(06/16) Rey Escorpion © vs. Atlantis

Arena Puebla (Puebla, Puebla, Mexico)
CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship 

Nobody in CMLL can touch Virus when it comes to quality singles title matches.  His matches versus Titan and Fuego earlier this year were both superb.  While Virus’ opponents held their own, in each instance it was Virus who really carried the day and made each match what it was.  Titan and Fuego are fine wrestlers but they aren’t the artists on the mat that Virus is.  It was the mat work – Virus’ mat work – that really made those matches something special.

Rey Escorpion’s World Light Heavyweight title defense versus Atlantis – while not as good as the 2014 Virus title defenses – is more of a joint effort.  That does not necessarily matter in the long run.  A good match is a good match regardless of how it arrives at that point.  It is only noteworthy because the mat work ion this match comes across as two equals exchanging holds in contrast to the Virus matches where he is clearly the better technical wrestler in the match.

The first fall is excellent and demonstrates the above point.  Escorpion and Atlantis work very well together on the mat.  Ninety percent of the first fall is a fluid exchange of holds, submissions, and pin attempts.  The wrestlers only truly break contract three times during the fall, each time ending up at a stalemate.  Late in the fall, they hit the ropes for the first time.  Atlantis gets the better of that first exchange by landing a couple dropkicks.  He maintains that momentum and taps Escorpion to get out to the early lead.

After a quick second fall where Escorpion evens up the score with a submission victory of his own, the match picks up the pace for the deciding third fall.  In many of the non-Virus CMLL title matches this year, the third fall has been used for big move near fall after big move near fall with little structure in between.  This match stays a tad closer to the Virus format of ratcheting up the moves and pace, without the match becoming a series of near falls.  Neither method of working the third fall is necessarily better than the other; it is just two ways to attempt to achieve the same goal.

The final fall of this match is good, but not great.  At 51, Atlantis moves a little bit more tentatively than he used to.  The execution of a few moves down the stretch is a tad bit rough although nothing too significant.  Escorpion hits a flipping tope.  He later takes a huge bump over the top rope courtesy of an Atlantis’ monkey flip before eating a tope as well.  There are some nice near falls – Escorpion’s top rope drop kick and Atlantis’ dual tilt-a-whirl backbreakers come to mind – but nothing that really sends the match into that next gear.

The ending too is a tad bit flat, with Escorpion hitting his package piledriver somewhat out of nowhere to retain his title.

The first fall is a ton of fun particularly if you enjoy mat work.  The other two falls – while not as strong as the first – are far from let downs.  The match is also a reminder that Escorpion is criminally underutilized in CMLL.  He is a terrific base, a very good mat worker, and a great bumper.

Lucha Title | Watch It | Quality

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