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[2014-08-22-ROH-Death Before Dishonor XII] A.J. Styles vs Kyle O'Reilly


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  • GSR changed the title to [2014-08-22-ROH-Death Before Dishonor XII] A.J. Styles vs Kyle O'Reilly
  • 1 year later...

IWGP Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles vs 

ROH World Tag Team Champion Kyle O' Reilly w/Bobby Fish - ROH 8/22/14

Everybody talks about the Hero ROH match from earlier in the year, but damn this is not that far behind it. AJ has been on point in ROH in terms of his selling and his timing his timing. Whether it was acting concussed or glassy eye for Hero's headshots or selling his arm so well for O'Reilly that ROH crowd was clamoring for the AJ comeback. I would say the biggest difference between this AJ and the AJ I knew was that he is definitely laying his strikes in a lot harder. I always thought Styles had one of the better working punches in TNA and is generally underrated in his striking. But here against O'Reilly, during the finish stretch, I was surprised how nasty his clolthesline and elbows looked. O'Reilly has a pretty bland look, but is a fun wrestler. When I went to ROH last year, reDragon (Fish & O'Reilly) had a really fun spotfest with the Young Bucks. O'Reilly wrestled this match much more straightfoward highlighting some "MMA" influences (read: he used kicks and a cross-armbreaker). I really liked O'Reilly focus on the arm and thought he came up with some innovative, but logical spots to attack the arm (hammerlock into a legsweep).


The announcers let us know before the match begins that AJ is coming in with a weak left arm from the G-1 Climax tournament. O'Reilly read the scouting report and goes after the arm early so AJ dumps him to the outside with a bodyslam. It was a great response by AJ to immediately get O'Reilly off him. Fish becomes a distraction and O'Reilly becomes a pitbull on that arm. The way he was wrenching it, you thought he was going to take it home with him. AJ is so great at slowly escalating his selling. AJ gets a quick counter and wants to get this match over with quick and goes for the Styles Clash, but his arm is messed up. He bursts out of the corner with a double fist to maintain control. Styles is able to continue hit other moves like the Skywalker Knee while his arm heals. Then on the outside, Fish distracts him again and O'Reilly whips him down on the bad arm. That's twice now Fish has been able to set up O'Reilly. Now AJ is really starting to milk his arm for sympathy as O'Reilly unloads on it with kicks and wrenches it with holds. Styles is scrappy, but O'Reilly always goes back to the arm. I love that when O'Reilly goes for any overly complicated suplex, AJ reverses it and suplexes him into the corner. AJ is so great on fighting through the pain on this comeback and displaying how he can't capitalize due to his injured arm. He keeps going for his big bomb, the Styles Clash, but this leaves him open for counters like cross-armbreakers and triangle chokes. The teased Styles Clashes really build to a cool climax. When Styles looks like he is done for in a triangle choke and AJ basically hits a one-armed Styles Clash in a desperation move. It was such a badass spot and they really milk with the ref counting both men down and the fans chanting "AJ Styles". Damn, well done.  They go into a strike exchange, which as far as strike exchanges go was not that bad and liked the finish being the Pele kick. Crowd was really behind AJ and the crowd interaction made this more tolerable than most strike exchanges. Styles strikes especially the discus clothesline looked great. O'Reilly with great struggle on Styles Clash so what does Styles do he just drops him on his head GANSO BOMB~! That was sick. It should have been the finish, but  Styles drives it home with the Style Clash.

It is the Styles Clash against the submissions of O'Reilly. O'Reilly has made it so the Styles Clash is damn near impossible to hit and set himself up for a submission victory. I love AJ's responses. He is injured and needs to get this match over with quickly. At every opportunity, he is going for his big bomb, arm be damned. With each tease of the Styles Clash, the tension mounts. O'Reilly looks like he is prime position when out of desperation hits the Styles Clash out of a triangle choke. O'Reilly was great at struggling through everything and really making AJ earn his comeback. It would have been easy for him to let the veteran, AJ overwhelm, but even after the match started to tip in AJ's favor he was still struggling up until the AJ's ganso bomb. I thought AJ's experience really came through here in how he sold and built his comeback. It went from a split crowd to a crowd that was 100% AJ by the end. Great, great work by AJ. ****1/4

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