Euforia, Niebla Roja, Valiente beat La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Villano IVin a relevos increíbles match (9:27 [2:09, 7:18], 1/2 DQ, ok, 01:47:21)
Rush ripped off Euforia’s mask and punched Edgar for the second fall disqualification. Euforia demanded a singles match and Rush rudely accepted.
They played off the mask pull finish of the lightning match as if it was an accidental finish, but it was clearly the planned ending to get them out of there. Felino couldn’t have tried harder to pull the mask.
The stream was down to start the show, but it appeared they picked it up just after the whistle of the first match.
The only match that had a lot of life to it was the main event. Rush seemed charged up, which made significantly more sense when the finish turned out to be building a singles match with him and Euforia. Villano IV had a good brawling night, with clotheslines that appear to be taking people’s heads off. Bestia del Ring is so not good, but the rudos did give an overall atmosphere of chaos and destruction. You could feel something watching it, which couldn’t be said for much else here.
The semi-main was a generic Kraneo/Volcano showcase, only they got in their big spots in the second fall instead of winning the whole thing. Volcano as big dumb guy has not turned out as endearing as I think they would’ve hoped. Maybe he needs to be dumber? Maybe I’m just stretching for anything to talk about.
Around the fourth match, I half gave up on the show and started watching NJPW backstage promos at the same time. What I saw of this match didn’t seem as bad as it could be – Shocker and Rey Bucanero were willing to take a headscissors or too. Still, the técnicos kept it easy and the rudos can’t help but do the same. This match could’ve used done of Blue Panther’s weird match layouts just to have a reason to exist, but those don’t seem to happen on Fridays (when they happen at all.) I guess it did have one weird match twist, with the match just coming to a very sudden stop.
The lightning match was exceedingly boring with a DQ finish. It was unclear who would want to see this and neither man wanted to participate in it. They did more than nothing, but they tried to get as close to nothing before the DQ spot.
The second was a professional match, though one which could’ve used a bit more excitement. I think I’ve just been used to these guys being treated like they don’t matter that it’s tough invest a lot of interest in them even in a solid match like this. Kawato didn’t show the same aggression as in the last match, though he felt some. Maya seemed to be fighting angrily and Drone booted Kawato right in the face to break up the pin. The dives and long finishing sequence made this feel like more of an important match than usual in the second spot. I can’t call it good, I’m not sure I’ll remember it hours from now, but it seemed like it’d be the best thing on this show.
The opener featured three very similar técnicos trapped in the early matches. Super Astro Jr. is still quite a bit just doing a homage to his father, but those moves are good enough to make him the most impressive of those three. Star Jr. and definitely Robin have had better matches; not that anything went wrong, but they didn’t impress. Rudos were about as ungiving as ever.
Sanson & Okumura unmasked the Atlantis Family after the match, though the Young Lions put up a fight to stop it.
Forastero has the most inexplicable music of all the replacement themes.
The main event felt slower paced than I’m used to in a CMLL match. It really was Terrible guest staring in an NJPW match, so I guess that makes sense. It was the longest match of the night with plenty of Shingo & Henare in particular and a finish that seemed to come out of nowhere despite all that time. Terrible and Kojima seemed alright together but there’s no spark that makes me want to see that singles match. It wasn’t a big priority here anyway.
The semi-main had some good moments but didn’t really stick with me at all. Caristico seemed to be motivated to do well in this tour, showing the most effort in the time he was in. Soberano and Cavernario matched up promisingly but didn’t get too deep in what they did.
The fourth match seemed like it was on the verge of being spectacular at times and didn’t just get there. They were looking just a bit off. The big Dragon Lee & Místico stuff was good enough for the live crowd but they weren’t really hitting their marks as well as they often do. Similarly, I have no idea what was supposed to happen between Cuatrero & Angel de Oro but it didn’t really happen. Their own standards are a little bit higher they delivered here. It seems too obvious that Guerreros are going to be facing Dragon Lee & Místico in the tournament winners against tournament winners match, which would suggest some sort of set up in another promotion.
Atlantis Jr.’s debut is the match worth watching, both for the fascination of finally seeing him in action and because it’s a fun match. I’m fixated on comparing Atlantis Jr. and Santo Jr., as sons of legends who’ve debuted in recent times. It comes up here because Santo Jr. debuted outside of Mexico (on a Todo x el Todo show in London.) This isn’t Atlantis Jr.’s actual first match, but it’s still pretty close, and he looks far more natural than his peer. The rope grab headscissors looked smooth and fluid, something Santo Jr. has a problem within his limited action. Atlantis Jr. didn’t radiate star charisma but still showed enough to be a respected midcard técnico. He’ll get the chance to be much more, but that’s a good floor to start with.
The opening couple of matches had a lot of the NJPW wrestlers wrestling against each other, the CMLL wrestlers against each other, and never the two should meet. Flyer had about once nice bit with Kanamaru and that was it. Forastero and his partners having no chemistry didn’t really help the situation. Titan was a ghost until the ending sequence, and that was mostly about trying to introduce Forastero. An easy match to skip.
The seemingly sixty seconds of Audaz & Templario was fun in the opener. Audaz really wowed this crowd early with his dive, especially since they weren’t expecting something that spectacular at that point. They seemed to fade into the background of a Taguchi/Ishimori build-up match, which was not as interesting.
CMLL , NJPW (FRI) 01/11/2019 Osaka Prefectural Gym, Osaka, Japan [CMLL, Lucha Central, NJPW] Fantastica Mania, 2019 Day 1
1) Gedo, Taiji Ishimori, Templario b Audaz, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask 7:44. Templario pinned Audaz after a powerbomb.
2) Forastero, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru b Flyer, Jushin Liger, Titán 7:32. Forastero submitted Titan.
3) Okumura & Sansón b Atlantis & Atlantis Jr. 10:16. Okumura pinned Atlantis Jr. after a spinning DDT. This was Atlantis’ debut.
4) Cuatrero, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero b Ángel de Oro, Dragón Lee, Místico 12:13. Cuatrero beat Angel de Oro with the Cuatrero Bomb (crucifix powerbomb)
5) Bárbaro Cavernario, Carístico, Namajague b Kushida, Místico, Soberano Jr. [Relevos Increíbles] 8:37. Caristico used La Mistica to submit Volador Jr.
6) Bushi, Shingo Takagi, Terrible, Tetsuya Naito b Fujin, Raijin, Satoshi Kojima, Toa Henare 14:14. Bushi beat Fujin.
The kickoff show for Fantastica Mania tour took place earlier today. I set my alarm to watch it, but my brain decided I really needed the sleep more. I’ll watch it later and maybe get a recap up before the usual Friday night show.
I did find time to see the Atlantis Jr. debut already. He was better than expected, at the level of a second/third match guy in his debut, maybe a little bit better than what we’ve seen of Hijo del Villano III so far. Atlantis Jr. showed only his father’s offense in his debut, which is going to make him look a little too retro for 2019, but it is also only one match.
The results are the usual tour opening stuff, with the rudos getting the early wins and finishes setting up matches later on. Namajague did acknowledge on Twitter that he lost this mask to Stuka & Rey Cometa long ago, but is wearing because he likes and wanted to get into the spirit of the tour. That’s for me the difference with this year’s tour: it’s a general lucha libre themed set of shows rather than a CMLL dream match factory. It feels like it should be going the other way – NJPW fans probably saw more CMLL this year than ever with all of the broadcasts on NJPW World – but this is more about the novelty of seeing Fujin and Raijin wrestle in masks (which they never really did in Mexico.) They know the NJPW fans better than I.
There are Fantastica Mania shows on Saturday/Sunday/Monday. The next streaming show is Wednesday morning.
CMLL continues on without the 20 wrestlers in Japan. CMLL has enough wrestlers, talented wrestlers, that they could still put together interesting lineups. That would take more effort in programming than CMLL usual provides, and it appears they’re providing two weeks of filler shows instead. Tonight’s main event is Euforia, Niebla Roja and Valiente against La Bestia del Ring, Rush and Villano IV. CMLL is treating that match as if it is the only thing that could main event shows, running variations of it Saturday in Arena Coliseo, Monday in Arena Puebla, and Tuesday in Arena Coliseo Guadalajara. It’s not a rivalry or any issue – what feud there is between Euforia and his partners. Maybe Euforia throwing out a challenge to Ultimo Guerrero (among the people he’d like to have a singles match with) is going somewhere, maybe it’s a late substitute for Diamante Azul, or maybe CMLL doesn’t think enough of the remaining tecnicos to put any of them in the main event spot. Could be a combination.
Kraneo & Volcano again team up with Stuka against the Hijos del Infierno. Blue Panther, Rey Cometa, and Triton are a promising trio if they weren’t wrestling Mascara 2000, Rey Bucanero and Shocker. Polvora & Felino meet in a rudo/rudo lightning match. Drone, Esfinge and Guerrero Maya take on Kawato, Sagrado, and Tiger in the most promising match of the night. Cancerbero & Raziel team up with Disturbio to face Robin, Star Jr. and Super Astro in the opener.
CultIcon has a preview of the show. It’ll air at the usual 8:30 pm mark on Marca and Facebook (no link yet.) I’ll probably stream the show on YouTube.
Tonight is also the first of two Impact tapings in Fronton Mexico. It seems like the more interesting show of the night They taped four weeks of TV last time around and probably will do again. The shows should start airing around 01/25. (Impact moves to Friday starting tonight and is streaming on Twitch, but they won’t be streaming these Mexico City shows quite yet.) I expect a better turnout this time, there’s really not any strong wrestling competition like last time.
Add Psycho Clown & Aerostar to the list of AAA people saying they’ll be on the Impact taping. The standout matches on the last set of shows were the trios matches featuring AAA/indie talent, and I hope they sneak thru a few more of those as well.
For what it’s worth, this twitch stats site has TripleMania peaking with 35,247 viewers on their Spanish language channel. I think Impact could top that tonight, but I’m not really sure.
CMLL (TUE) 01/15/2019Arena México
1) Acero & Aéreo vs Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Violencia
2) Oro Jr., Retro, Star Jr. vs Metálico, Nitro, Sangre Azteca
3) Drone, Pegasso, Stigma vs Kawato San, Misterioso Jr., Universo 2000 Jr.
4) Sagrado vs Tiger [lightning]
5) Black Panther, Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr. vs Felino, Luciferno, Pólvora
6) Kráneo, Niebla Roja, Volcano vs Mephisto, Rey Bucanero, Shocker
The non-Rush main event is the Kraneo/Volcano main event. Which is not a great alternative. No one else can headline, apparently.
I try to make sure to write about at least one match one every B-show and I have no idea what match I’d want to see from this bunch. May take Sagrado/Tiger just to make it quick.
CMLL (TUE) 01/15/2019Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) El Alteño, Fantástico, Tigre Blanco vs Mr. Trueno, Paymon, Rey Trueno
2) Magnum, Sangre Imperial, Star Black vs Difunto, Hijo del Signo, Ráfaga
3) Avispa Dorada, La Vaquerita, Sanely vs La Comandante, La Seductora, Tiffany
4) Esfinge, Rey Cometa, Tritón vs Ephesto, Hechicero, Máscara Año 2000
5) Euforia, Stuka Jr., Valiente vs La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Vangellys [Relevos Increíbles]
Even the women’s sides seem not as strong as usual when they’re running out the Comandante/Seductora/Tiffany team.
Still no sign of Fuego. Seeing Signo there reminds me that Yago, Akuma, and Camorra have all not appeared since their double apuesta match either. Yago was said to be hurt and Camorra may be finished up, but no idea on Akuma.
First Sangre Imperial match in nearly four weeks. I know you missed him.
AAA TV (SAT) 01/19/2019 Pepsi Center WTC, Benito Juárez, Distrito Federal
1) Dinastía, Lady Shani, Niño Hamburguesa vs Lady Maravilla, Lanzelot, Villano III Jr.
2) Hijo Del Vikingo, Laredo Kid, Myzteziz Jr. vs Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana
3) Killer Kross vs Dave The Clown vs Parka Negra
4) Máximo, Murder Clown, Taya vs Chessman, Faby Apache, La Máscara
5) Brian Cage & Pagano vs Joe Lider & Texano Jr.
6) Dr. Wagner Jr., La Parka, Psycho Clown vs Blue Demon Jr., Hijo del Fantasma, Rey Escorpión
AAA’s started the year off with big shows in Mexico City the last few years. This is not one of those. A lot of not great looking matches and wrestlers not being put in matches to succeed. The big theme here is no one is less invested in AAA storylines than AAA themselves: Pagano & Joe Lider spent the last six months as partners sometimes feuding with Texnao Jr., and they’re on opposite sides here. Faby Apache pretty clearly turned back to the tecnica side on recent shows and is back to being a ruda here. (Lady Shani is back to being an opening match lady; not really going to make new stars if you keep treating the existing ones as bigger deals.)
There’s nothing here that couldn’t have been announced a few days ago, it is not immediately clear why this wasn’t announced at the press conference on Tuesday.
Matches 1 and 2 should be pretty good. Lanzelot was on the rudo side last time we saw him (back in November); there was no turn or explanation, but at least they’re consisent. Poder del Norte versus Jientes del Aire should be great.