Stuka Jr. vs. La Flecha
April 2, 2006
Mask vs. Mask
As far as mid-card mask matches go, this was very good.
Rob and thecubsfan gave this match favorable reviews back in the day so I had some level of faith that the match would be good, but it was still hard to wrap my head around the idea that a mask match third from the top at Arena Coliseo was going to be anything memorable. So much of a quality mask match is the drama and crowd reactions. It was difficult to see how this pairing in that arena was going to have much either. I was wrong.
This seems so simple, but one of the reasons this match worked and felt bigger than its spot indicated was because the wrestlers wrestled the match like it was a big deal. That should be a given but we all know that unfortunately it is not. The rudo Flecha was aggressive from the opening whistle when he honored the tradition of attacking the tecnico in a mask match before he even has a chance to remove his jacket. Falls one and two are short but I would stop short of calling either one “rushed”. The first fall gets plenty of time to play out (about three minutes) and follows the standard structure of the rudo controlling the fall before the tecnico makes a late comeback. The pinning hold that earned Stuka Jr. the first fall was neat. Because Flecha dominated the first fall, the second (about 90 seconds in total) doesn’t come off terribly since Stuka had more or less taken a beating for the first four+ minutes of the match. It was a quick fall but we’ve all seen far worse.
The third fall gets plenty of time and runs about ten minutes. There are some really strong near falls throughout that resonated with me a decade later even knowing full well that Stuka Jr. is still walking around with his mask on. They resonate with the crowd too so either the outcome was legitimately up in the air or the wrestlers did an excellent job getting the fans to buy into what they were selling. Stuka does a whole host of neat pinning holds and roll ups in the decisive fall, but La Flecha impressed me the most. I never heard of him before watching this match, nonetheless seen him before. In my mind before watching the match, La Flecha was just some veteran who never made it for obvious reasons who was looking for a quick payday. And maybe that’s exactly what the deal was but Flecha wrestled far better than I imagined someone with his lack of notoriety would. Not only does he give a strong rudo performance versus Stuka Jr., but Flecha is perhaps just as impressive in this match in terms of flying and agility as his better known counterpart. The Skayde Special comes out of nowhere and the Asai Moonsault he lands later is also pretty awesome. Flecha goes non-stop the entire match and looks far more polished than I would have ever expected. Whether flying, using a submission for a near fall or running the ropes, he is spot on for most of the bout.
I have watched this match twice now, the second time just to make sure my initial opinion was not inflated by my moderate expectations. It wasn’t. The match holds up and because it was given time (while not being overbooked), it still feels fresh today. Mid-card mask matches tend to be forgettable, but this is one of the good ones.