Tag Archives: Blue Panther

Blue Panther vs. Angel Azteca (AAA – 09/04/1992)

Blue Panther vs. Angel Azteca
September 4, 1992
NWA Middleweight Championship

**** 1/2

At the time of AAA split with CMLL, Blue Panther was the reigning CMLL Middleweight champion and Octagon was the NWA Middleweight champion. The NWA championships were regulated by the Commission, so Octagon simply took the title with him to AAA. Panther was stripped of his title by CMLL to nobody’s surprise. The fallout from both champions’ departures resulted in a pair of really great matches. On July 3rd at Arena Mexico, El Dandy defeated Negro Casas to win the vacant CMLL Middleweight title in an absolute classic of a title match. Three weeks later, Octagon dropped the NWA Middleweight title to Panther on a non-televised event in Leon and in early September made his first title defense against Angel Azteca in Cancun in what was also a fabulous match.

Overall, I like this match better than the more famous Blue Panther vs. El Mariachi (Solar I) Middleweight title bout from 1994. That one had the better single fall (the first) but took a step back and got repetitive over the final two falls. It is a great match of course, but this one maintained a higher level throughout, peaking with a very strong near fall heavy final frame.

Angel Azteca channels Riki Choshu for the structure of the first fall. He forgoes any feeling out work or opening mat wrestling in favor of ambushing the champion. After a frantically fantastic start, he settles down into the more familiar mat work and submissions. Choshu would often start out at hot before settling into the slower paced, foundation-setting work a couple of minutes here. The best example would the April ’83 match with Fujinami, with the small caveat that the initial flurry in Azteca/Panther last a half a minute or so longer. The opening flurry is really something. Azteca nails Panther with a trio of drop kick and follows up with a great tope. Panther goes hard into the turnbuckle chest first open returning opening up an opportunity for Panther to try the match’s first pin fall attempt. Shortly after, Azteca starts working a variety of submissions which returns the match to a more familiar lucha title match structure and pace.

Azteca’s submission wrestling and pinning combination game is strong here. Working early 90’s Blue Panther means you are working a high energy rudo is able and willing to do all sorts of flashy holds and pin attempts off the mat. Azteca takes full advantage of that. In addition to the interesting submissions on the ground, Azteca does things like flying head scissors takedowns and an excellent inside cradle off of a body slam attempt. It was that sort of stuff that made the Panther/Mariachi match (first fall in particular) so memorable and Azteca is just as good here as Mariachi was in that one. If you are a fan of Panther’s goofy rudo selling (I am) there is plenty of that here like when he convulses on the mat after taking a bulldog. Panther eventually fights to get things even and they do a little back-and-forth where it is Panther’s time to show off a bit with things like his headstand reversal. Azteca rallies back and lands a missile drop kick to the take the near fall packed first fall in about six minutes.

Second fall is more of the same in terms of being all action regardless of whether they are running ropes, trying for pins, or going for submissions. Azteca is in control to start the fall but Panther is able to fight all the way back this time and he evens things up at one apiece with a backbreaker submission win. It should be noted that the Cancun crowd is really hot for this match. They are cheering both guys but it really seems like the fast pace of the match has them worked into a frenzy.

The third fall gets a about eight minutes to play out which is quite a bit of time. The two major drawbacks of the match occur in the third fall. It does get a tad repetitive which isn’t a huge deal, except that it sort of plays into the second part where they do too many near falls off of pinning combinations to the point that the fans buy some but don’t buy others. Both are relatively small nitpicks. They don’t lose the crowd (or me) it is just maybe a little too many similar types of near falls. The pace never relents however and overall it is still a very strong fall. The crowd popped huge for the rudo Panther retaining his title.

Black Terry & Solar vs. Negro Casas & Blue Panther (ELITE – 02/28/2016)

Black Terry & Solar vs. Negro Casas & Blue Panther
February 28, 2016
Arena Mexico

While not a bad match, this was certainly a disappointing one. Things peaked with the first pairing (Solar and Blue Panther). Although not anywhere near the level of the first fall in their hyped 1994 AAA singles match, they worked a really fun and rather lengthy quick paced opening that felt a lot fresher and smoother than current Solar/Navarro sequences. Terry and Casas matched up which the fans were hyped for – really big reaction when they both entered the match – but their actual interaction was probably the most disappointing part of the match. Casas held onto a long sleeper hold not too long after they first locked up. The move felt out of place, did not lead anywhere interesting, and went onto long. In a vacuum Terry’s traditional back breaker escape was neat but fell flat in this setting. Those two eventually slugged it out but even that was rather mundane (perhaps a closer view of the ring would have helped with that).

The Solar/Casas exchanges were better than the Solar/Terry ones but both have done better recently. We only briefly saw Terry and Panther hook up, after their recently scheduled Toryumon Mexico match was canceled due to Panther no-showing (Solar subbed for Panther and had a decent match with Terry). In a rarity for him, Solar had a full on slip up when he stumbled while coming off the top turnbuckle and awkwardly tumbled to the mat. Of course if you are going to misstep like that it helps to have a ring of full of professionals all around you. Panther covered nicely with a quick inside cradle. My favorite move of the match was a flashy hair biel from Solar to Casas. I am not sure if that was their intent but the move looked good nonetheless.

When old guys have a subpar match it is tempting to blame the quality on their ages and talk about how they are getting old. Besides for Solar’s rope slip, there weren’t any notable senior moments from the four. They just didn’t click and have the kind of match they could have. They mainly stayed off of the mat which may have been a mistake but only because what they did standing was relatively lackluster. The match did not miss because Casas was slow or Panther couldn’t bump; it missed because the lay out and execution just were just on that level they are usually are with these four.

Damian 666 & Bestia 666 vs. Valiente & Blue Panther (CMLL – 01/10/2016)

Damian 666 & Bestia 666 vs. Valiente & Blue Panther
CMLL (Elite)
January 10, 2016
Arena Mexico