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Mike Quackenbush/Kendo/Solar v Negro Navarro/Mr. Ferrari/Claudio Castegnoli

ohtani's jacket


Mike Quackenbush/Kendo/Solar v Negro Navarro/Mr. Ferrari/Claudio Castegnoli, Invasion Azteca, 3/08/09


Well, for the second year running, it looks like my match of the year will come from outside Mexico.


Perhaps this wouldn't have been a MOTY in years gone by, but these days you have to search every nook and cranny. It's a bit like diggin' in the crates.

I won't deny that finding lucha in Delaware is half the fun, but the important thing is that it was lucha through and through.


There's a certain aesthetic that says this match is cool: the crowd, the building, the colour of the mat, two all-time greats in a scaled back trios. But I'll tell you what this match had: it had charisma.


If I were to describe trios wrestling, I'd say it's one or two good workers, a guy with some shtick and a couple of apron warmers. The workers do the bulk of the wrestling, the comedy guy does his schtick and the apron warmers pick their spots. These days it doesn't take much imagination to work a trios match. The only guys who do it well are the Puebla locals, but here you had Navarro/Solar, Navarro/Quackenbush, a little bit of comedy and a bunch of guys working around the edges. So when I'm talking about charisma, I'm talking about that real shit from back in the day.


You had three guys nowhere near the level of the others and the match was better for it.


Watching Navarro here, I had no doubts I was watching an all-time great worker. How many wrestlers revent themselves at Navarro's age? How many guys are better in their early 50s than they were in their youth? And how many guys get better year after year from the age of 45? It just doesn't happen. I thought Solar had one of his better outings in recent times, but I'd go so far as to say this is THE Negro Navarro match: the match that encapsulates why he's the man right now.


I don't think I've ever seen Solar and Navarro go at each other like this, with amazingly quick go-behinds and strong takedowns. but what really impressed me was Navarro and Quackenbush. Quackenbush doesn't look like much of a wrestler, but in the past six months I've seen him wrestle Johnny Saint, Cassandro and Negro Navarro, and I've gotta give the guy his dues. Navarro was lording it here, trashing talking in Spanish throughout their exchanges; but every time Quackenbush hooked a limb, he did not disappoint. In all honesty, he was one of the better sparring partners Navarro's had. I don't know how he did it, but he did it and fair play to him.


So what you had was a bit of clowning around, some killer match-ups and an awesome setting. What more could you ask for? The imperfections are what really made it: the scrappy finishes, the ref's mistakes, the looseness at times. You know they're working when they're ad-libbing comedy between matwork. You can't do that without some personality and a whole lot of confidence in your mat skills. Navarro's takedowns are like Ray Mendoza's. Everytime he slams someone to the mat, you expect him to come back up with his arm raised. He's a killer. I don't think anyone could take him in a fight. But he's seen it all, done it all and has a sense of humour about it.


A lot of indie matches strike me as the sincerest form of flattery, but this was the real deal. Hell, Solar even sold the low blow like a pro. He was stretching that thing at the end and there was no aggravating it. What a champ.


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