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Great Individual/One-Off Matches


RoryFice
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Caught up on one of my favourite WWE TV matches last night, and I'd like to read other posters suggestions of great matches that either aren't part of a major storyline or just a minor cog in one.

Here's a few of mine:

Kurt Angle vs Marty Jannetty - 2005

Part of the build up to Angle's WM match vs HBK, this is a super match which likely contributed to Marty getting signed to a contract after (Although in traditional Marty fashion he got fired again quickly).

Bret Hart vs Bob Backlund - summer 1994

I've had a soft spot for this match for ages. The crowd are into it and Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler do a fine job of getting Backlund over on commentary. Probably a better match than the two PPV bouts between the two in the 12 months thereafter.

Bret Hart vs Ric Flair - Saskatchewan 1992

It would seem strange now for a title change not to be part of a major storyline or PPV card, but Hart and Flair put together a really good match (what else with those two on fine form?) culminating in a big pop for the finish.

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Mankind vs Shawn Michaels in September 96 at Mind Games main evented a PPV but was a complete one off and came about after only a few weeks build after which it wasn't revisited. A brilliant, fluid match with a great psychological element even in spite of the disappointing finish.

Foley claims he was in good shape here as well making this one all the rarer. 

Edited by Otto Dem Wanz
Wrote 'h' instead of 'he'
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There were a few other Shawn Michaels vs Mankind matches around 96/97 but that was the only one on PPV. And yeah, it wasn't really part of anything ongoing. 

They had a good match on Raw in the summer of 97 when Shawn was turning heel. That was the where Rick Rude returned as his bodyguard. 

Here's one I've brought up a few times on here. Rob Van Dam vs Tajiri for the Hardcore Title on Raw in 2001; 

Terry Funk vs Eddie Guerrero from WCW 1989;

And Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs Vader & Stunning Steve Austin from WCW Saturday Night in 1993;

 

Edited by wandshogun09
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For me, the most obvious ones that come to mind are Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit in the Owen Hart Memorial Match, and Chris Benoit vs. William Regal for the Brian Pillman Memorial.

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Can't believe I overlooked one of my favourite matches ever. Hart Foundation vs Brainbusters from SummerSlam 89.

Did those two teams ever face off before or after that? 

Bret Hart vs Randy Savage from Saturday Night's Main Event as well. Brilliant match. 

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I haven't seen it since it first aired, so this may be extremely rose-tinted glasses, but I remember Undertaker having a cracker against Tajiri for the Hardcore Title. It was during 'Taker's short-haired heel run, and he was mixing it up with a few midcarders, around the same time he was kicking the shit out of Maven on the regular.

Along the lines of his ladder match with Jeff Hardy (which is another good shout for this topic, I suppose!), he seemed capable during that run of elevating people by association and, maybe it was because he was incongruously holding the Hardcore belt, maybe it's because of the Maven elimination from the Rumble, he really made it feel in most of these matches that his opponent had a chance of beating him. In the Tajiri match, I remember him taking the green mist and the crowd (and me!) going nuts because that was pretty much bulletproof at the time, but he managed to fight back and trap Tajiri in his shitty Dragon Sleeper, still covered in green gunk all over his face and chest.

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17 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

I haven't seen it since it first aired, so this may be extremely rose-tinted glasses, but I remember Undertaker having a cracker against Tajiri for the Hardcore Title. It was during 'Taker's short-haired heel run, and he was mixing it up with a few midcarders, around the same time he was kicking the shit out of Maven on the regular.

Along the lines of his ladder match with Jeff Hardy (which is another good shout for this topic, I suppose!), he seemed capable during that run of elevating people by association and, maybe it was because he was incongruously holding the Hardcore belt, maybe it's because of the Maven elimination from the Rumble, he really made it feel in most of these matches that his opponent had a chance of beating him. In the Tajiri match, I remember him taking the green mist and the crowd (and me!) going nuts because that was pretty much bulletproof at the time, but he managed to fight back and trap Tajiri in his shitty Dragon Sleeper, still covered in green gunk all over his face and chest.

I have no recollection of this match or Taker being Hardcore Champion, which is scaring me a little.

My pick is another Undertaker bout that seemed to pit him against an old rival out of nowhere, in an unwarranted gimmick match, for no other discernable reason than popping a buy rate for an annual pay-per-view whose stock was on the decline.

People still debate the quality of the match, but they've never stopped talking about it: King of the Ring 1998, Undertaker vs Mankind, Hell in a Cell.

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15 minutes ago, Uncle Zeb said:

I have no recollection of this match or Taker being Hardcore Champion, which is scaring me a little.

My pick is another Undertaker bout that seemed to pit him against an old rival out of nowhere, in an unwarranted gimmick match, for no other discernable reason than popping a buy rate for an annual pay-per-view whose stock was on the decline.

People still debate the quality of the match, but they've never stopped talking about it: King of the Ring 1998, Undertaker vs Mankind, Hell in a Cell.

Think this was it.
 
Taker/RVD also had a good little match for the hard-core title too.
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Undertaker VS Jeff Hardy- ladder match on Raw in 2002 for the...WWE title I think? What a fantastic match that came from out of nowhere. No feud as such, can't even remember who they were both feuding with at the time. But it was a really great bout with them shaking hands afterwards, if memory serves.

Same year, same show- The Rock VS Eddie Guerrero. Non-title match whilst Rocky was WWE champ and heading towards a match VS Brock at Summerslam.

Edited by PunkStep
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4 minutes ago, PunkStep said:

Undertaker VS Jeff Hardy- ladder match on Raw in 2002 for the...WWE title I think? What a fantastic match that came from out of nowhere. No feud as such, can't even remember who they were both feuding with at the time. But it was a really great bout with them shaking hands afterwards, if memory serves.

While there were a few mis-steps at the time, this was part of a period of the brand split that I loved for precisely this sort of match.

In the early days of the brand split, the Undisputed Champion was able to appear on both shows. So, while 'Taker was feuding with Hulk Hogan in a main event level title feud on Smackdown, he was able to have mini-feuds and one-off matches with midcarders on RAW, so they were able to take a chance with a guy like Jeff in that position without giving him a big PPV match or more than a couple of weeks' build.

Edited by BomberPat
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1 hour ago, PunkStep said:

Undertaker VS Jeff Hardy- ladder match on Raw in 2002 for the...WWE title I think? What a fantastic match that came from out of nowhere. No feud as such, can't even remember who they were both feuding with at the time. But it was a really great bout with them shaking hands afterwards, if memory serves.

Same year, same show- The Rock VS Eddie Guerrero. Non-title match whilst Rocky was WWE champ and heading towards a match VS Brock at Summerslam.

It was a mini-feud - they had the initial angle of Hardy being out to prove he was still extreme and could make things happen, and went and dropkicked Taker into Tommy Dreamer's sick (remember that gimmick?). Taker then beat him in a regular match, and Hardy challenged him to the Ladder Match ("My match to beat you!").

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That Bret/Backlund match is fantastic. Superstars, right? None of their PPV outings even came close. Awesome chain wresting in a great sporting contest. The sudden turn of Backlund is one the best, artistically. You swear you can just see something flicker in Bob's head when Bret's still standing around for a(nother) handshake. You can tell me how he was the wrong guy to go to in 1993 til you're blue in the face, heel Backlund was a fucking joy and had a great logical story to him too. If it was over the IC belt instead of the top one I'm convinced it would get more solid props

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