Segunda Caida

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

Thursday, September 10, 2015

MLJ: Fuerza Guerra vs Misterioso for the NWA World Welterweight Championship

Fuerza Guerrera vs Misterioso

One of the big lessons from the DVDVR 80s set (which would make it one of the first things I ever learned about lucha, really), was that guys who you think were mainly brawlers or shtick wrestlers could very often shine in title matches as well. I think Mocho Cota surprised everyone there. I've mentioned this before, but my understanding of title matches is that they stemmed from a tradition where the commission had a lot of say and would cause a huge stir if things weren't wrestled more "on the level" in them. That's, in part, carried on even to today. For instance, Los Ingobernables got a ton of heat in their matches vs Shocker/Casas by teasing just a bit of the usual, traditional matwork before ambushing their opponents, because it felt wrong. In the matches I've seen back into the 80s, the rudo/tecnico divide wasn't nearly as strong in title matches, except for maybe as it pertained to the finish.

That leads to Fuerza. I haven't seen nearly as much of him as I'd like, but I've really enjoyed what I have seen. He's so good at projecting who he is and what he does, as good as almost anyone I've ever seen I think. He's such a scummy, chickenshit, jerk. That's probably 40% why I watch wrestling right there. This was, I thought, was a fun title match as he started by giving what we expected, but then worked more and more of his unique-Fuerzaness into it.

The primera had a good mix of everything really. It had escalating matwork, and while we lost some of it to the picture-in-picture interviews, I thought Fuerza looked especially good. There was about three or four minutes of it before they escalated into rope running, which again, was pretty good. That lead to Fuerza taking the Hamrick bump, a faked dive, and a mini athletic finishing stretch ending with some real shine for Misterioso (a diving, twisting tope/headbutt off the ropes back into the ring, his quebradora style gutbuster, and then finally the Reinera to finish the fall). Fuerza stooged a little, complaining after the gutbuster, but it was mostly played straight, more exasperation from the rudo than shtick. It could have gone a bit longer with each bit, but it was ultimately a lot of fun and a good way to start the match.

Between falls, they showed us this. Yes they did:

The segunda started with some more shine from Misterioso but Fuerza was able to hit a cheapshot dropkick out of nowhere and take over. He did these great tosses into the corner which I just love:

and Mistioso took a good bump out off of a whip. From there on in, it was full heeling, with shots into the post and his lift up knee foul. That led to a Scorpion but Misterioso got to the ropes only to take an upside down bump into the corner and Fuerza's slight cradle front suplex, a senton, and the fall. Very good counterbalance to the primera.

The tercera was really back and forth but with strong transitions. More on that in a minute. Fuerza bullied to start, missed a corner charge, but then Misterioso missed one as well. That was the sort of thing that fueled the back and forth, taking advantage of mistakes. For instance, at one point, Fuerza had a half crab on and thought he had the win so he let it go. At another, Misterioso missed a turn around splash at the top. A third would be Fuerza hitting a somersault dive off the apron but then gloating for too long and letting Misterioso come back in and dropkick him from behind. When Misterioso finally took the win off of a pin exchange (with Fuerza's foot off and on the rope) There was a lot of back and forth but nothing was capricious. I am not always great with long finishing sequences with a lot of near falls and kick outs, but I'm more forgiving with lucha, and I think that has something to do with the 2/3 falls structure, because that forces things earlier in the match to have a bit more weight and makes the tercera feel more earned. I think that's, in part, why I like modern title matches with their tiny, tiny segundas a lot less, even if the tercera is hugely exciting. This was good. I liked the spirit of it a lot and want to track down some more Fuerza title matches.

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