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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:14 am

Undertaker vs Kurt Angle - WWE Championship - Smackdown 04.07.2002
Coming off the back of the historic Ladder Match with Jeff Hardy on Raw the night before (3 days before kayfabe wise which is the gospel truth silly. What was I thinking.) [s]Mark[/s] Taker pulls another great TV match out of the bag in this one. Angle and Taker have great chemistry together that doesn't often get commented on. Sure it's not Flair/Steamboat or Rock/Austin chemistry but whenever they're in the ring together they always pull something good out of the bag and here is no exception. Angle employs his usual formula and I guess if you dont like Angle's formula then you probably wont enjoy any of his matches. I dont mind it though with all the suplexes, I mean he is supposed to be a wrestling machine after all. You get a good 10 minutes of Taker/Angle goodness and then the awesome finish comes. And the awesome finish I just loved. I'm a sucker for a double win finishes and I think they work awesomely into a storyline than just a typical pinfall finish. Angle making Taker tap at the exact time the ref counts the 3rd count on Angle's shoulders. It gets Angle into the Rock/Taker title match superbly and it's fucking entertaining. Really good TV match.

***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:24 am

Eddie Guerrero & Chavo Guerrero v Edge & Billy Kidman (Smackdown!, 12/26/02)
- Good match. I can see some people thinking it was overbooked since they had it restarted three times, but each one built to the next to the point where Los Guerreros couldn't get out of the match by cheating, so they went ahead and *won* the match by cheating. Won't vote for it, but it's good enough to check out. You should know what you're getting by this point anyway. ***1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:32 am

Eddie, Benoit & Angle vs Edge, Rey & Cena - Smackdown 08.08.2002
Really enjoyable 6 man tag match here and not suprising giving the 6 men involved and the year it took place. It's got a really nice young underdog team vs the 3 veterans and fuck me look who them 3 are. Cena being the newest of the young stars is the one who takes the beatdown throughout the majority of the match and watching Eddie, Benoit & Angle work over him is always great. Eddie in particular in this match. The finish stretch seriously rocks with all 6 men going suplex crazy on each other with their own little variation on each one. The finish is perfectly booked too with Rey pinning Kurt despite not actually being the legal man and this comes into play superbly after with an amazing Kurt promo.

"Rey wasn't even the legal man, heck he probably isn't even a legal citizen!"
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:59 am

Steve Austin v Kurt Angle (Smackdown!, 1/10/02)
- Good match. Austin can reign Kurt in better than anyone, and Angle was real good at this point, anyway. Austin gets all funky with the mat work and annoying Angle by wrestling instead of throwing punches and brawling like a sociopathic redneck, and that's on top of the fact Kurt's pissed at everyone constantly shouting "WHAT?" He winds up rushing right into the ring post because he's frustrated and Austin goes right to work. Love Austin breaking Kurt's attempt at a German suplex by fuckin' punching him in the injured arm. He even busts out a few Germans of his own. Finish is what it is, but the post-match stuff building to the Rumble is great. People were fucking STOKED to see Triple H back. He was pretty garbage for a long time after the return, but dude was over over like rover. ***1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:01 am

Smackdown 10/24/02 – Chris Benoit vs Kurt Angle
This is when they’re fiercely competitive with each other despite being tag team champions. I really enjoyed that storyline and thought it added a bit of flair to the workrate heavy style of this period. Somebody stuck a rocket up Benoit’s ass pre match, because he goes out their with an INSANE level of ferocity. They go through a bit of fast mat work before Benoit starts beating the life out of Kurt Angle. Angle returns the favour with the same sort of agression. Between the ass kicking there’s a lot of big suplexes and bomb throwing, tied together with the big time finishing stretch that they’re known for. It’s a strong 10 minute showcase and prelude for their RR match, with their mini feud making it stray away from being too superflous. It’s not a deep match by any means, but it had a hot crowd and two great workers busting out some really fun stuff that you didn’t have to think too hard about. Their chemistry and ability to create a compelling contest out of nothing make sure this is something worth your time.

***
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:08 am

Smackdown 2002 (July 26th) - Chavo Guerrero vs Rey Mysterio
This is Rey's debut and was a brilliant showcase for what the fans could expect from him. He made them eat out of his hand just based on the work he did here in a 6 minute match. Chavo got some nice reversals in too and was a good guy for Rey to able to bust out some high end shit with. Plenty of sick moves and a rockin' tempo in this little taste tester exhibition. Wildy successful match for what it needed to accomplish.

***
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:16 am

Kurt Angle Vs Chris Benoit 24th October 2002
So these two are tag champs who dislike each other quite a bit. The match was made following the two of them accidently hurting Stephanie McMahon.

Angle tries to manouver his way around Benoit, dropping him to the floor. Benoit, on the other hand isn't in the mood for that "wrestling" shit and just elbows and chops Angle all over the place.

Angle is acctually quite... methodical by his standards, not constant suplexes everywhere, in fact I'm fairly sure the number of suplexes from Angle doesn't go into double digits! Yay! But yeah the whole thing is essentially the two men trying to one up each other. Angle backdrops Benoit? Benoit does it straight back. Benoit German suplexes Angle? Angle suplexes him three times.

Benoit, as uncomfortable as I am with him doing it, hits a damn awe inspiring diving headbutt to the other side of the ring. The whole crossface segment is simple as hell but done brilliantly. Has Angle ever acctually won a match via Angle Slam? I rather adored the Ankle Lock into Crossface reversal.

If it weren't for the interference finish this match would get a higher rating but still it was awesome and may, and it's a big MAY make my list in like number 100 because the match was damned fun and worked well. And I've now decided that I need to acctually watch their RR 03 match... which yeah, I've never acctually saw.

***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:17 am

Chris Benoit vs Rey Mysterio - Smackdown 03.10.2002
There isn't a massive story to this one besides the fact that Rey upset Benoit and Angle in a triple threat the week before and Benoit wants revenge for that, and the Angle/Benoit feud that keeps building up, but it's just a straight up really great wrestling match for like 12 minutes that they get. The counter wrestling in particular is really neat and Rey in this era can still pull off some high flying stuff that you wouldn't even be able to think up that looks cool as shit (shit doesn't actually look cool so fuck knows who thought that one up). Benoit being able to throw Rey around like a rag doll because of his size and weight is always cool to see and makes for some sick suplexes. Like I said there's not much to it but it's some great wrestling, which you'd expect no less from given the two amazing workers, working the match.

***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:17 am

Kurt Angle vs Edge - Smackdown 03.10.2002
From the same show as Benoit/Rey and this is even better. The stratergy from the start is really smart and something I totally dug. Edge going for a slower pace and targetting a body part totally worked given the No DQ war he had last week with Eddie and Angle in turn plays off that match just as well going after Edge's busted ribs from that match. The first 10 minutes is basically both men working over their opponent's respective body part and it's good stuff.

The ref bump is actually done really well for a ref bump which I normally hate. The belly to belly suplex into Chioda looks cool as hell and sets up the false finish superbly. Both men go for the pin off a top rope superplex with the replacement ref raising Angle's hand and the original ref declaring Edge the winnner. Then comes one of the best ref knockouts I recall seeing in a long time with Chioda flooring the other ref just for disagreeing with him with one awesome looking shot.

The match then restarts and while it's still very good stuff, the quality isn't as great as it was before the ref bump. Both men seem to forget they were working over a body part. Angle hits an awesome over head belly to belly suplex onto the floor which looks great. There's some awesome looking belly to belly's not only Angle but Edge busts a brilliant one out too in this match. Edge actually auite suprised me how well he did technically in the match and the first 5 minutes with him working the pace of the match and going over Angle's arm is really great stuff by Edge's standards.

Benoit comes out at the end and in essence costs Kurt the match with just adds more fuel to their ongoing rivalry, plus it gets Edge a big win in a really quite great wrestling match.

***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:20 am

Edge vs Chris Benoit - Smackdown 31.10.2002
Really good and easy to watch 12 minute match. With Benoit you know you're going to get a least a good match and Edge's 2002 face run on Smackdown before he got injured is probably his best run, definitely from a wrestling standpoint at least. Benoit does a tidy job of targetting Edge's shoulder and weakening it up for the crossface and Edge plays FIP well. Nothing major about it. No big story, background or big spots but just some really good wrestling for the time given.

***1/4

Eddie Guerrero vs Kurt Angle - Smackdown 31.10.2002
This one is kinda the Eddie show at times which is fucking brilliant. Eddie's so amazing at making all the little things in a match so great. Just little things in a match that make ya smile and that's what Eddie was a master genius at. As a side bonus he's not too shabby at the whole wrestling thing either and he's in the ring with Angle for a good 15 or so minutes which means you're gonna get a quality wrestling match and that's exactly what you get. Like Edge/Benoit before it's just a real easy watch because the wrestling is so good. The match is all about how great Eddie is from my viewpoint at least and Angle just kinda adds the flavour to sweeten the recipie. Finish comes off much better than the previous match with the Benoit interference this time round and the way Eddie wins is perfect for the match he wrestles.

***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:20 am

Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit vs Edge & Rey Mysterio - 2/3 Falls - WWE Tag Team Championships - Smackdown 07.11.2002
First off, yes their No Mercy match was slightly better than this but when you think back to how amazing that one was, that statement hardly brings down this match. Much like the PPV version the pacing is full throttle from the get go and it's sooo easy to watch. For the most part Angle and Benoit have the upper hand with Edge and Rey taking turns to play FIP. Angle and Benoit are of course also feuding at the time despite being tag champs and unlike the normal feuding and forced tag partners angle they dont let that affect their work as a team in the match and make an awesome tag team together. Sometimes with 2/3 falls matches, especially on TV you get one or two cheap falls that you struggle to buy but all 3 falls, particuarly the first two are booked superbly without having to use a finisher so you dont believe that the other guy could just get up and continue wrestling but high impact moves that look awesome. This of course is easy with a guy like Rey Mysterio in the ring.

The 1st fall comes off a cool springboard double team from Edge & Rey, that you can actually buy as deserving of a 3 count. What I liked is after how Angle rather than berating Benoit about losing a fall just got on with it and carried on wrestling the match. Edge & Rey generally save their offense for the hot tag and the inbetween parts are Benoit and Angle throwing the opposition around. Benoit and Angle get all the aclaims for their suplexes but damn Edge used an awesome belly to belly during this run. Nice to see Benoit heel it up to add some character by striking Edge with the tag belt to help secure the 2nd fall too.

The first 3rd fall or the fake 3rd fall is done fantastically. The finishing sequence is amazing with Angle tossing Rey up onto the top rope and he lands straight on the turnbuckle without even using his hands for balance. The rest of the sequence is Angle trying to drop Rey on his head and Rey countering with his lucha knowledge before pinning Angle and getting a 3 count only for Angle to reach the rope but the ref only notices after he's counted 3 and restarts the match. Doing the false finish worked really well here because you can easily sympathise with the two massively over babyfaces and it adds to the excitement as well as giving all 4 men a slight breather. Fortunatly the break passage doesn't hurt that much as the TV break comes at an oppurtune time and you dont see much of the in between stuff.

Normally you'd get whoever won the fake fall but had it overturned, especially if it's two babyfaces, end up losing and have a case of so close and what could have been but this time they win the deciding fall anyway which I liked as it goes against the general formula which can get predictable. Plus it adds even more fuel to the Benoit/Angle rivalry and the fans get their two biggest babyfaces as tag champs. Compared to the No Mercy match it's probably got a bit more going for it story wise but the No Mercy flows better as a whole. By no means though the wrestling is far from a step down here. Fantastic TV match.

****1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:22 am

Edge vs Chris Jericho - Cage Match - Smackdown 25.07.2002

Pretty much the norm when it comes to cage matches on TV here. Good wrestling and easy to watch with a couple of nice cage spots thrown in. TV cage matches I always seem to like despite most of them not being MOTYC alot more than cage matches on PPV, or at least modern WWE era PPV matches. There's a nice spot where Jericho gets caught up in the ropes and Edge spears him and then goes for another only for Jericho to move out of the way and send Edge into the cage. Later in the match Edge also gets caught in the ropes ala Jericho earlier and Edge also reverses sending Jericho into the cage. Jericho plays the cowardly heel really well at the start by trying to do his best to take advantage of the escape option and run out of the cage away from Edge. There's a couple of nice top rope spots too like a bulldog and a Edgucutuion from the top rope. The aftermath is nice too with the Un-Americans hitting the ring only for Cena and Rey to come down and clear house. Rey comes in the ring in awesome fashion by almost leaping straight to the top of the cage in one motion and then hitting a sweet crossbody onto the Un-Americans.

***1/4

Rey Mysterio vs Chris Benoit vs Kurt Angle - Smackdown 24.09.2002

Normally when you see a match with so much potential only goes 9 minutes you kinda feel like it's probably gonna give you a feeling of "oh that was good but could have been so much better with 5 more minutes." Now I did kinda feel that way but for 9 minutes it's so good. You've got the usual Benoit vs Angle goodness with the added extra of Rey Mysterio thrown in. Rey's role is brilliant in it. Angle and Benoit just want to beat the hell out of each other and there's little rascal in a mask who keeps running in the ring and attacking them. So Angle and Benoit just take some offense from Rey and then throw him back out and continue to go at it themselves. Rey's springy style fits perfectly into this role and in between Angle and Benoit going at it is a real good watch. The finish is nicely worked too with Benoit suplexing Angle out of the ring and in essence suplexing his last hope to stay in the match before Rey gets a suprise win over Benoit. Amazing match for 9 minutes long.

***1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:22 am

Eddie Guerrero vs Rey Mysterio - Smackdown 14.11.2002
Do I need to convince anyone that this is gonna be a good little TV match. Of course it is. Eddie and Rey just have brilliant chemistry and makes it look so easy and natural when they work together, whether it be on TV or PPV. Eddie's character is bang on and great as ever to watch and Rey's high flying springboard manouvers are always a joy to see. Brian Hebner's selling of his injured ribs is quite brilliant btw after Eddie pulls him in front of the 619. Just a great TV match from an amazing era of TV matches.

***1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:46 am

Kurt Angle vs Edge vs Chris Benoit vs Eddie Guerrero - Smackdown 12.05.2002
Ah the days when Edge was an incredible babyface before his lenghty absence fucked that run up and he was forever a heel. They run an angle before the match with Albert attacking Edge with a chair forcing him to be carried to the back by medics but in true babyface style he makes his way back out. I really wished that they made better use of this in the match though. Edge started off selling the leg well and then after the first few minutes totally forgot about the attack but remembered he best sell it a little bit whenever he did anything big. I would've preffered for them to have gone with the multi man format a little longer or just let Angle and Edge go at it alone from the start. Once Benoit and Eddie have been eliminated it gives Edge and Angle plenty of time to do their thing together which is fucking wonderful. These two have got some fantastic chemistry with each other in their TV matches together. They kinda go a little overload with Angle kicking out of everyone of Edge's big moves but at least their consistent and Angle has to pull out a top rop angle slam himself to finish off Edge. In fairness this could have been a lot better than it was but Edge and Angle were good enough together to still make it a great match.

***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:17 am

Rey Mysterio & Edge v Brock Lesnar & Tajiri (Smackdown!, 10/10/02)
- I had no idea this ever happened. I mean, I went back and watched a shit load of the Smackdown! stuff from this period a couple years ago, but I never came across this. It goes about ten minutes, has a really hot crowd, and Brock Lesnar fucking kills dudes. I had forgotten just how much of an athletic freak that guy was. He and Rey always used to have great interactions any time they wound up in the ring together (their TV match from '03 was awesome), and Brock just absolutely manhandles him at a couple points here. Rey tries to scurry away from him by crawling under his legs, but Brock grabs him, hurls him in the air with his ankles and slams him right down on his shoulder. Then in the post-match, from the floor, he tosses Rey over his head back into the ring, and Rey almost clears the top rope. Just inhuman strength. He and Tajiri make a super fun team. Tajiri chills on the apron until Lesnar mows down Rey and Edge, then he tags in and tells Brock he'll handle it from here...if that's okay with him. He throws a couple jaw-shattering kicks and there's a tarantula spot that looked pretty organic. When he fucks up by accidentally blasting Lesnar with a kick, he makes this AMAZING "oh fuck what have I done?" face while biting his fingers. Post-match Lesnar kills him for it, naturally. Edge was fine here, too. He takes a monster overhead belly to belly on the floor (from guess who) and Tajiri at least makes his spear look decent enough, so I can deal. Did Brock and Tajiri ever have a singles match together? That had to have been good, surely? Also feel like I owe it to myself to watch everything Rey and Lesnar ever did together.
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:05 pm

Billy & Chuck vs. Albert & Scotty 2 Hotty - Smackdown 04/04/02
Well, this was nothing special in ring wise. Only lasted a couple of minutes. Billy & Chuck were 100% in their gay-stage now, with Rico on as their stylist. Rico makes a great manger, why can't there be goofy gimmicks like that these days? He has a good super kick on him too. Albert was the 'Hip Hop Hippo' here and Scotty was textbook Scotty. Even in 2002, Scotty's still over like fuck, it's hard to believe. He makes a good rag doll, I'll give him that much. Albert turned heel here, and oh what a glorious turn it was, simply for the fact that he could finally get rid of that dumb-ass gimmick. There's fun and goofy gimmicks, but they only work on the right people and Albert certainly wasn't one of those.

DDP vs. Christian - Smackdown 04/04/02
So this is the re-match from Wrestlemania X8 where DDP beat Christian. Christian cost DDP the European title soon after, so naturally this match has to occur. I quite like DDP's gimmick here, being a life-coach and whatnot. Christian's temper tantrums were just dumb as fuck, poor guy deserved better. Anywho, the match is formulaic, around the 5 minute mark. Just all the usual stuff you'd expect. No real rhyme or reason to anything other than to gain a quick pin, it was kinda fun to watch though. I guess that's just a personal thing though considering I'm a big fan of both these guys. Christian picks up the win in heelish fashion. Onwards and upwards for Captain Charisma.
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:16 am

Steve Austin, Triple H vs. Kurt Angle, Booker-T - Smackdown 01/17/02
This was pretty neat, as far as these type of tags go. We get them every year before the Rumble and they're always enjoyable. I guess what's significant about this match in particular is that it's probably the last appearance of the Power Trip (Austin/HHH), if you could even call them that here. Angle and Booker get their shots in, but ultimately they're made to look like absolute stooges. They're feeding meat for Austin and HHH more than anything. The crowd absolutely lose their shit for HHH, this was his first 'match' back and he did show some ring-rust, especially in the early going with a sloppy neckbreaker, but he keeps up just fine. His taunt before a double-clothesline looked hilarious. Austin's super-over as per usual, the crowds firmly rooted in the 'WHAT?!' chants here and it does get annoying after a while. I liked how they put over the concept of the Rumble everything someone was thrown over the rope, made the match feel really big and important. Good stuff, but I probably won't watch it again.
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