June 21, 2009
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdrive Review

WCW Cruiserweight Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko – Spokane, WA House Show (9/18/97)
This was Eddie at his most over period in WCW. He was an integral part of the success of the Cruiserweight division during the second half of ‘97 and gave it personality that it never had before. If you aren’t watching this, then I suggest you find it on Daily Motion because it’s a fine watch. The crowd is all over Eddie for the entire match as he is at the pinnacle of his slimy heel character. Personally I think it got real silly with the Chavo feud and lost his appeal, but that’s just me. Eddie wants a handshake and then blindsides Malenko with a clothesline to piss the crowd off even more. He follows up with a dropkick and takes Dean to the corner for some European uppercuts and chops. Dean moves away from the Hilo and armdrags Eddie off the top. Eddie cowers away in the corner and begs off so Dean stomps him down. The ref wants a conference with Dean to get him out of the corner, so Eddie tries to cheapshot him again. Dean turns around just in time as Eddie drops to his knees to beg some more. Eddie wants another handshake. Oh Dean will shake your hand alright. AND THEN HE’LL CLOTHESLINE YOU IN THE FACE! Eddie takes a walk, but strong “Eddie sucks!” chants bring him back to the ring. A far cry from what we heard just two years before in the Benoit match. Malenko catches him with another clothesline to send him running again. Back in, we get a test of strength (not before Eddie shows us how ripped he is). Dean wins that by twisting the wrists and then stomping the hands. Another clothesline! Cover gets two. Eddie immediately takes over with a dropkick to the knee. Eddie slingshots onto Malenko’s leg across the apron and then taunts the crowd a little bit. “Eddie sucks!” He grabs a legbar, followed by a dropkick to the knee while Dean is stuck in the tree of woe. That sets up a figure-four. Dean tries to block it with his hand and then manages to get to the ropes. Eddie stays on the knee and uses the ropes for leverage like a master. That is until the ref finally catches him, drawing more thunderous “Eddie sucks!” chants. Hilo to the knee! Sweet. Eddie grapevines the leg and bridges back as the crowd starts to get behind Dean. He finally kicks Eddie off and drills him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Eddie lands on his feet off a swank-looking monkey flip, but gets shoved off the top crotch-first on the ropes to ruin his night. The crowd freakin’ loves it. Eddie comes back and dumps Dean out to the floor to slow him down. Back in, Eddie counters a powerbomb into a sunset flip for 1-2-NO! Holy crap was that smooth. Eddie tries a rana, but Dean counters *that* into a powerbomb. TEXAS CLOVERLEAF? No! Eddie scurries to the ropes. Eddie charges at Dean in the corner, but instead gets launched face-first into the top turnbuckle. Double-underhook sets up the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF this time! The ref gets tripped up by Eddie as he tries to avoid the hold at all cost, but he winds up reaching the ropes anyway. Dean whips Eddie in the corner and follows in, but Eddie catches him for a slam and gets the Ric Flair corner pin for 1-2-3. (18:09) Textbook heel vs. face match. Eddie did all the right things to make you hate his guts and the Dean comebacks came at just the right time. Excellent match. I might even be underrating this. ****¼

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