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.
Terrible says Niebla Roja is very hungry but he’s always prepared.
Guerrero Maya, talking about his upcoming personal anniversary show, said he’s never asked for a title match before but wants one for that show.
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.
Azteca advertised three matches from the year opening 01/19 show in Mexico City
- Pagano & Brian Cage vs Texano Jr. & Joe Lider
- 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.
La Orquesta has a good piece on the gamble AAA is taking with this move, both on the way Televisa wasn’t treating the show well and Azteca’s own checkered history with lucha libre shows. Or maybe it’s just good because it reminded me of the gummy bear commercials.
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.
La Mascara did an interview talking about his career and promoting the show.
Dinastia says he has a goal of wrestling internationally some time during 2019.
AAA luchadors tonight are working a benefit show for Histeria in Arena Neza. Histeria suffered a heart attack last month and was said to be in bad shape at the time, though there hasn’t been an update recently. Joe Lider, La Parka & Maximo headline against Los Mercenarios Hijo del Fantasma, Rey Escorpion and Texano Jr.
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.
LuchaWorld has the latest news update.
Puma King has a video covering the past weekend of shows and asking Flamita if he misses Bandido. I think Puma King is going to make that tag team happen again.
CMLL (MON) 02/18/2019 Arena 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) 02/19/2019 Arena 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) 02/19/2019 Arena 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.
The Crash (SAT) 03/02/2019 Auditorio de Tijuana, Tijuana, Baja California
1) Dinámico & Tiago vs Maverick & Terror Azteca and Máscara Oriental & Unicornio
2) Astro Aéreo, Torito Negro, Xperia vs Star Boy, Viento, Zarco
3) Gallito Tapatío & Microman vs Chamuel & Zacarias el Perico
4) Diamante Azul (CMLL) & Jeff Cobb vs Hechicero (CMLL) & Michael Elgin
5) Bestia 666, Garza Jr., Sabú vs Damián 666, Trauma I, Trauma II
6) Willie Mack © vs Cavernario, Austin Theory, Sansón [The Crash HEAVY]
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.