Today is CMLL’s seventh annual bodybuilding contest. Anyone who trains with CMLL can enter, so it’ll be a collection of CMLL and a few outsiders. There’s usually a minis, woman (won every year by Dark Angel), and three levels of men’s categories. They added a ‘student’ class last year. No one seems clear about how people get separated into different classes – Astral & Electrico has appeared in the regular men’s groups, Puebla’s Asturiano was a mini last year – and no one really seems to understand the judging criteria. By the end of the afternoon, CMLL will have five winners and two or three people loudly complaining about the whole thing being fixed. There also will probably be one or two people who’s bodies are their main distinctions who won’t participate and giving a lame reason why.
Luchadors have been getting into bodybuilding shape for months, but it really stood out to me how slimmed down some of them are watching last week’s TV. Valiente looked tiny on this week’s CadenaTres for one. We’ve often talked about how winning the bodybuilding contest is a stepping stone for a strong push from the programming department. That’s not a hard rule – Polvora’s rise from random opening match guy to world champion started right after he won one year, but Valiente has mostly drifted after winning this past year. More generally, just entering shows a dedication that CMLL wants out of it’s wrestlers. Most people in the contest surely know they’re not going win, but are trying to show they’re making an effort in hopes someone makes an effort to use them.
Last year’s winners were Picudo Jr. in the student division, Pequeno Olimpico in the minis, Dark Angel of course the women’s winner, Soberano Jr. in the beginner class, Electrico in the intermediate class and Valiente the advanced winner. Electrico is not expected to participate this year, as he’s still coming back from his broken leg.
the long bit about Pantera I and being a liar
A week ago, I wrote about a couple videos featuring Pantera I. I thought they were odd because
a) no one’s heard from Pantera in a couple decades until the last few months
b) Pantera I was supposed to be dead
I was hoping someone would chime in with more info. Humberto did pointing out Pantera I’s Facebook page, which is actually worth checking out even if you don’t care about any of this for the neat pictures of 80s and early 90s lucha. Rob helped by tracking down a mention in the Observer from 1998, when AAA briefly included their own Pantera, upsetting family of the original one ‘who has been dead for 11 years’. (I believe there’s another reference to Pantera’s death in a Lucha Libre Weekly, which would’ve been pulled from the magazines from the early 90s, but I haven’t been able to track it down.) The pictures on Pantera I’s page are convincing enough that I’m leaning towards this being a translation issue – there are reasons why a person might not be seen in the ring in many years, after all. I’m still not sure of any answer, but I’ve learned more than I knew a week ago.
The one place I was not expecting to get feedback from was the weekly Kin Taniya column in this week’s SuperLuchas! (It’s a good magazine, and I like it no matter what you’re going to read the rest of the way.) There’s two things that bugged me right away: he took what I said out of context, and he responded in a magazine article instead of the 20 different ways people have to actually contact me directlly. I can’t do any better on the second, because his column doesn’t include any way to respond to him but like this, but I can at least make sure you get his context by quoting him:
Leí en la red una polémica relativa a Pantera I, que si estaba muerto, que si andaba de juerga; la única verdad que Kin Taniya sabe al respecto es que Pantera I hacía pareja con Pantera II. Se retira el I y el II se queda con el nombre, mismo que paseó por Japón, WWF, AAA, CMLL, etc., etc. El Pantera I recién regresa a la actividad, pero en su ausencia algunos marks lo dieron por muerto y propagaron en la red esa versión sin fundamentos. Y no sólo eso: resulta que sujeto, al que aseguran muerto, salió en internet dando una entrevista aludiendo a que por fin está de regreso, y hasta mostró documento del Indautor que lo avala como Pantera I. Pero ya lo hacían muerto y ahora hasta especulan que su hermano está poniendo a otro tras la máscara. Es decir, es más fácil inventar más y más mentiras, llenar a los fanáticos la cabeza con especulaciones, que poner en tela de juicio mi propia verdad, mi versión. Marks es lo que son.
Moraleja: no creas nunca, nunca, en los marks de internet, hasta que alguien que sí conozca el medio de la lucha libre, incluyendo en este rubro a los medios serios y especializados como SUPER LUCHAS, lo confirme. El mismo relajo se traen en su famosa Wiki, con el tema los Máscaras Sagradas y otros personajes; creen tener un seguimiento de quien los ha encarnado, pero la verdad es que sólo se enteran por chismes y suposiciones de terceros. Escriben como si tuvieran la verdad absoluta, pero en la lucha libre, que como toda expresión creativa está llena de subjetividad, no hay tal verdad. La verdad no se posee, se construye día a día.
I’ve been this blog for nine years now. If you think I’m a lying liar who just makes up things, because I didn’t automatically take what a luchador said about his past at fake value, or because I said Averno had signed with WWE and he’s still never been there, or because of some typo I make in this or other post, or some fact I haven’t cleaned up on the luchawiki, that’s your right. I’d like to point the body of work you can find over in the archives in my defense. I think I could do a better job, but I try not to be malicious and I know I’m not making stuff up. I spend way too much time on this to be screwing it up like that.
I do not like being called a liar, but that’s actually not the part that bugs me. It’s the section where Kin states the only people you should trust are people like him who are on the ‘inside’ like himself, Superluchas and other people like them. This is absurd! You should never trust a group of people just based on some self conferred badge of authority, people who write for lucha libre magazines definitely included. There are some fantastic people who write well researched pieces in lucha libre magazines – Ernesto’s recent series about the pre-EMLL history of lucha libre in Mexico was definitely that – and there people at the other end of the spectrum who really are making up stuff and would probably have no problem admitting it if you asked them politely enough. (As far as I know, they don’t work for SuperLuchas.) In the middle of that, there are people who are carefully telling the truth in parts and leaving off what they’d prefer not known in other parts, and there are people coming up with cover blurbs which deceive about the contents inside. You can’t throw a blanket over all these people and call them one thing, because they’re all not doing the same thing. The one thing they share in common is they’re all writing for lucha libre magazines, and the goal of a lucha libre magazine is to be able to put out next week’s issue. Truth is part of that, but there are non-truth elements that make for a better magazine when you’re writing about fictional battles for mass consumption.
The idea that fans can’t be trust among themselves with precious info about lucha libre is just as crazy. The majority of wrestling fans I’ve interacted with are smart people who just want to go to a show or watch in on TV and have a good time, but are stuck with a fandom that’s built around deception and can’t quite figure out where to stop with that. There are some nice luchadors and kind promoters, but fans relying on any kind of wrestling promotion to care about their fans as much as they care about themselves are fools. Fans have to take care of each other.
I try to write as an educated fan and for educated fans. I don’t claim to know everything (I claim ‘I dunno’ an awful lot), but I hope you can trust I have no other agenda other than trying to figure stuff out. That’s not what the magazines are really there for. You make your own judgements about who to trust, don’t let someone else decide for you.
Things I did like in the column:
– The luchawiki is referred to as famous! Having seen the Google stats, I definitely would not have thought that. (Same thing applies for this site.) The daily views here would make for a poor Arena Mexico show.
– a lucha libre column actually took a strong viewpoint on something! I’m pretty sure 99% of them are ‘this is a thing that is happening, it might be good, it might be bad, we’ll have to wait and see’ and ‘this is someone I think is great, isn’t he great, we should all appreciate how great he is’. I mean, I would definitely prefer if the opinionated columns didn’t trash projects I’ve been working on for a decade, but I’m thrilled someone took a side on something.
AAA will have a QPPLC press conference tomorrow, talking about the final in Mexico City next week. A busy week for AAA press conferences!
PorraFresa Puebla celebrates four years.
Photos from Fenix’s trip to Japan.
CMLL (TUE) 12/04/2012 Arena Mexico
1) Bengala & Höruz vs Camorra & Inquisidor
2) Leono, Molotov, Tigre Blanco vs Bobby Zavala, Disturbio, Hijo del Signo
3) Dark Angel, Estrellita, Luna Mágica vs Princesa Blanca, Princesa Sugheit, Tiffany
4) Diamante vs Vangelis [lightning]
5) La Máscara, Marco Corleone, Valiente vs Tama Tonga, Terrible, Tiger
6) Niebla Roja & Último Guerrero vs Pólvora & Rey Escorpión
Maybe CMLL is doing the big year end show on a Tuesday! (They are probably not. Polvora vs Niebla Roja for the title is not of the question though.)
Estrellita’s first appearance as champ.
CMLL (TUE) 12/04/2012 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) El Divino & Sky Kid vs Èvola & Thunder Boy
2) Leo & Metatrón vs Exterminador & Magnum
3) Cancerbero, Raziel, Virus vs Arkángel de la Muerte, Hooligan, Skándalo
4) Rey Cometa, Sagrado, Triton vs Namajague, Puma, Shigeo Okumura
5) Ángel de Oro, La Sombra, Titán vs Dragón Rojo Jr., Negro Casas, Psicosis
Main event is a rematch, though not sure what feud they’re doing. More Puma/Cometa, more Cancerberos vs Tuareg.
indy (SUN) 12/09/2012 Arena GALLI, Villa Park
1) Matt Creed & Tom Heisman vs Calvin Beckham & Funebre
2) Bandolero, Golden Dragon, Rey Fuego vs Gpa, Mike Anthony, Mojo Mcqueen
3) Atomico & Furia Roja vs Dark Scorpion & El Traidor
4) Ripper vs Dante Dvs [strap match]
5) Acid Jazz, Marshe Rockett, Negrotistico, Willie Richardson vs Jake Shining, Jon Morales, Mason Conrad, Matt Knicks
6) Emperador Azteca vs Discovery [NWA MEXICO LLIGHT]
Discovery is champion