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[1992-10-09-AAA-Sin Limite] Blue Panther vs Super Astro

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Really wish I knew whear I put it so I could re-watch this.

Initial thoughts when I first saw it a couple years ago was that this was the best lucha match i'd ever seen, if I did star ratings an easy 5 :)

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In a world where Dandy/Casas or Atlantis/Emilio don't exist, this is the best singles match of the year in Mexico. On paper, I was excited by it, but I also was a little skeptical because it's AAA, and title matches in AAA aren't title matches in CMLL. But this may be the best AAA match ever. I already knew what Panther could do, but I haven't seen much Astro since I first got into lucha a few years back, so I sort of forgot how graceful he is. This is generally a mat-based match, but there is more flying mixed in than I thought there would be too. I know enough at this point to know that title matches are my favorite lucha libre matches, but while I say that, they aren't a guarantee of a great match every time out, even with two guys with strong reps. Dandy and Casas could do things no one else could do, but the same could be said of Panther and Astro in a different way. Tremendous work.

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Super Astro is one of my favorite luchadors ever so I loved this. Great mat work and high flying. I would have ranked this higher than Dandy/Casas if it wasn't for the finish. That was pretty bad.

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This is a classic. Just awesome stuff. The matwork was awesome. Then we get Super Astro's dives which were breath taking. Just an amazing match and one of my favorite Lucha matches of all time. Will we need a Panther comp stat.:)

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Hoback and I watched this as well today. Similar to Santo-Espanto, though we were a little less batshit for it. Not because it isn't a helluva match, but because it was later in the day. Santo-Espanto was the first lucha match of the day, and when you watch to very similar matches within a few hours of each other, the first is more likely to pop you.

 

Santo-Espanto feels tighter, with the better run to the finish of the third fall. Both are probably due to the insane comfort level the two have from worker together forever and so often. Panther-Astro has the fun of seeing somone perhaps overly known for his highspots working a wonderful lucha title-style with the master. It's what we should expect: it's how title matches were worked at the time. But Astro=Highspots was overplayed so much back in the day that your brain might be somewhere else. So this has a really fun, semi-unexpected vibe (if your view coming in was screwed up like mine), while Santo-Espanto is pretty much 100% exactly what you'd expect out of the two if they're nailing their stuff.

 

It's a waste to try to figure out which is better. Two great matches, just fantastic stuff.

 

John

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I need to re-watch this too (I'm sure it's online), but my impressions were far less favourable than Flik's.

Care to expand upon this? Because I don't think this is a great match at all and I really appreciated the way you got me to rethink Psicosis/Santo and even Dandy/Casas.

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Well, I dug up a DVDVR post from 2006 concerning this match:

 

I was really looking forward to watching the match but watching it I felt that it was essentially Panther's formula and Astro brought nothing besides his big flashy moves to the match - which to his credit, despite iffy execution on lesser spots (facebuster esp), he nailed fantastically throughout. Astro looked *OK* but seeing a guy wearing silver as he was the natural reaction was "Santo in his place would make this match far better".

 

The "Flair" comparison stems from Panther seeming to bring more comedy than I'd normally associate with him, not to mention getting cut off on the top rope and the finish was very reminiscent of Flair. That, and the match being, as I said, blatantly Panther laying everything out in a similar vein to Flair's matches with Sting and Luger at the end of the '80s.

 

As far as Panther matches go I'd take the Korakuen match with Hijo Del Santo where they make having a very good match look like the easiest thing in the world to do such is their unbeleivable chemistry with each other.

 

***

 

As it happens, I've been meaning to re-watch some older Lucha, and given this match is on YouTube, I'll use this as impetus to re-watch this match over the next few days.

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It's funny that Astro's biggest strength is his aerial ability given that he's squat and quite porky. Some quite decent work in the 1st. The problem was that both were tecnicos and were being too nicey nicey to try and keep the crowd on their side. Some good moves and some sloppy, a mixed bag. Sometimes slow counts add drama but this was a bit ridiculous. Get a younger ref.

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Astro reminds me of Dick Togo with being pretty agile for a guy his size. Didn't enjoy this as much as some of the other lucha from this year. Astro hits some strange looking flying headbutts. Second fall submission happened to quickly. Wish they added a bit more to that fall. Third fall was good but didn't like the finish much since they did the same pinfall exchange/reversal about a half a minute earlier.

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Easily the best AAA match so far, nothing else is int he same stratosphere, and seems to be an easy top-5 lucha MOTY pick. Astro's tope en reversa seems like a move that's better in concept than in execution, but he finds a way to hit it on the nose every time from a multitude of positions, and make it look like it hurts. I knew Astro as a shticky guy who could provide some great flying despite his body shape, but this is a great exhibition of him as a more complete wrestler, which was refreshing.

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I just wasn't feeling this as much as some others. Panther's solid on the mat, but everything in the first fall felt like CMLL in slow motion without any urgency or tension. Even though probably 90% of his face is masked, I still dig Panther's facials and his ability to tell a story that way. Astro definitely flies well for a heavy. The finish was also pretty anticlimactic. Nothing wrong here, but nothing particularly compelling or memorable.

 

***

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This was underwhelming. I'm really surprised to see such high praise for it. I'm no lucha expert, but I've seen a lot of lucha that I thought was easily miles ahead of this. All of Astro's spots required way too much obvious cooperation from Panther and nothing about this excited me at all. Astro did some cool dives and their was some cool mat work at the beginning but this just seemed like two guys going out and slowly doing moves with awkward pauses in between like they were going through a rehearsal for a match they were going to have later.

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I am in the corner of not being high on this (but I am also not a big lucha fan). Super Astro was way too sloppy in the first two falls, even blowing the setup to the finish of the first fall. The third fall was nearfall-tastic and fun, though a bit repetitive.

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This was well-done, but DR said it best: It felt like a rehearsal because most of the moves were so painfully slow. It got worse as it went along; the first two falls were crisp enough, but there was too much standing around in the third fall, especially with one guy or the other trying to decide if he should go up top or not. To make it worse, neither one of these guys ever paid for their slowness or indecision; they just went on to whatever the next move was. The ref being out of position several times for nearfalls on top of the normally slow lucha counts didn't help matters either.

 

If this had been a one-fall match, it might have been a Top Five match for the year if you care about strictly scientific matches. As it is, it's not even a Top Ten lucha match.

 

Interesting that Panther is a tecnico in AAA after being such a good heel in CMLL. Was his change of heart ever explained on TV?

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