The Best of the Smackdown Six (part 1)
By Peter Kostka
Jun 3, 2003, 00:39
Before we begin, let me offer my condolences to the family of “Classy” Freddie Blassie. Although he competed and was at his peak in the business before my time, he still hung around and entertained the masses, bringing the term “pencil necked geek” into the wrestling lexicon. He also made PPV’s seem extra special through his voiceovers during the opening montage (Wrestlemania X-7 is an example.) He will be missed.
Yep, this is 100% totally new content. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Ok, we all agree that the majority of 2002 WWF/E sucked donkey balls, right? From the total embarrassment of Jericho’s title reign (save for the Rumble match with Rock) to the NWO, and the totally shitty angles like Katie Vick, “Taker’s a cheating bastard”, HLA and “Billy and Chuck get hitched”. Well, for about 3 or so months at the tail end of 2002, a ray of sunshine permeated the clouds of crap and made at least one show watchable and, dare I say, “must see” again, all thanks to six men: Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Chavo and Eddie Guerrero, Edge and Rey Mysterio. Thanks to Paul Riggs of Showstopper Video, I was able to procure a 5 hour tape of 18 of the best matches (and a few promos) from SmackDowns and PPVs between those six men. And I pass along the savings to you. Of course, with 18 matches, I’m splitting this thing into two parts. Where will I cut part one off? Wait and see.
The Best of the SmackDown Six
We start things off WAAAAAY back in April. Edge and Kurt Angle used to be friends, buddies, compadres even. After the roster split the week after Wrestlemania 18, when both men were drafted to Vince McMahon’s SmackDown program, Kurt Angle (Vince’s #2 pick) declared himself the greatest Superstar in WWE, but Edge took exception to that, leading to Edge getting a victory over Angle in a match. That ticked Angle off and led to a heated feud that lasted most of April. Edge seemingly tried to bury the hatchet with a stroll down memory lane for Kurt in the form of some old photos, but that Kooky Edge, probably having watched Wayne’s World the night before, wrote insults on the back of the photos which said things like “Yes, I do suck” and “P.S. I have no testicles”. However, Kurt figured out he was being made a fool by masterminding a cunning plan (turning the photos over) and that led to a Backlash challenge.
Edge vs. Kurt Angle (still w/hair) (From Backlash 2002)
Fun fact: this was the last WWF PPV. I must say, the Backlash set was really cool with the swinging hooks and all. They lockup to start and Angle gets a knockdown. He puts on the brakes after an Edge leapfrog but gets slugged down. Edge whips him into the corner and runs into an elbow, but he recovers and dropkicks Angle down. Kurt reverses a whip but Edge ducks a clothesline and flapjacks him, then clotheslines him out. Kurt pulls him out, but eats post. Back in, Edge gets a spinkick but Angle ducks a clothesline and hits a German. Kurt works him over in the corner with chops and whips him, but runs into a boot. Edge charges into an overhead suplex for the first two count of the match. Edge tries to fight back, but gets suplexed again for another 2. Kurt hits the chinlock, but Edge escapes and Angle tries the ROLLING GERMANS~!, but Edge escapes that and hits an overhead suplex on Angle, leading to a double KO. Slugfest and Edge hits a flying forearm and a BAAAAAAAACK body drop, and then hits the Edgeucution for 2. Edge faceplants him for another 2 and goes up, but Angle pops up and follows up with a suplex for a 2. Angle goes for the Anglelock (without dropping the straps first) and Edge kicks him off, blocks a German and tries for his own, but gets caught in the ROLLING GERMANS~! after which Angle bridges for 2. Angle tries an Angle Slam but Edge escapes and Germans him right on his head (with a pretty audible thump). A woozy Kurt charges at the Edge and gets backdropped out with Edge going up and following with a bodypress. Back in, Edge hits a missile dropkick, but Kurt kicks out of the pin. Angle escapes both another Edgeucution and an Edge-o-Matic and hits the Angle Slam, but that only gets two. Angle DROPS THE STRAPS~! (there you go) and locks in the Anglelock, but Edge counters with a rollup for a close 2 (which the fans totally bought as a finish). Kurt knocks him down and goes out for a chair. He swings, but Edge ducks and the chair ricochets off the ropes back in Kurt’s face. Edge takes advantage with an Edge-o-Matic for another 2 count. The fans are REALLY into this one now. Edge preps for the Spear, but charges into an Angle PUNT in the face and Kurt hits the Angle Slam for the pin. Time of the match - 14:30
Not a bad way to start things off here. Edge really came into his own as a singles wrestler here. Of course, having Kurt Angle to work with helps the progression a lot. Plus, they really got the crowd into it at the end. 8/10
We now move on to August. Rey Mysterio had debuted just a month or so previous and WWE decided to give him a run with the heavyweights instead of using him to improve the cruiser division (in retrospect, a good idea I think, because of the matches that came out of it). Kurt Angle didn’t really have anything happening at this point (happened a lot in 2002 which didn’t sit well with certain TSM board posters, I’ll tell you that) so these two had a mini feud in August which culminated in a match at Summerslam.
Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio (from Summerslam 2002)
Rey puts one over on Kurt to start by coming to the ring through the crowd while Angle is watching the entrance and hitting a springboard hurricanrana. Rey uses his speed to knock Angle from pillar to post Lucha-style, but Angle holds onto the arm on a whip and sends Rey into the corner, and then trips him up for the Anglelock. Rey escapes, but Kurt rolls and grabs the ankle again, getting the hold on for a few seconds before Rey grabs the ropes and then flips away. Kurt ends up getting tripped into the ropes and Rey goes for the 6-1-9, but Kurt avoids it and yanks him to the outside. He shoves Rey into the apron and rolls him back in, but puts his head down and Rey goes for a facebuster, but Angle catches him and hits an ocean cyclone suplex (just whipping Rey to the mat). Kurt goes for a German, but Rey hangs on to the ropes and counters into a sunset flip for 2, with Angle almost knocking his head into the 5th row with a lariat afterwards. Kurt works the lower back, grinding a knee into it while Rey’s in the ropes and slugs away in the corner. Rey tries a comeback, but Angle uses his power advantage and counters a headscissors with a sideslam for 2. Kurt locks in a single leg crab to put pressure on the back but Rey counters into a rollup for a close 2. Kurt pounds on him as a dueling “Let’s go Angle/Angle sucks!!” rises from the crowd and Rey manages a jawbreaker and another sunset flip try, but Angle blocks it. Rey escapes a right hand but runs into a BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK body drop (the extra A’s are for the elevation Rey got) and Angle DROPS THE STRAPS~! and goes for the Angle Slam, but Rey counters it into an armdrag and yanks the top rope down as Kurt charges sending him out. Rey gets ready to fly, but the ref blocks his path, drawing HUGE boos. The ref leans through the ropes to check on Kurt so Rey just rolls OVER him over the top rope and sentons onto Angle!! Fans really get into the match now and let loose the “Holy shit!” chant for that. Back in, Rey hits a high springboard legdrop, but only gets 2 ¾. Rey springs off the corner onto Kurt’s shoulders, so he just drops Rey to the mat and tries the Anglelock, but Rey kicks him off onto the ropes. He gets the 619 and plants Angle with the West Coast Pop, but Angle barely kicks out. Rey goes up and Angle charges for him, so Rey flips off the mat and dropkicks him while he’s perched on top. Rey gets fancy and goes for a Dragonrana, but Kurt avoids it (in an odd looking spot) and locks in the Anklelock, pulling him to the center of the ring to prevent an escape. Rey has no choice but to tap. Time of the match - 9:26
I loved how this match progressed: Rey started out like a firecracker, so Angle used his skill and size to keep him grounded, but Rey tried to counter that by getting in a shot here and there until he saw an opening. Unfortunately, he got too cute and Angle took advantage, making sure this one was over with that Anglelock. Once he pulled Rey to the center, it was over. Kurt also bumped like a madman for Rey, making him look faboo. 7.5/10
Meanwhile, Edge and Eddie Guerrero, who had jumped from RAW to Smackdown along with Chris Benoit in early August, started a mini feud where the story was that Eddie was “jealous” of Edge’s popularity and the belief that he was “the future of Smackdown”. So stuff happened and we get a Summerslam match out of it.
Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero (from Summerslam 2002)
Eddie grabs a hammerlock to start but Edge sends him into the ropes and gets a flapjack. They fight over a go behind and Edge knees Eddie in the gut and tries to suplex him out of the ring, but he lands on the apron and snaps Edge’s neck on the ropes. Eddie pounds on the head and tries a whip, but Edge reverses it and monkey flips Eddie on his head. Edge slams him down and gets a two count. Edge ties him up in the ropes and nails a spear, but that frees Eddie a bit and he is able to avoid another spear, sending Edge out to the floor, landing on his left shoulder (the one he legitimately injured in a cage match with Angle a few weeks previous. The ref goes out to check on him and Eddie, like J-Lo finding a cute, young actor to wed, pounces on the shoulder, ramming it into the steps. Back in, Eddie pounds on it, driving Edge to the mat with an arm breaker and driving some elbows into it. He twists Edge’s arm and goes up, hitting a jumping arm breaker and covering for 2. Eddie is just destroying the shoulder here. He puts on a wristlock as Edge screams in pain, but reaches the ropes. Eddie lays the boots onto it and badmouths Edge before locking in a standing crossface chickenwing (that’s what Tazz calls it, anyway). The ref checks the arm and Edge keeps it up, breaking the hold with a snapmare, but Eddie just trips him up and puts on a Fujiwara armbar, pulling the arm straight up in the air. Edge tries to get out of it and manages to get up, but Eddie just backdrop suplexes him down, holding on to the arm and putting the wristlock back on. Methodical, thy name is Eddie. He clotheslines Edge down and charges, but Edge gets a powerslam, selling the shoulder injury afterwards. He clotheslines and backdrops Eddie with his good arm but runs into an elbow to the chops. Edge gets a faceplant out of nowhere (forgetting the shoulder for a bit) and gets a two count. Eddie tries a suplex, but Edge counters and suplexes Eddie over the top, actually remembering his shoulder is hurt this time and crumpling to the mat. He slowly gets to his feet and goes up hitting a bodypress onto Eddie (with Eddie smacking against the barrier pretty hard). Back in, Edge goes up again, but Eddie slugs him and goes for a superplex, but Edge counters that into a top rope Edgucution, but only gets 2. Edge preps for the spear, but Eddie dropkicks the shoulder (awesome) and goes up for the frog splash, but Edge gets his knees up. Another Edgucution (Edge seems to have temporary amnesia regarding the shoulder again) gets a close two and Edge tries a third, but Eddie counters into a northern lights for another near fall. Swinging neckbreaker from Eddie and he goes up, but Edge follows him up, so Eddie just headbutts the hell out of the shoulder, pushes him off and, as a last bit of punishment, frog splashes it! Eddie rules. Edge kicks out at two, however and Eddie is incredulous. He grabs the arm and runs up the buckles, but Edge slams him off and hits the spear (with the bad shoulder) for 3. Time of the match – 11:45
Let me get this straight, Eddie spends all that time pounding the shit out of Edge’s shoulder and it doesn’t factor into the finish at all? Edge could have at the very least rolled on the mat for a few seconds before covering. That kind of left a bad taste in my mouth (along with everyone else who saw the match, as I recall), so I’ve got to knock the rating down a peg. 7/10
We pretty much skip most of September (didn’t miss much, according to the good Doctor’s Smackdown recaps) up to Unforgiven, where chapter two of the Eddie/Edge feud took place. Eddie hammered Edge with a chair on the Smackdown previous, splitting him open and giving him a concussion.
Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero (part deux, from Unforgiven 2002)
Sign in the crowd during Eddie’s entrance: “Eddie moed my lawn.” What did he slap it around and twist its blades with a wrench or something? Wrestling fans; you won’t be seeing them on ESPN spelling words like “chrysanthemum” anytime soon. Anyway, Eddie bails right away to mess with Edge and Edge wants the ref to count him out, which triggers an argument that allows Eddie to sneak back in and roll him up for one. Eddie bails again, but Edge follows this time and chases him back into the ring, where Eddie boots away, but Edge reverses a whip and gets a BAAAAAAACK body drop and a flapjack. They pound each other in the corner as Eddie starts to work on the head, but runs into a powerslam for 2 and a delayed suplex for another 2. Edge whips Eddie into the corner, but runs into an elbow. Eddie hops onto the second buckle and plants (and I mean PLANTS) Edge’s head into the mat with a tornado DDT. He took that one right on the top of the head. Eddie, like in the Summerslam match, pounces on the injured part, hitting a brainbuster for 2 and then sitting on Edge’s shoulders while he’s down and wrenching the head. He gets a near fall for it and Edge breaks the hold with a few knees to the head, but Eddie hits a backdrop suplex for another 2. He goes to a front facelock, and then wrenches the neck. Tazz says that Edge is on Hurt Street right now (“That’s two blocks down from Dream St.”) Edge gets up, but Eddie elbows him in the head to stop any rally and then toys with him, dancing around and kicking the head. Eddie taps his jaw, giving Edge a free shot, but every time he swings, Eddie moves and hits the head. He’s getting a ton of heel heat for this, and I love it. Eddie leans in to badmouth him some more, but that allows Edge to get one good shot in and fell Eddie like a tree and leading to a double KO spot. Eddie crawls to the corner as Edge gets up, and a woozy Edge charges, but Eddie moves and pounds on the head, playing to the crowd and drawing boos, but some cheers too. Eddie drapes Edge’s head on the ropes and steps on it, holding the ropes with one hand and loosening a turnbuckle pad with the other while he jaws with the ref. The ref finally pulls him off and admonishes Eddie, who apologizes (“Look, I’m sorry, okay?”) but turns his back, making a “kiss my ass” gesture, which gives Edge the opportunity to roll him up for 2 and small package him for another 2. Edge hits a neckbreaker but (thankfully) sells the head like he should. They fight on their knees and Edge takes control, hitting a faceplant for 2 and countering a brainbuster with an Edge-o-Matic for another 2, but he stumbles around a bit after, selling the head some more and Eddie takes that opportunity to hit a jawbreaker. Eddie grabs the arm and runs up the corner, looking for a hurricanrana, but Edge catches him and hits a sitout powerbomb for a CLOSE 2. Eddie hops onto his shoulders, but Edge just tosses him into the corner and preps for the spear. Eddie sidesteps him, but Edge puts the brakes on before he hits the corner and delivers an Edgucution, but Eddie gets his foot on the rope. Edge goes up, but Eddie avoids a missile dropkick and pulls off the loosened pad, but gets tossed into it and then speared into it. Edge goes for the kill by setting him up on top, but Eddie rams his head onto the exposed steel and hits a SUNSET BOMB~!, driving Edge’s head to the mat one last time. He lets him count the birdies while he covers (holding the tights, just because he can) for the pin. Time of the match – 12:01
SOMEONE pulled Edge to the side and showed him how to sell properly, I see. This one was much better than the Summerslam match, mostly due to Edge selling the head injury throughout, but some credit has to go to Eddie for his usual awesome dickish heel routine, which was turned up a notch for this one, I think. 9/10
Chris Benoit returned to the WWE in August from a neck injury and jumped with Eddie to Smackdown soon after. They hooked up with Angle in a few tag matches, including one with Rikishi that ended up with Angle getting a stinkface, which greatly amused Benoit, which greatly pissed off Angle, and they brawled. The next week, in a Benoit/Rikishi match, Angle got his revenge by getting involved and holding Benoit down to make sure he got a taste of the ‘Kish as well, laughing all the way. Naturally, Benoit didn’t like that, and got GM Stephanie McMahon to give him a match with Angle at Unforgiven.
Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle (from Unforgiven 2002)
They lockup and jostle for position around the ring before Angle backs Benoit to the ropes and both tumble out. Back in, Angle takes Benoit down and tries to overpower him with some amateur stuff, but Benoit grabs the arm and tries a Crossface, causing Angle to lunge for the ropes to break. That gets some cheers from the crowd. Angle trips Benoit up and tries to stay on top of him, keeping Benoit from getting on his back and then grabs the ankle for the Anglelock, causing Benoit to go for the ropes. Angle grabs a hammerlock, and Benoit takes him over, but Angle hangs onto it. Benoit rolls out, but gets knocked down. Benoit grabs the arm and gets a sunset flip, but Angle counters that into a rollup, but Benoit puts his head between his feet and kicks him off into another rollup, and they trade about three more two counts before Benoit counters a backslide with a Crossface attempt, and Angle gets the ropes and bails. All of that earns them a roar of approval from the crowd. Back in, they fight over a hiptoss and Angle dumps Benoit, following him out and dropping him on the barrier. Back in, Angle gets a backbreaker for two and the crowd gets distracted by something else, so Angle slows it down with a sitting bearhug/leg grapevine. Benoit tries to break the grip, but can’t, so he grabs the ankle and puts pressure on it to force Angle to break the hold as the crowd settles down and gets back into the match. Angle works him over with shoulderblocks in the corner, and whips him into the opposite one, but Benoit avoids a charge and Angle ends up shoulder first on the post. Benoit grabs him and rams him into the opposite corner and hits a backdrop suplex for 2. Benoit clubs the shoulder and lariats him down. Angle ducks another one and they fight over a belly to belly before Angle hits it, leading to a double KO. The crowd counts along with the ref and both get up and commence a ROLLING GERMANS BATTLE~! Benoit nails two, but Angle counters and hits two of his own, but Benoit counters the counter and hits another, but Angle counters THAT counter and hits two more to win. The crowd and I applaud that effort. Angle DROPS THE STRAPS and goes for an Angle Slam, but Benoit escapes and hits a BEAUTIFUL release German, with Angle landing on his face. Benoit goes up for the kill, but Angle pos up and throws Benoit ¾ths across the ring with a belly to belly and crawls over for a close 2. Benoit trips him up and flips over into a pin, but Angle kicks out at two and grabs the Anglelock, but Benoit kicks him off and picks Angle up in a tombstone position, and they fight over THAT for a bit before Benoit hits a shoulderblock, cuts the throat and hits the Swandive, but Angle kicks out at 2. Benoit snatches the Crossface in the middle of the ring, keeping the pressure on and Angle from the ropes (and bringing the crowd to it‘s feet), but Angle says “Ropes? I don’t need no stinkin’ ropes” and GRABS THE ANGLELOCK while in it to force Benoit to eventually break and roll onto his belly, resigning the advantage to Angle for a moment before countering into the Crossface again. Angle won’t quit though, and counters into the Anglelock again, but Benoit grabs the ropes. Angle pulls him away and drops down to lock in the Crossface. Benoit crawls for the rope but just as he reaches it, Angle PUSHES IT AWAY with his boot, as one last piece of one-upsmanship, but that forces the ref to tell Angle to break, which allows Benoit to counter into a rollup and puts his feet on the ropes for the pin. Angle stares at Benoit in disbelief and anger as the crowd gives both men a standing ovation. Time of the match – 13:50
SHIT, SHIT, SHIT, I SO wanted to give that a 10, but the finish (like their Wrestlemania 17 match) kind of came out of nowhere and wasn’t clean, so I can’t. Regardless, one of THE best matches not only of 2002, but of the 21st Century and one of the best I’ve EVER seen. Zero punches, fighting over moves, near falls galore, just amazing. 9.5/10
Let’s catch our breath a minute. Remember, you can get this tape from Paul Riggs, at his site Showstopper Video.
Ok, let’s continue.
On the Smackdown after Unforgiven, GM Stephanie McMahon ordered the Edge/Eddie feud to be completed in a “No-DQ” match.
Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero (No-DQ) (From the 9/26/02 SD!)
There’s that stupid sign again. Eddie takes control of the match to start with a few knockdowns, but Edge leapfrogs a charge and monkey flips him on his head. He grinds his elbow into Eddie’s throat in the corner and then grabs a hammerlock as an “Eddie sucks!” chant starts. Eddie backs him into the corner and shoulders out of it, then snaps his Edge’s head on the top rope. He covers for two. Edge gets some momentum back with a BAAAAAAAACK body drop and elbow for a two count and then slaps on an armbar. Eddie gets to his feet and enziguri’s out of the hold, pounding the head while dancing around Edge. He hits a brainbuster and covers for 2 and then locks in a chinlock. Eddie yells to the crowd en Espanol, and Tazz helpfully translates (“I’ve got him in a rear chinlock.”) Edge escapes it and hits a powerslam, but the head is affecting him again so Eddie has time to recover and follow Edge to the top, hitting a superplex and getting two. Eddie continues on the head, and hops on Edge’s shoulders (like he did at Unforgiven), but Edge just drops him (again) on the ropes and clotheslines him out. Edge goes out and lifts up the apron, dragging a ladder out. That gets the fans’ attention. He puts it on his shoulder and charges towards Eddie, but he ducks and Edge creams the ref (who went out to check on him). As Edge checks on him, Eddie procures a chair and whaps Edge across the back and sends him back in. Eddie steps on his back and smacks the chair across his ribs, softening him up for the frog splash, but Edge gets out of the way, leaving all three down as we go to the break.
When we return, there is a new ref in the ring and Eddie is stomping on Edge in the corner. He gets a sleeper which gives us the chance to see that Edge got the spear on Eddie during the break, but it took too long for the new ref to come in, so he only got two. Edge breaks the sleeper and gets the faceplant for a two count as the injured ref is helped to the back. Edge goes up again, but Eddie follows up and hits a top rope hurricanrana as a small “Eddie” chant comes from a part of the crowd. He tries another spot from the Unforgiven match, grabbing Edge’s arm and running up the corner, but it ends up the same way, Edge hitting a sitout powerbomb, but this time, Edge almost drops him on his HEAD. Edge goes out for the ladder, but Eddie dropkicks it back into his face and goes out to retrieve ANOTHER ladder from under the ring. Eddie uppercuts Edge onto one ladder and puts the other on top, going out to the apron and slingshotting back in with a hilo onto them! Those “Eddie” chants get a bit louder and he covers, but Edge gets the shoulder up at two. Eddie sets a ladder up and climbs, but Edge climbs the other side and they slug it out on top. Eddie grabs the head and rams it onto the top of the ladder, stunning Edge, and Eddie hits a SUNSET BOMB OFF THE GODDAMN THING!!!! He’s insane. Cool replay with the sound slowed down as Edge hits the mat. That gets a combined and LOUD “Eddie/Holy shit!” chant. Edge kicks out at two, though. Man, that could have been the finish and NO ONE would have hated it. Eddie props it in the corner and puts Edge against it, but Edge counters a charge by backdropping Eddie onto it, landing on his HEAD! Edge sets up the other ladder on the other side of the ring and they end up fighting on top again, but Edge takes a page out of Eddie’s book by slamming his head onto it and hitting an Edgucution off it!!! That’s enough for the pin. Total time of the match – 17:38 (about 3 minutes hacked by commercial)
Hmm, really a tossup between this match and the Unforgiven bout. Both are excellent matches, but this one started kind of slowly and I loved Eddie’s heel routine as he dismantled the head at the PPV. On the other hand, those two ladder spots were SICK and deserve some love. Plus, it really kicked into gear once the ladders came out. The PPV match was the better all around bout, so that knocks this down by just a half point. 8.5/10
On the same show, Kurt Angle asked Stephanie for a rematch with Chris Benoit. Steph agreed, but since they were in San Diego, decided to put Rey Mysterio (from SD) in to give the fans a treat.
Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit vs. Rey Mysterio (from the 9/26/02 SD!)
Angle cuts a promo before the match, running down Rey and San Diego (“Oh, are you all from San Diego?” *Crowd cheers* “I think the INS would have something to say about THAT.”)
As Rey makes his entrance, Angle and Benoit debate campaign finance reform in the ring. Angle is against soft money, apparently. Rey tries to join the debate, but agrees with Benoit’s point that candidates have the right to raise whatever funds they can, as long as the transaction is legal, so Angle shoves him down. Rey retorts with a headscissors as I complete my recap of 15 seconds of action with two overly long sentences. Rey goes after Benoit and ends up getting whipped into Angle, but he flips away and bulldogs Benoit (kind of blown, though) to get two as Angle breaks the pin and slides Rey out. Angle and Benoit trade amateur stuff with Angle getting the advantage. Rey hops onto the apron, but Angle just knocks him down and goes back to the matwork with Benoit. Rey gets up again, but this time Benoit knocks him off, the crowd not appreciating the hometown boy getting punked. Angle tries to get the Anglelock, but Benoit escapes, so Angle trips him up and covers with his feet on the ropes for 2. He goes after Rey again, but he shoulderblocks Angle and flips over him back into the ring, delivering a spinkick to Benoit. Rey sends Angle to the corner and Benoit after him, but Benoit puts on the brakes, letting Rey roll him up for 2. Angle whips Rey into the corner and charges, but Rey springs into the air and Angle eats post, but Benoit gets a backdrop suplex on Rey and knocks him down for 2. Benoit works him over with a chop and a snapmare to get another two before dumping Rey. Angle takes the opportunity to jump Benoit and lariat him down for 2….and we switch to VH1 for a minute (I do that sometimes; flip around while forgetting I’m taping something). Coming back, Benoit gets his foot on the rope on a pin and begins another ROLLING GERMANS BATTLE~!, They both hit two and fight over a third before Angle gives up and hits the Angle Slam instead. He DROPS THE STRAPS, but Rey springboards back in and dropkicks Angle out, stealing the cover for 2. Benoit whips Rey, and Angle clubs him in the back as he hits the ropes and drags him out again. Benoit hits the face first release German and cuts the throat, but Rey comes in with a missile dropkick, sending Benoit out. Rey ducks an Angle clothesline and hops onto him, so Angle just dumps him out on top of Benoit, and then tossing Rey into the barrier. Back in, Angle clips Benoit and gets the Anglelock, but Benoit gets the ropes, refusing to let go. Angle tries to dislodge him, but in the process both get caught in the perfect position for a double 619 to a big pop. He goes for the West Coast Pop, but Angle shoves Benoit into the ropes, messing up Rey’s timing just enough so Angle can catch him, but Rey counters into a rollup for 2. Angle nearly takes his head off with a lariat, and Benoit gets the Crossface on Angle. Angle tries to roll out of it, but Benoit keeps it on. He leans way back, cranking it in, but that leaves him open for a Mysterio springboard legdrop and a close 2. Angle tries an Angle Slam on Rey, but he escapes and dropkicks Angle into Benoit, who suplexes him to the outside. Rey charges and Benoit tries to toss him, but Rey just springboards off the middle rope and hits a hurricanrana on him for the pin. Time of the match – 9:21
Good match, but it seemed like just a condensation of the Benoit-Angle Unforgiven match with Rey put in there for a few spots. I would have gotten Rey involved a BIT more, but I can’t fault the effort by all involved. 7.5/10
And that’s where we’ll stop for part one. Tune in next week for part two: The SD tag tournament and subsequent awesome matches when these six guys split into 3 awesome teams.
Once again, contact Paul Riggs of Showstopper Video to get yourself a copy of this tape and I’ll see you next Monday or so.
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