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Quality Control: #4: Mick Foley’s Greatest Hits and Misses Part 2

It was said it could never be done. It has been waiting for quite some time, but it’s finally here. Yet somehow, and someway it’s finally here. I, of course am talking about part 2 of my Mick Foley DVD review. It was last April as a matter of fact when I decided to review part one of the two disc set. Now being nearly nine months later, it was time that I finally finished what I started, so I could move on to bigger and better things for The Oratory. If you’re new to the system, here’s how it works. Basically I rate and review matches and give you my two cents on them. I give them a rating usually out of 5 points and I add that up and give it a grade. The percentage does NOT reflect the actual grade however. It simply reflects the amount of the PPV/DVD/Tape that I personally enjoyed and that perhaps you would too. A grade of 50% does not mean F. It simply means about half the review was full of good stuff. Now that’s clear lets cut to the chase.

Part One of the review mostly discussed his days with ECW along with Stampede as well. Some of his greatest promos were also put on display as well for the world to see. Will disc 2 live up to the quality that disc 1 portrayed? Let’s move on shall we?

Mankind Emerges with WWE

Mick admits that he wasn’t too fond of the Mankind character, and having to wear the mask, which is pretty understandable. But after awhile he loved the character and it made him a better wrestler in the end. I have to agree, I think he was able to build a much better character with Mankind rather than simply debuting as Cactus Jack as it paid off big time in the end.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Mankind vs. Shawn Michaels

WWE Mind Games 9.22.96

I had never seen this match before so much like the older WCW and ECW work it was brand-spanking new. From the outlook I wasn’t sure if the two would have a spectacular match. I didn’t think Mick would be able to mesh well with Shawn Michaels. But then I realized, it’s HBK I’m talking about, the Messiah of wrestling. The match started out slow in my opinion and picked up steam as it rolled along. There were some awesome bumps and great psychology used by both, particularly HBK working the knee after the steel steps bump. I’m not sure if it was planned for Mankind to get stuck between the ropes like that. I’m almost certain it was but it was still sick-looking. Holy shit, Fallaway slam on the spanish announcer’s table!! Awesome! This match was very-well paced also. Jesus Christ then there’s the kick off the chair…these guys don’t know when to quit.

The ending somewhat ruined the match for me as I believed it would have been great if it stood alone on its own, but I have to admit that even though Taker is one of the most hated men in the IWC, I was excited to see him pop out of the same casket that Mankind came out in because it’s one of those “moments” that WWE was so used to creating several years ago.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Cactus Jack vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley

Falls Count Anywhere: WWE Raw is War 9.22.97

It feels like this match just happened maybe three or four years ago, but more than seven? Man, I feel old now. I still remember the match very well and the promo that took place before it. That promo was one of the first that made me feel truly pumped and primed to watch an actual match on Raw at that time. The debut of Cactus Jack was actually heated and worked very well for the company. I don’t believe they allowed Cactus Jack the type of freedom he had in ECW, or even WCW but I feel it still worked out very well. Man, Chyna looks trantastic if you know what I mean. I knew that it would basically be a 2 on 1 match the entire time, but I figured that with the emerging Cactus Jack, there was no way that he was going to lose cause he had to look good, and I was right. Jim Ross did a good job of putting Cactus over. The sick piledriver through the table was awesome as well and nothing like that will ever be seen again in WWE because of all the neck injuries over the past few years. I always dislike matches that are Falls Count Anywhere but they don’t use a lot of the arena. They used part of it which is alright, but it doesn’t compare to Benoit/Sullivan where, “Thereth a lady in the mentha bafroom”. Some great bumps to go with a great brawl because that’s all there was to it. That doesn’t mean that a brawl can’t be a great match. BANG! BANG!

Grade: 3 out of 5

Mick Foley vs. Tery Funk

WWE Raw is War 5.4.98

Oh man, Austin on commentary is golden, absolutely. It’s exciting to remember the pops from the crowd Austin got during his prime years. Pat Patterson is officiating this match and Austin isn’t too happy about the special referee choice. I’m actually paying more attention to Austin’s audio problems than the actual match, which isn’t a good thing. That isn’t necessarily Foley’s fault but Austin is simply taking up the spotlight when he probably shouldn’t be. The action spills to the outside where things get interesting. Holy SHIT!!! Moonsault from the Funkster and he was in the stands! I never thought he could’ve done something like that, especially without the ropes as some sort of springboard, but I’ve been proven wrong. Piledriver through the table by Foley. DDT on the ramp! This match is nothing but brutal. The DDT is one of my favorite wrestling moves, why I have no clue. I think today Austin could be a great color commentator for WWE if he wanted to be since he enjoys putting wrestler’s over like Funk and Foley. To me it seemed like this match went on for as long as it did because they could bump like crazy and that didn’t sit well with me. Austin comes in post-match and delivers a stunner to Pat Patterson to the delight of the crowd. Those were the glory days weren’t they?

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

Dude Love vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

WE Over The Edge 5.31.98

This is another great match that I’ve heard so much about but have yet to actually sit down and watch. I didn’t know Undertaker came out at the beginning of the match to keep this thing from being partial. This is the match with Vince McMahon as the special guest referee, Gerald Briscoe as the special guest timekeeper and Pat Patterson as the special guest announcer as well. The crowd heat behind Austin is simply amazing. The odds are against him and the crowd supports him even more. It would seem that the chances of Austin winning are rather slim, but Stone Cold goes into a fight knowing he’ll have to do whatever it takes to win and that’s just his persona. Caught in the ropes again and then the mandible claw, hmm where have I seen that before? There goes the spanish announce table. Pat Patterson returns to the microphone to remind the people it is a No Disqualification match. This is heelish Vince at his finest. After much more brawling and sickening thuds, Vince has Pat remind everyone in the arena once more it is a Falls Count Anywhere match as well. I love JR’s reaction of, “Since when?”. Austin is back body dropped onto the car hood and windshield. I loved the wicked sunset flip by Foley off the car hood. It was obvious as day when Austin did his blade job as you saw his hand come across his face the way it did. Great job there cameraman! Man the end of this match is hot!! You’ve got Vince refusing the count, Dude Love hits him in the head with a chair knocking him out and another referee enters only to be thwarted by Patterson. Chokeslam by Undertaker on Patterson threw the announcer’s table!! Jesus Christ Briscoe goes through the Spanish announce table!! This is unbelievable! Austin pulls Vince over after a second Stone Cold Stunner and uses his hand to make the count! The roof is about to come off this arena here as the fans are jacked! What a match!

Grade: 4 out of 5

Mankind vs. The Undertaker

Hell in a Cell: King of The Ring 6.28.98

In his fifteen year career, Foley says this was the only time he was knocked out during a match. It was the second fall where the cell came apart that did it for him. He says that spot wasn’t planned and it made it worse that a chair fell through the cell and did damage to his mouth. He wasn’t sure where he was or what he was doing for awhile but he wanted to keep going and he’s proud of what he accomplished. Yet again this is a match that I have not watched yet. Mankind starts out on top of the cage much to the chagrin of Lawler and Ross. No matter how many times I’ve seen that bump I still get goosebumps. It’s a sickening thud and I can’t imagine what was going through his mind when he made the leap. His body basically skid along the concrete in the process as well. Man, that second fall is gruesome to watch. On the side of things, I’m laughing at the referee with the chain in his hand still to lock the cell up, he never got a chance to! Undertaker with the Old School attempt but Mankind blocks it! I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Old School countered in my life. Wait a second, thumbtacks? Holy shit!! This guy doesn’t know when to quit. He gets dropped onto the tacks, not once, but twice?! My God this has to be the single most destructive match in WWF/E history, no question about it.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Some people might disagree with the high-score, but in wrestling there are great matches, and there are great moments. This was definitely an epic moment to be remembered not only in WWE history, but wresting itself. He put his body on the line for the fans and he deserves credit for doing what he did and continuing the match as well.

Mankind vs. The Rock

WWE Raw is War 1.4.99

This match I remember watching. This is the match Tony Schiavone slammed on WCW Monday Nitro telling the fans that Mick Foley would win the WWE title and basically belittled him in the process. I’ve always hated Schiavone but after that I couldn’t stand him anymore. I don’t know why but a World Title hasn’t changed hands on RAW in several years. Granted the Triple Threat Match with Benoit vs. Edge. vs. HHH left the title picture up in the air, there wasn’t a clear cut winner. I miss those days when title belts changed hands on TV. The only things that change hands now are tag belts and nobody cares about those anymore as it is. Rock and Mankind exchange moments on color commentary but then Rock DRILLS Mankind with the ring bell…that is definitely a holy shit moment! The announce table gets destroyed yet again in a Mick Foley match. Austin comes to the ring and destroys The Rock, giving Mankind the opportunity to get the victory! What a moment for the ages, absolutely!

Grade: 3 out of 5

Cactus Jack vs. Triple H

Street Fight: WWE Royal Rumble 1.23.00

Another classic match that I have yet to witness. I know, I call myself a fan but I have yet to watch some of the good stuff. Anyway, moving on this match is paced well with back and forth action and sickening bumps. It’s interesting to note that the second barb-wire 2×4 that Cactus Jack uses isn’t the same one that HHH used earlier in the match. If you look closely when the spanish announcer handing the 2×4 to Jack, you can see a part of the other 2×4 still on the floor in between the announce tables. I know, I’m the observant one aren’t I? You can also tell because when HHH used the 2×4, the barb-wire was coming off the wood, but when it’s handed back to Cactus, it’s tightly wound up once more. Needless to say HHH bladed like a crazy son of a bitch, he’s wearing a crimson mask! Mankind still has the fight in him after being handcuffed and delivers a drop toehold to HHH onto the steel steps! What a sick spot that was! Look Ma, no hands! Jesus here come the thumbtacks. My God he just received a pedigree right on the thumbtacks. Protection or not, you know nobody’s perfect and he just took one to the face. And just like that the match is over. What a brutal contest that made HHH.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Extras:

There are various vignettes that are attached with the extras along with several interviews Mankind did with JR. Nothing that is especially great but I really think the “This is Your Life” interview with The Rock should have been one of those extras, at least in my opinion. We get several Mankind teasers as well along with an exchange between Kurt Angle and Commissioner Foley as well. If you watch anything watch the “Jim Ross interviews Mankind” extra as it is an intense interview that really sums up the Mankind character to the people. The Al Snow segments were alright and just kind of there. It was more of slapstick comedy which is ok but not really necessary to showcase on the DVD. I think this space could’ve been used for other great promos Mick cut rather than the Vegas specials.

Grade: 40 out of 50.

Total: 67.5 out of 90

Actual Percentage: 75%

Overall Thoughts: This DVD was killer and I feel it was much more exciting seeing as I hadn’t watched most of the PPV matches showcased on disc 2. It was enjoyable to watch and I feel I’m a much better wrestling fan for have done so. If you’re a WWE fan then you need to pick this DVD up, no questions asked. The legacy that Mick Foley has left behind is nothing to shake a stick at, and it will always be remembered for the wrestlers he made, and the careers that he changed.

-Adam Payne

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Quality Control: #3: Hard Knocks, The Chris Benoit Story Part 2

Ladies and gentlemen, Quality Control has returned! Sorry it has taken so long but several pre-engagements had cut my computer time short. In the meanwhile it’s been a fun time for myself. School is back in session and I have a desire to further my education (or at least try harder this year, whatever works). But being that school is in session now I shouldn’t be going anywhere for awhile so look for myself on a regular basis in the OTC.

Moving along, I’m back with disc 2 of the Chris Benoit DVD set. I had a lot of fun grading part one, especially since I learned a whole lot about Chris Benoit’s background and what wrestling really means to him. Here I am, back with part two. Does it live up to the standards of part one? We shall see won’t we? On with the show!

Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero

WCW Monday Nitro 10.16.95

I’m not sure if this is Chris Benoit’s debut or not because Benoit doesn’t give a backdrop to his matches much like Foley did in his DVD set. But what a way to debut against the likes of Guerrero that’s for sure. Both men are sporting the longer hair which looks absolutely retro. It should though as this match took place almost nine years ago. It’s amazing to see that Chris Benoit has had such success in the ring for such a long time. There aren’t too many guys in the industry that are able to compete at such a high level for so long. Benoit and Guerrero exchange head scissor takedowns in the early going of the match as Eddie dumps Benoit to the outside. Not too much longer after that Eddie nails Chris with a HUGE flying cross body, I mean I don’t think I’ve seen anyone get that kind of height on any sort of leap to the outside. Damn I must say it’s enjoyable to watch a good chain wrestling match. Benoit reverses a suplex attempt near the ropes but in the process both men are once more dumped to the outside. Eddie I might add is sporting a wicked red and white singlet of yesteryear, you’ll probably never see him wrestle in one of those any time soon. Benoit busts out another suplex from a hammer lock and absolutely drills Guerrero to the mat. It’s amazing to see the type of snap that Benoit delivers giving the move much more impact than any other person would.

Chris nails Guerrero with another suplex, this time it’s a snap mare, another page out of Dynamite Kid’s book. Guerrero turns a tilt a whirl slam into a wicked arm drag. Soon thereafer, Benoit gets to his feet and leaps from the second rope to nail a rolling DDT! What a wicked spot and Eddie hit it without a hitch. Eddie is doing a good job of selling that left arm though and Benoit continues to attack it during the match. On a sidenote, the main event of this Nitro broadcast was Ric Flair and Sting taking on Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman. In a measure of strength, both men clasp their hands together and Guerrero is given enough leverage to leap to the top rope and then perform another hurricanrana on Benoit. Everything in this match is absolutely smooth and delivered properly. Guerrero comes back now with a strong side suplex of his own. Eddie pulls Chris to the turnbuckle and attempts the Frog Splash but Benoit delivers a knee on impact causing Guerrero to roll around the ring in pain. Benoit gets to his feet first and drops Guerrero HARD to the mat for a powerbomb! It’s not enough to keep Eddie down though as the match continues. Benoit ends up getting the victory after nailing a Full Nelson suplex or a “dragon suplex”. Wow, I don’t think anyone could ask for such an awesome display on their own debut.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Sullivan

WCW Great American Bash 6.16.96

It must be made known that this match is Falls Count Anywhere. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t these two have an encounter as well in the same manner on a Nitro broadcast? I must say though, what a shitty set for a PPV, I suppose the better ones come in due time though. Jesus Christ it’s Tony Schiavone and Duthtee Rhodes on commentary. This match gets started immediately as Sullivan walks down the aisle and is met with a clothesline from Benoit. I don’t expect a technical masterpiece in this match but we shall see nevertheless. Both men exchange blows on the entrance way and outside the ring with Benoit’s head being slammed against a ring post and the steel steps. Benoit and Sullivan now begin to fight in the crowd, exchanging shots back and forth. Both men climb the stairs now just repeatedly beating each other senseless. Benoit decides to nail Sullivan with several headbutts but he no sells them and delivers a single right that drills Chris to his knees. They’ve climbed up the stairs now and are fighting in the men’s bathroom. If someone gets a swirlie I will mark out senseless! Kevin takes a stall door and slams it onto Benoit’s head and does it again! This is just a good old fashioned brawl. Sullivan slams the door on Benoit’s head for a third time. I don’t think I’ve seen so many guys in a men’s restroom at a single time. Benoit delivers a series of rights but Kevin fights back and almost delivers the swirlie! Now it’s Sullivan’s turn to feel the wrath of the door as his head bounces off as well. All Duthtee apparently cares about at this point is that, “Thereth a laidee in the menth bathfroom!” as he says this about 10 times. The crowd is huge outside the bathroom now and it’s going to be hard for both men to move anywhere now.

Schiavone calls it incredible, but honestly it’s a school fight if anything. Benoit gets thrown down the steps now back towards the ring and I’d imagine that has to hurt a little bit! Both men exchange fists back and forth back to the ring til Sullivan drops Benoit on the steel guardrail. Benoit attempts to get a table out from underneath the ring but Kevin is there and prevents that from happening. He throws Sullivan over the rail now and pulls out the table and throws it into the ring. Sullivan reverses an irish whip onto the table set into the corner as Benoit nails it hard. He attempts the hard elbow shot off the ropes but Chris is able to move out of the way as Kevin is met with nothing but wood in the process. Oh no, oh hell no. Benoit is placing the table on the top turnbuckle? No way! Benoit looks to charge at Sullivan from the opposite corner but Sullivan blocks and lifts Benoit right onto the table above him. Benoit looks to be out as Kevin climbs the ropes. Benoit nails a SUPERPLEX FROM THE TABLE! Chris Benoit picks up the victory. Post Match Arn Anderson comes out and helps Benoit beat the hell out of Kevin Sullivan. The Dungeon of Doom comes out to make the save but Sullivan has had his fill for the night.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

From a brawl standpoint it was pretty fun to watch, especially the finish…that was awesome.

Chris Benoit vs. Booker T

Best of Seven Finals-WCW Television Title

WCW Great American Bash 6.14.98

I remember watching several of the live matches on Nitro and Thunder during their run, but I never actually got a chance to see the finals so this will be fun to watch knowing what both men were able to accomplish in prior matches. Booker T is sporting the Harlem Heat pants, another markout moment for me! Thank GOD Mike Tenay is on commentary so sanity can be restored to this DVD. Benoit is curtain jerking? Come on that’s no way to treat the man. I have to say that Booker T looks to be in a LOT better shape in this DVD than he does now. Benoit whips Booker off the ropes and nails a drop toehold and Booker rolls to the outside. Booker wrenches the arm of Benoit keeping him down and low to the mat as opposed to keeping Benoit on top of things. Benoit applies his own arm wrench on Booker but he’s able to free himself with an elbow to the face. Booker whips him off the ropes and nails him with another elbow. Come on Booker T. you know you got other moves, use them! Booker goes for the scissors kick off the ropes but Benoit catches his foot and connects with a Dragon Screw takedown of his own! Booker is in the corner now and Benoit applies the chops now to the delight of the crowd. Chris picks up the former Harlem Heat member and connects with a sidewalk slam. Booker T is fighting back but it’s cut too short with a chop to the chest off the ropes and down goes Booker. TIMBER!

Benoit drills Booker with his trademark snap suplex. It’s still not enough to put the Bookman away. Is it just me or is Benoit seriously carrying Booker T in this matchup? I’m not sure if something is truly wrong with Booker but it appears that Benoit is doing all the hard work up to this point. A rest hold as Benoit applies a sleeper hold for Booker. He frees himself eventually with an elbow and runs off the ropes but is met with a knee to the midsection. Booker hasn’t truly amounted a large amount of offense in this matchup. Benoit throws Booker T. into the ropes and nails him with another clothesline. What the hell has happened to Benoit’s moveset? Benoit applies the surfboard stretch. Christ another rest hold? This match hasn’t been long enough to warrant these rest holds. Booker reverses an irish whip off the ropes and nails a power slam. Booker attempts a flying cross body but there’s nobody home. Benoit attempts to apply the Crippler Crossface but Book is able to reach the ropes. Right from there what do we get? Another fucking rest hold!! This is absolutely kiling me. Booker fights the rest hold off and then nails Benoit with a spine buster off the ropes. According to Schiavone, Booker ‘pancaked’ Benoit, but I believe the correct term is ‘flapjack press’. Benoit is able to get to the top rope before Booker sets himself up and he nails a top rope suplex on Booker! It’s time for the German suplexes as Benoit nails only 2 and Booker blocks it. Both men reverse counters but Chris Benoit nails Booker with a Full Nelson suplex! Benoit makes his way to the turnbuckle now and attempts the diving headbutt and connects. It’s still not enough to finish off Booker. The scary part is that whoever wins this match has to wrestle again for the actual TV Title against Fit Finlay. Booker T wins this match with the Harlem Hangover.

Grade: 2 out of 5

Benoit did most of the carrying, don’t kid yourself.

Chris Benoit vs. Bret Hart

Owen Hart Tribute Match

WCW Monday Nitro 10.4.99

I am really glad that WWE decided to include this match in this DVD set. I have heard nothing but good things about this matchup and to finally get a chance to see it makes me feel all warm inside. For those of you that don’t know, this was a tribute match to Owen because it was the first time WCW had visited the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri since Owen passed away earlier that year. According to the biography portion of the DVD, it was Bret who approached Chris Benoit about wrestling in the tribute match to Owen. Without hesitating, Chris accepted the offer and thus the match was created. For this matchup, WCW brought out the one and only Harley Race as the special guest ring announcer, how awesome is that? It’s still odd to see the WWE logo on the side of the screen during this match. Benoit looks teary eyed already before the match has even begun upon his entrance. Bret and Benoit hug before the match even begins and both men take their time to soak in the moment before beginning this battle of epic proportions. I can’t wait to see this match come to life before my eyes. Several rest holds begin the match before the actual chain wrestling itself begins. Shoulder block by Bret Hart. Hart whips Benoit off the ropes who leapfrogs and looks to attack Bret but he holds onto the ropes instead on the rebound. Now both men are in a test of strength in the center of the ring. Benoit applies a modified surfboard stretch. Bret walks back into a corner now with both of Benoit’s arms locked. Benoit’s back is to Bret but he dropkicks Bret into the corner and rolls forward freeing himself from the hold. Both men exchange holds but it’s Bret that takes Benoit down with the snap mare and applies a side headlock on Benoit. Chris fights it back whips him into the ropes but it’s Bret who capitalizes with a knee to the midsection causing Benoit to go flying!

Back in the corner now, Bret wit hvarious shots and blows to the head wearing down Benoit. Chris fights back with akick to the midsection and a chop to the chest. Bret Hart takes Benoit out of the corner and nails him with a rolling DDT. Bret Hart nails Benoit now with the second rope elbow drop. The Hitman goes for the cover but it’s not enough to keep The Wolverine down. Bret whips Benoit into the ropes but it’s Chris who counters with a modified roll through from the hip toss into a pinfall attempt. He lifts Hart up however and applies a modified boston crab but isn’t sitting as much. Not quite a Walls of Jericho esque finisher either because the legs are too high. Bret grabs for the ropes and Chris let’s go of the hold. Benoit continues to work the back with a lateral press and a backbreaker but it’s still not enough to put Bret away as he only gets a two count. The match goes to commercial break and upon returning Benoit comes running off the ropes and delivers an elbow drop across Bret’s throat and goes for the pinfall, but only gets a two count. He attempts another but Bret rolls out of the way as Chris goes crashing to the mat. Bret delivers a headbutt to the groin for Benoit’s troubles. Bret delivers another suplex on Benoit but can’t get the pinfall victory. Bret delivers his own backbreaker now to Benoit. This is a very good matchup as both men apply several different styles to this match. It isn’t just chain wrestling, or brawling, but a mixture of both which is even more fun to watch sometimes.

Benoit is whipped into the ropes as Bret attempts a tilt-a-whirl slam. The Canadian Crippler counters the move by landing on his feet and twisting Bret around for a piledriver! You don’t see to many of those today in the wrestling world. Benoit with the cover, but Bret gets his shoulder up at two and a half. The referee begins a ten count, as both men are laid out on the mat. He reaches six before Benoit is to his feet. Benoit immediately attempts a bridge suplex but can’t score the pinfall victory either. This match is heating up in a hurry as Benoit takes Bret to the corner and slams his head off the top turnbuckle. Now it’s time for th hard chops across the chest. He whips The Hitman into the ropes and attempts a dropkick but lands flat on his back as Bret holds on to the top rope. The momentum immediately shifts as Bret walks over and drives an elbow across Benoit’s chest, and immediately does it again. Now Bret drills Benoit with the belly to back suplex. Bret covers Benoit, but it’s not enough to keep him down. Bret Hart attempts a cross body off the ropes to the opposite side of the ring but Chris drops to the mat as Bret springs backwards and rolls to the outside. It’s Benoit’s turn off the ropes as he runs and drills Bret with a suicide dive. Both men are laid out on the entranceway now! Another commercial break? Jesus Christ.

We come back from break to find both men in the ring and Bret in control. Hart attempts the suplex from the ring apron to the inside but Benoit backslides and attempts a rollup but Bret counters with his own and only gets a two count. Bret attempts a shot to the head now but Benoit reverses it into a backslide pinfall attempt, but it’s still not enough to keep the Hitman down. This match is incredible in my eyes. Just imagine the emotions that are running through both men’s bodies during this match. Benoit attempts an inside cradle but it’s not enough against Bret. The Hitman takes the advantage at this point after a swinging neckbreaker and goes for the cover once more, but the match continues as Chris kicks out. Benoit is whipped into the corner now and bounces out of the corner into an atomic drop! Bret lifts The Wolverine to the top turnbuckle now. Benoit fights off Bret with shots to the head and he climbs to the top once more, but Bret comes back and delivers a hard uppercut to get Benoit off his feet. Bret climbs the ropes and nails Benoit with a huge superplex. Both men are laid out in the middle of the ring once more as the referee begins another ten count. It’s Bret this time that’s first to his feet and attempts to apply a sharpshooter submission. Chris rolls through however and counters right into a Crippler Crossface attempt. Bret can’t reach the ropes! What an awesome reversal by Benoit! Bret barely reaches out and gets to the ropes, but BARELY! This match continues! One snap mare suplex, becomes two, which turns into three! Benoit climbs the ropes now attempting the diving headbutt from the furthest corner and he drills Bret!

He goes for the cover on The Hitman, but still not enough to finish this match! What A Match! Wow! Belly to back suplex by Benoit to Bret Hart. He’s slow to his feet and drills Bret with another hard elbow. The crowd begins to chant, “Let’s go Bret!” repeatedly which seems to throw Benoit off a bit. Benoit with the irish-whip attempt, but it’s reversed by Bret Hart who delivers a hard elbow to Benoit’s face. Hart lifts Benoit to his feet and delivers his own piledriver to Benoit! He goes for the cover, but Benoit puts his foot on the ropes! Neither man wants to lose this match and the drive and motivation by both these men is amazing! Bret whips Benoit into the corner and attempts another belly to back suplex, but Chris lands on his feet only to turn Bret around and nail him with a hard chop to the chest. It’s Bret’s turn as he gets whipped into the opposite corner now. Benoit follows suit and charges shortly thereafter but is met by the big wrestling boot of The Hitman. Bret goes after Benoit now but it’s Chris who sidesteps Bret and puts him in a full nelson. He switches his grip and drills Benoit with a German Suplex. He’s holding on and rolls through with a second. He attempts the third but Bret blocks it and loosens Benoit’s grip but he’s drilled by a forearm shot to the back of the head. Benoit remains in control but he misses a suplex attempt as Bret reverses it into shots to Benoit’s back. He atempts the suplex, but Benoit counters again and nearly applies the Crippler Crofacve once more. Both men now on the mat attempting various holds. It’s Bret that comes out better from the mat as he is able to lock on the sharpshooter! He turns him over and it’s nowhere but the middle of the ring for Benoit! He has nowhere to go and Benoit taps! Benoit taps out! What an epic match for both men that will surely not be forgotten for quite some time.

Bret celebrates in the ring and looks up to the rafters and points. Both Benoit and Bret embrace in the middle of the ring and raise each others arms. I think they would’ve made Owen proud with that type of performance. What a powerful display by both men!

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

I probably would’ve given this match a 5, but the commercial breaks wouldn’t allow me to.

Chris Benoit vs. Sid Vicious

World Heavyweight Championship Match

WCW Souled Out 1.16.00

Many would consider this to be the match that was too little too late for the likes of Chris Benoit in WCW. I’ve yet to see it, but knowing that Benoit’s opponent is Sid Vicious, I’m assuming this match is on here for more historical purposes rather than sheer workrate. Sid starts off by taking Benoit to the corner and basically slapping him in the face. I don’t know if he’s trying to punch him or what, but it looks like Benoit’s fighting it off with slaps of his own too. Oh man I can tell this one is going to get the ultimate grade. They lock up again and Sid nails Chris into the corner once more. Benoit counters and attempts a german suplex but is met with an elbow from Vicious. Now the locker room is starting to clear out, and look it’s Perry Saturn and David Flair!! MARKOUT! Benoit and Sid lock up more and he takes Benoit down and with sheer strength throws him to the outside. Does he know how to hit a freaking clothesline even? Benoit makes anything look good that’s for sure. Benoit and Sid eye to eye and Sid lifts Benoit up and drops him to the mat. I’m not sure what you’d call that, it wasn’t a flapjack or a samoan drop. Sid locks up Benoit and throws him again. Sheer power moves are killing Benoit. I can smell the workrate. Benoit ducks a clothesline and then performs a leg drop on Sid’s knee bringing him down. Benoit continues to attack the leg trying to keep Sid off his feet. I guess Benoit can bring the psychology to the ring no matter what. Benoit moves the steel steps and put’s Sid’s leg between the steps and the ring and then drop kicks the steps and crushes Sid’s leg! And he does it again! Benoit is insane! Sid is actually doing a pretty good job of selling at this point. We’ll see how long that holds up. Sid attempts to get to his feet but Benoit continues to attack the knee. Back into the ring now Benoit goes for the cover but he can’t hold Sid down for the victory. Now Benoit attempts the figure four leglock! But Sid won’t tap out! Sid is in the middle of the ring and can’t go anywhere! Is it just me or does this match make no sense whatsoever? Sid reverses it! And Benoit easily reaches the ropes. Benoit know with chops and kicks on Sid who is down on the mat. A dropkick to the head now! I don’t think I’ve ever seen Benoit work so slowly in the middle of a ring and it’s depressing. Into the corner now Benoit puts Sid’s leg on the ropes and continues to assault his knee.

Dragon Screw by Benoit and Sid barely rolls through it. Benoit with the cover again, but it’s still not enough to keep the Vicious one down. More chops to the chest in the corner. Man I hate to say this to Benoit but this is an awful job by Sid in this matchup! Snap mare suplex now by Benoit with an elbow drop. Sid kicks out again on the pinfall attempt. Benoit and SId exchange shots to the head now, but Chris continues to attack the knee of Vicious and keeps him down. Benoit applies a sick rear chinlock maneuever of some sorts. Heenan calls it an Indian Deathlock so I’ll go with that for now. Chris just looks like he wants this match to end at this point. I feel like I’m watcing grass grow this match is so slow. Some fan in the front row is yelling at Sid to kick Benoit’s ass. Sid I suppose attempts to hulk up and get back to his feet fighting off shots, but Benoit will have no part of it as he nails yet another dropkick against Sid. Benoit nails a german suplex on Sid, and attempts another, but an elbow to the head by Sid prevents that. Off the ropes now comes Benoit but Sid easily picks him up into a bodyslam for a cover, but Benoit kicks out at 2. The locker room has pretty much emptied at this point, as Benoit continues to attack the leg of Sid Vicious. He applies an ankle lock now on Sid but the man still won’t tap. He gets a rope break and gets to his feet but is met with another german suplex by the Canadian Crippler. Benoit signals for the headbutt and he connects on Sid Vicious. He goes for the cover, but Sid literally throws Benoit off him with all he’s got. Wow, I don’t care who you are, that just looked impressive to see Benoit fly several feet in the air. Sid now looks to be going for the chokeslam and drills Benoit to the mat. Sid goes for the cover, but Benoit’s foot is in the ropes so Chris is still alive. Immediately thereafter now Benoit puts on the Crippler Crossface and Sid taps out! Benoit is the new WCW Champion.

Grade: 3 out of 5

I find it hard to understand that after all those leg submissions Sid would tap out to the Crippler Crossface, especially when he could’ve nearly gotten to the ropes. Benoit does some more carrying and in the end makes Sid look decent.

Chris Benoit vs. William Regal

Brian Pillman Tribute Show 5.26.00

Here we go, I’ve never seen this show and I don’t know if too many people have seen it either. Tom Prichard and Michael Cole are doing the commentary for this one. Obviously the WWE had to alow it’s workers to perform on this show so I’m assuming because of that they get the rights to the videotapes as well, or permission to use them if and when they choose to do so. Both men lock up, I have to say before I truly get started that William Regal is absolutely huge!! He looks like he’s on steroids or something here if you compare him to the size that he is today. He has to have lost at least forty pounds or so. Wow, what a difference an injury makes huh? Both men hit the corner but nothing happens really as they release the hold and return to the center of the ring. Regal rolls through an armbar by Benoit and turns it into his own. Benoit however re-applies the armbar and now has Regal laying on his side on the mat. Regal with the kip up from the mat now, but Chris still has a hold on Regal’s hand. Benoit still not letting go as Regal rolls through the pin attempt. I must say that this match is off to a very slow start at the beginning. Not a lot of running off the ropes, rather resholds are being used at the beginning of the match. A lot of counters as well in the beginning but it’s not as fast paced as I would like it to be. Benoit continues to work that arm he has been holding onto for awhile now. I understand the psychology behind it, warming Regal up for the Crippler Crossface. Hopefully the pace picks up soon. Regal now counters the armbar that Benoit has held and is clutching Benoit’s wrist while he lays on the mat. Regal now with what looks like a hip toss sends Benoit flying to the mat. Regal now applies pressure to Benoit’s chest as he lays his knee right into his sternum. Benoit with the kip up of his own as both men now are in a test of strength with one another as each other’s hands are locked up. Benoit stretches out Regal and puts him nearly on his back on the canvas, applying pressure to his lower back as well. Regal with another lock up of his own as both men’s hands are locked up. Regal backs Benoit into the corner. Benoit falls flat and rolls through with a pinfall attempt but Regal rolls through it immediately as both men still have their hands locked up. I understand it was boring to watch at first, but seeing all these fun counters is making this match really enjoyable to watch now. It’s almost as if both men are testing each other in a counters game.

Benoit nails Regal with a headbutt as he staggers back. Regal is busted wide open as Benoit nails him with an enziguri. William steps back as he is dazed but he reminds standing. Benoit now going after Regal’s softened up head with a drop kick that sends Regal to the outside. Benoit with a DDT on the ring apron to William Regal! What a spot that’s for sure. Benoit remains in control in this matchup as he throws Regal into the steel steps. Benoit rolls Regal back into the ring and goes for the cover, but it’s not enough to put him away. Benoit drills Regal with the fall away slam and goes for the cover, but it’s still not enough to put the man from Blackpool away. Regal now on the offense as he delivers a drop kick to Benoit’s leg and turns it immediately into a submission. Benoit is able to get to the ropes to break the hold, but Regal delivers several kicks to the back for his troubles. The commentary by Michael Cole and Tom Prichard is also enjoyable to watch and it isn’t the crazy sumbitch Michael Cole I’m used to on Smackdown. It’s a change of pace that I wish Cole would utilize more often.

Regal picks up Benoit and sends him back down with a dropkick to the head! Regal remains in control with the indian deathlock on Benoit as Chris yells out in pain. Regal brings him over further now and grabs his neck in a modified sleeper hold of sorts. Benoit delivers an elbow to Regal’s face to release the hold. Both men get to their feet but it’s Benoit on the offensive as he nails Regal with a german suplex. Regal is in the ropes as Benoit delivers several hard knife edge chops to the delight of the crowd who seems to be mostly quiet during this matchup. But out of the ropes comes Regal as he delivers hard kicks to the midsection of the Canadian Crippler. Benoit fights back with a counter and delivers several more german suplexes to Regal. Regal counters a third attempt and nails Benoit with clubbing blows to the back of his neck. Regal attempts the double arm suplex but Benoit blocks it and drills William with another german suplex. Benoit signals for the diving headbutt, but as he climbs the ropes Regal comes over and drills Benoit in the head. Regal now on the top rope with Benoit, he drills him with that double arm suplex from the top rope. It almost looked like he didn’t get Benoit cleanly over with enough momentum but he did. Regal with the cover, but it’s not enough to keep the Rabid Wolverine down. Regal attempts the cover several more times but it’s not enough. Benoit irish whips Regal into the corner but Regal steps on the top turnbuckle and turns around, but both men collide and land on the mat. Benoit slowly crawls over and lays his arm over Regal’s body but only gets a two count as the match continues. Benoit with hard shots to the head, goes for the school boy but Regal rolls through with his own pinfall attempt but Chris kicks out.

Regal with the sidewalk slam to Benoit attempts to finish the match but Benoit still kicks out. Both men are playing this pinfall thing really nicely as it looks like they’re feeling desperate to end the match real soon. I’m liking it a lot at this point. Regal now has Benoit in the tombstone piledriver position, but he falls backward as Chris lands on his feet! Wow, that was a nice transition hold, I didn’t see that coming! Benoit now lift up Regal for the tombstone piledriver himself and connects! Benoit goes to the top rope once more and performs the diving headbutt, but nobody’s home as Regal rolls out of the way. Benoit and Regal counter some more on the mat but it’s Chris with the upper hand as he drills Regal with another suplex! Benoit applies the Crippler Crossface to Regal who has nowhere to go in the center of the ring. Regal immediately taps and this match is over.

Grade: 4 out of 5

As Tom Prichard was saying during the match, these guys didn’t waste energy in this match. Everything that they did served a purpose and it was a whole lot of fun to watch despite the slow start.

Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle Steel Cage Match

WWE Raw 6.11.01

WooT!! WooT!! It’s Benoit vs. Angle! Yee-Haw! I saw this match when it orignally aired. Angle immediately starts things off with a belly to belly overhead suplex. I completely forgot that Steve Austin did commentary for this mach originally. Oh man this match will be even that much more better. Man I must say that it looks weird to see Angle with hair. Austin wants to go on record that he hates Benoit and prefers to call him, “The Snaggletooth Bastard”. Angle starts things off with a tackle to which he picks up Benoit and nails him with a release overhead suplex. Austin is hilarious with his commentary in this matchup it’s unbelievable. Angle drills Benoit with yet another overhead suplex. Angle celebrates in the middle of the ring as the crowd gives him major heat. Benoit attempts the crippler crossface on two separate occasions on the irish whip reversal but Angle counters both times immediately.

JR: “Benoit is the master of the German Suplex and in some cases will suplex his opponent ten times in a match!”

Austin: “That was me…I didn’t deserve that, it hurt like a bastard!”

Pure gold. Angle is now in control as he lays into Benoit with various kicks and punches in the corner. Benoit reverses it and just nails Angle with hard knife edge chops.

Austin: “I HATE those knife edge chops!”

It’s so fucking brilliant isn’t it? Benoit now in the corner charges after Angle but Kurt reverses it and sends Chris flying into the cage. The commentary between Heyman, JR, and Austin is keeping me entertained in this entire match. The camera goes back and forth so it’s a lot of fun too. Benoit now in control with a front facelock into a snap mare suplex. He holds on and drills Kurt for a second time. He goes for the tri fecta but Angle blocks it with a knee to the midsection. Angle nails him now with several more knees and then drills Chris into the canvas with a gut wrench suplex. Angle looks to climb the cage and I almost didn’t notice it because I’m laughing too hard from Austin’s commentary. Benoit however climbs and brings Angle back to the top rope. Benoit locks on for a suplex as Angle continues to fight it by holding onto the cage. GERMAN SUPLEX FROM THE TOP ROPE! Holy hell that looked vicious, and it wasn’t even from the turnbuckle. Benoit gets to his feet first and begins to climb to the top of the cage. Angle leaps at the opportunity and climbs up with Benoit and throws him back down into the ring. Elbow drop connects from Kurt Angle as both men are down and out at the moment. I still can’t get over that german suplex though, especially after the replays given. It’s Benoit to his feet now and he repeatedly throws Angle into the cage wearing him down.

Austin: “Come on Angle, offense, offense, offense. You know what that is right football boy?”

Man, he is just laying into Jim Ross tonight isn’t he? Benoit now tries to climb the cage but it’s Angle with a low blow from behind and Benoit falls back to earth. And just like that Angle nails Benoit with the Angle Slam. Wow I have to say that came out of nowhere! Angle’s dragging him to the corner now. I think I know what’s coming up and I’m foaming at the mouth just to watch it happen. MOONSAULT FROM THE TOP OF THE CAGE! Angle made it look very pretty and it was cool that he didn’t waste any time at the top rope, to me that’s much more believable. Benoit rolls out of the way however and Angle is lying in pain. The tides turn now as Benoit takes control and kicks away at Angle and keeps him down on the mat. Off the ropes Benoit nails Angle with a knee to the midsection and sends Kurt flying. Angle counters the irish whip off the ropes and slams Benoit’s head into the steel cage. The crowd gets behind Benoit now as an Angle Sucks chant rings throughout the arena. Benoit now with the german suplexes as Austin is screaming NO! The crowd is all riled up now and excited. SIX consecutive german suplexes, how brutal is that? Benoit attempts to escape through the door, but Angle charges forward and Benoit steps aside planting Angle into the steel! On the rebound Benoit locks up Angle from behind and nails him with another german suplex! Three more for a total count of NINE! Wow, that is impressive to say the least. It’s Benoit’s turn to climb the cage as he does so. He looks to be over the top when Steve Austin grabs a steel chair from the announcer’s table, lying and waiting for Benoit. Benoit turns around back towards inside the cage and looks to be attempting the diving headbutt! From the top of the cage, wow both men are putting on a clinic! Austin looks to be in disbelief as the camera shows him wide-eyed on the outside.

Benoit attempts to escape through the door again but Austin shoves the referee to the side and holds the door so Benoit can’t escape. Chris remedies the situation however by dropkicking the door and sending Austin back to the guardrail. Benoit nearly crawls out from the cage but Angle applies the ankle lock. Benoit grabs the ropes but it doesn’t matter in the steel cage match as anything goes. Angle pulls Benoit back to the center of the ring but Chris counters with an enziguri! Benoit nearly walks through the door again but Austin slams it on his head. Angle climbs out the cage and wins this matchup in style. What a match by these two. As good as this one is however, their match at Royal Rumble 2003 is even better.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

GREAT TV MATCH! It’s hard to find anything like that on TV these days, or at least something that exciting.

Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle

WWE Championship Match

Royal Rumble 1.19.03

This is my very first time viewing what many considered a MOTY for 2003. Benoit comes out and Team Angle of Haas and Benjamin have been ejected from ringside. I just want to see these guys put on a clinic, especially with what they just put together on TV. Benoit off the ropes with a hard shoulder block and immediately goes for the sharpshooter in the early going. That’s the thing I love about Chris Benoit, he will attempt a submission hold during his matches when he feels like it’s necessary. He doesn’t follow a set pattern or routine like some guys do in their matches. He’s somewhat unpredictable and I really enjoy watching that style. Sweet dropkick from Benoit met with a hard right sending Angle reeling to the mat. Angle ducks the clothesline attempt from Benoit and applies his own sleeper hold in the early going. Whatever it takes to win, and I like it. Benoit counters the hold with an arm drag. Jesus Christ he made that look easy. Dragon Screw by Benoit and again he goes for the sharpshooter, but to no avail as Angle grabs the ropes. Angle sends Benoit shoulder first to the ring post. Now Angle delivers clubbing blows to the back of the rabid wolverine. Angle with the snap suplex goes for the victory, but only gets a two count. These two men make professional wrestling look easy. Their motions are fluid and technical. I can easily see why this match received so much love from so many fans. Here come the knife-edge chops from Benoit and they are as loud as ever. Come on Benoit, make him your bitch! That’s exactly what I’m screaming when I usually watch him wrestle. Benoit with a knee to the midsection now sends Angle flying. Benoit gets the two count and he delivers even more knife-edge chops. Angle’s chest looks like tenderized meat! Benoit is dropped straight onto the top rope by Angle and Chris counters as he grabs Angle’s head and snaps it off the ring rope.

Both men now exchanging blows on the ring apron. BENOIT DELIVERS A DDT TO ANGLE ONTO THE RING APRON!! WOW! The action returns to the ring as Benoit climbs the ropes and misses the diving headbutt! Angle attempts the Angle Slam, but Benoit slides off his back, turns him around and grabs his legs. He’s going for the sharpshooter for the third time in this match, exposing Angle’s injured knee! I heart Chris Benoit! Right in the middle of the ring. Angle drags himself to the ropes as Benoit breaks the hold. Angle now whips Benoit into the ropes and drills him with a belly to belly suplex! Benoit’s body skids across the ring as Angle sells the manuever as well. Snap mere to a reverse chinlock from Angle. Benoit is fighting for his life and attempts to break the hold. Benoit to his feet now and turns it into another arm drag. Benoit off the ropes and a HUGE BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX!! LOOK AT THE ELEVATION ON THAT!! Back suplex now from Angle but is unable to get the pinfall victory. Another chinlock from Angle now, wearing down the Canadian Crippler. Benoit ducks the clothesline and both men nail each other with their own. What a thunderous shot! They go to a 9 count before returning to action and Benoit delivers more knife-edge chops! Angle is taking major abuse tonight! Here come the german suplexes!! Angle counters the third attempt and nails his own german suplex! Benoit counters on his own and nails Kurt with one more. Benoit signals for the diving headbutt once more but Angle is to his feet out of nowhere and nails a suplex from Benoit off the top rope!! Kurt with the two count but Benoit is still in this.

Kurt attempts the Angle Slam again but it’s countered AGAIN by Benoit into the Crippler Crossface!! The crowd is going nuts! Angle slowly edges himself to the ropes and finally makes it. The Rabid Wolverine pulls Angle off the ropes and applies an Ankle Lock of his own!! Kurt grabs Benoit’s own ankle and rolls through with his own ankle lock on Benoit!!! Wow, what a reversal! Angle is yelling at Benoit to tap, but Benoit counters now again into the Crossface!! This match just won’t stop!! This is unreal! Ankle rolls backwards into a pinfall attempt but only gets a two count. Both men quick to their feet and Benoit into the crossface. Kurt isn’t tapping though! Angle rolls through again but Benoit hasn’t released the hold. Kurt to his feet now and drills Chris with the ANGLE SLAM WHILE THE CROSSFACE IS STILL BEING APPLIED!! HOLY SHIT! Angle with the cover but Benoit kicks out to the joy of the crowd. Angle now applies the ankle lock in the middle of the ring. Benoit rolls through and tosses Angle into the corner with his leg. This is like Counter City! Jesus! Angle with the german suplex attempt, but Benoit counters and rolls through with another pinfall attempt, but the WWE champion kicks out. german suplex again by Benoit, but Angle counters with his own. Now Benoit counters Angle’s hold into his own vertical german suplex! Angle turned 270 degrees there!! HOLY HELL!! Benoit now with the diving headbutt from nearly across the ring and he connects this time. What a leap!! CHRIS BENOIT CAN FLY! It’s stil not enough to keep Angle down as the match continues. Angle with the possible powerbomb attempt tosses Benoit backwards instead head first into the top turnbuckle. ANGLE SLAM! The second one of the match but Benoit stays alive! When will it all end? Crossface again now! Angle won’t tap! Angle rolls through again backwards and applies his own Ankle lock again! I have never seen the Crippler Crossface countered so many ways ever, let alone a single freakin match! Both men are in the middle of the ring. Benoit tries to counter but to no avail! Benoit tries again and he counters as he kicks Angle in the midsection, but Angle is back immediately applying the submission hold. Benoit tries to roll through but Kurt is there preventing him from doing so, rolling with him. Benoit is dragged back to the middle of the ring now. There’s no hope for him as Benoit taps out! WOW!! I am in awe. For someone who has never seen this match before, I can honestly say it is possibly one of the greatest technical matches the WWE has seen, hands down.

Grade: 5 out of 5.

No outside interference, clean finish and a technical masterpiece.

Chris Benoit vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels

World Heavyweight Championship Match

Wrestlemania XX 3.14.04

And yet another match that many would consider a MOTY for 2004. It’s kind of a reocurring theme for this man don’t you think? And he’s been this good for a really long time. Even before the match starts the crowd is chanting for Benoit, and he deserves every moment in the spotlight that he gets from this match. Benoit and Michaels argue about who will take on HHH first as HBK lays into him with hard shots. Benoit practically pulls Shawn off Hunter and throws him across the ring taking his own turn at The Game. Michaels does the same to Benoit. Crossface in the early going on Michaels, but he rolls through as both men exchange kinfe-edge chops. Michaels with the cover, but Benoit counters with a bridge into a backslide attempt. Michaels with another cover, but to no avail. Northern Lights suplex by Benoit but he only gets a two count. HBK clotheslines Benoit, but HHH returns to the action taking out Michaels. Hunter works on Benoit delivering hard shots and doing the same to Michaels as well. Michaels skins the cat on the outside while Benoit delivers fists to HHH. Benoit is sent to the outside by Michaels as Shawn nails Hunter with a back body drop. Knee to the midsection by Hunter off the ropes but can’t get the pinfall. Benoit attempts to re-enter the ring but is met by a hard knee to his own midsection and falls from the apron to the outside. Despite this being a Triple Threat match it’s actually flowing really well with two people working at a time rather than being a total clusterfuck of an event. HHH sends Benoit to the apron drilling his back in the process.

Now Michaels counters with baseball slide to Benoit’s back causing both HHH and Chris to fall off their feet. BEAUTIFUL MOONSAULT by Michaels onto both Benoit and Hunter. Michaels returns to the ring with Hunter but is only able to get a two count for his trouble. Knife-edge chops to Hunter. Facebuster now by HHH to HBK. HHH attempt the Pedigree but out of nowhere comes Benoit with the clothesline. Benoit works on Michaels now and he just looks to be beating the ever-loving piss out of him, hard shots and drilling him into the ring post. You can tell by how hard Benoit is hitting that he really wants that World Heavyweight Championship. Snap Mare Suplex by Benoit on HHH with more chops to the chest. HHH counters Benoit off the ropes and lifts him to the top turnbuckle. It’s HHH’s turn to lay into Benoit now as he falls backwards allowing Hunter to kick him in the chest. HHH grabs Michaels and irish-whips him into Benoit!!! What a train wreck! Michaels ducks the clothesline attempt by HHH and nails him with a flying forearm of his own. He kips up (or nips up as good ‘ol JR puts it) and is met with a clothesline to the outside by Benoit. German suplex by Benoit onto HHH and he nails a second one. He hits the tri-fecta on Hunter and he signals for the headbutt. Out of nowhere comes Shawn drilling Benoit off his feet. HHH ducks the Sweet Chin Music attempt by HBK and instead nails the showstopper with a DDT. HHH returns to Benoit on the top turnbuckle as both men exchange shots. Superplex off the top rope. HHH goes for the cover three times but the rabid wolverine stays alive in this contest. HHH now with the pedigree attempt, but Benoit fights it and turns it into a crossface submission OUT OF NOWHERE!!! But Michaels is there to break it up. The action is heating up in the ring, I can tell. Benoit nails Michaels now with three german suplexes! Benoit goes for the headbutt now on HBK and connects! He goes for the cover, but not enough! Benoit with the cover again but only another nearfall. Hard shot off the ropes sends Benoit stumbling to the outside.

Michaels with another nip up and nails HHH with an atomic drop and a scoop slam. Michaels is looking for the elbow off the top rope and hits it! Michaels looks to be going for the Sweet Chin Music and DRILLS HIM!! HBK goes for the victory but Benoit pulls The Game out of the ring. Benoit and HBK in the ring together as Chris throws HBK into the corner sending him flying as he’s met with a shrapshooter attempt but instead is catapulted into the turnbuckle. Michaels is a bloody mess now as Benoit drills him with closed fists. Benoit now with the Crippler Crossface on HBK. HHH grabs his hand before HBK can tap out as he breaks up the near victory. Benoit and HHH on the outside as HHH’s skull is met with the steel steps. Both men brawl on the outside as Chris is irish-whipped into the steel steps as well. HHH takes apart the WWE announcing table but Benoit is able to fight back setting up HHH on the table. Benoit fights the pedigree attempt but HBK adds himself to the mix as all three men are on the table together. Benoit is double suplexed onto another announcer’s table!! Jesus Tap Dancing Christ! HBK is bleeding profusely that’s for sure. It’s definitely a sick bladejob. Michaels and The Game exchange shots from corner to corner. HHH gets thrown to the outside now and is sent reeling into a steel post. I can’t get over the crimson mask that HBK is wearing! HHH is busted open now from the shot off the post. Pedigree now from HHH to HBK! He goes for the cover but out of nowhere Benoit comes in to break up the count. Benoit on the offensive now as he nails The Game with knife-edge chops. Benoit now with the sharpshooter on HHH but he ain’t tapping. He almost makes it to the ropes but is pulled back to the center. SWEET CHIN MUSIC ON BENOIT!! All three men are laid out in the ring. Michaels covers Benoit but the Canadian Crippler is still kicking. Michaels looks to be setting up for the Sweet Chin Music again but Benoit sends him to the outside instead. Now HHH attempts the pedigree but it’s countered by the Crippler Crossface!! He’s in the center of the ring with nowhere to go! HHH can’t get to the ropes, but he tries to roll through with a counter, but Benoit is still there and HHH taps out!! HHH taps out!! I don’t think that will ever get old! The look on Benoit’s face says it all, and what a way to finish this DVD.

Grade: 5 out of 5

What a classic.

Other Extras:

The Neck Injury, Crossface Collection, RAW Magazine Cover Shoot

I decided to lump all of these together because I couldn’t write a sufficient about each one, so I thought I’d put them together and give them a grade. I really enjoyed all three of them, especially when Benoit joked about his package size during his cover shoot. The crossface collection was neat as well basically breaking down his finisher and how it can pretty much be locked in from any angle and at any point during a match, making it one of the greatest finishers in the business today. The neck injury I already knew about, but watching Benoit having surgery and breaking it down was interesting to watch as well. How would you like to be Dr. Youngblood and tell Chris Benoit that he can’t wrestle for a year with this neck injury? I know I wouldn’t want to be put in that position. Great pieces altogether.

Grade: 9.5 out of 10

Overall Grade: 45 out of 55

Which comes to a percentage of 81%, slightly better than the 77.5% Disc One received on this review.

Final Thoughts: This has been a long awaited review and my apologies for being rather late with it. This DVD set is absolutely awesome, no doubt about it and anyone that considers themselves a wrestling fan needs to get this, no matter what it takes. Christmas is a couple months away, ask it as a Christmas present, steal kids lunch money. Do what you have to do, but Chris Benoit owns the wrestling world and this DVD is living proof to his career. Look out for that Foley Part 2 DVD review in the future as well, and thanks for reading.

-Adam Payne

AIM: APayne187

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Quality Control: #2: Hard Knocks; The Chris Benoit Story Part 1

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Quality Control #2! I know what you’re thinking, where the hell is the review for Disc 2 of the Foley DVD that I promised a hell of a long time ago? Well truth be told my disc 2 is absolutely fucked and I’m not able to get a review up at this point; though I will try to work on that in the coming weeks. But here’s something hopefully to keep your attention in the meanwhile. Yes I know it was released just yesterday, but guess what? I have been waiting for this DVD ever since it was announced it would be released several months ago. But what exactly is a Quality Control review? Let me explain.

On my last review I used a grading scale of points per segment. I would add up the points given over the points possible and come up with a percentage. I was obviously a little too lenient with the grading as many people have pointed out so I have tweaked the system slightly. I will grade with a point system however the percentage at the end will not result in a letter grade, rather the actual percent of the DVD that I found enjoyable. So a review might receive 70-75% but that isn’t necessarily a bad score in terms of overall quality, comprende? I thought so, let’s begin shall we?

Initial Thoughts: When this DVD was announced, I could hardly contain myself. I own all the other WWE DVD Comp releases (Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Mick Foley) so I knew that the WWE knew what it was doing when putting these sorts of things together. My depth of Chris Benoit knowledge only stems from his WCW days up to the present. I never have witnessed any of his ECW work let alone New Japan or even the proclaimed Super J Cup matches that initially brought him to superstardom. I have high hopes for this DVD, and I’m more than sure I won’t be disappointed.

Chapters:

The Early Years

His career began in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, his hometown. He calls wrestling, “his mistress” in that it was his life and his passion. His friends and family call him easy going and a very quiet child growing up. Once he saw Dynamite Kid wrestle when he was 12 or 13 years old, he knew he was destined to wrestle. A lot of his moveset comes from Dynamite Kid infact. His mother calls him driven and he had his own weight set and room during high school. He would go to all the local shows nearly every week and help setup the shows and build the ring. It snowballed to the point where he was training in the wrestling ring, taking bumps and hitting the ropes. He eventually asked the Hart Family to train with them, which is where it truly begins for Benoit. He’s shown taking a tour of the Hart Family home and how awe stricken he was the first time he showed up at the door. Benoit gives credit to all his success in the wrestling business to Stu Hart, saying if it weren’t for him he wouldn’t have anything today.

New Japan

Chris knew of New Japan because he used to watch a lot of tapes of Dynamite Kid and the Hart Family. Bad News Allen was the one who introduced Benoit to NJPW asking him if he wanted to wrestle over there at all and Chris jumped at the chance, “Hell Yeah!” He was overjoyed to head over to Japan, but looking back he said he didn’t know what he was getting himself into; He was just excited to travel and wrestle where many of his idols had been. Going over to Japan, Benoit said he was frustrated and hated it. He didn’t like the food, couldn’t speak the language and felt like he was at the totem pole. After a break from Japan (Christmas to be exact) he felt as if he had a bitter attitude and went back to Japan with a different outlook. He went back and became known as the Pegasus Kid. The mask was awful to him at first and he felt like he couldn’t breathe. When he won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Belt from Jusin Liger, he knew that he was in the right business and was headed in the right direction. Later in his NJPW career he dropped the mask and then became known as Wild Pegasus. Eddy Guerrero met Chris Benoit during his first tour of Japan and Benoit ended up delivering an enziguri that he’d never forget; it was the beginning of something beautiful for both men. Winning the Super J Cup in 1994 meant a lot to Benoit and was another turning point in his career.

ECW

When ECW first started, Paul Heyman asked Benoit to join his ranks and Chris leaped at the opportunity. Benoit says he felt a lot of respect for the man known as Too Cold Scorpio (aka Flash Funk in WWF/E) because he felt he was very athletic and could go. Knowing what I saw of Flash Funk in WWF, I would have never known that to be a fact, but obviously I’m going to give Benoit the benefit of the doubt and obviously us as the WWF fans never got to see the Too Cold Scorpio persona. Yes I know there was that one night when he joined Al Snow’s J.O.B. squad, but does that really count? Both men had a mutual respect for each other which is why Chris feels they were able to have great matches consistently together. A clip is shown of Benoit’s match with Sabu where he was then dubbed, “The Crippler” because he broke Sabu’s neck. It’s a sickening spot to watch. And at that moment, it became very real for Benoit because he then knew of the real dangers of the sport. He said Sabu never said anything to him after the match, because he was rushed to the hospital. Heyman didn’t seem to care for Sabu’s well being at the time, as he was only excited to promote Benoit as The Crippler, seeing as how he indeed broke the neck of Sabu. A short promo is shown of Benoit in ECW and my GOD THE MAN CAN PROMO! I have to say even though it’s very short it is very intense and was awesome to watch. Dean Malenko and Eddy Guerrero joined him in ECW at the time and he always thought it was weird how their careers seemed to parallel one another, as if it was written like a story. Winning the ECW Tag Team Title was important to him because it was his first major title he had held in the states and at the time ECW was still growing. Benoit gives Paul Heyman credit because he helped him come out of his shell and developed a character for him, which was important at that time in the world of professional wrestling. The only thing keeping him from working ECW was a work visa, and Paul Heyman wasn’t able to give him one. Benoit wasn’t going to take that chance so he decided to give up ECW.

WCW

Believe it or not, Benoit actually had 3 tryout matches with the WWF where he wrestled Adam Bomb, Bob Holly, and Owen Hart. He was offered a contract to work for the WWF, but to only work for them exclusively. This didn’t sit well with Benoit only because he knew at the time, it was still the big man era in the states, so he knew that there really was no place for him to succeed at the time. WCW however had an agreement with New Japan and would be able to exchange talent which obviously suited Benoit much better so he opted to sign with them instead. More and more of his Japan dates got cut to the point where he worked WCW exclusively. Eddy Guerrero says that Benoit is one of his best friends inside and outside the wrestling ring. When he was battling personal demons, Chris was there for him and gave him his support. He says Benoit never pointed the finger at him, but was always there for him which meant a lot to him. It helped Benoit having Guerrero and Malenko in the WCW locker room because he felt like he could trust them, whereas certain people he wasn’t able to trust. He was absolutely floored when Ric Flair and Arn Anderson came to Benoit and asked him to join the Four Horsemen. Flair and Benoit agree that they were never able to go as far as they possibly could have with the Four Horsemen gimmick as many of the WCW bookers believed it to be a thing of the past. Benoit begins to go into detail about his relationship with Kevin Sullivan and WCW, seeing as how Sullivan was a booker he wasn’t too fond of Benoit and his character which obviously doesn’t help a person’s career. With Sullivan as a booker, he felt like whenever he wrestled against him he was fighting against the company. Benoit felt at the time he was being treated very poorly in terms of angles and storylines. He however commends Sullivan saying that he was very professional when it came down to business in the ring.

Benoit almost begins to talk about the reasons behind the backstasge dissention between himself and Kevin Sullivan. The truth being that Sullivan’s wife cheated on him with Benoit and ended up leaving him for Chris for that matter. Benoit chose not to go into detail because of his family and wants to tell them properly before he tells the whole world, which is respectable to say the least. Benot’s Best of 7 series matches with Booker T. really was a pinnacle for him and his career in WCW. He always wants to be creative in his matches and never wants to be repetitive so it was a challenge for him as well. He and Booker felt like they had to be innovative each match to keep the fans interested. Booker T. credits the Best of 7 series as being one of the high points of his singles career.

Benoit was working a house show in Tennessee when he got news of Owen Hart’s death. He thought it was an angle at first, but then as news filtered, he knew something had really happened. Bret approached Chris a few months before WCW came through the Kemper Arena where Owen Hart had passed away and asked him to take part in a tribute match. Chris felt honored to be chosen and was very proud of what he and Bret accomplished in that ring. He felt good about the match and is happy people enjoyed it, but it was meant to be nothing more than a tribute and a dedication to the hard work that Owen put into his wrestling career.

Long before his match with Sid at Souled Out in 2000, Benoit had told management about his disdain for the company and that he wanted out. He was tired of the politics and the backstabbing and felt like he couldn’t take anyone for face value. He felt like he could hardly ever be told the truth and he didn’t enjoy working there. He and the likes of Dean Malenko and Eddy Guerrero were all disgusted with WCW management and wanted out. During the end of his tenure in WCW he lost the passion, and simply did not enjoy wrestling. He didn’t even want the opportunities that managment was giving him because he felt they were trying to do it to make him happy so everything would be alright. He knew it wouldn’t solve anything so he didn’t want the World Title match to happen, but alas it did. He’d rather be a curtain jerker and be happy rather than being a champion and miserable. Kevin Sullivan had been given creative control recently and they felt he had been undermining their careers but they all hated going to work, so off to WWE they went.

WWE

Benoit was hesitant at first coming to WWE because he didn’t know what to expect. He knew that it was where many of the big name wrestlers were at the time, but he had an opportunity to wrestle in Japan but opted for WWE instead. He felt that one of his first big moments was working Wrestlemania 2000 and walking out the Intercontinental champion, because he felt it was what wrestling was all about. He felt the politics didn’t outweigh the opportunities whereas it was the opposite in WCW. A video package is shown of Benoit’s feud with The Rock and it is absolutely memorable. It just goes to show you how exciting a wrestler Benoit truly is and how he is always able to thrive wherever he goes. He enjoyed wrestling the rock and he remembers at Fully Loaded after the initial victory he had about 15 messages on his cell phone of people calling him and congratulating him on his win, only to have them call back a few minutes later and apologize. Benoit says him and Rock had that chemistry and compliments him on his ability, and anytime Benoit gives you a compliment, you’d better take it.

Wrestlemania 17 was a whole different ballgame for Benoit as this time it was a singles match as opposed to a triple threat match from the prior year. He didn’t know what to expect with Kurt Angle as his opponent. He knew that he could go in the ring, especially from a technical standpoint being an Olympic Champion, but he was unsure of himself. Benoit feels he is able to perfect his craft more in singles matches than any other type of match. Him and Angle were able to chain wrestle which doesn’t happen very often in the wrestling world; especially in such a short time that Angle had been wrestling.

The Injury

His cage match with Angle on RAW before King of The Ring is where his neck began to bother him. He was unsure of performing his diving headbutt from the top of the cage, but the adrenaline was just too much to deny the moment. His neck pain from there became worse and worse to the point of being chronic. It came to the point where he was unable to lift his opponents up without feeling pain. At times it was so bad he would have pain in the entire right side of his body. He wasn’t worried about his own well being, but the well being of his opponents. It was a suplex off the top rope at the King of The Ring that did him in. Benoit needed neck fusion surgery and would have to sit out for a year in order for his neck to heal properly. He said the first couple of months weren’t that difficult during the rehab, but after six months Benoit became restless and wanted to return to the ring. Chris Benoit knew he’d be coming back, it was only a matter of time.

The Comeback

His first day back was May 27th, of 2002 in his hometown and it was a huge feeling for Chris Benoit. It was important for him to come back and be strong to let everyone know that he wasn’t going to let the injury hold him back at all. He got back to his regimen of training and it felt like a sense of accomplishment for him. It was only a little more than 6 months before Benoit got his shot to shine at the top once more, and what a more prestine stage than the Royal Rumble.

Royal Rumble 2003

Benoit won a #1 contender’s match against Big Show on Smackdown to face Kurt Angle at the Royal Rumble. A video package is shown of the feud prior to their match and boy was it a great feeling for Benoit. They are both superior technical wrestlers and they both can get on the mat. Boston was the place the match was occurred in a sold out Fleet Center. He says nearly every match he has with Angle is a favorite of his and he always brings out the best in him. The standing ovation he got from the fans after the match nearly brought Benoit to tears because it’s one of those moments that lets you know you’re loved by the fans and the industry, it’s what drives him to be a better wrestler. There match was considered to be a Match of The Year by many wrestling fans and it will remain a classic for years to come.

Royal Rumble 2004

A promo is shown of Paul Heyman making Chris Benoit the #1 entrant into the Royal Rumble before he made his jump to RAW after the PPV. Him being able to be the first man and win the whole thing was something that only one other man to enter as #1 and win the event. Him making it that far was a sign of his stamina and his ability to simply go. At that point in his career he had never been in a match that had lasted that long so it was a true test for him, but once he was able to eliminate the Big Show he was elated.

Wrestlemania XX

This was the defining moment of Benoit’s career, the triple threat match at Wrestlemania XX. The buildup at Wrestlemania XX meant so much to him. Not only was he wrestling against Shawn Michaels and HHH, but he was wrestling on the company’s greatest PPV ever, simply the largest stage ever. It was absolutely overwhelming for Benoit and he started crying because it was what he had worked for during his 18 year career. It was his night, and his moment to shine. The embrace between Eddy Guerrero and Chris Benoit really capped the moment between the two as they have both been their for each other during their careers. He proved everyone wrong with his win at Wrestlemania because he wasn’t the biggest guy, or the most charismatic guy; but no matter what, he didn’t let it pull him away from his drive. In the eyes of Chris Benoit, hard work does pay off.

An AWESOME video package plays at the end with Finger Eleven’s One Thing capping Benoit’s career and it just has to be watched to absolutely understand how great it truly is. Damn the WWE knows how to put together video packages as I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad one.

Overall Grade: 77 out of 100

Most of the info from 2003 and 2004 I already had knowledge of. The early year story along with his work in New Japan and ECW really impressed me the most since I knew nothing about his work during those times. I wish there was more discussion on WCW and his other accomplishments during his tenure there. Much like my gripe was about the Rey Mysterio DVD, there was too much discussion on WWE in my opinion and in some cases, less is more.

Extras:

Now it’s time for the real goodies. Here’s the matches that go with Disc 1 and my thoughts about each one, enjoy.

Pegasus Kid vs. Jusin Liger

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title Match

Tokyo, Japan 8.19.90

I’m absolutely thrilled to be watching this match because it’s my first look at Chris Benoit outside of WCW and WWE. The WWE offers two different commentaries to go along with the match. You can either watch the match while listening to Michael Cole and Tazz, or you can listen to Benoit himself along with Dean Malenko and Todd Grisham. The other option is to watch the match with the Japanese commentary. I have to say, this is a much different style than the Chris Benoit that most people are used to, but it’s enjoyable to watch. The Japanese crowd might not look like they’re into it, but it’s not because they don’t enjoy the match, it’s simply how their culture interprets a wrestling match as opposed to the crowds of North America. A lot of various submission holds and chain wrestling is showcased in this match. At some points the action is fast paced and at other times there are rest holds, but it adds up to a fine math with Benoit winning the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title. Tazz is awesome to listen to on commentary, but Michael Cole holds him back a little bit. You can listen to Benoit along with Malenko and Todd Grisham but Todd truly makes himself out to be a total tool, so it’s your call. My pick for watching the match would be Tazz and Michael Cole, but if you want to learn more about Benoit’s career after you’ve watched the match, check out the alternate commentary. Benoit ends up winning the match with a leg drop from the top rope. I must say I did not see that coming. Great match and an awesome story was told.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Chris Benoit vs. Too Cold Scorpio

WCW Superbrawl 4.21.93

Another match I haven’t seen before, it’ll be interesting to watch as Chris Benoit gave major respect towards Too Cold Scorpio during the commentary section of the DVD so it’ll be interesting to see how this match turns out. Might I add that the tiger stripe tights make Benoit look very sexy. As is in most cases, whenever you’re watching WCW, you have to put up with Tony Schiavone which is a real drag. I hate that man with a passion, can we label him as Captain Obvious? The match begins at a slow pace but picks up in a hurry with a flying body press and a kick by Scorpio that sends Benoit to the outside. While watching this match and seeing Too Cold?s ability, I have to ask myself, why wasn’t this guy given the chance to wrestle like he does as opposed to the ridiculous Flash Funk gimmick he was given? Perhaps Too Cold?s failures in WWF were a reason Chris Benoit didn’t want to be associated with them. Wow, I have to say that 2CS has some major hops and he can get vertical. This match doesn’t have the same drive as Liger vs. Pegasus Kid but it still ranks up there pretty high. A lot of rest holds in this matchup and the pacing isn’t quite the same as Liger/Pegasus which throws this match off somehwat. Plus might I add that having Schiavone as the only commentator hurts this match…I’d recommend watching this match on mute. This match was exciting but perhaps too many rest holds for my liking. Benoit nails 2 Cold Scorpio with a superplex but it’s not enough as the match nears the time limit mark of twenty minutes. It’s interesting to note that it’s none other than Gary Michael Capetta announcing the time limit remaining in this match. Too Cold Scorpio ends up winning the match with a rollup at 19:58.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Wild Pegasus Chris Benoit vs. Black Tiger

Super J Cup Tournament Semifinals

Tokyo, Japan 4.16.94

Before anything is said, allow me to mark out like a little school girl! YES! YES! YES! It’s the Super J Cup! These matches are known to be some of Benoit’s very best in his early career. I believe Chris Bennoit, then known as Wild Pegasus was the first American to win the Super J Cup. Michael Cole and Tazz go over exactly what a Super J Cup is and it’s importance to Japan. For the quick and easy explanation, it’s a tournament that isn’t held every year but only every few and it’s basically a round robin cruiserweight tournament that’s all done in one day. It’s basically a little more complex than a King of The Ring but it essentially does the same thing, it is meant to elevate certain talent to the next level. Benoit counters a suplex attempt by Guerrero (Black Tiger) and turns it into an inverted suplex of his own. It looks like the finishing move Ultimo Dragon used on his debut on Smackdown. It’s always fun to watch Puro or matches from Japan because they are a completely different style as opposed to what is mainly watched in North America. Benoit delivering a snap suplex, shades of the Dynamite Kid. Benoit attempts a flapjack on Guerrero off the ropes but Eddy counters it into a hurricanrana. The Japanese matches of Benoit on this DVD are much more well paced than a lot of his earlier matches on Disc 1 and I’m easily impressed. Granted it should be easy to say that a lot of these matches on this DVD set are great, they’re suppose to be! Guerrero attempts a drop kick off the top rope but Benoit sidesteps causing Eddy to land directly onto the mat. While clenching each others hands in a test of power, Eddy runs to the ropes and jumps off the top and nails Benoit with a kick to the head. He carries Benoit up the turnbuckle and nails another hurricanrana on Benoit but only gets a two count. Guerrero then attempts the Tornado DDT off the second rope but Eddy blocks it and tosses Eddy across the ring. This match is getting awesome. Benoit falls off the top turnbuckle after attempting a suplex, in which Guerrero attempts a body press on Benoit. Chris turns the press into an armdrag into a pin and gets the victory. Whew! What a great match between the two.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Wild Pegasus Chris Benoit vs. Great Sasuke

Super J Cup Tournament Finals

Tokyo, Japan 4.16.94

As if wrestling a great match in one day isn’t enough, he has to wrestle The Great Sasuke not too long after wrestling Black Tiger (Eddy Guerrero). This was their first encounter and according to Benoit, and he feels as if he and Sasuke put together a great match. Man, this is annoying though, I thought the man’s name was SasUke. But both Tazz and Michael Cole pronounce it, Saske. I don’t know if it’s an appropriate pronounciation, but I’m used to Sasuke. Anywho, Tazz opens up commentary saying he doesn’t like Sasuke because when he was wrestling in Japan, TGS kicked him in the face and broke open his lower lip. Tazz apparently needed 14 stitches in the process. Both men lock up and counter several suplex attempts, and then counter each other’s armlocks. Benoit attempts a snap mare from the suplex but Sasuke flips over and lands on his feet. Benoit cannot get the man down! Chris gets a Russian Leg Sweep after both men lock up again and brings Sasuke to the corner. He delivers several chops to the chest and several punches to the head. Damn, this action is too fast for me to keep up with. A series of counters occurs by both men after Benoit attempted another suplex. Lock up in the center of the ring, Benoit applies a headlock on the mat with his legs into another rest hold, which Sasuke rolls over and counters with a modified abdominal stretch. Sasuke rolls over and applies a surfboard stretch. Sasuke takes Benoit down off his feet again with a snap suplex and continues to apply the abdominal stretch. Benoit leapfrogs Sasuke off the ropes and rolls over at which TGS leaps over Benoit and rolls through. He bounces off the ropes into a clothesline by Benoit, a great set of moves by both men! Words simply cannot do this match justice! Benoit proceeds to knock Sasuke off the apron with a flying clothesline off the second turnbuckle. Benoit nails Sasuke now with a Dragon Suplex into a bridge but still only gets a two count. What an impressive match by both men. He hits his trademark diving headbutt but it still isn’t enough to put his opponent away. Benoit is just assaulting Sasuke now with a powerbomb but it’s not enough for him to win this match. Michael Cole calls it a “Smackdown Match”. You have got to be kidding me, shut the hell up Cole this blows away anything that Smackdown has done in a hell of a long time. Benoit locks on the Sharpshooter but Sasuke won’t give in. Sasuke isn’t getting any offense in as Benoit nails a Tilt-a-Whirl Slam. Suplexes galore in this match as Benoit nails another one with a bridge but Sasuke is persistent in staying alive. I don’t think I’ve seen this many nearfalls in a match ever. Sasuke throws Benoit to the outside and peforms a flying corkscrew plancha from the ring. Both these men are insane! This match is absolutely incredible. I can honestly say I haven’t watched anything this awesome in such a long time. Missle dropkick by Sasuke to the outside! Neither of these men will give up. You have to realize this is the third match that Benoit has wrestled in the same night! That alone is enough to make my jaw drop. Benoit nails a top rope suplex and gets the victory! Wow, words will never do this match justice, you have to see this match to believe it!

Grade: 5 out of 5

Chris Benoit vs. Sabu

ECW November 2 Remember 11.5.94

This is the match that gave Chris Benoit the nickname The Crippler. Sabu is dropped across the top rope in the early going of this matchup. And not a minute into this match Sabu falls directly on his head. This match is over as fast as it started, but to see the sickening thud that Sabu took is just amazing. Not much of a match to it, just simply there to show you the history behind the name itself. The spot itself is showcased in the main part of the DVD so nothing much more is needed. Joey Styles still rocks though.

Grade: 1 out of 5. Not much of a match, but I still can’t take my eyes off of it

Chris Benoit vs. Al Snow

ECW Double Tables 2.4.95

My initial reaction to watching this match is, Holy shit, is that Al Snow? He looks like a total loser…. Honestly I would have never recognized him the way he looks there unless someone told me. He’s a lot smaller in this matchup than what his body frame and size is currently. Of course this match took place over nine years ago so bodies do change. But without the goatee, Al Snow looks like another jobber. I’m sure Mick Foley would enjoy reading this right about now. A series of near falls starts out the match as a short series of chain wrestling occurs. Benoit gets hit with a heavy duty superkick courtesy of Mr. Snow. I might say just one more time that Joey Styles owns you. I knew that ECW wasn’t always about extreme wrestling and hardcore violence so this match is definitely refreshing. Al Snow gets thrown to the outside only to return with a dropkick from the top rope to Benoit’s back. This match is more fast paced than the likes of Too Cold Scorpio, but there is less chain wrestling and rest holds involved. They just walk back to their corners or one person heads to the outside, now that bugs me on certain occasions. Benoit nails a sick German Suplex but only gets a two count in the process. It’s interesting to see the different arenas and how the fans respond. You have the Japanese who respond only at certain high points in a match, and then there’s the WCW crowd which will respond much louder than the Japanese to the wrestling in the ring. Then there’s the crazy ass ECW fans who are the most excited and louder than either of the other groups. I don’t know if it’s more of a passion for them, but the fans that attend the ECW events are typically the more hardcore wrestling fan. Al Snow is another like Too Cold, why didn’t he get his chance to shine? I guess the world will never know. Benoit counters an irish whip into a suplex into a bridge and he gets the pinfall victory over Al Snow. Benoit isn’t done as he powerbombs Snow after the match. Christ it’s refreshing to see so many matches with clean finishes though.

Grade: 3 out of 5

Overall Grade for Disc 1: 98.5 out of 130

Which comes to a percentage of 75.77%

Final Thoughts: Wow, what an introduction to Chris Benoit’s career. I am more than excited to see it all unfold as well. I am easily impressed by nearly every match on this DVD barring the Sabu match but that was put on here simply for reference to actually witness and unfold. I am excited to see this DVD come to fruition, because it wasn’t too long ago that Chris Benoit wasn’t getting due credit for his career and his ability, but now it all comes full circle. Benoit certainly is one of the greatest technical wrestlers of our time.

Check out Part 2 of this DVD Review some time next week. Hope you enjoyed this review.

-Adam Payne

AIM: Bpshow10

E-mail: Bpshow10@aol.com

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Quality Control: #1 Mick Foley’s Greates Hits & Misses

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the very first edition of Quality Control. Most main page writers have their own review series, so I thought why not give it a shot as well? Well here I am, and my first review goes to one of the WWE’s latest DVD compilations to one of its greatest superstars, Mick Foley. Entitled Mick Foley: Greatest Hits & Misses, Mick has hand selected the matches to be included in this 2 DVD set. With the great video libraries that the WWE now lays claim to (WCW, ECW and AWA) there is no excuse for this being a true career compilation. Before I begin my review, let’s go over the format shall we?

The Certified Quality Control System works as such: Each segment or match is worth a total of 5 points. Any matches that are titleshots or main event matches are put on a 10 point scale due to their suggested importance. I add up the points given over the points possible and a grade is given justly. Sounds so simple right? Well let’s get to it shall we?

Initial Thoughts: Before purchasing this DVD I had already bought the Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair DVDs the WWE had put out before and I was absolutely floored. The sheer quality of the matches and the history (mostly with Ric Flair’s) that was given was absolutely phenomenal. The WWE had absolutely received their dues with those two DVD sets and I was hoping it would be the same when it came to Mick Foley.

I pop the DVD into my player and away I go. There’s Mick introducing himself and already he’s taking jabs at the viewers.

“If you’re watching this, that means you’re a big wrestling fan, which probably also means you’re not dating much. Thank you for the romantic sacrifices that you’re making.”

Damn does this guy ever stop? The way this DVD is formatted Mick is going to give the fans the 411 about each of the matches before they are played. I’m glad that’s the case with the DVD because by giving the fans a little bit of background information, the more a career can be learned about. There are also bits of history that some people might not know about Foley that they can learn while watching this DVD. Well, the first match is about to get started, so let’s begin shall we?

Cactus Jack vs. Big Van Vader

WCW Saturday Night 4/17/93

Foley tells us that if the only amount of Vader that we’ve watched is during his WWF/E days, then the fans are missing out. Which is so damn true, it’s good to see that Mick praises the workers and doesn’t forget that it takes two people to make a really great match. The policy at the time for WCW was that there be no blood shown on TV, so the initial match was edited heavily on TV, but Foley has an unedited version that he plans on showing us right now. Foley really is that good. The match starts, and Tony Schiavone is still as annoying as ever. The match starts off really slow, but then again I shouldn’t be expecting a really fast paced cruiserweight match. Slow and prodding Vader takes his time demolishing Cactus Jack as he hits him with repeated shots to the head. Foley then takes the offense with a power slam and then a leg drop to Vader. He follows that up with a flying clothesline and then throws Vader to the outside. I don’t know if the next part was intentional or not, but I think Vader was suppose to be clotheslined over the old school steel barrier, but Vader couldn’t get over the top on the clothesline, so he just fell backwards instead. It’s pretty cool to watch, but Mick’s had better matches obviously. It’s funny to see the commercial break in the middle of the match. Foley applies a sleeper hold but Vader drops him right onto his back instead. Schavione still sucks ass!! The match then cuts to the unedited footage with Mick bleeding crazily from the forehead. Harley Race really is king taking licks at Foley as well. Vader drops him with a Vader Bomb and the match still continues. Despite this matches slow pacing, it still keeps you interested, perhaps because of the aura that surrounds Foley and his career. Vader goes flying into the steel rail charging for Jack and he misses. Foley then somersaults into Vader from the ring apron and knocks him down again. He rolls into the ring and wins via count out. Good match with a few nice spots and some history learned as well.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Post Match Notes: Foley goes on to say that he broke his nose in that match and that it was Vader who was in the ring with him in Munich, Germany when he lost his ear. What a tough bastard. Foley was upset that WCW didn’t capitalize on the ear injury at least exploiting it to his advantage.

Cactus Jack & Maxx Payne vs. The Nasty Boys

Chicago Street Fight- WCW Spring Stampede 4/17/94

Foley tells us this was one of the first times in his career that he felt unprepared and didn’t want to wrestle as he was planning on getting his ear fixed. He said the match couldn’t have turned out any better than he had planned, especially with working with the Nasty Boys. Foley goes on to say that though the Nasty Boys were notorious for being sloppy and dangerous in the ring, they could brawl. The match entrances begin and Foley is sporting a SuperDad T-Shirt, he gets bonus points for that one that’s for sure. Falls Count Anywhere in this match, and its interesting because two referees have been assigned to this match, which creates a few interesting scenarios, I’m surprised that tactic isn’t used as often. There’s no need to look for technical wrestling in this one, and if that’s not your sort of taste, then you best not bother with this match at all. It’s amazing to think that Foley’s career went for so long since he abused his body on a regular basis. Sometimes a good old fashioned brawl can be a good match too. This match started off really strong and the use of pool cues has been constant, but not much else to say. One table has been broken thus far, and I wish Schiavone would die! I’ve never seen any work of Maxx Payne before, but he’s doing ok so far. They’re dismantling the Spring Stampede set, and it’s actually rather hilarious. Damn, Foley is taking some table shots, just like a steel chair to the skull! He is crazy! Foley just took the table and dropped it from high above onto a Nasty Boy!! Maxx Payne now took a shovel to the Nasty Boys! Wow, this crowd is really hot for it, but this is just insane. Foley gets cracked over the skull with the same shovel. Damn! Nasty Boys win.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Post Match Notes: It was shortly after this match that Cactus was shipped off to ECW, as WCW wanted to have a working relationship with the company in hopes of dethroning WWF/E. It turns out that they made a dream match happen in Foley’s eyes with Cactus Jack being able to take on Sabu.

Cactus Jack vs. Sabu

ECW Hostile City Showdown 6/24/94

Foley talks about his infamous ECW interview where he spits on the WCW Tag Belt, and apparently Ric Flair (Foley’s boss) in WCW didn’t actually see the interview but heard about it, and disapproved it immensely. Foley feels that had Ric Flair seen it himself, he would have appreciated it much more. He also goes on to say that although this was their first match together, it certainly wasn’t their greatest match together. Just thinking about this match, I would have just turned 10 years old 2 days before this match took place, which makes me feel very old. Foley takes a lot of abuse in the early part of this match, simply allowing Sabu to abuse him as much as possible before making a comeback on his own. I am honestly not the biggest Sabu fan there is, but he certainly can bump. However that’s all he’s good for. Sabu dives through the middle ropes and lands head first onto the steel barrier. Somehow Cactus Jack got a frying pan and slammed it across Sabu’s back and then he takes it to his own skull. It’s sickly indeed. Sabu sets a table up near the entrance way and lays Jack across it. He steps behind the guardrail and uses a chair to springboard himself and deliver a leg drop onto Foley as the table collapses. What an insane move! And as if that’s not enough, shortly thereafter he sets up another table, but this time its outside the guardrail. 911 who’s ringside helps put Cactus Jack on the table and Sabu springboard moonsaults and lands perfectly from the ring onto the table. Paul E. (Heyman) ends up hitting Foley over the head with an incredibly old school portable phone and Sabu picks up the victory.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

Post Match Notes: A lot of brawling goes on for the next few minutes as apparently everyone wants a piece of Cactus Jack, but it’s Sabu who nails the whole lot with a running senton bomb from the outside all the way to the guardrail. Several more tables are broken and they just annihilate each other some more.

Cactus Jack vs. Chris Candido

Smokey Mountain Wrestling 11/18/94

“Candido, I’ll beat his butt, that’s my credo…

I really think, I’ll make him bleed-o…Candido

Worse than Rocky made Apollo Creed-o

And upon these two fists Jim Ross, he will feed-o

As if they were, two giant Cheetos

And when my mission is complete-o

I’ll see a skid inside his speedos

Because I’m going to beat Candido…BANG BANG!”

Now how mother fucking brilliant is that? That’s the promo taken word for word that Foley gave before his match with Chris Candido in Smoky Mountain Wrestling. He goes on to say that he had a lot of fun working for Smoky Mountain Wrestling and he had a lot of opportunities to take chances, much like the interview that was just played. He goes on to praise Chris Candido saying that he was a great technical wrestler, and had a great persona as at times as Foley says, “He was willing to play the Coward.” For my sake it’s nice to hear a familiar voice on the announcer’s side of things, and anyone is better than Tony Schiavone that’s for sure. Wow, and already from listening to just a little bit of JR I can just see why he is good at what he is compared to Tony that’s for sure. “Cactus Jack never met a concrete floor he didn’t like.” That’s for damn sure. This is Foley’s first opponent on the DVD that wrestles a more technical style rather than simply brawling and nothing more. It’s interesting to see how Foley can adapt so quickly to the different wrestling techniques and that he also has some credibility to go ith his name. A huge cross body splash from Candido during the match surprised me by showing his athleticism. And out of nowhere Chris takes a crutch from a fan at ringside and hits Foley right over the back with it, I certainly didn’t see that coming. It’s nice to see some technical wrestling from a change and Foley busts out his SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Candido comes right back with a Frankensteiner on Foley? Can you say holy shit? This match is turning out to be really good. Cactus ends up winning the match with a Double Arm DDT!! And would you look at that?

Grade: 6 out of 5

Note: This match receives a 6 out of 5 because of the great promo presented before the match, it was that fucking awesome.

Post Match Notes: Tammy Sytch (AKA Sunny) enters the ring and sprays an aerosol into the eyes of Foley while Boo Bradley is out and attempts to double team him, when none other than Terry Funk runs in to make the save for his good friend! Aren’t they best buds? Foley continues to put Chris Candido over saying that he would run away from his opponents and he decided to use the technique himself in the WWF/E when he would face the Undertaker and cower in fear whenever he was around.

Cactus Jack vs. The Sandman

Texas Death Match ECW 2/4/95

Time for some Texas Death Match fun. Foley says that he and The Sandman had some pretty good matches together, however the one here on the DVD isn’t that great. He goes on to say that some matches on this DVD he hand-picked himself, while others he didn’t. He calls the match a train-wreck and one of those matches that you just sit there and stare at. I guess there’s not much substance in this match. He explains that he busted his neck when he was given a piledriver onto a steel chair. Foley also states that The Sandman was also knocked out for most of this match and was simply incoherent as well. According to Foley, The Sandman apparently forgot it was a Texas Death Match, where by rule a wrestler must keep his opponent down for an entire ten count. So for one reason or another (maybe a significant loss of brain cells) he refused to stay down, which obviously pissed off Foley a whole lot. The match starts and right away Sandman takes a chair shot but it doesn’t faze him one bit. He just stands there with the same, expressionless look on his face as if nothing happened. Something was definitely wrong with him going into this match. Three more chairshots to the head! One three count already but Sandman gets up after a count of five. Cactus Jack delivers another chairshot and a legdrop to boot and he gets another three count but Sandman is up again at 6. I can see where this is going in a hurry and I don’t like it one bit. Sandman gets hung up in the ropes. This is hilarious as he hangs upside down in the ropes by his feet! Cactus now has the frying pan and slams it over the head of The Sandman. This isn’t a match to be writing home about, that’s for sure. I wonder what drugs Sandman was taking before he came out for this match. He looks as though he has no idea where he’s at or what the hell he is suppose to be doing at that given moment. Some leg drops, some knees and some punches repeatedly from The Sandman, but not necessarily in that particular order. The Sandman is just pathetic and Foley was right, it’s very painful to watch this match. Cactus brings out the Singapore Cane to the ring now and beats the hell out of The Sandman with it. This is getting difficult to watch as Sandman won’t stay down whatsoever. Now it’s beginning to be comedic as Foley practically gives up and just throws a steel chair at Sandman’s head to the outside from the ring apron. He then proceeds to drop an elbow onto the chair causing more damage to Sandman. He just took a DDT to the concrete (Sandman) and still got up during the ten count. He takes another and is still standing up. Cactus looks extremely pissed and gets a THIRD DDT ONTO THE CONCRETE! The ref finally makes it to the ten count and this match is over.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Post Match Notes: Despite being disgusted with the match itself, this match gets a rather good grade because of the ending to it. You can see the frustration in Foley’s eyes as he just wants the match to end, but The Sandman would not stay down for one reason or another. It took three, count em, three DDTs to the concrete in order to keep him down. I’m surprised he’d ever want to work with The Sandman after that sort of match, it makes you wonder how some people even make it into the wrestling business at all. This match was just brutal and I’m glad I don’t have to deal with it again. I have to give kudos to Foley as well for telling the fans ahead of time how awful a match it was instead of attempting to put it over like others might. So he gets bonus points for that as well.

Cactus Jack & Raven vs. Terry Funk & Tommy Dreamer

ECW November 2 Remember 11/18/95

Foley tells us the great buildup to this match was completely accidental, as he set Terry Funk on fire some time in October. He said at that time he was thinking about quitting wrestling for setting his friend on fire, but a call from Terry Funk changed his mind saying that it was ok and that “We gave them something to talk about.” They sure did, and Foley says that Funk only sustained “Third degree burns…” This match was the follow-up to that incident so the stakes were high as far as this match goes. The match starts and immediately you can hear the fans chant, “Set him on fire” which isn’t amusing at all to say the least. All four are in the ring to start it off each exchanging fists with one another. This match is all about constant brawling as it essentially has no technical premise. But then again I look at the participants and can completely understand that. Funk immediately takes control with a steel chair hitting Cactus Jack repeatedly and then simply throwing the object in hand right at Raven’s skull. Someone decides to hand Funk a trash can full of weapons and he simply dumps them out inside the ring. For some reason. Stevie Richards attempted to get involved, only to get laid out by Funk and Dreamer in the process. Dreamer grabs something from a ringside fan and decides to use it as a weapon as he slammed it against Raven’s skull. Turns out it was a fucking VCR! Dreamer bounces off the ropes and again takes matters into his own hands with another VCR shot! The crowd is absolutely going apeshit right now for this match. Dreamer took a cheese grater to Raven’s forehead and now he’s bleeding tremendously. This match is rather brutal but at the same time rather entertaining to watch. I guess you could call it a guilty pleasure of some sorts. Cactus now takes his turn as he levels Dreamer out with a road sign. This match is just insane. Funk took a shopping cart and leveled it across Raven’s back!! This match is simply filled with sick bumps and no technical work whatsoever. Since the wrestlers took out the referee earlier, they’re uncertain on the outcome of the match itself. But it’s none other than Tazz that comes out to be the new referee. But only after beating on Funk and Dreamer shortly, he decides to leave to the backstage area. Why? I have no clue whatsoever. Dreamer is in control as he delivers a piledriver to Raven. Funk makes the cover now and Funk and Dreamer win the match.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Post Match Notes: It’s as if the bell never rang to end this match in the first place. All four men keep beating the living hell out of each other. Stevie Richards comes back into the ring to attack Dreamer, but he’s met with a superkick instead! Dreamer takes barb-wire and wraps it around Raven’s neck while Cactus Jack takes an electrical cord and does the same to Funk. These guys just don’t know when to quit do they?

Cactus Jack vs. Mikey Whipwreck

ECW Big Ass Extreme Bash 3/9/96

During this match, Foley says that his favorite moment in his wrestling career occurred. Seeing as how he was a heel in ECW because he embraced both WCW and WWE, he was unsure of how the fans would react to his departure from ECW to WWE. He didn’t expect the reaction that he did infact receive praise and cheers from the crowd as they overlooked him leaving the company, and looked at him for being the great performer that he truly is. This was his last match that he ever wrestled in ECW. The man is receiving a standing ovation before the match even starts along with a ‘Cactus’ chant. It’s amazing to think what’s going on in Mick Foley’s mind for this match? Is the adrenaline running? Is he too nervous to compete? Does he just want to get out of there? The match starts off really slow with the two men locking up, and Cactus throws Whipwreck into the corner and stomps away at him. He delivers several forearm shots before taking to the opposite corner. Jack runs to the opposite corner and drills Mikey in the side of the face with a hard knee shot. He goes for the steel chair shot, but misses three times and Mikey lands a hard forearm, but Jack returned with his own as it sent him to the floor. Somehow Mikey isn’t done though as he returns to the ring and delivers shots of his own and then the two men go to the outside thanks to a clothesline. This match has history to it which is why it’s interesting to watch. It’s fun to see the fans offer weapons, but one after another Jack rejects them as the fans have a good laugh as well. Cactus’ head goes flying off the guardrail as Mikey tossed him into it. Mikey takes the offense with a russian leg sweep onto a steel chair. Jack catches him as Whipwreck leaps and lands on his shoudlers, only to be dropped onto the timekeeper’s table on the outside. He now decides to set the table upright on a ring post. He sets Mikey up and lands a back body drop right onto the table. Cactus going for the high elevation with an elbow drop from the infamous second rope. He continues taking charge in the match and ready to deliver another steel chair shot when Mikey comes back with a superkick right into the chair. Mikey is obviously not the greatest worker to live on the planet, but he does have his moments! He just nailed a senton bomb OVER the guardrail and onto Cactus Jack beautifully. Foley regains his feet first and delivers a clothesline back over the guardrail and drills Mikey with a suplex on the concrete itself. This match is entertaining to say the least. He nails him with a Double Arm DDT, but it still isn’t enough to keep Mikey Whipwreck down! Mikey comes back on his own with five steel chair shots! It’s incredible to see him still going after all of this. They go to the outside and fight through the guardrails and through the stands. Mikey climbs to a high spot in the building and delivers a sickening splash onto Cactus Jack! They end up returning to the ring where Cactus lays claim to the victory itself after delivering a piledriver onto a steel chair.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Post Match Notes: The fans give Mick Foley another standing ovation and shortly thereafter he embraces Mikey Whipwreck and from there on he would begin to give his farewell speech to the fans which is included later on in this disc itself.

DVD Extras

Post Vader Match Interview

WCW Saturday Night 4/24/93

Has Foley always been this good on the microphone? Damn! This was another great interview that was conducted a week after Foley took on Vader on WCW Saturday Night. Foley’s nose is taped because it’s broken, and he had to be given 2 stitches to close the gash on his face. He says that he’s felt the high mountains, and the low valleys as well. He has to get used to the fans cheering as well since that’s new to him. He says that he thinks about his family all the time, and that his little boy doesn’t want him to face Vader, he says, “Daddy, don’t climb into the ring with Big Van Vader…” then he goes on a shouting rampage, BECAUSE HE DID THIS TO ME!!! It was great promo work which surprised me a bit to say the least, but who am I kidding? This is Mick Foley, one of the greats of sports entertainment.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Cactus Jack vs. Sting

WCW Beach Blast 6/20/92

For some reason, The Coach decides to join Mick Foley on commentary for this match. Why? I have absolutely no idea. This was a really great non-title match nevertheless. Looking at the date this match aired, I can tell you that I would almost be turning 8 years old at the time. Wow, time has really flown by hasn’t it? It’s Mick’s sort of match with it being No Disqualification and Falls Count Anywhere as well. During this match Mick had whooping cough which made it very difficult to breathe, but he doesn’t miss a beat. He called this match one of his greatest matches ever in his career at that time and he proves it by the workrate he produces during this match. Of course working with a guy like Sting helps too. Cactus delivers an elbow drop from the ring apron onto Sting’s back. He then delivers a swinging neckbreaker right onto the concrete as well. As if that wasn’t enough, he climbs back up the apron and delivers a SUNSET FLIP from the apron to the concrete and brings Sting down! They go outside the guardrail now and Sting nails him with a suplex directly onto the concrete. Foley goes on to joke that moves that he invented and created were then stolen by many other wrestlers, including Diamond Dallas Page. And there’s the Cactus Jack clothesline to the outside! Now ripped off by over half of the WWE roster according to Foley. Now Foley breaks out the steel chair and delivers a shot right to Sting’s back. Sting then counters with a side suplex right on the concrete as well. Foley goes on to say that he’d list this match in his top ten today. And Cactus Jack nails Sting with a piledriver right on the concrete. Cactus attempts an elbow from the second rope (not the top rope because he doesn’t have the balance apparently) and Sting counters with a shot to the midsection. Sting scoop slams Jack onto the ramp and then brings the steel chair into play himself. Delivering several shots with it, he then attempts to apply the Scorpion Death Lock, but Foley counters and both men fall off the ramp. Foley states that his technique isn’t wild and out of control with high risk moves, but more high-impact moves that are measured beforehand. Sting wins after nailing Jack with a clothesline from the top rope.

Grade: 5 out of 5

Cactus Spits on the WCW Belt

ECW Hostile City Showdown 6/24/94

This is the promo in its entirety that Mick conducted after his loss to Sabu. It’s a really great promo because no matter what the case is, Foley is always able to convey emotion in the greatest ways. The belt doesn’t matter to him anymore, what matters to him is his pride and Sabu took that away from him apparently. He goes on to say that he and Sabu will face off again and that this first encounter was nothing. Paul Heyman, (formerly known as Paul E. Dangerously) then takes the mic and cuts an interview himself with 911 standing right behind him. He puts over Sabu and tells Cactus Jack that he will never be as good as Sabu, and no matter how hard he tries, Sabu will always be a step ahead of him. Heyman is another God on the microphone as well. Even back during his ECW days he knew how to work a crowd.

Grade: 5 out of 5

Cane Dewey Promo

Mick’s All Time Favorite Wrestling Promo

Foley hypes up this promo as the greatest wresling interview that he’s ever given. He goes on to say an important role in promos is that no matter how wrong what you’re saying is, the bad guy has to believe that he’s right. For those of you that don’t know, Dewey is the name of Mick Foley’s son. Apparently a fan brought a sign to ECW that night that said, “Cane Dewey” which obviously didn’t sit to well with Cactus Jack. He says at the time he felt he was very angry, not because of just the events that occurred that night in ECW, but mainly at the WWE because he felt he was very good at what he did and they hadn’t given him an opportunity to shine. No matter how much I try to describe this promo to you, it just won’t be enough. “Cane Dewey” has to be one of the five greatest promos that I have ever watched in my lifetime. “Dewey Foley is a 3 year old boy..YOU SICK SONS OF BITCHES…You ripped out my heart, you took everything I’ve believed in and you flushed it down the damn toilet!” It’s intense and absolutely outstanding in terms of wrestling promos.

Grade: 7 out of 5

Anti-Hardcore Promo

Cactus Jack denounces the ECW fans

Another promo comes straight from the heart. He talks about his childhood dream of becoming a pro wrestler. He says he’s sacrificed his body and left it on concrete floors all over the world. And what has he truly accomplished in making a better name for the world of wrestling? Absolutley nothing. Another classic promo, as he busts out some German as well from the time he lost his ear in Munich, Germany. It’s not worth it to him anymore, and I honestly don’t know how he could keep coming back with great promos time after time. He really has earned his keep in the wrestling business and I think it’s great to see some of his ECW work shine through because most fans would probably never see it. “ECW fans will be the death of you!” Some pretty heavy shit right there, I’m surprised he is still alive to this very day. This promo is right up there with the Cane Dewey promo in that it conveys raw emotion, but that of course is Foley’s specialty. “Is it fair to watch J.T. Smith dive and land his head on the concrete floor, only to hear the fans yell, ‘You fucked up!’ Well FUCK YOU! Now that is music to my ears.

Grade: 6 out of 5

Cactus Jack vs. Sabu rematch

Hamburg, PA /30/94

The Coach rejoins Mick on commentary for this match. It’s the Sabu/Cactus Jack rematch. He says it was wild to work for

ECW and that the fans are as much a part of the show as the wrestlers themselves, which is true in more ways than one. Foley enjoyed the atmosphere while working there and said that a lot of the great performers that are on the WWE roster now have a background in ECW. Cactus Jack goes for a steel chair shot into the ropes but Sabu ducks and the chair comes back and hits him directly in the face. He says Test uses that move sometimes and it looks completely ridiculous when he does it. This man is just awesome. Sabu attempts a springboard moonsault but leaps too far and misses Cactus Jack complete and lands directly on the guardrail. Ouch! 911 comes along and starts brawling with Cactus Jack to buy Sabu some time from that wicked bump. He gives a lot of the credit to Paul Heyman for how much success ECW had at the time. Sabu comes back now and nails Jack with a suplex to the hardwood floor. Cactus is now bleeding and now he’s implementing the tables into the match. He suplexes the table and it lands directly onto Sabu. Foley says that until he worked for WWE he let it all hang out each and every night and gave the fans what they wanted. Sabu in the ring now runs from one corner and leaps from a chair and kicks Cactus right across the neck. Foley gives credit to Sabu as well for being an innovator in the sport itself. Jack on the outside now suplexes Sabu right onto the table. They walk away from the ring now and slam each other into bleachers folded up against the wall. Foley says that his son, Dewey, who was 2 at the time didn’t watch the matches and that’s probably a good thing. Cactus comes back now with a sick piledriver on a wooden platform. He attempts another but Sabu comes back and lifts Jack over his shoulders and drops him onto his back on the platform instead. The two of them now brawl in what appears to be a boiler room, but not much can be seen from there. They come out and Jack has a trash can in hand and nails Sabu repeatedly with it. 911 and Sabu now double team Cactus Jack and set him up onto a table. Sabu attempts another springboard moonsault and this time he actually lands it! Holy cow what a concept! They come back into the ring and Sabu nails a split-legged moonsault onto Cactus Jack. Foley tells us that the bottle that Sabu tries to shatter over his head didn’t quite work out as planned as the bottle didn’t even break at all, and all that is heard is a loud thud. Now that had to hurt! But Sabu doesn’t stop there, he hits Cactus again! He hits him a third time with the bottle now and it just won’t break!! He walks away and just when you think he’s stopped, he hits him a fourth and fifth time with the same bottle!! After the sixth time the bottle shatters! It’s almost reminiscent of the steel chair shots he would take against The Rock several years later at the Royal Rumble. What a beating he took! He misses a moonsault from the ropes and goes for the cover anyway and Sabu picks up the victory again. Not a real pretty match, but it was better than their first encounter.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

ECW Farewell Speech

Following match with Mikey Whipwreck 3/9/96

Mick gives his farewell speech to the ECW fans and I was surprised as hell that they didn’t rip his head off for leaving ECW for the WWE. I guess it goes to show just how much Cactus meant to the ECW crowd and even they sometimes can show some character and civility, but not that often. He puts over ECW as the greatest organization he has worked for thus far and also puts over the fans as well. It’s short and sweet and even then I was still amazed at the reception the crowd decided to give him, no doubt about it. Not really a promo of any sort, just him saying thanks to everyone and that there are new guys coming to ECW that can put on a hell of a show as well.

Grade: 4 out of 5

“Jack” Foley & Les Thornton vs. The British Bulldogs

9/13/86

This was Mick Foley’s first televised match ever in the WWE. Wrestling as a jobber under the name of Jack Foley, not much happens here as far as Mick’s ability being showcased. He was simply a punching bag for the Bulldogs and not much else. Foley states that during the match The Dynamite Kid whipped him into the ropes and gave him a hard clothesline right along his jaw, to which he couldn’t eat solid foods for about a month. I had never seen any work of Les Thornton, but the few minutes I did see I was easily impressed and could tell he was one hell of a technical wrestler for his time. This match was short and a filler match on Superstars, but since “Jack” busted his jaw and was taking some pretty good bumps, I’ll give it a good grade.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

Post Match Notes: It’s interesting to look at Foley then, and then during some of his work in ’92 or ’93 and see how much he’s changed. During that time he got a lot bigger, and is it just me or did he look a lot taller than he usually does in that Superstars match? This DVD is about Mick’s history in wrestling and that was a fun extra to watch.

WWE Confidential Feature.

Mick’s long absence

Mick starts off with saying that he had a 19 month hiatus from the ring and it was all because of his relationship with Vince McMahon. I’m hearing all of this the first time myself so it’s amazing to hear it all. Apparently Mick was disgusted with Vince and vice-versa. He loved working in the ring but didn’t want to do it anymore, partially because he felt he had done everything he could in the wrestling business. During his hiatus he worked with a group known as Operation Smile, which helps re-construct children’s faces in third world countries for no charge. When he got the call to be a part of Badd Blood, he only thought about promoting his book and nothing else. When he was honored in Madison Square Garden with the Hardcore Title encased, it was a great moment for him. Just a short clip of explaining his absence from wrestling, and the fact that they included the tribute with him to the hardcore title made it that much more special to watch.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Overall Grade: 68/80 = 85 % = B

Final Thoughts: A solid B thus far with Disc 1 and it doesn’t surprise me one bit. I wasn’t looking for A quality material, but because a lot of this information was new to me, I found a lot of it to be insightful into the career of Mick Foley. I’m anxious to view the second disc and hear his comments about his career in the WWE, though most of the matches I’ve already seen. This was a great DVD and a wonderful package put together. Mick Foley has had quite a brutal career, and only watching these matches just gives you a glimpse into the life of Mick Foley before the major fame and glory in his WWE days. Good job again with this one WWE, you haven’t failed me yet.

Well this was my first attempt at hopefully establishing a new series at The Oratory. Like it? Love it? Hate it? Let me know at E-mail: Bpshow10@aol.com. Be on the look out for part two when I review the second DVD of this two DVD set

-Adam Payne

E-mail: Bpshow10@aol.com

AIM: Bpshow10

Special Thanks to FTP Mike for the banner.

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