Latigo vs. Toro Negro Jr., mask vs. mask (Cara Lucha – 05/21/2016)

Latigo vs. Toro Negro Jr.
Cara Lucha
May 21, 2016

Mask vs. Mask
** 3/4 

Cara Lucha held their first ever apuesta match as the main event of their second anniversary show at Arena San Juan Pantitlan. This was not an epic feud by any means – a trios, singles match, and tag over a five month period leading into the mask match. For an indie, Cara Lucha does really great show to show booking and they did put together a feud for Latigo and Toro Negro, but it would be a stretch to call their feud a major one.

To be fair maybe that was just my personal perception because the fans in the arena were certainly pumped. Cara Lucha crowds are generally vocal and that often manifests itself with a lot of booing. Particularly early on in the promotion’s run the CMLL and AAA wrestlers seemed to draw most of the jeers but most of the time there doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason. It seems like every match there are some fans that do not like one of the participants. What is interesting is that in this high stakes match there is a lot of chanting and cheering in support of each wrestler, but very few boos to be found. It was different enough from the normal atmosphere in the building that it stuck out to me.

Latigo and Toro Negro went for the slow build approach. They wrestle straight up early on which I feel usually works in apuesta matches even though it’s natural to think that heated rivals who have arrived at their “last resort” should come out guns blazing. The counter argument is that with so much on the line, you don’t want to foolishly rush into things and risk making a big mistake. That is what this start felt like to me. It maybe could have been a little more heated – tentativeness and intensity are not mutually exclusive – but it was a fine opening.

It doesn’t last long of course and the action spills to the outside in short order. Latigo wrestled the match with a white shirt, which helped when he bled all over it. The brawling on the outside was quality as were the dives that got them there.

After several minutes of brawling in and around the crowd, the crowd itself gets involved. Toro Negro got into it with the ringside fans throughout the match. At some point, the fans themselves get into it. It is a wild scene for a couple of minutes as fans have to be pulled apart and the police were called in. It does not appear any serious physical altercations took place, which is a good thing of course. For the match itself, the extracurricular activity was a mixed bag. It made a wild, high intensity match even more so. At the same time, the wrestlers understandably froze when things threatened to get out of control. When the situation calmed down enough for the match to continue in the ring, they sort of rushed to the finish. It doesn’t help the ending that the fans were distracted by what was still going on outside the ring. Taken together, Latigo’s victory came off as anticlimactic.

I wouldn’t label Cara Lucha’s first mask match as a great one but it was entertaining. I have seen far worse mask matches on far bigger cards for major promotion. The effort was there. The structure was solid and had the fight outside the ring not happened, I would imagine that the ending would have been as well laid out as the other portions of the match were.

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