Pirata Morgan, Babe Face y Cien Caras vs. La Fiera, Lizmark y Rayo De Jalisco Jr. (1986)
Babe Face, Cien Caras y Mascara Ano 2000 vs. Lizmark, Rayo De Jalisco y La Fiera (1986)
These were a pair of excellent lead-in matches to the Babe Face vs. Fiera match. Not quite up there with Satanico/Dandy, Dandy/Casas or Santo/Felino in my own mini-pantheon of these type of matches, but quality nonetheless.
Babe Face was a UWA guy working the talent exchange program at Arena Mexico, and as with other feuds from the 80s, good things came from talent sharing. The theme to this feud was how many times Babe Face could withstand Fiera's spinning high kick vs. whether Fiera could survive the blood loss, his bad shoulder and just being fucked up in general. What made the lead-in matches so good was that the others complemented them well. The second match in particular is one of the better trios on the set, largely because they achieve what I always bang on about in having a secondary thread to go along with the main issue in Fiera vs. Babe Face. In this case, it's Rayo getting the absolute shit beaten out of him by the Northern ranchers. There's these huge tuffs of hair sticking out of his mask and blood splattered all over his chest; at one point he staggers about ringside like the sole survivor of a car wreck. It's a tasty appetiser for the main course, but both times that Fiera is about to really get his hands on Babe, the devious ltitle squirt worms his way to victory, denying hard working folks the payoff to their working week.
I found their hair match a tad underwhelming in isolation (you can read the review on this blog if you're so inclined), but with my appetite whet I was interested in reviewing what some are calling a top 10 match for the decade.
La Fiera vs. Babe face (8/15/86)
This was more fun than great. I don't think Fiera wanted to hurt Babe Face enough in the beginning. If they wanted to go the route of having Fiera dominate the opening fall and a half, he should have whipped Babe Face from pillar to post and made him bleed sooner. The match doesn't get good until Babe Face holds on to his winning submission for longer than he should and then stands there wiping the blood from out of his eyes. After that, it's the standard you expect from a hair match with some intense brawling from Babe and tremendous selling by Fiera, but that intensity should have been present from the start. Both guys were excellent in the final caida, however, with Babe trying to exploit Fiera's shoulder injury and Fiera trying to score that one big knockout move and almost knocking himself out several times in the process. If you chart where the match ends up from where it begins it's a fairly satisfying arc, so even if it's not a perfectly structured match it at least goes somewhere. Of course, controversy is never far behind when Babe's around and his low blow gets the crowd going. The finish s one of those ethical situations that you could argue about into the night. Personally, I'm not in favour of the technico cheating, but I can see the justice in it. The match was only half a classic and not one of the best matches of the decade in my opinion. There was a whole bunch of stuff I would have liked to have rearranged and ultimately Babe was too limited a worker to really deliver a classic. Fiera gave an excellent performance, but didn't lead from the front enough. It was a fun match though, and I've got to say that Mexico had some awfully competent barbers in the 80s. Nice job shearing those locks.