JIP, and we seem to be missing a fall and a half of this three-fall bout.

What we do have though is pretty great overall. Peruano, of the leopard tights and sick mustache, is cast here as a comedically-leaning babyface. It’s an old school, classical kind of babyface comedy, one built around making a fool of his opponent. Peruano’s task in the match is to nudge La Barba into making an ass of himself, and they do a great job of it here. What results is Peruano coming across as incredibly cool and relaxed at his best. It helps that he manages the spectrum of tone here from the more comedic chain wrestling and grappling to a much more straightforward babyface exacting justice such as when he repeatedly entangles La Barba in the ropes to deliver a beating on him.

All that being said, I came away far more impressed with La Barba’s performance here. I think that’s because the match just asks more of him. The only way for Peruano to come across as cool as he does is for La Barba to eat a ton of shit. He gets tangled up into holds, tied up in the ropes, bumps about like a stooge heel buffoon. La Barba also shows a depth of range here too though as despite being bumbling on the sell, he’s outright vicious on the attack. He’s the first one to utilize the ropes–throwing Peruano into the hangman spot, which sets up his comeuppance twice over later on. He’s also throwing some real heaters with his kicks and punches, but he’s also never admirable in how he seizes control. He only wins what we assume is the second fall by blatantly gouging at Peruano’s eyes which opens him up to La Barba’s attacks.

It’s kind of a pitch perfect heel performance from La Barba that spotlights everything a heel can and should be: a punchline for our hero, yes, but also a vicious cheat that can not be underestimated.

Rating: ***3/4

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