WWE Vintage Collection Report (07/10/11)
WWE Vintage Collection Report: July 10th 2011
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
Welcome aboard! We wrap up our Cruiserweight retrospective this week with four exciting high-flying matches from the WWF/WCW archives. Let’s dive straight in!
WCW Monday Nitro: January 29th 2001
Primetime Elix Skipper vs Jimmy Yang w/Leia Meow vs Shannon Moore vs Jamie Knoble
A four corners match from the dying days of WCW. Skipper is representing Team Canada, Yang, the Jung Dragons and Moore, is one third of boyband gimmick 3 Count. Meanwhile, Knoble is a former Jung Dragon and is part of a tag team with former 3 Count member Evan Karagias. Leia Meow is the former Kimona of ECW fame. Meow indeed! Yang elevates Knoble onto the apron, then gives him a neckbreaker. Yang uses the ropes to give Moore a blind headscissors. Skipper catches Yang with a spin kick. Yang sends Skipper off the ropes, only for Primetime to land a twisting dive onto Knoble on the floor. Moore cradles Yang, before countering a powerbomb into a fameasser. Knoble and Moore cancel out piledriver attempts. Skipper thwarts Knoble’s german suplex pin on Moore, then Yang breaks up Skipper’s dragon suplex pin on Knoble.
Moore crotches Yang on the top rope, while Knoble drills Skipper with a sitout suplex/slam. Moore botches a springboard from Skipper’s body, so Yang tosses Moore to the floor, before landing a top rope dive. Knoble elevates Skipper on top of Yang, then launches himself from the top rope with a senton. Yang finishes the can-you-top-this sequence with an impressive corkscrew asai moonsault.
Back inside, Moore slams Skipper and heads up top. Yang cuts Moore off, grabbing his arms and using him for an assisted senton bomb. Knoble pulls Yang out of the ring and takes him out with a tombstone piledriver. Skipper crotches Moore, goes to walk the ropes, but Knoble pushes him off and into the guardrail. Knoble blocks Moore’s tornado DDT attempt, but Moore comes back with a top rope fameasser aka the Showstopper to score the pin. Phewph! That was all out action, with some crazy highspots. Cracking start to the show! Winner: SHANNON MOORE.
Madison Square Garden: November 22nd 1982
WWF World Junior Heavyweight Title: Tiger Mask vs Jose Estrada
Japanese sensation Satoru Sayama is the (original) man behind the Tiger Mask gimmick. Estrada is also a former titleholder. Tiger shows off his quickness and sound mat skills at the start to frustrate his larger opponent. Estrada uses a leg takedown to briefly ground the champion.
Estrada punches Tiger down, only for Tiger to instantly flip back up and Estrada manages to (just) dodge a kick. Tiger breaks free from a chinlock to springboard off Estrada’s chest in the corner. Years later the Matrix would steal this maneuver! Estrada runs into a backbodydrop. Tiger leaps into a headscissors position, only to flip back to his feet and dropkick Estrada through the ropes. Tiger stops himself from diving through the ropes by performing a 619. Back inside, Estrada tries a backbodydrop, but Tiger lands on his feet, unleashing a spin kick, legdrop and elbow. Estrada hooks an arm to escape a camel clutch and hold Tiger down. Tiger elbows free, then follows up with a jumping knee, flying tackle and slam. Tiger goes up top for a diving headbutt, turning it into a forward roll in mid-air when he sees Estrada’s moved. Tiger hits a reverse throw, then catches Estrada unawares with a handspring cross body for the 1-2-3. Winner: TIGER MASK. Another entertaining bout. Tiger Mask was years ahead of his time. One of the all-time greats.
Tiger Mask would vacate the title on two occasions. The first time was due to an injury suffered in a match with the Dynamite Kid. After winning the title back, Tiger vacated it a second time when he retired in August 1983. Since then, he’s made sporadic wrestling appearances in Japan, while there have also been several reincarnations of Tiger Mask, which is a testament to how popular Sayama made the gimmick. The Junior Heavyweight title was abandoned completely in 1985 after New Japan and the WWF split and the title became the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title.
WWF Superstars: March 25th 1995
Hakushi w/Shinja vs Aldo Montoya
Dubbed a “modern day kamikaze,” Hakushi burst onto the scene in early 1995, covered in faux Japanese roll-on tattoos and a white faced manager who was formerly Sato of the Orient Express. Montoya would later become Justin Credible, but at this point he was dubbed the Portuguese Man-O-War, sporting braided hair and a yellow jockstrap across his face. Hakushi uses a cartwheel and superkick to start. Montoya elbows out of a nerve hold to score several nearfalls, then dropkicks Hakushi to the floor. Shinja causes a distraction allowing Hakushi to regain control. Hakushi works over Montoya in the corner with a handspring backelbow and bronco buster. A dropkick and flying tackle find the mark as Hakushi goes to a chinlock. Montoya escapes, ducks a clothesline, then fights back with a spinebuster, flying clothesline and missile dropkick. Montoya blindly leaps off the ropes, but Hakushi is waiting with a punch. Hakushi lands a moonsault from the top rope, with one of his legs hitting Montoya square in the head. Sayonara! 1-2-3. Winner: HAKUSHI. Despite stellar bouts with 1-2-3 Kid and Bret Hart, Hakushi only lasted a year after he was relegated to comedy feuds with Barry Horowitz and Skip, then branded by Justin Hawk Bradshaw’s iron. Both Hakushi and Montoya/Justin Credible were very underrated talents that deserved far more than what they got in the WWF.
WCW Bash at the Beach: July 12th 1998
WCW Cruiserweight Title: Chris Jericho vs Rey Mysterio Jnr
Original challenger Dean Malenko has been suspended after hitting Jericho with a chair during their (vacant) championship bout one month prior at the Great American Bash. Jericho comes to the ring with a top hat and cane, stating “Stinko Malenko” robbed the fans of a match, which he “never eeever” would. Before he can begin his routine, WCW Commissioner JJ Dillon comes out to admit he’s made a mistake, misjudging Jericho and admitting he’s surprised at how many fans he has. Jericho reminds “JoJo” he has “millions of Jerichoholics.” JJ resolves that his fans are disappointed at no match before offering Jericho a match against a guy he spoke to at short notice, and who hasn’t wrestled in six months. Jericho asks for the No DQ stipulation (originally slated for his match with Malenko) to stand. JJ agrees, so Jericho invites the “jobber” out, before boasting that “Chris Jericho equals buyrates.” When Rey Mysterio comes out rubbing his hands in glee, Jericho is left open-mouthed. (Jericho took out Rey’s knee and title back at January’s Souled Out PPV.) The shit is on!
Rey (sporting a knee brace) hammers away on Jericho in the early going, catching him with a guillotine legdrop and a headscissors into the guardrail, following a 619 across the ringpost. Jericho drives his head into Rey’s knee, before missing a corner charge and hitting the floor. Rey gives chase up the aisle to pull Jericho from a lifeguard chair onto a big sandcastle prop. Rey climbs onto the high chair to give Jericho a hurracanrana.
Back in the ring, Jericho rolls through from a cross body, then powerslams Rey from the top rope. Jericho grabs a chair and smashes Rey’s knee. Jericho has ideas of Pillmanizing Rey’s knee and pulls down a kneepad as he climbs the ropes. Rey gets free and Jericho hits the steel. Rey uses the chair to attack Jericho, then drives him into the mat with a faceplant. Jericho catches a springboard move, but Rey resists a liontamer attempt by fighting his way to the ropes. Dean Malenko makes his way to the ring. Jericho tries for the liontamer once more, only for Rey to roll him up tightly for the 1-2-3. Malenko chases Jericho to the back. Arn Anderson blocks Jericho from clearing the curtain allowing Malenko to get some retribution by throwing Jericho into a production truck. Back in the ring, Rey hobbles to his feet and takes in the adulation of his hometown fans. Winner: REY MYSTERIO JNR. The title would be returned to Jericho the following night on Nitro after Jericho successfully argued that interference from a suspended wrestler meant that the result should be nullified.
This was the best show in the whole Cruiserweight series in my view. Enjoyable from start to finish. Plus, we finally got to see some vintage Tiger Mask! In addition, all of the matches were shown in their entirety which didn’t disrupt the flow of the show. The opening bout was a spotfest frenzy, Hakushi and Montoya put on a solid bout, and Jericho is always entertaining to watch. Although his match is short, it’s understandable considering it was Rey’s first match in six months.
See you next week for either the start of a new theme or the mixed bag format.
Any comments or discussion points drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org