All the problems I have with Mascara Dorada going to NJPW, enumerated

I’m happy for Mascara Dorada. There’s a lot of complaining to follow, but it doesn’t change that I’m happy for Mascara Dorada.

  1. I was totally shocked by it. I’m not sure if you could tell on Twitter, I kept it pretty chill

but it caught me slightly off guard. Seriously, when I saw Sugibayashi in the ring for Dorada’s enterance, I joked to myself they were giving Mascara Dorada an award for being awesome, and then I heard the crowd cheer and saw the red jacket and I knew it was sad times.

Voice of Wrestling’s eBook pointed out Mascara Dorada actually had more matches in NJPW than some guys thought of as “full time” foreigners and I had been told Dorada really likes Japan, so it’s not like there were no signs. Still, usually everyone starts to hear the drumbeat of that sort of move for months before it happens. There were rumors for months before Dos Caras Jr. left for WWE. It wasn’t clear Mistico was going for WWE, but he was clearly unhappy the last six months before he left and it felt like some change needed to happen. Mascara Dorada did very little in CMLL in 2014, but it’s CMLL so you can say that about dozens of people who are used in main events and it didn’t stick out. (Terrible’s 2014: … ) Dorada winning the Welterweight title was the greatest fake out ever, getting hopes up for a better run in 2015 CMLL, only for it to turn out to actually be the end.

Three months from now, it’s just going to be a thing that happened. So far, the emotions went shock -> confusion -> distraction (match was good) -> anger -> high levels of cynicism (so back to normal.)

  1. I’m doubtful Mascara Dorada’s actually coming back to CMLL in 2016. Look, I didn’t know Dorada was going so I surely don’t know what’s going to happen 12 months from now. I’m also skeptical any decision has been made today that can’t just be reversed down the line. My hunch is Mascara Dorada is going to remain great, NJPW is going to like him, and NJPW’s going to continue want to employ him. The only questions are if Mascara Dorada will be comfortable living away from home for long stretches and if NJPW can keep Dorada without damaging their relationship with CMLL. NJPW seems to have a lot of the power in the relationship and CMLL acts like they can find another exciting flyer any time they want, so this may not be as big an obstacle as it seems.

I also kind of expect Dorada to work as much in Mexico between tours as Ricky Marvin did when he was with NOAH – as in rarely. Dr. Wagner Jr.’s own stint with NJPW, where he worked sometimes in CMLL but was obviously taking it down a few notches and saving himself for Japan, might also be a good comparison. Dorada will be back wrestling in Mexico at some point – the 2040 version of the Leyendas Inmortales show will be so weird, yet still have Canek on top – but sticking around in Japan primarily for many years seems likely.

(I could also be completely wrong and Dorada’s a big part of Dos Leyendas 2016. I hope he gets to work where ever he wants to work.)

  1. I’m doubtful is any sort of trade and CMLL will be getting anything (we see) in exchange for ‘loaning’ Dorada. The story I was told CMLL was getting NJPW regulars prior and it stopped because CMLL didn’t want to to take any more NJPW wrestlers. CMLL didn’t need to loan out Dorada to restart that, they just needed to turn the faucet back on. Not everyone is going to be available when they want them and sometimes they’re going to be handed Yujiro, but CMLL didn’t need to trade a luchador to improve that situation.

(It’s probably moot, but I’m not sure Mascara Dorada was actaully under contract for CMLL to bargin with. Few people are, and Dorada’s 2014 didn’t indicate he was one of those few people. NJPW would still want to work out a deal just to keep the greater relationship going, but CMLL might have not had great leverage.)

CMLL’s been mostly quiet on this whole situation. The only mentions that Dorada is gone has been a short discussion on CMLL Informa (when it was the last news item they had time for) and a brief blurb on CMLL’s Facebook. They’re not sweeping this under the rug, but they’re not reacting it like the beginning of a bigger deal between NJPW and CMLL or even promoted it much as a big deal. It’s less important than Mistico, it’s less important than Zeuxis winning the 2nd (or 3rd) most important women’s title.

CMLL’s shown a willingness to sell their matches to any TV outlet who will pay them (and then maybe they’ll remember to take the money.) CMLL’s sold championships to people in the past (Ultimo Dragon). Why wouldn’t they do the same with their wrestlers? If there was a deal here, a money deal fits CMLL’s goals the best.

  1. CMLL is awful and boring and awfully boring the last month or so. Finding out a guy who’s entertaining is leaving a promotion that’s struggling to be entertaining is no bueno. Rey Bucanero, diminished from his great peak, has been the lead rudo the last couple months. CMLL’s treated Olimpico remembering he had an Egyptian gimmick as a big deal and it almost is because there’s so little else. (Weird they’re both old partners of Ultimo Guerrero.) CMLL decided to build a faction around the lacking Comandante Pierroth (and then had them lose in their first official match of their team.) There’s very transparent cronyism and nepotism going on and that would still be fine if they were having any good. There’s plenty of stuff carried over from previous months that’s been run into the ground by this point – I’d be very happy to never see a Ingobernable vs Peste Negra or Guerreros match again. I think the people in the matches feel the same way, because they’ve all looked so bored. The vacations have made caused guys like Super Porky and Shocker appear on seemingly every show, and they’re not great TV acts to see three times a week. Even the one big new thing they tried – Star/Soberano vs Cholo/Ramstein – completely fell apart at the end because Ramstein wasn’t up to the task. That seems like something the people in charge should’ve known before booking the match, but the reality is it was probably more about getting those rudos the payoff than delivering a good product.

There’s so much CMLL product that there are always problems somewhere, but there’s frequently been good midcard stuff to counter it. There has been this time too, but Titan/Cavernario was a Sabado Retros match which only existed in still pictures for most. Heck, if the Friday Guadalajara shows were airing instead of some of the other stuff, at least we’d have weird/unusual stuff to watch instead of the same people and the same matches.

That’s even putting aside the TV presentation problems (which are many, and getting worse, but not new.) Maybe February will click in and they’ll start trying again, though CMLL is so talent rich they should be able to put together good matches even without even trying. Maybe Rush will come back and things will just be on again, though CMLL has so many depth that one person shouldn’t make such a dramatic difference.

I don’t want to act like an entitled fanboy – that was sort of what I was getting at last month – but I think the promotion has been objectively poor for a while, poor than expected. A poor stretch of product combined with one of their brighter stars looking elsewhere is a depressing situation.

  1. a luchador shouldn’t have to go to Japan full time to improve and make more money. Mascara Dorada is going to do both, and that’s a pretty significant condemnation of CMLL. CMLL runs so many more shows, probably draws a significant more people than NJPW, and yet all but many a couple people are going to make more money in NJPW. NJPW pulls it off because totally different economics, but they also work so much harder at making money and benefit from the work. CMLL benefits greatly from the mystique of Arena Mexico and being the default (if not actual) biggest lucha promotion in Mexico – if they ever lost that, and lost the ability to pay people peanuts for the honor of working in CMLL, they’d have a serious disability in recruiting talent.

I could see the upside of Sombra or Rush ending up in NJPW for a long time. They’ve been decided they want to be heavyweight wrestlers, there are few heavyweight wrestlers they can learn from in Mexico, there are many different heavyweight wrestlers they could be exposed to in Japan, it’s obvious they’d pick up aspects if they were in Japan for a while. Mascara Dorada is a high flying “junior heavyweight” – he’s going to pick up things from working out with the Japanese guys he works out every day, he’s going to learn from the US guys he would have never otherwise faces – but Mascara Dorada is already pretty good and already filled his role in CMLL pretty well. He will gain, but he didn’t need to gain much already. Dorada just needed to be pushed (in all uses of that word) and nothing he’s going to pick up in NJPW is going to get him pushed any more or less.

There’s a thread on PWO debating if CMLL or NJPW is the better promotion. You can argue that on aesthetics, but a guy who actually had that specific choice between the two definitely picked one over the other. Dorada is spending a year in NJPW because it’s better for him to wrestle an ocean away from where his family lives. It doesn’t seem particularly close.

(Also, hand to god, it’s possible to bring good wrestlers to CMLL if that’s what CMLL wanted to expose wrestlers to new styles. Not just NJPW guys either. Most wrestlers accept cash in exchange for work if you want to offer it. But most outside wrestlers aren’t going to take a huge paycut just for the honor of working Arena Mexico either.)

CMLL’s slogan is “el mejor de lucha libre en el mundo”. CMLL comes off as something less than the best wrestling in the world, but something more akin to a minor league promotion. This is not news, it’s made very clear every time a CMLL wrestler turns up for an interview in a NJPW logo shirt. Minor league promotions can be fun, but CMLL should aspire to be more than a minor league promotion. Mascara Dorada aspired to be more than a star for a minor league promotion and I’m happy for him.

Mistico in Arena Mexico, Myzteziz in Arena Naucalpan

Tonight’s Mistico’s return to Arena Mexico, his first match there since being hit by a car in May. The full match is Mistico, Volador and Maximo (two of the most popular tecnicos) vs Ultimo Warrior Guerrero, Terrible and Rey Bucanero. It’s no coincidence that Mistico I’s old rivals Rey Bucanero & Ultimo Guerrero are on the other side. CMLL’s preview pushes it as a rare teamup of one of the best tag teams from the last decade. Their peak was built around helping young high flyers look good, and that’s the same job description here. Mistico looked fragile and hampered in Japan but still was very over with the crowd. The hope is the same here. The Bucanero/Voaldor feud might return, for lack of anything better to do. The semimain is the Ingobernables vs Negro Casas, Shocker and Thunder. The matchup which feels run into the ground, but they continue to push Thunder/Marco as the new twist.

AAA TV tapings haven’t been gone quite as long as Mistico, but it nearly feels that way. They’re back in action tonight in Arena Naucalpan, the first of back to back Fridays with shows and the second of three shows in five days at the building. While Mistico II returns to Arena Mexico, Mistico I (Myzteziz) appears on a TV taping in Arena Naucalpan for the first time in since 2007. Myzteziz teams up with Psycho Clown to take on Perro Jr. & Texano Jr. in what should be a heated main event. The Rey de Reyes qualifiers start up with Aerostar vs Monsther Clown vs Super Fly vs Hijo de Pirata Morgan, where the first participant is the favorite. This is Super Fly’s first TV match since losing his mask; he’s teasing a new look.

AAA always fills IWRG’s home building at tonight should be no different. My hunch is it’s just a coincidence the Mistico return and AAA in Naucalpan happened on the same day.

CMLL in Guadalajara has Atlantis teaming with youngsters Blue Panther Jr. & Super Halcon Jr. to take on Gran Guerrero, Neibla Roja and Mephisto. A tag team tournament gets underway in the fourth match.

CaraLuchas has announced Flamita & Aeroboy’s opponents on the 01/31 show will be Dragon Lee & the Panther. That should be great. The women’s match has been changed to indy luchadoras Starfire & Diosa Atenea against rivals Estrellita & Zeuxis. Estrellita did a promo for the show.

Laredo Kid told SuperLuchas he had a tryout wiht WWE when they went thru Dallas earlier this week. He says he was told he’d be invited back for another tryout in April (assuming he doesn’t get in trouble for revealing that.) Laredo’s been working as much or more north of the border the last few years, so I suspect his English might be pretty good.

ACH has been added to the 03/22 ChilangaMask show. Match to be announced.

LuchaWorld has KrisZ’s news update.

Ohtani’s Jacket checks out a random Fuerza match form his feud with Gallo Tapado.

LV has reviews of this past week’s C3 show and this week’s Lucha Underground.

Segunda Caida reviews the Invasors first match.

SuperLuchas looks back at Solar vs Satanico from 1988.

Cronicas y Leyendas looks back quickly at Los Pastores in UWA and Konnan & Cien Caras in 1993.

La Mascara celebrates 15 years of being La Mascara.

La Parka talks about his past Rey de Reyes wins.

LA Park & Sombra talk briefly about the All Elite show.

01/24-25 lucha times

box. It’s after the jump too.

== AAA ==

Guerra de Titanes part 2. Minis title match, three way tag match and Aerostar/Super Fly are left to air.

== Lucha Underground ==

They Call Him Cage

The champion sets his title aside for the second time in the hopes of defeating Cage and taking home the title again.

There’s three matches on the show.

== CMLL ==

FOX2: Maximo, Marco, Valiente vs Euforia, Terrible, Thunder

Azteca: the only thing that matters is if Kamaitachi vs Dragon Lee airs here – it didn’t air on FOX.

52MX: Puma, Tiger, Virus vs Dragon Lee, Esfinge, Pegasso

Claro: Blue Panther, Maqximo, Valiente vs Ephesto, Hechicero, Niebla ROja

C3: Euforia, Hechiceor, Niebla Roja vs Blue Panther, Dragon Rojo Jr., Titan

Terra Sunday: ATlantis, Titan, Volador Jr. vs Ephesto, Kraneo, Mephisto, Rey Cometa vs TIger in a lightning match.

== IWRG ==

IWRG (LAS/AYM): probably will still be airing the FILL show from Wednesday. Read More