The year was 2006. The event, TNA Genesis 2006. Kurt Angle made his long-awaited debut as he faced Samoa Joe. The hype surrounding this match was well-deserved. Both athletes were at the top of their game and both had a lot to prove.
Was Angle ready for the threat known as Samoa Joe, who had been undefeated throughout his run in TNA? Was Samoa Joe's undefeated streak in jeopardy of coming to an end?
By the time this match had been put together, the rivalry that existed between the two had already been turned up more than a few notches. After giving Joe the "Headbutt heard around the world," Angle made it clear that he wasn't in TNA to play games, but to continue to build on his legacy already established in the WWE. That headbutt might have sent a message, but it also unleashed the beast in Joe.
There are wrestling matches and then there are wrestling classics. It's safe to say that this match was a classic. Both superstars shined brightly, redefining what wrestling is and should be. Angle and Joe brought out the best in each other. After perhaps one of the most brutal matches of both men's career, Angle forced Samoa Joe to tap out. It left fans wanting more. Hence, the rivalry would continue.
Over the years I have watched TNA off and on. I remember being as excited as anyone else when I found out that Angle was coming to TNA. It meant that TNA was becoming a legitimate threat and a great alternative to the WWE. There was hope.
Unfortunately, that was 2006.
You would think TNA would be a lot further along on so many levels. TNA actually got Kurt Angle's debut and rivalry with Joe right. So why does it feel as if, more than six years later, TNA still does not know its audience and perhaps never will?
What do you think?