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[2008-06-08-TNA-Slammiversary] A.J. Styles vs Kurt Angle


Superstar Sleeze
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AJ Styles vs Kurt Angle - Slammiversary 2008

 

-Disturbing Trend: AJ's matches are totally disconnected from storyline, probably not his fault

- Heated Angle: Centered around Angle's jealousy that AJ has a crush on his wife and thus Angle beat living shit out of him on TV. Big bladejob by AJ.

- So they wrestle a classic championship match. The Announcers and I are like whaaaaaattttttt

- AJ is proud of hitting dropkicks on the guy just mauled him like a week ago. Like I said it feels like an underdog who is proving himself to the ace veteran rather than a blood feud match

- Angle is King of Shitty Transitions. It feels like a video game. The guy controlling Angle just kept mashing R2 until he broke up his opponents's grapple attempt and starting hitting moves.

-Angle's heat segment and AJ's comeback were great. Angle bloodied AJ's nose, toyed with him in the corner and AJ's is a great fired up babyface. Match feels like an elite match after the rocky start because they established what they wanted and I accepted it. Crowd is chanting "Angle Sucks!" and "AJ". The wrestlers are over not the moves.

-Angle, King of the Shitty Transitions decides enough of this wrestling stuff and just starts hitting Germans. After this nobody can string together more than two moves. The crowd starts chanting "This Is Awesome!". The moves are over not the wrestlers.

- Karen Angle hits the ring and the match is instantly 5 stars. I mean overbooking is bad. Who am I kidding? Overbooking has never looked so good.

-Karen holds onto the chair and in that moment AJ is able to use the distraction to hit the Styles Clash to win. Wait I thought AJ and Angle were feuding??? Nope I guess all the face heat is for Karen as she gets her comeuppance on Angle. Only for Angle to rock AJ with the chair and Angle to threaten to hit Karen. Rematch BABY! The beginning was fine once you got over the fact they weren't going to brawl, the middle rocked, and the home stretch was standard TNA/Angle, the finish sucked the meat missile.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2008-06-08-TNA-Slammiversary] A.J. Styles vs Kurt Angle
  • 2 months later...

Angle looks so small here relative to other points in his career, its legitimately disorienting. Also, Styles' stubble and chest hair (I guess to up the manliness level?) is super noticeable when you flip from Styles a couple of years before this.

It felt like they wanted this to be a big deal, but it ends up being a slightly better paced version of an old X division match. The moves have a little space to breathe, but it's all still very move heavy and lacking in heat. Surprised to find myself kinda bored at points. 

The annoying ref bump/ turn finish at least doesn't go too over the top and the Styles Clash gets the pin clean. 

Kinda meh on the whole. Not recommended.

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  • 2 years later...

This match, which was something of a ‘dream match’ at the time, sadly brings with it its usual level of TNA baggage and overthought storyline – that being that AJ was rumoured to be having an affair with Karen Angle. In a vacuum I enjoyed the grappling at the beginning, although as happens in a lot of Angle matches, it feels all a bit of window dressing for show and they move on quickly without it meaning much for the rest of the match. The problem, as others have pointed out is that it was meant to be a grudge/blood feud going in, but it’s wrestled too much like a highspots match at times. I do love AJ’s fire and intensity in what he does do though – everything has impact and purpose, and there’s a great example here of how you can work in a dive to the outside without it looking convoluted with a long set up.

Angle sells for most of the early portions of the match, but when he does take control I liked how he is aggressive, just keeping things simple and grinding AJ down, so you think we are getting a nice logical storyline of the mat wrestler trying to ground the high flyer, however as the match progresses it turns into a too much ‘your turn, my turn’ leaving you usually emotionally disconnected, other than one great one roll up out of the ankle lock nearfall. Ultimately, you get the sports entertainment finish of Karen helping AJ to win, which I don’t necessarily have any issues with per se, but given I don’t think that storyline went anywhere just makes the ending very unsatisfying. (*** ¼ )

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