Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Project 33" - Match #21 - Sangre Azteca vs Dragon Rojo

Sangre Azteca vs. Dragon Rojo
16 December, 2008
Arena Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
Mexican Welterweight Championship Match



Part 2  Part 3

Sangre Azteca is in many ways, a poor man's Ultimo Guerrero.  He isn't as big, and isn't quite as good, but in a lot of ways he has the same sort of charisma and air about him.  He is pretty damn good in the ring too.  He would be a great example of someone that if a group like TNA or something really wanted to bring in a luchador full time, they could perhaps get them, because Azteca doesnt seem to be moving up the cards anymore, but is still young.

Dragon Rojo (Jr.) is a favorite of mine.  At this point he was just given the "Dragon Rojo Jr." gimmick by CMLL, as he had recently debuted with the company as Diamante Negro, and was gaining momentum as an up-and-coming young tecnico.  What is ironic is that two years later, Rojo has essentially taken Azteca's spot as the young but experienced rudo at the top of the card (the rudo equivalent of La Mascara; see two posts prior!). Azteca has somewhat been left out in the cold with Rojo teaming with Atlantis, Ultimo Guerrero, and Negro Casas in main events - a level CMLL never really pushed Azteca to.

At this point in time, this was just a match to showcase both Rojo and Azteca, and it does a damn good job at that.  I like how this one-on-one match is given a healthy amount of time, and the two do not waste it.  Throughout the first two falls especially, there is a ton of awesome mat work and exchanges.  These guys actually put on a great, clean technical championship match.

As the third fall heats up, both men start going for bigger and bigger moves, and you can see the fans rallying behind Rojo, but actually cheering for the work of both men.  The double countout finish worked for me, simply because you do not see countouts very much in Mexico, and almost never in championship matches.  That finished helped elevate Rojo without giving him the championship.  Over the course of the next two years, CMLL would start depending on Rojo to have excellent one-on-one championship matches, without winning them.

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