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  1. Awesome mat based match between two absolute masters of the style. **** 1/4
  2. Crazy brawling, violent and bloody. The pace slows way down in the second half because of blood loss and fatigue selling, which was well done.*** 3/4
  3. Pretty decent single fall apuestas match, though I wonder if Segura hadn't nearly ripped Fuerza's mask clean off it might've been better. Fuerza had to keep adjusting it and hide his face when he took a moderately-sized bump, so we never got to see the blood truly flow. At times it felt like he was being more reserved than usual as well, intent as he was on keeping his face covered. It did not stop him from kicking and punching Segura in the balls several times. He seemed to get more creative with the foul each time as well, going from a straight kick to the Fuerza Punt to sneakily punching Segura low as he pushed out of a pin attempt. By the end he just grabbed a handful of wedding tackle and squeezed. Segura was fine. His stuff mostly looked good and I liked him ramming Fuerza's head into a freezer with enough force that it looked like he was trying to stuff him inside without opening the lid first. The big tope looked great as well. Some might nitpick on Fuerza being back to his feet first, but Segura cleared the barricade and might've dislocated a finger or two on the landing, so it's hard to argue he didn't take the brunt of the damage. That's the beauty of the tope, I guess. Sometimes the gamble isn't worth it.
  4. Dandy/Navarro feud in full bloom. Cool mat exchanges and awesome punches. Boxing Negro Navarro is truely awesome, up there with the likes of Dick Murdoch or Bill Dundee. Having both such a variety of punches aswell as ways to put the other guys punches over is truely a rare trait. The other guys in this match were acceptable and Pantera did a good job keeping everything moving.. But Dandy/Navarro is the matchup you want to see and this did not disappoint.
  5. Long, quality title match that told a good story. The interactions between Trauma I and Pirata Morgan were especially great as they really worked this like a battle between upcoming star and a physically intimidating, aging legend. We also get Navarro stretching out Pirata's kid some and they do a pretty strong job at mixing up the exchanges in order to keep you guessing about who will come out on top. IWRG isn't normally nearfall heavy but this had some good ones due to that. There was some sloppiness, but this was worth watching for Pirata's performance alone.
  6. When you see this matchup, happening in IWRG in 2010, filmed by Black Terry Jr, you know what you're getting. Tons of matwork and fun character dynamics. You get Navarro/Solar in their eternal struggle, Zatura, a really good guy who got lost in the shuffle looking really good, and Cerebro stalking Suicida and acting like a dickhead. Terry and Zatura get to stretch out in a pretty great mat section and Zatura shows off all his wonky cross heel hooks and what not, then Cerebro starts superkicking and punching people before Suicida hits a crazy tope. Things get more intense in the last two falls but they keep to hitting the mat, which is what you want. Cerebro looks great with his crazy holds too, but that's nothing new. For any other 6 workers of the current independent scene a trios like this would be a great achievement, but for these guys it was Thursday.
  7. The cage is a very cool-looking, double-tall lime green chain link job. A couple of minutes in we get a helpful graphic explaining that the Good Guys are: Hijo de Lizmark, Black Dragon, My Boy Felino, Ultimo Vampiro, and Super Parka. The Bad Guys are: Enterrador (who is very large and wearing a Misfits t-shirt), Super Mega and his tag partner Mega, Blue Panther and Oficial (who has a police-style outfit and mask that are kinda reminiscent of early Osaka Pro, so I like him even though he doesn't seem to be all that good at the pro wrestling part of his job). They all kind of mill around for nine minutes and 59 seconds, tossing dudes into the corner and doing some half-hearted mask ripping... but at the ten minute mark there is some kind of explosion, and then everyone goes nuts, scrambling to escape or to stop dudes from escaping. It gets pretty exciting, as dudes don't climb up slowly so that the other guy can catch them. They look for a free corner and fly up there as quickly as possible... you know, like dudes who are actively trying to escape a cage might do. Black Dragon is the first man free, he pulls an amazing athletic leap half-way up the cage and is up and over like Spider-Man, except that he seems to slip going over the top of the cage and just plummets straight to the floor, dead weight style. After that, understandably, most of the other dudes climb up very quickly but then go over the top kind of gingerly and make sure they have secure footing before climbing back down outside the cage. A quick Google search reveals that this is the first ever El Castillo del Terror match. It's become an annual event. The last guy to escape loses his mask or hair. Presumably, nobody is allowed to try to escape until ten minutes have passed. That's a pretty good idea. The problem is that you are left rooting for your boys to escape but then you are left watching the guys who are not your boys, if you get what I mean. The Final Four end up being Ultimo Dragon, Oficial, Super Mega, and Super Parka. They do a nice job of story telling for each of the last four eliminations. One of the tecnicos escapes first, leaving the other tecnioco to take a nasty double team and earn some sympathy, then there is a classic malfunction at the junction spot that evens things up, then outside interference and a turn-about is fair play spot... Overall, pretty unique and very entertaining from the ten minute mark on.
  8. Awesome grappling match with the Doctor looking great. Good to know I can thrust myself from 7 years ago on... some things. Some people have talked about how lucha has just as good storytelling or psychology as all the other wrestling... which it doesn't really need to have, because lucha is great as it's own thing. This match gave me the same giddy feeling I get from a high end WoS or shootstyle mat contest, while being it's own thing entirely. Sometimes, you just wanna watch awesome wrestlers roll around on the mat and in the case of mexicans that often involves lots of freaked out wristlocks and rolling surfboard holds and whatnot that you don't see in any other kind of wrestling. And that's why lucha rules and doesn't need to be measured up to a bollocks standard of Flair matches or whatever. You can go on about all the symbols and meaning of all this, with Cerebro carrying a green worker, headbutting him a bit for his trouble and the kid upsetting the veteran some and all that... but in the end, I'll come back for the grappling.
  9. After several weeks worth of delays our 2016 yearbook is out, and I like to think that it is the best thing we have ever put out. We had over a dozen contributors this year covering a wide range of topics from the history of inter-gender wrestling to the year in DDT to IWRG's match of the year, the history of wrestling tournaments, WWE financials, and so much more. We have two different PDF versions of the newsletter up, and one is essentially pre-press quality and so is A-okay for anyone who wants to print their own for whatever reason, or just wants a crisper experience. Any suggestions for future issues, feedback, and general comments would be very much appreciated as always. YEARBOOK CAN BE FOUND HERE *WWE IN 2016: NEW ERA, BRAND SPLIT, AND THE PRESIDENTIAL SWERVE BY ANDREA GREGOVICH *WWE FINANCIAL YEAR IN REVIEW WITH CHRIS HARRINGTON *THE RISE OF WRESTLING TOURNAMENTS BY DAVE MUSGRAVE *THE TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY OF THE CRUISERWEIGHT DIVISION BY TODD MARTIN *THE YEAR IN LUCHA LIBRE WITH THECUBSFAN *2016’S MOST INDELIBLE MOMENTS BY PAUL COOKE *ALL IS SEMBLATIVE OF A WOMAN’S PART: A MODERN AND HISTORICAL LOOK AT INTER-GENDER PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING BY BEN CARASS *THE 2016 PODMASS WITH JOE GAGNE *A 2016 PRO-WRES OVERVIEW WITH BRYAN ROSE *WARRIORS BY ALAN COUNIHAN *THE INDIE PURO YEAR IN REVIEW WITH IZZAC *TO PROVE ONE’S VALOUR: THE STORY OF ISHII & TANAHASHI’S 2ND G1 CLASSIC BY RYAN CLINGMAN *THE DRAGON GATE YEAR IN REVIEW WITH ANDREW PUGH *THE DDT YEAR IN REVIEW WITH JAME ‘O DOHERTY Thanks everyone.
  10. Imposible is one of my favorite indie guys in lucha, I don't think I ever seen Relampago before, but if it's a singles with Imposible, I don't care. Relampago jumps the champion on the stairs giving him no time to breath, tossing chairs onto his head, ripping up his mask, standard stuff, but it works really well. When they hit the ring, Relampago quickly opens the cut on Imposible's forehead and wins the fall (botching a moonsault, of course). The second fall is more lengthy than usual (if you are used to modern CMLL, it's a breath of fresh air) and after a few minutes, Imposible achieves his comeback. And it's great. And brutal. He goes on a rampage, throws a chair right to Relampago's head on a tope, throws him over the barrier, onto the chairs, rips his mask, opens a cut on his head. I loved it. After that, they tease a two falls victory for Relampago when Imposible was trying to finish the fall, which I bought, and have a really cool exchange outside with vicious headbutts and punches. Sadly, the match feels incomplete because the rudo ref gives the fall to Relampago with a quick count to build up to a future title match. Very good match, but the lack of a real finish brings it down. I'm hoping for a mascara vs mascara in the near future, because they have really good brawl chemistry together (is that even a thing? well now it is) but with Mexico, you never know if this kind of things will actually happen.
  11. Even with the super libre rules this didn't feel as chaotic as their previous match, some nice violence but the match dragged and got repetitive, there's only so many tame chest slap exchanges I can watch and they did a pretty shitty take on the New Japan strike exchange. Terry wiping the blood of his forehead on the canvas made for such a great visual I just can't call it completely average. **3/4
  12. Watching a poorly lit video of a 63 year old mexican man bleeding all over the place is quite the experience. I think this was my first time seeing Judas, his offence was limited to basic stuff but all of it looked good, nice punches and kicks and it looked like he potatoed the ref when he knocked him down. Of course Terry brough it as well with vicious punches and kicks. Non-finish didn't really impact my enjoyment one way or the other. ***1/4
  13. Talk about it here.
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