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Jack Reviews Mucha Lucha Atlanta 11

April 23, 2017 | Posted by Jack Stevenson
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Jack Reviews Mucha Lucha Atlanta 11  

Mucha Lucha Atlanta is not a promotion that even seems to exist on Cagematch, but if you put on a show that promises Darby Allin, a death match, and general lucha flippy zaniness, and there is at least an 85% chance I’ll watch it. This is available on the Highspots Wrestling Network, which is basically the best. You should sign up to it, you’ll love it. It’s got PWG on it! You like PWG!

1- Kiera Hogan vs. Priscilla Kelly
This was a very simple, ordinary opener. It was competently wrestled, not at all ambitious, not at all offensive. The only distinguishing features of the match came from Kiera Hogan- she took Priscilla Kelly down with a nice snap suplex on the floor, and also insisted on using her butt as a weapon which is among my least favourite wrestling things. She won the match with a a swinging neckbreaker into a fisherman’s pin. **.

2- Austin Theory vs. Joey Lynch
For a while, I really liked this. It was unnecessarily slow in places, but worked with a quiet intensity and sense of purpose, and felt like a tough, competitive battle. Austin Theory gets a lot of hype as one for the future in Evolve and WWN, but in truth he struggles to make an impression on a roster that contains some of the finest wrestlers in the world. Here though he looked so impressive, so smooth, confident and self assured for a 19 year old. It really seemed like he could have been wrestling for a decade. I’d never seen Joey Lynch before but thought he looked very professional as well, and made a good opponent for Theory. The match lost steam towards the end with a series of near falls that were far too melodramatic for a bout second on the card; they only gave the impression that both guys were trying too hard. Still, too much effort is always better than too little effort, and the majority of this was good stuff. Lynch was able to pick up the win with a moonsault. *** 1/4.

3- Alex Cruz vs. Serpentico
The referee for this match, Richy Boy, is apparently a notorious crook, and on this occasion he was very much in the corner of the rudo, Serpentico. I was sceptical when it became apparent that the biased referee would be the main story of the match, but the crowd were really into all his despicable antics and they became rather enjoyable as a result. Serpentico’s control segment on Cruz was nothing special, but a very good finishing stretch came out of Cruz’s comeback and Richy Boy’s attempts to thwart it. Ultimately, he was able to sneak a win for his pal, pushing Cruz into a roll-up from Serpentico, and quick counting for the three! *** 1/4.

4- MLA TV Championship- David Tita vs. Darby Allin
A very fun sprint here, although the crowd are weirdly dead for it having been hot for the previous matches. Darby Allin is, sincerely, perhaps in my top three favourite wrestlers in the world at this point. In every match you know he is going to do something utterly mental and terrifying, and this one is no exception as he shimmies up a pole that supports the building and flings himself in the general direction of Tite. I also love the way he uses his body in such unorthodox, vaguely unhinged away, and we get a good example of that as well with a springboard flying headbutt that knocks Tite off the ring apron. For his part, Tite looked fine but nothing special. The early stages of this match struggled to establish a rhythm a little bit as the action swung back and forth with no rhyme or reason, but the finishing stretch was a great sequence of both guys just hurling big moves at each other. Tite snared Allin in a kneebar submission to retain his title. *** 1/4.

5- MLA Global Championship- A.R. Fox vs. Rey Horus
This was very, very good for a while. Fox and Horus are two of the most accomplished wrestlers on the show so far and they strung together such an exciting and athletic match with a lot of smooth and ambitious flying. AR Fox took the role of rudo and clearly had an absolute blast. Unfortunately, as the match wore on a handful of issues started to drag it down. This is a really minor one, but Fox had this strange habit of clapping as he his his strikes to add sound to them. Usually people slap their thigh and that can get irritating in itself, but clapping is even more obvious and jarring. More serious was that the near falls just went on and on and on; a lot of them were individually really good ones but on the whole it became ridiculous how much stuff was being kicked out of. This was another match affected by Richy Boy’s iffy officiating, but it’s not entirely clear what kind of story they were trying to tell. Fox was the designated villain and the commentators were claiming that Richy was in his pocket, but actually he was just slow counting everyone in a most frustrating fashion. All of these problems only became really noticeable as the finishing stretch wore on, and for a while the energy and athleticism of Fox and Horus looked like they would make this the match of the night thus far. By the end though, this was an enjoyable enough effort, but nothing more. ***.

6- MLA Heavyweight Championship- Penta El 0M vs. Mr. 450
A brawl through the crowd began this one, and while it wasn’t the best example of one, it was still a refreshing change of pace from the rest of the show. Mr. 450 then controlled for a little while and wasn’t particularly interesting, but that part of the match soon gave way to a fun, hard hitting finishing stretch, similar to the Allin-Tita one in that it was just two guys unloading their best stuff on each other. There was a spot where Penta and 450 traded Canadian Destroyers, which will be enough to put some people off the match completely, but I found it very cool. There was also a sick spot where Penta dropped his foe with the Package Piledriver on the ring apron! The match struggled to maintain its momentum from there, as Serpentico began to get involved more and more to help 450, which got repetitive quickly. After copious interference by Serpentico, Mr. 450 was finally able to hit his signature move, which you should probably be able to guess with the help of some context clues, and became the new MLA Heavyweight Champion! A mixed bag of a match, but I thought there was more good than bad. *** 1/4.

7- Dog Collar Deathmatch- Vary Morales vs. Poder Nocturno
I’d heard things about this one. I’d heard that it was the darnedest brawl of the year thus far. I’d heard there would be blood and guts. I’d also heard it had a terrible ending. All three of these things turned out to be largely accurate. This was indeed sick as fuck, and is worthy of a DEATH MATCH TRIGGER WARNING, what with all the light tubes and thumbtacks and broken glass and, inventively, little wooden sticks that Morales and Nocturno engaged in some ultraviolent acupuncture with. I think the best death matches start relatively tame and then slowly escalate the violence to a crescendo, and then keep going until you feel satisfyingly saturated with gore. That is basically what this match did, although I did feel it was a little bit slow at times towards the end and that detracted from the intensity of the action slightly. It also lacked a real tale to tell, beyond ‘once upon a time, there were two violent wrestlers who became progressively more violent for 20 minutes or so.’ For me, the best deranged war of 2017 so far is Darby Allin vs. Ethan Page from over Wrestlemania weekend, and that one was enhanced to MOTYC status by its simple underdog story. And then, of course, there was the ending, which I didn’t dislike as much as I’d been promised I would, but wouldn’t defend as anything good. A third wrestler, Sanico, came out and beat both men down, setting up a three way dance for the next show with masks and hair on the line. It’s never satisfying for such a heated war to end like that but, to be honest, the violence was losing steam by this point anyway and it at least moved an angle forward in a meaningful way. The vast majority of this was terrific, but not quite terrific enough that I think it’ll get many mentions when we’re looking back on the most noteworthy matches of 2017. *** 3/4.

8- Psycho Clown vs. Dr. Wagner Jr.
A strange one, this. The opening part of the match was pretty terrible, wrestled at half speed and so gently, even by lucha standards. It seemed like two major AAA stars half arsing it for a payday at a little indie show they considered beneath them. Then, they started brawling through the crowd, which made me roll my eyes because we’d just finished a truly demented death match, and the bout before that one went through the crowd as well. But, actually, it kind of worked. It certainly picked the intensity levels of the match up, and the violence was much lighter than the dog collar match so it didn’t feel too repetitive. Once the action returned to the ring we got, on balance, a good little contest. It seemed perpetually on the brink of falling apart, as they moved from brawling to straight wrestling almost at random, but there was always something going on and it was quite heated and extremely watchable. There were also numerous spots where Richy Boy got the shit beaten out of him, which was good comeuppance for him and a fun way to pay off his show long storyline. Technico Psycho Clown sent the excitable fans home happy, shrugging off a low blow from Wagner and hitting one of his own to pick up the win. *** 1/4.

The final score: review Good
The 411
A remarkably consistent show, it has a veritable embarrassment of riches if, by 'embarrassment of riches,' you mean *** 1/4 matches. There's nothing actively bad on the card, actually, and a lot of good but flawed wrestling. The Dog Collar Death Match flirts with greatness but never quite gets there. MLA 11 isn't a must watch by any stretch, but if you're a lucha fan it's not a bad show at all, and you'll probably get a kick out of the majority of it.