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  1. Atlantis vs. El Satanico (1984) Atlantis continued to be pushed as a hot young superstar in ‘84. He was billed almost immediately as “El Ídolo de los niños” (The Idol of the Kids) and was extremely protected, always wrestling in the top two matches on the card and rarely jobbing. A modern equivalent would be someone like Mistico, though he became far more of a sensation than Atlantis. According to Steve Sims, in his recent bio for Atlantis’ induction into the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame, the company also worked hard at legitimizing Atlantis in the eyes of the “lower class” fans by having him work the type of brawling style matches that lead to revenge bouts and stipulation matches, which is what we see here in this mano a mano with Satanico. There were two key milestones for Atlantis in 1984. He had his first luchas de apuestas match at the 9/21 Anniversary show, wagering masks with midcard vet Talisman. Taking Talisman’s mask was an instant boost to his credibility and he followed it up by winning his first title, the Mexican National Middleweight Championship, which he captured from Jerry Estrada on 11/30. Satanico, by comparison, was right in the middle of his prime, a period which ran from roughly 1979 to 1991 or so. He enjoyed tremendous success during this time, winning numerous titles and wager matches and always featuring near the top of the card. When he wasn’t involved in singles feuds, he was generally given something interesting to do with the Infernales, and was basically a mainstay of the promotion until the 1992 Anniversary show, where a third hair match in three years against El Dandy failed to draw. His gimmick was that he was “El Número Uno,” the number one rudo in Mexico and by extension the best wrestler. As we’ve mentioned with the Chicana feud, this meant that he often feuded with both rudos and technicos alike. In truth, he wasn’t the biggest drawing rudo in Mexico, but he had by far the most technical ability, which allowed him to feature heavily in the nation’s title picture and demonstrate a level of skill usually only shown by technicos. In 1984, he was involved in title match feuds with Lizmark and Gran Cochisse for the NWA World Middleweight Championship, which are documented on the set, and won the UWA World Middleweight Championship from Super Astro, which we’re also fortunate to have on the set.
  2. Atlantis y El Hijo del Santo vs. Fuerza Guerrera y Lobo Rubio (11/25/83) This was El Hijo del Santo’s debut at Arena Mexico, which he had to have been nervous about since it was the site of so many of his father’s most famous matches. Santo had made his debut as “El Hijo del Santo” on 10/18/82 in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipa, where he partnered with Ringo Mendoza in a match against Coloso Colosetti and Sangre Chicana. His debut generated plenty of interest, but also a fair amount of skepticism as few believed that he would live up to his father’s name. While he never became as famous as the original Santo, by the end of his rookie year he had already silenced the skeptics with his sheer athleticism and was winning “Rookie of the Year” honours in the lucha magazines. On 7/22/83, he made his debut at El Toreo in a trios with Black Man and Matematico against Black Terry, Lobo Rubio and Blue Panther. For most of the decade, he would work predominantly for the UWA as well as the Tijuana promotion WWA while occasionally making appearances at Arena Mexico. He wouldn’t feature heavily on national TV until he jumped from UWA to AAA in 1992 along with many of the other UWA talent. The reason for El Hijo del Santo working for the UWA and not EMLL, aside from the UWA being the more successful promotion at the time, is presumably because his father had jumped from EMLL to UWA in 1977. Santo belonged to the lightweight class in UWA and competed against the likes of Black Terry, Negro Casas, Fuerza Guerrera and Espanto Jr early in his career. Atlantis had made his debut on 6/12/83 (as Atlantis, at any rate) and I believe his Arena Mexico debut at EMLL’s 50th Anniversary show was built up as the debut of a new young superstar and heavily pushed in the magazines. While we’re on the topic of Arena Mexico debuts, Fuerza Guerrera had made his debut on a major EMLL card at the 1981 48th Anniversary show, where he wrestled a match against Negro Casas that is somewhat legendary in that those who were there live claimed it was revolutionary for its time. Fuerza (the guy with the mask) is by far the better known of Santo’s opponents here and would go on to play a prominent role during the TV boom. He had just claimed the vacant Mexican National Lightweight title on 11/6, a relatively minor title which he would vacate in May when left the weight division and moved up to welterweight. . Lobo Rubio (the Mad Max looking guy) was a veteran welterweight who’d been wrestling since 1969. He’s best known for being a member of Los Temerarios, a trios that considered of himself, Black Terry and Jose Luis Feliciano and had memorable feuds with groups such as Los Cadetes del Espacio, but he was also a fairly regular Santo opponent in the early days of Santo’s career. In fact, his was the first hair that Santo took on 10/28/83. It’s generally thought he was a trusted hand who was in the ring with Santo a lot during his rookie year to guide him through these difficult matches.
  3. Here's a bit more on the Satanico/Chicana hair match that Raging Noodles translated for us off of DJ Spectro's blog. Note that Chicana went under the name of Andres Richardson rather than his real name and is often referred to as Richardson on lucha sites. "The semi-final would make clear who was the best rudo, a rivalry dating back years between Sangre Chicana and Satanico culminated. Even though two weeks ago, they had shaved [i guess they won a luchas de apuestas against] Los Hermanos Mendoza, their hatred to prove who was the best took them to this lucha de apuesta. The match started before the sound of the whistle, with a furious Richardson going after his rival, ripping his jacket (off) and sending him crashing into "the butaquerio" [i think these are the boards that they have on the apron, that advertises products, etc]. Satanico's face was immediately covered in blood, while (Chicana) expressed his anger with the fans, since their opinions were divided among who was the best. The match continued on "el enlonado" [i think this means mat or canvas]. El Infernal reacts by dodging an attack by El Paredon-native and the arena explodes. Chicana gets hit and gets out of the ring. His rival goes air-borne with a tope suicida but Chicana moves to the side to avoid it. Satanico hurts himself landing on the outside. Richardson now flies through the air and successfully connects. The rudo (Satanico), stays out of the fight, and the damn "pocho" advances. (In the U.S. Southwest, "pocho" like "Chicano" can mean an Americanized Mexican, while some have used both terms for lower-income Mexican-Americans or it can be political. Anyways, the meaning can be used differently, depending on the region and context but it's clearly referring to Chicana, which I thought was interesting). In the second fall, Daniel (Lopez) gives his rival a taste of his own medicine, by knocking him out of the fall with a tope suicida. Things are getting heated, the fans from ringside bursting with emotion. It's overshadowed by the sound of the whistle, signaling the start of the third fall. Now it's Andres (Richardson) who is bleeding dramatically, but he continues with this fight. It's close to 11:20 pm. [Had a difficult time translating one of the sentences on here so I passed it since it doesn't seem necessary to do a direct sentence-translation. Rough translation of the sentence I skipped was that it seemed like Satanico was on the verge of victory]. However, Chicana connects with a dropkick, which leads both wrestlers and the referee to go to the outside, through the ropes. Andres goes to the outside, to keep on punishing his enemy. But the arena and el rudo goes quiet when Palau responds by disqualifying (Richardson, awarding the match) in favor of El Satanico for the action outside. Nobody can change the result [Also, I think Richardson is taunting/mocking around this point, but I'm not too sure here]. Richardson is getting his head shaved. But the story doesn't end here. The losing "tuzadoel" [never heard this word before and couldn't find anything on Google except this blogpost] heads towards Satanico and smashes a Coca-Cola (glass) bottle that makes El Infernal go to sleep. Richardson heads off to the dressing room, while Daniel is taking away in a stretcher through the fans."
  4. With some help from my buddy Raging Noodles, I was able to flesh out some of the details of the Satanico/Chicana hair matches. The first match was on 7/2/82, on the undercard to the Rayo de Jalisco, Jr./El Jalisco vs. MS-1/Carlos Plata match where MS-1 lost his mask.The finish to the match saw Chicana grab Satanico by the hair and launch him outside the ring. Chicana slammed Satanico hard into the wood panels that surround the ring. He repeated it twice, and the referee Palau told him that if did it again, he would DQ him. Chicana didn't care, he repeated the move, bringing the referree out, who tried to prevent it. This caused Palau to DQ Chicana, who lost his hair. While Chicana was being shaved, Satanico realised that he had won. He didn't even know how, but his rival was being shaved and he climbed the ropes to celebrate. Chicana took advantage of the situation, got out of the ring, and grabbed a beer bottle. He climbed back into the ring, smashing it on Satanico's head, leaving him knocked out. Afterwards, this type of action continued in their feud. Their second hair match was on 12/10/82, which I believe was the final Arena Mexico show of the year. The match ended in a draw and both men had their hair shaved. Here's a picture from that match: http://s790.photobucket.com/user/OPCELINON...c85bc4.jpg.html
  5. Sangre Chicana vs. Ringo Mendoza (10/28/83) Luchawiki says this is title vs. title, Mendoza's NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship vs. Chicana's UWA World Light Heavyweight Championship, but while both men came to the ring wearing their respective belts, the footage suggests that it was Chicana's belt being defended. That was the belt the wrestlers posed with during the photographs at any rate. Mendoza is a guy who's easy to overlook as just another maskless wrestler, but he was more important than you'd think. When he debut in '68, he was given a Native American gimmick and wore a headdress similar to Wahoo McDaniel. He was also given the ring name "Mendoza" in order to get a rub from Ray Mendoza. Like his namesake, he was an extremely successful singles wrestler, winning titles in both the middleweight and light heavyweight classes, which as you're probably aware by now were the weight classes where most of the best talent in Mexico presided. He was particularly synonymous with the NWA World Middleweight Championship, a title he held on five occasions from 1977 to 1981. The World Middleweight title was the focal point of many of the most memorable rivalries of his career, including names such as Perro Aguayo, El Faraon, Tony Salazar, and indeed Sangre Chicana. Chicana and Mendoza basically belonged to the same weight class and challenged for the same belts. When Chicana was the NWA World Middleweight Champion in 1980, he defended the belt against both Mendoza brothers, Cachorro and Ringo. Ringo later took the belt from Chicana in '81, prompting a series of rematches, but their feud wasn't simply a bit of tit for tat for the middleweight titles. Chicana and Mendoza were no strangers to hair matches and they were no strangers to facing each other in hair matches, either. During the late 70s through to the early 80s, tag team apuestas were a lot more common than they are today. Ringo and El Faraon formed a team at the time that took a number of scalps, including Chicana and Alfonso Dantes' hair in '78. Faraon turned rudo overnight in '81 by turning on Mendoza and aligning with Chicana, which was the catalyst for Mendoza teaming with his brother Cachorro. Of all the people Chicana hated at this time, and there were many (Fishman, MS-1, Satanico, Aguayo, and still to come Villano III), he seemed to have a special place in his heart for Mendoza. His hatred for Mendoza even managed to forge an alliance with Satanico for long enough to take the Mendoza brothers' hair. At this particular juncture, Mendoza was the NWA World Light Heavyweight champion having bested both Faraon and Satanico in the same year, two of his biggest career rivals, as well as Mexican National Tag Team champion with his brother. Chicana was UWA World Light Heavyweight champion having defeated Fishman three weeks earlier at El Toreo. Mendoza would go on to hold both titles until '85 while Chicana vacated his title in early '84, but this was really towards the end of their run as top middleweights of their day.
  6. Espectro Jr, Satanico y MS-1 vs. Mocho Cota, Sangre Chicana y La Fiera (9/30/83) This was a rudos contra rudos trios a week after the Anniversary show. Judging by the evidence, rudo vs. rudo was something EMLL booked a fair bit of during this period. MS-1’s trio were the original Los Infernales, a group created to capitalize on the popularity of trios wrestling and imitate the success of Los Misioneros de la Muerte, who had become a big rudo act at El Toreo. The original group consisted of MS-1, Satanico and Espectro Jr, but became more well known for line-up which included Pirata Morgan. Despite MS-1 vs. Chicana headlining the Anniversary show, Satanico was the biggest star on the team and more often than not the captain. Espectro (green tights and mask) had enjoyed a brief run with the Mexican National Middleweight Championship earlier in the year in a feud with Lizmark and Satanico was also in the midst of a feud with Lizmark for the NWA World Middleweight title, so they were quite a heavily pushed both individually and as a group. Sangre Chicana’s trio were dubbed “Los Guerreros” and featured rudos Mocho Cota (goatee and missing fingers) and La Fiera (black vest and pants.) Cota was fairly new having debuted in 1979, but already he was making strides as a welterweight. He was both a skilled technican and a credible brawler and was pushed in both disciplines, title match wrestling and luchas de apuestas (hair and mask matches.) During the 80s, he feuded extensively with Chamaco Valaguez and Talisman. Had a second run in the early 90s after TV came in, but was a shell of the worker seen on the set. Fiera debut in '77 and had also come up through the welterweight ranks. He was part of a new wave of big bumpers with flashy offence, which ultimately took a toll on his body and by the early 90s he was physically wrecked. He was still fairly valuable as a veteran worker through to about '97, but had some serious drug issues and did a stint in jail for drug dealing before meeting a rather nasty end in 2010. The reason for their shaved heads was that Cota had lost a hair match to Gran Cochisse on 9/9 and Fiera had lost a hair match to Satanico on 9/16. Add to that MS-1's hair loss at the 9/23 Anniversary show and you had the culmination of a month's worth of hair matches at Arena Mexico. Not only that, but Chicana and Satanico had feuded ferociously in '82 despite originally starting as allies in Chicana's never ending feud with the Mendoza brothers, and Satanico had also taken Cota's hair in '80, which meant the La Fiera victory gave him a trifecta of scalps against the Guerreros. Even Chicana and Espectro Jr had been involved in a mano a mano bout on the 6/24 Arena Mexico show, and Espectro had tagged with Fiera and Cota on the previous week's Anniversary show, so there may have been yet another issue there. It shouldn't come as much surprise then that this match was quite heated.
  7. The next two matches were from EMLL’s 50th Anniversary show. Kevin Von Erich, Mascara Ano 2000 y Halcon Ortiz v. Coloso Colosetti, Pirata Morgan y Herodes (9/23/83) There was no real back story to this match. It was just Kevin Von Erich being brought in for a match the same way Andre was brought in for that Guadalajara bout. But let’s take a look at the players: Mascara Ano 2000 (blue mask, gold trunks) was the younger brother of Cien Caras and the middle brother of Los Hermanos Dinamita. The brothers hadn’t formed their trios yet (I believe it was actually a tag team first between the two brothers), so MA2k was still a technico here, a sort of aspiring Anibal/Lizmark type. Surprisingly, he wasn’t that decorated a wrestler by lucha standards. He’d had a run with the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship in ’82 built around feuds with Brit journeyman Dave Morgan and rudo El Faraon, but that as it as far as singles titles went. He did claim a fair number of masks, however, which built up the value of his own mask until finally he dropped it to Perro Aguayo at the first ever Triplemania. Halcon Ortiz (stocky, white trunks) was formerly El Halcon, then Halcon Ortiz, then Super Halcon… Well, you get the picture. He was a veteran heavyweight, who was actually the guy who Flair was supposed to wrestle on the previous year’s Anniversary show (as the story goes.) He’d dropped his Mexican National Heavyweight Championship to Pirata Morgan in August in Guadalajara, so there was heat there. Morgan we’ll have plenty of opportunity to talk about later, but he’s the guy with the eye patch for those of you who are really lost. The heat between Ortiz and Morgan built to a hair match the following April, which Ortiz won. Herodes we’ve spoken about before, but Coloso Colosetti is new. Colosetti (blue trunks, goatee) was actually an Argentinean wrestler who worked primarily in Mexico and Southern California but travelled throughout the wrestling world. He belonged to the same generation as Ortiz, essentially. The high point of his career was defeating Ray Mendoza for the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship at the end of 1969, back when it was the most prestigious title in Mexico. Rather than jump to the UWA, I believe he spent a lot of time in Mike LeBell’s NWA Hollywood territory before closing out his career in Mexico. MS-1 vs. Sangre Chicana (9/23/83) There’s not much I can add to the backstory of this match that wasn’t covered by Kris Zellner when MS-1 died or by Jose Fernandez in his old bio of MS-1, but to go over the basics: MS-1 was a masked rudo who EMLL liked the look of and wanted to lose the hood. He lost his mask to Rayo de Jalisco Jr. in July of ’82 and became a rudo idol among the ladies, hence the hairdo. Chicana was a huge draw at this point at Arena Mexico and Arena Coliseo, as well as Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo, and in ’82 had reignited his feud with Fishman over the UWA World Light Heavyweight Championship at El Toreo. I mentioned before that he jumped to the UWA in ’82, but that doesn’t appear to be factually correct. It was either a talent sharing arrangement between EMLL and the UWA or Chicana was working as an independent, but in any event he was everywhere in the early 80s. The interesting thing about Chicana was that whether he was a technico or a rudo, he seemed to develop rivalries with everyone. Prior to this feud, he'd had a massive rivalry with Satanico that led to two hair matches and been embroiled in a tumultuous situation where he sided with El Faraon after Fishman and Perro Aguayo turned on him, leading to a big rudos contra rudos tag match at Arena Mexico that seemed to spur on Chicana's popularity. Whether Chicana was a technico here or simply just “Sangre Chicana” is an interesting point. In any event, the match did so well that they ran it as the main event of the following year’s anniversary show.
  8. Tatsumi Fujinami vs. El Canek (6/12/83) Tatsumi Fujinami wrestled in Mexico on his first excursion abroad in 1974, but he wouldn’t rise to prominence until he defeated Carlos Jose Estrada on 1/23/78 for the WWWF Junior Heavyweight championship. For the next three years, Fujinami defended the title across Mexico, Japan and the US, establishing it as the world’s premier junior heavyweight wrestling title. During that time he had matches against Mexican stars like Perro Aguayo, Angel Blanco, Ray Mendoza, Canek and Fishman, some of which are the only real footage we have of 1970s lucha. Unlike Hamada, Fujinami never stayed in Mexico for a significant amount of time, so he didn’t really work a lucha style, but lucha at the time wasn’t idiosyncratic enough that UWA stars couldn’t work a 70s style mat based match for Fujinami’s title defences, as LLI had close ties with both New Japan and the WWWF and the booking philosophy of using a lot of outside talent meant that the matches were often a hybrid of various styles. Fujinami vacated the WWF Junior Heavyweight title in December of ’81 when he moved into the heavyweight ranks, but he’d actually begun challenging Canek for his UWA Heavyweight Championship earlier than that. They had a match on the 5/1/81 UWA show at El Toreo that drew 20,000 (with thousands turned away), a show that was headlined by Antonio Inoki vs. Bob Backlund in a NWF vs. WWF title match. In what was a direct copy of Canek vs. Choshu the year before, Fujinami defeated Canek for the UWA Heavyweight belt on 5/1/83 at El Toreo, setting up this rematch between the two.
  9. The next two matches are from the LLI’s 7th Anniversary show. It was headlined by Perro Aguayo y Abdullah the Butcher vs. Antonio Inoki y Tatsumi Fujinami, which is why there was a Japanese television crew present. LLI was the top promotion in Mexico throughout the 80s, but didn’t get television until 1991, by which point the company was in terminal decline. The only footage we have of the UWA in its heyday is either from handhelds or Japanese TV. As with the opening tag match, the footage comes from El Toreo de Naucalpan, or Toreo de Cuatro Caminos as it was officially known. This domed bullring was to the LLI what Madison Square Garden is the WWE. It was demolished at the beginning of 2009 and a mixed-use development project was supposed to begin construction at some point this year. Lou Thesz is your ref for these bouts. Centurion Negro vs. Gran Hamada (2/14/82) This was for Centurion Negro’s UWA World Middleweight Championship. The middleweight championship was the first belt Hamada won when he started working Mexico, as UWA co-founder Rene Guajardo put him over in the early days of Monterrey, a region in the North of Mexico where Guajardo had begun promoting a style of show that would go on to be synonymous with lucha brawling. The belt passed hands through Hamada and Guajardo and another big star in Anibal before it ended up in the hands of Jungle Negra. Not much is known about Negra other than Anibal took his mask as penance for Negra winning his title and Centurion Negro later took his hair. Centurion Negro was not a wrestler of particular note. As with many LLI/UWA wrestlers, he resurfaced on the indy scene once UWA folded, but there’s not much to be said about him. He dropped the belt here, but won it back on 6/13, which suggests that the LLI put Hamada over for New Japan’s benefit since the TV crew was there. On the other hand, the title wound up back around Hamada’s waist in ’83 and he enjoyed a lengthy year-long reign, so perhaps they just wanted a title switch on the Anniversary show. El Canek vs. Don Corleone (2/14/82) Canek, as many of you will know, was the UWA’s top attraction and the biggest Mexican wrestling star of the 80s. He was the guy chosen by Francisco Flores to headline the promotion when it became apparent that Guajardo and Ray Mendoza were getting old and other draws like Mil Mascaras were out of the country most of the time. His push to the top started with title match victories over Dr. Wagner Sr and Lou Thesz in 1978 and was greatly aided by the LLI’s talent sharing agreement with New Japan Pro-Wrestling. As the Japanese promotions had done after the war, the UWA built Canek up by having him go over foreign stars from all over the world. Incidentally, he usually worked as a junior heavyweight in Japan, but in Mexico he faced heavyweight challenges from the likes of Inoki and Choshu. The formula worked and played a large role in the UWA being so successful in the 80s, as Canek vs. foreign “invader” consistently drew people to El Toreo. Eventually, they drove the formula into the ground and the UWA was left for dead by Antonio Pena’s new style of booking, but in 1982 Canek was still on the rise. He was enjoying his second reign as UWA World Heavyweight champion, a title he would go on to hold 15 times. It had become a year earlier when he defeated Tiger Jeet Singh at El Toreo on 2/15/81 and included title defences against the likes of Strong Kobayashi, Tatsumi Fujinami, Billy Robinson and Pat Patterson. Why Don Corleone was chosen to face Canek at the Anniversary show is unknown. Corleone was Tony Rocco, who worked Los Angeles a lot. Canek also worked Los Angeles a fair bit, so there may have been a connection there. This was sort of a two part deal as the following month Canek took Corelone’s mask.
  10. Andre the Giant y Cien Caras vs. Alfonso Dantes, Herodes y Sangre Chicana (1981) Andre was touring Mexico fairly regularly at this point. He’d stay for about a week and work for EMLL and UWA on alternate nights. This is a match from Arena Coliseo de Guadalajara and appears to be an EMLL booking. It aired on Jalisco television and is reportedly the only time one of Andre’s bouts aired on Mexican television. Andre was frequently booked in handicap matches while touring, sometimes two on one, three on one, anywhere upwards of four on one. The most famous Andre moment in Mexico was when he headlined the 1984 UWA Anniversary show against El Canek at the Palacio de lose Desportes, a large indoor sports arena that was built for the 1968 Olympics. The match drew a large crowd of 25,000 and is the bout where Canek body slammed the Giant. His partner for this bout was Cien Caras, the oldest of Los Hermanos Dinamita, a trios he formed in the mid-to-late 80s with brothers Mascara Año 2000 and Universo 2000. Caras, an Arena Coliseo de Guadalajara regular at this point, would go on to play a major part in the lucha television boom with both CMLL and AAA, headlining two of the biggest shows in lucha libre history, CMLL’s 57th Anniversary show against Rayo de Jalisco, Jr. and the inaugural Triplemania show against Konnan. In 1981, he was still a masked technico, who’d taken the scalps of Alfonso Dantes and Goro Tanaka in hair matches and won his first major title, the Mexican National Heavyweight Championship, in 1980. On the rudo side, Dantes and Herodes were regular rivals of Caras in the heavyweight division. Sangre Chicana (black tights with red stripe) was a middleweight to light heavyweight and not a natural rival of Caras’, though their paths crossed numerous times, particularly when Caras turned and became a rudo. Chicana rose to fame in 1977 when he lost his mask to Fishman at Arena Mexico in a triple threat match with El Cobarde I. This feud catapulted him to stardom and he was enjoying an extremely successful rudo run at this point, including stints with the NWA World Middleweight Championship. He’d get even bigger the following year in 1982 when he jumped from EMLL to UWA and resumed his feud with Fishman. Herodes (red trunks, awesome beard) has a rep as one of the great “lost” rudo workers of the 80s, though more footage of him surfaced in time for this set. Prior to the set, he was regarded as a great bumper and superb base for young technico flyers like Stuka, but he was also a hair match worker of note and a championship winning wrestler, taking the Mexican National Heavyweight belt from Caras in ’82. Alfonso Dantes (red trunks with white trim, no beard) was an older worker than either Chicana or Herodes. He was a star from the mid-to-late 60s through the 70s, where he spent a large portion of the decade in the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship title picture, as well as the Mexican National Light Heavyweight Championship, a belt he held in 1981 (and lost to Babe Face.) Like Herodes, he had a strong reputation as a worker, particularly for working bigger than his size, which due to his physique earned him the nickname of “El Tanque,” which means “The Tank.” His most famous feud was with El Halcon, but his career at this point was intertwined with the other wrestlers in the ring. He’d lost his hair to Caras at Arena Coliseo de Guadalajara at some point in this push of Caras’ and twice tagged with Chicana in hair matches. He was the father of 90s wrestler Apolo Dantes.
  11. I just saw him as a regular guy having a midlife crisis. I dunno if we were supposed to sympathise with him, but what I liked about the ending was that instead of the usual saccharine Hollywood ending where he realises everything he ever wanted is right under his nose, he loses what he wants and has to suffer. The fact that he has the wife, the kids and the nice home only adds to the bitterness. Maybe he's an asshole, but he's frustrated and in the end crushed.
  12. EQUINOX FLOWER (Yasujiro Ozu) -- Ozu's first colour film. I usually find the most minor of Ozu's works enjoyable, but I think he made better comedies than this from Ohayo onwards. I especially love his early 60s comedies Late Autumn and The End of Summer. I wouldn't put Equinox Flower on their level, largely because it lacked the same pathos. There's still plenty to enjoy if you're an Ozu lover, particularly the performance of Ozu regular Shin Saburi, even if it is the weakest of his colour films. TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN (Joseph H. Lewis) This had such a cool poster: In truth, harpoon vs. six gun is only a minor part of the film. The rest is a better than average B western with some fantastic photography. The script was provided by Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted at the time, thus giving the film High Noon parallels; and stars remorseful HUAC informant Sterling Hayden, who struggles with a Swedish accent but certainly looks the part. Nedrick Young adds a Bogie twist to the villainous gunslinger and the whole thing is basically a hodgepodge of B-grade goodness. THE FILE ON THELMA JORDAN (Robert Siodmak) -- decent noir, but I prefer my noir a bit grittier and a bit more off beat. Barbara Stanwyck is always a pleasure to watch. She had such a wonderful voice. I reckon that voice might tempt me to commit a felony it was so alluring. THERE'S ALWAYS TOMORROW (Douglas Sirk) -- Hey, there's Barbara Stanywck again! And Fred MacMurray! Haven't I seen them somewhere together? This was the last of the major Sirk films for this poll, but I might watch a couple of the minor ones as Sirk is one of the key guys of this decade, IMO. This was black and white, but every bit as gorgeous as his colour films and it delivered an absolute gut punch to the stomach for the Fred MacMurray character who is perhaps the personification of Sirk's belief that in tragedy the character always dies but in melodrama they keep on living in an unhappy happy ending. Unfortunately, he wasn't allowed to include the darker ending he had planned for the film, but the final shot of MacMurray still says it all. This was an excellent film and Sirk really was a giant of 50s cinema. THE FURIES (Anthony Mann) -- Barbara Stanwyck! This was a great film. I've always loved Mann's Westerns with Jimmy Stewart, but this was equally good if not better. Why this isn't remembered as one of the best films of 1950, I don't know. Stanwyck and Walter Huston (in his final ever role) attack the material with such gusto that it's one of those rare films from the era where the attacking is even stronger than the photography, and there's plenty of excellent supporting roles as well. The script looses steam towards the end and lost me a bit at the end when but it's still an immense film. This will definitely make my list. SENSO (Luchino Visconti) -- this was such a gorgeous film. Easily one of the most beautiful colour films of the decade. Visconti had such a beautiful eye for detail. The story is nothing you haven't seen a million times in costume dramas and literary adaptations, though the ending still packs a punch, but man is it lush.
  13. Matt D asked me if I could start doing this. I'm not the most qualified to give lucha history lessons as there are plenty of people who know more about it than me, but I'll try my best. Feel free to suggest any corrections or suggestions. Satoru Sayama y Gran Hamada vs. Perro Aguayo y Baby Face (4/13/80) Gran Hamada (green trunks) was one of the first New Japan trainees and came from a strong judo background, where he fought for one of the top universities in Japan and was a candidate for the 1972 Olympics. Due to his lack of size, he was sent to Mexico to train with the newly formed LLI promotion in 1975 and learn the lucha style. Despite having a hard time with everyday life, Hamada soon established himself in Mexico and by the time he returned to Japan in 1979 he already had a family in Mexico, which is why he split so much of his time between the two countries. Hamada had a rivalry at the time with Perro Aguayo (white trunks), one of the biggest stars in lucha libre history. Aguayo is famous for his blading and for being arguably one of the greatest brawlers in lucha history, but Aguayo vs. Hamada was, for the most part, a title match feud. This tag match from the famous El Toreo bullring was sandwiched between a pair of title matches the men had. The first was a match for the UWA World Junior Light Heavyweight Championship, which Aguayo took from Hamada on 4/22/79. The second was a title defence of Hamada’s UWA World Light Heavyweight Championship on 5/25/80, which Aguayo also took from Hamada. They would go on to have an even fiercer rivalry for the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship, which would trade hands several times in both Mexico and Japan and their rivalry crossed promotions from UWA to New Japan to Shinma’s original UWF. Eventually, they would become tag partners in both Mexico and Hamada’s UWF promotion. Sayama (tights with a stripe) was on his own excursion at the time and had tasted his first success in Mexico by winning the NWA World Middleweight Championship from Ringo Mendoza on 9/9/79, a belt he lost to El Satanico on 3/28/80, a few weeks before this tag took place. He would move to England by the end of the year and have a run under a quasi-Bruce Lee gimmick as “Sammy Lee” before heading back to Japan to done the famous Tiger Mask gimmick. Aguayo’s partner Babe Face (red and white trunks) was one of the original UWA wrestlers and a hated rudo also known for his bloody hair matches. This was on the undercard of an Antonio Inoki vs. Tiger Jeet Singh match for the UWA World Heavyweight title, which is why it was filmed by a Japanese TV crew.
  14. That still doesn't mean that a mano-a-mano is less than a hair match because it doesn't have an epic third fall. That's like saying a title match is less than a hair match because it lacks blood. Either the mano-a-mano is a greater mano-a-mano match than the hair match is a hair match or not. That's my take on it, anyway.
  15. You can compare the matches if you like, but a mano-a-mano is never going to be as good as a hair match. The proper comparison is with those brawling trios that set up hair and mask matches.
  16. This is a mano-a-mano bout, which is an entirely different beast from a hair match. You can't expect them to go all out because they're never going to give away the third fall to a hair match in a mano-a-mano bout. Mano-a-manos are a tease for a future stip match or in this case a singles match without having to wager anything. They're always narrow in scope and usually involve blood and little else.
  17. It wasn't a match that lucha fans held in reverence until Kevin Cook uploaded it back in the day. I'm not sure how long it had been available for, but it was only about 7 or 8 years ago that people started watching it, so unless wrestlers watched it on YouTube I'm guessing no.
  18. Here's my list: 100. Naked Lunch, David Cronenberg 99. The Woman of the Port, Arturo Ripstein 98. Live Flesh, Pedro Almodovar 97. Hard Boiled, John Woo 96. Toto the Hero, Jaco van Dormael 95. Ladybird Ladybird, Ken Loach 94. A Self-Made Hero, Jacques Audiard 93. Gabbeh, Mohsen Makhmalbaf 92. Fast, Cheap & Out of Control, Errol Morris 91. Welcome to the Dollhouse, Todd Solondz 90. Muriel's Wedding, P.J. Hogan 89. Bullets Over Broadway, Woody Allen 88. The Madness of King George, Nicholas Hytner 87. Children of Heaven, Majid Majidi. 86. Happy Together, Wong Kar-Wai 85. Abraham's Valley, Manoel de Oliveira 84. Topsy Turvey, Mike Leigh 83. The Wind Will Carry Us, Abbas Kiarostami 82. Toy Story 2, Ash Brannon, John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich 81. The Match Factory Girl, Aki Kaurismaki 80. A Summer's Tale, Eric Rohmer 79. Sweet Hereafter, Atom Egoyan 78. Eternity and a Day, Theo Angelopoulos 77. After Life, Hirokazu Koreeda 76. Lost Highway, David Lynch 75. Ashes of Time, Wong Kar-Wai 74. Princess Mononoke, Hayao Miyazaki 73. The Double Life of Veronique, Krzysztof Kieslowski 72. L.A. Confidential, Curtis Hansen 71. The Castle, Rob Stitch 70. Election, Alexander Payne 69. The Big Lebowski, Joel Coen 68. Lone Star, John Sayles 67. Mother and Son, Aleksandr Sokurov 66. Three Colours: Blue, Krzysztof Kieslowski 65. Naked, Mike Leigh 64. My Name is Joe, Ken Loach 63. A Brighter Summer Day, Edward yang 62. The Puppetmaster, Hou Hsiao-Hsien  61. Exotica, Atom Egoyan 60. Ju Dou, Zhang Yimou 59. Taste of Cherry, Abbas Kiarostami 58. Ratcatcher, Lynne Ramsay 57. The Grifters, Stephen Frears 56. Groundhog Day, Harold Ramis 55. La Belle Noiseuse, Jacques Rivette 54. Farewell My Concubine, Chen Kaige 53. Toy Story, John Lasseter 52. Boogie Nights, Paul Thomas Anderson 51. The Player, Robert Altman 50. Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino 49. Goodfellas, Martin Scorcese 48. Europa Europa, Agnieszka Holland 47. Fargo, Joel Coen 46. Glengarry Glen Ross, James Foley 45. One False Move, Carl Franklin 44. To Live, Zhang Yimou 43. Sonatine, Takeshi Kitano 42. Chungking Express, Wong Kar-Wai 41. Actress, Stanley Kwan 40. Ulysses' Gaze, Theo Angelopoulos 39. The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well, Sang-soo Hong 38. Lessons of Darkness, Werner Herzog 37. Life is Sweet, Mike Leigh 36. The Crying Game, Neil Jordan 35. Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr., Errol Morris 34. Brother's Keeper, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky 33. Manhattan Murder Mystery, Woody Allen 32. Hoop Dreams, Steve James 31. Colour of Paradise, Majid Majidi 30. The Thin Red Line, Terrence Malick 29. Raise the Red Lantern, Zhang Yimou 28. Shawshank Redemption, Frank Darabont 27. The Blue Kite, Zhuangzhuang Tian 26. Burnt by the Sun, Nikita Mikhalkov 25. Through the Olive Trees, Abbas Kiarostami 24. The River, Tsai Ming-liang 23. Before Sunrise, Richard Linklater 22. Three Colours: Red, Krzysztof Kieslowski 21. Secrets and Lies, Mike Leigh 20. Wedding Banquet, Ang Lee 19. Close-Up, Abbas Kiarostami 18. A Heart in Winter, Claude Sautet 17. My Own Private Idaho, Gus Van Sant 16. Cyrano de Bergerac, Jean-Paul Rappeneau 15. La Haine, Mathieu Kassovitz 14. Beau Travail, Claire Denis 13. Crumb, Terry Zwigoff 12. Boyz N the Hood, John Singleton 11. Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud, Claude Sautet 10. Shall We Dance? Masayuki Suo 9. Paris is Burning, Jennie Livingston 8. Wild at Heart, David Lynch 7. The Eel, Shohei Imamura 6. Hana-bi, Takeshi Kitano 5. Autumn Tale, Eric Rohmer 4. Eat Drink Man Woman, Ang Lee 3. All About My Mother, Pedro Almodovar 2. Mabarosi, Hirokazu Koreeda 1. Underground, Emir Kusturica
  19. I watched Shawshank Redemption for the first time for this poll and I'd say it's the best film in the top 20.
  20. Cheers, I'll definitely check those out. I've seen Gun Crazy and The Big Combo and the poster for Terror in a Texas Town looks awesome.
  21. Did you catch the All Blacks/Springboks test from Ellis Park? One of the greatest games of the modern era. You can find it on youtube.
  22. SHADOWS (John Cassavetes) -- this was so different from what Hollywood were producing at the time that even it's low budget, occasional technical flaws, uneven acting and faulty improvised story give it an edge and rawness that make it a captivating watch. It's not Cassavetes' best film, but in the context of the decade it's like watching an early Brando performance when all you've been used to is the studio system star factory. Recommended. WEDDINGS AND BABIES (Morris Engel) -- this is the third installment in Engel's trilogy of films. He's a guy who doesn't get enough credit for his pioneering work in independent cinema. History lazily refers to Cassavettes as the first independent filmmaker, but filmmakers like Engel began making independent films after the war and there was already an independent film culture in New York City by the time Cassavettes made Shadows. This was a charming, autobiographical account of a struggling photographer in New York City who is extremely reluctant to marry his girlfriend. It's a bit different from Engel's first two films where the central actors were kids, but highly enjoyable. Also the first film to use a hand-held 35 millimeter camera with simultaneous sound recording, so Engel has more freedom with his camera and direction. BEAT THE DEVIL (John Huston) -- John Huston/Bogie money loser that's adopted an almost cult like status these days as though it's another Treasure of the Sierra Madre. It ain't, but it's a Bogie film, the script is reasonably witty and it's not that long. If you've got time to kill it's in the public domain and easy to find. BIGGER THAN LIFE (Nicholas Ray) -- What could be more 1950s than James Mason playing a school teacher who becomes addicted to cortisone? What could be more Nicholas Ray than that? This has the best Hollywood ending ever when: CARRY ON NURSE (Gerald Thomas) -- legendary British film series that's all about the Brit sense of humour really. I'm kind glad that I finally got to see one, but I preferred The Belles of St Trinian's more. This was fun though and good for some chuckles. The final set piece where the patients get drunk and try to perform an operation is amusing.
  23. I feel bad for OJ sometimes. The lot of us are stumbling about in seas that he's been sailing in for years. Don't feel too bad. I hadn't seen this match until the set dropped and checked luchawiki to see who was champion.
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