Blue Panther vs. Averno, Arena Mexico 11/04/08
This was Panther's 30th Anniversary match, so he got to wrestle his kind of match. A lot of grappling and pin attempts and the usual matwork and submissions. It didn't matter that he was without his mask; work-wise he looked like his old self.
I actually watched a handheld of this, which is probably more satisfying than watching it taped. The guy had good seats; a few rows in, with all the action on his side. Great line of sight, especially on the dives. Definitely soaked in the atmosphere more than the autistic CMLL camera work. The guy must've been sitting near some rudo fans, since Panther got a fair few heckles. Despite the horns and general buzz, the biggest pop was for a ring girl, but I suppose that's red-blooded.
Panther worked his way through three falls, which is generally what you, the lucha fan, want to see. Averno's no Black Terry, so things weren't so interesting on his end, but he can follow a lead and thus it had a reasonably good flow. While I can't claim to have seen Panther live, I did get a pretty good look and his work is tight. Nothing contrived about his rope work or flips; nothing that needs hiding. Wrestling might be carny or vaudeville, but there's an art to it, and Panther knows his craft.
It was a bit of a formality, but Panther raised his hand in victory. I hope we see more "maestro" performances in the future, but whichever way you look at it, he's had a great career. Required viewing if you're a fan.