Segunda Caida

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

Friday, May 31, 2024


Killer Karl Kox/El Shereef vs. Don Chuy /Joe Carollo WWA 2/2/67 

MD: The family of Killer Karl Kox shared this and I think it's the earliest Kox footage we have on tape. Chuy and Carollo were LA Rams (offensive tackle, I think) and they did this during their off season. They even had runs in Japan (teaming with Kox) if I'm not mistaken. Shereef brought bigger bumps and Kox brought ones that went over with a bit more effort and grounded things. Things got a little disjointed towards the end of the first fall as Kox jumped in once to break up a pin but was supposed to get shaken off the second time and the ref didn't quite stop the pin. Things reset and the football players hit their big charges and back body drop charges.

Second fall stared with some crowd pleasing grinding headlocks, lots of big selling and arm waving, that sort of thing. The heels took over though but the Rams fought out of the corner and hit a series of double charges until the ref threw it out. The third fall was quick, just three minutes and it ended with Kox planting Carollo with the brainbuster. I knew he did it in the 70s but's crazy that he was doing this as early as 66! It was treated like absolute death Carollo was out for the rest of the match. They did a fourth fall due to the thrown out second and they made short work of Chuy, two on one, and he fell to the brainbuster too. Great look at mid-30s Kox and maybe historical for the Rams on top of that.

PAS: So cool that this showed up, Kox has maybe 10 matches in full that are out there, but looks incredible in all of them. I also just love this kind of match with local heroes, bumping around willing heels. I dug how so much of the Rams offense was tackles and blocks, and all of the crowd pleasing payoffs, like Kox jumping off the top with stomp to break a Chuy headlock, and then when he tries it again Carollo shakes the ropes to spill him off. This must have been building to a big rematch of some sort, because Kox really dominates the end of the match, spiking both Rams with his brainbuster for clean pins in both falls. Would definitely make the fans buy a ticket to next month to see their heroes try to solve the problem of the Killer. 

Akira Maeda vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu NJPW 1/6/84

MD: Maeda and Yatsu were more or less finding themselves here. This would have really been something three and a half years later. As it was, though, they had all of the prerequisite skills. Both could take it to the mat. Both weren't afraid to strike. Both had a suplex or two. They also had plenty of animosity for one another based on the fact that they were on opposing stables and in plenty of tags and trios against one another. This had been out there but only in the form of a tiny, unwatchable, real player sized file. This is much more watchable. They'd go at it from the bell to the post-match after a double count out and it wasn't in the least bit refined, but it was chippy and active, including some armwork by Maeda and a nice seated octopus by Yatsu. Once they started throwing suplexes, Maeda somehow managed to drop Yatsu exactly on his head but Yatsu was unfazed and stumbled up to hit a belly to belly of his own. It was pretty grisly stuff. Overall this was rough around the edges but full of fire, so they definitely had that bit down. 

ER: I thought this was incredibly cool, a very grown up version of a match I wouldn't have expected from either at this point. This felt like a couple older pros, especially Yatsu, who moved spry and almost like a cruiserweight but obviously not. Both looked lithe and had incredible ring confidence. It was some great halfway point between Choshu/Fujinami and Young Lions. Maeda was about to go on a pair of month long WWF excursions, but Yatsu feels like the perfect 1984 WWF Japanese wrestler. Yatsu works this like  shootstyle Mr. Fuji, with some fast unstoppable throws, takeovers and strong-cradled pins, but with a throat thrust and elbowdrop assortment that would play well in Buffalo working Terry Daniels. Akira Maeda got to work a couple months of WWF as Akira Maeda. If I was given the information that a) Akira Maeda worked a couple WWF tours in 1984, and b) worked a tour somewhere early in his career as Kwick-Kick Lee, I would bet so much money on there being a New Haven card with a Kwick-Kick Lee vs. Rene Goulet time limit draw. Yatsu's quick, strong style would have fit well in 1984 WWF, even if it would have just inevitably lead to a tag team with Tiger Chung Lee. 

The submission work and movement within holds was really captivating. You could see the legitimacy in how they worked to prevent the unpreventable or grapple like real heavyweights. Maeda almost scorpions Yatsu with an overhead belly to belly - it's not as bad as it initially looks, with Yatsu taking a lot of it on his forearms and not his neck - and plays it as a successfully blocked takedown, scrambling straight up to his feet and Maeda's waist to pivot into his own belly to belly. It reads as a real way an Olympic level freestyle wrestler would sell the same. They're so good at grappling that they manage one of the great abdominal stretch spots, some beautiful work of real cool fighting over who could secure an abdominal stretch, sending both tumbling hard through the ropes. The way I wrote about it makes it sound like an inevitable end to that spot, but they way they did it didn't feel like it was going that way. It was this shoot authenticity they worked their pro wrestling with, an abdominal stretch do-si-do leading to the stiffest strikes of the match being thrown on the floor to double count out. They could have worked this exact same match just two years later, nothing changed about the wrestling, but now perceived as bigger and bigger stars. They got big reactions for what they didm, and the crowd reacted to this like a fight between two names. But nowhere near the names they'd become, but the wrestling was real. 

Principe Franky/ROBOCOP vs. Ministro de la Muerte I/Ministro de la Muerte II CMLL 1992

MD: This is blurry but kind of novel because I'm not sure how much Robocop footage we actually have. Franky had been Polimero Espacial but lost his mask quite recently in a tag with Latin Lover against Sangre Chicana and El Sanguinario, also in Monterrey. From what we see, he looks solid. There's a fun moment late in the match where his partner teases a dive and we just see him come flipping from off the side of the screen as a blur instead. Robocop is, as promised, Robocop, with a plush looking but intricate costume, visor and all. It's a much more elaborate costume than the other match we've covered years ago. He moved surprisingly well in there, able to do a couple of tricked out armdrags and to finally win it (after teasing that dive) with the diving back headbutt off the ropes. He actually had some presence too. When he came in to break up a submission, there was a little extra swagger in how he moved. Los Ministros are pretty generic rudos but played their part well in this sub-ten minute match. That meant basing for a guy dressed like Robocop and throwing fouls when Robocop was duly distracting the ref. This was undercard stuff and didn't go long but it was fun while it lasted, for the novelty of Robocop as much as anything else.

ER: I can't pretend to know any of these guys and I can't pretend I knew there was a lucha Robocop but I assumed that was likely. I was impressed at how good the Robocop suit looked. I'm not sure what I was specifically expecting from lucha Robocop but this was a quality looking suit. Intricate, as Matt called it, but allowing for smooth movement. No way a 1992 Monterrey luchador working a Robocop gimmick should have a Robocop suit this good. In our grainy tracky footage he looked like La Parka, or a Storm Trooper. He moved smoothly for being the largest guy in the match (maybe some of that was suit weight and mask height) and had an armdrag reversal on the back end of a backdrop that surprised me, and his topes en reversa landed firmly. Ministros were my kind of rudos, guys who would each take a backdrop and are good at catching dives and taking complicated armdrags, working over Franky's knee in a way appropriate in a short lucha match. Franky's dive looked crazy, visible only in the background, Robocop in the foreground, Franky already upside down when he enters the frame. Cameras catch the wreckage on the floor and Robocop wins right after. Opener undercard lucha remains winning.  

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