The Wrestler Snapshot #3:
Sean “The Lightning-1-2-3-Syxx-Kid-Pac” Waltman
After a holiday break, the Wrestler Snapshot is back with the third installment. Switching gears, we are going to take a look at one of my favorite and most underrated wrestlers of all-time, Sean Waltman. This is a man who went through a variety of stages of his career. Let’s see how his stuff holds up and we take a look through his career.
Sean Waltman was trained by the famous Malenko family and got his start in the Minnesota area doing independent shows. He worked a bunch of NWA and GWF shows, but the first match we’ll look at is from PWA. He started to build up a name by being a complete dick and having all of these awesome high spots and great matches with Jerry Lynn.
Lightning Kid vs. Wellington Wilkins – PWA, November 1990
I don’t really know much about Wellington Wilkins besides the fact he worked for PWFG in Japan. That is really enough information for this, because this is wrestled very similarly to a PWFG or UWF shoot style match in Japan.
Wilkins the grumpy bastard beating up the young punk Kid is the story for this match, and boy do they ever nail it. Wilkins stiff submissions, European uppercuts and suplexes just beat the piss out of The Kid. He does such a great job, and the Kid fights back so valiantly that the ultra punk heel Kid starts getting cheers and sympathy. He has some neat little hope spots here. They are just burgeoning at this point, but will become his forte later on in his career.
After getting destroyed and destroyed, The Kid makes his comeback with his great kicks. This really continues the shoot style theme. The kicks are really stiff here. The time limit does run out on them with them battling over stiff submissions. The amount of neat counters to these submissions is real fun to watch.
This is truly an awesome match that you need to see and unlike anything else you will see in the USA at the time. The Kid, even so early into his career, has a great mind for wrestling. His offense is great. His selling works and he was one of the highlights of the independent scene in the early 1990’s.
Final Rating: **** ¼
After his great run on the independent scene, including his stellar matches with Jerry Lynn in GWF, The Kid moved onto the WWF in 1993. He had one of the greatest debuts ever with his tremendous angle with Razor Ramon and the upset win on Monday Night Raw. He spent most of his time as a babyface and teamed with various tag partners in great tag matches. He even won the WWF Tag Team Titles twice (with Marty Jannetty & Bob Holly).
1-2-3 Kid vs. Owen Hart – WWF Raw, August 15, 1994
One match that is not reviewed here, but really should be watched is his WWF World Title shot against Bret Hart on Raw. Probably his career match.
To play off that match, here is Owen Hart wanting to show up his brother and show him how to beat up The Kid. This is also the rematch from their King of the Ring match. Owen tries a sneak attack like he did at the King of the Ring, but this time The Kid is ready. Although it is not as fast paced as the King of the Ring match, it has its own merits.
The match starts off with some good matwork until Owen takes control with a nice enziguri. The best part of the match starts off with a double kip up which is followed by a huge dropkick by The Kid that sends Owen to the floor. A baseball slide by The Kid takes out both Owen Hart and his second Jim Neidhart. The Kid follows that up with a springboard plancha, but then Owen hits a huge suplex from the apron to the floor that The Kid takes flat backed and it looks brutal. Owen does his own springboard plancha and he sets in on taking out The Kid’s back by repeatedly ramming it into the steel post.
The story of the match is now Owen taking out The Kid’s back. The Kid has a few great hope spots until he makes his comeback after Owen misses a top rope knee drop. He goes after Owen’s knees and puts him in a half Boston crab. This causes Neidhart to run in and cause a DQ. A shitty finish to a really good ten-minute TV match.
In this one The Kid really has developed his baby face skills. His hope spots and sympathy are outstanding and it made him one of the best babyfaces of the mid 1990’s.
Final Rating: *** ½
Waltman jumped to WCW with Scott Hall & Kevin Nash in 1996 and joined the nWo. He was the cruiserweight guy in the group and really the third member of the Wolfpac. He’s back to being a dick heel here.
Syxx vs. Rey Mysterio, Jr. for the WCW Cruiserweight Title – WCW Nitro, April 21, 1997
In this match Syxx is the WCW Cruiserweight Champion and he has Kevin Nash in his corner. This starts off hot and after a few exchanges they have a stand-off. At this point Rey slaps Syxx to a huge pop. Rey has a nice shine sequence until Syxx takes control by throwing Rey into the air.
He hits his awesome sliding super fast leg drop and then unleashes his kicks in the corner. As a babyface these kicks show great fire, and as a heel he just comes off as a dick. He then pulls out the bronco buster. The bronco buster is perfectly fine here as he comes off as the most annoying person on the planet.
After some cheating use of the abdominal stretch, Rey counters it. Nash distracts the referee which allows Syxx to hip toss Rey over the top rope to the floor. That would had been a DQ if the referee was not distracted, a point that the announcers completely miss.
This baby really picks up with Rey’s comeback of assorted flying headscissors. This leads to Syxx taking one of those to the floor and Rey hitting a great somersault plancha. As Rey celebrates Nash comes from behind and Jackknife power bombs him. This, of course, is missed by the referee. Syxx puts on the Buzz Killer (cross-faced chicken wing) for the submission win.
Afterwards he won’t release the hold which causes James J. Dillon to come out. J.J. says break the hold and the punk Syxx says “or what? Syxx and Nash keep stomping Rey until the security stops them and the paramedics take Rey away on a stretcher. This was a completely hectic scene and a great angle. It’s supposed to set up J.J. enforcing the rules and stopping these shenanigans but I doubt that ever paid off.
This was a fantastic match though with great flow and everything looking tremendous. I really wish there was a proper pay-per-view match blowing off this feud.
Final Rating: *** ¼
After being fired by WCW, Waltman made his return to the WWF. He joined Triple H and The New Age Outlaws to form the post-HBK version of D-Generation X. This was the over babyface stable that carried the midcard at the time and X-Pac was a big part of it.
X-Pac vs. The Rock for the WWF World Title – WWF Capitol Carnage, December 6, 1998
This is on one of those UK pay-per-views, so the crowd is really hot here. The Rock had just turned heel at Survivor Series, winning the title, and is defending it here against the underdog X-Pac.
The story of this match is that The Rock is an ultra prick, while X-Pac is the fighting underdog and it works real well. After a great shine sequence of spin kicks to start this one out, The Rock bails and grabs his title and tries to leave. Triple H and Chyna stop him and they stay in X-Pac’s corner.
X-Pac tries to start the offense up again, but misses the bronco buster. Here The Rock and X-Pac both really show off their skills. The Rock does all these jerk moves like stealing Jim Ross’ soda and spraying it on X-Pac. He also hits the biggest low blow I have ever seen in my entire life. He grabs X-Pac’s legs like Bret Hart going for the Sharpshooter, but then just punches him in the balls. Just crazy. X-Pac shines here with his sympathetic selling.
The Corporate Elbow gets two. X-Pac tries to come back and hit the X-Factor, but The Rock blocks it and goes for the Rock Bottom. Triple H distracts the referee and Chyna gets some payback with a low blow to The Rock. X-Pac unleashes the kicks and after exchanging near-falls Triple H nails The Rock with the European Title for a dramatic two-count. Now the bronco buster does connect, but The Rock pushes Chyna which causes Triple H to attack The Rock for a DQ.
A real exciting match that actually had the crowd thinking that X-Pac could become champion. With a real finish and less interference this could have become a classic.
Final Rating: *** ¾
X-Pac stayed in the WWF until 2002. The term X-Pac heat was developed later in his run. This implied people booed because they were sick of him, not because they hated in him a wrestling sense. I don’t know if that is true, but it’s a point people try to make. After leaving the WWF he wrestled in multiple independents and in AAA in Mexico. He was also in and out of TNA on a few occasions.
Sean Waltman vs. Jerry Lynn – TNA Sacrifice 2005, August 14, 2005
Here he is on a nice little run in TNA, at a point in TNA history when I thought they were a great company. Awesome pay-per-views and the television (well internet show) was really good too. Jerry Lynn is coming back after a year off with a shoulder injury to face his long-time rival.
Normally the spots where the two wrestlers understand each other so well and have stand-offs annoy me, but in this case it kind of worked. These two were such rivals in their beginning years it just makes sense that they know each other well.
After that initial sequence Waltman goes to work on the shoulder. He does a good job being his old prick self here. The match goes into some big spots, including a huge suplex to the floor which looked devastating. This is the same as the one he took in the Owen match earlier. It’s interesting that so many people tease that spot or take it by landing on their feet, yet here is Waltman doing it a few times in his career.
The finishing stretch was good here with Waltman hitting a low blow and then the X-Factor, but Lynn gets his feet on the ropes at the last possible second. Waltman then goes for something, which is countered by a Victory Roll giving Lynn the win in a feel good moment.
Even though Waltman had been wrestling for over 15 years at this point, all of his basics are there. The awesome kicks, the smug attitude and how to lay out a match. Even with his body breaking down he can still go with the right opponent.
Final Rating: *** ¾
Sean Waltman is one of those guys that few ever talk about as someone special, but after watching these matches and a ton of other matches of his career I have to say that he should be talked about more as an exceptional performer.
You want to talk about versatile? He works great as a sympathetic underdog baby face or as a prick heel. He can have matches that are high spots or intense brawls or even a more shoot-fight type feel. His selling was very sympathetic. He just knows how to get the crowd going to help him make a comeback. His hope spots were among the best I have ever seen. He would just time a sunset flip or a spin kick at the right moment to pop the crowd, but not deflate them during his eventual comeback. Then when he was on offense you would see a large arsenal of awesome moves. From the kicks to submissions to the high-flying he was doing it all. Everybody should check out more Waltman, because he deserves more praise.
What are your favorite Sean Waltman matches? Comment on Facebook and let me know if there is someone you would like covered on a future Wrestler Snapshot.
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