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[2008-04-13-TNA-Lockdown] Kurt Angle vs Samoa Joe (Cage)


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  • 4 years later...

Pro-wrestling at its very best, including the pre-match very short angle with Karen at ringside, thrown away by Kurt (and she throws a few "Don't fucking touch me !" at the security goons which made the thing real).


This is what TNA could have been about. Hell, this is what US pro-wrestling could have been about, as opposed to those dreadfull WWE overproduced self-conscious epics.


The more I watch Angle in TNA, the more he comes off like a great worker to me. Years of unfair stereotyped criticisms have made him a very underrated guy. Joe was still a great worker in TNA, has been since he arrived in 2005. This is just terrific. The only negative is a bunch of stupid assholes chanting "we want wrestling" and "boring" at points during matwork sequences, but the crowd is mostly molten and restless. Some terrific stuff here, including the best Jim Brunzell ear slap ever, a magnificent heel move by Angle of using the ref shirt to get closer to the ropes and just all around wonderful way to mix MMA-shootsyle stuff with classic US pro-wrestling. The stip of Joe retiring from wrestling if he didn't win kinda gave the result away, but still at some point you believe he's done. That's masterful. MOTYC. Hell, probably MOTY.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2008-04-13-TNA-Lockdown] Kurt Angle vs Samoa Joe (Cage)
  • 1 month later...

El-P not quite as high as you are on Angle & this match, but I do wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment that I wish this match was way more influential than it was. I think this is one of the most interesting matches from the 2000s. 

TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle vs Samoa Joe - Lockdown 2008

O, what could have been! I remember many praising this match as the future of American wrestling. So many were calling for pro wrestling to look and feel more like MMA with the UFC boom underway. I had never seen this match before and just knew based on its rep that it was going to have a MMA feel to it. I have become a big fan of Japanese shoot-style over the years and I was curious to see if this would hold up. Granted, I have not watched any RINGS past 1997 yet, that is important to bear in mind.  This is definitively different than Japanese shoot-style which is based on Karl Gotch catch wrestling mixed in with some judo and kickboxing. Meaning there is no jiu-jitsu and especially no fighting from your back and so limited guards. This match taking place in 2008 where in a lot of ways Jiu-Jitsu won the MMA war (I am not a MMA expert, yes wrestlers tend to do the best in MMA, but a lot of what we see on the ground is Jiu-Jitsu based) and yes I realize that Kimura is just a double wristlock stolen from Catch Wrestling and Juji-Gatame has Judo origins. I am off on a tangent, my point is a lot of people associate Jiu-Jitsu style fighting as MMA. So you see more guard positioning here and see full mounts. Things you would not see in Japanese shoot style. There are elements of Japanese shoot-style, Joe has a great Oo-Soto-Gari/Hiplock Takeover (I never know if Judo or Catch Wrestling innovated the move I guess since we are in America I should use the Catch name for the move) and Angle responds with a great Saito Suplex. Now they do work in more pro style moves. There are no Irish Whips, which I love. I would love to see wrestling de-emphasize the Irish Whip. We do see rope running and charging. What I love about that is whoever charges ends up on the losing end! Exactly how it should be, if you come charging in to your opponent, 9 times out of 10 you creating an opening for your opponent to calculate and react. Angle is able to chop the knee and move into a great figure-4. Later on the match when Angle is desperate and charges, Joe takes him him down with a Fujiwara armbar into a Crippler Crossface. Thats great Catch Wrestling.  I thought Joe's offense coming out of the Figure-4 looked ferocious. I really dug that lariat. Great use of his ROH combination powerbomb->Boston Crab->STF->Crossface. There are some annoying loose Anklelocks and counters in and out of the Anklelock that suck and really undermine all the great Pro/MMA work they were doing. I loved the finish to bring it back home to pro wrestling throw him into the cage, kick his head off and Musclebuster for the win. Incredibly interesting match that I really think every pro wrestling should watch because it is so unique. This is not Japanese shoot style just done in America, this is distinctly different and more based off what you would see in the UFC circa 2008 as opposed to Karl Gotch's vision of Catch Wrestling. I think this style actually taking off would have been a huge boon to the wrestling industry (or selfishly my enjoyment of it) because it feels so different. I would love to see a style that developed now that de-emphasizes Irish Whips and rope running. There is some stuff I didnt like (yes mostly centered around that infuriating anklelock) which keeps me from calling this classic, but it is definitely entertaining and great. I would love to get more and more people's insight on this because I think it is inherently interesting and there would be a wide variety of opinions on it. ****1/4




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  • 2 years later...

The faux-MMA presentation did wonders at enhancing the action in the cage. The style of this match stopped Angle from doing any of his usual stuff that has hindered a lot of his matches over the years (only wrestling at one speed, constant 2. 9 counts, and devaluing his finish by having his opponent kick out of it all the time, etc. ) and I thought his submission transitions were quite good here. Some of the crowd were not enjoying the more methodical pace of this match, but I thought it was good with a style that helps it stick out of the crowd. This might of been a bit 'Shoot-Style for Dummies', but I'm a dummy and I really enjoyed this. ★★★¾

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