Ultimo Guerrero vs. Mistico
The first (televised) singles match between longtime rivals Ultimo Guerrero and Mistico is highlighted by a unique and excellent match layout as well as some strong booking. The intent of the match is to get Guerrero over as the meanest rudo around and Mistico as both a courageous and crafty tecnico. To both of those ends, the match is a runaway success. That’s not to say the match is all booking – there is some quality wrestling in here as well including a pair of equally awesome (although for entirely different reasons) dives by Mistico. This match got a lot of MOTY buzz at the time and also had is detractors. If not a MOTY-level match, it is certainly a very good non-stipulation singles match that holds up rather well a decade later.
Mistico, Valiente, Volador Jr. vs. Kráneo, Mephisto, Ripper
January 4, 2016
Like a great many classic matches throughout history, this one began with the aging, spotlight-hogging referee serenading all of us with a little pre-match mic work.
When Tirantes did put the microphone down, the match that followed ended up being a rather fun – albeit also incredibly short – eight-minute sprint. Eight minutes is not a lot of time to cram three full falls into, but the Sky Team and their rudo challengers did about as good of a job as could be reasonably expected. The falls were rushed although none of the finishes felt premature, which is not always the case for short 3-fall matches.
Kraneo and Valiente handled the obligatory mat wrestling section at the start. That part was a lot of fun mainly because Kraneo is a ton of fun. His look is awesome (so is his leg drop) and his ability to move as fluidly as he does at his size is impressive. There was not anything out of the ordinary here from what you would expect, but it was all executed well. The rudos gained control shortly after the abbreviated opening, the Sky Team followed with a spirited comeback and then the rudos put the match away after triple teaming Mistico. The fall felt like a complete fall even with such a short run time.
The second fall was highlighted by the high-energy stretch run from the Sky Team. There were a couple of great spots in the mix while Kraneo also took a couple of big time bumps. The third fall contained the best segment of the entire match. After Mistico kicked Kraneo off of the apron, Volador hit a rather pedestrian tope that at best stunned the big guy. Valiente followed up with a bullet tope of his own where he nearly flew right through Kraneo. The tope seemed to legitimately knock Kraneo back farther than he anticipated as his backwards stumble looked legitimate and he had to walk back towards the ring several feet to put himself in position to catch Mistico’s dive.
The finish of the final fall was another positive. The rudos unmasked Mistico (we got a rather long and clear look at his face) but the mask pull (which often ends a fall) served only as a false finish. Volador Jr. made the save for is de-masked partner and quickly picked up the fall for his team.
Puebla main events seem to run short as a rule these days. It is unfortunate because some of the matches that have programmed in that slot – this one included – could definitely have reached a higher level with additional time. There is something to be said, however, for an all-action main event that can be watched with a few spare minutes. There are far worse ways to end a show.