At the Shimmer show a couple weekends ago, Rob (I hope I’m not getting my Rob’s confused) asked me about the DVDs I picked up of last January’s shows. I’d only see part of the first DVD (checking to see if I made video, so I could recoil in horror and such), but since people might be able to purchase them this weekend at the Congress Theatre show, I thought I should check both out.
Digression 1: So I called* the Congress today, and besides confusing the heck out of whoever picked up – I thought they might know something about the Saturday lucha show (no, but now I know there’s a private DJ show there on Saturday and I’m not invited!) – I found out the Sunday show starts at 4 pm.
After hanging up, I realized I should’ve asked “4 pm doors open or bell time?” That’s gotta be doors open, with the show at 5. (That’s my plan, anyway.)
Digression 1.5: Does actually calling someone for information cost me my blogger license? That’s far too pro-active for someone writing on the internet. I’m gonna lose all sorts of cred in one day.
Digression 2: I realized I have a baseball ticket for Saturday, so, uh, I’m going there and not driving all over Dundee to track down a Canek match. This may make me a horrible person, but I’ll live.
Digression 3: before they got turned off for too much data transfer, the Arenas de Chicago page listed shows…on June 16th and 17th.
Back to the point…
What follows is very limited thoughts about the matches themselves – no play by play – but more details about how the DVD looks and sounds, because that was what Rob was wondering about. I believe I’ve posted about these shows in the past, if not here or elsewhere, and many of the match comments are echos of what I said before.
There’s no commentary on either DVD – every match is a title, and they’re broken in about 30 chapter points each. They’re not region 0 DVD – they’re Region 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 DVDs, which probably means the same thing? I don’t know. They’re not in HD or anything, but I think we’d all be freaking out if they were. Why hasn’t that happened yet? ($$$$$$$!)
DVD 1: Las Lomas, 2006/01/28
Production notes: seems to be a three camera operation; one hard camera on the stage, and two camera which end up moving around. Room is decently lit, though it does look like a restaurant and not an arena, and some shots on the bar side of the ring do disappear into shadows. Video quality is great, though the sound mix is nothing to write home about. When there are big moments, they sometimes slow down the video.
Dante DVS vs Martel
I would advise skipping this match. I’m sure both men have performances they would prefer you watch instead. It’s not quite as unappealing as I remember it. Something are still weird – the guy who spoke Spanish being the rudo, for one, and I think non-lucha US guys have trouble getting used to 4-8 minute falls, because that’s not what they’re used to seeing in three fall matches. A shorter match here would’ve helped. Second fall is slow, maybe as a result. They did a good job of choosing camera angles; the superkick looks a better on DVD. (The kip up could not be saved.) The final fall only goes about a minute; the opening fall went 12.
Mascara de Jade & Angel de Muerte vs Angel Dorado & Aguila Tapatia
Mascara de Jade is wearing that color, and Muerte has a La Parka looking mask. I believe Dorado is the one in the gold outfit (duh) and Aguila is the blue one. This match feels much more like lucha, but it is indy local lucha. It’s lacking a bit in chemistry or flow, but it does resemble lucha.
Atomo, SWAT Kat, Lupillo vs Coco Negro, Coco Verde, Guerrerito del Futuro
Quite unlikely to be the Cocos from Mexico. Lupillo is the one who looks neither like a cat, nor has a Atomic symbol. He’s also bald. This one is pretty much a three fall brawl. At one point a Coca and SWAT Kat were building up to a mask match, I thought, but that’s long been forgotten. SWAT Kat gets busted open in the first fall of a match in a family restaurant, and he’s wearing a dark red mask, so you can’t tell and there’s no good shot of it – you only can tell from the way he’s selling and seeing the blood elsewhere. Again, there’s flow problems – the tecnicos get beat down for most of the first two falls, Lupillo and Atomo get runs, the beatdown continues, and the dramatic comeback isn’t so dramatic. There’s microphone work after the match, tease of another match, and then the rudos, who won the match, beatdown the tecnicos again. And again.
Aguila del America & Dr. Wagner Jr. vs La Parka & Rayo Laser
Wagner’s side come out to what sounds like Aguila’s music, oddly. Wagner’s wearing the UWA Heavyweight Belt here – I wonder if he puts that in his bag or carries it on? Park gets
his music. Lot of prematch fooling around. Park and Wagner work together almost exclusively, and they’re good together. This is a lot more comedic wrestling rather than what it’d turn out when they were actually feuding, something I don’t know if anyone was considering at the time. Including between falls, the match runs over 30 minutes, the Wagner/Park sections are good, and the other two don’t bring it down. There’s post match talking, but it’s not stuff going anywhere.
DVD 2: Congress Theatre, 2006/01/29
Again, one hard camera at a diagonal to the ring, and two moving around. Ring is well lit, as is the immediately area around on it. The hard camera is looking down at the ring, and most of the crowd is in the dark, so you have no idea about the crowd (or the size of the building.) The crowd seems about half as loud as it should, or at least half as loud as a I remember it being – you really notice it in the main event.
Silueta Azul vs Yoko Yamamoto
I missed this match, but I’m pretty sure his name isn’t Yoko. It’s Tojo, right? His manager gets in a DDT and pulls Azul out to break up a pin in the first fall, and they still lose that fall. Azul gets the pin on a normal armdrag of all things, with a stilted count Tojo’s inside shoulder clearly being up. The manager comes in and dropkicks Azul, but he sorta runs them both off. Tojo turns on his manager for no particular reason, and has a kid help beat him with a cane.
Mascara de Jade & Angel de La Muerte vs Angel Dorado & Leproshty
I’m not sure the second name is right, but okay. The arena is really quiet to start it, and it seems like you can hear a bit too much. I skimmed thru this at a high rate of speed; being 3/4ts the same match, they did a lot of stuff they did the first night.
Guerrerito del Futuro, Coco Negro, Coco Verde vs SWAT Kat, Lupillo, Rayo Laser
I was actually in the building at some point of this one (thought not at the start of the match, because you can see the chair I accidentally yet rudely stole from luchafan is empty at this point.) It’s 5/6th the match from the previous night, but they work it as a normal match instead. Things break down in the third fall. SWAT Kat accidentally gives Lupillo a chair shot, Lupillo bleeds heavily, and SWAT Kat ends up bleeding again too. The fight keeps going long after the win.
Shamu Jr. & Aguila del America vs Principe Unlimited and Atomo
I believe both Shamu and Principe are LA guys. I thought this was a good match, though they they end up crowd brawling in the third fall comeback. Principe Unlimited can fly and I was worried he might burn out the crowd before Mistico did some of the same stuff (and using LA Park’s finish and all), but that was a misguided worry.
LA Park & Mistico vs Dr. Wagner & Rey Bucanero
They cut off part of Rey’s entrance, which is sad. Lots of talking pre-match. Wagner and Park spend more of the opening fall and second fall brawling in the crowd, and they occasionally get lost in the darkness. I think the match holds up pretty well; it does lose a little bit because of the quieter crowd, but it’s still fun. The camera gets blocked off on the classic “Park Injects Mistico” bit, but you do get to see Rey and Wagner’s response. It clocks in at about 35 from opening bell to pinfall, and about 55 when you throw in pre and post match.
The second DVD is worth picking up, and since they’re selling them together, you might as well get both.