Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

CMLL on Galavision Workrate Report, 11/12/11

Rey Buccanero/Terrible/Texano Jr. vs. Felino/Mr. Aguila/Volador Jr.:

This was kind of an odd short match. Oddball tecnico team of guys I never see together, and all three falls were really quick, but they weren't the usual throwaway "rudos stall" falls where you have half the people waiting around. The three falls were worked as a sprint and Texas Tornado style. Everybody was in at all times and the action was fast and sloppy and muddled (but usually in a fun way). Volador is wearing a ridiculous Dark Knight get up, and he pulls off a rana and armdrag in the 2nd that absolutely needs to be seen. I have no idea how he even conceptualized doing this arm drag. It looked like he was breakdancing on Texano's head. It looked so unnatural and yet moved so fluidly. This guy has the goods. Texano takes a mammoth flip bump over the top to the floor, holding onto the ropes but going at an insane speed, landing feet first. I don't know how his ankles didn't just shatter. Aguila alternates in and out of hitting a cool looking move and then looking ridiculously lost. Nice spin kick -> awkward collar elbow tie up. Felino ends it with a stiff flying elbow drop, just landing full weight on Buccanero.

Dragon Rojo Jr./Mr. Niebla/Ultimo Guerrero vs. Shocker/Jushin Liger/Atlantis:

First two falls started like the previous match: really quick, a lot of action, kind of a sloppy mess, tornado style. Then things settled down in the 3rd and the action got a bit more metered out and good. Shocker worked harder here than in maybe any other match this year. He's not as spry as he was a decade ago, and lord knows he's added a lot of boob weight, but when he throws in the effort he can still look really great. UG was a king in this. He crushed Atlantis' rib cage with his headstand ass attack in the corner, and took two absolutely insane bumps to the floor. The first was a Race bump/high jump back first over the top, tumbling into the steps on his way down. In the 3rd he does his standard lightning fast Jerry bump and it is all awesome. Match ends flat with Rojo just submitting Liger, but the few minutes up until that were fever pitch and awesome.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Dance On Fire With Pirata Morgan, Babe, The Flames Ain't Gonna Stop

Pirata Morgan, Octagon, & Ringo Mendoza vs. Fuerza Guerrera, Satanico, & Kung Fu EMLL 3/31/1991 - GREAT

More technico Pirata. This time, they drop Dandy and MS-1 for Ringo Mendoza and Kung Fu, but they totally make up for it by dropping Vampiro for Satanico as well. Pirata himself is kinda shoved into the background for much of this, but at least he is surrounded by some awesome professional wrestling. This is one of the funner Octagon performances I've seen. He is paired off against all three rudos, and is pretty great against each without feeling like he's being carried as much as he usually is in his better matches. I cracked a smile at his brief martial arts stand-off with Kung Fu before Satanico blindsided him. Kung Fu is a guy who can do a lot of cool stuff, but often gets too shticky for his own good. Here, he was very back-to-basics, with much of the first fall being built around him choking out Ringo with a rope, including a spot where he is choking him out on the ground, and Fuerza sits on top of them to make it harder for the ref to see what's happening. Second fall has a great trio of exchanges, with Ringo getting his revenge by choking Kung Fu with his own rope, Pirata getting his one real spotlight moment of the match in a fun brawl with Satanico, and a typically cool Octagon/Fuerza exchange with some slick Octagon armdrags and Fuerza hamming it up with his classic rudo routine. The real highlight is in the third fall, with an sweet Octagon/Satanico exchange that opens with Satanico flipping him off and punching him out. Obviously could've done with more Pirata, but this was still quality stuff.


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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Has Black Terry Come Here for Forgiveness? Has he Come to Raise the Dead

Black Terry v. Negro Navarro v. Judas El Traitor v. Terremoto v. Triton v. Belial LUCHA POP 11/26/11-EPIC

For cool shit per minute this match is about as good as it gets. The match opens with up with each guy pairing off and testing each others technique. Terry doesn't do this kind of llave wrestling as much as Navarro, but he looked great, just eating Triton alive. There is a chinlock indian deathlock move which is spectacular. Navarro matches up with Terremoto who is a fun fat dude, who was quite carryable on the mat. Navarro is great here talking shit as he twists Terremotos chubby limbs. Judas and T2 rock it out with some especially cool counters by Trauma 2. The sped up portions of the match were pretty great too, Triton kills Terremoto with an apron slice bread #2, Terry eliminates Judas with a flying guillotine. Trauma 1 wanders around pounding on people. We get down to T1 and Negro Navarro and I really want this feud to happen. They do some fast british style, but T1 cuts off Navarro's kip up with a dropkick and slaps on the spinning reverse figure four. I like the mini leitmotif in their match ups with T1 not really following the pattern. Just tremendously entertaining.


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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

CMLL on LATV Workrate Report, 11/19/11

1. Mercurio/Pequeno Universo 2000 vs. Aereo/Pequeno Halcon:

Boy, these guys don't make TV that often. I think the only one of these guys I've seen in more than one match this year is Universo. And this was a pretty decent showcase for Universo. He was the rudo who actually worked like a rudo here (and he's also super short and fat), yelling at the crowd a bunch and bumping big. Mercurio was fine, but basically worked like Halcon. Aereo was able to do a bunch of elaborate armdrags with Universo's help. First 2 falls aren't much but 3rd gets more time. The dive train is fun in a sloppy way, as none of these guys are really big enough to be bases for the other, so each landing looks a lot more painful than the move itself.

2. Bronco/Hooligan/Inquisidor vs.Molotov/Starman/Tigre Blanco:

Another match that just kinda happened. That Molotov guy? Not that good. But Starman is a guy I dig. Is he actually the real Starman, just back wearing his mask again? Blanco hasn't been on TV in awhile (after being on practically every week in the first half of the year) and he's always welcome on my TV. Always does some neat stuff on the mat, will do a cool dive (this week he did a somersault dive off the apron that the cameras cut away from). But the COOLEST spot was Starman monkey flipping Blanco into Blanco doing a super fast sunset flip on Inquisidor. Blanco just got launched at Inquisidor and whipped right over him for the pin. Such an awesome spot, and not only do I not remember seeing the spot, it's a spot that seems like something that has been attempted by somebody before, but never this successfully. The rudos are all good hands and Bronco is a guy who I just wasn't enamored by earlier in the year, but now really look forward to him. There are probably 2-3 guys just like him in every town in Mexico, and it's a style I really like that seemed to be sorta dying once Cien Caras and Universo 2000 retired. I'm glad it's still being showcased semi-weekly.

3. Arkangel de la Muerte/Loco Max/Skandalo vs. Mr. Cacao/Angel Azteca/Pegasso:

Mr. Cacao? Is this the same Mr. Cacao from earlier this decade? Are we gonna get Arkangel matching up opposite Asian Cougar or Tortuga soon? For some reason they were really trying the whole match to put over Cacao, and the crowd seemed very not into him, booing when he would go on offense against Arkangel. I was hoping Arkangel would get to drag him to the mat and twist him a bit, but it was more Arkangel bumping for his so-so offense. The Angel Azteca here also confuses me. I assume this is the one who occasionally pops up as Angel Azteca Jr., except now he's wearing a shirt? He also kinda looked like Robin at times...but I think it was Azteca Jr. Either way, he was the bright spot on the tecnico side. Pegasso just doesn't do much for me. Not the tecnico team I wanted to see go over in straight falls. Needed two straight falls of the awesome rudo side destroying these wimps.

4. Alebrije/Olimpico/Psicosis II vs. Delta/Hijo Del Fantasma/Toscano:

Alebrije is back and he somehow looks fatter! I love this man. I love how he bumps for Delta and accidentally kicks Cuije and then accidentally splashes Cuije and love how he takes a bump sliding to the floor but crotches himself on the bottom rope. As much as I love Alebrije, I am completely bored with Toscano. My face looks like this when he wrestles *__* My mouth is neither frowning nor smiling, and I start thinking of mistakes I've made and people I've wronged. Then I snap out of it and the 3rd fall is over.

5. Averno/Terrible/Texano Jr. vs. Hector Garza/La Mascara/Rush:

As with many CMLL matches lately, not much to the first couple falls, and the 3rd gets all the action. Kind of a nothing match on a nothing episode, really. Each guy got their own moments, but nothing really gelled to make it a good or great match. Garza got a great run in the 3rd, and Terrible has kind of stepped up to be kind of a rudo Garza. In fact Terrible in the 2nd worked almost exactly like rudo Garza, with a bunch of fast rope running and fun thigh slappy kicks to Mascara. Mascara hits a great dive, Garza takes his clothes off, Rush has shitty hair, Averno and Terrible worked like Averno and Terrible. This match happened, parts were enjoyable, nothing was bad. Except Rush's hair. And his tassle boots. Tassles are one of my favorite things in wrestling, and Rush can't even get those right. Misterioso, now there's a guy who knows how to tassle the fuck out. Him doing an elbow drop is like watching waves crash into a beach. Rush's tassles are all fat and short. What's the point. Huh? What's the fucking point, Rush!?

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

CMLL on LATV Workrate Report, 10/29/11

1. Arkangel/Loco Max/Skandalo vs. Dragon Lee/Angel de Plata/Pegasso:

Really good first fall, 2nd fall got derailed by an injury, 3rd was non-existent. First fall you knew would be good, because it was a bunch of expert rudos beating up a bunch of fliers. Pre-match graphic lists Rey Cometa instead of Plata, but it's definitely Plata. I like Plata, but this got me falsely excited for a Cometa/Arkangel mat sequence that was not to be. All the rudos are wearing Dr. X tribute shirts which makes me sad. What a shame. Arkangel matching up against Pegasso was awesome, as Arkangel matching up anybody kinda so-so always is. I want him to put a hurting on Pegasso, as Pegasso was wearing a tank top cut so that his nipples *just* peeked out the sides. Make him pay for that. Arkangel always has really great takedowns, really forces a guy to the ground with his leg scissors takedowns. He breaks out some cool mat submissions and generally twists Pegasso around, which was exactly what I hoped for. 2nd starts with rudos kinda killing time until the tecnico comeback (though it did feature a nasty Loco Max kick to Dragon Lee's taint), Skandalo takes a great spill to the floor, and when Pegasso/Lee do stereo springboard moves, Lee gets stumbly on the ropes and basically does a swanton to the floor. Luckily he was able to compose himself enough to flip all the way over and didn't just go head first. He gets stretchered out (as CMLL replays it 5 times) and Skandalo is awesome beating up Lee on the stretcher. But then they cut to a quick Plata roll up finish, and the 3rd is a nothing fall ending in quick rudo DQ.

2. Silueta vs. Ray:

Really good women's match that would be well worth going out of your way to check out. I have only seen these two a couple times each and it was always in a trios so I never got a great feel for how good they were. Well, I would like to see more after this match. First two falls were very quick but had some good spots and good action. Ray's roll up to win the 2nd looked cool. But the 3rd is where it really picks up, and it's mainly because suddenly Ray starts working as a southern heel out of nowhere. It had been worked as a face/face match up until this point, and Ray comes out in the 3rd and starts, well, chopping Silueta right in the tits. Ouch. I mean, like 15 chops, right to the tits. Not upper chest, is what I'm saying. And the fans INSTANTLY turn on Ray. Sounds like mostly dudes booing her, too. Ray soaks it up and starts choking Silueta in the ropes and then kneels on her head while choking her in the ropes and I am loving evil Ray! Sadly, she gets less evil as the fall goes on and it does fall a bit into move trade offs, but it still was very very good and kept me engaged. Each woman gets to do their take on a somersault dive off the apron, nice superplex by Silueta, a GREAT nearfall for Silueta, and then the ending is kinda botched as the ref holds up on the 3 count, the whole crowd reacts to the nearfall...10 seconds go by....and then the ref just kinda raises Silueta's hand. Flat finish for a title win, but the match was very good and the CMLL ladies have really been delivering this year.

3. Misterioso Jr./Rey Escorpion/Vangelis vs. Angel de Oro/Black Warrior/Delta:

A match that had a lot of fun moments and nice individual spots, but wasn't really much of a match. Misterioso always brings it and he was probably the best guy here. Even if he wasn't he is always tassled out, which would make a bad wrestler look at minimum awesome. Delta didn't break out any real insane spots like he usually does, Vangellis hit his rad spear through the ropes onto the ramp, Oro hit a bunch of nice looking stuff (sweet little moonsault from the middle turnbuckle to the floor in the 3rd). Escorpion looked kinda off in this one, though. Overshot two moonsaults bad, and then took forever to do the "pull off mask, roll up Delta" finish. It was already a cheap finish, and then he kinda made it worse. So, some good moments, not much as a whole.

4. Dragon Rojo Jr./Averno/Mr. Niebla vs. Rush/Super Porky/La Sombra:

This went pretty much like the last match: Not much to it, but some good individual spots. And too much Rosa Concha. Averno takes Sombra's stuff real well, Rush hits a giant flip dive (Rush actually got cheered for doing it!), and that's about it. Not a very good main event by any means.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Yoshiaki Fujiwara Blazes Forth Like Fire and the Mountains Crumble to Dust in his Presence

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Tatsumi Fujinami v. Riki Choshu/Mitsuya Nagai RJPW 10/25/11-FUN

Pretty flat match for most of it. Choshu and Fujinami were kind of mailing it in, and as much as I love both guys, mailed in Choshu and Fujinami is some bad shit. This would have been skippable, but we get a very cool last two minutes between Fujiwara and Nagai. Fujiwara slaps Nagai and when he counters rips on the Fujiwara. That gets broken up, but then as Nagai goes for a slam, Fujiwara slip out into the Fujiwara armbar a second time for the win. You can safely skip to the 16:00 mark and watch everything worth seeing.



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Friday, November 18, 2011

Oh No, They Say He's Got To Go, Go Go Pirata Morgan

Pirata Morgan & Sangre Chicana vs. Antifaz del Norte & Hator Monterrey 7/8/2007 - SKIPPABLE

Sangre Chicana is an awesome professional wrestler who rarely makes tape these days, and to that end, when he does show up on tape, I'm hesitant to turn my nose up at it. And to be fair, it's not like he did anything wrong wrong in this match. Neither did Pirata. It wasn't a transcendent performance for either man, but they punched guys in the face a bunch, and that's all I really ask for from them. For that matter, Antifaz was perfectly fine here, too, eating stuff well and making great desperate, gutsy attempts at comebacks. Hator was pretty useless. He spent a lot of this match fooling around with his hair when downed or in holds. Say what you will about guys like Sabu and Misawa selling by adjusting their tights, I at least buy that misaligned tights could theoretically make wrestling more difficult, and as long as you're not going anywhere at the moment, you might want to fix that. But it's not even like Hator's hair was in his face or restricting him in any other way. Sangre Chicana would put him in an armbar, and he'd just fiddle with his hair for some reason. He doesn't even have nice hair! It's all stringy and greasy. I don't even know why you'd want to play with it. But honestly, I could even forgive Hator apparently not even realizing he was in a wrestling match at the moment. No, what seals this as SKIPPABLE was the epically shitty booking of the match. This had one of the more aggressive rudo refs I've ever seen. Forget slow counts and missed calls, he is openly taking shots at Antifaz and Hator here, and in full view of the technico ref, who really can't be bothered to care. Now, I've defended non-traditional refereeing in the past, and honestly, while this was jarring, I could look past it....until the end of the first fall, when Pirata accidentally-on-purpose does a falling headbutt into Antifaz's crotch, and the rudo ref suddenly sees the error of his ways and DQ's him, and then becomes aggressively technico. I'm sorry, I don't buy that you went from actually attacking the technicos yourself despite your position (and having the technicos fight back against you, for that matter) to completely reforming after seeing one of the rudos perform a possibly unintentional foul over the course of a single fall. And then the second fall has some schmozz finish where the Jr. Piratas and Los Vipers run in, and this time nobody gets DQ'd for some reason, and Pirata and Chicana lose cleanly-ish...whatever. Between the booking and Hator sucking, I just didn't give a shit anymore.



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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

CMLL on LATV Workrate Report, 11/12/11

1. Demus 3:16/Pequeno Nitro/Pierrothito vs. Electrico/Astral/Ultimo Dragoncito:

Once I found out it was a Fan Appreciation show, and it had my two favorite minis (Pierrothito/Demus), and that minis usually turn it up to 11 on Fan Appreciation days, I had pretty high hopes for this. It didn't live up to them, but it was good, especially when things started firing on all cylinders in the 3rd fall. Demus, Nitro and Pierrothito are all guys that will take big bumps to the floor, and they didn't disappoint here. Each one tried their hand at the corner Cassandro bump (winner was Pierrothito), and did a couple other major spills to get ready for dives. Astral is now totally juiced to the gills and his chest looks like it's covered in infected spider bites. It was so gross I was worried Demus' brutal chops would cause all sorts of pus to burst forth. Best moment of the match was in the 3rd when Ultimo does an insane flip dive that lands him into the 4th or 5th row, almost on top of a baby. AWESOME. I mean, he was just sprinting at high speed and just FLEW. And it was great because it led to him being unable to help his partners as they got demolished by Demus/Pierrothito. First 2 falls were super short, but 3rd more than made up for it.

2. Loco Max/Nitro/Skandalo vs. Diamante/Fuego/Guerrero Maya Jr. :

This was all out fun with all the rudos being great at beating the collective asses of little flying tecnicos, and all the little flying tecnicos being great at hitting nice dives and springboardy things and armdraggy type stuff. Maya is the real deal, Fuego is turning into a real good flier who also happens to bump big (hit a nice dive on Skandalo and then splatted on the rampway for Skandalo's running kick to the balls), and Diamante does some real cool silly springboard balance moves. I really like this rudo trio, they all work real well together and can just throw down a fun beating, working quick, bumping big and throwing great elbow drops to dudes' balls. Just a fun match that when the 20+ minutes is up you're going, "Wait, that was the 3rd fall?"

3. Alebrije/Olimpico/Shigeo Okumura vs. Delta/Maximo/Super Porky:

Awwwwwwww YEAH! CMLL is finally bringing Alebrije back to my TV, and he is all fat and awesome in this. The guy is not only mammoth in waist, but he towers over everybody else here (Rachel made the joke that that likely means he's about 5'9"). His drawn on abs look spectacular over his ever-growing stomach, and he really seems like the best worker out of the bunch right now. He works great with each tecnico during this match, taking all of Delta's ranas and armdrags, throwing a GREAT right to put down Maximo (after unwanted advances, naturally), and of course looking great against the OTHER fattest man in lucha, Porky. When he and Porky finally squared off the crowd got reallllll noisy. He had to man up and take TWO different Porky bodypresses in this match! TWO! One off the middle ropes and one from the apron to the floor. Ouch. He was also just tossing Cuije around like he wasn't even a real person, launching him up in the air for a massive splash. It's amazing how quickly Alebrije can move and get up after arm drags. His body looks like the type of body that would see him make horrible groaning noises when getting up from chairs. I like Olimpico, but now that I know my Hector Garza is gone, seeing Olimpico doing the Garza schtick just doesn't do it for me. The begging off, the falling into women at ringside...I just want to see Garza doing it. Maximo really feels underrated. People don't really talk about him, but he's having a really strong year and always gets a massive reaction during matches. Loved his springboard hip attack and he has one of my favorite running ranas in lucha. Maximo also breaks out the skeeziest backrake ever, as it's more of a light, one-handed back caress on Olimpico, that makes Olimpico question his desires. I thought this match was awesome, but I am also insanely in love with 2011 Alebrije. Watch it for the Alebrije, stay for the Maximo.

4. Averno/Psicosis II/Volador Jr. vs. La Mascara/La Sombra/Rush:

Volador is wearing his totally bad ass Darth Maul get up and holy cow does it look badass. I'm just going to say it right now: I'm officially a full-fledged Volador superfan. The guy just has IT. I'm not 100% sure what IT is, but dude has IT. I am fully enamored with him now. I like the way he bumps around, and I like the way he gets a reverse John Cena reaction from the crowd. He and Averno take ranas and armdrags better than just about anybody. They were expertly getting tossed around by Sombra and Mascara as if they were Mini Abismo Negro with a 70 pounder. Rush is a guy who will finish in the 400s on the Segunda Caida 500, but once he turns rudo he'll probably end up in the top 10. Sombra had some awesome headscissor and armdrag variations in this. I have no clue how Volador/Averno don't get seriously crossed up during those sequences. After seeing Sin Cara just try to pull off La Mistica with the WWE roster and that rarely going well, seeing Sombra whip all around Volador's body in weird angles is pretty damn impressive. I have really enjoyed CMLL this year, and this match was another example of a real fun 2011 Arena Mexico main event. Hot crowd, plenty of dives and action, rudos being rudos, women screaming when tecnicos take their shirts off, fucking VOLADOR, and that couple who sit by the rampway that look like twins. What the fuck are they!? Are they husband/wife, brother/sister, mother/son, WHAT ARE THEY!? They both look exactly the same! They have the same jheri curl and they look somewhere between the ages of 32 and 66. This week they had a baby with them!! Am I the only one noticing them?

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dick Togo's What Dreams Are Made Of, Cocaine Ronald Gave Us

Dick Togo v. Sanshiro Takagi DDT 9/28/08-EPIC

Wild insane cage match. Truly a testament to Dick Togo's skill as a big match worker. Takagi isn't very good at all, he has an ok punch and is willing to go head first into a cage and bleed. That is all Togo needs. Match starts out a bit slow, but Togo cuts open Takagi and it gets great quick. Togo rips open the cut with chain shots and the ring post bolt and it turns into a real slugfest. Togo's selling at the end of the match was amazing, one of the cooler thousand yard stares I have seen in wrestling. There are a bunch of moments in this match where Togo and Takagi are covered in blood throwing right hands, and there are also huge holy shit spots like a top rope stunner and a no water in the pool missed senton off the top of the cage. Pretty much a perfect meld of the 80s bloodbath cage match and 00's spotfest cage match.



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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Call Regal Morbid, Call Him Pale He Has Spent Six Years on His Tale

Lord Steven Regal v. Arn Anderson 2/20/94-EPIC

Tremendous match, pretty much a textbook TV title style match. Both guys target a body part, Arn with the arm, and Regal with the neck, and they go after them. Lesser wrestlers working this style will just go back to the same holds (even Flair pretty much just works the leg in the context of the figure four), but both Arn and Regal put on a ton of different locks and they all look great. It makes inherent sense, if you can't get a submission with a cravate try a crossface, hammerlock doesn't work use and arm stretch. Arn works a great hammerlock, bodyslamming Regal, turing him into a pin while holding it. Regal meanwhile wrenched the hell out of Arn's neck, cranking cravates, cracking him in the mouth with crossfaces. The brawling in this match was great too, Arn has a really pretty right hand and Regal was just vicious with uppercuts and headbutts. Finish run was very exciting as they worked the countdown with Arn desperately trying for the belt and Regal stalling. The crowd was super into the match at this point, chanting USA and popping huge for Arn's spinebuster. Finish was pretty surprising, as Regal gets the pin by holding onto Dundee's umbrella with 15 seconds left. It was a twist in a good way as everyone was expecting either an Arn win or a time limit draw. 1994 maybe the best in ring year in wrestling history, and this felt on the level of the other great matches of that year. If this looks like something on paper you would like, go watch it, it truly exceeds expectations.


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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Feel The Sound, Pray For Rain, 'Cause This Is The Night Pirata Morgan Rides

Pirata Morgan, Octagon, & El Dandy vs. Fuerza Guerrera, MS-1, & Vampiro Canadiense EMLL 3/24/1991 - FUN

And now for something completely different: technico Pirata Morgan. Pirata working as high-energy babyface isn't something he seems to do quite as well as him working as hard-nosed rudo brawler, but he's still pretty good at it, and I enjoyed seeing him in this role. And that's a good thing, because for a match with four all-time great lucha workers in it, only he and MS-1 really seem to show up, and even MS-1 doesn't kick into high gear until the second fall. That's not to say Dandy and Fuerza are bad in this. They're not. But they don't live up to expectations. And as for the weak links, Octagon was perfectly fine in this, and surprisingly, I kinda dug Vampiro here, if only because he actually bit someone's neck during the match. His exchange with Pirata in the first fall smoked anything from their hair vs. hair match, and Pirata's dropkick and enzuigiri that sent Vampiro to the floor were pretty sweet. Basically, everyone was good, but only a few people excelled. Now, normally, it only really takes two strong performances to make a great lucha trios match, but this suffered from some pacing issues, too. The first fall was long, but aside from the aforementioned Pirata/Vampiro exchange and the neck biting, not a whole lot was going on. The second fall was awesome, as MS-1 went into full asskicker mode, and Pirata continued to be a ton of fun. At one point, he subverts Fuerza's handshake routine by repeatedly pulling his hand away, and then just punching him in the face. Really got into the match big time here. The third fall picked up right where the last one left off, and gives us a brief but awesome Pirata/MS-1 exchange that ends with a big Pirata tope, but it's over before you know it. Really felt like something that was on the road to GREATness, but they frontloaded it with a lot of stuff that didn't grab me and cut things off right as it was about to go to the next level. Still, it's entertaining overall.


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Monday, November 07, 2011

The Dark Nights are Drawing Regal In, and Your Humor is Black as Them

William Regal vs. Dean Ambrose, FCW 10/13/11 - EPIC

PAS: Man alive this was a corker of a match. It is worked very similarly to the other big 2011 King Bookers courtesan v. Switchblade Conspirator match. Regal cuts a great promo about how his inner villain has been reawakened and he is at his vicious best. This is probably the most violent Regal we have seen since the Benoit series. He and Ambrose just lay into each other with nasty uppercuts and forearms, and Ambrose threw some nice clotheslines. Eventually Regal takes over, trapping Ambrose's arm into a turnbuckle and smashing it up which is something I have never seen before. It is pretty great that 20+ years into his career Regal is still breaking out new tricks. Regal then delivers some nasty armwork including finger manipulation and trapping him arm in the ring steps. Ambrose does a great job of selling, basically working the comeback entirely with his other arm. He comes off as a really tough motherfucker screaming at Regal while getting beaten on, and surviving some big exploders and escaping the Regal stretch. Just great stuff, it felt like a hugely important match to both guys, and after the match Regal felt like a killer and Ambrose felt like a future star standing up to a legend. I saw Finlay v. Callihan live which really helped my appreciation of it, but on first view this was right up there with that, and anything else in the world in 2011.

ER: Yeah this was great. It was a double surprise for me as I followed the link Phil sent me and thought it was going to be a fun 7 minute match...and then realized there were 7 MORE minutes waiting in the next part. This really feels like the best Regal performance of the last 2-4 years. He's had other great stuff in that time to be sure, but this was twice as long as most of those matches and really felt like he could stretch his wings (and clearly showed that he has no problem filling time in matches). It's matches like these that make me want to dive full in to FCW, but nothing else there could possibly compete with something like this. Regal was just a beast in this, playing a role I don't remember him playing in a long time. And clearly Regal is great at playing the ruthless killer. Finlay must be kicking himself for thinking of the awesome ring skirt spot, but not thinking about hooking a guy's arm through a turnbuckle. Shoot, I even bought the struggle to get Ambrose' arm out of the turnbuckle, just kicking around like a trapped animal while the ref struggled to pull his arm through. I loved how Regal sold the clothesline/hammer fist to the face. It looked like his orbital bone exploded. There wasn't really anything that DIDN'T work about this, from Regal's awesome mule kicks, all the arm work, the forearms, everything. This was really a great, great war. I would've have loved to see another Ambrose comeback spot, but still this was so awesome.


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CMLL on LATV Workrate Report, 11/5/11

1. Robin/Freesbee vs. Camorra/Zayko:

Probably my favorite Robin match of the year so far, seems to be breaking out a bit and gaining confidence. I liked his armdrag exchanges (and they looked better compared to a couple of Freesbee's). I also loved his fast fall-ending rana (and I forget if it was Zayko or Camorra that SUWA'd the rana and made it look worthy of finishing a fall). Robin also had an awesome out of control dive in the 3rd, sending Camorra flying. Zayko and Camorra are serviceable but fairly uninteresting rudos. Camorra at least is starting to make it look like he's legitimately missing things like clotheslines, instead of just looking like he's getting into position. Freesbee don't do much for me.

2. Metatron/Sensei/Starman vs. Apocalipsis/Bronco/Inquisidor:

That was good clean fun that was about the same amount of time as the first match, but flew by much quicker. Plenty of dives (really liked Sensei's corkscrew asai moonsault), and Bronco hit an insanely great top rope splash to end the 2nd that saw him leap 2/3 of the way across the (large) ring. Very impressive. Inquisidor had a fun but goofy springboard assisted lungblower, Metatron did nothing I remember, and it's always fun seeing a Sensei appearance. It seems like he's only on like once every 6-8 weeks.

3. Ayumi/Estrellita/Luna Magica vs. La Seductora/Princesa Blanca/Princesa Sugei:

Opening match card says it's Estrella Magica, but it's kind of hard to miss that it's Estrellita. This match was really fun and the CMLL women have been bringing it pretty nicely in 2011. I'm far from the biggest women's wrestling fan in the world, but I've found myself enjoying a bunch of the CMLL ladies this year. Sugei has quietly been having a real good year, always works stiff and still puts over all the tecnicas (stooges better than maybe all the other women), and Blanca has been just as good, but in different ways. Blanca bumps tecnica offense really well (really gets high on monkey flips, slides far on armdrags). I liked Ayumi's comeback offense, but it was done in a real puro kinda way and the fans didn't seem to respond to it much. Luna Magica is very underrated but always seems to put on a good show. Estrellita has ridiculous fake boobs. And where has Tiffany been, now that I think about it...seems like I haven't seen her in months and she has always been one of my favorite luchadoras.

4. Atlantis/Delta/Guerrero Maya Jr. vs. Ultimo Guerrero/Rey Escorpion/Dragon Rojo Jr.:

First 2 falls were pretty rushed, but the 3rd had tons of good action. Delta especially got to throw in some awesome stuff in the 3rd, with Rey and Rojo bumping around great for him. Delta's rope flip headscissors was done slower than he normally does it, but the end result looked really good. I would have liked more Atlantis vs. Ultimo as all their sections seemed short, but this had tons of moments showcasing the worth of Rey/Maya/Delta.

5. Hector Garza/La Mascara/Super Porky vs. Rey Buccanero/Terrible/Texano Jr.:

It's really weird that LATV has commercials for syndicated episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" every commercial break. That seems like a very strange show to be pushing to hispanic households. I can't imagine too many spanish speaking American homes gathering around to watch nerds crack jokes about theoretical physics and Deep Space 9, but I'm not in advertising. Very good match that would have been downright awesome if it had a real 2nd fall. La Mascara got to look like a star all throughout this, hitting a bunch of great rana variations and really whipping around on them all cool. There's a fan in the crowd that looks exactly like Terrible. I looked up and saw him standing in the crowd and thought it was Terrible...until I realized Terrible was standing in the ring LOOKING at that guy. It's like wearing a t-shirt of you wearing a t-shirt of you wearing a t-shirt. Garza must have it written into his contract that he just gets to totally own the 3rd fall of every match he's in. He tore it up here with all sorts of cool kicks, made women scream, hit a neat assisted headscissors, Porky hit a fat crossbody off the apron, crowd was way into Mascara, and there was a great moment in the first fall where Terrible just beats the shit out of Porky. Just beats him down with great punches and then kicks him a bunch while he's down. Looked awesome. Porky looks infinitely better with a goatee. I'm so glad it's back. He looked weird with just jowls. Fun match, easily worth the time.

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Sunday, November 06, 2011

Your'e Going to Get a Place in the Scene, All of the King Orphans Get Face in The Dream

Jerry Lawler v. The Snowman USWA 6/11/90-GREAT

Totally bizarre spectacle. This is set up by a shoot angle with Snowman coming out of the audience at the TV studio and interrupting a Lawler interview. He accuses Lawler of ducking him because he is Black and they have a really frenetic pull apart. That leads to this match and it was one of the most realistic "guys aren't cooperating" matches I have ever seen. Lots of wild swinging awkward punches and cool Lawler takedowns, there are parts where both guys are going for the eyes which is kind of what you would expect in a racial tinged street fight. Crowd is totally electric, you get the sense they really got the crowd to buy into the whole angle. Reminded me of a Southern Fried version of Onita v. Aoyagi. Match is pretty short (about five minutes, although the footage maybe clipped) and that keeps this from the Epic pile, but it is definitely worth seeing, and something unique for Lawler.



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Saturday, November 05, 2011

Finlay Lend Me Ten Pounds and I'll Buy You a Drink, and Mother Wake Me Early in the Morning

Finlay v. Jon Ryan, WXW 8/13/11

PAS: Solid Finlay performance marred a bit by the awful WXW crowd and a nothing showing from Jon Ryan. Finlay is touring around working a bunch of random guys and this feels like what your standard "Finlay v. a Scrub" match is going to look like. There were some really nice moments of slick matwork, including an awesome headscissors reversal. Finlay also laid in some thudding forearms and kicks. Still Ryan couldn't really live up to his end of the match and his stuff in the end run was especially off. More for your Finlay completists.

ER: I love the "wipe my brow and toss the sweat at my opponent" spot that Finlay has been starting every one of this 2011 indie matches with. As this match goes on, you pretty much realize that this is maybe Finlay's worse opponent of the last 15 years, and just think of the ground that covers. Off the top of my head I can't think of a Finlay WCW opponent that came off worse than Ryan. Lorenzo was probably worse, but we really don't have enough footage to judge from. But here we have 15 minutes of proof that Jon Ryan is a total load. He looks awkward, moves around awkwardly, and throws those lousy little straight arm clotheslines with no follow through (like Randy Orton's, but worse, and without a shred of charisma). But you know what? The match still totally works for me, and it's all because of Fit. The opening matwork was really good, and I'm confident Finlay could've had just as good a segment with me in there, or one of those first aid practice dummies. The headscissor spot Phil mentioned was one of the coolest things I've seen on the mat, ever. When you see a mat spot and think "Jeez, Negro Navarro or Fujiwara should steal that spot!" then you know you've got a bank full of money. Instead of rolling through and doing a kip up out of the headscissors like most do, Finlay does this neat thing where he rolls over onto his stomach, pushes up and kinda...hits Ryan's ankles together to free up space. Looked really cool and seemed just too natural. Total match was fun and Ryan's lousiness didn't seem to get in the way much. Matwork built to some nice clubbing, built to a nice tumble to the floor (both took nice bumps to get there). Finlay saves Ryan's end-run offense. For as much credit Finlay gets for making his offense look great and always looking active, he deserves just as much credit for making everybody else's offense look great. I shudder to think what Ryan's offense would have looked like if it were being taken by some other WXW guy like Axeman. Fun match, well worth checking out.



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Friday, November 04, 2011

The Flash of Pirata Morgan's Cards Was Sprayed With Red

Pirata Morgan, Satanico, & Emilio Charles Jr. vs. Blue Demon, Blue Demon Jr., & Ringo Mendoza EMLL 11/25/1988 - EPIC

This is the first match I've ever seen of the legendary Blue Demon, the second biggest star in the history of lucha libre after only El Santo himself. He is 66 years old in this match, and is pretty much at the end of the road, but age seems to be no hindrance to him, as he is balls to the wall fantastic here. His opening mat exchange with Emilio is just stellar, and it would still be considered state of the art if it happened today. Emilio kinda looks like he's being taken for a ride by the old man, but he keeps up pretty well, and his spill out of the ring at the end of it all was neat. Blue Demon Jr. comes in and tries to match his dad's mad skills in an exchange with Pirata. He can't but it's still pretty good, and overall, Junior gives a much better performance than usual. Ringo and Satanico forgo the mat stuff and just have a great, high-energy exchange where Ringo cracks Satanico with headbutts and the sends him out of the ring with a swank flying armdrag. The technicos press the advantage to score the first fall, but the second fall goes the rudos' way, as they isolate Mendoza and really beat the shit out of him. Pirata gets to shine here. I mean, these are three of the all-time great working rudos (with Satanico in particular being on the shortlist for "greatest working rudo"), but I thought he stood out even from this distinguished pack, repeatedly socking Ringo, including a nasty rabbit punch. The Demons manage to break it up eventually, but it's for naught, as Ringo and Blue Demon Sr. get crushed by top rope splashes from Emilio and Pirata respectively, evening things up. Third fall, the rudos try to mob old man Demon, but the technicos rally in style - including Ringo making Pirata pay by dealing two hard straight rights to his face in succession, which was awesome - and pick up the win. Blue Demon is as good as legend says he is, filling the match with tricked-out matwork and drawing some great reactions from the fans. His kid and Ringo bring plenty of energy, and the rudos eat everything and bump around really well, and get to dish out some serious punishment, too, in the second fall. I absolutely loved this, and I really wish more Blue Demon footage was available, because if he was this good at 66, imagine how good he must have been in his prime...though now that I think about it, this is lucha, so 66 might be the peak of his powers.


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Thursday, November 03, 2011

The King is a Cosmos, The King is the Wind

Jerry Lawler v. Terry Funk NEW 10/1/11-EPIC

Man I should have made it to Poughkeepsie. No reason a match between two 60 year old men should have been this crazy, but man alive it was. We start with Terry getting on the microphone to pray for all the wrestlers who have passed, I have seen Funk do this spot a bunch of times and I just giggle every time he smacks his opponent with the mike. After cracking the King he chucks Lawler to the floor with Jerry just taking a nutty bump, he also gets posted and smashed into the guard rail and a table. This is less then a week after Lawler got smashed through an ungimmicked table by Henry and also 62 years after his birth and he is just dying. Funk takes some goofy bumps too, including a bunch of chair shots. Both guys unload their epic punches, Funk wanders around with a chair on his head, screams about his eye and rips the pants off Ref Hansen. No strap drop, no piledrivers, but a wild out of control spectacle of a brawl, and you couldn't ask for much more.


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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

In Anguish Black Terry Pulled His Grey Hair, And The Tears Down His Cheeks They Did Pour

Black Terry/Robin Marvilla/Dr. Cerebro v. Negro Navarro/Trauma 1/Trauma 2 AULL 10/29/11-GREAT

Just a murderers row of awesome luchadores. This feud with Cerebro Negro in Robin Marvillas places delivered some of my favorite matches of the decade in 2009. This wasn't at that level, it was a sportsman's contest rather then a blood feud, but these guys match up so well. We open up with a Trauma 1 v. Cerebro mat section, and I really love how those guys match up. They are both the bruisers of their team, and all of their exchanges are based as much around strength as technique. Black Terry v. Trauma 2 is much more a speed match up, and the final Robin Marvilla v. Navarro has the story of the young kid over his head but stepping it up. Navarro is just killing it in 2011, and his facial expression really put over Marvilla's stuff. 2nd and 3rd falls were too short for this match to reach the next level, although it had some very nice stuff. Also Terry and Navarro have been teasing us for years, as we get another 90 second taste of what they could do against each other.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Dick Togo Kill'em and Kiss His Momma's Cheek, That's Manners

Dick Togo v. Kristian Kurki Fight Club Finland 9/17/11-GREAT

This is part of Togo's European Retirement tour and was really enjoyable to watch. I am hoping more of this stuff continues to show up. Kurki is apparently working a Tom of Finland gimmick as he looks gay porny enough to get an FCW deal. I dug him in this, he was pretty basic, but he had solid looking punches and did some nice work on Togo's leg. Which Dick did an awesome job selling, including a great irish whip collapse. Togo also broke out some cool offense, including a nice Russian legsweep floatover into a crossface. Finish was kind of weird as Kuriki valet distracts Togo and Kurki blasts Togo with a foreign object he appeared to get from a little kid in the audience. Then three guys in black shirts run into the ring and they quadruple team Kurki and allow Togo to smush him with the Senton. Kurki seemed to be working heel the whole match so him getting destroyed like is bizarre booking, although I don't claim to understand Finnish culture, maybe it is a Black Metal thing, no heroes only the damned.


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Complete and Accurate Complete and Accurates

The CAA is one of the Segunda Caida originals. We take a great under-appreciated wrestler and try to watch and catalogue it all. Here is a list of our lists.

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