Emilio Charles Jr. vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. (CMLL 2/20/98)
This was rudo contra rudo from what I could gather, but since Emilio was about to turn it was set up to garner him face heat. Broken down Emilio had his moments (as we'll see later), but a match this length was beyond him. He kind of struggled in that '93 hair match against Dandy let alone in a singles match five years later, and while I like Wagner he wasn't a good enough worker to make this interesting. They did all the things you're supposed to do in a mano a mano bout but with none of the intensity of say Santo and Casas. There was a title match the week after, but I'm not in any hurry to watch it.
El Hijo Del Santo, Emilio Charles Jr. y Satanico vs. Shocker, Mr. Niebla y Negro Casas (CMLL 3/23/98)
This set up the Emilio Charles Jr./Satanico hair match and was the catalyst for Emilio's face turn I suppose. Halfway through the match, Satanico was holding Shocker on the outside for Emilio to hit with his tope when Shocker ducked out the way. Emilio dove straight into Satanico's shoulder area and Satanico spent the rest of the match selling the injury. Apparently, accidental collisions between rudos do more damage than Emilio's tope would have done to Shocker, but bear with me. Later on, Satanico tagged in, but he bailed out and Emilio took his place. Emilio was on fire and cleaning house when Satanico suddenly attacked him. The execution of all this was a little off, but the brawling was good. There was one punch from Satanico which absolutely clocked Charles. Other than that it wasn't much of a trios. Rudo Santo was really old at this point and I was sick of Santo vs. Casas no matter how good their chemistry was.
Lizmark and Atlantis vs. The Head Hunters (CMLL 10/25/96)
Not a fan of tag matches in lucha. Trios are brilliant, but regular tags aren't something luchadores do well and this match was no exception. Lizmark and Atlantis are two of the greatest technicos of the latter half of the 20th century as far as classical, masked luchadores go, but at no point in this match did they seem like a great tag team. There just isn't the culture of standard two on two tag wrestling in lucha that there is in the States, for example, and I dislike the parejas psychology where one member from each team is pinned and effectively eliminated. It also didn't help that I wasn't into the spots that Atlantis and Lizmark did with the Head Hunters compared to the sort of things I saw Satanico, Dantes and Wagner do the other day.
Misterioso, Volador y Mano Negra vs Javier Llanes, El Supremo y Espectro Jr. (CMLL 5/31/91)
This was good stuff. You can tell a promotion is doing well when its lower card stuff is this enjoyable. The rudos didn't do much but the technicos were exciting. Match flowed well.
Olimpico vs. Damian El Guerrero, mask vs. hair (CMLL 8/6/96)
This was a really good lower card, almost junior-esque hair vs. mask match. It was mostly big dives with some brawling mixed in, but they really nailed it. The crowd threw them money after it was over and Olimpico was asked to kiss a baby.
Universo 2000, Mascara Año 2000 y Dr.Wagner Jr vs Atlantis, Hector Garza y Canek (CMLL 11/24/95)
This was also really good. 1995 was right around the time that Wagner started to get good and he had great chemistry with Atlantis here, but the guy who has impressed me most during all his random viewing has been Hector Garza. I don't think it's any secret that I don't really like young workers, but Garza in '95/96 was quite possibly the most exciting young worker I've seen. I don't find him charismatic like I did with a young Dantes, but his offense was insane and I swear I almost popped for the win he gets here. The match almost descends into the type of mask removing that gets a bout thrown out, but it gets back on track and features some great action.
Villano III vs. Atlantis (CMLL 2/11/00)
This was a title match that was part of the build-up to the famous mask match between these two. It was also proof that bullshit finishes involving the Villanos began as early as 2000. Atlantis injured Villano with his torture rack to end the second fall and it seemed like he was primed to take Villano's Light Heavyweight title until Villano IV draped his brother over his shoulders and took him backstage for what I guess amounted to an injury break. The ref began counting him out, but when he returned he had recovered enough to win, at least I think that's what was going on. Before all that was some pretty good wrestling. Not as good as what they had been capable of only a few years earlier, but some of the stuff they did was fantastic and made you wish they'd had a straight up title match instead of an angle. These two in particular really brought the fantastic submissions you think of when you think of lucha.
Emilio Charles Jr. vs. Silver King, hair vs. hair (CMLL 9/27/96)
I can't remember if I've seen this before, but I think I would have remembered it because it was really good. In fact, it's probably the best match I've seen Silver King have. I'm probably wrong in saying that, but I really dug this. It started off with Silver King getting a quick pinfall off a hot start. I guess most people dislike that trope in lucha, but his timing was perfect and it looked really good. Emilio's transition onto offensive after being rocked early was awesome. Silver King went for a plancha suicida and Emilio caught him with a punch. From there they bled and fought and all of the nearfalls were great. I think the key to the match was that it wasn't that long, which helped with Emilio's stamina issues. Emilio with his beard keeps reminding me of Helmsley if Helmsley ballooned out and suddenly had the body of Jim Duggan, but I think to a certain extent that the good part of his career was longer and more productive than I imagined. This was certainly choice.
Brazo de Plata vs. Gran Markus Jr. (CMLL 5/29/98)
In my world this should headline the Anniversary show.