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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

MLJ: 2010: Mistico Interlude 4: Mistico vs Volador - Mano a Mano

Taped 2010-02-05 @ Arena Mexico
Volador, Jr. vs Mistico

8:35 in

I'll say this: when it comes to booking, CMLL is both better and worse than a thousand monkeys with typewriters. Occasionally, they'll hit on something interesting like the dual Averno/Mistico masks and their pairing in the parejas increibles tournament. The monkeys would too. Most of the time, though, it's just business as usual without anything wildly terrible. This is business as usual but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Volador needed the win here to set up the title match the next week. He got the win. All of that was really straightforward.

What was interesting about this match was Mistico's heeling. It's nothing I want to revisit anytime soon but I remember really enjoying Hulk Hogan's performance at Road Wild 96 against the Giant because it was obvious he was reveling in being a heel for the first time in fifteen odd years. He Memphis stalled. He raked the eyes repeatedly. He begged off. It's more fun to be a heel. You make more money as a babyface selling gimmicks and the crowd adoring you seems nice and all, but I think every wrestler I ever heard an interview with said that they'd rather be the heel. You have more fun and you control the pace of the match. Hogan was having fun there and Mistico sure as hell seemed to be having the time of his life here. Even better, the crowd ate it up huge.

By this point, it's pretty safe to say that I'm not a big Volador fan. He can take a beating well enough and hit snappy comeback offense in a light-hearted trios match, but he comes off as the sort of wrestler that'll add one extra flip just for the hell of it and frankly, he just irritates me. The crowd was behind him for a lot of this match but I think that had a lot more to do with Mistico. Volador had come out in all white, maybe to symbolize the difference between him and Mistico or something. Mistico had a green alien looking mask with the Averno horns.

In general, I think that Volador brings out some of the worst in Mistico, but it wasn't really an issue here like it would be in the title match. There weren't a lot of exchanges. The story of the match was Mistico beating up Volador somehow and then forcing some distance so that he could play to the crowd more. He'd drop him on the rampway so he could superkick him and then come back into the ring and pose. He'd pick him up and lawn dart him into the pole outside so that he could role in and mock the fans. He'd set him up in a tree of woe and then hang out on the apron, kicking him in the spine a few times, before hopping in and prancing around the ring. Finally, to end the primera, he just brazenly ripped Volador's mask off for the DQ, then taunting him up and down as the ref counted while he ran back to get a new mask.

Meanwhile, as the crowd got more and more livid, they'd cut off or at least cut short Volador's comeback attempts. He'd take advantage of the posing and knock Mistico out only to get kicked in the head when he went for a dive. When Volador finally armdragged Mistico from the outside in and went for a springboard move, he ate a dropkick on the way down. They teased it well and then paid off perfectly for the match. Mistico took one too many breaks to pose and Volador hit a spinning armdrag out of nowhere, followed by two big dives in a row and a springboard plancha in. In this case, I thought the multiple dives worked since the match, up til here, warranted them.

It was Volador's big chance to take over and take the win. He followed it up with a Mistico attempt but got shoved off and then, with after convincing the ref to look away for a moment, Mistico tossed his own mask at Volador to draw the DQ. It was a great moment since it sort of snatched Volador's comeback away from him in the most rudo-ish manner. He followed it up in the tercera by going even more over the top, asking for a handshake, ducking out of the ring to avoid an exchange, and then crotching Volador on the top rope.

They ended up trading convoluted moves off the top while their opponent was draped over the ropes and hit a few more bombs before Volador blocked a Mistica and locked in one of his own for the win. Post match, they threatened each other in their ripped masks. All in all, I liked this a lot. I think at times, Mistico went a little too far over the top in playing to the crowd. I like crowd interaction but there was so much here that it almost stopped meaning anything. Also, while the cut off to Volador's comeback in the segunda was beautifully dickish, I don't think he really had a moment in the tercera where he seemed triumphant to the level that the match needed. He won, yes, but he needed more of a heated bloodfeud comeback at the end of the match instead of a glitchy spinny move one and that just wasn't there. Still, this was fun enough to be good, absolutely.

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