Watching good matches instead of boring matches is a more fun who knew. The IWRG stuff doesn’t quite fit as good matches, unfortunately. Even when the matchups look good, the production problems are just killer. I hope they’re getting a good viewership out of being AYM or some cash. We’re used to it by now, but jumping back in it reminds me how bad it’s hurting their product.
Cara Lucha (SAT) 12/03/2016Arena San Juan Pantitlan, Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Estado de México [+LuchaTV, Black Terry Jr. (Flickr), Estrellas del Ring, Kronosport, The Gladiatores]
1) Leónidas b Baby Extreme Jr., Ángel Jr. other two names not mentioned
2) Lady Maravilla b Marcela, Keira A bit of an upset for Maravilla to win, submitting Marcela.
3) Sky Man b Drastik Boy
4) Corsario Negro Jr. & Drako b Brian Villa & Willy Banderas and Guerrero Mixtico & Látigo Guerrero Mixtico was the mystery Latigo partner. Money thrown in
5) Templario & Último Guerrero b Fly Warrior & Hechicero [Juventud Y Gloria, torneo] First match in a rookie/vet style tournament, though there’s no other info about the tournament
6) Cavernario b Flamita, Jack Evans A ways into the match, the top rope gave out while Cavernario was hitting the ropes. The match stopped to check on him, then resumed and Cavernario ended up winning after a little bit longer with two ropes. Flamita challenged Cavernario a mask vs hair match, but Cavernario said he wasn’t interested in that “rag”.
Kronosport’s photo had all three guys laying on the mat in states of distress; I thought that meant everyone was down a spot when the ropes broke, but that turns out to be the end of the match. The ropes broke earlier, when Cavernario was hitting them to set up for his springboard triangle plancha. (You can see it in Terry’s highlights.) Everyone is apparently OK. 126f notes Flamita’s recent run of bad luck: the ropes breaking here and Extreme Tiger being hurt last week.
This was Jack Evans’ first time wrestling around Mexico City since being out on the outs with AAA and so he got cornered for some interviews. Black Terry Jr. has video. “Never say never” about an AAA return, but notes AAA never saw him as a top guy and now he gets to control his own career. He really liked the The Crash show in Tijuana and says it’s one his two favorite places in Mexico. He also wants a rematch with Dr. Cerebro!
Today, CaraLucha announced they’d be back on Christmas Day (which will obviously be a very busy day.) They also announced four more teams for it’s Juventud Y Gloria tournament: Gallego, & Corsario Negro, Black Terry & Toxin, Titan & Rayo Star, and Trauma I & Latigo.
CMLL (SAT) 12/03/2016Arena Coliseo [CMLL]
1) Acero & Aéreo b Pequeño Olímpico & Pequeño Universo 2000
2) La Vaquerita, Princesa Sugehit, Skadi b Amapola, La Comandante, La Seductora tecnicas took 1/3
3) Bobby Z, El Cuatrero, Sansón b Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr., The Panther Rudos took 1/3, setting up a Cuatrero (in for Forastero) & Sanson title challenge against Maya & Panther. Fans were supporting the rudos.
4) Dragón Rojo Jr., Ephesto, Felino b Ángel de Oro, Johnny Idol, Titán Rudos took 1/3. Ephesto replaced Dragon Rojo.
5) Atlantis, Stuka Jr., Volador Jr. b La Máscara, Mr. Niebla, Niebla Roja Volador replaced Diamante Azul on Wednesday.
The Dinamtias make sense as champions over the makeshift team put together for last year’s FantasticaMania, but these tag titles might soon (or already) be below Sanson & Cuatrero. I’d rather them just win the main ones from Shocker & Casas, as unreasonable a hope that might be.
CMLL (SUN) 12/04/2016Arena México [CMLL]
1) Flyer & Leono b Artillero & Inquisidor Leono replaced Robin. Tecnicos took 1/3.
2) Demus 3:16, Pequeño Universo 2000, Pequeño Violencia b Fantasy, Shockercito, Stukita Rudos took 2/3.
3) Forastero, Misterioso Jr., Sagrado b Fuego, Pegasso, Rey Cometa Forastero replaced Sangre Azteca on Sunday. Rudos took 1/3.
4) Bobby Z, Rey Bucanero, Vangellys b Blue Panther, Drone, Stuka Jr. Rudos took 1/3. (This time, Drone was defeated in every fall.)
5) La Máscara, Shocker, Terrible DQ Atlantis, Carístico, Volador Jr. Atlantis replaced Diamante Azul on Wednesday. The rudos hit Tirantes and blamed Volador, who was DQed. Volador and Mascara set up a singles match for next week.
That’ll be singles match #30 this year for Volador, not including the Best of Super Juniors (but including some short tournament matches.) It’s the third with La Mascara: Volador beat him in a Liga Elite match and beat him in the Universal tournament.
In interviews, the current Sin Cara said it was divine justice that he ended up with the name, and suggested Dragon Lee and Rush would be do well in WWE.
WWE was in Monterrey on Sunday.
AAA’s TV announced that Guerra de Titanes will take place on January 20th in Gimnasio Juan de la Barrera. That’s what they did last year after Guerra de Titanes was canceled in Ciudad Madero. There was never an indication the show would be held anywhere, so maybe this was the plan all along. Upcoming AAA TV schedule looks like Ciudad Juarez (12/10), a whole lot of best of stuff or holiday pre-emptions (12/17, 12/24, 12/31, 01/07), Chilpancingo (01/14 & 01/21) and Guerra de Titanes airing on 01/28 and 02/04. Like last year, it’ll probably be moving pieces around for Rey de Reyes.
Azteca 7 aired a Golden Magic special in what was the Sunday Elite replay spot. It’s probably just some best of material, but that seems like a good sign. I went to Azteca website for Lucha Azteca to see if they posted it there and found the Lucha Azteca website doesn’t exist. It’s been removed from the website, you just get redirected to the main page. That seems like a bad sign, there’s not a lot of point in doing that if you’re going to just be back in a few months. The show is not yet on the unofficial Liga Elite channel.
CMLL (FRI) 12/02/2016Arena México [CMLL, CultIcon, thecubsfan]
1) Cancerbero & Raziel b Oro Jr. & Príncipe Diamante 14:30. Rudos took 1/3.
2) Blue Panther Jr., Drone, The Panther b Disturbio, Okumura, Virus 14:50. Tecnicos took 2/3.
3) Estrellita, Marcela, Sanely b Metálica, Tiffany, Zeuxis 14:13. Tecnicas took 1/3 after both Tiffany and Estrellita interfered after getting eliminated. Rematch challenges followed.
4) Ángel de Oro b Negro Casas [lightning] 9:13. Negro Casas submitted Angel de Oro with a scorpion.
5) Marco Corleone, Máximo Sexy, Volador Jr. b El Cuatrero, Máscara Año 2000, Sansón 10:12. Straight falls, Maximo using a kiss and the ropes to beat Mascara.
6) Euforia, Hechicero, Último Guerrero b Atlantis, Carístico, Valiente 9:53. Rudos took 1/3, the last by Ultimo Guerrero & Euforia cheating Caristico
Generally good show with a lot of matches building to to the future. Fourth match was the best match.
CMLL (FRI) 12/09/2016Arena México
1) Oro Jr. & Stigma vs Sangre Azteca & Skándalo
2) Fuego, Pegasso, Soberano Jr. vs Okumura, Puma, Tiger
3) Estrellita, Princesa Sugehit, Zeuxis vs Dalys, La Vaquerita, Marcela [Relevos Increíbles]
4) Valiente vs La Máscara [lightning]
5) Marco Corleone, Máximo Sexy, Volador Jr. vs Máscara Año 2000, Shocker, Terrible
6) Carístico, Dragón Lee, Mistico vs Mephisto, Negro Casas, Último Guerrero
Dragon Lee, who took the pinfall last night on ROH PPV (and figures to do the same tomorrow) is back for an all-star trio to continue the march to Ultimo Guerrero/Caristico. Dinastia & Cuatrero will get over this week by watching Shocker & Terrible wrestle, I guess.
I’m going to keep expecting Valiente to lose every match for about six months, just to because it would make CMLL look silly. He might not! The sides on the tercera suggest they’re heading to a relevos suicidas down the road.
What happened: Último Guerrero cheated to defeat Carístico in the main event, and they teased a mask/hair match. Both teams cheated a little bit in the women’s match, and they set up a rematch next week. Máximo cheated to defeat Mascara Año 2000 (for no good reason, he’d gotten in his finishing kiss) too. Nothing in particular was set up there, maybe because they were already doing two mic segments.
All these feuds coming up at once suggest there’s a big show coming. It’s possible they could hold them all off until the holidays, but it also wouldn’t be a surprise if they did some of this sooner. Último Guerrero is often back home around Christmas week, so that may be one getting done a little quicker.
Principe Diamante also re-debuted as a member of the main roster. He’d been around before as a mini, and still looks like a tall mini, but a tall mini who won the Mr. CMLL contest. There’s always suspicions the bodybuilding contest may be as predetermined as everything else. Suddenly getting booked regularly (when CMLL seems to be scheduling shows weeks in advance) seems a sign of some plan, but losing in his debut suggests there’s not one.
What was good: One of the matches without an angle! I really loved the Casas/Angel de Oro match for a nine minute showcase. The second match was good as well.
Where can I watch it:I’ll have it up later. After drama earlier, there was no particular geoblocking problem on Claro. I’m not really sure that we fixed it. It could’ve just been the social media person being wrong because they have been before. It worked, that’s all that really matters.(more…)
CMLL (TUE) 11/29/2016Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Martes de Glamour]
1) Capitán Cobra & Fugaz b Linterna & Mr. Apolo Tecnicos took 1/3
2) Nitro, Okumura, Sangre Azteca b Robin, Soberano Jr., Stigma Rudos took 1/3.
3) Bobby Z, Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora b Esfinge, Stuka Jr., Titán Bobby is in the Revolucionarios (at least for now.) They took 1/3.
4) Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone, Máximo Sexy b Kráneo, Rey Bucanero, Terrible Tecnicos took 2/3.
5) Carístico b Negro Casas Caristico took 1/3.
CMLL has a normal show this Friday. CMLL’s preview hypes the Dinamitas and Hechicero. It’s Hechicero’s first ever Friday main event, teaming with Ultimo Guerrero and Euforia against Atlantis, Carisitco and Valiente. It’s mostly Hechicero filling in as a Guerrero while UG & Caristico feud, but he’s a better pick for that spot than other choices they’ve made in the past.
The Dinamitas – Sanson, Cuatrero and new full time CMLL wrestler 58 year old Mascara 2000 – face Maximo, Volador and Marco Corleone in the semimain. Mascara is here because CMLL thinks young Sanson & Cuatrero need their much older uncle to get over. I guess it’s good CMLL is trying to get someone over, but I’m skeptical a guy looking like a shell of himself having bad matches is going to convey much star power. There’s also a decent chance they’re setting up a Maximo/Mascara hair match; they feuded in their Tuesday match and Christmas apuesta season approaches.
Angel de Oro and Negro Casas face in a lightning match. The weekly women’s match is Estrellita, Marcela and Sanely against Metalica, Tiffany and Zeuxis. The Panthers team up with Drone against Okumura, Virus and Disturbio in the second match. Oro Jr. & Principe Diamante (billed as making his debut; that is not accurate) face Raziel & Cancerbero.
Caristico talked to Plantilla Deportiva a few days ago, and LigerFever translated it on his Tumblr. It’s classic Caristico, coming off as highly confident in his own abilities. You really need to read it. Caristico’s retelling of his return to NJPW is the fans cheered him the moment he came out and all the time until he left, overshadowing Volador and everyone else. This is not exactly how I recall that going. Caristico says NJPW told him they wanted him for FantasticaMania and doesn’t know why he’s not on it. Caristico says he only told them he wants to move up from Juniors and challenge for a heavier belt. Caristico insists he wants to help make new stars, though it seems to escape his mind about the names of any new stars he’d like to make.
CMLL Retro is two hours early today. If you miss it, you’re not the only one. The ratings says almost no one is watching, with the show averaging under 20,000 viewers a week (or far past the point where the numbers are statistically accurate.) Fox Deportes is not a heavily viewed station, but it’s lower than the programming around it. I’ve always wondered how few people are watching the lucha shows on even more obscure channels. 52MX and AYM are on much less systems in the US, so maybe they’re as low as the thousands or the hundreds? (Though both of those are at least available in Mexico too.) As long as they keep paying CMLL, CMLL is probably still OK with it.
The AAA TV taping schedule is one of my weird obsessions of a minor issue – they’ll have a TV show, and we’ll know what they’re airing on Fridays nowadays – but now I’m thinking they’ll just start air the Juarez episodes the next two weeks, then go into the year end stuff, which will give them plenty of time to tape Chilpancingo before it airs. That’d mean there’s only two more episodes with new material to air, starting with Saturday’s episode.
CMLL Retro similarly starts a new episode, though two and half months behind reality. It’s also two hours early; they’re airing the Pac12 championship game in the usual slot.
This week’s Lucha Underground is the first one in weeks where no matches were announced ahead of time. The preview mentions a Battle of the Bulls tournament begins. I’ve got a very good guess that they’ll air two matches from that tournament. The preview also mentions we’ll get Kobra Moon explaining her tribe’s backstory and the return of Cortez Castro.
CMLL LI (SUN) 11/27/2016 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [+LuchaTV, Domingos Familiares]
1) La Magnifica & Súper Estrella b Chik Tormenta & La Pantera Magnifico & Estrella took 2/3.
2) Flash (Jalisco), Flash I, Flash II b Antrax, Centinela, Évola [Copa Dinastia Tapatia 2016, torneo] first part
3) Gallo, Ráfaga, Ráfaga Jr. b Frezzer, Furia Nazi, Furia Roja [torneo, Copa Dinastia Tapatia 2016]
4) Flash (Jalisco), Flash I, Flash II b Gallo, Ráfaga, Ráfaga Jr. [torneo, Copa Dinastia Tapatia 2016] billed as the first part out of a larger tournament
5) Hijo del Solar, Huracán Ramírez Jr., Pantera II b Canek Jr., Hijo del Fishman, Septiembre Negro Jr. Tecnicos took 1/3.
6) Fuerza Guerrera, Satánico, Universo 2000 Jr. b Huracán Ramírez, Rayman, Solar I Fuerza pulled Rayman’s mask to pin him. Rudos took 1/3.
7) Canek, Cien Caras Jr., Máscara Año 2000 b El Fantasma, Máscara Sagrada, Rayo de Jalisco Jr. Rudos took 2/3. Mascara attacked his partner Rayo after not getting along with him all match. Rayo bled.
CMLL NOBA (WED) 11/30/2016 Parque Acuatico Papagayo Adventure, Acapulco, Guerrero [Estrellas del Ring]
1) Astro Nave & Bitter b Allen & Kid Dragón
2) Araña de Plata Jr., Enigma, Fresero Jr., Limbo b Aspirantito Jr., Atomic Star, Baxter, Rey Nocturno
3) Psicosis II & Trauma I b Decnnis & Eterno (IWRG) [Copa Atlantis, semifinal] Ripper/Psicosis replaced Trauma II.
4) Blue Panther Jr. & The Panther b Puma & Tiger [Copa Atlantis, semifinal]
5) Blue Panther Jr. & The Panther b Psicosis II & Trauma I [Copa Atlantis, final]
6) Cazador b Mercurio (Guerrero) [mask] Mercurio (a local one, not the CMLL mini) lost his mask to Cazador. Mercurio is Felipe Noriega, from Acapulco, 5 years a wrestler.
7) Atlantis & Octagón b Fuerza Guerrera & Último Guerrero tecnicos took 2/3.
Rush & Naito won today in NJPW’s World Tag League. They’re up to 3-2, 6 points, with two matches left, and two points behind the leaders. One of those matches is against a team unlikely to get a win in the tournament, so they’re sure to go into the final day (December 7th) being in play for 1st place in the block.
This is for nothing particular reason, except I was staring at the AAA TV chart trying to figure out what would air this weekend, but I’m guessing Guerra de Titanes is 01/20. Unless something weird happens, AAA will run out of TV around 01/21, I’m guessing the show is back in Mexico City, and Mexico City shows are usually Fridays, so there’s the guess. Could be completely wrong.
Pentagon Dark b Doku (6:10, ref stop broken arm, OK)
Pentagon Dark b Yorei (7:10, ref stop broken arm, good)
Hitokiri b Pentagon Dark b (12:46, Far East Destroyer, good)
(Black Lotus vs Pentagon Dark never really starts.)
Pentagon Dark’s battle against the Black Lotus Triad took up the entire hour. (Helpfully, the introduction recapped the build up to this feud and nothing else.) Pentagon faced the three new women one by one. Doku tried to strike with Pentagon, and quickly paid the price. Pentagon brutally destroyed her for a long period of time before Doku was able to mount a comeback. Doku landed a famous elbow drop, but went for it again and was caught in the armbreaker.
Yorei found more success with speed and traditional moves, then even beat an off balance Pentagon around the ringside area. (She tried to use the ring bell on him, with comically soft results.) Pentagon was able to turn it around once they got back in the ring, smiling Yorei made one more charge, but was caught right in position for the package piledriver. She was done, but Pentagon made sure to break her arm too.
Hitokiri had the best plan, sneaking in behind Pentagon, dropkicking him out of the ring, and then taking him out first with a moonsault, and then a tope. This was the most back and forth of the matches, the longest, and maybe most violent. Hitokiri even dove off Dario’s office (the first woman to do so, which might be a bigger trophy than winning the title in Lucha Underground.) Pentagon tried to break her arm, but instead was beaten by Hitokiri’s Far East Destroyer for the second time.
The final match, with Black Lotus, never really took place. Lotus decked the referee before he could call for the bell. Yorei & Doku returned to help Lotus and Hitokiri break Pentagon’s arm. Pentagon was too worn down to fight back. As soon as they did, Dragon Azteca appeared on the stairs. Azteca came to the ring and, despite their antagonistic history, Azteca & Lotus didn’t fight. Lotus took the Triad away while Azteca grabbed Pentagon’s good arm, and broke that too. Pentagon broke both Azteca and Lotus’ arms at Ultima Lucha 2, and they both broke his arms tonight. Vampiro, who’s been thrilled by the violence (in general and to Pentagon Jr. in particular) was very pleased by the outcome.
That wasn’t the last of Vampiro. The show closed with a shot of Prince Puma waking up in a half opened casket, with a demonic Vampiro looking over him. Vampiro told Puma to come with him as the show ended.
There were no other matches on the show, but a couple of other vignettes. Catrina ran into Jeremiah Crane, who seemed hopeful Ivelisse would return in time to face Catrina as Ultima Lucha 3. Catrina wasn’t there to really talk about that, but the necklace Crane’s been wearing (one that’s been unremarked upon until this point.) Catrina claimed the stone in the necklace was from her Stone, and “his flesh” was here for her; he was still in love with Catrina. Catrina declared she was in love with someone else. She could’ve meant Mil Muertes or Fenix by that, and she could’ve meant some ancestor of Crane was in love with her. As with most Catrina segments, the truth wasn’t really clear, but it was accurate enough to leave Crane uncomfortable.
We did briefly see Dario Cueto, attempting to make the obvious match from Aztec Warfare 3: his brother Matanza getting a title rematch against Johnny Mundo. Matanza loudly bellowed he didn’t want that, much to Dario’s confusion. Matanza wants revenge on Mysterio instead, revaling he’d bloodied his fists by pound the wall, and used the blood to draw a question mask. Dario was freaked out. It was that kind of episode.
Matt Striker: “It’s violent, it’s disturbing – and Vamp, it is awesome.”
Vampiro: “I’m so happy.”
Vampiro’s occupied and delighted all episode by the violence. Both just the existence of the violence, and that it happens to be his old estranged student Pentagon. We’re meant to be a little concerned by his behavior. Striker’s the voice of the writers, and his line was more a mission statement of what we were supposed to feel. I was most of the way there. It was definitely violent and it was definitely disturbing.
Near the end of the show, I wrote about how this episode would likely be more polarizing than even Sexy Star winning. I got some push back on that, and it’s not with out merit. If you’ve found yourself uncomfortable with men on women violence, you probably have not made it to episode #80 of this series. (Though, I’d expect – just like with the Sexy Star win – those who did give up on this show to react to this as validation for their decision.) Those who are left have made either no issue with it at all on a scripted television show, or have decided the overall positives of the show outweigh the negatives. I think I started out in the first category and moved to the second somewhere along the line, and then felt myself moving past that a bit tonight.
I know these are all trained skilled professionals. I know the women would and probably have taken the same level of punishment in matches against other women as they took from Pentagon. The rational part of my brain knows Pentagon and Doku performed an excellent looking superkick spot, and still the irrational part is not all entertained by seeing that man kick that woman very hard. This is a ruthlessly rational website, and yet that’s not the part of the brain that’s winning this argument.
The match with Yorei was the most resembling a normal wrestling match (and, thanks the comedic bell shot, definitely the least violent.) The opener with Doku, and large portions of the fight with Hitokiri, were disturbing and meant to be so. The best art leaves you a little disquieted. It’s a too much to call an episode of Lucha Underground art, but they definitely wanted to get feelings out of people and they surely succeeded.
One bit I’m sure they wanted to get out is Pentagon, at least up until the end of this episode, was meant to be the bad guy in all of this. Striker had the unenviable task of trying to portray the rabid Temple crowd as secretly trolling Pentagon by loudly chanting his catch phrase. I’m not sure a single person bought into it, but it was obviously a way to prepare the audience for both Black Lotus and Dragon Azteca getting their revenge without making them into the bad guys. (This might be the first time Azteca has actually succeeded at something since the trios title win!) This was Pentagon’s past catching up to him, and hopefully he’s reborn without baggage when he comes back. The Puma/Vampiro skit suggests he (or we) won’t be that lucky.
In a more strictly wrestling perspective, Pentagon took the loss and had his arms broken, and he still seems more over than when he started the night. The deadliest man has been crippled twice in two seasons and still comes across as ferocious in the process. And, while all three women did fine for themselves (and looked more gifted than “the best athlete in Lucha Underground, Sexy Star”), Hitokiri shined brightest. She’s obviously a superstar, they realized it enough to make sure she was the one who didn’t get her arm broken, and I hope they do whatever they can to get her back for Season 4. (Sadly, it’s one match an out for Season 3.)
I liked the Crane/Catrina segment, if only to look forward everyone else trying to make head or tails out of it. If El Rey had the budget for these things, they ought to cut together a special of Catrina’s scenes with in between explainers to help people out with the plot. (Or, maybe a fan should do it, if it was possible to do those sort of things on YouTube without getting a takedown notice.) Matanza came across menacing in his promo, though the bloody hands might be some unfortunate foreshadowing. The Puma/Vampiro bit to end was a nice bit of weirdness, and probably an intentional call back to Catrina/Mil reawakening scene in episode 1. Coming back from the dead has it’s consequences.