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DISC 2

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Enrique Vera vs. Dos Caras (2/26/84)

 

I usually take for granted that Dos Caras is a gran maestro despite the fact that there's really not that much Dos Caras out there. Recently I was watching a tag match of his from his 1980 All Japan tour where he teamed with Jumbo Tsuruta against Dr. Wagner Sr. and Caribs Hurricane. Caribs Hurricane wasn't a luchador but rather Texas draw Ciclon Negro. The match was the usual watered down shit with the Japanese not really getting the lucha spots. To illustrate just how little they understood, the ring boys kindly taped together Wagner's mask after he did the lucha mask ripping spot. But what really stood out was that the matwork between Caras and Wagner wasn't that good. Which got me thinking, is there a mythology we've built up around Caras?

 

I was anxious to see this again, and y'know what, I was pleased with it. The first thing that's obvious is that Caras was very much a heavyweight worker. He doesn't work the same as the other lighter weight workers on the set. His style is very much in the mold of 1970s NWA heavyweight wrestling, at least in this title bout, and there was little of the surreal expressionism that Caras is often associated with. It's almost as though there was exhibition Caras and serious heavyweight wrestler Caras. I'm a bit iffy on whether I like El Toreo as a venue as I think the outdoor ring set-up looks a bit cheap and there's not the same atmosphere that you get with Arena Mexico where kids flood the ring trying to pocket the coins that people throw. This got good heat and no doubt El Toreo was the site of some legendary bouts, but I wonder if the action might've been better in one of their indoor arenas. The third caida didn't work that well for me. The dives were predictable and always seem to the same dives on the same side at El Toreo, but the match itself quelled my doubts over Caras.

I thought El Toreo brought a great atmosphere for the Space Cadets vs Exoticos trios match. I loved the whistling at the exoticos plus they made great use of the ringside area.

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All I have to say is El Satanico is FUCKING Awesome!

 

DISC 2

Atlantis vs. El Satanico (1984) ****1/2

Mocho Cota vs. Americo Rocca (1/27/84) ****1/2

Mocho Cota vs. Americo Rocca (2/3/84) ****

Atlantis y Lizmark vs. El Egipcio y El Faraón (2/17/84) **3/4

El Faraón, Herodes y Mocho Cota vs. Lizmark, Ringo Mendoza y Tony Salazar (2/24/84) ***3/4

Solar, Ultraman y Super Astro vs. Sergio El Hermoso, Bello Greco y Rudy Reyna (2/26/84) ***1/2

Enrique Vera vs. Dos Caras (2/26/84) ***3/4

Jerry Estrada vs. Ultraman (3/2/84) ***3/4

Tony Salazar vs. Herodes (3/2/84) ***3/4

Hijo del Santo, Ringo Mendoza y Chamaco Valaguez vs. Jerry Estrada, Fuerza Guerrera y Talisman (3/9/84) ***3/4

Lizmark vs. El Satanico (April 1984) ****1/2

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Lizmark vs. El Satanico (April 1984)

 

This is a beautiful match overall. Satanico I think was slightly less here than in the Atlantis match but that is no knock as his Atlantis match performance is probably one of my favorite rudo displays all time. Lizmark was right there with him most of the way in this match and this had a good amount of hatred but also grace. Finish is another one that wasn't very satisfactory and again detracts a little where this match with a tighter finish could have been a top 10 candidate for the entire set.

 

****1/4

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Solar, Ultraman, y Super Astro vs. Sergio El Hermoso, Bello Greco, y Rudy Reyna (2/26/84) –

Holy shit I wish I could have told the rudos apart because they were all awesome. If anybody can help me out about that please do. Anyways, this was an awesomely fun match with tremendous comedy, stooging, and a mixture of great, great high spots. The rudo in the bright red shorts was phenomenal and took whiplash style Buddy bumps to the floor two or three times and the way he took the technico offense was insane as he did full body selling and took every move with high impact. The yellow singlet rudo was great too and was a bit more of a toned down version of his teammates. The faces offense was absurd at times and gave us easily the best dives and technico offense of the set. That one Astro dive (I think it was Astro) was ludicrous. This was great shit.

This is four stars and a little more. A-. Great action and fun comedy equals well done trios match.

 

Enrique Vera vs. Dos Caras (2/26/84) –

The first fall clipping was a problem for me because in lucha there’s so much detail in what’s going on anything missed is a bad thing. However, this was a good title match. I liked some of the early arm stuff in the first fall and the last few minutes were pretty strong as they picked up the pace. The second fall was awfully short but that’s because they were setting up for a huge third fall. The first half of that third fall was great with Vera getting stuck in this awesome holds from Caras followed by the awesome surfboard sequence. The back and forth stuff was good but it was a tad bit annoying at times when they just went to the next spot instead of taking a little more time to sell. I hated Vera recovering quickly from the piledriver. The last few minutes were fun though and the finish had a tremendous pop. This was very good but suffers from clippings and a few annoyances in the third fall.

Three stars or so here. I might call this a B-. Solid to good stuff.

 

Jerry Estrada vs. Ultraman (3/2/84) –

This was disappointing. The mat work was solid and I liked the focus on the arm. It was even pretty gritty stuff too and there was some nice struggle for the holds. I just wasn’t as engaged here as other matches with similar work. I can’t really put my finger on why I didn’t enjoy it as much but it might have something to do with lack of versatility on the mat. Once Estrada started bumping and the dives came into play this got better. I liked the finish a lot too actually with Ultraman hurting his arm. Overall, this was a good match and might be better on a later re-watch but right now it’s going to be towards the bottom half of my ballot.

Close to three stars or possibly a little less. This is probably a solid C or C+ at best. It was fine but nothing stood out to me much at all.

 

Tony Salazar vs. Herodes (3/2/84) –

If this match could have put more continuity into the third fall from the second fall with Salazar selling his arm I would have really loved this match. That said, this was a great match with a tremendously great third fall. Herodes spitting point blank into Salazar’s face to warm it up for posting was fucking awesome. The first fall was well done I thought and I liked Salazar’s comeback offense at the end of it. On stand alone, the second fall was really good with Herodes crushing Salazar’s arm with his fat ass and shit. It did well to set up Salazar on the defensive to start in the third fall but I wished they had continued some with the arm instead of completely ignoring it. The third fall was fucking awesome with Salazar bleeding like a stuck pig and then Herodes doing the same. I loved the cut biting and clawing. The bulldogs on the floor sounded sick because Herodes is so big. The final five minutes were incredibly great with Herodes doing an unbelievably awesome fat man dive and both guys selling their asses off all tired and bloodied. The ending was a little too abrupt and kind of cop out to me. It was a disappointing finish. Still, this was really great at its best.

It’s tough because I liked this a lot but I wanted the second fall to be a little more important than it was. I’m giving this four stars and maybe a little more. It’s close to an A- but definitely a B+. I enjoyed this a good bit.

 

Hijo del Santo, Ringo Mendoza y Chamaco Valaguez vs. Jerry Estrada, Fuerza Guerrera y Talisman (3/9/84) –

This was another strong trios. I thought it faltered some in the second fall when the rudos were on top. It seemed to be dragging a little bit and not much was going on. I really enjoyed the first fall and that was almost completely because it had Fuerza and Estrada taking numerous idiotic bumps in the ring, out of the ring, all over the place, etc. I liked the Santo-Fuerza stuff later on too with the mask pulling. The post-match was fucking awesome with Santo getting pissed and brawling in Lizmark’s mask. Good fun.

I will give this roughly three stars. That period in the second fall was really lacking but the first fall and the Santo-Fuerza stuff were enjoyable enough to give it that rating. It’d be a C+ probably from the grading scale.

 

Lizmark vs. El Satanico (April 1984) –

This was a great match. Satanico is a great “selling heel” here and what I mean by that is he’s extraordinary at working underneath as the heel and withstanding the tecnico’s arsenal. The first fall is a lot of stop and go mat work but it’s all great. I loved Satanico shaking his arm off after countering an arm lock from Lizmark and putting him in a leglock. It’s the strong attention to detail that is impressive here. The section where Satanico is struggling through a head scissors while putting Lizmark in a modified crab is awesome. Lizmark’s crossfaces were awesome too. The finish of the first fall sets up the rest of the match. Lizmark wins by suplexing Satanico on his neck. Satanico sells his neck for the rest of the match. Lizmark goes right back to it in the second fall and works over Satanico’s neck but gets caught and powerbomed nastily on his head for the end of the second fall to tie it up. The third fall is tremendous with Lizmark going all out and doing everything he can to put away Satanico but slowly getting frustrated. I loved when he pounded the mat after Satanico made a kick out. The finish is something I actually liked too as it fit well with the narrative of Satanico trying to survive and keep the championship. Great match.

This is between four and four and a half stars. I liked this a lot. It’s close to a solid A.

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Have Will, Johnny and Kris plugged in for the first time watching. Comments in that thread.

 

Lucha 2.1

Atlantis vs. El Satanico (1984)

 

Like some of the stiffness in the early exchanges. The sea-saw surfboard thing was gnarly. Satanico's kicks to the gut look good. Backbreaker! And again. Nutshot for Satanico marks the transition. Big bump on the apron. Viciously goes after the mask now.

 

Atlantis is cut open pretty bad. This is quickly turning into a brawl. Satanico is cut open now as the footage goes black and white.

 

Two more backbreakers now from Atlantis. Awesome moment as Satanico just dumps Atlantis going for the victory roll. I liked that. Flying headbutt. And again ... misses! Submission win for Satanico.

 

This was really good, but for some reason I wasn't all that emotionally invested in it.

 

B+

 

Lucha 2.2

Mocho Cota vs. Americo Rocca (1/27/84)

 

Mocho Cota is one cool-looking evil son of a bitch. Some matwork to start. Really fluid matwork. Armdrag by Cota. I can't really describe any of the stuff I'm seeing but it's cool and the first fall was high quality. What the fuck??!! Cota has only 3 fingers?! Huh?! God.

 

That shoulder barge by Cota into Rocca's arm was awesome, and now a great sick-looking arm wrench thing. Cota is one nasty muthafucka. This is one of the best arm-control sequences I can remember seeing. Great, effortless, back drop. Arm drag. Really enjoying this second fall. Senton. Unusual submission hold for 1-1. Really good.

 

Things dropped off a tiny bit in this third fall until a very high dropkick and insane fucking dive out of the ring by Cota basically right into the crowd! Man, did he fly! I love this guy. Sick submission hold now. Reverse camel clutch thing now. Actual camel clutch now. Octopus. Eat your heart out Dean Malenko, this is the real man of 1001 holds right here. Ref bump. And a cheap pin.

 

Thought this was awesome. My number #2 for the set so far. Possibly also just overtaken Bockwinkel vs. Billy Robinson as my favourite mat-based match. Really really excellent.

 

A

 

Lucha 2.3

Mocho Cota vs. Americo Rocca (2/3/84)

 

Cota is such an awesome douchebag heel. The guy is just absolutely right up my street. The way he carries himself, the way he's just such a little fucking dick! Awesome.

 

This matwork is not quite as great so far as the first-fall of the last match. However, the face rub and heelish laughing was fucking great. Cota has been the stand-out character for me so far watching this stuff.

 

Nice bulldog. This is more of a bomb-throwing affair than the last match. Massive backdrop. Running belly-to-back suplex. Awesome Alabama Jam into the victory roll for a very flashy fall. I thought this wasn't going to be as good as the last match but that was awesome. Very different style of match too.

 

There's an interesting narrative developing with Cota having hurt the BACK of his head. I can't recall too many matches built around hurting the back of the head. Interesting.

 

Rocca's selling of that snapmare is tremendous. Neckbreaker. Rocca is great at selling. Hmmm, not sure about this draw finish. But this was still pretty great. LOVING Cota.

 

B+

 

Lucha 2.4

Atlantis y Lizmark vs. El Egipcio y El Faraón (2/17/84)

 

Very sweet opening exchanges between Lizmark and Faraon to start. Lizmark just looks incredible.

 

Faraon is one stiff, bruising heel. Love how he's sticking those forearms in. Awesome butterfly suplex. Hot first fall. This disc is shaping up to be pretty great so far.

 

These heels are so fucking cool. Great slugfest between Faroan and Lizmark. Faraon is a total asskicker. Those kneelifts. YES!

 

El Egipico, on the other hand, kicks like Lou Albano!! What the hell?! Pathetic feather-lite kicks.

 

Lizmark unloads with the kicks now. El Egipico is like a chicken-shit sleazy wimp heel, Faraon is the bruiser. I get the impression that Egipico is not half the worker that Foraon is.

 

This elmination business with the double pin is interesting. So now it's a one on one match? Knee to the balls for the instant DQ.

 

This was a lot of fun, loved those heels, especially Faraon. Thought Lizmark looked absolutely awesome too. Atlantis as good as he's been so far too.

 

B+

 

Lucha 2.5

El Faraón, Herodes y Mocho Cota vs. Lizmark, Ringo Mendoza y Tony Salazar (2/24/84)

 

Oh awesome awesome awesome. Faraon and Cota teaming up! YES! And with the Mexican Hercules! Actually he looks more like a Mexican Harley Race here.

 

First fall seemed super quick. This is a great heel beatdown here. Herodes looks great nailing the shots in. Tony Salazar is being totally killed here. Awesome stuff. And that's a DQ? lol, ok. Amazing visual of Salazar dangling over the apron as the heels just dickingly still kick him.

 

Oh man, I fucking love this heel team. I fucking LOVE them.

 

Awesome knee lift by Faraon. Great little cocky sneaky dipship deadleg by Cota on Lizmark. And now they go back to bullying poor Salazar. Ha ha ha ha. This is so great.

 

Babyfaces coming back now and the crowd is pumped. TREMENDOUS bump into the turnbuckle by Herodes. Chaos breaking out now. Bodies and blood everywhere now. Oh my good, what an awesome blatant kick to the balls by Salazar for the payback, justice is done.

 

Ah fuck it, I had so much fun watching this. I'm probably way overrating it, but I don't care, this was great.

 

A

 

What an awesome run of matches here.

 

Cota is a new JvK hero. Faraon is just great as well.

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Is there a story behind Mocho Cota's missing fingers? I like to think a bear ate them. I also like to think that bear later became a rug in Manuel Cota's living room.

 

The first Cota/Rocca match completely blew me away, btw. I wanted to make sure I wasn't crazy and the only one that thought it was truly outstanding, and it seems a few others share that view. It's way too early to make placement predictions, but I really can't imagine not having it top 20 at the end. Shit, the top 20 for this is going to be a fucking Murderer's Row.

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Is there a story behind Mocho Cota's missing fingers? I like to think a bear ate them. I also like to think that bear later became a rug in Manuel Cota's living room.

 

The first Cota/Rocca match completely blew me away, btw. I wanted to make sure I wasn't crazy and the only one that thought it was truly outstanding, and it seems a few others share that view. It's way too early to make placement predictions, but I really can't imagine not having it top 20 at the end. Shit, the top 20 for this is going to be a fucking Murderer's Row.

http://deathvalleydriver.com/forum/index.p...ha-set/?p=38751

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Jerry Estrada vs. Ultraman (3/2/84)

 

Since I've now learnt more about Ultraman than I ever thought possible, I thought I better watch his title match. But this match was more about Jerry Estrada than it was Ultraman. I won't re-air my historical grievances with Jerry Estrada, instead I'm going to praise the kid here. He was a fresh faced young rudo who'd been working in Mexico City for less than two years but looked really comfortable. He didn't have the charisma of other rudos on the set like Sangre Chicana, Satanico or Mocho Cota, but those guys weren't born legends. Everybody makes a start somewhere and this was a very good start for Jerry Estrada. It's easy to see why people within the company thought that he was the future along with El Dandy and La Fiera. If you're expecting the coked out, manic bumper that Estrada later became you're in for a disappointment, but for a year two guy in the big leagues this was really impressive and a big moment for him.

 

I liked the way he stuck with Ultraman's arm through the first two falls as though he was working to a strategy. This was clearly past whatever athletic prime Ultraman had so there as nothing really slick about the mat exchanges, but for sheer tenacity I liked how Estrada stuck to his game plan despite some pretty sharp looking take downs from the man from the future. I actually thought they'd give the champion the first fall on those swinging neck breakers and was a bit surprised by how many beats they went beyond that, but I'd rather complain about a fall being too long than too short. Jerry went after the arm to start the second caida and his psychology was better than a lot of vets. Ultraman had to resort to some Space Cadets style counters to work his way out of trouble and open his account before a pretty rousing third caida where the arm damage got the better of him. Ultraman was pretty great at stumbling around hurt, falling into the ropes and hitting a tope that looked equal parts ugly and reckless. It may have been a poor tope, but if it was it fit with the narrative and Ultraman even struggled rolling back into the ring. The injury was an interesting way to put Estrada over without having Ultraman job. Usually I'd be kind of ticked off about that, but I loved Estrada's goofy overselling and Ultraman being carried from ringside draped over his second's shoulders. This wasn't a classic; the rhythm and pacing could have been better for starters and the third fall could have lasted longer and been more dramatic, but I thought it was a neat bout that worked well in the smaller setting of Arena Coliseo. Ultraman's no super worker, but Estrada showed a lot of promise even if he wasn't completely there yet. Definitely a case of young Estrada being better than I would have given him credit for before the bout, which makes this a better match than I was expecting and a plus as far as the set goes.

 

This may be the most positive entry I have ever made about Jerry Estrada. I really am softening up, but he really was very good. Dug his early look too, before the earrings and the leather jackets and Marty Jannetty tights. Good shit.

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Little late to the party, but what arena is Atlantis/El Satanico taking place in? I want to say Arena Mexico but I'm not good at recognizing arenas. Also, for someone like Ohtani, this takes place after the famous Talisman match right, so probably sometime around October?

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Sorry, didn't see this until now, Without watching it again, I'd say it's almost definitely from Arena Mexico. We don't have a date for it, but I'd wager that it was from before the Anniversary Show. I know Atlantis drew with Satanico at Arena Mexico on 9/13/85, but the only way to get accurate dates for this era is either a poster or a magazine and we haven't got the date for this yet.

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Tony Salazar vs. Herodes (3/2/1984)

 

Randomly came across this today as I squeeze in some wrestling before the Curry show. Had never seen either man once before, but was blown away by this. The first fall is very quick and simple with clean, logical action. Second fall sees Herodes adopted by the Andersons as he decides to remove Salazar's arm and even fucking hits a senton backsplash to the arm. Great, basic psychology with a single-minded purpose where everything looks brutal. What's not to love? Again, a very quick fall. Then comes the bloodshed and hopeful quarantining of both men. You've got Herodes posting Salazar and then clawing at his face like an absolute savage, until Salazar turns things around on the outside and opens up Herodes with a bulldog, then bites at his massacred face and spits the blood in the air. Yeah, tell these gents not to go on vacation because of the Zika virus. I dare you.

 

Herodes looks to me like a Mexican Harley Race. He would also make a great penultimate boss in a prison movie who Van Damme or a similar gringo babyface needs to overcome. Except lucha Harley Race happens to throw an awesome tope out of nowhere. With a better finish, it would've been a classic in my eyes. As it is, still an incredible, incredible brawl. I know it'll be sacrilege to many, but I found this much better and more violent than MS-1/Chicana. That's a great match as well, but this bowled me over.

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I am with Chad on the Atlantis/Satanico match.

 

The blood! The payback spots! Atlantis doing a turnaround splash off the top that didn't make the opponent stand there waiting like a dumbass!! The GREAT brawling in the third caida! That slugfest was incredible and placed perfectly in the match. Also, Satanico really impressed. Not taking anything away from Atlantis, but this match belongs to Satanico.

 

The January Mocho Cota vs. Americo Rocca match was great stuff as well. First caida was some of my favorite matwork ever. Cota continually going back to the arm while he tried to set up something else was great stuff. Also, that DIVE! Ending sets up a rematch well.

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Mocho Cota vs. Americo Rocca 2/3/84

 

So let me get this straight. Mocho Cota is a world class mat wrestler AND plays an amazing evil genius character this well? Add the great punch, the spectacular dive and the awesome selling to that and I'm pretty sure dude got robbed in the GWE. Nothing against Americo Rocca, just Cota is a force of freaking nature in these two matches.

 

Atlantis/Lizmark vs. El Faraon/El Egipcio 2/17/84

 

I watched this as I was falling asleep last night. Missed half of it so can't say much. Reviews suggest a rewatch is in order.

 

Faraon/Herodes/Mocho Cota vs. Lizmark/Ringo Mendoza/Tony Salazar 2/24/84

 

Salazar getting pasted for the first two caidas is brilliant work by the rudos. He's just a mess and completely and totally gone. Mendoza makes the big comeback and here comes Salazar! His revenge on Herodes was all kinds of incredible. Herodes with more footage would have to be included in the best fat guys ever discussion. Salazar punting Herodes in the balls was the perfect ending to this.

 

Solar/Ultraman/Super Astro vs. Sergio El Hermoso/Bello Greco/Rudy Reyna 2/26/84

 

Whoever the rudo in the red trunks is has a great chickenshit comedy routine. That chase around the ring into a back elbow was beautiful. Can't tell the tecnicos apart, but I think the one who does the worse than Tenryu visually enzuigiris is Ultraman based on the later singles. Whoever does that massive dive with an assist should get a damn medal.

 

Enrique Vera vs. Dos Caras 2/26/84

 

Didn't think the world of Dos Caras. Vera with a little bit of heelish behavior at the end after the flash pin, but ends up congratulating Caras anyway. Most of the match was a little dry for me with no rudos around.

 

Jerry Estrada vs. Ultraman 3/2/84

 

Estrada's work on the arm was very, very good. If I hadn't watched Mocho Cota put on a clinic twice already I'd say great. Ultraman taking Estrada lightly at the beginning after countering out of some things seems to lead to the upset first caida loss for the veteran. Estrada is pretty damn good here for being two years into his career. He seemed like he kept up with Ultraman every step of the way.

 

Tony Salazar vs. Herodes 3/2/84

 

First two caidas are good but forgettable, except for an excellent King of the Mountain by Herodes. Third caida is an absolute bloodbath! I LOVED the way both sold throughout even while they were getting offense in. And I really, really hope that guy in the first row sitting between where both guys landed after the Herodes dive (!!!!!) went to the hospital and got himself checked afterwards. Herodes stumbling around on the floor after being bloodied was great, great stuff. How exactly was Salazar able to stand at the end of this? Or Herodes for that matter?

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Lizmark vs. El Satanico April 1984

 

Lizmark hurting Satanico's neck in the first caida was a great setup for what seemed like Satanico barely surviving the second caida. Third caida sees Lizmark go right back at Satanico and come *this close* to getting the win, but Satanico won't stay down. Lizmark's planchas are probably the most incredible version of that move I've ever seen. He's unbelievably graceful. Finish drags the match down for me.

 

Atlantis/Lizmark vs. El Faraon/El Egipcio 2/17/84

 

Fun brawl with Faraon leading the way. Sets up a match on disc 3 with the pre-match brawling. Atlantis and Lizmark are great tecnicos. Thos kicks by Egipcio are pretty pathetic. Stick to the punches.

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