Segunda Caida

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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Daisuke Ikeda was the Champion of Forgive Forget

Daisuke Ikeda/Takeshi Ono v. Masao Orihara/Mohammed Yone BattlArts 6/25/99-EPIC

Man remember when Japanese wrestling was awesome? You can pretty much watch any BattlArts tag from the late 90's and it would be the Puro MOTY if it happened this year. Ikeda and Ono are maybe my favorite tag team in wrestling history, just nasty violent smarmy asskickers. Orihara and Yone were working heel in this match and we get a glorious battle of shitheads. Ono is amazing here, he has some great fast punch and kick exchanges with Orihara where both guys throw really quick hands, and slip and avoid, while mixing in nut shots. Meanwhile Yone and Ikeda are just trying to rip each others heads off with clotheslines and kicks. Watching Yone and Ikeda kill each other makes their current NOAH run even more disappointing. They have a great finishing run against each other, with Ono running around and clearing out Orihara. An example of what these guys do the best

Daisuke Ikeda/Mohammed Yone v. Takashi Sugiura/Masato Tanaka NOAH 4/2/14- FUN

This was a really good looking on-paper match, but Ikeda in NOAH is a very different beast unfortunately. This was pretty much a bog standard NOAH tag, lots of elbow smashes and clotheslines. Yone was member of the Bat-Bat team who the spotlight was placed on, and he didn't do much. There was a couple of nice Ikeda moment, one nasty kick a good headbut, but he seemed to be coasting a bit. There was a cool spot where Sugiura and Tanaka were forearming Yone at the same time on different sides of his head, but that is the only thing I am going to remember.


Labels: , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Lucha Journey: Rush vs Shocker Part 2: Rush vs Shocker, Mano a Mano

Aired 2013-12-01
taped 2013-11-18
Rush vs Shocker, mano a mano

So this stemmed from Rush's blatant fault in the three-way a week or two before. Both wrestlers were still tecnicos, and I'm not sure how frequent this sort of match would be, even though I saw what felt like a ton of rudos vs rudos matches on the 80s set. Rush isn't your average tecnico anyway.

Once again, this was all about Rush heeling it up and building heat for a more definitive match between the two of them (or maybe even the two of them and Casas if he hadn't gone down briefly with a collarbone injury a bit further into the feud). It started with Rush ambushing Shocker while he was coming out, which feels somewhat more tolerable to do to an outright rudo like Casas than it is to a fellow tecnico. It ended with Shocker almost crashing into the ref and Rush taking advantage with a pretty nefarious fault behind the shook up ref's back for the win.

In the middle there was plenty of Rush being a grade A jerk and Shocker surviving through it. The match was fairly even in the primera caida (with Rush's awesome "soccer kick and look out into the crowd with his hand over his eyes" taunt the most memorable part) until Shocker locked in his clothesline-counter cradle for the fall. Rush immediately acted the bad loser and pounced upon him, taking over for most of the rest of the match. He played to the crowd, demanding appreciation, only to receive a Shocker chant for his trouble. This obviously offended him tremendously. After Rush cut off a very stilted comeback, he used his teardrop suplex/powerslam to set up a senton and an extremely arrogant pin to end the segunda caida.

Rush kept on heeling it up, biting and stomping and bringing the heat. This made the crowd chant for Shocker all the more, so Rush pulled out that old classic crowd-riling card and threatened to leave. One of the best parts of his act is how he manages a level of willful obliviousness, as if he can't understand why the crowd isn't cheering for their tecnico hero who tends to win more often than not. He came back all the more pissed off, channeling it into a huge tope. Ultimately, Shocker walked it off and made a comeback, though with less of the late match selling that really make for the best lucha singles matches I've seen.

There's a lot of attention to detail in how Rush is presented in general. He escaped two roll ups by being too close to the ropes and when he took back over, he just couldn't put Shocker away. They just kept driving home the point on the way to the finish. When the fault finally came and Rush picked up the very tainted win, the crowd and Shocker were both understandably pissed off.

Post match, Rush gloated on the mic leading to Shocker demanding a hair match. Rush shrugged it off which set up the turn that was to come fairly well. Shocker had no other real recourse but frustrated escalation. This was another really great cocky heel performance by Rush that artfully straddled the line between vicious and chickenshit, all the while existing in the surreal reality of being hated by the crowd while being loved on paper and in his own mind.

Labels: , , ,

Read more!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Lucha Azteca Workrate Report 4/19/14

All matches are from the 4/4 Arena Mexico show. We start with an extended 4 minute Feugo entrance, complete with full choreography and a bunch of dancers wearing matching Fuego outfits. But what's odd is that Fuego didn't even wrestle on this card. He just came out, danced to start the show...and then they went to the announcers.

Kraneo, Reapper & Morphosis vs. Mascara Dorada, Mistico & Volador Jr.

Yeah buddy, rolling like a big shot! Kraneo is the man in all this and watching all the fliers gang up on him was a hoot. At one point in the tercera he gets hit by three straight dives; first Volador, then Dorada hitting him vertically all crazy, and then Mistico finally taking him off his feet with a flip dive. But all match Kraneo is ruling with his fatness (loved his running shoulder/belly attack that sent Mistico flying to the floor) and catching ranas as agile as men half his size (which, most luchadors are clearly half his size). Haven't seen Morphosis (former Hysteria) in some time, and he's a good trios member for that team. He and Reapper are really similar so they balance out the fast bumping fatness of Kraneo with cool back elbows and sentons. Dorada and Mistico get to do most of the coolest flying spots here, with Dorada also taking a big bump to the floor that sees him crashing into the barricade. But of course Volador is made out to be the star, despite his stuff not looking as impressive as anybody else's.

Negro Casas, Shocker & Mr. Niebla vs. Rush, La Mascara & Atlantis

Hot match that had everything going for it except for a disappointingly abrupt finish. Up until then it was a hot 15 minutes with everybody ramping up the intensity. Casas has been known to dog it on some Arena Mexico shows, but when he's in a program that matters you can tell he soaks up everything from the crowd. He's practically beaming in his interactions with Rush. The glee on his face as his kicks Rush in the face on the rampway is infectious. Shocker has also been reinvigorated by the Rush feud and has been more electric (har har) the last several months than at any time over the last 5 years. Him running around straight kicking people in the face was beautiful, as were all his assorted elbow drops. Mascara was on the receiving end of several of those kicks and elbow drops, and he took them like a man. Rush of course was awesome in this, kicking face and rubbing into the face of the Arena Mexico crowd. At one point he kicks Casas' butt to the floor and throws him into the crowd, hopping the barricade to soak Casas in random beer glasses he finds. One fan throws his beer at Rush who catches it, then mimes drinking it the way a man would guzzle water handed to him with a mile to go in a marathon. Awesome Rush moment, amongst plenty of others (especially nice was his short thrust hands-free headbutt to Shocker). Everybody got little moments in this, even Niebla got to splat Atlantis with a nasty top rope senton. Ending was abrupt and disappointing, as Shocker forces to straight pins with just a short double leg takedown. Not even a spear either, just a double leg takedown. The one on Rush is while he's holding Casas, so it's supposed to look like Rush getting his legs taken out while Casas falls on him, but the execution doesn't really work. Still, most of the match is killer stuff.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

My Lucha Journey: Rush vs Shocker Part 1: Rush vs Shocker vs Negro Casas

I am actually really excited to watch the recent Rush vs Shocker cabellera vs cabellera match because it's the first CMLL match of this sort since I started to follow modern lucha. I've seen my share on the 80s set, of course, but there's something about being in the moment that makes wrestling pop. I love watching matches from the 80s and there was absolutely a sense of newness to the lucha set for me, but there's a difference between thirty year old footage and thirty day old footage. You just feel so much closer to the latter, even if the former is likely many times better.

Therefore, I'm going to go back and watch a few matches in the build before actually watching the match itself. I had to find some cut off point though, as it feels I could go back a few years with these two (or Casas since he's a part of it too). I picked the Shocker vs Rush vs Casas match from November of last year. It seemed as good a point as any even though there are probably a few matches that led up to IT.

Rush is fascinating to me. I've seen my share of heels with something of a babyface act, be it Kurt Angle's initial three I's run or Bo Dallas now or Mr. Wrestling II in 1984. They claim a moral high ground, but completely contradict it with their actions. Usually, there's a kernel of truth in what they're saying but it's completely overshadowed by what they actually do. Now, tecnico and rudo are not the same things as face and heel, but I'm still working out the meanings behind them. It can't all be as simple as Satanico using magic to turn you evil, after all. It feels more like a code, of how you carry yourself, of what tactics you use in the ring and the meaning behind them. That's all fairly abstract. It's also somehow codified. The affiliation is listed on the name graphics. It's how the parejas increibles tournaments operate. It's even more marked than the old fashioned babyface and heel locker rooms in the States.

Despite all that, Rush is just a phenomenal heel. This isn't a John Cena case where the kids and the women root for him, though I imagine some of the women might. This isn't a guy being so good and true blue that he annoys the crowd. No, Rush is an outright heel who just happens to be a tecnico, and he's great at it. He ambushes his opponents, kicks,stomps, and headbutts the crap out of them with a red hot intensity, fouls freely, grabs the tights, and takes advantage of every opportunity. He carries himself with this petulant, entitled arrogance, posing and taunting and getting outright pissed off when the crowd dares to cheer for someone other than him. You get the feeling that he couldn't go rudo because there's no way the other camp would ever accept him. You wonder if his mother would even accept him. I'm not entirely sure the logic behind it or how it draws, but it's pretty exciting to watch.

Shocker is someone I heard a lot about a number of years ago but never had an opportunity to see. Now he comes off as slightly bloated and over the hill. He's a bit bulkier than a lot of his opponents and uses that to move them around the ring and he still has a lot of charisma and is good at working to crowds, but you do get the sense that he's not the man he once was, even if I don't have a great picture of exactly who that man was.

Aired 2013-11-24
Taped 2013-11-11
Negro Casas vs Rush and Shocker

I came in to this not knowing what to expect as I'd not seen a three-way lucha match before. It's both fun and fairly organic. In some ways, that's not too surprising. One of the biggest problems with triple threat matches is finding natural ways to take out one of the three wrestlers for a while so the other two can work together. In what I've seen so far, it's common for luchadors to drop out of the ring, and for a time the match itself; it's a staple in trios, though obviously the idea is a little different here. Ultimately, the action kept moving and stayed mostly logical with plenty of character flourishes.

The story here was pretty straight forward: these three just don't like each other. Despite the fact they're both tecnicos, Shocker and Rush don't work together at all against Casas. In fact, Shocker and Casas managed more of a temporary alliance and the one time it looked like Shocker was going to work with Rush, it ended almost immediately in hairpulling and backstabbery. You can hardly blame Shocker, though. Rush heeled it up throughout, ambushing Casas as he made his entrance and nailing Shocker from the outside when he had Casas pinned in an elimination match. It's the little things, like the way he went for the tights or how he kicked Casas' leg out in order to better beat the living hell out of him in the corner.

No one kept an advantage for long. Casas had both finesse and his kicks. Shocker was able to push his opponents around the ring. Rush was explosive in his strikes and suplexes. The third man made it back in anytime one of the other two started to get momentum. There was a nice moment of build as Casas and Shocker cut off Rush's corner dropkicks before he finally was able to hit them both in rapid succession. Casas went out first but remained well protected. He fought back briefly after being superplexed first by Rush and then by Shocker before finally eating Rush's side suplex/powerslam combo for the fall.

The match's ending presumably set up everything to come in the feud, including planting the seeds for Shocker's inevitable rudo switch. After Casas was eliminated, Shocker took the advantage, including almost winning the fall with his clothesline-counter cradle, and then momentarily locking on La Reienera. Rush rolled him up out of that and couldn't keep him down. Seeing the writing on the wall, or maybe just pissed off, Rush fouled in front of the ref at his first opportunity. Post match, he taunted Shocker on the mic, only to ungraciously defer when Shocker shot back with a hair match challenge. They both leave with plenty unresolved.

Labels: , , ,

Read more!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Lucha Azteca Workrate Report 4/12/14

These matches were from the 3/28 Arena Mexico show.

Volador Jr. vs. La Sombra

This is tecnico vs. tecnico but Sombra wins me over immediately by working as a dick. Jumps Volador on the ramp and when Volador goes for a dive Sombra ole's him right into the barrier. Sombra's electric chair dropped down into a German suplex is a pretty fun goofy move that I assume was either stolen by a tiny indy guy, or stolen from a tiny indy guy. I think I dig rudo-ish Sombra as then he starts off the Segunda with some stiff forearms and some nasty knees on the floor, then takes a nasty spill over the barricade into a beer vendor's tray. Volador follows with a flip dive over the barrier into the crowd and holy shit I'm digging this! They do some silly fighting up on the ropes leading to Volador's frankensteiner, but it was a much better way to get to that move than they usually do (usually a guy gets caught up there, and then not only has to wait for Volador to get in position, they have to hold onto each other to balance each other. ). Sombra has a bunch of cool offense on display here, and I especially dug his running double knees into the corner (like the old Elijah Express) and a fun and goofy backflip mule kick thing. Volador eventually switches on that classic Volador invincibility and just hops up after taking all these moves and does his inverted Canadian Destroyer thing. So that ending blew. But this match was a blast and so much damn better than I was expecting. Sombra working rudo was a touch I wasn't expecting and his work totally made the match.

Mascara Dorada, Valiente & Mistico vs. Euforia, Ultimo Guerrero & Niebla Roja

Maybe my hopes were up really high for this one, as it's for the CMLL trios titles. But this felt like something that could have been a potential MOTY, but instead kinda rushed to the finish line. It had a bunch of cool stuff, and seemed like it would be taking it's time at the beginning, but then flew to the end. Mistico got to shine which is tough to do in a match with Dorada. But damn is Euforia catch the dragon rana one of the crazier spots in lucha. I don't even understand how a human being can stay balanced while catching another human flying at him that fast. This was just odd in that everybody looked fine, the spots all worked, but it just didn't add up to very much for me. A title match should have a little something extra, and while this was good it didn't feel any different than a non-title match between these teams. There was no extra struggle, no real feel of anything important being at stake.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Friday, April 25, 2014

2014 Ongoing Match of the Year List

20. Corporal Robinson/Heidi Lovelace/Mickie Knuckles v. Kongo Kong/Randi West/Jordynn Grace IWA-MS 3/9

PAS: The grimy, scuzzy, dirtbag awesomeness that IWA-MS does so well. This is a mixed tag stretcher match and looks like a street fight in the parking lot of a Kentucky Arby's. If there was a methed out white trash version of Worldstar hip hop, this would be front page. Kongo Kong is a giant dude working a Kamala gimmick and he and Robinson brawl around the arena, smashing each other. Mickie has put on some padding and works even stiffer and the other girls are right there killing each other with shots. There is some kind of angle which takes Robinson out of the match a bit, which kind of sucks, but man alive is the finish brutal, Kong 747's Heidi Lovelace through a table and just leaves a flattened pile of menthol cigarettes, track marks and tattoos. Welcome back IWA-MS may you live a thousand lives.

ER: Fun match that really only IWA-MS can do. No other promotion has the right combo of dangerously stiff and dangerously unsanitary. I'm a big fan of fatties and Kongo Kong is gigantic and has a super sloppy fat guy body, made to look even sloppier by preposterously fitting trunks. He looks completely unathletic, but then shows me by taking a crazy bump to the floor off a Corp. Robinson clothesline. Kong also has that cool Andre "pulling" strength, as he launches all the girls into towards Robinson, who had been wedged into the corner with a chair. Corp and Mickie have clearly been hitting the gym since I last saw them, and by hitting the gym I mean eating tons of fried food while selling pills at a street fair. But both of them can throw a mean forearm and nasty headbutt, so they're still alright in my book. I was impressed with all the girls here, all of them worked reckless enough that they fit right into a wild crowd brawl. Also, shout out to the moral compass in the crowd, a man yelling out to Kong "Hey why don't you try picking on a man!" Of course seeing this crowd, he was likely just using that as a clever alibi, like acting sick at work the day before you plan on calling in sick. The bodies are buried at that guy's house.


Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

My Lucha Journey: Felino, Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas vs Marco Corleone, Máximo, Super Porky

CMLL Guerreros del Ring on 52MX: 2013-01-12
taped 2013-01-06 @ Arena Mexico

Admittedly, this is a pretty incidental match, but it's also pretty darn entertaining. I've been watching things out of context, so I'm not sure what the story threads going into this were or where it might have been going. From my limited exposure, I enjoy just everyone in the match, though. I actually don't have any sense at all who's considered a maestro (outside of the obvious ones) and who is just tolerated. Most of my own opinions I'm coming to here are my own fumblings from first-hand exposure and what I've read elsewhere on the site (at lot of which is only making sense now that I'm getting to know these luchadors), so I might end up bucking against a really obvious bit of conventional wisdom here or there.

-Porky is someone I hadn't seen any of before this year (which is a ridiculous statement since that's true for most Lucha and me). He's really interesting to watch, just in what he can and can't do and how he channels his charisma and experience and how other luchadors deal with the obvious advantages and difficulties of working with him.
-Niebla has a great look and swagger. I've seen a little less of him than the other guys in the ring though quite as much of him yet.
-Watching Marco is a blast just between the crowd reactions to the Rick Rude swivel and the fact that Mark Jindrak's fate took him away from Evolution and plopped him down in Mexico where he tries to keep up. He's a lot like Porky in some ways as people have to work towards his physical qualities but he always seems like he's having the time of his life.
-I thought Maximo was just Super Porky's buddy, which is what I picked up from a bunch of Rey Escorpion trios I saw, but Phil informed me that he is in fact Porky's son. I haven't seen too many exoticos but he seems somewhat different in that role to me than what I expect. I've been pretty impressed with him so far as he is surprisingly smooth in execution, especially for is sort of lumpy body type, but also works his gimmick into his wrestling really well.
-Felino, likewise, is one of the best guys I've ever seen in working his gimmick. He somehow channels everything gross about a wretched housecat into the ring without actually pretending to be one. He's just so blatant and shameless about it, but it all fits perfectly. Eric's claimed in other reviews that he can be extremely lazy (which sounds like a cat to me too), but I haven't seen too much of that yet.
-Casas is, of course, Casas.

From what I've seen on the 80s set, I shouldn't be surprised  at the way they work comedy and spot exchanges so fluidly into their matches. On some almost embarrassing level, though, it does remind me of when I was a kid and I knew wrestling was fake, but I didn't know about "calling matches in the ring" yet, and I couldn't figure out how they could possibly memorize whole matches. I'm impressed and even a bit baffled on that same level at the complexity inherent in some of these sequences. For the most part, they're inserted in and used in very effective ways, too.

What stands out the most is just how much shtick they pack into a small period, how smooth it all turns out to be, and how elated it makes the crowd. Some of this makes sense. I hadn't realized until post match that the rudos were part of an existing unit (which meant i had been really confused by Zacarias being part of Niebla's promo). Just because it makes sense, that doesn't mean it's not still impressive.

There are tons of examples. Casas is brilliant throughout the match and his versatility continues to amaze me: he can go all out with Rush, manage the first fall of a title match with no problem, and do this elaborate, character-driven comedy. Here he gets to try to maneuver Porky around the ring, hits a perfectly timed super rudo trip on Maximo from behind which was the decisive turning point of the primera caida, engages in this hilarious bouncing routine all the way up the ropes to cope with Marco's height (ending with a really funny falling tree sell), and shortly thereafter takes a bunch of stuff at a fast pace with Maximo.

Everyone else holds their own too, fitting into the puzzle of the match very smoothly. This sort of match is perfect for Felino, with his dickish spit and sweat act that can be distracting in a more serious setting, and for Maximo, who can make sticking his butt in people's faces while on the second rope, a perfectly believable transition. Marco embraces the comedy and also gets the big spot of the match with his running over the top rope body press, which pops the crowd big and ends the segunda caida. Porky's just a force of nature, a supergiant with a gravitational pull, who orbits back into the match at key moments (mainly to fall on people who deserve to be fell on). Niebla hams it up both with his kooky goblin dance, and far more dramatically, by kissing a granny in the front row mid-falls, causing the crowd to go nuts and creating the most logical opening ever for Marco's Rick Rude gyration. Even Zacarias gets to be physical.

It's nothing that would end up on a best matches of the year list, I don't think, but when you look at the elation on the faces in the crowd and find yourself smiling along, it's hard not to appreciate what you're watching. The thing is, I have no idea if matches like this are just commonplace and they run them all the time. If they do, I probably sound fairly stupid talking it up so much. On the other hand, if they do, then I'll have a lot more of such matches to watch and I can certainly live with that.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Arbitrary WWE Match Thoughts

It feels weird being the guy championing workers within the Divas division. Usually that spot is reserved for creeps and...well I'm not sure anybody else has really supported or defended the Divas division aside from creeps.

But I really enjoyed the Paige/Alicia Fox match from the 4/14 Raw. I've been a fan of Fox for awhile, but most of the time you talk about Divas matches you have to qualify any praise with "...for a Divas match." Whenever I've mentioned a decent Divas match to Phil he immediately thinks I'm working some sort of short con on him, as if getting tricked into watching a Divas match will end with some stranger popping up and slapping him. across the face. But there's no con. Sometimes I just enjoy Divas matches.

And at this point I feel comfortable saying that Alicia Fox is actually really damn good at pro wrestling. Her offense really works for her. I loved her triple spinning backbreakers here, and Paige is super pale so every backbreaker she did would cause Paige's back to get redder and redder. It's like in a video game boss battle where you can tell which areas you've damaged. Fox also is great at talking trash, like a female Mark Henry. It never seems like she's distracting from the match, or using it to stall. Most WWE workers can't be bothered with trash talk as I'm sure it could take your own brain out of the match. But Fox does it so naturally. WWE is a promotion that requires almost all their heels to work a chinlock into a match to be used as a babyface comeback spot. Doesn't matter if the match is alotted 2 minutes or 12. So in a promotion full of people required to use this spot, Fox clearly has the best chinlock in the promotion. She really throttles Paige, making it look like actual damage is being done, not just using it as a comeback device. She also really yanks Paige around by the hair whenever she picks her up for more offense. Most wrestlers use the "hair pick up" as a way to signal to the other person that they want them to get up, but Fox really grabs Paige by the hair and yanks her up. Paige has some cool offense too and I really dug her three straight short arm clotheslines, but Fox is also really great at selling and putting over offense. Fox's stumble after getting hit with a Paige mule kick was great. Paige has a cool submission finisher, but even cooler was Fox not just offering her arms up and getting into position for Paige. Fox struggles to keep her arms out of reach and Paige really has to work to lock on her position. It made everything look so rough.

The match was only 3 1/2 minutes, but didn't really need to be longer. It was really great as is. The little touches Fox has been putting in her matches remind me of things Finlay would do. He wouldn't let opponents rest on their laurels within a worked setting, never went through the motions. And now Fox is doing that same stuff. She's already selling strikes based on how each one looked, not how each one was supposed to look. All the struggle, all the flair, it's all coming together.

Am I saying Fox is Finlay? No. That's crazy. But if you miss Finlay (as we all do), then she's a really good female, black, leggy Finlay substitute. I'd never thought I would actively look forward to watching a Divas match, but at this point Fox matches are well worth your viewing time.

Labels: , ,

Read more!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Lucha Journey: La Sombra, Mistico, Tritón vs. Averno, Mephisto, Puma

CMLL on CadenaTres: 2014-04-05
taped 2014-04-01 @ Arena México
La Sombra, Mistico, Tritón vs Averno, Mephisto, Puma

I've seen a decent amount of Averno lately, but I had no idea that he was mystically turned to he dark side by Satanico until I did some research. He's Bob Roop/Maya Singh. That's pretty awesome. I have no idea what his shirt means. Anyway, from what I've seen so far, he's a rudo's rudo, just a real nasty bad guy who revels in being a jerk without getting the crowd behind him like Negro Casas does. Mephisto's his buddy (also a Satanico-transformed good guy?) and Puma is Felino's kid. I've seen him and his brother round out trios as sort of athletic upstart underlings. Triton has a cool mask that reminds me of Matthew Lesko's infomercial question mark jacket for some reason. Sombra I've seen once or twice and he did pretty well in the title match I saw him beat Negro Casas in. Mistico is Mistico, of course. I really want to go back and see the original at some point. He's got a great theme/look/entrance/aura, successor or not.

I'm pretty sure this match is to set up a title defense for Mistico vs Averno the following week by having the rudos go over strong and by enraging both Mistico and the fans against Averno to heat things up. So the rudos go over in two straight caidas, ripping the hell out of Mistico's mask in the process. This prompts Averno to taunt Mistico who is definitely ready to defend his belt later on but also wants to make a challenge right then and there. Averno accepts but it's both a tease and a prodding as he rips the mask off the rest of the way and Mistico has to cover up. Revenge and emotional satisfaction will have to be deferred until the title match. Money will be spent.

The match itself is really enjoyable, at least to me who hasn't seen much of this stuff. Averno's team dominates throughout, ambushing the tecnicos even to the point where the ring girls have to scatter which I haven't seen nearly as much as you'd think. Puma swings Triton into the guardrail beautifully and the rudos don't look back. They put on a clinic of rudo bullying tactics. I'm sure a lot of this stuff is just commonplace, but a good deal is new to me. I imagine someone watching a Southern tag for the first time and being wowed by all the heel positioning and ref distractions and how it ramped up the heat. It might not even be the best execution of the theme, but just seeing it is special in its own way. I get that feeling all the time when watching lucha, especially when I feel like I'm tapping into some primal trope or story that I just hadn't seen before. Here it's all about controlling the numbers game.

As best as I can tell, lucha really is all about momentum shifts, building the anticipation of them and then paying them off in a satisfying way. For the first fall and a half, the rudos do a great job of making you want to see the tecnicos come back. They beat them down, cut off any attempt of offense, and just control the ring, the ref, and their opponents at all points.They weave in all the little tricks, offering a handshake so that your partner can nail you from behind, one tecnico in a standoff with two rudos only to get ambushed by the third, that sort of thing. I'm not going to say it's flawless in execution. There's one sort of embarrassing mistimed spot where Puma isn't there in time get a punch in while Mephisto has one of their opponents up. All in all, though, it's effective, with high points being the bumps over the guardrails that all three tecnicos take and the nasty posting of Mistico between caidas.

The very best part is the mask work, since that carries the general story of the match. All three rudos take turns working on Mistico's mask on the turnbuckles, with each one distracting the ref so the next can take over. By the end of it, the mask is a mess and Mistico is out of action long enough for Puma and Mephisto to take down Sombra and Titan with big moves for the fall. They continue to crunch down on the tecnicos in the segunda caida, including a really nice doubleteam slingshot toss on Sombra. It all goes back to the mask, though. After almost getting it off, Averno leads his team in a taunting fake dive. This allows the tecnicos to come back with a flurry of offense and some huge dives of their own. Ultimately, it doesn't feel that satisfying though, and it shouldn't since this is all to set up a future match. The technicos don't get their real payoff revenge, not even when it ends up Averno and Mistico in the ring. Mistico's mask is in such shambles that you can pretty blatantly see his face and he's white hot fury, but ultimately makes a mistake (maybe due to the emotion) and Averno scores the fall.

Add in the post match mic barrages and the brief tease of a match where Averno grabs the mask and runs, and I sure want to see the title match between the two. If that was the goal here, then this was really effective. Obviously, it wasn't as satisfying or complete as a match where the rudos get their full comeuppance and there is more of a definitive tercera caida, but I thought it was a very strong showing of rudo dominance to generate an emotional response and build heat to a big match.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Night Digging in the Crates

We take a trip down to Puebla to see a bunch of great under-pimped locals, including our favorite lost but not forgotten chubster.

Toro Bill Sr., Toro Bill Jr. & Policeman vs. Asturiano, Lestat & Centella de Oro CMLL 2/2/09

ER: Man do I love this match. This match is only 5 years old but at times feels like it could be 20 years old or 5 years into the future (where people will still be whining about hoverboard technology). Obviously the immediate standout is Toro Bill Sr., who works and looks like fat Satanico. His brawling is nice but you came for the bumps and Bill delivers the bumps. Aside from just an insane bump to the floor, he takes armdrags more gracefully than most luchadors half his size. Centella de Oro seems like a cool regional Freelance type, though with less flying. His arm drags are gorgeous. Lestat has some cool offenense, Toro Bill Jr. hits an out of control fat guy trainee dive, Policeman works like a cool Dinamitas throwback worker. What makes this match so great is that these are six local guys you had never heard of before, being given an opening slot on a CMLL show, and just completely making the most of it. Maybe an opening match shot on a Monday night Puebla show doesn't sound like a big deal, but nobody told these guys if it wasn't. This felt like their M-Pro Barely Legal showcase, and it delivered. Now 5 years removed, Toro Bill Sr. stopped showing up a year after this match, TBJ shows up sporadically (as recently as last year in CMLL for a few matches), Policeman, Lestat, and Centella de Oro haven't made tape in a few years, and Asturiano still gets pretty regular work in CMLL. So they had their shot, delivered, and things don't always work out. But this match will always exist and will always rule.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

My Lucha Journey: Introduction/Statement of Purpose

There's something about leopards and their spots, even in this day and age of easy access and quick information. We all have our niches and I think the nature of internet discussion is a race to the top when it comes to being right. This leads to a trend of deepening over widening. That's why I cast my net backwards into the US territories of the 80s and the pretty disposable WWF of the 90s instead of watching lucha libre when it was right there and so available.

Or maybe I was daunted by the sheer scope of it. This isn't like watching Portland or Memphis of Southwest. Wrestling is wrestling but this is a different genre, a different dialect if not a different language. It took me a good chunk of my lifetime and an epiphany or two to feel like I really get US wrestling, and even then, I imagine I'll change my tune on a few things over the next few years. The idea of diving into waters full of different norms and psychology and looking like a total idiot to people who I respect and some I don't was a bit TOO daunting for a long time.

It remained that way even as I bypassed high ranked luchadors in the DVDVR 500 or Segunda Caida's top 25 and plenty of interesting cameos in March Madness. I rarely do anything by half and I felt like I couldn't just dip my toe in to see a Blue Panther or Negro Casas match. It was all or nothing. I think for years the one lucha match I had even seen outside of WCW TV was the Los Gringos Locos match from When Worlds Collide. That's not understatement or hyperbole. That was just it. Probably because of this, and despite plenty of evidence saying otherwise, I bought into the lazy misconception that most lucha was just endless but entertaining convoluted holds, crazy armdrags, and over-frequent dives.

I had enjoyed participating in the DVDVR AWA 80s set, so when the lucha set came around, I hesitantly jumped aboard. At first, a lot of my misgivings were well-founded, if not about the content, then about myself: I didn't have any idea who was who and found myself generally lost. After a few discs though, the patterns started to emerge. I had more to unlearn than to learn, as for the most part, lucha is its own reference point but not hard to get acclimated in; it was my own biases holding me back. Once I started to develop a baseline, though I began to process what I was watching. I started feeling the excitement of momentum shifts and getting into lucha's late match selling. I went from bewilderment of title matches to really appreciating the struggle found in the best of primera caidas. I still have a long way to go. It's one thing to learn to tread water. It's another to swim readily across a sea decades in the making.

The plan was to finish the lucha set and then slowly work my way through the 90s and into today. There's just so much content popping up now, though, and there really is something more exciting about following something as it happens. I ended up watching one modern Casas match and from there, how couldn't I watch more? There's no gateway drug quite like a jubilant, crotchety old rudo so capable of wrestling circles around his opponent and basking in the adulation of a crowd that's spent their entire lives watching him. I found that I had a perfect window to get through a match most nights in that floor-huddled limbo of trying to get my toddler to sleep in her crib.

I had begun this journey of lucha exploration, but I wasn't documenting it. There's not a ton of time these days and I really needed a way to push myself. I've enjoyed the Segunda Caida blog ever since I got back into wrestling heavily in 2009. Being able to contribute here is absolutely the push I need. I want to thank Phil and Eric. I'm going into a lot of this blind and this site IS a representation of them. I'm going to occasionally misinterpret what I'm seeing and get facts blatantly and embarrassingly wrong. I'm going to get far too excited about something I see the first time in a throwaway match and harp on about it when it's probably far more commonplace then I think, so please forgive my ignorance and my enthusiasm. The new plan is to post on a M/W/F schedule and to take a look at all matches scattershot: trios, lightning matches, luchas de apuestas, good matches and bad, to try to make sense of everything. I'm going to mainly focus on the last couple of years and on CMLL, but i'll stray occasionally, especially into more classic series of matches with some context. Feel free to correct me on anything; I'll probably need it. So far, lucha is a lot of fun. It's a whole new world out there and I really had no idea what I was missing. I hope that some of that comes through in match reviews.


Read more!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lucha Azteca Workrate Report 4/5/14

These matches are from the 3/21 Arena Mexico show, a pretty big show with TWO hair matches and the finals of the Parajes Increibles.

Atlantis & Euforia vs. Rey Escorpion & Maximo

Decent if unspectacular match for the Parajes Increible final. It started out very promising and seemed like it was going to go really long because we actually get extended mat pairings with Atlantis/Rey and Maximo/Euforia. It was cool as you rarely get to see Maximo show off his mat flash, and it's nice seeing Atlantis do more outside the box from his normal match. All the guys get to hit dives with Maximo's flying headbutt being especially nice. Onto the end, I really liked Atlantis locking in Atlantida on Maximo, leading to Rey kicking him in the gut to allow Maximo to do a slick roll up. Then we get Maximo getting too friendly and misreading the signals that Escorpion was giving him leading to Rey turning on Maximo. The end kickouts between Euforia and Rey were a little dry, with no real build. Just had the feeling like "well this will end eventually" without any drama.

Hair vs. Hair: Shocker vs. Rush

Very good match that just narrowly missed our MOTY cut. I could easily see arguments for its placement. But the comebacks seemed like there was footage missing, but it was likely more indicative of lousy your move my move culture that has been happening in CMLL main events for awhile. The intensity was great and it's nice seeing Shocker still able to bring it, bring up fond memories of his epic late 90s/early 2000s run. He did gas pretty hard at the end, but the intensity was there and him tiring kind of served for a better match story. He just got outlasted by the young punk. Rush gets a reaction that is totally unique in wrestling today. I don't think there's any heel that currently gets the heat that he does (even though, erm, I guess he's still a tecnico). Rush is a total dick but he also can take a mean beating, and not all guys take it as well as they give it. Here he let Shocker kick him a bunch in the face and took a stupid German suplex on the entrance ramp. That's why it was a tough choice to leave this off the MOTY list. Both guys really did beat the shit out of each other here. That's usually the quickest way to get me to love a match. And the violence was great here. I just kept getting annoyed by little things like Rush hitting a monster dive, leading directly to Shocker just holding Rush in a leg lock back in the ring. Still, Rush is THEE guy to have in these kinds of matches right now. His charisma is off the charts and those locks are just begging to get trimmed.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Friday, April 18, 2014

CMLL on LATV Workrate Report 4/6/14

These matches were from the 3/23 Arena Coliseo show.

Dark Angel, Goya Kong & Estrellita vs. Princesa Blanca, Princesa Sugheit & Zeuxis

Really awesome women's match. I haven't seen Blanca in awhile and she's slimmed down a bunch and looked great in the ring. She was really great at fast turnaround rope segments, did smart little rudo apron work like grab or kick at girls if they got too close to their corner. Dark Angel looked really great here too with all sorts of cool roll ups and fast work. Estrellita had one of her best showings in a while, and I absolutely loved her float-over backslide to win the tercera. That thing looked snug as hell and there was no way Blanca could have kicked out. Zeuxis here showed more energy than I'm used to seeing from her. Kong is super over and has fun big girl offense and charisma. I mean this was just a great lady trios, best one I've seen in ages. Everybody had their boots on, the crowd was fueling them, everything just clicked.

Reaper, Olimpico & Felino vs. Valiente, Super Porky & La Sombra

Same thing as the previous match, in that everybody had their boots on so the match seemed so much tighter than standard matches with some of these guys. Olimpico appears to be working a Keegan Michael Key gimmick now, and he looked awesome. Stooging all over, bumping big, all his sequences looked tight. Valiente also threw out one of his best performances in awhile, looking like a total star with giant dives, slick ranas, fast ringwork and great body charisma. Porky is practically immobile at this point but can still work fun sequences. I liked his punch exchange with Olimpico, and him holding his arms out for the ref to pick him up after sitting on Reaper is either the saddest thing or the most endearing thing. He was just holding out his short little arms towards the ref, in the same way a child will ask their father to pick them up because they're tired of walking (I wonder if Porky also pretends to be asleep in the car so his dad will carry him inside after a long car trip!).

Rey Escorpion, Averno & Polvora vs. Maximo, Diamante Azul & Marco Corleone

This was also a match that was on the show. It was also happening at that critical time where I had just enough booze in me where several minutes can go by and leave me with zero memory of those minutes. It was fun seeing Azul in Coliseo, as he couldn't just rely on doing his cool rampway flip dive. Corleone has been working a little too gingerly lately. His body presses land super soft. Maximo has been on fire lately, breaking out some smooth and fast sequences like he's Virus or something. Plus good lord I want that LEGO Maximo shirt. I wear size M. Come on people. The back of it says he the master of sex or something!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

2014 Ongoing Match of the Year List

19. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins v. Cesaro/Jack Swagger WWE Raw 3/24

PAS: Such a fun tag match. Real Americans went on quite a run in the waning days of their team. They developed a real good violent set of working over the face offense and Ambrose and Rollins were pretty remarkably good at standard babyface tag wrestling. We have an extended Ambrose face in peril, and damn is he great for I guy I had never seen work babyface before. His facial selling is great at conveying desperation and his Roddy Piper style hulk up when Cesaro was slapping him, and the Nigel lariat looked awesome here leading to the tag. Rollins hot tag was great, he comes in with such ferocity, flying all over the ring and to the floor, his dives never look set up he just flings himself recklessly. Really got me excited to see what the Shield does as a face act, they should never break them up.

ER: Another really fun match for these guys to put in their back pocket. It's really a testament to them as workers that no matter how many times all these WWE tag teams match up, all the match-ups still seem pretty fresh. That's not an easy thing to do when you're giving away long free matches on TV multiple times a week. Again, give any combo of these guys 12 minutes, sit back, mark out. Swagger has always seemed like the weak link in these matches, but you can tell the more they worked together in longer matches the more he figured out how to best integrate himself in the match. It's tough having a power wrestler gimmick when you're teaming with the guy with the most freakish power in the company. So Swagger has adapted with a cool stash of flapjacks and neat alley oops. I love the alley oop into Cesaro double stomp, sad we won't get that any longer. I loved how Cesaro and Swagger's team offense synced up and complemented the other. Cesaro does his epic flapjack uppercut, Swagger does his flapjack into an ankle lock. Rollins' hot tags have been making me rethink my "Goldust is best hot tag in the world" stance as he always kills it on the hot tags. Him adding in his double dive as a regular spot is great, as it's a regular spot but he only has done it when it actually fits organically into the match (i.e. two opponents don't just each roll out to opposite sides of the ring and wait for him to hit each dive). The way he does the dives always feels like him capializing on a situation. Hits a dive, sees the other guy outside, runs back in and nails him with a dive. The WWEDG tag team renaissance is so damn great.


Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Arbitrary WWE Match Thoughts

Oftentimes I will watch pro wrestling matches, and I'll have thoughts on them.

Wyatt Family vs. John Cena, Sheamus & Big E, WWE Raw 4/7/14

I dug this 6 man from a week ago, with the crowd loud and smarky the whole way through. Booing the good guys, cheering the bad guys. It's New Orleans, Wyatts are billed from Louisiana, okay. Hearing them boo all of Sheamus' moves and cheer Rowan's comebacks was fun, and Sheamus got into it and let it fuel his beating. We had some loud "John Cena Sucks" sung to the tune of Cena's entrance music. Hot crowd. Smarky crowd.

But one guy.

One guy on hard camera side had a sign which read "Who Booked This Crap".

Yep. That guy.

The guy sitting in the middle of one of the hottest periods of WWE TV and matches of the last 8 years, just completely flustered by the product being presented to him. "Who Booked This Crap" feels like the most impossibly dated sign one could bring to a WWE show these days. I mean, I saw a car with a Kucinich bumper sticker the other week, but it's not like they'd show up to a WWE show with a scattering of "Other Channel Jackass" or "Be Fair to Flair" signs. Now in fairness to the guy with the Kucinich bumper sticker it's likely he wouldn't bring those signs to a WWE show because he'd be at home eating kale and catching up on the most recent Fresh Air and also would have zero interest in attending a live pro wrestling show.

But Who Booked This Crap? What the fuck MORE could a smart fan want out of current WWE!? I mean, sure, all of the best indy guys from the last decade are pushed high and get to have long great matches on a weekly basis, but Yoshi Tatsu never gets TV tiiiiiiiiiiime. Colt Cabana wasn't given a chaaaaaaance. Vince killed ECWWWWWW.

And then he hit me with an unexpected blow:

His next sign read "Save us Y2J".

My world was turned upside down. Either he is just reusing all of his signs from a WCW Thunder taping he attended in 1999, or he's working the most precise smart mark gimmick I've ever seen. He's ostensibly the guy who gets invited to an 80s party, and shows up wearing a precise recreation of what somebody may have looked like in May 1986, and gets pissed off the whole party about people mixing years and genres. "Look at that guy in the Hypercolor shirt. That was early 90s, asshole! And that guy over there is just wearing sunglasses!"

Who wouldn't want that guy sitting behind them during a wrestling show!? Since few of us had that privilege, I will use the powers of prose to insert probable soundbites you would have heard from that guy, throughout this match. Hopefully it will put you right there in the middle of the action, with him.

Sheamus and Rowan pair off in an awesome display of ginger on ginger violence that you just don't often see. I suppose it's because there aren't that many large gingers around who people would want to see clubbing each other (".....remember Blitzkrieg guys? That guy could could be working Em Oh Tee Whys every fucking night if they brought him in. But it would never happen because you know these idiots would just job him out to.....").  Big E does a triple backbreaker to Rowan which could not have been easy. Big E was straining and his hand was nestled deep in Rowan's ass to make it work, but it came off like the crazy feat of strength it was and the crowd was down (" then I was like but have you seen how sweaty Mark Henry gets!?....."). Harper gets to work Cena a bunch now and they really match up nicely ("...God but if they had the guts to bring in Taz he would fucking shoot on all of these guys. They wouldn't be able to stop it..."). Cena vs. monster is one of the best match styles of the last decade and few guys currently are as beastly as Harper (".....Oh God what if Shane Douglas did a run in!? That guy don't give a FUCK. He'd call Cena out on alllll his phony shit....."). Sheamus does his sweet rolling torture rack senton to Harper, ONTO a prone Rowan, and Harper then bumps huge to the floor on a clothesline. Harper's bumping is awesome and his wild dive is one of the great spots of 2014 (" yeah, you bring him in, put him over everybody, and then boom. You have AJ Styles vs. Shawn Michaels main eventing Wrestlemania.....") And damn do I love the Bray Wyatt crab walk. Big E takes Sister Abigail right on the side of his head and makes it look killer (.....God these guys are so FAKE! I've seen wrestling from JAPAN.....").

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Black Terry Lives Only to See the Lights of the Town

Black Terry v. Tony Rivera IWRG 4/4/14-FUN

A match which certainly had it's moments but was ultimately disappointing. This was a Terry apuestas match with brawling and blood and a game opponent and when that was the focus it was very good. There was some really nasty Terry punches in the corner, and an awesome moment where both guys were covered in blood on their knees pounding each other. That stuff was as good as anything I have seen this year. Unfortunately the lions share of this match was seconds from both guys interfering and brawling with each other, and the interference wasn't interesting or particularly well done. I get that this feud has been about dueling wrestling schools, but here was a case where the booking really brought down the match and interfered with the excellent work. Probably still worth watching for Terry completists, but one of the bigger let downs of the year.


Labels: , ,

Read more!

Monday, April 14, 2014

CMLL on LATV Workrate Report 3/29/14

These matches were from the 3/16 Arena Mexico show.

Blue Panther, Guerrero Maya Jr. & Sagrado vs. Puma, Boby Zavala & Tiger

Good match that got tons of time to stretch out. Puma is really emerging as a guy who I'm actively excited to see, Tiger too, to a lesser extent. They've been CMLL undercarders for several years now, but they've never done too much to stand out to me. Lately though they've clearly upped their game. Extra snap to their offense and putting over tecnicos with big bumps. Tiger ate a fast Sagrado dive and Puma took a big spill into the barricade on a spot where less would have been acceptable. Speaking of guys standing out, Sagrado actually looked really good here, and he's been consistently one of my least favorite CMLL guys for several years running. Here he hit a big dive and had some nice mat stuff, and never got lost or tangled during big sequences as he usually tends to do.

Negros Casas, Kraneo & Niebla Roja vs. Rush, Maximo & Marco Corleone

Killer short match that delivered everything I hoped it would. You get all the nasty Rush and Casas sequences, with Rush stomping and kicking the life out of Casas (it's beginning to happen so often that I'm thinking getting kicked by tassled boots is some weird wrestler fetish that Casas is into). Kraneo continues to be the best big company worker that nobody talks about. The guy is like a lucha Buddy Rose in that he always looks like the most agile guy in the match, while also having a 2 out of 10 body. I mean just a horrible, awful body, stuffed into a too tight outfit that gives him two butts and a lot of weird bulges. And then he goes out and takes awesome armdrags, huge bumps to the floor, and has the best stomach kicks. Niebla Roja is impressive matching up equally nice with Maximo and Corleone, which is not easy. Maximo has an epic new LEGO shirt. I want a LEGO Maximo shirt. What friend of the blog will hook that up? This only goes about 12 minutes but is so damn fun. Watch it for the awesome fatness of Kraneo, stay for the Rush/Casas ass beatings you love.

Reaper vs. Volador Jr.

Better than I thought it would be but Volador is still mostly terrible as a maskless no selling tecnico. None of his matches have any consequences as no matter how bad a beating he's taking, he can just pop up at any moment to fit his moves in. It's pretty pointless getting invested in anything done to him as none of it matters. Reaper looked good, leaned into Volador's flip dives and superkicks. I liked him working over Volador's knees, hanging him in by the legs and kicking him. Again, didn't matter since nothing slows down Volador. What makes all this so consistently stunning to me is that last year Volador was one of my favorites. I thought he was almost always the best guy in a trios. And now he embodies almost everybody characteristic I hate in a wrestler. I don't know if I've ever turned so hard on a guy. But seriously, fuck Volador matches.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Night Digging in the Crates

We take a trip to Japan to watch Russians fight

Volk Han v. Andrei Kopylov Rings 11/22/94

Very cool shootstyle match that feels like what Soviet Pro Wrestling would have looked like. Han is a mat savant, and Kopylov was very cool in using his strength to force his way out of armbars. I loved the RINGS nasty slapfight and the finish was very cool with Han trying one too many counters and almost twisting himself into a submission. I love all Han, but I feel like I should go on a Kopylov run too.

Labels: , , , ,

Read more!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lucha Azteca Workrate Report 3/22/14

These matches were from the 3/7 Arena Mexico show and is part of the Parejas Increible tournament, where a rudo and a tecnico team up, one keeps the apartment messy and one's a neat freak, but they end up learning a lot about the other, they learn to live, they learn to love. They learn how to be a man.

Reaper & Mistico vs. Titan & Felino

Zacharias is sitting creepily in the background this whole match, on the entranceway steps. A creepy child-sized man in a bird mask sitting on steps like he's being punished seems like something you'd find by opening the wrong door at the Overlook Hotel. For the most part tournament lucha is the worst lucha. But I always kind of dig the PI tourney as you get some unique tecnico/tecnico and rude/rudo match ups. So while you still get mostly short una caida matches you get to see something a little different. That being said this doesn't linger too long or give much of a sense of any one guy. Boy sometimes Felino really busts ass and then turns around one second later and looks like the laziest guy in lucha. Reaper started out the year as a crazy bump freak and now it's been a couple of months since I've seen him take wild bumps.

Rey Cometa & Polvora vs. Rey Escorpion & Maximo

Tournament lucha! This is pretty nothing although Maximo gets some good moments. Within the last 24 hours I've now seen Porky, Goya and Maximo all do the exact same leap off the apron. Cat's in the cradle and all. Cometa does his springboard tornillo and catches Escorpions knees on the floor. Ouch.

Valiente & Vangellys vs. Ultimo Guerrero & La Sombra

See this had a couple cool match-ups, with UG pairing off with Vangellys and Valiente pairing with Sombra, so it was kind of a trip seeing them trade sequences. But we get basically nothing. No substance. Valiente takes UG's top rope reverse suplex nicely, really skidding across the mat. But this was short and blew.

Averno & Volador Jr. vs. Ephesto & La Mascara

Damn this was the Ephesto show right here! That guy is so damn good and he really needs to be on TV more. Here he did his killer ram's head tope and all his tricked out armdrags with him whiplashing all over the ropes. This is lucha. There needs to be more tricked out armdrags in lucha. Where have all the tricked out armdrags gone!?!? Me loving Ephesto so much ensures that his team takes the loss.

Reaper & Mistico vs. Rey Escorpion & Maximo

Mistico hits the epic rana off the top to the floor that Escorpion takes like a freak. He also takes a mean one back inside. Maximo is one of the only guys in this tourney that is actually embracing the concept, as he goes rudo on Mistico and starts trying to unmask him. He also hits his awesome tope, so Maximo is the current one-minute match tourney MVP.

Averno & Volador Jr. vs. Ultimo Guerrero & La Sombra

UG kinda works tecnico and it's weird seeing him hit dives onto guys on the floor. Never really been his style. Sombra's wheelbarrow suplex looks cool. Two longtime rudos like UG and Averno going toe to toe feels like something that should get time. Naturally this gets not much time.

Rey Escorpion & Maximo vs. Ultimo Guerrero & La Sombra

The Pasion de Maximo almost blows it for their team, as he plants an accidental beso on Escorpion. They win confusingly anyway, with Escorpion planting Sombra with a double underhook piledriver (I thought those things were illegal...). Pretty underwhelming way to finish off an expectedly underwhelming episode.

Ahhhhh tournament lucha.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Friday, April 11, 2014

2014 Ongoing Match of the Year List

Hechicero vs Cavernario CMLL 4/8

PAS: This is a En Busca de un Idolo match which is a tourney for young guys which is run with fan and judge voting. So on one hand we have a shortish match, but on the other had we have both guys going all out to impress. Hechicero is amazing and I am so glad he is going to show up more. He takes the first part of this match with a bunch of really cool twisting submissions and matwork, even breaking out some sort of reverse monkey flip. Then we have one of the nuttiest back to back spots I can remember seeing, Hechicero almost tops his chair tope bump of last year with a crazy version of Psiciosis neck compression corner bump on the floor, which Cavernario follows up with a Superfly splash to the floor. We get some nasty Cavernario brawling and a pair of fun spinning submissions by Hechchiro. Is too compressed to really deliver the ebb and flow of a great match, but holy hell were the individual parts fun. 

ER: Hechicero is a great pick up by CMLL, a guy who gives off a kind of Finlay/Arkangel vibe, somebody who is really great at filling in the gaps of a match, but who has an impulsive streak that sets him apart. He's great on the mat, working really rough instead of smooth and flowing. When he yanks on a leg, he really yanks on a leg. He takes nutso bumps (his dropkick attempt from ring apron to barrier ending with him braining himself should make him a known name to the uninitiated) and throws out cool things like selling while rope running. Simple stuff that makes sense when you see him do it, but which also makes you realize most wrestlers don't do that stuff and we let them off easy. Cavernario is wild, too, which makes sense as he's a caveman who doesn't understand our modern world. His top rope splash to the floor is insane and his style is fresh in a world of wetsuit top fliers. All of this was really damn good. 


Labels: , , , , ,

Read more!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

CMLL on LATV Workrate Report 3/23/14

These matches were from the 3/9 Arena Coliseo show.

Lightning Match: Guerrero Maya Jr. vs. Sangre Azteca

Maya is awesome because he breaks out the matwork in a lightning match. Fight the good fight, my man! Also there's a woman in the crowd marking out wearing a Maya mask. YES! They go through some cool indian deathlocks. Stuff kinda gets aimless from there as we go through some various slams and ranas and missed dropkicks and it doesn't really seem to be going any place. Maya does hit a great dive past the turnbuckles (I love Coliseo as there are no barriers so guys fly right into scrambling fans of all ages). Maya ends it with a boss submission, like a standing Rings of Saturn while also trapping Azteca's leg.

Rey Cometa, Delta & Super Porky vs. Misterioso Jr., Puma & Tiger

I don't know how I've made it 3+ months into 2014 without seeing any Rey Cometa. He's become a guy I actively seek out over the last couple years after graduating from mere Arkangel whipping boy, but apparently I'm not seeking that hard. I'm glad Porky finally has his mustache back. It makes him look like Jon Polito got hair plugs. Or what I assume present day Ron Jeremy looks like. Cometa gets a fun opening sequence with Puma, and Misterioso gets a nice roll with Delta. Tiger bumps big to the floor off a running Porky belly bump. He does an equally impressive spill after a Delta dropkick so it appears Tiger is separating himself from the pack here. Cometa runs face first into a Puma superkick and gets folded in half in nasty fashion. Because of lucha camera work reasons, we cut to a girl in the crowd shouting something that requires her mouth being blurred out. Cometa has no problem eating kicks or bumping on the metal entranceway. Cometa breaks out his crazy rana from the top to the apron, with Puma eating floor below, while Misterioso takes a big Cassandro bump, Delta hits a lunatic rope walk moonsault to the floor and Cometa crashes and burns on a tornillo. Even Porky gets in on the action hitting his "dive" off the apron which is essentially him falling on Misterioso (doing the lords work by catching it alllll the way to the floor). This was a bunch of fun.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Best of Japan 2000-2009: Kintaro Kanemura vs. Ryuji Yamakawa, BJPW 2/22/00

3. Kintaro Kanemura vs. Ryuji Yamakawa, BJPW 2/22/00

Kanemura is always a sleazy favorite of mine and man he is a monster to start this one, doing the most plausible RVD "throw chair you catch I kick" possible, flattening Yamakawa with two nasty fat sentons (one big one off the top, the other off the top to the floor right after Yamakawa gets tossed from the ring through a folding chair fort). But Kanemura just plays big in general. He's like Adam Dunn in that he hits big when he hits, and misses big when he misses. Yeah he crushed Yamakawa with a couple sentons, but he also caved in his own chest on a missed turnbuckle charge and flew horizontally like a frisbee into the ring post in one of the greatest postings I've ever seen. Picture Sandman taking his trademark ring barrier bump, but into the ringpost. I need to start tracking down current Apache Pro.

There is so much brutality in this and like a total sicko I kept wanting more. Kanemura drops Yamakawa on chairs with the Axe Driver? Mooooore. Yamakawa gets powerbombed off the stage through a table below, except he's lined up poorly so basically only the back of his head goes through the table? Yesssss. I will rewind. Both men are savagely stupid in this, with Kanemura never quite topping his ringpost bump but still leaning way into clotheslines. Yamakawa throws one that really knocks Kanemura sideways, like a drunk guy running face first into a lamp post (and only kinda makes up for getting concussed through a table and getting dumped through tons of chairs). Aside from all his cool offense, Kanemura is also Necro Butcher-precise with his chair shots and table shots. For a man who looks like he has zero muscle, Kanemura swings a full table at Yamakawa's face with the strength of Giancarlo Stanton hitting a ball into the upper deck (jeez can you tell baseball season has started? Maybe these comparisons would fit better if I were reviewing Osaka Pro).

I was praying for some stupid spots and reckless behavior in this one, and it beyond delivered in stupid sleaze. And while the whole thing was overkill, it never felt like overkill to me. It felt like two freaks REALLY wanting to win and I thought the build was great. Plus there's just something beautiful about the waves created by a man in tight white pants getting thrown through dozens of shiny folding chairs.


Labels: , , , , , ,

Read more!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

CMLL on LATV Workrate Report 3/16/14

So, apparently I have CMLL on LATV again. It's nice to see non-Arena Mexico matches on my TV. You get a different kind of crowd and atmosphere for these shows. These matches are from the 3/2 Arena Coliseo show.

Amapola, Dallys & Princesa Sugheit vs. Marcela, Goya Kong & Estrellita

They're building to a hair vs. hair match with Dallys/Marcela, and Dallys runs out ready to beat her ass.  Dallys never stood out at all to me in prior years, but this feud has sparked a new energy into her. Marcela has some really cool offense, and Dallys took her nasty Rush style delayed dropkick like a champ, knocking her ass over crown through the ropes to the floor. Goya Kong is super over and hits her big splash off the apron, knocking down all the rudas like bowling pins. This match was mostly angle and pretty short, but made me more excited for the hair match.

Kraneo, Reaper & Mr. Aguila vs. Atlantis, Marco Corleone & Volador Jr.

This trios isn't much, but I love the Kraneo/Reaper/Aguila team. Kraneo is the king in this match as he's just a total bully who isn't afraid to run into a couple of big rights from Corleone. Marco doesn't really return the favor as he weenies out of Kraneo's running butt splash in the corner. Aguila slaps Volador right down the bridge of his nose and that makes me smile. Kraneo though. He throws some great kicks to the stomach, all sorts of cool headbutts, a neat short uppercut, bumps impossibly well on armdrags. He's the guy you follow when all six guys are fighting at once.

La Sombra vs. Dragon Rojo Jr.

Not sure I've ever seen Rojo in a singles match, let alone a main event title match, so lets see how that goes. Primera ends quickly and one of these days somebody is going to roll *towards* Sombra when goes for his asai moonsault, and then when he does his little follow-up backflip he'll eat mat. That feels like something Finlay would pick up on, but he may be the all time best at getting great matches out of guys while also getting them out of their habits and comfort zones. Segunda is even shorter with Rojo winning with a quick sit out powerbomb. Ladies and gentleman, your CMLL main event singles style. And it doesn't take long before all moves in the tercera lose importance, as we go into an extended "get my stuff in" section where nothing has any consequence. Sombra hits a couple big moves to the floor, but Rojo is first into the ring. Rojo hits a mean spinning powerbomb but who cares? Certainly not Sombra, who's up running around to do more moves mere seconds later. Rojo hits a sick swinging neckbreaker on the floor, draping Sombra's ankles on the apron. But it must not have been that sick, as Sombra is back running and doing ranas immediately after. Crowd is hot for it and the kids love it, so what the hell do I know? They at least do a callback spot with Rojo getting the knees up on Sombra's moonsault backflip, but Sombra literally reverses the very next move Rojo attempts, so he may as well just let Sombra hit that moonsault next time. This may be my least favorite match format ever.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Best of Japan 2000-2009: AKIRA vs. Koji Kanemoto, NJPW 2/20/00

AKIRA vs. Koji Kanemoto, NJPW 2/20/00

I knew something was gonna give. The work was too good, they were kicking and stomping each other too hard. And then in the lamest Shyamalan twist possible, it turns out that Kanemoto has BIONIC KNEES! AKIRA is stomping away at them (and AKIRA is a guy with some great stomps), tearing Kanemoto's kneepad off, stomping some more and Kanemoto is feeling it. He hit knees on a moonsault, and AKIRA started after that poor knee of his and didn't let up. Kanemoto is screaming and clutching his knee...and then, it turns out, kicking at his knee makes him STRONGER! Suddenly he's begging for AKIRA to stomp on his knee, even turning it and adjusting it so AKIRA can stomp on every single part of it. All those joints and muscle fibers, he wants every one of 'em stompled! Stomping on that super vulnerable and easily injured part of the body would seriously cripple most humans, but it gives Kanemoto ENERGY! So AKIRA keeps stomping, and Kanemoto keeps getting stronger, and everything about it is the dumbest thing ever. And then it doesn't matter as Kanemoto gets shoved into the ref, dropkicked (brutal dropkick with insane height from AKIRA) and dragon suplexed for the loss anyway. Wah wah.

It's quite a shame, as 80+% of this match is really great. Really the first 6 minutes are totally awesome. Kanemoto and AKIRA go at it like Wild Dogs (or erm Mad Dogs I suppose) with Kanemoto dishing nasty leg kicks and ripping AKIRA's forehead appliqué off (with AKIRA screaming like in a dubbed Shaw Bros. flick) and hits a beastly corkscrew moonsault. AKIRA is a great heel in this and really puts over the knee work well. It started falling apart on AKIRA's comeback, as the match had been all Kanemoto, and then he (sorta) hit knees on a moonsault, then AKIRA got up, hit a bodyslam and then a big splash and was fully in control. A missed moonsault and bodyslam seemed a little too light to get Kanemoto selling just as much as AKIRA up to that point, who had taken a 5 minute beating at that point.

It's too bad the structure went from hot to questionable to laughable, as the actual execution from both guys was top notch.


Labels: , , , , , ,

Read more!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Lucha Azteca Workrate Report 3/15/14

These matches were all from the 2/28 Arena Mexico show.

Rush, La Sombra & Diamante Azul vs.  Terrible, Rey Bucanero & Shocker

More angle than match, building up the Rush/Shocker hair match (Rachel hates Rush's hair so wants it IDO) but I do really love how Rush and Shocker match up. The whole Rush dynamic is pretty fascinating to me, as it seems like Rush turned rudo a year ago yet he's been a tecnico the whole time (technically) but the guy is just a total cock. Every dumb party douche gesture is great because it's always followed by a cut to the crowd of a pissed off older lady just p'shawing the whole thing and talking to their son or daughter about how disrespectful that young man is. Hector Garza was the last guy to really get that kind of "anger the oldest fans" heat although Garza was really forward with it and would openly flaunt it right to all the old ladies in the front row. Rush ain't there - yet - but he was still great here. Shocker brought the heat too, dishing some big knees and showing more energy that he normally has over the last couple years. Terrible threw in a nice background performance, Bucanero did the worst dive catch possible by completely whiffing Sombra's flip dive, and Azul's cool apron flip (he does every match) looked especially reckless. So, all angle, but very worthwhile. Plus you need your weekly fill of Rush corner kicks.

Lightning Match: Stuka Jr. vs. Vangellys

Fun little match highlighted by Stuka getting planted into the ring barricade by a big Vangellys tope and  then throwing out a move that shows he is clearly insane: a moonsault over the ringpost to the floor, all the while with his hands glued to his sides. Think about your body momentum for a moment, and how difficult it would be to do something like that with your hands held at your sides. Stuka also adds a cool  new wrinkle to the Cesaro/Nigel rebound clothesline, doing a cool rebound headscissors against the barrier on the floor. I've not seen that one before.

Mascara Dorada, Valiente & Mistico vs. Ultimo Guerrero, Euforia & Niebla Roja

Well this was awesome. Tons of great spots at a breathless pace. You get all your alley-oop spots with Roja getting tossed into a tornillo and vaulted into a rana, Mistico gets vaulted into a rana, everybody gets to show off their high jump rana skills with Dorada naturally winning. Euforia is still your base god and he makes Mistico look godly here by taking his ring-to-floor dragon rana and there's such a great moment where Mistico tries the same thing in the tercera, Euforia catches it and powerbombs him into the ringpost. Yessssss. Dorada is maybe the most spectacular flier in wrestling today. His tope is one of the best, his ranas are beautiful, he really just dances all around on those ropes and it's pretty stunning. He's really becoming a guy I go out of my way to see. Roja has never stood out tons to me but he looked good here and is clearly a better UG/Euforia partner than Gran Guerrero. The dive sequences here were all amazing, the rudos were working as a well oiled machine doing a bunch of little things that can get glossed over when going through standard rudo sequences (like actually making kicks look good on the triple team kick spot, UG picking up tecnicos by the mask holes, guys making their forearms look good when they're not the focus, etc.) and you should really check it out.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Saturday Night Digging in the Crates

We take a trip to the turn of the century for some nasty inter-promotional nastiness

Shinya Hashimoto/Tadao Yasuda vs. Tamon Honda/Masao Inoue Zero-One 04/18/01 

Man was this fucking great. Z1 v. NOAH so it had the kind of crazy heat those matches have. Both Inoue and Honda are totally fired up going at Hash and Yasuda at full speed. This was the best I have ever seen Yasuda look, as he was way stiffer then I had seen him, including a great punch to the throat on Inoue. Honda looked great here too with some really cool exchanges with Hashimoto, including cracking him with a headbutt and locking in some nasty Rolling Olympic Hells. Finish was awesome with Hash mangling Inoue's shoulder with chops and armlocks, so the ref had to stop it.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Friday, April 04, 2014

Black Terry Forgot to Remember to Forget

Black Terry/Cerebro Negro/Dr. Cerebro v. Aerostar/Gato Eveready/Relampago IWRG 12/9/10-FUN

In the second half of 2010, Terry gave great performances in good matches. He is still a pleasure to watch, but I just wish we had the classics that we got during the first four months. Parts of this match were really great, both Terry and the Dr. did a good job carrying Relampago through some basic lucha mat sequences, it was good looking but I didn't get the sense he was any better then a generic guy from a rookie show. The end of the first fall was awesome with Terry just beating the holy hell of Relampago smashing his leg into the floor and choking him with a cord. Second and third falls were less interesting. The AAA guys aren't really working as hard on IWRG shows, Gato had some nice roll ups and Aerostar had a couple of cool fakes, but Aerostar does a fucking pescada? If you aren't going to be giving me a crazy dive, get the fuck out of my youtube screen. 

Black Terry/Dinamic Black/Alan Extreme v. Bombero Infernal/Comando Negro/El Hijo Del Diablo IWRG 4/12/11-GREAT

Just a killer rudo squad. Infernal is rocking amazing new gear, kind of a emerald green unitard with red flames down the sides. We get a lot of Terry v. Diablo, they have a cool opening match exchange and some nasty fun brawling. I haven't seen much Alan Extreme and Dinamic Black in a while, but they both look like they have smoothed out some of their rougher edges. The end of the first fall exchange between Extreme and Comando Negro was especially pretty, as was their stereo tope con hilos. There were some slow points in the second fall, but this was a very solid match


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Read more!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Best of Japan 2000-2009: Vader vs. Toshiaki Kawada, AJPW 2/17/00

2. Vader vs. Toshiaki Kawada, AJPW 2/17/00

Well this was great. I had actually never seen this match before. They cram so much cool stuff into 14 minutes, and it's kind of a tidy synopsis of everything that got me into puro in the first place. Both guys were vulnerable hardasses, match had all sorts of turns, both guys took nasty shots, both guys turned in great selling performances, and it had a nice easy story that they were able to branch away from at a moment's notice.

We start with Vader circling and cornering Kawada like an animal, holding out his arms to seem even more imposing as he approached, acting like a giant one-man police netting. Kawada eventually solves that by just running boot first at Vader's face. Kawada goes on a tear for the next five minutes, staying one step ahead of Vader, avoiding his big bombs, front kicking Vader's face, kicking out his knee, at one point giving Vader a back suplex and then delivering punches from the mount. It sounds normal, until you stop and think about how strange it is to see somebody in 2000s All Japan using punches. At that point I'd occasionally seen Kawada break out one punch against Misawa, but to see him lacing into Vader on the mat was wild. Vader's selling throughout was awesome, desperately reaching for the ropes just to keep himself standing while Kawada destroyed his knee. Kawada also traps him in the corner and mauls him with Vader style bear attacks, just smacking Vader around with fists and his inner forearms. It's awesome and hilarious enough that it's clear to me and everybody in the crowd that those actions will result in a nasty Vader receipt later. Vader puts them over huge, feebly trying to escape through the ropes to the floor while Kawada kicks at him. Vader gets so desperate he eyepokes Kawada!! But Kawada still levels him with a clothesline.

But all it takes is Kawada letting up for a few seconds. He goes to charge Vader and Vader greets him with his leaping double bear paw body attack. And then it's Vader's turn.

Vader beats the hell out of Kawada, plants him with a powerbomb, pays back that receipt on the corner by dishing out 9 straight hard rights and staggering him hard with a left hook. Kawada sells as great as Kawada here, trying to stagger away from Vader and falling into the ropes. Vader squashes him with a Vader Bomb, and there's a cool part to the story here as Vader keeps trying to do more Vader Bombs, but Kawada keeps rolling out of the way. Sometimes guys really get stuck trying to finish a match/fight a certain way, even when it just makes more sense to stomp the holy hell out of them. Vader getting blinders on about hitting more Vader Bombs allows some minor recovery for Kawada. Kawada stops one of the Vader Bombs by just getting up and grabbing Vader's leg. I loved that. He couldn't do anything more than just hug his leg, just to stop his move. Vader looks down confused before just belting him with punches to the side of the head.

But Kawada still gets tiny comebacks throughout, sneaking in kicks to Vader's legs which start to show damage. Vader's selling is incredible with these, just subtly limping around and struggling to pick Kawada off the mat. Eventually Vader's power is too much as Vader hits him with another of many huge clotheslines and fists and locks in a tight pin (Vader's pins were also awesome in this, hooking the legs and clasping the hands. Kawada really had to fight to kick out every time. Type of thing most workers don't ever think about).

This had the feeling the whole time of two incredible workers at the top of their game having an absolute battle. I loved all of this.


Labels: , , , , , ,

Read more!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

2014 Ongoing Match of the Year List

11. Charles Lucero v. Silver Star ACM 3/2

PAS: This was very similar structurally to last years awesome Hechicero v. Lucero match which might have been my 2013 MOTY. We have a couple of falls of tricked out maestro matwork and then a big near fall section with a crazy uncalled for bump. It is a pretty awesome match structure, which is always going to lead to a great match, and if the other guy is game, a classic. Silver Star doesn't bring as much to the table as Hechicero in this, he is right there with the matwork, but doesn't add a ton of flourishes, and delivers a big bump, but not the psychotic bump of the other match. I think this was hurt a bit in my mind by being so similar to something better, as Lucero looked really great again. He is so good as switching speeds on the mat, he goes from deliberately working over an arm or leg, to these very fast twisting roll ups, it's like a Fugazi song.

ER: So Lucero may be one of my absolute favorite old guys who I'd never heard of until last year. He works like a younger Blue Panther, all beautiful mat exchanges and cool sequences. There's something quietly graceful about old man luchadors. Lucero has a gorgeous sequence in the primera where he armdrag rolled over Star, picked a leg and did a suave Dandy Roll. I'm sure at some point in his life it was lightning fast, but the muscle memory is so tight that everything may be slower but still looks almost stately elegant. Like if Jim Jarmusch filmed it in black and white it would look incredible. Silver Star is a young buck by lucha standards (I was told 40) and a big fat guy. He was a good power base and even hit a fast fat guy tope at one point and takes a lunatic bump missing a senton off the apron to the floor. Holy lord. Finish was a great throwback spot and Lucero just kept upping the old man awesome as this went on. Lucero is my new Toro Bill Sr.


Labels: , , , , ,

Read more!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Rifling Through the Trash: The Unfinished Segunda Caida

We here at Segunda Caida all watch a lot of wrestling. We also start a lot of projects. More projects than we can ever ever possibly finish. We start watching something, write about it, don't finish writing about it, and there it sits. We have about 80 unfinished drafts dating back 4 years. Some of them may get finished some day (IWA-MS show reviews, WAR show reviews), others are kind of pointless to ever finish (old CMLL TV write-ups, reviews of WWE Superstars episodes). Still these write ups all took at least SOME time out of our schedules, and it's only fair that we get SOME use out of them. Tom used his best shitty tag team name from his "shitty indy name" rolodex AND made fun of RPGs in almost the same sentence.

The FINAL snippets from TomK's review of ROH's "Take No Prisoners":

Vulture Squad v No Remorse Corpse

TKG: Huh? Why? The bonus match from other show on ROH PPV is kind of a staple, but why this match? Did someone say “hey this show is missing a big moves workrate tag”? This whole entire card has been really well paced with every match being different than the one before, and matches ending without long finisher exchange sequences and excessive kickouts to protect the main event. There is a reason not to do a workrate tag with hot finisher train. The opening Ruckus v Rocky Romero mirror missed stuff was every bit as laughably bad as you’d expect. Where is Julius Smokes? Jigsaw without the mask looks like a guy who should have been on the second season of the Wire. Maybe not White Mike, but White Mike’s skinny cousin. When Ruckus eventually joins Eddy Kingston, I want a Smokes managed Jigsaw/Grim Reefer tag team. Is “Eight Myle” a shitty enough tag name? I also don’t think I’ve mentioned the shitty “pokemon” style tales of the tape that they’ve been doing before each match. I didn’t mind this when they used it for the Aries v Nigel main event as they where actually building the match around the idea that the two knew each others stuff. But really if these are the talking points, give them to the announcers to make. Putting it up on the screen really feels like someone is laying out the profile pages from a role playing game.

Notes for Phil: I think you liked this more than I did and thought the spike piledriver was a good finish and finish train wasn’t too long or something like that. You're wrong. But that's what you were arguing.

Phil reviewing IWRG 6/17/10:

Bombero Infernal v. Dr. Cerebro

PAS: This really felt like heavyweight professional wrestling. Just a pair of big guys throwing big bombs (indy lucha big, I am sure Dr. Cerebro is like 5'4). Infernal jumps Cerebro outside and whoops on him for the first fall. Cerebro has a really great looking trickle of blood rolling down his face. Cerebro fires back with some soup bones, including a spectacular elbow smash plancha which looked like the ghost of Misawa. Finish was decent, although the low blow finish is such a lucha cliche, I don't want to see it infecting IWRG.

Mickie Segura/Trauma I/II v. Los Gringos VIP

PAS: 2010 IWRG is so good that the baseline for an average match is pretty high. It will consistently put out solidly worked excellent matches with occasional flashes of brilliance, that it is kind of hard for a match like this to stand out. This was six very good wrestlers having a very good trios title match. We got a long first fall of mat work, it isn't normally what you expect out of the Lucha Libre VIP team (outside of Avisman, who is the guy who doesn't work the mat in this match), but they are pretty good at it. I especially liked El Hijo Del Diablo v. Trauma I, which was really a pair of powerhouse using their strength to move in and out of hold, Diablo is having a hell of a year. Second fall was rudo triple teams and brawling, which was done well, although there was no huge bump or blood or anything to distinguish it. Third fall was a traditional title match third fall, down to the step over toe hold comedy spot which you see a ton of in classic lucha (the spot which ends with the Technico wiggling in a pinning all three guys.) Good workman like lucha libre, which won't register when we look back at 2010, but is certainly well worth spending 20 minutes watching

Notes from EricR watching the 3/27/14 TNA iMPACT:

~Davey/Edwards vs. Magnus/Abyss: Wow Davey Richards is just a hilariously bad wrestler. I mean, not as horrid as Abyss, who seems to fight every natural way to take bumps and go against every body instinct to fall in the most ridiculous way possible. So Eddie Edwards always does a spit take bump in his matches, and here he took an elbow from Magnus and ended up accidentally spitting directly into Davey's (on the apron) eyes. And what's amazing is Davey sold it! He didn't just casually pretend another human being, his partner, didn't just accidentally spit directly into his eyes. He sold it. But he didn't sell it like a normal human would sell the indignity of feeling another human's warm spit hit your eyes and face, he sold it like Eddie Edwards was a Dilophosaurus and he was Nedry getting acidic mucous spit into his eyes. The goggles! They do nothing!!! He also later took the most hilarious back bump, where it looked like he was jumping up and landing back first on a big trampoline, just 11 year old me getting bounced higher and getting sick air, landing on my back. Or doing a cannonball into a swimming pool, with all the grace of a "mom watch me dive!" child.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Read more!