CMLL (FRI) 11/25/2022 Arena México [CMLL, ESTO, Estrellas del Ring, Kaiser Sports, R de Rudo, The Gladiatores, The Gladiatores (video), thecubsfan]
1) Retro & Valiente Jr. DDQ Inquisidor & Nitro
rare DDQ when everyone unmasked everyone else
2) Dark Panther, Panterita del Ring, Panterita del Ring Jr. b Cancerbero, Luciferno, Virus
3) Hijo del Villano III, Rugido, Volador Jr. b Blue Panther, Felino, Felino Jr. [Relevos Increíbles]
4) Euforia b Atlantis, Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Yota, Gemelo Diablo I, Gemelo Diablo II, Kráneo, Valiente, El Mesías, Último Guerrero, Gran Guerrero, Sagrado, Rey Bucanero, Volcano, Esfinge [Leyenda de Azul]
34:57. Order of elimination: Rey Bucanero (via, Volcano, 7:32), Esfinge (Yota, 9:30), Gemelo Diablo II (Gran Guerrero, 11:03), Volcano (Valiente, 13:01), Kraneo (Mesias, 13:56), Gemelo Diablo I (Niebla Roja, 16:09), Yota (Angel de Oro, 19:46), Valiente (Ultimo Guerrero, 21:56), Atlantis (Mesias, 22:12), Mesias (Niebla Roja, 23:20), Gran Guerrero (Euforia, 24:55), Niebla Roja (Ultimo Guerrero, 26:36), Utlimo Guerrero (Euforia, 29:26), Angel de Oro (Euforia, 30:44) leaving Euforia as the winner.
CMLL ciberneticos this year have tended to feature mini singles matches with the final two, going a decent length of time and usually greatly adding to the match. Angel de Oro and Euforia as the final two in this Leyenda de Azul seemed to have the potential to do the same. Instead, it was one submission tease each and a finish. It felt a lot less substantial than the 4 minutes I had there. It was fine, but a bit disappointing from what it could’ve been, and that fits with the rest of the cibernetico. This was just a generic CMLL tournament.
Salvador Lutteroth, Alejandro Munoz (son of Blue Demon) and Blue Panther (first Leyenda de Azul winner) came out to honor Euforia. They had two different plaques, which seemed to confuse them as much as me but was ultimately irrelevant. Sometimes I take for granted that everyone reading this knows all the stuff that’s been talked about previously and instead it’s been a while since I’ve written some stuff so there’s maybe people who are reading who don’t know. Alejandro Munoz and Blue Demon Jr. are both sons of Blue Demon. (Blue Demon Jr. is technically adopted, but is treated like a blood relative in every way that matters.) Munoz and Demon Jr. both appear to have inherited some rights to the “Blue Demon” name and image, do not agree on how it should be managed, do not appear to get along and do not even really acknowledge each other much. There’s been rumors and gossip about which brother has more power – every time a “Blue Demon Jr. might actually have to lose his mask” story gets passed, it goes back to this conflict – but neither has discussed the situation in any great deal. The separation between the two also leads to both groups doing their own Demon celebrations: CMLL works with Alejandro Munoz for the Leyenda de Plata, AAA works with Blue Demon Jr. for their own 100 years old Blue Demon ceremonies.
Salvador Lutteroth has appeared on screen for two straight weeks, a coincidence of the Mil Mascaras ceremony being last week, and also a sign he’s increasingly comfortable in that face of CMLL role.
CMLL (SAT) 11/26/2022 Arena Coliseo [Box y Lucha, CMLL]
1) Mercurio & Pequeño Violencia b Shockercito & Último Dragóncito
Rudos took 1/3.
2) Astral, Cachorro, El Suicida b Cholo, Enfermero Jr., Raider
Tecnicos took 1/3.
3) Dark Magic, Espanto Jr., Magnus b Fuego, Hombre Bala Jr., Panterita del Ring Jr.
Esapnto Jr. replaced Akuma. Rudos took 1/3
4) Blue Panther, Dark Panther, El Audaz b Mephisto, Misterioso Jr., Okumura
Tecnicos took 2/3.
5) Dragón Rojo Jr., Euforia, Yota DQ Stuka Jr., Valiente, Volador Jr.
Rudos took 1/3. Dragon Rojo faked a foul from Volador Jr., the second straight week he’s cheated to win
So, Dragon Rojo/Volador singles match next week. Probably.
CMLL (SUN) 11/27/2022 Arena México [CMLL]
1) Pequeño Olímpico & Pequeño Polvora b Fantasy & Pequeño Magía
2) Cholo, Difunto, Zandokan Jr. b Leono, Oro Jr., Retro
Rudos took 2/3. Zandokan Jr. cheated to beat Oro. Those two, Difutno and Retro all made mask match challenges.
3) Diamond, Magia Blanca, Rugido b Akuma, Okumura, Pólvora
Depredadores took 2/3.
4) Fugaz, Panterita del Ring, Star Black b Dragón Rojo Jr., El Coyote, Misterioso Jr.
Tecnicos took 2/3.
5) Atlantis, Blue Panther, Volador Jr. b Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero, Yota
Mistico replaced by Blue Panther on Wednesday. Tecnicos took 2/3.
Difunto might as well be in the cage match too, though I’m still convinced they’re just randomly doing feuds without being sure of who will be the final group.
CMLL (FRI) 12/02/2022 Arena México
1) Bengala & Neón vs Apocalipsis & Difunto
2) Fuego, Hombre Bala Jr., Panterita del Ring Jr. vs Akuma, Dark Magic, Espanto Jr.
3) Avispa Dorada, La Jarochita, Lluvia vs Dalys, Reyna Isis, Stephanie Vaquer
4) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Yota vs Euforia, Hechicero, Mephisto
5) Atlantis, Atlantis Jr., Volador Jr. vs Gran Guerrero, Stuka Jr., Último Guerrero [Relevos Increíbles]
A nothing special show. The rest of December should be bigger.
CMLL’s given up on for months listing every Angel de Oro and Niebla Roja match as a relevos incredibles, so i’ve gone back and arbitrarily decided they became rudos back in February. They teamed with Dulce Gardenia as tencicos in a match then, and have been pretty much always on the rudo side since that point.
BUSHI and Titan are now 4-1 in the Super Junior Tag League, one of five teams tied at 8 points after five matches. The top two teams make it to the final. Their next match is Friday against fellow 8 point team Alex Zayne & El Lindaman.
AAA did air the four semifinals from the Showcenter tournament this week. The Google Drive version is better synced than Twitch one, but you may just be better off waiting until it turns up On YouTube in a couple of weeks. The matches were all shorter than usual for AAA TV and the action was good, not great. Next week will have Vikingo/Laredo and is about as must see as any AAA Space show.
AAA aired a FTR promo that already was posted online, and a Sammy/Tay promo that didn’t. These served a purpose in selling the idea these people are actually coming to AAA, but didn’t do much beyond that. I can see why they didn’t bother to post the Sammy/Taya one online; the entire point of the promo is they don’t know when or if they’re coming in, though at the end they thought they might be coming in on the 17th. I’m not sure why AAA bothered to have them film a promo right then if the mixed tag champs didn’t know yet which dates they were wrestling and it certainly came off like they didn’t know. I’m also not sure why the promo wasn’t followed with something or someone saying which shows they’re actually on; maybe that’ll be finally be revealed when the Juarez tapings start airing in two weeks.
AAA is in Tempe on Saturday. The show was not listed as airing on FITE as of Monday morning. It seems crazy that AAA wouldn’t air a show after going through the effort to add Cain Velasquez, but anything is possible with AAA. It seems tough to put together last second if AAA hadn’t already been putting something together – AAA doesn’t seem to have a US production team, production in Dallas was handled by Highspots and Arizona doesn’t seem the easiest place to pull together a production crew on short notice – but it also seems odd AAA would’ve decided to run a US show without having this figured out already. It’s that fundamental difference from where the Mexican wrestling promotion are at (“live is the thing that matters, digital is something we’ll spend time only if we’ve got guaranteed revenue”) to where everyone else is (“digital is just about as important as live, more important in some situations.”) The other Mexican wrestling bit is they’ll never think to say “it’ll be live only, you have to buy a ticket to see it” to push a few extra tickets sales, even if that’s the plan. It’s not going to be big money either way, but it’s money.
AAA, the governor of Quintana Roo, the Cancun mayor and other local officials appeared at a press conference to promo “Luchatitlan”, a tourist-aimed lucha libre venue to open in March 2023. Details on this have come out in bits and pieces since September, there didn’t seem to be a lot of new info, but this is the first time they’ve all talked about in Cancun itself rather than at various AAA press conferences. The location seems one of those new notes: it’ll be part of the La Isla Cancun shopping mall, which is right on the water. Retail venture capital business Puno owns the mall and are partly funded this project. Production company Cocolab is also part of it, as are theme park operators Ventura Entertainment. AAA is bringing some money and all the lucha libre expertise.
The Luchatitlan concept is an attraction that’ll draw the same sort of fans, and especially international fans, who come to Arena Mexico. The tag line “the official home of lucha libre” is part of the idea; instead of choosing between top level lucha libre and a beach vacation, you can go to the official home of lucha libre for both. The venue is smaller even by indie standards (580 seats) and the investment is quite high (200 million pesos). Prices for tickets and merchandise weren’t talked about; figure premium prices for a premium experience. This venue is still being put together, the process of being constructed, so concept art was shown instead. Whoever put together the art (not AAA) did the usual bit of googling “luchadors” to use as placeholder photos, which meant photos of Sagrado, Mistico and Fishman turned up in AAA presentation. It’s not meant to be AAA wrestlers on the shows either; the characters will be specific to the venue. Local news says the two who appeared at the press conference were Silverson and Monarca; everyone was given a Monarca mask. Luchatitlan characters would also allow different people to play those characters, which fits with a theme park operator being part of this.
Dorian Roldan mentioned this as an authentic lucha libre experience, which is certainly the selling point. An upscale expensive production where the performers are similar to theatre actors – the best standing out, but playing a role and meant to be swapped out over time – sounds inauthentic to someone used to seeing lucha libre in broken wooden seats or in a ring on top of an indoor soccer field. It’s not really for me (and it’s not for you if you think the same), it’s for the people who have no idea who or what lucha libre is and were told it’s something they have to check out while in Mexico. It’s for the people those merry people who go to Arena Mexico and post on Instagram how fun they’re having at the Lucha Libre AAA shows. There’s a lot of money in those people, a lot of money CMLL’s seen and AAA would like to see. AAA’s talked about wanting to buy a venue of their own in the past. It seems like the government and other local investors may own the building (and will be taking most of the risk) but this is the closest idea we’ve seen to AAA owning a building to put their vision of lucha libre. AAA’s had these sorts of agreements in the past – they ran matches at a theme park in Guadalajara in 2018 and 2019 – but this one seems better funded and in a better location.
Roldan called this the future of AAA. I think I’d be much less interested in lucha libre if this vision became the norm, but it’s obviously a lucrative and smart business decision. There will be more of these Luchatitlans in other resort cities if this one works, and those sound stabler to manage and more profitable than going from city to city looking for different local partners. This year has seen AAA partner with local malls for the Showcenter events and work with Disney for Marvel Lucha Libre; it’s an increased focus on deals with corporate partners rather than the local lucha libre promoter. It’s probably a little bit of a reaction to the pandemic, which showed how quickly those local promoters could disappear, and deals less likely to improve or dimish based solely on how popular AAA is in the moment.
If you’re a person going to Cancun next March, Luchatitlan is good news because it sounds like it’ll be a fun time. If you’re me, a person who regularly gets DMs or emails along the lines of “I’m going to [tropical Mexican location] in [something farther in the future than three days from now], can you please tell me all the shows that are happening?”, this is great news, I’ve now got Cancun covered. I can absolutely not help you anywhere else. If you are a person who mostly follows AAA on video, which I believe is the vast majority of people who read these words, than this is probably going to be another (Monterrey) Showcenter deal. We’ll probably see a show from this venue in March to sell the concept and commercials for it during the shows. How Lucahtitlan turns out will have a much bigger effect long term effect on AAA than the last AAA TV show or how Friday’s show in Tempe goes, but it’s also still a while away from happening and is unlikely to change how most of you watch AAA for the foreseeable future.
Big Lucha World (FRI) 11/25/2022 Bandidos Gym, Iztapalapa, Distrito Federal [Mas Lucha]
1) Viajero b Anarko
2) Alex Steel, Dito, Iku, Vengador b Elipse & Orbita
3) Jack Evans NC Bendito
Bendito replaced Sol, implied to have been beaten up off-screen. The ring announcer worked as a rudo ref as La Mosca worked as tecnico ref and none of it mattered because Los Locos Evans ran into attack everyone again.
This was announced as the last Big Lucha World of the year. That sounded OK to me after the last couple of these. It’s logical to put a lot of steam behind the new guys, but it’s made for some underwhelming show. A Big Lucha with heel referees and random handicap matches and no finishes to main events is not something I expect I’d stick with watching weekly. It’s a free show so not delivering on Jack Evans versus Sol isn’t as huge an issue, but it’s still a bit lame. The idea behind this is to make Locos Evans a threat equal to Golden Guns and Black Generation, but I’m not sure you can do it in two weeks beating the guys they’ve beat. (Anarko taking the loss in the opener was weird with that goal.) I’m guessing most fans still believe one of those guys are going to lose their hair or mask, and will still be underwhelmed if they do lose.
Anarko is not a random guy Big Lucha threw a mask on. He is indeed a Chilean wrestler who usually uses “Anarko Montana” elsewhere, and elsewhere has included Germany and Spain this year. Big Lucha seems to draw international wrestlers seemingly traveling on their own dime, and I hope someone’s putting together a photo book or something of everyone who’s passed through the gym for a time. In the context of this program, I wonder if pushing Anarko’s history would’ve been better than Big Lucha’s build it. They’re pushing this cage match a very traditional way – Locos Evans are evil threats, cartoonishly so powerful that the other two groups are in real trouble. Years of these cage matches where the loser is the least important person (and Big Lucha just months ago doing another multi-person match where the loser was the person who was least important) suggests the best way to build these cage matches up is to make everyone feel important. Anarko winning (or losing) random Big Lucha World match doesn’t make him feel important, Anarko talking about how he’s traveled the world in that mask and will fight hard to keep it might sell it better. I don’t have any idea of Alex Steel cares if he loses his this Friday; I’m not even sure he’s aware he’s in a match where that could happen. The build to this cage match hasn’t really worked to me, though I’m also wondering if Big Lucha is hot enough and just the idea of the big names in a cage match means none of this build really matters.
Mas Lucha announced the 12/02 Big Lucha show will be a Mas Lucha Membership show, part of the $8/month plan. Big Lucha going to the membership tier seemed inevitable with the buzz, though it’ll be a test to see if that buzz still follows if it’s no longer freely available. That’s been an obvious problem with CMLL this year. Mas Lucha’s YouTube is still a lot easier to handle than TicketMaster Live, but there’s low danger of a flickering black screen during a CMLL broadcast.
IWRG (SUN) 11/27/2022 Arena Naucalpan [IWRG, Mas Lucha]
1) Jhon Tito b Baby Star
2) Sagitarius b Artemiz [IWRG IC WOMEN, quarterfinal]
Artemiz taking the spot originally announced for Lady Maravilla.
3) Hell Boy & Kauris b Noisy Boy & Spider Fly
4) Mr. Leo, Paymon, Tonalli b Dick Angelo 3G, Puma de Oro, Rocky Casas
Mr. Leo left the match due to injury, but his team won anyway (Tonalli on Rocky Casas)
5) Pig Decapitador, Pig Desenterrador, Pig Destroyer, Pig Destructor b Big Boy, Big Chicoche, Big Tackle, Relámpago
Puerquiza Extrema demanded title shots and the best IWRG opponents possible
6) Gran Pandemónium, Hijo de Pandemónium, Pandemónium Jr. b Black Terry, Cerebro Negro, Cerebro Negro Jr. [EdM Trios]
Didn’t seem like they set up much specific going forward. The Pigs will probably be back in December, maybe Hell Boy beating the MexaBoys is setting up a title match.
Damian 666 was honored by the Tijuana lucha libre commission for reaching 40 years of wrestling.
Tigre Colombiano (Bill Martinez, 92) passed away Sunday in Puerto Rico. Tigre Colombiano was the most famous wrestler from Colombia. He wrestled everywhere, including in CMLL at times between 1974 and 1978.
Lucha Memes Donadora campaign ends up in 5 days. They’re at 65% of their goal, which is better than I would’ve guessed. Their success seems to have come from more people picking high-paid options.