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DISC 1

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MS-1 vs. Sangre Chicana (9/23/83)

MS-1 kicks the shit out of Chicana outside the ring to start. Heels and their short kicks to the head are becoming a staple here and I love it. Builds heat and is just a dick thing to do as the face is out of it and is trying to come back. Chicana already bleeding as his mother tries to help clean him up. MS-1 eventually takes him into the ring and hits the top rope splash for the first fall. Assault continues into the second fall until Chicana finally ducks and hits two big blows which sends MS-1 from the ring. Chicana hits a big dive and wins by countout to even things up. The third fall sees both men bleeding with MS-1 having done the manly blade job here. He hits a big dive to the outside but only gets two. They continue to slug it out with each punch being sold brilliantly. MS-1 goes for another dive but Chicana has wisened up and steps to the side as MS-1 wipes out. Back in, Chicano dropkicks MS-1 to the outside and connects with his dive as they splatter into the first row. The one guy in the crowd didn't want to move either and was pleading for them to not do it. Too funny. Back in, both guys trade two counts and they've built really nice to this, rather than it seeming rushed. MS-1 goes back to what gave him the first fall. Splash sees Chicana roll out of the way and then MS-1 tries for a senton and Chicana forces him into an arm and neck submission for the win.

 

Here's what makes this match terrific:

 

1 - The early brutality is sold throughout the match. Both guys bleed but they earn that juice with their selling. This accentuates the stip and seriousness of the fight.

2 - Chicana's eventual comeback gets a great pop and it's only two punches but they are BIG punches, which MS-1 sells like death.

3 - The falls are logical, crisp and don't appear out of place!

Fall #1 - MS-1 destroys Chicana, eventually rolls him in the ring, hits his high spot move and gets the fall.

Fall #2 - Chicana's comeback leads to a great dive that gets MS-1 counted out (despite MS-1 getting about 95% of the offense to this point - maybe more).

Fall #3 - Chicana outsmarts him with dodging the dive AND the two aerial moves inside the ring. MS-1 keeps trying to put him away but eventually is doomed by these callback spots and is submitted.

4 - It's a hair vs hair match where Chicana lays in some punches and kicks post-match in order to get MS-1 in the ring and have his hair cut.

5 - Excellent camera shot of Chicana's mom looking on smoking a cigarette during the second fall.

6 - Who in the arena didn't get hepatitis after this massacre was over? So many dives with crimson masks plus the ring was a mess.

 

*****

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Espectro Jr., Satanico y MS-1 vs. Mocho Cota, Sangre Chicana y La Fiera (9/30/83)

Tornado tag team chaos here as the heels use their size advantage to pretty much do an extended multi-king(s?) of the mountain sequence and go 2 on 1 or 3 on 1 on whomever they can get their hands on. Faces get their hands on Satanico in fall #2 and switch roles with the heels as they now control with the majority and get the submission. Crowd is going ape shit for this too. Faces still in command for the final fall, working over Satanico again for a bit before getting their hands on Espectro, who has his mask ripped off and the contest is over. Chaos + hot crowd = ***

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I'm writing about some of these matches on my blog:

 

So the DVDVR set has finally been released and with it a great opportunity for folks to be introduced to lucha or have their exposure broadened. I'm going to write about a few matches I haven't seen before or which interest me for some reason, starting with this Chicana title fight.

 

Sangre Chicana vs. Ringo Mendoza (10/28/83)

 

First thing's first, Mocho Cota was the coolest looking second. Wearing a t-shirt and towel over suit pants and pointed leather shoes with his fresh for '83 hair cut that Gran Cochisse had inflicted on him the month before. I love that he's still sporting his Faustian beard. That motherfucker was one cool cat.

 

Sangre Chicana is one of the greatest brawlers in lucha libre history and a tremendous performer. This was when he was still a man of the people and hadn't degenerated into one of the scummiest looking wrestlers who ever lived, and a rare opportunity to see him tackle the art of title match wrestling. The impression I got was that he wasn't much of a mat worker. He knew a few holds, but this was worked as more of a mano a mano bout than a lucha title match and I don't think it was because of Ringo, whom I've seen have some impressive first caida mat outings.

 

What I did like about this was the general structure. It wasn't a great match by any stretch of the imagination but it had a steady build. I liked how cagey they were with their early approaches and how the first hold they agreed to ended up on the outside and back in the ring. The facets of pro-wrestling that Chicana excelled at were intensity and selling and that gave his matches a real energy even when they were low arcing and minimalistic like this one. There was a backbreaker spot that I thought could be the finish. I hadn't bitten on a near fall like that in ages and it was totally because of Chicana's selling.

 

Where this match fell over was the finish. Double pin finishes suck. You can hem and haw and try to justify them but it's an immutable truth. It didn't seem to bother the crowd though as they mobbed Chicana at the end and carried him out on their shoulders, which seemed like a bit of an over-reaction to what actually happened in the ring, but was another snapshot of how wrestling used to be in Mexico back when fans could still enter the ring. The guy waving to his family was a great "Hi, Mom" moment for the cameras.

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Satoru Sayama y Gran Hamada vs. Perro Aguayo y Baby Face (4/13/80) –

This was a really fun match to start the set. Perro is a badass motherfucker. His mini-war with Gran Hamada throughout the match escalates in a really nice way. I loved the postings and payback spot by Hamada. Elsewhere, Baby Face looked really good in his exchanges with both Hamada and Sayama. He’s a stiff badass too. This was really a great heel team. I loved the ending of the second fall with Perro crushing Hamada with a top rope senton. That was sick. I actually enjoyed the finish. Perro was such a prick throughout the match and it made sense for him to just punt Hamada in the nuts. I’m pumped for more Perro brawling on this set.

Three stars or so or B – or whatever the fuck grading system I choose to use. I’m not big on them but I’m going to try and use them on this set.

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Andre the Giant y Cien Caras vs. Alfonso Dantes, Herodes y Sangre Chicana (1981) –

I liked the addition of Andre in this set. It’s always nice to get footage of him from a bunch of different settings. There were parts of this I liked. Sangre Chicana was great as the little fucker of his heel team who desperately tried to bring Andre down. Andre was a ton of fun tossing the heels around and using his tremendous ass offense. I loved Herodes’ sell of his chops. Cien Caras didn’t show me anything that I can gauge with yet but he wasn’t the focal point of the match. Overall, this went on too long and that largely has to do with lucha rules and the 2/3 falls format. I’m not sure Andre should be doing 2/3 falls matches in lucha context. He was fun but it was a little too much for my taste.

Two stars at best but it still had its fun parts. I guess C – would be the letter grade for it.

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Centurion Negro vs. Gran Hamada (2/14/82) –

I liked this a lot. The first fall was really strong with some great mat work. Hamada’s arm whips were killer. Negro did a good job of working over Hamada’s leg and Hamada sold it pretty well throughout the match. The second fall picked up the pace a little bit with Hamada fighting back and withstanding Negro’s further attacks to his leg. The third fall was great. I loved Negro’s wacky cradles and holds. The double dives were great especially with the filth or whatever the fuck it was beyond the mat outside of the ring. The back and forth stuff in the finishing stretch was really strong too with some nice near falls. I liked the finish a lot too as I thought they designed it well.

This reaches the four star range. B+ for sure. Hamada’s been in a really fun tag brawl and a fine lucha title match. That’s some good variation from him.

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El Canek vs. Don Corleone (2/14/82) –

This is a mixed bag to me. On the one hand, the mat work is really outstanding. The struggle of each hold was the most engaging the mat work has looked on this set for me. I really liked Corleone’s mat attack and his various clever ways of gaining control over Canek. For example, the entire surfboard section in the third fall was out of this world great with Canek bridging out of it but Corleone managing to contort his legs up and go back to his base cross face (which was an interesting base by the way and one I enjoyed). The first fall was the best of the three. It was paced really well on the mat and very deliberate. Canek’s fire at the end made sense after losing on the mat and he picked up the win with it. The second fall started out fine but then the match began to fall apart a little bit. I had a hard time understanding or dealing with the fact that Canek got away with a piledriver. That was frustrating to me when Thesz clearly saw it. I did like Corleone’s staggered comeback to win the second fall though. The third fall had some good and bad. I loved Corleone’s focus on Canek’s back but Canek going out and doing body presses after merely escaping a hold was utterly frustrating. I did like that they went back to the back though at the end with Canek missing a second dive and getting tossed to the floor. I sort of fell back into place at the end but then we got the pin controversy which was another frustration. Overall, I think this had the focus and the right amount of good to make it a very good match but the structure was unbalanced to me and the sketchy selling and aggravating finish were enough to hurt it too.

Three stars range. The opening tag and the last match are both better than this. It’s still a very good match but there were certainly glaring flaws here.

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Tatsumi Fujinami vs. El Canek (6/12/83) –

This was a weird match. It wasn’t worked like a traditional lucha title match or at least any lucha title match I’ve ever seen. Of course, that is probably to be expected with Fujinami in this match. The early mat work was strong. I thought Fujinami outclassed Canek all over the place here. Fujinami was tighter and more focused with his mat work than Canek was. It’s similar to the last match with Corleone smoking Canek at the same thing. Canek’s offense is lacking in execution too much for me. It’s a lot of moves that don’t really have a definition. He just throws his body around with weird looking elbows and shit. The second fall is totally bizarre with Fujinami throwing out a ton of his signature offense for near falls before finally getting the win with a back suplex. It was a strange one-sided fall. The third fall was solid. I liked Fujinami’s selling of after the figure four a lot. And, the finishing run was really hot even though the finish sucked. I think this is a really strange match that is pretty clearly a Fujinami carry job. It’s a good match but nothing in this strikes me as great.

I’ll give this between two and three stars. Two and a half I’m thinking. C would be its letter grade. Canek was far behind Fujinami in this and didn’t hold his own too well in this at all. Plus, it was a strange, strange match.

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Kevin Von Erich, Mascara Ano 2000, y Halcon Ortiz vs. Coloso Colosetti, Pirata Morgan, y Herodes (9/23/83) –

This was a really fun trios. The open minutes were really bland due in large part to Kevin not really fitting in the lucha style. Things picked up at the end of the first fall when Ortiz-Morgan had their first great exchange. We get a tremendous bump from Morgan off of a monkey flip to the outside. Ano throws in a dive and the technicos pick up the win. The second fall was worked with a lot of fun rudo bullshit from the heels and Herodes taking a wild tumble to the floor (I think this was in the second fall. Anyways, it happened and it ruled). The rudos tie it up and the third fall is both good and sour with Kevin looking way out of place but Ortiz-Morgan having great exchanges again. The finish is great with Morgan taking a body slam bump to the floor and Ortiz crushing him with a nose dive head butt on the floor. Kevin hit a nice top rope crossbody for the win. This was super fun at times and boring at others. Morgan and Herodes were great in this and I was impressed with some of what Ortiz gave us.

This is hovering around right at three stars probably maybe a tad less. So, the grade would be C+ if I’m pissed off but B – if I’m in a good mood. I’m neutral right now so 79.9? No matter. This was a fun match though with a nice opening performance from Morgan.

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Watching in the lucha party, we never got the vibe the match was boring. Also, I think you overlooked how the Rudy's ended up giving Kevin some receipts after Kevin's brutal elbow drops.

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MS-1 vs. Sangre Chicana (9/23/83) –

I watched this match a few years ago and thought it was one of the best matches of the 80s. My second viewing hasn’t changed that opinion. I think what really makes this match such a masterpiece is the selling. Chicana’s selling was so brilliant in this. He set the tone for the entire match with his performance early on. MS-1 brought the humiliation and cockiness to make this even better. The moment where Chicana gets that first punch, then a second one, followed by the wild dive is one of the great moments in wrestling that’s hard to forget. The crowd was so behind him chanting his name and that moment was such a great payoff as the turning point in the match. Payback spots are really important to me in matches like these and there were a couple that really stood out and put the match into another level. The first was Chicana busting MS-1 open on the turnbuckle just like MS-1 had done to him at the start of the match. It was a total reversal of fortune and was brilliantly done. The other payback spot is when MS-1 misses his top rope splash in the third fall. He won the first fall with it so it’s a logical point to reference that later in the match and have it backfire on MS-1. The back and forth desperation dives were something else too and the selling was off the charts from both guys at this point. I also think it’s important to note that Chicana withstands everything MS-1 has to offer in that third fall. Both guys selling of fatigue and angst were tremendous during all of that. The finish is incredible. Chicana is finally able to take full control after MS-1 goes to the well one too many times and forces him to submit with that sick ass hold. This is a classic for sure. The storytelling, pacing, selling, structure, violence, and desperation are all superb. The fun post-match is the icing on the cake.

This is top of the line work here. Five stars. It’s an A* or 120 with a perfect score and easily the best match on this set so far by a massive margin.

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Watching in the lucha party, we never got the vibe the match was boring. Also, I think you overlooked how the Rudy's ended up giving Kevin some receipts after Kevin's brutal elbow drops.

I was a little put off by Kevin being in the match. I could be wrong but I think I remember Herodes stiffing the fuck out of Kevin at one point which I liked.

 

Also, I don't dislike Kevin I just thought he was awkward in this setting. I do remember the big elbows though.

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Espectro Jr., Satanico y MS-1 vs. Mocho Cota, Sangre Chicana y La Fiera (9/30/83)

This match was a total blast. It was a pier six brawl from start to finish but it was an awesome one. The rudos immediately attacking the techinos during their entrance with the crowd swarming was a holy shit moment to start. Chicana’s posting was nasty as fuck. I love how the rudos isolated him from the get go and just mugged him while keeping Fiera and Cota at bay. The rudos kick ass in the first fall and then in the second isolate Cota and bloody him up. I loved Fiera’s wild bump to the floor during all of this. The pop once the technicos take back over is massive and really tremendous. They storm the ring and shit and it’s just completely great. Chicana gets Satanico back for posting him earlier by posting his ass hard. Then Chicano and Satanico start to really go at it and Chicana punts Satanico in the balls. The technicos won the second fall earlier and we’re to Espectro getting isolated by the faces. They rip his mask off but before the refs DQ them Satanico gets the greatest payback low blow from behind of all time on Chicana for the DQ and the techinos win. This is a totally wild brawl in a totally wild atmosphere that creates immense fun. It’s not a great match really but it’s great fun and was the kind of stuff I wanted out of this set.

I’m giving this between three and four stars. Solid B I would think. It’s not quite a great match because it’s of a continuation of feuds and setting up others, etc. but it does a damn good job of that.

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Sangre Chicana vs. Ringo Mendoza (10/28/83) –

Chicana delivered again. This guy is just incredible. He’s remarkable at selling. It’s full body, engaging, believable, and he always works with a sense of desperation. The opening mat work wasn’t anything too special in my opinion but the dive teases were great and I loved Chicana nearly wiping out on his tease because it was like if he pulled the trigger on that shit he would have taken himself and Ringo to the fifth row. Ringo’s tease was brilliant as he just flattens on the mat, waits for Chicana to get on the apron, then kicks him off and hits him with a flying body press. That whole sequence was great. That leads to Ringo winning the first fall by submission and with a back cradle. Chicana sells his back for the rest of the match and limps around. It’s awesome to watch. Ringo works over Chicana’s back for the entire second fall and Chicana is great at building sympathy. He fights back and submits Ringo with his sick ass submission. So now Ringo’s hurting in the back as well. Chicana’s neck was worked on too so he’s nursing that in the third fall. The third fall is good as fuck with both guys targeting each other’s pains then going to brutal mat work to close it out. The final three minutes of this are superb with Chicana fighting out of a half crab, locking in a variation of the Rings of Saturn or some shit, and then having this tremendous struggle with Ringo over leverage and holds. The counter of the Rings of Saturn hold into the torture rack on the knees was fucking great. Ringo then goes for the camel clutch but Chicana awesomely struggles out of it. Ringo tries this crazy shit to hurt Chicana’s back more but Chicana turns it into a surfboard pinning combo that is tremendously built up for the win. My God, Chicana was great in this. Ringo held his own too. I liked this a ton. Chicana is the absolute gem of this set so far.

Four stars maybe on the dot. B + range. Chicana was brilliant in this. Man, he’s fucking great. The post-match was something else too. The fans loved him as well.

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Atlantis y El Hijo del Santo vs. Fuerza Guerrera y Lobo Rubio (11/25/83) –

This was a completely different match from everything else on this set so far but it was a really good match. Atlantis and Santo were young as fuck at the time and athletic freaks. If that mixes with Fuerza and Lobo being bumping, bumbling fools than I’m happy. Santo’s got the best variation of arm drag and leg scissors takeovers ever. It’s absurdly awesome. I marked out when Fuerza did his bump but he didn’t go full out here. Maybe he will later in the set. I hope so. All of these first fall exchanges were just monumentally fun. It was comedic and pretty much a showcase for Atlantis and Santo but it was insanely fun to watch. Fuerza is such a great bumbling fool during all of this bumping around, running into Lobo, and causing problems all around. The end of the first fall ruled with Santo’s senton and Camel Clutch combo. Fuerza and Lobo then turned into badasses in the second fall and my God the beating they gave was sweet. Atlantis gets his face crushed by Fuerza while in a tree of woe on the actual ring apron. That was sick. Then we have Lobo literally throwing Santo ten or fifteen yards out of the ring for the count out finish. Damn, this match is fun. The last fall was a total blast too with Fuerza throwing mean punches and Atlantis and Santo ending it with two totally awesome dives. This match ruled.

Man, I don’t know. I think I’ll give this four stars or so. This is another B+. It was good as fuck. It was an awesome way to end the disc.

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DISC 1

Satoru Sayama y Gran Hamada vs. Perro Aguayo y Baby Face (4/13/80)

Andre the Giant & Cien Caras vs. Alfonso Dantes, Herodes y Sangre Chicana (1981)

Centurion Negro vs. Gran Hamada (2/14/82)

El Canek vs. Don Corleone (2/14/82)

Tatsumi Fujinami vs. El Canek (6/12/83)

Kevin von Erich, Mascara Ano 2000 y Halcon Ortiz v. Coloso Colosetti, Pirata Morgan y Herodes (9/23/83)

MS-1 vs. Sangre Chicana (9/23/83)

Espectro Jr., Satanico y MS-1 vs. Mocho Cota, Sangre Chicana y La Fiera (9/30/83)

Sangre Chicana vs. Ringo Mendoza (10/28/83)

Atlantis y El Hijo del Santo vs. Fuerza Guerrera y Lobo Rubio (11/25/83)

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It's hard for me to give official write up reviews for the Lucha matches as I'm very unfamiliar w/ most of these workers, with the exception of a handful of workers on the set I can't recall ever seeing any of these guy's, I don't speak or understand spanish either so for this set I will just rank my matches, hope that is acceptable...

 

DISC 1

Satoru Sayama y Gran Hamada vs. Perro Aguayo y Baby Face (4/13/80) ***3/4

Andre t Giant & Cien Caras vs. Alfonso Dantes, Herodes y Sangre Chicana (1981)*3/4

Centurion Negro vs. Gran Hamada (2/14/82)***3/4

El Canek vs. Don Corleone (2/14/82)***1/4

Tatsumi Fujinami vs. El Canek (6/12/83)***1/2

Kevin von Erich, Mascara Ano 2000 y Halcon Ortiz v. Coloso Colosetti, Pirata Morgan y Herodes (9/23/83)***1/2

MS-1 vs. Sangre Chicana (9/23/83)*****

Espectro Jr, Satanico y MS-1 vs Mocho Cota, Sangre Chicana y La Fiera (9/30/83)***3/4

Sangre Chicana vs. Ringo Mendoza (10/28/83)***1/2

Atlantis y El Hijo del Santo vs. Fuerza Guerrera y Lobo Rubio (11/25/83)****1/4

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I'm a little Yearbooked out, so I'm going to switch gears for awhile and play catch-up. I watched match 1 several weeks ago and 2-4 just now. Some of these comments may be useless without the context of the '80s DVDVR threads, but oh well.

 

Satoru Sayama y Gran Hamada vs. Perro Aguayo y Babe Face (4/13/80)

 

Good start that seems very "traditional" pro wrestling-style as opposed to lucha, which makes for a good gateway with new/inexperienced lucha watchers. Hamada shows some great fire here in-between some dazzling sequences, and this is centered on a developing feud with Aguayo. Babe and Sayama look good too but this is Hamada and Aguayo's match. Finish could be seen as cheap but it was a great, great low blow, and seemed like a natural conclusion to the escalating violence throughout the match.

 

7/10

 

 

Andre the Giant y Cien Caras vs. Alfonso Dantes, Herodes, y Sangre Chicana (1981)

 

Match went too long for my tastes, but there were some fun Andre spots here even if they were fairly standard ones. It's cool to see what a truly worldwide sensation Andre was in the '80s, since he did these shots in Mexico and Europe that other top stars didn't. This also has the bizarre (to me, at least) sight of Cien Caras working babyface. His calling was clearly that of an asskicking heel, but that was certainly novel while it lasted. I don't foresee this escaping the bottom 25. Maybe bottom 10 if the rest of the set is strong enough.

 

3.7/10

 

 

Centurion Negro vs. Gran Hamada

 

Okay, I liked this a ton. Along with the big NJPW multi-man tags and well-done big vs. little matches, I think lucha title bouts are now my favorite type of wrestling match. Centurion Negro becomes the first of what I'm sure will be multiple guys who will go from "who?" to "this guy's fucking awesome" by the time the set's done. He looks like a great mat wrestler here and he sets up Hamada's flying spots beautifully while throwing in some highspots of his own. Some really good close near-falls close out the third fall before Hamada takes the UWA Middleweight title. This is easily the best of the first 3 matches.

 

8.4/10

 

 

Canek vs. Don Corleone

 

I'm middle of the pack on this. It did drag and Canek's offense wasn't that good, and that delayed turnbuckle bump was indeed comical. But Corleone's work looked good, both working holds, unleashing big moves, and selling Canek's weak-ass offense. Even Canek's tope didn't seem all that painful. I liked Canek quite a bit in New Japan--he and Blackman were about the only two Mexicans to get a good match out of Tiger Mask, and he had some killer bouts with Fujinami that I hope the next bout lives up to. I didn't hate him in this as much as Will did, but he didn't give a performance befitting of a Heavyweight champion here. And as much as I liked Corleone here, he looked better in the NJPW match against Fujinami.

 

6.1/10

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Kevin Von Erich, Mascara Ano 2000 y Halcon Ortiz vs. Coloso Colosetti, Pirata Morgan y Herodes (9/23/83)

 

Since I did a write up for this in the Lucha History Lessons thread, I thought I better get around to watching it properly.

 

The reaction to this match so far has been interesting. Since it's the first trios on the set, there seems to be this mix of confusion and anticipation over how a trios match should go. There's also been a lot of comments on how lost and out of place Kevin Von Erich looked. On the second point, by the standards of foreigners looking lost or confused in Mexico there have been far worse instances than Von Erich. I'll admit that I'm biased towards him because I find his barefoot quasi shoot style work fascinating, but I don't think he was bad. He didn't seem to understand the flow of a trios match or what the other workers were trying to do, but like I said I dig his strange offence. I think someone raised the point that his offence didn't fit a lucha setting, but Mexico has always been a melting pot of different styles. That's apparent even in this match where you have heavyweights mixing it up with light heavyweights, brawlers working with technicians, bumpers taking on fliers, comedy guys jousting with bleeders, and an American to top it all off. There's a sense that anything goes in trios wrestling because most of the time the matches are just thrown together. Which brings me to my next point, that this was a nothing trios.

 

I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way. It was one of those trios matches where there aren't any spectacular individual performances but everybody involved is a pretty good worker and the match has a bunch of solid exchanges. It was stock and trade stuff from pretty much everyone involved. The main story was the feud between Halcon Ortiz and Pirata Morgan, who had taken Ortiz' Mexican National Heavyweight title from him earlier that year. They touched on it throughout the match, but really it was an issue for another time and place and would escalate into a hair match. That's why if you take a "Who's feuding with whom? What's the story??" approach to lucha trios you're bound to be disappointed as the majority of the time they roll out of bed and there's the match. What impresses the long time fan are small details in the work or interesting spots. There was no big crescendo in this match because they didn't make an effort for there to be one, so structurally there wasn't anything to get excited about, but the bread and butter stuff was what you'd expect from the rudos and Ortiz held up the technico side of things well. There were at least six memorable things about the match and that's not too bad. It's unfortunate that it's the first trios on the set as we're missing a big chunk in the history of trios wrestling from the front end of the decade, but like so many other trios matches over the years it's more of an introduction to the workers than a great match. The highlight for me was Ortiz body slamming Morgan over the top rope and doing that close quarters tope. That was an impressive spot sequence for heavyweights.

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