Re: Official DVD/Match/Show Discussion Thread
Just watched Taker/Austin for the first time in a while. It had an epic big match feel to it, and this is probably the biggest Taker/Austin match (not best though). Unfortunately the workrate suffered early in the match when Taker and Austin's heads collided, and you could see Austin especially was dazed from it. But still they did a good job, the psychology by Austin working on Taker's legs for part of the match and Taker's selling was great considering Austin didn't work on them all throughout the match and by the end was getting outmatched by Taker to the point he couldn't anymore. I especially love where Austin keeps trying to fight and does avoid some of Taker's moves towards the end, but Austin is still a lot more hurt than Taker and can't capitalize before Taker goes back to beating Austin down. The leg drop from the turnbuckle to the announce table is still sick and MSG went crazy for that (as they should've). After that it was all Taker pretty much up until the end. It's actually kind of odd watching because nowadays, if this match happened, Taker would have no doubt kicked out of the stunner, and it shows how times have changed. Back then finishers didn't get kicked out of as much in the main events at least, especially the stunner, even in big matches like this one.
The MSG crowd, while great for some cool/big spots and at the beginning when the match started out strong, really died down in the middle. The pace Taker/Austin went at after Austin and Taker's heads collided forced them to slow it down and you could tell the crowd got bored. Considering how big the match was and the hype it got, plus the anticipation to see Taker/Austin finally collide, the crowd was a bit disappointing. But I don't entirely blame them given the circumstances.
So overall, a good match with an epic big match feel to it with good, but not great crowd reactions outside of certain spots. Overall despite the fact it's not one of the best matches of all time and may even be considered a disappointment due to the hype, it was still a great match and a clash between the two biggest babyfaces at the time.
My rating: ***3/4 (up from ***1/2)
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