Paco Alonso passes away, other news

photo via +LuchaTV

This is twice in a week where the big news is so big that it feels dumb to have anything else up there in the headline. Perro Aguayo is a death that resonated in the entire country of Mexico. He was also a name that had slipped into the past; it meant something in that someone people enjoyed was forever gone and we’d get no more new memories of him, but Aguayo’s impact on the lucha libre world had already been made. Paco Alonso’s death may not be a mainstream story but it’s as big a deal inside the world of wrestling. What happens in his absence will have a major impact on what the world looks like in the future.

Paco Alonso

Francisco “Paco” Alonso Lutteroth passed away Saturday. Alonso was 64 years old. He is listed as the President of CMLL, and was effectively the person in charge of the family-owned promotion. CMLL announced his passing in a press release Sunday evening. The show stopped at Arena Mexico to honor him. No cause of death was mentioned.

There had been no word or any indication Paco Alonso was in ill health. That is consistent with how he led his life; he did not like public attention or fame. His daughter Sofia Alonso has been the public face of CMLL’s management since 2016, though that was thought to be more because she was willing to do those public duties Paco was not interested in and not because of any imminent plans for succession. Though I guess we can’t be sure of that. Paco Alonso’s quest desire privacy survived his passing – someone had to be told to have that press release ready, but no one seemed to know until it was put out – so maybe there was a larger plan in place that was also kept quiet.

Sofia Alonso is most likely the person who will be in charge of CMLL going forward, though it is not certain. Sofia has been working in the business and marketing aspects of the promotion since 2014, but does not have experience on the wrestling side. A 28-year-old woman in charge of a lucha libre promotion in an often male chauvinistic country and industry is going to have a lot of challenges to deal with. We also have no idea how the rest of the family will react to this death and change. The story has always been that the Lutteroth family derives their true real wealth from the real estate business and CMLL is a sort of the black sheep that the rest of the family is not that interested in. It could very well end up that Sofia ends up with all the power, but there’s a lot with that family we don’t really know and shouldn’t presume to have all the answers.

SuperLuchas obit writes that Paco Alonso and Chavo Lutteroth were put in charge of the company by founder Salvador Lurretoth in 1975, with Paco increasingly more in charge of the wrestling side of the business as time went on. He was solidly in charge by the 80s and is credited with modernizing the promotion during that period, one of the most successful in the history of the promotion. (ESTO’s obit has him being in full control by 1987, would mean 32 years in charge.) Some of that modernization led to the creation of the longest running rival to the CMLL, when Arena Mexico matchmaker Antonio Pena ended up AAA founder Antonio Pena. Alonso’s promotion once exchanged talent with then rival promotion LLI (UWA), but the issues with AAA must’ve cut deeper. Alonso was famous for blacklisting wrestlers and promoters who he felt had crossed him, refusing to use them even if it would later seem to make business sense. The goal with CMLL was to make money but, maybe because the family wasn’t dependent on the promotion for their income, it was not a business strictly focused on making the decisions based on what would make the most money.

Paco Alonso was also in charge of the promotion during the Mistico boom, though he had increasingly delegated responsibilities for the promotion by the turn of the century. Paco Alonso had a reputation of being hands-off, letting departments run themselves and perhaps not getting involved in times he should. There are stories of luchadors being kept outside his office for hours hoping for a meeting and a secret back door he had to escape from having to hold meetings. There are also stories that don’t really square with that image, of Paco Alonso coming up with ideas for his promotion or socially being friends with some of his luchadors. MLW claimed they were negotiating directly with Alonso over signing Rush contract. Avispa Dorada mentioned Paco Alonso being in a meeting where they were coming up with her name last October, and being involved in the gimmick idea for a fringe person on the roster is hard to fit with this concept of a person who was checked out on wrestling. One after another luchador, including some long gone from the promotion, are praising Paco Alonso on twitter, calling him the best boss they worked for. I’m not sure if we’ll ever really figure out what Paco Alonso really felt about CMLL because he never wanted the public to know; he doesn’t even seem to get a page in the 85th Anniversary book that he commissioned.

The one thing that is certain is there will be change with CMLL. It may not happen right away and it may not happen in front of our eyes, but it’ll happen no matter if Sofia Alonso is truly in charge or just the face of the company. There’s just always going to be adjustments when ownership changes. AAA’s seen it a bit subtly after Joaquin Roldan passed away. It was more dramatic when Antonio Pena passed away. Nothing changed at first, just like nothing should be expected to happen right away with CMLL. But after about a year, people who had been there for a long time saw changes they didn’t like and left, or getting them to leave were actually those changes. I’d assume that whatever is in place for September is still in place for September, but new directions will have to be made and not everyone will be wanting to follow them.

CMLL is a promotion that’s been frozen even harder in place for a long time, with plenty of people whose principal qualification for their jobs was mutual loyalty with Paco Alonso, just like there were people who had roles in AAA primarily because Antonio Pena liked them. That’s going to change now. All wrestling promotions change slightly over time, but there’s going to be substantial changes in CMLL going forward. I have no idea if that’s a good thing.

the rest of CMLL news

LuchaWorld has a great bio of Perro Aguayo. You should stop reading anything else I’m writing here and go read that instead.

CMLL (SAT) 07/06/2019 Arena Coliseo [CMLL]
1) Apocalipsis & Inquisidor b Bengala & Leono
rudos took 1/3
2) Eléctrico, Magnus, Príncipe Diamante b Cholo, El Coyote, Grako
tecnicos took 2/3
3) Skadi b Tiffany [lightning]
Skadi wins in 8:07
4) Drone, Fuego, Stigma b Okumura, Sangre Azteca, Universo 2000 Jr.
tecnicos took 1/3
5) Kráneo, Stuka Jr., Volcano b Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto
tecnicos took 2/3
6) Ángel de Oro, Carístico, Niebla Roja b Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Templario
tecnicos took 2/3

Skadi defeating Tiffany seems like a bit of an upset.

CMLL (SUN) 07/07/2019 Arena México [CMLL]
1) Shockercito & Último Dragóncito b Mercurio & Pequeño Olímpico
tecnicos took 2/3
2) Cancerbero, Príncipe Odín Jr., Raziel b Halcón Suriano Jr., Magia Blanca, Magnus
rudos took 1/3
3) Avispa Dorada, Lluvia, Mystique DQ Amapola, La Seductora, Tiffany
Mystique’s return from Japan.
4) Ángel de Oro, Atlantis, Niebla Roja b Dark Magic, Ephesto, Luciferno
tecnicos took 2/3
5) Terrible © b Valiente [MEX HEAVY]
Terrible took 1/3. 5th defense. Paco Alonso’s death was announced after this match.
6) Dragón Lee, Soberano Jr., Volador Jr. b Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Negro Casas
Soberano pinned Negro Casas with a casita.

Not many details on this show. There’s no detail on the DQ. There are not many photos either, which suggests to me that (about 6 pm) is when the people covering the show were told about Paco Alonso’s death and had to drop everything to prepare the press release and the video they showed. There’s a promo from Mystique talking about her return and the lottery and no more – it seems like they stopped filming these after the announcement.

ROH is now saying “two stars” from CMLL who have never competed in ROH will debut on their Toronto show. One is “the most requested star.” There’s no time to go thru all the possibilities but there are also not many people you’d consider stars who have not yet debuted in Ring of Honor. The most requested certainly sounds like Cavernario, who has not wrestled in Ring of Honor to this point.

Ring of Honor teased a Dragon Lee vs Jonathan Gresham show for 07/20 in New York.

Wrestlers from Ring of Honor’s training school are scheduled for a DTU tour in October.

Dragon Lee & Caristico were pictured on an advertisement for the NJPW Super J Cup, running 08/22 to 0825. NJPW has yet to officially announce names. Dragon Lee is an obvious choice but it’d be a little bit disappointing if they didn’t pull in anyone more creative from CMLL than Caristico. Then again, visa issues probably play a heavy role in selection.

AAA in Jalisco

AAA TV (SAT) 07/06/2019 Palcco de Zapopan, Zapopan, Jalisco[AAA, Lucha Centralthecubsfan]
1) Keyra, Low Rider, Mini Psycho Clown b Aramis, La Parkita, Vanilla  (posted by Lucha Libre AAA (Twitch))
11:54. Keyra won via Devil’s Wings. Vanilla & Keyra fought post match.
2) Big Mami, Dinastía, Niño Hamburguesa b Arez, Hijo del Tirantes, Lady Maravilla  (posted by Lucha Libre AAA (Twitch))
12:13. Nino Hamburgesa splashed Arez after more problems with him and Mami over Maravilla.
3) Hijo Del Vikingo, Laredo Kid, Myzteziz Jr. b Chik Tormenta, Eterno, La Parka Negra  (posted by Lucha Libre AAA (Twitch))
14:14. Vikingo beat Parka Negra with reverse 450 splash
4) Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana b Mamba, Máximo, Pimpinela Escarlata  (posted by Lucha Libre AAA (Twitch))
11:25. Mocha Cota frog splash on Mamba.
5) Drago © DQ Daga [AAA LA (posted by Lucha Libre AAA (Twitch))
Drago won by DQ when Daga was caught using the knucks by replacement referee Piero (replacing Hijo del Tirantes)
6) La Parka, Murder Clown, Puma King b Dave The Clown, Rey Escorpión, Texano Jr.  (posted by Lucha Libre AAA (Twitch))
8:35. La Parka hit Dave the Clown with a chair.
7) Aerostar, Pagano, Psycho Clown b Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly  (posted by Lucha Libre AAA (Twitch))
13:51. A Super Fly splash led to a Chessman pinfall over Pagano after they had been feuding during the match (and in an opening promo; Pagano wants a stipulation match.)

This was a good show that already feels like it happened a long time ago. Matches 1 & 3 were the best with most everything else being fine. No OGT/Jinetes on this show. With AAA, if they don’t follow up the feud immediately, there’s like a 75% chance they’ll never get around to it again. The replacement venue they had in Zapopan looked like a replacement arena, a long narrow open-air space not ideally constituted for something like a lucha libre show. The crowd seemed into the show but it didn’t seem like a huge. 2,000 people is nothing to scoff at in wrestling in 2019, but that amount of people would’ve looked terrible in the original building. Maybe more people would’ve come to the place or maybe it’ll again be a long time before AAA returns to Guadalajara.

The next taping is 11 days away in Aguascalientes.

Other news

Correction Department: I’m not totally confident who holds The Crash Tag Team championship. I think it probably is Bestia & Mecha Wolf, unlike what I had Saturday. LA Park and Hijo de LA Park beat them on Friday in what was supposed to be a tag title match. The Crash never mentioned the match on their site, and two reports I’ve seen on the show don’t mention the titles actually changing hands. Situations like this tend to occur when luchadors are brought in under the expectation they’ll be taking a loss and then decide the night of the show that they’ll not be doing that. Don’t know if that happened here, but LA Park doesn’t take many losses.

At that Crash show, Rey Mysterio was asked by el Sol de Tijuana if he had thoughts about Perro Aguayo’s death. He said he had no comment and apologized for having nothing to say. Obviously, he’s got strong an emotional connection to Aguayo family following Perro Jr.’s death, something that was once again wrongly blamed on him in some of the wire stories about his father passing away. I took his no comment as being too emotional to say anything.

Rush & Dragon Lee and Fenix & Pentagon had an absurd finish in their match on Saturday. They weren’t killing it earlier either. They added Mistico & Bestia to the match for Sunday and that’s how they got to a finish (Mistica on Bestia.) I’d recommend indie promoters either stop booking that match if they care about good finishes or add on other people. I think the Lucha Brothers/Munoz matches are going to keep getting booked as a dream match but I don’t think people are ever going to be happy with the results unless it happens in a major promotion that’s able to sway them. Fenix & Penta seem willing to do business pretty much everywhere else (assuming they get there), while it is hard to find a Munoz family member taking a real loss outside of CMLL/ROH/NJPW at this point.

Saturday’s RO Wrestling show appeared to be attended by a couple of dozen judging from the photos. And maybe they weren’t bothering to charge admission? The good news is it’ll be new to pretty much everyone when it airs on +LuchaTV, though it seemed like the card changed quite a bit.

Nitro & Dick Riviera won the APC Tag Team Championship.

A wrestling themed street outdoor theatre production called “La gran lucha del mundo” has started in Mexico CIty. Ludark Shaitan is playing on of the parts.

City workers, including police, were required to sell at least 10 tickets for a lucha libre show in Huejotzingo, Puebla. If they didn’t sell the tickets, it was to be deducted from their pay.

AAA on Twitch: 2019-07-06

sure why not

Recapped: 07/06/2019

The entire show was broadcast from PALCCO in Zapopan. The arena, such as it was, seemed narrow and long with a lot of fans being far away from the action. The crowd was into the show but this would not be a good building to use again.


Keyra, Low Rider, Mini Psycho Clown beat Aramis, La Parkita, Vanilla
(11:54, Keyra Devi’s Wings Vanilla, good, 00:27:51)

Big Mami, Dinastía, Niño Hamburguesa beat Arez, Hijo del Tirantes, Lady Maravilla
(12:13, Nino Hamburguesa top rope splash Arez, ok, 00:51:09)

Hijo Del Vikingo, Laredo Kid, Myzteziz Jr. beat Chik Tormenta, Eterno, La Parka Negra
(14:14, Vikingo reverse 450 splash Parka Negra, great, 01:14:10)

Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana beat Mamba, Máximo, Pimpinela Escarlata
(11:25, Mocha Cota frog splash Mamba, ok, 01:38:16)

Drago © beat Daga for the AAA Latin American Championship
(18:30, DQ for weapon usage, below average, 01:57:15)

La Parka, Murder Clown, Puma King beat Dave The Clown, Rey Escorpión, Texano Jr.
(8:35, La Parka chair shot Dave the Clown, ok, 02:21:31)

Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly beat Aerostar, Pagano, Psycho Clown
(13:51, Super Fly splash → Chessman pin Pagano, ok, 02:38:58)

What happened:

this wasn’t a Laredo FLy

The TripleMania card may have forgotten the Chessman/Pagano feud but he has not. The show opened with Pagano asked for any sort of stipulation match with Chessman, who declared he was too big of a star to wrestle Pagano. That started a fight which eventually included all of the main eventers. After Aerostar accidentally took out Psycho Clown with a dive, OGT defeated Pagano cleanly.

Hijo del Tirantes started as referee for the Daga/Chessman match but was replaced by Piero in mid match for allowing Daga to use the knucks. Tirantes stuck around as Daga’s second and distracted Piero at other times. Daga finally was caught using the knucks to knock out Drago and Piero disqualified him. (The following match also had a KO finish with a weapon and was not a DQ.) An angry Daga knocked out a security person and was eventually misted by Drago.

Nino Hamburguesa again refused to hurt Lady Maravilla and stopped Big Mami from doing so. Mami still managed to middle splash Maravilla. Maravilla was urgently strechered out of the match, apparently knocked unconscious via splash and Nino Hamburguesa left with her. The tecnicos were close to winning when Hamburguesa came back for his splash. He angrily walked out on Mami after the match.

Keyra and Vanilla fought after their match in something that didn’t seem to fit in a storyline.


welcome back

This wasn’t as strong overall as the Wednesday show, but the peak of the matches might have been better. The AAA early match luchadors continue to be talented and have the freedom to show the talent. It goes a long way to make these cards enjoyable.

The top two matches could fit into the same category. Standard AAA trios matches which were professional if not particularly memorable. Los Mercenarios weren’t in the main event and so got an easier night for once, having a simple match before Parka got a win over Dave the Clown. The main event was a bit more in depth, with Chessman running from Pagano. It had a little more action too, with Psycho Clown probably doing the most out of anyone of his team. The payoff to Chessman/Pagano – Super Fly doing a frog splash and Chessman happening to be the one to cover – really wasn’t much for the attention put on it. That seemed like time for a finish to lead to a specific stipulation match but maybe they haven’t figured it out yet.

Daga versus Drago was a disappointment. Drago hasn’t even been a strong long singles match wrestler and this match played against his strengths. Daga was the bigger sore spot. He felt like a random foreign Impact wrestler brought into AAA from years past, with AAA doing a million things to distract from the match up not being good. Daga should be good. Daga came into AAA a long time ago as a guy who was so good at the wrestling part of wrestling that he didn’t need a gimmick in a promotion full of them. Now he’s a guy using a hidden object and a heel referee to get heat in his matches. I don’t know what happened here but it just feels like the whole Daga character is lost at this point. There is a space for a rudo character who is good at wrestling while being arrogant and entitled about it – essentially the character Tessa’s done in other promotions – but instead, Daga has the sort of stuff they’d give to Ciber the Main Man when he physically can have a good match. The knucks spots worked fine in the context of this match but not in the context of the promotion – both in what makes sense in the rules and what is actually working on these shows. This AAA stint has just been a negative for Daga; I hope the DQ is a way to the close the chapter on the knucks bit, but I fear Daga not winning a title here means matches with Fenix or Laredo Kid down the road. Not all of that is on Daga but singles title matches are so rare in AAA – this was only the third this year – that it’s extra frustrating to see them be wasted like this.

but this spot was good

Exoticos/Poder del Norte was a little better than expected. Maximo seemed to be in a mood to do a lot and his partners weren’t a problem. Poder del Norte were as efficient as always and it was nice to see them get a win, but the match felt a few minutes long for this matchup and could’ve ended after the usual kiss spot.

There was a messy section in the middle of the match – that’s where it always seems to be – but it was more than made up by work at other points. They’ve figured out how to make Jinetes del Aire consistently look like stars in these fast moving trios matches as long as the tecnicos can hit their spots. They hit them well on this show. Eterno has been great in every shot AAA’s given him this year and they’re steadily giving him more. He’s always been good and seemingly lacked a strong gimmick or look to get him a bigger chance, so maybe his IWRG team with Demonio Infernal was the best thing to happen to him. The crazy run of moves at the end was strong and Parka Negra & Hijo del Vikingo did well in their extended sequence.

Never much new to report in the Big Mami/Nino Hamburguesa/Lady Maravilla matches. Arez did some cool stuff and matched up well with Dinastia. Hijo del Tirantes didn’t get in the way. The storyline continues to dominate these matches. The story is better than these matches. Mami isn’t listed in Aguascalientes, so this might be the last running in place trios for this storyline, or at least running in this particular place.

The opener was lots of fun, easily the second best of the show. There was a lot of energy from those who aren’t on TV a lot. Vanilla seems like she may have improved on the constant spot show loop. Low Rider was crazy. Aramis had some cool sequences, especially with Keyra. Keyra looked more like a killer than last time out; the post-match scrum made me wonder if perhaps she had been too much of a killer for Vanilla’s liking. La Parkita remains super hit or miss but didn’t knock himself out this time. This was a little out of control at times while still original.

old school Rey Escorpion