Sunday night’s WWE TLC 2017 results included a dream match featuring AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor for their first meeting ever in the wrestling ring. The two former New Japan Pro Wrestling stars are on different rosters within WWE, but due to Bray Wyatt having to miss the pay-per-view because of illness, SmackDown Live sent “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles over to the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs PPV to compete. The match certainly delivered for fans in attendance and viewing around the world with plenty of highlights from the various big spots in the bout.
In tonight’s epic clash, AJ Styles made his entrance first and then awaited the arrival of his opponent. Finn Balor came out with his Demon entrance in full gear and paint along with smoke and lights synchronized to his entrance music. From there, the two competitors were ready to go. According to a results report from ProWrestling.net, tonight’s pay-per-view match went over 18 minutes and started out with fans chanting “This is awesome” before Styles and Balor even grappled. In a big spot just over seven minutes into their fight, Styles got to the corner but Balor kicked him and he fell to the outside floor. From there, The Demon did a running flip over the top rope to take down Styles on the outside.
Several minutes later, Balor tried to rush Styles who was able to catch him and then slammed Finn over his knee. Styles tried to hit the Styles Clash but Balor countered. However, AJ was ready with another move and hit the sit-out facebuster for a near fall. Styles was able to put a Calf Crusher on Balor next, but Finn managed to slam Styles head-first into the mat to break things up.
As the match passed the 12-minute mark, Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm but Balor was up and shoved Styles away from the ropes causing AJ to hit the outside again. Balor went out and did a running dropkick to send Styles hard into the barricade. Balor got back in the ring and nearly won via count out but went back outside after Styles. AJ was able to pick up Finn and both men ended up going over the announcers’ table. Another count out started up, but they both got back in the ring around eight.
As the match was 15 minutes deep, Balor hit an overhead kick similar to AJ’s Pele Kick. Balor was able to hit a rarely-seen move with a 1916 for a near fall. Balor was able to dropkick AJ into the corner and was setting up for the Coup de Grace. Styles managed to recover and hit a Pele Kick and then hit an amazing hurricanrana to throw Balor from the corner to the mat.
The finale of the contest saw AJ Styles try for a 450 Splash but Finn Balor avoided the big move and put together a furious finish. He managed to dropkick Styles hard against the ring corner causing Styles to fall to the mat. From there, The Demon climbed to the corner turnbuckle and hit the Coup de Grace finisher. The end result was the three-count by the referee and a win for Finn Balor over AJ Styles.
At the conclusion of the bout, both men recovered. Finn Balor was on his feet first and then went over to extend a hand to help AJ Styles up. They nodded at each other in respect and then each superstar put up the “Too Sweet” sign and then touched them together in the air. The fans certainly appreciated that gesture from the two former Bullet Club leaders to close things out in a great match.
The win definitely pushes Balor forward but one has to wonder what’s coming next for him. WWE fans are probably hoping it means a new program beyond Bray Wyatt or Sister Abigail. While major AJ Styles fans didn’t get to see him pick up the victory, they certainly got a treat in this match. Both men put their bodies on the line and fans certainly have to give it up to Styles for agreeing to this match on short notice as well as having to fly all night from Chile to get back to the United States for TLC 2017.
WWE fans, what would you rate the AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor match on a scale of five stars, with one being worst and five being best?
[Featured Image by WWE]