I got 99 problems but Goldust in a prominent tag team ain't one of them (hopefully the review of the series eclipses my witty intro..)
Chris Jericho & Christian vs Booker T & Goldust, No Mercy (10/20/02)
Pretty much a perfect sub 10 minute opening tag that really establishes the chemistry both teams have and the character dynamic that will dominate their future matches. They work in a nice subtle story of Jericho avoiding Booker at all costs which is reminiscent of the classic Dutch Mantell/King Cobra vs Bobby Eaton/Sweet Brown Sugar 7/19/82 where Eaton is a chickenshit heel the entire match with Mantell obsessed with getting his hands on him.
That mini story dominates the middle section with Goldust being isolated by Jericho and Christian and there being a number of well executed teases of the hot tag to Booker only for Christian and Jericho to continually halt Goldust at the last second. Everything after the hot tag to Booker is really good stuff, with his dynamic and explosive offence being a perfect fit for the babyface comeback and both teams working some great nearfalls. The rope breaking was unfortunate but they managed to work around it fairly well and the finish is well done with Jericho seizing an opportunity and using a bulldog on the belt and a lionsault off the turnbuckle to steal the win from Booker and Goldust.
They were hurt by the match going about 9 minutes, but they managed to still create a good heel control segment in the middle of the match and the opening/closing sections of the match had the usual babyface shine period and frantic pace that makes southern tag formula matches so incredibly fun. With a few more minutes added to the match to create a lengthier FIP spell and a longer finishing stretch they could definitely have a brilliant tag match. This was about as good as you could ask for though in 9 minutes and a great introduction to the feud.
Chris Jericho, Christian & Victoria vs Booker T, Goldust & Trish Stratus, Raw (10/21/02)
Not a great match, but its a fun way to escalate the growing tension between the two teams as well as get some extra heat onto Jericho and Christian for their treatment of Trish during the match. Booker plays FIP this time and takes a regulatory workover and Goldust off the hot tag plays his part to a tee and strings together some energetic offence. The butt-bump to Victoria was a personal highlight and it really illustrates how the content on TV has changed from back then to today. Trish making the blind-tag and scoring a nearfall on Jericho was the sort of comedy schtick that works for a heel like Jericho, rather than making him look pitiful. Christian taking the time to trip Trish as well as Jericho clotheslining her and immediately locking on the Liontamer version of the Walls of Jericho and keeping the hold on post-finish did its job in getting him some heat and adding a bit more fuel to the program. Good booking to make Jericho look reprehensible whilst still holding two wins over Booker & Goldust.
Chris Jericho & Christian vs Booker T & Goldust, Raw (12/2/02)
Honestly this goes even less than No Mercy, but I loved it. Starts out as Booker vs Jericho but both partners get involved and it leads to an impromptu tag title match and the crowd are molten for Booker and Goldust and they work a frantic sprint match that gets you believing they're gonna win the belts. A couple of spots from No Mercy are replicated, namely the comical Shattered Dreams in the corner followed by Jericho being flung into Christian's privates leading to a great nearfall that the crowd groans at when it only gets 2. Couple of fun comedy spots like Goldust breaking up a huddle on the outside by bouncing their heads off of one another and Christian trying to emulate Jericho's rope knee strike and missing leading to Booker tagging in Goldust.
The finishing run however is where this really kicks into another gear. Christian and Jericho bump madly for Goldust who's incredible off the hot tag, and Christian in particular takes a spectacular looking bump off the ropes to the floor. They tease Booker and Goldust winning the belts on a couple of occasions, with Christians' attempt at using the belts backfiring and Jericho being saved from a pin by Christian yanking the ref to the floor. They've got the frantic pace nailed to a tee and the crowd are invested in everything and it leads to a simialr finish to No Mercy with Jericho using the belt and lionsault combo to pin Booker behind the ref's back. The perfect 7 minute tag to get across the cowardly nature of the champions and Booker and Goldust as the team the crowd are dieing to see win the belts. Great setup for the Armageddon Fatal Four Way with Jericho & Christian defending against 2 teams they've screwed over in the past few weeks.
Chris Jericho & Christian vs Dudley Boyz vs William Regal & Lance Storm vs Booker T & Goldust, Armageddon (12/15/02)
Storm/Regal and Dudleyz are non-factors here, neither really do much and both are out of the match before its even really begun. This means Jericho/Christian vs Goldust/Booker gets around 14 minutes and they don't disappoint. Goldust is the FIP here after taking his great crossbody bump to the floor and both Jericho and Christian waste little time in isolating him and working him over. They redo the spot from No Mercy where Christian attacks Booker on the apron to halt a potential tag to Booker only for another mistake from the champions to allow Goldust to finally make the tag.
The finishing stretch here is probably the best so far. There's a really great subtle callback spot where Jericho is able to finally counter Bookers' Alabama Slam after being hit with it twice in prior matches and it leads to a Walls of Jericho nearfall. There's numerous teases of Booker/Goldust getting the win including a great nearfall of the scissor kick when Christian distracts the ref for a crucial few seconds. Booker kicking out of the title belt/lionsault combo which had put both he and Goldust away in separate matches was a great moment that made you believe they were going to finally win, and sure enough Jericho is rattled long enough to lose his concentration and walk straight into a Book-End for the 1-2-3. Great moment when Booker and Goldust finally win the belts, having been screwed out of the win in two prior matches.
Chris Jericho & Christian vs Booker T & Goldust, Raw (12/23/02)
Best match of the series so far imo. Gets around 15 minutes and they work two FIP segments as well as Jericho & Christian being arguably their most dastardly so far in their quest to regain the tag belts. Whole theme of the match revolves around Goldust being called out by Jericho as the weak link in the chain and they work it wonderfully into his opening shine segment, his FIP segment and the finishing run with constant teases that Jericho will outwrestle him at the most crucial of times.
Goldust FIP segment is very good with some nice offence from the heels and the match moving in a good direction with the crowd lively. Booker gets the tag and they run through the babyface comeback spell effortlessly before a false finish where the ref counts 3 but notices Christian's foot on the rope and overrules himself and forces the match to continue. Booker is then the FIP from commercial and this is where Jericho and Christian really shine. They're relentless in isolating and targeting Booker to leave Goldust alone and they work a number of effective cut off spots as well as drawing the referee out of position to miss a tag to Goldust and thus keeping Booker as the FIP for longer. Booker hits a great counter to make the tag and from here they work the standard good finishing stretch we've seen in every match of theirs with numerous teases and nearfalls keeping the crowd guessing.
There's a wonderful moment where Goldust makes a rash error and gets locked in the walls of jericho and Booker is struggling to get into the ring to break the hold before eventually forcing himself to his feet and hitting a desperation kick to prevent Goldust tapping out. Match breaks down into a frenzy with people bumping left and right before it comes down to Jericho and Goldust, with Goldust managing to score a pin thanks to using the tights. Thought the finish was a great way to end the series with Jericho and Christian finally having their comeuppance in losing through underhanded tactics after they'd used similar tactics to scrape past Goldust and Booker earlier in the series. It was also a nice way to cap the story of Goldust doubting himself and being able to outsmart Jericho at his own game, even if it wasn't the sort of finish you'd encourage for a babyface to generally do.
Chris Jericho & Christian vs Booker T & Goldust, Raw (6/2/03)
Honestly a by the numbers tag. Christian/Booker is an IC title feud and Jericho has a post match angle with Goldberg, but in between its pretty much a collection of some spots from their series in late 2002 and not much else. Only goes about 7 minutes and there's not much in the way of a FIP segment or real babyface comeback.
So yeah, excellent series which really demonstrates the potential tag team wrestling has when its given prominence and wrestlers are given the chance to utlise the southern tag formula and captivate a crowd with it. I think I might just prefer Eddie/Tajiri vs WGTT more as far as an overlooked tag team series goes, but they have the advantage of their matches going longer whereas BookerDust vs Christian/Jericho was pretty much the definition of making sub 10 minute matches incredibly entertaining and packed full of storytelling and character work.