Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Finlay's in the Basement Mixin' up the Medicine, I'm on the Pavement Thinkin' About the Government

Finlay v William Regal (Smackdown!, 8/4/06)

It's not often you'll watch a Finlay match where it seems like he's the least cantankerous person in the match, but I'll be damned if this isn't a five minute slugfest with Regal upping the levels of surliness to loftier heights than I've seen in a while (and this is REGAL we're talking about, so you can imagine how surly that would have to be). He really lays it in here; brutal knees, forearms, elbows, the whole nine. There's this amazing moment where he has Finlay down on one knee and just SKELPS him across the ear with a slap, and Finlay reacts like he's almost surprised, like that was a shot beyond even the Finlay/Regal call of duty. Of course Finlay is still Finlay, so you get plenty instances of him being a nasty bastard, like stomping on Regal's fingers and grating his eyes with his forearm while he goes for a pin. Finish is whatever, but it leads to a great shillelagh mugging post-match. These two have had much better matches, but this is still a match-up I will never get tired of.

Finlay v Rey Mysterio (Smackdown!, 9/8/06)

This is another match-up that rarely fails to deliver. This go- around was more one-sided than usual, but it was a pretty awesome display of Finlay roughing up a little dude for just under 15 minutes. The previous week Vicki Guerrero had slapped Rey and sided with Chavo as part of the whole Eddie-sploitation nonsense, so Rey comes into this playing up the idea that his head isn't in the game. Finlay doesn't give two shits and just bullies him, and you get the sense that if he doesn't ditch the baggage then he's going to wake up the next morning with a couple nice bruises. He hits his hope spots and his timing is as impeccable as you'd expect, but this is really all about Finlay coming up with interesting ways to beat him up. He's like Carlos Santana fucking around with a guitar and making magic. Plus he's an amazing shit talker, slapping Rey in the corner; "Some'in the matter, Rey? Some'in the matter?" You never really hear Finlay being pimped as a great in-ring shit talker, but the guy is pretty spectacular at it. Finish is also choice with Rey attempting a springboard only to flub it (they play it up as his mind still being elsewhere enough times that I suspect it was deliberate), Finlay taking advantage and spiking him with the Celtic Cross. Mysterio's such a good opponent for Finlay, because he's not afraid to truly get his ass handed to him. Their matches don't have the same Finlay/Regal or Finlay/Benoit levels of stiffness, but Rey can take a beating like Benoit or Regal, or indeed most guys in wrestling history, can't. It makes for an awesome yet different dynamic, and like Finlay/Regal, it's a match-up I'll never get sick of.

Finlay Project

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