'WWE Vintage Collection’ TV Report #266 – July 7th, 2013
Shown on Sky Sports in the U.K.
By Stephen Lyon.
This week's theme: Week 3 of the cruiserweights. Main event of today's show was Dean Malenko vs Ultimo Dragon in a WCW Cruiserweight title/J-Crown Unification match, from WCW Starrcade ppv, December 1996 (a ****1/2 match). Other matches on today's show included: Blitzkrieg vs Kaz Hayashi (WCW Saturday Night, March 1999); Rey Mysterio & Ultimo Dragon & Billy Kidman vs Tajiri & Akio & Sakoda (WWE Smackdown, March 2004); and Juventud Guerrera & Super Calo & Lizmark Jr & Chavo Guerrero Jr vs La Parka & Psicosis & Silver King & El Dandy (WCW Souled Out ppv, January 1998).
Show was hosted by Gene Okerlund alone this week.
1) Rey Mysterio & Ultimo Dragon & Billy Kidman defeated Tajiri & Akio & Sakoda. This match aired on the March 4th, 2004 edition of 'WWE Smackdown', taped in Savannah, Georgia on March 2nd, 2004. Announcers for this match were Michael Cole & Tazz. Story of the match saw the heels work over Kidman, leading to a hot tag to Mysterio. Rey used a spinning head scissors on Sakoda, and a flying leg whip on Akio. Ultimo Dragon delivered a crossbody block off the top, on to Sakoda outside the ring. Back in the ring, Rey tried for a 619 on Akio, only to be tripped by Tajiri. Kidman took out Tajiri with a plancha dive to the outside, and Rey pinned Akio after a Tornado DDT. Entertaining match.
2) Juventud Guerrera & Super Calo & Lizmark Jr & Chavo Guerrero Jr defeated La Parka & Psicosis & Silver King & El Dandy. This match took place at the 'WCW Souled Out 1998' pay-per-view event, held in Dayton, Ohio on January 24th, 1998. Announcers for this match were Tony Schiavione & Bobby Heenan & Dusty Rhodes & Mike Tenay. Another fun match. During the 1996-1998 era, WCW used to throw out these 6 man/8 man cruiserweight tag team matches on their ppv undercards, between guys all getting no meaningful push, and they'd nearly always have one of the better matches on the card. This was no exception, with Lizmark Jr in particularly looking very good. This was a fast paced match. Amongst the highlights were Juventud Guerrera delivering a 450 splash on to Silver King for a nearfall; Psicosis using a top rope guillotine legdrop on Chavo, and the match building to a series of dives outside the ring - Air Juve, Parka using a corkscrew moonsault, and Lizmark Jr using an Asai moonsault, all on to the guys outside the ring. Finish of the bout saw Chavo pin Psicosis after a tornado DDT.
3) Blitzkrieg went to a double count out with Kaz Hayashi. This match aired on the March 6th, 1999 edition of 'WCW Saturday Night', taped in Rock Hill, South Carolina on March 2nd, 1999. Announcers for this match were Mike Tenay & Scott Hudson. In the WWE studios link before the match, Okerlund mistakenly said that this was Blitzkrieg's WCW tv debut - it was actually his second appearance on tv, as he'd made his debut on WCW Thunder a couple of weeks earlier vs Juventud Guerrera. This was a really fast paced match. Future All Japan star Hayashi used a series of kicks and executed a great vertical suplex into a brainbuster move on Blitzkrieg. Blitzkrieg came back into the match, using two standing twisting splashes, and a springboard dropkick. The pair battled on the outside, with Hayashi doing a placha dive on to Bliztkrieg. Finish saw Blitzkrieg do a tremendous running flip dive out of the ring, over the top of the ring post on to Hayashi on the outside. The two wrestlers failed to make the count to get back into the ring and the match was ruled a double count out.
4) Ultimo Dragon (w/Sonny Onoo in his corner) defeated Dean Malenko to win the WCW Cruiserweight title & unify it with the J-Crown titles. This match took place at the 'WCW Starrcade 1996' pay-per-view event, held in Nashville, Tennessee on December 29th, 1996. Announcers for this match were Tony Schiavione & Bobby Heenan & Dusty Rhodes & Mike Tenay. This match aired in pretty much its entirety here. This was absolutely tremendous. These two had a great series of matches during this period, with the two standouts being this match and their return match the following month at the Clash of the Champions 34 special. Here, Dragon was defending his J-Crown, 8 individual cruiserweight titles, vs Malenko's WCW Cruiserweight title. Dragon worked over Malenko's back with a series of kicks. Malenko used a side suplex to buy himself some time. Dragon used some snap suplexes of his own to score some nearfalls. Malenko worked over Dragon's left leg in preparation for applying the Texas Cloverleaf, using a half crab and a single leg grapevine. Malenko caught Dragon with a release German suplex.
After a commercial break, Dragon missed with a handspring moonsault in the corner and Malenko caught him with a powerslam. Malenko reversed a Dragon tombstone piledriver attempt and scored one of his own. Malenko used a butterfly suplex into a pin attempt, only for Dragon to kick out. The two brawled to the outside, where Dragon delivered an Asia moonsault off the ring apron, on to Malenko. Back in the ring, Dragon missed with a moonsault and Malenko locked on the Texas Cloverleaf. He looked to have the match won, only for Sonny Onoo to jump on to the ring apron to provide a distraction. Malenko released the hold, was rolled up by Dragon, but kicked out of the pin attempt. Malenko delivered a brainbuster for a nearfall. Malenko tried for a second brainbuster, only for Dragon to block the move and instead catch Malenko with a Tiger Suplex into bridge, to score the pinfall win and add the WCW Cruiserweight title to the J-Crown. Excellent match.
Closing thoughts: Great show, with an excellent main event. This match and their rematch at the Clash the following month are probably my two favourite Dean Malenko matches ever. A total technical wrestling clinic.
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1) Rey Mysterio & Ultimo Dragon & Billy Kidman defeated Tajiri & Akio & Sakoda ('WWE Smackdown' - Savannah, Georgia: taped on 02/03/04, aired on 04/03/04).
2) Juventud Guerrera & Super Calo & Lizmark Jr & Chavo Guerrero Jr defeated La Parka & Psicosis & Silver King & El Dandy ('WCW Souled Out 1998' pay-per-view event - Dayton, Ohio: 24/01/98).
3) Blitzkrieg went to a double count out with Kaz Hayashi ('WCW Saturday Night' - Rock Hill, South Carolina: taped on 02/03/99, aired on 06/03/99).
4) Ultimo Dragon (w/Sonny Onoo in his corner) defeated Dean Malenko to win the WCW Cruiserweight title & unify it with the J-Crown titles ('WCW Starrcade 1996' pay-per-view event - Nashville, Tennessee: 29/12/96).
Please note: I DO NOT sell DVDs or tapes of any of these shows. Sorry!
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Until next week, have a good week.
St Helens, England, U.K.