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[1999-03-15-WCW-Nitro] Rey Misterio Jr vs Billy Kidman

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Got ****1/4 in the WON and while I wouldn’t go that high that wasn't terribly off. The crowd was losing it throughout. Rey and Kidman both bust out all of their big highspots and there’s a wow factor. Personal side story is that my stepdad stopped watching wrestling in 1988 because he thought it got too stupid and that there wasn’t enough wrestling. He loved this match when he watched Nitro with me one week and kept going on about how no one can say those guys aren’t great athletes. That finishing move was mind-blowing and they get a standing ovation. Also, Rey wins the cruiser title, which means he is right back where he started and they gave up on the Giant Killer push after three weeks. WCW couldn't seem to realize this is the type of thing that was their strength, not these stupid and poorly produced NWO vignettes.

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Really good match here, this is an all-action bomb throwing Cruiserweight sprint. No killed time at all here, they work a super fast pace and start throwing out big offense right away. The crowd is super into it especially toward the end. Highlights include a great looking (and great sold) dropkick from Kidman to counter a Rey springboard, a cool counter of a powerslam into a roll up and a big move to end it. The ending moments are really dramatic and the crowd was reacting like it was a big-time main event.

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Rey is right at home here. While it was nice that he got a push as the Giant killer, It's nice to see him back where he can have good matches. Kidman held his own too. I love the powerbomb into X factor Rey does.

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This could be one of the better sub 10 minutes of all time and really feels like the type of match people think of when Nitro "always" had great cruiser matches. The action was relentless and the spots were just great with the commentary and fans becoming more invested as time goes on. Rey could have really brought something extra to the Cruiser title with his mask if given the chance. Glad to see this highlight amid a bunch of awful stuff in WCW. ****

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WCW Crusierweight Champion Billy Kidman vs Rey Mysterio - Nitro 3/15/99

 

Billy Kidman, intelligent counterwrestler, strikes again! Hell, I loved how committed he was to the Shooting Star Press. Any chance, he got he was climbing those ropes to hit it. Who cares that I missed before. If the bell has not rung, I am trying again. I liked that strategy a lot. It is what brought you to the dance, don't deviate. This is a ball out affair with them flying around hitting each other, but it always feels like they are going for a win. Kidman has some well-timed dropkicks to keep Rey at bay and hit a plancha or a spinebuster when the time is right. It is did get a little move trade-y in the middle. Rey has some impressive highspots, but unlike Juventud he goes have the big bomb offense to really excel in this type of match in my opinion. Juvy has the chops, brainbusters and Juvy Driver that really feel like damage is done. Rey has a breath-taking array of hurricanaranas that are best suited from when he is coming from behind and looking to create space. Basically, Rey is at his best when he can sell and his matches breathe. It is a very fun and entertaining match, but falls short of the Juvy November 98 match in my opinion. Kidman is not great, but he is definitely better than I remembered. ***1/2

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A Short Attention Span special--the action is good but they seem desperate to get to the finishing stretch right from the beginning and I didn't feel that it was totally earned...at first. Two things got me to forget about that. One--and this is not something that was said often about WCW--I *loved* the direction when Kidman attempts the first SSP, as the camera follows him up to the top turnbuckle and Rey goes out of frame. Kidman flies off, and we don't find out until he hits the mat that Rey has moved. Then Rey hits the springboard rana for a HOT 2-count that had me totally biting. I was with them from then on, and the finish is great, creative, and suitably match-ending no matter how many minutes it's gone. The point about the big reset button being hit on Rey's push is well-taken, and Zbyszko's comment at the very end, "You can call him the Cruiserweight Killer now," is definitely the most unintentionally revealing of the night.

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