Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Segunda Caida 100 for 2008!

Alright, so it took us a 100+ days into 2009, but we here at Segunda Caida have finally completed our list ranking the top 100 wrestlers of 2008. There's going to be some bitching, and there's going to be some people thinking we put certain people on just to get the internets' ire up, but that's not true. We're all grown men with day jobs and these are the 100 wrestlers we most enjoyed watching in 2008. Is Trik Davis better than Shawn Michaels? Maybe, or maybe not, but I had way more fun watching Trik Davis matches in 2008 than I had watching Shawn Michaels matches.

Over the next few days/weeks/months/rest of decade we'll be going through the top 25, analyzing each worker, talking about why they are among the top 25 GREATEST WRESTLERS IN THE HISTORY of 2008, and recommending matches to check out from this past year, and others you need to see from the rest of their career.

Here is 26-100:

26. Ephesto

27. Evan Bourne

28. Sami Callihan

29. Randy Orton

30. Bull Pain

31. Super Astro

32. Valiente

33. Virus

34. William Regal

35. Chris Hero

36. Eddie Kingston

37. Ian Rotten

38. Nigel McGuiness

39. Atlantis

40. Carl Greco

41. Pequeno Damian 666

42. Fuerza Guerrera

43. Arkangel de la Muerte

44. Festus

45. Chavo Guerrero, Jr.

46. Bam Bam

47. Chris Michaels

48. Officiale AK-47

49. Tamon Honda

50. Satanico

51. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

52. Johnny Saint

53. Joey Matthews

54. Yoshiaki Fujiwara

55. Homicide

56. Tracey Smothers

57. Austin Aries

58. Low-Ki

59. Jaime Dundee

60. Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

61. Damien Wayne

62. Mike Quackenbush

63. Yoshihiro Takayama

64. Erick Stevens

65. Jun Akiyama

66. Hijo del Perro Aguayo

67. Yujiro Yamamoto

68. Dave Taylor

69. Undertaker

70. Mitch Ryder

71. Jerry Lawler

72. Mascara Ano Dos Mil

73. Officiale Fierro

74. Pimpinela Escarlata

75. Osamu Nishimura

76. Trik Davis

77. Villano IV

78. Averno

79. Chuck Palumbo

80. Naoya Ogawa

81. Shu El Guerrero


83. Felino

84. Jay Briscoe

85. John Cena

86. Pierrothcito

87. Great Sasuke

88. Dixie

89. Rayo de Jalisco, Jr.

90. Preston Quinn

91. Trauma II

92. Teddy Hart

93. MVP

94. Dick Togo

95. Takeshi Morishima

96. Manabu Hara

97. Super Tiger II

98. Mascarita Dorada

99. The Miz

100. Shockercito

My personal favorite ranking is Super Astro one spot ahead of Valiente, as Valiente need only look one spot ahead to see HIS FUTURE as a chubby guy who is super fast and does great flying. If future Valiente/past Super Astro ever happen to cross paths...God help us all.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

IWRG 4/2/09

PAS: Hits keep coming, r0b3rt0x3L14S is the king of youtube, just uploading all of the lucha, I am obsessively checking his page and he just keeps delivering.

Eragon/Mascara Magnifica v Commando Negro/Avisman

TKG: YES! We get a opener this week. IWRG OPENING MATCH!!!! I don’t get Avisman. I feel like I should go back and watch old Avisman singles matches and old Avisman and Avisman II tags. He’s now working openers and is really weird. He’s a guy who is really tricked out and fluid on the mat and doing technical exchanges but just looks completely lost and awkward in stand up rope running sections. Is he the anti-HHH? Has he always been this way or did he have a horrible rope running accident which has made him tentative? Does he need to remask? Perhaps with a mask on he wouldn’t always look like a deer in headlights worried about what to do next during the standing sections of a match (mask wouldn’t help his kicks/boot scrapes to back). Given this problem he really is ill suited to be working as base for green highflyers in openers. I mean the primera caidas will be good but really you can’t be a base when you’re this uncomfortable getting into place for stand up sections.

PAS: Yeah this was weird, I enjoyed the heck out of the first fall especially the Eragon v. Avisman mat sections. Really solid stuff. It feels like you should be able to hide Avisman more, no reason not to put him in trios match, where he works a long opening mat section and then stays the fuck out of the ring. IWRG opener is too structured, so after the good mat section Avisman has to try to eat ranas and that isn't something he can do. It is weird, there are a bunch of really old luchadores who are still super strong on the mat, you would think that athletic counters would be a weak spot for them, but Navarro, Dos Caras, Solar et all never look this awkward on their feet. Avisman may only be in his 30's but he wrestles like you might expect a broken down hypothetical Maestro to wrestle, even thought they don't.

Yack/Azoka v Capitan Muerte/Hijo del Signo

TKG: And its week two of the Captain Muerte World Beater 2009 Tour. Captain Muerte is one of those guys like Hijo Del Diablo where you’re always pleased to see him in a match and he’s always super competent veteran rudo but it’s been ages since he’s been a guy who did anything that really blew you away. This is two weeks in a row where Muerte has looked like a world beater. Yack is a guy working essentially poor man’s indy La Parka schtick, and Hijo Del Signo and Azoka both feel super green (Azoka does eat stuff nicely, kicks a bunch when put in short arm scissors and is really flexible when put in submissions). But this is pretty much a one man show, As Captain Muerte elevates this thing: beating folks, awesomely selling for technico offense, rudoing it up when the crowd gets on his partner for blowing stuff, interjecting in match to keep things moving, etc. Finish is awkward but I am on the 2009 Captain Muerte bandwagon.

PAS: This reminded me of the first 4-way on the 2nd night of the Chikara KOT, Muerte was in the Austin Aries role of "trained wrestler amongst backyardy chumps." There wasn't even a dark hair Young Buck in this match, it was like three Fire Ants. Still I think a lucha formula allows you to make something out of a match with only one real wrestler in it. Watching Yack do shitty fake La Parka really allows you to appreciate the professionalism of not just La Parka, but Super Parka, La Parkita and La Parka Jr.

Hijo Del Pierroth/Pierroth II v Arlequin Amarillo/Arlequin Verde

TKG: I was dreading this but it was nowhere near as bad as I was expecting. Maybe Phil was right in bitching about the Headhunters. I mean the Arlequins actively suck. Green Arlequin has some Shawn Michaels level execution and may be even shittier than Yellow Arlequin. But this was perfectly fine mediocre brawl. I mean it wasn’t good but didn’t bore me or make me want to tear my eyes out like the six man from last week. They work a basic Nastys v Steiners/RNR v Poffos “one man brawling on the floor/ one man in the ring” structure with lots of spots where guy on floor is taken out leading to two-on-ones in ring. Instead of listless arena walking around brawling, the on the floor brawling is pretty much all ring ramp and ring ramp stairs spots/bumps. Kept the brawl moving at a fine pace and held interest for the whole thing.

PAS: Yeah this was shockingly okay, they kept it moving, wasn't particularly stiff and there weren't any big bumps, but it didn't drag. I liked the mediocre Arlequin double tope, and Hijo Del Pierroth had nice wind up on his punches, they didn't look good when they landed, but I enjoyed the demonstrativeness.

Officiales v. Freelance/Gemelos Fantasticos v. Trauma 1 y 2/Zatura v. Dr. Cerebro/Cerebro Negro/Black Terry

PAS: Total train wreck and a total blast. 12 guys just throwing it all at the wall, some stuff isn't hit cleanly, but there is more great shit then you can demand. This is the kind of shit Freelance is made for, and he is just flying around the ring with abandon, he does three dives into the crowd, each crazier then the last, and is just constantly diving into the ring ranaing the fuck out of dudes. Officiales looked great here, as they ate all of Freelances stuff well, and did I nice job covering for some of the lesser lights (the less I say about the Gemelos the better) Terry is great too, but this was a little chaotic for him to be at his best. This week goes to Freelance.

TKG: Yeah this was a wreck. The whole concept of elimination trios match where you can tag anyone else into the ring is almost TNA level stupid. Hey its two twins forced to wrestle each other in an elimination match, isn’t that clever? Dumb. You also had a couple of awkward Zatura v Freelance sections where both guys looked like they need a rudo. Some spectacular looking Freelance highspots. Plus you get the Zatura “Hey I’m in a match with Freelance I have to do even crazier out of control dives and possibly injure myself” stuff that you get when those two are in a match together. A fun clusterfuck but a dumb match.

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IWRG 3/26/09

PAS: After a too long 3 month hiatus, IWRG has returned. Arena Puebla undercards had been picking up the real lucha slack in its absence, but man am I happy to have it back. and along with our other full show feds (XCW-Midwest, IWA-MS, BattlArts and LGN) we will be reviewing it all here.

TKG: We were going to do full shows and this doesn’t actually feel like a full show. I think we are missing an opener but beggars can’t be choosers.

PAS: God Bless Youtube

Freelance/Chico Che/Turbo v. Black Terry/Black Thunder/Captain Muerte

PAS: Any match with Freelance on one side and Black Terry on the other is going to kick ass, right there are two of the top 10 wrestlers in the world, they are going to deliver, and all you really need to make a lucha libre trios is one good technico and one good rudo. Luckily for us, the other four were bringing it too. Chico Che is a guy I remember enjoying in last years Battle Royal, but I figured he was just an opening match dude, a guy who could work an exchange or two with Judas El Traitor, but not some one you want higher on the card. Here though he looked damn good, agile, fun arm drags, nice fat boy tope, he looked like good tertiary Brazo, lets say Brazo de Bronce. I was also shocked at how awesome the Turbo v. Black Terry mat section was, as that is not something I imagined Turbo had in him, although that was clearly a bunch of Black Terry. I imagine that every week will be a running battle between Black Terry and Freelance for IWRG god hood, and I think Terry takes week #1. Freelance was great, his flipping Fujiwara to end the first fall was fucking great,

TKG: I’m not really comfortable with running battle analogy. Lucha trios are about how guys are positioned in the trio. There are captains and secondary guys, sometimes those secondary guys are the featured guys with an important story in the match and sometimes they are secondary figures who are there to shine the light on the guys in the important story. The real story of the match is that Turbo comes in with the new NWA lightweight belt and Black Terry wants to challenge for it. Everything else is filler. Chico Che and Capitan Muerte were the captains. For guy who by design isn’t supposed to be featured performer Freelance still is pretty great. Freelance has the coolest finisher to first fall, eats the nastiest finisher for second and does a large FIP section in third, still the match is built around highlighting Terry and Turbo. This is a pretty classically constructed match with some neat twists. First fall is all about Turbo v Black Terry technical mat sections that make you stoked for possible title match. They do some Black Thunder v Freelance technical exchanges where everytime Freelance gets Thunder in a hold Captain Muerte comes in to break it up leading to Chico Che coming in to stop Muerte. Thunder is a guy who works with Turbo a lot and is a guy who eats Turbos stuff pretty spectacularly (there is an amazing multiple Tijeras thing Turbo does around BlackThunder). He’s got some interesting ideas for offense that aren’t quite worked out. Captain Muerte looks like a world beater here as trio captain. He’s been through maybe four gimmicks since last time I remember seeing him look this bad ass. Your opening technical stuff is eventually broken up by an absolutely nasty Muerte mafia kick to Freelance’s back and a bunch of rudo two-on-one and three-on-one ass-whooping. You get a last minute change of momentum with Che taking out Muerte and technico comeback. Second fall is your faster fall starting with faces taking turns besting each of three heels in one-on-one match ups, which leads to more rudo two and three-on- ones. Third fall is all nasty brawling with Turbo and Terry matching up again, Freelance ends up working an extended 6 minute or so FIP section as the rudos go all Anderson bros quick tags on his arm and Chico Che gets super Robert Gibson indignant only to eat a face destroying second rope Alabama Jam when he finally gets in the ring. Still Freelance and Che were all secondary, everything about this match made me want to see Terry v Turbo for title.

Headhunters 1+2/Veneno v. Hijo Del Pierroth/Pierroth Jr./Arliquin

PAS: Man this was rough, like all 90's tape traders I always dug me some Headhunters, they were these guys who looked like twin Abdullah the Butchers and did crazy moonsaults into plates of glass, and that was back before you had lots of dudes moonsaulting through plate glass. Well shockingly being morbidly obese and doing crazy highspots ages you quick as they now look like a pair of slower and less agile Abdullah the Butchers. It was a shame, this was a plodding stinky brawl, there was an occasional nice punch by one of the Pierroth's but this was not the IWRG that excites you.

TKG: Really you’re going to complain about the Headhunters? Arlequin is right there. Arlequin is easily the worst wrestler in this mess and is a guy who IWRG appears to be pushing hard. He has been pushed as a heavyweight since the cage match where he lost his mask and he just sucks. He really works like a guy trained to wrestle by Shane Mcmahon or like he was inspired to become a wrestler by watching tapes of Shane. Although he doesn’t do the big Shane highspots, just the Shane Mcmahon midrange stuff and Shane Mcmahon level selling.

Fuerza Guerrera v. Offical 911

TKG: Freelance is seconding Fuerza and comes in wearing a DTU shirt. While I’d like to see Freelance v Jimmy Jacobs, I can’t think becoming involved with DTU is a good thing. I was kind of disappointed in this match. Maybe Fuerza v Official Fierro would have worked better, I don’t know. I’ve written before about how there are different ways to work different types of wrestling matches in lucha. This was advertised as a title match and it never worked for me as a title match. At some point in the first fall I kind of figured out that they were working this like a match that was being worked like a mano a mano or hair match that was building to big interference spots in the third. There is an inherent drama in a hair v hair match where something important is on the line, there is a level of “hate” and “bad intention” underlying in rudo v rudo mano a mano. This match was structured like those but didn’t ever feel like these guys had anything on the line or had any bad intentions. After the match is over Fuerza laid out a challenge for mask match or a superlibre rudo v rudo style duelo sin referi match and I’d be stoked for any of those things. This was a match that teased those things and made me want to see them. I don’t know if doing heatless version of match to set up the heated version really makes sense but whatever. This was perfectly ok and I think if this was a trios match worked exactly the same way with none of the other participants ever tagging in until the Freelance/AK47 finish I would have loved this. But this never really worked for me as a title match.

PAS: This was undoubtably a solidly worked match. Pretty good opening mat section, really nice second fall with Fuerza looking especially spry, and a fun third fall. However you really expect more from guys like this in a showcase title match. Really the only truly memorable thing in the match is the crazy Freelance dive, and I want something more to pop out at me with such great wrestlers. I really don't think Fuerza is at his best as a technico, and while I adjusted to technico Blue Panther and rudo Atlantis, virtuous Fuerza seem out of place. Although honestly I could be just looking for a reason why something with out obvious flaws, and that I was looking so forward to, fell flat to me

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