Segunda Caida

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

Friday, December 26, 2014

MLJ: 2010: A Garza Odyssey 10: Héctor Garza, Hijo del Fantasma, La Máscara vs Taichi, Terrible, Texano Jr.

Taped 2010-04-02 @ Arena México
Héctor Garza, Hijo del Fantasma, La Máscara vs Taichi, Terrible, Texano Jr.

2 mins in

Ok, I'll admit it. There are probably better ways to watch lucha. Maybe I should just be watching a number of apuestas matches and the few weeks leading up to them. Or I should find the most critically acclaimed stuff, or something extremely topical. Or every Negro Navarro match ever. What can't be understated, however, is just how little I knew coming into this project when I started back in April. A number of people have been a big help in suggesting matches or clarifying things to me, but I'm still feeling things out. Going through a year, week by week, helps me see a lot of different things. I'm bound somewhat by the footage available online and then somewhat by having an entry point, or a control. Here it's Garza. I could have used Ultimo Guerrero or Mistico or Casas just as easily. I wanted someone I was a little bit familiar with, but hadn't seen that much of, and I knew his rudo run from later in the year seemed interesting. Mainly, I wanted to see what CMLL looked like in 2010 and to be exposed to a lot of luchadors I hadn't seen much of or any at all. That said, I'm probably going to try to stack the deck by phasing out Cavernario on Monday and phasing in either Hechicero or Virus. We'll see.

For now, this is a great way for me to see more Terrible and Texano, who had a hugely entertaining act. It lets me see some Hijo Del Fantasma too, who seemed more than competent. I love the gimmick. It feels very detached from its comic strip roots. Instead, he seems to be over for being his father's son and that legacy means more than the particular gimmick. That, kind of ironically, actually sort of plays into the Phantom's own generational mythos.  I have no idea if that resonates with fans or not.

One major change between then and now are the fans. This is a few years after the hottest period as best as I can tell but there seemed to be a much larger tecnico following. In this match Mascara and Fantasma both received chants (though, like in most i've seen in 2010, Garza was the captain). With the blurred lines today there's hardly any real tecnico to even get behind. It feels like a lot of the loudest fans have left accordingly.

This was an A-B-A structure, with a very long first A. In a southern style tag, that's generally a week point. More often than not, you'd want the heat to start as early into the match as possible so that the emotional resonance has a lot of time to build. With recent lucha matches, everything tends to be so stilted that having a nice long back and forth showcase for the tecnicos before things break down can be really enjoyable and add to a match.

A lot of the exchanges were very good too. I liked Fantasma and Terrible a lot, though maybe given his gimmick (which he worked quite well generally), Terrible shouldn't be doing a flip up to end it. Texano led Mascara through the paces fairly well. They kept relatively close contact but there were moments where I swear Mascara moved himself off of a pin in order to hit the next spot which is the sign of not being all that good at your job or at least not leading with the meaning behind what you do. Taichi was generally a good foil for Garza, and for Kemonito too as the two of them had a small face off. Garza got all of his clothes off without getting attacked here, which was a minor miracle and the sort of thing he could probably only get away with against a goof like Taichi. The primera ended with Garza dodging a kick (which went sailing to the apron and nailed Comandate in the face) and hitting a big dive which cleared the ring for Fantasma and Mascara to take the caida (with a German suplex from Fantasma and a submission that I should know the name of from Mascara - Oh hey, it's his Campana, which is apparently his finish, which I've never seen him use. Ok then; this is how I learn).

The segunda started with more exchanges and shine and ended with the beatdown. Mascara looked particularly bad here against Texano and Terrible. They fed into his offense and bumped around for him, but at times he didn't seem to be where he had to be which made it all look disjointed. The transition was fun as the rudos decided they weren't getting anywhere and had a huddle. immediately afterwards, they illegally nailed Garza during some rope running and swarmed. Rudo huddles are great and underutilized. The caida ended with a double heave how powerbomb of sorts followed by Taichi hitting a running kick.

The tercera was short and sweet. Between falls they did the double lift up/drop on Kemonito too (the fiends). After a triple corner attack on Fantasma, they tried the same to Garza, but he backflipped over and then ducked an unintentionally clumsy grab from Taichi who got double dropkicked by his partners. This led to Mascara barely getting Garza up for an alley oop top rope rana and a finishing frog splash from Fantasma and the win. There was a lot of fun stuff here, especially in the first caida and a half but Mascara and Taichi did drag things down a bit.

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