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El Hijo del Santo vs. Psicosis


ohtani's jacket

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El Hijo del Santo vs. Psicosis, AAA 5/3/95

 

There was some talk over at the surviving Smarkschoice board about whether this is any good. MJH mentioned that "at other times (especially the matwork and the finish) some of the execution is just really, really poor" and that "for a full singles match, Psicosis and Santo were having a bad night together." I thought this couldn't be right, but after a dozen sendspace attempts, I gotta admit -- stock's going down.

 

Whenever people used to doubt Psicosis, I'd always argue the case for his lucha work, not only his bumping & catching, but the hair, the mask, the whole persona. His execution was never the greatest, but it fit the out of control, recklessness of his style -- the baseball slide off an armdrag, throwing his hands in the air before catching a dive, intentionally slipping on the apron... It was a trainwreck style. I like performers in wrestling. Anyone with a semblance of creativity. Psicosis played to the crowd & thus I thought he was a good worker, but having seen this & Psicosis/Juventud Guerrera vs. El Volador/El Mexicano (awful), he's looking more and more like a guy who was lanky & awkward.

 

This is a match that's been pimped at various stages for having great matwork, or rather, for having matwork (i.e. the lucha matwork we love.) You can't have a lucha title match without matwork. AAA strayed about as far away from that as you can, but what matwork there is isn't great by lucha standards. By lucha title match standards, it's exceptionally poor. Whether it's Santo or Psicosis' fault, I don't know. It is what it is. MJH claims Psicosis is "horrid" on the mat, but whatever the case, they only got one spot to work -- the Santo headscissors. The rest of the time they either slipped or dropped the hold completely & the second fall was a mess. I wanna blame the AAA style for being flashy & making workers look crap, but they couldn't even work a surfboard spot without Psicosis having to balance with one hand on the mat.

 

Now I don't have the most analytical mind for watching matches. I don't pay attention to stuff like transitions because it takes me out of the rhythm. I generally go on overall impression. The September Psicosis/Rey match had execution problems, but it was OK because of the shape of the falls and the overall arc. What I'm looking for here is a good two-fall shape. What I think you'll find is good dives. This match has two of the best topes I've seen from Santo. MJH is confused as to why rudos usually get up before technicos on a dive, and I didn't have a very good answer for him, other than it's a suicida type spot. The seconds come over and wave their towels & basically the rudo gets up because it's a common transition into his dive attempt. Sometimes they get a little lazy with it. Psicosis actually sells it pretty well. The dives more or less salvage this match. It would be wreckage otherwise, and not in a crazy Psicosis kind of way. It saves the rhythm in any case, since it picks up when Santo is going full throttle through the ropes.

 

I'm pretty convinced that Santo never had a great singles match in AAA. Given how great Santo's singles stuff is from UWA that says a lot about the style. Now I'm wondering if Psicosis is the embodiment of that style -- all flash and little to show for it.

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