Looking Back Lucha Libre WWW Review Archive (December 2015-July 2017)

DVDVR 1001 Matches #8: Torneo Cibernetico (CMLL 4/18/97)

To those uninitiated the much respected website Death Valley Driver Video Review is putting together a list of 1001 matches to see before you die called the DVDVR 1001. This is my project where I am reviewing every match in the DVDVR 1001, continuing with #8,

This is a Torneo Cibernetico Match.

I’ll let the cat out of the bag right now, I am the odd Lucha Libre fan who doesn’t much care for the Torneo Cibernetico gimmick. It’s not that the matches are bad, but more often than not they fail to connect with me in any meaningful way. I usually marvel at some of the dives, enjoy the antics, and forget about the match as quickly as it finishes. Every once in a great while a Torneo Cibernetico manages to stand out to me, and that’s always a pleasant surprise. While I wouldn’t say this is an all-time great match, this particular Torneo Cibernetico is pretty much the cream of the crop of that gimmick.

The opening fifteen minutes or so were very interesting. Maybe my memory is failing me, but the majority of Torneo Cibernetico’s I have watched seemed to get into the dives and the chaos right off the bat. That wasn’t the case here as the match took the time to allow feuds to play out and for a grappling base to be established. I do love me some Lucha mat work, and the opening stanza of this match gave me plenty of Lucha mat work to sink my teeth into.

Once the eliminations start the pace picks up, but it never feels like the match is completely out of control. Things get a little sloppy here and there, but not in a way that is ever egregious. Some of the eliminations are odd, like allowing a well past his prime La Fiera to stay in the match until almost the very end. But, for the most part the eliminations are spaced out and give the match a nice flow. They even manage to work into a few storylines taking place at the time, which is always a nice bonus.

I was very surprised at the match not feeling its length in any way. Usually the longer a Torneo Cibernetico goes the more it feels like it is a bloated affair. That wasn’t the case here and I think a major factor in that was the mat work based beginning and the storyline work taking place. Any time that Negro Casas and El Hijo del Santo were in the ring together a current ran through the crowd. The match would immediately pick up and the cycle of interest was renewed. I especially liked how Santo and Casas almost exclusively faced off with one another. That aspect added to this feeling like a special Torneo Cibernetico.

Not a great match, but a really damn good match. For someone who is not a fan of the Torneo Cibernetico gimmick I found myself enjoying this match much more than I thought I would. Heck, Shocker ended up almost completely vertical on a Tope Suicida and I didn’t mention that until now. Usually a crazy dive like that would be the first thing I reference in a Torneo Cibernetico because it’s where all my focus has to go. That’s not the case with this match as it offered plenty for me to focus on beyond just great dives. I’m still not completely sold on the Torneo Cibernetico gimmick, but if this is the ultimate height of the gimmick that’s a darn fine height to have achieved.

Bill Thompson

About the author

Bill Thompson

I am the almighty Bill Thompson, father of a little girl, husband to an awesome wife, a paramedic/firefighter, and a fan of the Chicago Cubs. I've been writing about wrestling for some time now. You can find me writing about great matches at Blue Thunder Driver, or matches people have suggested I watch at Random Match Generator. I write about free matches legally available to watch online at Free Pro Wrestling and am a contributor to the Cubed Circle Newsletter. I'm also the Senior Writer for the magazine/website The Tag Rope. I'm happy to be on the Wrestling with Words ship, and have I mentioned I am a fan of the Chicago Cubs? Cause I am, like huge, as in they are my #1 priority. Just making sure we're on the same page...


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