So the DVDVR set has finally been released and with it a great opportunity for folks to be introduced to lucha or have their exposure broadened. I'm going to write about a few matches I haven't seen before or which interest me for some reason, starting with this Chicana title fight.
Sangre Chicana vs. Ringo Mendoza (10/28/83)
First thing's first, Mocho Cota was the coolest looking second. Wearing a t-shirt and towel over suit pants and pointed leather shoes with his fresh for '83 hair cut that Gran Cochisse had inflicted on him the month before. I love that he's still sporting his Faustian beard. That motherfucker was one cool cat.
Sangre Chicana is one of the greatest brawlers in lucha libre history and a tremendous performer. This was when he was still a man of the people and hadn't degenerated into one of the scummiest looking wrestlers who ever lived, and a rare opportunity to see him tackle the art of title match wrestling. The impression I got was that he wasn't much of a mat worker. He knew a few holds, but this was worked as more of a mano a mano bout than a lucha title match and I don't think it was because of Ringo, whom I've seen have some impressive first caida mat outings.
What I did like about this was the general structure. It wasn't a great match by any stretch of the imagination but it had a steady build. I liked how cagey they were with their early approaches and how the first hold they agreed to ended up on the outside and back in the ring. The facets of pro-wrestling that Chicana excelled at were intensity and selling and that gave his matches a real energy even when they were low arcing and minimalistic like this one. There was a backbreaker spot that I thought could be the finish. I hadn't bitten on a near fall like that in ages and it was totally because of Chicana's selling.
Where this match fell over was the finish. Double pin finishes suck. You can hem and haw and try to justify them but it's an immutable truth. It didn't seem to bother the crowd though as they mobbed Chicana at the end and carried him out on their shoulders, which seemed like a bit of an over-reaction to what actually happened in the ring, but was another snapshot of how wrestling used to be in Mexico back when fans could still enter the ring. The guy waving to his family was a great "Hi, Mom" moment for the cameras.