Black Terry y Cerebro Negro vs. Trauma I y Trauma II, IWRG 4/29/10
I took a bit of a break from lucha over the past couple of months. It wasn't something I intended to do, but I'm back and ready to talk about the Grupo Internacional Revolución.
The IWRG style of wrestling isn't perfect, but one thing's clear and that's that their workers try harder than just about anyone in the business. In wrestling you can either work big or small depending on he venue and the size of the crowd. With an arena the size of Arena Naucalpan, IWRG workers are forced to work small all the time. There's no distinction between studio and arena match like there was in the old US territories or in companies where multiple venues are used. When you work small, you need to work small and sell big. That means working with the type of energy and charisma that draws people's attention and builds that interest into heat. Wrestling like you're working in front of a hundred people, selling like you're performing for ten thousand. This, of course, is easier said than done. Oftentimes, IWRG matches never get off the ground. They become bogged down in half complete ideas and lack any sort of forward momentum, which often occurs when the performances aren't "big" enough.
As wrestling fans we tend to make a big deal out of big performances and often exercise our own creative juices when describing a big match performance and the story that came out of it. That's a fan's prerogative and I have no problem with a bit of artistic license, but it struck me while watching this match that a little bit of antagonism is all it takes to charge a professional wrestling match and give it the spur it needs. When you think that all story is based on conflict and all professional wrestling is based on fighting, that makes sense I believe. But what really made this match work was how the workers turned that conflict into forward momentum.
I was impressed with how each detail in this match was followed up on and expanded upon as the match progressed. Now the idea that a Black Terry match would become chippy and confrontational is a pretty simple idea narrative wise and not particularly startling considering it happens in practically every Black Terry match, but I don't think workers ever get enough credit for stringing together a central theme in "real time." To lay out all those details, build off them and pay them off without the ability to go back and edit and revise anything and to just adlib and juggle it all in your heads makes wrestlers far more talented performers than they're given credit for. As a viewer, it's easy to watch a match and piece things together (and even easier to criticise when there's nothing to piece together) but for workers to work structure on the spot, so to speak, never ceases to amaze me.
Make no mistake about it, this wasa big performance from Black Terry. The other workers were all good but it was Terry's charisma and selling that made this a more compelling match than usual. If you ask me, Black Terry is the Most Interesting Man in the World and certainly the most badass 57 year-old on the planet. I'm starting to wonder if a reasonable case can be made for Black Terry as a top 10 lucha guy all-time at least in regard to what exists on tape. Terry's reached a level like Satanico or Casas where you'd consider his performing to be acting. He may not be a real actor in the stage sense or anything like that, but in terms of wrestling his performance skills are on a far higher level than the average worker. I mean when you think about it, this was a two-on-two tag match, a form of wrestling that most luchadores are uncomfortable with and matches that tend to underwhelm even in IWRG, yet Terry's personality still dominated.
On a side note, this was the first time I'd seen Cerebro Negro wrestle in quite some time. I wasn't sure whether he'd been injured or if he was in the doghouse but it was a solid return. His early exchanges with Trauma II surprised me as I couldn't remember him being so quick with the type of armdrag/judo throws that they were working. I did think the end of their exchange petered out a bit, however. Particuarly in comparison to the upward swing that Terry usually leaves his exchanges on.
Anyway, it's good to see that IWRG is still kicking out the matches. Which begs the question: is this one of the greatest indy runs ever?