Background: During his Total Nonstop Action debut, Kurt Angle crossed paths with the undefeated Samoa Joe. During that confrontation, Angle headbutted Joe between the eyes, causing him to bleed. From that moment on, Joe took the fight to Angle in hopes of attaining a match. Less than two months after their first face to face meeting, Angle and Joe wrestled.
November 19, 2006
Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe
The fans were solidly behind Samoa Joe at the sound of the bell. A stern collar & elbow tie up had the fans already chanting, “This is awesome!” Joe went for a guillotine choke, but also got himself caught in the Ankle Lock. As Joe scooted to the ropes, the crowd informed Angle that, “Joe is going to kill you!” As the Angle supporters tried to get behind their guy, Joe punched and stomped Kurt to the mat. Samoa Joe bounced off the ropes, running into an overhead belly to belly suplex. The action spilled the floor, where Joe swung Kurt against the steel guardrails like a baseball bat.
Angle refused to be denied even when he was sent left shoulder first against the steel ring post. Joe took advantage of a regrouping Angle by diving through the ropes to take Kurt down. Kurt Angle was being obliterated to the point referee Early Hebner had to verbally command Joe to back off so he could count the downed Angle out. As Kurt stood up, Angle revealed his forehead had been split thanks to a blow against the steel ring steps. Joe, sporting Angle’s blood on his own head, enjoyed widening the cut. Power slam by Joe actually heard the crowd groan in agony. The same thing happened when “The Samoan Submission Machine” used a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker moments later.
Joe took too much time playing with Angle, taking a sick DDT when Joe went for the Muscle Buster. Both men got up swinging for the fences. The Olympic gold medallist avoided a running forearm, German suplexing Joe not once, but three times to gain a two count. The fans started begging for Angle to make Samoa Joe tap. Instead, Joe kneed and kicked Angle in his face. Dragging Angle out of the corner, Joe hit the Muscle Buster … for a two count!
Samoa Joe couldn’t believe Angle had the strength to kick out. “The Samoan Submission Machine’s” attempt at the Coquina Clutch ended with him taking the Olympic Slam … that gained Angle a near fall as well!
With the crowd begging for Angle to make Joe tap, Kurt pulled the straps down as a prelude to the Ankle Lock. Samoa Joe was rolling and clawing his way to the bottom rope. When that strategy didn’t work, Joe kicked the back of Angle’s kneecap, tripping Angle into the Coquina Clutch. But Joe’s positioning was poor as Angle’s hands were still near his feet. Kurt Angle saved himself by Ankle Locking Joe. Samoa Joe muscled his way off the mat, rolling through the hold. Sadly for Joe, his leg was hurt and he couldn’t avoid the Olympic Slam. Instead of going for the pin, Angle put Joe in the Ankle Lock again. “The Samoan Submission Machine” was doing everything in his power to make it to the ropes, but the pain was becoming too unbearable. With agony etched on his face, Joe had no choice but to tap out.
Winner: Kurt Angle (13:34)
Is It A Classic: If that’s what they could do in less than fifteen minutes, imagine what it would’ve been like if their first encounter went twenty or even thirty minutes. This was the magic of wrestling in its truest form. A hot crowd, two great wrestlers, and a match that lived up to the hype. Not only that, but the ending playing into the overall story of Joe’s dominance since his TNA debut was masterful. Joe had unmercifully choked out opponents for over a year and a half, not having to face someone with the submission acumen that surpassed his own … until he faced Kurt Angle. This is everything you’d want in a great wrestling match.