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Randy Orton v Mick Foley


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Randy Orton v Mick Foley - WWE Backlash 2004

 

I didn't understand the love for this one at all. I think they're essentially working Mick Foley's Greatest Hits, with Orton taking a few good bumps and having some cool facial expressions here and there, but there's not really anything great happening. I thought the match had a little too much chicanery -- Bischoff comes out and threatens to stop the show if Foley lights Barbie on fire; they disappear for a minute or so before working their way back in front of the audience; when Orton takes the bump off of the ramp, tons of people rush over to check on him and the match's flow almost totally stops.

 

Why were there so many props that just happened to be around the ring? Orton brought his weapons to the ring with him, and Foley's were already conveniently there somehow. I guess we could infer that Mick put them under there before the start of the show, but it really required some type of kayfabed explanation from the announcers to explain their presence. I have no problems with weapons matches and heavy plunder, but I also think there should always be a logical reason for the weapons to be there, even if the wrestler is bringing it to the ring; that's what Orton did, and it worked out fine on his end. In a typical match, if a wrestler uses a chair, it's because he's taking it from someone sitting at ringside, therefore giving the chair a place in this universe. The best table spots, like MX v Fans at Clash I, are the ones where the table has an existing reason to be there.

 

Also, with all of the hardcore matches WWE had done, matches that had been established as comedy matches where they typically put popular guys who couldn't work, using weapons like a garbage can imply a lack of danger, and they should have stayed away from it. I understand that at 39 years old, after years away from the limelight, Foley has to work smarter, disguise his weaknesses, and get more out of less. I didn't expect him to fall off a building into a glass of water or anything, but there were too many cheap shortcuts used in that direction. Compare that to Hogan/Rock at Wrestlemania X-8, where the ring work told the story, even if the personalities involved did overwhelm it at times. The finish also bugged me. Foley kicking out of the RKO was fine, but instead of having Orton do the move again, that was the time to break out a new finisher that would only be used in big match situations. It also didn't help that he did the EXACT same finish with HHH at No Way Out 2000, only with the Pedigree as the move in question. Bischoff threatening to shut down the show was fine, but they teased something really exciting and dangerous and failed to deliver, which is never a good idea. Orton being the one to light Barbie would have been a fantastic touch, and showed that he was willing to risk it all to make a name for himself. I also noticed that after he had soaked the bat in gasoline, he hit Orton with it later in the match. If that was planned, the announcers should have mentioned it and Orton should have sold it like his skin was burning. Imagine what it would feel like pouring gasoline into a blood wound. Yeah. That should have been sold like death.

 

I also don't know how much this feud did to establish Orton. Mick took so much punishment and suffered so much humiliation from start to finish that beating him didn't really mean much at all, because it seemed effortless. Mick didn't protect himself in the buildup, and I think it made Orton's accomplishments not mean as much as they should have, because you basically had Mick saying, "Hey, look at me, I'm putting over this rising star by losing to him!" It was almost pretentious, and it was hardly genuine.

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