Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri - Cruiserweight Title - 7
Everything you'd expect from these two and a hell of a lot more. Tajiri brought his A-game in the striking and mat department and Rey brought his in the high-flying and selling department. Both guys have such a great chemistry together due to their similar styles. I was pleasantly surprised to see how both guys slowed the match down to a workable pace involving limb work on Rey which he sold like he legit torn some ligaments. Tajiri's stiff kicks to the head were placed so perfectly -- the looked sick. Rey's offense was at the top tonight as well, hitting crisp springboarrds and a great West Coast Pop which led to a great nearfall. Really fun back and forth between two guys who were tearing WWE up at the time.
Chris Benoit vs. A-Train - 7
I know! This was awesome! Benoit brought that classic toothless aggression to the table, and A-Train did his best to keep up despite not being so ruthless in the ring. Such great psych in this match featuring Albert beating the hell out of Benoits surgically repaired neck. BAH GAWD those were some stiff shots. There came a point in the match where I literally screamed like a manly girl: Albert had just brought a chair into the ring and laid it on the mat. He put Benoit in a torture rack, but dropped him HEAD FIRST ONTO THE CHAIR! Benoit landed identical to the way Sabu did when he screwed up his neck in ECW. In true Benoit fashion, he was unscathed from the fall and brought in a hell of a finish, seeing Albert give a big boot to the chair propped between the ropes, twisting his knee. This led to a great finish of the Sharpshooter with pain etched on the face of Albert. So good!
Zach Gowen vs. Matt Hardy - 3
I've always admired Gowen for his ability to come back from a life-threatening illness. His ability to balance on one leg and still pull stuff off is awesome. Hardy was heeling it up with Shannon Moore on the outside providing distractions. The highlight of the match saw Gowen hit a senton to the outside, balancing himself on the rope with one leg before rotating. Looked nice. Hardy seemed to be willing to put Gowen over by stumbling around like his brother after a weekend in Amsterdam.
The APA vs. The Bashams - 4
I remember the debut of the Bashams and thinking to myself, "Yay. Another twin team you can't tell apart..." As the months went by, I found myself getting hooked on their work. The APA, however, would have none of the Bashams and were set out to destroy them. I've always dug both Farooq and Bradshaw because they seemed like legitimate badasses that took no names and beat the crap out of guys. I was happy with Bradshaw on this front, but Farooq looked like he couldn't have cared less. Bashams worked their typical safe style, but I felt like Bradshaw really shined and channeled his inner-Stan Hansen that we all know he has. HEEEE~!
Stephanie McMahon vs. Vince McMahon - 1
I'm not even touching this shit. I will say, however, I was pleasantly surprised by Stephanie's selling, particularly be the half-crab. Leave it to Vince to give the "Okay" to this.
John Cena vs. Kurt Angle - 6
Looking at these two you'd have to expect a good match. The nearfalls in this match were amazing. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Kurt is one of the greatest false finish guys in the business. At the very last possible iota of a second, Kurt somehow manages to get his shoulders up off the mat. Cena wasn't without his positives either. His facial selling was top notch, including looks of surprise and agony whenever Kurt was able to lock in the ankle lock. I gotta say I miss heel Cena. His facial aggression and intensity was a lot higher than his face work, but I dig him no matter what. Word Life.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Big Show - US Title - 2
Pretty bad. This actually would've been considered 'bad' for a television match, much less a PPV match. The only thing that actually occurred was Eddie pulling tricks out of his bag to try to pin Show while the ref was knocked out. I kind of got enough of that shtick on smackdown every week. Big Show could hardly move like usual, so you could probably use this match as a cure for insomnia.
Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker - WWE Title - Chain Match - 5
This feud had been going on for quite some time now, but it was never stale in my mind. Brock always brought to 'Taker and 'Taker always made sure to return the favor to Brock. None of this phantom punch BS. Both guys really laid them in. While the match was good, there was a fundamental problem with it: there was barely any chain! There's a huge difference between teasing using the chain and only using it literally for one spot in the match. After teasing the match with chain spots on Smackdown, it would have made a lot of sense to use the chain a lot during the match, right? Yet, they only used it for less than 30 seconds. The in-ring action was very well executed, though.
Overall, very strong opening to the event, lacking middle, and decent end. If you're going to watch this, definitely skip the Big Show/Guerrero and McMahon matches.
Match average: 4.4
Recommendation Level: Recommended