A typo got me to watch this match.
In fact, I hadn’t been planning on watching this match at all. I had been eagerly awaiting the drop of Lucha Memes’ 2021 Battle of Coacalco event on IWTV ever since the promotion announced Lee Moriarty for the tournament’s line up. When I heard that Moriarty made it all the way to the finals against Ricky Marvin, seeing Moriarty’s performances on this show became a major priority.
The way the matches are listed on IWTV’s preview match guard made me think that Moriarty’s first round match was fourth on the card. In reality, it’s third. It was while scrolling through the stream looking for that first Moriarty match that I landed on a clip of Black Terry and Perro de Guerra Jr. chopping the ever-living hell out of each other.
So, of course, I had to see it.
The first thing to note about this match—and the event as a whole—is the setting. Lucha Memes hosts most of their shows in the Coliseo Coacalco. The term “coliseo” here is a bit of a stretch as the venue is nothing more than an outdoor space shaded by a corrugated roof and some tarpaulins. There’s no padding around the area whatsoever either, the ring is set up directly on the dirt floor. As far as venues go, this one always tickled my fancy. I imagine that I like it most because I can imagine seeing a similar set up propped somewhere in the Philippines. It feels like home to me despite being thousands of miles away.
The match is a showcase singles bout between Black Terry and Perro de Guerra Jr. Terry is a favorite among certain circles of the online fandom for being a great old man luchador who brings a lot of grit to brawls. Perro, on the other hand, I knew nothing about before seeing this match. Luckily no one really needs to know much about either guy to get what makes this great.
Perro comes to the ring sporting a chain so that’s already a good sign. Terry’s going to get thing smashed into his face and I can’t wait. Black Terry comes out to “Highway to Hell” and gets to shoving the young Perro before the bell even rings. The Coacalco crowd respond wonderfully to these two, creating a real rowdy and heated atmosphere that makes the best of indie lucha work.
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The opening lock up is tense, even the early maestro-style chain work feels a little more urgent and heated than usual. In the middle of their chain wrestling exchanges, both men trade kicks to the face early and that’s the start of things really kicking into gear. Soon after, we get the first chop exchange of the match with both men putting a lot weight behind them. We also get a glimpse of Terry’s fantastic punches which Perro sells for with the perfect mix of realism and stooge expressiveness.
Unfortunately, it’s Terry’s brutality that proves to be his first mistake. In the heat of the moment, he grabs Perro and nails him with a headbutt. While it knocks the younger man loopy, it also cuts open Terry’s forehead thus presenting a weakness for the rudo to attack.
Classic Rudo vs. Technico Action
I love Perro’s approach to heel work here, he does a lot of really great mean things to keep this going. He goes to the classic lucha trope of biting at Terry’s open wound, he throws some good punches, and he even grinds his chain into the cut. Terry’s a crafty son of a bitch though so when he gets knocked down to the floor with a dropkick, he pulls a chair from the dusty abyss beneath the ring which he uses to intercept an incoming Perro tope.
It’s not long until Perro’s bleeding as well. His spaghetti-legged selling as Terry whoops him all around the coliseo is some of the most satisfying stuff I’ve seen all year. And boy does Terry live up to his reputation as a top level brawler here. There’s a real joy to watching this old man throw hands in such a simple but effective way. When Perro’s down in the dirt, Terry kicks at him while he’s down. When Perro’s running through the crowd, Terry follows him to punch him in his bleeding face.
Perro’s youth and athleticism afford him the chance to get back into the thick of things though. He’s finally able to stick his beautiful tope that sends both him and Terry sailing three rows deep into the crowd. It’s a real smart move on Perro’s part not to linger on that flashiness though. Instead of giving the crowd any reason to get back on his side, he’s right back to trading hands with Terry, punching the old man and going after his busted face. The exchanges get progressively intense until both men are just smashing heads repeatedly in the front row.
Small, Relatable Moments of Violence
The match is filled with these small moments of violence that are almost painfully relatable. The mind can process the feeling behind a punch, a headbutt, a chop, or a bite far easier than it ever could some over the top piece of aerial work. At the points when Perro’s flashier offense does get involved, it’s backed by simple structural wrestling ideas. For example, he tries for a trio of moonsaults onto Terry—one from each turnbuckle in the corner. With Terry refusing to stay down for the pin on any of them, it’s Perro’s singlemindedness that makes him pay as Terry gets his boots up to interrupt the final moonsault.
The kind of realistic roughness that permeates this match even extends to the finish. Terry sidesteps an incoming boot and nails Perro with a backcracker. This gives him the opening to lock Perro into a tight arm submission that gets him the victory. It takes a few seconds after the referee calls the match for Terry to let go of the hold, still clearly engrossed in the heat of the action. The visual of the two men after the match both covered in dust and blood emphasizes the battle they’ve been through.
All respect to Lee Moriarty and his three strong performances on this night, but this is the must-watch match from the Battle of Coacalco. It’s delightful stuff, perfect for fans of a great brawl or for someone looking to see the grimier side of lucha libre. It’s scrappy, nasty, and compelling from bell to bell. There’s a not a wasted moment in the whole thing. Do make the time to seek it out if you can. Just kick back and watch the blood flow and the punches fly.