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July Wrestling Catch-All


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This was the update from the Deadspin article...

 

Update, 8:20 p.m: WWE has given a statement:

"We may have a modern day Nostradamus on our hands. We might have to monitor these posts in advance of our next pay-per-view to see how good he or she really is."

 

Uh oh... Looks like they are planning to piss off the smarks.

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For being maybe the greatest WWF champion in terms of draw what's Austin got? Savio Vega's, maybe and then... I can't think of of much.

Savage is another one that doesn't seem to have a big collection of other people's bests. Crush and Warrior's and after that I'm struggling.

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 I would disagree that Cactus' best match was Shawn.  His match with HHH at the Rumble was better.

 

You can argue the werkrate part of it, but Foley's "best match" will always be Hell in the Cell against Undertaker. 

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RE:HIAC -Pretty much my opinion too. That match is on my desert island Top 10. When Mick makes his way back down the aisle and starts climbing back up the cage, and JR is totally for real the rest of the way wondering what the fuck is he witnessing, it's magic.

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For being maybe the greatest WWF champion in terms of draw what's Austin got? Savio Vega's, maybe and then... I can't think of of much.

 

If you're like me, Austin vs Bret from WM13 is the best of either man's career... although their earlier Survivor Series match is a better technical match. 

 

During his peak though, Austin was not physically what he had been... thus a lot of schtick & promos. 

 

FWIW, Hall & Nash had quite a few really good tag matches early in the WCW run, especially against the Steiners & Harlem Heat. 

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I would say that Kurt Angle vs Shawn at WrestleMania is Kurt's best match.  And I imagine there won't be many to agree with me, but I think the Ironman match is Bret's best match.

 

EDIT: Why on Earth is the forum just butchering my font formatting?

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Foley's best match, imo, is the Orton Backlash match.  It's like the Triple H rumble match cranked to 11, and it's everything Foley did best at it's best.  Sick bumps, absurd violence, shockingly good psychology and storytelling for such chaotic match.

 

HBK definitely had Taker's best match (and vice versa, by an even larger margin.)

 

I definitely give Cena the nod for Lashley, Khali, and Umaga.  Punk probably.  I could see an argument for Lesnar's, although for me that's Eddy (and I can see a case for the Taker HIAC as well.)

 

Bret probably gets Austin, and maybe Nash, although I think I'd probably take Good Friends, Better Enemies over SS '95, but I could go either way on that.  Perfect.  

 

Nasties best match is definitely Cactus/Payne.

 

Vader steals Sting from Flair. 

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Has anyone said Misawa yet?I don't think anyone would argue Kawada, Kobashi, and Taue. Possibly Akiyama, Jumbo, and Vader. Then tack on some scrubs like Inoue, Saito, and probably a handful of others lucky enough to be on the opposite side of a random 6-man.

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I would say that Kurt Angle vs Shawn at WrestleMania is Kurt's best match.  And I imagine there won't be many to agree with me, but I think the Ironman match is Bret's best match.

 

EDIT: Why on Earth is the forum just butchering my font formatting?

The Iron Man match would've been good had they not gone the entire match without a fall.  Even at 13, I saw overtime coming around the 17 minutes remaining mark of the match.  Their match at Survivor Series 92 was actually pretty good though.

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The Iron Man match would've been good had they not gone the entire match without a fall.  Even at 13, I saw overtime coming around the 17 minutes remaining mark of the match.  Their match at Survivor Series 92 was actually pretty good though.

What can I say?  That never really bothered me.  The Shawn/Bret Ironman match is actually my favourite wrestling match ever.  Most great matches that at 20-30 minutes feel their length, or at least feel like a sizeable chunk of time, but the 60+ of that one just glides effortlessly by for me.  It's one of the few matches I would compare to poetry.

 

Intellectually, I realize when people say things like that, they're trying express a frustration they felt reasonably, but emotionally I'm always upset when people complain about that part of the match; how can people get hung up on something so irrelevant and ruin their chance of having the great experience I had watching it?

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When I was a kid watching it I thought, "Holy shit these guys are giving it everything they got and can't beat each other." Going 60 minutes and Bret not being able to pin/submit him once said more about Shawn Michaels than the bull shit ending. But even with that ending, I still like the match because it took some kind of Queensbury Rule Change and a cheapshot to put Bret down. HITMAN4LIFE 

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Has there ever been an Iron Man match built around the story of one wrestler scoring a quick pinfall in the first 5-10 minutes of the match then going into prevent defense mode and trying to hold on for a 1-0 win?

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For the "who was involved in the most great matches of their opponents", I am going to nominate Shawn Michaels, at least on a purely WWF basis.  Bret Hart is a very close #2 with Jericho & Cena as alternates.
 
Here's what I did - I took the Wrestling Observer star list for WWF and isolated which match had the highest star rating for each wrestler.
(For instance, Brian Christopher was part of the 2/7/00 RAW ten-man that got 4 1/4 stars which was his highest entry on the list. If they had more than one match with the same rating, I flagged them all - i.e. Bret Hart/Austin and Bret/Owen were both rated five stars.)
 
Then I looked at who was in these matches with those people.
Who was in the ring when their opponent had their highest rated match
Shawn Michaels: 33 matches (11 singles, 4 multi-man singles, 18 tag matches)
Chris Jericho: 26 matches (5 singles, 6 multi-man singles, 15 tag matches)
Edge: 23 matches (1 singles, 112 tag matches)
Chris Benoit: 23 matches (4 singles, 3 multi-man singles, 16 tag matches)
Christian: 19 matches (4 singles, 6 multi-man singles, 9 tag matches)
Jeff Hardy: 18 matches (1 singles, 3 multi-man singles, 14 tag matches)
Rey Mysterio Jr: 18 matches (6 singles, 4 multi-man singles, 8 tag matches)
Matt Hardy: 18 matches (1 singles, 4 multi-man singles, 13 tag matches)
Kane: 18 matches (18 tag matches)
Bret Hart: 17 matches (10 singles, 1 multi-man singles, 6 tag matches)
John Cena: 14 matches (8 singles, 4 multi-man singles, 2 tag matches)
Triple H: 13 matches (1 singles, 4 multi-man singles, 8 tag matches)
Shelton Benjamin: 12 matches (4 multi-man singles, 8 tag matches)
Steve Austin: 12 matches (5 singles, 2 multi-man singles, 5 tag matches)
Kurt Angle: 12 matches (1 singles, 4 multi-man singles, 7 tag matches)
Big Show: 10 matches (1 singles, 4 multi-man singles, 5 tag matches)
Bubba Ray Dudley: 10 matches (10 tag matches)
Marty Jannetty: 10 matches (10 tag matches)
Randy Orton: 10 matches (4 multi-man singles, 6 tag matches)
Kofi Kingston: 10 matches (1 singles, 4 multi-man singles, 5 tag matches)
Owen Hart: 9 matches (2 singles, 7 tag matches)
Undertaker: 9 matches (2 singles, 4 multi-man singles, 3 tag matches)
John Morrison: 8 matches (1 singles, 2 multi-man singles, 5 tag matches)
Davey Boy Smith: 8 matches (8 tag matches)
D-Von Dudley: 8 matches (8 tag matches)
Miz: 7 matches (1 singles, 3 multi-man singles, 3 tag matches)
Dolph Ziggler: 7 matches (2 singles, 3 multi-man singles, 2 tag matches)
Randy Savage: 7 matches (5 singles, 2 tag matches)
Sean Waltman: 7 matches (1 singles, 6 tag matches)
Daniel Bryan: 7 matches (1 singles, 3 multi-man singles, 3 tag matches)
Rob Van Dam: 7 matches (2 singles, 1 multi-man singles, 4 tag matches)
Eddy Guerrero: 7 matches (7 tag matches)
Finlay: 7 matches (3 multi-man singles, 4 tag matches)
 
I'm going to focus in one "best singles matches" since it's just two people in the ring.
 

Using all of the WWF matches in the dataset regardless of type, HBK was the in highest rated singles match for eleven opponents: Marty Jannetty, Foley, Angle, Jarrett, Nash, Shelton Benjamin, Paul Diamond, Sid, Vince McMahon, Scott Hall & Undertaker.
7/19/93 Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty ****3/4

9/22/96 Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind ****3/4
4/3/05 Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle ****3/4
7/23/95 Shawn Michaels vs. Jeff Jarrett ****1/2
4/28/96 Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel (No Holds Barred) ****1/2
5/2/05 Shelton Benjamin vs. Shawn Michaels ****1/2
4/1/91 Shawn Michaels vs. Kato ****
11/17/96 Sid vs. Shawn Michaels ***3/4
4/2/06 Shawn Michaels vs. Vince McMahon (No Holds Barred) ***1/2
Additionally, Shawn had two five-star matches that were his highest rated matches as well as his opponent's: against Taker & Hall.
10/5/97 Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker (Hell in the Cell) *****
3/20/94 Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (Ladder) *****
 

With the same criteria, Bret Hart was in ten singles matches where his opponent had their best WWF match: Davey Boy, Hennig, Lawler, Hakushi, Carl Ouellet, Bam Bam, Backlund, Patriot, Austin, Owen.


12/17/95 Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith ****3/4
6/13/93 Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect ****1/4
8/30/93 Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler ****
7/24/95 Bret Hart vs. Hakushi ****
9/24/95 Bret Hart vs. Jean-Pierre Lafitte ****
6/13/93 Bret Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigelow ***3/4
7/3/94 Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund ***1/2
9/7/97 Bret Hart vs. Patriot ***1/4
Additionally, Bret Hart two five-star matches (his highest rated) were against Austin & Owen, and both were their best matches.
8/29/94 Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (Cage) *****
3/23/97 Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (Submission) *****
 
John Cena was in 8 singles matches that were their opponent's highlight against Brock Lesnar, JBL, Umaga, Lashley, Ziggler, Sabu, Dupree and CM Punk.
4/29/12 John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar (Extreme Rules) ****1/2
5/22/05 John Cena vs. John Bradshaw Layfield (I Quit) ****1/4
1/27/07 John Cena vs. Umaga (Last Man Standing) ****
7/22/07 John Cena vs. Bobby Lashley ****
12/16/12 John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler (Ladder) ****
6/25/06 John Cena vs. Sabu (Lumberjack) ***1/4
5/16/04 John Cena vs. Rene Dupree ***
7/17/11 John Cena vs. CM Punk ***** (This was both Punk & Cena's highest rated match)
 
Further details:


Rey Mysterio had 4 opponents: vs Morrison, Swagger, Tajiri (3x) and Sabu
9/4/09 John Morrison vs. Rey Mysterio ****1/4
7/18/10 Rey Mysterio vs. Jack Swagger ****
9/4/03 Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri ***3/4, 10/19/03 Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri ***3/4, 1/1/04 Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri ***3/4
6/11/06 Rey Mysterio vs. Sabu (ECW) ***1/4
 
Steve Austin had five: Triple H, Rock, Savio Vega, Mero and Bret.

2/25/01 Triple H vs. Steve Austin (2/3 falls: Straight wrestling, Street Fight, Cage) ****3/4
4/1/01 Steve Austin vs. Rock (No DQ) ****1/2
5/28/96 Steve Austin vs. Savio Vega (Strap) ****
6/23/96 Steve Austin vs. Marc Mero ***3/4
3/23/97 Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (Submission) ***** (This was Steve & Bret's highest rated match)
 

Randy Savage had 5: against Warrior, Flair, Tito Santana and Duggan and Steamboat.

3/24/91 Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage (Retirement) ****1/4
4/5/92 Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair ****1/4
4/21/86 Randy Savage vs. Tito Santana ****
1/27/90 Randy Savage vs. Jim Duggan ***1/2
3/29/87 Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat ****1/2 (this was both Savage & Steamboat's highest rated match)
 

Jericho had 5: vs Rock, Evan Bourne, Goldberg, Fandango and Benoit.
10/21/01 Chris Jericho vs. Rock ****1/2
6/20/10 Evan Bourne vs. Chris Jericho ****
6/15/03 Chris Jericho vs. Goldberg ***1/2
4/7/13 Chris Jericho vs. Fandango ***
1/21/01 Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit (Ladder) ****3/4 (This was Benoit & Jericho's highest rated match)
 

Christian had 4: vs ADR, Tatsu, Ryder and Big Zeke.
5/1/11 Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio (Ladder) ****1/4
10/27/09 Christian vs. Yoshi Tatsu ***3/4
7/28/09 Christian vs. Zach Ryder ***1/2
1/31/10 Christian vs. Ezekiel Jackson ***

 
Benoit had 4:  vs Finlay, Regal, Jericho and Angle.
1/21/01 Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit (Ladder) ****3/4 (this was Jericho & Benoit's highest rated)
1/19/03 Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit ****3/4 (this was Angle & Benoit's highest rated)
7/16/05 Chris Benoit vs. William Regal ****1/4
11/24/06 Chris Benoit vs. Finlay ****1/4
 
Steamboat had 3 (Savage, HTM, Jake).
 
Now, let's just look at the highest rated singles match for each person.
 
If you change up the criteria so we only look at people's best singles match, the only person who rockets up is (inexplicably) Ultimate Warrior who had solid bouts against Slaughter, DiBiase, Rude and Hogan which were the highest rated pure singles matches those opponents had in the dataset!
1/19/91 Sgt. Slaughter vs. Ultimate Warrior ***1/2
11/23/90 Ultimate Warrior vs. Ted DiBiase ***1/2
4/1/90 Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan ***3/4
8/28/89 Rick Rude vs. Ultimate Warrior ***1/4
 
However, under this "just look at singles matches" criteria, Shawn stays on top and there adds five more singles opponents that jump out: Ken Kennedy, Masters, Vader, Waltman and Tatanka.  HBK leads with 14 singles matches that were his opponent's best rated singles match

1/21/08 Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Kennedy ***3/4
9/18/05 Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Masters ***
8/18/96 Shawn Michaels vs. Vader ****
3/4/96 Shawn Michaels vs. 123 Kid ***3/4
4/4/93 Shawn Michaels vs. Tatanka ***1/2
 
Bret adds 3 (Yokozuna, Piper and DiBiase) has 11 singles matches that were his opponent's best rated singles match
4/4/93 Yokozuna vs. Bret Hart ***

4/5/92 Bret Hart vs. Roddy Piper ***1/2
4/15/91 Ted DiBiase vs. Bret Hart ***1/2
 


Cena adds 2 (Wade Barrett & Edge) has 9 singles matches that were his opponent's best rated singles match
12/19/10 John Cena vs. Wade Barrett (Chairs) ***3/4
4/26/09 John Cena vs. Edge (Last Man Standing) ****1/2
 
Rey adds 2 (Chavo Jr and Mark Henry) for 6 opponents whose singles matches that were his opponent's best rated singles match
1/20/06 Rey Mysterio vs. Mark Henry ***1/4
5/5/05 Chavo Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio (Street Fight) ***1/2
 
Jericho adds 4 (Rey Mysterio, Lance Storm, RVD, and Road Dogg) has  8 singles matches that were his opponent's best rated singles match
6/28/09 Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio ****1/2
6/12/05 Chris Jericho vs. Lance Storm (ECW) ***1/4
9/23/01 Chris Jericho vs. Rob Van Dam ****
10/2/99 Chris Jericho vs. Road Dogg ***1/4
 
Savage adds 2 (Beefcake & Neidhart) has 6 singles matches that were his opponent's best rated singles match
7/29/89 Randy Savage vs. Brutus Beefcake ***3/4
5/27/89 Randy Savage vs. Jim Neidhart ***1/4
 
Benoit adds 3 (Booker T, Kane and A-Train) has 5 singles matches that were his opponent's best rated singles match
12/18/05 Chris Benoit vs. Booker T ****
6/13/04 Chris Benoit vs. Kane ***1/2
10/19/03 Chris Benoit vs. A-Train ***1/4
 
Christian adds 2 (Tyson Kidd & RVD) has 5 singles matches that were his opponent's best rated singles match
6/2/09 Christian vs. Tyson Kidd ***3/4
9/29/03 Christian vs. Rob Van Dam (Ladder) ****


 

You can certainly argue that Dave's star ratings are not definitive and only counting the match that was rated 4.25 stars instead of the 4.0 stars for one guy while another opponent's 3 star match counts as their "best bout" is very subjective.  It could be altered to be "# of opponent matches that were 4+ stars"  (in terms of singles it's Michaels, Angle, Benoit, Edge, Jericho, Cena, HHH, Undertaker, Austin, Hart, Rock). 

 

My methodology above seems to under-represent Kurt Angle who I think is a better singles wrestler than these numbers seem to suggest.  However, HBK's longevity and good matches with many people speak a lot of volume that at least Dave thinks he a hell of a wrestler. I know when I did my "visualization of who wrestled who" map both HBK and Bret Hart nodes are huge (hehheh*hugenodes*heheh) because they worked with so many different people.  Lastly, this is just for WWF stars so people with great WCW highlights (Eddy, Rey) are undercounted for certain with this methodology.  Likewise for those that had good indy careers (CM Punk) or TNA careers (Angle).  Or anyone in the pre-PPV star era (Flair, especially).

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Has there ever been an Iron Man match built around the story of one wrestler scoring a quick pinfall in the first 5-10 minutes of the match then going into prevent defense mode and trying to hold on for a 1-0 win?

 

Not quite the same thing, but the Angle-Lesnar Iron Man match had Lesnar sacrificing one or two DQ losses to beat the shit out of Angle with a chair, pin him a bunch, and then spend most of the match playing defense while you wondered if Angle could come back.

Cool psychology, but absolutely dreadful to watch live.

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