Anibal Jr. passes away, AAA/PUBG, Penta

Anibal Jr. (Jose Contreras, 50) passed away Friday. (He’s interchangeably known as Hijo del Anibal.) Anibal Jr. wrote on Facebook about going into the hospital with COVID on January 12th; he never made it out. He’s the 139th luchador who’s passed away since last April; many of those deaths are not directly related to COVID.

Anibal Jr. was a local promoter around Cuautitlan and said to be part of the Mexico State commission. He trained wrestlers and was well connected for many years. His father, Anibal, was a hall of fame wrestler peaking in the 70s and 80s. Anibal Jr. got many opportunities due to the name but didn’t stick in any major promotion for long. His name and history kept him useful for indie shows, but he was a wrestler more famous than successful. Anibal’s last moment in the spotlight was an infamous one; he withdrew recognition of Princesa Azul as his daughter (revealing he was actually a friend’s daughter), Princesa Azul implied she had rebuffed his advanced leading to the rejection, Anibal denied the story, she didn’t change her name. Other Anibal Jr. students stood up for him, suggesting he’d earned loyalty if nothing else. That situation isn’t how he’s going to be remembered; this was someone who was around wrestling since he was a kid and lived in it for decades to come. He may have never turned into the star his father was, but he’s a guy who everyone knew.

AAA should have an announcement sometime this week. PUBG Mobile – a multiplayer shooter game, the most popular in that field a few years back – are teasing some sort of tie-up with Lucha Libre AAA. (These games allow you to be displayed as a variety of characters, so people in Mexico will likely be able to virtually shoot someone in the head as Psycho Clown soon.) TripleMania happened in part because there were sponsors willing to pick up the tab. AAA getting a new sponsor and AAA having upcoming tapings seem likely to be related. Psycho Clown’s column says some AAA announcement would be made in the next few days.

This week’s Being the Elite starts with the Young Bucks and the Good Brothers saying Pentagon is out indefinitely. BTE isn’t meant to be taken seriously, but it does following Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows beating up Pentagon on Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite. That already seemed like a write out for now. The AEW segment appeared to really be someone in a Penta outfit – that person getting beat up was missing the hand tattoos of the actual luchador. That sort of switch makes sense if it is indeed an injury, there’s no sense in having the real Penta fly all the way to Jacksonville just to get beat up quickly,

Penta hasn’t wrestled since November except for the TripleMania match and a Dynamite match where he was immediately taken out. (Edit: and AEW Dark match I missed when double checking this in a database.) There are other reasons he could miss shows besides a pre-existing injury, we do know AEW doesn’t talk about injuries or other absences unless that person was already announced for a match and Pentagon was not announced for a match. Pentagon also hasn’t said anything about it publicly but doesn’t talk about his injuries.

The Lucha Memes/Martinez took place as scheduled as Saturday. The quality of the show was said to be good – Marvin/Deppen and Laredo Kid/Black Taurus were said to be good, here in the comments and elsewhere. The attendance was as much as a struggle as figured, drawing about half as well as the last Martinez show in that venue. Lucha Memes says the show will be up on IWTV this week and they’re happy they got the chance to run a show in the US. I saw a Facebook post saying Memes would be offering the show through a paid private Facebook group as well, which might be something Mexican fans are more willing to try than IWTV.

Monterrey luchadora Baby Love explains she got into wrestling by borrowing her father’s phone and pretending to him asking a wrestling trainer if he’d coach her daughter. The trainer said yes and her father was surprised when Baby Love told her the truth; he imagined she wanted to do another sport or a dance class.

The Cinta de Oro led PPV show in El Paso Texas scheduled for 01/30 has been canceled. They’re blaming it on the pandemic, which was in existence when they announced the show.

In this week’s Box Y Lucha, Arena Lopez Mateos’s Hector Guzman is quoted as saying they’re hopeful of returning in March. The same column has IWRG believing they’re still running their all cage match show this upcoming weekend. IWRG hasn’t promoted it much, so that may just be them not officially canceling it yet.

Ring of Honor will air a Dragon Lee vs Brian Johnson ROH TV Title match exclusive on Facebook in the near future. That’s a private group.

Rey Bucanero, appearing on Shocker’s YouTube channel, said the two hardest injuries he’s had in wrestling were knee and arm injuries. Bucanero says the arm injury came at the start of his training: his uncle Verdugo intentionally caused Bucanero to break his arm, on orders of uncle Pirata Morgan. Pirata wanted to test Bucanero’s toughness by demanding he return in a week no matter once, or give up wrestling. Bucanero did return. Pirata Morgan would also slap Bucanero after a match if he felt Bucanero wasn’t been tough enough in the ring and defending himself. I would not recommend this behavior if you are not Pirata Morgan.

In another Shocker interview, this one with Dos Caras, Caras says his mask match with Canek never happened because even today Canek wants 40 million pesos for such a match. That would be nearly two million US today, a number few people have paid for any single match. Asking for 40 million pesos is politely saying you have no interest in ever doing it. Dos Caras believes UWA promoter Francisco Flores is the only one who could’ve done it. Every UWA luchador says the same thing about Flores – the downfall of the promotion is linked to his death in 1987. It comes off sometimes as a bit of an ‘everyone used to be better in the old days’ bit, but Flores success came in modernizing lucha libre and increasing revenue far above what they had been before. It does seem conceivable he could’ve found a way to get these guys enough money.

Estrellas del Ring and R de Rudo have started putting up episodes of Lucha Time. They’re starting on episode 1, which means these are episodes that have been up on Mas Lucha for seven months and on Lucha Time’s own social media channels for much longer. (R de Rudo is at least doing some new in-between segments to add some value.) I do not understand the purpose for Lucha Time of this at all; there’s no one who is watching just one of these channels, they’re all on the same site. They’re reaching the same people. It’s good for those channels to get some ‘new’ content, but it barely counts as new. It fits with the inter-promotional stuff as something wrestling promotions do because it makes them feel like they’re a bigger deal without helping themselves in any measurable way. Perhaps the person in charge of Lucha Time wants to get to 5000 views a week instead of 3000 and putting the show on separate channels will help with that (through people clicking on the video, realizing it’s a repeat, and closing the window before watching much of it.) There are probably more useful ways to achieve that goal.

This is my blog so I can put this digression in here despite any useful editor telling me to cut it out: the Mas Lucha uploading the most is the Rey del Monterrey show. No description, no graphics, the card has no lineup, it’s two hours of video that just exists. The commentary surely has the names, but I’m unable to listen to it until later, so either I could look through the caption transcript to figure out who’s in the matches or spend my time in other ways. I did that. Mas Lucha has generally added both match listings and timestamps on videos of late, this is a rare frustrating example of why that stuff is useful. This is not even a Mas Lucha issue, this promotions involved should be doing that work.

Dr. Wagner Jr. visited a seafood vendor who had lost his daughter and wife in a traffic accident a few years ago. Wagner also got to sell some food, a response to fans who had been cat-calling him a ‘vendor’ for selling his mask and hair.

A story about Santo films being ahead of their time due to all the amazing technology they used now being commonplace.

Paranoiko is helping for government support for the wrestling school he’s running in Tulancingo. It’s DTU affiliated but shut down at the moment due to the pandemic.

Officials in Torreon held a meeting to discuss safe protocols for restarting lucha libre in the city. Not sure about their commitment to safety when they’re all sitting at a conference table.

Segunda Caida watches 2013 Negro navarro and Solar in Guadalajara.

Mexico City red light, AEW/Aramis, Lucha Memes in Texas

Mexico City announced they’ll continue under a red light health status for another week. Hospital beds are 88 percent full; Mexico City needs to reach the mid-60s before the first stage of re-opening can happen. The rate of deaths has rised; yesterday was the most deaths yet in Mexico. The government continue to string people along week to week, afraid more people will freak out if they honestly tell them it’ll be weeks (or months) before things open up again. It would take massive changes for Mexico City to be open to any extent in February.

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter mentions Aramis once signed a deal with AEW that’s now expired. (It comes up in a bit discussing Australian Suicide’s recent Dark appearances.) I think I can explain the timing a little bit better than in there. AEW signed Aramis in the fall of 2019 to a deal that covered five appearances over a few months. (That seems to have been the standard deal for new names at that point; Big Swole was reportedly under a similar deal before being upped to a full-time contract.)  AEW brought him to the 11/19 Indianapolis tapings and took some gear measurements. I believe the idea at the time was to bring him under a new name and gimmick and that he’d start in January. That month came and went, as did the next two. His contract expired in March without Aramis being used once. AEW paid him for those five dates anyway. If you remember Aramis talking about a big surprise about a year ago, that was this deal.

I could not wait to tell this story for months, but I’ve learned not to write about a signing until I’m absolutely sure it’s happening; things seem like they’re happening and then don’t too often. The Aramis story was going to be a great one – he’s was getting signed at 20! AEW noticed him on the last day of BOLA 2019! Aramis was only there because Cavernario pulled out and Aramis happened to get his visa approved that week! – but it didn’t happen. My theory has been that Aramis was supposed to be part of whatever the original plans were for the Dark Order, and that angle falling apart in late December caused Aramis plans to change or different people to be in decision-making places – but that’s just taking a shot in the dark. WON believes it was too hard to get a visa for a foreign wrestler at that time. Aramis’ visa seemed good enough to get him to Indiana, but I guess it’s possible AEW just wanted their own. My impression is Aramis wasn’t given an explanation.

In early 2020, it looked as if Aramis was going to get a shot in AEW, be a regular for Chicago’s AAW and show up more in PWG. None of it happened. Aramis in his early 20s, he should get other chances. I don’t know of any other Mexican luchador who specifically had an AEW deal, but there’s plenty of others who could look back at last year as a missed opportunity.

Aramis is among those part of the Lucha Memes/Martinez Entertainment show scheduled for tonight in Kennedale (Dallas), Texas.

Lucha Memes (FRI) 01/22/2021 Turf Zone Arena, Kennedale, Texas
1) Gino Medina vs Dante Caballero
2) Aeroboy vs Joshua Wavra
3) Ricky Marvin vs Tony Deppen
4) Arez vs Daniel García
5) Xtreme Tiger vs Wheeler Yuta
6) Aramis vs Jonathan Gresham
7) Laredo Kid vs Black Taurus (Indie)
8) Blue Demon & Low Rider vs Fred Yehi & Mecha Wolf

Laredo Kid and Black Taurus was added this morning, taking advantage of Taurus already being north of the border for the Impact tapings. Those two are bigger names and might help the turnout; I’m still worried about how many tickets a show with a lot of unfamiliar people during a pandemic is going to sell. This will air on IWTV at some point in the future; we don’t know exactly around three weeks ago. Lucha Memes mentioned Low Rider will be among the announcers. Announcing is good and Low Rider has lot of energy, but the wrong kind of energy for serious technical wrestling matches. (They’d be better just taping it with no commentary and having someone dub it after the fact.) This should be a really good show if it comes off as well as it looks on paper and I’m looking forward to seeing it.

Konnan, on Keepin’ it 100, said AAA will be making an announcement about future shows next week. The previous report was AAA running in late January or early February, it’s also late January, so probably early February. He didn’t have a location; it’ll likely have to be away from Mexico City if it’s happening any time soon.

CMLL seems to have changed or added to whomever’s handling their social media and internet precense. There’s repsonse prompts they haven’t done in the past, this week’s CMLL Informa show has been repubished as split interviews for each guest, and their website has the match listings for each show for the first time in memory. (Audaz vs Tiger on TUDN – and on YouTube next week – looks like the best new match. Titan vs Forastero should turn up on YouTube this week.) All of these are positive changes.

Mystique, doing a CMLL interview, said there were 23 CMLL luchadoras. She says that’s up from 5, which might have been what they started with a decade and a half ago. Can I get to 23? (Do I have anything better to write about?)

  1. Amapola
  2. Avispa Dorada
  3. Dalys
  4. Estrellita
  5. La Comandante
  6. La Guerrera
  7. La Infernal
  8. La Jarochita
  9. La Magnifica
  10. La Metalica
  11. La Seductora
  12. La Vaquerita
  13. Lluvia
  14. Marcela
  15. Mystique
  16. Reyna Isis
  17. Sanely
  18. Silueta
  19. Skadi
  20. Stephanie Vaquer
  21. Tiffany

Almost there. Guadalajara’s Valkiria showed up in a PSA a month or so back, so she may be in the main school and counted. There are others who’ve worked on Guadalajara shows who could be considered or other people in the school.

On CMLL virtual interviews, Diamante Azul was asked if he’d like to be on FantasticaMania, since he’d never been on one. He said he’d enjoy being on the tour and said he thought he hasn’t gone yet because they were looking for different types of wrestlers. Diamante Azul noted he’d gone to NJPW as part of the 2012 World Tag League and said it was a pleasant experience. Diamante Azul has never been brought back to NJPW due to his own poor behavior outside out of the ring in 2012, which has never been publicly acknowledged. Perhaps that ban will expire someday.

Speaking of things that probably aren’t going to happen, Daniel Bryan says he’d like to work a CMLL Aniversario show one day if he gets permission from WWE. I guess it could happen if CMLL and WWE ever have a partnership again, but that seems unlikely.

San Luis Potosi’s Alas de Plata passed away Thursday according to El Sabor del Ring. He was an active local wrestler; he was listed on a show this past October. He’s not the Alas de Plata who wrestled in places like IWRG and AULL.

El Hijo del Santo is angry at a Monterrey restaurant using the El Santo name.

Super Crazy talks about a recent US trip to New York, mentions his son hopes to debut in MMA soon.

Dr. Wagner fan incident, Taya/Impact

Dr. Wagner was accused of bullying a fan in Reynosa. Dr. Wagner & Pagano were among those wrestling in the main event of Sunday’s show in Arena Coliseo Reynosa. The fan’s account of the situation (reposted here) starts with her and others were chanting “Vendido” at Wagner; Wagner gets taunted for “selling out” by losing his mask and his hair, though it seems like those chants picked up recently around his last IWRG feud. The fan says Wagner responded by lifting up her skirt and yelling foul taunts at her. Wagner, responding in an Instagram video while on a treadmill, claims he was reaching for the fan’s phone to mess with her and his words were directed at the entire arena, not one person in particular. Wagner also says the woman’s family drunkenly threatened his life after the show. There’s a video of the incident from the arena (about 3 seconds in); it’s a very brief interaction where Wagner does reach towards a person. You shouldn’t lift someone’s skirt, but this seems like an already agitated fan reacting poorly to normal Mexican wrestling stuff.

A long-running storyline in Impact ended with Taya arrested for murder as an apparent write-off. Don’t ask me to explain it. The Taya storyline end matches up with what Fightful has as the end of her contract. AAA sent out a Twitter message shortly after saying Taya was (still) their Reina de Reinas champion. The obvious guess is Taya will join her husband John Morrison in WWE, but it’s only just a guess – no one who has solid info on Taya’s next move is talking about it. Taya going to WWE would end her time in AAA; it’s possible she may continue with AAA if she’s headed to AEW or elsewhere.

Caristico, Stigma, Okumura, and Coyote will appear on CMLL Informa. I wonder if Okumura will reveal FantasticaMania not happening after it would’ve already started.

La Jornada talks to Bandido & Cachorro Lagunero about how they’re dealing with COVID-19 as luchadors. Not well. Bandido tells his infection story, saying he was scared he was an hour away from passing away. Cachorro, who seemed likely to debut in CMLL in 2020 originally, is depressed that the one thing he wanted to do in life has become impossible to do.

There’s a fundraiser going on for Criterio Hidalgo lucha libre writer Alejandro Velazquez. His parents and wife are all battling COVID-19. Luchadora Dayami is auctioning off a mask, Aeroboy is selling a personalized t-shirt.

Oaxaca luchador Mixteco Jr. passed away Sunday. Box Y Lucha doesn’t have age but notes he’d wrestled for over 30 years,

Reynosa luchador Centella Azul (Victor Esquivel Perez) passed away Monday according to Box Y Lucha.

Monterrey luchador Imperio Negro I (Jose Arriaga Puente) passed away Tuesday according to Box Y Lucha.

The Tijuana Box y Lucha commission officially opened new offices yesterday. A room is named in honor of Rey Misterio.

Mas Lucha has a new episode of En+Carados talking about their fan-voted awards. There’s an interview with Arez talking about his upcoming dates in Texas.

Lucha Libre Vanguardia is having an award show.