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Saturday, February 25, 2017

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EOTR Match of The Week: Randy Orton vs Cactus Jack- Backlash 2004

By @Phranchize19

Mick Foley has long been a fixture in WWE, but I feel that the most underrated aspect of his career was the ability to put guys over. Foley was gracious enough to put over many young guys such as The Rock, Triple H and Edge, but this time we are gonna talk about how he put over Randy Orton.

Randy Orton was riding high as the Legend Killer. Randy was essentially putting every legend on their knees and establishing himself as the future of the WWE. Randy Orton was the Intercontinental Champion and had won the belt in a match that Foley was actually the referee. Randy had already kicked Foley down a set of stairs and it got worse as Evolution was making life difficult for Foley. Foley needed help and enlisted the help of a partner from his past. That man was The Rock. The Rock teamed with Foley to take on Evolution at the 20th annual WrestleMania. In a losing effort, The Rock and Sock Connection entertained. In the weeks following that match, Orton would continue to torment Foley until Foley brought out his secret weapon Cactus Jack.

The Match:
The match began with Orton bringing out his own version of Barbie (barbed wire bat) as well as other weapons. Once Cactus came out with the real Barbie, Orton’s version crumbled. Foley pummeled Orton at the beginning and Orton mounted comebacks. Orton and Foley would bring out thumbtacks and the violence wouldn't stop there. Orton would be tossed off of a stage and Foley would even bring out fire. In the end, Orton would hit the RKO on a barbed wire bat.

Phranchize Grade and Analysis 
This was a GREAT match. This showed a rougher side of Orton as well as establishing him as a major player going forward. One would say that Orton doesn't achieve main event level status without this rivalry or this match. Foley put on a masterful performance here. It was great to see him actually issuing the beating instead of taking one. Cactus was willing to do whatever to make Orton miserable. Cactus wasn't worried about the belt he just wanted to hurt Orton. The psychology of the match as good with Orton pretending to be afraid and really bringing out the cactus jack persona by being afraid. All in all this is a classic.

Rating: 9/10

 -C. Yates


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