Segunda Caida

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

Friday, September 28, 2012

Stairway To The Stars, Pirata Morgan's Got Better Things To Do

Pirata Morgan & Ari Romero vs. El Jalisco & Super Star WIN 12/24/1989 - FUN

I had set my expectations unreasonably high for this one. This was my first time seeing El Jalisco, and for those who don't know, he was the other guy in the match where Pirata lost his eye. Pirata - then simply Ramon Morgan - was working a match against Jalisco in 1981. He went for a tope con hilo, Jalisco was out of position, and Morgan somehow managed to land eyeball-first on the concrete, exploding it on impact. And you would think an incident like that would make every subsequent match between the two an automatic grudge match. Hell, that's how it worked for Iceman King Parsons and Buddy Roberts, and Buddy's hair grew back. So I had certain expectations of bloodletting that this match really didn't live up to. Furthermore, WIN seems to have been a promotion that ran mostly short, one-fall matches, so there's not much time to get anything done, anyway. That said, judging the match on it's own merits, it is pretty good while it lasts. Pirata's exchanges with Jalisco aren't what you would want them to be given their history, but they do both lay into each other well enough, and I really liked Jalisco's take on the tope en reversa. That's usually a very graceful move, but he just spins around and launches the back of his head into your face. These two probably did have an EPIC revancha match at some point, but this wasn't it.

Pirata Morgan & Barba Roja vs. Antifaz del Norte & Rico Rodriguez ACM 8/12/2012 - SKIPPABLE

Oh, for fuck's sake, Monterrey, can we have a little bit of oversight on your zany rudo refs? Just a little? This is another Monterrey match that would've been good if it wasn't drowning in nonsensical referee horseshit. I think I've made it pretty clear by this point that I am tolerant of referees behaving as characters. I'm tolerant of a certain degree of rudo bias from certain lucha refs. But I keep getting hit with these Monterrey matches where the refs aren't just getting overly involved, they're getting stupidly involved. The rudos win the first fall when the ref gives them fast counts over the technicos. Why are all his subsequent counts normal speed? Why does he not just call for the bell when a technico is in a hold and say that they tapped even if they didn't? He's already established the lengths to which he'll go to help the rudos win. Why does he hold back afterwords? Hell, he's deliberately holding Antifaz in place so the rudos can beat him up. He can do that in the second fall, but he can't bring himself to give them another fast count win? Why? What the hell kind of sense does that make? And what the fuck was up with the finish? Pirata fouls Antifaz, and the ref starts second guessing himself. What? Why? You got physically involved in the match to help the rudos and gave them the first fall on a pair of fast counts, but this was going too far? Fuck, it wasn't even the first low blow in the match. Pirata kneed Rodriguez in the groin, and the ref was fine with that. Why is he squeamish now? Pirata is so distracted by the sheer randomness of the ref's moral compass that Antifaz is able to recover and foul him in return. The ref battles with his raging schizophrenia for way too long before declaring it a double DQ, which, fittingly, makes no fucking sense. And now, I know what it would be like to be a more serious football fan. The real tragedy is that there was a decent match buried somewhere in this avalanche of suck. Pirata and Antifaz both looked sharp. Barba Roja did some cool stuff and some shitty stuff. Rodriguez rounded out the cast. Ultimately, none of it mattered.

Pirata Morgan, Abismo Negro, & Alan Stone vs. Intocable, Zorro, & Estrella Dorada Jr. ACM 5/28/2006 - SKIPPABLE

More referee hijinks?! Seriously?! Fuck this.



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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Shine In Pirata Morgan's Hair And A Steel In His Eyes, Only Nineteen And Impossibly Wise

Pirata Morgan, Jerry Estrada, & Villano III vs. Mascara Sagrada, Tarzan Boy, & Super Astro Promo Azteca 10/10/1997 - SKIPPABLE

I'm a little torn on this one. On the one hand, I mostly enjoyed myself watching it, but on the other, I walked away feeling really unfulfilled. The rudos do a good primera caida beatdown of the technicos, Super Astro does his usual cool shit and busts out a great corner tope, Sagrada bleeds, and Tarzan Boy is fairly game. But there were some awkward moments, the whole thing was really rushed, and the finish was extremely flat. Astro gets eliminated abruptly, but the rudo win actually drags out for another minute or so, and it's not like the remaining technicos look like they have match of a chance. Felt like the equivalent of booking an NBA game to end on a held ball with the winning team up 20 points. It wasn't an a nail-biter. It wasn't an amazing blowout. It's just not very compelling. And more distressing for my purposes is that Pirata looked like one of the least guys in this match, and certainly the least of the rudos (though that is a killer lineup). I mean, he wasn't bad or anything, but he felt roughly equal to Tarzan Boy and beneath Mascara Sagrada, and that should never be the case. I still enjoyed this for the most part, and I guess you could argue it was both FUN and SKIPPABLE, but it felt more SKIPPABLE than FUN. You can find a better use of 13 minutes.

Pirata Morgan, Jerry Estrada, Ultimo Guerrero, & Ultimo Rebelde vs. Zorro, Super Parka, Salsero, & Torero Promo Azteca 9/12/1997 - GREAT

This is a better use of your free time. Estrada and the Ultimos are rocking matching black bodysuits covered in neon green tassels, so this clears the FUN bar for wardrobe alone. Super Parka is not his nephew. He acquits himself fine here, but his attempts at matching La Parka's physical comedy are lackluster at best. At the top of the match, he gets tripped by Ultimo Guerrero, but responds by doing push-ups for a while as Guerrero looks on in bafflement. It's not really a funny gag on it's own. It seems like it could lead to something funny (he trips Guerrero, Guerrero tries to do as many push-ups as Parka but gets winded, maybe), but it isn't followed up on. You know that episode of The Simpsons where Ranier Wolfcastle does stand-up comedy? "Do you ever notice how men always leave the toilet seat up?....That's the joke." Yeah, it kinda feels like that. But he actually looks pretty good otherwise, and I'm genuinely kinda impressed by his ability to balance on the top rope while the Ultimos were shaking it. I was also really amused by Ultimo Rebelde selling frustration over not being able to shake Parka off of the top rope. We may not have actual La Parka, but at least Rebelde and Guerrero looked good as heels flustered by the babyface's comedy antics. They actually made good underlings here, and really made me wish Guerrero went a more traditional rudo route than the fake New Japan junior shit he adopted later in his career. They get paired up a bunch against Salsero and Torero. I really enjoyed Salsero's performance. He felt like the more fun "fun babyface" on his team, and did some pretty solid brawling as well. The initial fun face dominance in the first fall to to heel violence in the second, as these things tend to do. Then it turns around again in the third fall, with Salsero and Torero ripping at the Ultimos' masks and biting at open wounds, which I can always appreciate. Meanwhile, Pirata beats the shit out of Zorro before Super Parka starts gouging at his eye, which seems like a really good strategy to use against him. They have a fun little exchange which culminates in Pirata taking a no-hands somersault bump over the top rope to the floor, followed by a really cool dive train. I'd say Salsero wins with his somersault plancha, but that really means Pirata wins, because he did a less controlled version of the same spot TO THE FUCKING FLOOR, and that means you win the dive train. Admittedly, this is kinda by the numbers lucha, but it's very well-done by the numbers lucha, and that's what matters to me.


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Saturday, September 01, 2012

My Favorite Wrestling: WCW Worldwide 11/19/95

1. Eddie Guerrero vs. Buck Quartermaine

Just an Eddie showcase with Tony and Brain just blowing him on commentary. Can't really blame them. Eddie's '95 offense was really fun, with his smooth dropkick, rolling senton, brainbuster, superplex, snap back suplex and of course frog splash. Crowd loved him and was chanting "Eddie" early. Quartermaine had a nice back elbow and a decent crossbody, but you knew what this was. I miss seeing Eddie Guerrero wrestle.

2. Meng vs. Louis Astea

You know, Meng really didn't stiff jobbers in his old squash matches. I've seen a bunch of them now, and on a show with a lot of squash matches, he's usually the most gentle with his opponent. Why is this!? Why did he not just murder Louis Astea (pronounced often by Tony as "ASS-tee"). Astea looked like my childhood orthodontist, but if my orthodontist didn't have an awesome job and nice house, and instead had slacked off in high school and didn't go to college. This was over in a minute. Astea got launched on a backdrop, which was easily the best thing about this.

3. DDP vs. Chuck Williams

In just a couple years, DDP was a major star. I would not have predicted it. I mean, seems about even money that Van Hammer would have become a big star.

~Awesome World War 3 commercial with Mean Gene tantalizing the folks at home by letting them know the big names that would be involved. The list is really weird, as the top 5 was 1. Sting, 2. Lex Luger, 3. Randy Savage (those three make tons of sense to advertise as the top 3 participants, obviously, but things get weird with) 4. Shark, and 5. Disco Inferno. Did they think that highly of Shark and Disco Inferno back in '95? I mean, it looks super bizarre 17 years later out of context, but that had to seem just as weird in '95 right?

4. Chris Benoit vs. Otis Apollo

Now Benoit was a guy who knew how to squash guys. Otis Apollo was a chubby guy with a constant 5 o'clock shadow. He also had kind of a Davey Richards way of selling offense. Benoit threw a bunch of elbows and clotheslines at Apollo's throat, and Apollo would play it allllll the way to the back row, just doing hilarious double hands to the throat "I'm choking!" signs, hacking and gagging and just looking like a victim in a Heimlich Maneuver safety video. Benoit even shows him up on bumping, as Apollo's one move was a backdrop and Benoit got great height on his bump. Then moved afterwards when Appolo went for an elbowdrop. Apollo sure looked like he didn't realize he would be missing that elbow.

5. Ric Flair/Arn Anderson/Brian Pillman vs. Dave Sullivan/Joey Maggs/JL

You know this shit was awesome. First awesome thing? Horseman entered first! You'd think the trio of Sullivan/Maggs/JL would just be waiting in the ring, but they get an honest to god entrance and everything! Of course the main awesome thing in this match was the Horseman giving tons of offense to 3 of the lowest tier guys on the roster. Was there a lower member on the roster than JL at this point? Well Arn bumps all around for JL's dropkicks, Flair gives Maggs tons of offense, and most of the offense the Horsemen get comes because they cheat. All 6 guys look like they're having fun, and who knows, maybe Flair giving Maggs tons of offense led to Maggs getting a better-than-normal looking rat (who he of course picked up by calling himself "Humpin" Joey Maggs. I hope.).

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