Rush signs with Ring of Honor, NGD vs Dragon Lee/Mistico in NJPW final, AAA TV lineups

Audaz and Namajague

Rush has signed with Ring of Honor in a deal announced yesterday on Twitter. Ring of Honor announced it as an exclusive deal. CMLL posted a statement saying this was part of the interchange of talents between the promotions and Rush would continue to belong to their promotion. Rush responded to that statement saying it was not part of the interchange of talent, and ROH was his new home.

This is what I know: Rush is signed to Ring of Honor and that will be his first priority however long that contract lasts. (No one’s stated a contract length – on this or any other ROH deal I’ve seen.) The “exclusive” is more referring to US dates and the Canada locations Ring of Honor runs. As mentioned previously with Bandido, Ring of Honor contracts don’t cover Mexico, so Rush would free to continue working in CMLL whenever he wants. ROH and CMLL’s relationship means they’ll probably try to work together on Rush’s schedule as well, but ROH has the top priority.

The immediate fallout is Rush was pulled from his match with LA Park on WrestleMania weekend. (Pentagon versus LA Park is mentioned instead, but doesn’t seem a sure thing as long as Penta is likely expected to work WrestleCon & Impact at the same time.) Any other Rush bookings, like the upcoming Mucha Lucha Atlanta date, are up in the air. ROH has not announced when Rush will start, but it’s a safe bet he’s working most shows going forward. Ring of Honor had previously filmed a segment teasing the Matt Taven/Rush feud as coming to their promotion which was already scheduled to air this week, and that seems like something that could lead to a match on the 04/06 ROH/NJPW Madison Square Garden show.

One of the factors mentioned in Rush signing with Ring of Honor is getting more NJPW bookings out of it. That suggests, even while a profitable Fantastica Mania tour is going on, the CMLL/NJPW relationship isn’t as strong as it suggests if Rush has to go to the US to get booked in Japan. It’s a strange situation.

Rush being signed is part of a wave of signings, with ROH, AEW, and WWE all seemingly operating out of fear of the others signing talent before they can. Between Bandido & Rush, this competition has reached Mexico. Fenix & Penta can’t be signed by someone else until their Lucha Underground commitments cease. That seems to leave Dragon Lee as the most valuable luchador at the moment (though I’d have to guess plenty more people have been contacted.) Dragon Lee might be behind everyone else because he was on an island and out of contact for months, and now he’s another hemisphere away from everyone else. I think we might hear more about his situation soon.

I’m think it’s likely there are going to be more signings. I think there’s also going to be people being locked in to more concrete deals than before, so no one gets the same egg on their face MLW is getting over Rush/LA Park. I’m really curious about where this leaves LA Park and MLW, since both big matches they were leading to (PCO & Rush) are no longer options. It’s also not a great situation for CMLL that anyone who becomes a draw in CMLL can easily get plucked to work elsewhere.

I’m not convinced Rush & Ring of Honor is a great fit over the long term – Rush has been in an environment with the freedom to do whatever he’d like, and he still manages to get suspended periodically – but it seems sure to be fascinating mix.

I may watch Informa today just to see Julio Cesar Rivera to give one of those straight to the camera CMLL statements on this. Those are always fun. Not always true, but that’s what makes them fun. The last time there was one of those was he and Rush stating that the Rush/Park still would happen, just not at the Aniverasrio, and that seems less likely with this announcement.

CMLL (TUE) 01/15/2019 Arena México [CMLL, Lucha CentralThe Gladiatores]
1) Acero & Aéreo b Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Violencia LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 15 DE ENERO DE  2019 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
tecnicos took 2/3.
2) Metálico, Nitro, Sangre Azteca b Oro Jr., Retro, Star Jr. LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 15 DE ENERO DE  2019 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
rudos took 2/3.
3) Drone, Pegasso, Stigma b Disturbio, Kawato San, Universo 2000 Jr. LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 15 DE ENERO DE  2019 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 2/3. Disturbio replaced Misterioso.
Sagrado won via La Casita
5) Black Panther, Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr. b El Coyote, Felino, Pólvora LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 15 DE ENERO DE  2019 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Coyote replaced Luciferno. Tecnicos took 1/3, the last when Felino & Polvora had problems. Felino unmasked Polvora after the match.
6) Kráneo, Niebla Roja, Volcano DQ Luciferno, Mephisto, Rey Bucanero LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 15 DE ENERO DE  2019 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Mephisto fouled Niebla Roja and challenged to a title match. Luciferno replaced Shocker.

CMLL promos: Pegasso & Stigma, Sagrado, Niebla Roja & Mephisto. No Felino or Polvora interview seems a solid indicator they were working their own feud and CMLL doesn’t have plans for it at the moment. I wouldn’t be too excited for a big Felino/Povlora match but it is better than the usual nothing.

Mephisto & Niebla Roja just has a singles match in Guadalajara. (It didn’t end well.) They teased mask/hair. A title match would make more sense. Either guy winning a title would fix the CMLL Universal math. If they announce a title match, expect a title change.

CMLL (TUE) 01/15/2019 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [CMLL]
1) El Alteño, Fantástico, Tigre Blanco b Mr. Trueno, Paymon, Rey Trueno
2) Difunto, Hijo del Signo, Ráfaga b Magnum, Sangre Imperial, Star Black
rudos took 2/3.
3) La Comandante, La Seductora, Tiffany b Avispa Dorada, La Vaquerita, Sanely
Rudas took 2/3.
4) Dragón Rojo Jr., Máscara Año 2000, Vangellys b Esfinge, Rey Cometa, Tritón
Dragon Rojo & Vangellys replaced Ephesto & Hechicero. Rudos took 1/3.
5) Ephesto, La Bestia Del Ring, Rush b Euforia, Stuka Jr., Valiente [Relevos Increíbles]
Ephesto replaced Vangellys. Rush was DQed in the first unmasking Euforia, then took two and three (foul on Euforia) to win.

Switching people around on a show like that is strange, especially when there’s no feud they need to build up.

CMLL , NJPW (WED) 01/16/2019 Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan [CMLLNJPWthecubsfan]
Fantastica Mania, 2019 Day 5
Attendance: 1015
1) Forastero, Gedo, Taiji Ishimori b Kushida, Ryusuke Taguchi, Titán
7:41. Forastero beat Titan with the armbar again.
2) Fujin & Raijin b Bushi & Shingo Takagi
10:21. Raijin surprised BUSHI with a casita.
3) Ángel de Oro, Audaz, Soberano Jr. b Bárbaro Cavernario, Namajague, Okumura
12:10. Soberano pinned Okumura after the guillotine moonsault.
4) Terrible & Tetsuya Naito b Satoshi Kojima & Toa Henare
12:02. Terrible Clash on Henare.
5) Carístico, Jyushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask b Gran Guerrero, Templario, Último Guerrero
11:21. Misitca on Templario.
6) Cuatrero & Sansón b Atlantis & Atlantis Jr. [CMLL FAMILY, semifinal]
9:52. Sanson beat Atlantis Jr. with a torture rack powerbomb on Sanson
7) Dragón Lee & Místico b Flyer & Volador Jr. [CMLL FAMILY, semifinal]
14:35. Dragon Lee defeated Flyer with a powerbomb. Sanson & Cuatrero came out to hype up the tournament final on Friday.

NGD & Hermanos Lee have promos to hype up the final. CMLL is shooting their promos separate from the ones NJPW does, which is a little odd but whatever works. Nothing out of note from a CMLL standpoint outside of the tournament. Main event was the best match on the tour so far. The other tournament and the Soberano trios are the most worth your time.

The off/on schedule continues. They’re back on Friday night with Dragon Lee & Mistico vs Cuatrero & Sanson and Soberano vs Cavernario. Most of the card is to be announced – maybe sometime later today.

Lucha Underground came up in the news a lot yesterday. It started with Shane Strickland announced he was a free agent. I know some people thought that was an MLW deal, but I’m convinced that was his Lucha Underground contract lapsing. Ivelisse seemed to think the same and took to Twitter to complain that Lucha Underground had not granted her own request for release. (The technical difference appears to be Strickland had asked for his release before the season 4 and Ivelisse sounds like she was talked into staying but now wants out.) Joey Ryan backed Ivelisse and, without outright saying it, appears to also be looking for his own LU release. ProWrestlingSheet got a quote from Eric Van Wagenen, who says those decisions are not his or MGM’s, but Dorian Roldan and John Fogelman (Factory Made Ventures). The Joey Ryan article even more specifically blames Dorian Roldan. Roldan, as usual, has said nothing. This has generated a lot of anger at Lucha Underground and not much of any solution.

SoCalUncensored wrote that, from what he’s seen, the LU contracts give “at most 9 months from when the season ends to renew them for another.” That would put everyone under a Lucha Underground contract on ice until at August 7th. The guess for when a decision might be made about another season has been “April?”, but that decision took a lot longer than anyone expected for Season 4. I’m still thinking the most likely outcome is MGM does not get the money they want to produce a fifth season and the whole thing goes away, but it’s a long wait until then and a hope that the offers that are being made now still are there when these wrestlers are finally free to take them.

Do you remember Dark Magic? Maybe? He hasn’t been seen since November 23rd and there’s been no mention of him, which made me think he might have just returned home. That turns out not the be case. Dark Magic doesn’t use a lot of social media (at least that I know of), but he did mention recovering from surgery on his Facebook. In a comment, he says he “tore all the ligaments in my right ankle and have a fracture about the foot.” The timing of the surgery suggests it was an injury in that last match, and he did look hurt at the end, though it didn’t seem this serious. Not sure when Dark Magic would be back if he’s going to be back.

Diaro Basta interviews Mystique and Malgina about their trip to Japan. They both liked the experience, though Mystique felt the Japanese women wrestled too strong and dangerous and that’s why many of them have short careers.

The Ciudad Juarez lucha libre commission says everyone locally needs a new license and the luchadors have been slow at getting them. The license costs 250 pesos for 2019, plus urine and blood tests. (Getting an extra year is 150 pesos more.) The commission says 330 wrestlers had the old license from 2016 to 2018.

LuchaWorld has the Lucha Report.

@anotherspammer has a GIF list of the best lucha spots of the year.


IWRG (SUN) 01/20/2019 Arena Naucalpan
1) Atomic Star & Shaolin vs Guero Palma & Neza Kid
2) Black Dragón, Black Terry, Gato De Ecatepec vs Death Metal, Ra-Zhata, Shil-Kah
3) Liderk, Rayan, Spector vs Demonio Infernal, Eterno, Lunatic Xtreme [super libre]
4) Multifacetico 2.0 vs Multifacetico (Puebla)
5) Cerebro Negro, Oficial 911, Oficial AK47, Oficial Fierro vs Dragón Bane, Hijo de Canis Lupus, Séptimo Rayo, Último Gladiador and Aramis, Dinamic Black, Imposible, Internacional Pantera and Demasiado, Óscar El Hermoso, Pasion Kristal, Soy Raymunda [Zona de Ejecucion]

Zona de Ejecution is a four team match with one person from each team in the ring at the same time. No tags, just the next team member in once their partner is eliminated until no one is left.

CMLL (MON) 01/21/2019 Arena Puebla
1) Centella Roja & Meyer vs Espíritu Maligno & Policeman
2) Halcón Suriano Jr. & Tigre Rojo Jr. vs El Malayo & Toro Bill Jr.
3) Marcela & Princesa Sugehit vs Amapola & La Comandante
4) Guerrero Maya Jr., Stigma, Stuka Jr. vs Rey Bucanero, Shocker, Tyson La Bestia
5) Niebla Roja vs Luciferno [lightning]
6) Rush, Vangellys, Villano IV vs Euforia, Kráneo, Valiente [Relevos Increíbles]

I think there’s a CMLL depth issue where there’s a rudo side of Rey Bucanero, Shocker (if he shows up) and Tyson la Besita. The big problem, which maybe I’m pointing out too often, is the lack of depth on the rudo side. Los Guerreros and NGD are the best on that side, there’s not much left with them in Japan, and that’s where all the veterans who have jobs for life get dumped.

Halcon Suriano & Tigre Rojo had matching gear last week and are teamed up again. If there were still promos in Puebla, we might find out why. Alas!

AAA TV (SAT) 01/26/2019 Centro de Convenciones, Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas
1) Máscara de Bronce, Raptor, Vanilla vs Australian Suicide, Jack Evans, La Hiedra
2) Hijo Del Vikingo, Myzteziz Jr., Niño Hamburguesa vs Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana
3) Drago © vs ArgenisParka NegraGolden Magic [AAA LA]
first defense
4) Joe Lider & Pagano vs Cíclope & Miedo Extremo
5) Drago, Laredo Kid, Murder Clown vs Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly
6) Aerostar, Dr. Wagner Jr., Psycho Clown vs Hijo del Fantasma, Monsther Clown, Rey Escorpión

Everything happened and then there were also AAA lineups also announced. AAA seems serious (or as serious as they are about anything) about going somewhere with Laredo Kid, which apparently means he can’t team with his teammates for the moment. He can team with Drago, who’s also somehow defending his title. This was pointed out to AAA on Twitter (not just by annoying me, other annoying people too), but AAA reposted the lineup as is and has Drago working twice on their lineup page. They’re sticking to the story, at least for now.

Even if that changes, this is a show where the main event focus appears to be on the Aerostar/Monsther Clown feud (!?!?!). Mascara de Bronce makes a real TV taping for the first time since April, and Raptor does the same for the first time since February. Joe Lider & Pagano are apparently going to friends again after one show.

AAA TV (FRI) 02/08/2019 Centro de Usos Múltiples, Mazatlán, Sinaloa
1) Dinastía, Lady Shani, Niño Hamburguesa vs Lady Maravilla, Lanzelot, Villano III Jr.
2) Sammy Guevara vs Flamita vs Hijo Del Vikingo [AAA CRUISER]
will be second defense (1st on TV) assuming Guevera keeps title in Tijuana
3) Aerostar, Máximo, Taya vs Faby Apache, Monsther Clown, Taurus
4) Drago vs Jack Evans
5) Dr. Wagner Jr., Laredo Kid, Puma King vs Blue Demon Jr., Hijo del Fantasma, La Máscara
6) La Parka & Psycho Clown vs Killer Kross & Rey Escorpión

A Sammy Guevera title defense on TV! I guess his chances of beating Laredo Kid on 02/01 in Tijuana are strong. I make fun of Sammy Guevera because it’s fish in a barrel but I’m fairly sure the issues with the Cruiserweight title not being defend in AAA aren’t his issues. I’d also guess Hijo del Vikingo might end up champion when that’s all said and done.

Wagner/Demon is still going on. Drago versus Jack Evans is good though any reason for it to be happening in AAA is still a mystery. This is the the first show of a two taping weekend, so people like Taya & Faby are probably around for Tepic and maybe in a bigger role. That lineup is probably coming five minutes after I finish this post.