After last week’s Dia de Muertos iPPV showcase, CMLL goes back to a pretty normal show tonight. The one special part of the show seemed to be King Phoenix being in the main event, except he was always instead scheduled to be wrestling Kenny Omega tonight in the US. (It’s airing as part on Highspots Network, $10 gets you one month.)
CMLL instead now has Caristico, Volador and replacement Angel de Oro taking on Rush, Terrible and Cavernario. This might be a preview of next week’s Leyenda de Plata – we only know Soberano is in it and Volador should be defending his title two weeks from now. Knowing Leyenda de Plata is next week, and the Los Guerreros take on Mistico, Diamante Azul and Valiente in the semi-main.
Soberano returns to Mexico to face Forastero in a lightning match. They’ve had interesting chemistry in a lot of trios matches. The other NGD members (besides Universo) team with Hechicero against Kraneo, Volcano and Stuka in a match likely high in comedy. Titan reunites with Triton & Esfinge to face Dragon Rojo, Polovra, and Virus, and the show opens with Grako & Coyote taking on Principe Diamante and Arkalis. That match has more hope than usual for an opener.
Friday night is back to the usual 8:30 pm CT time no matter what country you’re in. It will stream on Marca and Facebook. Neither is region blocked this week. If you can figure out why they are some weeks and not other weeks, please let me know.
Lucha Central has a preview of the show.
I went to the MLW TV taping last night in Cicero. It was good. It was very long. It was definitely a TV taping, which has a different feel than the local indie shows. There were a good chunk of people who do go to those indie shows and/or keep up with the MLW show. There was a much larger chunk of people who were there for the luchadors (LA Park, Rush, Penta, Fenix, and Puma was super over with a nationalistic flag match) and had no idea about these people, though they’d eventually get into it if the action was good enough. Kotto Brasil versus Trey Miguel was the best example of this: Brasil is a guy who’s pretty much only in MLW and being slowly being built up there, so the fans familiar with MLW were behind him, but it was just two dudes to the lucha fans. They eventually did enough hot moves to get people into it, but it was a lot more work than you’d expect from a crowd that size.
When the lucha libre fans care, they really did care. They were way into MJF vs Puma King in a silly flag match (helped by MJF doing a Sam Adonis-ish promo), and LA Park & Hijo de LA Park vs Penta & Fenix clearly was the reason 90% of the crowd stayed to the end of a four hour plus taping. Rush might have been the most over guy of the night. He worked very hard to get himself over in his debut match for the promotion with Sammy Guevera, but they were already into him the moment he came out. I thought the match went well for the most. He was there to tease LA Park versus Rush in MLW (to the point where I was expecting him to come out during the main event but nope), which seems like a match worth running during a busy WrestleMania weekend.
It’s really great for MLW that they had a big turnout, and I suspect they’ll do as well when they come back in March. But, the exact credit there shouldn’t go to MLW for the stories they’re telling on TV, but for the having the sense to book LA Park, Rush and the Lucha Brothers for a crowd that was already excited to see them. If this was just MLW alone, trying to get people in the door to see Callihan/Lawlor and Low Ki/Strickland, they probably would’ve drawn the same about half full building that Progress did (which is still pretty good!) but not the complete sell out they did. One of the things I used to write a lot about here is the potential for a promotion to really benefit if they could find a way to draw from both the indie crowd and the lucha libre crowd because they always felt like two very distinct fanbases. MLW figured it out, at least one night.
It is too bad everyone finds AAA too hard to work with on these things. It’s clear US indie/mid-level promoters are willing to give chances to guys they believe are over big in Mexico. Psycho Clown is over and Psycho Clown, at least as a novelty, would be good as one-time appearance in a US promotion. (Maybe more, but at least one.) Psycho Clown’s not getting these chances because of AAA, I think, though I guess that might be all. I know I wondered on Twitter why GCW hasn’t brought in Pagano, since that seems like a decent match, and I believe I was told that Pagano’s price was way more than they wanted to spend. That could also be part of the issue here – AAA’s going to want their cut of anyone signed with them, and the US indie promoters tend to look for discounts until someone’s proven they can draw in the US.
(I’d like a next wave of Mexico wrestlers to the US to be people along the lines of Dragon Bane and Aramis and Arez and Mr. Iguana and Keyra and Lady Maravilla and Latigo and more for Good Match Reasons. But if I’m putting my feet in a promoter’s shoes after seeing the reactions on MLW last night, I feel like guys who are over in major promotions in Mexico are the easiest untapped place. And that Dragon Lee might be getting booked everywhere in the US too if he wasn’t on that island.)
An Aro Lucha commercial aired during Impact again. There was no new info and – as people have helpfully pointed out in the comments – they didn’t specifically say they were coming to Pop TV. If you want to hold out hope that Aro Lucha is running commercials on Pop TV and only Pop TV while having a TV deal with some other TV network, then I can not stop you. Aro Lucha is really weird: you’d think by week 2, there’d be some “here’s why we’re spending money on commercials” press release, and there are just the same pre-scheduled tweets as always.
The Crash on 12/01 in Tijuana
It’s always impossible to know with lucha libre promotions if someone going unmentioned means they’re gone forever or just gone for one show. Fatu seems to be gone just for one show.
DTU says they’ll be in Tulancingo on 12/01 with a two ring show.
Mexa Wrestling on 12/08 in Arena San Juan has
LuchaWorld has the latest Lucha Report.
Puma King talks about his independent success.
TJ Sports ranks the top 5 hair matches in Tijuana.
CMLL (TUE) 11/13/2018 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Black Sugar, El Rielero, Tigre Blanco vs Bobby Black, Frezzer, Ráfaga
2) Príncipe Diamante, Star Black, Súper Astro Jr. vs Furia Roja, Príncipe Odín Jr., Sangre Azteca
3) Pegasso, Stigma, Tritón vs Pólvora, Sagrado, Universo 2000 Jr.
4) Audaz, Flyer, Titán vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
5) Carístico, Diamante Azul, Valiente vs La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Terrible
Semi-main could be fun.
CMLL (TUE) 11/13/2018 Arena México
1) Arkalis & Robin vs Apocalipsis & Inquisidor
2) Magnus, Oro Jr., Star Jr. vs Cancerbero, Espíritu Negro, Metálico
3) Stukita vs Kaligua [lightning]
4) Black Panther, Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr. vs Kawato San, Misterioso Jr., Okumura
5) Kráneo, Stuka Jr., Volcano vs Dark Magic, Ephesto, Hechicero
6) Ángel de Oro, Atlantis, Niebla Roja vs Euforia, Rey Bucanero, Shocker
Rey Bucanero/Niebla Roja feud in the main event. Stukita, who left the minis division three weeks ago, gets his first singles match as a mini in three years. I don’t quite understand it either.
AAA TV (SAT) 12/08/2018 Arena Xalapa, Xalapa, Veracruz
1) La Parkita, Mini Gronda, Mini Psycho Clown vs La Parkita Negra, Mini Monster Clown, Mini Murder Clown
2) Dinastía, Lady Shani, Niño Hamburguesa vs Dave The Clown, Lady Maravilla, Villano III Jr.
3) ?, Hijo Del Vikingo, Laredo Kid vs Australian Suicide, Jack Evans, Taurus
4) Aerostar vs Monsther Clown [bull terrier]
5) Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly vs Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana © [AAA TRIOS]
6) Dr. Wagner Jr., Pagano, Psycho Clown vs Blue Demon Jr., Killer Kross, Rey Escorpión
This might be the last taping of the year. There’s still plenty of time in December, but nothing else has been announced. This taping was originally announced to include LA Park, Jeff Jarrett, Fenix and Penta among others when tickets were put on sale. To the local promoter’s credit, they did offer refunds to people who complained about the change. This is an 8:30 start time (so 9:00 pm) on a Saturday night.
Semi-main is the first defense for Poder del Norte, despite winning these titles in January and feuding with fellow rudo trio OGT for a large chunk of the year. They would have an impressive defense total if all the meaningless matches they won had been titles matches. The fourth match pays of the random mid-level feud from recent TV – that might be going somewhere for Guerra de Titanes. I suspect the mystery person in the tercera is another one of the recent opening match wrestlers getting a new character.
The minis match is really strange. AAA essentially ended the division after Dinastia lost the minis title to Mini Psycho, with the one-off Mascarita Sagrada match a rare exception. December AAA tapings are historically a bit more experimental and this is still a surprise. AAA’s having trouble finding spaces for everyone they want to use without bringing back a division. (On the other hand, maybe they’re seeing the reception the CMLL micros are getting and wondering why they’re not doing the same.)
Everyone beside Mini Psycho Clown is possibly a new luchador. There’s many La Parkita’s. I believe it probably the one character being done by the most different people (all claiming they’re the real one) in Mexico right now, and I’ve long since stopped trying to figure out which one is which. Mini Gronda & La Parkita Negra appear to be brand new characters. Mini Monster Clown & Mini Murder Clown, I don’t know. Mini Murder Clown is the Caristico family member who left AAA about the same time he did and has been wrestling as (Dr.) Karonte Jr. Except, he hasn’t been wrestling much the last few months. Mini Monster Clown was believed to be Mini Chessman – he stopped appearing after Mini Chessman died in 2014 and Mini Psycho Clown started wearing Chessman pants in an obvious tribute – but the remembrances of Mini Chessman never confirmed the other identity.
EMW’s November show in Tijuana has been pushed back to 12/15. The poster includes a lot of regular AAA names, Fenix, Cage and inexplicably Santana Garrett.