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PostSubject: 2005 Discussion   Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:40 pm

Discuss 2005 in Smackdown
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:22 am

Christian vs. Rey Mysterio - Smackdown 8/5/2005
I wouldn't hesitate to call these two the best workers in the company today (unless you count Daniel Bryan as part of the company; then I'd hesitate), so yeah, I was pretty excited to see this.

And it definitely delivers. Rey's 10-12 minute formula matches will be at least good as long as the heel isn't completely incompetent, and when he has a good heel, it'll produce something that is or borders on greatness. And Christian is pretty great, here. Rey starts out hot and fiery (pissed at Eddie; Dominic angle, etc, and according to Cole, Christian was a "REAL JERK" earlier in the evening), so it's pretty clear he's gonna make a mistake. Eddie comes to take him further out of his right mindset: he goes for a 619 early; Christian takes advantage and takes control. Really dug Christian's offense here. He was focused and methodical, but not boring TRIPLE H-style methodical. Targeted Rey's mid-section throughout, and all his cut-offs went back to the gut, which was really nice to see. Ranged from really basic but effective-looking & logical stuff, like ramming his shoulder into Rey's belly, to pretty sweet spots, like countering Rey's wheelbarrow-bulldog spot by dropping him stomach-first onto the ropes, and then lifting him up for a suplex and dropping him stomach first onto the ropes, and comboing that into a knee lift that sent Rey to the outside, and then smashing Rey's mid-section onto the steel steps.

And Rey is Rey, working FIP with hope spots. So yeah, awesome. Could've touched CLASSIC-ness with an extra 3 minutes to work a better comeback/finish, but the match was uber-fun & smart for 12 minutes, which is all you can really ask for in a TV match.

***3/4, and I'll try my darn best to vote for it. Probably gonna end up with a handful of 10-12 minute Rey formula matches that I'll want to include (match with Punk from SD this year; this match; Finlay 3/24/06 match; Lesnar match, couple real good Chavo matches (though I don't WANT to include those quite as much because, well, I don't dig Chavo quite as much), etc etc), so I'll have to try to make space for them.
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:39 am

Eddy Guerrero vs. Rey Misterio Jr. (WWE Smackdown 6/23/05)
-One of my favorite matches. Eddie was amazing here, his performance is up there with some of the best I've ever seen in WWE. Savage at Wrestlemania 7, Austin at 13 and 17, Slaughter in the boot camp match with Sheik....not much else. It was more than just how well he executed moves or worked the crowd, when you looked at his face and into his eyes, you could see him on the brink of a mental breakdown if he didn't beat Rey Misterio. He became a whole different person as each layer of his strategy unraveled in the match. First it was a front of sportsmanship, then when that didn't work, he went psycho and pushed Rey off the top turnbuckle to the floor. When he finally gets the advantage, he looks cocky and confident, but you can see a little shred of doubt starting to build in his head, wondering if he can really beat him. 20 minutes into this thing, and he still can't put Rey away. He's now visibly angry, worried, and desperate, realizing that he has nothing left and a Rey comeback is now inevitable. Eddy was truly the best worker in the company all the way until the day he died. Must see, and one of the best matches of the decade. ****1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:40 am

Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio (6/23/05)
Never have been as big a fan of this as most. I should note that Eddie’s music is awesome. He looks like he hasn’t slept in days, and yet he has this super focused demeanor about him. Just the little ways he holds onto a sleeper like he’s holding onto a baby that he doesn’t want to drop really puts over the fact that he is obsessed with beating Rey. He starts to become hesitant to even lock up with Rey because of his fear of losing. The fans chant at him and he nervously paces around Mysterio. He’s not his usual confident Latino self; he’s being careful around everything he does. He eventually speeds it up, but a Rey monkey flip puts an end to that. Eddie rolls out of the ring as if to say, “Well, that was pretty stupid of me.” But Rey has had enough and he makes sure that Eddie doesn’t have time to collect himself. A thinking Eddie Guerrero is a DANGEROUS Eddie Guerrero. Rey smartly goes to the bruised ribs of Eddie (from Rey’s chairshots last week). Eddie manages to escape, but Rey establishes dominance by gaining control again. Eddie is forced to be a dick and he pushes Rey off the top to desperately take control for the first time (Taz: Clean break my *bleep*). Eddie kills Rey. No more carefulness. Time to end this. Time to get violent. Time to not care about hurting Rey. SWANK POWERBOMB OF EXCELLENCE~! by Eddie has me marking out. He begins to work on the back of his former best friend as the crowd fears for Rey’s life. Eddie is really starting to show frustration. Not only does he want to win, but he wants to be dominant in doing so. Rey brings the hate in his comeback, but he’s already had too much taken out of him. Confident doesn’t begin to describe Eddie. It’s his night because it has to be. If he can’t win now, will it ever happen? Of course, Eddie’s overconfidence gets the best of him and Rey barely squeaks out a victory by the skin of his teeth. The streak continues and Eddie is questioning everything.

Can not believe I never liked this like everyone else. I always felt it was just a “really good match” until I saw all these ****1/2 ratings for it when the Eddie (or was it Rey?) set came out. Well, I must have not been paying attention because this blew me away. From Eddie’s performance to Rey as the little masked abusee that could, to the hot crowd to the emotional announcing by Tazz and Cole, everything was epic. Probably the best match in Smackdown history. Probably.

****1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:44 am

Rey Misterio Jr. & Batista vs. MNM (WWE Smackdown 12/16/05)
-The first match in a very underrated series between these two teams. First section had the babyfaces running wild, and man was it great. Batista is perfect in his role as the indestructible powerhouse, and is even up for some reasonably difficult sequences. Rey was as great as ever, and he hit a crazy asai moonsault as they went to the first commercial. Second section had Rey working as the FIP, and it's as good as you'd expect. MNM were an underrated team, they work like an updated version of the Midnight Express (complete with Melina replacing James E. Cornette) and it rules. Shame they got broken up so early. Very satisfying finish, and I suspect everyone here will like this. ***3/4

Rey Misterio Jr. & Batista vs. MNM (WWE Smackdown 12/30/05)
-Even better than the previous match. Starts off with Rey and Batista outsmarting MNM and showing that they aren't falling for the same tricks as last time - I really liked that. Rey does some of his more advanced and rarer spots here and it's awesome. Eventually, MNM find an opening (and what an opening it is) and take over with Rey as FIP again. They pick apart Rey's leg with some nasty looking stuff, and his selling is on the level of the match with Chavo at Great American Bash 04. MNM look like killers in the process. They tease the hot tag a couple times, with the final sequence being just incredible. I mean, it looked spectacular, and the crowd peaked right at the perfect time because of it. The finish is a little screwy, but it isn't too bad, as it accomplished what they were going for. This is a lock for my list. ***3/4

Randy Orton vs. Chris Benoit (WWE Smackdown 12/30/05)
-This came out of nowhere. Just how many great matches have these two had? Orton was Booker T's(who was injured) replacement here, as it was match #5 in their best of 7 series. A win for Orton will be put on Booker's tally. Manly match - these guys beat the hell out of each other. Benoit's chops were FIERCE, looking as good as they ever have. Orton even mans up and gives Benoit a crazy sounding chop to the FACE at one point too. They both end up bleeding hard way. In the midst of all the violence, they work the mat for a bit, and it was pretty damn good too. Shitty finish, but everything else was just awesome. Makes me wanna see a Finlay vs. Orton match now that I know Randy can work like this. ***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:36 am

Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle - Smackdown 4/14/2005
This one kinda felt like Mysterio/Jericho from The Bash. It came after all their other matches, and they relied on a lot of callbacks and recycled spots that were shifted due to familiarity, which was pretty awesome. Kinda felt like, I don't know, I guess this single match could define what their 04 rivalry was all about.

Again, they open with good-looking mat work. Eddie goes for a Frog Splash early, but this time he rolls through, which I liked because he had completely whiffed at least once in each of their previous matches. On the next Frog Splash attempt, Angle gets the knees up, which was a counter he hadn't used yet. And then when Eddie finally hit it, Angle kicked out, which he had proved he could do.

They get a couple awesome callback nearfalls on small package attempts; we see another awesome comedy segment with the chair; they call back to the Angle-butt spot after Eddie pulled the tights, like in the 2/3 Falls match. I also liked the finish, with Rey coming out to help Eddie. Eddie tried to make it look like Rey had hit him so the ref would see and DQ Angle, but Angle got up before the ref and pushed Rey (w/chair) into Eddie. Clever booking that was pivotal in building the Eddie/Rey feud.

So yeah. Pretty great match.

****, and this is probably the one I'll end up voting for, though I'll re-watch the SummerSlam match some time before I finalize my list just to make sure because I really wasn't sure where to rate that one.
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:09 pm

Smackdown 2005 - Eddie Guerrero vs Rey Mysterio
Man, this match is awesome. I liked it way more than ever before. I absolutely love how they take their time and deliver a more methodical than usual pace, as it really makes everything meaningful and enhances the story development. They play off their feud even better than at Judgment Day, with some of the most original psychology I've ever seen in a wrestling match. It's hard to find faults with this match and it pretty much succeeds in every area.

Eddie is desperate to prove to himself that he is the better wrestler of the two, that he can beat Rey Mysterio. It's driven him insane and he's become a lunatic because of it. It's become his only obsession, his only dream. Nothing else matters. Rey is the squeaky clean babyface that has been hurt and betrayed by his close friend. Now he's been pushed over the edge. The stakes feel massive even without any titles or extra incentives. That's something I really like about this match.

The opening with the clean breaks, mindgames and such is terrific. The emphasis on Eddie grounding Rey and utilising submissions is as effective here as it ever has been. They really focus on that aspect, so that it feels thorough and important rather than tacked on or insufficiently explored like what you usually see in Rey matches that try to use similar approaches. Then the turning point where Eddie snaps is brilliant. The crazed, desperate and aggressive persona he adopts from this point onward is as good as you could hope for. I mean, it's textbook heel wrestling. Everything you could hope for and more, I mean there's no point even explaining specific examples, because there's so many of them. Just watch the match and appreciate them for yourself.

Rey's offence is great, but I also love how hard he has to work for everything. Also, this is so personal that he incorporates far more strikes and stiffness than usual. his facial expressions are also perfect for the situation. He even works over the bruised abdomen of Eddie for a brief period, and gets out of trouble a couple of times by elbowing that injured area. The content of moves, reversals and such hit is effective too. They actually don't try to hit things too complicated because that would take away from the story. See, everything they do here has a purpose and adds another layer to the match. This will do really well on my list and is so good that it's encouraging me to knock a few other matches down a peg because they're clearly not as close on quality as my current rating difference suggests.

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

Smackdown 2005 - Christian vs Rey Mysterio
Man, what a hidden gem. This is just before Summerslam, so Rey basically wants to kill someone. He takes out all of his aggression on Christian, with them working similar themes to the Finlay/Rey match. He comes out like a house on fire and it's enjoyable to see this side of him. It's also good storytelling and feud progression. Soon enough Christian takes over and it's very good. This is similar to Rey/Eddie, Rey/Jericho and rey/Orton in that they just click and everything is magic.

Christian pulls out awesome high impact moves and Rey plays his face in peril role perfectly. There's an awesome part where Christian has Rey on the ground and delivers 3 massive headbutts to the already worked over abdomen of Rey.He also plays that cocky heel character very well throughout the match. Also, every bit of the beatdown has neat little touches like those seen in Rey/Orton SD 2006. Everything is cranked up a notch. I'm certain Buzz will enjoy this.

Eddie sitting on the outside with a book and having the time of his life while Rey is getting crushed is cool too. There's heaps of slow submission based sections which you'll either love or hate. I thought it was great. Christian sets the tempo to his pace and nullifies the high flying abilities of Rey. A simple concept that's been done many times, but I thought it was delivered very thoroughly here. Finish is sort of out of nowhere and is a cheap superman style comeback, but besides that - this was a great match. It went around 13 minutes so was quite comprehensive and they meshed very well together. Everyone should give this a look.

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

The Undertaker Vs Randy Orton - Smackdown 16/09/2005

A fantastic TV match right here. Loved their feud in general, thought their WM match was awesome, and that their HIAC was pretty great too. Its been a while since I saw their SS match or Casket match, but I do remember bits of them. This match though, I remember nothing about, so its like watching it for the first time .

Great back and forth action, with both guys taking turns early on at controlling the match, before Orton begins the big heel beatdown. Gotta love how great Orton was during this time, shame he kinda sucks these days. 'Taker sold like a champ, making Orton look even better.

The match takes a small break half way through when Randy calls for his dad to bring the truck out, and we see a removal van drive down the ring, and out comes a casket.

The Undertaker sits up during this time, but Orton quickly puts him back down and continues the beatdown. The Undertaker starts a comeback, and they spill out to the floor, where 'Taker looks to put Orton in the casket. He opens it, and sees a replica dummy of... HIM! The Undertaker had some the same thing over the years, and Orton was using his own mind games trick against him. The Undertaker is confused by all this, allowing Orton to regain control once again.

More beatdown from Orton, before The Undertaker starts another comeback. Both men look hurt, and the back and forth shots while they are on their knees shows exactly that.

Brian Hebner takes one hell of a bump when The Undertaker accidentally clotheslines him. You know how some guys do a flip when they get clotheslined? Well Hebner does the same! Bob Orton takes out the second ref, and punches The Undertaker, who just looks at him in disgust and levels Bob with a right hand! Bob takes one of the funniest bumps I have ever seen, falling back from the punch onto the ropes, bouncing off the ropes and back onto his feet, before falling to the side, through the other ropes and landing upside down on the floor. Epic.

One Tombstone later, and 'Taker wins this one. The Undertaker did a great job at selling for Orton, Orton was brilliant during his heel control segments, and the whole match flowed extremely well. Glad I had the chance to see this!

Rating: ***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:15 pm

2005 Smackdown (12/30) - MNM vs Batista & Rey Mysterio
Really good formula tag. Rey and Batista were a great team, because they were such a unique combination. This, their matches stood out and had some really nice dynamics going. Shine period at the start is good, with both the faces kicking ass with their distinctly different styles. The heels are helpless, until they find a weakness in Rey's knee. They go to work on it expertly and isolate the smallest man - making them look like smart but cowardly heels at the same time. They're a really good team, full of teamwork, heel tactics, double team moves and strategy.

The animal breaks loose at the end and dominates until the heels escape with the win thanks to their vulture-like ways - picking up the scraps once Henry interferes. These two teams clashed nicely and the members of the team gelled together well with their respective partners. Simple, good, sharp 12 minute match. Not quite "great", but it quite easily could've been with 5 more minutes. It was well on the way there anyway and was a crisp, refreshing but familiar tag team contest.

***1/4 (same level as Cena/Christian/Jericho)
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:20 pm

Smackdown 2005 (October) - Chris Benoit vs Booker T
This is the match that kickstarted the whole rivalry, so it holds some significance and acts as a prelude for the rest of the series to work from. It's a great plant seeder and is booked very well. It's for the title and Booker T's been cheating his way through half the roster to get this far. He knows Chris Benoit is on another level though and does a good job at putting over the sheer presence of Chris Benoit. The cautiousness at the start by both men begins the story nicely. Benoit's weary of Booker's cheating ways so approaches everything super carefully, while Booker remembers Benoit's intense ferocity and wonderful wrestling skills from all those years ago - so he's determined to wrestle a very smart match in order to even stand a chance. The facial expressions by both men after each of the first few exchanges tell the story themselves. This feels focused and like a worthwhile battle for the title. There's no running through the motions or cheap spots here.

Booker tries his hand at outwrestling Benoit to start with. He does a solid job, but ultimately Benoit's on a whole other level and Booker knows it. So Booker tries to break it down into something he has a chance with - brawling and making it an all out fight. Brilliant psychology. Trouble is, Benoit appears to take this as some sort of personal insult and makes it his mission to destroy Booker for even daring to go toe to toe with him. Intense, physical stuff with stiff chops and brutal strikes. Benoit's hard hitting offence in this is so simple but effective due to the energy he gives in delivering it. Then we see a fucking FANTASTIC spot: Benoit attempts a suicide dive, flips over in mid air and drills his spine onto the edge of the announce table while flying at a million miles an hour. It's SICK. Makes Michaels bump at WM 24 seem like a fairy tap. Everybody has to see it.

Not only is it an awesome spot visually, but it's meaningful as it creates the story for the rest of the match. Booker punishes the back area viciously but intelligently. Strikes, suplexes, submissions - a basic but smart beatdown that means something. It helps that Benoit was the best in the business at selling. After a suplex, he acts as if his spine just melted. He makes Booker look like absolute gold and guarantees plenty of heat and energy is present in what could easily slide into a boring time killing segment. He gathers a whole lot of sympathy while he's at it, creating a tried and true story of the resillient babyface hanging in there despite being demolished and having an area exposed. He continues to sell it during the comeback phase, which is meaningful thanks to it following plenty of well timed cut offs before it. The comeback at the end shouts out "My body's shot and I NEED to keep that title, so I've gotta throw everything at you as quick as possible or else I'm done". Dunno if that was how the story was meant to be interpreted but it helped me get really into it at the end rather than thinking the comeback was cheap or rushed.

In the end we get a taste of what the whole feud would be about - Booker T screwing Chris Benoit to leave with the title. He gets a cheap heel victory which works perfectly into the story. Benoit's the courageous son of a bitch who endures countless punishment and overcomes that adversity before his slimy opponent resorts to cheating to downright STEAL the title from the man who clearly worked harder for it and earned it. Smart booking to end a smart match. Great foundation setter that built for months of rivalry to flow from. 12 minutes of physicality, story telling, strategies, effective action and great character contrasts. Successful match and it felt like it MEANT something.

***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:20 pm

Smackdown 2005 (November) - Booker T vs Chris Benoit
This is the second match of their series and a remarkable improvement on their Survivor Series encounter. I love how Booker always tries to stall as much as possible in the beginning of each of their matches, trying to mess with Benoit's mind and put him off his game. It's a smart game plan and worked in their previous matches, but this time Benoit's come prepared and makes it his goal not to get baited in. He even opens up the ropes and invites Booker back into the ring. Smart game plans by both men. These matches are always paced so that the emphasis is on story telling rather than mesmerising action. I like that. It makes it feel more gritty, focused and realistic.

Benoit's offence in this one feels much more satisfying. The intensity and emotion he puts into it is great, after being screwed over in the last two matches. He's pissed off at both Booker and Sharmell and you get that feeling the entire match. After getting his ass handed to him for a while, Booker finally finds a breakthrough as they transition to the middle portion of the match. Typically solid work from Booker who incorporates a heap of knees, kicks and submissions into his offence. It's never great, but the exchanges between these two are always good to watch and feel different to other regular matches. Admittedly the exchanges are better when Benoit's the one delivering the ass kicking, but Booker stepped up his game big time in this series.

Finish sees Benoit take a nasty bump on the outside. He attempts a German Suplex outside of the ropes but Booker holds on and Benoit falls back, landing on his neck. He's legit suffering from a semi-concussion, as he can't even get a shoulder up in the ring when he's supposed to - so the ref has to pretend he kicked out when he clearly didn't. Booker gets the clean win soon after which I liked. Made him seem like a threat and continued the theme of Benoit suffering a collosal bump that gave him next to no chance of surviving with the win. Which plays off the fact that Booker always gets lucky in their matches, Benoit's always facing adversity and Booker just seems to find an opportunity to capitalise on - seemingly having the edge over Benoit all the time. Booker seems like a big threat after this and Benoit gathers a whole lot of sympathy. Very good match.

***1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:24 pm

Booker T Vs Chris Benoit Vs Muhammad Hassan Vs JBL Vs Christian Vs The Undertaker - SD 05
This is an elimination match to decide the new SD Champion, since John Cena had been drafted to Raw, taking the WWE Title with him, leaving Raw with 2 champions and SD with none. Big Show was originally supposed to be in this one, but was drafted to Raw too, so he was replaced by SD's newest draft pick... Christian!

'Taker kicks off the match with Christian, until he tags out and Hussan comes in. 'Taker and Hussan have a feud going at the time too btw. Eventually 'Taker gets taken out of the match when JBL gets a blind tag, only to receive a right hand from the Dead Man. 'Taker then proceeds to destroy Hussan on the outside with a chair, getting himself DQ'd, and Hussan counted out, and we are down to 4.

Benoit and JBL are the legal men, and the match gets stiffer than Viva when he thinks about Paddy. All in all we get a pretty neat 4 way match for a little while, before JBL sneaks in another tag and pins Benoit.

This leaves Booker alone with JBL and Christian, who turn the match into a sort of handicap match, until Christian sort of turns on JBL, then avoids getting tagged in, hoping JBL and Booker will eventually take each other down. He finds the perfect time to tag in and pin Booker, but while he and Booker argue, JBL gets up and lariats Christian to hell, and we have a winner!

Then everyone knows the rest, with Batista showing up as the newest SD draft pick, bringing the WHC with him. And so started the feud that forced me to stop watching SD for a few months .

Rating: ***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:32 pm

Eddie Guerrero Vs Rey Mysterio - Cage Match - SD 2005

Right then, this here is quite a few things

1) It's one of Rey's last "great" performances before he started getting put with people he shouldn't be anywhere near.

2) It's a match where Eddie is just awesome as usual

3) It's a cage match that isn't... by the numbers

Eddie is just magnificent as the heel who has lost it all and is desperatly looking for the one thing he needs to, in his mind, justify all that he's lost, his family, his friends, he just needs to beat Rey.

I can't say much about this, I just remember watching this not too long after getting back into wrestling and just being in awe, this was amazing, the athleticism, the storytelling everything was just excellent. The moment when both Rey and Eddie work out that Rey can't use the 619 is probably in my top moments of the decade and I just overall love the whole match. Specifically the ending, Rey can say he had the match won and was the clear winner if not for his own mistake, which is good for a face sometimes, whilst Eddie can claim HIS finishing move won the match.

A masterclass in how to work a cage match, how to tell a story in less than 20 minutes and how to be a heel.

If only I could see what happened during the commercial breaks..

****1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:35 pm

Rey Mysterio v Christian (Smackdown!, 8/4/05)
- IIRC, Crossface called this a hidden gem a while back, and he's not fucking kidding. This is sitting outside of my top 50 right now, and I'm thinking it'll hold on to a low spot by the time I've got everything together. It's a really good representative of what WWE Mysterio is all about in that he spends most of the match selling a beatdown and working in some GREAT hopespots. If there was a few more minutes added on at the end so Rey could build a more convincing comeback then this would likely land in my top 50, but as it is there's plenty to love. Some great body part work from Christian, and his cut off spots are as good as Rey's hopespots. At one point he just lays Rey flat on the mat and gives him three falling headbutts right to the gut. This is smack in the middle of the Rey/Eddie feud, so Eddie's on hand to distract Rey by his mere presence, and that results in Christian taking control in the first place, which I liked. Thought this was a blast, and finding random TV matches like this is why a project like this is worth it. More people should check this out. ***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:42 pm

Chris Benoit vs. William Regal (Smackdown 12/2/05)
Chris Benoit vs. William Regal (Velocity 5/13/06)


A nice pair of sub-10 minute TV matches that deliver what you hope for. The first one is a heck of a little match. The audio/video quality kinda stunk, but things like Regal's screams of pain as Benoit chopped him across the forehead as hard as humanly possible still came across pretty well. Awesome post match brawl between Benoit and Booker T too. The second match may be even better. The first 5 minutes or so was a lot of violent Benoit/Finlay style mat wrestling.The last half had Regal beating the crap out of Benoit with all sorts of vicious looking strikes and brutal submission holds. Very good match, but I can understand why doesn't get a ton of attention since it happened at the same time as all the Benoit/Finlay stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:55 pm

Randy Orton v Chris Benoit (Smackdown!, 12/30/05)
- Really great match. Orton's standing in for Booker in the best of 7 series for the US Title, and he has no qualms with letting Benoit beat the living piss out of him ala Finlay or Regal. The opening spell is more or less an extended struggle for advantage, and the mat work is also pretty similar to the Benoit/Finlay/Regal dynamic. Great moment early on where Benoit goes for the Crossface and Randy does everything he can to prevent it, so Benoit winds up headbutting him right in the nose. Randy's bleeding not too long after this, so I'm assuming it was the headbutt that did it, but the great thing about this is that you can't really tell -- there's numerous spots that could've done it. Orton's transition into offence is also great, dropping Benoit across the barricade with a back suplex. Benoit teases the comeback, even hitting the triple Germans, but he winds up taking himself out with a suicide dive and that leads to Randy's second stretch on offence. Finish is pretty crappy, but Benoit gets cut open from it and doesn't give a shit. These two work extremely well together almost every time out. Haven't seen their match from Summerslam 2004 or the rematch from the next night in a long time, but I can't imagine them not holding up. They had another couple matches on Smackdown! at the start of '06 too, so I'll have to check those out pretty sharpish (My note: that's a C&P job from another board that I posted on earlier). ****

Batista & Rey Mysterio v MNM (Smackdown!, 12/30/05)
- I figured I'd love this. You'll know by now that a good southern tag formula match is way up my alley, and that's exactly what this is. Starts out with Batista and Rey dominating - Batista through power and Rey through speed and agility - and it's all nice stuff. Then Rey goes for a springboard and Nitro clocks him with an awesome superkick, and Mysterio takes a RIDICULOUS bump on the ring apron. Pretty sure he had a nice bruised kidney for his troubles for a while after this. MNM's heat segment is legit fantastic, with them taking Rey to. The. Cleaners. Some of the knee work looks real nasty here. Mysterio's selling is on the kind of level that you'd expect from Rey fucking Mysterio. The hot tag to Batista follows an awesome cat and mouse chase around the ring with MNM trying to get a hold of Mysterio, and Batista comes in as a great house of fire. Mysterio hits an insane headscissors off the apron to take out Nitro as well. Finish is pretty meh, but it does what it's supposed to do so whatever. Their match from a couple weeks earlier sounds very interesting as well, but there's only one part of it up on dailymotion so it looks like that's a venture for another day. This is probably gonna wind up on my list, though. Actually, I'm pretty certain that it will. ***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:59 pm

Eddie Guerrero v Rey Mysterio (Smackdown!, 1/6/05)
Unsurprisingly, this is really good. I'm not going to pimp it as something one needs to go out of their way to see for the poll, because honestly, I don't think I'd even call it the sixth best match they had together in *WWE*, never mind their WCW matches (although their WWE matches as a whole were better than their WCW matches). That's says more about the consistency of both guys than the "lack of quality" here, though.

This plays off the tag match from the week prior, where Eddie tried to cheat and frame Mysterio only to have it come back and cost him the match. It's also a neat little foreshadowing of what would come (Eddie snapping and trying to destroy Mysterio's life, basically), because he winds up cheating his way into another loss when Mysterio turns it around on him again. It's actually one of the funnier "Eddie hijinks" finishes I can recall, and I already like Eddie's shtick a great deal as it is.

Body of the match is sort of similar to their March '04 match with Eddie controlling Rey by working the arm and stretching it in some neat and nasty looking ways. The thing that holds this back a little is that Mysterio gets a lengthy-by-his-standards control segment of his own, and Mysterio's generally not the kind of guy that's going to work a terribly compelling control segment. That's not really a knock on him, because his entire style is built around hope spots, selling and comebacks, so working a compelling control segment is something he needs to do very often.

Finishing stretch is pretty choice, and it's capped off with the aforementioned fun and games. Like I said, it's not something I'd expect to finish on anybody's list, and you'd be better off elsewhere if you want to watch a few Eddie/Rey matches worth considering, but this is the kind of thing that's a good representative of how good these two were. ***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:00 pm

Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio v JBL & Orlando Jordan (Smackdown!, 3/10/05)
Better than the No Way Out match, and could've been something really good if Orlando Jordan didn't suck (figuratively) or was replaced by someone that worth half a shit. JBL was good in this, and Eddie and Rey both get to show their stuff, but by and large it's nothing special. Far better tag matches that people should be watching for this. ***
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:10 pm

Eddie Guerrero v Kurt Angle (Smackdown!, 4/14/05)
- This is really good, but it's not something I'd bother watching again any time soon. Don't get me wrong; it's still something I'd add to a list of reasons (or matches) as to why Eddie was the best in the world that year, but it's also the most Angle-like match I think they've had together, and you generally know where I stand on that. They play off a couple things they brought in previous matches together, like Angle having to go for the Angle Slam four times before it actually connects, and Eddie having to make a couple runs at being able to hit all three of the three amigos, but it just doesn't feel like anything I haven't seen before. At least the Wrestlemania XX, Summerslam and the 2/3 falls Smackdown! matches all felt different... but this was pretty by the numbers for both guys before heading into the finishing stretch. Crowd was red hot, in fairness. I think some people will really love this (Benjo gave it ****1/2 when he nominated it), but I'm not gonna lie -- routine Angle simply does nothing for me, and there's no point trying to come up with some bullshit excuse or actively look for flaws in a match that doesn't have much of anything in the way of obvious flaws just to try and make it seem like I'm justifying myself. Like I said, it *is* very good, but it's going nowhere near my list.

Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio v MNM (4/21/05 & 4/28/05)
- First match is short and somewhat disappointing, but it's basically a vehicle to progress the Eddie heel turn and put the tag straps on MNM. Second match is good, but it's not something even I'd vote for, which means I can't imagine anybody else would, either. We get a nice Mysterio in peril segment, and MNM already look like a really good tag team, but it's Eddie's acting that takes the cake. The way he stares at Rey with a look of utter disdain while he gets his ass handed to him from these young punks is just so great. The segment the week later where Mysterio DEMANDS Eddie explain himself before DEMANDING he fight him, only for Eddie to walk away, is probably the best thing Mysterio's ever done on the mic. Eddie's character acting is truly out of this world, and later in the night when he completely DESTROYS Rey with most ungodly brainbuster known to man, he officially becomes the baddest motherfucker in wrestling. Match-wise, the Rey/Batista-MNM tags later in the year smoke these, but this is all about Eddie Guerrero showing you how to be a fucking heel.
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:25 am

Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit (SD! 7/21/05)
Don't remember this match happening AT ALL, and I don't recall any time where it has been brought up in conversation either on here or WF lol. So it was a nice surprise when I saw this on the disc when I put it in.

When it comes to WWE, I never thought Eddie and Benoit ever really had that one amazing match with each other despite some of the things they had done together outside of WWE. Eddie and Rey had it, Benoit and Regal had it, Benoit and Finlay had it... but despite their great chemistry, and a couple of great matches, I never really thought highly of their matches (and I even gave their Vengeance 03 match ****1/4!).

But, after seeing this, things have changed. Given the fact I can't recall it ever coming up on convo, I think I can safely say this match is a motherfuckingly awesome hidden gem.

It starts off with Eddie coming out, and having to face an unknown opponent. Cue Benoit's music, and Eddie looks scared shitless. Benoit grabs a mic and asks Eddie to come back into the ring, and starts asking him what's going on with him recently, and tells him how much he loves him as a friend and them BAM. Cheap shot from Eddie. That bastard! Eddie goes for a chair straight away, but the ref stops him, so Eddie quickly hits a low blow on Benoit to take him down instead.

Eddie is relentless in his attack on Benoit's leg, which is the major focus point of the match. Great, GREAT legwork too. Everyone knows I am a fan of limb work, and Eddie is pretty fantastic here.

Benoit is great too, both with his selling and the way he is just as relentless as Eddie while trying to get out of submission holds and when he makes his comeback (which starts with numerous headbutts on the top rope that bust Benoit open, and then a superplex). The chops not too long after this are awesome too, especially the one where you can see the sweat just fly off the cheat of Eddie. That one HAD to hurt. Eddie tries to cheat his way out of the chops, but it just makes Benoit angry, leading to more chops and then the triple Germans and a flying heatbutt.

Eddie gets his foot on the rope to break up the 3 count, then does everything he can to try and avoid Benoit's offence. Benoit continues to be relentless in trying to put Eddie away, which causes Eddie to leave the ring and get counted out. Not complaining one bit about the finish either, as it worked perfectly into the character of Eddie, and neither man would have benefited from losing clean here (Benoit had just recently been drafted to SD, and Eddie was going into the next PPV to face Rey).

Well, seems I have yet another match to add to my list, and its going to be right up there with the Rey/Eddie SD match. Its not quite as good, but honestly I think its damn close.

Rating: ****1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:57 am

Eddie Guerrero vs Chris Benoit - Smackdown 21.07.2005
Cal's right, this really is a hidden gem of a match. With these two you cant go much wrong tbh. I still wouldn't say it's that classic match thay they never really had in WWE though. Eddie's the master of the little things that make the world wonderful and some of his expressions and reactions are amazing. His face when Benoit's music hits as the mystery opponent is a classic example.

The match is pretty much what you'd expect from these two fantastic wrestlers and at a high standard. Eddie's leg work is great and Benoit's selling of the leg is simply first class. I really liked the leg work by Eddie here. Very intense action as is the norm for a Benoit match and it's capped with some viscous headbutts from Benoit that bust himself open. These two have such good chemistry together and given the time they got for a TV match there isn't much room for them to go wrong here and they dont.

Wouldn't say I'm as high on it as cal but it is a match that deserves more praise than I've ever seen it get. The finish with Eddie just walking out is a bit lame and I definitely would have gone higher if it weren't for such a bad finish.

***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:58 am

Eddie Guerrero v Rey Mysterio (Smackdown!, 6/23/05)
- Fuckin' EDDIE, man. REY as well, but mostly EDDIE. I've been a big fan of this for years, but this is probably the most I've ever enjoyed it. Been said plenty of times already, but Eddie's just phenomenal in it. The whole character portrayel is as good as anything I've ever seen in a match. He starts out all "Hey, I'm really a nice guy and I'll be a good sport" by breaking clean on everything and letting Mysterio out of the corner without taking any cheapshots for a change, but then he gets fed up with that noise because Mysterio's handing him his own ass, so he waits for his moment and BOOM, the mother of all cheapshots. Rey's bump out to the floor is the kind of thing that makes you think "That guy's pretty good". Eddie's in full on dethhhhhhpicable mode from here on out, walking a line between calculated hitman and unhinged psycho. Repeatedly blasting Mysterio's head off the announce table and launching him into the ring steps is calculated hitman. Threatening to murder the ref' for even THINKING about counting them out is unhinged psycho. His control segment is, unsurprisingly, excellent. There aren't too many guys I'd rather watch working a control segment than Eddie; he's just totally focused on trying to snap Mysterio's spine here. Mysterio, also unsurprisingly, sells accordingly. Eddie getting more and more desperate the longer it goes without being able to put Rey away is a simple enough concept, one that's been done numerous times in the past by other wrestlers, but I still don't think anybody's been able to get that point across quite like Eddie manages to in this. It's sort of a gold standard for "heel gradually losing his marbles" performances, I think. Eddie's demented smile post-match suggests he's not accepting this bullshit. He shall not be denied. Who's complaining? Not me. ****1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:58 am

Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio v MNM (Smackdown!, 7/7/05)
- FUCKIN' EDDIE! AGAIN! THIS GUY! Match itself is practically a vehicle to further the Eddie/Mysterio feud and bring the "secret" that had previously been hinted at into it, but when you get to see Eddie doing the shit he does here, you can't really complain about the fact these teams never managed to have the sort of great tag match they could -- or that they never got the chance, rather. Whether one thinks the "Rey's kid is actually Eddie's kid" thing was nonsense or not is irrelevant, because, going back and watching the *build up* to it (thank Goodhelmet for that), it really is some terrific stuff. Starts out with Eddie working Mercury, and after about a minute he demands Rey tags him. Rey's reluctant, but Eddie's screaming about some secret and going fuckin' ballistic while Cole and Tazz are completely lost on commentary. By all rights the match should be over after a few minutes when Eddie hits a frog splash, but instead he picks Mercury up before the ref' can count the three and tags Mysterio back in. Mercury's pretty much dead at this point, and Mysterio's all ready to hit the 619. Eddie's running along the apron, clapping, getting the crowd to clap along, basically doing his best Tom Zenk apron impression, and then BLAM, Rey hits the ropes and Eddie floors him. Eddie's reaction to this is almost that of hilarity. He knew - as did everyone else, I'm sure - what he was going to do right from the jump, and now he's going to kick back and watch Mysterio take a whipping. Literally, because he sits at ringside with his feet up and is quite clearly loving what he sees. Great moment where Cole loses it and shouts something at him and Eddie looks like he's about to swing him like an empty tracksuit. Even Tazz is shitting himself, telling Cole to calm down because Eddie's so unstable. I've talked more about this than I had intended to already, but the remainder reads as: Mysterio makes a comeback, Eddie shits his pants, Mysterio hits the 619, Eddie mauls him, MNM win, Eddie cuts a promo humiliating Rey and then forces him to hold the ropes open for him as he leaves, because he knows Rey won't hit him for fear of THE SECRET~! being revealed. Not much of a "match", but it isn't meant to be. As a whole, though, this is excellent.
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PostSubject: Re: 2005 Discussion   Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:58 am

Eddie Guerrero v Chris Benoit (Smackdown!, 7/21/05)
- This was quite a surprise. Not in a "I just watched Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit have a good match. I'm surprised at that" sense, but in a "there's an Eddie Guerrero v Chris Benoit match that's really good. I'm surprised I haven't heard anyone talk about it" sense. Honestly, before Cal pimped it a couple days ago, I don't remember *anything* being said about it before. It's really good. Benoit's a mystery opponent here and Eddie shits himself as soon as the music hits. Benoit gets on the mic and starts asking why Eddie's doing what he's doing, trying to talk sense into him and all that jazz, and Eddie isn't interested one bit so he just SOCKS him mid-sentence. Then he grabs a chair and Nick Patrick takes it from him, so he just punts him in the balls instead. The bulk of this is Eddie working Benoit's leg, and I love how just about every time he cuts off Benoit he does so by being a cheating bastard. "Chop battle? Fuck that, eye poke is my friend." Benoit also gets busted open hardway here by throwing headbutts, and it's around this time where Eddie throws his arms up and hightails it. So yeah, surprised that this doesn't get brought up more. ***3/4
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