Virus v Blue Panther (CMLL, 5/12/13) - EPIC
So this is leading to a lengthy singles match between the two, right? Or even better, a lengthy singles feud where we get a bunch of lengthy singles matches and trios focused on said feud. Right? I don't even care if it doesn't go the Panther/Casas route of them stomping the absolute dogshit out of each other every time they match up; if they stick to doing this every time then I'll be completely content. I mean, this was pretty much everything you want in a ten minute Virus v Blue Panther primer. Whole match is more or less worked on the mat, and it ruled like you hoped it would. I get the standard criticisms of lucha. Most of them don't really bother me and the rest don't bother me at all. Some of those criticisms are actually things I find add to the charm of lucha in general. I hear the criticism that lucha matwork can look too "exhibitiony" and/or holds are given up too easily. Most people that like lucha have heard that criticism. It's like Dylan fans hearing non-Dylan fans say his voice is too nasaly and they can't understand what he's saying. I've managed to get people who don't like Dylan to listen to Blood on the Tracks, and they've wound up coming out of it saying it was really depressing and his voice was too nasaly. I've managed to get people who don't like lucha to watch IWRG matches that I love, and they've wound up coming out of it saying it felt too exhibitiony and holds were given up too easily. I understand that criticism of IWRG because there are absolutely matches where guys like Navarro and Solar will take turns at tying each other up, letting go, then seeing what the other guy can come back with. I actively enjoy that aspect of it, but I get why others don't, especially if you're not high on lucha (and, by extension, lucha matwork) in the first place. This wasn't that. This was two masters struggling for everything and giving no ground, and it was grade A fucking awesome. There's one bit where Panther is trying to lock in a Tapatia, but Virus just will not give up his arms. Panther then starts twisting the ankle so Virus rolls over to alleviate the pressure, and that opens up a whole new world of possibilities for a guy with as many holds in the holster as Panther. "Human chess match" is a cliché term, but if it applies to any match, it applies to this. And if this isn't the precursor to something bigger...
Virus, Puma & Misterioso Jr. v Fuego, Hijo del Fantasma & Hombre Bala Jr. (CMLL, 5/19/13) - GOOD
Shockingly enough, Virus looked great yet again. Of everything I've watched so far, he's probably my frontrunner for Best in the World (or Best in the Mexico, because I doubt I'll watch much from anywhere else). The early exchange with Fuego was really good and picked up where the October '12 title match left off. I don't have much of an opinion on the technicos either way, but they all looked good here. Hombre Bala Jr. hits a killer tornillo in the third caida, Hijo del Fantasma takes out Puma and Misterioso Jr. with a sweet Dustin Rhodes-esque clothesline from the ramp into the ring, and Fuego's tope con hilo in the third was totally spectacular. But this was mostly about the rudos. I've mostly been talking about your Viruses and Panthers and Negro Casas' since I started going through this stuff, but CMLL has a ton of great supporting cast guys like Namajague and Puma. Puma was a really fun shithead in this. At one point he kicks the middle rope as Fantasma goes to springboard off it causing him to splat on his neck. Misterioso is in hyper dickhead mode and is all rudo posturing and douchebag behaviour. He pulls the top and middle ropes apart as Fantasma is about to run them, and that causes Fantasma to splat on his neck again, only this time on the ramp. For the finish he just decides fuck it and rips off Fantasma's mask. Then he puts the boots to him while Fantasma tries to cover up.
Complete & Accurate Virus