Felino, Pólvora, Vangellys beat El Audaz, Kráneo, Stuka Jr.
(13:39 [4:45, 3:32, 5:22], 2/3, ok, VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rey Bucanero, Templario, Terrible beat Atlantis, Carístico, Soberano Jr.
(12:06 [3:24, 2:51, 5:51], 1/3, ok, VideosOficialesCMLL)
Another Tuesday, another main event where Atlantis can’t put weight on one of his legs in the middle of a match. Soberano may be the same way someday but he looked springy in this match until his third fall dive demise. Like most of the matches on this card, this worked fine for the live crowd and isn’t something you need to hurry to check out. Another one will be in soon enough.
The semi-final continued the mystery of Vangellys being Audaz’s designated opponent and accomplished pretty much nothing else. He’s getting better at taking the rana. The match was fine.
Black Panther hit some great topes. His 619 kick was on point. The roll into the quebrada was really smooth. It doesn’t matter for him, because Hijo del Villano III is the guy going places and Black Panther is apparently just hanging around the third match for the next decade. Panther worked smoothly and impressively, taking most of the match. He kind of need to do, with Villano III cheap tricks working well but also hides his lack of offense. Black Panther setting up the doomed superplex smoothly set up Villano III Jr. for his splash, though the splash is also the CMLL rookie move of not actually have a finisher. Villano III came off limited in a way only someone watching an unhealthy amount of CMLL would even care about, but Black Panther made the match work for everyone.
The segunda was another match for the Guadalajara visitors. Another time where Difunto’s willingness to bump and play to the crowd overshadowed Star Black’s act. He’s the new Gallo, should probably get a weekend in Arena Mexico every year to give him some credibility but feels to top out as al local star. Star Jr. and Super Astro Jr. outshined him greatly, though Star Black’s moonsaults looked nice. Cancerberos were trying harder, though they seemed to leave Star Black to die on his handspring double back elbow attempt. Difunto doesn’t have much interesting offense, but that’s not especially unique amount rudos.
Coyote & Grako have confidence, but still need more speed on their double teams. They’re promising right now because they’re young and they’re willing to do things surrounded by a lot of rudos who can’t or won’t, but they wouldn’t stand out in the other promotion. On the other hand, not sure how much better they’re going to get working CMLL openers.
In a decision that probably could’ve been made the day after tickets went on sale but instead took three months to announce, AAA has moved their 09/15 New York Show out of Madison Square Garden to the adjacent Hulu Theatre. The news was announced in a press release today (PW Insider version here) but actually broken accidentally by FITE about an hour earlier. Ticket holders will get “seats better or equal” to their MSG seats. Tickets are on sale already, running from 30 to 300. They were 30 to 600 prior, with the most expensive tickets including meet & greets. AAA themselves have not acknowledged the move on their social media accounts as of 12:30 pm, an hour after that press release went out.
Dorian Roldan, in the press release, frames this as a move made for the quality of the fan experience. That’s probably true, as a show taking place in building with 80% of the seats empty is not an enjoyable experience. The AAA tickets for MSG just didn’t sell anywhere close to needed to run that venue and that’s the obvious reason for the move. I have no idea they can sell enough tickets in the Hulu Theatre to make it work there either, but someone must have confidence if the shows are still on. AAA always hyped these shows with the idea there would be a last week/walk-up ticket demand of people looking for something to do and maybe that’ll still happen. I think it’s also likely that if you really want to see an AAA show in the US, this and the LA show might be your only chances any time soon. Dorian Roldan did an interview early on saying AAA would do a lot more if these did well and not do as much if these struggled. They’ve struggled.
09/15 AAA in New York (Hulu Theatre) matches announced so far
Taya vs Tessa (c) for the Reina de Reinas championship
Blue Demon vs Dr. Wagner Jr.
The press release calls Demon vs Wagner a mask versus hair match. They meant it as a rematch from their TripleMania mask versus hair match. Still, if you were hoping that AAA having a setback would mean they would get a bit more organized and make sure they had everything straight before going forward, nah.
No one else is actually announced for the show in the press release. Killer Kross has said today he’ll be there and other US wrestlers based wrestlers implied they’d be there earlier this week. La Parka, Blue Pentagón Jr., Fénix, Psycho Clown, Texano Jr., and Taurus are named dropped, but as people who appeared on TripleMania. I’m sure most of them will be there because they seem to have visas outside of AAA but nothing seems official yet. It does seem concerning that no one AAA would have to get visas for has been announced.
I was going to go to this show and now I’m thinking I’m not going to this show unless there’s a way I can be back in Chicago by 6 AM Monday. I don’t think that’s physically possible though.
If you’re not going, FITE.TV is offering it as $30 PPV. I’m not sure how many people are going to pay for it when everyone has been trained to pay $0.00 for AAA content for the last year and a half. Oddly, it looks like FITE is not allowed to air it in Mexico, which possibly means Space or Azteca is picking it up.
CMLL continues to casually stroll thru their summer shows tonight with the usual Friday night card in Arena Mexico. There’s probably an Aniversario match being built up, but which and when remain a mystery. The women’s tournament comes to an end, though it won’t be the end of that.
The scheduled main event is the odd teams of Caristico, Valiente, and Ciber (the Main Man) versus Dragon Lee, Mistico and Ultimo Guerrero. Ultimo Guerrero continues to want Ciber’s hair and Ciber seems non-committal to the whole enterprise. Hopefully, the other four luchador can garner a reaction for this match that the principal figures have yet to accomplish.
The semi-main has the increasingly suspicious feud of Forastero and Volador. Forastero has, to this point, been presented as the third most important member of the Nueva Generacion Dinamita. He has also cheated to defeat Volador three straight weeks. Volador and Forastero as an apuesta match would be odd, but Forastero might be one more win from making that happen. The substory is seeing if Volador can have a more complete performance than he showed in Arena Puebla against Dragon Lee.
Angel del Oro & Niebla Roja team with Titan against Sanson, Cuatrero and Gilbert el Boricua. Gilbert turning up is a helpful reminder of his existence with the Rest of the World Gran Prix team to be announced next week. He seems like a safe bet to be included. That doesn’t seem a good thing given his CMLL performances, but maybe the other five guys can shake something out of him.
Metalica vs Dalys is, in theory, the most important match on the CMLL show, the final of a three-week tournament. It is instead midway thru the card. This is probably just a bit over midway thru the process: everyone expects Dalys to win this and face Marcela for the women’s championship at some point in the near future. (Again, the Aniversario is a possibility.) One of the more accidentally illuminating interviews last week was Dalys complaining that the CMLL Women’s Division is seen as just “Marcela vs Amapola”. It does not feel like that from the outside at all, with Dalys having a 2.5 year run with the women’s title and somehow being booked even stronger in the nine months since she’s lost it. If CMLL really wanted to shake up the hierarchy, Metalica – who’s won the women’s title on a non-streamed show and is getting her first high profile Friday match here – beating Dalys and going to the final against Marcela would actually do it. Dalys’ comments suggest that, somehow, she is still thinking she hasn’t broken thru yet and she probably will tonight.
Atlantis Jr. teams with Fly & Soberano Jr. against the Hijos del Infierno in the tercera. The Micros make another appearance, with Atomo the third tecnico and Mije and the third rudo. Robin & Star Jr. open against Cancerbero & Raziel.
The show airs at 8:30 pm. It’ll air on Marca and YouTube. I’ll stream it on YouTube. No one is going to read this but I’ll type it anyway: I’m probably not streaming next Friday and I’m likely not streaming the week after that. Traveling and streaming did not work well last time.
Sanely says in CMLL, the fans are the boss, and if the fans want a women’s apuesta match on a Friday or a women’s main event on a Tuesday or Sunday, it is going to happen. I guess the idea is the fans haven’t wanted one of those because they haven’t happened? That’s probably not the right idea. Sanely wants a title match with Metalica.
A show in Merida Sunday was supposed to include Okumura, Blue Panther, Cachorro Lagunero (third Panther son) and Kawato now includes Okumura, Blue Panther, Cachorro Lagunero and DOUKI. I still have no idea why Kawato hasn’t wrestled since July 9th. I’d guess injury if I had to guess, but there have been situations where work visas were temporarily held up. There’s always the possibility NJPW has moved Kawato on to something or somewhere else, and it wouldn’t be the first time the CMLL Super Lightweight title has gone missing.
Puma vs Camuflaje sounds like it was the best match. This was taped for +Lucha. The next show in Arena Aficion is September 26th.
Nino Hamburguesa, Big Mami, Golden Magic, Taurus, Vanilla, and Faby Apache wrestled on the first night of the Impact tapings in Mexico City. (Full results here if you’re looking for them.) Attendance didn’t look strong but that’s probably not a surprise. I believe these tapings start airing next Friday though I’m not quite sure. I am pretty sure they were not always taping in order so it may take a while for all these to air. They’ll be back again in Fronton Mexico tonight with Dr. Wagner Jr.
a long PWG/BOLA section, which I swear is relevant to lucha libre
PWG announced their Battle of Los Angeles first-round matches. Relevant lucha libre matches (full bracket here)
Dragon Lee vs Rey Horus
Darby Allin vs Black Taurus
(Lucha Brothers vs Mexablood in a non-tournament match)
Bandido vs Laredo Kid
Penta 0M. vs Tony Deppen
Rey Fenix vs Aramis
(finals on Sunday)
Aramis replaced Barbaro Cavernario, off due to scheduling conflicts. It is possible the Aniversario show has been pushed back to September 20th and that is caused the conflict, though no one’s gotten a clear answer about that. It may be a cover story. The bigger issue is CMLL and it’s policies about their wrestlers being able on shows with AAA affiliated luchadors. Here are the rules of the moment, as best I can figure them out:
CMLL luchadors are allowed to work shows with freelance wrestlers, even if those wrestlers are working for AAA. They’re discouraged from working in the same matches in those cases.
CMLL luchadors are not allowed to work shows with AAA signed wrestlers.
CMLL doesn’t actually seem to know who is signed to AAA and who are freelance
anything goes if CMLL doesn’t hear about the show
these rules can be ignored at will if the people in charge feel like it
It should have been no issue for Cavernario & Dragon Lee to work BOLA because Fenix, Penta, Laredo, and Taurus are all not under AAA contracts, just working verbal deals. Except, someone in Mexico found an article on the BOLA announcements which incorrectly wrote PWG had booked both CMLL and AAA signed talent. That person passed along the article to CMLL management, CMLL management believes it to be true, and so CMLL management warned Barbaro Cavernario & Dragon Lee to pull themselves off the PWG shows as long as AAA wrestlers were on them. Cavernario went along with CMLL’s plan. Dragon Lee has instead decided to do BOLA, at least for now. I think the difference is illustrative of the importance each man puts on their relationship with CMLL at the moment; this is a forward-looking indicator. And all of this only happened because of an incorrect article (and CMLL’s lack of knowledge about the world outside their walls.)
I hope that Dragon Lee being announced for a match means it’s done and over with but I don’t feel 100% sure about it. There is at least one other show that immediately comes to mind where CMLL talent is on the same show as (still unsigned) AAA luchadors, but it is possible that show just has different permission or is under CMLL’s radar. (I’m purposefully being vague here.) There are definitely shows in Mexico where Dragon Lee and other CMLL wrestlers have been allowed to be in the same ring in as Fenix. Some of it is the Munoz rules, and some of it is the inconsistent nature of CMLL.
I’m not sure how this will affect CMLL participation in PWG and similar promotions in the future. PWG was aware enough of this issue to book and then unbooked another CMLL luchador twice this year over concerns CMLL themselves might pull them after the matches were announced. It may be a situation where PWG avoid the headache entirely on future shows by just not using anyone in CMLL. Or maybe Fenix & Penta sign with AEW and no longer work PWG and then CMLL decides the rest of the AAA-adjacent guys aren’t an issue.
That’s part of what makes Aramis replacing Cavernario and being in BOLA interesting. An impressive unsigned wrestler is worth gold to indie promotions right now. If Aramis can be as good with Fenix as he’s been in the Mexican indies this year and doesn’t have the hassle of dealing with a promotion, he’s going to be swept up quick. (There are lots of spaces to fill come October.) I did not know Aramis had a visa when he was announced for BOLA; it was only a couple months ago where Aramis mentioned he had started working on getting one. I gather Aramis received the approval for his visa just this week; if it had happened a few days later, he wouldn’t be in this tournament. Aramis is far under the radar for most fans – the people who didn’t know Puma King or Taurus aren’t going to know him – so he’s going to have to work hard to win over a crowd. He’s capable of doing it.
Circling back to CMLL: there have been other changes to how CMLL handles outside bookings that are too detailed to go in right now but have made the luchadors less happy about working there. (This is not about who they wrestle, but what money they take home.) This may come up in a more public fashion soon, but it feeds to a general level of discontent that may have informed Dragon Lee’s decision to work a show after being advised not to do so.
CMLL (TUE) 08/20/2019Arena México
1) Angelito & Fantasy vs Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro
2) Magia Blanca, Oro Jr., Príncipe Diamante vs El Coyote, Grako, Nitro
3) Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa vs Okumura, Sagrado, Virus
4) Kráneo, Stuka Jr., Volcano vs Hechicero, Rey Bucanero, Vangellys
5) Atlantis, Dragón Lee, Soberano Jr. vs Dark Magic, Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas
6) Carístico vs Terrible
A running dumb take of mine is Terrible is actually best against smaller guys but I’m not sure if Carisitco is small enough. Hechicero being below Dark Magic makes me sad. Mr. Niebla is back after a 30-day-break. Niebla suspensions seem much longer than that of late so maybe it really was an injury this time.
CMLL (TUE) 08/20/2019Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Baron Blanco Jr., Luminoso, Vaquero Jr. vs Mr. Trueno, Ráfaga, Rey Trueno
2) Halcón Suriano Jr., Pegasso, Star Black vs Cancerbero, Difunto, Raziel
3) Dulce Gardenia, Esfinge, Tritón vs Disturbio, Pólvora, Universo 2000 Jr.
4) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Volador Jr. vs Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto
5) La Bestia Del Ring, Místico, Rush vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
Munoz vs Dinamitas in the main event. It’s actually tough to figure out where Sangre Azteca was booked on these lineups. Maybe he wasn’t.
Rush was disqualified for unmasking Caristico in the second fall. That didn’t feel like the planned finish though Rush also didn’t accidentally unmask Caristico. Rush faked a foul in the third fall, setting up a singles match.
Star Black & Difunto replaced Triton & Tiger, though they were probably meant to be working this show from the moment they were announced as being around this week.
Dragon Lee put in a strong performance for a Monday night, enough to make this watchable on his own, and just didn’t have enough to work with. You could make the argument that Electrico did better in his match than Volador did in his, which is perhaps the harshest thing I’ve ever said about Volador. The two slips on the top rope were the most glaring problems but not the other one. Volador’s issues seemed more fitness-related than health-related. A year of wrestling every match in low gear made very hard for him to shift up to Dragon Lee’s speed. It left Volador exposed as not on Dragon Lee’s level at the moment and hopefully will inspire him to up his game. Volador wasn’t awful and this match had a good plan that it couldn’t always execute. This was another in the string of big Volador matches which weren’t what they should’ve been. In the meantime, maybe CMLL needs to look stronger at not including Volador in these matches and giving Dragon Lee some different challenges.
Los Ingobernables weren’t really feeling like doing much in the semi-final. What these six were doing wasn’t really good. Bestia del Ring almost got up over Valiente at 2.75 in the first fall but the referee wisely counted the pin anyway. Diamante Azul couldn’t take a Boston crab in the same fall. He didn’t seem ready to be back. Caristico and Rush turning over two rows of seats was amusing but it didn’t make for much of a complete match.
The Angel de Oro trios was a typical solid midcard match. Audaz works a lot with Vangellys for a rudo who doesn’t normally seem like a comfortable base. I guess he’s a big target. Vangellys collapsed taking a rana in the first fall, but he and Audaz did better later. Mephisto had trouble keeping up with the Chavez brothers and they’re not the fastest dudes.
The Virus big title match was a treat, as they usually are. The third fall was just a great dramatic back and forth. There was a good build to that point in the earlier falls, but the third fall put real stakes into every moment. The finish was done cleverly, Virus getting caught just when he was surely safe. Electrico did enough to keep up, from the mat sequences in the beginning to the near falls in the end-stage. Virus subtly kept the match going on track when it might have been a struggle with someone else. Electrico was fine but this came off more a one-man effort on a rewatch.
The segunda was a match was a surprise second fall win, which led to the rudos dominating for a whole bunch of the match. Difunto made a better impression than Star Black, who has the flashy Rayo de Jalisco moves but seems a little bit slow for them. Difunto moves better and has a good chop. Difunto and Stigma did about kill each other getting lost on a spot, but it is Stigma. Good for doing something different on the finish.
King Jaguar decided he was a high flying superstar in this week’s opener. He was wrong. But he tried. Astro did much better at it. Millenium didn’t get much at all.