Watch: @carxyus (DVD), @BLACKTERRY (some matches)
Arena San Juan Pantitlán, Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Estado de México. México
March 29, 2015
Toro Negro Jr., La Roca vs. Terremoto, Tornado (2/3 falls)bad
[8:37, 3:39, 6:19] Outside of maybe a couple of interesting moments, this match was totally vapid when it wasn’t being derailed by awkward and some comically bad spots. Tornado is probably the best luchador in this match and unfortunately managed to get in only one interesting spot at the end of the first fall. Terremoto and La Roca are big guys who aren’t terribly mobile (though nowhere as bad as Súper Porky is) and probably shouldn’t open a show. The first fall actually consisted of mostly okay, but not exceptional, matwork, though the most interesting spots were a surprising springboard armdrag by La Roca and an avalanche headscissors by Tornado on Toro Negro Jr. And of course, because this is a Mexico indie show, Terremoto has to get in a piledriver variation on La Roca to finish the fall.
The match is not terrible at this point, and had it ended here, it’d be a completely unremarkable, nondescript opener that failed to serve its purpose, but was mostly otherwise inoffensive. The second fall is slightly more awkward. At one point, Toro Negro gets stuck in the ropes, and Tornado throws Terremoto into him, a spot that looked unconvincing because Terremoto was slightly off-target and it looked more painful for him than it did for Toro Negro Jr. Later on, Toro Negro has an awkward tope suicida: How do you manage to run straight and yet exit the ring at an angle other than perpendicular to the side of the ring? The fall ends with a slow submission by La Roca.
At this point, we still arguably have an “eh” match, though we’re bordering on “below average” territory. The third fall decidedly changes that and pushes us deep into a hole. There is an awkward miscommunicated spot between Terremoto and La Roca (see a pattern here?), but the first really big WTF moment occurs when Toro Negro Jr. hits Tornado with a top-rope flying elbow into a headlock, which Rafa el Maya treats as a submission for as few seconds before deciding to count a pin when Toro Negro Jr. further lifts Tornado’s head. Uh… that’s not exactly how a pin works. The crowd begins to chamt “otra lucha” (“another match”) at this point. Mercifully, La Roca submits Tornado to end the match. Oh wait, no, the match is continuing because we somehow have decided that both teammates need to be eliminated to end a fall (despite only one elimination in the second fall). Why must this match continue. The answer is, of course, to make it go from bad to worse, and comically so. La Roca covers Terremoto with a token non-move for the pin while Toro Negro Jr., who ostensibly thinks he’s getting the pin, is climbing the ropes for another fiying elbow drop. I’d like to think that Rafa el Maya just wanted this mess of a match to end.
If I gave star ratings formally, this would be in the vicinity of -**. It’s embarrassingly bad, especially the third fall, and is among the worst matches that has occurred in CaraLucha.
Rayo Star vs. Sky Man (2/3 falls)excellent
[3:09, 4:38, 7:44, 8:23] No, those fall times are not a typo: there really were four falls, although there was so much action in between falls that it’s probably unfair to present the match time in a per-fall format. As much as the opener killed the crowd (and rightfully so), this match brought them back in a nearly 30-minute duel that really should’ve been higher on the card. Rayo Star, whom the crowd supports for most of the match, gets about two steps onto the arena floor before Sky Man attacks; and before the match can formally start, we’ve gotten a headscissors in the entrance area and then a running tornillo dive, both by Sky Man. Once the match officially starts, Sky Man quickly establishes himself as the de facto “rudo” here by ripping Rayo Star’s mask, at which point the pace slows a bit, and the match feels more weighty as a result. It’s not the route that I expected this match to take, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sky Man takes fall 1 with a springboard Spanish Fly.
In between falls, Sky Man gives Rayo a suplex on the floor, and continues heeling it up for a bit until Rayo Star turns the tide with a superkick counter and ultimately takes the second fall with a huracarrana. Of note is that Sky Man takes the huracarrana very fast, which is relatively uncommon in Mexico.
Before the third fall, Rayo takes the fight outside again, tossing Sky Man into the seats. The craziness tones down again, though, until Sky Man does a slingshot leg drop to the outside, followed by another running tornillo. A Spanish Fly on the floor leads to a double countout, but the fans want “una caída más” (“one more fall”), a request that CaraLucha actually grants.
The unusual fourth fall sees Rayo Star land a plancha off the second-floor balcony. For some reason, at this point, more of the crowd stars to get behind Sky Man. There are a few big-spot nearfalls, but these guys have so many moves that the match doesn’t seem to fall into the trap of counting finishers until someone runs out. Sky Man slips setting up to do a Spanish Fly, and almost slips a second time, but manages to pull it off and, with both exhausted, manages to get the pin on Rayo Star. The slip is really the only flaw in the match. It’d be a high-end singles match if it took place in CMLL, and these guys definitely make it feel like a big match that completely belies its low position on the card of a random show and the lack of a long buildup to the match. Of course, the hot crowd contributes to that big-match atmosphere, but the Sky Stars more than do their part to get the crowd invested. Money is deservedly thrown into the ring afterward. Coming in, I had expected this to be much more of a spotfest (and I don’t use that term disparagingly), and it turned out to be much more weighty than that.
As an interesting note, Sky Man was asked in post-match interviews why there was mask-ripping, if the two remained friends and teammates throughout this. His answer was that the mask-ripping was a a conscious device to demonstrate to the crowd that Rayo Star and he were serious about the match, and the crowd shouldn’t take the match lightly. It’s a little hard to accept that answer completely at face value, without feeling that perhaps they went over the top, but equally so, it’s hard to argue with the way the match turned out. Overused trope or no, it worked for this crowd.
As usual, Sky Man has this match handcammed in full on his YouTube channel. It’s worth checking out.
After this match, there was a short tribute to Perro Aguayo Jr., since this was CaraLucha’s first show since his passing.
Mike, Leo, Rafy, Telo vs. Toxin, Andy Boy, Chica Yeye, Demasiadook
[14:13] The non-Turtles team was originally supposed to be the Okama Power faction of exóticos, but Andy Boy and Toxin substituted for Diva Salvaje and Estrella Divina. This ends up being less coordinated of a match as the Tortugas’ debut in CaraLucha earlier in the month, and that inferiority manifests itself from the start: There are some timing or communication issues with the initial dives by the Tortugas. During the next exchange, Rafy botches an Arabian press armdrag on Toxin. The match fortunately recovers quickly, and the subsequent exchanges are more solid. As usual, we get some comedy with Mike, who, among other things, induces Demasiado to pin his own teammates and counts three on them. Unfortunately, the match seems to go into time-filler mode for a bit after this comedy, with mostly generic spots. The Tortugas win by clashing their opponents’ backs to each other and then pinning them.
In post-match interviews, the Tortugas called Toxin a “luchador de Facebook” (with essentially the same negative connotation as the term “keyboard warrior” in English). Tortugas vs. Kriminals (or any coherent team) has potential, but this was not a well coordinated match, definitely a disappointment after their previous excellent CaraLucha match.
Danger vs. Impulsogood
[10:41] Danger brings fellow Neza King Guerrero Míxtico as a second, and for some reason, Impulso brings Kilvan, a member of La Resistencia. We start fast with an Impulso dropkick and tope suicida, followed by spots outside the ring. Taking bumps on those wooden boards does not look fun. When the action returns to the ring, the match becomes fairly standard until the seconds begin to take turns to distract the ref. Somewhere in the ensuing chaos, Danger and Impulso managed to pull of a nice creative fast sequence. Ultimately, it’s Danger who gets the upper hand by pinning Impulso when the ref’s attention is actually inside the ring. This match is really meant as an angle to set up a big inter-faction match on the next show (which somehow involves the Sky Stars too), but unlike many matches primarily intended to advance a story, there was enough here for a pretty solid match in its own right, even if the flow was interrupted by so many distractions by the seconds.
Trauma I, Trauma II, Eterno vs. La Sombra, Rush, La Máscaravery good
[19:00] This was a rematch from last CaraLucha show, except with La Máscara instead of Último Guerrero. As with that earlier match, we again have two referees in the ring. Chaotic brawling begins at the outset. Eterno hits La Sombra a tope suicida, but this serves only to bring the brawling outside the ring. This feels much more like an Ingobernables match than did their previous visit to Arena San Juan, only much more heated than you’d see in CMLL.
Late in the match we get some submission holds, almost as if the usual progression from matwork to more intense action is reversed. There’s a cool sequence where Trauma I puts a figure-four variant on La Sombra, who counters it into a tapatía, which in turns becomes a double pin as Trauma I manages to fall backward. Later, La Sombra surreptitiously interferes, distracting Rafa el Maya. Rush takes advantage of this to foul Trauma II, but Rafa is still arguing with La Sombra. Trauma II fouls Rush as Rush is unmasking him. Rafa el Maya ultimately decides that he saw only the mask pull and DQs Los Ingobernables. This is kind of a confusing finish, but the match was very good up until this point. After the match, the Ingobernables, as usual, state that they want only to humiliate their opponents. (And apparently, sign a few autograph for fans in between cutting their angry promos.) They then mock the crowd by chanting “¡Esto es lucha!” at them, before La Sombra dismisses the crowd with copious amounts of vulgarity that would have gotten him in trouble on a standard CMLL show.
I liked the March 7 match better because it had a different dynamic than that of standard Ingobernables matches, but even if this one returns to the Ingobernables stock and trade, I think it’s worth watching due to the hot Arena San Juan crowd, and the Traumas bring more intensity than standard CMLL opponents. Unfortunately, whereas Eterno had a distinct role in the first match, he feels more relegated to the background here.
OVERALL: Rayo Star vs. Sky Man is the only match that you really need to see, although the main event is a fun brawl. Everything else is skippable, unless you want to see the absolute trainwreck of a third fall in the opener.