Segunda Caida

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Thursday, February 18, 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. Takeshi Morishima & Atsushi Aoki vs. Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma - NOAH 1/24
4. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Yoshihiro Takayama (IWGP Heavyweight Title Match) - NJPW 1/4
5. Solar I, Suicida, & Zatura vs. Negro Navarro, Black Terry, & Dr. Cerebro - IWRG 1/28
6. Christian vs. Ezekial Jackson (ECW Title Match) - WWE 1/31
7. Solar I, Ultraman Jr., & Angelico vs. Negro Navarro, Trauma I, & Trauma II - IWRG 1/7
8. Pantera, Suicida, & Zatura vs. Black Terry, Cerebro Negro, & Dr. Cerebro - IWRG 1/7
9. Ultimo Dragoncito, Electrico, & Fantasy vs. Pequeno Damian 666, Pequeno Violencia, & Pequeno Universo 2000 - CMLL 1/18
10. Centella de Oro & Lestat vs. Policeman & Fuerza Chicana (Una Caida) - CMLL 1/25
11. Takeshi Rikio, Mohammad Yone, Akitoshi Saito, & Genba Hirayanagi vs. Bison Smith, Keith Walker, & The Kings of Wrestling - NOAH 1/24
12. Centella de Oro, Blue Center, & King Jaguar vs. Ares, Alarido, & Crazy Black (Una Caida) - CMLL 1/11
13. El Metro, Stuka Jr., & Fuego vs. Virus, Polvora, & Dr. X - CMLL 1/11
14. Kensuke Sasaki & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Kentaro Shiga & Yoshinobu Kanemaru - NOAH 1/24
15. Asturiano & S.W.A.T. vs. Policeman & Mr. Rafaga (Una Caida) - CMLL 1/18

3. Takeshi Morishima & Atsushi Aoki vs. Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma - NOAH 1/24

Where has this Makabe been all my life? Where has this Honma been since he left Big Japan? These guys' heel invader stuff has been pretty unremarkable so far, but they come roaring out of the gates this time and do not stop until they've left the arena. The early crowd brawling was a lot of fun. Then you had them heeling it up in the ring, which was great. Aoki was an awesome face-in-peril here. This was kind of an eye-opening performance for him, as I had never really seen him in this setting before, and he was great eating an ass-kicking but refusing to lose. Dude throws some great punches, too. Aoki as Japanese Ricky Morton is a career path I can totally get behind. Morishima rules off of the hot tag, but the invaders are not finished yet. Honma is such a great sneaky bastard here. Loved him lying in wait outside the ring with the chair, and his shit-eating grin as he did the Harley Race-style diving headbutt to Morishima's crotch. Makabe is an artist with a middle finger. Great using it to set up moves, punctuate moves, and right before getting cut off by faces. Finishing stretch is just nuts, with Makabe taking Morishima backstage, leaving Honma and Aoki on their own for a while until Makabe comes back on his own. They beat on Aoki for a bit, but when the ref gets in Makabe's grill over what happened to Morishima, Togi just chucks him out of the ring and gets DQ'd. Then they kill Aoki some more until THE CHAMP IS HERE and by the time it's all over, you are totally stoked to see Sugiura vs. Makabe, which you may not necessarily have been otherwise.

9. Ultimo Dragoncito, Electrico, & Fantasy vs. Pequeno Damian 666, Pequeno Violencia, & Pequeno Universo 2000 - CMLL 1/18

I don't usually praise matches on the basis of wrestlers giving shit performances, but in this case it really just helped to illustrate how good some of the other guys in this match were. Pequeno Damian 666 is my favorite mini right now. He is just such a surly pint-sized bastard, and that attitude carries over nicely to his partners. They all beat the shit out of the technicos whenever they get the chance, but Damian is definitely leading the pack. Fantasy and Electrico both gave strong performances here. They are both guys with spectacular offense. Fantasy had this crazy rolling leg pick thing, and Electrico had some nice dives, including a great Asai tornillo. They also both ate stuff really well, and I dug Electrico's spunk while selling. Violencia and Universo are holding him for Damian to attack, and Electrico is still trying to kick at Damian as he closes in. But Ultimo Dragoncito looked pretty bad here. He has his moments, like at the end of the second fall, Damian is on the outside, and Violencia and Universo try to whip him off the ropes. They even hook their arms for a double clothesline, but instead of coming back off the ropes, Dragoncito just dives through them and hits a boss tope on Damian. But for the most part, he looked really sloppy, and actually his bigger moments of sloppiness are the most memorable parts of the match for me, because the rudos don't try and pretend that he didn't fuck up. When he fucks up eating some sort of triple team maneuver, Damian punches him in the face. When he flubs a spinning armdrag on Universo, Universo doesn't go over like it worked. He stays upright and kicks him in the head. They don't allow one guy's mistakes to drag down the rest of the match, and that's always good to see.

10. Centella de Oro & Lestat vs. Policeman & Fuerza Chicana (Una Caida) - CMLL 1/25

For a match that I really, really liked, I had a lot of issues with this. Honestly thought Chicana and Lestat both looked bad here. Lestat moreso than Chicana, as Chicana at least got a laugh out of me when Lestat did one of his big flippy entrances as Chicana just clotheslined him out of his boots. But otherwise he looked like he was taking up space that should've been filled by Mr. Rafaga or Ares or Crazy Black. Kind of a disappointing performance from a guy who is usually pretty god. Match was still great because Centella de Oro and Policeman are two of the best guys in wrestling so far in 2010. I totally dig Oro's matwork, but this is really a match made by Policeman being an awesome rudo and throwing all sorts of neat touches into the match, like when he almost crotched Oro with the ringrope at the beginning, but Oro caught his gaze at the last moment and Policeman tried to play it off like he wasn't doing anything. Or the way he pulled up Oro's shirt before slapping him in the chest. Match ends on a bit of a sour note when Lestat delivers what might have been the most retarded looking dive I've seen in my life. Seriously, it almost seemed like Policeman catching it was more than Lestat deserved. After the 80th meaningless springboard, I probably would've just Mike Grahamed him. I'm kinda shocked something like that could find it's way into a match this good, but there you go.

11. Takeshi Rikio, Mohammad Yone, Akitoshi Saito, & Genba Hirayanagi vs. Bison Smith, Keith Walker, & The Kings of Wrestling - NOAH 1/24

The gaijins look like they're having such a great time here. Walker whooping it up for the crowd, Smith doing all sorts of big man comedy shtick, Hero throwing in all sorts of nice touches like "checking his watch" right before Claudio started the giant swing, and Claudio working like he actually gives a damn for a change. The natives are more than happy to indulge them, with Hirayanagi being the obvious standout in that regard. But there's also some real meat to this match beyond the shtick, as these guys are ready for a fight when it comes to that. The standout there is Akitoshi Saito. His exchanges with Hero were particularly good (wonder how Saito feels about getting hit with rolling elbows again these days...judging from the way he chopped the shit out of Hero, probably not too good), and he and Bison Smith also have the least shitty forearm exchange I've seen in a puro match in quite some time. NOAH is in the weird position of being a company that has almost no one who can work a great singles match with any consistency, but a ton of guys who look great in tags and multi-mans, and this match is a great example.

14. Kensuke Sasaki & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Kentaro Shiga & Yoshinobu Kanemaru - NOAH 1/24

I thought this was more fun than most of the pimped Kings of Wrestling in NOAH stuff I've watched, which isn't saying much, since I haven't really enjoyed them outside of the 8-man. Still, this was genuine fun. Kensuke really needs to be leading Family Gundan: The Next Generation. He is so much more enjoyable working the second match on the card than in working main events and semi-mains these days. None of your meaningless strike duels that become weaker-looking as the years roll by. Kensuke as established tough guy bullying cowardly goofball Kentaro Shiga is much more fun. Shiga starts working over Kensuke with mediocre looking strikes, and Kensuke just stands up and starts backing him into his corner as he does. Shiga's silent comedy reactions to his predicament are pretty great. Really, for a guy who has been consistently terrible throughout his career, I thought Shiga worked well in this role. I mean, I don't want to say he was the Charlie Chaplin to Kensuke's Eric Campbell, as really, it seems pretty absurd to compare someone of Shiga's talent to someone of Chaplin's talent. Hard enough to compare someone of Kensuke's talent to someone of Campbell's talent. And really, most of this match, Shiga is more "guy who Campbell pushes over on the way to his fight with Chaplin" than he is Chaplin himself. But he is good as unassuming guy getting pushed around by a much tougher opponent. I don't know how far you can really go with the "guy who sucks" gimmick when you are in the same promotion as Masao Inoue, but Shiga as Inoue-ish guy who is concerned with his hair kinda works for him. Ogawa is a guy I have pretty much always enjoyed over the years, and he delivers again here. Kanemaru is a guy who I have not enjoyed much outside of his team with Tsuyoshi Kikuchi until last year when he started doing his heel stuff with Kotaro and Hirayanagi. Guy who was the epitome of puro finisher overkill (until Go Shiozaki came along and outdid even him), who started working matches a lot smarter seemingly out of nowhere. He has dropped the heel act here. In fact, he's working much of the match as face-in-peril, and he eats a huge beating and looks good doing it. You get really fired up for when Shiga gets the hot tag, even though it's Shiga, and him getting a flurry of offense should be awful, you've gotten behind him too much to care. Finish fits in perfectly, too, as they have Ogawa down and have finally weakened Kensuke enough for Kanemaru to trap him in the corner. Shiga runs his fingers through his hair to taunt Kensuke, who dared to mock it earlier, before turning back to Ogawa to...immediately get caught in a small package and pinned. Oops. This is probably the sort of match that only I would like enough to nominate, but what can I say? I just thought this was way more fun than most of the "fun" matches that I've seen talked up so far.

15. Asturiano & S.W.A.T. vs. Policeman & Mr. Rafaga (Una Caida) - CMLL 1/18

I am digging these una caida opening matches. The Puebla crew seems to be really good at taking a typical good full-length lucha match and condensing it into under 10 minutes of all killer and no filler. I also kinda dig that there is actually a technico doing a law enforcement gimmick. That has always been strictly rudo territory, hasn't it? I mean, I thought Fierro was pretty sympathetic in his match with Freelance, but he's still a rudo. Seeing SWAT is almost like a small-scale version of Nikita Koloff's babyface turn. And you can imagine the natural animosity between SWAT and Policeman. I mean, you send in the SWAT team when the local policemen are out of their depth. His very presence suggests Policeman can't get the job done. He has to feel a little insulted.

Weirdly enough, they actually don't match up a whole lot here. Bulk of the match is SWAT vs. Rafaga and Asturiano vs. Policeman. I have no complaints about the SWAT/Rafaga sections. Rafaga looks like he's 100 years old and has some facial resemblance to Don Rickles. They do some fun stuff on the mat and trade a lot of armdrags, and it always ends with Rafaga getting shown up and having this expression like Don Rickles right after hearing something stupid and right before going off on a tirade as a result. Policeman and Asturiano are a lot faster and slicker. Asturiano is sloppy at points. He blows what should have been an awesome spot when Policeman tries to do a Whisper in the Wind type of thing where he leaps off of Rafaga's back, but Asturiano comes out out of the corner and leaps off of him first into a flying headscissors, but he botches the headscissors so it falls apart. Otherwise, Policeman did a good job keeping him in line. Also got a great spot where he tried to do an axehandle off of the apron onto Asturiano, but Asturiano dodged and Policeman took a facer into a chair. Good finishing stretch built on double team stuff. Highlight should have been the aforementioned counter that got botched, but it's backup was pretty choice - SWAT catching Rafaga with a sunset flip, Policeman trying to break it up with a dropkick, but SWAT rolling back and pulling Rafaga up so he gets dropkicked instead. Policeman did manage to score the fall over SWAT with a kimura, so that oughtta show the Chief that he can handle his business.

1 Comments:

Blogger L.G Rod said...

No Taker/Rey from Royal Rumble?

2:50 PM  

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