CMLL to run free cage match days after pay cage match, Dragon Rojo/Titan tonight

I’m really starting to wonder about IWRG referees

IWRG (SUN) 12/20/2015 Arena Naucalpan [Mano a Mano, The Gladiatores]
Arena Naucalpan 38th Anniversary
1) Fresero Jr., Leo, Mike, Teelo b Avisman, Diablo Jr. I, Hip Hop Man, Violencia Jr.
Fresero replaced Rafy (got moved up.) Avisman was knocked out by a Fresero german suplex. He was out for a while and exited the match after he recovered. Tecnicos still won.
2) Imposible © b Pantera I [IWRG IC Light] Imposible © vs Pantera I for the IWRG Intercontinental Lightweight Championship (posted by thecubsfan)
11th defense
3) Máscara Año 2000 Jr., Negro Navarro, Pirata Morgan, Trauma II b Danny Casas, Rafy, Toscano, Veneno Danny Casas, Rafy, Toscano, Veneno vs Máscara Año 2000 Jr., Negro Navarro, Pirata Morgan, Trauma II (posted by thecubsfan)
Rafy replaced Mr. 450. Danny Casas attacked his partner Toscano, setting up a hair feud.
4) Hijo De Dos Caras b Trauma I [IWRG IC HEAVY] Hijo De Dos Caras vs Trauma I for the IWRG Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship (posted by thecubsfan)
first defense. Dos took 1/3.
5) Apolo Estrada & Eterno b Black Terry & Dr. Cerebro [hair] Black Terry & Dr. Cerebro vs Apolo Estrada & Eterno, hair vs hair (posted by thecubsfan)
The new Insoportables win their first big match. Rudos took fall 1, tecnicos took fall 2, and the third fall came down to Eterno & Terry (who started this whole feud.) Eterno and the referee got into a struggle over a chair, which ended up smacking Terry in the head. Eterno covered for the win. Terry & Cerbero got their heads shaved. Apolo & Eterno challenged for a trios title match.

That finish is something. Black Terry Jr. has slow motion highlights of the show. I wrote more about this show yesterday, and this post is going to be long enough as it is.

CMLL (SUN) 12/20/2015 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Fuego en el Ring]
1) Avispón Negro Jr. & El Tapatío b Black Sugar & Guerrero de la Muerte
Avispon is a tecnico now.
2) El Divino & Reycko b Demonio Rojo & El Gitano
3) El Yaqui & Vaquero Jr. b Carlos Rogi & Exterminador
Vaquero used the ropes to beat Exterminador
4) El Alteño, Javier Cruz Jr., Nube Roja DQ El Chakal, Mr. Apolo, Sádico
Rogi & Exterminador ran in for the DQ. Yaqui & Vaquero Jr. ran in for the save, challenging for a cage match (which will happen next week.)
5) Volador Jr. b Terrible
No Shocker or Maximo, so they had a singles match instead of sending extra people. Volador took 2/3 to win their first ever singles match.

I’d guess one of Shocker or Maximo couldn’t make it to Guadalajara on Sunday so the other didn’t bother, but it’s strange they wouldn’t just send a replacement. Singles match might have been a better deal anyway.

CMLL (MON) 12/21/2015 Arena Puebla [@therealfredo, CMLL]
1) Black Tiger, Meyer, Paris b Ares, Fuerza Chicana, Guerrero Espacial LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE DEL MUNDO EN VIVO 21 DE DICIEMBRE DEL 2015 22:00 HRS (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Black Tiger replaced Astro (moved up a match). Tecnicos took 1/3.
2) Astro, Eléctrico, Shockercito b Demus 3:16, Mini Joker, Saurón LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE DEL MUNDO EN VIVO 21 DE DICIEMBRE DEL 2015 22:00 HRS (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Astro replaced Asturiano. Tecnicos took 1/3.
3) King Jaguar b Stigma, Skándalo, Policeman, Rey Cometa, Okumura, Disturbio, Espíritu Maligno, Fuego, Canelo Casas [cibernetico] LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE DEL MUNDO EN VIVO 21 DE DICIEMBRE DEL 2015 22:00 HRS (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Sides were predetermined as Canelo, Disturbio, Okumura, Policeman, Skandalo vs Espiritu Maligno, Fuego, King Jaguar, Rey Cometa and Stigma. Order of elimination went Canelo (by Fuego), Fuego (Okumura), Disturbio/Espiritu double elimination, Okumura (Rey Cometa), Policeman (King Jaguar), and Skandalo & Stigma were counted out. Stigma & Skandalo brawled on the outside for much longer than a 20 count before they were finally counted out (which sounds very unusual for a designed countout, which are usually pretty telegraphed by the referee.) King Jaguar was the winner. Stigma & Rey Cometa talked about a cage match involving everyone, which will happen next week.
4) La Máscara, Marco Corleone, Máximo Sexy DQ Felino, Negro Casas, Thunder LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE DEL MUNDO EN VIVO 21 DE DICIEMBRE DEL 2015 22:00 HRS (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Thunder returned, replacing Mr. Niebla. Tecnicos took 1/3, the last with Negro Casas pulling off La Mascara’s mask for a DQ. This seemed to set up a match next week.
5) Último Guerrero © b Atlantis [NWA MIDDLE] LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE DEL MUNDO EN VIVO 21 DE DICIEMBRE DEL 2015 22:00 HRS (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
UG took 1/3 to keep the title. Rhird defense for Ultimo Guerrero

I didn’t watch the show (maybe I will?) but the joy of social media is I could still heckle CMLL’s booking from a long way away. As a promoter, it makes no sense to run a big gimmick match for $10 on Friday and run the same big gimmick match for free four days later. You’re kneecaping your own product, telling your potential consumers that it’s not a good idea to pay for your product. CMLL gives away a tremendous amount of content for free (and doesn’t shut down other people who are giving it away for free), possibly more than any other wrestling company in the world.

If you want to get people to actually pay for something, you’re got to make it much more special than the stuff they can get for free. The Anniversary iPPV was obviously special. The Dia del Muertos show had a special look (and would’ve been seen as even more special if found a way of explaining it would be the last Volador/Sombra match.) An Infierno en el Ring card around a cage match could be special, but they’ve done anything possible to make it not special. The card is not special, four trios matches of middling quality and the same importance. Caristicio’s first match back on a normal CMLL show could’ve been special, but they wasted that last week (and did nothing to make you want to see him again – the strong Caristico stuff is limited to Sundays.) Cibernetico is having his first match, but the allure of seeing Cibernetico has nothing to do with him actually wrestling matches and he’s probably not going to be a big difference maker. And now, they’ve announced that you can just wait a few days and get the same sort of cage match a few days later. The Arena Mexico show has the bigger names, but it’s not as though the Arena Mexico cage is built around main eventers on Friday and Arena Puebla has scrubs. CMLL has treated the vast majority of their luchadors like interchangable action figures, especially the midcard guys, and is under the belief that they still can charge $10 more for one group than the others. This is an erroneous belief.

As a viewer, it makes no difference on Friday what other shows are getting cage matches. You’re going to get the same quality of the matches for your $10. It’s actually a great situation for the average person, because CMLL’s actions actually turn out to be fan friendly in the short term (on purpose or not). CMLL could’ve and maybe should’ve just waited one extra week to run the Arena Puebla cage match, saved it to be a sort of Kid’s Day special, and then maybe you’d have a extra people buying Friday’s show not realizing another cage match was coming soon. Again, CMLL’s really great giving away their content for free in a way no one else really does – they could’ve also just said next week’s Puebla show wouldn’t air on the internet, and so you’d have to get the iPPV to watch a cage match. Instead, you can pick and choose and watch what you want and pay for what you want.

My problem is more about the long run, as it always tends to be. A company so blind not to see the problem of running matches like this, a company so lazy not to come up with a better way of handling this, is pretty of creatively rotten. It’s not that we don’t know that, in a hundred other ways, but it’s aggravating that such when an obvious problem that had to be seen by so many people isn’t handled in a remotely logical fashion. I’m sure this is not one person’s fault – I’d guess the person who decided to put Friday’s show on iPPV had no idea there was going to be a cage match in Puebla, because CMLL comes off as internally fractured and uncommunicative – and one dumb episode like this isn’t going to mean much. (If the Anniversary show did 1,200 buys, what’s the guess here? Maybe 300 buys as a guess before but 200 now, so it’s only a $1000 difference?) In the long run, these sort of unforced errors add up. CMLL (and other places) note how they’re at a disadvantage to other wrestling promotions around the world for reasons outside of their control, and they’re completely right about having those sort of disadvantages. At the same time, they also seem to make a lot of their own disadvantages for themselves, just not taking care where care is needed. You’ve got to be “really good” when you’re the underdog if you’re going to succeed, and there’s a lot of of settling for “good enough” with CMLL (and other places.) Good enough will keep you around, but it also probably won’t be keeping talent around you should be, or won’t be bringing in the talent you could be, and might just be slowly withering away. None of that is good news for a viewer, who wants to see more than “good enough.”

If you’re someone who reads this site every day, you’re probably invested in finding out if Panther or Puma or Super Comando or Pegasso or someone else loses their masks on Friday night. If you’re someone who only pays anything to lucha when someone else points you towards it, then Friday’s definitely isn’t a show I would point you towards. I’d say to just watch Monday night and save the money.

Anyway, what’s also interesting here is how much CMLL still books the different locations as if they’re events only the people who go to the show are aware of; this is like old US territory booking where the despised heel would fall in a loser leaves town match on each city on the local circuit before moving on to another group. The cage match bit sticks out because it’s a cage match, but it’s no different from CMLL running three title matches in four days, after no title matches for weeks. Maybe there’s some arcane rule in the way they pay people that it’s much easier to do it like this, but it (like a lot of other things) comes across as super dated.

I’m slowly grasping that this is a topic only I care about, but Thunder versus Ultimo Guerrero absolutely has to happen on 01/01 if Ultimo Guerrero and Thunder were healthy enough on this show. They’ve already said they were doing, and there’s no excuse for it not to happen if they’re both healthy (and I want it over and done with already.) If they promised one of the other guys a hair match, make it a second match on that card or push it to the 01/06 show instead. I still have no idea why Thunder misses so many shows (for all we know, it may not be his fault), but you’ve got to either do it right now while he’s still around or treat Thunder like Mr. Niebla and never trust that you can build to a big mask match with him again. Please don’t bail on it now and bring it back in March.

Today’s CMLL show has Titan versus Dragon Rojo Junior for the CMLL Middleweight Championship. Dragon Rojo has held the championship for an astounding four years. Some of that is CMLL being high on him some of it’s Rojo being injured for long periods of time and CMLL not being concerned about this belt to strip it from him. Titan is part of FantasticaMania, and luchadors going to FantatiscaMania tend to pick up belts to help fill out the big matches for those cards. At the same time, CMLL always has seemed very high on Dragon Rojo and this might be the exception. I’m not sure what the outcome will be tonight.

This match would’ve been a tremendous extra value for Friday’s iPPV. It’s kind of an important match between two upper level guys and has a pretty good shot of being more entertaining than anything currently scheduled on that show. It’s probably not on that show because Titan and Dragon Rojo are headed home for Christmas and won’t be in Mexico City for that show. (I’m guessing that’s would prevent the Maya/Panther vs Misterioso/Sagrado match from being on that show, if CMLL even wanted to do that.)

I’m not even sure if the match will air on TV: CMLL’s switched content around on the Titanes en el Ring/Claro Sports TV show a few times. It’s looking like they’re broadcasting Friday night matches as of late. (LATV gets it’s matches from those shows, so it won’t air on that show unless it airs on Titanes.) I’m sure it’ll be taped but it might just sit in a vault or computer folder for the rest of time. Here’s a better idea: CMLL should just advertise that they’ll air that title match on the iPPV after the main event. Yea, everyone will know the finish by then, but most  people who are going to buy the show are used to watching lucha libre on a delay, and Titan/Rojo is strong enough that it might mean a hundred or so people on the fence would go ahead and buy the show if that was their only way of seeing the match.

Tonight’s CMLL main event will have Super Porky carrying Valiente, La Mascara, Terrible, Rey Bucanero and Thunder completely by himself. Tercera looks good with Fuego, Maya and Panther against Hechicero, Mephisto and Misterioso. I again have doubts any of this will air anywhere, but I’d go if I was a little bit closer.

Guadalajara has another singles main event tonight, Marco Corleone vs Ultimo Guerrero. I had a sneaking suspicion they’re setting up a Lluvia/Zeuxis title match in the undercard, and we’ll find out if I’m right whenever the results turn up.

CMLL has a story about Bushi becoming CMLL Welterweight champion. They had a brief bit on Facebook yesterday, and this just expands on that: Mascara Dorada wants his rematch at FantasticaMania. It’s the first time CMLL’s acknowledged the existence of the NJPW Ingobernables’ faction, and they mention Bushi using a foul to win. Maybe also slightly interesting they’re calling him Bushi, since he was using Bushiroad on his CMLL trip. Anyway, Dorada says he wants to complete his year by coming home champion and I’d guess that’s the big idea here. Dorada started this one year loan to Japan by losing to a masked Ingobernables in Korakuen Hall (Sombra) and looks to end it by defeating a masked Ingobernable in Korakuen Hall (Bushi.) The win is to prove his growth. I wish it was a bigger win.

CMLL also has an article up talking about the Arena Coliseo tag team title change. They’re really talking up the Misterioso/Maya long chop fight on this show. The Panther talks about the taking the momentum from this win into the cage match; what goes unsaid is these two guys will go from being partners on Saturday to sort of enemies on Friday. Maya says he’s happy to have his belt back. If Super Comando & Artillero are ever going to get an Arena Coliseo team title match, now’s the time.

The GoMask! promotion debuted on Sunday in Arena Jardines (same arena that’s hosted Ichiban and Fusion promotions in the past, and it appears similar to those.) Scheduled main event was Fenix & Drago vs Pentagon & Daga. Carxyus has a recap: Fenix showed up crutches saying he couldn’t wrestle, Pentagon attacked Fenix anyway, Arez made the save and Argenis replaced him in the actual match. Arez didn’t otherwise appear on the show outside of getting involved in the main event angle. The tecnicos despite two referees (Hijo del Tirantes and a local tecnico referee) battling, then the Perros destroyed all the tecnicos (Arez, Fenix and the referee too) after the match.

Kronoz, who was part of AAA’s Holocausto before suffering an ankle injury this June, appeared in a trios match on that show. That’s the first time I’ve seen him back. He was across from Dark Dragon Jr. Pentagon Jr. was previously Dark Dragon, and Kronoz was a Pentagon’s trio partner in his identity before that one, so it’s probably not some coincidence, one of their relatives in the new identity.

Furia de Titanes has an article distancing themselves from the article they posted last week claiming Lizmark wasn’t really a cliff diver. As best I can understand from the correction, and other people probably know better, the comments attributed to Dr. Karonte were said years ago in general discussion (probably not on the record) and they didn’t ask Dr. Karonte those words attributed to him after Lizmark died.

A different article on that site talks about Charly Manson/Sharlie Rockstar’s return from prison. The explanation for his early release is that inmates are allowed to go up for parole after they’ve fulfilled 3/5ths of their sentence, and taking part in organized activities like working, education, or sports. When Manson said starting a sort of wrestling school in prison helped him out, I guess he didn’t meant it just figuratively.

I have a column on Voices of Wrestling preview the big Christmas shows.

It looks IWRG is doing Facebook polling for it’s annual awards (or just is asking their fans what they think.) Power Bull, Atomic Star and Muerte Infernal are mentioned for new rudo, while Aramis, Voltar and Alas de Acero are mentioned for new tecnico. No sign of the usual year end holiday party.

LuchaWorld has KrisZ’s news update and this week’s Poster-Mania.

Cien Caras says he’ll return to Arena Mexico again – as a fan. He sounds (here and in other interviews) like he’d be happy not wrestling again, but his brothers are more invested in finally getting revenge on Rayo.

Fuego en el Ring has an interview with Magia Blanca.

Debate has an interview with Sinaloa’s Mr. Iguana.

SuperLuchas writes about Guadalajara’s Demonio Rojo.

R de Rudo has post match (but still pretty bloody) post match interviews with Ciclope and the unmasked Miedo Extremo.

La Parka talks about his year and plans for 2016.

A Box y Lucha commission may be soon formed in Boca del Rio, Veracruz.


IWRG (SUN) 12/27/2015 Arena Naucalpan
1) Fireman & Rocket vs Hip Hop Man & Matrix
2) Leo, Mike, Rafy vs Avisman, Picudo Jr., Vortize
3) Argos, Hijo de Mascara Sagrada, Hijo del Alebrije vs El Hijo del Diablo, Imposible, Violencia Jr.
4) Danny Casas vs Toscano
5) Black Terry, Cerebro Negro, Dr. Cerebro © vs Apolo Estrada Jr., Canis Lupus, Eterno [EdM Trios]
second defense

The trios title match reminds me there’s been no mention of the idea of doing Mexico State singles matches tournaments since the original announcement some months ago. They were supposed to start in January.

They’re hurrying to Danny Casas/Toscano; there’s usually a big show early in January so a hair match soon is not of the question. I guess Argos is a tecnico in IWRG. I’ve got the Matrix linked as Bombero Infernal, but it’s likely one of his sons.

CMLL (MON) 12/28/2015 Arena Puebla
1) Astro, Meyer, Zaeta Roja vs El Malayo, Guerrero Espacial, Mini Joker
2) Black Tiger, Millenium, Starman vs Cancerbero, Fuerza Chicana, Raziel
3) Mistico, Valiente, Volador Jr. vs Kráneo, Mephisto, Ripper
4) La Máscara vs Negro Casas
5) Stigma vs Espíritu Maligno, Fuego, Rey Cometa, King Jaguar, Skándalo, Okumura, Policeman, Disturbio, Canelo Casas [cage, mask, hair]

Cage matches with masked guys and unmasked guys almost always mean the unmasked guys are losing and are probably slightly less draws because of it. That’s why the Friday show is all masked guys, even though Okumura was also involved in that feud at points. I guess there’s a chance Skandalo could lose his mask if that was the purpose behind his return. Rey Cometa losing his hair as a payday to make up for losing all those months is also possible. The locals guys are still more likely, with King Jaguar, Policeman and Espiritu all having lost apuesta matches before. This one feels more wide open than the Friday match: Fuego’s not losing, Stigma’s not losing (might be winning), and Disturbio is the only other one I’d be very shocked if he lost because of his last few months of success.

Under/over La Mascara/Negro Casas is 9 minutes and 30 seconds. They should give in and make more of these singles matches actual lightning matches.

Invasors have been good opponents for the Sky Team and Mephisto fits in better with them than Olimpico or Morphosis. First two matches have changes to be good.