Break for too many gifs.
taped 2014-01-28 @ Arena México
Flyer, Pegasso, Star Jr. vs Canelo Casas, Disturbio, Hechicero: Good for the level. Hechicero is so great. He’s a huge problem for someone who tries to figure out what moves are called, because what in the world do you call the winning move this time, but he’s a delight to watch and worked really well with Pegasso – best of the three guys in this match. Star Jr. seems more advanced than Flyer, and got the bigger showcase spots. Seems interesting that Flyer debuted wearing an outfit unlike his usual Kid Volador gear, but it could just be randomness.
Sagrado, Stigma, Stuka Jr. vs Cancerbero, Raziel, Vangellys: Fine unmemorable trios match. I think I might have watched too much lucha when Vangellys speared the post and I instantly knew Stuka would fake a splash and dive to the outside instead. First fall finish – Stuka’s splash hits Vangellys’ feet, he beats Vangellys within seconds anyway – was kind of dumb. Vangellys was really destroying Stigma in the other two falls, and Stigma was the most existed man to barely be able to get over Raziel on a sunset flip.
Black Panther, Blue Panther, Cachorro vs Cavernario, Herodes Jr., Mr. Niebla in a tournament semifinal match: mostly a long but normal first fall of a match. It was not what I was expecting, since the idea of crazy debuting Peste Negra doing normal mat work with Blue Panther doesn’t quite mesh. The Panther matches have been a lot more active than this one was early too. It got better as it went along but not great. Most of the match was focused on the team not coming back for next round, and they didn’t look as good as previous weeks. Black Panther’s tope to the floor was terrifying. Cachorro did better.
Atlantis, Delta, Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Negro Casas, Puma, Tiger in a tournament semifinal match: A good match, but one that way played down the Sunday rivalry. Negro and Atlantis barely faced off (and were barely in), so this was a lot of a run thru for the upcoming tag team title match. That’ll be good, but this was missing the intensity of their weekend battles.
Atlantis, Delta, Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Cavernario, Herodes Jr., Mr. Niebla in a tournament final match: This was more what I was thinking it’d be – the Peste Negra running into attack everyone, attack like barbarians and then get knocked silly around the ring. Herodes is still more character than luchador at this point but he did okay here. Delta & Maya are a really good team. Niebla and Atlantis did their usual stuff. Shortest match of the tournament.
Titán vs Virus for the Mexican National Welterweight Championship: EXCELLENT. The early benchmark for best match of the year. Both guys were superb; Titan was pushed in different ways than all his fun matches from the last year, while Virus was the one doing the truly insane stuff. That monkey flip over the post to the floor would’ve been the craziest spot in any month that didn’t also include his senton to the floor. Those were super memorable spots, but it was just as much about the intense every changing back and forth. It was laid out well and naturally – they did hold for hold early, but they also came back to it right near the end and then again for the finish, where it was totally unclear how it might turn out. They mixed everything up, not just segregating the high spots at the end but getting some in early and working in other stuff late, totally different than most big CMLL singles matches. Titan was athletically awesome as usual – his new finishing cradle here looked great – but he was able to look like a guy who could battle Virus technically too, and he managed to engage the (frequently quiet Tuesday) crowd well, bridging them strong for the last half of the match. Virus was a master and making things come together and should be in singles matches every single week because they’re always this level. This is the match everyone needs to steal from.