1) Eddie Guerrero v. Rey Mysterio- 5
Their famous match at Halloween Havoc went nearly the same length, but this match couldn't really hold a candle to what they pulled off there. Story was in tact though, Eddie was frustrated that Rey was beating him weekly, so he kept him grounded for most of the match but I wasn't a fan of some of his rest holds, just kind of laying on Rey at one point like he was a sleeping bag, with a super loose chinlock. The opening spot was crazy fast and Eddie whipped out a Steamboat armdrag faster than the Flash could take off his costume to get brains from Selina Kyle. Flying corkscrew, brutal powerbomb and Eddie's crazy stuntman sell of the 619 were match highlights but this felt more like going to a restaurant and ordering a 21 oz. steak and lobster tail and you only get a few bites of each and a crappy overcooked veggie side. Plus no Comic costume for Rey, big downer there.
2) Money in the Bank Ladder Match feat. Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Christian, Shelton Benjamin, Edge, and Kane- 6
I have to think the guys were happy with this one, the beginning was robotic preplanned spot after spot but after they kind of worked in there for a few minutes it felt more organic. Shelton was not the star of Internet video series "Botchamania" as he has been, being in the right spot at the right time on most everything. Jericho was taking bumps on his neck left and right and kind of being traffic director; seemed as if he was having more fun than on his cell texting the night before at the HOF. Benoit was an animal; nasty gash on his head and mouth, his swan dive off a wobbling ladder was the highlight of the match. Kane seemed as awkward using the ladders as weapons as he would be trying to give a gopher a cathoder. Nasty chair shot to Benoit's arm and his selling of it was on another solar system; i mean post match he was biting the apron he was selling his pain so well, just phenomenal. Fun match.
3) Undertaker v. Randy Orton- 7
This match was the surprise of the show; right from the get go it just worked. Taker grinding on a headlock while Orton struggles against it feels real to me here. Orton is just phenomenal on everything, his punches, his timing, picture perfect dropkick, selling the big legdrop. Loved the Old School, it engulfs Orton like a fireball. The pace is so much faster than a normal Taker match and he's game for all of it. Cowboy makes a cool apperance and gets a nasty boot for his efforts (which he's still selling during his HOF walk out). RKO out of chokeslam- fuck yes! Damn fine match and well worth another viewing.
4) Trish Stratus v. Christy Hemme- 2
The company had a lot of faith in Trish here because Hemme was greener than the fake Easter grass you're about to line your kid's basket with. She just didn't know how to react to violence and you could tell from her body language and selling, getting kicked from the left side and falling the wrong way, etc. That being said, good things I took from this was Trish's vocal selling, very heelish, and easy to identify exactly what's going on in the match. Lita was n't even eye candy at this point; she was like a half eaten Blowpop when you don't even care about the gum anymore and just spit it out.
5) Shawn Michaels v. Kurt Angle- 6
When you have a match like this and people expect it to be something it couldn't be, your already setting the bar too high. Some of the major stuff in this match just didn't work for me, such as Angle late in the match just starts going on a streak of all his stuff with no context to what they had been building up towards, which was the back work, the moonsault being the prime example. Also, the Angle slam into the post, which was a nasty bump, but it didn't look good at all. Both of Michaels' dives were ill advised and just sloppy really. The push off superkick spot was a neat concept and the top rope Angleslam conceivably should have been the end. Then you have Michaels' selling of the anklelock at the end and the teases which was all really well done, if there's one thing you have to credit Shawn for is the emotion he can pull out of the crowd. Their chemistry was fine but this doesn't compare as highly to the rematch or for that matter a large body of both men's work.
6) Akebono v. Big Show (Sumo Match)- 1
Not much to say here really, strictly worked as a sumo match with the ceremony and everything but entertaining it was not esp. since the camerman had the long steady shot of Akebono's backside and what lurked beneath that large velvet jock strap. Show did take a nasty Paul London bump off the side of the ring though.
7) JBL v. John Cena- 4
JBL really doesn't have a lot he can do in the ring, sure he can hit hard but as far as controlling a bout he's pretty lousy. Cena wasn't really able, for whateve reason, to convey that great face in peril selling that draws you into his matches here either. He took a nasty boot in the corner twice though with that completely washed over face where you think he's out. Highlight was the intensity he had in his comeback, just rawbone man-fire in dispensing, at that time, a completely absurd move set but he just did it in style. Didn't last long but got the Cena war machine rolling, their Judgment Day match would put this to shame.
8) HHH v. Batista- 6
The element of this match that pushes it into recommended territory is to watch HHH just go up and above the call of his normal duty to put over Big Dave here. High backdrop, nasty bump outside, brutal clothesline where he sells it like a Michaels or Ray Stevens, and a massive bladejob; these are all things that wouldn't garner much interest from the Game in a normal match but here he does so with delight. Batista, for his part, played the big man power game strongly and his selling was admirable, a particular amusing facial was after a low blow where Batista's mouth went agape as if he was Daffy Duck about to take a face full of gunpowder when he was sure that rascally rabbit was dead in his sights. Flair is usually a lot of fun at ringside but was somber for Flair, Good ole JR called it like a big title match of old days and Lawler was annoying enough with his slight heel points he'd been recycling for years to get a good report going on that end. Overall, i'd say this angle and match made Batista the star he is today so it's a good sampling of how far he's come.