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Graham Crackers

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Everything posted by Graham Crackers

  1. Tim already touched on the reputation of this match but that's important to think about going in. I will add that I've probably watched this match more times than any match on this set.Now, the last time I watched this match I was a little disappointed. I had already been exposed to the later iterations of the legendary Santo/Casas rivalry which I thought were so much better and on top of that I was watching it soon after Santo/Espanto and I didn't think this held up favorably compared to that one. This doesn't have the hatred of the later matches in this series and it doesn't have the physicality of the Espanto Jr. match and for whatever reason that really bothered me. Those problems seem silly now. I still prefer the Espanto match and the later Casas/Santo matches but this is still a great match on it's own. It makes for an interesting early chapter in both men's careers. This feels more like two men who respect one another trying to one-up each other than it does a match between bitter rivals and that's because that bitterness isn't there. There's no hatred. Casas is a rudo because he's cocky and he's not afraid to get rough but for much of this match he is still focusing on matwork and athleticism, just like Santo. That hubris is important to the match and directly leads to some of the exchanges where Casas finds himself on the losing end like when Casas slips off the ropes Fuerza Guerrera style and gets flattened by the tope de cristo. It's impressive just how good both men are at projecting those aspects of their personality. Even in the cleanest exchanges it's clear who is the rudo even without any context. Outside of the way both men carry themselves and sell both the action and the story this features some incredible execution. I mean, if you know who these guys are you probably know that but it's hard to talk about a match like this without mentioning it. This feels like a top 20 match but with the amount of amazing stuff on this set I can't say where this will end up just yet. That doesn't make this any less of a classic either. This match just represents another aspect of what makes lucha such great wrestling.
  2. I love Siglo XX's mask and I've been wanting to see him in action since I saw him Lourdes Grobet's book. For the most part this was a solid heavyweight lucha spectacle but MAN did they kick it into gear for that last fall and especially the last few minutes which were pretty awesome with all of the blood and dives.
  3. Tournament lucha often makes me feel really sad as cool looking matches just end up being tasty snacks as opposed to satisfying meals. Lumping those matches together here makes it at least a little more tolerable. The result is way less satisfying than the singles elimination match earlier in the set as with so many people involved this just feels like a collection of spots and highlights. The final trios match is pretty good and that triple team sub Los Infernales uses in the second fall is the best multiman sub I've ever seen. The other notable spot is Los Infernales countering La Estrella which was really cool and unexpected. This is fun but is still a bottom half match because of how disjointed it felt.
  4. This was so fun! I liked the way they started with competitive matwork and let the heat slowly escalate. The Satanico vs Tony Salazar exchanges really stood out to me. It's the best Salazar has looked on this set though Satanico is a GOAT candidate so that isn't a huge surprise. I love how they teased their tempers flaring during the early matwork by having both men feint kicks and punches after their initial lockup gets broken up. Atlantis vs El Dandy is probably my favorite matchup here and Santito is just so incredible that even after watching a bunch of great matches featuring him in the last month I still find myself impressed with him like it's the first time I've seen him.
  5. Really good trios match though probably only midrange in the grand scheme of things. I liked Atlantis and Dandy's exchanges which get even better in the next match. I can't remember if they ever had a singles match against each other but that's something I'd like to see.
  6. Watching this set has given me a better appreciation for some guys I always knew were great (Satanico, La Fiera, Sangre Chicana), introduced me to guys I've never heard of (As Charro), and turned some vaguely familiar names into names I want to seek out (Mocho Cota) but through all of this Rayo De Jalisco Jr. is someone whose stock has risen albeit in very quiet fashion. Sure, I already had a soft spot for him because he has a cool mask, fun dance moves, and Cien Caras vs Rayo De Jalisco Jr. is just as fun as wrestling gets but I still never thought of him as being this great. He's not the most amazing wrestler on the set but he really brings it in these trios matches. He has great timing when rudos stooge for his schtick, great selling when taking a beating, and produces some really hot comebacks like the one in this match. The rest of the tecnico team features La Fiera is great working the same leg injury as the 2/27 trios match and Tony Salazar who I was initially high on but has become really hit and miss in his last few appearances on this set. Which of course brings us to Los Infernales. They are easily one of the best, if not the best heel team in wrestling history. When they are mauling an opponent it is so brutal and so consistent that you can't help but wonder if it will ever let up. This is a tremendous showcase for them. That said, I'm still not sure how I feel about Masakre yet. I thought I remember somebody (Kris?) saying that the Masakre iteration of the team is their best version and Masakre has yet to really impress me. He's good and regardless of what he does he has two all time great rudos working with him so he could really fucking coast and this'd still be great. As great as it is this doesn't feel like quite the classic that some other Infernales matches have been and I don't think it's any better than the first Bucaneros trios match.
  7. So, I watched the rest of disc 6 as well as 7 and the beginning of disc 8 on a long bus ride so some of my thoughts on those matches may be a bit more brief. My notes on this one are pretty sparse and honestly I don't remember all that much about this one. I recall this being solid but unspectacular. I've grown to like this rudo trio and the tecnicos are good even if in some ways they feel like generic 80s tecnicos.
  8. This is a bit of a disappointment compared to the last match which is mostly because there were a few passages that felt pretty flat. The most memorable moments were still pretty spectacular though and that keeps it closer to midrange than the bottom. I loved all of the Kung Fu exchanges, especially Kung Fu going solo against Morgan and Hombre Bala. I really liked all of the legwork and La Fiera's selling of said legwork during the final fall. That moment where he and Estrada are circling each other, Fiera's leg buckles, and Estrada pounces only for La Fiera to hit some great hope spots on all three Bucaneros before going back to selling the leg was really well done. I could have seen that being a highlight in an even better match.
  9. My dad claims that he and Bill Apter took photography courses together and my dad is 67 so I don't think the difference in age could be too big.
  10. I feel like this is better than a mid range trios. This is every bit as good as those Fiera vs Babyface trios matches from 1986. Los Bucaneros are an outrageously good rudo team. Similar to Los Infernales with Pirata Morgan (common thread) they are downright brutal when they are ganging up on one opponent. On top of that their complicated stooging and miscommunication spots were even more impressive than those we recently saw from Los Misioneros de La Muerte. Rayo was the star of the tecnico team to me. I love the stooging built around his fancy footwork as well as how he attempts it one last time towards the end but Los Bucaneros have learned from their mistakes and rip him apart. I'm pretty sure Rayo submitted to La Careta to end the match though the hold wasn't on for too long. The only misstep in this match for me was that I wish the tecnico comeback in the second fall was a bit more nuanced.
  11. I'm totally going to this! I fucking love Cassandro and I don't want to miss a chance to see Atlantis live.
  12. 1986 1.) Espanto Jr. vs El Hijo Del Santo (Mask vs. Mask) (8/31/86) 2.) La Fiera vs. Babyface (8/15/86) 3.) Sangre Chicana vs. Perro Aguayo (Hair vs. Hair) (2/28/86) 4.) Americo Rocca, Cacharro Mendoza y Kung Fu vs. El Talisman, El Dandy y Guerrero Negro (September 1986) 5.) Babyface, Cien Caras y Mascara Ano 2000 vs. Lizmark, Rayo De Jalisco y La Fiera (September 1986) 6.) Pirata Morgan, BabyFace y Cien Caras vs. La Fiera, Lizmark y Rayo De Jalisco Jr. (September 1986) 7.) Rayo De Jalisco Jr. vs. Mascara Ano 2000 (8/15/86) 8.) Blue Panther, El Talisman y El Dandy vs. Stuka, America Rocca y Chamaco Valaguez (11/86) 9.) Ringo Mendoza, Atlantis y Ultraman vs. Satanico, Masakre y MS-1, (September 1986) 10.) Lizmark, Alfonso Dantes y Tony Salazar vs. El Signo, El Texano y Negro Navarro) (8/15/86) 11.) Americo Rocca, Ringo Mendoza y Tony Salazar vs. Negro Navarro, El Signo y El Texano (Hair vs. Hair) (9/19/86)
  13. This is the earliest Blue Panther match I've seen and god damn it he looked like he was already the Blue Panther we know and love. The exchanges with Stuka early on were pretty great but he also did some great rudo schtick. El Dandy is looking great as well and I'm really excited to see when he gets more time in the spotlight. As with the last time we saw Talisman and Dandy team up there were some stooging and miscommunication though not as much as against Kung Fu. Americo Rocca turns in another great babyface performance and each rudo was really game to catch and bump for his most athletic moves. In the end this wasn't as one sided as the match with Kung Fu in it but it wasn't as spectacular either. This was yet another good trios match and one that I'd probably rank in the middle of the other 1986 trios matches.
  14. I saw this in the listings and got excited but after reading tim and OJ's reviews I adjusted my expectations. This is a quick/fun trios match with some interesting spots and not the epic you expect a Misioneros de la Muerte apuestas match to be. The sunset flip by Salazar to block one of the Misioneros applying la tapatia to his teammate was cool and I'm surprised I've never seen that spot before. Americo Rocca looked great trading punches in this match too. The submission counter during the finish was the best part of the match and it's a shame the rest of it didn't feel quite as special. I had to look it up but I knew I heard it before: http://luchawiki.org/index.php?title=La_Estrella
  15. I thought this was a good trios match that did a nice job of combining two separate feuds. We have more of La Fiera and Babyface feuding and we also get some Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs Los Hermanos Dinamita which is a classic feud. Throw in another cool brawling Lizmark performance and we've got quite the match. I liked that they changed up the matchups a bit and allowed everybody to have a chance to wrestler their rival and the rest of his team. Yet again, La Fiera's selling was great. I liked that he even cringed when the ref raised his arm after the first fall though Rayo coming over to chastise the ref and the ref just shrugging it off made me laugh. The rudos ran roughshod over the tecnicos for much of this match. There was one moment where Lizmark spills to the floor and just lies there while Rayo is stumbling around in the background, bleeding all over the place, and La Fiera is holding himself up on the apron barely able to use his arm. It was a pretty compelling mauling too with plenty of mask ripping and biting. All hope seemed to be lost when the tecnicos attempted to rally but it was too little too late. I loved the way the rudos soaked up the hatred from the crowd after the match.I think I may have drifted off somewhere in the middle though because I can't remember how the second fall ended.
  16. I love a good trios match with great comedy spots. I often feel like good lucha comedy can fit in very nicely next to traditional pantomime comedy. A lot of the rudo stooging in this match, especially when going up against Kung Fu doesn't feel too far off from Charlie Chaplin's boxing scenes from movies like City Lights. The nunchuk stuff is pretty hilarious as well. The rudos do kick some ass when they have to but it's not an epic ass kicking and in the end this is just a really good comedy match.
  17. I feel like a pest but I'm really curious about the possible dates of these matches. I also marked part of this in spoilers to avoid spoiling the finish of the Babyface vs Fiera hair vs hair match. Ringo Mendoza, Atlantis y Ultraman vs. Satanico, Masakre y MS-1, (September 1986) Pirata Morgan, BabyFace y Cien Caras vs. La Fiera, Lizmark y Rayo De Jalisco Jr. (September 1986) These are obviously the same show but I don't think that show actually happened in September 1986. Masakre is wearing his mask in the first match but according to luchawiki Masakre lost his mask to Kiss 8/29/1986. It is possible that luchawiki is wrong because I don't really know what the source of that claim would be. Anyway, if it isn't September 1986 then I could see this happening before the La Fiera vs Babyface match from 8/15/86 because EDIT: I think we can also speculate about the real date of Babyface, Cien Caras y Mascara Ano 2000 vs. Lizmark, Rayo De Jalisco y La Fiera (September 1986) for similar reasons. La Fiera has his shoulder taped up the same way it is in their hair vs hair match and at one moment during the post match stuff Babyface gestures towards Fiera and then to his hair as if to challenge him for a hair vs hair match.
  18. Really really fun trios brawl that's better than the other 1986 trios matches so far. Like tim said, this is all about La Fiera vs Babyface and we get the same hatred and gore that made their hair vs hair match so great. Everyone else feels like a supporting player but they look good whenever the camera makes it's way toward them. Cien Caras vs Rayo De Jalisco is always fun at this point just due to the big personalities clashing. We get to see some huge dives from Rayo and Cien Caras takes a few pretty good bumps. Pirata Morgan does his thing but he used up most of his hatred on beating up Satanico before the match. Lizmark looks surprisingly good in a gritty story like this one. Still, Fiera vs Babyface. Man. I can't help but wonder that if this show isn't actually from September 1986 then maybe this match is part of the build up to their hair vs hair match.
  19. Are we sure this was September 1986? Masakre is wearing his mask but according to luchawiki he lost his mask 8/29/1986. This is a fun match though it'll probably be on the bottom half of my list. It's probably around the same level as that Los Misioneros match. Los Infernales are great as usual. I'm not familiar with the Masakre iteration of that group and I didn't get much of a sense of him watching this but he certainly wasn't bad. Ultraman appears to have added some martial arts to his gimmick. Damn it, I just want to see him throw punches and not all of these kicks. Atlantis has clearly grown a lot at this point. He looks really confident and all of that awkwardness appears to be gone. He looks like a classic tecnico now. His flashy stuff looked great, especially his springboard somersault senton. Where he really shined though was in that moment where he is cornered by all three Infernales and he just runs around dodging their advances and laying in some nice punches here and there. Ringo and Satanico trading punches is the best thing Ringo Mendoza has ever done. Oh man, me too. I also love the image of Cien Caras and Babyface coming out and trying to keep the other Infernales out of it.
  20. I love the structure of this match. This isn't a wild brawl with lots of punches but it is a fiercely competitive wrestling match where both competitors give everything they have to hold on to the masks that represent their family's honor. Espanto Jr. is a beast and he just dominates throughout much of this match with his very physical grappling. Every throw looks like he's trying to put Santo right through the mat and he may have the best snapmare ever. Santito has a major hope spot before he ultimately succumbs to Espanto's brute force and loses the first fall. That image of the children coming to console Santo between falls is one of those classic pro wrestling images. As it turns out staying outside the ring is the only place Santo can rest and regroup as Espanto is on quite the roll. I love that Santo is completely dominated before the comeback that wins the second fall for him. In addition to his always incredible dives he throws some awesome kneelifts to get himself back into the match. Espanto also has one of the best Fuerza bumps I've ever seen. The third floor is just a war with perfect revenge spots. Espanto tears Santo's mask so Santo tears his. Espanto posts Santo and beats him with a chair so Santo slams Espanto into the turnbuckle until it is a bloody mess. It's only after Espanto's tope when both of them are recovering on the arena floor that we really get to see just how much punishment both have taken. The VQ gets funky so we don't get to see one of Santo's dives but we still hear the crowd losing it and how often has Santo fucked up one of his flying moves? Santo eventually sinks in the deepest camel clutch in wrestling history for a hard earned victory. This is a classic. This is probably my MOTY for 1986 which is my favorite year for wrestling. I also think this is one of the greatest matches of all time so it says something about how great this set is that there is a chance this could end up being number 2 or number 3. I'm probably going to end up watching the top matches again because I can't commit myself to putting my top 5 in order at the moment. On the right day this could end up being number 1.
  21. This was a match I was excited about because I liked the participants and I've wanted to see more from both of them. I didn't expect it to be one of the best matches on the set but it totally is. Before this set I had only seen Babyface on the NJPW set. he was good there but I never thought he had a performance like this in him. His selling is unbelievably good. He looks as if he's out on his feet during the start of the second fall but manages to believably come to and get back into the match . As for La Fiera, this is a career performance right here. He is possibly the craziest bumper I have ever seen. He takes one of the nastiest looking postings I've ever seen and proceeds to fall off the apron and faceplant on the wooden planks on the floor. That's not his only faceplant on the floor as later in the match we see him pushed through the ropes and landing face first then he faceplants on a missed dive off of the apron. His selling is amazing and as the match goes on it becomes a greater struggle for him to get up from the progressively crazier bumps. This is every bit as brutal as the most violent matches on this set but the violence here seems more calculated than chaotic which makes it really stand out. Probably a top 5 match right now and I can't see this leaving the top 10.
  22. I think I liked this more than tim and Curt though it's not like I think it's a really high ranking match either. The way they made those first two falls sound I thought they'd be really rushed. They are short but they still manage to work in some simple feeling out matwork in the first fall. Then the second fall has a nice and simple transition where Rayo, who has been controlling the match since his first fall victory, misses a falling headbutt and Mascara Ano 2000 begins to take control. These aren't the first two falls you may want from other workers but it worked to both of these wrestlers' strengths. This is a title match but neither is known for their matwork so some short falls, simple exchanges, nice transitions, and Rayo dancing schtick is going to be the best path for them to choose. The third fall is all about big bombs and it's really fun to watch. I didn't expect so many dives but they all looked good. This isn't anything deep but it makes for really fun junk food.
  23. Los Misioneros aren't as frighteningly brutal in this one as Los Infernales were the last time we saw them but that's because Infernales set that bar pretty high. The beatdowns dished out by Los Misioneros de la Muerte were still pretty awesome. All three members throw great punches and had some great double and triple team moves. Where they really excelled though was in their miscommunication spots some of which were pretty complex in addition to being perfectly executed. Lizmark's crispness makes him the perfect foil for those spots. This match may be the best showcase of Lizmark's skills we've seen on this set so far. Tony Salazar, who I have been really high on every other time I've seen him, may have been the weakest worker here. A few of his bumps looked really off and I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get to see many of his punches, especially given how many the rudos were throwing. That being said, he was good during the finish and post match controversy. It was a pretty well done screwy finish that makes you want to see the rematch or subsequent hair match. The match as a whole was good but not great.
  24. First of all, this is a great handheld. There's a great view of the action all around ringside and oh boy, they use the area around the ring really well. The noise from the crowd is pretty clear as well which helps the big match atmosphere. Plus, there are one or two clips but they don't seem to cut out much. This feels like a huge match. Part of it is the crowd which is pretty loud throughout this match. That kid at ringside is a blast to watch as well. Not only does he have a great post match celebration of his own but he has a few moments during the match where he can't contain how much he hates Perro and it is hilarious. The other reason this feels huge is that these are two of the most expressive and charismatic wrestlers ever. Their physical charisma is still palpable from our bird's eye view in the stands. Their singles match as part of that 4 way elimination match only hints at this one. There are some incredible strike exchanges that work because they are simple and drawn out so that every strike is milked for ever bit of drama they could possibly hold. The dives were all really impressive and each one was better than the last. The sequence after that final dive where they are brawling in the seats is epic. Epic is probably the best word to describe this one, from the amount of ground they cover brawling around the ringside area and in the crowd to the huge nearfalls during the final fall. I think with a few minutes trimmed off of this match we may have had a contender for the top spot. There were brief moments sprinkled throughout this match that felt a tad repetitive but it's still a great match and one that will probably still finish super high on my ballot.
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