Satanico v Atlantis (1984)
Basically the Satanico show, and a hell of a show it was. Atlantis is fine enough here, but it's Satanico that makes just about everything. At points Atlantis looks...not lost, but he'll take Satanico down and rather than follow up on it he'll kind of look to the crowd for approval and pump his fists like he's about to take care of shit. It's "getting fired up," but then he never actually, like, gets fired up. On the flipside, Satanico just revels in the fact he's being booed and hissed at for brutalising a rookie. He needs no one's approval. There's one great visual of him slicking his hair back with an amazing no-fucks-given grin while everybody around him jeers. I mean, god damn is Satanico good at the pro-wrestling. He spends the first caida bumping and rolling around, then in the segunda he fights out of an octopus stretch by elbowing Atlantis in the balls, and from that point on it becomes a shitkicking. Then it becomes a massacre. He tears Atlantis' mask, bites him in the head, spits his blood; just smashes the living shit out of him, and like a true sadist, clearly loves what he's doing. When Atlantis makes his comeback he bites Satanico right back (as in, literally bites him right back), and it looks like Satanico blades straight after it, which was pretty cool in a morbid sort of way. Usually the blading comes after a post shot or something, then comes the forehead biting. This time it was the forehead biting that drew blood in the first place. Satanico continues to rule it into the post-match, feigning a show of respect before punching Atlantis in the chin. This was really great, and it's pretty much all because of Satanico.
Mocho Cota v Americo Rocca (1/27/84)
So Manuel Cota only has three fingers on his right hand (hence, Mocho/Cripple...yeah). I don't know what happened to them, but I like to think he lost them fighting a bear. I also like to think that bear later became a rug in his living room. Cota was incredible in this, and I thought it was a truly outstanding match. I could see non-lucha fans digging it a bunch as well, because it has plenty of American/Japanese wrestling aspects to it. First caida matwork was awesome, everything fought for and rugged and gritty. It's still very "lucha," but I can't see someone that ordinarily doesn't like lucha matwork complaining about holds being given up too easily or any of it feeling cooperative. The close-ups of Cota are really cool, because you always see him grimacing or visibly straining to gain position. Second caida is where things become a bit more "American." Cota zeroes in on Rocca's arm, and it becomes a focus of the rest of the match. It's rare that that's the case in lucha, which is another thing that sometimes turns people off ("the limb work never went anywhere"), but Cota really goes after it and Rocca sells it like it means something. Cota takes him down in really nasty ways, like kind of headbutting him in the shoulder while driving him to the mat, then he twists and pulls the arm like he's trying to take it home with him. Rocca basically gets no offence in the second caida. Cota fucks him up good and proper, and the submission at the end had me thinking "what the fuck even WAS that?" Third fall keeps building and building, but Cota still goes after the arm when he gets the chance. His second also starts running subtle distraction spots so Cota can half choke Rocca, and as the match goes on the more obvious the cheating becomes. Cota fucking nukes Rocca in the face with a dropkick and I can't even tell you how glorious this dropkick was. Then he nukes him again with a tope and Rocca flies like fourteen miles up the ramp. It gets to a point where Cota is becoming frustrated at not being able to put Rocca away no matter what he tries, so when the ref' gets bumped you have a pretty good idea of what's coming. Finish isn't actually as blatant a screwjob as I was expecting, and I actually liked it a lot given how relatively subtle it was. Post-match isn't quit near-riot material, but the crowd are not happy one bit. Which means we get a rematch, which means I'm a happy boozehound. Seriously, this was tremendous, and even this soon into the set it feels like a top 20 lock.