Pagano vs Joe Lider vs Psicosis I vs Nick Gage
(AAA/EMW @ 07/12, 15:11, liolio liopaque)
The most shocking part of this match was when Pagano went for a pinfall on Joe Lider and got a two count. It was a rare acknowledgment that this was a wrestling match and not a slow-moving stunt show. The pretense of a fight was pretty much abandoned in favor over unhurried setups for a big spot. The best two are around 15:10 and 16:40 if you want to skip up the frustratingly long time it took to set each of them up. A four-person match shouldn’t have such dead time, but this turned into a Psicosis/Gage match and a separate Lider/Pagano match, with the other people ceasing to exist while the first fight was going on. Joe Lider dramatically dumping thumbtacks in a ring already covered with light tube glass and dust was hilarious. Pagano taking light tube bumps with his head and neck because he couldn’t fall right was very Pagano. Gage seemed to have trouble getting on the same page with the others here – there’s a group superplex spot where he seemed to go back and forth on what he was doing four times – and wasn’t really treated in a big deal way. This style is not my favorite but I didn’t think it was even a particularly good version of this style.
Hijo Del Vikingo & Laredo Kid vs Arkángel Divino & Black Boy and Douglas James & Jake Atlas
(AAA/EMW @ 07/12, 10:58, good, liolio liopaque)
Vikingo stands out once again, but this is a six-man show that flows well despite having to get all those moving pieces. James & Atlas fit in fine with the other guys, though Atlas doesn’t seem to get in his best here as he has in other matches. The only part that dragged was when they had to stop the match to allow the valet to get in a spot (and then she disappeared), but I guess I don’t have too much of a problem with people getting easy paydays. Three-way tags don’t lead to much of a story but it’s still good fun.
Súper Astro Jr. vs Oro Jr. in a lightning match
(CMLL @ 07/21, 6:40, good, thecubsfan)
The sort of dive based match you’d hope and expect to see when these guys meet. Both show a little bit more out of them than the usual trios while it’s mostly about them getting to do their high spots at a faster pace than with the usual rudo veterans. The finish comes off really great (and the replay shows the first angle they used was the best one.) Not long but enjoyable for a CMLL lightning match.
Dragón Bane vs Arez vs Látigo
(7:28, PWM @ 07/21, good PWM Pro Wrestling México)
Some of the most creative action you’ll see. This was ideas on top of ideas, both in individual moves and stringing them together in a sequence. They moved around fast and not everything went the way they wanted, but this felt much different than the usual indie Destroyer match in a positive way. Dragon Bane hit the bigger moves but Latigo and Arez strung the match together with positioning and weird submission. This would’ve been outstanding if everything came together. It’s still a worthy watch.
Penta vs Arez
(Madriza @ 07/07, 15:52, good, Estrellas del Ring)
This is the not really a repeat of the bloody destructions of years past; Penta doesn’t really stab people with bottles these days. It’s more just a moves competition, which makes the beautiful looking weapon finish incongruous with the rest of the match. The moves do look good but the story of Arez being an underdog trying to finally overcome his biggest career obstacle doesn’t totally connect with a crowd just happy to see big star Penta do his big moves. They do finally get them with Saharawi Suplex near the end but it feels like there’s a moment that’s passed here.
Puma King & Ricky Marvin vs Arez & Látigo
(07/13 @ GH, 19:01, excellent, mluchatv)
This is great Ricky Marvin and a more serious Puma King than some of his other appearances, which makes for an outstanding match. The match feels like it really waked up with Arez flipping off the wall, and it escalates from there into an intense back and forth last few minutes. Arez and Ricky bring out the best of each other again, and Latigo and Puma match their seriousness. There are a few creative spots and it still feels like a battle. This is where my scale fails; I think there points they could be better at here (some of the double teams look a little too manufactured) but I feel like this is a match everyone should check out. Excellent is for something everyone should check out and I don’t want it to get lost in the raft of Great matches.