Atlantis/Ringo Mendoza/El Dandy vs. Mano Negra/Javier Llanes/Black Magic, CMLL 2/15/94
My buddy Raging Noodles once had a prank played on him that there was a trios match leading into the El Dandy/Javier Llanes singles match where Llanes worked over Dandy's fingers or something to that effect. It was a neat prank, but Noodles my boy, here's that trios you always wanted to see.
As with most gems, we get a great set of intros. I never realised what an ugly blighter Llanes was. He had this pockmarked face that made his shit-eating grin all the more aggravating, and sauntered around the ring in the cheapest of robes. He got in Dandy's face early before backing away and letting his man Negra step in. Negro got lippy, so Dandy fish hooked him and the two had a small standoff. Negra looked awesome in this match. His mane was untameable and he had a killer Mexican mustache. And then there was Ringo. Completely out of place, but still rocking his Ritchie Valens hair.
Llanes attacked Dandy while the green eyed one's graphic was still on the screen, and the rudos gave him a working over. Smiley was especially keen to get involved, and this was probably the best rudo performance I've seen from him. Llanes was eager to work the arm and the dropkick became an early theme. Atlantis wanted Negra, and I swear Negra looked like a Mexican Fit Finlay. Negra hit a sweet looking flying clothesline, which was awesome for two reasons: a. you don't see that sort of move in lucha too often, and b. he adjusted his glove before entering the ring. Atlantis then hit his signature back breaker, which Negra sold beautifully. Dandy wanted another shot at Llanes, but every time he'd get the upper hand the rudos would dish out a cheap shot. Llanes' movement wasn't the greatest, but he took Dandy apart methodically and between falls he bust him open. It wasn't so common to see blood at Arena Coliseo during this era, which made the juice seem special.
The second caida was like an apuesta match. Llanes rubbed Dandy's cut against the bottom rope and flicked the blood off his fingers. Then he moved Dandy into the corner where he gave him a going-over; the aggression increasing with every blow. Smiley got in the act next and was an absolute dick to Ringo. He mocked Ringo's heritage with a little Indian dance then the rudos beat the shit out of Mendoza and Atlantis. By this point, I was loving this rudos trio. Llanes had Dandy in the corner again and was working over his cut; really channeling Cien Caras and every other bastard. Of course, this all lead to an awesome comeback from Dandy where Llanes feigned a low blow, but Dandy didn't give a shit and just kept attacking him. Even the rudos' cheap shots couldn't deter Dandy this time and Smiley got some pay back. Atlantis showed us flashes of his underrated brawling skills with a headbutt to Negra and great use of the double axehandle (hey, if it works, it works.) He also hit a sweet senton to help the technicos take the second caida. He was only in a supporting role here, but in fine form. During the finish he dropped the most ridiculously smooth knee on Negra. Great worker.
The third fall began with Dandy hunched over struggling with his cut. Llanes pounced and the ring soon cleared for a mano a mano contest where Llanes kept peppering Dandy with body shots. Dandy went down hard and they really put over Llanes' punching strength. Llanes noticed somewhere along the way a weakness in Dandy's chest area and he went after the same spot pummeling it. Dandy fought back with chops and headbutts, but he missed a flying headbutt from the turnbuckle and Llanes must have thought he had him. One cool thing they did was keep going for the submission finish. Despite their brawling, it was a title match that would be decided the following week and nothing sends a message quite like making your man submit the week before a big title fight. There was a great moment when Dandy was trying to put the figure four on Llanes and Negra interfered. Dandy let go of the leg, stepped through the ropes and punched Negra out cold on the apron. Man, was Negra great in this.
Dandy and Llanes teased a couple of nearfalls then Llanes managed to catch Dandy out when he was going for the magistral cradle, catching the leg and leaning back on him. That was just enough leverage for the pin, and a great win for the rudos. And didn't Smiley love it? He had quite the victory shuffle.
This was a real gem. The kind of lucha that was the inspiration for this blog in the first place. If there's any more Dandy vs. Llanes trios on tape we need to seek them out. He was the least athletically gifted of Dandy's major opponents, but he more than made up for it with his smarts and their work together is quality. I strongly suggest people watch this a-sap.