Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Project 33" - Match #130: Mistico vs. Averno

Mistico vs. Averno
30 January, 2005?
Arena Coliseo; Guadalajara, Mexico
NWA Middleweight Championship Match

Part 2

So, a number of people have asked me in the last few days to tell them a little bit about Averno.  According to Superluchas and Luchablog, Averno has signed a deal with the WWE to come in as a rival of Sin Cara, the former Mistico.  For those unaware, Mistico and Averno were arch-enemies in CMLL, and there were years invested in building up to their mask-vs-mask match - which were all for naught when Mistico left for the WWE. 

Averno was a run-of-the-mill midcard rudo in CMLL for years, until a string of singles matches caught the attention of the right people, and he was paired up with Mephisto alongside Ultimo Guerrero.  Not only would Averno & Mephisto go on to become perhaps the best tag team in Mexico, but Averno would make himself a bonafide main event player with his matches against Mistico. 

Mistico himself was an opening match tecnico, but in mid-2004 he was given a new gimmick and a push.  Averno was the seasoned rudo that they put in matches with Mistico to provide a solid base for Mistico's high-flying offense - and boy did they click!  Mistico took the NWA Middleweight Championship from Averno on January 1, 2005, and in the following month, the duo had two lauded five-star matches; the first was in Arena Coliseo Guadalajara (which is the match above), and the second was the more widely seen match from Arena Mexico on February 11th.  Both matches saw fans throwing money in the ring afterwards, the ultimate sign of respect by the fans in Mexico.  For the rest of 2005 and 2006, Averno would challenge Mistico for the NWA Championship, and the two would square off in numerous trios and duos matches. 

Although the matches would actually become somewhat routine, they always seemed to be crisp, and the fans always got into them.  In almost every match, Mistico would triumph in the third fall by locking Averno in La Mistica for the submission.  The fans were rabid for the mask-vs-mask match between the two men, but as I said earlier, before it could happen Mistico left for the WWE.  Now, with Averno already having one foot out of the door, it appears the Averno mask will end up in the trophy room of La Mascara, before he heads to the WWE to make Sin Cara into the star that Averno made Mistico into. 

I hate to see Averno go.  He was a solid wrestler who always was able to make his opponents look good - be it Mistico, Sombra, Volador Jr, Mascara Dorada, or La Mascara.  Averno earned a spot at the top of CMLL cards because he was a solid dependable base for the younger high-flying tecnicos; in many ways Averno was almost like a clone of Ultimo Guerrero.  In fact, if there is anyone that could argue for being the "Ace" of CMLL aside from Guerrero over the last few years, it was Averno.  Personally, I would list Averno as one of the top ten wrestlers on the planet right now, in terms of pure "workrate" and laying out a match.  I have actually said a few times over the course of Project 33 that I think Guerrero may be the better wrestler, but that I like Averno's match formula slightly better. 

As for his future in the WWE, there is no doubt in my mind that Averno is going to have a series of good matches with Sin Cara.  However, there is not a doubt in my mind that he is coming to the WWE solely for the purpose of getting Sin Cara over.  After that is accomplished, the real question about his future begins.  Maybe he will turn the right heads and get a push - but his height and his build would seem to be negatives in WWE's land of juiced up giants.  He does not speak English to my knowledge, which is a drawback.  He is a helluva worker, but so are a ton of guys that do not get a push in the WWE.  Averno has to be looking at the possibility of being used like Kaientai were (brought in to make Taka Michunoku look good), or perhaps like a Silver King/El Dandy/Psicosis/Super Calo in WCW - a bump machine who was there to make others look good, but who would never get a real push. 

The positive for Averno has to be the payday however, for him to walk away from a main event spot in CMLL (and apparently burning bridges on the way out).  Averno is by no means a young man, so he must be getting a big contract in order to give up the security he has in CMLL.  Good for him, but it sucks for those of us that enjoyed watching him practice his craft in the rings of CMLL. 

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