Lyger farewell, CMLL to celebrate LBGT+ Day, AAA MSG fantasy booking, Cain Velasquez

CMLL added a Dulce Gardenia versus Disturbio lightning one fall match to Friday’s show. The match will be Gardenia’s Arena Mexico debut. This part of International LBGT+ Day (though a couple of days late) and being done in coordination with the Mexican Secretary of Tourism. The previously scheduled Stuka/Mephisto lightning match remains on the card; it’s just going to be a strange 7 match card.

MedioTiempo talked to Dulce Gardenia, who talks about how tough it has been at times to deal with insults and discrimination for playing an exotico character. I think it probably is even tougher for a person in LBGT+ community, which Gardenia notes he is not. (To the best my knowledge, Disturbio is not either.)

There are probably others who can handle this with more nuance to explain why this is a little off, but it just feels not quite right to me. Increased corporate celebrations of Pride month and this day have come up on some of the podcasts I’ve been listening to lately. Businesses and governments have gotten involved this celebration stronger than have in the past but often more to enhance their brand rather than embracing the messages behind it. This strikes me as the same. This is definitely a branding exercise for both Mexico tourism and CMLL – “LBGT+ people, this is a safe space, we will equally take your money too!” – and I’m not sure if the same actually applies to the workplace of CMLL. As far as I know, and I’m not prying into personal lives enough to know this as fact, the only Out wrestler is Angelito. There’s never been a LBGT+ female wrestler in CMLL to my knowledge. No one’s under any obligation to publicly proclaim their sexuality, but the percentages suggest there’s plenty of people who’ve decided to keep it quiet and there are usually reasons for that. A culture where the “aaaaaay puto” chant is still very popular is unlikely to feel safe for LBGT+ people, even it is never meant seriously. CMLL is business, so they’re almost always going to publicly expose values they don’t actually practice in private, this is not that special. We just shouldn’t ignore what they’re doing.

The other unsettled feeling about this is the match to celebrate the LBGT+ community is likely to be built to gay panic kissing spots. I don’t how it feels in Mexico but I know it feels out of date in the US. I’ve read countless stories about Casandro and other exoticos who’ve consistently spoken about how important it was for them to see any representation of their community included at a point in history where they were excluded. Today, it feels like the rest of the world has caught up to and passed lucha libre in LBGT+ representation and they’ve been stuck in place.

CMLL announced Jushin Thunder Lyger’s farewell match will be the first-ever Relevo CMLL match. Lyger will be joined by Ultimo Guerrero, Negro Casas, and Caristico in the match. The rules of Relevo CMLL is two people in the ring at a time, they can tag out to either of the two people on the apron, and the first person to get a pinfall wins. This sounds like a four-way match to me. It also sounded like a four-way match to Caristico, who attempted to point that out to Julio Cesar Rivera. JCR insisted that this match type, a common one in most every other promotion in the world, was a new invention of CMLL. It was weird.

It is at least a different way of getting all those luchadors a final match with Lyger. CMLL’s done “retirement matches’ before where a wrestler has had a series of singles matches against different wrestlers, and this concept seems a better way of accomplishing those same goals. I know people wanted to see Lyger have some sort of big singles match, but I’m not sure Lyger wants to do that at this point. Perhaps calling it “Relevo CMLL” means it’ll happen more often as part of CMLL added variety to their match types. We’ve never seen a Super Libre Plus match again though.

CMLL additionally announced Gilbert el Boricua will be back in CMLL on 07/05 show. That means the Nacion Lucha Libre & CMLL agreements seem to be able to work together without issue, though maybe we need to wait until the Nacion show happens to be confident.

UWA/Legend has announced Jushin Thunder Lyger will also be working a special Arena Lopez Mateos show on 07/18. Lyger is now scheduled for Lopez Mateos on Thursday, CMLL on Friday, Lucha Libre Real on Saturday and I believe there’s a Sunday show to be announced.

Angel de Oro & Niebla Roja are dreaming of more international opportunities.

El Planchitas has an unsurprising news story: CMLL luchadors aren’t happy with the new “don’t throw coins in the ring” rule.

Last night’s AAA Sin Mascaras show on Twitch was dedicated to having the chat room book the AAA show at MSG. The idea is the TripleMania card is set even if we don’t know it so this is a future card they could have fun with. (AAA’s Oscar Manuel popped in to mention that TripleMania card would be announced “very very very soon” – maybe next week then?) The MSG card the chat room collectively put together was, charitably, not great. It is what you’d expect when you see a collective of fans put together a card; everyone’s favorites are included and so many people involved means there’s no coherent vision. Twitch Plays AAA was not quite as successful as Twitch Plays Pokemon as a draw either; there were only about the usual 100 live viewers for the bit.

I did take a couple of things out of it. The 100 or so people participating are not totally representative of the entire AAA fanbase, but you have to be a pretty dedicated fan of the product to be watching a wrestling Twitch channel where there is no wrestling going on. Except, the stories that have been a big part of a product in recent months – say, Maravilla/Hamburguesa/Mami or Psycho Clown versus Rey Escorpion – weren’t a big deal to the denizens of the chat room. The process wasn’t perfect for figuring these things out, but there was a moment where the hosts polled the fans if they’d rather see Murder Clown versus Killer Kross or Puma King versus Killer Kross, and the fans went away from the rivalry that’s been a constant part of TV to just see two big guys rumble. AAA’s big shows tend to be booked like few of the ongoing storylines matter, which seems like it’d be frustrating to people who actually watch the TV. At least for the fans in the chat room last night, having a disconnect card like that is no problem. It doesn’t say a lot for those AAA storylines.

The other deal is – at the suggestion of Adrian, one of the hosts – the main event included Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks. AEW’s Kylie Rae was also included on the card. It would be really fun to see those people on AAA show Madison Square Garden. AEW’s been very clear to their usual sources that they are absolutely not working that show or the LA one. (They may not be legally able; AAA’s expecting to get a TV deal for this show, and AEW’s TV deal perhaps might prohibit them from wrestling on another network.) AAA’s definitely suggested to their fans that AEW wrestlers will be there anyway. AAA may even believe that’ll eventually happen. (I definitely do not believe that’ll actually happen.) I’m not sure if it’s a selling point to a lot of fans – they haven’t sold out the show like NJPW & ROH did when people thought the not-yet-AEW guys would be there – but I’m sure there are who have been led to believe there’s a good chance of AEW people will be on those AAA shows. I hope they’re still happy with the AAA show with the AEW guys. It’d be better for AAA to stop even teasing AEW people being on their US shows, but I also don’t expect them to do that.

AAA will have karaoke night on Twitch tonight at 6:30 pm CT, which sounds amusing. The participants are all a surprise and I believe the songs will be picked by the Twitch chat. They’re also going to give away 10 AAA Twitch subscriptions. Many of you like who like AAA still aren’t eager to actually pay for AAA. This is a chance to get the VOD for free so you Americans can spend your July 3rd however you want and watch AAA later.

Killer Kross is among the many people interviewed on this week’s Keepin’ It 100. Konnan gets Kross to reveal one of the mysteries leading into TripleMania – what’s going on with Cain Velasquez? As it turns out, he’s been training in Las Vegas with Kross and Disco Infierno at the Future Stars of Wrestling school.

Kross: “[The training] went very very well. I hadn’t said a word to anyone about it for obvious reasons. He’s picking it up very quickly. He’s legit, he’s 100% legit. His entire life he’s been an amateur wrestler from my understanding. His footwork is there. Everything is there, his footwork, his striking, all his transitions, ground mobility. If he gets into a pro-wrestling, he will 100% be a draw and he’ll be able to carry the hype.”

Disco is also high on Velasquez, praising his ability to pick up things very quickly. Kross laughed at Konnan’s suggestion that he’d be a trainer at Vampiro’s yet to open school. Apparently, Vampiro came to the FSW and told the owner he had a lot of big money investors who wanted to buy it, and all he just had to do was fire everyone who worked there. Vampiro’s offer was declined.

Pagano says a story that he was looking to leave AAA wasn’t true. He’s fed into that with some social media posts and does seem to be taking outside dates, but it wouldn’t make sense to bail before TripleMania. I tend to believe the TripleMania isn’t like in the ballpark as WWE people get for WrestleMania but it’s a good way to keep in the public eye.

AAA’s put up vignettes that have recently aired on TV but on Twitch, including a Hamburguesa & Lady Maravilla segment and Pagano challenging Chessman in a very loud backstage area.

Ex-AAA luchador Elegido is in the news! The news isn’t good. It is a bit funny. Elegido was among a group of Monterrey luchadors hired to wrestle at a birthday party. That went fine. After the match, Elegido brought some of the young moms in the ring to do his dancing/stripping routine. That was a bit out of place at a children’s birthday party and people were scandalized. The video is good but not as good as I’d dream.

A lucha libre show with a Guns N’ Roses cover band playing took place. (There is no video.)

There is a Facebook argument going on between DTU and Lucha Libre Boom, who feels DTU shouldn’t be running Arena Naucalpan & Arena Lopez Mateos. The consensus on Facebook is this is a story to build up a combined show.

Lucha Talk has a new episode of their podcast.

Segunda Caida watches some recent lucha, including Blue Panther in Alabama.

Lineups

Expo Lucha (SUN) 08/18/2019 Harry West Gymnasium, San Diego, California
1) Aerostar & Drago (AAA) vs Rey Horus & Séptimo Dragón
2) Daga & La Máscara vs Danny Limelight & Joey Ryan
3) Christi Jaynes, Taya Valkyrie, Viva Van vs Simone Sherie, Tessa Blanchard, Zada Zang
4) Flamita, Laredo Kid, Puma King vs Adrian Quest, Douglas James, Jake Atlas
5) Jack Evans, Juventud Guerrera, Psychosis vs Brian Pillman Jr., Davey Boy Smith Jr., Teddy Hart
6) Mr. Águila, Penta Zero M, Rey Fénix (Indie) vs Brian Cage, Jack Evans, TJ Perkins

This is the Sunday show for the San Diego Lucha Libre Expo; there’s a Saturday show as well. Lineup order is probably not exactly right; 2-5 are together as Mexico vs the World matches. You can get into this just show for $25 adult or the full day for $50 – more info @ expolucha.com

2 thoughts to “Lyger farewell, CMLL to celebrate LBGT+ Day, AAA MSG fantasy booking, Cain Velasquez”

  1. I read somewhere that CMLL has a policy that they won’t hire a gay to play an exotico, but I also read they have a gay man on the roster. Is that to deflect, in case of discrimination issues?

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