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[2001-09-28-CMLL-68th Anniversary Show] Satanico & Averno & Mephisto vs Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero & Tarzan Boy & Mascara Magica (Steel Cage Match)

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Here we go. We get the full show on PPV this year, which I'm pretty sure we didn't get the year before because of the Olympics. This feud has been going on for the better part of 18 months if you include the Tarzan Boy vs. Satanico feud. I can't say I've always loved it. I'm not sure if long term storytelling is one of lucha's strengths. Lucha seems to work best when there's three weeks worth of trios matches and then an apuestas. There are exceptions to the rule like the payoff to Rayo vs. Caras, but this Satanico vs. Ultimo feud went through many peaks and troughs. The good news is that the blow off match is excellent. It's an elimination cage match where the last two participants are forced to have an apuestas match. The elimination part is worked like the brawl on the go home show and resembles the elimination parts of a three or four way apuestas match. Ultimo's guys do a number on Averno, tying his mask to the ropes and beating him until he bleeds. Satanico heroically lets him escape the cage, forcing himself into an apuestas match up. The added stakes are that whoever wins gets to keep the "Infernales" name. I dare say that means more to Satanico than his hair at this point, as he wrestles with more intensity and passion than we've seen from him in a long time. He ends up facing Mascara Magica, who is the lowest ranked member of his side and the most obvious candidate to lose his mask. Satanico still treats it like it's life and death, and the crowd is into it as well with plenty of shots of concerned onlookers. Satanico is one of the all-time great apuestas match workers, and he comes through like you'd expect, but it was actually quite an emotional moment. Not because there was an unmasking but because of how much it meant to Satanico. It was probably the most emotional moment in lucha since Villano unmasked, and I'd have to say it's the best CMLL match since that mask match. I think this might be the last great Satanico match. If so, he went out on a high.

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  • 1 month later...

This was the blowoff to the Satanico vs. Ultimo Guerrero feud with the winner getting to keep the ‘Infernales’ title. The stipulation was Infierno en el Ring, a steel cage with escape only rules until the final two wrestlers, who then had to compete in an apuestas. The rudos used the numbers advantage to their favor and rapidly ambushed Satanico and friends. But they got greedy and tried to escape earlier than was permitted, allowing a technico fightback. The technico’s made a similar mistake, leading to a more even back half. Eventually, guys like Tarzan Boy and Bucanero began to abandon ship to save their own hair, which was in superb contrast to Satanico’s altruism when he aborted his own escape to instead facilitate Averno’s. It boiled down to Satanico’s hair vs. Magica’s mask with Magica’s rudo tactics not being enough to save his mask and Satanico prevailing. The action was a bit pedestrian, though some intense, hateful brawling made up for it. But Satanico’s journey and triumph was definitely the main story here. ****1/4

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  • 5 months later...

It’s quite magnificent, really. El Satanico is not only one of the greatest rudos in history (this includes outside of Mexico, too) but he also showed that he is tremendous in the tecnico role as well. Obviously it’s easy to come across as a great ace if the booking allows it - and I’d certainly say that allowing your partner to escape when you had the chance, taking the responsibility of potentially losing your hair is definitely one of those things - but the drama and emotion that he emits really adds conviction to the booking angles in the match and the overall storytelling. The match plays wonderfully. Los Guerreros del Infierno attacked early on, using the 4 on 3 advantage to overwhelm their opponents and control the bout. Their teamwork is great and allows for a really hot start. Los Infernales makes a comeback but it is always knocked back down to the defensive. However, the rudos are scumbags at heart. The first chance they get, they descend into selfish actions with Tarzan Boy and Rey Bucanero deciding to flee and escape the cage, all while leaving their teammates to a 3 on 2 disadvantage. Then comes the other pivotal moment in the match where Satanico is making his escape before looking back at Averno and seeing him struggle to hold Magica, who is climbing the cage, then deciding to help Averno out and taking responsibility. Thus we have the final two in the Apuestas match - Mascara Magica and El Satánico. This is where Satanico shined with his performance. It felt like a really important moment in his long career and one last gasp on keeping that. And the crowd pop that erupted from Arena Mexico when he got the 3 off the figure four pin was just amazing. ****1/2

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