AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels vs. AMW (Chris Harris & James Storm) from TNA Slammiversary 2006
The build to this match came from Gail Kim constantly getting involved with matches between America’s Most Wanted and AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels. They asked Larry Zbyzsko for one more chance and AJ promised that they would have a way to neutralize Gail Kim from getting involved in this match. At this point, America’s Most Wanted were the longest reigning tag team champions in TNA and according to Mike Tenay and Don West, they had the longest run of any tag titles they could find on a record dating back over 30 years. They were at the very least the longest reigning NWA Tag Team Champions in the history of the championship at this point. This was scheduled to be AJ & Chris’s last opportunity at the tag titles.
TNA Slammiversary 2006 (6/18/06)
NWA Tag Team Championship Match
AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels vs. America’s Most Wanted (Chris Harris & James Storm) (C) with Gail Kim
To avoid confusion between Chris Harris and Christopher Daniels, I will refer to Christopher Daniels as “CD” in the recap.
Before the match began, James Storm hid a beer bottle behind the steel steps. Storm and AJ started the match. Collar and elbow but neither could get the advantage. Crowd chanted “AJ Styles,” as Storm gets a side headlock. AJ sends Storm to the ropes, shoulder block by Storm. Storm sends AJ to the outside but he lands on the apron. Brief exchange resulting in AJ scording the dropkick to Storm to a loud “AJ” chant. Tag in to CD and CD attacks Storm’s left arm. Tag in to AJ and they continue to target Storm’s arm via multiple tag ins and strikes. Storm gets CD back into his corner and Chris Harris tags in. Harris attacks CD’s left arm. CD uses his agility to get out of the hold. Eyepoke by Harris and he goes back to the arm. CD uses the ropes and gets out of the hold and sends Harris to the ropes, leg lariat by CD. Storm charges in and AMW end up in an embarrassing position from a CD drop toehold on Harris. Storm gets sent to the outside and trys to skin the cat to get back in the ring. Harris charges at AJ and AJ ducks, sending Harris into Storm who accidentally headscissors Harris out of the ring. Storm skins the cat back into the ring, but both AJ and CD send him out. AJ goes to the ropes and hits a swanton dive over the top rope with an assist from CD pulling down the top rope.
AJ sends Storm back in the ring. Scoop slam by CD. CD comes over the top rope with an elbow drop on Storm for two. “Fallen Angel” chant. Tag in to AJ. CD uses his feet to shove Storm into AJ’s knees back first then AJ comes off the middle rope with a bulldog on Storm into CD’s boots for a quick two count. Neat double team. AJ scoop slams Storm and drops a knee across Storm’s face for two. Storm hits AJ in the neck and throws AJ towards Harris but AJ goes under and pulls Harris down. He gets back in the ring and goes toward Storm. He goes to the ropes and Harris pulls down the ropes sending AJ to the floor. All four get in a brawl on the floor. CD and Harris go towards the ramp while AJ and Storm fight around ringside. Gail jumps on CD’s back. CD tries to get her but Harris gets him and drops CD throatfirst across the guardrail. Storm tosses AJ towards the rail and AJ uses the rail to leap OVER the guardrail. He hits Storm and goes for the Flying Forearm off the rail and Storm kicks his legs out, sending AJ chest first across the guardrail.
Back in the ring and Harris is now legal apparently vs AJ. To the ropes and AJ scores a left arm lariat on AJ. Harris knocks CD off the apron and tags in Storm. They channel WGTT with one of their double team moves. Two covers by Storm for two. AJ kicks Storm in the leg. Back kick and a roundhouse to the head by Storm and he shoves CD off the apron. Cover again for 2. Harris tags in and holds AJ up for a delayed suplex, calling the move “beautiful.” Harris chokes AJ and they get him in the corner. They both stomp into AJ. Storm sets up AJ for the Eye of the Storm. AJ lands on his feet and goes to make the tag to CD but Storm just blocks him. Out of nowhere, Storm hits the Honor Roll shades of Chris Nowinski. That was very random, and it scores 2. Storm goes to the middle rope and holds AJ going for a spinning reverse DDT. AJ scores some kicks to the head and scores the Pele while Storm is sitting on the top rope~! AJ finally makes the tag to CD while Harris gets tagged in.
CD runs wild hitting a variation of strikes on both members of AMW. Arabian Press on Storm followed by right hands on Harris for two. Harris counters an irish whip into the corner and goes for a northern lariat but CD reverses it into a Blue Thunder Driver. Gail Kim gets involved distracting the referee. AJ shoves her off the top rope into the ring and they are stuck between the two. Out of nowhere SIRELDA shows up to questions of “What is that? Who is that,” from Don West. Gail attempts a strike but Sirelda chokeslams Gail Kim. Sirelda picks up Gail and tosses her out of the ring and goes to the floor with Gail and takes Gail up the ramp with Gail over her shoulder.
Storm gets CD to the top rope. Harris puts CD on his shoulders and they go for a Doomsday Bulldog. AJ shoves Storm from the top rope to the floor and CD hits a Victory Roll on Harris for 2. CD sets up Harris for Angel’s Wings, Harris blocked it and knocks AJ off the apron. CD goes to the ropes with Harris and rolls him up. Harris shoves CD into a steel chair shot from Storm. 1-2, but CD kicks out to a big reaction. Harris argues with Andrew Thomas as CD tags in AJ. AJ flies off the top rope with The Flying Forearm~! AJ goes for an Enzugiri, Storm blocked it and gets AJ to the ropes. AJ knocks him off and hits the Phenomenal Inverted DDT on Storm. AJ gets Chris Harris and hits a Pumphandle Gutbuster across the knee on Harris. AJ points to the corner as the crowd chants “Spiral Tap.” He goes for it but unfortunately misses on Harris. Harris now has the handcuffs wrapped around his knuckles. He hits AJ with them. One-two, but CD pulls Andrew Thomas out of the ring to tell him what’s up. Storm sends CD into the steps. Both of AMW now have AJ in the ring and set up the Death Sentence. CD gets in the ring and takes out Storm. He grabs Harris and scores a Death Valley Driver. Somersault senton by AJ on Harris for two. Tag in to CD and he is ready for Angel’s Wings, but Storm decks CD with a clothesline. Storm puts on his cowboy hat goes for the Superkick, CD stops it and kicks Storm low. He quickly follows up with Angel’s Wings right onto the cowboy hat~! That was great. 1-2, but Chris Harris drops an elbow onto Andrew Thomas and sends him to the floor. AJ sends Harris to the floor and hits a clothesline in the corner. He goes to the opposite and goes for a second one but hits the turnbuckle. Harris sets up AJ for the Catatonic. Storm goes for the beer bottle and goes to hit CD with it. CD ducks and Storm hits Harris in the back of the head with the beer bottle. CD slams Harris to the mat as AJ comes off the top rope with a Lo Down style Frog Splash and CD quickly follows up with the Best Moonsault Ever. Andrew Thomas now back in the ring and 1-2-3! New tag team champions as the crowd goes wild. Both CD and AJ celebrate together and even go into the crowd to share the celebration with the fans.
Going back and watching America’s Most Wanted matches reminds me of just how good they were as a team. No disrespect to the work of Beer Money as they were a great team in their own right, but there was just something to AMW that I don’t think Beer Money was able to really compare with. They were able to really blend the tag style of old with some of the wrestling style of the 2000’s and usually panned out to great results whether it be in brawls, traditional tags, or high spectacle cage matches. Harris and Storm worked very well together and a common thread throughout their TNA tenure was their ability to construct feuds with proper beats that when it came time for the payoff of the feud, every major issue contained in the feud would get paid off. This was seen in their feuds with the likes of The Disciples of the New Church, Triple X, The Naturals, and their feud here with AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels was no exception. While they had some solid stuff towards the end of 2006 with LAX (not quite up to par with what LAX did with AJ & Daniels,) this would essentially be the last time they would get to have the platform to provide a highly memorable match ironically as their sixth and longest reign as tag champions came to an end before the team would break up in the beginning of 2007.
At times, the match was a bit slower paced than I had remembered, but the big moments got great reactions from the Orlando crowd and it is still up there in the best AMW tags I have seen and a very well done match with a feel-good moment to end it. The reaction to the ending particularly and some of the nearfalls were very hot. On note of Sirelda, her run would not last very long in TNA with her receiving two PPV matches after this before being a surprise in the Invitational Gauntlet Battle Royal at Bound For Glory 2006, never to be seen in TNA again. For the purpose of this feud, she did what she had to do and it did not detract from the match. It was just the choice of who AJ and Daniels brought in was pretty random (even if it makes sense with Scott D’Amore being the booker at the time.) AJ & Daniels of course worked very well together as a team based on their well-known history together and they would go on to have a great feud soon after this with LAX.
I actually would have enjoyed getting to see these two teams get more matches together. AMW already had great chemistry with Christopher Daniels based on their history vs. Triple X and getting to see them interact with AJ Styles was pretty rare to see even dating back to the Nashville days barring a few rare occurrences. Very good match worth the time to check out and/or re-visit.