There’s magic in seeing something for the first time, especially in wrestling. There is an entire world of wrestling to discover. One of the most fun things about wrestling is checking out something new. It may be because you heard about something else on a show and watch the whole thing, it may be because you heard about a promotion you’ve never seen, or a company you like is working with another you’ve never seen before. Regardless of why someone checks out something new, these discoveries are vital to the wrestling business growing and evolving. In this instalment, we have five matches that introduced new audiences to wrestling horizons they’ve never seen before, and changed the wrestling landscape forever. – Kevin Hare

Match #67 Los Gringos Locos vs. Octagon & El Hijo del Santo

Match #67
Los Gringos Locos vs. Octagon & El Hijo del Santo
AAA When Worlds Collide

Watch: YouTube
Testimonial by Roy Lucier

I’ll never forget the day as long as I live, November 6th, 1994. It was a very sunny day, warm weather, in Southern California, but especially in Los Angeles. I was living in Garden Grove at the time, around 35 miles from Los Angeles, and I made my way to the Los Angeles Sports Arena in the afternoon. I had been at this arena dozens of times, but with the recent success of AAA in the United States, these events had a real buzz to it. This was their fifth event in this building, the first back in August of 1993 being the largest non-WWF gate in local history. There were many different perspectives to this event, known as “Cuando Los Mundos Chocan” (When Worlds Collide), many were just lucha fans who had been coming to all these events and many others locally featuring top lucha stars, and also many who were aware that WCW had negotiated with AAA President Antonio Pena to bring the event on national PPV. But no matter how you looked at it, everyone came here expecting the match of the night to be the huge double mask vs double hair match between El Hijo del Santo and Octagon against Love Machine and Eddy Guerrero (how AAA spelled his name).

I drove to the event alone (I normally drove with friends but my ticket wasn’t near there’s, plus I had left church later than usual that day, so I drove myself, still wearing a white shirt and tie.) Got to the usual exit (Martin Luther King Blvd), and made my way to the Sports Arena, my usual hour or so before the doors open. The makeup of the crowd was seriously 99% Mexican. The amount of “hueros” or “gringos” there, well, we basically all knew each other, and it was less than 50, I would say. Get in the building (and damn, I wish I had kept my ticket stub), and checked out the merchandise stand, which was basically made up of kids masks for $12 and the AAA Kelian figures for $6 (I can write an even longer story on those figures down the road, by the way). Found my seat, and waited for the show to start! I remember sitting near me was a couple local fans I knew wearing Santo and Octagon masks. It was clear to anyone in attendance who the favorites were in the huge double mask vs double hair match.

The opener happened, which featured the beloved “Super Mini-Estrellas” (midgets). It was clear early on in the show, that something was different than previous shows, as the opener only went one fall, and while Espectrito came out to his usual music (Night on Disco Mountain from Saturday Night Fever), everyone else came out to something generic. In fact, it went less than 10 minutes. One thing about AAA at this time you should know, was every single match was 2/3 falls, and to a live crowd, counting entrances, was that the matches went 25-40 minutes. Of course the guys gave everything they could in that time, don’t get me wrong, but it had a different feel to it. The two masked guys near me were extremely confused, asking in broken English to me why the show was changed. While, of course being an Observer reader, I knew that WCW was working with AAA to host the PPV, I didn’t know or think that this was the reason for this change. But crazy enough, the next match happened (Rey Misterio Jr/Latin Lover/Heavy Metal vs Fuerza Guerrera/Psicosis/Madonna’s Boyfriend) and it was more of the same. The match was one fall and all the guys came out to different music, and more of the one fall stuff. The fans very much were enjoying the match itself, but it was such an odd experience from what us as regulars were used to. And same with the next match, which oddly featured wrestlers who were not AAA regulars, 2 Cold Scorpio, Tito Santana, and Pegasus Kid (Chris Benoit). The fans around me were familiar with all 3, as Scorpio was featured heavily in Lucha magazines just two years earlier as “Black Scorpio” for the AAA rival, UWA. Pegasus Kid was just on TV on Galavision for the rival CMLL about three months before this match, and well, Tito, even with no lucha experience, is still a household name to this crowd.

Which then brings us all to the match of the evening. There was concern, obviously, when it started, as the masked guys near me asked “this one fall too?” One thing of note, in Mexico, you usually have a section of fans that cheer the “rudos”, usually known as “La Porra Ruda”. Well, with Love Machine and Eddy, that 100% did not exist. No one dared to cheer for these Mexican hating rudos (yes, even myself). In order to get even more heat, Eddy and Art would go to the floor and do “swimming” motions, insinuating to the Mexicans that they swam to get here to the country. Also, there was a California state proposition at the time, known as “Prop 187”, and if it passed (and it did, but was overturned), it would deny any public benefits to anyone who was not a citizen of the United States, so you could see Art and Eddy before the match and inbetween and first and second fall talking about winning not only to unmask Santo and Octagon, but for “Prop 187”, which made them even more hated, and I mean that white heat you sometimes hear about.

The match started, and it was seriously some of the loudest chants I’ve ever heard in this building for Santo (and remember, this same building hosted Wrestlemania 7 three years earlier.) Eddy and Santo started with some back and forth technical stuff, but the real magic came when Love Machine tagged in. There is an argument out there, that it was Art that was the showman of the two, that Eddy was the wrestler, but didn’t have the charisma that Art had, and Eddy learned a lot from Art and used it throughout his career. Art came in, and it wasn’t about holds, it was about pissing the fans off, taking a powder and then wanting to shake Octagon’s hand, but ended up kicking him instead. Every mistake that Art made, the fans lit up for and cheered. But then Octagon was knocked out of the ring, and Art got Santo on his shoulders and Eddy did a hurancanrana to Santo and got the pin. Since it was lucha rules, both members had to be pinned, so the rudos got Octagon, and Eddy superplexed Octagon while Art did one of the most beautiful frog splashes ever seen (while Art is not the creator of the frog splash, that belongs to Eddy’s cousin Javier Llanes, he did have probably the best one ever seen.)

The rudos along with their second Madonna’s Boyfriend aka Louie Spicolli (all Lucha matches that are title matches or “apuestas” hair/mask matches have seconds in their corners) taunted the crowd with the swimming motions during the break inbetween falls. The rudos kept up the antics until a mistake was made and Santo and Octagon got the offense, including a double dive literally in front of me onto Eddy and Art. When they got back into the ring, Santo went to the ropes to do a move to Eddy, but was caught and was huracanrana’d off the ropes, and Eddy got the pin on Santo. The building got quiet at that point, cause it would only take a pin on Octagon for the tecnicos to be unmasked. But a mistake made by Eddy and Art let to Octagon getting a quick hurancanrana on Eddy and scoring the three count. Art was distracted, thinking it was Eddy pinning Octagon, but when he turned around, Octagon did a Russian legsweep into a submission, which Machine tapped out, taking us to the third fall. The crowd pop when Octagon got the submission was insane. The second for Santo and Octagon, Blue Panther (who, ironically enough, was a rudo at the time of this match, but because he was Mexican, he was accepted by Santo and Octagon against the evil Americans, especially Love Machine, who he had a very long rivalry with, including beating Machine for his mask 2 ½ years earlier in Arena Mexico when both were in CMLL) joined them as well to celebrate.

The third fall was a lot of back and forth action, including a double dive from Art and Eddy onto Santo and Octagon. At one point, Santo did his powerbomb flip outside the ring to Eddy, and while the referee, El Tirantes back was turned, Machine did the most deadly move in all of lucha libre, the “martinete” (tombstone piledriver) to Octagon and got the three count. The move is a banned move in Mexico, and there’s a lot of history with the move with Love Machine, as he “didn’t understand” it was banned, and doing the move to Blue Panther is what cost him his mask back in April of 1992. It is sold unlike anything else, where even the President of AAA, Antonio Pena, came from backstage to check on Octagon. The rudos did everything they could to get the pin on Santo, with no avail, while medics came out and put Octagon on a stretcher. At one point, Santo did a dive onto Eddy on the outside, and the referee went to check on them. While the ref wasn’t looking, Blue Panther came into the ring, knocked Love Machine off the ropes, and then did the “martinete” to him. Right here, this pop from the crowd, is probably the loudest pop I have ever heard in all my decades of being a fan, as it was the culmination of almost three years with Panther finally getting revenge on Art. Santo then crawled into the ring and pinned Machine, leaving it to one on one. Eddy and Santo then wrestled, crazy enough, with Art still in the ring, as he couldn’t be moved. Finally, Santo did a roll up to Eddy and got the pin, leading to another one of the loudest pops I’ve ever heard.

The drama, the action, the crowd (who continued to throw punches at Eddy during the main event of Perro Aguayo vs Konnan, causing a fight in the crowd), everything all rolled into one, this match may not translate the same to someone who doesn’t know the back story and all the “side quests” that went along with this match, but to myself, and many others in attendance, this is the best live match I’ve ever attended. Sadly, Love Machine would pass away shortly after this match, and this was the final time he would ever step into a pro wrestling ring. I’ve never asked those in the know (Pena, Konnan, etc.) what the plans were for Machine and Eddy after this match, but I’d be curious what was next. Art was amazing, someone who played his role to perfection. He was there to piss the fans off, and he did that, and anyone looking to play a heel should be studying what he did during his time here with Eddy and “Los Gringos Locos/La Pareja del Terror”. It’s a night I’ll never forget when it comes to seeing the best match in all my decades of fandom.

Crazy enough, the whole one fall stuff, and removal of entrance music really pissed off the loyal fanbase here. The next time they came back to the building, on July 15th, 1995, the attendance dropped over 5,000, from 13,500 to 8,000. As great as it was for the American public to be able to see Lucha Libre on PPV, it is often questioned if the trade was worth it, as it killed their live gate for both future shows, plus promoter Ron Skoler never getting a clear answer (or paycheck) on what the PPV numbers were. But the definite buzz for those who attended everything that weekend was the amazing double mask vs double hair match, and if you’ve never seen it before, go out of your way to do so.

Further Viewing

Match #68 Wild Pegasus vs. Great Sasuke

Match #68
Wild Pegasus vs. Great Sasuke
NJPW Super J-Cup

Watch: NJPW World
Testimonial by Andrew Rich

We live in an age of extreme convenience when it comes to watching wrestling. Seemingly the entire wrestling world is available at our fingertips, be it on television, YouTube, streaming services, Google Drive, or some sketchy Chinese or Russian video site. All you have to do is grab your remote or click a link and bam, you’ve got wrestling.

As such, the concept of “tape trading” can nowadays seem quite alien. Hell, it does to me. Sure, I grew up with physical media, but as a wrestling fan, my version of “walking eight miles in the snow to school every day” was waiting three hours before I could download the next .rar file of a show off Rapidshare or MegaUpload. So the thought of having to order VHS tapes of matches and shows through newsletters or forums, then waiting days for the mailman to deliver the goods? Oy gevalt!

But as annoying as I’m sure it was to wait for those deliveries, that generation of wrestling fans still put up with it, for the same reason my generation put up with download time limits and the current generation puts up with YouTube copyright strikes and broken links: When the wrestling is great enough, it’s worth it.

The inaugural Super J-Cup was one of those wrestling shows that was worth it.

Organized by legendary pro wrestler Jushin Thunder Liger, the Super J-Cup was a one-night, interpromotional tournament held in front of a packed Sumo Hall crowd on April 16, 1994 (almost 30 years to the day of me writing this). 14 junior heavyweight wrestlers from New Japan, Michinoku Pro, WAR, CMLL, FMW, and Social Progress Wrestling Federation (whatever the hell that is) competed to see who was the best.

The significance of the event cannot be overstated. The quality of the matches made it one of, if not the hottest commodity among tape traders. To this day, people still talk about how sought after the J-Cup tape was. The show’s undeniable success also gave junior heavyweight wrestling a massive popularity boost in Japan and around the world, introducing new people to the style and to the wrestlers involved.

Speaking of which, take a look at the lineup: Black Tiger II (Eddie Guerrero), Dean Malenko, El Samurai, Gedo, Hayabusa, Jushin Thunder Liger, Masayoshi Motegi, Negro Casas, Ricky Fuji, Shinjiro Otani, Super Delfin, TAKA Michinoku, The Great Sasuke, and Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit). Talk about an all-star game. It’s a who’s who of guys who not only saw their stars rise in the immediate aftermath of the show, but would go on to become major names for decades to come.

Look no further than The Great Sasuke. These days Sasuke is considered a legend among many wrestling fans, having founded Michinoku Pro Wrestling and helping popularize the lucharesu style that originated in Universal Lucha Libre (the promotion where Sasuke trained) and continues today in companies like Dragongate. He’s popped up on WWF and ECW pay-per-views, made special appearances in American independent promotions like CHIKARA and GCW, and even became the first masked man to get elected to the Japanese government (or probably any government). He still wrestles today at 54 years old and while his best days are far behind him, he hasn’t given up the daredevil attitude that made him an icon; just watch any Great Space War match and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Sasuke’s story would be impossible to tell without including his run in the ‘94 J-Cup. He entered the tournament as a representative of his home promotion. After his three matches against El Samurai in the quarterfinals, Liger in the semifinals, and Pegasus in the finals, he left the tournament a newfound superstar. Each of Sasuke’s matches were highly acclaimed, with the Pegasus match earning five stars from Dave Meltzer (back when those were not as easy to come by) and the Liger match almost achieving the same at ****¾.

Sasuke lost in the finals to Pegasus, but he still had the most memorable moment of the show. Towards the end of the Liger match, Sasuke goes for a springboard, slips on the top rope, and crumbles to the mat. Liger mocks Sasuke, but Sasuke catches Liger by surprise with a hurricanarana and pins him for the win as the crowd erupts into cheers. Some call it a happy accident, as the botch helped convey Sasuke’s exhaustion and damage, while Liger’s impromptu taunt made for a poetic ending. Some say it wasn’t actually a botch and part of the finish all along. Either way, it lives on in infamy.

Promotions have sporadically brought back the Super J-Cup over the years with several prominent names taking part, including Chris Jericho, Ultimo Dragon, CIMA, Naomichi Marufuji, Kota Ibushi, Prince Devitt, Will Ospreay, KUSHIDA, Amazing Red, and Mistico. While those subsequent tournaments were pulled off with varying degrees of success (the less said about Taichi in 2016, the better), the original remains the gold standard. Thankfully, you no longer have to wait several days for a sixth generation VHS copy to watch it, but if you really want to relive the 90s, knock yourself out (and maybe get a few Pogs and some slap bracelets while you’re at it).

Further Viewing

Match #69 Do Fixer vs. Blood Generation

Match #69
Do Fixer vs. Blood Generation
ROH Supercard of Honor

Watch: YouTube
Testimonial by Iron Mike Spears

Three years ago Case Lowe wrote that this match, which for deep Dragon System fans we just refer to it by the date: 3/31/06, was the most influential match of all time. Naturally, I completely agree with my Open The Voice Gate co-host. This match was absolutely transformative for its time and is a clear point of delineation between a previous era of pro wrestling and something closer to wrestling we now see in 2024. As I think Case did a masterful job back in 2021 talking about the match, I will take a different bent when discussing Do FIXER vs Blood Generation this time. Lets focus on these eras of pro wrestling, and how WrestleMania Weekend (and most of the modern indie wrestling industry) owes its livelihood to CIMA, Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, Genki Horiguchi and the star of the night: Dragon Kid. 

Do FIXER versus Blood Generation was such a powerful match, we forget what happened before it. 2006 wasn’t the first Mania Weekend with “piggyback” shows. Ring of Honor first attempted Wrestlemania weekend shows in 2004 with the Samoa Joe/Jay Briscoe ROH Title Cage Match. I don’t know if it was the sheer brutality of this match, or the fact that the Scramble Cage match afterwards was somewhat underwhelming and we don’t remember that as the start of the tradition. Pro Wrestling Guerrilla ran their first All Star Weekend the next year when WrestleMania Went Hollywood, but if we remember that show, it’s as a part of the All Star Weekend lineage, not as the start of the Indie Modern Era.

In Chicago on that night, wrestling changed. Six men were given carte-blanche on a show based around Roderick Strong’s third challenge of Bryan Danielson and a hometown brawl for Colt Cabana (medically NOT cleared) against Homicide. It was the company planting their flag into the weekend, but it wasn’t the World Title match that defined the weekend. I must be on my seventh or eighth watch of the thing, certain moments are laser imprinted on my eyelids. Genki Horiguchi, perhaps one of the greatest guys at taking a beating, getting the Chicago crowd behind him for the massive hot tags. Dragon Kid’s huge kick out. The Ultra and then Dragonrana and Dragon Kid jubilant after three. 

18 years later, why did they go with the Dragon Kid match versus repeating a different variant of Do Fixer versus Blood Generation? It’s said a lot that there were a lot better combinations of these teams, why was it THIS that took over the wrestling world? I think the years of touring Japan educated the Dragon Gate perspective. Although he has never been a Dream Gate champion or “The Guy” save the brief moments of Dragon Kid Empire after winning El Numero Uno in 2004, Dragon Kid was the identifiable Dragon System wrestler. The Dragonrana was a famous move world-wide by 2006, a two-time Wrestling Observer Best Wrestling Maneuver in 1999 and 2000. He transcends country, language and culture. In 2024, more often than not, he’s the one named as the childhood favorite of the wrestlers (especially Joshi) when interviewed. That’s because the Dragon System always knew how important the guy is. The first time Dragon Gate came to towns, be it Chicago, Illinois or Mine, Yamaguchi, Dragon Kid is front and center and the one who will first take your breath away. It’s still the case for him 18 years later. 

After 2006, Mania Weekend slowly expanded for a few years until Dragon Gate USA became an active promotion. Random promotions like AIW joined Ring of Honor in 2007 for Detroit. Mania running in Orlando in 2008 meant that TNA could piggyback with an Impact taping (and the firing of the Highlanders for attending) and provide an important lesson about companies being cool about visiting friends at their jobs. The next evolution though would come with former Ring of Honor booker Gabe Sapolsky’s new project: Dragon Gate USA. Dragon Gate USA joining the weekend in Phoenix in 2010 signalled an explosion that would continue the rest of the decade as now promotions would go head to head across busy markets. The idea of joining up the lucrative convention market brough Highspots and Wrestlecon aboard, creating yet another venue for wrestlers and the industry to appeal to a now traveling wrestling fanbase coming into town for a weekend of wrestling based around now the behemoth Wrestlemania. 

Of course WWE would get angsty about bottom feeders and leeches trying to profit off of and interfering with their bread and butter. The 2013 WWN Mercury Rising Wrestlecon Weekend in Secaucus had WWE attempt to seize and later sue supposed bootleggers that were within a set distance from the Wrestlemania venue. Coincidentally, WWE Axxess (WWE’s long running Mania convention) started having NXT matches in 2013 and expanded it to including their independent promotional partners in 2017.

WWE had to offer their own version of Wrestlemania Weekend in 2017 because by that time, Mania weekend was the lifeblood of the independent scene. New York area WrestleManias went from four piggyback shows in 2004 to thirteen in 2013 to over 30 shows over WrestleMania Weekend 2018. Where in 2006 and before it was an attempt to stake a claim on the busiest weekend of the year, it’s now a near requirement to be taken seriously as a “major” indie promotion to run Mania Weekend.

It’s hard for me to think of a match more immediately transformative as this one and for it to maintain its legacy on the internet these days. Money in the Bank 2011 (and really the lead up) made CM Punk into a megastar and launched Voices of Wrestling, but thirteen years later I can’t hear the phrase “pipe bomb promo” without wincing and thinking what could have been. Whenever I think of Do FIXER vs Blood Generation I know it changed the wrestling world, and changed it for the better, and that’s all because Dragon Kid is magical.

Further Viewing

  • Do Fixer vs. Blood Generation – This match is considered by Dragon System loyalists as the match better than 3/31/06. Adding in Fujii and subbing out Yoshino let BG become even more vicious heels. Perhaps the greatest trios match ever to happen at a Kobe World Show.
  • BxB Hulk, Akira Tozawa & Low-Ki vs World 1 InternationalGabe Sapolsky kept the “DG 6 Man” as a bankable match for him throughout his promoting tenure.
  • Z-Brats vs. D’CourageThe best modern DG trios. Rookie Ryoya Tanaka plays the Dragon Kid role in this one.

Match #70 Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega

Match #70
Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12

Watch: NJPW World
Testimonial by Jack Beckmann

In 2018, New Japan was firmly in the middle of what most would consider a golden era of the promotion. Kazuchika Okada was firmly entrenched as the ace of the generation, with a stellar supporting cast including Tetsuya Naito, Kenny Omega, Jay White, and Hiroshi Tanahashi. Combine that with an incredibly stacked undercard, and it all combines to create one of the best multi-year runs any promotion has ever had. As a result of this, an increasing number of foreign eyes were beginning to notice the work New Japan had been doing. To attempt to capitalize on this, New Japan decided to book Chris Jericho in a major spot on their Wrestle Kingdom 12 card against their foreign ace at the time, Kenny Omega. It was a bold gamble, given Jericho was incredibly expensive, and hadn’t wrestled in Japan consistently for over twenty years. It was a move designed to increase foreign eyes on the product, and the business it created for New Japan made their decision an unequivocal success. Of course, all of this credit can’t be given solely to Jericho & Omega. After all, it was only the semi-main event of the show, slotting behind Tetsuya Naito challenging Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, a massive match in its own right. One can’t simply credit either match for being the sole driver of business for the show, as the “double main event” created a perfect storm for New Japan to capitalize on. Attendance for the show was up nearly 33% from the year prior, going from 26,192 for Wrestle Kingdom 11 to 34,995 for Wrestle Kingdom 12. It also generated a significant amount of NJPW World subscriptions, with 25,000 signing up for the service in the days surrounding Wrestle Kingdom, with a significant amount of those coming from overseas. From there, New Japan further capitalized on their increased American interest, holding more shows in the country on a bigger scale and experiencing further success, success that can largely be traced back to this pivotal match in New Japan’s history.

Furthermore, the match itself holds up incredibly well. There were many question marks surrounding Jericho and whether he’d be able to adapt out of the WWE style after exclusively working there for over a decade, but any concerns immediately went out the window. Jericho took this as a chance to get over in front of a new audience, showing up in incredible shape and putting in lots of effort to make this match work. The story of the match was simple, with a valiant babyface Omega defending against the evil outsider in Jericho. The two had a violent brawl with some truly gnarly spots in front of a white-hot Tokyo Dome crowd who were invested the whole time. While it is certainly true that booking this match helped business significantly, the fact that these two went out and had the match they did was paramount in aiding New Japan’s efforts to expand to a wider audience. After this match took place, New Japan continued their American expansion, with shows such as the G1 Supercard in MSG, the G1 Special in the Cow Palace as well as the opening night of the G1 in Dallas drawing thousands of fans. It’s hard not to credit Jericho & Omega the company expanding their international horizons. This match is incredibly important in a historical context given what followed, making it a must-watch if you want to understand the history of pro wrestling.

Further Viewing

Match #71 Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Psicosis

Match #71
Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Psicosis
ECW Hardcore TV #130

Watch: YouTube
Testimonial by Robin Reid

When Rey Mysterio reached the WWE in 2002 he found a formula and has been remarkably consistent in sticking to it ever since. Sure there’s been somewhat of a decline in athleticism, the hourglass is undefeated with no exceptions, but if you watch a Rey Mysterio match in 2004 or in 2024 he’s doing a lot of the same stuff. Those 22 years of stability mean that for a large portion of wrestling fans Rey Mysterio has been a constant throughout their entire fandom. As such, it’s hard to grasp for many people who didn’t live through it just how revolutionary Rey Misterio Jr. felt when he broke out. He was a guy who would do things never before seen in what felt like every single match, and do it with a nigh on unparalleled grace.

ECW at the time was the perfect place for such a wrestler. It had a real feel of being on the cutting edge. A future facing promotion, always looking towards what would be the next big thing. When you tuned in, you would see things that you wouldn’t see elsewhere on an American wrestling show, in front of a red hot crowd ready to lap it all up. They were the place to be if you wanted to see wrestling’s new horizons, and Rey was the embodiment of that.

This October Hardcore TV match wasn’t Rey’s first match in the United States, he’d had a few indie shots in California prior to this. It wasn’t even his first ECW match, as he’d faced off with Psicosis a month prior. It was his first TV match and as such was many’s first exposure to him. It was love at first sight.

Often in wrestling, the innovators of moves don’t tend to be the best wrestlers on the planet. Often it’s younger, lower profile guys looking for ways to stand out with the spectacular. The natural pattern tends to be one set of wrestlers pushes the boundaries of what is possible with crazy innovative moves, and only later another group will come along who take this innovation and are able to weave it into a cohesive match structure. Part of what made Rey so special was he was both in one. Not only was he a guy pushing what was possible, he was doing so while having some of the best matches on the planet.

To go all this way barely having mentioned Psicosis’ contributions is utterly unfair. He was the perfect dance partner for Rey in their touring rivalry. An incredible base for Rey’s high flying, he also brought with him his own doses of the sensational measured out perfectly to keep things constantly exciting no matter who was on offense, while being careful to never overshadow the man designed to get all the shine.

With all this talk of innovation, it’d be easy to come to the conclusion that this match might not look particularly impressive to somebody watching for the first time thirty years later. The majesty of Rey and Psicosis though, is that that isn’t the case. Watching this in 2024, with all the spectacular high flying wrestling I’ve witnessed, I’m still wowed by all three falls of this match. Enjoy.

Further Viewing

The Wrestling 101

The Wrestling 101 is a Voices of Wrestling group project headed up by Kevin Hare and Robin Reid. You can discuss the series with them on twitter @stan__hansen (Kevin) and @TheRDouble (Robin) or join the conversation over in the Voices of Wrestling Discord.