Mexico City remains orange, Mas Lucha to launch premium channel, Anibal/Azul

Mexico City’s mayor announced the city would remain in the Orange health code this week. No empty arena shows are legally allowed until they reach Yellow, and they have to reach Yellow for four weeks before fans can be allowed back in. That means Mexico City has to move to Yellow a week from today for TripleMania to have fans on 08/22. Dorian Roldan’s previously suggested they’d move the date of the show rather than run with no fans. I don’t think anyone believes TripleMania is happening as scheduled, but next week would confirm it. AAA hasn’t said anything about TripleMania in months, possibly because they’re hoping to announce a new date when they move it from the old one and have little idea of when it’ll be safe to run as the rest of us. They may have to say something on their podcast.

Wednesday night has been a busy wrestling night for about the last year. The biggest news to come out of last Wednesday might have been a quiet blog post. Mas Lucha announced they would be launching a streaming platform. This channel is a premium, monthly payment streaming platform. Mas Lucha is charging 99 pesos a month plus taxes; it comes out to around USD 5 at the moment.

The announcement says the premium streaming platform will have “complete shows,” alongside documentaries and other work. Interviews, summaries, reactions will continue to be on the YouTube channel. That breakdown suggests you’ll need to subscribe to the channel to see full matches going forward, though there’s space for that not to be true. Mas Lucha hasn’t started promoting it, so the particulars may still be subject to change. Nevertheless, if big Mexican indie matches going forward are behind a paywall, it’s a huge change.

The first show to be broadcast will be the Torneo Suprema Mas Lucha women’s tournament starting on July 18th. It’s unclear Mas Lucha will put up a match a day, as the last tournament, or if it’ll go up at once. Pretty much everything is vague at the moment. Mas Lucha hasn’t even promoted their announcement post all that much. All the rest of the details are probably coming later, but it leaves a lot of room for speculation. Mas Lucha’s post insists this channel was in the plans before the pandemic, though starting with a tournament which probably wouldn’t have existed if things had been healthy and with a barebones site suggests they’ve pushed up the timeline quite a bit.

Fans of Mexico wrestling over the last decade expect lucha libre to be free on the internet. Maybe it’s supported, they’re just not used to handing over money to see it. Every major CMLL or AAA event over the last two years has been freely available. Mas Lucha themselves have made “free” the default expectation price for lucha libre, posting thousands of hours of full matches on YouTube since leaving TVC Deportes. Individual promotions have tried to add a pay model, but Mas Lucha making that move would be a titanic shift and attempt to swim uphill against a current they created. In a way, if anyone can pull off this shift, it’s Mas Lucha: they have access to a variety of essential content people might want to pay for, and they need to make it work. AAA & CMLL have compelling content, but internet revenue is going to be a small part of their income even with a lot of work, so they’re not inclined to stick with it. MasLucha is just internet revenue, ad revenue that’s likely been slipping through no fault of their own. YouTube ad rates have declined over the last few years and considerably during the pandemic. There’s no doubt Mas Lucha was planning on doing going to a paid model at some point, but it’s still shocking the day it happens. Maybe the timing is just a necessity, maybe that DTU PPV doing surprisingly well convinced Mas Lucha there’s more readiness for this concept than previously believed.

That Mas Lucha post is like someone who gave me the first fifty pages of a mystery and ripped out the rest. I have so many questions, some they know, and some only time are only going to answer.

  • Which content will be placed on the premium channel? The statement stays highlights on YouTube, full shows on premium, where does that leave individual matches? Will premium stuff be posted on the free side after a time, as seen with the DTU PPV?
  • Are fans really in Mexico willing to pay for 99 pesos for lucha libre video in high numbers regularly? Is 99 the right price? It’s a little cheaper than Netflix in Mexico, and the same as WWE Network. Everyone’s got a guess, but no one knows if the market is there until someone dives in.
  • The Mas Lucha statement says one of their goals is getting more prominent exposure and more display for Mexican promotions. It’s a beautiful concept, but anything put behind a paywall is going to have less exposure and less display. What are the promotions going to get out of this? The common belief is Mas Lucha has been shouldering all the costs for video production in exchange for all the video revenue. (However, I don’t think anyone’s ever publicly confirmed that.) Promotions love being on Mas Lucha, love getting that exposure it brings, and it’s hard to figure out how much each development is responsible for the ad revenue anyway. Will they still be ok with that tradeoff if their full shows are getting less exposure behind a paywall? Will the money start to be a more significant issue when the promotions can see MasLucha getting a specific amount per month?
    • And if the promoters get a cut, do wrestlers also get a cut? I’m for more money getting down to the people taking the bumps. Noted philosopher Christopher Wallace once pointed out that more money often brought more problems, and that’s the biggest challenge in this whole idea.
    • Will we see Mas Lucha increasingly act as their content provider to make sure they have control of it in Netflix like fashion? Torneo Supremo originally just appeared to be something to do during the pandemic while luchadors were available, but those projects might become staples. (How does that affect their relationship with other promotions should it happen?) Will it end being a tier/alliance of trusted MasLucha partners and not everyone?
  • Just backing up a step, how much content is going to be on the channel? The one tournament isn’t going to do it for a monthly fee unless you’re just a giant fan of the women involved. The pandemic is an issue but, even when/if things get back going to normal, there probably needs to be a rolling month calendar of exciting shows. That’d require some more organization and earlier announcements from indie promotions than we’re used to seeing.
    • Do older shows get pulled off Mas Lucha current YouTube and go behind the paywall? Mas Lucha has continued to add old content to YouTube during this period, which wouldn’t fit if they were going to pull it all off soon. My best guess is new stuff will be on premium live, and old shows won’t be touched, but it’s unresolved.
  • Does Mas Lucha have the tech ability to run streams successfully on a premium service without YouTube? It’s gone great on that service, but a paid service requires something more locked down and without the Google reliability. We’ve seen seemingly every single way that can go wrong when AAA and CMLL have tried to go that route. The options to do that gets better but are by no means is foolproof; will people stick around when the typical problems happen as they get this rolling?
  • Does Mas Lucha’s decision to go premium affect fan and privately run YouTube channels? It’s going to be tougher to charge to see IWRG – to pick a group – if there are five YouTube channels where it’s free. Do they lean on promoters on stopping bootlegging? Can they stop it? (They couldn’t stop other people out for a charity no fans show where there was no commission, so.) Is the difference in production quality enough to get people to pay anyway?
  • Alternatively, do promoters and other video channels attempt to do their take on a premium channel? Competition in this space is one thing I keep wondering if it’ll happen. It never actually has, so it seems unlikely this time too – but Mexico City wrestling seems to copy each other a lot, especially if money starts to get involved.
  • Maybe the thing I should’ve started with: is any of this still a going concern three months from now? Big ideas tend to get thrown out in Mexican wrestling and quietly fade away when there’s no immediate success. This plan is going to be a complicated and occasionally drama-filled process, even if things go well. It’ll be easier to turn back, even if turning back isn’t a sound financial strategy. The common thought is to ask people where they expect to be five years from now; I don’t know what to expect out of this one year from now.

I’m sure I’ll subscribe to this service and keep it going as long as I’m doing whatever it is I’m doing here if it what it seems to be; it seems necessary for this. If I were approaching this as a person with a healthy amount of interest in this subject, I’d probably wait and see.

The Mas Lucha Torneo Suprema will launch its premium service. There’s some spoiler-ish news on part of it – I’m not convinced it’s correct or even more than a guess, but you should skip a paragraph to avoid finding out in advance. Revealing the outcomes of matches rarely has news value, but a Facebook page called Quitate el Candado frames it as part of a long negative post on Dulce Garcia. You’re familiar with many of the negative Sexy Star stories; this also adds her having problems at the recent KAOZ iPPV tapings. She’s said to be such a problem to the promotion that they were trying to get out of a deal with her (based on the number of dates) by offering her to other promotions. Mas Lucha took them up on her for their tournament. Garcia then came to the tournament and may have forced Mas Lucha to change the planned final of the tournament. (That final is listed in the post, but even the poster is unsure what the end up being.) You’d have to believe Mas Lucha was caught off guard by Dulce Garcia demanding victories, which seems impossible – everyone that deep into lucha libre knows the story on her by now. Once she’s booked, everyone understands she’s only there to win and will lose only with some sort of excuse then complain about it after. I’d safely guess she’s not the only person in that tournament who would be very unhappy to take any losses to anyone, and the booking of that tournament was always going to be incredibly tricky.

Lucha Noticias has an interview with Anibal Jr., who explains he saw Princesa Azul as a “daughter of his soul.” He says she’s the same age as a daughter of his who passed away, so it felt right to give her the mask and the name. He’s upset with Princesa Azul changing the gear to something more daring and “giving people in the locker room too much to talk about.” Anibal Jr. pushes back against the hinted sexual harassment, saying he was always respectful towards her and even insisted on a promoter booking them in separate rooms when they were given just one on a trip to Guatemala.

Anibal Jr. is looking for Princesa Azul to drop the “Hija de Anibal” monicker and change the mask. It doesn’t seem like he’s going for the “Princesa Azul” name. Which could mean this will probably end with a slight modification to her gear and not much other resolution.

Anibal Jr. subsequently posted a video statement on Facebook, apologizing to the fans for misleading them with Anibal’s memory (by giving it to a non-family member.)

two points to keep in mind

  • much of this drama could’ve avoided if Anibal Jr. handled the split like a professional. Even if he’s entirely in the right in every other way, announcing you’ve fired someone as your daughter as a response to an anodyne video is not it. It also makes it harder to believe everything he’s said since – he’s lied about Azul being his daughter, and he’s changed his story about the circumstances of their break up. He hasn’t credibly conducted himself.
  • Anibal Jr. is correct in Princesa Azul changing her design. That design also downplays the Anibal-related imagery in the process, which makes it she might have known this split was coming.

KeMonito’s participated in CMLL’s virtual media day WednesdayThe big news coming out of it was KeMonito says he’s going to retire in a year or two, except he has also said the same thing an interview earlier this year, and he’s not definite about sticking to that timeline.

Flyer says coronavirus stopped his ascension to the top of the CMLL cards, proving even coronavirus has its good points. Flyer, who was memorably not right in the last CMLL show before shut down, feels he would’ve been a regular semifinal/main event guy had things continued. That final match was Flyer & Atlantis Jr. winning the restored Mexican National Tag Team Championship, once held by Misterioso and Flyer’s grandfather Volador. Flyer revealed he’s not talked to his grandfather in the four months since he won the titles to talk about it; they’re a distant family.

AAA has to issue a press release to discredit a lousy piece of information on TV. ImagenTV talked to Fantasma about the rash of luchador deaths. The TV station put up a message saying, “50 AAA wrestlers had died,” when Fantasma likely didn’t mention a promotion. It was a mistake, but people started asking AAA about it on social media Thursday, so AAA issued a statement saying they had no cases of coronavirus at the moment. No AAA luchador has passed away during this period.

Dark Angel appeared on Taylor Wilde’s podcast, talking about her career and their team. There’s no Scoops, but it’s a pleasant conversation with some talk about her time in Mexico. Dark Angel very slightly teased a return to the ring on Twitter recently. She goes with “never say never” here – it doesn’t seem like she’s planning on having another match, just refusing to rule out the possibility forever. Dark Angel is on furlough from WWE, and the impression I got from listening is she’s not expecting to return soon (she’s recently got an RV to do some traveling) while also assuming that relationship isn’t over.

Daga’s status with Impact Wrestling is murky. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports Daga has been willing to try to get to Impact from Mexico, and Impact says they still want to use him, but Impact hasn’t brought Daga back in, and there’s no indication when that might happen. Daga & Tessa were a package deal in Impact, and wrestling promoters often have trouble dealing with one half of a couple when the other one walks out.

An advantage of taping ahead of time is the ability to do preview trailers; there’s a trailer for the “Arena Olivares” show airing on +LuchaTV Saturday night.

KAOZ posted a photo of an empty lot, saying they’re going to build their performance center. No timeline is mentioned. KAOZ ran shows about once a month in 2019. A training building could help wrestlers in the region considerably, but it’s an unusual use of resources given the current scale of promotion. Maybe they’re planning on that scale changing?

SoloWrestling has an interview with Ciclope about Lucha Libre Vanguardia.

Tuxtleca luchador Furia Guerrera passed away on July 6th.

Xalapa luchador Gabriel o Gabriela has been in a ICU since Monday due to COVID-19.

Lucharte is looking to crowdfund a documentary about lucha libre during COVID.

Torreon’s Arena Colon says they’ve followed local health recommendations to set up for reduced capacity, but still can’t get approval to run. They’re not getting turned down; they’re just not getting any response.

There’s a fundraiser for fundraiser Tabasco luchador Canalla and other older luchadors in the area.

Vanguardia teased Pagano as appearing on their next show to go up on IWTV, so my guess is the next show to go up there is the one with Ciclope & Miedo Extremo vs. Aeroboy & Pagano from October 2019RIOT’s most recent shows have also been added to IWTV.

An interview with Tampico’s Super Lobo.

Lucha Memes: 2020-03-08

I miss this

Recapped: 07/07/2020

These are the three matches from March 8th in Coacalco, posted on the promotion’s YouTube channel.

Virus vs Judas el Traidor
(13:11, ok, Lucha Memes)

Virus/Judas felt a little aimless. They did some holds early, definitely wanted to do the board spots to set up Judas bleeding, and they had a lot of near falls. It didn’t combine too well, though it was hard-hitting for while it lasted. Judas wasn’t particularly impressive on his own and Virus seems to work at whatever level he’s presented with on indie matches. The crowd enjoyed this one a lot more than me, so maybe it’s me.

Ricky Marvin vs Perro de Guerra
(12:41, ok, Lucha Memes)

Perro de Guerra’s surprise offense to start the match is a good idea with not well-executed moves. Ricky Marvin’s stomps to the face putting to stop him look a hundred times more viscous. The idea of all these Memes Marvin matches are his opponents aren’t in his league, but Guerra isn’t close enough to make this believable competitive. Perro gets better on his comeback but the early portions to the match are so that it feels weird he even gets a comeback. He lacked the speed or intensity for this sort of match. Marvin hits a lot harder and seemed frustrated at times. Guerra did take a beating well but this wasn’t even one-sided enough to be memorable.

Arez vs Aramis
(let’s say 13:35 but it’s confusing, great, Lucha Memes)

The first five minutes of this are the best Ares & Aramis have been as opponents. They’re almost too good; people who aren’t used to seeing them may get lost in the reversals and counters. The sprint pace they’re going seems to tire them out a bit after the first five minutes, but they still finish really strong. 2020 isn’t overwhelming with top lucha libre matches for obvious reasons but this would definitely have belonged in that conversation had it ended there. It does not end there, with the match going through two superfluous extra falls, like a CMLL big match in reverse. The crowd ended the original match in approval and ends up laughing at the absurdity of the extra falls, through no obvious fault of the wrestlers This was an attempt to make up for wrestlers missing the show, but it actively made the match worse by trying to give it something extra. The place where Lucha Memes can most easily improve are the match finishes. Messy finishes work better with a heavy storyline promotion, a dream match group needs to deliver clean results to maintain that dream, combining both serves neither goal. The biggest enemy of the guy booking Lucha Memes shows is the guy deciding the finishes for the Lucha Memes, which is an easier problem to fix when it’s the same guy.

Hijo del Anibal/Princesa Azul, Paco Alonso anniversary

Mexico will likely not get a coronavirus vaccine in 2020, according to a report by Mexico’s IPN and the University of Oxford. There are “at least 136” projects at creating a vaccine worldwide. Four of those are happening in Mexico, but they’re not thought far enough along to produce a vaccine this year. Projects in other countries are farther along, but there’s no guarantee Mexico will be able to get a supply. It’s going to be tough for major shows in Mexico to allow full attendance without a vaccine, a treatment, or a dramatic reduction in COVID-19 cases. The first and the third options seem unlikely any time soon.

A simple video of fathers and daughters who are luchadors caused one of those “fathers” to disown his “daughter.” Hijo del Anibalsaw the video included himself and Princesa Azul and wrote an all caps statement on Facebook disavowing Princesa Azul on Monday. Anibal Jr. said Princesa Azul is not really his daughter, and not related to the Anibal family. Anibal Jr. was immediately revoking permission for Princesa Azul to use the name and the Anibal-related look. Anibal Jr. said he both registered the look and filled a Mexico trademark for the name. (He has not actually filed a trademark for the name at last check.)

It wasn’t immediately clear why Anibal wanted this separation and wanted it immediately. He attempted to walk it back Tuesday, saying he had actually talked to Princesa Azul and her father beforehand and they were ok with changing the name. Anibal Jr. talked positively about Princesa Azul and negatively against the people who criticized his original post. Nothing about the original post comes off like it was planned, and it’d be a terrible plan to announce that change as he did, but the story might have been believable had Princesa Azul confirmed the story.

Princesa Azul did not confirm Anibal Jr.’s story. She instead posted a mostly vague statement, acknowledging a controversy and saying she’d address it later. The key part of the post was the hashtag #NoAlAcoso, something associated speaking out against violence (often of a sexual nature) from men against women. It’s not so far off from #SpeakingOut. Pasala asked Princesa Azul about that part of it. Azul talked about a harassment situation and hinted at it being sexual. “I felt harassed…I felt uncomfortable about doing those things…I just wanted respect for my body and myself.” The implication is Azul turned down Anibal Jr. (her fake father!)’s advances and so Anibal took away the gimmick. Anibal has since removed those original posts from public view – I presume deleted, but he may have just made them private. Anibal’s Facebook page now has male friends talking posting about what a great man he is and how they know the real him and they don’t believe any of the stories, a sure sign someone has screwed up big time.

These are all non-CMLL/AAA figures, and of obscure to most people not following lucha libre. The original Anibal was a great star in Mexico from the 60s to the late 80s who passed away due to cancer. Anibal Jr.’s had some stints in AAA and CMLL but never stuck, solidly in the group of juniors who didn’t come close to their father’s name. That fame has helped him to become a promoter around Mexico State but not of great consequence; he’s a lesser Tinieblas Junior. Princesa Azul is an indie luchadora who first started getting a lot of work (at least under that name) in 2018 and is one of the more popular unsigned women. There’s some indication that Princesa Azul was originally a trainee of Anibal Jr., and occasionally a trainer to offer the use of his name to a promising student. That name often comes at a price, with the student kicking back something of their booking fees to the trainer while using the name. Those booking fees aren’t coming as normal during a pandemic, so my original thought was a financial deal gone bad. Princesa Azul’s alleging something far worse, the sort of older male trainer preying on a female trainee that was a frequent refrain in the #SpeakingOut discussion.

The Princesa Azul has the Anibal eye features but otherwise looks like it’s own deal and Anibal has no sole ownership on the color blue. I think Princesa Azul might be able to legally get away with the name and a variation of the mask, but Anibal Jr. might still hassle her about it. He might not if he’s afraid of more of the story coming out. If Princesa Azul can not use that name and identity, that seems like a nuisance for +LuchaTV and DTU. They both probably already taped material with her in it that’s yet to stream. I assume they’ll just ignore the issue for now; DTU’s already put up a supportive post and will have Princesa Azul on their Thursday night radio show. +LuchaTV has not covered this story at all to this point. They did cover #SpeakingOut when it came to non-Mexican wrestlers and they could just be waiting for when they’d be talking to Princesa Azul for their tournament to weight in on this story as well. Edit: unclear why I keep thinking Azul is in the Mas Lucha tournament because she’s not.

Similarly, Principe de Seda (who bills himself as the grandson of Huracan Ramirez Daniel Garcia) says he will no longer allow “Princesa de Seda” to use that name or portray themselves as part of the family. No reason is given. A fake Huracan Ramirez family member is about normal; it’s unclear if Principe de Seda is actually part of Garcia family or has the right to decide Princesa de Seda’s name. Neither name is trademarked. Neither wrestles all that much or on notable shows when they do wrestle.

CMLL did a one-day tribute to Paco Alonso, marking the one year anniversary of his death. Some of the 10 items listed as part of his legacy are a bit of a stretch, but the most glaring part of the tribute was the omission. Paco Alonso’s literal legacy, Sofia Alonso, isn’t mentioned at all. CMLL’s wiped luchadors like Rush and Konnan from their history for leaving the promotion, and CMLL’s essentially done the same thing with the person who was running the place this time last year. Sofia herself doesn’t appear to have publicly marked the date either; her rarely updated Instagram has no recent photos, nothing to indicate the date. The Instagram account lists her as CMLL commercial director, but she’s very quietly doing that job if she’s still involved with CMLL at all. The videos of CMLL wrestlers talking about how much they love Paco Alonso as a boss fit oddly alongside the reality of how they allowed his daughter to be pushed aside after a few months. Sofia’s lack of involvement is not truly surprising, a testament to how much she’s been completely pushed out of the picture.

Chavo Lutteroth Jr. and Sr. are apparently the ones in charge of CMLL at the moment, but they’re not visible. Julio Cesar Rivera has essentially become the corporate face of CMLL with no one else pushed into that position; he was the one who (somewhat off handily) announced CMLL’s requirements to return last week. This week, he has Universo 2000 Jr., Raziel, Cancerbero, Disturbio, Hijo del Signo, Ultimo Dragoncito, and Pequeno Pierrothito on CMLL Informa.

Australian Suicide and Vanilla announced Vanilla is pregnant with the couple’s first child. Gotta keep busy during the quarantine. Congratulations to both.

Vampiro’s talk show debuts on El Rey Network tomorrow at 8 pm CT. It’ll probably be good if you are into Vampiro and maybe not so much otherwise.

Furia de Titanes announced a tournament to be streamed on Facebook and YouTube starting July 19th. They’ve promoted shows before but it’s odd for them to promote one now. The news side of that site has been against running lucha libre shows and unauthorized ones, so maybe these are not actually lucha libre matches and something other competition.

You may vaguely remember a women’s wrestling competition by the name of Heronias, which was scheduled to launch this spring with weekly shows before the pandemic hit. There were around 48 women, there were coaches, I wrote up a whole big list, it was a thing. It hasn’t actually been a thing because of the pandemic, but the lack of an actual lucha libre promotion doesn’t mean there can’t be drama around a lucha libre promotion. Quimera, who was one of the women originally in the field and is no longer, told R de Rudo that the women had to pay 1500 pesos to enter the competition, with the idea that the winner would take home 100,000 pesos. She’s skeptical there was ever really 100,000 pesos and thinks maybe some people didn’t have to pay. (The promoter raked in 72,000 pesos if everyone did.) I don’t remember that coming out in the promotion of the event, and it seems like something you’d promote. Quimera says the women were told they would be paid by match as well, but obviously there are now no matches. There was also never a written contract. When the person in charge of the Heronias competition, Cesar Marca, started declaring where else the women could appear and where they were allowed to sell merchandise, Quimera had enough of that and left the competition.

Diario Basta talks about Mr. Iguana about his journey to signing an AAA contract.

Lucha Noticias had an Instagram interview with Stephanie Vaquer, focusing more on her time in that 2018 WWE Latin America tryout. That tryout took place in Chile and Vaquer says she believes a WWE Latin America Performance Center was planned for that country (and not Mexico.) She’s not sure if it’s still happening due to pandemic.

GALLI and Vanguardia announced an alliance, same as the GAW and Vanguardia mentioned a week ago. GALLI’s indicated they plan on running again sometime this month; I don’t know of much wrestling happening in the Chicago area happening yet.

Aeroboy is announced for the July 31th/August 1st in IWA-MS King of the Deathmatches tournament, which must mean he feels he’ll be able to get in the US by the end of the month. Only essential travel is permitted between Mexico and the US through July 21st, a date that’s been pushed back twice. People have found way through despite that ban. EDIT: The travel ban is only being enforced on ground travel so Aeroboy (and others) can get there if they can get flights.

Laredo Kid & Black Taurus are among those advertised on a Texas-based indie wrestling expo on August 28-29th, so they also believe they’ll be able to travel by then. This was an expo originally pushed back from June.

+LuchaTV’s podcast focused on Perro Aguayo’s career.

The W Hotel in Mexico City has re-modeled with a lucha libre theme to play into mask wearing during the pandemic.

AAA’s website was back working Tuesday morning.

El Horizonte has a profile of Monterrey’s Hell Raider.

El Debate writes about Sinaloa’s El Sinaloense.

Box y Lucha returns, Kriminal Lucha Libre mystery show, Santo/Atlantis mask match (is not going to happen but what else is there to write about)

While there are still neighborhood groups running shows, the amount of higher-profile lucha libre shows seems to have diminished. I think it’s more a fluke of the calendar than groups who’ve been running deciding to stop. It doesn’t leave much to talk about here, but that’s ok.

+LuchaTV has started rolling out hype videos for their Mas Lucha Suprema, so that’s likely been taped and will start rolling out soon. Maybe there will be an announcement as soon as tonight as a start date.

Toxin planned to run his first Kriminal Lucha Libre show before the pandemic scrambled everything. He’s been advertising a secret show – video available only by messaging on Facebook and presumably a price – and social media suggests it was taped over the weekend.

CMLL hyped a Kemonito Party on July 3rd for his birthday. It turned out to be an interview with Julio Cesar Rivera. CMLL did seem to have plans for doing something big for Monito’s birthday this year, after that bit where everyone though his birthday was earlier in the year.

CMLL also posted a video tribute to Paco Alonso, one year after his passing. There’s an accompanying long text piece on Facebook talking about his achievements. 30% of the fans are said to be tourists, which is the first time I’ve seen them put a number on it.

Lucha Libre Vanguardia is running a drive-in show sometime this month. It’s 200 per car with 25 cars allowed. No date is announced; they’re obviously keeping quiet to avoid the authorities.

Box Y Lucha is resuming publication, though only in digital form. They ceased publication back at the start of the pandemic and are restarting today. The digital issues are 60 pesos for 4 issues or 500 pesos for 50 issues. I’ve tried subscribing digital years before when they were sending out a link to a new issue every week and it wasn’t a great experience; that was when they’d send out a link each issue, only they started forgetting to send the link after a while and I grew tired of asking for it. It sounds like it’s a different system this time so I probably will try the shorter period.

IWRG is soliciting donations for Rey del Ring Part 2, a show with no date or participants announced.

El Hijo del Santo says he heard Atlantis would do a mask match with him and he’s up for it. Santo did this while posting a photo of Atlantis submitting to his hold. Santo/Atlantis has about no chance of happening with the current CMLL freeze out of Santo, though they’ve at least allowed his name to be mentioned of late. Assuming that pretzel can be untied, it’s not a terrible idea.

Ideally, Atlantis would lose his mask to someone who CMLL can build around for years to come. The problem for CMLL is there isn’t a young masked guy who is over enough to be put in that spot without a significant amount of the fanbase immediately turning on him for being “gifted” the win. Soberano Jr., to pick a random mask man, would be a much bigger star if he took Atlantis’ mask but also half the crowd would hate him for years. It’d work better with a rudo but I think there’s a decent possibility the crowd would reject Sanson or Cutarero in that spot. Santo defeating Atlantis – there’s no other outcome possible – would have zero benefit for CMLL long term. Santo and CMLL would likely be back to hating each other within six months. That match would still give CMLL the biggest gate possible ever in Arena Mexico (or even just run Estadio Azteca.) It’s a cynical thought to go for the one-night cash-in over the long term benefit, but I’m not sure there’s going to be a lot of long term benefit for beating Atlantis. This is also not going to happen but there’s not a lot happening.

AAA’s website has been down since July 4th. Someone missed the email to renew the domain. That’s happened in the past. They may have fixed it by the time you read this; it usually just takes a day or two for everything to get reset. This seemed like a big deal the other times it’s happened but now I’m not even sure how many people actually are going to AAA’s website. AAA’s social media, even during this period where there’s no content, continues to be pretty active. Their website, either due to resources or interest, is rarely active. (The only reason the website is down is the script I wrote to check for new shows being added to their Events page; I can’t think of any other reason I would’ve had to check their page.) I think websites for wrestling promotions still have a use – they’re good to push people towards tickets, merchandise, or their TV – but lucha libre promotions rarely use them those ways.

Myzteziz Jr. praises his teamwork with his partners.

Cinta de Oro participated in a music project during his current downtime.

The annual Expo Lucha Libre Chetumal (Quintana Roo) has been canceled. That wasn’t scheduled to take place until December, so they’ve likely decided to cancel it before even getting starting planning it.

There was a local promoter press conference to announce the twice-postponed AAA spot show in Ciudad Victoria is still not canceled, though they have no idea when it’ll happen at the moment.

Guatemalan luchadors El Arriero de San Juan and La Furia have passed away.

A quick profile of Chiapas luchador Tribal. And one on Salamanca referee Luis Enrique Segura. And on some Tampico luchadors.

A look back at Chetumal luchador King Blazer, who passed away a year ago.

Arena Tigre Padilla in Monclova has reopened for training.

Segunda Caida watches the Brazos 25th Anniversary show from 2001.

Lineups

DTU (FRI) 07/17/2020 Tulancingo, Hidalgo
1) Brazo Celestial & Brazo De Oro Jr. vs Aero Panther & Fight Panther Jr. and Drolux & Moria
2) Shun Skywalker vs PesadillaYoshiokaBlazeGran CobraDragón SuicidaBrazo Cibernetico Jr.
3) Diosa Quetzal, Kevin, Tiburón vs Black Fire, Princesa Azul, Samuray Jr.
4) Avorto & Chaneke vs Crazy Boy & Crazy King
5) Camuflaje & Stuka Jr. vs Kaleth & Negro Navarro

No change from the matches that were announced. This is again 50 pesos in advance, 70 pesos day of the show; you can join a Whatsapp group to get info here. I suspect this show was taped this past weekend and that the Crazy Boy match will again be a “cinematic” match.

CMLL waiting for approval to return, DTU iPPV lineup, WWE vague Latin America plans

There are new details about CMLL’s eventually return, though not much of a strict timeline. The explanation came about five minutes into this week’s CMLL Informa. Julio Cesar Rivera and La Jarochita were talking about questions from fans. The most common issue is naturally, “when are we getting shows again?” JCR said CMLL is waiting to get two approvals: from the Mexico City government and the Mexico Lucha Libre commission (Fantasma.) No shows until both sign-off. JCR did say CMLL is planning on running empty arena shows at first. JCR also quickly made mention of COVID testing for everyone, which may be a first for Mexican wrestling. CMLL is currently doing temperature checks and a health questionnaire for those visiting Arena Mexico, similar to what WWE had been doing.

El Universal followed up with El Fantasma, who says he did receive a request to run CMLL shows from Salvador Lutteroth. He, in turn, went to the medical authorities to see what they were recommending. That’s changed. Orange health conditions were the bar to reach to allow lucha libre shows. That’s now officially pushed to yellow. (Fantasma also took a moment to criticize people who’ve been running secret shows during this time.) We’re all just waiting and watching the Friday night calendar updates.

Mexico City will stay in orange health conditions next week. They’re delaying the opening of shopping malls until Wednesday in fear of getting an uptick of cases. There had been a rumor Mexico City would skip right to green, but that never made sense: one of the requirements to get green is basically “stay safely yellow for four weeks.” We can work off that; if Mexico City doesn’t get to yellow by the July 20th update, they won’t be in green by the day of TripleMania (August 22nd), and it’ll be challenging for AAA to run. I’ve already been assuming TripleMania won’t happen on August 22nd, barring a miracle or a rash decision. July 20th is a soft deadline to when they’ll need to make a decision and maybe announce something.

Mexico State is allowing small stores to re-open starting Monday. The state remains at red health color, which means no lucha libre shows will be approved.

Mexico’s baseball league (Lige Mexicana de Beisbol) canceled its 2020 season. They had previously announced a plan to return, even eventually to have fans there. That plan fell through.

Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero (video) talked about their tag team. Ultimo Guerrero still wants wins over Ciber, Diamante Azul, and Gilbert el Boricua. Let’s not. Guerrero & Bucanero talked about reuniting the Nuevo Infernales with Satanico for the legends show. They were together because CMLL will be re-airing a 2003 tag title match versus Negro Casas & Perro Aguayo Jr. this weekend.

Negro Casas & Dalys (video) talked about adapting to a pandemic. It reads like finding a way to keep working out helped.

Stuka Jr. (video) said his goals include an apuesta match with Ultimo Guerrero and to form a trio to beat Los Guerreros Laguneros for those titles. Star Jr., Flyer, Diamante Azul, Soberano Jr., Atlantis Jr. are all suggested as possible partners. Stuka is open to giving Hechicero another title match, but he wants his mask. Stuka would turn rudo if he lost his mask. Stuka also mentioned he once asked Okumura to write the name of his son in Japanese so he could get a tattoo. Okumura instead wrote the word “ankle” in Japanese. Stuka hates Okumura forever for this.

Thunder passed away four years ago Tuesday. Polvora remembered him in an interview with Ovaciones, saying they were good friends. Thunder was diagnosis with cancer in early 2016, told to return home to Australia, and passed away later that year. Polvora remembers Thunder being in severe pain during a conversation, Thunder asking out to rest and then never seeing him again. CMLL scheduled Thunder and Ultimo Guerrero for a mask match in 2016, and Polvora feels Thunder would’ve won either way. Either he would’ve unmasked Guerrero, or the fans would win to get to see Thunder’s “not-ugly” face. Edit: Ultimo Guerrero was already unmasked by then, so maybe Polvora may be mistaken.

Lucha Time aired another show on Facebook Thursday:

Lucha Time (THU) 07/02/2020 Arena Lucha Time, Monterrey, Nuevo León [+LuchaTV, Lucha Time (video)]
1) Infierno b Saizo
The Invisible Man did a run in.
2) Muerte Extreme & Sick Boy b Alex Black & Punk Clown
3) Baby Xtreme b Medico Brujo
4) Azrael & Hijo Del Espectro Jr. b Epydemius & The Mummy

I had trouble believing that opening match result, but, sure enough, they did a goofy Invisible Man bit in the opener. It came off as someone saw the Vanguardia show and wanted to do the same thing for their amusement.

Lucha Time claimed in a post that they’re sanitizing the building and running COVID-19 testing. They posted a video of the sanitization, which appears to be a man with leafblower blowing air through the ring. I’m skeptical their COVID testing was any more serious.

Drago feels he was on an upward slope before the pandemic hit and hopes to continue that (and his feud with Blue Demon) once he returns. He praises AAA for how they’ve supported their luchadors.

Box y Lucha also has an interview with Big Mami. The summary mentions she’s looking to win the Reina de Reinas title next.

AAA’s is part of a sports charity auction to raise money for COVID-19 release starting Monday. Lucha libre items on sale are a Blue Demon mask, a yellow Lady Shani mask, a black Lady Shani mask, a La Parka mask and outfit, a Psycho Clown mask, and a second Psycho Clown mask. All equipment appears professional equipment, signed, and with authentication information. You can pay via Paypal, and it seems they’re doing international shipping, though you may want to check in on that given the prices.

NJPW translated a recent interview with BUSHI about joining Los Ingobernables de Japon and the early days of that faction. There was a debate if they should be Los Ingobernables de Japon or Los Ingobernables en Japon. There’s also a bit where BUSHI suggests he and Mascara Dorada were to be a regular pair in 2015. BUSHI suffered an injury late in 2014 and then re-injured himself during training, not returning to the ring until the formation of LIJ. He and Dorada did go onto feud at the end of that year and the start of the next. Maybe the reason Dorada didn’t get much to do in NJPW before it because he was supposed to be teaming with BUSHI at that point, and NJPW just decided to keep Dorada in a holding pattern until then. I have a strange feeling this is old news, and I’ve already forgotten it; maybe it’ll sink in this time.

Post Wrestling wrote about an interview with John Brody, a WWE Executive Vice President, and the company’s plan for Latin America. It’s worth clicking through to get the exact quote. The big takeaway is he seems high on the idea of running a “special live event in the short-to-medium term.” That’d generally sound like something aimed for this year, but COVID may change those plans. It reads like maybe a special for the WWE network more than a regular TV show. WWE has not taped a TV show in Mexico since 2011 and has only run one event in the last two years. I may be jumping the gun by thinking about Mexico; the interview sticks with “Latin America,” which could mean anywhere.

More information came out about Anubis Black’s death. On the positive side, we know he was also a fake Barba Roja. On the negative side, we know this because he was a suspect in another double homicide, then shot and murdered. The media outlet wrote about Barba Roja as his primary identity instead of Anubis Black. C4 Noticias MX has the story. Francisco Javier Lizárraga Meza, 31, was a suspect in the shooting death of a man and a woman eating at a Wings Burger in the Alvaro Obregon area of Mexico City on March 25th. A person matching his description walked up to the couple and fired his gun. There was no talking or proceeding incident; it appeared to pre-mediated. Lizárraga shot at them again while they lay on the floor. People on the scene identified Lizárraga, but the police couldn’t find him. On June 20th, in the same Alvaro Obregon area of Mexico City, Lizárraga was with his girlfriend when a man approached and shot him at least eight times. The police realized Lizárraga’s tattoo matched the man they had been looking for on the March 25th murder, and witnesses confirmed it was the same person. A second attacker was part of the March shooting and still hasn’t been found or identified.

DTU 07/17 “A Cielo Abierto” iPPV

Such a weird main event; Negro Navarro on your “fun at the beach” show is an odd fit. Crazy King in the semi-main is more notable. His surprise appearance on sorta-rival Vanguardia promotion hasn’t ended his time in DTU. There doesn’t seem to be concern about him going either since there’s no DTU title defense scheduled on this show. Not the DTU’s title seems like great importance to the promotion.

Lucha Libre Vanguardia and Independent Wrestling TV announced the Hidalgo based promotion will now start appearing on the streaming service. Their first show will go up this upcoming Thursday; it’s the October 3rd, 2019 show. Zona 23, Monterrey’s RIOT Lucha Libre, and Guadalajara’s Guanatos Hardcore Crew groups are all on there. Those two promotions are exclusively behind subscription services, filmed by themselves. Vanguardia has been a +LuchaTV produced promotion, which means all of the shows going to IWTV are already up on YouTube. Vanguardia’s press release seems to indicate that’ll be continuing. IWTV pays promotions based on how much time subscribers spend watching their content. Fewer people are going to go out of there way to watching Vanguardia with it already available free, but anyone who might already be using the IWTV service and flips over to watch some of them is free found money. There’s also a reality that, you can tell some people an international show is available for free a million times but, the only way they’re going to get around to sample is if it is surrounded by more familiar English language shows. IWTV has those and so it has an audience who might not see Vanguardia any other way.

Vanguardia seems to be on IWTV through their connections with brother promotion GCW.  If there’s any money in this, I do wonder if opens the door to other +LuchaTV produced lucha libre promotions looking for the same; there’s a lot of following the leader in vaguely Mexico City area lucha libre promotions. I also wonder if +LuchaTV gets a cut of the IWTV money – or if Vanguardia gets a percentage of the +LuchaTV YouTube ad money. All of those are mysteries only known by the people involved.

No one asks me these things and probably for a good reason, but I’d suggest Vanguardia put up the June 2nd show with the Ciclope/Miedo Extremo explosive match next time they can get on the IWTV stream. That’ll get some attention.

A Psicosis Ripper led the show in Mexico State is going to try a drive-in wrestling show on August 1st. I know people have tried the same thing in the US, but I have no idea if it’s worked or not. Tickets will be 350/400, with a limit of four people per car. You can get in for 200 if you’re on a motorcycle.

Argentinan luchador Atila (Ruben Osvaldo Velázquez, 70) passed away Thursday He wrestled for the Titanes en el Ring show.

Segunda Caida reviews a Wotan/Diabolicos trios match from last year.

Audaz passes away, possibilities of a IWRG/AAA training center

El Audaz (Domenico Bazán León, 73), passed away Tuesday. Audaz was active in the 60s, though his greatest fame came in the 70s. He won the UWA Lightweight Heavyweight Championship in 1976. That title win came reportedly came in Audaz’s hometown of Veracruz. It was likely just to build him up before his mask loss the next month, but must’ve felt like quite a day.  He and Solitario lost the finals of a relevos suicidas against Anibal & Rayo de Jalisco, then Solitario unmasked Audaz in a mask match. That’s three Hall of Famers and also Audaz, which probably didn’t leave much suspense as to who was losing their mask that day. SuperLuchas obit describes Audaz as a man caught between two careers and eventually leaving lucha libre behind to go full time in music. He was a performer, a promoter and a producer for many years after retiring for the ring; you can see him perform here.

The CMLL Audaz is no relation to this Audaz, just part of CMLL’s practice of re-using battle names.

Acapulco 70s/80s luchador El Musulman also passed away, according to fellow local luchador Aristoteles and pointed out Furia de Titanes.

+LuchaTV had Marco Moreno on to talk about the issues around IWRG and the Mexico State commission. I didn’t notice much news there. On a different topic, Moreno brought up a recent Dorian Roldan’s mention of wanting an AAA Performance Center and said he and AAA had talked about using Arena Naucalpan for the concept. AAA and IWRG students would train together during the week at the building, while weekly IWRG shows would continue. This came off as something Moreno had pitched to AAA, not something that was close to happening or in the works.

There’s a history there. The Moreno family has been promoting wrestling in Mexico State for nearly sixty years, but the “IWRG” name started as a collaboration between the Morenos and Ultimo Dragon. He supplied Japanese trainees for a wrestling school; they lived next door and trained at the building in the same way Moreno is proposing for AAA wrestlers. Roldan’s idea was specifically about having a place for international wrestlers to train, so housing may be a necessary part of it. AAA’s come up in rumors about buying Arena Naucalpan or creating a bigger alliance in the past. There’s an in-character promo by Dorian Roldan & Konnan on +LuchaTV’s channel around five years ago with them teasing buying Arena Naucalpan, which set off rumors AAA was actually working of it. That didn’t seem to go anywhere.

There are challenges for picking Arena Naucalpan as a performance center. It’s possible to get to it via the subway plus a microbus service, but it’s still a long hike from AAA’s offices; an ideal building would probably be in Mexico City itself or closer to the AAA offices. It’s also in an insecure area; IWRG seems to have moved their start times to afternoons to make sure their fans and personal are safely out of the area before it gets too dark. The safety of the neighborhood is outside of Arena Naucalpan’s control, but it’s not an ideal situation to place international wrestlers unfamiliar with Mexico. There does seem to be a bunch of unused space behind the walls seen by fans. These are not issues to rule out but things that would have to be figured out if this were to happen.

Berenice Marquez is better known as La Reina de Chocolate; she’s AAA’s most visible edecan. There are no AAA events now. I was once told she also worked as a manager at a dance club, which also isn’t happening now. So, for the moment, Berenice Marquez is a micro-restauranteur, cooking and selling hamburgers & hot dogs. There’s video too; she’s making the food at home and getting orders via Whatsapp. Reforma also profiled indie luchador Yoruba’s own food business.

Shocker, Negro Casas, Rey Bucanero, Sanson, Cuatrero, and La Jarochita will be on CMLL Informa today.

DTU 07/17 “A Cielo Abierto” iPPV

There’s likely 2-3 more matches to be added.

MicromanFever translated an interview with Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr.. The one hall of the current GHC Tag Team Champions mentioned he originally had tour dates with NOAH for June, August and September and now it’s September when he’ll be returning.

You probably remember Stu Bennett as WWE’s Wade Barrett. Here, he’s relevant as “that guy who showed up in the last 30 seconds of the last ever Lucha Underground episode as the big guy behind everything.” Postwrestling has an interview with Barrett about the more famous parts of his career and also that cameo. The general idea behind it (season 5 would’ve been a battle between seven reps of the Aztec tribes and the seven people given god-like powers by the evil side) came up before, though the details of his casting are a bit new. LU wanted Bennett for that role and it worked out that he happened to be in Los Angeles working on other things in time to film for a few hours. Bennett seems pretty definite that he was told there was no money or approval for a fifth season when he agreed to do the deal, just a hope it would come together. The LU production story has been they did have a deal for multiple seasons, but Season 4 was a bit of a production nightmare, MGM wasn’t going to produce a fifth season without more money, and El Rey was not going to change the already agreed-upon deal.

Box Y Lucha reposted a 2000 interview with El Dandy, who says he’s working some dates in Mexico with MAX PROAD while waiting for his WCW contract to be renewed. (WCW was not renewing his contract.) El Dandy says he started as a masked wrestler under that name, but Arena Coliseo Guadalajara promoter Rey Plata told him he not to wear it after two months, he was better of without one.

A report on runners returning to track around Mexico City’s Deportivo Plan Sexenal notes there’s still no opening date for the building itself, which has held many wrestling events over the years.

Saltillo’s Arena Tigre Padilla has re-opened for training, though they’re limiting it to seven students at a time.

A memorial show for El Picudo is planned for 10/04 in Arena San Juan. I hope that can happen.

ESTO has an interview with Reina Dorada, which may be a bit old; she talks about hoping to return to the ring soon and not the +LuchaTV tournament.

El Sol de Tampico profiles Los Aranas Malignas.

Lineups

Lucha Time (THU) 07/02/2020 Arena Lucha Time, Monterrey, Nuevo León
1) Saizo vs Infierno
2) Muerte Extreme & Sick Boy vs Alex Black & Punk Clown
3) Baby Xtreme vs Medico Brujo
4) Epydemius & The Mummy vs Azrael & Hijo Del Espectro Jr.

This will be streaming on their Facebook page; last week’s Facebook show was posted on YouTube a few days later.

IAW (SAT) 07/11/2020 Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal
1) Ciclón Infernal & Hera vs Kendy & La Fuerza
2) Kunay vs Heroe Romero [falls count anywhere]
3) Energía vs Jitsu
4) Lady Cat vs Star FireLilith DarkMiss Delicious
5) Tromba vs Arez vs Látigo

The date is there just to put a date there. This will air in parts on YouTube from July 14th and July 17th, where they’ve also been showing matches from a trainee/veteran competition. While the Lucha Time show has no obvious strings attached, this is another charity show – Citibanamex 4766-8413-0181-4391 – thought the idea here is that people who donate now will be able to buy discounted tickets when they can sell tickets again.

Energia/Jitsu is three falls match with three different rules for each fall.

Mexico City moves to orange health code, global pride day, DTU

Over the last few months, I’ve read and heard many wrestling people in Mexico justify their shows by saying things like “WWE is still running wrestling shows, why can’t we?” WWE reportedly is now dealing with many COVID test failures; there are reports of 30, there are rumors of much higher numbers. This is the same risk everyone else is taking. I hope everyone in WWE ends OK and I hope no one in Mexico gets it, but it’s not automatically a good idea when WWE does something.

Mexico City’s moved into the orange health protocol starting today. Mexico State remains orange. “Individual outdoor athletic activities” are now allowed in the city (and other places with orange.) That sounds like you can work out as long as you’re outside, though group work still seems discouraged. It may be close enough for some promotions to feel comfortable running. Doing it outside seems much safer than inside, at least from what we know right now. AAA ran those tapings inside a TV studio last month to make sure they weren’t stopped, but it seems now like they’d be better of running them in the backyard of their office if they do more.

The conditions aren’t close to a place where fans should be attending shows, though it does give thought about the best way to do it when it goes farther. TripleMania is under two months away and it’s hard to imagine AAA will be able to have the usual close to full building for that show. My best guess has been the announced TripleMania Regia II show essentially becomes TripleMania, taking advantage of the outdoor setting and being later in the calendar. It’s really the outdoor baseball stadium that’s a key there. Maybe an August/September Mexico City TripleMania is still possible if they can move outdoor to a baseball stadium or a bullring; it’d probably allow for a higher percentage of people in attendance. I have no information on this happening, just throwing out an idea.

Pequeno Jaque Mate passed away back on June 19th; I neglected to mention it here. He was a regular from 1992-1996 in CMLL, as they restarted their minis division following many of the original minis going to AAA.

Global Pride Day was Saturday, which led to a lot of timed articles about LGBT+ connections to lucha libre.

  • An article on Demisasdo‘s career mentions he’s the promoter behind the Mi Sagrada Lucha Libre shows.
  • In Record, Mamba says they’ve never experienced discrimination in lucha libre. Mamba credits people like Pimpinela Escarlata, Casandro, and Rudy Reyna for battling those issues and making it better for those who came after.
  • Imparcial Oaxaca writes about local exotico Rubicela, who wrestled at an outdoor show.
  • El Universal also has a long story on Bello Greco, positioning him as the first exotico and based off of older articles and interviews.
  • Miguel Reducindo looks back at the history of LGBT+ characters and inclusion in a good column for the +LuchaTV site. The inclusion of exotics is great but progress has fallen short if that’s the role in lucha libre for openly LGBT+ people.

Psycho Clown’s weekly column includes a shout out to the LBGT+ community and continues to tease a surprise for AAA fans. I’d assume this is AAA planning a return show.

Mr. Condor says this is the longest he’s gone without being in a wrestling match. He’s not going to wrestle on an empty arena show to change that; he says the conditions for those are unreasonable. Condor is specifically talking about donation-based shows, believing it’s a terrible situation to work a show with promises of being paid but no safe payment.

DTU announced an alliance with Illinois-based promotion GAW. I mean, I think they’re US-based; it feels like they’ve announced more alliances than run wrestling shows. GAW is also part of the PALL alliance, which did lead to some Chicago based wrestlers coming to IWRG and winning their tag team titles. Access to US wrestlers is probably the key for DTU here; GCW seems to have gone with Vanguardia in that schism. It’s hard to believe DTU will be able to bring in people from the US any time soon, or vice versa.

The 3rd KAOZ 3rd iPPV took place yesterday. I think. I didn’t write about it and it doesn’t appear +Lucha or Lucha Central came back for a third week. There doesn’t seem to be much talk about the show on their Facebook page either. KAOZ is posting the results slowly.

+Lucha announced Lolita and Zeuxis for their Torneo Suprema Mas Lucha. They join Reina Dorada, Ayako Hamada, Diosa Quetzal, Ludark Shaitan, Baby Love, and Dulce Sexy in what looks to be an eight-woman field. That’s a pretty big name field for an indie women’s tournament. It feels like bigger stars than the men’s tournament, though that’d probably fall off if they went sixteen deep as the men did. I wonder if +Lucha changes up the schedule from a new match every day if there’s going to be much fewer matches. They’ll probably announce something tonight on their podcast, since there’s not a lot else to talk about.

DTU 07/17 “A Cielo Abierto” iPPV

Someday, someone should explain to “Figth” Panther that his name is spelled maybe not how he means to spell it. I’m currently refusing to spell it that way in the database.

+LuchaTV put up the previous DTU iPPV on Sunday. Didn’t here anything strong about the matches but the visual is cool. Ultimo Guerrero really wrestled the entire match in his mask.

Vampiro’s talk show debuts on El Rey on July 9th at 8 pm CT. If you haven’t watched El Rey lately, the remaining new original programming on the network are sit down interviews, with different latinx hosts. This is along the same lines. Lucha Underground is also repeating on the network upwards of six times a day, which may as much as to fill programming holes as to promote Vampiro’s debut. The teaser mentions lucha libre content, though I’d guess that’s more to get people interested than because it’s actually an emphasis; Vampiro’s not thinking much about wrestling when he’s not employed by a wrestling company. The show doesn’t seem like it’s something relevant or interesting to me, not that it needs to be, but I think I’ll give it one episode.

AAA put up 2017’s TripleMania on YouTube; it was there before but many of their videos more than a year old have been switched to private. (I presume they’re scrubbing music out.) I found it slightly interest that the Sexy Star/Rosemary controversy was left in, but the Mesias/Pagano match (that seemed to fall apart due to injury) was cut alongside Copa TripleMania.

CMLL likewise put up Atlantis versus Ultimo Guerrero from 2014. They’d shown Cometa/Cavernario and a trios match from that Anniversario show in previous weeks. Every other match on that Anniversario show has a person banned from airing on TV, so a Stuka/Hechicero lightning match and a couple of tag matches from the previous week are also included. CMLL either has no concept of good matches worth watching or their concept is so foreign to me that I can’t recognize it.

Gori Guerrero will be inducted into the 2020 El Paso Sports Hall of Fame, whenever such things can happen again.

Box Y Lucha looks back at Canek quitting AAA in 2003 because they had the temerity to move him out of the main event. There’s also an old article on La Parka’s car wreck in 2007, which eventually left him fighting with one good arm for the rest of his career. I forgot how destroyed his truck looked.

Arena Vidal’s promoter in Chetumal believes it’ll be many months before he’ll be able to run another show due to the number of COVID-19 cases locally.

Luchadora Kali says she’s been laid off from her other job too – pre-school teacher at a private school – but is working hard to be ready whenever wrestling comes back.

Segunda Caida looks back at some 1999 Mr. Niebla.

Damian 666 talks about selling shirts to make money during the pandemic.

something completely absurd

El Sol de Salamanca seems to be profiling different members of a small-time local wrestling group in the city weekly. The first article was about how the group is trying to stay in ring shape during the shutdown and they’ve strung it out by talking about a different luchador each week. Anything to fill the pages. It does mean some wrestlers who would’ve never gotten mentioned even passing are getting a few hundred words. Saturday, that meant it was time for El Sol de Salamanca to introduce “Racista”.

Racista looks to become ‘the best of the best’ in the ring” reads the headline. Racista started training in 2005. He got into wrestling because his son was interested in it and they decided to get into together. His son dropped out, but Racista had a previous boxing background and liked sports, so he stuck out to become a wrestler. Some luchadors choose their characters based on interests they may have away from the ring. Racista says he had a lot of interest in German culture as well as human thought and development, so he wanted to use El Nazi as this ring name. There existed a previous and famous El Nazi, so the luchador decided Racista was the only way to go. His “Lo Mejor de lo Mejor” catchphrase is a reference to those beliefs. He also wears a suastica prominently on his mask. Racista has wrestled only in the state of Guanajuato so far. Being “Racista” doesn’t pay the bills; he’s got a degree in educational psychology and is a Team Leader at a nearby Ford plant for 10 years.

Things and characters which would be considered offensive in the US would not be seen the same in Mexico, I know. Even more so in lucha libre. There’s a history of Mexican wrestling characters which would be highly objectionable elsewhere, part of a belief it’s good to see those type of characters humiliated and defeated and that the fans can separate those wrestling characters from reality. Still, the man’s gimmick is “Racist” and his interview heavily suggests it’s not just a wrestling thing for him. If the writer bothered to ask him the obvious question of “is it a bad idea to be a racist?”, it sure didn’t make it into print. And no one else at that publication in a position of power seemed to have a problem with the idea of profiling a guy who is strongly pro-racism. Racista has trainers, has associates in the wrestling business, and it sure seems like they don’t have a problem with the idea. Unless this is a very early Dia de Inocentes joke, this whole thing is garbage.

I didn’t put this story on Twitter to spare myself of the hundred quote tweets explaining to me that Racista is a bad idea. I’m aware. I also don’t want to create an Angel o Demonio-like effect, where a person makes a terrible decision, gets immense attention of it, and ends up profiting. Racista is a guy you’ve never heard of before this article and may never hear again. He’s not shown up in my database despite being around wrestling for a decade and a half, he is the smallest of the small fries. The whole process of a guy named “Racist” making it into an article trying to spotlight local athletes still seems impossible to ignore, if only for what it says about the larger culture. Not everything or everyone is like that at all, but it’s present.

Fuerza Guerrera & Atlantis talk possible mask match, recent firings and shut downs

There are no major shows this weekend. There are a few local shows and KAOZ will continue running Sunday night PPVs, but it’s generally another quiet weekend. Perhaps this is this weekend will +LuchaTV will be taping Torneo Mas Suprema, since they don’t seem to have commitments elsewhere.

Since we’re on it, here’s +Lucha’s Torneo Mas Suprema so far.

  1. Reina Dorada
  2. Diosa Quetzal
  3. Baby Love
  4. Ayako Hamada
  5. Ludark Shaitan
  6. Dulce Sexy

A women’s tournament should be very successful in garnering interest, more so in garnering donations. It does not seem like a good tournament in terms of having exciting matches or useful endings. I like some of the people in this – both Baby Love & Ayako Hamada did well on the KAOZ shows I watched. Dulce Sexy was just the tipping point of this not being something I’m going to be interested in. Still, it’s going to be profitable; I’ve got no doubt it’ll make and get more views and more money than the men’s version.

The weekly Mexico health traffic update takes place at 6 pm tonight.  As much as I struggled with some of the recent Friday night shows, I preferred that streaming option over my current one. The general trend seems for more states to be switched from red (essential work only) to orange (some things open), and it’ll probably keep going that way. I have no idea if that matches the real conditions or is a good idea. It seems unlikely Mexico City and Mexico State will be out of the red this week. Generally, it seems like most states would prefer no empty arena wrestling shows until they reach a yellow color, though we’ll likely start seeing them in orange states.

Lucha Time did run last night, with a half-hour show streamed on Facebook. I presumed it wasn’t going to be matches until they got onto TV Azteca Norte, but they had matches that may be building to big matches on that first show. I may check this is out this weekend.

Atlantis, Fuerza Guerrera, and Okumura took part in CMLL’s virtual press conferences on Wednesday. Fuerza Guerrera says his plan is to retire at the 2021 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas. That’s phrased as a chance, but it seems like the plan Fuerza had announced last year. Guerrera would like to have a final mask match with Atlantis or Hijo del Santo. For his part, Atlantis would be open to a mask match against Fuerza Guerrera or Hijo del Santo. If Atlantis & Fuerza are serious and CMLL can get a finish, then CMLL should absolutely run Guerrera/Atlantis when they can put full attendance in Arena Mexico. The match probably wouldn’t be good but it hardly matters. Everyone would make money off that match. It is fair to be skeptical of Fuerza Guerrera’s actual willingness to do a mask match given his history though. Both Fuerza Guerrera & Atlantis alluded to a mask match between them scheduled to happen around 1990, but it was canceled due to Fuerza Guerrera injury.

Long time fans who be disappointed by the lack of an Octagon/Fuerza Guerrera mask match, a few that’s also been three decades old. There doesn’t seem like any chance of that one happening without a sudden and highly unlikely reconciliation between AAA & Octagon. CMLL benefits more from having an Atlantis/Fuerza match. The chances of any independent promoter meeting the price Octagon & Fuerza would want for a mask match in the current climate seem incredibly unlikely. Fuerza Guerrera not mentioning Octagon as a possibility suggests he’s moved on.

Fuerza Guerrera mentioned a fear his name would be forgotten after he retires. Juventud Guerrera has his own career and Fuerza’s comments suggest he doesn’t think much of what his daughter (Fuerza Guerrera) or his other son (Fuerza Guerrera Jr.) have done in wrestling; he sees Fuerza Guerrera NG (Imposible) as the guy who will carry on his name. Fuerza says he’s in talks about both himself and Fuerza Guerrera NG wrestling in CMLL. Fuerza feels the only knock against Atlantis is he’s only been in CMLL and hasn’t tested himself in other promotions, but it doesn’t take away from his career. Fuerza feels Atlantis will be recovered from his injury and eventually retire in dignity.

Atlantis said he’s ready to return, feels 100% and will be as fans remembered him. He feels his son is ready for an apuesta match, since he was in one himself eighteen months after he started. Atlantis has no interest in a rematch against Ultimo Guerrero or any other hair match.

Okumura said he was told by Mexican doctors that he would need to retire, and it was only Japanese specialists who got him back in the ring. He still does not have much mobility in his neck. Okumura hopeful FantasticaMania will continue as normal next year. It is hard to believe Japan will allow entry of wrestlers from Mexico unless the COVID situation in Mexico drastically changes between now and January. They’ll probably need to make that decision months ahead of time.

Tessa Blanchard, the then-current Impact Wrestling champion, was fired late Thursday night. Impact stripped Blanchard of the title, though she still has physical possession of the belt and is not giving it back. There seems to be a mess of things going on here – Tessa may have concerns about COVID, but she was also not sending in video promos, her contract was up at the end of the month anyway – but that’s for some other site to sort through. The lucha libre relation is it leaves Daga in an odd spot, signed to the promotion which just fired his fiance. Tessa’s US options seem few. Her brief WWE experience reportedly left that promotion with negative feelings towards her; there’s a pattern there. Allegations of past racist behavior by Tessa were denied, but make her unhireable by AEW. AAA, and Mexican wrestling entirely, has never seemed to care about such things. Tessa will get work in AAA and affiliated groups if she’s interested in it. I’m sure there are Mexican promotions would be thrilled with the idea of Tessa still defending the Impact built there, if they can get away with it without a lawsuit.

Another wrestler with recent Mexico ties is done. Michael Elgin is done with Impact too. It’s unclear which of the many accusations (sexual misbehavior, a backstage fight) is the primary reason he’s gone; it may just be all of them. The statement dances around the situation: Elgin is technically not fired, Impact has decided to keep him home until his contract ends. Elgin acknowledged the situation on Twitter. I’d assume CMLL will be interested in Elgin, though I’m guessing his previous appearances were paid in part by NJPW and CMLL seems unwilling to pay market price for foreign wrestlers.

Ring of Honor announced “an investigation of claims into the claims made against its currently contracted wrestlers.” While this is presumed to be about creative lead Marty Scurll – who’s attempted two different apologies for having sex with a much younger woman who’s age at the time and willingness to participate are of dispute – no one is actually named. There is no timeline of when the investigation may conclude. ROH previously told the Wrestling Observer Newsletter they were hopeful of taping empty-arena shows in July, though a more recent report suggests that’s off due to rising COVID counts.

There have been so many accusations and stories related to them that I nearly forgot to include CHIKARA in here. The US lucha libre themed promotion is closed following allegations of sexual misconduct by owner Mike Quackenbush and other training school staff. Quackenbush issued a statement about shutting down the promotion and resigning from the (functionally no longer existent) school while saying he’d address the allegations at a future time. CHIKARA brought in many Mexican wrestlers and included Skyade among their trainers for a time. There have been rumors about issues with Quackenbush and sexual misconduct since the promotion shutdown as part of a storyline in 2013, though never with the volume and the detail until this past week. Some of the CHIKARA allegations involve trainers using their positions of power to get close to female trainees. I believe many women in Mexico could tell similar stories from their lucha libre training, especially including in the biggest promotions in Mexico, but lack the safe space to share them and don’t believe any action would take place.

Fuego del Sol & Low Rider face the Butcher & the Blade on next Tuesday’s AEW Dark. Those guys were got an in to AEW through their connection to Sammy Guevara and do not appear to be punished for his actions so far. Someone in AEW put together they Fuego & Low Rider are tag team partners and so should probably be both tecnicos or both rudos; Low Rider was spotted moved to the tecnico side on Wednesday.

Indy Army Wrestling will have a YouTube show on 07/16:

Box Y Lucha posted interviews with Oriental and Cibernetico and looks back at Super Astro losing his mask.

Dark Angel mentioned in a reply that she never retired. I feel like I was at a wrestling show where she got some crystal and some flowers but perhaps it was all a dream. She’d get plenty of work in Mexico and elsewhere if she truly wanted to wrestle again, but maybe don’t read too much into a reply.

AAA will donate items to an auction for COVID charities as part of a larger group of sports organizations. AAA hasn’t announced any items. The auction will run from July 6 to 19th.

El Universal has a story on La Lucha del Rey, a twenty-minute documentary about the hard financial reality of luchadors by following around one of them, Rey Justicia. The filmmaker seemed to not know how little (or not all) some wrestlers are paid before starting into this project and wanted to make that point to a larger audience. There’s a mention of talking to someone at Arena Mexico to find out how much people are paid there, which sounds fascinating. The documentary would be going around film festivals, only that’s not a thing right now. La Lucha del Rey will be available on Sunday (and Sunday only) as part of a virtual The American Film Festival of New York. There is no cost to register, but the tickets are said to be limited only to those in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. (I signed up anyway.)

The “Nueva Normalidad” show scheduled for Sunday has been postponed. No location was ever announced for the empty arena show. The promotion is based in Tizayuca, Hidalgo, but have decided to abide by the Mexico State rules against empty arena shows.

Lucha Libre in Saltillo is expected to be open for empty arena shows in September.

+LuchaTV’s Jose Manuel Guillen was interviewed on Television Tabasquena’s Momentos Deportivos Facebook show yesterday, talking about lucha libre during COVID.

MicromanFever translates Cibernetico talking about two run-ins with organized crime. I remembered the Juarez van story; Texano Jr. talked about it at the time.

LuchaWorld is back up, so you can go back and read the Herodes obituary now.

La Neta Noticias has a “Do You Remember Martha Villalobos?” article, though it’s more a collection of older post-wrestling stories than catching up with her now.

Chiapas Capital Lucha Libre is celebrating five years of wrestling with a photo book.

Zocalo writes about Jerry Estrada’s new Facebook interview show.

Primera Hora has a piece on Martin Kardagian and Titanes en el Ring. I’m not sure if there’s anything new here but the caption under the photo still made me laugh.

El Sol de Toluca has a long feature on local luchador of Dragon de Fuego, struggling with no work. He says wrestlers at his level get paid about 400 pesos per show. That’s $17.50 USD now, though it was more than that back when wrestling when was still going.

Reynosa luchador Asterisco Jr. would be out of action even if there wasn’t a pandemic. He suffered an injury on a dive in a February match with Myzteziz Jr., but felt he needed to finish the match. Myzteziz put him in a tapatia and Asterisco Jr. felt his knees go out. (Myzteziz uses a tapatia?) Asterisco Jr. tore ligaments in both knees. The doctor offered him surgery or rest, and Asterstico Jr. decided that rest was a better option. It turned it to be correct since there’s not much to do now. He says he’s 75% back.

A profile of Zacatecas luchador Menny Sanchez.

a luchablog archive google drive is now a thing which exists

this drive has been up for a week. I was waiting for a good time when nothing bad was going on to announce it. I’ve given up on that.

Where is it?

This link works. It’s in my Twitter bio too, for when this post vanishes off the front page.

What’s the idea?

If you wanted to see many of the biggest CMLL matches from the last decade, they’re in here. This intends to replace the stuff lost when the YouTube channel went down, though it won’t do it completely. I’ve put up all the ELITE and Todo x el Todo I have, plus the bigger IWRG matches.

Going forward, this is also a place where I can upload the CMLL Sunday shows and anything else which doesn’t make it on to official YouTube channels. This may not happen until there is actual lucha libre again.

Why these matches? Why not all the CMLL and IWRG matches?

Since May, I’ve been organizing my CMLL archive from a few different drives and determined it was close to 2 terabytes. Putting all of it up would take a lot of time, wouldn’t leave space for much else, and there’s no compelling reason to have a public archive of a lot of years old meaningless trios matches. I narrowed down it to the key matches:

  • any hair/mask match
  • any title match
  • any singles 3 falls match
  • occasional other matches of note

The CMLL collection swells a lot in the early part of 00s (when CMLL got more TV shows and people were kindly helping me record them) and then narrows later in the 00s (when the fewer TV shows that existed tended to show stuff that was already on YouTube.) The IWRG archive is mostly 13-18, when the promotion was airing at typically random times on AYM Sports.

This collection is only a first pass. I need to go through my lists of matches I liked and see which ones didn’t fit into that category. If there’s something missing you think I might have, let me know and I’ll put it on the list to add.

WHERE IS THE AAA?

It’s tricky. I’m confident CMLL isn’t going to care about this, they don’t really care about their old content. I’m less so AAA is – they’re running old content on Pluto and were doing it on Twitch. I’m not planning on putting on any paid content on here for any promotion and would prefer people to go to the official sources when possible since that’s how we get more content. (There’s some CMLL stuff that’s aired on TV and is still on YouTube that I’ve left included, but mostly because I just haven’t had a chance to weed through everything.)

The same situation with AAA exists with Lucha Underground. It is still available, at least in the US, and there’s a chance it could show up in other forms. I’m not going to put Lucha Underground up while it still exists in the world. The general principle is I don’t want to lose everything else over one promotion.

Some of this video is not good quality! Why can’t I have a better version? Can you put up a better version?

This is just the state of lucha libre TV. Some stuff aired on cable, on stations that didn’t always take care of their video. Other videos come from internet feeds, sometimes long forgotten and barely working feeds. Some stuff is so old that I recorded it on a VHS, then used a capture card to get into a computer, then compressed in a weird video format, then compressed it into a different format years later. That’s not a great process for video quality. Most stations which carried lucha libre were late into getting HD feeds (or still never have) and we weren’t spending money on a HD capture card for a free project anyway. I’ve put up the best versions I have, but little of this is 2020 video quality.

There are also weird things going on with the aspect ratios at times, a product of networks framing HD content on SD stations. I tried to fix those issues where I could. I made it worse in some cases, I’m sure.

(There are multiple versions of CMLL matches in some cases. The rule of thumb is the US TV version is HD but may have been edited more than the Mexico TV SD version.)

What’s the best use? Downloading or streaming?

My impression is you’d use up a little less bandwidth streaming them, but it’s not a big deal either way to me.

The drive may hit a bandwidth limit somedays, probably more often when it first goes up. Try to be a good neighbor and not grab everything right away, and just come back tomorrow if it’s not working today.

Do I have to download the videos to watch them? How do I stream?

I’m able to stream the videos by clicking on them, clicking on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner to “open in a new window”, and then clicking play in the YouTube controls you get there.

Is this going to be up forever?

Forever is a long time. It’ll probably be DMCA’d out of existence before I stop paying the bill, but I can’t predict when that’d be. (It seems like these are lasting 6-7 years so maybe 2026.) I would suggest saving anything you desperately want to keep forever on a hard drive somewhere; don’t bet on me doing it this bit a fourth time.

Why do this?

I wanted to replace the YouTube. Also, recent world events made me ponder the idea that I could be dead at any more and all of this would sit on a hard drive that no one would ever look at. That seemed like a waste.

You can use these videos however you’d like. I don’t own the promotions, I didn’t produce the shows, they’re not mine. I can’t and won’t stop you from putting them on a video site elsewhere. I’d prefer you don’t put a dumb watermark on them, and that you’d sell them for a fair price outside of Arena Mexico, but I can’t really do anything about it. You take all risk for using the videos, I can’t help you if a promotion or media partner gets upset about it.

IWRG’s gets its license back (but won’t run until orange conditions), lucha libre deaths, Guevara, Lucha Brothers

IWRG’s meeting with the Mexico State Box and Lucha Libre commission took place Tuesday. The short version of the resulting press release is IWRG agreed to run no more shows while Mexico State is in a health emergency and the commission will do nothing to them as long as they stay with that. The threatened punishments to the luchadors have been dropped, the promotion gets their license back as long as they break the rules again before the end of the year. Arena Naucalpan is also going to host semi-annual luchador licensing exams (for new and renewing wrestlers) at some point. IWRG’s press release says they will not run empty arena events until Mexico State is in orange health status and will not run shows with fans until the state reaches green. (The colors go red->orange->yellow->green and are updated on Fridays.) IWRG plans on running the second part of Rey del Ring whenever they can run empty arena shows and the Gran Hamada tribute show afterward.

It doesn’t really seem like anything happened here. IWRG ran their show, got slapped on the wrist to not do it again, and at least now they’re saying they won’t do it again. The commission maintained some control of the situation – IWRG respects their power enough not to keep running right now – but the lesson is the threat of punishment is always a lot less than what will actually happen.

Juan Jose Herrera Rodriguez of Mexico State Boxing and Lucha Libre commission spoke to El Universal about their side of the situation. While IWRG seems to be relatively fine, the doctor who worked the show is being sanctioned for working the show. The doctors are supposed to be assigned by the commission. The commission didn’t approve this show, so no doctor should’ve been there – except the IWRG promoter called up the doctor themselves and asked them to come.

The commissioner is against the idea of closed-door shows entirely, feeling it’s too easy to spread COVID-19 in that situation.  He says the commission canceled a show on 06/14 in Arena Cuautitlan Izcalli with help from that city, prevented shows in Neza and Tultitan, and talked to the Coliseo Coacalco promoter to stop an event on June 21. No event was ever publically announced for June 21 in Coliseo Coacalco. It’s possible a private show hadn’t ever been announced, but this sounds like they’re referring to the Lucha Memes show which obviously did happen. (It also make me suspicious about all of this.) Herrera Rodriguez says they limit the amount of accredited promoters in the state to 25; it sure seems like many times more than 25 people were running shows. Ambulances are required at shows and their must be a commissioner. There is a protocol for wrestling returning in the state but it hasn’t been approved yet.

Luchadors and others involved in the lucha libre business who’ve been noted as passing away since the last update:

I believe “there’s a lot of luchadors passing away” has become a story in itself, where deaths which might not have been noticed are getting more attention because of the trend. I’m not sure I would’ve known about a Soldado de Plata passing away six months ago (and today I still don’t know much about him beyond his name.) The volume of people considered professional wrestlers seems much higher per capita in Mexico than anywhere else and Mexican wrestlers seem more likely to stay part of the wrestling community long after their in-ring days are done. This is not, at least yet, a situation where coronavirus is ripping through the AAA or CMLL rosters, or though the bigger indie names. Anubis Black was active at least as of last year, Ares el Guerrero was active this year, while most of the other names were either wrestling in smaller spheres or were inactive. All those people are important and leave behind people who cared about them deeply, it’s just an attempt to put these depressing lists in some sort of context.

SuperLuchas writes about Kilowatito, Gran Titan, Estrella Blanca III, Anubis Black, Anubis, Hijo del Sol/Pepe Luis Esparza, El Lider, and Cash.

AEW announced Sammy Guevara is suspended without pay indefinitely and will undergo sensitivity training after his comments from four years ago about Sasha Banks during a YouTube interview resurfaced. Sammy Guevera posted an apology on his YouTube channel. The interviewer on the show where Guevera made the original comment admitted to finding and sharing the comment in revenge for Guevara distancing himself from the show. Apparently, that sort of conversation was normal on that channel, Guevera no longer wanted to be part of it, and the host was upset enough about that rejection to go after him.

Fenix posted his usual stopover photo in Houston for AEW tapings. Penta similarly posted a travel photo indicating he’s flying into Flordia, which would be his first appearance for AEW in three months. AEW appears to only be taping one episode today and they’ve got two episodes of a pseudo-PPV next. The Lucha Brothers don’t seem to be in the plans for anything on those shows, so set your expectations for a couple of squashes on AEW Dark. I’m conflicted between wanting to see a couple of my favorite luchadors back on TV and concerned about them traveling into a state where COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing. There’s no immediate sign if Jack Evans and Angelico, who’ve also been in Mexico for the last few months, have returned.

CMLL kicks off a new feature of wrestlers watching their first match with Caristico looking back at his debut in 2004. It’s his first Mistico match, anyway; I haven’t listened to this to know if they talk about Astro Boy. I did look through it and found something interesting: this is not the airing of the match on YouTube or any version off TV. There are no Galavision or Televisa logos. It includes the entrances and a Fray Tormenta appearance that’s not on the TV version. It suggests CMLL’s archive contains at least one match from 2004.

CMLL has also started putting up listings of which matches are airing on which TV shows this week. TUDN (and YouTube) is getting the Atlantis/Sombra mask match, TV Mexiquense will air Atlantis & Blue Panther vs Satanico & Fuerza Guerrera among other matches from the 75th Arena Coliseo show (2018), MVS has Titan vs Soberano from December and MegaCable is airing a Tuesday show from August. They’re skipping over a Bestia main event in that one. Televisa seems to be missing, though that’s usually announced on Informa. Weekly CMLL TV listings are a thing I’ve been begging for fifteen years. I’m just beside myself to actually see them.

CMLL will have Atlantis, Titan, Soberano Jr., Super Astro Jr., and Espanto Jr. on Informa today. It’s a rare appearance by Atlantis, who probably would’ve returned around now.

KAOZ announced they’ll be airing another iPPV starting Sunday.

8) Ayako Hamada, Lady Puma, Puma de Oro vs Baby Love, Diosa Quetzal, Origen
9) Rico Rodríguez & Vazco Jr. © vs Komander & Puma de Oro [KAOZ TAG]
10) El Divo vs Dark Scoria
11) Galeno del Mal & Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. vs Charro Negro & Oro Negro
12) Diosa Quetzal & Emperador Azteca (Indie) vs Dulce Kanela & Mecha Wolf
13) Fresero Jr. vs Black Taurus (Indie)Daga

It’s the same 100 Mexican Pesos + service fees. The promotion is now being up-front about the show airing in half over two weeks,. The first three matches will air this Sunday, the last three on July 5th. There is no way to watch an episode once it’s aired. The matches for this show reportedly took place the same day (or close by) as the last iPPV. There likely enough for one more PPV after this group.

100 pesos (about $5 USD) is not much for this sort of thing. It’s also not a particularly appealing show. I would like to see the main event and everything else I could take or leave; the match quality more often disappointed than surprised last time around. The lack of a VOD option, the weirdness of splitting a PPV over two weeks and the lack of communication about how these were going to work the first time around makes this a pass; who knows what they’re doing this time around that they’re not going to explain until after it happens.

Lucha Time says they’ll have a special on their Facebook show tomorrow night. The promotion has gotten a deal with the Monterrey TV Azteca station for local TV, and this seems like special content to build to their TV debut on 07/04.

+LuchaTV announced Reina Dorada & Diosa Quetzal for their Torneo Suprema Mas Lucha. I didn’t make it to the end of the podcast this week so I’m still not sure if they’ve announced how many women will be in the tournament.

Zona 23 announced a show in the junkyard with no fans, no ring and no media. There is no date and it is-invite-only. That seems like a way to run a show without getting in trouble for breaking quarantine, but there’s likely more to it. There were strong rumors of issues with the promotion about money after their last show – as in, people on the show expecting to get paid not getting paid, donations specifically directed to one person being kept instead by the promoter – and so I wouldn’t even hazard a guess of who would even be on this show. I don’t think any fan of Zona 23 is delusional enough to believe a group running unauthorized shows in a junkyard is completely on the up and up, and maybe the shadyness is part of the allure for some, but it’s still worth pointing out the obvious.

MechaWolf posted on Twitter that he was likely going to retire at the end of the year, then posted a list of people he’d like to face. Wrestling retirement vows are tough to take seriously, especially during a pandemic.

Blue Demon Jr. is busy threatening people who make custom figures of him.

Latin Lover vaguely alluded to problems with bullying from Konnan early in his career in an interview while also noting they got along better on later. Latin Lover mentioned not forgetting about the issues but moving on, including sending a get well card to Konnan when he was in the hospital.

Luchas Noticias interviews Villano III Jr., who mentions he had been training two years with AAA (and six years overall) when the La Llave de la Gloria tournament was announced. Apache was his trainer at the time, and told them that everyone training would enter.