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Phil Schneider

Mocho Cota vs. Americo Rocca (1/27/84)

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The first fall of this is some of my favorite lucha matwork wrestling this side of Blue Panther, Llanes vs. Dandy and dandy vs. Azteca. Giving a running play by play would be mundane but I was completely engaged in everything transpiring. The referee making Cota break the headscissors as a choke gave a nice little narrative and the match was off and running from there. Every submission looks like it could be it, at one point Cota has a pin attempt with all of Roccas limbs tied up that I don't know how he kept escaping from. Rocca wins with the Gory Special which is a fantastic finish to a caida like this. Cota gets in gear in the second fall and schools Rocca at almost every turn. The stuff is done on the mat but with a great viciousness attached to it including the submission finish. The third fall now is for the championship and Cota is even more aggressive ringing out the arm and sending it into the turnbuckle. He then hooks on a nasty looking chinlock that looks more like a rear naked choke a treated as Rocca is in sever danger from it. Cota's second keeps pushing Rocca's legs from the ropes and a fan responds by pelting garbage at him. Cota's throws are something that written here don't seem like much but he does them with such force and disregard that they really look vicious. His whole demeanor in this match has been superb. Rocca makes his big comeback with some pin attempts and a couple of dropkicks. Victory gets caught by Cota and we almost have the Owen vs. Bret finish. HUGE dropkick from Coata sends Rocca to the outside then we get probably my favorite dive of the set up to this point as Cota goes out like a missile and Rocca goes flying back. Both men thankfully make the count and Cota is frustrated. Cota runs the gauntlet of nasty submissions but Rocca wont give it up. Cota slaps the mat in frustration. Bridging armdrag by Rocca and some dropkicks but he gets into the ref. Cota hits and armdrag and even though the legs are under the ropes, the dazed ref doesn't see it. People are not pleased with this. Bring on the rematch.****1/2

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Man oh man what a match.  The first fall matwork is just brilliant, detailed, engrossing stuff.  It was so good that I was disappointed to see them ratchet it up during the second fall but Mocho Cota comes back with a vengeance and it's still awesome, that sort of Fujiwara armbar take down thing he did was great.  Mocha dominants Rocca for a bit, and it's great, before ending the fall with a super cool submission.  Matwork that "goes nowhere" and the related lack of familiar "working a body part" psychology has always been a perennial complain about lucha by lucha newbies and skeptics but Mocha really zeros in on Rocca's arm and wrenches it during the submissions.  The big drop kick followed by the tope spot really is outstanding and Rocca just goes flying when he gets hit by Mocho.  Back in the ring is totally great with Mocho taking advantage chaining a bunch of submissions together: Rocca is able to escape them but he seems weaker each time and leaves himself in position for Mocho to lock on another.  Rocca mounts the comeback but dropkicks Mocho into the ref leading to a screwy finish.  The crowd is outraged and I love the grin on one rudo fan's face who comes up to slap hands with Mocho, you can see he just loves it.

 

Hard to make proclamations as to how matches on this set will rank but this is one hell of a great match.

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I never saw Mocho Cota before this set but when I saw him I wondered about his name but the closeup on his missing fingers cleared all that up for me. Imagine if they billed Zach Gowen as "Lame Zach Gowen." Yeesh. After a match like this I think I'm going to be a fan of this guy. He's a rudo to the core. Even when he's not actually cheating like during some of the matwork he is just rough. Of course he actually cheats as well and it's awesome. It was the perfect kind of cheating for a title match too because it never turned into a brawl. And man, his tope was nuts as well.Rocca looked pretty good too. I really liked his selling, particularly his facial expressions and the way he favored his shoulder later in the match. The finish was well done and it put over that Cota will take any victory he can get. I'm pretty excited about the rematch.

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Very well done match. Cota has always been an underrated mat worker and sadly didn't stick to that kind of stuff later in his career when more people got to watch him on TV. Rocca was always a guy I wrote off as when I started watching lucha he was way past his prime but the more old stuff that pops up of him the more I'm impressed. Great matwork early on with each guy fighting to get holds and escape holds. No move was taken for granted and it looked like Cota would be pinned many times before Rocca got him with the inverted Gory Special. Second fall was also real good. These guys weren't rushing to get the third fall or anything of the sort. Thought the flying senton would end it but then Cota locked on the Zayclone (as it's known now done by his son) for the win. Lots of great stuff in the third fall including Cota's tope knocking Rocca 8 rows back. Was not a fan at all of the bullshit finish but at least they gave them an automatic rematch.

 

Will likely be in my top half although I liked the rematch better.

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Cota works the arm like a mutha.  Some really simple stuff that was still really cool.  I loved his arm-wringer where he'd put his shoulder into the arm and drive Rocco to the mat.  

 

Great story here of Rocco being so tough that he won't quit even though his arm is being torn to shreds.  He mounts a comeback and Cota sees and opening and capitalizes.  

 

I need to see the rematch to see how they compare, but this should be pretty high.  Not much I can find wrong with this match.

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I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought of Fujiwara while watching Cota. Arm work aside, their physical builds and mannerisms are so similar that I can see myself quickly becoming a Cota fan, as I did with Fujiwara on the 80s other Japan set. Really great match, and surprisingly clean work from Cota considering he's a heel.

 

Last time we saw Cota, he was a face teaming up with Sangre Chicana. Was there a major angle/heel turn leading up to this match?

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Matwork, matwork, matwork. This one looks to be all about it. Not a million miles an hour, but everything looks really snug and painful. Mocho starts out doing the great rudo thing of going to the mat like a tecnico, but complaining about the tecnico cheating when he isn't. In segunda caida the armwork gets intense with Rocca taking a double armwringer among other things. I love Cota's pin with the knee against the face, very Regal-esque. By the way, the close-up on his missing fingers is gross and completely took me off guard. After some more armwork Rocca starts to get the upper hand, Cota hits a gorgeous dropkick and follows with a plancha to the outside, then goes right back to the arm. In all this praise I can't overlook Rocca, he's a perfect foil for the devious Cota throughout the match. Finish should have fueled a riot. 

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Mocho Cota is fucking awesome. He really takes the lead in this match and is great. Rocca is strong underneath and sells pretty well but Cota was the star. The first fall was excellent. The mat work was all very smooth and deliberate with some gritty struggle and really believable transitions. Cota won on the mat but once they got back on their feet Rocca caught him with a back breaker submission for the win. The second and third falls are all about Cota taking complete control and really focusing on Rocca’s arm. He does some really good work here and keeps everything to Rocca’s arm. Cota forces Rocca to submit in the second and we have a really good third fall with Rocca desperately staying alive while nursing his arm. Cota’s second (I believe it’s Talisman) keeps getting involved and pissing off the referee. Rocca gets a comeback but Cota crushes him with an awesome dropkick and hits him with a great dive into the aisle. Talisman rolls Cota back into the ring which pissed the ref off again. Rocca eventually gets a big comeback going but the ref takes a bump and Cota throws Rocca over his head and covers him. Talisman holds onto Rocca’s legs and Cota gets the win. That finish was terrible and it’s a shame because this was a pretty great match before that bullshit. Cota was tremendous in this match having great tunnel vision working over Rocca’s arm and doing awesome throws and shit. A better finish would have made this better than the previous match but I’m not so sure it is now.

EDIT: Well, I'll give this four stars or so. I thought about the match for a few minutes and Chad made a great point about how engaging the first fall matwork was. I was totally transfixed. That's a really good thing. I'll give it an A-. After a full day of thinking on it, this match is better than the Atlantis-Satanico match. Everything up until the finish kept me glued to the screen. Atlantis-Satanico lost me a few times with Atlantis' pandering to the crowd in his goofy way and me preferring the psychological mat focused match in Cota-Rocca more.

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First truely great title match on the set. Not even very lucha specific as they could've worked this pretty much anywhere in the world. You really get a strong sense of legitimacy in this style of technical wrestling. Every single hold is absolutely wrenched in with force and looks like it would be painful to break. The first fall isn't even super complicated stuff, mostly basic holds and pins, but these guys are just wrestling into and out of them fiercely. Just really great mat sense of how much to give your opponent, when to reverse and when to rev up the attack. Additionally to the great wrestling there is a really neat story here with Cota as the driving force. You really get the sense that he's absolutely able to wrestle and beat his opponent cleanly but he's too much of a dick not to use the tricks for the easier way. He really has it all over Rocca just decimating his shoulder, hitting a dive and even a second lending a helping hand for one of the most engrossing control segments I remember seeing. Cota ripping at that arm and repeatedly chucking his opponent to the mat was really Regal-level. Rocca does some really neat emphasized selling and his bridging armdrag is one of the more beautiful simple spots I remember seeing, but this is about Cota from start to the outraging finish.

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This was a great match worked in the lucha title style with no blood and these guys do everything right here. The matwork was crisp with Rocca being dominant and then went it came to brawl Cota asserted his dominance there. The stretch run was also great with some great intensity before the finish which was well done

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Lucha 2.2
Mocho Cota vs. Americo Rocca (1/27/84)

Mocho Cota is one cool-looking evil son of a bitch. Some matwork to start. Really fluid matwork. Armdrag by Cota. I can't really describe any of the stuff I'm seeing but it's cool and the first fall was high quality. What the fuck??!! Cota has only 3 fingers?! Huh?! God.

That shoulder barge by Cota into Rocca's arm was awesome, and now a great sick-looking arm wrench thing. Cota is one nasty muthafucka. This is one of the best arm-control sequences I can remember seeing. Great, effortless, back drop. Arm drag. Really enjoying this second fall. Senton. Unusual submission hold for 1-1. Really good.

Things dropped off a tiny bit in this third fall until a very high dropkick and insane fucking dive out of the ring by Cota basically right into the crowd! Man, did he fly! I love this guy. Sick submission hold now. Reverse camel clutch thing now. Actual camel clutch now. Octopus. Eat your heart out Dean Malenko, this is the real man of 1001 holds right here. Ref bump. And a cheap pin.

Thought this was awesome. My number #2 for the set so far. Possibly also just overtaken Bockwinkel vs. Billy Robinson as my favourite mat-based match. Really really excellent.

A

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That matwork to start this match was tremendous. A really good, hard fought, mat based match overall. I appreciate the technical aspect of it, but had a harder time connecting to the match emotionally. It was really good, just lacking that "spark" for me that would make it truly great. Finish was unsatisfying as well, but worked to setup the rematch.

 

B or ***3/4

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Another in the line of great lucha matwork matches so far on this set. Totally different style too, as Cota just hones in on Rocca's arm and uses some awesome arm drags.

 

I enjoyed Cota alot in the earlier 6 man, and his versatility is really impressive, excelling not only in that style, but in the straight up matwork. As a guy I'd never seen (much less heard of), before this set, I'm really impressed with him and look forward to seeing more.

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I really liked this. 

 

First fall had brilliant matwork but it all felt like a struggle and it ended with a lightning armdrag to turn the tide and a really cool submission. The second fall had just brutal armwork and rudo mauling, with another killer finish submission. Third fall had more of the same and was really enjoyable but I didn't like Rocca's first comeback since he really stopped selling the arm for it. The bump on the dive into the crowd was shoutworthy though and after the dive there was a real sense of desperation out of Rocco. The submissions Cota was locking on were just mindblowing and Rocco looked like a true hero to not give up, which made the dickish finish all the better.

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Can't do anything but echo all the love this is getting. What makes this stand out to me against most other stuff on the set so far is that each fall felt like a match and a battle in itself. The matwork in the first fall was the best stuff on the set thus far. Both guys looked really game, and it didn't look choreographed at all. Cota's viciousness in the second fall was great. I actually cringed at the way he was bending the arm back. There's no way that didn't smart. I liked Cota's second getting involved- not seen much of that on the set yet. The dive was stupendous. The way Cota held his form, and then Rocca just disappearing into the crowd. Great moment. I was fine with the finish to set up the rematch. This jumped up to number 2 so far.

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I wasn't quite as taken with the matwork during the first fall as others were here.  I think things really picked up when Cota went on the offense.  I also liked Cota's armbar takedowns and thought his submission series during the third fall was breathtaking.  Interference by the second was fun and added to the intensity toward the end.  I was surprised the crowd didn't react more to the finish.  This match seems to be a the top portion of my mid-range so far. 

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I'm pretty biased when it comes to matwork style matches -- either it connects with me immediately, or I tune them out and move on. This one grabbed from the jump as it had really fast paced matwork for the first fall. Loved all of the cranking mat holds in the second, with a little nastiness from Coto for good measure. Coto really works the shoulder/arm during the third, and the drop kick leading to the dive spot was fantastic. Coto throwing every move he knows trying to close it out ramped this up even more, and even the kind of silly ref bump leading to the pin with Rocco's legs under the ropes finish didn't bring this down too much. Really good top third of the set match.

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Superb match, the one thing I like most in a match is its ability to tell a story and this one is beautifully told. Mocha has been a revelation on this set and he's at his best here, Rocca more than holds his own too for that matter. Top ten candidate.

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Really loved the mat work, especially in the first two falls. They had great different sequences (again, to 2014 eyes) that seemed back and forth while making the holds feel competitve. It was a total techincal match until the last few minutes, so much so that I was only half sure Cota was the rudo and Rocca was the técnico because Rocca would smile and Cota always had a sour expression. Cota also had some awesome dropkicks. It's possible everyone in the 80s had awesome dropkicks, but Cota was on point here. Also delighted to see Cota use Zayco's finish (or really vice versa), but I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who possibly cares about that. It felt like it slowed down a bit in the third, with a fair bit of catch and release submissions and the cameras missing half of the finish, but I was still eager to keep going for the rematch.

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I tried desperately to stay awake during this match so I probably missed some pieces but I definitely remember Mocho Cota's awesome work on Rocca's arm, especially the way he'd drive into his shoulder and take him down to the mat. Plus that tope that looked to send Rocca almost out of the arena was bad ass. Was pretty disappointed in the finish especially with how hard I was trying to stay awake to finish the match. Still suspect this to finish pretty well and I'm looking forward to the rematch.

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