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Phil Schneider

[2016-08-21-Chilanga Mask] Black Terry vs Wotan

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PAS: Necro Butcher has pretty much disappeared over the last couple of years, and with Nick Gage back in jail there really hasn't been that kind of unhinged bloody slightly dangerous brawler around anymore. Enter in the sixty-three year old Black Terry who is the Necro we have been looking for. Terry has been having a hell of a year bleeding and brawling through a bunch of tiny gyms across Mexico, this weekend he even no showed an Arena Mexico event so he could bleed all over the rocks and dirt at Coliseo Coacalco. Wotan is a DTU guy and is perfectly willing to smash his forehead violently into Terry's he also had a pretty nice tope, and took a hard backdrop on the ground. Terry was a machine in this, hitting backfists, right hands, coconut headbuts. There was one hinky spot where Terry had to hold a chair on top of himself so Wotan could dropkick him, but otherwise everything was pretty flawless. By the end of the match both guys are rolling around in gravel and chairs punching each other in their bloody heads. Gritty violent and awesome.

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This just cuts through all of the tribalism and political-philosophical talk and other shit that often comes with my wrestling fan experience in 2016 and gets back to what it's all about at its core -- two guys beating the piss out of each other. This is something that benefits from the way it's filmed for sure -- up close with no commentary, which makes the aggression and stiffness of the shots stand out even more, and it helps that they wrestle the match in such close proximity to each other too. The match starts at a pretty crazy level of intensity and maintains it for the entire 14+ minutes -- it predictably gets bloody because how can it not when the violence quotient is so high. I'd call this manna from heaven for anyone who enjoyed the Tenryu-Hashimoto series or some of the high-end Lawler slugfests. Even though I have a huge deficit for the year, I can't imagine liking anything more than this for the year. Maybe the best thing I've seen all decade. *****

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I hit the five minute mark on this and was a little worried. Yes, they were chopping the hell out of each other. Yes, they were headbutting one another like billygoats without any abandon. Yes, there was just the tiniest sign of working that made this art and not idiocy of two people hitting each other as hard as they could, like Terry getting rammed into the corner, but I was worried this was going to be one of those matches where two guys kill each other and there's simply nothing to latch on to, a gritty realism and violence, but no narrative, no story, no heart. There's a place for senseless violence, but I so much prefer sensible violence.

 

Then they got in the ring and I had nothing to worry about, because Black Terry, just by the nature of who and what he really is, due to the nature of the limitations of his age and the endless skill that he's garnered over the years, grounded all of this perfectly for me. This is an old warrior, one that doesn't get those plush Friday night bookings, who's been in Arena Mexico wrestling twice in the last five years, who has nothing left but the fight and the adrenaline. That's the only thing that lets him push past the pain of a career of blood and bumps. All he has is the thrill of battle, bouncing from one struggle to the next, one arena to the next. So he goes and challenges the best and the worst, all in their own styles, because he is the old master of a thousand wars, has seen it all, and it only matters if he meets them half way.

 

He has all all of the old tricks (be it pulling an opponent off the apron or what), a gruff seriousness that prevents distraction (and Wotan suffered so much for celebrating in the ring when there was a chair in Terry's hand) and the ability to go over any line, because he'd been over all of them before (just like with that bottle). Wotan is at least twenty years younger, though the mask makes him somewhat unknowable. He's more agile, more physically resilient, more able to snap back from what Terry gives him. He's been the holder of multiple "extreme" titles, and may well represent, in this match, that more hardcore style that permeated into Mexican indies over the last two decades, that are wholly represented in Pagano and all of his localized, and increasingly mainstream star power. And Terry, as only he can, sinks down to that level to meet Wotan down in the gutter but never forgets who he is and all that he's learned, using every bit of it to fight for his life, once again against the odds.

 

I can only think of one other wrestler so versatile, one other who can do so much, so well, and with such visceral meaning, all without foolish human constraints like "age" holding him back, and that's the person we voted as #2 ever in the GWE poll. Amazing spectacle, yes. But heart-pounding and emotionally gripping too. And that is the magic of Black Terry.

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This was a straight up war of attrition. The thing that I really appreciated about this was that the ending brawling sequence in the gravel pit was just as heated and intensified as the first exchange. Terry really sold the pain level he was willing to fight through to dish out punishment. It was an amazing display on his part and really made this match have a gripping feeling of escalation unlike many other matches I have seen. ****1/2

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I'm still in awe of what I've just watched. I don't know where this stands with the other high end matches of the year, Trauma/Canis is the best mascara contra mascara since Villano/Panther, Styles/Reigns the best and most ambitious WWE Heavyweight Championship match maybe ever and Rush/Park is, well Rush/Park. Whatever, this is just rambling, the only thing that matters now is that Terry/Wotan was fantastic.

Black Terry has faced many different opponents, but I don't think I've watched a match where he fought someone like Wotan, some crazy dude that makes a living out of DTU death matches. That's the reason why this contest starts at this level of ridiculous violence, like Matt D stated way better than me, Terry just wants to prove himself against a particular opponent, one that has light tubes broken on his head in every match. Of course, he's able to match every punch, every headbutt, every chair shot that Wotan hits, the violence never stops, only escalates, and neither of them can stop. The culmination of the match is a bit confusing, but the image of both wrestlers rolling on the grave and hitting each other on the face fits perfectly and it's so great.

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Finally got to take a look at this. fuck.... its incredible. I need to watch it one or two more times to really make much sense of it, but it blew me away. The last 30-60 seconds of the action was just another level of brawling. The bloody handprint on Wotan's back was a stunning visual and the finally grapple brawl in the gravel could 100% be them going in on each other for real. I honestly can't tell. It is just fantastic.

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How the hell has this manage to slip by me for the past three years? The majority of this match is two guys slapping the tar out of each other and I'm okay with that. Wotan trash talks Terry mid-brawl and it adds another layer of authenticity. Near enough all the strikes look like the real deal. Terry throws a few blows that don't quite land and Wotan laughs him off. Bad looking strikes are fine as along as no one sells for them. That chair shot Wotan takes to to the head made me wince. Just when you think the match is about to run out of steam, Wotan nails a suicide dive and then eats a back drop to the dirty ringside area before brawling through the crowd. Wotan's mask is ripped open, both men are bloodied, covered in dirt and gravel. This has got to be one of the best brawls of this decade.

★★★★½

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This has to be one of the visually grittiest wrestling matches in history, anywhere ever. There are few things recorded as nasty as that attempted pinfall on the gravel. Obviously the match was incredibly violent with both guys just raining hell on eachother, and the tope in the dirt was just awesome. Still, I thought the match had too many moments where they just moved on from one thing. E.g., after eating a nasty headbutt outside Terry simple shoved Wotan back in the ring and went for his Backcracker. The chair dropkick, while cooperative looking, was a brutal moment, but the only consequence was Terry clogging Wotan with a chair shot of his own. I was just kind of hoping for the match to build to an epic Terry comeback that didn't really happen. Has to be easily in the running for the greatest match ever to involve a 63 year old guy, though.

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