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Loss, December 6, 2010 in November 1996
Ok, this match is still awesome. I don't understand the "it's too one-sided" complaints, because I thought it was laid out really well. This really shows the potential of the cruiserweight division. I know this was jdw's favorite WCW match of the 90s, but it seems like quite a few people have been down on it in recent years for being an extended squash. Watching it again, I don't get that at all.
My final verdict: Rey matches during this time period that aren't against Psicosis or Juventud have criticisms that I don't agree with at all.
I think the match is clearly worked as an extended squash to the point where I really have trouble seeing how someone could say it wasn't.
Having said that, it was a VERY good match anyhow. Dragon had great offense and Rey was sympathetic. They made it work.
I want to watch this again just so I can point out specifically all the offense Rey does get in. The match felt pretty typical in layout to me: early standoffs, followed by Dragon in control, followed by both guys trading moves and attempting pins, with Dragon finally winning it.
I may rewatch it soon. I remember being stunned when I watched it a couple of years back by how unbelievably one sided it was. The Hog Wild match between the two was very good, more even and featured an insane dive from Rey - but somehow was not as good a match.
Dragon looked real good in it but this was basically a squash and the announcers basically admitted it. Really liked the finish.
I always thought the match was very one sided. I know JDW and others have this ranked as one of the best WCW matches of the 90s.
I thought there were Dean matches that were more squashy in the sense of Dean controlling him, not really letting him get up and doing much in the control period until it was time for Rey busting out two minutes of flashy stuff for the finish. With this, Rey was regularly getting up to break the control, tossing out something before getting cut off and taken back down into control. That's *not* a squash.
I think we're too use to My Turn, Your Turn these days.
The "squash" feel may come from the fact Ultimo Dragon just threw bombs after bombs to Rey. He really beat the shit out of him. However, Rey kicked out of everything Ultimo threw his way, getting major babyface heat and support for every kick out and comeback. That's not a prolongued squash. And when Rey got on offense, he got extremely close to beating Ultimo, with great nearfalls that were believable. Finally, Ultimo did counter Rey once too many and got the win, but although Ultimo looked like a terrific offense machine, Rey also delivered quite a bit of impressive stuff and was never cut off systematically like he would by Dean at times. Great match and a definite WCW cruiserweight classic. Loved both guys outfits too.
(In comparison, the Malenko vs Psicosis match later on got exactly zero heat whatsoever, you could hear a pin drop. Of course, it was a technically competent but worked in a vaacum typical boring Malenko-on-control match, which showed that he wasn't over until he had an opponent the people cared about, and he wasn't able to make the people care on his own merits.)
I wouldn't describe this as a squash, but it was very one sided as the champ worked Rey over. Then it jumped onto a 50/50 stretch. Neither part of the match did much for me. The control segment wasn't all that focused with some debatable move selections. The offense later on was cutting edge, but the type of moves utilised here aren't something I find spectacular or exciting anymore. Wrestling for its era.
It's funny. I watched this today and one of my first thoughts is that it was a little too one-sided. This PPV was the first one I ever ordered due to my cable company being slow in offering PPV and so this was the first PPV match I saw "live." I've always loved it, but that was my thoughts watching it today.
This is an absolutely amazing offensive exhibition from Ultimo Dragon. In fact, it may be the best single man offensive runs in a single match. At the end of the day, it felt just like that an exhibition. I could not suspend my disbelief when Rey finally made his comeback because he just got his shit kicked in and now he is flying all around. If Rey peppered in more hope spots than I think this would be a different story, but as is it just came off as an Ultimo Dragon fireworks show. It was an incredible fireworks show, but I wouldn't call it a great match. All the stars for commentary, I have not laughed so hard in so long. This is a "draws down, mama hitting you with a switch" whupping from Dusty slayed me and then when they were outside, Dusty asking who is that guy in the red jacket and Hey Bob, turn around they are right behind you, I was dying.
J-Crown Champion Ultimo Dragon vs Rey Mysterio Jr.
World War III 1996
Rey Mysterio had become the centerpiece of WCW’s cruiserweight division, but had dropped the title back to Malenko at Halloween Havoc, the previous month. In this match, it is Rey’s job to cement Ultimo Dragon as the top heel of the cruiserweight division. This is the match where people rightfully so complain of Rey getting gobbled up by Dragon’s offense. Whereas, the Malenko match felt like a struggle where two men were trying to win a match with natural strategies, this match felt like an exhibition of Dragon’s spots. Don’t get me wrong, Dragon has some pretty nifty spots (he busts out the Giant Swing!!!), but never feels like he is trying to win. Instead, he is just trying to show-off all his cool moves. Here is a list of the cool moves:
This is the type of story that always falls flat with me. It is simply because there is no story. There is not a struggle. It is just an exhibition. It is fun visually, but not emotionally. In addition, Dragon did really use anything to set up his moves. Usually, he uses a ground game to weaken his opponents before he works his shit in. Instead, it just felt like pick up Rey and do his spots.
Rey be assertive. Where were your hope spots? The match was dying because of the babyface was getting totaled out there. It looked like match I had against my stuffed bear yesterday erm I mean 15 years ago. I totally mean 15 years ago.
Dusty was cracking me up throughout the match, but this quote not only makes me laugh, but is accurate portrayal of the match “This is pants-down momma spankin you whuppin!” Of course at the finish, Rey does make his comeback and hits his visually impressive spots like his somersault plancha. The finish was hot, but the how fuck would the finish not be hot when you have Dragon with his ZILLION moves and Rey flying around at a mile a minute. They had a perfect ending: Dragon is able to catch Rey Rey off the springboard and hit a fuckin Slingshot Powerbomb (BITCHIN~!) for the win.
I have watched this match a lot because I happen to love watching Ultimo Dragon’s offense, but it is not a very dramatic match and thus loses a lot of points in my book. ***1/2
This was definitely one-sided for awhile, but not to the degree that I had a big problem with it like I had with Dean at the '96 GAB. All that really happens is that the opening babyface shine sequence is skipped and we go right to the heat. Which is fine now--Rey's fully established and over and we all already know what he's about, now it's a matter of making the fans wait for it. Rey is a perfect opponent for reigning in Dragon's worst instincts, as Ultimo doesn't really have to worry about being flashy (though there is plenty of that here), and can instead just dominate and bully and throw bombs at Rey while Rey garners sympathy and Ultimo finally comes off as a killer. It's not the best WCW match of the '90s, cruiserweight or otherwise, but it's another great showcase match for Rey and a good performance out of an opponent that I normally hate. Fantastic finish, too. A great spot to begin with, and when Ultimo hit it, you knew Rey's energy bar was depleted and that was the end for him.
It never occurred to me that this could be an extended squash, as Rey gets in a good amount of signature offense and gets some really near falls, like others have said. I always looked at it like Ultimo Dragon getting a rare opportunity to work against a smaller opponent, and takes full advantage by wrestling like a Steiner Brother. That being said, seeing it as an extended squash I might actually like the match better. Out of their three matches in 96 this is the one where Dragon really asserts his power and lays in some stiff kicks and brutal, heavy offense throughout. Plus, Dragon has the 8 belts at this point, he better be dominant.
I recently rewatched this match the other day. I feel that it is one of the best PPV openers of all time. Dragon as the J-Crown champion was awesome, and he and Rey make for great opponents. There is a slew of amazing moves done in this match, and Dragon does a great job of dismantling Rey throughout. Rey has a few great comeback spots, and there are a few instances, where you thought he might just pull it out. Dragon's slingshot Powerbomb at the end is amazing, and it gets quite the pop from the crowd. This is just an overall great match, and the J-Crown was an awesome championship(s). Plus I really miss the old Rey and Dragon was always awesome as well, one of my favorites. ****1/2
Kick him in the belly welly, but don't get too tipsy-topsy babehhh. I mean, this is just wild. I don't mind a match being this one-sided, but the moves Dragon hits are such high impact moves. They look devastating. When Rey starts his comeback, he should be half-dead, but it's like nothing happened. Dusty cracked me up in this. Especially when Ono starts fanning Dragon and he says something like "yeah, that's definitely gonna help." I don't know, there's no story here - the moves are cool and fun, but there's nothing to connect to other than the "fireworks" as Sleeze said. Not only did I want some hope spots from Rey, but Ultimo could have dialed it down a little too without all the huge moves back to back to back to back. ***1/4. A match for its time is a good way to put it... I give props for how cool the "fireworks" did look.
I see the argument that this is too one sided but I thought Rey sprinkled in enough flash and Ultimo was so strong on top that it mostly excused the way this was structured as an overall match. The juniors have had a great opportunity to announce all of the PPV's at this point and this was a great effort by even Dusty. Ultimo looked real strong coming out of here. ****
The Ultimate Dragon! I definitely don't think this was an extended squash, Rey got too much offense after Ultimo's long period on top, but man Ultimo sure did spend a lot of time on top and threw out everything and the kitchen sink to keep it from getting boring. The match does get really good when Rey gets on offense, and does feel competitive. Good match overall, not really great.
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