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Re: Official Indy DVD Help Thread
Great Sasuke v Super Delfin (Michinoku Pro; 1993)
Man, I was so not expecting this to be as great as it was! I mean, I remembered it being good, but I didn't remember it being *this* good.
There's no real deep story to it other than it being for the UWF Jr. heavyweight title and standard heel/face formula, but they work it smartly and effectively, focusing on their strengths and masking their weaknesses by playing away from them. Like, take Sasuke, who generally isn't the best seller unless he's in there with Liger (or when he's breaking his skull for real); Delfin doesn't bust out any extended limb work or submissions that would likely be blown off down the stretch, opting to play the role of pure DICKHEAD and attempting to humiliate Sasuke by straight up pummeling him. That works to Delfin's strength of being a cocky motherfucker, and it lets Sasuke bust out his awesome highspots later on without the need to sell limb damage (or at least try to).
Delfin's really great here. This is MPro in its early days, so the Lucha Libre roots are still noticable, and although it's a hybrid Lucha-Puro style, early MPro was more Lucha than Puro - as the cocky, arrogant rudo, Delfin does a grand job. Right from the start he's all about pissing people off, ripping at Sasuke's mask, choking him across the ropes, jawing with the crowd and generally being a prick. The best instance of this is when he tries to hook Sasuke in a Boston crab, only Sasuke keeps fighting it, so Delfin gives up on that idea and just stomps Sasuke flush in the dick instead. The he gives a thumbs up to the crowd like a total douche. There's another fun spot where Sasuke is hurt on the outside and Delfin looks set to hit a Sasuke-esque dive, but stops mid-run and throws that idea out the window, just so the crowd get their hopes up for nothing. Total dick.
Much of this is Delfin controlling Sasuke through rudo tactics, some brief submissions and high impact moves. He hits a couple really choice backbreakers that look super cool and hurty. Sasuke fights back enough that the crowd are always into it, but Delfin cuts him off at the right time and then continues to piss people off. This is how I wish Dean Malenko would've worked with Rey Jr. Although Malenko's charisma doesn't even touch Delfin's (and I'm not one of the people that thinks Malenko has no charisma whatsoever).
The finishing stretch - the last 5 minutes in particular - is pretty freakin' superb. It escalates perfectly, building from spot to spot, transitioning nicely and each nearfall is a logical extension of the previous one. I love Delfin going for his trademark roll-up (you'd know it if you ever see it) and Sasuke kicking and fighting so he can't slap it on, so Delfin gets pissed and tries to maul him some more. The last couple near falls even had me believing it was over (and I've seen this before), the first coming from a springboard moonsault that Delfin kicks out of at 2.99, and the second coming from another springboard moonsault, this time from the top rope, which Delfin kicks out of at 2.99999. Delfin's all but dead at this point, so a springboard hurricanrana seals the deal, but you get the feeling that if Delfin can focus more on putting his opponent away as opposed to trying to humiliate him and piss people off in the process, he could make an even stronger challenge if they wrestle again.
Only thing I could really complain about is that they sped up the last couple near falls quicker than they really needed to. I'm thinking that was more to do with Sasuke wanting to set up his next spot in a hurry as opposed to Delfin not wanting to sell the damage for any length of time, though. And still, it's not something terribly frustrating.
This is some really, really kick ass junior heavyweight wrestling, and stacks up very favourably with the highly praised juniors stuff from today (mostly because the latter half of this match doesn't make the former half moot, unlike a lot of juniors work these days). MPro didn't really hit its stride until 1996, but this is on par with a lot of their best stuff during their peak period from '96-mid '97. Definitely worth a look if you can find it. Actually, the Best of MPro set from IVP is what you all need to get a hold of. 12 discs of pure greatness. Grab it! Hail Delfin!