CMLL (TUE) 01/07/2020Arena México [CMLL, Lucha Central, The Gladiatores]
1) Arkalis & Robin b El Coyote & Grako tecnicos took 1/3
2) Audaz, Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr. b Kawato San, Tiger, Virus tecnicos took 2/3
3) Dulce Gardenia b Okumura [lightning] Dulce won via moonsault in about six and a half minutes.
4) Atlantis Jr., Flyer, Titán b Hijo del Villano III, Luciferno, Pólvora tecnicos took 1/3
5) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Stuka Jr. b Euforia, Máscara Año 2000, Último Guerrero Mascara 2000 replaced Mephisto (moved up) and issues with the Guerreros led to the match ending in straight falls.
6) Cuatrero, Forastero, Mephisto b Carístico, Místico, Soberano Jr. Mephisto replaced Sanson and used a mask pull to defeat Mistico.
Not much of a show. Even the stream phoned this one in, showing up mid-opening match. Sanson missing the show is not a great sign. It’s possible CMLL just wanted to see up Mistico/Mephisto for next week and thought it was best to give Sanson an extra day off. It feels similar to Mistico returning from his motorcycle accident just to make a tour he probably should’ve taken off, but this is about the length Sanson was originally said to be out.
Mistico & Mephisto is a long-teased mask match. It doesn’t seem like it’ll happen this time any more than the others, even if it is a bit overdue.
The FantasticaMania crew headed to the airport and flew to Japan. Their first show is early Friday morning.
Laredo Kid’s injury was teased going into last night’s Exatlon episode. In true reality show form, they didn’t show it happening until late in the show. It looked like he had a bad gash on his left knee and was taken away by ambulance. Laredo Kid’s visible in the previews for tonight’s episode, so it does not appear he’s been immediately removed from the show.
Látigo vs Atomic Star, mask vs hair (MDA @ 11/17, 18:40, great, mluchatv)
Rating all of these matches on a linear scale is silly most of the time. It extra silly for this match. This match is heavy on the drama and low on the literal in-ring action; they spend most of the match everywhere but in between the ropes. If you’re looking for the Latigo from AAA, you’d probably be disappointed. If you’re looking for something that is all blood and crowd brawling, it’s a lot more your taste than it totally was mine. The effort was still great, they did the style they were going to the best of their abilities, and it only got better as the interlopers disappeared from the match. (The first six or so minutes are necessary to set the stage, but kind of a drag because Latigo just gets nothing for most of it. Ending it with an actual pinfall attempt helped a lot; Atomic Star was just beating Latigo to beat him, he had a plan on how he was going to win and Latigo was just too much.) The crowd brawling was really good, they did a wonderful job setting up a table spot and making you forget about it, and they had a lot of big spots even outside the ring. It could’ve used a bit more inside of it, going to the ref shenanigans quickly once they got back into the ring and not really giving time to tease much of a finish before then. This doesn’t quite reach the top tier of Naucalpan apuesta matches, it still is a spectacle.
La Metálicavs La Magnificain a lightning match (CMLL @ 11/17, 7:55, double underhook piledriver, good,thecubsfan)
There was no way this was going to be a match of the year level match and it probably isn’t something that belongs in the watch later pile. I was just curious if it was possible to have a good women’s match in 2019 outside of the usual people and this lightning match seemed like the most likely choice. I think it was good, it’s possible my standards have fallen and I’m more willing to overlook things like obvious spot calling to find something to enjoy. They do a lot, it looks impressive – Magnifica holds up Metalica a long time on a Devil’s Wings – and it all hangs together. There’s probably a better match to be had and Magnifica desperately needs a big gimmick to make up for her lack of charisma.
This is just highlights. It looked great, worth noting it happened and it’s worth a few minutes of your time even if it’s probably not worth rating. The PWG version of this match in 2018 was great, and it seems like a good bet to happen in 2020. Hopefully, the crowd is into as the Torreon crowd seemed here.
Flamita vs Puma Kingvs Rey Horus (MexaWrestling @ 12/07, 14:06, good, mluchatv)
There are some three-way sequences and some comedy that relies on this having three people that makes this fun. It justified having three people in the match, but this still felt like a little bit silly triangle match that would’ve been better with just any two people. It did make for an easier match and it was still enjoyable but it reads a little better than it turned out.
El Bandido vs Aramis (MexaWrestling @ 12/07, 18:41, great, mluchatv)
I watched this originally on my phone while slowly pacing around auxiliary gym waiting for Will Ospreay to finishing sign autographs for a long line of people. (I was not in line, I did not get a Will Ospreay autograph.) It’s only rewatching it later where I could tell how bruised Bandido looked from colliding with an armrest near the end of the match. It was impressive that he finished with as much as they did give how ugly that looked. This match seemed great the first time, though it had lost something on the rewatch and then it just turned out they were better as it went on both times. It’s Aramis having his PWG audition match with Bandido after he’s already in PWG, basically. It’s also Bandido being the international star measuring post for Mexican indie standout Aramis, two years after Bandido was the Mexican indie standout being tested by international star Flamita in this same building. Aramis seems farther along than Bandido was at that point, better at stringing together matches to build to something than 2017 Bandido, but the massive leap Bandido took in 2018 is hard to replicate. Aramis & Bandido had some ideas which didn’t completely come together, especially early on, and Aramis either figuring out what his limits are or raising those limits to pull off all the creative stuff he tries is the obvious place for him to improve in 2020. The announcers were raving about this as the match of the year and it felt a little short of that because some shaky parts, but it is the best example of how far Aramis has already come.
Titán vs Soberano Jr.for the CMLL World Welterweight Championship and in a tournament final match (CMLL @ 12/08, 28:01, excellent,thecubsfan)
An epic match which worked as well for the people coming to root on these guys as the tourists who wandered into Arena Mexico not expecting to see a thirty-minute match. (A thirty-minute plus match; the announcers said thirty-seven, which isn’t always accurate, but even I can pick up a couple of the edits.) This wasn’t the big move, two count, rest break, kind of epic that’s defined CMLL matches in this decade either. Soberano and Titan did get to those moves, but it never felt like that was the whole match. They might have done less dives than an average lighting match and they made them count when they got them in. The first two falls were as technical as CMLL title matches tend to get and they kept sprinkling in the battles of holds over time. There were no destroyers to get a quick reaction, but a lot of battling over smaller stuff to give mini victories. (Titan never used either of his normal finishes, using the double stomp that’s since become his finish.) This was a depth and variety of match that it didn’t seem like Soberano was capable of before, and he deserves credit for growing a luchador. Titan’s been the best CMLL luchador overall this year. He’s had great opportunities working with guys like Templario & Cavernario he’s delivered when giving those chances.