Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Eddie & Tajiri v Haas & Benjamin! x2!

Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri v Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin (WWE Smackdown!, 5/22/03)

Well, if this match does one thing, it reinforces that Eddie Guerrero was fucking awesome. If it does another thing it...well, this is an outstanding TV tag, and probably one of my favourite tag matches ever. When I first watched it however long ago I remember being blown away by Eddie reversing a leg sweep into a headscissors, and every time I've seen it since it still blows me away. He hits another headscissors on Haas at one point while springboarding off the top rope and taking Benjamin over with an armdrag. At the same time. He really brings the offence early, then he plays FIP after a cool transition sequence (Benjamin giving the assist on a sunset flip by hitting a blockbuster off the second rope was badass), and he's even better at fighting from the bottom. Seriously, this is a hell of a heat segment. He tries to hit the frog splash and goes flying into Benjamin's knees, and from there he has his midsection worked over. There's a couple spots where he really tries to fling himself across the ring to make the tag. Haas manages to cut him off both times, the second time drilling him hard with a nasty spear/takedown. Sometimes guys will try spots like those and you can tell that the heel was supposed to make the cut off, but the first time Eddie tries it here it does not look like Haas was expecting it (so credit to him for reacting, I guess). Tajiri is killer coming in off the hot tag, blasting dudes in the face and back of the head with kicks, hitting handspring elbows and looking vicious. For such a small guy, he feels like one of the deadliest ass kickers in wrestling history. Eddie continues to fucking rule it by selling the midsection all the way until the end. Not enough guys continue to sell the workover after the hot tag. Eddie is not most guys. His hiptoss that takes both him and Haas over the top rope looked insane, too. Finish is one of the best "Eddie lies, cheats and steals" finishes ever -- maybe the best. I love everything about this match.

Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri v Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin (WWE Smackdown!, 7/3/03)

Thought this was a step down from the previous match, but it's still pretty fuggin great in its own right. That match had Eddie as your offensive dynamo before playing underdog babyface; this has him as your hot tag/apron guy, and well...dude is a fucking awesome hot tag/apron guy as well. Some of his apron shtick is incredible. At one point he manages to extend the tag rope so he can stand square in the middle of the apron and shout stuff at Benjamin, and I have no idea what he did but I LOVE that spot. Hebnar turns around and tells him to keep hold of the tag rope, so Eddie shows him that he's already holding it, and Hebnar looks at him like "What the fuck..?" Crowd are 100% behind him the entire match are are itching for him to get in there, so they lose it whenever he comes in to make a save. Habnar has told him to stay on the apron about six times already and then he pulled that stunt with the tag rope, but what is he supposed to do, just stand there? Crowd know that he's getting more and more pissed and are waiting for him to let loose. He comes in, boots Haas in the head (or was it Benjamin? They look so much alike, you see. Which I'm assuming is why they persist on doing the switcheroo shtick behind the ref's back), sprints back onto the apron and holds the tag rope in the air for everybody to see. "Holding the tag rope! SEE?!" And the crowd come unglued and start a massive Eddie chant. Finish to this is actually clean, but it seemed a little mistimed and felt like half of an actual and finish and half of a set-up to the post-match angle, and I dug Eddie's horseshit for the finish in the first match more. How long did people boo Eddie for after this? A week? Two? Just give him the big belt already, shit.

I say shit like "if we were getting stuff like ________ today, I'd still be following current wrestling" a lot, but I know for a fact that if Eddie Guerrero was alive and wrestling in 2013, I'd still be following it right now.

They just don't make them like this any more.

No comments: