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Benoit vs Smith

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I decided to rewatch a couple of my favourite Benoit vs Smith matches and talk about them.







This is for the Commonwealth mid heavyweight title and is a rematch from their first bout the previous week. In that bout Smith was 3pds over the weight limit so the title wasn't on the line. This time he has made the limit at 225pds and thus the title is on the line.



The match is unfortunately JIP about 2 min in. From there we have several very cool exchanges between Benoit and Smith that almost alyways end up with Benoit getting the advantage and Smith bailing to the outside. In fact Smith being a total heel vacates the premises at least 6 times in total. So of course Benoit gets frustrated as anyone naturally would, follows Smith outside the ring only to get caught coming in with some boots to the head by Smith which ends up being a turning point of the bout. Very well done as you can't really blame Benoit at all for being so impatient with the irritating Smith. In fact, one has to admire his patience for lasting this long without going outside the ring to attack Smith earlier.


From there we go into a long beatdown by Smith where Smith is mainly doing the pitching and Benoit the catching. Smith is dominatiing and in a sweet heel spot starts slapping an out of his feet Benoit in the face looking for a fight. Benoit here is just fantastic selling the exhaustion and making a brief comeback where he lands on his feet from an attempted Smith elbow. He climbs up to the top rope for a big splash but gets caught on Smith's knees FLUSH (this is the best I've ever seen this done) causing the tide to turn and Smith's focus as he now attacks Benoit's ribs.

This is where the match truly becomes something special as it just turns into a viciously hard fought battle/struggle. With the slapping bit and the knees to the stomach mentioned previously plus a knee to the stomach off of the ropes by Smith which has to be seen to be believed we have ourselves a series of moves that are just criminally well done. The thing is though is that Benoit and Smith don't cheat by just deciding to stiff someone. They just execute these manuevers so well including maybe the fastest crossbodyblock I've ever seen by Benoit later on in the bout that looks more rugged than a million stiff kicks.


Makahn Singh who rules on commentary is right on the ball here commentating talking about broken ribs but it gets even better. The next comeback by Benoit features Benoit hitting his own to knee to Smith's stomach off of the ropes in a revenge spot. The thing is this move was so well executed that we're now wondering if Smith has broken ribs as well. In fact Smith is now holding his stomach for a bit giving Benoit some time and just adding to the epic struggle that these two are going through. One of the last comebacks by Benoit is also really indicative of this. Benoit hits a superfast crossbodyblock only for Smith to throw him to the cement off a cover where he than proceeds to slam Benoit on the cement.


Throughout the match, Smith is often hitting Benoit with knees to Benoit's injured stomach. It's a little hard to describe but he does it in such an arrogant manner that when he finally misses one you can't help but pop for Benoit. This leads to the beginning of Benoit's comeback after about 10 mins or so of being annihilated. The comeback is lots of fun since we the fans have been anticipating/hoping so long for one. Benoit manages to hit a small package which is a lethal move in this series and than hits some offence. Smith goes for the skullduggery route with some brass knucks as he's now desperate but Benoit counters that via blocked punch. Smith than counters Benoit's punch and we have the end of a controversial bout.



In conclusion, this is one of my favourite all time matches. Smith is a tremendous heel throughout such as when he's strutting about in the ring after slamming Benoit on the cement, the beginning is chalk full of fun wrestling, the match itself gives off a tremendous hard fought struggle vibe, the execution of everything was spot on including some of the best hit stuff I've seen, the comebacks by Benoit when he is getting beat up are exceptional and the ending stretch/comeback by Benoit is very good.

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Hey WP, what would it take to get a hold of these Stampede matches?

I sent you a big, long, confusing PM.


There's also some cool early Dynamite Kid stuff on the officail classic tapes that Stampede put out and a fun battly royal with Andre the Giant.




Stampede's a real fun league. I noticed Dynamite's influence is all over the league after the reset. I found myself enjoying it even more once I completely reset my mind into the style they were doing. It's cool to see moves such as the small package and the flying splash be as lethal as they were. Makes for a change of pace.



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