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WRESTLING COLUMNS

A New Contender
April 28, 2005 by Matthew Geddes


Here on OWW and many other sites, debate rages about the greatest match of all time. Anyone who knows me knows that my vote goes to the Bret Hart V Chris Benoit match on WCW otherwise known as the Owen Hart Tribute Match. But this week I've had a bit of time to look at the build up and the PPV that was WrestleMania 2000. Every RAW leading up to WM MM was about a McMahon in every corner as the main event was Triple H V The Rock V Mick Foley V The Big Show for the WWF Title. But this isn't the match I want to talk about. Nor do I want to talk about Edge/Christian V Hardyz V Dudleyz in the ladder match for the tag team titles. These two matches alone should have any fans who haven't seen this PPV salivating already. But there was another match that is worth considering, maybe not for best match ever (though it is in my top 20 or so) but for historical reasons, one definitely worth watching: -

Kurt Angle V Chris Jericho V Chris Benoit

As background, Angle had been feuding with Jericho (who called him Kirk Angel at this point). Jericho labelled Angle as a milk-drinking, 30-year-old, never-kissed-a-girl, still-lives-at-home-with-his-mummy, nancy-boy. Angle was the Intercontinental Champion and European Champion, and had taken great lengths to explain the history and significance of both to any poor sod who would listen. Angle still had the three I's (Intelligence, Integrity and Intensity) and was still spruiking his 1996 Olympic gold medal win. Benoit was still part of the Radicalz, but Malenko had just won the Light Heavyweight Belt and Guerrero was just coming back from a dislocated elbow injury. Angle had enlisted former WWF champion and legend Bob Backlund as an aid, but things went awry on Heat before WM MM. At WM, the first fall was to be for the IC Title with the second fall to be for the Euro Title. I'm not going to spoil the match for you, but suffice to say there was Jericho's Walls and Lionsaults; there was Angle doing a top rope moon sault (!), there was Benoit doing the Crippler Crossface as well as the repeated belly to back and/or German Suplexes. I won't spoil the result of who won which title for you all, but I will say, having watched this five years on, how privileged I feel to be able to watch a match between these three at Wrestlemania (the first for all three) knowing now that they would be probably the three greatest wrestler/athletes in the WWE over the last five years. That this was a match in the middle of the card speaks volumes for just how good the WWF was back in 2000, and is also a testament to all three competitors. Hire it, borrow it, download it, steal it - see these guys before any of them were World Champions. You won't regret it.

Sorry for the brevity of the column, but I'm off to watch that four way main event (even though I know who wins), and the Raw from the following night (coz I can't remember a damn thing about it.)

by Matthew Geddes ..


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