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[2005-07-17-TNA-No Surrender] Samoa Joe vs Chris Sabin

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The first "big" match of Joe in TNA. This is an underrated gem that's overshadowed by the AJ/Daniels/Joe matches, in which Joe looks very dominant, despite Sabin giving him the biggest fight he's had so far. This is also a slower paced match than most Sabin matches, showing that he is way more than just a "spot monkey", as all his spots are executed well and make sense within the story of the match.


**** (Joe gets a big win, with Sabin showing that he can hang with the dominant Samoan submission machine, thus putting him over as well. That was the whole story of the match)

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Samoa Joe vs Chris Sabin - TNA No Surrender 2005

If only all pro wrestling was so simple and elegant! Samoa Joe's first PPV for TNA after going an undefeated streak the month prior on Impact and this is his biggest test so far. Sabin to me the ultimate average, generic X-Division wrestler, but he does great in this match. Tenay says Samoa Joe is 6' 8". Dont have Tenay write your dating profiles, fellas, the girls will be very disappointed when they see you. :P

Joe is on fire during this period of his career. So explosive and powerful. He snatches and gobbles Sabin up. He throws him around with authority. Sabin makes Joe look like a million bucks. You fucking believe Joe is 6' 8'" and the biggest person in the world the way Sabin was bumping and selling for him. Great power vs speed match. Don West for all his idiosyncrasies does a great job expounding on Sabin's strategy. Sabin does not have enough mass so he has to compensate by either combining his mass with speed or with height to create more energy to bowl Joe over. Sabin's first big offensive flurry is a three MASSIVE dropkick all aerial from the ropes or apron. He SMASHES Joe with him and Joe takes him like a champ. His next big flurry climaxed with a Tornado DDT, he used speed and the leverage of the ropes to make that happen. His BIG nearfall was the Powerbomb off the top when Joe took too long on the Musclebuster. One reason I avoided this match is I expected it to be a glorified squash but it was NOT at all. Sabin got a lot of well-timed hope spots. The offense just made Joe look more of a beast because there was such desperation in Sabin's movements. You knew he needed a fluke home run to win. It made Joe look all the more badass.

Another AWESOME wrinkle that I am a total sucker for. All three times Sabin lost control of the advantage after going on offense was because he went for his finisher, the Cradle Shock, which involves him trying to hoist up the big man on his shoulders! What a neat nugget! Sabin knows his advantage is tenuous at best and wants to make the most of it by going for his killshot BUT he cant execute because Joe's size. Another neat nugget is each attempt he does get closer and closer! 

I am very surprised that Sabin's performance is what stood out to me. Joe was excellent. Joe was just running  a clinic. In terms of execution, he never looked better everything was snug and with power. Great throws and strikes. LOVED the finish. Joe SWEEPING the leg while Sabin was on the top rope had me marking out! Musclebuster and Koquina Clutch and that's all she wrote. 

Dont be like me and sleep on this match just because you think it will be a glorified squash this is an excellent power vs speed match! ****1/4



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