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Phil Schneider

La Fiera vs. Babyface (8/15/86)

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This must've been some feud because these two do not seem to care for one another, Fiera dragging Babyface by his hair to ram him against the ring panneling right after winning the first fall and Babyface going after Fiera's injured shoulder with no remorse and refusing to break the submission after the second fall.  La Fiera working over Babyface in the second fall is just great before his injured shoulder stops him from applying a move and Babyface starts taking advantage (though wrenching on the wrong arm in his submission to win the fall).  Third fall is all out, they both bleed and beat the hell out of each other.  Fiera's big dive is nuts and unexpected and his followed missed dive on the outside is a sick bump.  Ending totally rules: Babyface hits a headbutt below the belt but the ref buys it as a headbutt to the gut, so Fiera grabs the ropes off the victory roll for the win to pay him back.  The crowd mobs the ring, some are happy and some are grabbing the ropes and trying to explain the ref which is the best.  Top 20 level match, I could see it in top 10s.

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That has to be the first pinfall off a fistdrop I've ever seen. Nice. Baby Face blades in abdomen-covering fashion after the always great Corona sideboard posting. Announcer keeps talking about La Fiera as a master of tae-kwon-do or something, probably because he kicks a lot. The ref having to peel apart the two men from the octopus hold that ends segunda caida underlines the hate these two have for each other. We get a brief clip and Fiera is already bleeding. He has a great response to someone putting you in a hammerlock: just punch 'em in the kidneys! There's an even better moment where Baby Face picks up Fiera's feet as he's hanging through the ropes and just dumps him on his head. So many cheap shots in this one. Fiera bouncing off the floor is a sight. Nice little "revancha" finish and there goes Baby's mop. I didn't even know this was a hair match! They keep talking shit to each other and Fiera even kicks Baby as he's getting shaved. Great match, nice methodical pace where every shot felt like it was meant to hurt, good armwork from Baby Face too. 

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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.

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I have no idea what I'm going to get here. I didn't really like Fiera the last time I saw him, unfortunately, and we've only seen Babe Face once.

 

There's a ton of intensity early on, though. Babe Face is sort of deceptively big as he's really quick, and Fiera is just brutal with his kicks. Even his missile dropkick has this pump snap to it. Very brief first fall, but also believable as I much prefer that to those killer kicks being no sold. The apron slam in between falls makes me wish that every ring in the world had a wooden advertisement around it and I like how Fiera is mixing punishment and playing to the crowd.

 

Second fall starts immediately with the bite/blood spit and the gear-switching is fun. Yeah, it's night and day from the last time I saw Fiera here as he's just stalking around the ring damaging Babe Face (who is doing a great job staggering about) in the worst ways. The way he rears back on his punch/headbutt like he was pitching a fastball is sort of awesome and I loved the second rope double axe handle to a kneeling Babe Face too. He's just mauling him with one compelling move after the next (everything deserves mention: the fist drop onto the top of the skull, the head scissors, the way that both guys sold the headbutt huge). I really like the spin kick cut off on Babe Face's comeback too since it just didn't feel time timed right for him to come back quite yet. Instead, when he gets out of the Stretch a few moves later, targets the injury and follows up with probably the hugest atomic elbow I've ever seen, it feels like he really earned it. He's a blood mess beating the crap out of Fiera, and finishes him with maybe the coolest submission I've seen on the set so far with that crazy grapevine octopus. The arm just isn't supposed to bend that way. One fun thing about these matches is that you know that they'll not just run a head into the turnbuckle. No, it's going into the pole and then it'll be followed by a dickish mule kick for good measure.

 

Anyway, Fiera finally gets back into the ring and Babe Face just rampages all over his face. Fiera's bumping/selling is a little goofy but you get the idea. Fiera gets a lucky drop kick and is duly made to suffer for his efforts. The arm work here isn't complicated but it's sure effective. Fiera fights back. Babe Face goes right back to the arm with something hugely painful looking. The tape coming off makes a great visual too. That the crowd popped for Babe Face charging across the ring to attack it was awesome and then it was followed by the forced slide to the floor. Babe Face was a bit too methodological for his own good and Fiera gets to pull him out in a great little pissed off transition moment. Fiera really looks like he's been through a war here, and the tossing of the bandage was sort of a dropping of the strap moments (he sells the arm after the elbow drop, which was a nice touch and in the match in my head slowed him down enough that he missed the headbutt because of it). 

 

Fiera really does have a nice looking spin kick. The dropkick that sent Babe Face off the apron for the dive was pretty nice too. The dive was absolutely insane though. That was a belly flop headbutt right there. Oh god, why did he go for that cross body off the apron? This match lacks mercy and humanity in every way. Fiera recovers but ends up getting the headbutt to the gut. The finish is sort of clever as it looks like Babe Face is going for a press slam but Fiera ends up on his shoulders. He hits one elbow (which I consider symbolic for the amount of times he received an elbow in this match) and gets the sunset flip (rope-assisted) for the win. I'm not 100% sure I'm doing a ballot but I think this would probably be a top 15, one of those matches that only gets pushed down because other matches are so good. 

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Do a ballot Matt, this being lucha it will unfortunately probably need as many votes as it can get.  As long as you can felsh out a top 20 nothing else terribly much matters rankings wise.

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I'm a sucker for matches where it looks like the wrestlers have no regard for each other's safety.  This had a lot of that.  

 

Guys just dumping each other, moving out of the way of dives, and blooooood.

 

Top 10 for sure.  I'll be glad if it gets pushed out cause that'll mean lots of good stuff to come.

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I liked this match quite a bit too.  It should land nicely in the top third of my matches when I rank things.  Babyface's open offensive flurry was great.  Fiera's flip bumps over the top turnbuckle to the floor were good.  The working of and selling of Fiera's shoulder was nice throughout.  Fiera's splat onto the floor in the third fall was amazing.  I thought the third fall meandered a bit at times, but overall it was a lot of fun. 

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Ok so I jumped right to this match when I put in disc 5 because I knew I wanted to see more Babyface. I did not know this match was going to absolutely blow me away. There was so much to love about this match I can't begin to cover it all. But yea, this must have been a hell of a feud because these two absolutely hate each other.

 

La Fiera hits some of the most beautiful fistdrops I have ever seen in this one. Babyface continues to make me love him by being such an asshole. I love that a guy named Babyface is such a great heel. I liked how much Fiera's shoulder injury came into play here and I can only assume that it was originally caused by Babyface. The first two falls were really good but they reached a level in the 3rd fall that not many matches achieve. The Tope Suicida was amazing and then La Fiera missing his dive off the apron led to a great countout false finish. I was kind of legitimately upset at the finish here because Babyface was totally robbed because the ref clearly saw La Fiera's hand on the ropes after finishing the count. But that's a real nitpick, this was an amazing match and is somewhere in my top 3 so far.

 

What's not to love about a match that brings hate, blood, targeted body work, long term selling, insane dives and huge bumps? I feel like this could be a top 10 contender for ANY of the sets I've watched so far for this project.

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Really great match and not a straight brawl like some of the other matches. Hate was conveyed in applying holds and trying to out dick each other here. I think the official knew the Babyface blow was low and therefore saw the Fiera rope holding as an "eye for an eye" type concept. Fieras splat on the outside was sickening. I see this as a really strong top 10 contender. (****1/2)

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