Bracito De Oro/Cicloncito Ramirez/Mascarita Magica vs Damiancito El Guerrero/El Fierito/Pierrothito, CMLL 10/3/97
This was incredible.
A lot of people have a difficult time getting into lucha & trios make it harder. Hell, I had to watch this twice to realise it was an incredible match. The thing about trios is that you really have to watch a shitload of them to understand how they work. Trios have a loose structure. There's a few basic forms, but almost everything can be varied, which is why guys like Dr Lucha Steve Sims use jazz analogies -- improvised free form over the top of basic structures (something like that, I don't remember the exact quote.) What that basically means is you can work a trios any way you like, since there's only a few basic rules. You can vary just about anything -- from the length of the falls to the style of wrestling used; rhythm, pace, order... Workers probably don't think about it too much, but that's what they're doing in the choices they make. It's almost like each fall has a scale & workers can play notes up and down that scale.
At first it's difficult to know whether what you're watching is actually good, but once you figure out the possibilities it becomes much easier. Take this match for example. If you're wondering why it's great, the simple answer is the matwork, fast exchanges and dives. As Phil Schneider pointed out in the original thread -- http://board.deathvalleydriver.com/index.p...503&hl=mini (great read, btw), this is traditional CMLL build. What really impressed me is how they upped the rhythm of each fall. There's not a lot of rudo work in this match, so it's wrestled at pace. In most trios, the rhythm varies between the first and second fall depending on whether the rudos won or lost the opening fall. Here, the second caida is a faster version of the first. Yet it's even more creative. To keep upping the rhythm, while working more & more interesting holds, is the most impressive thing I've seen in a long time. To top that in the third caida is incredible. The first time I saw this, I thought "OK, it's a workrate match, but where's the rudo/technico stuff?" Now I'm thinking I just saw six guys master the workrate form of lucha libre trios.
There's an adage I learnt in screenwriting: ""Anxious, inexperienced writers obey rules. Rebellious, unschooled writers break rules. Artists master the form." There's a lot of guys these days who could do with mastering the form before trying this sort of workrate match.
I've barely seen any minis & was ridiculously out of the loop when DVDVR ran their Mini Mini Tourney, so now it's only right that I enter the world of minis...
Mascarita Sagrada vs Espectrito I, AAA 3/12/94
So this is the world of minis? Fantastic introduction, if you ask me. I was hooked from the beginning.
There was talk about this match not aging well & whether Mascarita Sagrada was all that great, but I cut him some slack since he's an actual mini & a great technico. Espectrito carried this; you could tell that by the way he shaped the falls, but Mexico is full of guys plying that trade or learning it from scratch. The key is how to make it big. How to get people standing like they do in this match. You could be Herodes himself & still the people want a charismatic technico. Super charisma is why Rayo De Jalisco & Cien Caras tear the house down & better matches don't. And while I admire everything Espectrito did -- and they were large falls, in a promotion known for bigger matches -- a match doesn't get this good unless the technico is something special. And he really is a charismatic little fellow.
If it doesn't age well it's because AAA was a flashly promotion and flashy stuff doesn't age well, but I still think it's a great match. Three big falls & an awesome ending.
Halcón Negro vs Olimpico, mask vs. mask, 10/30/98
Halcón Negro was a short, chubby guy with big hair and an awesome mask (see lucha wiki), who'd wipe out members of the crowd with his bumping & sell punch drunk off a Solar armdrag. Really solid in that short, chubby guy kind of way, which basically means he's awesome. He first caught my attention in boss undercard matches like Karloff Lagarde, Jr./Gladiador/Halcon Negro vs. Ringo Mendoza/Mascara Magica/Solar (5/97 TV) and then he had this feud with Olimpico.
Not the greatest of matches, but there's fun to be had. Everything about Olimpico screams run-of-the-mill, but Halcon carries the whole thing with his bumping and catching. And like all short, chubby guys, he can really motor. Fun matwork & really great use of the top turnbuckle, too. Herodes was a friend of his father's, so unless you fight with yearling bulls, you won't get better tutilige than that.
Regardless, all of that fun is so he can unmask. And what an unfortunate unmasking it was. He had a great mask and was a champ. He was never gonna be a champ again after he unmasked. That was obvious. Sad day.
Blue Panther/Mistico/Volador Jr. vs. Black Warrior/El Averno/El Mephisto, 10/20/06
This was very much in the new style, but the pace was good & it had Blue Panther in it, so the exchanges were better than usual. At this point, I'll take a short match with good rhythm. I watched some longer matches from Arena Mexico recently & they were amazingly shitty. This ain't a style that can go longer than 15 minutes.
Anyway, the Mistico/Black Warrior feud was actually quite good, even with BW gyrating every five seconds. I liked his look sin mascara & the way he'd pray to the Lord every time he did something dickish to Mistico or Que Monito. Their exchanges are usually pretty fluid, since BW's been working this style for a while now & they actually work a few payoffs into what they do. It's just a pity CMLL can't book a Mistico feud for shit. You'd think Mistico would be the one guy they actually book well, but nah. Surely Mistico could've taken his hair after brawling for six months straight. Maybe i'm living in a time warp.
1997 CMLL was stacked full of lucha libre professionales, and since I've been digging the simplest of trios, I thought it was time to rewatch the ciberneticos from early that year.
Dr. Wagner Jr./El Hijo Del Santo/El Texano/La Fiera/Mascara Magica/Mr. Niebla/Shocker vs Black Warrior/El Dandy/Felino/Mano Negra/Negro Casas/Scorpio Jr./Silver King, 3/28/97 &
Atlantis/Brazo De Oro/El Dandy/Mascara Magica/La Fiera/Negro Casas/Shocker/Ultimo Dragon vs Black Warrior/Dr. Wagner Jr./El Hijo Del Santo/Felino/Kevin Quinn/Satanico/Scorpio Jr./Silver King, 4/18/97
The April match is the famous one, considered by many to be the match of the decade. The reason people love it, I'm presuming, is because of the opening matwork -- almost a "caida" unto itself -- the strong individual performances, memorable booking & overall display of lucha libre. And I guess the length & that guy with the fur on his shoulders who runs the guantlet at the end. But I'm here to tell you -- don't sell the earlier match short!
Well, it is shorter. Guys basically hit the ring as hard as they can and try the most creative exchange they can think of. It's like the famous cibernetico without the matwork. That may sound spotty, but it actually has good rhythm. And the booking is great -- pitting technico vs. technico, rudo vs. rudo, while still working in Casas vs. Santo, Casas vs. Wagner and the thinking smarts of La Fiera. It'll never knock the other match off its perch, but it's quick draw stuff & I enjoyed it immensely.
Silver King v. Apolo Dantes, 6/23/95
This is a really good title match between two of the better workers in CMLL at the time. It might not please everyone, since it's kinda small in scope & doesn't bring the drama so necessary to our enjoyment of professional wrestling, but it's well worked & a good example of how you can work in stuff you've picked up from all over the place while still keeping a lucha form. Silver King has always done stuff you don't usually see from a guy his size, and Apolo Dantes was an awesome worker. Very much the all-rounder, with a great rudo swagger.
Rayo De Jalisco Jr. v. Apolo Dantes 5/31/96
I dig a big time Rayo De Jalisco singles match and this was fucking EPIC. I was gonna go into a spiel about how digging a Rayo match is like digging the fuck out of the 50s remake of Ben Hur, even though you know there's a dozen better William Wyler movies, but fuck it, Rayo brought all the matwork, submissions and big-time flying you could hope for. He envoured Apolo Dantes with the size difference; everything looking king-sized. And Dantes busted his ass big-time. I adore Rayo's big, dopey offence, but it was Dantes' selling that took this to such a plateau.
I guess over the next few years, people will start talking about the best matches of the decade. My goal is to find 20 lucha matches that I like. Maybe not the greatest matches, but matches that I like.
So far, I've got Atlantis/Villano, both Santo/Panther Monterrey matches, Santo/Perro 8/04, Misioneros vs. Space Cadets, the Negro Navarro/Solar tags & maybe El Dandy/Negro Navarro.
That leaves about a dozen matches.
La Parka vs Ultimo Guerrero (CMLL Light Heavyweight Title), 09/17/04
This is actually the match that made me wonder what the fuck is wrong with lucha these days. Well, it's a few years later and the sky hasn't fallen, but this is still a cheap match. Ultimo Guerrero's a good worker & Parka was making one of those resurgent lucha comebacks in 2004. Hate to see that cheapened by throwaway, ten minute matches.
El Dandy v L.A. Park, ENESMA, 10/29/04
I liked the ideas in this match, about how to pace and sell a lucha title match... Which automatically makes it better than the above match, even if El Dandy is slow and limits his bumps. I don't mind if guys are half a step slow if they've got the right ideas. But the finish sucked.
Atlantis vs Rey Bucanero, CMLL 7/22/07
This was SHOCKINGLY good. Atlantis sucks as a rudo & I don't like Bucanero one bit, but forget about all that... Atlantis still knows how to work a lucha title match. Match was edited a lot, so perhaps it wasn't actually this good, but for once there was drama in the Arena Coliseo. If you can get your head around the fact that Atlantis is ancient and slow, I doubt you'll see a smarter match than this for a while, even if Atlantis' working boots are all worn out.
Averno vs. Mistico, CMLL 1/05/05
These guys are forever trying hard to have a good match. I try hard to like it every time. This is supposed to be their best match together. I think I'm about ready to give up.
Ultimo Guerrero/Rey Bucanero v. El Hijo Del Santo/Negro Casas, CMLL 11/02/01
Eh, the only thing lucha about this match was the finish to each fall. I like seeing lucha in lucha matches and not just in the finishes.
Shocker vs. Dr Wagner, Jr., CMLL 3/26/02
Shocker vs. Ultimo Guerrero, CMLL 2/14/03
I remember watching the first match at the time & thinking it was a pretty standard, almost pedestrian lucha title match. Funny how it stands out as a quality piece of wrestling these days. The second match I really wanted to like, but too many of their bad habits crept in.
El Hijo Del Santo vs La Parka, 12/23/01
The classic Monterrey bloodbath. I'm not really sold on it being a great match, but I need to remind myself that I liked it & it's slim pickings for this decade. Maybe I'm just difficult to please. Santo was quite happy to play the dickish rudo, while Parka was hardly a saint, I just think the best lucha brawls have a bigger arc than this, possibly because they're wager matches or simply because they turn into more of a fight.
Atlantis/Emilio Charles Jr./Felino vs Black Warrior/Blue Panther/Dr. Wagner Jr, 1/22/99
This was a really good trios. The heel/face dynamic was a little weak, so it wasn't as good as the stuff from the early 90s. but Atlantis was channeling 1991 in his matwork with Panther & the way he sold and bumped for everyone else.
Apollo Dantes/ Fuerza Guerrera/ Villano 3 vs Brazo de Plata/ Olympico/ Emilio Charles Jr, 2/99 TV
Searching for great lucha is like searching for the perfect beat. Here's a match to remind you that above all lucha should be fun. Super Porky's been doing his shtick forever. Fuzera's been doing his shtick forever. Never gets old.
El Hijo Del Santo/Negro Casas vs Bestia Salvaje/Scorpio Jr. (Mask/Hair vs Hair/Mask), 3/11/99
This is really classic CMLL booking -- trios after trios after trios, building up a feud until the public finally want the big hair match, big mask match or in this case both. Negro Casas and Bestia Salvaje had been feuding for years at this point. Hell, this match doesn't even end the feud, but it's for all the money. Perhaps not the best match to watch cold, but you'll figure it out. Looking back at old reviews, Bestia Salvaje & Scorpio Jr. were maligned in favour of the Black Warriors, Shockers & Mr. Nieblas of the day. I'm late to the party, but I gotta say Bestia & Scorpio Jr. are a hell of a lot more solid than those guys ever turned out to be. Solid rudos. Hombre Balas with a push. People didn't like how they'd slow a match down, but slow, methodical rudo work is how you shape the rhythm of a match.
Negro Casas/Shocker/Mr Niebla vs. Apolo Dantes/Dr Wagner, Jr./Scorpio Jr., 5/99 TV
And the feud continues... This was a lot of fun. The rudos gave Casas a ton of shit & Casas was in full on technico mode, brawling with all three at once. The great thing about Casas as a technico is how his ego switches. He was such a cocky rudo, yet as a face he won't tolerate the slightest insult. Ha. Casas is classic. He'd switch back in a second. Match also continued Shocker's turn, but Casas could give a fuck because Scorpio just pisses him off.
Love Machine, Eddy Guerrero & Hijo Del Santo vs Fuerza Guerrera, Fishman & Blue Panther, AAA - 7/23//93
I've never really liked AAA no matter how many of their workers I like or how good the booking might have been. Something about the style, I guess. That goes double for Gringos Locos. The Panther/Love Machine hair match, the 11/93 45 minute tag, the WWC hair vs. masks match. I don't like any of it.
This, however, is a classic trios. Most people remember it for the double (or is it triple?) switch -- Love Machine tricking Eddie into turning on Santo & Panther coming to his rescue, but the match itself is great, which obviously makes the angle even better. Even a washed up Fishman can't drag this down. Love Machine was on point here. I dare say he never looked better. He broke up the Santo/Panther matwork, but never you mind... Because that's clearly rudo & Santo's not happy. In between Love Machine wanting to kick the shit out of Panther and rip his mask off, and Santo insisting that the righteous never do so, there's the usual masterful performance from Fuerza Guerrera, who, if I remember correctly, had a really beautiful exchange with Eddie that rekindled my appreciation for Guerrera as a worker. Of all the guys who jumped to AAA, I think Fuerza's the one who shone the most, even if it was in trios.
The angle is slow burning & great & moreover convincing, as it's set up really well. I don't wanna spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it, just let me say I've enjoyed a lot of great rudos & Love Machine was on point here. I'll watch more AAA because of this.
CMLL June/July 1997
Scorpio/Wagner/Santo vs Fiera/Dragon/Casas, 6/6/97
Scorpio/Wagner/Santo vs Fiera/Dragon/Casas, 6/13/97
Santo/Emilio/Wagner vs Casas/Ultimo Dragon/Felino, 6/20 or 6/27/97
El Hijo del Santo vs. Felino for the WWA Welterweight Title, 7/4/97
A lot of people are familiar with the Santo heel turn & the mask vs. hair match from the 64th Anniversary show, but man was the TV leading into that match great. Here you've got a month's worth of trios building to the Santo/Felino title match; heated, brawling trios, all spun around the Casas Brothers vs. Santo feud and all of them fucking great. You couldn't ask for more.
All that heat & brawling leads to a straight up title match between Santo and Felino that's wrestled exactly like a lucha title match, with Negro and Bestia as seconds. The first caida is almost entirely mat work & it's some of the best I've seen from Santo. Around this time, lucha guys started to get a lot stiffer & work the mat like Japanese promotions... There were more lariats & powerbombs & moves that make it easy for people who don't like lucha to like this stuff. I was never happy with the way Santo and Casas work the mat in the Anniversary show match, since it's just not lucha. But there's no denying that this was a great match even in that style. The matwork and stiffness seems nastier. The match is fantastic. The ending beyond awesome, recalling all the great second moments in lucha libre history. Outrage and talk of mascara contra mascara. CMLL was shit-hot in 1997 and this was great booking.
My thought on Disk #3 (Ranked in order of best-to-worst):
Cream of the crop:
1. Ted DiBiase vs. Hacksaw Duggan (No DQ, Loser Leaves Town, Coal Miner's Glove on a Poll, Tuxedo, Cage match ) (3/22/85) [bR-14] - Wow. A short but an awesome, brutal and bloody cage match to cap off their feud. it's bad enough to get your ass kicked but now they have to do it in their best clothes. This easily would've still been #1 for me even without all the history that DVDVR provided. But the inclusion of it made it that much better a finish to their feud.
2. Ted DiBiase vs. Jim Duggan (No DQ) (3/8/85) [bR-13] - Great No-DQ match before the cage one. It was a regular match to begin with but was changed right before the bell. Gonna have to re-watch their streetfight from Disk #1 and compare, as both are great. Hacksaw Duggan is in 3 and-a-half matches of my Top 5, who would've thunk it?
3. Ric Flair vs. Terry Taylor (4/28/85) [bR-17] - After all those 10 minutes lightening fast tag matches and energetic brawls, Flair brings it to a halt with this 30 minute match. I really liked it though with a slow NWA-title-defense-like beginning building up to an exciting ending. Can Taylor bring home the gold? Solid match.
Very good too:
4.Rock N Roll Express vs. Chavo & Hector Guerrero (2/13/85) [bR-11] - Great TV tag match with the Guerreros using all kinds of funky moves to try and win the belts.
5. The Fantastics vs. Dr. Death & Jake Roberts (4/14/85) [bR-15] - I really liked this tag team match-up. Roberts and Dr. Death make a great heel tag team. The fantastics have the heart but are overpowered.
6. Ted DiBiase vs. Brad Armstrong (2/10/85) [bR-10] - Really good match where Armstrong's trying to regain his title. Armstrong's really good here, but it's DiBiase who really shines.
7. Buddy Landel, Chavo & Hector Guerrero vs. Brickhouse Brown, Bill Dundee & Jose Lothario (Elimination Match) (11/16/84) [bR-2] - Neat elimination match with the Guerrero gang going after poor old Lothario.
8. Ted DiBiase & Dr. Death vs. Hacksaw Duggan & Terry Gordy (Texas Tornado Match) (1/21/85) [bR-9] - Tornado tag match which means a No-DQ brawl without tags. Action went everywhere, in-and-out of the ring.
Good to OK
9. Ernie Ladd & Butch Reed vs. Magnum T.A. & Master G (Street Fight) (11/4/84) [bR-1] - Match turned from a Street Fight into a regular tag, good match.
10. Rock N Roll Express vs. Midnight Express (1/21/85) [bR-8] - Typical and fun RNR/Midnights match.
OK but ain't no Top 20 or nothin:
11. Kevin Von Erich vs. Chris Adams (1/18/85) [bR-6] - World Class comes to Mid-South. I really liked this match but it was super-short (under 5 minutes). Just can't rate it too high because of that.
12. Buddy Landel, Chavo & Hector Guerrero vs. Rock N Roll Express & Jose Lothario (1/18/85) [bR-7] [sDM-14] - This was listed as an elimination match but was actually a 6-man. Pretty fun match but nothing that made me want to rank it high.
13. Brad Armstrong vs. Ted DiBiase (1/16/85) [bR-5] - Armstrong's defending the title. Good TV match. But I liked their rematch much more.
14. Rock N Roll Express vs. Midnight Express (Scaffold Match) (12/2/84) [bR-3] - As far as scaffold matches it wasn't too bad, but I never really could rate those high for some reason. Think they play alot better live (and scarier!)
15. Rock N Roll Express & Butch Reed vs. Dr. Death, Kamala & One Man Gang (2/25/85) [bR-12] - Somewhere along the way Reed turned good-guy! OK 6-man but nothing special. Reed's demands and chants for the Emancipation of Kamala was priceless.
16. Rock N Roll Express vs. Dirty White Boys (4/15/85) [bR-16] - OK tag match but seemed too formulaic to me. The Dirty White Boys looked like good heels though. Maybe if it was longer..
No Sir. I Didn't like it:
17. Adrian Street vs. Terry Taylor (Loser Leaves Town) (12/7/84) [bR-4] - Never really got into this. Street wants revenge after Tayor started macking on his valet. "You don't mow another man' grass."
Thought for Disk #3:
- The Guerreros are an awesome tag team.
- I really noticed how fantastic the camera/audio work is for aot of the house shows. You can hear every word of Dibiase and Jake Robert talking trash. And the video quality is great too.
Floyd's Ongoing Mid-South Top 10: (After three Disks)
1. Ted DiBiase vs. Hacksaw Duggan (No DQ, Loser Leaves Town, Coal Miner's Glove on a Poll, Tuxedo, Cage match ) (3/22/85) [bR-14]
2. Junkyard Dog & Mr. Olympia vs. Ted Dibiase & Matt Borne (Loser Leaves Town) (10/27/82) [PTB-8]
3. Ted DiBiase vs. Hacksaw Duggan (Street Fight) (7/29/83) [PTB-14]
4. Mr. Olympia vs. Chavo Guerrerro (6/24/83) [PTB-13]
5. Ted DiBiase vs. Jim Duggan (No DQ) (3/8/85) [bR-13]
6. Rock N Roll Express & Hacksaw Duggan vs. Midnight Express & Ernie Ladd (6/8/84) [sDM-3][/b]
7. Mr. Wrestling II & Magnum T.A. vs. Midnight Express (2/10/84) [PTB-16]
8. Ric Flair vs. Terry Taylor (4/28/85) [bR-17]
9. Magnum T.A. vs. Ted DiBiase (No DQ) (Tulsa 5/27/84) [sDM-2]
10. Magnum T.A. vs. Ted DiBiase (No DQ) (OKC 5/27/84) [sDM-1]
Your thought on Disks #3? Or any of the Mid South matches? Onto #4 and all the Flair that comes with it. Whoooo!
Man am I ever digging Black Terry, especially now he has a moustache.
Seems daft, but I managed to find his hair match against Cerebro Negro from November, music videos of his feud with Fantasma de la Ópera & February's match against Multifacetico.
The kids aren't up to much, but Terry can still go. He moves incredibly well for a guy his age and can still bump. And he's like this journeyman, who can work the mat lucha style or do all the indie shit that these youngs are into. Plus he has a great welterweight punch. And his moustache is just awesome.
Negro Navarro vs. El Dandy, IWRG 11/18/01
I liked this more than I did three or four years ago. At the time I was really into Dandy in his prime, so I found this a bit slow. You're never too old to learn a different kind of rhythm, I guess. Having said that, I'm not gonna pretend I love it because it's Navarro and Dandy working the mat in a longish title match. The match is wrestled at the same pace throughout, since Navarro doesn't really have the stamina to work a longer singles match at his age & the selling isn't the greatest, so it has the same rhythm across each fall. Lately I've been doubtful about how good Dandy really was/is on the mat & while he wasn't schooled, I thought there was a gap between what he can do & what Navarro does.
El Dandy/Ultimo Vampiro/Fantasma vs. Negro Navarro/El Pantera/Bomber Infernal (IWRG - 3/4/02)
Fun match. The Dandy/Navarro exchanges were awesome, especially the punching segments. The others were along for the ride, so I wouldn't call it a great trios, but it was good.
El Texano, Negro Navarro & El Signo v Villano III, IV & V, IWRG 12/04
What can I say? I thought this was terrible. Slow, plodding, awkward. Signo was awful. i liked the ending where they start punching each other, but this was the flipside of veterans still working.
On a positive note, the youtube clips of Solar/Kenzo vs. Panther/Navarro are awesome. As much as I love Navarro, his age does show at times. There's a Blue Panther/Navarro clip on youtube that's disappointing in that respect. His work is much better in tags or trios from a standing base.
Solar/Mano Negra vs. Negro Navarro/Black Terry, AULL VIP 3/10/07
This was such a great match. I wanted to write about how this is real lucha & how young guys in Mexico don't know how to work anymore, but I'm trying to keep an open mind about that, so instead I'll praise Mexico for being a place where veterans can work a match that's not only "old-school", but as good as any lucha I've seen. I mean, Solar is 51. Mano Negra is 56. Negro Navarro is 50 and Black Terry is 55. It's obvious you're watching 30 years of wrestling experience when you see mat work like this, but who lit a fire under Mano Negra? He sure as hell wasn't working like this when he dropped his mask. I saw bits and pieces of Todo X El Todo on youtube & those guys were working hard too. The exchanges between Santo & Dos Caras were almost as good. I dunno if it's for money or pride, but they're outworking everybody.
Made me wanna check out more Black Terry, so I tracked down a singles match against Santo in Hamada's UWF. He was quite the bumper. Quite the bumper indeed. He can still fucking go too.
1993.04.08. CMLL - Corazón de León, Negro Casas & La Fiera vs. Mocho Cota, Emilio Charles Jr. & Bestia Salvaje
1993.07.09. CMLL - Atlantis, Corazón de León & El Dandy vs. Mano Negra, Javier Cruz & Black Magic
The best of a bad bunch of CMLL I watched, including a disappointing 40 min tag between Corazón de León/Ultimo Dragon and Negro Casas/El Dandy (though Casas was typically awesome.)
Trios matches are at the heart of lucha libre wrestling & if you've watched a bit of lucha you're probably aware that they can mix it up whichever way they like... The first trios is a complete brawl, instigated by the rudos and continued by the technicos. Emilio Charles, Jr. goes straight after La Fiera, busting him open, and Mocho Cota has a field day roughing Casas up in the corner... This all leads to the kind of outburst only Casas is capable of (in knee high socks no less) & a fucking awesome tope from La Fiera, who catches Emilo gloating on the outside. Lots of great brawling, punches, crotch shots & a DQ for excessive violence. Makes you wanna see Emilio vs. La Fiera in a hair match. Jericho didn't have a clue what to do, but it was up tempo & didn't really concentrate on his stuff with Bestia.
The second trios has a long first fall with some cool matwork between El Dandy & Black Magic, trying really hard to be a rudo. Javier Cruz keeps breaking up Dandy's pin attempts & that leads to an awesome Dandy punch that sends Cruz flying from the apron. Another match you wanna see booked. This is really about the Atlantis/Mano Negra feud, however, & may be a high point because their mask match was dire. (I like the 80s stuff I've seen from Negra, & Atlantis is a favourite, but he peaked in '91 and they were both several steps slower.) Jericho is lost, but there was enough greatness elsewhere.
My thought on Disk #2 (Ranked in order of best-to-worst):
Cream of the crop:
1. Rock N Roll Express & Hacksaw Duggan vs. Midnight Express & Ernie Ladd (6/8/84) [sDM-3] - Really surprised this was my favorite match of the set but it was really fun. Ladd just towered over everybody and the Midnights and Cornette brought their shenanigans to the party. Ricky Morton plays Ricky Morton here. A molten crowd always helps too.
2. Magnum T.A. vs. Ted DiBiase (No DQ) (Tulsa 5/27/84) [sDM-2] - Hard to pick this or their same day match, but I liked this one a bit better. It seemed a bit more heated and Magnum's come-back a bit more dramatic. Both guys brawled all over the place over Magnum's N.American title with DiBiase using the No-DQ rule to cheat it up. I heard the Motorcity machine guns got heat for refusing to blade while Magnum bladed twice in one day. The times.... they are a changin''
3. Magnum T.A. vs. Ted DiBiase (No DQ) (OKC 5/27/84) [sDM-1] - Same greatness. Different city. .
Very good too:
4.The Fantastics vs. Chavo & Hector Guerrero (10/12/84) [sDM-13] - Great little tag match showing what a fun heel team the Guerreros were.
5. Magnum T.A. vs. Ted DiBiase (7/6/84) [sDM-5] - I actually had this higher than the two No-DQ matches initially, but after rewatching all three again (and yet again), I rated this 3rd. Still a very good match with magnum yet again having to make a dramatic come-back to retain the belt.
6. Rock N Roll Express & Hacksaw Duggan vs. Midnight Express & Ernie Ladd (7/2/84) [sDM-4] - Not as great as the first encounter, but still really fun.
7. The Fantastics & Hacksaw Duggan vs. Midnight Express & Jim Cornette (7/20/84) [sDM-6] - While not their best match-up, the great thing about this match is comedy involved with Cornette. Red hot crowd.
8. The Fantastics vs. Midnight Express (No DQ) (9/28/84) [sDM-11] - Started out as an amazing anything goes No-Dq brawl but slowed up as it turned into a tag team match. Still really good. Hey where's Cornette? All I see is some masked dude outside the ring. ;-)
9. The Fantastics vs. Midnight Express (OKC 8/9/84) [sDM-7]) - Typical Midnight Express formula which as DDT says is not a bad thing but a good thing..
Good to OK
10. Killer Khan vs. Chris Adams (9/9/84) [sDM-9]) - Killer Khan gets alot of hate but I really enjoyed this short but fun match. Khan seems flabbergasted by Adams getting the better of him early on but soon him and his manager take over.
11. Dusty Rhodes & Jim Duggan vs. Butch Reed & Hercules Hernandez (8/19/84) [sDM-8] - More proof just how awesome Reed was. Another red hot crowd making an average match so much better.
OK but ain't no Top 20 or nothin:
12. Brickhouse Brown & Master G vs. Butch Reed & Ernie Ladd (10/21/84) [sDM-14] - Another really fun tag match but too slow in some parts.
13. Butch Reed vs. Skip Young (9/23/84) [sDM-10] - Both guys played their parts well but I dunno. Nothing stood out as memorable.
14. Adrian Street vs. Chris Adams (10/10/84) [sDM-12] - Expected a better technical match then this. Short TV match. Adrian Street. Woman beater!!
Thought fo' Disk #2:
- Was harder for me to get through, and needed lots of re-watches. I guess cause of the repeats of match-ups and the fact that while nothing jumped out as super-mega-awesome, nothing was bad either. Good stuff all 'round on this disk.
- First time I saw Ernie Ladd. He had to be pretty broken down from his football and wrestling career at this stage, but was alot more spry then what I would've figured. For some reason he reminded me of a black Giant Baba. Baba should've turned heel and teamed with Ladd in the 70's....
- Butch Reed is an awesome heel.
- The Fantastics stock went up a bit for me.
- I saw some future Eddie Guerrero heel stuff while watching his brothers perform.
- The Bonus stuff is really fun for it's history and is a very welcome addition.
Floyd's Ongoing Mid-South Top 10: (After two Disks)
1. Junkyard Dog & Mr. Olympia vs. Ted Dibiase & Matt Borne (Loser Leaves Town) (10/27/82) [PTB-8]
2. Ted DiBiase vs. Hacksaw Duggan (Street Fight) (7/29/83) [PTB-14]
3. Mr. Olympia vs. Chavo Guerrerro (6/24/83) [PTB-13]
4. Rock N Roll Express & Hacksaw Duggan vs. Midnight Express & Ernie Ladd (6/8/84) [sDM-3]
5. Mr. Wrestling II & Magnum T.A. vs. Midnight Express (2/10/84) [PTB-16]
6. Magnum T.A. vs. Ted DiBiase (No DQ) (Tulsa 5/27/84) [sDM-2]
7. Magnum T.A. vs. Ted DiBiase (No DQ) (OKC 5/27/84) [sDM-1]
8. The Fantastics vs. Chavo & Hector Guerrero (10/12/84) [sDM-13]
9. Mr. Olympia vs. Bob Roop (7/15/82) [PTB-5]
10. Mr. Wrestling II & Junkyard Dog vs. Matt Borne & Ted DiBiase (2/16/83) [PTB-10]
Your thought on Disk#2? Or any of the Mid South matches?
Ciclon Ramirez vs. Felino, mask vs. mask, 7/9/93
Ciclon Ramirez was such a great luchador. The key to being a great luchador, I think, is whether you can work the mat. Mat wrestling's not something you can cheat. You can either wrestle or you can't. If you can, it gives you presence far beyond the mask and how well you pose for magazines... It may be the ultimate display of a technico's merit.
This is a good example of luchadors matching each other -- not hold for hold, but moment for moment. The match has a classic lucha structure -- Ramirez dominates the first fall with mat work; in the second fall they pick up the pace & run the ropes; in the concluding fall they pull out the dives and big spots. It's a beautifully worked match in the lucha style, but there's also a lot at stake (being a mask vs. mask match) & the reminder is there in how they sell the falls and near falls. In lucha, a fall can end in the most simplest of fashions, but like any wrestling, it's how you sell it that really counts. In the end, when Felino takes the deciding fall and leaps for joy, inviting his son to the ring while it all sinks in for Ramirez... And the announcer comes to the ring to take down Ramirez' real name and place of birth, while he stalls and delays the unmasking... Those are the moments that tell a story.
Floyd’s Rant for Wrestemania IV
To be honest I wasn’t looking forward to this show for 2 reasons:
1) It’s not really that good.
2) It’s loooonnngggggggggggggggg (~4 hrs.)
This year after Hogan was pinned cleanly by Andre (fuck you Hogan, you lost, the ref counted 3… live with it), Andre gave/sold the World title belt to Ted Dibiase. The WWF wouldn’t allow it so they declared the title vacant and set up a tournament for the title. I thought the tournament was a great idea but unfortunately all the matches were way to short to be any good.
Show opens and Ventura says how excited he is is for this event and how happy he is to be calling the show with Monsoon rather than Vince McMahon (who he always argued with in SNME). Bob Uecker is here! Awesome, let the jokes begin! He gives a glare to Ventura. Ventura responds by silently holding his fist in front of the Uke’s face.
0. 20-Man Battle Royal – Participants: Sika, Danny Davis, The Killer Bees, Bad News Brown, Sam Houston, The Rougeau’s, The hart Foundation, The Young Stallions, Ken Patera, Outlaw Ron Bass, Junkyard Dog, The Bolsheviks, Hillbilly Jim, Harley Race and George Steele.
Bob Uecker is guest commentator for this match, and he’s pretty hilarious with Ventura. For some reason George “the Animal” Steele starts the match outside the ring and apparently he’s eliminated without even being in the match!?! Maybe he couldn’t take a bump over the ropes ala Iron Sheik in WM 17. Uke says he’s got a date with Vanna White but Ventura says she’s in love with him. It’s weird seeing Ken Patera without blonde/white hair. Final 5: JYD, Harley Race, Bad News Allen, Bret Hart, Paul Roma. Harley takes a 360 bump to be eliminated. Bad News takes care of Roma. Stampede buddies Bad News and Bret Hart team up and after awhile they eventually eliminates JYD. They shake hands and celebrate, looks like their gonna split the win-money and trophy. BUT IT’S A SWERVE!!!! Bad news with a ghetto-blaster to Bret and he dumps him for the win. Bad news receives the trophy and looks pleased until Hart comes back in and smashes the trophy to pieces!! *
I heard this was the beginning of Hart’s singles push, but after discovering they were getting rid of Neidheart, he opted to stay tag teaming for 3 more years. Uke leaves to find Vanna White. After he leaves Ventura says he knows right where she is.
1. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan Vs. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase (w/ servant Virgil and Andre the Giant) – Although I’ve never seen one, I’ve heard these two had some tremendous matches in their Mid-South feud. Let’s see how this one turns out. Funny story, Virgil was named that because it was the first name of their competition’s head booker Dusty Rhodes. Years later Virgil went to WCW and was renamed Vincent, after Vince McMahon. There’s also an interesting rumor on how Virgil got his job but I don’t believe it and good taste prevents me from telling it. Dibiase starts slow but then they start brawling and Duggan wins that, DiBiase takes a nasty bump to the outside. Dibiase’s awesome, he gets better every time I see his matches. Back and forth and Dibiase gets the advantage. Duggan gets a sunset-flip and Ventura is amazed that dumb-ass Duggan actually pulled a move like that out of his ass. Ventura: “Only at Wrestlemania can I be amazed….” Eventually Duggan comes back but Andre cheats and knocks Duggan out for the DiBiase pin. Andre earned his $$ from Ted that match. Wow tons better than I remember but still nothing special. *1/2
2. Dino Bravo (w/ manager Frenchy Martin) Vs. “Da Rock” Don Muraco (w/ training-supplements-supplier “Superstar” Billy Graham) – Ha WTF is Muraco’s music from? It sounds like a 60’s Hercules movie theme that Mystery Science Theatre 3000 shows. 2 big dudes here. Muraco makes a few early mistakes but the commentators cover for him nicely. Once again Ventura tries to explain the Dino Bravo bench press record that he “helped” on. Bravo kicks Muraco off into the ropes.. into a freakin’ hangman’s noose!!! Whoa!… Bravo with a piledriver, nice once too! Ref bump!! Bravo hits his finishing move, the ref goes over and…….. it looks like Muraco won by DQ!?! WTF!?!?! Aha I didn’t notice it like the commentators but Bravo used the ref as a shield drawing the DQ. This match was also alot better than I remember too. But still only *
Kickass promo where Jimmy Hart and Honkytonk put down Uke again. Ain’t no love for the Uke tonight?
3. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (w/ manager Jimmy Hart) Vs. Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat – This is a come-back of sort as Steamboat took a long time off from the WWF are being pissed at McMahon. He brings his son to the ring, Ventura says he’s got cheeks bigger than Bundy. This should be a good one. Steamboat starts off fast and gets his trademark arm drags. Lotsa quick pins for 2, with Steamboat reversing all of Valentine’s moves and we’re back on the arm. Ventura says his pal Barry Blaustein (Director of “Beyond The Mat”) thinks Steamboat’s gonna win the tournament. Valentine’s in the driver seat now and lays the hammer down. Monsoon says: “The external proximal protuberance”, Ventura asks: “What the fuck did you just say?” So Monsoon says “that lump on the back of your head”. Donald Trump is ringside. His wife looks thrilled to be there (not). If I was Steamboat or Valentine I’d take a backdrop over the railing on ‘em. Hammer’s beating the crap out of Steamboat. Chopfest! Back and forth action until Steamboat hits a high cross body, which Valentine’s reverses it for the pin and a small upset! Really good match for the short time allocated. *** Steamboat thanks the fans before he leaves. About 9 months later Steamboat is the NWA World Champion and putting on some of the greatest matches of all-time with Ric Flair.
4. :”The Natural” Butch Reed (w/ manager “Da Doctor O’ Style” Slick) Vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage (w/ luggage Elizabeth) – Da Slickster dance! Much like Dynamite Kid and Terry Funk, Slick was ahead of his time baby!
Ventura’s glad (as am I) that McMahon isn’t doing commentary as he’s worse than Jerry Lawler when it comes to Elizabeth. Seriously it’s no wonder Savage used to be super over-protective with her with Vince’s horny-ass hanging around. Savage tries to use his quickness but Reed uses his power to get the edge. Reed takes smack to Elizabeth, enabling Savage to hit the Flair-slam from the top! Quicker than you can blink he’s on the top rope and gets the elbow drop for the win! 1/2*
Back to the Uke with Bobby Heenan & The Islanders. Heenan puts him down. Yet more Uker hate is unleashed on this show
5. The One man gang (w /manger Slick) Vs. “Bam Bam” Bigalow (w/ Lord Oliver Humperfink)– One Man Gang had a nice run in World Class against the Von Erichs (Hope I thinking of the right guy). He went on too become Akeem the Dream. Bam Bam is a incredibly underrated wrestler. I think the only due he got in the U.S. was a brief run in ECW. One Man Gang starts off quick until Bigalow comes back. High cross body by 350+ Bam Bam! Bam Bam goes to the ropes and Slick accidentally slightly touched the ropes and Bigalow went flying out. Bigalow, what a clumsy Ox. Bell rings? Uhhhh.. Count out win by One Man Gang? Hmmmmm.. That would be fine except Bam Bam got back into the ring in ohhh in about 2 seconds??? Ah well whatever, One Man Gang advances. 1/2*
6. “Ravishing” Ric Rude Vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts (w/ drinking buddy “Damian”) – This is a great opening round match because they were startinjg the feud. Rude’s gimmick was kissing women in the audience. Well one time he kissed Roberts wife so Roberts went ballistic. Rude responded by spray painting Jake’s wife ion his tights. Pretty intense and innovative stuff for its day. Ventura says Rude is the winner of the Jesse “the Body” award. Monsoon asks “What about Ultimate Warrior?” Ventura says: ”His face is too ugly. Looks count too..” Rude’s pretty awesome, he started off terrible but every year he got better and better in every facet of wrestling until he was a great bumper and probably WCW’s best heel until his career-ending injury.
Hmmmmm… actually I guess that feud was after this match. Forget everything I wrote..:-) Jake gets the advantage and works da arm. Roberts goes for the DDT and Rude scurries out of the ring. Heenan hugs him. Rude back in and he takes control after a screwed up Robert’s knee drop. Lonnnnngggggggg wear-down sequence, lasting pretty much the entire match. Roberts finally gets out and they trade moves until the bell rings? Time limit draw! That means neither man advances. Nice start and good ending but really boring in the middle. * Jake tries to ram his snake in Rude’s face, but he escape beforehand. Mean gene asks Vanna White’s opinion on Bob Ukear. Vanna White: “Who?”
7. Non-Tournament match: Herculez Hernandez Vs. The Ultimate Warrior – Monsoons says the retard Warrior breaks the 220 record when he runs to the ring. Staredown and although I never see homophopic stuff in wrestling (like a lot of non-fans), I swear I thought Warrior was gonna give Herc an open mouthed kiss. But see queering don’t make the world work. Warrior tries to skin the cat on the ropes, but he ain’t no Steamboat. Both guys brawl outside the ring. Hercules is completely carrying this match. Herc with the full nelson, Warrior in desperation does the Bret Hart/Steve Austin sleeper-escape thingy in the corner and it ends up with Herc shoulder’s down for the 3 count!! Really not much here. ½*
8. Hulk “I won’t job to my best friend Andre cleanly” Hogan Vs. Andre the Giant (w/ bodyguard Virgil and executive consultant Ted DiBiase) – These guys received a bye from the first round because of the SNME controversy. Nice video package of the feud is shown. Anyway for those who don’t know here’s what went down. Andre/Hogan II took place at SNME in early 88. Andre had the Hulkster’s pinned, Hogan got his shoulder up, but the ref counted to 3 and Andre won the title!!!!!!! It seemed the ref was the “evil” twin brother of Earl Hepner, of Dave or I dunno whichever.. Anyway he was paid off and Andre gave the title to Ted Dibiase. GM Jack Tunney said no way and the title was vacated. That SNME match was voted PWI’s Best match of 1988 and although it was a horrendous match quality wise, the sheer markout value of seeing Hogan cry like a bitch (seriously it was hilarious!) in front of the largest TV audience ever for a wrestling match was well worth any awards given to it.
Hogan tries to cheapshot right away but Andre’s too quick for him. For absolutely no reason Hogan starts illegally attacking DiBaise and Virgil, jezz what a role model. Maybe it’s roid-rage and he has to beat up people smaller than him. Andre get’s tied upin the ropes, giving Hogan time to rip off his shirt and pose. Hogan gets some shots in but Andre stops him and starts to choke. Andre with the super slow-mo offense. Finally the “training-enhancers” kick in and Hulkster Hulks up!! He punches Andre in the corner and goes for the slam.. But DiBiase with the chairshot to his back! Hehe money , money, money.. Hogan hits Andre with the chair, Andre grabs it and hits Hogan as well (makes a nice “ding” sound off his skull too!). Bell rings. DOUBLE-DQ!!! Wow that was a HUGE upset for this. Hogan runs after DiBiase and Vigil eats a suplex in the floor from Hogan. A very sloppy, lazy and dangerous suplex too. Both guys are eliminated!! Well Andre certainly earned his money again tonight, he got rid of Hogan and took one for the team. That smart strategist DiBiase, his evil plan is working perfectly I tells yeah! Hogan poses for the fans, which lasts longer than the match. ½*
9. Ted DiBiase (w/ out Virgil) Vs. Don Muraco (w/ “Superstah” Bully Graham) – Muraco starts off fast and tries to get a quick pin to advance. Ventura says he taught former WWF Champ Billy Graham everything he knows. DiBiase reverses a move and Muraco is slingshot into the corner post. Now it’s all Dibiase until he misses a reverse top rope elbow. Back and forth and DiBiase gets a nice hotshot which gives him a clean win. Good match **
10. Randy “Macho man” Savage Vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (w/ manager Jimmy “Da Mouth of the South” Hart). - Dang you know if Steamboat had won, this would’ve been Savage/Steamboat II! All well…Savage starts quick but The Hammer lays the pain down soon. Big chops and Valentine rams Savage into the outside railing. Monsoon says Elizabeth looks worried but I swear every emotion she shows looks exactly the same… boredom.. Valentine goes for his finisher, the Figure-Four, but Savage gets to the ropes. Savage makes a good comeback but the hammer soon stops that. Figure-Four attempt, turned into a small package for a 3 count, Savage wins! Another good round 2 match. **
11. INTER-CONTINENTAL TITLE: The Honkytonk Man (w/ manager Jimmy Hart and Peggy Sue) Vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake – An enthusiastic Sherri Martel is Peggy Sue byteway, and is a good dancer too! Interesting story about this match: Honky was set to lose his I-C title to Savage at Wrestlemania 4. Honky somehow convined McMahon/refused-to-job-the-title, so Mcmahon instead put Savage in the World title tournament. For the tragic end to this story read the last match in this review.
One of Brutus’s offensive moves is messing up Honky’s hair. You know I never really got Brutus’s barber gimmick. I mean I’d freak out and run too if a roided-up shirtless psycho was running after me with a pair of hedge-trimmers. But I mean what’s next? A plumber? A garbage man? A… Oh wait…Maybe prima donna Brutus thinks a haircut is the worst thing you an do to a person.… Anyway the match is pretty much all Brutus and eventually he gets the sleeper hold! Honky’s out! But Jimmy Hart knocks out the ref!!!! Hehehehe, that’s pretty smart. Brutus signals for a Honky haircut but Jimmy grabs the bag and runs off until Bruti catches him. He cuts some hair offa him! Peggy Sue throws water on Honky to wake him up, and they all flee the ring, Honky’s the loser but still da champ. * Hey I bet Bad News, Koko and Butch Reed had fun calling Honkytonk man “Honky” in the locker room. :-)
Andre says he doesn’t matter he lost cause Hogan’s out, DiBiase’s in, and that’s all that matters. Andre put his hand on Uke’s shoulder. Uke asks Andre to take his foot off his shoulder please. Andre chokes Uke awhile then leaves.
12. The Islanders (Haku & Tama) & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan Vs. The British Bulldogs & Koko B. Ware (w /managers Matlida the dog and Frankie the bird) – Heenan comes out in an attack-dog uniform to protect himself, pretty smart. I think Heenan dog napped Matlida to set up this feud. And whatever he did to the dog in his house, … stays in his house.. I always thought the Islanders were a good team, with Tama (The Tonga Kid) being a great bumper. But the WWF’s tag division was so deep at this time they were regulated as a B and C team along with other decent teams like the Young Stallions and The Killer Bees. Anyway expect these last few match reviews to be short as I’m getting burned out by this show.. Back and forth action with all the guys minus Heenan. Once AGAIN crippled Dynamite is the face in peril, which makes no sense to me. Heenan gets some cheap shots ala Danny Davis from last year, then bails. Hot tag to Koko and he cleans house until a Haku crescent kick to da jaw. Heenan gets some rib shots on Koko. But Heenan gets posted! Now all 6 guys get in the ring and with some illegal double-teaming, an unconscious Heenan gets the pin on Koko!! Hennan’s undefeated at Wrestlemania!! Davey boy sicks Cujo-like Matlida on Heenan, but the dog just playfully licks him, and you can see Davey boy laughing at it all. *1/2.
13. The One Man Gang (w/ manager Slickstah) Vs. Randy “Macho man” Savage (w/ manager Elizabeth) - One Man Gang got a bye so he’s only wrestled once while Savage has twice. The gang has a huge weight/power advantage. It’s all One man Gang as he kills Savage until Savage with a top rope axe handle. Savage tries to bodyslam Gang, dumb move.. My man Slick gives the bad mouth to Elizabeth, treating her like one of his ho’s who owe him money. One man gang tries to cheat using Slick’s pimp-stick cane, but the ref sees it and DQ’s him! * Gang breaks the cane over Savages head after the match. But Macho gets pay back, dropping an axe handle on gang who splashes poor Slick into a stain on the ring.
14. TAG TEAM TITLES: Strike Force (Chico Santana & Rick Martel) Vs. Demolition (Axe & Smash w/ manager Mr. Fuji) – Demolition started off as a pathetic Road-Warrior’s rip-off, but managed to make their own reputation with their hard work and turned out to be a pretty decent tag team. Demolition proves to be too powerful so Strike Force uses their quickness. Big illegal clothesline give Demolition the advantage and Chico’s getting mauled! Ventura says “I bet Chico wished he was back in Tijuana selling tacos right now”. Classic smart heel wrestling by Demolition. Flying Jalapeno out of nowhere!!!!! Chico makes the hot-tag to Martel who’s a Canadian House O’ fire! He knocks Ax out of the ring and clamps on his dreaded Stan-Hansen Boston Crab on Smash! The ref is busy with Fuji-san and Ax wallops Martel with Fuji’s Cane of Instant Death. 1,2,3 Demolition are the new tag team champs! **1/2
Round 4 – Da Finals
MAIN EVENT TIME!!!!!
World title security guard: Robin Leech (he used to have a show snooping in rich people’s houses)
Front-seat warmer: Donald Trump (Rich dude and adulterer)
Guest announcer and Mr. Baseball: Bob Uker
Guest time-keeper and In Ekcellant spellar: Vanna White
15. WORLD TITLE MATCH: Randy “Macho Man” Savage (w/ manager and lover Elizabeth) Vs. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (w/ insurance policy Andre the Giant) – Vanna White gives Donald Trump a kiss right in front of his wife. Hehe. Uke gets a kiss too and starts shaking like Hulk Hogan. He’s Hulking up! No wait, he’s fainting… Ted DiBiase got a bye while Savage has fought 3 times so far.
Right off the bat Andre grabs Savage’s leg. Andre does it again, and is pretty good at hiding it. The odds are stacked against Savage!! Savage tries the outside top-rope axe-handle but Andre stands between them. Savage tells Elizabeth it’s too dangerous out here so he sends her to the back. Eventually DiBiase gets the advantage and wears down the already exhausted Savage.. Elizabeth returns with … Hulk Hogan!! Actually I’m pretty sure Elizabeth was going to get George Steele but Hogan laid him out in the back so he could be in another Wrestlemania main event. Andre tries another illegal move but this time Hogan stops him
Meanwhile DiBiase gets the Million-Dollar Dream on!! (Sleeper –hold) It’s over! Ring the bell!! Savage is asleep!! New champ!…………… And then when the ref’s back is turned with Andre, Hogan illegally comes in and waffles DiBiase with the chair!!!!!!!!! DiBiase’s out! Savage goes up, hits the elbow, NEW CHAMP! These guys are perfect opponents but there was no time to have a good match here, plus the emphasis was switched to Hogan/Andre. ** Now here’s the end to the Honkytonk story: since he refused to lose the title, Savage was put into the tournament to win the World title. If Honky had jobbed the title to Savage as originally planned, DiBiase was set to win the World title from Hogan. Instead, because of Honky, DiBiase never became a World Champion.:-(
Thank God this is over. I love seeing these old Wrestlemania’s and all but this show was loooongggg and didn’t have any stand out matches. I’m going to take 2 aspirins and go outside to get some sun.
WM 4 Grade:
Total star rating: 21.5
Total matches: 16
Show Average: *1/2
Mistico vs. Averno, 1/6/07
Mistico vs. Perro Aguayo Jr, 3/2/07
Mistico vs . Dr Wagner Jr, 7/27/07
The formula for Mistico's big matches in 2007 seemed to involve the rudo dominating for long stretches, Mistico taking a beating, having his mask torn or ripped off and even blading. The matches were longer and there was a lot of heat. This was effective against Perro and Wagner, since Perro has the offence and gumption to do nasty things to Mistico and his mascot buddy & Wagner is a master at getting heat. Perro loves himself a little too much, but he has a great shit-eating grin and -- when it comes down to it -- a vicious streak. Wagner did all of a dozen moves in their match, but had the crowd eating from his palm. There's a lot to be said for letting heat build. Mistico sold a lot & his offence was limited to comebacks. Whether he blew stuff off, I dunno. He was roughed up pretty good. I probably enjoyed these Mistico matches more than his previous stuff, though I question how long you can book him like this for.
I can't fault the effort in the Averno/Mistico match. They're trying hard to build a great rivalry. They varied the pace and there was a long third fall, but Mistico burnt through his offence. Averno's rudo spots are weak and I still think he matches Mistico's pace too much. One of Mistico's biggest problems is that apart from kicks and the arm submission almost all of his offence is off the ropes, which would be OK if it were used to end a fall or in a third fall diving sequence, but in Mistico's case it's the whole match. He really needs to develop some so-called "mid-range" offence and save his flying for later. I'm sure I'll remember Ciclon Rameriz' tope for longer than all the spots Mistico did in this match & that's bad because Mistico is burning himself out on so many levels.
Javier Cruz vs. Ciclón Ramírez, hair vs. hair, 6/10/94
Javier Cruz was a fucking great worker.
As a technico, he could play a fired up babyface without ever being a dick about it. He'd just act pissed the whole time. As a rudo, he was a dick without being showy about it. Man do I love the black studded glove and the whole scattered wasteland of 1994 CMLL. As for Ciclon Ramirez, well life changes after you drop the mask. He was a great flyer in his day, here he's trying to make his way as a latter day Sangre Chicana & he does a great fucking job of it. He still has an insane tope (one of the best ever, as far as I can tell), but you've gotta make your living a different way after you unmask and his brawling is great. The whole thing is great. Even the fuzzy reception is great. Cruz does a splendid blade job & this is as good a hair match as any other I've seen. Cruz isn't the rudo that an MS-1 or Pirata Morgan was, and Ramirez is not at the level of Chicana or El Dandy (to quote two of the great hair matches), but man do they make it worthwhile.
Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs. Cien Caras, mask vs. mask, 9/21/90
This has got to be one of my favourite lucha matches of all time.
I don't know if either guy could ever work; the stuff they do here is really simple, but the heat is amazing. One of the greatest things about lucha is that two 40 year old guys can have a mainevent with this much at stake. Where losing the mask really means something. The match is beautifully laid out... Caras attacks Rayo on his way to the ring, smashing him over the head with a guitar & from there it's just heat building. Slow, methodical rudo work & crowd inspired comebacks from the technico. Great lucha. And the finish is fantastic -- it comes from nowhere & may not have been an actual three count, but it means the rudo has to unmask & there's a fucking swarm of photographers jumping over each other's backs. Caras has one of the great unmaskings, as he simply refuses to take his mask off & they end up brawling while the photographers scurry for their lives. Magic.
Floyd’s Rant for Wrestlemania III
Attendance for this show is listed at an astonishing 93,173. Most experts place it more around 78,000 nowadays, but the actual number isn’t as important as the fact that a SHITLOAD of people came to see Wrestlemania this year.
Vince McMahon opens the show by welcoming the people. You can practically see the dollar signs in Vince’s eyes. He had to have had a week-long orgasm after seeing the gate and buy rate numbers. America the Beautiful is sung by Aretha Franklin. Pretty voice and very well done, but I prefer when Franklin is rocking and rollin’..
Commentators: Gov. Jesse “the Body Ventura” & Dr. Gorilla Monsoon
Two Guest celebrators: Mary Hart (Entertainment Tonight host) and my all-time favorite Wrestlemania celebrity ever: Bob “I Can’t catch a ball” Uecker.
1. The Can-Am Connection (Rick Martel & Tom Zenk) Vs. “Ace Cowboy” Bob Orton Jr. & Fuji Vice (“Magificant” Muraco w/ manager Mr. Fuji) – Tom Zenk is infamous for having a column during the early Internet days where he always seemed pissed off at wrestling and his misuse. Haven’t seen the page for awhile, maybe Vince sent Mark Henry to shut him up. Martel was a great wrestler who was AWA World Champion right before it’s dying days. Both Can-Am guys are a step ahead and use their speed to throw the bigger heels around early. Orton and Muraco try the old “OK I’ll hold the guy and you hit him but please don’t hit me” routine that only works 1 time out of 100. It doesn’t work here. Heels get control briefly but soon the faces use illegal double-team moves (yes that right, illegal) and get the pin on Muraco. Pretty decent opener, establishing the Can-Am. **
2. Herculez Hernandez (w/ manager Bobby Heenan) Vs. Billy Jack Haynes - Replay of Billy Jack Haynes trying to get out of Herc’s full nelson challenge, yup just like Chris Masters. Jack is an asshole though and attacks Heenan beforehand so Herc clotheslines him and puts the full nelson on, hurting Jack’s feelings. I watched Wrestlemania 2 just yesterday and Herc looks a lot more ripped here. Heenan corrects Mean Gene and calls him Billy “Jerk” Haynes. I never really seen Haynes except for this but he was a big star in Portland I believe. Herc gets a shot out of a corner break and gets the advantage. Wow Hayes with a press slam! Damn... Haynes goes for the full nelson so Herc quickly goes to the ropes. Irish whip and Herc explodes out of the corner with a clothesline. Herc whips Jack a bunch of times in the corner. Hayes makes a comeback and goes for a suplex, but his back is too hurt. smell the psychology. More backwork and Herc gets the full nelson on! But as the commentators point out the fingers aren’t locked. With the crowds help Hayes powers out, but Herc gives him a headshot before he does. Hayes with a comeback, but he’s still hurt. He asks the crowd for more cheers which gives him super powers. Now Hayes with the full nelson!! And this ones hooked on good. Herc gets to the ropes and both guys tumble out. Hayes puts it back on outside! 8….9….10…. Double Count out! Afterwards Heenan distracts Hayes while Herc nails him with a chain-wrapped fist. He keeps hitting him and Hayes blades a good one. Good way to continue a feud but I don’t remember much of them wrestling ever again, which is shame cause I liked this match **1/2
3. King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo & Lord Littlebrook Vs. Hillbilly Jim, The Haiti Kid & Little Beaver - The Bundy trilogy comes full circle as he’s now tagging with midgets in the 3rd match of the show after main eventing last year. By the way Little Tokyo is my favorite midget if anyone is keeping track of stuff like dat. He’s like the straight man of a comic routine when he always screws things up and apologizes while Littlebrook gets madder and madder. But of course like all guys I like a little Beaver now and then. The rules are only the big guys can be in the ring and only the little guys at the same time. Let’s see how long that’ll last.. Criss cross action into a row-boat move. Ahhh the classic midget moves. Typical midget stuff until Little beaver gets a cheapshot at Bundy so Bundy forces Tokyo to tag him in. UH-OH. MIDGIT THRASHING! Nope Hillybilly Jim gets tagged in. Hillbilly Jim AND both midgets pin Bundy, but he still kicks them all off. Hillybilly gets into trouble and Little Beaver gets another cheap shot. Remember these cheapshots, they’ll come important later. Bundy slaps Hillybilly Jim around some more so Beaver comes in for another cheapshot and this time Bundy’s had enough. In an INSANE visual King Kong Bundy bodyslam then elbowsdrops Little beaver!!!!
Another squash match for Bundy ->
Mean old Bundy goes for the Big Bundy splash but all 3 other midgets team up and drag Little Beaver out before. Bundy is DQ'ed. Not even a match but pretty fun for the midget’s poor pain. Ventura says you can throw out Little Beaver in a garbage bag cause he’s done. *1/2 Mart Hart interviews Macho Man who gives a bad ass promo.
4. JYD Vs. "The King" Harley Race (w/ manager Bobby Heenan) - Uhhh I forgot about this match. But I remember how much I HATE it. It’s a whoever loses must bow to the other. Harley Race has a raspy voice you can only get from 20 years of straight Whisky drinking. For some reason The Uke has a hard on for Moolah (who’s holding the crown.) They start off and JYD quickly knocks Race out of the ring. Harley Race with a kick-ass flying headbutt from the apron to the floor (which JYD avoids)!!!!. Damn I don’t remember that! Anyway it goes back and forth until Harley hits a belly-to-belly and pins JYD clean! ¼* Definitely an upset, with the clean pin and all, but then JYD, after stalling, finally does a half-assed bow and then when Race is looking the other way…. CROWNS HIM WITH A METAL CHAIR!!!???!!! Man! Even as a 8 yrs old JYD fan back then I thought that was a pretty crappy thing to do. JYD steals all of the King’s paraphernalia and dances to the crowd. But Harley Race is still listed as the King in my record books.
5. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (Jacques & Raymond) Vs. The Dream team (Greg “The Hammer” Valentine & Brutus Beefcake w/ manager “Luscious” Johnny Valiant) – The Rougeau were a pretty awesome team, but never got to the top with teams like the Hart Foundation, Bulldogs and Demolition hanging around. The Dream Team has a new guy in their stable, Canadian strong man Dino Bravo. Raymond with a hammerlock escape and it just dawned on me, that bad ass bump Davey boy did at Wrestlemania II was probably just a really bad fuck-up on Beefacake’s part. My hate for Beefcake goes up a notch. Dream Team has the advantage and Bobby the Brain Heenan join the commentary and proclaims he’s “Two For Two tonight! And Andre’ll make it 3!” Monsoon reminds him that Bundy lost, but Heenan says that don’t count as he wasn’t out there cause he doesn’t mess with midgets. Meanwhile the match continues as Jacques has Valentine pinned, but behind the ref’s back, Dino hits a top rope bomb to give the Dream Team the win. For some reason Beefcake doesn’t like the cheap win, so his manager/partners leave him. Way too short. ½*
6. “Adorable” Adrian Adonis (w/ manager Jimmy Hart) Vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper (Hair Vs. Hair match) – Replay of Adonis kicking Roddy’s ass on his own show, so Hot Rod tears up Adonis show “The Flower Shop” in revenge. This is Roddy’s retirement match and whoever loses this gets his hair cut. The crowd gives hPiper huge roar before the match. Piper and Adonis trade belt shots. Adonis with the Flair flip to the outside! Piper drags both Adonis AND Jimmy Hart back in and kicks their ass right back to the outside. Back in and Piper Flair-slams Hart like a projectile onto Adonis. Jesse says Hart is tougher than Uker. Adonis regains control and smacks Piper all round the ring and outside, Hart gets some shots in too. Hart blinds Piper with the Atomizer and Adonis with the sleeper (his finisher) ! Piper fights but it’s no use. Piper’s arm goes down once.. twice and thr.. no it didn’t go down, but Adonis released the hold thinking it did. Meanwhile Beefcake runs in and revives Piper, who puts the sleeper onto Adonis and he’s out! Piper wins. *1/2 Damn ANOTHER terribly unfair win. Now Beefcake helps shave an unconscious Adonis, setting up his “Barber” gimmick that went on for about 3 years. Piper throws Adrian’s hair out to the fans. A fan runs into the ring and Piper shakes his hand, then as he leaves security tackles and handcuffs him.
7. The Hart Foundation & “Dangerous” Danny Davis (w/ manager Jimmy Hart) Vs. The British Bulldogs & Chico Santana – Unfortunately this is after Dynamite’s injury, but I thought he was still awesome considering the severity of it. Danny Davis was a referee who supposedly screwed the Bulldogs and Chico Santana out of their titles. So now this is the revenge/kick-his-ass match. The Harts are the tag team champs here bytheway. The faces start quick (even their dog Matilda!) and clear the ring. Back and forth action until the Harts get the advantage and Dynamite is the face in peril. Man, why on earth have nearly-crippled Dynamite take the punishment? Danny Davis comes in, gets one cheap shot, then tags out. Oooooooooooooooooo the crowd doesn’t like him at all. He’s gonna get beat up real bad real soon.. Eventually Davis make a mistake and the thrashing begins. Ahhhhhhh, OK, now I get why Dynamite was in there, so the other more- healthy two guy can KILL Davis in the tags. All the big moves are used on him, you name it.. Flying Jalapeno…. Figure-Four leglock… Crazy jumping piledriver…. Big ass running powerslam… Somewhere behind the ref’s back Daveyboy gets creamed by the megaphone and Davis gets the pin! Hehehehe. Davis better grow a goatee and change his name before the Bulldogs/Chico find him. Short but fun match. ***
8. “The Natural” Butch Reed (w/ manager “The Doctor of Style” Slick) Vs. Koko B. Ware (w/ manager Frankie) – Hmmmm looking at the size of Reed’s arms, I wonder if he’s really that natural. Koko brings in the 2nd animal to the ring tonight, unless you count Little Beaver. The Doctor of Style is decked out in some sweet threads tonight baby. Unfashionably Moonsoon says there’s not 35$ worth of stuff on him. Koko was pretty good in Memphis but like most good athletes, was misused in the WWF. Didn’t see much of Butch Reed before this, but I heard he was good, he went on later to be half of the NWA tag team Doom with Ron Simmons. Koko uses his speed to get an early advantage but Reed cheats and takes over. Jesse says he remembers when Monsoon cheated against Jack Dempsey in 1926. Koko with a quick comeback but Reed cheats again and gets the pin! Cheating rules! * Koko Pearl Harbors Reed out of the ring, so the heroic Slick defends his wrestler by hitting him with the Cane. Then OUT OF NOWHERE Chico runs out, beats him up, and leaves the poor Slickster running with all his cool threads torn up. Chico should be suspended and fined for such terrible behavior… Same for Buttcake and the JYD…
9. INTER-CONTINENTAL TITLE: Randy “Macho” Man Savage (w/ manager “The Lovely” Elizabeth) Vs. Ricky Steamboat (w/ George “the Animal” Steele in his corner distracting Savage and trying to steal Elizabeth like a date rapist cause he tried it 1,000 times before) – Savage’s double ax-handle off the top rope to the outside was considered so devastating back then that it was almost banned So anyway, Savage hits a double ax-handle to Steamboat, crushing his larynx on the railing!! Steamboat’s career was considered over, but the Dragon made a miraculous comeback and is now back for revenge!! Macho’s I-C reign is well over a year by this point and he even gets a nice ovation from the crowd even though he’s the despicable heel. These two guys are ridiculously fast, especially when compared with the rest of the roster. Steamboat starts quick in his rage but Savage outsmarts him and immediate starts working on the throat. Steamboat comebacks and works on the right arm (the flying elbow arm) in some innovative ways. Savage tosses Steamboat out and keeps kicking his ass and then throwing him back out. More nasty larynx-crushing stuff including an elbow and knee. Back and forth with both guys not keeping the advantage for too long. Lots quick pins and arm drags by the Armdragon, and the ref looks tired. Savage tosses Steamboat out again. It looks like Savage is going for a Count Out win. Top-rope axe handle to the floor!!!!! Savage throws Steamboat back into the ring? Why? Ohh I see, Top rope axe handle! WTF, Only 2? Awesome top-rope slingshot throat umm… thingy that gets a 2. More moves and Steamboat barely keeps getting his arm up at 2.
Steamboat starts a comeback but Savage goes to the eyes, gets a gut wrench, only 2. Savage rushes… HOLY CRAPP!!!! Savage takes a HUGE Shawn Michaels-type backdrop to the floor years before Shawn Michaels was drugged up enough to try it. Now Steamboat goes outside and throws him in for punishment! Steamboat flies over the ref to hit a karate chop for .. 3!!!! Steamboat wins!!! OMG I.. No wait Savage’s leg was on the rope.. The crowd is really getting into this now. Savage tries the same “run back into the ring and nail him coming in” trick he used early but this time Steamboat is ready for it and gets a 2 count. Steamboat tries about 20,000 pin attempts in like 30 sec, always getting a close 2.9999 count every time. How is Savage kicking out these? Savage reverses an irish whip and posts Steamboat. Another irish whip and a ref bump. Dang. Savage to the top, flying elbow drop!!!!! It’s ovah!!!! It’s… Wait…. The ref’s out!!! Dammit! Savage tries to slap the ref awake but no dice. Savage goes out to get the ring bell to nail Steamboat with, but Steele pushes Savage off the top and Savage’s head hits the bell!! (Well not really, he missed, but let’s pretend he did) A semi-conscious Savage picks up the dead Steamboat who suddenly reverse a slam for a 3 count!!!!!!! After 14 months, A New Intercontinental champ!! If I was reviewing this match for the first time I’d give it 4-1/2 stars but I remember seeing it live (on closed circuit) so: ***** Like Steamboat said years ago, Hogan/Andre sold the show. But this match stole the show. I agree though that Steele should join JYD, Beefcrap and Chico in the suspensions.
10. Jake Roberts (w/ snake-handler Alice Cooper) Vs. The Honkytonk man (w/manager Jimmy Hart) – In Robert’s talk show “The Snake Pit” Honkytonk hit him with the guitar. Unlike Jeff Jarrett’s guitars made of powder, back then it was a REAL guitar and Jake was super hurt for real by it. Both Jesse and Monsoon put over Steamboat’s match, I bet Hogan loved hearing that.. The Honkytonk man: A bad wrestler, but a fantastic heel and good seller. The thing I loved about him is that he really thought the fans loved him and thought he was the greatest wrestler in the world, despite how much they booed him. Jake starts quick and slams Honky outside the ring. Ouch. Honky gets the advantage back. Actually Honky isn’t looking as terrible as I remember. Jake gets a clothesline and signals for the DDT. Honky quickly bails. Jake stupidly comes out so Honky rams him in the post and railing. Back in and Honky uses his cousin (Jerry Lawler’s) top-rope fist-drop move. More beating and Jake doesn’t know here he is. Honky goes for the Shake-Rattle-and-Roll (his finishing move) but Jake reverses it in a backdrop! Honky with the top-rope corner fists but Jake reverse it into an inverted atomic drop. Jake’s making a comeback! Honky pleads for mercy! Honky with the Harley Race rocking-horse in the ropes sell. Jake goes for the DDT! But Jimmy Hart distracts him, Honky cheats and… wins!!??!!?? Wow, a lot better than I remembered. **1/2 What a huge upset this was back then, but who knew that joke wrestler Honkytonk would actually defeat Steamboat and go on to become an 18-month Intercontinental champion? Jake Roberts holds Jimmy Hart while Alice Copper brings the snake out (the reptile, not his trouser snake…) and Jimmy Hart shits his pants.
11. The Killer Bees (Jim Brunzell & B. Brian Blair) Vs. The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff (w/ manager Slick) – Poor Slick. He comes out in his tattered rags but still hold his head up high. Slick demands that everyone stands up and respects the Russian anthem. Nikolai starts singing and Jim Duggan runs out to stop him and clears the ring. C’mon Vince that should be another suspension right there, where’s security? Ventura says Gorilla was standing for the anthem, but Monsoon denies it. The foreigners start right before the bell but the Bees get the advantage and use some nice double team moves. Duggan is patrolling the ring. Heels with the advantage now and they use their power to soften up Brunzell. The Bees make the hot-tag but the ref didn’t see it so it didn’t stand and Brunzell gets beaten more. Monsoon agrees with Ventura that the ref shouldn’t allow it. See that’s what I liked about Ventura/Monsoon, they’d play good guy/bad guy but agree on stuff like Ventura admitted all the cheating early in the show. Today Coach acts like he doesn’t see shit happening. Sheik with a camel clutch and Duggan runs in and wallops him with a 2X4. Sheik and Nikolai win by DQ. ** Man… If I was the Bees I’d turn heel and beat the living snot out of him. That match was also a lot better than I remembered.
MAIN EVENT TIME!
Guest Announcer: Da Uke (w/ jokes galore at his expense by Ventura)
Guest Time keeper: Mary Hart (but can see ring a bell?)
12. WWF WORLD TITLE MATCH: Hulk Hogan Vs. Andre the Giant (w/ manager Bobby “the Brain” Heenan) – Here we go! This is the match! Andre was billed as being undefeated for his entire career (not true). Replay on Piper’s Pit of Andre demanding a title shot after Hogan was “ducking him all these years”. Andre at this time was in REALLY bad shape and needed back surgery, but still toughed it out cause he’s a bad ass. In fact much like Hennig/Bret Hart in 91 and Lesnar/Angle in 03, the loser was the real winner in my eyes for gutting it out like a pimp.
The match starts with the fans GOING CRAZY and a stare-down.Well.. stare-up for Hogan. Push by Andre. Return push by Hogan! Hogan gets the fists in and bodyslams Andre.. No Andre falls on him!! 1.2.3….it’s over!!!! It’s.. and in an infamous moment that’ll come back next year, ref Joey Marella (Monsoon’s real-life son for those interested) only signals 2!!! Wow was that close! Hogan’s hurt! I mean REALLY hurt…. he can’t even stand up. Someone call Life Alert.
Andre methodically (aka slowly) starts beating him up. Andre stands on Hogan’s back!! Andre picks him up and starts beating him up in the corner while Hennan cheers him on. Andre’s dominating. Hogan finds some daylight and makes a comeback, the crowd is going insane!! But he can’t knock the giant off his feet. Hogan goes for a corner clothesline, big Andre with a size 26 boot to da face. It’s Bear hug time!!! The fans are cheering on for Hogan to power out. But… it’s not working… Is Hulkamania over? His arm goes down once.. twice… three time!!!!! WTF?, it was three times ref, he should be out. Bah! Anyway on the fourth time Hogan keeps his arm up. Hogan punches his way out, hurting his hand but still punching. The comeback ends with an Andre chop. One big boot later and Hogan’s on the floor. Andre goes after him. He goes to headbutt Hogan, but misses and headbutts the post!! Doh! Then in one of the most disgusting, despicable moves I’ve ever seen before, Hogan takes the padding off the floor and actually tries to piledrive a crippled man on concrete!!!?!!!! Luckily Karma bites Hogan right in the ass and Andre backdrops him. Back in and Hogan finally drops Andre with a clothesline. Andre gets up and Hogan body slams him! The crowds gone insane!! Hogan with a legdrop. 1,2,3! Damn, looks like Heenan’s been foiled again!… Hogan you were lucky tonight dude. **. Hogan starts posing. I stop the DVD.
Anyone seen the show? What did you think of it?
El Hijo del Santo/La Mascara vs. Blue Panther/Tarzan Boy, 1/1/06
Mistico/Negros Casas vs. Averno/Mephisto, 4/14/06
El Hijo del Santo/Negro Casas/Mistico vs. Atlantis/Black Warrior/Ultimo Guerrero, 8/04/2006
El Hijo del Santo vs Perro Aguayo Jr, 8/25/06
Black Warrior vs. Mistico, mask vs. mask, 9/29/06
Negro Navarro/Villano 4/Villano 5 v. Dos Caras Jr./Heavy Metal/Solar 1, AULL 11/2/06
While searching for this stuff, I kept reading that CMLL didn't have a good year in 2006. Still, I liked these better than the matches from 2005.
The Mistico/Casas tag was really good... Probably the best match I've seen in the new style. It helped that the third fall was long & they worked a bit of story into it. It was obvious to all and sundry who was gonna win, but lucha is satisfying like that. Personally I've had a problem with Casas' offence since the mid-90s onwards & I'd love for Averno and Mephisto to have more rudo shtick, but this was great work even if it was aping New Japan juniors.
The Mistico/BW match was also a perfectly acceptable two out of three falls sprint. I think I saw an edited version, but it doesn't matter. As important as masks are in Mexican wrestling culture, the majority of mask vs. mask matches are amazingly shitty, and since the thought of Black Warrior being unmasked leaves me unmoved, this sufficed.
The Santo/Panther tag was weak... Panther's always been a better worker than Santo, IMO, and showed it again in his brief exchanges with La Mascara. Santo's always been predictable, he just gets away with it because even predictable Santo is excellent. As far as being a big match singles worker, he can still bring it in spades. The match with Perro wasn't as good as their match from 2004, but it was good stuff. I kinda get the impression that Perro thinks WWE is cool, though.
Once again, Negro Navarro shows up and is part of a really great, old school trios match. In a sense it was bread and butter stuff, and I was just excited because it built in a way I'm familiar with, but an entire fall of mat wrestling in the latter part of this decade is like mana. It really is.