Monday, December 06, 2010

"Project 33" - Match #28 - Solar, Angelico & Ultraman vs. Navarros

Angelico, Solar y Ultraman Jr. vs Negro Navarro y Los Traumas
7 January, 2010

Arena Naulcalpan; Naulcalpan, Mexico

Part 2  Part 3  Part 4

Ah... this match warms the cockles of my heart.  Or maybe deeper than that; maybe the sub-cockles.  This match is pretty much everything I love about wrestling.  

Remember that feeling you got the first time you saw a couple of the luchadors on Nitro, or when you saw a wild and crazy brawl around the ECW Arena, and how cool and different it was?  Well, that is what this match is to me.  This match was abouy thirty minutes of wrestling.  This match was six men who are above average wrestlers getting down on the mat and exchanging holds.  They were seeing what kind of crazy body-twisting holds they could put each other in.  It was tremendous.  

I know this kind of match is not everyone's cup o' tea.  It is my cup of tea, however.  What you have here are two old school veteran masters in Negro Navarro and Solar.  These two guys have probably wrestled each other well over 1000 times, and they know each other inside and out.  The smooth exchange of holds, the anticipation of what the other is going for next and countering it.  The brilliant escapes and reversals.  These two guys are putting on a clinic in the first fall, and then again in the thrid.  Brilliant stuff.  

I think people will be more critical of the other exchanges in the match, particularly those with Angelico and Trauma 1.  Neither Trauma has the smoothness on the mat that their father, Navarro, has, but both of them are pretty damn good at putting the holds on.  They appear to be less good at feeding for reversals however, so you have a lot of "catch and release" submission wrestling, rather than smooth technique back and forth on the mat.  I think both Traumas could probably have eaten Ultraman Jr. & Angelico alive on the mat if they so desired but they gotta be able to make the other guys look like they could eat them live as well.  

Angelico is a Spanish wrestler, who caught the eye of Ultimo Dragon when he was on a tour of European independent promotions a few years back.  With a chance to work his way into Toryumon or Dragongate perhaps, Angelico followed Ultimo to Mexico, and began training the lucha style under Black Terry and Negro Navarro.  Many gringo lucha fans automatically hate Angelico because he is a foreigner with the audacity to wrestle in Mexico, but I like him.  He has an atypical pretty boy look, and after some time training with masters, his kicks are more credible and he is pretty decent on the mat - well above average by most standards.  I view him as a young guy who is willing to work to get better.  

Ultraman Jr. is the son of the legendary high-flying Ultraman, but he doesn't seem to fly as much.  In addition to a ridiculous outfit in this match, Ultraman also tends to get lost in the shuffle a bit.  He had a great exchange with Trauma 2 in the first fall, but is kinda just hanging around for the rest of the match.  

This match is given plenty of time - with a first fall that is probably about 15 minutes long, that starts off with exchanging holds, and working up to the bigger bumps and the faster pace in the next two falls.  The crowd is pretty into the match;  it sounds quiet because it is a small crowd.  But, the different holds and exchanges get a great pop from them - it is almost like a Japanese crowd applauding after they see stuff they like.  All-in-all, I think the psychology behind the match makes sense, and the match was structured in a way to build excitement throughout.  Some may not like the "catch and release" style or the "boring mat wrestling".  But, like I said earlier, I love IWRG because you get to see something different there - good solid mat wrestling. 

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