Wrestling Flashback – AJ Styles’ Evil Ways

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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…

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Bobby Roode vs James Storm Highlights – Beer Money Inc Explodes #BoundForGlory 2012

 

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It’s a new day here in the Armbar Express. A new strategy that I hope will improve the Armbar Express a great deal and, I’m not gonna lie, improve our image in the internet wrestling world. As many readers will know, I used to write on this blog a great deal. However, my University and Journalism schedules have made this somewhat difficult to keep up on a regular basis. Even for NoDQ.com I was not able to write for them as much as I’d like because of what was going on. That being said, I am now off from University work and I’ve decided to dedicate free time outside of media and education working on some multimedia products that could very well improve the Armbar Express. And down below is the first idea…

This right here took me a couple of hours to produce using Adobe Premiere and what it essentially is, is a highlight video. I recapped the epic Bobby Roode vs James Storm match from Bound For Glory 2012 in a montage with music from Poets Of The Fall. An awesome band. And I put it together to produce… THIS. 

There are a number of great highlight producers with great video-editing software at their arsenal. And now… so do I. I’m gonna use this software to produce these videos and blog about the featured match, it’s background etc. So here we go.

 

Indeed, this is the feud-ending bout if you will between Beer Money partners Bobby Roode and James Storm. Starting with a beer bottle to the head, the partnership between the tag team broke down over the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. James won the title from Kurt Angle after Roode failed to win it at Bound For Glory 2011. Two weeks later he put the belt on the line against Roode and Roode smashed a beer bottle over the Cowboy’s head to secure the championship and crush a friendship.

Storm tried effortlessly to regain his title. At Lockdown 2012, Storm challenged Roode in a Steel Cage match for the TNA World Title. Storm was mighty close in regaining the gold, but a Last Call Super Kick to the champ inadvertently booted Roode out of the cage door and onto the floor. The mistake resulted in Storm losing the match, but he was still intent in getting his belt back.

Storm entered the Bound For Glory Series for a shot at the world title at the show. James had been on fire in this tournament. He lead the series since day one and made it to the semi finals. But as he was about to beat Bully Ray, the familiar beer bottle came into play again. Bobby, who had lost the TNA World Title, wasn’t gonna let Storm in the main event if he wasn’t in it. He smashed him over the head with it, leading to Bully getting the win.

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Now of course, a match was booked between the two for Bound For Glory. And it was a street fight… and my god it was brutal. Trashbins, chairs, thumbtacks and even MORE beer bottles. This match had pretty much everything you can think of. It was a fitting end to the long-standing rivalry between the tag team, especially with Storm smashing the beer bottle over ROODE’s head. This match was pretty dramatic though. A number of near falls had me on the edge of my seat. 2:29 into the video was a shocker for me. The match had such intensity in it and produced a magnificent display. I think Storm was bloodied a bit too early I think when Bobby took more damage and barely bled.

But this rivalry was built up so well. I think Richard Corey from Bleacher Report put it best in this article when he said:

“Roode and Storm have created something more. They’ve created something that harkens back to the old days of wrestling where fans could immerse themselves in the narrative and get lost.”

It’s that level of intensity that the likes of Michaels and HHH had in their rivalries that made it so enthralling for the fans. I think ranking TNA feuds… this has to be up their among the best. It was so brilliantly played out and it ended with a bang in this match.

Be sure to subscribe to the Armbar Express YouTube Channel to check out the videos when they first come out and get on the blog for the in-depth analysis. I’ve got more videos finished and ready to go from WWE and TNA. If the YouTube Gods are kind, I can get these up without a problem and look out for them.