Segunda Caida

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

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Eric's Working 2009 MOTY List!!

Eric's 2009 MOTY List!!

There's no way I'm making it to the end of 2009. I got like 800 matches I want to watch. This thing'll be complete come 2011. Changed around some placements, added some new stuff.

1. Last Man Standing Match: Sami Callihan vs. Greg Excellent (CZW, 1/10/09)
2. Mitsuharu Misawa/Takashi Suguira vs. Shinsuke Nakamura/Hirooki Goto (NJPW, 1/4/09)
3. Masao Inoue/Mitsuo Momota vs. Jun Izumida/Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (NOAH, 1/12/09)
4. No DQ Match: William Regal vs. C.M. Punk (WWE Raw, 1/19/09)
5. Jeff Jarrett vs. Kurt Angle (TNA Genesis, 1/11/09)
6. Averno/Ephesto/Mephisto vs. Volador Jr./Mistico/La Sombra (CMLL, 1/9/09)
7. Osamu Nishimura/Masa Fuchi vs. Minoru Suzuki/NOSAWA (AJPW, 1/3/09)
8. Ladder Match: Equinox vs. Vin Gerard (Chikara, 1/25/09)
9. Negro Casas/Mr. Niebla/Villano V vs. Blue Panther/Toscano/Shocker (CMLL, 1/16/09)
10. Undertaker vs. Shelton Benjamin (WWE Smackdown, 1/9/09)
11. Necro Butcher vs. Bill the Butcher (IWA-MS, 1/3/09)
12. Averno/Mephisto vs. Volador Jr./La Sombra (CMLL, 1/16/09)
13. Bryan Danielson vs. Scott Lost (PWG, 1/10/09)

4. No DQ Match: William Regal vs. C.M. Punk (WWE Raw, 1/19/09)

This match took place in Chicago, and Punk was over HUGE. I really miss the Regal/Layla duo. Not only do they just look awesome together, but she is one of the more engaging seconds in all of wrestling. Her work in this match was real great. Real good facials, good distraction spots, genuine concern for Regal. One great spot was where she went to save Regal from a submission in the ropes, and she was realllly pulling with ALL her weight. She really could've eaten shit the way she was doing the spot.

But Regal and Punk were just meshing incredibly well here. After the big Layla spot, Punk was distracted and Regal tripped him up on the apron, following up with a NASTY kick sandwiching Punk's head in between his kick and the ring post. No matter what angle they showed it from it looked gross.

There were so many cool moments, like Punk taking a great spill into the buckles from a drop toe hold, Regal reversing Punk's bulldog into a great half nelson suplex, shoot, just the way Regal sells getting kicked in the back would've been enough to get this match on here. The end struggle as Punk goes for the Go 2 Sleep but Regal desperately knees him over and over was a great finish. Punk selling both the knees, and the difficulty of holding up a larger opponent WHILE getting kneed, before fighting through and nailing the GTS was just epic. Even Lawler gets a great line in afterwards: "Finally Chicago has something to cheer about." I doubt I will be more enthralled with a 6 minute match the rest of this year. I'm not a guy who needs a match to be 20 minutes to consider it a MOTY. At this point in my wrestling viewing I find myself appreciating guys who can get the most out of the least amount of time. I don't need a bunch of perfunctory matwork to start, then some hott spotts and some 2.9s. If you can make a compelling story with 6 minutes to work with, you got the goods in my book.

5. Jeff Jarrett vs. Kurt Angle (TNA Genesis, 1/11/09)

I'm a guy who will give credit when credit is due. I watch TNA more than most, despite rarely liking anything that they actually put on my screen (hey, Impact is free and I can get through it in 20 minutes, and sometimes there's a good Jethro Holliday or Amazing Red match). So I really can't stand the promotion, although I do get perverse entertainment out of it. But even TNA can occasionally put on an awesome match, and this right here is the best match in the entire history of TNA. I know, I know, that's faint praise from a promotion where the pimped matches have usually been "AJ vs. Sabin vs. Petey - Ultimate X!!!" or some other garbage.

But this is the best match in the history of TNA. Even better than when Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle revolutionized the sport by including.....some MMA-ish spots? It was like an MMA FIGHT! It had submissions! And like...enzuiguris...and was in a hexagon...and Joe was wearing shorts...

This match didn't need much bullshit. Both dudes just decided to stop fucking around and stiff the hell out of each other for 20 minutes or so, and let the work do the talking. Angle was on fire here, throwing the best punches of his career, being a jerk, and even selling Jarrett's spots!! I like Angle more than most, but this was his best performance in years, easily.

But while Angle looked really good here, Jarrett was the real marvel in this match. Performances like this make you wonder how he hasn't done ANYTHING CLOSE to this cool for the last 10-15 years. I remember a six man from Impact a few years ago where he looked like the best in the world (don't remember the details...but I think it had Lance Hoyt...I gotta go back through my perm tapes and dig that one out...), and I remember a really fun Brian Christopher match from like 1993, and I've never actually SEEN the Michaels match that has gotten praise...

I just don't remember ever seeing Jarrett look this impressive. Shouldn't there be MORE performances at least KINDA approaching this level...Somewhere?! He just takes a phenomenal beating here, leaning right into everything. Takes some great punches, leans RIGHT into a nasty ring bell shot from Angle, makes the freaking ANGLE SLAM look like a credible finisher! In 2009! The Angle Slam off the rampway was an awesome spot, and the way the whole match unfolded was really terrific.

Not sure if the end was a cool improv, but when Jarrett picks up the guitar (which just crumbles in his hands, as his guitars are basically made from painted construction paper and scotch tape), it almost seemed like there was a moment where JJ just looks at his 5th grade craft project of a guitar, sees how pussy it would look to hit Angle with it, then decides to just concuss the shit out of him with a chair shot. So maybe I'm giving too much credit and reading too much into it, but that's what you're supposed to do when you watch a fucking match, right? Pretend you know what's going through guys heads, make analysis where there might not be any? Is Deckard a replicant? I don't know. I don't know what JJ was thinking, I don't know why they meshed so well, but they did. They fucking did, and TNA deserves credit for having a match on one of their shows that is legitimately awesome.

8. Ladder Match: Equinox vs. Vin Gerard (Chikara, 1/25/09)

I really like Chikara. I'm the rare breed that looks forward to Chikara shows and IWA-MS shows. I get different things from each promotion. IWA has a wrestling style I prefer, but I do enjoy the vibe of Chikara, and legitimately like a bunch of their wrestlers (although I can't think of many IWA workers who I dislike as much as the Egyptians or F.I.S.T.). But as much as I do like Chikara, I usually don't come away from a show thinking about all the great matches I saw. I have a hard time right now thinking of truly awesome Chikara matches (have not watched the King of Trios Team Uppercut match yet)..but this match was pretty awesome.

Phil likes his ladder matches with 4 ladders, but I was content with just one ladder. There weren't tons of crazy spots as most ladder matches have, no innovative spots, just some solid work (especially from the VERY underrated Jimmy Olsen, who can throw a fine punch and take some nasty bumps) all around. Vin Gerard is no great shakes, but he serves his purpose here just fine as the heel, dishing out a decent beating and looking hateful while doing so. His legwork was good, and Equinox sold it admirably. Equinox is insane towards the end of the match, taking a CRAZY DDT off the ropes, really rewind-able spot. Really good match.

9. Negro Casas/Mr. Niebla/Villano V vs. Blue Panther/Toscano/Shocker (CMLL, 1/16/09)

This had a lot of fun action, and Panther/Villano squaring off is still super fun to me, and Toscano really isn't that bad, and Shocker really isn't good anymore, but MY GOD are Niebla and Negro Casas AMAZING. They just own this whole match. The looks they give each other when one blows a spot, or there's a miscommunication, are classic. They turn old boring crowd heat spots into stuff that makes me rewind! When was the last time you saw the ol' "I'm climbing this turn buckle to get heat, now YOU do it, then we'll compare and contrast the results!" spot and want to rewind it because of how fucking awesome it was!!?? That's never happened! Niebla is back, baby. I need to see every single match where he teams with Negro. But Negro Casas. Negro. Casas. He is this match. I just didn't want to take my eyes off him! I mean, sorry if that sounds super gay, but I was transfixed by Negro Casas in this. I must've rewound so many of his spots in this, and not usually offense, most often just a glance he would shoot someone, or a goofy pose he would do (the dropkick followed by him lying on his side, propped up on his elbow was a good one), or him pointing and threatening someone in the crowd. Negro Casas, #1 worker of 2009?

12. Averno/Mephisto vs. Volador Jr./La Sombra (CMLL, 1/16/09)

This was a very well worked 2009 lucha style main event. A couple of rudos who can be really good bases for a couple of fliers, and a couple of fliers who can bust out some great spots. And there were some great spots. A couple of really big dives, and INSANE Sombra spot where he gets tossed overhead, lands on the top rope, and then jumps backwards into a hurracanrana. A lot could have gone wrong with that one. And then it does, as Mephisto rudos it up and Sombra goes spinning RIGHT into the floor on a missed tornillo. I mean he just really went splat.

The rest of the match was pretty much worked as a 2-on-1 handicap with Averno/Mephisto beating up on Volador with Sombra laid up on the outside. Everybody does a great job building everything. Volador works nicely to steal a couple falls from the bumbling rudos, and we get to the 3rd fall, where Volador puts away Averno, and Mephisto puts away Volador. The crowd really gets buzzing when they realize Sombra is still in the match, and then the interactions between Mephisto and Averno get really great. Mephisto is always the 2nd banana behind Averno, but now HE'S the man, HE'S the one who didn't get pinned, HE'S the one who's going to save their tag titles. All he has to do is pin this twerp he injured last fall. So he's getting rather cocky, and he's does a couple big moves, EASILY enough to win the fall...but this is MEPHISTO'S moment! Everything's coming up Mephisto, baby!! Averno is flipping out on the outside, but Mephisto can't hear him. He's in the zone. He's hungry. The people are here to see HIM!! And of course he gets rolled up and is left all fag-faced. The crowd goes nuts, rudos fail. Real fun main event match. Sombra really turned in quite the nice performance here.



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