Segunda Caida

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

Sunday, July 29, 2018

LA Park in Santa Rosa Live Report 7/28/18

ER: I got to see LA Park 16 years ago at a flea market in LA. He walked into the flea market like he was walking on a yacht. I mean, he was wearing a mint green polo tucked into tight Jordache jeans. He may as well have been a chubby Mexican Warren Beatty. He worked Shocker on that show, at a time where Shocker and LA Park were two of my absolute favorite wrestlers. 16 years later and half that statement is still true. I've had unfortunate or awful circumstances lately with all time personal favorites working lucha shows close to my area, with our devastating fires canceling a Negro Casas appearance, and then a broken rib canceling his return date. So tonight LA Park was working 10 minutes from my house and I kind of expected LA Park to suddenly retire earlier this week. But he didn't, and the match happened, and I was there.

LA Park/Skayde vs. Rey Bucanero/Damian 666

This was not going to be a match where Park was going to take one of his crazy bumps or do a dive out onto an unpadded gym floor. But it was going to be a good fat Elvis performance with plenty of brawling, and I love watching Park brawl. The match takes an odd turn pretty early, as the referee just flat out turns on Park, essentially becoming a member of the Bucanero/Damian team. I get having a rudo ref, but this guy didn't slow count, he just started putting the boots to Park and choking him in the corner with his boot. I'm not sure anybody would have actually asked for that, but our eventual payoff was very satisfying.  This match was worked like a lucha match in front of a Memphis audience. Park's belt got ripped off very early and Bucanero whipped him right across the face and chest, and twice across the back. I've not seen Park live in the era of Park belt whippings, and my gracious do those belt whippings read 300% better live. The belt snapped so loudly across Park's body that it sounded like something structural was breaking in the building. We brawl to the floor and Park really lays it in on Damian with big right hands, and Damian takes a big beating around ringside, getting shoved face first into a ringpost and getting slammed into the guardrail. Park was throwing bombs and looked huge. But the big moment of the match came when Park got revenge on everyone with his belt. And before I was verbally cringing at Damian's whippings. But Park made Damian look like a guy who had never whipped another man in front of 300 people in a veteran's building.  Park's belt shots must have felt like being struck by lightning. But the lightning really struck when Park finally got his hands on the ref. The ref was a young man, slender, smaller than any man in the match. And Park hazed him like a frat guy dishing out a racially charged takedown of a pledge. Damian and Bucanero both beg off getting more whippings from Park, and totally throw the referee to the wolf. Damian got a Coke and a bottle of water from the crowd, and offer it up as sacrifice to Park. Skayde lifts the ref's shirt while holding him in pedigree position. Park douses the ref's back in coke and water, and hits it as hard as any man possibly could hit a back with a belt. Rey and Damian stay on the floor and continue fearing the volcano god who is burning his sacrifice whole in the ring. They flip the ref over, lift the shirt again, and Park whips him right across the exposed stomach and ribs. A million times more verbally painful than being whipped across the back. Think of your stomach, exposed, getting slapped as hard as possible with a leather belt. I'd probably puked until I cried.

Now the rest of the match brought plenty of lazy and missable moments. Bucanero wrestled like he had the flu, his offense being worked at about 70%, like he was afraid to make contact with Skayde or Park. Rey went for what I think may have ben a shining wizard at one point, except his leg never came close to making contact with Skayde, so we can only wonder what it was supposed to be. He had a nice punch to a seated Skayde, and dropped a nice legdrop. But he whiffed on stomach kicks and kneelifts and barely grazed Park on a corner splash. Bucanero was not interested in showing up tonight. Skayde took most of the match off, bailing to the floor from most of Park's beatdown, disappearing to the floor later with Bucanero and doing little of note. He's slimmed back down a bit since I saw him earlier in the year, but he did nothing that would remind you of your favorite Skayde memories. That's twice now. But Damian worked hard. The man is 57 years old and isn't anywhere near as graceful as he was 20 years ago, but he hit hard on forearms and threw a couple nice clotheslines, and matched up nicely with a force of nature like Park. Park looked lazy as hell on a couple missed clotheslines with Damian, but commanded the ring like a boss, built to little moments that turned into huge moments because of his superstar aura, and gave everyone a glimpse at what it looked like to see someone perform who really understands their craft. This was not a great match. It was a basic match with a broken structure that spent half it's time on belt whippings. But to see it live on a Saturday night after driving 10 minutes with a lifetime friend? I wouldn't have wanted to watch any other wrestling in the world.

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