Proving once again the old adage that anything can happen in the world of professional wrestling, a two-out-of-three-falls match at a WWE live event in Poughkeepsie today shockingly ended after AJ Styles scored two consecutive pinfalls over Sami Zayn.
A stunned silence fell over the audience upon the collective realization that, contrary to what fans have come to expect from every two-out-of-three-falls match in professional wrestling history, a third tiebreaking fall would not be required.
“And, um, the, uh, winner…” stammered befuddled ring announcer Tony Chimel, “is, uhhh, I guess… wait, already? Okayyy… the winner… is… AJ… Styles?”
Chimel then gazed quizzically at referee Chad Patton, who shrugged his shoulders in confusion before raising Styles’ arm in victory. Styles himself seemed taken aback by the abrupt ending, and could be heard by fans at ringside asking the timekeeper if they should “make it three out of five.”
According to the Harvard Encyclopedia of Professional Wrestling Statistics, an estimated 7,429 matches have been held under two-out-of-three-falls rules since 1920, but today’s bout between Styles and Zayn is the only one on record to have ended with two consecutive falls scored by the same competitor.
Wrestling historians are calling the match a “once-in-a-lifetime” happening, like John Cena facing The Rock, or that one time a televised wrestling match ended during a commercial break.