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Chris Benoit v Matt Hardy


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Chris Benoit v Matt Hardy - WWF RAW 06/14/00


This match got a lot of praise at the time, with some even going as far as to call it a TV MOTYC, but there were far better televised matches that year with more heat, and Hardy is so nervous here that it hurts the match a little. Granted, he's still sound, but he's also relying too much on his brother's trademark spots to get a pop, and both are having to work in front of a crowd that completely lost their energy when HHH pinned Chris Jericho earlier in the night. For that reason, the match doesn't have the heat it should, although Matt is a more complete wrestler than Jeff, as Benoit would learn. He has a reversal for nearly all of Benoit's trademark spots, and even a few of his non-trademark spots, as he turns a powerbomb attempt by Benoit into a Russian legsweep, repeatedly counters the crossface into his own pin attempt, and in the best spot of the match, reverses a Benoit vertical suplex attempt into a suplex outside the ring. This wasn't a typical suplex to the floor, as Matt went down with him instead of staying on the apron. He gets Benoit vulnerable outside and charges toward him, and Benoit tries to back bodydrop him off of a blind charge, but Hardy reverses that into a DDT on the floor.


Putting Benoit in this much peril and expecting him to fight back required more time in this match, more offense from Hardy, and more build to the finish. They went to some extremes (I guess because Matt was in Team Extreme) in constructing this, and spots like the double TKO and the psychology of all the reversals needed more time to get the spotlight they deserved. Another problem this match faces is that Matt looks so ordinary by comparison, as he isn't nearly as aggressive or versatile as Benoit, and it shows, despite his best efforts. This match has its plusses, and this match had the potential to rock the house, but it should have come earlier in the night and it should have been given five more minutes at the very least. As it stands, it looks more like a prelude than the real thing.

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