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 2003 Discussion

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PostSubject: Re: 2003 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:39 am

Eddie & Tajiri vs. Haas & Benjamin - SD 5/22/2003
Eddie & Tajiri vs. Haas & Benjamin - SD 5/29/2003
Eddie & Tajiri vs. Haas & Benjamin - SD 7/3/2003


All 3 were pretty great; all 3 would land in the ***1/2-***3/4 range, and there's a chance I'll end up voting for one of them. Eddie's great and animated and hilarious in all of them. First two have Eddie-frame-job DQ finishes, and both work really well. Hass & Benjamin work some really good control stuff in each match. The 7/3 was probably my LEAST favorite of the group-- finish was slightly spoiled by the referee being completely out of position, and I didn't think WGTTs control segment on Tajiri's mid-section was as interesting. Eddie was more entertaining on the apron than they were in the ring.

I'd actually probably pick the 5/29 match as my favorite (but I searched to find old reviews and saw that both Andy and Viva thought it was the worst of the batch ). Thought Team Angle started smart by taking it to Eddie, and Eddie's mini-FIP segment was great, and Tajiri's lengthy FIP segment was even better, and Team Angle did their most interesting control segment of the series on Tajiri's knee. Nasty transition spot into that segment, plus great selling from Tajiri, and he continued to sell it down the stretch, and Haas got a great near-finish out of it with his little submission during the finishing stretch. Thought the finishing stretch in this one was the most exciting of the bunch, plus probably the best crowd, plus the finish made me laugh the most. Also, when Tajiri went to make the hot tag, Eddie had undone the tag rope and moved so he was about halfway across the ring. Don't recall the camera showing that, and Cole/Tazz didn't make a big deal out of it, but it was a tiny little entertaining moment that made me laugh in the middle of really good Eddie-house-of-fire burst.
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PostSubject: Re: 2003 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:47 am

Kurt Angle vs Undertaker - WWE Championship - Smackdown 04.09.2003
Another great example of the amazing chemistry that these two have with each other. Loved the start of the match with Taker trying to play Angle's style and Kurt mixing his game up a little with some bridge pins. They set the ankle lock up nicely from the get go with Taker saying he wont tap even if Kurt breaks his ankle which obviously gives them a good reasoning for the lengthy ankle lock segments. The real shining trophy of their matches for me is the reversal sequences that they do and they really help to smoothen out the ankle lock segments of the match and makes the match incredible entertaining. Taker's selling of the ankle is really sublte but brilliant. Doesn't overdo it but enough to show the effects of it. The submission reversals from both men work better for the long finish than just throwing big bombs at each other and kicking out of them. The Lesnar interference at the end is a shame but it's free TV so what can expect. Not as good as their NWO 06 match but that's too be expected I guess. Need to watch their SD 06 match to see where that holds against this and NWO.

****
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PostSubject: Re: 2003 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:48 am

Brock Lesnar vs Kurt Angle - WWE Championship - IronMan Match - Smackdown 18.09.2003
One of the best solo performances in a match ever here from Lesnar for me. It's so refreshing to see a 60 minute match that doesn't try to be a technical masterpiece but realises they have so much time to tell so many stories in it and take full advantage of it. Lesnar's heel performance is a thing of beauty. If you wanted to convice somebody who was the greatest wrestler ever and you only had one match to show them I don't think many people could doubt your decision for Lesnar upon watching this match. It's a damn tragedy how short his WWE run given how great he was on in under 2 years. It's just a relief that they pushed him to the moon and back as quickly as they did.

The first fall of the match I'd marry if it wasn't so frowned upon. Lesnar beating Kurt down with a chair to gain the decisive advantage in the match is a thing of beauty. Lesnar's stalling prior to the DQ really gets the crowd on his back perfectly and is the ideal instigator to his heel masterpiece. Cole does a fantastic job also of getting Lesnar's heel showing over with viewers by pushing forward the prospect of this being a wrestling masterpiece and showing genuine annoyance and Brock's determination to stop it being that and cheating his way to the title. The DQ is really effective not only in setting the direction of the match up perfectly but Kurt never gets a real control segment in the match besides some short comebacks which compliments the first fall perfectly.

Lesnar's cocky swagger after his masterplan comes into play is great and even using Angle's finishers to gain another fall of him are great. Angle tapping out but kicking out of the angle slam was pretty smart given how he could have been seriously screwed if Brock was allowed to keep the ankle lock on longer but then kicks out of his other finisher so not to fall to far behind and back up the reasoning for tapping out.

At Summerslam they established that in a straight up wrestling match Angle could beat Lesnar and they use that match as the roots for Lesnar's tactics here really well. At the start of the match in particular before the first fall where Angle outwrestles Lesnar to a certain degree and Lesnar clearly shows his anger at Summerslam happening all over again. Angle busting out the F5 on the ring post that Lesnar had been using was a really cool touch to, especially doing it to Brock's leg which Angle could and did attack afterwards.

The F5 on the outside is a really great spot too. There was almost a really annoying flaw before it where Brock came back into the ring to break the count where he could have got a fall if he stayed in there. Brock being Brock though just goes back and drops Angle on his head before heading back to pick up the count out fall. I was so glad they let each guy get a pin after a top rope superplex/belly to bell suplex seeing as it's always a small gripe for me how wrestlers never seem to get a pinfall after such a big moves like a superplex. Angle busting out the Anglesault was great too and always looks incredible. His top rope dropkick with an insane amount of air was great too.

There's loads of other great stuff going on in the match like Cole telling the viewers about halfway in that UPN had given them extra time incase of a tie for overtime to set up the finish and make the viewers actually believe that it could go to overtime and Kurt may be able to pull it back to 5 all. The only minor problem I had was with 3 minutes left how Kurt just decided to waste about 60-90 seconds just suplexing Lesnar about the ring rather than locking in a submission or going for his angle slam. Speaking of suplexes Lesnar's belly to belly on Kurt where he doesn't even arch his back is phenomenal. Lesnar literally throwing the ref halfway across the ring by his belt to count his pinfall after he knocked him down himself was awesome too. The ref bump was unusually done fantastically well too. Angle being pushed into the ref first but holding back before Lesnar just charges for Angle but misses and just wipes the ref out rather than how Kurt held back just beforehand.

Lesnar's constant cheating is simply beautiful and such a fantastic solo performance which really makes the match a classic for me. My favourite Ironman match ever, period and will definitely be very high on my list I'd imagine. Lots of Shift 8's for this one.

****3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2003 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:49 am

Team Angle vs Los Guerreros - WWE Tag Team Championships - Smackdown 06.02.2003
Awesome tag match here and I was suprised just how good it was seeing as I hadn't really seen a lotta praise for it previously. I was obviously expecting it to be good given the teams involved but it surpassed my expectations for it quite easily. Both teams do their usual stuff which works well but the last 5 or so minutes are such a blast. They go to tornado rules and they manage to make it look like the finish could come at any moment for a good 3-4 minutes. The Guerreros top rope suplex/frog splash double team was a great addition to the match. Chavo looks like a maniac running all over the ring to take out one of Team Angle so Eddie can finish the other off interrupted but no matter how many times he does so there's always one of them there to break the pin. The finish is a great touch too for the title change with Eddie seemingly having the match won but pinning the illegal opponent only for Haas to come from nowhere and roll and unsuspecting Eddie up for the pin. Was a real nice treat of a match as I expected a good TV match but got something really great.

***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2003 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:18 am

Tajiri vs. Eddie Guerrero - SD 7/31/03
Not sure why I never watched this. Happens after Eddie turned on Tajiri & then won the US title, I THINK in that PPV match with Benoit. Opening is great. Tajiri pops out of Eddie's trunk & MISTS him. Eddie's response is brilliant. "I can't see; I can't wrestle." They make him wrestle. It's a good-but-underwhelming match. My expectations were probably too high. Tajiri powders early for a while, & it seems like they might build shtick out of it, but nothing results. Sort of derailed the momentum. But there's plenty of great stuff. Both guys hit hard. Gives it a great bombfest vibe, even if it's more your turn/my turn than I'd like. But yeah, big shots, great faces, fun finish, good match.
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PostSubject: Re: 2003 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:12 pm

Smackdown 2003 (January) - Kurt Angle vs Rey Mysterio
This is a complete spotfest, but it's a hugely entertaining 8 minute match full of great action, an insane pace, fantastic moves, smooth chemistry and hard sequences pulled off flawlessly. Not many combinations of athletes could do this so smoothly. They work the crowd into a frenzy and give shitloads of high end stuff. These two make each other look like gold. No substance, not much time and they've done way better. But for a short TV match, they nailed the formula. Overrating this, but the stuff they pulled off deserves kudos.

**3/4 - ***
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PostSubject: Re: 2003 Discussion   Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:39 am

Chris Benoit vs. Matt Hardy - Smackdown 07/17/03
Watch out, we got a NIFTY one here. Benoit is typical Benoit, good shit and all that. He's convincing at what he does, although that's a given really. He's stiffing it a bit here, even busting Matt's nose open with a forearm. It looks nasty and makes me cringe for Matt's life. Matt holds his own nicely too. At first, I thought his shtick wouldn't be all that entertaining but I was dead wrong. He takes all Benoit's shit like a champ, dishes out some of this own (Side Effects#!) and has Shannon stooging for him. Some of Matt's submissions felt like they needed a little extra something but that's only a minor complaint. Everything after the nose-busting is awesome. The finish is unique enough in that I've never seen that done before, it actually caught me off-guard and had me feeling legit bad for Matt's poor-poor face. Like I said, NIFTY sub-10 minute bout.
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PostSubject: Re: 2003 Discussion   Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:58 am

Brock Lesnar v Rey Mysterio, Smackdown 12/11/2003
Excellent match again, these two near enough perfected the david v goliath formula (though Eddie/Show is still likely my favourite) and this match again evidenced that. Really extended opening with Brock taunting Mysterio only to be made a fool shortly after with Mysterio using the pace and speed to keep Brock off his feet, Lesnar to his credit also bumps like a loony to make Mysterio look as good as he can. Everytime Lesnar is on offence he looks capable of breaking Mysterio in half, and Mysterio again bumps insanely for every bit of Lesnar offence. Loved Mysterio's creativity on the outside to momentarily gain a small opening, and the nearfall off of the 619 was superbly done. Brock Lock looked disgusting and was a perfect finish to put Mysterio over in defeat. Great pace, nice character dynamic, great exchanges between both men's styles and a hot crowd, perfect.
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PostSubject: Re: 2003 Discussion   Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:59 am

Tajiri v Rey Mysterio (c), Cruiserweight Championship, Smackdown 09/25/03
Fully agreed with sterling here, excellent match building off of the first match 3 weeks prior with Tajiri now a full fledged heel. Excellent workover of the ribs by Tajiri with some sickening kicks and submissions, and Mysterio sells and builds his comeback like only he can. Once he manages to find a foothold in the match, he wastes no time in trying to unleash everything in his arsenal to put down Tajiri, who in turn manages to hang right with Mysterio with his trademark kicks as well as a Michinoku Driver. The teased mist early in the match and Tajiri's subsequent reaction to Mysterio blocking it was golden, seriously Tajiri is up there amongst the greats when it comes to facial expressions. Whole finish was superb with Mysterio near enough replicating the finish from their first match, but being caught with red mist due to the 2nd referee checking on the first and losing the title. It will do well overall to stay on the list, but its provisionally on the ballot.
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