This is the Classic Lucha 1993 Volume 1 tape from wrestleholics. I was going to watch some TV that featured "Tiger Man" (take a guess what that was ripping off) from 1993, but the VQ had pretty much deteriorated to unwatchableness.
1. Espanto Jr & Jerry Estrada vs. Edy Guerrero & El Hijo del Santo
Espanto Jr sports an black mask with a white cross in the middle of it, although it was removed for the match. Espanto Jr would later wrestle as a heel version of Hijo del Santo - Santo Negro, until a threatened lawsuit ended that gimmick. Jerry is a bump freak, and he was getting up in years at this point. Picture an ancient, Mexican Marty Jannetty. And yes, the on-screen graphics did spell the name "Edy". He's wearing a hideous purple, zebra-striped singlet. The referees here are the usual suspects for the big AAA matches. Tirantes representing the rudos, and Pepe Casas for the tecnicos. Pepe is the father of Negro Casas, El Felino & Heavy Metal.
First Fall: It's on the mat with Espanto & Santo in the opening segment. Hijo leads this segment really well, although there was a really nice stepover armbar takedown from Espanto. The Estrada/Guerrero segment is faster and more takedown-based. Jerry takes the first stupid bump of the match, taking a monkey flip and flying face first to the floor. After that, Santo quickly goes through the rudos. It's Guerrero vs. Espanto. Espanto goes up for a Victory Roll, but Eddy puts on the brakes, and Santo comes off the top with a bulldog. (Which, in actuality was almost Gayda-esque). Eddy then drops him down, for Santo to put on a camel clutch for submission. Edy then pins Jerry with a released fisherman suplex.
Second Fall: Espanto tries to sucker in Edy with the handshake spot, and finally gives up and boots Edy in the chest. The two trade clotheslines. More rope running, and Espanto tags out aftera crazy rana from Edy. Santo & Estrada continue the quick pace during their brief segment, ending with a dropkick to the floor from Santo. After thatm, it morphs into a 2 on 1 beatdown spot. Edy gets fouled, but neither referee sees that. Santo charges the attack on Edy, with no success. Santo takes the 2-on-1 beatdown, as he and Edy are both forced to submit, to a bow-and-arrow and an abdominal stretch respectively.
Third Fall: Santo gets posted early on, as the rudos continue the two on one assault - including the obligatory ripping of the Santo mask. Nothing technical, but the crowd is getting into it. Edy eventually has enough of this and charges the ring. Santo mounts his comeback with a series on kneelifts. The tecnicos his Espanto with some clotheslines in the corner. In a cool spot, Edy vertical suplexes Santo on top of Espanto. Jerry breaks up that pinfall, and decked for his troubles. As Edy goes for the pin, Espanto breaks it up by knocking Santo outside. He then bodyscissors Edy out to the floor, and hits him with a weak tope. Santo winds up for one of his own, but runs into Jerry's boot. Jerry charges, but gets a backdrop outside. Santo levels him with his gorgeous plancha. Back to Edy & Espanto. Edy tries a German suplex, but that gets blocked and turned into a roll-up for a near fall. Slam, but Espanto takes too long heading to the top. Top-rope superplex by Edy. Santo does his rolling headbutt, and gets up to rana Estrada for 3, as Edy falls on top of Espanto for the second fall.
There's some really nice stuff in this match. Good heat, and Espanto, based on the other stuff I'd seen him do, worked over his head. 84.
2. El Picudo, Heavy Metal & Psicosis vs. Rey Misterio Jr, Super Calo & Winners
El Picudo has one of my favourite lucha masks - a half black/Union Jack one. Heavy Metal is the brother of Felino & Negro Casas, and the son of referee Pepe Casas. Metal has been rumoured to have boatloads of drug problems over his career. He's wearing a Testament half-shirt. Rey enters to Erasure's "Little Respect", which just seems strange. Winners is a masked dancer type. He picks a woman out of the crowd to dance with him. She is his Kimberly to Winners' rest of the Nitro Girls, if you know what I mean. This match was also on the tape I planned to watch before settling on this one. Rey is already crazy over at this point. La Arena calls this match the "first awesome TV match Rey Jr. ever had"
First Fall: Lots of dancing from Calo. He works a takedown segment with Picudo, and frustrates the rudo. Tags to PSicosis & Rey, which really wakes up the crowd for some Mis-ter-i-o chants. Psic wins the test of strength, but only has the advangtage for seconds, before turning it into a body scissors takedown that has Psic out on the floor. Psic returns, and the two hit the mat. It is a really solid segment, until Metal breaks it up. After a short dispute, the two resume a mat segment. This one is ended quickly with a Picudo boot. Winners goes with Metal next. Winners does little of note (he was overshadowed by so many top-workers around this time though), so we get Rey & Metal. Great counter of a double underhook powerbomb with a rana by Misterio, and the rudos head to their corner to regroup. Eventually, it becomes Calo & Picudo. Calo dances, and gets dropkicked for his troubles. Some quick counters off Picudo's next moves, finally ending with a quebradora onm Picudo. Winners does some unspectacular stuff with Psicosis, who thankfully bumps like a nut for the vanilla offense of Winners. 4 of the luchas go at it. Picudo gets dropkicked outside, where Calo gives a twisting plancha onto him. Psic follows that with a tope con hilo. Winners adds a twist to his. Metal then comes off the top with a somersault onto Winners, and the trainwreck spot ends as Misterio moonsaults off the top turnbuckle to the floor. After all that Picudo and Metal are counted out, rendering Winners' moonsault on Psicosis pointless.
Second Fall: It is JIP with a Metal spinebuster on Calo. REy comes into the ring, where Metal clips him down. Double underhook suplex follows that. Picudo gets tagged in, and he delivers an elbow from the top, continuing the rudo attack. They then both lift up Rey for Psicosis to hammer him with a top-rope dropkick. The other tecnicos charge the ring, but this is one of those rudo beatdown falls. Picudo pins Calo after another spinebuster, with a bridge pin. Somehow, Winners also got eliminated for his team, since there was no count after Psicosis Samoan dropped Rey off the turnbuckles.
Third Fall: Winners is in trouble early, getting caught in a Picudo half Boston. Rey, then Calo take their beatdowns in turn. Psicosis misses a corner charge, and we have a comeback for los tecnicos. All of the guys miss moves off the top as the fall continues, including Psicosis' super-high altitude legdrop. Psic bails out, where Calo helps Winners launch a springboard plancha on to him. Calo somersaults onto Picudo, leaving Rey and Metal in the ring. Both charge and dropkick each other - downstairs. That is a DQ, but Casas & Tirantes dispute over who gets the win. So, we have a draw, although we do hear Winners' music at the end.
A cheap ending to a really good match. It approached the high 90 point mark, but when an ending leaves you unsatisfied, (ala HBK/Taker at HITC 1, or Mankind/HBK at Mind games) you have to deduct something. 91.
3. La Parka, Psicosis & Heavy Metal vs. Rey Misterio Jr, Edy Guerrero & Lizmark
This isn't the Lizmark that was in WCW - but it is his father. La Parka is working on the rudo side here, and unlike the current AAA La Parka this is the same one that was in WCW.
First Fall: Edy (yup, still spelled like that) and Psicosis start it off on the mat, with the remaining rudos running in whenever Edy scores a move on Psic. Lizmark & Parka trade slaps and punches on the floor for a bit after the second rudo run-in. Next up are Metal and Rey. Rey turns his back to the rudo corner, and gets knocked down. A press slam from Metal, but after a quebradora from Rey, they head out, and it is left too Parka & Liz. Some good lucha chain wrestling during this segment, which one saw slightly less of as Parka turned tecnico. Back to Edy/Psic. This one is all Edy. Rey comes in with Metal, butends up in the rudo corner, taking his lumps until Metal knocks him outside. Parka & Liz do a great segment with some fast counters and showmanship from Lizmark. Psicosis & La Parka fail their double team on Edy, and Rey comes into help out. Edy springboards him into a rana to pin Psicosis. Metal runs in, but ends up in a camel clutch position, which Edy turns into a German suplex. DAMN! That move was definitely worth hitting the rewing button to see again.
Second Fall: Rey opens off, frustrating both Parka & Psicosis with his speed. Rey blocks a double kick from the rudo tandem, then ducks our of the way of an enzuigiri to see Parka kicked to the floor. Metal has more success as he pulls Rey outside and posts him. We're now in the rudo beatdown portion of this fall. Parka chokes out Liz on the floor with a microphone cord, while in the ring, Edy gets nice height as Psicosis stun guns him. Metal finishes off Misterio with a press slam into a powerslam, and a goofy pinning position allows Parka to pin Liz.
Third Fall: Parka is unlacing Lizmark's mask as we come in, as Metal works over Rey. Some quick counters get a brief comeback for Rey, and again this comes down ot Parka & Liz. They paste each other with slaps, before a heel kick knocks down Parka. Liz starts to unlace the Parka mask. Psicosis stops that, but pays the price with the powerbomb. Liz & Parka eventually pull each other's masks off, and put each others on. Parka looks great with the skeleton costume and the Lizmark mask. Psic and Rey are in, but only briefly as Rey is backdropped to the floor. Psicosis' pescado ends with a loud thud on the floor. Edy's plancha hits, and then Edy is hit with a Metal moonsault. That leaves Parka and Lizmark. Liz is on the top ropes pounding away, so Parka counters with a low blow. Rey runs into the ring with no success, as Parka & Metal beat him to the bluckles. As Rey gets tangled in the ropes, Pepe Casas moves into break it up. The rudos continue to attack, hitting the referee in the process. That's a DQ.
I liked this better than the previous one. Good bumps from all involved, and better overall talent. Less spots, but better lucha. And that suplex at the end of fall #1 was mind-blowing, and worth the cost of the tape itself. 94.
4. Tony Arce & Rocco Valente vs. Volador & Misterioso
Arce & Valente, along with Vulcano form a very traditional rudo trio of Los Destructores. Good brawlers and decent bumpers. They wear black & white singlets and a black mesh mask. The tecnicos have heavily fringed masks, and Misterioso's has a mohawk as part of it. Both were very good at this point. They later feuded, ending with Volador losing his mask. He's now wrestling as Super Parka.
First Fall: Misterioso starts for his team, and he hits the mat with Valente for his portion of the opening fall. Lucha matwork, done well, is incredible to watch, since the rapid counters make it very unrestholdy. Hmm. As per google, the term unrestholdy has never been used in the history of the of the Internet. It doesn't have the panache of WALKING, but I like it. The segment goes for a good while as well, ending after a Mist dropkick. There is a little more posing in the Arce/Volador segment, but is still damn good. Then we get into the meat of the first fall. Several Misterioso armdrags frustrate Valente, but he gets some of his own in, as they trade moves. Arce meets Volador with a dropkick as they come in, and then there's some sloppy double teaming, as one of the Destructores doesn't roll with a body scissors. Both the rudos bail out, where Misterioso splats one with a somersault off the apron, and Volador lays out the other with a springboard moonsault off the top to the floor. Arce & Valente don't make the 20 count.
Second Fall: Misterioso is in trouble early as he takes a quebradora, but he comes back and gives Valente a spinning stomach breaker. Tags are made, and Volador hip tosses around for a bit during their brief segment. Arce bails out, and Volador has to catch himself as he tries a plancha, because Arce ran for cover before Volador's dive. Back to Misterio & Valente. The third member of Los Destructores, Vulcano, trips up Misterioso as he bounces off the ropes. The rudos then spend the rest of the fall brawling with the tecnicos, along with some vanilla highspots. Volador is pinned as Destructore wheelbarrows his partner onto the tecnico, and Misterioso gets eliminated after a strange double team submission.
Third Fall: An official type person is warning Vulcano as they start the fall, but it has little effect as Vulcano stands on Misterioso while Valente & Arce beatdown Volador. Misterioso breaks up the assault as Valente tries for a submission on Volador with a series of elbows, which sets up a series where submissions are broken up by the partner of the one trapped in the hold. Arce gets himself trapped in a submission hold from both of the tecnicos, but Valente brilliantly stops it by climbing on top of the pile, forcing the tecnicos whose shoulders were down to release Arce. The rudos head outside, but only get a short breather as the tecnicos tope them in turn. Vulcano tries to help his partners back into the ring, so Misterioso takes him out with a tope con hilo. Back in the ring, Arce & Volador trade near falls for a bit, but it eventually becomes 2 on 1. Arce backdrops Volador, but he does so right onto Valente, who gets pinned for a 3. In the meantime, Volador then goes for the win with a Victory Roll, but Arce sits straight down, and Volador is pinned for three.
There's decent stuff here, and the Destructores are fun to watch work as rudos, even if their offense isn't that great. 79.
5. Blue Panther vs. Vulcano
First fall: Panther is attacked before he can remove his jacket, but he fights back with a dropkick that sends Vulcano to the floor. Panther follows that up with a tope. The two pull each other off the apron as they prevent each other from returning to the ring. Vulcano is back first, and as Panther tries to return (still with his jacket on), he gets rammed to the posts and turnbuckles repeatedly. Vulcano hits a fireman's carry, and then slaps on a half-Boston/armbar combo to quickly get the submission and the first fall.
Second Fall: The attack from Vulcano continues, as Panther is thrown around the ring, until a quebradora reverses things. Panther follows that up with a second one. Then, we get Panther's version of Bubba Ray Dudley's atomic/butt drop, and Panther hangs on for a crucifix combination to even the falls.
Third Fall: Panther is in control of this one, starting off with a Fireman's carry takeover. He tries a back drop, but Vulc holds on for 2. On to an abdomial stretch, which the two trade. Panther escapes and slams Vulc, and after the fans plead, he decides not to climb the turnbuckles. Instead, he takes Vulcano to the floor, where he slams him. However, Panther's somersault off the apron misses. Vulcano goes to the apron, where he drops a knee onto Panther. Vulcano goes into the ring to gloat, but spends too much time gloating, allowing Panther to come in from behind and slap a submission onto Vulcano. It is only on for moments, as two men in suits and Blue Panther masks charge the ring and destroy Blue Panther. Of course, they were Tony Arce & Rocco Valente. The attack continues, when some fat guy in street clothes tries, without success to make a save. Los Destructores sold for him, so it wasn't a fan.
The match kinda acts as filler for the tape. But better a short not-bad match than nothing at all. 75.
It is a recommended tape. There's nothing bad at all, and you get to see some early Rey Misterio stuff, when he looked to be about 15 years old, and Parka as a rudo. The final match was disappointingly short, though. Overall, I recommend any of the 1993 or 1994 Classic Lucha tapes from wrestleholics. They either have matches with incredible work, incredible heat, or, in quite a few cases - both.
Right. I am fairly sure I would have never seen most of those guys - WCW too - I would have never seen Ric Flair or Dusty or Vader or Magnum - because the only reason I started watching GCW and then WCW was because I was already watching WWF again.