Looking Back Lucha Libre WWW Review Archive (December 2015-July 2017)

CaraLucha 3/7/15 Review: Of Turtles and Ingobernables

La Sombra and Rush post-match
Photo credit: Black Terry Jr.

CaraLucha 3/7/15

Watch: DVD (contact CaraLucha or Carxyus), @BLACKTERRY (top 2 matches), some matches on YouTube

March 7, 2015

Arena San Juan Pantitlán – Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Estado de México, México

This was CaraLucha’s third show of the year. Unlike their previous shows in 2015 with six matches, this was a five-match card.

Amadeus, Magnético vs. Tanque Infernal, Lasser (2/3 falls)good
[8:05, 1:32, 3:22] I don’t quite understand the logic, if any, behind CaraLucha’s decisions to make a match one or three falls, but in any event, this felt like a better version of a (three-fall) CMLL opener. There was matwork to start, and Tanque Infernal seems to be the best of the four at it. The second fall was really, really short, rivaling the stereotypical second fall length of CMLL title matches. There was a cool sideways headscissors piledriver by Magnético in the third fall. Outside of that, there was nothing too out of the ordinary during this match, but I would be extremely happy if all CMLL openers were at least this level. There was good matwork, there were dives, and there was at least one cool move. It’s a good minimum standard to which to aspire.

Leo, Rafy, Mike, Telo vs. Yoruba, Kilvan, Rey Lobo Jr., Shadowexcellent
[14:17] This was the Tortugas Ninjas’ debut in CaraLucha, and La Resistencia wasted no time in greeting them with dives. This match started at 100mph and rarely seemed to slow down thereafter. Mixed in were some comedy spots, especially with Mike, and not all of them were PG-rated, but they didn’t really interfere too much with the flow of the match. The two teams took advantage of the 8-man format and pulled off some great multi-man spots.

Toward the end, Yoruba springboarded off one of the Tortugas’ backs to start an insanely great dive train. An imploding cannonball from the top rope would have normally been crazy enough to cap off this divefest, but not here! Leo and Yoruba apparently decided that the sheer momentum of this match called for something even more, and so we got a Spanish Fly from the balcony (!). I’m normally not a huge fan of balcony dives, but in an 8-man match that had been absolutely bonkers up until that point, it really did seem to be a natural progression of where next to take the match. The match ended almost immediately after when Kilvan pinned Rafy in the ring with a Skándalo Driver. It always feels a bit abrupt to me when a match ends with a one-spot pinning finish in the ring after a dive train, as if the pin is merely a token gesture to wrap things up, but this is a relatively minor quibble for an overall fantastic match.

Leo Spanish Fly off the balcony
Turtle power!

This is exactly the sort of high-speed controlled chaos that I like to see from a large match. The hot crowd ate this up too. It’s a definite MOTYC for me. This match is available in full on YouTube.

Rayo Star, Hell Boy, Tribal vs. Toxin, Fly Star, Fly Warriorgood
[18:55] Fly Warrior and Rayo Star, possibly two of the best flyers who have never been in a major promotion, had great exchanges together, and were generally on a level above everyone else; that said, there was plenty of craziness throughout in this match. Towards the end, there was a sequence of the following spots: Spanish Fly to the floor, Tope Magno, and standing Spanish Fly on the floor, leaving Rayo Star and Fly Warrior to finish in the ring.

Unfortunately, this match tended to become sloppy at times, and Hell Boy, who was a late replacement for Sky Man, was the worst offender here. “Very good” is the rating at which I start to recommend matches for viewing. This match would be at that level, but falls short due to the ratio of sloppiness. There is a significant amount of fun in this match worth seeing, but at the same time, it doesn’t feel like a match that would end up on anyone’s résumé; there are better matches with most of these guys and better matches on this card.

Guerrero Míxtico, Andy Boy, Danger vs. Belial, Impulso, Arezvery good
[20:21] This match starts with good matwork with Belial and Guerrero Míxtico; for me, one of the early highlights of this match was Belial setting up for a casita and trapping Guerrero Míxrico in a submission instead. Another example of a creative, unconventional sequence was Impulso setting up for a sunset flip but instead turning around and clamping Andy Boy against the ropes with his body.

The early matwork was the smoothest part of this match. Some odd moments arose later on: At one point, it looked like Belial legit denied taking a powerbomb to the apron or floor, which looked awkward. Arez hit his head on the floor during his ringpost headscissors, which is normally a big spot for him. Toward the end, Impulso tried a spot in which it appeared that he was supposed to hit Danger with a springboard dropkickk and then senton Andy Boy on the floor in one motion. This would’ve been a cool spot if he had pulled it off cleanly; the problem is that he missed with the senton and ended up knocking his head on the floor. Ouch. On the bright side, although this match did begin to fall apart somewhat, we did get an insane ropewalk moonsault from Guerrero Míxtico, the level of difficulty of which was astounding, on par with the complicated stuff that you’d see from Máscara Dorada.

Guerrero Míxtico ropewalk moonsault
Guerrero Míxtico channels his inner Máscara Dorada

During the finish, Danger landed not one, but three Canadian Destroyers, because we clearly don’t see enough of them already in lucha. This match definitely waxed indie-riffic at times, but it was better than their previous encounter on the January 31 show, and there was enough here to recommend, even if it’s a recommendation with reservations.

Trauma I, Trauma II, Eterno vs. Último Guerrero, Rush, La Sombravery good
[17:44] This almost felt as if it were two simultaneous matches: Traumas vs. Ingobernables along with Último Guerrero vs. Eterno. They weren’t completely separate as such, but the action felt more compartmentalized along those lines than not. There was plenty of brawling in this match, but less than I’d predicted, and at times it seemed as though Último Guerrero and Eterno largely worked an abbreviated version of a stereotypical Último Guerrero singles match. It was an odd juxtaposition with the Ingobernables and Traumas doing their thing. Eterno is usually classified as a great base, but in the context of this unusual mix of friends and foes, he turned out to be the flyer in this match.

Predictably, the crowd booed the Ingobernables heartily, while Último Guerrero had a contingent of fans who wanted to raise the roof with him. (It should be noted that Carxyus does an excellent job of mic’ing the red-hot crowd and capturing the atmosphere of the arena.) Also unusual was the presence of two referees for this match. Two referees for tag and trios matches had been the traditional standard in Mexico, but was abandoned a few years before this.

The finish was a bit odd: The Ingobernables broke up an Último Guerrero pin on Eterno, but Último Guerrero soon after got a three-count on Eterno anyway with a Guerrero Special 1. La Sombra almost got away with unmasking Trauma I, except that, during the subsequent pin, one of the refs caught Rush fouling Trauma II for the DQ. A riot almost broke out afterward, but was quelled quickly. Nonetheless, a copious amount of trash was thrown in the ring during the Ingobernables’ post-match promos.

This match is memorable for how unusual it is. It’s not close to a great match, but it’s worth watching for the unconventional dynamics in play. It feels different from most Ingobernables matches.

OVERALL: This show flew under the radar for me at the time, but it’s a strong card, more balanced than CaraLucha’s January 31 event. The Tortugas vs. Resistencia match is must-see, and there are others also worth your time. The main event felt particularly unconventional.


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