Throughout WWE’s history, we’ve witnessed so many entertaining and historic matches. There have been moments where we laughed, celebrated to the point where the noise ordinance was broken, and shocked us to the point where we were left speechless. I want to honor these amazing moments and those who created them by creating a new blog segment called Flashback Friday.
This match takes place WCW’s Starrcade on December 28th 1997 between two of my favorite wrestlers growing up. Not only are they two of my favorites, but they are two very influential men who without a doubt left their mark in professional wrestling. This match also kicked off the event with Dean Malenko taking on Eddie Guerrero (c) for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
It started out with Eddie Guerrero making sure he landed the first hit by standing behind the ref so Dean Malenko couldn’t get to him. Eddie was successful in this, but his attempts to pin Dean early on in the match were not. A plethora of punches, kicks and unsuccessful attempts to pin one another were dished out. Dean picked up Eddie (crease of the knees resting on his shoulders as if sitting on an invisible chair) and threw him down on the mat. And when I say threw him down, I mean he threw him DOWN. You could hear it and even feel it! It was painful to watch so I couldn’t imagine to think what the late, great Eddie Guerrero was feeling. And this happened several times! I cringed each time, but I couldn’t help but enjoy it (I guess I’m somewhat twisted). Eddie had tried to shake Dean’s hand twice throughout the match – and even kissed his feet! – but Dean wasn’t buying it. This allowed Dean to take advantage while Eddie was down on his knees and dominated a good majority of the match. This was until Eddie had the opportunity to throw Dean’s neck into the ropes and continuously focus on injuring Dean’s knee. Eddie did everything to that knee; stomp on it, slamming it into the ring post and even wedging it between the ring post and steps where a kick to the steps would allow further injury. Dean was able to get his knee out of the line of fire, but it didn’t last long. Dean attempted to hit Eddie with a Frankensteiner and the Texas Cloverleaf, but failed both times. The Cloverleaf failed due to the quick thinking of Eddie who kicked Dean’s injured knee. Eddie continued to further injure the knee with a headbutt and dropkick, but it was ultimately the Frogsplash to the knee that allowed Eddie to pin and retrain his WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
Winner: Eddie Guerrero
Dusty Rhoades, while commentating, had called this a “Match of Destiny” and I agree. They were, as one of the commentators stated, “longtime rivals and longtime Tag Team partners” so a match between the two was always in the making. It lived up to the hype you think it would have and was a great way to get the show started.
You can watch this match and many more on the WWE Network for only $9.99!