Rey Mysterio v Randy Orton (Smackdown!, 4/7/06)
So Rey is pretty much the king of the free TV wrestling match, and this is probably somewhere around his top 5 (TV matches, I mean). It's truly excellent. It's also one of the best Randy Orton performances I've ever seen. He's been real dull for a while now, but there've been points in his career where he's been really great (and this was one of them), so I still mean that as high praise. Match is structured similarly to the very best Rey matches -- heel opponent controls the majority while Rey uses his impeccable timing to throw in his hope spots, and it all builds to a molten finishing run. Orton's awesome at keeping Rey under wraps here, especially with the headlock. He's a guy that has a great headlock/chinlock, and I don't know if it's ever looked better than it did in this match. He puts so much wrench into it and really squeezes Rey's head and neck, and at one point Randy's almost doing a fucking headstand to give him extra leverage. He looks like he's literally trying to pull Rey's head off. Rey is the bump machine psychopath you think he is and takes a bunch of psycho bump machine bumps. He gets smashed face first into the canvas off two wheelbarrow attempts, and the bump he takes off a dropkick to the apron is insane. He tries to springboard, but Orton hits a dropkick to counter it and Rey goes spine, kidney, liver, hip and coccyx-first onto the edge of the apron. All at once. Stretch run is terrific, and at one point Orton fucking KILLS Rey with a clothesline for a big nearfall. When was the last time someone in WWE other than Bradshaw got a legit nearfall off a clothesline? Although in fairness this looked like it'd decapitate a wildebeest. I liked Rey's final flurry at the end as well. Felt like the last round of a title fight with one guy managing to string off the big combo.