El Canek v Don Corleone (2/14/82)
Frasier is the ref' again. This
was alright, but I thought it was definitely the weakest of the four
matches so far. It's the kind of thing I guess I could see non-lucha
fans liking more than folks that naturally enjoy lucha, because it's
worked more like an old-school NWA title match than a lucha title match.
If you do enjoy lucha then this might not do a ton for you. People that
just don't get much out of lucha would maybe rank this relatively high
on the ballot. People that do like lucha probably won't rank it very
high at all. So, like, there's that. But even then this isn't a great
example of an old-school NWA title match, and if you don't enjoy lucha
then why would you be watching the set in the first place? so maybe I'll
just move on already. Prevailing opinion here seems to be that Corleone
was the better guy in the match, while Canek outright sucked. I agree
with the former, but I didn't really think Canek was terrible. There was
a cool bit where Corleone has him in a sort of chinlock, so Canek
reaches up and starts twisting Corleone's head in almost a neck vice, so
Corleone drops the point of his elbow on Canek's trapezius. Corleone's
tope in the tercera looked real good. I came out of this thinking, "Man,
El Canek's mask was super swank." I came out of the set opener
thinking, "Man, that was fucking great. Plus Perro's boots were
tremendous." I guess that when someone's ring gear is the FIRST thing
you think of upon reflection on a match...
Tatsumi Fujinami v El Canek (6/12/83)
Same vein as the last match, in that it felt less like a lucha title match than a 70s NWA title match. Honestly, if I'd muted this and blatantly ignored the fact everybody in the crowd are Hispanic, I'd have figured this was something off the New Japan set rather than the lucha set. Match never did a ton for me. Canek does these weird flying forearm things that are more like diving elbow drops, but they're done to a standing opponent rather than an opponent lying on the canvas. They look kind of cool in a reckless sort of way, but I'm not sure he doesn't do them because he's just not very good. It's like he's a character in a Smackdown! game (or a WWE 2k game now, I guess) where the elbow drop button's been pressed, and that's the move that's being done whether the other character gets back to his feet or not. The command has been made; there's no coming back. Ref' bump in the tercera was actually pretty great and I wasn't expecting it at all. Shitty finish...wasn't pretty great. Both Canek matches are basically interchangeable as my current barrel-scraper.
Kevin von Erich, Mascara Ano 2000 & Halcon Ortiz v Coloso Colosetti, Pirata Morgan & Herodes (9/23/83)
Kevin Von Erich being in this match gives it a WAR point for its sheer randomness. He clearly isn't used to this style and there are some points where he kind of takes a step back like, "well shit, this ain't Texas." But he holds up his end fine and he has these amazingly stiff and reckless elbow drops. Plus his barefoot hillbilly crossbody looked great. Kevin's unfamiliarity aside, this was the closest thing to "traditional lucha" on the set so far. That and the fact it came after two matches that never did a ton for me (nor did they "feel" like lucha) probably helped it, but I really dug this a bunch. Herodes is such a great portly rudo asskicker here, throwing some wild looking punches and eating a crazy KVE elbow drop in the guts. Pretty sure he sells it over the course of two falls as well. Pirata Morgan does what Pirata Morgan does and almost dies at least two times. His first bump to the floor was probably the craziest of his two big bumps in the match, but his second looked the more likely to smash his tail bone into a million pieces, even if the fall wasn't from as great a height. I don't think I've seen Halcon Ortiz before, but I was into all of his exchanges. There's a great bit where Colosetti keeps charging him only to be armdragged to the mat time after time, so eventually he just throws his hands up and walks away. "Aw fuck it, what's the point?" I'd say this is close to being my working #1 to this point, but the next match is Chicana/MS-1 and there's but a handful of matches in wrestling history that are fucking with that match, so right now anything else is simply a place holder.