AJ Styles and Samoa Joe have managed to come into their own in World Wrestling Entertainment in a rather short period of time.
The Phenomenal One got past the likes of Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho and Cesaro in a Fatal 4-Way match earlier this month on Monday Night Raw to become the No. 1 contender for Roman Reigns’ World Heavyweight championship with the two slated to clash at Payback (2016) in Chicago on Sunday night.
Meanwhile, Samoa Joe is fresh off of defeating Finn Balor to be crowned the new NXT champion just a week ago during a house show in Lowell, Mass.
But well before the two began soaring up the WWE ladder in their own unique ways, they were embroiled in heated feuds across promotions such as Ring of Honor (ROH) and Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling.
Here, for our weekly #TBT Wrestling Match of The Week, we hit rewind to Styles battling Samoa Joe at TNA’s Turning Point event back in 2005. The match in two words? Absolutely electric. The bout had the two Superstars pushing each other to the absolute physical extent of their abilities.
The back-and-forth action, which spanned over 20 minutes, finally ended when Joe pulled on Styles’ tights, reversing The Phenomenal One’s roll-up attempt into the Coquina Clutch rear-naked chokehold, which AJ faded out from. With the win, Joe became the new TNA X Division champion at the time.
We thought it was more than fitting to look back on this epic clash, considering that Samoa Joe was just crowned NXT champ a week ago and Styles has his shot for gold glory just three nights from now.
The only regret watching this footage is you almost wish that Styles and Samoa Joe had entered WWE years ago. The matches that they could have had on the bigger stage would have been endless. Each of these Superstars’ brand of wrestling is so unique that you almost wish they had the millions of more eyes on them earlier.
That being said, we couldn’t be happier that they’re getting their just due under pro-wrestling’s brightest lights right now. Better late than never.