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Monday, April 11, 2016

MLJ: Sombra Spotlight 26: La Sombra vs Averno [2011 CMLL Universal, final]

2011-09-16 @ Arena México
La Sombra vs Averno [CMLL Universal, final]


I'm mainly coming into these blind, picking matches that seem significant or noteworthy or just plain good. This wasn't something that jumped out at me. I think it almost has to be a CMLL MOTYC for 2011 though, and looking back at discussion from the time, people seem to agree. It was a really great main event title match, one that doesn't face many of the pitfalls that such matches in CMLL tend to have.

I'm not going to go through the entire tournament here, but Sombra went over Angel De Oro and Diamante, both of which were interesting because they were tecnico vs tecnico, and Rey Bucanero as well, which wasn't as interesting as it was mainly to set up a big apuestas cage hair match with Felino and others for the Anniversary. I don't have in front of me who Averno went over but it's a bit less novel than Liger, so I didn't feel the need to look into it.

It's easy to take Averno for granted. He was Mistico's arch rival in a lot of ways and I love his stuff against Satanico, though that's more of a guilty pleasure. Going back through this stuff, he's felt very interchangeable with Mephisto for a number of years. He had lost his mask just a few months before this, though (not against Mistico, as that ship had sailed), and I think it revitalized him. For one thing, he had a great look without the mask, and great facial expressions, and he really was able to use them to the fullest now. Also, he had a theme which was almost orchestral and bubbly, in a techno way and it was a great bit of dissonance. I'd love to hear Kevin Sullivan come out to something like this, or something.


And he worked this match very fun, too. In the first two falls, he wasn't just working it straight, as title matches are often worked, bu the was working like a tecnico, as if he was trying to out Sombra Sombra. Volador was at ringside as his second and they had switched shirts, which added to the surreality of this. It was sort of like Lucifer's hubris, that he was not content to defeat Sombra as a rudo. He had to outdo him at how own game. It kept backfiring on him however, though he was able to recover in the primera and catch him off a springboard with a power bomb. It cost him in the segunda, as after he did a needless tecnico backflip, Sombra was able to catch him with his Brilliante Bomb (the roll up into a suplex). It's worth noting here just how thoroughly the crowd was into Sombra. He felt like a star here, even more so than he would a few years later in the start of the Ingobernables creation where Rush consistently came off as a bigger deal.

The tercera was exactly what you'd expect, a lot of bombs, near falls. The selling felt absolutely deserved considering the fact they let the first two falls go a little longer (cumulatively) than usual. It started with a bang, with the flip to apron rana (and thanks to Cubs for giffing it years ago):


and just kept going from there. I'm not going to go play by play on it, but it was good, building and building until a top rope Devil Wings attempt where it seemed like Averno lost Sombra, causing him to end up crotched on the top. They handled it like total pros though, both of them, and especially Tirantes as the ref, who played it up as if he might DQ Averno and end a great match on a wrong note. They recovered, however, and cycled back into things organically, without making it seem like they were trying to redo a spot.

Great match, way better than I was expecting coming in. Check it out. On this night, Sombra was undisputedly a star, one that had come a very far way.

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