If you read my previous “The Review Stands Alone”, you’ll know the reason behind my reviewing yet another TNA match-up. I recently made use of my subscription to TNAwrestlingPlus on YouTube and I’ve been furiously digging through the archives to find some of the best AJ Styles matches I could sink my teeth into. For this particular one, since Turning Point 2009 is not available as an entire pay-per-view, I had to trust that TNA wasn’t lying to me when it put this match in the “Best of TNA Wrestling in 2009” video. Half of the appeal of this main event is that it’s the rematch four years in the making of what is considered the best TNA main event in history from Unbreakable 2005. Without further ado, I present to you the main event of Turning Point 2009: AJ Styles defending his TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels.
There is only one word that can aptly define what made the story for this match: psychology. Often times, you’ll hear announcers in wrestling programs refer to a competitor as a “master psychologist”. In this scenario, Samoa Joe played that role perfectly. With Styles and Daniels being the best of friends, Samoa Joe had one goal in mind: divide and conquer – physically and mentally. Samoa Joe did exactly what he set out to do going into the match: he left both men physically hurting, especially the champ, and planted the seeds of doubt in both Daniels and Styles as to whether they could trust each other.
Right out of the gate, we get more of that psychology that Samoa Joe has been attempting to employ leading up to this huge match-up. Tired of being doubted and questioned by his friend AJ Styles, Daniels takes a huge sucker punch right at Styles, who reciprocates almost immediately. The early stages of the match unfold with Styles and Daniels trading technical work, only to be cut off and down to size by the Samoan Submission Machine himself. A truly amazing athletic display occurs, as Styles utilizies an outside diving shooting star press. Holy. freaking. shit. An evening more amazing combination occurs not even a few minutes later, as Daniels hits a hurricanrana on Styles who is thrown into a vicious powerbomb by Joe. Samoa Joe is taking advantage of the flashy style of his opponents and countering it with precision and brutal dominance.
Samoa Joe, not to be outdone in the technician category by his counterparts in this match, starts trading a series of roll ups and holds with Styles, only to come up short. Styles knocks Joe away, and begins to trade offense with Daniels, with Daniels trying to pull off a Styles Clash and Styles attempting the Angel’s Wings. I’m fully enamored with AJ Styles, but I often times forget that Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels in their prime as they were here are absolutely brilliant technicians and athletes. This entire match has kept me on the edge of my seat while watching it, and that’s something to be proud of for a match that occurred seven years ago. Daniels hits the Best Moonsault Ever on a prone Samoa Joe with Styles nowhere to be found. Daniels goes for the pin and STYLES HIT A SPRINGBOARD 450 SPLASH. Absolutely. Freaking. Incredible. Styles picks up the win here and retains his coveted TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
Words cannot do this match justice. If you have the ability to watch it, I absolutely recommend taking a look at this. This is easily one of AJ Styles’ best matches while performing under TNA. Likewise, if you’re looking to be reminded of just how special a competitor Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe are, this is a great match to exemplify that. While this pay-per-view would turn out to, ironically enough, be a turning point for the coming as they hit a downward spiral with the additions of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff heading into the year 2010, this match serves as a consummate reminder that AJ Styles possess an ability that many wrestlers today do not have. That, my friends, is the ability to adapt to your environment and to your opponent’s style, no matter how different it may be.