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Posted in: The Crow's Nest
The Crow's Nest - Will TNA Beat the Odds?
By TheCrow
Feb 11, 2012 - 9:55:58 PM

1) Against All Odds Predictions

We're one day away from TNA's second PPV event of the year, Against All Odds. I was less than impressed with TNA's last PPV showing in January, so I'm really looking for this one to step it up. I mentioned in my preview column for Genesis that it was crucial for TNA to start 2012 off on a strong note, and unfortunately they failed to deliver. It's still early enough in the year that TNA can make up for it, and looking at the card it really wouldn't be too difficult for them to do it.

The card for Against All Odds is one of those rare times where on paper it doesn't look like a 5-star event, but in terms of storyline implications it could very well end up being an extremely important show. TNA has been accused in the past of using their PPVs to build towards TV tapings as opposed to the more logical route of using TV to build towards PPVs, but in this case I think their way works. It's going to be a good enough show that the PPV will deliver (thanks to build-up from iMPACT), but it's also going to be crucial in helping to develop current and future storylines.

But instead of me just continuing to ramble on, why don't we just take a look at the card and I can show you what I mean?


AJ Styles vs. Kazarian (w/ Daniels)

I have to agree with fellow MP columnist Pen15 on one thing, and that is that AJ Styles just isn't a legitimate main event talent. He's a hell of a wrestler, don't get me wrong, but in the ever changing landscape of the wrestling industry, he just isn't well-rounded enough to be the World Champion of the second largest wrestling company in North America. That is why a feud like this is perfect. He is still in a high-profile feud, he's still getting loads of TV time, but he's away from the World Title scene. The most interesting part about this particular match however is that Kazarian still seems reluctant to listen to Daniels and turn on his former Fortune mate. It seems to me that this match could go one of two ways, and they both result in Styles getting the win. Either he wins clean and Kaz turns on Daniels, or he wins by DQ and Kaz turns on Styles. It's really difficult for me to say which one is more likely because really I could make an argument for either side. The point is, I just don't see Styles losing this match. He's come out on the losing end of this feud more often than not, and he needs some kind of victory or he risks losing even more momentum. This feud is definitely not going to end on Sunday though, I can say that much. This could very well be a contender for MotN and these guys have proven they have chemistry in the ring together, but I'm more so looking forward to how the storyline progresses.

Prediction: AJ Styles wins

TNA Knockouts Championship: Tara vs. Gail Kim {c}

Say what you will about women's wrestling, but it's one thing that TNA consistently does better than WWE. The Knockouts Division is finally being rebuilt to its former level of importance, and this match in particular stands to be one of the better women's matches in some time. Tara is easily one of the more talented female wrestlers in the industry today, and Gail Kim is no slouch either. So who am I looking at to win this particular bout? At first I wasn't so sure, because it does seem like TNA is pushing Tara to the top of the division as a face so their top heel (Kim) has someone to feud with for a while, and what better way to solidify that push than to have her win the belt. But then I started thinking that while Kim may be the top heel in the division, she still needs a big match and/or feud to make the fans remember just what she is capable of. As much as I would like to see Tara with the belt, it's just not going to happen this Sunday. Again though, I don't see this feud ending so soon. Regardless of what happens, I see a rematch happening next month at Victory Road. Maybe then Tara will be victorious, but as for Against All Odds, it's just not going to be her night.

Prediction: Gail Kim retains

X-Division #1 Contenders Match: Jesse Sorensen vs. Zema Ion

This match is giving us a nice glimpse into the future of TNA's X-Division as two of the company's brightest stars are facing off for the chance to fight for the division's top prize. I've been pretty vocal with my support for Sorensen since he debuted as I feel he's the best rookie TNA has right now, but Ion has continued to impress me over the past few weeks ever since he's fully embraced his new heel gimmick. As a face he was pretty bland and had no real character at all, but with his current shtick I think he's carving out a pretty nice spot for himself in the X-Division. Both guys are going to have a nice future in TNA, so it comes down to who's going to get the push first. Sorensen has already been around the title scene a couple of times, and despite failing to win the belt, it's pretty clear that he's not going anywhere. Zema Ion on the other hand hasn't really had a solid chance at the belt yet, and TNA seems to be pushing him pretty hard right now. As much as I would like to see Sorensen get the title shot, I really think it would be foolish to halt Zema's momentum right now as he's starting to get over with the crowd more and more each week. He's not ready to lead the division just yet, but I wouldn't doubt he'll be champ by this time next year.

Prediction: Zema Ion

X-Division Championship: Alex Shelley vs. Austin Aries {c}

Might as well follow up the #1 Contenders match with the title match. Aries has held the title since September 11 of last year, and in that time he has been a massive part of rebuilding the X-Division. On top of that, he is regularly one of the most entertaining wrestlers on the roster both in the ring and on the mic. I know I'm not alone in believing that it's only a matter of time before he moves on from the X-Division and becomes a part of TNA's main event scene. His opponent in this match, Alex Shelley, has definitely been the victim of some terrible luck as he was out with an injury for quite some time, and then when he came back his tag partner got taken out with an injury, leaving Shelley with nothing to do. Shelley and Aries are no strangers in the ring as they spent a good portion of the summer of 2011 fighting for the X-Division belt before Shelley disappeared for four months. So not only is this a continuation of a previous storyline, it's also setting up some interesting potential feuds for the future. What I'm really hoping to see is a feud between Shelley and a returning Chris Sabin, and adding the X-Division title into that picture just makes it all the more interesting. Of course the downside to that is that Aries loses the title and is out of the hunt for a little bit. So as much as I would like to see a Shelley/Sabin feud, I just can't bet against A-Double here. He's just been too good for TNA to justify taking the belt off of him right now.

Prediction: Austin Aries retains

TNA Tag Team Championship: Magnus & Samoa Joe vs. Crimson and Matt Morgan {c}

I'm not usually a fan of randomly thrown together teams, but TNA has done a solid job of building both of these teams up to look fairly legit. For the first time in his career, Crimson is being made to look like a superstar because of his close proximity to an ACTUAL star. Joe and Magnus seem like a fairly odd couple, but somehow they've managed to make it work. Yet another aspect of the game that TNA seems to implement better than WWE, but that's besides the point. As good a team as they've been, I just can't help but feel that Morgan and Crimson are only together until a main event spot opens up and one of them gets "promoted". Thankfully there's an easy storyline route to go with those two: when the time comes, split them up and have them fight each other for that higher spot on the card. That way one of them (hopefully Morgan) gets a chance to show what they can do on top (#pause), and Crimson continues to get a rub from working with one of the best that TNA has to offer. Is it time for that to happen yet? I don't think so, because right now there's just too many names surrounding the World Championship. So as much as I would like to see Magnus holding gold in TNA, I just don't think tomorrow is going to be his night. It's not like this feud has to end right away either, and I could easily see Magnus/Joe getting another shot by the time the next PPV rolls around. But as for tomorrow, I'm predicting yet another successful title defence.

Prediction: Matt Morgan & Crimson retain

Gunner (w/ Eric Bischoff) vs. Garrett Bischoff (w/ Hulk Hogan)

The English language does not contain the proper words to accurately portray the amount of ****s I do not give for this match. Garrett Bischoff has no business being in a wrestling ring, and the fact that his old man and Hogan are still injecting themselves into storylines just makes it worse. Gunner deserves so much better than this crap. I'm not the dude's biggest fan or anything, but he did a hell of a job converting me into a fan during the Bound For Glory Series last year and I really thought he'd be moving on to better things by now. Let's just hope that this train wreck doesn't take up too much time on the show. Either that or hope for a miracle of sorts that sees Garrett unable to compete. Maybe not death or anything severe like that, but I wouldn't cry if he broke a leg or something. Get him all the **** the way out of TNA. Oh what's that? Right, my prediction for the match. Well I think it should be obvious to anyone who's been keeping up with TNA recently what the outcome is going to be, and as much as I'd like to see Gunner get a big win here, it's just not going to happen. No way Bischoff lets his son lose the match here. I'll say this though, the promise I made on the podcast a while back is still good. If you heard the show you'll know what I mean. #****YouBischoffs. #****YouHulkHogan.

Prediction: Garrett Bischoff

TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Bully Ray vs. James Storm vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode {c}

Possibly the hardest match on the card to predict simply because I could make a logical argument for each man to win. Hardy has almost won me back as a fan after returning to the company and it's pretty clear he's been working his ass off to make it up to the fans, so his work deserves a reward of some kind. Storm got ****ed out of his moment as World Champ when TNA decided to play hot potato with the title last year, and I can't help but feel that TNA owes him some kind of retribution. Bully Ray has done a fantastic job of becoming one of the top heels in the business today as well as making himself look like a legitimate title contender, something I never thought I would ever say with a straight face. And of course Bobby Roode, the current champion. His title run hasn't been perfect, but he has still done a great job of making people stand up and take notice of what he is capable of doing when he gets the chance. So how am I going to predict a winner here? Well I'm going to go ahead and cut Hardy and Storm out as possible winners, because as much as they deserve it I just don't see the point of a win for them at this point in time. The tension that's been building between Ray and Roode over the past few weeks on iMPACT tells me that they're going to be the focus of this match anyways. If you remember the 2012 Predictions podcast that I took part in a little while back, you may remember that I picked Bully Ray to win his first World Championship this year before any other wrestler who would do just that (win their first title, for those of you having trouble following along). I still believe that to be true, so the question is whether or not tomorrow is going to be his night. I think it will be, and that's for a couple of reasons. The first is that I really think he's ready for a run, even if it's just a short one to test the waters and add a new bit of arrogance to his character. The second reason, and this hurts me to type, is that Roode's current reign has been somewhat lacklustre. As much as he's made people take notice, he really has yet to have that "wow" moment, and I fear that it may be too late to save this run. So I would have him lose it, but win it back later on in the year when he's had more time to develop a character that doesn't necessarily revolve around the belt.

Prediction: Bully Ray wins to become the NEW TNA World Heavyweight Champion


So there we have it folks. My official predictions for tomorrow night's TNA PPV event, Against All Odds. What do you guys think? Agree or disagree, it doesn't really matter. But what does matter is that you should discuss your opinions in one of the many ways available to contact yours truly. And with that, I'm out.


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