The AJ Styles YouTube/DailyMotion Mix Tape

Yeah! Everybody loves mix tapes! I’m starting with the letter A and doing ten-match profiles on everybody great I can find.

It’s probably a little risky to start with this guy because the first wrestler I recap sets the precedent on whether or not you the reader continues to care or not, but don’t worry. Besides, you can’t spell AJ Styles without the letter A! (duh), so he has to be first on our list.

Air Raid vs. The Jung Dragons (WCW Thunder, Gainesville FL, 3/21/01)

This was actually from the very last ever episode of Thunder. Air Raid was AJ Styles and Air Paris (who I hear still wrestles on the indy circuit) who were brought in from NWA Wildside to try and help make the new cruiserweight tag team division a success. Of course, it wouldn’t matter much since the company would be closing in six days. The Jung Dragons are Kaz Hayashi and Yang, currently known as Jimmy Wang Yang in the WWE. Yang and AJ start the match. Yang tries a few pin attempts, but can’t hold AJ down. AJ tries a headscissors on Yang out of a snapmare, but he blocks and delivers a belly-to-belly throw in the corner. Paris comes in and superkicks Yang down to maintain the advantage for his team. Yang avoids a double-team and makes a blind tag, allowing Kaz to surprise Air Raid with a necksnap. Kaz follows up with a springboard moonsault and then springboard enziguri kicks Paris out to ringside. Kaz tries a hurracanrana, but AJ blocks and delivers the STYLES CLASH for 1-2-NO! Tag to Paris, he hits a crossbody out of the corner. Kaz counters a German suplex and standing hurracanranas Paris. Yang gets a tag, knocks AJ out of the ring, but then runs into an AJ knee from the apron to set up a DDT. Cover, 1-2-NO! AJ tags in for a drop toe-hold/running senton bomb combo for two. That leads to the CRASH ‘N BURN (double-team twisting face plant) for 1-2-NO! Desperation sunset flip from Yang gets two, but Paris puts Yang back down with a clothesline. Ten-count corner punches follow, but Yang stops all that with a sitout powerbomb. He makes the tag to Kaz, and he goes ENZIGURI CRAZY! Tajiri Kick to Styles, but Paris is right behind Kaz for the Burning Hammer for 1-2-NO! Holy crap. Yang comes in and hits the cradle Michinoku Driver on Paris for 1-2-NO! Styles grabs hold of Yang and delivers the Styles Buster, which is the back suplex followed by the wheelbarrow facebuster. AJ’s takes flight from the top, but Yang catches him on the way down with a dropkick. Paris charges at Yang, but he gets caught with a spinning heel kick. Now Yang wants to come off the top, but AJ stops that and dumps Yang to the floor. Paris sets Kaz up for a middle-rope powerbomb. Looks like there was some editing work done there. They pan to the crowd, and then you see Paris knocking Kaz down with a clothesline. Air Raid delivers a double powerbomb! Paris covers, but Yang YANKS Paris off the cover and gives him a cradle Michinoku Driver on the floor! Meanwhile in the ring, Kaz hits a modified Side Effect for the 1-2-3. (9:20) Kind of an awkward match at times, but they definitely tried. Since WCW is dead, it meant back to the Wildside for Air Raid. **½

The Hurricane (w/Mighty Molly) vs. AJ Styles (WWF Metal, 1/26/02)

Hurricane is, for you new fans, Gregory Helms as a superhero. This was AJ Styles’ tryout match back when TNA meant something completely different to wrestling fans. Kevin Kelly and Coach are on commentary. Basic stuff to start, but then AJ turns full blown heel and MOCKS Hurricane’s pose. He makes him pay with a clothesline though. Hiptoss and a headscissors gets two. Hurricane hooks on a bowtie clutch on the mat. AJ escapes and hits a brainbuster for 1-2-NO! AJ grabs a chinlock, but Hurricane elbows out. Hurricane ducks a roundhouse kick and goes for the CHOKESLAM, but AJ elbows out of that in return. AJ wants a back suplex, but Hurricane flips out and delivers a running reverse neckbreaker. Backdrop gets two. AJ runs into an elbow in the corner to set up the Overcast! EYE OF THE HURRICANE? No! AJ knees out. Hurricane runs into a boot and gets kicked down for a Shooting Star Press, but Hurricane moves out of the way. AJ’s dazed, and gets caught in the VERTEBREAKER! Cover, 1-2-3! (4:36) Great squash there. **¼

AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Nova vs. Low-Ki vs. Shark Boy vs. Tony Mamaluke (WWA Revolution, Las Vegas NV, 2/24/02)

This is elimination rules. Four guys on the apron to start, two guys in the ring. I think is the only match I’ve ever watched from this short-lived promotion. WWA was the first real attempt to give McMahon some actual competition, but it ultimately failed because everyone was either being signed by WWE or TNA. The announcers are Jeremy Borash and Mark Madden. Whyyyyyy didn’t Madden work with TNA instead of Don West? He was like Bobby Heenan-lite in this match. Did he and Tenay not mesh well or something? Nova is most recently known as Simon Dean for you newer fans. He’s a lot skinnier here too. AJ and Mamaluke kick things off. Headlock sequence to start. Mamaluke bleeds from his nose. I don’t know how that happened, but he’s definitely bleeding. AJ lands funny on his shoulders off a German suplex and tags in Shark Boy. He dropkicks and chops, but Mamaluke connects with a corner clothesline off a whip. Shark Boy comes back with an atomic drop and bites Mamaluke on the ARSE! Low-Ki tags in and Shark Boy tries the same thing with him, so Ki kicks him HARD in the mouth! Blind tag to Christopher Daniels, who comes in with a slingshot dropkick to Ki. The future Triple X’ers get into a chopfest. Low-K wins that and Rolling Kicks Daniels. Ki tags in Nova and then CHOPS him on the chest! They trade armdrags, but Nova gets dumped onto the apron. He shoulder thrusts Daniels, flips back in the ring, and nails Daniels with a knee to the face. KI tags in for a double-front suplex. MONGOLIAN CHOP! Ki ducks a clothesline and hits a Tidal Wave for two. Daniels stops Ki with a jawbreaker and tags in Mamaluke for a snap back suplex. He goes up top, but Ki crotches him with a kick and goes for a superplex. Shark Boy is right there though and takes advantage with the TOWER OF DOOM! Shark Boy covers Mamaluke, but the ref Slick Johnson says there was no tag, so he ain’t countin’. Daniels gets another blind tag. Shark Boy is still in the ring though with Mamaluke. They go to the floor, so Daniels takes a chance with a Suicide Dive through the ropes onto Mamaluke! Shark Boy and Mamaluke fight in the crowd while in the ring, Nova is stretching AJ out. I’m not sure WHO is legal at this point. Shark Boy is tagging Nova, who wasn’t legal when Daniels and Mamaluke went on the floor. It’s just BALLZ to the WALL now. Shark Boy connects with a hurracanrana from the top on Mamaluke for 1-2-NO! DEEP SEA DROP! Again, Shark Boy supposedly isn’t legal and Slick Johnson will not count. Ki comes in, who isn’t legal either, and KILLS Shark Boy with a running enziguri for the 1-2-3. WHAT? AJ and Ki go for a bit on the mat. Ki kicks AJ down to the mat while laying on his back and then chops away. Krush Combo connects for 1-2-NO! They run the ropes and both collide off crossbody attempts. Daniels and Mamaluke receive tags. Mamaluke delivers a snap suplex/bridge suplex combo for two. Daniels comes back with an STO, then heads up top. AJ crotches him for some reason, and gets him caught in the tree of woe. Mamaluke misses a baseball slide and hits AJ somehow. Instead, Mamaluke gets a back superplex for two. Daniels gets the ANGELS WINGS out of nowhere and tags in AJ for the STYLES CLASH for 1-2-3. Nova runs right in on AJ and hits a nice backbreaker/running senton bomb for two. Daniels tags in for a double inverted atomic drop. Nova punches Daniels, which gets him all flustered and allows AJ to tag in Low-Ki. Ki snapmares Daniels for a STIFF kick to the back. He tries a hurracanrana of sorts, but Daniels stops that with an electric chair drop. Nova tags in for a flying elbow drop for 1-2-NO! He gets crotched. Daniels tries to superplex Nova, but gets elbowed off with Ki stuck in the tree of woe. Once Daniels is on the mat, Ki sits up and applies the Bite of the Dragon on Nova! When Ki releases the hold, he comes off the top on Daniels with the PHOENIX SPLASH~! Cover, 1-2-NO! They go to the floor and Ki gets tossed to the guardrail to set up the split-legged springboard moonsault on the floor! AJ hits the SHOOTING STYLES PRESS onto Daniels and is now bleeding from the nose! Nova heads up top to continue the game of “can you top this?”, but Ki is there to stop him. He wants a superplex, but amazingly Daniels is back in the ring and delivers a springboard STO to Ki off the top rope! Cover, 1-2-3! Nova comes off the top anyway with a missile dropkick to Daniels to put him back on the floor. AJ is back in and cuts Nova down with a clothesline. He ducks a bunch of stuff from Nova and then ducks an enziguri from Daniels, which hits Nova. As AJ hits the suplex into a neckbreaker move for two. Daniels comes back with a Uranage, followed by the Best Moonsault Ever for two. Daniels grabs a Dragon Sleeper, but won’t let go when Nova tries to break it up, so he grabs Daniels by the neck and flips over into a hangman’s hold. DOUBLE SUBMISSION! When Daniels releases the hold, AJ slides over to the apron. Nova tries to take Daniels off the ropes for a roll up, but AJ sunset flips Nova back in and winds up giving Daniels a German suplex as well. AJ gets two on Nova. Styles and Nova fight on the top rope, but AJ knocks him off. Daniels comes by with some open palm strikes and tries a hurracanrana, but AJ blocks and finishes Daniels off with a SUPER STYLES CLASH! See ya. Nova tries to get the quick pin on AJ, but he keeps kicking out. He hits the NOVACAINE to hopefully put AJ away, but it only gets two. AJ slips out of a KRYPTONITE KRUNCH and delivers the German suplex/wheelbarrow facebuster combo for 1-2-NO! AJ heads up top, but Nova is there to stop him and then finish AJ Styles off with the SOLO SPANISH FLY~! (19:42) A little long for a spot fest. About halfway into the match, you could pretty much throw the rulebook out the window with trying to figure out who was legal and what not. At least you get to see Simon Dean before he got his talent demoted by the WWE. ***¼

NWA International Junior Heavyweight Champion Low-Ki vs. AJ Styles (Zero-One PPV, Tokyo Japan, 1/5/03)

Styles had been working hard in the first six months of TNA’s X-Division and is now gearing up for an NWA world title run at this point. Real decent feeling-out process to start. Low-Ki grounds AJ and works the arm. AJ gets to his feet and puts Low-Ki on the floor with a dropkick. AJ goes for a suicide dive, but Low-Ki stops him with a roundhouse kick! Low-Ki tries to whip AJ into the guardrail, but AJ LEAPS over to avoid the contact. Back in, AJ wants a STIFF KICK CONTEST with Low-Ki, which he ultimately loses and takes a Rolling Kick out to the floor. A sick chop puts AJ in the front row. Low-Ki attempts another whip into the guardrail and AJ leaps over it again, but Low-Ki makes sure AJ pays for it with a leaping kick over the guardrail! Back in, cover gets two. Running back elbow gets a one-count. Muta-like power drive elbow drop gets two. AJ stops Low-Ki off a corner charge, but gets caught in the Bite of the Dragon instead. That gets two. Dropkick to the knees sets up a barrage of ultra STIFF kicks from Low-Ki right to chest of AJ. He goes for the Shining Wizard, but AJ trips him up just in time. Now it’s AJ’s turn, but Low-Ki stops him with an enziguri. AJ comes back with the hurracanrana off the mat, which doesn’t quite get the reaction it did in TNA. Backbreaker/gutbuster combo follows for two. AJ shows off his submission skills with a Muta Lock and rolls over on the mat to gain more leverage. Low-Ki rakes the face to get out of that. Once both men are back to their feet, AJ tells the crowd to “SHUT UP!” Considering he’s wrestling in front of a Japanese audience that is mostly quiet for an entire show, it doesn’t seem called for. They appear to just laugh it off though. AJ runs into the kick off a corner charge, but catches Low-Ki for a sunset flip and maneuvers into for the STYLES CLASH! Low-KI fights it off and climbs up on AJ’s shoulders and brings him down for the Iron Octopus, which is like a headscissors armbar. AJ makes the ropes and fires back with the Quebrada DDT for 1-2-NO! Low-Ki flips out of a tilt-a-whirl and executes a Tiger Suplex for 1-2-NO! Awesome. AJ blocks the KI-KRUSHER and delivers a Cliffhanger, which he doesn’t do anymore. AJ wants a hurracanrana off the ropes, but Low-Ki would rather powerbomb him for 1-2-NO! Great delivery off that powerbomb. A series of short kicks to the face gets another two for Low-Ki. He lifts AJ up for the KI-KRUSHER and instead, drives him head-first into the top turnbuckle. I believe it’s called the Krush Rush. Sounds good to me. Low-Ki looked to be going for the PHOENIX SPLASH, but doesn’t realize AJ is on his feet. AJ catches him in mid-air and delivers the STYLES CLASH!! 1-2-NO!! AJ wants the SPIRAL TAP, but Low-Ki moves out of the way, leaving AJ to crash and burn. AJ retreats to a corner, but he’s just giving Low-Ki an opportunity for the Tidal Krush. KI-KRUSHER!! 1-2-NO!! Low-Ki delivers another series of short kicks to the head, but AJ blocks one and gives Low-Ki the Styles Buster. Cover, 1-2-NO! The crowd is really getting behind Low-Ki here. AJ sets up for the SUPER STYLES CLASH, but Low-Ki escapes and gives AJ a RUNNING KI-KRUSHER! The DRAGON CLUTCH! AJ’s got nowhere to go, so he taps out. (17:03) Phenomenal back and forth action that built to a great finish. They had a couple decent one-on-one matches in the beginning stages in TNA, but I don’t remember them being this good. ****¼

AJ Styles vs. Abyss (w/Don Callis) (NWA-TNA PPV #70, Nashville TN, 11/19/03)

This was during AJ’s first feud with Jeff Jarrett. He had actually just lost the NWA world title back to Jarrett after a four-mouth long run with the belt. Even though Abyss is feuding with Raven at the time, this was part of Jarrett’s master plan to wear down AJ Styles before their rematch two weeks later. Callis, by the way, is Cyrus from ECW managing under his real name and without the ponytail. AJ goes forearm crazy on Abyss down on the floor to start and gets shoved away a bunch. Abyss tries to throw him over his shoulders and into the ring, but AJ lands on the middle rope to try for the Quebrada DDT! Abyss catches him in mid-air though, and drives him spine-first into the apron. Abyss takes him to the guardrail, but AJ slips underneath off a second toss and then leaps off the guardrail for a hurracanrana! Back in, they have a little trouble running the ropes, but then AJ sends Abyss down with the dropkick. Abyss comes back with a press into a modified flapjack. He chokes AJ in the ropes, but then misses a charge and takes a necksnap on the top rope. Springboard crossbody for AJ gets two. AJ tries to flip out of the corner off a whip, but Abyss catches him for a wheelbarrow facebuster. That gets two. Abyss takes AJ over to the corner for some open-hand slaps, but AJ answers back with chops of his own. AJ wants to try a springboard move, but Callis grabs his foot and that allows Abyss to knock him off to the railing. AJ’s BUSTED OPEN! Abyss fires away on the cut. Back in, Abyss toys with AJ and delivers a side slam for 1-2-NO! Abyss comes off the middle rope, but nobody’s home. AJ ducks a pair of clotheslines and then comes out of a powerbomb with a facebuster. Tilt-a-whirl headscissors, followed by an enziguri! Abyss is on one knee. AJ is up top for a missile dropkick, but Abyss pulls ref Andrew Thomas in the way. That JERK! AJ catches Abyss off a corner charge and finally delivers that Quebrada DDT he wanted earlier. SHOOTING STYLES PRESS! Cover, but Andrew Thomas is still down. While AJ goes over to wake him up, Callis tosses a chair to Abyss. AJ turns around, BAM! Thomas recovers and counts 1-2-NO! Abyss is PYSSED! He throws Andrew Thomas aside, sets up AJ and the chair for a possible superplex. AJ fights him off and sunset flip powerbombs Abyss on the chair! We’ve got a cover as Rudy Charles comes down to count 1-2-NO! AJ wedges the chair in the corner. He whips Abyss, but he reverses and goes for a powerbomb instead. AJ slips out of it though into a roll up, but Abyss goes through and catapults AJ face-first into the chair. SHOCK TREATMENT! Cover, 1-2-NO! Abyss gets PYSSED again and BLACK HOLE SLAMS Rudy Charles! He had it coming. AJ grabs the chair unbeknownst to Abyss and NAILS him. It doesn’t hurt him too bad because he’s still standing. AJ goes for another shot, but Abyss blocks it with a Chokesl-NO! AJ reverses it into a front rollup for the 1-2-3. (13:53) Good stuff, but these two would go on to have better matches later on. Callis’ Red Shirt Security (Kevin Northcutt & Just Joe) come down to beat up AJ, but he slips away before any real damage happens. That is, until AJ walks his back to the entry way and then turns around into a belt shot from Jeff Jarrett. Back into the ring he goes for a 4-on-1 attack. BLACK HOLE SLAM! The STROKE! Raven runs in for the save. He does okay until the numbers game takes over. Dusty Rhodes waddles down with a leather strap to save Raven! Next week, Jarrett vs. Dusty in a “Fan’s Revenge” match. The crowd gets leather straps! Bad idea! ***

NWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett vs. AJ Styles (Cage Match, NWA-TNA PPV #90, Nashville TN, 4/21/04)

Jarrett had regained the NWA title belt six months ago from AJ Styles, and had been on his “always-cheat-and-always-go-over” run ever since. Chris Harris was actually supposed to get the title shot here, but Raven beat him up (Harris had a legit shoulder injury) and AJ Styles was chosen to wrestle in his place. Both guys try to get the pin early, but nothing doing. Jarrett NO-SELLS a shoulderblock off the ropes, so AJ chops him hard in the chest. They go to a stalemate while the crowd chants for AJ. After some missed moves, they get into a chopfest until Jarrett cold cocks him. AJ slips out of a battering ram attempt and levels Jarrett with the dropkick. Jumping knee drop gets two, but Jarrett goes low with a knee to take back control. Jarrett pounds away and taunts him, so AJ kip-up ranas him over. AJ powerslam gets two. Nice hourglass suplex gets another two. AJ wants the Quebrada DDT, but Jarrett catches him in mid-air and rams him face-first into the cage! Another toss into the cage. One more time! Jarrett delivers THREE back suplexes! Cover, 1-2-NO! Jarrett wants a superplex, but AJ punches him off to the mat. Missile dropkick misses, and Jarrett goes for the leg. FIGURE-FOUR is reversed into an inside cradle for 1-2-NO! Since he can’t put on the Figure-Four just yet, Jarrett grabs a Scorpion Deathlock. AJ fights it and makes the ropes. AJ gets a roll up for two. German suplex into a bridge gets another two. Jarrett reverses a corner whip, but AJ catches himself and hits the Quebrada DDT for two. Jarrett backs Styles AND THE REF into the corner to avoid the STYLES CLASH. Styles misses a wild discus punch and falls into the cage. Jarrett’s got some powder and tosses it in AJ’s face. It’s a CAGE MATCH – why did the ref need to be bumped aside for that? Backslide for Jarrett gets 1-2-NO! AJ comes back and tosses Jarrett from cage wall to cage wall! Ref Andrew Thomas pulls AJ away, allowing Jarrett to secretly pull out a chain from his boots! He goes to punch AJ, but AJ trips him up for a jackknife rollup for 1-2-NO! Jarrett swings again and connects this time. Cover, 1-2-NO! AJ blocks THE STROKE, so Jarrett tries the STYLES CLASH. AJ ranas out of that and hits a STYLES CLASH of his own for 1-2-NO! Ohh snap, Styles climbs up to the top of the cage, but Jarrett shoves the ref into the cage wall and that trips AJ up. He catches himself on the cage wall, but then Jarrett throws his body into the cage and AJ falls to the floor. Jarrett goes out and brings AJ back in the cage, with his GEETAR in hand. The ref on the floor is like, “You can’t have that guitar in the cage!”, but it’s a little late to say that, pal. Vince Russo runs down to try and climb the cage to save AJ, but Jarrett keeps him at bay. Jarrett swings, and AJ enziguri kicks the GEETAR! Jarrett swings with what’s left, and AJ blocks with a crucifix for 1-2-3! (13:36) Nothing too amazing about it, but AJ is now is two-time NWA World Champion. That was actually a less overbooked finish than usual. Raven looks on from afar, and it’s a shame he didn’t win the belt sooner than he did. Vince Russo wants a handshake, but brothers don’t shake hands. Brothers gotta hug! **½

NWA X-Division Champion AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy (NWA-TNA PPV #99, Nashville TN, 6/23/04)

This match was what made the 2-year anniversary show in TNA memorable at least back then. After losing the NWA world title to DA TRUTH Ron Killings, AJ got the X title again as a conciliation prize. Kid Kash was supposed to get the title shot here, but he’s out with a broken fibula. That means Jeff Hardy is our MYSTERY OPPONENT! He’s fresh from the glue factory, folks. Hardy gets a big reaction as Tenay and West talk about how neat it would be for Jeff Hardy to win the X title, which means there’s no chance of that happening. Back and forth headlock sequence to start leads to a stalemate. AJ cold cocks Hardy, but Jeff comes back quickly with a clothesline for two. They get into a chop battle. Jeff takes off his shirt and does his best Sting “come on!” impression to get AJ fired up. He gets him too fired up though, as AJ knocks his rope necklace thing off. AJ does the Jacques Rougeau flip over Jeff and connects with the dropkick. That gets two. AJ kicks at the knee, but Jeff comes back with the spinning mule kick to send AJ to the floor. Hardy follows him out with a pescado. Back in, AJ flips out to the apron off a corner whip, forearms Jeff back, and levels him with the springboard forearm! Jeff comes back with a wheelbarrow slam and then a double legdrop pin gets two. Jeff comes off the top, AJ moves and Hardy lands on his feet. AJ comes up from behind and places Jeff in the corner, but Jeff elbows him back and hits the WHISPER IN THE WIND! During the replay, Kid Kash and Dallas (Lance HOYT! HOYT! HOYT!) runs down and kicks Jeff Hardy out of the ring so they can be alone with AJ Styles. (7:00) Kash is hopping on one leg, but still gets his punches in and manages to keep Jeff Hardy away. How does he do it?! Jeff Hardy finally grabs a chair to help AJ. Kash gets decked, but Dallas blocks with a CHOKE! Then AJ gets the chair and uses it to take down Dallas to set up a SWANTON BOMB! Decent back and forth stuff, but it didn’t exactly live up to “dream match” potential. **

NWA X-Division Champion Petey Williams (w/Coach Scott D’Amore) vs. AJ Styles (TNA Victory Road, Orlando FL, 11/7/04)

It’s the Styles Clash vs. the Canadian Destroyer. Petey is the obvious underdog champion here looking to prove he deserves the X-title by defeating the three-time X-division champion AJ Styles. There was actually a quite amount of buildup to this match and many had pegged it as a MOTYC before it even happened just because of the hype. If AJ wins, the evil Coach Scott D’Amore would never be seen in TNA again. Both men try to get the win early with a rollup sequence, which gets a standing “TNA!” chant. AJ fires back with forearms and the hurracanrana off the mat leads to the dropkick. Williams goes to the floor and gets out of the way of AJ, who lands on the apron. Petey tries to pull AJ off the apron, but AJ kicks him back. Petey avoids a quebrada off the apron, but gets trapped perfectly for an enziguri to the back of the head. AJ shoves Petey into the guardrail and heads back in for a FLIP DIVE out onto Williams! Back in, Petey fights back with a jawbreaker and then he drop toeholds AJ onto the ropes to allow some Scott D’Amore cheapshots. It’s now time for the “O CANADA!” crotch stomp in the corner. Dueling “Let’s Go Petey/AJ” chants. Right then, they screw up a Quebrada DDT. Petey goes for the crotch stomp again, but AJ pulls himself up and yanks Petey down with a German suplex while still stuck in the tree of woe! Petey charges at AJ in the corner and takes a backdrop out to the apron. He tries a forearm, but AJ blocks and hits the PELE! AJ wins a forearm battle and follows up with a back suplex. Petey goes low and throws AJ out. He doesn’t realize though that AJ landed on his feet! As he turns around, AJ is on him again with a springboard forearm! Cover, 1-2-NO! Petey fires back with a knee and delivers a tilt-a-whirl Russian legsweep. Is it time for the Canadian Destroyer? No! AJ gets away and tries the STYLES CLASH. Will he get it? No! Petey slips out for another Canadian Destroyer attempt, but AJ lifts him up and Alabama Slams Petey into the corner. What? D’Amore has the X-title. Petey fights off the STYLES CLASH, which leads to another rollup sequence. D’Amore interrupts that and distracts AJ. Now Petey Williams has the hockey stick. You see, because he’s Canadian. Rudy Charles sees what is happening before any harm is done. Then while Rudy Charles gets rid of the stick, D’Amore slips Petey the belt. WHAM! Right to AJ’s face! Cover, 1-2-NO! AJ stops another Canadian Destroyer attempt and places Petey in the corner. AJ wants a superplex and D’Amore grabs at AJ to allow Petey some time. AJ goes for the superplex again, but Petey blocks and sends AJ to the mat. Petey comes off the second rope onto AJ and finally delivers the CANADIAN DESTROYER out of nowhere!! Cover, 1-2-3. (9:48) Great for the short time it was allowed. It’s just sad that it didn’t lead to any more great matches between these two outside of the Ultimate X match with Sabin in January or any bigger of a push for Petey Williams. ***½

NWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett vs. AJ Styles (TNA Hard Justice, Orlando FL, 5/15/05)

UFC bad boy Tito Ortiz is here as guest referee to make sure justice prevails. Not just any kind of justice though, HARD justice. Jarrett had been champion since freakin’ June and everybody wanted to see him lose, so the DQ rule has been waived for this match. Both guys gain advantages during a lock-up sequence and Tito makes sure there’s clean breaks and that he’s in charge. They do some basic mat work for a while. After that, AJ wins a shoulderblock battle. He wants the dropkick, but Jarrett sees it coming and slides out to the floor and takes a walk. Back in, Jarrett forearms Styles, but AJ gets that dropkick he wanted earlier. Jumping knee drop follows for two. Jarrett goes to the eyes to take back control and connects with a gutbuster. Now Jarrett goes for the leg to set up the Figure-Four. Jarrett rams AJ’s knee into the top turnbuckle and then applies the FIGURE-FOUR. Jarrett gets a couple two-counts and then they get into a tug-of-war battle. Since AJ can’t make the ropes, he turns the hold over instead to break the hold. AJ fires back and connects with a tornado DDT. Jarrett takes a clothesline out to the floor while AJ sells the knee in the ring. AJ regroups and attempts a pescado, but catches himself on the apron, then Jarrett runs by and clips him. Jarrett heads back in the ring and keeps AJ out on the floor to try for a countout win. After Jarrett knocks AJ off the apron two times, Ortiz has enough and backs Jarrett away. Jarrett gets pulled out on the floor for a beat down, but then AJ pulls a Nikita Koloff and misses a clothesline up against the ringpost. Jarrett grabs his GEETAR and dares to nail Ortiz since he’s all up in his business. When he reaches back, AJ grabs the GEETAR! Tito won’t let him use it either though. Since Tito won’t let them use it, AJ smashes it up against the ringpost. AJ ducks a Jarrett clothesline and pounds him back into the ring for the springboard forearm smash. Quebrada DDT! Cover, 1-2-NO! STYLES CLASH? No! Jarrett backdrops Styles away, but AJ holds on to Jarrett. AJ wants a hurracanrana, but Jarrett blocks it with a powerbomb. Jackknife cover gets 1-2-NO! AJ counters THE STROKE and then runs into a powerslam for two. Backslide from AJ gets two. Small package gets another two. PELE KICK! Jarrett’s the first guy up though and goes for THE STROKE, but AJ shoves him off into the ropes. Sunset flip gets two, Jarrett then pulls AJ up for the STYLES CLASH! Cover, 1-2-NO! AJ comes back with a knee and hits THE STROKE for 1-2-NO! AJ heads up top and comes down for a possible 450, but he catches himself once Jarrett moves out of the way and goes for the STYLES CLASH. Just as he lifts him up, Monty Brown runs in and decks Jarrett with the POOOUNCE. Tito is like “GIT OUTTA HERE!”, so ref Rudy Charles runs down to count 1-2-NO! Ortiz pulls Rudy out. AJ’s all, “What the EFF, man?” so Tito pushes AJ back into a Jarrett low blow. Jarrett sets AJ up in the corner and starts to pound away, but then he shoves Ortiz back when he tries to get them out of the corner. They get into a shoving match, so Ortiz ends that real quick with a right hand. AJ hits the SPIRAL TAP for 1-2-3. (19:58) Big win for Styles as he is now a three-time NWA world champion, but it would all be for naught next month when AJ would lose the belt in a six man clusteryouknowwhat. They tried to tell a story with AJ’s leg and the Figure Four, but then it turned into overbooked silliness pretty quickly all the way to the finish. I’ll give it some stars because what they attempted to do in the first ten minutes was great stuff, but I would take off at least a ½ to a full star for the rest. ***

AJ Styles vs. Matt Hardy (IWC No Excuses, Monroeville PA, 7/29/05)

No, the internet wrestling community doesn’t have its own fed and if it did, I shudder to think what it would actually look like. IWC is another one of those Pennsylvania indy feds where every has-been and indy star in America has wrestled there at least once in their careers. This is Matt Hardy’s match, after he was released by WWE, his girlfriend, and one of his TLC buddies. As for AJ (since this is an AJ Styles mix-tape) over in TNA, he had just finished up a short feud with Sean Waltman and was battling his way to get to the Super X finals against Samoa Joe. I know, it’s definitely not as monumental or news-worthy as what Matt Hardy was doing during this time period. Matt is on the MIC! He says he didn’t come here to talk about Vince McMahon, Johnny Ace or anybody else that works in the WWE. He especially didn’t come to talk about that scumbag Adam Copeland. He had already done that at ROH anyway. He’s here to wrestle AJ Styles, the future of wrestling. Feeling-out process to start. AJ works a headlock and stays consistent with it like you might would see Ricky Steamboat do in the ‘80s by walking up the turnbuckles and stopping short while running the ropes and dropping down to reapply the headlock. Mostly just time-killing stuff, but the crowd appreciates it. Hardy blocks one of those walk-up-the-turnbuckle moves with a back suplex and then connects with a jumping lariat for two. Running palm strike gets two, but AJ comes back with the dropkick for two. Matt blocks a suplex into one of his own for a one-count. Bossman straddle follows for only a one-count. AJ slides out off a corner whip and connects with a shoulder thrust off the apron to set up a springboard crossbody. Delayed cover gets 1-2-NO! AJ wins a slugfest with an enziguri, but Matt reverses a corner whip and then busts out THE SCAR! This was Matt’s super secret independent ‘rasslin submission hold. It’s a double-underhook/body scissors, which is just a modified version of the octopus stretch. Styles makes the ropes and dumps Hardy out for a breather for both guys. AJ baseball slides Hardy and then hits the No Hands Somersault Plancha! Crap, there’s no guardrail! Back in, that gets two. Jumping Knee Drop gets another two for AJ. Back suplex gets ANOTHER two. AJ goes crazy on Matt in the corner with forearms and kicks, and then charges at Hardy for the Stinger Splash. Another nearfall. AJ attempts a springboard, but Matt throws his body into the ropes to stop him in a bad way. Another slugfest erupts and Hardy wins that battle for two. AJ tries to surprise Matt with an enziguri, but Matt ducks and drops Styles with a neckbreaker for two. Styles comes back with a brainbuster for two. Quebrada DDT gets another two. AJ wants the STYLES CLASH, but Matt counters into a Side Effect for 1-2-NO! Matt goes up top, but AJ kicks him on the way down and delivers a TWIST OF FATE for 1-2-NO! AJ can’t believe it. AJ tries the SPIRAL TAP, but nobody’s home. Now Hardy sets up for the real TWIST OF FATE. AJ blocks the kick and spins Matt around for a ‘rana, but Hardy blocks and delivers the STYLES CLASH for 1-2-NO! That gets a standing ovation from this Pittsburgh crowd. Matt hits knees off a top-rope moonsault and both men are down. Back up, Matt tries another TWIST OF FATE, but AJ shoves Matt off into the ref. No harm done though. Matt charges at AJ for a jackknife rollup, but then AJ powers Matt up for the STYLES CLASH! AJ rolls him over, 1-2-NO!! Oh man. AJ wants Matt up on his feet. Discus punch puts Matt in the corner. Hardy blocks a top-rope ‘rana and calls for the AHHHH flying leg drop, but AJ pops up and knocks Matt to the floor with the PELE! Back in, Matt still maintains control to set up the TWIST OF FATE, but AJ stops all that with a backslide. Can AJ bring Matt down to the mat? No! Matt Hardy goes low, or was that just his trick knee acting up? Can’t tell. TWIST OF FATE! Cover, 1-2-NO!!! Awesome. Matt goes for another TWIST OF FATE near the ropes, but AJ hooks the top rope to block. Oklahoma rollup from AJ gets 1-2-3!! (25:59) One of those great matches where the timing was perfect for these two to compete, as they were both in their primes and given nearly 30 minutes. This is way more of a dream match to me than Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles simply because Matt Hardy is a lot more controlled and a much better mat wrestler than Jeff. The match had the formula of an awesome TNA main event with all the finisher exchanges in the last several minutes and the mat wrestling in the beginning stages. ****

Final Thoughts: For you old school fans who read my recaps and don’t care too much for the new school, think of Low Ki vs. AJ Styles as Muta vs. Sting on acid. It’s wild, wild stuff. I’m talking about the match, not acid. Don’t do drugs. From what I hear, they’re bad. I’ve thought about doing a part two for AJ Styles because just there’s SO MUCH of his stuff online that I haven’t recapped yet, but it’ll probably be a while before that happens. Next up, BJ Whitmer!


Posted on December 4, 2007, in NWA, TNA, WCW, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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