Tuesday, May 18, 2010

DVDVR Top 20 Lucha Matches of the 90's - #15-11

15) Blue Panther vs. Love Machine (AAA 4/3/92 – Mask vs. Mask) - 7
14) Javier Cruz vs. Ciclon Ramirez (EMLL 6/10/94 - Hair vs. Hair) - 7
13) Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Juventud Guerrera (Tijuana - 3/16/96) - 5
12) Juventud Guerrera vs. Rey Misterio, Jr. (AAA 6/16/95 - WWA Lightweight Title) - 6
11) Chris Benoit vs. Villano III (UWA 1/26/92 - 19th Anniversary Show) - 6

Panther and Machine was heated, had the building sold out, and became the stuff of legend as Machine got disqualified (and subsequently unmasked) for using the illegal "Martinete" (form of piledriver). While the match isn't very long so doesn't have a traditional build, as soon as it starts it boils over with hatred and you can't look away. I've seen some pretty gnarly ringpost shots in my life (Nigel, and recently Batista) but this match is full of multiple sickening head-first rams into the ring post that are jaw-dropping. I gave it a "7" as it's really good for what we get and the angle and significance warrant the extra love.

Rest of this batch was quite fun, loved the Cruz vs. Ramirez war, plenty of insane dives, blood, and palpable drama. For some reason it reminded be of the Cactus Jack vs. Triple H war, although Hunter can't sell even remotely as good as either of those two. Two Juvie vs. Rey bouts, I'd seen the first before, static shot from the nosebleed seats but the action keeps you engaged. The first bout suffered from bad pacing (big spot, pause, big spot) and a horrendous third caida where over a dozen people got involved including Halloween and Konan. The second bout was new to my eyes and superior, better story (Guerrera gets a quick pin early to put the pressure on), and payoff.

Benoit and Villano was fun, too; interesting seeing Chris down in Mexico, and while the first caida felt like these two were doing this match on WCW Saturday Night, it ratcheted up in intensity, and got quite good. Benoit has the steely resolve of a serial killer as he just attacks Villano non-stop. The mat-based stuff was the real highlight, Benoit grounded the luchador, and the third caida ended with a crippling variation of the the camel clutch that rendered Villano lifeless.

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