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Monday, September 18, 2017

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EOTR Match Of The Week: Chris Benoit vs Triple H vs Shawn Michaels

By @Phranchize19


Sometimes great matches have rematches that don’t live up to the hype. Well on a Sunday night in Canada, we got a rematch to maybe the greatest triple threat match of all time. Let’s get into it.


Background:
Shawn Michaels and Triple H had been feuding for almost a year and a half. By the time we got to the 2004 Royal Rumble, they would have a Championship last man standing match. Neither man won as both failed to answer the 10 count. On that same evening, Chris Benoit had won the Royal Rumble giving him a shot at what many thought was the WWE title on Smackdown (Benoit was at the time a Smackdown wrestler). However, Benoit came to Raw and stated that he wanted a shot at Triple H. Shawn Michaels, who felt he was not done with Triple H, asked Benoit to step aside. Benoit refused and got superkicked for his efforts. Since HBK signs the contract, Raw management had a dilemma. It was decided that all 3 competitors would battle in the first ever Wrestlemania triple threat main event for the world title. Benoit wins the match. In the following weeks, Benoit is tormented by being called a one hit wonder and that lightening won’t strike twice.


The Match
All three men started out quickly. Each man gained the advantage and controlled the match for an extended period of time. Shawn Michaels then takes a nasty bump leaving Benoit and HHH to go at it. Once Triple H gains the advantage and tries to win, HBK came back and interrupted the three count. Michaels then delivers Sweet Chin Music to Benoit but suffers a low blow from HHH. HHH then reaches for a sledgehammer and hits HBK right in the back. He then attempts to hit him again only to have Benoit pull him outside. Triple H then throws Benoit into the steps then tries to pedigree Benoit on them only to get reversed and catapulted into the ring post and he eventually lands in the crowd. Benoit then gets back in the ring and blocks the attempted superkick and HBK gets trapped in the sharpshooter. Triple H attempts to make the save but HBK taps out.



Highlights:
-Benoit rubs the world title in both HBK and HHH's faces

-Benoit attempts a top rope suplex but gets knocked to the floor and lands face first

-Benoit goes from a sharpshooter on Triple H to the Crossface on Shawn Michaels in one swift motion

-Shawn Michaels locks Benoit in the sharpshooter in Canada and fans boo him relentlessly as Warl Hebner comes to ask if Benoit wants to quit

-Shawn Michaels attempts a dive onto HHH and Benoit outside of the ring and lands on the table

-Benoit makes Shawn Michaels tap out to the sharpshooter much to Canada’s delight


Grade and Analysis:
This match was simply amazing. Although it was not as good as their prior encounter, this match lived up to the massive hype. The crowd was thoroughly invested in Benoit and they made their voices known throughout the entire match. The psychology of weaving in the Montreal screwjob into this match was a stroke of brilliance. Jerry lawler on commentary was superb reminding everyone that Benoit hasn’t had much success as a main event guy and calling him a one hit wonder. All in all I consider this a gem of a match

Rating: 9.5/10

-Phranchize

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