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[1997-07-25-CMLL] El Hijo del Santo vs Felino

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The previous match between these two was more of a sportsman's display of mat wrestling. This was not that. It wasn't a brawl, but it was an all-action match with more animosity. Some gorgeous high flying in this one, and also a real sense of hate and competition. I really love this feud. This seems like a match that should be on a lucha primer comp. I think this could have gotten over on a Japanese tour or a WCW show just the same. Santo absolutely has a WOTY case, and we haven't even gotten to his most acclaimed match of the year yet. Two mid-range MOTYCs in the same month that are worked in different ways is pretty impressive. Casas ends up hitting the ring and attacking Santo, giving Santo a rather dubious win by DQ and setting up their match in September I presume. Then we get a crazy post-match brawl. The non-finish takes this down just a tad but this was a great, great match.

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Those split screen promos they are doing during matches makes me wish I really took spanish in Junior High School. My gripe on this match up is I felt we didn't get a blow off to the Santo/Casas feud. Maybe, there is more to come on that one? Casas ends up attacking Santo for the DQ which keeps my hopes up for these two squaring off one on one later on set.

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I kind of wanted these guys to get their own blowoff instead of having this serve as the appetizer for Santo-Casas. But the match was still really good. I loved Santo hitting his dive before Felino could make it to the ring. They got a little nasty with each other but never full-on violent and crazy. Both guys hit some beautiful stuff. It's just a shame that the mask ripping signaled the end of the match rather than the dialing up of a wild third fall.

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Interesting concept in that this match as the previous posters have mentioned was a vehicle to get to Santo vs. Casas but the action within this match was really hot. It started out heated and maintained that tempo throughout. The finish with Casas saying F it and beating down Santo after Felino got tripped up while a little inconclusive was still a good non finish. Great match just a step or two below their super match earlier in the month. Kind of reminds of Cotta vs. Rocca in a way from the 1980's lucha set.

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None of that subtle or intricate matwork shit here--this consists of bombs, bombs, and for the occasional change of pace, bombs. And what bombs they are--Santo hits some absolutely gorgeous dives and Felino unleashes some pretty killer offense that has Santo dead on numerous occasions, but Santo gets out of it with some heartstopping rope escapes. Bestia Salvaje trips Felino coming off the ropes and an incensed Negro Casas runs in and attacks Santo for the DQ. Not really the best finish ever but it worked in the sense that I want more, more, more of this feud. A low-level MOTYC right here.

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The very first move was Santo's awesome diagonal tope to the floor. That brought immediate excitement to a short and action packed opening fall. The Son of the Saint began showing some rudoness in the segunda. The reaction to him was mixed. The role didn't naturally suit him, but the angle and rivalry with Casas had been enough to overcome that. He still wrestled mainly technically, even with some emphasis on this being a fight. From a match quality perspective it wasn't a problem. Some nice moves on display and this time it satisfied my expectations going in. The finish was again weak and inconclusive.

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Everything that Santo does looks incredibly smooth and slick. The plancha, cross body and belly to belly spots in particular all looked awesome. He makes wrestling looks like violent ballet and I mean that as a compliment. Felino gets the first fall with an interesting looking leg submission. This ends up frustrating Santo who starts heeling it up, much to the fan's disapproval. Felino nearly manages to put away Santo many times, but is ultimately saved by the rope breaks. There are quite a few rope breaks here, although they add to the drama and excitement to the match as apposed to being a weak way for the match to carry on without relying on too many straight kickouts. The non-finish hurts this, but there's certainly worse ways to spend 15 minutes.

 

★★★

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Loved the way this started off. Both guys were fired up to get this going. Santo sold the hell out of that second rope DDT in the second fall. Which was great, because it could have ended the match for him. But, he was smart enough to get out of the ring. I didn't really like how the second fall ended. I wasn't sure why Felino could punch Santo, but then let him climb the turnbuckle, hug him, then do a belly-to-belly suplex (without trying to fight him off). I also didn't really like the feet stuck to the bottom of a rope spot that started the third fall. Santo looked really great on offense. I liked his use of the ropes for dramatic near falls. Overall, I thought this was pretty good. The post-match angle was really entertaining. I think *** is probably about right.

 

#178 - placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-200-151/

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As a rudo, Santos dives just seem more brutal. He hits some great ones in this. They escalate each fall. Felino shows some fire. The belly to belly from the top rope was steiner esque. The negro casas run in in that tracksuit looked bad ass. Fun match.

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