CMLL restart lineups, new AAA TV starts to air this week, Konnan, MLW

CMLL

CMLL started to roll out their restart lineups on Thursday. Most are adjustments of the prior announcements lineups, which happens to highlight those people who are no longer booked:

  • Apocalipsis
  • Disturbio
  • Dulce Gardenia
  • Felino
  • Gallito
  • Hechicero
  • Hombre Bala Jr.
  • La Jarochita
  • Panterita del Ring
  • Perico Zacarias
  • Retro
  • Stephanie Vaquer
  • Suicida

These are unlikely to be all COVID absences – Dulce Gardenia is wrestling in Torreon this weekend and did so last week, for example. Gallito may be staying in Guadalajara for the moment and CMLL could’ve pulled Zacarias to even the sides. There also are probably other people dealing with COVID who weren’t booked to start. No sign of Polovra, who is the only person CMLL’s confirmed as positive themselves. Vaquer is healthy enough that she was doing remote media interviews. I haven’t heard off a serious COVID case in CMLL, even just in gossip. I’m crossing my fingers that none happens.

It’s worth taking a moment to remember this was a CMLL pause and restart. What happened with AAA in Merida and other shows have been government-declared postponements/cancelations, and CMLL hasn’t escaped those yet. Mexico City tried to avoid giving a direct answer on their current COVID traffic light status at a midday press conference, while Mexico State announced they’d be switching to yellow starting Monday. Mexico City will probably also be yellow starting Monday when the country-wide map is released this evening, which could mean anything between smaller attendance caps to no fans shows. CMLL wants to run these shows listed but we’re not sure if they’ll be allowed to run them as they’d like. Any show in Mexico between now and March should be considered tentative. I’m going to try not to say that when mentioning every show to avoid being repetitive, but you should keep “if it happens” in mind next to any date.

CMLL (FRI) 01/21/2022 Arena México
1) Halcón Suriano Jr. vs Eléctrico
Halcon Suriano replaced Panterita del Ring on 01/20
2) Dalys, Lluvia, Princesa Sugehit vs Dark Silueta, Marcela, Reyna Isis [Relevos Increíbles]
Princesa Sugehit replaced Jarochita, Reyna Isis replaced Stephanie Vaquer on 01/20
3) Soberano Jr. vs Bárbaro Cavernario
Barbaro Cavernario replaced Hechicero on 01/20
4) Atlantis Jr. vs Terrible
5) Místico, Titán, Volador Jr. vs Gran Guerrero, Templario, Último Guerrero

This is what’s left of the Best of 2021 show; I can’t imagine they’ll do that still, since it’s still close enough to count. Soberano/Cavernario should be interesting. Halcon Suriano will be as energetic as always.

This is a Ticketmaster Live show for $5 as originally scheduled. CMLL also had a big show + PPV planned for 01/28 and it’s unclear if that’s still on.

CMLL (SAT) 01/22/2022 Arena Coliseo
1) Leono vs Cholo
Retro & Apocalipsis removed on 01/20
2) Micro Gemelo Diablo I & Micro Gemelo Diablo II vs Chamuel & Micro Ángel [Relevos Increíbles]
Gallito & Zacarais removed on 01/20
3) Diamond, Magnus, Stigma vs Eléctrico, Halcón Suriano Jr., Oro Jr.
Magnus & Oro Jr. added to the match to replace Panterita del Ring & Suicida on 01/20 (and names shifted around)
4) El Coyote & Sangre Imperial vs Robin & Rugido [Relevos Increíbles]
Rugido replaced Hombre Bala Jr.
5) Místico, Templario, Titán vs Atlantis, Cavernario, Último Guerrero [Relevos Increíbles]
Templario replaced Felino on 01/20.

The semi-main was supposed to be the Gran Alternativa finalists versus the Gran Oportunidad finalists. Rugido wasn’t in the tournament, not that it matters now.

CMLL (SUN) 01/23/2022 Arena México
1) Fantasy vs Pequeño Violencia
2) Halcón Suriano Jr. & Pegasso vs Grako & Inquisidor
3) El Audaz, Esfinge, Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Dark Magic, Okumura, Rey Bucanero
4) Cavernario, Euforia, Mephisto vs Gemelo Diablo I, Gemelo Diablo II, Sagrado
5) Titán & Volador Jr. © vs Ángel de Oro & Niebla Roja [CMLL TAG]
1st defense (won titles in September)

This was the lineup not announced before the pause, so we don’t know if the tag team title match was planned in advance. Titan & Volador’s tag title reign seemed like something CMLL backed into after Mistico left and the fans didn’t vote for the Guerreros, and Angel de Oro & Niebla Roja are equally as sensible tag champions if Niebla Roja is going to be around much.

This is a rare CMLL card without tecnicos and rudos teaming.

CMLL (MON) 01/24/2022 Arena Puebla
1) Dreyko & Meyer vs Black Tiger & Siki Ozama
2) Diamond, Magia Blanca, Rugido vs Perverso, Prayer, Toro Bill Jr.
3) Pegasso vs Halcón Suriano Jr.
originally Dulce Gardenia/Disturbio
4) Gran Guerrero, Negro Casas, Templario vs Cavernario, Euforia, Mephisto
Templario replaced Hechicero (and sides changed) on 01/20
5) Volador Jr. vs Soberano Jr.

This main event was originally Mistico/Soberano, but Mistico’s working the other shows so maybe it’s a date conflict or a workload issue. It’d be a big match if aired elsewhere. Soberano has been working rudo leading into the singles match.

The Arena Coliseo Guadalajara Facebook page hasn’t explained why they’re not running, just wrote a statement urging people to stay safe if they want shows soon. I wonder if they’re still getting too many positive COVID tests to run at this point.

CMLL TV has a few unaired matches mixed with repeats from different channels. This Friday night show should air on Televisa next week, while it may take an additional week for new material to air on the other channels. No idea if the MarcaClaro Tuesday night streaming will return.

AAA

Dr. Landru & the Wrestling Observer reported Konnan underwent heart surgery in the past week and is now back home. It’s said his previous COVID, about a year ago, damaged his heart requiring the operation. Konnan also needs a second kidney replacement; WOR mentions he’s got a donor lined up. Konnan remains the creative lead at AAA and an important connective person in their aspirations to run internationally, a very significant role who’s proven to be hard to replace in the past.

Wrestling Observer Radio also mentioned Fenix may be back by “mid-February.” It came off as if Konnan had told Dave Meltzer that Fenix may still wrestle at Rey de Reyes (February 17) when the two were talking about Konnan’s health situation. I suggest viewing that as the best-case scenario rather than anything locked in.

AAA airs matches from December’s Mexico City TV taping starting this Saturday at 6:30 pm. They haven’t announced which matches will air this week as of post time. These matches took place, three to air each week:

  • La Parkita & Octagoncito vs La Parkita Negra & Mini Gronda
  • Big Mami & Faby Apache vs Keyra & Lady Maravilla vs Goya Kong & Pimpinela Escarlata
  • Myzteziz Jr. vs Argenis
  • Dave The Clown & Murder Clown vs DMT Azul & Puma King
  • Aramis & Laredo Kid vs Arez & Látigo
  • Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón

The idea was for the Merida shows to start airing after. I guess AAA will return to repeat material.

Dorian Roldan will appear on Yo Tambien Soy Mexicano Saturday night on adn40. The video makes this appear to be a response to the “is lucha libre really something Mexico should represent on airplanes and airport bathrooms?” twitter arguments a couple of weeks back. The show airs against the end of AAA.

MLW matches for next Thursday

  • Aramis versus Hijo del Vikingo for the AAA Megachampionship
  • Octagon Jr. versus Hammerstone for the MLW Championships

These MLW shows were taped in December so it’s hard to remember, but this would be Vikingo defending the AAA mega championship for the first time the day before he actually won the title. And you thought MLW funny business with AAA titles was over.

MLW tapes tonight in Dallas. Pagano challenges Alex Hammerstone for the MLW Heavyweight Championships in a falls count anywhere. The excitement isn’t for the outcome, Pagano is incredibly unlikely to win, but for what he’ll attempt to do in the process of the match. Also announced is Arez, Gino Medina, and Mini Abismo Negro Jr. face El Dragon, Aramis, and a mystery man believed to be the debuting Micro Man. LA Park and his family will be returning; they skipped the Tijuana tapings at the last moment. I’m under the impression another lucha libre name will also be debuting at the taping. These matches will likely start airing on 02/03.

When The Crash announced Hijo del Vikingo versus Flip Gordon for their 01/28 show, we all wondered why it wasn’t a Vikingo title defense. The Crash must’ve eventually thought the same because it’s now for The Crash Heavyweight Championship. It’s only the second time the belt has been defended in a singles match; Rey Horus beat Hammerstrong back in 2019.

Other News

GCW has The WRLD on Sunday night, airing both on FITE and regular PPV.

This show is setting up to be a Very Big Deal. It’d be nice for the lucha guys to have a great match and I’m fairly sure they will, but also it’ll still be hard overshadowed on this one. GCW is likely to throw everything at the wall for this one.

Jonathan Gresham versus Bandido to determine an undisputed ROH champion will take place on ROH’s show on Friday 04/01. That seemed the likely outcome once ROH announced they were indeed going to run that weekend. Ian Riccaboni, ROH’s unofficial director of “making sure it makes sense”, explained if Gresham loses his version of the ROH title before 04/01 the new champion will replace him. Bandido is not defending his ROH title outside of ROH.

Rey Mysterio Jr. will be on the cover WWE 2K22, which I thought was announced a while back but was given a bigger run this past Thursday as part of the big rollout due to a March release. The WWE 2K series has been notoriously poorly received for bad gameplay in recent years. Rey’s not pushed much in WWE nowadays but he’s still one of the most well-liked wrestlers, so he’s being used in a high-profile way to change people’s perceptions of the game. Hopefully it’s good this time, wouldn’t bet on it.

Coliseo Morelos, which got attention for running shows approved by the local authorities but not by the lucha libre commission for health reasons, has announced they’ll go on pause due to the rise in cases.

Hijo del Espectro is raffling off a mask to make some money as he recovers from an injury on 12/25.

There’s a Puebla lucha libre bodybuilding contest on 02/19 being run by Centella de Oro.

LuchaWorld has this week’s Lucha Report.

CMLL will resume running events on Friday January 21st

CMLL announced Wednesday afternoon that they’ll return to running shows starting this Friday. The promotion announced plans to resume a regular schedule for the Mexico City circuit: Friday in Arena Mexico, Saturday in Arena Coliseo, Sunday in Arena Mexico, Monday in Arena Puebla, and Tuesday in Arena Mexico. Those who purchased tickets for the January 7th show will now be able to use them this Friday, January 21st. Those who purchased tickets for the original January 21st and 28th shows can get refunds at their point of purchase.

There’s no mention of when Arena Coliseo Guadalajara shows will return. There’s also no mention of what the cards will look like for these shows. CMLL’s Julio Cesar Rivera, on Informa, stated that the cards would be released on Thursday. It appears CMLL has the lineups ready enough to tell Negro Casas he’s booked. They’re likely waiting for another round of COVID tests to come back to avoid publically removing anyone who tests positive. The results must be good so far for them to be comfortable advertising these shows.

The January 7th show was originally advertised as a TicketmasterLive show. It’s unclear if that’ll still happen on the 21st; it was a higher-priced show for the Best of 2021 concept. Hopefully, they can run that show Friday, or at least wait to run the PPV portion until they can give the PPV buyers what the show they bought. The CMLL track record with those shows hasn’t been great.

There’s no mention of any additional COVID restrictions for fans or wrestlers. COVID cases continue to spike in Mexico. Mexico City has not issued any new restrictions in response and it doesn’t appear like they’re close to shutting things down similar to what happened in Merida/Yucatan with the AAA taping. CMLL is back in business unless something else comes up.

AAA in Merida postponed, CMLL remains on pause, Mascara Dorada in GCW

AAA’s TV taping in Merida on January 30th is now postponed. Originally, sports were given an out on a local ban of public events through February 15. The local sports authority told PorEsto! they were changing their position on Tuesday, canceling all sports events. An outdoor 5/10 km race was allowed to go on, but a nationally televised boxing show, a bullfighting event, and AAA’s event would no longer be permitted to take place due to an “exponential” rise in COVID cases. The local promoter said they’re hoping to reschedule the show for March but don’t have a date locked in. This is the show with FTR versus Lucha Brothers scheduled; AAA never had to announce a replacement match because it didn’t come close to happening. Fan reaction the postponement seems disappointed but understanding.

The next scheduled AAA TV taping is Rey de Reyes on 02/19 in Veracruz for Rey de Reyes. Yucatan is in yellow health code, Veracruz is in green, though the rules under those codes seem to vary from state to state. The next Mexico COVID traffic light map update is this Friday and there will be a second update before the show takes place. Those probably will have less green, but it’s hard to know if it’ll mean anything.

(Speaking of cursed events, the AAA Guadalajara spot show has been re-advertised for February 13th.)

AAA will start to air the December Mexico City taping this Saturday. It’ll be back on Space at 6:30 pm. I do plan on resuming streams on Twitch until AAA goes live themselves or tells me to knock it off. If you don’t want to deal with me, and who does, these shows should continue to go up eight days later on AAA’s YouTube channel. The channel itself remains behind a geoblock wall for the moment, but all the new links to video work fine. The Mexico City show should air this week and next and I have no idea what they’ll do with this taping postponed. Maybe back to Best Ofs, maybe moving this Merida somewhere else just to get it in.

Mexico City-based Stamina Sports Licensing announced a deal with Lucha Libre AAA for “consumer products, licensing and retail” on LinkedIn Monday night. As the name so clearly states that I’m silly for including the part after this comma, Stamina Sports Licensing mostly focuses on licensing sports properties. Their website show shows some famous brands. This appears to be part of AAA trying to improve their merchandising area, with SSL in the area of making connections to get the merchandise into stores – an article on their partnership with FC Bayern Munich talks about making increasing the team’s merchandise in stores.

ESPN has a feature on the Charly/Lucha Libre AAA Liga MX jerseys. So does Urban Pitch, which means part of the AAA involvement in the process was to let them know if their team specific masks designs were too close to existing wrestlers.

CMLL posted no update on their status, which means they’re probably back not this week. CMLL has missed eight shows so far. The promotion typically posts the CMLL Informa lineup mid-day. None has been posted today. Informa didn’t miss a week during the pandemic so far, but it’s possible COVID got it as well.

Mascara Dorada will wrestle in GCW on 02/04 in Houston, 02/19 in Atlantic City, and 02/25 in Los Angeles. Those are his first announced post-WWE bookings. No one currently has the trademark on Mascara Dorada in the US so he’s free to wrestle using that name there. Dorada’s 90 day no-compete clause appears to expire on 02/02, so the Houston show will likely be the first show he’ll work. It’s a good sign to see him working as soon as possible, though the big test will be to see how much he can shake off his WWE stint and return closer to what he was before he left.

Dorada is one of the first few names to be announced for those shows and we don’t know who he’ll be working with. Gringo Loco seems likely. It sticks out to be that Dorada is working the 02/04 show in Houston but not the next day in Dallas for GCW; maybe he’s got something else to be announced for that day.

Psycho Clown has been added to the GCW show this Saturday, which you can watch on FITE. That’ll be other thing to watch: Dorada’s not booked for that show and can’t wrestle on any shows with AAA people or Bandido if he plans to go back to CMLL. Neither CMLL nor Dorada have said anything about a CMLL return, but they did send him off in a big way.

IWRG (SUN) 01/23/2022 Arena Naucalpan
1) Spider Fly & Villarreal vs Kenji & Limbo
2) Jessy Jackson & Sagitarius vs Baronessa & Satania
3) Big Boy, Big Chico Che, Big Mike vs Ra-Zhata, Shil-Ka, Tortuga Leo
4) Asterboy, Freelance, Noisy Boy vs Dick Angelo 3G, Puma de Oro, Tonalli
5) Accion Jackson & Travis Banks vs Alpha Wolf & Dragón Bane
6) Hijo del Alebrije vs Hijo del FishmanHijo del Pirata Morgan

Travis Banks is back and with a friend. I think Los Golepadors think Banks is their ticket to international success; maybe Banks thinks the same. I don’t think it’s going to work out for them.

Deep in this Box y Lucha interview of RLLI (Revelacion Lucha Libre Izatapalpa) promoter Diego Armando de Anda, there’s a mention of an agreement to work with WLS (World League Society) and their new trainer, Travis Banks. His issues elsewhere stemmed out of abusing his role as a trainer, but there are enough people in Mexico who see him as a good wrestler who has the international experience they want, and they’re willing to forgive the rest.

The third part of Mexico’s embassy feature on lucha libre is up now on a variety of channels, focusing on rudos versus tecnicos.

Monster Clown will be appearing at a show in Mexicali this weekend. Doesn’t seem like he’s back wrestling yet.

LuchaWorld has this week’s Poster-Mania.

Box y Lucha 3498D has lots of obits and interview recaps.