El Hijo del Santo, Misterioso, Ultimo Dragon vs. Emilio Charles Jr., Fuerza Guerrera, La Fiera, CMLL 11/22/91
This was another match from the Misterioso feud; this one happening the week before the trios match I wrote about last time. The match had tremendous heat but wasn't as fun as the return bout.
Fiera took an inordinately long time folding his bandanna and seemed disinterested in his opening exchange with Misterioso. Emilio tried to get something going with Ultimo, but Asai was still quite green in '91 so the stuff Emilio was bumping for didn't look that good. Then Fuerza didn't want to wrestle Santo, which had a payoff later on but sucked in the meantime. The second go through gave us our first real look at Misterioso working a fast paced trios exchange. Not surprisingly, it was the splitting image of modern lucha. 1991 Misterioso could walk straight off the street and fight in in with the current lot. If anything, he was faster than the present mob. Emilio had another go at making Ultimo look good and they actually got into a pretty good groove sprinting between the ropes. Ultimo did that Peking Opera School move of his where he dives over the top of his man, but Emilio outfoxed him with a lariat. He was so pleased with himself that he was celebrating in the ropes like Cota, which led to the Fuerza Moment of the Match w/ Fuerza coming across and ruffling up his hair. The rest of the Ultimo exchange was pretty good as well. They did this neat spot where Emilio caught Ultimo and put him on top turnbuckle. Then as he was going to hit Ultimo, Asai blocked his punch with a kick and countered with a reverse hurricanrana. Emilio went sprawling to the outside and did one of his stock bumps onto his ass. I also loved the way he sold Ultimo's enziguiri as though he'd been shot. He even saluted when catching the leg, which looked brilliant in slow mo. Santo's diving headbutt also looked killer on the replay, but sadly for us taking one to the noggin was about Fuerza's only contribution to the match at that point.
The segunda caida was a tidy rudo response. It began with more of the dream match-up, Santo vs. Emilio, and progressed to a lesson from the rudos to Ultimo in how you kick the shit out of someone rudo style. Then a couple of fouls when the refs weren't looking (which Emilio claimed were the inner thigh), and enough right hands to need ice afterwards, and you've got yourself a deciding fall. Fuerza was pretty happy with pinning Santo despite the fact he'd still barely wrestled. I'll say one thing for Fuerza, though: he was extremely good at kick/punch brawling. If you're not good at kick/punch brawling it can be extremely meandering, especially in lucha rudo falls, but Fuerza was a master at it. Fiera flog splashed the crap out of Ultimo at the end of the fall. He crushed him like a bug or a lizard. Whatever works for you. Early on in the tercera caida, there was more quality brawling from Emilio and Fuerza, two of the greats. The tecnico comeback was lively and spirited with the rudos eating plenty of postings. Santo finally got his hands on Fuerza and bulldogged him into the mat. Then he whipped him into the corner and Fuerza took a Psicosis style bump into the ring post and out to the floor. That's another thing Fuerza could do well -- take nutty bumps. It's also where being smaller came in handy as he would take such pastings when the tecnicos finally got their hands on him. The match ended with two big dives and a mano a mano section where Misterioso got a submission victory over Guerrera. Fiera avoided Ultimo's tope only to walk straight into a rocket-like plancha from Santo. That looked so fucking cool. The early 90s truly were Santo's peak. Not to be outclassed, Ultimo followed it up with his Asai moonsault on a helpless Emilio.
Bits and pieces of this were good, but as the build-up to Fuerza vs. Misterioso, the actual exchanges between them continued to be underwhelming with Fuerza not really doing enough to push the feud to the forefront of the matches. I'm not sure why he was so big on avoiding Santo here. I guess the switch to Misterioso at the end set up the revancha and title shot. Again a lot of the entertainment was provided by Emilio. Fiera was okay, but not as good as he was in the revancha. Next up is the title match.