Tuesday, April 28, 2020

On The Throne Of The Regal Zone

Steven Regal (c) VS Arn Anderson - WCW Television Championship 10/9/1993

CJD: I know you have a great Regal VS AA match on an Anderson comp you got from Good Ol' Will. But I also know it ain't this one. And I hope you haven't seen this one, because it's a treat. This reminded me of your Rey/Tajiri match in a weird way. These two are such great opponents for each other but it's still almost a pleasant surprise to see them matched up with something substantial to work with like this. There are moments here that I had to rewind, tight hold for hold counters and transitions that are on par with any great UWF match. But with a heavy dose of the jingoistic Americana TV pro wrestling that we know and love. They also talk about your point of the 10 minute VS 15 minute TV title time limit which was a happy coincidence. Watching a match like this makes me think about star ratings and how they're irrelevant when watching pro wrestling purely for what entertains you. I wouldn't call this a five star match but at the same time I think Steven Regal and Arn Anderson were the perfect opponents for each other this Saturday Night.

JJZ: This is the second match I've watched with these two and I wish it was my 22nd. I'm not really surprised that they work so well with each other, I just never would've thought to have them matched up. The first thing I want to highlight is Arn's selling. You'd think he was having internal bleeding with the way he was selling his ribs. All the way till the end even playing into the finish. Second, Regal's facial expressions were fantastic. It looked like he was sucking on something sour for the entire match. Also they were able to take little turns that I didn't see coming. There were times that I thought Arn would get his shine then Regal would pop out with something to cut him off. And then there were times I thought Regal would keep his heat and Anderson would cut him off. Just a great television match.

Also! Sir William added some great heat that pissed you off, but since this match seemed like a one off Arn got his receipt afterwards. I liked that booking. Gotta stay strong brother.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

I Used To Be An Iceman, Living In An Iceman Town

Steven Regal (c) VS Dean Malenko - WCW Television Championship 12/23/1996

JJZ: Yumma dum dum. Fun fact about JJZ. I used to fucking HATE Regal. I thought he was flat out boring when I was younger. In this match alone I see how much he influenced Chris Hero. And I fucking LOVE Chris Hero. So this match is exactly what I thought it might be and I'm so happy it was. Ever since Danial Bryan VS Drew Gulak from Elimination Chamber, I've been in the mood for some gritty technical wrestling. And these two bring that in spades. This is a TV title match and at one point they mention it's only a ten minute time limit. Now Chris, wasn't it always a 15 minute time limit? Maybe I'm wrong. Either way, this match was exactly what I was looking for.

CJD: 15 minutes on PPV I'm pretty sure. Heenan sounds like he's on his fifth or sixth scotch of the night, and still gives better insight into this match than Schiavone. And sneaks a choice dick joke in there. I'm not going to lie, I wasn't big on Regal until I was older either, and it's safe to say we both had our heads up our collective teenage asses on that one. I did love Stinko Malenko though, and one of the things I loved about WCW in general in this time period was how the Cruiserweight, Television, and United States titles always produced such under the radar high quality matches. So a Champion VS Champion match between those titles like this would have been right out of my *Prodigy message board fantasy booking playbook, but I have no recollection of this match. And it's not the most memorable, but damn it's good. This is one where they are so similar stylistically I wasn't sure how it would play out. It made for some awkward moments in a good way. It always felt like they were fighting each other for control, even when they were trading flips and cartwheels. They fit a lot into this match and I liked they way they finished it as well. Very nice find.

(SPOILERS below...)

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Mr Mysterious Is Serious And Delirious


Rey Mysterio Jr VS Dean Malenko - WCW 6/21/1997

CJD: You know I have weird wrestling dreams pretty often. And I completely forgot until I was awake for a few hours this morning that I had a dream about a Dean Malenko shoot interview last night where he talked about a match (that I'm sure never took place) he had VS Jerry Lawler once. But the dream came back to me as I sat down to find the Rey match I was going to play forward to you. I don't think we'll ever find that Dean VS Lawler match, but it did motivate me to try to find a great Mysterio VS Malenko match we hadn't seen before. Well sometimes dreams do come true John. This had ups and downs and some of Rey's execution wasn't perfect. Those German ropes and all. But what was perfect was his selling, as he used every inch of his body to tell the story of his heart and spirit refusing to let him quit when Malenko had beaten him well past the point any of us would keep fighting. I love the chemistry these two had (especially with Hildebrand in there with them) and I love that we have footage of this gem of a match.

JJZ: This match was very different for a WCW cruiserweight match but not in a negative way. Usually it's a fantastic car crash but not this match. I think they knew the crowd wouldn't get bored with the layering and build to Rey's hope spots. I don't think Dean was a heel around this time but he wrestled with such aggressiveness that it came across that way. He didn't do anything underhanded but just worked like the baddest mfer in the room. I can't imagine someone watching this and not pulling for Mysterio when he sprung to life. The commentators mixed with the way it was filmed made for a hidden gem feel indeed. Loved the pick baby. Excited to see where this takes me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Would You Kick Me In The Face, Please?


Rey Mysterio Jr (c) VS Tajiri - WWE Cruiserweight Championship 9/4/2003

JJZ: Staying with the shorties. Staying in 2003. Staying with Smackdown. Staying in the Ruthless Aggression era. This was the first match I watched for our new MDTSOCWWKD Champion, then I watched about 7 more matches and nothing was this good and highlighted how well Tajiri could hang with the greats. This car crash of a match kept the crowd on the edge of their seats and made you feel like you got your moneys worth. For me there was a couple "I've never seen that before!" moments which still shocks me with the amount of wrestling I've watched in my lifetime. These last 3 matches have really shown the art of having a great TV match. And damn, Tajiri was over. His spots got huge pops. He'd be worth a deep dive during this time. Excited to see where you take us next.

CJD: Something about this match existing puts a huge smile on my face. I was watching blue trunks Yoshihiro Tajiri in BJW in the late 90s thinking "this guy is going to be great," and Rey wasn't exactly a diamond in the rough but to go from the Filthy Animals to this in less than 5 years is remarkable. We've pretty much covered the blueprint for how to have a great 10 minute TV match in the past few weeks and it's no surprise considering we've had 3 of the best TV wrestlers of all-time between Eddie, Tajiri, and Rey. I'm sure one of those spots that popped you here was that tope Rey uncorked. Jesus. Sometimes I feel like calling a match "fun" is a cop-out because you don't have to get any deeper than that, but what can I say, this match was really fun. If every week could be a Cruiserweight Championship match between Rey Mysterio Jr and Tajiri the world would be a better place.