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

Saturday, June 19, 2010

IWRG 2/21/10

Comando Negro v. Imperial

TKG: It’s another Imperial loses a singles opener in two straight falls. I don’t know a ton about the heel “militant negro” v face who “represents the yearning nostalgia for feudal Middle Ages” formula. I don’t remember a ton about Bad News v Inoki, and think I’ve only seen mic work from Mr. Kareem Muhammad v Lawler. So don’t really have a baseline to compare with, still really dug this. I’m a sucker for spots worked out of a knuckle lock and really liked the knuckle lock into roll up section here. Imperial is a guy who can be stretched out and his own mat stuff was neat. I think what I liked about his mat work was just the way he would move in and out of matwork. It wasn’t that the mat stuff here was particularly elaborate so much as liked the escapes, liked the application of stuff, liked the slow way they went from leg lock to forcing a surfboard, liked Comando punching his way out of stuff. One of the problems with these opening mat sections in rookie matches is when there is a big difference in size/strength of guys is that they choose to ignore it. Here you couldn’t forget it and I can only think of one time where felt that Imperial was doing strength based move that didn’t make sense. All of these 2010 rookies matches have these chop exchanges and this was one of the better ones. Imperial’s chops (and forearm) looked actually stiff and the exchange built to stiffer and stiffer chops; instead of building to bigger and bigger flourishes before the chop). I also really liked the first fall finish with the superplex attempt reversed into the giant desnucadora.

PAS: This was a really good opening match. I have seen legitimately days and days of IWRG undercard matwork, and this is some of the most solid of the bunch. It didn't feel like two guys showing off their holds and then releasing them. They were doing a great job of chaining moves together. They were really struggling and shifting positions. If this kind of thing happened in the opening part of a CMLL match people would be freaking out, this was better then any matwork Kurt Angle has ever done, this is weekly stuff in IWRG though, which is why it so awesome. Rest of the match was fine although it wasn't at the level of the early stuff. Imperial was really dominated for lots of this, and I felt like he needed a comeback or two. Two straight falls is unusual enough that it really felt like a squash, even though it wasn't. He sure got crushed on both finishers.

Alan Extreme/ Hijo del Signo v. Eragon/Heros

TKG: This was disappointing next to the opener. The first fall alan Extreme v Heros matwork came off really mediocre (not as interesting, directed or polished) next to the matwork in Comando Negro v Imperial. There was one neat sequence where Alan Extreme attempted an inverted Nudo Lagunero which Heros reversed into an inside cradle but outside of that it was all executed really disinterestedly. I kind of dug the Signo v Eragon Mid-Atlantic matwork that started built around short arm scissors with Eragon dominating and then Signo taking over with a deep spinning toe hold. Eragon does a bunch of Mid Atlantic leg selling as Signo goes into one half crab after another. Unfortunately all the leg selling is forgotten when Eragon wins the fall with a back-cracker into a front-cracker. Rest of the match is mostly rudos beat down on faces and again this wasn’t as interesting as the rudo beat down in the second fall of the opener. Really nothing as cool as Comando Negro’s back elbow, kicks in tree of woe, high back drop, or stomps on Imperial’s taint. There were a couple of nice moments in the third fall as the faces looked good brawling back into offense. I liked the second rope dropkick to taint as receipt for earlier seated dropkick to taint, and this was the best Signo’s signature throw has looked. Still this was a super underwhelming match.

PAS: I liked this a lot more then Tom did. I agree that the matwork section wasn't as good as the opener, but I thought the opener is kind of the gold standard for opening match IWRG rookie matwork. I really thought Heros and Alan Extreme worked very well together all through out the match. I enjoyed their opening matwork, as it felt like both guys working interesting holds built around an Indian deathlock. I thought the symmetry of them both using the same base, but doing different from it was ascetically interesting. Alan Extreme did a really nice job eating all of Heros impressive fast ranas and armdrags too. They even had a nice bit of outside the ring brawling. The rudo beatdown was nothing special, but I thought it was fine, and Heros comeback dive was pretty spectacular. Didn't think this was underwhelming at all, thought this was an above average undercard match, which most IWRG fans would enjoy.

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