CMLL (MON) 02/27/2017Arena Puebla [CultIcon, El Popular]
1) París & Zaeta Roja b Rey Apocalipsis & Toro Bill Jr.
2) Millenium & Robin b Espíritu Maligno & Policeman Straight falls. Espiritu & Policeman broke up during the match.
3) Fuego, Oro Jr., Stigma b Arkángel de la Muerte, Canelo Casas, Puma Puma replaced Okumura
4) Ephesto, Hechicero, Mephisto b Johnny Idol, Máximo Sexy, Stuka Jr.
5) Volador Jr. b Euforia [lightning]
6) Carístico, Rush, Valiente DQ Gran Guerrero, Niebla Roja, Último Guerrero Caristico replaced Misitco, Valiente replaced Dragon Lee. UG fouled Rush.
Show doesn’t sound like it was that good (and yet I’ll watch it tonight anyway.)
Arena Puebla had the blue canvas, the same that’s been used in Arena Coliseo. Literally the same one; I think they made it for the Retro show, and have moved it to Puebla since that show makes TV and Coliseo no longer is taped. (Coliseo had an old looking unlogo blue canvas this past week.) Arena Mexico got a black canvas, with the connection of both being the Victoria sponsorship disappearing. Losing Victoria would hurt; they’re owned by the same people who own Corona (and just wanted to switch which brand they were promoting), so that’s a long time sponsor who might be going away.
CMLL says Mistico was hurt in his match with Cavernario on Sunday and will be out for the moment. Caristico replaces him yesterday and tonight. CMLL didn’t address the Dragon Lee disappearance, and he’s still listed tonight.
Today, CMLL has a show. They definitely do. Uh huh. The main event – Caristico, Dragon Lee and Rey Cometa versus Cavernario, Felino and Negro Casas – could be good if they give it time, but there’s no sure sign of that. Semimain might also be good, Guerrero Maya, Johnny Idol, Stuka versus Hechicero, Ripper and Vangellys – but there’s not a lot of excitement to it. The lightning match is supposed to be Esfinge vs Okumura, who knows what’ll be now. Oro Jr., Stigma and Triton take on Cancerbero, Raziel and Skandalo in the tercera. The minis have Acero, Electrico, Stukita versus Mercurio, Pequeno Olimpico and Pierrothito. All those matches might be good, have people who are not good, and have no particular interest in them. The show will open with Bengala & Marvel versus Camorra & Coyote.
One thing is up in the air is The Hardys as The Crash Tag Team champions. The Hardys announced they’re done in Impact Wrestling effectively immediately, and the Wrestling Observer expects they’re going to WWE and probably soon. The belts are meaningless themselves and The Crash can just crown new champions, but a reason they were champions was to do a tag match with Penta & Rey Fenix. It might have to occur on the 03/25 show if it’ll happen at all.
El Tijuanense talked to Flamita about his The Crash Cruiserweight championship reign. Flamita say he’s got no problem defending against Famous B, would like to face Mexicans like Laredo Kid and Fenix, and still wants to go against Extreme Tiger when he’s healthy. It’ll be a while before he gets to those, though he does seem open to the idea of defending the title while in Japan.
Daga and Garza are also working the FULL show the week before in Tijuana. If that stays that way, that shows the independence of those guys to work in the same venue as The Crash for another promotion.
That last bit has been somewhat publicly acknowledged by LU officials; they haven’t mentioned the tourist visa part, but mentioned the reason Taya and Daga and others missed weeks of Season 3 tapings is because MGM would no longer allow them to use people without work visas. If anyone had been caught using a tourist visa, the wrestlers could’ve been kicked out of the country – at worst, they could be banned from the US for years like Mike Bailey currently is – and there might have been some penalty for LU itself.
(The visa issues messed up the very first LU taping, causing them to rebook the entire episodes thru Aztec Warfare 1. It’s unbelievable that would be allowed to be an issue again when it was such a colossal mess up the first time, but it obviously wasn’t done right.)
AAA & those people would know their money issues, but all those guys working with The Crash and not working with the AAA seems to confirm they’re not happy with AAA. (It does suggest that AAA could fix those problems somewhat if they just paid people what they thought they were owed – it’s unclear if AAA doesn’t think they need to, or just doesn’t have have the money.) The IMPE story is really wild; IMPE’s own site says AAA’s trademark requests have not been approved, and I’m not clear on how a trademark official could stop someone from having a wrestling match – but Mexico works in weird ways, and Konnan’s been consistent with his belief that there are people in the trademark office doing things on AAA’s behalf.
Meanwhile, 126f noted that, in Alberto’s most recent interview with +LuchaTV, Alberto’s position on AAA was “I do not much like the people who work for the company, inside or outside the ring.” That’s harsher towards AAA in other interviews (though more honest.) Alberto’s getting handed a Rebelion shirt at the first opportunity. He says he’s got agreement work more three more dates for the Crash but he’s been busy on the dates they’re running so far. The funniest Alberto subplot is referenced here – Alberto wants to work Arena Mexico at least once again, but CMLL has no interest in paying what Alberto wants.
Oscar Garcia Jimenez, AAA’s lead graphic designer for the last eight years, mentioned on Facebook that he’s no longer with AAA. That post makes it sound like it wasn’t his decision. Graphic designer is probably too narrow of a description: he was the guy who designed their poster and artwork, but he also created the looks for characters like Drago and Taurus. AAA is a small business so he was handling a lot other roles; I think the last time his name came up in the news was the Ludxor/Nino de Ebano injury story, when there was an dispute about which person cause Ludxor to miss a doctor’s appointment. You would’ve seen Oscar on TV as the guy doing the haircuts for the last few years. I’ve seen him at the AAA offices and he was always friendly. I’m sure he wouldn’t remember this, but he’s actually one of the first lucha people I met in Mexico – we were at Super Astro’s restaurant, and Oscar and Cibernetico just happened to stop to say hi to Astro. It’s a pretty stunning moment when you’re walking around and you just run into people who work for AAA in the first hour you’ve been in the country.
The timing of this in relation to the La Llave de La Gloria logo issue makes it seem like they’re related. I don’t really know anything here, but I don’t think that’s the case. I’ve been thinking it had to be Record or Reforma who stole the logo, because AAA had Oscar and the little I knew of Oscar, I was pretty sure creating a new logo would’ve been something he would’ve been excited to work on. I’ve enjoyed his work in AAA and I hope he gets to do more of it somewhere else. Meanwhile, AAA has a small office, and it seems like it’s getting smaller all the time.
El Rey sent out a press release with Lucha Underground’s schedule for March. Long story short, someone did the math and realized they could just air all of season two and the first half of season 3 if they started airing four episodes a week for a while. It’ll be four episodes a week for a while, and then cut down to two episodes a week for about the same amount of time if they’re still planning on the May 31st return date.
We still don’t have a return date for Elite, but everyone still believes it’s coming back in March. CMLL included; a card in Sinaloa this past week was changed so Golden Magic and Mistico wouldn’t be in the same match, with CMLL not wanting their luchador in the same match with Elite’s Magic.
What Culture Pro Wrestling released the first round matches for the Mexico block of it’s World Cup on 04/30. As expected, Caristico has been quietly removed from the card. Juventud Guerrera replaces him. Drago is matched up with local El Ligero, so they could eliminate him from the tournament while avoiding him wrestling one of the ex-AAA guys. That seemed to work out for AAW.
CMLL (MON) 03/06/2017Arena Puebla
1) Hijo de Centella Roja & Vega vs El Malayo & Guerrero Espacial
2) Black Tiger & Espíritu Maligno vs Hijo del Signo & Policeman
3) Soberano Jr., Star Jr., Stigma vs Canelo Casas, Sangre Azteca, Virus
4) Ángel de Oro, Stuka Jr., Titán vs Bobby Villa, Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora
5) Atlantis, Carístico, Dragón Lee vs Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto
6) Rush vs Último Guerrero
Including Elite, this is the 6th singles match between Rush & Ultimo Guerrero in the last 11 months. Ultimo Guerrero has won every single one of them. They just did this ten days ago in Coliseo, where UG won by DQ. CMLL desperately needs to give different people chances in main events; they’re in the same place as AAA was a couple years ago, where they’re going to be hurting for star power if the handful of people they have on top are injured or leave.
This at least the second time they’ve moved Espiritu Maligno to the tecnico side, and last time it was for a short term hair program. It’s about that time to get a hair match in Puebla, and they’ve liked to run their own Homenaje a Dos Leyendas shows in the recent past.
02/26 Sobre el Ring: Cloud Drive – Princesa Sugehit & Zeuxis interviewed before their title match
CMLL on ClaroSports.com: 2017-02-24 Cloud Drive
taped 2017-02-24 @ Arena México
1) Robin & Star Jr. vs Cancerbero & Raziel
2) Esfinge, Soberano Jr., Tritón vs Bobby Villa, Misterioso Jr., Sagrado
3) Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr., Stuka Jr. vs Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Vangellys
4) Ángel de Oro vs Dragón Rojo Jr.in a lightning match
5) Atlantis, Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone vs Pierroth, Rush, Yoshitatsu
6) Cavernario & Volador Jr. vs Último Guerrero & Valientein a National Parejas Increible Tournament match and in a tournament final match
AAA on Televisa: 2017-02-25 Cloud Drive
taped 2017-02-11 @ Gimnasio Benito Juárez, Cuautitlán, Estadio de México
1) Dinastía & Octagoncito vs Mini Psicosis & Mini Psycho Clown
2) Aerostar & Argenis vs Carta Brava Jr. & Súper Fly
3) Hijo del Fantasma & Texano Jr. vs El Mesías & Pagano
CMLL Guerreros del Ring on 52MX: 2017-02-25 Cloud Drive
taped 2017-02-13 @ Arena Puebla
1) Fuego vs Guerrero Maya Jr., Soberano Jr., Star Jr., Stigma, Okumura, Pólvora, Sagrado, Skándalo, Virusin a cibernetico match
2) Rush vs Diamante Azul
3) Dragón Lee, Mistico, Volador Jr. vs Euforia, La Máscara, Negro Casas
Tonight’s Arena Puebla show has a Volador singles match, though probably not as big as other Volador matches. It’s his first ever singles match with Euforia, but it’s also ‘only’ a lightning match, a ten minute time limit match. It’ll probably be mostly like the third fall of a singles match, and they might be setting up for a bigger singles match next week.
The actual match was announced to be Gran Guerrero, Niebla Roja & Utlimo Guerrero against the Munoz trios of Rush, Mistico and Dragon Lee. However, the poster the Arena sent out has Valiente in Dragon Lee’s spot. Dragon Lee has that odd booking in Guadalajara last night and isn’t on any shows this week, so maybe he’s just going home for a few days. Just to be weirder, CMLL’s since updated the main event to list Caristico, Rush and Dragon Lee as the main event team. Who knows. Mistico is off Tuesday’s show from Arena Mexico too, with Dragon Lee replacing him.
The rest of the card is OK and less than OK stuff. Johnny Idol, Maximo and Stuka take on Ephesto, Mephisto and Hechicero in the fourth match. Fuego, Oro Jr., and Stigma have to face Arkangel, Canelo Casas and someone else. Okumura is still listed on the poster even though CMLL’s update has him out for at least a week. That’s the usual communication issues. Millenium & Robin take on Espiritu Maligno & Policeman, and Paris & Zaeta Roja fight the Batallon de la Muerte in the opener. The show airs on CMLL’s YouTube channel at 9pm.
CMLL (SAT) 03/04/2017Arena Coliseo
1) Bengala, Leono, Sensei vs Apocalipsis, Cholo, Grako
2) Astral, Príncipe Diamante, Sangre Imperial vs Akuma, Artillero, Inquisidor
3) Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr., Soberano Jr. vs Puma, Tiger, Virus
4) Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., The Panther vs Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto
5) Carístico, Marco Corleone, Valiente vs La Máscara, Pierroth, Rush
Matches 3 and 4 look good, though it’s hard not to miss how close they were to doing that trios title match (which is never ever happening.)
CMLL (SUN) 03/05/2017Arena México
1) Flyer, Magia Blanca, Starman vs Grako, Hijo del Signo, Metálico
2) Estrellita, Princesa Sugehit, Sanely vs Reyna Isis, Tiffany, Zeuxis
3) Pierrothito vs Shockercito [CMLL MINI] vacant title (Astral moving up divisions.) Winner becomes 14th champion. Pierrothito would become a 2 time champ, Shockercito a first time winner.
4) Ángel de Oro, Marco Corleone, Volador Jr. vs Rey Bucanero, Sam Adonis, Terrible
5) Atlantis, Dragón Lee, Mistico vs Euforia, Niebla Roja, Último Guerrero
Sam Adonis is back and higher than usual, though it’s unclear if it’s a change or just a blip because of the women’s and mini’s matches. I suspect Pierrothito is going to win the title match but it doesn’t feel certain.
CMLL (SUN) 03/05/2017Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Micro vs Guerrero de la Muerte
2) Avispón Negro Jr. & El Yaqui vs Carlo Roggi & Destructor
3) El Divino & Javier Cruz Jr. vs Demonio Rojo & Gran Kenut
4) Kempo Dragón, Sky Kid, Smaker vs Mr. Trueno, Príncipe Kisho, Rey Trueno
5) El Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón vs Explosivo, Omar Brunetti, Star Black
The DF guys returning to Sundays was a one week thing, but the Nuevo Generacion Dinamitas stick around and are seem set up for a trios titles defense soon. Kempo & Kisho are back in again from Sinaloa.
Any CMLL title match, really any title match, should be an obvious thing to record in some format and put on CMLL’s YouTube channel. In this case, it looks like all we’re going to get is this clip of the finish.
Zeuxis losing her championship again at least opens the door to her heading to the WWE. Other international wrestlers are starting in April, Zeuxis has tried out with them in the past, and she’d fit with the upcoming women’s tournament they’re running. (Even if she’s only going for the tournament, this fits the pattern of Mascara Dorada losing his title before going for the Cruiserweight tournament.) Zeuxis has been at a WWE tryout in the past, but she’s given no indication of leaving for WWE (and seemed to shoot down the idea when it came up before the cage match.) It’s simply something to keep in mind for about the next six weeks at the point.
The Crash announced the Young Bucks and Bobby Lashley for the March 25th show. The Bucks are interesting because they’re ROH/NJPW contracted wrestlers who are wrestling in Mexico for someone other than CMLL. On the other hand, CMLL doesn’t run Tijuana or anywhere near it themselves, and CMLL hasn’t shown any outward interest of using the Young Bucks.
The Jarretts were joined by an Impact Wrestling/Fight Network official. The Impact logo was among those shown on the screen before the show, but it didn’t seem like any formal deal was announced in front of the crowd. Bobby Lashley working their next show suggests they’re at least on good terms, and it’s probably just a matter of time before that deal does get announced. Hayashi, who has been running the AAA operations in Japan (setting up the Star Battle show last year, getting people and promotions to come over for the Lucha World Cup) and also is a mask/costume maker, was also there and apparently with The Crash now. There’s benefits for the Crash to have these relationships, and not having them hurts AAA quite a bit. It’s not impossible for AAA to run a Lucha World Cup without these alliances, but it’s suddenly become a lot more difficult and would look very different than years past.
Rey Mysterio and Zorro being added to La Rebelion takes it from “the hot young stars of lucha libre” to “anyone who’s upset with AAA”. (If you bought a shirt three weeks ago, it’s already outdated.) I, and I think others, were hoping for La Rebelion to be this tight nit faction that actually works as a group and feuds with other people and other groups. Instead, it’s going to be closer to what Los Perros del Mal turned into at points, an sprawling unfocused group of whoever would look cool with a t-shirt. The Crash is booking a PWG style of whatever dream matches they can book with minimal storylines anyway, so I suppose it doesn’t matter much, but it already feels more like a (optimistically) a movement or (pessimistically) a fashion line than a wrestling group. At this point, they might as well go even stronger this direction: add a dozen more people to the group and make the promotion itself La Rebelion if that’s going to be the big name.
CMLL (SUN) 02/26/2017Arena México [CMLL]
1) Arkángel de la Muerte, Sangre Azteca, Skándalo b Magia Blanca, Magnus, Oro Jr. Rudos took 2/3.
2) Blue Panther, Johnny Idol, Titán b Felino, Gran Guerrero, Luciferno Tecnicos took 1/3. Titan replaced Blue Panther Jr. and Gran Guerrero replaced Tiger on Monday with the addition of the singles match.
3) Shockercito b Último Dragóncito, Fantasy, Aéreo, Reycko, Demus 3:16, Pequeño Olímpico, Pequeño Nitro, Pequeño Relámpago, Pequeño Joker [cibernetico, CMLL MINI, #1 Contenders] Pequeno Relampago & Reycko (Guadalajara) and Pequeno Joker (Puebla) debuted. Acero was first out, beat by Joker. Shockercito beat Demus to advance to next week’s final against Pierrothito.
4) Mistico b Cavernario replaced a Angel de Oro/Stuka/Titan vs Gran Guerrero/Niebla Roja/Vangellys match on Monday. Mistico took 2/3, the last with La Mistica
5) Marco Corleone, Valiente, Volador Jr. b La Máscara, Mr. Niebla, Último Guerrero
Cavernario’s big win streak lasts one show, but so it goes.
Pierrothito’s been around since the start of the CMLL minis division (over 25 years ago). Shockercito has been around for 15 years. To the best my knowledge, this will be their first CMLL singles match. It won’t be their first Arena Mexico singles match – they had one on the DragonMania show last year – but CMLL rarely having singles matches with minis means two people who’ve had hundreds of tag and trios matches against each other have never just faced one on one. Pierrothito’s one of the leader of the division, training a lot of the newer minis, and seems like the favorite to win. Shockercito has never won a singles title and would be a fun champion.
Record, a co-sponsor of La Llave de la Gloria, has a two page fold out section on Saturday’s La Llave de la Gloria section. They say 110 people were part of the first tryout. There were about 80 people who wrestled matches, so that would suggest they eliminated people along the way. Taylor Wolf, a Chilean who’s been wrestling around Mexico State, was among the Mexicans and two Japanese who tried out.
I didn’t pick up on this, but the reason only half of the AAA La Llave de la Gloria matches were on Periscope was because the other half was on Facebook Live. Group 1 includes Villano III Jr., Broken Clown, IWRG/Neza luchador Balack, but it was people I couldn’t identify who looked the best. Group 4 has the Mini Pentagon (who even wins with a super Destroyer) and other minis; it’s shaky but picks up in the last 80 seconds. Group 6 falls apart as the video picks up; you’re really dependent on which person you’re assigned to work with in these and the big guy here is kind of tanking the other guy. Group 8 was shown by one of the Record reporters covering the show, with Douki and Hanaoka in it (and maybe of the Nerds?) All of these are just about five minutes long and seem to be most of the matches; you have about 60 seconds to get yourself over, which means lots of big spots and hurrying. Astrolux is still the best person I’ve seen, but there were other people who looked good too. AAA says the winners will be published on Wednesday (which might mean in Record.) I have no idea how many winners there will be or what winning means at this point; they’ve explained very little about this concept oonline.
The missing portion of the La Llave de la Gloria contest are women. It had to be an intentional, I’m sure women have signed up, but maybe they’re just grouping them all together for the second tryout. There were almost no exoticos. There were plenty of people who could pass for minis, though no one really Mascarita Sagrada size. Vampiro, excited as he’s been constantly since starting this public role, says he saw at least 30 different people who caught his attention. He says 35 in the Record piece. Villano III Jr. said there were about five worth being on TripleMania. I think he might be closer.
AAA posted this week’s TV episode. The 03/31 taping scheduled for Tampico has been moved to Neza. Tampico is where the canceled 2015 Guerra de Titanes was scheduled, and I believe they’ve had one more taping missed since then. At leas they got the change early on, but I suspect the security situation in Tampico remains a big problem.
IWRG (WED) 03/01/2017Arena Naucalpan
1) Black Niko, Pequeño Orquidea, Puma King (Iwrg) vs Bambino, Lady Dragón, Zatan X
2) Celestial Boy, Dinamik Kray, Haziel vs Águila Enmascarada, Black Puma, Keshin Black
3) Águila Oriental, Fireman, Omega vs Atomic Star, Keiser Drago, Power Bull
4) Kanon, Leo, Mike vs Blue Monsther, Picudo Jr., Vórtize
5) Araña de Plata, Alas de Acero, Black Dragón, Shadow Boy, Alfa, Aramis, Skanda, Adrenalina vsNeza Kid, Lunatik Extreme, Fandango, Tromba, Lunatik Fly, Lunatik Boy, Black Warrior Jr., Quetzal [Torneo FILL] Torneo FILL 57, Gym FILL (Black Terry) vs Gym Deportivo Miguel Hidalgo (Freelance)
Back to trainee shows, with an interesting main event. Freelance is a skilled wrestler but also one who does dives to crazy places and team of crazy people should be fun. Neza Kid being involved is fun – often that’s Freelance under a mask, but it’d be a great trick for him to do that while also standing at ringside. It’s probably his son, who’s Neza Kid whenever Freelance is also booked.
XMW (SAT) 03/11/2017Salón Citlalli, Ecatepec, Estado de México
1) Black Shadito & León Dorado vs Astrolux & Black Metal and Joseph Alonzo Jr. & Vinnie Scarpone
2) Ludark Shaitan vs Kaho Kobayshi
3) Nygma, Picudo, Silver Cat vs Kronoz, Terremoto, Torny and Dalton Brag, Romeo (Chile), Taylor Wolf
4) Metaleón & Mr. Leo vs Hermano Calavera I & Hermano Calavera II
5) Titán (CMLL) & Tritón (CMLL) vs Centvrión & Látigo and Fly Star & Fly Warrior and Douki & Low Rider [XMW TAG]
6) Wotan vs Tóxico DF [XMW EXTREMO]
XMW shows have really good tag matches and a hardcore main event, and this is about the same.
CMLL (FRI) 02/24/2017Arena México [CMLL, Culticon, ESTO, Estrellas del Ring, R de Rudo, thecubsfan]
1) Cancerbero & Raziel b Robin & Star Jr. 12:19. Rudos took 1/2.
2) Esfinge, Soberano Jr., Tritón b Bobby Villa, Misterioso Jr., Sagrado 17:07. Rudos took 2/3. Bobby Villa replaced Okumura (cervical injury)
3) Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr., Stuka Jr. b Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Vangellys 14:57. TGR took 1/3.
4) Ángel de Oro b Dragón Rojo Jr. [lightning] 8:08. Angel de Oro won via mecedora
5) Atlantis, Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone DQ Pierroth, Rush, Yoshitatsu 7:29. Rudos took 1/2, the last when Diamante Azul angrily ripped off Pierroth’s mask. Rush attacked Atlantis after everyone else had left.
6) Cavernario & Volador Jr. b Último Guerrero & Valiente [natl pi, final] 21:08. Cavernario & Volador took falls 2/3.
The main event was excellent, and will be on many list of best lucha libre matches of the year. It was a match of giant spots, and an exciting final stretch. The show exceeded expectations overall. The big with Rush & Atlantis after the semifinal looked like a very designed spot (Edgar was holding Atlantis in place to give him a excuse for still being there and not being able to defend himself); at least today, they’re going somewhere with that.
They also announced Homenaje a Dos Leyendas will be available as a pay VOD, but only after it airs. It should be a within a day after, but they tried that for the Anniversary show and had problems with music rights. (CMLL thinks they’ve fixed the problem by taking out the dance numbers, but really any one of their entrance songs could trip YouTube’s content monitoring software in a bad way; don’t be surprised if there’s another delay.) No price was mentioned. That Anniversary show is still up, though you have to dig to find it, and it cost $3USD. No price was announced for H2L, but it’ll probably be the same.
CMLL’s press conference yesterday was indeed a sponsor deal, announcing a deal with BOING fruit drinks. The BOING logo had been on the barriers for a month, this was just formalizing it. BOING has been sponsoring AAA, and might still be, and they did the same campign here of imagining the luchadors as fruits. Marco as a pineapple got a commercial last night, my favorite is the Dinamitas as angry grapes. Sofia Alonso was the CMLL representative for this, as she was when Mexico City opened the lucha libre exhibit at Metro Guerrero station. That’s the sort of stuff her father Paco Alonso hasn’t liked to do in the past.
CMLL tonight has Cavernario, Euforia and Mr. Niebla versus Atlantis, Maximo and Mistico in the main event. The big match is the tercera, a title match between Zeuxis and Princesa Sugehit. I think a title match is possible, though far from certain.
The Crash is back tonight in Tijuana, with a Blue Demon, Garza, Zorro vs Brian Cage, Eli Drake and Jeff Jarrett main event. Brian Cage has been talking for weeks about how he feels Sam Adonis ripped him off with the Trump idea, so I suspect he’ll be going all in on that idea tonight. That match doesn’t interest me much, but some of the rest of the show does. Rey Horuz & Ricochet taking on Daga & Fenix could be outstanding. The fourth match, Bestia, Juventud and Laredo Kid against Mascarita Dorada, Willie Mack and Zumbi (in for Jack), could also be pretty good. There’s a barbed wire match with the Compadres (Violento Jack & Aeroboy) against Nicho & Masada, a rematch with the local guys, and Flamita & Septimo Dragon in the opener, provided Flamita hasn’t left for Japan yet. The last show was not streamed, and I suspect we might not be getting streamed shows going forward if they’re saving the footage for their own TV (or YouTube show). I’ll let you know on Twitter if anything turns up. Fancams have been showing up on YouTube pretty quick.
The first AAA La Llave de la Gloria tryout just wrapped out. They worked out people in the morning, and they broke them into groups for matches later on. There’s a few familiar names, and a lot of people who’s names I’ve seen on indie show posters but have never actually seen. One of the Villano III kids (I think Villano III Jr.) was front and center in one of the tryouts and is the most recognizable names. He’s recognizable to me, in part, because he actually appeared on the dreadful TripleMania I appeared live, coming to the ring after that awful match.
Another person who stuck out is Pentagoncito, in the first class. I believe this is an Mexico State indie guy, but it’s hard to tell because there’s like four or five different Pentagoncitos around. It’s tough to square how AAA can be going after one person for using a Pentagon related gimmick without their authority while giving an opportunity to another person doing exactly the same thing, but there surely must be an answer beyond my knowledge.
They had a class of about 10 to start, and then what looked like 40 people (or four classes at once) training later on. It’s gotta be tough to figure out who’s got the most heart when you’ve got 40 people at once, but they gave them more space when they separated them 4v4 matches later on (and maybe those early tests were just to weed out people.) Villano IV was one of the trainers/examiners, so he must still be part of AAA. I did not see El Apache. Hope he’s OK. Vampiro was all over the place, leading everything, with Averno, Chessman, Octagoncito, Mamba, Angelico and Nino Hamburguesa also involved. They did a bit where the AAA luchadors got in the ring with some of the trainees at the end, and then a big group photo at the end. It didn’t seem like they announced winners or people who’d advance, so it may be a while longer before we know about these people (or they may just mention it randomlly.)
AAA’s preview of this week’s episode reveals they’ll air the minis tag match, the Aerostar/Argenis vs Carta Brava/Super Fly tag match, and the Fantasma/Texano vs Mesias/Pagano tag match.
AAA also posted an extended interview with Vampiro about his new job with AAA, La Llava de la Gloria, and more. I suspect sections of this will be this week’s Noti AAA, though probably not the part he mentions CMLL by name. Again, it seems like he goes 12 minutes without actually mentioning a single AAA luchador, which seems like not a great guy for someone who’s in charge of those wrestlers, but he’s selling a dream. He insists he wants your thoughts, positive or negative, to him on Twitter and Facebook. I don’t think he actually wants all of that, but I guess we’ll see.
CMLL (FRI) 03/03/2017Arena México
1) Fantasy & Último Dragóncito vs Demus 3:16 & Pequeño Nitro
2) Fuego, Pegasso, Soberano Jr. vs Disturbio, Misterioso Jr., Sagrado
3) Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., The Panther vs Bobby Villa, Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora
4) Ángel de Oro, Atlantis, Titán vs Forastero, Máscara Año 2000, Sansón
5) Diamante Azul, Máximo Sexy, Valiente vs La Máscara, Pierroth, Rush
6) Volador Jr. vs Yoshitatsu
It’s the traditional singles farewell match to end a NJPW tour, only CMLL forgot to build it up in this building. So it goes. It’ll be Volador’s third big match as the draw in eight days (last night’s match + facing Euforia in Puebla); CMLL really could use more tecnicos to trust in these positions. It’s also Tatsu’s only booking for the week and his last show in MExico.
What happened: Cavernario & Volador Jr. won the Parejas Increible final. After the show, Volador again asked for a hair match. Accounting major Cavernario suggested it should take place on the Anniversary show.
Diamante Azul and Pierroth feuded heavily. After it appeared over, Rush hit Atlantis with a plastic carton. It may be a tease of them having a match, it may be Rush just being a jerk, and it’s possible it’s both.
What was good: So much. The main event is one you need to go out of your way to watch, and the first three matches were all good. The lightning match would’ve stood out more on another show. The Azul/Pierroth didn’t completely stuck.
CMLL’s Torneo Incredible tournament is the worst of the year. The silver lining is the final is often pretty good. Last year’s Mistico & Mephisto versus Cibernetico & Carsitico match exceeded expectations, La Sombra & Volador vs Atlantis & UG was pretty good, as were the two finals won by Mascara Dorada & Atlantis. These matches can work, and tend to work better when there’s no near term match coming soon. I recall Bucanero/Volador vs Maximo/Terrible being fine, but sidetracked because the priorty there was to build up the Homenaje a Dos Leyendas main event rather than this match. We know now, a bit unfortunately, that Volador & Cavernario aren’t going to be in the H2L main event, and neither will Ultimo Guerrero & Valiente. Maybe they might get a match down the line, but this match isn’t built around seeing one or two teams blow up. It’s built around four of the better luchadors in Mexico, trying to have a really good match. Crazy concept but I think it might work.
Volador & Cavernario look like the crowd favorites. Ultimo Guerrero & Valiente are the betting odds favorites, because this is a thing UG hasn’t won yet and CMLL seems to be building Valiente up. I think UG wins, but the outcome still feels in question.
The rest of the show is not all that much. Diamante Azul & Pierroth meet in the semimain, and we’re due for a few more weeks of that before the H2L main event. Atlantis, Marco, Rush & Yoshitatsu round out the match. Angel de Oro and Dragon Rojo in a lightning match will probably be the second best match on the night. Terrible, Rey Bucanero, Vangellys versus Stuka, Drone and Guerrero Maya feels like a match CMLL must’ve run many times but hasn’t actually ever done in exactly that configuration. Soberano, Triton and Esfinge face Okumura, Sagrado and Misterioso, which is not quite as samey but not far off. Robin & Star Jr. face Raziel & Cancerbero to lead off the show.
Apolo mentioned CMLL has a press conference today at 5:30pm, three hours before show. CMLL doesn’t usually have press conferences on Fridays, though I vaguely recall one previously that was focused on sponsors. That’s the most likely news. I really don’t think it has anything to do with Diamante Azul/Pierroth. I have other ideas, but there’s really nothing to go on here.
Lucha Underground will be on Netflix. What day will be on Netflix? I though I knew this morning, now I’m less sure. CNET listed the show as part of the March release schedule, on March 15th. That would be great! However, threeothersites I checked, all seemingly working off the same press release, don’t have Lucha Underground listed at all. I suspect CNET was working off the same Twitter news as everyone else. Krudemmon of R de Rudo did have March 15th way back when, so I’m not ruling it out, but don’t make plans for that date or start putting it out there yet. The GLOW series drops at the end of the month, so it’d be great for everyone if LU was on Netflix by then, but we don’t know at this point.
AAA’s (as both AAA & LU as one entity) has been sending cease and desist notices to some promoters to threaten them not to use Fenix or Pentagon. This is not new, but what is new is California’s PCW actually shared the cease and desist and their response to it. (They’re going to keep booking those guys.) What jumped out to me is AAA/LLFMV is not just trying to block those guys over using the names, but over using their (Lucha Underground supplied) visas. AAA may say it’s a name issue, but there’s no name that would make them happy, they’re just trying to block these guys from working in the US at all. The C&D strategy hasn’t seemed to worked much – maybe that’s happened with Penta missing What Culture? – but it’s why everyone’s been quick to adopt the new names. PCW’s documentation makes it clear they believe Penta and Rey Fenix will get the rights to their new names.
This tactic of C&D would seem to harm AAA’s chances of getting their own talent booked in the US. Many of the promotions who are getting legal letters now worked thru AAA to get Pentagon and Fenix on their shows in the first place last year, and now are being threatened by the same company. Some people might just want to book those guys now, and this behavior is going to convince them to stay away from anyone related to AAA, even those currently on good terms. To pick a random name, who’d want to start bringing in AAA’s Dizzy for a few appearances if Dizzy might leave AAA halfway thru? Trying to drag other people in to it is just going to convince them to stay far away. AAA’s trying to convince people to stop using Fenix & Pentagon, but likely at the cost of convincing people to stay far away from AAA. Even if they’re “successful” in costing Fenix & Pentagon US bookings, they’re also probably costing guys like Drago, Fantasma, Aerostar and Psycho Clown US bookings, and costing themselves the money they get for booking those guys out.
+LuchaTV has an interview with the Indystrongibles about their apuesta match on Sunday. LigerFever has translated it. They mention AAA had an idea to bring them in – they had TV tryout matches in 2015 – but then AAA would’ve controlled them and they didn’t like that. I think they probably would’ve had to start at the lowest (Atomic Boy, Lanzeloth) level too, which might mean it’s years before they get to do things like they were doing on the indies (and maybe making the money they were in the indies.) The indie credits don’t seem to transfer over to AAA (or CMLL, for that matter), and the guys near the top of the indie scene would be sacrificing quite a bit just to get some TV time. The WON mentions the idea of the La Llave a la Gloria winners getting big pushes to make people forget those who left but, to me, that would require a big shift in AAA’s mindset in how they handle new wrestlers. The interview is really more about the trio than the AAA digression I just made, so there’s more there worth reading or watching.
That Llave a la Gloria contest starts tomorrow morning, before I’ll bother to do a new post. There still will be plenty of people who show up – even if AAA ticked off 99% of luchadors in Mexico, which they haven’t, there’s so many luchadors that 1% of people showing up would look like a big turnout. Quality is more interesting than quantity.
1) Esqueletor Alcala & Nacho Libre vs El Rudo & El Solovino
2) Alfa 3000, Alfa Azteca, Furia Azteka vs Bochido, Delirio, Poseidón
3) Espartako, Euforia, Nitro vs Heroes Jr., Memo Valles, Trauma I
4) Valiente vs Alberto Dos Rios
5) Blue Panther & Satánico vs Black Terry & Negro Navarro
6) Atlantis & Mistico II vs Gran Guerrero & Último Guerrero
Unlikely to air anywhere, but notable because it’s the Arena Coliseo Monterrey show going up against AAA TV. In past years, we’ve seen the CMLL guys in Arena Jose Sulaiman and the AAA guys in this building or the bull ring, and it’s all turned around this time. Also turned around is Alberto Dos Rios, who retired back on January 22nd and already seems to be back.
What happened: Volador kept his title over Ephesto, to the surprise of no one. Princes Sugehit defeated Zeuxis again before their title match on Saturday, and Cavernario pulled off Mistico’s mask before their own match on Sunday.
What was good: The fourth match is one of those matches that make going thru all these CMLL b-shows worthwhile. The main event wasn’t bad.
I remembered no one is forcing me to watch this and I am free to zoom through obvious garbage matches. Good times!
Where can I watch it: It’s on CMLL’s channel.(more…)
FWIW: WWC aired at the normal time on the national feed. And Lucha Retro is listed back on Fox Sports Deportes on 2AM CT on Saturday/Sunday. It’s listed as a rerun, it’s probably a rerun, but I’m going to get my hopes up anyway. It’s enough for me to not to cancel the champions for one week.
AAA starts the Cuautitlan taping, even though it says Toluca up there. I changed that three times but didn’t hit refresh any of those times, it’s dumb. Anyway, we have no idea what’s going to air until something shows up on AAA’s YouTube channel. Everything should be about the same anyway.
Elite USA has enough episodes to last thru April 20th, FWIW. It’s not worth much.
Lucha Underground is airing four episodes again next week. I have nothing to say about the shows that are actually on this list.