These are the results for 2008 Tapatia Awards. Thanks to everyone who voted, and thanks for those who didn’t for reading this. We had 24 voters this year, a substantial increase over last year.
After last year’s ballot tended more towards AAA voting for the first time, this year snapped back towards CMLL voting. 6 of the categories were won by CMLL related candidates and 3 by AAA. For the first time in the five year history of these awards, 1 category was won by a non Big 2 candidate, as the Oficials ran away with Best Unit.
2008 will be remembered as the year of Blue Panther vs Villano V; it took three different awards and a second in another category. Other trends include Mistico continuing his domination of Best Tecnico while Best Rudo has a fifth different winner in as many years.
Comments included in the ballots are listed after each award. If I missed yours, or if you have more to say after seeing who won, feel free to post in the comments.
This year’s results, after you click on the link.
|1) Best Wrestler||1||2||3||4||5||6||Points|
|18||Perro Aguayo Jr.||1||12|
|22||Dos Caras Jr.||1||8|
|27||Hijo del Santo||1||5|
|34||Mini Damian 666||1||2|
|34||Hijo del Fantasma||1||2|
Robert: I get the feeling it’s the year of El Blue so I’m tossing my vote his way. He brought his A game to every match he was involved in and was involved in the biggest feud of the year. No matter how big (Arena Mexico) or how small (Puebla) the crowd were you could always count on Panther to deliver assuming his opponent wanted to co-operate. Mistico was his closest competitor but injuries took away a medium-sized chunk of his year or else I may have been tempted to rank him over Panther. Of course you can’t have a Mistico without a guy like Averno who worked his magic with a bunch of CMLL flyers this year and really came into his own. I honestly think this was the year where we saw the gap between Averno and Mephisto’s abilities clearly shown. El Mephisto really has to work at his game to reach the level his partner is at. One of the wrestlers Averno helped along was La Sombra who actually produced the most MOTYC’s which is incredible for a teenager! He firmly established himself as the future of CMLL and I have no doubt he will climb higher than my #4 come next year. Rounding out my list is IWRG’s Freelance who attempts suicide in every match he is in. He’s the definition of a wrestler that never looks at any booking as a day off. It won’t make for a long career so he deserves the recognition while he can still get it.
|2) Best Match||1||2||3||4||5||6||Points|
|1||09/19 Blue Panther vs Villano V||5||2||1||1||1||124|
|2||04/30 Valiente, Hijo del Fantasma, La Mascara vs Sombra, Volador Jr., Sagrado||5||2||1||1||120|
|3||12/07 Sombra vs Ephesto||3||1||4||1||3||1||111|
|4||06/13 Fabi Apache vs Mari Apache||2||2||1||2||2||82|
|5||07/11 Blue Panther vs Atlantis||2||1||1||1||51|
|6||08/17 Bam Bam vs Peqeuno Damian 666||1||1||2||1||50|
|7||03/21 Perro Aguayo Jr. vs Hector Garza||2||1||2||48|
|8||12/09 Incognito, Silver King, Rubi Gardenia vs Cassandro, Magno, Hijo del Santo||1||2||1||29|
|9||01/25 Dos Caras Jr., La Sombra vs Averno/Mephisto||2||24|
|10||10/16 Rey Cometa, Pegasso, Freelance vs Oficiales||1||1||1||23|
|11||01/27 Sombra, Mistico vs Averno, Mephisto||1||1||1||22|
|12||12/17 Joe Lider & Nicho vs Jack Evans & Teddy Hart vs Extreme Tiger & KENTA (undated)||1||17|
|12||05/04 Crazy Boy, Generico vs Shiima Xion, Joe Lider (DTU)||1||17|
|14||01/04 Pequeno Rey de Aires||1||1||15|
|15||11/04 Blue Panther vs Averno||1||1||14|
|16||10/09 Rey Cometa, Pegasso, Freelance vs Oficials||1||1||13|
|16||03/21 Mascarita Dorada, Tzuki, Bam Bam vs Mini Damian 666, Pierrothito, Fire||1||1||13|
|16||02/15 Abismo Negro vs Mr. Niebla||1||1||13|
|19||07/25 Mistico vs Hijo del Perro Aguayo Jr.||1||12|
|19||05/25 Alex Koslov vs Rey Bucanero||1||12|
|19||05/25 Fabi Apache vs Mari Apache vs Ayako Hamada||1||12|
|19||??/?? Solar vs Negro Navarro (undated)||1||12|
|19||11/01 Black Terry vs Negro Navarro||1||12|
|24||02/01 Averno/Mephisto vs Ultimo Guerrero/Atlantis||1||1||10|
|24||05/09 Reyes de Aire||2||10|
|26||06/29 Flash & Stuka Jr. vs Euforia & Nosferatu||1||8|
|26||02/15 Mistico, Sombra, Volador vs Perro Aguayo Jr., Averno, Mephisto||1||8|
|26||03/11 Celestial/Electrico/Shockercito vs Fire/Mr. Aguilita/Mini Damian 666||1||8|
|26||03/16 Mesias vs Cibernetico||1||8|
|30||08/08 Alas de Oro||1||1||7|
|30||07/25 Gran Prix||1||2||7|
|32||12/01 Sangre Azteca vs Dragon Rojo Jr.||1||5|
|32||05/23 Averno/Mephisto vs Mistico/Garza||1||5|
|32||12/14 Flash & Stuka Jr. vs Euforia & Nosferatu||1||5|
|32||07/27 Bam Bam vs Peqeuno Damian 666||1||5|
|36||09/18 Black Terry, Cerebro Negro, Dr. Cerebro vs Oficials||1||3|
|36||03/21 Atlantis/Mistico/Ultimo Guerrero vs Averno/LA Park/Mephisto||1||3|
|36||11/02 Aeroman, Freelance, Zatura vs Oficials||1||3|
|39||12/07 Intocable, Rayman, Super Crazy vs Damian 666, Head Hunter II, Mr. Aguila||1||2|
|39||05/06 Bam Bam vs Pequeno Damian 666||1||2|
|39||12/12 Terrible, Texano Jr., Rey Bucanero, Misterioso II, Mr. Niebla, Villano V, Atlanits, Epehsto vs Shocker, Maximo, Dos Caras Jr., Marco Corleone, Blue Panther, Sagrado, Toscano, Valinete||1||2|
|39||01/11 Mascarita Dorada vs Mini Damian 666||1||2|
|39||10/03 Freelance, Fenix, Pendulo vs Black Terry, Negro Navarro, Hijo del Pierroth||1||2|
|39||03/16 Alan Stone vs Zorro vs Abismo Negro vs Mr. Niebla||1||2|
|Kinda Not Eligible||Points|
|01/18/09 Alex Koslov, Rocky Romero, X-Pac vs Jack Evans, Teddy Hart, Zorro||1||12|
|02/19 Cassandro vs Mike Quackenbush||1||5|
|TNA X-Cup 4 Team Trios||1||3|
1st:Hijo Del Perro Aguayo vs Hectar Garza(hair vs hair)-3/21/2009-Arena Mexico-OK, I know I am being biased based on when I became a lucha fan and this being the first show I ever attended live, but this waswas a well worked match in a great story line with awesome crowd reaction. Maybe not the best technical, or highest flying match of the year, but I think it was all around great. I’m sure it won’t win, but it hooked me, and i walked by a crying kid that I later realized was Hectar’s son. Can you name any other match this year that brought out that kind of emotion?
2nd: Mari Apache vs Fabi Apachi-6/13/2008-Palacia de Deportes-once again, maybe spoiled by being there. I don’t feel like this match transfered as well to TV, but it was the most brutal women’s match I’ve ever seen. Best story in AAA this year and shouldnt’ be forgotten just because they shit all over it after it happened. I missed the earlier years of this fued, but they layed it all out this night, and I was greatful to be there.
3rd: La Sabra vs. Ephesto-12/7/2008-Arena Mexico-Missed it when it aired but watched based on the reviews. It delivered and I suspect will win or come close here.
4th: Mascarita Dorada, Tsuki, Bam Bam vs Peq Damian 666, Pierrothito, Fire,-3/21/2008-Arena Mexico-Once again, biased by being there, but I think this was the best minis match of the year. Fire is (was?) highly underrated, Tsuki got killed (as always) and they put on an all around great show on a big card.
5th: Gran Prix-7/25/2008-Arena Mexico-Not going to be a popular choice and not going to win. But, it was everything I love in wrestling (mix of styles, great wrestlers from different promotions working together for the first time I get to see) and led to the spectacularly random Alex Shelley interview afterwards. I’d vote for it for that reason alone.
6th: Intocable, Rayman, Super Crazy b Damián 666, Head Hunter II, Mr. Águila-12/7/2008-Sala de Armas de Ciudad Deportiva-This clearly is an irrelevant match since i am currently one of a few thousand people to have seen it. Am I sad to be including a vote for a match with Head Hunter II in it? yes. But, it was great to see Super Crazy work a non-WWE match in Mexico, Intocable got insane heat from the PdM crowd and Aguila and Damian put on a solid show. Once again, I was biased by being there, but this was a fun match, combinging lucha spots, hardcore spots, and just all around fun.
|3) Best Tecnico||1||2||3||Points|
Alan: 1st: Mascarita Dorada-Who was more over as a tecnico?
2nd: Cibernetico-Biggest star in AAA this year (even after leaving).
3rd: Mistico (I’d vote for Maximo as the second most consistently cheered tecnico in Arena Mexico if he could perform and move up higher on the card)
Robert: This award seems to be about as unfair as it was back when La Parka was a tecnico in AAA. Nobody can really contend unless Mistico stays out of action for an extended period of time and this year he was out twice but I can’t think of anyone who stepped in to claim that popularity. Panther was over big before he lost his mask and the crowd loved him even more after the mask loss but it never showed up in attendance. Even in full buildings the crowd would be split for whoever Panther wrestled. With Mistico – when he was around the buildings were pretty much full and the extra fans that came would be 100% pro-Mistico. CMLL could use a few more tecnicos like that. La Sombra is on his way and 2009 may be the year he gives Mistico a run for his money. The only wrestler in AAA that could even compete for this award is La Parka and he’s been in cruise control for years now plus he’s always in situations where he looks stupid which is not the goal of a tecnico.
|4) Best Rudo||1||2||3||Points|
|4||Perro Aguayo Jr.||2||1||2||17|
|9||Dr. Wagner Jr.||1||1||8|
|9||Mini Damian 666||4||8|
1st: Jack Evans-Most interesting rudo in AAA, and has the benefit (or disadvantage) of being part of Konnan’s group)
2nd: Ultimo Guerrero-I’d vote him #1 if it weren’t for the confusion of the Laguneros.
3rd: Hijo del Perro Aguayo-My favorite rudo, but injuries, and his departure from CMLL made this an odd year.
Robert: This was probably the easiest category to vote on. One look at El Zorro and you just want to punch him out. THAT is the perfect rudo. He even manages to keep himself strong in situations where his promotion books him either to be a total loser or even as a semi-tecnico. He may be the one guy around who would have problems if he ever tried to turn tecnico. I’d also like to toss in his rudo promos have always been fantastic which is something one could rarely say about Mexican wrestlers since Pierroth and Satanico stopped cutting their own. I went with Niebla as my second choice because quite frankly on two seperate occasions in two seperate promotions he made competely worthless wrestlers look like super tecnicos in feuds that got huge reactions. I’m of course refering to the dropped Abismo Negro feud in AAA and the on and off feud with Wagner in CMLL. His second appearence at Arena Mexico on 6/20/08 was probably the angle of the year and you just gotta watch the reaction to understand why I put him at #2. My final pick is beyond unfair but how can you not list Konnan? He booked himself at the center of every AAA storyline including the biggest of the year where he stole the ashes of the dead owner. Yes… HE STOLE THE ASHES OF THE DEAD OWNER. So the ranking is more Konnan’s body being involved in all the angles rather than Konnan himself doing anything to stand out. You could run the exact same angles and put Trueno from CMLL in the role and he’d be my #3.
|5) Best Female||1||2||3||Points|
Alan: 1st: Fabi Apache-Voted for a women’s match in the match of the year. Enough said.
2nd: Dark Angel-Spectacular when she isn’t almost breaking her neck.
3rd: Mari Apache-see #1
Robert: I didn’t think Fabi had as good of a year as she did in 2007 so I had to knock her down a spot. The entire Apaches vs Morenos feud never really did anything for me and when it did it was more due to Mari although I thought Fabi carried the singles feud with her sister. Nobody else in AAA even challenges for a spot in the top 3 so I went to CMLL where it was an easy choice between Marcela and Amapola – the two constants of the women’s division. Both had great years but Marcela was far more consistent in my mind and Amapola just plain gives me the creeps with her hair so short.
|6) Best Unit||1||2||3||Points|
|2||Guerreros de la Atlantida||3||1||2||22|
|3||Hijos de Averno||2||3||1||21|
|4||Mini Familia de Tijuana||1||3||14|
|7||Real Fuerza Aerea||1||1||1||10|
|7||Perros del Mal||1||1||1||10|
|9||Sombra, Sagrado, Volador Jr.||1||1||7|
|14||Black Terry, Dr. Cerebro, Cerebro Negro||2||4|
|15||Sombra, Mistico, Volador Jr.||1||3|
|15||Los Space Cadets||1||3|
|18||Euforia & Nosferatu||1||2|
Alan: 1st: Psycho Circus-Fun, wins constantly.
2nd:-Guerreros de Atlantida-Rey and Ultimo would be enough to finish first this year. If they teamed up with Atlantis more often they would win hands down
3rd: Poder Mexica-I think I’m the only person who likes this group
Robert: I really hope enough people have jumped on the bandwagon by this point and Los Oficiales can be rightfully crowned the best unit in Mexico. Thanks to a sudden surge in the amount of IWRG footage available we all got to see them in plenty of great matches where they carried some shitty opponents (Pendulo, Multifacetico), got to work with some fantastic opponents (Freelance, Rey Cometa) and had good matches turn into shockingly great matches (vs Capitan Muerte, Cyborg & Xibalba). It’s the best example of three guys who are on their own doing different gimmicks were pretty much nobodies and together they’ve become a staple of IWRG shows. You always know you’ll be entertained by them and if you even want to look at it from a ‘mark’ perspective – they held both trios titles available in IWRG. Can’t beat Los Oficiales! I racked my brain for a #2 and couldn’t pick any of the regular CMLL groups since they break up too often and any group they have usually only teams for two or three weeks at most until the bookers forget they are an actual group. So I went with the smaller version of the Perros Del Mal who managed to stay together all year and always be entertaining while destroying the tiny tecnicos like Tzuki, Dorada and the not-so-tiny but annoying as hell Bam Bam. There is rarely anything more fun than seeing them being tossed around and taking huge bumps to put the little dudes over until finally grabbing them and getting their revenge. My #3 was the Infernales who didn’t quite get the Arena Coliseo Tag Titles but for my money were the team that looked the best in the tournament and the eventual rematch. It also helps that they stay together in trios matches whereas the actual champs Flash and Stuka Jr. are often in different matches.
|7) Best Promotion||1||2||3||Points|
|6||Todos x el Todos||1||3|
Alan: 1st: CMLL-wish they would have been able to keep things going in the second half of the year, but Perros/Garza, TNA involvement, and Panther demasking were more than AAA delivered this year.
3rd: IWRG-would love to vote for Perros, but they ran one show last year and have shown no signs of staying power.
Robert: Yes… they have their major flaws but perhaps… no… for sure due to the pure amount of footage available CMLL is my pick here. If you hate their Tuesday show – it’s okay, Fridays can be fun. If you had both Tuesday and Friday – there’s always Sunday! So it’s hard to go wrong as even when they make beyond bonehead decisions there is always a match or two so good that it cancels out your frustration at the lack of direction the company has. If anything it’s the same story as it is every year… you should just be frustrated at the fact CMLL can’t get their shit together b/c if they did they just might be unstoppable. Meanwhile IWRG had added exposure this year which turned everyone onto the solid product they were presenting. Naucalpan shows have always been solid with the same formula being used since the late 80’s but with added TV slots and national exposure via TV Azteca we got to see some interesting storylines (Fantasmas vs Jr. Capos anyone?) and more big name talent being brought in to give the shows a little something extra. Combine that with the amazing undercard talent and the fact they are actually allowed to take their time while wrestling and everything seemed cozy for IWRG. Until they lost their TVC show… and then their TV Azteca show… and then stopped bringing in big names. Oh well. Meanwhile another CMLL branch in Puebla benefitted from finally being exposed to the world via PWT! Erm… I mean TVC Deportes! The TV show opened everyone’s eyes to the great undercard talent which is the best thing the city has going for them that puts them miles ahead of Guadalajara and Monterrey. As for AAA… well… I could have ranked at least 20 other promotions/territories INCLUDING DTU and AAA still wouldn’t have even been considered.
|8) Best Rivalry||1||2||3||Points|
|1||Blue Panther vs Villano V||11||3||1||66|
|2||Fabi Apache vs Mari Apache||2||2||3||22|
|3||Bam Bam vs Mini Damian 666||2||4||14|
|4||AAA vs Foreign Legion||1||2||1||13|
|4||Hector Garza vs Perro Aguayo Jr.||2||1||13|
|6||Freelance vs Los Oficiales||1||1||1||10|
|7||Mistico vs Averno||1||1||8|
|8||Vampiro vs Mesias||1||1||7|
|9||Abismo Negro vs Mr. Niebla||2||6|
|9||Oficiales vs Black Terry/Dr. Cerebro/Cerebro Negro||2||6|
|11||Mictlan vs Dragon Rojo||1||5|
|11||Mistico vs Perro Aguayo Jr.||1||5|
|11||Air Force vs Pirates||1||5|
|11||Apaches vs Morenos||1||1||5|
|11||Perros vs CMLL||1||5|
|16||Solar I vs Negro Navarro||2||4|
|17||Cibernetico vs Zorro||1||3|
|17||Crazy Boy vs Joe Lider||1||3|
|19||Zorro vs Mesias vs Chessman vs Cibernetico||1||2|
|19||Sombra vs Ephesto||1||2|
|19||Super Fly vs Electroshock||1||2|
|19||Stuka Jr./Flash vs Euforia/Nosferatu||1||2|
|19||Mistico vs Guerreros del Atalntida||1||2|
Alan: 1st: Hectar Garza vs Perro Aguayo, Jr.-once again biased based on when i started watching lucha. But, this was the only majore fued I think CMLL actually managed to pull off well this year. Great build up to the turn on Garza, followed by a slowish build to the hair match which was pulled off nicely.
2nd: Fabi Apache/Billy Boy vs Mari Apachi/Gran Apache-Once again, I voted for a women’s match for match of the year. If this fued had ended after June 13 instead of having Billy Boy turn later, it would have been a spectacular ending
3rd: Laguneros vs Villanos-I feel like the 75th anniversary show main event needs to at least get mentioned and this is the best way to do it. I know the follow up fued didn’t take off and they dropped it for a few months, but I found the concept interesting. Didn’t get to see much of the first round of it since i was in the states for those months, but I think it could have been/should have been executed better. That being said, I like the idea of rudos from an area coming to a tecnicos defense once had been wronged. And I can’t come up with a whole lot else to put at #3 in the category.
Robert: Technically the Panther/Villano feud began maaaaaaaaaaaaaany years ago and the main portion of this feud started in 2007 but it really exploded in 2008 leading to their mask match and the confusion that stemmed from it. It was interesting to see the two old-school luchadores trying to continue an old-school feud but still working the current CMLL style which can be hard to do. Panther had to fly for the first time in his career! Of course the big moment of the feud was the mask match which delivered on all accounts and provided the most shocking result of the year. The feud is already going full steam ahead in 2009 so they may have a repeat performance a year from now! CMLL’s only other big feud took my #2 spot. It was a bit rushed with the turn coming in February and the hair match just over a month later but it was a really fun time period with weekly off the charts main events including Mistico, Corleone, Averno and Mephisto. Garza and Perrito had a great dynamic together and their hair match was tons of fun. My #3 is another feud that began last year but peaked this year with back-to-back title and hair
matches. These guys work brilliantly together and the two singles matches were both very different showing they can mix things up when needed. Probably had the best feud ender of these three feuds. All I have to say is: RUNNING POWER BOMB FROM THE RING APRON ONTO THE RAMP. Feud… OVER!
|9) Most Improved||1||2||3||Points|
|2||Dragon Rojo Jr.||3||1||1||20|
|3||Hijo del Fantasma||2||2||1||18|
|18||La Parka (Jr.)||1||3|
|18||Hijo de Pirata Morgan||1||3|
|26||Hijo del Faraon||1||2|
|26||Pirata Morgan Jr.||1||2|
Alan: 1st: Dragon Rojo Jr.-The gimick change seemed to get him going.
Robert: I was a pretty big fan of Barrio Boy Alan, especially when he turned rudo. He would have easily been my #1 pick but then he disapeared! Thankfully someone named Gato Eveready came along and became my easy pick for the most improved wrestler. For as good as I thought this Alan fella was, Gato Eveready seems ten times better. He can wrestle… he can fly… the crowd loves him… if he were in any other promotion he’d be in line for a huge push, especially since his gimmick can be one of those staples of a promotion. It’s a shame the promotion he is in sees his gimmick as an embarassment to “serious wrestling”. Push or no push aside, Gato Eveready brings the goods every time he is on television. My #2 is Hijo Del Texano who really began to shine after turning rudo in 2007 but it was in 2008 where he started to get some main event work and really showed he has the potential to be CMLL Heavyweight Champion one day and perhaps the rudo who leads a group and every tecnico is chasing down to have a hair match with. I put Mistico at #3 which could be a little favortism but I thought his first half of the year was fantastic after a very slow end of the year in 2007 and after returning from his shoulder injury late in the year he stepped up his game big time including adding plenty of new moves to his already large repertoire.
|10) Most Underutilized||1||2||3||Points|
|3||Hijo del Santo||3||15|
|10||Asesino Negro Jr.||1||5|
|24||Mini Abismo Negro||1||2|
Alan: 1st: Hijo del Santo-I know its mostly his choice, but I haven’t seen him in a year in Mexico. That’s a shame.
2nd Tsuki-He’s aging, he’s banged up, he can’t quite go like you want him to. But I want to see him get tossed around in every minis match and he doesn’t.
3rd: Ephesto-Ignored for 9 months, shined when given a chance.
Robert: This is probably the 10th straight year Virus has been in my top 3 for this award which can’t be a good sign for the poor guy. He’ll just never get a break it seems. He finally seemed to break through this year working some semi-main events but that only seemed to be when the cards were thin to begin with. He’s got the ability and he’s got the charisma… I just don’t think CMLL thinks it’s credible to have him working opposite guys like Corleone, Dos Caras Jr. and Shocker. Don’t ask me why – I don’t book the company! If I did I’d have him teaming with Euforia and Nosferatu as the new Infernales and they’d be regularly semi-main eventing and contending for some trios titles. Sadly, I’ve already penciled Virus in for my February 2010 voting. My #2 is Mascarita Dorada. At first I thought he’d get a huge push. Then I thought CMLL would waste him after his debut was in an unaired Arena Coliseo opening match. Then he began to get some TV time, was very impressive and he even got a few big wins while establishing a crowd connection which made me very happy. But nothing seemed to change since then. He took a backseat to the Bam Bam/Pequeno Damian feud and sometimes goes weeks on end with no DF bookings. CMLL needs to committ to him as the star of the mini’s division. He needs a title and a big feud heading into the summer. He can do for the division what Mascarita Sagrada did in the early 90’s and incorporate them into the main storylines as well as make them attractions when CMLL tours instead of just undercard filler. He’s definitely not being underutilized like Virus but there is just so much more to what CMLL can do with him. My final choice is Aero Star who seemed to be breaking out from August to October but then his push absolutely died a horrible death. He has the ability to be the small tecnico who works the big matches and blows everyone away with his flying to distract from how awful the main events usually are. He shouldn’t be wasting away in undercard matches. If anything Konnan should realize this after working with Rey Jr. for so long. Aero Star’s style is what is missing from AAA main events. He certainly deserves it more than Super Fly who has been beyond killed off by this point. Honorable mention in this category to Efesto who is stuck in the shadow of his Triad partners.