Segunda Caida

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Friday, August 28, 2015

MLJ: Chilanga Mask X-Mas in August 3: Guerrero Maya, Sr. vs Guerrero Maya, Jr.

Guerrero Maya, Sr. vs Guerrero Maya, Jr.
Starts at 1:46:08

Let's get the confusing bit out of the way first. Despite what Wikipedia will tell you, GM, Jr. is not Black Terry's kid. Earlier in his career, however, he feuded with him as Multifacético and I suppose Terry took a liking to him (or money, you know, one or the other, maybe both), and introduced him as Guerrero Maya, Jr. That's worked out pretty well for the guy. Or maybe he's just a nice guy and Atlantis took a liking to him too? Who knows.

This was really good, bordering on great, because even though they aren't father and son, they wrestled the match like they were. It had a very personal animosity that ran through it in a way that a lot of bloody matches can't quite reach, an undertone that was cased in pride. In fact, were it not for a few flubs that stood out more than normal flubs and one or two really questionable layout decisions, it might be one of my favorite matches of the year. It doesn't quite hit that level, but I think it's still worth looking at.

On a show with pretty spectacular matwork, the opening stretch stood out for being different. There wasn't really anything showy in what they did, but it was intense. Jr. was wrestling like he had a chip on his shoulder, and Sr. responded in kind, wrenching limbs like he was trying to hurt his opponent, not maneuver him. There was a lot of wrenching and more fevered reversals. Jr. would get a leglock on and just punch at the knee. When he lost the hold, they ended up reset, head to head, staring. There'd be headbutts and chops here, and then a transition into Jr. taking over.

He managed this just by being more aggressive, going to kicks and mask ripping first. This is where we have some of the flubs. He tossed Sr. into the corner but had to delay and then awkwardly run in a different direction as he didn't bounce back out for the facebuster. At point he seemed, if not lost, then surprised by the direction Sr. ended up moving. It wasn't played as an old man being stubborn and struggling so much as just a momentary confusion and misfire. Other than that, though, the beat down was very gripping and brutal. They hit the floor, and then Jr. tossed Sr. over the rail into the crowd. He slammed him into a wall, used a trash can as a weapon, and tossed him into a chair. By this point, Sr.'s mask was a bloody mess and Jr. leaned into it, biting the wound in a way that you couldn't even imagine if you're just familiar with his bright and shiny throwback tecnico CMLL work.

The transition and comeback were absolutely effective and paid off the build. Jr. had celebrated with some jerks in the front row and was certainly taking his time with Sr. That led to a big moment as, when he went for a senton in the ring, Sr. got his feet up in a nasty looking spot. He started to rip Jr.'s mask but, in a moment that felt fairly unique to the match and to the "relationship" between the two, Jr. ran, delaying the comeback's gratification. It really did led to a moment that felt like a father chasing his errant kid who knew he was in big trouble, about to give him an old fashioned beating. When Sr. caught him, that's exactly what happened. He ripped at the mask, including putting his feet on Jr.'s shoulders and yanking, dragged him around by it, and got revenge spots, tossing him over the rail into the crowd and using the chairs as weapons. I like how well protected the chair shots were. They were plenty effective without guys having to kill themselves. By the point Jr. made it back to the ring, he was a bloody mess too, and this comeback segment ended with Sr. just crushing him in the corner.

That's when things got goofy. They segwayed into some armdraggy sequence with the sole goal of getting Sr. out of the ring so Jr. could hit a tope on him, equalizing the selling so that they could head towards the finish. The back half of that is okay. That's how these matches work. The front half was frustrating though. After ten minutes of bloody, personal, beatings, the last thing I want to see is some collaborative, do-si-do partner spinning. There were plenty of more organic ways to get Sr. out of the ring that would have fit not just the match, but the specific point in the match a lot better. It brought things down in my mind because it took me out of the match.

They made it back in the ring and traded some falls and moves on the way to the finish. I'm not 100% sure what they were going for with it. There was a slight ref bump, which was followed by a Jr. Cheapshot kick. It wasn't a foul, though, not anywhere close to being a foul, and I think that's what it was supposed to be due to the ref distraction and the fact that Sr., once he recovered, followed up immediately with a low blow, which the ref did see. Given the way the match had shaped up, that would have made a lot of sense if Jr. had either fouled with his kick or attempted to do so and was blocked. As it was, I didn't think it entirely worked as a finish.

This had some forgivable miscommunication early on and some far less forgivable rough patches towards the end, but everything else was great as they really captured the personal feel of the match and Maya, Jr. showed versatility I hadn't expected out of him. Another match on this stacked card well Worth seeing.

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