I apologize for opening two new threads consecutively, but it turns out I had a lot to say about Chris Benoit and Matt Hardy tonight, and I didn't want to drag down the main RAW thread.
The tag-title match was pretty good I guess... I was relatively immune to it because I haven't been given reason to care about Edge or Batista, so clearly the Benoit/Flair segments were the highlight for me. Man, I remember that special feeling just after the Horsemen dissolved, when Benoit faced Flair for the very first time. It was something I never thought I'd see. We've seen it a million times since then, but it never loses that wonder for me, even though Flair's not as good as he was then (and he was pretty bad even back then).
But even with Benoit and Flair in there, I wasn't all that much into it, because Benoit's already the World Champion and he was going for the World Tag Team Championship. So I figured, hey, it'd be nice to see him with two belts, but I won't be particularly pissed if he loses, since he's still got the richest prize in our sport.
Still, it was nice to see Benoit win the World Tag Team Title-- this time for real, after the Benoit/Michaels tease a couple of weeks ago. With the win, Benoit became a two-time World Tag Team Champion (in addition to the WWE Tag Team Title reign he had with Kurt Angle). Last time he held this version of the tag-team title (the original WWF Tag Team Title), he and Chris Jericho won it in 2001. Of course, Benoit and Jericho beat Steve Austin and Triple H, which was almost unthinkable back then, and at the time, that was the biggest wrestling mark-out moment for me.
Y'know, come to think of it, I think that match was a serious turning point for WWE. It indicated that they were finally willing to make smaller, talented wrestlers go over more established superstars. The culmination of that turning point, for Jericho, was winning the WCW World Title at No Mercy 2001 and then winning the Undisputed Title at Vengeance '01.
For Benoit, the culmination took three years longer. Certainly, Benoit's 13-month neck injury had a lot to do with that, as I think without the injury, Benoit might well have beaten Steve Austin in that triple-threat match (with Jericho) at King of the Ring 2001. But going into the match, it was already known that Benoit would immediately have to take time off afterwards, so Austin retained.
When Benoit returned, he was gonna feud with Austin again, but Austin left and Benoit eventually went to SmackDown, where he re-established himself as a great wrestler who could win titles, but not the big one. But the Royal Rumble victory, title win at WrestleMania XX and subsequent successful defense at Backlash has sealed for the time being. WWE is serious about pushing Chris Benoit as their guy. It's about damn time, if you ask me.
And to think that the ball started rolling on this thing almost three years ago, on May 21, 2001, when Benoit and Jericho shocked the world by dethroning the dominant Power Trip.
“Chris Benoit, finally, is the Heavyweight Champion of this world!” --Jim Ross, WrestleMania XX
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Won the title on 5/27/02 from Lunacy in a hardcore match; lost the belt the following day to wheresitat42 via offbeat shenanigans
Regained the title on 7/3/02 by pinning SKLOKAZOID in a triple-threat match; lost the belt the next day to NickBockwinkelFan via heel chicanery
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where are they actually going with this? sure this is all to put benoit over and edge aswell but the tag team situation is already bad enough without giving the belts to another pair of part-time tag wrestlers. who can the belts go to next, the next winners have got to be a pretty serious tag team to take the belts away from edge and benoit. unless of corse next week on raw flair and batista will take them back again.
So lets see Benoit and Edge are the Tag Champs. Benoit also holds the World Title. Now, on RAW with the in-ring promo between Edge and Orton, well Edge win the IC Title from Orton as well? I know the rumors were that Edge would feud with hHh sometime soon but could Orton be a in between feud? Also, has a tag team, not a stable but a tag team, ever held all the main titles before? I just wonder how it would look as Benoit being World Champ and 1/2 Tag Champ with Edge being IC Champ and 1/2 Tag Champ?
We had that EXACT situation with Austin and HHH between Backlash 2001 and Judgement Day 2001. Hey, whatta coincidink.
Personally I'd push the heck outta La Rez over the next three-four weeks or so, having them decisively beat 'Cane and Rosey and whomever else they can drum up, then put them over for the belts and do a feud with Regal and Eugene.
On Benoit for a moment: Can it be argued that the match against Michaels in Phoenix will be viewed as a referendum on whether he can be a successful World Champ? Considering Mania is Mania, its tough to gauge whether the buyrate is indicative of people purchasing to see if he wins the World Title. The buyrate for Backlash could be skewed by Foley in a hard core match. Now though, the match against Michaels will have 2 weeks build and will open up sweeps month at a time where the WWF/E contract with Spike is closing in on only 1 year left, thus the numbers will mean something when it comes time to negotiate an extension/negotiate with other networks. A number appreciably higher than the average rating would have to be viewed as vindication for pushing Benoit to the top, and possibly convince the company that Benoit in the main event picture is healthy for the long-term growth of the company. However, should Michaels/Benoit meet the same fate that Lesnar/Angle Ironman match met in the ratings (below/at normal levels), that could be considered a red flag that Benoit is not capable of carrying the company and should be scooted back into the upper-mid-card. With the late 90's main event group almost all gone, this might be the best (and only) opportunity for Benoit to show he belongs in the main event mix for the next 2-4 years.
With God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.
Originally posted by oldschoolheroWe had that EXACT situation with Austin and HHH between Backlash 2001 and Judgement Day 2001. Hey, whatta coincidink.
I always figured they were more of a stable than a simple tag-team just because they had the backing and occassional interference of Vince (and Steph?).
I really can't see the logic in having Benoit hold one half of the tag titles as well as the Heavyweight belt. I mean haven't they done enough to get him over what with him winning the Rumble from no. 1, going over the number 1 heel at the biggest event in years, going over the number one face the next month....
The only benefit of having non-tag wrestlers holding the belts is if they help elevate a potential break-out team by dropping the belts back in a month or so. Even then, is there really a heel team out there in a position to be pushed over the top by beating Benoit and Edge? Of the top of my head I can only really think of La Res and there is no way on Gods earth I can see them being put over even semi clean against 2 main eventers. The other option would be Evolution, but then what was the point in having them drop them in the first place, other than for a cheap pop in Canada?
Multiple belt holding really should be the sole proviso of evil nasty dominant heels who can generate uber heat and then elevate faces by receiving their comeuppance down the line (see Power Trip). As it stands, when Benoit and Edge drop their titles I'd imagine most fans would be happy enough that both guys can go back to frying bigger fish, rather than feeling any real hatred for the heel tag team that robbed them of the belts.
Originally posted by redsoxnationOn Benoit for a moment: Can it be argued that the match against Michaels in Phoenix will be viewed as a referendum on whether he can be a successful World Champ? However, should Michaels/Benoit meet the same fate that Lesnar/Angle Ironman match met in the ratings (below/at normal levels), that could be considered a red flag that Benoit is not capable of carrying the company and should be scooted back into the upper-mid-card. With the late 90's main event group almost all gone, this might be the best (and only) opportunity for Benoit to show he belongs in the main event mix for the next 2-4 years.
Not really. The only time you'll know that they think Chris Benoit is capable of carrying the company is when he headlines a PPV against someone other then Shawn Michaels or Triple H. As great as the past couple months have been for elevating Benoit, he's still just warming the belt.
I'm sure the show will do a fine rating if they keep up with the string of good shows. I believe the last Benoit/Michaels match did a good rating but who can remember?
I'm not positive Shawn Michaels won't win the strap from Benoit in two weeks anyways.. You have to think Shawn is going to get SOMETHING back at some point for tapping out to the Sharpshooter in Edmonton. Regardless of who he is, Vince almost always operates that way with his top guys.
Originally posted by dMrThe only benefit of having non-tag wrestlers holding the belts is if they help elevate a potential break-out team by dropping the belts back in a month or so.
What if the plan is to turn Edge heel? That breaks up the tag team and advances a plan for Edge. Just thinking out loud here.
I can't see them turning Edge so quickly after his return, especially given that they seem to be pushing him into a feud with Orton.
That said his face pops have been lukewarm at best so a heel turn could do something to freshen up his character. I'd argue there would be better ways to turn him, but I still have to file your idea under 'I never thought of that'.
I'm feeling that Benoit's title reign is coming to an end in two weeks. Mainly because there' no other option for them in the situation that they've booked. Put Benoit over and you've blown a PPV ME. Do a schmozz and you've pissed the fans off and made Benoit look like he can't beat Shawn one-on-one. But have Benoit lose in screwy fashion, perhaps with Michaels turnign heel and recruiting an HHH-less Evolution, and you have a hot ME match for Badd Blood. Possibly even with the long-threatened ladder stipulation.
Regardless of the plan, they HAVE to realise that Benoit/HHH for the title is THE SummerSlam money-match to be aiming for on the Raw side. If I were booking I'd cycle Kane round to Benoit after some guff about "relocating his inner monster" and have him tap like a bitch at Badd Blood, just to keep the Benoit Express a-rollin', but I doubt that's going down.
Christ, there are so many potential drawing matches on the Raw side right now that it's hard not to weep when you look at the sorry state SmackDown is in. Michaels/Edge would a GREAT "first-time-ever" sell, as would HHH-Edge. And Michaels-Kane, with some crazy David Vs. Goliath build, could be GOLD-especially if they took the rubber match to the cell.
Benoit and Edge won't hold the belts for long, that finish was strictly for the Canadian fans. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I see Randy Orton doing a run-in and costing them the belts.
-- Asteroid Boy
Wiener of the day: 23.7.02, 3.12.03
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I think it'll be Mark Henry, although one tends to wonder if he has something in his contract about him not getting released or WWE having to pay him a ton if he gets released. I only wonder that because he should've been released years ago.