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Friday, February 13, 2015

MLJ: 2010: A Garza Odyssey 17: Convergence

Taped 2010-05-16 @Arena México
El Alebrije, Histeria, Maniaco vs Brazo de Plata, Héctor Garza, Toscano


Embedding isn't working well on this one, unfortunately.

So, this is where it all comes together as if I knew what I was doing from the beginning. I really didn't. Garza had been straddling the line for a better part of a month now. He'd been having dissension with two sets of tecnicos, really, with Fantasma and Mascara on the one side (and he walked out on them costing them the trios title) and Porky and Toscano on the other, and of course had won the Gran Alternativa with a rudo, despite claiming that he still wasn't. Meanwhile, Los Invasores had invaded, most of them being previous AAA wrestlers.

All of that set the stage for this match which was the first time on TV that Garza teamed with Porky and Toscano since walking out on his other partners and since winning the Gran Alternativa the week before. It was also the first time he was paired up against the Invasores. Unsurprisingly things came to a head, though maybe in potentially ambiguous ways.

Like usual for matches of this project, this was the Garza show, with him stooging and hamming and emoting and everything else, while the Invasores got to show their dominance, Porky was able to be Porky and Toscano was able to fight against huge odds and show righteous fury towards Garza. As the culmination of a turn, it was anti-climactic but some of that was due to the sheer length of said turn. My gut says that they hadn't really worked out the whole Invasores thing when they began it.

This was my first look at Maniaco and he didn't really stand out as being much different from Histeria, but his mask was awesome, with a fully on bat in the middle of it, with eyes and fangs and everything. Over the top and it fit in perfectly with his stablemates. By the way, they had a bunch of little promos/videos with the invaders around this time, usually with Psicosis II doing the talking. They were all set in some sort of backstage factory type lot and involved them destroying things to high effect. They definitely played up on the wild elements they brought to the table.

The story of the match was Garza doing everything humanly possible to avoid tagging in and his partners getting more and more frustrated with him. Porky started the match by charging Alebrije on the ramp, which was pretty great, but then the rudos used their numerical advantage to take over. Even Kemonito looked like he was going to kill Garza as he kept pulling his hand back in or faking a leg injury. It was a distraction like that which let Cuije nail the poor little monkey guy from behind and knock him off the apron. Immediately thereafter, Cuije let himself be used as a projectile bomb onto Porky and the rudos pinned him. They followed that up with a brutal double armdrag into an Alebrije Power Bomb on Toscano, who then ate a Maniaco senton bomb as well to end the primera.

Then things got pretty perilous. First, Garza "accidentally" stands on Kemonito for about twenty seconds. Then, the rudos pulled out this insane spiked metal bat, the sort of thing you never see in CMLL during this era, and they spent about three minutes menacing Garza with it. They made a big deal out of this before Garza finally escaped untouched and started selling the leg again on the outside as Toscano pushed him. They went back in, did a reset and some decent sequence with Toscano before once again making a big deal about Garza coming in, this time, forced by his partners, against Alebrije. Even at this point Porky was trying to rouse the crowd to encourage Garza. Or mockingly encourage him. And I suppose to either their credit or their lack of credit, there was some animosity there. Garza played his character, trying to avoid conflict, going for the time out , but Alebrije kept pushing, and Garza fought back. While the bat sequence was cute, there wasn't any real drama here, except for whether or not Garza wasn't just a rudo now, but with the invaders.

We've seen dozens of great heel turns in tag matches where the turner avoids tags and contact until the last second. That didn't happen here. Garza just came off as so amazingly irritating that everyone wanted to hit him. That would have been well and good if he wasn't to be revealed at a press conference a few days later as one of the leaders of the faction. It made the back half of this match, once he started to get physical, seem weird. The tercera ended with Garza knocking Toscano off the top so the rudos could pin him and then just laying down so they could pin him, but we'd seen behavior like that out of him over the few weeks before. He seemed like he had turned up the passive aggressiveness but not like this was a big stop on the "turn" roadmap. Still, watching him stand on Kemonito (especially after how pissed the monkey was at him earlier in the match) was pretty damn entertaining, so the match had that going for it.

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