Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Monday, March 21, 2016

MLJ: Sombra Spotlight 17: La Sombra & Mascara Dorada vs Jushin Liger & Hector Garza

2011-01-04 @ Tokyo Dome (Wrestle Kingdom V - Road to Fantastica Mania)
La Sombra & Mascara Dorada vs Jushin Liger & Hector Garza

This isn't at all my sort of match, a spotty, sloppy eight minute lucha spotfest. It's sort of what I thought all lucha was in 1998. It was fun and it achieved its goal for the most part and the idea of Garza and Liger as a team was too good to pass up. They're two of the best jerk heels in the history of wrestling, after all. It's worth it just to see them come out:

This was the big 1/4 Tokyo Dome show for 2011 and this match particular was to whet appetites for the upcoming Fantastica Mania tour, the first of such. The match had to be as stereotypically lucha-y as possible, with contortions and dives and armdrags and whatever else. There was a dive train in the middle and another at the end.

And there were botches. Lots of botches. Mascara Dorada was the worst offender as he consistently went for the most challenging things (including hitting that step up flip dive that is all the rage now five years before it was all the rage). He barely managed his rope walking at the start of the match, blew a run up arm drag on Liger (but recovered), and had some really rough headscissors. He's much more poised and polished now.

Sombra took it up to an extra level too, not conent to do planchas but having to spin on them. He put an extra rotation into his split-legged moonsault and finished the match with a twisting bodysplash of the top, scoring the pin and plenty of trash talk on Liger to set up their title match during the tour.

My favorite part was Liger and Garza working together. They had double team offense that ranged from fun (a lifting set up by Liger ending with a Garza kick:
to ridiculous (a catapult moonsault that just didn't quite work).

The crowd seemed to enjoy it, and it probably got people hyped for the tour, which was obviously a success as they're still doing it annually. It was nice to see Sombra stretch his athleticism just a little further both to see that he could hit some more advanced moves but also that he was savvy enough to show restraint and not do it every time out. It's nice to have something to escalate you.

I will say that this was probably the worst "Let's wait for the dive!" I've ever seen, but it's forgivable in the context: the dive was so insane that it probably sold tickets. How can you fault them not wanting to have Sombra kill himself with that in mind?

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