My Favorite Wrestling! WCW Saturday Night 6/13/98
1. Saturn vs. Damien
Quick match but really fun. Damien gets exactly one move (running up the turnbuckles into a crossbody) but Saturn is a total beast here, never letting up and working pretty stiff. Saturn just plants Damien with the DVD and also throws out a crazy half nelson duplex that has Scott Hudson going bonkers. Would have liked some back and forth but they were working "Saturn is mad and taking it out on some poor sucker" and it worked.
2. Evan Kourageous vs. Dean Malenko
Oh my lord Evan was so lost in the ring. Why the hell was he even put on TV so damn soon? Evan stumbles pretty early and from there it's mostly Dean stiffing him all over the ring and on the mat, so this is awesome. Dean's mat stuff looked really great, much closer to his mid 90s internet rep than you remember. It probably helps that Evan is basically a sack of potatoes that Dean just did shoot mat transitions with. Really looked like Dean had to do every move legit because if he let up a little bit, Karagias would immediately screw it up and fall the wrong way. So you get cool stuff like leg scissor takedowns where you can tell Dean is really tripping him to the mat. Karagias eventually gets his comeback run and immediately blows it, reversing an Irish Whip and then forgetting to do anything when Dean runs back at him...so Karagias just runs to the opposite ropes while Dean is still running...and eventually stops and squares off. And then Dean just says fuck it and kicks him and clotheslines his throat. Watching Malenko put the Texas Cloverleaf on Karagias was a thing of hilarity and beauty. Karagias acted like he had never seen this move applied in his life and had no idea what to do, so it ended up looking more like me struggling to get my cat in his cat carrier to go to the vet. Karagias keeps rolling the wrong way so Dean finally snaps, forces it on him and then bends the poor guy almost in half as Evan noticeably yelps and starts tugging at Dean's leg to get him to stop.
3. Booker T vs. Barry Horowitz
90s Booker has aged so badly, he really needs a quality opponent to drag him through stuff. Horowitz is a good guy to do that as he leans way in to Booker's elbows and silly side kicks and snaps hard to the mat for them. They had some nice go behind sequences to start with Horowitz getting a cool leg pick but Booker gaining leverage with a nice back elbow. Horowitz got into place for all of Booker's big moves, although Booker was rushing through everything way too fast and getting into position super early. Post match Fit motherfucking Finlay comes out in khakis and a black tank top and boots Booker hard in the side of the knee, then locks on a sick half crab. Weird to think they'd also feud in WWE almost 10 years later.
4. Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Chris Jericho
Well this was a little surprising, as Jericho wins clean in less than 2 minutes and Chavo gets zero offense in. His ribs were taped up, and Jericho went after the ribs, but you'd expect some sort of comeback or something. I think I remember a period where Chavo feuded with Eddie and Chavo went crazy and would not use offense during matches, or something. But it's odd for a guy to get completely squashed right before a PPV where he's in a featured match.
5. Kidman vs. Juventud Guerrera
Lodi is holding an awesome sign that says "Kidman vs. Juvi Best of 467 Series". These matches are basically as strong as the amount of blown spots contained within, and everything hits in this match so it's a win. It's 7 minutes of a bunch of moves that hit, with cool slams and big missed moves off the top. When Juvy is on he is my favorite non-Rey cruiserweight to watch. He bumps huge and moves so damn fast. Here he just whips all around Kidman and all his moves have some great extra oomph to them. He really makes his plancha to the floor look like full contact. Kidman is good here, too, doing something different than his usual bump machine specialty. Here he cuts off a lot of Juice comebacks and does little things like missed clotheslines really well. Juvy does his cool missed 450 spot where he lands on his feet, and then plants Kidman with the Juvy Driver for the clean win. He was facing Reis at the PPV, ya know. Really awesome 90s WCW cruiser match, one of the reasons I was so into this style when I was an innocent teen.