"TNA was built on Christopher Daniels vs AJ Styles."
Throughout the years, this statement has been proven valid as it always becomes the main cornerstone for the TNA franchise.
Whenever these two lock up one-on-one in the ring, or whenever they're both involved in the same match, you can always realize that you're about to see something amazing happen.
Which is why, when this CvC for "Best Match of All-Time" came out, I went with possibly the better match in the Styles/Daniels rivalry.
Sure, I could've chosen another match that some deem the best TNA match of all-time or a more well-recognized match from the WWE promotion, but this match in the Styles/Daniels rivalry can withstand the test of time and has no flaws in arguing for it as the best match ever.
The match I'm talking about, ladies and gentlemen, is AJ Styles vs Christopher Daniels for the X-Division championship in an Ironman match at Bound For Glory 2005.
At Against All Odds 2005, these two men had actually faced off for that same championship and in that same match but for the first time. The time expired and it ended in a draw but Daniels knew that he would've not won the championship in a draw so he ordered Dusty Rhodes to make it sudden death. In sudden death though, AJ Styles won after recovering from the Koji Clutch that Daniels had applied to him in the waning seconds of their Ironman match.
Styles stayed champion as Daniels became the fallen contender. But even though he lost, he became determined to regain "his" rightful championship.
This determination bottled up as rage, is what allowed Daniels to gain a rematch. Same rules, same match, same championship.
But this time, Daniels was determined to make the outcome different.
Thus, began the best match of all-time.
But why is it really the best?
It's the best because it provides a little bit of everything.
Whereas some matches lack storytelling, history, aggression, jaw-dropping moves, suspense, high-flying action, technical wrestling, proper sequencing, or true desire, this match is not missing in any of those pieces.
It provides a little bit of everything and it all begins once that bell sounds to signal the beginning of the match.
Styles vs Daniels, 30 minutes. Who will come out on top?
That was a question whose answer was unknown until the final seconds of the match where it all came crashing down for Christopher Daniels as AJ Styles pinned him with :02 seconds remaining to win one-to-zero.
Yet, the ending is not the sole reason for why this match is possibly the best contender for greatest match of all-time.
The emotion of both men and the story that was told throughout along with every single move was enough to keep every single viewer in the audience excited and pumped up on their feet, anticipating the finish.
You couldn't tell when there was going to be a pin as there were a lot of near falls after the one on the floor was completely worn out, yet somehow that person was able to survive the three-count.
Momentum shifted opposite ways every few minutes and there was no one completely dominating the bout. But there were a few instances though where it looked like the match was going to go towards one man's way.
After the reversals, finishers, and signatures, you would expect a pinfall here and there but it was not meant to be.
Daniels kicked out. Styles kicked out.
There were no falls to be recorded in an expiring clock.
That is, until the end.
A Styles clash provided the victory. Not a BME, a neckbreaker ddt to the outside floor, a pele kick, a few variations of different powerbombs, an inverted ddt, a Koji clutch, or even the Angel's Wings. None of those moves made a difference in the match. Versatility was everywhere but was not the reason for victory.
The victory came with a simple finisher, nothing fancy, yet it spoke more words than anything else could.
Daniels was relentless throughout the match and he was not willing to go down, but AJ also wasn't going to go down without a fight. In a moment of despair, AJ hit his finisher to win and Daniels wasn't able to withstand the impact after being weakened.
AJ won the war, and it was shown as his emotion could be seen on his face after the match ended.
The story of a champion fighting with pride was shown throughout and the end result engraved it.
The champion proved his worth in a battle for the ages. A continuous 30 minute match where stamina and true passion can be showcased.
There were no moments of staleness, just pure high-octane offense. Where matches seem to grow stagnant, this match only kept you at the edge of your seats.
It was wrestling at it's finest and it's also the best match of all-time. Watch it to be amazed.
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