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Matt D

Secret Santo 2018-2019

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Volador vs Mascara Dorada was a onenote match and a firm reminder of why I don't try to keep up with modern CMLL. It was like the third fall of a regular match, but instead of a climax it was the entire match and stretched out to fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes of two counts, that's too much for me. Volador spent most of the match grinning like a dumbass. Hey, I like guys with charisma but the guy was wrestling fifty-fifty, not working MD over. Either he's an idiot or he's trying too hard, because nothing about the match made that make sense. Mascara Dorada's daredevil charisma appealed to me more. The spots were genuinely good and hit well, even if there wasn't much to the match other than the spots, but it was noticeable how they tried to start with a simple headlock into run the ropes spot and couldn't execute that properly. The crowd and the commentators were into it, so the stuff I'm focusing on says more about me than it does about the match. I'm sure that other than that toprope spot when Volador slipped and he had to climb back up to try it again (instead of improvising), everything about this match went exactly as the wrestlers would have liked. Fuck knows I'm not the intended audience for it.

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1 minute ago, cad said:

Volador vs Mascara Dorada was a onenote match and a firm reminder of why I don't try to keep up with modern CMLL. It was like the third fall of a regular match, but instead of a climax it was the entire match and stretched out to fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes of two counts, that's too much for me. Volador spent most of the match grinning like a dumbass. Hey, I like guys with charisma but the guy was wrestling fifty-fifty, not working MD over. Either he's an idiot or he's trying too hard, because nothing about the match made that make sense. Mascara Dorada's daredevil charisma appealed to me more. The spots were genuinely good and hit well, even if there wasn't much to the match other than the spots, but it was noticeable how they tried to start with a simple headlock into run the ropes spot and couldn't execute that properly. The crowd and the commentators were into it, so the stuff I'm focusing on says more about me than it does about the match. I'm sure that other than that toprope spot when Volador slipped and he had to climb back up to try it again (instead of improvising), everything about this match went exactly as the wrestlers would have liked. Fuck knows I'm not the intended audience for it.

http://segundacaida.blogspot.com/2016/05/mlj-volador-jr-vs-mascara-dorada-liga.html?m=1

Don't feel bad, my friend!

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Ha, that review actually made me think more highly of Volador, just because I remember thinking when he slipped that a real rudo would have played it for laughs. But if he wasn't a rudo then there was no reason for him to do that.

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OK, I'm caught up now.

HeadCheese gave me two matches. They're both pretty short, so I'll review them both. The first one is from the Payback 2016 preshow and pits Ryback against Kalisto for the US title. I remember absolutely nothing about the 2016 WWE midcard, so this feud is new to me. Still, styles make fights, and smaller high flyer vs. bigger guy who tosses him around is pretty idiot-proof. All I ask is that the big guy keep things somewhat lively during the heat section and the little guy's comebacks be somewhat believable. For the most part, this match succeeded on both counts. Ryback isn't the most dynamic offensive wrestler, but he did execute some cool power spots between his taunting and posing. And Kalisto made his comeback with some high-impact spots of his own, including an apron DDT that looked like it could've separated Ryback's shoulder. Unfortunately, he was also responsible for the two worst parts of the match-at the beginning when he nearly landed on his head doing a corkscrew plancha and at the end when he no-sold a top rope military press to hit the Salida del Sol. The latter could've been due to the ref giving them the time cue, though. The second one is a trios match between products of Chikara's Wrestle Factory, five of whom are dressed as some sort of arthropod and the other of whom looks to be a long-lost Brood member. They're all pretty green (Hermit Crab was the only one not in his first year), so this is little more than an exhibition of high flying and comedy. They didn't blow any spots, do anything terribly business-exposing, or overstay their welcome, so there's nothing really to complain about. I did get a kick out of the commentators trying to put over Danjerhawk by saying "You know he's an athlete just by looking at him." Not only was he the shortest and skinniest guy in the match (and being the skinniest guy in a Chikara match is like being the guy with the most scarred-up body in a BJW deathmatch), he was wearing a full body suit that covered up whatever physique he might have. He did throw some nice elbows, though.

From aaeo_, I got a match that sounds like the setup to a joke: a shooter (Hikaru Sato) and a deathmatch veteran (Shuji Ishikawa) doing battle in a sleazy DDT spinoff for something called the Union MAX Championship. Neither one seemed to be too eager to get things going, as the first five minutes or so are practically a tribute to Severn vs. Shamrock. Things finally pick up when Ishikawa lands a gourdbuster on the apron. I'm an unabashed mark for a good running knee lift, and his are the best of anyone since Takayama. And he's not thought of as a technician, but his combination abdominal stretch/bodyscissors was pretty swank. Still, I couldn't really buy Sato as a serious threat, which meant the match never really had the potential for true greatness. His strikes couldn't keep Ishikawa down, and the Big Dog kept powering out of his submissions. Granted, Sato was the champion going in, and simply being able to survive Ishikawa's onslaught (the match went to a time-limit draw) was a fine story. But going in cold, it wasn't quite enough to suck me in. Then there's the post-match angle, which I can't even begin to make heads or tails of.

From joeg, I got Jushin Liger vs. Masashi Aoyagi in a Different Style Fight. For some reason, this had two simultaneous commentary tracks, which when combined with the frequent jump cuts made this feel less like a match than a phantasmagoric spectacle not really suited to conventional analysis. My main takeaway was that 1990 Liger had a killer mullet that made him a virtual dead ringer for Branscombe Richmond when he lost his mask.

From Matt D, I got a fancam of Kobashi and Kikuchi going up against Furnas and Kroffat in 1991. It actually was taped (it's available on Ditch's site), so it's not really a find. Regardless, their 1992 match is an all-time classic, so it's cool to have the opportunity to see it in embryonic form. As one might expect, the meat of the match is two separate Kikuchi-in-peril sections. It's not quite the torture session of the 1992 match, but it's not as if they let him off easy. To be honest, he probably deserved worse for spiking Furnas on a vertical suplex attempt early in the match. Speaking of Furnas, he really was an athletic marvel. You know you're doing something when the crowd is popping for your leapfrogs. And I don't think anyone in history matched his combination of height and precision on dropkicks. The finishing run was heavy on nearfalls and light on selling (Kikiuchi took a Doomsday DDT and was back on offense less than a minute later), which kind of took me out of it. And of course, the referee completely botched the finish, which makes me surprised that Baba released the footage. I wonder if any potential classic matches were left on the cutting room floor due to similar botches. Other than that, the biggest problem with the match was Kobashi being way too aggressive in breaking up pins and submissions. Not only was he inadvertently heeling himself, he was stealing Kikuchi's thunder. Thankfully, he learned his lesson and was much more judicious in that regard in the 1992 match.

Finally, from Jetlag, I got a match featuring everyone's favorite copyright-infringing lucha trio: Los Thundercats. I only know them from their bloodbath against Trio Fantasia, so I'm curious as to how they'll fare in a straight wrestling match. I knew nothing about their opponents going in, so I relied on Luchawiki to bring me up to speed. They were collectively known as Los Arqueros del Espacio, and they were another kid-friendly trio. Apparently, Robin Hood was the most notable member due to being part of the Alvarado family (he wrestled as Brazo Cibernetico before his death). Confusingly, Lasser is also dressed as Robin Hood. At least Danny Boy has the courtesy to wear a black singlet for my convenience. This is a title match, so the first fall is spent mostly on the mat. Nothing too fancy, mainly lots of armdrags and leglocks and crucifix pins and the like. Danny Boy seems to be leading things on the mat, but the Thundercats do a good enough job of keeping up. Interestingly, Danny Boy works the entire fall for his team, which I've never seen in a trios match before, so he sits out the second fall. As a result, the fall is more comedic with a particular focus on the antics of Robin Hood. I would not have guessed going in that the literal cartoon characters would be the straight men in this match. In the third fall, we get some fancy lucha submissions, a few dives, a would-be triple pin from the Arqueros, and Robin Hood breaking up a Thundercats triple surfboard by sneaking in for a pin attempt. The Thundercats were down one after Robin Hood pinned Tigro with a fisherman suplex, but Panthro got the win for his team by submitting Danny Boy (the captain of the Arqueros) with a torture rack. That's another thing I don't recall ever seeing in a trios match before. Overall, this worked for me as kind of a budget Brazos/Infernales with some interesting wrinkles in the usual lucha match formula.

Thanks for the recs, guys. We should do this again sometime.

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Satomura vs Ray (or Lee Ray) was a strong match. The holds and counters they did at the start were really good. The commentators way oversold it, and the wrestlers sort of just stopped and jumped into the next part of the match, but I like seeing a 2018 match with smooth, skillful technical wrestling that could have taken place in 1991. Anyway, this reminded me a bit of the Taue vs Kobashi match I watched for this, in that it was a good, exciting fight that I'd have liked more if the final stretch hadn't been all about two moves. Finisher vs finisher is just a pat, uncreative way to wrestle, IMO. The first ten or so minutes were more interesting to me. The crowd was into the Death Valley bomb vs Gori bomb, but they were also receptive to the stuff from before the wrestlers whittled down what they were doing. Another thing that struck me was how this felt like something that could have been wrestled between WWE men. I don't watch enough modern stuff to have an opinion on the homogenization of wrestling but this would be a point in favor of that. That's not good or bad, just an observation.

I was amused by the ring announcer doubling as a ringside photographer.

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So, it's July, if people want to do a few weeks, I'm away from the 15th to the 19th, but I'm willing to spin the wheel on the 20th or the 21st. This gives everyone a couple of weeks to express interest. Let me know here.

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I lost interest in the first place because I got paired with shitheads who never responded to the matches I gave them (no offense if you were one of said shitheads).

I'm also more limited now because I no longer have the WWE Network, NJPW World, etc.

With all of that said, I'd definitely be interested again.

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Got six people, including me. That's ok to do pairings for a few weeks at least.

I say we do this.

Matt D
C.S. 

NintendoLogic
Jetlag

SirEdgar
NotJayTabb
 

C.S, I'll have something for you soon.

 

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1 hour ago, Matt D said:

@C.S.

Have you seen this one?

Probably, but it definitely looks like something I'd love to revisit.

Thanks!

I'll have something to you soon. Please let me know which streaming services you're subscribed to, if any.

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4 minutes ago, C.S. said:

Probably, but it definitely looks like something I'd love to revisit.

Thanks!

I'll have something to you soon. Please let me know which streaming services you're subscribed to, if any.

It's maybe the best Blonds match.

I've just got access to the Network currently. 

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