Pirata Morgan vs. Jerry Estrada vs. El Satanico
November 19, 1993
Lucha triangle matches are like any match concept in that they are not inherently good or bad. The quality is largely dependent on the set up and execution.
The set up for this particular triangle match is rock solid. Los Infernales feuded with Jerry Estrada in trios matches over a several week period in October. The final trios match ends with Morgan upset at Satanico for allowing himself to be beaten by Estrada. Morgan takes a singles match with Estrada the next week that is inconclusive. The following week, Morgan and Satanico split in a trios match that does not involve Estrada (which seems like the most obvious misstep of the feud because as the catalyst, Estrada should have been there for their breakup). All three wrestlers have issues with each other, which logically necessitates a three-way match.
What is interesting is that because lucha three ways are worked in a “loser advances” format, they naturally lend themselves to apuesta matches. I might be way off base here, but I think most lucha triangle matches are apuesta matches. This one is not and that strikes me as being the correct decision. At the time of this match, the only issue that was possibly worthy of a hair bout was Morgan/Estrada. Even that is iffy given the lukewarm nature of the October singles match and the fact that they didn’t cross paths over the prior two weeks. Morgan and Satanico just split and while Morgan and Estrada feuded, it was confined to trios at this point. It would have been too much, too soon to go with the hair bout in the triangle match so we get the rare non-apuesta triangle.
It is important to have sound reasoning for a triangle match because that can help make the first two elimination periods feel important rather than obligatory. Before watching the match, I would have said that the Infernales would team up to take out Estrada. In reality, Estrada and Satanico teamed up to take out Morgan that was the far better choice (I just didn’t know it until I saw it). Morgan’s issue with Estrada had progressed to a singles match and Morgan had turned on Satanico. He was the common denominator and even though it meant a tecnico and rudo teaming up that was the logical scenario. The first part is Morgan getting beat up for two minutes non-stop before Satanico submits him (with Estrada laying in boots for good measure). The offense was good during that part. More importantly, they kept things short, which his appreciated because of the inherent issues with three ways.
The booking of the Estrada/Satanico section was equally well done. They run the ropes a little before Morgan drags Estrada to the outside and holds him to allow his former partner to get a free shot in. Satanico dropkicks Morgan instead although it is difficult to tell whether that was supposed to be viewed as intentional or if Estrada moved out of the way. In any event, Morgan exacts his revenge in short order when he trips of Satanico. That allows Estrada to cradle him for the pin and the “win”. A good second stage of a lucha triangle match should set up the third fall in some manner. In Dandy/Casas/Santo, they did this by introducing Dandy’s leg injury, which was one of the main focus points of the Dandy/Santo finale. In this instance, they used the second stage to put additional heat on the Morgan and Pirata feud. The interference in the second stage gave a reason for Satanico and Morgan to get heated at the start of the final stage.
Heated is exactly what it became and in a hurry. It does not take long for Pirata to draw blood from his former partner. He bites at the cut despite Pepe Casas’ warnings and is disqualified as a result. The second fall is all Morgan and he quickly evens things up. In fact, the third fall is almost all Morgan as well as they clearly were attempting to position Satanico as the sympathetic one in this rudo-rudo feud. They do far more in this match in terms of offense than they do in their upcoming hair match. That doesn’t necessarily mean it is better, but it was appreciated. While the violence escalates throughout this triangle match, I liked that they still wrestled it like a heated mano-a-mano rather than a pure brawl-like apuesta match. It helped separate the two matches. The work was good here but I would say below the level of the simpler but incredibly violent work in their hair match.
Satanico makes a comeback at the end and makes Morgan submit. The finishes were well booked. Essentially Satanico got two clean falls over Morgan. Morgan cost Satanico one versus Estrada, cost himself one, and got a clean fall over Satanico to sort of break even. The match ended with them on relatively even ground which helped set up the hair match. More importantly, by the time the match ended Satanico and Morgan had a heated enough beef to more than warrant an apuesta match. That was the most important thing they needed to accomplish in this match and they did just that. It’s a set up match that makes you want to watch the blow off, even if you already watched it before.