LUCHA ESPECIAL 1: Woodrow Wilson’s Guns
Show starts fifteen minutes late, because lucha shows never start on time.
The Anglo Luchador comes to the ring with his family and a cadre of dancers and mariachis. He enters the ring and addresses the crowd.
TAL: Welcome to LUCHA ESPECIAL 1: Woodrow Wilson’s Guns! I’m happy to host you here on the first day of the year! I hope you enjoy the show we have planned for you! We have luchadores from PRIME up north! And we also have some of your favorites from around Mexico! So, Feliz Año Nuevo! Enjoy the show!
MATCH 1 – Rocky de Leon vs. El Cabrón, referee Minos, El Juevo Infernal
The match begins with El Cabrón refusing to lock up with Rocky, continuing to do the “too slow” hand signal every time he pulls away from the collar and elbow. Rocky gets fed up and hits a dropkick. He goes to follow it up, but Cabrón hits him with an eye poke. Minos conveniently looks in the other direction. Cabrón follows in with some dirty tactics, back rakes, more eye pokes, toe stomps, the like. This carries on for a few minutes, but Rocky gets fed up, grabbing Cabrón’s wrist as he tries one last eye poke. He’s a house on fire, headscissors and ranas and high-speed armdrags! He’s ready to deliver his signature finisher, The Flying Squirrel, but at the last second, Minos shoves Cabrón out of the way! Rocky eats canvas, and Cabrón leaps to the mat to drive a forearm to the back of his head. Rocky staggers to his feet in time to eat a La Petada de la Pezuña Hendida (spinning heel kick, to be exact)! Cabrón gets the cheap and QUICK 1-2-3 and steals a win from Rocky in the opening match. (8:21)
MATCH 2 – Scramble La Bestia, referee Miguel Zocopico
The entrances have all the grandeur one might expect for such a cavalcade, including Lord Kurosame-sama, who emerges from the ocean with several thousand Mexicans and tourists chanting “SHARK” along with his entrance music. The bell rings, but before anyone gets into any action, a SWAT team in special tactical armor with the Disney logo emblazoned on it descends on the ring and drags away Kraven El Cazador. One of them gets on the mic and says “Copyright law knows no borders. Don’t mess with The Mouse, motherfucker.”
ELIMINATION ONE: Kraven El Cazador, via COPYRIGHT
Cocodrilo, Lobo, Saltamontes, and Abejorro all descend on Kurosame-sama to get him out of the match, as all four recognize the inherent danger of allowing the apex predator of the ocean to continue to hunt freely, even though he’s not nearly the biggest wrestler left in the match by a longshot. Lobo gets the pin after hitting La Caza…
ELIMINATION TWO: Lord Kurosame-sama, via pinfall (El Lobo Rojo)
Kurosame-sama rolls out of the ring, and for some reason, his music starts playing again as people chant “SHARK” as he descends back into the ocean. In the confusion, La Saltamontes shocks Lobo with a roll-up and a flash pin!
ELIMINATION THREE: El Lobo Rojo, via pinfall (La Saltamontes)
Saltamontes and Cocodrilo realize they have a two-on-one rudos-to-tecnico advantage on Abejorro, so they tag team on her. There’s a lot of high impact double team offense, and it looks as if they have her dead to rights. Cocodrilo puts Abejorro on his shoulders, and Saltamontes hits a Doomsday rana on her. However, the momentum takes Abejorro out of the ring. Saltamontes goes to follow her out, but in an instant, Cocodrilo double-crosses her and folds her up in the alligator clutch!
ELIMINATION FOUR: La Saltamontes, via pinfall (El Cocodrilo)
Finally, Cocodrilo has the seemingly easy prey, following outside the ring where she’s still recovering. However, she’s not as easy prey as he thinks, and they get into a strike exchange. Cocodrilo accidentally damages her mask with one of his punches, and an overzealous fan reaching over the guardrail finishes the job, removing Abejorro’s mask to reveal Peach Backshots from SHOOT Project. Because Cocodrilo didn’t remove the mask, he was adjudged by the referee not to be at fault, and Peach agrees to continue the match without a disqualification/no contest. They finally get back into the ring, and the action is HOT AND HEAVY. They get into an exchange of pin combinations and combos, but it ends with Cocodrilo scoring the pin with a tights-pull assisted victory roll. El Cocodrilo brings back Bestia Scramble glory to Grays Academy.
ELIMINATION FIVE: Peach Backshots, via pinfall (El Cocodrilo, the match winner) (27:45)
MATCH 3 – Relevos Atomicos – Dangerous Mix, Alex Andersen, and Leon Van Zandt vs. Bo Stevens, “Cowboy” Jimmy Donovan, El Monolito, and La Momia de Hunter S. Thompson, referee Timo Bolamba
Before the match even begins, Bo Stevens looks at his teammates, specifically the mummy wearing HST’s Aviators and the big cowboy who can’t stop scratching his crotch, and says “Fuck this, I’m not teaming with these loons.” He walks back up the aisle towards the dressing room cabanas. Next up, La Momia de Hunter S. Thompson hops off the apron and yells out to Bolamba, “It’s time for me to smoke some grass, gotta take the edge off.” He moseys into the crowd in search of a weed dealer. Finally, Jimmy Donovan’s crotch itch becomes so unbearable that he hops off the apron.
“OH DAMN, THAT HOOKER I DONE SLEPT WITH LAST NIGHT GAVE ME CRABS!”
Bolamba instructs him to go back to the locker cabanas because I’m not sure anyone in the ring knows exactly how easily crabs can be transmitted through non-sexual contact. This leaves El Monolito as the only competitor for the rudo team. David Fox is the first to try to take him down. Monolito no-sells his mid-kicks and yeets him out of the ring. This brings in the overzealous rookie Andersen who charges blindly RIGHT into Monolito’s goozle. CHOKESLAM FROM MICTLAN. He rolls out of the ring. Next up is Leon Van Zandt, who stalks Monolito, eyeing up the giant. He goes in for an arm-wringer, but he can’t go all the way around as Monolito stops him dead in his tracks with his massive arm. He swings around with his other arm and hammer-blows Van Zandt to the canvas.
This brings in the God-Beast himself, Mushi. He steps to Monolito, and they stare each other dead in the eyes. Mushi breaks the tension with a big palm strike his opponent’s chest. Monolito fires back with a haymaker! They trade strikes until they tumble out of the ring, brawling all around until Bolamba gets to his slow nine-count. Monolito gets in the ring first and ambushes Mushi as he slides back in. He gets him in position for the big AVALANCHA~!, but Mushi strikes his arm off. He throws an elbow to Monolito’s head before hitting him flush with the Uranage! Mushi covers and gets the win for his team! (6:12)
MATCH 4 – Justine Calvin and the New World Trash vs. El Guapo Grande, Sin Cordura, and Psycho Peahen, referee Miguel Zocopico
The match begins with Calvin and Guapo doing the feeling out thing, lucha-style. Chain wrestling, armdrags, headlock exchanges, that sort of thing. Before they can really start getting cooking, Peahen makes a blind tag, looking frustrated at her legendary tag team partner, and then she points at Ripper. Calvin exits the ring, and the Trash’s heavy steps in, eyeing up Peahen who is staring with intent. She starts jaw-jacking, and Ripper follows suit until they get so heated that they spontaneously erupt into a Frye vs. Takayama punch exchange. The flurry of fisticuffs is so intense that Zocopico just backs into a corner. Ripper ends the exchange with a HARD forearm to Peahen’s mouth. The masked luchadora steps back and feels a trickle of blood leak out from the mouth-hole on her mask. She goes flying at the Trash’s enforcer with a forearm, and they tumble out of the ring.
Sunrise and Cordura enter the ring and begin to put on the first great wrestling sequence of the year. Cordura charges in getting mad air with an attempt at a meteora to the face, but Sunrise rolls back nimbly, falls on her back pretending to take the brunt, and slips her legs underneath Cordura’s arms, thrusting him into the business end of a sunset flip that she shoves him back immediately to his feet. She pops to her feet and lands a koppou kick to his head before attempting to follow up with a standing 450, but he Matrixes to his feet and lands a somersault leg drop to the small of her back. From here, the action is fast and furious, and neither luchador has the advantage for too long, much to the delight of the crowd who has forgotten alignment and rooting interest and is caught in the thrall of high-speed, high-impact wrestling from two of the smallest but most violent wrestlers on the show. Ranas, kicks, punches, flips, corkscrews, it’s a flurry of offense with no sign of letting up until they both attempt dropsaults simultaneously. Both on one knee, they suck air as the crowd chants “LUCHA POR SIEMPRE!”
Sunrise rises to her feet first, but Peahen from the apron grabs her by her head and yanks her violently over the top rope. As Cordura laughs, he is accosted by an angry Ripper, who charges in hard with elbows and forearms flying, knocking Cordura back. This brings Guapo back into the ring on a blind tag. The match continues for a little while, Guapo taking the brunt of most of the offense from Ripper and Calvin with Sunrise on the outside holding her head, while the rudos thrive with Cordura and Peahen in there. The match finishes with Ripper on spaghetti legs. Guapo heads over to her, looking to lock in the Fifth Sunset. Before he can lock in the butterfly, Ripper finds her balance enough to shove him backwards. She takes a running charge and HEAVY ELBOW STRIKE! The luchador is out, and she makes the cover for the win! (14:32)
After the match ends and the tecnicos find their way back to the cabanas, Peahen and Cordura verbally berate Guapo and then stomp him on the ground. Their assault continues until Zocopico and the other two non-rudo referees, Bolamba and Ejecutor Enmascarado, come out to break up the assault.
MATCH 5 – Kazuhiro Troy vs. Randall Schwartz, referee Ejecutor Enmascarado
The match starts out with Schwartz ducking under a collar and elbow and pointing to his head three times before Troy gets fed up. He gets met with a strong koppou kick for his troubles. Troy drops to the canvas and locks in a seated armbar, and that’s where Schwartz lets out a blood-curdling scream that could be heard in Puebla. Ejecutor instructs Troy to release the hold and throws up the X. Schwartz holds his right shoulder, screaming in pain as medics pore out from the back to attend to him. The match is ruled a no-contest. (1:34)
MATCH 6 – Hospital Jurásico vs. Los Dragónes, referee Minos, El Juevo Infernal
This match is a clusterfuck from the start. There is no semblance of order, as Minos is more worried hitting on El Dragón’s wife, La Medusa, who, thanks to plastic surgery and an all-juice diet is looking quite comely at age 64. No one is tagging in, the rudos are using the tecnicos’ medical equipment against them, and more “dragon fire” has been sprayed than oil was at the infamous Exxon-Valdez spill in 1989. However, the tecnicos fight back as valiantly as they can until El Dragón III hits Organ Donor with the Dragon Rana. Blood inexplicably explodes everywhere. Fans in the first five rows get sprayed. Everyone stops in their tracks, and Dragón III, with uncharacteristic meekness, gingerly covers Organ Donor for the academic 1-2-3. Tim Tillinghast gives the match negative three stars. After the match, Organ Donor pops to his feet like nothing is wrong as everyone scratches their heads. He grabs his cooler and is the first one back to the locker cabanas. (7:32)
MATCH 7 – Justicio IV, El El Ciclón Morado, and Dama Relámpago vs. Rudo King, Venganza, and El Volcán, referee Timo Bolamba
The mood gets tense for this match with all the bad blood between the two teams. Justicio points to Venganza to pay for his betrayal, but instead, he gets Volcán to start. Justicio handles Volcán surprisingly easy, but as he calls for Vengaza again, Rudo King blindsides him out of the ring. Volcán begins to work over Ciclón for the big heat portion of the match. Three times he’s too close to make a tag to either Justicio or Dama, but through devious tactics or bad luck, he comes just short each time. He is in the clutches of Rudo King after taking a beating, who is attempting his Crowning Achievement (Destino). Ciclón shoves him off, then hits no-hold enzugiris on the other two charging into the ring before tagging in Dama, who shoots in like a bolt of, well, you guessed it, lightning.
From here, the match breaks down into near anarchy. Bolamba tries his hardest to keep control, but the vitriol and history between the two teams makes his job insanely hard. Justicio finally gets his hands on Venganza, and their haymaker-throwing causes them to spill over the top ropes to the floor, where they continue to brawl without any regard for anyone or anything else. Dama tries to set her sights on Rudo King, but the Lady of Lightning is cut off by Volcán, who hits her with a BIG POUNCE. They tumble through the ropes. Ciclón is left as the last tecnico standing, and he goes in with a heroic flurry on the Rudo King. Right hand! Left hand! Armdrag! Another armdrag! Headscissors takeover! He’s finally in position to hit him with a standing tornillo in the ring, but Rudo King headbutts him out of the air, shakes off the cobwebs, and does what he couldn’t do earlier in the match. Crowning Achievement. Rudos win. (17:22)
MAIN EVENT – Jared Sykes (hair) vs. El Temblor (mask), referee Ejecutor Enmascarado
There is a palpable excitement in the air for the last match. Sykes, off his MEGA showing at Colossus, is still nervous while Temblor’s demeanor is salty as always, at least what can be seen through his mask. They lock up, and Sykes gets the advantage initially with a rear hammerlock before Temblor uses his old man strength to drag himself to the ropes for a breakup. The second time Sykes goes in, Temblor hits a quick eye poke. After shrugging the warning from Ejecutor off, Temblor goes in with some traditional lucha grappling, keeping the younger and nimbler Sykes guessing with each transition and chain hold. Temblor’s guile keeps Sykes off balance enough for three pinning combinations – La Majistral first, then an Oklahoma roll, then the Gedo clutch. All three, Sykes kicks out of. Finally, Sykes counters the next pin attempt, a jackknife pin, by using his leg strength to shake Temblor off. The elder rudo rises and is met with a satellite headscissors take down.
Sykes, uneasy about using his normal, neck-crunchin’ offense on Temblor, shows off his lucha technique with crisp armdrags, takeovers, and springboards. He gets so close to winning Temblor’s mask with a victory roll, but the elder rudo kicks out at the last possible instant. Upon recovering, Temblor throws another eye poke at Sykes and starts turning up the chicanery. It starts with foot stomps, then more eye pokes, then back rakes, pulling of the ears, digital manipulation. After each cheap maneuver and every admonishment from Ejecutor, Sykes’ visible anger grows and grows until he can’t take it anymore. Sore and frustrated, he cocks back and nearly takes Temblor’s head off with a standing desperation lariat. From here, it’s all Sykes’ main gringo wrestling offense. The poison rana gets a two count. Ushigoroshi-style neckbreaker gets two-and-a-half. In his extemporaneous frustration, Sykes unleashes on Temblor as if he’s eyeing up one of the Love Convoy or a member of Solid Gold Rock ‘n Roll. He goes for Omega-13, but on the way up, Temblor hits him with a desperation eye poke!
Both men are staggered, but Temblor, instead of going for offense, starts slowly climbing the ropes, eyeing up Sykes as he finally shakes out the poke and gets his senses. He turns around only to be greeted with Temblor going for the top rope high crossbody. However, Sykes sidesteps. He then picks the old rudo up, looking to go for a finishing move. However, he notices Temblor’s face. The audience and viewers at home are unsure what causes him to shake his anger, but he merely sets Temblor down on his feet and quickly rolls him into a Gannosuke clutch, getting the 1-2-3 and winning the mask. (13:19)
After the match, Temblor, sobbing, slowly removes his mask and hands it over with great hesitation. Despite spending part of his career under a mask, Jared Sykes has never considered himself a luchador. The traditions of that world are something beyond him, but there are universal truths that he understands. To stand in the ring with a man who has just lost his mask is a serious moment in this culture, one that is not lost on him. It’s why, when the mask is handed over, he presses it to his chest and offers a small bow of respect. In a few weeks, when he’s finally returned home from his excursion to Mexico and Japan, it will take a place alongside its brother for visitors to his home to see. The mask it will join was a gift from El Temblor, hand-stitched by his mother, and given as a gift in the aftermath of Jared’s conquest of the Jacob’s Ladder machine.
In the aftermath of the match, Jared’s partner Justine Calvin has made her way to the ring, carrying with her a small black bag. As she steps between the ropes, Jared gets his hands on a microphone.
Jared Sykes: It, uhh… it’s been an honor to be here tonight. And I know this moment is yours, but there’s one more thing that we need to take care of.
He lets that one sit for a minute, because this is pro wrestling and that’s just how we roll.
Jared Sykes: When I came back to pro wrestling last year, things weren’t going so great. Those first few months were rough, just one disaster after the next, and then I went to Detroit to try my hand climbing one of those high-end ladder deals. Like most things I do, the video was committed to the internet, so if you’ve ever wondered what I look like sweating, mostly-naked, and covered in Crisco, well…
Jared Sykes: And even though I managed to survive that machine, I was still convinced that I’d failed. That I’d screwed up again, because that’s the trajectory I was on. And then this man did something that I’ll never forget.
As he speaks, he gestures to El Temblor, now unmasked in front of the world.
Jared Sykes: He came to me and said that I “had honored my mask.” Now I don’t think it would be right for me to ever call myself a luchador, but I know what that means. I know the weight those words carry. And for the first time in god-knows-how-long things felt okay. Right then, I made a decision.
He nods to his partner, and Justine hands over the bag that she’d been carrying. From inside he retrieves the remains of the blue and white mask he’d worn for the last year in PRIME, showing all the scars it had accumulated over those last violent months.
Jared Sykes: They say that El Temblor never forgets your treachery, but I want you to know that I will never forget your kindness. I will never forget your respect.
Jared extends the mask of King Blueberry towards El Temblor.
Jared Sykes: I’m sorry this isn’t in better condition, but I’d be honored if you’d have it.
Temblor takes the mask and bows towards Sykes, mouthing the word “gracias” over and over. Sykes then takes Temblor’s hand and raises it as the show fades to black.