Rush vs. Shocker, hair vs. hair, CMLL 3/21/14
This wasn't your papa's hair vs. hair match, but then what is these days? I was ready to write this off as another CMLL apuesta match that fails to keep the traditions alive, but they actually won me over with their physicality. It wasn't as measured as an old-school hair match where they flail about selling, but they hit each other hard and there was even a bit of hard way blood. They rushed through it even quicker on TV, but at least there was no let up. Rush is like a modern, super athletic version of Perro Aguayo, and Shocker is this fat, middle-aged Guapo, who's rediscovered his admiration for the craftsmanship of lucha through regular brawls. This was spotty, but it was good spotty, and even though it was Shocker's first hair loss they didn't beat you over the head with those cinematic narratives that everyone's so fond of these days. There was just a lot of stomping.
Rush, Marco Corleone y La Mascara vs. Negro Casas, Shocker y Ripper, CMLL 3/28/14
This continued the whole Perro Aguayo/Sangre Chicana/Faraon thing that Rush, Casas and Shocker have going on, but was otherwise worthless.
Magno vs. Cassandro, Arena Kalaka 3/23/14
I dig Cassandro's indy-fied version of lucha and it was cool to see it in a Mexican setting. This may be the most pleasing one fall lucha possible, and Cassandro's bumping was beyond the call of duty for a tiny gig in Ciudad Juarez, but that's Cassandro for you I suppose. Few wrestlers show the same attention to detail and commitment to selling night in, night out and certainly not after so many years of performing. A fabulous worker who doesn't get enough of the spotlight.
Villano IV vs. Chessman, AAA Latin American Championship, AAA 3/16/14
This would have made a good mano a mano bout if it hadn't been a title match, but eh, it's the closest thing to an old-school Villanos brawl in the old Monterrey bullring we'll get to see, if you can excuse the bright blue, six-sided ring. There was plenty of Villanos style "technical brawling" along with punching, and of course blood. Chessman didn't bother me, even if he can only really work by setting up and executing high spots rather than any sort of fluid sequences. The only erroneous thing he did was the obvious blade job. Some people complained about the finish, and while the execution wasn't that great, I thought it was a great way to knock the stuffing out of an old warrior like Villano IV.
Atlantis vs. Negro Casas, CMLL 1/27/14
There was a time when this would have been a dream match. Obviously, that time is not now, but curiosity got the better of me on this one and I was pleasantly surprised. It was a short brawl and inconsequential, but Atlantis' selling was excellent and his comebacks made this feel more complete than any of the short lucha matches of the past few years. For what it's worth, I thought this was better than the Virus/Panther or Panther/Casas lightning matches. Definitely sensed the potential for an apuesta match between the two if CMLL ever head down that route.
Hechicero vs. Barbero Cavernerio, CMLL 4/8/14
This was a bit over-hyped. Hechicero has long been the best wrestler in Mexico not working for either CMLL or AAA and Barbero Cavernerio is fun in Puebla under card matches, but they didn't exactly set the world on fire here. When Hechicero was in control it felt like he was working a regular match on fast forward, trying to hit the same points you would in a two-out-of-three falls match in tournament wrestling, and when Cavernerio was in control it slowed down without a proper heat segment on Hechicero, who had just taken a big spill on a missed dive. Hechicero's comeback wasn't one to get the blood flowing and the whole thing felt like a series of spots between two wrestlers you're supposed to like.