Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

IWRG 6/4/09

PAS: We are all members of the Lucha Libre Nation

Lucha Libre Nation
TKG: Sadly they didn't air the Gizmo v Radamantis opener.

Epidemia, Heavy Boy VS Comando Negro, Goleador

TKG:So neither of us wrote anything about Commando Negro in the 4/2/09 show. Commando Negro is a undercard heel who works a pretty simple heel style of guy who is always bested by the faces. He’s not a big bumping heel or an Averno style guy who eats face offense spectacularly. Just a guy who the faces get the better of. He has nice punches, works nice mat exchanges, nice rope running exchanges but the point with him is that he will always loose those exchanges. He’s never guy in control. When he wins a fall it’s normally a quick cheap win where he either cheats or takes advantages of a slip. Combine that with some good heel shtick and that’s a fine way to work as a heel. But here he is working as a defacto face. Face who is always on the loosing end of exchanges and has no hope spots feels especially jobberish. The Pareja Toxico have worked IWRG a couple times in the past and they’re a indy rudo tag team with lots of “innovative” combo moves. A couple neat spots here and there that someone should steal (I liked both leg drop combo finishers in first fall) but the good ideas are drowned out by the sheer volume of ugly looking show- offy elaborate innovation for innovation garbage. On some level this felt like a political burial as your flashy indy team gets to do all their spots and control 85% of the match and yet still loose to an ad hoc team of midcard face and undercard heel.

PAS: Yeah the whole booking was very odd, it would be the equivalent of the WWE bringing in the Motor City Machine Guns, having them hit all their spots, but still job to a makeshift Zach Ryder and K-Krush team, or ROH signing Osiarian Portal and having lose to Shawn Spears and Sugarfoot. That would actually be a perfectly appropriate use of both teams, but if it happened you would suspect something was up. IWRG is full of guys who aren't any good, but I enjoy, and Goledor has definitely turned into one of them. Maybe it is the height he gets on his springboard armdrag, or his goofy mask, I don't like soccer but I dig him.

Diva Salvaje, Miss Gaviota, Péndulo VS Avisman, Fantasma de la Ópera, Bushi

TKG: They finally got rid of Xibalba in this feud. This was a really fun all over the place brawl. On paper you wouldn’t think adding Bushi and Pendulo would work this well in this context. They start with some Bushi v Diva Salvaje mat exchanges which were inexplicably better than you’d expect. From there they went pretty much straight into a brawl. Pendulo’s a guy who I always thought of as a really dull rote technico, but he came off really charismatic here. I’m not completely sold yet. He may have gotten better. May just be that a pendulum swing both ways and there is an extra bit of sugar in his step when he’s swinging with the queens.

PAS: Diva Salvaje really has the look of a guy who lived in a small town in Indiana his whole life, and at 42 decides out of the blue to start taking hormones and live as a woman. "Well I have bought Insurance from Sam for years, if he wants to call himself Samantha now, well that is his concern and he won't lose my business." This was the best of your 2009 Exoctico matches. I am surprised how well Bushi fit in here, lucha exoticos work very differently then Men's Teiho or Dino, and I am impressed that he could adjust.

Black Terry, Cerebro Negro, Dr. Cerebro VS Trauma I, Trauma II, Zatura

TKG:I dug this a lot although I don’t know how good it actually was. I left this thinking these two teams match up really well and have a really good match in them, this has hints of it but isn’t it. That’s the same feeling I have leaving every Jumbo v Billy Robinson or Backlund v Adonis. I may have ridiculously high standards. It’s kind of ridiculous to say I liked this match for its sloppiness. I don’t know if Trauma I legit busted his arm up or if he was just selling over the three falls. Don’t know if Trauma II legit fucked up Cerebro Negro’s neck or if that was a match element. Either way the match was constantly broken up by medical staff checking on guys pulling them out of the action and eventually letting them back in, while the rest of the luchadors had to continue to work ignoring the downed guys and medical staff. I’m assuming that this was all guys getting legit tweaked but I really enjoyed the weird pacing and general dynamic (of guys getting pulled out and reinserted) that it created. Not a dynamic that I think they’ll ever be able to recreate. I imagine if they rematch these teams, the rematch will be smoother and not sure if that’s necessarily for the better. Anyway the real shocker of this match was how good both Cerebro Negro and Zatura looked; and how well they matched up opposite each other. Cerebro Negro was a guy who I enjoyed a bunch in 08 as kind of the best of the “flashy innovative offense” IWRG rudos. But he’s really underwhelmed in the Terry/Cerebros v Dinastia Navarro stuff. And well Zatura is a guy who always struck me as being nothing but insane out-of-control dives. But here the two match up shockingly well and felt like working spotty highflyer lit a fire under Cerebro Negro. I get the sense that people are starting to get a better sense of what they can do with Trauma I and really liked both all the Terry work on Trauma I’s arm and how Terry set up and sold all the Trauma I comebacks. The Trauma II v Dr Cerebro interactions were really the least version of that match up and shockingly the most uninteresting part of the match.

PAS: I don't think anyone would look at this match up on paper and think that Zatura and Cerebro Negro would come out looking the best. Their long mat section was very cool, I especially loved all of the countering based around Zatura's arm. Zatura also broke out a great looking dive, and Negro was probably the top brawler during the brawl section. There is a moment where Trauma II is on his stomach and Cerebro Negro is just unloading with right hands, it really looked like a guy violently finishing someone in MMA. There is such a great mix of trios right now in IWRG, now that it looks like the Trauma's turned on Zatura, I hope we get Negro Navarro back soon, because Dinastia De La Muerte v. Officiales, Juvi/Fuerza/Pirata or Zatura/Chico Che/Freelance all could be incredible

Scorpio Jr, Angelico, Bobby Lee Jr VS Pirata Morgan, Fuerza Guerrera, Ricky Cruz

TKG: Last time I saw Scorpio Jr work a match, he looked completely immobile and a week away from death. I don’t want to say he looked "healthy" here. In his quarter century career I don’t think there’s ever been a period where I’d describe Scorpio Jr as a "healthy looking guy". But he was a lot of fun here, a guy who I will look forawrd to seeing in the ring in the future, commanding presence, bumped around a bunch and for the most part held the technico side of this match together. Unfortunately one of his fellow technicos was Angelico. My wrestling opinions are not infallible. Watching last weeks show I opined that the problem with Angelico was that he was working captain, when he’s a guy who would be less objectionable working ancillary role. Holy shit was I wrong. Working ancillary he was an awful guy who completely took me out of this match. This rudo team is a really superior team to the brawling rudos in the second match but wow Angelico stinks. I mean if you replaced him with Pendulo, Goleador, or either of the Exoticos I think this could have been a blast. Watching Angelico v Cruz, it might be possible that Angelico could work Puerto Rico as an evil chicken shit pussy Spaniard. In that role the Puerto Rican wouldn’t have to sell for him. I don’t even know if he can do that as that doesn't work if the heel is sloppily busting his opponent open. Was Travesti Man from Spain? Travesti Man v Angelico working a Lou Perlman v Nick Carter feud in Spain might be fun. There may be a role for Angelico somewhere in wrestling…just not in Mexico.

PAS: I really liked parts of this, Bobby Lee Jr. had a nice in ring back tope and a tope to the floor. Fuerza and Pirata both owned and I loved all of their interactions with each other. Fuerza doing the ringpost shoulder bump and fouling his partner was a cool heel miscommunication spot I have never seen before, and should be stolen by Austin Aries and D'Lo. Scorpio Jr. really looks facially like an old jew now, and his brawling with Pirata looked like an especially violent Buddy Hackett v. Ruth Buzzi slapfight. Lots of things to like, but man is Angelico the fucking worst, he isn't in this much, but just drags the match into the toilet every time he tags in. He didn't potato Cruz with his awful looking kicks, but when he slipped on his Low-Ki rip off double stomp and kicked him in the eye. I am hoping this was just a short visit over in Mexico and he returns to his feud with the Catalanian separatist heel faction in whatever random Spanish indy he normally works

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

IWRG 5/28/09

After being oppressed by the fascist Viacom Yotube stormtroopers Roberto has come storming back with a new youtube account and reloaded the IWRG for us

This is the first show of 2009 without either of your legendary maestros Terry and Navarro, so we get to see what the youngsters can do.

Vampiro Metálico & Carta Brava Jr. VS Galactik & Máscara Magnífica

PAS: These are four of your most solid opener guys, and this was a darn good little match. Brava Jr. and Metalico have a bunch of nifty double teams. They are both great at finding inventive ways to backcrack and frontcrack their opponents, which is a huge part of current lucha. The technicos were a bit vanilla, but they ate everything well and I liked an early Galactik rope running section.

TKG: Week two of me enjoying Vampiro Metalico’s “innovative” spots. He’s a lot more backcrackerish this week but still he has a nice way of getting over the innovative stuff without it being elaborate or show offy. Carta Brava is really solid and a bunch of steps above Metalico when it comes to crispness and polish. The two are a real nice pairing and instead of working the segunda tag format where each guy pairs off with one face, they do more of an almost US tag with both guys getting shots at both faces, lots of quick tags cutting off the ring, low blows behind refs back, keeping face tag partner out of ring etc. And this really felt like a match that if it took place in a US indy against Generico/ Fire Ant would get a ton of pimping. Galaktik and Mascara Magnifica are better than Generico or Fire Ant but it’s lucha so neither of the faces do real sympathy baby face selling during what essentially amounts to a FIP section, and although both faces do angry Robert Gibson on apron being kept out of ring sections…neither do fired up hot tag when they enter ring. Fun second match.

Angelico, Chico Ché, Freelance VS Capitán Muerte, Durango Kid, Tetsuya Bushi

PAS: I have talked before about how IWRG really needs a good third technico for the Freelance and Chico Che team, well Angelico is very much not that guy. Angleico looks kind of like Jeff Spicoli, while he might be a very light skinned Mexican, he really felt like a random Texas indy dude who figured that an IWRG run would help him get into CZW or something. The match opens with Angelico and Bushi doing a long mat exchange, and it was as bad as you might expect an All Japan rookie and a fake Marek Brave doing ras de lone segment would be. When Angelico stands up he basically does a bunch of poorly executed Low-Ki spots, his kicks and knees looked like a guy doing a poor CM Punk imitation of a poor KENTA imitation. Freelance was in this match, and he is consistantly awesome, there was an awesome section where Durango Kid is seeing how high he can launch him with backdrops and monkey flips, which ends with him throwing Freelance into the fourth row with a somersault plancha. Worth watching for that stuff, but not a good match.

TKG: I don’t know if Chico Che and Freelance really need a good third technico so much as they need to be the captains. I really liked Chico Che’s sections with everyone, and enjoyed Freelance’s sections with everyone as well (especially loved all the Freelance v Captain Muerte stuff). This would have probably been a good match if it was structured for either Che or Freelance to be captain. But for some reason instead of having Angelico and Durango Kid work ancillary roles, they were booked as the team captains. They announce Angelico as being from Spain and he looks like he’s working some sort of ridiculous Russell Brand gimmick. I can’t believe that he’s supposed to be a face, I mean he doesn’t look like he’s working a BXB Hulk gimmick so much as a parody of BXB Hulk gimmick. One announcer starts talking about how visually Angelico reminds him of British wrestler Steve Wright who he saw tour Mexico in the seventies “ and have great matches with Rene Guajardo and Karloff Lagarde”… and now I’m even more pissed that I’m stuck watching this turd. I have no idea why Phil harped on the piss poor opening mat work instead of the match finish run between Angelico and Durango Kid. Last week I wrote that “ I think Durango Kid is the La dojo guy who taught lucha to Rocky Romero and Alex Koslov but I’m not going to hold that against him”. This week I’m holding it against him as that finish section really felt like it was put together by a guy who was “taught lucha” by Rocky Romero and Alex Koslov.

Diva Salvaje, Goleador, Miss Gaviota VS Avisman, Fantasma de la Ópera, Xibalva

PAS: I have been consistently enjoying these exotico matches, even though I can't say any of them are actually any good. A spirited little heavyweight brawl with Goleador showing some nice athleticism (and didn't really show the matching awkwardness). I wonder if Diva Salvaje is Bestia's gay younger brother, he definitely has all of Bestia's Guapo good looks.

TKG: Last week I described the team working the Exoticos as “the rudo team at best is Carta Brava Jr who is really solid if unspectacular and at worse is Xibabla who is really mediocre but competent. Somewhere in between those two lies Avisman who can be completely hit or miss” This week they replaced Carta Brava with Fantasma de La Opera. Like Brava he is a really super solid rudo but Fantasma is flashier. He brawls a little rougher and has a bunch of really nasty unprotected throws which he hasn’t really figured out how to integrate into his match. They often come out of nowhere and can feel out of place. This week Xibalva looked even shittier than last week and Avisman didn’t have Freelance to work against (he had some nice mat sections and running sections with Goleador but also some awful strike/brawling stuff). But the rudo star was Fantasma de La Opera. You take a guy who doesn’t know how to incorporate his dangerous throws into his big matches and you put him in a match with two trannies and soccer mascot and suddenly the inappropriateness of his offense comes across as deliberate heelish jerk move.

Los Oficiales VS Traumas & Zatura

PAS: Tremendous match, as good with the best stuff we have seen from IWRG this year. Really a battle of captains with 911 and Trauma II just going at it. The match opens with a really long mat battle between the two. They aren't as smooth as Navarro, but make up for it with a lot more countering then you normally see in IWRG, there was an especially awesome Trauma II counter of a tapitia. We also get a big showdown between 911 and II at the end with both guys getting some pretty great near falls, before the clean finish. Everyone else played their roles well too, Trauma I has improved a lot, he is still the weaker guy, but he doesn't drag the match down as he has in the past, Zatura isn't much outside of nice dives, but he had an awesome dive, and your other Oficiales were bumping all over the ring. It is pretty great to see IWRG put something together this good, without any of the superworkers, and makes me even more excited to see what else they will do this year.

TKG: Phil is way overselling this. This is the best match we’ve seen from the Officiales in 09. This is a title match which is their bread and butter. They don’t get to eat that many fancy aerial moves here but they can do more complicated mat stuff with the Truamas then they could with Multifaceto/Pendulo. I think this match was also helped a bunch by having Trauma II work captain instead of Zatura. I enjoyed the Trauma II v 911 stuff and liked the way 911 upped the stiffness which Trauma II answered by upping the speed. But oddly my favorite performer here was AK -47. He has probably had the most impressive performances of the Officiales in 09. This was the best Trauma 1 has looked to me and a lot of that had to do with matching him up opposite AK-47 (the powerhouse off the Officiales). Trauma 1 always comes across somewhat awkward and his mat section with AK-47 was awkward. But it worked as you weren’t watching him try to work a Urijah Faber style featherweight smooth quick exchanges but instead more of a Brad Imes deliberate hard lumbering heavyweight exchanges. AK-47 gets caught in the first fall and submits to a super slick Trauma II sub. Part of why that finish is rewarding is the contrast between the heavyweight sections with Trauma I and the finesse stuff from II. This isn’t as good as the high end Navarro/Terry stuff this year but a nice use of everyone and a fine lil title match that works as rewarding main event.

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Saturday, June 06, 2009

#16: El Hijo del Santo

by Phil

El Hijo Del Santo is one of the top 10 guys of all time, however he has been really in the wilderness the last couple of years. He shows up in a couple of matches, reminds you what you are missing, and disappears again. In 2008 he had three trios matches, only one of which was really great, but he has a trios formula which when executed well is a treat to watch. You usually get the beautiful headscissors take down, an in ring tope, a senton on one guy into a tope to the floor, and maybe a plancha. He can plug that formula into a match with any other five guys and it is going to be enjoyable. I once saw Santo work a tag with Mike Quackenbush against El Marachi and Low-Ki in a church basement in front of maybe 20 people, he did just as much in that match as when I saw him in Arena Mexico. Anytime he shows up at all, you have to rate him at least this high. Still this was a year of glances, I am sure he tore the house down on the London shows which no one recorded, there was probably a great Tijuana brawl with Wagner which is lost in the mist.

Recommended 2008 Matches:

~w/ Blue Demon Jr./Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs. El Dandy/Fuerza Guerrera/El Hijo Del Solitario (NWA Mexico, 8/30/08)
~w/ Groon XXX/Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs. Fuerza Guerrera/El Hijo de Pierroth/Máscara Año 2000 (IWRG, 10/17/08)
~w/ Cassandro/Magno vs. Ruby Gardenia/Mystico De Juarez (El Incognito)/Silver King (Lucha Libre London, 12/9/08)

Career Recommended Matches:

~vs. Brazo De Oro (Hair vs. Mask, 1/13/91)
~w/ Scorpio Jr./Bestia Salvaje v. Negro Casas/El Dandy/Hector Garza (11/29/96)
~vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. (2/21/97)
~vs. Felino (3/8/98)
~vs. Dr. Cerebro (Mask vs. Mask, 3/1/01)
~vs. Blue Panther (10/6/04)

2009 Outlook:

Not great, so far nothing has shown up on youtube or tape. I have high hopes for the lucha youtube revolution to get us some Santo, but no luck so far. He is part of Triplemania, but working uppercard AAA is the equivalent of working TNA, it is nice you are making a living, but I don't want to watch you do it. All it will take is one good performance to keep him in the top 20, the question is will we see that performance?

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