Segunda Caida

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Arbitrary WWE Match Thoughts

It feels weird being the guy championing workers within the Divas division. Usually that spot is reserved for creeps and...well I'm not sure anybody else has really supported or defended the Divas division aside from creeps.

But I really enjoyed the Paige/Alicia Fox match from the 4/14 Raw. I've been a fan of Fox for awhile, but most of the time you talk about Divas matches you have to qualify any praise with "...for a Divas match." Whenever I've mentioned a decent Divas match to Phil he immediately thinks I'm working some sort of short con on him, as if getting tricked into watching a Divas match will end with some stranger popping up and slapping him. across the face. But there's no con. Sometimes I just enjoy Divas matches.

And at this point I feel comfortable saying that Alicia Fox is actually really damn good at pro wrestling. Her offense really works for her. I loved her triple spinning backbreakers here, and Paige is super pale so every backbreaker she did would cause Paige's back to get redder and redder. It's like in a video game boss battle where you can tell which areas you've damaged. Fox also is great at talking trash, like a female Mark Henry. It never seems like she's distracting from the match, or using it to stall. Most WWE workers can't be bothered with trash talk as I'm sure it could take your own brain out of the match. But Fox does it so naturally. WWE is a promotion that requires almost all their heels to work a chinlock into a match to be used as a babyface comeback spot. Doesn't matter if the match is alotted 2 minutes or 12. So in a promotion full of people required to use this spot, Fox clearly has the best chinlock in the promotion. She really throttles Paige, making it look like actual damage is being done, not just using it as a comeback device. She also really yanks Paige around by the hair whenever she picks her up for more offense. Most wrestlers use the "hair pick up" as a way to signal to the other person that they want them to get up, but Fox really grabs Paige by the hair and yanks her up. Paige has some cool offense too and I really dug her three straight short arm clotheslines, but Fox is also really great at selling and putting over offense. Fox's stumble after getting hit with a Paige mule kick was great. Paige has a cool submission finisher, but even cooler was Fox not just offering her arms up and getting into position for Paige. Fox struggles to keep her arms out of reach and Paige really has to work to lock on her position. It made everything look so rough.

The match was only 3 1/2 minutes, but didn't really need to be longer. It was really great as is. The little touches Fox has been putting in her matches remind me of things Finlay would do. He wouldn't let opponents rest on their laurels within a worked setting, never went through the motions. And now Fox is doing that same stuff. She's already selling strikes based on how each one looked, not how each one was supposed to look. All the struggle, all the flair, it's all coming together.

Am I saying Fox is Finlay? No. That's crazy. But if you miss Finlay (as we all do), then she's a really good female, black, leggy Finlay substitute. I'd never thought I would actively look forward to watching a Divas match, but at this point Fox matches are well worth your viewing time.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Lucha Journey: La Sombra, Mistico, Tritón vs. Averno, Mephisto, Puma

CMLL on CadenaTres: 2014-04-05
taped 2014-04-01 @ Arena México
La Sombra, Mistico, Tritón vs Averno, Mephisto, Puma

I've seen a decent amount of Averno lately, but I had no idea that he was mystically turned to he dark side by Satanico until I did some research. He's Bob Roop/Maya Singh. That's pretty awesome. I have no idea what his shirt means. Anyway, from what I've seen so far, he's a rudo's rudo, just a real nasty bad guy who revels in being a jerk without getting the crowd behind him like Negro Casas does. Mephisto's his buddy (also a Satanico-transformed good guy?) and Puma is Felino's kid. I've seen him and his brother round out trios as sort of athletic upstart underlings. Triton has a cool mask that reminds me of Matthew Lesko's infomercial question mark jacket for some reason. Sombra I've seen once or twice and he did pretty well in the title match I saw him beat Negro Casas in. Mistico is Mistico, of course. I really want to go back and see the original at some point. He's got a great theme/look/entrance/aura, successor or not.

I'm pretty sure this match is to set up a title defense for Mistico vs Averno the following week by having the rudos go over strong and by enraging both Mistico and the fans against Averno to heat things up. So the rudos go over in two straight caidas, ripping the hell out of Mistico's mask in the process. This prompts Averno to taunt Mistico who is definitely ready to defend his belt later on but also wants to make a challenge right then and there. Averno accepts but it's both a tease and a prodding as he rips the mask off the rest of the way and Mistico has to cover up. Revenge and emotional satisfaction will have to be deferred until the title match. Money will be spent.

The match itself is really enjoyable, at least to me who hasn't seen much of this stuff. Averno's team dominates throughout, ambushing the tecnicos even to the point where the ring girls have to scatter which I haven't seen nearly as much as you'd think. Puma swings Triton into the guardrail beautifully and the rudos don't look back. They put on a clinic of rudo bullying tactics. I'm sure a lot of this stuff is just commonplace, but a good deal is new to me. I imagine someone watching a Southern tag for the first time and being wowed by all the heel positioning and ref distractions and how it ramped up the heat. It might not even be the best execution of the theme, but just seeing it is special in its own way. I get that feeling all the time when watching lucha, especially when I feel like I'm tapping into some primal trope or story that I just hadn't seen before. Here it's all about controlling the numbers game.

As best as I can tell, lucha really is all about momentum shifts, building the anticipation of them and then paying them off in a satisfying way. For the first fall and a half, the rudos do a great job of making you want to see the tecnicos come back. They beat them down, cut off any attempt of offense, and just control the ring, the ref, and their opponents at all points.They weave in all the little tricks, offering a handshake so that your partner can nail you from behind, one tecnico in a standoff with two rudos only to get ambushed by the third, that sort of thing. I'm not going to say it's flawless in execution. There's one sort of embarrassing mistimed spot where Puma isn't there in time get a punch in while Mephisto has one of their opponents up. All in all, though, it's effective, with high points being the bumps over the guardrails that all three tecnicos take and the nasty posting of Mistico between caidas.

The very best part is the mask work, since that carries the general story of the match. All three rudos take turns working on Mistico's mask on the turnbuckles, with each one distracting the ref so the next can take over. By the end of it, the mask is a mess and Mistico is out of action long enough for Puma and Mephisto to take down Sombra and Titan with big moves for the fall. They continue to crunch down on the tecnicos in the segunda caida, including a really nice doubleteam slingshot toss on Sombra. It all goes back to the mask, though. After almost getting it off, Averno leads his team in a taunting fake dive. This allows the tecnicos to come back with a flurry of offense and some huge dives of their own. Ultimately, it doesn't feel that satisfying though, and it shouldn't since this is all to set up a future match. The technicos don't get their real payoff revenge, not even when it ends up Averno and Mistico in the ring. Mistico's mask is in such shambles that you can pretty blatantly see his face and he's white hot fury, but ultimately makes a mistake (maybe due to the emotion) and Averno scores the fall.

Add in the post match mic barrages and the brief tease of a match where Averno grabs the mask and runs, and I sure want to see the title match between the two. If that was the goal here, then this was really effective. Obviously, it wasn't as satisfying or complete as a match where the rudos get their full comeuppance and there is more of a definitive tercera caida, but I thought it was a very strong showing of rudo dominance to generate an emotional response and build heat to a big match.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Night Digging in the Crates

We take a trip down to Puebla to see a bunch of great under-pimped locals, including our favorite lost but not forgotten chubster.

Toro Bill Sr., Toro Bill Jr. & Policeman vs. Asturiano, Lestat & Centella de Oro CMLL 2/2/09

ER: Man do I love this match. This match is only 5 years old but at times feels like it could be 20 years old or 5 years into the future (where people will still be whining about hoverboard technology). Obviously the immediate standout is Toro Bill Sr., who works and looks like fat Satanico. His brawling is nice but you came for the bumps and TB delivers the bumps. Aside from just an insane bump to the floor he takes armdrags more gracefully than most luchadors half his size. Centella de Oro seems like a cool regional Freelance type, though with less flying. His arm drags are gorgeous. Lestat has some cool offenense, Toro Bill Jr. hits an out of control fat guy trainee dive, Policeman works like a cool Dinamitas throwback worker. What makes this match so great is that these are six local guys you had never heard of before, being given an opening slot on a CMLL show, and just completely making the most of it. Maybe an opening match shot on a Monday night Puebla show doesn't sound like a big deal, but nobody told these guys if it wasn't. This felt like their M-Pro Barely Legal showcase, and it delivered. Now 5 years removed, Toro Bill Sr. stopped showing up a year after this match, TBJ shows up sporadically (as recently as last year in CMLL for a few matches), Policeman, Lestat, and Centella de Oro haven't made tape in a few years, and Asturiano still gets pretty regular work in CMLL. So they had their shot, delivered, and things don't always work out. But this match will always exist and will always rule.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

My Lucha Journey: Introduction/Statement of Purpose

There's something about leopards and their spots, even in this day and age of easy access and quick information. We all have our niches and I think the nature of internet discussion is a race to the top when it comes to being right. This leads to a trend of deepening over widening. That's why I cast my net backwards into the US territories of the 80s and the pretty disposable WWF of the 90s instead of watching lucha libre when it was right there and so available.

Or maybe I was daunted by the sheer scope of it. This isn't like watching Portland or Memphis of Southwest. Wrestling is wrestling but this is a different genre, a different dialect if not a different language. It took me a good chunk of my lifetime and an epiphany or two to feel like I really get US wrestling, and even then, I imagine I'll change my tune on a few things over the next few years. The idea of diving into waters full of different norms and psychology and looking like a total idiot to people who I respect and some I don't was a bit TOO daunting for a long time.

It remained that way even as I bypassed high ranked luchadors in the DVDVR 500 or Segunda Caida's top 25 and plenty of interesting cameos in March Madness. I rarely do anything by half and I felt like I couldn't just dip my toe in to see a Blue Panther or Negro Casas match. It was all or nothing. I think for years the one lucha match I had even seen outside of WCW TV was the Los Gringos Locos match from When Worlds Collide. That's not understatement or hyperbole. That was just it. Probably because of this, and despite plenty of evidence saying otherwise, I bought into the lazy misconception that most lucha was just endless but entertaining convoluted holds, crazy armdrags, and over-frequent dives.

I had enjoyed participating in the DVDVR AWA 80s set, so when the lucha set came around, I hesitantly jumped aboard. At first, a lot of my misgivings were well-founded, if not about the content, then about myself: I didn't have any idea who was who and found myself generally lost. After a few discs though, the patterns started to emerge. I had more to unlearn than to learn, as for the most part, lucha is its own reference point but not hard to get acclimated in; it was my own biases holding me back. Once I started to develop a baseline, though I began to process what I was watching. I started feeling the excitement of momentum shifts and getting into lucha's late match selling. I went from bewilderment of title matches to really appreciating the struggle found in the best of primera caidas. I still have a long way to go. It's one thing to learn to tread water. It's another to swim readily across a sea decades in the making.

The plan was to finish the lucha set and then slowly work my way through the 90s and into today. There's just so much content popping up now, though, and there really is something more exciting about following something as it happens. I ended up watching one modern Casas match and from there, how couldn't I watch more? There's no gateway drug quite like a jubilant, crotchety old rudo so capable of wrestling circles around his opponent and basking in the adulation of a crowd that's spent their entire lives watching him. I found that I had a perfect window to get through a match most nights in that floor-huddled limbo of trying to get my toddler to sleep in her crib.

I had begun this journey of lucha exploration, but I wasn't documenting it. There's not a ton of time these days and I really needed a way to push myself. I've enjoyed the Segunda Caida blog ever since I got back into wrestling heavily in 2009. Being able to contribute here is absolutely the push I need. I want to thank Phil and Eric. I'm going into a lot of this blind and this site IS a representation of them. I'm going to occasionally misinterpret what I'm seeing and get facts blatantly and embarrassingly wrong. I'm going to get far too excited about something I see the first time in a throwaway match and harp on about it when it's probably far more commonplace then I think, so please forgive my ignorance and my enthusiasm. The new plan is to post on a M/W/F schedule and to take a look at all matches scattershot: trios, lightning matches, luchas de apuestas, good matches and bad, to try to make sense of everything. I'm going to mainly focus on the last couple of years and on CMLL, but i'll stray occasionally, especially into more classic series of matches with some context. Feel free to correct me on anything; I'll probably need it. So far, lucha is a lot of fun. It's a whole new world out there and I really had no idea what I was missing. I hope that some of that comes through in match reviews.


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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lucha Azteca Workrate Report 4/5/14

These matches are from the 3/21 Arena Mexico show, a pretty big show with TWO hair matches and the finals of the Parajes Increibles.

Atlantis & Euforia vs. Rey Escorpion & Maximo

Decent if unspectacular match for the Parajes Increible final. It started out very promising and seemed like it was going to go really long because we actually get extended mat pairings with Atlantis/Rey and Maximo/Euforia. It was cool as you rarely get to see Maximo show off his mat flash, and it's nice seeing Atlantis do more outside the box from his normal match. All the guys get to hit dives with Maximo's flying headbutt being especially nice. Onto the end, I really liked Atlantis locking in Atlantida on Maximo, leading to Rey kicking him in the gut to allow Maximo to do a slick roll up. Then we get Maximo getting too friendly and misreading the signals that Escorpion was giving him leading to Rey turning on Maximo. The end kickouts between Euforia and Rey were a little dry, with no real build. Just had the feeling like "well this will end eventually" without any drama.

Hair vs. Hair: Shocker vs. Rush

Very good match that just narrowly missed our MOTY cut. I could easily see arguments for its placement. But the comebacks seemed like there was footage missing, but it was likely more indicative of lousy your move my move culture that has been happening in CMLL main events for awhile. The intensity was great and it's nice seeing Shocker still able to bring it, bring up fond memories of his epic late 90s/early 2000s run. He did gas pretty hard at the end, but the intensity was there and him tiring kind of served for a better match story. He just got outlasted by the young punk. Rush gets a reaction that is totally unique in wrestling today. I don't think there's any heel that currently gets the heat that he does (even though, erm, I guess he's still a tecnico). Rush is a total dick but he also can take a mean beating, and not all guys take it as well as they give it. Here he let Shocker kick him a bunch in the face and took a stupid German suplex on the entrance ramp. That's why it was a tough choice to leave this off the MOTY list. Both guys really did beat the shit out of each other here. That's usually the quickest way to get me to love a match. And the violence was great here. I just kept getting annoyed by little things like Rush hitting a monster dive, leading directly to Shocker just holding Rush in a leg lock back in the ring. Still, Rush is THEE guy to have in these kinds of matches right now. His charisma is off the charts and those locks are just begging to get trimmed.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

CMLL on LATV Workrate Report 4/6/14

These matches were from the 3/23 Arena Coliseo show.

Dark Angel, Goya Kong & Estrellita vs. Princesa Blanca, Princesa Sugheit & Zeuxis

Really awesome women's match. I haven't seen Blanca in awhile and she's slimmed down a bunch and looked great in the ring. She was really great at fast turnaround rope segments, did smart little rudo apron work like grab or kick at girls if they got too close to their corner. Dark Angel looked really great here too with all sorts of cool roll ups and fast work. Estrellita had one of her best showings in a while, and I absolutely loved her float-over backslide to win the tercera. That thing looked snug as hell and there was no way Blanca could have kicked out. Zeuxis here showed more energy than I'm used to seeing from her. Kong is super over and has fun big girl offense and charisma. I mean this was just a great lady trios, best one I've seen in ages. Everybody had their boots on, the crowd was fueling them, everything just clicked.

Reaper, Olimpico & Felino vs. Valiente, Super Porky & La Sombra

Same thing as the previous match, in that everybody had their boots on so the match seemed so much tighter than standard matches with some of these guys. Olimpico appears to be working a Keegan Michael Key gimmick now, and he looked awesome. Stooging all over, bumping big, all his sequences looked tight. Valiente also threw out one of his best performances in awhile, looking like a total star with giant dives, slick ranas, fast ringwork and great body charisma. Porky is practically immobile at this point but can still work fun sequences. I liked his punch exchange with Olimpico, and him holding his arms out for the ref to pick him up after sitting on Reaper is either the saddest thing or the most endearing thing. He was just holding out his short little arms towards the ref, in the same way a child will ask their father to pick them up because they're tired of walking (I wonder if Porky also pretends to be asleep in the car so his dad will carry him inside after a long car trip!).

Rey Escorpion, Averno & Polvora vs. Maximo, Diamante Azul & Marco Corleone

This was also a match that was on the show. It was also happening at that critical time where I had just enough booze in me where several minutes can go by and leave me with zero memory of those minutes. It was fun seeing Azul in Coliseo, as he couldn't just rely on doing his cool rampway flip dive. Corleone has been working a little too gingerly lately. His body presses land super soft. Maximo has been on fire lately, breaking out some smooth and fast sequences like he's Virus or something. Plus good lord I want that LEGO Maximo shirt. I wear size M. Come on people. The back of it says he the master of sex or something!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

2014 Ongoing Match of the Year List

19. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins v. Cesaro/Jack Swagger WWE Raw 3/24

PAS: Such a fun tag match. Real Americans went on quite a run in the waning days of their team. They developed a real good violent set of working over the face offense and Ambrose and Rollins were pretty remarkably good at standard babyface tag wrestling. We have an extended Ambrose face in peril, and damn is he great for I guy I had never seen work babyface before. His facial selling is great at conveying desperation and his Roddy Piper style hulk up when Cesaro was slapping him, and the Nigel lariat looked awesome here leading to the tag. Rollins hot tag was great, he comes in with such ferocity, flying all over the ring and to the floor, his dives never look set up he just flings himself recklessly. Really got me excited to see what the Shield does as a face act, they should never break them up.

ER: Another really fun match for these guys to put in their back pocket. It's really a testament to them as workers that no matter how many times all these WWE tag teams match up, all the match-ups still seem pretty fresh. That's not an easy thing to do when you're giving away long free matches on TV multiple times a week. Again, give any combo of these guys 12 minutes, sit back, mark out. Swagger has always seemed like the weak link in these matches, but you can tell the more they worked together in longer matches the more he figured out how to best integrate himself in the match. It's tough having a power wrestler gimmick when you're teaming with the guy with the most freakish power in the company. So Swagger has adapted with a cool stash of flapjacks and neat alley oops. I love the alley oop into Cesaro double stomp, sad we won't get that any longer. I loved how Cesaro and Swagger's team offense synced up and complemented the other. Cesaro does his epic flapjack uppercut, Swagger does his flapjack into an ankle lock. Rollins' hot tags have been making me rethink my "Goldust is best hot tag in the world" stance as he always kills it on the hot tags. Him adding in his double dive as a regular spot is great, as it's a regular spot but he only has done it when it actually fits organically into the match (i.e. two opponents don't just each roll out to opposite sides of the ring and wait for him to hit each dive). The way he does the dives always feels like him capializing on a situation. Hits a dive, sees the other guy outside, runs back in and nails him with a dive. The WWEDG tag team renaissance is so damn great.


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Arbitrary WWE Match Thoughts

Oftentimes I will watch pro wrestling matches, and I'll have thoughts on them.

Wyatt Family vs. John Cena, Sheamus & Big E, WWE Raw 4/7/14

I dug this 6 man from a week ago, with the crowd loud and smarky the whole way through. Booing the good guys, cheering the bad guys. It's New Orleans, Wyatts are billed from Louisiana, okay. Hearing them boo all of Sheamus' moves and cheer Rowan's comebacks was fun, and Sheamus got into it and let it fuel his beating. We had some loud "John Cena Sucks" sung to the tune of Cena's entrance music. Hot crowd. Smarky crowd.

But one guy.

One guy on hard camera side had a sign which read "Who Booked This Crap".

Yep. That guy.

The guy sitting in the middle of one of the hottest periods of WWE TV and matches of the last 8 years, just completely flustered by the product being presented to him. "Who Booked This Crap" feels like the most impossibly dated sign one could bring to a WWE show these days. I mean, I saw a car with a Kucinich bumper sticker the other week, but it's not like they'd show up to a WWE show with a scattering of "Other Channel Jackass" or "Be Fair to Flair" signs. Now in fairness to the guy with the Kucinich bumper sticker it's likely he wouldn't bring those signs to a WWE show because he'd be at home eating kale and catching up on the most recent Fresh Air and also would have zero interest in attending a live pro wrestling show.

But Who Booked This Crap? What the fuck MORE could a smart fan want out of current WWE!? I mean, sure, all of the best indy guys from the last decade are pushed high and get to have long great matches on a weekly basis, but Yoshi Tatsu never gets TV tiiiiiiiiiiime. Colt Cabana wasn't given a chaaaaaaance. Vince killed ECWWWWWW.

And then he hit me with an unexpected blow:

His next sign read "Save us Y2J".

My world was turned upside down. Either he is just reusing all of his signs from a WCW Thunder taping he attended in 1999, or he's working the most precise smart mark gimmick I've ever seen. He's ostensibly the guy who gets invited to an 80s party, and shows up wearing a precise recreation of what somebody may have looked like in May 1986, and gets pissed off the whole party about people mixing years and genres. "Look at that guy in the Hypercolor shirt. That was early 90s, asshole! And that guy is just wearing sunglasses!"

Who wouldn't want that guy sitting behind them during a wrestling show!? Since few of us had that privilege, I will use the powers of prose to insert probable soundbites you would have heard from that guy, throughout this match. Hopefully it will put you right there in the middle of the action, with him.

Sheamus and Rowan pair off in an awesome display of ginger on ginger violence that you just don't often see. I suppose it's because there aren't that many large gingers around who people would want to see clubbing each other (".....remember Blitzkrieg guys? That guy could could be working Em Oh Tee Whys every fucking night if they brought him in. But it would never happen because you know these idiots would just job him out to.....").  Big E does a triple backbreaker to Rowan which could not have been easy. Big E was straining and his hand was nestled deep in Rowan's ass to make it work, but it came off like the crazy feat of strength it was and the crowd was down (" then I was like but have you seen how sweaty Mark Henry gets!?....."). Harper gets to work Cena a bunch now and they really match up nicely ("...God but if they had the guys to bring in Taz he would fucking shoot on all of these guys. They wouldn't be able to stop it..."). Cena vs. monster is one of the best match styles of the last decade and few guys currently are as beastly as Harper (".....Oh God what if Shane Douglas did a run in!? That guy don't give a FUCK. He'd call Cena out on alllll his phony shit....."). Sheamus does his sweet rolling torture rack senton to Harper, ONTO a prone Rowan, and Harper then bumps huge to the floor on a clothesline. Harper's bumping is awesome and his wild dive is one of the great spots of 2014 (" yeah, you bring him in, put him over everybody, and then boom. You have AJ Styles vs. Shawn Michaels main eventing Wrestlemania....." And damn do I love the Bray Wyatt crab walk. Big E takes Sister Abigail right on the side of his head and makes it look killer (.....God these guys are so FAKE! I've seen wrestling from JAPAN.....").

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Black Terry Lives Only to See the Lights of the Town

Black Terry v. Tony Rivera IWRG 4/4/14-FUN

A match which certainly had it's moments but was ultimately disappointing. This was a Terry apuestas match with brawling and blood and a game opponent and when that was the focus it was very good. There was some really nasty Terry punches in the corner, and an awesome moment where both guys were covered in blood on their knees pounding each other. That stuff was as good as anything I have seen this year. Unfortunately the lions share of this match was seconds from both guys interfering and brawling with each other, and the interference wasn't interesting or particularly well done. I get that this feud has been about dueling wrestling schools, but here was a case where the booking really brought down the match and interfered with the excellent work. Probably still worth watching for Terry completists, but one of the bigger let downs of the year.


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Monday, April 14, 2014

CMLL on LATV Workrate Report 3/29/14

These matches were from the 3/16 Arena Mexico show.

Blue Panther, Guerrero Maya Jr. & Sagrado vs. Puma, Boby Zavala & Tiger

Good match that got tons of time to stretch out. Puma is really emerging as a guy who I'm actively excited to see, Tiger too, to a lesser extent. They've been CMLL undercarders for several years now, but they've never done too much to stand out to me. Lately though they've clearly upped their game. Extra snap to their offense and putting over tecnicos with big bumps. Tiger ate a fast Sagrado dive and Puma took a big spill into the barricade on a spot where less would have been acceptable. Speaking of guys standing out, Sagrado actually looked really good here, and he's been consistently one of my least favorite CMLL guys for several years running. Here he hit a big dive and had some nice mat stuff, and never got lost or tangled during big sequences as he usually tends to do.

Negros Casas, Kraneo & Niebla Roja vs. Rush, Maximo & Marco Corleone

Killer short match that delivered everything I hoped it would. You get all the nasty Rush and Casas sequences, with Rush stomping and kicking the life out of Casas (it's beginning to happen so often that I'm thinking getting kicked by tassled boots is some weird wrestler fetish that Casas is into). Kraneo continues to be the best big company worker that nobody talks about. The guy is like a lucha Buddy Rose in that he always looks like the most agile guy in the match, while also having a 2 out of 10 body. I mean just a horrible, awful body, stuffed into a too tight outfit that gives him two butts and a lot of weird bulges. And then he goes out and takes awesome armdrags, huge bumps to the floor, and has the best stomach kicks. Niebla Roja is impressive matching up equally nice with Maximo and Corleone, which is not easy. Maximo has an epic new LEGO shirt. I want a LEGO Maximo shirt. What friend of the blog will hook that up? This only goes about 12 minutes but is so damn fun. Watch it for the awesome fatness of Kraneo, stay for the Rush/Casas ass beatings you love.

Reaper vs. Volador Jr.

Better than I thought it would be but Volador is still mostly terrible as a maskless no selling tecnico. None of his matches have any consequences as no matter how bad a beating he's taking, he can just pop up at any moment to fit his moves in. It's pretty pointless getting invested in anything done to him as none of it matters. Reaper looked good, leaned into Volador's flip dives and superkicks. I liked him working over Volador's knees, hanging him in by the legs and kicking him. Again, didn't matter since nothing slows down Volador. What makes all this so consistently stunning to me is that last year Volador was one of my favorites. I thought he was almost always the best guy in a trios. And now he embodies almost everybody characteristic I hate in a wrestler. I don't know if I've ever turned so hard on a guy. But seriously, fuck Volador matches.

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