Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

On Liking Comandante Pierroth

It has recently been brought to my attention that I may be the one human being who enjoys watching Comandante Pierroth matches. Before now I had actually been blissfully unaware that I was the only one. I don't typically read a lot of others' writings on wrestling, often just short reviews on a message board like PWO. I'm not on Twitter, don't know any wrestlers, don't actually have tons of friends who I discuss wrestling with. I kind of operate within my own little bubble most of the time - in wrestling fandom and in life.

So I was a little surprised when someone sent me a link today to lucha superfan Rob Viper's twitter account, which was lambasting me for telling somebody on a message board that I thought that "Pierroth has been one of the most consistently awesome guys the past year". I was not aware that this was a controversial opinion. There are several guys I like writing about that I don't see written about much elsewhere. I really love Kraneo, and don't see him talked about tons in the circles I travel. Is liking Kraneo controversial? I am unsure. Somebody mentioned disliking Pierroth, I was surprised as I thought he looked awesome in the stuff I've watched of him the last year plus, and replied to that person. So Rob posted my seemingly innocuous Pierroth quote, and went on to tweet "Everyone look at me! I have an absurd opinion! It's different! PAY ATTENTION! LOOK AT ME! HOT TAKE!" I imagine if he were to verbalize that quote, I would be given a SUPER obnoxious voice, too. Later, I receive the dreaded "Some people just get off on being different. Always gotta have the one opinion nobody else does. Smartest guy in the room."

So that's some stuff to unpack. And it's weirdly accusatory coming from someone who I'm not actually sure has ever had an actual exchange with me. We both frequent a couple of the same message boards but I've never noticed any sort of hostility before. I actually seem to remember Rob liking one (maybe several?) of my lucha reviews a few years ago, so I've always foolishly - possibly wrongly - assumed he liked my lucha reviews. But there seems to be a lot of vitriol there. I always bristle at the accusation that I'm almost pretending to enjoy a wrestler or a match, just to be different. I have no clue why or how it would benefit me to pretend to enjoy wrestling that I don't actually enjoy. I spend a comically absurd time writing about pro wrestling. I have yet to see my "Different Opinion" check arrive in my mailbox. And this was an opinion I did not even realize differed from the consensus. I can't remember reading anything positive OR negative being written about Pierroth. So while I was aware that nobody else I knew was praising him, I was unaware that people were slagging him off. The idea that I was desperately looking for attention by writing a few paragraphs over a 3 year period about an undercard luchador seems like a really weird way for me to seek attention. Having any sort of opinion on Pierroth seems like a tepid take at best. But he even used fire emojis next to my perceived hot take, so it must have been fairly scorching. I really don't think the paintbrush of "some people get off on being different" is very applicable to me, although the visual of me literally getting off because someone might think I'm different is an amusing one. Saying that I act like "the smartest guy in the room" is another tag that doesn't seem to fit me very well. If that's the takeaway that people have gotten from my wrestling writing, I would be surprised. I'm a pretty easy going guy, and I've kinda lived my life not thinking I was the smartest guy in the room, but instead thinking I was the guy in the room who everybody else in the room assumed won a sweepstakes. A sweepstakes to gain entry into the room.

So the comments and tweets don't make a lot of sense to me, they're kind of confusing, and they're clearly meant to be hurtful. But they did make me curious to look at my own opinions on Pierroth over the years. He's a guy who has really stood out to me over the past year, but I've been writing about lucha for longer than that and he's been regularly popping up on TV for the last few years. So I looked into it and found I had written about 9 different matches featuring Comandante Pierroth, the first one on 12/4/13 and the most recent on 3/17/16. So we have 27 months worth of opinions on Pierroth, so let's see where the switch flipped for me:

1. Valiente, Maximo & Super Porky vs. Comandante Pierroth, Ephesto & Rey Escorpion (10/11/13)

I mention him having a "mammoth senton" but mostly talk about Porky/Escorpion. Inconclusive.

2. Blue Panther, Atlantis & Diamante Azul vs. Felino, Mr. Niebla & Comandante Pierroth (11/15/13)

I start this review out with "Wow, this stunk. The first two falls were among the worst I can remember seeing from a match with competent workers." Felino and Niebla were dreadful, and Azul looked bad. But I close the review with "Comandante had some cool left uppercuts. That was about the best thing that happened here." Okay, so being the best part of a  Niebla/Felino turd sandwich isn't exactly burning down the house with praise, but the mention of him at least being the best part of the match is notable.

3. Euforia, Ultimo Guerrero & Comandante Pierroth vs. La Mascara, Titan & Diamante Azul (4/13/14)

I wrote that this was by the numbers and pretty boring, and only ended up highlighting the performances of Titan and Pierroth and not even mention the other guys. "Pierroth looked good in the first in a cool Dinamitas kind of way, but he looked like a muscle headed lunk by the end of this." Okay, so some bad with the good, and my first comparison of him to the Dinamitas.

4. Virus, Sangre Azteca & Comandante Pierroth vs. Stuka Jr., Triton & Sagrado (5/4/14)

"Out of all the guys in the match to get opening matwork we get Sagrado and Pierroth. Not Stuka/Virus, not literally anybody else. We get Sagrado really stretching it out to start things. C. Pierroth takes a Super Porky-slow bump to the floor off a Sagrado dropkick." Well, no way to spitshine that one. Tecnico Sagrado is one of my all time hated luchadors (though amusingly I really like him teaming w/ Pierroth in the Boricuas). But neither guy looked good here. I do later note that Pierroth hit a "stiff senton" in the tercera.

5. Shocker, Niebla Roja & Comandante Pierroth vs. Marco Corleone, Titan & La Mascara (5/25/14)

This was a match I really liked, but was mainly about Shocker vs. Marco. I did not mention a single thing Pierroth did. Though I did highlight Roja as looking the best of the 6. So, here we have Pierroth doing nothing noticeably offensive or good in a fun match.

6. Blue Panther, Fuego & La Mascara vs. Virus, Niebla Roja & Comandante Pierroth (6/8/14)

This was a real fun match and a total Virus show, but Pierroth does get a mention: "Everybody got a chance to do their thing, so we got Panther doing some fun mat stuff with Pierroth, Fuego being a nice punching bag for Virus and Pierroth." I really liked the rudo team of Virus/Roja/Pierroth, though the writing did come off like I thought the other two rudos did more than Pierroth in the match.

7. Virus, Hechicero & Comandante Pierroth vs. Blue Panther, Titan & Dragon Rojo Jr. (3/8/15)

This seems to be where the switch flipped for me as I spend the whole review talking about Pierroth:
"You a see a match with a lot of these guys and expect it to be good, and look at that it is! I really dug Pierroth here. He's working like he should be, as a lost Dinamita. He didn't do anything fancy but was great cutting off guys with stiff kicks to the stomach, nice strikes and an occasional senton. He seemed on paper to be the weak link on a team with Hechicero and Virus, but I ended up digging him just as much as the two stalwarts. Virus always brings out the best in Titan and there stuff together here was as good as their best. Panther got to mix it up with Virus and Hechicero and of course that was glorious. Rojo was kind of a weak link in this but I just don't see a match with Virus, Panther and Hechicero being anything but good. But now I find myself more excited for Pierroth which is awesome as I don't recall ever being like "oh nice, a Poder Boricua match!!!" That family is looking like the super unfuckwithable wrestling family of 2015." So even there I express my surprise at how much I enjoyed Pierroth, but highlight several things I liked about him. I linked the match in case anybody wanted to judge for themselves.

8. Comandante Pierroth, Tiger & Sagrado vs. Fuego, The Panther & Blue Panther Jr. (5/10/15)

Two months later and the love train continues: "Man I dug this. Pierroth has been one of my favorite CMLL guys this year, real high energy ass kicker who always wings nasty clubbing shots, stomps guys into oblivion, jumps all over them while stomping them, breaks out some nice slams, etc. He's like a throwback Dinamita. As in, if you've been missing Mascara Ano 2000, Cien Caras or Universo 2000 on your TV (and I have been), Pierroth has been an oddly, unexpectedly great fill-in this year. Sagrado as a rudo is the only worthwhile stuff he has done in his entire career. This guy was just a clueless tecnico, always tripping over himself, and now suddenly he looks capable, has nice presence, takes a tope like a man (god did Panther just snap Sagrado's back over the barrier on a tope) and hits a mean piledriver to end the primera (say aren't those things sorta illegal down there?). BP Jr. is pretty green and can't really work long sequences, but he hits a nice dive in the tercera, and the greenness of BP's kids works to the match's advantage, as the segunda has a satisfying finish with the rudos getting cocky, chasing BP Jr. and Fuego up the ramp, allowing Panther to get a surprise roll up on Pierroth as he roots on his goons. Tiger sold the loss great, like he could not believe they lost even one fall to these wimps. Real satisfying story here, and the work fit the match nicely." Match linked again, if curious.

9. Comandante Pierroth, Sagrado & Misterioso Jr. vs. Delta, Esfinge & Rey Cometa (CMLL 2/9/16)

And here's the most recent Pierroth match I wrote up. And now that I read it back I remember Cubsfan linking to my review and even nothing something like "Someone likes the Boricuas!" That should have clued me into being maybe the only human being who enjoys Comandante Pierroth. But it somehow did not. Watch for me naively thinking Pierroth wasn't getting praised online because he's "not part of any major programs". What a dummy. Here's the review: "You know who I really like? La Comando Caribeno. They're just classic rudos, like the nuevo Dinamitas. Dragon Lee and Rush get a lot of deserved praise, but you know who is also awesome? Their papa, the Comandante. He's a juiced up nasty asskicker who really should be getting more love, but isn't exactly part of any major programs so I get it. I'd love to see him team up with Rush and just beat the hell out of flippers. But the team just works so nicely together. Misterioso Jr. has been one of the more underrated CMLL undercarders for years now, so that's not a surprise. Sagrado is the surprise of the team, because Sagrado is a guy you've seen for a decade now, and a guy that has blown for a decade. He was a clueless tecnico, star of several aborted pushes, as once they would try and push him they would again realize "oh wait he still wrestles like Sagrado and also has the charisma of Sagrado." You watched that guy suck for a decade. Or maybe you were smart and did not watch Sagrado. I watched Sagrado. He was terrible. Now he is decidedly not terrible at all. He's a totally different wrestler as a rudo. He has much better instincts and doesn't do wretched highspots. He throws himself into being a rudo (sometimes literally, watch him hurl himself into the barrier after taking an Esfinge dive in the primera). These guys all really fit nicely as a team, which is oddly something I don't often get with lucha teams. Many tecnico teams are fungible. Volador can team with Stuka or Delta or Dragon Lee or Diamante Azul or Valiente and those teams would all seem like guys standing on the apron around each other. And they do. Ingobernales feel like a team. And like them, so do La Comando Caribeno. And Pierroth is somehow becoming a marvel. I don't remember a bunch of Poder Boricua stuff jumping out at me, but suddenly he's old and on the gas and I'm seeking out every new match that pops up. Welting up tecnico chests with hard slaps, stiffing guys with sentons, just running that ring like a real dickhead general. The tecnicos get some fun highspots, Esfinge hits a potentially botched armdrag but hangs in there and makes it work, we get two different stereo dives, but the real fun is watching Caribenos nail all of the little things. Pierroth is working more like Ronnie Garvin than a classic lucha rudo, and it's awesome." What's a shame is that match is still not online, as it feels like a pretty great single match to watch to see if I'm spouting bullshit or not. I saw it on LATV but hopefully it somehow makes its way online in the future.

And there you have it. I actually like Comandante Pierroth. You don't have to like him. But I write about stuff that I like. If you DO like him, I can promise you that I won't be waiting nearby around a corner, ready to jump out and yell "HaHA I got you good!! Pierroth actually sucks!!" I won't even do that in the privacy of my own home, laughing to myself for pulling off yet another classic scheme, tricking some person somewhere into liking a wrestler I don't even like! Because I do like Pierroth. He's a luchador I currently seek out. He brings a certain style of brawling that I've missed in my lucha. When I started watching lucha in 1998 I HATED the Dinamitas. Hated them. And yet by 2005 I fully loved them. I loved old man Dinamitas matches. I loved how limited they sometimes were, and loved the energy and atmosphere old man Caras would bring to things. And that's the same vibe I get from current Pierroth. A lot of people who watch lucha don't want to watch a guy being a lucha Ronnie Garvin. I get that. But I just love what he brings to the table. I love him slapping guys around. I love when he acts as Rush's second. Outside of his senton he doesn't do any highspots. He's a puncher and a kicker and a stomper and an elbower. Again, things that people often don't watch lucha to see. I think he's been a really fun classic brawling rudo, and there aren't as many classic brawling rudos out there these days. There aren't many guys out there who have no problem getting booed, not many guys who actually want to commit to working rudo. He's old, he's clearly injecting wild amounts of illegal substances into his body, but he satisfies my Dinamita fix, in the same way Namajague satisfied by SUWA fix. So watch him. Love him. Hate him. Feel completely indifferent about him. I'm fine either way. Just don't accuse me of some "trying to be different" or "acting like I'm the smartest guy in the room" nonsense. That's absurd. It's rude, it's lazy, and it's absurd. If you want to tell me I have terrible taste in wrestling, then fine. I'm okay with having terrible taste in wrestling.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but Pierroth is seriously one of the worst wrestlers in a major promotion on the planet. Sometimes, opinions can be wrong.

6:53 PM  
Blogger EricR said...

Compelling counterpoint. You've convinced me.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob is the same guy who complained about someone allegedly calling him a faggot, but went off on the "PC Police" when Roderick Strong dropped the same slur on someone at a show.

4:45 AM  

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