Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Project 33" - Match #8: Smackdown Six Tag Team Elimination

Chris Benoit & Kurt Angle vs. Los Guerreros vs. Edge & Rey Misterio
Madison Square garden, NY - 17 November, 2002
Smackdown Tag Team Championship

Part 2   Part 3  

This match was during the "Smackdown Six" Era of Smackdown.  Essentially, during that time period, Paul Heyman was the matchmaker for Smackdown, at a time when Raw was booked to be the dominant show.  However, at this time, Heyman had a handful of truly gifted wrestlers at his disposal, and he took an approach to them where he was constantly booking the six top guys on Smackdown against each other in a number of combinations.  What it ended up doing was making Smackdown the better show, wrestling wise, while Raw was weighed down by promos and less talented wrestlers.

The culmination of Heyman's matchmaking was this match: Edge & Misterio, the least logical pairing, defending the tag team championships against the diabolical cheating Guerreros, and the duo that hated each other but were forced to team, Benoit & Angle.

I really cannot say enough about this match - it is brilliant.  A lot of moronic matchmakers would have made this match where three guys were in the ring at all times, but that didn't happen here.  Also, it being elimination called for actual teamwork between partners, but also an "every man for himself" attitude.  This was seen best when Angle and Benoit would tag anyone in, but the Guerreros would be quick to tag out and stay on the apron.  This showed that Angle & Benoit were looking to wear down one team, and it didn't matter who, they just wanted someone eliminated.  The Guerreros were looking at it as not being able to be pinned if they were not in the ring.  Misterio, being undersized, and Edge being the pretty boy, were perfect at taking the beating and coming back. 

The ending to the match does get a little sloppy, but I think that was a matter of ring positioning.  I dunno, but I am willing to bet that someone relayed that they needed to do the 619 spot from side-to-side, rather than towards the hard cam, and it threw off the timing.  It was executed fine, but it didn't flow like everything else in this match. 

Oh, and another thing - there was a spot when Misterio used Angle as a springboard to leap to the top rope, only  Misterio missed the top rope and kinda took a bump.  This was not a "blown spot" where the moron smart marks chant "you fucked up, you fucked up".  Why?  Because without hesitation Angle started kicking the shit out of Misterio, and he and Benoit started working Misterio's neck.  That isn't a blown spot - it is being able to work. 

Fun facts:
Two of the guys in this match are dead. 
Three of the guys in this match had major neck surgery.
All of the men in this match were WWE Heavyweight Champions at some point except for Chavo Jr., although at this point, only Angle had already been. 

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