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Grimmas

Virus

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I've been watching some more of his work as a mini since the watch party, having not seen any before, and its absolutely adding to his case. 

Where do people generally rank him among the best minis of all time? Masacarita Sagrada is the only obvious one I can think of being better than him from my limited viewing 

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27 minutes ago, bennyowens said:

I've been watching some more of his work as a mini since the watch party, having not seen any before, and its absolutely adding to his case. 

Where do people generally rank him among the best minis of all time? Masacarita Sagrada is the only obvious one I can think of being better than him from my limited viewing 

Mascarita Doraga (El Torito) is the greatest imo.

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Virus was my number 36 in 2016, but I think by 2021 he makes it into the top 30. Part of that is because he's had some stuff since the last poll that has been great, but also because I plan on going back to watch some of the period between 1997, where he had one of the best title matches ever and one of the best trios match ever, and 2011, where he burst back onto the scene with the Guerrero Maya Jr. match and made us all sit up and take notice. He might be my favourite mat worker in lucha history and we have footage of him working ridiculously fast, state-of-the-art ground exchanges with guys like Cicloncito Ramirez as well as slowed down maestro exchanges with Black Terry and Negro Navarro, and pretty much anything else in between. Obviously he has a laundry list of awesome title matches, often against guys who have never had as good a match against anybody else in their lives, but he's also a consistently awesome trios worker and someone over the last 10 years that I'll watch in any setting. I don't knock him for not having a grizzly brawl with blood-drinking and guys hitting reckless topes into the sixth row. He's never been in a position to do that so it's hard to ding someone for it. If he DID have a bunch of matches like that (and I guess there's time for it yet; he's still only a sprightly 52 years of age) then maybe he'd be a top 15 candidate rather than a top 30 candidate...but it is what it is (I'm also not trying to create a strawman here, because I don't think people are actively criticising him or knocking him down the list specifically because he has no wild hair matches). That said, the Fly Star match from 2019 is excellent and in the middle of it we get as close a look at bloody apuesta match Virus as we've probably ever gotten, and I can only surmise based on that portion of that one match that Virus would have been an amazing old school apuestas worker. So top 30 minimum, maybe top 20. Bailiff, take him away.

 

VIRUS YOU SHOULD WATCH:

v Cicloncito Ramirez (CMLL, 1/7/97)

w/El Fierito & Pierrothito v Cicloncito Ramirez, Mascarita Magica & Bracito de Oro (CMLL, 10/3/97)

v Ricky Marvin (CMLL, 12/12/00)

v Guerrero Maya Jr. (CMLL, 6/7/11)

v Blue Panther (CMLL, 5/12/13)

v Guerrero Maya Jr. (CMLL, 10/6/13)

w/Hechicero & Cachorro v Negro Casas, Barbaro Cavernario & Dragon Lee (CMLL, 5/23/14)

v Dragon Lee (CMLL, 4/5/15)

v Metalico (CMLL, 5/31/19)

v Fly Star (Lucha Memes, 6/29/19)

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We have five years to delve into Virus' 00s, especially that 00-10 period that I think is underexamined in general. I put it through the match finder and found that there was actually a hair match he had in 07 vs Tony Rivera that made tape and it's actually online thanks to Cubs. I bet most people haven't seen it, so here it is:

Spoiler

 

I hadn't seen it so I gave it a quick look. I think it bodes well for 07 Virus in general, but it also makes it an absolute shame that we don't have more meaningful singles matches from this period:

This isn't the 23 minutes that the video indicates as there are a bunch of bits hyping up Del Rio included, but past the start of the segunda and tercera, you don't get the sense it was clipped too much. It's good. I think it's especially a good Virus performance. The primera goes way too quickly with an immediate missed dive by Rivera (a pretty nasty one at that, made even worse by the insult to injury of a Kemonito pratfall graphic announcing that it's the primera) overlaid upon it. They accomplish a lot in a minute or two after that, with Virus foreshadowing his facebuster with a failed attempt before hitting it a few moves later so he can lock in a submission. I liked the segunda as it felt fairly unique. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. I haven't seen quite enough mid-card singles matches in 06. The idea was that Rivera would keep kicking Virus off when he tried to put on a submission (or get a roll up) and the disruption of momentum felt like hope spots in a way you rarely get in lucha. It also felt like desperation which, because they weren't exactly bringing the hate, helped create a more proper apuestas feel. Virus' punches looked really good both here and in the tercera, which is not something I usually think about with him. There was also a fairly spectacular spot where he caught Rivera when he was flying in with a lightning-fast whipping arm drag. Throughout, Rivera was definitely game but he wasn't the most graceful guy in the world, even if I thought Virus based well for him, especially on the two dives that did hit. The tercera could have gone another rotation or two (and again we might have missed a bit with the clipping) but the nearfalls were exciting. Virus had an awesome little spot where he hit an armdrag by stepping up from the floor to the apron and then lost the advantage shortly thereafter by gloating too much about it in the ring. The finish had the necessary oomph but also a crystal clear mechanical precision by Virus as he shifted one movement into the next. Overall, you'd want this to bring just a bit more hate given the stakes but it had more weight to it than a title match would have, and it's a really good look at a bridging sort of Virus where had had more athleticism than he'd bring in the 10s but still had the making of a maestro.

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