Segunda Caida

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

Friday, November 20, 2020


Perro Aguayo vs. El Hijo Del Santo Monterey 1990?

MD: Basically 10 minutes of perfect lucha libre followed up by another five of enjoyable bullshit. This is JIP but it's joined with Perro slamming Santo onto a table that he has leaning from the apron to the floor. Twice. If you're going to come in onto any moment, that's pretty much ideal. That basically ties off the primera. The segunda has a little bit of beatdown, Santo dodging a senton with perfect timing, launching a bunch of comeback dropkicks, moving out of the way so that Perro hits his second, and hitting two perfect topes, one out of the ring and one off the top before finishing him off with the caballo. Entirely iconic and super heated. Tercera goes to the floor with some revenge chairshots and a lot of bleeding from Perro before we get a perfect ref bump and a foul that scores Perro a win that got overturned. Post match Perro goes for the mask, with Stuka making the save and they make the best challenges possible, Perro with blood dripping down his face and Santo with his mask ripped. It would have been nice to have the first few minutes but what we ended up with was plenty of the absolute best doing what they did best.

PAS: This was pretty short as we miss the opening section, but what we got was frantic violent stuff. Perro is one of the great intense brawlers, and Santo is an iconic brawling babyface. Loved the pair of dives to finish up the second fall, Santo's tope is always amazing and sends Perro into the chairs. Perro bleeds, they exchange big shots. It felt more like a set up for an iconic match, the TV angle for the big blowoff, but it was a hell of a set up. 

ER: Even with who knows how much of the Primera cut, we still get 10 minutes of two legends doing the things you'd want them to do. These two are a great lucha yin yang, as Aguayo is so good at punching Santo around the ring, and Santo is one of my absolute favorites at staggering and falling all over ringside. Santo always brings a tumbler's artistry to getting his ass kicked, taking punches and tumbling backwards on dirty floors with legs flying up, getting tossed into a skidding down a table, always a second away from a quick comeback. I love Santo brawling comebacks, as he hits his gorgeous floating dropkicks to knock Aguayo to the floor, then hits that perfect tope to send Perro flying into chairs, and then sets up the in ring rope with incredible speed. I've watched so many different excellent Santo matches from years spanning four decades, and he's a guy like Negro Casas who I'm so used to the old awesome version that I always get surprised by certain movements from the young awesome version. I had to skip back several times just to gawk at how slick Santo looked while getting to the top tope before nailing that in ring tope. I couldn't get enough. Perro misses his own tope, crashes to the floor and gets a chair jammed into his neck by Santo, and again, this is 10 minutes of all the things you want to see. We don't have the full match, but oh well, you know you're going to want to watch early 90s Santo vs. Perro. 

Negro Navarro vs. Apolo Estrada Monterey 1991?

MD: I loved the front half of this. A little bit of BS from the outside and a little bit from the ref but most of it was Navarro showing off on the mat and then Navarro showing off with a beating. Great strikes used to high effect and just the amazing personality that we're used to from his later career. He's a top ten talent in being able to express himself in the ring and here he just has this easy, laconic way of laying in a knee or working a wound that's unmistakably him. The violence, punches or kicks or headbutts, seem both effortless and brutal all at the same time. It could be the footage quality but Estrada came off like a sort of scummy tecnico. When he did get a chance to fire back, it was with a low blow and quality revenge shots. It was a bit scattered though, not as concentrated as a big moment of transition might have been. The tercera built well, with Navarro staying in it due to outside interference until Estrada had some help of his own. That moment, more than the comeback, felt like a big swing of comeuppance and was pretty satisfying in a way a bs-laden finish generally isn't. Ultimately, this was a great opportunity to see Navarro do his thing in his prime in a singles setting.

PAS: Man this was awesome to watch, the first prime age Navarro where he looked as good as he looked in his fifties and sixties. He lays a super nasty beating on Estrada, throwing these little knuckle punches to his forehead busting up his brows, big knees to the face, and a great series of combos to the body and head. He also would throw in a submission or two which felt like a expansion of the beating, then a real show of skills. Estrada was fine here, he had a very Chicky Starr look for a babyface but he bled a bunch and his comebacks were fine. Finish was a bit Monterey, but that is kind of baked in when you see the arena you are in.

 Necro Butcher vs. Monsta Mack GHW 10/20/06

PAS: This is a super sexy on-paper match up, two of the great 20th century indy crowbars wailing away on each other, and it totally delivers on that promise, even exceeds it. Both guys spend the entire match just escalating the force of the shots. Necro opens up with his classic straight right to the jaw and Mack fires right back, these are two guys who utterly refuse to stand down. Necro also takes a Necro in the mid-2000s level bump, as Mack hits a running powerslam right on the concrete, he also eats some gross thrown chairs which land legs first into his eye. Match ends with a bar fight, as they both throw increasingly psychotic shots at each other, until Monsta springs off the chair with a nutcase headbutt which looks like it dimmed Necro''s running lights. Mack just kind of pins him, and for a apparently blown finish, it is exactly what you want from these two guys. Awesome shit, loved every second of it. 

MD: Intimate, personable few-frills violence. Necro sets the tone immediately with punches up and down Mack's body. You can see flesh crater in the wake, a high-low assault that lets everyone know what they'll be getting, not like they had any real doubt. It never stops from there. Necro is resilient and unyielding but Mack's a monster and when ferocity is this close to equal, size is going to win out. The ambience helps make this, with a fan asking the ref about the rules at one point, with suggestions for violence from the crowd that pales to what they're actually going to do, with the camera man complaining about trying to get back over the rail when they head back to the ring; it's like a found-footage version of a bum fight, except for one of the bums is a 300 pound killing machine. There wasn't a lot of narrative here except for that. There was a moment of transition where Mack went to the top because he couldn't otherwise put Necro away and misses, but that just leads to the bar fight finish with two chairs, two men sitting and meeting one another with no filters and no remorse, and hubris like you'd never see elsewhere in wrestling.

ER: Any time any new vintage Necro is unearthed, obviously it needs to be discussed. There were few wrestlers in the world I loved more in 2006 than Necro Butcher. Experiencing the fun and violence and chaos of a live Necro Butcher match was the kind of thing I wished every wrestling fan got to experience. I saw him three separate times, including a few years after this match, in a San Francisco night club against big fat King Dabada (in a match that has never been released beyond a few highlights, so maybe that one will show up here someday. It was two big sweaty men brawling around a snug nightclub, falling onto fans, going up into the balcony, and I ran around the building following them everywhere. Who would love running around following Necro's Tasmanian devil crash. He and Mack beat the shit out of each other from first punch, and this whole match was filled with close fists to the jaw. The crowd brawling was as hard and reckless as you'd want, and Mack kept hitting Necro with expertly thrown chairs. Necro is usually the guy with the best chair throwing range in wrestling, and I liked how Mack kept beating him to that punch. Necro took some classic Necro hard spills on the floor including a brutal powerslam, and they built to a climactic punch off. I usually hate those sit and punch sequences, but I can't really argue with one that ends the match with a seeming knockout headbutt/punch combo. They punch each other one at a time, and then build to left-right combos, and then throw in headbutts. Mack laughs to himself before lunging in with a headbutt straight to Necro's jaw/orbital bone, then decks him right out of his folding chair. 

JR: If you believe in the idea of home turf advantage in pro wrestling, Necro’s home turf would be any building that looks like it previously held a now defunct indoor mini golf course. I have no expectations for this other than Phil sending it to me and saying it’s better than you expect it to be, which is incredible because I would expect this to be life altering. It’s a rare Necro match that features the vaguest hint of a feeling out process (and some trash talk) but it quickly shifts into exactly what you’d want from both of these people: wild looping punches that connect full force and a complete disregard for their own well being and the well being of others.

While there are some great Necro performances in companies that had actual cameras, there is always a wonderful quality when you find a Necro match like this. He feels like a cryptid, this monstrosity that should be caught on camera and if he noticed someone filming, it’s unclear what would transpire but it would probably be horrible for all involved.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t write about Mack being absurdly, preposterously reckless in his own right; throwing open chairs at Necro (with a fan sitting in the bleachers like 8 inches from where the chair lands), flailing and falling on top of people in the crowd. Through the first five minutes of this, each transition is essentially built around one person or the other doing something that pissed the other off a little too much. It’s a wrestling match with a few tiny fights breaking out for good measure.

While the match loses steam a little bit heading into the bar fight section, and the finish feels as though they were going for a surprise tko type thing that didn’t land as effectively as it would’ve if they had played it more straight, I don’t think anyone is watching this because of the narrative escalation or whatever. It’s exactly what someone would expect from these two 15 years ago.

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