Segunda Caida

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Friday, February 02, 2024


The Great Sasuke/Shinzaki Jinsei/Hayate vs Dick Togo/Masao Orihara/Macho Pump Michinoku Pro-Wrestling 5/17/04

 MD: It's been a while since I've seen any M-Pro but this was the right guys in the right match at the right time, mostly. Every some early brawling that made me worried about the camera angle (it's fine for the rest), they got in and out of the opening exchanges (Pump/Sasuke, Togo/Hayate, Orihara/Shinzaki) fairly quickly. The faces got to show their flair and signature stuff that would hold up today for the most part and Pump got to preen; he always looks better than I expect in these when it comes to power moves, asserting himself, and even strikes. Mainly though, what stood out, and of course this wasn't a surprise, was just how good Togo could look in one minute of snapping stuff off and basing like a rooted tree standing in the center of the ring.

They went into a long, long heat, with the hope spots either being based on the faces getting a tag or one of them trying to interfere. There was that gang mentality of heels in M-Pro and it's often full of varied and interesting offense but it could get a little exhausting. You almost need the heat to go as long as it did because that helps to justify the fireworks of the extended finishing stretch but they would have been better served by a double heat or just meatier hope spots and comebacks, or maybe even a more defined central storyline. They tease Orihara and Sasuke having a beef but it's never really played up. That's really more of a nitpick or just expressing something that would have taken this over the top, because what we did actually get here was very good.

Batman/Potro/Milo Caballero vs Halcon de Oro/Diluvio Negro/Mongol Chino CMLL 1991

MD: Just a bit clipped up (we lose how the rudos take over in the primera, for instance, which is annoying) and I'd say just a little unfocused as well, but overall a fun undercard match. I don't have a great sense of who Potro is but he's got fun gear in blue and white with colts (horses) all over it, and something going on with the eyes. He's pretty smooth in there, including a fun spot where he armdragged everyone, including the ref. I haven't discussed just how racist the Mongol Chino look is, yellow gear with a yellow mask with a black fu manchu Hogan style mustache and slanted eyebrows. So that's not great. His rapid fire uppercuts are though, if that helps? Halcon de Oro is a perfectly fine undercard director of traffic in a beatdown and he had a nice whirlybird over the shoulder drop to end the primera.

The underlying story was rudo miscommunication that led to them almost coming to blows a couple of times, especially between Halcon de Oro and Mongol Chino. It sort of took the place of a central pairing but instead of it paying off towards the end, they just went into a dive train in the tercera and then some fun tandem submissions ending with Milo sneaking in and pinning the rudos after they had turned over a 5 person submission. You almost never see that actually ending a match so it was a bit shocking and probably good to condition fans to the possibility overall, but it also made everything feel anti-climactic.

Wild Red Berry vs Carlos Guzman Long Beach, CA 5/22/52

MD: I know I said I wasn't going to skip around but I really wanted to see more Berry after that last tag I saw. This was interesting for some of the names of holds as much as anything else. An Irish Whip was a Kansas Cyclone. When they did cross-cross rope running it was a "Razzle Dazzle" and Berry's standing Figure Four that he won the first fall with was a Gilligan Twist. When Berry feigned arm damage after a series of Guman dropkicks that ended the second fall, a "Robin Hook" was Guzman draping Berry's arm over the rope and kicking it. Towards the end of the match when Berry started on the leg, he leaped down on it while it was dangling on the ropes and this was called a "Cannonball." We don't always see those differences in old footage so it was interesting.

I love Berry's act. He comes to the ring in his robe, signing autographs for kids and even giving them candy. Then the second he gets to the ring, everyone boos him and he's miserable. He's quick to tap his head, to complain, to make a big deal about the pre-match rule discussion with the ref. When he wins a fall, he celebrates  to the full extent. He seemed to drag Guzman down to his level to the point where both of them were sneaking in shots to each other's nose or playing dirty on breaks.  He reminds me, more than anything else, of Jonathan Harris in Lost in Space. Basic civility is impossible when he's around. It means that the matches never rise to a level of technical skill that some people might want from the era, but they're very entertaining in almost every moment.

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