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DISC 5

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DISC 5

El Solitario vs. Dr. Wagner (Mask vs. Mask) (12/1/85)

Sangre Chicana vs. Perro Aguayo (Hair vs. Hair) (2/28/86)

Lizmark, Alfonso Dantes y Tony Salazar vs. El Signo, El Texano y Negro Navarro) (8/15/86)

Rayo De Jalisco Jr. vs. Mascara Ano 2000 (8/15/86)

La Fiera vs. Babyface (8/15/86)

Espanto Jr. vs El Hijo Del Santo (Mask vs. Mask) (8/31/86)

Ringo Mendoza, Atlantis y Ultraman vs. Satanico, Masakre y MS-1, (September 1986)

Pirata Morgan, BabyFace y Cien Caras vs. La Fiera, Lizmark y Rayo De Jalisco Jr. (September 1986)

Babyface, Cien Caras y Mascara Ano 2000 vs. Lizmark, Rayo De Jalisco y La Fiera (September 1986)

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El Solitario vs. Dr. Wagner (12/1/85)

This was an interesting look at two guys with great reputations but not a lot of footage. I had seen both of them wrestle before but only in Japan so I still felt like I was coming in with a clean slate. This is clipped and like the other matches from this show it's not smooth and can be kind of distracting. We definitely missed some stuff that could have given changed this match's ranking but I think we do see enough to get a strong sense of how good it really was. This resembles the UWA heavyweight matches we saw earlier in the set but it's better than any of those. They were still working holds more than they were grappling but there was some chain wrestling that looked pretty nice. They definitely threw their weight around when they were grappling. There was a lot of force behind every takedown and that abdominal stretch into a pin sequence looked like a real struggle. This was a lucha de apuestas though so they did much more than grapple which may be another thing that pushes this ahead of those heavyweight matches from earlier. Wagner looks like a seriously bad mother fucker and I love that we can clearly make out some of his shit talk as if this were a Black Terry Jr. handheld. He throws some nasty strikes too and just generally moves around the ring like a brute. Solitario is more graceful but still looks like he is in a fight and knows it. He mixes some of his athletic takedowns with some good brawling. His selling is also pretty engaging when he's really getting beaten down. It's a shame that we still don't get much of a picture of him as a worker here because his reputation is pretty huge. He looks good but Wagner's contributions seemed much more apparent while watching this. I think this was really good but not a top tier match.

 

It was also pretty cool to see Ray Mendoza as a ref. I think we also had Shadito Cruz as a referee in one of the earlier matches but I can't remember which one at the moment.

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Sangre Chicana vs. Perro Aguayo (2/28/86)

First of all, this is a great handheld. There's a great view of the action all around ringside and oh boy, they use the area around the ring really well. The noise from the crowd is pretty clear as well which helps the big match atmosphere. Plus, there are one or two clips but they don't seem to cut out much. This feels like a huge match. Part of it is the crowd which is pretty loud throughout this match. That kid at ringside is a blast to watch as well. Not only does he have a great post match celebration of his own but he has a few moments during the match where he can't contain how much he hates Perro and it is hilarious. The other reason this feels huge is that these are two of the most expressive and charismatic wrestlers ever. Their physical charisma is still palpable from our bird's eye view in the stands. Their singles match as part of that 4 way elimination match only hints at this one. There are some incredible strike exchanges that work because they are simple and drawn out so that every strike is milked for ever bit of drama they could possibly hold. The dives were all really impressive and each one was better than the last. The sequence after that final dive where they are brawling in the seats is epic. Epic is probably the best word to describe this one, from the amount of ground they cover brawling around the ringside area and in the crowd to the huge nearfalls during the final fall. I think with a few minutes trimmed off of this match we may have had a contender for the top spot. There were brief moments sprinkled throughout this match that felt a tad repetitive but it's still a great match and one that will probably still finish super high on my ballot.

 

Lizmark, Alfonso Dantes y Tony Salazar vs. El Signo, El Texano y Negro Navarro (8/15/86)

Los Misioneros aren't as frighteningly brutal in this one as Los Infernales were the last time we saw them but that's because Infernales set that bar pretty high. The beatdowns dished out by Los Misioneros de la Muerte were still pretty awesome. All three members throw great punches and had some great double and triple team moves. Where they really excelled though was in their miscommunication spots some of which were pretty complex in addition to being perfectly executed. Lizmark's crispness makes him the perfect foil for those spots. This match may be the best showcase of Lizmark's skills we've seen on this set so far. Tony Salazar, who I have been really high on every other time I've seen him, may have been the weakest worker here. A few of his bumps looked really off and I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get to see many of his punches, especially given how many the rudos were throwing. That being said, he was good during the finish and post match controversy. It was a pretty well done screwy finish that makes you want to see the rematch or subsequent hair match. The match as a whole was good but not great.

 

Rayo De Jalisco Jr. vs. Mascara Ano 2000 (8/15/86)

I think I liked this more than tim and Curt though it's not like I think it's a really high ranking match either. The way they made those first two falls sound I thought they'd be really rushed. They are short but they still manage to work in some simple feeling out matwork in the first fall. Then the second fall has a nice and simple transition where Rayo, who has been controlling the match since his first fall victory, misses a falling headbutt and Mascara Ano 2000 begins to take control. These aren't the first two falls you may want from other workers but it worked to both of these wrestlers' strengths. This is a title match but neither is known for their matwork so some short falls, simple exchanges, nice transitions, and Rayo dancing schtick is going to be the best path for them to choose. The third fall is all about big bombs and it's really fun to watch. I didn't expect so many dives but they all looked good. This isn't anything deep but it makes for really fun junk food.

 

La Fiera vs. Babyface (8/15/86)

This was a match I was excited about because I liked the participants and I've wanted to see more from both of them. I didn't expect it to be one of the best matches on the set but it totally is. Before this set I had only seen Babyface on the NJPW set. he was good there but I never thought he had a performance like this in him. His selling is unbelievably good. He looks as if he's out on his feet during the start of the second fall but manages to believably come to and get back into the match . As for La Fiera, this is a career performance right here. He is possibly the craziest bumper I have ever seen. He takes one of the nastiest looking postings I've ever seen and proceeds to fall off the apron and faceplant on the wooden planks on the floor. That's not his only faceplant on the floor as later in the match we see him pushed through the ropes and landing face first then he faceplants on a missed dive off of the apron. His selling is amazing and as the match goes on it becomes a greater struggle for him to get up from the progressively crazier bumps. This is every bit as brutal as the most violent matches on this set but the violence here seems more calculated than chaotic which makes it really stand out. Probably a top 5 match right now and I can't see this leaving the top 10.

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Lizmark, Alfonso Dantes y Tony Salazar vs. El Signo, El Texano y Negro Navarro) (8/15/86)

 

This was a tricky one. If there was more Misioneros footage available from the 80s I could see myself picking out small details and praising the Misioneros for their work, but since there's not this came across as disappointing. Taken on its own it wasn't a bad trios, but it's not the classic you're looking for and it's not even really a precursor to a classic.

 

I thought the Misioneros looked better individually than they did as a trios. It's often said that Texano was the best worker of the three during their heyday and I can see the case for that. Signo wasn't as good as he is in the early 90s incarnation with Black Power and Navarro's role within the team was extremely different from the Navarro we know today, although there was one instance where Navarro was about to put an arm lock on Lizmark where I suddenly had a flash forward to Navarro v. Solar. The opening fall was poor. I kept waiting for the Misioneros to show they had a thousand tricks up their sleeves like the Masakre version of Los Infernales, but instead they did the most generic double and triple teaming imaginable. They may have been innovators of the trios form, but this fell way short of the showcase I was imagining. The second and third falls were better as the workers matched off individually, but it didn't make much sense that after the beating the technicos received in the first fall they were able to go one-on-one as though nothing had happened. Usually, the beating would continue until the technicos made their comeback and then the third fall would see the momentum shift backwards and forwards until there's a winner. The beatdown the Misioneros delivered would ordinarily come in the second fall as retaliation for coming off second best in the opening caida, and so it seemed to me that the Misioneros got the order wrong in what's a pretty standard trios formula. But it was all kind of forgotten by the time it got to the exciting parts.

 

The match had a really awesome post-match punch-up that was almost like a fourth caida. To be honest, it was more exciting than anything that happened in the match. Dr. Alfonso Morales did my favourite trick of his where he tries to interview workers in the middle of their post match brawling and the Misioneros got huge heat their mic work. Lizmark busted out his "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" footwork, Navarro was awesome running around and jumping folks, and Signo looked fantastic with his longer hair and runty little moustache. You could totally imagine him bleeding like a stuck pig. "Low Blow" Tony Salazar's gimmick in the 80s seemed to be getting his team DQ'ed and this was all leading to a hair match, but I kind've wished the whole match had been wrestled with the same friction.

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Espanto Jr. vs El Hijo Del Santo (Mask vs. Mask) (8/31/86)

I love the structure of this match. This isn't a wild brawl with lots of punches but it is a fiercely competitive wrestling match where both competitors give everything they have to hold on to the masks that represent their family's honor. Espanto Jr. is a beast and he just dominates throughout much of this match with his very physical grappling. Every throw looks like he's trying to put Santo right through the mat and he may have the best snapmare ever. Santito has a major hope spot before he ultimately succumbs to Espanto's brute force and loses the first fall. That image of the children coming to console Santo between falls is one of those classic pro wrestling images. As it turns out staying outside the ring is the only place Santo can rest and regroup as Espanto is on quite the roll. I love that Santo is completely dominated before the comeback that wins the second fall for him. In addition to his always incredible dives he throws some awesome kneelifts to get himself back into the match. Espanto also has one of the best Fuerza bumps I've ever seen. The third floor is just a war with perfect revenge spots. Espanto tears Santo's mask so Santo tears his. Espanto posts Santo and beats him with a chair so Santo slams Espanto into the turnbuckle until it is a bloody mess. It's only after Espanto's tope when both of them are recovering on the arena floor that we really get to see just how much punishment both have taken. The VQ gets funky so we don't get to see one of Santo's dives but we still hear the crowd losing it and how often has Santo fucked up one of his flying moves? Santo eventually sinks in the deepest camel clutch in wrestling history for a hard earned victory. This is a classic.

 

This is probably my MOTY for 1986 which is my favorite year for wrestling. I also think this is one of the greatest matches of all time so it says something about how great this set is that there is a chance this could end up being number 2 or number 3. I'm probably going to end up watching the top matches again because I can't commit myself to putting my top 5 in order at the moment. On the right day this could end up being number 1.

 

Ringo Mendoza, Atlantis y Ultraman vs. Satanico, Masakre y MS-1, (September 1986)

Are we sure this was September 1986? Masakre is wearing his mask but according to luchawiki he lost his mask 8/29/1986.

 

This is a fun match though it'll probably be on the bottom half of my list. It's probably around the same level as that Los Misioneros match. Los Infernales are great as usual. I'm not familiar with the Masakre iteration of that group and I didn't get much of a sense of him watching this but he certainly wasn't bad. Ultraman appears to have added some martial arts to his gimmick. Damn it, I just want to see him throw punches and not all of these kicks. Atlantis has clearly grown a lot at this point. He looks really confident and all of that awkwardness appears to be gone. He looks like a classic tecnico now. His flashy stuff looked great, especially his springboard somersault senton. Where he really shined though was in that moment where he is cornered by all three Infernales and he just runs around dodging their advances and laying in some nice punches here and there. Ringo and Satanico trading punches is the best thing Ringo Mendoza has ever done.

 

Pirata Morgan, BabyFace y Cien Caras vs. La Fiera, Lizmark y Rayo De Jalisco Jr. (September 1986)

Really really fun trios brawl that's better than the other 1986 trios matches so far. Like tim said, this is all about La Fiera vs Babyface and we get the same hatred and gore that made their hair vs hair match so great. Everyone else feels like a supporting player but they look good whenever the camera makes it's way toward them. Cien Caras vs Rayo De Jalisco is always fun at this point just due to the big personalities clashing. We get to see some huge dives from Rayo and Cien Caras takes a few pretty good bumps. Pirata Morgan does his thing but he used up most of his hatred on beating up Satanico before the match. Lizmark looks surprisingly good in a gritty story like this one. Still, Fiera vs Babyface. Man. I can't help but wonder that if this show isn't actually from September 1986 then maybe this match is part of the build up to their hair vs hair match.

 

Americo Rocca, Cacharro Mendoza y Kung Fu vs. El Talisman, El Dandy y Guerrero Negro (September 1986)

I love a good trios match with great comedy spots. I often feel like good lucha comedy can fit in very nicely next to traditional pantomime comedy. A lot of the rudo stooging in this match, especially when going up against Kung Fu doesn't feel too far off from Charlie Chaplin's boxing scenes from movies like City Lights. The nunchuk stuff is pretty hilarious as well. The rudos do kick some ass when they have to but it's not an epic ass kicking and in the end this is just a really good comedy match.

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Sangre Chicana vs. Perro Aguayo (Hair vs. Hair) (2/28/86)

Don't have the set but wanted to pop in to say this is one of my favorite matches ever. Not a wrestling match, not a fight, but a god damn war of a battle...

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Pirata Morgan, Babe Face y Cien Caras vs. La Fiera, Lizmark y Rayo De Jalisco Jr. (1986)

Babe Face, Cien Caras y Mascara Ano 2000 vs. Lizmark, Rayo De Jalisco y La Fiera (1986)

 

These were a pair of excellent lead-in matches to the Babe Face vs. Fiera match. Not quite up there with Satanico/Dandy, Dandy/Casas or Santo/Felino in my own mini-pantheon of these type of matches, but quality nonetheless.

 

Babe Face was a UWA guy working the talent exchange program at Arena Mexico, and as with other feuds from the 80s, good things came from talent sharing. The theme to this feud was how many times Babe Face could withstand Fiera's spinning high kick vs. whether Fiera could survive the blood loss, his bad shoulder and just being fucked up in general. What made the lead-in matches so good was that the others complemented them well. The second match in particular is one of the better trios on the set, largely because they achieve what I always bang on about in having a secondary thread to go along with the main issue in Fiera vs. Babe Face. In this case, it's Rayo getting the absolute shit beaten out of him by the Northern ranchers. There's these huge tuffs of hair sticking out of his mask and blood splattered all over his chest; at one point he staggers about ringside like the sole survivor of a car wreck. It's a tasty appetiser for the main course, but both times that Fiera is about to really get his hands on Babe, the devious ltitle squirt worms his way to victory, denying hard working folks the payoff to their working week.

 

I found their hair match a tad underwhelming in isolation (you can read the review on this blog if you're so inclined), but with my appetite whet I was interested in reviewing what some are calling a top 10 match for the decade.

 

La Fiera vs. Babe face (8/15/86)

 

This was more fun than great. I don't think Fiera wanted to hurt Babe Face enough in the beginning. If they wanted to go the route of having Fiera dominate the opening fall and a half, he should have whipped Babe Face from pillar to post and made him bleed sooner. The match doesn't get good until Babe Face holds on to his winning submission for longer than he should and then stands there wiping the blood from out of his eyes. After that, it's the standard you expect from a hair match with some intense brawling from Babe and tremendous selling by Fiera, but that intensity should have been present from the start. Both guys were excellent in the final caida, however, with Babe trying to exploit Fiera's shoulder injury and Fiera trying to score that one big knockout move and almost knocking himself out several times in the process. If you chart where the match ends up from where it begins it's a fairly satisfying arc, so even if it's not a perfectly structured match it at least goes somewhere. Of course, controversy is never far behind when Babe's around and his low blow gets the crowd going. The finish s one of those ethical situations that you could argue about into the night. Personally, I'm not in favour of the technico cheating, but I can see the justice in it. The match was only half a classic and not one of the best matches of the decade in my opinion. There was a whole bunch of stuff I would have liked to have rearranged and ultimately Babe was too limited a worker to really deliver a classic. Fiera gave an excellent performance, but didn't lead from the front enough. It was a fun match though, and I've got to say that Mexico had some awfully competent barbers in the 80s. Nice job shearing those locks.

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In my rush to get out of the office I left disc 5 at work and I won't be back there for a week. I was JUST to the Chicana vs Perro match too and was very eager to watch it.

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