Hidden Gems: Attitude Era 10 Man Tag

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Hidden gems: 10 Man Tag                                                                                                             

The Radicalz and DX Vs the Rock, Cactus Jack, and Too Cool

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-koj9Uwdr4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=QWaEHmLDROI

A classic attitde era Raw main event. This match has a lot to teach the current Raw bookers:
Take risks on younger talent and give them the top spot for the night (people forget how over Too Cool was).
Mix up the match varieties. Enough one on one and tag matches. Its one Raw out of 52 in the year, take risks on main events that you can’t for PPVs.

Random thoughts on the match:

Nice fast pace with non-stop tagging.
Is Brodus Clay the reincarnation of the Rikishi gimmick (Minus the thong)?
The crowd reaction for the Great One is amazing. He truly was on the cusp of greatness.
Damn I miss Malenko. I could probably write 30 Hidden Gem columns on his career.
Much better Kane return than a few weeks ago.
Thank the wrestling gods that Stephanie is off of my television.                                    Try to ignore the botched finish, its still a fun match.

In short, one of the most fun Attitude Era Raw main events, all without Stone Cold.

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If you cant beat em, join em: http://www.wrestlezone.com/news/247835-press-release-john-cena-teams-up-with-fruity-pebbles-cereal

Pathetic, two of my faves growing up bickering like they are on some crappy reality show: http://www.lordsofpain.net/news/Warrior_Responds_to_Kevin_Nash_s_Challenge_Hulk_Hogan_Weighs_In_and_More.html

Edge, the Four Horseman aaaaand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM77hFbTC6Y&feature=related

Lost Gems

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Lost Gems:

Edge and Rey Mysterio Vs Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit                                Smackdown Tag title Tournament Finals                                                                   No Mercy 2002


This match is a rocket that gets launched within the first few minutes and doesn’t slow down until the closing bell. One of the crowns in the gem of the Paul Heyman booked Smackdown.  All four guys are in top shape and this match accentuates all their strengths: Angle’s submission style, Benoit’s shooter technique, Rey’s lucha libre and Edge’s hybrid of all the above. The most exciting part of any match is usually the last few moments. The beauty of this match is that from midpoint the four artists craft a bout where the end seems always imminent. There is non stop near falls, acrobatic high spots and prolonged submissions, no moments to take a breather. The always amazing crowd add to the energy and excitement of the bout. This match goes one step further the overused tag match formula of the heels isolating one of the faces until he gets the hot tag and the face clears the ring. Angle and Benoit also tell a great story of uneasy rivals forming a temporary alliance.

It would be pretty damn hard to disprove that this is the greatest tag match of all time.

BEST EVER: Live Event Crowd: New York’s Madison Square Garden

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Best Ever:

Live event crowd:                                                                                                      New York’s Madison Square Garden

Underdogs triumphant at WrestleMania XX

This post is highly in response to John Cena’s claim a few weeks ago on Raw that Chicago has a claim to be the home of WWE. Chicago is no question a great opinionated crowd. They even booed the Rock last time WWE stopped by!

Canada has also been home to some of the hottest crowds of all time (see: Canadian Stampede: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-ssC3C__LQ ). With their own cute tradition of yelling “twooooo” after every two count.

Japan has also been know to be the most respectful audience in the world, not cheering or booing mid match but giving a round of applause after every high spot.

But as Vince Sr used to say: “The Garden is the Garden.”
Back in the territorial days MSG was the home base of WWWF. Vince Jr has not forgotten this, coming “home” every ten years for Wrestlemania (though rumor has it they won’t be returning for 30 so they can go to a stadium arena that can fit more seats).

MSG has been home to some of the most important events in WWE history:

The last time Raw was at MSG

Hulkamania begins when Hulk pins the Iron Sheik to be world champion.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9psdw86uAUg

The classic HBK vs Razor Ramon ladder match. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSc71hbc2BE&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLDC9A34E70DC25FC3

The (best ever?) Street fight: Cactus Jack vs HHH  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BGXUzk8SWc

The first Elimination Chamber. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJM23B_HVwY

And just recently the Rock returned to action after 8 years at Survivor Series.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDzWZbEJhsE

The crowds is MSG have always proven to be smart, knowledgeable, funny, eclectic and to take no bullshit. Its been said Vince uses the MSG crowd reaction as barometer of where his superstars stand.

This best proof of this is when I attended SummerSlam 98. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4r4cwXy_xk The top heel at that time was Rock (Undertaker was a tweener). Austin and HHH were the top faces. Ill never forgot how confused I was as a kid to why one of the loudest pops of the night went to Rock as he was hitting the Peoples Elbow. The crowd at times was cheering him more than HHH. As we all know the Rock soon turned face and the rest is history.

I attended Survivor Series a month ago and I can give many examples of MSG’s awesomeness:

The crowd very strongly booed Mason Ryan before he even hit the ring. And they haggled him by chanting “Batista”.  The poor guy is too green. Being called up before he’s ready, and looking like a knockoff Batista is not going to help this guy get over, and the smart crowd definitely realized this and did not let him off the hook.

The New Yorkers gave a surprisingly loud face reaction for Mark Henry. The guy has been loyal and busted his ass for his decade plus WWE career. The poor guy had to deal with the single worst gimmick in wrestling history: Mae Young’s birth to a hand. A very strong “Sexual Chocolate” chant erupted that left many people laughing and Henry stopped in his tracks. His recent improvement with the Hall of Pain gimmick and refreshingly good series of matches with Big Show earned him a well deserved respectful face reaction.

Once the Elimination tag was about to start, the crowd erupted in chanting “Cody”. The kid has improved at the pace of a meteor since his program with Mysterio and the crowd made sure to thank him. It seems to me Cody Rhodes is a lock for a title reign in 2012.

Of course the top faces (CM Punk, Rock) and top heels (Miz, Truth) got their appropriate tremendous reactions.

The story of the night goes to Zach Ryder. I think it is safe to say he was in danger of being released about a year ago. His initiative is a lesson for anyone working in a large company. With nothing being handed to him (after all hes not a third generation superstar :-O). He took his own time and creativity and made a internet show and a twitter, creating his own following that WWE never gave him a chance to develop on air. From the line entering the building, to the concession stands to any boring moment in the undercard, even until the Rock off air promo after the show,  the New Yorkers were consistently chanting for Ryder. The opening match was originally supposed to have Ryder challenging Ziggler for the title but Ryder was replaced wit Morrison last minute. The crowd didn’t even give Ziggler and Morrison a chance. They put on a great match, but there was nothing they could do short of Steamboat-Savage WM 3 that would ease the hostile crowd. When Ryder finally came out after the match the tremendous pop was on the level of Stone Cold during the Attitude Era. I have experienced both, its on the same level.

They are just a few examples from one event of the MSG’s crowd’s sense of humor, foresight, and respect. Any fan should attend one televised taping in MSG. It is an entirely different experience than other arenas.

Lost Gems. Vader vs HBK Summerslam 1996

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Lost Gems
HBK Vs Vader
SummerSlam 1996

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY4C2yEw6hY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVxHgucP7Y4&feature=endscreen&NR=1

This is the definitive Luchador Vs Big Man match. HBK at his prime using his speed and agility against Big Van Vader’s power and strength. This match has it all: high spots, athleticism, false finishes, controversy, and the classic underdog face vs heel dynamic. We even have the the lost art of the typical heel manager in Jim Cornette. HBK crafts a very believable fight against a man about twice his size.

The match features the classic spot of HBK jumping out of the ring that was used in most 90’s highlight reels (at 8:00 in part one) .

We also have the very underrated Vader (how many people his size do a moonsault?) having what is probably his best match of his WWE career.

We also have one of the most classic botches at 3:20 in part 2. Vader seemingly forgets to move out of the way of the HBK elbow which causes a very angry HBK to start yelling at the big man mid match. I’ve heard a funny anecdote that HBK bullied Vader after the match threatening to get him fired.

This match should be first on the list in the textbook for aspiring lightweights.