All matches aired live from Arena México on iPPV
Dragón Rojo Jr., Hechicero, Pólvora beat Blue Panther Jr., Stuka Jr., The Panther
(21:23 [7:42, 5:27, 8:14], 2/3, good)
Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone, Valiente beat Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
(13:21 [6:49, 2:17, 4:15], 2/3, good)
Cavernario, Felino, Negro Casas b Rush, Kraneo, Sam Adonis
(9:21 [5:02, 4:19], 1/2 DQ, ok)
Zeuxis beat Princesa Sugehit in a mask vs mask match
(20:49, 2/3, great)
- Princesa Sugehit rana (3:21)
- Zeuxis bridging cradle (3:45)
- Zeuxis Spanish Fly (13:43)
Carístico, Flip Gordon, Volador Jr. beat Kojima, Mephisto, Último Guerrero
(16:04 [5:22, 2:40, 8:02], 2/3, ok)
Gran Guerrero beat Niebla Roja in a mask vs mask match
(18:38, 2/3, great)
- Niebla Roja springboard plancha (2:06)
- Gran Guerrero wristlock armscissors (1:35)
- Gran Guerrero fireman’s carry powerbomb (14:57)
Niebla Roja was unmasked as Sergio Raymundo Chavez. He is 31, 11 years a wrestler. He wrestled without any side of an injury, though they checked on his knee after the second fall.
Princesa Sugehit was unmasked as Ernestina Sugehit Salazar Martinez. She is 37, 21 years a luchadora.
Sam Adonis and Negro Casas continue to feud in their match. Adonis gave Casas an inverted atomic drop, which was ruled to be a knee lift foul.
Mima Shimoda accompanied Kojima for his match.
The iPPV feed aired without any major problem, though they continued to replace the dance numbers with video packages (even though they’re in no danger of being taken down by YouTube whe they’re not on YouTube.)
CMLL’s two big matches delivered on their promise. Roja wasn’t hampered by any leg injury or by a negative crowd reaction (they were definitely cheering for Gran Guerrero but did not reject the match.) The crowd got into the women’s match as much as they have for any big women’s match. Both matches were about as good as they could’ve hoped to be, and fans of those four luchadors left happy with the effort (if maybe not all happy with the results.)
The problem for this show is there weren’t enough fans of those four people to make for a strongly attended show, and they didn’t do enough with the other luchadors people might care about to make up the difference. There were sections of the show booed, but it came across more as indiference on the iPPV stream, and for good reason. The opener was the kind of extra effort match normal for a big show, but the other trios matches didn’t have that extra bit. The NGD match was good given who was involved but was unexpectly more a showcase for the técnicos. The third match was an early match feud, one that didn’t feel near hot enough to make it worthwhile. And the semimain was kind of a more, a match that didn’t feel like it should be be part of a big show on paper and one where the participants didn’t work all that hard to change that perception. The malaise that’s overtaken the rest of CMLL cards this year was just as present on the biggest show of their year. An underwhelming anniversary show is an accurate representation of the last year.
If Niebla Roja does a run of interviews swearing that he wasn’t injured, that everyone was making it up, people would have a hard time disproving him on based on his performance here. Both he and Gran Guerrero talked about wanting to prove they belonged in this spot. This was not an epic on the level of the Atlantis matches, but this did feel like the best possible Niebla Roja/Gran Guerrero match, one that was capable of pulling in a disincllined crowd to react to the big near falls. (All the near falls felt big too. Unexpectedly, CMLL doing such a lackluster job of building interest into the match made the match seem a little bit more fresh – this was not simply a better version of a match they’d done many times because they not had a singles match before this.) I wish Gran Guerrero was more his own man and not such an Último Guerrero cover band, but he did the best version of UG’s style with his own finishes as he could. Niebla Roja didn’t connect strongly with the crowd, but he did try everything he could here to make the match dramatic. This would’ve been a breakout singles match if it had happened prior to the Anniversary, and feels underwhelming mostly because of how CMLL positioned it and not what they did.
The semifinal definitely feels underwhelming based on what they did. CMLL’s going to roll out Kojima and Flip Gordon in trios matches for a while, and you’ll liable to see ones just as good as the semimain from the Anniversario show. Gordon didn’t really stand out beyond the kip up spot. Kojima seems like a nice guy, but is definitley in the wrong promotion, and wasn’t a great pick for an extended tour. The other guys coudl’ve made up for it, but were just checking off moves from their big matches with no particular excitement. There was no urgency or pressure that you’d expect for a match on this level of show, and just that made it more disappointing than it would’ve been on a regular show.
The woman’s match was actually a little disappointing to me for the first couple of minutes, with both women working unconvincing holds unlike they had done in previous matches. The finishes were good, and it really picked up in the third fall. (Though, I am still disappointed Sugehit next landed the Asai plancha.) The crowd was more into this match from the start, but it didn’t feel like they knew these women as well. Sugehit using the satellite armbar she’s won with the last couple weeks to no reaction stood out as the crowd liking the idea of this match but not as diehard fans as you might expect. Thye should have new fans after this one; they did a lot of big stuff and it came thru well. The cradle reversal out of Sugehit’s armbar was cool, as was Zeuxis accidentally taking out a fan with a knee. Even the Spanish Fly went well, and that’s no guarnatee here.
The tercera served the purpose of getting the next big feud over in front of this crowd, but it didn’t come across as strong enough to get people to really care. I don’t think Negro Casas is into this right not as much as Blue Panther was from the start. Panther sold Adonis bigger as a foreign invader, while Casas more treats him as the guy he happens to be facing at this moment. The other guys around it weren’t much help. Cavernario/Rush sounds like an interesting match on paper, but Rush just kind of ate up Cavernario and that was that. Kraneo & Felino were not big factors.
I misread the second match. It wasn’t another NGD exhibition. They were just taking the spot of the Hijos del Infierno or the Revolucionarios or any other midcard rudo stable, there to stooge around to set up the técnicos offense on a big show. That might have still worked great if the técnicos were Soberano, Mistico and Dragon Lee, but these guys weren’t quite as exciting. The técnicos did generally break out the best stuff in their cabinet (except Valiente’s mask and blond hair, which is about the worst look), but it’s also the same general stuff (except the Valiente moonsault) we get to see from them a lot. Forastero got to land his dropkick on a big show, and they looked good when they worekd as a team. There just could’ve been more of it. This still would’ve been a good show is this was the least quality match on it. It just was not.
The sole trios match which felt like luchadors going at top effort for a top show was the opener. I guess it really shouldn’t have been a surprise that the person who was the best when everyone was at their best was Hechicero. The second fall was just a showcase for all he could do, and he totally won over the crowd. (I wonder if he was watching some of the MYC, because the “leap into my submission hold” finish was seen there too.) This was a little messy at times, with Dragon Rojo and Pólvora not really connecting cleanly on things. It was still a lot of fun.