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Thread: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

  1. #121
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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    This match was the highlight of a bad ppv, shame it get's buried under Paul Bearer literally getting buried in cement.
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  2. #122
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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    Quote Originally Posted by MC 16 View Post
    This match was the highlight of a bad ppv, shame it get's buried under Paul Bearer literally getting buried in cement.
    Outside of the awful finish, the JBL/Guerrero match was quite good as well.

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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Outside of the awful finish, the JBL/Guerrero match was quite good as well.
    I suppose but for every JBL vs Guerrero match there is Mordecai vs Hardcore Holly *shudders*
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  4. #124
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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    Quote Originally Posted by MC 16 View Post
    I suppose but for every JBL vs Guerrero match there is Mordecai vs Hardcore Holly *shudders*
    As it still seems to be true these days, the brand exclusive PPVs badly needed to be just two hours back then. Having GAB 2004 be a two hour PPV with:

    Concrete Crypt Match
    The Undertaker vs The Dudley Boyz

    WWE World Title
    Bullrope Match
    Eddie Guerrero (c) vs JBL

    WWE Cruiserweight Title
    Rey Mysterio (c) vs Chavo Guerrero

    WWE US Title
    John Cena (c) vs Rob Van Dam vs Booker T vs Rene Dupree

    Singles Match
    Sable vs Torrie Wilson

    Would have been fine. Instead we got three squash based matches with three new monster like heels. Even though Raw was easily better than Smackdown at this point, they still struggled with having every match mean something on their PPVs.

  5. #125
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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    As it still seems to be true these days, the brand exclusive PPVs badly needed to be just two hours back then. Having GAB 2004 be a two hour PPV with:

    Concrete Crypt Match
    The Undertaker vs The Dudley Boyz

    WWE World Title
    Bullrope Match
    Eddie Guerrero (c) vs JBL

    WWE Cruiserweight Title
    Rey Mysterio (c) vs Chavo Guerrero

    WWE US Title
    John Cena (c) vs Rob Van Dam vs Booker T vs Rene Dupree

    Singles Match
    Sable vs Torrie Wilson

    Would have been fine. Instead we got three squash based matches with three new monster like heels. Even though Raw was easily better than Smackdown at this point, they still struggled with having every match mean something on their PPVs.
    I've always dug the idea of brand exclusive PPVS being 2 hours. Cut out the unnecessary and have a tight, solid show

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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    The bullrope match was excellent. It was on my shortlist and just missed out though on another day I think I might have included it.

    Smackdown 2004 was really really poor though. So many failed gimmicks and awful wrestlers. I think it was the worst year of any brand during the brand split era. Even 2009 Raw and 2017 Smackdown were better. Lord knows how bad 2004 Smackdown could have been if Eddie wasn't having the best year of his career.

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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    You guys described Chavo perfectly. Can be brought up to an opponents level but ask him to do the same though and you simply get solid & serviceable. Perfectly good addition to make up numbers on a roster, but not someone you'd give a sustained push to.



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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    #67

    Ladder Match: Edge & Christian vs. The Brood – WWF No Mercy 1999

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    Why I rated it #67

    When you watch this match, from the start the crowd is deader than dead. They have no interest in the match at all beforehand, yet by the end of it they are absolutely rabid.

    This is the finals of the Terri Invitational Tournament where the winning team would get Terri's managerial services plus $100k. It's not that important in the long run but it gives them something to fight for, and it also leads to some great commentary where JR and even King question if Terri is even worth killing yourself over.

    It’s clear these guys were just going all out to steal the entire show. Even bumps not involving the ladder looked crazy and some of their falls to the floor in the early going were cool. But the early going also feels very much like really bad foreplay, in that they clearly just wanted to get into the big stuff and start playing with their ladder. Once they start involving the ladder it’s just non-stop big spot after big spot. Shit that we had never seen before in WWE, so many imaginative spots. In some ways they could have been dumb to do it this way as they might have left nothing else for future ladder matches. But then they escalated it three times more and pulled out even crazier stuff. I said this in the Summerslam review, but these guys left nothing for future ladder matches because they still haven’t been topped to this day. Like, even the see-saw ladder spot that made the Armageddon 2006 mach so incredible was debuted in this match. Short of Shelton running up the ladder, and the concept of breaking ladders (even that was done by Jeff and Edge ...) these guys innovated every big ladder spot in WWE to this day. It’s fascinating to think about.

    As a cohesive match filled with selling, I think this is weaker than other ladder matches. It is just move move move move. But it’s the context and legacy of this that are important. They were the ones that explored the ladder match as a spot-fest and a car crash. That’s not to say that this is bad by any means because a spotfest can be very enjoyable as long as it’s still smart. This is a smart match in that the big spots build up and build up throughout. There’s very few contrived spots and they all feel organic. Plus the fact it was a tag team ladder match helps because it meant that there were two in, and two out at all times.

    Very few people get standing ovations after matches, and Edge and Christian, two people the crowd couldn’t give less than a shit about 20 minutes earlier, get a standing ovation for their efforts.


    What is the legacy of this match?


    In terms of legacy, this is perhaps not as memorable as the more revered Wrestlemania X-Seven or maybe even Wrestlemania 2000 matches.

    But in terms of influence this is the most influential match in WWE that we’ve seen to this point in our list. No other match on my list has shaped an entire match type like this one. Obviously we had seen Michaels and Razor before, but while Michaels and Razor had a story driven match (albeit with still some big bumps), this match is clearly very different in style. Following this match, future ladder matches would follow this match’s lead, leaving behind the Michaels/Razor or Rock/HHH style of ladder match. When you think about future ladder matches, TLC matches, Money in the Bank, they all stemmed more from this match than any other. It’s incredibly influential.

    I think there’s an argument that this was also a changing of the times for WWF. As the company headed into 2000, there was an influx of some really incredible talent like the Radicalz, Angle, Jericho was being used better. With this and a change in the writing team, the focus became less on outrageous gimmicks like the Godfather, Sexual Chocolate. There were still big gimmicks, but as time moved on from this match, we see that the ability to put on a compelling match and have a more grounded personality (like E&C, or the Hardyz) served them much better in the long run. And that’s a big reason why these four were all successful going forward, both as teams and individuals.

    And that right there completes the 1999 section of the list, with a whopping two matches. Congratulations 1999, you fucking sucked.


    If you liked this match, you might like:

    The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz – WWF Wrestlemania 2000
    Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz – WWF Raw, 25th September 2000
    The Lucha Dragons vs. The New Day vs. The Usos – WWE Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2015


    #66 Teaser:

    Biker Taker challenges for the WWE Title.

  9. #129
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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    3 cheers for 1999

    Your comments about influence have given me a great question for Jim, but I agree about future ladder matches not matching the spectacle of the TLC teams efforts. There's a 3 team ladder match from PWG in 2012 that matches the "holy shit people may die" aura for me, but nothing apart from that.

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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    I think outside of WWE, Briscoes and Steenerico innovated the idea of an "oh my god, these people want to actually murder each other" in a ladder match, which hasn't seen in WWE yet outside of maybe Jericho vs Michaels (even that wasn't close to the brutality of Briscoes/Steenerico)

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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    I think outside of WWE, Briscoes and Steenerico innovated the idea of an "oh my god, these people want to actually murder each other" in a ladder match, which hasn't seen in WWE yet outside of maybe Jericho vs Michaels (even that wasn't close to the brutality of Briscoes/Steenerico)
    HBK vs Jericho has one of the worst botches in WWE history that ruined any thought of them trying to kill each other.

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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    #66

    WWE Championship: Kurt Angle (c) vs. The Undertaker – WWE SmackDown, 4th September 2003

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    Why I rated it #66

    This for me is the debut of MMA Taker. It would take a bit of time before it became a regular thing in his repertoire but this is the first match I can think of where it really shines through. It’s by far the best thing to happen in his career because it’s what turned Undertaker from being a fairly unremarkable wrestler into eventually one of the most reliably good wrestlers on the roster. It’s also quite amazing that the mat wrestling between Undertaker and Angle feels so authentic because it was a pretty risky thing to do to try something so different to what we had seen before. If you watch this now, it will feel like quite a lot of other late-Undertaker matches, but this one kickstarted the style.

    The story of the match is pretty basic in that Angle is determined to make Undertaker tap, and Undertaker refuses to ever submit – and also Undertaker proving that he could potentially make Angle tap out himself. I loved the storytelling in the early going with Undertaker going hold for hold until he found an opportunity to hit a right hand. That one right hand changes the entire momentum of the match – making that simple move one of the most important moves of the match. It is very clever in that Undertaker only uses the right hand a couple of times, and when he does it later on he once again turns the entire match on itself.

    The finishing sequence is your typical Angle counter finisher reversal kickout but it works here like it does with Angle vs Benoit from the Rumble: the finishers feel organic and earned, with lots of unique and interesting counters. They maintain the emphasis on submission moves right through to the end as well. Unfortunately the finish is a bit cheap, which hurts the match and its legacy, IMO.

    What is the legacy of this match?

    This was well loved at the time but has become more forgotten with time. The No Way Out 2006 match outshines this in almost every way, and Angle would follow this match up with the much revered Ironman match with Lesnar a couple of weeks later. However the impact this had on Undertaker's in-ring career shouldn't be understated.


    If you liked this match, you might like:

    Kurt Angle vs. The Rock vs. The Undertaker – WWE Vengeance 2002
    Kurt Angle vs. The Undertaker – WWE No Way Out 2006
    Edge vs. The Undertaker – WWE Wrestlemania 24


    #65 Teaser:

    The final piece in the precursor to TLC matches

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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    #65

    Tables Match: The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz – WWF Royal Rumble 2000

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    Why I rated it #65

    Man is this list heavy on these guys or what?

    The first ever tag team tables match, and definitely a precursor to the TLC matches. This is the best tables match in WWE history and it’s easy to see why. They take their time with the table teases and there seems to be some actual strategy in the match. This might be one of the most ECW-like matches in WWE history. It goes without saying since they’re my all time favourite tag team, but I love the Hardyz and this match is a big reason why. One thing I like is that JR right from the beginning clarified that it needs to be an offensive move that puts a team member through. What that leads to is even more table chaos as guys get to throw themselves through tables left and right, and people getting thrown through multiple times. It seems like modern tag team tables matches don’t explore that and simply stick to 1 guy through; 1 guy from the other team through; then 1 team wins. At ten minutes long, this is very much a spotfest sprint but that’s all it needed to be. Big heavy bombs, tables breaking, absurdly sick chairshots, but it’s a brilliant match for what it is and what it set out to be. Jeff comes out of the match as the star in my eyes, with his crazy bumps, the table and chair shots he took to the head. And of course the finish is fantastic and a standout moment for Jeff as an individual as this was the first of his really big showstealing moments. He would follow it up at Wrestlemania with an even bigger dive.

    It’s an absolute blast to watch and one of my favourites from this time period.


    What is the legacy of this match?

    Unlike the ladder matches we have seen thus far that all got overshadowed, this is still comfortably the best tables match in WWE history. It hasn’t been touched and nothing comes close. As I mentioned in the review section, this is the first match I can recall where Jeff Hardy stood out on his own as the crazy SOB he is. And the influence this match had in setting up the TLC matches in the next year or so are clear to see.


    If you liked this match, you might like:

    Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz – WWF Summerslam 2000
    Elijah Burke, Kevin Throne, Marcus Cor Von & Matt Striker vs. Rob Van Dam, Sabu, The Sandman & Tommy Dreamer – WWE ECW, 3rd April 2007
    Beulah McGillicutty, Terry Funk & Tommy Dreamer vs. Edge, Lita & Mick Foley – ECW One Night Stand 2006


    #64 Teaser:

    He might not have had a chance to make it onto the 2006-2016 list, but one of the most beloved wrestlers ever gets his first appearance with this fantastic SmackDown match

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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    That falling through the table spot though.
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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    #64

    WWE Championship: Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Rey Mysterio – WWE SmackDown, March 18th 2004

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYQE_EIMhvw


    Why I rated it #64

    Somewhat ironically, despite facing each other so many times in 2005, it’s this little match tucked away in March 2004 that is the lone Rey vs Eddie match on the list. As with most things Rey Mysterio, it’s not the big PPV matches that need praising, it’s his laundry list of classic TV matches, and this is no exception.

    Unlike most of the 2005 series, this is a face vs face match which makes for some fun exhibition-y stuff to start with. Obviously with these two being so familiar with one another and them both being incredible wrestlers, the sequences are loads of fun, and unpredictable. Eddie makes for a fantastic base for Mysterio to bounce off. It goes without saying but these two are so good they seem to put everyone else to shame in terms of execution. Every move just looks so smooth and impactful. As the match progresses, Eddie gets more and more frustrated, allowing himself to become more vicious to try and keep Mysterio down. I like that because he gets to play a de-facto heel without going too far, and it puts Mysterio over as a defiant opponent. This was a nice reminder to fans that Rey was capable of competing with the top of the card wrestlers, even if it wouldn’t be until next year that he got permanently pushed up the card.

    As sad as it is to say, the glaring difference between this and 2005 is that Eddie is so much better here than in 2005. 2004 was Eddie’s career year and he was the one shining light of SmackDown through the whole year (and probably only behind Benoit as the best wrestler in 2004). In 2005, Eddie just wasn’t the same and his match quality dipped severely. One of the more loved matches in the 2005 feud was the June SmackDown match, but that one never sat right with me because it felt very out of place in that they had a wrestling match in the middle of their blood feud, so the context didn’t fit.


    What is the legacy of this match?

    It’s a bit like a lot of these first 40 matches or so, and I’m repeating myself again, but this is another match that is unfortunately overshadowed by their other matches. Or should I say match. Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero wrestled each other so many times in their career, but they had one match that stands so far above all the others: Halloween Havoc 1997. Every match they had after that will invariably be compared to that one classic they had. And while you could argue that this match, as well as a couple of others, are great matches – the HH97 match is one of the greatest matches of all time. They never quite got to that level again.


    If you liked this match, you might like:

    Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio – WWE Wrestlemania 21
    Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio – WWE SmackDown, 23rd June 2005
    Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio – WWE SmackDown, 7th April 2006


    #63 Teaser:

    Some of the SmackDown Six try to get themselves a WWE Title Match.

  16. #136
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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    Was wondering who you were on about not being in the previous list. Now I'm all sad about Eddie.

    Pretty sure the next one is the Angle/Edge/Benoit/Eddie elimination match from 2002



  17. #137
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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    I thought it was going to be Eddie from your comments, Shock. Agree with everything you said about 2004 Eddie as well. So sad that he wasn't able to be in the previous list, although I look forward to seeing some more of him in this one.




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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    #63

    Fatal Four Way Elimination Match: Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero vs. Edge vs. Kurt Angle – WWE Smackdown, 5th December 2002

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    Why I rated it #63

    If I had to sum this match in one word it would be fast. It’s wrestled at a crazy pace throughout with tonnes of big moves and counters. It’s your typical SmackDown Six goodness, with some of the best wrestlers in the company just going out there and doing what they do best. It’s intense, unpredictable and compelling.

    The major story of the match is that Edge has an injured leg following an attack from Albert. They probably put a bit too much into protecting Edge in this match that it made it feel a little inauthentic, but I appreciated the effort to make him look like a star in defeat. But on the whole I liked the injury aspect to the match a lot and thought Edge sold it well.

    Once it gets down to Angle vs Edge, the finishing sequence is absolutely nuts. Like one of the craziest finishing sequences ever – it’s fifteen minutes of balls to the wall near falls, and even for the SmackDown Six it was ridiculous. Critics of Angle may point to this as a signal of him whoring himself out to this style, but this is when the style was still in its infancy. It wasn’t for a while yet before it would become the norm for him. If I had one criticism of it though it’s Edge hanging on for too long in the ankle lock compared to others in the match.

    One thing I liked about this, and it’s similar to the Backlash 2008 elimination match with Cena, JBL, Orton and HHH, is that they used the four way to break up the monotony of a regular match and make for a more interesting beginning. I’m surprised it’s something that hasn’t been explored more in WWE. I think that’s why I enjoy this match more than the similar Edge vs Angle encounters earlier in 2002: because the awkward early sections were replaced with Benoit and Eddie goodness, before going into the Edge vs Angle finishing sequence that was so revered at the time.


    What is the legacy of this match?

    It’s one of the more fondly remembered matches from the SmackDown Six era, but in the long term it didn’t amount to much. All the efforts to protect Edge – who surely would have been a champion in 2003 or 2004 – was all for nothing because of the injury he suffered in early 2003. Angle was crowned number one contender following the win here, and that got him the WWE Championship at Armageddon a couple of weeks later. But other than that, this had no lasting legacy to it. It’s strange, but a lot of the best stuff from the SmackDown Six came on free TV, and because there was such an abundance a lot of it blurred together. Without the benefit of gimmick matches or being on a PPV, these matches struggle to stand out. Thankfully the 4 way rules puts this one out in the open just a bit more.


    If you liked this match, you might like:

    Edge vs. Kurt Angle – WWE Judgment Day 2002
    Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio – WWE SmackDown, 17th November 2002
    JBL vs. John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Triple H – WWE Backlash 2008


    #62 Teaser:

    When a love triangle goes too far.

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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    Thinking that Edge might be making two appearances in a row judging by your hint.




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    Re: The 100 Greatest WWE Matches (1996-2005)

    #62

    Steel Cage Match: Chris Jericho vs. Christian – WWE Raw, 10th May 2004
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plSxV98tpVk

    Why I rated it #62

    I think most people have a love-hate relationship with steel cage matches. Let’s face it, when they’re good, they’re very good and a perfect way to blow off a feud (I know this wasn’t quite the blowoff but for the love triangle section this was the end). But the majority of steel cage matches are counter-intuitive and lame.

    I’m a big fan of their Wrestlemania match which was close to making the list. But what I liked in this one more is the hate that the two of them were able to portray. The hate in this match kept escalating and they let it get more and more brutal.

    As a cage match you tend to expect interference – it’s actually more shocking when someone doesn’t interfere. I think the difference in this match is that Trish and Tomko were already on the outside right from the start, so you knew they were going to get involved. They didn’t try and hide that fact, and I appreciate that. They also didn’t just have a regular match in a cage. The two were using the environment to bounce about like madmen, and with both of hem being fantastic bumpers it made for a great match.

    The last couple of minutes of the match are as good as anything you are likely to see. I won’t spoil it because it’s just a great conclusion to this part of the story, and one of my favourite blowoffs ever. If you haven’t seen this match I highly recommend it.


    What is the legacy of this match?

    This whole storyline had Chris Jericho’s fingerprints all over it. When he gets invested in a story and is allowed the freedom to create a long-running feud, it makes for some compelling television. Case in point this feud, Jericho vs Owens and Jericho vs Michaels – all of which were much better feuds than almost everything else on TV at the time.

    Once again, it’s 2004 Raw (best year for any brand ever) flying high and producing more goods. While Evolution, Michaels, Benoit, etc were producing the goods at the top of the card, Jericho and Christian were giving us a well-thought out quality midcard feud for the first six months of the year.


    If you liked this match, you might like:

    Mankind vs. Triple H – WWE Summerslam 1997
    Chris Jericho vs. Christian – WWE Wrestlemania XX
    Edge vs. Matt Hardy – WWE Unforgiven 2005


    #61 Teaser:

    Robert Downey Jr has nothing on these guys.

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