It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
Yes, it’s Voices of Wrestling Secret Santa time again, everyone. The brainchild of JR Goldberg (@wrestlingbubble), VOW Secret Santa sees all participating website contributors give their fellow contributors, the greatest gift of all: wrestling matches!
VOW Secret Santa Archives: voicesofwrestling.com/category/vow-latest/columns/vow-secret-santa/
AJ Styles vs Paul London
June 14, 2003
Reviewed by JoJo Remy (@jojo_runs)
Gifted by S Dakota Jones (@DakotaIbushi)
The summer of 2003 was a turning point in my interest in pro wrestling. I was just about to start undergrad and had a dwindling interest in keeping up with the happenings of the wrestling world. While I was not worthy of going to college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I should have considered taking a trip north to see ROH’s Night of the Grudges.
I would have witnessed a breakout match between two of America’s budding stars. Already more established, AJ Styles shows off his crisp, high-impact offense. More of an up-and-comer in comparison, Paul London targets AJ’s leg with a gritty and desperate yet focused attack.
In short, this match is exciting. It has all the action you would expect from these two, paired with a fierce intensity and psychology. The finish betrays the stellar match content to some extent. Eventually, the fans realize they have witnessed something special.
London and Styles leave the Boston crowd (and me) wanting more after almost 25 minutes. From today’s perspective, this match will surely end up being one of AJ’s best overall and potentially his best ROH effort. As far as I know, this is London’s consensus best match. One request for my Santa, if you have more Paul London recommendations, I’d love to check them out. I came away from this match with a newfound appreciation of London’s potential at the time. As far as my gift giver’s identity, I’m going to go with Bay Stater, Joe Gagne. I wonder if he was at this show. ****1/2