(03/02) La Sombra (c) vs. Dragon Rojo Jr.

Arena Coliseo (Mexico City, Mexico)
NWA World Historic Middleweight Championship

The first two falls and well into the third fall, this NWA Historic Middleweight title match was not all that dissimilar from most modern day CMLL title matches. The first two falls were abbreviated. Sombra got off to a good start in pinning Rojo Jr. with a double moonsault. Rojo just as abruptly tied the match up with a slingshot powerbomb to take the second fall.

The third fall picked up where the first two falls left off with quick-paced but commonplace back-and-forth action before the two rattled off a series of nice dives. A plancha and split-legged moonsault – both delivered by the champion – fetched two counts. At this point, there was not much separating this match from say, Mistico vs. Polvora or Volador Jr. vs. Averno in terms of 2014 CMLL title matches expect for some relatively minor stylistic differences and perhaps some added crispness in execution. In other words, a fine match with some good moves but maybe not next-level good.

Then the match keeps going and going and going and in this case, that was a very good thing. It was a good thing because the crowd got really into stretch run and while I was aware I was watching a lot of near falls, I never got the “alright, end this” feeling that you get in matches that overstay their welcome. The crowd reaction is probably the most important. The crowd was super-into most of the final fall. They were into the action – each move, each near fall – and not just the spectacle of the many kick outs. That’s sort of an important distinction for me. A crowd reacting to near falls because they are invested in the match is a clearer indicator of a match’s success than the crowd reacting purely to the volume of near falls. The match succeeded because the near fall section was really good, not just because there were a bunch of the.

The Coliseo crowd is firmly (and loudly) behind Sombra as the near falls begin to stack up. There were a ton of great moves during the long nearfall run (which you can read about here) but I got a kick out of the slingshot powerbomb teases, Brillante Driver teases (and eventually payoff), and Rojo’s swinging neckbreaker off of the ring apron the most. Sombra finally hits the Brillante Drive after a few failed attempts to keep Rojo down, put an end to the near falls and retain his title.

The best Rojo match I have ever seen and Sombra looked as good as he has recently. This was a fun match that is definitely going to go on the re-watch pile.

Lucha Singles | Watch It | Quality & Title Match

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