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Thursday, June 30, 2016

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Top 15 Matches of the WWF vs WCW/ECW Invasion

By @TrueGodImmortal

The Invasion angle became a hot topic on an episode of EOTR Live and as we approach the 15th Anniversary of the start of this angle, I wanted to look back at the top 15 matches of the angle and storyline. The angle was discredited and looked at as a disappointment due to not having some of the bigger matches that could have taken place until the actual Invasion was over. However, RVD, Angle, Austin and Jericho would show up in every big match they would have, making this one of the better periods in the company from a wrestling standpoint. Let's get into it.

*Edge vs Christian 
Rebellion 2001

-This opening match was a near classic, as the two brothers went 20 minutes inside of a steel cage and Edge would retain his Intercontinental Title here. Great action throughout and both men should be proud of their performance. It's one of their best matches against each other.

*Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Kurt Angle
RAW, October 2001

-This was the match that is extremely slept on in the Angle vs Austin series. Austin had been defeated by Angle at Unforgiven and was seeking to get his title back. Austin would get an assist from William Regal, who would turn on Angle and the WWE (then Angle would turn on the WWE soon after in a strange turn events) to help Austin get his title back.

*The Rock vs Chris Jericho 
RAW, November 2001

-Another underrated match in the era comes from one of the better feuds of the era, as The Rock looked to get his WCW title back from Jericho in this match. Jericho and Rock would go at it, but Rock would walk with the win via a quick roll up pin to regain the title back.

*Chris Jericho vs Kurt Angle
Rebellion 2001

-This is a slept on match that wasn't necessarily the best contest between the two men, but was a good battle that went back and forth until Jericho picked up the victory to retain his WCW Championship.

*Edge vs Christian 
No Mercy 2001

-This is another Edge and Christian match that lives up to expectations and then some. We have a steel cage match between the two on the list, so how could we NOT include the Ladder Match these two had? After 22 minutes of ferocious action, Edge pulls down the IC Title belt to regain his belt back from Christian.

*Rob Van Dam vs Jeff Hardy 
Summerslam 2001

-This match is admittedly a little sloppy with the ring work, but you should know that just from the participants. A few botches, but both RVD and Jeff go out there in this Ladder Match for the Hardcore title and entertain beyond belief. RVD would win the Hardcore title back from Jeff, once again gaining the upper hand on Hardy in their short lived but underrated feud. It was a dream match come true for fans of high flyers.

*Kurt Angle vs Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Rob Van Dam
No Mercy 2001

-RVD was truly the man during 2001 and this match was essentially the next chapter in the Angle vs Austin saga, but I think the WWE just didn't have anything else for RVD and decided to use his draw ability to give him a main event slot. It's eerily similar to how the WWE booked AJ Styles his first few months almost. RVD had the crowd's support, but Austin would creep away with the title in this great main event.

*Kurt Angle vs Stone Cold Steve Austin 
Unforgiven 2001

-As a huge Austin fan, I hated this match. The WWE really was trying to make Angle the new GUY and much like their pushes of recent stars, it worked at first, but didn't work. They painted Austin as the chickenshit heel multiple times and I hated that. This match however? Quality wise, it was amazing. The ending pissed me off seeing Austin submit, as it was the first time I had ever witnessed Austin really tap out. This was in Angle's hometown and it worked very well for him, coupled with a big celebration after the match for Angle winning the title from Austin.

*The Rock vs Booker T
Summerslam 2001

-The Rock returned to WWE after a 4 month absence, and he had an entertaining feud with Booker. This match was definitely entertaining, with Rock getting the upper hand by surprising Booker with a Rock Bottom to win the WCW Title in this main event match.

*Rob Van Dam vs Jeff Hardy
Invasion 2001

-This match was amazing. Jeff and Rob had great chemistry, and this was their first big encounter. The crowd was split between these two, but I was firmly behind Rob this entire match. As the match winded down, Rob took advantage and hit a huge five star frog splash to pick up the victory and win the Hardcore Championship.

*Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Rock
Rebellion 2001

-While not as great as the Wrestlemania trilogy between the two men, this was a great contest that headlined the UK PPV. Austin would end up using some interference to help him pick up the victory and retain his WWF Title, but this was magic as usual between the two biggest stars in the business at the time. Another great main event for Austin during this time period.

*Rob Van Dam vs Chris Jericho
Unforgiven 2001

-The RVD and Jericho feud was a missed opportunity in a way. These two had great chemistry and this match was really great. A bit slept on in this Invasion angle and somewhat forgotten, likely due to the interference that took place from Stephanie McMahon, but all in all, a solid match with good action. RVD picks up a big victory here to retain the Hardcore Title.

*The Rock vs Chris Jericho 
No Mercy 2001

-Jericho was being looked at as the guy who couldn't win the big one, with the Rock being the man to stand in his way of ever getting a world championship. This would be the culmination of Jericho becoming a heel, as he would use a distraction and a chair after an amazing contest between the two to win the title and the big one. Rock and Jericho put on a classic here for sure.

*Kurt Angle vs Stone Cold Steve Austin 
Summerslam 2001

-Angle vs Austin was the feud of the Invasion storyline and this was their best match hands down. Austin was vicious and busted Angle open, laying into him with kicks, punches, and multiple stunners and eventually the match would break down to both Angle and Austin attacking referees, leading to a no contest.

*Team WWF (Kane, Big Show, The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, The Rock) vs Team Alliance (Stone Cold, Shane McMahon, Booker T, RVD and Kurt Angle)
Survivor Series 2001

-The last match of the angle is the best match of the angle. 10 stars. One big match. Either the WWF wins control or the Alliance wins control. After nearly 50 minutes of crazy action, the WWF wins after Austin and Rock battled it out as the last two, and Angle comes back in after being eliminated and turns on Austin to let Rock get the victory. Great match and likely the greatest match in Survivor Series history.

Any other choices you'd like to have on here? Post your choices below in the comments.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tagged under:

Top 5: Chris Jericho WWE Feuds

By @TrueGodImmortal

Chris Jericho is having one of his best runs right now in the WWE. With his heel persona completely working and his newest catchphrase of "Stupid Idiot" gaining traction, we wanted to look back at his storied career in WWE and list his best feuds in his long 17 year tenure (off and on) with the company. Let's get into it.

5. Chris Jericho vs Triple H

-I struggled between this one and his rivalry with Christian. Jericho and Christian were a tag team and friends who eventually started to be torn apart by Trish Stratus in storyline form, but Jericho and Triple H had a true to life rivalry that seemingly spilled over into their feud and spawned some great matches over the years. While their Wrestlemania 18 match disappointed in a number of ways, their matches at Fully Loaded 2000, Judgment 2002 in Hell In A Cell, and their April 2000 RAW match. Jericho and Triple H have been amazing rivals through the years and their feuds have always been entertaining and top notch for the most part.

4. Chris Jericho vs Chris Benoit 

-These two had an amazing chemistry over the years and in WWE, that chemistry spawned a great set matches during 2000 and 2001. The intensity between the two men and their real friendship allowed them to work together to create a timeless rivalry in WWE. I think it's also interesting that it would be revisited here and there in spurts in later years through one off RAW matches and their chemistry remained in tact. When thinking of some of Jericho's best opponents, you'd have to give a nod to none other than Benoit regardless.

3. Chris Jericho vs Rey Mysterio 

-This feud is so slept on. Jericho was in his prime as a heel. He was essentially a bully and he would take Mysterio to task over the Intercontinental Title and over his mask. I thoroughly enjoyed watching these two go at it and they put on a classic match at The Bash 2009, along with a number of other great matches in this feud as well. It lasted some months and seemed to allow Mysterio and Jericho to create the best Smackdown feud of 2009 that wasn't CM Punk and Jeff Hardy.  

2. Chris Jericho vs The Rock

-Jericho is gold whenever he works with the Rock and this was his most prized feud in the first few years of his WWE career. He and Rock put on classic matches, classic promos, and they just had the absolute best chemistry with each other in all aspects of the game. Rock and Jericho had their best moments leading up to No Mercy 2001, but there's no denying the impact that the debut promo from Jericho with the Rock had as well in 1999. One of the best adversaries for Jericho not only in WWE, but his whole career.

1. Chris Jericho vs Shawn Michaels

-Every time these two feuded, it was special. Both men would put their best out and leave it all in the ring, starting from their Wrestlemania 19 feud all the way down to their epic 2008 feud that spawned about 5 months. Jericho worked perfectly as a heel and HBK worked well to gain much sympathy as a  babyface during this time also, and this is hands down his best WWE feud and maybe outside of his Malenko feud in WCW, this is his best feud ever. Each match told its own story, everything seemingly flowed together well and their feud felt real. It felt like real hatred between the two and that's essentially what you need in a great feud. HBK and Jericho gave us a feud for the ages.

Think there should be any other Jericho feuds here or in place of these? Post your choices below in the comments.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

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EOTR Interviews: Craig Veltri

Interview Conducted By @TrueGodImmortal

There's not very many of us in this world that can say they've first hand been in the wrestling business or been a part of it. Through various avenues, I've had the pleasure of being a part of the wrestling business and be somewhat hands on, doing ring work (helping to set up the ring), commentary (for the biggest wrestling promotion in the Carolinas no less), and just promotion work in general. I think one thing that made it so special for me was that I finally understood what people say when they mention that you have brothers in this business and find brothers along the way. While I feel like there's a few guys I can call friends that are active wrestlers or owners of promotions, one guy who I have always stayed in contact with was Craig Veltri. Craig was one of the more popular guys in some way when I first arrived to PWX Wrestling in October 2013, and I had come to know him through our Wrestling Heels Radio affiliation at the time. Craig was known for his bad one liners, slightly inappropriate jokes, but the man was a good guy regardless. As one of the leading announcers and commentators for PWX, and a few other indies, Craig busted his ass for the business. I remember riding to specific towns where PWX had shows and posting advertisements in all the college areas and the grind that It takes to make things happen. Craig was determined to succeed, but while wrestling was definitely a love of his, his passion always seemed to be music. I had the pleasure of performing with Craig doing an acoustic hip hop set in North Carolina with him on the guitar, and then I got to perform with him when he opened up for Mickie James. The man has a good ear for good music (he's complimented my musical talents so of course he knows good music). Regardless, a few months back, Craig decided to move to Nashville and chase his dreams even more, seemingly leaving behind the wrestling business (for now). He has an album under his belt already, and will likely have more music coming. I got a chance to catch up with my old buddy about music, wrestling, and what's next for him. This Is Craig Veltri.

First things first, introduce yourself for the folks who don't know or aren't aware:

My name is Craig Veltri. I'm 30 years old. I was born in Pittsburgh, raised in Charlotte and I now I reside in Nashville. I'm a musician by trade and I'm constantly on the road. My basic bio is at www.craigveltri.com.

Now, you're a musician, a wrestling announcer and commentator, and much more. What's your biggest passion?

Writing in general has always been a great release, past time and, indeed a passion. The great thrill in my life in wrestling was preparing copy the PWX Update Desk or writing columns for XWW, Wrestling Heels or doing research on new indy wrestlers I was preparing to cover. I love writing songs and collaborating with fellow songwriters. Writing anything, even a simple tweet or a DAR/EOTR interview, keeps me sharp.

When did you know you wanted to make music?

I've been singing since I can remember. I had always been in choirs and school plays growing up and I've always enjoyed being the center of attention (Editor's Note: this is true... for better or worse). My dad instilled that in me, him being the consummate dinner guest or party host. That man should have been a comedian. To this day, he works a room better than anyone. So I've always wanted to be some type of entertainer.

The thing about music, and I'm sure you feel this way True, is that I don't believe that I consciously chose to pick up a guitar and start writing. It just sort of happened. I figured out that I liked it, I was pretty good at it and I kept coming back to it, especially when some chick broke my heart. Didn't hurt that I was finally looked upon by my high school peers as something other than a meandering, awkward wimp with a big mouth (Editor's Note: Well, the more things change, the more they stay the same haha)
Which brings me to the answer of when the "ah-ha" moment happened: I was 16 and I had just gotten my first electric guitar that past Christmas. I'd been playing off and on since I was 12, but I never took it too seriously. After that red Squier Strat landed in my lap, I quickly built up a catalog of songs. I've always been good at memorizing stuff when I wanted to and the few lessons I took when I was 12 allowed me to play by ear or read chords with relative ease. That spring, I had been noodling around with a riff for about a week. A combination of a Junior chick leading me on and listening to a lot of Dashboard Confessional and Blink 182 at the time made me blurt out my first song called "Love Isn't Real." I think back on those lyrics and they were so clearly written by a high school boy with no wisdom.

Now, sometimes in chorus class, we'd break from rehearsing early and someone would bust out an acoustic guitar. When it was handed to me, I felt brave enough to play "Love Isn't Real" and the class, mostly the rich beautiful people of Charlotte, applauded. They would ask me to play it whenever the guitar got passed around from that point on. They may have been putting me on, but I kept writing and I never stopped.

As an aside, the reason my story in music is starting so late is that I was always told that an education was more plausible and practical. I knew that I wanted to be a songwriter, but I knew that no one would support it and I didn't know how or was too afraid to ask for support. So, like a coward, I muddled through school, took on the debt and I am now with a degree that I'm never going to use, unless I somehow land a job on TV or radio. That's why I was working the NC indy wrestling scene to make use of my degree in broadcasting and doing something that I always dreamed of doing. But I was always playing guitar, I was always writing songs and I just couldn't waste away in obscure open mics where no one was ever going to hear me.

So, here I am, making up for lost time.

Buy or Stream Craig's Album "A Million Miles To Go Here:



Who are some of your biggest influences?

George Carlin immediately comes to mind as a life influence. I'm not a comedian (True God can attest to some of the corny one-liners on Wrestling Heels and in real life), but that man and his cynical irreverence saved my life. Carlin showed me that society doesn't make sense by design. So, don't get invested in it. Just sit back and watch the world burn.

In broadcasting: Bob Costas, Vin Scully, Jim Ross, Myron Cope

In music: Van Halen, John Mayer, Lyle Lovett, Goo Goo Dolls, Billy Joel, and, more recently, Jason Isbell.

Tell us about the process of making the A Million Miles To Go album?

I had been playing in and around Charlotte for about 2 years up to that point. I had a wealth of songs written over the last 10 years, I had just gone full time in music and this album was the natural first step. I had known my producer, Maurice "Mo" Brines through the open mics he hosted around Concord/Kannapolis, NC. In fact, it was his open mics that got me back into gigging. Mo is a master at mixing live and I've always thought I sounded best on his boards. Mo runs a studio/rehearsal space out of his garage called B-Sharp Studios. It took Mo and I about 40 hours to record and master over 2 months. My friend Drea Atkins, who is the singer in this killer band in Charlotte called Farewell Albatross (https://www.reverbnation.com/farewellalbatross3), did a wonderful job on the photo art.

It had to be a full length acoustic album. I wasn't playing with anybody at the time and I didn't have the infrastructure or interested players. That will change on the next record...

Any great experiences that you've had making music that you can share?

Being in Nashville as a songwriter, I feel like a pretty girl in Los Angeles. I know I'm not the only one. Just getting to meet these writers who have cuts and credits to their name is as exhilarating as it is intimidating. But, that's why I'm out here: to see if I'm on that level.

Talking about wrestling for a moment, what are some of your best experiences in the business, and/or PWX specifically?

Overall, I got paid to watch and call AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe, Dash Wilder, John Skylar, Corey Hollis, No Way Jose, Cedric Alexander, Rich Swann, Apollo Crews and Tony Nese before they got their shot in NXT/WWE and yes, I am counting the CWC. Also, I got to see The Wolves, Bobby Lashley, Caleb Konley, Andrew Everett and Trevor Lee before they made it to TNA. For ROH, "Cauliflower" Chase Brown. Not to mention calling matches with Steve Corino (who gave me the nickname Stats), Hurricane Helms, Evan Karageas and interviewing/chatting with legends like Magnum TA, Ricky Steamboat, Tommy Dreamer, Raven and Matt Hardy.

I had a good run, I enjoyed the experience for the most part and I hope it's not the last time I get to call a match because I do miss it. But, I needed to focus on what's next for me and my music.  

What's next for Craig Veltri?

Later this summer, I'll be releasing a new single and music video called "F.I.N.E" with my friend and co-writer Lisa De Novo (https://www.reverbnation.com/lisadenovomusic). Later on this year, I'll be releasing my second record entitled Vagabond which will include "F.I.N.E" as well as full band tracks. I'm very excited for this next record and I hope it makes some noise.

Well, if you're not familiar with Craig Veltri, get familiar with him and what he brings to the table, as an artist and as a mind for wrestling as well. You have to admire a man willing to chase his dreams at any cost. Thank you once again to Craig and all of the readers.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Tagged under:

Retrospective: The Increasing Dominance of Black Wrestlers

By @TrueGodImmortal

Now this article might only appeal to a certain demographic and I'm totally okay with that. It's been years and years since we've seen black wrestlers being so prominent in the wrestling business, and I truly believe this is a cause to celebrate. After being passed over for opportunities so many times over the years, it's been truly something special to witness the rise of black men and women in the business.

The Japanese have always been prominent and had their own organizations, as have the Latino community in wrestling, but despite a few select wrestlers who might breakthrough here and there (The Rock, Ron Simmons, Booker T come to mind as the only ones really), there were no huge black stars in the history of professional wrestling. It was believed that some black wrestlers were marketable and even in the indie scene, black wrestlers seemed to be slightly on short supply. In this era however, that's changed. And it's a beautiful thing. Let's look at the Cruiserweight Classic, shall we?

Out of 32 participants, we have two heavy favorite that are black, and two more that were formidable names. The guy with one of the biggest chances to win the Cruiserweight Classic based on his popularity and soaring achievements right now is Cedric Alexander. He's one of the best wrestlers today and he's shown and proved it, much like Rich Swann has as well over the indie circuit and now in WWE. Swann has positioned himself to be a force in the future and he will succeed. Anthony Bennett has a strange gimmick, but he's a talented in ring performer. The WWE has the Cruiserweight Classic full of stars from all around and two of the top picks are black. That's extremely dope and one of the best things about this whole tournament is seeing that. However, while black men are currently prospering in the Cruiserweight Classic, we have black women slowly on the rise as well, definitely in the independent scene, but also on the WWE side as well.

NXT signed Athena, Naomi is still quite popular (and fine chocolate), and they also have the absolutely gorgeous Bianca Blair on their roster now, with the beautiful JoJo also gaining fan support for her announcing. There are a few more female prospects for WWE Women's wrestling in the future, but what has to be said is the fact that the most important woman currently in the WWE is a black woman. Outside of Jacqueline and Jazz, we really never saw a black woman at the forefront, but Sasha Banks is miles ahead of everyone else. It's not even close. With that being said, Sasha is the most over wrestler in the division and she definitely brings a certain aura to the scene, but as I've said, it's not just limited to WWE.

The indies are full of amazing black wrestlers, such as ROH's ACH, the sure to be a star Lio Rush, Jay Lethal, Moose (soon to be departing), Caprice Coleman, Kenny King, Stokely Hathaway, and more. Fred Yehi is a solid name for EVOLVE, and there have been many others such as Willie Mack, Joe Black, AR Fox, Ricochet, Scorpio Sky, and many more. The women of the indies are shining from the gorgeous Mia Yim to Marti Bell to Awesome Kong to Aerial Monroe to Savannah Evans to so many more. Black Excellence is all around you on in your face in professional wrestling, and there's so many more to list. They've all asserted themselves as some of the best talents in the world in this business, but if we could go back to the WWE to close this out, that's where the true excellence was cemented.

Sure, Titus O'Neil is competing for the US Title, Darren Young is being rebooted with Bob Backlund, Mark Henry is still around, R-Truth is still a comedy act, and Apollo Crews is finding his footing, but there is nothing better than the highly loved, cheered, and championed trio, The New Day, who currently sit atop the merchandise sales, always in the top 3. Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods have certainly cemented themselves as one of the most over groups in the business over in the last 10 years, combined with the success they had as the current tag team champions for over 300 days now. It's truly an amazing feat to hold the WWE Tag Team titles, but to have one of the longest title reigns in WWE tag title history and be a black trio of guys who weren't seen as future main eventers anyways??? Even more special.

The New Day has changed the business in a number of ways, and they could be seen as inspiration for a bunch of younger and teenage black wrestling fans who would aspire to get into the business. The same could be said for an Apollo Crews, a Sasha Banks, an ACH, a Jay Lethal, a Cedric Alexander, or any other symbol of black excellence in professional wrestling. This is necessary and vital and truly groundbreaking to finally see success for black wrestlers after decades of being held down in some way and just lack of opportunity. Watch these symbols of black excellence continue to shine well into 2017 and beyond.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

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WWE Retrospective: Top Feuds of The PG Era

By @TrueGodImmortal

So, the WWE went through a three year period where it had programming truly centered around the TV rating and fit for kids. To sum it up, the PG Era in WWE could be considered between late 2007 until mid 2011, when CM Punk cut his promo, The Rock returned, and the program slowly started taking a different turn. The PG Era seemingly started after the 2nd chapter of the Ruthless Aggression era, and while the product itself suffered (RAW guest hosts and more), the feuds were still solid through the period. Let's take a look back at the best PG Era feuds and why they were so special.

*Undertaker vs Edge (2007-2008)

-Most of this feud occurred before the WWE officially became TV PG, but it still counts to me. Their match at Wrestlemania 24 was epic, and they had a slept on classic Hell In A Cell match at Summerslam 2008 to close out the feud so to speak. They wouldn't really cross paths too much after this, but during the PG Era, they were the two biggest names on Smackdown. This feud is one of Taker's best in general.

*Batista vs John Cena (2008-2010)

-Their feud started in 2008 at Sumnerslam, but the real bread and butter of the feud took place in 2010, when Batista finally turned heel. Armed with more freedom on the mic and his first ever real encounter with Cena in a big feud, Batista would start the feud with the upper hand until he would drop the title at Mania 26, then lose 2 more straight PPV matches to Cena. A solid feud, but of course.... Cena wins!!!!

*Rey Mysterio vs Chris Jericho (2009)

-This is truly one of the better feuds of the era. I loved everything about this from Jericho trying to take his mask to Mysterio fighting back with all he had and the two trading victories and the IC Title back and forth in the summer of 2009. This was a great feud and an evolved continuation of what we saw between the two over a decade before in WCW. Great to see those two still kept their chemistry intact and gave Smackdown the first of two amazing feuds during the summer. Jericho and Mysterio did battle for the 2nd biggest prize in the game and this was certainly no small feat for either man. The perfect progression for both men.

*Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels (2009-2010)

-This might be my favorite feud of them all. Two of the best Mania matches ever spawned from this short yet year long feud. After Wrestlemania 25, Taker and HBK went their separate ways, but they would soon lead back to a magical rematch at Wrestlemania 26 with HBK's career on the line. Though Taker would end up winning both matches in the feud, HBK showed out with two of his greatest Mania performances and I think the Mania 25 match is still the greatest match of all time. Period.

*John Cena vs Randy Orton (2007-2009)

-This feud felt like it would never end. From 2007 to 2008 to finally culminating in 2009, Cena and Orton did battle up until it was apparent that neither man would truly budge. I'd like to say that Cena didn't just win every match, in fact, Orton was one of his biggest and toughest adversaries to beat. Orton and Cena traded victories throughout the feud, and this feud still managed to continue well beyond the PG Era after Orton turned heel again years later. There's no telling if these two will rekindle that feud, but it's a feud that truly marks the RAW side of this era.

*Randy Orton vs Triple H (2008-2009)

-Triple H, Orton, and Cena were the three faces of RAW during this era. Orton and Cena had a heated rivalry and so did HHH and Orton. On the tail end of 2007, HHH and Orton would feud, and at Mania 24, they would plant the seeds for yet another feud. The summer of 2008 saw the two go at it once again, and 2009 saw the feud rekindle again, as Orton won the Rumble and waged war on the entire McMahon family. The feud would culminate with a disappointing Mania main event at WM 25, but the next month, Orton getting revenge and winning the title over the entire family and Batista was gold. Great feud, just a big mishap at Mania 25.

*DX vs Legacy (2009)

-I loved this feud honestly. I thought the angle to bring DX back was cool, and the whole new vs old thing worked well. I thought Legacy picking up the victory at Breaking Point was superb, and though DX won the feud overall, Legacy solidified themselves as future stars, or so we thought at least. Cody and Ted shined here and kept up with the two legendary veterans and that's more than what I expected in that feud.

*Jeff Hardy vs CM Punk (2009)

-Top 3 feud in the entire era, maybe the best or the clear no. 2. This feud showcased the true coming of age for CM Punk in WWE in many ways. Punk hadn't been completely comfortable before this feud it felt like. He was always great, but he couldn't let his full personality shine. This changed everything. He eased into his heel persona and attacked Jeff with all he had, battling him time and time again for the WWE Title, before Jeff would take the final two losses and leave the company. Punk would truly shine in this one, and while Jeff was a good face in this one, the feud itself was carried by Punk, yet another show of his greatness in the WWE run.

*Chris Jericho vs Shawn Michaels (2008)

-The no. 1 feud on this list. Period. Hands down. This is Jericho's greatest feud and a top 5 feud for Shawn as well. Throughout 2008, Jericho and HBK helped suspend belief, carry on a long 4 month feud, and add so many different elements to it. Jericho hitting Shawn's wife with a punch to the lip by "mistake", Jericho messing up Shawn's eye, Shawn coming back and gettin revenge by beating the hell out of Jericho, and then the final chapter with HBK going after the World Title that Jericho had won the same night after taking a beating from Shawn. This feud had a regular one on one match, a No Holds Barred style match, and culminated in a Ladder Match for the World Title. It doesn't get any better than that from a match standpoint or storytelling standpoint. The no. 1 feud of the PG Era and one of the greatest feuds of the last 15 years period.

What about you guys? See any choices missing that you loved? Feel free to discuss that in the comments below.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

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Top 5: Chris Benoit WWE Matches

By @TrueGodImmortal

I know. This might be controversial. This might be wrong in some way, but regardless of his personal end and the atrocities he committed, Chris Benoit is still one of the best wrestlers we witnessed in the WWE, WCW, and period. Before the horrific events that occurred 9 years ago, Benoit was known as one of the best technical wrestlers in the world and possibly the best ever. His submission style wrestling, his ability to ground and pound in the ring, and even do some high flying is what made him such a pleasure to watch in the ring. Today, with a bit of hesitancy, we talk the top 5 matches Benoit had in the WWE.

5. Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho vs Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin 
RAW 2001

-This is honestly one of the greatest matches in RAW history. There's nothing like this one. Triple H and Austin were the Two Man Power Trip, and while they were on a roll, so were Benoit and Jericho. This contest was everything I expected and then some. As the team of Austin and HHH tried mightily to hold onto to their titles, Benoit and Jericho proved to be too much for them to handle. HHH would take his infamous injury and finish the match, a testament to his true toughness. This match might be my personal favorite tag team of all time honestly, as it is one of the best matches I've ever witnessed on RAW and ranks as a top 5 or top 10 matches in each man's career that was in it.

4. Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle vs Rey Mysterio and Edge 
No Mercy 2002

-The Finals of the Smackdown tag team title tournament came to this. Rey and Edge were a great team together and in my opinion, Angle and Benoit were the best wrestlers on the roster at the time, and in their WWE primes so this was definitely something special. The two teams fought and battled each other with everything they had, but it would be Angle and Benoit walking away with the victory here, yet another successful tag team title win for Benoit on this list.

3. Chris Benoit vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
Smackdown 2001

-This was an epic match. I'd consider this Benoit's shining moment, and the match that showed he had what it took to be in the big time. Austin was the WWF Champion and a heel, and Benoit rolled into his hometown in Canada ready to walk away with the title and vengeance. However, with Vince McMahon swarming around ringside, Benoit didn't really have a chance. Epic moments like the multiple German suplexes, the crowd behind Benoit firmly, and the ending sequence with Vince getting involved, allowing Austin to get the quick pin was so entertaining. Even in a losing effort, he put forth one of his best performances.

2. Chris Benoit vs Kurt Angle
Royal Rumble 2003

-This match is superb. I think it's one of the all time great WWE Title Matches and probably the most slept on title match of all time. Benoit and Angle put on a 20 minute classic that saw them pull out all the stops. I remember watching this and rooting for Benoit and he was so close to winning the title from Angle. Angle eventually gets a submission victory, but it took everything he had to beat Benoit. This match would be another turning point for Benoit as he ended up receiving a standing ovation from the crowd after the match, an ultimate sign of respect.

1. Chris Benoit vs Triple H vs Shawn Michaels
Wrestlemania 20

-This is honestly one of the top 10 Wrestlemania main events period and probably top 5 in reality. Shawn, Benoit and Triple H put on a true classic and left it all in the ring. Benoit and Shawn had amazing chemistry and though at first I didn't like Shawn being included, but man that was the right call. Benoit ends up walking away with the victory after pulling off an amazing feat..... making TRIPLE H TAP OUT!!! That's one of the greatest Mania moments ever, and regardless of anything else, it is the greatest moment in Benoit's career.

Do you see any matches missing or did you have a different selection? Tell us in the comments below.