AJ Styles has always been phenomenal. Currently, Styles is known to wrestling fans as the face that runs the place. However, on this day in wrestling on June 11th, 2002, he had to prove he belonged among the elite in TNA when AJ Styles defeats Raven and The King of the Mountain himself Double J, Jeff Jarrett for the NWA Championship.
In 2002 IMPACT wrestling was known as Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling. Its X division’s claim to fame was composed of several high fliers, including Michael Shane, Chris Sabin, and AJ Styles. In 2002 former WWF/E producer Vince Russo made his presence felt in TNA. At the time, Ron Killings, aka R truth, was the NWA Heavyweight Champion in TNA. However, Killings days as champion were numbered when Vince Russo helped Jeff Jarrett become the new champion.
Russo asked Jarrett to become a member of his group called S.E.X. or Sports Entertainment Xtreme in return for the favor. When JJ refused, Russo sent Raven after Jarrett. AJ Styles happened to be one of the stand out members of Russo’s group. He received a title shot against Jarrett; however, during the match, the rest of SEX attacked Double J. AJ did not want to win this way and stopped the group from helping him win. It was because of this moment that AJ Styles began to gain respect from the fans. Styles eventually defeated DLo Brown for the right to compete in a three-way dance for the NWA Heavyweight Championship.
AJ Styles defeats Jeff Jarrett and Raven for the NWA-TNA Championship
On June 11th, 2002, the match was signed. NWA-TNA Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett vs. Raven vs. AJ Styles. When the bell rang, both Jarret and Raven tended to overlook Styles and continue their brutal feud. However, AJ would not be denied this opportunity. He used his quickness to confuse both stars, including a phenomenal dive to the arena floor. Styles could indeed fly, and he was about to fly to the top of TNA. Due to Raven’s participation in the match, Ravens rules were in effect. This meant basically there were no rules, and anything goes.
AJ took full advantage of this rule and leveled Raven with a brutal chair shot. Then Jarrett and Styles double-teamed Raven. Raven was split open, but in a weird way, he liked it. Raven fought back and gave a drop toe hold to Styles and Jarrett into a steel chair. Then Raven hit his finisher, the Raven effect on Jarrett. It looked like Raven would be quoting himself as the new champion. Out of nowhere, Raven’s nemesis from the land of extreme appeared. Shane Douglas pulled Raven out of the ring, and the two brawled to the backstage area.
As Jarrett was regaining his senses, AJ Styles was waiting. The Phenomenal one grabbed the belt and jacked Jarrett in the face. Styles then hit a frog splash on the champion, but Jarrett kicked out. He then backed Jarrett into the corner but was Alabama slammed. AJ’s head bounced off the mat; it looked like Jeff Jarrett might just retain the title. To everyone’s surprise, Styles kicked out. The Phenomenal one was still in this fight. AJ caught Jarrett in a powerbomb, but still, the champion would not stay down. After an unsuccessful attempt at figure 4, Styles went for his finisher, the Styles Clash.
AJ Styles vs. Raven vs. Jeff Jarrett from NWA-TNA #49 for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship is airing right now on our Twitch channel!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 26, 2018
Get Ready To Fly!
However, Jarrett blocked it, and both combatants took out the referee. Jarrett attempted to superplex Styles but was shoved off to the mat. AJ went for another frog splash, but the veteran Jarrett got his knees up at the last second. As AJ’s title hopes looked to be over, a familiar face ran to ringside. Vince Russo grabbed Jeff Jarret’s guitar. Everyone thought for sure that Russo would hit AJ with it. Instead, Russo dropped the guitar over Jarrett’s head. AJ Styles hit a thunderous Styles Clash on Jarrett. The referee revived by Russo counted to three.
AJ Styles was the new NWA-TNA champion and TNA’s first triple crown winner. It was a Russo rouse from the beginning as Styles celebrated with his newly won championship. As well all know, Styles eventually got sick of Russo and gained the fans’ respect. He became a multi-time champion in every company he has wrestled for. However, on that night in TNA, The Phenomenal one made a deal with a devil.