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.
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 Central, thecubsfan]
1) Keyra, Low Rider, Mini Psycho Clown b Aramis, La Parkita, Vanilla
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
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
14:14. Vikingo beat Parka Negra with reverse 450 splash
4) Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana b Mamba, Máximo, Pimpinela Escarlata
11:25. Mocha Cota frog splash on Mamba.
5) Drago © DQ Daga [AAA LA]
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.
8:35. La Parka hit Dave the Clown with a chair.
7) Aerostar, Pagano, Psycho Clown b Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly
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.
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.
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.