(05/12) La Sombra (c) vs. Rey Escorpion

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

I think it was Dr. Lucha who several weeks back mentioned that CMLL is going to adhere a little less strictly to the rudo-technico designations in their booking going forward.  Sure enough, in the immediate aftermath of that statement Rush, La Mascara and La Sombra all began working as rudos at times while ostensibly remaining tecnicos.

I don’t necessarily have an opinion on the philosophical booking shift quite yet.  In some ways, it is way overdue.  Historically, CMLL rarely runs tecnico vs. tecnico bouts particularly in trios situations.  WWE and Japanese promotions regularly do face vs. face matches on television and even at big events.  So on one hand it would seem CMLL has been handicapping themselves in terms of match making by booking down rudo/tecnico lines.  On the other hand, there was certainly a benefit in doing so, mainly the ability to keep certain matches fresh.

In theory, if Rush remained a technico for several years before going rudo (even though he has shown rudo tendencies and been booed throughout his career) when he did go rudo he would have a host of fresh match ups against the entire tecnico roster including the likes of Mascara Dorada and Titan.  Instead due to the new booking philosophy, Rush is scheduled to face those two (and Valiente) in a tecnico vs. tecnico trios match next Sunday on what is essentially a “normal” show.  Obviously the occasional all tecnico or all rudo match is no big deal.  However, it is clear that CMLL’s traditional booking philosophy guarded against the problem that WWE constantly faces which is there are no fresh match ups because everyone faces everyone all the time.  It remains to be seen how far down that path CMLL will head.

Another potential issue is that if tecnicos are going to act like rudos but remain tecnicos and wrestle against rudos, it might blur the lines too much and result in a decline in match quality.  This match is evidence of the downside of booking a match between a tecnico that acts like a rudo and an actual rudo.  The match was perfectly fine and enjoyable at times.  However, the face and heel structure that is and always will be the foundation of pro wrestling matches was blurred so much that the match felt disjointed.  Escorpion is a fantastic rudo but was forced to sell like a tecnico for Sombra’s more-aggressive offense and it just didn’t feel right.

Sombra’s semi-rudo persona is basically that of an overly confident, borderline arrogant, and perhaps aloof wrestler.  Cubs Fan made a comparison between Sombra and Shinsuke Nakamura in that regard, which I don’t think is all that far off.  I am not sure there is an obvious or easy way to effectively work a match between an overly confident and aloof wrestler and a devious rudo which is essentially the task these two were charged with.

There was some good stuff in here.  The offense was all generally fine and Sombra’s running knee strikes looked particularly brutal.  They didn’t go epic here as Sombra did with Dragon Rojo in their good match back on March 2nd which given that it was essentially a rudo vs. rudo match, was probably the right call.  However, it also kept the title match from ever reaching that next level.  This felt more like a fun TV main event as opposed to a big-time, memorable title match.  There is nothing wrong with that at all, of course, but it wasn’t the show-stealer it might have been able to be under other circumstances.

I would be remiss not to mention that La Sombra decided in order to get over this new extremely confident character of his that he should come to the ring wearing a top hat and sports coat over his ring gear.  Because that’s what confident wrestlers do apparently – they wear hats.

La Sombra retains his title winning two straight falls after dropping the first.  Presumably all of this is still leading to a re-match versus Volador Jr. at some point (with the roles reversed) but with CMLL, who the heck knows.

Lucha Title Match | Worthwhile | Booking & Quality

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