Segunda Caida

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

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

MLJ: 2010: Invasores Interlude I: Shigeo Okumura, Taichi, Virus vs Hijo del Fantasma, La Máscara, La Sombra

Taped 2010-04-12 @ Arena Puebla
Shigeo Okumura, Taichi, Virus vs Hijo del Fantasma, La Máscara, La Sombra

3:03 in

I know what you're thinking. Why the heck am I watching a Taichi match for no apparent reason? There's no Volador here at least (I'm on anti-Volador, Jr, kick right now and will avoid him when possible), but Taichi is definitely there and Mascara is looming too. Even 2010 Virus isn't enough to offset that. There's a method to my madness, though. This isn't any match but the start of a fairly big angle (I say fairly big because while it had a big footprint, it started in Puebla and there just seems to be something off about that).

The entrances were pretty great. Virus' look back then was awesome. He had this cool robe, a mask over that, some spiky arm things. I get that there's a sort of maestro feel he has now, where some of this might take away from his skill or distract from it, but it was a really great look and it's a shame he went away from it. Kemonito, carried by someone, came out wiht Mascara, wearing a shirt. More on this later. Sombra and Taichi were captains. I have no idea how Taichi gets to be captain of anything.

I quite like Fantasma; he never really wows me but he's always more than solid, someone who was ideal in matches like this because he could really serve as the glue, as someone who knew his role and could play it well and by doing so, helped to keep everything together, usually without going into business for himself like Wagner or someone. He was fairly young at this point too. I've said it before but it's a shame that they didn't keep him around (he jumped to AAA in 2013). Okumura, on the other hand, never really makes an impression on me.

The structure was a little weird here, which is quite often a red flag for the finish of the match. I've seen people complain about the typical CMLL structure lately, but I've kind of come to love it over the last year. It's the ebb and the flow and it provides a great point of comparison because you get to see how a number of different wrestlers work within the same constraints; more often than not, to reach this level, they know how to do great things within it.

Whenever the match diverges, it changes the mood because it raises your attention a little. That was the case here. They went through the motions of a standard back and forth opening with a rudo takeover. Fantasma carried Taichi to something halfway tolerable. Sombra and Okemura turned up the pace a bit,  but the rudos swarmed immediately thereafter so we never got to see what Virus would have done with Mascara.

At this point, in a normal match, we'd skid to a relatively quick rudo taking of the fall, ride the beatdown into the segunda, have a tecnico comeback, an then reset for a lot of tecnico-vs-the-world antics, some posturing, and a few dives for the finish. Instead, Virus, directing traffic, set up Fantasma for an Okumura missile dropkick and the pin, but then Sombra ducked past everyone to tope Virus and planchaed his way back in off the top onto Taichi. He ducked a double team kick and hit his split legged moonsault on Taichi (still inexplicably the rudo captain) to take the fall. They basically rushed through the beatdown to the comeback in one fall. It was a sign that either this was going to go two falls or that it was going to have that added loop of a second beatdown.

As it was, the segunda was mostly everything you'd want in a tercera from these pairings. Virus got to stooge a bit. We had those tecnico-vs-the-world spots where one tecnico fought off all three rudos. There were dive cutoffs to cycle to the next tecnico. Kemonito got to do the shirt-take-off spot where he can't get it off and then recovered to hit a legdrop. Someone hit that lightning flip over backdrop counter sunset flip I really like. They made Taichi look stupid, and finally, Fantasma and Mascara hit tandem topes. That left Taichi and Sombra in there and almost immediately, the former fouled the latter and the tecnicos got the DQ win.

All well and good, right? Once the match was over, the real fun began. Out of nowhere ran in luchadores who had, until recently, been working for the independents, Perros Del Mal and other places: Psicosis II(Reaper/Ripper), Histeria, Manico, Alebrije(Kraneo) and his mini Cuijo. The post production called this the "Invasion en Puebla" and the fans were unsurprisingly going nuts for it. This was about as formula breaking as it got, a mauling from a group of wrestlers not even in the company.

Eventually, the tecnicos set to wrestle the next match, Strongman, Porky, and Mistico hit the ring to chase them off (with Mistico being so good and aware of the situation that he was quickly able to get all attention himself by press slamming Cuije to the outside; he had a chant shortly thereafter). In one of the biggest Crash TV segments I've ever seen in CMLL, the rudos they were to face: Terrible, Averno, and Texano, Jr. followed them right out and started the match. I decided that Strongman and Porky together were probably not something I was up to perusing and decided to move on.

This was certainly a match rushed through to set up an angle, but as such things went, it was an enjoyable one and I thought the angle came over extremely well, the mood set by the weirdness of so sudden a two fall match.

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