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Monday, October 27, 2014

MLJ: Virus Interlude: Virus vs Cachorro (Lightning)

Aired 2014-10-21
Taped 2014-10-21
Virus vs Cachorro (Lightning)

I really do want to take an extended view at Virus at some point, going back to his minis work. Now's not that point though. This dropped on the 21st, posted onto the internet by CMLL and I figured since I rarely do anything THIS up to date and because I haven't seen much Cachorro, I'd toss in a quick Monday interlude before starting on the next thing. The only thing that brings up a lessened expectation than "lightning match" is tournament lucha, but with these two I had higher hopes. Virus had been in that crazy lightning match vs Valiente, but I figured we'd get something a little more mat based here. I wasn't disappointed.

Virus is humbling in a lot of ways. I don't think I'm much taller than him, if at all, being a fairly scrawny 5'5". It's odd to realize that you'd probably have been shoehorned into being a mini. The whole world seems a little bigger and more foreboding. On the other hand, the sheer skill and versatility that Virus has developed his hugely impressive and inspirational. He grew out of his role and into a niche all his own. Cachorro was all over the Busca de un Idolo earlier this year, and he pops up on the master MOTY list a few times, including the Cavernario/Dragon Lee Jr./Negro Casas v. Virus/Hechicero/Cachorro match I'll get to at some point. He's Blue Panther's son, of course, and Virus helped to train him, which makes this match interesting.

This was paced very well for a lightning match. Usually, you'll see guys just throw a lot of stuff out there without much selling or purpose. This wasn't that at all. The first half of the match, or so, was Virus getting the better of Cachorro on the mat. They'd move from one hold to a counter and then out, with Cachorro looking great just because he could escape, but then acutely selling whatever he'd just been in, which got over the holds, Virus for putting them on, and Cachorro for escaping. There were little leg and arm picks and openings snatched but it always felt competitive.

Towards the middle they started to work in a few nearfalls and a bit of sequence. It all paid off with Cachorro reversing a hold into a stretch muffler and then knocking Virus out so he could hit a tope suicida. After that, they went on towards the finishing stretch, with Virus hitting an armdrag on the way back in to regain advantage and Cachorro appealing to the crowd and working from beneath for a little bit. He made a solid little comeback, highlighted by a roll through of Virus, leaving him in a sitting position so he could hit a quick second rope move on him, followed immediately thereafter by the cut off, which let Virus hit a nice looking revenge spot off the ropes. Finally, Virus went along with an arm drag attempt, which is a great spot more people should steal, and, catching Cachorro off guard, locked in some sort of crazy pretzel submission for the win. They shook hands after the match.

So far as lightning matches go, you might get one with more crazy spots or maybe that was more focused on a specific story element, but for something with a mat-based build and escalation, this was one of the best I've seen (which might not be saying THAT much), especially in the pacing. Cachorro had some moments of near-awkwardness when he was trying some of his more athletic spots, but all in all, he did a great job hanging in there. The sheer versatility of Virus is sort of amazing. It's crazy that he was able to perform so differently in something like the 2009 Valiente lightning match and then do this. He really is one hell of a talent and I'll have to see much more of him at some point.

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