Fuerza Guerrera vs. Octagon vs. Huracán Ramírez II, mask vs. mask, CMLL 12/14/90
This was the main event of CMLL's season ending show for 1990. We all know that triangle matches don't make for the best of apuesta matches, especially with a non-brawler like Octagon, but circumstances here were out of the ordinary. CMLL was coming off a record breaking Anniversary Show and business was hot. Arena Mexico was packed, and anticipation rife. Virginia Aguilera once said that the lucha public were barbaric: "we go to the matches because we like to see Christians killing each other." Having whet their appetite on Dandy/Satanico, the crowd were ready for more slaughter.
It took Sevilla literally seconds to prove he was as good as thought, and that it wasn't just Bestia making him look a million bucks. It's rare that a guy working a classic masked luchador gimmick is a good brawler, but Sevilla harkened back to his rudo days at Pavillon Azteca where he used to stomp the shit out of other toy characters.
The hardcores knew La Empressa wasn't giving away Fuerza vs. Octagon so soon, so the booking here was that instead of presenting the obvious wager, Fuerza fought his way to freedom and the final contest was a tecnico vs. tecnico showdown. That meant that Fuerza only wrestled half the match, but what a half of wrestling.
His mask was ripped at the front so you could pretty much tell what he looked like anyway, which would have pleased the ringsiders who paid top dollar. Using the hole in his mask, he got stuck right in there and hacked the shit out of his forehead. The crazy mother was dripping blood everywhere. He got it over himself, Octagon, the ref, and even his second Gran Cochisse. Then came the Fuerza Moment of the Match, which this time wasn't divine comedy but an insane bump off an Octagon arm drag sequence that sent him crowd surfing into the front three rows. There's no way those people left without blood on them.
A word on those arm drags: they were so fucking good. I've lightened up on workers like Super Muneco and Mascara Sagrada and no longer think they're the terrible workers I thought they were when I first started getting tapes, and really I'm starting to care less and less about whether guys are bad workers or not,; but whether you love Octagon or hate him (and I don't think there's anybody who really loves him), you can't tell me those arm drags weren't impressive. It's funny because I was sent this article that Dave Meltzer wrote for his 1990 Yearbook where he talked about how he'd started getting into lucha on Galavison, and how there weren't a lot of what he called "complete" workers. He cited Atlantis as a guy who had great high spots but couldn't work a match. I don't know where he got that idea from, but it fits Octagon to a tee. (Maybe he had his eyes gorged by that shitty Atlantis/Kung Fu feud.) Octagon wasn't a great worker, but he was malleable, and this was, I think, one of his career best bouts with the finishing stretch to the Octagon/Fuerza portion being one of the most legitimately exciting things I've seen in lucha in all my years of watching it. About two or three times, Octagon tried to hook on his La Escalera submission, but Fuerza kept blocking his leg and finally got a counter into a submission of his own. He sort of fell into Cochisse's arms like Shawn Michaels fulfilling his boyhood dream and then gave the most awesome triumphant fist pump. Fuerza Guerrera, your man of the hour. A rudo fan with a cowbell shook his hand, and we should all do the same after that tour de force.
Since they weren't planning to turn Sevilla heel, the actual mask vs. mask part was worked cleanly. They went at each other hard and fast and there were some huge collisions in the centre of the ring. The winning falls came a little easily, but it was very much in keeping with the theatrical style of big time apuesta matches.
With Octagon being one of the biggest stars in the business, and the most popular tecnico in the new television era, they were never going to have him lose, especially not on the season-ending show and not to a guy who was doing a third rate homage/rip-off to/of a classic gimmick; but like any well booked apuesta match there was a reason why the defeated wrestler lost. In this case, Sevilla missed on two topes and the second appeared to separate his shoulder. I'm not sure if it was a legit injury or a work, but he was attended to by two docs after the match and took some time to unmask. When he finally did, he had amazingly long eyelashes, and I couldn't help but wonder if he had a bit of the old Isiah Thomas eye make-up going on.
The best ever triangle apuesta match remains by some distance the Casas vs. Dandy vs. Santo match from 1996, but this was a thoroughly enjoyable match that could have easily been a dud following on the heels of Satanico and Dandy and not delivering on Fuerza vs. Octagon, which was no doubt what everyone wanted to see (except for me, the world's biggest Huracan Sevilla mark.) At the very least, Fuerza's cameo (?) deserved to be talked about more, and you owe it to yourself to watch it if you're a Fuerza fan and you haven't.