Lizmark vs. Jerry Estrada, Mexican National Light Heavyweight Championship, AAA 6/18/93
I hate Jerry Estrada.
He's probably my least favourite lucha worker of all time. To me he's like the anti-Sangre Chicana. Sangre Chicana was out of his mind the entire time and took it to surreal heights. Jerry Estrada was out of his mind the entire time and was a train wreck.
But like him or not, this was one hell of a match.
By far the most coherent performance I've seen from Jerry Estrada and also the best Lizmark performance to ever make tape. It may even be the 1993 MOTY, and if it's not the greatest AAA match ever, it's certainly in the top five.
Lizmark was brilliant in the first fall. This wasn't CMLL style, Satanico vs. Gran Cochisse or El Dandy vs. Javier Llanes matwork, so don't expect anything mindblowing like that. It wasn't the holds or matwork that impressed me here, but the psychology. Anybody who thinks lucha has no psychology, hasn't watched the right matches. Estrada played the challenger role to perfection. He tried everything he could think of to gain an advantage, but the maestro was on top of his game. Every time there was a break in the action, Estrada would stare Lizmark down. He couldn't believe how well Lizmark was wrestling. He tried changing tack, tried changing the point of attack, but Lizmark had a counter for everything.
They used to call Lizmark The Little Blue Genius, and if you watch this match you'll get some idea why. He wrestled most of this fall from a defensive stance, standing ever so slightly on the back foot. This meant that whenever Jerry charged at him, he could use Estrada's own momentum to counter his offence. Jerry, as retador, was just a little bit guilty of forcing the action, and Lizmark was able to tie him in circles.
The second fall was your typical two minute fall where the challenger strikes back straight away. Jerry was bumped for this fall and they started off by shoulder charging each other. Lizmark wouldn't back down from the challenge and sent Estrada to the floor with a flying headscissors. I haven't seen any of the trios leading into this match, but I can only imagine there was tension between the two. After dominating the first fall, Lizmark let his guard down and was suckered into working a rudo fall. Jerry leveled the score, and from the way he kicked the bottom turnbuckle, it was clear that he wasn't finished yet.
The third fall was the type of fall that separates the great matches from everything else. It's not often that a third fall does justice to a match, so you have to sit back and admire this one. Estrada threw away the "retador" tag here and began working rudo, which I suppose is an effective way to deal with a counter wrestler like Lizmark. He can't counter much of anything if he's getting the shit beaten out of him. Lizmark tried some counter-offence and ended up sailing through the ropes, which set-up a tope from Estrada. It wasn't the fastest or nastiest looking tope I've seen, but if you've seen a better set-up than that from the current lot of workers, you are lying to yourself.
The last few minutes with full of drama as Lizmark hung onto his title reign by a thread. They worked some great nearfall submissions, where Lizmark had to power his way out of the holds with all of his upper body strength. One of the ways to judge a match is by its arc, i.e. how far they've come since the opening bell. Lizmark was so smooth, so assured in the opening fall, but now he was scrambling. Time and time again, he avoided Estrada's Media Cerrajera hold, countering with a high risk gamble. He was sucking wind on a bridged suplex and at other times could barely pin the man. It's not every day of the week where you see a match where they lay it on the line like this.
I won't spoil the finish. The tension was palpable and neither of them had anything left. It could've gone either way and the post-match was tremendous. The selling was fantastic the whole way through and perhaps my disdain for Estrada stems from his hair matches. If you'd like a copy of this, leave a message somewhere.