Since returning to TNA Impact Wrestling in 2011, Christopher Daniels has emerged as one of the top performers of the promotion.
Now the Fallen Angel is gearing up to face his longtime friend AJ Styles in a Last Man Standing match on Sunday, July 8 at the Destination X pay-per-view from Universal Studios Orlando.
The two rivals have met numerous times in the past, including at the same event last year.
“AJ is one of the best in the world,” Daniels said. “We have great chemistry together that the challenge for us after so many years of wrestling each other is somehow keeping it fresh. This particular match is a Last Man Standing match, so it will make that a little bit easier because it’s a completely different mindset. As far as getting in the ring with someone the caliber of AJ, I’m never bored with it. There is always the challenge to make it great and make it different for the fans. That is what I appreciate it.”
The match-up may be the same, but the TNA star believes there is more of a story and added intensity this time around.
“The truth of the matter is last year I was sort of treading water when the match came around,” Daniels said. “It didn’t seem like the company had a lot of plans for me or at least the plans that they had for me beginning with that match. There wasn’t a whole lot going on for me before Destination X.
“Now that we have had this sort of thing going on for pretty much the whole year, I feel like I am in a better position with the company. I feel like I contributed more this year than in the last. With the previous match, it was just a marquee matchup. It was a technical exhibition style match. This one is going to have a little bit more blood behind it.”
The back story leading into Destination X on July 8 has all the elements of a daytime soap opera or an episode of “Maury.” Each week on television Daniels was getting under the skin of Styles by creating speculation that Styles and TNA President Dixie Carter were having an affair. It was revealed that Styles and Carter’s secret was that they were helping a mutual friend battle her addictions. On the recent Impact Wrestling, viewers were shocked to find out that the friend, Claire Lynch, was pregnant with Styles’ baby. The program has drawn mixed reaction from the audience, but Daniels feels fans shouldn’t rush to judgment.
“As far as the story goes, we are right on track where we want to go,” Daniels said. “I think people who are upset with the storyline are assuming that they know the end or where this is going, and they don’t. So I just tell people who are upset to just wait and see what happens. I know there was a lot of speculation about the introduction of Claire, but that wasn’t a last minute decision. It’s something we thought about for a while. You just need to see where it goes. This is something that has been thought out. If the people give it the same amount of chance that we put into it, the amount of effort we put into it, I think they are going to be happy with the end result.”
The veteran is honored to be spotlighted in such a high profile way.
“I think it shows a lot of trust on her part to put me in that position,” Daniels said. “It means a lot to me that the company and Dixie both have that trust in my abilities and effort to put me in that position where you have the president of the company interacting back-and-forth with me on the microphone. I’m very happy for it. It’s a great opportunity for me. I feel like so far I have done the best with it that I could. I think it has showed in what we have done.”