TNA Sacrifice 2009 Review Part 7: Styles Vs. Booker

James TriggsCorrespondent IMay 27, 2009

This is part of my TNA Sacrifice 2009 Review Series. If you have read the first part, welcome back! If you are new to the series, you will find a summary of my ranking system in the first part.


Wondering whether the event is worth it to see a replay or the DVD? Wondering about the effectiveness of the show? Not everyone sees PPV's, so the analysis here could be useful.

Continuation of the Review:

Here comes another Kurt Angle video package that has been seen so many times in the past few weeks. Again, there is new material at the end. Again, more new material would have been better.

Guess what? Borash does an interview with Kurt Angle, again with MEM Security behind him.

Next we have a Booker T and AJ Styles video package. This seems mostly new material to me, though that may be because I skip past some of these video packages on iMPACT!

TNA Legend Championship Match- I Quit Match: TNA Legends Champion AJ Styles vs. Booker T

Big chant for Styles at the beginning and this match starts off fast. Booker works a faster pace then he normally does, which is perfect for an I Quit match as well as match for a title he so covets.

Styles works a little faster than he usually does. A very good variety of moves is used. Duelling chants “Let’s go AJ,” “Let’s go Booker,” breaks out. The Booker chants are predominantly from the men, the AJ chants predominantly from the women, though at the beginning both genders chanted for him.

There is a bit of a “Booker sucks” chant from a single individual. This match has a good atmosphere around it, befitting this match, helped by the previous match.

The pace works very well in this kind of match and helped the pace set by the previous match to slow down a bit. The pace remained at a very appropriate level.

AJ Styles does a bridging reverse Indian deathlock with chinlock, which I haven’t seen in a long time, since I saw the very flexible Manami Toyota use it. Styles has used it before, but not for a while and its great seeing him break out such a wonderfully move.

Great submission moves look great and so aren’t boring to see and generally these moves are technically difficult, like this one. 

Submission moves are used as part of a wearing down process and strikes are not neglected. A nice balance is achieved, keeping things dynamic. Booker uses his voice to sell, a good positive. Since submission moves weren’t used quite as often before this match, they had more impact here.

The placement of this match was very good, as PPV I Quit matches are serious affairs. The storyline wasn’t built up as well as it could have been, but it was done sufficiently well enough.

Booker and Styles sell appropriately, but there is nothing extraordinary. There are good vocal sounds as the match progresses, better than in average matches. Facial reactions were standard. There was a point where Styles had some very good wobbling.

Fatigue is done well. Styles had a nice “NEVER!” when asked to quit.

The crowd reaction isn’t like that of the previous match, but that was fine. The crowd reaction was still strong and the placement of this match worked favourably as in this kind of match it is expected that things are spaced out more. The crowd reaction in comparison to the previous match didn’t hurt the atmosphere of the match too much.

Booker T gets a nice reaction with the spinarooni. After trading blows for a bit, there is a good reaction during a punch off. The Pelé was done well, as usual and at a good time. 

There was some nice mat wrestling as well and mounted punches were in the right places. 

Booker T usually responded “Hell, no” or just a clear “no” when asked to quit. He was very clear about this and he sounded focused like pain was not affecting him. Later on, he sold the pain he was going through when he voice faltered.

Sharmell came down to the ring to give support. The commentators had commentated how Booker T may have told her not to come in case the match was too much for her or to prevent any distractions from being present.

Morasca came down to the ring and her involvement leaves Sharmell furious. Post-match, the typical bickering happened and Booker T had a very good facial reaction.

The Score:

Placement: 8.4- Well above average

Crowd Response: 7.3- Above average

Relevance: 7.7- Above average

Pacing 7.5- Above average

Selling: 7.1- Above average

Cohesion: 6.9- Generally average, but had some standout moments

Timing: 6.7- Generally average, but had some standout moments

Moves: 7.7- Above average

Entertainment Value: 7.5- Above average

The Test of Time: 7.2- Above average

Overall: 74.0- A match that used the lead in to its advantage. Not as good as that match, but still a high-quality offering. The psychology used was to a quality standard and this match was the best match to follow the previous one.


Any comments? Other opinions? Feel free to contribute. Everyone places different weight on what they see. The more opinions known, the easier it is for people to determine whether they want to see it.

The Impact:

AJ Styles was on the poster and The Gears of War reference wasn’t the most relevant choice to make. This match didn’t come across as a focus of TNA Sacrifice but your standard title match.

AJ Styles deserves the moniker of “Phenomenal,” but this is not one of his better matches. Styles reminds of certain other wrestlers in that it seems like he doesn’t have too many opponents that really push him to the limit. What I mean is that there are wrestlers who can work so well with certain other wrestlers that they bring out the best in them. It is combination of motivation, chemistry and skill in calling moves.

My main concern is that I Quit matches are meant to showcase how badly something is wanted and what extremes they are willing to go. That message of how badly something was wanted was sent/

On the other hand, neither wrestler really seemed like they were doing anything different to a standard match. A PPV standard match, yes, but it didn’t seem that special or different compared to other AJ Styles matches.

I think I Quit matches shouldn’t just be thrown in when something is wanted badly enough. I Quit matches should show both wrestler doing all they can and eventually, someone reaching the breaking point.

In this match the breaking point wasn’t a concern, but the capabilities of the wrestlers being showcased was. Styles wasn’t pushed to his limits. It was a great touch in his bringing out an old move, but more could have been done.

I believe that guys like Daniels would make much better opponents for Styles in an I Quit match. The stipulation needs to truly mean something to be effective and that needs to be reinforced in what occurs in the match.


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