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Saturday, September 1, 2012

5 star matches

Another good question for you (and the blog). Have their been any matches you awarded 5 stars to in the past, however, on later viewings you changed your feelings on the match(es) in question??

Sure, my opinions waver all the time.  The TLC matches go up and down in my mind, the Razor-Shawn ladder matches, a couple of the Wargames matches...it really just depends what day of the week I'm watching and rating stuff sometimes. It's not an exact science at all.  

57 comments:

  1. Really on Shawn/Razor?  I thought at least the first one was always ***** in your reviews?

    The ones that stick out in my mind as having fallen from grace from me over time are the Funk/Flair match from the NY Knockout Clash and Austin/Rock from WrestleMania X7.  Both of them are good matches, but I don't enjoy them the same way I used to -- they feel ****-ish to me now.

    For Flair/Funk the GAB 1989 match is just stronger to me -- I don't really like the "I Quit" stipulation in the COTC match as it just eats up a bunch of time and the brutality quotient isn't really higher than in the GAB match either, which is sort of the point.  The plastic bag angle beats anything in the match.  The whole "I'm gonna shake your hand you salty dog" ending just doesn't work for me either -- the hatred between them in the GAB match makes for a great story as it seems so intense.

    Austin/Rock is a rockin' 20 minute match stretched into 40 minutes -- it's one of those matches I think will get an automatic five stars from a lot of people because it is such a big moment like Hogan/Andre, but it is pretty sloppy at times and there is so much stalling and walking around the ring.  If you feel all of the laying around and outside stuff just heightens the tension and allows you to soak in the awesomeness of the high-spots, more power to you, but I just personally find the full length match a bit of a chore to sit through.

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  2. *there, not their.

    Anyway, there are a lot of matches are great on first viewing when you don't know who is going to win, most notably the Undertaker vs HBK Wrestlemania matches (I wasn't sure, dammit!) ,  HBK vs Angle at WM 21, and many others. I think Razor vs Shawn WM10 and stuff like Eddie vs Rey at Halloween Havoc 97 are great every time I watch them. Lots of other stuff that I liked as a teenager like some hardcore matches and a lot of ECW was of course great back then (especially live) but hasn't aged too well.

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  3. Yeah that is a good point -- some matches are really designed to be watched only once, which I don't think there is any shame in that.  It's just another way of putting together a match.

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  4.  You mean Rock/Austin from WM17? I was always in the minority with that one, but I just didn't like it that much. The match was going great until Vince showed up and Austin starts his heel turn. It just felt like the match stopped, and then the heel turn started, and then the pin fall was a foregone conclusion. I didn't like the actual execution of the heel turn - it just felt like it took too long, I like when the actual turn is one quick action then you're left to sit in shock reacting to it...Austin's heel turn went for a good few minutes while he beat down Rock. It's not that he turned heel, it's just how it all played out that kills it for me.

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  5. Angle/Michaels is awesome stuff. I really wish they'd have given one of them the title and let them have a good 3 or 4 month series of matches. I know they met a couple of times afterwards but it just didn't feel as epic. It seemed like they were just doing rematches just to do them, rather than it all being part of one long story, like Michaels/Jericho in 08.

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  6. The ROH haters are just chomping at the bit hoping that Richards/Elgin rating goes down..

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  7. I kinda like the ending, the way he just beats him into oblivion and then just pins him to really drive it home.  I think there is probably one too many false finishes there, but I like the idea -- obviously totally the wrong arena for it as the crowd doesn't bite and instead it deflates the moment a bit.

    It sorta reminds me of the NWO and Hogan doing everything but tie Elizabeth to a palette of dynamite and hit her with a train at the end of Fall Brawl 1996 to really get them some major heel heat on TV in front of the crowd in NC (exactly the right crowd).  I love how that whole thing is executed, with Sting walking out on WCW and then Hogan running amok.  They destroyed the announce position, chased Dusty Rhodes off the set, obliterated Randy Savage, mocked his divorce with Elizabeth on the live mic and then spray-painted and spit on her.  Between his turn at Bash at the Beach and that point, Hogan was getting face pops more frequently than he probably did the whole year of 1995 -- but no so much after that, I think that's really when he embraced the character as more than just black clothes and a cowardly heel routine.

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  8. It's funny but I like the beat down to - I just don't like that the heel beat down happened during the match and they just did the pin fall to end it afterwards. I think I'd like it more if Vince gave him a chair, he lays Rock out, pins them, then beats the shit out of him like he did to drive home that he's turned - but the way they did it also fit into the story that whatever Austin did, Rock kept coming back, and Austin had to go over the edge and then some to finally beat him. It just felt like they did the extended heel beat down after the match DURING the match which sort of halted the momentum of the match.

    But I do like an over the top, extended heel moment like Fall Brawl 1996. Same idea as what the Nexus did that first night - just complete out of the ordinary chaos.

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  9. Just to mention a few of the choices Scott highlighted, I feel the first TLC matches, both Shawn-Razor matches, the first Wargames match (as well as the 92 version) are still 5 star matches.

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  10.  I still give all the matches you mentioned 5 stars with the exception of one, and unfortunately that's the HBK-Taker match from WM26. Personally, Matt Striker's annoying commentary brings my rating down.

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  11.  Regarding Michaels and Angle, their matches were awesome. Their Vengeance 2005 match is underrated (and forgotten basically). Their 30 minute Ironman match from the 10/3/05 Raw was excellent (about 4 stars). And last but not least, their match from the 1/16/06 Raw was very good too.

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  12.  I haven't watched the Flair-Funk I Quit match in quite some time, but I do recall liking their GAB 89 match better. Austin vs. Rock from WM17 still receives the 5 star rating from me. I'm a little biased here, but it's legit though.

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  13.  I had a small problem with that finish too, even with my 5 star rating.

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  14.  Just because someone doesn't think Richards/Elgin is the BEST MATCH EVER.  Does not make them ROH Haters.  It just means they think that specific match is overrated.

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  15.  The Flair-Funk match also just doesn't seem as brutal as it used to, because those type of  brawls have become commonplace.

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  16. One match that I used to swear up and down was *****, but today not so much, is Shawn/Jarrett from IYH 2. Watching it today, all the stalling and Memphis bullshit sort of kills it (though it's still one of my favorites), I'd give it *** at most. Another one that doesn't hold up today (though I never thought it was *****) is Bret/Diesel from RR95. Watching that today it's really pretty boring, it seems like they're just waiting for the run-ins, and it kind of seems like they're sort of dogging it, knowing full well that the non-ending wasn't getting anyone any more over.

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  17.  You're right about that.

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  18. Im shocked nobody has said anything about the double j/michaels match for the ic title... Since there is so much jeff jarrett hate here on this blog

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  19. Have to disagree with TLC2 being *****, there's just way too many blown spots, most of them by 1 guy. I wouldn't call the second HBK/Razor match ***** either, it just seems really forced to me, Shawn kept fucking up the ending, and to me it just wasn't anywhere near as good as the first one. They're still both great matches though.

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  20. What would your ratings be for these matches?

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  21.  I agree, Shawn vs. Jarrett, which was excellent, is not a 5 star match.

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  22. I did, see below.

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  23. I wouldn't give any credence to the "no one saw it!" theory of not giving that one the full monty, because obviously that isn't true. But it would be fair if someone couldn't give it 5 stars just based on the fact that there was really no backstory there: the match was booked out of a convoluted tournament-ish thing only a week before and until the night before it wasn't positive whether it'd be a title match. Davey had feuded with Roderick off and on for a while but didn't really have any issues with Elgin directly. Backstory is definitely fair game in factoring in a matches' rating, and that match didn't really have one. 

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  24. TLC2: ***, maybe ***1/2. HBK/Razor II: ****.

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  25. It's 20 minutes of Angle kicking HBK's ass and then jumping off into a Sweet Chin Music in one of those uber-contrived spots and losing. I just don't think it's that great or the iron man match on RAW.

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  26. About a year ago, I rewatched Rock/Angle/Taker from "Vengeance 2002", and didn't think it aged well at all - I absolutely loved it when it originally occurred, and I think most people probably felt that it was around 4* or so at the time, but it just didn't seem nearly as exciting this time. Even the vaunted finish with everybody exchanging finishers didn't really do anything for me.

    On the flip-side, I rewatched Brock/Angle/Show from "Vengeance 2003" immediately after watching the match above, and it just gets better every time I see it. It's absolutely one of my favorite matches ever, it was such a unique mix of styles that ended-up meshing perfectly, and might just edge out WM20 as the best three-way match ever. Easily the best match Show was ever part of, as well.

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  27.  And what about the Double J/McMichaels match for the US title?

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  28. I liked TLC III more than TLC I or II.

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  29. I still love that Vengeance match, if only for Rock mock-rev'ing a motorcycle during his slap combo.

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  30. IIRC, didn't Scott splooge himself after the 2012 Rumble, declaring 5 stars before backing down the next day? Might've been the bar booze talking, although it was really enjoyable; they've really knocked it out of the park with the Rumble match the last three years.

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  31. I think that's a better match than most people give it credit for. McMichaels was able to be a passable wrestler for a while and this was his absolute zenith in terms of skill and appeal.

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  32. True, that was just one of those absolutely brilliant "Rock" touches.

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  33.  Both were excellent, haven't watched either in quite some time. Wouldn't give either of them 5 stars.

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  34. Classics On Demand has started airing SNME finally.. Dope~!!

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  35. I thought that Kevin Greene's matches were pretty decent. Had he wanted to be a full-time guy I think he would have turned out to be a good worker. He actually made the effort to put on a good match, something that can't be said about a lot of guys around that time.

    Jarrett/Mongo was fine. Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling, as Scott would say.

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  36. Plus, the opening was hilarious with Angle feeling left out and provoking both of them.

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  37.  I can't really remember that match. It was the televised one on Smackdown wasn't it? Had four teams if I'm not mistaken?

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  38. Jericho & Benoit vs. Hardys vs. Dudleys vs. Edge & Christian. It was on Smackdown, not sure of the exact date, my Ladder Match DVD is in a box in the garage. Pretty good, I'd say it's better than the second one, but not as good as the first. I swear Scott reviewed that DVD, but I can't find it anywhere.

    BTW, you wanna see a crazy ladder match, the best one is the first MITB match (WM XX?), IMO, though the spot with Benoit clearly missing the headbutt off the ladder (busting open an old bladejob wound in the process), and Kane selling it anyway is ridiculous.

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  39. still awesome to me.

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  40. wow i hate tlc 2 and i think u underrated it.

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  41. that second paragraph is either unintentional comedy or genious.

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  42. The workrate from Vengeance 2005 was good, but I think the winner was such a foregone conclusion that it brought the match down some.

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  43. I remember my mind being blown by the first Edge & Christian vs. Hardyz ladder match at No Mercy, but when I watched it again recently I realized they had topped themselves so thoroughly in subsequent TLC matches that I was less impressed with the original. It still gets points for creating a whole new style in one match, but it's a case where it seems lesser just by comparison. 

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  44. Don't like jarrett but that match is a classic with jj doing some awesome heel work. Great great match.

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  45.  I hear you on that. And as Scott said in his Wrestling's Made Men book, Vengeance 05 is in some elite company considering the last three back to back excellent matches (HBK vs. Angle, Cena-Jericho-Christian, & Batista vs. HHH).

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  46.  I gave that match 5 stars at first, but 4.5 sounds about right imo.

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  47. I think the whole night of him getting ready to sing, ignoring the roadie's match, performing, being in his "hometown" and michaels bitching about how its his bday n nobody cared added to make the match more than what it should have been somehow

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  48. I'd actually have to agree. I hated Jeff Jarrett so much during that run that I was kind of happy to see someone as unlikely as Mongo take the belt off him. This was also a good way to transition the belt to Hennig, so although putting the US title on the green football player may have seemed like a depreciating move, it actually accomplished several things at once.

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  49. Flair Vs. Steamboat - Clash of the Champions April '89 is ALWAYS five stars!

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  50. Yes, but I don't think that's fair to that match. I think you have (or should) judge is based on what had happened leading up to that contest. Yes, some of the MSG matches in the early-80's were just as, if not, more brutal, but I doubt anything on mainstream, national TV had been. Still, I've always had a soft spot for their GAB match. I'd give the COC match four out of five stars.

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  51.  YES INDEED. All three of their matches from 89 remain at 5 stars.

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  52. I wish they would have used that springboard into the superkick finish only once. Same with the springboard into the RKO. When those both happened for the first time, I lost my shit. When they were repeated it became less special each time.

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  53. I was surprised when Scott raised his rating for Horowitz/Skip to 4 1/2 stars, but to each his own.

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