Rey Hechicero v Charles Lucero (Monterrey, 8/4/13)
Well this was exceptional. Every time I've seen Hechicero over the last five or so years he's been really great. I haven't exactly followed current wrestling closely in a while, so maybe I just haven't read a ton about him, but he feels like one of the best wrestlers in the world that hardly anybody is talking about. Lucero is a guy I'm not even sure I've seen before. Luchawiki confirms what I thought about him - dude's old - and suggest he's primarily a Monterrey guy. I think I've watched less Monterrey in recent years than I've watched TNA, so that probably explains why I haven't seen much(any?) of him before (although Hechicero is mostly a Monterrey guy as well so who knows). Match is really an awesome blend of lucha maestros matwork (I guess Hechicero isn't really a maestro (as in, he's not that old), but the match is paced like that) and lucha title match build. First caida is supreme. Both guys just rip it up on the mat and there were about six holds that I'd never seen before. Lucero is slower and feels more like a Navarro type, whereas Hechicero is quicker and has a bit more snap to everything. In true grumpy old man fashion Lucero will get fed up and punch him in the dish. Second caida is like the calm before the storm that is the tercera, but Hechicero's submission at the end of it looked absolutely killer. Like most of your super high end lucha title matches, the third caida is what really pushes this into the upper tier. Everything builds really well, then Hechicero goes and brains himself by taking a fucking screwball headfirst bump into the front row off a missed tope. They run about fifteen replays, and every single angle makes it look insane (because it was). The doc is out trying to stick a neck brace on him while Lucero tries to go in for the kill, then HE goes and takes a nutso bump off the apron and the doc is ready to stop the whole thing before someone literally dies. The final submission is the kind of thing that makes you think, "yeah, that was a fucking lucha title match." The spot before it probably also broke every rib that Lucero had left. I won't watch a truckload of wrestling from this year, but even if I wound up watching everything, I can't imagine finding more than five matches better than this.
Virus, Cancerbero & Raziel v Magnus, Stigma & Starman (CMLL, 2/24/13)
I dug this a ton. Honestly, I thought the first caida here was up there with just about any opening caida that I've seen in a long time. I loved all three Cancerberos in this, but Virus especially looked incredible. His opening exchange with Stigma was really awesome, but he was great any time he was doing something, no matter who it was with. Stigma looked really crisp and can obviously go on the mat considering he was hanging with fucking Virus himself. I'll try and check out some more of his stuff from this year. Los Cancerberos were pretty awesome shitheads in the third caida, instigating a mugging then back-pedalling when it blew up in their faces. Virus gets into a slap exchange, then when he thinks it's going south he just waves his hands and leaves the ring like, "nope, this is not fun after all." Cancerbero gets caught in between Starman and Magnus on the ramp, and he has this great "okay, let's just be friends" reaction to it. It's like they're just waiting for the right moment to strike, then it presents itself and the niceties are thrown out the window like you and I and everybody else knew they would be. Virus is probably the best wrestler on the planet at this point in time.
Astral & Shockercito v Demus 3:16 & Pierrothito (CMLL, 3/29/13)
Well shit, maybe it's actually Demus who's the best wrestler on the planet at this point in time. If I'm going to sit and watch guys run through highspots in 2013 then the CMLL minis are the guys I want to sit and watch run through highspots, and this was a hell of a highspot showcase. At one point Shockercito gets monkey flipped onto Demus' shoulders where he then headscissors him to the floor, and it probably would've been the best spot of 2013 if Rey Hechicero hadn't torperdo'd himself into a fixed seat five months later. Demus was fucking outstanding as your rudo base here, though. Well, both rudos were great bases, but Demus was on a whole 'nother level (and not just as a base, either). He tears into Shockercito for being tiny, then later on he and Pierrothito literally chuck him all the way across the ring. When the technicos run into him and Demus doesn't budge, you can buy that. He's such a stocky little fucker that it's probably like running into a garage door, especially when you're a midget. He also bites Astral's fingers and nipples, which I guess is exactly the kind of offence you expect out of a guy that looks like Demus. The powerbomb he kills Astral with before the finish also looked horrific. This was just a ton of fun.