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Friday, January 02, 2015

MLJ: 2010: A Garza Odyssey 12: Gran Alternativa 2010 - Quarter and Semi-Finals

Taped 04/16/2010 @ Arena México ***Arena Mexico 53rd Anniversary***
Gran Alternativa 2010

Tournament Lucha; I was going to skip this but if i am looking at Garza's year it's important for two reasons. 1) He won the tournament. 2) He chose to team with a rudo and really acted like one. That the matches here weren't bad helps, though. I've not seen one of these before, I don't think (Cavernario and Niebla won in 2014). The idea is that it's veterans paired with rookies. Say what you will about CMLL's tournaments but they do have some interesting ones, in theory, ever year. I'd kind of love to see a tag tournament with a WWE wrestler teaming with a NXT wrestler, for instance. Garza had won the tournament before, on the other side of things, way back in 1994 with Negro Casas. Here he teamed with Polvora, which again, was notable since he hadn't turned yet and Polvora was a rudo. He was claiming in interviews at this point that he was still a tecnico, just that he was having some miscommunication with his partners.

It's notable that his quarterfinal match was against Mascara and Sensei. As always, CMLL really got the most out of that idea (note: sarcasm) by running it in the first round instead of building to it later on. The finals end up being against Delta and Volador, Jr. and maybe there was some very important story reason for that, but even putting Garza against his partner that he was about to turn on in the weeks to come in the last match of Block A would have meant something. I've never seen a wrestling company so good at minimizing impact. Regardless, we don't have that match, but Garza and Polvora won.

Here's what we do have.

Héctor Garza & Pólvora vs Blue Panther & Rey Cometa

1:44 in

Tournament lucha tends to be all action and no meaning and I'm not saying that wasn't the case here but the action was good. This started with Cometa hitting a crazy spinning dive and didn't really look back. Garza was pure on rudo beating Panther down on the outside, helping Polovra beat on Cometa on the inside and breaking out the move of 2010 that he could now use as a rudo, sending his opponent off the rope, tossing them up as high as can be and then nailing a kick on the way down. Past the sheer awesomeness of that move, the big takaway from the match for me was Blue Panther's fire. He seemed more than five years younger than he is now and I think some of it was the fact that the porra tecnica was there in force with a big banner and drumming away. They're more or less gone now and it's a shame because they added a lot, a real earnestness and excitement to the proceedings.

As I said, here they helped fuel Panther's fire. He rushed into the ring and forced Garza out with a headscissors takedown, following it up with a tope as Garza humorously punched the air on the outside. Cometa would rana back in, eat a clothesline and eventually get Polvora out but Garza snuck in and dropkicked him in the back of the skull with a cheapshot before he could hit another dive. He was full on rudo here, dancing after the shot. Garza went up to the top, but Cometa tried to stop him, only to get superbombed for his attempt. A moment later Polvora came off the top with a splash and they double pinned Cometa.

Panther rushed back in and matched up with Garza again, and I have to admit that Hector seemed like he was having a blast as a rudo, marching around cockily with Panther's arm right to the point where Panther took advantage and turned it into a Fujiwara arm bar for the tap out. Garza rolled out, selling the arm and Panther quickly locked the same hold on Polvora. Garza, on the outside, helped get him to the ropes though. Panther complained to the ref and got small packaged in the midst of the distraction. Garza celebrated with Polvora, still selling the arm. Definitely good for what it was and Garza was already shining as a rudo.

Héctor Garza & Pólvora vs Diamante & La Sombra
4:07 in

Diamante and Sombra had matching gear for this, so it was a little bit hard to tell them apart. They had gone through the fairly logical pairing of Cancerbero and Mephisto and Atlantis and Inquisidor(no idea who that is; wiki says former mini who's won the bodybuilding tournament a couple of times) to get to the semis. This began with Garza kissing girls on the way down like he was a tecnico but quickly hitting that toss up kick on Diamante, followed by dancing and laughing and mocking Sombra in the corner by making a cross on him before chopping him.

The tecnicos came back and hit some hugely impressive moonsaults (a top rope to the outside one by Diamante and a top rope Asai version by Sombra) before getting swept under. First, Diamante missed a 450 and was pinned by both opponents. Then Sombra, who kept fighting back strong against Garza and Polvora, was ultimately defeated by the numbers game. He had the advantage multiple times but would get hit by a cheapshot (including two kicks to the back) at a key moment. Finally, Garza lifted him onto Polvora's shoulders, while the latter was sitting on the top turnbuckle, and one super facebuster later, the rudo and de facto rudo picked up the win.

I don't think this was quite as strong as the first match but it was a little flashier and so far as tournament lucha goes, was enjoyable enough to watch. It definitely has me ready for Garza to fully embrace his rudo leanings; post match here he was interviewed and said, once again, that he was a tecnico and it was all just a big misunderstanding.

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Blogger Jay Cordingley said...

Just a little factoid: inquisidor is the brother if polvora :)

9:18 AM  

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