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[1991-08-18-CWA] Chris Benoit vs Dave Finlay


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  • 3 months later...

This is slightly clipped throughout, which is a bit annoying, but they have a good match, with Finlay as the heel and Benoit as the babyface. Finlay's execution is so flawless that I'm a little speechless by it. Everything he does is basic, but everything he does looks great. I love the shoulderblocks in the corner, the knee drops, and smashing Benoit's face on the ring apron. But it's the attitude that makes it all resonate, as Finlay is a really surly heel. Benoit works like Brian Pillman around the same time, which means he's really good. It's a match that I think would be very fondly remembered had it happened in the U.S. or even in Japan on a bigger show. But I'm not sure it would have had as much heat in either place as it did here. They definitely worked this for their audience.

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  • 1 month later...

Yeah, it's hard to envision Finlay drawing big heel heat for elbow smashes in any other environment. All of his offense looks great and his bumping is executed perfectly as well. The running, standing Bronco Buster in the corner was awesome. Benoit again shows some inkling of being able to work the crowd here, this time as a babyface. Really underwhelming finish as Finlay is apparently red-carded for dragging Benoit out of the ring and slamming him into the post, and that hurts this. As it is, it's a European version of a really good 1991 WCW TV match.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’m not positive whether they are using rounds with the editing. It’s a plus for me not seeing all the intermissions that comes with rounds as I don’t like stopping matches repeatedly. So I liked this more than other of these matches that made yearbooks. Finlay has purpose with everything he does. Besides finish, good match.

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  • 7 months later...

This was techincally very good but I couldn't connect with it in any other way because I didn't really buy the story here and it ended up feeling like just a collection of spots. Finlay was playing the heel but Benoit just looked gullible for trusting him. The clipping also was a complete turnoff. I really felt watching this match that Roderick Strong and Mike Bennett could have the same match as the 2nd match on a ROH show and no one would remember it.

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  • 1 year later...

This was good for what it was. but at times it felt like it really didn't get out of first gear. There was quite a bit of good basic stuff, but they could have done better in an environment that was a bit looser. It's tough to explain, but one example is when Benoit came over the top rope to catch Finlay with a sunset flip. That's a beautiful athletic spot, and in the States it would have earned a near fall that would have gotten the crowd on its feet. Instead, the referee kept tapping Benoit on the shoulder to get him to stand up, I assume because he'd come in over the top. When a high flyer like Benoit is unable to execute a simple spot like that, it really limits what he can do. Hence, a European veteran like Finlay looked a lot better because he could do most of his spots effectively.

 

I didn't like the clipping either, and I don't think it was all due to rounds. The guy taping this wanted to make it an all-action match with no rest time, but I'd rather sit through a short chinlock than take a chance on missing how someone fights out of it. I believe they were going on the round system; I thought I heard at least one buzzer.

 

There wasn't as much of the ring/PA announcer giving commands and warnings in English, which is one of the things that makes European matches unique. I'm assuming that some of it was clipped, and maybe Finlay understood more German than the average North American, which would mean that translations weren't necessary as often.

 

This is good viewing if you're a Benoit or Finlay fan, or if you want to know what wrestling was like in 1991 Austria.

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  • 1 year later...

I feel like the footage from Vienna 1990 wasn't as clear as it was here, but I could be wrong. I was glad that it seemed to have better video quality. The standout thing here is just how good Finlay is at what he does. I agree this wasn't a great match or anything, but just watching Finlay work made this very enjoyable. Great punches and everything else that Loss laid out above. It's a good watch.

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  • 5 months later...
  • GSR changed the title to [1991-08-18-CWA] Chris Benoit vs Dave Finlay

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