Looking Back Lucha Libre Reviews

XMW 4th Anniversary Review (June 20, 2015): The Death of a Snare Drum

4.0/10
Source: Black Terry Jr.

XMW 4th Anniversary

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

Arena Jardines – Ecatepec, Estado de México, Mexico


The DVD version of this show opens with a pre-show segment, in which fans are hurling vulgarities at the other Mexico City metro area indie promotions. Dollar, the XMW promoter, cuts a long, largely unintelligible promo that seems to incite the crowd further. To stir the pot further, he goes to the seats to interview Legion X and Rudos Neza, two rival local fan factions.

Rayo Star vs. Centella Atómicagood+

In both length and style, this is essentially a better-than-average CMLL-style lightning match. The match opens with matwork, highlighted by a cool bridging pin and submission combo by Centella Atómica. The match then progresses to a spotfest – generally a good one, although one of the few awkward moments comes on an attempted springboard headscissors by Centella Atómica. Among the more notable spots that do go well is a handwalk into a backflip headscissdors by Rayo Star, who’s one of the few who do this move other than Titán. Rayo Star wins with a Lo Mein Pain.

Rayo Star def. Centella Atómica by pinfall in 5:50.


After the opener, the entire roster comes out for a photo opportunity celebrating XMW’s 4th anniversary – or more literally, as it’s presented at the show, four years of “Vale Verga Style” (“Vale Verga” literally means “worth a d—“; a more idiomatic translation would be “worthless”.) Yes, XMW is celebrating four years of being worthless. The promotion’s own words, not mine.

Aside from the usual festivities, highlights of this segment include Príncipe Orión blocking the rest of the group and receiving a low blow for it, and Centvrión wearing a Mephisto tank top.

Chica Ye-Ye, Corsario Negro, Dollar vs. Core, Legionario, Obscurogood

This match was originally billed as a tag match between Corsario Negro and Dollar vs. Chica Ye-Ye and Obscuro, but somehow Core and Legionario were added late, and teams were shuffled a bit to accommodate.

The DVD joins this match in progress, and I know of no other footage of it. What we do get, the final five and a half minutes or so of the match, is perfectly fine, though mostly unremarkable. Legionario wins with an abdominal stretch into some sort of a cradle driver on Obscuro, naturally moments after Obscuro tries get the pin by piledriving Obscuro.

Legionario def. Corsario Negro by pinfall in 5:23.

After the match, Wotan runs out to feud with Corsario for some reason.

Black Silver, Terremoto, Tornado, Toscano vs. Apolo Estrada Jr., Californian Chris, Hellspawn, Príncipe OriónNR

For completeness, I mention this match, although complete footage of it isn’t available anywhere, hence the NR designation. The official DVD does not have the match at all, and there are only snippets on YouTube: clip 1, clip 2.

This was billed as a Mexico vs. USA match, which would work if USA also annexed Chile (from which Hellspawn hails) and Nuevo Laredo (Apolo Estrada Jr.’s home) Centvrión was supposed to be in this match but was moved up to replace Fulgor I in the tag tournament; Black Silver Jr. takes his spot.

From the footage that is available, I don’t feel terribly distraught about missing out on this match. Apolo Estrada Jr. interrupts a promo with a chairshot to the head. Brawling ensues. Team Mexico wins with double casitas.

Team Mexico def. Team “USA”.

Emperador Azteca, Látigo vs. Centvrión, Fulgor II vs. Fly Star, Toxin Boy vs. Metaleón, Mr. Leo vs. Wasson, Yorubavery good

The four teams in this match were originally supposed to be the IndyStrongTibles (Impulso and Arez), Lion Brothers (Metaleón and Mr. Leo), Kriminal Boys (Fly Star and Toxin Boy), and Fulgores (Fulgor I and II). Of those four teams, only the Lion Brothers and the Kriminal Boys showed up intact. Centvrión got to be Fulgor I for a day, and neither IndyStrongTible was in the building at all. The teams of Emperador Azteca and Látigo and of Wasson and Yoruba were late adds. (As a side note, I almost did not recognize Metaleón and Mr. Leo during their entrances because of their unusual outfits.) It would be extremely amusing if Dollar were to do a Mexico version of AIW’s “The Card is Going to Change” podcast at some point. It actually wouldn’t be too far of a stretch, since he already has aired some of his dirty laundry during one of his previous shows.

The match starts inauspiciously with a long chopfest in a circle, but we’re quickly off to the races soon after with topes con giro by the Lion Brothers. This is a large multi-man Mexico indie match at both its best and worst: Lots of creative spots and its fair share of things that don’t go so well. Among the more exciting happenings are Metaleón’s powerbomb counter to an attempted headscissors by Wasson, the Kriminal Boys’ suplexes of the Lion Brothers while holding Látigo in a leg submission, and most of the big dive train that precedes the eliminations. Oops moments include: Yoruba landing awkwardly on Emperador Azteca after being lariated out of the electric chair position by Fulgor II, Emperador Azteca’s brain fart failure to sell a springboard tilt-a-whirl armdrag by Fulgor II, and most of all, Yoruba slipping while being set up for a Spanish Fly to the ground by Metaleón, which was supposed to top off the big dive train.

Elimination proceed in fairly quick succession after the dive train, in the following order: Emperador Azteca and Látigo by Wasson and Yoruba, Wassón and Yoruba by Centvrión and Fulgor II, Centvrión and Fulgor II in a sloppy mess for which no one deserves credit, and finally the Kriminal Boys by the Lion Brothers (Metaleón pinned Fly Star after a cool Storm Cradle Driver variant, and Mr. Leo hit Toxin Boy with a brainbuster).

This is an exciting match, easily the best of the show, but uncoordinated at times. There are many better large matches to be found on the Mexico indie circuit, but this one does have its moments.

Lion Brothers def. Kriminal Boys by pinfall in 17:35.

Afterward, a luchador named Tysón runs out to attack everyone affiliated with XMW. Dollar comes out to settle things down for the time being.

XMW Middleweight Title Match: Skayde vs. Ricky Marvin vs. Súper Crazybelow average

The original participants of this match were supposed to be Ricky Marvin, Oriental, and Belial. (You’re probably noticing a theme here of changes in just about every match.) Instead, we get Skayde and Súper Crazy as Marvin’s opponents.

There is a lot of stalling to start, as the thoroughly pro-Skayde crowd heckles Ricky Marvin and Súper Crazy to no end, and somewhat oddly, the two are clearly rattled, to the point of throwing stuff at the crowd.

There are some bright moments to this match, but many more WTF ones, and the overarching themes seem to be that Súper Crazy and Ricky Marvin care more about getting even with the crowd than having a match, and are in nowhere near the same league as Skayde technically. Ricky Marvin catches Súper Crazy in a rana pin to eliminate him first.

Skayde tries to make the match interesting technically, but the problem is that Marvin clearly has no idea how to take a lot of the cradles that Skayde tries. Skayde eventually gets an awkward submission on Marvin for the win.

Calling a match with Skayde “below average” seems criminal, but inasmuch as Skayde tries to do what he can, the incompetence and disinterest of the other two unfortunately define this match. It’s true that Skayde could have an interesting match with a broom, but the broom wouldn’t as difficult to work with.

Skayde def. Ricky Marvin by submission in 12:00.

XMW Heavyweight Title Match: Demoledor vs. Pagano vs. Wotan vs. Chuey Martínezbad

The good news: XMW actually manages to run a match as advertised on its anniversary! The bad news: It’s a hardcore match involving Pagano. The DVD version shows a child fast asleep during the intros. Probably for the best.

Wotan brings a barbed-wire hatchet with him to the ring. Pagano brings a light tube and bites off part of it because reasons. To quote my last XMW review, covering a show in which Demoledor did the same thing, “I’m sorry, but doing that sort of thing doesn’t make you look tough; it makes you look dumb.”

Pagano is wearing a War City Wrestling shirt that says, “THIS IS THE WAY TO THE SUCCESS: DISCIPLINE SACRIFICE TRAINING PAIN HONESTY EFFORT HUMILITY COURAGE LOYALTY RESPECT CONFIDENCE”. Oh man; this is like an all-you-can-eat buffet for my snark. I’ll spare you most of it and instead say just that the match hasn’t even started yet, and Pagano is already drenched – in irony, that is.

If you didn’t already have a clue from the participants that this match would be hardcore, they’ve draped barbed ware on one side of the ring and have conveniently set up two large tables in the corners. One of these tables gets broken a whole forty-seven seconds into the match, courtesy of Demoledor tossing Wotan through it. These two continue their feud outside the ring with light tubes, one of which gets smashed over Wotan’s head. Demoledor proceeds to bite at the consequent wound and partake of the blood exiting said wound. Sounds yummy. Apparently Demoledor doesn’t have enough firepower, so he wrests one of the snare drums on which Legion X has been beating the entire show and, after fending off Legion X’s attempts to recover the drum, puts it through Wotan’s head for good measure. I’m going on a rant here, but this strikes me as super-unprofessional, above and beyond the things that tend to happen in Mexico. It’s one thing to damage something accidentally (it happens), or to take a beer or a poster from a fan to use in a match. A snare drum is significantly more expensive than either of those, and even by Mexico deathmatch standards, is an unusual, improvised weapon. Yes, there’s perhaps some novelty to it, but Legion X quite obviously doesn’t agree. Why in the world you’d want to risk alienating a passionate fan base is beyond me.

In the ring, Pagano and Chuey have been relatively tame by comparison up to this point, though Pagano gets into the action outside the ring with a somersault from the apron on Demoledor. Pagano drives Chuey’s neck into a board, although it’s so poorly executed that, at first glance, I thought that Pagano was taking a suplex by Chuey.

Later in the match, Pagano continues his theme of horribly unsafe maneuvers with some sort of half-clothesline, half-chokeslam at close distance. Irish whips are by nature unrealistic at some sense, but is it too much to ask that they not look completely like a dance? Apparently yes for Pagano and Wotan. In yet another oops, Wotan is thrown into the remaining large table in the ring, and the table refuses to break.

“At this point, they’re just doing stupid stuff.” — @conjuarez, my wife, at this point this match

There’s plenty more typical deathmatch stuff, but the ending sequence comes when Wotan uses Demolesdor to break the table that Pagano and Wotan had unsuccessfully tried to destroy several minutes earlier, raising the question of what they would have done if the table had broken the first time. Wotan follows this up by trying to submit Demoledor with an armbreaker variant and— wait, what? Yes, read that last sentence again. I’m well aware that lucha has a different internal logic and psychology than other styles, but how does trying to go for a submission 20+ minutes into a deathmatch make any sense? Demoledor fouls Wotan with a light tube and pins him after a double underhook piledriver.

Delomedor def. Wotan by pinfall in 21:58.

After the match, Demoledor promises that he’ll soon be in Arena México for Liga Elite.

I know that that I’m not a fan of hardcore matches in general, but I can appreciate a good one, and this match falls way short: the execution is deficient, and the match is devoid of any real internal flow or logic. The barbed wire in the ring doesn’t even come into play, at least not for the spots that the cameras catch. The crowd is hot throughout this match, but it’s a different kind of energy than the type that you see in a crowd emotionally vested in the outcome. It’s as if the crowd is there purely for the bloodlust – and the participants manage even to break even that trance by stealing a snare drum from the crowd. A lot goes wrong here, and to be honest, I get the impression that this crew doesn’t really care, as long as they get in their spots involving dozens of light tubes and increasingly esoteric weapons.

XMW 4TH ANNIVERSARY
  • Subpar - 4/10
    4/10

OVERALL

Other than the tag match, which doesn't hit the highs of other multi-man matches, there isn't really much of substance on this show. When things go right, XMW can be a fun promotion. Unfortunately, that's definitely not the case here. Even outside of the deathmatch to end the show, it's not a good sign when Skayde manages to be involved in a bad match.

4.0/10

Topics

Wrestling With Words on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: