DalysbeatMetálicain the CMLL Universal de Amazonas final
(8:28, suplex, below average)
Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Diamante Azul beatCuatrero, Gilbert el Boricua, Sansón
(14:29 [5:31, 3:36, 5:22], 2/3, ok)
(12:20, 1/3, good)
Forastero armscissors (1:22)
Volador torito (2:38)
Volador top rope huracanrana (8:20)
Dragón Lee, Místico, Último GuerrerobeatCarístico, Ciber the Main Man, Valientein a relevos increíbles match
(14:19 [4:05, 3:53, 6:21], 1/3 DQ, ok)
UG faked a foul at the end of the main event. Ciber covered UG, Edgar counted, then stopped to call the foul. Ciber became the first person to suggest the hair match at the Aniversario show but wanted a title match (again) prior.
After all the weeks of Forastero cheating to win, he never tried to cheat to win in the singles match. Volador just won clean.
CMLL production, as they are prone to do, turned down the arena sound for an ad and forgot to turn it back up again until the match was in progress. This meant there was no introductions for the Universal tournament final. Those watching on the stream missed an announcement that it was a one-fall match. Metalica apparently suffered an injury getting caught in the ropes on a tope, which caused that one fall to end early. Panico presented the new belt to Dalys.
Chamuel fouled Microman to end the micros match. Microman asked for a rematch, which got him attacked by Chamuel. Chamuel had earlier ripped up Microman’s mask. Guapito took Gallito’s mask as well.
The main event I imagined a main event of Ciber & UG darting in and out while the other four were mostly in the ring. What we got instead was Ciber & Ultimo Guerrero being closer to the ring as the other four brawled around the arena. That was unexpected. More expected was Mistico versus Caristico being a lot more over than Ultimo Guerrero. The match itself did better with less time in the ring for both and the crowd seems to be talking themselves into cheering for UG but this isn’t good.
Volador tonight was better than Volador in Puebla. Forastero wasn’t as good as Dragon Lee in Puebla. The product was a match that was smoother than that recent title match if also feeling a lot like other Volador title matches. Forastero did better than his chance with Soberano but still isn’t a compelling singles wrestler. The idea here seemed to make Forastero a bigger deal prior to the Gran Prix and I’m not sure if it really took.
The undercard got shuffled around to give us another Diamante Azul & Mesias match up prior to them running each other at the Gran Prix. Those two were marginally better than usual, though the better work was around them. The Dinamitas controlled a lot of the action, Mesias was set up to look good, and the Chavez were smooth.
Metalica looked nervous trying her tope, didn’t land it, and that was that for the match. Dalys can do nothing but follow her script and her script was for a lot of moves dropping Metalica on the floor when rest might have helped. Metalica didn’t even have the energy for a proper cover by the time she got in the ring. Dalys winning with a basic suplex was very overwhelming but also probably a merciful end. The sound issues really contributed to the flat ending, because no one on watching the stream knew it was one fall, there was no reason to expect it to be. The announcers (and Dalys backstage) hyped about how easy the win was; this was a pretty terrible night for Metalica. It wasn’t any great win for Dalys either.
The tercera was fine, with the Hijos del Infierno seemingly a little better than usual. The tecnicos just didn’t show much out of the ordinary. Atlantis’s new dive looks impressive and every thing else was the usual.
Microman had the highspots, but I think the micros match was the best Chamuel performance so far. He was the start of the night. Chamuel was a great base as always, getting the best out of the tecnicos. His big improvement was being a figure of menace, just tearing into the tecnicos and taking well-timed cheap shots when he had the opportunity. Chamuel came off as mean, not just a comic foil. If CMLL is going with this feud as much as it looks like, it’s going to workout well.
I was intensely distracted during portions of the opener but it seemed like a sloppier version of the usual opening. Robin and the rudos were not working smoothly together at the end of the first fall. It did get better and we got actual third fall dives in an opener.
Felino, Pólvora, Vangellys beat El Audaz, Kráneo, Stuka Jr.
(13:39 [4:45, 3:32, 5:22], 2/3, ok, VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rey Bucanero, Templario, Terrible beat Atlantis, Carístico, Soberano Jr.
(12:06 [3:24, 2:51, 5:51], 1/3, ok, VideosOficialesCMLL)
Another Tuesday, another main event where Atlantis can’t put weight on one of his legs in the middle of a match. Soberano may be the same way someday but he looked springy in this match until his third fall dive demise. Like most of the matches on this card, this worked fine for the live crowd and isn’t something you need to hurry to check out. Another one will be in soon enough.
The semi-final continued the mystery of Vangellys being Audaz’s designated opponent and accomplished pretty much nothing else. He’s getting better at taking the rana. The match was fine.
Black Panther hit some great topes. His 619 kick was on point. The roll into the quebrada was really smooth. It doesn’t matter for him, because Hijo del Villano III is the guy going places and Black Panther is apparently just hanging around the third match for the next decade. Panther worked smoothly and impressively, taking most of the match. He kind of need to do, with Villano III cheap tricks working well but also hides his lack of offense. Black Panther setting up the doomed superplex smoothly set up Villano III Jr. for his splash, though the splash is also the CMLL rookie move of not actually have a finisher. Villano III came off limited in a way only someone watching an unhealthy amount of CMLL would even care about, but Black Panther made the match work for everyone.
The segunda was another match for the Guadalajara visitors. Another time where Difunto’s willingness to bump and play to the crowd overshadowed Star Black’s act. He’s the new Gallo, should probably get a weekend in Arena Mexico every year to give him some credibility but feels to top out as al local star. Star Jr. and Super Astro Jr. outshined him greatly, though Star Black’s moonsaults looked nice. Cancerberos were trying harder, though they seemed to leave Star Black to die on his handspring double back elbow attempt. Difunto doesn’t have much interesting offense, but that’s not especially unique amount rudos.
Coyote & Grako have confidence, but still need more speed on their double teams. They’re promising right now because they’re young and they’re willing to do things surrounded by a lot of rudos who can’t or won’t, but they wouldn’t stand out in the other promotion. On the other hand, not sure how much better they’re going to get working CMLL openers.
In a decision that probably could’ve been made the day after tickets went on sale but instead took three months to announce, AAA has moved their 09/15 New York Show out of Madison Square Garden to the adjacent Hulu Theatre. The news was announced in a press release today (PW Insider version here) but actually broken accidentally by FITE about an hour earlier. Ticket holders will get “seats better or equal” to their MSG seats. Tickets are on sale already, running from 30 to 300. They were 30 to 600 prior, with the most expensive tickets including meet & greets. AAA themselves have not acknowledged the move on their social media accounts as of 12:30 pm, an hour after that press release went out.
Dorian Roldan, in the press release, frames this as a move made for the quality of the fan experience. That’s probably true, as a show taking place in building with 80% of the seats empty is not an enjoyable experience. The AAA tickets for MSG just didn’t sell anywhere close to needed to run that venue and that’s the obvious reason for the move. I have no idea they can sell enough tickets in the Hulu Theatre to make it work there either, but someone must have confidence if the shows are still on. AAA always hyped these shows with the idea there would be a last week/walk-up ticket demand of people looking for something to do and maybe that’ll still happen. I think it’s also likely that if you really want to see an AAA show in the US, this and the LA show might be your only chances any time soon. Dorian Roldan did an interview early on saying AAA would do a lot more if these did well and not do as much if these struggled. They’ve struggled.
09/15 AAA in New York (Hulu Theatre) matches announced so far
Taya vs Tessa (c) for the Reina de Reinas championship
Blue Demon vs Dr. Wagner Jr.
The press release calls Demon vs Wagner a mask versus hair match. They meant it as a rematch from their TripleMania mask versus hair match. Still, if you were hoping that AAA having a setback would mean they would get a bit more organized and make sure they had everything straight before going forward, nah.
No one else is actually announced for the show in the press release. Killer Kross has said today he’ll be there and other US wrestlers based wrestlers implied they’d be there earlier this week. La Parka, Blue Pentagón Jr., Fénix, Psycho Clown, Texano Jr., and Taurus are named dropped, but as people who appeared on TripleMania. I’m sure most of them will be there because they seem to have visas outside of AAA but nothing seems official yet. It does seem concerning that no one AAA would have to get visas for has been announced.
I was going to go to this show and now I’m thinking I’m not going to this show unless there’s a way I can be back in Chicago by 6 AM Monday. I don’t think that’s physically possible though.
If you’re not going, FITE.TV is offering it as $30 PPV. I’m not sure how many people are going to pay for it when everyone has been trained to pay $0.00 for AAA content for the last year and a half. Oddly, it looks like FITE is not allowed to air it in Mexico, which possibly means Space or Azteca is picking it up.
CMLL continues to casually stroll thru their summer shows tonight with the usual Friday night card in Arena Mexico. There’s probably an Aniversario match being built up, but which and when remain a mystery. The women’s tournament comes to an end, though it won’t be the end of that.
The scheduled main event is the odd teams of Caristico, Valiente, and Ciber (the Main Man) versus Dragon Lee, Mistico and Ultimo Guerrero. Ultimo Guerrero continues to want Ciber’s hair and Ciber seems non-committal to the whole enterprise. Hopefully, the other four luchador can garner a reaction for this match that the principal figures have yet to accomplish.
The semi-main has the increasingly suspicious feud of Forastero and Volador. Forastero has, to this point, been presented as the third most important member of the Nueva Generacion Dinamita. He has also cheated to defeat Volador three straight weeks. Volador and Forastero as an apuesta match would be odd, but Forastero might be one more win from making that happen. The substory is seeing if Volador can have a more complete performance than he showed in Arena Puebla against Dragon Lee.
Angel del Oro & Niebla Roja team with Titan against Sanson, Cuatrero and Gilbert el Boricua. Gilbert turning up is a helpful reminder of his existence with the Rest of the World Gran Prix team to be announced next week. He seems like a safe bet to be included. That doesn’t seem a good thing given his CMLL performances, but maybe the other five guys can shake something out of him.
Metalica vs Dalys is, in theory, the most important match on the CMLL show, the final of a three-week tournament. It is instead midway thru the card. This is probably just a bit over midway thru the process: everyone expects Dalys to win this and face Marcela for the women’s championship at some point in the near future. (Again, the Aniversario is a possibility.) One of the more accidentally illuminating interviews last week was Dalys complaining that the CMLL Women’s Division is seen as just “Marcela vs Amapola”. It does not feel like that from the outside at all, with Dalys having a 2.5 year run with the women’s title and somehow being booked even stronger in the nine months since she’s lost it. If CMLL really wanted to shake up the hierarchy, Metalica – who’s won the women’s title on a non-streamed show and is getting her first high profile Friday match here – beating Dalys and going to the final against Marcela would actually do it. Dalys’ comments suggest that, somehow, she is still thinking she hasn’t broken thru yet and she probably will tonight.
Atlantis Jr. teams with Fly & Soberano Jr. against the Hijos del Infierno in the tercera. The Micros make another appearance, with Atomo the third tecnico and Mije and the third rudo. Robin & Star Jr. open against Cancerbero & Raziel.
The show airs at 8:30 pm. It’ll air on Marca and YouTube. I’ll stream it on YouTube. No one is going to read this but I’ll type it anyway: I’m probably not streaming next Friday and I’m likely not streaming the week after that. Traveling and streaming did not work well last time.
Sanely says in CMLL, the fans are the boss, and if the fans want a women’s apuesta match on a Friday or a women’s main event on a Tuesday or Sunday, it is going to happen. I guess the idea is the fans haven’t wanted one of those because they haven’t happened? That’s probably not the right idea. Sanely wants a title match with Metalica.
A show in Merida Sunday was supposed to include Okumura, Blue Panther, Cachorro Lagunero (third Panther son) and Kawato now includes Okumura, Blue Panther, Cachorro Lagunero and DOUKI. I still have no idea why Kawato hasn’t wrestled since July 9th. I’d guess injury if I had to guess, but there have been situations where work visas were temporarily held up. There’s always the possibility NJPW has moved Kawato on to something or somewhere else, and it wouldn’t be the first time the CMLL Super Lightweight title has gone missing.
Puma vs Camuflaje sounds like it was the best match. This was taped for +Lucha. The next show in Arena Aficion is September 26th.
Nino Hamburguesa, Big Mami, Golden Magic, Taurus, Vanilla, and Faby Apache wrestled on the first night of the Impact tapings in Mexico City. (Full results here if you’re looking for them.) Attendance didn’t look strong but that’s probably not a surprise. I believe these tapings start airing next Friday though I’m not quite sure. I am pretty sure they were not always taping in order so it may take a while for all these to air. They’ll be back again in Fronton Mexico tonight with Dr. Wagner Jr.
a long PWG/BOLA section, which I swear is relevant to lucha libre
PWG announced their Battle of Los Angeles first-round matches. Relevant lucha libre matches (full bracket here)
Dragon Lee vs Rey Horus
Darby Allin vs Black Taurus
(Lucha Brothers vs Mexablood in a non-tournament match)
Bandido vs Laredo Kid
Penta 0M. vs Tony Deppen
Rey Fenix vs Aramis
(finals on Sunday)
Aramis replaced Barbaro Cavernario, off due to scheduling conflicts. It is possible the Aniversario show has been pushed back to September 20th and that is caused the conflict, though no one’s gotten a clear answer about that. It may be a cover story. The bigger issue is CMLL and it’s policies about their wrestlers being able on shows with AAA affiliated luchadors. Here are the rules of the moment, as best I can figure them out:
CMLL luchadors are allowed to work shows with freelance wrestlers, even if those wrestlers are working for AAA. They’re discouraged from working in the same matches in those cases.
CMLL luchadors are not allowed to work shows with AAA signed wrestlers.
CMLL doesn’t actually seem to know who is signed to AAA and who are freelance
anything goes if CMLL doesn’t hear about the show
these rules can be ignored at will if the people in charge feel like it
It should have been no issue for Cavernario & Dragon Lee to work BOLA because Fenix, Penta, Laredo, and Taurus are all not under AAA contracts, just working verbal deals. Except, someone in Mexico found an article on the BOLA announcements which incorrectly wrote PWG had booked both CMLL and AAA signed talent. That person passed along the article to CMLL management, CMLL management believes it to be true, and so CMLL management warned Barbaro Cavernario & Dragon Lee to pull themselves off the PWG shows as long as AAA wrestlers were on them. Cavernario went along with CMLL’s plan. Dragon Lee has instead decided to do BOLA, at least for now. I think the difference is illustrative of the importance each man puts on their relationship with CMLL at the moment; this is a forward-looking indicator. And all of this only happened because of an incorrect article (and CMLL’s lack of knowledge about the world outside their walls.)
I hope that Dragon Lee being announced for a match means it’s done and over with but I don’t feel 100% sure about it. There is at least one other show that immediately comes to mind where CMLL talent is on the same show as (still unsigned) AAA luchadors, but it is possible that show just has different permission or is under CMLL’s radar. (I’m purposefully being vague here.) There are definitely shows in Mexico where Dragon Lee and other CMLL wrestlers have been allowed to be in the same ring in as Fenix. Some of it is the Munoz rules, and some of it is the inconsistent nature of CMLL.
I’m not sure how this will affect CMLL participation in PWG and similar promotions in the future. PWG was aware enough of this issue to book and then unbooked another CMLL luchador twice this year over concerns CMLL themselves might pull them after the matches were announced. It may be a situation where PWG avoid the headache entirely on future shows by just not using anyone in CMLL. Or maybe Fenix & Penta sign with AEW and no longer work PWG and then CMLL decides the rest of the AAA-adjacent guys aren’t an issue.
That’s part of what makes Aramis replacing Cavernario and being in BOLA interesting. An impressive unsigned wrestler is worth gold to indie promotions right now. If Aramis can be as good with Fenix as he’s been in the Mexican indies this year and doesn’t have the hassle of dealing with a promotion, he’s going to be swept up quick. (There are lots of spaces to fill come October.) I did not know Aramis had a visa when he was announced for BOLA; it was only a couple months ago where Aramis mentioned he had started working on getting one. I gather Aramis received the approval for his visa just this week; if it had happened a few days later, he wouldn’t be in this tournament. Aramis is far under the radar for most fans – the people who didn’t know Puma King or Taurus aren’t going to know him – so he’s going to have to work hard to win over a crowd. He’s capable of doing it.
Circling back to CMLL: there have been other changes to how CMLL handles outside bookings that are too detailed to go in right now but have made the luchadors less happy about working there. (This is not about who they wrestle, but what money they take home.) This may come up in a more public fashion soon, but it feeds to a general level of discontent that may have informed Dragon Lee’s decision to work a show after being advised not to do so.
CMLL (TUE) 08/20/2019Arena México
1) Angelito & Fantasy vs Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro
2) Magia Blanca, Oro Jr., Príncipe Diamante vs El Coyote, Grako, Nitro
3) Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa vs Okumura, Sagrado, Virus
4) Kráneo, Stuka Jr., Volcano vs Hechicero, Rey Bucanero, Vangellys
5) Atlantis, Dragón Lee, Soberano Jr. vs Dark Magic, Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas
6) Carístico vs Terrible
A running dumb take of mine is Terrible is actually best against smaller guys but I’m not sure if Carisitco is small enough. Hechicero being below Dark Magic makes me sad. Mr. Niebla is back after a 30-day-break. Niebla suspensions seem much longer than that of late so maybe it really was an injury this time.
CMLL (TUE) 08/20/2019Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Baron Blanco Jr., Luminoso, Vaquero Jr. vs Mr. Trueno, Ráfaga, Rey Trueno
2) Halcón Suriano Jr., Pegasso, Star Black vs Cancerbero, Difunto, Raziel
3) Dulce Gardenia, Esfinge, Tritón vs Disturbio, Pólvora, Universo 2000 Jr.
4) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Volador Jr. vs Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto
5) La Bestia Del Ring, Místico, Rush vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
Munoz vs Dinamitas in the main event. It’s actually tough to figure out where Sangre Azteca was booked on these lineups. Maybe he wasn’t.
Rush was disqualified for unmasking Caristico in the second fall. That didn’t feel like the planned finish though Rush also didn’t accidentally unmask Caristico. Rush faked a foul in the third fall, setting up a singles match.
Star Black & Difunto replaced Triton & Tiger, though they were probably meant to be working this show from the moment they were announced as being around this week.
Dragon Lee put in a strong performance for a Monday night, enough to make this watchable on his own, and just didn’t have enough to work with. You could make the argument that Electrico did better in his match than Volador did in his, which is perhaps the harshest thing I’ve ever said about Volador. The two slips on the top rope were the most glaring problems but not the other one. Volador’s issues seemed more fitness-related than health-related. A year of wrestling every match in low gear made very hard for him to shift up to Dragon Lee’s speed. It left Volador exposed as not on Dragon Lee’s level at the moment and hopefully will inspire him to up his game. Volador wasn’t awful and this match had a good plan that it couldn’t always execute. This was another in the string of big Volador matches which weren’t what they should’ve been. In the meantime, maybe CMLL needs to look stronger at not including Volador in these matches and giving Dragon Lee some different challenges.
Los Ingobernables weren’t really feeling like doing much in the semi-final. What these six were doing wasn’t really good. Bestia del Ring almost got up over Valiente at 2.75 in the first fall but the referee wisely counted the pin anyway. Diamante Azul couldn’t take a Boston crab in the same fall. He didn’t seem ready to be back. Caristico and Rush turning over two rows of seats was amusing but it didn’t make for much of a complete match.
The Angel de Oro trios was a typical solid midcard match. Audaz works a lot with Vangellys for a rudo who doesn’t normally seem like a comfortable base. I guess he’s a big target. Vangellys collapsed taking a rana in the first fall, but he and Audaz did better later. Mephisto had trouble keeping up with the Chavez brothers and they’re not the fastest dudes.
The Virus big title match was a treat, as they usually are. The third fall was just a great dramatic back and forth. There was a good build to that point in the earlier falls, but the third fall put real stakes into every moment. The finish was done cleverly, Virus getting caught just when he was surely safe. Electrico did enough to keep up, from the mat sequences in the beginning to the near falls in the end-stage. Virus subtly kept the match going on track when it might have been a struggle with someone else. Electrico was fine but this came off more a one-man effort on a rewatch.
The segunda was a match was a surprise second fall win, which led to the rudos dominating for a whole bunch of the match. Difunto made a better impression than Star Black, who has the flashy Rayo de Jalisco moves but seems a little bit slow for them. Difunto moves better and has a good chop. Difunto and Stigma did about kill each other getting lost on a spot, but it is Stigma. Good for doing something different on the finish.
King Jaguar decided he was a high flying superstar in this week’s opener. He was wrong. But he tried. Astro did much better at it. Millenium didn’t get much at all.
CMLL officially announced the CMLL Gran Prix would take place on August 30th. The announcement took place on CMLL Informa. This is an annual Mexico versus the Rest of the World 8 v 8 cibernetico which has had strong turnouts in recent years. The Rest of the World team usually includes Ring of Honor wrestlers, August 30th is an open weekend for ROH, so it’s looked like this date for a while.
Forastero sticks out as a person who would not be expected in this match – he’s the third guy in his own trio – and so there might be something more to him and Volador. Ultimo Guerrero is usually in the matches and is not, so he may be busy doing something with Cibernetico. This is a good group of people and also Diamante Azul.
The Rest of the World Team will be announced next week. Count on Okumura and Dark Magic for two spots. Kawato too, if he’s not injured. (CMLL will probably have to address his disappearing act in some way.) Kenny King was said to be coming in to CMLL in August and August 30th still counts as August. NJPW has a show on August 31st, so most of their big names are going to be busy.
CMLL hasn’t announced the date of the Aniversario show. 09/13, the day most people seem to think is the date, is only 29 days away. CMLL waiting until very late to announce a match is no longer strange, but typically at least the date is out there four weeks prior. It’s already strange for it not to be out – maybe it’ll be just mentioned in commentary tomorrow, but maybe also something else is going on. If that date got pushed back, there’s no need for it to be announced yet.
Former Gran Prix winner Michael Elgin is in Mexico today, though not for CMLL. He’s part of two nights of Impact tapings on Thursday & Friday. AAA’s been promoting the shows on social media but no one from AAA is currently advertised for tonight’s show. Dr. Wagner Jr. is announced for tomorrow’s show. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter says Golden Magic, Nino Hamburguesa, and Taurus are scheduled for the shows, though Hijo del Vikingo is not because he’s got another booking. Nino Hamburguesa and Hijo del Vikingo are booked on the same shows on Thursday & Friday. I suspect Hijo del Vikingo’s other booking might not be a literal booking the same day, but that he’s booked to make his next TV appearance in AEW (whenever that can be worked out), and not in Impact.
The WON also mentions AAA is telling luchadors that the only way they’ll get to work with AEW is if they sign a deal with them. This is the same line AAA used for Lucha Underground, which didn’t seem to work out for many of the people who were signed. In that case, it appeared that part of the set up with LU was the only people they’d used from Mexico would be thru AAA. It’s not clear that’s actually the deal with AAA & AEW. Laredo Kid worked an AEW show and he’s a freelancer who works with AAA but isn’t signed with them. On the other hand, Laredo Kid can work in the US on his own and opener-level wrestlers may have trouble getting work visas in the US without the support of AAA-level company to prove they’ve got something to return to Mexico and aren’t just coming to the US to stay.
On the other hand, even an AAA level company might not be able to help them get to the US. The visa situation is cited as one of the issues with the AAA New York show in the WON; some were applied for “eight months ago” (last year?) and still haven’t come. I’ve written many times that this was going to be one of the big issues with the show from the moment it was announced. It sounds like AAA saw the same if they were working on it months before the show was announced but haven’t been able to solve it. (On the other hand, AAA not wanting to announce a lineup because they’re not sure if it’ll be correct is very unlike AAA.) On Twitter, Konnan mentioned there will be some Impact wrestlers on the show. Taya/Tessa is expected to happen, which is why Tessa had to win the title on TripleMania. Even a healthy Keyra was going to lose the title.
WWE announced a bunch of new signings yesterday. They did not announce Hijo del Fantasma, though he was introduced to everyone there. NXT tapes TV today so perhaps they’re waiting to debut him there.
La Magnifica says she expects to be a regular in CMLL. She mentions she was close to making the 2008 Olympics but suffered an injury that prevented her from qualifying.
Kairos says he’s been training with CMLL for five years, first with Tony Salazar and then with Virus and Ultimo Guerrero. He’s 19, so he started at the age of 14.
Mesias says he can be Mesias in everywhere but Mexico because AAA registered it and he didn’t. He feels better now as an independent wrestler but calls his time in AAA generally good times.
CMLL (MON) 08/19/2019Arena Puebla
1) Asturiano, King Jaguar, Meyer vs Centella Roja, Guerrero Espacial, Rey Apocalipsis
2) Arkalis, Millenium, Tigre Rojo Jr. vs El Malayo, Hijo del Signo, Toro Bill Jr.
3) Black Panther, Blue Panther Jr., Stigma vs Hechicero, Máscara Año 2000, Tiger
4) Atlantis, Stuka Jr., Valiente vs Cavernario, Felino, Negro Casas
5) Cuatrero, Forastero, Místico, Sansón vs Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Soberano Jr., Último Guerrero [Relevos Increíbles]
The main event seemed headed to Mistico/UG but we’ve seen those things change from week to week. I often wonder why CMLL is using Mascara 2000 the way they do. This lineup makes me wonder why Mascara 2000 wants to work these dates; surely a late-night Monday tercera isn’t really that appealing to a 60-year-old man. That seems like a booking to pawn off on Universo 2000 Junior.
Fénix, Laredo Kid, Pentagón Jr.beat Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson (18:57, Penta/Fenix spike package Piledriver Matt Jackson, good, 03:52:16)
Blue Demon Jr.beatDr. Wagner Jr.in a mask vs hair match (14:41, Demon brick Wagner, excellent,04:26:16)
A lot. It’s TripleMania.
Dr. Wagner Jr. was seconded by his sons and many other people in Wagner outfits. Blue Demon Jr. just had his yet to be named son. That was enough, with Hijo de Blue Demon Jr. pulling out the referee after a third Wagner Driver. (He was supposed to pull him out by the second one.) Demon, who had earlier assaulted Wagner with a hammer, took advantage of the ensuing chaos to hit Wagner in the head with a rapidly disintegrating brick to set up the winning pin. Wagner got his head shaved in the ring and declared he would retire (which lasted a week.) Backstage, LA Park attacked Demon for winning the match in such a manner, only for Demon to be saved by the nearby Psycho Clown & Cain Velasquez.
The Elite lost, despite Kenny Omega stealing Fenix’s mask during the match. Omega still challenged Fenix to a title match, though everyone was very clear in not knowing when that match would happen. (They eventually settled the where would be in Mexico.)
Cain Velasquez wrestled in an El Toro mask and got the winning submission for his team.
Ayako Hamada replaced the injured Keyra, who was in a wheelchair and couldn’t wrestle. (The title was vacated.) Chik Tormenta attacked Keyra. Later, if by karma, suffered an injury when a fall out of the ring onto a ladder missed the ladder entirely. Tessa became the new champion.
The Copa TripleMania included eliminations over the top rope as well as pinfalls and submissions. Konnan and Vampiro made surprise appearances in Copa TripleMania, with Vampiro throwing Konnan out and then just leaving. Aerostar entered from a raised platform above the ring. He and Mosnter Clown feuded. Pagano & Chessman did as well, with Pagano winning in the end. Seconds after the match ended, the lights went off, back on, and LA Park and his family were in the ring. They destroyed Pagano while LA Park challenged him to a match and promised to be a pain to Marisela Pena.
The trios championships were technically vacant, but it was only a paperwork change. Hijo del Vikingo & Myzteziz Jr. still came to the ring with the belts and left with them, with Golden Magic picking one up along the way.
Silver King was added to the Hall of Fame. Antonio Pena, Joaquin Roldan and Paco Alonso were honored too; Alonso may have been added to the Hall of Fame as well.
Lady Maravilla betrayed Nino Hamburguesa, fouling him to set up the title win.
Blue Demon and Dr. Wagner Jr. figured out their formula a while ago – blood – and went all the way with it for the climax. This is a match without a lot of moves but an extreme amount of drama. And that extreme amount of blood; Demon seems to blade himself once, then a couple of times later thinking the first time wasn’t enough. He ended up soaked in his own blood, a dark red covering his face as much as the mask by the end. That blood and the hammer made the match feel like a serious fight and added so much to the armbars that followed. This wasn’t the most technically sound match and it was messed up by some confusion at the end – Tirantes tells Hijo del Demon something near the ned, Hijo del Demon goes to get the brick, then doesn’t make it back in time to grab him to break up a two count- but it is an amazing spectacle. It’s absolutely one of the must-see matches of the year.
The crowd was whistling about ten minutes into the Elite vs Lucha Brothers/Laredo match. They wanted another match. They got ten more minutes of this match. It was a hard-working match of a lot of spots that also felt a bit soulless and inorganically part of this show. They could’ve worked the same match most anywhere, and it was really only when the AAA referee tropes stated when the crowd decided to care about this match. This wasn’t anyone’s best effort, it wasn’t a poor effort either, it just was a misplaced one. These six guys were doing the same kind of match that had opened the show, except the guys opening the show had crazier moves and did while people were filling in, instead of doing while people were wanting to see the main event already. No meaningful stakes and no real purpose to this match made this tough to get over; it really relied on the work being that much better than any other match, and it wasn’t that much better. It was still good, it was also nothing I had any great urgency to see a second time. Enough fans knew Kenny Omega to give him a reaction when he first came in, but not enough to make this match feel like a big deal or the teased match feel like something they had to see. It probably would’ve been aggravating to see AEW come in and win on this show but Omega should’ve beat Fenix if that was the challenge to be made after the match.
The Cain Velasquez match seemed to exist to give the people some big Velasquez moments and to give Velasquez a chance to have a real match. It worked for both. Slams and suplexes would’ve been fine but the headscissors and armdrag was something extra people weren’t expecting. Velasquez got the full experience. Everyone else was less so involved; they weren’t completely ignored, but they gave a little to get the point of the match over. Cain has places to improve when the novelty wears off but the novelty was plenty.
A lot of the undercard felt very fast-paced. The women’s match was the one that felt like it was being rushed as if they were cut on time but still trying to get everything in. The Chik Tormenta injury seemed like a product of that situation. She wasn’t lined up to fall on a ladder as seemingly planned but it was time to go so go she went. It was lucky it wasn’t worse in a lot of ways. It didn’t feel like there were many attempts to actually climb the ladder in real-time. It did happen, I can see it in the replay, if only because everything else doesn’t feel overwhelming. It still feels numbing and with a lot of stuff that doesn’t stick; I have no idea why the thumbtack spot happened and it doesn’t end up meaning anything. People disappear for long stretches. I’m not sure where Faby is most of the match. The finish felt anticlimactic because the director switched to Ayako going nuts on the outside rather than show the moment where Tessa knocked Taya off the ladder to win. It was just a mess.
I thought I had something written about the Copa TripleMania but apparently, I didn’t. That’s about right. The cameras couldn’t keep up with the match either, missing eliminations that weren’t replayed (but usually caught by the announcers.) The high points of the match – the brief Vampiro/Konnan fight, Aerostar’s dive, Pagano wining, LA Park showing up – got over. The rest in between was nothing special, but this format hasn’t really lend itself to great matches. This wasn’t good and it still probably was the best recent Copa TripleMania, which is where the match is. If they’re going to keep doing them (and they’re probably going to keep doing them), then it’ll probably be more of the same.
The Jinetes title win was a great match, full of craziness. It was also the point where there seemed to be so much of the same sort of craziness that either this one is better appreciated as a standalone match or they needed to something slightly different in this spot. I think the Exoticos were meant to contribute that something different, by adding some levity, but this was also a lot of big match Maximo working very hard to keep up with everyone else. Pimpinela and Mamba kept up where they could, though having so many people running in and out did hurt the match; there’s an obviously higher level for a Poder del Norte/Jinetes match. We’ll get to see this eventually it and this was very strong for something on the way there.
The mixed tag made the best use of eight people all hurrying around the ring as they could. There was so much happening that a little of it didn’t stand out and some of it didn’t look good. It was overall entertaining and a satisfying pay off to the story they’d been telling. Vanilla was trying a lot we haven’t seen from her before, and I’m not sure how she didn’t break her knee on the odd landing of the missed 450 splash. Suicide was trying a lot too, though it seemed like he was either betrayed by the camera angles or didn’t cleanly land a couple of them. I’m not sure exactly when Villano III Jr. got hurt, he takes a lot of falls that look like they could be it. He is clearly out of it when he comes back in the ring the last time, with Big Mami visibly calling spots and Villano still not seeming the grasp them. I’m not sure what they were meant to be doing on their part of the finish.
The first minute of the opener, when there’s no noise except for the ring and Aramis & Dragon Bane botch a spot very obviously, seemed like this was going to go wrong. It did not go wrong. The six-way submission brought in everyone and they just kept going from there. There were a couple of moments past that which didn’t go right, but they were just going so fast that there was no time to dwell. Everyone got their moments, helped out by getting significantly more time than usual for this sort of thing. The absurdity of Aramis’ double torture rack slam finally got the crowd into it. Astrolux seemed more useful as a tiny guy who could get killed easily than what he got to show up on offense; maybe Dragon Bane was best at that. Toxin seemed also more notable for taking the big moves, though he did get a big run in the middle of the match. This totally achieved what it was set out to do.
CMLL (TUE) 08/13/2019Arena México [CMLL, Lucha Central, R de Rudo]
1) Espanto Jr. & Grako b Metatrón & Sonic Rudos took 2/3. Espanto was wearing a Pentagon style match
2) Fuego, Pegasso, Stigma b Espíritu Negro, Hijo del Signo, Nitro Tecnicos took 2/3. Espiritu replaced Sangre Azteca (quit).
3) Marcela b Reyna Isis [lightning] 9:26 via double stomp.
4) Audaz, Black Panther, Blue Panther Jr. b Disturbio, Hechicero, Misterioso Jr. tecnicos took 1/3.
5) Felino, Hijo del Villano III, Negro Casas b Atlantis, Blue Panther, Kráneo Rudos took 2/3.
6) La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Terrible DQ Carístico, Soberano Jr., Stuka Jr. Los Ingobernables took 1/3. Terrible snuck in a foul on Caristico and the rudos took the tecnicos masks.
CMLL (TUE) 08/13/2019Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [CMLL]
1) Black Sugar, Fantástico, Rielero b Carlo Roggi, Mr. Apolo, Paymon
2) Star Black TLDRAW Difunto [lightning]
3) Demonio Maya, Tiger, Virus b Drone, Principe Daniel, Súper Astro Jr. Rudos took 1/3.
4) Okumura, Rey Bucanero, Vangellys b Flyer, Guerrero Maya Jr., Volcano Rudos took 1/3.
5) Dragón Lee, Valiente, Volador Jr. b Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Templario tecnicos took 2/3.
6) Místico b Cavernario Mistico took 2 (DQ for mask pull)/3
That main even should air this weekend if I can record it. Lots of singles matches for the Mistico guys lately.
Dave Meltzer reported the AAA in New York show is still on. Marc Raimondi also said the same. Both say “in New York”, neither mentions Madison Square Garden. AAA had three options with that show: run it in MSG (with a massive amount of empty seats), cancel it entirely, or run it someplace smaller. If it’s not canceled, I’d guess it’s the third option. AAA has still announced nothing yet and that still needs to happen. If you were planning on going, I’d say still hold on. If you were just thinking about going, I’d wait to buy a ticket until AAA says something more.
One source told me months ago AAA was asked to move their show to the Hulu Theatre, which can seat between 2000 & 5600 people. That seems like the right size for an AAA show in the US in 2019 with no TV. AAA declined to make the move at the time, which now seems so strange because nothing has happened in between that should’ve affected their decision. The only things that have happened is AAA’s missed the opportunity to promote those shows on their biggest shows of the year. It’s great if AAA is making this move and still running in the US, but it would’ve been useful if they made it in time to promote on TripleMania and the week after, rather than in this dead period where no one’s paying attention to AAA. They can set up the building small enough that it should look fine with the tickets they’ve sold so far, but they still seemed to miss their best case window.
CMLL (MON) 08/12/2019Arena Puebla [CMLL, Lucha CEntral]
1) Asturiano & Retro b Black Tiger & Policeman Tecnicos took 1/3
2) El Malayo & El Perverso b Halcón Suriano Jr. & Tigre Rojo Jr. rudos took 1/3
3) Amapola, Dalys, La Comandante b La Magnifica, La Vaquerita, Marcela La Magnifica replaced Mystique (injury). Rudas took 1/3.
4) Dulce Gardenia, Fuego, Stigma b Olímpico, Pólvora, Universo 2000 Jr. Tecnicos took 2/3.
5) Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Soberano Jr., Último Guerrero b Cuatrero, Forastero, Místico, Sansón [Relevos Increíbles] Guerreros took 1/3, UG stealing Mistico’s mask in the third. This set up a rematch for next week.
6) Carístico DQ Rush Rush unmasked Carisitco in the first, then Caristico tossed his mask to Rush to draw the DQ in the second.
Caristico & Rush was better than those finishes suggest. There was less to the semi-main but they’ll get another chance next week. This show was helped by another loud and big summer crowd in Puebla.
Tonight’s Arena Mexico is in-between feuds. The main event has Los Ingobernables against Caristico, Soberano and Stuka. It would be weird for CMLL to repeat the same feud in a different building so close together, but I guess we can’t totally rule out another Caristico & Rush issue. Atlantis, Kraneo, and Blue Panther are scheduled to face Negro Casas, Felino, and Hijo del Villano III. The younger Panthers team with Audaz vs Disturbio, Hechicero, and Misterioso in a usual midcard match. Reina Isis gets a lightning match with Marcela. That feels like a repeat but hasn’t happened before: it was scheduled on a show canceled due to the 2017 earthquake. The second match has Fuego, Pegasso and Stigma against Hijo del Signo, Nitro and a spot that is still listed as Sangre Azteca but probably won’t be. Metatron & Sonic versus Espanto Jr. & Grako opens the show. It starts at 7:30 pm.
Sangre Azteca announced he had decided to leave CMLL yesterday during a Facebook live stream. Azteca said he had the option of staying with CMLL but decided to leave for lack of opportunities and economic reasons. Azteca said he had talked to one promotion in particular about joining which would be announced soon and had not talked to AAA. CMLL rarely notes the departure of wrestlers and has said nothing about this one. Sangre Azteca came up with the name before coming to CMLL and says he owns it; the trademark database confirms this (though the address used is Arena Mexico so maybe there’s something more going on there.)
Sangre Azteca had been with CMLL a very long time: he debuted in 1997 and became a regular starting in 1998. Azteca looked like a future start around the turn of the century, including getting a lightning match with Ricky Marvin on the Villano III vs Atlantis mask match show. CMLL was much slower about pushing new people than they are even now, but Azteca rose to the level of a secondary champion by the mid-2000s. My favorite Sangre Azteca run was as part of Poder Mexica, first with Dragon Rojo & Black Warrior and later with Rojo & Misterioso. They were an effective unit against CMLL tecnicos and worked well together. Dragon Rojo got pulled up out of the group to become a Guerrero in 2010. That was something Sangre Azteca complained publicly, including saying he was angry at Ultimo Guerrero about over. Storyline that didn’t go anywhere, coincidence or something else, that was the end of Sangre Azteca being a notable upper-level luchador. Misterioso & Azteca did a break-up bit, which led to an Azteca unsuccessful year as a tecnico in 2011. He flipped back in 2012, and hasn’t really done much of note since. He wrestled a Friday night opener just a couple weeks ago, the first time in a long time Azteca been back in openers. That, and CMLL using Dark Magic to work twice instead of him, probably contributed heavily to this decision. Sangre Azteca was also doing training classes in France around the turn of the decade, which seems to have been passed over to Nitro.
There are not many people left from Sangre Azteca’s generation who are still in CMLL, especially among those who aren’t really pushed. Most of them have another role or have changed to them. Nitro is one. Having the head of the union job probably is the reason why. Virus is a trainer. Metalico just became a referee. Olimpico is the exception, though I wonder if there is another story beyond just being an old Ultimo Guerrero tag partner with that. Sangre Azteca was just getting about one booking a week and getting less for that one booking when they decided to put him back in the openers.
It probably would’ve been better for Sangre Azteca to leave around the time they proposed that tecnico turn, if even a little earlier. There just wasn’t anywhere for him to go. He’s never got a style or shown a personality that would be a natural fit in AAA and there weren’t a lot of other steady options. 2011 was also just at the end of the Mistico-led boom, which meant most everyone was making good money working in CMLL and no one was in a hurry to strike out on their own. The safer choice was to just keep his head down and hope that things would get better. They never really did.
It is unfortunate that a 2010 Sangre Azteca wasn’t coming onto the indies now. The big increase in the middle class of promotions – both the MDA/Generacion XXI types trying to a couple of dozen shows per year – would be all over a guy like that. Even this Sangre Azteca might be in a demand for promotions always looking for new names, at least for one time thru, because there’s seems to always be spots to fill. Dark Cuervo & Dark Scoria were pushed in AAA before they left, unlike Sangre Azteca in CMLL, but they don’t seem like that much bigger stars. I’ve got Scoria getting at least 36 matches so far this year, so he’s hitting the one match a week mark pretty easily, and they get to do a more variety of matches that someone stuck in the lower midcard of CMLL. It’s probably a lot more work to get those bookings but it can be done. Sangre Azteca sounds like he’s already worked out one; I’m guessing we’ll see him in Nacion Lucha Libre soon.
(Who would be the 2010-ish Sangre Azteca who are still on the CMLL roster? Fuego & Drone are the two who always come to mind, but Black Panther might fit even better bet. Even a guy like Guerrero Maya seems like CMLL has given up on doing anything with. Puma King definitely was in that situation and did leave. But it’s hard to leave behind CMLL if all you’ve wanted to be since you were a kid was to be a wrestler in Arena Mexico, and it takes many years of small indignities to make that move.)
The full bracket for NJPW’s Super J Cup has been announced. In the first round on 08/22 in Seattle, Soberano Jr. faces Rocky Romero, Caristico faces BUSHI and Dragon Lee faces YOH. Caristico & Soberano would meet in the second round (08/24 in San Francisco), though it’s unlikely they’ll both win their first-round matches. The final is on 08/25 in San Francisco. Dragon Lee has the best chance of being in it.
Dr. Wagner Jr. was announced for the Impact tapings in Mexico City. He’ll just be on the Friday show; they’re running Thursday as well. AAA isn’t running this week because they lend support to these Impact tapings. I’d expect more AAA wrestlers to be part of the show; Impact’s slowly rolling out matches for these tapings on social media today.
CMLL (SAT) 08/17/2019Arena Coliseo
1) Shockercito & Último Dragóncito vs Mercurio & Pequeño Olímpico
2) Magia Blanca, Magnus, Príncipe Diamante vs Cholo, Espíritu Negro, Inquisidor
3) Avispa Dorada, La Jarochita, Sanely vs Amapola, Dalys, Metálica
4) Stuka Jr. vs Felino [lightning]
5) Atlantis, Atlantis Jr., Titán vs Hechicero, Negro Casas, Templario
6) Carístico, Dragón Lee, Místico vs Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero
The fifth match is this week’s promising Arena Coliseo match we won’t see. Dalys & Metalica teaming one day after they fight.
CMLL (SUN) 08/18/2019Arena México
1) Retro & Sangre Imperial vs El Coyote & Yago
2) La Guerrera, La Jarochita, La Maligna vs Dalys, La Comandante, La Seductora
3) Black Panther, El Audaz, Rey Cometa vs Sagrado, Universo 2000 Jr., Vangellys
4) Tritón vs Hijo del Villano III [lightning]
5) Diamante Azul, Kráneo, Titán vs Dark Magic, Rey Bucanero, Terrible
6) Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón vs Dragón Lee, Soberano Jr., Valiente
If Villano III is beating Black Panther, he’s probably beating Triton. Main event looks fun.
MDA (SUN) 08/11/2019Arena Naucalpan [+LuchaTV]
1) Adamntium & Rojo vs Hijo De Furia & Puma de Oro
2) Auzter & Fly Warrior b Alas de Oro & Alas De Plata
3) Ninja Jr. b El Hijo del Medico Asesino, Black Warrior Jr., Hijo De Dos Caras
4) Apolo Estrada Jr. & El Divo b Herodes Jr. & Hijo de Pirata Morgan Ninja & Black Warrior got involved.
5) Trauma I & Trauma II b Caifan & Caifan II
6) Carístico & Súper Nova b Aramis & Imposible sets up a tag title match
MDA shows continue to draw well, though I didn’t hear much about the matches.
Today’s Arena Puebla show is headlined by Caristico versus Rush. The two did some remodeling last week, leveling the front two rows to throw them at each other. I’d expect a bit of that again this week. This is the fifth singles match they’ve had, with Caristico only winning once by DQ. A clean finish seems highly unlikely.
The semi-main has an atomicos, with Mistico teaming versus NGD against the Guerreros & Soberano. This seems like a match just to do a different match, but perhaps they’ll come up with from it. The rest of the show is nothing much interesting. Dulce Gardenia, Fuego and Stigma take on Polvora, Olimpico, and Universo in the fourth match. The women’s match is supposed to include Vaquerita (who hasn’t been around much) and Mystique (who’s out hurt); there will be changes, but also still Dalys winning. Halcon Suriano teams with Tigre Rojo against Malayo & Perverso. Asturiano turns up for the first time in a couple of months, teaming with Retro against Black Tiger & Policeman. The show will air at 9 pm on CMLL’s YouTube.
CMLL (FRI) 08/16/2019Arena México
1) Robin & Star Jr. vs Cancerbero & Raziel
2) Átomo, Gallito, Microman vs Chamuel, Mije, Perico Zacarías
3) Atlantis Jr., Flyer, Soberano Jr. vs Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto
4) Metálica vs Dalys [CMLL Universal de Amazonas, final]
5) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Titán vs Cuatrero, Gilbert el Boricua, Sansón
6) Volador Jr. vs Forastero
7) Carístico, Ciber the Main Man, Valiente vs Dragón Lee, Místico, Último Guerrero [Relevos Increíbles]
They’re trying to have a good match with Ciber & Ultimo Guerrero by surrounding them other people who might move around a bit. It’s an idea. Maybe not a great idea but there are no great ideas right now.
Forastero specifically asked for a title match but really Forastero should feel lucky to get a Friday night main event.
After all this time with the tournament, the final is still fourth from the top. People thought CMLL might put the women in the main event for that championship and not so much. Things haven’t changed that much here even with Sofia in charge (and not having back to back singles matches is more important, weirdly.)
It’d be shocked if Metalica won. Like jaw on the floor shocked.
IWRG (SUN) 08/18/2019Arena Naucalpan
1) Brazo De Oro Jr. & Puma de Oro vs Death Metal & Neza Kid
2) Atomic Star, Black Dragón, Manchas vs Dragón Fly, Marado, Mosca
3) Auzter, Dinamic Black, Freelance vs Cerebro Negro, Dr. Cerebro, Fly Warrior
4) Jessy Ventura, Ovett, Súper Nova, Zumbi vs Apolo Estrada Jr., Ave Rex, Herodes Jr., Hijo de Pirata Morgan
5) Dragón Bane, Imposible, The Tiger vs Eterno, Trauma I, Trauma II
6) Blue Demon Jr., Hijo de Canis Lupus, Marshe Rockett vs Demonio Infernal, El Mesías, Máscara Año 2000 Jr.