Cien Caras vs. MS-1 (AAA – 08/13/1993)

Cien Caras vs. MS-1
August 13, 1993

Hair vs. Hair
** 3/4

Early era AAA relied on short term feuds between veterans as a way of getting big matches onto television without over pushing the young guys or burning through their big matches. AAA did not necessarily chew veterans up and spit them out after one apuesta match but that is not too far removed from reality. Pirata Morgan and Rambo did little in AAA before or after their 1993 apuesta matches versus El Satanico and Rambo, respectively, although both wrestlers did stick around for some time after dropping their hair. Mocho Cota had a “blink and you’ll miss it” run in AAA that was to conclude with a hair vs. hair match with Latin Lover, but Cota balked at losing his hair to an untalented and unproven luchador like Lover. Relevant to the match at hand, MS-1 jumped to AAA in July, had a handful of matches alongside his Los Infernales teammates against Los Hermanos Dinamita leading into this hair match and was out of AAA by mid-September.

Which is all a long way of writing that even with the hair at stake, this was still essentially a throwaway television match. It was a match that because of the participants and stipulation felt bigger than normal but not wasn’t so big that it couldn’t be given away after a rushed one-month buildup. MS-1 was in AAA to put over Cien Caras and that was that. The match itself is equally prosaic. They work with a certain level of intensity and there is some good action but it is all very much by-the-numbers hair match stuff if that makes sense. There was little about the match that made it stand out or feel special.

Cien Caras gets a bad rap as a worker. Dave Meltzer never saw much in any of the Dinamitas as wrestlers, which over time as become their reputation. Caras is a good worker – maybe not great, but good – and he gets a chance to show that off versus MS-1. His knee based offense is pretty great and takes on an added dimension after MS-1 softens up his arm. Cien moves well in the match and takes nice bumps. His facial expressions while both in holds and applying holds added a fair deal of the intensity alluded to earlier. I wouldn’t say that Cien carried the match but he was clearly the better of the two. MS-1 showed his age here – as he did for most of the 90’s – and barely clears the ropes on a tope to the outside. He works hard against Cien for sure, but besides for the arm offense I don’t think he added much positive value to the match.

Continuing the theme of mediocrity, the heat is good but not great. It is technically a rudo versus rudo match although Cien is clearly the de facto good guy. This is highlighted in the first fall when the seconds get into it. As MS-1’s second, Satanico (sporting a decidedly non-devilish short sleeve dress shirt) involves himself in the match early on at several points. Eventually Cien’s second, Mascara Ano 2000, has enough and justifiably attacks Satanico which draws the disqualification. Tirantes proceeds to throw Ano Dos Mil out leaving Cien to deal with two-thirds of the Infernales on his own. Tirantes’ decision to award the first fall to MS-1 was questionable but that was the point. It helped to draw the boundaries between who the good and bad guys were. Satanico gets greedy in the second fall and trips up Cien in plain view of Tirantes. Tirantes makes the right call this time and awards the second fall to the Dinamita brother. The third fall ends on a nice pinning combination from Caras and the crowd seems pleased, popping rather big for the finish. If nothing else, the match was effective in getting Caras over as a rudo with redeeming qualities. I imagine that was at least partially the point of this feud. In the 3-way feud between himself, Konnan, and Jake Roberts, Cien played the neutral role. Being put over in this match as the lesser of two evils worked towards that end game.

I know there are others who liked the match quite a bit but it just doesn’t hit me as anything other than a solid hair match. Hair matches should be big deals and feel like big deals. The match was just so ordinary. It lacked blood, over the top brawling, or any big time hook. Cien Caras and MS-1 had a watchable hair match, just not a memorable one. In terms of apuesta matches from 1993, I would only have this above Panther/Vulcano and the ultra-disappointing Mano Negra/Atlantis match from CMLL.

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