LA Park vs. Rush (Lucha Libre Elite – 07/14/2016)

LA Park vs. Rush
July 14, 2016
Lucha Libre Elite
Super Libre
*** 1/2

If there was an award for “best build up match to an apuesta match that will never happen”, Rush and LA Park would have that baby all wrapped up.

It is undeniable that part of this match’s appeal lies in the fact that this kind of match is simply not supposed to happen in Arena Mexico. Years ago, CMLL cracked down on violence in the arena and greatly restricted what can be done. You just don’t see blood, lengthy crowd brawling, or use of weapons in a really violent manner in Arena Mexico anymore, but we got all of that here (and then some). Both guys bled and its rather obvious that they both bladed. They brawl all the way from the barricade to the back of the arena at one point and enter the crowd at several points. Rush comes back from the long brawl with a heavy metal object of some sort that they toss at each other at several points. Park and Rush broke all of the rules and the fans loved them for that.

The “finish” of the match is the referee awarding the victory to Rush after Park throws the big metal box at him. Sure, throwing an illegal object at your bleeding opponent could certainly be grounds for a disqualification. There are a couple of problems with that, however. The match was billed as a Super Libre, which by its very nature infers that there are no disqualifications. Beyond that, they already threw the box at each other, threw a chair at each other, brawled all over the place, ripped up Park’s mask, and bled all over the place. The infraction that ended the match wasn’t anything worse then what they had already done. It’s obvious that the call was made to stop the match early because Rush and Park broke so many rules. The referee’s decision makes no sense as a worked finish.

The match was pretty good prior to the “finish”, but felt like it was just getting going. It wasn’t perfect. They did the spot where they walk through the crowd without really brawling and exasperated it by doing nothing once they got to the back. Rush let go of LA Park and Park literally wandered back to ringside while Rush retrieved a weapon. The match “ended” just as both were bleeding and the just as the crowd got amped up at the realization that they were seeing something special. Fortunately for everyone involved, Rush and Park made the decision to ignore the referee’s verdict just as they had ignored all the other rules that govern an Arena Mexico match in 2016. The referee left after handing down the decision, but Park and Rush kept going.

Some of the best stuff in the match comes after it is officially over. Park might have doubled in size since his heyday but he still does a mean tope suicida. He gets great air and pushed Rush right back up against the barricades. Rush adds a dive of his own later. The fans pelt the ring with garbage following the original disqualification announcement, but the wrestlers quickly get them back by not only continuing the match but bringing some great offense to the table during the postscript. I cannot remember the last time I heard an Arena Mexico crowd chant for Rush like they did here. The answer might be that they never have. The match just winds down to a stop at some point but the crowd has had their fill. Park and Rush soak in the chants (and pander for money) in front of an Arena full of elated fans. Rush grabs his hair while on the turnbuckle, a gesture that he wants an apuesta match. The atmosphere and heat were something else. It is impossible to watch this match and not want to see the apuesta match as soon as humanely possible.

And herein lies the problem with all of this. This was a tremendous build up match for an apuesta match that will likely never occur. The politics and logistics are probably too much to overcome. There exists a strong possibility that Park’s blatant violation of Arena Mexico rules in this match will knock him out of Elite/CMLL immediately. After this match, CMLL could easily fill Arena Mexico for an apuesta match between these two and it stinks that the odds are heavily against that ever occurring. As great as this match was, it is deflating to realize that we probably will not see the logical follow up.

This is a tough match to rate for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are that a lot of cool things occur after the match has technically ended. As mentioned, a lot of its appeal also lies in the fact that Park and Rush just crossed the line almost from the get-go and never looked back. This might be one of those matches that losses some its appeal out of context. All of that aside, its still an awesome brawl that drew ridiculous heat and perfectly set up a major re-match.

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