Tuesday, May 11, 2010

DVDVR Top 20 Lucha Matches of the 90's - #20-16

20) Ciclon Ramirez vs. El Felino (EMLL 6/18/93) - 4
19) Rey Misterio Jr., Super Calo, and Winners vs. Psicosis, Canelo Casas, Picudo (AAA 1/29/93) - 6
18) El Hijo del Santo, Antifaz del Norte, Olimpico, Tarzan Boy, Tony Rivera, Felino, Negro Casas, and Emilio Charles, Jr. vs. Rey Bucanero, Ultimo Guerrero, Black Warrior, Satanico, Bestia Salvaje, Blue Panther, Fuerza Guerrera, and Zumbido  - (EMLL 16 Man Cibernetico - 11/26/99) - 4
17) Mr. Niebla vs. Dr Wagner Jr. (EMLL 9/3/97 - Light Heavyweight Title) - 5
16) Rey Misterio Jr. vs. El Hijo del Santo (Tijuana 2/21/97) - ?
16) Alternate: Bracito De Oro, Cicloncito Ramirez, and Mascarita Magica vs. Damiancito El Guerrero, El Fierito, and Pierrothito (CMLL - 10/3/97) - 4

I've got to give the first match a "4". I really liked the first caida, slow build, at least fifteen minutes, mostly Felino controlling it on the mat. Felino is as graceful as a real cat or a Timothy "Speed" Levitch street soliloquy. They start trying to outdo each other on dives. Second caida, within the first minute or so, Felino's cornerman Negro Casas unceremoniously tosses in the towel thus dashing Felino's hopes. As an angle, that's cool, but it prematurely ended the match before it could become much of anything. Six-man tag scores a "6", just a really fun match, I absolutely love the technicos team. You've got little Rey, Calo busting out some early-'90's hip-hop dance steps, and Winners, looking a hybrid dancer for Michael Jackson and Billy Joel traveling shows. First caida has a great dive train, Psicosis gets the crown in it, having more float on his somersault plancha than a Carlos Boozer jump shot. Second caida has the rudos being ruthless villains, can't complain much about legal men issues as that's much more lax in lucha. Third caida ratchets it back up, has another great dive train sequence, but ends peculiarly as Heavy Metal and Misterio collide crotch-first as both go for flying dropkicks. One ref lifts Metal's hand awarding the fall to his squad, another ref raises Rey's, then to add to the confusion Winners and Calo start jiving around the ring like they're at a wedding reception.

The next match had 16 participants and was the '99 Leyenda de Plata showcase. It started with a clumsy battle royal then breaks down to this sprint of a match that's hard to quantify. There's tons of talented guys involved, all sorts of fun match-ups (i.e. Negro vs. Fuerza, etc.), but does suffer from some major flaws. Namely, this type of match breaks any sort of preexisting logic. Two guys run in, do a couple things quickly, then someone gets pinned. This is entertaining, in an ADD way, but in this context, how can we buy seeing nearly fifteen pinfalls in the span of fifteen minutes when in a typical match we often go that long without a single one? My favorite elimination was Último Guerrero's pinning of Black Warrior after essentially giving him a reverse DDT from the top turnbuckle in a truly scary bump. El Hijo del Santo wins it all, fun stuff at breakneck speeds, but only warrants a "4" from where I'm sitting.

Wagner wags his finger while in a headlock, more like Dikembe Mutumbo than the Hogan variety. First two caidas felt kind of perfunctory in the way a WWE main event done utilizing the "big match" trope would on a B-PPV, say Backlash, on an off-year, say '04. Not bad, in any way, but meandering enough without the hutzpah and sizzle you'd anticipate. Niebla sells the work to his leg by Wagner moderately good throughout, Niebla must also be commended for the best dives, including a couple suicidal topés that were awe-inspiring. Wagner scored the victory with the "Dr. Driver" which looks similar to Bigelow's old "Greetings From Asbury Park". Now, if Wagner just start doing the "Wham, Bam, Thank you Ma'am" and add stitch some faux-tattoos to the top of his mask we'd have a full-on Bam Bam revival gimmick. So, the match that was supposed to be #16 on the countdown, a singles between Rey and Santo is mysteriously missing and in its place is a match listed as an "alternate". Bullshit! So, the match unfairly has me disinterested to start due to the circumstances, but the personalities in it slowly start bringing me into its proceedings. Damiancito has a black mullet with dyed blonde tips, and some crude facepaint, making him look as hideous as that thing living behind the dumpster in Mulholland Dr. Magica looks like the guitar tech for The Village People complete with resplendent neon green armband. This is a fairly innocuous trios but never ventures into being actively good, and comes off just shy of the explosive fare we'd get to open episodes of WCW Monday Nitro a decade ago.

1 comment:

Jessie said...

haha beautiful Mutumbo- Hogan comparison.....i need more Ramiriez in my life after reading this...