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G. Badger

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I've been in a bit of a rut regarding wrestling. My momentum was lost once the weather got nice and I've been skateboarding more. My brain has switched over to "skate mode" but if you're like me it gets stuck on one thing and its tough to get unstuck sometimes. I find that watching old WWF, WCW or TNA helps. I don't know if it's the low expectations or just the familiarity but it seems to work pretty well. I put in my copy of Rise and Fall of WCW and started digging the Eddie Guerrero matches and what do you know!? I had my Eddie Guerrero set sitting out too. Its gotten super warm lately so skating is out of question until it cools down. Many of the PPV matches are on DVD and the TV matches are online. But a few of 'em are online as well. So I thought I would do a post on these bouts. All are probably in the Match Discussion Archives/Yearbooks. I probably don't have enough content to add to what those folks said but WTF. I'll say this, I'm watching these as an Eddie collection rather than in relation to what's going on that year. And we're talking about 1997. So if your looking to watch some classic Eddie, look no further!

Alex Wright vs. Eddie Guerrero (WCW Nitro • January 06, 1997) - Good, almost 10 minute long match. Haven't seen an Alex Wright match in forever but he was really good. Reminds me of Jimmy Rave in a way - technically proficient and unselfish in the ring. I enjoyed this. It got overshadowed with Syxx being a ringside with a ladder (teasing the PPV match below) and the announcers ignored it (per usual) but this was a very nice technical TV match. 

Syxx vs. Eddie Guerrero (nWo Souled Out,  Ladder Match • January 25, 1997) - Very good solid Ladder match. WCW never gave two shits about the smaller guys so this was not going to be the best it could have been. Nonetheless, it had some great work and Waltman may have been better than Eddie here. Or let's say he was a nice change of pace to the NJ Jrs. in WCW style. I really liked this match. 

Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko (WCW Saturday Night, • February 8, 1997) - A fantastic technical sprint to main event the show. Matches like this is why I tried to catch Saturday Night and Worldwide on the weekends. OK it goes to a draw but this was great! They didn't quite reach their top shelf moves but in away that's what was so refreshing. It was fought like a Jr. heavyweight match from 10 years earlier... simple but effective - and fast.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Jericho (WCW SuperBrawl • February 23, 1997) - Great match! Maybe the first big match between Eddie and Jericho? Chris still had his black and yellow WAR pants. This was Eddie facing a younger version of himself. Lots of good grappling, excellent suplexes & slams and surprisingly not a lot of acrobatics. Or well not a lot of dives...no Lionsault or Frog Splash for instance. But Eddie laid out a match to really make Jericho look fantastic. 

Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko (WCW Uncensored, No DQ • March 16, 1997) - A very good to great match. It was really technical with a nice little bit of Eddie attacking Dean's leg in creative ways. It didn't do much but Eddie did go for Malenko's clover leaf so you say he didn't totally give up on it. I think it was more 'move theft' though as Dean-o did the Frog Splash. This was a longer developed match and of course the finish was bullshit but it's a No DQ match so I suppose it works AND the baby face won. Still its shit like this that makes me glad I never bought a WCW pay per view! Wish we got a good finish still...

Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko (WCW Nitro • June 30, 1997) - I think Dean is a fantastic under 10 minute worker especially with Eddie. They just have so many spots and sequences in their arsenal that these shorter matches wrestle themselves. Does that make sense? Of course there's some outside influence to set up the finish but ah well.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Hector Guerrero (WCW Nitro • July 27, 1997) - Fast but fun match between brothers. Hector pulled out a couple old school moves that I'd like to see make a come back. 

Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Jericho (WCW Nitro • August 11, 1997) - Fun and exciting 5 minute match. Clean finish too...but WTF gives with having this be 5 minutes long? I'm mad about this 20+ years later :D

 Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Jericho (WCW Fall Brawl • September 14, 1997) - Oh man, I think this might be a better match than their first PPV bout. The pacing was more deliberate and the structure seemed more coherent. That's an obtuse way of saying that this bout told a better story. Eddie was pretty much a heel and wrestled that type of style when given the chance. So this was more of an American style but they still incorporated their Japanese and Mexican maneuvers. And everything just flowed from one thing to the next..plus a clean finish. I'm really tempted to call it a classic for that reason. I'll temper my enthusiasm and call it a Near classic.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Ultimo Dragon (WCW Nitro • September 15, 1997) - Sprint paced under 10 minute with a work-the-arm match that Dragon hard-sold which led to the finish. Great under 10 minute match. They have some others online but this looks like the longest/most developed from what I've seen.

Eddie Guerrero vs Rey Mysterio (Halloween Havoc, Mask vs Title October 26, 1997) - Yes, this lives up to the hype. The spots are just amazing even 20+ years later. I really appreciated the consistent back-work Guerrero did as well as Mysterio's creative escapes from those attacks. Everything was just so crisp and made sense with the story they were telling. I have no problem saying this is a classic Jr. match. 

Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero (WCW Nitro • November 10, 1997) - The TV version of the Halloween Havoc match. Shorter but still very thrilling. It was very good stuff. I always wish we got more Eddie in Japan but WCW really did have something special with their roster. 

Dean Malenko vs. Eddie Guerrero (WCW Nitro • November 17, 1997) - Almost 10 minutes long and excellent stream of consciousness wrestling. Again Dean & Eddie can do these flawless fast TV matches and its a shame that doesn't translate into the PPV shows.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko (WCW Starrcade • December 28, 1997) - A very good to great match but a step down from what Eddie was doing with other guys..and even Dean on TV. Much of their best stuff is speedy sequences and a feeling of an ongoing fight with counters or reversals. Here I think they had to fill time for the PPV and were slowing down in between moves and taking rest holds to sequence stuff out on the fly to buy time. It felt like something you'd see in WWF or the WCW heavyweights do. Looking at Wikipedia and I guess this was a highly purchased show but critically it stunk with this bout being the only one of value. That tells me that they asked these guys to go longer (second longest match which is NOT what you want) either because the card was bloated or per the Wikipedia page Nash no showed which was announced immediately after the match. Not the way to end this post but! is a pretty good summary of how WCW would decline. Their TV matches feel like PPV matches and vice versa. It's really weird.

 

This has been a blast. Thanks for reading!

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