A little something different when I got the urge to watch a tape. EMLL from the early 90's.
1. Apolo Dantes (tecnico) vs. Javier Cruz (rudo?)
It's a hair vs. hair match, but only the third and final fall is shown. Strange to see Dantes working as a tecnico. I'm guess Javier as the rudo here. I know very little about him, and in fact, this is my first time seeing him.
Cruz is quickly firing away with knees on Dantes, but can't get the pin off a quick cradle. 2 again off the spinebuster. A camel clutch can't get a submission, as the crowd starts rallying behind Dantes. When the hold is broked, Dantes throws Cruz to the ropes, and gives a German suplex for another 2 count. Cruz regains control, and slaps Apolo in la cavernaria. Dantes gets an arm free, so he grabs the rope and pulls himself to the floor to regroup. No dice, as he eats a DDT as soon as he returns. Cruz pulls him up at 2. I wouldn't do that. Another DDT, but this time Apolo kicks out under his own power, and stuns Cruz with a quick Northern Lights Suplex. A three count later, and it is haircut time for Javier.
Difficult to rate without the first two falls, but what was show was nice. I'll call it 60 on Cubs Fan's scale, with the low rating being due to the clipping of the first two falls.
2. Perro Aguayo/Cien Caras/Satanico vs. Octagon/Vampiro Canadiense/Conan
Conan = Konnan. Vampiro Canadiense = Vampiro.
1st Fall: Beatdown from PA/CC/S. Was Cien Caras ever any good? To his credit, Perro is showing a bit of energy here. Vamp & Conan start fighting among each other, then charge the ring. Conan was doing that rolling clothesline back in '91. That's about all there is in the opening moments that wasn't some variant of a punch or kick. Conan's team takes the first fall when the opponents spend too much time outside the ring. That was total crap.
2nd Fall: I'm trying to watch this, but there's still way too much brawling. Satanico segment with Octagon is pretty good, though. Perro & Conan brawl around ringside some more. This one can't be over soon enough. Finally, Perro dropkicks the referee in error to get his side disqualified. Mercifully, this one goes to bed. I can't be too hard on a match where Perro puts forth a good effort, but there generally aren't many good brawls in lucha land. And this one wasn't one of them. 50 for a nice effort from Perro & Satanico, and let's go on to the reason I got this show.
A segment interviews a fan that draws caricatures of the wrestlers. We just see one panel. The ref that got kicked by Perro in the last match and what looks like Fuerza Guerrera as a snail are featured.
A segment showing Blue Panter training with the other luchadores in a setting that looks like the precursor to Tough Enough airs.
3. Blue Panther vs. Atlantis
Pierroth & El Dandy are the seconds as the NWA Welterweight Belt is on the line.
First Fall: Matwork and chain wrestling. Atlantis frustrates Panther with an armdrag. Then it's off to the mat again. Panther controls here, turning into a half Boston/armbar combo, before going back to his original strategy of focusing on the arm. Atlantis escapes with a headscissors, holding on to the headscissors and trying a cross armbreaker. Panther powers out, and the two test strength. Each gain the advantage briefly, as Atlantis goes for a monkey flip, but Panther holds on as he goes over, and then nails Atlantis with one of his own. Panther goes for a roll-up,but Atlantis continues to roll and we get the first attempt at a pin to this point, but only 1. Back to the arm for Panther. Arm wringer, followed by a beautiful move that looks almost like an enzuigiri, but sees Panther grab the arms with his legs and go back to the submission. Panther continues to hold the arms, trying for a bow & arrow. Atlantis escapes with a couple of throws, ending with a body slam. Atlantis comes back again, holding the arm with an armdrag. Spinning backbreaker, and then he holds on with a spinebuster to get the first fall via a Scorpion Death Lock.
Second Fall: Atlantis charges early and runs into a headbutt. Panther rolls through the spinning backbreaker, only to be leveled with a short clothesline. Off the ropes for Atlantis, who runs into a clothesline of his own. Panther goes for a double underhook powerbomb, but instead drops Atlantis across his knee, and holds him there for a backbreaker submission.
Third Fall: A quick spinebuster to start this one off from Panther. Powerbomb to follow that up, but only 2. Another one, but this one is turned into a rana by Atlantis for another 2. Atlantis tries for one of his own, but Panther keeps the lift from taking place, so Atlantis goes over top with a sunset flip for a near fall. Time to go for submissions. Abdominal stretch from Atlantis. Panther powers ouit, and tries for an Indian deathlock. Atlantis shoves him away, and tries for a Scorpion Death Lock. He can't get Panther turner over for the longest time, but finally does get him over in the middle of the ring. This time, Panther hangs on and finally crawls to the ropes to break this. Atlantis tries to crawl away, but gets grabbed by Panther. He tries for a surfboard, and finally gets it on with the second attempt. No submission though. Atlantis has held on to the legs as the hold was released, and ties up Panther for a two count. A sunset flip also gets 2. Panther kicks down Atlantis, and tries to go to the tops. Atlantis kicks him down, and throws a corner tope. Sadly his feet hit the top rope as he goes through, and he only barely makes contact. Atlantis suplexes Panther in the ring, but Blue escapes behind him, and German suplexes Atlantis for a near fall. Panther tries a Victory Roll, only for Atlantis to fall back for 2. 2 of a powerbomb counter of a rana from Panther. To the buckles for Panther, but Atlantis catches him. Superplex for 2. Atlantis hooks the arms to try a submission, but gets dropped to the floor. Perfect tope from Panther, and in the ring, a near submission on an inverted Gory Special. (Panther had the arms hooked instead of the arms/neck. Atlantis escapes with a roll-up, but Panther reverses that for a near fall. Back up, Atlantis charges Panther, only to leapfrop him, and run up the ropes, and execute a springboard moonsault and earn a three count in the final fall to end an incredibly well wrestled match.
The Atlantis/Blue Panther match is absolutely golden. Get the tape just for it. It's some of the most beautiful chain wrestling that you'll ever see, performed by two of the greatest technical wrestlers ever, anywhere on this planet. Despite the fact there were a lot of holds that could be restholds, it never really got to that stage, as there were constant attempts to counter. No insane spots, but in this case, it would probably have taken away from the story they were trying to tell. Only the shortness of the second fall and the imperfect tope keeps this from getting the perfect three-digit score. 98.
4. Pierroth/Jerry Estrada/Fuerza Guerrera vs. Black Magic/ El Dandy/Ringo Mendoza
Black Magic = Horman Smiley, long before the Big Wiggle or any Screaming. Estrada looks like an aging rocker, but he has never been afraid to take a crazy bump. And here he he still had something resembling intact knees. Ringo actually looks kinda young here.
First Fall: Magic's early dropkicks miss, and Pierroth is successful with his. They exchange holds for a bit. Nothing of note though during an of the segments. Although I'll confess that after the previous match, it'll be hard to get into this one, in spite of the fact that several of my favourites are involved. (Estrada, Fuerza & Magic). We reach rudo beatdown stage of this one, ending with a near headscissors submission on Magic by Fuerza. Next up, Estrada & Mendoza trade shots in the ring. The Fuerza Magic segment sees Smiley press slam Fuerza. However hejust lets him down as Fuerza crawls to safety. Pierroth & Dandy trade near falls, ending this with a Magistral Cradle on Pierroth. Only one fall for this one.
I liked some of the stuff here, and might want to give it another chance without watching Panther/Atlantis beforehand. I'll say 70 on this one, but they were trying to follow an absolutely incredible singles match.
Hopefully Benoit starts out with someone he knows well like Eddy or Jericho, or someone like Angle who can help him through some of the rust. I'm still awaiting the return of Awesome, but more importantly RHYNO!