Monday, July 12, 2010

Oriental & Histeria II

It's no secret that one of these men will be losing their mask tonight in Nuevo Laredo. If it's Oriental then the possibility still exists that by the end of the week both of these men will be without their masks since Histeria II is in a cage match on Sunday @ Arena Mexico. So as two ex-favorites of mine I'm just gonna toss out some memories of each wrestler...


- I first saw Oriental while watching CMLL on Telelatino in March 1997. He was in a quick Momentos clip where he did this AMAZING backflip into a headscissors and I was immediatly hooked. Only problem was I didn't know Spanish at the time so I had no clue what his name was but I desperately wanted to add him to TNM so I could simulate matches against Sabu! (really!) I rewatched that Momentos clip about 15 times before I made out the announcer said "el samurai". You see at the time Oriental was doing the gimmick of being from Japan so the announcer made the connection to him being a samurai. I of course did not understand this and thought that was his name so I added him to TNM as... El Samurai [m.]! The [m.] b/c of course the game already had an El Samurai and we needed to differentiate the two! So hundreds of folks downloaded my update pack featuring El Samurai [m.]. The name only stuck a few weeks though b/c in what was a very rare thing (although I had no idea at the time) - CMLL TV aired an opening match from Arena Coliseo which featured the same wrestler I saw in the Momentos clip except he finally had an official name... ORIENTAL.

- That debut match actually had Oriental teaming with Kung Fu Jr. against some dude named Rencor Latino (whatever happened to that guy?) and Tigre Cota. Yes. THE Tigre Cota that works for AAA now although you might not be able to tell it with the amount of TV coverage he gets. Absolutely awesome match with a little shoot action as Oriental murdered Cota with a lariat which shook the rudo up and you don't fuck with one of Mocho Cota's kids so to end the match Cota didn't protect Oriental at all when he power bombed him and seemingly knocked him out.

- The second ever Lightning Match had Oriental against Virus in an absolute classic. Just a tremendous match that everyone should see although it did kinda defeat the purpose of the new match format since it went longer than 10:00 but nobody complained (except La Aficion - the newspaper, not the fans) since the match was so great.

- CMLL Japan Tag Title match w/ Tsubasa vs Virus and Ultimo Guerrero. An absolute trainwreck of a match. They went out to do a classic and weren't going to let anything stop them. Even Oriental knocking himself out with a diving rana to the floor about 8 minutes into the match. Virus/Tsubasa went into a resthold and Olimpico worked hard to wake Oriental up. When he woke up he continued as if nothing had happened! Fantastic 20+ minute match! One of the best in CMLL Japan's history.

- I marked out huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge for Oriental's surprise debut in AAA at Verano De Escandalo '99. He attacked the Vipers and dove onto Psicosis with a moonsault plancha. This was fantastic to me b/c he rarely got any TV time in CMLL and in AAA I knew for sure they'd have him on often.

- These days every Mexican wrestling fan seems to have the internet and we watch the shows the same time as they do but in 2000 they were a few weeks ahead of what aired on Galavision in the States. So on this tiny message forum word began to spread about AAA airing a match with Oriental vs Super Crazy from Tulancingo that was out of this world compared to the usual crap AAA was airing those days. The match didn't disapoint when it aired in the U.S. as they were given 20 minutes to work the type of match you'd normally see saved for a big Jr. Title match in Japan. One of the lesser known great matches to air on AAA TV in the last decade.

- A crazy six man tag from the fall of 2002 where Oriental teamed up with Pegasso and Oscar Sevilla to face Chessman, Psicosis and Espiritu. This was Oriental at his best. 100% motivated and doing spots that you would never see him try again after this night. He would have been a huge star if he could work like this every night (and stop being injured so often).

Histeria II

- The Space Cadets vs Rudos De La Galaxia (no such thing as the Vipers back then) feud was officially the greatest thing to ever happen to pro wrestling in Mexico in 1997. Of course that feud got halted when a bunch of guys jumped to Promo Azteca. Me and Steve Jensen (my fellow AOL-using Space Cadets mark) were pretty bummed to hear the news in the Observer but only a week later Dave Meltzer reported that NEW Space Cadets and Vipers would be debuting soon! This news came just as Michael from Highspots had returned from Mexico City with new magazines to send my way! That's where I got a look at the new Histeria. I won't list all the random names both Steve and I predicted the new Histeria would be b/c they were all so very very very wrong but soon enough he showed up on TV and we were... uh... uhm... very disappointed. Out of all the fake charachters he was easily the worst of the bunch. The lowlight coming in a spot-filled match with the new Cadets vs new Vipers where everyone was busted out the biggest spots they can think of... Histeria II sent Ludxor to the floor... got a head of steam... and... slid under the ropes to the floor with a splash. MAJOR BUMMER. Especially considered how insane the original Histeria had been. It was a few weeks later that via the Observer we learned the new Histeria was the ex-Quarterback which really pissed me off b/c I was still a huge mark and couldn't appreciate how good the ex-Quarterback really was. I just remembered him being some idiot involved in random Space Cadet matches in 1995.

- The day our opinion of Histeria II changed was when Rey De Reyes 98 aired. Up until that point he had shown us nothing but then came the street fight against the Payasos where he busted out... A RUNNING SOMERSAULT PLANCHA!!! HOLEEEEEEEEE SHIT! It sounds retarded but at the time that was EPIC for us to see b/c he had literally barely left his feet in every other TV appearence. They was hope for him after all!

- Histeria toured Michinoku Pro with other AAA wrestlers in 2000 and that may have been when I "smartened up" and began to see him as excellent catcher who actually had some fun offense. Well no... that happened during the Payasos feud in late 1998 but it was on the M-Pro tour where I began to see Histeria as actually BETTER than Psicosis, Mosco and Maniaco who I had ranked ahead of him up until that point. He must have impressed someone b/c it didn't end up being his last tour of Japan.

- Histeria will always be one of my favorite gimmicks ever. I love the name and the colorful outfit/mask is a staple of one of my favorite time periods ever (AAA 1996 - 1997).

Let's celebrate tonight by pretending Oriental's Chikara matches and Histeria III never existed!

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