CMLL’s annual Universal tournament concludes tonight. Either Ultimo Guerrero becomes the first and only three time champion, or Volador Jr. will no longer be the most important guy in CMLL not to have won this tournament. This is not exactly a new matchup – they headlined the FantasticaMania tour in January and headlined a couple shows last year – and it’s probably not a new match up in style quality. Ultimo Guerrero and Volador do some very exciting things in their matches. The downside is they tend to do the same very exciting things in all their matches. Both are proponents of CMLL’s checklist match style, where important matches are about fulfilling the fan’s expectations of seeing the same big moves in the same fashion. UG’s usually worse about it, insisting on doing those same spots in the same order. (The front superplex much come before the super powerbomb.) It turns a match into a performance, into a stage play being doing routinely.
I’m sure there are differences and insights gleamed from watching a great actor play Hamlet for the thirteenth time, but I’d rather see a different story or a different role. The match will get over – they’re great actors who will perform their roles as well as anyone, and it’s the kind o high level match that will blow away people who are seeing them for their first time or even the fifth. It’s definitely arguable the problem is less about them, and how we – or I! – consume CMLL, that luchadors should not be required to reinvent themselves on a regular basis to appear to the every show fans, and that perfecting a formula is the better way to reach a mass audience. Still, it’s a high level match that I’m not all that excited in watching.
I’m not arguing the other singles match, Pierroth versus Vangellys in a hair match, will be any better. It will be bad. It will be atrocious. The difference is we don’t know exactly in what ways it will be terrible, but I’d kind of prefer not actually knowing. CMLL has never been concerned about putting bad looking matches in the ring if they had a good reason for it – think back to all the rough main events featuring the previous Pierroth in his bad army days, and you can see them similarly hoping the heavy angles they’ve run building up to the match will compensate for the low quality of action. The difference here is CMLL has tended to shy away from putting someone who lost an apuesta match into another one just a few months after. It’s a sign about how much the Munoz family means to CMLL right now that the least important person in the group – I think they’d agree with that – is getting two apuesta matches in four months.
My suspicions are Volador’s finally going to get the big red belt and that Vangellys is only in this spot because they needed someone with hair to feed to Pierroth build him back up.
The semimain may turn out to be the best match on the show yet. Caristico’s talked a few times about putting together a trio of himself, Dragon Lee and Mistico, and they’re a trio here against the Hijos del Infierno in what should be a big exhibition match. The third match continues the Blue Panther/Sam Adonis issue, with Diamante Azul, Soberano Jr., Dragon Rojo Jr. and Negro Casas rounding out the match. The second match is a women’s match, possibly because CMLL booked a women’s match before they remembered Princesa Sugehit was out of town today. Without her, Silueta appears to step in as Zeuxis’ rival for the night. Silueta teams with Vaquerita & Marcela against Amapola, Dalys and Zeuxis, and all six women figure to be back next week as part of the Copa Natalia Vazquez. The opener has Astral, Sensei, and Star Jr. versus Akuma, Arkangel and Matelicao.
The other major show tonight is The Crash out in Tijuana. The main event is a four way Penta 0M, La Mascara, Jeff Cobb and the debuting Marty Scurll. Maximo & Garza Jr. team up against Daga & Santo Jr., who is also making his debut with the promotion. I think Scurll will do fine, but I have concerns about how Santo Jr. is going to do. This is not the style of show or match he’s worked in Mexico so far, but he’s going to eventually have to find a way to excel in them if the third generation Santo is going to be an important person on his own – there’s not enough companies like FULL promoting traditional style lucha libre to solely make your name on those. (It’d equally be good for The Crash if Santo worked out here, since there are potential fans who probably only pay attention that name.) Nothing I’ve seen so far with Santo Jr. suggests this is going to work out great, but one good match could change some minds.
Jack Evans takes on Bestia 666 in a super libre match which continues to build to a hair match. War Machine face Rey Horus & Rey Fenix (The King) and Sami Callihan & Shane Strickland in a three way tag match. Oraculo & Serpentico vs Black Danger & Jonathan meet in a tag match, where Oraculo & Danger seem headed to a mask match. The opener has Arkangel Divino, Black Boy and the debuting Ultimo Panda against Eli Everfly, Famous B and Ultimo Maldito.
Again, The Crash show is not streaming anywhere – it was close enough to happening that it got mentioned on Konnan’s podcast but it didn’t get done in time again. Konnan’s said he’ll have video on his Patreon again. I still haven’t heard from anyone who saw the last show, but maybe I’ll jump into it this weekend.
This is from a few days ago: Alberto’s announced for MDA’s next show on 07/23 in Monterrey. MDA posted that on Monday, just before his week started to unravel. MDA’s also promoting the AAA TV taping this Sunday in Monterrey, and they’ve focused on that instead of saying any more about Alberto or that 07/23 show.
Metro.co.uk has an interview with Angelico. Angelico’s been wrestling in Europe since March, but mentioned he’s back in Mexico this weekend, and is scheduled on shows in Sinaloa today and tomorrow. I’d be surprised if he didn’t show up as an addition to Sunday’s TV taping. It may not be a forever thing; Angelico’s always been a nomad and mentions in the article that he’s been thinking of leaving Mexico and going to Europe for a year or two. Angelico notes he hasn’t made any decisions, he just has a lot of ideas of things he could try. He says nice things about Lucha Underground and seems to want to keep working there if/when they come back for Season 4, but also says his short term goal is to stay without a contract.
Lucha Underground promoted Johnny Mundo appearing on the PW Blitz (Illinois) show on 08/12. I can’t remember them promoting Lucha Underground guys on indie shows before. It’s not mentioned in the Twitter plug, but Mil Muertes is on there in character, so maybe licensing the LU gimmick will start to come with a social media mention (which would work better if they mentioned Mil was going to be on the show.)
DJZ is the guest on Colt Cabana’s podcast this week, and he talks a fair bit about his experiences in Mexico – including the injury. He says CMLL offered him a contract after his match with Hip Hop Man in the Elite tournament, and he credits +LuchaTV for making fans in Mexico aware of him enough in the first place to get him booked down there. (It’s a great minute of podcast when both +LuchaTV and Jocay come up right after each other.)
The new AAA Panini stickers will also in boxes of 50 stickers for ($22). They’ll sell them in individual packets for cheaper than that (and I haven’t seen how much), but the box is good if you’re trying to collect them all.
Guapito talks up his tag match with Zacarias against Gallito & Microman tomorrow in Morelos. Mije had other things to do, I guess.
CMLL notes today is the 11th anniversary of Misterioso taking Pantera (II)’s mask in a miscellaneous midcard cage match. Pantera’s claimed he wasn’t paid for the match and continues to wear his mask.
Garza Jr. is teasing something with Pagano again. This went nowhere last time.
Apolo Valdes writes about wrestling now against each other.
AAA has this week’s Zona Ruda on their YouTube page. Hijo del Fantasma is the studio guest.
Segunda Caida reviews Demus vs Black Terry.
LuchaWorld has the latest news update.