We’re back to singles action with this match which gives us a nice, clear look at what Delfin can do in the mid-90s. I want to again highlight Delfin’s gear in this match, the white outfit with the far more sinister mask design lends him a visual edge that he didn’t have in the matches we’ve already covered.

At the same time, Delfin also has a sharper edge with his offense here. Much like their apuesta match from 1993, this follows a very basic structure of Sasuke exploding out of the gate but Delfin seizing control and holding onto it until a climactic Sasuke comeback. That means that once again, Delfin’s tasked with shouldering the burden of keeping most of this match moving and flowing.

He does an even better job of it here than he did back in 93. He has a much cooler variety of power moves that he uses to thrash Sasuke about. Not only does he continue to utilize his fantastic spinning torture rack backbreaker, he has a nice array of suplexes to work over Sasuke’s body. He even has a pretty nasty half crab complemented with a foot jabbed right into Sasuke’s lower back. Also, there’s a lot more striking in Delfin’s game here too. There’s still that standard punch from the corner that he uses to set up his tornado DDT, but a few real solid forearms and chops in the middle of the match add a little more grit to the affair. All that means that there’s a greater sense of energy running through this match as compared to the already great bout in 93.

I think what I really came to appreciate about this match was how dedicated the Michinoku Pro guys were to classic structure. It’s real easy to dismiss this kind of wrestling as spotty and the genesis of the crazy, noisy, flippy wrestling that some people have today. But the closer I look at it, the more I appreciate how carefully these two apply themselves to the craft. Sasuke spends most of this match bumping and selling his ass off, drawing the sympathy of the crowd, so that when he finally gets to burst free and nail his beautiful high flying offense, it feels like this rapturous victory.

Hell, when Delfin gets involved with those big dives in the finishing stretch, it feels earned as he needs to up his game to keep up with Sasuke’s flashy arsenal. What results is a finishing stretch where big dives to the outside feel like they truly matter instead of being necessary components of the match. Big dives to the outside in this match actually lead to rather tense count out teases, a trope that feels like it’s missing in most modern applications of those dives. Everything builds so that when they trade big bombs in the finishing stretch, they’re able to squeeze out three or four genuine nail-biting false finishes.

A real, great example of the lucharesu style and the things that it could accomplish in a singles context. By a hair, probably the best match of the project so far.

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