(05/17/2008) Claudo Castagnoli vs. Jorge Rivera (Chikara)

A fun match that once again hammers home just how much WWE is missing out on using Claudio as a base. He is so good taking all of Rivera’s creative lucha arm drags. He also adds in a couple of his own. The match straddled the line of feeling like an exhibition. There wasn’t a lot to sink your teeth into besides the moves, but it probably was never met to be anything more than that. Claudio’s non-lucha offense was only “okay”. Another takeaway is how criminally underutilized Skayde was in Mexico during his career. At one point I thought of him as a luchador who seemed better than he actually was just because of his U.S. exposure. I no longer feel that way and his work here is a good example of why. He hits some ridiculously complicated and clever moves that you don’t see many (any in some cases?) other luchadores do. Not only that, every move was spot on in execution. Rivera is as smooth as they come and its a shame he never found a longterm home in Mexico with a sustained push. [***]

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