Ok, here's what I want to do. Hopefully enough people read this blog so that we can get some sort of reasonable discussion. Lets discuss the best matches from 2000-2005, or early "Match of the decade candidates". Post as many matches as you want, but only if you really think they're truly great enough to be one of the best of the decade. You don't have to provide in-depth analysis, unless you're questioned. And even then, it doesn't have to be long-winded or anything. I'll fire off a few matches that I think are candidates and I will provide analysis if called upon (because then I can rewatch the match with that in mind).
1. Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk (12/04/04) I admit, I thought this was a ***** match the first time I saw it. The story was just utterly fantastic, as they played off of past matches better than their 2nd match, and the blood really played in perfectly with the ending while leaving the door open for more matches between the two. I've been seeing criticism of this match (although nothing credible, because all I saw was a ***1/2 rating, with no analysis given, by a guy who's a crackpot). I don't know if it's a legit *****, as I need to watch it again. And the thing about that, is that I don't have access to it so I can't rewatch it at the moment. I've no doubt it was up in MOTDC territory though.
2. Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk (10/16/04) My god, I'm coming across like an ROHbot. Yikes. But this match was seriously fantastic. Probably the best 60 minutes I've seen. Once again, the basis of the match was them playing off the previous draw, and they did it in a way that left no doubt as to what they really meant by it. What makes it even more impressive, is that I believe this match was put together kind of at the last moment, when Steve Corino (who was originally facing Joe) had to pull out of the card.
3. Kenta Kobashi vs. Yoshihiro Takayama (04/25/04) This is what happens when Kobashi is involved in a big time match, and he doesn't go crazy with the no-selling/fighting spirit nonsense. That pretty much explains why it's here.
4. Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Jun Akiyama (8/17/03) I don't remember this match too well, other than the fact that I thought it was the best match I had seen from the period 1999-2003. I haven't seen any talk of this match, so I'm kind of curious as to what others think about it. Hopefully we can get some discussion on this match specifically, as it would give me a reason to watch it again.
Essentially that's pretty much it. Those are the only ****1/2 matches I've seen since 2000. Feel free to pick apart any of the matches you see, as long as you're bringing the points.