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  1. I saw a few Steven Regal matches pop up as I was doing my Eddie Guerrero post. A 1996 Nitro match. I wanted to watch it but I'd wisely limited my little project to 1997. Here I found another cache of bouts all featuring Lord Steven Regal from WCW. Most if not all are from Nitro and all are on the 'tube. Let's see what we've: vs Chris Benoit (01/01/96) - Very good aggressive match. Looked like more potatoes than Idaho. Regal got dumped on the German suplex, it was great! Unique finish too. vs Eddie Guerrero (01/08/96) - Technical but very punishing match. That is to say Regal punished Eddie - European uppercuts, knee lifts, palm strikes and an arm trap dragon sleeper to name few. Eddie doesn't quit. Despite Regal's size he took the head scissor moves and the like very well. This was a really good bout. vs Dean Malenko (08/19/96) - Great under 10 minute technical wizard duel. I think this match was the best of the 3 Cruiserweight musketeer matches because they wrestled a faster pace. But speed isn't everything so perhaps it was the story of them both being evenly matched. Regal had size and strikes but Malenko was had a slight advantage from a technical standpoint. vs Chris Benoit (12/02/96) - Even stiffer and more violent than their January match. Hard way blood from shoot headbutts a couple minutes in forces the TV cameras to no longer show close-ups and even the fixed camera has to pull way back. It's a little too far back in my opinion but we can still see everything. like a clear version of a handheld match. They do not let up. It's only 6+ minutes but its pretty awesome. vs Dean Malenko (12/23/96) - Another technical battle. Regal seems to have an advantage most of the match but Dean uses his quickness to exploit openings. Then goes apeshit with elbows in the corner. We get a time limit draw (bull shit) in the end because they need plenty time for some NWO crap no doubt...however what they did was sweet. Psychosis vs. Lord Steven Regal (01/18/97 WCW Saturday Night) - Pretty much all Psychosis on offense and Regal does the reverse vertical suplex/brain buster and finishes the man off with the Regal Stretch. vs Rey Mysterio Jr. (02/10/97) - Good match but a little distracted by Regal taunting the group of fans the whole match. It did make Rey's hope spots seem more plausible as you could say Regal was not paying attention like he should.. perhaps taking Mysterio lightly. Actually I choose to believe that it was all intentional and we get a neat story out of this. Time limit draw for an under 10 minute match again. Maybe its to keep Regal's heat but he seems to be doing just fine on his own. vs Chris Jericho (03/31/97): Fucking idiots chanting U-S-A gets old watching these matches. I usually mute WCW matches since I hate 3 man commentary and WCW's especially. But I've been tempted to listen here & there especially for Tenay or Zbyszko's remarks. I guess Regal was getting heat though. Anyhow Jericho steam rolls Regal and gets the upset win. Regal then goes to town on Chris. vs Rey Mysterio (04/07/97): Competitive match but Regal refused to break the hold and gets DQ'd. Prince Iaukea (remember him?) comes out to make the save (he just beat Regal for the TV title) but gets stretched too. We're at the point in WCW where cruiserweight wrestling gets no time on TV. vs Chris Benoit (04/28/97) - Short match and in their usual style. Lots of work from the Greco Roman knuckle lock. They do the shoot headbutt spot again and no blood this time but the producers had them pull the camera back again just in case. Wimps! We get outside interference and is a DQ. vs Hector Garza (06/30/97) - Fun with Garza getting a ton of offense. I'm not sure if the top rope tornillo to the outside was a botch on Regal's part or it was more of a tope head butt thing. He should have just done a big cross body attack or double ax handle smash instead. Edit: OK sorry for my ignorance! Looks like it IS supposed to be a tornillo plan ha move but guessing Regal had no clue how to prepare for it. I watched a Nitro match with Garza vs Villano IV and it was very similar but watched some other clips and Garza hits it beautifully as a cross body move. vs Ultimo Dragon (07/22/97): Quick but rather fiercely fought match. Dragon was really laying in his kicks. Nice little match... again very short but really enjoyable for what it was. vs Alex Wright (09/15/97): Whoa! They actually had some time to work a match. Good wrist lock stuff, very carnival, and a nice clean finish. Fun stuff! w/ Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero & Dean Malenko (11/03/97): Odd tag teams but we get the great action you want in a very small dose. Its more of a Rey showcase than anything but good fun. As with most things WCW, it peters out by the end. Still, Regal and his opponents were able to work with the time given. The best stuff is from '96 with the Three Amigos. I highly recommend checking those out. Personally I liked the Malenko matches best. The time limit draw with Rey is very worthwhile too. Thanks for reading and stay safe!
  2. 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 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!
  3. Eddie Guerrero vs Edge - Smackdown! 9/24/02 No DQ I have watched this match twice previously and neither time to leave much of an impression. Now I am going to record my apathy so I don't have to go back and watch it again. This is one of the most blatant carry jobs I have ever seen. I am usually the worst at noticing that or think people are exaggerating, but Eddie literally set up Edge for every single one of his big spots from the monkey flip to the powerslam to the Electric Chair to final Edgecution off the ladder this was the Eddie show through and through. I loved the amount of effort Eddie gave. I love his energy. It is totally infectious. I don't know how someone wrestling fan or not could not smile when Eddie is on camera. He is so charismatic. He was doing too much in this match and nothing really stuck in your craw. Early on the fans were really restless and he thought movement was the solution, but he was doing his offense and then bumping too so there was no real sense of story or momentum. He tosses out a superplex and then here is me taking an Electric Chair. It could be also that crowd was just waiting for the weapons to be brought out. Eddie looked mean and he was laying his stuff in but just way, way too much. It would have helped if Edge could contribute something. He is so fucking bland. Edge is the definition of mediocre. The spot of the match is clearly the Sunset Flip Powerbomb off the ladder. It was so weird not hearing "This Is Awesome" to follow that spot. It would be such an obvious trigger spot. I liked the paucity of highspots after that big move, it was Edge's counter and finish that took us home. That minimalism would be perfect nowadays. Definitely one of the most overrated match in WWE canon. Finish run and Eddie's effort brings this above average. I have no idea why this considered a WWE classic. ***
  4. This is a decent introduction for the feud’s first match. This is still a battle between two friends, two WWE Tag Team champions in fact. After Chavo Guerrero planted some resentment in the mind of Eddie towards Rey Mysterio, as well as some miscommunication leading to Eddie lose against Doug Basham or Rey to take victories away from Eddie inadvertently in tag matches, they are full force into the feud. They started the match like you'd expect these two to start. Mysterio trying to move fast and hit an aerial move with Eddie keeping Rey close via a knuckle lock or taking him to the ground. Both Guerrero and Mysterio took big bumps early on, Rey landing big on the back body drop to the outside floor and Eddie went flying across the ring on a monkey flip. There was a nice sounding thud to the bump as well. Eddie Guerrero spent a ton of this match on top. He hit some lovely tiltawhirl backbreakers but mostly it was Guerrero wasting time aimlessly locking on holds - one of which was a really bad looking STF with Eddie not even attempting to squeeze on the head with it. Although, I liked Tazz’s call here with him saying that the move could just be a base for him to do anything he wanted, not just the STF. The match had its magic moments when Rey was on offence and they were going back and forth. The seated senton attempt into the powerbomb is always an awesome spot and it was in this match as well. Everything else was just kinda empty. The last time I watched this match, I wasn't really into it that much because of the reasons stated here but the big moments were still fun and it told the story well. However, it was more of a story suited to Smackdown not WrestleMania. I can take comfort in that they have more matches than this. **1/2
  5. Eddie Guerrero was one of my favorite wrestlers that I never really saw enough of. I caught him sporadically in WCW and tuned out the WWF very shortly after the Radicalz stuff. I always wanted to see his ECW and Japan work. Even more appealing about his time in Japan was that he wrestled in costume as Black Tiger! I was and still am a big fan of the NJ Jr. Style. It really was comparable in match quality to what the AJ guys were doing at the time albeit shorter in duration. It doesn't get the love too much anymore but, Eddie was one of the masters. Here I take a look at 1996 versus his fellow masters. vs Jushin Liger - 2/3/96 **** innovative holds & moves but should have been longer with more of a build. Eddy used his finishers and Liger busts out a few moves including the fisherman buster & a top rope move. But the end felt flat. At least one more sequence would have warranted a win. I think Yamada's tumor kept it limited perhaps? (Note: I think finish sets up their Best of the Super Jr. Finals match & the Benoit match) vs Shinjiro Ohtani - 6/5/96 ****1/4 strong psychology focusing on Ohtani's leg w/ Eddy getting creative & heelish and a nice build. Similar ending as above in that it was a bit quick to get the win. The intensity was good so the extra 1/4 star was awarded... vs Chris Benoit - 6/11/96 ****3/4 Need to rewatch this one but, it was pretty good but Benoit locked that sleeper on way too many times. Also after having seen many Black Tiger/Eddie matches, the moves that caught my attention at first glanced seemed to have been standard spots for Eddie at the time like the slingshot somersault senton & alley-oop frankensteiner whip...which diminishes the value really. Rewatch: I'd give it ****1/4 because Eddie uses the ramp to his advantage and there are some good counters but, still Benoit (who I think was in full WCW mode) locked the sleeper on 4 or 5 times and I can never remember him or anyone winning with a sleeper...the other problem being it's difficult to counter or parry. So we had to watch Eddie crawl to the ropes each time and to be honest it loses it effect and diminishes believability. Re-re-watch: I totally get the greatness of this match. If you're watching too much of one style or one person, your standards start getting way too high. Stuff that took place over years, one will place side by side and make unfair comparisons. The reason that doesn't happen w/ my AJPW watching is that I have quite a bit that tells the story.(Note: Oh no it happens there too!) Alot of other promotions don't tell the long story but, it helps to break up your veiwing to compensate...to simulate the passage of time. Saying that I "get" this one was due to reading the 1996 yearbook on PWO.com. Benoit slaps the sleeper hold on because anytime he lets Eddy get loose he'll counter his offense. It's almost like Tiger Mask/Dynamite Kid. Eddy does a fantastic job selling here...in the league of Kawada or Liger. Staggering, waiting to catch his breath, losing balance etc. Also the genius of this match was the fake-out pacing. I mean this match was always memorable but, I thought in a bad way. I realize now that this pacing and inclusion of sleepers that killed the exceitement & momentum of the match were what makes it stand out. They provided a false build, a dive sequence that usually shows the start of the finish was killed here. It was really something fresh & different. Everything else was perfect too- execution, stiffness (what few chops there were), etc. I have a hard-time giving 5 stars to the junior style matches when compared to other men's matches like AJPW or Jr. style like AJW...I'm gonna get real close here though. Eddy was probably never better than here. vs Jushin Liger - 6/12/96 ****1/2 This match had solid psychology with the opening mat wrestling. The holds locked on not only led way to interesting spots early on but also provided depth to the match later. Nothing spectacular but certainly enriching to the match overall. The most surprising moment was when in towards the end when Liger went after Black Tiger's arm with a flying knee and followed up with a jujuigatame. Nice touch. I was also impressed that top shelf finishers were brought out. The match showed their equality, versitility, & tenacity. I must say that the first "Ooh!" of the match came from a very stiff Liger shotei. It's nice to see sitffness in the Jr. matches...and all of those things made this a must see match. Maybe one of Eddie's most solid matches with the help of Liger to keep him from getting into a routine that he can slip into with Benoit & Malenko. Re-Watch: Just a flawless bit of wrestling & everything stated earlier is true. The only thing keeping this from being perfect is the story wasn't that compelling & Eddy didn't necessarily sell the arm as well as he should of until the end where Liger gave a last ditch shot after it. He was like, "Oh right, the arm's hurtin'." Otherwise pretty killer stuff. vs Great Sasuke - 6/17/96 ***1/4: I've seen this given 2 stars and in light of Eddie & Sasuke's body of work this would be understandable. However, after seeing 10 Black Tiger matches, I found this one to be a breath of fresh air as it relied little on Eddie's spots and sequences. Due to illness, he wasn't going to be doing any flying or in honestly any bumps so they had to compensate with matwork and the notion of him dominating (ala Super J-Cup Liger v. Sasuke). In fact, the ratio of offensive moves was 3 to 1 in terms of Eddie. He did a good job on the ground as did Sasuke but, there was little follow-up later in the match & Sasuke probably isn't familiar with the concept of selling an injury other than shaking the limb after he gets up. All that said, it was an interesting change of pace but not required viewing. vs Shinjiro Ohtani - 9/16/96 ***1/2 Pretty good for while it lasted. Ohtani came blasting out of the gate like he was Stan Hansen. Unfortunately he injured his shoulder as if he'd been fighting against Hansen. The match had it's cool spots and Ohtani kicked as much ass as he could and Eddie was pretty good as well. But they had to go home early...it may have been for the IWGP Jr. belt too but, Shinjiro didn't stick around to find out. He scored the win and headed toward the back to get checked out. Their 1st meeting on this tape was pretty great and this one was looking to be just as good or better but, thems the breaks.
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3vGhJD-GXs For a bit of backstory, the Revival show in 2002 is a pretty big moment in British wrestling, as it was the start, along with British Uprising later in the year, of the initial revival (sorry about the pun) of a scene that was basically dead for the 1990s and that started an initial upswing for the industry in the UK that lasted until about 2005/06, when it slipped back into the doldrums for a few years until the renaissance that we've had over the last few years. The King of England Tournament was a one off show designed to showcase what British wrestling could achieve and came at a time when because of the hotness of the WWF(E) and coming off the Attitude era, wrestling was massive in the UK to where WWF programming had been on Channel 4 in 2000 which was a channel that every house in the country got. The popularity was such that there was a wrestling radio show on a station called talkSPORT and it was the two hosts Tommy Boyd and Alex Shane that came up with the idea of this show. The goal was trying to put British wrestling back into the mainstream and show that it could be a viable TV product, something which outside of the WOS show on ITV at New Year in 2016/17 still hasn't been achieved. For a much better write up of all the history check out Greg Lambert's excellent book, Holy Grail. The event was filmed at the Crystal Palace indoor arena which was a much bigger venue that any UK show was being held in at the time and it was shown on a cable channel called Bravo, which had been the UK home of ECW and WCW towards the end of their runs. Watching the footage back, the set up and presentation is obviously not as slick or well produced as a lot of shows you'll see today, but I think the production and attendance is pretty good considering the budget that was being worked with. The show was centered around a one night 8 man tournament to be crowned 'King of England' which is actually the format that I might have gone with for the WOS show last year. Most of the competitors were UK guys, with the more well known names being the trio that helped build the scene: Jonny Storm, Jody Fleisch and Doug Williams, along with veterans like Drew McDonald and Robbie Brookside, but also intriguingly Eddie Guerrero during his time away from the WWE. This match is one of the semi-finals. For the time shown (about 10 mins) this is fun, although you can tell there are a couple of rough edits for time constraints that are a little jarring. Doug was the most technically sound guy on the UK scene but you could sense some nerves in his performance as there are a couple of rough moments. but such is the talent of both guys that they are not harmful to the match. Some of those moments may also come from Eddie not being used to the small FWA ring that is being used. There's not a particularly strong story to the match, but it's fun watching Eddie use his technical wrestling when in there with someone so proficient in the UK style and so sound himself in Doug. Doug is able to use his power while you can tell Eddie is the more wily and experienced of the two. The end comes when Guerrero goes for a cradle and it's blocked by Williams for the pinfall. I think this works nicely, as it shows Doug's smarts and technical skills, but is also a finish that works for not looking like they are pushing the home town guy too hard considering the reputation/status of Eddie (***)
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