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[1993-06-18-AAA] Lizmark vs Jerry Estrada

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This is a hell of a match indeed, with a terrific Lizmark performance for the first fall and Estrada stepping up his game in the third. The psychology surrounding the Tirabuzon submission is great--Lizmark outwrestles Estrada at every turn, but Estrada seems to have one submission in his holster that Lizmark doesn't have an answer for. After tapping him to win the second fall the third fall is about Lizmark trying to escape being put in that hold again. I think I have the 2/14 trios match as the current Lucha MOTY but this is a solid #2.

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Like so many standalone lucha bouts, it was tough for me to get into this. I could see that the match was being worked well, but I had no real emotional investment in it one way ord the other. On the Yearbooks, you at least see the matches in some sort of context, even if it's incomplete.

 

This bout has two things you rarely, if ever, see here in the States: 1) All three falls in a best-of-three match end via submission and 2) The abdominal stretch actually causes Estrada to submit. I'm so used to most announcers here talking about how X wrestler would never submit to an abdominal stretch because Y wrestler has applied it so poorly. Estrada not only submitted to the hold once Lizmark applied it, but he did so pretty quickly.

 

Who were the seconds for each man? I thought I heard something about a Brazo in Lizmark's corner, but the guy in the red mask looked nothing like one of them. I didn't recognize Estrada's second either.

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A high quality match that benefitted from a sound structural base. Simple and effective. Some lovely technical work in the primera, with the style handing Lizmark the advantage. The villainous Estrada fought back by roughhousing and bending the rules to breaking point. I appreciated how they gave the title match format a certain rudo twist whilst still maintaining its sanctity. There was a brief lull in the middle stages. They then went back and forth in an exciting stretch that wasn't overdone. They got the balance just right and told a good story. I loved Lizzie's jump for joy after winning an exciting contest.

 

Jerry was a talented worker when not stoned, radiating sleaze. Lizmark was the pure and noble tecnico. I don't know if he was still Doña Vicky's favourite boy, but he did show lovely form on his dives and was scientifically rock solid. Both men were as good as I've seen them.

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Title match Jerry Estrada is such a different animal from apuestas Jerry Estrada. It's sort of strange watching him run the ropes and not fall over because he's guttered. Maybe he goes on a detox in the lead up to a title match. Depending on the day you ask me he might be one of my ten favourite wrestlers ever so to me this match will always be about him, but I really did think he was excellent in it. Rudo starting out sportingly before losing his cool and embracing his true nature isn't a particularly complex or uncommon story for a wrestler to tell. Ric Flair stopped by every territory to wrestle every young babyface challenger there was and told that very story a hundred times. But it's not one I'd seen Jerry Estrada tell before. The primera doesn't have the sharpest or most interesting matwork. It certainly isn't flashy, but I enjoyed the struggle well enough. What it was most notable for was how Lizmark had the clear beating of Estrada. It didn't much matter what Jerry did, Lizmark was the champion for a reason and he had an answer for everything. I thought the segunda was a little abrupt even by the standards of short second falls in a lucha title match, but it did give us that moment where Estrada decided he was done playing nice. He started the match with a handshake and a round of applause for the champ, but it got him nowhere. His reaction after Lizmarkk submitted to the Media Cerrajera basically told you there'll be less respect and more aggression going forward. He even ditched the hairband, and if that's not a sign of what was to come then I don't know what is. The third caida was where they really ramped up the drama. Jerry had dropped the pretense of sportsmanship and roughed Lizmark up, much like Flair might have after he'd tired of breaking clean and started digging people in the ribs instead. He also knew the Media Cerrajera was his ticket and he kept going back to it. Both of the big dives looked great and by the end they'd managed to capture that sense that one mistake was all the other guy needed. And in the post-match, unlike Flair, Estrada even managed to show a little grace. Maybe he's not such a scumbag after all.

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