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[1998-05-17-WCW-Slamboree] Chris Benoit vs Fit Finlay


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  • 2 months later...

I was surprised at how hot the crowd was for this match. Benoit has been in lots of good PPV matches in 1998 but this stands out above them all. I love the use of the chair without calling for a DQ if only because that and the increased stiffness and use of holds makes this feel like a Japanese match. I thought Benoit being so easily distracted by Booker T's presence made him look stupid, but this was still a very good match.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good, hard-hitting match of course, but I'm not sure I'd put it above Benoit-DDP or Benoit-Raven, simply because Benoit did so much with more limited guys in those previous PPVs. The finishing stretch took it up a notch. We got some excellent comeback teases from Benoit and vicious cut-offs from Finlay. Finlay's dropkick to the back of Benoit's head when Booker had him distracted was especially nasty. I'm looking forward to the Booker-Benoit series, which I haven't seen since it happened.

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Really good stuff and a perfect opener. They crafted a good story and the announcers were right there to put the action and intensity over. I enjoyed the resourcefulness FInlay showed and how he took advantage of Benoit being distracted by Booker T. Big win for him and the tombstone finisher looked nasty. Looking forward to Booker vs. Benoit too and this match was the typically roll out of bed very good match for these two. (***1/2)

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  • 7 months later...

WCW TV Champion Fit Finlay vs Chris Benoit - WCW Slamboree 1998

 

The Wocestah crowd was rabid for the Wolverine on this night with a big Benoit chant early after a chop and even chanting Finaly Sucks! Hell they popped for an early hiptoss cover by Benoit. That's what happens when wrestling treated as real by the fans and the wrestlers. They care that their favorite wins not how he wins or if it is at the expense of making someone look bad. It is Benoit and Finlay. You know it is going to be a war and this one was awesome. It totally built on their badass Nitro '97 sprint with them having more time to draw things out. Benoit looks strong in the early going controlling with chops, but as he gets up from a Finlay submission he is blasted with a wicked clothesline. For the rest of the match, Finlay is going to town on the neck and head of Benoit. Benoit does a great job selling this clothesline rolling out of the ring in such a way that he makes a thud when hits the floor. Finlay follows up with a bodyslam on the floor and another clothesline. Benoit comes roaring out of the corner with chops, Finaly stymies him with an eyepoke/chinlock combination. Perfect use of the chinlock to control the match and lean on your opponent sapping him of his energy. Finlay peppering in wicked elbows to Benoit's neck and kicks to his back. Finaly goes for the chair on the outside, but Benoit grans a hold of it to hit Finlay in the back to a big pop. I love chair shot in stiff midcard matches it is a great change of pace. Benoit goes for his dive to the outside, but Finlay uses the chair to block it. Jesus, Benoit! Finaly is working double time on the neck, but runs into the corner full steam ahead. Two Rolling Germans land, but on the third Finlay runs Benoit throat first into the ropes. DAMN! A violent counter that makes total sense in the match. Really should have led to the Tombstone finish in my opinion. Benoit counters an attempted clothesline with the Crossface, but too close to the ropes. Snap suplex and he signals for the diving headbutt and the crowd just explodes. Huge boos for Booker T sauntering out as payback for Benoit doing it to him and costing him Television championship. Finlay blasts him in the back of the head with wicked dropkick. Benoit just crumbles to the floor and deadweights Finlay. FInaly finally rolls him back in and Benoit gets a desperation inside cradle, but nothing happening. Finaly ends his misery witha Tombstone! Awesome, brutal match with Finlay wrestling a perfect strategy to control the explosive Benoit with stiff shots and chinlocks. Benoit is just relentless and always knows when to come out at you with his stiff offense. I can't see how these two could ever have a bad match. I would put this above the Raven match since Finlay contributed more, but behind the DDP match, which I think told a better story and had even more urgency. ****

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  • 1 year later...

Doug Dillenger is out with a clearance pass with Vince McMahon's photo on it, as some bad-acting fans call him out. The suspense is palpable. I do really like this Slamboree set, attention-getting and classy at the same time.

 

There may have been better individual Benoit performances but this stands right near the top as one of WCW's best overall matches of the year. And I mean, listen to this crowd reaction and try to dismiss Benoit as a Vanilla Midget. Goes to show that even as wrestling audiences in general are getting more superficial, there's still a tangible difference between what will pop a WCW crowd and what will pop a WWF audience--and this is a Northeast show! This has a lot of twists and turns and near-comebacks after some token matwork to start and feels like an ultra-stiff version of a New Japan juniors match.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Obviously nowhere near their 2006 classic, but still fun, really stiff pro wrestling. The opening sequences had some cool euro reminescent sequences and then Finlay just started lacing up Benoit with hard, hard clotheslines, uppercuts and elbow drops. He had vicious cutoffs too, altough the suicide dive into the chair was Benoit's signature bump I guess. Loved Benoit's lightning fast counter into the attempted crossface. Booker T coming in to distract Benoit didn't detract much from the match and lead to a sickening kick to the back of the head from Finlay. I guess Benoit was a little too eager to go back on offense and Finlay could have done a better job selling the double german suplex.


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  • GSR changed the title to [1998-05-17-WCW-Slamboree] Chris Benoit vs Fit Finlay

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