Samoa Joe's journey to Bound for Glory 2005 was one hell of a ride. Just one month prior, Joe was involved in what is considered to be one of the greatest matches in IMPACT Wrestling history. At the lone Unbreakable pay-per-view event, Christopher Daniels put his X-Division Championship up for grabs against Samoa Joe and AJ Styles. Unfortunately for Joe, he came up on the losing end as AJ Styles was able to defeat "The Fallen Angel" and end the then longest X-Division title reign in history. Daniels would receive a rematch at Bound for Glory in the form of a 30-Minute Ironman Match. The wrestling world was wondering, where did this leave Samoa Joe on IMPACT Wrestling's biggest show of the year?
Countless legends have appeared at Bound for Glory events over the years and 2005 was no exception. IMPACT Wrestling was set to hold their first ever Bound for Glory and the anticipation was at a fever pitch. After all, it was the culmination of a year's worth of incredible matches and jaw-dropping moments. In the opening contest, Samoa Joe would compete in singles action and his opponent would be none other than Jushin “Thunder” Liger!
In the mid-2000's, Jushin “Thunder” Liger was continuing to make history as one of the most iconic professional wrestlers, not only in Japan but worldwide. IMPACT Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling both benefited from a talent exchange where young, up and coming talent would come to IMPACT Wrestling to train. In fact, current Japanese superstars such as Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito and Yujiro Takahashi completed their training excursions in IMPACT Wrestling. However, Jushin “Thunder” Liger was no rookie! Liger and Joe would open Bound for Glory 2005 – the dream match was about to begin!
On a stage as big as Bound for Glory, special ring-entrances were only natural. Polynesian dancers played music for Samoa Joe as he made his way into the famous IMPACT! Zone. However, once their performance was over, it was all business for Samoa Joe. Out came the Japanese legend, Jushin “Thunder” Liger and the battle was on! After a back-and-forth brawl, Liger was shocked that he could not put away the “Samoan Submission Machine” with his signature palm strikes. Looking to put one final nail in the coffin, Liger climbed to the top rope. It ended up costing him though, as Joe was able to cut him off and connect with the Muscle Buster! Joe followed up by locking in the Coquina Clutch but Liger would not quit! Joe cinched in the choke even tighter, causing Liger to pass out and awarding the victory to Samoa Joe.