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    Friday, December 23, 2016

    31 Days of Wrestling (12/23/16): Sexy Star vs. Mariposa, No Mas

    Welcome to the 31 Days of Wrestling, ladies and gentlemen. It's that time of year again when we take a look back at the past 11 months of pro wrestling (and as much as possible, the last month as well) and cherry-pick one match a day for each day of December from a list of bouts that defined the year in our beloved sport. Most matches will be good, while some may not be; what matters is that they helped build the perception and reputation of the kind of wrestling this calendar year produced for us.

    Today's entry takes a look at the most brutal women's match of the year.

    Since the beginning of Lucha Underground, Sexy Star has been portrayed as the show's inspirational female figure. Coming from a background of domestic abuse, she fights in the Temple to show everyone that women can brawl just as well as men. She's earned the respect of fellow wrestlers and fans alike, and has been one of the most featured luchadoras in the show. However, a season-ending abduction by the nefarious Marty "The Moth" Martinez left many to wonder about the fate of Sexy Star.

    When Lucha Underground returned for its second season, we saw a different Sexy Star from the one we were used to. Gone were the confidence and bravado she once displayed, replaced by an air of hesitation and fear. With the implication that she was tortured while the show was in between seasons, she no longer had the same fire when she took to the ring. Things didn't get easier when the Moth's sister, Mariposa, showed up at the Temple. The mere sight of her would cause Sexy Star to flinch and withdraw, and the Moth Tribe used this to give her fits.

    Eventually, though, Sexy Star had enough. She began a slow process of recovery that led her to rediscover who she was, and she eventually mustered enough courage to fight back at her tormentors. This lead to Lucha Underground owner Dario Cueto booking a No Mas (Spanish for "I quit") match between Sexy Star and Mariposa as a way for them to settle their differences, allowing the rivalry to get as brutal as it could possibly be.

    What we got was one of the most violent, yet captivating matches Lucha Underground has ever put on. In a second season that did not match the heights of the first, No Mas was the shining star. We watched as Sexy Star scratched and clawed her way to revenge, finally matching Mariposa with a brutality she had yet to display. For every punch she threw, or every bit of Mariposa's hair she pulled out, we saw that this was Sexy Star paying her tormentors back for what they had done to her. Yes, Sexy Star still took punishment, but she came fighting back with some punishment of her own. Half an hour of violent brawling and one guttural "Fuck you, Mariposa!" later, and Sexy Star managed to get her rival to utter the two words that admitted defeat. It was a fitting conclusion not just to their rivalry, but Sexy Star's recovery as well.

    2016 had its fair share of excellent hardcore matches, but No Mas stands out because it also told an amazing story. This wasn't a hardcore match that featured weapons and spots just because it was cool to do so. Beneath the relentless bashing of weapons, we saw how Sexy Star managed to overcome her demons and come out stronger. Each punch, kick or slap she threw bore the weight of her torture, and this was her finally making a stand for herself. Lucha Underground has always been praised for its ability to tell a story, and this stands out as one of the promotion's finest tales.


    31 Days of Wrestling is Smark Henry's way of celebrating the matches that helped define wrestling in 2016.

    Read our previous entries:

    #9: American Alpha vs. The Revival for the NXT Tag Team Championships, NXT TakeOver: Dallas
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    Item Reviewed: 31 Days of Wrestling (12/23/16): Sexy Star vs. Mariposa, No Mas Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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