Último Guerrero suddenly fouled Vangellys to end the semi-main.
The main event was a pleasant surprise. There’s not much to expect for Puebla main events, Rush main events, and Rush main events after he’s spent the weekend in Miami, yet he easily outdid expectations. Rush didn’t take Cuatrero seriously in the first fall, as he does and got caught for the loss. Cuatrero had to fight to get back into it after that and got in a lot in the third fall before getting dropped on his head. They may want to skip the powerbomb next time they try it, since there were problems with it in the first fall and when it was brought back in the third, but Cuatrero showed a lot of other moves that looked good. And maybe Rush is more willing to do stuff with younger guys who are also willing to take top rope superplexes. This was much closer to being great than ok.
I’d say the semi-main was a long way to go to end up with a foul, but they actually kept it pretty short. Vangellys tries to play Caifan to Último Guerrero and gasses out quick. Atlantis Jr. & Hijo del Villano doing mat work was a nice change of pace for them. They did fine with it. Better than at catching dives. Atlantis & Villano IV weren’t much there.
The tercera ended with Sagrado nearly falling out of the ring while powerbombing Drone, something I would not have thought was physically possible had I not seen it with my own eyes. Most wrestlers would believe you should do an additional move to end the match rather than leave it at that. Sagrado decided that was good enough. This was a very good enough match, which included Drone giving up on a pin too soon (helped by Tirantes purposely counting slow in a weird attempt to mess up a sequence he didn’t like, I think.) Drone does some cool things because remains careless. Kawato’s armbar is a million times better this his double stomp but now his hair looks like it could use some dye.
The CMLL Universal tournament tonight concludes tonight with a match no one saw as the final. Niebla Roja tries to win the tournament for the first time against the 2012 winner, Terrible. Roja seems more likely to join the eight other men who’ve won this tournament than Terrible is to tie Ultimo Guerrero with two wins. CMLL always likes to spread the wins around and seems behind elevating Niebla Roja to a higher position in their system. The question isn’t really the outcome as it how much fans will care about the journey. It seemed Arena Mexico got behind Niebla Roja has he made his upset run last week, and this sort of elevation only works if the crowd cares about Roja winning the whole thing. Terrible seems to have his best matches when he’s dominating against a small luchador; Niebla Roja isn’t Titan size, but that sort of dynamic is the best bet to a good reaction.
There’s not much else going on beyond the tournament. Caristico, Mistico and Valiente against Los Guerreros in the semi-main has a chance to be a good Friday night spectacle. Everything else is in the ok/good range. Niebla Roja’s brother, Angel de Oro, teams with Sutka & Soberano against Mephisto, Ephesto and an oddly included La Bestia del Ring. OneAtos Style (Titan, Triton, and Esfinge) face Vangellys, Templario, and Polvora in the third. The Panthers team up with Maya against Virus, Okumura, and Tiger in one of those matches which feel like CMLL’s run a hundred times, even if it is technically only the first time because of a couple of the guy getting switched out here or there. Raziel & Cancerbero return to their historic spot as show openers against Stigma & Pegasso.
CMLL airs at 8:30 pm on Marca (everywhere right now) & Facebook (Mexico only). I’ll stream it on YouTube.
Leo Riano’s column says Dragon Rojo will be out two months with his leg injury. One sentence later, he says it’ll be eight months of recovery. Eight months seems more likely: Dragon Rojo completely tore his ACL, damaged his PCL, along with having no cartilage left in that knee.
Marcela talked about her title defense in Japan, says she enjoys going outside of CMLL to defend the country.
AAA debuts on Azteca7 this afternoon at 4:30 pm. It is a two-hour show. There is no word about it airing in the US at any point. Azteca usually blocks their streams from airing outside of Mexico (though it is simple to get around.) If you’ve watched the first show of the show year on Twitch, you have already seen what they’re going to show, just not with Azteca commentary.
Maximo, Murder Clown, Taya vs La Mascara, Chessman, Faby Apache
Psycho Clown, Dr. Wagner Jr. La Parka vs Rey Escorpion, Blue Demon Jr., Hijo del Fantasma
These matches have all already aired on Space, though not in the same episode. Azteca is doing their own cut of the show. They’ll also have their own announcing: Konnan posted a photo of it taking place for the Lucha Azteca show, showing himself and Vampiro as the extra two announcers. It was always going to be one of those two, so the surprise is it is both of them. Konnan has so many commitments and Vampiro has his own things going in Guadalajara, so either they may end up taping a few episodes in one sitting or there may be weeks where Konnan or Vampiro isn’t there. I think Vampiro is bad at announcing and has had well over a 100 chances to show some improvement, but he’s a well-known person and Mexico media outlets seem to go for famous people over talented people for those spots.
Andres Maronas on a Facebook live stream (mentioned here) claimed Televisa was looking at airing old AA episodes. Televisa may still have the rights to air episodes they produced. Leo Riano also says Televisa is still considering their options.
AAA put up a promo with Australian Suicide, where he says he heard Vampiro was doing the English language announcing for AAA this Saturday so he wanted to do it too. That appears to be the team, Vampiro and Australian Suicide. Australian Suicide was entertaining doing one-liners in Facebook chat during the Lucha Azteca tournament. He would be fun in a booth with two other voices or even one very good one announcer, with Suicide just taking the show off the rails for fun at times. An announce crew of Vampiro & Suicide is just never going to be on the rails at any point. It seems like a pairing designed to entertain themselves and to create moments for Maffew’s Botchamania. It might get people to tune in once and some people will definitely like it for the comedy aspect but it seems unlikely to grow AAA’s product.
Let me try for some positive thoughts. There were also sorts of cool moves on the last couple of tapings and no one still really talked about AAA outside of the usual places, so maybe some weird Vampiro/Suicide interaction will break thru that barrier. This is also likely not a permanent team since Suicide figures to be in matches at some point – he’s on the next TV taping. It’s also something that’s not going to cost AAA much to do (no one being flown in from the US) while AAA figures out if they have technical resources to pull this off regularly. It is better as a tryout on a show like this Morelia taping, which seems not very important. If this is just a test to see if they can make it work for Rey de Reyes and a real effort is made there, then no one is going to care much about this show. There’s also been zero promotion of this outside the usual AAA social media and little mention of it on that, so the only people who are going to watch it live are those who are willing to watch AAA regardless. More people might watch it later if it becomes amusing enough to edit.
IMPACT tonight concludes their tapings from Mexico City, including a Team AAA (Puma King, Aerostar, Hijo del Vikingo, Psycho Clown) versus Team Impact (Sami Callihan, Eddie Edwards, Eli Drake, Fallah Bah) elimination match. In real time, Impact starts tapings in Las Vegas. Fenix, who sas going to take the week off, may end up wrestling five times this week. Konnan will also probably not be around for Saturday’s AAA show.
ESPN (via R de Rudo) talked to El Hijo del Santo at that WBC birthday party, and Santo said the show on his father is expected to be 11 episodes. They’re still looking for it to air late in 2019 or early 2020 but wouldn’t say where.
Hoy Los Angeles talks to Magno about his career and Lucha Va Voom, who he’s worked for before and after his WWE developmental stint. Magno says he was first approached about signing with WWE a few months after he was on MTV2 with Lucha Libre USA. (What a remarkable coincidence!) Magno was under contract so he did not sign with WWE until a few months later, then disliked it because he trained so much, wrestled so rarely, and almost never saw his family. Magno has a great story about his name: he was a few days from debuting, he got a detention slip for showing up late at school, he crumpled up the slip and threw in the trash in front of everyone, they gave him a sort of in-school suspension for that away from everyone, so he took the time to start looking thru a dictionary for names and came up with Magno because it meant great. More luchadors need to be sent to detention.
CMLL (MON) 02/18/2019Arena Puebla
1) King Jaguar, Rey Samuray, Tigre Rojo Jr. vs Gemelo Pantera I, Gemelo Pantera II, Tyson La Bestia
2) Marcela, Mystique, Princesa Sugehit vs Dalys, La Comandante, La Seductora
3) Stigma, Titán, Tritón vs Felino, Hechicero, Tiger
4) Atlantis, Dragón Lee, Vangellys vs Hijo del Villano III, Último Guerrero, Villano IV
5) Ángel de Oro, Kráneo, Niebla Roja vs Euforia, La Bestia Del Ring, Terrible
Guess the UG/Vangellys match won’t be happening until 02/25. Dragon Lee & Atlantis Jr. being treated as interchangeable is not great (but also may simply be a consequence of Dragon Lee & Bestia not being allowed in the same match.)
Maybe the tercera will be good. Not much else going on.
CMLL (TUE) 02/19/2019Arena México
1) Robin & Sonic vs Inquisidor & Príncipe Odín Jr.
2) Oro Jr., Principe Daniel, Star Jr. vs Cancerbero, Nitro, Raziel
3) La Jarochita vs Dalys [lightning]
4) Black Panther, Blue Panther Jr., Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Okumura, Pólvora, Universo 2000 Jr.
5) Audaz, Flyer, Soberano Jr. vs Kawato San, Rey Bucanero, Templario
6) Atlantis, Místico, Valiente vs Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto
There’s a CMLL lightning match with some set up to it! CMLL could do this all the time if they cared. They do not care. Kawato being split from Okumura is mildly interesting.
CMLL (TUE) 02/19/2019Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) El Alteño, Linterna, Yaqui vs Gemelo Pantera I, Gemelo Pantera II, Paymon
2) Retro, Sangre Imperial, Tigre Blanco vs Akuma, Difunto, Espíritu Negro
3) Kaho Kobayashi, Lluvia, Sanely vs Amapola, Reyna Isis, Tiffany
4) Dragón Lee, Stuka Jr., Volador Jr. vs Cavernario, Forastero, Sansón
5) Rush vs Último Guerrero
They’ve done that Rush match about two dozen times. Wonder if there’s an urgency to prove Rush is still a part of CMLL while signed to ROH by giving him lots of singles matches.
Full card. I’m surprised to see the heavyweight title in the main event spot. They’ve switched the sides up in the fourth match.
The CMLL Puebla “Astro” is really Astro Aereo Jr., so I guess that’s him in the second match though I’m surprised to see him here. “Mascara Oriental” is famously Fenix’s original gimmick; there is a wrestler using the name on small shows in Ciudad Victoria but that would be surprising to see them here.
Laredo Kid beat Drago and Flamita
(11:38, Laredo Fly on Drago, great,01:34:01)
Dr. Wagner Jr. beat Blue Demon Jr.in a street fight match
(12:49, Wagner Driver, good,01:55:19)
La Parka, Psycho Clown, Puma King beat Hijo del Fantasma, Killer Kross, Rey Escorpión
(24:45, Puma King bodyscissors Fantasma, good,02:18:52)
Laredo Kid worked twice, replacing La Parka in the main event after Friday’s injury angle. (It is possible Drago was initially supposed to replace Parka, since he was not in on the original card but around for the weekend.) La Mascara attempted to help Fantasma win but it backfired into a Puma King cradle. The técnicos celebrate for roughly five seconds before the rudos beat them up and left them unmasked.
Faby Apache seconded Blue Demon in the street fight. Wagner had no second, though Taya ran out to attack Faby after about 9 minutes in. Monster Clown ran in to attack her, which normally would mean Aerostar to balance him. Instead, it was Joe Lider (in his only appearance on the weekend) helping out his Perro del Mal ally and putting Monster Clown thru a table. Wagner, face covered in blood, beat Wagner cleanly. Both Taya & Faby attack Hijo del Tirantes after the match.
Faby accidentally dropkicked Hijo del Tirantes, who fast counted a pin for Taya on Faby immediately after.
Lady Maravilla again tried to stop Niño Hamburgers from winning the match, but Lady Shani was able to take her out with a backcracker this time.
A leading off the show segment included Parka talking about his injury on Friday night’s show at Fantasma’s hands. He thanked Laredo, Vikingo, and Myzteziz (who was not there) and challenged Fantasma to any type of match he wanted. Dr. Wagner interrupted to back up Parka and also challenge Demon. One of the Unefon masked men, who usually throw out prizes to the crowd before the official show open (they switched the order this time) pretended like he was a fan of Wagner & Parka only to attack them. He was Blue Demon in disguise. Fantasma showed up in a Blue Demon mask to help and pass the mask to Demon. Vikingo & Laredo eventually made the save.
English commentary was announced as starting with next Saturday’s show.
The main event was, in a thin fashion, a lot like AAA’s normal main events. The rudos attacked before the whistle, beatdown the técnicos for a while, and the técnicos made a comeback. It differed greatly from there. There was no showcase of técnicos spots one by one, but instead fast-paced offense and back and forth to a big finish. I thought the opening beatdown was too long (around nine minutes before the técnicos made their comeback, and a few more before it really turned around) and that made the match too long, but it never seemed like they lost the crowd. They picked up for a big near ending during the match and were able to take it back down and keep going for a while longer. They’ve turned Killer Kross’ unpinned streak from something that only seemed to exist in Twitter promos into something that’s an important moment in matches with the near misses (on this show with Laredo Kid following all the técnicos moves, on the previous show with Vikingo.) Regular match wins and losses are not usually taken all that seriously in AAA but they’ve kind of made some progress on making that win mean something if they ever get around to make it happen. The técnicos showed surprising chemistry for a team that’s never been before and may never be again. Puma in particularly played well off Máximo & Psycho on these shows, in a way where they’d be a fun spot show act. Rey Escorpión and Psycho Clown are going to have a great match once they get around to it. Psycho Clown is not particularly clean, but it’s amazing to see him try to get better when a lot of people in his position would coast. That includes him at times in the past, and I’d love to know what’s brought on the urge to add tope arm drags to his matches. This was a strong ending to a strong show.
Blue Demon/Dr. Wagner was not something I particularly wanted to see, but they used Wagner’s blood to connect with the audience in a way this feud really had not the post. The overbooking craziness was reminiscent of the Shani/Apache TripleMania match, but was more effective here since the expectations were less. Demon & Wagner out there in a straight match would’ve been death, and four other people involved made it work. Joe Lider saving Taya because they are old Perros del Mal friends was a nice touch. And also we only had to see Joe Lider for the run-in.
It was really hard for the Laredo Kid three-way to follow the other three way, but they did enough interesting stuff to still stick out and handled it better when things didn’t go perfect. Laredo Kid had some incredible moments in this. He was clearly the best guy, something that hasn’t always been true, but seemed the case in the end. That’s even with a stronger Flamita performance than on Friday; he’s not pulling out the apron shooting star shoulderblock (?) that often. Drago kept up in something that moved fast, though I was still surprised to see him take the pin.
The tercera was a Mascara/Maximo match, which was fine and got attention to the feuds they wanted and could not follow the match the Vikingo three-way match. La Mascara may have gone thru the weekend without taking a bump. Taya & Faby are ok against each other but they’ve didn’t hit high gear this weekend. Monster & Aerostar haven’t had the same magic they had in their one singles match but they were OK. This kept the plates spinning and at least was a nice buffer between the two action matches.
Taurus started off the second match by UG-like catching Vikingo on a dive and powerbombing him to doom. The match kept going from there, somehow. Hijo del Vikingo isn’t a finished product, there are some headscissors here that didn’t go well (and a top rope splash he and Jack saved into an armdrag nicely), but he what can already do is pretty incredible. The walking the ropes hanging double stomp was new to me from him and followed him getting flattened on a German suplex. Taurus remains a great opponent, destroying Vikingo well when not basing for him. Jack was really good here, and this match flowed really strongly to the end.
The show started off with a great opener. The action built on Friday’s match and surpassed it. Dinastia did well here, maybe his best match in a while, with creativity and speed. The sequence with his and Maravilla leading to Maravilla reversing the behind the back piledriver into a submission was great. The Maravilla/Hamburguesa story is perfect for an early match trios, and they changed up the ending this time.