WWE Vintage Collection Report: June 20th 2010
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
Welcome aboard. We conclude our Cruiserweight retrospective with a squash, six man chaos, a Perfect outing and a dream match Main Event. Intrigued? Good, let’s begin.
WWF Wrestling Challenge: July 24th 1994
Owen Hart w/Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart vs Matt Hardy
Okerlund puts over Hardy beforehand saying he’s enjoyed “incredible success in his own right.” Here, he was just a young, hungry jobber sporting tights that were half lime green, half white and a crew cut. On the other hand, Owen had just won King of the Ring and was in the middle of his marquee feud with brother Bret. The crowd rabidly chant “we want Bret” throughout this bout. Announcers Ted DiBiase and Stan Lane spend the match hyping the upcoming Bret vs Owen Steel Cage match at SummerSlam and Bret’s forthcoming title match against Bob Backlund (this was the match that made Backlund snap). Owen easily takes Hardy down to begin. Hardy reverses a hammerlock, Owen elbows free, tackles and counters a backbodydrop with a neckbreaker. After a running spike in the ropes, Anvil taunts Hardy, asking if it hurts. Hardy escapes a chinlock, only to run into a clothesline. Owen stays in control with a backbreaker and gutwrench suplex. Hardy busts out a leapfrog and springboard moonsault over Owen, but Owen immediately connects with a spinning heel kick for the 1-2-3. After the match, Owen places the Sharpshooter on Hardy before stuffing pink Hitman shades down his mouth. DiBiase makes light of Owen stealing his gimmick. Hardy would get squashed by Owen once again a little over a year later as he continued to pay his dues. This was a good squash, with Owen giving Hardy a little leeway and not completely annihilating him. Winner: OWEN HART.
WCW Superbrawl Revenge: February 19th 2001
Jamie Knoble vs Evan Karagias vs Shane Helms vs Shannon Moore vs Jimmy Yang vs Kaz Hayashi
Tony Schiavone and Scott Hudson are the announcers at what proved to be WCW’s penultimate PPV. Knoble had just been kicked out of the Jung Dragons stable that included Yang and Hayashi, while the same had happened with Karagias, who had been a part of the Three Count group alongside Helms and Moore. We’re under elimination rules and the winner would receive a Cruiserweight title shot against Chavo Guerrero Jnr. Helms had replaced the “injured” Billy Kidman in this match.
The action is fast and furious as we join it in progress. Karagias takes out Yang with a top rope cross body while Hayashi reverses a Knoble german suplex into a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Knoble counters a Yang powerbomb into an armdrag then blocks a hiptoss out of the ring by placing his feet on the ropes and armdragging Yang once more. Knoble gives Yang a twisting neckbreaker. Karagias and Yang brawl around the ring. Hayashi is reluctant to help either man and steps away from the apron. Both go back and forth until Karagias hits a full nelson slam and springboard splash. Yang recovers to give Karagias a jawbreaker. Helms puts the boots to former ally Karagias. Yang gets a quick rollup on Helms for two. Helms and Moore give Yang a TKO. Hayashi saves his stable mate. Yang plants Moore with a tornado DDT, before Hayashi takes on anyone in sight. Karagias perches Hayashi in the corner. Hayashi crotches Karagias to prevent a superplex, but can’t prevent Helms from executing the move. Yang, Moore, Karagias and Knoble all miss top rope dives. Yang matrix flips over Knoble, who then takes an enziguiri kick from Hayashi. A Helms superkick takes Yang over the top rope. Moore heel kicks Hayashi into a Helms release german suplex. A game of can you top this now occurs with Helms, Karagias, Hayashi, Moore and Knoble all nailing planchas, dives and moonsaults onto one another on the floor.
During a commercial break, Yang eliminates Karagias with a neckbreaker. We return to see Knoble pin Yang after a piledriver. Knoble takes the fight to Three Count, but Moore meets him on the top rope to deliver a fameasser and eliminate him. Moore holds Hayashi in a backslide as Helms delivers a guillotine legdrop. Three Count deliver a TKO then implode when Moore breaks up a Helms vertebreaker with a fameasser. Hayashi goes to kick Moore off of a cover but accidentally hits the referee. Helms breaks up Hayashi’s cover, only to go after Moore himself. Moore catches a superkick attempt to kick Helms in the groin. Moore and Hayashi form a brief alliance to put the boots to Helms.
Hayashi casts Moore aside by tossing him to the floor, and has things in hand as he gives Helms a backbreaker and blindly heads to the top rope. Moore switches places with Helms to avoid a Hayashi moonsault. Helms thanks Moore by breaking up a fameasser attempt and giving him the Nightmare on Helms Street (roll the dice DDT) to eliminate him. Hayashi goes after Helms’s knee with kicks. Both block each other’s moves until Hayashi turns a Nightmare into a german suplex for two. Helms ducks a kick, drops Hayashi face first across his knee and hits a swinging neckbreaker. Hayashi rolls through from a top rope Helms sunset flip to blast him with a kick. 1-2-no. Both elbow free from german suplex attempts, with Helms finally putting Hayashi down for good with the vertebreaker. 1-2-3. Phewph! This was a very entertaining spotfest and the Cruiserweights were undoubtedly one of the last, if not the last shining lights of the WCW era. Winner: SHANE HELMS.
WWF Prime Time Wrestling: November 15th 1988
Mr Perfect Curt Hennig vs Sam Houston
Okerlund notes Perfect didn’t have to be over 6”5, 300lbs to be considered a future world champion. This was one of Perfect’s early WWF appearances, with his real name tagged onto the end of his gimmick. Yet to have entrance music, Perfect is sporting regular trunks instead of a singlet. Sam Houston (brother of Jake “The Snake” Roberts) is doing a cowboy gimmick. Announcers are Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred Hayes, who hype Survivor Series 1988 which was held nine days later. Houston works over an arm in the early part. Both block hiptosses until Perfect drills Houston with a clothesline and pounds away. Perfect dishes out a kneelift and slingshot into the bottom rope. Houston hiptosses free from an abdominal stretch, before fighting his way out of a corner. Houston reverse an irish whip but runs into a backelbow. Houston kicks Perfect in the head, then takes him down with a flying forearm. Perfect manages to catch Houston in mid-air and hang him up on the top rope, before picking up the win with the (yet to be named) Perfect plex. 1-2-3. This was a very formulaic matchup and a considerable change of pace from our last bout. Perfect would drop the Curt Hennig moniker in early 1989. Winner: MR PERFECT CURT HENNIG.
WCW Starrcade: December 29th 1996
Jushin Thunder Liger vs Rey Mysterio Jnr
The quartet of Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Dusty Rhodes and Mike Tenay cover this “Dream bout.” Rey leads a USA chant to start. Code of Honor is adhered to which is always nice to see. Rey utilises an early takedown and both stretch each other’s arms a little. Rey springs up from a tackle to be met by a Liger dropkick. Liger stays in control with a slam and delayed suplex, before elevating Rey high into the air flapjack style. Liger’s amazing two month recovery from a recent brain tumour is touched upon by the announcers, as he gives Rey a powerbomb. Rey counters another flapjack attempt with a headscissors takeover. A second headscissors tips Liger outside. Liger avoids a dive as Rey puts the brakes on with a 619 to keep himself in the ring.
We return from our final commercial break to see Rey get caught with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Liger applies a surfboard into a faceplant. Rey manages to counter a suplex with a release german suplex. Rey follows up with a DDT, springboard moonsault and dropkick. Rey nips up to sit on a camel clutch. Rey tries another springboard, but Liger catches him in mid-air with a dropkick. Liger delivers a release german suplex and applies a half crab. Rey gets to the ropes, so Liger stays on the leg with a dragonscrew legwhip. Liger gestures he wants to break the leg. Liger hits Rey in the corner with a somersault cannonball kick. Rey monkey flips Liger out of the corner, lands a spin kick, but gets perched on the ropes after attempting a second monkey flip. Rey kicks Liger away then manages to hook a headscissors takedown from the high risk district. Rey flips over the ropes onto the apron, jumps over a baseball slide, dropkicks Liger through the ropes and hits a picture perfect asai moonsault from the top rope. Rey gets back in at a nine count, and stops the referee’s count. He doesn’t want a countout victory. Rey drapes Liger across the ropes to hit a guillotine legdrop. 1-2-Liger gets his foot on the ropes. Liger gets dropped with a spinebuster, but rolls out of the way of a springboard legdrop. Liger showboats as a diving headbutt finds its mark from the top rope. Liger pushes Rey off the top rope to the floor. Liger climbs up top as Rey gets back on the apron. Rey aborts a hurracanrana, flipping back onto his feet, as Liger jumps down. Liger stuns Rey with another rolling kick then hits a Liger bomb (powerbomb) for the 1-2-3. Rey kicks out just a fraction too late. Winner: JUSHIN THUNDER LIGER. This was a good match and a fitting end to our Cruiserweight focus.
On a personal note, during the last four weeks, some real crackers have been showcased. Okay there have been a few red herrings, but on the whole the majority of the action has been top notch. A lot of the high flying pioneers have been shown. Hopefully, if they decide to do another Cruiserweight focus, some Tiger Mask and Dynamite Kid footage would be awesome. Regarding future monthly themes, you couldn’t go wrong with a Tag Team focus. It may even re-ignite some interest and more thought into today’s Tag Team ranks, which is being severely underutilised. Just a thought.
Okerlund closes out the show by promising to continue to scour the WWE vaults for our viewing pleasure. See you next week as we return to our mixed bag format. Shaun.
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