Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri (1/1/04)
Smackdown 1/01/2004 Rey Mysterio vs Tajiri
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Previously a fan favorite as the executive assistant to William Regal, the WCW/ECW Alliance angle saw him rise through the ranks. If you listen to his kicks, you might understand what fans found so appealing about him. He eventually turned heel and gained a few Yakuza-like associates, but they didn’t hinder his ability to put on good matches. If anything, he wrestled better, returning to the heelish style he’d perfected in ECW, where he was a small, Japanese version of Terry Funk. Tajiri retired from the WWE in 2005 and returned to Japan, where he wrestled for the absolutely insane HUSTLE promotion and became a legitimate contender to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in New Japan Pro Wrestling, one of the most prestigious titles in the game. He’s more tame than he was as a heel in ECW, but matches like this are what was possible with WWE took him seriously.
Paul Arrand Rodgers
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