Sting vs AJ, BFG 2009 - ****
I'd heard some pretty average reviews from this match so I went in not expecting anything mindblowing. I really enjoyed the respect angle that they were selling and it was refreshing to see a face vs face match which wasn't in shambles. The match felt quite spotty but the story that they told helps me overlook it. After rewatching it a few times I think that the ending was botched and he was meant to go for a 450 instead of a straight splash, botching the finish to the main event of the biggest show of the company's year must have sucked. All in all quite enjoyable for something different.
The respect angle made the match special. It was kind of like Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy at Armageddon in 2007, but even deeper, and with even higher stakes. I loved the story in the ring, and I think they had some amazing exchanges. As is the case with some of the younger guys, Styles just about killed himself to impress Sting, and for 14 minutes, it looks like they're going to have one of the best matches of the year.
And then it ends out of nowhere.
And I mean nowhere.
The pace these two were working at, the match should have gone a little over 20 minutes. It had the pace of a main event match, the kind Styles would have with Daniels at Final Resolution two months later, or with Joe at Against All Odds this year.
It really looked like it could go either way, but what this match needed, like any true main event, was suspense, and with that comes near falls. Think of all the close calls between Sting and Joe the year earlier, or Sting and Angle before that. If Angle could have a classic match with Sting, then Styles could, too.
But he needed more time. Sting looked fine, too, and it wasn't like he was gassed, unless he was hiding it. Had this match gone another, say, 6-10 minutes, had some nearfalls, and really built to the end, it would have been a classic, but as it stands, this match will always feel like two thirds of a story that never finished. And I know we'll never get a rematch, either.