Ciclon Ramirez vs. Javier Cruz (CMLL – 06/10/1994)

Ciclon Ramirez vs. Javier Cruz
June 10, 1994
Hair vs. Hair
**** 1/4

Let’s cut right to the chase and talk about Ciclon Ramirez’s tope suicidas. I can circle back around later to talk about how quintessential of a hair match this truly is.

Ciclon Ramirez has the greatest tope suicida in recorded history. You can try to convince me otherwise, but I am having none of it. Every time I have seen Ramirez hit that move my jaw has hit the floor. It is almost physics defying the way he consistently gets such great velocity and distance every time he dives head first out of the ring onto a waiting opponent. It all looks so normal early on. Ramirez doesn’t run across the ring at a particularly noteworthy speed. He doesn’t necessarily jump any different than anyone else (at least to my untrained eye). Yet somehow as soon as he leaves the mat he turns into Superman. It is incredible.

This is a big match for Ramirez, arguably his biggest since dropping his mask eleven months earlier in an excellent match with Felino. Maybe because it is a big match, Ciclon spoils us with not one, not two, but THREE of his incredible topes. Not only that, but he delivers THREE different variations of the move.

The first highlights his initial comeback. When Cruz gets bumped to the floor, Ciclon wastes no time in following up with a tope through the middle ropes that crushes his opponent up against the front row. In most matches, this would be the dive of the match. On the Ciclon Ramirez scale, however, this one is merely very good. The velocity is great at always and the distance is better than most, but the barricade keeps Ramirez (and Cruz for that matter) from flying as far as they might have otherwise.

For a follow up, Ramirez does the move from the corner of the ring rather than the center of it. In the third fall, Cruz once again is knocked to the arena floor but this time in the corner on the side of the ring where the entrance way is. With more room to work, Ciclon gets better distance this time and you can really see how far he can fly. Like usual, he maintains his velocity so well that even though Cruz is pretty far from the ring the collision upon impact is still pretty noticeable. This one also had the added benefit of providing a different visual since Ramirez leaps out of the ring near the corner rather than in the center.

Like any great showman, Ciclon Ramirez understands the benefit of going out on a high note. He saves the best tope suicida for the finale. Ramirez takes a beating at the hands of Cruz throughout the match and seems to know that taking one final risk is probably going to be necessary. He gets his chance when Cruz ends up out of the ring, dead center, and with only the Arena Mexico seats (and fans) in front of him. I am not good at judging distances but there is a decent amount of space between Cruz and the ring when Ramirez initially takes off. Simply reaching Cruz at that distance would be a nice accomplishment. Ramirez not only reaches Cruz without any problem – and before starting his descent – he flies another couple of feet after making contact. Ramirez gets such great distance and connects at such high velocity that he drives Cruz back several feet and right into the metal Arena Mexico seats. Cruz’s back lands HARD against the seats and it is a small miracle he didn’t permanently damage his back on that bump.

If not for the fact that Cruz had a pair of even crazier dives in a trios match the year before (see this video), that third tope suicida would have been the best I have ever seen.

As mentioned, the match is more than just great drives (Cruz also adds a tope which is excellent in its own right). There are at least several hair matches that I like better than this one, but in my mind it stands out as the quintessential “hair vs. hair” contest. The match has all the elements often associated with the match type.

For starters, Ciclon is sporting a large head of hair. There are few things less satisfying than a hair match where both wrestlers enter the match with a short, clean cut. There are no such worries here thanks to Ramirez. We get the apuesta match trope of the tecnico being attacked and laid out before the bell and before he even has a chance to remove his jacket or robe. There are some strong brawling segments and both guys take nasty shots into the ring post. Of course, both wrestlers bleed. Cruz in particular really gets the blood flowing. Cruz is just nasty in this match. He stays on top of his opponent and his attacks come off as really vicious. As silly as it might sound, the glove helps a lot to the end because of the way it give the impression that Cruz is working with an additional advantage. The falls are structured well. The first has the spirited Ramirez comeback, the second is compact but doesn’t feel unrealistically short, and the third is given ample time to develop. It all adds up to what is a prototypical hair match. The topes and the general level of the work lift it above the average hair bout. The match doesn’t reach the classic or even surefire MOTYC status for me because with the exception of the tope suicidas, there isn’t a hook or unique attribute that lifts it up to that level. The match is violent, but there have been more violent hair matches. The heat – even with the questionable video/audio quality – is good but not excellent.

I found a place on my Greatest Wrestler Ever list for Ciclon Ramirez. His performance in this match (along with his work in the Felino feud from a year prior) was the major reason why. I think this is a strong hair match for non-lucha fans or people that just dab in lucha. The dives themselves – particularly the final one – are worth the price of admission and you get all the elements of a great hair match as well.

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