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The Top 10 WCW Cruiserweights

Rey Mysterio Jr.There aren’t many great memories to write about WCW but one element that I always enjoyed in WCW was the cruiserweights. The WCW cruiserweight division would regularly steal the show and tear the house down which is why today I pay tribute to the Top 10 WCW Cruiserweights.

The cruiserweight division in WCW came from the light heavyweight division of past booking regimes. Eric Bischoff recreated the division and gave lighter wrestler from all over the world the opportunity to come to the United States and dazzle American pro wrestling audiences on a weekly basis. In my opinion, the WCW cruiserweight division was the best element of Nitro and later Thunder.

The division generally featured professional wrestlers smaller than 220 pounds. Several cruiserweights would later put on weight and enjoy success as a heavyweight champion in either WCW or the WWE. Unfortunately many of these great talents got lost in the shuffle following the WCW sale and struggled to find a spot in the WWE.

[adinserter block=”2″]However, today is not about failure but about succeeding. Today I rank the top 10 WCW cruiserweight wrestlers in order. Who entertained the most and more frequently in WCW than his colleagues? Let’s take a look and find out.

Rey Mysterio Jr. – It is hard to argue against Rey Mysterio. For those newer WWE fans that never saw Rey in his glory days, you have no idea what you missed. If you thought this guy flies now, you need to go find some old Mysterio matches from WCW or even ECW on You Tube and block out 30 minutes of your day.

Juventud Guerrera – One of the most underrated wrestlers of this era was Juventud Guerrera. Some would argue that Guerrera was the best wrestler in the world during this time period. His matches with Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, and fellow cruisers are some of the most fun matches you’ll ever see. Unfortunately unlike Rey, Juventud was never able to catch on in the WWE the way the “Juice” did in WCW.

Eddie Guerrero – Eddie was a daredevil in WCW and was arguably the greatest cruiserweight in the division for a short period of time. Guerrero was able to blend his mix of international styles to adapt to all opponents and deliver intense matches in the division. His match with Rey Mysterio from Halloween Havoc is regarded by some as one of the greatest matches in WCW history, maybe the best in cruiserweight history.

Dean Malenko – Unfortunately Dean Malenko entered the WWE at the twilight of his career. However, Malenko came into WCW during his prime. What I always loved about Malenko is that you never saw the same match twice from him. Everything was different and rarely was there a slow moment in a Dean Malenko match.

Jushin Liger – If Liger was more of a regular during his time in WCW, I think he’d be in the top three of the list. Unfortunately Liger was a part-time wrestler here, which in my opinion drops him down a few notches on the list. Additionally, he rarely seemed to let loose the way he would in Japan. But when he did, he was a force to be reckoned with.

Ultimo Dragon – Ultimo Dragon was a star waiting to happen here. He wasn’t necessarily as fast as Malenko or Mysterio, but he was as crisp as they came. His matches with Eddie Guerrero were just off the charts. Injuries unfortunately took a toll on the masked flyer by the time he arrived in the WWE.

Chris Jericho – It is funny because when most people speak about Jericho in WCW, they talk about his feud with Goldberg. However, before he challenged Goldberg he was a hell of a cruiserweight. He was young, raw, and incredibly hungry during this time in WCW. His international experience allowed him to hang with everyone from Juventud Guerrera to Psychosis to Chavo Guerrero Jr. His ascension years later should be no surprise to anyone who watched him steal the show weekly on Nitro.

Shane Helms – Shane Helms was one of my favorite cruiserweights to watch. He had this raw, athletic, believable style to him that made him standout above the rest in my opinion. He had some great matches in particular with Chavo Jr. His diving crossbody and somersault plancha were awesome. It appeared that Helms was on his way to big things in the division before the company was sold, and rightfully so.

Billy Kidman – How can you not include the guy that introduce the Shooting Star Press to the American audience on the list? The guy had some truly insane cruiserweight matches on Nitro. Plus, his three reigns as WCW cruiserweight champion were particularly impressive given the competition.

[adinserter block=”1″]Syxx – Sean Waltman is an interesting choice and one I struggled with. My biggest gripe with Syxx is that he wasn’t around very long. But when he was in WCW, he really brought the cruiserweights up a few notches. He had a smoother style than the other cruiserweights, yet could go 100 miles per hour if needed. The martial arts style introduced fast kicks and blazing chops to the WCW audience. Syxx had some tremendous matches with Mysterio and Jericho, those of which landed him on the list.

Elix Skipper – Elix Skipper was always a favorite of mine to watch in WCW towards the end of the company. Like Helms, it appeared that the company had big plans for Skipper. He didn’t fly around like the luchadores, but he had this raw athleticism that stood out to me from the rest of the pack. You could certainly argue for guys Psychosis, Chavo Jr., or even Kaz Hayashi over Skipper, however he was always one of my favorites to watch, it’s my list, so he’s getting on.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I really liked Blitzkrieg too, even though he was only around for a few months, but he had some jaw dropping moments.

  2. Kidman botched the SSP BADLY in Jacksonville during a Nitro – I was there and it was frightening, we thought he broke his neck. Never saw him use the move again. Rey vs. Nash had some of the biggest bumps I've ever seen; I still remember Nash power-bombing him and the whole crowd kind of woke out of their pro-wrestling mode and went into real-world mode…and the match marched on.

  3. Kidman definitely lost a step. Im not sure what happened. I think he just got too big and had to change his style. I remember him out here on the indys and he'd tear it up all the time. I really think it was the extra size.

    • Not to mention Kidman threw a fit any time another wrestler used the move, despite the fact that every other wrestler on the roster at the time who knew how to do it knew how to do it better, which, despite the botch at 'Mania, includes Brock Lesnar (who the initial fit by Kidman was about). Paul London threw a similar fit after Evan Bourne debuted in WWE and was using the SSP better than London could ever hope.

  4. Definitely some good choices. Also, a sad reminder of what so many of these guys used to be. Out of the 10, 5 are either retired or mostly retired, one is dead, 2 have more or less been blackballed from American wrestling and the other 2 are now WWE main eventers. I fully agree about Mysterio. He was amazing back in the day, which is part of the reason why I can't stand to watch him now. His matches are beyond formulaic at this point, and he undeservedly goes over much larger or more skilled opponents on a regular basis. Kidman also lost a step over the years, going from a very exciting cruiserweight with a beautifully crisp SSP as a finisher, to a guy who unnecessarily added some bulk to his frame, slowed down considerably as a result, and nearly ended the careers of several wrestlers thanks to an SSP that got worse and worse over time. As for Shane Helms, somewhere along the way, he developed one of the worst attitudes the business has ever seen, to the point most wrestlers outside of his friends hate working with him.

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