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Mark Coale



My Two Most Memorable Cards of 2000

With so much wrestling saturation these days (over 50 Pay Per Views and tons of televised action), it's hard to remember anything from even two months ago, let alone a year. Can you recall the names of the PPVs from the month of February?

To stick in your memory, there needs to be a more personal involvement. It may something that involves your favorite competitor or just an event so overwhelming that you can't forget it.

To me, there were two shows that I went to this year that stick out, due to the circumstances. This is not to say that I didn't enjoy many of the PPVs I saw this year or the dozens of local shows I saw, but there were two that were above all others.

The first came in May at this year's Brian Pillman Memorial Show in Cincinnati. There I got to see arguably the match of the year when Steve (now William) Regal wrestles Chris Benoit. Here's the blow-by-blow description I wrote earlier this year live from the show:

"Over under on number of chops in this match -- 45. Tie up in the corner. Break. Benoit with a wristlock. Regal rolls him over but keeps the wristlock. Regal with a legsweep and wristlock of his own. Series of bridges from Benoit. Regal busted open. Benoit with Baseball slide. Benoit hard b-back suplex. Regal with STF. Benoit makes the ropes. Regal with stiff kicks to Benoit's back. Reagl with standing dropkick. Regal with bow and arrow. with chinlock. Benoit with German suplex (x1). Chops. German suplex (x2). Regal with Butterfly Superplex. Benoit with 3 kickouts. Regal off ropes -- simultaneous headbutts. Benoit rolls over at 8 count with pin attempt. Benoit reverses a tombstone. Benoit misses swandive headbutt. Benoit with Dragon Suplex. Benoit with Crossface and submission win."

I never did a follow-up because the emotion of the match was just hard to recapture. The two men beat the heck out of each other, with crops not seen the heyday of the Flair-Steamboat matches. Regal was busted open hardway from Benoit's headbutts. It was draining for us sitting in press row; you can imagine what it was like for the two men in the ring. It's even more gratifying to see that Regal did finally make his way from Memphis (where he was working at the time of the show) back to the WWF and is still in great shape and getting the heel reactions that show how over he is.

The rest of the card was good too, but it was the main event that made the trip so memorable.

The other memorable show came in July, when I got to see my first live Lucha Libre show in Tijuana. Having become a Lucha aficionado ever since Galavision was added to the dish, it was a big deal to finally go across the border during my annual trip to San Diego for the big comic convention.

It was certainly an experience, sitting in the front row of the Auditoro de Tijuana. There was lots of Corona (after all, they're a sponsor), lots of kids in masks (none of the ones being sold would find my big fat head) and, lots of chants for rudos.

El Hijo de Santo was a no show, but I got to see La Parka (woo hoo) and 2/3 of Los Guapos (Shocker and Scorpio Jr). And the best match, go figure, was between Super Parka (imagine a red-and-blue La Parka outfit with a Superman logo on it) and Piminela (whose gimmick is that of a transvestite). And since we made it back across the border with no incidents (amazing since no one in our party spoke Spanish), it was a successful trip.

Loose Ends

In this space last week, we gave our best of the decade list and asked for omissions. Many people chided me for forgetting many matches from Shawn Michaels, including the WMX ladder match and the first Hell in the Cell match. Guilty as charged. As a hardcore NWA fan, it was not fully on-board with WWF stuff from that era, so I tend not to remember it. Tangentially, some things I forgot that should have been on there were the DX invasion of WCW and the return of Sean Waltman, which were events that helped turn the tide back to the WWF. Something I didn't want to put on the list, but was mentioned a couple times, was the creation of "Extreme Championship Wrestling" when Shane Douglas threw down the NWA title. Other incidents that bear noting are the Michaels/Jannetty superkick through the window, the Austin/Pillman gun angle from RAW, the Hart/Austin match from WM XIII and the infamous Madison Square Garden "Clique" incident.

A couple "lowlights" that occurred to be after the fact that shouldn't go without mentioning are the debut of the Shockmaster on the Clash of the Champions (Fred Ottman in a silver Stormtrooper helmet falls down trying to break through a wall) and the mind-numbing mini-movie involving Sting, Davey Boy, Vader, Sid and a midget that tries to blow up a boat. And "spin the wheel, make the deal." If only the Black Scorpion was in this decade, we'd have all the dubious WCW gimmicks on one list.

Mark Coale
Odessa Steps Magazine

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