David D. here with another retro review. You should know the drill by now: Follow me on Twitter @DavidDTSS. Hug your mom and believe in the Shield or something. You can check out the rest of our Vintage Best and Worst reports here.
Now, on to 90s wrestling things!
Best: Things Happening With Cruiserweights
Thank goodness. I honestly was running out of ways to write about flippy guys being flippy for matches that didn’t really mean anything. Sure, Ultimo Dragon and Juventud can put on great matches to begin a pay-per-view but how many times can I say, “hey, these guys had a good match with no context”? Now, there’s actually something going on with these great wrestlers. Not much, but something.
It’s amazing what just the minimum amount of backstory can do for wrestling. It’s the same principle that runs NXT: let talented people go out there and be talented but they need a reason to fake fight. The story with Malenko and Mysterio is a simple tale as old as time. One guy has a mask and the other guy wants it because it’s not his and he’s an a-hole.
Now, I’m all the way in. Just a simple motivational factor for each guy has transformed the match from an exhibition to a battle. Now I’m hanging on every small move because there’s a story to it. I don’t need to watch Nitro or Thunder or do the WCW America Online chatroom to understand what’s going on, either. It’s beautiful in its simplicity.
Of course, that doesn’t mean anything if the match doesn’t deliver. Malenko and Misterio had another one of those matches that still hold up damn near 20 years later, including a ridiculous final spot. So far in my unofficial tally, Malenko is right there with Benoit as the guys putting on the best WCW matches of 1996.
Best: LEE MARSHALL
R.I.P. To the great. *crumbles up Frosted Flakes* *does LeBron James powder toss with the crumbs*
Worst: Oh, For F*ck’s Sake, Jeff Jarrett
I really don’t remember much about when Jeff Jarrett was with what companies when so him popping up here pretty much ruined my day. I hate Jeff Jarrett. He falls in that Marc Mero/Buff Bagwell category of guys who weren’t horrible but were so mediocre that it makes my brain hurt. If Jarrett were a rookie in 2014, he’d be making impossibly awkward animal metaphors and saying “stay down”…or he’d be The Miz.
Then, to make matters worse, Ric Flair is out here promoting Jarrett as if it’s a joyous occasion he’s around. Actually, you know what, Jarrett pretty much is the Miz, isn’t he? He got a Ric Flair endorsement and proceeded to do all the Flair stuff but worse. My uncle used to say that you can tell how great Michael Jackson was by how horrible people looked when they tried to recreate his dance moves. This is pretty much that as it’s a sign of Flair’s greatness just how far off the mark Jarrett was.
Jeff Jarrett’s biggest contribution to my life is obviously this pic, though.