Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2016 Ongoing MOTY List: Maximo v. Kamaitachi

1. Maximo v. Kamaitachi CMLL 1/1

PAS: This was the co-main event hair match of the Sin Piedad New Year's Day show and was a great start to 2016. First fall had Kamaitachi work over Maximo's knee with some nasty stuff, I loved his diving knees onto Maximo's knee. He eventually gets the submission with a kind of modified figure four, liked the second fall with Maximo still getting brutalized and pulling off a twisty armdrag and then really cranking a single crab to even it out. Third fall was more back and forth, with some really cool stuff. It also felt more like a story with Maximo gritting out the bad leg, this wasn't just a series of crazy spots. Maximo is a great bad leg diver, his topes are awesome looking but he also throws in a subtle but noticeable limp. Finish had a little goofiness with fake fouls that was uneccesary, but otherwise this was awesome stuff.

ER: What a fun match. I like Kamaitachi a lot in CMLL, and he has a wonderful head of hair to put up in a hair match. And it seems like Maximo has to pop up at least once a year on our MOTY list, so he fills his quota pretty quickly here. Kamaitachi is crazy and fully throws himself into everything he does. He's an easy guy to watch, but an easy guy to boo here. We're all used to him in the Dragon Lee feud at this point, and all their match-ups (both in singles and trios) have been go go go. Here we get to see Kamaitachi slow things down and be more sinister. He still gets to be a showy bump machine, but this is much more classic rudo bully picking apart a sympathetic tecnico's knee. And boy does he pick apart Maximo's knee! We start with a low dropkick and it's curtains for Maximo's knee from there. Kamaitachi does a great job of adjusting his signature offense to specifically attack the knee, especially his double knee drop. Maximo's selling is great throughout, and he's already one of the more over tecnicos in CMLL, so the selling bumped him up to an even greater level of sympathy. Crowd is going nuts the whole time, but CMLL also makes sure we see (a lot of) Kamaitachi's big fan as she holds her Kamaitachi mask, gleefully laughs when he's doing well, and sits in shock whenever Maximo turns the table. Of course, they end up showing her so much that it practically feels like she's the one who put her hair on the line. But Maximo is really great at putting over the knee injury, and the topes that it built to were glorious. Now, Kamaitachi still does his lunatic senton off the top to a standing opponent, and it's just crazy. I think I may use the word lunatic a lot, but I'm not sure any move deserves it as much as this senton. Kamaitachi just seems to have minimal regard for his body when doing this move, not caring if the back of his head smashes into the ground, caring most about just wrecking ball leveling his opponent. It's insane. It's awesome. And I liked the end run fake fouls. I thought it actually led to a nice false finish where I bought into Kamaitachi's nearfall (and considering I don't think I've ever seen a Japanese guy win a mask or hair match in CMLL, that should tell you how effective they were at creating this nearfall within the context). I loved the build throughout this match, felt it was one of the best uses of the modern CMLL caida format, with the two quicker first falls and then a longer tercera. A lot of times singles matches feel like they go that way because that's how the fed structures singles matches. This felt like it fit logically into that format, with Kamaitachi working over the knee and getting a quick win in the primera, Maximo getting a flash submission that worked great in the segunda, and then they worked a long tercera without ever making it feel like a 50/50 move exchange, as a lot of CMLL's long singles terceras devolve into. Everything about this was satisfying.


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