Ortiz (LAX) & Santana (LAX) vs Hijo Del Vikingo & Laredo Kid
(AAA/EMW @ 05/31, 12:06, great, LNDLC)
More of a TV version of what these two teams could do than an epic all-out match, but both teams showed up to work and with some cool ideas. (It’s weird to think Vikingo doing an SSP to the floor and then onto two stacked people isn’t an epic.) LAX is great, and I’m glad we’re going to get at least one chance to see them in AAA before whatever their next step is. Their tag work is on point and they feed into the Jinetes moves great, these two teams fit together smoothly. Vikingo is just as smooth when he has a rare slip, keeping it going beautifully into another springboard spot. The hanging rebound moonsault idea was really cool and also amazing that they’ve got more ideas that haven’t hit on TV yet. I think the ceiling is higher for these two teams but I was glad I watched this.
LA Park & Voltron vs La Bestia Del Ring & Rush
(FMLL Guatemala @ 06/09, 22:07, great, Lucha Libre Arena Guatemala Mexico )
LA Park & Rush take their match to Guatemala. Voltron, the champion here forever, reminds me more of an Atlantis type in general and didn’t seem a good fit for this match. I was wrong, it turns out he can throw a good right hand. The first two falls are all chops and belt shots, but they’re very loud ones of those and the crowd gets very into it for a fun time. The last fall is more normal stuff, which loses a bit when Voltron & Bestia are in but still has the good Park/Rush stuff you’d expect. I’m probably lower on this than others would be and it’s worth your time if you want more of their brawls. I was really not expecting much and got a lot out of this.
There were two major flaws here. Lunatik Xtreme goes for a Brillo Dorada but it goes bad and he’s laying in the ring being checked on for a couple minutes while the fight goes on around him. (He does continue, though he’s obviously hurt.) The other is the match ending on the first pinfall, when everyone but the people in the ring is the impression this must be an elimination match because it’s 5v5. The announcers talk about it being the first elimination and are baffled when the winning team raises their arms in victory. They still did go 20 minutes. There is some neat Latigo wrestling and Puma de Oro killing himself on dives. The Puma de Oro/Eterno stuff they build up is fun but doesn’t get to go anywhere. Maybe they went home early because of the injury, but this feels like it’s missing a bigger end game.
El Audaz vs Kawato San for the CMLL World Super Lightweight Championship
(CMLL @ 06/30, 18:21, good, HVSLuchaLibre)
The question going into this match is how Kawato would handle taking Audaz’s tricky headscissors spots. The answer is Kawato took one headscissors on the night, just the easiest version Audaz does. This match pushed Audaz to wrestle with some of his best moves off the table. He managed well, showing he had a bit more to it. It really is Kawato’s match though, getting in the big moments in and out of the ring (a stage dive!) before winning in the end. He’s feeling it too. I’m not sure if something clicked or they ran thru this enough to make it work, but Kawato’s offense looks a lot better than usual and he never seems lost. He’s doing a lot of offense we haven’t seen from him to this point and just generally comes off as a lot more confident wrestler than he’s been since coming to CMLL. Kawato even catches dives fine. This needed a little bit more Audaz for me, but it was way better than would’ve been expected. It’s too bad we didn’t get this Kawato in CMLL right away, and that he disappeared right after having pulled this off.
Bestia 666 & Mecha Wolf vs Hijo de LA Park & LA Park
(The Crash @ 07/05, 21:01, good, Arena Clandestina)
A usual Crash match that felt like it must’ve been better live. The crowd is way into it, though it loses me a little bit when the camera loses them on the brawl. They give you a lot of moves, though there’s no great story to them. On the other hand, this is one where there had to be some unhappiness going in – this was supposed to be a tag title match wasn’t by virtue of one team not wanting to lose – but it doesn’t show in their effort. There are some good ideas here, though it felt like both teams would be better with different opponents.
Black Dragón, Dinamic Black, Hijo del Alebrije vs Dragón Fly, La Mosca, Marado
(IWRG @ Arena Naucalpan, 12:04, good +LuchaTV)
Just a generally fun IWRG undercard Naucalpan match. The highspots were failing right at the start of the math but got much better from there. I feel like Hijo del Alebrije has significantly improved but maybe I wasn’t really paying enough attention to him before. The referee sequence near the end is very IWRG. You’ve never seen a man pin for a 13 count before.