Haven't watched lucha for ages. Didn't know where to start so I started all over the place.
Blue Panther/Guerrero Negro vs. Huracán Sevilla/Gran Hamada (Monterrey 1991)
I love Huracan Sevilla. Everything I've read about his reign of terror at Pavillón Azteca as Darth Vader seems the stuff of lucha journeyman legend. Terrorising toys, puppets and cartoon characters is surreal enough, but having his partners turn on him, and losing his mask to a local star in Guatemala, only adds to the legend. I liked him as the highly unnecessary Huracán Ramírez II and loved his run without a hood. I don't know much about his later gimmicks, but if you're a lucha fan you learn to love journeymen in a country where there's been literally hundreds upon hundreds of professional wrestlers.
This started off with some welcome mat exchanges between Sevilla and Blue Panther, who I believe was in his prime in 1991. That was followed by some slick exchanges between Guerrero Negro and Gran Hamada, who execution wise was a notch above all but the best Mexican wrestlers. There wasn't a lot of Panther vs. Hamada exchanges in this, which was strange because the upshot of it all was that Hamada issued a challenge for Panther's mask while Sevilla demanded a wager with Negro, but the exchanges we did get between Panther and Hamada were promising and suggested other matches of theirs out there where they lit things up. This followed a generic tag structure of matwork in the first fall, rudo brawling/dominance in the second, and high flying in the third. It had its high points like Guerrero Negro single-handedly winning the second fall by almost putting Hamada on the shelf with a botched double leg takedown on Hamada then getting the same takedown right on Sevilla and following it up with a neat submission. There was also some cool teamwork on a Negro tope where Panther gave him an irish whip assist. Negro sold the tope like he'd wrecked his shoulder, which he may well have. I tend to come out of most Monterrey matches thinking "well, that could have been better," and lucha tags are underwhelming at the best of times, but this had its moments here and there. There was a time when Monterrey meant a lot more money in your pocket, but by this stage it was an extra date and an extra payday.
La Parka, Octagon, Latin Lover, Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Blue Panther, Fuerza Guerrera, Pentagon, Psicosis (AAA 7/28/95)
Everybody knows AAA isn't my favourite type of lucha so I'm not going to get into that again, but I actually enjoyed this. The opening exchanges between Octagon and Pentagon were awful, but as soon as the ring was cleared of that pair the bout was snappy and entertaining. Originally, I was going to write it up for Your Fuerza Guerrera of the Hour, but it was closer to Your La Parka of the hour. His former partners were lining up to get their shots in, but nothing they did could stop him from dancing. Fuerza vs. Parka was awesome and worthy of a singles match. Psicosis was his usual dynamic self (and really, I don't think it ever got better for him than during this AAA run), and Mysterio also looked sharp. The only member of this crew that really delivered below expectations was Pentagon. I'm a big fan of Espanto Jr., but he had an off night here. That was all right as the match moved on without him and the third caida dive train was full of all sorts of goodness. Rey and Psicosis brought a bit more of their touring match act to Mexico than I'm used to seeing and it gelled nicely with the send 'em home happy nature of the third caida. There wasn't much of a through line as the Pentagon/Octagon stuff fell part, but two thumbs up for this.
Bestia Salvaje/La Fiera/Jerry Estrada vs. Huracan Sevilla/Blue Demon Jr./El Hijo del Solitario (1/17/92)
This was another chapter in the lead-in to the Huracan Sevilla vs. Bestia hair match; a match I may be higher on than any other person on the internet if not the planet. Bestia was an elite worker at this point and able to carry a trios with only a limited number of appearances. Who brings Blue Demon Jr and El Hijo del Solitario to a fight? I've said that before about Sevilla. He was left with the dregs when it came to partners while Bestia had his running mates with him each time. A guy like Matt D would love the snear Fiera has on his face the first time he squares off with Solitario. The brawling exchanges between Bestia and Sevilla were outstanding here and a focal point throughout. Bestia was clearly higher in the pecking order and made no bones about it, but Sevilla got to make a valiant comeback. Eventually, he was overwhelmed and bled about as heavily as was possible in 1992. Someone in the crowd offered Sevilla a tissue, but Bestia was too busy beating his ass. Blue Demon Jr. and Solitario actually managed a pair of cool looking topes (in real time that is; Solitaro looked to have overshot his badly on the replay), but the tecnico reply was snuffed out by a clever Bestia and the rudos took round one in the march to the apuestas.
Remo Banda/Aguila Solitaria vs. Leon Chino/Comando Ruso (5/4/90)
Remo Banda is the greatest looking motherfucker in lucha ever. He looks like the sixth member of the Blue Oyster Cult. I've enjoyed the Leon Chino I've seen before but he was the third best guy in this. Ruso was the consummate journeyman and carried Solitaria through some pretty looking arm drag exchanges. This bout was a lot of fun. In many ways, it was the type of bout that shows the essence of lucha. Banda had taken Russo's hair earlier that year, but you'd hardly notice it from the bout. Their job was to put on an undercard match that entertained the fans and they achieved that by working quintessential lucha exchanges. The hardest of hardcore fans would enjoy the staples they ran through here. A nice piece of undercard wrestling, which isn't something that gets a ton of love in lucha circles.
Atlantis/Shocker/Satanico vs. Tarzan Boy/Ultimo Guerrero/Rey Bucanero (2/1/02)
A while back, Matt D tried to tell me this was better than the classic 1997 minis trios. I can see why Matt liked it more according to his philosophies, but that's not an idea I'm going to entertain. Instead I'll focus on the fact that it was a pretty good bout. The version I watched was slightly sped up in the first and second falls, but even with the video quality issues I could tell this was a fairly classic brawling trios. There were more moves-per-fall than in a classic lead-in trios, but the gist was the same. I was impressed with Satanico during the bout. As big a Satanico fan as I am, I kind of give up on him around 1996-97 and haven't see much of his later stuff. In fact, elliot from the board has probably seen more Satanico than me at this point. I didn't think this was overly special in the context of all the brawling trios lead-in bouts I've seen before, but it was plenty entertaining and a sign that 00s Satanico might be worth exploring.