Rey Mysterio v Tajiri (Smackdown!, 9/4/03)
I have no idea how, but these guys do an indy stand-off spot in the first minute of this and it never annoyed me one bit. Didn't look or feel cheesy at all. I'm stumped. That alone makes this worthwhile, but everything else ruled it as well, which is a pretty fucking great kind of bonus. Really, this was a super nifty sub-10 minute TV match. Rey hits an absolute corker of a plancha that looked totally Santo-esque. Story of the match seems to be "Rey flies around like a bumble bee and is borderline ungroundable. Tajiri rifles him with kicks and tries to ground him, anyway." It's a cool story -- Rey is a great bumble bee and Tajiri is great at rifling kicks. Great transition spot where Rey goes for a springboard and Tajiri just breaks his chin with a kick. Wasn't like that spot where Shelton Benjamin springboards all the way across the ring and Shawn Michaels hits the superkick. Tajiri was standing pretty close to Rey and wings the kick upwards just as Rey leaps onto the ropes. He basically did the splits standing up so he could connect. It ruled. Tajiri works the arm for most of this and it always remains a theme. Rey isn't in-your-face about it with the selling, but he'll grab it from time to time and never drops it completely (he sells it after the plancha, for example). Tajiri's kicks are pretty much all directed at the arm and shoulder, he busts out this cool rolling armbar thing down the stretch, and they tease doing something big off the top towards the end when Tajiri grabs Rey's arm and Rey has to fight him off. Cool finish and post-match turn as well. And did I mention they work an indy stand-off spot that WASN'T shitty? Because yeah, they did that.
Rey Mysterio v Tajiri (Smackdown!, 9/25/03)
This probably doesn't have as much "cool shit" as the first match, but it's structured better and the clear heel/face dynamic helps it. First match was super nifty; this is super...super. Feels like a more complete match, I guess. The early exchanges all look nice and slick. These guys are speedy, and their sequences reflect that. Then Tajiri takes over by catching Rey coming off the top by drilling him in the ribs with a kick, and the body of the match is made up of Tajiri working the midsection. There's a great bodyscissors spot in the middle where Tajiri looks like he's trying to squeeze the life out of Rey and keeps trying to force his shoulders to the mat, then they start chopping and slapping each other really hard while the hold is still applied. So Tajiri is great at working a bodyscissors and Mysterio is great at being IN a bodyscissors -- that's yet another thing these guys do well. Pretty trite to say Tajiri has great kicks, since I've already said it in every match of his I've talked about, but still, Tajiri has great kicks. Punts Rey right in the liver at one point and it sounded like a shotgun blast (Rey sells it like one, too). Finish is GREAT. Early in the match there's a bit where Tajiri is gearing up to spit the green mist, but Rey spots it and kicks him in the face so hard that it knocks the mist out of his mouth before he can spit it. Tajiri's game plan goes down the shitter. What can he do without the GREEN MIST? Down the stretch Tajiri winds up KOing the ref' with an accidental kick, so the new ref' comes in and tries to juggle calling the match and checking on the first ref' to see if he's still alive and shit. For the finish, Rey finally manages to hit the springboard hurricanrana (which won him the first match), but the current ref' is distracted by ref' number one, so Tajiri spits RED mist up at Rey to break the pin. Rey's blinded so Tajiri kills him dead with the Buzzsaw Kick. Tajiri countering the counter to the green mist by spitting a different colour of mist is really awesome for no reason at all. This match is really awesome for plenty of reasons (mist included).