Wednesday, 11 June 2014

I Will Not Finish the 80s Lucha Set Before the World Cup

There's no way it's happening. But I'm still chipping away at it.

Satanico v Gran Cochisse (9/14/84)

In terms of classic lucha title matches I've never loved this as a personal favourite the way I do with Dandy/Casas, Damiancito/Cicloncito or Cota/Rocca (which is a new favourite having only seen it for the first time last year), but it's still an excellent match. The whole match kind of feels like a struggle between two guys that are at the very top of their game on the night, and there's a fair bit of parity with a few stand-offs and stalemates scattered throughout. The early matwork is great, but doesn't last very long. Satanico is a guy that makes everything feel like it's fought for. This is probably one of the best examples of a lucha title match where everything looks like it takes every bit of strength and energy to pull off, especially the longer it goes, and it leads to some of the best milking of holds and escapes I've ever seen. Both guys looks utterly spent in the tercera and it really feels like a fitting climax to such a match. There are a ton of great little bits all the way through - Satanico's escape out of the Gory Special, Cochisse turning down the handshake by kneeing  Satanico in the kidneys, the bit where they're on all fours staring each other out while folk in the crowd "woof," Satanico's neck selling in the tercera, a thousand other things - but there's no point going through all of them because then it's getting into play-by-pay territory. This is just a hell of a match. Probably top 10.

Sangre Chicana v MS-1 (Hair v Hair) (9/21/84)

This isn't their '83 match. That was a Match of Forever Candidate, while this is sort of abbreviated and somehow doesn't have any blood. If you expect something along the lines of the '83 match you'll be disappointed. That said, this is still really fucking good. I was actually surprised at how short it was. Checking how much time had passed after the second caida I was pretty stunned that it was sitting at nine minutes or so, because they manage to make it feel like they've been a war. Chicana has to seriously be considered in any discussion about greatest brawlers in wrestling history at this point. Same goes for greatest punchers. MS-1 jumps him at the bell here like he did the previous year, but this time Chicana actually makes a comeback in the first fall, and he does it with maybe the best punch I've ever seen thrown by a pro-wrestler. MS-1 spends a few minutes trying to choke him to death in the segunda, and this is some of the most violent and graphic looking choking I've seen. It was like Liev Schreiber in the Manchurian Candidate. Third fall is shorter than the first two, but you get a Chicana bullet tope and MS-1 launching himself into the sixth row like a fucking headcase, so how much can you really complain? You want every second of these guys in the ring together.

Villano III v Perro Aguayo (10/7/84)

I think this is the first time I've seen Perro in a title match setting. By the end I was feeling like he's still more suited to straight up bleeding and brawling, but I liked this a bunch, even if it did start getting a bit long in the tooth in the tercera. Early matwork is really cool, and Perro is better on the mat than I figured. Matwork is curbed when Villano suckers him in for a lock-up and dropkicks him flush in the teeth, which looked killer. Perro must do fifteen sentons in this, and they all look like they'd knock the stuffing out of you, but it maybe got a little repetitive the longer it went. His top rope double stomp to win the primera looked fucking sick, though. He tries it again in the tercera and misses, and Villano starts dropkicking both his knees. It doesn't really go anywhere, but it was a cool touch. The back and forth finishing run was good, but they dragged it on a bit and started feeling like a modern day junior heavyweight match where you kinda wish they'd just hurry up and end it already. Then we get a cop out double pin. Go figure. Still, I thought this was real good and it's probably gonna land in my top half.

El Dandy, Franco Colombo & Panico v Javier Cruz, Impacto & Solar II (10/48)

There's a clip job in here somewhere because we only get two falls (and I don't mean one team wins two straight), but I thought this was really good. This is the first Dandy match on the set and he looked great. About thirty seconds in he takes a crazy Randy Savage bump over the top and pretty much never looked back. There's a lot of super fun rudo miscommunication and stooging early with the tecnicos running them in circles. I've never seen Panico before, but he was a fun stooge here. At one point he's walking around the floor, isn't looking where he's going and basically posts himself, which was goofy, but I dug it. Then the rudos snap and make it a gang war, and Dandy is awesome at running around throwing amazing punches. He hits two insane sentons off the top rope where he kind of shifts his body sideways, so instead of landing on the flat of his back he's basically driving his hip bone into their chest. At a few points one of the tecnicos will come in and look to the crowd like "should I punch him?", but the rudos never leave them standing long enough to hear the answer, so eventually they drop that shit and just punch them like they should've all along. Last few minutes are pretty great, and Cruz hitting an electric chair drop off the middle rope was fucking lunacy. Dandy sells it post-match like he might actually be dead. This all sort of felt like it was building to the Dandy/Cruz hair match, and it got me excited about re-watching it for the first time in about six years.

Satanico v Super Astro (10/26/84)

Man, I thought this was fucking great. Satanico is on the short-list for best brawlers in wrestling history, so I knew what to expect from him here, but I thought Astro was really fun as well. He takes a bunch of cool bumps and his leaping headbutts all connect with sternum or cheekbone. For most of the first two falls it's really bully Satanico beating on tubby kid Astro for lunch money. Then when tubby kid Astro doesn't give him lunch money bully Satanico just brutalises him. He's even more vicious in the segunda after dropping the first fall, chewing on Astro's forehead, throwing godly punches, and there's this amazing bit where he's ramming Astro's head into the bottom turnbuckle while Astro lies there like a corpse. Third caida is awesome. Satanico is one of the best "tastes his own blood" wrestlers ever. Astro splits him open and Satanico wipes his hand across his head, looks at the blood on his palm and just launches himself at Astro like he's trying to honest to goodness murder him. They're both on their knees and Satanico cracks him with a punch, so Astro reels back until his upper body is flat on the mat, then springs back up and forward with a headbutt to the chest. I don't remember seeing anybody do that before and it was awesome. Finish is great as well, with Astro's cradle off the rana looking as tight as I've ever seen it. All this needed to really fire it into the stratosphere was a Super Astro tope. I'll be a high voter on this for sure, but right now I've got it top 5.

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