Fantasma rips CMLL, Traumas too much for medics, Rush/Tonga

photo by Black Terry Jr.

IWRG (THU) 10/31/2013 Arena Naucalpan [Black Terry Jr. (flickr), Estrellas del Ring]
1) Látigo b Zurdog
2) Araña de Plata & Electro Boy b Emperador Azteca & Hip Hop Man
Hip Hop Man, from 100% Lucha in Argentina, made his debut here in a loss.
3) Canis Lupus, Imposible, Picudo Jr. b Bugambilia, Diva Salvaje, Veneno
4) Trauma I & Trauma II b El Hijo del Medico Asesino & Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. [IWRG IC TAG]
Traumas came in as champions and took falls 1/3. Wagner stole Trauma 2’s mask in the third to pin him, but Medico was hurt after a Trauma dive. The real IWRG doctor ruled Medico unable to contonuie, and Trauma I beat Wagner to keep the titles. econd defense
5) Eterno, Fuerza Guerrera, X-Fly b Dr. Cerebro, Extreme Tiger, Relámpago

Alfredo has a recap of this week’s Tercera Caida, including Veneno being Veneno and Fantasma talking about his problems with CMLL.  If you want a lot more detail on the later, you really ought to check out Fantasma’s after the show chat with the hosts. Fantasma does not hold back much in that, and it’s a 17 minute video that probably could’ve gone 30. (There are a couple edits, so maybe it did!) Rob called it a lucha libre shoot interview and it was pretty much as close as you’re going to get

You’re (always) better watching yourself and not relying on me to translate conversations, but pieces of note

  • CMLL morale is generally bad – they have no hope of advancing because the office doesn’t even watch the matches and the people running the shows leave before they’re over.
  • Lots of CMLL people say they want to jump, but don’t have the guts to do it when it comes to it.
  • CMLL lets people go to the ring drunk or high.
  • Very critical of a certain wrestler going from opening matches to main events over night, skipping over a lot of deserving person, but it helps to be someone’s “brother”. (Fantasma said it in quotes, more or less.)
  • Points at favoritism when it comes to Japan/FantasticaMania bookings. Felt CMLL had Fantasma work with all the Japanese wrestlers when they came in and the Japanese guys always liked him, and the CMLL guys would always tell him he’d be going but it’d turn out someone else would go.
  • Praise for many people he now gets to work with in AAA. (He’s the mystery guy in Tonala, and also excited for the Queretaro match.)
  • CMLL opening matches can’t touch AAA opening matches.

On one of those points: Now that the Anniversary show is long past, the Gran Guerrero push Fantasma is refereeing to really sticks out as a horrible case of nepotism. It made a little sense to introduce and push him hard if CMLL was laying the groundwork for some Guerrero Switch during an Atlantis/Ultimo Guerrero mask match, but that was never even teased as happening and now that mask match is TBD. Gran Guerrero is arguably the second worst rudo being pushed near the top (similar nepotism champion Pierroth has first placed locked up), and unarguably not at the level of Euforia & Niebla Roja, guys who’s spots he’s taking. Gran Guerrero isn’t hopeless, but he’s nowhere near ready for the spot they’ve put him in, doesn’t help his team, doesn’t help his opponents look good, doesn’t have any particular charisma or any other attribute to help him stand out. (In this case, even Mistico II is better, because they can at least try to the ‘special charisma’ case. Gran Guerrero is just a guy.) There’s absolutely no reason Gran Guerrero should be in the spot he’s in besides he’s the “brother” of a guy who has power and gets to do whatever he wants. It’s not good for CMLL, it’s not good for the other luchadors and it’s not good for the fans, but none of those things matter much to the people in charge.

The bit about people in charge leaving before shows are over and no one watching the matches is a pretty strong shot at CMLL (but also one that appears to be true.) Luchadors going to the ring in no condition is not news if you see certain main events (and people who get brought back time after time), but there usually an omerta-like silence in Mexico about drug and alcohol usage near lucha libre. It stands out when luchadors are actually willing to talk about it.

I don’t know if there will be a lot of blow back about this; none of the CMLL office use the internet, and this part of the interview only aired on the internet. Some will still get back to them, but CMLL’s pretty unaffected by criticism – even this past week, Ultimo Guerrero appeared in SuperLuchas critical of people chanting fraude for the Anniversary show because the rules were announced but not addressing the underlining problem which led to that unhappiness.

(Bonus person taking a shot at CMLL.)

CMLL’s main event tonight is Rush vs Tama Tonga, which seemed like it might also be the year end hair match main event. Howerver, it also seems way too soon for Tama to lose his hair in Mexico (not to mention where he is in NJPW) and it’s really not been as hot as Rush’s other feuds so far. The Dalys and Marcela feud goes on and on (and is probably in line for their own hair match challenges now.) Sombra and Volador also meet up yet again in the semifinal.

Shocker says he’s working today and in Puebla on Monday. Later, he remembered he’s also working Coliseo on Sunday and Guadalajara on Tuesday. Hooray.

CMLL may to have joined the Seguro Popular public health insurance program.  That’s the one AAA signed up for earlier this year and Daniel Aceves works with, but the article is so short that it’s not clear if CMLL actually became part of the program or if they simply put on a show to promote the program and gave the person in charge a title belt.

AAA teases the upcoming debut of Ludxor & Venum.

AAA will hold matches at a horror film festival. Psycho Circus appeared at the press conference to announce it.

A local lightweight tournament in Cuernavaca ended with Dr. Maldad defeating Kid Power by forfeit when Power was injured before the match. Unlike some other locales, they found a new challenger and still had a title match (which Maldad won in straight falls.)

Bombero Infernal and Tony Rivera talk about their hair match on Sunday.

Sadica brags about taking Bugmabilia’s hair for her fans.

Arena Queretaro has posted Marco Corleone’s medical note from the commission to explain why he wasn’t on their show this week. Probably wouldn’t need to resort to such things if CMLL would just announce when people are injured.

There’s a controversy over masks being given out at a this weekend at Washington State football game, with a student group claiming the masks are “culturally insensitive and demonstrate cultural appropriation at an institutional level” and “a marketing gimmick”. (Well, yes, that’s the point of lucha libre masks to start with.)

Lucha Libre in Japan

Andy Wu has left Queretaro and is with Wrestle-1. Pantera was supposed to go with him to wrestle on the shows, but won’t for whatever reason and Hijo del Pantera will replace him.

Wrestle-1 is also promoting an AJ Styles versus Seiya Sanada match. It’s listed as non-title, but you can probably already have a good guess at the Mesias/Styles Tonala result. (The ‘fun’ part of Mesias being the one getting this shot is English language websites listing him as ‘Judas Mesias’, a name from his unsuccessfully TNA run, instead of either name he actually is currently using.)

7 thoughts on “Fantasma rips CMLL, Traumas too much for medics, Rush/Tonga

  1. How can morale in CMLL not be low? When people like Pierroth and Thunder are getting pushed to the moon with zero talent or ability. And especially when your’e getting less than 1,000 fans to some shows it has to be completely demoralizing. Is there like a timeline of when the unhappiness in CMLL started? Would it be after Mistico left?

  2. Fantasma’s pot calling Taurus’ kettle black is pretty funny.

    Hope he realizes he will likely be losing his Triplemania booking to Black Pain or Canek.

    Unless AAA turn him so that Texano can get another title defense in without ever facing any of the top guys.

    (Is it preferable to let people perform drunk and ignore it, or to let them perform drunk and then make a big deal out of lying about it? Maybe just ignoring it worse, but by enough to be a significant point of difference?)

    Outisde of Thunder I can’t think of any CMLL technicos who were pushed ahead of Fantasma who deserve it less. La Mascara, maybe?
    Shocker might be a mess, but he still is a thousand times more interesting in-ring.

    For every Thunder, Pierroth or Gan Guerrero who got ahead of Fantasma the wrong way, there’s a Rey Escorpion, Titan, or Euforia who got ahead of him the right way.

  3. Addendum:
    Can’t help feeling that if CMLL only did 1 to 4 TV tapings/big shows per month, they would have MUCH higher quality opening matches than they currently do.

  4. Five years ago, a new wrestler came to CMLL. He never had to work his way up from the undercard, he debuted right away in the midcard teaming with Mascara and Valiente. Just two months after his CMLL debut, he became world trios champ. One year later, he was a two time world trios champ and a world middleweight champ. The name of the guy? Hijo del Fantasma, the commissioner’s son.

    Yes, Hijo del Fantasma is right, CMLL is full of problems, and favoritism sucks. But his CMLL career started with two years of favoritism in his favor. He’s a hypocrite.

  5. “Can’t help feeling that if CMLL only did 1 to 4 TV tapings/big shows per month, they would have MUCH higher quality opening matches than they currently do.”

    I’ve gone on both sides of this (entirely geeky, mostly beside the point) argument the last 24 hours.

    AAA definitely has an advantage by only doing one taping for about every 3-6 CMLL shows. You can even point to the some of the Fusion shows to showcase how AAA might look if they ran a more CMLL schedule – AAA’s run a lot of solid mixed tags, but if they had to spread out their roster for more shows, they’d also end up with more Bugambilia/Jarochita vs Dama de Hierro/Nemesis openers and that’s not far off CMLL primeras.

    On the the other hand: the guys in the CMLL opening match are clearly being told to do as little as possible. It’s gone beyond the no (or almost) topes/plancha suicidas ban in the first two matches, the opening tag match has devolved to working the same script every night.

    (One series with both pairs, tecnicos take the first fall after about a minute into the second series, rudos take over in the second over the most minor counter move possible and take fall two, tecnicos rally off a corner whip and either win soon after or lose soon after.)

    It’s not even the sequence events, it’s a reluctance/inability/dissuasion of the luchadors to try something new or interesting – mostly by design. Meanwhile, the AAA openers often include guys about killing themselves to try crazy things in the hopes of being noticed. AAA encourages better matches, CMLL discourages them, and so it’s hard to give CMLL extra credit for something they clearly don’t want. CMLL’s openers are worse not because they have to do more of them, but because CMLL doesn’t want them to be any good.

    (This is a change. I wonder if the breaking point was Cholo’s knee injury?)

    In Fantasma defense, because why not, Fantasma argued for a more merit based system and by merit he belonged to be in the mix he ended up with. There are definite arguments for him having started in the openers and other people getting the titles he got, but ’08 Fantasma was not Gran Guerrero – he put on a performance at the level of the other luchadors he was grouped in with and did not feel like he didn’t belong. Even in that Kid’s Day match, with five guys who were really great at the moment, Fantasma came up to their level. Fantasma very well might have gotten his chance because of who he was, but proved himself with that opportunity.

  6. The thing with Fantasma (or anyone else anywhere that jumps to a rival company) is that everywhere you go there are politics/favorites that might not necessarily deserve the spot they have. It happens in every job everywhere, not just wrestling. Fantasma might get a good shove right now fresh off the jump, but if/when Wagner/Park return he will be pushed down the card. What if Perrito/Ciber level guys don’t want to work with him/put him over?
    The bottom line is this – if Fantasma thinks there is more money & opportunity in AAA, then it was in his best interest to jump. Will it payoff for the best long term? No one knows yet, it’ll have to play out.

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