Jerry Estrada vs. Ultraman (3/2/84)
Since I've now learnt more about Ultraman than I ever thought possible, I thought I better watch his title match. But this match was more about Jerry Estrada than it was Ultraman. I won't re-air my historical grievances with Jerry Estrada, instead I'm going to praise the kid here. He was a fresh faced young rudo who'd been working in Mexico City for less than two years but looked really comfortable. He didn't have the charisma of other rudos on the set like Sangre Chicana, Satanico or Mocho Cota, but those guys weren't born legends. Everybody makes a start somewhere and this was a very good start for Jerry Estrada. It's easy to see why people within the company thought that he was the future along with El Dandy and La Fiera. If you're expecting the coked out, manic bumper that Estrada later became you're in for a disappointment, but for a year two guy in the big leagues this was really impressive and a big moment for him.
I liked the way he stuck with Ultraman's arm through the first two falls as though he was working to a strategy. This was clearly past whatever athletic prime Ultraman had so there as nothing really slick about the mat exchanges, but for sheer tenacity I liked how Estrada stuck to his game plan despite some pretty sharp looking take downs from the man from the future. I actually thought they'd give the champion the first fall on those swinging neck breakers and was a bit surprised by how many beats they went beyond that, but I'd rather complain about a fall being too long than too short. Jerry went after the arm to start the second caida and his psychology was better than a lot of vets. Ultraman had to resort to some Space Cadets style counters to work his way out of trouble and open his account before a pretty rousing third caida where the arm damage got the better of him. Ultraman was pretty great at stumbling around hurt, falling into the ropes and hitting a tope that looked equal parts ugly and reckless. It may have been a poor tope, but if it was it fit with the narrative and Ultraman even struggled rolling back into the ring. The injury was an interesting way to put Estrada over without having Ultraman job. Usually I'd be kind of ticked off about that, but I loved Estrada's goofy overselling and Ultraman being carried from ringside draped over his second's shoulders. This wasn't a classic; the rhythm and pacing could have been better for starters and the third fall could have lasted longer and been more dramatic, but I thought it was a neat bout that worked well in the smaller setting of Arena Coliseo. Ultraman's no super worker, but Estrada showed a lot of promise even if he wasn't completely there yet. Definitely a case of young Estrada being better than I would have given him credit for before the bout, which makes this a better match than I was expecting and a plus as far as the set goes.
This may be the most positive entry I have ever made about Jerry Estrada. I really am softening up, but he really was very good. Dug his early look too, before the earrings and the leather jackets and Marty Jannetty tights. Good shit.