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May 8, 2015 / TJ Hawke

AJ Styles vs. Jimmy Rave from 2015

AJ Styles vs Jimmy Rave May 8 2015 Piedmont AL from Allan Barrie on Vimeo.

For a really long back-and-forth match, this was pretty solid. I would have preferred a different kind of match if they were going to go that long, but the effort was unquestionably strong. I think my favorite part of the match was the story of how and when AJ used highspots.

The (strong) commentary team pointed out how AJ has evolved as a wrestler, and that he no longer threw out as many highspots as he used to. He waited to bust one (simple pescado) out in this match until he knew he could connect on one and when it was really necessary. That first highspot gave him control.  AJ rushed the second highspot (springboard forearm) before it was needed, and Rave promptly blocked it which gave him control. AJ was then patient again and later connected on the second attempt for that spot. Just smart and compelling.

I did not find much else in the match to really sink my teeth into though and that made it more of a mixed bag given how long it went. Overall though, this was solid. AJ won cleanly with an avalanche Styles Clash. (***)

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