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Kurt Angle vs AJ Styles (TNA Hard Justice 08/10/08, Last Man Standing)

TNA August 10 2008 Last Man Standing Kurt Angle AJ Styles Trenton NJ

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#1 Loss

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 05:58 PM

Talk about it here.



#2 El-P

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Posted 29 April 2018 - 06:50 AM

It's crazy how over the years Kurt Angle has been pidgeonholed into the "my turn-your turn - no selling - movez" cliché worker. Someone hearing about this definition of Kurt and going through his big TNA matches of 2008 would be puzzled. Honestly, this style maybe was true in the WWE, but watching Angle in TNA has been a huge eye-opener to me. I have no problem putting him in the "all-time great workers" at this point.

 

Anyway, this match is awesome, maybe AJ Styles best performance since the 2005 triple way feud against Joe & Daniels. He delivers a terrific pissed off babyface performance here, while Angle is off-the-chart great has a heel, stalling at first, smirking and showing off after he does really huge spots, gripping simple holds and working them like it's the 80's (he does work from a headlock for a while and really puts intent into it), begging when he has to at the beginning, feeding the comebacks. He does so many little things right in term of facial expression and positioning in the ring (going for the ropes to help himself getting up instead of just stand up, stuff like that). Plus they don't abuse the gimmick, instead of simply going for illogical falls early (like it's often done), they wait until the last third when the selling is getting heavy to really make the actual falls meaningfull. The trading finisher spot comes from two organic transitions, Kurt catching AJ in a powerbomb counter, which then allows him to fuck with AJ a bit by trying the Styles Clash. AJ from there countering his own finisher by going to the ankle lock makes sense both physically and mentally. Long term selling is excellent, they work tons of really impressive spots, everything actually looks like a struggle. They don't go overboard with the finishers either. Damn, that match is great.

 

Post match... well, you can get the Russo fuckery feel a bit, but it's beside the point. This is the second MOTYC for Angle in 2008, in a totally different style than the infamous cage match with Joe. Maybe best Styles match ever in term of putting everything together (and by that I mean purpose and character) and really better than anything he has done in WWE or NJ to me. Great pro-wrestling, this.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: TNA, August 10, 2008, Last Man Standing, Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, Trenton NJ

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