Segunda Caida

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

Sunday, November 25, 2012

CMLL Puebla Workrate Report, 11/18/12

These matches are from the 11/5 Puebla show.

1. Arkangel de la Muerte/Hooligan/Skandalo vs. Virus/Raziel/Cancerbero

THIS excited me to no end because it has to be like 10 years since I remember Virus and Arkangel being on opposite sides since Virus hasn't really been a tecnico since around 2003/04. This is weird as both teams are rudos, and both teams work as rudos. Arkangel appears to take the rudo reins early by cheating a bunch and using his foxy gypsy valet Isis to interfere...but then Virus comes in and he's a dick too. The match never really reaches any sort of great heights, but has plenty of nice sequences throughout. The Virus/Arkangel showdown in the 3rd does not disappoint, as Arkangel gets to rough up the "young" punk (I assume they're both basically the same age) by throwing some awesome overhands to Virus' neck, and then hitting a perfect rolling tope en reversa to knock Virus out of the ring. These guys are all capable of much greater things, but nevertheless this was plenty fun.

2. Misterioso Jr./Vangelis/Euforia vs. Rey Cometa/Maximo/Diamante

Another match that will be rather unimportant in the grand scheme of things. It should be noted that Maximo seems to have lost a bit of weight as he looks to be in the best shape of....well, since whenever I saw my first Maximo match. He's slimmed down quite a bit and it's made him a bit more spry in the ring (he hit a sweet running dive off the apron and a beautiful head scissors, landing on his feet afterwards). Euforia is a good worker who I often forget about. Diamante kinda gets in the way. Cometa is a guy I now look forward to and may start going out of my way to see. Vangelis is maybe the best power worker in CMLL and looks better every time I see him. Misterioso Jr. almost always looks good. But hey, this was a Monday match and it seemed like a Monday match most of the time.

3. Mephisto/Dragon Rojo Jr./Tama Tonga vs. Mascara Dorada/La Sombra/Mistico II

Good lord Mephisto got HUGE! The guy is enormous and just jacked to the gills. He looks like a boss battle villain in Arkham City. Tonga looks fine but sorta out of place in a lucha setting. I like Dragon Lee as Mistico. He's able to get the same crazy height on bumps. Dorada looked like the star out of the tecnicos but that shouldn't be much of a shock, as he has looked awesome for some time now. Rojo has gotten real good without me really noticing. He never really does much that stands out, but when you watch him you never think "Man this guy stinks," which sounds like some backhanded praise but he's actually quite good. This match was fairly unremarkable outside some nice flying stuff from Dorada and to a lesser extent, Mistico.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

CMLL on Galavision Workrate Report, 11/17/12

These matches were from the 11/9 Arena Mexico show.

1. Sangre Azteca vs. Fuego

Not bad at all. Sangre hits a wicked springboard seated dropkick to Fuego's "inner thigh", Fuego gets a nice nearfall off a rana, and this was over quickly even for a lightning match. 

2. Okumura/Puma King/Namajague vs. Rey Cometa/Stuka Jr./Triton

First fall is fucking GREAT with Stuka launching a bullet tope into Okumura, Rey Cometa improving by the month (he is just so much more fluid than most of the young fliers in CMLL that get pushed above him. His headscissors are my favorite since Freelance was regularly making tape), Okumura always fills the empty place in my heart left by SUWA, and Namajague has a real great snap to his bumps which really puts over Stuka and Triton. He really whips himself into face first bumps and flings himself into the ropes on a monkey flip, and really makes a seated dropkick to his chest look like it collapsed his sternum. Cometa has that same snap and makes every single kick that Puma throws look like he's getting blasted by vintage Cro Cop. Cometa's flip bumps off clotheslines are a thing of beauty. 3rd caida features all three tecnicos one-upping each other with dives, as Stuka hits his beautiful arm-tucked tope en reversa off the top to the floor, Triton hits an insane springboard moonsault to the floor, and then Cometa twists about 18 times on a plancha before hitting Puma. So awesome. This is probably the most fun CMLL match I've seen in 6 months and everybody got to shine, and they all looked fucking GREAT. This match was AWESOME. Once Cubs posts it I will throw it up here and make it mandatory viewing.

3. Volador Jr./Ultimo Guerrero/Terrible vs. Marco Corleone/Maximo/Rush

Volador has the best superkick in the bizzzz, and UG does the best Jerry bump in the bizzzz. No clue how his ankles just haven't shattered by now, and no clue how Volador hasn't beheaded someone at this point. Corleone looks like a total goober here with his football jersey, caesar haircut and chinstrap beard. I assume he got tired of Mexican pussy at some point and began actively trying to ugly up in an attempt to turn it away. Volador can make a standard headscissors look like it breaks his neck and bumps spectacularly for Maximo. Rush is really getting good, too. I used to not be able to stand this guy, but his comebacks and stomps and fire are getting undeniably natural. Do other people like Marco? I don't think I've honestly heard an opinion either way. Am I the only one? I genuinely liked him during his original CMLL run, and he hasn't really missed a beat. I like his looping left, he bumps big for his size, and his charisma is undeniable. Yeah, he pussed out on a Volador superkick, but I understand. Maximo hits a stunning ropewalk flip dive to the floor, and Terrible gets to go over Marco super clean, and this match completely delivered in every single way. Cubs needs to post these stat, as both of these last two matches are 100% must see. Probably my two favorite CMLL matches from the last 4+ months.

Also, I've had a lot of bourbon. I'm confident it hasn't affected my viewpoint. I have drunk dialed numerous ex girlfriends, however.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

CMLL on Galavision Workrate Report, 11/10/12

These matches were from the 11/2 Arena Mexico show and all the ring girls are dressed up like corpse brides. The sluttiest corpse brides these eyes have ever seen (and I live in a college town).

1. Skandalo vs. Delta

This was what it was. I really dig Skandalo but I don't think he's as well suited to singles matches yet, same goes for Delta. Skandalo had a foxy gypsy girl with him that helped him cheat to a bunch of dropkick offense (tie Delta up in the corner, running dropkick to inner thigh. Tie Delta up in the ropes, running dropkick to ass.), and Delta bumped admirably (including a nice sprawl into the ring barrier after getting chucked by the mucho stockier Skandalo), but at a certain point this was just Skandalo getting in the way of Delta's flipping and lying there while Delta flipped onto him.

2. Princesa Blanca/Princesa Sugheit/La Commandante vs. Luna Magica/Dark Angel/Estrellita

Everybody is wearing Halloween/Day of the Dead costumes and Blanca/Sugheit look awesome as mourning widows. Dark Angel is wearing a body suit and somehow looks way hotter than when she is hardly wearing anything at all. You see that, ladies, it's all about what you DON'T show. The fans seem to agree with me as every time she's in the hoots 'n' hollers start up (which I don't remember ever hearing when she's dressed in her normal gear. Odd). Commandante I assume is dressed as 80s Billy Crystal or Diego Luna's dad. This was actually really surprising, because the rudas just dominated most of the match. Tecnicas would always transition to offense by the rudas missing a move, never by just fighting back. Most of the match was Blanca and the others just treating them like they didn't belong, tossing them around by their hair, calmly stepping out of the way of flying attacks, foiling tecnica ambushes, etc. Just a really weird structure. Conversely, Dark Angel cat suit.

3. Ultimo Guerrero vs. Rey Escorpion

Now this was a really really good CMLL main event. They took the lousy main event structure, but worked within those confines to mix it up a bit. 1st caida is usually a 90 second move sprint ending with a move that shouldn't normally end a fall. 2nd is usually a 30 second fall ending with the other guy getting a submission that doesn't look painful. Then the 3rd is usually a your-move-my-move extravaganza. Those elements were all somewhat present here, but twisted just enough to make it work VERY well. 1st caida was just a straight mugging by UG, with Escorpion taking a gnarly flat back bump to the floor, then getting hit by a UG tope, then getting hit by a UG flip dive, then getting hit by a UG plancha from the top to the floor. Escorpion gets counted out and UG wins the first. I LOVE that way to end a fall, just not giving your opponent time to breathe and if you only have a couple minutes to work in a fall, that's a great way to do it. 2nd fall is your standard super short fall, and ends by Escorpion submission, but only because UG gets cocky and tries to go for some loopy, silly submission, loses it, and allows Rey to sink in a better one to capitalize on UG's mistake. So there was just more behind the sub than simply a guy taking a back bumped and locking it on like it usually goes. UG went for some silly shit while in control, Rey made him pay. 3rd does have move exchanges, but both guys sell damage nicely, moves build upon other moves. UG blasted Rey with a nice sit out powerbomb earlier in the match, in the 3rd he goes for one off the 2nd rope and there's a cool exchange where Rey is trying to take UG's mask off while UG is struggling with whether to hold onto his mask or hold onto the powerbomb. Great spot with great struggle that added mightily to things. So yeah, CMLL main event formula pretty much blows, but this is GREAT proof that those will talent can overcome any crummy formula. Check it out.

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

CMLL Puebla Workrate Report, 11/4/12

These matches were from the 10/22/12 Puebla show.

1. Taurus vs. Super Halcon Jr.

This is my first time seeing Taurus and he is apparently the 18 yr. old son of Ultimo Guerrero. not very polished. The camera has to cut away to the crowd a couple of times in the early matwork, so I'm really curious how he blew a monkey flip bump. He works with a lot of delay and hesitation, but still goes over Halcon in like 3 minutes with a stiff powerbomb and some sort of goofy pumphandle F5.

2. Super Comando/Artillero/Inquisidor vs. Hombre Bala Jr./Magnus/Stigma

Ugh, the tecnicos all come out to Limp Bizkit's "Rollin'". At least Stigma is living up to his name, as I can't really think of a bigger disgrace to one's reputation. This seemed to be designed to show just how much better a worker Hombre Bala Jr. is than the other tecnicos in this match. Because he's clearly much better. He deserves to be much higher on the cards. Super Comando is also much better than his brother Artillero, but they all clearly know that as Comando matches up almost exclusively with Bala during this match. Things here were okay but meh. Tecnicos did a whole bunch of armdraggy stuff from the 2nd ropes and Inquisidor and SC are just fine at taking that type of stuff. But that doesn't mean it's fun after 10 minutes of it.

3. Virus/Misterioso Jr./Sangre Azteca vs. Stuka Jr./Triton/Sagrado

Misterioso is completely tassel free, which quite frankly is bullshit. I watched this match with my buddy Charlie who has an occasional drunk interest in wrestling, but basically zero lucha knowledge. After 4 seconds he was already on the Virus bandwagon. This guy has really put together quite a spectacular career and it feels like he still doesn't get talked about enough. The first time I remember seeing him was a singles match vs. Oriental, and that was when I was in high school (Jesus, I graduated in 1998. Was it really that long ago!?) and I was hooked from that match. I can't think of too many workers who have been as consistently excellent from my late teens into my early 30s as Virus has. This match itself wasn't spectacular in any way, but just had enough little Virus moments that made me realize how lucky we are to have so much of his career exist on tape. Too many luchadors go unrealized by the masses until it's too late in their careers. How many amazing 80s Toro Bill matches must have happened? How many bloody Puebla brawls was that guy a part of? And all we have to prove his existence are maybe 10 trios matches while he was in his late 40s. But Virus has spent almost his whole career working on television, and that's a special thing.

4. Ultimo Guerrero/Rey Buccanero/Terrible vs. Marco Corleone/Maximo/Rush

This was an awesome match. Maximo put in one of his best performances of the last year and really owned the 2nd. Corleone jumped high and threw nice lefts and flexed his buttocks, and Rush looked the best I have ever seen Rush look. And he was not just "good for Rush" but moreso "tell me more about this wrestler with the shitty hair, as he seems like somebody I would like to see more". I'm sure somebody can find some flaws with this match, but fuck it I was laughing and rewinding and calling Rachel into the room for 15 minutes. Buccanero and especially UG have gotten back into a nice groove the last year. They were two of my favorites back in 2000-2002, and then UG kind of started to embody my least favorite style of lucha. But over the last couple years I think he started to really hit another career stride. I even got Phil back on the bandwagon and he was one of the most vehement UG haters during the late 2000s. Buccanero's issues may have been injury related, I don't honestly remember. I just know that in 2001 it seemed like he and Christian were having weekly TV battles to see who could take a stupider bump over the top to the floor and I luuuuuved it. So I'm glad they're back on my good side. Terrible's new hair makes me sad. He looked like the coolest Rafi, Brolo El Cunado before :(

5. Valiente vs. Dragon Rojo Jr.

Is Valiente a main event guy now? I've been in and out of CMLL, so I'm not sure. Maybe this is more of a Puebla B show thing, not necessarily an Arena Mexico thing? Also is it wrong that I liked Valiente more when he was a chubster? Now he's all jacked to the gills and still does things all purty but I liked him when he was flippy and fat. This was a CMLL main event. Moves were done. Moves were kicked out of. Turns were traded. Valiente slipped a couple times which was sad. Rojo had some rad roll-up combinations. The 2nd caida went like 30 seconds. You knew all of this going in.

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

CMLL Puebla Workrate Report, 10/8/12

One of the benefits of living in an area with a huge hispanic population is awesome Mexican food within walking distance (more places in a half mile area than I can count on one hand!!). A close second is sometimes local stations start showing random lucha with no sort of announcement. A few years ago some channel started showing random, horribly edited IWRG and AULL that I think we determined was only being seen by me. And now some channel just started showing CMLL Puebla shows 2 weeks after they happen. From what I can tell they edit out the opening match with the Puebal locals, which is a bummer, but show all the other matches in full with all the matwork and everything intact. Awesome.

1. Pierrothito/Mercurio/Pequeno Olimpico vs. Shockercito/Fantasy/Acero:

I've never seen Acero before, so KTNC channel 19 is impressing me with their minis crate-digging. Match itself was pretty nondescript with nobody looking bad but nobody busting ass. Pierrothito is one of the best workers in the world (who more people should really be talking about, as this has been going on for years now), Shockercito is a fine not-Bam Bam, Olimpico is easy to overlook because he's a non-flashy mini, and this was all just fine.

2. Virus/Cancerbero/Raziel vs. Stuka Jr./Metatron/Triton:

This was a pretty non-spectacular match, until Virus. This so-so thing happened, but then Virus. I like Cancerbero and Raziel just fine. They're like fractions of Arkangel de la Muerte. Maybe someday they'll be as good as him, but for right now they have elements of him and for right now, that's enough. The tecnicos are kinda diminishing returns. I really like Stuka, and Metatron and Triton seem OK. I've not seen much Triton. Match is all business as usual, fun and games, until one point in the 2nd when Virus tags in. And then shit gets real, as Virus is a whirling dervish of fists and elbows, like a mulleted Tazmanian devil. He just throws flipper floppers left and right directs traffic like few luchadors can. People are flying all over and he's in the middle of it all throwing elbows and shouldertackles to knees and stretching dudes' leg ligaments. You usually don't see a guy run roughshod over a whole half a lucha match but damn did Virus just get sick of messing around during this.

3. Guerrero Maya Jr./Hijo Del Fantasma/Delta vs. Negro Casas/Puma King/Tiger:

I have never heard of Tiger before. Maybe another Felino son? Any way you cut it, despite any language barriers, Tiger is just about the weakest name possible. I mean, it's no Televisa Deportes, but it is pretty weak. Fantasma has gone full on amazing Phantom Limb from Venture Bros. and his work with Casas is super strong. I realize that isn't a very impressive thing to say about a worker since Casas could carry me to something watchable, I mean that to say that Fantasma is looking like he's starting to belong. Just like the prior match, this was allllll the Casas show. There's a point during the match where he just decides to turn it on and then doesn't turn it off until it's all over. He's throwing his mini 2nd Zacarias around all recklessly and kicking guys in the face and jumping balls first off the apron and just playing to the crowd like wild. You heard it hear first, check this Negro Casas guy out!

My DVR cut off the main event but heck I'll live. If somebody can or cannot confirm that I'm the person that is getting this show, that would be swell. I don't see any of these matches up on Cubsfan's youtube page, and if I'm the only guy seeing this stuff then I need to get some sort of DVD Recorder set-up so at least somebody is saving this stuff.

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Thursday, November 01, 2012

Dick Togo is Hines Ward of the Crime Lords, Running Through this Money Screaming Encore

Another match from Dick Togo’s excursion to Argentina. Viloni is kind of fake Jericho, and was perfectly fine outside of a terrible spin kick. It was clearly a showcase for him rather then Togo, as he gets to hit all of the big spots including a tope rope superplex and an elbow through a table. Opponent Togo isn’t the best Togo, although he did a couple nifty things including ripping out pieces of Viloni’s long flowing hair. More of a curiosity then a great match, although god bless Youtube for uncovering random shit like this.

This was Togo's Europe retirement match, as he retired in every city in every country in the world. This was very much a 2010's US Indy main event, which is far from my thing. Still if you are going to do this kind of match, it is good to do it with Dick Togo on one side. The early matwork was pretty nifty, Sabre does some WOS style stuff and Togo was clearly having a blast breaking out the stuff Johnny Saint taught him back in 97. We get a big finish run with lots of near falls, some were pretty cool, like Togo's spinning pedigree, some like Sabre's kick combos could use some work. There was also a giant discrepancy when they did their punch and forearm exchanges. I loved the very end with Togo doing a great job selling pain and desperation in the rolling cross armbreaker. Well worth checking out as it never devolved into rampant DaveyRichardisms as this kind of thing can oft do.


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