Segunda Caida

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

Thursday, February 11, 2010

SLL's 2010 MOTY List

1. Suicida & Zatura vs. Los Traumas - IWRG 1/14
2. Sangre Azteca, Dragon Rojo Jr., & Misterioso II vs. Mascara Dorada, El Metro, & Stuka Jr. (Mexican Trios Title Match) - CMLL 1/6
3. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Yoshihiro Takayama (IWGP Heavyweight Title Match) - NJPW 1/4
4. Solar I, Suicida, & Zatura vs. Negro Navarro, Black Terry, & Dr. Cerebro - IWRG 1/28
5. Christian vs. Ezekial Jackson (ECW Title Match) - WWE 1/31
6. Solar I, Ultraman Jr., & Angelico vs. Negro Navarro, Trauma I, & Trauma II - IWRG 1/7
7. Pantera, Suicida, & Zatura vs. Black Terry, Cerebro Negro, & Dr. Cerebro - IWRG 1/7
8. Centella de Oro, Blue Center, & King Jaguar vs. Ares, Alarido, & Crazy Black (Una Caida) - CMLL 1/11
9. El Metro, Stuka Jr., & Fuego vs. Virus, Polvora, & Dr. X - CMLL 1/11

1. Suicida & Zatura vs. Los Traumas - IWRG 1/14

This past month, I've been fortunate enough to see a lot of great lucha matches that had great long opening mat sections, something I was starting to think was a thing of the past. Something anomalous that no one under the age of 50 did anymore. I'm glad to see that's not the case. This match starts with a long mat section between Trauma II and Suicida, and at first, it looks like the worst of the bunch. Kinda sloppy and ugly looking stuff. But then they get up and start slapping each other around, almost as though Dick Murdoch was commanding them from beyond the grave. "C'mon, what are you guys doing! That kid over there's got a video camera! This is gonna be on the internet!" And they realized that they could not not take the night off, nor could they clown around. They then proceed to have the best opening mat segment of any match I saw last month. Every move, no matter how tricked out, is applied smoothly and forcefully.

Then there are the beatings that the Traumas deliver all over the arena, which is where Trauma I really excels. He has been kinda overlooked next to his brother and his dad, but 2010 looks to be the year where he comes into his own. The technicos looked good and ate stuff well. I don't want to sound dismissive of them, because they are both really great wrestlers and give strong performances here. Still, this is a match that puts the spotlight on Los Traumas, and they shine.

4. Solar I, Suicida, & Zatura vs. Negro Navarro, Black Terry, & Dr. Cerebro - IWRG 1/28

For some reason, I am hearing otherwise sane people arguing that Negro Navarro is starting to suffer a bit as a worker because he gets paired up with Solar I too much. "Navarro is gonna slip if they keep pairing him with Solar. He needs fresh match-ups." You know, like how Flair slipped in '89 because they kept pairing him with Ricky Steamboat. Like how Jerry Lawler was really good, but never got to the next level because he kept getting paired up with Bill Dundee. Like how El Hijo del Santo's career stalled because he had all those matches with Negro Casas. Like how Benoit having all those matches with Regal where they would headbutt each other until they bled hardway hurt his car...wait, scratch that last one.

Point is, I don't see how having an opponent who you regularly have awesome matches with is supposed to be a bad thing, but it's extra weird to see that argument springing from this match which, aside from being great, is a bit different than your average Solar/Navarro showdown. The other match with those two on my list was about building up the their epic one-on-one encounter. This match opens with it. Actually, it opens with Solar and Black Terry, but Solar wants Navarro instead. Terry and Navarro have a nice little intra-team rivalry starting here, as Terry seems to feel slighted by Solar dismissing him, and Navarro taking a cool, all-business approach in telling to go back to their corner and let him do his thing. So Navarro and Solar rule it on the mat for a while, and then Terry gets to pair up with Zatura, and they have a mat exchange where Terry seems to be cranking his stuff in harder, trying to one-up his partner. Then Cerebro and Suicida come in, and Cerebro says "fuck it, I'm just gonna beat the shit out of this guy", but ends up getting sent to the outside and blasted with a Suicida tope. Unfortunately, these guys pretty much disappear until the very end of the match, but the four guys we're left with aren't exactly slouches. Solar and Navarro would face off again, and this time, they're brawling and doing rope-running stuff. I mean, I know Navarro can brawl, but when these guys fight, you have a certain idea of what you're going to see, and it was cool to see them go outside that comfort zone for a little while.

Also of note was Cerebro's nasty post-match beatdown of Suicida. Did somebody put a hit out on this guy? Every other match, his opponents are dragging him around the arena trying to kill him.

5. Christian vs. Ezekial Jackson (ECW Title Match) - WWE 1/31

I had some friends over for the Rumble. They don't watch wrestling regularly anymore, and they were a little slow to buy my claims that Christian became awesome when the came back to WWE last year. Thankfully, this match made a much more convincing argument for Christian than I was able to, but it also made a very convincing argument for Big Zeke, which surprised me. Not that he hasn't been making big strides over the last few months ("Hey, this pasty guy could hang with Goldust, and now he's WWE Champ...maybe if I can hang with Goldust, I'll get a belt, too!"), but my friends still think I'm talking crazy talk when I try to tell them that John Cena and Mark Henry are great wrestlers. I figure if you're not sold on Henry by 2010, you're not going to be sold on Ezekial Jackson. But he hit this one out of the park, mauling Christian like a bear, and everyone was rightfully impressed. His enzuilariato might be the harshest thing I've seen anyone do to anyone other than Suicida so far in 2010. Hell, at one point, he just palmed Christian's head like a basketball, picked him up, and threw him to the mat. Just a total beast. In fact, the only real knock against this match was that Zeke came off as such a badass, it was hard to believe he lost as easily as he did. And it's not like they haven't done a good job of establishing the Killswitch as a guaranteed match-winner. Christian works a lot of matches based around getting his ass kicked, but staying in the fight long enough to find an opening to hit the Killswitch, and grabbing the win off of that. That's what they went for here, but something went wrong. Christian landed kinda out of position somehow, and he had trouble shooting the half, and by the time the pin actually happened, you feel like Zeke was too hardcore to stay down for that. I'm sure that was all an accident, but it did throw me a bit. Still, this may end up being the last great ECW Title match ever, and flubbed finish aside, it was a great way to go.

9. El Metro, Stuka Jr., & Fuego vs. Virus, Polvora, & Dr. X - CMLL 1/11

Virus looks really crazy now. He's wearing this spike-laden gear and facepaint, and he's starting to put on some weight. Between his gear and his gut, it looks like he's turning into Oderus Urungucito. The important thing is that he's still Virus, and he still rules. And guess what? This match starts witha great long mat section with Virus and Stuka Jr.! I'm the luckiest boy in the world. Stuka Jr. is definitely a guy you should be keeping an eye on this year. Great, smooth high-flier, and as he shows here, he can take it to the mat as well. Keep your eye on Metro, too. For powerhouse technicos, he's getting better faster than Dos Caras Jr. did. Polvora and Dr. X are good, solid rudos. I dug Dr. X cowering in the arms of a little old lady in the audience after the technicos took the first fall. Fuego looked pretty sloppy, and dragged things down a bit, but overall, I still liked this a bunch.

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