CMLL , NJPW (THU) 01/16/2020 Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan [CMLL, NJPW]
1) Fuego & Ryusuke Taguchi b Douki & Namajague
7:22. Fuego beat DOUKI
2) El Audaz & Guerrero Maya Jr. b Kanemaru & Luciferno
10:18. Audaz beat Luciferno via moonsault.
3) Bushi, EVIL, Takagi b Dulce Gardenia, Flyer, Hiroshi Tanahashi
11:01. EVIL defeated Dulce via Pumping Bomber.
4) Forastero & Okumura b Stuka Jr. & Titán
9:06. Forastero beat Titan.
5) Bárbaro Cavernario & Último Guerrero b Carístico & Kojima
13:03. Cavernario submitted Caristico via caverneria
6) Cuatrero & Sansón b Euforia & Soberano Jr. [CMLL FAMILY, semifinal]
9:30 Cuatrero beat Soberano via inverted bear hug
7) Ángel de Oro & Niebla Roja b Negro Casas & Tiger [CMLL FAMILY, semifinal]
12:55. Niebla Roja defeated Tiger via reverse campana
I heard good things about the NGD/Euforia/Soberano tag match. I’m hoping to watch this tonight.
Those results mean tomorrow morning’s show will be headlined by Angel de Oro & Niebla Roja versus Sanson & Cuatrero in the tournament final. The Chavez brothers should win this leading into the trios title match, but the Chavez brothers winning over NGD is always in doubt. Euforia & Soberano vs Tiger & Negro Casas should be a fun third-place bout. The other spotlight match is Titan versus Forastero. Forastero did have a good singles match with Cavernario, maybe Titan can pull out the same.
The rest is about the same as today. Caristico & Kojima face Cavernario & Ultimo Guerrero in an exact rematch, where we’d expect Kojima to pin UG this time. Audaz jumps into the Dulce Gardenia/Hiroshi Tanahashi team this time around against LIJ. The tecnicos need to pick up a win if they want a title shot, but it seems unlikely. The openers are similar people with the names moved around a bit. The show will start at 3:30 am central on NJPW World and will be available for VOD.
At the very end of CMLL Informa yesterday, CMLL introduced Principe Diamante with a new look and new name. He is now Diamond in familiar silver gear. The immediate takeaway is Hijo del Santo’s mention of reconciliation with CMLL must be dead, because there’s no chance of him returning while CMLL is promoting someone stealing his look. It’s more than just the silver color. The shape of the opening on the mask and the cape are clones of the classic El Santo look, the most famous gear in all of lucha libre.
CMLL tried the same concept last decade: Diamante Azul was reformatted and named changed to appear like Blue Demon, while (now Dragon Gate champion) Diamante got a silver makeover. It did not seem to help either man at all. There’s a chance it may work better now. CMLL’s focus on drawing people who’ve never seen lucha libre may mean those people have a vague knowledge of El Santo and will easily believe Diamond is him or a relative. Those casual fans might also be confused why he’s being booed so heavily because Diamond will be rejected by the diehard fans for being a knockoff. It’d be near impossible for Diamond to reject this character, he’d never escape the early matches otherwise. He just now may never escape the middle matches.
CMLL had sent Principe Diamante out to do media interviews earlier in the day but did not have him promote the name change. The priority was to make news for Informa, the show watched by the least amount of people. (Even the in-studio attendance appeared low this past week.) Principe Diamante is not listed on any upcoming cards at this moment.
AAA announced Pagano, Dr. Wagner Jr. and Hijo del Vikingo for the Impact tapings this Friday & Saturday in Mexico City. Psycho Clown’s suggested he’ll be on the shows as well, and I’m sure there will be others. These shows are typically irrelevant for the Mexican talent, just used to fit into the main roster’s storylines, but Vikingo is worth keeping track of. Hijo del Vikingo in AEW is one of those dream concepts since the promotion was announced a year ago. It hasn’t happened yet. Impact has used Vikingo when in Mexico and had some interest in bringing him into WrestleMania weekend last year. They have another show this year and Impact’s all about trying to find a way to get attention in a crowded market. He’ll need a visa to wrestle in the US, Impact can get people, and visas can open up other possibilities for work in the US. It’s worth watching to see if there’s anything set up for Vikingo out of these tapings this time around; Impact likely needs to make a now decision about using him April to accommodate the long time it takes to get a US visa.
I haven’t seen the poster publically posted yet, but this Facebook page has a video promoting AAA taping in Guadalajara on 02/22. That would be the third taping of the year.
AAA posted a video from Mascarita Dorada, asking if he should keep that name or go back to Mascarita Sagrada. There was a bit on Guerra de Titanes where Demus stole Dorada’s mask but a child gave him a Sagrada mask. Mascarita Sagrada has been used by many wrestlers in AAA’s history and it’s an Antonio Pena created character, so their preference is clear.
AAA’s posts a lot of slightly older footage on their Facebook and more La Parka stuff recently. Yesterday, they put the video of La Parka introducing his son from one year ago. I think everyone expects Karis la Momia Jr. to become La Parka Jr. in short order. That seemed like the plan all along. AAA ought to be careful in managing expectations for that.
Last week’s Wrestling Observer had an AAA section was a lot of Konnan explaining his angles to Dave Meltzer and Meltzer transcribing it. The concept behind AAA’s Faccion Ingobernable is they’re meant to be The Best of CMLL (Rush) & The Best of The Indies (LA Park) teaming up to take down AAA, and then they invited Konnan & Kross to be part of it. It makes some sense, but (as I wrote before) including guys who’ve been on AAA TV like Konnan & Kross right away dulls the edge of it being any pseudo-promotion versus promotion war. It’s hard to distinguish between this concept and when WWE put the McMahon children as the heads of the invading WCW & ECW groups.
Konnan believes Kenny Omega was so over in Monterrey because AAA’s announcers had done such a good job of building him up and putting him over as the best guy in the world.
Martinez Entertainment is hosting a Konnan tryout on 02/15. It’s $50 a person. +LuchaTV brought this up on their podcast, saying people could earn spots in AAA, MLW or AEW. I think the last one might be a mistake since Konnan doesn’t seem to work with AEW, though he could surely recommend someone if they asked. This is not related to the tryouts but writing about Martinez reminds me how much JMG has praised Lil Cholo & Mariachi Loco for their work there. They’ve really impressed him.
AAW announced Aramis & Juventud Guerrera vs Jake Crist & Sami Callihan for their January 24th show. Aramis works on Guerrera’s Super X shows so there is a relationship there. I thought AAW would just put Aramis in a scramble so this is a bit more high profile. Another US promotion will be announcing an Aramis match tonight.
Chris Van Vliet has an interview with Vampiro. I wrote about 2,000 words on it, which felt like too much. Give Chris Van Vliet some YouTube time if you want to know everything Vampiro had to say. There is some lucha relevant stuff and I’ll go with that part. This was appears taped a few weeks back.
Vampiro says he was brought into this last year’s TripleMania thinking he was a commentator and surprised to find out he was an announcer. He also says no one knew he was there. If you recall, the situation was Vampiro announced he’d be an announcer, while AAA was quietly telling people Vampiro would not be announcing. Everyone knew he was going to be there, but it is possible (and probable) AAA had Vampiro convinced he was going to be announcing just to make sure he’d get to the building.
Vampiro says Lucha Underground ended because of lack of communication and too many people in charge. Vampiro feels the biggest mistake was not going on tour after Season 1. The talent going elsewhere after season 3, looking out for themselves made sense for them but meant doom for the show. (This is a reasonable take!) He feels Lucha Underground may not have been successful, but there would be no AEW without Lucha Underground. LU opened the fan’s minds to wrestling outside of WWE, to stuff like “the Kenny Omega YouTube videos” and European wrestling “because a lot of them are better than the lucha style.” Puerto Rico went on fire, Japan had a rebirth and he believes that LU was responsible for it all. Vampiro wasn’t allowed to go to WrestleMania weekend after season 1 of Lucha Underground but Matt Striker told him Pentagon was the most over guy there. He thinks Brian Cage is so impressive that it is ruining it for everyone else. Jeff Cobb and Kevin Kross are praised. Vampiro says he and Pentagon had lunch three weeks prior and he’s so proud of how he’s grown and talked about their families. Pentagon thanked him for that match because it gave him a career.
CMLL (TUE) 01/21/2020 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Explosivo, Fantástico, Mr. Samurai vs Joker, Sádico, Vaquero Jr.
2) Avispa Dorada, La Magnifica, Silueta vs La Comandante, Reina Isis, Tiffany
3) Drone, Esfinge, Magia Blanca vs Disturbio, Ráfaga, Universo 2000 Jr.
4) Fugaz, Kráneo, Volcano vs Dark Magic, Furia Roja, Olímpico
5) Gran Guerrero, Místico, Shocker vs Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Valiente [Relevos Increíbles]
The Tuesday card has been slow to turn up for the last few weeks but quick this time. Volador is the missing name from the six who’ve handled most of the main events this stretch, so he’s likely on the Arena Mexico show.
Note the third includes the return of Magia Blanca. He was injured again in November in a match with Nitro. He did wrestler on Christmas back in Torreon.