La Fiera/Espectro Jr./Kahoz vs. El Brazo/Brazo de Oro/Brazo de Plata, CMLL 12/25/92
So, we've established that washed up Fiera (who really wasn't that old) was better than I ever gave him credit for, especially in scummy lowdown trios matches that reflected the shadiness of his character outside the ring, but here he got to show off his comedic talents. Comedy is an important (often misunderstood) element of lucha libre. No matter how great your brawling is, or how bloody your apuesta matches are, to be a top rudo worker you need to master the art of comic timing. All the world loves a clown, and that goes twice for a bumping, stooging heel. What Porky and Fiera did better than most was to escalate from comic playfulness to fierce rage, playing off that old adage "it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt."
Fiera was all up in Porky's grill during the intros, poking him in the chest. Porky responded with a slap to Fiera's face, and they launched into an exaggerated circling lock-up before Porky got the better of Fiera on a criss-cross exchange. Fiera was incredulous as he backed away, but when Porky beat him to the punch a second time, he decided he was sick and tired of playing games, and blew Porky off, returning to his corner. No sooner had Porky turned his back when Fiera charged him. Porky span round to face him, and Fiera quickly pretended a handshake was all he was interested in. Porky looked at the out stretched hand and slapped Fiera in the chops. It was a brilliant mix of comedy and underlying tensions. Porky had embarrassed Fiera, and Fiera wasn't the sort of guy you should embarrass.
Fiera went right at Porky the next chance he got with shots to the face, but fell victim to one of the Brazos' patented finishing sequences -- a swank two man move that left Fiera wondering whether he was coming or going. Porky was having a great time bumping Fiera off his stomach in the second caida until Fiera grew tried of playing the fool and struck Porky hard. Porky clutched at his head and his lower lip began quivering. Fighting back the tears, he absolutely barreled into Fiera and sent him flying off the apron. Porky was cocky the next time they sparred, but this time there was no fucking about. Espectro held Porky back while Fiera began dishing out the headbutts. Oro made the save with Porky laid out like a Christmas ham, but Fiera was merciless and continued working him over on the outside, throwing aside Rangel and kicking Porky in the gut. The fans called him an asshole, but he just stared them down and posed in their face. Porky struck back with a huge running splash to the corner, which Fiera sold like it had crushed the life out of him, and the usually affable Porky was livid. Twice he tried to use the martinete on Fiera but was talked out of it by his brothers. Oro took over and Fiera's selling of his tilt-a-whirl back breaker was sublime. Part Michael Jackson, part La Parka. Porky claimed the win for his side with a measured splash, and Fiera scampered away like a coward when Porky came after him. The Brazos held Porky back while Fiera goaded and taunted Plata, and they finally got stuck into each other with Porky trying to shoot on Fiera (!) with the one legged take down. Black Magic and an unmasked El Supremo hit the ring for the next match, which Fiera was pulling double duty for, and together they beat the Christmas stuffing out of the Brazos w/ Fiera body slamming the ham.
Nothing ever came out of this -- it was just a bit of fluff on a Christmas Day Arena Coliseo show -- but it would have made for a fun apuesta match if they'd gone all the way with it. The rest of the match was okay. Brazo de Oro zipped about in fine form and worked some decent exchanges with Kahoz, whom he was familiar with from the UWA. The trios that followed was rubbish, but Fiera/Porky was a great stocking filler.
Atlantis/Rayo de Jalisco Jr./El Dandy vs. Satanico/Emilio Charles Jr./Gigante Kamala, CMLL 3/8/91
Remember that epic Kamala/Black Magic feud from '91? Neither do I, but Smiley was busy cutting promos on him decked out in a top hat and cloak like a two bit Mandrake the Magician. He even had a wand and gloves and disappeared in a cloud of smoke. It's funny because you don't usually see guys doing their full gimmick on TV like they would for the magazines. I have no idea what Smiley was on about when he said "we are one of a kind and then again we're not." What, they're both black? I get the "Black" Magic thing and all, but what was with that? They're both gringos? Masters of magic? Pierroth, on the other hand, cut a bad ass promo in a bad ass jacket and signed it off with the best evil laugh in Mexico. My love for Pierroth knows no bounds. I know I've mocked CMLL vignettes in the past, but the short Kamala one was actually pretty decent with Big Jim Harris doing his best National Geographic impersonation.
None of this had much to do with the match in question, but it's best not to question the internal logic of CMLL television when it delivers a trios this good. This was so much fun. It was never going to win Match of the Year honours or anything like that, but as far as the need for fun goes, it was just about perfect. Each of the individual match-ups were great. I hadn't seen Satanico and Dandy go at it for a while, and I realise now why their feud spoiled so much of the lucha to come for folks watching the yearbooks. Their chemistry together was unreal; like capturing lightning in a bottle. That's difficult to replicate if you're looking for a product that delivers more of the same, especially in a promotion as poorly booked as CMLL. They weren't the only ones going off, however. Atlantis and Emilio did their usual routine, we got a throwback to Dandy vs. Charles, and there was even a bit of Emilio/Rayo, which I don't remember seeing before. All of the stuff with Kamala was great; roughly a thousand times better than the Andre match which made the Death Valley Driver set, and this was basically one fun exchange after another in a match of little significance other than to remind people that Kamala was back in town. Kamala had a feud with Mil Mascaras on the Sunday shows that built to a cage match, which was only the third time the gimmick had been used. The TV of course was a mess with Pierroth, and Black Magic, and all sorts of shit that didn't lead anywhere unless you count Gran Davies being splashed by Kamala as the blow off. CMLL was a success despite itself in the television era, and this match was in part entertaining because of how hot the promotion was.
Atlantis/Sangre Chicana/Octagon vs. Blue Panther/El Satanico/Jerry Estrada, CMLL 9/13/91
This is the kind of match where you look at the names and immediately start thinking: "Chicana vs. Satanico? They never settled anything in '89. Satanico vs .Atlantis? Classic rivalry. Panther vs. Atlantis just weeks removed from their classic. Chicana vs. Estrada? Don't think I've seen that before. Shit, even Chicana vs. Panther seems interesting." Then you watch the match and it's an angle to turn Chicana heel. Welcome to the kick in the balls that is lucha. Not only do they waste that sort of match-up on an angle, the two matches that could have come out of it (Chicana vs. Atlantis and Chicana vs. Satanico) never materalised
MS-1/Masakre/Jerry Estrada vs. Ringo Mendoza/Super Astro/Black Magic, CMLL 10/18/91
I have a lot of respect for the way Smiley was able to adapt to Mexico and become comfortable working the style, but it's fair to say it didn't happen over night. He looked tentative in this bout as though he wasn't sure what to do other than to continue stepping forward and cutting off his opponent's offence. Fortunately everyone else was on point, and this was a brisk trios that like Smiley never took a step back. I was really high on MS-1 when I first started buying tapes then I just sort of forgot about him; but he was really good in this, especially the way he worked with a much smaller man in Super Astro. They had some excellent cat and mouse style exchanges where Astro was zipping about trying to elude the grasp of those lengthy MS-1 arms. Masakre was also solid, though not at Fuentes level. Together they reminded me of why I loved the Masakre version of the Infernales, which even today is underrated in comparison to the Morgan runs. I was also really impressed with Estrada in this, who had a stellar (read "clean") night. He pulled out a great bit of comedy when he bumped to the outside and deliberately walked into a fan who was returning to his seat. He sold that beautifully just as he did Super Astro's wild hay maker, which not only cleaned his clock, but left him checking for loose teeth. Ringo was also solid with a variety of high tempo takedowns that run contrary to the opinion people sometimes him slowing these bouts down. The finish was nuts as Super Astro had some kind of death wish on a springboard plancha. He undershot it so bad that Estrada had to lunge forwards for Astro to even clip him. Mental. Just a word on Astro -- he was balls out here. I haven't always put him over as a worker, but his full throttle bumping and leaping about made this a thousand times more memorable than it would have been otherwise. Coupled with the Chino title match, he's doing well in the "what have you done for me lately? stakes, that's for sure.