Saturday, September 12, 2015

Random Match Reviews: AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe

Championship: X-Division
Show: Unbreakable
Date: 9/11/05
Location: Orlando, Florida

The first ever TNA Pay-Per-View that I ordered was Unbreakable. This was the main event, not the NWA World Title match. I had seen these guys before this but never together. They went out and headlined a show for the X Division Title, which had never happened before and I don't believe has happened since (not counting the Angle/Joe match for every title). The coolest thing about TNA when I first started watching was the X Division and this match is everything that was right about it.

You had three guys who were, and still are, bonafide stars. Each guy had their role in the match. Christopher Daniels came in as the heel, who had a chip on his shoulder as the longest reigning X Division Champion in history. AJ Styles was pretty much the franchise and the face of the X Division. Samoa Joe was the hottest thing in TNA, entering undefeated. I would like to point out that commentary was good here. Mike Tenay is usually pretty knowledgeable and while Don West can be grating, his excitement added something here. The same that I said about Don West could be said about the Impact Zone crowd.

The match itself is the definition of total nonstop action, pun intended. Everything is enjoyable starting with Daniels talking trash in the beginning and getting destroyed by both challengers. Styles is magnificent, showing why he was one of the best high flyers in the world. His springboard shooting star press and spiral tap were breathtaking to 15 year old Kevin. I loved how they came up with moves that involved all three guys, which I hadn't seen much of to this point. Joe came out looking like the unstoppable monster that he needed to, since he didn't eat the pin. Speaking of the pin, I absolutely loved the finish to this match. I remember watching it live and wondering what the hell would be enough to end this, so the fact that it came from out of nowhere and was a shock, was great. This is still the best match in TNA history to me. 

Lastly, despite all of TNA's mishandling of the three, it speaks volumes to their abilities that all three guys are still major players (Joe in NXT, Daniels is one half of the ROH Tag Team Champions and AJ Styles was IWGP Heavyweight Champion this year) ten years later.

Match Time - 22:50 *****