Arena Mexico (Mexico City, Mexico)
NWA Welterweight Championship versus NWA Middleweight Championship
Old rivals La Sombra and Volador Jr. lock up in Mexico City in a very rare championship versus championship bout.
In some ways, La Sombra and Volador’s double title match was the biggest match CMLL has promoted thus far in 2014. It was less than a year ago that these two headlined the CMLL 80th Anniversary show in a big mask versus mask match. A post-mask loss tecnico turn for Volador put their issue on the backburner but if simmered back to the surface earlier in the year and indirectly led to Sombra’s recent change in attitude. Adding in the stakes of both championships being on the line, it could certainly be argued that this was the single biggest one on one match in CMLL through the first six months of the year.
Given the potential magnitude of such a match, I thought Volador Jr. and La Sombra put together a fine performance. The talking point with Volador – ever since losing his mask – is that he is not the same either charisma wise or wrestling wise. It is hard to argue, although I think it has possibly been overstated a bit. I am not sure Volador Jr. was ever as good as made it to be by some so I am hesitant to state that he has significantly fallen off. Having said that, this was one of his better performances in quite some time and probably his best 2014 performance (edging out both the Mascara Dorada Korakuen Hall match and January Negro Casas match).
Like Volador Jr. post-mask, La Sombra is another guy currently trying to find himself. He has really taken to the edgier character but so far it has had little positive impact on his ring work. Sombra – perhaps even more so than his arch rival – has not had many strong in-ring performances in recent memory. That has only gotten worse since he has begun to focus more on being a lucha’s biggest prick at the expense of everything else. This match was the first time that I thought he struck a semblance of balance between the character and in-ring work. He was a strong base for Volador and his offense was more effective and enjoyable than usual.
Volador wrestled a lot like his old self pulling off a litany of impressive high-flying moves. He hit several topes in short orders and pulled out the stage dive, which is a requirement in any Sombra/Volador match. Volador Jr.’s best work comes when he has 15 minutes to leisurely run through his signature spots which is essentially what he did here. There is a school of thought that Volador hasn’t been the same as a tecnico but I actually through the rudo/tecnico alignment felt much more natural here than it did when the roles were reversed.
Other La Sombra matches recently have been hurt by too much attention to the character and storyline at the expense of the action, but that was avoided here largely because La Mascara and Rush kept their noses out of it until the end. La Mascara attempted to help but was disposed of. With the ref distracted by La Mascara’s interference, Rush slid into the ring and hit the Rush Driller to put Volador down. Sombra covered and became a two weight-class champion which might be a first for CMLL.
I thought the interference ending really worked in a way other screwy finishes haven’t worked during this La Mascara/La Sombra/Rush reign of terror. In many of those other matches, I felt like I was screwed out of seeing a good match. Here I felt like I was screwed out of getting the finish I wanted from a good match. There is a world of difference there.
Plus, the ending leaves open the possibility of a re-match and teases a tecnico Volador Jr. vs. rudo Rush match down the line which has great potential to be something special.
Lucha Singles | Worthwhile | Quality & Historic Title Change