La Sombra vs Ephesto, NWA World Welterweight Championship, 12/7/08
This was a strong Match of the Year contender.
It was a modern lucha match, so there was an emphasis on moves and nearfalls, but they managed to work this into quite a dramatic contest.
We often praise guys for working a crowd, but sometimes it's the crowd who can lift a match to greater heights and that was the impression I got here. Both guys seemed to grow in confidence from the crowd willing them on. Sombra's not the type of worker everyone's gonna love, but it was pleasing to hear such vocal support for a technico. Between the horns and the chants of Sombra!, he seemed to grow in stature, if not working ability.
A lot of the credit should go to the big bumping, big man Ephesto, who paced this match in the third fall. It's almost impossible to deliver a great rudo performance in this moves monopolised climate, but together with his second, they were able to protest the ref's ridiculous slow counts and build heat. He has well chosen offence for the moves game, and his bump into the apron almost singlehandedly catapaulted this into the very good territory.
The finishing stretch was ill advised, but just when you thought it would fall off the rails, they managed to tilt it back and Sombra got the explosive pop they were aiming for. Great technico celebration. The match was far from perfect, but on the whole it was overwhelmingly positive, and I think picking on one or two things would be quibbling. Two thumbs up.