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Good workers, bad lucha


ohtani's jacket

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El Dandy vs. Javier Cruz, hair vs. hair, 10/26/84

 

This was just a bad match.

 

Way too much offence for a hair match and not enough selling. That should come as no surprise. Dandy was only 22 here and Cruz 25. Collectively, they didn't know shit yet. It kind of reminded me of Kiyoshi Tamura's early fights, where he's all limbs and no control. Sadly, we'll probably never seen their '86 feud and won't be able to pinpoint when Dandy entered his prime or if Cruz was ever a good singles worker.

 

Felino vs. Pantera, CMLL World Welterweight Championship, 12/27/94

 

I like Felino, I really do, but this was a piss poor performance with the most atrocious matwork I've seen in a lucha title match. In lucha, there's certain things you accept -- the first two falls are academic: the loser of the first fall will win the next and winning is as easy as a few simple moves. After awhile, you take it for granted. Occasionally, you're surprised. But they've got to be good, even if you're half stepping. 90s Felino had the same workrate tendencies as a Chris Benoit or Eddy Guerrero, but here, in a lucha title match, the only matwork was a foul. Pantera's not the most impressive worker, probably serviceable at best, but all he could do was sell and Felino gave him fuck all to work with. The third fall had multiple dives, but who gives a shit after being short changed? This was disturbingly close to modern CMLL. They should've nipped it in the bud in 1994.

 

Apolo Dantes vs. Miguel Pérez Jr., hair vs. hair, 10/13/95

 

This wasn't a bad match per se, but it was excessive and once again there were too many moves for a hair match. This was rudo contra rudo and Mexico contra Pérez; a revenge match for Pérez taking Silver King's hair (in another workrate hair match.) Pérez was one of the better workers to come through Mexico in the 90s; perhaps the best, unless I'm forgetting someone obvious. He's a guy who could clearly brawl, but he also had a lot of spots, and I mean a lot of spots. In 1995, if there were two guys who could work the semi-universal 'Best of the Super Juniors' style, Apolo Dantes and Silver King were those guys., so it's no surprise that they booked these matches, and the publico absolutely LOVED it. The third fall went on too long for mine, but there were all sorts of crowd shots (shot from a classic documentary angle), and while those inserts are easy to manipulate the assorted reactions were the most interesting thing about the match. Especially the guy with a hook for an arm.

 

Hair matches should always be brawls in my view, but if you're a Dantes fan this was a solid performance.

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