No real results to talk about – the great Guadalajara results streak lasted one week – so maybe this is a good time to look at the calendar of events for the next month.
- Tonight: DTU holds it’s 10th Anniversary show in Arena Aficion. The main event is a four way match with everyone putting up something: Shlak (DTU title), Ciclope (hair), Crazy King (mask) and Miedo Extremo (hair.) These usually end with the title changing hands, but GCW is advertising Shlak defending the DTU title against Jimmy Lloyd on Saturday in New Jersey. Maybe this is all well coordinated and they’ll just change that match. The show also includes Moria being challenged by Dezmond Xavier & Draztick Boy for the Alto Impacto title, and Mikey Midas & Myron Reed against Jimmy & Principe Condor for the DTU NEXO tag title championship. The X-LAW/DTU feud continues underneath. Highlights will likely turn up on +Lucha.
- Friday: CMLL normal show. The Crash running two shows, one in Neza and one in Puebla. AAA has a house show in Mexico City. Alberto wrestles in Tijuana. Dragon Lee & Titan are on ROH’s PPV.
- Saturday: AAA has it’s final taping of the year in Apizaco. GIW runs a show for the first time in two years, with Ultimo Guerrero vs Oriental. Arena Lopez has LA Park & Rush teaming against the Guerreros. UG is going to be busy. Dragon Lee & Titan are on ROH’s TV taping.
- 12/18 & 12/19 have the last normal streaming Arena Puebla/Martes Arena Mexico show of the year
- 12/22: Leyenda de Azul for sure, and we’ll know if they’re doing Caristico/Mistico about 36 hours from now
- 12/24 (Sunday): few shows anywhere…
- 12/25 (Monday): …because everyone is going to run on this day. CMLL has their cage match. There’s an AAA spot show in Arena Lopez Mateos. Lucha Memes is running. IWL is even running.
- 12/26 (Tuesday): no arena Mexico show
- 12/29 (Friday): normal CMLL show, lineup TBA. Possible still something with Caristico/Mistico.
- 12/31 (Sunday): few shows anywhere
- 01/01 (Monday): Negro Casas vs Sam Adonis, hair vs hair
- 01/05 (Friday): NJPW will release the FantasticaMania lineups. It’ll probably around or just after the usual CMLL show.
- 01/07 (Sunday): CMLL runs their children focused Three Kings Day show, which usually (but not always) has a notable match.
- 01/12 (Friday): FantasticaMania starts. Nothing is currently listed as airing live until the following weekend, though it’s possible the first show from this tour will be aired on SamuraiTV at a later date.
- 01/19??: AAA holds Guerra de Titanes in Mexico City. This is the usual weekend, but they haven’t announced anything and there’s hints it may be a different date.
- 01/19 (Friday), 01/21 (Sunday), and 01/22 (Monday): FantasticaMania in Tokyo, which will air live on NJPW World starting at 3:30AM CT each morning.
Today’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter has a lot on Arolucha and some on Lucha Underground.
Arolucha plans to run 10 house shows between January and April, mostly in Texas. Konnan says, word for word, the same thing that Dave reported in the Observer about those ten shows, so Dave really should quote it as Konnan some of these times. Konnan announced a 01/20 show in Lubbock last night, and said they’ll have another show to announce today. The WON says they’re running 01/19 too, so that’ll probably be it. There’s no mention of a next TV taping, but they’re pushing themselves in part as the live event touring Lucha Underground has never gotten around to doing and this fits that model.
There’s not yet an official mention of who will specifically be working these shows. WON reported attendance for the taping, which still doesn’t seem enough to pay even just the people involved, but maybe they’ll be running bigger places or with lesser names on the other shows. Elsewhere, it’s mentioned Rey Mysterio turned down a LU offer to be free to work here. I suspect it’s generally going to operate like a lucha themed version of the many other super indies, where the roster might shift from weekend to weekend depending on who happens to be available.
The tentative start date for Lucha Underground’s Season 4 tapings is February 16th. It’s not set in stone and talent might be finding out about it for the first time just by seeing it mentioned this morning. That would be a Friday, fitting with their plan of running an additional day to try and get everything done quicker and cheaper. They’ve also mentioned running in one block with no off weeks. The WON says the episode count would be 21, the lowest so far. (Season 2 was the lowest at 27.)
Lucha Underground was taping about five episodes per weekend in Season 3, which sounded like a strain by the time they finished and there was a desire not to do it again. If they tape a little over five episodes over a three day stretch this time around, that would mean they’ll finish in about four weeks; Ultima Lucha 4 would be the March 8/9/10 weekend.
Don’t go booking travel plans, none of this is set yet. And don’t worry about people being LU pulled from other shows, because we’re still unsure who will be LU people in S4. We know this will probably affect AAA – they’ve got to have a bunch of material already done in February, or they’ll have to be pretty creative.
Way down in the Impact section, it’s mention they and AAA will be working closer together. There hasn’t been any Impact involvement in AAA for a couple months, but maybe they’ll turn back in January.
CMLL’s lineup for Tuesday’s show disappeared from their website. They sent that out to papers to get extra attention for the earthquake stuff they were doing, so it would be odd if they canceled it after the fact. Maybe the rescue dogs were booked elsewhere.
CMLL has an article talking to Fiero and Templario about being new faces in the cage match.
+LuchaTV has an interview with Sam Adonis, Okumura and Johnny Idol, who are going by Eje del Mal (Axis of Evil.)
I listed to Vince Russo’s podcast to see if he said anything interesting about Arolucha. It was not a good use of time, but at least it was near the start. Russo spends most of his time complaining about about people telling lies about Arolucha in dirtsheets. He implies it’s something Meltzer wrote by seguing about him, which is odd since he wouldn’t have written about it until after Russo taped the podcast. (These seem to be ghosts he’s fighting.) Russo wants it clear he was never on headset during the show. Russo wrote positively about the show on his website and repeats most of the same things in audio form. The only notable thing is he says the Harris Bros gave away about 100 tickets away and figured they sold 700 tickets, while definitely turning people away.
On Konnan’s podcast, Shane Helms is on at 1h02m to talk about the show, but there’s nothing much new there. Konnan mentions Helms was working as an agent and was on the headphones for some of the matches. I don’t think anyone’s mentioned the announcers for the show (or if there even were one.) Helms talks about having his first ever true lucha match. (Helms had lucha matches in LLUSA, but that’s a black hole of memory for us all.) The Masked Republic minute talks about it more about about 1h40m. Konnan says the audience was about 70% Hispanic/30% Angelo. Beyond the main event, Konnan really liked Guevera/MVP and Mascarita/Demus, and Maximo was really over.
Konnan also appeared on X-Pac’s Afterbuzz show. There’s some stories which repeat between this and the Konnan podcast, and this one was the most interesting to me. Arolucha is still just looking for TV at this point, but Konnan’s optimistic about the landscape, feeling Lucha Underground has helped create an awareness of what lucha libre is that’ll help open the door. Konnan tells a story here, same as on his podcast, about how the LU El Rey numbers weren’t impressive but he and Rey Mysterio would travel around the world and people in every country knowing Lucha Underground because of YouTube. One of the cohosts starts to ask if that means Arolucha should be looking at YouTube directly instead of TV but that gets lost in the crosstalk.
Konnan was happy with every match on the Arolucha show. X-Pac asks a bit about Rush, wondering if that crowd knew him, and Konnan says that they did. Later, X-Pac asks about Mexicans he believes could break out in the US in 2018 and Konnan names Rush again as well as Dragon Lee. Konnan believes lucha libre has evolved a bit from where it started: everyone used to be Mexican, but now white, black, Filipino are all doing lucha.
Arolucha has no problem with Konnan working for Impact. Impact had some questions, but Konnan made the case to them that they weren’t going after Arolucha’s market and he’d get some of the Impact guys (Trevor Lee, Sammy Guevera) bookings. The Crash wanted him 100% and Konnan didn’t think they were paying him enough to make him exclusive, and firmly believes it’s better if everyone can work everywhere. Lucha Underground is letting their guys work TV elsewhere so he doesn’t anticipate a problem between them & Arolucha.
Konnan thinks promoters need treat wrestlers better, and talks about how he used to get street taco guys to hang around after shows so the wrestlers and the staff could get a meal without having to find some place open at 2 AM. That’s contrasted with CMLL seemingly still having the same equipment in their gym as they had in the 1930s and paying people on a percentage of the house instead of a flat fee.
Konnan had a lot of stories to tell during the show. The one that’s already gotten the most pick up is about the Young Bucks. Konnan says he took Dorian Roldan & Chris DeJoseph to PWG, back when he thought he would be co-writing. Konnan says he recommend Kevin Steen, The Young Bucks, Ricochet, Brian Cage, Willie Mack, then loses his train of thought so there might have been more recommendations. Konnan says they thought the Young Bucks needed better gear, and Konnan had to explain that silly gear was part of the bit they were doing. The Bucks were essentially going to be what ended up as Jack & PJ’s spots as Mundo’s back up, but LU lowballed them on the offer ($200 each.) Konnan says it was LU’s lawyer handling those deals, not someone who knew them. The Bucks were ticket, and came back demanding $1,500 or nothing. LU didn’t want to do that, which turned out to be a great deal for the Young Bucks. If you were around Twitter at the time, they made a very obvious reference to this situation without mentioning the numbers.
Konnan says Impact brought him back originally to talk for Bobby Lashley, but he didn’t think Lashley needed one. Konnan pitched bringing back LAX and wanted Homicide in the group, but Impact wanted young people too. Konnan says Impact suggested people, but Konnan didn’t think they fit and asked around. Shane Strickland suggested Ortiz & Santana and he thought they were a good fit. Konnan says his first pick for a woman was a girl from Puerto Rico, but there were visa (?) issues, so he did more looking around until they found Diamante. He’s really happy with how everyone fits in and gets along.
The hosts ask Konnan about a story of him getting AAA not to put Rey Mysterio in the mini division. Konnan says he sold Antonio Pena on the idea that Rey was young and going to get bigger and wouldn’t fit those guys, but his true concern were the minis were older tough guys who weren’t going to take well to a surfer looking kid from San Diego being pushed hard over them, and Konnan didn’t want to see a guy with Rey’s talent get beat up and quit the business. Konnan also mentions La Parka Jr.’s Televisa awards, which he credits for getting Parka over, were all brought by AAA instead of the fan vote as presented. Everyone’s assumed that but no one’s ever admitted it.
CaraLucha announced they’d be returning on 02/03, with AAA luchadors, in bullring in Tecamac. That sounds like a different CaraLucha than the one we’re familiar with, but it’s the same logo and a Kriminal Boy is right there on the poster.
Octagon was used as the promotional face of a new sushi restaurant.
Ruben Soria, luchador of the 70s/80s and father of Shocker, is said to be in grave health condition.
CultIcon counts down his top 5 WCW lucha matches.
LuchaWorld has the latest news update, with recaps of +Lucha’s podcast and CMLL Informa. Sounds like Atlantis is still going to be a close call to make it to FantasticaMania.
There will be a lucha libre expo in San Juan del Rio, Queretaro this weekend.
The new episode of LuchaTalk is up.
Nino Hamburguesa & Big Mami were on Zona Ruda.
Voice of San Diego has a podcast interview with the promoter of the Baja Star USA.