WWE Vintage Collection Report: June 3rd 2012
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund

We kick off Cruiserweight month by showcasing a month long
tournament to crown the first WWF Light Heavyweight Champion from the end of 1997.

WWF Monday Night Raw: November 3rd 1997
Aguila vs Super Loco
These two would later become Essa Rios and Super Crazy. The annoying “Too Sexy” Brian Christopher is on commentary denying he’s Jerry Lawler’s son. Wink, nudge. Aguila nails a headscissors and variety of springboard armdrags, as Christopher crows he’s the only man in this tournament of boys. Loco messes up a rope dive by getting caught up in them, before comically jumping off the apron into the guardrail. Aguila shows Loco how it’s done with a twisting corkscrew dive. Loco messes up again when he fails to connect with a springboard kick with Aguila perched on the ropes. After failing to apply a surfboard properly, Loco finally nails a highspot with a cartwheel/backflip combo over the ropes. Loco misses a corkscrew moonsault. Aguila sends Loco to the floor with a missile dropkick, then scores with a moonsault of his own. Aguila armdrags Loco from the top rope and picks up the win following a twisting cross body. Winner: AGUILA. This is the sloppiest I’ve ever seen Super Crazy work. Granted he was a rookie, but he messed nearly everything up and quite clearly lost all confidence after the first botch.

WWF Monday Night Raw: November 10th 1997
Taka Michinoku vs Devon Storm
Storm jumps Taka as soon as he enters. Brian Christopher is on commentary once again. Taka counters a powerbomb and gets sent out to the apron. Taka surprises Storm with a missile dropkick and asai moonsault. Storm catches a second moonsault, before dropping Taka onto the apron, arena floor and splashing him from the apron. Inside, Storm drops Taka with a face first suplex, dropkicks Taka in the ropes and hits a somersault legdrop. Christopher mocks Storm’s blonde mullet by saying he looks like Jeff Jarrett’s younger brother. Christopher then pokes fun at his nose, stating he last saw a nose like that picking up peanuts. Christopher further detracts from the match by breaking out into his hyena laugh. Taka hits a tornado DDT, but falls victim to a release german suplex. Taka runs into the ropes to crotch Storm. Taka delivers a top rope hurracanrana for two, then misses a splash. A Death Valley Driver gets Storm a nearfall. Storm drops a leg, but misses a moonsault. Taka prevents another high risk move with a superplex and spin kick. Christopher leaves the announce booth to interfere. Taka dropkicks Christopher off the apron. Storm tries a second DVD, but Taka reverses into the Michinoku Driver to pick up the 1-2-3. Taka lands a springboard plancha to Christopher after the bell and the two briefly fight until Christopher runs away. Winner: TAKA MICHINOKU. Storm would go on to find fame as Crowbar in WCW.

WWF Monday Night Raw: November 17th 1997
Scott Taylor vs Eric Shelley
We join this match in progress and thankfully skip a Jeff Jarrett phone interview about his upcoming re-debut. Eric is no relation to Alex Shelley, but Taylor would later become the master of the worm Scotty 2 Hotty. Taylor ties Shelley up on the mat. Shelley busts out a powerbomb and jackknife pin for two. Taylor floats over a charge, dropkicks Shelley in the corner, then takes him down with a cannonball kick. Taylor goes to the top rope and drops Shelley with a DDT on his way down for the 1-2-3. Winner: SCOTT TAYLOR.

WWF Monday Night Raw: November 24th 1997
“Too Sexy” Brian Christopher w/Jerry “The King” Lawler vs Flash Flanagan
These two had a prior issue in the USWA according to Jim Cornette. Flash leaps over the top rope onto Christopher as soon as he enters. Christopher tries a monkey flip, but Flanagan lands on his feet. Flash nails a lariat followed by a springboard clothesline. Lawler grabs a leg to prevent another springboard. Christopher takes advantage to hit a sick sunset flip powerbomb onto the floor. Christopher hiptosses Flanagan on the outside, then Lawler does the same as Christopher distracts the referee. The referee turns to see Lawler roll Flanagan back into the ring. Christopher assumes full control, hitting a missile dropkick and Rocker Dropper. Flanagan lands on his feet to prevent a backbodydrop. Flanagan turns a front facelock into a side russian legsweep. Flanagan lands a pair of clotheslines, but Christopher turns a third into a Skull Crushing Finale. Christopher delivers a reverse DDT from the second rope then heads up top and hits the Tennessee Jam legdrop for the pin. Winner: BRIAN CHRISTOPHER.

Kane destroys Scott Taylor before he can face his future Too Cool partner Brian Christopher on the December 1st 1997 edition of Raw. Kane shakes off dropkick attempts before taking Taylor out of commission with a chokeslam and tombstone piledriver. As a result, Brian Christopher receives a bye to the finals.

WWF Monday Night Raw: December 1st 1997
Taka Michinoku vs Aguila
Taka applies a quick bow and arrow after attacking the legs. Aguila turns a camel clutch into a surfboard. A spin kick sends Taka into the ropes. Taka avoids a charge, Aguila goes over the top rope and manages to land on his feet. Taka lands a springboard plancha. Back inside, Taka drop toeholds and applies a modified STF. Aguila escapes and elevates Taka to the floor. Taka avoids a baseball slide, but gets posted. Taka goes to elevate Aguila into the ringpost, but Aguila catches himself, scales the top rope and hits a corkscrew moonsault. Aguila scores with kicks on the floor, then targets the collarbone with elbows. Taka ducks a clothesline, gets a slam, but misses a twisting dive from the top. Aguila hooks a la mahistrol cradle for two. Taka turns a hurracanrana into a powerbomb to take the wind out of Aguila’s sails. A missile dropkick is followed by the Michinoku Driver for the 1-2-3. Winner: TAKA MICHINOKU.

In Your House 19 – D-Generation X: December 7th 1997
WWF Light Heavyweight Title Tournament Final
Taka Michinoku vs “Too Sexy” Brian Christopher
Christopher stalls in-between slamming and armdragging Taka. The crowd chant “Jerry’s kid,” to get under his skin. Taka flips out of a wristlock, so Christopher hiptosses. Taka lands on his feet to prevent a german suplex, ducks under a clothesline and hits several dropkicks and a clothesline to the floor. Taka quickly follows up with a springboard plancha. Christopher blocks a suplex coming back in, hangs Taka up on the ropes and sledges him to the floor. Christopher misses a plancha and slices his mouth open on the guardrail. Taka misses a cross body. Christopher wipes his blood over Taka’s face. Christopher misses a corner charge. Taka hits a tornado DDT and a hurracanrana sends Christopher to the floor. Taka flies out of the corner with an asai moonsault. Jerry Lawler leaves the announce table to check on his son and wipe the blood from his mouth. Taka dropkicks Christopher from the apron and Lawler helps him back into the ring.

Back from commercials. Christopher is in control and has slowed the pace. Christopher’s blood is now on Taka’s chest. Christopher delivers a backbreaker before choking Taka in the ropes. Christopher thinks he’s the Big Boss Man as he slides out of the ring to slap Taka in the face. Christopher stands Taka up to deliver more slaps. Christopher mocks the crane kick out of the Karate Kid movies. Christopher delivers a clothesline then channels his father with several fistdrops straight out of Memphis. Christopher hits a release german suplex and standing legdrop as he continues to stall and piss the crowd off. A powerslam sets up the end as Christopher heads up top, only to miss the Tennessee Jam. The Michinoku Driver finally puts Christopher in his place as Taka scores the 1-2-3 to bag the title. Winner: TAKA MICHINOKU. Gerald Brisco, Pat Patterson and Tony Garea present Taka with the title as the Japanese press take photos in the ring. This was arguably Taka’s finest month during his WWF tenure, as his ten month reign as champion was largely forgettable once the WWF ran out of ideas/interest with the division and he was relegated to comedy status with Kaientai.

This show reinforced how good Taka (23) and Aguila (19) were from an early age and how crisp their high flying offence was. It also showed how annoying Brian Christopher was both on the mic and in the ring.

See you next week for more high flying classics and daredevil moments from the Cruiserweight archives.

Any comments or discussion points drop me a line at shaunmb1@hotmail.com.

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