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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

MLJ: 2010: A Garza Odyssey 13: Shocker, Strong Man, Toscano vs Atlantis, Héctor Garza, Último Guerrero [Relevos Increíbles]

Taped 2010-04-18 @ Arena México
Shocker, Strong Man, Toscano vs Atlantis, Héctor Garza, Último Guerrero [Relevos Increíbles]

2:11 in
Simply put, this is what I sat through those Porky matches to get to. This was a Relevos Increíbles match, sure, but after a cute first minute or two, Garza was all out rudo. Rarely in my life have I seen a wrestler who was enjoying himself as much as I think Garza did as a newly minted rudo. It's a damn good thing too because this match also had 2010 Shocker and Jon (Anderson) Strongman (so that first sentence could be "THIS is what I sat through those matches for?!!!" or something, but that would be unfair. I enjoyed this).

I think Shocker had a pretty good 2014. The nominal rudo turn motivated him. The feud with Rush was heated and he remained pretty spirited after it. Before that, though, he had a reputation of being a step behind, fat and lazy relative to earlier in his career, and that was sort of evident here, but only sort of since after the start, he kind of drops out until the very end. Anderson was HUGE. Absolutely huge. Scott Steiner at his hugest huge. He was a bodybuilder, strong man, powerlifter, etc and storyline was Shocker found him and brought him in to be part of a new Guapos unit. I'm pretty certain most people saw him as the worst part of 2009-2010 CMLL at the time. I actually didn't mind his act much at first but it was old by the end of the match, which really does say a lot. Third tecnico was Toscano, the former Tarzan Boy, who I always find more than competent and good at what he does.

The quick sum up is that this match had a beat down in the primera into the segunda, a comeback, and then a reset with way too much Strongman shtick in the tercera. Really, though, I'd like to just follow Garza around the ring a bit. Bear with me as I try to highlight just how fun he was in his role:

He came out fourth, after the tecnicos, and immediately prayed and shrugged to the sky, as if he asking god if he really blamed him for being in this match. He snuck behind one of the dancers and danced with her while he was waiting for his teammates to come down and actively seemed excited and surprised when the GdI theme hit. Then, once they hit the ring, he hung outside, doing some push-ps on the ramp. This annoyed Strongman who came out to the ramp. Garza dropped to a knee, prayed, and offered a hand shake. He then pulled the hand back just as Guerrero and Atlantis swarmed in from behind. Even then, Garza shadowboxed in the air for a few seconds before casually coming in and kicking Strongman from behind. They slipped back out to the ramp and he rather triumphantly hit the three man GdI body splash, making sure to kick imaginary dirt onto Strongman on his way back in. A couple of little kicks to the other tecnicos later and the rudos took the first fall. This was all highly entertaining.

It continued to be so into the segunda. Hector jawed with fans at ringside only stopping to kick a set up Strongman, happily nailed Toscano from behind when he was starting to come back, and then as Ultimo Guerrero had Toscano in the camel clutch, looked to the crowd, laughed, winked, and then finally kicked him. He was kind enough to caringly and carefully roll Toscano out of the ring though. Very earnest. He cut off Strongman's first comeback attempt to with (surprise, surprise) a kick to the back. After his partners hit charges into the corner, though, he ended up in a big choke and press slam, followed by another choke to lift him up. Here he begged and pleaded, but Strongman ripped off his shirt and hit a huge chop in the corner. As Toscano and Shocker rolled up the other rudos, Garza headed for the hills down the rampway, letting it happen.

I'm not going to go all the way through the tercera, because there was way too much of people chopping Strongman to no effect or bouncing around him, and I've got a few more weeks of Garza, at the least, lined up, so best not to use it all up at once, but I will note a few things. The tercera started with Garza teasing the ring girl. When he tried to chop Strongman, he hurt his hand; when Ultimo Guerrero tried to do it, he did not. I think that follows along with how UG presents himself in general. He's willing to show ass at key moments, but he works very hard to keep himself strong, sometimes to the detriment of the match, but to the benefit of a persona that can be used from match to match. To point, Toscano actually sold a high five from Strongman.

The tercera ended with Garza running away again, allowing the tecnicos to pick up the win. That wasn't a bad start to the revamped character, but I really would have liked some sort of DQ-foul finish instead (and it's not every day I say that; clean finishes are generally great after all), but those usually only happen when building up a specific feud, not just to establish a character. Anyway, this was a lot of fun, despite all of the strikes it had against it coming in, and that bodes well for the next number of matches.

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