Monday, 15 March 2010

2010 MOTY List (Updated)

  1. Angelico, Solar I & Ultraman Jr. v Negro Navarro, Trauma I & Trauma II (IWRG, 1/7)
  2. Rey Mysterio v CM Punk (WWE, 2/12)
  3. Trauma I & Trauma II v Suicida & Zatura (IWRG, 1/14)
  4. Bryan Danielson v Kaval (FCW, 2/7)
  5. Christian v Ezekiel Jackson (WWE, 1/31)
  6. Black Terry, Dr. Cerebro & Cerebro Negro v Pantera, Suicida & Zatura (IWRG, 1/7)
  7. Christian & Kane v Ezekiel Jackson & William Regal (WWE, 1/26)
  8. Negro Navarro v Angelico (IWRG, 1/21)
  9. The Undertaker v Rey Mysterio (WWE, 1/31)


3. Trauma I & Trauma II v Suicida & Zatura (IWRG, 1/14)

Man, Trauma II was a totally awesome asskicker here. His slaps looked particularly brutal, like big, looping palm blasts right to the ear. He throws some nasty looking jabs to the face and body as well. Most of this is directed at Suicida, who both Traumas set about assaulting at the end of the first caida. The first caida itself is all about the II/Suicida pairing, with some really good matwork that's broken up by batches of them punching each other in the face. Their exchange practically makes up the entire fall, but it's so good I can't imagine anybody complaining. I still like IWRG matwork a lot despite the fact I tend to find the holds are given up without much of a struggle, so Trauma II breaking up a Suicida submission by jabbing him in the jaw is the little cherry on top. He also busts out a really swank hold towards the end of their exchange, almost like a standing reverse Texas Cloverleaf before dropping down and using his legs to grapevine Suicida's entire body. Trauma I stopping a Zatura tope by kneeing him in the face as he's ready to dive out of the ring was also pretty tremendous. And then the post-caida beatdown... that was some surly shit.

I just wish the second and third caidas were longer. The second picks up where the first left off with Los Traumas whipping ass on the technicos, and of course that leads to the technico comeback which in turn leads into the deciding fall. I could see someone thinking the technicos winning the fall with such a brief comeback after being stomped so thoroughly for the past 5 or 6 minutes is a bit of a cop out, and I can understand that line of thinking myself, but it always seemed like Los Traumas were beating these two dudes up because they're Negro Navarro's kids and they just want to beat a couple motherfuckers up, whereas Suicida and Zatura went about things in a way that looked like they were trying to *win*, not simply punish.

Third caida has a nifty double fall restart deal, and the Trauma I/Suicida showdown was good enough, albeit a step down from Suicida's exchanges with II. Trauma I does have this incredible submission move, though, that I guess I can only really describe as a reverse figure-four combined with an ankle lock, all starting from a standing position before working to the ground with a quick spin of the hips. It's really fuckin' cool.

As a whole, this is really a Traumas showcase with the technicos coming along for the ride. Zatura is basically a non-factor, but Suicida does still manage to look real good, especially when he's in there with Trauma II. Trauma I isn't as polished as his brother, but he throws some nice strikes and I'd still call him a good worker (I dug him in the 1/7 trios, too). Trauma II is friggin' great and his performance here makes me think he's gonna be one of the best in the world this year if he keeps it up.

8. Negro Navarro v Angelico (IWRG, 1/21)

Not quite sure what to make of this. On the one hand, Navarro still looks like one of the best in the world, but I wasn't expecting this to be worked as even as it was considering the fact Angelico isn't... like... good. I mean, I don't seem to dislike him or think he's as offensively bad as a lot of people do, and I thought he was at least decent here, but he's just not on Navarro's level at all and it was pretty weird seeing him hang all the way through. His kicks are atrocious, though.

It's a title match worked almost entirely on the mat, but I was always expecting Navarro to just flip a switch and start tearing shit up. It never really happened, though. I dunno, maybe because Angelico's Navarro's student he wanted to work it more evenly than he would were he in there with some other young guy.

In any case, Navarro's really good at looking more and more frustrated the longer things go without being able to put the kid away. His selling of Angelico's holds is always strong, laying on the mat after each exchange Angelico wins with a great "Fuck me, this should be easier than this" look, almost like he's either thinking a few steps ahead or having to re-think those steps every time Angelico gets the better of him. Angelico winning the first caida with a quick flash submission is about what I was expecting.

Second caida is shorter and has Navarro coming as close to "flipping the switch" as we get, but I still felt like it was too even on the whole. I did like the finish, though, with Navarro refusing to let Angelico escape the key lock, constantly rolling through and doing this really cool little shimmy thing on the mat, always manoeuvring so Angelico can't force a rope break.

Third caida is more of the same. Navarro reversing a shining wizard right into a submission was awesome, but Angelico reversing that into a submission of his own and actually WINNING caught me off guard.

Judging this on what it is and not what I was hoping/expecting (Angelico more or less working even with Negro Navarro as opposed to Navarro taking a limb home in a bag), I do think it's pretty good. I could totally see someone watching it and thinking it's garbage, especially if they don't watch much Lucha, because there isn't much struggling over the matwork at all and it seems more like them trading the submissions and holds in their holster in a game of "top this" than anything else, but I did mention I like IWRG matwork despite that, so I won't complain. I'd be surprised if this finished near my top 20 by the end of the year, though.

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