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Black Terry


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I haven't seen very much from post-'90s Mexico, which means that my thoughts on Black Terry basically end with his run in los Guerreros del Futuro. Let's see how long it takes me to form an opinion of him.

Black Terry vs Mr. Condor, December 5 2021
This looked like the most incredible thing ever from the start. Not just the hard shots but the scenic backdrop, the camera angles and the fans within arm's reach cheering on Black Terry. Eventually it became clear that they didn't have a whole lot else to offer beyond stiffness and the match wasn't building anywhere. Also the fans started chanting this is wrestling and the promotion's name, which served as a reminder that even in that grungy environment this was still just another indy wrestling show. I loved the finish, though. You can hound a man to the ends of the Earth, blast him with bottles and windshields only for him to break free and come back at you, but there is nothing in professional wrestling as inescapable as a double pin.

Black Terry vs Wotan, August 21 2016
I'm not a big fan of guys legitimately tearing into each other or brawling for brawling's sake, but I still had to admit that this was something special. It kept the brawling atmosphere and energy of that last match while including things like counters and wrestling moves, and bigger spots as the match progressed, which made it a brawling match rather than a fight that happened to take place by a wrestling ring. The way that they sold was much more conducive to wrestling as well. The wrestling moves that they did do, like the tope into the chairs or the backdrop on the ground, actually helped to make the match seem like a crazy war instead of keeping it tethered to the conventions of wrestling. And although I liked how incongruous the finish of the Condor match was, it can't really compare to the guys getting counted out while rolling around on some rocks amongst the fans.

Black Terry, Jose Luis Feliciano and Shu el Guerrero vs Kato Kung Lee, Kendo and Black Man II (early 2000s?)
I don't know when this is from. The VQ, the state of everyone involved, and the existence of Black Man II made me think early 2000s. This was more my style. It's not a great match like Black Terry vs Wotan, but I'll take rudos embarrassing themselves any day. Everyone looked good, which really said something. Kato is one of my main men, but even I didn't think he had it in him to look even passable at age 50, regardless of who his opponent was. You could probably count on one or two hands the number of CMLL matches in which he looked this good. Terry didn't stand out as better than his teammates but still impressed, in a completely different way from what he was doing in the next decade.

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Well, I doubt I'll be able to make as substantial a contribution to this thread as that. Cool find.

Black Terry vs Multifacetico, April 17 2008
It's striking how differently Terry worked just eight years before the big match with Wotan. I'm not knocking that match, but this one had the things that I want to see from wrestling. Built up comebacks, holds, stakes, shifts in the tenor of the match. Terry looked like he owned the place for almost two falls, and he didn't have any interest in proving his toughness. Instead he was just out to destroy the young tecnico, so even if everything looked just as good and just as violent as his brawl with Wotan, it was all a lot more interesting here. Multifacetico couldn't kick ass like that, but he was great as the young kid who was doing all that he could even though he was in over his head. He kept trying to fight back and even when he finally broke through he never stopped selling. By the third fall Terry had a bandage around his ribs and no longer looked like he had the match on a string. I don't know if I'd rank this above the Wotan match though, because they tried, and I mean they really tried to undo everything they'd accomplished with just about the worst stretch of spots imaginable at the end. Tecnico interference? A ref bump in a mask match? The tecnico giving up while the ref was out? Not even a visual pinfall, but straight up surrender. And then a weak small package pinfall. Somehow all of this seemed to get the crowd on Multifacetico's side, though, so what do I know? I'll still call it great, because this was REALLY great for over twenty minutes, but this could've been a classic.

BT and Dr. Cerebro vs Hijo del Diablo and Gringo Loco, January 24 2010
This was worked like a classic brawl, with bleeding wrestlers crashing over the barrier and the fans willing Terry and Cerebro to a comeback. Terry's attempts to fight back looked great, especially that headbutt. Overall the match was too frontloaded, as the first fall saw Terry's team get beaten up, make their comeback, and then lose. There wasn't anywhere to go for the second fall, except for bringing a cactus into the ring I guess.

Black Terry vs Aero Boy, March 18 2016
It looked like I was going to get my first taste of old man Terry's technical skills, but pretty soon Terry was taking a seat in the center of the ring and daring Aero Boy to kick him as hard as he could, with Aero Boy then doing the same and giving Terry a crack at it. Not interested in that macho shit. I want to see guys clawing for every advantage they can get. And on top of that "Ladies and Gentlemen" by Saliva was on repeat in the background. This got an early exit from me. There are some things you just can't come back from.

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Black Terry vs Aero Boy, April 27 2014
I liked the idea for this match, with things starting out on the mat before Aero Boy got frustrated and turned it into a brawl. In the US that's a pretty standard layout but you don't see it much in Mexico, which made it feel novel here. I didn't think that the brawling part lasted long enough, instead transitioning fairly quickly into a finishing stretch that took up about half the match. There was a lot to like, though. The technical stuff at the start was very good, and even if the match's final act lasted too long it never felt excessive. A couple of times Terry got the fans to chant his name just by kicking out of a pin in a certain way. You don't see a lot of wrestlers who can control a crowd like that.

Black Terry vs Aero Boy, June 10 2016
Mask vs hair match in a small, dark arena in Hidalgo, about as good as the Multifacetico match. I liked that one more, but in this one they actually did a good job of making the winner's victory a real triumph, so it evens out. There were some things that felt off, like the strangely timed tope in the first couple of minutes and Aero Boy's tortured sell of that armbreaker only for Terry to just release the hold. When you get the big picture right I can overlook that stuff. They did a much better job measuring out the near falls than in the 2014 match, mixing in brawling and desperation spots rather than just trading. Terry really has a lot of confidence in himself as a performer. His selling and acting are never big, but he never seems to have any trouble getting things across to the fans. That's impressive to me. After the match Aero Boy showed his respect for Terry, calling him a great wrestler and an even better person, high praise for someone who was jabbing you with a fork a few minutes earlier.

BT, Cerebro Negro and Dr. Cerebro vs Trauma I, Trauma II and Ultraman Jr, October 29 2009
Man, I could not get into the exchanges between the Traumas and Terry/Cerebro Negro. Lots of skill on display, but for me the excitement of watching mat wrestling isn't just in elegant technique but in the creativity of counters and the struggle in attempts to get out. This was the equivalent of Black Terry and Aero Boy taking turns sitting down and letting the other guy lay in a wicked kick, or a boxing match with the guys just sticking their chin out so that the other guy can punch it. Terry's technical work against Aero Boy was better. Things got better after that, but there were still some indyish moves like a seated cutter and a fisherman's swinging neckbreaker, and besides that I just had a hard time caring after that first fall. I will say that it was great to see Dr. Cerebro work. I've only seen his early 2000s stuff, and here he reminded me of Espanto Jr, another effortlessly smooth rudo. Terry coming out to John Cena's intro music was the first time I've seen him do something that was outright dorky, which I guess is not bad nine matches in.

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  • 3 weeks later...

BT, Cerebro Negro and Dr. Cerebro vs Negro Navarro, Trauma I and Trauma II, April 23 2009
I liked this more than the previous Cerebros match, just for the part when Navarro was shrugging his way through some holds and then Dr. Cerebro ran in and started beating the shit out of him. Then in the third he had a technical exchange with one of the Traumas that blew away anything from the first fall. It still had plenty of nice brawling from Terry and Navarro, and Navarro surprised me with his smooth armdrags.The rudos kind of gave the match back to the tecnicos in the second fall, starting off with a simple one on one matchup that rudo teams generally strive to avoid and end up losing. These Cerebros matches have been a better showcase for Dr. Cerebro than for Terry, but it was good.

Black Terry vs Fantasma de la Opera, December 2 2007
Black Terry vs the Phantom of the Opera! It sounds like a Santo inspired film rather than a welterweight title match. With title matches, sometimes the workers will have grand plans to put on a classic display of skill and intensity, and sometimes they'll just try to get through it without a hitch. This was definitely the latter. Fantasma didn't seem to have much in the way of counters for Terry's opening fall holds, and that's the part of the match that's supposed to set the tone. He did surprise me with that moonsault miss. I was sure that he was just going up to get knocked off. Another terrible IWRG finish capped off an okay match.

BT, Jose Luis Feliciano and Shu el Guerrero vs Danny Boy, Lasser and Robin Hood, 1989
This appears to have been a title match for the national belts. The nature of the match meant that the rudos were just as likely to win a pure technical exchange as the tecnicos, and I was impressed with how they were able to still work momentum swings and a tecnico comeback into that format. Danny Boy had to finally break through Shu's holds at the start of the second fall for the Arqueros to get back into things. Lasser fired up the crowd with some beautiful armdrags in the third, and then we got a series of dives. They weren't able to top the first one right at the camera, though. In the end it was the rudos who came back from a three on two deficit to take the match, another way that they deviated from the usual rudo-tecnico delineation. Terry was very good if not a standout from his teammates, even throwing a 1989 fisherman's suplex. It had to be frustrating to be a small man with a move like that in his pocket that he couldn't really use on any of the bigger guys. I don't know where this ranks among the best six man title matches, but it's up there, and easily the best of the ones I watched tonight.

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  • 4 weeks later...

BT, Black Fish and Veneno vs Solar, Multifacetico and Pantera, March 13 2008
I watched this thinking that it was part of the Terry vs Multifacetico feud, but the matchups were Terry vs Pantera, Multi vs Black Fish and Solar vs Veneno. There were some fun moments to pick out. I liked how Pantera looked like a stockier Huracan Sevilla. He seemed more charismatic than in his athletic peak. Some guy ran in for the DQ. The announcers didn't know who he was and neither do I. But he wasn't in street clothes, he was in his wrestling tights. Forgettable.

BT, Dr. Cerebro and Cerebro Negro vs Gallego, Angel Mortal and Espectro, November 14 2010
The rudos did a really good job with their fall. Nothing super violent or dramatic, just taking apart their opponents one by one. I don't think the Cerebros' response was all that great, and IWRG finishes continue to suck ass. If you're building to a Terry vs Gallego hair match just have Gallego outwrestle him here and do some taunting. Terry threw some right hands that were good enough to get slow motion replays, but I'm gradually realizing that I prefer watching Dr. Cerebro work.

BT, Dr. Cerebro and Cerebro Negro vs Bombero Infernal, Maldito Jr. and Samot, October 14 2010
This was one of those awesome brawls where something interesting was happening on the screen at all times, no matter who the camera cut to. They'd go from Cerebro Negro staggering around outside the ring to Bombero Infernal getting yelled at by a little girl, who later tried to inspire a comeback and start a "Terry!" chant as Bombero beat him up in front of her. It was those reactions by the Cerebros that really sold this. I liked the Malditos' work, they seemed like a conducive unit, but I could have easily written it off as slick, spot heavy CMLL-esque rudo offense if not for the shots of the Cerebros outside the ring, Terry especially. He mastered the raring to fight but in too much pain to go for it look. When it was time, the Cerebros kicked some ass, leaving various Malditos lying on the floor, and the Dr. made sure to talk shit after taking out Bombero to even the match. Going from that to more traditional rope running exchanges was an interesting choice, but they made it work with things like Dr. Cerebro outwrestling Bombero and then kicking him hard out to the floor. Look at those armdrags by Terry! Why didn't he ever do anything that cool as Guerrero Maya? It wasn't a perfect match. Bombero seemed to forget how to apply the hold that he ended the first fall with. The Malditos had the match won but picked the guy up before three. The finish was another IWRG special. But give me a good enough match around those things and they barely register.

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  • 2 weeks later...

BT, Dr. Cerebro and Cerebro Negro vs Bombero Infernal, Maldito Jr. and Samot, June 24 2010
Captain's hair match, with Bombero and Dr. Cerebro putting their hair on the line. This wasn't as intense as the match from October that I liked. It should have been, with the higher stakes and all, but it wasn't. I didn't have any issue with how either team approached the match. The Malditos triple teamed the Cerebros and gave them plenty of spots where they could flail and lunge at their attackers to no avail. I'm always a sucker for the spot where the guy who's being held back spits at the guy who's about to hit him. The Cerebros came back and got their licks in before the match came down to the captains in the third fall. None of it was bad, but it neither Bombero Infernal nor Dr. Cerebro contributed a real spotlight performance. One thing I didn't like was how the Cerebros' comeback started on a headscissors counter by Cerebro Negro. It was a slick spot but out of place in a match like this. At least they didn't overbook the finish.

BT, Negro Navarro and Villano IV vs Ultimo Dragon, Blue Panther and Olimpico, April 24 2010
I liked this a lot more than the other technically based matches I've watched for this. The masturbatory holds/releases between Panther and Navarro were boring, but they made up for it with their submission battle in the third fall, and everything else was good. Panther looked excellent here, even working off the ropes, which I've never seen as a strong point for him. Terry was matched up with Olimpico, and they weren't as proficient as Panther and Navarro but they could probably have had a good title match together. It was actually the best I've seen Terry look on the mat, and it's not like Olimpico is some legendary technical wrestler. Dragon fit in better than I expected even if he mostly stuck to Ultimo Dragon spots.

Black Terry vs Tony Rivera, April 6 2014
I think of Tony Rivera as the young guy in late '90s CMLL working as an unmasked tecnico at a time when that was rapidly falling out of fashion. He got put in a lot of matches with the good workers, but they didn't give him much of a push beyond that. I was excited to see what he was like as an over the hill rudo, which apparently involved him heading a Cd. Neza based faction even though Luchawiki lists him as being from Tijuana. Anyway, the match was mostly Attitude Era brawling and seconds interfering. Rivera spat in Terry's face a couple of times but it didn't elicit much in the way of payback. Nowhere near the level of Terry's indy matches from a couple of years later.

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  • 3 weeks later...

BT, Dr. Cerebro and Bombero Infernal vs Oficial 911, Oficial AK-47 and Apolo Estrada Jr. December 5 2013
It's probably premature of me to say this, but the older, tshirt wearing Black Terry carried himself like a bigger star than the one I've been watching from 2008-10. He was the man to watch in this one, from his dogged attempts to fight back in the first fall to his Super Astro ropespin armdrag in the second. It didn't feel like he tried to steal the show, and even if he did you could hardly blame him. The main issue between Dr. Cerebro and Apolo Estrada never felt more intense than everything happening around it. Estrada wasn't violent enough or prickish enough to set the stage for the doctor's comeback, and when it did happen it started in between falls, which was a strange choice of timing. This would have been completely forgettable if not for Terry's performance.

BT, Dr. Cerebro and Cerebro Negro vs Negro Navarro, Trauma I and Trauma II, April 16 2009
When I saw that these teams had a title match as part of their feud I figured that maybe they'd wrestle a bit more seriously on the mat. Instead it was more of the same, a LOT more of the same. I can't understand how anyone could think that putting on a hold and quickly letting it go, like you're demonstrating your proficiency to get your wrestling license from the commission, is more captivating than digging and searching for the counter that turns the tables. The few times that Dr. Cerebro actually found a way out of the complex holds that he was trapped in were more exciting than anything else from this match, but even he got sucked into the Navarros' bullshit. I started skimming through other tabs on my browser while waiting for the match to go anywhere, and eventually when they were twenty-two minutes in (out of thirty-five) and still playing the same game I had to give it up.

BT, Dr. Cerebro and Cerebro Negro vs Barba Roja, Pirata Morgan Jr. and Hijo de Pirata Morgan, August 27 2009
Another match for the Mexico state titles. A Pirata Morgan themed team is obviously not going to have the technical skill of one inspired and captained by Negro Navarro, but they wrestled more earnestly and consequently I never lost patience with them. The Cerebros tried to find ways to make this a compelling match, with Terry working an arm injury in the first fall (maybe to give Barba Roja something to focus on?) and then turning things into more of a fight between the second and third. It didn't totally work, and the match came apart a little bit in the third, but it was fine overall. This was the first time that I thought that Cerebro Negro gave the best performance on the Cerebros, for whatever that's worth.

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