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Charles (Loss)

[1990-06-01-EMLL] El Dandy vs Angel Azteca

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This is sensational. I am blown away. Just as good as - possibly even better than - the Casas match in '92. While it's every bit as graceful as any wrestling you'll ever see, Dandy also shows a really aggressive mean streak in the application of the holds. Once again, you see the difference between grabbing a hold and applying a hold. He applies some submissions I would have not thought possible based on a description. Locking the legs in an Indian deathlock position while also putting Azteca in position for a backslide? Are you kidding? These two torture each other. Calling this a clinic seems like an understatement. Easily the match of the year, and possibly the match of the decade. Just an incredible display of guts and fire to go along with the usual top-notch matwork. Sublime. It would be really unfortunate if this wasn't seen and discussed by a lot more people. GOAT contender. Have I raved enough? I say these things not because I am trying to draw your attention to this so you'll check it out (although I do want you to watch it), but because they are true.

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This was absolutely tremendous. If you're not a huge fan of matwork, you probably won't agree with Loss' GOAT talk. But I am, so I see where he's coming from. It's incredibly difficult to do this kind of match well, to maintain the attention to detail in each fight for a hold, to keep finding interesting variations on counters and submissions 20 minutes into a mat-based war. These guys did it at a level that you're not going to see more than a few times a decade. The first fall alone could have been a MOTYC with all of the intricate submission stuff and Dandy's little hints of unleashing something more violent. This was a title match, not a stip match, so the violence never really exploded. But Dandy's selling and the rush of late highspots created plenty of drama in the closing minutes. This was a classic, plain and simple, and is a new desert island match for me.

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I'll qualify this by stating that I'm not sure I'd vote this ahead of Liger/Sano (yep, I'm still on that one). On everything else...agreed. It's easily a GOAT candidate as far as mat-based matches go, as not only does everything look painful and torturous but everything moves organically. The holds just flow into each other but it looks like shoot counterwrestling as opposed to contrived "headlock->headscissors->cradle->backslide" rote sequences. There are like two resets in the entire match--everything else is one hold progressing into another punctuated by a ropes-running/highspot or two. Then after we're tied up at 1 fall apiece the big bombs start coming as both men sell increasing desperation. The match never really stops moving but there is just enough to sell how huge the top-rope and dive moves are, especially loved Dandy selling the pain of hitting the diving headbutt and his fantastic bump into the front row on Azteca's tope. A rash of near-falls includes the single best near-fall of the set--they TOTALLY had me taken in when Azteca countered the back suplex with a victory roll. Instead it's merely the last bullet in Azteca's chamber as the Dandina puts him away right afterward.

 

Azteca blows off the post-match handshake and again issues a hair vs. mask challenge. I approve!

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I have been scared to watch this match for the past 5 days. This is really the last match I can think of right off hand that might get GOAT consideration that I have not seen before. Maybe Casas/Santo from 1987 would apply also. I need a few days to reprocess and will need to rewatch but this was certainly a wonderful performance by both men. 30 minutes of mostly mat work that never felt like it dragged and had intensity ratcheting up throughout the match. I always wonderful what it would feel like at this point in my wrestling life to watch a match I might consider the best of all time. Now I have seen this match and the feeling is sublime. MOTY and I can't see anything coming really close.

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Based on what I'd heard about this match and my feelings about the style in general, I figured that once I saw it, I'd either be blown away or greatly disappointed. Someone finally put it up on Youtube last week, and I'm pleased to say that it totally lives up to the hype. The first fall is the best extended stretch of matwork I've ever seen. Not only does everything flow smoothly, all the holds and counters are simple and logical. They did lose me a bit in the third fall with the repeating of spots and a bit of your-turn-my-turn. Overall, though, this was tremendous. I still wouldn't put it over the Jumbo/Misawa matches, but this is a total must-see for anyone who likes mat wrestling even a little bit.

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Nice tuxedo tshirt. Fink or Whippleman should have worn one of those in their matches. Dandy has the sweaty Cornette brow before the match starts. Simple stuff like Dandy holding a leglock and Azteca trying to kick off is nice. I am loving Dandy's back drops. That first fall was just insane. Amazing stuff with the mat work. Check out how Azteca just drags Dandy across the ring when he has him in a leglock. He does it again! Dandy returns the favor with his own leg lock. This submission stuff is great. Eventhough it was a counter, I totally felt like Dandy set up Azteca for that second fall. Big dive to outside! Fans get out of the way in time. These pinfall exchanges are great. Hey,I am still a Lucha novice. I scoffed at some of the praise I have seen on this board regarding how El Dandy is ranked. But I was blown away by this match. Non Lucha fans really need to watch this one. Just incredible. The mat work was so great. Both guys were awesome. Definitely one of the best matches of the year so far.

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I feel like I need to watch this again. I kept having problems with my disc while watching it the first time and because of the issues, I felt like I couldn't really get a feeling for the flow of this match. What I saw and how I witnessed it made it feel like a very good match for sure, but not one of the best of all time. I'd like to give this another try, and maybe I'll check out the YouTube version if I keep having disc issues.

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I wouldn't go as far as calling it an all time classic, but this is an excellent match and a joy to watch.

 

At 34m a long 'un and time flew by. Scientific all the way between Tecnicos with no raised tempers. That didn't mean it wasn't intense and aggressive however. Reminded me of Bret vs Davey Boy. Azteca delivered a strong performance, but nearly everyone would be hopelessly outshone by Dandy at the top of his game. This yearbook I've come to appreciate why he's so highly rated. He could do it all. Brawl, wrestle, matwork, aerial, rudo, tecnico. Here it was a mat based clinic with excellent selling. Quite MUGAish at times. The only thing that held it back for me was that they had to stay within the confines of the rules, so it didn't quite have the emotion to go with the tecnical quality.

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Fantastic match! This was fabulous hold/counter-hold wrestling that progressed so well throughout the match. I will admit after two viewings (first in January) I still think the first fall is a little dry. I was not feeling the same urgency and I commend their selling while in the holds, but out of the holds I felt there was little drama in the first fall. Things picked up big time for me in the second fall. I loved Angel wrenching Dandy's leg after countering the sharpshooter and Dandy countering with an Indian Deatlock. There was more of a struggle and urgency in the second fall. My one complaint seems to be Angel Azteca is not very good at selling. In fact, while Dandy is selling both fatigue and injuries, I feel Angel is kind of blowing the whole thing off. I have never heard of Angel Azteca before this thread was created. I have to say El Dandy is 20x better than Angel.

 

The third fall is stupendous wrestling. Angel's Russian Legsweeps are my favorite thing about him. El Dandy selling his knee so he cant execute a Mexican Surfboard is sweet. Dandy is wrestling the match of his life it feels. Dandy busts out a bunch of big bumps to spice up things: suplex to outside, takes the big dive, huge hotshot into top turnbuckle. The drop toehold into La Magistral is a beautiful finish.

 

I think any match that is the greatest in its genre deserves to be GOAT Candidate. I just happen to love big bumps, face/heel dynamics, and vicious strikes enough that this is not my choice for GOAT. But if this is your preferred style, then I definitely think this is a worthy candidate and a match will enjoy to watch for years to come.

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Previously on PWO:

 

Angel Azteca vs. El Dandy, 6/1/90

This match has gotten a bit of a rep since the last time I watched it. Deservedly so, it's beautiful lucha libre & stands out as the biggest match from an excellent year for CMLL.

It's mostly wrestled on the mat. I love tricky lucha matwork, but the way they work the submissions, pinning combinations and matwork here gives it a real title match feel. I could see some people thinking that they trade holds too easily but that retains the lucha feel. The finish might not be as dramatic as people like either (I'm guessing & kinda recalling that people have a problem with lucha finishes), but it's well worked when you see the replay. Can't say it's built to in the big arching way that other styles do, but the fans rush to the ring (something that's really cool about lucha) so it's definite.

I'm still confused about the booking here. They built Azteca to the point where he could deliver like this and ::poof:: He wasn't the first and won't be the last, I guess. Lucha seems like a merry-go-round in that respect. Great match, though. I love this era of lucha.

 

 

Going from memory which is always a huge mistake...I think Azteca had a lil tag run with Atlantis after this and held titles at least once. And then it was less poof and more going to AAA where he may have held the tag title once or twice got regimmicked and just got lost in the shuffle.

 

 

I remember Atlantis and Angel Azteca were tag champs in '89. Luchawiki says they lost them to Pierroth & Bestia Salvaje in May 1990 & Azteca had another title run with Volador in '91.

 

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I rewatched this match tonight. I'm looking at it in a very different way and need more time to think about it. I don't think I overrated it before necessarily (although I probably did slightly) but I had a different takeaway of what the match was this time around. It was less of a master's class mat display and more a powerful statement of how great a well-executed simple wrestling match can be. Now, the matwork is top notch, but I think it's the simple and straightforward path they took in the layout that distinguishes this from other great mat-based matches more than the actual matwork. I didn't get the feeling they were shooting for an epic, although they did hit that level. Some matches - especially on big shows - are worked in a way to artificially make them seem "bigger" than they are. This came by that feeling naturally, and it happened at a regular TV taping at Arena Coliseo. So I respect the match for being better than I think they even intended it to be. I have Casas-Dandy from '92 on deck to watch next and I think I'll be able to better articulate what I'm trying to say after watching that one. This was special, but not because it aimed to be something special, if that makes any sense at all.

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I agree that this match feels organic, but it also got more time than matches generally got in this era. I can't think of many other early-'90s EMLL/CMLL matches that got over 30 minutes in bell-to-bell time (as in first fall bell-to-bell plus second fall bell-to-bell plus third fall bell-to-bell). That in itself is going to make the match feel special, although the performances of the two wrestlers obviously merited amount of time they were given.

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I watched this the other day as part of my GWE project swotting, and thought it was amazing. I echo what Loss said about the way the holds are being applied here. They look really tight and painful. I haven't anything to add, but just wanted to add my praise for the match.

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Dunno why, but I gave this a rewatch today, and even though I'd already seen all of the spots they still kept my interest the whole time. The point about how they manage to find interesting holds to apply deep into the match is spot-on. Not only are these guys doing stuff beyond much of the roster's capabilities, but they keep it up for twenty minutes, and it's stuff that works both for me in 2015 and for the crowd for whom they're actually performing. I love Azteca breaking out of a full nelson with the Lex Luger pose, and maybe even better is Angel's repeatedly dragging Dandy to the center of the ring, which backfires on him by forcing Dandy to counter into an even nastier hold.

 

There is a small flub on the hold to end the first fall - Azteca doesn't pick up one of Dandy's legs - but they cover for that, and I don't like Azteca kicking out of a suplex and immediately hitting one of his own, but they're doing a good job of selling how gassed they are and that it's a free-for-all so I'm okay with it. Other than those small things, though, this really is a beautiful match. It's probably Dandy's best performance, too. Even if you prefer the Casas match or something else, this is the best demonstration of his skills. Everything he does is clean and fast but still looks like it has painful intentions behind it. Azteca isn't just a passenger, though. Obviously he knows his holds, and I also really like the way he sells Dandy's first-fall bodyslam and legdrop; it does a good job of signalling Dandy's increasing aggression.

 

This also has one of my favorite fan reactions ever. The guy in the pink shirt sitting in the front row, visible from the hard camera, is rooting for Dandy the whole way. On the last replay that they show, he pops out of his chair making the "it's over" sign as soon as Dandy bends down to reach for Azteca's arm. That's a guy who knows what's going on.

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There's not much else to say about this one that hasn't been covered in greater depth above.

 

This is the kind of match that people can point to as proof of the old adage "The name on the marquee is wrestling". In the three falls and over thirty minutes of this bout, there are only a few brief sequences of anything other than mat wrestling, yet it never bores or feels dry. I guess you could call this Mexican shoot style if you wanted to, and it's a lot more exciting than Japanese shoot style, maybe because they're not trying to make it into a different sport. Some of the hold sequences and combinations are different, but this is professional wrestling the way we know it, with the contestants fighting for a real championship.

 

As someone stated earlier, this is also a face/face match that is wrestled in a clean, intense manner throughout, with no "oops, I just broke the rules" spots that start an all-out war, like you often see here in the States. That's another huge point in its favor. Loss said that these two guys weren't trying to put on the greatest match of all time, which was probably true. But they were definitely looking to put on a bout that the fans would be proud to see between two of their favorites, and this they accomplished in spades. Even the more aggressive spots like the dive to the outside by Azteca or the hotshot bump Dandy took into the top turnbuckle weren't anything close to dirty, for lack of a better word.

 

Was this the greatest match of all-time? Not for me, not by a longshot. That honor still goes to Hogan-Andre at Mania III, which isn't close to a good match athletically but has hype and context surrounding it that make that point totally irrelevant. It's definitely the best lucha match I've seen, and one of the few I've totally understood. Is it the match of the half-year? No, that's Flair-Luger, which was a big match worked on a big scale. But it's most certainly an honorable mention, which I didn't think I'd ever say about a lucha match. Maybe I just dig the singles format more than the tags.

 

Looking forward to more from Mexico!

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This is exactly the lucha match I've been hoping for. I've always liked the matwork in lucha but so far this year I've gotten lost with the pace and highspots and all the people and falls in the matches. Some of the sequences reminded me of long takes in a movie, where they just go perfectly into hold after hold. There's a spot where Dandy is going for I guess a figure four or something and Angel Azteca keeps trying to kick him, and Dandy just keeps forcing the leg away. Very cool touch. The few highspots at the end were perfectly timed and felt so huge. What an awesome match.

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http://placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-50-1/

 

#31

 

Definitely my match of the month in June of 1990. Really enjoyed it when I ran across it on the set. Microstatistics really nailed a good summary there. I wasn't as high on it as some, but I think this is a great match and classic. It just wouldn't be a GOATC for me personally. ****3/4. My match of the year ended up being Dandy/Satanico from 12/14/90. I think with this match, I was feeling what Sleeze said about the style your prefer as a fan. I can see why this would be a GOATC for others.

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I find the match awesome. El Dandy is much better than his opponent even if he's not bad either at all. I like the sequence consisting at Azteca applying a submission hold to the legs while El Dandy is trying to reach the rope. I think the crowd was supporting him. It really shows that you can make great things in a wrestling match even if you settle with classic mat wrestling the majority of the match. I like also the kind of submission holds they adoped.

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