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The Underrated Matches


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Ето новата класация.Дано да е интересна,макар,че тук с малко изключения няма толкова шокиращи изказвания на автора.

Shining a Spotlight 6.05.08: The Underrated Matches

Posted by Michael Weyer on 06.05.2008

My series concludes with some bouts that are somewhat unfairly overlooked and not given the attention due them.

Well, we come to the conclusion of my unexpected series as I turn my attention to my picks for underrated matches. As with my previous column, I acknowledge that people have different tastes in matches so it's really more a matter of opinion. But I wanted to pick out matches that are often overlooked despite being true, brilliant gems. Now, I know, I'm sticking to mostly big-time show bouts and I acknowledge that there have been tons of great house show matches overlooked and apologize in advance but wanted to keep it to ones I have seen. So to my list…

Ricky Steamboat vs Ric Flair, Chi-Town Rumble '89

: I admit I'm more partial to the first of their classic trilogy because I am a huge Steamboat mark and it was terrific seeing him finally gain a world title. But the match itself still remains a brilliant piece of work on both men's parts. I know, I know, no such thing as a bad match with these two but this really was a brilliant battle, perfect technical matchups, wonderful in how it flows and Flair actually cuts down on most of his clichéd repeats of past moves and spots. The ending is also great, a tweaking of Dusty Rhodes' constant booking as, with referee Tommy Young knocked down, Steamboat small-packaged Flair with Teddy Long making the three count. When Young raised Steamboat's hand in victory, it wasn't just the end of a great match but a nice message that after so many years, the "Dusty Finish" was going to be forgotten for a time. Most of all, this one retains a wonderful freshness as the first of the big battles between them and before it got too planned out, the raw chemistry helped make this the best of the bunch.

Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels, Survivor Series 1992:

Five years before that match, Bret and Shawn would face each other under very different circumstances. It was only a month before that the two had surprised most everyone with Bret winning the WWF title and Shawn getting the IC belt weeks later. The matchup was the first real main-event level one for both men and it was a great encounter. It really did seem that winning the IC title made Shawn start stepping up his game as he started to really show more promise here. Both men showed their nice clash of styles culminating with Bret getting Shawn to tap out to the Sharpshooter. An ironic end in many ways of course but still a great overlooked bout between two great workers.

Randy Savage vs Ultimate Warrior, SummerSlam ‘92:

No, it doesn't approach the spectacle of their Wrestlemania VII battle but it's still a good matchup between them. It did have the nice added dynamic of both faces with Savage WWF champion and Warrior, with his record for beating Savage already, out to get the belt back. Adding to the build-up was Ric Flair basically playing both guys off each other, saying he'd be in one man's corner and leaving fans to wonder who. The match shows again why Savage is so underappreciated for being a detail freak on his bouts as you can tell his direction helps give Warrior focus as they go at it and Warrior actually comes off not too bad in the ring as a result. The ending was a bit of a gyp with Flair coming out to distract both men and get Savage counted out but still made for a terrific fight, far better than you'd expect from the Warrior.

Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon, SummerSlam ‘95:

Everyone justly raves about the Wrestlemania X ladder match which changed the pace of big-time wrestling in the ‘90's. But I do believe their rematch is actually much better. There's the added dynamic of both men fan favorites and Michaels now the IC champ. But what makes it work is how they use the spots and moments of the first battle and tweak them. For example, as before, Ramon gets a ladder and puts it on the apron and Michaels does a baseball slide on it. But this time, Ramon pulls himself and the ladder out of the way so Michaels slides to the floor where Ramon belts him in the face. They also added in the new bit of Michaels catching his foot on the ring barrier while being suplexed and Ramon working on the knee, even smacking it on the ladder so Michaels' ability to climb the ladder would be in doubt. Great selling from both guys as Michaels eventually got to the top to win it, capping off one time where the rematch was truly better than the classic that preceded it.

Ricky Steamboat & Dustin Rhodes vs Arn Anderson & Larry Zybsko, November 1991 Clash of the Champions:

1991 was not a good year for WCW with backstage chaos, Flair's firing and a ton of gimmicks and characters worthy of Wrestlecrap. But every now and then, the company could still pull off something great as with this televised bout which was to be Anderson and Zybsko defending the tag team titles against Dustin and Barry Windham. However, Windham was injured and WCW promised a "surprise partner" for his replacement. The surprise was that it actually worked out as Dustin came out with a guy in a big lizard costume who turned out to be Ricky Steamboat, fresh off a brief WWF run. The best part was Anderson freaking out totally during the match as he tried to focus on it, the cameras at one point catching him muttering "he's just a man." No, Arn, he's Ricky Fracking Steamboat. The match was an incredibly high-paced affair, Zybsko actually foregoing his usual slow approach to get into it with Rhodes and Steamboat eventually getting the win and the titles to a huge pop, a true bright spot in an otherwise poor WCW year.

Bret Hart vs Davey Boy Smith, In Your House, December 1995:

These two had battled before, of course, with Smith beating Flair for the IC title at their classic SummerSlam '92 MOTY. With Smith now a heel, he had a good chance against WWF champion Bret and it was added by once more having Bret's sister, Davey's wife, at ringside. Smith even had the great touch of wearing the same tights he'd had when he beat Bret before. The result was another great technical matchup between the two that shows Smith was a bit better in the ring than most give him credit for. Bret more than did his part to keep up the wild pace, including a terrific blade job that made him a total bloody mess as Bulldog pounded him around the ring. Bret still kept it up and the chemistry between them was undeniable as they countered and flowed each other's moves perfectly. In the end, Bret got the pin but the fans were the winners to see a great main event to cap off the year.

Chris Benoit vs Chris Jericho, Backlash 2000:

Yes, I'm putting a Benoit match on this list. These two always had a good chemistry and this first one-on-one battle for Benoit's IC belt was a highlight of that program. It was a terrific technical showcase of course but also had some good hard-hitting action as well. There was also some great improvisation as when Jericho muffs up a springboard dropkick and Benoit actually acts like he meant for it to happen that way. There's also a great bit where Benoit gets Jericho in an abdominal stretch and Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross talk about how that's not really a painful move. As if hearing them, Benoit starts pounding on Jericho's ribs as he stretches him. The ending was a bit of a gyp with Benoit doing a diving head butt and Jericho holding up the title belt to hit him and thus getting DQ'ed but still a great matchup that, despite Benoit's final fate, holds up as a classic today.

Bret and Owen Hart vs Steiner Bros, 1993:

How this match has yet to find itself to DVD is beyond me. Shot for one of the old WWF compilation VHS tapes, this is tag team wrestling at its absolute best. The Steiners are still in their prime, unmarred by injuries and steroids while Bret and Owen are, of course, a fine pairing together. What results is a half hour of incredible action, going all over the place, power wrestling, technical, brawling and more with every move in the book thrown in by all parties. Words really can't do it too much justice, it deserves to be watched via You Tube so you can appreciate it. The ending was of course marred with a double count out but as the Harts leave, the Steiners call them back to finish and a dozen officials have to go in to separate them. When the Steiners walk out, it's Bret who calls them back for another pull-apart. Again, just a wonderful old-school tag team affair that deserves more attention than it's gotten.

Shawn Michaels vs Steve Austin, 1997 King of the Ring:

Michaels and Austin were one of the first examples of Vince Russo's "whacky tag champions who hate each other" mentality and it worked out great. While united in facing the Hart Foundation, the two naturally wanted to prove who was better and thus this match was set. It stands as a great example of how much different Austin's in-ring performance was before his neck injury, really a great technical wrestler who matches with Michaels wonderfully. There is an interesting little bit as a member of a Special Olympics team in attendance somehow gets over the guardrail and Michaels actually helps the kid out of ringside before going back to the match. Sadly, as with many face vs face encounters, there is a gyp finish with the ref out while both guys get covers on each other and when another ref comes in, Michaels superkicks him, earning a double-DQ. But it still showed the great way the two men could work together that would pay off several months down the line.

Trish Stratus vs Victoria, 2002 Survivor Series:

It's nice to see women's wrestling in WWE on an upswing now because the fact was, they did care about the women's division a few years back. This battle is a fine example as Trish and Victoria, on a big-time New York stage, did one of the most high-impact women matches seen in WWE PPV. For the better part of ten minutes, the two just beat the hell out of each other in this hardcore matchup with trash can lids, kendo sticks, garbage cans and even an ironing board. Victoria even got a busted nose for the rare ladies' match involving blood, which just added to the excitement. Victoria would get the pin, the title and, most importantly, respect for showing the gals could hit as hard as the guys.

Shawn Michaels vs Undertaker, Ground Zero, September 1997:

Everyone remembers their battle in the first-ever Hell in the Cell. But a month earlier, the two went at it just as hard in a regular style matchup. Michaels had cost Taker the title against Bret a month earlier so there was bad blood and, after so long as a face, Michaels seemed to be boosted by going heel again and really cut loose. It was a good up and down battle going both ways, each man showing their skills as they smashed each other for over twenty minutes. While ending in a double DQ, the match was highlighted by the two going at it afterward with the entire locker room coming out to separate them and Taker going lucha by flying over the top rope to splash a dozen guys down on the rampway. They would top it the next month but this was still a great showcase for two guys at the top of their game.

Hulk Hogan vs Vince McMahon, Wrestlemania XIX:

I know some people (Scott Keith especially) bring up how idiotic it was for fans to have to put up with a match at the biggest show of the year that was basically bringing up bad blood from twenty years previously. But the fact is, this was a match some had wondered about and the two men actually made it a worthwhile brawl. Now, naturally, Hogan is no technical master and numerous DVDs have guys noting how Vince is one of the worst people to get into a ring with. But the two did actually make this work, both doing bloody blade jobs and milking the crowd reactions. It's still one of the great Mr. McMahon moments when the camera catches Vince peeking over the ring apron, his face a bloody mess while he has this psychotic grin, like Satan incarnate which is the perfect look for his character. Throw in a surprise appearance by Roddy Piper to hit both guys with a pipe and you had a wild affair with Hogan selling the ending by hitting Vince with not one but three legdrops to get the pin. It just shows once again that while he may not be a wrestler, Vince still knows how to give fans a good show.

Bret Hart vs Steve Austin vs Undertaker vs Vader, Final Four: Most remember the setup as this was to be a four-way for the shot at the title at Wrestlemania but Shawn "lost his smile" and gave up the belt. So this elimination rules battle had the four for the title itself and seemed to enliven the action, which was top-notch. It was a terrific brawl all around with Vader doing a good blade job as each guy battered each other senseless. The story is that Austin was to win but injured his leg early so had to be the first eliminated. Whether that's true or not, it was still good seeing them go at it for nearly a half hour with Bret finally dumping out Undertaker to win the title once more. His reign would only be one day but it was a fine match to get it on.


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Bret and Owen Hart vs Steiner Bros... Наистина, голяма класика, голяма драма - много добър мач. По това време можеш се накефиш на макс на техниката на Скот, преди да стане big wrestler.

Hulk Hogan vs Vince McMahon - абсолютно никаква техника, както може да се очаква и от Винс и от Хоган. Обаче както казват в статията направиха шоуто и си свършиха работата. Най - доброто представяне на шефа за мене си остава WM 19 ;]

Това бяха мачовете които исках да коментирам.

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Не мисля,че тея мачове са подценени,вярно всички изброени са добри,но пък са си получили и достатъчно добри оценки

"Doin' what I want to do, When I want to do it."

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