Segunda Caida

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

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Lucha Memes 12/25/15 Review

Lucha Memes is one of the super indies which have shown up in Mexico lately booking matches out of my brain. A lot of the time they don't live up to the on paper possibility, but always worth checking out. 

Alas de Acero, Aramis, Iron Kid y Demasiado vs Suicida, Freelance, Súper Mega y Séptimo Rayo

PAS: This is a spotfest opener, with a mix of cool and blown spots. Suicida and Freelance are always a welcome sight and they break out the two coolest dives of the match with Suicida going horizontal on a tope and Freelance getting thrown to the celling by his partner in a tope con hilo. There was some pretty bad construction Ric Blade stuff with chairs for the finish, much more of a chance to see some fun guys then a good match

Arez, Impulso y Belial vs Decnnis, Toscano y Zumbido

PAS: This a vetrans vs. young hot shot luchadores Indystrongtibles. The young guys have some fun spots, and I enjoy Zumbido, but parts of this were pretty bad. Toscano especially was clearly just mailing this whole thing in. Not enough good to recommend, most time your veterans work hard on these indy shows, not here.

ER: This wasn't good, but I did think Zumbido was actually really good in this. Not good enough to lift up 5 other guys, but his stuff looked like Zumbido's stuff, which is good. Loved him leaning jaw first into a Belial superkick, taking his huge flip bump to the floor, dragging a guy to the apron to paste him with a DDT. I thought he was a bright spot. Skip to those spots. 

Negro Navarro vs Virus

PAS: Maestro match of the year, and just beautiful grappling. No catch and release stuff, all nasty twists and counters. Both guys are like a pair of jazz masters just riffing, Navarro tries an attack, Virus comes up with a trippy way to get out, and Navarro counters his counter. Virus does this awesome thing where he is stuck in a submission and he just shifts his weight around until he finds a weak spot in the submission. Lesser mat workers will just go from hold to hold, you get to see Virus show his work. Navarro is especially great at setting up a submission and have an extra crank, he gets everything lined up and then BOOM here comes a quick extra violent twist. I loved this so much, it is a match up I dreamed about for years and it has always lived up to expectations. 

ER: This was just constant, and so damn impressive. Phil mentions most guys going hold to hold, and it's totally true. Submission, break, start over. Submission, let other guy go, start over. The stuff is impressive, but never advances things. This is constant advancement. There's a rope break and a truce off of it, but most of it is just two men wanting to roll and wanting to beat the other without strikes. It's a benefit of a una caida match, although most una caida matches are just worked like shorter, lesser matches. I can't fathom some of the predicaments each man ends up in during this match, even though they pretty clearly intentionally get into those positions. The foresight is incredible. Navarro on his back with Virus standing, Virus appears to be stepping around to get in the mount, but instead he's just slyly hooking Navarro's leg with his own leg, then dropping down and falling to his left, the momentum naturally rolling Navarro up a bit, as Virus is already focused on clamping down his leg at the knee over Navarro's leg. It's smooth, fast beautiful and the match is full of little things like that. No robotics, just too experts with incredible instincts who make this kind of stuff look easy. We know it's not easy, but you'd never know watching these two. Also let's give a shout out to the awesome ref in cool glasses, bowtie and short sleeve pink shirt. That man is almost distractingly cool. 

Dalys vs Keira

PAS: This was pretty bad, Dalys was a last minute replacement for Marcela and that would have work a lot better as Dalys can't do this kind of workrate joshi luchadora match at all. She is pretty Sexy Starish here, the rollup section early looked totally amateurish. She works kind of stiff but that is her only positive. Double pin finish just adds to the turd sandwich. 

Dr. Cerebro vs Negro Casas

PAS: What we got of this was pretty great, Casas is a wrestling genius and Cerebro is one of the more underrated guys in wrestling history. There was a great strike exchange with both guys laying into each other and doing a great job of selling each shot, Casas especially can write a novel with every expression. Still this goes 5 minutes, which is barely enough for a first fall, much less an entire match. I have no idea why you book this and give it such short shrift. Negro Casas is at the show, you booked a cool first time match, let him do his thing.

ER: I've always been curious about how things like this happen. I don't know how lucha payouts work, but I have to imagine Casas can demand more than your average luchador. So how does this happen? There are a few scenarios, so we can figure out which is the most likely: 1) Casas calls up and says "Hey I'm gonna be in Naucalpan, any room for me to pop in and work a really short match? I won't charge much." 2) Booker in the back says "Alright boys, go out and give me 4 minutes, and NOTHING MORE." 3) Both men just happen to work a short match, get into a shouting match with booker in the back who expected them to go longer. 4) Potentially all three of those things. 

Trauma I y Trauma II vs Black Terry y Negro Navarro

PAS: These two teams had one of my favorite matches of the decade in 2011 and this match hits a lot of the same beats. The match starts with cool mat sections between II and Terry and I and Navarro. Navarro and I were doing some catch and release stuff which I don't usually love, but works fine with a son trying to upstage his father. Navarro ends one mat section with a little tap on the head, and T1 responds with a nasty slap to Pops ear. This causes Navarro to do this great semi concussed selling, and it gets nasty from there with both sons trying to take out their father and their dad's old drinking buddy. Both oldsters are great brawlers, and there is a point where Terry has II in a full mount and is just punching him right in the jaw. I admit it is a little unnerving to see Trauma II slap someone he loves, but I suppose I should divorce art from the news. Finish kept this a bit below the 2011 classic as Navarro gets eliminated and it comes down to Terry v. both Traumas, considering the whole story was patricide, it is off to have Terry be the last man standing. Still Terry is a great last man standing as he opens up his own forehead with a headbutt before succumbing to the spinning figure four.

ER: Weird, cool match that had strange undercurrents to it. I was not expecting that slap to Navarro, and Navarro either did one of the all time great sells or he wasn't much expecting it either. Navarro acted kind funny and bell rung the rest of the match so who the hell knows. But things clearly changed after that. Now Navarro did work a tough match earlier in the night so maybe he just needed a reason to sit out a bit, but I bought it no matter how odd it was. From there the structure was odd, as instead of matwork gamesmanship, with guys working holds and then letting the other guy go, you had brawling gamesmanship. Terry would come in, slap around Trauma I for a bit, then let up. Then Trauma II would come in, slap Terry around a bit, then let up. I thought Terry looked great throughout this and drove the story along with his facials, and then doing his own amazing selling. Him dropping to his knees after a strike exchange reminded me of Lawler/Dundee. Loved him holding onto the headlock a couple times with Trauma trying to push him off, with Terry hitting the breaks and dropping down to the mat. I love headlock spots where the guy holds on. And those mounted punches to Trauma II were some of the nastiest strikes I've seen this decade. Terry might still be the best damn brawler in the game, which is crazy considering he's the age of my father. The two of them each have similar mustaches, one of them is the arguable best brawler in wrestling, the other is thinking of how best to retire from his dentistry practice. So we had a weird match, not the match I was expecting, but a match with tons of nasty charm. 

Atlantis vs Caifán

PAS: This match is a real example of the value of blood. Atlantis is a wrestler who at his prime was a graceful athlete, he has lost almost all of that (there is a bodypress in this match which is really bad), but still has great timing and a sense of a match. Caifan goes ahead and sprays blood out of his head and bumps into the crowd and tries really hard to make this memorable. Don't know he completely succeeds, but I mostly enjoyed it.

***Navarro/Virus was awesome and was an easy addition to our 2015 Ongoing MOTY List***

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