Black Terry & Solar vs. Negro Casas & Blue Panther
February 28, 2016
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.
Solar vs. Black Terry
January 31, 2016
Domo del Plan Sexenal (Mexico City)
This was originally advertised as Black Terry versus Blue Panther which is undeniably the more interesting match on paper. Panther was a no-show, however, and as far as last minute substitutions go Solar is not a bad one. My first inclination was that this is an oft-repeated pairing but that is not really true. This might have been the first singles match between these since a November 2013 Chilanga Mask card and almost definitely the first one available on video since then. Black Terry/Solar is not quite Black Terry/Blue Panther in terms of uniqueness of the match up but it is not Solar/Negro Navarro level of overdone either.
The match itself played out similarly. The early exchanges were far less mundane and uniformed as the Navarro/Solar exchanges have become. Black Terry brings a level of athleticism to his mat work that present day Navarro – and quite frankly, present day Blue Panther – cannot match. Panther is a different style of wrestler than Solar so the early match stuff would have had a different vibe for sure, but I am not convinced it would have been much better. I suppose it is somewhat boring – or at least not unexpected – for a Terry/Solar match review to praise the early hold exchanges but that portion of the match was certainly the highlight. Terry and Solar worked quick and interesting submissions and counters, in a way that did not feel robotic or boilerplate.
The match got away from them a little in the middle. They attempted to transition after the opening stuff by getting into a heated argument on the outside but nobody was buying it as a big deal. This part of the match – in stark contrast to the opening minutes – did feel like standard fare and was below average. The two argued and then did some weak brawling, lowlighted by Solar going into the railing in a particularly careful manner. There was an ultra-brief flurry of strikes on the outside that was neat but it was too brief to mean much. Once back in the ring, they somewhat quickly went to the double pin finish.
This was not a classic maestro match but still worth a watch. The opening minutes are a lot of fun and the match flies by. Solar and Terry seemingly do not have it in them to take a night off but if they were so inclined, you could certainly imagine a scenario where they have a match much worse than this one. On the flip side, it is easy to imagine them having a better match in 2016 if the middle portion outside the ring was reconfigured but that’s a small complaint. I’ll take a slightly above average 10 minute match worked in this style almost every time out.