Another well-loved classic lucha brawl. This takes place for the now defunct Universal Wrestling Association in what seems to be a packed Toreo de Cuatro Caminos. The footage here is very blurry and grainy as a lot of stuff from this time in lucha is but the glimpses we do get of the arena show a pretty large, spacious arena that the show seems to have packed out. It does a lot to lend a sense of grandeur to this match.

That spectacle continues with El Hijo del Santo being carried to the ring on the shoulders of his second. What a boss way to enter the arena.

This starts as a brawl and very rarely deviates from that idea. De Oro sets the tone by knocking Santito down with punches right to open the primera caida. Although Santito tries to grapple him down to the mat by shooting for the leg, de Oro relies on his punches to maintain the advantage. Structurally, the primera caida of this match does a lot to establish some of the important ideas that will play a role in the final finishing stretch. Both de Oro and Santito try to bash each other’s heads into the both the turnbuckles and the ring posts. There’s a lot of tension surrounding it with Santito in particular being incredibly desperate to avoid the collisions. After dominating the fall, de Oro picks up the first win by nailing a powerbomb for the pin.

The segunda caida opens with more brawling this time on the floor. I can’t make out what causes it on the footage but by the time the fight finds its way back into the ring, Santito has already begun bleeding through his mask. That bleeding only gets worse as the match continues. The fact that the blood is visible on the grimy old footage despite Santito never having his mask ripped open is a testament to just how much the guy bled here. In the brief close ups we get of Santito, you can see the blood soak through the fabric and shine as it beads. Its disgusting and, of course, I love it.

Santito nails a tope suicida to the outside to kick start his comeback. The force of the tope sends de Oro crashing face first into the ringside barricades, busting him open. De Oro’s bladejob here is just as bad if not worse than Santito’s as we get several shots of him bleeding all over his own chest. Santito turns the tides well enough to ram de Oro into the ring post and it’s joyous. He soars with his flying headbutt and locks in his patented Camel Clutch which damn near breaks Brazo de Oro in half to win the second fall.

The tercera caida kicks off hot and fast as both men put a lot of urgency into their brawling, upping the pace. Things do take a turn however as the action turns to wrestling instead of brawling. Santito and de Oro trade pinfall combinations and Santito grabs a long submission hold down on the mat. In kayfabe, I guess you could say that Santito wanted to end things in the way he knew best but for me it did serve to disrupt a lot of the momentum that they had been building. You’re both bleeding your guts out by now, maybe we can leave the submission holds at home for the night.

Things heat up again when de Oro nails a tope suicida of his own to the outside. Loved Santito’s sell here, stumbling on the outside so bad that he pulls the ring apron down. He times it too so that it doesn’t look like he’s waiting ages to catch de Oro. Santito gets back in the thick of things with a pop up dropkick which he follows up with a gorgeous crossbody to the outside. Down the stretch, de Oro is able to nail the same powerbomb that put away Santito in the first fall and the kick out feels so satisfying. At this point too, both men’s blood have stained their gear head to toe–an image that never, ever gets old in wrestling. Santito finally gets the win by countering a scoop slam into a small package–the tecnico outsmarting the rudo for the victory.

Really great match here. Lots of blood which is always an easy sell for me and a lot of really smart layout work that utilizes each fall to escalate the action and play off the action that’s passed.

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