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[2005-04-01-PWG-All Star Weekend: Night One] Samoa Joe vs A.J. Styles

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PWG Title Shot Match
Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles
Good God, I could tell why this was included on the first Sells Out. This was the usual hard-hitting shit between these two, which is a recipe for at worst a very good match. But these two just clicked so well in this match. After Styles started off with the heat, Joe got a good shot in to daze Styles but couldn't capitalize on it due to the punishment he had already taken.
There was also a botch in this match, but at this point both men were so good that they turned it into an actual on-the-fly spot and incorporated it into the story of the match. These two just couldn't do any wrong on this night. Now one may consider that after Joe delivered his usual brutality on Styles, that it didn't make sense for Styles to get the Torture Rack locked. But to me it does, because what it says is that Styles was so determined on this night that he gave himself enough temporary adrenaline to go with his existing strength to lift the Samoan.
The finish was perfect too. Earlier in the match, Styles sprung up to give Joe a hurracanrana, which should have been a warning to Joe, However, because Joe had a tendency to be WAY too cocky in PWG at this time, he overlooked it and it led to his downfall when Styles did almost the same thing but executed a successful Styles Clash.
This match may have been just a TAD bit better with different stakes, such as a championship in TNA or ROH. However, the effort, pacing, and storytelling of this match not only resulted in an unsurprising show-stealer, but elevated the importance of the mere PWG Title. Styles gave EVERYTHING to earn his shot at it.
Rating: ****

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