Tonight is the first part of CMLL’s annual Universal tournament, a 16 man three week tournament with every champion in CMLL (or at least that’s the idea.) This is the latest CMLL’s run this tournament:
Final Date/Winner 2009.06.19: Ultimo Guerrero 2010.08.13: Jushin Lyger 2011.09.16: La Sombra 2012.08.31: Terrible 2013.09.07: Hiroshi Tanahashi 2014.08.29: Ultimo Guerrero  2015.10.16: Atlantis 2016.10.28: ?????
The 2012 & 2014 tournaments were used to spotlight one of the competitors who would be on the Anniversaro show a few weeks later. It’s possible that might have been the idea this year, but Dragon Lee’s injury derailed it. There hasn’t been a title change since La Mascara won the CMLL Light Heavyweight championship, which set the field but came right before Dragon Lee got hurt again.
The other tournament winners are more normal CMLL tournament winners, where it’s mentioned for a few weeks and moved on from there. Ultimo Guerrero won the first to build credibility for the tournament, Lyger & Tanahashi were part of the NJPW/CMLL tie-in (and went nowhere), Sombra won to make a statement that he was now the guy, and Atlantis winning was just finding another way to do a Ultimo Guerrero/Atlantis feud.
There’s no Anniversary connection and there’s no obvious final in this year’s field. Tonight’s block has Mistico, Último Guerrero, Negro Casas, Máximo Sexy, Valiente, Rey Cometa, Mephisto, and Shocker. (Dragon Lee and La Mascara are both in next week’s block, so the idea of an Anniversario rematch as the final is impossible.) Shocker, Rey Cometa and Valiente are unlikely to advance far. Ultimo Guerrero being in the final for the fourth time would be a bit much, but not impossible when it comes to Ultimo Guerrero. Negro Casas is the biggest name who’s never won this tournament, but seems less likely to work three matches at this point. That leaves Mistico, Maximo and Mephisto, none definite favorites. I’ll guess Mephisto, but with zero certainty.
If you’re new to this tournament, this part is important: this tournament is not watchable. CMLL three week single elimination tournaments are typically two weeks of short bad matches and maybe a pretty good match on the end. The block matches, like today, have historically been three to five minutes matches where the loser rushes thru his trademark offense and then gets pinned quickly by the person moving on. They’ve been better at giving the matches more time recently, but they’re still very predictable (watch which guy uses up their spots) and underwhelming.
The rest of the show is not a lot better. The one match you’ll want to see is Mascara Dorada, Guerrero Maya and Dragon Lee taking on Euforia, Gran Guerrero and Niebla Roja in the tercera. It’ll easily be the best of the night. The minis will open Friday night, which seems to happen a lot. Astral & Electrico take on Pequeno Nitro & Pequeno Violencia. Amapola, Dalys, Tiffany and La Vaquerita, Marcela and Princesa Sugehit in the segunda. The semimain, theoretically here to draw fans who wouldn’t be interested otherwise, has the Dinamitas (Cien Caras, Mascara 2000, Universo 2000) versus Marco Corleone, Atlantis and Stuka. The Dinamitas match on 09/16 was the worst match in Arena Mexico this year. This one should be better because they’ve got good people to work with (and people who are specifically strong at getting a lot out of a little), but it’s still going to be a struggle.
AAA starts their batch of post-Heroes Inmortales/pre-Guerra de Titanes TV tapings tonight. They’re in the Hidalgo city of Tlahuelilpan, about two hours away from Arena Mexico. This show has Psycho Clown, Texano Jr. and La Parka versus Pagano, Pentagon Jr., Dr. Wagner Jr. in the main event, playing off the Heroes Inmortales match. Pentagon and Texano seem to be used as either a tecnico or rudo depending on the night. A similar thing is happening in the semimain, with Hijo del Fantasma & Garza Jr. versus Brian Cage & El Mesias, where Fantasma seems to switch back and forth.
The third match might be the most interesting match of the night, just to see who’s there. It’s scheduled to be La Parka Negra, Super Fly, and Apache versus Bengala, Argenis and Jack Evans, but Jack Evans status with AAA is uncertain after the reaction to his recent interview. I hope he’s there, but I’m skeptical he’ll be there (and it’d be yet another case where AAA is falsely advertising a wrestler.)
The fourth match is Zorro, Cuervo, Scoria, the current trios champions, versus Averno, Chessman and Ricky Marvin. (AAA posted an interview with Zorro, so vague that he doesn’t mention the opposition by name.) We already know these teams will have a title match in 11/04 Aguascalientes, but they’ll probably still run an angle to set it up of this match. The Apaches will be around to antagonize OGT: Faby Apache & Mary Apache take on La Hiedra & Mamba. The opener has a minis match Octagoncito & Dinastia versus Mini Psycho Clown & Mini Histeria. The minis are always good when they’re used, but they’re used about the same way every time and any idea for them would be neat.
This AAA taping will start airing on 10/22 and continue thru 10/29. There may be the usual fan Periscopes.
ELITE – I’m not quite sure what Elite is doing. On Twitter Wednesday, they said to keep an eye out for news about their return to Mexico City soon. They have no taping today, which leads to guessing there’s some secret show going on today that will be announced later today. (And they may be keeping secret to avoid detection from the commission.) They could also just have a different meaning for “soon”; they’ve announced tapings for 10/21 (see below) and 11/04, but nothing for 10/28 or past that date. I have no idea what they air tomorrow if they don’t run today.
Many of ELITE’s top luchadors and some of CMLL are scheduled to be in Tijuana tonight for Promociones Cholo de Tijuana. The main event is Rush & La Mascara versus LA Park and a partner TBA (Rey Fenix?) Caristico faces Rey Escorpion in a title match for an unspecified title. There are CMLL/Elite matches all over the card, which is something that’s not been allowed on other recent shows. The policy there is completely inconsistent.
Angel de Oro debuts tonight in Ring of Honor. He’s wrestling in Chicago Ridge in a four way match with Nick Jackson, ACH and Kamaitachi.
I thought the Leyendas show was embarrassing, but CMLL obviously feels differently. Not only are the Dinamtias back tonight, but Arena Coliseo Guadalajara is teasing their own Leyendas Inmortales show with masks of Rayo de Jalisco, Canek, Fantasma, Huracan Ramirez (?), Black Shadow (???), Mascara Sagrada, and Satanico. Some of those names suggest they were just throwing out names. No date is announced.
LuchaWorld has a new edition of this podcast.
Producciones Sanchez (Arena Neza) is teasing a “Lucha Underground vs AAA” show in November.
Voices of Wrestling reviews this week’s Lucha Underground.
Even though Jack Evans says he’s off the AAA Japan card, Jack Evans is still being promoted as appearing on the AAA Japan card.
ELITE (FRI) 10/21/2016 Arena Lopez Mateos
1) Pantera & Rocky Lobo vs Luzbel & Tanque Infernal
2) Emperador Azteca, Hijo de LA Park, Zumbi vs Diamante, Imposible, Karonte Jr.
3) El Bandido & Golden Magic vs Argos & Hijo De Dos Caras
4) Cibernético & Sharlie Rockstar vs Mr. Águila & Zumbido
5) Blue Demon Jr. vs Rey Escorpión [Liga Elite]
6) Carístico vs LA Park [cage, Liga Elite]
Caristico versus LA Park in a cage will be something. Rey Escorpion deserves some MVP votes if he can get a good match out of Demon. Diamante is here, which makes it a lot less likely he’s Drone.