Segunda Caida

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

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Lucha Worth Watching: Spry Panther and All of the Ranas

Blue Panther, Valiente & Stuka Jr. vs. Terrible, Rey Bucanero & Vangellys (CMLL 2/9/16)

Tuesday night Arena Mexico main events aren't where I go when I'm expecting a bunch of fun primera matwork, but that's what ended up happening here! First Valiente and Terrible went at it. For guys I see wrestle a lot, I don't recall either guy ever going to the mat that often, so it was kind of a treat to see them work through things, roll through headlocks, pick legs, stuff that should be happening more but just doesn't. The real gold is Panther and Bucanero matching up and going on the mat right after, and that's really special. Panther is still one of my absolute favorite mat guys and I relish any time he gets even 30 seconds to got at it in a match. Here he gets to pull out all sorts of tricks and always impresses me with different weird takeovers and a seemingly endless supply of ways he can work himself out of a headscissors. Bucanero also surprised me as he's not a guy who's been super motivated that last several years, but you still get flashes and he still has basics to fall back on when he's not listlessly drifting into trios triple team tropes (TTTT, TM). Here Panther forces him to the mat and Rey is almost frustratingly game, frustrating as in "you were capable of this all along!?" Rey even harkens back to bump machine days by wrapping himself around a ring post. Stuka breaks out an awesome low angle version of his hands-by-his-side splash, firing more straight out as opposed to getting more height, we get some dives, and I just drift away envisioning a world where CMLL allows for more matwork. Sigh...

Hechicero, Ripper & Polvora vs. Dragon Lee, Mistico & Titan (CMLL 6/20/15)

It's tough to keep up with all the lucha with stalwarts like Cubsfan constantly uploading stuff, but I have stuff I save to watch later, stuff that sounds nice on paper, and some days I get to that stuff, and some days it's worth writing about. Whenever it's a Hechicero match I throw it in the "to watch" pile and hey look at that, Hechicero was awesome here. That's a fun rudo team and a flippy tecnico team, and that's a nice combo. Hechicero matched up a lot with Lee and Mistico, and he made Mistico look golden. So many rana variations were tossed out in this match and all three rudos were splatting all around the ring. Lee did his wild no hands high jump rana over the top, sending Polvora off the apron to the floor. Hechicero takes some big bumps on the floor, Ripper does his nice bump past the ringpost and then runs into a Lee backbreaker. Hechicero is awesome at taking armdrags and ranas, he really can navigate a long rotating armdrag sequence like a great minis base. Except he is a full size man! And then Hechicero goes and does graceful flying better than the fliers. I love his spin around on the ropes dropkick. Dragon Lee is quite the crazy bumper, but you knew this. Here he's still honing his into the crowd bumps, but he still does them, as well as take a big bump to the floor and on top of the barricade while getting bullied by Hech. Polvora is a guy who is always good in these kind of matches, but he's one of those guys who does not excel at one specific thing so he goes unnoticed. But Hechicero was the story here. The guy really brings out the best in flippers. And anybody, really. Because he's Hechicero.

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