Chris Jericho vs. La Parka (7/27/97)
Back before Chris Jericho had a finishing move and a discernible gimmick, he was “Lionheart” Chris Jericho, a talented, if bland, young fellow who was pushed to the top of the cruiserweight division in WCW because he was basically the only white babyface to be found. Luckily, Jericho’s talent was always there, so even if he was a bit of a lame duck champion at this point, at least the majority of the matches he put on in 1997 were good.
Here he goes up against the villainous La Parka who, like Jericho, had yet to really find his niche in WCW. While it’s debatable if La Parka ever did find that niche (I say he did. The La Parka strut lives on), what is indisputable is his ability to put over an opponent, as he does here. I love the submission move Parka ties Jericho up with towards the end of this match, and I love how his mask flips when he goes down particularly hard.
I’m a huge La Parka mark, and I could gush all day about the merits of WCW WorldWide, which was, if I remember, a syndicated show in 1997 that played way early in the morning on Saturdays, right before the WWF’s Saturday show, which changed names every other week. That the two played one right after the other was enough to fuel my dreams of a WWF/WCW showdown, even if those shows were the ones where the likes of Mean Mike and Duane Gill plied their wares before a rather unappreciative crowd.
Oh, and Jericho transitions from an ARMDRAG to an ARMBAR in this one, which is something you’ll probably only appreciate if you’ve memorized the 1,004 moves Jericho had in his arsenal.
Paul Arrand Rodgers
Paul Arrand Rodgers has this blog, and that's about it.