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[1991-08-09-CMLL] Atlantis vs Blue Panther

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It's possible that El Dandy in 1990 has completely spoiled me, but this match really left me disappointed. That's strange, because going into this yearbook, I expected this match to end up my MOTY based on it being a title match, its rep and the type of wrestling I like. After watching it, it's not. It is a great match. But I don't think it compares to Dandy against Azteca, Casas, Llanes or Black Warrior, or even Atlantis/Emilio just a year later. The matwork looked great, and I think the match was really well laid out, especially in the finishes to each fall. I loved how the holds became increasingly desperate as the match progressed, and they did a ton of false finishes, which were all excellent. But something was missing for me on this one. I think it was lacking the emotional hook or violent undercurrent of some of the Dandy mat classics. Maybe it's not fair to hold everything to that standard, but I can't help but compare title match lucha to those matches now.

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The best thing about this was the build from the prettier, more fluid matwork of the first fall, to the violent, desperate action of the third. I agree that it's no Dandy-Azteca, but that's a terribly difficult standard. Except for Atlantis half-botching his dive, the third fall was pretty stirring. I loved that instead of sitting in the ring after he hit his dive, Panther went to the apron to ram his shoulder into Atlantis' back. The Gory Special that followed made for a great nearfall. And then the execution of the actual finish was beautiful. Probably my lucha MOTY to this point, ahead of Santito vs.Brazo de Oro.

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Fought in the traditional title match style and rule abiding throughout. Some nice matwork and flying, although they didn't hit everything perfectly. I felt like this could've gone higher on another day but didn't quite click. Still it was consistently good quality and peaked at the end.

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Oh, good, it wasn't just me. "Good but not MOTYC" is exactly how I felt watching it, and that's not a fair standard to judge it a disappointment as a result, but knowing that this was a title match and the rep of both guys, somehow I expected more than just a really good match. The finishes to the first two falls may not have even been there, as they come off as rushed and perfunctory--"let's get this shit to the third fall." On Classics there's a thread detailing how a lot of older vets didn't like 2/3 fall matches--all-time greats who worked a lot of them, too, like Jack Brisco and Buddy Rose. There have been lots of fantastic matches of that type but I think you can see the downsides of the stip here. They ran through a lot of offense with a ton of near-falls at the end, and there were some great struggles like Atlantis getting out of Panther's backbreaker/surfboard thingy only to nearly get pinned when Panther reverses his reversal. But even then, all the near-falls honestly came off as ROH-style, 2.9 wrestling overkill. I also picked up on the announcers gushing over what a great, important, legendary, epic title match this was like Michael Cole beating us over the head about "WrestleMania Moments," and that didn't help me either. This was really pushed hard by everyone involved as the Lucha Match of the Year which means I have to hold it to higher standards, and it simply wasn't.

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I too am missing El Dando in this yearbook. Satanico too. The third fall is pretty good with all the close pinfall attempts. The action is excellent at this point. I just wasn't into the earlier stuff of the first two falls.

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This is my #3 MOTY so far and I loved the progression and beauty of the work this match consisted of. The first fall flowed with respectful matwork that looked like a carryover of the Davis/Dundee work. Second fall was quick but served its purpose. Third fall really ramps up the intensity and desperation with big moves, dives, and chances taking. The ending sequence was beautiful and it felt like a huge win for Atlantis. Not at the absolute high end of a Azteca vs. Dandy but certainly a great, great match in my eyes.

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I see what Pete meant about the announcers pimping this as more of a match than it was. It was a very good championship-style match, well-worked by both guys. The first and third falls can stand up against most of the good action from this year, but even in a style where second falls mean little most of the time except as excuses to make matches even and bring about the third and deciding fall, the second fall was far, far too short. The tit-for-tat submission wins were an interesting idea, but Panther's victory came too quickly to mean much.

 

The buildup from mostly matwork in the first fall to almost all high-flying in the third was interesting to watch, as was the behavior of the seconds. There wasn't even a hint of interference from either Dandy or Pierroth Jr., and it shoes how thoroughly I buy the American style that I keep expecting interference from seconds even though I know it doesn't work that way in Mexico (or Japan either, for that matter.)

 

Interesting that the seconds got more interview time than the wrestlers afterward, although that could have been because the wrestlers were still winded. I would have given anything for a translation, because it seemed that Pierroth Jr. in particular was quite disturbed by something.

 

The training montage at the start was a nice idea for those viewers who wanted to know what it's like to train for a championship bout. I'm pretty sure most of the footage was of Atlantis and the technicos, but I thought I saw a shot or two of Panther mixed in.

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http://placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-150-101/2/

 

#102

 

The first fall had incredible matwork and escalated to the exciting third fall that had big moves and dramatic sequences. I thought the powerbombs looked really impactful and the ending came across as something special. ****1/4 ish for me ... really the only negative I had after watching this a second time (in July, 2017) was the transition in the quick second fall... great match!

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Second fall was way too fast. I'd put this at really good, not great. But that isn't to say I'd never watch it again either. Atlantis almost catching on the ringpost for his dive was a little scary.

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Really good lucha championship match but with no ambition to make something different, epic. They weren't lazy, don't get me wrong, just... conformists. Superb matwork in the primera caída and great nearfalls in the tercera, but nothing more. 0 character work, 0 innovation, just another day in the office for these two guys. ****.

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