EDIT: Friday’s ClaroSports show starts at 5pm, not the normal time.
The previously mentioned Lucha Libre Retro show debuts on Fox Sports Deportes in the US this Monday. This would be Saturday Coliseo shows, which are not currently airing anywhere, Only CMLL is old school enough to have a show named “retro” that’s just the same lucha libre they always run. The first show said to be taped was the 09/03 show – Euforia/GG/Kraneo vs Maya/Titan/Idolo is the best looking match – but they might skip around. The show has a Facebook page, and it appears to be produced by someone new, not the in-house CMLL crew.
Lucha Underground‘s preview mentions two title matches (one via Dial of Doom) and an Ultimate Opportunity. I think I’ve figured out two of the matches and feel pretty OK about a third; there’s some people who haven’t been seen yet who will some time this week.
AAA has part two of TripleMania, and we won’t know which matches until tomorrow. My guess is they’re saving Pagano/Psycho for week three, and it makes sense to get the other two bloody matches out of the way now.
IWRG on AYM could be anything. I’ve got the Sunday show, but there’s always the chance they tape the Friday AAA show and put it on there too.
I happened to catch the internet feed of Titanes en el Ring, and they apparently have jumped again so they’re airing the Friday show on Sunday. Maybe Azteca US will make that leap someday.
CMLL (TUE) 09/13/2016Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Martes de Glamour]
1) Diplomático & Linterna b Capitán Cobra & Johnny Dinamo Rudos took 1/3.
2) Cancerbero, Raziel, Signo Jr. b Bengala, Magnus, Robin Bengala replaced Starman (MIA), Espanto replaced Arkangel (already heading to Puerto Rico.) Rudos took 1/3.
3) Amapola, Dalys, Tiffany b Estrellita, Marcela, Silueta Rudas took 1/3.
4) Ángel de Oro, Atlantis, Stuka Jr. b Kráneo, Olímpico, Ripper Tecnicos took 1/3.
5) Rey Bucanero, Shocker, Terrible DQ Marco Corleone, Máximo Sexy, Volador Jr. Rudos took 1/3, the last when Terrible faked a foul from Marco.
ELITE (WED) 09/14/2016Arena Naucalpan [@PlantillaDepor1, +LuchaTV]
1) Keira & Princesa Blanca b La Pantera (Jalisco) & Lady Maravilla Princesa Blanca’s return match. La Pantera (from Guadalajara) replaced Chik Tormenta.
2) Diamante (CMLL) & Imposible b Ciclón Ramírez Jr. & Jinzo good match
3) El Bandido & Zumbi b Heddi Karaoui & Herodes Jr. Herodes Sr. was at the show. Bandido dived into the front row.
4) Karonte Jr., Toscano, Zumbido b Emperador Azteca, Metaleón, Último Ninja Zumbido & Karonte Jr. replaced Magno & Hijo de Dos Caras.
5) Fuerza Guerrera & Solar I DQ Pirata Morgan & Satánico
6) Blue Demon, Golden Magic, Xtreme Tiger b Cibernético, Rey Escorpión, Sharlie Rockstar Cibernetico’s first match since surgery (injury not disclosed.) Blue Demon & Sharlie Rockstar were added to this match during week. Rey Escorpion betrayed Cibernetico, giving the tecnicos a win and setting up a singles match next week.
Demon’s heel turn last week seems forgot (and seems likely just to have been something to stall the show long enough for Caristico arrived.) Demon being pushed as a top guy didn’t seem to work out for AAA or Lucha Underground, but I don’t know that Elite (or Azteca) would notice that.
They cut prices in half and the building eventually filled up, though it didn’t look good early. Maybe this is a big scientific experience to see if the problem was Arena Mexico or Wednesdays (and it looks it may be Wednesdays.) Herodes working in the third match suggest he’s done in AAA (and he didn’t do too well in there.)
Yesterday, Mexico’s senate declared September 21st the day of lucha libre and luchadors. This had been in the works for a while, with Brazo de Oro pushing the idea with help from CMLL. The bill still has to be passed by Mexico’s house of deputies (the equivalent of representatives in the US.) It’s not official yet, which will not stop anyone from pretending otherwise. It was passed unanimously in the senate, so something where they rush it thru to get it all done by the 21st seems possible.
The date is based on EMLL’s first show; this is one of those things that solidify that promotion as “authentic lucha libre”. (AAA seems to have ignored this for obvious reasons.) This would largely a ceremonial gesture, but it’s one that doesn’t happen in most countries.
Gran Metalik finished as the runner up in WWE’s CWC, losing to TJP Habana Brother II in a great finale. Mascara Dorada is not booked in Mexico on Monday (or Sunday), so it’s possible he’ll appear on RAW. He’s still wrestling in Mexico as if nothing is going on, and CMLL has never acknowledged his participation.
Lucha Underground starts on Samurai TV on October 14th. It’ll be preceded on October 7th with an introduction to the series, and they’ll be starting with episode 1. LU is now airing in the US, Canada, France, and Malaysia (Star 2). Mexico and the UK are the two obvious missing ones; fans in the UK should also expect it to start with episode one whenever it does air.
Titan is a decided underdog, but he’ll get the opening to have a good match with Titan.
Women’s match being fourth is very strange, especially given some of the people in the third (and CMLL usually doesn’t put rookies like Sanely that late in the show regardless of gender.) Something’s up.
CMLL (TUE) 09/20/2016Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Leono, Mágico, Magnum vs Metálico, Ráfaga, Rey Trueno
2) Blue Panther Jr., Esfinge, The Panther vs Misterioso Jr., Okumura, Sagrado
3) Blue Panther, Johnny Idol, Stuka Jr. vs Felino, Kráneo, Ripper
4) Marco Corleone vs Terrible
5) Atlantis, Máscara Dorada, Mistico vs Gran Guerrero, Rey Bucanero, Shocker
Marco & Terrible face off after feuding for two weeks. Mascara Dorada still is on the CMLL lineups as if nothing is going on, will wrestle Rey Bucanero. Everyone should try to put him in kneebars.
Air Date: maybe 10/08 & 10/15, maybe pushed back a week from that. AAA doesn’t mention this show being an iPPV (and I wouldn’t assume it to be one.)
There’s about one match I’d like to see on this show, the Daga & Suicide match. There’s nothing outrageously terrible, but a lot of stuff which doesn’t look interesting. I think they’re making a good attempt at trying to draw given the pieces they have, but the end result isn’t something impressive.
Alberto is back, as we all figured he would be. AAA officially announced his return last night. Leo Riano says Alberto was asking for $10,000 per match. I take all the money numbers with a grain of salt, but that means he’s going to get paid twice as much for the main event 12 minute tag match as Pagano got paid for losing his hair at TripleMania. Great work if you can get it. (The WON today reports it’s more like $4,000.) This seems like a one off, because there’s no obvious follow up out of this for him; I can’t imagine he’s feuding with Pagano.
No sign of Pentagon Jr. on this show. I think he’s working in the US that weekend. Maybe this is when Jack & Angelico are in Europe? And of course Fenix is not going to be on this show. No LU crew either; there’s an obvious talent depth drop off from August.
Suicide putting up his mask has been the plan for at least two years and they’re finally getting there. Daga & Suicide are getting a good spot out of it. I’m a little surprised they’re ahead of Garza & Mundo. That title match is a good test for Garza Jr., since Mundo’s going to want to have a great match and Garza has not been all that memorable in AAA. AAA could really use some new rising stars, and Garza and Daga having big star making nights would be a big help right now. Literally almost nothing else matters, but AAA needs those two matches to go well.
Back at ColiseoMania, Dorian Roldan specifically mentioned Mesias, Hernandez and Cage as a team for this show. Hernandez and Cage are absent; I guess they could be added in, but I’m not sure why you’d take them out in the first place unless AAA’s not sure they’ll be there. Maybe they’ll bring in a foreign tag team. Texano and Mesias is pushed off for the end of the year, and Fantasma still has nothing particular to do.
Apaches vs OGT follows up from TripleMania, and will likely go about the same way. The TripleMania match killed my enthusiasm for that feud. The Copa Antonio Pena is the Copa TripleMania repeated (which is maybe why you don’t want to do those on the same shows.) There’s lots of mystery people on that lineup, some of which will possibly be Monterrey people. They probably should announce some now, because that lineup looks very weak for a match. Cuervo & Scoria probably should be in that match, but they’ve vanished after being pushed very hard early on this year. Tag title defense opens the show; Laredo was definitely a tecnico last time we saw him and so doesn’t make sense with Super Fly, but there’s also some good stories you could tell about the ex-Air Force guys teaming up to challenge Aerostar. (It’s an opener, so I’m not sure those stories will be told.)
There’s room for about four more AAA tapings this year. The next taping after this one is probably somewhere around the 10/15 weekend. The 11/20 show in Juarez leaked out long ago, and the Guerra de Titanes show probably follows that.
Dr. Wagner defeated Mascarita Sagrada (0:59, Dr. Wagner Jr., not rated)
Mil Muertes defeated Argenis (1:34, Flatliner, not rated)
Killshot defeated Marty Martinez in a Weapons of Mass Destruction (22:26, double stomp thru a table, great)
If you had been waiting for months about updates on the police plot, then this was your episode. A lot of knowledge was dropped. Captain Vazquez was heard the tape of Mr. Cisco being murdered (though not until the part 2 of Ultimo Lucha Dos), but refused to bring in Dario Cueto. Joey Ryan/Officer Meehan and Cortez Castro/Officer Reyes got into a scuffle over this, since Cortez still saw Mr. Cisco as a friend and didn’t want his murder to be just overlooked. It’s implied Castro slipped the audio tape of the murder to higher ups, who arrested Dario Cueto on their own at the end of Ultima Lucha 2. Vazquez figured it what he did, and suspended Castro for not going along with her plan. To her, Dario Cueto is just as much an unimportant piece as Mr. Cisco, but taking Dario off the playing field makes it impossible to find Dario’s boss (Dr. Claw) and that’s the person she really wants. Some months later (at the season of Season 3), Castro apologized, Vazquez reinstated him and sent him back to the Temple.
That’s not really a good turn of events for Castro. Last week, after Dario returned to ‘work’, he was surprised by Joey Ryan. Ryan sold out the investigation and his partner, revealing that both and Castro were police. Dario appeared not to have known. Ryan wants in on Dario’s plans, and Dario seemed to agree. (Given these two, it’s possible Joey is working as a double agent or his own angle, and it’s likely Dario will sell him out either way.)
Why are we doing this, anyway? Well, it turns out that back a 1000 years ago, a special amulet was passed on from a father to his daughter. The father was dying, and needed his daughter to continue his war. The amulet wouldn’t do anything for him, but would allow her to live forever. She relevancy accepted it and he passed away. In present time (or close to it), we see that Captain Vazquez has half of the amulet. In the show closing moment, we see that Catrina has the other half.
There were matches too! Two of them were rather tossed off. Dr. Wagner squashed Mascarita Sagrada, in a sgment just to remind us of the Season 2 ending status quo for Famous B – Wagner’s his guy, and Mascarita got kicked to curbed. The money won was alluded to but not seen. Argenis barely got any more offense in on Mil, who completely overmatched his opponent. Puma attacked him for no obvious reason after the match, except he must’ve taken Vampiro’s advice to heart.
The main event, which took most of the second half of the show, was the Weapons of Mass Destruction match. The Temple had weapon crates, camouflage netting, guns, and rocket shells laying around, though Killshot also got into the usual tables and chairs by the end. It was a match more known for it’s brutality than any particular story. Killshot did attack Marty as he was making his way to the ring. Marty used Melissa as a human shield, and taunted her during the match. Mariposa appeared only late, and only lasted about 15 seconds before she took a brutal bump off a ladder thru a table (nearly hitting her head on the bottom rope.) Killshot ripped the dogtags off of Marty as they fought on top of the ladder, then drove him off it with a double stomp thru the table to win.
This was an overall weird experience. The first half of the show was loaded with brief matches and short vignettes. The idea was to clear out as many commercial breaks as possible so they could show the main event without a break. They’ve done it before, and it’s always a little weird until you grasp they’re just giving the main event time (and it’s a bit that won’t be as much an issue when watched on iTunes), but it didn’t flow as well this time. It’s seemed like those other similar shows have had more a variety of vignettes. This was was all about the police plot, which hasn’t been one of their stronger plots. This used what they had set up before to move a lot of pieces around – Ryan’s sold out, Cortez is in deep trouble, we now have a reason to care about Vazquez – but it was so much of it at once that it felt overwhelming and the dramatic impact was disrupted by the pacing. A skit where Cortez is kicked off the investigation and a skit where Cortez is welcomed back onto the investigation really can’t either in the same episode, much less the same 10 minute stretch. They really wanted to get to both halves of the amulet by the end of the episode (which I’m not sure they needed to do), but we were spending a lot of time in one big chunk on characters who haven’t been that compelling up to now, and the whole thing felt rushed.
Two episodes makes a pattern, adn so there’s now a pattern of lots of flashbacks this year on the show that also does no replays during matches. Those last couple of episodes might have been better off if the bits we’re only seeing now were shown in ‘real time’ – if Cortez being benched happened to close out Ultima Lucha 2, than maybe it would mean something for him to be back. (On the other hand, that’d be another big change that was immediately undone to start the season. An upisde of these vignettes is we can see more of the ripples of Dario’s arrest, even for as short it lasted.)
I had problems with the presentation of the show. And I had lots of problems with the presentation of the main event. I’ve generally given up on making announcing complaints at this point. Striker and Vampiro are as associated with the product as Dario is at this point, and they can rise to being weirdly endearing at times. They’re much more reigned and under control in LU than their AAA appearances, and I’m generally numb to their quirks after 60 some episodes. LU has had two “off seasons” to make changes and they’ve elected to roll with the same crew. I fully grasp that there’s probably nothing that’s going to change that.
There’s also nothing that’s going to be change that their performance in this match, especially by Matt Striker, was the dirt worst. Killshot & Marty are killing themselves and each other, and Striker is forcing in every single artificial preplanned reference like Joey Chesnut at a hot dog eating contest. It was just about as appetizing. The point of announcing is to add to enhance to the match, but the point of Striker’s commentary – often, but never more than here – was to make his references the star of the show and just use guys driving each other head first into ladders as a set up to his next hacky punch line. It wouldn’t even have mattered if the lines were clever or funny, the experience should never be about how many one-liners any announcer can get off, but about the one guy clobbering the other guy. (It also wasn’t even a political thing – Striker was equally as annoying when he made less charged but still equally irrelevant look at me comments.) I don’t even want to put it all on Striker. When he’s done this in the past, it’s come out that writers were feeding him lines to keep him going, and I’d guess they were doing it again. They were at least fine with it, since it made it on to the show. Meanwhile, Vampiro was going the extreme opposite direction, trying to sell the idea that guns were loaded and the grenades were armed. It would’ve seem ludicrous on it’s own, but it was out of this world with the other voice busy prepping his routine for the Chuckle Hut.
Striker’s commentary might have be perfect for a “$5 wrestling” audio track, mocking the bad wrestling being shown. This wasn’t a bad match, this was the end of a long and personal rivalary in an attempt to help both men break out. Instead, I wanted to break my TV. In their defense, the match did go so long that Striker ran out of references to make, and was actually forced to start calling the match like a sane human being might. Maybe other people got back into it at that point – I hope they did. For me, I was just beyond caring about something the people involved didn’t seem emotionally involved in all that much, and generally aggravated about how it felt like they disrespected both of the wrestlers. The match seemed fine, good, but it was one I was never going to revisit or would ever tell people to check out.
Now. I try not to read any reviews before I post my own, because I think it helps me form my own opinions without being too influenced by other takes. I am on Twitter during the show, which may hurt that idea. (I won’t be next week.) I did see a lot of strongly positive comments for this match, largely from people who I believe were in the building that day, but mostly that’s just because those were the people I happened to be checking in on. So, after I finished watching the CWC, those comments caused me to give the match another shot. And I did, with the volume on mute.
The Weapons of Mass Destruction was close to, if not quite at, the level of the No Mas match. It was an Ultima Lucha level match, something that would’ve fit better on the show than the Gift of the Gods, and an eyegrabbing performance for both men. It was lacking a level of internal story to really take it all the way up, as it felt like control just floated back and forth frequently with no real flow. The volume and impact of the big spots made it up for it. The suplex onto the ladder, Killshot getting run face first into the ladder, Killshot taking the suplex to the outside thru the table, the suplex onto the weapon crates, Mariposa’s tumble thru a table and the finish were all just insane moments. The weapons motif added a little, was a little goofy, and didn’t factor into the results much. Killshot got the feud ending win, as he absolutely had to, and probably took more of the physical punishment. Yet, this was really Marty’s break out performance. He’s far away from the goofball who got beat by Alberto in a minute. Marty’s probably never going to be athlete the level of many other in LU, but he carried his personality thru this match better than most. Marty came off as crazed, demented and dangerous, and a real significant threat for Killshot to overcome. His reactions helped elevate this from just being a stunt show to something more serious. The finish came off contrived – why did Killshot climb the ladder like it there was a reward at the top instead of just shoving the ladder over? – but the double stomp was a great visual (and that’s what LU is.) I’d recommend watching the match, though I’d suggest waiting until it gets dubbed into Japanese, or at least watching on mute.