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Charles (Loss)

[1998-05-27-WCW-Thunder] Booker T vs Chris Benoit

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This is different from the previous match in that Benoit is dominant for most of this and Booker works from underneath. While I really liked the first match, I liked this one even more just because Booker's comeback was built up so well. I also dug the more methodical pace here because it really gave some levity to all the pin attempts at the end - they created the feel that they had been through a real war. Booker missing the Harlem sidekick was a great spot too, because they made us wait longer for Booker's big moment where he would turn the tide. The real comeback later in the match got over really big and Booker toughed out a win after a missile dropkick. This was a great match.

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I liked this better than the Nitro match and thought it escalated well. Benoit pushed the pace and kept things interesting. Booker looked good in his comeback and finished it off with a big missile dropkick to even things up. On to Saturday Night. (***1/2)

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A little longer than the first encounter and definitely better. It didn't get bogged down this time and there was some nice action. By no means essential but this was impressive for a TV bout.

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I'm going to break from the pack and say that I liked the Nitro match a bit better, if only because the outcome was up in the air and this was a little bit more likely that Booker was evening the series. His comeback is nice and drawn-out, however, and the Spinaroonie is so much cooler and more effective as a spontaneous Hulk-Up moment rather than a contrived, stop-the-match-in-its-tracks spot with a pet name. Still a very different dynamic if only for the crowd, which is loudly pro-Booker and anti-Benoit.

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I enjoyed this. Young Booker T with the super athletic kicks really was something. Some surprisingly fun opening exchanges before Benoit starts beating him down. It's always weird to see the smaller guy beat up the bigger, muscular dude. It's also weird to see Bookers axe kick not being a finisher. I thought Benoits control segment was merely okay. Booker sold well but didn't push back much. Dug the random finish. Fine TV match. Benoit hasn't really set my world on fire in 1998.

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