lucha TV preview for weekend of August 24th, 2018

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One of the most interesting meta questions about this year’s Lucha Underground: will the typical ratings bounce for a wedding episode apply even to this show? We find out next week. “Til Death Due Us Part” doesn’t seem like a great sign for how this one’s going to go. It’s an LU wedding so the chances of it going off without a table spot are low anyway,

I’m not sure if AAA on Space will have a new episode this week, or what that’ll due to the YouTube schedule as a result. Their schedule weird lists no AAA at all; perhaps only Mexico is getting TripleMania live. Space will air the documentary on TripleMania that’s been posted on YouTube at 7 before leading to the broadcast. I’m pretty sure airing a Poder del Norte squash on AAA on Gala isn’t a great way to hype TripleMania but they don’t pay me to make those decisions. They probably shouldn’t pay me either.

Mephisto/Titan should be good, again on Tuesday. I don’t have great hopes for Joker/Shockercito in Puebla.

CMLL Gran Prix, Park/Rush, AAA secret cruiserweight title match

exciting legal documents

CMLL announced the full International Team for the 10/05 Gran Prix.

  1. David Finlay (NJPW)
  2. Mark Briscoe (NJPW)
  3. Jay Briscoe (NJPW)
  4. Dark Magic
  5. Flip Gordon (ROH)
  6. Michael Elgin (NJPW)
  7. Okumura
  8. Gilbert el Boricua (El Mesias/Ricky Banderas)

The CMLL team will be announced a later time.

Gilbert got a long vignette talking about this being his return to CMLL after many years and choosing this name because AAA wasn’t letting him use Ricky Banderas or El Mesias. CMLL was bringing in Puerto Rican wrestlers often in the late 90s, so Gilbert probably worked then, we’re just missing the record of it.

Michael Elgin is a thorny mess. Elgin was accused last year of covering up a sexual assault and has countersued the accuser. Elgin and the accuser were also in a relationship, though there’s disagreement about the nature of the relationship. It is ugly, public, and continues to be unresolved. Elgin has wrestled in the US sparingly since, with promoters being afraid to use him after attempts to “bring him back in the fold” after a few months away were met with strong negative reactions. Elgin continues to wrestle in Japan, but NJPW hasn’t used him in the US. Their bet seems to be US fans will reactive negative but the Japanese fans don’t know anything about it and wouldn’t care. Mexican fans are even less likely to know this story and tend to heavily separate the work of the wrestler with what that person did. (It’s been jarring but not unexpected this week to read Mexican sources praise Chris Benoit in his feud with Villano III without mentioning anything else about Benoit.) Mexican promoters are likely to care even less. Elgin seemed beloved by CMLL in his previous trips and it’s not a big surprise he’s been asked back. I’m not sure he’d be coming back to Mexico if he could find more work in the US.

There had been strong rumors for months that the Zack Sabre Jr. anti-Mexico comments from earlier this year was going to lead to him coming to CMLL as part of the Gran Prix card. I assumed that’s why CMLL had Hechicero on Informa yesterday, since that’s the teased match people want to see. Instead, CMLL really just had Hechicero on for no real reason except to vaguely suggest title matches.

I typed Kawato in that list in a Twitter post, corrected it, and then everyone kept RT-ing the original one. I think I was not good at Twitter yesterday. Kawato is having a no good time in CMLL, since CMLL picked a guy who has yet to have a match in the promotion for this match over him.

The CMLL heavyweight championship is now vacant. Marco Corleone’s last match in CMLL was March 23rd, and he was written out with a shoulder injury. Marco has since indicated on social media that he’s moved back to the US. CMLL said they weren’t sure if Marco was going to the return. My impression is he’s not planning to come back to wrestling, but he’s a wrestler so he always may change his mind, and he left on good terms with CMLL so the door remains open.

There were no immediate plans to fill the heavyweight championship, and this seemed more to get people to stop asking questions about it. The CMLL heavyweight title has not gone well lately: Marco’s retired, Maximo’s been fired, Hector Garza gave the title back when he quit the title. Terrible is the only recent champion to lose the belt in the ring. I’m not sure CMLL cares, because they could’ve had Marco (or Hector) drop the title in the ring if that was important to them. Ultimo Guerrero losing one singles title means he’s the most likely guy to win this one.

CMLL also gave an explanation for why Rush versus LA Park isn’t happening. And then gave another one. And then gave another one. The ones I’ve picked up so far

This is a lot like yesterday’s Alberto/Dorian Roldan story, where there’s probably a bit of truth in each side of the story and also more lies, and I’m not if it’s really worth going a deep thru it to figure it out. Rush/LA Park is still not happening on 09/14 and all we’ve learned is no one should buy tickets to see that match in the future unless it’s specifically announced.

It is Thursday, there’s not a lot of news, so I guess I can go on a little bit. Here’s what I believe

  • LA Park versus Rush would be happening in CMLL this year if CMLL wanted it to happen. CMLL did not want it to happen.
  • CMLL was delusional enough to believe they could roll out Taven/Volador vs Rush/Terrible (and later Cavernario) without any significant pushback. I think they were surprised and completely unprepared for people questioning LA Park/Rush not happening. They’ve given multiple and contradictory answers is because there was no discussion about what they were going to say, simply believing they wouldn’t have to say anything. I also believe CMLL now had zero plans to do LA Park versus Rush this year.
  • CMLL could’ve put tickets on sale and announced main event whenever they wanted. The “we couldn’t be sure LA Park is losing at TripleMania” line doesn’t fly. They could’ve waited until next week to put tickets on sale if that was the real issue and those tickets still would’ve gone fast. CMLL also could’ve dropped this feud back as soon as LA Park on TripleMania was announced on 06/05, or they could’ve immediately made it clear the match wouldn’t be happening because of TripleMania. Instead, they continued to tease the match as late as the night before the Anniversario tickets were on sale.
  • The same is true about the legal issues. My hunch is that what Julio Cesar Rivera said was a true story, but it was a true story about Alebrije/Kraneo, Psicosis/Ripper, and Histeria/Morphosis years ago, used to cover up another situation. The idea that CMLL can’t run apuesta matches with AAA owned names did not stop CMLL from running hair matches with both Tiffany and Estrellita. Perhaps mask matches are somehow different, but this is flimsy is best.
  • The “our television providers are getting legal notices!” also seems like something held over from 2010, when CMLL had big TV and AAA could go to a Televisa or a Cadena3. CMLL is now on low watched television stations that mostly deal with rerun programming and pay CMLL a very small amount. If those stations got legal letters about CMLL, they’d probably already have dropped them because CMLL isn’t worth the trouble.

I also believe CMLL does have a legitimate concern about putting more AAA names on-screen, just based on “The Chris” and “Ciber the Main Man.” CMLL has also, at the start of this month, filed for new trademarks on “Chris Oro” (new name for The Chris?), “Charly Manson”, “Estrellita”, “Tiffany” and “Juan Sin Miedo”. Perhaps Penta 0M is too close for CMLL’s taste? AAA already holds trademarks on Manson, Estrellita, and Tiffany.  None of the current Klan Kaoz names have been trademarked.

CMLL’s over position here is AAA is an evil company for holding people hostage by trademarking their name. Maybe they are! Maybe CMLL is as well: in June, CMLL trademarked “Hijo de LA Park” among others. That’s not a name they came up with, and not a name they reasonable should claim to own. They’re going to do the same thing when they can.

Everything Else

I know I wrote in the lineup that TripleMania lineup that Australian Suicide was defending his title in a 10 way. That was a blind guess and a limitation of the way I run my database. (It’s quicker to delete people than add them later on.)  The WON reports Shane Strickland, ACH and Sammy Guevera are on TripleMania, and I’ve been told they’ll all face Suicide in a four-way in a pre-show match. That entire concept is crazy: it’ll be a great match that no one knows it is happening and only the most hardcore will care. I’d guess Suicide is losing the title, as he’s made a point on social media of saying how unhappy he is in AAA, but I can’t imagine Guevera, ACH or Strickland being around much to defend it.

Impact’s tapings will have room for about 2,000 people, according to the WON. Impact are currently expecting to use Fenix and Pentagon on 09/14, which would mean them working both for Impact and CMLL on the same night. Meltzer thinks Impact did not know CMLL was running the Anniversario show on 09/14 when they made the date. CMLL had announced 09/14 as their Anniversario months ago.

The Penta/Fenix story to WWE has gone from Lucha Underground not being mentioned at all to “they can’t go anywhere until six months after their last episode.” Six months would mean Penta & Fenix could not sign until May 7, 2019. It was three months for Ricochet, which would mean February 7, 2019. Meltzer is convinced something is up becuase Penta & Fenix are not taking bookings for next year, but it seems like they’d have to take bookings into 2019 unless they want to sit at home for a long time.

Sanely said she wants to defeat Dalys and Metalica. She blames Metalica for her knee injury.

Euronews (and a lot of other sides) has a video of the AAA pilgrimage.

Critero Hidalgo writes about the friendship between Penta and a Hidalgo Tuzos soccer player Jorge Hernandez. Penta wants Psycho’s mask.

Danny DeManto will be on the September DTU tour.

Bleeding Cool has a preview of the Lucha Brothers comic.


CMLL (TUE) 08/28/2018 Arena México
1) Bengala & Sonic vs Inquisidor & Yago
2) La Maligna, Mystique, Sanely vs Amapola, Metálica, Tiffany
3) Black Panther, Blue Panther Jr., El Audaz vs Kawato, Okumura, Virus
4) Soberano Jr., Stuka Jr., Valiente vs Ephesto, Hechicero, Shocker
5) Mephisto © vs Titán [CMLL WELTER]
13th defense. Titan’s fourth challenge in this reign.
6) Atlantis, Mistico, Volador Jr. vs Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas, Rey Bucanero

Titan/Mephisto has been good. They’re over due for a title change, but three straight Tuesdays of them would be weird.