By Liam Byrne @tvtimelimit
Atlantis and Villano III vs Shocker and Mr Niebla/Shocker vs Mr Niebla 9/24/99
Relevos Increibles Suicidas Match/Mask versus Mask Match
For a man who would go on to give himself the nickname ‘El 1000% Guapo’, wearing a mask that covered all of his self-proclaimed handsomeness probably wasn’t exactly what Shocker wanted in his wrestling career. Just short of seven years to the day that he made his debut and not long after taking Rey Bucanero’s mask for himself, Shocker would put his mask on the line once more against three superstars of Mexican wrestling: Atlantis, Villano III and Mr Niebla.
This wasn’t to be an ordinary apuestas match though. The Relevos Increibles Suicidas rules meant that not only did you partner with someone from across the face and heel divide, but if your team happened to lose, you would then battle it out in a regular apuestas match to defend your mask against your partner-turned-opponent. Atlantis and Villano III, several months away from their own epic mask versus mask match, were paired together to take on Mr Niebla and Shocker in a contest where none of the participants could truly trust each other. With so many permutations and moving parts, the match was tense from the opening bell. Both teams seemed reluctant to partner up, taking several minutes to get the contest officially started.
Tensions between partners were already clear when Mr Niebla kicked Atlantis off of the apron and subsequently pushed over Shocker, leading to Villano III assaulting him with a chair at ringside. It would be Atlantis who took to the air first with a suicide dive to take out Mr Niebla, whilst Villano’s next trip into the ring saw him try to eschew the rules and just rip Shocker’s mask straight off of his head, only to fail and eat a couple of clotheslines for his trouble.
Any chance of a proper tag team match breaking out was minimal as the four men brawled in and out of the ring with little control by the two referees. Shocker would nail both Villano III and Atlantis with springboard back elbows for nearfalls, before both teams miscommunicated and landed sentons that caught the wrong man. As Mr Niebla had words with Shocker for his transgression in particular, he would be ousted from the ring and Shocker pinned by Atlantis and Villano III. Niebla’s frustrations continued to boil over as he assaulted his partner, kicking him out of the ring. The fight effectively became a handicap match.
Niebla would kick out of several pinfalls and even land a sitout powerbomb for a nearfall on Atlantis after Villano III had been dropkicked by mistake by his own partner. Clearly not believing it to be an honest error, a Villano III senton to break an Atlantis bridged pin allowed Niebla to even the contest with a pinfall. With the two rudos left, it almost looked as if neither man was going to engage in the fight that had to follow, especially as Niebla paraded Villano III around on his shoulders. It ended up being a huge mistake as a victory roll would see Niebla’s shoulders held down for the three count. It would be Mr Niebla and Shocker in the match to decide who would lose their mask.
Before the singles match could start, Atlantis and Villano III treated us to a taste of what they would offer the following year with Atlantis ripping the purple mask of the Villano before leaving. Seemingly the worse for wear of the two, Shocker took an initial beating from Niebla, with a suicide dive sending him into the second row. A flash small package earned Shocker a nearfall, only for Niebla to drop him with two consecutive powerbombs. Somehow, Shocker managed to kick out.
Not only kick out, but fight back. The decision to go for a second moonsault after the first connected would eventually cost him though. After breaking a Niebla submission by reaching the ropes, Shocked walked straight into a good, old-fashioned knee to the balls and a pin with the turnbuckle used for leverage. That was enough for Niebla to get the three count and for Shocker to lose his mask.
Rather than cost him in the long run, Shocker’s lack of mask allowed him to play up his guapo nature, which ended up making his hair a legitimate wager of interest. It would be another fifteen years before a loss to Rush would finally see Shocker lose another apuestas match, and his ‘beautiful’ blonde hair.