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.