Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Stuff from Schneider Comp #26

So I picked up the latest Schneider Comp along with the ECW and SMW sets last week. They reached my doorstep the other day, much to my merriment. No idea when I'll dive into the SMW and ECW sets, but the new Schneider Comp looks like it might be the best yet. I'm gonna try and talk about all of it. I'll probably fail or it'll take me seven years, but I'll at least TRY, and that's what's important.

Team Beyond v Aeroform (Beyond Wrestling, 11/5/10)

Pretty much a perfect popcorn match. I'd never seen any of these guys before. Never even heard of Beyond Wrestling. Basically, I had no idea what to expect out of this. For 18 minutes I wound up sitting with a giant smile on my face watching 4 guys run through a fucking truckload of crazy spots and bumps. Some of the shit they were doing was more goofy in a stupid way than in a cool way, but even the stupid stuff was new to me so it at least worked on a "well THAT was different" level. The lucha armdrag sequence at the start between Flip Kendrick and Chase Burnett was really nifty, and Kendrick is a guy that seems freakishly agile. He does a moonsault where he starts off sitting on the mat that looked cool as Hell. Wasn't really a "sitting moonsault," because he didn't exactly moonsault from his ass, but he started there at least. If there's one thing you take away from this it's that Chase Burnett is a fucking bump machine lunatic. He eats a knee RIGHT to the cheekbone from Louis Lyndon, and later on he takes a psychotic flat back flip bump off the apron to the concrete. Zane Silver has a bunch of forearm and backhand slap variations. Some of them look kind of whiffed and crummy, but I'm tickled he'd try them in the first place. Really, considering the sheer amount of stuff - and the difficulty of some of it - they were pulling out of their asses here, it's remarkable they managed to pull off pretty much every spot cleanly. This was a total blast.

LA Park v El Mesias (Mask v Hair) (AAA, 6/18/11)

Well fuck the world, this was absolutely incredible. I'll probably watch it again soon, but on first watch it really felt like the best match of the decade so far. Hell, I'd even put it up there with any of the MOTDC stuff from the last decade as well. Park looked like the best wrestler on earth here, taking insane bumps, bleeding like this was a fucking apuestas match, hurling sick chair shots, brawling like crazy, etc. He starts jawing with some lady in the front row, and they play off that even into the post-match. When she threw a cup in his face it looked like he would've murdered her if Mesias wasn't there to save her. The thing that really impressed me about this (other than the crazy bumps and blood and such) was the way they paced it. Within the first five minutes Mesias has taken two table bumps - one of which looked completely fucking nuts, btw - and by the time they hit the ten minute mark you're wondering what else they can do without it coming off as them just "doin' stuff." Match goes about 30 minutes total, and not once did it seem like they were running out of ideas or just moving from spot to spot. I mean, this was more about them doing crazy shit to each other (not in a spotfesty way) than straight lucha brawling (punch, kick, forehead biting, posting, etc.), but they totally made it work, and at the risk of getting carried away with hyperbole, it honestly felt like one of the most smartly paced matches I've ever seen. Never thought any of the table stuff felt out of place, either. I don't usually like it when guys bring tables and ladders and whatever else into blowoff matches, because a lot of the time it comes across as them just wanting to do cool looking shit. It feels pretty out of place in a hate feud. I watched a bunch of Jimmy Jacobs brawls from that early 2007 ROH run last week. The Cabana match from Chicago and the Whitmer brawls were all crazy, but I started to lose interest once they brought out the tables and ladders. I'd much rather they just kept stabbing each other in the head with rail-road spikes. The reason the falls count anywhere match from Liverpool was my favourite of all those crazy brawls is because they stuck to just beating the ever loving dogshit out of each other (and Whitmer blades his forehead about 15 times) and never bothered with the props. This has several nutso table bumps, but all of them felt like a case of one guy trying to kill the other. The fact they looked totally badass was just a bonus for the people watching this massacre. Park setting up a table in the middle of the ring only to be speared through it was kind of contrived, sure, but he gets up on the table and starts dancing like a shithead. In amongst all this carnage, he still takes the time to do his dance. It might've been contrived, but it was the best set up to a contrived table bump you'll see. Oh and the actual spot looked motherfucking spectacular. And Hell, I even liked the bullshit finish. Just a phenomenal match; maybe the best in the history of the company.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Bernard v Nagata + Ohtani INVADING!

Giant Bernard v Yuji Nagata (New Japan, 4/30/06)

Man, this was outstanding; totally blew me away. I've liked a lot of the Giant Bernard stuff from Japan that I've seen, but this might be his career performance, and I never really thought he had a match this great in him. It starts out with Nagata trying to hit and move as Bernard swings for the fences. He goes in for the arm, but that leaves him too close and Bernard just mows him down. Bernard's pretty great working on top for the next 6 or 7 minutes, almost like a more mobile Mark Henry at points. A couple times Nagata starts firing back and Bernard cuts him off by uppercutting him right in the throat. When Nagata starts to make his comeback he really lays in the kicks and tosses Bernard with some big suplexes, and that's his opening to go back to the arm. Really dramatic moment when Nagata finally manages to lock in the armbar. Sometimes it can feel like guys are sitting in the hold for too long and it eventually reaches a point where, if they haven't tapped out already, they're not going to. Wasn't the case here, as you could buy the match being over even though it was only about 10 minutes in. He manages to make the ropes and force the break, but his sell job for the rest of the match was great. He tries to hit the powerbomb about 7 times, and it's not until right at the end that he's able to actually get Nagata up for it. Every other time he just about manages it, but the arm gives out and he has to drop him. When he finally hits it he doesn't even get all of it, which I thought was cool. Stretch run is awesome without crossing into overkill territory, plus you've got Nagata trying to go back to the arm in amongst the bomb throwing. Honestly, I thought this was about on par with Nagata's match with Takayama from '02 as far as "Yuji Nagata in Uphill Struggle" matches go. Bernard's on his way back to WWE soon as well. I was excited at the prospect of him matching up with a bunch of guys in the company already, but this has me REALLY stoked. I'm not sure who the WWE equiv of Nagata would be. Punk? Babyface Danielson? No way they should be turning Danielson face again any time soon, but Bernard/Punk could be fucking great.

Mitsuharu Misawa & Kotaro Suzuki v Shinjiro Ohtani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa (NOAH, 3/5/05)

This was the Shinjiro Ohtani show. I mean, everybody was good in it, but Ohtani is such a first class dickhead from word one that he took something that would otherwise be really good and propelled it to greatness. Even when he's standing in the ring before team NOAH have come out he's grabbing the ref' by the scruff of the neck and shoving him around. When he and Misawa get in together they have this awesome little exchange of douchebaggery. Ohtani backs Misawa into the ropes, and as he breaks he shoves Misawa in the chest while shouting "BREAK." When Misawa backs Ohtani into the opposite ropes, he fakes to throw an elbow, then just pats him on the head before breaking clean. Ohtani HATES it and spittle flies from his mouth. The heat section on Kotaro was really good here. Kotaro is a pretty bland junior that I don't really have much desire to watch, but this might be the best he's ever looked. He really leans in to getting elbowed in the face (although it's not like Takaiwa needs an invitation to put his weight behind throwing elbows) and plays a fine spunky underdog. Of course, a lot of that is probably down to Ohtani. He mocks him, beats on him in nasty ways (at one point he sits in a camel clutch position, fish hooks both cheeks and starts yanking back) and cuts him off by kicking him right in the dick. Old man Misawa was pretty awesome as well. Throws elbows like he's Misawa, and the early flurry that rocks Ohtani looked super nasty (Ohtani's awesome sell of it didn't hurt, though). Takaiwa probably popped up a bit too quickly after the last big Kotaro nearfall, and the double powerbomb into death valley driver spot is a combo I hate because it's so glaringly cooperative, but those are minor quibbles. I really wish Ohtani got to stretch out like this way more over the course of the last decade. A guy that's such a natural asshole should be allowed to act like one.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Rey Flows Like the Blood on a Murder Scene, Like a Syringe on Some Wild Out Shit, to Insert a Fiend

Rey Mysterio v Brock Lesnar (Smackdown!, 12/11/03)

Well this was pretty terrific. These two work the 'big v little' dynamic together about as well as any pair in history. Lesnar just manhandles Rey early on, throwing him across the ring when they tie up, mocking him because he's tiny, and at one point he picks Rey clean up off the ground by his ankle and chucks him across the ring. If you gave someone a real life Super Soldier Serum, you'd get another Brock Lesnar. They do a great Tom and Jerry bit where Lesnar chases Rey in and around the ring for about 30 seconds, and when Lesnar stops to catch his breath the crowd start up a massive "you tapped out" chant (he tapped to the Crossface in a match with Benoit the week before). Couple super nifty spots on the floor as well. First Rey goes for a seated senton off the apron, but Brock catches him and hoists him up for a powerbomb, so Rey rolls through and sort of sunset flips Lesnar back-first into the gueardrail. Then he does another seated senton and hurricanranas him into the ring post. Brock's also a guy that's about as fast and agile as he is freakishly strong, so when he runs at Rey and Rey dropkicks him in the knee to send him flying face-first into the middle turbuckle, you can buy him having built up enough momentum for something like that to actually happen. You don't get that same sense with a lot of the big guys Rey works with (shit, you don't get it with a lot of big guys in general). Eventually Lesnar manages to pluck Rey out the air and takes over by just kicking him in the balls. Everything Brock does looks as nasty and vicious as you'd think. He always had awesome looking offence, but Rey completely hurls himself around for all of it like most guys can't and it makes it stand out even more. Thought the 619 set up was pretty great here as well. First Rey sneaks in a revenge low blow by kicking the middle rope into Lesnar's groin, then he dropkicks him and Lesnar kind of trips and falls across the middle rope (still selling his nads). Rey is still on the apron, so he just runs along it and swings around the ring post to hit it. The string of nearfalls after that gets a TON of heat, then Lesnar catches him again and fucking PLANTS him with a sick powerbomb. The Brock Lock/stretch muffler at the end looked hideous. I mean, fuck, talk about breaking someone in half.

Rey Project

Thursday, 15 March 2012

We Said No Holds Barred, but We Didn't Expect This!

Shawn Michaels v Diesel (WWF In Your House 7: Good Friends, Better Enemies, 4/28/96)

Man, I fucking love this match. Shawn Michaels launching Marty Jannetty through a window while a dude with hedge clippers and horrendous pants stood in awe was what made me a wrestling fan for life. I wouldn't say I'm a massive Michaels fan anymore (though tag worker Michaels is still awesome), but he was my favourite wrestler for a good while growing up, and no matter how many Butch Reeds or Fuerza Guerreras or Volk Hans bump and stooge and tricked-out-matwork their way into my heart, I'll probably always have a soft spot for him. So I will probably always fucking love this match.

He gets bumped and ragdolled around like crazy here. It's interesting to see how Michaels worked with Nash in comparison to how Bret worked with him. Bret seemed to try and get him to work into Bret's 'Bret Hart v Big Man' formula -- he tried to "work with" him as opposed to "work around" him. When Nash was game I thought that turned out pretty great, and he'd do things working opposite Bret that he never would working opposite anyone else (and I don't think Nash was utter dogshit or anything, anyway...although he could stink it up with the worst of them when he wanted to). To say Michaels is going out here and just working around Diesel isn't really fair, since Nash's character is a big reason why this is so good, but Michaels is definitely in full on pinball mode.

Nash is a pretty wonderful scumbag in this, by far the best "character performance" of his career (that I've seen, at least. If there's one better that I've missed I'd be stunned, though). He throws his leather jacket at Vince before the match, trash talks all the way through it, and above all else beats the shit out of Michaels. When he rips Mad Dog Vachon's prosthetic leg off so he can use it as a weapon, even Lawler on commentary can't advocate that shit. "Oh my God...Oh my" (then he goes back to cheering him on 30 seconds later). Offensively he busts out a gigantic sidewalk slam, cracks Shawn right in the spine with a chair, chokes him with Hebnar's belt and hangs him over the top rope (Michaels really HANGS there, and when he's getting choked he doesn't bother using his fingers for any sort of separation. He looked like Justin Roberts that time Daniel Bryan choked him with his own tie on RAW and got fired for it), and in one of my favourite spots of the match he takes the tape off his wrist and just starts choking the ref' (so he can steal his belt).

Michaels' performance is pretty great as well. He ditches the dancing and male stripper routine at the start and actually looks like he's ready for a fight. He even steals one of the announcer's boots and waffles Nash in the head with it. His whole run of offence at the start seemed really fired up, then he takes his upside down bump in the corner, and as Nash clubs him off the apron he goes flying into the railing with an insane Brian Pillman throat bump. The powerbomb through the table spot is probably what this is most remembered for, and it really is a spectacular looking table spot. They don't start clearing the table of monitors and headsets before it, so you don't know it's coming until Nash lifts him up and turns towards it. When Shawn goes through it one of the monitors almost bounces up and hits Vince right in the face. Michaels lies there covered in debris and it looks like a car wreck while Diesel struts around the ring with the WWF title (he even asks Hebnar to put it on him).

The nip up spot is definitely problematic. Vince shouting "JUST LET IT BE OVER!" as Shawn tries to crawl out from under the rubble and drag himself back into the ring is a cool moment, but after everything up to that, if you've just been hurled through a table, whipped and hanged with a belt, taken a ludicrous bump into a guardrail, blasted with a chair, etc., you probably shouldn't be nipping up and bouncing around quite so easily. I've never thought it killed the match or anything, and the nip up spot doesn't bother me a great deal in general, but this was one of the more egregious ones he's ever done.

Still, they don't head to the finish after the big comeback, and Nash blocking the first SCM attempt and mowing him down with a clothesline is one of the best spots of the match, so you take the good with the bad. A little later we also get a great payback spot with Michaels hitting Diesel low as he's about to drill him with Vachon's leg (Diesel hit a low blow earlier on as Michaels was about to smack him with a chair, which was actually a really great cut off spot that I never mentioned).

Every time I watch this I go in thinking I'll like it a little less than before. Then it ends and I wind up liking it a little MORE than before. By far my favourite Nash match ever. Probably one of my top 5 favourite Michaels matches ever. If Shawn had thrown up after he realised he was holding a dude's leg it would've been top 1.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Rey Got News for You All, Let Him Show You how to Ball. See the Legendary Fall? He Ain't Heard of That

Rey Mysterio v Luke Gallows (Smackdown!, 3/5/10)

This feels like quite the Luke Gallows showcase. I didn't see a ton of Gallows in his SES role, but he was pretty fucking rad here and Rey made his already-good offence look totally killer. There's a super cool spot where he shoves Rey into the ropes and hits a monster clothesline from him knees, which sort of reminded me of the awesome spot in the Rey/Henry match I talked about a few days ago. He spends a chunk of time working over Rey's back in pretty nasty looking ways here. He initially takes over by grabbing Rey, running him along the apron and throwing him spine-first into the post. When he's in control he hits a fallaway slam, squeezes him with a bearhug and throws some great looking headbutts right to the spine and kidneys. He also throws some killer punches -- Rey jumps off the top at one point and Gallows catches him with an AWESOME uppercut. Thought the set up to the 619 was really cool here as well. First Rey hooks in a guillotine choke, and when Gallows gets to the ropes he still sells grogginess. While he's shaking the cobwebs Rey chop blocks him and Gallows falls into position for the 619. I don't remember seeing it set up like that before, but it was one of the more organic set ups for it I've seen. Serena jumps in the way as Rey is about to hit it, and when Punk sneaks in the back door it looks like we're heading for a screwy finish. Instead, Gallows tries to powerbomb Rey, but Rey manages to shift his weight and score a flash pin. A friend of mine has been at me to watch this for about two years now, and it was as nifty as I'd hoped. Everything pre-commercial is good, but it really hits another gear after that sweet apron/post spot.

Rey Project

Monday, 12 March 2012

They Form a Huddle, Whisper Like They Want Trouble, Rey Melts the Ice Grills Into Rainwater Puddles

Rey Mysterio & Edge v Brock Lesnar & Tajiri (Smackdown!, 10/10/02)

I had no idea this ever happened. I mean, I went back and watched a shit load of the Smackdown! stuff from this period a couple years ago, but I never came across this. It goes about ten minutes, has a really hot crowd, and Brock Lesnar fucking kills dudes. I had forgotten just how much of an athletic freak that guy was. He and Rey always used to have great interactions any time they wound up in the ring together (their TV match from '03 was awesome), and Brock just absolutely manhandles him at a couple points here. Rey tries to scurry away from him by crawling under his legs, but Brock grabs him, hurls him in the air with his ankles and slams him right down on his shoulder. Then in the post-match, from the floor, he tosses Rey over his head back into the ring, and Rey almost clears the top rope. Just inhuman strength. He and Tajiri make a super fun team. Tajiri chills on the apron until Lesnar mows down Rey and Edge, then he tags in and tells Brock he'll handle it from here...if that's okay with him. He throws a couple jaw-shattering kicks and there's a tarantula spot that looked pretty organic. When he fucks up by accidentally blasting Lesnar with a kick, he makes this AMAZING "oh fuck what have I done?" face while biting his fingers. Post-match Lesnar kills him for it, naturally. Edge was fine here, too. He takes a monster overhead belly to belly on the floor (from guess who) and Tajiri at least makes his spear look decent enough, so I can deal. Did Brock and Tajiri ever have a singles match together? That had to have been good, surely? Also feel like I owe it to myself to watch everything Rey and Lesnar ever did together.

Rey Project

Friday, 9 March 2012

Rey Terrorises the Jam Like Troops in Pakistan, Swingin' Through Ya Town Like Ya Neighbourhood Spiiiiiidaman

Rey Mysterio v Drew McIntyre (Smackdown!, 3/11/11)

This only goes about 8 minutes, and with the commercial break we miss a few of those minutes, but shit, this was a really great little match. Drew looked awesome here and I really wish they'd actually DO something with him (apparently they are now...maybe? I don't really know). He wastes Rey with a boot to the head right at the start (and laughs about it), hits an awesome tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, bends Rey with a bow and arrow, talks a bunch of trash, and fucking KILLS him with a backbreaker on the apron. He's a guy that has a TON of cool and interesting ways to hurt you (the Christian matches from a couple years ago are good examples). He also sets himself up for the 619 here in a way that doesn't look nearly as contrived as set ups for that move usually do. Rey does what he does and is as great a whipping boy as always - takes a Hell of a bump off a missed springboard where he jumps about 90 feet in the air and plummets face first to the mat - and I'd love it for these two to get 20 minutes, because I can't imagine that not ruling.

Rey Project

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

In the Glow of the Moon, Over the Melancholy Metro Rey's Poetry is Set Like a U.F.O.

20 Man Battle Royal (Smackdown!, 1/13/06)

Super fun TV battle royal. Rey and Mark Henry are really your stars here. First ten minutes have a bunch going on, but Rey's near-eliminations and running around like a mouse while Henry plays monster truck in amongst stock cars are the two main themes. Angle comes in as the mystery entrant (this is for the World Heavyweight Title that Batista vacated earlier in the night) and throws people around, but eventually Henry gets fed up with that and puts him through a table. Henry is a total beast in this. He does a shoulder tackle spot with Lashley where Lashley REALLY runs at him and still ends up getting bounced across the ring. There was nothing showy about it -- he really charged full speed at Henry, Henry just stood his ground, and Lashley almost got knocked clean off his feet. Henry picks him up like he's nothing, dumps him onto the apron and punts him right in the chest. He totally ragdolls everybody else (tossed out Brian Kendrick like he was a six year old). After everybody else is gone it briefly comes down to Henry and Rey, and we get a great taste of what a singles match would be like before Rey flies around once too often and gets hurled over the top. Finally ends up being Henry v Angle (Angle spent half the match on top of a broken announce table), and Angle is a total pitbull going back to the headscissors. Still, you watch this and get the sense a Rey/Henry match would be really great...

Rey Mysterio v Mark Henry (Smackdown!, 1/20/06)

And sure enough, it was really great. Just an awesome huge guy v tiny guy match; at times it's like a rabbit trying to pick a fight with a bear. Rey tries to get Henry to chase him around early and burn him out, winging kicks at his tree trunk legs to chop him down some. There's a spot where Henry catches Rey by the ankle as he's sliding into the ring and, with one hand, just yanks him back out with so much force Rey goes flying into the barricade. Henry takes over completely when Rey runs towards him, and Henry stops him cold in his tracks Vader style. People should stop running at that guy. It's bad enough standing in front of him, I have no idea why you'd actively want to close the gap. If a bus is driving towards you, don't run INTO the fucking windshield. Henry looks like the most unfuckwithable brick wall on earth here. He gives Rey a slingshot suplex where he hangs him over the top rope and cracks his sternum with a kick (Rey's bump to the floor is great as well). Awesome spot where Rey starts building some momentum and Henry mows him down with a huge leaping clothesline. He was kind of on his knees when he jumped into it, so it looked totally out of nowhere and amazing. Really liked the teeter-totter set up to the 619 here as well. Henry catches Rey's attempted springboard like he did in the battle royal, but this time Rey manages to hotshot Henry on the top rope as he's being thrown out. Then Rey hits three 619s; one to the kidneys, one to the stomach, and finally one to the face. Finish is great. Rey hits the frog splash from about three quarters of the way across the ring, but as he pins him Henry just sits up, rolls backwards onto his feet while still holding onto Rey, and crushes him dead with the World's Strongest Slam. Rey sort of whiffs on the frog splash because he's too far away, but it actually kinda adds to the finish. You've got one shot against this guy, you either make it count or you're toast.

Rey Project

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Rey Rose Early Mornin', Spread His Wings Yawnin', Vague Memory of Last Night, Now it's All Dawnin'

Rey Mysterio v Kurt Angle (Smackdown!, 3/31/06)

So this is about 6 months before WWE released Angle, and hindsight being a beautiful thing and everything, you can kind off see why Vince half expected him to die in the ring at some point. His arms look a bit Paul Orndorffy and you see him squeezing some feeling into his fingers after a few flat back bumps. I have no idea how he still has full use of his limbs 6 years later. I'd have bet money he'd be at least a hemiplegic by now. Match starts out with Angle taking Rey down and grounding him, and if there's one thing I'll say about Angle it's that he projects an aura of a guy that'll tear your arms off on the mat (looking like an ACTUAL psychopath helps). Rey catches him off guard with a springboard armdrag here and there. First Angle smiles in acknowledgement, then he gets annoyed and just launches Rey into the barricade. He spends the rest of the match working over Rey's midsection with a tight looking bodyscissors, some takedowns with real snap, and adds a bunch of nasty touches like grinding his forearm across Rey's eyes while he squeezes his ribs with his legs. Felt pretty Finlayesque, which you know I'll get behind. I was setting myself up to be disappointed when it looked like they were going with an Anglefied finishing run, but lo and behold there were only two counters out of finishers before Angle plucks Rey out the air and grapevines the leg for the tap out. This was pretty fucking good. I don't really have any interest in watching Angle at this stage, but Rey's a good match-up for him. Might actually be his most consistently good opponent. I'd still take the best Angle/Austin match over the best Angle/Rey match, but I'd rather watch the third or fourth best match Angle and Rey had together than the third or fourth best Angle and Austin had.

Rey Project

Monday, 5 March 2012

The Motherfucking Rey Mysterio Project!

So I was watching some random Smackdown! matches from 2006 last night, and I got to thinking about whether there have been any guys in the world that have been as consistently good over the last 10 years as Rey Mysterio. Couldn't think of anybody in WWE. Only other guy from America that is fucking with him is probably Danielson. Wrestling in Japan has steadily gotten worse and worse to the point where there's barely a handful of guys I'm interested in watching at this point. There's probably a few guys from Mexico, but I didn't watch a good deal of lucha from '00-'08, so that's a blind spot.

Point is, Rey has been fucking awesome since he came to WWE in 2002 (not that he was shitty before that) and one of the most "sure thing" guys in the world from that point on (when he's not having knee surgery or tearing all of his muscles, anyway).

I've seen most of his WWE run already, but there ALWAYS seems to be WWE Mysterio stuff popping up that winds up being at least interesting that I'd never even heard of before. Plus I want an excuse to re-watch all of the stuff I already know I like. So here we go again.

Same deal as the Finlay project in that I'm only going to focus on his WWE run. I'll break it all down the same as that as well, with the best stuff being in the top tier and the "worst" stuff being in the fourth/bottom tier. I've already talked about a bunch of Rey matches here already (watched a few for the Finlay project), so I'll just link to those over time. The goal is to have everything watched and listed before I'm dead (so I give it about 10 years).

Rey Mysterio v Brock Lesnar (Smackdown!, 12/11/03)
Rey Mysterio v Jamie Noble (Velocity, 5/1/04) 
Rey Mysterio v Chavo Guerrero (Great American Bash, 6/27/04)
Rey Mysterio v Eddie Guerrero (Smackdown!, 6/23/05)
Rey Mysterio v Eddie Guerrero (Great American Bash, 7/24/05)
Rey Mysterio & Batista v MNM (Smackdown!, 12/23/05)
Rey Mysterio v Mark Henry (Smackdown!, 1/20/06)
Rey Mysterio v Finlay (Smackdown!, 3/24/06)
Rey Mysterio v Randy Orton (Smackdown!, 4/7/06)
Rey Mysterio v CM Punk (Rey Joins S.E.S v Punk's Hair) (Over the Limit, 5/23/10)
Rey Mysterio v John Cena (RAW, 7/26/11)

Rey Mysterio v Tajiri (Smackdown!, 9/4/03)
Rey Mysterio v Tajiri (Smackdown!, 9/25/03)
20 Man Battle Royal (Smackdown!, 1/13/06)
Rey Mysterio, Chris Benoit & Bobby Lashley v Finlay, JBL & Randy Orton (Smackdown!, 2/24/06)
Rey Mysterio v Kurt Angle (Smackdown!, 3/31/06)
Rey Mysterio v Finlay (Smackdown!, 9/8/06)
Rey Mysterio v The Undertaker (Royal Rumble, 1/31/10)
Rey Mysterio v Cody Rhodes (Falls Count Anywhere) (Extreme Rules, 5/1/11)

Rey Mysterio & Edge v Brock Lesnar & Tajiri (Smackdown!, 10/10/02)
Rey Mysterio v Luke Gallows (Smackdown!, 3/5/10)
Rey Mysterio v Drew McIntyre (Smackdown!, 3/11/11)
Rey Mysterio v Cody Rhodes (Wrestlemania XXVII, 4/3/11)
Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston & John Morrison v The Miz, Alberto Del Rio & R-Truth (Summerslam, 8/14/11)

Rey Mysterio & Eddie Guerrero v MNM (Smackdown!, 7/7/05)

Friday, 2 March 2012

In Comes Romeo, He's Moaning 'You Belong to Me I Believe,' and Finlay Says 'You're in the Wrong Place, my Friend, You Better Leave'

Finlay v Bobby Lashley (Smackdown!, 5/12/06)

Is Finlay Lashley's best ever opponent? I remember that Cena match from the Great American Bash 2007 being a really good WWE Style Main Event, but I've seen a bunch of Finlay/Lashley matches now and they all felt really rugged. You get the sense the Bash match with Cena had a Pat Patterson laying things out beforehand and Cena doing the rest. The Finlay matches feel more like uncooperative fights. This is probably the best of those matches, and while Lashley hangs around and looks pretty good hitting his stuff and being roided out of his eyeballs, it's more or less a Finlay show. He controls most of this by doing a bunch of super nasty looking shit. Even when he's working a headlock Finlay looks like he's trying to hurt you. When he grabs hold of it he makes sure to really clamp his arms tight around your head and jerk your neck. He works a Fujiwara armbar and digs the point of his elbow into Lashley's shoulder joint. Then he just hauls off and punts him right in the spine (sounded like a gun blast). Lashley's a guy that never really seemed all that imposing despite the fact he was made up entirely of human growth hormone and built like Conan (that's Conan the Barbarian, Conan with a 'C'; not Konan with a 'K', shittiest wrestler in the history of the universe...although he was jacked to high Hell as well). Maybe it's because he sounded like a 12 year old and had the charisma of a tree stump. It's not like he was Mark Henry-level imposing here, but he hits real hard (pretty much a pre-requisite against Finlay) and busts out a great looking gutbuster from a gorilla press. And his spear looked as good as I've ever seen it, too. Basically he was a decent compliment to the best wrestler in the world at the time, and that is about all I can ask for.

Finlay Project

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Roughneck, Fit Finlay's on the Set, The Rebel, I Make More Noise Than Heavy Metal

Finlay v Rey Mysterio (Smackdown!, 3/24/06)

Finlay/Rey is a really awesome match-up, and this might be their best match together. WWE Rey Mysterio is obviously less about doing crazy shit and innovating this or that or the other than WCW Rey Mysterio was. WWE Rey Mysterio is all about selling from the bottom and making comebacks. He's a guy you can stick in there with practically anybody WWE's had on their roster for as long as he's been there and it'd result in something at least watchable. Ideally you (or at least I) want him in there with someone that can lay down a good beating...and who lays down a better beating than Fit Finlay? Match goes about 15 minutes and Finlay just beats the holy fuck out of Rey for almost all of it, while Rey does what he does and throws in his hope spots and comebacks. When these guys wrestle it feels less like Rey is being "worked over" -- he's being straight up BULLIED. Finlay just launches him spine-first into the barricade and starts working over his neck and back a bit. It's the kind of thing aspiring pro-wrestlers watch and think "nah, on second thought I'll just take that job at McDonald's. I'd rather flip burgers and spit on chicken nuggets than have Fit Finlay stretch me until my chin touches my nipples." He throws a forearm uppercut right to Rey's neck at one point and it looked just motherfucking ungodly. Rey also seemed to ramp up the stiffness on his end any time he'd work with Finlay, and he really lays in a few shots here. Finlay tries to roll him up with a sunset flip, but Rey rolls all the way through and completely blasts his ear off with a roundhouse kick. The 619 isn't something that looks good in a "holy shit I buy THAT knocking someone out" kind of way very often, but Finlay takes it like a fucking man; two shins square in the nose. Finish is screwy, but for a screwy finish that would be pretty hard to nail perfectly, this was nailed pretty much perfectly.

Finlay Project