CMLL on 2018-01-19 

Mije lived, I think.

Recapped: 01/19/2018


Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro beat Fantasy & Último Dragóncito  
(10:56 [4:28, 3:04, 3:24], 1/3, ok, VideosOficialesCMLL)

Lady Maravilla, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit beat Amapola, Tiffany, Zeuxis
(14:24 [6:22, 3:33, 4:29], 1/3, ok, VideosOficialesCMLL)


Raziel, Sagrado, Tiger beat Esfinge, Rey Cometa, Tritón  
(17:04 [5:33, 3:19, 8:12], 1/3, good, VideosOficialesCMLL)

Kráneo beat Hechicero in a lightning match
(9:12, Kraneo legdrop, good, VideosOficialesCMLL)

Euforia, Felino, Mr. Niebla beat Stuka Jr., Titán, Valiente
(8:38 [1:56, 2:43, 3:59], 1/3, ok, VideosOficialesCMLL)

Carístico, Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone beat Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Vangellys
(8:43 [3:00, 2:00, 3:43], 2/3, ok, VideosOficialesCMLL)

What happened:

Diamante Azul beat Terrible again, setting up a title match next week.


Triton can do this every week

The lightning match and the tercera are the only ones you should spend time watching if you missed the show.

The main event was the usually Tuesday main event. The técnicos hit their usual big moves, with a big run in the second fall. The rudos really didn’t feel like they were going to an extra level for the rare Friday main event as a trio, just doing the same stuff they did most of the time. It was sufficient to set up Terrible/Diamante Azul and to send people home happy, but I wasn’t excited to watch it.

The semimain had trouble following some of the action that preceded it. It wasn’t as crazy as the lightning match, and the técnicos in the tercera did a lot of the same stuff better earlier in the night. The crowd wasn’t there for the match except for the mascot spots, and they didn’t really have anything to change their minds. There was enough action to make it acceptable, Stuka’s monkey flip dive always looks good, but it was on the short side and fit the lineup feeling like a skippable show.

Hechicero tope

My favorite parts of Kraneo/Hechicero

  • Kraneo taking it to the mat against Hechicero
  • Hechicero apparently deciding the over the top dart tope is just a thing he’s doing to be doing regularly from now on
  • Mije attempting to do a tope and getting caught
  • Kraneo squashing both Mije and Hechicero from the apron
  • Kraneo taking a backdrop
  • Hechicero getting Kraneo up on his shoulders

Kraneo doesn’t need to be winning these matches and Hechicero definitely does, so the result wasn’t great. The match before it was really strong at putting together what they could do well together for a fun outcome.

The tercera has the best action of the night. The rudos were (even Raziel) were working very hard and the técnicos looked pretty spectacular. Triton had one spot go really wrong amid a lot which went really well. Sagrado handled the mess good, and continues to look over qualified for his current role. This match got the most time of the night, just didn’t feel that way. They kept moving it along.

Sagrado brainbuster

The women’s match was alright for the most part, but kind of dry and without any real focus. It was a lot of the usual offense done fine, some stuff done really well, and Tiffany struggling to keep up with the rest. She seemed lost a couple times, and maybe in the way another.

Just a regular tag to open it. Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro have spurts of trying but don’t sustain it over the entire match. Fantasy has about two good spots and doesn’t interact with the crowd at all. No idea why they bothered to do the Último Dragoncito surprise pinfall on Nitro if Mercurio was going to win five seconds later. Mercurio using a piledriver to get heat didn’t get much heat.

Niebla Roja & Soberano keep the titles & Cuatrero wins his at FantasticaMania, Alberto/Luchando por Ellos

the winning move

CMLL NJPW (FRI) 01/19/2018 Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan [411ManiaCMLLCulticonNJPWthecubsfan]
Attendance: 1522
1) Okumura b Fuego
6:45. Okumura won via reverse DDT.
2) Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi, Rush, Tetsuya Naito b Dragón Lee, Hirai Kawato, Satoshi Kojima, Star Jr.
15:46. BUSHI submitted Kawato to the Boston Crab. Rush attacked Kojima with a chair post match. Naito attacked announcer Milano before and after the match.
3) Atlantis, Drone, Mistico, Volador Jr. b Bárbaro Cavernario, Disturbio, Puma, Último Guerrero
12:33. Atlantida on Puma.
4) Cuatrero b Ángel de Oro © [CMLL MIDDLE]
11:43. Cuatrero won via crucifix powerbomb. He’s the 19th champion, Angel de Oro falls on his second defense
5) Soberano Jr. © b Sansón [MEX WELTER]
11:17. Soberano won with the sit down piledriver (now La Soberana.) 2nd defense
6) Niebla Roja © b Gran Guerrero [CMLL LH]
16:18. Niebla Roja won with the super double chickenwing faceslam (which he appears to be calling Rompecaras Rojo now.) 3rd defense.

This show overdelivered, with two really strong matches to end the show. It was the best Niebla Roja/Gran Guerrero and Soberano/Sanson matches in those feuds, and probably the best match in at least Niebla Roja & Gran Guerrero’s careers. Gran Guerrero’s career has come a long way from being the guy struggling after he was moved into a big position way too soon. Niebla Roja’s gone form a guy I thought could be quitting CMLL and maybe lucha libre after losing his mask to getting a standing ovation to end a Korakeun Hall show. This was a good night for wrestling matches and a great night for the future of CMLL.

The rest of the show was watchable if not notable. The other title match wasn’t on the level of the last two, but it’s the one that created some history. This was the first title change on FantasticaMania show since Kamaitachi defeated Dragon Lee in 2016. This won’t put Cuatrero on the map like those guys, but it was a good moment for his career. The NGD wanted to win singles gold in 2017 and one of them already did it.

Last year’s Friday show had a reported attendance of 1515, so this was about the same. (The other two shows did 1559 and 1592.)

FantasticaMania is off tonight, and back early Sunday morning with Volador/Cavernario and the first round of the tag tournament.

CMLL also has a normal show in Arena Mexico. The main event is Caristico, Diamante Azul and Marco vs Rey Bucanero, Terrible and Vangellys, which doesn’t feel like a Friday night show. Last week’s show seemed to be setting up Diamante Azul & Terrible. They’re running Diamante Azul singles matches everywhere else, so maybe they’ll change their mind here.

Stuka, Titan and Valiente form a tecnico trio against Euforia, Felino and Mr. Niebla. The lightning match is clash of large men with different styles, Kraneo taking on Hechicero. I’m interested in seeing what they can pull off together.

The best match on the card is the tag team of Esfinge & Triton teaming with Triton against Raziel, Sagrado and Tiger. The women’s match is Maravilla, Marcela, Sugehit versus Amapola, Zeuxis and Tiffany (so about one person short of being good.) The show opens with another minis match, Mercurio & Pequeno Nitro take on Fantasy & Ultimo Dragoncito.

The show will air on Claro & their Facebook page at 8:30pm, and will be on YouTube sometime after – but if you’ve got access to NJPW World, then I’d tell you to go watch that show instead of this one if you have to choose.

Alberto’s press tour for Saturday’s Luchando por Ellos show took him to MedioTiempo. This was the show that was canceled at the last minute last time ago, which Alberto somewhat blames the people running the building while believing it actually worked out better for them because now they have an even better card to offer. Alberto said AAA & Dorian Roldan offered for him to appear on their benefit show. Alberto was busy in New York that day, so AAA instead offered him the ability to use Dr. Wagner. Alberto says CMLL offered Caristico, and now he’s also trying to include Hijo del Fantasma. The gate from this show is going to children who lost their parents in the September 19th earthquake. Alberto mentions the son of journalist Julio Cana and two girls who will be helped out. Alberto’s original plan was to run two of these shows a year, and is thinking of expanding it to four this year because he’s got offers to run similar shows in Monterrey and Reynosa. I’d guess those would be MDA promoter shows.

Alberto also talked about his plans for the future. He’s still sticking (for now) to a 2020 retirement date. He’s pictured a big retirement tour, including one more special appearance in WWE. This is surprising because Alberto spent parts of the last couple years saying some harsh things about WWE & HHH in social media (mostly Periscope videos), blaming the company for causing problems towards his then-fiance Paige. Alberto told MT that he’d apologized and shook hands with them about, and hopes to make a last special appearance in 2019.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m too cynical about Alberto el Patron. I am a miserable persona and tend to hold onto my dislike for some people for an unhealthy amounts of time, maybe everyone else moved on. This charity event is a way to improve his public perception, for now and for whatever he decides to do after wrestling, but I know running any charity event can be a tremendous amount of work and Alberto seems to be doing a fair amount of that work. Anyway, after I quoted that article on Twitter, I got so many negative responses about the idea of Alberto going back to WWE that maybe I’m actually relatively soft on Alberto. WWE fans on Twitter did not seem to like the idea at all.

Ciudad Juarez legend Rocky Star will be honored on 02/18. He says he’s thinking about retiring this year, and would like to face Flama Roja, Legionario and the Crazys one last time.

Promociones Juniors says they’re hosting an AAA TV taping in San Luis Potosi on 03/21. This finally made me break down and create the AAA taping chart page for 2018.

+LuchaTV has an interview with Fabi Apache talking about Guerra de Titanes.

Wrestling with GIFS writes about Gran Guerrero vs Volador Jr.

LuchaWorld has the latest Lucha Report.

CMLL FantasticaMania Tokyo Day 1: 2018-01-19 

Soberano Jr.

Recapped: 01/19/2018


Okumura beat Fuego  
(6:49, reverse DDT, good)

Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi, Rush, Tetsuya Naito beat Dragón Lee, Hirai Kawato, Satoshi Kojima, Star Jr.
(15:57, BUSHI boston crab Kawato, good)

Atlantis, Drone, Mistico, Volador Jr. vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Disturbio, Puma, Último Guerrero
(12:33, Atlantida on Puma, good)

Cuatrero beat Ángel de Oro © for the CMLL World Middleweight Championship
(11:42, spinning crucifix powerbomb, good)

Soberano Jr. © beat Sansón for the Mexican National Welterweight Championship
(11:16, fire driver, great)

Niebla Roja © vs Gran Guerrero for the CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship
(16:14, super Furia Roja, excellent)

What happened:

when things were going well for Angel de Oro

Cuatrero won the middleweight championship in a surprise.

Los Ingobernables beat up Kojima and Star Jr. after their match

Disturbio pulled up a little lame near the end of the match, appearing to have pulled a hamstring.

The second match was the annual Black Cat memorial match.


back at it again

The final two matches are worth going out of your way to see. I thought the main event had a little more to it and felt a little less like an exhibition. Sanson/Soberano had more athletic amazement, a better pace, so I could see people enjoying it more. It’s closer in my mind than the great/excellent difference up there.

No one rose to the occasion more than the two guys in the main event. This was a really tough ask for guys who’ve not been in that position a lot, but Niebla Roja & Gran Guerrero put together their personal best match and the best built match of the night. It was hot from the start by the powerbomb catch, and they found little ways to keep escalating it. The clothesline/spinning forearm exchange was the moment where it was clear they had something, and the Japanese crowd loved Roja’s spinning forearm even more than I do. Both men really leaned into taking their opponents big moves in the most destructive looking ways. They also showed more offense than usual; I don’t know where Gran Guerrero got the super Michinoku drive but it looked great here. Everything pretty much went well, and you can say that for a most of this show – it was especially clean show given some of the youth in key positions. Niebla totally won over the crowd by the time it was done. Hope he can get that feeling in Arena Mexico too.

The Sanson/Soberano match was a super Soberano showcase, with him unloading all the biggest dives in his arsenal. He nailed every move had had to, with all his tornillos coming off well and the rare in-ring move going OK too. Sanson’s much more of a personality than his brother, and he’s also got much more he can do in singles matches at this point. I liked how they surprised with his near finish at the end, and they gave Sansón enough spots where he looked almost as good Soberano.


fair catch

The fourth match seemed all the world like a good Angel de Oro match, and a safe way to use Cuatrero in a single match. Angel de Oro picked up a knee injury, which didn’t stop him from doing his extended dive package, and it seemed like he was cruising to the campana win, until he lost it. Cuatrero winning clean with his crucifix powerbomb was an absolute shock. Cuatrero was fine for his first televised singles matches. His strikes, his stomps and small kicks, look really on point and painful. He could’ve used a bit more offense and he had one dropkick that looked horrible. Cuatrero didn’t come off as an undeserving champion, but a more overwhelming performance would’ve made more of an impact. He was more just moving around for Angel de Oro’s spots for a lot of this.

The second atomicos was more a getting to know you match than one going full out, but they accomplished their goal well. Disturbio’s done well for himself on this tour, showing more aggressiveness. Mistico & Último Guerrero continue to play a lot to the crowd on these shows, which gets over and their big moves later in the match get over. Cavernario seemed to talk to the crowd in-between every move, and the crowd really liked it, so I’m not going to stop him. Atlantis looked fine, which is probably partly due to Puma. It’s possible they could’ve had a better match but this worked for what they were going for.

Sanson bomb

This played out a lot like the Day 1 tag, just with slightly longer Dragon lee/Takahashi and Kojima/Rush segments to build that latter match. (You’d think they were doing the other one too soon, but that’s it for them as a combo on this tour) Star Jr. had an an eye opening performance for new fans, with the beautiful tornillo and surviving long in the match with his mask ripped. Rush destroyed Star Jr.’s mask pretty completely, and he had to kind of just work thru it or a while, then Star got crushed by a Rush chair shot to the head. Kawato shows some good fire and it’ll be interesting to see what happens when he gets to do some moves.

The opener worked for me. Fuego did so much more in an opener here than he does in an average match in Arena Mexico, though that’s not much of a surprise. It was nice to see the fosbery dive back for one night. Breaking out the springboard moves explained why he went thru his crowd playing moves so early. Okumura slapping Mima got the wrong kid of heat, and I think they quickly realized they had messed up there.

everyone dropkick