01/26.2 : Box Y Lucha

There’s Box Y Lucha articles I didn’t notice before, and there’s some good stuff in them.

There’s a couple about Texano, now one year after his death. Negro Navarro, and Super Nova talk about their relationships with Texano. (This article mentions Vaquero is Texano’s nephew.) Another article briefly covers Texano’s career.

The rest of the articles are all AAA. Parka’s suspension is a headline story this week, so they’ve got an interview with La Parka Jr. and Joaquin Roldan.

Parka can’t believe he got suspended for month because of a single foul; if the Hell Brothers were treated as such, they would be banned for all time. Roldan makes the case that it’s not specifically the foul, but the attempt to break the alliance between the Hell Brothers and the rest of AAA by doing such a thing. Roldan reached back to Antonio Pena defending Cibernetico after the Sect and Foreign Legion turned on him on 07/30; he’s trying to carry out the plan of Pena by keeping everyone together until all of opposing forces are finished. (In this case, he just means the Dark Family.)

Parka can’t believe the rest of AAA is forgetting about all the times Cibernetico tried to take over the promotion, and all he’s done against the company in the past. Roldan figures La Parka will eventually make peace with Cibernetico, but Parka declared otherwise in his interview, vowing never to help Cibernetico and always to oppose him.

Park’s got valid points, but the way he’s described – an angry man who’s rage grows while discussing this subject – sure makes it sound like we’re getting a rudo La Parka Jr. when he returns.

Mr. Niebla talks in general terms about his jump to AAA for the most part. He notes he’s closed some doors with his actions (he’s in AAA because CMLL said no), and also states that he didn’t want to be a rudo, but that’s the spot AAA decided for him, so he’ll be a professional and go along with it. Maybe I’m strange, but I’d keep that to myself.

Charly Manson discusses his femur injury, from the ladder spot gone wrong in 2001. When he got hurt, he requested no one told his family – so they didn’t find out till they saw it on television. I can only guess he didn’t think it was as serious as it was (many long months of painful rehab included.) Charly’s doctor told him that he’s should thank God he’s still alive and give up lucha libre, but of course he didn’t.

The injuries till affect him. He loved to read books, but the impact on his head has left him unable to read. He’s in constant pain from his femur injury, and the platinum plate they stuck in it. That’s the big problem – the plate’s gotta come out this year, in November, and Charly thinks it’s very probable that will mark the end of his career. “There are hopes, but they are not many.” He vows to leave it all in the ring before he goes to the operating room.

If the article is an accurate in describing Charly as he gives this speech, he really needs to make this a promo on TV.

01/26: Mexico lineup change, Guadalajara, AULL, SLP


The top two matches for tonight’s Arena Mexico show have changed.

Originally, it was
4) Dos Caras Jr., Lizmark Jr., Universo 2000 vs LA Park, Marco Corelone, Último Guerrero
5) Místico, Rey Bucanero, Shocker vs el Hijo del Perro Aguayo, Halloween, Terrible

CMLL.com now lists
4) Lizmark Jr., Shocker, Universo 2000 vs LA Park, Marco Corelone, Último Guerrero
5) Místico, Rey Bucanero, Dr. Wagner Jr. vs el Hijo del Perro Aguayo, Halloween, Terrible

Esto echos those changes in it’s preview, but also has late breaking info that Universo 2000 will miss the show due to a shoulder injury, and his replacement is TBA. Esto also says the Lizmark Jr. rudo turn is off, though Notimex thinks it may go down.

off topic: I wonder if they were thinking of doing a father/son mask match with the Lizmarks, and that’s why he was turning rudo? I’m a little too interested in figuring out how Lizmark’s losing his mask, I think.

ESTO also has an interview with Atlantis. He’s hopeful he might get that mask match with Dr. Wagner in 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007!

CMLL (SUN) 01/21 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara Results [cmll]
1) Imposter b Virgo
2) Golden, Idolo b Mr. Trueno, Valentin Mayo
3) Anthrax, Carlo Roggi DQ Danger (Guadalajara), Depredador
4) Ephesto, Infierno b Fabián el Gitano, Gallo
5) Blue Panther, Heavy Metal, Shocker b Atlantis, Eclipse, Olímpico
6) Rey Bucanero b Último Guerrero [CMLL LH]

Bad day for the Guerreros, as the report notes.

AULL (SAT) 02/27 Arena Lopez Mateos Lineup [el halcon]
1) Tortugullio Ninja II, Tortugullio Ninja III vs Supremo Jr., Rambo Jr.
2) Astro Boy, Robin Maravilla vs Dr. Karonte I, Dr. Karonte Jr. [AULL Tag, 2nd, torneo]
3) Coco Rojo, Coco Verde vs Cerebro Negro, Fantasma de la Opera
4) Rey Bucanero, Ultimo Gladiador, Terry 2000 vs Olimpico, Sadico, Rey Krimen
5) Mistico vs Sepultuero [mask]

CMLL (WED) 01/31 Plaza de Toros El Paseo Lineup [Sol de SLP]
4) Felino, Maximo, Rayo de Plata Jr. vs Sangre Guerrera, Dr. X, Sabu Jr.
5) Mistico, Blue Panther, La Mascara vs Averno, Mephisto, Ephesto

This previews is so weird. They hype up the show by saying “Felino’s coming! Felino’s awesome, ain’t he? And Magadan will be there, and he sure says some controversial things. Also, Mistico.” This is the Arena Mexico San Luis Potosi crew (/Rayo de Plata’s promotion), and so they’re taking this Sunday off from their weekly show, and handing out awards instead. They’ve already announced the winners

Wrestler: Rayo de Plata Jr.
New Wrestler: Salome
Rudo: Sabu Jr.
New Rudo: Black Fantasy
Special Mention: Sombra del Misterio, Lover Boy, Fuerza Maligna, Leopardo

El Siglo de Torreon has an extensive breakdown of the upcoming wrestlers license season. Every Thursday till the end of February, between 6 and 8, wrestlers can go to Auditorio Municipal de Torreon, get their required physical and pay 100 pesos ($9US) to pick up their license for 2007. If they wait to March, it’s 120 pesos for the license and 50 pesos for the physical. Currently, there are 140 active wrestlers in the local area.

Also in March, they’ll test any trainees who want to get licensed – they’ll have to work before three well known (but yet to be decided) local people from the scene, who will decide if they’re qualified to be in the wrestling ring. I’ve read about this in the Box Y Lucha regulations, but I wasn’t certain this was something they still did. It’s kinda awesome. Things are significantly less stringent in the US.

2006 Year In Review: July

The Big Story: AAA should’ve been screwed.

The big idea, Kawaghi vs Cibernetico, was doomed. By now, the media has decided the initial fight was a work. (Whether it was or wasn’t was beside the point.) The fans might, and still may, go with it, but the bigger problem was Cibernetico’s blown out knee. He appeared before the crowd on crutches at TripleMania, on crutches and obviously needed to stay out of the ring.

If they couldn’t set up Kawaghi/Cibernetico, the default is always to go back to Cibernetico/La Parka but again, no Cibernetico. Konnan would be around during the summer, and compete in matches despite being in obvious bad physical condition, but it was unreasonable to plan a main event in-ring feud around him with his own health problems. Muerte Cibernetico versus La Parka Jr. had run it’s course – the same course of every foreign masked rudo since the beginning of lucha libre – and there weren’t any other good alternatives. The fans were still reacting to the product, and the Sect rudo group seemed to be still strong, but they didn’t have an obvious next step.

Back tracking thru the stories told later, Antonio Pena was certainly in bad health by this time. He book and plan AAA till his dying day (and laid out the lineups for shows much later), but the odds seemed against Pena finding a way out of the booking knot.

And once again, Antonio Pena and AAA figured out a solution.

After a foreign rudo loses his mask, he’ll often wrestle just a few more times – enough for the fans to see him without the mask and for the tecnicos to get their last measure of revenge – and then disappear to some other territory. That wasn’t going to be the plan with Muerte Cibernetica all along. AAA brought him in because Konnan and others liked his work elsewhere, and when he lived up that level in AAA, they assured him he’d have a continuing role with the promotion after his mask loss. Muerte’s role was still to be an associate of Cibernetico, but with no Cibernetico, something else had to be done with him…

On 07/30, Cibernetico tried to help the rudos win the main event, but accidently threw powder in Konnan’s face. After the match, Konnan, Muerte Cibernetico, and Cibernetico had a conversation in the ring. Muerte decided, with Cibernetico hurt and responible for all their failures, Cibernetico shouldn’t be leader anymore – Muerte should. Konnan and Muerte destroyed the already crippled Cibernetico, setting up the big match for his return. Meanwhile, the one present member of the Sect that showed loyalty to Cibernetico, Chessman, was prevented by the other members from interfering. That set up an in-between program, focused on Chessman’s slow turn on the Sect and joining Cibernetico on his return. Just like they, AAA had set up six months of main event angles.

Cibernetico had almost always been an rudo in AAA. The only times he wasn’t, was when he was a rudo in LLL, the nWo-like splinter faction he lead against AAA, trying to take over the company (and even succeeding for a while.) As a main event rudo, he’d fought all the top tecnicos and managed wins. As leader of the Sect, he’d gotten a (appropriately) cult following as a cool bad guy, and the fans had started cheering for him already. The turn gave him great motivation, a vendetta against all those who had turned their backs on him, and a really easy storyline for people to get behind upon his return. By the end of the year, Cibernetico was a huge tecnico star – competing with Mistico for sheer fan noise reaction, and outdistancing old rival La Parka Jr. by such a extent, he may end up rudo a result.

I think this was chaos induced genius. Maybe I’m seeing this all wrong, and this was the plan from the start, but if it was, they could’ve have booked it better than Cibernetico’s own legit knee injury. The time away from the ring allowed the anticipation for his return to build and added to the importance of the feud.

This could not have worked out better for AAA. If they manage to keep Cibernetico at this level of popularity or near it the rest of the year, he’s surely the 2007 Mexico Wrestler of the Year.

12 Man In A Cage: With no Park/Wagner feud, no seeming confidence in Rey/Ultimo, and no Lizmarks/Averno/Mephisto mask match, CMLL was kinda without a plan for a planned big July show. Warrior/Mistico was clearly the Anniversary main event, and there’s no way they could replace that either. In recent years, they’d run a summer major show with a cage main event

2004/06/18: Negro Casas L Vampiro, Pierroth, Tarzan Boy, Perro Aguayo Jr., Shocker [cage, hair] *
2005/06/17: Máscara Mágica L Damián 666, Mistico, Héctor Garza, Heavy Metal, Negro Casas, Halloween, Universo 2000, el Hijo del Perro Aguayo [cage, hair]

Logically, and there were leaks to back this up, the plan probably was to do the Guerreros/Perros stuff this month, with a hair match – this is the one Rey balked at losing, which changed everything. The default plan was to do a cage match, they just didn’t have a feud to put into it.

CMLL announced the 12 way cage match on July 2nd, with Sangre Azteca, Nitro, Mascara Purpura, Pantera, Volador Jr., Averno, Mephisto, La Mascara, Sagrado, Felino, Misterioso II and Neutron, to take place on July 14th. All wrestlers included were masked, so much of the promotion surrounded someone’s identity being revealed.

This had been built to with various combinations of these tecnicos and rudos wrestling in the undercard previous weeks:

06/23 Arena Mexico
2) Hombre Sin Nombre, Nitro, Sangre Azteca b Mascara Purpura, Pantera, Sagrado *
3) Felino, La Mascara, Volador Jr. b Averno, Mephisto, Misterioso II *

06/30 Arena Mexico
2) Hombre Sin Nombre, Loco Max, Sangre Azteca DQ Neutron, Pantera, Sagrado *
3) Mascara Purpura b Stuka Jr. [lightning] *
4) Averno, Mephisto, Misterioso II b Felino, La Mascara, Volador Jr. *

Looking back, you can see the 06/23 show was the one where they had decided on the direction; the week prior, Averno & Mephsito were still feuding with the Lizmarks, and that’s suddenly dropped on this show. Those involved had been ripping masks and such, to the point where it seemed like some sort of stakes match should be coming out of it, but the announced match was still a surprise.

The real attraction of this match was it’s balance. Typically, when a promotion does a multiman match with someone losing his hair or mask, there’s one or two wrestlers who are at a much lower level than the others, and stick out as the only true candidates to lose. The build will be push the idea of a masked legend risking his mask, and in the end, it’ll be the guy who just put on his mask two weeks ago (and will get a new one in two months later.) This match was different, because there were no ringers, no newcomers who’d just shown up to lose. This match had twelve midcarders, of various lengths under the mask but at least a couple years, and no giveaway of the finish. A guy like Felino still was more important than a guy like Nitro, but the overall difference was a lot less.

CMLL pushed the match based on that aspect, using uncertiantly and misdirection and putting in peril those who otherwise seemed a little safer. The week before the cage match, 07/07, they ran a cibernetico featuring all 12 in the match. Volador won, and he received a plaque – which was pretty unlucky for him. When Ultimo Guerrero appeared to congratulate Volador on his win and strangely insist all the rudos shake his hand as well, Mephisto got a hold of the plaque, and cracked it over Volador’s head. Volador was stretchered out, but recovered enough vow immediate revenge on Mephisto, and now you started to wonder if he was going to quickly attain it.

Ovaciones and other publications got quotes from the participants during the week leadup. I had some fun discussing everyone’s chances. For something that was obviously just thrown together, it was a pretty fun build.

The match itself was well laid out, as CMLL cage matches go. The stipulations and setup turn the match into a slow beatdown one way or another until people start leaving, so the aesthetics are always going to be lacking. They made up with by having two lowest wrestlers, Nitro and Neutron, be the first to escape the cage, so the fans could realize immediately that they were getting something that had lived up to the hype. Misterioso, Felino, Pantera, and Mephisto were the final four left in. Pantera was the first of those to attempt to escape, but returned to save his old enemy/sometimes partner Felino from being beat. Felino and Mephisto escaped before Pantera could try to leave again, and Misterioso eventually beat him with a La Rosa off the top rope. Pantera was revealed to be Francisco Javier Fosas, 40 or 42 years old.

In 2005, Pantera, driving with his kids in the car, had gotten into an accident driving home, and one of his sons had died in the accident. It’s believed that legal issues surrounding the accident caused Pantera him to be in the need of some money, and losing the mask helped out.

Misterioso and Pantera would somewhat continue their feud in CMLL, but mostly take it over to IWRG, which was Pantera’s home base at the time. This was Misterioso’s second big win of the summer, and it gave him some recognition.

Rey vs Ultimo for the LH Title: Also on 07/14 show, Rey Bucanero beat Ultimo Guerrero to end his 4 year CMLL Light Heavyweight reign. The match was good, but not great, and so a little disappointing. It was an after thought on the cage match show, and that’s the way they built it.

Mr. Niebla Rey vs Atlantis for the LH Title It was an odd weekend for Rey. After winning the CMLL title on Friday, he ended up challenging for the NWA Light Heavyweight Championship on Sunday.

The scheduled challenger had been Mr. Niebla, who was listed as missing due to a shoulder tear that’d keep him out two months. In reality, Niebla was MIA for two weeks, worked some indy shows, took more time off, and came back to only work indy shows. CMLL was very high on Mr. Niebla earlier in this decade, but his quality of wrestling had noticeably dipped in recent years, and he’d had long abcsenes from the ring due to injuries. Whatever caused him to miss this show was the last straw for CMLL, because he was never brought back to Coliseo or Mexico.

Rey facing Atlantis and getting a chance to unify the belts (only the NWA was on the line) should’ve been a big deal, but the last minute nature of the match diminished any build for that sort of thing. As it turns out, it only lasted for about 6 minutes when it aired on television. Ultimo Guerrero got a measure of revenge, helping Atlantis beat Rey and retain his title.

A new Gronda: AAA debuted a new Gronda – actually, in the space of one paragraph, they declared him a new one and the only authenic one, so it’s the La Parka deal – to replace the original, who’s now an independent. As expected, it was Ghefar/Lucifer/Magnate/the other big muscled guy AAA has around and uses sporatically.

The new Gronda was quickly shown to be far more vulnerable than the previous version, getting laid out by Abismo Negro in an injury angle and selling it for a few weeks of tapings. The original Gronda has a reputation for an unwillingness (and inability) to sell for his opponents, and it was as if AAA was making a statement that things would be different for the new Gronda. The new Gronda is somewhat of a better wrestler and there haven’t been complaints about his attitude, but he’s not as popular as the previous one. He only appears spordically.

The original Gronda, now Groon XXX, has appeared very occasionally for CMLL and more often for indy shows. Still, he doesn’t have much of a work schedule, due to his high per show fee.

A new middleweight Champion: Ocatagon, who’d held the Mexican National Middleweight Championship belt three times in the 90s, won it from Zumbido on July 15. There was a one taping build to the match, with Octagon beating Zumbido in a trios match before beating him for the title.

The tournament to set up Zumbido as champion seemed successful, but nothing was done with the title between the time Zumbido won it January and lost in July. (Octagon’s done no more after winning it himself.) Zumbido would be rumored to be jumping from AAA to CMLL or rehab for the rest of the year, but was still in AAA at year end.

Other AAA: there were 5 tapings this month
07/07: Chessman and the Black Family, still getting along, confirmed their hold on the Atomicos titles by turning back the Air Force
07/15: discussed it to death already
07/23: Tiffany, Estrellita (revealed to be Cibernetico’s actual girlfriend, since they’re both tecnicos now), and Shocker all kinda feuded in the opener. El Dandy was originally listed as appearing in the fourth match, but was replaced by Alliens – who led an alien invasion! Two more normal sized outer space creates and a mini assaulted Alebrije and Cuije.
07/28: not much
07/30: the turn

Other CMLL:
– Hector Garza suffered a scary neck injury after being clotheslined in the back of the head on 07/21. Everyone was worried that day, but Garza only was out for a short time.
– after a couple weeks of hype, Eclipse debuted. Though promoted as someone with 10 years of experience, it was actually rookie Rey Tigre under a new identity, as a giant man endorsed by Ultimo Guerrero and Atlantis and wearing a combination of their masks. Whatever idea for pushing him there was disappeared early, as Eclipse was clearly not ready for the position they wanted him at, and was taken off shows for a time. He’s back wrestling now, but as just another guy. Eclipse is a rare Mexican heavyweight, so he’s got many more chances in his future.

Lucha Times

AAA on Gala: the last part of Best Of. It’s a bit time shifted, split feed, all that jazz, but these are the matches you might have actually seen, so it’s not a big deal.

CAN52: There’s no escape. We’ll get that Fabian match we were due last week, and the Pierroth semifinal.

FSE: Looks like the Sunday midnight time is where it’s sticking. Mistico! Perro! Lots of people standing around in between moves! If they do air the Coliseo tercera, it’s quite the battle of good versus evil.

AAA in Mexico: 01/20 taping.

CMLL in Mexico:
01/21: Molotov, Sensei, Starman b Calígula, Hooligan, Mesala
01/26: Dos Caras Jr., Lizmark Jr., Universo 2000 vs LA Park, Marco Corelone, Ultimo Guerrero
01/26: Mistico, Rey Bucanero, Shocker vs Halloween, Hijo del Perro Aguayo, Terrible

Mystery of the week: while looking for something else, I noticed my local Telemundo station (WSNS – 19 on my cable system, different on yours) has “Lucha Libre Mexicana” listed at 10:30 PM on Sunday. It’s half hour show, and I have no idea what it is, though I think it’s a local show*. I’ll let you know what turns up.

* – Coincidentally, I just found out there’s a local lucha show this weekend. We’ll discuss in the morning.