Abyss with nothing but respect for AJ.
"The Phenomenal One" AJ Styles is highly-regarded as one of the best professional wrestlers to date. Styles has been at the top of the mountain in whatever company he lands in and that stands true today as he has won the WWE Championship twice. Styles is normally associated with the glory days of Total Non Stop Action and during that time period he was dubbed "Mr. TNA". Styles had memorable matches with a plethora of talents and future Hall Of Famers and a recent inductee into the IMPACT Wrestling Hall Of Fame, "The Monster" Abyss reflected on one of his many wars with AJ.
In the embedded video at the top of the article Abyss took a look back at the Six Sides Of Steel match he had with Styles at the 2005 'Lockdown' pay-per-view in-which the winner would earn a shot at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at 'Hard Justice'. Abyss remembered how he and AJ did not step into the ring for the first eight to ten minutes of the match and recalled some of his favorite moments that occurred during that bout.
"We started outside the ring the first eight to ten minutes of the match - we weren’t even in the cage. We fought all over the building and he did some incredible stuff. I shot him underneath the guardrail one time and he came out - slid under a guard rail which is only about that much space." Abyss recalled. "I don’t know how he did it. The beginning of the match to me is one of the most… to me it’s an iconic moment in IMPACT Wrestling history when he dives through the cage door onto me. That had never been done. We talked to the designers of the cage and said, ‘Can you make the door a lot bigger than normal?’ So that was cool. That dive out the beginning I think is an iconic moment. It was an incredible match. He gave me the Styles Clash into the thumb tacks in the end. I know AJ tried to talk me out of that. I remember that part and I was like, ‘No please AJ, lets do it’, and AJ’s like, ‘Alright, we’ll do it’."
Abyss stated that he and AJ were already tight like brothers before this match happened and after they left it all in the ring, they became closer than they were before and Abyss continued to heap praise onto "The Phenomenal One".
“You go back and look at that - when he gives me the Clash, his finisher into the thumbtacks and you look at the reactions of people ringside, it’s… I get goosebumps just thinking about it. We both, we took it to the limit that night and he was exhausted after, I was exhausted after but again, both of us had the biggest grin and smile on our face after it." Abyss stated. "We knew we had delivered and [a] special moment with me and him and again, that match we were already close, we were already brothers, we already had a lot of comradery and that match, 05’ Lockdown that brought us even closer.”
Tonight at WWE's Survivor Series pay-per-view, AJ Styles was slated to face WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar but AJ was defeated by Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship this past Tuesday - in-turn AJ was swapped out of the bout for Bryan. To add, following Survivor Series Fightful is going live on our YouTube channel to review the show in its entirety.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit the IMPACT YouTube channel with an H/T to Fightful for the transcriptions.