Arkangel passes away, Lucha Underground Season 4 premiers, Atlantis/Rey Bucanero

Arkangel’s biggest victory

Arkangel de la Muerte has passed away. He would’ve been 52 next month. SuperLuchas reports he was found by his wife early this morning and is believed to have passed away from a heart attack. Arkangel was to have wrestled last night in the second match at Arena Mexico. He was replaced by Hijo del Signo, and that was treated like a normal replacement scenario (in that it wasn’t explained or acknowledged.) His last known match was Saturday at Arena Coliseo.

Arkangel had been wrestling for CMLL (then EMLL) since 1989, wrestling as Mr. Cid in his early days before putting on the mask. His career highlight was taking the mask of Angel Azteca at the CMLL year-end show in December 2003. He also won the mask of the previous La Sombra in 1995 in Arena Coliseo. Arkangel won both the Mexican & CMLL Welterweight championships around the turn of the century and participated in tours of Japan around that time, but his career seemed to peak with the mask win over Azteca. He slipped to a steady position in the second/third matches as a gatekeeper for the younger wrestlers. His only notable feud in the last decade was the off & on one between his Guerreros Tuareg and rival rudo faction Los Cancerberos del Infierno. Arkangel might have eventually gotten one last big match to lose his mask, but otherwise would’ve seemed like he would just keep wrestling in the same matches as long as he wanted to and as long as his body held up. Arkangel also appeared on Ultimo Dragon’s Toryumon Mexico shows, sometimes as his lead antagonist.

Arkangel had become one of the CMLL trainers sometime in the late 2000s and has been called the head trainer more recently. His most famous class of students were the Generacion 2011 group (Bobby Zavala, Dragon Lee I/Mistico II, Enrique Vera, Hombre Bala/Drone, Magnus, Hijo del Signo and Super Halcon) but that’s just a small sampling. Most everyone who’s debuted in CMLL this decade – and many people who never debuted in CMLL but wrestled on the indies instead – trained with Arkangel at one point or another. CMLL held special Arkangel 20th and Arkangel 25th Anniversary shows in Arena Coliseo, something they don’t even do for their biggest stars. Those showed both his importance and the eclectic people who’ve studied under him. Arkangel has specifically been mentioned as recruiting indie luchadoras, both to see if they’d be willing to come to CMLL and as in between for REINA and other Japanese promotions.

Arkangel’s life will likely be talked about today on CMLL Informa. He’ll undoubtedly be honored on Friday’s Arena Mexico show and the week ahead.

CMLL (TUE) 06/12/2018 Arena México [Lucha Central]
1) Acero & Aéreo b Pequeño Olímpico & Pequeño Violencia LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 12 DE JUNIO DE  2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
2) Cancerbero, Hijo del Signo, Raziel b Magnus, Príncipe Diamante, Robin LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 12 DE JUNIO DE  2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Hijo del Signo replaced Arkangel. Rudos took 2/3. Raziel and Tirantes had a running argument during the match for unclear reasons.
3) Misterioso Jr., Sagrado, Virus b Fuego, Oro Jr., Stigma LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 12 DE JUNIO DE  2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rudos took 2/3.
The sixth time limit draw of the year.
5) Hechicero, Shocker, Templario b Blue Panther, Rey Cometa, Stuka Jr. LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 12 DE JUNIO DE  2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rudos took 1/3.
6) Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Rey Bucanero b Ángel de Oro, Atlantis, Rush LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 12 DE JUNIO DE  2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
straight falls, setting up a Bucanero/Atlantis title match.

Postmatch promos: Principe Diamante (will be appearing on telenovela “Like, La Leyenda”), Stigma (hyping the Arena Puebla 65th Anniversary show), Audaz (wants a rematch with Drone), Drone (wants a rematch with Audaz), Templario (happy to be in a semifinal), Atlantis (willing to defend his title), and Rey Bucanero (preparing all his career for the title match.)

I honestly didn’t remember Atlantis was still the national light heavyweight champion. Drone/Audaz sounded alright.

CMLL (TUE) 06/12/2018 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [+LuchaTV, CMLL]
1) Luminoso, Magnum, Star Black b Carlo Roggi, El Chakal, Mr. Apolo
tecnicos took 1/3
2) La Jarochita, La Vaquerita, Marcela b Dalys, La Comandante, Reyna Isis
Jarochita replaced Sanely. Tecnicas took 1/3.
3) Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón b Esfinge, Titán, Tritón
NGD took 1/3.
4) Cavernario, Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas b Dragón Lee, Soberano Jr., Volador Jr.
rudos took 1/3.
5) Niebla Roja b Furia Roja [hair]
Niebla took 2/3. First known apuesta win for Niebla Roja. Furia Roja loses his hair for the first time.
6) Carístico b Mistico
Mistico took fall 1 with La Mistica, Caristico took 2/3, the last using the ropes. Caristico is now 2-0 versus Mistico in singles matches.

They protected Mistico a little bit with the finish, but he’s booked as the rudo in this feud and keeps losing to send the people home happy. He’d get the same reaction if they do it in Arena Mexico too.

(I really want to record this show but it occurs to me I’ve overbooked myself for Saturday. We’ll see.)

Vangellys is listed on a show next weekend. Vangellys has been out after suffering a severe knee injury in January. At the time, Terrible (his then partner) said Vangellys was going to be out 6-9 months, so would be an early return.

DTU (TUE) 06/12/2018 Arena Aficion [+LuchaTV]
1) Little Ricky Rubio b Hector Perfecto
Puerto Rician wrestlers.
2) Corazón Latino, Dayami, Destino b Iron Saider, Josh Sniper, Zarcoth
3) Billy Gamer b Devitt RodríguezHermesDrolux
4) Tiburón b JitsuMoriaCamuflaje
5) Hormiga, Kevin, Pesadilla b Diva Salvaje, El Exótico, Jessy Ventura
6) Aero Boy © b Cuervo (Puerto Rico) [GALLI CHAMP]
7) Joey Janela b Draztick BoyJimmy
8) Cíclope & Miedo Extremo b G-Raver & Joe Lider and Mr. Cóndor & Último Gladiador and Crazy King & Paranoiko
Ciclope & Miedo Extremo were added to the match (and will be wrestling again here next week). Joe Lider replaced Shlak. In a post-show angle, Joe Lider and Kahn-Del-Mal offered Perros del Mal shirts to two unidentified DTU wrestlers (so it’d give Lider someone to team with for this tour.)

Seemed like a good turnout for a DTU show in this building. In theory, this show will turn up on Powerbomb.TV later on. Shlak is off the DTU shows this weekend due to immigration paperwork issues. Shlak had been on DTU’s shows last September and December. Joe Lider replaced him here and will for the next couple days of the tour.

Lucha Underground Season 4 kicks off tonight on El Rey. It has been 238 days between episodes of this season. You can look at the number and see it as a show with not lot of momentum losing even more of it. Or you could look at the number and be amazed this season exists at all because not many shows return after a hiatus of that length.

Lucha Underground’s social media announced they’ll return with Aztec Warfare 4, their 20 man royal rumble style match, as this first episode. Those are usually episode long matches. They’d been hinting at something big the first show, but I’m still a little surprised they announced it ahead of time since it seems like it’s a surprise during the course of the episode. A royal rumble allows for surprise people showing up at regular intervals – expect to see both new people debuting and a few old faces returning. Not everyone is sticking around; there’s one-night cameos to get people talking and no more. The Honkey Tonk Man sly appearance at the start of a previous premiere got the show some buzz and notice from people who weren’t paying attention to the show. There may be some of the same tonight.

I feel like there’s minimal interest for this season of Lucha Underground in the “let’s rate/rank everything and find out the next hot gossip” circles of wrestling fandom I travel thru. At the same time, there’s about the same minimal interest in Impact Wrestling in those same circles, and that show continues to do 2x-3x as many viewers as Lucha Underground ever averaged. We may get rating numbers tomorrow, and we’ll have a better idea of what the latest hiatus and inactivity means after a few weeks of those numbers. Tonight, I expect to get a lot of “wait, Lucha Underground still exists?” tweets, and that’ll be fine too. I do know I got as much reaction to Lucha Underground Season 4 trailer as just about anything I write, so there are fans out there looking forward to the show in ways other than posting about it on Twitter all the time.

I’m personally not all that excited about it. I didn’t put together the usual list of matches and tapings date. Partly it was because the details were harder to track down this time around. Partly it was because the details I tracked down didn’t make feel overly excited to find out more. I have some knowledge of the bigger things to happen on this season and nothing jumped out as a journey I’m excited for. The talent makeup is an obvious problem for a show billing itself as lucha libre. I can be both understanding the issues with getting people in from Mexico were out of the production’s hands, and also be disappointed it had to happen and what we’re left with. It’s just as disappointing that some of my favorites have left and maybe would not have if LU was doing better. The breaking down of walls between Lucha Underground and Impact allowed LU to fill some of their holes with people from there – and from elsewhere – but I also kind of feel like I’d be watching Impact more if I wanted to watch the Impact people. The stasis surrounding Lucha Underground is also a real annoyance. The people most directly working for the show have smartly decided to only promise the TV episodes will air because they know that’s all they can really control. Still, a company once promising grand plans and now showing not only no signs of growth but also signs of retreating (the fewest episodes in a season so far) doesn’t seem like a great investment of time. And I could not be looking less to another session of “will they come back for another season? who will be left?” when this one wraps.

My feelings shouldn’t necessarily be your feelings towards Lucha Underground. I know people who went to these Season 4 tapings, and left really excited about what they saw. I know that know of us have seen the backstage vignettes, which have produced some of the more entertaining moments in past seasons. I know that there was a time when Johnny Mundo and Cage and the Mack and others didn’t exactly feel like they should be part of a Lucha Libre show, and then they won people over into feeling like that’ll belong. Perhaps that’ll happen again with the people I’m not excited about this time. The end of Season 3 was a really long time ago, but it was also really good. It was the best the show has been since the high points of Season 1, delivering both in-ring and with storyline payoffs. If Season 4 can continue at that level, it’ll be worth watching with whoever’s on the screen. Season 4 just seems so disconnected from those last episodes – aired many months ago, taped many years ago – that it feels like Lucha Underground Season 4 is starting from scratch instead of a high point.

I’m missing the show live and will be avoiding social media until I get to watch it. I think there still will be a recap later tonight.