Mephisto/Niebla Roja was Niebla Roja doing the Volador big match. Niebla Roja isn’t going to do as many tricky springboards. He is better at getting sympathy from the crowd. The style and the pace of the match were otherwise the same, with the quick first falls to establish finishes to kick out of later, and the extended third fall of move turn-taking in no particular order. At no time will anyone be allowed to get two moves in a row, and Mephisto eventually lost for attacking Niebla Roja without immediately going for a pinfall. It’s entertaining but it’s also very familiar, about what every Mephisto singles match does.
The action of the fourth match had some issues – plus the now normal bit of a referee messing up a count – but the format felt different than most two fall matches they’ve done. It was a lot more back and forth, even in the first fall, feeling like the sort of Blue Panther special that hasn’t been seen a lot lately. Hechicero going after Guerrero Maya was a good idea that would’ve been better with less choking around the top rope. Sleeveless Drone is weird.
Tercera is definitely sliding scale B-show good, but I take what I can get. These técnicos usually don’t get to be this high on the card and they seemed motivated to take advantage of it. Super Astro Jr. continues to improve and looked great here. Star Jr. and Kawato appear to be feuding, if only in their own minds, and mixed up well again. This was a little on the short side but finished well.
Show sounds poorly attended and not very good. Though the point of the show seemed to be to have the Montanez win matches and they did that, so mission accomplished. There will be about 15 different version of this show on YouTube eventually.
CMLL begins it is annual-ish biggest competition, the Universal Tournament, tonight. It’s a tournament of CMLL champions, or at least all the champions who can fit in 1 6 man tournament. It is occasionally used to build up bigger matches for later in the year and occasionally used just to give someone already on top a glorious victory. It has been much more of the latter in the last few years. Valiente’s 2016 win seemed to be forgotten about three weeks after it occurred. Volador’s 2017 win was more about the one top guy in the promotion who hadn’t won it yet getting that win than any direction coming out of it.
The Universal champion and final could be meaningful this year. Homenaje a Dos Leyendas will take place a month about a month after the final and there’s no sign of a match to headline CMLL’s second biggest show of the year. There’s just as much mystery about who would be this year’s winner. When in doubt, Ultimo Guerrero & Volador are always safe choices for repeat winners. Diamante Azul, Caristico, Barbaro Cavernario, and Dragon Lee all have reasonable chances at winning this tournament for the first time. There are cases for a lot of others to at least make the final. Once the (dumb dumb dumb) seeding battle royal is over, we might have a better idea of what match-ups look likely for this block final, but this is the most up for grabs big Universal tournament they’ve done. That’s great, but the challenge is still to make people care about when it’s all done.
Tonight’s Block A breaks up this way
No Chance: Forastero
Maybe They Can Be In The Final (If Block B Is Winning): Valiente, Stuka Jr., Terrible, Gran Guerrero
Possible Winners: Cavernario, Caristico, Dragon Lee
The tournament is scheduled to close the night, which means the matches will go as long as they have time. They usually don’t have much. Doing eight sets of entrances eats up a lot, and this would be much preferable as a cibernetico if it all has to be done in one week.
Flyer, Mistico & Volador take on Euforia, Templario and Ultimo Guerrero in what should be a good semi-main event. It might even be interesting if someone gets to ask Euforia about why he’s not in the Universal tournament. Don’t be mistaken into believing that’s the second most important competition on the show.
The Arena Mexico fans are going to turn out to see Atlantis Jr. make his official Mexico City debut in the tercera. He teams with his father and Niebla Roja versus Hijo del Villano III, Mephisto and Villano IV. Atlantis Jr. looked promising for his experience level on the Fantastica Mania tour, though he worked a lot with experienced people on those shows and will probably be working a lot with less experienced Hijo del Villano III for the time being. Atlantis Jr. should get over to fans of his father, using a lot of the same style he does, but it does make him feel a little dated in 2019. (He’s a better version of Retro at this point.) Meanwhile, with the lack of any other options, aging masked man Villano IV showing up and being booked a lot as an Atlantis opponent suggests one possible solution for Homenaje a Dos Leyendas. Though, if CMLL is doing a Papa Atlantis mask match, they probably want to get it announced early enough to get the people who are willing to fly in for what is sure to be high ticket prices.
The segunda includes Kaho Kobayashi’s first appearance on a stream since her return (Informa excepted), teaming with Lluvia and Princesa Sugehit to face Amapola, Dalys, and Reyna Isis, also back for the first time in a while. Robin & Star Jr. open the show with Akuma & Epsanto Jr.
AAA/EMW has a show tonight in Tijuana. The main event is scheduled to be Brian Cage, Psycho Clown and Puma King versus Daga, Hijo del Fantasma, and Killer Kross. Daga continues to work alongside AAA wrestlers on shows which have a Konnan influence but has not yet returned to AAA. Sammy Guevera will defend the AAA Cruiserweight Championship and is scheduled to do against Laredo Kid; I’m ready for any possibility. This won’t stream but will show up on the usual TJ handheld YouTube channels.
In Record, Leo Riano says AAA and Televisa are still in talks about a new deal, and says that is why neither has said anything about the situation. This Saturday will be the fourth week AAA is off of Televisa. Everything goes slowly with AAA and I’d guess Televisa is no different. Still, at some point, it serves the people who are following your product to say what’s going on.
CMLL (MON) 02/04/2019Arena Puebla
1) Astral, Milenium, Sonic vs Gemelo Pantera I, Gemelo Pantera II, Guerrero Espacial
2) Arkalis, Pegasso, Rey Samuray vs Joker, Siky Ozama, Tyson La Bestia
3) Esfinge, Fuego, Tritón vs El Malayo, Felino, Pólvora
4) Ángel de Oro, Soberano Jr., Volador Jr. vs Shocker, Terrible, Vangellys
5) La Bestia Del Ring, Místico, Rush vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
the Munoz family takes on NGD in the main event. Dragon Lee is around this weekend but apparently disappears next week. It’s possible he might have some Exatlon commitments as that show finally ends, not sure.
CMLL (TUE) 02/05/2019Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Avispón Negro Jr., El Rielero, Tigre Blanco vs Bobby Black, Furia Roja, León Blanco
2) Magnum, Oro Jr., Súper Astro Jr. vs Difunto, Espanto Jr., Sangre Azteca
3) Black Panther, Esfinge, Tritón vs Misterioso Jr., Okumura, Universo 2000 Jr.
4) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Volcano vs Hechicero, Rey Bucanero, Shocker
5) La Bestia Del Ring, Místico, Rush vs Gran Guerrero, Mephisto, Último Guerrero
Munoz head over to Guadalajara next. I believe Gran Guerrero and Universo 2000 Jr. is the only main roster rudo under 30 years old on this show.
CMLL (TUE) 02/05/2019Arena México
1) Bengala & Sangre Imperial vs Inquisidor & Príncipe Odín Jr.
2) Kaho Kobayashi, La Jarochita, Lluvia vs Amapola, Dalys, Metálica
3) Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr., Stigma vs Cancerbero, Raziel, Sagrado
4) Audaz vs Tiger [lightning]
5) Blue Panther, Flyer, Titán vs Ephesto, Luciferno, Vangellys
6) Kráneo, Stuka Jr., Volador Jr. vs Cavernario, Euforia, Terrible
and I think Cavernario and Metalica are the only rudos under 30 here. These are the thing to talk about where neither of these shows has a feud this week. Audaz/Tiger should be fun.
Mexa Wrestling (SUN) 02/10/2019Coliseo Coacalco, Coacalco, Estado de México
1) Príncipe Aéreo vs Black Metal, Astrolux, Kalibus, Celestial Boy, Pumita, Shere Khan, Mascaraita Divina, Fandango, Juventud Venegas winner faces Flamita on the next MexaWrestling show
2) Chris Stone Jr. & Syrus vs Mike & Teelo and Mimo & Toro Negro and Samoano & Terremoto
3) Demonio Infernal, Eterno, Lunatik Xtreme vs Diablo Jr., Fly Star, Yoruba
4) Atomik Star, Black Terry, Emperador Azteca, Freelance vs Baby Star, Diva Salvaje, Fly Warrior, Tromba
5) Keyra vs Rossy Moreno
6) Látigo vs Dragón Bane
7) Flamita vs Ricky Marvin
This is benefit show for Toxin, who’s out an unclear length after leg surgery. Three singles matches to headline the show. Opener is interesting: the 02/23 has been called New Stars without really having any new stars. One of those guys actually facing Flamita would fit.
Rey Bucanero, Shocker, Tyson La Bestia beat Guerrero Maya Jr., Stigma, Stuka Jr.
(14:55 [4:39, 2:54, 7:22], 1/3, n/r,VideosOficialesCMLL)
Niebla Roja beat Lucifernoin a lightning match
(9:59, Luciferno Crash, good,VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rush, Vangellys, Villano IV vs Euforia, Kráneo, Valientein a relevos increíbles match
(9:58 [0:50, 4:57, 4:11], 1/3, n/r,VideosOficialesCMLL)
The lightning match ended at 9:59 on my clock. The CMLL announcers had it at 9:58. Either way, neither Roja nor Luciferno seemed to be working towards a time limit draw tease, it just happened to end at that moment. There’s no visual clock for this countdown in Puebla. The ring announcer gave a five-minute warning but didn’t count down the time past that.
Luciferno attempts to challenge Niebla Roja for a title match after beating him again. Luciferno instead gets totally rattled by the crowd booing and loses control of the moment multiple times. It is remarkably not good, though the crowd completely getting into messing with Luciferno salvages the bit. Niebla Roja eventually makes the challenge for Luciferno and accepts it.
The lightning match alone was borderline good, maybe more incredible than good given the time and post-match. Luciferno is slow at doing things, but they were actually doing things. Luciferno blocking Niebla Roja’s (very telegraphed) spinning forearm was more thought than usually move run thru effort in lightning matches. Next week’s title match, when Luciferno is likely to take a few more risks, has a chance to be good on its own. The post-match promo bit, with Luciferno having the crowd turn on him, was an entertaining scene itself and made the whole thing worth it.