Segunda Caida

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Lucha Worth Watching: Arandu vs. Miedo Extremo! Blue Panther in Alabama!?

Arandu vs. Miedo Extremo AKE 4/6/19

ER: I am listing this as Lucha Worth Watching, though I wouldn't actually personally recommend it. It's a match that's been recommended to me a couple times, and one I've seen talked about in the weird corners of the internet that talk about small attendance Tijuana lucha shows. It's a match I've seen praised, so I wanted to at least show my work that it crossed our desk. And while there were several individual moments to like, but this did not need to go 25+ minutes, and it really felt like they wanted to do every kind of match they could in that time, regardless of it fitting or not. This starts on the mat, with Arandu working as dime store Navarro and Miedo working more MMA style submissions. It's fine, and it builds nicely to an Arandu tope after shoving Miedo off the top to the floor, with nice brawling around ringside (especially liked Miedo's hard kicks to Arandu's spleen). There were a couple of big bumps before then, including Arandu hitting a real beast of a lariat after a brief chop exchange, really flipped Miedo upside down and inside out. But the match suddenly devolves into a bad American indy match, and I hate when my indy lucha suddenly gets plagued by the worst American indy tendencies. They do a German suplex exchange completely out of nowhere, and both sold them less than any move that had happened to that point in the match. These were two neck crunching Germans, Arandu in particular really ate a rough bump on his head, and there was nothing else to this point in the match anywhere close to as big, but they each treated them like a simple armdrag exchange and quickly moved on while I checked out. The improbably take this to a gigantic garbage spot, with Miedo taking some time to set a large piece of particle board on two freaking tractor tires (were those there the whole time?!) and putting lighttubes on top of that. Of course he's the one who goes through it, and it is a pretty spectacular bump off the top, bouncing off those tires and coming up with a bloody back. It gets a 2 count. A package piledriver immediately after gets 2. A nice tapatia gets the win for Arandu, but it's anticlimactic after the big stuff they suddenly felt justified in doing. This wasn't it for me, but your mileage may vary.

Blue Panther vs. Antonio Garza IMLL 6/8/19

ER: We are living in an era where old lucha maestros get flown in to work shows in states they've likely never been to, so it shouldn't be a surprise that Blue Panther showed up working in Alabama, but it still is. And we get 12 minutes of a really fun match before a silly kendo stick run in by two masked tubs (Kato Kung Lee Jr. and Elemento?) which I'm sure might eventually beget a tag match that won't be as interesting as the singles match they interrupted. I wrote earlier this year about Panther finally transitioning into Rusher Kimura, but I'm clearly incorrect. I think the problem is Blue Panther in CMLL, as he's trying to do rope running and base for flippers and work way younger than he should be working, but in a maestro environment he's still clearly sharp. If he had Negro Navarro's touring schedule and the ability to work more Navarro maestro matches, he would still look in his element, as he does here. Garza has been around for awhile working small southern indies and small southern lucha, and they bill this as Garza facing his idol. As recently as 2016/2017 we got to see a lot of Panther matwork in CMLL matches, even getting to see him in lightning matches. That's not really the case now and I lapped up every second of seeing one of my all time favorites break out some mat tricks that even I hadn't seen. When I watch BP in a match like this I am endlessly satisfied if I get just one cool trick, and I love when I see something like BP hooking his left leg behind Garza, then maneuver into better position by shifting his left ankle with his right. I love that stuff and it's a crime we never got luchadors working the World of Sport guys, it would have been mat trick paradise. BP even maneuvers him into a cool inverted Gory special, and the strength to hold Garza up while Garza starts to climb out of it and ends up on and near Panther's shoulders was really impressive. Garza hits a nice cannonball off the apron, and I was really excited for how this was going to wrap up, but then the run in happened. Normally I'm through the roof for fatties getting involved in a match, but this wasn't the time. Still, this is more than worth it to see Panther working the mat for many minutes in an Alabama strip mall in 2019.

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