Segunda Caida

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

Friday, March 25, 2016

MLJ: Sombra Spotlight 19: La Sombra vs Mephisto © [NWA WELTER]

2011-03-13 @ Arena México
La Sombra vs Mephisto © [NWA WELTER]

6:49 in

I'm still under the notion that some people not at all familiar with CMLL might be reading these because they want a primer on Sombra's career. In that case I should take a moment to explain the NWA World Historic Welterweight Championship and how it differed from the NWA World Welterweight Championship, but it really doesn't matter. I could go into Mephisto too, but all you really need to know is that he was a former tecnico that Satanico used dark magic to make into a rudo. He's good at his job, but his job is never very interesting.

This was a big match for Sombra and also a good way to see how far he'd come in singles title matches. And he'd come far. This was a very competant match, which doesn't sound too impressive, but it felt like it accomplished what it set out to do and that doesn't always happen in a match like this.

The hardest part in a title match, debatably at least, is the wrestling-centric primera. It needs to be long enough, with enough competitive, engaging matwork. None of what Sombra and Mephisto did was particular dynamic, but it  hit the other marks. Past a nice Mephisto bridge, they were basically doing simple things well, but they spent enough time doing it well that Sombra came off as credible and deserving. Like a lot of these, it escalated into rope running including the first of a few Devil's Wings counters by Sombra, to set up for the twisting split legged moonsault.

The primera was short but sufficiently back and forth, with Mephisto dropping the sportsmanship and mounting a couple of ambushes, only for Somba's athleticism to allow him to fight back. He went for one too many springboards, however, and landed in a Mephisto powerbomb for the second fall.

The tercera was, once again, exactly what it had to be, with bigger and bigger bombs, selling, and near-falls. Sombra hit the perfect dive, starting by setting it up by tapping the turnbuckle and telegraphing it for the crowd, then running across the ring, leaping and twisting to the top rope and moonsaulting off, finishing it by ending up in the crowd.

Nothing says "Proof of escalating bombs" quite like a muscle buster:

and a sloppy splash mountain:

and other Satanic Rudo Averno hyping the crowd?

And I'll stop the gifs there, but it continued to go back and forth, including Mephisto getting his knees up on Sombra's stupid double moonsault, and the godlike inverted flip dive, before Sombra finally took it with a dragonrana. One great thing about Sombra in this era that he really had four-five ways to realistically win a fall. That's not uncommon in CMLL but it added a lot to the layout of his big matches in the period.

This wasn't the best title match I've seen recently, but it was perfectly fine for a big single's title win for Sombra. He looked like he belonged in the spot and this thusly felt like a big deal.

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