Segunda Caida

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

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Matt & Eric, Two Men Discussing Virus, Separately

2017-03-25 @ Arena Coliseo San Ramón, Puebla, Puebla
Virus vs. Prayer

MD: This dropped a few days ago even though it's from a Lucha Memes show back in March. I couldn't tell you the first thing about Prayer, but Virus was, of course, my #10 on the GWE poll last year, which felt crazy at the time and still feels crazy, but was very much a testament to the power of footage (we've got him almost weekly for the last many years, even if he's just in low card trios). I'll say this: after watching this match, I feel all the more validated with the placement.

We're lucky to have as many maestros matches as we do. In those, what they do is so logical and so intricate and so interesting and (probably most importantly) so full of struggle and commitment, that we forgive the half speed nature of so many of them. We see it as part of the fight, that locking a hold on to someone as expert as Blue Panther or Negro Navarro just takes that much more pressure and effort. It takes longer. In some ways, it's a testament that they can go that much more slowly but still make none of it seem collaborative, like playing a song very slowly and thus having to perfect each and every belabored note. 

This was not that at all. For the first two thirds of the match, they were primarily on the mat. There was struggle. There were intricate leverage moves. There were counters and escapes. It was done at far faster pace, was utterly believable, and didn't miss a beat. They were able to portray that same level of mastery but turned up about three gears. So much of this was Virus. You watch him and you wonder just how he sees the world, if time slows down and he can extrapolate out the ways limbs might twist and contort like an sculptor envisioning a masterpiece or a chess champion looking forward six moves. Prayer kept up well enough; he had to do his part, for Virus just manipulating him wouldn't have allowed for this level of speed or sharpness. Ultimately, though, this was a showcase for El Pequeño Gran Maestro, and since he no longer gets as many singles matches in CMLL as he did a few years ago, it's one we're lucky to have.

A few words about the escalation in the match, too. When they went to spots towards the end of the match, none of them were too excessive. None of them needed to be. Staying on the mat (even while increasing the level of peril) meant that a springboard low dropkick could mean as much as a headdrop or a giant dive. It created believable near-falls when that might not work at all with a less disciplined match. Just the testament of someone who really understands how to imbue meaning into his craft. 

I'm glad Virus is still getting opportunities to have matches like this, even if only on the indies, and I'm glad this dropped, even if it dropped a few months after the fact. Check it out.

ER: Virus has to be the king of noteworthy performances in throwaway undercard matches. This falls apart a bit in the segunda/tercera, and Skandalo kind of stumbles around and gets in the way through much of this, Sagrado is really quite good as a rudo so I enjoyed all of his moments (his rudo offense is really great, especially that sunset flip counter, a double stomp into a few elbowdrops, hell yes)...but this was all about Virus. The Virus/Esfinge mat stuff that opens the match is really cool, subtly flashy, all of it compelling; but him picking on Soberano is the money of the match, as they work some fast sequences that end with Virus hitting a stiff shoulderblock that sends Soberano bumping backwards and upside down to the floor, then we cut to Sagrado clotheslining Esfinge's shins out from him on the apron, and then back across the ring to catch Virus hitting the mother of all baseball slide dropkicks on a just-waking-up-on-the-floor Soberano. We get another fun Virus/Soberano segment in the tercera, but it's a shame the rest of the match couldn't hold up the level of the primera. But a match with a floor of "So how good is Virus, right?" is still something with value.

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Blogger Discotortoise said...

I think that Soberano is up there with Darby on "most improved in the world" over the last year so I was happy when he won the national welterweight title just for his sake, but REALLY happy because a match against Virus seems like a guarantee. It's been far too long since a Virus title match.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Luscious Rubi Lipps said...

Hell, how long has it been since a big time Virus singles match? I LOVE trios, but he's just too damn good to be put in a random team just to keep it all together. What a transcendant talent.

12:03 AM  

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