Silver Star vs. Charles Lucero, UWA World Middleweight Championship, 6/22/14
This was a beautiful match. The type of match you could easily imagine Lucero having in his prime. Really authentic lucha maestros wrestling; the type of title match wrestling you don't see much of these days. To be fair, it probably wouldn't go over too well at Arena Mexico, but it's great to see two practitioners carrying on the art form as there aren't too many connections to old school Monterrey left anymore. The first fall was a classic lucha fall with all of the takedowns, reversals and castigos you'd expect from a title match. Lucero's work wasn't all that smooth, and he mistimed a couple of spots like the finish to the second caida, which he almost failed to hook, but like the momentum in a great title fight, I thought his missteps added to the drama. Silver Star has slowed down a lot over the years, but he wrestled a smart fight here. I would have given it to him on points if he hadn't forced a result. I actually thought it was a much more assured performance from Star than their previous fight. The only negative thing I'll say about these two is that they don't make much contact on their topes. It's fair enough that they're protecting themselves, but they don't look good and I have a hard time rationalising them as part of the narrative.
Silver Star vs. Charles Lucero, Terraza Elma, Monterrey, 6/29/14
This was a mano a mano bout from an afternoon LLN spot show. Later on, they worked an evening show where they tagged against each other. The smaller venue meant they wrestled a tighter match with a lot of close quarters action. Lucero's execution was better in this match, but a mano a mano this isn't really comparable with the to's and fro's of a title match. It was a nice companion piece, but I'll take an old school title match over this.
Arkángel de la Muerte vs. Gallo, FULL World Championship, CMLL 6/21/14
Arkangel de la Muerte is a favourite of the Segunda Caida boys so they were pretty excited about this one. I don't have any special attachment to Arkangel, so my reaction was a bit more subdued. In fact, with Gallo being a Guadalajara local doing a rooster gimmick and the pair feuding over some belt from a Chilean promotion, it struck me as more of a novelty that the match-up made it all the way to Mexico City than a great singles opportunity for a lucha maestro. I appreciate that Arkangel is a great base for young flyers, but I'm not that a fan of his style. He reminds me of more of a 'puro' worker than a classic luchador. That's useful in this day and age, and probably the reason why he works so well with the up and comers, but I like my lucha to be distinctly "lucha" and not a homogenized form of borderless indy wrestling. I don't want to say that Arkangel is the antithesis of Charlie Lucero, but if you enjoy the modern style you'll get more out of this than I did. Arkangel has great execution as well as being a real details guy, and there were some cool spots like the the slingshot Tapitia the Segunda guys talked about.
Dragon Lee vs. Hechicero, CMLL 5/20/14
This started off pretty well with Hechicero using his wrestling skills to ground Dragon Lee, but soon unraveled when Lee was given too much leeway on offence. Three times was too many for the story they were telling. Tensions were supposed to be boiling over. Hechicero almost connected on a soccer kick, which Lee took exception to, but they needed to do a better job with the niggly aspects. The pull apart at the end was far from convincing and should have been built to better. The dives should have been cut and Lee left frustrated that he couldn't hit one. That's how I would have played it, but as critical as I'm being it's hard not to be in awe of Lee's dives. He may be the most exciting guy since Freelance.
Dragon Lee vs. Cavernario, CMLL 4/29/14
This didn't have the highs of the Hechicero/Lee match, but it was a good example of how much better Cavernario is at building his matches. Really simple stuff with Cavernario controlling the early going before Lee makes a comeback and the two start trading nearfalls, but it's straightforward and easy to follow and the kind of coaxing rhythm that's familiar to long time lucha fans. It could have done with a few highs from the Hechicero match to top it off, and I wish Cavernario would think of a better way to set-up his finisher, but I definitely came out of this tournament with a higher opinion of Cavernario than Hechicero.