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[1993-11-05-AAA] Eddy Guerrero & Love Machine vs El Hijo del Santo & Octagon

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I always liked this match better than When Worlds Collide. I still do, but I don't consider it quite the OMGCLASSIC that I did before. It's still a great match, particularly in how it's paced. There's also some nice creativity. I like the spot where Santo and Octagon are doing the double surfboard on Eddy, and Barr runs in to pin them. The match is filled with things like that. It's probably slightly on the long side, but they keep things moving without getting repetitive and the Santo/Octagon win feels like a big moment. I know some have been down on this match lately, but I still really like it, even if I've dropped it a notch or two.

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Beforehand the referee was imploring the American duo to wrestle in the appropriate technical manner. Which they actually did surprisingly enough, albeit with a little sneaky rudo activity. I've underrated Love Machine in the past, he was fantastic here. Barr wasn't a great technician, but he held his own and his facials were awesome. As a performer he had a lot of charm. With Santo and Eddy in the mix there was also strong action provided. Octagon was generally fine, but there usually seem to be a few flaky moments when he goes off the boil in matches. It was a long bout but the time flew by and I enjoyed it. Really good stuff here.

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I have not been impressed with Barr so far. He may be a heat magnet but not enjoying him actually wrestling in the ring. He was a bit better here and at least he did not do any dumb crap to get his team disqualified in the third fall. When Worlds Collide was much better to me. This went too long. WWC match had little things like a faster referee count, more vocal crowd and Octagon got taken out of the match. :) I did enjoy Santo celebrating here before Octagon got the three count on Barr.

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I haven't been impressed with Barr either but this was his best performance. He's given up trying to be as fluid and graceful as his peers and is concentrating on the moves he does well, and on being a colossal prick. This is probably the peak, to this point, of AAA as a Mexican Sports Entertainment style. There is some good wrestling here but the company as a whole is definitely more about the personalities than it is about skill vs. skill. Just as in Titanland, that style can be compelling with the right workers and hard to watch otherwise--here it basically works. It's also structured very much like a straight American tag, at least for the first two falls. There are heel switch-offs and double-teams behind the referee's back, and lots and lots of payback spots and finisher-stealing. Each fall gets a lot of time, which stands out among the other lucha bouts on this set, and the third fall gets the most of all. That's when this really starts to meander, and Octagon is sort of taking up Barr's slack when it comes to blowing spots. He's the worst thing about this match and he's heavily involved in some cringeworthy moments, but on the whole he doesn't drag it down too much. I kept waiting and waiting for Tirantes to play a role in the finish, but after some early shenanigans he officiates this straight and the technicos surprise me with a clean victory. I don't think this is the lucha MOTY but it certainly belongs in the conversation.

 

Edit: Oops, there's some controversy after all--replays indicate Barr may have had his shoulder up when Octagon was pinning him. But the ruling on the field stands as called.

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This never really got out of first gear for me. The moves and dives were well executed, but I never felt like these guys turned it up as much as they could have. The crowd was also surprisingly dead, considering what a legend del Santo is and what a jerk Barr's been acting like lately. They woke up for the postmatch celebration, but that didn't do the match itself much good.

 

I guess I was expecting a hate-filled brawl. Instead I got a nice match that ran slightly too long for the story they told. Maybe there's a rematch in the future where they bring more hatred.

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A long match but one that was pretty confident in itself and its course of action and for that I am appreciative. Barr and Eddy gelled well as a team here and really helped work a rudo tag style against the top tecnicos in the country. Each fall never felt rushed at all and this match carried a classic vibe to it but with updated 1990's moves being executed. The final fall dives by santo were spectacular as always. Just wonderful and great lucha that symbolized the style. ****

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