Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Sunday, April 04, 2021

2021 Ongoing MOTY List: Arez vs. Vikingo

9. Arez vs. El Hijo del Vikingo RIOT Lucha 3/21

PAS: These are two of the young lions of lucha going out there to stake their claim. They demonstrated a real skill at a bunch of different levels of lucha, starting with some pretty slick chain and mat wrestling, including both guys doing some crazy rope tricks to manuever out of arm locks. They then have some cool rope running exchanges with headscissors and ranas, before breaking out the big dives and bombs near the end. I thought the end run was a bit your turn/my turn although the turns they were taking were really spectacular, spot of the year contender stuff. Vikingo hits a spring board rope climb 450 splash to the ring apron, and Arez hits this amazing looking rope bounce assisted northern lights superplex, just crazy inventive stuff. I would have liked to see a bit more structure near the end, but this was these guys trying a Top This Style PWG main event, not my favorite type of lucha, but for that style this is the pinnacle. 

ER: This kind of move trading wrestling is right down towards the bottom of my Least Favorite Wrestling barrel, ahead only of stuff like forearm trade exhibitions or mid-match Street Fighter II references. But whereas those styles are completely unsalvageable for me, a big moves match can always win me over. When they don't take a couple directions I expect them to take, or they find some unique ways to deliver a move, or focus the kind of moves they do, all those things can make a big moves match stand out from a typical moves match. Arez and Vikingo did enough to surprise me here, both offensively and in the direction of the match, turned into a great mixture of cool spots and painful landings. They worked some co-operative but impressive strength spots into the matwork and it plays into the finish, which I liked. 

I'm not sure I've ever seen the ways they got into and out of Rito Romero specials before, like some kind of lucha Mark Henry sorcery. I really flipped for Arez's hook kick feint, which at first looks like he was doing bad Low Ki kick combos, kicking past Vikingo's head, but the missed kicked is used to hook his leg around Vikingo's head to get him into position for a great sitout powerbomb. I kinda like when wrestlers spam a specific move into their moveset, set up in different ways. I like Asian Cougar throwing weird legdrops or DDP's diamond cutter variations, and I liked Arez throwing out a bunch of double stomps while Vikingo kept nailing running double knees. Arez had this great 1-2-3 stomp where he hit a big one on the apron, hit a slingshot one back into the ring, then another flying stomp from the other side. Vikingo hit a running knee like a baseball slide, flying through the ropes and sending Arez to the floor. Vikingo's step up 450 to the entrance ramp was nuts and pulled off more slickly than any similar Fenix spots I've seen this year. The finish was cooperative as hell, but it's also something I've never seen before, so greater good and all. Arez lifts Vikingo up to the middle rope, I had no idea where they were going with it, and I was not expecting them to turn it into a Spanish Fly with a near vertical landing from Vikingo. That felt like the right thing to end on. 


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