The one-hour Puebla CMLL show featured two matches that I want to check out, and the two matches overlap on the uploaded videos, so I am doing both matches in the same post. Something a little bit different.
Sombra vs. Psicosis II
13 March, 2011
Arena Puebla; Puebla, Mexico
Loco Max vs. Escorpion
13 March, 2011
Arena Puebla; Puebla, Mexico
Hair vs. Hair Match
The first match on the show was actually the main event of the live arena show - Sombra vs. Psicosis. This match was not as good as their previous match that I reviewed here, but not a bad match. Psicosis getting the first pinfall quickly led me to believe they might be going the Ultimo Guerrero route of short/short/long as far as match structure, but instead we got two pretty long falls to round it out. This was far from a "great" match, but I do not think that they were mailing it in at all. Based on having already watched the hair vs. hair match that actually took place before this match live, I would say the crowd was probably a little burned out when this match rolled around, and even though they did some nice stuff, they were not gonna pop for it and be as intense as they were for the apuesta match.
Which is probably why the "locals" should have been put on last. But, they have to serve a few masters here, so the locals were up third on the card, and the main event guys worked the main.
"Why is it that the locals couldn't be the main event?" you ask? Well, it is a somewhat long but simple story.
Arena Puebla is actually an arena that is not owned by CMLL, it is just an affiliate promoter that books CMLL wrestlers into the arena. While it would be crazy expensive to book 5-6 matches worth of wrestlers from Mexico City twice a week, it is reasonable to book -3 matches worth. The promoters are happy because they get top drawing CMLL talent, and they can also book 2-3 matches worth of local guys to save money (and have local draws). The big catch, however, is that if you want to book any time of big apuesta match (or even a title match, to an extent), you would have to book it thru CMLL. Now, do you think CMLL is going to book out a bigtime mask vs. mask or hair vs. hair match to an affiliate promoter, or do you think that CMLL would keep that for themselves, and use it to draw a big crowd to Arena Mexico? So, if the Puebla promoters want to build a big feud, they have to do it with the locals.
Escorpion vs. Loco Max is an odd match. Escorpion has kinda floated around for around a decade, never really catching on anywhere. Loco Max was a local Puebla wrestler, until getting snatched up about a decade ago to become an preliminary guy in Mexico City. Loco Max has a defined role as a gate-keeper of sorts. He is a veteran rudo that will put his hair on the line against up-and-coming tecnicos as they move up the cards. Escorpion has become one of the top local guys in Puebla. So, this match actually had intrigue, because you had a situation where the local guy was going to get an apuesta match with a national guy, and the local guy had a pretty damn good shot at winning.
However, as is now obvious only a few weeks later, Escorpion is headed to Mexico City. Essentially what this match may have been was a tryout. Escorpion is younger and has a bigger upside, but could easily fill the same role in Mexico City as Loco Max. Loco Max in turn is the veteran looking to hold on to his spot.
Add in a few of these factors, and what you have here is a pretty damn intense match, where the winner is not real obvious. This match has a lot of brawling, and is not a textbook "lucha" match full of flips and crazy high flying. Instead, what you have here are two gentlemen working the crowd into a frenzy with their hatred for each other.
This match was well worked by both men, and the crowd was into every near fall. The fact that this was Loco Max was a key element to this match. First, he is going to work his ass off, because he is looking to keep his spot. Second, Max has lost his hair often enough that the fans buy that the local guy could in fact win this one. At the same time, the fact that Max is a Mexico City guy makes Escorpion the underdog to start. The match has mystery and intrigue to it that you wouldn't have had if you had done something like Escorpion vs Texano Jr.