Depending on whom you ask, 1993 was either a very good year for pro wrestling or a very bad one. Those that argue the latter tend to show how things were in the biggest wrestling company, WWF/E. That company was plagued with bad gimmicks, few overly great matches and the worst WrestleMania of all time. Those that think it was great point to the plethora of outstanding wrestling matches that happened virtually everywhere else.
And today we revisit the match that set the tone for the rest of the year. It’s a 5-star-rated 6-man tag match from Mexico’s AAA promotion between some of the best luchadors in the country at the time.
As a reminder, I am reviewing Five Star and almost-Five Star wrestling matches as rated by Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer. It goes back to the 1980s and I’m going to pick different matches from different eras to see how they look today. Check out previous entries in my 5 Star Match Reviews series right here.
This is a fairly standard trios match between the rudos (villains) and the technicos (heroes). It’s pretty obvious which team is the heroes since Rey Mysterio cannot play a wrestling villain under any circumstances.
Picudo is the smaller guy with blue rights and a black mask with a star on it. Psicosis is wearing all white and has the horns jutting out of his head. Heavy Metal (HM for brevity’s sake) has no mask and long, flowing black hair.
Super Calo is a generic dude that apparently likes to dance. Winners (yes, that’s his actual wrestler name) is also dressed in white top to bottom and has a similar mask to Psicosis. The difference is that Psicosis has tinges of red on his gear while Winners does not. Lastly, Rey Mysterio is wearing a lime green mask and green-and-white leotard.
This match originally took place on January 29th, 1993.
Calo and Picudo start things off. Calo fancies himself a dancer, and tries to bust a move to wake the crowd up. And it works, surprisingly. Calo lands a few arm drags and each time he does he does a somersault and walks away, for some reason. A nice little technical exchange ends with a standoff and Calo trying to act cool. Rey and Psicosis tag in and the crowd is firmly behind Mysterio. It’s crazy to think he was only 19 years old when this match took place.
Rey does some classic cruiserweight stuff and launches Psicosis out of the ring. After some delay, Psicosis gets back in and locks in an armlock on Rey but Rey reverses into a leglock, only for HM to kick him. Winners goes all the way across the ring to get in HM’s face and soon both teams are getting in each other’s faces ringside. After a tense standoff, Mysterio and Psicosis return to the ring. Rey takes Psicosis down by the leg and Picudo breaks things up which angers Calo. HM kicks Mysterio from behind, allowing Psicosis to capitalize. But that doesn’t last long as Mysterio escapes a hammerlock with a clever takeover-type throw.
HM and Winners enter the ring. Winners takes HM down and starts celebrating and standing around, even as HM taunts his partners. HM takes Winners down and goes for a leglock but Winners escapes with an arm drag. Psicosis tries to interfere but gets his leg caught in the ropes, which everyone notices and laughs at. Then he pushes his own partner Picudo. Why? Why is there dissention being teased on the rudos (villain) side already?
HM takes Winners down again then knocks Mysterio off the apron. Another ringside standoff. Back in the ring, Mysterio is suddenly the legal man as he and HM get into a shoving contest. HM whips Mysterio and Mysterio tries to duck under him but HM catches Mysterio in the act. He whips Mysterio, Mysterio ducks a clothesline, HM goes for a double-underhook powerbomb, and Mysterio counters into a Hurricanrana. Then Mysterio escapes a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker into one of his own and HM retreats to his team’s corner. They appear to be having a huddle as their opponents look on.
After some stalling, Calo and Picudo are back in. Calo starts dancing, so Picudo dropkicks him. Picudo whips Calo into the corner so hard he falls to the mat. Apparently this is cause enough for Picudo to celebrate. Calo gets whipped into the corner and hurricanranas Picudo in a move that looked almost botched. Calo does some more lucha stuff followed by some arm drags and another tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Now Winners and Psicosis come in. Winners starts acting like a matador, making fun of Psicosis’s bull-like mask. After more stalling, Psicosis tries to whip Winners but he counters. Winners with an arm drag and some monkey flips. Yet another tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. This one sends Psicosis out of the ring.
Picudo and Calo go at it again and Calo lands a – you guessed it – tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Winners flips over them to act as roadblock for Psicosis, but Psicosis just dodges him and breaks up whatever Calo’s doing. Winners drops HM with a clothesline, Picudo tosses HM into the air, everyone flies out of the ring, and Calo lands a springboard splash out of the ring onto Picudo. Then Psicosis lands an Undertaker-style suicide dive onto both of them. Then Winners does the same, but not as gracefully as Psicosis’s. Then HM climbs the top rope and dives onto Winners. And then, Mysterio does a top-rope Moonsault onto HM. It’s just dive after dive after dive. What craziness.
Winners and Psicosis get into the ring first. Psicosis misses a corner charge and eats turnbuckle. Winners lands a sweet quebrada but the referee doesn’t count the pin. Instead, the referees just raise the technicos (faces)’s hands. Uh, ok. I guess that’s the first fall.
Winners of the first fall: Rey Mysterio, Super Calo and Winners
The video is clipped, so after some replays of the crazy dives we cut to HM working over Calo. HM drops Calo with a spinebuster followed by a punch, then taunts one of his partners. Mysterio comes in but the ref stops him, allowing to HM tackle him while he was distracted. HM lands a double-underhook slam followed by a gorilla press slam. Mysterio gets launched into the corner and Picudo lands a diving elbow on him. Calo argues with one ref that he tagged in but neither of the two in-ring refs says they saw it.
This allows HM and Picudo to double-team Mysterio. They hold him up in a flapjack position and Psicosis lands a diving dropkick onto him. Picudo takes out both of Mysterio’s opponents as Mysterio gets triple-teamed. HM lands a facecrusher on Winners then Psicosis attacks him from the apron. HM land applies a camel clutch on Winners as Picudo spinebusters Calo places Mysterio on the top turnbuckle. Someone gets pinned but kicks out at two, but the action is very hard to follow here.
In the corner, Psicosis lands a falling fireman’s carry slam from the top rope and goes for a pin. But once again, the referees tell him to stop and just declare them the winners.
Winners of the second fall: Heavy Metal, Picudo and Psicosis
Calo and Picudo brawl ringside as Psicosis tries to rip Winners’s mask off. Psicosis charges at winners, but the camera has a stroke and the image cuts out. Early 1990s camera technology, everyone. When the image returns, HM drags Mysterio out of the ring. Picudo spinebusters Winners and locks in what looks like a Boston Crab. Picudo and Psicosis hold Winners in place, allowing HM to land a big running dropkick on him. He followed with a bronco buster, and then Calo drags Winners out of the ring to safety.
Mysterio tries to mount a comeback but gets spinebustered and kicked in the face for his efforts. Psicosis lands a Muta-style flashing elbow as Calo comes in and rolls Mysterio away. HM goes for a stroll out of the ring just to kick Mysterio in the face and both Mysterio’s partners just allow this to happen.
HM smashes Mysterio crotch-first into the steel ringpost as Calo gets double-teamed in the ring. Calo dodges a corner charge from Psicosis then dropkicks him out of the ring. Then he hits another tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on Picudo which Picudo barely sells before knocking Calo out of the ring. Meanwhile, HM Irish whips Mysterio but Mysterio reverses it and kicks HM in the leg so hard HM goes flying into the ropes. Weird, but ok.
Picudo breaks up a Mysterio facelock and goes for a double-arm stretch and Winners takes his sweet time taunting, posing, yelling at the crowd…and then pokes Picudo’s eyes. Winners locks in some weird four-limb stretch as Psicosis comes up from behind him…slowly. Psicosis taps him gently in the hips, which apparently is enough to break the hold. Meanwhile, Mysterio launches HM face-first into the steel ringpost as revenge for before.
Back in the ring, Psicosis charges on Winners in the corner and misses, but this time goes flying out of the ring. But instead of doing anything, Winners just plays to the crowd. This just doesn’t make any sense to me.
In the ring, HM slams Calo but misses a Moonsault press. Winners dives but also misses. Then Picudo does the same and also eats canvas. As does Mysterio. And Psicosis, too. Calo comes in and dances before missing a dropkick. Psicosis charges and Calo sends him flying out of the ring. Picudo comes in and gets arm dragged out of the ring. Winners, with Calo’s help, lands a big dive out onto Psicosis on the floor below. And then Calo dives out onto Picudo.
That leaves Mysterio and HM as the last two men in the ring. Mysterio charges with a flying crossbody but HM ducks it. They both fly at each other…and crotch each other in midair. Good God, that has to hurt. They did a flying crotch scissor. Why? Why would you do that?
The referees are completely confused. One raises HM’s hand in victory, while the other raises Mysterio’s. Calo and Winners start celebrating, thinking they’re all, well, WINNERS. Then the referees make a gesture. The match is ruled a double DQ/no contest.
Result due to FLYING CROTCH SCISSOR: No-contest/Double Disqualification
Oh my God, that was TERRIBLE. That has to be the worst 5-star wrestling match I have ever seen. Now that I’ve reviewed it for this series, I can rest knowing I never have to watch that match ever again.
I understand that this was 1993 and much of the English-speaking world hadn’t yet been exposed to this kind of high-flying lucha libre. But to call this a 5-star match is an insult to pro wrestling, lucha libre, and all of Mexico. Yes, the flips and dives they did were cool for the time. But keep in mind that there were also other cruiserweight wrestlers elsewhere in the world that were putting on much better performances than this while still maintaining a level of crazy athleticism. Hell, The Great Muta had been using a snap Moonsault as his finisher in both Japan and in the United States before this match took place, and he was a goddamn heavyweight. So for anyone to praise this match for the novelty of its aerial acrobatics would be ignoring everything else that was happening in wrestling at the time.
And while the aerial stuff here was indeed pretty cool, that was like a diamond in the rough. Because the rest of this match was pure chaotic nonsense, and not the good kind.
Simply put, there was no logical flow to this match. The action was completely disjointed, with a whole bunch of stuff happening without any concept of flow or logical progression. The entire match felt like a chaotic mess whereby the wrestlers just landed moves whenever they wanted without any semblance of whether they should do so or not.
It looked like each wrestler only knew how to land one or two big moves, which is why there were so many tilt-a-whirl backbreakers, some of which looked like they were a split second away from being completely botched. And things only got worse around the pinfalls. It was never explained – in Spanish or in English – how the referees determined falls. And if they did, the wrestlers seemed to forget because they had to be reminded that there were no –pinfalls in the match. Talk about sloppy organization.
People nowadays complain that guys like Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks are making pro wrestling silly? Compared to the stuff in this 6-man tag match, each one of those three guys is Shawn Michaels in terms of wrestling skill. The chaos and inconsistency throughout this match didn’t just make it hard to follow; it got annoying very quickly. That made it much harder if not impossible to really invest in the match’s story, which actually didn’t even exist in the first place.
Final rating: *3/4
The only praise this match deserves is for what little daredevil acrobatics they pulled off. That takes skill, intense training, and a lot of guts to be willing to pull off. Then again, so does the crazy stuff done in Cirque de Soleil and some of these wrestlers looked and performed like they belonged there and not in a wrestling ring.
Point blank, this match sucked. Ninety seconds of crazy dives doesn’t justify twenty-minutes-plus of utter nonsense. If these wrestlers adopted even the slightest hint of a coherent structure that lasted until the end of the match, this match might still hold up well in 2020. Instead, this match felt like an exhibition display of what these men could do, which was juxtaposed with other nonsensical things that they shouldn’t be doing.
There are only two men in this match worth caring about: Mysterio and Psicosis. Luckily, they would go on to have better matches, both with each other and against other opponents, after this match happened.
And to be honest, I felt sorry for Rey Mysterio in this match. He was the youngest guy in there yet he seemed miles ahead of everyone else in terms of precision, timing and overall wrestling knowledge. He got dragged down by five other guys and two referees that really didn’t know what the hell they were doing.
Don’t bother watching this match. It’s a better example of Dave Meltzer overrating something than anything he has rated since he broke his own scale in 2017. There’s no way this match deserved 5-stars. Not in 1993 and definitely not now.
Check out previous entries in my 5 Star Match Reviews series right here. Thanks for reading.