Segunda Caida

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Eric's Working 2009 MOTY List!!

Eric's 2009 MOTY List!!

Yeah, my list is paltry and I have awful taste in wrestling, but give it some time. Heck, in a couple weeks it might have EIGHT matches! I mean, it's already quintupled in size since the last list, so get on the bus!

1. Mitsuharu Misawa/Takashi Suguira vs. Shinsuke Nakamura/Hirooki Goto (NJPW, 1/4/09)
2. Averno/Ephesto/Mephisto vs. Volador Jr./Mistico/La Sombra (CMLL, 1/9/09)
3. Osamu Nishimura/Masa Fuchi vs. Minoru Suzuki/NOSAWA (AJPW, 1/3/09)
4. Undertaker vs. Shelton Benjamin (WWE Smackdown, 1/9/09)
5. Necro Butcher vs. Bill the Butcher (IWA-MS, 1/3/09)

1. Mitsuharu Misawa/Takashi Suguira vs. Shinsuke Nakamura/Hirooki Goto (NJPW, 1/4/09)

A lot has already been written about this match, so I won't bore you with the gory details, but this is some must-see viewing right here, as it may be the last great Misawa match. Despite Meltzer writing that they had to load up the match with "good" workers to carry the match for Misawa (you see, because he's fatter/slower/older than he used to be, he's no good by this point), nobody could actually believe that's true, right? This match is the Misawa show right here, just obliterating guys with elbows and working maybe the best facials in all of wrestling. Goto looked kinda lousy to start, but even he picked it up and had some fun exchanges with Suguira. This built really nicely and the heat was pretty huge by the end.

2. Averno/Ephesto/Mephisto vs. Volador Jr./Mistico/La Sombra (CMLL, 1/9/09)

Guys like Mistico don't really get talked up much on this site. Phil actually hits me whenever I talk about Mistico. Not hard, but like, hard enough. We live across the country from each other, but he tallies them up, then whenever he makes his way out west, hits me in the arm for each mention. This is me being the brave abused housewife on Segunda Caida, boldly standing up for what I believe in the face of more physical abuse. Some day it may be a made for TV movie titled "A Cry for Help: The Eric Ritz Story" or "Shattered Dreams" or "Lies of the Heart" or "Men Don't Tell", and Phil might be played by Treat Williams.

This was a really fun match, with all the tecnicos hitting some spectacular spots, and Los Hijos del Averno making them look like the smoothest babyfaces in the world. Volador looks really great in this and hits some big spots, and Mistico gets his standard gigantic height on backdrops and offense. This was Mistico's big Arena Mexico return from Japan and the crowd is super hot for him.

But it's the rudos that make this, and each one of them looks like a star. Averno might be one of the more under-appreciated guys in wrestling as he has looked awesome in everything I've seen of his this year. His base work is incredible, as he makes catching Mistico and Volador look too damn easy, and both of those guys always fly at him from crazy heights. Averno looked like a giant star in the NJPW 1/4/09 6 man, taking something like three of four crazy Mistico spots from the ring onto the rampway. Here he looks just as great. Ephesto is always a good hand, also underappreciated, and Mephisto -- who usually looks like the easy 3rd runner up in trios -- hangs with everybody here and at times stands out huge. It's really hard to pick a favorite in this match.

4. Undertaker vs. Shelton Benjamin (WWE Smackdown, 1/9/09)

What the hell happened here? Shelton Benjamin has been firmly rooted in my "Guys I Don't Need to Watch" list for the last few years, and then *BOOM* he goes and looks THIS good in a match. Suddenly he had great punches and his leg work was really cool and I was like "Fuck, am I going to have to start watching a bunch of Shelton Benjamin matches now? Great." Thankfully, Shelton only had one other good match this year (against the Undertaker), so he took it easy on me. He really worked the speed vs. power angle well, rattling off a few punches while dodging Taker's big shots. Taker sold the leg well, even his little tea for two soft shoe sell on the outside was amusing. Taker is really good at selling now, which is strikingly different than a few years ago (I remember an amusing spot where he sold his leg by kicking it with his other leg, as if his leg had fallen asleep), now due to his injuries and improved selling he looks way more legit when he hobbles into offense. My friend Sean pointed out that guys seem to step it up when they're in the ring with Undertaker, the same way guys tighten up when they work with Finlay, and it's true. Is that the reason for Shelton's one match coming out party? Did the newest SmackDown vs. Raw game focus on having good punches, and Benjamin subconsciously absorb it or something? I am baffled by what I saw here, but in a good way.

5. Necro Butcher vs. Bill the Butcher (IWA-MS, 1/3/09)

The battle of the butchers! This was just about exactly what I was hoping for: Two guys with wild hair and bad bodies punching each other in the face. Both arms swinging, no defense, just swinging. I really like punch exchanges where half the punches don't land, not these picture perfect your punch-my punch kinda exchanges. Necro gets the early lead from face punching, but Bill comes back, misses what would have been the nastiest Wanderlei punt ever, throws some nasty headbutts, but in the end Necro is still too much. I really love missed strikes. Punches, kicks, clotheslines. You can really separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to how great a guy misses a strike. Some guys really aim for the fences with their missed strikes, which look awesome. Finlay aiming for throat and forcing the guy to duck as opposed to Edge throwing a missed clothesline like he's throwing a fastball with a high arm slot. Butcher's kick would've sent the tip of Necro's nose to his far cheek, and was just one of the reasons this short but explosive match worked well.


Blogger Eddie said...

Fun list to read Eric, and I'm really happy someone else loved the Undertaker vs Benjamin match. It's one of my favorite WWE matches of the year.

10:37 PM  

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