‘On This Day’ is a commemorative article series. It is dedicated to specific events, matches, and occurrences in wrestling history. We revisit those key moments and look back at how they went down and what they meant to the wrestling industry. On January 16th, 2005, a match captured the attention of the TNA / IMPACT Wrestling audience. The Greatest Ultimate X Match of ALL Time?! is that moment.
As mentioned earlier, on January 16th, 2005, the X-division championship was on the line. The match took place at the 2005 Final Resolution pay per view event. Unlike typical championship matches, this one was an Ultimate X matchup. For those unaware, an X is suspended above the ring suspended by two cables that cross each other from one side of the ring to the other, forming an X shape. This time instead of an X, the X-Divison title is wrapped around the crossing cables. The match involved AJ Styles, Chris Sabin, and Petey Williams. Sabin made his way to the ring first, followed by Coach Scott D’Amore leading in the champion Petey Williams. The final entrant was ‘The Phenomenal’ AJ Styles.
This triple threat match involved three very hungry competitors, all with something to prove. With Williams holding the title, his odds of repeating as champion were mathematically reduced, considering it was a triple threat. At the beginning of the match, we could see each of these men were trying to get a feel for their opposition right away. Early on, Williams scampers to the outside with Sabin chasing him until Styles catches him and both challengers target the champion. Sabin and Styles work together to wipe out the champion. At this point, it was Sabin and Styles that began to lockup with one another.
AJ Styles & Chris Sabin Take The Fight To One Another
A momentary loss in focus by Styles saw Sabin climb the top rope. and attempt to begin to scale the cord. Once Styles regains, focus both men begin to exchange fists with one another. When Sabin attempts to pursue Styles, he leaps over him and attempts to grab the suspended X-Divison championship, but to no avail. Williams pulls Sabin out to the floor. Styles then hits a somersault plancha onto Williams and Sabin on the floor. AJ then attempts to climb the steel structure, but Sabin dropkicks him while standing on the top rope! Sabin then climbs the opposite side, and he pursues the X-Divison title. That was until Coach D’Amore prevents him from getting to it. The distraction was all Williams needed to regain his composure and hit an atomic drop on the suspended Chris Sabin.
D’Amore, proud of himself on the outside, is then thrown out by the official for his interference. With the odds even, Williams turns his attention to Styles on the outside of the ring. He whips him headfirst into the structure on the floor. This motivation led Williams to come into the ring and strike hard and strike Sabin often. However, Sabin attempts to fight back but is caught in a sharpshooter by Williams. That distraction was all Styles needs as he pursued the X-Divison title. Williams caught this out of the corner of his eye and then stopped Styles. The champion has Styles hung up in a tree of woe, and he stands on Styles..ahem…Styles. Williams fights to keep Sabin out of the ring.
The Greatest Ultimate X Match of ALL Time
The Champion Is Now In Pursuit
Styles, however, catches Williams with a leaping back kick. Sabin climbs the top turnbuckle, but Styles catches him on his shoulders while Williams climbs across the rope and pursues the X-Divison championship. But he stops and hits a hurricanrana on the Sabin! Williams then follows this up with a Russian leg sweep on Styles. Each of the competitors appear exhausted, but they fight through this in pursuit of the X-Divison title. Williams is on one side, and Styles is on the other, with both men meeting in the middle, attempting to get to the Ultimate X and the X-Divison title. Styles attempts to strike Williams with a Phenomenal forearm but Williams ducks. The champion eventually falls, unable to hold on.
Fans are quite involved in this match, as their enthusiasm at ringside is evident. Sabin climbs the top rope, and he then hits a hurricanrana on Styles, standing on the top turnbuckle. This transitions into the next big spot where Williams attempts a Scorpion Death Drop on Sabin. But Styles hits a springboard moonsault and catches Williams, who is still holding Sabin, and hits one, taking out both competitors simultaneously! That causes the fans to erupt, leading to Holy S**T chants! Styles then climbs the top rope and begins to move across the top rope until Chris Sabin hits a dropkick, causing Styles to flip head over feet. The crash was as triumphant as the attempt.
The Greatest Ultimate X Match of ALL Time
A Phenomenal Heart
After a replay, we see the competitors stir, with Petey Williams taking Sabin over the top rope to the floor. Styles is trying to get to his feet and eventually catches Williams. Both men are climbing the same pole, with Williams pulling on Styles arm. Sabin then climbs the top rope and begins to walk across the cable to the X-Division title. Styles then catches Sabin and hits a powerbomb followed by a Styles Clash.
AJ climbs the top rope and then begins to pull himself along to the cable toward the title, but as soon as he gets to the title, he collapses. He is unable to hold himself up. This leads to Williams hitting a Canadian Destroyer on an already weakened AJ Styles. Williams then hits a drop toehold on Sabin and a spike DDT on him. He then climbs to the top rope, but Sabin hits a razor’s edge into the corner turnbuckle on Williams.
Williams and Sabin both climb to the top rope and get to the X-Division title. A tug of war ensues as the title is unlatched. Styles hits a springboard and clutches the title from both of their hands, causing it to fall. AJ Styles becomes the new X-Divison champion. While capturing a title like this wasn’t typical, it demonstrated Styles’ tremendous leaping ability. It was Styles fourth X-Divison championship.