Now that the British weather has decided to do the noble thing and return to drizzle laden grey skies and biting winds, making staying at home that little bit easier than having to resist the unseasonable warmth that this April has brought the British Isles, we thought it best to deliver some colour to cut through the mundanity of the skies outside.
Therefore, for today’s edition of SAHWW, we decided to feature the technicolor mayhem that was WCW’s outrageously exciting and lucha led cruiserweight division.
Whatever fun anyone wants to poke at WCW and how disastrously mismanaged it was, there’s no denying the one thing they delivered in spades – Lots of very, very good lucha things.
So, with the Pentagon releasing videos of UFO’s to the masses last night, here’s a few slightly more identifiable flying objects for you to brighten up a dull Tuesday evening…
DISCLAIMER: We’re not excluding the Halloween Havoc ’97 banger between Eddie and Rey to be contrary or cool or anything like that. It’s just that we’re assuming everyone’s already watched that match about 5,000 times already during lockdown and could maybe do with a few other options?
WCW Bash At The Beach ’96: Rey Misterio Jr vs Psicosis
These two spent the best part of 1995 trying to kill each other for Paul Heyman’s amusement in ECW and finally got to show the world what they can do when Eric Bischoff took them to Atlanta the following year. While Rey’s Halloween Havoc outing with Eddie Guerrero is deservedly recognised as the greatest cruiserweight match of all time by many, this doozy with another of his most seminal rivals isn’t far behind.
Also, we need more beach themed wrestling PPVs. There, I said it.
WCW Starrcade ’98: Cruiserweight Title Match: Billy Kidman (c) vs Rey Misterio Jr vs Juventud Guerrera
While this PPV is best remembered for Goldberg’s 10,871 match undefeated streak coming to an end at the hands of Kevin Nash and a taser in the main event, it should perhaps be remembered for the opening bout of the night, which earned four-and-a-half snowflakes from Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer. The loss of the half star was presumably because Kidman was still insisting on wrestling in a white vest and jean shorts, which is a look that has no place in the world of Lucha Libre. Sorry, Bill.
WCW SuperBrawl ’98: Mask vs Title Cruiserweight Championship Match: Chris Jericho (c) vs Juventud Guerrera
OK, so this may be the match where Juvi loses his mask, which really didn’t need to happen and by all accounts a lot of promises he was made about being compensated with pushes, money etc weren’t honoured, but even so, this is still a phenomenal effort by both men. Plus, just look at that frigging jacket Jericho is wearing to the ring. Absolutely extraordinary. He has always been Le Champion.
WCW World War III ’96/Spring Stampede ’97: Ultimo Dragon vs Rey Misterio Jr
Two cruiserweight OG’s and GOATs wrestling about 25 years ahead of their time for almost 15 minutes. Twice. Couldn’t pick between which one to feature so just went for both. Absolutely magic
WCW Fall Brawl ’97: Cruiserweight Title Match: Chris Jericho (c) vs Eddie Guerrero
Pre-WWE Y2J and Latino Heat going at it for the Cruiserweight Title feels more than a bit alien almost a quarter of a century after the fact, but it still feels as relevant as ever. As good now as it was in ’97. Fucking hell we miss Eddie Guerrero.
WCW Souled Out ’98: Chavo Guerrero Jr, Juventud Guerrera, Lizmark Jr & Super Calo vs El Dandy, La Parka, Psicosis & Silver King
This is ‘Good Lucha Things’ in it’s purest form. Eight absolute daddies of the genre throwing down at the opening of a PPV. WCW should have put all the belts on La Parka and kept them on him forever. Also, FUCK YES for Bret Hart’s favourite, El Dandy. Who are any of us to doubt him?
WCW Spring Stampede 1999: Blitzkreig vs Juventud Guerrera
No one really seems to know what happened to Blitzkreig, but one thing we know for sure is that this match he had with Juvi at Spring Stampede ’99 absolutely slapped.
WCW Starrcade 1996: J-Crown Championship vs WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match: Ultimo Dragon vs Dean Malenko
It’s fitting that about a million titles were on the line in this match, because both blokes absolutely deserve them all and more. Watch this match, then watch it about 35 more times and it’ll keep getting better. Genius. Utter genius.
WCW SuperBrawl 1992: Lightheavyweight Title Match: Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger (c) vs Flying’ Brian Pillman
A pre-cursor to the era which arrived four years later and every bit as iconic as the classics that happened between ’96 and ’99. Light years ahead of it’s time, in an age where ‘Cowboy’ Bill Watts was implementing his archaic over the top rope laws, forgetting that it wasn’t the mid ’80s any more and this definitely wasn’t the UWF. It was two of the greatest light heavyweights in the world lighting a fire in Watts’ ring, inspiring future generations to follow suit. And for that, we are eternally grateful. Thank you Brian. Thank you Liger.
Until tomorrow, stay safe, stay at home, watch wrestling.