Mil Muertes beat Veneno (1:08, Flatliner, not rated)
Paul London beat Vibora (3:53, COR with Rabbit Tribe holding Vibora, below average)
Taya beat Joey Ryan (3:34, northern lights suplex into double stomp, OK)
Jeremiah Crane defeated Killshot (13:02, Cranial Contusion, great)
This week started Block C of Cueto Cup. The 32 person field means it’s still just non-contenders quickly getting whittled away, but there was one upset of note and one competitive match.
The focus was on the Mil Muertes, Catrina and Jeremiah Crane love triangle. When we last left them, Crane was trying to win Catrina over by costing Mil matches, only Catrina told Crane that it wasn’t Mil she loved. Crane was apparently unconvinced by Catrina. After seeing Mil declare his love for her and advance in the tournament, Crane destroyed Mil in the bathroom. Catrina stared at Crane with unclear intentions at the end of the show.
Crane could stare at her, because he won a lengthy and close match up with Killshot. Killshot landed his top rope double stomp but Crane kicked out. Killshot went for a a different finish, but was distracted by the voice of Dante Fox. Fox was high up in the balcony, and talked just enough to cause Killshot to lose his focus and his match. They’re not done with each other.
The Rabbit Tribe isn’t done. Paul London became the only member of his trio to advance to the second round, with the help of a carrot and his partners holding Vibora outside for the countout. The was another silly match, but one where the silliness seemed to be intended as a method of working around Vibora’s limitations.
Taya defeated Joey Ryan cleanly in the other first round match. While both Veneno and Joey Ryan were present, there was no movement on the police front.
The second round matches in this block are Taya versus Crane and Mil Muertes versus Paul London. Tonight’s show clearly pointed towards a Crane versus Muertes final.
The show concluded with Dario showing off the final first round in the office. Dario delivered the performance of a lifetime when he excitedly promoted Sexy Star/PJ Black, but there’s was still a blank spot against Son of Havoc. Dario’s guest requested the final spot for himself, and then introduced himself: Son of Madness. He looks a lot like Son of Havoc, with the same mask, gear and beard, but a bit bigger.
This show also included the weekly Road to Mundo versus Mysterio video segment, this time asking others who they were picking. They were almost out of character – Chavo was listed as a retired luchador but sitting in the Temple, Cage didn’t have his glove. For what it’s worth, Chavo & Prince Puma picked Rey, Cage picked Johnny Mundo and Striker didn’t pick a side.
This was a one match show, with Killshot & Jeremiah Crane getting tons of time to do their match and everything else kept short. There’s no problem with that if these were the other three matches to have: Joey Ryan and Taya was best in a small dose, Mil Muertes shouldn’t be giving much to a Veneno, and Vibora’s not ready for TV. Paul London was his opponent to carry the match thru Vibora’s limitations. They were only going to Vibora to do one thing, get in London’s path on the dive so London doesn’t fall dangerously, and Vibora couldn’t do that one thing. The best thing to happen here is we don’t have to see Vibora in a match by himself for a long time.
The Killshot/Jeremiah Crane match was obviously a way to give two underexposed characters a bigger spotlight this season. They didn’t know the break was happening when they filmed it, but that too makes it more necessary to remind you who these guys are and why you should care. The storylines themselves weren’t all that compelling – it felt cheap for the match to end on a distraction after all the big move kickouts, and the Crane/Catrina stuff feels a little forced – but the match itself was pretty excited. Jeremiah Crane is Sami Callihan with a few more demented expressions and this was pretty much the Sami Callihan quick & fast paced action indie match. Strickland kept up and the crowd ate it up. The series of dives to start the match felt a little bit much and they were really laying in on the sound effects, but this worked as a way to get attention back on those two guys and made them both feel like people you needed to keep an eye on every time they were around. It’s really the only thing you need to pay attention for this show.
Vangellysbeat Pierrothin a lightning match (5:17, inside cradle w/ropes, below average, via thecubsfan)
Ángel de Oro, Dragón Lee, Niebla Rojabeat Gran Guerrero, Negro Casas, Rey Bucanero (11:09 [0:58, 4:45, 5:26], 1/3, ok, via thecubsfan)
Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone, Volador Jr. beatCavernario, Euforia, Rushin a relevos increíbles match (8:07 [3:06, 5:01], 1 DQ/2, below average, thecubsfan)
Diamante Azul returned from another trip to France to get his mask destroyed in the first fall. When he finally got a new one, his comeback led to an almost instant win for his team, with Rush pinning Azul.
Angel de Oro pinned Gran Guerrero cleanly as they feuded all match.
Vangellys used the ropes to beat Pierroth, then challenged him to a hair match. He got a response from Rush, sneaking in behind to club Vangellys. The Munoz family destroyed Vangellys while accepting his challenge.
Dalys tried to distract referee Edgar long enough for Zeuxis to toss her mask to Princesa Sugehit. Dalys didn’t do her part long enough, and Edgar turned around in plenty of time to watch Zeuxis commit the deed. Edgar considered giving the match to the rudas for the briefest of moments before raising Sugehit’s arm.
Estrellita had a shoulder brace on, which probably explains why she started missing matches after this show.
This was a marked step down from previous shows. None of the matches were particular good and some were just not good. The matches around the feuds didn’t come off as strong as usual.
The main event was derailed by Rush doing too good for a job destroying Diamante Azul’s mask. Everyone pretty much stopped until he could find a new one, and then the match went about 20 seconds after he came back. That was no good. The match was no good.
Both the semimain and the women’s match pushed those feuds fine, but there was not a lot to the matches. The finish in the women’s match came off as it was messed up and Edgar was left to DQ Zeuxis when that wasn’t the finish, but also that didn’t matter at all. The semimain had Angel de Oro & Niebla Roja showing off a lot of tag team moves for a team that’s not booked as a 2v2 team. It probably should be a tag feud against Gran Guerrero & Último Guerrero, but that requires the promotion to have tag team titles.
Vangellys & Pierroth was predictably poor in outcome, though I was mildly surprised how they got there. Sons modeling their wrestling styles after their fathers is normal, but I can’t recall a father trying to be a fourth rate clone of his son like Pierroth did here. He’s not very good at it, completely lacking the charisma that makes it work for Rush, and it left a match where neither man was doing much. Pierroth wasn’t going to do much than brawl, and it came off as if they weren’t trusting Vangellys to do any moves to him. The one thing Pierroth could do was his big second rope senton, so of course Vangellys barely sold it and went right to the finish after it. I can not believe someone thinks it’s a good idea to do a longer version of this match.
The minis match got good in the third fall and Stukita’s established enough that the fans pick up the moment he gets in the ring. They could do more with him, but they won’t, so it didn’t feel like it mattered much.
CMLL (TUE) 06/27/2017Arena México [CMLL, NotiMex]
1) Cholo & Templario b Bengala & Sangre Imperial
2) Astral, Magnus, Robin b Artillero, Espanto Jr., Hijo del Signo an Astral team actually won, taking falls 2/3
3) Raziel, Sagrado, Virus b Johnny Idol, Oro Jr., Stigma Raziel remains invincible
4) Esfinge b Disturbio [lightning] nudo egipico in 8:33
5) Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto b Fuego, Soberano Jr., Stuka Jr.
6) Diamante Azul, Mistico, Niebla Roja DQ Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero Gran Guerrero fouled Niebla Roja and then unmasked him after the match.
CMLL’s definitely switched the feud from Niebla Roja versus Ultimo Guerrero to Niebla Roja versus Gran Guerrero. I don’t know what it means for matches down the road, but there’s definitely was a shift.
There’s so much stuff going on that this needs headers today.
CMLL Press Conference
CMLL held what was billed as a Gran Prix focused press conference, which turned out to be at least a little bit of a bait and switch. You can watch the whole thing here if you’d like.
CMLL did announce Team Mexico. It’s Ultimo Guerrero, Mephisto, Euforia, Dragon Lee, Diamante Azul, Valiente, Volador Jr., and Rush. They did not announce a single new person for Team World. They instead said one more person will be announced Informa this week. They didn’t say when the other four would be announced, but I’d suspect we’ll continue to get the slow roll out via Informa for a while. (Lucha Memes was hyped about a unnamed Japanese lucahdor debuting, so that may be the announcement in a few hours.)
It was underwhelming to only get Team Mexico, especially with the absurd of inviting the press for an announcement and then saving more of it for your internet show seen by a few thousand people. They heavily pushed the Rest of the World team would be made up of “mainly ROH & NJPW” talent. They had flags for Tonga, the US, Japan and New Zealand hanging, which seems to indicate there’s reps coming for those last two countries. (Though why bother hanging them if one country wasn’t going to be announced until later and one not at all today?)
The real thing CMLL was pushing with the Vangellys/Pierroth hair match, which was set for July 14. It’s the same night as the Universal final. They had the usual contract signing and face off, though not coming to blows. Vangellys said he’s going after Rush after he gets thru Pierroth. He’s not getting thru Pierroth.
Bobby Bonales talked about the Copa Bobby Bonales, which CMLL already wrote an article about. Daniel Aceves announced the Copa would go both to a man and a woman. Usually, CMLL books the winner on the show so they can get it before the match, but there are not any women booked. Maybe that means neither winner will be wrestling.
A women’s cibernetico will be held on July 21st, called Copa Natalia Vázquez. Vazquez is credited as being the first ever Mexican luchadora, wrestling in the original Arena Mexico in 1935 as past of Mildred Burke’s troupe. Marcela, Princesa Sugehit and Zeuxis were brought onto to talk about the tournament. It’ll be held one week after the Mae Young Classic is taped in WWE (but before it airs, I believe) and seems like it could be the turning point in the the Zeuxis/Sugehit mask match. Those two talked about the possibility of having a mask match at the Anniversary show, and Sugehit’s participation in WWE would be wrapped up well before then.
The big news from AAA’s press conference came after the cameras stopped rolling. In an interview with MedioTiempo, Dorian Roldan stated TripleMania will not be changing it’s date. They will continue to run August 26, the same night as the Mayweather/McGregor fight. Roldan also revealed the show will take place at 9pm, which means the show will definitely still be going on as that fight is happening. (TripleMania usually starts much earlier, but it also usually runs on a Sunday instead of a Saturday.) AAA’s belief is they would rescheduled if they were holding the event in the US, but believe enough people in Mexico will still care about the show as to not move it.
Roldan went on to say that the Leo Riano story of airing TripleMania on TV is incorrect, and they have “great possibilities” of the usual PPV. They’re also in talks with an unnamed US TV outlet to air TripleMania on a delay. Nothing appears to have been said about internet PPV.
Delayed airing doesn’t sound promising to US AAA fans, but it’s big news if it happens at all. It would be the first time an AAA branded show aired in the US since they were on Galavision in 2011. At that time, the rights to the AAA show were part of a bundle of Televisa programming sold exclusively to Galavision. AAA had no control of where they would air or if they would air, they could only try to convince Galavision to air their program. Eventually the people in charge of Galavision decided they weren’t interested in airing lucha libre. Subsequently, people with Lucha Underground have said they have exclusive TV rights to AAA luchadors, and attempts at airing English versions of AAA’s product in the US have ended up crashing into that wall. (This is why people who get the Fight Network in the US do not get the AAA show at last check.)
If TripleMania airs in some form in the US, that’ll be another thing said not to be allowed under AAA & Lucha Underground’s contract that’s now being done by AAA. Perhaps Dorian Roldan being elevated in the Lucha Underground power structure has allowed him to rewrite those deals or choose which parts to enforce, but the relationship is definitely changing.
(Leo Riano’s not correct a lot, even on AAA stories despite working for AAA. If there were 20 people n the know writing weekly lucha libre columns I’d definitely be skipping his.)
Octagon has a press conference today announcing the ANLPI (Association of National Professional Independent Luchadors.) This goes back to last year, when Octagon announced plans to form some sort of group for luchadors to protect their rights following his own issues with AAA.
This happened at the same time as the CMLL press conference and I caught very little of it, so hopefully more details on it tomorrow.
DTU had press conferences for their tour, which starts tomorrow in Arena Aficion. Angel o Demonio defected to the X-LAW side, leaving Los Porros for the moment – but he’s still booked with Ovett on matches on this tour.
Lucha Underground, who are having a TV show and not a press conference
Tonight’s Lucha Underground is episode 3×24, “Macho Madness”. It’ll be the third block of the first round of the Cueto Cup
If we all stick together and stay strong, we’ll be able to survive Taya versus Joey Ryan.
The episode guide preview points at this being a Jeremiah Crane/Mil Muertes/Catrina focused episode. Both of the police officers are on the show as well, so maybe we’ll get something there. This would also be the week to reveal who Son of Havoc is facing in the tournament if they’re going to do it in advance.
I guess this is Lucha Underground too: Josh Mathews says he was offered the Lucha Underground play by play gig. He was not the first pick: Mathews story is LU offered the job to him originally, he was impressed but the (seven season) contracts were too much for him. If you recall, that was a big issue right before the first set of tapings, where a lot of talent were pushing back at the length of contracts being offered and LU was having trouble filling out their cast.
Mathews says LU contacted him again right before the first set of tapings, because the person they were bringing in to call the show from Mexico had visa problems. (Those were the same visa issues that caused Pentagon, Fenix, and Drago to miss the first two episodes and caused everything up to Aztec Warfare to be rewritten; we need an oral history of those first episodes once this is all over.) Josh was willing to just work the shows, but was otherwise busy, and that’s how they ended up calling Matt Striker.
I’m not sure who the Mexican PBP announce would’ve been. Maybe they meant Hugo Savinovich, who ended up doing the Spanish PBP only, but I don’t think he would’ve been in Mexico, he may live in the US and didn’t need a visa. Maybe it would’ve been Jesus Zuniga, which would’ve been a disaster. Maybe it would’ve been someone else? Josh is loathed by fans of Impact and the bickering announcing storyline is death, but he was fine on the World Cup should and probably would’ve been fine on Lucha Underground. More importantly, we probably would’ve been spared Matt Striker’s abysmal TripleMania performances. If it is the Fight Network who ends up with TripleMania, I’d expect we’ll hear Josh on that one.
That same interview has Josh saying he believes something has changed with the Lucha Underground contracts to allow Fantasma and Drago to work their show. It sounds like he may not know much more than us on the details.
WMC (SUN) 07/02/2017 Salón Balumcanan, Iztacalco, Distrito Federal
1) Zafiro vs Casandra, Reina Oscura
2) Dowki & Hanaoka vs Demasiado & Yuriko
3) Demoledor & Fly Warrior vs Toxin & Tromba
4) Fandango vs Terremoto, Rayo Star [WMC UNIVERSAL]
5) Fulgor I, Fulgor II, Látigo, Séptimo Rayo vs Disturbio, Príncipe Diamante, Soberano Jr., Súper Comando
6) Metaleón vs Tóxico [WMC XTREME]
WMC is back this weekend with a couple title matches, and an Indy Nation vs CMLL Atomicos.
CMLL (MON) 07/03/2017Arena Puebla
1) Asturiano, Black Tiger, Meyer vs El Malayo, Fuerza Chicana, King Jaguar
2) Marcela vs Dalys [lightning]
3) Soberano Jr., Stigma, Titán vs Disturbio, Misterioso Jr., Sagrado
4) Espíritu Maligno vs Ares [hair]
5) Atlantis, Diamante Azul, Valiente vs Kráneo, Mephisto, Ripper
6) Pierroth, Rush, Último Guerrero vs Rey Bucanero, Shocker, Terrible
Espiritu Maligno and Ares have been booked against each other for months, but only bothered to build up their feud last week. They had to know they were meant to have a hair match – if I figured it out, so could they – they just didn’t try at all. Ares hasn’t been much good at all, was clearly brought back just to be given a hair match payoff, and this is the most dispiriting type of CMLL booking as fan.
I have no idea what’s meant to be going on in that main event. I suspect they were planning on doing a Dalys/Estrellita title match but Estrellita got hurt and they didn’t want to have Marcela lose another title match.
CMLL (TUE) 07/04/2017Arena México
1) Fantasy & Stukita vs Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro
2) Flyer, Príncipe Diamante, Sensei vs Arkángel de la Muerte, Metálico, Sangre Azteca
3) Fuego, Johnny Idol, Stigma vs Cancerbero, Raziel, Universo 2000 Jr.
4) Drone vs Puma [lightning]
5) Ángel de Oro, Blue Panther, The Panther vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
6) Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone, Volador Jr. vs Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Negro Casas
A completely random show, but at least Drone/Puma is different and the semimain could be good. Raziel is facing slightly tougher competition than usual, his win streak will be tested.
CMLL (TUE) 07/04/2017Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Metatrón & Neutrón vs Maléfico & Thunder Boy
2) Astral, Magnum, Robin vs Akuma, Canelo Casas, Rey Trueno
3) Esfinge, Oro Jr., Star Jr. vs Disturbio, Tiger, Virus
4) Guerrero Maya Jr., Stuka Jr., Titán vs Felino, Hechicero, Ripper
5) Carístico, Dragón Lee, Mistico vs Cavernario, Mephisto, Último Guerrero
Based on last night’s lineup, it looks like Dragon Lee versus Cavernario or Carsitico vs Cavernario is coming up here.
LyP Klandestino (SUN) 07/16/2017Arena Lopez Mateos
1) Pegazus, Súper Astro Jr., Yakuza vs Alas de Acero, Aramis, Iron Kid
2) Lokillo, Sádico, Toxin vs Arez, Belial, Impulso
3) Imposible & Súper Mega vs Emperador Azteca & Eterno
4) Daga & Zorro vs Cien Caras Jr. & Rey Escorpión
5) The King vs Marty Scurll
6) Penta 0M vs La Máscara [super libre]
Lucha y Pasion is running a second show, but combining with the other super indie themed shows here. (I can’t figure out if Kalndestino is a separate promotion or a just another way of branding AULL shows but run by them too.) I saw Fenix/Marty Scurll in AAW two years ago and it was really good, so hopefully it’ll be the same here.
AAA TV (SUN) 07/16/2017 Arena Jose Sulaiman, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
1) Big Mami, Lady Shani, Pimpinela Escarlata vs Goya Kong, La Hiedra, Mamba
2) Bengala & El Elegido vs Australian Suicide & Marty The Moth and Monsther Clown & Murder Clown
3) Kevin Kross vs Máscara de Bronce winner gets the title shot briefcase
4) Aerostar, Drago, Raptor vs Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Soul Rocker [AAA TRIOS]
5) Hijo del Fantasma & Texano Jr. vs Dark Cuervo & Dark Scoria
6) Argenis, La Parka, Pagano vs Averno, Chessman, El Mesías
7) Psycho Clown vs Dr. Wagner Jr.
This is a card that makes sense or at least fits with current patterns by having enemies team up, and would seem totally likely if AAA was a normal promotion. The way AAA is run right now, we’re better off assuming that these are the matches which will NOT be happening on this taping. I want to get excited for a Suicide & Marty team but they’re not letting me.
Volador defeated Barbaro Cavernario to keep the NWA World Welterweight Championship
Sam Adonis snuck in a foul on Blue Panther to win that match. That’s about it.
This was a one match show, but that can work out fine when the match is as good as Volador/Cavernario. Cavernario is so good as Volador’s opponent – we’ve seen Volador do this style of match with an incredible amount of people over the last three years, and there’s a level of fatigue with some of the more familiar elements. Cavernario relieves that fatigue, bringing his own believable aggression to make Volador fight for his big spots and crushing him with his own big moves. This was not spot to near fall to spot like a Volador/Mephisto match, this was Volador being in danger often and surviving from moment to moment. They were helped by a large and loud crowd who so into the action that they believed this one was ending on a tapatia, but the luchadors gave them plenty to react towards during this match. This match up is a success every time they do it, and hopefully they’ll find a way to do in the biggest moment someday.
The semimain was the usual showcase but just didn’t click for me. There was a lot of standing and looking around at times where it didn’t belong. Mistico looks all banged up right now: the pad on his back, the neck pain from Monday and was moving slower than usual. He still tried to do everything he normally does.
The fourth match almost got to good, helped by Sam Adonis being getting big reactions from this crowd. He’s the most over guy who gets nothing to do, and this would be shocking in any promotion but CMLL. This match was fun at times and I think my problem was only that I liked the match before even better.
That tercera just moved really well and had some unique moments, from Puma & The Panther being the mat opening bit (not Virus) to the simultaneous pins at the end but one side having already beaten someone for the win. Puma looked good thru the match, and helped it keep the really fast pace. Pegasso wearing his combo Panther shirt was amusing, because CMLL seems to be booking him like he’s the fourth member of the family this year – he’s with these two almost as much as Forastero is with Cuatrero and Sansón. Blue Panther Jr. would be more enjoyable with some more snap on his moves.
It takes about one botched spot for me to give up on CMLL opening cards matches these days and they gave me a good one about 4.5 in. The rest of the match was not really anything, people taking occasional bumps with no background noise because there’s not many people there and no one cares. The second match wasn’t any better.