full CMLL Aniversario card announced, Abismo Negro Jr. to debut

the concept here is the CMLL programming department was so shocked by having a cage match that they didn’t have a contract ready and had to just scrawl something on the back of another contract and they’re showing it off to show how serious they are about everything. The reality is everyone outside of CMLL looked at this and laughed, and they never should’ve shown it on camera.

CMLL announced the full card for the 86th Aniversario show on Informa.

CMLL (FRI) 09/27/2019 Arena México
1) Audaz, Rey Cometa, Stigma vs Misterioso Jr., Tiger, Virus
2) Diamante Azul, Dulce Gardenia, Titán vs Hechicero, Hijo del Villano III, Rey Bucanero
3) Dalys vs ? © [CMLL WOMEN]
fifth defense if Marcela still champion.
4) Ángel de Oro, Mephisto, Niebla Roja vs Dragón Lee, Euforia, Gran Guerrero [Relevos Increíbles]
5) Microman vs Chamuel [mask]
6) Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón © vs Carístico, Místico, Valiente [MEX TRIOS]
13 defense
7) Último Guerrero vs Big DaddyNegro CasasCavernarioVolador Jr.Gilbert el BoricuaCiber the Main Man [cage, hair]

Dragon Lee is a question mark; the WON had him in Las Vegas on this date.

The CMLL hype for this card is they’re giving the fans two apuesta matches and two championships, four big matches. Maybe the additional relevos incredibles is the best example of the problem with that: it definitely has something attached to the match, but it’s hard to believe anyone cares any more about seeing the mixed-up teams rather than the usual people together. It’s still about the same match. NGD vs three random tecnicos should be good but the titles mean so little that making it a champion match makes little defense when the match comes out of nowhere. (There’s actually a better version of the same match happening this Friday anyway.) The Dalys/Marcela match seems to be a big deal only to a small amount of people and the main event didn’t even seem appealing to those inside it. Quantity does not outweigh quality.

The cage match is a compromise in storyline and probably also in reality, a way to get to a match they didn’t feel comfortable promoting as a singles Aniversario main event. There have been four cage matches in recent Aniversario history. In recent years, the cage matches end with a one fall singles match.

  • 2011: Felino takes Rey Bucanero’s hair
  • 2010: La Sombra takes Olimpico’s mask
  • 2007: Blue Panther takes Hijo del Lizmark’s hair
  • 2001: Satanico takes Mascara Magica’s mask

None of those matches would’ve worked on their own. Panther/Lizmark is the closest. Blue Panther was more a long time semi-main veteran than the legend he is now, but CMLL very clearly didn’t trust that match as big enough on its own. Sombra/Olimpico wouldn’t have worked as a singles main event at all in 2010 and never did happen in a meaningful singles match before or after. Felino/Bucanero might have worked as a Homenaje a Dos Leyendas show and surely as a lesser show but not an Aniversario show even with them being on a reality show at the time. Satanico is the biggest star of any of these guys at the time of the match but he was already being moved down by that point and Mascara Magica was an anonymous midcarder before being pulled into a feud so he could be the guy to lose his mask. CMLL did just run an Aniversario main event of Gran Guerrero vs Niebla Roja, so the bar has been lowered than it was years ago, but going back to a cage suggests the ending match is not something CMLL felt safe promoting as an Aniversario main event. It’s never about the quality of the match but instead the star power of the people involved.

That seems to rule out this cage match as a ruse to get to Ciber vs Ultimo Guerrero. The match has been and would be bad but that doesn’t seem to be a factor. Ciber, UG, and Volador losing their hair is important enough to be a singles match against just about anyone. I would put Cavernario in that group as well – once you main event a real match Aniversario you’re a made man – though I know everyone doesn’t agree on that. That would leave Big Daddy, Negro Casas and Gilbert el Boricua. Big Daddy losing his hair would be a deeply cynical move. I’m not sure if anything could run off the remaining CMLL diehard fans but Big Daddy being the loser in the Aniversario would be a stiff test. It really doesn’t even matter if Big Daddy is good or bad, he’s only been around for five minutes and he’d need to drastically catch fire in the next three weeks for a long time CMLL fan to care about him losing his hair.

That leaves Negro Casas & Gilbert. If you’ve watched Ricky Banderas in Lucha Underground or AAA or WWC, he’s likely as big a star as Ciber and Ultimo and the rest. The people in charge of CMLL clearly do not seem him the same way, having never gone strong with Gilbert since he’s been there. (Gilbert isn’t close to what he was as Mil Muertes, but neither is Ciber.) Maybe CMLL doesn’t seem him as big enough star to main event an Aniversario show with, but would they give him a hair payoff then? Negro Casas is a star, though one clearly near the end. He’s so close to the end that he may not feel comfortable doing a long main event, as most of his singles matches go under ten minutes now. He’s also lost his hair so many times and it hardly ever matters, but he’s a big enough name that CMLL can point to it as an important win both now and later. (Selfishly, I’ve always wanted to see the Cavernario/Casas torch passing match. CMLL’s unlikely to do the feud, but this may be a way to get to that match.) I think Casas fits the best as the person most likely to lose, though it’s not a cinch.

The idea is this Aniversario best card CMLL has to offer. It’s hard to make a case that Stigma & Rey Bucanero are either among the best CMLL has to offer or the most deserving. (It’s impossible to make that case for Big Daddy.) There’s a lot of unhappiness. Blue Panther Jr. and Zeuxis made negative comments on Twitter Wednesday night which were later deleted. There are stories of other issues beyond programming behind the scenes that are angering luchadors. The transition to a post-Paco Alonso era has not gone smoothly and there are rumors of others who maybe be following Sangre Azteca & Triton out of the promotion. If this sounds troubling, it is because it is troubling.

One of the reasons given for Cavernario pulling off of PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles tournament was CMLL needed him for the Aniversario show. That didn’t quite make sense at the time because no one believed the Aniversario show was on the 20th. It’s still not, it’s the week after, and maybe the idea actually was CMLL needed him for the build-up that match. That would suggest CMLL knew they were going end up with this cage match a few weeks ago, even though the entire build for it came just in the last few days. It was CMLL’s choice to wait until the last minute to set up anything but they might have decided it was their end point for a while.

Diario Basta has a column by Salvador Trejo, saying himself and the paper’s sports editor Rodrijo Mojica, were blocked from attending the CMLL Aniversario pres conference by Julio Cesar Rivera. The paper decided they weren’t going to let CMLL dictate their coverage and did not cover the press conference. People in CMLL generally claim to not read or pay attention to outside coverage, though someone there must be finding the negative stuff and passing it around. Other media people have been called into CMLL for questioning about something they’ve written or banned entirely in the past, going back to SuperLuchas being banned over a decade ago. JCR and Ultimo Guerrero obliquely referenced and complained about negative reaction to the Aniversario card on CMLL Informa yesterday. For Diario Basta in particular, a recent lucha libre article was critical of not following up on the Rush vs LA Park rivalry, so maybe that’s what got them banned.

An “Abismo Negro Jr.” is listed on the 10/11 AAA non-televised show in Aguascalientes. My understanding is Abismo Negro Jr. is slated to be one of the surprise luchadors on Sunday’s taping. The name I’ve heard for the role is a familiar person, but I feel safer waiting for Sunday to see if AAA actually goes with it.

Abismo Negro was a top rudo for AAA from 1997 to 2009, one of the iconic characters of the promotion during the period between the initial boom and Antonio Pena passing away. He’d earlier been tecnico Winners, one of the original few who jumped from CMLL to start the promotion. He was a charismatic evil-doer, maybe best compared to Pentagon Jr. in terms of personality if not as a wrestler, who crossed over into the mainstream and had some memorable moments with people outside of wrestling coming into AAA. Abismo Negro dealt with drugs issues and passed away in a strange and sad situation back in 2009.

AAA shot a pilot for a secondary TV show in 2011 at Arena Lopez Mateos called “El Regreso del Abismo”, where the winner of a tournament would become the new Abismo Negro. That pilot never made air. The reaction to AAA bringing back the original Abismo Negro was harshly negative, though I suspect the show didn’t happen more just because AAA couldn’t line up a sponsor for it. I don’t remember this at all, but my post at the time mentions AAA had even said there would never be a new Abismo Negro after the original one had died. Among the 12 luchadors who qualified for the tournament were Argos, Kronos (now Kill Korton), Hijo del Pirata Morgan, Black Mamba (current exotico Mamba who was a ninja), and Dark Dragon/Pentagon Jr. himself. I wonder how the last seven years would’ve gone if he ended up with the Abismo Negro Jr. character instead.

The AAA Aguascalientes also has a Raptor listed. I’m unsure if the old Raptor has quickly returned to AAA or they’ve just put someone new under the mask.  This show also has the LA Parks vs Blue Demon/Rey Escorpion and the Lucha Brothers vs Laredo Kid/Golden Magic, so someone’s paying a lot for these shows.

Arena Coliseo Monclova on Monday has a team of Angel o Demonio & Blue Demon, two people famous for using blocks in their matches. Angel O Demonio has been loud about Demon stealing the bit from him, though Angel o Demonio is loud and doing a bit about most things.

Violento Jack will be on the 10/03 Lucha Libre Vanguardia show. He says it’s his only date in Mexico for the time being.

Lucha Talk has a new edition of the podcast.

Lineups

CMLL (MON) 09/09/2019 Arena Puebla
1) Asturiano, Meyer, Millenium vs Ares el Poblano, Black Tiger, Guerrero Espacial
2) Drone, Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Ares (Costa Rica), Escualo (Costa Rica), Kaiser (Costa Rica)
3) Black Panther, Blue Panther Jr., Kráneo vs Hijo del Villano III, Máscara Año 2000, Universo 2000 Jr.
4) Atlantis, Flyer, Titán vs Hechicero, Templario, Vangellys
5) Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas, Volador Jr. vs Dragón Lee, Terrible, Valiente

Puebla’s Ares is back for the first time since May, the same show as the Costa Rica Ares and his crew are back. They won’t be in for long; they’re headed to Japan on the 15th for Mr. Cacao. Drone faces them here and then heads to Costa Rica on the 28th.

The main event certainly suggests they’ll be running Dragon Lee/Volador II on 09/16. Except, Dragon Lee is already booked in Arena Lopez Mateos that day. He might be able to make both at the normal Arena Puebla start time but they’re planning on starting early for the holiday. Not sure how that’s going to work. I do think that 09/16 Puebla show is now airing since CMLL doesn’t appear to be running Arena Mexico that day after all.

Lucha Libre Real (SAT) 09/21/2019 Domo del Deportivo Plan Sexenal, Distrito Federal
1) Lunatik Fly & Lunatik Xtreme vs Moria & Sobredosis
2) Vazco Jr. vs DemasiadoChris Stone Jr.Juventud AereaLeviathamWarrior Jr.Dragón FlyTroyanoRey SicarioYoruba [Copa Independencia]
3) Baronessa & Rossy Moreno vs Lady Flammer & Sexy Dulce
4) The Tiger vs Xtreme Tiger vs Tiger Casas
5) Trauma I & Trauma II vs Demus & Hijo Del Espectro
6) Aeroboy & Low Rider vs Drako & Fresero Jr. and Emperador Azteca & Hijo del Volador and Legendario & Supernova
7) Cuatrero, Forastero (NGD), Sansón, Universo 2000 Jr. vs Dark Cuervo, Dark Ozz, Dark Scoria, Dark Spíritu
8) Último Guerrero vs Cibernético vs Michael Elgin

Flying in Michael Elgin to have a match where Ciberentico is not going to want to do Michael Elgin stuff is an interesting way to set money on fire. I can’t complain about having all the Tigers face off though.

Super Nova (or the people who make the posters) appears to be stylizing his name as “Supernova” in this indie run. I’m trying to keep up.

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