Segunda Caida

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

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Arkangel, One Day Later, Still RIP

Arkangel de la Muerte vs. Solar  CMLL 10/17/00

ER: Arkangel maestro train rolls on. We lost one angel of death yesterday, but today the circle of life continues as we celebrate the day of birth of another one. This was a match I'd never seen and didn't know existed, a fun quick paced match in front of a hot Coliseo crowd (featuring my two favorite beloved old man lucha fans, who I assume have since left us, but regularly showed up on my lucha viewings for 15 years and were likely around long before I noticed them). We get an awesome quick tap in the primera, with Solar locking on a trippy trapped arm standing abdominal stretch, bending part of Arkangel's body one way while grinding and forcing his jaw the other. Arkangel sells it on the mat afterwards like he's been sleeping and someone punched him awake, just sitting on the mat confused about why his jaw was so sore. I got to see Solar live a few months ago and he's still a treat, but here he's just in peak physical form and dazzles with his lucha grace and vicious snap. Solar's cradles are so smooth and have a bunch of different mechanisms working in different directions, like a graceful Rube Goldberg machine. Arkangel really helps Solar look like a master controller of leverage, taking huge flying bumps off a Solar kickout, backdrop, and massive armdrag off the top that throws Arkangel most of the way across on the hard as hell Coliseo ring. I loved Arkangel's big bump off a Solar kickout, flying off him like Bigelow throwing Spike, made it look like Solar knew how to properly leverage his weight and explosiveness for maximum effect. Arkangel isn't going to outclass him so he opts to just rough him up like a bully, blasting him with a cutting running elbow, hard downward angle punches, sharp back elbows, one of his stiffest clotheslines I've seen, just a 2x4 to Solar's chest, and also tossing him around with his nice Northern Lights and big powerbombs. This was a really cool match up, nice and tidy and with a bunch of rewarding moments. And cut to my dear old man ringing his rudo bell after the match.

Arkangel de la Muerte/Negro Casas vs. Virus/Solar  Dragon Mania 5/28/16

ER: Jesus this was 2016, nobody else has this unclipped? No camera phones? Estrellas del Ring seems to exist just to be assholes who exist only to taunt us with 2-4 minute clips of awesome lucha matches that nobody else has. Ooooooo a new Mr. Condor match? Oh, it's just 2 minutes of it and it looks incredible. Kewl. So we get 5 minutes of this match, and not a single second of it is anything less than awesome. One thing I love about lucha is that 47 year old Virus can the youngest guy in the match and it will only make me more excited to see it. And these guys were clearly in a mood to GO. I can say with no hyperbole that this was the best I've seen Solar look all decade. He moved like a man half his age, never let Arkangel up for air during their run together, breaking out a couple cool ankle picks that saw him already rolling into a sub before Arkangel had even landed, and then peaking with a gorgeous head drag takeover, locking Arkangel's right arm under his own leg and rolling him into this beautifully tangled mess of a lucha submission. It happened so quickly and looked so smooth and painful, like he was forcing Arkangel to headbutt his own taint. They trade fast armdrags, Casas gets in there and Solar is jumping onto buckles, over the ropes, flipping back into the ring, and my jaw was dropped the entire time. Casas brings tremendous energy and presence to everything, and he works so many cool strike and missed strike exchanges, coming up with a couple cool ones here. This match from the 5 minutes we see looks like an absolutely legendary, it's pretty much worse to know this happened. But, we get a tasty 5 minute slice of something glorious, and we get to fall asleep tonight wondering if it is better to have loved and lost, or to never have seen Solar pretzel Arkangel. 18 stars.

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