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Funnily - some folks will probably argue that Dragon and Ki's ROH match from ROH of that year is better. It has been so long since seeing them - I have no memory of which one I would pick

Umm... for 2002...

Well Angle/Benoit vs. Rey Jr/Edge from No Mercy but we know how people get with Benoit matches now

I seem to remember one of the Tenryu/Kojima matches being great just don't ask me to tell you which one

Oh and the 1st Brock/Taker Hell in a Cell (Yeah that has some flaws but I still love the fuck out of it)

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As mentioned before, 2002 was the Year of Takayama. They were discussed here https://web.archive.org/web/20121020021243/http://www.deathvalleydriver.com/dvdvr/dvdvr139.html and by my recollection specifically the Nakanishi and Chono matches are super-duper but neither are on Youtube or Dailymotion. You can still download all of them from Ditch's site though. The Tenryu/Kojima mentioned above (whichever one) rocks and there's a tag with Tenryu/Araya vs. Kea/Miyamoto which is a cool brother to the All Japan parejas tag from the year prior only with poor Miyamoto getting Araya's treatment. This skinny kid just gets murdered, it's vicious. 

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Misawa/Kobashi v Akiyama/Nagata from 2/17/02 is pretty awesome and fun. Muto and Kawada has a fun match in Feb 02 also but I didn't think it was an all time great match due to some issues I had with the selling.

I haven't seen the JAPW Low-Ki/Dragon match before but will watch it soon.

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Takayama/Chono was on the external so I gave it another spin. It's definitely a contender, more for Chono having a career high performance than anything else. He's all broken down to nothing but Yakuza kicks and the STF so it's kind of got this George Foreman coming out of retirement feel, can he take the shots of this younger mauler and pull it off? And maul Takayama does. His kneelifts actually lift Chono into the air at points and there's a spot where he gets him in the corner and just pummels him with them until the ref pulls him off; Tenzan makes like he's gonna come into the ring and Takayama flips off the crowd to a round of boos. The way Chono sells for all this is amazing like he's gonna drop at any second. IIRC the Nakanishi match (on a Phil comp, like our current champion) is better but this was pretty damn good. 

Someone else can watch the Misawa, Akiyama, Nishimura matches again; those are all available online. Or just watch Don Frye make Tak even uglier in PRIDE from this year

EDIT: Ah what the hell here's some links

 

 

 

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Tenryu and Kojima had 2 famous matches in 2002.     2/24/02 was rated 4 1/4****.     7/17/02 was the Triple Crown match, the second place Observer MOTY and was rated 4 3/4****.    Both are available on Ditch's site.

Actually....here is the 2/24 one--    

 

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I will echo that Brock Taker HIAC is indeed fantastic and worth consideration. I seem to remember a really good BookDust vs Jeircho/Christian match from some point in their feud but I'm pretty sure it wasn't the one at No Mercy, can anyone confirm if there was one?

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I know this is likely the wrong board for this, but Michaels vs Triple H at SummerSlam really was fantastic. So fantastic that they tried and failed to recreate that magic at least a dozen times, only coming close on one other occasion.

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2002 had a lot of WWE matches I really enjoyed, but the one I enjoyed most: 

Rey Misterio vs. Kurt Angle, Summerslam 

 Rey had just debuted not long prior, and I thought this feud out of the gate was a perfect way to showcase his talent. 

Other matches from that year in the running for me: 

- Eddie vs. Rock, RAW in July
- Rey/Edge vs. Angle/Benoit, No Mercy
- Eddie vs. Edge (No DQ), Smackdown in September

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Kurt Angle/Chris Benoit vs. Rey Mysterio/Edge from No Mercy still remains my 2002 Match of the Year. Haven't watched it since, you know.

Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker in Hell in a Cell at that show is a great match with one of the nastiest blade jobs you'll see by Undertaker. A top five HIAC match at least. I prefer No Mercy to SummerSlam.

Also fond of Undertaker's ladder match with Jeff Hardy on RAW, Angle vs. Mysterio at SummerSlam, Eddie Guerrero vs. Edge on the post Unforgiven Smackdown, Bryan Danielson vs. Low-Ki I think at ROH's second show and Ki vs. Joe also from ROH in October.

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16 hours ago, The Iron Yuppie said:

2002 had a lot of WWE matches I really enjoyed, but the one I enjoyed most: 

Rey Misterio vs. Kurt Angle, Summerslam 

 Rey had just debuted not long prior, and I thought this feud out of the gate was a perfect way to showcase his talent. 

Other matches from that year in the running for me: 

- Eddie vs. Rock, RAW in July
- Rey/Edge vs. Angle/Benoit, No Mercy
- Eddie vs. Edge (No DQ), Smackdown in September

@Brian Fowler will have you for mentioning Rock vs. Eddie Guerrero from the post Vengeance 2002 RAW!

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I feel like we're getting more into "really good" WWE matches and away from serious MOTYCs, but I'm surprised no one has mentioned Rock/Hogan. That would probably be my WWE #2 behind Taker/Lesnar HIAC.

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Hardy/Taker ladder match was 2002? That was awesome, and features Jim Ross' best match call ever. Yeah, better than HIAC even. 

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On 11/22/2016 at 2:42 PM, Sublime said:

I will echo that Brock Taker HIAC is indeed fantastic and worth consideration. I seem to remember a really good BookDust vs Jeircho/Christian match from some point in their feud but I'm pretty sure it wasn't the one at No Mercy, can anyone confirm if there was one?

I think they had a really long Raw match in December that was really good.

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Yes Thank you I found the one, it was from the 12/23/02 Raw. The story of the match is that previously Jericho had called Goldust the weak link of this team and this is about if Goldie can prove it to Jericho (and himself) that its not true. I really like the way the match is built starting off like a run of the mill TV match and then turning in to something bigger after the break, so it has two FIP segments that work well and help set-up the finish.

Here's a link:

http://dai.ly/xmm9v4

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A couple different people suggested the Eddie/Edge No DQ match from Smackdown, and I watched that last night. Probably hadn't seen that since it around the time it actually originally aired. There's a ton of this era that I haven't gone back and watched, even though it's an era I loved at the time and have tons of fond live show memories. 

This wasn't going to surpass Danielson/Low-Ki for our 2002 top spot, but it was a great reminder of how the crowds got absolutely LOUD for so many people on the roster during this era. The crowd kept getting louder as the match went on and they were really dying with the big moves down the stretch. This felt like a really great Eddie performance, as he really controlled the pace of the match and set up all the big moments. For his part, Edge was there with the timing. I really dislike Edge's offense. Half of it was just pulling a guy's head to the mat in semi-complicated ways. But when Eddie is the guy who is flinging himself onto his face, neck, and shoulders for every move, things look great. 

They didn't get too much into the No DQ stip, and I liked the ways they showed restraint. Edge accidentally hitting the ref with a ladder was set up really well. Eddie took a sitout powerbomb on his shoulders (after Edge reversed a rana), and Eddie's sunset flip bomb off a tall ladder looked fantastic. Eddie also took an insane Psicosis bump getting flung upside down into the ladder in the corner. 

It kind of bugged me that it seemed like Edge kept recovering earlier from Eddie's offense than the other way around, but the build felt good. 

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I don't think that I, personally, would vote it over either Danielson vs Low Ki match... but I remember Yuji Nagata vs Kazunari Murakami being pretty great. I think that people who mark out for "body part psychology" might particularly enjoy that one. 

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On 11/28/2016 at 5:45 AM, Sublime said:

Yes Thank you I found the one, it was from the 12/23/02 Raw. The story of the match is that previously Jericho had called Goldust the weak link of this team and this is about if Goldie can prove it to Jericho (and himself) that its not true. I really like the way the match is built starting off like a run of the mill TV match and then turning in to something bigger after the break, so it has two FIP segments that work well and help set-up the finish.

Here's a link:

http://dai.ly/xmm9v4

This inspired me to just seek out and start writing up all the Goldust/Booker T tags. There weren't actually that many, so I'm gonna start a Mini C&A for them soon. 

 

1 hour ago, gordi said:

I don't think that I, personally, would vote it over either Danielson vs Low Ki match... but I remember Yuji Nagata vs Kazunari Murakami being pretty great. I think that people who mark out for "body part psychology" might particularly enjoy that one. 

Do you happen to know if this is online? 

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1 hour ago, EricR said:

 

Do you happen to know if this is online? 

 

on that Russian site..

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I decided to rewatch Nagata/Murakami due to gordi's comments because I had no recollection of it being a body part psychology match at all. Upon rewatching, I'm still not quite sure what he's referring to. Nagata does work over Murakami's arm a bit, but it's a pretty minor part of the match and it doesn't play into the finish. Perhaps we're thinking of different matches? Regardless, even though it wouldn't be my pick (I'd go with Misawa/Takayama in what was a pretty weak year overall), I wouldn't argue against someone else picking it. It's the kind of match that sticks with you because it's so unique.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, NintendoLogic said:

I decided to rewatch Nagata/Murakami due to gordi's comments because I had no recollection of it being a body part psychology match at all. Upon rewatching, I'm still not quite sure what he's referring to. Nagata does work over Murakami's arm a bit, but it's a pretty minor part of the match and it doesn't play into the finish. Perhaps we're thinking of different matches? Regardless, even though it wouldn't be my pick (I'd go with Misawa/Takayama in what was a pretty weak year overall), I wouldn't argue against someone else picking it. It's the kind of match that sticks with you because it's so unique.

I was referring to how Nagata's arm work led to Murakami being unable to keep his last-desperate-chance sleeper applied. It's been a good while since I've seen that match but I can still remember being impressed by that particular bit of story-telling. 

Edited by gordi

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On 3/26/2020 at 12:27 PM, gordi said:

I was referring to how Nagata's arm work led to Murakami being unable to keep his last-desperate-chance sleeper applied. It's been a good while since I've seen that match but I can still remember being impressed by that particular bit of story-telling. 

I just rewatched the end to see if I missed something, but I didn't pick up on anything like you were referring to. Murakami does apply a sleeper after Kantaro Hoshino distracts Nagata on the apron, but Nagata breaks it by going after Murakami's legs. And shortly afterward, Murakami throws punches with his injured arm with no apparent difficulty. The end comes when Nagata counters a judo-style takedown with a German suplex and finishes Murakami off with exploders.

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Oh well. I stand corrected. People who are into body part psychology will find no joy here. Still, as you say, the match is worth watching if you know where to find it.

If memory serves, there is a very bad-ass spot where Murakami licks Nagata's blood off his forearm.

Would it be fair to say that anyone be who is into Inoki-ism will find much to tickle their fancy? Perhaps that goes without saying.

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