Segunda Caida

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

Friday, July 01, 2016

Lucha Worth Watching: Juventud

Juventud Guerrera & Super Crazy vs. Negro Casas & Felino (CMLL Elite 1/24/16)

At some point in the 90s Juvy was one of my absolute favorite wrestlers in the world. His WCW syndicated matches always had at least one crazy spot, and at a certain point it became clear it was likely because he was actually mentally unbalanced. I saw less and less Juvy matches as he gradually eased into a life working as a professional bridge burner and/or birdseed salesman, and this was probably the first Juvy match I'd seen in 2+ years. And Juvy still seems really really good. His spots with Casas were awesome, he threw some of the best chops in the game but really all his kicks looked really great too, loved he and Casas trading front kicks (Juvy kicking Casas in the chest, and I love how Negro was one-upping him by throwing his kicks higher, at the face), and Juvy hit an absolutely gorgeous headscissors followed up with a nasty running knee to Casas' chin. Felino worked really hard as well and didn't do any of terrible comedy (or the guy with a cell phone was kind enough to edit it off), as he and Crazy bit each other's heads, hit low dropkicks, and flew into the ringside barrier. That barrier must have been a blast to fly into, as Felino takes two big bumps into it, Juvy takes one, and Crazy gets plastered into the edge of it. We get a criminally short final showdown between Juvy and Casas, but you can't go too long in the ring when you know people are shitting in your bag while you wrestle. This easily exceeded my expectations and it's nice to know the Juice can still bring it.

BONUS JUICE!!!

Juventud Guerrera vs. Chris Chetti (XPW (8/31/02)

I've never seen this online this complete, and definitely never in HD quality like this. This is Juvy's infamous Juice Bar promo in Philly, riling up the crowd ("Fuck you, you son of a gun!") while holding his blender of watermelon agua fresca. He keeps calling Chris Chetti "Chris Chatty" and seems to actually think that's his name. He flirts with a girl who he deems a juicy person. He makes fun of the locker room, says that Chatty begged Rob Black to wrestle him so he could learn something. Chetti comes out and Juvy proceeds to no sell a superkick, then punches Chetti a bunch in the face. The match was way better than you'd think, since Chetti isn't really who you might think of  as a person who had "good matches". My favorite Chetti memory is from the first Hardcore Homecoming show, that awful, awful show, where Chetti was in one of the first matches. He looked wildly out of shape, and Joey Styles started talking about how Chetti wasn't showing a bit of ring rust, right as Chetti whiffed a punch by more than I've ever seen someone whiff a punch. Styles spent the rest of the match explaining just how hot it was in the building to cover up for how bad everybody looked. Chetti did not look good in this, but I had forgotten how vicious Juvy could be and he really beat the hell out of Chetti here. And Chetti was game to get beaten up, so he filled his role fine, even if he seemed clueless how to get into position for everything. Juvy's punches and chops looked so damn good, and he still moved with tons of speed, dumped Chetti with a couple rough Juvy drivers, dumped the rest of his literal juice on him, really a fun worker that made me want to seek out more 2002 Juvy. After the match Julio Dinero runs out, and I can't imagine many more dreadful things you can hear at a wrestling show than "Who is that? That's Julio Dinero!!" It's a shame Juvy never worked IWA-MS during this era, feels like those shows would be legendary.

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