During the Monday Night War era, one of the things that separated WCW from other US wrestling promotions at the time was their use of the Cruiserweight Division, which featured a collection of smaller wrestlers from the US, Canada, Japan, and Mexico. On the latest episode of the DDP Snake Pit podcast focusing on Eddie Guerrero, DDP, Diamond Dallas Page, talked about what was responsible for the rise of the Cruiserweights in WCW.
“You got to remember, back then, there were no smaller guys,” DDP said. “They never would’ve gotten a shot. It was Eric Bischoff they owe a debt of gratitude. Because he’s the one. And Konnan. Konnan’s the one that’s been booking those guys for forever. Konnan is the one who brought everybody in. He still does, whether it’s Rey Mysterio or whoever. Konnan’s the godfather. He looks out for the boys. When they first brought in all those guys into Nitro, the fans, the real fans loved it. Because they’d been seeing guys from there to when you watch Daniel Bryan and Kenny Omega and those guys come through the independent world. They would’ve never gotten that opportunity without it.”
Turning the focus back towards Guerrero, DDP discussed how it was always clear that talents like Guerrero and current top AEW star Chris Jericho were always going to make it.
“Eddie was at a different level coming in,” DDP said. “A lot of the guys, there were so many of them, they were never going to get to the midcard. La Parka (LA Park) is one of the guys who could get there, but most of the guys were given their own little area. But Eddie was a guy who came out of that. Eddie and of course Benoit. And Jericho. All those guys were doing, Benoit I don’t think he was doing the Cruiserweight deal, but they were coming up. You couldn’t hold down Chris Jericho, you ain’t going to hold down Chris Benoit, you weren’t going to hold down Eddie Guerrero.”
DDP then talked about his feud with Eddie Guerrero in WCW, which stretched from the late summer/early fall of 1996 to Starrcade that December.
“For me personally, Eddie helped put me on the map,” DDP said. “In ’96, I had my first really good match with Sting in January of that year. That was the year that I started to come. It still took me a whole other ten months. It took till me getting to work with Eddie, I want to say it was Halloween Havoc, and that was October. So it would’ve been some time around August and September that we started our feud. And Eddie was going away. I had won the Battle Bowl, so I was getting a couple of months of enhancement wins. They weren’t going to give me anybody to beat.
“One night, Kevin Sullivan was like ‘Listen. We’ve got this idea with you and Eddie.’ And I went ‘Sure, what do you want to do? Let’s just do it.’ ‘Eddie is going to slip over with a School Boy or something like that.’ The whole angle is I was still good, Eddie gets the win, and he gets his hand raised. And he (Sullivan) goes ‘Then you spin him and hit him with a Cutter. And then you hit him with another Cutter. Then you put him on the top rope and hit him with another Cutter.’ Then I grabbed Nick’s belt and started whipping him, and then here comes Chavo. The whole reason it was done like that is because Eddie was going to go to Japan. Then I worked with Chavo.”
To quote this article, please credit DDP Snake Pit and provide an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription
Have a news tip or correction? Send it to [email protected]