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Thread: Show Me Your Mask - Match De Apuestas Reviews

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    Show Me Your Mask - Match De Apuestas Reviews

    Very few things in wrestling get the blood pumping like a great Match De Apuestas - or 'match with a wager' in English. The great Mask vs Mask or Hair vs Hair match has been a staple of Lucha Libra as long as pro wrestling has been in a thing in Mexico, and for good reason. A high stakes feud-ender with the loser having to either relinquish their identity or face the embarrassment of getting their head shaved is about as big of an adrenaline-shot and emotional roller coaster as it gets in the squared circle.

    In this thread I will throw up reviews on various Mask vs Mask/Hair matches I watch. Naturally a large contingent will be from Mexico, but I will also dip in to WWE, WCW and Japan as the thread goes on. If people have requests, I will try to watch them also.

    We start with 2 more recent ones of note:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYGF_njBYBg

    Truama I vs Canis Lupus, IWRG 04/09/16


    I saw this match get lauded as a MOTYC/D contender round a lot of places on the internet at the time, and whilest I don’t think it’s near the good, I still came away from this really impressed and thinking it was pretty great. Overall a mixed bag of a match that starts off simply OK, stays simply OK for a long-time, then escalates into epic status towards the end.


    It suffered from one of my gripes with some lucha - the first two falls felt very perfunctory and filler. First fall is Canis beating T1 up around the ring before subbing him with his own hold. Solid, the finisher stealing was kinda neat, but fairly standard. Second fall was typically short with T1 making a brief and too easy comeback. Third fall starts off in the same vein, then suddenly sees a ridiculous level change as both guys grab chairs and start cracking each other with them. They do my-turn/your-turn with the chairs, effectively the same as Ishii and Shibata taking turns kicking each other, but I don’t mind it and these are solid plastic chairs and they are blasting each other on the top of the cranium. Violent shit. Both guys blade bigtime and we have a big final stretch, which manages to reach epic status. All the submission and pinfall attempts felt desperate, like guys who were spent and trying to keep their masks. There’s a bunch of gritty shoot headbutts. They do a ref bump which leads of a big tombstone from Canis Lupus, and it is the perfect escalation of this epic with neither guy able to pin the other and one guy having to resort to a potentially illegal death move in trying to win. It is treated as a death move. After years of PWG, New Japan and others tossing out tombstones in undercard matches and treating it like a DDT or something, it is so refreshing to see it treated as a career-ending move. A doctor comes in and puts a neckbrace on Trauma. He sells it like he has a broke neck. The finish is truly excellent as Trauma, selling a broken neck, desperately scrambles to hit his submission hold.


    The first half of this was very un-memorable, but the second half delivered big on what you want from a Mask vs Mask match – violence, blood, guys selling the desperation of keeping their identities, a hot crowd, and high drama.


    Steve’s score - GREAT


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjduDPXvvss



    Blue Panther vs Sam Adonis, CMLL 04/08/2017


    Sam Adonis is the younger brother of Corey Graves and works a Pro-Trump rudo gimmick. He isn’t particularly good. First 2 falls are so short, the segunda is literally Panther tripping Adonis then subbing him instantly. Most of the match is Adonis in control, and his beatdown is both long and boring. Panther was clearly trying to make this work, he takes a missed tope bump that looks like it could have popped his hip and his old man selling felt a little too real at times. There was also a bunch of heel ref shit, which is the worst of all lucha tropes and utterly frustrating. The pro-Trump heel winning and shaving the beloved hero’s head got enough heat on it’s own, it didn’t need stinky heel ref bullshit covering for it. Blue Panther is maybe my all-time favourite Luchador and this may been his last big match in CMLL, so I can’t hate this despite how much it sucked.


    Steve’s score - MEDIOCRE


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    Re: Show Me Your Mask - Match De Apuestas Reviews

    YAASSSSS! I strongly approve of this thread! I've been watching a bit of lucha lately and this is some great stuff. Particularly interested in the IWRG match as I don't think I've seen much of the lucha indies aside from a really small show I caught a stream of a few weeks back.
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    Re: Show Me Your Mask - Match De Apuestas Reviews

    Canis Lupus and Trauma was over hyped I thought, but I still thought it was good enough to make my top 100 for the year. Between that and the love-in for the Rush/PARK matches I was starting to think lucha just wasn't for me when it came to high end matches. I think Delta/Galactar was 2016 also, I'd recommend you check that match out too, I loved that.

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    Re: Show Me Your Mask - Match De Apuestas Reviews

    I loved that Canis Lupus match but it was moreso the post-match, which to me is one of the iconic moments of wrestling history. To see this horrendously bloody guy who just went through a war pull out the "Will you marry me?" sign to his real life girlfriend and get engaged right there was unbelievable and one of the rare feel good moments, to a legitimately great match anyway. I think in terms of moves it didn't have it, but it was the match with the most heart, literally and figuratively of the year.

    I liked the BP/Adonis stuff for having actual passion which is very rare in CMLL, but Adonis just isn't a very good worker.

    Delta/Galactar was awesome. I miss Delta.

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    Re: Show Me Your Mask - Match De Apuestas Reviews

    never heard of Delta vs Galactar, will have to check it out

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    Re: Show Me Your Mask - Match De Apuestas Reviews

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5zIEOnEX9Q
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpyh4LciUB4

    Bestia Salvaje vs Negro Casas, CMLL 18/10/96

    My knowledge of Bestia is pretty limited, but I know this fued with Casas was one of the biggest things CMLL ran in the 90s. The majority of this is all Bestia, just running Casas over and beating the shit out of him. Casas wins the first fall purely through DQ because Salvaje won’t get it back in the ring. By the time the third fall starts I don’t think Casas had even got one single offensive move in and looked like he could barely defend himself against the colossal ass-kicking he was getting. Casas manages to get one or two comeback runs in before Bestia splatters him with a cut-off….. then Casas manages to get the Magistral Cradle for the win almost out of nowhere.

    Hard to match to rate – it was very succinct and focused, and didn’t go too long. I thought Bestia looked great and put on a real strong showcase for himself, but whilest Casas’s selling of that beatdown was great, his win at the end felt too easy considering what he took.

    Steve’s score – SOLID


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUZOAN-j8OE

    Dr. Cerebro vs Ricky Marvin, IWRG 25/03/2018

    This was a pretty good match while falling short of reaching “great” level. The first 2 falls are stretched out a little longer than usual, and both guys work stiff throughout. Cerebro starts working over Marvin’s arm in the second, and Marvin’s selling is above bar for a junior selling an injured limb. There is some lame interference to set up his comeback with his second hitting Cerebro with a chair, which felt a bit lazy, but it does set up a dramatic third fall with a bloody Cerebro against a one-armed Marvin. This section is pretty cool and both guys sell their respective damage really well and come across desperate. Marvin takes it home fairly quickly with a nasty piledriver on the apron to lead into the finish. I can’t grumble too much at guys taking it home without a bunch of nearfalls and overkill, but it felt like it had another gear in them to take it to the next level.

    Steve’s score – REALLY GOOD

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    Re: Show Me Your Mask - Match De Apuestas Reviews

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp1VEbqBU4E

    Aero Star vs Super Fly, AAA 7/12/14

    Going into this I had very little opinion on either guy other than they were decent fliers and used to be stablemates, but this one rocked hard and ticked the boxes for what you wants from Mask vs Mask.

    Super Fly seemed to work really stiff and put in a beating to Aero Star with big chops and absolutely brains him with some chairshots. We then get the mask-ripping, the punches to the bloody face, the biting at the open wound, dumping him on the floor, and I am a Super Fly fan. He rips off Aero Star's top and weighs him with some LOUD chops which sounds nasty. Aero just mostly absorbs a beating and does a couple big highspots, which really plays to his strengths and his first bullet tope looks great.

    We get a spot where the second get involved with Hijo Del Fantasma completely fucking up and mis-timing his interference, so we basically get an Aero Star 3-count half way in and just ignore it, but other than that it was fine and lead to him eating an awesome fatboy tope from Hamburguesa.

    Highlight of the match is Aero Star climbing the rigging on the floor to hit a truly crazy looking dive off it to Fly and the seconds, who look like they barely catch him.

    All in all, great match, brought the blood, violence and crowd heat you want from an apuestas matches and played to both guys strengnths with Star hitting some crazy dives and Super Fly looking real good.

    Steve's score - GREAT


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjbZcPHm5aw

    Chico Che vs Motorcross, AAA 16/09/2017

    Chico Che is an awesome worker – super charismatic, hell of a brawler, and great fat boy offence. Think Dusty Rhodes with tope suicidas. However this match was only OK really. It ticked a lot of the boxes of what you want – hate, blood, a red hot crowd – but there was also some sloppiness and point where it looked like they weren’t on the same page. Motorcross does enough to be passable, he looks really sleazey, bites Chico Che in his bloody face, and gets brained with some chairshots. There is some fun brawling here, but then the end run is just your-turn-my-turn move trading and then we get a really stinky ref bump finish. Those fans chanting Chico Che deserved better.

    Steve’s score – SOLID

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    Re: Show Me Your Mask - Match De Apuestas Reviews

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1uRMeK-STA

    Ultimo Guerrero vs Corsario Negro, FILLM 03/11/2018

    It’s always cool to see stars from mainstream promotions go and tear it up in indy promotions, and here we get usually average CMLL mainstay UG tearing it up in Arena San Juan. This was a violent, urgent, scrappy match between two aging warriors, which is what this shit is all about. I know literally nothing about Corsario outside of this match, but he was losing his hair to a star and he brought his A-Game for it. Both guys brawl all over the floor, smash each other with chairs and crates, bleed over the place and we also get some nasty headbutts and a 4/5 fatboy tope from Negro. The set up to UG’s usual big highspots – the suplex and powerbomb from the top rope – felt pretty telegraphed, but they atleast felt meaningful and were for big nearfalls. They lost a bit of steam towards the end, as if often the case between two older guys, but the effort was there all the way. Exactly what you want from a small indy apuestas match with a local veteran losing to a mainstream star.


    Steve’s score – REALLY GOOD



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiYPzdtOtv8

    Dr. Wagner Jr. vs Mascara Ano 2000 Jr., AAA 9/9/12

    This was a TripleMania main event, so as per usual we get a red hot crowd for this. However as per usual we also get a lot of bullshit with that as well. MA2K Senior in this case was consistently interfering and getting his shots in, and the ref was allowing it the whole way. They started off with him being distracted for it, but soon enough he is full on allowing Snr in the ring and the ref is either heeling or incompetent enough this basically turns into a handicap match. The brawling was good and they made it feel hate-filled, so I am willing to be more forgiving, and to add to the violence MA2K Snr starts stabbing what I think is a spike into Wagner's bloody face.

    Wagner manages to make a comeback, stabbing MA2K in the face with the spike and planting him with bombs, but the heel ref does painfully slow counts. We get more of this tedius shit, more interference from MA2K Snr, then Wagner's second gets in the ring....and turns on him! Over-booked to fuck, but the crowd absolutely LOSES THEIR SHIT and a near riot breaks out with people throwing shit in the ring and security having to hold people back from jumping over the barricade. This wasn't nuclear heat, it was sub-atomic. It is fucking madness, and somewhere in it all Wagner smashes a beer bottle over MA2K's head for the win, and the crowd goes ballistic.

    Hard match to rate, tonnes of typical TripleMania fuckery, but the crowd heat and reaction elevated this from something that should have been completely tedious to something wild.

    Steve's rating - SOLID
    Last edited by King Steventon; 11-09-2019 at 07:58 PM.

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