Today, we close out Cruiserweight Week with a match that was instrumental in making the idea of a cruiserweight division not only palatable, but exciting, for American audiences. In his youth, Rey Mysterio’s high-flying antics were an awe-inspiring spectacle. Regardless of how tired his shtick may have gotten by the end of his WWE tenure, the man revolutionized the sport. Without Rey, this is no Lucha Libre movement. Meanwhile, if you watched the CWC, you heard just about every competitor cite Eddie Guerrero as a source of inspiration. These two were both masters of their craft, and they both brought their A-games to WCW Halloween Havoc ’97. This Mask vs Title match is a truly impressive athletic display, and if you’ve never seen it, it’s mandatory viewing. It changed wrestling forever.
Of course it wasn’t just Eddie and Rey who altered the wrestling landscape and opened the floodgates for a generation of smaller competitors. Guys like Dean Malenko and Juventud Guerrera had a lot to do with it, as did Chris Jericho and Ultimo Dragon. Today, cruiserweights rule the indies. Despite its questionable beginnings, the Cruiserweight Championship has become an important part of North American wrestling, and matches like this are how that was accomplished. Now, thanks to the groundwork laid by men like Mysterio and Guerrero, the future of the cruiserweights is looking brighter than ever.