WWE Vintage Collection Report (05/30/10)

WWE Vintage Collection Report: May 30th 2010
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund

Welcome aboard to the first of several weeks worth of Cruiserweight themed shows. Lucha masks at the ready? Good. “Cruiserweight Champion,” Okerlund opens the show with the defunct title slung over his shoulder.

NWA Wrestle War: May 7th 1989
The Great Muta w/Gary Hart vs Doug Gilbert
Announcers for this match are Jim Ross and Bob Caudle. Muta was a few months into his NWA tenure and still undefeated. Gilbert was a last minute sub for the Junkyard Dog. Gilbert interrupts Muta’s ceremonial green misting ritual and is kicked out of the ring and posted. Back inside, Gilbert ducks under a kick to land a cross body and clothesline. Muta rakes the eyes to gain control and deliver a handspring backelbow in the corner. Gilbert elbows out of a nerve hold to deliver a tackle and faceplant. Muta goes to the eyes once more then executes a backbreaker. Doug’s older brother “Hotstuff” Eddie Gilbert appears to play cheerleader. Gilbert avoids a moonsault, but Muta lands on his feet, dropkicks Gilbert outside and lands a pescado. After another backbreaker, Muta hits the moonsault at the second time of asking to pick up the 1-2-3 in a nice, short three minute showcase. Winner: THE GREAT MUTA. Post match, Muta sprays red mist from his mouth.

WWF Prime Time Wrestling: April 18th 1988
Two out of Three Falls Match
The Islanders w/Bobby Heenan vs The Killer Bees
This match was originally taped and scheduled for the March 12th 1988 edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event, but due to time constraints only the first fall aired. Prime Time showed the match in its entirety a month later with Ron Trongard and Lord Alfred Hayes announcing. Heenan is quite the antagonist at ringside, sporting a bee keepers helmet and twirling a dog collar around – the latter being in reference to the Islanders stealing Matilda the Dog who was the mascot of the British Bulldogs. The Bulldogs and Islanders were embroiled in a feud heading into and beyond WrestleMania IV. Okerlund explains beforehand the reason for this match being featured. “The Mid 80s landscape was dominated by larger than life personalities known more for their power and strength than speed and agility. Although not technically Cruiserweights this match features two tag teams not afraid to take it to the air in an effort to secure victory.”

All four brawl in the corner to begin. The Bees work over Tama’s arm, then do the same to Haku. Tama saves his partner from an abdominal stretch by sneak-attacking B. Brian Blair to switch the tide. Tama taunts the Bulldogs as the Islanders utilise fast tags to wear down Blair. The Bees are able to switch after Haku mistakenly charges into Tama. Jumping Jim Brunzell goes after Haku with punches, a legdrop and high knee, before catching him in a sleeper. Tama attacks from behind, baiting Blair to re-enter. As the referee gets rid of Blair, Tama holds Brunzell for a well-placed Haku crescent kick to give the Islanders the first fall.

The Islanders continue to cheat in the second fall as Tama chokes Brunzell with the tag rope. Tama misses a splash from the second rope, allowing Blair to tag in and give both Islanders a backbodydrop and noggin knocker. As Tama lifts Blair for an atomic drop, Brunzell blind tags in and meets Tama with a dropkick, just as Blair clotheslines Haku. It’s one fall apiece.

The Bees try to wrap things up quickly, but Tama kicks out of a rollup. Tama telegraphs a Brunzell dropkick by hanging onto the ropes. Tama suplexes, while Haku dishes out a dropkick. Brunzell gives Tama an inverted atomic drop, but can’t follow up as he’s in the wrong corner. Haku and Brunzell wipe each other out with clotheslines. Blair comes in and slams both Islanders. Blair counters a Tama slam with a rollup off the ropes. Brunzell tries to intercept Haku’s interference, but gets cut off by the referee, allowing Haku to level Blair with a clothesline to pick up the deciding fall. Brunzell is too late to make the save. The referee has screwed the Bees over twice! Winners: THE ISLANDERS.

The match was fine, but there was absolutely nothing “Cruiserweight” about it to fit in with this show’s theme. Ironically this sums up WWE’s current mindset perfectly with regards to highflyers, as in they just don’t get it, which is a shame. I’d rather have seen a Dynamite Kid, Owen Hart, 1-2-3 Kid, Jerry Lynn, Flyin’ Brian etc match in place of this.

WWE Smackdown: July 22nd 2002
Rey Mysterio vs Chavo Guerrero
This was Rey’s long awaited WWE debut against his former WCW rival. Chavo wasn’t doing much of anything at the time. Michael Cole and Tazz are on commentary. Rey shows off his quickness to flip out of an armlock, slip into a sunset flip from Chavo’s shoulders, then leap up and deliver a twisting headscissors. Tazz puts over the sacredness of Rey’s mask. Chavo turns the tide by catching a baseball slide and turning it into a release german suplex. Chavo suplexes Rey onto the ropes then applies an abdominal stretch. Rey foils a pumphandle slam by falling on top, before Chavo meets a cross body attempt with a dropkick. Chavo continues to focus on Rey’s gut by throwing Rey underneath the bottom rope to the floor. Back inside, Chavo delivers a double knee gutbuster. Rey comes back with a dropkick, baseball slide, corkscrew plancha and a top rope seated senton. Rey counters a suplex with a bridging cover for a nearfall. Chavo nails a Gory special, but Rey kicks out. Rey gets sent front first to the corner. Chavo charges into a boot, Rey drop toeholds him into the ropes and hits the 619 (or “six nineteen” according to Tazz) quickly followed by a springboard hurracanrana (West Coast Pop) for the 1-2-3. Winner: REY MYSTERIO. This was a great debut match for Rey, in addition to good psychology used by Chavo in working over Rey’s gut. Rey was fast-tracked into an exciting short-term program with Kurt Angle which led to a fantastic opening matchup at the following month’s SummerSlam.

WCW Fall Brawl: September 14th 1997
WCW Cruiserweight Title: Chris Jericho vs Eddie Guerrero
Jericho was one month into his title reign, while Eddie had recently returned following a torn pec. This match took place in two rings to accommodate for the Team NWO vs Team WCW “War Games” Main Event. Announcers Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Bobby Heenan put over the undercard guys using the two rings to their advantage.

Both cancel early takedown attempts with headscissor variations. Eddie complains that Jericho tugged his hair, before giving the referee a physical demonstration. Jericho tackles, so Eddie picks an ankle to tie up Jericho’s feet and pull his hair. Jericho armdrags free and moody Eddie pounds the mat in frustration. Eddie offers no clean break from a lockup and works over Jericho in the corner. Jericho floats over from an irish whip to hit a couple of armdrags and apply a fujiwara armbar. Jericho places his legs across Eddie’s torso to keep the hold applied, so Eddie uses his feet to get to the ropes and escape. Jericho reverses a rollup then goes back to the armbar heading into our first break.

Eddie uses elbows to escape Jericho’s grip. Jericho elevates Eddie throat first across the top rope and hits a lionsault. Eddie leaps out onto the apron and hangs Jericho up on the top rope to turn the tide. With Jericho resting in the ropes, Eddie zones in on the back with a couple of dropkicks. After favouring his pec, Eddie applies a chinlock with his knees wedged into Jericho’s back. Eddie delivers a backdrop, modified surfboard/dragon sleeper combo, before switching to a normal surfboard. Jericho gets up and twists into a reversal, so Eddie quickly drops to his back, pushing Jericho away with his feet. Eddie lands a rolling senton across Jericho’s back from the apron to take us into our final break.

Eddie misses a dropkick, allowing Jericho to rally with a series of corner clotheslines. Jericho crotches Eddie as he tries to walk the ropes, then nails a springboard dropkick. Jericho goes for a powerbomb off the apron, instead opting to drop Eddie across the top rope. As Jericho falls to the floor, Eddie rebounds on top of Jericho to send the champion into the guardrail. Back inside, Eddie misses a rolling senton, allowing Jericho to hit a release german suplex. Eddie counters a powerbomb with a Rock Bottom. Eddie runs into a powerslam. 1-2-no. Jericho throws Eddie to the mat and hits a spin kick for another nearfall. Jericho flapjacks Eddie, who then reverses a rollup for two. Jericho holds onto Eddie after delivering two powerbombs and places him on the top rope. Eddie turns a Jericho superplex into a brainbuster in mid-air then comes off the top rope with a frog splash to get the 1-2-3. Winner: EDDIE GUERRERO. This was an excellent match.

There’ll be more high-flying offerings from the Cruiserweight archives next week. A Dynamite Kid match would be nice. I’m just saying! Laters. Shaun.

Comments/praise/feedback/criticism/discussion points please direct to shaunmb1@hotmail.com.