final Resolution last month.  Hall came to Roode's, and the rest of Team Canada's, aid after a failed post-match beatdown of the Alpha Male on Impact.  DDP came down to help Brown out, and presto, we have ourselves a match.  Hall should be entertaining, with the other three carrying the wrestling end of the match.  DDP can take Hall out with a Diamond Cutter, and Brown should get the pin after delivering Pounces to all the Canadians in the building.  He needs something to start rebuilding after losing for the second time to Jarrett last month. 

Abyss v. Jeff Hardy

Best Country Album

I've seen a slew of predictions for the Grammys, and they've been fairly split on the Best Country Album category.  You have some siding with the returning veteran Loretta Lynn, while others are picking the young upstart Gretchen Wilson.  Lynn's Van Lear Rose album was a great one, Jack White of the White Stripes produced it and helped revive a legend's career.  Wilson's debut album was one of the top sellers of the year in any genre, and it dominated country radio. 

Both albums are worthy, but Grammy voters are always a fan of the comeback album. That will sway them to give the award to Lynn.

Jeff Hardy was celebrating his victory over Scott Hall at Final Resolution when Abyss came out of nowhere to decimate him.  The rumors were flying that Abyss was gone from TNA and on his way to WWE, but he came back at the last minute in the shock of the night.  He has kept up with his attacks on Hardy, getting the better of him for the most part.  The match has been dubbed Full Metal Mayhem, basically TNA's version of the TLC match.  Hanging above the ring will be two envelopes.  One has a contract for the World Title shot, and I guess the other has a gift certificate to the Universal Studios souvenir shop.  I think Abyss will get the title shot, probably as a thank you for signing a new contract.  Meanwhile, Jeff will be asking for pink and green body paint in the gift shop. 

NWA World Tag Team Titles:  
America's Most Wanted v. Kid Kash/Lance Hoyt


Best Rock Album

This category should be the easiest pick of the night.  The Killers are out of place here, I love the record, but don't synthesizers take you out of the rock category?  Elvis Costello's album was alright, but it lacked the commercial appeal to get very far here.  Hoobastank and the word "best" really shouldn't share a sentence.  Velvet Revolver would be a good choice most years, but not this time.  Green Day's American Idiot album is the clear winner.  It's been high on the Billboard charts ever since it's release and it topped many critics' year end lists.  I'd be shocked with any other outcome. 

After a lot of matches that could go either way, this one is an easy decision.  Kash and Hoyt (the former Dallas, I guess somebody checked his birth certificate) make a good heel tandem, but they are not going over AMW.  This match came about in the same way most Kid Kash matches happen, Kash starts running his mouth and talks his way into a match.  It's easy, but it works.  AMW have really been on their game lately.  Kash is nearly always good, and even Hoyt has improved.  The match will be a good one, but the outcome shouldn't be in doubt.  I think this feud is a bit of a place holder until something bigger comes along for AMW and the Tag Titles. 

X Division Title:  
AJ Styles v. Christopher Daniels


Best New Artist

The Best New Artist category is always one of the toughest to predict.  The nominees come from a wide range of genres, so they're a little tougher to compare.  This year is no exception.  You have the Gretchen Wilson, Los Lonely Boys, Kanye West, Joss Stone, and Maroon 5.  All five had good combinations of sales and critical acclaim.  Most experts say that it's between Wilson and Kanye West.  Gretchen won the award at the American Music Awards, which sent Kanye into a hissy fit.  Literally, to the point where he said he wouldn't come back to the American Music Awards in the future.  I wouldn't be shocked to see the Grammy voters say he deserves this award since she already got one.  Personally, I'm torn between Joss Stone and Maroon 5.  Technically, neither are new artists.  Stone released her second album this year and Maroon 5's album actually came out in 2002.  I think they are the two best in the category are crossing genre boundaries. 

When AJ Styles first returned to the X Division over the summer, the plans were to set up a feud for the title between him and Christopher Daniels.  Unfortunately, Daniels injured his shoulder in Japan and they put the idea on the backburner.  Now that Daniels is freed from his XXX commitments, he can concentrate on the X Division.  Mike Tenay and Don West are fond of saying that Daniels is the best X Division wrestler to never hold the X Division title.  I can't really argue that fact.  These guys have feuded in many indy feds for years, but haven't met in TNA.  Their ten minute time limit draw on Impact only set the table for their match at Against All Odds.  Director of Authority Dusty Rhodes gave the fans what they wanted when he booked Styles and Daniels in a 30 minute Iron Man match for the PPV.  This should be the main event, but it probably won't be.  I have no idea who will get the win, and I don't really care.  The match should be excellent either way and is easily worth my money. 

NWA World Title:  
Jeff Jarrett v. Kevin Nash


Album of the Year

This is your main event of the evening.  At the Grammys, many say it comes down to two contenders, Usher and Kanye West.  I'd pick Steely Dan over either, but that's just me.  Usher's album was definitely the sales leader, selling over eight million copies thus far since its release.  He had three of the most played songs on radio in 2004.  He was basically everywhere.  Living here in Atlanta, it's even worse.  I went to a party last year that featured Usher's Confessions album on repeat and my ears were bleeding by the end of it.  It was a solid R&B album, don't get me wrong, but I really don't want to ever hear it again.  His cocky attitude doesn't help his likability much either. 

I didn't think it would be possible, but Kanye West has trumped Usher in the attitude category.  I've read at least three articles where he complains to the magazine that he got four stars for his album instead of five.  This was after magazines were falling all over themselves to name him Artist of the Year, or something similar.  If you ask him, Kanye will tell you that he made a classic album, one of the best ever made by anyone.  Somebody needs a reality check.  His album was good, it had some catchy singles on it.  It wasn't the groundbreaking classic Kanye would lead you to believe though.  As a rapper, he's fine.  He's not great, but he's not bad either.  He's best as a producer, but still he's a bit of a one trick pony.  His great tracks are built by sampling other artists.  That takes a good bit of skill, but it's far different from creating a track from scratch.  He doesn't do a whole lot to change the sample either, his talents lie in picking the right samples to use.  I hope he doesn't Google his name, find this article, and cry all over his pink suit, but that's the truth.  Sorry Kanye, you're not going down in history just yet. 

Now, there's a reason I'm spending more time talking about Usher and Kanye West than the World Title match.  The reason is, I don't care who wins.  Jarrett is an arrogant prick who keeps winning his matches by blatant cheating.  Nash has said that he isn't a good wrestler and only wants the belt so he can make more money.  Does either inspire you to root for them?  I talked about a possible "fingerpoke of doom" finish for the title match in last month's preview.  I'm hoping they didn't decide to save it for Against All Odds.  That would be an awful ending for what looks to be a good card.  There's no upside to putting the belt on Nash, so just keep it on Jarrett for now.  It's really time to get the belt on someone else though.  I'm still calling for another King of the Mountain match where someone new, like Monty Brown or Abyss, gets the belt.  Could Nash just twist his spleen on the way to the ring and force a replacement match? 

Bitching about the World Title match aside, I am looking forward to the PPV.  The undercard, while somewhat under-booked, should result in good matches throughout.  Styles/Daniels should be an early Match of the Year contender and would be worth my thirty bucks by itself.  TNA has delivered, in my opinion, on each of their monthly PPV's thus far.  Here's hoping that Against All Odds is no exception.  We'll see in Monday's recap.


Damian Gonzalez has not yet filed one of these mini-bios.

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