Dean Malenko (real name Dean Simon) is the son of the late Professor Boris Malenko. He’s an outstanding technical wrestler, but lacks color in interviews. - Dayton Daily News Aug. 20, 1995
God I love the WWE Classics ondemand. I’ve been watching as much as I can recently and been lucky enough to see a few matches in one of my favorite rivalries: Dean Malenko vs. Rey Mysterio.
While WCW’s 1996/97 was all about the nWo, this feud definitely involved some of the best matches that era. Not too shabby for the mid card guys just trying to get by when Hogan, Nash, Hall and everyone else with a black and white t-shirt got all the attention.
The Iceman was such an underrated wrestler. He didn’t say a word and didn’t need to while he applied one of his 1,000 holds. And against Mysterio he needed them all. Pro Wrestling Illustrated rated Malenko as the #1 Wrestler in 1997. He was the first person to hold the WCW Cruiserweight title four times. In 1995 he and Eddie Guerrero were voted Feud of the Year by Wrestling Observer Newsletter and he was named Best Technical Wrestler in 1996 and 97. Seriously, Malenko was a machine. Come to think of it, how has He not been nominated for the WWE Hall of Fame?!
While I’ve never been a big Mysterio fan, I can respect the guy for his work in and out of the ring. He’s massively over and has always been a great worker, hitting crazy spots with ease and beauty.
Talk about a feud for the ages … Here are the results for Malenko vs Mysterio from 1996 through 97 with title wins by each mixed in. Yes, the floowing is a mess of words and dates, but to understand how deep this feud got, you have to see the back-and-forth of all the results.
Malenko wins Cruiserweight title (5/18/96) and goes on to beat Mysterio at the GAB (6/16). The Iceman won again vs. Mysterio on Nitro (6/17), but then loses the belt to him (7/8).
Malenko goes on to lose the next six head-to-head matches (8/1, 8/15, 9/28, 9/29, 10/5 and 10/25), but beats Mysterio for the Cruiserweight title at Halloween Havoc (10/27).
After Malenko loses the Cruiserweight title at Starrcade 96 (12/29), the two fight to a time limit draw on 12/30. Malenko then beats Mysterio two more times (1/3, 1/?) before winning the US title at Uncensored 3/16. Two months later the rivalry heats back up with Malenko beating Mysterio on 5/19, a fight to a draw (5/24), a no contest (5/25) and another fight to a draw on 6/6. Malenko wins the next two (6/7,6/8), But loses his title (6/9) and then to Mysterio twice (6/21, 10/13). After Mysterio wins the Cruiserweight title at Halloween Havoc (10/26), he goes on to beat Malenko two more times that year (10/27, 11/10).
(results courtesy of thehistoryofwwe.com)
Malenko has the upper hand winning 12 matches to Mysterio’s 8. Each held the Cruiserweight title twice during this run and Malenko was also a US champ. All you have to do is watch the matches above or any other between the two to know that we’re talking about a great feud.
And I’m willing to be that if the Iceman strapped on a pair of boots today, he would make half the guys on the WWE and TNA rosters look terrible. You think Santino or Zack Ryder is breaking out of the Texas Cloverleaf?!
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This year was the 28th annual Wrestlemania and shockingly just the first I’ve had a chance to attend! I’ve tried my best to sell my wife on the idea of following the WWE and selling grilled cheeses on the road, but for some reason she likes her steady paycheck. Go figure!
I never thought I’d have the chance to attend Wrestlemania but that changed last year when Miami was announced as the site for XXVIII. Lucky for me, I got into the wild world of radio where you don’t get paid much, but you get to meet Sgt. Slaughter and Jimmy Hart! They came onto the show you produce to promote Wrestlemania tickets going on sale that weekend! I knew I moved to Miami for some reason.
So given that I was as excited as a 9-year-old, I bought my tickets, spent way too much money and didn’t give one crap about it. If you’re a wrestling fan and you have the chance to go balls out for Wrestlemania weekend, you do it. The one thing I wish I did do was get tickets to Axxess. From all the pictures I saw and chatter on the internets, that was one cool event. I will make sure to hit it up the next ‘Mania makes it’s way to South Florida.
Ok, so fast forward to this past Thursday, the kickoff of Wrestlemania weekend. My wife, also a radio professional, bumps into Dusty Rhodes in her building! If you happened to hear the American Dream talking about being attacked by a woman before an interview on the Dan Lebatard show (around the 23:50 mark), that woman is my wife. So proud!
Two days later and we’re attending the Hall of Fame induction ceremony and one of my favorite wrestlers is down there crying with the rest of the Four Horseman. Where am I?!
I should mention that a long time ago, working for a radio station far, far away, that I ran into Arn Anderson during a house show we were sponsoring. As he walked by, I held up four fingers and AA nodded with approval. I was as much a Horseman as Jeff Jarrett when you think about it!
All of the speeches were great. I even learned two fun facts:
A. Ron Simmons owned a Trans-Am in college with his face airbrushed on it. After he crashed, he owned a second Trans-Am with his face airbrushed on it.
B. Mil Mascaras has two wives. One lives in Japan and the other lives in Mexico and works for the US Embassy. He sure doesn’t look like that polygamist on Big Love.
But when it comes down to it, Sunday was obviously the day. My wife and I had a tailgate planned, with about 15 people attending and even a special celebrity guest. Burgers, dogs, beers, and Wrestlemania?! This is going to be the best thing ever.
When we got to Sun Life Stadium an hour after the lots opened, the place was PACKED! I did not expect to see this many people off the bat. And there were people partying everywhere. Soon enough our celebrity guest showed … Macho Man back from the dead! Actually it was just my buddy Jason Garcia, but there were plenty of people asking him for pics. We saw Goldust on one of the buses after the show and he couldn’t stop laughing when Macho was yelling at the window. We ran into a second Macho, the Ultimate Warrior, Jeff Hardy, CM Punk. Sure it cost $40 to park, but the entertainment was well worth it.
When we got inside, the atmosphere was unreal. Watching it on TV and being there are two totally different experiences. I knew this was gonna be awesome but the heat from the crowd made it so much better. We weren’t flat for a second! Our seats were unreal and when the cameras went live, Sun Life went freaking bananas!
I don’t know what the deal was, but if you watch any of the stuff from Wrestlemania weekend, you know that Daniel Bryan is OVER! Going up the escalators in the AAA before the HoF induction, there was a huge Yes! chant going. In the parking lot and headed into the stadium on Sunday, huge Yes! chant. When the show started and he hit the stage, huge Yes! chant. I can’t stand the guy. Guess it’s working!
One of my favorite moments of the night had to be the Undertaker’s entrance. I’ve seen the man enter wrestling rings for 20 years, but to be there when the spectacle happened was awesome. Taker’s at the point where he’s only wrestling once a year and really, who knows if he’ll ever wrestle again. I was glad to be there to see one hell of a match in person.
Shockingly, the biggest pop of the night probably went to the Rock. When his music hit and he came out from behind the curtain, Sun Life Stadium exploded! Last year I attended the Dolphins first home game, a Monday night affair against the Patriots. The year before that I went to the Marlins home opener against the Dodgers. Granted, I haven’t been in that stadium during the Super Bowl or NCAA National Championship game, but that place was louder than I’ve ever heard it on Sunday night. Judge for yourself.
On Monday, I felt a little down because my Wrestlemania weekend was over. It’s one of those things you’re lucky to experience once in a lifetime if at all. But my outlook changed a little when I saw this … Miami-Dade Commissioner and Miami-Dade Sports Commission Chairman Jose “Pepe” Diaz was in love with the event. As seen in the Miami Herald:
Wrestlemania is shaping up to be one of the better events in the past few years. When you consider that the Rock will be headlining the event with John Cena and an undercard that’s sure to feature CM Punk taking on Chris Jericho, we can count on some great action. But when it comes to the Streak, I’m hoping for a swerve.
Seriously, are any of us dying to see Taker, in what could be the final match of his career, taking on HHH?! Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Paul Levesque fan and have been for quite a log time. But if the Undertaker is going out, he needs to pass the torch.
Now, while I don’t know that Sheamus is at that level, I’d enjoy seeing him use his Royal Rumble win to challenge the streak. The guy is a two-time WWE champ so he’s got a least some credibility. And at the moment he’s receiving a pretty big push which has gotten him over. So why not see how that program sits with fans?
Taker’s streak can’t end without a loss. The storyline is too strong to waste not pushing someone.
In the end, I don’t know that it happens. Much easier for fans to accept Sheamus beating Daniel Bryan for the title or Randy Orton. There’s nobody in the Elimination Chamber that he can’t realistically beat, so give us something we don’t expect! Isn’t that what wrestling is about?!
Alright, I’m a wrestling dork with 10 years in the radio biz. I’ve applied for a ton of jobs with WWE and actually got a response one time. My mission now?!
TO RUN THE WWE NETWORK!
With all the material available, you gotta figure this shit’ll be cake, right?!
Ok, so what am I gonna do right off the bat? WCW Saturday Night in it’s old time slot. What, you want Saturday Night’s Main Event as well?! You KNOW that shit’s happening!
You want new material?! Here are a couple ideas that are gonna blow your mind:
1. All-Time Top 20 – Pick a topic and count it down from 20 to 1.
2. A biography type show on past and present wrestlers.
You’re right, that shit’s pretty weak.
How about these four?!
A. A daily live call in show with on location stuff. Maybe some clips from house shows and behind the scenes material with interviews and live Q&A with superstars.
B. A show that is supplementary to live Raw and Smackdown with commentary and backstage content. Live Twitter and Facebook updates during Raw and Smackdown commercials. Backstage interviews and maybe some vignettes?!
C. A show that is centered around Vince McMahon. Maybe a camera crew just follows him around so we can see all of the things he’s in on behind the scenes.
D. Bring back Sunday Night Heat and have it lead into PPVs.
Letters always beat numbers
The next batch of ideas aren’t anything earth shattering, but would be some great ways to promote all the content WWE owns:
- Of course we can expect a movie night of sorts to showcase all the movies that WWE has produced.
- The whole afternoon block (12p-6p) is random PPVs, TV tapings and clip shows. Morning block can have some cartoons?
- Roundtable discussions. Maybe take calls on that as well?!
- How about theme weeks?! Next week it’s WCCW week. Clips shows, PPVs, TV tapings, roundtable discussions, biography shows all center around WCCW.
That’s what I’ve got at the moment, aside from a few ideas I’m keeping to myself for the job interview. What do you think?! Any other ideas that you think would make sense for the WWE network?!
We got ourselves a good episode of Raw this week. Ok, so there wasn’t a ton of wrestling, but plenty of other stuff happened to keep our attention for more than five seconds!
Here are my quick hits from this evening:
– Brodus Clay still looks like Bowser from the Super Mario games. I guess since R-Truth turned into a solid heel, they needed someone to sing and/or dance. Is he Goodfather lite?!
– Seriously, who gives a shit about Daniel Bryan?! The guy isn’t believable to me as a giant killer, his mic skills are poor and his character has no depth. I haven’t talked to anyone outside of IWC dorks who love the guy. I don’t get the push.
– The Cheetos commercial that ran during Raw with the construction worker? He’s dancing to the 87 Crockett Cup theme. The event is one of the greatest collections of talent in history and if you haven’t seen it, you can find it on YouTube. That’s your homework for the week.
– Edge getting nominated for the Hall of Fame was expected. When a guy is forced to retire as the champ, you expect no less, especially when you’re talking about someone that people have loved for a long time. I’m no Edgehead, but I can’t wait to see Gangrel induct him!
- But seriously, to see the Horseman get announced is even better. Does this mean that Ric Flair is coming back to WWE? If Vince said he wanted Flair in a cage match with Foley, I’m sure he’d do it for the right price.
Quick sidebar — I was backstage at a WWE event almost a decade ago and saw Arn Anderson walking around. I held up four fingers and he nodded with approval. Awesome.
– I’m a big fan of the “Big Johnny” character. If only they’d bring him back with that sweet blonde mullet!
– I thought they were bringing Kane back as a badass. Instead, we get a villain in a comic book sense. The storyline with Ryder acting all scared is pretty lame. It’s cool that Cena isn’t in the title picture, but he’s still the last thing we see on the show while the champ is working the 10p hour?
– And finally … I for one am looking forward to the WWE Network. I currently subscribe to Classics on Demand and love all the old programming. Legends House is gonna be rad (a reality show where the participants ACTUALLY fight) and I’m a big fan of the roundtable shows. As long as they don’t go crazy trying to cater to non fans.
Comment if you’d like … I’ll respond! In any event, thanks for reading!
I feel like I have to get everything on paper or I am going to go crazy. As a 2001 grad of Penn State University, this has been a very strange week. Ten quick hits about this scandal.
10. My mind can’t get away from the survivors and the many that have yet to come forward. The charges against Jerry Sandusky came out just six days ago! Think about how much has been revealed already and how it is sure to get so much worse.
9. Speaking of Sandusky, how is this guy out on the streets?! I don’t necessarily condone a public stoning, but this guy has supposedly admitted his wrong-doing, right? How about someone kicks him in the balls … or at least protests outside his house.
8. When the governor shows up, shit’s about to get real! This is easily becoming the biggest scandal in college sports history and may be the largest ever to hit an institution of hire learning. Payouts, cheating, tattoos?! That shit is lolipops and roses compared to this,
7. The students protesting about Joe Paterno’s firing do NOT speak for me. As an alum, there are people out there who want to lump me and others in with the minority that thinks Paterno should have kept his job. His firing is the least the university can do to show that they support the survivors of abuse. I’m glad to think that more is going to be done and sadly, I don’t think JoePa is going to say anything that makes me think he didn’t deserve to lose his job.
6. Speaking of JoePa and others formerlly in power at PSU, I haven’t heard a single denial. Paterno, Spanier, McQueary, Schultz, Curley. None of them has denied knowledge of Sandusky’s abuse. If they were hearing things for the first time this week, they’d surely be outraged, not apologizing for not doing more “with the benefit of hindsight.”
5. So the DA that went missing is totally involved in this, right?! The guy had what seems to be plenty of facts to convict Sandusky (a confession basically), doesn’t pursue charges, then ends up missing a few years later?! There is way more to this story and it seems to be a nasty spiderweb.
4. McQueary, a former starting QB, wasn’t man enough to stop an old man assaulting a child?! Was his reward for keeping quiet the job of guiding the team on the sidelines while JoePa was in the press box?! He still has a job?! None of it makes sense. Child assaulted, man ignores, keeps his job when everyone else involved is fired. I don’t get it.
3. Paterno’s trying to hire a lawyer who represented President George H.W. Bush in the Iran Contra Scandal?!
2. ESPN’s coverage of the Board of Trustees press conference got OWNED by CNN. CNN had cameras all over the streets, while the “world wide leader” was busy doing phone interviews with the same old talking heads. Tom Rinaldi said all was quiet in his neck of the woods while there were a few thousand going bananas downtown.
1. The families involved still haven’t gotten justice. The people in charge of making the community safe failed on a chatostrophic level. How else do you explain a college president, police officers, a district attorney, football coaches, other community leaders … ALL OF THEM … not doing the right thing when informed of atrocities. Could Sandusky be innocent in any way, shape or form here? Seriously, I’m asking. Could this all just be incorrect and false allegations? I still haven’t heard anyone deny knowledge of Sandusky’s crimes.
The story of pro wrestler Scott Hall is not only sad, it should be a cautionary tale to anyone out there who wants to be famous. At one point, Hall was on top of the wrestling world. He was in a legendary match with Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania X, was the original member of the nWo and one of the most charismatic people to pick up a microphone. Now he’s talking about being out of the spotlight and how he basically has nothing left to live for.
None of this is news to wrestling fans. Everyone who follows the world of “sports entertainment” knows the Bad Guy’s place in history.
What I didn’t know before watching this week’s E:60 was that Hall killed someone in the early 80s. He also admitted that he never got the help he should have to deal with that. Talk about a heavy burden! No wonder the guy is self medicating to forget whatever else is in his past.
But the thing that hit me hardest was seeing Hall’s son Cody, who seems to still think of his dad as a larger than life character. Cody spoke of wanting to be the person that saved his dad. Being the one who helps him get the help that he so desperately needs. Cody is even following in his dad’s footsteps, training to be a pro wrestler. All he wants is his dad to be his dad. You could see it in his face when he spoke about his father.
I don’t know Scott or Cody from Adam, but I do have a father with alcohol issues. From my own experience I can tell you that there is nothing I or Cody can do. Pops is going to have to figure it out for himself and nothing we say or do will fix that.
It’s tough to see someone who is holding onto that hope of being the savior. Scott even said he doesn’t want to embarrass his kids, but here we are, watching video of a completely out of it Hall making a fool of himself in Massachusetts.
At this point I don’t know which is sadder … watching someone who had it all throwing it away, or the son who holds on to he hope that he will be able to save his dad.