This review was commissioned by beenthrifty over on my Ko-fi account.

Few wrestlers in history have communicated the threat of violence quite as well as Sangre Chicana and El Satanico do in this match. The actual explosion of the action works incredibly well here too, and does so for many wrestlers across time, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the simmering potential for violence expressed as it is here.

Given that these two spend much of their careers as rudos, we get a lot of that classic meanness from two of the best to ever do it. It’s meanness on a small scale that conveys so much though. El Satanico might just be the greatest closed quarters wrestler of all time. He’s a heel and a shit, but his particular brand of it just feels so vibrant and alive. Watch how that little, compact goblin of a man charges in, shoving with all his force on the early lock ups and then jabbing with some of the feistiest short punches ever.

It speaks to how well Satanico understands the role of the rudo the way he deploys his offense here. Always vicious and forward moving, but accomplished in just the shittiest, most underhanded ways. Take for example when he launches himself through the bottom ropes to grab at Chicana’s ankles. He’s like an animal, scrapping at the legs of a man to bring them down to his level.

Chicana’s approach here also speaks to his rudo background while still remaining the more valiant of the two. Perhaps most impressively, those big, beautiful swinging punches that I love of his. That’s pure hero shit right there, letting off these massive punches that Satanico happily stooges for when caught in the line of fire.

At all times, this threatens to break down into a brawl. But there’s a canny sort of tension they maintain through much of the first two falls here. These are two men who aren’t afraid of a scrap but are calculating the exact right position and time to engage with such intimidating opposition. I especially enjoy the way they square up on the outside of the ring, always goading each other on, and getting across this sort of macho posturing with a subtlety and restraint that feels so lacking elsewhere.

And then, when they do get to unload, my god.

Satanico jabbing with those punches of his, Chicana swinging for the fences, it’s so fucking great. A release of all that high tension, when they finally start just beating away on each other in the final fall. It speaks to how attuned these two were to wrestling big that even in the shadows of the crowd, through the grainy quality of a 1980s camera, we still see the contours of Sangre Chicana’s wildly whipping away at Satanico up in the stands.

Two masters at work, having a predictably great match.

Rating: ****1/4

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