CDMX wins Torneo de Escuelas, Depredadores/AEW, Tiger Mask

CMLL

CMLL (FRI) 02/23/2024 Arena México [AS, CMLL, ExcelsiorFugeo en el RingKaiser SportsThe GladiatoresThe Gladiatores (videos), thecubsfan]
1) Micro Gemelo Diablo I & Micro Gemelo Diablo II b Micro Dito & Mije CMLL - MICRO DITO - MIJE VS MICRO GEMELOS DIABLO I Y II / ARENA MÉXICO / 23-02-24 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) La dupla de Micro Gemelo Diablo I y II pasan por encima de los ruditos Mije y MicroDito en su debut (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre) Micro Gemelos Diablo I y II vs Micro Dito y Mije ARENA MÉXICO (posted by Estrellas del Ring)
10:45. Micro Dito replaced Periquito Sacaryas on Friday.
2) Marcela & Skadi b Hera & Olympia CMLL - HERA - OLYMPIA VS MARCELA - SKADI / ARENA MÉXICO / 23-02-24 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) CMLL: Skadi y Marcela derrotan a Hera y Olympia (posted by mluchatv) La experiencia y fuerza de Marcela y Skadi se imponen a Hera y Olympia (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre) Marcela y Skady vs Hera y Olympia ARENA MÉXICO (posted by Estrellas del Ring)
10:25
3) Averno, Euforia, Mephisto b Bárbaro Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Terrible Averno, Mephisto y Euforia se llevan la victoria ante Bárbaro Cavernario, Terrible y Dragón Rojo Jr. (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre) CMLL - MEPHISTO - AVERNO - EUFORA VS DRAGÓN ROJO JR. - TERRIBLE -B. CAVERNARIO/ARENA MÉXICO/23-02-24 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) Los Infernales vs Los Bárbaros ARENA MÉXICO (posted by Estrellas del Ring)
9:45. Averno demanded a trios title match
4) Alom, Astro Boy Jr., Dragón de Fuego, Forneo, Hunter (CDMX), Legendario b El Hijo De Centella Roja, El Malayo, El Novato (Puebla), Rayo Metálico (Guanajuato), Rey Apocalipsis, Xelhua [Torneo de Escuelas, final¡La escuela de la CDMX se lleva la victoria! Forneo derrota al poblano Xelhua (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre) CDMX vs Puebla FINAL DEL TORNEO DE ESCUELAS 2024 CMLL en la Arena México (posted by Estrellas del Ring) CMLL - FINAL TORNEO DE ESCUELAS / PUEBLA VS CDMX / ARENA MÉXICO / 23-02-24 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) Forneo le da la victoria a la CDMX en el Torneo de Escuelas ante Puebla (posted by mluchatv)
31:27. CDMX vs Puebla final. Order of elimination: El Hijo del Centella Roja (Alom, 14:43), Hunter (Rey Apocalipsis, 16:18), Malayo (Dragon de Fuego, 20:14), Rey Apocalipsis (21:44, Astro Boy Jr.), Alom (23:31, Xelhua), Rayo Metalico (26:20, Legendario), Dragon de Fuego (28:17, Novato), Astro Boy Jr. (29:13, Xelhua), Novato (30:27, Forneo), Legendario (31:27, Xelhua), Xelhua (37:59, Forneo), leaving Mexico City and Foreno as the winners.
5) Ángel de Oro, Atlantis Jr., Brillante Jr. b Máscara Dorada, Neón, Soberano Jr. [Relevos IncreíblesCMLL-ÁNGEL DE ORO-BRILLANTE JR-ATLANTIS JR. VS SOBERANO JR-NEÓN-MÁSCARA DORADA/ARENA MÉXICO/23-02-24 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) CMLL: Máscara Dorada, Atlantis Jr. y Neon vs Ángel de Oro, Brillante Jr. y Soberano Jr. (posted by mluchatv) M.Dorada, Neón y Soberano Jr quien sale en camilla vencen a Atlantis Jr, Brillante Jr y Ángel de Oro (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre) Máscara Dorada, Neón y Soberano Jr vs Atlantis Jr, Ángel de Oro y Brillante Jr ARENA MÉXICO (posted by Estrellas del Ring)
14:22. Soberano didn’t get along with his partners and was hurt in the closing moments.

The Torneo de Esceulas match had a lot of energy early, and seemed to die a bit in the middle when some of the bigger names weren’t involved. The crowd seemed disappointed when Legendario got eliminated. Xelhua, Foreno and Legendario were the three standouts in the whole tournament, and the ones I’d expect to stick around.

Soberano needed medical attention after Atlantis Jr.’s match closing dive, but he seemed to be struggling with something even a couple of minutes earlier. (Atlantis Jr. paused and stood over him near the ropes to give Soberano a moment, it seemed to me.) Soberano’s listed on Tuesday’s Guadalajara, so hopefully it was something minor.

Big Lucha’s Micro Dito made his debut as a late sub for Zacarias. He took the Micro Gemelo Diablos moves well and that’s really all they need out of that role.

CMLL (SAT) 02/24/2024 Arena Coliseo [CMLL]
1) Grako & Inquisidor b Bengala & Retro
Bengala left the match early with an injury.
2) Amapola & Olympia b Metálica & Tiffany
3) Arkalis, Guerrero Maya Jr., Stigma b Difunto, Raider, Vegas
Raider pinned Maya after a mask pull. Maya wanted a rematch.
4) Cancerbero, Luciferno, Virus DQ Apocalipsis, Cholo, Disturbio
Disturbio fouled Virus challenges followed.
5) Magia Blanca © b Fugaz [MEX WELTER]
sixth defense (third versus Fugaz)
6) Atlantis, Blue Panther, Volador Jr. b Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Templario

I’m not dying to see Blanca and Fugaz, but that’s going to be the first test to see if CMLL is going to relevant matches on the 35 USD tier.

A CMLL x Lady’s Ring show, the most notable event for the women on this tour, took place Sunday. Relevant matches: (results via here)

  • Cohaku beat Tabata by referee stop
    • Tabata suffered an injury – believed to an elbow injury – on a springboard moonsault to the floor. She was in noticeable pain and the match was stopped at that point. Tabata’s arm was in a sling on a photo marking the group’s return back to Mexico
  • Sumika Yanagawa won a five way match to earn a trip to Mexico. There’s no mention of when the trip is happening.
  • La Jarochita & Lluvia defeats Mei Suruga & Sayaka Unagi
  • Salvador Lutteroth appeared at the show to talk about the partnership with this group, in a similar bit as FantasticaMania.

This Lucha Festival show will go up on WrestleUniverse in the near future.

CMLL (SUN) 02/25/2024 Arena México [CMLL]
1) Acero, Aéreo, Kaligua b Full Metal, Pequeño Polvora, Pequeño Violencia
2) Leono & Retro b Nitro & Príncipe Odín Jr.
3) Zeuxis b Skadi [lightning]
4) Gemelo Diablo II, Kráneo, Sagrado b Fuego, Panterita del Ring, Volcano
5) Crixus, Magnus, Rugido b Esfinge, Hombre Bala Jr., Star Jr.
6) Atlantis Jr., Flip Gordon, Místico b Gran Guerrero, Hechicero, Soberano Jr.

Magnus and Rugido were back in Mexico, one night after appearing on AEW’s taping Saturday in Missouri. The two appeared in matches taped for this upcoming week’s Rampage. (AEW’s taping schedule is a bit out of order this week, but these matches were definitely taped for Friday.) Claudio Castagnoli wrestled Rugido, while Matt Sydal wrestled Magnus in the TV main event. The second match was said to have gone significantly better than the first one.

The last four people who’ve gone to AEW are Star Jr., Esfinge, Magnus and Rugido. All those guys are fine and can have good matches in the right situations but they’re also not exactly the best or the brightest stars; I don’t think any of them would make the top 25 people I’d send. There’s always some politics to these sorts of decisions but there may be more going on.

Nothing worth pointing out in the results of the Saturday or the Sunday Arena Coliseo Guadalajara show. Only the Sunday show was streamed. The Saturday free show looks like it drew a big crowd, Sunday’s show was lower than a usual Tuesday show.

CMLL (TUE) 02/27/2024 Arena México
1) Kaligua, Pequeño Magía, Último Dragóncito vs Full Metal, Pequeño Polvora, Pequeño Violencia
2) Astral, Eléctrico, Leono vs Dr. Karonte I, Enfermero Jr., Inquisidor
3) La Vaquerita, Marcela, Skadi vs Hera, Metálica, Olympia
4) Dark Panther vs Villano III Jr. [lightning]
5) Atlantis, Blue Panther, Star Jr. vs Difunto, Hechicero, Zandokan Jr.
6) Máscara Dorada, Tiger Mask, Volador Jr. vs Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Templario

Tiger Mask worked Prestige Wrestling late Sunday night and is in Mexico for the rest of the week. Dark Panther/Villano III Jr. could be pretty good.

CMLL (TUE) 02/27/2024 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Astro Oriental, Gallo Jr., Rafaga Jr. vs Calavera Jr. I, Calavera Jr. II, Temerario
2) Dulce Kitty & Natucia vs Sexy Sol & Valkiria
3) Dark Magic, Elemental, Yutani vs Arlequín, Bestia Negra, Furia Roja
4) Adria, La Catalina, Mystique vs Dark Silueta, Maligna, Persephone
5) Brillante Jr., Dulce Gardenia, La Fashion vs Infierno, Mr. Trueno, Rey Trueno
6) Atlantis Jr., Flip Gordon, Místico vs Averno, Euforia, Soberano Jr.

Brillante, Dulce, Fashion, Dark Magic, Elemental and Yutani all ended up staying Saturday to Tuesday. That used to happen a bit when Sunday shows were a regular thing.

CMLL (FRI) 03/01/2024 Arena México
1) Diamond vs Fuego [lightning]
2) Dulce Gardenia, Espíritu Negro, Rey Cometa vs Apocalipsis, Cholo, Disturbio
3) La Catalina, La Jarochita, Lluvia vs Reyna Isis, Stephanie Vaquer, Zeuxis
4) Bárbaro Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Terrible © vs Averno, Euforia, Mephisto [CMLL TRIOS]
2nd defense
5) Tiger Mask vs Último Guerrero
Liger and Gran Guerrero will be seconds.
6) Atlantis Jr., Máscara Dorada, Místico vs Gran Guerrero, Soberano Jr., Templario

Gran Guerrero makes an rare Friday appearance in the main event, though his bigger role may be seconding his brother. Ultimo Guerrero versus Tiger Mask should be a very professional wrestling match. It seems too soon for Los Barbaros to lose the trios titles but it would be odd for Cavernario to defeat Averno before their title match. Catalina makes her Arena Mexico debut as a tecnica. Match two continues the four way feud.

AAA

They did air the remaining matches from Mexico City on Space this week. The Money Machine/Lady Wind versus Dick Angelo/Legendario/Reina Dorada was the best match of the three, though it was much more than OK. It was also the only match where the attempt was really to have a good match. The Relevos AAA match was just there to do that match type. Charly Manson, Super Calo and Zorro were not embarrassing in their match but that match wasn’t much better. AAA ran a random angle with Cien Caras and NGD attacking Negro Casas after they won, and Cien Caras and Negro Casas brawling was not a pretty sight. It was an also an AAA angle, so there’s no reason to think it’s going anywhere.

Still no word on Vikingo. Unless him posting photos of crutches in Instagram stories counts as an update.

For months – maybe longer?- Juventud Guerrera has been doing a bit on his YouTube show and on other social media about how he wants to wrestle Vikingo for the AAA Megachampionship, how the fans want it, and how mean AAA is for blocking that from happening. It’s Juventud Guerrera, he is another old wrestler who says stuff to keep himself in the news and is half crazy, it’s not really news. It has seemed like AAA has wanted nothing to do with him. Today, Guerrera posted a new edition of his YouTube show revealing Konnan contacted him about appearing on TripleMania Monterrey as a surprise name in the Copa TripleMania. (Guerrera showed off a Whatsapp message that he has labeled as “K-Dog”; it’s impossible to verify if this is really from Konnan.) Guerrera buries AAA and Konnan for half the podcast while institing that he wants and only wants to be in the megachampionship match like he deserves.

It’s Mexican wrestling so Juventud Guerrera pushing back on the idea of working in Copa TripleMania means it’s 50/50 he’ll end up working it anyway. The most disturbing news is AAA is going to ruin another lousy Copa TripleMania that’ll eat up 1/4th of their PPV time and eat up a full episode of TV.

Big Lucha

Big Lucha (FRI) 02/23/2024 Arena Big Lucha, Iztapalapa, Distrito Federal [thecubsfan]
1) Diosa Nix & La Brava b Sairely & Satania Big Lucha VS INJUVE | Big Lucha World EP.8 T.4 (posted by BIG LUCHA )
10:23
2) Piraña & Rey Espectrito b Cósmico & Helios Big Lucha VS INJUVE | Big Lucha World EP.8 T.4 (posted by BIG LUCHA )
8:38
3) Cometa Maya, Morfosis, Radioactivo b Shere Khan, Sol, X-Devil Big Lucha VS INJUVE | Big Lucha World EP.8 T.4 (posted by BIG LUCHA )
9:17.
4) Brujo, Limbo, Torito Negro DDQ Atómico Jr., Auzter, Black Skayde Big Lucha VS INJUVE | Big Lucha World EP.8 T.4 (posted by BIG LUCHA )
13:25. Stream went on the finish, but it sounded like foul & mask pull
5) Caballero de Plata, Ciclón Ramírez Jr., Hijo del Pirata Morgan b El Potro de Oro, Jack Evans, Súper Nova Big Lucha VS INJUVE | Big Lucha World EP.8 T.4 (posted by BIG LUCHA )
17:56. Pirata fouled Potro de Oro to set up the victory.

They pushed the Big Lucha/INJUVE feud hard. That final was really an AAA Retro style main event; a brawl that went both ways for a while, and then the moment where suddenly none of that matters and they reset back to even. It was long for the finish they were doing, something to set up rematches but no specific direction. The flimsy guardrails got a workout on the show, being banged around in the semimain too. The stream paused right as that one finished, and they weren’t able to show a replay of what happened. Match 3 had a lot of good spots, and a lot of stuff that look sloppy. They sold it as a great match that had to be rematched, and maybe it’ll be smoother that time.

IWRG

IWRG (SUN) 02/25/2024 Arena Naucalpan [La Tijera, Zona Ruda]
1) Ajolotl & Fussion b Fireman & Rey Aztaroth IWRG EN VIVO | LA PANDEMIA VS LOS VIPERS (posted by IWRG tv)
2) Lolita b Keyra IWRG EN VIVO | LA PANDEMIA VS LOS VIPERS (posted by IWRG tv)
Lolita won via mask pull
3) Auzter, Spider Fly, Tornado b Águila Roja, Cerebro Negro Jr., Rey Halcón IWRG EN VIVO | LA PANDEMIA VS LOS VIPERS (posted by IWRG tv)
Vipers attacked Spider Fly again after the match
4) Cerebro Negro b Tonalli IWRG EN VIVO | LA PANDEMIA VS LOS VIPERS (posted by IWRG tv)
sets up a RGR title match
5) Ivan Rokov & Vangellys b Hell Boy & Hijo de Canis Lupus IWRG EN VIVO | LA PANDEMIA VS LOS VIPERS (posted by IWRG tv)
Vangellys snuck in a foul on Hell Boy for the win
6) Arez, Látigo, Toxin b Gran Pandemónium, Hijo de Pandemónium, Pandemónium Jr. IWRG EN VIVO | LA PANDEMIA VS LOS VIPERS (posted by IWRG tv)
Vipers win to set up a title match

Not a big turnout here. Or in Arena Azteca Budokan for the May Flowers 37th Anniversary show. I watched the main event here and it was solid but not at the level of the Vipers (or D-sperados) trios matches in the US by far. It was just an IWRG match.

Other News

WWE announced their annual Mexico City and Monterrey dates for July 13th and 14th. These are normal house shows; still no TV tapings of PPVs.

Konnan Big will have a farewell show on March 15th, which is not to be confused with other three ‘last Konnan Big match ever’ matches he’s already had. The main event of Heddi Karaoui, Travis Banks and Ivan Rokov versus Simbolo, Konnan Big and 9-10 MMA fighter El Loco Ricardo Arreola looks especially wretched. Though it’s not like anyone’s going to the latest Konnan Big retirement show to see a good match, they’re going see something dumb and it can’t get much dumber than that match.

The El Halcon movie is due out this week, and it’s getting a lot of write ups on

Segunda Caida reviews Pierroth/La Parka from 2000.

An interview with Oaxaca’s Incognito Jr., who debuts on 01/06.

A profile of Tepic luchador Marakame I

Torneo de Escuelas final, AAA upcoming TV lineups, Parejas Incredible teams

CMLL

CMLL (FRI) 02/23/2024 Arena México
1) Micro Gemelo Diablo I & Micro Gemelo Diablo II vs Mije & Periquito Sacaryas
2) Marcela & Skadi vs Hera & Olympia
3) Bárbaro Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Terrible vs Averno, Euforia, Mephisto
4) Alom (CDMX), Astro Boy Jr. (CDMX), Dragón de Fuego, Forneo, Hunter (CDMX), Legendario vs El Hijo De Centella Roja, El Malayo, El Novato (Puebla), Rayo Metálico (Guanajuato), Rey Apocalipsis, Xelhua [Torneo de Escuelas, final]
CDMX vs Puebla
5) Ángel de Oro, Atlantis Jr., Brillante Jr. vs Máscara Dorada, Neón, Soberano Jr. [Relevos Increíbles]

The main event should be good, even if it’s the oddity of Mascara Dorada being on the rudo side. (Or Atlantis Jr.?) Mexico City seems unlikely to lose Torneo de Escuelas back to back years, but that’s not really a team that has to win. It’s possible a trios title match comes out of match 3, but otherwise nothing to focus on the undercard.

Beyond the trophy for best school, all these young wrestlers are trying to impress to get full time spots on the roster. CMLL kinda knows who they want to spotlight – it was no accident Xelhua got the hero performance last week – but other people can forced their way into the conversation. This, and watching a Vegas match on one of the Saturday shows, got me to thinking about how last year’s Torneo de Escuelas wrestlers turned out

Names Team Status
Futuro CDMX Full Time
Max Star CDMX Full Time
Neón CDMX Full Time
Vegas CDMX Full Time
Brillante Jr. Laguna Full Time
Crixus GDL Full Time
Rey Samuray Puebla Occasional
Hijo de Stuka Jr. Laguna Occasional
Misterio Blanco Laguna Occasional
Misterio Negro Laguna Occasional
Vaquero Jr. GDL Occasional
Ángel Rebelde GDL Rarely
Histórico CDMX Rarely
Príncipe CDMX Didn’t return
Tonalli CDMX Didn’t return
Gran Jefe Laguna Didn’t return
Rey Insólito Laguna Didn’t return
Adrenalina GDL Didn’t return
Explosivo GDL Didn’t return
Fantástico GDL Didn’t return
Hijo de Centella Roja Puebla Didn’t return
Millenium Puebla Didn’t return
Multy Puebla Didn’t return
Perverso Puebla Didn’t return
Prayer Puebla Didn’t return

In retrospect, it’s obvious which names were going to get on the roster anyway and last year’s tournament was just the way to introduce thhem. The Mexico City team didn’t win, but CMLL sure liked to keep most of them around. Principe was the guy who wrestled in the semifinal for Team CDMX before Historico replaced him in the final. As best I can tell – and it’s imperfect which a name that generic – Principe hasn’t wrestled again. Vegas was good in that tournament but I wonder if he essentially just got Tonalli’s spot. I still don’t understand what happened with Angel Rebelde; maybe he just didn’t want to move to Mexico City?

A block of stuff that was announced on Informa but I’m putting this line up top so I don’t have to keep saying “On Informa, they said”:

  • The Parejas Incredible tournament will be an eight team tournament this year, down from the typical sixteen. This routes around many wrestlers already being announced for the date of the final, Homenaje a Dos Leyendas. The March 15th block is:
    • Akuma & Dulce Gardenia
    • Euforia & Gran Guerrero
    • Angel de Oro & Flip Gordon
    • Mascara Dorada & Rocky Romero, the heavy favorites to advance
  • Jushin Liger and Tiger Mask IV will appear on the 03/01 Arena Mexico show. Liger had previously been announced for an appearance/autograph tour. Liger will not be wrestling, though CMLL didn’t exactly make that clear. (He is retired but Mexican wrestling fans are used to that not meaning anything.) Tiger Mask will wrestle.
  • La Catalina declared she’s going to be a tecnica going forward. She’s breaking up with her ex-friend Stephanie Vaquer after since Vaquer decided to second Zeuxis in the Universal final last year, and more so after Vaquer attacked her in Puebla after a match. Tuesday’s match – which left Catalina with an arm injury that’ll be fine before the next match – was the breaking point, and Catalina can’t stand to team with Vaquer or the other rudas any more. Vaquer and Catalina went back and forth on social media.
  • A video package highlighted the issues between Atrapasuenos, Ola Negra, Cancerberos and Indestructibles. There was no hint where it all was going. Four way trios feuds are uncharted territory in CMLL.

Not on Informa itself, but in the media interviews prior, Tony Salazar talked about his training philosophy a bit. He says he’s training big groups now and prefers to train wrestlers who are totally new, not people who trained with others (and picked up habits he doesn’t like.) He says some wrestlers are scared to train with him because he’s so strict, but feels he needs to be strict to get through to students, and part of being a professional wrestler is handing that sort of pain. Salazar says his hope is someday one of his students is the wrestler honored at Homenaje a Dos Leyendas. (Mistico certainly will be one day.) Salazar says he admires Volador’s leadership over his students, because they’re all very united. It seems like Volador’s training more people – there seemed to be a significant amount of people in the Torneo de Escuelas who cited him as a trainer – but there’s never been much of a public announcement about it.

There’s still tickets left to 03/29 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas, but really just the upper levels. A couple of the seats in the Freedom restaurant are still left (thouh you have to click around on the map to get it.) The map doesn’t show how many tickets are available in upper levels. Ticketmaster used to put a low ticket warning when a show was about sold out, and I don’t see it yet.

CMLL put up the Ola Negra/Cancerberos match from 02/11 as a free match on YouTube. They’ve also put up matches 4/6 from Saturday’s show for members; they’ve been doing bigger matches since the first week. None of the matches have been notable in terms of quality.

Ultimo Guerrero is still in Japan with Lluvia, Jarochita and Tabata. Titan also still seems to be in Japan with his family (or he’s posting old photos.) Maybe there other people on vacation? I haven’t deeply searched Instagram. Rocky Romero, Mascara Dorada and Mistico are in San Jose Saturday for Pro Wrestling Revolution.

CMLL (SAT) 02/24/2024 Arena Coliseo
1) Bengala & Retro vs Grako & Inquisidor
2) Amapola & Olympia vs Metálica & Tiffany
3) Arkalis, Guerrero Maya Jr., Stigma vs Difunto, Raider, Vegas
4) Cancerbero, Luciferno, Virus vs Apocalipsis, Cholo, Disturbio
5) Magia Blanca © vs Fugaz [MEX WELTER]
6) Atlantis, Blue Panther, Volador Jr. vs Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Templario

Magia Blanca is up to six defenses. Half of them have been against Fugaz. Match 4 continues that trios feud.

CMLL (SAT) 02/24/2024 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Gallo Jr., Obek, Rafaga Jr. vs Calavera Jr. I, Calavera Jr. II, Rav
2) Leo, Omar Brunetti, Vaquero Jr. vs Ángel Rebelde, Barboza, Persa
3) Adira, Dulce Kitty, Náutica vs Nexy, Sexy Sol, Valkiria
4) Dark Magic, Elemental, Yutani vs Arlequín, Cris Skin, Trono
5) Andrómeda, La Catalina, Mystique vs Dark Silueta, Maligna, Persephone
6) Dulce Gardenia & La Fashion vs Bestia Negra & Ráfaga
7) Adrenalina, Brillante Jr., Explosivo, Fantástico vs Furia Roja, Gallero, Guerrero de la Muerte, Halcón Negro Jr.

CMLL (SUN) 02/25/2024 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Avispón Negro Jr., Bello Antuan, Último Ángel vs Eclipse Jr., Rumbero, Shezmu
2) Ángel Rebelde, Halcón Negro Jr., Trono vs Black Boy, Thunder Boy, Yaky Boy
3) Adira, Dulce Kitty, Náutica vs Estrellita Maldita, Sexy Sol, Valkiria
4) Dark Magic, Elemental, Yutani vs Exterminador, Javier Cruz Jr., Maléfico
5) Andrómeda, La Catalina, Mystique vs Dark Silueta, Maligna, Persephone
6) Dulce Gardenia & La Fashion vs Guerrero de la Muerte & Ráfaga
7) Brillante Jr., Leo, Omar Brunetti, Vaquero Jr. vs Arlequín, Bestia Negra, Furia Roja, Gallero

CMLL is back to running on Sunday in Guadalajara. They’re also running the afternoon prior with pretty much the same crew as a free sponsored show. I assume the Sunday show came about because they were already bringing in people for Saturday. I’m uncertain there’s going to be a great demand for a Sunday pay show after a Saturday free show. They are doing 1 peso tickets for kids. Maybe Mascara Dorada got dropped because he wouldn’t be free both days?

For people who don’t care about all of that but want to watch wrestling, this means Guadalajara will be streaming both Saturday and Sunday but you probably don’t need to watch both.

CMLL (SUN) 02/25/2024 Arena México
1) Acero, Aéreo, Kaligua vs Full Metal, Pequeño Polvora, Pequeño Violencia
2) Leono & Retro vs Nitro & Príncipe Odín Jr.
3) Skadi vs Zeuxis [lightning]
4) Fuego, Panterita del Ring, Volcano vs Gemelo Diablo II, Kráneo, Sagrado
5) Esfinge, Hombre Bala Jr., Star Jr. vs Crixus, Magnus, Rugido
6) Atlantis Jr., Flip Gordon, Místico vs Gran Guerrero, Hechicero, Soberano Jr.

Magnus gets back in the Los Deperdadores mix, with Crixus in for Magia Blanca. Odin and Retro are on opposite sides of a match again.

CMLL (MON) 02/26/2024 Arena Puebla
1) Astro & Rayo Metálico vs Espíritu Maligno & Rencor
2) El Novato & Xelhua vs Hijo del Perverso & Multy
3) Andrómeda, Astoreth, La Catalina, Lady Metal, Skadi vs Dark Silueta, Diablita Roja, Lady Amazona, Mania, Zeuxis
4) Fugaz & Hombre Bala Jr. vs El Perverso & Prayer
5) Ángel de Oro & Niebla Roja © vs Fugaz & Star Black
14th defense
6) Atlantis Jr., Máscara Dorada, Volador Jr. vs Averno, Euforia, Zandokan Jr.

I think Angel de Oro and Niebla Roja are going with a higher number, and they may be right. CMLL could help this angle by laying it out (and not just assuming I have the luchawiki updated; I haven’t had the time to update the title histories there in months.)

While I need to fix it, the cibernetico in the third match helps clear up who’s supposed to be tecnicas and rudas in this Puebla division. Multy hasn’t been here since last May. That was a match that went up on YouTube (holiday show) and so I’m pretty sure I saw it, but I don’t recall an injury.

AAA

AAA on Space has no episode title this week. The oldest unaired taping is the second part of the Mexico City taping so that’s my guess.

AAA released the full card for the 03/09 Saltillo taping.

AAA TV (SAT) 03/09/2024 Lienzo Charro Prof. Enrique Gonzalez, Saltillo, Coahuila [Saltillo Al Raz De Lona]
1) ?, ??, ??? vs ????, ?????, ??????
2) Drago, Epydemius Jr., Estrellato vs Hijo del Picudo, May Flowers, Nygma
3) Dulce Kanela, Jessy Queen, Pimpinela Escarlata vs Flammer, La Hiedra, Maravilla
4) Toscano & Zorro vs Antifaz & Hator
5) Aerostar, Myzteziz, Negro Casas vs Dark Cuervo, Dark Ozz, Dark Scoria
6) Pagano & Psycho Clown vs Forastero & Sansón [AAA TAG]
4th defense (2nd on TV)
7) Hijo Del Vikingo, Octagón Jr., Vampiro Canadiense vs Dave The Clown, Murder Clown, Panic Clown

AAA added match 2 (return of the Vatos Locos) and 4, both of which probably will not be good. They left Hijo del Vikingo in the main event. He is unlikely to be in the main event.

AAA TV (SAT) 03/16/2024 Gimnasio Olímpico Juan de la Barrera, Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal
1) ? & ?? vs ??? & ????
2) Faby Apache, La Parkita, Mr. Iguana, Pimpinela Escarlata vs Bengala, Dalys, Jessy Queen, Parkita Negra
3) Myzteziz Jr. & Octagón Jr. vs Aerostar & Laredo Kid
4) Oscar Sevilla & Súper Caló vs Charly Manson & Nygma
5) Pagano vs ? vs Mecha Wolf
6) Dave The Clown, Murder Clown, Panic Clown vs Dark Cuervo, Dark Ozz, Dark Scoria
7) Psycho Clown vs Cibernético vs El Patrón Alberto

By my best guess, this starts airing on April 28, a four week delay. It is also probably the last taping before TripleMania Monterrey.

They might as well make that main event for the vacant mega title, but AAA still hasn’t said anything about Vikingo or the title. They also are missing the random foreign wrestler I guess.

Maybe Vikingo was in the mystery spot in the fifth match? Weren’t Pagano and Mecha Wolf meant to be part of a group? You know it’s not that important.

Match 3 might be the only good one. The Faby Apache/Dalys feud continues in the second, though AAA booking a women’s singles match seems unlikely.

IWRG

IWRG (SUN) 02/25/2024 Arena Naucalpan
1) Ajolotl & Fussion vs Histeriosis & Rey Aztaroth
2) Keyra vs Lolita
3) Auzter, Spider Fly, Tornado vs Águila Roja, Cerebro Negro Jr., Rey Halcón
4) Tonalli vs Cerebro Negro
5) Ivan Rokov & Vangellys vs Hell Boy & Hijo de Canis Lupus
6) Gran Pandemónium, Hijo de Pandemónium, Pandemónium Jr. vs Arez, Látigo, Toxin

Los Vipers returned to attack MexaBoys, end up fighting La Pandemia. OK.

Big Lucha

Big Lucha (FRI) 02/23/2024 Arena Big Lucha, Iztapalapa, Distrito Federal
1) Diosa Nix & La Brava vs Sairely & Satania
2) Cósmico & Helios vs Rey Espectrito & Solaris
3) Cometa Maya, Morfosis, Radioactivo vs Shere Khan, Sol, X-Devil
4) Brujo, Limbo, Torito Negro vs Atómico Jr., Auzter, Black Skayde
5) El Potro de Oro, Jack Evans, Súper Nova vs Caballero de Plata, Ciclón Ramírez Jr., Hijo del Pirata Morgan

This week has an INJUVE/Big Lucha theme for some of the matches.

Other News

CMLL luchadora Andromeda has been part of an minor ongoing saga. KAOZ Lucha Libre claimed she signed a contract with them when she was still indie luchador Estrellita Lagunera, one they’d definitely be enforcing and she’d definitely still be wrestling for them whenever it was they’d get around to running a next show. That next show is March 24th and Estrellita Lagunera is wrestling – only KAOZ announced it’d be a new person. They had been so insistent they were going to get Andromeda to be on the show that this announcement was mocked heavily; comments are now closed.

Taya beat Sussy Love last night on ROH’s Honor Club show, as part of a tournament to decide a first ever ROH Women’s TV champion. Almost all of the first round matches in the 16 women tournament are roster members versus outside talent, with the unsigned talent getting just enough offense to look like they belonged in the tournament (but none of them actually winning.) Sussy Love did enough flashy things to do well in that role; I don’t know that if she’ll be back in ROH but she did well enough to be considered.

Might be something, might be nothing: ROH announcers mentioned Sussy Love’s background in Big Lucha, but not AAA.. They talked about Taya’s background in Mexico without saying where that happened. Komander again didn’t have the AAA Cruiserweight Championship. I think me making a big deal about AEW distancing themselves from AAA is going to fall on deaf ears – a lot of people half paying attention though AEW already did that just by working with CMLL. I see there’s more going on here but maybe that’s me overthinking it.

A visit to a Zacatecas lucha libre musuem.

CMLL trios feuding, Vaquer/Catlina, new Taurus

CMLL

CMLL (MON) 02/19/2024 Arena Puebla [Mano a Mano, Porra Fresa]
1) Rayo Metálico & Xelhua b Asturiano & Novato
2) Astral b Enfermero Jr. [lightningFacebook video (posted by )
3) Amazona & Zeuxis b Marcela & Skadi
Originally Vaquer vs Catalina
4) Arkalis, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Samuray b El Malayo, Rey Apocalipsis, Siky Ozama Facebook video (posted by )
Rey Samuray’s first match since his father, King Rocker, passed away on February 4th.
5) Esfinge, Fugaz, Star Black b Ángel de Oro, Hijo del Villano III, Niebla Roja
Fugaz & Star Black beat the Chavez, asked for a tag title match
6) Bárbaro Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Terrible © b Atlantis, Flip Gordon, Star Jr. [CMLL TAG]
Cavernario submitted flip.

King Rocker (Ignacio Sandoval) was a wrestler for 30 years and a mask maker for 25. He wrestled as King May, Chupacabras, and King Rocker. Rey Samuray, King Rrcker Jr. and King May Jr. followed him into wrestling; I presume it was “King Rocker Jr.” who was wrestling in Arena Puebla shows in 2018 and 2019.

There’s no mention of why the women’s match got challenged. Both women, but Catalina especially, have a lot of social media admirers. Those fans seemed displeased she wasn’t there. It was odd CMLL had that match booked back to back nights; maybe there was a change but the only person who does the posters was busy in Japan at that moment?

CMLL (TUE) 02/20/2024 Arena México [CMLL]
1) Mercurio, Minos, Pequeño Violencia b Fantasy, Galaxy, Shockercito
2) Dr. Karonte I, Enfermero Jr., Sangre Imperial b Diamond, Robin, Valiente Jr.
3) Dulce Gardenia, Espíritu Negro, Rey Cometa DQ Akuma, Dark Magic, Espanto Jr.
Dulce faked a foul on Akuma after Akuma repeatedly tried to use the ropes to win. Challenges followed.
4) Hijo del Villano III, Villano III Jr., Zandokan Jr. b Futuro, Max Star, Neón
Villanos seemed to get a tights pull on the finish but it wasn’t played up.
5) La Catalina DQ Stephanie Vaquer
Vaquer got willingly DQed using the hanging in the ropes armbar
6) Esfinge, Flip Gordon, Star Jr. b Bárbaro Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Terrible

The women’s match came off as a story match: Vaquer kept going after Catalina’s arm, apparently more to injure her (and prove Catalina isn’t on her level) than to actually win the match. Catalina eked out the second fall with a reinera, and maybe a reason the match was three falls was just so Catalina wouldn’t get totally squashed. She got other comeback in there, but the match ended before either women came close to having a match. It was good in an contextless space, but if it’s meant to be character building (in other words, if I’m reading into it something that was actually meant to exist), it was effective in it’s aims. La Catalina was in a sling on Wednesday selling the beating.

I think Vaquer is better playing the cruel rudo than just doing action matches, and Catalina fell into the role of sympathetic tecnica. Vaquer wrestles a lot like her training/ex Ricky Marvin, and CMLL needs to find her the female equivalent of an Arez to beat up on. That may be a tall task; I’d settle for finding more happy young foreigners who don’t mind being kicked very hard.

La Escudra versus the tecnicas was not the crazy go nuts match those two teams are capable and have shown to be capable of in the past. It was a good match with solid teamwork. The tecnicos had good nights in terms of hitting what their big moves, and the rudos had good energy. (The Barbaros had some weird and not great energy at times in their match, but that’s a different story.) Those two teams have a better match in them but this one was pretty good for a Tuesday.

There’s clearly something coming with the Atrapasuenos, Ola Negra, Cancerberos and (less so) Indestructibles all having cheating finishes versus each other. A multiteam trios feud is unusual ground for CMLL, no knowing how it’s going to work out. Or when – there’s no room for it on Homenaje a Dos Leyendas, but the Arena Coliseo & Arena Mexico Anniversary shows are coming up in April.

Corey Taylor of Slipknot met Atlantis before the show. It is unclear if either man knew who the other man was before their meeting.

CMLL (TUE) 02/20/2024 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Arena Coliseo Guadalajara, Mas Lucha]
1) Atilius, Maximus, Rey Urano b Avispón Negro Jr., Lince Del Bajio, Último Ángel
2) Arlequín & Garrabato b Guerrero de la Muerte & Shezmu and Cowboy & Omar Brunetti and Abigor La Pesadilla & Cris Skin and Bestia Negra & Rav and Johnny Dinamo & Prince Drago and Adrenalina & Obek and Amenaza Negra Jr. & Minotauro and Demonio Maya & Mandala and Leo & Temerario and Canalla & Principe Daniel and Fantástico & Halcón de Plata [Gran Alterantiva Tapatia]
worked as a cibernetico, though teams worked together at random parts. Garrabto got hurt on a tope con giro (didn’t turn over enough, opponent was too far away, landed on shoulders/neck) and was stretched out; Arlequin quickly won on his own.
3) Gallero, Halcón Negro Jr., Vaquero Jr. b Azteca Warrior, Desafio, Gato Fantasma
4) Barboza, Draego, Persa, Satánico b El Coyote, Felino, Felino Jr., Pólvora
Peras beat Felino Jr. via mask pull
5) Dark Silueta b Estrellita Mágica [lightning]
6) Lady Amazona, Sexy Sol, Skadi b Hera, Metálica, Olympia

I don’t understand this Gran Alternativa at all. I’m also confused how they went two straight women’s matches at the end.

CMLL Informa today has

  • Mascara Dorada (FantasticaMania, AEW, other shows he may or may not be working)
  • Zeuxis, La Catalina, Skadi (?)
  • Fugaz (challenging Magia Blanca again)
  • Dulce Gardenia & Akuma (whatever’s going on with the trios)
  • Xelhua (Torneo Escuelas)

That’s a low amount of guests for Informa, so maybe more segments. The incredible pairs tournament is the next item on the calendar to announce. There’s still three more Informas to announce so it might be too soon to even get the first team announced.

At today’s CMLL media day, Tony Salazar took credit for training KeMalito. True evil.

Mascara Dorada is off the Prestige Wrestling show this weekend in Los Angeles. I believe he’s working that Sunday Arena Coliseo Guadalajara show. Rey Horus will now face a mystery wrestler, who I believe is a Mexican wrestler. Mascara Dorada is still working the Pro Wrestling Revolucion show on Saturday in San Jose.

Lluvia & La Jarochita teaching lucha libre on morning TV (in a pre-taped segment, i’d assume.)

Box y Lucha 3591 has the Torneo de Escuelas final.

AAA

AAA has no update on Hijo del Vikingo. I mean, they’ve not mentioned Hijo del Vikingo even getting hurt yet on social media. His injury (more so the lack of stretcher) was a viral story for a day there. Just not one AAA was participating in.

Mas Lucha posted a lot of interviews from after the Showcenter taping. They used to hold these back until the tapings aired. Maybe AAA’s very delayed airing schedule has caused them to no longer wait. (That taping may air mid March.) The New Taurus talks about how the previous Taurus left the name very high and there are going to be someone new people who like him and some people who hate him. I’m guessing more in one category than the other. I keep going negative on this strategy so here is a roundabout positive: he’s probably not goin got get over Taurus but AAA also probably wasn’t going to get him over as Dick Angelo 3G. If, for whatever reason, he gets over on his own or AAA decides to actually push him, at least they have him under a gimmick they’re comfortable. It’s going to be tough to get him over when he has to get out of the shadow of the previous guy but it doesn’t really matter either way if he’s just going to be a prelim guy. He lost in a fourway in his debut, he’s probably going to be a prelim guy. Abismo Negro Jr., who’s in the same spot and is a mentor to both the new Taurus and the new Bengala, wrote a long Facebook post defending them against the haters.

Flammer & Hiedra said Maravilla is injured and that’s why she missed that show.

Other News

Tijuana luchador, trainee and referee Kamaleon Negro (David Espinoza Lopez, 63) passed away on Tuesday.

Damian 666 told Guadalajara’s Lucha Libre Select that he plans on retiring on August 9th of this year. That sounds like there’s a show already booked.

Laredo Kid will face Jake Something on 02/24 for TNA in New Orleans. That doesn’t appear to be an Xplosion match for Laredo. It also doesn’t appear to be a win but you take what you can get. I wonder where the sources complaining about Pentagon not being used on Dynamite were when Laredo and Taurus were frequently being flown in to TNA’s taping and either only on Xplosion/BTI or not at all last year.

Thunder Rosa, doing an interview written up by Ovaciones, mentioned she has plans to run a show in Arena Mexico in mid-September where the profits would go to food banks. This is a thing a wrestler might say and then it doesn’t actually happen, but there’s at least a chance it’s a real thing with Thunder Rosa.

GCW announced Myron Reed versus Oni El Bendito for their 03/01 show in St. Louis.

Hijo del Vikingo knee injury, FantasticaMania 2024 wraps, Team Puebla pulls off upset

CMLL

CMLL (FRI) 02/16/2024 Arena México [AS, CMLL, ExcelsiorFDDEKaiser SportsThe Gladiatores, thecubsfan]
1) Hombre Bala Jr. b Felino Jr. [lightningCMLL - MATCH RELÁMPAGO / FELINO JR. VS HOMBRE BALA JR. / ARENA MÉXICO / 16-02-24 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) Deteniendo el reloj en 7:26, Hombre Bala Jr se lleva el triunfo ante un aguerrido Felino Jr (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
7:27
2) Cancerbero, Luciferno, Virus b Dulce Gardenia, Espíritu Negro, Rey Cometa CMLL - LUCIFERNO-CANCERBERO-VIRUS VS REY COMETA- ESPÍRITU NEGRO-DULCE GARDENIA/ARENA MÉXICO/16-02-24 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) Colmillada de Cancerberos, Virus, Cancerbero y Luciferno derrotan a D.Gardenia, R.Cometa y E.Negro (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
11;19. straight falls, with Virus using the ropes and his partners to illegally beat Rey Cometa. Cometa wanted a rematch and masks versus hair, Virus said he’d save Cometa the embarrassment of being bald again for now.
3) Flip Gordon & Star Jr. b Ángel de Oro & Niebla Roja CMLL - NIEBLA ROJA - ÁNGEL DE ORO VS FLIP GORDON - STAR JR. / ARENA MÉXICO / 16-02-24 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) CMLL: Flip Gordon y Star Jr. derrotan a Ángel de Oro y Niebla Roja (posted by mluchatv) Star Jr y Flip Gordon a base de espectacularidad aérea derrotaron a Ángel de Oro y Niebla Roja (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
13:45
4) Stephanie Vaquer & Zeuxis © b Lady Frost & Tessa Blanchard [CMLL WOMENCMLL - LADY FROST - TESSA BLANCHARD VS ZEUXIS - STEPHANIE VAQUER / ARENA MÉXICO / 16-02-24 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) CMLL: Stephanie Vaquer y Zeuxis retienen el Campeonato de Parejas ante Lady Frost y Tessa Blanchard (posted by mluchatv) S.Vaquer y Zeuxis retienen el Campeonato Mundial Femenil de Parejas CMLL ante T.Blanchard y L.Frost (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
9:23. second defense. Thunder Rosa, seated in the front row, was introduced to the crowd before the match. She didn’t get involved in the match.
5) Adrenalina, Barboza (Jalisco), Calavera Jr. I (Jalisco), Calavera Jr. II (Jalisco), Fantástico, Persa (Jalisco) b El Hijo De Centella Roja, El Malayo, El Novato (Puebla), Rayo Metálico (Guanajuato), Rey Apocalipsis, Xelhua [Torneo de Escuelas, semifinal¡Los Poblanos están en la gran final| Xelhua hace la hombrada y derrota a Calavera Jr (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre) CMLL - TORNEO DE ESCUELAS / GUADALAJARA VS PUEBLA / ARENA MÉXICO / 16-02-24 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) CMLL: La Escuela de Puebla derrota a Guadalajara y llegan a la final del Torneo de Escuelas (posted by mluchatv)
37:41. Order of elimination: Malayo (13:32, via Calavera), Persa (15:26, Rayo Metalico), Rey Apocalipsis (17:07, Fantastico), Rayo Metalico (19:42 Barboza), Fantastico (20:09, Xelhua), Novato (22:40, Adrenalina), Hijo de Centella Roja (25:16, Calavera II), Barboza (26:36, Xelhua), Novato (29:37, Calavera I), Calavera II (31:08, Xelhua), Calavera I (37:41, Xelhua) leaving Xelhua and Team Puebla as the winner. Team Guadalajara falls in an attempt at back to back wins.

This Torneo de Escuelas team was built around Xelhua as the protagonist. He faced a tag team on his own, showed off some cool holds, and got the upset win. It was asking a lot, and he came through well. So did the Calaveras. The Arena Mexico crowd got into the closing five minutes, treating each near fall between unknown wrestlers as a big deal. The entire match came across stronger than the previous week.

The women’s match had a couple of good spots and was a mess at other times. Zeuxis failed to catch Tessa Blanchard on her dive and didn’t make much of an effort, and Blanchard was visibly angry at Zeuxis about it. There were a couple of other things in the ring that didn’t go well either. The finish didn’t make any sense – Blanchard and Frost hit their big moves, picked up the champs instead of covering, and the champs immediately reversed it into their finish.

Everyone else sold with, match two best of the bunch.

CMLL (SAT) 02/17/2024 Arena Coliseo [CMLL]
1) Retro b Príncipe Odín Jr. [lightning]
2) Astral, Eléctrico, Leono b Grako, Nitro, Sangre Imperial
Leono replaced Electrico
3) Crixus, Raider, Vegas b El Audaz, Fuego, Panterita del Ring
4) Volcano b Valiente [lightning]
about 8 minutes
5) Lady Frost, Reyna Isis, Tessa Blanchard b Amapola, Metálica, Persephone
6) Esfinge, Fugaz, Star Black b Gran Guerrero, Magia Blanca, Rugido
Fugaz beat Magia Blanca and challenged for a title match again

Fugaz has challenged Magia Blanca and failed twice so far. Hector Garza once lost four straight times against Ultimo Guerrero for the CMLL Heavyweight title before beating him on try five, so there’s hope there.

Volcano beating Valiente caught me by surprise.

CMLL (SUN) 02/18/2024 Arena México [CMLL]
1) Leono b Bengala [lightning]
2) Angelito, Shockercito, Último Dragóncito b Mercurio, Pequeño Violencia, Pierrothito
3) Akuma, Dark Magic, Espanto Jr. b Apocalipsis, Cholo, Disturbio
Ola Negra cheated to beat Los Indestructribles, who wanted a rematch
4) Guerrero Maya Jr., Hijo de Blue Panther, Hijo de Octagón b Felino, Rey Bucanero, Sagrado
5) Hera, Lady Frost, Tessa Blanchard b Andrómeda, Marcela, Skadi
6) Blue Panther, Octagón, Valiente b Averno, Euforia, Mephisto

A lot of the midcard trios cheating the other midcard trios right now.

CMLL (TUE) 02/20/2024 Arena México
1) Fantasy, Galaxy, Shockercito vs Mercurio, Minos, Pequeño Violencia
2) Diamond, Robin, Valiente Jr. vs Dr. Karonte I, Enfermero Jr., Sangre Imperial
3) Dulce Gardenia, Espíritu Negro, Rey Cometa vs Akuma, Dark Magic, Espanto Jr.
4) Futuro, Max Star, Neón vs Hijo del Villano III, Villano III Jr., Zandokan Jr.
5) Stephanie Vaquer vs La Catalina
6) Esfinge, Flip Gordon, Star Jr. vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Terrible

This looks good, though it is a Tuesday show so it may not always deliver. Match four has people who do crazy things if motivated to do so. Vaquer/Catalina was set up last week. The main event was solid.

CMLL (FRI) 02/23/2024 Arena México
1) Micro Gemelo Diablo I & Micro Gemelo Diablo II vs Mije & Periquito Sacaryas
2) Marcela & Skadi vs Hera & Olympia
3) Bárbaro Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Terrible vs Averno, Euforia, Mephisto
4) Alom (CDMX), Astro Boy Jr. (CDMX), Dragón de Fuego, Forneo, Hunter (CDMX), Legendario vs El Hijo De Centella Roja, El Malayo, El Novato (Puebla), Rayo Metálico (Guanajuato), Rey Apocalipsis, Xelhua [Torneo de Escuelas, final]
CDMX vs Puebla
5) Ángel de Oro, Atlantis Jr., Brillante Jr. vs Máscara Dorada, Neón, Soberano Jr. [Relevos Increíbles]

FantasticaMania is over, though not as much of the roster are showing up on the first day as might be expected. It’s just three – Atlantis Jr., Mascara Dorada and Soberano. They’re playing off the Gran Alternativa final, though not with Mistico.

Puebla still seems like the underdog to Mexico City. Match 2 is mother/daughter versus sister/sister. The micros make a rare Friday appearance.

CMLL FantasticaMania

CMLL, NJPW (SAT) 02/17/2024 Makuhari Messe International Conference Hall 1, Chiba, Japan [NJPW (English)NJPW (Japanese)]
1) La Jarochita & Lluvia b Ruaka & Starlight Kid
12:37, Jarochita beat Ruaka
2) Kamaitachi, Tetsuya Naito, Yota Tsuji b Difunto, Ryusuke Taguchi, Súper Kokeshi Machine
6:51. Tomoaki Honma as Súper Kokeshi Machine, replaced Satoshi Kojima on 02/08 (knee injury). Yota submitted Difunto with an inverted camapana.
3) Hechicero, Okumura, SHO, Yoshinobu Kanemaru b Atlantis Jr., Dark Panther, Hiroshi Tanahashi, YOH
11:59. Hechicero submitted Dark Panther.
4) Brillante Jr. & Soberano Jr. DQ Douki & Templario [Relevos Increíbles]
8:40. Templario unmasked Soberano for the DQ, then took out some young lions.
5) Francesco Akira, Máscara Dorada, Místico b El Desperado, Rocky Romero, Tiger Mask [Relevos Increíbles]
10:43. Akira beat Tiger Mask
6) Bushi & Titán b Pegasso & Stigma [FACTION, third place]
8:35. Angel Inmortal on Stigma.
7) Stuka Jr. & Último Guerrero b Magnus & Volador Jr. [FACTION, final]
13:07. Guerrero Special on Magnus. Ultimo Guerrero wins this tournament in back to back years, once with Stuka and once with Atlantis Jr.

This was the best of the non-Korakuen Hall shows, though there was nothing you had to see. The tag tournament matches were good, the other matches were fine. The women’s match got a lot of attention because it existed – CMLL women on a NJPW show, Stardom wrestlers showing up – but the match itself was long and not really special.

CMLL, NJPW (SUN) 02/18/2024 Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan [CMLLNJPW (English)NJPW (Japanese)]
Attendance: 1455
1) Hiroshi Tanahashi, Pegasso, Ryusuke Taguchi b Súper Kokeshi Machine, Tiger Mask, YOH
8:03. Tanahashi beat Súper Kokeshi Machine. Ryusuke Taguchi replaced Satoshi Kojima on 02/08 (knee injury)
2) Bushi, Kamaitachi, Tetsuya Naito, Yota Tsuji b Magnus, SHO, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Yujiro Takahashi
8:28. Tsuji submitted Magnus (after HOT left instead of making the save)
3) Titán b Brillante Jr.
7:47. Titan submitted Brillante Jr. to a Llave Inmortal, and motioned for Brillante Jr. to make it back to Korakuen Hall for a rematch.
4) Atlantis Jr., Dark Panther, Musashi b Douki, Hechicero, Okumura
11:55. MUSASHI replaced Master Wato (knee injury) on 01/25.
5) El Desperado, Máscara Dorada, Místico, Stigma b Difunto, Francesco Akira, Stuka Jr., Último Guerrero
13:03. Stigma wrestled in Black Cat themed gear, beat Difunto with the Skandalo Driver.
6) Soberano Jr. b Templario
18:40. Soberano won via two Soberano Drivers.
7) Volador Jr. b Rocky Romero
22:34. Volador springboard Canadian Destroyer. Volador introduced his son as the (soon to be) third generation of the Volador name.

Soberano/Templario and Volador/Romero delivered as expected. Soberano and Templario went crazy with big moves from the start and bordered on too much; a Soberano Skandalo Driver on the apron caused both of them fall off the apron and Templario to take a scary additional bump on his head/neck. He seemed fine enough to finish the match. Volador/Romero had a slower build (and really needed to follow the previous match), but had a more focused story on Romero targeting the arm and coming close to finishing Volador off. Volador landed one shot to get the win, but Romero had most of the match.

Titan/Brillante was a good lightning match, but not one where Brillante really made an big positive impression. He’s still got room for improvement. The tag matches were generally better than the previous nights. In related news, Salvador Lutteroth (and his wife) were visible watching the show from ringside. He and the NJPW heads spoke before Sunday shows, thanking the fans and saying they were already planning the 2025 tour.

CMLL, NJPW (MON) 02/19/2024 Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan [NJPW (English)NJPW (Japanese)] Attendance: 1455
1) Brillante Jr., Ryusuke Taguchi, YOH b Francesco Akira, Pegasso, Stigma
8:31. Brillante beat Pegasso.
2) Bushi, Kamaitachi, Tetsuya Naito, Titán b Difunto, Magnus, SHO, Yoshinobu Kanamaru
Titan defeated Difunto. HOT tried to attack their parnters post match but were thwarted.
3) Okumura b Dark Panther
9:13.
4) Atlantis Jr. b Hechicero
12:42. Atlantis won after two frog splashes.
5) El Desperado, Musashi, Templario, Volador Jr. b Hiroshi Tanahashi, Rocky Romero, Soberano Jr., Tiger Mask [Relevos Increíbles]
11:53. Desperador beat Tiger Mask. MUSASHI replaced Master Wato (knee injury) on 01/25. Post match, Rocky Romero told Soberano and Templario they should end their rivalry and team with him instead. They agreed to form a new (unnamed) trio.
6) Místico b Último Guerrero
13:34. La Mistica
7) Máscara Dorada b Stuka Jr.
17:13. Shooting star press.

Both big matches delivered. You know pretty much everything Mistico and Ultimo Guerrero did in their match, and maybe even the order they did it, but they had in front of a crowd that was very excited for it. Dorada/Stuka was more dynamic and varied – you don’t see tables getting smashed in Arena Mexico – and both men came through in their big main event chance. Atlantis Jr. & Hechicero was a smartly wrestled match, worked around Hechciero ripping a hole in the knee of his trunks near the end. Hechicero took some unusually big bumps in the match, definitely won by Atlantis in the end.

The big news is the Romero/Soberano/Templario trio. A CMLL promo made it clear they’re going to be coming to Arena Mexico as a unit at some point. Soberano hinted about having a new team after he teamed rudo, so maybe this was in the plans for some time.

RevPro announced FantasticaManiaUK will return on Sunday 05/19 at York Hall in London. That’s a decent size venue, bigger than they ran for the previous show I believe.

AAA

The biggest news from the weekend is El Hijo del Vikingo may be out for some time. He suffered a severe looking right knee injury on Saturday in Arena Lopez Mateos. Vikingo got tossed into a flip, landing on his right leg, and his knee gave out. It’s possible there was something wrong with the ring at that right exact spot, but more likely it was just an accumulation of strain on the knee over time adding up. Vikingo has worked through and rehabbed a lot of injuries over the last couple of years, but sometimes body parts just give out. The ringside doctor believed Vikingo tore or ruptured a ligament.

AULL/Arena Lopez Mateos had doctor, but there didn’t seem to be a stretcher. Demonio Infernal had to carry Hijo del Vikingo to the back himself, a visual that caught more attention later in the weekend. Beyond the lack of medical equipment, there’s been a (increasingly) vocal minority unhappy deciding that Vikingo as heavyweight champion is the actual problem with AAA. The megachampionship isn’t meant to be a strictly heavyweight title, but Vikingo’s reign ending with him getting carried away like a child is a lot of fuel for people who already feel someway. (Likewise, it wasn’t hard to find people triumphantly posting on social media about someone getting hurt, taking is as proof that Vikingo was doing a too risky style, and choosing to ignore that what he got hurt on didn’t have any special risk.)

Knee surgery could keep Hijo del Vikingo out anywhere between four weeks and nine months. Early indications is it’ll be the towards the higher end. Vikingo’s also shown an ability (and maybe a stubborness) to come back quick from serious seeming injury situations; maybe he’ll beat whatever estimate that’s given, or maybe beating those estimates lead to this injury. AAA seemed to continue as normal on Sunday’s TV taping, though they did film a video with cheering to send to Vikingo as a supportive message. The next taping is on March 9th in Saltillo, but the actual next storyline event is supposed to happen in the next few days with a TripleMania Monterrey card announcement. AAA probably would’ve announced plans for Vikingo there, doesn’t really have to now, but may give some indication of a direction forward.

AAA taped at the Showcenter in Monterrey on Sunday night. All I have at the moment are the barebone results from Lo Mejor de Lucha:

AAA TV (SUN) 02/18/2024 Showcenter Complex, San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo Leon [Lo Mejor de Lucha]
1) Bebote Valdez b RynoNegus
2) Epydemius Jr., Rey León, Sayrus b Estrellato, Oro Negro, Vazco Jr.
3) Belcegor & Toscano b The Mummy & Ultra
4) Mr. Iguana b DragoTaurusEpydemius
debut of the second Taurus (the former Dick Angelo 3G)
5) Lady Shani, Pimpinela Escarlata, Sexy Star b Dulce Kanela, Flammer, La Hiedra
No Maravilla, Dulce Kanela moved to the ruda side and Pimpinela added.
6) Laredo Kid © b Antifaz del Norte [Showcenter Championship]
7) El Patrón Alberto & Mecha Wolf vs Abismo Negro Jr. & Chessman
match changed around (and Abismo Negro added) due to injury to Hijo del Vikingo the night before

No details on any of the matches, so not sure if Laredo/Antifaz set up anything.

Taurus is Dick Angelo 3G, which was the popular guess. Drago hasn’t really gotten over with the new gimmick, and there’s no reason to believe it’ll go better with Bengala or Taurus. Getting over doesn’t seem to be real point, the point is just to keep the IP active. Lady Wind is the other Lucha x El Barrio winner and presumably will be regimmicked soon. AAA still has a match with all of these people in their original gimmick left to air.

The next Showcenter event will be on June 30th. That’s a big gap, but they have a TripleMania in Monterrey between. 06/30 slides in after TripleMania Tijuana, and probably right before Verano de Escandalo and TripleMania Mexico City. If AAA was a show building to things, it would be an important show to build on.

I don’t have results from the AAA/EMW show in Tijuana as of yet. Of note, QT Marshall didn’t appear. Antifaz del Norte moved up to his spot. QT didn’t indicate any issue making the show on Twitter, and earlier replied to a fan to make it clear he was allowed to wrestle for any promotion (except for WWE.) Working for AAA shouldn’t be a problem, though I guess there’s a chance AEW asked him not to wrestle with Marty Scurll. I know others have been advised (or decided themselves) not to do so in the past, I do not know if that’s the specific case here. That EMW show looks to have been another sell out. They’re back there on 04/13, which sounds like the Origenes concept but not a TV taping. Not completely sure.

AAA’s on Space wasn’t much. Both semifinals were done with the remit of “Hijo de Tirantes has to be unfair to explain him getting kicked out later, but Shani/Apache still have to win despite the unfairness, and also the match has to be good.” It’s a difficult challenge to hit all three. They came closer in the second one but neither was memorable. A post match angle set up a Reina Dorada/La Hiedra feud, and a tacked on promo by Dalys pushed a match with Faby Apache. Neither of those match ups were follows on Sunday’s taping and neither is on the Saltillo one, so those stories aren’t going anywhere any time soon.

AAA filled out the time by airing the opener from the 01/06 Mexico City taping, which Latigo & Toxin over Monster Extreme and Epydemius Junior. It was billed as a “Exhibicion”, which that word on screen for most of the match. It otherwise was the same as any other match, which just sort of drew attention to AAA insisted it was an exhibition match. Perhaps the issue was Monster Extreme, who appeared to be 13 or 14. (Jose Manuel Guillen did say the exact age at one point, but Hugo was talking over.) Mexico City doesn’t usually license wrestlers that young, which may have been why it was an exhibition match. Monster Extreme wrestled a lot of like Mini Vikingo; he knows wrestling and knows his highspots, but much of the actual work is done by the people taking the spots. Latigo & Toxin did a great job of that so Monster Extreme looked great.

(They still have a full unaired episode from that 01/06 taping, which might air next week.)

IWRG

IWRG (SUN) 02/18/2024 Arena Naucalpan [IWRG]
1) Ajolotl & Auzter b Histeriosis & Rey Espartano IWRG EN VIVO | EL PROTECTOR (posted by IWRG tv)
2) Heddi Karaoui b Avisman IWRG EN VIVO | EL PROTECTOR (posted by IWRG tv)
3) Keyra b Sádika [IWRG IC WOMENIWRG EN VIVO | EL PROTECTOR (posted by IWRG tv)
second defense
4) Gran Pandemónium, Hijo de Pandemónium, Pandemónium Jr. © b Carnicero, Granjero, Leñador [IWRG IC TRIOSIWRG EN VIVO | EL PROTECTOR (posted by IWRG tv)
5) Noisy Boy b Hijo del AlebrijeSéptimo DragónSpider FlyAster Boy [IWRG IC MIDDLEIWRG EN VIVO | EL PROTECTOR (posted by IWRG tv)
Puma de Oro scheduled to defend, not mentioned as appearing, so presumably quit again.
6) DMT Azul & Tornado b Rey Halcón & Vangellys and Fussion & Hell Boy and Lendaor & Rey Aztaroth (Estado de México) and Águila Roja & Hijo del Pirata Morgan and Hijo de Canis Lupus & Multifacético Jr. [El ProtectorEL PROTECTOR LUCHA COMPLETA IWRG 2024 (posted by IWRG tv)

This one is only over on the IWRG channel; Mas Lucha was streaming an Aereo/Pagano hair match.

Big Lucha

Big Lucha World (FRI) 02/16/2024 Arena Big Lucha, Iztapalapa, Distrito Federal [thecubsfan]
1) Piraña & Zenky b Obelyus & Skayler
10:20
2) Hombre Sin Nombre Big Lucha & Reiyel b Bogdan Klimov & M2R
9:32.
3) Morfosis b HeliosCósmico
8:27.
4) Brujo, Limbo, Torito Negro b Atómico Jr., Auzter, Black Skayde
13:29
5) El Potro de Oro DCOR Jack EvansHijo del Pirata Morgan
6:34. Pirata added himself to the match while saying he called out Flamita to appear and he didn’t. All three battled outside (and the ring announcer announced the draw before the referee got there)

This was a match of good machces, nothing great, nothing bad (except if you really didn’t like the main event finish.) Match four had post match challenges for titles but I couldn’t follow what titles they were talking about. Match 3 had some cool highspots but not a lot connecting it in between. Match 2 had a guy with no name who seems to be targeting M2R for whatever mysterious reason. The guys in match 1 came out to back Hijo del Pirata Morgan in the main event, so they may be doing an INJUVE versus Big Lucha (versus Locos Evans) feud.

Other News

Friday in Saltillo, Promociones AOZA held a press conference to introduce Blue Demon III. He’s slightly taller than the current wrestler and talked about defending the family name. The Demons billed Blue Demon III as the nephew of Blue Demon Jr. Blue Demon III appeared on Saturday’s show with some very visible tattoos.

There’s an obvious history of Mexican wrestlers being passed off as (fake) family members. Billing Blue Demon III as a Blue Demon Jr.’s nephew as a nephew is a red flag. Demon and his sole known brother (Alejandro Munoz) have been on poor terms at times. Munoz’s shown up in CMLL to endorse the Leyenda de Azul, Demon Jr. hasn’t worked with CMLL for years, and Munoz would seem likely to appear if it was his son debuting as a luchador. Perhaps it’s a relative on his Blue Demon Jr’s wife’s side of the family, but the little we’ve heard about that relationship has been negative. Five years ago, when TripleMania set up the Blue Demon Jr/Dr. Wagner Jr. mask versus hair match, a skinny teenager showed up portrayed as Blue Demon Jr.’s son in training. It felt like Demon invented a child that time just for the purpose of the angle (Wagner had his kids with him.) Around that time, Munoz appeared on CMLL Informa and made a point of saying Blue Demon Jr. owned only the “Blue Demon Jr.” name, which makes it unclear how he could create a Blue Demon III without Munoz involved. (IMPI’s copyright database differs on this point.) My roundabout point is it’s possible Blue Demon III is just another unrelated related under a mask – and those tattoos are going to out him quick if that’s the case – but I don’t have any hard proof that’s the case.

On that same AOZA show, Dark Escoria lost his hair to local Hijo del Guerrero Negro Jr. It would be a surprising outcome at any time – national guys don’t lose to local guys – but more so with La Secta back on AAA TV. Normally, the TV company wouldn’t want someone to change their look with a hair loss, or would pay more to get that hair loss on one of their shows. All I can figure is the outcome was agreed upon before Escoria realized he’d be picking up AAA TV bookings again.

Cibernetico missed that show; his father passed away and he sent a video saying he wouldn’t be appearing.

Black Taurus, Latigo and Toxin defeated Lio Rush, Lee Moriarty, and Jacob Fatu on West Coast Pro Wrestling’s show Sunday night. Taurus was a mystery wrestler. The explanation I got is Black Taurus is supposed to start in AEW “soon”, has his new name and mask worked out, but the first place where all of that is going to be introduced is on AEW. An agreement was worked out to allow Black Taurus to keep using that name after all on dates he’d already agreed to until he gets that AEW name. No one was quite sure if he’d debut that new name before this show, so West Coast just listed him as a surprise wrestler.

That trios match was pretty great, as all the Vipers trios matches in West Coast tend to be. Latigo & Toxin got the pin over Lio Rush, which the sort of victory they’d be unlikely to get in AAA any time soon. The downside is that, every time I see a West Coast Pro show from this Los Angeles venue, the crowd seems to be smaller. There may have been 100 people at this show. These shows seem positively reviewed but they’ve not been able to build much of an audience, and I can’t figure how the economics work. It’s not my money, I’m only worried in that I’m not sure how it can keep going.

Mexico State venue Arena CM announce this past Sunday’s show would be their final show at that venue. They held a press conference earlier in the week, explaining they were moving to a new location with 2-3X seating capacity. The last minute nature of the move – they had a show on the 02/24 that’s now changing locations – is a bit strange.

Pagano defeats Aereo in a hair match in Ciudad Juarez on Sunday.

Relampago’s Japan tour starts soon.

Laredo Kid talks about his upcoming action figure.

Segunda Caida watches more 90s Monterrey.

Guadalajara/Puebla tonight, H2L ticket sales, FantasticaMania Day 4, AAA in Monterrey

CMLL

CMLL (FRI) 02/16/2024 Arena México
1) Hombre Bala Jr. vs Felino Jr. [lightning]
2) Dulce Gardenia, Espíritu Negro, Rey Cometa vs Cancerbero, Luciferno, Virus
3) Flip Gordon & Star Jr. vs Ángel de Oro & Niebla Roja
4) Stephanie Vaquer & Zeuxis © vs Lady Frost & Tessa Blanchard [CMLL WOMEN]
second defense
5) Adrenalina, Barboza (Jalisco), Calavera Jr. I (Jalisco), Calavera Jr. II (Jalisco), Fantástico, Persa (Jalisco) vs El Hijo De Centella Roja, El Malayo, El Novato (Puebla), Rayo Metálico (Guanajuato), Rey Apocalipsis, Xelhua

There’s actual some history for the Guadalajara and Puebla teams: Rey Apocalipsis, Malayo and Siki Osama beat Adrenalina, Fantastico and Explosivo for the Occdiente Trios titles back on 12/29. Guadalajara won the entire thing last year and seem likely to make the final this year, though there’s a lot of people who haven’t been in a big matches on that team. The Puebla guys have struggled to stand out on their own shows; Apocalipsis is a good character but I don’t know about the rest of these teams.

Lady Frost missed some media obligations with what was said to be “stomach discomfort“, but presumably will be ready to go tonight. Those four are going to want to have a memorable match. A title change seems unlikely. The rest of the show are matches that could be good if they want to be and should be at least OK. This will stream live for 25 USD members, and will go up on 02/25 for 9 USD members.

Almost 4,000 tickets were sold in the lower bowl for 03/29 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas in the 24 hours after the card was announced. A in-person ticket buyer today was told the lower bowl is sold out. There’s scattered seats still visible on Ticketmaster, but those may be gone tonight. There’s a good chance this sells out in the next few days.

Some of that ticket moving is reminding people H2L was on sale – CMLL usually waits until they have a big main event before doing so, but they went up quietly a couple of weeks ago with not much info. A lot of that movement is clearly that BCC vs CMLL match. I know some people wanted other things, but those buying tickets sure seem happy enough with what they’ve got. I always thought this show would sell out, but I didn’t think it would be this quick.

That speed of ticket selling makes me rethink a lot. I keep expecting the BCC to do a run-in to set up the match; the match is now set up, and it seems like burning money to have those guys show up without being advertised. CMLL’s got to be interested in doing more with AEW wrestlers if they’re available, and might give them more freedom to do what they want if it helps keep them around. Money changes everything and this situation looks to be money.

The one sure thing is the scalpers are going to make a killing on this one. Prices for tickets were essentially the same as last year, and demand is clearly much higher.

Worth noting: CMLL’s press release hyping Homenaje a Dos Leyendas pushed the four way mask match as the biggest match on the card.

CMLL (TUE) 02/20/2024 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Avispón Negro Jr., Lince Del Bajio, Último Ángel vs Atilius, Maximus, Rey Urano
2) Arlequín & Garrabato vs Guerrero de la Muerte & Shezmu and Cowboy & Omar Brunetti and Abigor La Pesadilla & Cris Skin and Bestia Negra & Rav and Johnny Dinamo & Prince Drago and Adrenalina & Obek and Amenaza Negra Jr. & Minotauro and Demonio Maya & Mandala and Leo & Temerario and Canalla & Principe Daniel and Fantástico & Halcón de Plata [Gran Alterantiva Tapatia]
13) Cris Skin, Gallero, Halcón Negro Jr. vs Azteca Warrior, Desafio, Gato Fantasma
14) Dark Silueta vs Estrellita Mágica [lightning]
15) Barboza, Draego, Persa, Satánico vs El Coyote, Felino, Felino Jr., Pólvora
16) Lady Amazona, Sexy Sol, Skadi vs Hera, Metálica, Olympia

I have no idea how that tournament is going to work, only that they’re advertising a final on this show after talking about doing a league format before. Maybe instead of two groups of six, it’ll somehow be six way matches? That is one of the weakest main events; I’m not entirely sure why it’s the main event over the semi-main (which isn’t great either.)

CMLL/FantasticaMania

CMLL, NJPW (FRI) 02/16/2024 Nagoya Congress Center Event Hall, Nagoya, Japan [NJPW]
Attendance: 1150
1) SHO & Yoshinobu Kanemaru b Difunto & Tiger Mask
7:12. Kanemaru unmasked Tiger Mask, and Sho rolled him up for the win.
2) Dark Panther & Súper Kokeshi Machine b Francesco Akira & Okumura
7:35. Tomoaki Honma (as Super Kokeshi Machine) replaced Satoshi Kojima on 02/08 (knee injury). Panther pinned Okumura
3) Kamaitachi & Tetsuya Naito b Brillante Jr. & El Desperado
9:30. Kamaitachi pinned Brillante.
4) Atlantis Jr., Hiroshi Tanahashi, YOH b Hechicero, Musashi, Ryusuke Taguchi [Relevos Increíbles]
12:58. Yoh beat Taguchi.
5) Máscara Dorada, Místico, Templario DQ Brillante Jr., Douki, Rocky Romero [Relevos Increíbles]
15:22. Soberano unmasked Templario for a DQ.
6) Pegasso & Stigma b Magnus & Volador Jr. [Faction, semifinal]
12:00. Magnus beat Stigma.
7) Stuka Jr. & Último Guerrero b Bushi & Titán [Faction, semifinal]
12:24. Stuka beat BUSHI.

This show sounded like it didn’t go well. Mistico seemed to be working through a leg injury on night one, and it was bugging him again here. Mistico’s had some leg/knee issues in his big 2023 CMLL matches, but they didn’t seem to affect his performance at that time. Something’s gotten worse, it’s affecting him now and I wonder if that impacted the decision to have Dorada/Stuka as the main event on the final show.

There’s also an accidental problem of the NJPW guys wanting to get on the masked fun, which ends up with four different comedy characters (Kamaitachi, Taguchi, Honma and to some extent Bone Solider Jr.) running around in this early matches. A little bit of that is fine, but it downgrades the CMLL participation if the NJPW characters are the focus of these matches. Add on a DQ to build Soberano/Templario and the usual mayhem with NJPW’s House of Torture team, and it wasn’t set up to be a great show.

The tournament matches had to save it, and that didn’t work out. Volador was visibly upset that he won his match; the referee counted three when he earlier than planned and everyone noticed Volador’s reaction. (NJPW fans did get the authentic CMLL experience on that one.) The LIJ/Guerreros match sounded like it was fine but not enough to go out of your way to see.

Attendance after four shows:

2023
Kagawa 768
Kyoto 765
Osaka 962
Chiba 1092

2024
Osaka 963
Osaka 831
Kagawa 741
Nagoya 1150

Slightly up, but about the same. This year’s tour is one show longer; they’ll be in Chiba tonight for the end of the tag team tournament, followed by the two Korakuen Hall shows early Sunday and Monday morning Mexico City time.

AAA

AAA on Space airs the two women’s semifinals from Rey de Reyes. They’ll probably have to fill time with something else – maybe there were other AAA/military interactions.

AAA in real life will run a TV taping at the Showcenter

AAA TV (SUN) 02/18/2024 Showcenter Complex, San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo Leon
1) ?, ??, ??? vs ????, ?????, ??????
2) ?, ??, ??? vs ????, ?????, ??????
3) ?, ??, ??? vs ????, ?????, ??????
4) Drago vs TaurusMr. IguanaEpydemius
5) Flammer, La Hiedra, Maravilla vs Dulce Kanela, Lady Shani, Sexy Star
6) Laredo Kid © vs Antifaz del Norte [Showcenter Championship]
7) El Patrón Alberto & Hijo Del Vikingo vs Chessman & Mecha Wolf

things to note here

  • Alberto is inevitably going to challenge Vikingo again
  • Laredo and Antifaz should make mask match challenges again
  • there’s probably a new Taurus in the fourth (and you can tell it’s not an important one given where he’s positioned.

AAA previously said they’d have a press conference to announce some matches for that show sometime after this show.

The WON has a news bit Pentagon Jr. worked the Jericho Cruise, hung around two more days to work Dynamite, and then was unhappy to find out he was not working Dynamite or Rampage because CMLL wrestlers were working. He (and Vikingo) did work a Ring of Honor match as part of that taping. The issue here is Penta seems upset he hung around in the US a couple of extra days just to work a Ring of Honor show. It gets extrapolated into AEW betraying a founding member of AEW by picking CMLL over them and that the Lucha Brothers will now be kept off PPVs and TV shows out of deference to other people.

There were eight PPVs in 2023 AEW. Pentagon Jr. appeared on three of them (and all in matches with a lot of people.) One of the PPV skips may have been CMLL related – Forbidden Door – but Penta had the other four off all by AEW decision. I would like to see Penta on more PPVs myself, but the decision to put him or Fenix on PPV seems more related to AEW creative decisions than CMLL deals. The travel/logistics thing is a problem – there’s no reason to keep Penta around just do that match – and is a frequently cited problem with AEW. (It’s evident even on AEW’s  podcasts, where the hosts are told stories by wrestlers about how last minute they were told about an idea or even their debut, and the hosts agree that’s just how AEW works.)

The WON report states policy is “non-CMLL Mexicans” can’t work the same shows as CMLL wrestlers. Komander wrestled Wardlow on the same show as the CMLL wrestlers debuted, so there’s already some pushing at the margins of that idea. I think “Mexicans” is oversimplification, brought on because no one outside of Arena Mexico is quite sure who CMLL would object too. Rush & Dralistico are a sure objections, because both walked out on CMLL. (Dralistico’s spent this AEW/CMLL run posting positive things about the relationship, while Rush is trying to get attention with teases of big stories on Twitter.) On the other side of the spectrum, Thunder Rosa is a Mexican and CMLL clearly doesn’t have any issue with her; they let her come backstage to an interview with Stephanie Vaquer last year. I have no idea what CMLL feels about Bandido nowadays, or how they’ll feel about not-Black Taurus when he debuts and has all ties broken with AAA.

The other part of this story is I don’t think CMLL on AEW is going to be a regular thing by any means. I think they did it a lot at first to get the angle going, but it may not be as frequent going forward. The BCC seems to be going in a different direction for AEW’s PPV. CMLL wrestlers may end up on that show, but it’s far from a sure thing for a variety of reasons. If Penta & Fenix aren’t PPVs in 2024, it’ll more likely due to whatever decisions AEW makes than their CMLL partnership. And that’s a fair thing to be annoyed with; it’s hard for those guys to make these shows already and now they’ve got another obstacle. But the Lucha Brothers problem would still be there if CMLL wasn’t.

I believe AEW would eventually like to remove any restriction about CMLL and AAA wrestlers on the same show. I don’t think you’re ever going to see AAA/CMLL matches in AEW, but I think it’s a long term possible goal just to have some AAA wrestlers in one segment and CMLL wrestlers in another.

The source for the Penta/AEW/CMLL story is left uncredited; it does not appear to be Penta itself. It makes the entire story read differently if it is indeed the booker for AAA arguing that AEW needs to stop using CMLL guys, which is a problem with anonymous sourcing. Konnan may not have done is purely for AAA/CMLL reasons – Penta is his guy, he’s sticking up for him – but it’s part of the story if it is him. In the past, whenever a story like this crops up in the WON, Konnan says the same story using many of the same words on his (previously recorded) podcast in the next few days. I guess we’ll know if that sequence happens again.

The WON had no further details on the Luchatitlan closure beyond which was already reported here.

Big Lucha

Big Lucha World (FRI) 02/16/2024 Arena Big Lucha, Iztapalapa, Distrito Federal
1) Rey Espartano & Zenky vs Rey Halcón & Skayler
2) Reiyel vs M2RBogdan Klimov
3) Morfosis vs HeliosCósmico
4) Brujo, Limbo, Torito Negro vs Atómico Jr., Auzter, Black Skayde
5) El Potro de Oro vs Jack Evans

Last week’s show set up a three way for a #1 contenders spot with Flamita. No Flamita. Not sure if that match is happening at another time or what.

Klimov is a Russian pro wrestler who is teasing cross training at the gym. That probably doesn’t turn out well for wrestling.

Other News

The state of Quintana Roo will celebrate the state day of lucha libre and luchadors on September 21st, starting this year. This idea, following Mexico City doing the same last decade, was first proposed last July. It doesn’t mean much on the government’s part, but it’s always been an odd state to go second. There’s not that much lucha libre in Quintana Roo, even putting aside the Lucahtitlan failure. There is Total Wrestling Stars that runs in Cancun, and other promotions around that area that run maybe once a month. Perhaps the Quintana Roo legislatures believe Mexico City’s declaration helped Mexico City’s lucha scene and would help theirs as well.

There’s a benefit show for Blue Win next Sunday.

Riot announced Arez, Toxin and Latigo vs Aramis, Iron Kid, Demonio del Aire on March 2nd.

IWRG says they’re going to start airing their Tryout show on Monday.

Cinta de Oro was part of a lucha libre parade at a children’s hospital in El Paso.

Homenaje a Dos Leyendas lineup (CMLL vs BCC), FantasticaMania Day 2-3, early week results

CMLL

CMLL (MON) 02/12/2024 Arena Puebla [Grada, Porra Fresa]
1) Centella Roja & Hijo de Centella Roja b Dreyko & Fénix SO
2) El Novato b El Perverso [lightning]
3) Lady Frost & Tessa Blanchard b La Catalina & Stephanie Vaquer Facebook video (posted by )
Team USA beat Team Chile
4) El Malayo, Rey Apocalipsis, Siky Ozama b Dulce Gardenia, Espíritu Negro, Rey Cometa Facebook video (posted by )
5) Hijo del Villano III, Villano III Jr., Zandokan Jr. b Esfinge, Fugaz, Star Black Facebook video (posted by )
6) Atlantis, Flip Gordon, Star Jr. b Bárbaro Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Terrible
Barbaros DQed in the first, win the second, lose the third. Tecnicos asked for a trios title match.

I do not believe the team of Atlantis, Star Jr. and Flip Gordon are going to end Los Barbaros title reign after two weeks. But, they’ve got to do something to kill time.

CMLL (TUE) 02/13/2024 Arena México [CMLL, thecubsfan]
1) Fantasy, Kaligua, Pequeño Magía b Full Metal, Minos, Pequeño Polvora
9:55
2) Capitán Suicida, Fuego, Valiente Jr. b Dr. Karonte I, Enfermero Jr., Inquisidor
11:50. Tecnicos took 2/3.
3) El Coyote b El Audaz [lightning]
9:59, via double underhook superplex
4) Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., El Hijo De Blue Panther b Gemelo Diablo I, Gemelo Diablo II, Kráneo
13:03. Panthers took 2/3.
5) Averno, Euforia, Mephisto b Bárbaro Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Terrible
12:39. Infernales took 1/3, Averno pinning Cavernario and challenging for his CMLL LH title.
6) La Catalina, Lady Frost, Tessa Blanchard b Dark Silueta, Stephanie Vaquer, Zeuxis
10:29. Frost & Blanchard beat Vaquer & Zeuxis to set up Friday’s title match. Catalina and Vaquer teased a feud as well.

Nothing really you need to watch here. Coyote/Audaz seemed like the best match, though mostly I was watching while working on other things so maybe it’s really Barbaros/Infernales and I missed it. Averno/Cavernario has been good in the past and should be again.

CMLL (TUE) 02/13/2024 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Arena Coliseo Guadalajara]
1) Demonio Maya & Mandala b Amenaza Negra Jr. & Minotauro
2) Guerrero de la Muerte & Shezmu b Abigor La Pesadilla & Cris Skin
3) Johnny Dinamo & Prince Drago b Canalla & Principe Daniel
4) Astro Oriental, Calavera Jr. I, Calavera Jr. II b Black Boy, Thunder Boy, Yaky Boy
5) Gallo Jr., Ráfaga, Rafaga Jr. b Misterio Blanco, Misterio Negro, Misterioso Jr.
6) Satánico & Trono b Halcón Suriano & Halcón Suriano Jr.
7) Lady Amazona, Sexy Sol, Skadi b Andrómeda, La Maligna, Persephone
8) Dulce Gardenia & La Fashion b Bestia Negra & Furia Roja

I saw nothing, nothing jumps out to write about here.

CMLL (SAT) 02/17/2024 Arena Coliseo
1) Retro vs Príncipe Odín Jr. [lightning]
2) Astral, Diamond, Eléctrico vs Grako, Nitro, Sangre Imperial
3) El Audaz, Fuego, Panterita del Ring vs Crixus, Raider, Vegas
4) Volcano vs Valiente [lightning]
5) Lady Frost, Reyna Isis, Tessa Blanchard vs Amapola, Metálica, Persephone
6) Esfinge, Fugaz, Star Black vs Gran Guerrero, Magia Blanca, Rugido

The big Retro/Principe Odin Jr. feud gets a lightning match. It’ll be wild if CMLL is doing things with prelim guys on these shows just to make the YouTube uploads more interesting, but this might be Principe Odin Jr. losing his way out of a promotion he’s barely working now.

CMLL (SUN) 02/18/2024 Arena México
1) Leono vs Bengala [lightning]
2) Angelito, Shockercito, Último Dragóncito vs Mercurio, Pequeño Violencia, Pierrothito
3) Akuma, Dark Magic, Espanto Jr. vs Apocalipsis, Cholo, Disturbio
4) Guerrero Maya Jr., Hijo de Blue Panther, Hijo de Octagón vs Felino, Rey Bucanero, Sagrado
5) Andrómeda, Marcela, Skadi vs Hera, Lady Frost, Tessa Blanchard
6) Blue Panther, Octagón, Valiente vs Averno, Euforia, Mephisto

Leono/Bengala is another classic. Lady Frost and Andromeda may have a flip off.

CMLL (MON) 02/19/2024 Arena Puebla
1) Asturiano & Novato vs Rayo Metálico & Xelhua
2) Astral vs Enfermero Jr. [lightning]
3) Stephanie Vaquer vs La Catalina [lightning]
4) Arkalis, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Samuray vs El Malayo, Rey Apocalipsis, Siky Ozama
5) Esfinge, Fugaz, Star Black vs Ángel de Oro, Hijo del Villano III, Niebla Roja
6) Bárbaro Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Terrible © vs Atlantis, Flip Gordon, Star Jr. [CMLL TAG]

Barbaros are unlikely to lose. Back to back lightning matches is unusual.

CMLL Informa revealed the full Homenaje a Dos Leyendas card. A reminder: this will be the first show under the new YouTube plan, where only the Fan Leyendas (35 USD) tier gets to see this live. 9 USD & 25 USD both get his only on VOD delay the following Sunday. (This will be confusing through the day of the show.)

CMLL (FRI) 03/29/2024 Arena México
***CMLL Homenaje a Dos Leyendas, 2024***
1) Magnus & Rugido © vs Brillante Jr. & Neón [MEX TAG]
4th defense
2) Esfinge © vs Zandokan Jr. [MEX LH]
4th defense
3) Bárbaro Cavernario © vs Averno [CMLL LH]
4th defense (1st in six months)
4) Angelito vs PierrothitoAceroPequeño Olímpico [mask]
four way, winner escape, last person remaining loses their mask
5) Lluvia, Stephanie Vaquer, Zeuxis vs La Catalina, Tessa Blanchard, Willow Nightingale
6) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [natl pi, final]
tournament final, teams undecided
7) Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli, Jon Moxley, Wheeler Yuta vs Blue Panther, Místico, Último Guerrero, Volador Jr.

This is a really strong card. If the last month of AEW/CMLL stuff didn’t happen, you could cut off the main event and still have a solid card. (People would’ve wanted a bigger main event, but it still a pretty good rest of the card.) The main event makes it special. The AEW cross over – Panther compared it to NJPW/UWA matches from the 70s – and Bryan Danielson finally getting his match with Blue Panther is super. The atmosphere for that main event is going to be incredible, and bringing in big ex-WWE names to a place they’ve never been should be a big draw. All the matches look good and important, something not always said about big CMLL shows.

Most reactions to the main event are really positive. There are Mexican fans who don’t the Danielson/Panther backstory and don’t understand why Panther is main eventing instead of a bigger name. There are also fans who know that Danielson/Panther story and want to see the singles match. That concern is based on this maybe being the one and only time these AEW guys show up in Arena Mexico; that’s what generally happens with AEW wrestlers who appear in AAA. I have no inside on this, none, but – how do we know this is the one and only time? This is all weird uncharted territory, and who knows how far it’ll go. This CMLL/AEW relationship already is significantly different from that AAA one. AEW plugged this main event right off the top on Dynamite tonight, which they never did with those TripleMania appearances. (They haven’t done it much with NJPW or DDT matches either; AEW usually only talks about them after the fact.)

(There’s also a few people who’d rather see Hechicero instead of Ultimo Guerrero. I’m certain Guerrero was a specific request from the AEW people; Claudio’s had UG on his bucket list for some time.)

AEW’s Willow Nightingale makes her debut in the semimain, in a match that’s sort of CMLL trueborns versus those with US experience. The minis wanted specifically not to have a cage, not to have a incredible partners match, so a fourway it was. Acero is the most likely to lose his mask based on status, but either of the veterans cashing in on a big show is not out of the question. Cavernario/Averno was set up on a Tuesday show and doesn’t end on a Tuesday show, almost as mindblowing concept as AEW wrestlers showing up here. All three title matches feel like different title matches; there’s great variety in this whole card.

The biggest obstacle is running a seven match card on a Friday night. Aniversario was a seven match show but it also had an early holiday start time. CMLL doesn’t want to run past 11 m; they usually don’t even want to run that late. It’s going to be tough to get all of this done in 2h30m, and it probably means a couple of these matches will go shorter than expected.

Someone really should do English commentary for this. A lot of impossible things seem to be possible but that one is still a little out of grasp.

CMLL/FantasticaMania

CMLL, NJPW (TUE) 02/13/2024 Towa Pharmaceutical Ractab Dome Sub Arena, Osaka, Japan [CMLLNJPW (Japanese)]
1) SHO & Yoshinobu Kanemaru b Difunto & Ryusuke Taguchi
Kanemaru beat Difunto
2) Pegasso & Tiger Mask b Magnus & Taiji Ishimori
6:36 Pegasso beat Magnus, who is still feuding with Tiger Mask.
3) Brillante Jr., Stigma, Súper Kokeshi Machine, YOH b Bushi, Kamaitachi, Tetsuya Naito, Titán
9:36. Tomoaki Honma (as Súper Kokeshi Machine) replaced Satoshi Kojima on 02/08 (knee injury.) Titan beat Brillante Jr., then demanded he show his best in their singles match.
4) Atlantis Jr., Dark Panther, Musashi DQ Gedo, Hechicero, Okumura
10:57. Musasahi replaced Master Wato (knee injury) on 01/25. Okumura unmasked Dark Panther for the DQ.
5) Francesco Akira, Stuka Jr., Último Guerrero b Desperado, Máscara Dorada, Místico
15:42. Ultimo Guerrero defeated Mistico with the Guerrero Special.
6) Hiroshi Tanahashi, Templario, Volador Jr. b Douki, Rocky Romero, Soberano Jr. [Relevos Increíbles]
14:50. Templario defeated Soberano Jr.

I neglected to mention with the Monday results, but Hechicero challenged Zack Sabre Jr. to a singles match in his post-match promo there. It felt like the Villanos & Zandokan challenge. It’s unlikely was no firm plan to do a match (and no firm plan to do so when ZSJ mentioned Hechicero’s name last week), but they put it there because why not.

This Kamaitachi may not actually be Hiromu Takahashi; or he’s making some super quick wardrobe changes to do interviews as his manager.

CMLL, NJPW (WED) 02/14/2024 Takamatsu City General Gymnasium 2, Kagawa, Japan [NJPW (Japanese)] Attendance: 743
1) Brillante Jr. & Ryusuke Taguchi b SHO & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
7:09. Taguchi beat SHO after a foul.
2) Bone Solider Jr. & Gedo b Difunto & YOH [Relevos Increíbles]
Bone Soldier Jr. (Taiji Ishimori) submitted Difunto
3) Dark Panther, Musashi, Pegasso b Douki, Magnus, Okumura
8:54. MUSASHI replaced Master Wato (knee injury) on 01/25. Magnus beat Pegasso.
4) Bushi, Kamaitachi, Tetsuya Naito, Titán b Boltin Oleg, Stigma, Súper Kokeshi Machine, Tiger Mask
11:40. Tomoaki Honma (as Super Kokeshi Machine) replaced Satoshi Kojima on 02/08 (knee injury). Boltin Oleg replaced Hiroshi Tanahashi (moved up).
5) Rocky Romero, Soberano Jr., Stuka Jr. b Máscara Dorada, Templario, Volador Jr. [Relevos Increíbles]
14:45. Stuka beat Mascara Dorada with the torpedo splash as prelude.
6) El Desperado, Hechicero, Último Guerrero b Atlantis Jr., Hiroshi Tanahashi, Místico
16:23. Hiroshi Tanahashi replaced Francesco Akira (?) and the match was switched around. Hechicero beat Atlantis.

This, like the Tuesday show, was untelevised. This tour takes a day off, then resumes on TV Friday. Not sure where Akira disappeared to; he survived the cage match but not two days of FantasticaMania.

Other News

IWRG is running their rookie/veteran tournament on Sunday

IWRG (SUN) 02/18/2024 Arena Naucalpan
1) Ajolotl & Auzter vs Histeriosis & Rey Espartano
2) Heddi Karaoui vs Avisman
3) Keyra vs Sádika [IWRG IC WOMEN]
second defense
4) Gran Pandemónium, Hijo de Pandemónium, Pandemónium Jr. vs Carnicero, Granjero, Leñador
5) Hijo del Alebrije vs Séptimo DragónNoisy BoySpider FlyAster BoyPuma de Oro [IWRG IC MIDDLE]
6) Rey Halcón & Vangellys vs Fussion & Hell Boy and Hijo del Fishman & Rey Aztaroth (Estado de México) and DMT Azul & Tornado and Águila Roja & Hijo del Pirata Morgan and Hijo de Canis Lupus & Multifacético [El Protector]

The idea this year is six team match, where teams are eliminated if the rookie gets pinned. Looks like we’ve got another new Multifacetico, which makes him the favorite. Relampago was the most recent Middleweight champion, but hasn’t been here since November. IWRG lists it as a five man match, it has six people. They also list it for the “IWR” title, so I guess it could be a different weird title. Keyra/Sadika will be good for GIFs. Avisman fans are getting a live streaming match.

RIOT has started to upload shows under the paid subscription area of the Luchamania Monterrey channel, and will start to upload new shows there on Friday.

GCW announced Gringo Loco versus Volador Jr. for their 04/05 WM weekend show in Philadelphia. Gringo hasn’t been in AAA this year but it still seems like a challenging match to put together with a CMLL wrestler.

Octagon posted a YouTube video claiming a legal victory of AAA. It seems like he makes the claim of a court win over AAA every six months. Like in some those others, Octagon claims he’s going to win AAA’s headquarters. I don’t know Mexican law, but it sounded more like Octagon would get the AAA headquarters only if AAA didn’t pay what they owed Octagon (and then the government would give Octagon something AAA owns as a tradeoff.) AAA will likely just pay Octagon. Octagon doesn’t mention how much that amount is.

El Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr., FantasticaMania and Team Mexico City are on the cover of Box y Lucha 3590.