2018 watch later catch up, part 17 of 17

Virus is neat

This is the last one of these general indie catchups for 2018. You can read the rest of the posts under this tag. This bit went a little bit longer this year, but a lot of The Crash shows got folded under this.

Aramis vs Virus
(PROLLM @ Coliseo Coacalco on 12/02, 14:33, good, 

What Happened: This video suddenly and unexpectedly changed from a hard camera far away from the ring to a ringside camera five minutes in with much better picture quality. It’s also very loud. The video quality changes again near the finish.

Review: There’s a pretty good match here shot very weirdly. It would’ve been neat to see the good mat work from less than twenty feet away, it would’ve been nice if the sound wasn’t screaming for most of the match, but it’s good to see the match at all. Aramis and Virus mix pretty well, with Virus having moments looking as quick as the much younger man. Aramis dutiful destroys himself on a tope and comes back in for some flashy moves. This deserves a rematch in a better video setting.

Aramis knows a tricky hold

Dragón Bane vs Alan Extreme
(9:18, Mexa Wrestling @ Arena San Juan Pantitlan on 12/08, 9:14, good,

What Happened: Alan Extreme is in his old mask and gear and is completely unrecognizable as the guy who’s been a Ninja Turtle for the last while.

Review: [good] Really, I can’t get over how much weight Alan Extreme has lost. It would’ve been a perfect time to sneak him under a new character because it might as well be a new person. Some of his old basing skill there and he’s a good fit for the flying spots Dragon Bane wants to do, but they’re a little off at times. These guys might be better suited for a tag match at the moment. It might be worth waiting to see if +LuchaTV puts up this show because there’s some outside the ring action that Carxyus can’t capture from his angle. It’s still a pretty fun match with what we can see.

Xtreme bomb

Rey Horuz vs Arez vs Aramis vs Toxin
(Mexa Wrestling @ Arena San Juan Pantitlan on 12/08, 15:43, good,
Carxyus Pro)

I liked this match much more when I was watching it half asleep than when I watched it a week or later while mostly awake. Not sure how that helps as a review. Maybe it helps explain the match, with a lot of big spots that’ll wake up a drowsy person in between some dead moments. The match gets smoother as it goes down but it’s only after Aramis’ near death on a tope (and the match being stopped to check on him) where it picks up some sort of rhythm. There’s still more dead moments than you’d expect from a four-way, accompanied by a lot of outstanding looking spots. They were close to even more spectacular things and it just didn’t really work out. Toxin was good but tough to identify when he’s not wearing his normal mask; I had to check both times that I didn’t mistake him for someone else. The finishing sequence was good but the run-in coming so sudden and meaning nothing really didn’t help the match at all.

Toxin step up inverted huracanrana

Volador Jr. vs Último Guerrero
(CMLL @ Arena Coliseo Guadalajara on 12/11, 9:21, ok,

This match wasn’t as competitive heartless as the Arena Mexico singles match. It still didn’t have much to it, just checking off half their moves before going to the finish. The finish itself was amusing for the referee dying for about 12 seconds after a superkick, to the point where Volador stopped selling to see if the referee would ever recover. That’s not really a great selling point.

I try not to post GIFs of finishes but you needed to see this

Fly Star vs Demus in a hardcore rules match
(MexaWrestling @ Arena San Juan Pantitlan on 12/08, 11:40 seen, good, Estrellas del Ring)

Estrellas del Ring is missing about three minutes from the start. It’s better than the Carxyus version: this is a brawl around ringside and you need to see it from that angle to get much of it. It’s definitely bloody and brawly, though messy even by the usual standards. The effort is really strong and Demus is a fine mood; I can tell it’s good and it doesn’t really connect with me. The big spots are worth checking out at the least.

many types of death in this match

Aramis, Hijo del Alebrije, Relámpago vs Demonio Infernal, Hijo de Canis Lupus, Lunatic Xtreme
(IWRG @ Arena Naucalpan on 12/21/2018, 11:01, good, via mluchatv)

What Happened: Alebrije & Relampago are wearing split outfits to set up a team I’ve forgotten was supposed to be a team.

Review: There’s a moment, in what turns out to be late in the match, where Hijo del Alebrije attempts to monkey flip Demonio Infernal over the top rope. It’s not high enough, so Demonio instead hits the ropes and lands on his head. It’s as if everyone in the match collectively realizes that they’re going to get grounded for that but, since they’re already going to be grounded, they can do whatever they want with no further consequences. It really picks up with Lunatik blindsiding Alebrije with a chair shot as a lead into a dive train and it peaks with Lunatik doing a balcony splash for no particular reason. Aramis getting dropped on his head multiple times is the actual finish, but this is less about the actual finish and more about young Naucalpan wrestlers going crazy for moments of this match. It has all the shakiness you might expect but the way it escalates is definitely compelling.

would’ve been better if Canis Lupus didn’t walk into the shot

Fantastica Mania tomorrow morning, CMLL Universal tournament returns in February, Lucifierno/Niebla Roja

lucha libre

CMLL (MON) 01/14/2019 Arena Puebla [CMLL, Lucha Central]
1) Astro, Millenium, Rey Samuray b Black Tiger, Perverso, Sombra Diabólika LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 14 DE ENERO DEL 2019 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 1/3.
2) Halcón Suriano Jr., Robin, Tigre Rojo Jr. b El Malayo, Policeman, Toro Bill Jr. LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 14 DE ENERO DEL 2019 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 2/3. They had matching gear, though it’s unclear if that means anything.
3) Súper Muñeco, Súper Pinocho, Súper Ratón b Gallego, Rocky Santana, Romano GarcíaLA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 14 DE ENERO DEL 2019 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Trio Fantasia took falls 1/3. A poor match.
4) Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto b Niebla Roja, Stigma, Stuka Jr. LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 14 DE ENERO DEL 2019 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rudos took 1/3. Luicferno beat Niebla Roja, asked for a title match. Roja accepted.
5) Rush, Vangellys, Villano IV DQ Euforia, Kráneo, Valiente [Relevos IncreíblesLA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 14 DE ENERO DEL 2019 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Straight falls. Euforia fouled Rush. V4 said Rush was more of a rudo than Euforia and he and Vangellys would continue to have his back. Rush and Euforia built up their match for Friday.

The legends match sounds like it went very poorly. Luciferno challenging is a bit random but perhaps there’s an urgent need for a title change.

CMLL announced last night that the Universal tournament is returning. l tournament will return next month. CMLL’s tournament of champions is meant to be an annual thing, one they didn’t seem to get around to in 2018. The timing of it suggests another annual tournament, the incredible pairs tag team tournament, might be getting bumped to a later date or to non-existence.

The Universal tournament will have blocks on February 1st and February 8th, with the final on 15th. It also currently has too many people. CMLL typically has 16 champions entered in the tournament. They’re over that number, in part because CMLL’s brought back the national heavyweight championship since the last time they ran this tournament. The current champions are:

  1. Volador Jr. [NWA Welterweight]
  2. Caristico [NWA Middleweight]
  3. Stuka Jr. [NWA Light Heavyweight]
  4. Dragon Lee [CMLL Lightweight]
  5. Mephisto [CMLL Middleweight]
  6. Cuatrero [CMLL Welterweight, Mexico Trios]
  7. Niebla Roja [CMLL Light Heavyweight]
  8. Valiente [CMLL Tag Team]
  9. Diamante Azul [CMLL Tag Team]
  10. Ultimo Guerrero [CMLL Trios, CMLL Heavyweight]
  11. Gran Guerrero [CMLL Trios]
  12. Euforia [CMLL Trios]
  13. Sanson [Mexico Trios]
  14. Forastero [Mexico Trios]
  15. Electrico [Mexico Lightweight]
  16. Soberano [Mexico Welterweight]
  17. Cavernario [Mexico Light Heavyweight]
  18. Terrible [Mexican Heavyweight]

Electrico’s title (and Electrico himself) has been ignored since moving up to the main division, so that’s one to drop. It’s harder to figure out the second one to drop. Luciferno taking a title with Niebla Roja wouldn’t take change the count. Atlantis, Niebla Roja and Titan winning the national titles in Tokyo would actually create one more champion. There’s not really much time left to do title changes that would create one less champion, though we’ve seen CMLL pull title changes out of nowhere strictly to make the math work in the past.

CMLL has a less interesting Tuesday show tonight. It’s not like the CMLL Tuesday shows are generally good, but this one seems more unnecessary than usual. Kraneo & Volcano bring their Gorillas del Ring act to the main event, teaming with Niebla Roja against Shocker, Rey Bucanero, and Mephisto. The Panther family teams up against Luciferno, Polvora, and Felino in the semi-main. Sagrado & Tiger have a lightning match between guys who were definitely good at one point but haven’t looked motivated to have great matches in some time. Drone, Pegasso, and Stigma take on Misterioso, Universo, and Kawato in the tercera. The show includes an opener and a Nitro level match. It starts at 7:30 pm.

Fantastica Mania finishes up the pre-Korakuen Hall show run tomorrow morning at 4 am (CT/Mexico time) in Chiba’s Makuhari Messe. Chiba is close to Tokyo, so there’s a good chance the CMLL luchadors are just based there for the next week. This show, and every remaining Fantastica Mania show will stream on NJPW World.

The lineup has a little bit more going on the tour opening show did, with the top two matches being the first round of the CMLL Family tournament. Atlantis Jr. has rebounded from losing his first two matches on this tour to win the following two. He and his father are still significant underdogs against the NGD pair of Cuatrero & Sanson. Dragon Lee & Mistico are favorites to beat Flyer & Volador, though the outcome there isn’t as interesting as the chance to see a clash of tecnicos unlike which would normally be booked in Arena Mexico.

The undercard includes Templario getting his one chance to team up with the Guerreros on these shows, facing the legends trio of Liger, Tiger Mask, and Caristico. Audaz gets a higher position than usual, teaming with Angel de Oro & Soberano against Barbaro Cavernario, Namajague, and Okumura. This card could be interesting, and I might find myself watching it live tomorrow morning. There will be a recap sometime Wednesday even if I sleep in.

Mexa Wrestling on 02/23 (“New Idols” in Arena San Juan)

Pretty sure everyone Mexa Wrestling books either fits or doesn’t fit as New Idols. Garza & Metaleon are both new in a world where a Trio Fantastia/Los Diabolicos match happened in Puebla but are not really new to people who follow Mexa Wrestling. Maybe it’ll make more sense later.

In a clip from an interview on Marca, El Hijo del Santo says Todo x el Todo has plans of returning this summer (though that might be London shows again.) A luchador who seemingly was wrestling primarily to get his son bookings is not going to be wrestling much when he son has gone back to school.

An interview with Monclova’s Rebelde Rojo Jr, who’s been wrestling since 1993. He suffered a heart attack, was told to stop wrestling, stop wrestling for a year and a half, and then decided he liked wrestling too much to stop.

Chicago’s Yakuza explains he decided to become a wrestling promoter because the promoters he was working for were shorting him on pay. He mentions there’s still a promoter in the area who don’t pay their wrestlers and doesn’t let those wrestlers work with his ones.

One of Enrique Llanes’ sons (not Javier) talks about his father’s career. He says he and his brother didn’t know his father was a wrestler until long after he retired. He had a second career as a sports radio/TV host.

+LuchaTV has a new edition of their podcast.

Did You Know: LA Park wants an apuesta match with Rush, says Rush needs huevos.

LuchaWorld has this week’s Poster-Mania.


CMLL (SAT) 01/19/2019 Arena Coliseo
1) Kaligua & Último Dragóncito vs Mercurio & Pierrothito
2) Astral, Halcón Suriano Jr., Príncipe Diamante vs Cancerbero, Grako, Raziel
3) Star Jr., Stigma, Súper Astro Jr. vs Sagrado, Tiger, Virus
4) Pegasso vs Kawato San [lightning]
5) Esfinge, Stuka Jr., Tritón vs Dragón Rojo Jr., Felino, Pólvora
6) Diamante Azul, Kráneo, Niebla Roja vs Máscara Año 2000, Rey Bucanero, Shocker

The big news here is AAA no longer has the worst looking main event on Saturday night.

Super Astro Jr. clearly being ahead of the ex-minis is somewhat interesting.

CMLL (SUN) 01/20/2019 Arena México
1) Bengala & Sonic vs El Coyote & Príncipe Odín Jr.
2) Angelito, Fantasy, Shockercito vs Pequeño Nitro, Pequeño Olímpico, Pequeño Universo 2000
3) Drone, Robin, Súper Astro Jr. vs Disturbio, Misterioso Jr., Virus
4) Tritón vs Universo 2000 Jr. [lightning]
5) Black Panther, Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr. vs Hijo del Villano III, Vangellys, Villano IV
6) La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Shocker vs Diamante Azul, Niebla Roja, Valiente [Relevos Increíbles]

Diamante Azul is fully back to have lackluster matches with Rush. Panthers & Villanos have old history. Vangellys is a fan of old history.

2018 CMLL on NJPW World (first half)

a sumation of Flyer’s 2018 post Gran Alternativa

NJPW had been posting delayed versions of the Friday night CMLL shows as bonus NJPW World subscription content. They switched to showing Sunday shows in July. Those shows are not streamed on CMLL’s YouTube. These are technically blocked in Mexico, perhaps they air on some obscure TV station CMLL’s never bothered to mention, though I know the Mexican people are clever enough to find a way to bootleg these shows anyway.

The shows are not complete. There’s usually the top four matches, but sometimes it’s three if there’s no lightning match. There are no women’s or minis matches. There are 10 shows from 2018, and it’s not always clear why those are chosen. They also air irregularly, used to keep the live stream arm when NJPW is between their own events. They’re also hard to find on the website after they’ve aired, not tagged like most of their content.

All commentary is done in Japanese, with various NJPW wrestlers (usually with some Mexican connection) joining in. The announcers are knowledgeable enough to identify the CMLL finishing moves and sometimes name them. Their crowd & ring mics do end up being quieter than usual in the mix.

I’m trying to pick out at least one match from the ten shows, though it is a stretch on some of them. I probably wouldn’t be doing this unless there were a couple of matches I knew I needed to see; not sure this website needs any more CMLL recaps.

Mistico, Valiente, Volador Jr. © vs Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero for the CMLL World Trios Championship
(Arena México on 07/01,
15:40, great, NJPW (50:51))

There’s also a handheld version of this match: tonyzorr

I’m not listing finishes based on my habit for catch up posts, but you probably already know this turned out to be the end of the Sky Team. At least they went out with a good match if it took a while to get there. It’s a good encapsulation of what the series of matches between these two teams have felt like, though it felt like the pace and the action was better in some of the previous matches. The first two falls don’t really feel like a big title match, even with the spectacular finishes. They get there in the end, though doing it with the usual CMLL problem of the first believable finish being the only one. Euforia looks sharp in his third fall exchange with Volador, Último Guerrero’s powerbomb catch of Volador’s dive seemed like the latest it ever has been, and the announcers were thrilled to see a Valiente special.

Euforia swats down Volador

Audaz, Blue Panther, Rey Cometa vs Hechicero, Okumura, Templario
(Arena México on 07/08, 11:37, ok, NJPW (5:49))

What Happened: Audaz falls harshly trying an around the ringpost headscissors. He’s not moving immediately after. Blue Panther checks on him and waves in the medics, who immobilize his neck and take him away with some caution. The match still goes on a couple minutes longer. They kept him off the following Tuesday show but he was back a few days after that.

This was a general standard midcard match. Rey Cometa’s personality and heart shines thru well in these sorts of matches, battling Hechicero well. Audaz and Templario looked impressive in their glimpses but were not showcased in any particular way. They kept it together thru an injury better than most of these situations.

Templario dropkick

Drone vs Kawato San in a lightning match
(Arena México on 08/05, 7:43, ok, NJPW (6:04))

This is doldrums Kawato, but the pairing of the Japanese guy with the guy who messed up his career in Japan is too wonderful to miss. They don’t disappoint on the dives: Drone gets crushed by Kawato’s tope con giro for being too close, Kawato gets bulldozed by Drone’s tope. When they get back in, a rope flip moonsault spot barely comes together, then is sabotaged by Tirantes refusing to count for one of them being under the ropes (neither are close.) Kawato can’t sustain the bridge on a big Dragon suplex This is Kawato trying to do what he thinks he’s supposed to do and not really getting it, and Drone not really having a good night either. There are worse matches it’s fine on a surface level

more of a crash than a catch

Cavernario, Christopher Daniels, Último Guerrero vs Matt Taven, Mistico, Niebla Roja
(Arena México on 08/05, 12:40, good, NJPW (56:25))

Christopher Daniels making a one-off appearance. He waved at the crowd on the previous Friday night but was really mostly around for the ill-fated (& seemingly final) Pura Raza show on Saturday. This match does treat him well, going out of their way to have him get in both the Best Moonsault Ever and Angel’s Wings to pin people in the first fall. (Someone getting two finishers in one fall seemingly never happens.) He gets to mix it up with Místico too in the first fall, but sort of fades into the background of a Niebla Roja/Cavernario heat up match. It’s good for being that, and the six people mesh well together for an unnatural combination. This is during the short-lived and ultimately nonsensical Matt Taven técnico run, and his offense is good for what CMLL wants a técnico to be. This holds a little more value than just the curiosity, though it’s nothing you have to go out of your way to see.

Daniels might not be in CMLL much but his move sure has been

Niebla Roja vs Cavernario
(Arena México on 08/12, 16:20, good, NJPW (29:35))

didn’t like Niebla Roja/Cavernario as much as I was hoping. It got good at the end but mostly felt like the intensity of a lightning match (with pointless fall breaks) until they turned it up in the late stages. This might be an audio issue because the crowd and ring noise seemed especially quiet and it’s tough for me to get into a muted match. At the same time, Niebla Roja’s cradle to win the first fall was so horrendous that it may justify me not loving the match.

Cavernario fly

Flyer vs Mephisto in a lightning match
(Arena México on 09/02, 7:55, ok, NJPW (5:47))

Mephisto seemingly murdered Flyer with a powerbomb on the floor, a great finish. Except they kept going for a couple more minutes because they had spots (and a very predictable finish to get in.) Flyer’s biggest problem is he seems to believe he’s got these matches solved when they’re not that good and the repetitiveness of them is not helping. This was fine.

Mephisto getting Flyer over