Segunda Caida

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

Sunday, May 25, 2014

My Lucha Journey: Rush vs Shocker Final! Cabellera vs Cabellera

aired: 2014-03-29
taped 2014-03-21 @ Arena México
Rush vs Shocker, cabellera vs cabellera




And here we are. Eight matches leading up to this for me and plenty that came before my initial cut off point or that I didn't have access to. There are some seemingly cool things on youtube like the contract signing with Negro Casas standing off to the side overseeing things and a sit down interview with both guys before the match but my mileage didn't go too far due to my lack of coherent Spanish. They're not hard to find but if anyone can't, leave a comment and I'll point you that way. Also, I've seen this match two or three times now. I saw it very shortly after it happened, before I watched all of the matches leading up to it and when I was far less familiar with both luchadors. This time around, having seen the build, I got a lot more out of it.

First and foremost: the match delivered. It felt important, had a really great, hot crowd that was deeply behind Shocker, though that also had pockets of Rush supporters, and both guys not only worked their butts off but also paced and sold the tercera caida well which is so key to a match like this actually MEANING something. I've been avoiding two things while doing these write ups: writing while I watch and play-by-play. I usually tackle these the morning after I saw them and while I had been taking notes at first, I've gone away from that as my familiarity has increased. I'm tempted to go with play by play here, just because there was a lot of cool stuff, but I'll try to distill it into the broad story and how they got it across.

Shocker is 42. Rush is 25. Shocker was this huge up and coming heartthrob superstar. Rush is sort of there now. Shocker was 1000% guapo, had never lost a hair match, and he wrestled this match like a fiery veteran making a stand against the years and against a younger force that really already had superseded him. Rush, as I'm getting used to saying, was Rush. I don't think he's the best wrestler in the world though he is very good (and again, only 25), but I do think he's the truest character. Every single thing he does seems entirely genuine. He's a dynamo of smarmy, brash and brazen, self-obsessed deluded tecnico fury. Here, that made the crowd visceral for him to lose his hair, and even though Shocker had been losing support over the last match or two at Arena Puebla, this is Arena Mexico and they know what they want as much as any crowd in the world.

The Primera Caida was brisk, no more than four minutes, but they packed a lot in and set the tenor for the match. It wasn't the most violent first fall of an apuestas match you'll ever see, but it was action packed and with purpose, from two guys who had spent a few months working against each other. After going toe-to-toe and trading shots from the get go, I rather liked how Rush did his usual reverse course transition off the rope with his dropkick instead of the clothesline, which led right into a pair of dives. Shocker fell back to experience and finesse by tying Shocker up off of a clothesline attempt with a complicated roll up for the pin. He kept pressing the advantage into the Segunda Caida, but there's no one better in wrestling at changing momentum than Rush since he can hit that dropkick out of nowhere which he did. It was only a hope spot of sorts, though, as Shocker cut him off with a big clothesline. When he went for a second, Rush was able to hook him in the same exact roll up reversal that he lost to in the primera caida, and pick up the fall. Irritating and precocious, Rush was able to shift gears and do what Shocker did just as well.

The tercera caida was very well balanced, with a good mix of action and exhausted full body selling. It didn't go way over the top into big moves like some of these tend to, even though they were still there, just enough. I liked it a lot. There were definitely exciting highlights like Shocker German suplexing Rush onto the ramp, a huge senton from Rush and elbow drop from Shocker, or a massive belly to belly off the top, followed by a senton by Rush, but they were spaced apart well and had enough selling to make everything matter. Shocker was even bleeding from under the eye, just to help the mood. The best part was the finishing sequence which had a great call back to the trios a few weeks before: after Rush escaped the Reienera attempt, he stomped on Shocker in the corner repeatedly. Then, just like that trios match, Shocker stood up and powerbomed  him out. That got him the pin the trios. It only got him two here, and led to proper escalation, first the corner Rush dropkick and then, after one failed attempt to set it up, the double underhook piledriver from Rush. I imagine he's used this before, maybe frequently, but in all the Rush matches I've seen, I hadn't seen him do it yet, so there was a "super finisher" sense of it to me, which made everything feel even more monumental. Shocker is great after the match, letting the fans cut his hair and presenting it to them. I know that on a scale of importance, this paled relative to what something like Casas vs Rush might be, and that Shocker had sort of been pushed out of a relatively obsolete status in order to be back at this level, but in context it felt like a very big match and really like the turning of a page, from one chapter to the next, even if maybe one had already ended a few years before and the other had found its beginning a while back as well. I know there are better apuestas matches out there, but this was great fun and worth the ride and instead of putting it down relative to those other matches, I'm just all the more excited to get to them.

Extra bonus: Here's some fan cam footage from the show, the last five minutes of the match or so. It's really worth watching just to see how into it the crowd was. You could pick that up from the professional shot but not quite as much. It's kind of a joy to watch.


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5 Comments:

Anonymous Rah said...

These have been great to read.

While I've watched the aspuestas, and dig into as much Rush as I can, I haven't been able to follow the feud to such a degree so it's nice to read into the little tidbits I've missed as well as to receive wonderful insight from your reviews of them.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a great match! Shocker can still deliver when motivated..
The only thing that brought the match down for me was the usual frustrating editing from fox sports!!

4:27 PM  
Blogger Matt D said...

Rah,

I'm glad you've enjoyed this. I really liked the series. I'm pretty sure it spoiled me for other ones I'm going to track down where we don't have nearly the number of matches all in a row. As for insight, I'm figuring it out as I go along, but if it did help connect some dots, that's great.

I didn't mind the cuts too much here, not as much as in some other matches. I would have loved to see it complete, though. Shocker was definitely motivated throughout all of these. I can imagine him otherwise, of course, but he really brought it here.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Neilithic said...

I've been trying to watch lucha feuds in their entirety as well, but it can be challenging. I tried this with the Rey Cometa/Puma King feud, and it was maddening trying to find all the matches. Worth it though, in the end. Now that I've finished Rush/Shocker, I'm anxious to start Rush/Negro Casas. You've got an avid follower here!

11:09 PM  
Blogger Neilithic said...

I once tried this with the Rey Cometa/Puma King feud. I know how hard it can be to track down all the matches. Kudos to you for all your hard work. Much like you, I've been slowly learning the intricacies of lucha. Having your blog to follow along with has been a big help. Looking forward to catching up on Rush/Negro Casas next. Can't wait to read more!

11:13 PM  

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