Friday, 29 January 2016
Eddie Guerrero v Rob Van Dam (WWE Backlash, 4/21/02)
This is an RVD match when RVD is on offence, but Eddie does what he can to make that look okay. About one in three strikes do, so he's above average in that regard. Van Dam does his goofy spots where he throws in forward rolls and cartwheels and it looks like it always does. Just do a regular monkey flip, mate. Match gets way better when Eddie takes over and starts working the back. Van Dam has never really been someone that'll sell long term limb damage, but if he's going to blow off body part work I'd rather it be the back than the leg or arm where it's far more obvious. It also feels like a good idea to work his back in that he's super flexible so you can bend him into all sorts of nasty shapes and angles, which Eddie does here. Eddie putting together a control segment is a beautiful thing -- he has lots of great looking offence, mixes in holds with the high impact stuff (high-angle backdrop --> surfboard stretch --> tilt-a-whirl backbreaker --> Gory Special), knows when to slow it down and speed it up to keep the crowd into it, etc. Has anybody in history ever been able to properly hit that sunset flip powerbomb more consistently than Eddie? He absolutely obliterates Van Dam with one here. Like, this might be the best one he's ever hit. Van Dam takes the bump way up on his shoulders and just gets completely folded in two. I also had no recollection of the finish to this, so I popped for Eddie almost frog splashing RVD's head into mashed potato at the end. I know it's not a sky high bar, but this is probably up there as one of RVD's better matches, right? I've wanted to re-watch that Benoit match from Summerslam '02 for a while, so I might do that soon for a comparison.