Professional wrestling is, and always has been for me, the gift that keeps on giving. Don’t read that wrong brothers and sisters, I understand all too well that sometimes the gift we receive is worse than a lump of coal. But, more often than not the gift is of the type that leaves us beaming from ear to ear. Sometimes, and this is very rare, the gift is of such high quality that it leaves us in an almost forlorn state. How, how is it possible that pro wrestling can be so giving, we ask ourselves? We don’t want those rare moments to end, we want the gift that has been bestowed upon us to last for as long as possible. Inevitably the gift ends, and we go searching for the next present from the sport we know and love. The rare gifts stay with us, they never quite leave, and I know that Hechicero versus Virus will not be leaving me anytime soon.
As soon as I clicked play I should have known what I was about to witness. How could this match not deliver? You have the preeminent mat worker of the 2000s into the present day versus the Luchador who seems poised to take his place as the man to turn to for a mat classic. This is Virus and Hechicero, one of the greatest wrestlers ever versus a guy who should end up being one of the greatest wrestlers ever. Disappoint; not a damn chance that was happening, and guess what, it didn’t happen because this is Virus and Hechicero we’re talking about.
This is a short affair, about a hair over the ten minute mark. It’s the perfect length for the story being told, as it ends right when it should and not a second too long or too soon. Okay, maybe that’s not completely true because I could watch these two work the mat for hours and not lose interest. But, for the story they are telling the length is pitch perfect. The two fine Luchador’s manage to pack a lot into the short frame, and they do so because of one thing, expediency.
It may seem odd to write about how great a match is and have the underpinning of the match be expediency. Odd though it may be, expediency is essential to what takes place in this ring on this day. Because it is two fantastic mat workers in the ring they naturally hit the mat right away. They do so in a way where every move matters and carries a certain amount of import. They flow from hold to hold, and the entire time everything feels right. It makes sense when a Hammerlock is reversed to a Standing Armbar, then to a Headlock, then to a Trip Takedown, and so on and so forth. Every move, counter, and counter move is the most expedient progression in the attempt by these two men to beat one another.
That’s not to say that the wrestling taking place isn’t exciting, because it most certainly is. When Virus backflips out of a Hechicero Standing Armbar and into an Arm Drag I damn near scared my dog to death with the excited yelp I let out. As I watched Hechicero pulls down the straps, and Hechicero take off his shirt, only to have the Slap exchange cut beautifully short by Virus kicking Hechicero in the legs I again yelped with joy. Simple exchanges, that speak to the expediency of the match, the skill of both wrestlers, and their uncanny ability to grab the audience and make them care about every god damn thing they do in the ring.
Being a small and intimate match this could easily be overlooked. It shouldn’t be, because what Hechicero and Virus do in this ring is equal to any great match in a larger venue with more bodies in the seats. This is pro wrestling folks, this is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s why I keep coming back, and why I’ll keep coming back for more. I got to watch two world class grapplers do their thing, do it expertly, and they left me with a smile on my face that would have make the Joker jealous. Pro wrestling, what a great creation it is, and how lucky we all are to experience Hechicero, Virus, and so many other talented wrestlers. I’m lucky, you’re lucky, we’re all lucky, and that’s because pro wrestling is the best gift of all.