AJ Styles vs The Miz
Taped 02/02/2016, aired 02/04/2016
FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee, United States
(reviewed 01/08/2017) I remember a lot of people praising this match, and it basically kicking off Miz’s awesome (pardon the pun) 2017 run, so let’s give it a go and watch a man lose a tooth. Chris Jericho is here on commentary and manages to annoy me in weird little ways, a precursor to his grating “drink it in” persona. At the bell, Miz goes right after the new talent, but AJ is far better on offense and quickly steamrolls over him with striking and flying. Per usual, Miz is able to turn things around with some cheap shots, targeting his opponent’s back. It’s hard to tell just where Miz loses his tooth, because he starts feeling around in his mouth far earlier in the match than I would have figured (though he does it a little while after taking a jawbreaker, so maybe it was just a bit of coincidental selling), and I was under the impression that he lost it on a spinning backfist. In any case, it benefits his heel work, as he puts a little more oomph and malice into little things like a rope-hung hit attack. He showboats and gloats too much, though, and AJ makes a comeback with a flurry of strikes before both men collide on a double clothesline that puts them down leading into commercial. Back from break, AJ is in control briefly before Miz evens things up with a DDT. Some signature reversals back and forth lead to AJ hitting the phenomenal forearm, but Miz reverses the Styles Clash into a pair of pin attempt before AJ slaps on the calf crusher for the win. Another enjoyable TV match here, with good showings from both men and a few particularly good heel moments from The Miz.