Run Time: 2:00
Before I start this review, I want to point out something that may be blindingly obvious, but needs saying: This footage is 20 years old and from Mexican TV, you aren’t going to get a DVD quality picture here, but from the available footage of Chris Jericho’s time in Mexico, you are getting possibly the best available video. It’s colours are bright and it’s not so crisp, but it’s certainly VERY watchable.
Now, many years ago I was a tape trader and the person I traded with sent me a compilation of Chris Jericho matches from the early 1990s and upon viewing this I get a feeling of Deja vu, I think this is the same tape, with menus added. If so, not only am I reunited with a collection from my past, but moreover I am reunited with a tape I played to death because it was so good.
Chris Jericho prides himself on being a journeyman, picking up styles and experience (and as a recent promo on Smackdown proved, languages) as he went. This was really the beginning of ‘Lionheart’ Chris Jericho, a talented wrestler, but he hadn’t become the brash and cocky Chris Jericho that he became in WCW or the Rockstar he would transform into in WWE. Here he is a young and gifted guy eager for experience against much more accomplished performers and I believe he lapped up every drop of knowledge that was spilled.
I absolutely adore Negro Casas and even here he was a 30 year old who in turn had trained other Luchadors, so it only seems right that he features on this set against Jericho. Is it perchance here that he learned how to work the crowd to your favour whether Heel or Face? We can’t be sure, but it is likely.
He also teams with living legend Atlantis for a couple of bouts and against Casas brother Felino in the second match-up. Future WCW Cruiserweight peers appear both with and against him as the wonderful Ultimo Dragon and El Dandy make their presence felt.
At two hours this is a very concise and interesting view into the early career of the man who will undoubtedly be in the Hall of Fame when he retires. It was from his time in Mexico (and Japan) that Paul Heyman saw potential in Jericho and gave him a spot on his early ECW shows. The rest is history, WCW picked him up, he rounded out his character, went to WWE with much fan-fare and eventually became Y2J, the character that solidified his legend. However, it has always been Jericho’s hybrid style and sound mat and aerial wrestling that stood him out from the pack. This is where it all started and is an important addition to the collection of anybody interested in the way a wrestler grows and matures through interaction with other styles and experienced opponents.
A very good collection in very good condition for it’s vintage.
- Chris Jericho, Atlantis & El Dandy vs. Mano Negra, Black Magic & Javier Cruz
- Chris Jericho, Atlantis & Americo Rocca vs. Mano Negra, Felino & Bestia Salvaje
- Chris Jericho, Negro Casas & Fiera vs. Mocho Cota, Emilio Charles Jr. & Bestia Salvaje
- Chris Jericho & Ultimo Dragon vs. Negro Casas & El Dandy