Delta, Fuego y Guerrero Maya Jr. vs. Hechicero, Hombre sin Nombre y Virus, CMLL 11/11/14
A good trios match is hard to find these days. I don't know if you can expect anything great from a trios match anymore. They're almost like a dead art form. I'd take something with a little rhythm, but even that's a challenge these days.
This was praised for its matwork, but honestly the Virus/Maya exchanges weren't on the level of Virus' title match work this year. I won't complain about Virus getting extra minutes on the mat, but a little sobriety is needed before dishing out the praise. You could tell it wasn't that great when they signaled for the stalemate and the atmosphere was less than electric. Hechicero and Delta worked harder at breaking through each other's defences and their exchange ended on a more competitive note than Virus'. It wasn't the prettiest of exchanges, but better than the Virus section. Some of that was on Maya, who was disappointing in this despite being given the chance to shine, but it wasn't top drawer Virus either. Hechicero's not in Virus' league as a mat worker, but he uses his height to great effect and this time round I actually saw a lot of similarities between Fiera and him.
Hombre sin Nombre was goofy to say the least. He reminded me of that odd period when Virus was still Damiancito El Guerrero and had just graduated to wrestling normal sized people. Virus was a waif at the time with a similar sort of get-up. He wasn't too bad I guess; Hombre, that is. I've seen worse even in the boom times. Virus injecting himself while Fuego gyrated was a nice touch, but I was perplexed when it didn't signal the finish. I'm so used to synchronized finishes where they all rush in and eat a pin fall or submission that it didn't occur to me the match would continue. A lot of people hate those finishes in lucha; I suppose they've become a comfort to me. The matches lack something in rhythm without them and come across as far less polished. Hechicero took the fall with a nasty looking submission, but it seemed disconnected from the rest of the match. The rudos didn't even set a screen to prevent the tecnicos from interfering. It was as though there was a basic lack of teamwork; the very backbone of trios wrestling.
The second fall began with some sharp looking legwork from Virus that didn't really go anywhere before Maya and Hechicero had a spirited exchange. Mechanically it wasn't that great, but again the purpose and intent were clear, and some of Hechicero's takedowns have a shoot like quality to them that you don't see too often in lucha. In another sign that trios wrestling is dead, they tried mixing things up for the finish with one pin canceling out the other, but it was like trying to light a fire with wet matches.
The tercera began like a weak primera caida, and ironically when they started working together as tandem like I asked for it was an uncoordinated mess. Virus' work with Delta was fluid, but the rest of the exchanges were unspectacular. They front loaded this match with a long primera caida and a flashy finishing sequence in the second fall, and couldn't do anything to top it in the third fall. That's just limp wrestling. At least the mano a mano showdown between Hechicero and Maya had some bite. Of course it wasn't built to in any sort of meaningful way, but at least you came out of the contest thinking that a singles match between the two would be a decent power contest. Hechicero was the best worker in the match by a country mile, but couldn't right the ship structurally.
All of this raises the question of who, or what, killed trios wrestling. On one hand, the workers tried to step outside the box and move away from the generic CMLL style trios work that's plagued Arena Mexico for much of this decade. On the other hand, they stumbled. I've always maintained that you don't need that many cooks to have a great trios match. Just an Atlantis/Lizmark/Solar/Santo type tecnico on one side and at least two great rudos on the other. It would have helped matters considerably if Maya could be that ring general, but he's unfortunately not that talented. That puts the onus on rudos like Hechicero, Virus, Arkangel de la Muerte, and others, to really carry these matches, and I don't think we saw that here. Trim a bit of the fat, put the more spectacular stuff towards the end, make it all about Hechicero vs. Maya, and it would have been much better. The effort wasn't there this year, perhaps synonymous with the downturn in business. When the two most pimped trios matches of the year disappoint that should signal troubling times for lucha fans. Trios are the lifeblood of lucha libre and need to be better than this. Perhaps the lack of great trios wrestling was offset by how much people enjoyed the short one fall matches, but with the old school apuesta match going the way of the dodo, I'd hate to see another tradition lost.