Segunda Caida

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

Monday, February 02, 2015

MLJ: Hechicero Spotlight 3: Rey Hechicero vs Caifan Rockero I [mask vs hair]

Taped 2010-03-21 @ Gimnasio Nuevo León
Rey Hechicero vs Caifan Rockero I [mask vs hair]

7:51 in

Back to regularly scheduled programming. The plan for the Hechicero matches was to watch what we had easily available, two from 08, one from 09, one from 2010, one from 2011, and one from 2012. Looking at those, however, a big glaring miss was this hair vs hair match from 2010. It was listed as having been taped but wasn't online (or was but had been taken down). Obviously, if you're going to take a look at someone's early career, having an apuestas match is a great part of the equation. Thankfully, our community is great and my friend Mark sent out a call and TKD answered with the links to the match. So thank you to both.

I am skipping a Gato Fantasma, Silver Star, Tigre Universitario vs Diluvio Negro I, Diluvio Negro II, Rey Hechicero match from 2009 because I couldn't really get my bearings on that. Apologies to anyone who actually enjoys reading me fumbling about lost on a match. Here's the link for it if you want to see it:

If it's any help, I don't have a great sense of who Caifan Rockero is. He's dropped the Rockero at some point but earlier in his career teamed with his brother (being Caifan Rockero II). Apparently, they had a really great feud with Los Orientales back in 2001. Here's a match from that which I haven't had time to see yet. According to luchawiki, after his brother left wrestling, he had a big shot at CMLL but got injured and the moment passed.

This was aired on a Perros del Mal episode and it is clipped a little here and there but it's clipped well at least. My impression is that it was only one fall, but I honestly don't know. If it wasn't, then it was reedited competently to be so. The arena is strikingly empty for an apuestas match that made tv. I don't know the first thing about the arrangements here but I'm wondering if it got presented because the match had buzz after the fact. It felt like a match that should have had buzz. Out of everything I've seen of him so far, this was the first match where Hechicero was REALLY Hechicero.

There was the intensity here that you'd expect out of a match with these stakes, but maybe not the hate. That's not to say that Hechicero was doing the sort of pandering I've seen him do in earlier matches. He wasn't. He was focused, but there weren't a lot of strikes or blood or wound targeting or brawling. There was a little bit of that but just a little. Really, it felt more like the last fall of a title match. In fact, you could almost extrapolate it into a three falls title match just from what happened, with Hechicero getting his Valiente Driver in early (after what I think was a springboard flub that they recovered from) and Caifan getting his knees up to stop a spinning slingshot splash followed by a nice Gory driver. Both of those only received two counts, but I really could have seen each one getting the three and making for a short primera and segunda like we see all the time.

As I said, Hechicero really did feel like Hechicero here, with a lot of arm trap and pumphandle moves and submissions. He hit a bit exploder suplex and this insane reverse gutwrench, fisherman's turning facebuster thing, which was equally contrived and painful looking, plus all of his big signature surfboard submissions. He moved from one impressive looking thing to the next, with very little of it looking contrived, or alternatively, all of it looking so contrived that it came off as a legitimate style as opposed to being ridiculous. The few strikes he did looked great. His dives were impressive. And he ate some big offense from Caifan too (there was one top rope rana that they fought over that was particularly nuts).

More importantly the match really did flow for the most part. Maybe that was due, in part, to the clipping, but I bought the momentum shifts be it the knees coming up as mentioned before or Caifan appealing to the crowd too much as he was chopping Hechicero and getting tied up for his mistake. There was some of the big lay-down selling that you'd expect in a match like this, but it felt mostly warranted, though some of the start-stop pacing of it was a little jarring. I'd say it lacked polish in that regard, but that's how a lot of the big title and apuestas matches are run these days, so there's probably a better way to say that. Some of the fighting for holds felt a little sloppy but at the same time very competitive, especially towards the end stretch, so I'm more than forgiving there.

This really had too much in the way of spots and action to run them all down but I don't necessarily feel like it was too much for what they were trying to do. It probably was too much for the setting (one where they actually interview poor Caifan when he's getting his hair cut in front of such a seemingly small crowd), but that's sort of moot as they might not have been allowed to do it in a larger setting anyway. I think it's worth watching though, both to see where Hechicero was in his development in 2010 when he really had a chance to showcase his work and because it was dynamic and enjoyable on its own.

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Anonymous Rah said...

Sounds like they finally found their groove. I'm interested in both parties so I'll give it a look but their singles affair in 2009 was really not good at all.

What I seemed to get from it was that both men gave each other too much leeway in their work and that they couldn't find a pacing to their work. Opening matwork was also so far from what you'd expect from Hechicero, too. He still has all those great spots here but they're kinda just thrown in randomly.

May have been a better introduction to their work (considering the 2009 match was their first ever encounter) but it's definitely a skippable affair, nontheless. Appreciate the reviews, as always.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Matt D said...

That's fair. Mainly, I saw more of today's Hechicero in this match than I had in the preview couple I'd seen. I also think it was the sort of the match that'd get buzz just because it was such a spotfest with so many "movez."

I think it's important in the evolution of Hechicero (given what I know we have easily available), but that he still had a way to go. I'll be curious if I start to see the matwork enter in more successfully over the next few matches.

8:02 AM  

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