Ricochet versus Santos Escobar was an exceptional display of pro wrestling


Friday nights are a prime time to hit the streets and enjoy some semblance of a social life. It’s also yet another night where professional wrestling takes place on major networks. The December 2nd edition of SmackDown came at a time when the world is enamored with the World Cup in Qatar. WWE presented its own iteration of the tournament, with Ricochet and Santos Escobar reaching the finals. The match they put on Friday night is not only a testament to what the two men can do in the ring but hopefully what’s to come in the promotion under Triple H’s leadership.

Ricochet versus Escobar was given nearly thirty minutes, taking up the second half of the show’s final hour. From the minute the first bell rang, they told the story of two men who are familiar with each other and competed for a shot against Gunther for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. By the time the final bell rang, Ricochet and Escobar were both elevated beyond their current positions.

Fans have long pushed for Ricochet to receive better bookings than what he received when he first joined the main roster. Picking up the IC title seemed like a step in the right direction, but that didn’t even play out as expected. This run in the tournament gives hope that his current push is going to lead to more opportunities that show he’s one of the best in the industry.

His dance partner in Escobar was in a similar position. While he frequented the NXT main title picture, he was never tabbed as “the” guy. Legado del Fantasma is getting a strong main roster presentation, but there are still questions about how far up the card they will go. Escobar, Cruz Del Toro, and Joaquin Wilde could compete with the Bloodline, and with Zelina Vega as their voice, they have all the makings to deliver as a main roster act.

Everything about Friday’s match delivered, and a few points stood out.

The move to have Vega, Del Toro, and Wilde kicked out at the start was the right move. WWE continues to lean too heavily on distraction finishes and removing them from ringside gave these two individuals the opportunity to have a straight-up match. In the brief time, they were out there, those three members of LDF maximized their time in front of the camera and on the microphone.

The pacing of the match also worked well. Both men switched the pace from fast and slow as necessary, allowing them to time the right breaks in the action and their offense. Big spots like the Hurricanrana off the barricade, the superplex from the top, and others kept the fans’ attention on the action. This was another strong point of the match because many of the WWE crowds at recent shows were tepid at best.

Ricochet hitting the 630 was also a big moment. He doesn’t use this maneuver to finish off opponents as much on television. WWE is taking the step of allowing wrestlers to utilize main and secondary finishers. This is a positive step that can help create surprise around how a finish comes. Plus, Ricochet is one of the best high-flyers in the industry, and seeing him pull that move out of his bag is always a great highlight.

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With WrestleMania season upon us, there’s a lot to look forward to with WWE programming. Ricochet versus Escobar deserves a moment of appreciation because it gives a hint of what’s to come as professional wrestling takes center stage in WWE.