31. Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger vs Chris Benoit (Starrcade 1995)

Yes, I was disappointed with Jushin Liger’s dream match against Rey Mysterio Jr. But I went into that bout with high expectations of both wrestlers flying around the ring at 100 miles per hour. There’s Liger’s more famous opening bout against Brian Pillman, but that’s in the WWE Network’s Best 100 Matches To Watch Before You Die. His match against Chris Benoit, at Starrcade 1995, however, is a hidden gem.

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30. Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. (WCW Starrcade 1996)

I never knew these two all time great high flyers had collided! This match came up on Youtube as a Recommended video (along with a few Idiots in Cars videos; I’m addicted!). AS the previous year’s Starrcade gave us WCW vs NJPW, Starrcade 1996 would give us a few more matches pitting WCW vs NJPW. Already, early on the careers of Rey Mysterio and Jushin Liger, this was considered a dream match. And while it was good, even very good, I felt disappointed by it by the end…

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29. Eddie Guerrero (WCW) vs. Shinjiro Otani (NJPW) (w/Sonny Onoo) (WCW Starrcade 1995)

Just one question…who is this Shinjiro Otani?!? I have never heard od him before! 30 years on from this PPV, he has retired now. But I’m going to have to seek out more of his matches. I chose this match to see a young Eddie Guerrero in action. While he was very good, Otani was even better!

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Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #27 Ric Flair vs. Sting (NWA World Title, NWA Clash of the Champions I)

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v32286157?contextType=wwe-show&contextId=clash_of_the_champions&contentId=73027582&watchlistAltButtonContext=series )

Another Ric Flair match? Of course! He’s on the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List no less than thirteen times. That would be unlucky for some, but it’s lucky for one of the all-time wrestling greats. On this list, we’ve seen him wrestle other wrestling greats to wrestling green as grass big men (see #94 against Lex Luger, and click here for my review!). Here, he fights another fairly green man, in the guise of Sting. It’s obvious that Sting was catapulted to the top of the card due to his look, size and popularity. But not his wrestling. It’s a testament to Flair that this match is very good, but unfortunately Sting drags the contest down. He simply doesn’t have the ability to make his offence interesting for this drawn-out match. Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches: #56 Sting vs. Big Van Vader (King of Cable Tournament Finals, WCW Starrcade 1992)

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31673703/?contentId=31673703&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=starrcade)

One of the pleasures of trawling through a 100 Best Matches…List for anything is finding gems that you otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to find. For me, going through the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…Kust has shown me the delights of WCW. I’m familiar with most of the WWE matches on the list, but when it comes to WCW (and ECW), I’ve only seen ones that have been included on WWE DVDs. #55 was yet another delight from early ‘90s WCW that I doubt I would have come across without this list! Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches: #65 Sting vs Cactus Jack (Falls Count Anywhere Match, WCW Beach Blast 1992)

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31312961)

We have yet another appearance from Mick Foley at #65, against a pre-Crow Sting. Yet again, it is a brutal match, full of big bumps (from Cactus Jack) on the concrete floor and ramp. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a match where someone takes so many bumps on the concrete in such a short period of time. For that reason alone, this match is worth watching. Not only that, but they are both in or reaching their prime. Although it’s a short match, there’s plenty of stuff packed into it. The standards of a hardcore match are high nowadays (if you look elsewhere than the WWE), but the sheer amount of damage Jack takes is a sight to see. Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches: #71 Ultimo Dragon vs. Rey Mysterio (J-Crown Match, WCW World War III)

At #71, we have another great example of how brilliant the Cruiserweight scene was in the mid to late ‘90s era of WCW. And we also see more of Ultimo Dragon (click here for my review of #81 Dean Malenko vs Ultimo Dragon)! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: watch this match, and then watch any of his WWE matches. WWE completely dropped the ball with him, as they did with many ex-WCW wrestlers. This opening match for WCW’s World War 3 is dominated by Dragon, with Rey Mysterio playing the resilient babyface. What we receive is an array on aerial, ground and wrestling moves that never seems to slow down or repeat a manoeuvre! Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #94 Ric Flair (c) vs Lex Luger (NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match, WCW WrestleWar 1990)

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31675157/?contentId=&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wrestlewar )

Our first Ric Flair match in the WWE Network’s Best 100 MatchesList, and quite the match to show Ric Flair in all his glory. Flair is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. The true test of a great wrestler is if he can pull a lesser opponent to a good match. Lex Luger was the ideal wrestler from a physique point of view. From the ability point of view, he was an awful wrestler.  Watch any other non-squash Luger match and see the true wrestling prowess of Luger. Then watch this match. Ric Flair literally works miracles to drag a great match out of Luger. Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #99 Goldberg (c) vs DDP (WCW Championship Match, WCW Halloween Havoc 1998)

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31359957/?contentId=&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=halloween_havoc )

Now, I was never a WCW fan. I have seen a few matches here and there, courtesy of WWE DVDs. But the WWE Network has given me a chance to observe what I missed. And I missed the evolution of a true monster, a true Beast, of wrestling. Forget present day Brock Lesnar, who lost his first return match to John Cena, and almost lost to CM Punk before the WWE decided to make him WWE Champion. Forget Rusev. Forget Ryback.  Forget even WWE’s ‘Lite’ version of Goldberg. WCW’s Goldberg was the unstoppable wrestling monster.

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