2005 was an amazing year for pro wrestling, as promotions all around the world put on some outstanding matches. Japan’s Pro Wrestling NOAH was the clear #1 in the world, selling out major shows all over the country and putting on tons of matches rated between four and five-stars.
TNA was also growing as a promotion as well, with their growing roster of home-grown talent showing off some of the most athletic and exciting matches not seen in a non-WWE American promotion since the peak years of WCW. Three of their X-Division stars even managed to put on TNA’s first and only 5-star match to date.
Of course, WWE wasn’t far behind, as they showcased some amazing matches as well. From technical masterpieces to hardcore brawls, WWE did extremely well in 2005, especially since it was something of a ‘transitional year’ for them. The need to push new stars led to some fresh match-ups, many of which were show-stealing performances on their respective Pay-Per-Views.
Top to bottom, 2005 was such a good year in the good match department that picking the five best matches was incredibly challenging. Several fantastic matches almost made the list, but lost out to the five listed below.
These five matches are simply the best for a number of reasons. Whether it’s historic importance, insane crowds, or just outstanding in-ring work, these five matches stand head and shoulders above the rest.
5. A.J. Styles vs. Samoa Joe – TNA Turning Point 2005
Not only was this a great match between two of the greatest wrestlers in TNA, but there was also a great story being told here. On one hand, Styles wrestled with a sense of urgency, as he was desperately trying to win the X-Division title. On the other hand, Joe was the dominant champion that used his size and power to keep Styles down.
Because of that size difference, Styles got desperate as the match progressed. This caused him to bring out increasingly riskier moves, including an ultra-rare Fosbury Flop and even managing to hoist the 280-pound Joe up for a Powerbomb.
Styles sold this sense of urgency perfectly. Through his actions, facial expressions, and moves executed, you could tell how badly he wanted to win and the lengths to which he was willing to go to achieve that goal. Joe, meanwhile, looked like the perfect champion by finding an answer for this worthy challenger on every occasion.
For those who might have reservations about Styles and Joe in main-event matches, go watch this match. It’ll prove that these men are more than capable of stealing the show and putting on a barn-burner of a wrestling match.