Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

2008 Match of the Year

Villano V v. Blue Panther CMLL 9/19/08

PAS: I remember this being a totally shocking result when it happened. Villano V wasn't really wrestling super regularly, and it felt like he was being brought in specifically to get a mask loss payday, plus Panther had one of the iconic masks that you figured he would keep forever. Panther is a guy best know for his llave, but this was a straight up brawl which had some of the greatest topes in wrestling history. Villiano V delivers an insane dive bumping performance, he is flying recklessly back on every Panther tope. There is the iconic moment in the first fall where he smashes the back of his head on an armrest leading to a grisly bloodstain, but also he hurls himself into the crowd on another tope, and takes a full force back bump on the floor on a third, Panther has a great looking tope but Villano made it look like a cruise missile. Loved the finishes of all three falls, Villano is woozy from blood loss and tries a rudo trick by swiping Panthers mask, and rolling him up before he can recover, before he could steal a fall, the ref sees the maskless Panther and DQ's V5. Perro Jr. is V5's second (which is kind of weird, he's Villano 5, aren't Villano's 1-4 available to second their brother?) and he spends much of the fall break pouring water on the bloody back of Villano's head, including loosening his mask. Panther rips the mask to work the cut and his slips right off in his hand giving V5 the even up fall. Third fall is awesome with more great topes and a sneaking old school finish, Panther nearly gets the tap with his snap Fujiwara, but when he goes for it again, Villano counters with a crucifix pin. This match had a odd pacing with the Villano injury, but man did it build to an epic climax, worthy match for Panther drop the hood.

ER: This is actually my favorite all time wrestling match. I remember being shocked and almost heartbroken at the result when it happened. Blue Panther's mask is my favorite in lucha, and he's one of my favorite luchadors. This match seemed like an impossibly obvious result, like when I went to see Super Parka challenging for Santito's mask. But if Panther had to lose his beautiful mask, at least it happened in an all time match. We don't see any matwork or smooth headscissors here, these guys come out ready to fight, with V5 throwing some of his classic lefts and even suplexing BP on the floor. But soon we get to one of the sickest spots in pro wrestling history, with Panther hitting a big tope that sends the back of V5's head into the point of a metal armrest. By the time he gets up from being attended to there is already a large blood spot forming on the back of his head. They replay the shot from every angle and every one of them looks bad. You know V5 has to be seeing triple. Back in the ring Panther immediately hits a sidewalk slam and the crowd sounds shocked that he would immediately slam the back of V5's head into the mat. Panther was this close to babyfacing a Villano. Perro immediately cheats by grabbing Panther's leg, almost to get the crowd back behind Panther. Both guys go after the other's mask, ripping at them and each getting DQ'd a fall.

By the time the tercera starts Panther is in all out win mode, and Villano is in all out "let's guarantee I concuss myself and forget math" mode by taking tons of bumps on the back of his head. Panther hits a couple crushing dives that Villano bumps wildly for (seriously some of the best bumps you've ever seen off a dive, flinging himself backwards into the crowd like a man being blown back by an explosion), and this time when Panther delivers another sidewalk slam, the crowd loudly cheers. Panther goes for a plancha and we get one of the only great spots involving a prone opponent getting a leg up in the nick of time. In the 80s and 90s you saw that absurd spot of a heel jumping off the middle buckle in to the boot of a lying down opponent, and it never looked good. What was the guy going for, an axe handle on a horizontal opponent? Then in the 00s we graduated to the moonsault into boot, which looks spectacular the first time and then when it becomes a trademark bump it gets silly real fast. Here Panther flings himself to the floor and Villano desperately gets that boot up to catch Panther, and it totally works. Villano is crazy and hates his brain, so he delivers a couple superplexes, and misses a flipping senton for a great nearfall. Panther almost gets the tap with an armbar, and sensing that he goes for it again and gets reversed into the pinfall that sees literally 30 years of his mask vanish in 3 seconds. Probably the most shocking upset in wrestling history. Panther is the man though, and a true gentleman competitor, and he graciously parades V5 around atop his shoulders.


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