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[1992-07-17-CMLL] Lizmark vs El Satanico

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This isn't as transcendent as Dandy/Casas, but it is still a very good title match. Their 1983 match was solid but left me a little underwhelmed, so I guess time was good to them. While the match isn't on the same level, Satanico's ability to time his bumps and feed big moves is tremendous, and he's at least as good as Casas at that aspect. He's not as athletic as Casas at this stage of his career, but he doesn't have to be. He's the crafty vet and he masters that role.

 

Nice long first fall with some fun matwork. The matwork is a little more commonplace than Dandy/Casas, but still really good. They do the headlock escape spot that always makes me think of Steamboat/Tenryu. Satanico does the Ric Flair bump from the press slam position off the top rope. So there are familiar staples here for those who are still getting acclimated to this style.

 

If there's a problem with this match, it's that it's too one-sided. The third fall is just Satanico getting outwrestled for several minutes before falling backwards into a victory. I'm never really a fan of that. The strongest point of this match is the first fall, even if the rest is really good.

 

Lizmark is solid, but I'm not overly impressed with him. It would be overstating it to say he was being carried, but it's not overstating at all to say that Satanico outclasses him. It'll be interesting to see how the yearbooks piece together Satanico's career over time, because the Pirata match from '93 was my lucha MOTY, this is strong and the 1990 matches with El Dandy will hold up really well for him as well.

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I think it's pretty clear that Satanico is one of the best wrestlers who ever lived. I say that as someone who has just started watching Lucha in the last few years and has probably seen no more than 20 Satanico matches total - if that. It is just evident that he is an extremely versatile talent, can work with anyone, and does all of the little things you want that separate the "great" from the "very good."

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This really didn't do much for me. They clearly work well together but it felt pretty slow and basic. The 2nd fall had a couple nice dives and a neat submission finish. Didn't love the finish in the 3rd though.

 

**3/4

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I'll agree with all the praise of Satanico--he and Dandy have been the two standout talents of 1990-92. (Well, Santo and Casas, but they have a rep even among non-lucha guys, whereas these two don't.) Satanico has all kinds of whacked-out submissions, like his second fall finisher that I can barely describe (figure-four Indian deathlock front facelock double armbar wristlock...yeah). And the layout here is kind of fresh, with a longer first fall with lots of false finishes that usually only turn up in the climactic falls. Lizmark has some good offense of his own but tends to repeat himself as the match goes on and clearly isn't on Satanico's level as a worker. The fluke victory doesn't seem befitting of a lucha title match but the finish itself was very clever. It probably would have worked better in one of the first two falls, though.

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Blogged about this:

 

Lizmark vs. Satanico, NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship match (CMLL 7/17/92)

In theory, these two should have been the Flair vs. Steamboat of Mexico, but they never seem to put it all together. This match is a case in point. Lizmark wrestles a beautiful opening caida. His takedowns are quick and aggressive and frustrate Satanico to no end, to the point where Satanico starts grabbing at Lizmark's face and then feigns that he's not really aggravated. Lizmark then uses his athleticism to keep his distance from Satanico and peppers him with dropkicks and headbutts and back breakers. When they do engage in more close quarters grappling, Satanico can't make much headway, and the only hint of an advantage is for him to overpower Lizmark through brawling. Lizmark prevails, however, and in the end it's quite a dominant fall from the challenger. It's by no means a bad fall of wrestling, but for such a long caida there was little in the way of counter wrestling from Satanico. You can chalk that up to excellent strategy from the challenger, but to make that narrative work you need a payoff and that's something which was sorely lacking from the second caida.

Lizmark dominated the early going as he should, and you kept waiting for the genius Satanico transition that would tip the match on its head, but that transition was simply a missed headbutt into the corner. A couple of power moves later and a submission was all it took for Satanico to even up the bout even though Lizmark had enjoyed probably three quarters of the offence. Yes, it's lucha, but I'm used to better than that from Satanico, who's one of the smartest wrestlers around when it comes to the big turning point transitions in matches. The third caida began with some fairly intense submission work and the repeated motif of the back breaker, but their attempts to make it seem "even stevens" lacked conviction to me, and Lizmark continuously seemed like the fresher, more dominant wrestler. Satanico's selling throughout the third fall was excellent, but why the decision was made to make Lizmark look like such an incredibly strong challenger is a mystery. He absolutely dominated this match on points. Worst of all was the booking of the finish. Perhaps they'd back themselves into a corner where the finish was always going to be against the run of play, but a contentious and fluky counter pin off a surfboard was about the worst way for Satanico to retain his title. Satanico was one of the all-time great wrestlers, and rudo or not, didn't need parlour tricks to beat his rivals. All told it was a bad showing from him, and even though the match itself wasn't bad, Lizmark got far too much of the offence, denying us an all-time classic.

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I thought the finish was brilliant, a case of the wise ring veteran pulling one out of the hat just when he needed it most. Lizmark had all the flashy moves and was clearly the better wrestler on the night, but sometimes the better man doesn't win.

 

This was a little more mat-based than I like to see, even for a lucha match. I wasn't expecting a high-flying classic or a bloody brawl either, but I know each of thse guys can wrestle a variety of styles, and a little bit of everything would have hit the spot better for me. I liked the limb work, though, and the fact that each man stayed with the limb he first worked on throughout the bout (Lizmark's arm, Satanico's leg) added some drama to a bout that needed it.

 

I know this wasn't Will's fault, but the poor video quality took quite a bit away from the experience. I don't think I would have seen the match much differently with a better quality picture, but you can never tell.

 

Can anyone tell me why the ref refused to count Lizmark's pin at one point in the second fall when he used the fisherman's suplex/Perfectplex? The wrestlers were nowhere near the ropes that I could tell, and with the bad video I couldn't make sense out of the ref's gestures.

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It looked like the ref was saying that Lizmark's arm was keeping Satanico's shoulders off the mat.  Too bad the slow mo replay showed him counting Lizmark out when his shoulder was up well before the ref's hand hit.  Satanico is amazing and I liked this match a lot.  I really dug the focus on Satanico's back as a way to stay ahead by Lizmark.

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