Saturday, April 21, 2012

Nails It

I see only two flaws in this match between my new heel obsession, Ricochet, and his revered nemesis, PAC, their first singles contest, last September in Chicago (available as part of Untouchable on DVD from Dragon Gate USA). First, the ending is an action-all-over-the-place brawl that attempts to upstage the showdown between the two mesmerizing high-flyers. Second, the fight, minus the ensuing chaos, is short--brilliant, but still too short to work out the themes (dramatic and choreographic) that Ricochet and PAC introduce. Yet, despite these flaws, the parts I remember and probably will long remember are the one-on-one fight.

Not that the match lacks closure. There is a decisive win. But then Brodie Lee invades the ring, followed by a cluster of other wrestlers taking either wrestler's side, and the gravitas (to overstate, a bit) of the pinfall gets lost in the shuffle. Still, while it lasts, this is a near-classic confrontation between arrogance and professionalism, personified by Ricochet and PAC, respectively.

Ricochet is all but weightless, time and again defying gravity and all physics, it would appear. That alone would impress me--I'm knocked out by acrobats (my eyes teared up several times watching the Peking Acrobats at the Carolina Theatre last month--the human body's capacity for grace and almost miraculous agility has always moved me). But Ricochet is a force of nature--both beautiful and dangerous, like an electric storm or an active volcano, and like both these forces, he is hot. PAC is bigger, but no less spectacular in his moves, and the feud that's built up between these two holds my attention and stokes my imagination, even though I don't know the details of their storyline up to this point. And frankly, as I have stated before, I prefer that the drama of pro wrestling be largely contained within the ring ropes and between the soundings of the bell.

This match is one of several reasons to add Untouchable to my wrestling video collection. Even without Ricochet vs PAC, there would be other reasons to love this disk: Johnny Gargano vs villainous Akira Tozawa, a four-way match featuring Naruki Doi vs Masato Yoshino vs Chuck Taylor vs Sami Callihan, and an off-the-hook main event, the awesome YAMATO versus CIMA. 

Time will tell whether Ricochet and PAC will play out their feud in long form someday. If so, that match may push this one out of my memory. For now, though, this one promises to be one of my favorite non-underground matches ever, and it confirms my admiration for young and wicked Ricochet.

(Photos by Marvin Cespedes)

1 comment:

  1. PAC has one of the most extraordinary derrieres in the history of professional wrestling. It's regrettable that he (or his designer/trunks provider) has not taken full advantage of its wonder...



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