Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Reyes Del Aire 2012!

If you're a fan of CMLL and their high flyers then the Reyes Del Aire 2012 was made for you! I loved the match. It was everything I wanted it to be except for Rey Cometa's early exit. The wrestlers who put the match together deserve a lot of credit as the match had great flow proven by the fact it went 46 minutes and the crowd never lost interest. Reyes Del Aire usually translates into "divefest" but this was far from that. In total there were 15 dives which is a tiny number considering 18 guys were in the match and Stuka/Angel De Oro alone combined for 5! That's 33% right there! The huge dives were distributed nicely throughout the match which was a great touch and the majority of the finishes were well executed. I was worried with 18 guys they'd resort to the generic (and way overdone/annoying) dive train but thanfully they avoided it! They included the generic Torneo Cibernetico spots (everyone brawls + two guys eliminated at the same time) but improved on them. The final 4 segment was well done and the choice of who to include was excellent. Instead of doing a running PBP I'm going to sum the match up by grading each participant:

Guerrero Maya Jr.: He wins the fashion award! Easily the best outfit, hoping he keeps the painted face look! His performance was fine. He had a fun mat exchange, a great flip dive into the crowd, worked well with Puma King and I loved his elimination spot where Virus caught him with the surprise submission. A+

Tiger: Felt he was pretty wasted and didn't stand out at all. He had his corkscrew dive early on but then disappeared until eliminating Fuego with a backcracker. Immediatly afterwards he ate a dropkick to the knee and was out. A DROPKICK TO THE KNEE??? That was weak. In hindsight picking him to be a surprise winner was a huge error. C

Stuka Jr.: Quietly put in a great performance! Did 3 dives to lead to the way but you probably didn't even notice that until you just read it! Was part of numerous great exchanges vs Aguila, Polvora and Euforia. Really came off as a threat to win and the double countout with Polvora was acceptable. Crowd really seemed to be into them feuding. A+

Puma King: First guy to take it to the air with a great outside-inside springboard rana. Had a nice dive and fun exchange with Guerrero Maya before biting the dust. Limited time but made the most of it. B

Fuego: Did not stand out in any way. Had a decent exchange with Virus ending with him getting ganged up on by all the rudos and later managed to eliminate Hijo Del Signo which is no big feat. This is the type of match he should stand out in but he didn't. Not even close. C-

Hijo Del Signo: The question I asked before the match still applies after watching it twice -> why was he in this match? Not only did he mess up twice with Rey Cometa early on but then he was MIA until being eliminated by Fuego. He was a waste of space. Loco Max or Cancerbero would have done a better job catching. D-

Mascara Dorada: Was curious to see if he'd really step up his game to overshadow everyone else. Had to wait a while as he was largely absent until the last 15 minutes or so presumably to keep him fresh for the finishing exchange. When he did finally participate he was excellent! No rope tricks (which continues to worry me!) but he had a wild tornillo dive and used his wicked corkscrew splash! He held the 3 way portion together near the end and took a painful looking Canadian Destroyer. Really liked the announcers playing up past vs present when he was in the ring with Aguila since he would have grown up watching a young Aguila locally in GDL. He'd have been a great choice for a winner! A

Euforia: This man was fantastic! I will continue to not understand how he is where he is and Polvora is where he is. Euforia would make a great opponent for Corleone due to their size and he can also work great with flyers as he showed here. His finishing sequence with Titan was one of the highlights of the match. HE BROKE TITAN! Was also part of the memorable spot where Valiente did his dive and everyone bailed except Euforia. Had a great sequence with Stuka Jr. ending with his elimination. Played his role here perfectly! A+

Titan: Sadly did not get to do much. Only appeared 3 times - a quick exchange with Escorpion, a huge dive and the great finish with Euforia. Definitely left the fans wanting more though which is always good. One would assume if all goes right he'll be a top candidate to win next year! B+

Virus: Another guy who played his role perfectly. Worked exchanges with various tecnicos... in fact he may have had the most variety of anyone. Even tossed in a crazy slingshot somersault senton dive! Great submission to eliminate Maya and then a really fun sequence against Angel De Oro where they played off last year's finish excellently. This man is amazing! A

Rey Cometa: My underdog favorite! Unfortunately as expected he was the first guy out which made sense when you saw the lineup but made no sense when you take into account talent and charisma. Was victim of Signo's sloppiness early on but still managed to pull off his spots. Got to work with old buddy Escorpion a bit and nailed him with a great double tornillo! His end came via Raziel after the two had a really fun exchange and Raziel busted out Black Thunder's counter to Turbo's finisher! I marked out! For the limited time he really managed to stand out. A

Escorpion: Lasted much longer than I thought he would. Proved to be invaluable as he worked with a bunch of tecnicos and was the glue when the match came down to 4 guys. Even snuck in a great running somersault plancha early in the match! Had a fun sequence with Dorada before being crushed and eliminated via Dorada's corkscrew. A

Delta: This guy is terrible. How long before CMLL realizes it? It might not be that he's awful, it might just be he's miscast. His physique is clearly not natural and due to that all his flying seems awkward (he's going to hurt himself soon with the way he lands awkwardly on all his headscissor spots). Euforia did everything he could to keep Delta in place during their opening sequence. Raziel then had to control Delta when he botched the first spot they had together. Maybe he got hurt on it? He seemed to be favoring his shoulder and for a "great flyer" he did no dives which was shocking. He also got eliminated via a random power bomb from Escorpion. This match did not help his stock although I liked the shoutout to his brother by using the Trueno moonsault! D

Mr. Aguila: Rewound time to be 20 years old again! Okay not really... but he was very impressive throughout the match! Crowd treats him like a top guy so it was actually smart to keep him around and have him end up being the guy Angel De Oro beat at the end. Their one-on-one final was really good aside from that really annoying Canadian Destroyer spot. Why would you hit your move and then roll the guy towards the ropes? And why would you hook the leg that isn't even close to the ropes? If you take that nonsense out it was the perfect final showdown. The dueling dives was great (thought Aguila would bust out his old asai tornillo!) and the finishing sequence was to die for! Aguila's still got it when he wants to use it! A

Angel De Oro: The winner! Had a nice exchange with Puma King early on, ate a kid a bit later and then went MIA until the latter half of the match. Understandable since he was going long. Had a great sequence to eliminate Virus and was really fun in the final 4. Did two nice dives and had the epic finishing sequence with Aguila. A very deserving winner and I really think this match will actually do something for him! A

Polvora: Much like Signo I questioned his inclusion but unlike Signo he managed not to embarass himself. Had good exchanges with both Stuka and Fuego (which is the level he should be at!). Was protected by doing the double countout finish. In the end he proved he was there to fill out the numbers and he did his job as well as his talent level allows him to. C

Valiente: Always a highlight of any match he is in! Had my favorite spot of the match when he did his Valiente Especial onto Euforia as everyone was brawling on the floor! Seemed to be in a very giving mood as he ate dives from both Virus and Escorpion. Had a fun sequence with Aguila before being eliminated. One more pro: DID NOT DIE LIKE IN THE 2008 VERSION! Always a plus! A

Raziel: The most underrated technical wrestler in the world had a very quiet but solid performance. His exchange with Rey Cometa was awesome and the finishing sequence was gold! He got stuck with Delta when it was time for his elimination and not many people could look good in a situation like that. He did what he could. It would have been neat if this was his breakout match and they gave him the role Escorpion had. B+

Top 5 moments:

1. Valiente Especial
2. Euforia breaks Titan
3. Mascara Dorada's running tornillo dive
4. Raziel countering Cometa's headscissors
5. The finish

Where does this rank all-time in terms of Reyes Del Aire matches? I wouldn't put it ahead of the 2008 version and originally had it 3rd after the initial 2005 version but after re-watching and writing all this I'm now up in the air as to whether it was better or not. For now I'll call it a tie and see how they hold up down the road. It's definitely in the top 3 though with 2007 a close 4th and 2011 in 5th. The abysmal 2006 and 2009 (Puebla) versions aren't worth ranking. I wish the second one they ran at Arena Coliseo in 2008 had shown up somewhere.:(


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Anonymous jefleopard said...

Agree with much of what you've said. The Euforia/Titan finish was great with Titan doing an amazing death sell.
I loved that when the dive fest happened, Polvora was all "screw that I'm gonna pin or submit Fuego instead."
Guerrero Maya Jr.'s dive was fantastic!
Could'nt agree more with you about Delta. I wasn't sure what the prevailing opinions were about him, and not having seen more than a dozen or so of his matches, I wondered if I just didn't 'get it'. But I think I do. Delta sucks.
Good commentary as always Rob!

9:53 PM  
Blogger sarp said...

Appreciate you drawing attention to this match and I enjoyed your review. This match was a tone of fun. I echo your mentioning how they didn't rely on just the same old dive sequences. Instead, there was a ton of spots I haven't seen often. The match comes off as more state-of-the-art than Dragon Gate.

9:56 AM  

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