Haven't done one of these for a while. Would you please welcome back, Mr. Raging Noodles!
PERRO AGUAYO Y PERRO AGUAYO JR VS. CIEN CARAS Y MASCARA ANO 2000, hair vs. hair, CMLL 3/18/05
aka The Blowoff to Perros vs. Dinamitas
The Perros started off with a lot of fire, Perrito looked fantastic running in with his rapid fire brawling. Perro really looked to be hurting and struggling at times, but he's always so interesting to watch and no one matches the emotion and charisma he brings to pro wrestling. I mean, at this point I really think Perro Aguayo Sr. may be the most charismatic pro wrestler ever. No doubt I've seen bad matches with Perro Aguayo Sr. in them, but I've never been bored or ever thought of turning it off, he has a real star presence and his battered scarred up face is iconic (also I can't imagine wrestlers 50 years from now having the sort of legendary faces that Perro Sr. or Villano III have). When I first watched "When World's Collide", the most memorable image of the show was of teenage girls hugging and kissing the battered Perro Aguayo, who happened to be covered in blood in the most gruesome violent manner possible. Also, I must admit that sentimental value may be involved here since Perro Aguayo Sr. was the first genuine star I ever saw as a kid at a live pro wrestling show in Reynosa, Tamaulipas.
As expected, the first two falls are very short and quick, but what really stood out was how great Los Hermanos Dinamitas were at working these two short falls. Both guys were eating Perro and Perrito's offense in a very entertaining fashion, but what was even better was how great their teamwork was. Everything they did together offensively, from hitting simultaneous moves or hitting the same moves one after another just flowed so smoothly. It was pretty simple but it was so pleasing to watch what they were doing. As the final fall opens and we see some more great work from the brothers, it dawns on me that this is one of the great career matches of Mascara Año 2000. He was incredible at everything in this match. He was awesome dishing out hard headbutts and strikes to Perro Aguayo Sr. and just as cool when he was beating the shit out of Perrito by slamming him on the steel rampway. I was really impressed at how he would eat Perrito's dropkick during transitions and how he would throw himself and fly to the outside in such a spectacular way. Mascara Año 2000 was so great in here, he's one of the main reasons why this match is as good as it turned out to be. Perrito is also great at making a big comeback in the third fall, and beating the shit out of a Mascara Año 2000 (especially when he was stuck to a ringside chair). I can see how some people would be turned off by how histrionic and how much of a scene-chewer Perrito could be at times, but I just really dig how much energy he brings to these type of matches.
What I really loved about this whole spectacle, was the layout of the match (especially the way the tercera caida unfolds) and I was thrilled at how well it worked for this match. It was so precise and tight, it made this whole thing feel epic in a way that we don't see often anymore. It was like a formula B-movie that exceeded its expectations due to some fine craftmanship, the talent and charisma of its performers. I don't really want to spoil exactly what happens in the third fall since it's a very exciting conclusion but I'll give some details. They manage to fill this final portion of the match with some pretty clever twists, exciting nearfalls (from great high-end moves executed from Mascara Año 2000 and sold perfectly by Perrito), failed double team moves, well timed eliminations, outside interference, momentum changes, referee distractions (and referee bumps), and miscommunication spots. During the third fall, I was thinking how much better this would have been if Black Terry Jr. was at ringside filming this, just so we could get a good taste at how hot this Arena Mexico crowd was. They really seemed like the hottest crowd ever, but we'll never know thanks to how terrible Mexican TV audio is. But back to the main point, this match really delivered the goods.
It's funny how things change. There was a time when I would've balked at watching this match. After all, I grew up in an era where Los Hermanos Dinamita were synonymous with bad wrestling. If the Wrestling Observer had been some bizarro publication that covered mainly lucha, Cien Caras would have won all those Worst Wrestler of the Year categories year after year and I wouldn't have bat an eyelid because it was accepted that headliners were stiffs who could barely move a muscle. The Aguayos, Rayos and Dinamitas were the Hogans of Mexico and that's pretty much how we made sense of lucha libre. Turns out we were wrong and Los Hermanos Dinamita were just about the perfect main eventers.
This match is pretty much your atypical, latter day main event. There's no blood of course and not enough time for any real control segments, so you have to create drama in other ways, booking twists and turns in the match and blocking it out so that the wrestlers know where their marks are and when to be in position. It's basically a WWE style of working, right down to the Spanish equivalent of "Good God almighty" commentating. As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing wrong with working to a formula -- it helps wrestlers to structure their matches and is something that every worker should learn -- it's when the match seems choreographed that there's a problem. This match (Perros vs. Dinamitas) came awfully close to looking choreographed and was saved by one thing and one thing alone -- selling. That's right! The "S" word. The most important thing in wrestling. The dividing line between good and bad. And the saving grace of the CMLL style.
In the second caida, for example, there's a transition that would've looked completely choreographed if not for some awesome selling from Caras. The transition occurs when the Perros are double teaming Caras and Perro Jr signals for Senior to use the ropes to put some oomph into the attack, but they telegraph it too much and Caras ducks out of the way. It's a fairly standard transition -- a trigger spot for the rudos to take over -- but you can see Caras eyeing his chance as the Perros line him up and when Perro hits his son, you know it's game on. Y'see, this was the last hurrah for the Dinamitas. Caras had come out of retirement to do this angle and it was pretty much the end of the road for Los Capos. What you had here was one final assault. Los Capos was a really fun era of Los Hermanos Dinamita. I liked how Caras dyed his hair jet black and used his real name to great effect, Carmelo being an awesome name for a capo. Noodles is right that Mascara Año 2000 was the guy holding this together (and had pretty much as close to a Black Terry performance as Mascara Año 2000 can get), but Caras was the guy marshalling the attack. The thing about Caras is that he looked like the sort of prick you could meet in everyday life -- a teacher, a co-worker, a coach, an inlaw -- he had this sort of universal "prick face." He always reminded me of the all-American asshole in that Dennis Leary song, except that he was Mexican. There's a part where he cheats in the tercera caida to eliminate Aguayo and I swear his shit eating grin makes him look like the world's biggest asshole. The "rudo segment" of this match was no longer than the ones we see today but the brawling seemed to have far more urgency to it. Strange that a 55 year-old guy beating on a 59 year-old guy should look better than anything since. The fact that both guys were slow and could barely raise their legs was a big part of why the pacing was good, but I'm still trying to figure out why this is good and Flair vs. Hogan sucks. It's a curious thing why veteran wrestling is better everywhere in the world except the US.
The Dinamitas basically succeeded in churning out something entertaining in the modern CMLL style, which few, if any, rudos have done since. Perro Aguayo Jr. brought good energy to this match and later matches as a rudo, but he was a blatantly modern worker. He charged about looking like he knew what he was doing but he was heavily reliant on those turning points in a match where something controversial happens. Take away those crutches and he looks like the myth that El Hijo del Santo created. It seems so simple that for every move you do -- whether you're on the receiving end or attacking -- you should sell. I mean that's as simple as reacting, but for some reason CMLL guys are like drones. I suppose I could come around to them like I did with Los Hermanos Dinamita. That's pressuming that the next generation of luchadores is even worse than the current lot (which seems more than likely.) But Jesus, those air horns. And the lack of selling. And the lack of asshole rudos like Caras. The Dinamitas rode off into the sunset after this match and cast a long shadow on the lucha that was to come. I wonder if we'll ever see their like again? It would be wrong to say that they were fantastic workers as they could be pretty terrible at times, but when they had their working boots on they knew how to entertain.
Anyone who says rudos like Los Hermanos Dinamita can't get over at Arena Mexico anymore is kidding themselves. That type of thinking is an excuse for how poor the rudos are today. If the Dinamitas were younger, they'd do it again, taking the lucha world by storm.