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[PLAY-IN] ULTIMO GUERRERO vs. PUMA


ULTIMO GUERRERO vs. PUMA  

43 members have voted

  1. 1. Winner faces Dragon Lee


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ULTIMO GUERRERO

vs. Caristico (CMLL - 3/21/16)

vs. Rush (CMLL - 4/25/16)

vs. Bobby Lashley (CMLL - 4/29/16)

Also: Last night's UG/Valiente vs. Cavernario/Volador match is must see and should be up before voting. You could also find UG in ROH as part of the trios tournament - your mileage will vary on that.

 

PUMA 

(Point of Order - this is NOT Prince Puma aka Ricochet. He is elsewhere. This is El Felino's kid)

Hechicero/Puma/Tiger vs. Esfinge/Fuego/Tritón (CMLL - 5/20/16)

Puma/Tiger vs. Metaleon/Mr Leo (7/13/16)

Drone/Esfinge/Soberano Jr. vs Okumura/Puma/Tiger (CMLL - 2/6/17)

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Puma is probably my favorite wrestler in the world right now. Whether it's being quick and technical, basing for every undercard Technico CMLL would really like to get over, or just being a surly violent motherfucker, I always get the sense that he's just fucking ecstatic to be so good at his job. Over the last year he's gotten significantly weirder (or more Felino-like, depending on your perspective) and his team with Tiger has been a blast and weekly required watching for me. He hasn't had a lot of programs or exceptional showcases so I'm basically relying on the Masters/Drew Mac "this dude is the god of TV matches" argument here, but yo Puma is gonna be great for a long fucking time so if this isn't the year, he'll be back around.

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With Puma, I like how @BL88 put it. Felino-ish. His gear changed right around the beginning of last year and he started to do a lot more little flourishes, whether it be sitting on the ropes when he's not in the ring, or just little things like this:

LgRk0r.gif

And they make him come off like way more of a star than he's positioned to be.

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2 hours ago, Oyaji said:

Any chance he and Tiger get elevated to the main event or semi main slots this year? 

I wouldnt bet on it. This time last year, it looked like they were moving up, being part of the Casas v Volador feud.  And then, nothing. 

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UG really hasn't had the matches this year. The problem is that Puma hasn't had a ton of opportunities either and ultimately UG's had way more.

The elephant in the room is Guerrero's formula, though. Anyone even a little more than a casual realizes the way his singles matches work. Some matwork leading to a pace-quickening and the tecnico taking the primera; a very quickly stretch muffler-esque submission to even it in the segunda; then the tercera which ends with the top rope reverse suplex counter,  the top rope power-bomb rana counter, and the Guerrero Special after some poor bastard who never does a moonsault goes for a moonsault. 

The five moves of doom were things that Bret strategically worked into his matches, often with different purposes and at different times. They were symbolic triggers but utilized differently. Rey would always use the 619 as part of his strategy; him going for it throughout the match led to near-finishes and transitions. 

Guerrero's stuff is totally different and it's become ritual, stock footage. I can't even think of a comparison in another form of media. It'd be as if every episode of Law and Order had the exact same final seven minutes, them reciting the same script with different actors playing the heel attorneys. I don't think the Hulk Up is comparable because that's more one sided. Sure, the opponent has to try to punch Hogan so they can get the "Noooooo" but that's it. This is a couple of minutes of extremely collaborative high spots, basically the concept of powerbombing Kidman on steroids.

I'm ultimately not nearly as low on it as others either, because I kind of get the idea of ritual in lucha; it operates a little bit differently. I think a lot of the regulars who still hang around Arena Mexico, the rudo fans who have followed Guerrero for years and years, look at it like going to church. It's a religious experience for them and that means going through the same exact motions one after the next. The ritualistic finish of Ultimo Guerreros matches is the wrestling equivalent of them receiving the sacraments. Comparatively, it sure makes for frustrating matches to watch though.

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How many wrestlers don't have a fairly rigid formula? Ric Flair is the greatest of all time according to PWO.

Now if you convinced me UG is to blame for the formula that pretty much all 2/3 falls matches work in CMLL, I'll vote Puma. Why do they even bother when the first two falls are usually meaningless and don't go longer than five minutes combined?

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5 minutes ago, Oyaji said:

How many wrestlers don't have a fairly rigid formula? Ric Flair is the greatest of all time according to PWO.

Now if you convinced me UG is to blame for the formula that pretty much all 2/3 falls matches work in CMLL, I'll vote Puma. Why do they even bother when the first two falls are usually meaningless and don't go longer than five minutes combined?

What I'm saying is that the level of it is exceptional with UG. Formula is fine, at least for this exercise. UG takes it to a different level. Formula is "Shine, heat, comeback." Formula is "headlock, work out of it, hairpull, rope running, heel gets clowned, back into headlock." There's deviations in formula. They're blueprints, with the details being slightly different. Flair's formula is structurally the same in a lot of matches, but the details can be slightly different depending on who he's up against. Things can come in slightly different places. UG ends things with the exact three complicated, cooperation-driven set pieces in almost all of his singles matches, all in the same order. He's been doing it for years. It is fundamentally different than what anyone else does.

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I posted the gif! I know. It doesn't change the fact that Ultimo Guererro singles matches are fucking weird.

Nor does it change the fact that every Guerreros trios match has the transition where they try the alley oop in the ring after hitting it on the ramp only for it to backfire. It'd be one thing if they were touring and it was just a house show spot but they've run it almost every week in front of the same crowd for 15 years. It's like the joke which is funny when you do it once, terrible when you do it a few times, and hilarious when you do it dozens of times? I don't know. It's all very strange.

 

 

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