Roderick Strong vs Samoa Joe
Revolution Strong Style Tournament 2004 Semi-Finals
National Guard Armory, Lafayette, Indiana, United States
(reviewed 05/15/2019) Most people would think of this as worse than their first match but I’m on the other side and either way it’s another great match from these two. Roddy comes in far more confident here, really taking it to Joe with strikes now that he knows he can hang. He even goes as far as doing some of Joe’s smaller signature moves and using the referee to connect with cheap shots. As you’d imagine Joe isn’t too happy about that. Joe always hits hard but I appreciate the way he changes it up here in a tournament with this branding, as he throws some Hashimoto-esque kicks and makes use of Nagata’s famous armbar. Now that he can employ it more fully, Roddy’s backbreaking strategy gets him farther than it did last month. Both men are able to avoid big moves that rocked them last time (Roddy’s proto-Death by Roderick/Sick Kick combo, Joe’s STJoe) but Joe’s relentless onslaught wins out in the end, as he buries Roddy under a flurry of strikes. One last nod to Inokiism sends Joe to the finals as he puts his man away with an enzuigiri and octopus stretch.
HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO SHAWN VS TAKER FROM WM25: Love the way this second Joe/Roddy match builds off their much more famous TPI bout. It isn’t quite as big but it’s a far bit tighter and more interesting. Shawn/Taker, on the other hand, doesn’t progress in any meaningful way from their previous legendary meeting(s), other than with the vague notion that kicking out of moves always means moving forward. It can’t hold a candle to the violence of this “strong style” match either, as it’s even more gruesome than the TPI match. If that one was already better than Shawn/Taker and this is a great escalation of that, then…
VERDICT: Better than Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker from WrestleMania 25