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MALENKO FRIDAY – 7/8 Match of the Day: Dean Malenko vs David Sammartino

by on July 8, 2011

There’s no better day to cool down on a hot summer morning than to embrace your neighborhood “Iceman”. It’s Malenko Friday, get down!

Today’s Match of the Day comes from the December 16th, 1996 episode of WCW Monday Nitro, as Dean Malenko had the bizarre task of being challenged for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship by David Sammartino, who had disappeared off the face of the planet for almost five years before re-appearing on this episode of Nitro and never returning.

David showed up looking like a competition bodybuilder after being really bulky and carrying weight just to look big during his run in the 1980’s. He came to play, as he was able to be there for Malenko every step of the way as they did hold/counter-hold. I loved the way they didn’t go out there and throw any bombs or use any big moves. It wasn’t a grudge match and neither guy were known for their flashy holds, so they just traded holds and cradles until Malenko outwrestled him (and though the finish was messed up by someone, I loved how no one had that “deer in the headlights” look on their face and they just went with it). It felt very much like an actual exhibition wrestling bout, if that makes sense. Also, any match with the spot where one guy fakes out a punch so the other will duck into a small package gets points from me.

To see the match in its entirety, click under the cut!

-TOM. 

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