quick recommendations of 2018 RIOT matches worth watching

Demonio del Aire proving that there’s always another interesting luchador to discover

In a strange turn of events, a Mexican indie promotion has actually recorded their own shows and put them on the internet for people to purchase them. This behavior, the standard in pretty much every other major wrestling country in the world, is quite novel for Mexico. It also means I get to watch them without figuring out which of six YouTube versions is the closest to watchable.

You can find RIOT shows on their own Pivotshare site. Shows are still available on the renamed IndependentWrestling.TV, though just one of the 2018 shows. I believe Pivotshare is getting the shows going forward and has more of them. Three of the four RIOT shows from 2018 are up there now. The July show is the missing one, with the Jack Evans/Sammy Guevera match I wrote about a while back.

Matches I liked from each show:

February (No Sabes Quien)

stair climbing Arez


  • Low Rider vs Último Ninja vs Laredo Kid [great]: I did not watch this in ideal conditions – I kept finding myself watching RIOT shows when Humberto Carillo was wrestling on 205 live – but the match worked despite having to stop and start a bunch. Ultimo Ninja in a past life did well with his power moves against the smaller guys. Laredo Kid was all around solid as usual. Low Rider wasn’t quite at their level, with his dive gone wrong being a painful spot in the match, but he definitely didn’t drag it down.
  • Kratoz vs Kamikaze vs Mr. Iguana vs Arez vs Jack Evans [good]: best spot fest of the undercard, Creativity in fair amount of spots, and a fast pace taking advantage of having five guys involved. The Sammy Guevera cameos all nice played out nicely with his interaction with Jack Evans, continuing the build to that match.
  • Erick Ortiz vs Dralion & Caifan II vs Furor were both [good], though borderline. Both fit as cool moves matches with not a lot connecting them. These are cases where the excited RIOT crowd helps the show, making the matches feel more exciting then if they were in front of a dead CMLL crowd.

May (Riotmania)

lights on, except for Oritz
  • The match of the night was Mr. Iguana vs Erik Ortiz [great]. Ortiz usually comes off as dry to me but Iguana was a great fit for an opponent. Ortiz found a good niche as the bigger/hard hitting guy who was punishing Iguana thru the match. The crowd is into Iguana and naturally was rooting for his comebacks anyway, so Ortiz gave him a big imposing obstacle to come back from. This is a match where having a camera crew (and not just one person shooting what they can) helped because the ringside work really made the chops come thru as painful. It could’ve been better with a little more variety on offense but still easily worth watching.
  • Bandido vs Ultimo Ninja was [good] in an exhibition-y. It just never found that extra level of intensity, which always seemed to be an issue with Ultimo Ninja matches in Mexico. (That last match with Dragon Lee is a strong exception.) Bandido has wrestled best as a babyface and that probably wasn’t going to work in Monterrey with Ninja, but it leaves the match with no real direction.
  • bonus note: There’s no commentary on these shows so it’s never explained (and the usual show opening speech doesn’t happen), but this was the show delayed 90 minutes due to a power outage. The power finally returns halfway into the opener and everyone reacts big. It’s strange if you don’t know what’s going on.

September (Fanboy)

a good two for one
  • Prometo vs Demonio del Aire vs Arez vs Willy Banderas vs Látigo is the match of the nice and an easy [great]. It’s the match I’d most strongly recommend from this show if the ending wasn’t someone being legit knocked out. Demonio del Aire – who also turns up under the hideous Baby Extreme name on Monterrey indies – comes off as the greatest high flyer no one has ever heard of, pulling off tricky spots with ease until his untimely demise. (He also got hurt on the July show, having no luck at all.) Arez & Latigo team up during a middle section of the match and looks like one of the best teams in Mexico in that stretch alone despite not actually being a team much. Banderas’ names on Guadalajara indies forever; he has some smooth spots early, and there’s a fun dive sequence with Prometo and Latigo too.
  • Kratoz does fine in his match with Jack Evans [good] as far a moves, though his inability to connect with the audience much limits his matches from being a lot better. Skayde versus Erik Ortiz [good] is certainly watchable, having a lot what you’d expect from a Skayde match, but he’s also very much slowed down these days. Muerte Extrema shows up a lot on these shows; his match with Madness is the best of the bunch [good], though they probably could’ve cut a fair bit of time off it. I don’t feel too strongly about any of these matches.