1.Big Show & Hardy Boyz v. New Age Outlaws & X Pac (12/02)
Perfectly run 6 man with all the right components, except Road Dogg was acting like a really unbelievable 70’s heel, Show came in at end for power run and looked really game, Hardys were both on with offense and selling, especially Jeff, even making Dogg’s putrid offense look credible. Really cool surprise ending too, peaked at just the right moment.
2.Steve Austin v. Val Venis (10/26)
This was a really well done bout. Austin sold infinitely more here than you would have expected including a nasty spill over the guard rail. A few nice classic main event touches, the sleeper exchange, the Austin stun gun broken out. Val was in control the whole time and looked like one of the top dogs doing it. Far too much reliance on punches I thought but was the norm for this period of work.
3. Rock & Sock v. New Age Outlaws (09/23)
First act was all about learning that Road Dogg does know how to sell, a back injury from 5 weeks earlier, which would almost be unheard of now. He can punch too, so he’s got more going for him than Kevin Nash and most of Season 4 of NXT. 2nd act showed the world Billy Gunn really could have been a star of some capacity. His hot tag was sick, completely sapping Rock of all charisma, ending was muddled but shocking finish helped this.
4.Rikishi/ Too Cool v. Hollys/ Viscera (12/16)
This felt eerily similar to the other one I really loved here, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Actually felt akin to an old 80’s 6 man, 6 crazy characters but all working really hard, ‘Kish and Big Vis were both fearsome monsters and played perfectly, Sexay and Crash was a fun 1st section , only complaint is Scotty was a pretty boring face in peril, even though he took a pretty big walloping
5. Al Snow v. Jeff Hardy (12/30)
This was good for 3 reasons; tons of high flying spots that all were pretty damn tasty, then some of the most enjoyable leg work and selling by Snow attacking it and Jeff selling it, in a bubble, mind you, that I’ve seen in a while for a tv match. Ending was usual interference, par for the course in this time but what they did with the time they got was swell
6.Rock & Sock Connection v. Undertaker/ Big Show (Buried Alive, 09/09)
First act of this was pretty fun, great visual with the grassy dirt mound up on the stage, brawling was tepid but not insulting, Foley’s bump off the stage into the hole was beyond brutal, one of the more creative crazy spots of the whole set. Some brawling became repetitive, the finish was overbooked beyond belief, but the “near falls” of the grave burying made for some entertaining TV. Rock and Taker had a strange brawl where Rock took a real sick bump into a guardrail then immediately got up and went after Taker with a 2x4 in a surreal moment.
7. Hardy Boyz v. New Age Outlaws (Cage) 11/25/99
Fun sprint basically but had a lot of cool highspots, surprising one being Road Dogg doing a moonsault? He must have taken extra performance enhancing drugs that night. Hardys take their share of gnarly bumps too, incl. Matt on the buckle and Jeff up and over the top outside. Billy also does his silly bumping for an all together fun little match
8.The Rock v. Val Venis (10/17)
Much of this was the Rock whipping ass like only he can do and Val doing a stellar job selling like he was being murdered and putting everything over, but the brawl outside, Val’s bump on the grating, then him taking over with Rock gaining several really good near falls escalated this in my eyes, really showed the potential of Val as a headlining guy. Ending with Mick was stupid but necessary to a degree, the Trading Near fall section was the best part of this one.
9.New Age Outlaws v. Xpac * Kane (04/29)
Surprised how much I liked this, had a neat story built in where neither team was getting along and they all did their job of getting it over and making it play into the match. Now, the work, Xpac and Dogg played off each other well, was actually surprised how much I liked Dogg here, he didn’t do anything intricate but all his punches looked stiff and he sold with a lot of gusto. Kane was Kane, as exciting as a litmust test, but Billy Gunn was his usual exuberant and strangely homoerotic self.
10 Dudley Boyz v. Godfather/ Dlo (11/11)
God damn, Bubba as a 15 year veteran working X Division guys and indy schlubs and treating them like garbage is one thing, don’t like watching that, but here, Dudleys are the new kids on the block and Bubba came in guns blazing. He just decimates D’Lo early on as they have a good control section, he also bumps huge, so you can’t fault him. Dvon and D Lo blindly walking around during punch sequences like elementary kids holding hands, Godfather holds his own too, really pulling off a face comeback well. Bubba taking Godfather out with a tackle Warren Sapp couldn’t recreate solidified this making my list.
11. The Rock v. Al Snow (Cage) 12/23
Al was bumping like he just got an audition in the new Tyler Perry-Rock vehicle, and would have most assuredly sucked some black cock to get noticed. He was off and on though, Rock was Rock, solid, silly sells but pulling the crowd every which way he wanted, Snow took an absolutely sick back suplex off the top that Cole barely registered, but whiffed a chair shot earlier, loved the clothesline onto the chair spot too
12. Tag Team Gauntlet (09/02)
For a quick fast paced match of this sort, save the Dudleys debut ruining the end, I enjoyed myself watching this like an episode of Jackass. Nobody got a lot of time to really shine but they all really put energy into their quick spots and eliminations, namely the Hardys, thought Vis & Albert both looked great as monsters, but won’t get very far in the ballots.
13.Dudleys v. Edge & Christian (12/02)
I’m a sucker for an old fashioned worked tag match and tye dye so this one caught my eye. It’s fun to watch Bubba when he still cared, somersaulting across the ring to break a hot tag, missing that big senton, E & C were both young, and willing to sacrifice their bodies and dignity backstage to get a break, they weren’t on the Hardys level as far as performance but still very solid. Hampering this was the finish, as creative as most Kid Rock albums.
14. Hardy Boyz v. Edge/ Christian (10/16 Texas Tornado Match)
Match started out rough, after they went through their initial double teams, seemed like Matt & Jeff really didn’t know where to take the match with both of them in against just Edge, but the ending really picked up, some awesome near falls incl. Edge’s spear out of nowhere, the Double Ddt by Christian and the surprise ending playing off the pinfall the week before.
15. Jeff Hardy/ Christian v. Kaientai (12/23)
Wow, too many crazy moves to call, but it all was love, Taka’s right hands were like flesh covered firecracker chicken bites, all 4 guys moved real fluidly, fun AAA quick dive spot then back in with the finishing sequence, just a fun 7 minutes of 4 guys who seem to love what they were doing
16. Steve Austin/ The Rock v. HHH/ Undertaker (04/29)
Stone Cold just brings intensity whenever he performs, you can look back at this era and just remember sloppy brawling from one arena to the next, but the 5-6 minutes they got to work in the ring before all hell broke loose was quick paced, and all the guys showed a real comfort ability with each other that made the match flow really well. Taker’s selling was theatrical as all hell but Helmsley was a solid heel guy at the time.
17.Jeff Hardy v. Matt Hardy (12/16)
Much better than their Amarggeddeon match in 2001, here they were still cocksure young suicide artists, but the match was low on insane spots (not too low!) but high on both kids building up to their biggest moves and trying to outdo each other since they know each other so well. Matt wins with an unexpected move after both men gave near falls on their top stuff.
18..The Hardy Boyz v. Edge/ Christian (10/14)
It only got about 7-8 minutes but that was enough to put a good formula in, Jeff to sell like absolutely no one else, in a suicidal method, and Christian to also excel with some cool offense that Jeff sold like gangbusters. Edge has terrible punches and the ending was convoluted but other than that, pretty enjoyable.
19. HHH v. Kane (09/09)
Not a terrible bout, one that got some time, with minor HHH offenses during selling, he often bumps really hard to his back on nearly every move, but never sells that? Kane didn’t run through his whole offense in the first 10 minutes which surprised me and they actually had people into the near falls. Natrually, interference was a smaller piece of the pie here, but the bulk of this morsel was a straight forward in offensive TV bout.
20. Chris Jericho v. Mankind (12/02)
Mick can still go, he and Jericho bust out some tried and true spots that continue to work, can tell both guys are motivated because each knows the other one is, nice old school Funk driver from Mick, another strange ending but Jericho works hard each week in story laden scenarios
Hardy Boyz v. Edge/ Christian (09/09)
Not as flashy as most of their encounters, but still pretty good. Edge was kind of worthless as face in peril, but Matt and Jeff found a lot of cool ways to use double team tactics on him. Liked the dive sequence outside, Christian tried a few things that didn’t work but the choreographed ending was enjoyable.
Edge v. Christian (12/16)
Not as fun as the Hardys match but both guys took it seriously even if no one else did, also played up the angle how they knew all their moves and counters to everything, liked the fighting for the power bomb from Edge and Christian sold it like death. Cool rollup stuff to end but the count was flubbed.
Chris Jericho v. X Pac (09/02)
Fun solid match, real fast paced both guys were throwing kicks and hitting all really stiff like. Despite all the idiots interfering in the match, this had a lot going for it.
Bradshaw v. Bubba Ray (09/09)
Stiffest match of the set, so far, no one was selling much of anything but damn every shot was stiff as all hell. Clotheslines, real nasty punches to both guys’ faced, Bubba ran into the steel stairs harder than any wreck in those terrible Transformers movies
Rock/Test/Kane/Shane v. DX (Survivor Series match, 11/11)
Beginning was pretty bad, kane xpac brawl was tepid and a waste of film from the camera showing it, Shane’s beat down was pretty much what you get when you put a rich promoter’s son inside a ring, no emotion whatsoever, enjoyed Billy’s fameasser on his face though. Last 10 minutes was real high on the fun factor, Big Test Boot breaks Dogg’s sternum, over selling aplenty from Dogg and Rock, Arnold involved, won’t make my list at all but figured I’d comment on it
Jeff Hardy v. Grandmaster Sexay
Jeff continues to shine with his selling throughout this whole set, he just kills himself on every single move executed, like the back and forth here too, senton outside was nuts,
Hardy Boyz v. The Hollys (10/26)-
This is like an old school Hardys love letter. All their old spots and enthusiasm were preserved just as we remembered them here. And timing, forgot how great a team they were and how important that is. Hardcore came up with a cool ending, even if I’ve always though his dropkick was overrated..
Mankind v. British Bulldog (10/17)
This was a good match, Foley bumped up to his ability, incl. a really dangerous stair stunt, Bulldog stuck to his strengths at the time, power moves, and not much else, story unfolded uniformly, simply, but the thing that leaves this in the bottom of the pack is neither guy really sold anything, they just did moves to each other
Chris Jericho v. Road Dogg (08/29)
Jericho’s debut, if anyone’s keeping score, again, like Road dogg’s attention to detail, really sells his back after a sweet backbreaker and it plays into the story of the match. Liked the gusto he used when throwing Dogg into the stairs and the selling of it as well. Finish was kind of crummy, but at least it was a good table spot, won’t rank high on my list if at all
- Bradshaw v. Ken Shamrock (Street Fight 04/29)
This wasn’t very long, but I liked Bradshaw’s brutality mixed with Shamrock trying to pull off submission holds and he actually made them look very dangerous. Shamrock’s punches needed a lot of work though
Mark Henry v. Bubba Ray (12/23)
Quick match but physical as a NFL-Prison scrimmage game, Bubba was trying, I believe this, trying to break Mark’s neck, nasty suplex, but Mark fought back, as best he could, Bubba was taking liberties like crazy, also got a kick out of Dvon trying to make us believe him selling pain at the hands of the septagenarian women
HHH v. Mankind (Boiler Room, 09/30)
Short, physical, concrete bumps, like a night in the Foley bedroom. The final bump was quite brutal, didn’t make a lick of sense but was one of the nastiest things on the set, save all the Chyna matches. I also morbidly liked the strangeness of a bump onto a pile nuts and bolts, haha oh fuck, smack down 99 you fucking red headed stepchild
Faarooq v. Big Bossman (11/11)
Don’t fuck with Faarooq, he just pieces Bossman up like an angry pimp, grabbing everything he canfind and pummeling him with it, Bossman tried to attack him with a cable! Ha, this was a wild one, but too short to get very high
- Big Bossman v. Kane (Hardcore) 11/25
Not offensive match, got a little time, fun brawling around the crowd, Bossman selling his arm like a pro, nice bit of selling during all that, finish was ugly though
- Ivory v. Jacqueline (Gravy Bowl) 11/25
Match is a joke usualy but Jackie was dropping Ivory with some hard moves while this lasted, got a chuckle out of it