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August 28, 2002 / TJ Hawke

AJ Styles vs. Low Ki vs. Jerry Lynn from TNA Weekly PPV #11 2002

 

Recap from Murray Peterson:

This match comes from when TNA only ran pay per views, better known as the Asylum days. As well, this ladder match is during the first X-Division title reign of Low Ki, which was the second title reign of the X-Division belt. Facts! Now that Jerry Lynn is in his retirement tour, it is fun to look back into a match earlier in his career.

 

During the entrances, I find it very amusing that there are girls dancing in cages alongside the walkway. If TNA was shooting for class in their first few years, they might have missed the mark. Low Ki and Lynn start off the match with some chops, while AJ tries to get clever by collecting a ladder from the outside. Styles ends up clipping Lynn with the ladder, but misses Low Ki. The two return to the ring, while Lynn seems dazed on the outside. Low Ki dominates AJ for some time, until Lynn returns to the ring. Lynn ends up hitting one heck of a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on Low Ki. Lynn puts him into a surfboard stretch, which AJ uses as an opportunity to drive Ki’s face into the mat with a bulldog. Some strikes are traded between all members in the ring, until Low Ki destroys AJ in the corner with a Koppo kick. Crowd begins to chant for a ladder, Low Ki answers by sliding from the ring and grabbing on. The three competitors end up fighting outside the ring for some time, Lynn finally leaving the other two on the mats and taking a ladder into the ring. Styles tries to stop him, but takes a ladder to the gut. A ladder ends up propped against the ropes, which Low Ki ends up getting double hip tossed into. Ladder in the corner now, Styles wall climes it and lands behind Lynn, does him no good because he eats a northern lights suplex into the steel! Some haggard chick has a Lynn sign, good for you Jerry. Low Ki pins the downed Styles….he must not remember this is a ladder match. Now its Lynn’s turn to eat some ladder. Everybody makes an attempt up the ladder to the belt, but all three end up on the mat. A few more attempts are made for the belt, Styles ends up grounding Low Ki off a moonsault reverse DDT. AJ tosses a second ladder into the ring, which lands on Lynn. Now a third ladder. Low Ki and Styles end up at the top of the three ladders, to the disadvantage of Styles who manages to get caught in a dragon sleeper. Lynn dismisses Styles down to the floor leaving himself and Low Ki. Somehow Low Ki ends up drapped over a ladder and Lynn gets him into the position for a cradle piledriver! And off the ladder they go! That spot was insane. Lynn heads back up the ladder and pulls down the belt to become the third X-Division champ.

 

That match was fantastic. After about fifteen minutes I was going to say that the finish would be anti-climatic. There had only been a few attempts at the belt, as most of the action taking place around the ladders. Then, in the final minutes, all three men’s attempts to take down the belt really legitimized everything. Low Ki usually acts like a tank through out a whole match. No matter what punishment the guy takes, he keeps rolling his shoulders and throwing kicks. After taking a cradle piledriver off of a ladder, he sold it like a champ. There is a reason TNA once threatened WWE, and this match is part of that. My only gripe is the slow down right after the fifteen minute mark. When most matches speed up, this one shifted down. However, it was saved by a shall I say, a “phenomenal” ending.

 

Thoughts from TJ Hawke:

The key to this match aging well is that the ladders don’t function just as a gimmick for cool spots; the ladders are just weapons in a street fight-like atmosphere. I would put this match on the level of the first main event of ROH history. In one of the scariest moves ever, Jerry Lynn gave Ki a piledriver off the ladder (although, it was performed very safely), and that move allowed Jerry Lynn, at 39 years old, to grab the X Division belt.

Match Rating: ****

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