Best of Mark Jindrak/Marco Corleone V1
AAA – Triplemania VIII
Triplemania VIII, the first time the event was held in Japan, took place on July 5th 2000 in the world renowned Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. The card featured six strong matches, with featured Japanese wrestlers. It’s cool to see a young Naomichi Marafuji here and also, a very young CIMA in the main event as Shiima Nobunaga, a name he also wrestled under in WCW (briefly).
I am a great fan of Mini Estrella matches which do not feature any routine comedy spots, I love to see the smaller guys really mix it up in a traditional match and for this reason the opener is great. Octagoncito is such a great talent and is complimented well by Mini Abismo Negro, two true legends of the Mini division.
The next match is a great mix of veteran and rookie as the very green (but still good) Oscar Sevilla takes on seasoned veteran Gran Apache. Sevilla’s bullfighting gimmick is very endearing and he utilises it really nicely into his match. At the time AAA were using him mainly against trusted older guys to help him mature and learn as he wrestled and this was done well here as Gran Apache pulls out some brilliant manoeuvres including a beautiful Mexican Surfboard and a brutal baseball-slide dropkick right into the Matador’s face. Ouch.
The next match is a mixed gender tag team bout which is a lot of fun. The two male opponents try to outdo one another and it leads to some cool moments. Fans used to American wrestling may be surprised to see that the Men and Women fight each other, not just their own genders, but the women can more than hold their own in this match. Hamada finds herself on the receiving end of an uncalled for mist-to-the-face by the dastardly Octagon before the opening bell rang, so she is feisty and looking to return the attack. I’m enjoying the amount of diversity that this card has. Mini’s, veteran-vs-rookies and a mixed tag, AAA are showing why the were so formidable in the 90’s/early 2000’s here as they are strong in every conceivable level.
It’s also a good time to point out the sound and picture quality. The picture (as you can see from the screenshots) is VHS quality and is very good for it’s age. The sound is extremely crisp and is in Japanese (which feels weird when watching Lucha) but is really clear and adds to the viewing experience. RudoReels do strive for the absolute pinnacle of available footage and it shows as some shows I have purchased/been sent from other companies look terrible and aged by comparison, but RudoReels pride themselves on quality for money and all of their footage is of a high standard.
Another match type is here to spoil us now as the first of the Japanese talents show up in this four-corners elimination tag team match. This leads to a traditional tag team match and then finally to the impressively stacked main event. The four way elimination tag match is really good, probably my favourite match on the card. It features some excellent back and forth wrestling as well as a couple of nice spots outside the ring. I cannot get over how young Marafuji is, he’s a baby (I think he’s 19 in this match)! The tag match is really good too and the main event rounds off a great event in spectacular fashion.
Although CMLL is my favourite promotion and nowadays I tend to sidestep a lot of AAA as they feature a lot of storylines and wrestlers with a more American style and I favour the traditional Lucha Libre style of CMLL. In the 1990’s I watched a lot of AAA and this was a really nostalgic review for me to do as it had a more Mexican feel to it. I really enjoyed this event and the fact that the video quality was very good helped a lot. It is a very strong Triplemania and that it took place in Japan gave it a really chilled out atmosphere compared to the loud and chaotic (which I adore) Mexican crowds. Which was a refreshing change.
- Mini Abismo Negro vs. Octagoncito
- Gran Apache vs. Oscar Sevilla
- Pentagon & Xochitl Hamada vs. Oriental & Esther Moreno
- Vipers (AAA Psicosis, Maniaco & Histeria) vs. Path Finder, Alebrije w/Cuije & Perro Aguayo Jr. vs. Vatos Locos (Charly Manson, Picudo & Espiritu) vs. Genki Horiguchi, Minoru Tanaka & Marafuji (from NOAH) (4 corners elimination match)
- Kick Boxer & Kanemaru vs. Tiger Mask IV & Heavy Metal
- Electro Shock, Abismo Negro, CIMA & Cibernetico vs. Latin Lover, Jushin Liger, Hector Garza & Octagon
CMLL have announced a new range of limited edition collectible figures called ‘Lucha Legends’ to coincide with the 79th Anniversary show on 14th September. Series One features; Atlantis, Mistico, Averno and Shocker. The figures stand at six inches tall and have been crafted in intricate detail. They will cost around $24.99 each.
The cheapest stockist I have found is ‘The Big Bad Toy Store’ which sells each figure for $22.99 but has much cheaper shipping than the official stockist and will also distribute worldwide.
We start Volume eight with a promo in a café between Mistico, Negro Casas and Black Warrior. This is our first hint at what later becomes Rudo Mistico. It seems strange to see him chatting informally with the man he’s been feuding with for the last few volumes and the man whom he beat in a hair match, but is sporting a full head of hair here. So if you watch the set in order it’s a bit jarring. However, the bright side is, we get to see heel Mistico for a couple of matches, which is awesome.
Now, I’ll admit, I have been sort of putting off this review. Not because I don’t want to watch the DVD, far from it, and not because I’m lazy. Well not ‘just’ because I’m lazy, but because I know this is the last disc and after this there’s no more Mistico. I feel sad. Thankfully we send the little fella off with a bang as this is perhaps the most eclectic and fun set of matches to date.
In this set he teams with or against some of the greatest names in Lucha Libre and International talent and it is wonderful. I see him in the same ring as Prince Devitt, Averno, Volador Jr, La Sombre and Mascara Dorada. That’s on this amazing disc, I can’t actually believe my luck!
The footage is, of course, excellent. The inclusion of the promo is important and a lovely segue into a different part of his career and the crowd’s reaction to their hero becoming a bad guy and then their relief at being able to cheer him again is fabulous and a really nice end to a series that has been an absolute pleasure to sit through.
The first match is a lot of fun and I think I’ll miss Negro (Negro! Negro!) Casas as much as Mistico when this is all said and done. He gives me the same feeling of happiness when he walks on to the stage as Hector Garza and Brazo de Plata (Super Porky) do, he just makes me smile and he’s been through so much with Mistico in this career set that I feel as though I’ve watched his ‘Best of’ too.
The next encounter is just exhilarating it is a Lucha de Apuesta match in which the first two men pinned in the four way match must wrestle against each other in a mask match and the loser unmasks. It is a long and incredible, you go in knowing that Mistico may not even be in the deciding match-up and it matters little. The talent involved is of such a level that it doesn’t matter if you see the guy with his name on the disc or not. It’s just unmissable.
The return to the Tecnico side for our hero comes in the fastest paced six man tag I think I’ve ever seen. It’s breathtaking and so exciting, I have watched it about 5 times before I started my review, it’s just so much fun and the aerial spots are unreal. The team of Mascara Dorado, La Sombra and Mistico is heaven sent for me and I loved it. The phrenetic pacing and the hot crowd really make this a celebration of why Mistico is so exciting to watch.
Lastly we come to something special from New Japan as the Mexican Sensation teams with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Prince Devitt. It’s just brilliant.
Again, as has been the case with the majority of this series, I thought “This cannot be topped” and it has either been topped or equalled. I would say that this is one of the best volumes in the series but to me, Six and Seven were unbeatable. This, however, is probably the most accessible and the one that I’ll throw on most often. I cannot emphasise just how good this series has been and how important of a career retrospective it was. I can’t think of anyone that I wouldn’t recommend this to, and a great deal of my friends aren’t Lucha fans, but when they do ask me where to start, a lot of the matches contained on these Best of discs will be where I point. I feel like a broken record, but honestly BUY THIS! Buy them all! They are special, just like the man they focus on.
So, now it is over and I go back to my life without Mistico wrestling for me constantly, I can honestly say it has been a hell of a ride. I loved every second of this phenomenal performer taking my breath. Godspeed Little Man, I’ll see you on Friday, being wonderful in America.
This disc: 9/10
The entire set: 10/10
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I am excited. It’s weird because the footage is old and I’ve seen it before, but I am excited now. After watching every volume of Mistico’s career set in sequence, I feel the way I do when I watch a Box Set of a TV Show, where one more episode is never enough and I must watch it all, right now. I don’t need sleep. I need to watch Mistico wrestle.
So, with that in mind, let’s check out the seventh installment in this series. Yes, seventh, I’m gonna miss the little guy when this is all over, but before I get emotional, I’ll get down to business.
Now, as you may recall (if you’ve read my other reviews, or that would be an impossibility) volumes five and six were sensational. You may also recall that Mistico was embroiled in an ongoing feud with Negro Casas which left us on a cliffhanger at the end of Volume six, when a ‘Hair Match’ was set up. You’ll be glad to know that the Hair Match is the second match on this disc. This shows the level that RudoReels has spoiled us with this career retrospective, that the first match is against the living legend that is Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger and I am thinking of skipping it and coming back to it, so I can see the culmination of the Casas feud.
That’s when you know that not only are you a total brat and that you should watch the Disc in order, but also that these releases are so beautifully paced and divided. Instead of being overwhelmed with footage to the point that you don’t appreciate how much you have, these are two hour blocks of some choice Lucha Libre (and the video quality is excellent). I like that I can refer back to number five for a certain match, and it’s not an “It’s on here somewhere!” compilation. These are proper DVD sets and sit nicely on my shelf in matching cases, because I know they will be on a heavy rotation of views, for years to come.
The Liger match is probably one of Mistico’s more familiar matches, as it should be, because it is brilliant. They work so well together that you feel an eagerness to watch them wrestle again, thankfully there is another bout between the two on this very disc and that match is even better. Mistico’s ‘hero in peril’ style is so beautifully gifted to Heel Liger’s determined and cocky style that they mesh together perfectly. This is a proper old-school Lucha encounter and it really is pleasurable viewing. Their other (singles) match on this disc is for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title is a lot more serious and they are on a more even playing field, rather than Mistico being the underdog. That match is absolutely scintillating and probably the reason to spend the money on this volume. That, in no way undermines the other matches, which are all fantastic, it’s simply that the IWGP Title contest is a career-definer.
He faces Jushin Liger yet again on opposite teams in a six man tag. So really, if you are into those two fighting each other, you are in luck. However, if you are not into Mistico and Liger wrestling each other, then help and medication is available. So the only non-Liger match on the DVD is his feud-ender with Negro, Negro, Negro Casas and of course I will not ruin the result. Suffice to say, I came away feeling that the investment I put into their rivalry was justified and that Casas should go down as one of the people who helped with the myth of Mistico, because he really brings out the best in the masked man.
Once again Rudo Reels has done a superb job and at this point just go and throw your wallet at the website and devour whatever you get in return, because this site is in a class all it’s own and the passion put into the ‘exclusive’ sets is admirable. An all-round top-drawer compilation, a wonderful subject and compelling action. I am both eager to watch and sad to visit Volume eight as it is last in the series. But I shall soon, as my addiction to watching ‘Mexico’s biggest star’ is too much temptation to resist.