Segunda Caida

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

Monday, January 26, 2015

MLJ: Mocho Cota in 1993 I: Eddy Guerrero/El Satanico/Mocho Cota vs Lizmark/Latin Lover/Solomon Grundy

Taped 8/27/93 @ Gimnasio Olímpico Juan de la Barrera, Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal
Eddy Guerrero/El Satanico/Mocho Cota vs Lizmark/Latin Lover/Solomon Grundy

I started watching lucha through the DVDVR 80s set. It was very much a run before you can walk scenario where I fell right into really incredible matches without the background to wholly understand what I was watching. I'm still working on that now in some ways, as you can see with my stumblings three times a week here. I came to really appreciate a number of luchadores right from the get go though. Two of those were El Satanico and Mocho Cota.

With Satanico, we have a lot more easily available footage in a number of different settings and against more opponents. We have more payoff apuestas matches and everything from trios wars to insane skits. He's absolutely one of my favorites though, incredibly versatile and really owning his character and truly the baddest of the bad. Cota, we have less of, and I don't think he was as well regarded. He had a stint in jail in the early 90s and upon his release in 1993, he really didn't fit into the workrate paradigm (as OJ points out here). I think a lot of us have come a far way as wrestling fans in being able to appreciate performing and character and the more theatrical elements of wrestling as opposed to just workrate, and Cota, especially at this stage of his career, fits into that mold so much better. That's not to say he doesn't pick up the pace when need be, but he could move the crowd with his antics and he's hugely entertaining. Those tend to be traits that I value in 2015 more than how nice someone's execution is or how quick they move. When I saw these matches listed, they seemed to be leading to a Satanico vs Lizmark singles match, so I thought i'd hit two of them and then go with that, but by the end of the watching I knew I wanted to spend the time with a third Cota and Satanico trios instead.

I have no context here. There's actually one earlier Cota match I see online (Villano III/Solar/L. Lover v. J. Estrada/M. Cota/Cobarde II from 8/6/93) but I just don't have time to hit it as well, even though it probably plays into the Cota/Lover fueding. I wanted to start with this one insetad because it had Satanico and it had a relatively young Eddy Guerrero who I just haven't seen much of in Mexico. Granted, the other one had Villano III and Solar so that might have been fun too and I'm sure I'll watch it eventually. I'm not sure I've ever seen Lover outside of a Royal Rumble appearance and Grundy is some massive guy from the states who is there to basically be a grumpy massive babyface in overalls. A prop.

My first takeaway is how much I love AAA entrances during this period. Everyone had an elaborate entrance with their own themed ring girl. Cota had this amazing robe and a hat that kept falling over as he came out to the Imperial March. It segued right into Panama for Eddy and his gringos locos gear (or at least that's what I think it was) was equally amazing. then, of course, Satanico comes out with fire and brimstone and it's all completely of its time but entirely remarkable. We don't get to see the tecnicos come out unfortunately.

Often times these days in CMLL we get a primera that starts hot with the rudos engaging in a beat down but rarely does it feel as visceral as it did here. There's something flashier now, less violent. There are more moves and less brutality. There's plenty of the latter here. One of the few moves was Cota chucking Lover around with a fireman's carry. The rest was mainly him beating him around the ringside area. They managed obscured fouls and using Grundy literally as that prop, tossing Lover into him. Eddy held his own in this but he mainly had Grundy to beat on so nothing was too compelling. They took the caida with a Cota crab and a Satanico standing submission that I should know the name of, the one that's abdominal stretch-y.

I think Cota shined in the beatdown, through his focus and intensity and willingness to interact with the crowd. He spent a lot of the early segunda just choking the life out of Lover or punching him into oblivion as they cut back to shots of Satanico and Eddy clubbering Grundy on the outside or of Eddy hitting Grundy with endless face pokes. Eventually, though, Grundy's girth was just too much and he reversed a whip into the corner, crushing Satanico (who cried foul immediately). The comeback was a little weird, especially for Cota, who sort of just ambled around the ring beating on Lover still even as his partners were getting routed. They were casually waiting their turn until it was Lover's time to take over. I get what they were doing but it didn't quite work. What did work was Cota dashing out of the ring as his partners were defeated, running through the crowd in order to avoid Lover and a chair. It was amazingly craven and hugely entertaining and frankly, the sort of sentiment I appreciate way more than a lot of really smoothly hit back and forth arm drag spots.

Eventually Lover did get Cota in the ring and he slammed him down hard. Cota rolled right out though. He was stumbling around the ring only to get kicked in the face between the ropes in a fit of perfect timing. What followed was an exasperated laugh at the temerity of it all. I don't know if he wasn't expecting it and thought it was hilarious or was just playing a defiant heel but it was a fun character moment.

The brunt of the tercera was Eddy getting to show off but maybe taking a bit too much offense considering the finish. I thought his body language in trying to wrangle Grundy was very good. At one point, though, he was up on his shoulders, and Grundy dropped back and it was brutal. I thought he recovered a little too soon from that. It was an ebb and flow after that. Satanico and Cota destroyed Lover but Grundy came back with big headbutts. The rudos turned the tide again and used Grundy as a weapon against Lizmark, which was followed by Eddy dropkicking him out (Grundy took a surprisingly good bump). Lover rushed in, making his biggest comeback of the match, really taking the fight to Cota, but ultimately getting tricked up in a victory roll counter for three. One springboard dropkick by Eddy onto Grundy and the rudos picked up the win.

Post match, Lover kept trying to go after Cota, who made a hasty retreat to the stage where, after pulling Satanico up, he did one of the most amazing taunts you'll see this week. Ultimately, this had a ton of good stuff, but was way too disjointed. After one match, I think Cota absolutely still had it. It was just that what he had wasn't what a lot of the hardcore fanbase was looking for in 1993. I think his performance here holds up really well in a more post-workrate 2015 though.

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