top six stories of the last two weeks

  1. AAA returned back to taping after a long break. Their tapings in Mexico City and Tuxtla focused on the final built to this upcoming Sunday’s Guerra de Titanes. Texano Jr. defeated El Patron Alberto in a street fight; despite the debut of Ricardo Rodriguez, Perro Jr. was enough to help champion Texano win before he defends his title against Alberto this weekend. The tag title match between champions Angelico & Jack Evans, Perros del Mal challengers Pentagon Jr. & Joe Lider and Reyes del Aire challengers Myzteziz & Fenix is being pushed as the second biggest match on the show and a title change seems likely there as well. The Hell Brothers continue to feud with the Psycho Circus, but that’s been pushed into the background a bit by Konnan rudely demanding Ciberentico and his crew join La Sociedad by this weekend or else and Cibernetico laughing off the threats. It seems highly unlikely the tweener Hell Brothers are going to join the rudo faction, but it also seems the most likely spot for big faction changing angle (which AAA has done the last few years on this show.) Ivelisse made her debut on these shows. She’s a tecnica here and feuding with ruda Sexy Star, the opposite of their Lucha Underground roles.
  2. The DF taping was surprisingly aired on a free stream with almost no notice. The stream went fine, leading me to believe Guerra de Titanes would be on iPPV. However, it’s Wednesday and there’s no hint of a streaming show, so who knows. The Guerra de Titanes show will air on PPV, and won’t air on TV until sometime in 2015.
  3. CMLL’s Inferino en el Ring is a show that’s happening with not much excitement. It’s a ten man cage match that was hurt a lot by losing it’s most compelling luchador (Rush) due to injury, but the rest of the build has been uninspiring: just a lot of people who simultaneous decided to start challenging for hair matches, and a situation where someone who’s in main events but not treated like a big star (Felino, Rey Bucanero) is expected to lose. This seems to be a test of Ultimo Guerrero’s drawing power. He’s been pushed as the top guy since the Anniversary show, but outside of that mask loss and the two Dia Los Muertos themed shows, Guerrero has not seemed to affect attendances. CMLL compounded the problems by adding nothing of substance to the card, just a bunch of interchangeable trios matches. The cage match should have some highlights – Barbaro Cavernario has built a year off of jumping of high places and a Snuka top of the cage splash seems very likely – but there are already better looking CMLL cards this month.
  4. CMLL and NJPW announced the FantasticaMania tour: Atlantis, Último Guerrero, La Sombra, Volador Jr., Místico, Gran Guerrero, Mr. Niebla, Bárbaro Cavernario, Máscara Dorada, Pólvora, Mephisto, Okumura, Ángel de Oro, Stuka Jr., Rey Cometa, Triton and Stigma. Stigma is a surprise inclusion but he’s the nephew of Black Cat, who’s always honored on this tour, so that may be the rationale. Atlantis vs Ultimo Gurerero and La Sombra vs Volador are expected to take place on the tour, likely the Korakuen Hall shows (which will air live on the NJPWWorld platform.)
  5. Recent Lucha Underground episodes have focused on the Prince Puma/Johnny Mundo/Big Ryck triangle, with Puma apparently choosing not to help Mundo against Ryck and Mundo accidentally hitting Puma with a chair. King Cuerno debuted and is feuding with Drago. Lucha Underground continues to draw in the 15-20K range on El Rey and 180-200K range on Unimas. A couple of the luchadors were guests at the Latin Grammys.
  6. La Mascara was declared Mr. CMLL 2014, winning the annual bodybuilding contest. All 3 Ingobernables – Sombra, Rush and Mascara – are winners of this competition. Many jokes were made about a Brazo winning a bodybuilding contest; Mascara reminded people that his father and uncles were lightweights at the start of their careers and he himself would get fat soon enough. Dark Angel won the women’s competition (now 8 of 9 years; last year’s winner Dalys pulled out and said it was due to health issues.)
  • Rush underwent surgery on his broken leg, and his return date was pushed back to February.
  • Apolo Dantes announced he was no longer in charge of Arena Coliseo Guadalajara. No one’s said what happened or who’s in charge now; CMLL’s not acknowledged any change.
  • CMLL stripped Mistico of the Welterweight Championship, then announced a tournament in late December for the vacant title (by which time Mistico will probably be back.)
  • CMLL Sunday shows have pushed a Soberano Jr. & Star Jr. vs Cholo & Ramstein, which looks to be a quick feud to set up the annual New Years week apuesta match (and where the long time opening match rudos would be expected to lose.)
  • CMLL announced they would be expanding weekly lineup to include “Sabado Popular” shows, which will feature trainees/young luchadors for cheap tickets at Arena Coliseo. The first show will take place 12/20 and a card is expected to be announced shortly. It’s unclear how often these shows will happen and if they’ll be recorded.
  • The most recent ChilangaMask show pushed a CMLL versus Indy feud with a draw in the main event and a brawl.
  • The upcoming Lucha Memes show includes a Negro Navarro & Que Monito versus Black Terry & Zacarias where only submissions or pinfalls by (or including) the mascot count.
  • Mephisto defeated Valiente in a Mexican Light Heavyweight Championship match for the fourth time. Matches have all said to be good.
  • I finally got to see the IWRG Ninja Turtles. There were a spot where they were dropped on their back and could not get up, because they are turtles. That was good.