Arena Naucalpan (Naucalpan de Juarez, Mexico)
NWA (Old) Light Heavyweight Championship
This wasn’t anything special and I normally probably wouldn’t bother writing about it. However, it struck me as an interesting match because theoretically it was worked in a similar style to several matches I have enjoyed recently only it simply wasn’t as good as those matches.
The match had a lot of lucha mat work with a focus on submission attempts, holds, and counters. That general match description could apply to any number of recent matches I have watched including Virus/Titan from January; CIMA/Super Shisa and Dandy/Satanico from February; or Charles Lucero/Silver Star from March (review forthcoming). I thought those matches ranged from good (Dandy/Satanico) to great (Virus/Titan). Super Nova & Eterno’s IWRG bout was somewhere below the low-end of that range.
Eterno and Super Nova pulled out plenty of neat submissions and counters that were on pair with many of those other matches, so I am not sure that offense was really the separating factor. Yea, it was kind of slow, deliberate work on the ground but that’s what you get in a lot of mat-based lucha matches. Dandy and Satanico weren’t exactly Naruki Doi in their match either and I didn’t hold that agtainst him. The problem didn’t seem to be a pacing issue or a selling issue or going too long issue either. I am not saying that it was as good as those other matches in any of those facets, but it didn’t fail badly enough in any of them to be the real difference marker.
Where this match failed, I think, was that it was not it never reached that point of being compelling. All the work was technically fine from the offense to the structure to the execution, but it was missing an imperative hook that draws you in. Dandy/Satanico had their storied rivalry, Dandy’s impending retirement, and Satanico’s mid-bout grumpiness. Super Shisa & CIMA had the unique rules and faster-paced style to work with.
This match didn’t have that hook – it was just two guys putting on a technically solid match. Nothing wrong with that, but I sometimes see matches like this one (although not this one specifically) getting praised and then I watch it and don’t get all of the hype. Having a fundamentally solid match is the first step, but that doesn’t automatically make it a good or even great one.
Lucha Singles | Common