Guitarmageddon - June 11, 2005
Joey Ryan vs. Alex Shelley
LOVED the storytelling in this one. Shelley completely outclassed Ryan in terms of technical wrestling, just humiliating him. It was a sight to behold. It was such an ass-kicking on the mat that Ryan, who was doing a sworn Christian gimmick, became so irrationally gotten to that he got in the face of a toddler.
Ryan had to break his Christian code in order to get some advantages, blatantly cheating. But that wasn't enough against a world-class wrestler like Shelley. Shelley did come into the match with an injured left arm, which became vulnerable when he went shoulder-first into a turnbuckle, and then fell onto the ring steps below, with the impact point behind that injured arm. This allowed Ryan to get a very impressive heat segment on Shelley.
However, Shelley was a great babyface in this match, with tremendous hope spots and showing just how superior he was to Ryan. In the end though, Ryan's newfound desperation to be successful became more important to him than his Christianity and integrity, using the ropes for leverage to get a pinfall on Shelley.
This didn't have the pacing of a great match, but I must mention just tremendous the story these two told was. Really engaging stuff.
PWG Title and NWA-TNA Title Match
AJ Styles vs. James Gibson
This was quite splendid. With both championship on the line, it appeared that the veteran Gibson had a new fire lit under him. I'm sure going up against an opponent like Styles had him knowing he had to bring his working boots as he usually did anyway. But Gibson was great at meticulously waiting for the overzealous Styles to be put in a prone position.
When Styles found himself between the apron and bottom rope, with Gibson on the outside, the challenger grabbed the champion and slammed his sternum onto the apron. Gibson then spent much of the rest of the match applying headlocks and what appeared to be on making breathing a challenge for Styles. However, Styles was great at using his athleticism to give him time.
My favorite spot of the match, without any doubt, was Styles going for an enziguri while Gibson already had one leg hooked. Just like Paul London did to him at Night of the Grudges, Styles found himself being dragon screwed (in a modified way) and having the momentum of the attempted enziguri to backfire on him. Gibson's execution of this reversal was just as beautiful as London's two years earlier. Along with Gibson avoiding the signature springboard reverse DDT of Styles, it was so glaring that he was a student of the game.
However, Styles is such a tremendous pro wrestler than no matter how much studying Gibson put in prior to this match, not every Styles signature could be avoided. And while the sudden Styles Clash finish felt a bit anticlimatic, it established the finisher as being a finisher, and it's important to educate the audience for future matches for when the finisher is a false finish. Splendid match.
Kevin Steen & Excalibur vs. Super Dragon & Disco Machine
Excalibur revealed here that he had been the brains behind Steen's Super Dragon #2 disguise, and said Disco Machine was more than welcome to join their crew prior to the match.
What also should be noted is that until the finish, Excalibur and Disco Machine disclosed on the commentary that they would call the match objectively and in the third person. It made for a very unique experience.
This wasn't the most exciting match in terms of pacing, but the story when the entire segment was done was a great chapter in the Steen vs. SD feud. Disco Machine spend the majority of the match just getting his ass kicked, probably because Excalibur bitched so much about how SD had been holding back his friends. But SD realized that Disco Machine couldn't keep taking the ass-kicking and tagged himself in.
Disco Machine let his ego get in the way, not realizing that he was out of gas for the night, and betrayed SD, and accepting Excalibur's invitation. Steen got his package piledriver pin on SD, and afterwards 2 Skinny Black Guys came out to help SD, only for the newly aligned trio to take a powder. A challenge is made for a trios match on the next month's anniversary show, but not before these gems:
Excalibur: "Super Dragon, I see before this match, you hedged your bets, you bought some friends backstage. But Super Dragon, you think you can replace myself and Disco Machine with a beaner and a fucking nigger?"
Steen: "Does that word offend you... nigger?"