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Loss

[1995-06-08-AAA-Triplemania III-B] El Hijo del Santo & Octagon & Rey Misterio Jr & La Parka vs Pentagon & Blue Panther & Psicosis & Fuerza Guerrera

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Old thoughts. I don't think I'd change anything here, except that I'm not sure it's the best non-AJ match of '95. It's in the running though.

 

This may be the best non-All Japan match of 1995. I mentioned earlier a good primer to lucha libre for those who have never really watched it, and I think this fits that description even more than some of the previous matches I mentioned.

 

Everyone is really at their best. Octagon and Pentagon don't really do much, but then again, you don't expect them to. The other six wrestlers are among the best of all time, and this match really displays them all in the most flattering light possible.

 

The first fall, and a good chunk of the second fall, is wrestled like the best possible first 10 minutes of a Midnight Express match. Lots of athletic heel clowning spots mainly putting over Rey and Parka, as Octagon and Pentagon are kind of off in their own world, and Santo doesn't even enter the match until the middle of the second fall. They do some great footwork spots with the rudos trying to attack La Parka and him moving his feet so quickly every time they try to grab him that they all end up missing. It's really a lightning fast sequence better seen than described. This also appears to be around the time Rey started to become awesome. I still wouldn't call him a ring general at this point, but his highspots are pretty jawdropping to watch, even in 2009.

 

Santo and Psicosis are doing a bit of a mini-feud. Psicosis brings in a chair and destroys Santo with it, which is followed by a hilarious comedy spot where the rudo ref just casually sweeps the chair out of the ring after being conveniently distracted when the bad stuff happened. Santo ends up getting his revenge in the third fall by putting the chair around Psicosis' neck and driving him into the ringpost.

 

While other guys do their share of dives, it seems like there's a deliberate intent to keep it to a minimum -- at least to a certain degree -- to make Rey's highspots stand out even more.

 

Fuerza is Fuerza, always awesome. Lowblowing everyone in sight, and faking being lowblowed every chance he gets, including, hilariously, after a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker where it would have been impossible to low blow a guy. He at one point early on goes for Parka's mask, and Parka comes back after his toward the end of the match.

 

Santo and Panther also work well together, just like always.

 

If the early parts of the match resemble the early parts of a MX match, the rest of the match feels like War Games, with everyone in and brawling at the same time before building to a series of revenge spots and a conclusive finish.

 

I'm not sure what was specifically being praised from AAA in 1995, but if this wasn't getting praised, this falls in the category of a lost classic.

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I didn't like this as much as Loss but it was still good. Panther and Rey held this together with Parka, Psicosis and Fuerza also doing a decent job. Santo was disappointing I thought with Psicosis. Rey/Panther section in the first was so great. I wish they had a singles match together.

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#2 MOTY to this point. There, I said it. This is the most fun you'll have watching wrestling of any match on this Yearbook (as always, the "so far" qualifier applies). Pentagon may not do much, as Loss says, but he's such a goddamned prick that you want to see get his ass kicked that it doesn't matter. He's one of the better heels of the year so far, because of the way he can control a match just by sneak attacks or by begging off. La Parka is establishing himself as the year's best babyface--we all know he's charismatic as hell, but he can also throw the rudos around with some high-end bombs and he makes for a shockingly sympathetic babyface. He's reached the Dustin/Boss Man Zone of being able to project vulnerability despite being so much bigger than most of his rudo opponents. Misterio is a guy I'm still not sold on as being able to put together a classic singles match at this point in his career, but in this setting he's terrific. Panther sadly gets lost in the shuffle here--he's fine, but there's not much opportunity for him to tear it up on the mat as this is go-go-go all the way. The technico comeback in the third fall is one of the most stirring babyface comebacks you'll ever see and it has the crowd going nuts. It climaxes with Santo wrapping a chair around Psicosis' head (a payback spot from earlier) and ramming the chair into the post. The rudos make a comeback of their own after that, but it all ends with Pentagon finally being hoisted by his own petard, showing off and allowing Rey to sneak in with a springboard into a victory roll to secure the victory.

 

My one nitpick is that the third fall kind of dies when the rudos are beating down Santo. That 4-on-1 is sadly a little half-assed. It's quickly forgotten about when the technicos come back, and I harp on it only because this would seriously give 6/95 a run for its money if it really looked more like Santo was about to die. This is still as good as any multi-man lucha match of the first half of the decade.

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I do mark out for Pentagon, although I think it's just ironically. You have to appreciate the imagination that goes into EVIL doppelgangers. Usually the bad guy has the darker attire, although Pentagon's costume is still mainly black to be fair. Anyway I wasn't crazy over this. For the most part the tecnicos were on top. They were shining more because of showmanship than great wrestling. The execution was inconsistent. Having just praised Pentagon (well kind of) I should say that I find La Parka's shtick really annoying and think he's overated. He was the principal character here early on. The mask ripping I don't like to see either unless it's a mask match or building towards one. There were positive moments too. Like a lot of AAA matches I enjoyed parts of it rather than the whole.

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