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PostSubject: 2005 Discussion   Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:19 pm

Discuss Raw in 2005.
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:11 am

Matt Hardy vs Edge - Street Fight - Raw 29.08.2005
Really didn't expect to adore this little match as much as I did but I loved everything about it. It works a treat as a street fight because you can really sense the hate between the two (obvious as to why). The best part though is it feels like a genuine fight and not a hardcore match where they're just running through the spots with some weapon shots thrown in between. The only real big spot is the end which is awesome but I'll get to that in a min. The leg drop off the ladder is sweet but Matt does it so many times it's not really an omg moment. The use of the ladder is really good in this match. No bullshit time wasting to set it up for a louzy spot. The match flows really well for a hardcore match which is something gimmick matches have a real flaw with where they take too long to set a spot up when they could be working over their opponent. Lita is fucking hot btw. Edge has really suffered from the PG era so to speak in WWE. I'd imagine the majority of people would agree that nearly all of Edge's best matches have been gimmick matches and his hardcore run fom 05-06ish was brilliant imo.

Lita's role in the match as subtle as it is is really well played out. She's the whole reason Matt and Edge hate each other so much and of course she's out there at ringside. There's nothing massive around her but multiple times she proves she can be a little whore and a devil to Matt even more by distracting him and gaining the upper hand back for Edge.

The finish is great not only from an entertainment point of view but in terms of the feud too. Matt hates Edge so much he wants to hurt him, even if it means putting himself through hell to do it. The stage spot is built up really well with several teases and then when Matt hits the side effect it looks awesome. JR is on another level during this match and adds so much emotion to it, especially after the dive off the stage.

Fucking amazing stuff for a straight up fight here. Flows incredibly well and the big spot at the end is done amazingly well. Lita is superduperhot btw. Loved this.

****
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:12 am

Shawn Michaels vs Shelton Benjamin - Raw 02.05.2005
Great match but I'm sure everyone already knows that. This is a really great example of how a older babyface can put over a younger babyface huge without having to lose. WWE really do need to do this type of match more often to get some newer talent over without having to take away any credibility from their top guys. With it being a face vs face match it means there's no restraints on what both men can do in the ring and thats works perfectly to their advantage and gives them all the freedom they need to put on a great match.

Shelton uses his speed from the get go in order to gain the advantage over Shawn and the feeling out process is a bit clingy but makes sense. The pace of the match is incredible and Shawn's experience is a key part in why Shelton looks so good here along with his own incredible athleticism. It's a shame that WWE dropped the ball with Shelton after his Raw run. I know he became sloppy and lost his enthusiasm seemingly in the last few years but it's kinda understandable with the way he was used and never allowed to take the top spot that in fairness he had kinda earned a chance at on Raw between 04 and 06. The finish everyone knows about and I remember at the time adoring it. It's still pretty awesome.

***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:12 am

Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle - 30 Minute IronMan Match - Raw 03.10.2005
A massive improvment on the Vengeance matchup. The pace is a lot faster even for an Ironman match up and you can feel a helluva lot more intensity between the two than before. The 30 minutes fly by thanks to the fantastic pace of the match. The only part where it kinda slowed down was in the last 10-5 minutes but they managed to keep the interest going for the final stretch.

The first two falls were done really well imo. Angle gets the chance to get a pinfall with a big impact move that normally wouldn't be enough for some reason coming in the form of a top rope angle slam. God knows why if it was a one fall to a finish match that would never be enouh though. Shawn's comeback fall was perfectly done. He's still beat dwon from the first fall so it wouldn't make sense for him to make such a quick comeback but instead a simple rollup gets him a quick pin without making it look like one match followed by another starting fresh again.

Angle going for the submission and forcing Shawn to last it out in the final few minutes was a bit predictable but at least it makes sense, gets the crowd into it and was played out well. Shawn getting the SCM but falling a few seconds short of time before the ref can finish his count was a great finish. Also allowed Angle to get some easy heel heat for not going to sudden death too and meant that both men didn't have to suffer the setback of a loss. I'd probably rank this dead in the middle of their other two matches in their 2005 trilogy.

****
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:12 am

Shawn Michaels vs Rey Mysterio - Raw 14.11.2005
There's no way that this wasn't going to be good even with the tragic circumstances it came around in Eddie's passing. Both men just go out there and do their thing with some sweet counter and high flying wrestling. It's such a shame that these two never really did anything big together. More so than Shawn never working a program with Eddie or Rocky imo. I would have loved for him and Benoit to have had an extended version of the 2004 feud but without Trips involved and a PPV match for it. There's a hell of a lot of feuds that I wish Shawn had worked but never did actually. Match is great anyway.

***1/4+
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:13 am

Shawn Michaels & Randy Orton vs Edge & Christian - Raw 21.02.2005
There's too much talent in the ring on this for it not to be good but it's better than that. Randy was so much better in ring wise during this era imo but I may be in the majority there. Edge and Christian still work great as a team and they get that over really well with the dominating large portions of the match and forcing Shawn to play a great role as FIP. The teased finish was a nice touch with Randy getting the hot tag but then having to play FIP himself for a short while. The teased conchairto was a sweet flashback to the old E&C days too. Hot finish then too with all 4 men getting involved. Edge losing to Shawn, all be it indirectly set up their street fight the following week really nicely too.

***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:13 am

Shawn Michaels vs Edge - Street Fight - Raw 28.02.2005
Shame that these two never got a big PPV match between them, much like Shawn and Benoit. They sorta had a mini TV feud on Raw in early 05 and 07 but nothing substancial. I guess they were kinda victims of WrestleMania being around the corner and them having other plans for Shawn's big Mania match each time. This is a really good hardcore match which you don't see too often from Shawn after his back injury.

Lots of weapon shots and some really good, innovative spots too. Shawn taking a picture of a beaten down Edge with a fans camera was an awesome spot I thought. It's not only amazing for that fan but it's great mind games from Shawn I thought. Shawn's blade after the DDT on the chair was nasty and got over the intensity of the street fight really well too. Imagine if a trainer ran in nowadays and stopped the blood. Fuck me. Shawn's crimson mask with blood everywhere makes his babyface comeback all the better imo when it happens. Finish is hot too with Shawn kicking out of the spear and the crowd eat it all up. Shawn hitting the SCM out of nowhere was ideal for this match given how beat down Shawn was and how he had such little energy left. Showed how Shawn always had that extra edge over Edge (no pun intended lol) as the veteran. Tbh though Edge probably could have gone over given the Angle beat down after the match with transcended this feud into Shawn's next one going into Mania.

***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:21 am

I watched Orton/Christian from 2/14/05 Raw today and thought it was pretty awesome. Probably around ***3/4; I'll probably re-watch it at some point to get a clearer idea of how I'd rate it.

Not sure if it'll make my list at this point, but it's definitely one that I want to include. I've seen lots of people shit on Orton's babyface run from 04-05, but he was stellar & OVER here, big-time. Can't think of a match where Babyface Young Orton captured the badass-ness that made people pop for heel RKO as well as he does here. Really awesome strikes from Orton, red-hot crowd throughout, & Christian throws a tantrum after a near-fall that blows every single Angle tantrum ever out of the water. Just a super-duper fun match that the Christian mark in me wants to include on my list.
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:40 am

Randy Orton vs. Christian (WWE Raw 2/14/05)
-Great TV match. Both guys worked really hard like it was a PPV. The crowd was hot for everything, but Orton seemed pretty over himself, which surprised me because I remember the fans not really taking to his turn that well. One theme here was Orton's striking, and it looked better than I can ever recall seeing before. He ran wild early with some great looking punches, ended up killing him with a lariat about half way through, and then did around 20 to 25 brutal, clubbing forearms to Christian's chest, which the fans loved. Tomko attacked Orton at one point and threw him into the steel steps. The ref threw him out of the arena and that set up a great false finish when they went back to it later. This had a very good finishing stretch, with the actual finishing spot being quite clever. On the bubble for my list. ***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:06 pm

Randy Orton Vs Christian - Raw February 14th 2005
Christian was really starting to become awesome at this point, and Orton was still "2004" good in the ring, and even though his face turn was a disaster for the most part, he was over as fuck for this one. We have a hot crowd, and 2 guys who are great in the ring, and we got everything I would expect. Orton did a nice job of getting the hot face start, making Christian look like a fool, and foiling Tomko's attempts at distraction and interference. Christian isn't doing too well, so Tomko somewhat sacrifices himself in order to help his... friend(?), by throwing Orton into the steel steps and getting himself ejected from ring side. Tomko might be gone, but he left Orton in an injured mess on the floor, so Christian makes damn sure he capitalises on this.

Christian's control segment is rather awesome, thanks to his move set mainly. I was never a fan of Christian until mid 04, when he really started to, well, do more, both from a character standpoint and in the ring.

Some great reversals and near falls in the finishing stretch, and the RKO sequence was pretty awesome too. A great TV match!

Rating: ***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:06 pm

Shawn Michaels vs. Shelton Benjamin (WWE Raw 5/2/05)
-Good match, but over hyped. First few minutes are pretty good, despite some miscommunications and Michaels looking awkward on the mat. He puts Shelton skills over well. Some good workrate stuff here. Shawn even gets busted open from a great looking roundhouse kick. Some execution problems, but they hit everything that mattered, really. Sick finish, just not very logical. ***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:08 pm

Shawn Michaels v Shelton Benjamin (RAW, 5/2/05)
- Still holds up as being really good. Love the story of Shawn being physically outmatched in just about every aspect, but he's got the experience and smarts that'll get him through. I really like Shawn's selling in this, always looking spent and totally pushed to the limit against this young stud, at one point trying to chop Shelton and just falling into it because his legs are barely holding him. Shelton's dragon whip never looked better than here. Finish is one of the more famous finishes in recent memory, and it is and always will be visually spectacular. Not quite sure what would possess Shelton to jump from one end of the ring to the next, but his last springboard worked, so why not? The thing that really seperates Undertaker from most guys in WWE today is that he has the ability to make everybody look good in defeat, and that's why I think he's the best worker in the company right now, but if Shawn could make guys look as good as Benjamin did here then he'd be even more valuable than he already is. Let's see if he goes above and beyond for Legacy tonight. We all know Hunter will... ***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:33 pm

Raw 2005 (February 28th) - Edge vs Shawn Michaels (Street Fight)
Vast improvement, largely because they werestled at a much better pace, worked in a far more intense manner and created something that was very easy to get into. Edge is convincing as a genuine psychopath character who borders on deranged. No matter what he does he can never put Michaels away in any of their matches and it drives him crazy. There were a lot of nice spots, some hate and some good babyface payoffs near the end such as a low blow - it's just that nothing was fantastic or fresh. Both guys work this kind of match together more fluently and don't try to step away from the simple idea that this is a hard hitting, messy brawl. Nothing outstanding about it and a little superficial, but a very entertaining Michaels/Edge popcorn match where you see a lot going on.

***1/4

Raw 2005 (9th of May) - Edge vs Shawn Michaels
Semi finals of the Gold Rush tournament. Edge steps his game up more here, with an added swagger and more effectively heelish nature that actually gathers Michaels support. He frequently chokes him, pulls his hair and struts around the ring when he's on top. Michaels is fine in this too, with his comebacks all getting the job done and not fallig flat. They work a good match, probably as good a straight singles match as they were ever going to get together. Once again they make it a rollercoaster ride full of action rather than drawing it out and it works. The finish is sick, with Edge clocking Michaels with the briefcase during a sunset flip attempt. It sounded nasty. He comes out looking like a credible heel title contender and a massive asshole at the same time. Worth anybody's time.

***
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:43 pm

Raw 2005 (08/29) – Edge vs Matt Hardy (Street Fight)
I liked this more than ever before too and it’s much better than their Ladder match – obviously falling short of their Cage match though as there isn’t as much to this one. As everybody knows the real life circumstances and feelings of hatred really propel these matches and make them feel like real fights between guys who despise each other. Edge started coming into his own once Lita came on screen with him. He further developed his character, embraced being an asshole and became more comfortable in his role. As a heel in gimmick matches he’s always superb at selling the damage and making the stipulation feel big. It usually always feels like a war. Plus, there’s no need to worry about weak offence as in these matches it consists of brutal weapon shots – hence why he’s universally regarded as a superior gimmick match worker to a regular match worker. Here it’s all about cunning survival tactics when Matt’s getting on top of him and getting revenge, then a merciless, almost deranged assault once he finds a breakthrough.

They run through the usual sequences, to the point where the overall contest does feel a little cheesy or cliché. I don’t think it’s a big knock though because they were always trying to throw out a heated WWF over the top brawl where the fans get a lot of action – they never pretended to do anything else so it pretty much nailed what it was going for. Hence there’s no need to go in depth with this review. It’s pretty much violence, props, decent selling and great intensity surrounding a simple storyline core that makes you actually give a shit about what’s going on. There’s some cool Matt/Lita moments thrown in to bring the story full circle. They bring in effective structures such as Matt’s anger getting the better of him (going for the chair and ladder result in Edge catching him off guard) to stop it being random nonsense. Edge also plays off their SS match being stopped, attacking that badly injured head of Matt ruthlessly. Since they already had the storyline and the hate though, it managed to be great just from them letting loose and unloading vicious shots on each other. They did absolutely everything required of them to get over the type of match they wanted the fans to embrace.

***1/2 - ***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:56 pm

Randy Orton v Christian (RAW, 2/16/05)
- Pretty great little match. Well, "little" isn't really the best word for it since it goes almost 15 minutes, but it's still pretty great regardless. First spell is nice enough, mostly built around Orton countering Christian's attack by punching him right in the face (Christian gets a big lump on the side of his head after not too long), but things pick up big time once Orton gets backdropped to the floor and Tomko launches him into the ring steps. He gets sent away from ringside as a result, but he comes back out later and yakuza kicks Orton in the head while the ref's distracted for an awesome nearfall. Final few minutes are really, really good, and the finish is pretty fucking sweet. At the moment, I can't think of a Christian singles match in his pre-09 run better than this. (edit: versus Rey from August on Smackdown! is better, actually) ***1/2
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