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

CaraLucha Review (July 11, 2015): Rush Finds Pagano’s Light Tubes

4.0/10
Photo credit: Black Terry Jr.

CaraLucha Promociones on July 11, 2015

Watch: @carxyus (DVD), @BLACKTERRY (some matches)

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


Pegazus, Shadow vs. Príncipe Aéreo, Centella Atómica (2/3 falls)bad
[6:59, 4:10, 2:14] This was originally supposed to be Rey Fénix (a local indie guy, not the former Fénix from AAA) and Príncipe Aéreo vs. Centella Atómica and Shadow; Pegazus replaces Rey Fénix, and apparently the teams get shuffled as a result. It would seem more logical have made the single substitution without re-arranging the teams, but it’s probably not a big deal either way: Técnico/rudo alignment is generally more flexible in the indies, and often not at all clear at the opening-match level, where having work at all is more important than a consistent alignment.

The first couple of exchanges proceed well enough, with a couple of exciting spots, including Príncipe Aéreo cartwheeling through a multiple kip-up armdrag by Pegazus. Things start to fall apart badly towards the end of the first fall, though: There’s an awkward moment when Pegazus’s mask comes off when he’s climbing the turnbuckle to do a spot with Príncipe Aéreo. I have no idea what exactly is supposed to happen here, but the ref doesn’t call a DQ, so apparently it isn’t the planned finish. The other two guys don’t fare much better with their exchange: Shadow submits Centella Atómica, who comes out of the hold acting as if he legit has a pulled groin. Pegazus hits a sidestep Spanish Fly on Príncipe Aéreo to finish the fall, but by this point, the crowd has already been taken out of the match, chanting “¡Otra lucha!” (“Another match!”).

The second fall is problematic throughout, with uncoordinated double-team spots, awkward running by Príncipe Aéreo, and an comically bad finishing sequence highlighting an inability to know when to stop: Príncipe Aéreo overshoots Pegazus on a springboard 450 splash, by itself not an uncommon mistake, but there’s a long list of mistakes in this match. His partner is a little bit smarter with judging distance and decides to do an outside-in pescado instead. This feels like it should have been the end of the fall, but both only get a two-count. Príncipe Aéreo goes for an avalanche headscissors and Centella Atómica for a second-rope Spanish Fly; Príncipe gets the three-count this time, but Centella decides that he has one more spot to do. That spot turns out to be a very badly executed Arabian press moonsault. He should have quit while he was ahead. After all, it is only the second fall.

Centella Atómica and Pegazus start the third fall, but Centella’s groin appears to act up again, and he abruptly ends the exchange with Pegazus, motioning for help once on the apron and removing himself from the match.

Príncipe Aéreo’s execution continues to go downhill with a double springboard tornillo that comes up short. Shadow finishes him with a double-knee chestbuster to end the match.

This match is WMOTYC-level. Centella’s injury doesn’t help it, but a healthy Centella wouldn’t have prevented most of the other problems. Very little goes well after the opening matwork.

Yoruba vs. Demus 3:16good
[12:44] As background, Yoruba is a student of Demus 3:16, and lost his hair previously to his teacher in Arena México in 2010, at Dragonmanía V.

Yoruba attacks Demus before he can enter the ring. As Yoruba runs the ropes for a tope, the middle rope breaks, 12 seconds into the match, and Yoruba falls out of the ring. Demus and Yoruba use this as a cue to brawl. Both guys work hard during this match, in and out of the ring, and the crowd is hot. The rope does get fixed while the match is in progress, and Yoruba takes advantage of this to pull off a cool springboard headscissors, but mostly this match is about big power moves. Yoruba wins when he hits two piledrivers after Demus misses a top-rope splash.

The rope break doesn’t really impair this match much, and it’s a technically solid duel helped by the hot crowd.

After the match, Akuma (Demus’s brother) runs out to attack Yoruba; Yoruba’s Resistencia partner Kilvan then runs out for the save. Yoruba makes a mask/hair vs. mask/hair challenge. Post-match promos are hard to understand, but it sounds as if Demus responds in the affirmative, but only in Arena México – a common caveat used by the CMLL roster in indie arenas to effectively say “no” without actually using that word – and only after a rematch.

After the match, Viral makes a brief announcement that Lucharama (a marathon lucha event to which several indie lucha promotions contribute) would be held on September 19. [It would later be postponed, much to my disappointment.]


Epyidemus vs. Jinzo vs. Séptimo Dragón vs. Aramisgreat
[17:37] Jinzo and Epydemus start with a solid. mostly mat-based exchange. Aramis and Séptimo Dragón go next with a flashier exchange, involving fun things like a handspring out of an attempted headscissors and complex kicking and dodging sequences. There’s a brief uncoordinated moment during the exchange, but it’s a lot of fun while it lasts; Jinzo sadly ends it by dropkicking Aramis out of the ring. Other highlights in the early part of the match include Epyidemus’s springboard off Jinzo’s back into a legdrop, a ropewalk tope con giro by Aramis, and a superkick party by all four.

The first elimination comes in the form of a springboard Canadian Destroyer by Séptimo Dragón on Jinzo at 12:46. Séptimo Dragón eliminates Aramis with an unsafe-looking running piledriver variation at 16:05. Oddly, the ref visibly hesitated before the three count, as if expecting a kickout. Epydemus hits a 450 splash on Séptimo Dragón for win at 17:37.

This is a strong match, easily the best match on the show. I initially had this match rated lower, since there are a handful of odd moments here and there, but those seemed not to bother me as much on a rewatch.

Flamita vs. Wasson (2/3 falls)very good
[3:44, 1:47, 5:52] Wasson earned this match by winning the Bestiario I tournament at the CaraLucha anniversary in May. After a relatively slow start. Wasson gets in most of the offense in this fall, nut Flamita handsprings out of a tornado DDT to give Wasson a superkick for fall 1.

Flamita continues on the offense in fall 2. Wasson escapes from an attempted Retador and attempts a roll up. Flamita escapes, but Wasson hits a fast sunset flip powerbomb variant to even the score.

Flamita and Wasson trade a bunch of forearms to start the third fall. Wasson breaks this up with a superkick, but Flamita responds with a discus forearm. He goes for a second, but Wasson ducks and puts his opponent in a cristo hold. Dueling cristos become the theme for a bit until Wassons pulls off a cristo into a German suplex. This is probably the most interesting sequence of the match; building a fall around cristo holds is not something that I had expected to see here. After failing to pull off his secondary finisher in the previous fall, Flamita hits a Retador this time for two count. Wasson tries for a 450 splash and a side brainbuster, but Flamita kicks out and hits the Flama Fly immediately after for the win.

There’s some occasional miscommunication, and the match is worked differently from most Flamita matches, but the match is enjoyable. It probably would have been better to structure this as a one-fall match, since the actual action time is barely longer than that of a CMLL lightning match.

Flamita puts over Wasson after the match and scold at the Arena San Juan crowd for throwing garbage into the ring for some reason. (They did get money thrown into the ring as well, so it sounds like some people were perhaps, shall we say, uninhibited due to alcohol by this point.)

Guerrero Míxtico vs. Felino (2/3 falls)ok
[2:58, 2:58, 5:25] The first fall opens with some good matwork, but Felino takes the fall quickly with a basement dropkick. In between falls, he decides to engage in comedy spots with the crowd.

Felino continues on offense in fall 2, but a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Guerrero Míxtico starts his comeback full of armdrag spots. A Skayde Special wins the fall for Míxtico.

Felino again decides to do comedy with the crowd in between falls. He kisses a female crowd member after appearing to ask her companion if he minds. Apparently not, I guess?

After the third fall officially starts, Guerrero Míxtico comes over to that same area and kisses that same person, to which Felino takes exception. After some more stalling, Guerrero Míxtico gives Felino a couple of nice armdrags and a tope. On returning to the ring, the two trade submissions, ending with Felino applying his trademark inverted figure-four leglock on Míxtico. From there, the two roll out of the ring and brawl. The referee has an audibly quick count by Mexico standards, resulting in a double countout and a draw. The crowd and Míxtico want another fall, but Felino counters with a hair vs. hair challenge, at which point Epydemius runs out in street clothes next to challenge Guerrero Míxtico for the PCLL tag titles on the 25th in Monterrey.

This match is short and disappointing, highlights everything *but* the in-ring action, which almost feels reduced to transitioning between the inter-fall comedy and the double countout finish. That finish in turn leads off into a tangent for a title match in a different promotion in a different city. Don’t get me wrong: The action is good when it’s actually happening, but it just doesn’t lead anywhere.

Rush vs. Paganobelow average
[11:25] Rush jumps Pagano during his entrance. The Arena San Juan crowd is surprisingly divided; “Toro Blanco” chants are much stronger than I would have imagined. I thought Pagano was supposed to be super-over in the indies. After some chops, Pagano blows a simple run-under-a-jumping-opponent spot that you see about five times in every lucha match. Pagano soon after tries to do a Brillo Dorada that ends up being, more accurately, an inside springboard tope con giro leg drop, which looks even worse on replay from the hard cam angle: Pagano is off-center from his target by about a chair width. Now outside the ring, Pagano looks under the ring for weapons to use, finds none, stalls for a moment. and then smashes Rush’s face into a chair. He then starts grabbing random things from fans to try to use as weapons: first a soda can, and then a plastic toy air horn. They sell those air horns for about five pesos (30 US cents at the time) outside the arenas. I mean, really? This speaks to the level of game plan that Pagano has if he’s resorting to cheap kiddie toys.

Pagano looks under the ring for weapons again, and as before is disappointed to find none. Rush gets in his standard brawling offense. The lack of weapons to this point is starting to unsettle the crowd, and “lucha extrema” chants break out. Almost as if on cue, someone ringside provides a steel chair to use, finally yoking Pagano back to his narrow comfort zone. But Rush uses the chair first, and after some more exchanging of offense, leaves the ring to promptly find some light tubes in one corner; presumably, these were what Pagano was looking for. Rush is better at “lucha extrema” than Pagano, I guess. Without further ado, Rush manages to smash the light tubes against Pagano’s back and unload a stiff corner dropkick for the win.

Rush leaves promptly afterward. Pagano cuts a promo to request a rematch. Rush returns from the backstage area to respond that Pagano will have to get in line for a rematch.

This is an awkward match that never really gets going, for good reason. Pagano cannot brawl convincingly, and looks horribly incompetent here, especially early on.

CARALUCHA ON JULY 11, 2015
  • Subpar - 4/10
    4/10

OVERALL

This is a below average show for CaraLucha. There are a couple of recommended matches, but the show is bookended by memorably bad garbage.

4.0/10

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