As a wrestling fan , I often go through my sizable collection and re-watch matches which I've watched earlier, either because its a classic, or because I don't really remember it, so want to watch it again. Mostly, in the latter case I have found that I'm left rather underwhelmed, because the matches that I loved at the time I first watched them, don't really live up to my memory of them.
But sometimes, I come across that rare match which not only lives up to my memory, but surpasses it and achieves the status of a classic. It is these matches which are in my opinion -- Forgotten Classics -- and they deserve to be remembered and appreciated...
Chris Benoit vs. Randy Orton - SummerSlam 2004 was one such match.
It was historically significant, as it marked the first World Championship reign of Randy Orton, who would become the youngest World Champion in WWE History, going on to have a stellar career. This was the match that arguably put Orton on the map, convincing the powers that be of his potential as a future main-eventer and moneymaker for the company.
The story was simple: Experienced Veteran taking on the talented, but cocky, young upstart looking to make a name for himself. Much of the match had a vicious Orton inflicting punishment on Benoit, but the resilient veteran fought back using his excellent technique and years of experience. The psychology throughout the match was great, and both put in superlative technical performances, which the Toronto crowd lapped up.
It was evident it was Orton's night, the match was structured in such a manner as to propel him into WWE's upper echelon. The match accomplished just that, as was seen when the Canadian Crowd started cheering Orton over their hometown Hero towards the end of the match. The finish was quick and impactful, with an "RKO out of nowhere" and a 3-count later Orton became Champion.
Chris Benoit put in his very best in what was to be his last match as World Champion, and worked his ass off to make Orton look good. But the real star of the match, and the show, was Orton, who matched up to Benoit at every step and showed off his versatility as a wrestler with some skilled wrestling and near-perfect execution.
This match had it all: Excellent Wrestling, Great Psychology, Near-Fall after Near Fall, a quick and decisive finish, told a great story, and succeeded in getting its message across: That Orton was here to stay. One of my all time- favorite matches.
Also, I'd like to make a suggestion to the CSS Team to have an official thread for Forgotten Classics, Underrated Matches, Match of the Day, or something like that, which would be updated daily, allowing fans to mention their ideas regarding the same on it.
Finally, to all the Cagesiders reading this FanPost, I would really like it if you mentioned which matches you felt were underrated and deserve mention here in the comment section of this post.
Editor's Note: This FanPost has been edited and promoted to the front page of Cageside Seats for your enjoyment, Cagesiders. Sound off in the comments as to whether or not you agree we should start a regular post about Forgotten Classics, daily, weekly, monthly or a variant of it.