Thursday, April 5, 2007

Performer Analysis: Juventud Guerrera

1) Innovation- 4/10-
Some may say this is a harsh grade, but as far as innovation in the wrestling business, Juvi wasn't the biggest influence out there. He was apart of the Lucha movement into mainstream American wrestling in the mid to late 90's, but so were a lot of other wrestlers. He also lost his mask early on in his career, usually the kiss of death to most Mexican wrestlers, but Juvi's career flourished. As far as the Lucha style, it is still being employed today by several different athletes in America, and was not the foresight of Juvi alone.

2) Conditioning- 4/10-
You might say "How can you give Juvi a 4 and Dusty Rhodes a 7?" Well, for a number of different reasons. Juvi has never been big, but has been moderately in shape. He had a terrific schedule in his AAA days, but since coming to the US, has rarely had to wrestle past 20 minutes. Plus, take into account his numerous injuries- I'm recalling a major arm injury late in 2000 and another one upon his entrance into WWE last year. Not that injuries are anyone's fault, but once you start getting hurt constantly, it's a sign your body is giving out on you. Plus, take into count his well documented alcohol and drug abuse, and you have a recipe for disaster.

3) Skill- 6/10-
Juvi was an amazing talent in his prime and was breed to be a wrestler. He is a 2nd generation competitor (as most Mexican wrestlers are) and he excelled in the Lucha Libre style, which is very hard to master. During his time in WCW, he put on four and five star performances for several years, using great chain work (Lucha style), selling his ass off and using high impact moves. He also showed signs of brilliance in his last few WWE shows, but Juvi has always been a hot and cold wrestler, meaning when he's on, he's really on, but when he's off, he's really off. I think Juvi had the potential to be a great competitor, better than he was, but the potential fizzled somewhere along the road.

4) Psychology- 6/10-
Juvi's strength was the Lucha psych, which is very comical, but also very fast paced. There are so many little nuances that only Lucha wrestlers and fans pay attention to and Juvi had them down. He also worked great with big men, like Rey jr. His faults come at a botched spot, or a messup; he often flubs several spots in a row after and has a hard time getting back on track. That's not a bad thing; a lot of wrestlers have the same issue, but it's the really seasoned ones that don't lose a step, a skill Juvi never picked up on. I think botching a spot, then physically showing the fans something didn't go your way, is a major psych problem. It exposes the business and hurt's the credibility of said performer acknowledging "hey, we messed up."

5) Interviews- 8/10-
Here's a category where Juvi excelled, but who knew? When he was injured in late 99-00, Juvi was put down at the announce table and who knew? He was hilarious! His garbled Spanish accent was wonderfully funny and really endearing. He almost spoke in a language all his own and it translated into really great television. Juvi had a charisma that he had never displayed before and it brought a whole new dimesion to his character.

6) Character- 6/10-
"The Juice," was a take on, well, pretty much a blantant rip off of The Rock, but for some reason fans loved it. He worked the character the whole time he was injured and when he came back to action, he wrestled completely different, and the higher ups were giving him mic time to get over, which he did in spades.

7) Fans- 6/10-
I'd say the fans are pretty happy with Juvi and usually pop when he shows up on their TV. He's a recognizable face and has a very funny gimmick. He's not the most prolific guy in getting fans into his match, probably mostly due to starting out in Mexico where crowds are usually into whoever is wrestling.

8) Basics- 7/10-
At the entry level to any technique is the basics and that is no different than with Lucha Libre. Most luchadores have a very solid fundamental wrestling background, which includes numerous fancy rollups and unique submission holds. It's the polar opposite to their high flying antics. Juvi has this background and has went to the mat with many matches. His kicks are swift and strong and his punches are average.

9) Matches/ Feuds- 4/10-
Juvi has taken on nearly every great Luchadore that has stepped into the ring in the last ten or so years; which counts for something. As far as feuds go, he has had a few, but nothing ground breaking. Losing his mask to Chris Jericho was a big deal at the time that it happened and he had an ongoing feud with Rey Mysterio for years. But, not a great variety of opponents for him in his career.

10) Gutcheck- 5/10-
Juventud Guerrera started out with a dream in his heart of becoming a Luchadore wrestler just like his father and he accomplished that dream. He became one of the more famous ones in wrestling history and a damn fine wrestler. He even got the opportunity to travel to America and help popularize Lucha Libre in the US and made some money along the way. But, I'm sure he didn't realize how badly his mistakes would cost him as well; the injuries, the drinking, the outbreaks in hotels in Australia but it ultimately does. But, if there's one thing we learn from wrestling history is that you always get a second chance..and a third, a fourth, a fifth and so on. It takes determination to keep coming back after you have messed up so badly in the past and that's what Juvi gets points for.

Final Score: 56
Rating: Midcarder
PO: Thumbs Middle

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