First week of the month is usually singles or title match week for CMLL. That means Volador/Taven tomorrow for CMLL Claro, Volador/Caristico in Puebla, and Stuka/Hechicero on Martes. A Titan/Mephisto match airs next week.
This should be the first week for the AAA/ELITE show to air on Space, though I’m still trying to figure out the significance, if any, to the Televisa logo not being on that poster.
Lucha Underground also promises a skit with Mariposa & Antonio, plus Paul London making an offering on behalf of the White Rabbit. That’s probably really bad news for Saltador or Mala Suerte given the death rate on this show.
Lady Shani, Mamba, Pimpinela Escarlata beat Australian Suicide, Faby Apache, Parka Negra
(9:48, Shani bridging pin Faby, ok, Lucha Libre AAA (Twitch))
Puma King, Jack Evans, Teddy Hart beat La Máscara, Máximo, Sammy Guevara
(13:07, Puma King casita Máximo, good, Lucha Libre AAA (Twitch))
Hijo del Fantasma, Juventud Guerrera, Taurus beat Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly (14:15, Fantasma Thrill of the Hunt, ok, Lucha Libre AAA (Twitch))
La Parka, Pagano, Psycho Clown beat Killer Kross, Rey Escorpión, Texano Jr.
(19:12, Psycho Clown torito Rey Escorpión, ok, Lucha Libre AAA (Twitch))
An early segment had Parka complaining about the outside groups, again. MAD came out to confront him, with Fantasma apparently now part of MAD. Fantasma said Juventud Guerrera was a bigger star than La Parka, which ended with Parka attacking Guerrera and MAD attacking Parka. Psycho Clown made the save. Parka later replaced the announced Dr. Wagner in the main event. Jack Evans and Juventud Guerrera interfered in the main event, along with Hijo del Tirantes helping the MAD team. Murder Clown improbably made the save, and teased a match with Killer Kross. Psycho beat Escorpion in the confusion. Fantasma and MAD beat up the tecnicos post-match, taking Psycho & Murder’s masks.
La Mascara & Maximo, for the third show running, had issues at the end of their tag match. Maximo, who is the tecnico in the breakup, outright broke up a Mascara pin. Mascara slapped Maximo after the match, which led to Mamba & Pimpinela running in to run Maximo off.
Faby evaded facing Lady Shani early during their match, then both women attacked each other with a cookie sheet. Shani got the win again, only to be attacked by Taurus once again and cut open. Post-show promos reaffirmed Taurus is helping Faby Apache as part of a recruiting effort to get her to jump to Elite.
An early vignette had Konnan talking about Fenix’s appearance at Verano de Escnadalo and how they didn’t fight then, but Fenix might not be so lucky next time. That was the only appearance of either of them. Vampiro also did not appear on screen, which might be for the first time since his return to the promotion.
The first skippable show of this most recent era. It’s the same show they’ve been running for weeks – the same Shani/Faby bit with Taurus running in, the same bit of Fantasma unmasking Psycho and leaving him laying, the same Maximo/Mascara break up which gets reset by the next show. Running weekly is going to lead to repetition (and might even be necessary if they’re actually airing on two different networks), but the lack of variety compounds the lack of movement. They don’t seem to have anything but those three feuds going on and they can’t (or won’t) cycle anything else up.
It’s a bad idea to watch AAA for the storylines, no matter who’s in charge. Those storylines aren’t the reasons people are excited to watch AAA at the moment anyway. It’s all about the quality of matches they’ve added. When those matches are great, AAA also running the umpteenth “Psycho Clown gets beat up to end the show” bit is irrelevant. When the matches are a little bit off, like it was for the segunda here, then the other issues come to light. The early matches might have been better with more time (or a better use of it in the second), and the fourth match actually exceeded expectations given Mascara & Maximo were involved, but there wasn’t the must-see match this time around. AAA’s essentially in the classic CMLL scenario right now, where the talent level has reached a critical mass level and it’d be hard for them to have a bad show, but it’s still possible to underwhelm.
If you do want to have storylines be interesting, the one real development on this show – Fantasma jumping to MAD – probably should’ve happened on screen, instead of being an unexplained bit. That was a strange choice, seemingly accidentally re-enforcing the perceptions that these groups are no more meaningful than what t-shirts people happen to be wearing that day. If a group is important, then choosing to join a group and the moment someone joins should be a dramatically important moment, not something that happens quietly off screen. MAD is getting a reaction because they’re rudos doing rudo things, but the concept of “MAD” and “Elite” aren’t getting over because they’re not treated as meaningful things.
Not that the main event would’ve lit the world on fire with Dr. Wagner instead of Parka, but it totally turned into the Parka/Psycho comedy brawling main event. Kross being paired up with Parka was something less ideal. If the idea is to make Kross being a ‘real’ fighter, there’s no worse use of him than selling for Parka’s goofy offense for most of the match, and for Parka to barely sell for Kross’ own offense. The upside is they didn’t give Pagano much of a chance to maim himself. Escorpión & Texano can do these sort of brawls well, and the crowd enjoyed this match (as they enjoyed much of this show.) It wasn’t much interesting watching it on a stream.
The semi-main was the least exciting match of the card to that point. It was the same chaos as the matches that preceded, but at a slower speed and with less interesting action. It didn’t have the benefit of a rivalry like those other matches, so Hijo del Tirantes feuded with Averno instead. They finally found a groove late in the match and this wasn’t bad but mostly forgettable. I would encourage new top rudo Fantasma to not run away from fights in the future. Fantasma needing even the slightest bit of help to beat Averno doesn’t make a lot of sense but it’s the AAA way.
The fourth match was mostly carried by the rudos, which is notable because some of those rudos wouldn’t be guys you’d expect to keep matches together. The rudos rolled thru their offense well and sold for the técnico characters. Teddy doesn’t seem to like dealing with Máximo but was more of a professional than usual. Jack and Sammy, one night after having a big singles match, were really great working together in their spots. There were some sloppy moments and the finish somehow was worked around Máximo breaking up pins but being the good guy in the breakup, though that’s not enough to take this match down.
The tercera was a lot of Lady Shani & Faby Apache hitting each other with cookie sheets while the other four did a normal exotico match. Shani showed some good anger on the kicks to Faby’s head. The blood was a bit unexpected, but I guess that’s now just their thing to drum up interest since it keeps happening with them. Faby & Shani’s exchanges were the best and hottest part of this match, and it’s that part is helping get the feud to the point of people caring. Suicide’s comedic antics were appreciated, though it felt like there were a lot more useful spots for him to be in on this show. Exoticos did the kiss spot early, went to it again later, and it didn’t get as much a reaction the second time. Not sure why they did it so early.
The segunda had a lot of quick and impactful offense. Strangely, it seemed to be 75% the rudos. I kept waiting for the técnicos to have a hot run of moves. They got short bits of it, but never took over the match for a couple minutes in the usual showcase match. It was worked like AAA didn’t expect the técnicos to be back, and wanted to make sure the rudos came off as the stars of the match. Bandido and Aramis still got in cool dives, and they all showed a little bit of why people would be excited for them, but it was too one-sided to make the newer guys mean anything.
The opener is on the shorter end of one of these when they could do more, which meant some people disappeared into the background. Latigo was really great as the base for everyone, he is one of the best guys in Mexico at that right now. The finish was spectacular, but the early part of the match was him setting up Lady Maravilla and Vanilla up for big moves too. If AAA is going to continue running high spot intensive matches to open up shows, Latigo should be a regular rudo as part of them.
AAA again airs on Twitch tonight, with a show live from Aguascalientes. The matches will start around 9pm CT, they’re planning on more content beforehand. The usual Thursday night Sin Mascara show will run around 7:30pm with Hugo as guest and the pre-show will start at 8:30pm. I have no idea when/if this will air and end up on YouTube.
The main event is scheduled to be Pentagon Jr.’s first match in AAA in 18 months, and his only currently announced appearance in AAA prior to TripleMania. He’ll team with LA Park against Psycho Clown & Pagano. That’s 3 of the 4 people in the TripleMania mask match. Hijo del Fantasma is not listed on the show. He doesn’t appear to be working elsewhere, so it’s possible he could make an appearance. The story of that TripleMania main event is the other guys all hate Psycho Clown and AAA’s hero might finally be in a TripleMania situation where he can’t win. I’d expect that to continue here.
The OGT face MAD’s Killer Kross & Juventud Guerrera with Taurus in the semi-main. OGT has been running off MAD the last few tapings, and it might not go as well for them in an actual match. In the meantime, I could use a chart listing which people are in which groups. It’s possible Taurus is meant to be MAD – he did save Kross last time we saw him – but I’m not sure.
Maximo & La Mascara will fail to function as a team once again, this time with Argenis versus the Traider Clowns & Hijo de LA Park. Parka Negra being weirdly obsessed with LA Park’s skinny son is the most exciting thing about that one. Drago, Aerostar, and Vanilla will take on Bandido, Flamita and Chik Tormenta in a match that hopefully will be better than the Ecatepec Bandido/Flamita one. I don’t know if Vanilla & Tormenta will be able to keep up; it’s hard for pretty much anyone to keep up with those other four. Poder del Norte follow up on their win by, uh, facing people even loser on the totem pole – though a match with Vikingo, Astrolux, and Angelikal should be great. So should be the stream opener, the exact rematch of the match in Tijuana that got people really excited about AAA again: Arkangel Divino, Black Destiny and Genio del Aire versus Black Danger, Ultimo Maldito and Mirage. That one isn’t listed on AAA’s version of the poster, which makes me a little bit worried something is up. Still, Arkangel Divino & Ultimo Maldito in their hometown should be a big deal if AAA lets it happen.
The tickets will go on sale at 11AM on Saturday. I would suggest making sure you create an account before that time if you are in a rush to buy tickets. If you’re not in a hurry, I’m sure there will still be tickets available the day of the show at those prices.
Diario.MX (Ciudad Juarez) has an interview with Jamie Garcia, who’s responsible for Arena La Mezquite where the incident happened. You’ll be unsurprised to learn the lucha libre arena was in violation of many city regulations. There was no paramedic or ambulance at the building; Garcia said they usually have two nurses (not in uniform), but one had to leave early. All shows in Juarez must have between the fans and the ring, which there was not. The building was not allowed to sell alcohol and Garcia said they do not sell it, but they do let people bring in their own. (Skeller acts erratically in the video, and has been accused of acting that way because he was drunk.) Garcia again shifts the blame to La Enigamatica being untrained, as if this was a flat back bump that went wrong and not a chairshot to the head of someone who was not close to the action. That does seem like it’s the prevailing view of the Ciudad Juarez community – and also that they’d like this to go away as quickly as possible to not have any more outsiders looking into what’s going on.
Today’s WON reports Rey Mysterio is expected to go back to WWE after the first weekend of September. In other words, he’s working All In and another show that weekend, and anything past that (like that The Crash show in Puebla) is probably not happening.
The Wrestling Observer also reports WWE has interest in Fenix and Pentagon. I think they’ve probably had interest in them since Lucha underground took off, but maybe it’s more pronounced now. In theory, Fenix & Penta are under Lucha Underground contract thru Season 7 (three more years at the current rate.) In reality, LU’s become pretty accommodating at letting people out of their deals if they give them a heads up to finish off their storylines. If Fenix & Penta wanted to go to WWE, they’d be free to do so no later than the end of 2019.
The AAA/ELITE show drew 5,000 people, which the WON says the AAA believes the Elite feud is something to run with. AAA is fooling themselves if they believe Elite, and not LA Park returning to AAA, was the big draw on that show. They may be able to get Elite to mean something eventually but it wasn’t exactly a sea of blue shirts for that show.
Other odds and ends:
LA Park is expected to be a regular in MLW for a few months. (It’s weird to think about LA Park showing up in MLW without has mask which kind of made me think he won’t be doing that before the ticket prices came up. On the other hand, I don’t expect MLW would be kept in the loop about upcoming CMLL booking decisions and LA Park seems like a guy who’s going to pull a Silver King and just return to wearing his mask at the first moment anyway.)
AAA’s hinted at problems with Zeuxis last week unsurprisingly turn out to be that they wanted her to lose to Faby Apache in her debut and she was not happy about it. (Which AAA had to know was going to be the case when they asked her to lose, but they also likely realized it was going to be a one-off before they asked, and it’s easier to have someone you’re not bringing back upset about losing than a regular. You can easily spot the difference in how they treated Puma King, who they knew was coming back for more shows.)
Impact’s Keira Hogan & Scarlett Bordeaux are coming in for a 09/07 Cancun show. (No show has been announced yet for that date and I can’t find any more info. They’re in AAA to be attractive women, which is similar to when Angel Williams/Angelina Love came in from Impact to AAA for similar shows a decade ago, and then almost ended herself on a dive. Everything is a repeat.)
Criterio Hidalgo has an interview with Roco Vann Jr., who hopes to make it to CMLL someday. There’s also an interview with local lucahdor Kulikitaka.
CMLL (MON) 08/06/2018Arena Puebla
1) Astro, Meyer, Shockercito vs Espíritu Maligno, Joker, Mercurio
2) Rey Samuray, Stigma, Súper Astro Jr. vs King Jaguar, Templario, Universo 2000 Jr.
3) Dragón Lee, Kráneo, Valiente vs Hechicero, Rey Bucanero, Shocker
4) Atlantis, Matt Taven, Octagón vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
5) Carístico vs Volador Jr.
Why is Octagon wrestling the NGD a thing? Can they at least put him in the match with Rey Bucanero and SHocker so we can easily dismiss it all?
Matt Taven being booked into Puebla means he’s actually going to be around a while. I don’t know anything but my bet now is Taven is beating Volador on Friday and the Universal tournament starts next Friday.
CMLL , Mexican Madness (SAT) 08/11/2018Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Denebola vs Valkiria female student match
2) Odisis vs Persa female student match
3) Greim & Latino vs Dragón Maya & Hunter trainees from Tala
4) Explosivo, Mágico, Principe Daniel vs Gran Kenut, León Blanco, Thunder Boy
5) Draego, Joker, Rielero, Vaquero Jr. vs Bryan Villa, Difunto, Sádico, Willy Banderas
6) Cirujano, Flash I, Flash II, Star Black vs Exterminador, Maléfico, Ráfaga, Ráfaga Jr.
7) Esfinge, Magnum, Rayman vs Ángel Negro, Gallo, Pit Bull
8) Hijo de LA Park, LA Park, Volador Jr. vs La Bestia Del Ring, Mistico, Rush
A mix of the Familia Real/Familia Munoz feud + friends of both + Guadalajara regulars.
The recommended list is mostly AAA? That is still weird. The main event might have been one that felt bigger live and less so when you know the finish sabotages the match. Still thought it was fun and the entire AAA show is watchable if you have the time.
Dr. Wagner Jr., Hijo del Fantasma, Psycho Clown vs Electroshock, LA Park, Puma King
AAA on Twitch: 2018-07-21
Faby Apache, La Hiedra, Vanilla vs Keyra, Lady Maravilla, Zeuxis
AAA on Twitch: 2018-07-21
Aerostar & Argenis vs Hijo de LA Park & Taurus
AAA on Twitch: 2018-07-21
Rey Escorpión & Texano Jr. vs Golden Magic & Laredo Kid