CMLL (FRI) 11/24/2023 Arena México [AS, CMLL, Estrellas del Ring, Excelsior, Kaiser Sports, The Gladiatores, The Gladiatores (video), thecubsfan]
1) Brillante Jr., Fuego, Oro Jr. b Grako, Nitro, Sangre Imperial
2) Akuma, Dark Magic, Espanto Jr. b Arkalis, Rey Samuray, Stigma
3) Magia Blanca, Magnus, Rugido b Esfinge, Fugaz, Star Black
12:27. Los Depredadores cheated to beat Fugaz and Esfinge, who wanted a rematch. Magia Blanca declared this was just the beginning.
4) Lluvia, Reyna Isis, Tessa Blanchard b Dark Silueta, La Jarochita, Stephanie Vaquer [Relevos Increíbles]
11:53. Blanchard beat Vaquer (again) and demanded a title match next week. Vaquer accepted.
5) Hechicero b Stuka Jr. [Leyenda de Azul, final]
14:34. Stuka attempted to win via mask pull and torpedo splash, but Hechicero got his mask back on and caught Stuka in Magia Negra for the win. Stuka tried to take (and probably break) the plaque post match, but Blue Panther (out for the presentation) took it away and nearly fought Stuka. Hechicero and Stuka brawled more.
6) Místico & Octagón DQ Atlantis & Volador Jr.
11:44. Straight falls. Mistico & Octagon won cleanly with their submission in fall one. Atlantis got Atlantida on Mistico in fall two but Octagon came out of his mask (tied to the ropes by Volador) for the DQ. Everyone seemed unhappy with the finish and Mistico and Volador briefly fought a bit more.
I liked Hechicero/Stuka; I felt like it was a great retort to Gran Guerrero’s complaints that fans didn’t appreciate true heavyweight wrestling. They just didn’t appreciate his heavyweight wrestling; Stuka and Hechicero doing their match got over well. I could’ve used a cheating finish without the ref bump (where Edgar didn’t really take a bump), but otherwise I thought what they did was great. The post match fight was very hot, though I have no idea where it’s going. Or if it’s going anywhere.
The rest of the show didn’t mean much. The main event was weird; Atlantis shouldn’t be working rudo at this point. Mistico and Volador seemed like they improved the post match stuff because they (or at least Mistico) weren’t satisifed with how that match went. The undercard didn’t look like much and didn’t end up any better. The Depredadores/Fuerza Tapatia feud might end up being something but didn’t stand out here. The women’s match was successful at what it needed it to be, with Blanchard putting Vaquer in real danger of losing the title and a stronger rudas/tecnicas dynamic. I think that’s going to get over well next week. (Someone’s also clued Tessa into the right things to stay; instead of talking about first CMLL champ Bull Nakano, she mentioned being a big fan of Marcela and Sarah Stock.)
The attendence seemed a little down from last week but still pretty good.
CMLL (SAT) 11/25/2023 Arena Coliseo [CMLL]
1) Dr. Karonte I & Dr. Karonte II b Diamond & Leono
2) Shockercito DQ Mercurio [lightning]
Mercurio fouled Shockercito as minis challenges continue
3) Crixus, Okumura, Pólvora b Hombre Bala Jr., Max Star, Neón
4) Hera, Metálica, Tessa Blanchard b Andrómeda, La Jarochita, Skadi
5) Felino, Felino Jr., Hijo del Villano III b Blue Panther Jr., Dark Panther, El Hijo De Blue Panther
6) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Templario b Flip Gordon, Máscara Dorada, Titán
Angel de Oro snuck in a foul on Gordon, who asked for a singles match next week
Pretty much every show is getting something set up for the next week.
CMLL (SUN) 11/26/2023 Arena México [CMLL]
1) Acero, Fantasy, Galaxy DCOR Minos, Pequeño Olímpico, Pequeño Polvora
2) Astral, Robin, Valiente Jr. b Inquisidor, Raider, Vegas
3) Difunto, Einar El Salvaje, Kráneo b El Audaz, Pegasso, Volcano
4) Tessa Blanchard b Zeuxis [lightning]
5) Guerrero Maya Jr. © b El Coyote [MEX MIDDLE]
6) Gran Guerrero, Rey Bucanero, Último Guerrero b Atlantis, Blue Panther, Máscara Dorada
Guerreros fouled and unmasked Dorada to set up the win
Mascara Dorada challenged Ultimo Guerrero to a singles match. Ultimo talked but didn’t really answer.
Both Soberano Jr. & Atlantis Jr. and Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr. are 2-1 and three matches in NJPW’s World Tag League. Tsuji & Zandokan won the 11/26 main event over Hikuleo & El Phantasmo while Atlantis and Soberano lost to Lance Archer and Alex Zayne. Their next tournament matches are on Wednesday morning: Soberano & Atlantis against YOSHI-HASHI and Hiroki Goto, Zandokan & Tsuji versus Jack Bonza & Bad Luck Fale.
CMLL (TUE) 11/28/2023 Arena México
1) Aéreo, Fantasy, Kaligua vs Full Metal, Pequeño Olímpico, Pequeño Polvora
2) Brillante Jr., Max Star, Valiente Jr. vs Grako, Raider, Vegas
3) Hombre Bala Jr. vs Misterioso Jr. [lightning]
4) Andrómeda, Reyna Isis, Skadi vs La Jarochita, Lluvia, Zeuxis [Relevos Increíbles]
5) Hijo del Villano III & Villano III Jr. vs Gemelo Diablo I & Gemelo Diablo II
6) Atlantis, Blue Panther, Volador Jr. vs Gran Guerrero, Stuka Jr., Último Guerrero
Stuka Jr. and Blue Panther having issues on Friday and then wrestling Tuesday works out nicely. Not sure if was the plan. Max Star hasn’t wrestled much the last couple of months; this is his first streaming appearance since September 8th. It really should be him, Futuro and Neon as a regular trio.
The CMLL bodybuilding contest is Wednesday at 4 pm, and will stream on CMLL’s YouTube for free. CMLL Informa will move to an hour earlier.
CMLL (FRI) 12/01/2023 Arena México
1) Pequeño Magía, Pequeño Violencia, Último Dragóncito vs Mercurio, Pierrothito, Shockercito [Relevos Increíbles]
2) Futuro, Halcón Suriano Jr., Neón vs Apocalipsis, Cholo, Disturbio
3) Esfinge, Fugaz, Star Black vs Magia Blanca, Magnus, Rugido
4) Flip Gordon, Titán, Valiente vs Averno, Euforia, Mephisto
5) Stephanie Vaquer © vs Tessa Blanchard [CMLL WOMEN]
6) Máscara Dorada, Místico, Volador Jr. vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Terrible
Dragon Rojo is back from injury and right to the main event. The third match is a rematch. Five of the six guys in that match have a title, so they could be setting up anything. Futuro & Neon are back on a Friday, though not the greatest opposition. Minis continue to feud in the opener.
I think Vaquer retains but I would not be surprised by a title switch. CMLL had this destination figured out for a while; they could’ve left the title on Princesa Sugehit until she returned from injury, but it seems like they had already planned out they were getting to Blanchard winning the Gran Prix and needed a champion to defend against her. If Sugehit was healthy and the one defending the title instead, I’d be certain Tessa Blanchard would be the new CMLL women’s champion. I’m concerned I may be overrating Vaquer’s chances.
AAA’s TV continues to be put together in ways nonsensical ways, which make the product look second-rate. They continually have episodes of events where the “effect” is shown the week before the “cause.” Guerra de Titanes week 2 lead off with a video packaging previewing all the matches that aired in week 1, and a Mecha Wolf promo explaining why he’d be replacing Pagano in a match we already saw. Those were pretaped bits, things which seem like they could’ve easily aired in week 1 where they belongs, and made no sense in airing at all in week 2. Producing basic logic television is just beyond the grasp of whoever’s putting together the show.
The matches themselves were fine/good; Guerra de Titanes ended up better than Heroes Inmortales and around the level of Rey de Reyes for their B-shows. Good action if nothing threatened being the best match of the month. NGD were unsurprisingly very motivated in the tag title match, coming up with some new ideas and allowing Arez & Komander moments to look impressive before beating them for the tag titles. I’d put it up there with Vikingo/Dralistico as the best on the show. Chik Torment and Lady Shani hit each other very hard, and the cage stip kept the interference to a couple of stretches in the match instead of being constant. The flip side is the cage stipulation meant the ring was littered with weapons that had to be used before the finish, and nothing really meant much until they got the last wood panel table set up. Negro Casas & Pentagon versus Bestia del Ring & Samuray VIP (replacing Taurus) was probably better live than on TV.
This is not a direct AAA TV thing but I need to put it here. There’s a new Los Vatos Locos stable in AAA. It was Pagano, La Rebelion, and Estrellita. It may be meant to include original member Charly Manson; they ran an angle to set his involvement up months ago and it’s just one of those things never followed up. Same thing with this group name: AAA seemed to run an in-ring angle introducing the team, but never aired that. The announcers bring it up, and maybe those paying close attention can put it together, but they haven’t ever had Pagano stand in front of a camera and explain it. AAA markets itself as something for super casual fans but does things like this where you have to be paying close attention to figure out what’s meant to be going on.
AAA TV had Ultraclash on Sunday. Lo Mejor de Lucha has the barebones results
AAA TV (SUN) 11/26/2023 Showcenter Complex, San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo Leon [Lo Mejor de Lucha]
1) Bebote Valdez, El Líder, Granada b Epydemius, The Mummy, Ultra
Dark match (may end up airing). El Lider is Lucha Time’s Mafioso under a slightly different name.
2) Chris Sabin & Trinity b Chik Tormenta & Dinámico
3) Forastero & Sansón © b Arez & Frankie Kazarian [AAA TV]
Made a tag title match. First defense.
4) Jordynne Grace & Sexy Star II b Deonna Purrazzo & Maravilla
5) Myzteziz Jr. b Eddie Edwards, Látigo
No Rich Swann.
6) Laredo Kid & Tommy Dreamer b Brian Myers & Taurus
7) Moose & Toxin b Josh Alexander & Octagón Jr.
8) Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Hijo Del Vikingo b Abismo Negro Jr., Látigo, Trey Miguel
Latigo and Sabin worked twice, added to the main event (which looks great on paper.) I believe that was to lessen the load on Alex Shelley, who’s working through an injury. The main event was good, not quite great. Vikingo was off on a couple of things. The matches were said to be better than a usual Showcenter though nothing extraordinary.
I don’t follow Impact closely enough to know how this will air there. For AAA, it’s probably three weeks of TV (one with three matches, two with two, maybe lots of non-wrestling) starting next week. That’ll likely be followed with three weeks of Best of/TripleMania replays to finish out 2023 and go into 2024. There were more tickets still available for this show the day of the event than I would’ve expected with all the people coming in for it, but it looks like the building was close to full by show time.
Surprisingly, AAA already released the next TV lineup:
AAA TV (SAT) 01/06/2024 Gimnasio Olímpico Juan de la Barrera, Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal
1) ?, ??, ??? vs ????, ?????, ??????
Final of Lucha x El Barrio, no idea how many people or format ofo match (or matches)
2) Aramis, Jessy Ventura, La Parkita, Lady Shani vs El Elegido, Estrellita, Mini Charly Manson, Pimpinela Escarlata
3) Abismo Negro & Flammer © vs Aerostar & Faby Apache and Drago & Sexy Star [AAA MIXED TAG]
4) Mr. Iguana, Myzteziz, Niño Hamburguesa vs ?, Electroshock, Heavy Metal
5) Forastero, Negro Casas, Sansón vs Charly Manson, Súper Caló, Zorro
6) Hijo Del Vikingo, Octagón Jr., Pagano, Psycho Clown vs Cibernético, Dark Cuervo, Dark Ozz, Dark Scoria
This is an AAA “Retro” card, bringing back names from past years. Many have done similar cameos over the last year. Mini Charly Manson, Elegido, Pimpinela Escarlata, and the Dark Family are ones who haven’t been in quite a while; some, like Cibernetico and Estrellita, are meant to be regular characters (or were regular characters and then just dropped out.) Few people are paying attention to what’s on AAA TV when they’re not attending a show themselves, so it’ll still get over as something different. I believe one of the problems with the AAA TV show in 2023 is that there are so many ‘special’ tapings – shows with the World Cup, the NWA, Impact, the World Cup, the TripleManias – that it’s very tough for any regular TV angles to get momentum. The theme shows are likely stronger draws, though I’m not as sure it’ll be the case with these names.
The mixed tag match end up being the best on the show. In a show with a lot of standalone matches, the finals of Lucha x el Barrio looks the most interesting thing on the show. AAA would obviously like to have a stand-out winner, but I suspect they’d hope to have a good enough group all around to (once again) announce everyone was getting a contract.
AAA’s gone with themes or slogans for their shows in past years, but the Retro idea here is pitched as a one night deal.
AAA also announced a February 18th, 2024 Showcenter return. That’s a Sunday. My recollection is the original announcement talked about AAA running there for two years. This is the start of year three, so both sides must be good with the agreement. These shows have ended up being TV tapings more often than not.
Psycho Clown won the mask of Reynosa’s Estrellato in Reynosa on Sunday. Estrellato is Gabriel Alejandor Trevino Flores, 15 years a wrestler. The match is part of Mas Lucha’s subscription service (though you can find it elsewhere if you look around.)
This is not really AAA but close enough to put it here: on last week’s Keeping It 100, Konnan mentioned he’d asked me and RobViper to do their weekly lucha libre segment. No one has asked me to do Konnan’s podcast. I have zero interest in contributing to Konnan’s podcast, so maybe we all saved time by me actually not being asked, but I was not asked. (Rob hasn’t been asked as well and was equally confused.)
IWRG (SUN) 11/26/2023 Arena Naucalpan
1) Auzter b Rey Gato Jr.
2) Bengalee & Keyra b Lolita & Sádika
3) Cerebro Negro Jr., Rey Halcón, Yorvak b Dr. Cerebro, Freelance, Spider Fly
4) Hijo de Canis Lupus, León Dorado, Mr. Leo b Auzter, Imposible, Relámpago
The returning? recast? Maniacop and Rey Espectro were replaced by Relampago and Auzter
5) Cerebro Negro b Hell Boy [bull terrier]
the two agreed to a hair match on 12/17
6) Hijo del Pirata Morgan, Pirata Morgan, Pirata Morgan Jr. b Gran Pandemónium, Hijo de Pandemónium, Pandemónium Jr.
Pirates want a shot at the Pandemonium trios titles
The Aniversario show is coming together. Wouldn’t have guessed Hell Boy/Cerebro Negro but it’s logical enough.
Big Lucha World (FRI) 11/24/2023 Arena Big Lucha, Iztapalapa, Distrito Federal [thecubsfan]
1) Limbo b Reiyel
2) Cody 1-8 & Helios b Nordico & Sangre Nueva
7:13. Cody 1-8 is the former Lil Blay (here last in Spring 2022.)
3) Flamita b Mr. Win
13:24. Gimmick was Mr. Win would face whatever Black Generacion he picked from one of three envelopes supplied by Mr. Big. He opened the first envelope, and it said Flamita. Flamita refused and told him to pick another envelope. He did and it was also Flamita. Flamita still refused, so Mr. Win opened the third envelope, which was also Flamita. Flamita was forced into wrestling. Black Generacion and Viajero briefly got involved before Flamtia won clean with a Frgosplash. Black Generacion argued with Iku after the match.
This was a solid enough show for a gym show. The main event had lots of comedy and some stuff that didn’t quite work out as planned.
Los Locos Evans are doing a stream tonight at 9 pm.
Big Lucha also announced a tour of southern Mexico in January. They’re heading to Campeche on 01/26, then Chetumal and Merida over the next two days.
I was on the Must See Match podcast talking about Atlantis vs Villano III. The match is still pretty good. Thanks for them having me on.
I did finish up part two of RIOT’s 2022 La Rina, available on their Patreon. The main event, the two day tournament final, is easily the match of the night. The rest of the show didn’t work as well as the first night. The two semifinals are good but flawed, the Aeroboy/Tromba takes a while for the crowd to warm to, and the Arez/Prometo title match is a big disappointment.
Blake Christian was the big standout in the tournament. Blake Christian is strongly disliked in many critical circles – his face work is comes off as a lesser Ospreay, his heel work hasn’t been convinced – but he always fits in like a glove in RITO. I haven’t seen enough of him to know if it’s Blake’s best work. It does remind of Sammy Guevera, who just fit in with RIOT’s vibe better than almost anywhere else.
The June 2022 show is also up on RIOT’s Patreon and I hope to get to it this week to get all caught up.
DTU (THU) 12/14/2023 Centro Desarrollo Lucha Profesional DTU, Tulancingo, Hidalgo
1) ?, Amber, La Pidita, Shino vs Caelus, Danesa, Silver Kid, Súper Crazy Jr.
2) Paranoiko, Shao, Skayler vs Demon Boy, Rebel, Ricky Marvin
3) Aerodinamico, Alphatron, Emblema, Malandro, Payaso Retro vs Black Pistón, Had Boy, Kulitaka, Mr. Solo, Renacido [mask]
Puebla vs DTU
4) Bit Man vs René Rocks vs Corey Calhoun
5) Kaleth & Laredo Kid vs Aero Panther & Fight Panther Jr. and Kento & Takuma
DTU is running three shows in December for its 16th anniversary. The biggest show is in Tulancingo and features strange foreigners, as always. Corey Calhoun appears to be a Kentucky/Indiana based wrestler. Bit Man is from Hong Kong (presumably the same place Ricky Marvin’s been working.) The La Pidita in the opener is the masked persona of Kaho Kobayashi, who had viral fame earlier this year for dancing to the ring to Valentín Elizalde’s “Como Me Duele.” She’s main eventing the Morelia leg of this trip. You can say a lot of things about Crazy Boy and DTU, but they’re the promotion most likely to pick up on that sort of thing and try it themselves (especially when the woman is already mysteriously hanging out in Mexico.)
The Tijuana Sports Hall of Fame unveiled a statue to honor lucha libre, among a group of sports related statues in a local park. It’s a generic lucha libre figure, rather than for someone specific. There are already statues for Rey Misterio Sr., Tornado Negro and Benjamin Mora in the park, and there surely will be a Rey Misterio Jr. one someday. Dos Caras and Canek were on hand for the ceremony, and at the EMW show the same night.
Tijuana’s Xtasis was also honored on that EMW show for 25 years of wrestling. He started at age 13 and was just returning from nine months off due to injury.
The Crash announced they’re bringing in Matt Riddle for their 01/19 show. I thought I was going to be clever citing recent Vinnie Massaro tweet and then multiple people did it to me in the quote tweets. Riddle, who WWE clearly wanted to push to the moon until his personal problems became too much even for WWE, was obviously going to end up working for one of the Tijuana promotions. Just a question of which. He’d worked some dates with The Crash prior to signing to WWE so they had his numbers, and aren’t concerned about his US issues during a promotional war.
Segunda Caida watches some random Santo/Casas.