EL DANDY VS. ANTIFAZ DEL NORTE, hair vs. mask, Monterrey, 9/17/00
Antifaz del Norte goes to the dance with El Dandy.
I think my positive reaction to this match has a lot to do with when it occurred. If this match had taken place in 1989-1992, I know it wouldn't have stood out amongst the great stuff that was taken place at that time. No doubt it's a flawed match but in 2000 and after years of El Dandy having 4 minute matches on WCW Worldwide, this feels like a blast to watch.
El Dandy does a good job of working Antifaz over and getting some nice juice. To get the match heated, Dandy brings out some quality biting, good punches, headbutts, and mask ripping, and it was very effective. Nothing complex, but one doesn't look for complex things in a simple match like this. It was kinda surprising to see Antifaz attempt to make a comeback at the end of the 1st fall but I dug Dandy quickly cutting him off and the execution of la casita was pretty neat.
In his youth, El Dandy had these really athletic and beautiful looking bumps that were breathtaking to watch. He had incredible form when he took a back body drop and I've never seen anyone else do it as good as him. It was very graceful and aesthetically pleasing to watch him bump around when he was at his athletic peak. But at this point in his career, the much heavier El Dandy has bumps that were closer to a huge sack of potatoes being thrown in the air and it landing with a hard nasty thud. Drastically different but the bumps were great and had a lot of impact. In a way, they had this "realistic" feel to them and felt more painful than his earlier bumps.
In one of the previous entries, the issue of bullshit and overbooking was discussed. Zumbido was involved a lot in this match, and at times it felt like it was just too much. Zumbido handing weapons to El Dandy was a bit of a distraction, but I did like the payoff of Zumbido eating a huge shot with the fridge top. Also, one of the major spots, which was Antifaz headscissoring Zumbido off the apron, was really embarrassing and horribly executed. Although it should be pointed out that it was Antifaz's fault and not Zumbido's. Antifaz had some other awkward moments throughout the match, and one of the cringe worthy moments involved El Dandy attempting to lock the figure four leglock a second time. Everyone could see this counter coming a mile away, except Antifaz. El Dandy was just there bending over forever until he finally just rolled himself up for an inside cradle attempt. Pretty lame job from Antifaz considering this was supposed to be a big match for him.
In a career that has matches against Satanico, Casas, Navarro, Azteca, and Charles, this is a minor work in the career of El Dandy. But on El Dandy's side of things, this was a very good performance out of him and it was pretty enjoyable to see Dandy lead a lesser worker through a big stip match at this point in his career.
Dandy looked fantastic here. Honestly, when I turned this on, I thought I was watching something from earlier in his career. This just makes the Dandy booking situation all the more mysterous.
This being Monterrey, it didn't take long for Antifaz to bleed like a stuck pig. The brawling was on par with the better stuff from Guadalajara, but if you squint hard enough it looks like it's taking place in 1989. Monterrey always gives you that sort of atmosphere because of how poorly lit Arena Coliseo is. The cameras can barely follow the workers into the crowd, and when they do it's all about guys beating the shit out of each other in the dark. Add to that the fucked up camera angles, line crosses and mismatching shots, and you have all the production values you could ever hope for. You wouldn't want them to shoot this clearly, even if they could. It's Monterrey, pretty much a refuge for broken down luchadores and blood stained canvas. I hope to God they never pump any money into it.
The match was all about the deciding fall, as most apuestas matches are. It seemed to me that Dandy was working more along the lines of his middleweight days than the light heavyweight he ballooned into, presumably because of his opponent. Antifaz was a youngish guy whose mother was the promoter. He had a good body and the moves that really move 'em, but at least he tried working old-school. The headscissors spot was fucking awful, and Zumbido looked like a fool for standing there waiting for it to happen, but Antifaz made up for it with the kind of dive that gets people gigs in CMLL. Could've done without the unnecessary pose, though.
Dandy was kicking it old school, pacing this sucker like the matches he worked on his way up. There wasn't as much care or attention as in the past, i.e. not as many minor details for us to gawk at, but I have no idea why CMLL didn't snap Dandy up to lead their guys through a good match for a change. As RN pointed out, Dandy was a guy who could feed Antifaz del Nortes stuff they couldn't figure out for themselves. CMLL has fuck all guys like this and that's been one of their big problems from a work standpoint. Obviously, there were other factors at work that put the kiabosh on seeing weekly El Dandy, I just think it's a damn shame. He was good for another run here.
All told, it was a decent match. The finish kind of sucked, but we're not talking about a match with a lot of big ideas.