Sunday, May 08, 2011

"Project 33" - Match #122 - Hirooki Goto vs. Ultimo Guerrero

Hirooki Goto vs. Ultimo Guerrero
29 April, 2011
Arena Mexico; Mexico City, Mexico
CMLL Heavyweight Championship Match

Part 2   Part 3

The entrances for this match start at about the 9:00 mark in the first video.

This match was pretty damn good, and  once again showed why Ultimo Guerrero is CMLL's "ace".  He may or may not be their biggest draw, or even a "maestro" like Panther or Casas, but Ultimo Guerrero is the guy that the promoters and matchmakers can go to and know with certainty will deliver a great match no matter who he is in the ring with.  We have just seen it so many times. 

What we have here is Hirooki Goto, a top talent from New Japan who had been in CMLL on a foreign excursion for a couple months.  Goto has typically rode the fence between heavyweight/junior in NJPW, holding gold as a junior, but winning the annual G1 Tournament as a heavy.  For his 2011 stint in CMLL, he was built up to challenge Guerrero on this particular show.  With NJPW wrestlers having won CMLL championships and taken them back to Japan, the possibility of Goto winning the championship here was realistic, as Guerrero has held the championship long enough now that people are going to start pondering when he will lose it.

The match starts with some solid back and forth wrestling, which makes me think for a split second that maybe Guerrero is abandoning his typical formula here, but as soon as that thought crosses my mind, Goto hits a rolling leglock on Guerrero to get the submission in the first fall.  To his credit, Guerrero sells the damage from the leglock for the rest of the match.  This didnt stop Guerrero from quickly getting a submission of his own to even the falls up however, and the UGF (Ultimo Guerrero Formula) is in full effect!

In typical UGF style, the third fall is the bulk of the match, about fifteen minutes, with a lot of great nearfalls for both men.  Guerrero still hits his trademark highspots in the typical order, and for the first time I realize that Ultimo Guerrero is a lot like Bret Hart in that sense.  In this case Goto is hitting some great stuff back, and both men are making the nearfalls really close, and the crowd is buying into them big time.  Guerrero uncharacteristically goes up top after Goto eats the top rope inverted suplex, which is a change-up in UG's version of the "Five Moves of Doom".  Guerrero goes for a Senton bomb, but misses, and Goto nails a top rope elbow for a big close nearfall.  Goto them makes the mistake of going up top, and gets caught by Guerrero in the Guerrero Especial, but kicks out at two.  Goto then hooks Guerrero's arms and rolls over for a backslide pin of sorts, but Guerrero quickly reverses it into his own version, and gets the pinfall.

The crowd was really hot for this match, which shows that the UGF works... I just wish every title match or singles match involving Guerrero didn't work that way - and that this particular match structure did not permeate the layout for all of CMLL's "big matches".

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