Eddie Kingston vs Chris Hero
New Alhambra Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Cameras follow both men from backstage to the ring, where they immediately start butting heads. Two months ago they struggled to get much going and now they’re going at it tooth and claw:
By summer 2005 Kingston’s often still awkward in transition but when he’s got room to just wale away on somebody he’s aces. Thankfully that’s what this is, mostly. Hero tries to flee to the back but he’s stopped by Director of Fun Leonard F. Chikarason, who again threatens to fire him if he doesn’t play ball. He does what he can to avoid Kingston back at ringside and Kingston’s attempts to nail him down end with a rough backdrop on the floor and a dive that sends him crashing into the guard rail. No matter how powerful or intense Kingston becomes, Hero lacks King’s tunnel vision and is just plain smarter in a lot of ways. In turn Hero’s great weakness is his ego, as toying with his opponent is what gives King the opening/motivation to fight back. These facts ensure that the match stays fairly even back and forth. Both men brutalize each other with all manner of strikes, which includes the best donkey punch you’re ever gonna see in the ring. Hero’s conditioning and creativity look to have him ahead but he can’t find victory with any of his usual moves nor a series of rollups, yet another challenge to his claim that he is actually the best wrestler in the world. When he get the chance Kingston takes a page out of his trainer’s playbook and goes for the Hero’s Welcome but Hero slips free, kicks his man low when the ref’s back is turned, and connects with a headbutt to steal a win.
HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO SHAWN VS TAKER FROM WM25: Even more than just being a terribly enjoyable slugfest, I like this match for how it speaks to these characters. You can see the evidence of Hero’s cocky self-importance and of Kingston’s bullheadedness in the way each of them approaching hitting the other as hard as possible. The results of that work are so much more compelling to me than the soapy melodrama of Shawn/Taker and when that’s combined with the awesome effect of their knock down, drag out brawling? There’s no contest.
VERDICT: Better than Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker from WrestleMania 25