365 Wrestling, Day 32: El Mesias vs. Takeshi Morishima (AAA, 2/1/10)

365 Wrestling, Day 32: El Mesias vs. Takeshi Morishima (AAA, 2/1/10)

365 matches in 365 days, each from that specific date on the calendar? Challenge accepted. Welcome to 365 Wrestling.

One month worth of matches is in the books and now it’s on to February. This also marks the project’s first foray into Mexico–specifically, AAA, for this match between El Mesias and Takeshi Morishima from February 1, 2010.

You can watch this match on Dailymotion.

The Context

Mesias has gone by all kinds of names in wrestling, starting out in his native Puerto Rico as Ricky Banderas. He also worked as Banderas in Wrestling Society X. He started out in AAA in 2006 as Muerte Cibernetica, masked muscle for top rudo Cibernetico. After losing his mask to La Parka, he shifted to the El Mesias gimmick. After several years as a top heel himself in AAA, Mesias turned at the end of 2008 and he’s still a strong fan favorite here. Mesias also is in his third reign as Mega Champion at the time of this match. Positioned as the top title in AAA, Mesias was also the first to hold the championship back in 2007. If you’re not a big fan of lucha libre, or unless you caught his run in TNA as Judas Mesias, you probably know him best as Mil Muertes from Lucha Underground and, now, MLW.

Morishima already has reigns as ROH World Champion and GHC Heavyweight Champion — the top title in Pro Wrestling NOAH — under his belt as he makes his way to Mexico for this match. He’s actually an injury replacement, according to some research I did. The original matchup was meant to be a champion vs. champion meeting with Mesias defending against Go Shiozaki, the reigning GHC champ at the time. When Shiozaki got hurt, Morishima stepped in as the replacement.

The Match

AAA is using a six-sided ring, and not a big one at that. It makes Morishima look gigantic, and he towers over the tecnico Mesias and dominates the first half of the match. I don’t speak enough Spanish to understand the commentary but some of the reactions transcend the language barrier; take, for example, how the announcer reacts when Morishima hits a charging hip attack on a seated Mesias. The production crew finds this match so nice they show it twice, with a slow-motion replay. Mid-match replays become frequent in this match (I counted six of them), and while they all come after big spots, by the time the camera cuts back to live action, the next big move is already being set up. Seeing big move after big move with none of the in-between made me feel like I was watching a highlight reel rather than a match.

Mesias finally drops Morishima by putting some extra mustard on a spear (he actually flips over in midair). After finally felling his Japanese foe, the match breaks down when members of La Legion Extranjera — aka The Foreign Legion — hit the ring and attack Mesias. Four tecnicos sprint out to even the odds and chase away the heels. The good guys then decide to pounce on Morishima and all get wiped out for their trouble. Unbeknownst to him but knownst to everyone else, Mesias is lying in wait, hoisting Morishima for a fireman’s carry and hitting a cutter to finish the match.

Random Thoughts

–The archives of Luchablog, an outstanding and highly-recommended resource for all things related to lucha libre, helped me identify all the guys involved in the run-ins at the end. Alex Koslov, Zorro, and Chessman are the three Legion members who hit the ring. They’re countered by the tecnico quartet of Super Fly, Argenis, Gato Eveready, and Laredo Kid. You might know Koslov from his run in New Japan Pro Wrestling, while Super Fly and Argenis were also part of the Lucha Underground cast of characters. Gato was also in Lucha Underground, but as Drago–one of my favorites from the show.

–Mesias is still active but Morishima had to retire from wrestling in 2015 due to poor physical and mental health. If you’ve not checked out any of his run as ROH champ, you should. He had memorable matches against Bryan Danielson and the man who defeated him, Nigel McGuinness, but don’t sleep on other defenses against other legit heavyweights like Claudio Castagnoli and Brent Albright.

Final Rating: 5.0

Morishima hits some impressive moves (that shotgun dropkick off the top stands out, and is treated as the big deal it should be), and there’s nothing really wrong with it, but this match is too short to truly be memorable.

Here’s the complete, ongoing list of matches in this project.

Up Next

What happens when two of the most popular tag teams of the 1980s face off in their one and only meeting?

(Photo by Daniela Herrerias)

I welcome any and all feedback. Feel free to reach out on Twitter where you also can keep up with all the updates on 365 Wrestling. Send a tweet, a DM, or fill out the contact form on the site to suggest a match to watch for one of the upcoming dates.