Segunda Caida

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

Friday, March 13, 2020


PAS: Japanese wrestling gang fights are some of my favorite types of wrestling matches and this was a great example. These are technically two matches, but basically one big fight with the pajama clad Heisei Ishingun guys hurling chairs and brawling with New Japan trainees while guys fight in the ring. Hashimoto is awesome in these kind of matches, he is prowling around the ring like a Rottweiler on a chain waiting to go fuck someone up. Goto was really great in this too, walking through Chono's kicks, and then KO Chono with a nasty suplex and staring down Hash while pinning him. Then of course post match all hell breaks loose again, and we get another rumble. I can imagine this stuff would have been incredible to watch live, and is pretty great to watch on a blurry handheld too.

MD: We've had our share of handhelds from this era of NJPW and the Heisei Ishingun stuff is all pretty glorious chaos. You can put yourself in the mindset of being in that crowd, living your life, toiling through the drudgery of your day, and then getting to bathe in this wild abandon at night. We have two matches here with the Fujinami one having been out there; I can't any sign of the tag being previously available. They all stream together like some sort of ECW bedlam, though, so we grouped them. As such, you can't really rate something like this like you would a normal match. What stuck with me afterwards was the swarm of purple gis, Chono getting tossed outside and chaos ensuing, Hashimoto getting held back by the ref, and the litany of kicks to the face, with the crowd fully lost in the turbulence of all of it.

ER: Ohara is already a noted New Footage Friday shit disturber, as last year we checked out a handheld from about a week after this that saw Hashimoto and Ohara going at it on a house show. Ohara's purple gi boys clashed big with Hashimoto's black jumpsuit young boys, and this match was an earlier iteration of Ohara's purple gi gang causing trouble. Hashimoto waging war on Heisei Ishingun is guaranteed Segunda Caida content, a guy who really conveys "man representing his side in war" better than most other legends. I really loved Ohara and Goto throughout this. Ohara is a guy with big strikes and imposing body language, big suplexes, and Goto works as kind of a less dominant version of Ohara. There is always some kind of commotion happening on the floor before, during, and after these two matches, constant pull aparts and chases down aisleways; and while I didn't find it as high end or as intense as some of the other gi guy brawls, the atmosphere for those is still always special.

PAS: This is a boatload of the greatest luchadores ever (along with awesome journeymen like Ultraman and Arkangel) given a lot of time to work a cool cibernetico. Like most ciberneticos we open with 8 or 9 really cool individual exchanges, Arkangel and Niebla do a bit of stooges comedy, Santo and Rey Buccanaro do a fast rope running exchange topped off with a great plancha, Black Warrior breaks out his all time great tope. Eventually the rudos take over and we get Atlantis and Lizmark outmatched and having to take on a bunch of rudos. We get some great Satanico vs. Lizmark sections which is an all time great feud we don't have a ton of footage on. The cibernetico format leads to a little more spottiness then an all time great lucha match, but this gets a ton of time to breath and it always great to see more of these guys.

MD: Apparently, we only had this in part before, but it's such an amazing array of talent, and structured pretty perfectly. There's some heated Morgan/Satanico frustration before and after (and it gets violent with collateral damage after) but it doesn't really impact the match itself. Early on, Niebla is so dynamic, Bucanero so daring and experimental (to the point that even when it doesn't work you give him full marks for effort), and Ultraman and Arkangel with unique connections to this particular crowd, and the action is all good. Eventually it settles down to 5-on-3, and since you have Santo, Lizmark, and Atlantis as the three surviving tecnicos, it feels like the most iconic thing imaginable. While you sort of wish Santo made it to the end instead, Atlantis' star power and presence was unmistakable here.

Bestia Salvaje/Emilio Charles Jr/Scorpio Jr vs Nicho/Damian 666/Halloween Tijuana 3/16/02

PAS: This match was a wager match with the captains hair being on the line. I am not sure if La Familia de Tijuana were technically rudos at this point in TJ, but this was worked like a rudo vs. rudo brawl with the Los Talibanes being super rudos (we are talking about 6 months after 9/11 here). 2002 Nicho was an all time bump freak, and he takes one of his signature ringpost tackle bumps and a crazy flip dive. Bestia was losing his hair here and was wrestling like it, he does this super cool almost cannonball style tope and spend much of the match covered in blood exchanging nasty slaps with Halloween. There is a little ref bump and interference shenanigans, this is Tijuana, but it is mostly six grizzly brawlers pounding on each other, which is exactly what you hoped this matchup would be.

MD: This was by the books, but with a thousand flourishes. Crotch-chopping, local hero Nicho isn't my favorite career version of Psicosis, but they were so over, so engaged, worked hard, and carried themselves with such star power. The primera was all rudo beatdown, the segunda had the comeback, the tercera was the back and forth, the dives, the finish, and that structure gave the swagger and violence and attitude meaning and depth.

ER: I would have been completely into this match had it been nothing but Bestia Salvaje throwing perfect dramatic back row right hands to Nicho and Halloween. I've been to see Tijuana lucha live several times, the atmosphere and arena are the best, and had I been there that night (I was there for dates right before and not far after this) I would have been jumping up and down watching Bestia 80% of the time. Luckily our camera man had that same level of interest, and nobody could have possibly disagreed. Bestia was a total force here, just slapping people around the entire match. His overhand chops and big shots to the face were making consistent loud contact the entire match, with Halloween especially taking the brunt of his attacks. We even built to a mammoth Bestia tope where he crashes full speed head-and-shoulder first into Halloween, just an absolute bleeding legend. I'm surprised Matt doesn't rate local hero era Nicho, as I'm a big fan of that era. Maybe because I saw him live? I don't think so, because every TJ handheld we have of him during this era shows a man not slowing down and working as hard as ever in front of hot crowds but no cameras. I've seen him take some of his wildest bumps on TJ shows, and you've probably seen Nicho take some bumps before. Here he gets insane distance on his ringpost bump, flying out so far past the post that I assumed he was doing an insane tope. Nope, just Nicho bumping like a lunatic. Scorpio and Charles were really good goons for Bestia's star power asskicking, Scorpio always there with a boot to break up a nearfall and Charles dropping elbows and doing silly buckled knee selling on clotheslines, Scorpio bleeding quality amounts of blood while threatening ringside fans who throw drinks on him. The nearfall sequence between Bestia and Halloween in the tercera was really high end, fast cradles and quick reversals that lead to several believable close pins, including Charles and Scorpio yanking the ref out at the perfect time of a sure pin. I'm not sure why we haven't dove in and reviewed all of these early 2000s TJ handhelds, as this really feels like the hottest era for that territory. 

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