Billy Kidman - Mshake3 - Wikimedia Commons
This week the Underrated and Under Appreciated Wrestler Series takes a look at former WCW and WWE superstar Billy Kidman.
During the glory years of WCW, nothing delivered greatness consistently, on a week-to-week basis, than its cruiserweight division; which was producing the most exciting and interesting matches of the era. It provided a showcase for smaller workers, as well as a variety of international styles that most American fans hadn't been exposed to.
When you think of WCW's cruiserweight division, many great wrestlers immediately come to mind. Talents such as Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, Ultimo Dragon, and "he who shall not be named". The one name often excluded, but deserving of placement amongst that group, is Billy Kidman.
Billy Kidman was an outstanding worker, possessing one of the most beautiful shooting star presses in the business. He could stand with the best-of-the-best in the ring, but was often misused by WCW, and especially later on by WWE.
Kidman's first year spent in WCW was spent largely as a jobber, until he joined up with Raven's Flock. During his association with Raven's Flock, Billy was given a gimmick of being a heroin addict. Yes, a heroin addict. The gimmick was unheard of in professional wrestling at the time, but served to give Kidman his first major exposure. Plus, his break up from the group would help catapult him to some of his greatest matches.
The break up he had from the Flock would give him the chance to compete for the Cruiserweight Championship, as well as a great series of matches with Juventud Guerrera and Rey Mysterio. His rivalry with Mysterio would also eventually turn into a partnership that would produce a series of great matches with Malenko/Benoit and Raven/Saturn.
Billy would return to singles competition and win a Hair versus Mask Match against Psicosis before joining up with the Filthy Animal, and then eventually Vince Russo's New Blood faction.
Russo would push Kidman into a feud with Hulk Hogan over his continued existence at the top of the card. Although it pushed Billy into the spotlight, it did little for his career, because it was against Hogan of course. Even though Kidman did get a string of wins on Hogan, he was certainly not made to look good. The Hulkster would dominate the matches until the Kid was able to get a fluke pin. Good ol' Hulk for ya.
Kidman wouldn't do much of note during his remaining time in WCW; not until the final episode of Nitro, when he and Mysterio would win the WCW Tag Team Championship.
Billy became one of the wrestlers to make the immediate jump over to WWF as part of the Invasion storyline. Like many WCW wrestlers, he was not given a spot worthy of his talents. He would remain in the Cruiserweight Division, while other cruiserweight contemporaries, who had made the jump earlier, were elevated.
After years struggling through the mid-card in WWF/E, he would team up with Paul London to capture the WWE Tag Team Championship from the Dudley Boyz. London and Kidman would break up a few months later however. Their blow off feud would be the last match for Billy in the company. After a few years working the indies, Kidman would eventually return to the company as a trainer and producer.
Billy Kidman was a super talented worker who was decent on the mic, but he would be victim to Hogan, Russo, and McMahon. Kidman's work is underrated and under appreciated because it is often out shone by the later successes of his cruiserweight contemporaries.
Matches of Billy Kidman: