Wrestling Flashback – AJ Styles’ Evil Ways


When I think back to the very best of times with TNA, I think of years like 2005 and 2006. These were the years when it was down to the top quality of the X-Division. A time when TNA had wrestlers that would kill it every time they were on iMPACT, PPV or whatever. TNA was flooded with wrestlers like Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels with so much potential. But I think a period of TNA which I really enjoyed was around 2012 and 2013 and the Aces And Eights storyline. These years were very different and it wasn’t that it was good because the in-ring action was outstanding. It was good because the writers were doing what every wrestling writer should be doing as a means to keep the audience watching the product… sticking to a plan.

That’s one of the things that really annoys me when I watch WWE. CM Punk said it best on the podcast with Colt Cabana. WWE only have plans for a select number of wrestler. This sucks because all this talent is wasted as WWE don’t know what to do with them. When some NXT talent like the Ascension debut on the main roster, Vince and the rest of the writers had NO IDEA how to build them up. Before calling ANYONE up from NXT, surely you’ve got to get a game-plan. Look at the star and say “Right, what do we want Finn Balor doing in six months time?” or something like that. WWE don’t think like that with anyone. They might have had a long-term plan with Kevin Owens, but obviously they’ve went back on a few things with his feud loss to John Cena.

However when it came to the Aces And Eights angle, particular up until Lockdown 2013, they knew what the end game was going to be. They had a plan and stuck to it. It sounds like the most obvious thing in the world, but it’s insane how much wrestling writers nowadays don’t plan things out in advance. It’s always “spur-of-the-moment” booking with WWE regarding RAW. It’s always “spur-of-the-moment” booking with the PPVs. Considering we’re live in a world in which the likes of Game of Thrones rules television with it’s detailed storylines, WWE really need to step up.

However, I think there was one instance in which TNA did well with the planning of its storylines. Not only with the Aces and Eights storyline, but with AJ Styles’ 2013 storyline as well.

At Final Resolution 2012, AJ lost his supposed last match with Christopher Daniels shortly after being banned from the TNA World title picture until Bound For Glory. AJ cut a promo claiming he was tired of always doing the right thing. He decided that he was going to do his own thing. AJ left the company for a few months with cameraman observing a more darker AJ at his home. When he arrived at TNA, AJ had a new attitude which he took out on the good guys of wrestling. After feuding with James Storm and Kurt Angle, the Aces and Eights looked to try and get AJ into their group. Sadly, AJ declined the offer to join up with Aces and Eights OR TNA and decided to be a lone wolf.

With only himself in mind now, AJ took this new attitude into the Bound For Glory Series… which he won. Following his win, AJ began hitting out at how TNA was run and it’s president Dixie Carter. AJ shared the opinions of a lot of wrestling fans had of Dixie Carter, which led to the heel turn of the TNA President. Despite her interferences, AJ ended up winning the TNA World Championship at Bound For Glory. Following this win, AJ walked out on the company with the TNA World Title. After defending it around the world, he returned to challenge Dixie’s hand-picked champion Magnus to a “Winner-Take-All” Title Unification match. The match was set, but AJ sadly lost to Magnus due to an insane amount of interference. This would be the last we see of AJ Styles in TNA.

This storyline was a fantastic send-off for AJ, who seemed to have his sights set on leaving the company a lot sooner. This new attitude was exactly the thing AJ needed. He didn’t need to be a heel, but he needed to be the lone outcast in the war between TNA and Aces and Eights. With his title win, he finally got one last title reign under his belt before he moved onto the independent scene. Now AJ’s really tearing it up with ROH and in Japan. It’ll be interesting to see where the Phenomenal One goes from here…



Previously on WCW EWR…

At Halloween Havoc, Chris Jericho retained the WCW Title against Scott Steiner in a submission match after making him tap out to the Walls of Jericho. But Steiner’s not giving up on the WCW Title just yet!

Sting and DDP were unable to capture the WCW tag titles after Bam Bam Bigelow and Curt Hennig and Bam Bam Bigelow got themselves disqualified. Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero fought in a hell of a US Title match which Benoit won. To read all about the PPV, click on the link above.

But a few pointers before we get started because a lot of important things happened on TV which leads us into tonight…

  • AJ Styles defeated Yoshihiro Tajiri on Thunder to become the NEW Cruiserweight Champion! I’ve been building this up for a while on TV! I signed AJ onto the developmental a year ago, he joined the main roster a few months later. He’s been slowly built up on Nitro and Thunder and it has led to him capturing the WCW Crusierweight Champion! At last! One of my favorite wrestlers of all time finally wins the WCW Cruiserweight title!
  • Rowdy Roddy Piper turned heel when he attacked US Champion Chris Benoit on the Thunder after Halloween Havoc. If you guys recall at Halloween Havoc, Piper lost a first blood match to the Giant. Piper went crazy and attacked the referee after the match. This has led to the turn on Thunder as Piper is eyeing up the US title. Helping him out will be the newest stable in WCW – Legion. Him, Fit Finlay and Steven Regal have formed a British stable (which I’ve been planning for some time to elevate Finlay and Regal) and they are here to conquer WCW!
  • Booker T returned from his injury which led to him being left off of Halloween Havoc to attack Eddie Guerrero who’s been bad-mouthing him since he’s been injured. This has brought us to World War 3… when the two will finally get it on!


Pre-Show – AJ Styles (c) def. Chavo Guerrero Jr. to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship

The new champion AJ defends his title against Chavo Guerrero. A large reason for this match being done is because Chavo asked for it. Seeing as how neither man was in a feud at the time… why not? In this title match, AJ retained! I like that 88% rating for the cruiserweights.

Match 1 – Yoshihiro Tajiri and Keiji Mutoh def. “The All American Animals” Arn Anderson and Animal in a hardcore tag team match

This tag team feud came to an end tonight at World War 3, when the Asian Invasion’s Tajiri and Mutoh beat Animal and Arn! I think the team name for Arn Anderson and Animal needs working on! Firstly, I don’t think Animal and Arn are All-Americans! I tried thinking of a name that would make use of the three As in Animal and Arn Anderson! So All-American Animals was selected. If anyone has a better tag team name than All-American Animals, tweet at me @TomRobinson5199!

Match 2 – Booker T def. Eddie Guerrero

These two finally get it on after Booker returned from his injury. Booker pinned Eddie clean to win the match but Eddie got in a revenge attack afterwards. 95% and match of the night! I am very happy with this feud!

Match 3 – Keiji Mutoh and Kensuke Sasaki def. Rey Mysterio Jr. and Ultimo Dragon w/Paul Heyman in a hardcore tag team match

A clean sweep of victories for the Asian Invasion. The leader Keiji Mutoh and Kensuke Sasaki also picking up the win in a feud with Rey Mysterio and Ultimo Dragon. Looking back, it would have made more sense to put Dragon with WCW Television Champion Rob Van Dam, because Dragon and RVD are both Paul Heyman guys. I just really like the idea of a Dragon/Mysterio team. But rest assured, Van Dam and Dragon will both be teaming after this PPV!

Match 4 – Randy Savage def. Bret Hart

Bret Hart got the victory at Halloween Havoc. Savage needed the win here! They’re all tied up at 1-1 in this feud! Great ratings as ever!

Match 5 – “Asbury Perfection” Bam Bam Bigelow (c) and Curt Hennig (c) def. Sting and Diamond Dallas Page in a steel cage match to retain the WCW Tag Team Championship

Asbury Perfection retain the titles! Sting and DDP are an effective tag team but Asbury Perfection had to go over. But Sting’s not done with the tag team just yet.

Match 6 – Rowdy Roddy Piper def. Chris Benoit (c) to win the WCW United States Championship

NEW CHAMP! Piper is the new champion after cheating against Benoit to win the title. He used Regal’s brass knuckles to win the title! XD A decent effort between the two! I can only imagine it can get better from here.

Match 7 – Raven def. Hollywood Hogan in a Texas Death match

The final match in this feud! Raven and Hogan have fought in epic battles at Fall Brawl and Halloween Havoc. However, all good things must come to an end. Even though I was going to put Hogan over in the end… Raven emerged the victor. I’ve had Raven beat Hogan twice already but I needed Raven to win the feud. Looking back, I probably should have put Hogan over in their Last Man Standing match. However, Hogan still came off big despite losing the feud. I consider this feud a success!

Match 8 – Chris Jericho (c) def. Scott Steiner with Ric Flair as the special guest referee to retain the WCW Championship

I really had no idea what type of match to make this blow-off match between Steiner and Jericho! It was the same for Hogan/Raven. I have all these new match types because I upped our riskiness but I’ve never found the right time to pull the trigger on them. I decided to make this guest referee after Flair made himself the ref. The constant taunts from Steiner during the match cause for Flair to snap and attack. Soon after, Jericho picks up the win with the Lionsault. A great victory for Jericho. Awesome ratings between these two. I was going to put Steiner over but it’s a bit too early in Jericho’s title reign for him to drop. I do plan to have Steiner win the belt one day but not right now. Besides, Jericho is already white hot so it’s better for him to be champion.

89% overall for the PPV. Awesome main event. Awesome match between Booker and Eddie. But the matches featuring Piper and Hogan dragged the rating down because they’re not THAT great in the ring at this time.