March 4, 2012
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

AJ Styles vs. Psicosis vs. Low-Ki vs. Jerry Lynn – Elimination Match to crown the first X-Division Champion (6/26/2002)
Ed Ferrera joins Tenay and West on commentary for this one. Good thing he’s not playing Oklahoma tonight. You wouldn’t want to give someone like Don West any ideas. Period. This was fought under round-robin double-elimination rules. Two guys will start and when a guy loses, he sits down and lets another guy come in to fight the winner. Once he’s been pinned or made to submit twice, he goes back to the dressing room. Last man standing becomes the first X-Division champ. Scott Armstrong, “Slick” Mark Johnson and Ricky Steamboat take turns refereeing this thing. What’s with the cheap “Born in the USA” cover for AJ’s theme song? That was just awful. AJ and Psicosis start the match. Psicosis blocks a wheelbarrow-type move with a facebuster, but then turns around into a superkick for two. Psicosis quickly comes back with a spin kick and hits the GUILLOTINE LEG DROP for 1-2-NO! Psicosis tries a ‘rana, but AJ blocks that and delivers the STYLES CLASH! He turns him over for 1-2-3. (2:06) There’s one loss for Psicosis. Immediately Low-Ki is in the ring and starts up the Krush Combo, but AJ avoids the final roundhouse kick with a hurracanrana off the mat! Ki comes back with an enziguri and starts chopping AJ in the corner. Ki wants the Tidal Krush, but AJ catches him in mid-air and goes for the STYLES CLASH! But no, Ki LEAPS out of it and tosses AJ chest-first onto the top of the ringpost. Dragon Clutch! AJ makes the ropes and they fight on the apron, but Low-Ki gets the better of AJ by field-goal kicking him back into the ring. Ki attempts the Phoenix Splash, but AJ moves and Ki rolls away. AJ nails Low-Ki with a SICK clothesline and then follows up with the German Suplex/Wheelbarrow Facebuster combo. He turns him over for 1-2-3! (4:28) So much action in that short length of time. Now Low-Ki has a loss. Jerry Lynn doesn’t mess around and puts Styles away with the CRADLE PILEDRIVER. (4:51) Finally, Styles gets pinned. Psicosis nails Lynn from behind with a missile dropkick, but Lynn returns the favor with a headscissors. Lynn catches Psicosis with a boot in the corner and follows up with a bulldog for two. Psicosis takes Lynn to the floor and then flip dives out on top of him. Back in, Psicosis hits a flying spin kick for two. Lynn comes back with an inverted DDT for two. Now we have future Jerry Lynn doing an interview about how rough the first night of TNA was because they did two tapings that night. Meanwhile, Psicosis gets caught coming off the top with a dropkick. Lynn grabs Psicosis and puts him away for good with the CRADLE PILEDRIVER. (8:01) Ki comes in and kicks Lynn straight in the mouth for two. Lynn is still talking in that little cutaway interview box, by the way. It’s really distracting. There’s no reason they couldn’t have just stuck this in the extras if they felt it was just completely necessary. Ki hits the Muta-like Powerdrive elbow for two. Ki boot-chokes Lynn in the corner and then gives him a hurracanrana, but Lynn rolls through for 1-2-NO! Lynn dares Ki to kick him some more, so Lynn ducks a roundhouse kick and puts Ki down with an enziguri. He follows up with clotheslines, but gets sent out to the apron. Lynn avoids a shoulderblock and legdrops Ki’s head and shoulders on the middle rope. I hate that spot. It seems overly contrived. Lynn wants the CRADLE PILEDRIVER, but Ki counters it with a leg sleeper/armbar hold. Of course, that leaves him wide open for a powerbomb. Cover, 1-2-NO! Low-Ki blocks a suplex and goes for the KI-KRUSHER, but Lynn brings him down with a DDT. Short-arm clothesline sets up the CRADLE PILEDRIVER! This time he gets it. Cover, 1-2-3. (12:33) Low-Ki is now gone. Now AJ has to beat Lynn twice to win the X-title. The odds are stacked! A surprise clothesline doesn’t put Lynn away, so AJ attempts the STYLES CLASH. Lynn ‘ranas out of it, but AJ pops back up for a spin kick for two. Lynn hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. They fight on the apron where Lynn tries a sunset flip, but AJ stomps him on the face (or facial area if you’re Vince McMahon) and delivers a slingshot corkscrew splash for two. AJ hits a moonsault kick, but then runs into a boot and takes a Tornado DDT. Cover, 1-2-NO! AJ blocks a suplex and lifts Lynn up for one of his own, but drops him down into a neckbreaker! Wikipedia calls it the Styles Suplex Special. That gets two. AJ wants to rana Lynn out of the corner, but he puts on the brakes and delivers a running sitout powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Lynn tries the CRADLE PILEDRIVER, but AJ backdrops out and hits the STYLES CLASH! (16:36) This is the final fall. Ricky Steamboat will be the official, because he’s LEGENDARY. Both guys are down, but they come up fighting. They go through a neat rollup sequence that should make Steamboat proud. This leads to a double-clothesline. Next up, they go to the floor for some guardrail action. Styles hits a Quebrada DDT off the apron, but it doesn’t go as well as it does in the ring. Back in, that gets two. Ahh, another pop-up interview. This time its AJ Styles talking. “Some fat flob (??) couldn’t go out there and be in the X-division.” JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! Oh yeah, there’s stuff going on in the ring. AJ tries another Quebrada DDT, but Lynn counters to a reverse suplex on the ropes. Lynn grabs AJ and DDT’s him back in for 1-2-NO! What’s really stupid about *this* interview is AJ gives the finish away to the match. If you were a new TNA fan in 2003 and you picked up this DVD to catch up on the company’s first year, I would be pretty pissed. Lynn now has AJ in an inverted Gory Special. AJ slips away and tries a rana, but Lynn stops that and flips AJ over and drives him down for a facebuster. Nice! Cover, 1-2-NO! Lynn wants that CRADLE PILEDRIVER, but AJ won’t let that happen and gives Lynn a neckbreaker over his knee. That gets two. Lynn stops a suplex with a brainbuster for 1-2-NO! He wisely grabs a sleeper, but AJ escapes with a jawbreaker. Lynn crotches AJ up top for a superplex for 1-2-NO! Lynn delivers some forearms and tries for another superplex, but AJ shoves him off and delivers the SPIRAL TAP for 1-2-3! (26:20) AJ Styles is the first-ever X-Division Champion. If there was ever a star-making match for AJ, this one was it. ****¼

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