1. Santo/Octagon vs. Los Gringos Locos (Double mask vs. Double Hair)
Great match from the lucha pay-per-view put on by AAA in November 1994. The only complaint is that AAA really didn't manage the time for the pay-per-view very well, and it was off the air about 45 minutes before its scheduled time.
Mike Tenay & Chris Cruise are both excellent calling this. Art Barr is incredible in working the crowd. He would pass away within a few weeks of this show. So strange to hear Cruise pimp a match involving loads like Dave Sullivan and the Three Faces of Fear while Santo is in the ring.
The pinfall at the end of the second, which sees Octagon come back and get both falls for his side, which had already seen Santo pinned, gets an insanely loud pop. The first crazy dive during the fall is a double topes by Los Gringos. Tirantes gets distracted, allowing Art to piledrive Octagon for 3. To say that pissed off the crowd would be an understatement. Octagon does the stretcher job. The Gringos double team Santo, executing the hold-him-but-he-moves-and-I-hit-you properly. Santo planchas Eddy, and then it is Blue Panther (the tecnicos second, Madonna's Boyfriend is the rudo second) that comes in the ring to piledrive Art Barr (Art Barr lost his mask when he piledrove Blue Panther 2 years back and got DQ'd) and Santo crawls in for the pin. 1 on 1. Santo kicks out of a powerbomb at 2. Eddy is a total dick as he unloads on Santo, still getting 2 off both a belly-to-belly superplex, and a top-rope rana. Dragon suplex again for 2. Eddy goes for it again, but Santo drops down, and rolls up Eddy for the three. We've got a pair of haircuts.
Went about 23 minutes counting the breaks. IF this broke the 30 minute barrier, this would have been an all-time classic. That minor gripe aside, it is still in the category of "must-see" lucha. 99.
2. Psicosis vs. El Hijo del Santo (WWA Welterweight Title)
Wholly different from a lot of Psicosis matches that you'll see. In that there were not a lot of crazy highspots and bumps from Psic. Instead, there was a lot of beautiful matwork in front of a rabid pro-Santo crowd.
Psic shows his excellent mat skills here - no carrying from Santo. It is incredible watching as Psicosis tries to fight his way out of a headscissors, only for Santo to twist him down to the canvas. An early rana sees Psic's head just get spiked straight down. The only crazy spot from the first fall is Santo's out of control tope. In the ring, Santo gets dumped going for a Victory Roll and put in a camel clutch (Santo's finisher) for a submission. The matworkhighlight of the second fall is a surfboard that sees Psicosis in it face down as opposed to face up. Psic's attempt at a fist off the buckles misses, and he then spends the mext couple minutes trying to avoid both a regular surfboard and a camel clutch. When Santo finally gets the board on, Psic is right by the ropes. Another cool submission by Santo is a Rocker Dropper into an armbar. Psic tries a top rope moonsault, but Santo rushes to block it, dropping Psic with an electric chair. Tirantes' slow counts for Santo is riling up the crowd perfectly. Santo will later bust out the tope on the a prone Psicosis outside the ring, getting Dragon de Oro and Duende waving their towels furiously. We then get a few Psicosis near falls, which is somewhat disappointing, as it foreshadows that this will only be going 2 falls. And just as I type this, Santo goes for a bodyscissors, and Psic rolls back through. Santo doesn't escape, and loses the match in straight falls.
22 mintues or so, highlighted by the incredible mat segments in both falls. Deserved a third fall, though, and it is always an amazing thing when someone out highspots Psicosis. 97.
3. Negro Casas vs. El Hijo del Santo
This is from the World Wrestling Peace Festival in 1996.
Nice mat stuff, with the highlight being the two engaging in duelling monkey flips. Casas tries to work rudo, but is getting some nice face pops. Way too short though, as Santo misses a move off the top and gets magistraled in about 5 minutes. 75. Tape filler.
4. Negro Casas/Hector Garza/El Dandy vs. Felino/Bestia Salvage/Scorpio Jr
Dandy and Garza get dumped right away, and Negro gets double teamed, as Felino arrives on the scene late, remaining outside the ring. As Negro and Scorpio fight, Felino hits the ring. Removes the cape. Removes the mask. Removes the cape.
Revealing El Hijo del Santo, in the greatest heel turn ever. Hogan turning heel? Bah. It is not even close to this.
Santo goes right after Casas. Dr. Morales is going nuts on the microphone, as Casas is peppered with Santo kneelifts. The first fall finally ends with a Scorp powerbomb, as Santo continues to kick and headbutt a now-juicing Negro. At this point, the crowd is out of the "HOLY SHIT! SANTO'S RUDO! mode, and are screaming for Santo to get destroyed, especially as Santo mounts the buckles just to pose for the crowd. Santo puts on the camel clutch, holding the hair as Bestia continually kicks away at Casas. Finally, the rudos get DQ'd. The Televisa cameras weren't afraid to pan towards a fight in the crowd, although it had settled down by the time the cameras got there. Third fall, and Casas is still getting destroyed. Dandy finally leads a tecnico comeback, ang the crowd heat is insane. Another fight in the crowd appears to still be going on. After recovering, Negro starts to unload on Bestia, as Dandy tears at the Santo mask. Bestia doing a swanton bomb takes all the magic out of Jeff Hardy doing one. Negro gets double teamed in the ring, while Santo gets the same treatment outside. The match ends with a simple Salvaje dropkick on Santo, as yet another fight is visible in the crowd. Santo and Salvage continue to beat on Casas during the post-match interview.
Not good for the wrestling, but it is all angle, and worthy of the three digits for that alone. 100.
5. Negro Casas/Hector Garza/El Dandy vs. Hijo del Santo/Bestia Salvage/Scorpio Jr
From the following week of EMLL TV. The crowd still wants to see Santo get rendered into a chutney squishee, peppering the rudo with derisive whistles.
The fight is on as soon as the tecs hit the ring. The rudos control it with a 3-on-1 assault. Negro gets the worst of it, as would be expected. The comeback starts as Dandy is getting attacked, and Garza & Negro pull out Scorpio, stomp a mudhole in him, and then Casas plants him with a DDT. Santo retreats up the entranceway, as Bestia gets triple teamed. Dandy accidently hits Garza, and things swing back for the rudos, with triple teamings continuing until Salvage sentons Hector off the top for 3. Dandy is juicing as the second fall starts. Outside, Santo picks up four connected chairs and hits Dandy with them. Morales is marking out of his gourd at this point. Casas fights back by taking out Bestia in the ring, as Dandy starts dragging Santo around the ting by the mask, then hammers Santo with a rapid-fire headbutt series. The crowd is nuts at this point, and Dandy evens the falls with a Magistral on Santo. The third fall sees Santo continue to have his mask torn away at.Santo regains control with a kneelift, as Garza tears open Scorp's mask completely. Scorp disappears for a replacement, as as he comes back, Santo does the swanton to Dandy, pops up, then topes Casas. Scorp tries to hold Garza for a Bestia tope, and the expected happens. Garza to the top. He tries a shooting star press to the floor.
I emphasize TRIES, as he gets maybe 25 percent around, before falling like he was shot, crashing into the rudos and smashing his head into the floor. No mats outside the Arena Mexico ring. That was easily one of the craziest highspots ever. Santo goes to the top, but Santo pushes him off. Dandy & Casas go mudhole stomping, then pile on top of Santo for the pin and the monster pop. Dandy steals Santo's mask, while Bestia cries for the camera. Interviews with Dandy, a beyond-dazed Garza, Dandy again and then Casas end this match. Long story short, next week, a triangle hair vs. hair vs. mask match.
Not pure lucha at all, but an intense brawl that really shows the passion and drama that makes lucha great. 100.
6. Negro Casas vs. El Dandy vs. El Hijo del Santo (Triangular Increible)
Simple rules. The first two to get pinned face off in a match risking their hair and masks.
The three all have ring girls, which was a rarity in EMLL at this time. Casas' is in a short velvety yellow dress, Dandy's has a knotted white top and red pants, with Santo's winning the valet hotness battle with his, clad in black pants with a knotted silver/black striped top. But first, a tale of the tape promo.
How do you know this is a huge match? Look for the legendary thespian Erik Estrada among the Arena Mexico throngs. Lots of double teaming to start, with Santo being the victim, naturally. Dandy & Casas come to blows as Santo recovers, but they re-unite for the greater good, and put Santo in the final match with a double suplex. Casas pounds away on Dandy to start this fall. Dandy comes back with some stiff chops across Negro's chest. Negro comes back, slapping an armbar on Dandy. Back to their feet, Casas dropkicks Dandy in the knee 3 times, and puts Dandy in a scorpion death lock. Dandy submits, and it will be Dandy vs. Santo in a hair vs. mask match. But, before Negro exits, Casas takes a few seconds to choke down Santo, as Dandy continues to sell the knee.
The two trade chops to start, only for Santo to immediately focus on Dandy's knee. Dandy gets in some weak strikes, but can't mount any sort of offense, as Santo mockingly slaps Dandy across the face, getting a quick submission with a tapitia. The second fall continues to focus on the knee. Santo slaps on a headlock, and bites at Dandy. The camera zooms right in on Dandy's face, giving a nice view of Dandy's blade, right before the juice starts flowing. And ho boy, is it a gusher. Santo fires a kneelift off, covering his silver tights with Dandy's blood. Dandy is leaving streaks of blood on the mat as he moves around the ring. Santo fires off a kick, but it gets caught, and Dandy DDTs Santo. Santo gets bitten by Dandy, and the silver mask turns a bright pink thanks to Dandy's gusher. Dandy enzuigiris Santo, and Magistral Cradles Santo to even the falls.
Santo and Dandy fight into the crowd to start the final fall, and Santo attempt to use a canned drink from a beverage vendor as an international object. The return to the ring sees Santo apply a backbreaker while on his knees. No submission though. Santo will bail out as Dandy mounts a comeback and superplexes him. It works as, Santo sends Dandy from the ring, then knocks him into the second row with a tope con hilo. But it is Dandy that is first to get back to the ring. He tries a pescado, but Santo sidesteps it, and Dandy crashes into the floor. A dropkick knocks down Dandy, who paints the floor with his blood. Santo up to the top, as Dandy appears to blade a second time. Santo gets in several near falls of a headbutt from the buckles and a rana. Dandy comes back, and locks in a figure 4 in the center of the ring. Santo slowly crab walks his way back to the ropes. Dandy is an absolute mess at this point. Up the buckles for Dandy, and he drops a leg across Santo's chest for 2. Back to the top, but Santo c tches him and drops Dandy with an electric chair. Then, after a struggle, Santo gets the camel clutch locked in. Dandy's going nowhere, and he submits to surrender his hair. Santo leaves in a hurry, as Dandy gets the trim from the barber with the scissors on his jacket. As the tape ends, a female fan in the audience is in tears.
A great match for the blood freaks, but also some great story telling in the context of lucha to get the emotion of the booking over. 97.
5 of the 6 matches on this tape have rankings above 97. The one that doesn't only takes up about 10 minutes of tape time. Get this now. Great matches, and lucha's greatest angle.
Here's the link to the tape. Click Here (wrestleholicsvideos.com)
I didn't get to see this week's show, but I have really liked Foley on commentary thus far. I don't think he's as good as JBL was (yet), but he's got a different style. And he's already worlds better than Coach.