Segunda Caida

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

Monday, April 30, 2018

ALL TIME MOTY LIST Head to Head 1998: Hotta vs. Kandori VS. Atlantis/Niebla Casas vs. Santo/Panther/Warrior

Atlantis/Mr. Niebla/Negro Casas vs. El Hijo del Santo/Blue Panther/Black Warrior CMLL 4/24/98

PAS: Pretty much a perfect lucha trios, it has everything beautiful and great about lucha libre wrapped up in three caidas. Traditionally primera caidas in lucha matches are battles of skill, and we get some all time great match ups in the first fall. We open up with Niebla and Warrior squaring off, in a match full of all timers, these two are the outliers. They kind of remind me of that lost group of 90s basketball players who seemed poised to take over for Jordan, Barkley and Hakeem but failed to live up to their potential. Niebla vs Black Warrior is basically Shawn Kemp trying to dunk over Derrick Coleman. Really smooth counter wrestling with some real moments of athletic explosion, prime Niebla's movement was pretty breathtaking. The Primera Caida also gives up Blue Panther grappling with Atlantis and Negro Casas and Santo, which are just legendary and both pairings look amazing. Man did I loved the finish of this fall, with Panther doing a Backlund lift on Casas and Santo just blasting him with a top rope dropkick, and Warrior cleaning out Niebla with his awesome tope. Segunda Caida is quick and more high impact and includes a great assisted Niebla tope con hilo. Tercera Caida gets nice and grimy Santo and Panther beat the bricks off of Casas, the running kicks to the face here are as nasty as in their all time classic the year before, and Panther is throwing some brutal punches. It is a Satanico level rudo beatdown from two guys you don't think of as that kind of asskicker (Warrior is around too, but on the periphery.) I loved the fuck off finish of this too, with Panther just ripping off Atlantis mask and parading around with it, totally unconcerned about losing the match. I don't remember ever seeing this match before, and it as an all timer.

ER: There's just something about a well executed lucha trios, and this just has a great vibe. You get rudo Santo, tecnico Casas, rudo Panther, slender and ridiculously athletic Niebla, Warrior showing all that promise that he continued showing into the early 2000s, just a great cast. Santo and Panther as rudos is always so good, Santo really lays in nasty strikes, and his tecnico work is rarely about strikes. But rudo Santo is always throwing big slaps, clubbing the back, kneelifts to eye sockets; Panther working rudo maestro matwork always has differences from his tecnico matwork, always being the aggressor instead of working reversals. Everybody gets something to do here. Niebla as Shawn Kemp is really about as accurate a simile as you can get, a young hyped athlete who delivers as promised...until he keeps getting fatter and keeps dealing with more and more off work hours problems; in lucha he reminds me of Bestia Salvaje, someone who you see young and is just incredible with his movement, and even older and chubbier is still capable of bringing it, but also capable of dogging it. His movement here is so graceful and yet so impactful, it's wild to see how agile he was working in and bouncing off of the ropes, and that backdrop into a tope con hilo was breathtaking. Warrior was a real fast moving, violent luchador when on, one of the guys I watched a lot from 1998-2001 (before he looked like he was playing an evil resort maitre d), and for a guy with a long history of violent bullet topes, I still flipped for him sending Niebla into the crowd with one. Casas is a great tecnico, and in the tercera two legends give that great tecnico a nasty rudo beatdown, and Panther diving in for the "save" at the end to yank Atlantis' mask off (the one he loosened earlier during a beating) was a great dickhead rudo move, not giving the tecnicos the opportunity to get a clean pinfall victory. It was like diving to knock an ice cream cone out of a child's hand.

Kandori vs. Hotta review


PAS: Man this is tough, I absolutely love Hotta vs. Kandori, that kind of visceral Puro war is right up my alley and kind of a dead artform. However lucha libre at its best is the best, and this has so many awesome moments, and all time great at their height I think I am going with the trios match by a hair.

ER: I've definitely not seen this match before, and it was a great leap back to when I first started watching lucha, and while I hadn't seen this match it's pretty easy to figure out why I immediately got into lucha and have stuck around for 20 years. That being said, I think I'm still edging towards Kandori/Hotta, not by much, but I loved the focus and the blood and the mistake capitalization, with the violence. I'd happily watch both of these matches tomorrow, but at the moment I'm saying the champ retains.


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Blogger Discotortoise said...

I saw this and was just blown away, immediately hit the list of all-time great CMLL trios which in and of themselves is a strange list. Had to recommend it. The "'90s NBA draft pick who didn't completely pan out for whatever reason playing in an All-Star Game with the mid-'80s draftees who became some of the all-timers and tearing it down" is insanely on the money. Niebla & Vin Baker are really good comps in terms of being unfit to perform.

And yeah, you just get everything in that match, even a great cheap finish.

I need to see the November trios with Casas/Niebla/Santo back as tecnico vs. MOTHERFUCKING FUERZA/Panther/Warrior that Jetlag backed as being comparably great.

5:31 PM  

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