Blue Panther/Fuerza Guerrera/Pierroth vs. Atlantis/Super Astro/Angel Azteca, CMLL 11/8/91
This was nowhere near as good as these teams are capable of, but there was still a lot of talent on show. I liked how we got some match-ups that you don't usually see like Fuerza vs. Angel Azteca. It's always bugged me how they didn't do more with Azteca during his cooling off period. They groomed him to be the next Atlantis, at least in my eyes, and then he fell by the wayside as Octagon got over. Of course they've gotten another two decades out of Atlantis, and there's nothing to suggest he wouldn't have jumped to AAA even with a bigger push, but in my revisionist little brain he ought to have been a bigger star instead of being lost in the shuffle. Anyway, to cut back to the match, the Fuerza/Azteca exchanges were a lot of fun and something you good folks should check out. There was also a great nod to the Atlantis/Panther rivalry where they had a brief stare off before locking up. The negatives were that it was a one fall bout so lacked the rhythm of an ordinary trios match, Pierroth was about 1/5th as good as he'd become in 1992 and they became overly obsessed with double leg takedowns during the finishing stretch.
Blue Panther vs. Octagon, National Middleweight Championship match, AAA 4/30/94
Never heard of this one? Possibly because it's one of the worst title matches in lucha history. You look at this on paper and you think, "gee, I wonder what Blue Panther can do with Octagon in a title match" and then you get an endless repetitious stalling exchange where Octagon won't let Tirantes check his boots, a bunch of non-title match looking action that wouldn't wash in a mano a mano bout, and to top it all off a title change on a freakin' DQ. Octagon spent longer celebrating with whoever the old guy was seconding him and the woman who joined them in the ring at the end than he did wrestling. Really just a joke of a title match.
Atlantis vs. Emilio Charles Jr., NWA World Middleweight Championship match, CMLL 3/22/91
This was a good title match, but not a great one. It was notable for a performance from Emilio Charles, Jr. that was pretty close to prime Charles. It wasn't one of Atlantis' better performances, however, though this was offset somewhat by him doing a lot of long term selling which fit into the narrative of his title being at risk. The first fall had some typically good Atlantis/Charles matwork as these two had a good working chemistry. I liked the way that Charles was able to outfox Atlantis, keep him at arm's distance and finally work his way towards the standing submission he wanted. Intelligent heel workers is one of the things that really endears me to lucha and title matches are obviously where they get to showcase their ability most. Unfortunately, Atlantis' comebacks in the match weren't timed as well as you'd expect. That's an issue as said comebacks are important turning points in lucha libre title matches. Charles covered for the first comeback by producing some of his classic bumping and selling, but things stalled a bit in the third caida. There were some good dives, but Atlantis actually blew the spot he was supposed to make his comeback on. Charles was able to lay into him a bit and cover for the mistake and Atlantis sold the slip like it was a result of match fatigue, but it took me out of the match a bit. And unfortunately, the finish was not so much poor conceived as poorly timed. None of this should take away from a top performance from Emilio, but it's a match that could've been a lot better.
Atlantis/El Dandy/Octagon vs. Satanico/Emilio Charles Jr./Kung Fu, CMLL 10/12/90
One of those fun advance the angle matches. In this case, the main angle was Atlantis vs. Kung Fu with Dandy and Satanico being a secondary issue. Emilio slotted right in there as the guy with historic issues against both Dandy and Atlantis.
Satanico/Mascara Ano 2000/Pirata Morgan vs. El Dandy/Sangre Chicana/El Faraon, CMLL 11/2/90
This was the same sort of story as the match above, but much more disappointing given the talent involved. The highlight of the match for me was Mascara Ano 2000 being thrown to the outside and then flinging himself into the ring post because he was dizzy. That made me laugh. Was expecting far more from the technicos.
Negro Casas/MS-1/Jerry Estrada vs. Atlantis/Mascara Sagrada/Panterita del Ring, Monterrey October 1991
This was pretty piss poor. I wasn't kidding when I said Monterrey was a vacation for some of these guys. Jerry Estrada didn't do anything until a comedy bump after the match where he took out the television interviewer and it took forever for Atlantis to enter the match. Casas was a pest and had some decent exchanges with Panterita, but he also worked this silly submission spot where he had Panterita hunched in the corner and he was standing on the middle rope posing to the crowd and occasionally wrenching the arm as the other rudos meandered around doing lazy rudo brawling. This went on for a good three or four minutes and I probably should have tuned out at that point. Casas did have a rad UWA jacket, though.
Satanico, MS 1 & Pirata Morgan vs. Lizmark, Mascara Sagrada & Atlantis, CMLL 1991
This was a classic Infernales match filled with all sorts of smooth double and triple teaming. We obviously don't have the full picture on lucha libre trios and which teams were the most influential in establishing the style, but it's hard to believe that Los Infernales didn't lay down some of the groundwork in teams of rudo teamwork. This was your run-of-the-mill TV match not your all-time classic that people yearn for, but it's always a pleasure to enjoy how solid these by the numbers television matches were. Lizmark spent a lot of this match with the top of his mask missing and his hair sticking out. He looked a bit like Super MuÃ±eco. He had some beautiful exchanges, but what really stuck out for me on the technico side was how good Sagrada looked. I don't think I've ever seen him as on point as he was here. Not sure if that was because of the Infernales or if Sagrada just had his head together, but it surprised me. There was also a spectacular sequence in the match where Atlantis took on the Infernales three on one, first in the ring and then again on the outside. The Infernales bumped for his spinning back breaker better than anybody else and Pirata took his trademark back bodydrop bump over the top rope which never fails to wow me. This was some seriously exciting stuff and one of Atlantis' best ever trios moments.