Segunda Caida

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

Monday, November 24, 2014

MLJ: Cavernario Spotlight 4: Bárbaro Cavernario © vs Esfinge [OCCIDENTE MIDDLE] & Bárbaro Cavernario, Disturbio, Hijo del Signo vs Black Metal, Metálico, Molotov

Taped 2013-03-05 @ Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
Bárbaro Cavernario © vs Esfinge [OCCIDENTE MIDDLE]

7m43s in

This is really just clips from the tercera, but we skipped 4 months since the last match so I thought it was important to at least look at it. In the form we had it, this was pretty damn exciting actually. It's a shame we don't have the whole thing because you definitely learn different things from singles matches, especially title matches, than you do from trios. The dives with Cavernario missing his crazy flip but then finding a way to catch Esfinge from a prone position, were pretty nuts. The fact he managed that, protected his opponent, but still made it look good deserves a lot of credit. He really put a beating on his body, though, not just missing the dive but eating a Hamrick bump through the ropes which lead to another great Esfinge dive (this time a no hands Asai Moonsault to the floor). The finish was fairly clever as Esfinge gloated after his success, opening himself up to La cavernaria. There's so much ebb and flow to title matches that you can't get a good sense of them through clips, but what we saw here made me want to see more at least.

Taped 2013-06-23 @ Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
Bárbaro Cavernario, Disturbio, Hijo del Signo vs Black Metal, Metálico, Molotov

To sum up, there are five guys in this match I've never seen before. I find these opening matches on cards interesting because you get a lot of hard work and more attempts at innovation and trying different things. The flip side is that the work is both more collaborative and sloppier. More than that, though, a lot of the transitions and timing end up stilted. There's a lack of polish. One of my favorite things about lucha is that you rarely ever see the strings. Here you do.

So, five wrestlers I didn't know. I'm not sure I had a great sense of all of them by the end. Molotov has been wrestling for about ten years and I thought he was notably agile, but his opening matwork with Disturbio felt a lot like them just collaboratively trying to get to the next hold. Signo had a decent enough Fuerza act but it felt a little like a pale shadow. Still, he had the most distinct personality of the match outside of Cavenario. Metalico and Black Metal felt sort of interchangeable to me. They were both fairly capable as tecnicos drawing the crowd in and had a couple of good spots, which I'll mention in a minute. Disturbio was funny teasing a crane kick, but was fairly unmemorable in general.

The match was ultimately a mix of fun spots and good ideas and things that were blown. Black Metal let the rudos take over by foolishly running up their turnbuckles to hit a moonsault. He got punched repeatedly and knocked off the ropes instead. That started the beat down. I have in my notes "Molotov vs the world," which is usually when a tecnico fights off multiple rudo opponents; it's followed immediately by "world wins," which was followed by a couple of nice corner clotheslines and a boring Cavernario pin for the primera. He made up for it later though, because in the beatdown, his intensity really shined through. Cavernario, just by the way he worked his gimmick, can make a match like this feel more interesting. It's not stiffness necessarily, but angle of attack, if that makes sense. The way he comes at his opponent is just outlandish enough to stand out. His character work was definitely developed by this point. He was just an unfrozen caveman, but one savvy enough to point one way and watch as his partners swarmed the unassuming, fresh tecnico during a beatdown. He also did a Niebla-style comedic fall off the apron spot that seemed to get over pretty well.

The comeback was pretty tepid, just the usual ducking of a double clothesline and a rana. There was a bit of a revenge beatdown on the outside between falls, but we didn't get to see much of it before they went into the tercera reset. Here we had a decent amount of showcase sequence, with Molotov looking agile again and Metalico matched up well with Signo. He did do the most ridiculous spot, though, slowly rolling into a back somersault on the apron so that he could put on a headscissors takedown onto Signo who was on the floor. It was like watching horribly colored paint dry in the worst way. Ultimately, Disturbio and Black Metal had a pretty good set of pin exchanges, before they got each other eliminated on a double pin, which is not anything I've seen before in a trios match but it actually made a lot of sense and should probably be used more. From there, Cavernario and hit each other with a double clothesline and they teased another double pin as the opportunistic partners rushed in before clearing ther ring for Disturbio and Black Metal. That was followed by gallant (a really nice sunset flip done by hanging on to the midsection during a back drop in a way I've never seen before) and goofus (a really flubbed Alabama slam out of the corner), before Metalico locked in a nice submission for the win.

It's hard to rate matches like this relative to what I usually see. On a quality standpoint, they're not better, not even in the ballpark. On a fun standpoint, they can come close, though. What they are, first and foremost, is interesting. You see different trends in watching opening matches like these, some positive, some negative. What does stand out is how Cavernario, even more than a year ago, just popped in them, though.

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