The IMPACT Wrestling archives are full of unforgettable matches and moments. Today, we head back to Genesis 2006 where AJ Styles battled Christian Cage in a one-on-one bout for the ages!
AJ Styles was coming off a loss at IMPACT Wrestling’s biggest pay-per-view of the year, Bound for Glory. Styles teamed with Christopher Daniels to defend the Tag Team Championships against the Latin American Xchange in a Six Sides of Steel Cage Match. After a lengthy run with the belts, Styles and Daniels decided to go their separate ways and refocus on their singles career. They both had the same goal in mind – the X-Division Championship. AJ Styles was first to challenge for the belt and, in shocking fashion, defeated Sabin on an episode of iMPACT! to claim the gold.
The following week on iMPACT!, Christian Cage continued his heated rivalry with one of his former best-friends, Rhino. Cage defeated Rhino at Bound for Glory in an 8 Mile Street Fight but if there’s one thing we know about Rhino, it’s that he doesn’t stay down! The two warriors would meet again in a Six Sides of Steel Cage Match of their own. Rhino hit Cage with a Spear so powerful that it sent Cage through the cage wall to the floor! With escape being one of the win conditions, this meant that Cage was victorious, although he definitely did not look like a winner.
Later that night, Styles would defend his newly won title against the former champion Chris Sabin and his recent tag team partner, Christopher Daniels. Styles appeared to be on his way to retaining the X-Division Championship when a delusional Christian Cage made his way up on the ring apron to brag about his victory over Rhino. Styles knocked him to the floor but the distraction was enough to cost him the title as Daniels walked away with the gold.
This confrontation lead to a singles bout that fans had only dreamed of – Genesis 2006 was here and it was time for AJ Styles vs. Christian Cage to become a reality! The match did not disappoint as Styles and Cage used every move in their arsenal to try to put the other man away. However, Cage would resort to cheating in an attempt to score the victory. Cage grabbed a steel chair but just when he was about to use it, Christopher Daniels came to the ring and stopped him! Styles attempted to capitalize but Cage was somehow able to turn things around and score the victory! After the match, Styles accused Daniels of costing him the match. The former tag team champions were about to come to blows when Rhino and members of the X-Division broke things up.
The controversy would cause AJ Styles to undergo a change in attitude that we never saw coming – but that’s a story for another time.