Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D, Sebastian, and other friends write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Friday, July 10, 2015

MLJ: Virus vs Avisman

2015-04-12 @ Coliseo Coacalco, Coacalco, Estado de México
Virus Vs Avisman

If you were to put me on the spot on who my favorite current Luchador is, I'd probably say either Negro Casas or Cavernario. Casas is so dynamic and so charismatic and so versatile and Cavernario is just so immersive in what he does. If you were to ask me who I think the best current Luchador is, however, I'd probably say Virus. He's someone who can work anyone, can lead anyone, is amazing on the mat but can turn it up either for spots or stoves or sequences. The guy is just top notch and he has been for years and years and years.

So, I'm glad at any chance to get the chance to see him on a stage where he is allowed to do anything, where he has some time to work, and where he has a fairly game opponent. I don't know much about Avisman. Luchawiki tells me he's 40 and has mostly been in IWRG, where he was part of the Gringos VIP faction. He held his own here, and that's no small feat.

This was a single fall match that went a while and that was almost all matwork. It picked up a little right before the end. Given its one fall nature, there was more immediacy than the first fall of a title match, but the stakes were obviously lower, which evened things out. I still felt a sense of escalation though, and certainly a sense of struggle. For parts of the match, Virus was leading things, but it was more organic than that. They'd lose a hold and immediately switch things in a believable way, or a reversal would be attempted, but Virus would find a way to hold on, either to a limb or to the advantage in general.

I liked the way the used limb selling in a match. In general, there are two ways to do it in my mind (and this is simplistic, admittedly). The first is the sort that defines and controls the narrative. This is when a limb is worked on, or a slip or hold causes enough damage that it impacts everything a wrestler does. You don't see this a lot in lucha (though it was front and center in the Casas/Cota match). It changes the narrative. The second is where there's enough shaking off or walking off after a hold to make it seem like the hold was effective. It's adding resonance and meaning and it is always welcome whenever that happens in any sort of match. I know people like the Flamita/Volador style of go-go-go and it's exciting, but if moves happen, I want them sold at least a little. I'll take something more methodological where impacts and holds matter due to selling over endless excitement anyday, and they managed that here. There were times where both of them were taking a moment to walk off what just happened.

Ultimately, the story of the match was somewhere between a game of chess and a game of chicken. Which person was going to pick up the pace first? Who would get frustrated? Who would lock on the hold they really wanted? If someone did blink, would it cost him or would it work to his advantage? There was an underlying tension and in the last minute it paid off satisfyingly. Avisman overextended himself trying to outclass an un-outclass-able wrestler. Virus picked up the pace in response, and both stole and earned a very solid win. Good match. I think anyone reading this knows what they like out of lucha. If this is your sort of thing, then you should go out of your way to watch it.

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