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Found 2564 results

  1. World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit vs Shawn Michaels - RAW 5/3/04 Where the flying fuck did this match come from??? This was absolutely terrific! I think I may need to rewatch again because I cant believed how much I liked it. I am talking like "Best WWE match ever" contention after seeing it for the first time since I originally saw it. Shawn Michaels haters be damned. He fucking brought it in this match. This was his best offensive performance since the AWA. He knew he was going up against Benoit and just laid all his shit in and really brought to Benoit. I thought this was one of Benoit's all-time best selling performances. I really cant think of a better Benoit match in North America, but I have seen only a smattering of his matches since their original airing. For HBK, I think only Wrestlemania 25 or one of the Cena matches (I cant remember, which one I like a lot) can compete with this in terms of his post-comeback. I can't say enough how good I thought this was having just watched it. Stone Cold says you can tell how great a match will be based on they lock it up and it was ferocious lock up. You expect that out of Benoit, but when I saw HBK lock up like that I knew the muthafucka meant business. They established right from the get go how serious Michaels was taking this as he went chop for chop with the heavy-handed Benoit. I liked Michaels keeping Benoit grounded early. It is exactly the perfect strategy against Benoit to sap that energy. Once Benoit got a head of steam, he crushed Michaels. If you let Benoit create movement, he will win and he is pouring it on snap suplex and backbreaker. Michaels actually uses a slugfest to hit his flying Burrito/kip up. Ballsy. Benoit teases the Crippler Crossface. I love the early finish run tease. Coming back from commercial, Benoit takes a hard, hard back bump into the turnbuckle. PITCH PERFECT SELLING! Awesome! Awesome. He takes a back body drop and is now in the ab stretch. Michaels works the back like a champ. I have never seen Michaels work such a great heat segment. He was laying those knees in and another whip into the turnbuckle. I loved Benoit busting a barrage of quick nearfalls for his hope spot. It was ballsy with the more "likeable" and "charismatic" also "weaker on offense"Shawn Michaels playing de facto heel against his polar opposite. It worked great! Michaels hits a wicked clothesline. Who is this man??? Top rope elbow and he is tuning up the band. Rolling Germans counter and when he sees HBK stirring it is a fourth one for good measure, but still misses the diving headbutt. Michaels going for the cover there was the right move, but only gets two. He goes back on top and Benoit unleashes a crazy onslaught of chops that Michaels sells so fucking well. This was just awesome to watch. Suplex to the floor! I am such a mark for that. Michaels nails a moonsault from the top to the floor, probably his best ever! They tease the double countout and when they both get up, Michaels shoves him into the post and busts Benoit open. Blood! Shawn hits a wicked dropkick. This is Shawn working like he is in All Japan. Michaels returns to the back and goes Liontamer, but too close to the ropes. Benoit reverses an Irish Whip (to send his back into the turnbuckles for a 3rd time) and in total desperation goes for his one bomb the Crippler Crossface, but he is too close to the ropes. Now Michaels feeling the desperation that he may be losing his grasp on the match and basically choking goes for Sweet Chin Music, but Benoit catches the foot looks Sharpshooter! If that was the finish, I think I would have gone the full monty, but when Benoit kicks him off there is a ref bump. Michaels hits Sweet Chin Music, but HHH pedigrees him to mar the match. Benoit gets a tainted victory. Tremendous match. I cant praise Shawn's offense enough in this match. He went after this one and worked the best heat segment of his life. The finish stretch starting with the elbow drop was perfectly worked. Benoit was trying to avoid Sweet Chin Music at all costs, but was in too much of a hole to climb out of and then being ran into the post made it seemed insurmountable. I loved that his first move upon regaining the advantage was to apply the Crossface. It was avoid the Superkick and apply a finishing hold down the stretch for Benoit that was perfect strategy. Michaels was looking for finishing hold targetting the back or his bang bang Sweet Chin Music. Benoit's selling was off the charts good. Honestly, besides the finish I cant find much wrong with this match. Best WWE match of the 00s so far. ****3/4
  2. World Heavyweight Champion Triple H vs Shawn Michaels - RAW 12/29/03 Terrific match! I have a lot I want to say about this, but it is getting pretty late. Probably the greatest American 80s match not to happen in the 80s. HHH does one of the best Flair impersonations ever and I mean that with respect and admiration. He was a consummate heel champion in this match. Michaels was an awesome, awesome fired up underdog hometown babyface. Both of them were constantly fighting back at each other. HHH was was getting outwrestled early in a great shine, but Shawn earned it. Awesome transition to the heat. HHH worked a great heat segment. Great transition to Shawn's figure-4. Not the best strike exchanges ever in terms of execution, but I liked the frequency of them and I liked the sense of the effort and struggle. Loved the lighthearted moments with Shawn abusing HHH's testicles. That's what made the 80s so great is having dramatic struggles but incorporating bits of fun to keep you entertained in a totally comprehensive way. Loved the drama with the ref bumps and Bischoff coming in. All this 80s goodness culminates in a Dusty Finish in the babyface's hometown. HUGE BABYFACE POP FOR MICHAELS! That's just cruel. They aren't coming back to San Antonio the next week so they have to blow it off right them and there. Loved this! I really want to analyze this in full because both guys gave awesome performances. ****1/2, easy.
  3. I believe this is the first time these two have faced each other on WWE TV and it was a good match. The WWE RAW TV match style has noticeably changed this year and I've honestly have been enjoying it. It seems more big bomb centered with actually heavyweights just coming in and ragdolling each other while throwing stiff strikes. This was worked excellently in that vein. They did a neat spot with Riddle kicking McIntyre on the HIAC welts on his back and McIntyre just splats him with a stiff lariat. I also feel McIntyre's punches don't get the credit they deserve. Sure he's not Lawler or Dundee when it comes to throwing hands but his punches look like they actually connect. Its also pretty impressive seeing McIntyre just manhandle Riddle and toss him around with wheelbarrow throws. He also hit a great looking deadlift suplex. The highlight spot for me was the backslide counter into the Future Shock DDT. I also thought McIntyre's selling of HIAC injuries was great as he would wince and clutch at his backs or ribs whenever Riddle got a throw or landed any big offense that hurt his back. The finish was on point with Riddle pulling a flash pin. Not on par with either ones matches against Sheamus but this was still a good match.
  4. This has been an ongoing feud for 15+ years now? And to be honest, its a feud that never clicked for me as most of their matches always relied heavily on big head drops, finisher spamming and extensive 2.99 false finish kickouts. This however felt different. This felt more like an actual grudge match than a dream rematch and they brought more intensity to this than other matches. KO hurt his arm and did a pretty neat of selling it and even avoiding using in their strike exchanges. Also, the strikes they were throwing here looked much more impactful than the thigh slap heavy strikes they would throw before as Sami got his mouth busted open. They also dropped the extensive 2.99 false finish kickouts and only had one count out tease and only one big head drop with KO taking a half-and-half suplex. Plus the finish was clean without them going into overboard. I would say this is possibly the best match I've seen them have together.
  5. As expected, this delivered. Rey is undoubtedly the greatest underdog of all-time. First part segment of the match featured the much smaller Rey using his speed and ringside weapons to ground the dominant and much bigger Reigns. Rey quickly running out of the ring and grabbing a chair and nailing Reigns in the ribs while he tried to grab him through the ropes was a great way to kick this off. I also thought Rey using the fire extinguisher to stop Reigns was clever. Also the use of the chair later on was perfectly executed with Rey wrapping the chair around Reigns neck and just shoving him into the cage and the ring post trying to asphyxiate him. We also got a great ragdoll spot from Reigns when he caught Rey and just flung him into the cage multiple times as if nothing. My two biggest knocks on this are the superman punch that looked awful and the camera change didn't do it any favors and the predictable result which of course doesn't allow you to buy into the big frog splash spots as near falls. The big lawn dart powerbomb over the top rope in the cage was great though and Reigns' new guillotine (without the arm in) looked brutal as his arms looked like they were tightly wrapped around Rey's neck and his head looked like it was about to pop. Not an all-time classic but most definitely a good main event match.
  6. NXT Championship Fatal 5-Way Match: Karrion Kross © w/Scarlett vs. Kyle O'Reilly vs. Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Pete Dunne NXT Women's Championship: Raquel Gonzalez © vs. Ember Moon Winner Take All Six-Man Tag: NXT North American Champion Bronson Reed & NXT Tag Team Champions MSK vs. Legado del Fantasma Million Dollar Championship Ladder Match: Cameron Grimes vs. LA Knight Women's Action: Mercedes Martinez vs. Xia Li
  7. Not a MOTYC or anything by any stretch but a very good undercard PPV match. I believe this is Xia's first TakeOver match and she looked good. Early it on it was all about Xia's kick heavy offense before it backfired and she ended up kicking the ring post and causing the momentum shift in which Mercedes did a fantastic job of taking over hitting some big throws like a butterfly capture suplex, a nasty looking Razor's Edge into a DDT, a big backdrop ringside and some vicious arm captured knees to the face. Xia also added some throws to her offense as she hit Mercedes with a wrist clutch exploder suplex which is something I had never seen her do before. The finish was neat with Xia hitting her wild spin kick to put down Mercedes. Good match to slow things down but it didn't overstay its welcome and didn't drag at any moment.
  8. My perspective on this maybe different as most as I was at the Performance Center live for this and this was an absolute blast. Balls to the wall action starting out with Santos playing the coward heel who wants the title but doesn't want to confront the champ and sending his cronies to do the dirty work. I'm not a big fan of Bronson but to me this is the best he's looked in NXT. He was great using his weight to run over Raúl and Joaquin and they also did the big man fall onto the smaller guy who's trying to slam him. The interactions with Bronson and Santos were also kept to a minimum as this was mostly worked by the tag teams so they will have to plenty to work with when the eventual singles title match comes to fruition. Bronson also only took one big bump which was well prepped up with Santos distracting the ref. and Joaquin giving him a chop block from behind and Santos then hitting with a sick Michinoku driver that seemed like broke his neck. Meanwhile we get more fast paced exchanges between MSK and Raúl and Joaquin before we get a wild breaking barricade pounce from Bronson on Santos in the finishing stretch. This definitely didn't overstay it's welcome as it was under 15 and it was a hot opener to get the crowd going and it didn't have an extensive 2.99 kickout forced facials exchange featuring ridiculous finishing move exchanges or overdone your turn, my turn strike exchanges.
  9. WWE Champion Brock Lesnar vs Rey Mysterio - Smackdown! 12/11/03 I don't think there is a wrestler that has debuted after 2000 with a higher wrestling IQ than Brock Lesnar (maybe AJ Styles, but it is close). Brock just completely and totally understands pro wrestling. It is a total shame that he hates travel. He works a classic Ric Flair vs Hometown Hero match (they were in San Diego), but stays true to himself and updates the style to 2003 flawlessly. Brock is so selfless in that ring that what you need to be as a heel. He is a monster, but he is never afraid to show ass and shine up anyone including tiny Rey Rey. They do a great job establishing that size differential. It is freaky how much bigger Brock is than Rey Rey. He slings him around. I don't want to undersell Rey in this match as this is an all-time great babyface performance in front of a raucous hometown crowd. They do an extended track meet sequence that is awesome so Brock gets so frustrated he picks up the steps, but argues with the ref only to have the steps dropkicked into his face. Brock catches him at one point, but Rey just keeps moving. Then Rey is just busting all this great aerial offense. You totally believe Rey can take it if he can stay in the air and just totally suffocate Brock. Brock is just so great at selling that discombobulation of Rey coming at him from all angles so he punts in the balls. That is too sweet. This 300 lbs monster needs to take that short cut on a diminutive opponent. That is a money heel. He understands desperation and viciousness in a way no heel nowadays seems to get. I love Brock taunting Rey Rey throughout this and finally it gets him caught with a wicked kick. Brock does staggered selling as well if not better than everybody in history. 619 around the post. The crowd is going nuts and just like Flair in the 80s you totally believe Rey has a shot to win the title. The cherry on top is Brock catching Rey with a sitout powerbomb and then just falling to his ass Kawada-style. You really felt like Rey Rey had pushed him to his limit and Brock had just one last gasp and used his power to hit a home run. The Brock Lock, which was an amazing visual with the size difference, put Mysterio away. Even though Brock let Mysterio shine, he never lost his monster status. There was an impending doom that loomed over this match. Brock's hubris and frustration was getting the best of him, but at the end of day he did not have enough fire power. Brock was able to crush him into submission. Rey gave a great underdog performance and Brock wrestled as the best heel champion since Flair. He was scary good. ****
  10. This is much better than their match from the previous week. It's a good big man vs. little man match. Drew uses his big power moves to try to putdown Kofi and Kofi uses his speed and agility to try and putdown Drew. We've gotten Drew vs. bigger guys for most of the year and the matches have been monster truck derbies for the most part, so it's cool seeing him face someone smaller and less physical that is willing to use his speed and agility. That doesn't mean Kofi doesn't bring the intensity though as he catches Drew with a dropkick on the side of his face that leaves a clear visible welt. We saw one of the nastiest bumps of the year here with Drew catching Kofi's trust dive off the top rope to the floor and then tossing him over the guard rail and Kofi landing spine first onto another barricade. Loved Drew catching Kofi and hitting a wild swinging Future Shock. The finish was somewhat odd as Kofi just dived off the top rope for some reason and got caught flush with a Claymore that looked great, but it felt weird seeing just Kofi dive for what seemed like the sake of diving. Good match regardless.
  11. Considering the amount of attention that the Diva's Revolution got at the start, I'm pretty surprised that this match got passed by without much attention. It gets off to an intense start as they lock up and manage to keep it going for awhile, eventually going to the floor. The main part of the match is after the commercial break with Sasha working over Paige. It's not at the level of the Takeover special but Sasha does a terrific job of making Paige earn her comebacks. Paige's selling wonderful here as she puts over Sasha's work and really throws everything into her offensive spurts. The finish seems simple but it works as it rewards the Sasha's strategy during the body of the match as Paige has nothing left to fight out of the Bank Statement. Not quite a hidden gem but still something to check out as this is what they should be do more of on RAW rather than the never ending faction stuff. ***3/4
  12. Three way matches usually drag, but this was absolute bonkers from start to finish. These three guys have had quality matches on RAW between each other this year, so I was def. looking forward to this and thought it was good. It was a sub 15 minute pro-wrestling demolition derby. Just three big dudes throwing each other around like madmen. McIntyre's Michinoku Driver is easily one of the most impressive spots of the year and the Claymore Kick counter into a big powerbomb table bump was great. Screwy finish which I don't mind as it allows to build another match with Lashley returning to ringside and tossing McIntyre out of the ring after he had hit Strowman with a Claymore Kick and then taking advantage and hitting Strowman with a spear for the win.
  13. WWE Champion Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker - No Mercy 2002 Hell In A Cell If you described this finish of this match, most people would think you were describing a murder scene. Undertaker was drenched in his own blood and was spilling blood all over Lesnar. Brock was covered in Taker's blood by the end of it. 2002 was a pretty underwhelming year, but featured some of the all time best bladejobs in pro wrestling history. This match and the Nagata/Murakami match are the standout matches for 2002 to me. I don't yet, which I would place on the top of the heap. Violence is never been the strong suit of the WWF. Character-driven wrestling and Clash of the Titans is where Vince buttered his bread. Occasionally, he dipped into championship wrestling with Bret and out of control brawl with Austin. Austin's out of control barroom brawls are fun and entertaining, but they are not violent in the same way this is. This really feels like two men trying to maim each other very much in the vein of a southern blood feud brawl. It really is something different and something that Brock Lesnar excels at. Brock has proven to be so versatile in his criminally short first run on the the WWE roster. In this match, he plays caged animal to perfection. At first, he is discombobulated and confused by the nature of the Hell In A Cell. He is young and inexperienced. Perhaps he has even bought into The Undertaker's mythos. This is Undertaker's boneyard. He tries to fight, but also tries to escape. There is a real sense of desperation. Taker is confident, but Taker is a veteran and knows how dangerous Brock is. Brock is stronger and quicker than him. He is virtually unbeatable. How many wrestlers could say they have that dual edge on Taker. Taker has his experience, his ability to withstand punishment and brutality on his side. Throughout the match, Taker almost never gained a fair advantage on Lesnar and was always using something to sustain that advantage. I loved the duality of the cast. Undertaker's hand had been broken twice in the lead up to this match. The cast covered up a weakness for the Undertaker. Remove it and he is vulnerable. With it on, he had a weapon. It was this weapon that scored the first big blow in this war. Brock was sent reeling and was busted open. Paul E. was awesome with his shrieks of horror outside the cage. Taker laid down a savage beating on Brock using the cage, steps and cast at will. But Paul E. got to him. He just could not resist kicking Paul E.'s ass. One big boot into the cage sent Paul E. flying and he bladed. Then he got by the tie and pulled him into the cage repeatedly. I loved the spot where Brock went flying in trying to take advantage of the distraction only to eat the cage and send Paul E. flying. It was the perfect punctuation on the Taker shine. I loved that old school efficiency. You get the punctuation mark and you move on. It never lingers. Brock catapults Taker into the cage. He immediately pounces and throws Taker around. Nobody, but Brock could manhandle Taker this way. It is scary strength. My favorite spot of the match is Brock and Paul E. tying the belt around the cast hand and Brock going to town on the cast. It is so violent those swings ultimately snapping the belt. I loved the struggle over trying to rip off the cast. When he does Brock becomes cocky, he is swinging from the cell roof like Tarzan kicking Taker's ass. Without his cast, Taker pulls out another wily trick: the low blow. Again, Undertaker needed an underhanded tactic to bring Lesnar to heel. Lesnar is so great at heel selling and the style that reeks of cowering and desperation. Being more afraid to lose than you want to win. Big bumping Brock came out here with a crazy bump off a big boot from the apron into the cage. Taker hit a suicide dive, but it backfired as it took a lot out of him. Brock BLASTED him with the steps twice. I mean he fucking smoked him. Taker came out bleeding an absolute gusher. Between this and cast, I thought this a perfect example of a caged animal becoming extraordinarily violent. Up until here, the match was perfect. It does lose some points because Undertaker is able to use the bad hand to hit some rights and gain an advantage, which kinda sucks. I did like the finish run of Brock teasing a big move and Undertaker countering with a big move only to have Brock kick out. I hated the ref not counting because Brock grabbed the rope, when it was established pinfalls counted on the floor. That is shoddy. Undertaker having to level up each time to finally the Tombstone, which had the crowd going crazy was great build. I loved the tombstone reversal into Brock hositing Taker into a F5 from a totally awkward spot. One F5 and it was over. Oh how I long for this efficiency! Writing this review, I think there are enough details that marr this match to stop from being my choice for 2002 match of the year and I would have Takayama/Ogawa over it too. However, this is easily, the 2002 match of the year. It is crazy to think that Brock Lesnar in his rookie year as champion had a WWE Match of The Year where he was the dominant force in the match. What is there left to say other than BROCK ROCKS~! ****1/2
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