Segunda Caida

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Thursday, September 08, 2022

Taka Michinoku and Jesus Castillo Had An 8 Minute Match on WWF TV

Taka Michinoku vs. Jesus Castillo WWF Shotgun 1/31/98

ER: Not only do we get Sunny doing the ring announcing in a skirt so short that she tugs down the hem while making funny faces to the camera, but we get the FULL Boricua four part rap entrance. Every Boricua has a microphone, and they rap all the way into the ring. Miguel Perez is wearing a big white Fubu jacket, Jose Estrada looks like Puerto Rican Angus Bethune, and for whatever reason Jesus goes into this with blood in his eyes and hate in his heart. And if you thought that full boy band entrance was as good as it could get, for whatever reason we get gifted with a near 8 minute Taka/Jesus match. All of the Boricuas get tossed early when Savio snags Taka's foot, so this match is almost fully one on one for all that time. What a great choice. Jesus is so good, maybe the most underrated asskicker on the entire 1998 roster. He was like Buddy Lee Parker with lucha bumping ability, a great guy to take faster and faster armdrags and bigger bumps, go over smoothly for Taka's beautiful hurricanrana takeovers, and lean chest first into knife edge chops loud enough to surprise the crowd. It's always a treat when cruiserweights wake people up by hitting someone really hard.  

Jesus was in control for a lot of this, taking over by ducking his shoulder down into Taka's stomach to stop a charge. Once I made the Buddy Lee Parker connection it's all I can see. He hits a slow lift chickenwing suplex and a stiff southern lariat, and we get to come back from commercial break with Jesus paying Taka back for those earlier chops. Jesus throws two of the absolute loudest chops you'll see all year. They were good at paying things off all through this, giving the match more purpose. Castillo has a hard bodyslam thrown like Finlay or...Buddy Lee Parker, but when he tries it too much Taka gets a convincingly close inside cradle. All of Jesus's offense look good, but he has a couple of inventive bumps too: He misses a running torpedo shoulderblock in the corner and bounces off horizontally, like a big husky Jun Izumida bump. They made every exchange look so good, and the sudden hurricanrana roll up finish worked really well. Taka needed to hold Castillo down quick and his rana has such nice physics that Taka snapping it off and quickly hooking the legs forward made it look impossible to kick out from in less than 3 beats. This was a gem. 

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