The Munoz Family (or at least part of it) Splits From CMLL
I don’t know how to start this today, so my default is to go over what we know:
- Dragon Lee, Rush, and La Bestia del Ring are gone from CMLL.
- Rush & La Bestia announced they were going independent first
- CMLL announced Rush & Dragon Lee were released for not living up to the standards of the organization.
- Mistico said he planned on continuing with CMLL in response to Bestia & Rush’s statement. He hasn’t said anything after Dragon Lee was let go.
- Rush had been planning on leaving CMLL for a while. Appearances under “El Toro Blanco” appeared quickly after his announcement.
- Rush also won the ROH championship last night and is under contract to them thru 2020.
- Dragon Lee had not been planning to leave CMLL, at least in the immediate future. He found out he was fired from CMLL from the same Twitter press release as everyone out. He wrote a message of surprise and betrayal.
- Dragon Lee holds the CMLL Welterweight Championship, though that’s so unimportant to CMLL that it didn’t come up in the hurried release statement.
- The unhappiness between CMLL and the Munoz family is an outgrowth of much of the CMLL roster being upset about pay reductions in recent months.
- Dragon Lee also worked BOLA directly against the wishes of CMLL, which more a last straw thing than the entire problem.
- The Munoz family had been fairly and sometimes notoriously well treated under Paco Alonso’s leadership; the changes have come after Paco Alonso passed away.
- If CMLL declares Rush & Dragon Lee vetoed and bans their wrestlers from working the same shows as them, it could cause others to just leave CMLL
- Diamante Azul & Vangellys are believed to be close friends of the Munoz family and would figure to have offers to work alongside Rush on indie shows if they decided to leave CMLL. Diamante Azul would need a new identity. Neither has indicated they’re leaving.
- It’s unclear where this leaves the CMLL/NJPW relationship
- Dragon Lee is not signed anywhere but wants to continue working with NJPW. He’s the most the important CMLL wrestler in NJPW.
- Dragon Lee was scheduled to be part of a CMLL team in the upcoming junior tag league
- Dragon Lee also certainly figured to wrestle Hiromu Takahashi again.
- The NJPW/CMLL relationship may have already been less stable than assumed
- Dragon Lee is not signed anywhere but wants to continue working with NJPW. He’s the most the important CMLL wrestler in NJPW.
- It’s unclear where this leaves the CMLL/ROH relationship
- Rush is signed with ROH thru 2020 and it still appears to be his priority. He is the most important guy in ROH at the moment.
- Rush & Dragon Lee are scheduled on tonight’s Ring of Honor show.
- Ultimo Guerrero had previously been mentioned as coming back to ROH later this year.
- There will be plenty of interest in signing these guys.
- AAA has wanted Rush for years. Konnan reached out publicly
- Dragon Lee has had offers he’s turned down to stay a free agent.
- These are big enough names that someone in Mexico is going to pitch building a promotion around them (and around LA Park vs Rush)
- They will all probably need slightly different names, and a slightly different mask, as CMLL owns those in Mexico
- Neither CMLL nor the Munoz seems to own the names in the US.
- CMLL owns Los Ingobernables, so La Mascara will have to think of a new name.
- I’m not sure who owns Los Ingobernables de Japon in Japan, though I suspect NJPW will be fine.
My hunch is Rush is just going to continue working ROH and Mexican indies, Dragon Lee will work NJPW and eventually indies for now, ROH and CMLL might not be so close but NJPW and CMLL will find a way to work together. That’s the most peaceful outcome. But CMLL cutting ties with Rush & Dragon Lee is a signal CMLL thinks they can break ties with anyone, and that maybe include foreign promotions who don’t give into their wishes.
Everyone’s going to move on. Both Dragon Lee & Rush are going to have WWE deals waiting for them the moment they want them and are free to take them. CMLL management goal is simply to put on shows which don’t lose money, so the idea that they’re not going to be as good isn’t a concern to them. CMLL itself is probably going to be worse before it ever gets better.
CMLL ran their biggest show of the year last night, then drowned it out by breaking ties with two of their biggest stars. It’s a strategy. (Maybe wait a couple of days if you ever find yourself in the situation of firing two of your biggest stars.)
CMLL (FRI) 09/27/2019 Arena México [+LuchaTV, CMLL, ESTO, Marca, Ovaciones, R de Rudo, The Gladiatores]
CMLL 86th Aniversario
1) Audaz, Rey Cometa, Stigma b Misterioso Jr., Tiger, Virus
tecnicos took 2/3
2) Diamante Azul, Dulce Gardenia, Titán DQ Hechicero, Hijo del Villano III, Rey Bucanero
Rey Bucanero unmasked Diamante Azul in the first and the rudos were DQed for excessive violence in the 2nd.
3) Metálica © b Dalys [MEX WOMEN]
Metalica took 2/3, the last when Metalica used the ropes in a confusing finish. Was scheduled to be Marcela defending the CMLL Women’s Championship (fifth defense). Marcela was removed on Wednesday prior (ankle injury), and the match was switched to a Mexican Trios championship. 2nd defense.
4) Ángel de Oro, Mephisto, Niebla Roja b Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Soberano Jr. [Relevos Increíbles]
Straight falls, setting up another Chavez title match. They were loudly booed. Soberano replaced Dragon Lee on the Friday previous. (Dragon Lee ended up in ROH.)
5) Microman b Chamuel [mask]
One fall match. Chamuel is Jose Francisco Garcia, from Puebla, 13 years a wrestler.
6) Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón © b Carístico, Místico, Valiente [MEX TRIOS]
NGD took 1/3. 13th defense.
7) Negro Casas L Último Guerrero, Big Daddy, Cavernario, Volador Jr., Gilbert el Boricua, Ciber the Main Man [cage, hair]
luchadors were required to stay in the ring three minutes before escape. Escape order: Big Daddy, Gilbert, Cavernario, Volador, Ciber, leaving Ultimo Guerrero and Negro Casas. Guerrero beat Casas to win.
I’ve not had a chance to watch this yet. No one had a chance Friday night; the Fite stream never happened. Fite said there was an issue with the transmission from the arena. CMLL never acknowledged the show was airing on FITE. Neither really did ROH, so there must’ve been a communication breakdown somewhere. CMLL did privately stream on YouTube on their own, so it doesn’t seem like a tech issue.
The Micros match sounds like it was the most enjoyed match of the night, with the trios titles match behind it. The cage match have been a bit better than expected, the early trios less than expected.
The women’s match had an atrocious finish. Dalys is as ingobernable as they come right now in CMLL and CMLL obviously knows this. They booked themselves into a corner when Marcela got hurt, putting Dalys in a title match she wasn’t going to win and had no interest in losing. They got a terrible finish where referee Metalico and champion Metalica look bad for a decision Dalys made. CMLL being stuck on the idea of having four matches with something on the line even with Marcela out led them straight into this minefield, and it blew up.
This was a show that existed to justify itself, though. Dalys/Metalica had to happen so they could say they had a fourth big match (and a women’s match.) The cage match ended with Negro Casas and Ultimo Guerrero so they could do promos after the show talking about what a big deal it was to have two legendary rudos facing off, making this completely worthy as Aniversario main event. This was a card and results less about being good but sticking it to the haters. It was cynical. It also seemed to be successful. Photos inside the arena showed a building full or close to it.
Ultimo Guerrero seems to have a fair bit of power. Even if he didn’t, making sure he got his promised Aniversario victory even if it couldn’t be over Ciber, is quite the way to end this year’s event. Decisions are claimed to be made for business reasons but it doesn’t seem that way up and down the card.
Ring of Honor
Rush beat Matt Taven to win the ROH Heavyweight Championship in a pretty great match. Rush remains undefeated in Ring of Honor and continues to do his best work in that promotion. He’ll be defending the title against Jeff Cobb in Ring of Honor’s upcoming UK tour. It is possible Matt Taven is in his final weekend with the promotion, so there may not be a rematch.
Bandido & Mark Haskins lost a tag team title challenge to the Briscoes in a very good match. Bandido, Haskins, and ally Tracy Williams were destroyed by the returning Bully Ray after the main event, with Flip Gordon helping out a bit. Bully Ray is likely there as an obstacle the Lifeblood group can finally beat in December – ridding ROH of the likes of him was one of the original goals of the group – but the group losing in every big occasion and their top members disappearing from the promotion has turned them into a prelim act with a name.
Dragon Lee was a surprise addition to the ROH TV Title match. Dragon Lee was originally supposed to be on this show, pulled off the show when CMLL “needed” him for the Aniversario show, then ended up just flying in a day early to be there for his brother’s match and was put back on the show. He did not figure in the decision, but they teased a match between himself and champion Shane Taylor.
Bandido faces Jay Lethal in the first round of a #1 contenders tournament tonight in Las Vegas. Dragon Lee & Rush are scheduled to face PCO & Brody King. That match appears to be still on. The show starts at 8 pm CT and will stream on Honor Club
AAA posted a couple of vignettes which aired on TV but not on the streams. In the first, Lady Maravilla talks trash about Big Mami to Nino Hamburguesa, Maravilla apparently still having Hambuguesa wrapped around her fingers. In the second, Big Mami brings up Nino Hamburguesa being about to make his decision between Maravilla & Mami in Monterrey and asks him who he was going to pick. Hamburguesa tells Mami he picks their friendship but we’re left with the impression it is a lie. Nino Hamburguesa talks about the TripleMania title match coming up in the second, so these are meant to have happened before then. It’s good AAA is doing these, though I wish it didn’t take until the TV episode went up on YouTube to see them. Perhaps there’s stuff out there for other feuds, like the Pagano/LA Park bit, that we just won’t see for a while.
While in San Luis Potosi, Atlantis talked about his career with La Orquesta. Atlantis was asked if he would bet his mask again. He said that he wrestled his last apuesta match. He does think about retirement but doesn’t have a date in mind and leaves open the possibility it could come suddenly and quietly or with a big announcement. Atlantis has wrestled with an obvious injury to either his leg or hip for months that probably should cause him to take a break or even consider retiring, but it doesn’t seem to have affected his willingness to keep on wrestling. It also seems like CMLL won’t force him out at this point, though I’m sure they kept him off the Aniversario show to avoid bringing attention to the situation. Atlantis mentioned he never liked being a rudo but knew it would only be a few years before people wanted to see him as a tecnico again, so he made the best of it.
Other shows go on, even if I’m far behind on typing them
- Arena Coliseo has Angel de Oro, Diamante Azul, Niebla Roja versus Ephesto, Mephisto, and Terrible.
- Lucha Libre Boom is in Arena Lopez Mateos with a Volador vs Caristico vs Emperador Azteca main
- Martinez Entertainment has Lucha Brothers vs Rey Leon & Mecha Wolf in Texas, plus the Wagners.
- A show at CAR The Crash includes an exoticos vs heavy hitters main event.
- The CL4N faces Los Guerreros in Guadalajara.
- Arena Mexico has NGD vs Caristico, Diamante Azul and Volador Jr.
- Fresero and Demonio Infernal meet in a title match in Arena Naucalpan.
- Dragon Bane & Canis Lupus travel all the way to Berwyn, Illinois to wrestle Sam Adonis. I’m about wrestled out but I may talk myself into that one yet.
CMLL (FRI) 10/04/2019 Arena México
1) La Magnifica & Silueta vs La Seductora & Reyna Isis
2) Esfinge, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa vs Dark Magic, Okumura, Vangellys
3) Soberano Jr. vs Templario
4) Cavernario, Cuatrero, Hijo del Villano III vs Flyer, Titán, Valiente
13) A Replacement For Star Black & Místico vs Dulce Gardenia & Volador Jr. and Diamante Azul & Retro and Arkalis & Stuka Jr. and Difunto & Último Guerrero and Espíritu Negro & Mr. Niebla and El Coyote & Terrible and Grako & Mephisto [Gran Alternativa, semifinal]
14) Euforia & Gran Guerrero © vs Ángel de Oro & Niebla Roja [CMLL TAG]
3rd defense, all against the same team
My numbering is off because I didn’t want to show you the tournament matches. My count has it as 13 matches scheduled for this show. Soberano & Templario get one untimed fall, but it might not be too long because of everything else they have to get in. I assume the women’s match exists so they don’t have to ask those men to work the opener, but one of the two trios matches shouldn’t be on this card. Expect some two fall rushed stuff.
Dulce Gardenia is such the overwhelming favorite in this block of the Gran Alterantiva that it is almost worthless to talk about the rest. This blog is almost worthless anyway so: CMLL seems high on Difunto so he may go far, and we’re all kind of waiting for tall Retro to get another gimmick and a push. (I root for comedy nowadays, so the funniest possible outcome is Diamante Azul leaving and Retro becoming the new Diamante Azul.) Star Black broke his leg a week ago, people in CMLL know this because it happened on a CMLL show, and CMLL still is advertising him. CMLL’s release of Dragon Lee & Rush talked about CMLL being focused on discipline and seriousness, and these sort of actions are anything but serious.