ELITE (THU) 08/11/2016Arena México [+LuchaTV, Estrellas del Ring, Plantilla Deportiva]
1) Astral & Eléctrico b Pequeño Olímpico & Pierrothito
2) El Cuatrero, Fresero Jr., Sansón b El Bandido, Emperador Azteca, Último Ninja straight fall.
3) Flamita & Golden Magic b Argos & Rey Cometa Flamita said he hoped to be in Arena Mexico more often.
4) Volador Jr. b Atlantis [Liga Elite] Volador picked up 3 points.
5) Ephesto, Mephisto, Sharlie Rockstar b Carístico, Máscara Dorada Super Crazy, Máximo Mephisto pulled Caristico’s mask to cradle him.
6) Último Guerrero b Rush [Liga Elite] UG snuck in Rush’s foul.
Both +LuchaTV and Plantilla Deportiva – and me! – mention the Liga Elite winners picked up points. No one mentions how many points people have, because no one knows. These standings don’t exist except for the last 10 seconds of the TV show, Elite doesn’t mention them or post them anyplace else. This is my guess
Ultimo Guerrero & Rush went into the crowd; I hope Rush didn’t do anything that will get him vanished for a while. This show will air Saturday night. It’s got the full time slot, so there’s a good chance to see Flamita (his match was edited down last time.) Flamita’s comments about wanting to be in Arena Mexico are interesting: his tour in Dragon Gate finished open ended, just like last time. He’s probably going back, but they didn’t make it clear when and he’s booked in Mexico thru the rest of the month.
CMLL’s press release on Matt Taven snuck in some important news: CMLL’s running a second major show on September 16. That’s two Fridays after the Anniversary show, and probably the September 7th announcement.
September 16 also happens to be Mexican Independence day. If CMLL hadn’t just done USA vs Rest of World, it would’ve made sense to do it on that day. CMLL’s run tournaments to end on Independence day before. They don’t have much time to start a normal length tournament between the shows, but they could always run a short Copa Junior or Leyenda de Azul if they simply want to run a trophy competition. That day should be an easy way to draw, and they may want to aim for something they can charge a lot more for.
Which brings up the possibility of other apuesta matches. I think there’s a good chance of another one happening in September, though every specific matchup has a low chance. It’s now a bit more interesting that Guerrero Maya & Dragon Rojo are matched up tonight, that Caristico and Mephisto did a dirty finish last night, that Zeuxis & Sugehit have made challenges, even that Atlantis & Mr. Niebla just happen to be on opposite sides tonight. The individual chance of any one of those apuesta matches happening is low (don’t get your hopes up), but collectively there’s enough possibilities out there that one might actually happen on 09/16. That show is now five weeks away, and that’s about the time where CMLL starts building things, so it’s something to watch for tonight.
The elephant in the room is the possibility two La Mascara matches: La Mascara defeating Dragon Lee for his mask on 09/02, then Rush avenging his brother by unmasking La Mascara on 09/16. I’m very doubtful that’s the plan. Reasons why:
CMLL’s been very high on Dragon Lee since the moment he debuted. That sort of pattern might work for other families with bigger difference in family member statuses (Argos losing his mask to Mephisto to build up a Caristico win), but CMLL sees Dragon Lee as a future top guy. Pierroth would’ve been in this spot if it was simply a family build up win.
And yet, Dragon Lee’s still relatively new, so La Mascara getting his mask is not going to help boost his career much.
Normal lucha booking is one guy keeps outsmarting the other guy until the other guy wins the big match. (AAA’s doing the most extreme version of this right now.) Right now, La Mascara’s done almost all of the winning, which means Dragon Lee’s probably going to win at the end.
WWE definitely had interest in Dragon Lee, but WWE interest apparently no longer means losing your mask soon after. Sombra did, but Mascara Dorada has not and has zero shown signs of doing so soon. (Lince Dorado also doesn’t seem to be getting unmasked at the moment.) WWE wanted Dragon Lee for the same competition as Mascara Dorada, so they probably want to keep him intact if they still have plans of bringing him in. Also, no one would count unmasking Sombra as a positive move right now, so they may be cautious at repeating it.
ROH is bringing in Dragon Lee to recreate the feud with Kamaitachi, and it doesn’t work as well if Dragon Lee doesn’t look like the Dragon Lee in their previous matches (which are probably the only Dragon Lee matches most ROH fans have seen, if they’ve seen any.) It’d be a bad way to treat a new relationship by sending a ‘damaged’ guy over to ROH as the second guy over.
I feel like it’s at least a 90/10 bet Dragon Lee is winning. The caveat is I felt nearly as strong about La Sombra beating Atlantis last year, and I was absolutely totally wrong. I made mistakes that I’m fixing this time – not ignoring how the feud is playing out – but I’ve been fooled before. I’m biased by thinking it would be a tremendously poor decision for Dragon Lee (or by Dragon Lee) for him to lose his mask at this point in his career, but poor decisions are made sometimes. I wouldn’t be my house on it, I feel pretty safe that Lee’s winning and the 09/16 main event is going to be something not involving La Mascara, but I would lean towards playing up that possibility in the build to make the result more unclear if I was promoting the show.
To go back to what started this, Taven’s mentioned as working both 09/16 and other shows to be announced, so he’s likely in for a few weeks like the NJPW guys were.
CMLL has a show tonight too! On paper, it’s a simple build up show to the Anniversary. The main event continues the build to the top 2 matches for the Anniversary show, with Dragon Lee & La Mascara on opposite sides of a trios main event. They teaming with four people who will be in the trios title match, Mistico, Volador Jr., Ultimo Guerrero and Euforia. The other signed apuesta match, Rey Bucanero vs Super Crazy, meet in the lightning match this week. Those two have been on opposite sides of matches since 1995 (when Rey Bucanero was briefly Pirata Morgan Jr), but this is the first singles match I have on record. Both big matches should be good, but are there to build up the bigger matches three weeks from now.
The rest of the show are the usual random tag matches, which might go somewhere but probably will not. The semimian is Atlantis, Stuka & Valiente vs Gran Guerrero Mr. Niebla, and Barbaro Cavernario, which will probably have a good bit of comedy. Angel de Oro, Titan, and Guerrero Maya face Rey Escorpion, Polvora and Dragon Rojo in what’s probably going to be the the best match of the night. The second match is Hombre Bala Jr., Soberano Jr., Pegasso against Virus, Skandalo and Disturbio. Stukita, Shockercito face Demus, Mercurio in the opener.
The show is back on the internet this week. CMLL’s announced they’ll air both this week and next week on their YouTube channel at the normal 8:30pm CT start time.
Meanwhile, Hijo del Santo starts his tour of Baja California tonight. The Tijuana show is unusually a Saturday night show, and he’s instead in Rosarito teaming with Rayman against Angel Blanco & Hijo del Medico Asesino.
CMLL also announced ticket prices, which are markedly down from last year. Quick disclaimers: CMLL posts what it costs at their ticket window, but I try to use the Ticketmaster price (including fees) since that’s what most fans will end up paying for the big shows. MedioTiempo has the numbers without fees. Also, I’m never sure how seriously to take the “front row” tickets for either AAA or CMLL major shows; many of those seats are held off the market by the promotion, and sold/given to sponsors, regulars, or other friends of the promotion. You may have to know someone to actually buy a ticket at the highest price. (In CMLL’s case, the cheapest tickets haven’t been put on Ticketmaster at all.)
2016 CMLL Anniversary
2015 CMLL Anniversary
2014 CMLL Anniversary
2013 CMLL Anniversary
CMLL prices are nearly cut in half from last year. It’s still the most expensive CMLL show of the year, but it’s an obvious adjustment for the level of match. CMLL & AAA are pretty close to each other this year. AAA’s prices drop off quicker, but are slightly higher than CMLL on the low end. (CMLL had the advantage of looking at AAA’s prices, since they came second.)
CMLL mentioned a photo exhibition during Wednesday’s press conference. The details are here: it’ll be 20 different Liverpool stores/malls from August 30th to September 23rd. They’ll have 13 photographs, taken since 2000, and they’ll have some autograph signings at the openings.
CMLL is back on Fridays, just on YouTube instead of Claro. (I guess they just didn’t think of it last week.) Crazy/Bucanero in the lightning match and Lee/Mascara in the trios are expected, but it’s the stuff that doesn’t seem to build to 09/02 that might be interesting. Let’s talk about that in the morning.
Elite is airing two shows, as promised to make up for last week’s show being missed due to rain. It may not be the full shows. Last week’s show airs Friday night at 11pm, around the old time slot and heads up against the end of the CMLL stream. It’s only listed as an hour – Elite usually goes 75 or 90 minutes, and maybe they’ll just end up going that long anyway. The Saturday show is at the normal time, and should be the matches from this Thursday night. (It’s Mexico, so that’s all to change.)
AAA starts on the Toluca taping, some of which has turned up on YouTube handled already. As usual, we’ll have a better idea of what actually airs when AAA puts up it’s preview Friday night, but they’re in full TripleMania promo.
CMLL Azteca (US) airs the Leyenda de Plata this weekend, which turns out to be the Anniversary build.