Friday, March 18, 2016

Vampiro vs. Pentagon Jr. "Cero Miedo" match review

At Lucha Underground, Vampiro faced Pentagon Jr. in a "Cero Miedo" (Zero fear) hardcore match. I expected your typical hardcore match but my expectations were blown away. That being said, i will begin by providing some background information.

The feud between Vampiro and Pentagon Jr. began when Pentagon Jr. goes around snapping people's arms and talking about how he has yet to find a worthy opponent to sacrifice to his master. He then goes and attacks Melissa Santos until Vampiro interferes as he steps in the way. Pentagon Jr. realizes Vampiro is a worthy opponent but will take either Ian Hodgkinson (Vampiro's real identity) or Vampiro. In response, Vampiro tells him his days are passed and that he already proved himself. Later, Pentagon Jr. assaults him and pours gasoline over him, promising to burn him alive if he doesn't accept. Nevertheless, Vampiro tells Pentagon Jr. he will be facing Vampiro rather than Ian Hodgkinson.

I thought a pure pro-wrestling match was going to build up into a hardcore brawl until i saw Vampiro get the first few chair shots. Pentagon Jr. slammed Vampiro on the unprotected ground then repeatedly hit him with a steel chair then wraps a cable around his neck. The referee crossed his arms into an X and i was surprised because this signaled that a pro-wrestler was in serious need of medical attention. I thought "well looks like the match is over...maybe Pentagon Jr. will land a couple of blows before Vampiro is hospitalized..." I spoke too soon as Vampiro hit the paramedics then went back to the ring. He performs his spin kick, a symbolic reminder that he's still got it despite his age. Vampiro slams Pentagon Jr. over a layer of thumbtacks but gets slammed into them himself.

Pentagon Jr. pulls out a fluorescent lamp and hits Vampiro with it. Vampiro gets his revenge by slamming him into others and using them on him. The two go at it in a series of vicious attacks with several poses reminding us of pro-wrestling in it's good old days. These are weapons common in deathmatch wrestling and it's very rare to see them in promotions like Lucha Underground.

One of the most shocking incidents part of the match was when Vampiro ripped the mask off of Pentagon Jr. For those who aren't familiar with Lucha Libre, having a mask ripped off of a Luchador's face is the most humiliating things that could be done to him or her. The mask represents his or her identity, reputation, dignity, and career. Vampiro ripping the mask off of Pentagon Jr. was brutal as he was saying in essence "Pentagon Jr. is just a mere mortal and broken man!"

Finally, the most shocking moments was when Vampiro set up a table then poured gasoline on it before lighting it on fire. Pentagon Jr. was supposed to go through the table but instead instead put Vampiro through the flames. Vampiro was caught on fire until personnel used a fire extinguisher to put the flames out. This was extreme, creative, and perfectly executed. What shocked me was to find from other sources that Vampiro was seriously lit on fire but it didn't take away from the Kayfabe.

I thought this was one of the best hardcore matches i've ever seen in a long time. Not simply because it was brutal, but because it had a plot twist at the end of the storyline. It also makes hardcore wrestling relevent in today's world as it was in the Attitude era. I was surprised to see this match air on a promotion as Lucha Underground. A truly unforgettable heated clash between an old school wrestler against a growing young wrestler carrying the torch to the next generation.  

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