Kato Kung Lee vs. Kung Fu (Mask vs. Hair) (4/29/88)
One of the best things about lucha is that you can take two guys who aren't that good and put them in a mascara contra cabellera match where big moves and basic timing are all they need to draw heat. A Satanico or a Sangre Chicana will add all sorts of details and craft a masterpiece, but even the goofiest of shit gets over in the cauldron of an apuestas match.
I'm a big fan of Los Fantasticos, especially Black Man, who is sadly absent from the set. but their karate shtick isn't exactly conductive to the brawling environment of a hair vs. mask match. So what they did here was use elements of their trio formula to add the exclamation mark to falls and employ their karate to deliver some wicked looking shots. Kung Fu had a pretty good match with Javier Cruz on the same disc. Cruz was a kid who I really got into when I was going through the 1990 stuff who then fell completely off my radar. Kung Fu wasn't the greatest worker in the world and Cruz didn't have a big enough personality to really put the match over, but the important thing was that the crowd bought into Kung Fu as a rudo. There's a great image in this match of Kung Fu walking around with his mask pulled down below his eyes; he may or may not be bleeding, it's hard to tell, but his eyes pierce through the grainy haze of degraded, handheld video footage and right into your living room. The crowd throw rubbish at him and he throws it back, prompting members of the publico to challenge him to their own apuestas matches.
The real highlights were in the third caida where Kung Fu delivered a vicious looking kick to Lee's head while Lee was backed up in the corner and Lee responded with a chop to Fu's face like some kind of quasi lucha shoot match. Their big moves were on point, and while the match could have done with some more obvious blood, it had all the basic drama you need. Unfortunately, they went for the shittiest finish imaginable denying the crowd something they could really pop for, but this was still an example of how simple and manageable the apuestas formula can be.