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[2005-08-14-TNA-Sacrifice] Samoa Joe vs A.J. Styles

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Super X Cup 2005 Tournament Final and X-Division Title Shot Match

Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles
This was on its way to being just as outstanding as their previous singles matches in ROH and PWG. Very impressive performance from Joe considering his match the night before for ROH in Chicago (plus don't forget how emotionally drained he may have been from saying goodbye to CM Punk on that show.) Both men did a great job in countering each other's shit. My favorite moment was Joe baiting Styles into performing a kip-up head-scissors, then turning into his trademark powerbomb/STF combo. The ref bump and interference from Christopher Daniels kept this from being truly great, but the title of the show IS "Sacrifice," so I can tolerate it to buildup to the next PPV chapter involving these men. ***3/4

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I thought this was a fantastic meeting of two of this generation's best wrestlers. It was really everything you could hope for in a match between AJ & Joe. Athletic, intense, and surprising. Also thought the ending was good for the match/story as well. A 100% clean finish or draw would have been preferred but, I think this match is still a classic

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This wasn't as good as their Turning Point match, but it was still very good. The story was very simple, in that they were competing for the World X Cup trophy, and the screwy finish is what led to the triple threat at Unbreakable next month, so it was necessary (if AJ lost clean, it wouldn't make sense for him to get a shot at the X Division title). The more personal story at Turning Point with Joe breaking the X Division code is what made that one the classic, but this one is still well worth checking out.

 

***3/4 (action packed, told the story it needed to, kept Joe looking strong by giving him a win over a big name, and set up next month's 5 star match)

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Sacrifice 2005: Samoa Joe vs AJ Styles Finals of the Super X Cup This is what I am talking in terms of non-memorable. I totally forgot this match and its circumstances. Basically, the winner gets a shot at Daniels' X-Division Title. I forgot how good 2005 Joe was. Joe was so explosive in a way that very few were. I would say on the level of a Dr. Death. Those two men are the very few who wrestle with such a lethal combination of quickness and power. This match does not touch Williams' best work because Joe doesnt always work with urgency in the match. AJ is a great pinball for Joe (an absolutely sick bump onto the floor off a kick and then slides into the announce table). Joe, for his part goes overboard much like Vader, goes a little overboard in bumping for AJ (a German suplex would have been perfect in a latter bout to pop the crowd instead it is thrown out in the first match). Also since I am in full All Japan mode, I loved the direct All Japan cosplay as Joe plays Kawada and AJ plays a great version of Misawa with a flurry of elbows. While they outright steal All Japan spots it doesn't feel like an All Japan match instead a weird mish-mash of America and Japan. A good comparison is the Liger vs Otani match from 1997 which is the New Japan juniors doing an All Japan match with Otani cast as Kobashi (such a perfect role for him) and Liger as Misawa (again perfect casting choice). This match never reaches that level, but it is a very good first installment. The finish was smart as it protected AJ and made Joe still look like a beast. The musclebuster was so fuckin sick. I would say this one the level of the Against All Odds match in that is a very good match, but not something I would put in the Top 10 of a decade (with TNA we are looking at a decade). I am going to watch the Unbreakable 2005 match, which I remember liking a shit ton back in 2006, but my tastes have definitely changed. It has some very stiff competition from AJ vs Abyss in that cage, which was so amazing.

[Sounds like I had it around **** I think I am going to focus on rewatching Turning Point match but this sounds great]

 

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