This was a unification match for Bryan’s ROH World Championship and Nigel’s Pure Championship.
In the sea of mediocre and misguided defenses for Bryan in 2006, along came one of the best matches in professional wrestling history.
Bryan was working like a completely different wrestler here. Instead of stalling and just trying to outlast his opponents, he was operating like he was actively trying to win. That small but significant mindset change made such a dramatic difference.
Nigel of course was nearly just as great. While he would not reach that level consistently as a performer until his heel title run in 2008, this was clearly one of his best babyface performances ever. He had all the fire and passion that you need from the babyface challenger, and his home country crowd rallied behind him as much as anyone could have hoped for this one.
The match of course would not be nearly as infamous as it was if not for the spot you can see below.
While there is no question that those kinds of spots should not be done, it would be equally unquestionable to say that the quality of this match was positively impacted by that sequence. Nigel surviving that and then the dive made his final comeback all the more epic.
If you have somehow not seen this one yet, you owe it to yourself to track it down. It was a total classic. (*****)