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[2001-03-01-IWRG] Dr Cerebro vs El Hijo del Santo (Mask vs Mask)

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All right, it's time for the mask vs mask match. Dr. Cerebro is one of my favourite gimmicks in Mexico around this time. Personally, I think it was too soon for him to lose his mask. I suppose if you're going to lose your mask, you might as well lose it to a legend of the business, however I do wonder if it would have been better for him to lose it to someone whom he was in a long, bitter rivalry instead of a star who came in and  did a couple of dates. I guess that's all water under the bridge but I can't help but lament the fact that Cerebro lost. 

The first fall was interesting. Normally, you'd expect Cerebro to attack Santo on his way to the ring and ram his head into the ring post and bust him open. Instead, they worked a scientific fall. But it was a gritty, edgy fall with both guys working hard to get an opening. And they didn't rush it either. it was much better than the sloppy fall they worked in the mano a mano bout. Cerebro wound up taking the fall with one of those surreal submission holds that are only plausible in lucha. It was a tremendous confidence booster for Cerebro to take the opening fall and he took plenty of momentum into the second caida. For a moment, it almost seemed like an upset was possible. I didn't love Santo's transition back onto offense. It was a simple kick to the back to break a hold and a straight switch onto offense with too much spring in his step. I expect more from a worker of Santo's calibre. What I did like is how they didn't just end the fall with a quick camel clutch. Cerebro managed to counter the submission and fight his way back into the match. People often complain that the falls come too easily in lucha and for the most part that's a valid criticism. But there was nothing easy about this. Santo had to work for this one. The eventual combo that won him the fall was a huge step up from the easy out that the earlier camel clutch would've brought.

The third fall was all right. It paled in comparison to the third fall from their mano a mano bout, which was some of the most dramatic wrestling we've seen all year. Both guys tried to deliver a big knock out blow and Santo made sure he got all his signature stuff in. Some of the transitions were soft and Cerebro veered away from his natural game by trying to do too much high flying stuff, but they were trying to deliver something spectacular (and thereby memorable) even in a tiny setting. The finish wasn't really signature Santo. I think it was meant to expose the folly of Cerebro trying to win with a top rope move. With a better tercera, this would have been a MOTYC for sure. As it stands, it's still in the upper echelon of lucha matches for 2001, and let's be honest, lucha is the only style that's really delivering at present. 

After the bout, Cerebro and Santo were full of praise for each other and then suddenly Cerebro's second bounced on him. That's something I don't think I've ever seen before -- a second who's so pissed at his man losing that he starts attacking him. I don't think anything came of this. I think it was just an angle to jumpstart a tecnico turn. But it was pretty cool. Paramedico was pissed. Cerebro had clearly let down the fraternity of evil medical staff.

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Whoever did the on-screen graphics for ESPN seems to have been confused. It looks like it was Cirujano who was Cerebro's second, not Paramedico. And Cerebro and Cirujano do have a feud, after all, culminating in a title shot for Cerebro's welterweight belt. 

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