The thing I’m neglecting to mention of late is the new second airing of Lucha Azteca in the US. A rerun, some 10 weeks behind, is airing before the ‘new’ show. I’d presume this means the show is doing pretty well if they’re doubling up on it. Perhaps they’ll expand the show to two hours if it sticks.
We won’t know what airs on Lucha Elite until tonight’s show finishes.
CMLL (TUE) 06/21/2016Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Martes de Glamour]
1) Linterna & Mr. Apolo b Capitán Cobra & Johnny Dinamo Rudos took 2/3.
2) Oro Jr., Pegasso, Stigma b Metálico, Sangre Azteca, Skándalo Tecnicos took 1/3. Oro beat Metalico, who seemed to have the match won.
3) Furia Roja, Hechicero, Sagrado b Ángel de Oro, Esfinge, Tritón Rudos took 2/3, Furia Roja unmasking Esfinge and pinning him for the win. This sets up a mask match next week.
4) Diamante Azul, Rush, Titán DQ La Máscara, Rey Bucanero, Vangellys Tecnicos took 2/3. Rush fouled Mascara, Mascara fouled Rush, ref caught only the second.
5) Atlantis, Máximo Sexy, Mistico b Ephesto, Luciferno, Mr. Niebla Scheduled to a Mexican Trios title defense, but Mephisto (injury) was replaced by Mr. Niebla and no title match was held. Tecnicos took 1/3.
This means Mephisto didn’t get on the bus to Guadalajara, so they likely knew he wasn’t going to be on the Gran Prix show when they were doing Informa talking about the Gran Prix. It just didn’t come up. (They also could’ve just announced the title match being off on Informa to let people in Guadalajara know. But nah.)
The official CMLL story is Mephisto strained his groin worked on Sunday in Naucalpan. I’d believe he made it worse there, but Mephisto was obviously hurting before that point. Mephisto will be out 2-3 weeks, with La Mascara taking his place on the Mexico Gran Prix team. That confirms Pierroth/La Mascara won’t be happening on 07/01, which seemed to be the case as soon as the announced Cavernario/Cometa.
I still don’t believe they’re saving Mascara/Pierroth for the Anniversary show.
IWRG FILL (WED) 06/22/2016Arena Naucalpan [The Gladiatores]
1) Araña de Plata, Lilith Dark, Skanda b Chica Pantera, Magic Dragón, Voltar
2) Discordia, Enigma, Guerrero 2000 b Pequeño Dragón, Pumita, Rey Destello
3) Águila Oriental, Keiser Dragón, Omega b Adrenalina, Keshin Black, Osiris
4) Blue Monsther, Geo, Mike b Acero, Hip Hop Man, Picudo Jr. Acero and Hip Hop Man argued over who in charge, which spelled their defeat.
5) Aramis, Dragón Fly, Fireman, Galaxy, Hijo del Alebrije, Kanon, Shadow Boy, Zatura b Ángel Guerrero, Ares I, Ares II, Camaleón I, Camaleón II, Fight Panther, Guerrero Azteca, the Tiger (Tamaulipas) [Copa Higher Power] Gym FILL (Black Terry) vs Gym Promciones del Norte (Apolo Estrada Jr.) Camaleon II, Guerrero Azteca, The Tiger replaced Angel Dorado I, Pirata Negra, Rey Nocturno. Match came down to Shadow Boy and Tiger, with Apolo helping his guy to win.
Hip Hop Man is working as an extra coordinator (and occasional luchador) on the upcoming Blue Demon series and very much enjoyed the most recent Mexico soccer game, according to his Twitter.
Zumbi appears to no longer be in the Cruiserweight Classic. His profile is no longer on the website, replaced by Chicago area wrestler (and occasional GALLI luchador) Mustafa Ali. There’s been no other acknowledgement or explanation of what’s going on. The rumor, and I’m emphasizing rumor because a) I haven’t heard it first hand and b) I suspect we’ll be able to confirm the story or get the right one sooner rather than later, is WWE saw that Zumbi was also booked in Elite and wouldn’t let him no-show that date to work for them. The thing is, Zumbi was taken off the Elite poster – he’s not on it now – so there’s reason to be skeptical of that as the reason.
PJ Black is on the poster and is indeed in Mexico as Elite advertised and working the Elite show tonight. This does not appear to have affected his Lucha Underground status, except that he’s almost surely losing tonight, since he’s probably needed back in LA on Saturday. (They could always just scheduled matches to give him Friday off.) When PJ was listed on the poster, the expectation is AAA would force him off the show as they did with Cage. That hasn’t happened, so there must be some different circumstances – it’s can’t be that all LU guys are prohibited from working Elite, but maybe just those who had worked in AAA? Or were offered more work in AAA? It definitely suggests AAA has less control of LU than previously believed.
The full filed for the Elite tournament is as Tama Tonga (listed as from Tonga), Lio Rush (USA), Kushida (Japan), Bram (England), PJ Black (South Africa), Camacho (Puerto Rico), David Tita (Cameron), Jinder Mahal (India), Volador Jr. (Mexico), Veneno (Panama), Heddi Karoui (France), Sabu (Saudi Arabia), Michael Elgin (Canada), and DJZ (Philippines). It’s 14 names for what originally listed as a 16 man tournament. The format of the tournament is assumed to be single elimination, but Elite doesn’t generally explain those sorts of details ahead of time. The show starts at 8pm tonight and should air Friday on Azteca. The finals are on Saturday.
Arez, of the Indystrongibles, has decided no longer to be “Arez”. He’s leaving up to the fans to pick between his two choices for new names: Aken orSaharawi. Saharawi is his real name. Aken is the Egyptian ferryman of the underworld, though I’m not sure if that’s where he got the name. Either way, there so many people using Ares/Arez in Mexico that there’s some real benefit to changing his name once he gets it established. If we can only get the Relampagos to do this next…
Mascarita Dorada told Apolo Valdes that he enjoying working in WWE for the last three years, even if couldn’t fully show his talent. He knew going in that Americans would see minis as clowns and not real wrestlers, but feels he some new chances, including being in the Royal Rumble and being on PPV (the WeeLC match.) Dorada says he’s thankful for WWE supporting him when it came to medical issues, including surgery on his knee, and singles out Alberto Del Rio as someone who spoke up for him. Dorada says he’s got a lot of work in the US, but would be open to returning to Mexico in August if the deal is right now. He doesn’t see retirement coming soon.
Ricochet doesn’t seem to believe he was offered the money MLW Radio reported he was offered.
TKD and Eric have reviews of last night’s Lucha Underground.
Daga defeated Máscarita Sagrada (2:12, russian legsweep into a crossface, OK)
Killshot [O], Siniestro de la Muerte, Marty the Moth defeated Cortez Castro, Mr. Cisco [X], Joey Ryan versus (8:04, Killshot double stomp move, OK)
Sexy Star & Mariposa [O] defeated Ivelisse [X] & Taya (9:58, Mariposa running Schwein -> Sexy Star pin, OK) for two Aztec Medallions
The main title match for Lucha Underground is already set, and this episode was focused on working out the undercard. Two matches were definitely set, and more seem strongly suggested.
The biggest match isn’t for anything but pride. Prince Puma, in his first in-ring interview, explained that Konnan (mentioned by name) would motivate him by telling him he could be the next Rey Mysterio. Puma has even more respect for Rey after being champion with him, but wants to know if he actually be the next Rey Mysterio, or if Prince Puma is even better. Puma wants a match at Ultima Lucha. Rey Mysterio appeared to give credit to Prince Puma for being good, but noted “you are a prince, and I am El Rey.” Mysterio also wants to know if he’s still the best, and accepted the match for Ultima Lucha 2.
Ultima Lucha 2 will also have a seven way Gift of the Gods match. There were three qualifying matches on thie show, seemingly was as many consequences for the losers as the winners.
Daga defeated Máscarita Sagrada for one Medallion. Kobra Moon watched on, but didn’t get involved this time. Famous B didn’t get involved, but seemed to wish he did. Instead, he attacked Sagrada, blaming the mini for all the losses he’d taken since coming under Famous B’s management, and vowed to get a new/better client. (Brenda didn’t seem happy about all of this.)
Killshot, Siniestro de la Muerte and Marty the Moth picked up Medallions by surprsingly being a more cohesive team the than Castro, Mr. Cisco, and Joey Ryan trio. Yet another argument between the police directly led to the loss. Peace was kept on the winning team by Marty giving Killshot back his dogtags, but Marty stole them right back at the end of the match. (Not sure if it’s important, but Catrina was not with Siniestro this time either.)
Neither team in the women’s tag match really got along, but it was a misamed Taya spear on Ivelisse which essentially ended the match. Sexy Star dodged out of the way, and later was thrown on the pin by Mariposa.
The seven medallion went to the debuting Night Claw, who simply was handed it by Dario in a office segment (similar to how Big Ryck got his in Season 1.) Night Claw is a man in a black cat mask, described as a descedent of the Jaguar tribe, and hyped as the next great upcoming luchador – the next Prince Puma. (This started the show, nicely dovetailing with Puma’s own “the Next” to end the show.) We won’t see him in action until Ultima Lucha 2, but Dario warned him that overconfidence called the Jaguar tribe to be the first to be destroyed by the Aztec Gods, and told him not to make the same mistake. Announcers were aware a new wrestler had been given a Medallion, but did not know his name or identity.
The was one more midshow office vignette, with Dario finally meeting with Dragon Azteca. Dario revealed to Azteca that he would fight Black Lotus, and revealed to the audience that he’s manipulating these two. Cueto didn’t outright admit it, but he strong hinted to Azteca that it was Black Lotus who killed the previous Dragon Azteca. That doesn’t seem like something you’d do if you saw Black Lotus as an ally, but instead something that’d happen if you wanted them to destroy each other.
I find myself comparing episodes to ones from last season a lot in this final third. This reminds me of the “Aztec Medallion” show late last year, where the hour was also spent on handing out Medallions to round out the Gift of the Gods match. It seems likely to be a Lucha Underground staple; they’re always going to want to do a 7 way match at Ultima Lucha, and it’s usually going to require getting a lot of Medallion matches done quickly.
This matches on this show got more time and were better than those; I didn’t give a high grade to anything, but the trios match wasn’t far off and the women’s match had some moments. Both were essentially doing relevos increibles matches, and I’ve kind of become just dismissive of that concept in general from having seen it so many times both in Mexico and here. It wasn’t as a negative as other times, the stakes of the matches forced them to do amost normal matches, but it’s nothing that interests me.
It doesn’t help that most of the feuds involved don’t feel that important right now. Marty/Killshot is the best one of the group. The Police stuff is interesting more for the outside the ring mythology than to see then squabble yet again. Taya/Ivelisse doesn’t feel like it has any stakes, almost like it was randomlly generated. And I was disappointed they didn’t play out the feelings from the end of No Mas more; a Mariposa who was tough but as scared of Sexy Star as Sexy had been scared of her earlier in the season would’ve been a progession, instead of defaulting back to the tecnico/rudo defaults.
Night Claw comes off as Lucha Underground’s attempt to create another Drago like character (though one where they’d definitely own the image rights.) It’s a grand introduction to give the guy we know as (spoiler) Flamita, and I’m interested in watching how they handle him. LU obviously had no idea his tenure in AAA is about to come to an end and they seemed to have big plans for him here by pinning him to one of the tribes. Backing away from him might be a challenge, though we may have to wait to Season 3 to see Night Claw’s mug on a wall.
There is a bit of a problem with the Gift of the Gods match. Just like the recent match, it’s a lot of people on the fringes of the roster. Sexy Star’s the only person on the list who’s won a feud. Otherwise, it’s a lot of people who may secretly be good – Daga, Mariposa, Siniestro to pick three – but haven’t been successful. They are building it up with a feud, Killshot & Sexy each have issues with the Moths, but maybe not with credibility. I think it probably means good things for Ultima Lucha 2 itself – they grabbed the big guys into matches and this is obviously leftovers – but it’s going to be hard to believe the winner has a shot at Matanza. There doesn’t appear to be a Cage coming this time.
The Famous B storyline feels like it went too long, and didn’t do much for Máscarita at all. The too long thing might not be helped – this feels like another thing they’ve paced out for Ultima Lucha – but I hope there’s some better day for Sagrada to come.
Ultima Lucha 2 lineup
Pentagon Jr. vs Matanza (c) for the Lucha Underground Championship
Night Claw, Daga, Marty the Moth, Killshot, Siniestro de la Muerte, Mariposa, Sexy Star in a Gift of the Gods championship match