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[2000-10-21-NWA Wildside-Fright Night] A.J. Styles vs Romeo Bliss


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I was looking forward to this as it was a long form match for AJ against an opponent where elite AJ could have carried to very good level in Romeo Bliss. Instead, AJ mostly shows in this match he is a great college football QB prospect with a huge arm but makes some dumb decisions. Call him the Sam Dannard of 2000. AJ is a heel and is way too spotty in his arsenal here. He refuses to go after the openings of the leg of Romeo. The announcers provide probably the first of what I assume many great NWA Wildside calls of the decade by saying that AJ was just being too overconfident but AJ didn’t really exude that in how he was acting. Romeo for his part was pretty inconsistent too when he decided to sell and the match was too long where it felt like they ran out of ideas halfway through. Promising to a degree but also a disappointment. **1/2

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  • GSR changed the title to [2000-10-21-NWA Wildside-Fright Night] A.J. Styles vs Romeo Bliss
  • 1 year later...

A ‘Loser Leaves NWA Wildside For 30 Days’ match and with both of these being staples of the company Steven Prazak cant imagine Wildside without either.  Bliss is walking gingerly and wearing a knee brace on his left leg after an earlier attack by the Cole twins.   He still manages to get the better of the opening exchanges and Styles is quickly out on the floor with Jeff G. Bailey complaining to referee James Hanson about his hair being pulled, Bliss pulling his tights etc.  Hanson gets in the way of an Irish whip as Romeo ends up colliding with him in an ugly looking spot.  Release Fisherman’s suplex by A.J.  Both go for a running crossbody which Bliss gets the better of.  He bars the arm and Bailey is trying to pull his man towards the ropes, caught in the act mind by Hanson.  Styles backdrops Bliss over the top rope and he lands hard on the wooden floor, aggravating that already injured leg.  Shooting Star press from the top turnbuckle to the outside!  Bliss launches A.J. overhead into the guard rail, however as the referee then checks on him, Bailey kicks and stomps away at Romeo’s knee.  Hanson does a real poor job here in his attempts of acting like he can’t see what’s going on.  Styles thinks that the knee is the way to go as he starts focussing his attack on it.  Brainbuster followed by a high frog splash, Bliss barely getting a shoulder up.  Romeo reverses the flying crossbody, using his own momentum, however is unable to keep A.J. down for the three.  More interference from Bailey, using every opportunity to get in some digs to that knee.  Desperation neckbreaker by Bliss.  For some reason he starts climbing the turnbuckles but has to stop due to that bad wheel and Styles hits an ‘Ace Crusher’.  Pretty foolish on Romeo’s part there even attempting that.  He backdrops Styles over and onto the apron, then snaps the back of his neck across the top rope.  The action takes to the floor again, Bliss giving Styles a “tour of the front row” as he chops him on each side of the arena, A.J. taking a backwards bump over the barricade into the front row each time.  Interesting point from the commentator’s who suggested that maybe Bliss should’ve stayed in the ring, rested that leg and looked for the count-out, but that isn’t his style.  Back inside and for some reason Bliss is again trying to climb the turnbuckles.  He does manage it, although is so slow that Styles meets him up there and hiptosses him to the mat.  450 splash is missed, Bliss rolling out the way.  For a third time he goes up top and once more A.J. is up after him.  Why he is persisting with this strategy I don’t know.  Well this time it does pay, off as he counters the hiptoss with a bulldog.  He makes the cover and Hanson counts the three.  What he didn’t see though due to his positioning was Bailey putting Styles’ foot over the bottom rope.  Despite not seeing it, after JGB points to A.J.’s foot and where it is, he orders the match to continue.  FFS, for a fourth time Bliss goes to the top, Styles falling into the ropes and causing him to take a great tumble to the outside.  Bailey rolls him back into the ring, top rope legdrop by Styles and although Bliss gets a foot over the ropes, Bailey this time pushes the foot off.  A.J. getting the three as Romeo Bliss must leave Wildside for thirty days.  Some irate fans try to explain to the referee what just went down, but despite being prepared to order the match to restart on the word of known cheat, troublemaker and all around bad guy Jeff G. Bailey, when a group of fans tell him what happened he’s not listening.

An infuriating match for me.  Bliss’s strategy of constantly going to the top, on a bad leg that he was struggling to stand on, made no sense to me and I couldn’t understand why he would continue to do so.  Ultimately that was his downfall too.  The official also came across as terribly incompetent, between getting in the way of the wrestlers, his efforts of “not seeing” Bailey’s interference and in the final few minutes.  I didn’t expect to going in, but I preferred their TV match to this one.

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