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3/30 - Thoughts On The Following Matches


Marty
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I discussed this briefly with Loss, who thought it was a good idea. Basically, like the Wrestler version, list a bunch of matches that come to mind, leading to thoughts and/or discussion about them. Loss worried that there might not be enough matches that everyone has seen, but the advantage of that is hopefully getting people curious enough to want to see them. Of course, star ratings are optional, Scott Keith-style reviews are forbidden (ha!).

 

I'll start with some well-known ones so we can get the ball rolling relatively easily:

 

* Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho - 3/30/2003 (WrestleMania XIX)

* Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart - 8/29/1994 (SummerSlam 94)

* Rey Mysterio, Jr. vs. Eddy Guerrero - 10/26/1997 (Halloween Havoc 97)

* The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar - 8/25/2002 (SummerSlam 2002)

* Cactus Jack vs. Triple H - 1/23/2000 (Royal Rumble 2000)

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* Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho - 3/30/2003 (WrestleMania XIX)

Match of the night, with both the best incoming storyline and the best performance. Jericho is pretty much leading Michaels around for most of this, which is a cool thing to watch in and of itself, and the finish wouldn't have been bad at all had they followed it up with Jericho getting his big win in the very near future. Since the storyline was dropped, it ended up damaging Jericho. Anyway, back to the match -- I love how they played off of the established story. Jericho showed footage on the previous RAW of both of them doing a moonsault from the corner turnbuckle, which showed he had been paying attention. Shawn did the move, and Jericho immediately rolled through and got a close count. Shawn obviously wasn't prepared for that. My biggest problem with the match is that it's almost too catered to Shawn -- Jericho is excellent here, but his style doesn't really shine through at all. Instead, he just mirrors the working style of Michaels, which I guess was appropriate for the story being told, but surprising since he was the one calling audibles most of the match. Some really nice sequences, and a very cool Northern Lights suplex from Jericho, but I think the match needed to be a little more aggressive than it was. I'd probably go ***1/2.

 

* Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart - 8/29/1994 (SummerSlam 94)

As a rule, I'm not a fan of cage matches in the WWF, and this is no exception to that. It's better than most, admittedly, because it's Bret and Owen, but the escape rules bothered me, and I felt like this match just crawled at such a slow pace. I need to watch it again, but if memory serves me correctly, at least 80% of the match is Owen climbing the cage and Bret dragging him back down, or Bret climbing the cage and Owen dragging him back down. The WM match smokes this one. Love the post-match angle though.

 

* Rey Mysterio, Jr. vs. Eddy Guerrero - 10/26/1997 (Halloween Havoc 97)

Would you believe that I've never seen this match?

 

* The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar - 8/25/2002 (SummerSlam 2002)

Nor have I seen this one.

 

* Cactus Jack vs. Triple H - 1/23/2000 (Royal Rumble 2000)

Both of them take some good bumps, but I thought this match dragged and there was too much in-crowd brawling, which hurt the heat. Rock's appearance and chairshot was a very nice touch of continuity, but I think No Way Out had better work and more emotion.
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Now you got me feeling bad, Loss. I had no idea you've never seen the HH97 match. I see what you mean now by the point you made.

 

Anyways...

 

* Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho - 3/30/2003 (WrestleMania XIX): I have similar feelings as Loss does, although I'm not as hard on Shawn's style being the focus of that, due to the storyline. I consider it a message from Jericho during the match that, "Anything you can do, I can do better". My big problem with the focus on Shawn's style is that caters more towards Shawn's style from 1996 to the present, which, at its earliest, is a time when Jericho was already making a name for himself and, in spite of any admiration he has for Shawn even then, it wouldn't make as much sense as, say, if he did more spots similar to Shawn's Rocker era. Anyways, aside from that, and the finish, I thought the match was great, and as far as Shawn comeback matches go, this blows away the HHH match from the previous August, as there was far more focus here. I'm not sure if Shawn's had a better match since then, as I consider his 12/29/03 match with HHH to be almost the same match they've always had, minus Shawn's needless hardcore spots in the SSlam 02 match. Match of the night here.

 

* Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart - 8/29/1994 (SummerSlam 94): Haven't seen this match in a while, but I like it more than other WWF cage matches. Probably a little too long though, although thank God for that, because we might've had a longer Taker-Faker match. My favourite spot of the match was when Bret and Owen kept jumping for the exit, one after the other, after stopping the other from doing so. Other than that, I probably need to rewatch this for a more fair judgment.

 

* Rey Mysterio, Jr. vs. Eddy Guerrero - 10/26/1997 (Halloween Havoc 97): Very, very fun match, one of the best cruiserweight matches WCW had. Eddy is in his prime here as an evil, dickhead, rudo heel, always doing whatever he pleases for the sake of winning. Guerrero does a magnificent job controlling the action, but Rey isn't the type who needs his hand held. I loved it when Guerrero, with the mask vs. title stip on the line, says, "Fuck it" and starts tearing at Rey's mask. Rey's clean triumphant win is very satisfying, and says a lot about the feud itself. Another match I gotta rewatch soon. I actually try avoiding watching this match, just to keep the newness of it alive. It's one of those matches, in my book.

 

* The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar - 8/25/2002 (SummerSlam 2002): This isn't a *great* match by any means, as there's far too much outside stuff, either involving Heyman or not, although Heyman's comeuppance is satisfying for a couple of reasons: the first being the crowd being happy with it, and the second being that Lesnar can go out and win this on his own. Rock also lacks a lot of longterm selling here, particularly the ribs, IIRC. This match is, of course, similar to Rock-Hogan, in that, in spite of going in as a face, Rock's got the crowd to go up against as well, since they're on Lesnar's side. However, unlike the Hogan match, Rock isn't nearly as successful, for he knows Hogan, but doesn't know Lesnar. I've always thought that in itself was a good enough reason to really push new stars, as the established stars are known, but the newcomers aren't, so how do you prepare for them? Rock realizes this in many cases, as Lesnar is able to stop the People's Elbow from even happening, and shows a counter to the Rock Bottom into the F5 that Rock did not see coming. Watching this match makes the Unforgiven 2002 match between Brock and Taker that much more baffling, because they really had a new star in the making with Lesnar, yet Taker's another animal and Lesnar had to work harder to get through him. This was a fun match, even if it wasn't a great one.

 

* Cactus Jack vs. Triple H - 1/23/2000 (Royal Rumble 2000): I think this is one of those matches that hasn't aged well over time. Far too much outside brawling, even with the chaotic nature of the match. Funny how Rock's interference woke everyone up quite a bit, rather than drag the match down. The two Foley matches should've been decisive finishes to the feud, leading to a Rock-HHH showdown at Mania, but instead we had a very mediocre fourway to close out the HHH-Foley war.

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Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho - 3/30/2003 (WrestleMania XIX): -I don't have this match on tape so I can't rewatch it. I only remember watching it live and coming out of the bar thinking it was the best match of the night. Then I saw all the love heaped on Brock-Angle and thought people were crazy. Def. need to see this one again.

 

Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart - 8/29/1994 (SummerSlam 94): - I was bored with this match the first time I saw it and remember thinking "There is no way this is a 5 star match. Maybe one of the most overrated matches I have ever seen. I think I'll watch it tonight or tomorrow and do a little wrap-up review.

 

Rey Mysterio, Jr. vs. Eddy Guerrero - 10/26/1997 (Halloween Havoc 97)- One of the best matches of either man's career and that isn't hype either. However, I haven't seen nearly enough Eddie in Mexico so that feeling may change. The execution was as crisp as I have ever seen in any match. The feel-good moment at the end gave you hope that WCW would do the right thing some of the time.

 

Would you believe that I've never seen this match?

And soon you shall. If I can get to the post office after work, you may have it as soon as Friday or Saturday.

 

The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar - 8/25/2002 (SummerSlam 2002): -I also have never seen this match in complete form. I watched some of it from a file that was going around at TSM but didn't like the way it looked on the computer.

 

Cactus Jack vs. Triple H - 1/23/2000 (Royal Rumble 2000) - I remember being bored when it happened until the gimmicks. I thought the handcuffs were a stupid idea and the rest was just overkill. Maybe foley was so run-down that he had to rely on all the crap to get through but I was so let down by the whole thing. Alot of people praise this match but I think it is overblown. I'll have to rewatch this one also.

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Guest Hunter's Torn Quad

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho - 3/30/2003 (WrestleMania XIX)

 

Another match I haven?t seen since I saw it live, and one I have no real desire to see again. Fine stuff, though, but I didn?t go nuts for it as others have. As I recall, I rated it around ***1/2, and I felt like something was missing from it. And not just the right result.

 

Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart - 8/29/1994 (SummerSlam 94)

 

Watched this again a while ago, and got a little bored part way through. It was fine stuff for a WWF-style cage match, but probably would have been better if it had only gone 20 minutes, and we had been able to have some blood.

 

Rey Mysterio, Jr. vs. Eddy Guerrero - 10/26/1997 (Halloween Havoc 97)

 

This was another match that I didn?t like as much as everyone else did. Again, nothing wrong with it, and there was some good moves, but I didn?t really get a ***** vibe from it that a lot of people seemed to.

 

The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar - 8/25/2002 (SummerSlam 2002)

 

Really good match considering the experience of Lesnar, and I thought it really made him a star, with Rock doing everything he could to make Lesnar a name. It?s just a shame that all of the good that came from this match was almost completely undone over the following two weeks on Raw.

 

Cactus Jack vs. Triple H - 1/23/2000 (Royal Rumble 2000)

 

This was a strong brawl that I really enjoyed at the time. However, upon watching it again not too long ago, it lost something. Not sure what it was, but it could have been the fact that we?ve seen so much crazy stuff since then. Watched it with a friend who wasn?t really into wrestling, and they seemed to enjoy it, if view the violence as a little comical.

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Guest Some Guy

I'm doing htis without having read anyone else's posts so if I repeat a lot that has been said, sorry.

 

* Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho - 3/30/2003 (WrestleMania XIX)

 

Best match on the card. This match proved that HBK could still go in a real match and that Jericho is still a very good worker. Jericho should have gone over here or in a rematch at Backlash. Losing this match wouldn't have hurt him had he been able to beat Shawn at some point later. But, such is life.

 

* Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart - 8/29/1994 (SummerSlam 94)

 

It's probably the best cage match I've ever seen and it still holds up pretty well. Most of Bret's stuff does because he never really followed trends with certain moves and to me solid mat based stuff is timeless.

 

* Rey Mysterio, Jr. vs. Eddy Guerrero - 10/26/1997 (Halloween Havoc 97)

 

Fucking awesome match. The backflip DDT off the top by Rey was amazing. I really don't see how they can top this one at WM. Both guys are obviously 8 years older and have suffered countless injuries in that time.

 

* The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar - 8/25/2002 (SummerSlam 2002)

 

This was pretty good for what it was. Rock did a very good job of putting Brock over. If the crowd didn't start booing Rock it would have been more effective but you can't control the crowd.

 

* Cactus Jack vs. Triple H - 1/23/2000 (Royal Rumble 2000)

 

I loved this match at the time but it hasn't held up as well as others. This may have been the best all out brawl I've ever seen though. The Pedigree on the tack was sick.

 

I haven't seen any of these matches in a while so I can't really go on very long about them. I might go watch them later. I have them all on DVD.

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Watched this again a while ago, and got a little bored part way through. It was fine stuff for a WWF-style cage match, but probably would have been better if it had only gone 20 minutes, and we had been able to have some blood.

Agreed. The time needed to be cut down (and I don't ususally say that about matches) and the blood doesn't bother me except that this was the perfect feud for "blood".

 

 

This was another match that I didn?t like as much as everyone else did. Again, nothing wrong with it, and there was some good moves, but I didn?t really get a ***** vibe from it that a lot of people seemed to.

I've seen too many excellent matches to call this a ***** match also but easily one of the best junior matches on American soil.

 

It's probably the best cage match I've ever seen and it still holds up pretty well. Most of Bret's stuff does because he never really followed trends with certain moves and to me solid mat based stuff is timeless.

You really need to see some more cage matches. There are matches that destroy this one. Hell, several are on the bloodbath DVD and surpass this one quite easily.

 

This may have been the best all out brawl I've ever seen though. The Pedigree on the tack was sick.

Watch JBL-Eddie from Judgment Day. It surpasses this match in nearly every way.

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Guest Some Guy

You really need to see some more cage matches. There are matches that destroy this one. Hell, several are on the bloodbath DVD and surpass this one quite easily.

 

 

For whatever reason I've never sat down and actually watched the cage match DVD without a bunch of distractions despite buying it the day it came out in 2003. I did say it was "one of the best..." not "the best." I generally find cage ,matches to be boring but that is probably a product of growing up soley on WWF. I have so much wrestling that I need to see and so much that I need to rewatch it's not even funny.

 

I do agree that there was way too much climbing the cage and getting pulled off but I think that Bret and Owen wanted to actually get the stupidity of the rules over.

 

This may have been the best all out brawl I've ever seen though. The Pedigree on the tacks was sick.

Watch JBL-Eddie from Judgment Day. It surpasses this match in nearly every way.

I haven't seen it but if I see JD somewhere for less than $20 I'll pick it up and do so based on your recomendation. So if I hate then I expect an apology. :)

 

I think the love for HHH/Foley was that it was a very good angle leading up to it and Foley hadn't really put on a performance worth talking about in a long time. The match wasn't perfect but was quite different from what would have been expected out of HHH at the time. I'll have to re-watch it. I think it's on three or 4 DVDs that I have.

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For whatever reason I've never sat down and actually watched the cage match DVD without a bunch of distractions despite buying it the day it came out in 2003. I did say it was "one of the best..." not "the best." I generally find cage ,matches to be boring but that is probably a product of growing up soley on WWF. I have so much wrestling that I need to see and so much that I need to rewatch it's not even funny.

Right. Many times the cage matches are contingent on the angles leading up to them. So, having said that I can see why you would enjoy Owen-Bret but at the same time, for such a good feud, the blowoff needed to be better.

 

 

I haven't seen it but if I see JD somewhere for less than $20 I'll pick it up and do so based on your recomendation. So if I hate then I expect an apology.

Hit me up on AIM (Smarthelmet) or pm me.

 

I think the love for HHH/Foley was that it was a very good angle leading up to it and Foley hadn't really put on a performance worth talking about in a long time. The match wasn't perfect but was quite different from what would have been expected out of HHH at the time. I'll have to re-watch it. I think it's on three or 4 DVDs that I have.

I agree 100% that Foley made the feud worth watching. Unfortunately, while I still love the interviews and angles leading up to his retirement, I don't think the matches are that good.

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I rewatched Rey-Eddie when I got home from work today. I still like the match, but it has its flaws. Eddie very subtlely does a great job working on Rey's back, but it goes completely ignored by the announcers and sometimes by Rey himself. It was little things, like any whip into the turnbuckles, or the sweet powerbomb-pin combo by Eddie. In fact, at the climax of the match, it looked like Eddie was going to finish things off, first with a top-rope back suplex and failing that, a Razor's Edge from the top rope once Rey blocked the suplex attempt. Of course, Rey countered it into a hurricanrana and looked like he held on for dear life for the winning pinfall, telling me in my mind that he knew Eddie had a killer mind at that point of the match. He knew he had to make that pinfall to *survive*, which made it a great, great finish. Yes, great match, but Rey during it sometimes comes back too quickly for my tastes. People say RVD and HBK do that an awful lot, but Rey has his faults at times too with that category.

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Guest The Metal Maniac

I enjoy watching that match with Rey and Eddie on commentary, mostly to hear Rey going "I'd never hit this move before...Or this one..I don't even KNOW how I did that"

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Guest Some Guy

For whatever reason I've never sat down and actually watched the cage match DVD without a bunch of distractions despite buying it the day it came out in 2003. I did say it was "one of the best..." not "the best." I generally find cage ,matches to be boring but that is probably a product of growing up soley on WWF. I have so much wrestling that I need to see and so much that I need to rewatch it's not even funny.

Right. Many times the cage matches are contingent on the angles leading up to them. So, having said that I can see why you would enjoy Owen-Bret but at the same time, for such a good feud, the blowoff needed to be better.

 

 

 

The match should have been a little more intense. Magnum/Tully like intensity would have been appropriate for the blowoff to this feud. Bret probably should have bladed on his own like he did at WM 8 and IYH 5 vs. Davey Boy (which is a match I'd like to hear your thoughts on). The more I think back on it the match was lacking in a few things. I'll watch it and take some notes.

 

I haven't seen it but if I see JD somewhere for less than $20 I'll pick it up and do so based on your recomendation. So if I hate then I expect an apology.

Hit me up on AIM (Smarthelmet) or pm me.

I will and I hope that I have something that you'd want in return.

 

I think the love for HHH/Foley was that it was a very good angle leading up to it and Foley hadn't really put on a performance worth talking about in a long time. The match wasn't perfect but was quite different from what would have been expected out of HHH at the time. I'll have to re-watch it. I think it's on three or 4 DVDs that I have.

I agree 100% that Foley made the feud worth watching. Unfortunately, while I still love the interviews and angles leading up to his retirement, I don't think the matches are that good.

Foley also made HHH a legitimate in ring threat. HHH was barely over heading into the match despite a monster push that included marrying the bosses daughter and 3 WWF title wins and Foley got him where he needed to be heading into WM and and the rest of 2000.

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Guest Bruiser Chong

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho - 3/30/2003 (WrestleMania XIX)

 

I remember watching live and have my dying interest in the product being rejuvanated with each passing minute of this match. I thought it was that good. It all seemed to be building towards a passing of the torch of sorts. The ending seemed to be right there. Chris Jericho had HBK in the Walls of Jericho. Michaels was putting up a hell of a fight.

 

I had flashbacks to Austin/Bret from WM 13. I thought it was going to end as a nice homage to that contest, with Michaels fighting until the very end. When Jericho pulled Michaels away from the ropes he was so close to, I was certain it was over. I wish I had been right.

 

Michaels managed to break free and at that moment, I knew who was winning. The few minutes following that sequence ruined the entire match for me. It was easily the match of the night, but the finish summed up what's been wrong with WWE for the past four years.

 

Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart - 8/29/1994 (SummerSlam 94)

 

I know it's be dubbed as a better match than their WM X encounter, but I'll be honest, it's never done much for me. The build was almost a year in the making and that certainly plays a role in the way the match is remembered today. Regardless, every viewing of it has reaffirmed my original opinion of it. An entertaining match that's highly overrated. There were far too many chunks where Bret and Owen were fighting each other on the sides of the cage, which slowed things down a lot for me. The fallout from the match is more entertaining to me than the match itself.

 

Rey Mysterio, Jr. vs. Eddy Guerrero - 10/26/1997 (Halloween Havoc 97)

 

I've seen it a couple times, but not enough to have a real solid opinion of it. It was tough to go wrong with these two involved during this time. I remember a ton of innovative spots being used throughout the match, but the mask being on the line made the outcome too predictable.

 

The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar - 8/25/2002 (SummerSlam 2002)

 

Haven't seen it since it happened and even then, I wasn't paying close attention.

 

Cactus Jack vs. Triple H - 1/23/2000 (Royal Rumble 2000)

 

A classic when it happened, but it hasn't aged well. A lot of the spots that were eye-catching back then seem tame by today's standards. Of course, that's the trouble with matches that live and die by "Holy shit" spots.

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