Segunda Caida

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

Monday, December 29, 2014

MLJ: Cavernario Spotlight 8: Esfinge, Gallo, Tritón vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Nitro, Nosferatu

Aired 2014-01-04
taped 2013-12-25 @ Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
Esfinge, Gallo, Tritón vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Nitro, Nosferatu

I like this because it sort of takes me full circle. Some of those early Cavernario matches were with Esfinge and Gallo and we're back to them. This reminded me of a lot of similar matches I've sen lately. There was a lot of good stuff here but some of the execution was off. Usually, though there's a bit of a balance. If the execution is off, it'll be off the whole match but the level is about equal so it doesn't actually hurt things too much. Basically, you know what you're getting. Here, though, they started strong, had a strong middle, but then sort of fell apart by the end due primarily to basic talent levels and maybe getting a bit overexcited or blown up.

Lots of good matwork to begin, surprisingly good really. I liked Nosferatu (who, if not new to me, is someone I've only seen once or twice) and Esfinge's exchange since they started with some more basic work, a top wristlock test of strength and even rolling around on the ring a bit in a front facelock. It was basic but well worked and sort of stood out in context since you don't always see such things in lucha. Then Cavernario and Triton came in and did much higher level work; it felt a lot like a shooty exhibition of grabbing legs and finding escapes. My only problem with it was that it didn't quite escalate the way I wanted.

Nitro and Gallo was a bit more high impact, a bit less smooth. Gallo really feels like the sort of local hero you'd get on an indy show in the US. The crowd is into him and he'll puff up (pun intended, but it's true!) to make sure he gets every little bit he can out of it. The transition was great. He knocked Nitro out and went for a tope but Nosferatu dropkicked him from the apron as his head went out between the ropes. Then the swarm began.

This had a very good beatdown that felt like it got a couple of extra minutes and used them well. The rudos were showing off and posturing and having fun while beating the crap out of the tecnicos. There was a lot of clowning the tecnicos, be it by offering a handshake and a hug before ambushing or faking a foul to get a moment's distraction (even when they didn't need it) before ambushing. It was fun and by the end of it, the tecnicos didn't even know which way to look when they came in. Eventually Nitro powerbombed gallo and put on a crab/arm pull(that probably has a name too) for the caida. They'd continue on into the segunda, really controlling the flow and the match. Gallo tried to fight back but got pushed down. Esfinge would try to dropkick in but miss. Eventually Esfinge flipped over on a corner toss and ducked out of an attempt to hold and hit him allowing Triton to fly in with a rana and a pin and Esfinge himself to springboard back in with a splash (as Gallo heroically chased the retreating Nitro) for the segunda.

Unfortunately, it all fell apart after the comeback. To be fair, I thought Cavernario looked pretty good. Cavernario's highlights were dodging a backflip off the rope with perfect timing, taking soem dubious offense from Triton very well, and managing to end up first stuck in the ropes for a nasty sliding dropkick and then through them in a great Hamrick bump before he caught a nice Asai Moonsault by Triton. Unfortunately, no one else looked good. There were some rough rope running segments, some really dubious and barely hit armdrags, and a brutally botched roll up by Gallo and Nitro. It's a shame too because I was feeling it.

I'm going to go away from Cavernario for a while now. My biggest takeaway from these matches, however, is that he was really quite good, even a few years back. There were some things that he still did that needed work; for instance, he'd have great mat exchanges that didn't really build to a resolution or the chop exchanges that were sometimes there for the sake of it, but he was such an enjoyable part of a lot of these matches. He played his character so well and brought a lot of color to trios where it was really needed. I think he was ready to explode and I'm glad that he ended up with the opportunity to.

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