Diggin’ in the Crates #2

posted by Billy Carpenter

Welcome back! Hope everyone enjoyed the first DITC, where I kind of broke everything down as far as what this series is all about. Not everything that gets posted here will be 4-5 star classics, but it will at the very least be pretty damn good and something you may have missed, forgotten about or never even knew existed. Plus, reviewing one match at a time is kind of right up my alley as far as my schedule these days. Feedback and suggestions are always welcome since, you know, you guys are the ones reading this stuff. But enough of that, let’s get to the grapplin’! This next volume, while not a long match, certainly made for a hot 5 minutes on a cold Thursday in January 1998…

WCW Thunder

January 29, 1998

Chris Jericho & Eddy Guerrero vs Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko

If memory serves me correct, each of these guys had some common threads including the Cruiserweight title, held by Chris Jericho. I remember Benoit & Malenko having a little series of matches, essentially earning the respect of one another. As for the team of Jericho & Eddy, I can’t recall what brought them together. To the match now, Jericho & Malenko to start. Eddy tags in soon after and he & Dean trade chops. Suplex countered into a rollup by Eddy. Eddy looks for a springboard cross body but gets caught with a powerslam for 2. Jericho & Benoit get the tags from their respective partners and they trade shots. Jericho with a delayed vertical suplex for 2. The not-yet Y2J thinks it’s a good idea to throw chops with Benoit but his fellow Canadian changes his mind for him soon thereafter by lighting up the Cruiserweight champion’s chest. Benoit looks for the Irish whip but Jericho counters into a nice German suplex for 2. Lionsault by the champ gets a 2 count as well, and in comes Eddy. Miscommunication by Eddy & Jericho and Benoit send Jericho over the top and locks Eddy in the crossface! Chris Jericho breaks it up but Malenko comes in and takes him over the top to the floor. Brainbuster by Eddy! Near fall as Dean comes in and breaks up the win. The soon to be Horsemen stable mates show some great chemistry, cutting off the ring. Tandem offense as dean elevates Eddy into a nice Northern lights by Benoit! Texas Cloverleaf attempt by Dean is cut off by Jericho and he follows up with a big missile dropkick. Liontamer attempt countered into a rollup by Dean for 2. Tag back to Benoit and he & Dean go for a double superplex. Eddy breaks it up but Dean gets the superplex anyway. Benoit back up and he hits the swan dive headbutt—Eddy goes for the frog splash on Malenko but Dean gets the knees up! Benoit locks on the crossface and Jericho taps! They packed a TON of stuff into about 5-6 minutes here, and the closing stretch was a lot of fun.

WINNERS: Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko via submission

I had no idea about this match as Thunder isn’t something I ever really went out of my way to watch. Chris Jericho leaves pretty hastily, hoisting his coveted title high above his head as he makes his way out. Post-match, Mike Tenay is interviewing Benoit in the ring about his lack of title opportunities when United States champ DDP appears in the crowd. He puts over Chris a little bit before explaining that essentially the promoters didn’t think Chris was a main event guy. Page thinks otherwise though and asks the crowd if they want to see Page vs Benoit next week on Thunder! Oooh, I’m intrigued! Might have to hunt that down. That’s all for today’s Diggin’ in the Crates–if you have a suggestion as far as company/time period/wrestler/whatever, send me a Tweet and I’ll see what I can come up with. Until next time, enjoy the video…

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