Tonight’s a pretty big night in 2018 lucha libre. There’s been a lot of busy nights lately. The two big shows are still to come. Tonight’s shows will reveal a lot of what’s going to happen on them. The biggest match of CMLL’s year is still fuzzy. It should be a lot clearer after tonight’s Arena Mexico show. AAA has their main event and just needs to figure out pretty much everything else while also getting over a feuding promotions concept.
CMLL’s Anniversario takes place two months and one day from tonight. There is no official main event. It’s not unusual for the match to not be signed until later, yet the match is still normally pretty clear this far in advance. CMLL’s made it pretty clear on the shows itself that Park/Rush is the match fans should want to see at the Anniversario. Everything outside the shows – Park’s comments about CMLL not offering more matches, Dorian Roldan’s skepticism that Rush/Park would happen this year most prominently – shrouds that same match with an uncertain haze. The strongest reason to believe Park/Rush is the CMLL Anniversario match is CMLL hasn’t really teased something else viable at that level as main eventing the show. Dragon Lee, Caristico, Mistico, Fenix, and Penta all have thrown around a challenge. None seem that serious, most wouldn’t make sense losing, and few possible matchups would mean more than LA Park vs Rush. It’d probably have to be something along the lines of an Atlantis mask match to satisfy people, but he doesn’t have a proper opponent and CMLL hasn’t teased anything.
Enter Octagon & Fuerza Guerrera. Octagon and Fuerza Guerrera have been feuding since 1991. They feuded in EMLL, they feuded when it became CMLL, they feuded in AAA, they’ve feuded in the indies post AAA, and the feud has popped up on legend’s appearances back in CMLL. They’re always three weeks away from the match, which just never actually seems to happen. Both men are decades past their prime, but forever stuck in a feud mostly sustaining by nostalgia. Neither man has ever gotten the offer they wanted to lose their mask. There may not be a price for Octagon at the moment, while his issues with AAA over his name and identity go on. Fuerza was probably designed to be the loser of this feud way back in 1991, and probably has done better for himself never settling for something lesser. At least until now. 64-year-old masked man Fuerza Guerrera has to know his career is close to ending and ending at any moment. He also has to know that the prices for big mask matches is rising; he’s surely aware of what his old partner Dr. Wagner was said to have earned last year.
Way back in April, Fuerza Guerrera and Atlantis met in a tag main event of the Arena Coliseo 75th Anniversary show. The tecnicos won, but Guerrera made a point of challenging Atlantis to a mask match. Guerrera kept up the challenge in press interviews for a few weeks after, though it faded into the background. Though, not for everyone: this week in Figure Four Weekly, Dr. Lucha mentioned Atlantis/Guerrera not just as a possibility, but as the match that’s actually happening on the Anniversario show unless something changes. The talk of that match happening has been getting stronger since Park left Arena Mexico without an Anniversary main event signed.
Fuerza Guerrera is back in CMLL tonight facing Atlantis at another Anniversary show. This one honors Atlantis himself, with a trios match also including Octagon, Rayo de Jalisco, Ultimo Guerrero and Mascara 2000. It’s going to draw a big crowd, the sort which may not return until another big Atlantis match. If CMLL is doing Atlantis versus Fuerza Guerrera in a mask versus mask match (or something with Octagon also involved to honor that feud), CMLL is going to run a finish to build towards it tonight. If nothing happens then LA Park versus Rush is a lot closer to being real. Either way, CMLL’s September plans will be a lot more clear by the time the semi-main ends.
The more amusing way those 09/14 plans could be set would be the main event if LA Park crashed the Rush/Terrible vs Volador/Valiente tag title main event. It’s also unlikely since CMLL seems not to be booking LA Park while he’s about to headline a show across town next Saturday. A title change does seem in play: Rush & Terrible are the hotter act with the Sky Team seeming to drift apart. The Universal Tournament math favors Los Ingobernabels. Terrible is still national heavyweight champion, so his team winning the tag team belts would reduce the number of champions to 17 – or 16 + 1 inactive Marco Corleone. (Sanson picking up the CMLL light heavyweight belt from Niebla Roja on Tuesday would accomplish the same.) Volador’s match output is predictable in big main events, and he might be tempted to do even more after visibly being frustrated as background player recently.
The main event is the best match on a show that’s got some iffy moments. There’s no great hope for the legend’s match to be any good, nor is anyone expecting good from them. Negro Casas, Cavernario and Gran Guerrero versus Carsitico, Dragon Lee and Mistico looks like a good match on paper but figures to be overridden by Caristico vs Dragon Lee/Mistico issues. No one asked for Dalys vs La Jarochita in a lightning match; nice CMLL is giving other women chances in singles matches, but a Friday night match with no issue is a poor way to do it. Audaz, Fuego and Star Jr. versus Okumura, Kawato, and Universo is a less than ideal mix. Principe Diamante & Super Astro Jr. will attempt to be entertaining around Metalico and Sangre Azteca, who has seemingly wrestled the same match for this entire decade.
CMLL’s show starts at 8:30pm promptly. It’ll be on Facebook and Marca. Neither was blocked last time I checked, and it’d be ideal for me if I didn’t have to stream anything today. Lucha Central has a preview of the show.
CMLL’s sent Atlantis done a lot of media to promote this show: interviews with Marca, Record, Universal, ESTO, Notimex, and Excelsior are the ones I can find without much work. The lucha libre exhibit at the Metro Guerrero station is an Atlantis themed exhibit for the next month, and the unveiling yesterday was covered heavily (CMLL, MedioTiempo, PubliMetro). Rayo talked about pranking Atlantis early in his career. This show has gotten a lot of attention and it will be a big turnout. Atlantis has had no public scandal during this career, is still involved in a big lucha libre at a high level, and is a pretty easy choice to put on a pedestal as a positive representation of lucha libre. He doesn’t really say anything interested, but that’s always a good way to allow people to say only positive things about you. This show is going to have another big turnout.
AAA has a main event that’s pretty well clear. They also have a women’s apuesta match that hasn’t meant anything in the build up, but should still feel like a big match on the day of the show. It’s everything else they need to sort out tonight, in their first taping after a six week (World Cup-related?) hiatus tonight in Queretaro.
It starts at the top, where Jeff Jarrett makes his first appearance as unlikely champion, teaming with Hijo del Fantasma against Psycho Clown & Pagano. Jarrett’s never been much of a multi-dimensional performer in AAA, always leaning heavily into the Ugly American bit, but his in-ring performance was minimal at best in Monterrey. Jarrett as champion may have been a Plan B – there’s decent evidence to suggest Fenix was going to walk out of Verano de Escandalo with the title at one point – but it’s the situation AAA left itself. Tonight’s priority is deciding how they’re going to move forward, how they want to present their most important title at TripleMania, and who should be involved.
Jarrett is a name that English language fans know, but he’d be a negative behind the times figure to those same fans if they see him as a champion of the promotion at TripleMania, even before they see him wrestle. If AAA is playing to the fans in Arena Ciudad de Mexico, Jarrett will probably be fine, and won’t really move the attendance either way. If they’re trying to play to the people on Twitch, to get them to come back for more than one show a year, than Jarrett in a key position is a determinant and they need to make a move in another direction immediately. The way the main event tag match is sent up, AAA may instead be setting up an ugly Jarrett/Pagano title match for TripleMania.
The rest of the show is full of mystery, both in what the actual matches will be and what direction they might be going in for TripleMania. OGT, fresh off their win over Poder del Norte, appear to be working as pseudo-tecnicos on the road to 08/26. They face Texano, Rey Escorpion and a mystery man in the semimain. The fifth match also has a mystery spot, probably a MAD member, teaming with Taurus & Juventud Guerrera against Aerostar, La Mascara, and Maximo. Any Taurus/Aerostar interaction in that match would be welcome.
Faby Apache and Lady Shani meet in the fourth match. It doesn’t seem like that feud is going to catch on in a big way at this point, but they’re going to work together a lot the next six weeks. Dinastia, Nino Hamburguesa, Australian Suicide and Parka Negra fill out the match, where seems a little off. Same thing with the tercera, where rudo Joe Lider teams with rising stars Arkangel Divino & Hijo del Vikingo against Poder del Norte. Both Lider & Hamburguesa seem on this card via obligation, and not because they have a defined role or will make the matches better. Poder del Norte will make matches better, and interacting with the young flyers is a good role for them. The segunda has Dragon Bane, Lady Maravilla and Starfire versus Arez, Chik Tormenta, and Keyra. All but Tormenta have appeared on recent tapings, usually in pretty good matches.
Gremlin, Speed Demon, Vengador take on Homicida, Kastigador, and Lince in the locals opener. AAA has left those matches off the stream this year. Might be worth showing it with some of those guys, but wouldn’t count on it.
AAA lists this show as an 8:30 pm start. They’re saying this actually means 8:45. I’d still bet on 9pm and lasting into Saturday morning. Whenever it starts, it will air live and free on AAA’s Twitch channel. It’ll be available for subscribers on VOD as soon as it completes airing. It’ll start to be posted on YouTube on July 28th if the current schedule holds. Lucha Central also has a preview of the show.
Revolution Pro Wrestling (London) announced Soberano Jr. versus Titan for their 08/17 event. That’ll be good. It’s also right in the middle of a Ring of Honor tour of the UK and RevPro is ROH’s local partner. That means Soberano and Titan are likely working that tour, though ROH has not yet announced. (The advancement here is RevPro had not before been using CMLL talent when they were on this tour.) It would be fantastic to see Soberano get another chance after his previous appearance went so poorly.
Ring of Honor did announce slightly bigger news yesterday. They’ll be running Madison Square Garden on April 6, 2019, the night before WrestleMania. Only NJPW & ROH have been announced as participating so far. It’s a pretty good shot that Mexican wrestlers will also be included.
Arena Coliseo Guadalajara posted a video with Star Black giving up the Occidente Welterweight Championship. He hadn’t defended it since September 2016, not that ever seems to matter. Star Black is a member of the Rayo de Jalisco family – we’re not exactly sure how – and this could mean he’s got a start date in Arena Mexico.
DTU announced Nick Gage will be coming for their 08/11 show in Arena Lopez Mateos. It reads like he’s in for that one show, not the entire tour. Recent DTU shows should be going up on Powerbomb.TV by the time you read this.
RIOT “Inedito” on 07/28 at Arena LLF
- Keyra vs Lady Flammer
- Sammy Guevera’s birthday party
- Erik Ortiz vs Ultimo Ninja
- Unmexicans vs Guadalajara’s Guanatos Brothers
- Chik Tormenta vs Tony Rodriguez – new
- Los Mismos de Siempre (Prometo/Kamikaze & Kratoz) vs Furor & Caifan II
Pura Raza on 08/04 in Rodeo Santa Fe, Tlalnepantla
- Hechicero (c) vs Christopher Daniels for the NWA Light Heavyweight Championship
- Volador Jr. & Rey Cometa vs Mark & Jay Briscoe
- Flamita & Bandido vs Dragon Lee & Mistico vs Triton & Titan vs Audaz & Templario – new
I am still not going to Mexico (probably) but I would’ve gone to the Mexa Wrestling show over this one. Now I’d have a really hard time.
LuchaWorld has the latest episode of their podcast.
Luchador Huracan Jr. says he’s the real grandson of the most famous Huracan Ramirez, Daniel Garcia, and has the legal right to use the name. However, because there are a billion fake Huracan Ramirez’s, no one believes it, and so he’s changing his name to Principe de Seda. I’m not sure how that helps.
CMLL , G21 (WED) 08/15/2018 Arena Querétaro
1) ? vs ??
2) Astro Infernal, Iracundo Extrime, Lucifer vs Destello, Galáctico Dragón, Natague
3) Dr. Pólux Jr. & Murciélago Pleatedo vs Gemelin & Speed Demon [QRO TAG]
4) Angeluz Fly, Maravilla Strong, Perro Negro vs Kaoma Jr., Kasitgador, Neitro Del Halcón Negro Jr. and Alex Guajardo, Homicida, Lince
5) La Bestia Del Ring, Pitbull, Terrible vs Negro Navarro, Trauma I, Trauma II
6) Dragón Lee, Mistico, Rush vs Daga, Penta Zero M, Rey Fénix
Full card for the Muenoz vs Rebelion show. The Pitbull in the semimain (and on recent IWRG cards), is one of Bestia del Ring’s two brothers.