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[1996-10-15-CMLL] El Dandy vs Black Warrior


Loss
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  • 2 months later...

Go out of your way to see this if you never have, as it's the Flair/Steamboat of CMLL. Amazing match. Lots of nice basic matwork with a solid build and some terrific two counts that feels like the pinnacle of this style of wrestling at this point in time. Tricked out matwork galore, most of which I don't even know how to describe, building to a nice series of highspots at the end. It's also really well-paced, not rushed at all, which makes the great exchanges really memorable, despite there being so many of them. My lucha MOTY unless something surpasses it later, and possibly a lucha MOTD contender too.

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Go out of your way to see this if you never have, as it's the Flair/Steamboat of CMLL. .

 

Worth pointing out that no one thinks of Black Warrior as a Flair or Steamboat level worker. He isn't Emilio Charles Jr, Bestia or Atlantis. He's had multiple singles title runs but is super inconsistent. This isn't all Dandy smoke and mirrors as BW stepped up to plate. Still this is pretty much Dandy v any game opponent in a title match..

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The reason I say that is because the wrestling was pretty basic for the most part, but looked really good and seemed like the pinnacle of the style. All the two counts were my favorite part of the match (not nearfalls necessarily, but just attempts at wrestling the other guy to the mat for a pinfall and getting a normal two count). That's how Flair and Steamboat typically work their matches.

 

What other Dandy matches from this time period are this mat-based, because I want to see them all?

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It's from two years earlier, but Loss, have you ever seen El Dandy vs Javier Llanes?

No, but I have heard good things about it. I would be interested in seeing other clean, straightforward matches like this, even ones that aren't as good as this one.

 

I know the '94 match has been praised, but I would imagine there are some other good matches like this on week-to-week TV, right? They don't just do mat-based matches every couple of years like this, do they?

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I think what I've learned is that when preparing matchlists for these yearbooks, title matches should jump off the page at me a little, especially when involving guys with strong reps. And most of them are probably worth at the very least checking out to see if they should go on.

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If you liked this match, I think you would love Dandy-Llanes. One of my favorite reviews from OJ was his take on the match:

 

http://prowrestlingonly.com/blog/ohtani_s_...p?showentry=133

 

Trios really dominate the scene a lot, so you could see certain guys go years without having great singles showcase matches but still being an integral part of quality trio matches. Sometimes, some guys have certain years were they shine and do a lot of great stuff. For Dandy, that was 1990.

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I don’t have the 96 set so I’m assuming that this BW v Dandy match is their 10/15/96 title match:

 

http://www.luchawiki.com/index.php?title=N...avyweight_Title

 

It is a title match, and that’s really important key to what takes place in the ring.

 

Title matches in Mexico traditionally are worked as “clean” technical matches. A month or so ago I wrote about wrestling commissions and wrestling unions in Mexico. This is a vestige of that, as title matches were once governed by wrestling commissions and the commissions would not allow any “unclean” stuff in it. Wrestling commission demands that title match must be “legit” -----which leads to a “legit” “clean” “technical” title match formula of work.

 

Dandy is a master of this style and really great at building drama in these “clean” “legit” exchanges. Lucha title match style is a style that will occasionally lead to ROH/Dragongate meaningless showing off of moves exchanges---Dandy doesn’t do that, he is a guy who is trying to win a match. Anytime you have Dandy opposite Emilio Charles Jr you want to watch it, Dandy v Angel Azteca for the title is worth watching and there is a Dandy v Casas title match from 92 that is pretty mind blowing.

 

The Blue Panther v Atlantis 91, v Superastro 92,v El Maricahi in 94 are all also worked as title matches.

 

There are I think two Casas/Santo v Bestia/Scorpio Jr tag title matches that are really worth watching and don’t get the hype they deserve since they are overshadowed by the big hair match. Stylistically your big heated hair match formula is always going to win over the title match formula. Which hints at the reason for the eventual weakening of the style. Like I said this is a vestigial carry over from an earlier time and it is a holdover formula that is weakening every year.

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Lucha title match style is really quite fun to watch if your brain is in Lucha Mode. I remember seeing a Perro vs Cien Caras title match that wasn't anything exceptional (and perhaps wouldn't hold up on tape), but *live* was really worked. The two took the match much more seriously than one of their feuding matches, and the crowd took the seriousness of it as well.

 

John

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It's from two years earlier, but Loss, have you ever seen El Dandy vs Javier Llanes?

No, but I have heard good things about it. I would be interested in seeing other clean, straightforward matches like this, even ones that aren't as good as this one.

 

I know the '94 match has been praised, but I would imagine there are some other good matches like this on week-to-week TV, right? They don't just do mat-based matches every couple of years like this, do they?

 

Almost all lucha title matches in this era were mat-based, but we're restricted by what made TV. Not all of the TV from the 90s is available and sometimes title matches are clipped. Still, there's a fair few that can be included on future sets.

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  • 3 years later...

I'm enjoyed watching CMLL '96 and look forward to the following year. The promotion was in a good place. Modernising without yet whoring itself out, both in terms of presentation and ringwork.

 

The combatants kept up a lively pace with more of an action emphasis than prolonged matwork. The structure and length were right, with plenty enough time for Lucha dramatica. There was one unfortunate instance when they got their legs tangled, which temporarily stopped the flow. Black Warrior wearing an orange mask bugged me a little. It would never have worked with Black Tiger. Warrior was upper midcard, but absolutely not main event level in stature or ability. Dandy on the other hand delivered a world class performance, he was superb. His ring presence dwarfed the opponent and all the highlights were from one man. A high quality match, but going 50/50 when one guy was so much better wasn't ideal.

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  • 9 months later...

I agree Dandy was better, but I thought Warrior (my first time seeing him, I think) more than pulled his weight. He showed great velocity when throwing himself at Dandy either with clotheslines or with moonsaults, and I loved his taking apart of Dandy's arm and wish there was more of it. He had a great finishing move at the end, too. They get the first two falls out of the way quickly, with a controversial ending to the second fall that may well have been a blown spot for all I know, but it worked either way. That leads to a long, epic third fall that basically rises and builds and recedes and then builds again, like a one-fall match. Dandy is still one of the better workers on the planet even if the exposure just isn't there. Overall I still think the Casas-Fiera match I watched the other day was better as far as non-Yearbook gems from '96, but this is definitely a treat and probably the #2 lucha MOTY.

 

Edit: Whoops, this is on the Yearbook after all, listed as 11/2.

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  • 2 years later...

This was an awesome match in the classic title style. That is one of my favorite disciplines of wrestling and this was a great iteration of it. I think my favorite part was the way Dandy's arm was worked over.. Everything looked really hurtful with the attack BW provided and Dandy sold it really well and in more of an US style IMO of a straight isolated appendage. The final fall had a lot of great drama as to who would win and I don't want to spoil the ending but it took me by surprise while watching but felt well deserved. I always find it a treat when I don't know who won a match going into these things that are 20+ years old. ****1/2

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  • 9 months later...

I've been intrigued by this match since I saw it as a shocking #2 on Loss' 1996 list, but never got around to watching it until now. I don't think it's one of the classic lucha title matches, and sure isn't a top MOTY contender for me, but no doubt this is an excellent match. Mat work in the first fall was sweet and I wish they spent more time on it. They really capitalize on the short, screwy second fall by having Dandy open up the third fall with roll up after roll up, establishing that Black Warrior can easily get screwed over and take a loss on any one of them. The third fall is really grueling and you really get the feeling of Warrior overcoming a lot between how hard fought the match is and how the deck is stacked against him with the ref keeping him from capitalizing by letting El Dandy lay around outside the ring, and ignoring his rope breaks. Warrior's big run of offense toward the end of the third fall with the awesome springboard head scissors, followed by the the big dropkick to the outside and then the moonsault to the outside ruled. Warrior's win feels like a real triumph. This won't finish in my top 10, maybe not my top 20, but it was great.

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  • 3 months later...

I remember it being mentioned before that the idea of lucha as some alien style comes from over-thinking things and the best way to get into it is to watch it as you would any other style. As I work my way through these pimped lucha matches I find myself agreeing with that sentiment. It has its quirks just like any other style. The holds are wackier, the strikes are softer, and the guys take rolling bumps, but it's still pro wrestling at the end the day. All that said, comparing this to Flair/Steamboat is nuts.

 

I will give these guys credit that they worked something resembling a 70's US title match and avoided the masturbatory catch-and-release shit that I often see with these title matches. But I just didn't see much rhyme or reason to it. Why are some holds treated as instant tap-outs while others are ones guys can fight through? Why was Dandy using a headlock at the mid-point of the match after he was already down a fall? The sort of strategy and progression from feeling out type stuff into match ending attempts that I normally look for when I watch matwork just wasn't there. The first two falls felt like them spending 15 minutes doing feeling out shit while they just so happened to trade pinfalls along the way.

 

I will admit that they built some cool moments in the third fall between the attack on Dandy's shoulder and Warrior's leg selling from later. But those were just moments. Trying to make sense of them in the context of the rest of the match made them feel flat. At first it was cool with Warrior finding Dandy's weak spot when he hit that top rope move on Dandy's shoulder, as well as for Dandy to follow it up with by going to town on Warrior's own arm. And then Dandy just dropped it and did a figure four. Why? Warrior reached the ropes, but Dandy refused to break the hold and it took the ref forever to get them apart. Again, why? I would have been willing to just go along with it if it was actually treated as a big thing in the match, but instead we got this weird thing where Warrior sells the legs for a bit but ultimately has no issue running around and hitting top rope moves when he needs to do it. It reminded me of Hayashi/Kondo 2006 in that they wanted to get some leg selling just for the hell of it but weren't gonna let it stop them from getting their high spots in. I will give them credit for building to some impressive spots and even a few dramatic near falls, but I struggle to understand what the psychology at play here. ***

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Assuming these questions were being asked in earnest...

 

Some holds being more punishing than others is not something unique to this style. Hulk Hogan's legdrop is the most obvious American example of this. In this match, the only immediate submission comes from the nudo lagunero, which was known as Blue Panther's favorite finishing hold (not sure if Warrior was acknowledged as Panther's relative at this point). Not surprising that it would be more effective than an STF or figure four. Even then, sometimes a hold is cinched in perfectly and sometimes it is not. Sometimes a wrestler would rather give up quickly in the first or second fall.

 

I cannot read Dandy's mind from twenty plus years ago, but the headlocks in the second fall felt like something that Jim Ross would have described as a veteran trying to control the pace of the match. He was down a fall, he had been outwrestled both on the ground and off the ropes in the first fall, and he needed to dictate the pace. That was precisely how that fall ended up playing out, with everything flowing from the headlock, even if I thought it could have gone on longer and Dandy could have scored a more decisive pinfall.

 

Did Dandy attack Warrior's arm? I remember him using the DDT and kicking Warrior hard in the back before using the figure four, but it has been a while since I watched this. The figure four was treated as a big part of the match. Warrior emerged from it fine, but Dandy had injured his own leg while applying it and keeping it on as the ref tried to break it, and the rest of the match had the intrigue of whether Dandy's leg would give out on him, especially after the moonsault from Warrior. This was a title change that was supposed to put Warrior over big, which is why I'm guessing they went for a finish in which he outwrestled Dandy rather than an opportunistic one in which he attacked an injured body part.

 

I can see where the Flair vs Steamboat comparisons would come from (headlocks, pinfall attempts after chops), but qualitywise I think this is more like Dandy's match with Javier Llanes than Dandy vs Angel Azteca or Dandy vs Negro Casas, which are the ones that usually get put on the Flair vs Steamboat level.

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Really appreciate that reply. I actually was writing that review because there was a lot of stuff I didn't understand and was curious about, so it's great to have someone break things down like that. Definitely gonna rewatch this one eventually.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1996-10-15-CMLL] El Dandy vs Black Warrior

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