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DISC 4

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DISC 4

Javier Cruz vs. El Dandy (Hair vs. Hair) (10/26/84)

Gran Cochise, Villano III y Rayo De Jalisco Jr. vs. Fishman, Mocho Cota y Tony Bennetto (11/84)

Sangre Chicana vs. Villano III (11/84)

Raul Reyes Jr. & Climax vs. Mocho Cota & Loco Zavala (Sonora 1985) (Youtube)

Atlantis vs. El Faraón (3/22/85)

La Fiera, El Faraón y El Egipico vs. MS-1, Satanico y Pirata Morgan (3/29/85)

Americo Rocca vs. El Talisman (3/29/85)

El Hijo del Santo & Black Shadow Jr. vs. Espanto Jr. & Eskeletor (12/1/85)

Lizmark, Mil Mascaras & Valente Fernandez vs. Sangre Chicana, Angel Blanco & Angel Blanco Jr. (12/1/85)

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Americo Rocca vs. El Talisman (3/29/85)

 

This was a nice little title match. Nothing fancy just solid lucha.

 

It didn't have a huge arc in terms of dramatic structure, but the narrative was decent enough. Rocca and Talisman were frequent rivals in the welterweight class and ended up having a hair match a few years later. This date was Rocca's chance at reclaiming the title Talisman had taken from him months earlier, and more or less pit Talisman's strength against Rocca's skill. I liked that it built to a key dive in the third caida and the final submission was one of the best on the set. I'm so used to the workers submitting straight away that it was a real surprise to see someone hold on. You could sense the crowd willing Rocca on and they waited the perfect number of beats before Talisman gave in.

 

Rocca continues to be one of the better babyfaces on the set, partially because of his wrestling ability, but also because of his babyface charisma. It's a difficult thing to describe, babyface charisma. With rudos you can write screeds about why they're so great, but what makes a babyface likeable? For some it may be their ability to play the underdog, for others it may be their take no bullshit attitude, but Rocca was neither. What struck me about him in the Cota matches was that he never let Cota get under his skin. Cota talked an amazing amount of trash in those matches and Rocca just smirked as though he enjoyed it. He was obviously a guy with a lot of confidence in his ability. He didn't have the greatest foil here as Talisman wasn't an overly skilled worker and not the most charismatic of the rudos, but my interest in Rocca as a babyface was enough to overcome all that.

 

This probably would've been better if they'd worked more dives and nearfalls into the third fall, but it still did the trick.

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Javier Cruz vs. El Dandy (Hair vs. Hair) (10/26/84) –

This is a strange match in that I’d typically want a hair match to have blood and violence. This didn’t have any of that. The first two falls I waited for that but it never came. I was feeling disappointed at the beginning of the third fall but by the end of the match I was satisfied. Dandy controls the majority of the first two falls which is fine. He’s got exceptional variation in his offense and brings great punches along with it. Cruz is a fantastic bumper and is seriously a top ten all time probably. His post bump, clothesline bump, and turnbuckle bump were all tremendous in this. I dug both submission finishers as “strangulation” submissions as the commentator was indicating. They both looked pretty brutal. The third fall was chock full of near falls and close calls but it built really well. Dandy’s plancha was great but Cruz has one of the greatest dives ever so his high spot wins out here. That ends up being the finish as both guys tries to keep one another from entering the ring to break the count so they both lose and get haircuts. The post-match haircuts are always a blast too.

Again, I think this is a bit of a hard match to rate because a part of me wanted blood and violence and didn’t get that. However, this built pretty well especially in the third fall and it was satisfying enough to be called a really good match. I don’t think it’s quite great even with the positive write-up so I’ll give it close to four stars. It’s certainly good enough for a B+ I think. It was different but I liked it.

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Gran Cochise, Villano III y Rayo De Jalisco Jr. vs. Fishman, Mocho Cota y Tony Bennetto (11/84) –

Mocho Cota’s hair is AWESOME. This guy is like the best scummy looking wrestler ever. He’s pretty great in this too. He opens things up before the bell by plowing Cochise with a punch and knocking him off the apron. This starts with the rudos triple teaming and using isolation tactics but it doesn’t work. We end up getting some strong exchanges with all six guys mixing it up before the tecnicos take the first fall off of sunset flips. Cota is awesome backing away from Cochise after his teammates lose the first fall. He’s such a chicken shit. The second fall rules with Cota stirring shit-up and trying to blindside Cochise at every turn. Both guys take tremendous post bumps in this fall as well. Cochise ends up getting isolated as does Villano III. Jalisco is nowhere to be found and he added absolutely nothing to this match either. Fishman hits a great top rope splash to pin Villano III and take the second fall. The third fall is great with Cota and Cochise brawling all over the place, Cochise bloodying Cota and biting his cut, etc. This lead to an outstanding dive sequence with Cota taking an insane monkey flip to the floor on his teammates and Villano III and Jalisco hitting dives right afterwards. Everyone is counted out except Cochise and Cota. This goes into a really good last few minutes with both guys getting near falls until Cochise catches Cota in a small package off of a body slam for the win. Cota is appropriately pissy in the post-match.

This was grand. Cota was the star in this and was tremendous throughout. Cochise looked great too. I’ll give this around four and one fourth stars. A-. Great trios.

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Sangre Chicana vs. Villano III (12/7/84) –

Am I insane or was a big part of the third fall missing from this? They did show the replay to the ending of the second which could have been when Chicana ripped Villano III’s mask up and bloodied him but that only lasted seconds. Anyways, this was worked similarly to the Chicana-MS-1 classic but didn’t have as much heat, meaning, and the Chicana’s comeback didn’t mean nearly as much. Villano bloodies Chicana up pretty good and Chicana is a master of selling so this worked. Villano III has great brawling offense and kept his interesting even if I thought he was in control for too long without a proper build to Chicana’s comeback. As an aside, I like Villano III way better in this match than any other he’s been in. He has annoyed me some with no selling bullshit in previous matches on the set. The brawling style fits him greatly. I loved his top rope senton. It looked brutal. Chicana throws his famous punch and hits a tremendous dive to win the second fall by count-out and officially make a comeback. The weird part comes here where after the replay of the second fall finish we have a bloodied and near maskless Villano III desperately trying to fend off Chicana from taking his mask. Chicana succeeds and Villano is still getting attacked so he awesomely punts Chicana in the balls for the double DQ finish. I loved that finish as it made total sense for Villano to just kick the fuck out of Chicana in the nads because Chicana was trying to expose him. Too bad something is missing or else I’d like this a little more.

This is floating right under four stars. Something felt missing and this was a lighter version of Chicana-MS-1. Still, I liked it and it’s about a solid B or B+. Very good brawl.

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Raul Reyes Jr. y Climax vs. Mocho Cota y Loco Zavala (1985)

This was a nice way to get back into watching this set after a little break. Something that I find alternately alluring and frustrating about lucha is how little of it's history we really know about and all of the classic matches we don't have on tape. What better way to hint at that forgotten history than a dateless match from 1985 in some arena in Sonora featuring three workers I've never heard of before. Much like this match, those mystery workers aren't revelations but they are pretty good. They're good enough to suggest that they may have had many other good matches and maybe even some great ones that we'll never see. Climax and Loco Zavala have some interesting exchanges and I can easily imagine that they have matched up before. Climax has some nice high flying and Zavala is a good chubby base. They match up well and even do a few spots I don't remember seeing before. The one wrestler in this one I do know is Mocho Cota and unsurprisingly he shows off all the qualities that have made him so impressive in other matches on this set. He has some nice mat exchanges with Raul Reyes Jr (who looks like a solid hand himself) but Cota's even better when he is just pouring on the rudisimo. I am loving him sneaking around the ring in tags and trios matches. He seems like someone who will stoop as low as he can just to win a match. I think this is somewhere in the middle of the pack at this point.

 

Atlantis vs. El Faraón (3/22/85)

I was a bit lukewarm to El Faraón at first but he's grown on me after the last few brawls. I didn't know what to expect when this turned out to be a title match but I definitely didn't expect El Faraón to turn in such a great performance. He was great on the mat. I liked that rather than carefully set things up on the mat he would just grab Atlantis and take him down hard. There was a roughness to much of his offense that was fitting for a rudo in this setting. When Faraón was on defense in this he was even better. He took really took the time to effectively sell the pain of each hold before trying to escape. Atlantis was a bit of a disappointment here. He wasn't awkwardly playing to the crowd after every bit of offense this time around but his selling was definitely a bit too hammy. I thought it was appropriate for selling Faraón's axe bombers but he was already writhing around in agony during the first fall. This escalated nicely and settled into a fun final stretch run. This is better than some of the weaker title matches early in the set but doesn't reach the heights of the Mocho Cota vs Americo Rocca series or Satanico vs Gran Cochisse.

 

La Fiera, El Faraón y El Egipico vs. MS-1, Satanico y Pirata Morgan (3/29/85)

We've already seen a couple of brawling tags and trios so far but none of them have been as violent or as epic as this one. In this match it's the stiff striking instead of the gore that really makes it so harrowing. I think part of that is due to Los Infernales upgrading when they added Pirata Morgan. Morgan adds a lot as he feels like a serious ass kicker but is also a wild bumper when he has to be. This lineup of Los Infernales turns double and triple teams into thuggish onslaughts. They don't do fancy triple teams, they just all drop b's on an opponent. It can be as simple and brutal as Satanico muscling an opponent around in a clinch while MS-1 throws nasty punches to their kidneys. La Fiera and Faraón already made great opponents for Los Infernales in their last scrap but they both manage to top those performances here. Faraón is a tremendous brawler and Fiera outdoes the suicidal missed tope from that match when he manages to fly off the top rope and land headfirst outside the ring. Egipcio is pushed into the foreground in this match as he spends most of it brawling with Pirata Morgan and they both make you want to see them in an apuestas match. By the end I was marking out for Egipcio's punch combos during his comeback despite not really having strong feelings about him going in. Good finish too with Egipcio and Pirata Morgan have their final showdown in the ring after everyone else has been taken out by dives on the outside.

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Raul Reyes Jr. y Climax vs. Mocho Cota y Loco Zavala (1985) –

Man, I’m tired as fuck and need to go to bed so I got caught staring off into nothing while watching this. This was a total blast and had some really excellent exchanges from what I know I caught. The early exchanges in the first fall were off the hook. Climax is exciting to watch. Reyes, Cota, and Zavala had some mean punches to deliver throughout this. That third fall punching war was fucking awesome. Once again, Cota was incredible. He’s one of the greatest rudos ever just off a small sample of footage. The crowd’s fucking loathe him and that segment early in the second fall with him being a total chickenshit with the lights going out was marvelous. He capped this off by begging to Reyes but catching him with a punch to the gut. The double submission finish was wacky as hell but I liked it. This goes on the definite re-watch page because of my sleepy ass but I caught most of it and enjoyed the hell out of it.

This is about three and a half stars or so. It’s about a solid B. Fun match.

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Americo Rocca vs. El Talisman (3/29/85)

This was fun but other than the pop for the finish it lacked something spectacular that could have made it more memorable. It had a nice layout, simple and effective transitions, and some good looking offense. The only weak moment was one of Rocca's bumps over the top rope where it really just looked like he was jumping over the rope. Tim hit the nail on the head, this is towards the bottom of the list so far but is far from bad.

 

El Hijo del Santo y Black Shadow Jr. vs. Espanto Jr. y Eskeletor (12/1/85)

I thought this was mostly good but had a really bad finish. I can't get enough Santo vs Espanto and their exchanges here were pretty good though not as great as they would be in the near future. They mixed up matwork, brawling, and cool flying in some fun ways and thankfully that was the focus. Black Shadow Jr. was alright. He threw some decent punches and I liked his slingshot spinebuster but unfortunately he spent most of this matching up with Eskeletor who wasn't really any good. That said, I am a sucker for bootleg lucha gimmicks and his Skeletor costume was pretty endearingly bad. Bottom half, but I feel like that's the case for most of this 1985 stuff so far (with one major exception).

 

Lizmark, Mil Mascaras y Valente Fernandez vs. Sangre Chicana, Angel Blanco y Angel Blanco Jr. (12/1/85)

I never realized Sangre Chicana vs Mil Mascaras was a match I wanted to see but now it is. The clipping here was a bit distracting for me but we did get to see lots of cool stuff. Outside of some great brawling by all parties this also had Sangre Chicana goading everyone, but especially Mil Mascaras into coming after him and Lizmark's fluid athleticism. That old lady dancing was pretty weird/funny. This is fun but probably not going to be very high.

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Atlantis vs. El Faraón (3/22/85) –

This was damn good. This match had some nice variables to it. On one hand it was a match between an underdog and the veteran. Technically, it was a match built around body part work and selling which I love. I’m not a big fan of Atlantis’s full body selling of moves. I think one squirm is enough instead of thirty eight. He got better at it as the match went along though. The first fall is the traditional mat based opening fall of a title match. There’s a really nice flow to it and the transitions are pretty seamless. The ending of it was great with Faraon focusing on the neck. The second fall was really good also. This is in reverse with Atlantis working on Faraon’s arm and shoulder. Faraon was awesome at selling his right arm and his forearm clotheslines were tremendous. That submission to end the fall was great and Faraon’s selling and facial expressions during it were great. The third fall lets loose some and we get some great dives from Atlantis. I loved that Faraon kept going after Atlantis’s neck. His submission sitting down on his neck looked painful. The finish is awesome. Faraon thinks he’s won by count-out after seemingly riding the storm of Atlantis’s last comeback. And then bam, he gets hit with the victory roll from behind for the pin. Faraon is livid post-match but Atlantis isn’t shedding a tear. Great match with an excellent build.

This is over four stars. I’d call it an A-. Great stuff.

 

La Fiera, El Faraón y El Egipico vs. MS-1, Satanico y Pirata Morgan (3/29/85) -

This started out just there for me. It got better and better as the match went on. The beating down on Fauron in the first fall was becoming boring a little bit but the action picked up in the second. I loved Fauron kicking at Satanico when he had his arms locked. Egipcio-Morgan was tremendous. I loved the visual of Morgan flying across the floor just barely on screen. It was a total "what the fuck" moment. The best part of this was Egipcio throwing Morgan THROUGH the Corona apron and then beating him with pieces of it. La Fiera was just there in this and didn't seem to add anything at all which is disappointing. He just wandered around and didn't do much at all. The punching exchanges, postings, and brawling in the third fall was great. Morgan's posting was particularly brutal. That back and forth punching exchange in the center of the ring between Egipcio-Morgan was off the charts. The closing minutes were fun and Fiera fucks up horribly on a dive and nearly spikes himself on his head. Fauron's dive was awesome as hell and he collided big time with MS-I. The finish was good too. I liked this a good bit. It was hurt by a middling start but the last five to eight minutes were tremendous. I don't know where this would rank right now. I will probably give this just short of four stars. It could have been better in my opinion.

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Americo Rocca vs. El Talisman (3/29/85) –

This was one of those "short, short, long" title matches. I generally like the "long, short, long" format more because it allows the first fall to be a more crucial part in building the match and that often includes a lot of mat work. The mat work was good here. I'm always a fan of small detailed work so when Talisman was kneeing Rocca in the midst of an arm bar I marked out. However, I really enjoyed the rope running exchanges here. They were given a little more weight here and I thought the fluidity and pacing was great. The finish of the first was well done too. I actually thought the second fall was going to end with Talisman hitting those two dropkicks but they went a few more minutes. I liked the transition into the crazy back breaking submission to end the fall. That hold was wacky as hell. The third fall was really good. The pacing was great here and everything was spread out very well. This wasn't much different from other title matches in the "short, short, long" format as far as what they did but how they did it was better than a lot of others. Rocca sold his back pretty well throughout and stuck with it. The diving sequence was simple but effective. I liked the last few minutes with the missed senton leading to the near fall and two submissions. The pop was nice at the end too. Overall, this was a pretty strong match. The pacing was excellent. Again, this would have built better I think in the "long, short, long" format but I thought it built fine. I might give this roughly three and half stars or so.

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El Hijo del Santo y Black Shadow Jr. vs. Espanto Jr. y Eskeletor (12/1/85) –

The best way to sum up this match is "really fun." Santo-Espanto was a blast and their exchanges were seamless and pretty smooth in the first fall, then pretty heated and aggressive in the third fall. Eskeletor didn't do much for me here although I did like him stooging in the post-match. I wish we could have gotten more of the brawling on the floor in the start of the third because it looked great. That body press was crazy. The mask ripping was a blast and the chaos of the third fall and post-match was a lot of fun. However, the finish was abrupt and this didn't reach beyond "fun." I'll throw this just around two and a half stars or so.

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Lizmark, Mil Mascaras y Valente Fernandez vs. Sangre Chicana, Angel Blanco y Angel Blanco Jr. (12/1/85) –

This was a better version of the previous match with an even more hectic atmosphere. I loved Lizmark in this being a fucker and doing flippy floppy shit to mess with the heels. Valente has some good exchanges in this with the Blanco's. Chicana was sort of in the background for this but did have some fun exchanges with Mascaras. The mask pulling on Blanco Jr. is great in this too. But man this was hurt by the clipping for sure and it felt all over the place because of that. This had several great individual moments but nothing came together. This is probably right under three stars or maybe right at it.

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Only wanted to add here that while the last two matches weren't classics by any means, they were tons of fun and I loved the camera angle on them. Being so close to the ring, I could see how physical these guys actually are, and the handheld allowed the crowd noise to come through. Those two things don't always come through on the regular broadcast matches of the lucha I've seen.

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