September 24, 2011
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

NWA X-Division Champion AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy (NWA-TNA PPV #99, Nashville TN, 6/23/04)

This match was what made the 2-year anniversary show in TNA memorable at least back then. After losing the NWA world title to DA TRUTH Ron Killings, AJ got the X title again as a conciliation prize. Kid Kash was supposed to get the title shot here, but he’s out with a broken fibula. That means Jeff Hardy is our MYSTERY OPPONENT! He’s fresh from the glue factory, folks. Hardy gets a big reaction as Tenay and West talk about how neat it would be for Jeff Hardy to win the X title, which means there’s no chance of that happening. Back and forth headlock sequence to start leads to a stalemate. AJ cold cocks Hardy, but Jeff comes back quickly with a clothesline for two. They get into a chop battle. Jeff takes off his shirt and does his best Sting “come on!” impression to get AJ fired up. He gets him too fired up though, as AJ knocks his rope necklace thing off. AJ does the Jacques Rougeau flip over Jeff and connects with the dropkick. That gets two. AJ kicks at the knee, but Jeff comes back with the spinning mule kick to send AJ to the floor. Hardy follows him out with a pescado. Back in, AJ flips out to the apron off a corner whip, forearms Jeff back, and levels him with the springboard forearm! Jeff comes back with a wheelbarrow slam and then a double legdrop pin gets two. Jeff comes off the top, AJ moves and Hardy lands on his feet. AJ comes up from behind and places Jeff in the corner, but Jeff elbows him back and hits the WHISPER IN THE WIND! During the replay, Kid Kash and Dallas (Lance HOYT! HOYT! HOYT!) runs down and kicks Jeff Hardy out of the ring so they can be alone with AJ Styles. (7:00) Kash is hopping on one leg, but still gets his punches in and manages to keep Jeff Hardy away. How does he do it?! Jeff Hardy finally grabs a chair to help AJ. Kash gets decked, but Dallas blocks with a CHOKE! Then AJ gets the chair and uses it to take down Dallas to set up a SWANTON BOMB! Decent back and forth stuff, but it didn’t exactly live up to “dream match” potential. **

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