Pierrothito vs. Demus 3:16, CMLL 8/24/10
I can't be the only one who didn't know that Pequeño Damián 666 changed his name to Demus 3:16, can I?
This was the final of a "Bicentenial tournament" to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mexican independence and the 18th anniversary of CMLL's Mini-Estrella division, with the winner earning a shot in the regular CMLL weight classes much like Virus did many years ago. The finalists were determined with torneo cibernetico elimination matches, and in a neat piece of booking the final was rudo vs. rudo. Pequeño Damián has been one of the best workers in Mexico for a number of years now, and Pierrothito is a respected veteran of the Mini-Estrella division and a great worker in his own right, so this was one of those rare match-ups where you have two really good workers facing each other.
The first two falls here were a perfect example of how you can be compact but still natural through beautiful execution. The first caida was full of jockeying both on the mat and with pin attempts, and there were some neat shows of strength as both guys engaged in the lucha equivalent of puffing your chest out. Demus is a beast in terms of both his look and physique (probably the complete package in Mexico right now) and had Pierrothito's barrel chest to line up in this match, so he brought the stiffness early on. Both these guys are built like a brick shithouse with Pierrothito looking like a smaller version of Rick Steiner and Demus being a hefty guy with a big upper body, and given that they weigh more than many of their compadres they also have the force of that extra weight behind their moves. Demus did a plancha in the second caida, for example, that had some extra venom to it because of his larger build. Stiffness wasn't the only standout feature, however. The finishing stretch to the second caida was a really standard stringing together of moves, but the pacing was just right, and the moves were weighted in such a way that it was an important two or three moves which had been strung together. That may seem a lot of fuss over small details but getting those first two falls to mean something takes some skill in lucha libre. There are thousands of matches worked in Mexico each year; many of which are really quite innocuous or tepid at best (I'm trying to be more polite this year.) This match was for promotion into the higher ranks, and I, for one, appreciated the extra effort.
The third fall was the kicker, of course. Phil Schneider described the way the heavy hitting broke down into an actual slugfest as being like Frye vs. Takayama, which is an apt and clever description, but really the structure of the entire fall was brilliant. The only part that didn't work was the mask ripping and bladejob, which felt out of place but was clearly done to create a visual. It didn't really hamstring the match, however, as they were back to brawling within a few seconds, and to be honest it was better than IWRG. Early on in the third, they were like two bulls charging at each other, and then later, Pierrothito's headbutt and Demus' punch combos were just sick. This was a hell of a fight and probably my match of the year for 2010 lucha libre. Both of these guys have worked incredibly hard over the years and I was thrilled that they were able to have a match this good. And thanks to CMLL for letting it happen!
Pierrothito/Demus 3:16/Pequeño Warrior vs. Astral/Mascarita Dorada/Ultimo Dragoncito, CMLL 8/13/10
This was a beautiful match. On a certain level it was what you'd expect from the CMLL Mini-Estrella division, but either I haven't watched the minis in a while or they hit upon the perfect rhythm, because I thought this was sensational. It wasn't a particularly long match, but well balanced over the three falls. Particularly impressive was the beatdown section on Mascarita Dorada. One of the things that turned me off CMLL was that the rudos would basically do the same beatdown in the same order in every match on the card, but the beatdown here struck me as far more imaginative -- making good use of not only Dorada's size, but also enjoying their work. If you were a rudo, then Mascarita Dorada would be the perfect target: this small, weedy guy, who looks like the runt of the litter but at the same time is extremely virtuous. The enjoyment in beating the shit out of Mascarita Dorada would be quite the adrenaline rush, I imagine. Dorada, for his part, did a good job underfoot. It's hard for him to sell anything in his suit (aside from shaking his head about and flapping his arms), so bumping becomes more important and I liked the way he was chewed up and spat out in this match. He really is awesome. His big offensive run in the third caida was exciting as shit and everyone followed suit with cool spots. Even spots that are hopelessly set-up looked awesome in this match, and the finish was Demus at his decapitating best. The minis rule.
Two excellent matches from CMLL.