Gringo Loco & Skayde Jr. vs. Zema Ion & Bandolero Star
February 7, 2016
Lucha Libre Fest
Cicero Stadium (Cicero, IL)
My usual concern when it comes to non-Mexico lucha libre is that a match with a couple of dives and hurricanranas will be passed off as authentic lucha. That is probably an unfair outlook but I think it is PTSD resulting from years of ROH passing off sloppy arm drags between Joel Maximo and Chris Divine being sold as true, quality lucha. At best, I tend to assume these matches will be good US indie style matches rather than something I would expect to see on a lucha indie show from Mexico.
This match did not warrant those concerns. Gringo Loco and Skayde Jr. have extensive experience wrestling in Mexico while Ion has some. This was a decent match and one that would not have felt out of place at all on the undercard of a Cara Lucha or Lucha Memes card. The match would have felt out of place on the undercard of a CMLL show, but only because the riskiness and general nature of the match would have stood out in a positive manner.
This match would be an easy one to make a music highlight video to. All four wrestlers had their moments both on offense and on defense. From an offensive standpoint, all the moves that you would want were there and more often than not the offense looked good. Ion seemed a little tentative running the ropes and when intersecting with his opponents in the ring. Otherwise, all of the guys were solid bases and rolled well.
The offensive highlight was a Mascara Dorada/Dragon Lee over the top rope hurricanrana but with a twist where the guy delivering it used his kneeling partner’s back as a spring board. They hit it rather flawlessly and I would be surprised if we don’t see that move pop up elsewhere in the near future.
That move exemplified the match’s strength – a lot of good looking offense that was innovative, of high degree of difficulty, or both. There were some rough patches too, but I think you sort of take those as a cost of doing business in a match like this. The more relevant reason why I thought this was only okay was that from both a structure and a heat building standpoint, the match was rather standard. They worked this 2 out of 3 falls and did not rush first two falls but there also wasn’t a great build to them (either within the falls or from fall to fall). Gringo Loco drew good heat for his pre-match singing routine but in the actual match I thought they did little to put heat on Skayde Jr. and Gringo Loco. Likewise, Ion and Bandolero Star’s comebacks weren’t anything that stuck with me.
If you want to watch four guys hit difficult and sometimes innovative offense well this is well worth a watch. There is a lot more to like from this match than there are significant issues.