Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Saturday, August 23, 2014

MLJ: Hijo Del Santo vs Blue Panther 7: Blue Panther, Black Panther y Fuerza Guerrera vs Hector Garza, El Dandy y El Hijo del Santo

1995-11-03 @ Arena Mexico
Blue Panther, Black Panther y Fuerza Guerrera vs Hector Garza, El Dandy y El Hijo del Santo

Honestly, this is starting to feel like cheating. These matches have all been so much fun, and so good. I thought I was going to get at Santo in a sort of esoteric way by using Panther as a lens, and that I'd miss a lot of the classic matches until I was ready for them and knew what I was talking about a little better, but it doesn't feel like that had happened at all. I don't think I'm going to complain though. This stuff may not necessarily be gold, but it's definitely silver.

Here we have a switch to CMLL. Wikipedia says that Santo followed Casas back there. Diving into some old Observers, it looks like Santo gave notice to AAA early in August, 95, in part due to his family's legal action against AAA for the Santo Negro character, which was what they tried to do with Espanto before they settled on Pentagon. Apparently, this had been long expected and he'd been booked accordingly by the company. They used him to put over younger talent and booked him less dates than he wanted because they thought he could leave at any point, so he left. At that point, he was apparently less of a draw than Konnan and Perro Aguayo, and making less money than them too. He told AAA that he mainly just wanted to book himself, but he was back in CMLL before the end of the month. This was a couple of months later.

Fuerza and Blue Panther ending up in CMLL is an even more interesting story. I imagine it's all out there on the web by someone who really knows what they're talking about like Dr. Lucha or someone, but just going through these Observers, it looks like in late September, 1995, Panther and Fuerza tried to create their own rival promotion and got fired by AAA. Panther had two titles at the time and was the head agent for the company. Fuerza was head of the AAA wrestlers union. There's a lot more to the story than that, but this is more background than I usually put in these (because like I said, my writing is not where you should get the history). I just thought it was curious that all of these AAA guys were suddenly back in CMLL, which they were, in this case, because their new promotion, PROMELL had a working relationship. This was, if I'm not mistaken their return to Arena Mexico after a couple of years.

Black Panther is Blue Panther's nephew and had been Vegas in AAA. When he jumped, he lost the right to the character, which is why Black Panther was created for him. He's still in the mix these days teaming with his family, and of course, there was a run as Black Warrior in the 00s as well. El Dandy is awesome and this is my first time looking at him for the blog. He's a guy who absolutely could take over my Monday slot once I move on from Santo. Garza and Black Panther were both twenty-five or twenty-six here and both of them, Black Panther especially, had a ton to prove in the match. This was another match with a lot of good exchanges where it didn't necessarily come together due to a lack of focus in the comeback.

As a very quick aside, I think they had just gotten the music machine in Arena Mexico because the entrances were sort of hilariously botched in when they played Santo's song and when they played the rudos' and what not. Moving on to the match, the primera was great. It's full of escalation and good match ups. Like I said, Black Panther and Garza really felt like they had a lot to prove. They went all at it, with some nice competitive matwork. Dandy and Panther matched up really well too, with Panther showing me a lot more intensity and grittiness than I was expecting. There's matwork as well, but it felt totally different from the Garza/Panther work. Fuerza and Santo then came in to do a broader sequence. All good stuff. It led to Garza taking a crazy handstand corner bump to the outside which allowed the rudos to use the numbers game to take over, including a great dive from Black Panther and a total mauling of Dandy's forehead. They took the caida with a really brutal looking double underhook backbreaker by Blue Panther.

Lucha, to me, is all about pressure and anticipation. A great back and forth primera can lead to you wanting to see the rudos really take over. A great rudo beatdown, on the other hand, starts to make the comeback meter rise and rise. It builds up pressure until the fans and the view are just ready to pop for the comeback. I was starting to feel that here and they just decided to move on with it. The rudos were celebrating in the ring. The tecnicos got Garza (who had eaten that dive from Black Panther) back on his feet and they all swarmed the ring. The tecnicos had sort of an abbreviated comeback. There was mask ripping but I could have used a lot more violent revenge from Dandy.

That'd be the story of the rest of the match really. They'd tease more Dandy vs Blue Panther but once it started to get good, there'd be a cut off from outside or something would happen. Now, some of that stuff was really cool like a double tope suicida from Santo and Dandy and another another fun little exchange from Black Panther and Garza which made both of them look really good and ended with a bit corkscrew dive, and of course the finish which was a Steiner Bulldog of all things leading to the roll up win for the tecnicos.

Lots of fun, memorable stuff, and a great return to Arena Mexico for Fuerza and Blue Panther, but the comeback just wasn't worth the build and while it was a triumphant win for the tecnicos, it wasn't necessarily a satisfying one. Most of all, it made me want to see more Dandy vs Panther and I just don't think that exists. Lucha rewards and disappoints. It is a cruel mistress.

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