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PostSubject: 2006 Discussion   Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:41 pm

Discuss 2006 in Smackdown
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:10 am

Chris Benoit v Randy Orton (Smackdown!, 1/13/06)
- Really great match. I watched their December '05 match a few months ago and the way Orton worked that surprised me, because it was all gritty and matwork-y and I hadn't really seen him do that before. Here it's even MORE gritty and matwork-y, almost Benoit/Finlay/Regal-esque, in fact. Naturally, I loved it. Benoit comes across as a dude that totally lives up to his moniker - RABID, son. He's just relentless in everything he does, not letting Orton get any daylight at all, throwing some SEVERE chops, and generally being the Benoit that was on a tear around this time. Orton leans into everything Benoit throws at him, and I'd go as far as to say he's definitely up there as far as guys that'll take Benoit's chops best. He really makes them seem like a huge deal and a massive weapon. I love how he'll channel his opponent when he's on offence, too, not giving Benoit any room to breath because he knows that if he does he'll wind up getting his chest caved in some more. I really get a kick out of him scrambling across the mat so he can slap on a headlock or a chinlock, even if all it's doing is keeping Benoit grounded for a little while so he can think up some other course of action. Screwjob finish is a screwjob finish, but what can you do? Smackdown! had a great year in '06, and this is definitely one of the high points. ****

World Heavyweight Title Battle Royal (Smackdown!, 1/13/06)
- Easily one of the best battle royals I've seen. Mark Henry's a guy that has quite a big following in some circles, and this is the kind of Mark Henry performance that I imagine those people would freak over, because he's awesome in this. Just comes across as a total monster, tossing guys around, eating some pretty big bumps and altogether shining as the bright spot of the match. The last few minutes with him and coked-up Angle are good and a fitting end. Mysterio's the king of near-eliminations, btw. Couple times I thought he was gone for sure only to sneak back in. Whole lot of fun. ***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:17 am

Benoit/Finlay - Smackdown 5/5/2006
Not much to add. It's awesome and gritty and brutal, and you've all seen it and talked about it. ****1/4, probably a Top 60-ish match

Angle/Rey - SD 5/2?/06 & 6/2/06
Both are really good. I've seen Andy claim Rey as Angle's best opponent, which I don't agree with-- I'd put him behind Taker, Austin, Eddie, & Michaels, and I'm still in the process of reconsidering Angle/Benoit as a series-- but they still mesh really well. Angle's pretty great at being a dick, and Rey totally brings out the dick-ishness in Angle. Angle taunts and mocks and it's awesome. It's too bad he gets caught up in all the WRESTLING MACHINE SUPLEXMONSTER bullshit, because dorky heel Angle was really good, and cocky prick Angle was awesome, and smart Angle was awesome, and babyface-who-won't die Angle was near perfect.

Not much more to say about the actual matches. They both go more or less how you'd expect them to, and so they're both really good. ***1/4-***1/2-ish for both. Shame they both had bullshit finishes. I won't vote for either, as I don't think either comes close to their SS02 sprint, which most likely will be the Angle/Rey match that I vote for.
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:18 am

Chris Benoit vs. Mark Henry - Smackdown 5/26/2006
Hard not to compare this to the Rey match because I watched them pretty much back to back, and there are some similarities. Well, they're similar in that Mizark's a big wrecking motherfucker, and somebody's gonna get their ass kicked. But I love how Benoit goes about the opening moments in a completely different way than what Rey did. Rey ran around and kicked Henry's thighs, etc. Benoit, being the badass that he is, took it straight to Henry and chopped the shit out of him. Pretty awesome.

But Henry's a monster and eventually gets control, and his control stuff is good, though Benoit in peril isn't as good as Rey in peril. Still, the build to the Crossface was fucking awesome. Benoit was throwing everything he had at Henry to try to get that locked in, and then he finally got it on, and Henry just fucking threw him off. Great way to book a monster. And I dug the finish, too, with Henry just fucking Benoit up on the ring post, showing that he was a monster and somebody's gonna get their ass whooped. "I'll stop when I'm ready."

Probably not as good as the Rey match, and fairly short and probably doesn't have enough to it to vote for it, but still, ***1/4, and I'm not sure why the folks who try to make arguments like Mark Henry > Kurt Angle don't point to this match more often. Pretty good example of how fucking awesome the big guy can be when booked right.
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:30 am

Chris Benoit vs. Randy Orton - Smackdown 1/13/2006
I think I might like this more than their two 04 matches, but I haven't watched those in a while. Not a big difference among them in terms of quality though: all their matches (that I've seen) are great.

Orton is wrestling in the Finals of a Best of 7 series for the US Title in place of an injured Booker T. I'm guessing Booker chose Orton because of Orton's past success against Benoit?

Anyway, Orton isn't afraid to work the mat against Benoit, and he actually fares pretty well. I thought Orton was pretty great throughout the match. He started to go wild anytime Benoit went for either the Crossface or the Sharpshooter, and he managed to stay out of both holds for a long time. Still, every Crossface attempt meant Orton spent some time in an armbar. Nothing that completely debilitated him or anything, but enough that he would definitely be in some pain, and he sold that really well.

Lots of stiff strikes and quality mat work throughout the match, with Benoit frequently going back to the arm and sometimes trying to hook in the sharpshooter, and Orton going back to that rear choke. Awesome chops from Benoit, which Orton sold like death.

Finish wasn't the greatest, but it worked, and a Booker interference after a ref bump made sense here.

Fantastic, well-executed match.

****
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:36 am

Chris Benoit vs. Finlay - Smackdown (Thanksgiving Edition) 11/24/06
"I wouldn't doubt Finlay has punched his mother ... he's punched everyone else."

I have wanted to re-watch this match ever since it happened years ago. I actually watched this match with my grandmother (no, I didn't punch her) as I spend Thanksgivings at her house every year. She loved it, I love it because this is the type of match that grabs my attention and has me marking out the entire way through. I absolutely love their classic at Judgment Day in May which I'm also nominating but I dare say this match rivals that fight.

When I watch Benoit and Finlay I always feel like I'm watching an entertaining sport as opposed to "sports entertainment" because their matches and work look like a shoot. They legitimately look like they are working against each other when they meet. From the waist locks to the head-butts, forearm smashes and short-arm clotheslines the physicality is actually there.

In this match Finlay works on Benoit's knee, picking it apart it several painful ways. Benoit is obviously one of the best sellers ever we see his agony here. The steel step spot is so legit and just violent if you ask me. When Finlay pushes Benoit back first into the steps it was no possible way for that spot to be worked and it wasn't because Chris got his kidney area split open because of it.

I didn't mind the finish either I actually thought it was good especially after one hell of a match. JBL puts it perfectly saying if you have an ounce of testosterone (which Cole doesn't) you will enjoy this because it's some quality shit! We are just not going to get matches like this anymore in the WWE.
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:38 am

Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Randy Orton (WWE Smackdown 4/7/06)
-Beautiful match. The two have incredible chemistry. Everything is so fluid and perfectly timed, it's like they were made for each other. Orton is a very good heel worker - his offense looks really painful, is always building to something bigger, and more importantly, isn't going to overshadow the babyface. He turned everything up a notch here, and he's never looked better. Everything he did had a little oomph to it. Instead of just sitting in a chinklock, he was always wrenching on it, or even balancing on his HEAD to get maximum leverage. It became a part of the story, instead of a rest hold. His strikes looked vicious too, the best coming when he did a big wind up, dropped to his knees, and leveled Rey with an uppercut. My description isn't doing it justice. Even Randy's bumping was that much more theatrical, in a good way. Of course, Rey was Rey. He is perhaps the best babyface worker in the company, so you can probably guess by now why they mesh so well. The way he ate Orton's offense must be seen. On top of that. all of his regular spots looked even more spectacular than usual because of the contrast in styles. It was to the point where the crowd was buying nearfalls off of his mid-range moves like the seated senton. It's the little things that turned this from a great match to a borderline classic. Rey's title reign went all downhill from here, but at least he got to look like a worthy champion for 1 week. Randy's best match, and strong contender for WWE MOTY. I can't see this falling out of my top 25. ****1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:44 am

Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Mark Henry (WWE Smackdown 1/20/06)
-This is immense. Henry's best match and reaffirmation that Rey Mysterio is one of the greatest wrestlers ever. He bent over backwards to put Mark over, and came up with some genius spots. It should be said that Mark also wrestled the match of his life here. He looked great with everything he did, and was never out of position for anything. The crowd was loving every minute of it. I'm gonna try to squeeze this into the bottom of my list. ***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:45 am

Rey Misterio Jr. & Batista vs. MNM (Cage Match, WWE Smackdown 1/6/06)
-Really fun match, just not on the level of the other two. MNM's effectiveness as a team was put over well here, I thought. This series did a lot for them, and I wouldn't mind watching these two teams wrestle everyday. ***
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:20 am

Finlay vs. Chris Benoit - SD May 2006
Yup, just what you'd expect from these two. Both chaps bring their A-Game, it gets sweatier than a circle jerk in a sauna, so aye, it's intense! Special mention needs to be given to Benoit's German's, they looked particularly pretty here, especially since Finlay was trying his best to escape instead of just taking them. Also should mention the improvisation of the apron that Finlay seems to do every odd match, fucking love that. Both guys look like they could snap you in half with ease, so you know it's good.

***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:03 pm

Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Finlay (WWE Smackdown 3/24/06)
-Love this. Really gritty match and different from what you normally see from Rey in WWE. First 5 minutes is all Finlay beating the hell out of Rey with all sorts of different strikes and submissions. Nothing too fancy - just the way he cranked on a normal headlock looked brutal. Rey tries to make a big comeback, and gets derailed when Finlay crotches him with the ring apron while he was trying to hit a plancha to the outside. Awesome spot. Finlay gets even more pissed and tosses Rey around on the outside like a sack of potatoes. Finlay pounds on him for another few minutes. Rey eventually has enough and stiffs the DAYLIGHTS out of him with a seated kick to the head. Last few minutes are good, but the finish is a little screwy. It made sense though, so it wasn't too bad. This should be on my list. ***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:04 pm

May 2006 – Chris Benoit vs Finlay
I won’t go super in depth with this review, as this match has already been analysed extensively. A lot of this is simply reiterating what has already been said, but whatever. I love how manly and gritty the style these two wrestle is. Everything’s a massive struggle and the intensity is just awesome. It’s a very freshly structured match by WWE standards and thus stands out of the crowd in a really positive manner. The feeling out stages are great, as everything feels meaningful and real. This is what you get with two experts going all out and playing to their strengths.

There’s some tight psychology, stiff brawling and enthralling mat work throughout. More importantly, everything has a purpose and as such the match seems to transition effortlessly from point A to point B in capturing the story they tell. The story is very simple but effective – two guys proving who is the bigger man, who is the better wrestler and who is the toughest son of a bitch in the company. Little themes such as the resilient Benoit dog fighting his way through after taking a massive beating and Finlay having to use desperate tactics to gain the advantage explore the face/heel mechanisms nicely.

Face in peril segment was good; I guess it could’ve been a little better though. Some submission/basic headlock portions of the match dragged a little and the pace was never amazing. Of course the importance, drama, deep storytelling and epicness was never going to be up there with a huge PPV main event that goes down in the ages. Those are the limiting factors. However, in many ways this was better than all the big high profile Benoit matches that focused on signature offence or excessive drama. It nailed the style and was a brilliant TV battle.

****
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:04 pm

2006 Smackdown – Finlay vs Rey Mysterio
2006 heel Finlay. 2006 babyface Rey. You know exactly what you’re getting here. Finlay uses great mind games in the beginning, poking Rey in the eye when at the turnbuckle and then backing off. He’s trying to piss the highflyer off and make him lose his temper, so that he’s not on his highflying game. Nice mat work straight after. Finlay uses his strength to get Rey over and work on his arm, then Rey uses his highflying manouvers and flexibility to reverse it and get Finlay’s arm himself. The character contrasts are set early.
Finlay’s only chances of winning are to ground the aerialist and stiff the shit out of him – and he knows it. That’s exactly what he does.

Rey goes for a high-end sequence and Finlay sends him on his ass with a massive clothesline. .A Rey match where he has to work his ass off for every breakthrough he gets is something I really enjoy. Then out of nowhere it ends – at under the 6 minute mark. Damn. I expected this to be one of their 15 minute bouts, so what a shame. If anything it’s a great taste tester for what they would do later in the year, but I would’ve loved this to go longer because it was a great stage setting 5 minutes. Unfortunately, that’s all it was though. A nice “beginning” section of a match that had an end come out of nowhere.

**1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:07 pm

Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Kurt Angle (WWE Smackdown 6/2/06)
-This match has slipped through the cracks for some reason, but it's great. Angle's in full blown MMA freak mode here. He just toys with Rey on the mat for the first few minutes and it owns. The crowd really gets behind Rey in this match, and goes nuts for every opening he gets. The middle portion of the match has them doing their reliably good work. Only dull spot has Angle holding him in a rear naked choke for a little too long, but it made sense in context. I guess it did its job too, as the crowd explodes when Rey hits a simple dropkick after working his way out of the hold. Last few minutes are quite good. Lot of unique roll ups and high spots from Rey. They even protect the Angle Slam by doing a rope break instead of a kick out. The finishing spot is crazy looking, but the count out blows. Could make my list. ***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:11 pm

Smackdown August 2006 - Finlay vs Rey Mysterio
Surprise, surprise - this is awesome. Rey is fucking pissed to the max - and this element is heavily incorporated into the storytelling. He focuses on dishing out punishment in the beginning, rather than wrestling to his strengths. Finlay exploits this, as he slaps Rey at the start to fire him up. Rey's mindset costs him, as it allows Finlay to get on top. Then we get some brilliant beatdowns and heelish tendencies. Stiff strikes, power moves, environment utilisation, arguing with the ref, trash talking - it's all there, and it's all fantastic.

Rey even has to take a timeout and slap himself in frustration. There's an incredible chemistry between these two, thanks to the clash of styles and characters. The counters by Finlay are insane too. The emphasis on abdomen work then adds yet another layer to an already story strong match. Rey's selling is terrific. Shame it doesn't last longer, as at 10 minutes, I was left wanting more. These two could have put on an epic contest if this was another 5 or 10 minutes longer. That actually hurts the match quite a bit, as it felt like it should have had a lot more content and pay offs given the strong ground work. Still, this was a great TV match.

***1/2+
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:11 pm

Smackdown June 2006 - Kurt Angle vs Rey Mysterio
Agreed with Buzz pretty much, so I'll keep this snappy. Cat and mouse with the mat work and takedowns at the beginning is worked super effectively. As are the mind games of Angle. It's like he's saying Rey doesn't belong and is more or less disrespecting him for most of the match. Rey has to force him to take him seriously. There were plenty of neat pauses in the action that allowed facial expressions, psychology development etc. This was definitely more of a psychology centred match than a suplex fest.

Climax and heel beatdowns are both really good, with some great high end stuff and drama. The execution and difficulty of moves hit was of a very good standard too. In fact, this was a fundamentally strong match across the board. Loved some of the subtleties in this just as much as the high spots. Won't make my list, but everybody should watch this.

***1/2
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:22 pm

Finlay v Bobby Lashley (Smackdown!, 7/16)
- Fuckin' FINLAY, man. How fucking great is this guy? Lashley is green as all get out here and Finlay hand leads him to a really nifty little match. I adore watching Finlay, btw. I go on and on about how Dick Murdoch and Arn Anderson do the little things that I dig, but Finlay is as good at that as anyone ever, too. He just exudes an aura of... well, of a tough Irish motherfucker (I chose motherfucker over bastard because my daddy left me). He's got Lashley in a MANLY crossface at one point and he's yelling and shouting at both Lashley and the ref'. "Give up Lashley, you know you want to!" "He wants to give up is what he wants!" The capper is him fucking DRILLING Lashley with the sheleighly at the end. What a guy. ***1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:24 pm

24/11/06 SD! - Finlay vs Benoit
Their May match is actually about as good as this, but this is still a hell of a battle. Everything's such a struggle, especially the submission exchanges. They legit bash the shit out of each other in desperation to escape holds or to stop their opponent gathering momentum. As a consequence every move is made to feel like death. Finlay incorporates being a dick into his stiff slugfest style, as well as busting out a sweet gameplan in going after the leg. It acts as an in between point to brutalise Benoit in other ways too, so it actually feels like it's a big part of the match. Nothing in this felt like phoning it in. Finlay actually carried the match but when Benoit's in there with someone like this he steps his game up quite a bit because he has more freedom. A smartly worked, focus match that favoured logic and continuity over flashiness and cliche transitions. Awesome, fresh stuff that I could watch all day. These two were made for each other.

***3/4

Smackdown 2006 - Rey Mysterio vs William Regal (14th July)
Pretty sure the aim of this match is for Booker to use a member of his court to batter Rey up badly before THE BASH. Sounds like a suitable story for a Regal match. Okay, so they have just under 7 minutes to produce something great. Damn, I wanted to see these two have 15 minutes together. In the first minute we already have a Booker distraction, a sweet reversal by Regal, stiff strikes and a tightly locked in headlock so of course it's fun to watch. Regal does plenty of neat cheating and utilisation of the environment, plus even reversing an attempted dive into a sick suplex! He delivers an absolute onslaught of brutal punches to the face too. Rey sells it all well too. Then bam, an unimaginative comeback which makes Regal look like a fool and it's all over before we know it at 6 minutes. People talk about watered down Benoit, well around this time there was a lot of watered down Rey too. The cliche comebacks got whored out so much that they didn't mean much and I don't really buy them. If only Regal wasn't booked like a piece a trash and this could've been great. Everything he did rocked, but the booking and Rey's random offence really put a halt on any potential this match ad. Plus, the stupidly short amount of time. I tell ya, these two could've put on a hell of a show if the damn creative team let them and we saw the 2009 version of Rey that lifted his game again big time.

**1/2 (just for Regal's bloody awesomeness)
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:28 pm

Smackdown 2006 (15th of December) – Finlay vs John Cena
This is after the King’s Court invaded Raw and demolished Cena so the champ’s fired up. Finlay makes him pay for his over eagerness and slams him around. Cena was coming around as a worker at this stage and Finlay was on fire so him handing out an ass kicking to Cena made for good watching. Mr Goofy vs Mr Realism was an odd contrast though. Both guys have totally different approaches to wrestling. Finlay batters the head for starters until he finds a big opening with the arm. Action was fine, not great. I liked the arm almost costing Cena the match and resulting in him being hit by a Celtic Cross. Out of nowhere FU ends it like a thousand other matches, ah well. Pretty good, sustained 11 minute contest. Decent, but never took off.

**1/2

Smackdown 2006 (18th of August) - Finlay vs Lashley
The story going into this is that Finlay has Lashley's number, so the young challenger is frustrated but hungry to win the title. The veteran/asshole/technician vs youngster/powerhouse was an excellent dynamic to work with. Finlay carried Lashley's green ass to a good match, mostly because he structured the layout super smartly, building a match that made the young star shine but covered up his deficiencies at the same time. Lashley took a few big bumps, including a sick one into the ring post following a Regal distraction. Finlay stopping Lashley's momentum by pretending his eye's about to fall out is awesome. Lashley would occasionally bust out a nice slam too, serving as an excellent revenge spot. He had to work hard for everything and they had some history together - two factors that made this standout from basically all other Lashley matches. Plus his intensity was lifted and had a big purpose in regards to the story involved, so this wasn't just a meaningless powerhouse going through his key spots after a tired build up. They made it a match that defied the odds by going above and beyond what anybody would've expected - further proof that Finlay from 2006 is gold.

*** - ***1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:29 pm

Smackdown 2006 (10th of November) - Batista vs Finlay
Freaking sweet babyface shine period to open this. Batista's almost the most angry I've ever seen him and it makes for entertaining viewing. He strangles Finlay, throws him a mile from a simple tie up and sends him flying out of the ring at a million miles an hour. Like vs. Lashley, these two have history so it makes it a bigger match that has a sense of direction driving the action. They put over his strength here better than almost any other Batista match ever. Finlay could not have possibly worked harder to make his opponent look more amazing. I loved all of Finlay's cunning tactics for killing the momentum blowing up in his face too, with him being sent to his backside every time. Ironically it is Batista who finds a breakthrough and works the injured back of Finlay. A heel getting his own medicine is always nice to see and the crowd get right into it, proving its successfulness.

When all else fails for Finlay, a Little Bastard Shillaleigh shot to the leg finally gives him a break. Then it's all about Finlay exploiting the injury and cutting down the big man, which always makes sense when there's a powerhouse involved. Finlay busting out tricked out submissions and shouting "I'm gonna break your leg!" to a screaming Batista made for a nice visual. Batista surprised me by continuing to strongly sell the leg during his comeback, too. His power moves all had that extra relevance because they were smashing up Finlay's weakened back. Like in all 2006 Finlay matches you get smart touches like him hitting Batista's leg to get out of a Batista Bomb attempt - so that the leg work still comes across as a factor in the dying moments. A King Booker distraction blows up in his face and the challenger lets Booker knows he's coming for his title. The crowd go home happy after a satisfying match. More good stuff, even if I am overrating it. I just love how good Finlay makes his opponents look, giving them matches that feel fresh and standout from the crowd. A simple, but logical match up that was one of Batista's better gimmickless ones up to this point.

***1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:34 pm

Finlay v Rey Mysterio (Smackdown!, 9/8/06)
- Good match, but I prefer their March match to it. I'm gonna re-watch that one, and most likely vote for it, but this is a nifty little storyline match in its own right. It's a week after Vicki Guerrero slaps Rey and joins up with Chavo, and Rey comes into this not entirely focused, so the result is a match that goes around ten minutes with Finlay bullying a despondent Mysterio for about eight of those ten minutes. Rey hits the floor a couple times and tries to get himself back in the game mentally, but he's fighting a losing battle against FINLAY because FINLAY is fucking awesome and the greatest. They both do a sort of chain wrestling sequence at one point and Finlay's escape from a legscissors is just beautiful. Couple classic Finlay moments, like him punding Rey in the corner before slapping him a bunch of times and saying "Some'in the matter Rey? Some'in the matter?" What a dick. Finish is pretty cool as well. JBL busts out the mother of all lines on commentary as well, comparing Vicki Guerrero to the tiger that took a chunk out of Roy of Sigfried and Roy fame: "People were saying 'did the tiger get sick?' NO, the tiger got tiger! Vicki Guerrero got Guerrero." Tremendous. Can't wait to see their '07 match that Crossface pimped a couple weeks ago. ***1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:35 pm

Finlay v Chris Benoit (Smackdown!, 11/24/06)
- Watched this a couple nights ago and forgot to comment on it for w/e reason. Great match, which one should expect, but I prefer their March Smackdown! match to it by a little. Not as good as their Judgment Day match either, but then not much is. Actually can't remember too much about this now, but you should knoe what you're getting with these two anyway so it's not like I need to do much pimping. Pretty sure Crossface already reviewed it so there ya go, I can shut up. ***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:37 pm

Finlay/Rey from 3/24/06 is a good shout for my bottom third, and it might be the best Finlay BULLYING from his amazing '06. Rey doesn't get much offence in since Finlay brutalises him for much of it, but he does get in some great hope spots and works stiffer than I think I've ever seen him otherwise. Finlay has countless moments where he does stuff that just looks plain painful, at one point punting Rey right in the FACE. ***1/2

Finlay/Benoit from May '06 really blew me away this time around. Goes almost 20 minutes and is a fucking excellent fight. Stiff as all Hell. Finlay is a fucking MAN. Benoit's a scumbag that murdered his family but at least he wrestling like a fucking MAN. This was MANLY. Should land somewhere around my top 50. ****

Finlay/Benoit from November '06 is also great, but I'm not sure I'll place it since I don't want to have too many matches between the same guys taking up a bunch of space. Already talked about it the other day. ***3/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:39 pm

Rey Mysterio v Randy Orton (Smackdown!, 4/7/06)
- Awesome, and probably my pick for Orton's best match. Really felt like a big time main event, particularly down the stretch with them selling the cumulative damage for semi-extended periods, not too dissimilar to HBK/Undertaker from last year in that every big move is treated as a possible match-winner. One thing I always look for in matches is strong transitions, and while I don't feel like going into any specifics or anything, every transition was on point here. Orton's headlocks haven't looked better, either. I was planning on going a little more in-depth after watching it this afternoon, but I'm leaving shortly and won't have the time now... just figured I'd pimp it right now and let anybody that gives a shit know that I'll probably have this top 30. Definitely top 50, no question about it. ****-****1/4
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PostSubject: Re: 2006 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:41 pm

SD 14th July 2006

Mr Kennedy Vs Matt Hardy
A nice little TV match here, which most likely has some history because Matt jumps Kennedy before he can finish his mic stuff. Matt tries to kill Kennedy, until Kennedy is able to throw Matt shoulder first into the ring post (which looked sick), and from there its all Kennedy, and its all awesome tbh.

Since its only a TV match and doesn't get too much time, Kennedy doesn't get to control the match as long as I would have liked, but he did well with the time. Matt's comeback is really nice, and the counters towards the end are great. Kennedy really looked great in this, and Matt is part of the reason with how he sold a lot of the offence. Kennedy's inexperience costs him in the end when he argues with the referee for too long and gets rolled up.

Something I wouldn't vote for at all, but for what it was, it was pretty good, and great to watch. Even though Hardy got the win, Kennedy is the guy that I remember the most in the match.

Michael Cole almost ruins it at the end though by repeated over and over and over and over again "Kennedy! Kennedy! Kennedy!". Seriously, I don't think he says "Vintage" as much as this in a MONTH.

Rating: **3/4


Finlay Vs Bobby Lashley - US Title
You know someone is a tough bastard when they can short-arm clothesline someone like Lashley and it would be believable for him to get a 3 count from it.

Nothing special here unfortunately, but still a fun watch. Finlay uses his stiff offence to take the fight to Lashely, while Lashley uses his power to stay in the match just long enough to get hit in the head with a Shillelagh to LOSE the US Title to Finlay! Holy crap lol, I don't even remember Finlay winning a title .

Kinda disappointing, but they got very little time, and the commercial break came at one of the worst times possible. Finlay stopped this match from being terrible though, because he's fucking awesome.

Oh, and the DIVA SEARCH segment after this got more time.

Rating: *


William Regal Vs Rey Mysterio
During the whole "King Booker" days when Regal was one of his jesters or something, and Booker was getting ready to face (and beat) Rey for the title. Sending Regal in was to scout Rey and to try and soften him up for the PPV. That's keyfabe anyway... in reality, its Rey Vs Regal, and that alone is awesome.

The Diva Search segment also gets more time than this. Than the MAIN FUCKING EVENT. Finlay/Lashley even got more time. WTF was up with the booking?

Rey takes the fight to Regal, and being World Champion at this point, he fights hard than ever before. He keeps losing the advantage though thanks to distractions from Booker and his biach.

This is nothing more than a storyline advancer for the most part, but Regal's awesomeness makes it feel more than that when you watch it, while still maintaining the whole "storyline advancer" part to it, which was needed.

Fucking hell, a Bronco Buster? Can't remember the last time I saw him do that move lol. Rey makes a comeback, takes out Booker, and actually picks up a win in a non title match! Didn't happen very often during his reign from what I remember lol .

For the 6 or 7 minutes it gets, its a decent enough match. Nothing more, nothing less.

Rating: *3/4
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