The Best of A.J. Styles: Volume 2
Description: A.J. Styles has unquestionably been the only consistent franchise player of TNA since its inception in June of 2002. His matches often steal the show whether he's performing at a TNA Pay-per-view, Television taping, house show, or at any independent local wrestling show he appears on. The Best of A.J. Styles Volume 2 features more of A.J.'s greatest matches in TNA.
Lockdown 2005 - A.J. Styles vs. Abyss in Six Sides of Steel: This was the main event of a PPV with a highly criticized concept - an entire night of matches held inside Six Sides of Steel. The Phenomenal One and the Monster Abyss were forced to cap off a full card of steel cage matches and find some way to make their cage match different from all the rest. Not only did they deliver the goods, but they saved a pay-per-view that had been crapped on by a percentage of the viewing audience. Personally, I enjoyed the entire PPV when I initially watched it, so this match was only icing on the cake for me. It was a modern day David vs. Goliath, with Styles wearing the proverbial crimson mask (bloody face). A.J. Styles beat the odds and pinned Abyss after a spectacular sunset power-bomb off of the cage!
Hard Justice 2005 - A.J. Styles vs. Jeff Jarrett for the NWA World Heavyweight title: With his victory over Abyss at Lockdown, A.J. Styles earned a shot at NWA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett. The dethroning of Triple J (Jeff the Jerk Jarrett) as NWA Champion was a year in the making, and A.J. Styles seemed like TNA's last hope of reclaiming the prestigious championship from the evil Jarrett's grasp. To add to the drama, UFC fighter Tito Ortiz was brought in to referee the match. It was a long match that focused on good old fashioned wrestling, and didn't include any weapons or gimmicks (except Ortiz) and frankly it didn't need any. After some botched interference by Monty Brown, and a knockout punch from Tito Ortiz, TNA had a new "Phenomenal" NWA World champion!
Unbreakable 2005 - A.J. Styles vs. Samoa Joe vs. Chris Daniels for the TNA X-Division title: We quietly skip ahead three months and A.J. Styles is no longer the NWA World Champion, but he is engaged in one of TNA's all-time greatest rivalries against X-Division wrestlers Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels. This led to a triple threat match that has become without a doubt the greatest single match in the history of Total Nonstop Action. Styles, Daniels, and Joe squared off in a straight-up three-way match and hit a grand-slam with the fans. A.J. Styles walked out the "Match of the Year 2005" with his fifth X-Division title. The feud between these three X-Division stars continued for many months and included several other triple threat matches including an Ultimate-X match at Destination-X 2006.
iMPACT debut - A.J. Styles vs. Roderick Strong: It was a really big deal when TNA secured a timeslot on Spike TV on October 1st of 2005. It's usually customary to feature your franchise player in the first match of something that will be remembered for years and become the subject of future games of wrestling trivia. A.J. Styles was featured in a match against Roderick Strong in the first ever match on Spike TV and it couldn't have been a better introduction to TNA and its X-Division. A.J. Styles has earned the right to be TNA's poster-boy!
Genesis 2005 - A.J. Styles vs. Petey Williams for the X-Division title: The Phenomenal One became involved in a minor feud with Petey Williams which focused on which wrestler had the better finishing move. It was the flashy Styles Clash against the devastating Canadian Destroyer. They had a match previously on iMPACT where the first man to hit their finisher won the match, and Williams was victorious in that encounter. It was A.J. Styles, however, coming out on top when it counted on Pay-pew-view with the X-Division title on the line.
Slammiversary 2006 - A.J. Styles & Christopher Daniels vs. America's Most Wanted for the NWA World Tag Team titles: They skipped about eight months of A.J.'s career until Styles formed a tag team with his former rival Christopher Daniels. Together they rose to the top of TNA's Tag Team division and they went right after NWA World Tag Team champions America's Most Wanted (with their valet Gail Kim). This match took place after several failed attempts, but this time the team of A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels captured the NWA World Tag Team titles. So this DVD featured A.J. Styles winning all three championships available in Total Nonstop Action.
No Surrender 2006 - A.J. Styles & Christopher Daniels vs. LAX (Homicide & Hernandez) in an Ultimate-X match: A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels became entangled in a feud with a new team known as the Latin American eXchange, consisting of Homicide and Hernandez with their manager Konnan. Styles & Daniels defeated LAX at Hard Justice, but dropped the NWA World Tag Team titles to LAX two weeks later on iMPACT. The rematch was set-up for No Surrender in an Ultimate-X match - if you don't know what Ultimate-X is, then get out from under that rock you've been living under and buy this DVD to find out. The "Phenomenal Angels" were successful and recaptured the NWA World Tag Team titles in a match that was voted "TNA Match of the Year 2006" by fans at TNA.com. This feud would include one more match, which was fought within the confines of Six Sides of Steel - a match voted by fans of OWW as the "TNA Match of the Year for 2006." Needless to say this feud sparked a lot of interest and provided us with plenty of entertainment.
iMPACT November 2006 - A.J. Styles vs. Chris Sabin for the X-Division title: Last but certainly not least, the final match on this DVD featured A.J. Styles defeating Chris Sabin for yet another X-Division championship. I remember when I first saw this I was somewhat shocked because there was no reason at the time to make Styles the focal point of the X-Division again. Another fantastic match for the Phenomenal One. By the time Styles decides to retire, he will probably have a 100 X-Division title reigns on his decorated resume!
With over two and half hours of uninterrupted match footage, this DVD surprisingly only scratched the surface of possible A.J. Styles TNA material. Several important matches were excluded, such as the Iron Man match with Christopher Daniels at Bound for Glory, the match against Samoa Joe at Turning Point, plus the rematch with Joe and Daniels at Against All Odds. There just isn't enough time to fit all of A.J.'s greatest matches onto this DVD - I guess they focus only on matches that Styles was the winner; I assume those other matches can be found on the Joe DVD and the Daniels DVD. I guess we can look forward to the Best of A.J. Styles Volume 3, 4, up to 100 because as long he stays healthy, Styles will be providing TNA fans with many phenomenal Match of the Year contenders.
The final portion of the DVD showcases a nice 20-minute biography of Allen Jones growing up with his family, getting into the wrestling business, turning down a WWE developmental contract, joining Total Nonstop Action, and becoming major part of the TNA product.
There is about 30-minutes of bonus material packaged with this DVD featuring: 1) A.J. Styles taking a TNA camera back to the old beat-up trailer that he and his family lived in when he was a child; 2) A.J. Styles also returns to his High School where he played football and wrestled and visits his favorite teacher; 3) There is also footage of the Jones family at home with Allen and little Ajay demonstrating some unique talents; 4) Next up there is a complete match from NWA Wildside between A.J. Styles and K-Krush (Ron Killings) for the Television title; 5) Plus a special photo gallery featuring pictures taken by TNA photographer Lee South.
Phenomenal: The Best of A.J. Styles Volume 2 will be released on April 1 - for more information click here
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Rating: 9 / 10
Reviewed by Brad Dykens on March 22, 2007.
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