This week at wrestling rising I am celebrating the genius that is AJ Styles. A few days ago we started a countdown of the best AJ Styles matches. Numbers 5 and 4 have been claimed so without dragging out the intro any further let’s get going on numbers 3 and 2!
- AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe vs Christopher Daniels – TNA Unbreakable 2005
This match was everything the X-division, hell everything amid card title anywhere should be about. It was not only the perfect example of what an X-division match should be about but also one of the best 3 way matches ever put in professional wrestling. It was fast paced and displayed every man’s strengths for the world to see. Not one man in the match came out looking worse off. AJ showed a wide range of his offence putting him firmly in the spotlight. Putting Joe in the torture rack is no easy feat, even more impressive giving he’s nearly twice the size of Styles in this match. A prefect way to display his strength and when he hit the Spiral tap to break the Sleeper Hold that Joe had on Daniels , it gave us just a glimpse of what the man from Gainesville can do in the squared circle. It’s a credit to this match to say 2 out of the 3 people involved are now top drawers in WWE. The only reason this match isn’t higher is because it was a 3 way match. I love triple threats but for me the bet matches are one on ones.
- AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura – Wrestle Kingdom 10
Now the people who know me will know two things about me when it comes to wrestling. Number 1: I love AJ Styles and number 2: I am obsessed with Nakamura. So imagine how excited I was when I heard that my two favourite wrestlers in the world would be squaring off in the Tokyo Dome at Wrestle Kingdom 10. This is one of the few times we have gotten to see Styles play the Heel and the underdog in the match. AJ was going into this match, as a foreigner, on Japan’s biggest show, against one of the most popular Japanese stars of all time- Shinsuke Nakamura. And while the outcome of the match was very much up in the air, the match itself promised to be a show stealer. And my god did it deliver. AJ played his role fantastically, feigning his escalated back injury to get the upper hand was pure heel brilliance and the cockiness of Nakamura eating the “bullet” showed us what a clash we had on our hands. I genuinely thought it might be over when Nakamura locked in the Arm Breaker but AJ pulled off an expert counter and hit a ONE ARMED STYLES CLASH. Again I thought “this must be the finish” and again Shinsuke showed us why he is the King of String Style, kicking out after 2. This match used the classic formula of using false finishes and near falls to heighten the drama and get us all ready for the inevitable ending. And it worked. They had me hooked from the firs bell. This match was impossible to call going in and the match itself just made it that much harder to pick your winner. In the end Nakamura decimated AJ with 2 Bom Aye knee strikes and covered him for the 123. AJ losing did not take anything away from this absolute classic. He showed why he can hang with the best in every continent and what a true star of the business he is.
So that’s numbers 3 and 2. What do you think? Agree? What do you think number 1 will be? Leave us a comment below and let us know your favourite AJ Styles match. Be sure to look out for our number 1 pick coming soon. Drop us a like over on Facebook at Wrestling’s Rising and head over to twitter and give me a follow @benji_siddall
Thanks for reading. I’ve been Ben from Wrestling Rising. And I’ll be back soon.