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Bound for Glory Series Match
Joe and Angle are two of the most consistent workers in the business - when they're together they produced magic on nearly every ocassion. Their most recent attempt was good, but definitely nothing we haven't seen before out of either man. Still, a straight-up wrestling match for no other reason outside of the spirit of competition and a future shot at the World Title is refreshing and great to see. Not every match on a PPV card needs a deep, dramatic story. A very focused Joe cut a promo earlier in the night guaranteeing victory, and put down one of his biggest rivals in one of the most brutal ways possible. It's been a long time since I thought the Samoan Submission Machine could cut his teeth in the main event scene, but after a big win here tonight and new focus, could we see Samoa Joe in the main event of Bound for Glory?
Last Man Standing Match
Every time these guys meet in the ring I think there's no way they can out-shine what they've already accomplished together - every single time they prove me wrong. It's truly impressive when any performers can put over a feeling of legitimate hatred. Every feud just adds a little more fuel to the fire; eventually TNA's going to have to invent some sort of suicidal death match for these long-time rivals to finally put an end to the violence. Styles/Daniels is one of my favorite rivalries in pro wrestling's history. No matter how stupid the gimmick or storyline creative sticks them with, they turn it into gold.
Last Man Standing was a good pick for this PPV. I'm happy to say that the referee didn't ruin it with too many counts that only detract from the action that could be happening. It's a rough match to pull off, but when done properly, as Styles and Daniels proved last night, it can pay off in spades. The pacing of the match was impressive; whoever helped them lay it all out deserves almost as much credit. Brutal from the very start, chairs and ring steps were used sparingly to make each "spot" feel all the more special. Good use of Kazarian, as well, as you had to know Daniels' tag parter would get involved at some point.
The ending of this match was something truly special. Normally I'm not a big fan of over-done violence in matches. Yes, the goal is generally two guys beating the hell out of each other, but there has to be some level of respect for the fighting arts and a good story being told. Senseless brutality for the sake of a cheap "E-C-Dub" chant is amateur league; TNA is above that, and doesn't need it. All that being said, the feeling throughout this match was that AJ Styles and Chris Daniels truly, deeply hate each other with every ounce of their being. When AJ picked him up for the "Styles Clash" you could see the intensity in his eyes. You knew, as he stood on the edge of that ramp with Daniels life in his hands, that he was going to jump. It was almost haunting how believable that moment was. If this were the end of the Styles/Daniels saga, it would have been a fitting conclusion. But, as we all know, it won't be...