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Phil Schneider

Pirata Morgan vs. Brazo De Oro (11/17/89)

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Nice to see a real title match on the set again.  I liked how they both kept a little bit of their schtick in the opening mat work which added a bit of flavor to it.  I really like Oro's small package roll up.  Beginning of the second fall is cool with Morgan trying to survive the onslaught, especially at first when he taps on Oro's back to get him to think he gave up while in the crab without ever actually verbally quitting to the ref.  First two falls were good, solidly good, but not really great.  The third fall, though, was great.  Oro had submitted to a figure four to lose the second fall and is nursing it in the third, awesomely playing defense trying to keep Morgan away from it.  Oro sells the knee throughout and it's a big feature of the fall.  At one point he finally takes Morgan down and just starts wrenching on the arm hoping to find some way to equalize things.  There are three big dives, lots of missed moves off the top and by the end this really has that great war of attrition feel.  Oro grabs another small package and it's a really effective near fall.  Morgan wins it at the end with a cobra clutch.  The crowd was hot for this throughout and the third fall was fantastic with the story of Oro's leg giving it a really unique feel.  Top 30.

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Great title match though it wasn't the usual lucha title match either. Morgan and his second Emilio Charles Jr. were a bit less subtle about their heeling than I'm used to in this environment. That wasn't bad though and any rudisimo from Pirata Morgan is going to be fun. He would throw an elbow any time the ref's back was turned or bite Brazo de Oro to try and escape a hold. Still, most of his cheating was through trickery which is what I expect in a title match. I especially liked the spot tim pointed out where Morgan patted Brazo de Oro on the back during a boston crab to make him think the ref was breaking the hold. This wasn't the fastest or most graceful matwork but both men fought for everything and in some ways it was more brutal looking than a lot of lucha matwork. It helped how great both were at selling throughout the match and in particular how Brazo de Oro sold the injured knee as the match went on. Not only did it factor into a number of transitions in the last fall but you could also see him position the injured leg away from Morgan when he was in control which was a really cool detail.

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I wasn't too hyped to see this when I read it was a clean title match, I wanted hate and blood, guess that comes next match. Still it's perfectly fine stuff. Pirata's subtle cheating and more than that his selling are the best. Things get suspenseful in the final fall with both guys having damaged legs, which doesn't stop Oro from busting out a huge plancha that has him sliding down Morgan's torso like a slip'n'slide. Emilio Charles is a good second and earns his stripes by eating a Morgan tope (and having the funny Marlboro logo towel). Oro keeps hurting his knee with ill-advised offensive moves and finally Morgan locks in a Cobra Clutch, slowly falls back with it and twists which looks nasty enough for the chokeout win. I would have preferred him going back to the legs but it looked like a legit finisher. Not sure where this fits into the big title fights picture right now but it was solid. 

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I thought the first-fall matwork went on a good, but it went on a little long.  It was interesting to see Brazo submit so quickly to the figure four in the second fall.  Brazo's evasive moves in the beginning of the third fall were nice.  In the third fall, Morgan takes a silly flip bump to the floor and then has to stand around a bit to wait for Brazo to splash him from the top turnbuckle.  I liked Brazo's spinning backbreaker doing more damage to his knee than to Morgan.  Morgan's final submission was pretty cool-looking.  Still, I found the third fall to be a bit plodding, with kind of contrived dive spots, as opposed to such a war of attrition.  There were too many sharpshooters and missed sentons, and it started to get a bit repetitive.  This may end up barely in my bottom half. 

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