IWRG: 2020-02-23

Alebrije over the barricade

Recapped: 2020-03-30

Matches:

Alas de Oro, Alas De Plata, Puma de Oro beat Hip Hop Man, Mosca, Rey Halcón Jr.
(17:42, ok, +LuchaTV)

What Happened: Mosca & Hip Hop Man beat up Halcon for taking the loss.

Review: The action here was fine, no major problems, but the pace was slow and the rudos seemed that way in name only. Hip Hop Man did the most at that (though he wanted no part of being posted), but Halcon seemed on the wrong side. Alas de Oro & Plata did little teamwork for a set duo.

Halcon de Oro being tricky

Black Dragón, Eragón, Hijo del Alebrije beat Canival King, Death Metal, Toxin
(17:36, ok, mluchatv)

What Happened: Death Metal gave Black Dragon a martinete for the DQ.

Review: It’s a long way to go for a DQ finish, but this does do a lot to heat up the Black Dragon/Death Metal feud. They bled and brawled all match, and it came off as a big issue going into their hair match feud. (I’m now more disappointed it wasn’t better.) The other four ware fine but nothing special but the focus was very IWRG.

Big Chico Che, Big Mike, Big Ovett beat Capo del Norte, Capo del Sur, Lunatik Xtreme
(10:10, ok, mluchatv)

The role of the Capos here was to bump around for the Big Strippers, and they didn’t even do that well. They also struggled at standing close enough to the ring to catch dives. Lunatik Exterme at least took the finish great. These matches are all about the same but I got the least out of these easily.

Strippers Big fun

Puma King, Relámpago, Shun Skywalker beat Demonio Infernal, Fuerza Guerrera NG, Súper Nova
(17:08, good, mluchatv)

The main event had no particular story to it, but the action was good and the match held together well. Demonio Infernal & Puma King had some serious exchanged which felt like they could’ve done a lot more with a spotlight. This is a borderline match, getting a higher grade maybe because I just wanted to like something.

Relampago hits Super Nova while flying by

Velasquez, food drives, other notes

This is normally a busy week in lucha libre. Tomorrow is Kid’s Day, which would’ve led to a high volume of shows this weekend across Mexico. (CMLL is sending out Kid’s Day wishes on YouTube instead.) There’s no new solid information about when things may resume. Mexico’s president said today that some regions of Mexico may begin to open up on May 17th. Those would be the areas least affected by the virus. It has hit hardest in Mexico City, about 25% of all cases, and so the location of much of the major league wrestling seems unlikely to be included in that group opening up. A new report on the virus is due tomorrow, and dates may be adjusted again after it.

Cain Velasquez was apparently cut by WWE recently. It’s strange for WWE to release a high profile name without mentioning it, but Velasquez’s whole short tenure with WWE was strange. He had signed a three-year deal in October, made it about six months, and wrestled twice. He never wrestled in the US for the promotion, instead just in one Saudi Arabia show (a short loss to Brock Lesnar) and the annual Mexico City stop. Velasquez was signed so AEW could not sign him, so WWE could do the rematch with Lesnar and because Velasquez had buzz coming off appearing on AAA’s TripleMania and New York show, but it was immediately evident that WWE had no interest in Cain as he had gotten over in AAA – and after he lost to Lesnar, no interest in him at all. Velasquez use in WWE has diminished the buzz he had; I think it’s possible AAA would bring him in once again if they’re able to have something like a normal TripleMania again this year.

El Fantasma hosted a food/basic necessities drive at the offices of the lucha libre commission on Monday. Current luchadors, retired luchadors, and referees were given items. R de Rudo’s article has Super Porky and CMLL referee Tigre Infante pictured. The Gladiatores shows more people and includes India Sioux & La Marquesa thanking for the help.

The AMLL group of promotions based in Torreon also gave out food to wrestlers.

Gran Hamada will be honored on August 29th show in Guadalajara’s Arena Verdugo Nazi.

A short article on Tribuna better explains the whole Cibernetico paternity situation; at least one side believes this is more about child support payments then the child. Sabrina Sabrok & Erik Farjeat had a daughter, they divorced, Farjeat wants the child and those child support payments, Sabrok believes he’s using the girl for the money and that he’s not even really the father – that’s where Cibernetico came in. Last week, this news was dropped shockingly on Cibernetico and he wanted nothing to do with it. This week, Cibernetico has changed his mind and is now willing to the DNA test because he disapproves of Farjeat.

Box Y Lucha continues to post their El Arbitro articles Antonio Pena articles with part 2, part 3, and part 4. They are highly entertaining.

IWRG: 2020-02-16

(and so I start looking through some 2020 for IWRG just to see what I can find. This is going from the Bandido show to the empty arena show – or maybe not exactly, because I can’t get myself to watch a bonus empty arena show.)

seemed less than safe, so normal for a Copa Higher Power

Recapped: 03/29/2020

Matches:

Mary Caporal & Miss Delicious beat Lady Cat & Miku
(10:25, ok, +LuchaTV)

There’s a 25 second stretch in this match where Miku is kneeling on the top turnbuckle, waiting for her opponents to both get up and get in position. They’re very slow up after Lady Cat’s dive for some reason, and then they’re still in the wrong corner. The dive looks fine, and that’s just generally the level of these matches. There are sequences that go well, but they struggle connecting those sequences, and when more than two people are involved. There are also sequences that don’t go quite as well. This seems, at this point like an issue more of repetition than hopelessness so maybe they just need time. Still, while they tried for a lot more than a CMLL women’s match, there were more obvious issues; I’m being overly generous going with OK.

teamwork

Ambu, Hijo De Payaso Purasanta, Manchas, Pantera Jr., Payaso Purasanta, Rayado, Rudigo, Verzal beat Águila Oriental Jr., Chef Benito, Chicanito, Legendario, Lunatik Extreme, Puma de Oro, Rey Halcón, Voltrex in a Copa Higher Power
(27:17, ok, mluchatv)

This isn’t really good and rarely memorable, but I had been warned it wasn’t much good and ended up pleasantly surprised but it just being boring. The Welcome to Mi Barrio guys don’t really stand out in a way where I feel like I need to see them again, with the guy left at the end being an unimpressive pick for that position. The match takes forever to really get going because they keep doing brawls on the outside and the first few eliminations are messy, but there’s been worse.

Shun Skywalker went to a draw with Súper Nova
(14:57, good, mluchatv)

This match felt like the opening match of a longer feud, though not one they really got back to before the shutdown. Shun is obviously very good and been given few interesting matches in Mexico. Super Nova gets to show more here as a singles than usual and they have some decent chemistry. It just never really gets anywhere. The ankle injury bit derails the match a bit, though it does seem to have some purpose in setting up why Nova can’t make it back in by twenty. No real reason Shun can’t though. This is a countout finish, and those finishes are tough to take seriously in a promotion where they brawl outside for minutes at a time with no consequence.

shun

El Bandido & Fuerza Guerrera NG beat Emperador Azteca & Toxin
(22:28, good, mluchatv)

The main event is enjoyable but not particularly satisfying. The crowd cares about Bandido, they go through the steps of a big IWRG match, but it never really feels like it builds in a way. It’s a CMLL big match in the transition to a numbing amount of near falls which don’t feel like they mean much. The tag format might actually make it works because the point because to rotate through everyone having a turn than either side having much control. Maybe I’m expecting something out of these matches that just aren’t going to happen but this left me unsatisfied; it was enjoyable but there’s much better Bandido stuff to watch. They seemed to be going for a great one of those but didn’t really put it together.

Bandido on his off day

Lucha Fighter episode 2, LA Park injury, Mr. Niebla’s widow critical of CMLL

AAA , FIGHTER (SAT) 04/18/2020 Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal [+LuchaTV week 2ESTO week 2Factor4 week 2Furia de Titanes week 2Lucha Central week 2R de Rudo week 2]
8) Big Mami b Vanilla LUCHA LIBRE AAA: Lucha Fighter LIVE | EPISODIO 2 #QuédateEnCasa (posted by Lucha Libre AAA)
5:39. Mami beat Vanilla. Maravilla attacked Mami with Faby Apache making the save.
9) Lady Maravilla b Keyra LUCHA LIBRE AAA: Lucha Fighter LIVE | EPISODIO 2 #QuédateEnCasa (posted by Lucha Libre AAA)
7:13. Maravilla submitted Keyra to a back bridge cradle. Mami attacked both Maravilla and Keyra. Maravilla earlier declared she’d be mixed tag champion for years to come.
10) Lady Shani b Faby Apache LUCHA LIBRE AAA: Lucha Fighter LIVE | EPISODIO 2 #QuédateEnCasa (posted by Lucha Libre AAA)
8:05. Shani beat Apache with a powerbomb and a cradle.
11) Chessman b Myzteziz Jr. LUCHA LIBRE AAA: Lucha Fighter LIVE | EPISODIO 2 #QuédateEnCasa (posted by Lucha Libre AAA)
7:11. Chessman beat Myzteziz with a spear. Laredo Kid attacked Chessman and Carta Brava Jr. made a failed slave.
12) LA Park b Laredo Kid LUCHA LIBRE AAA: Lucha Fighter LIVE | EPISODIO 2 #QuédateEnCasa (posted by Lucha Libre AAA)
10:35. LA Park was a surprise. LA Park won via hanging DDT, but later reported he suffered a fractured tailbone and a toe.
13) Pagano b Octagón Jr. LUCHA LIBRE AAA: Lucha Fighter LIVE | EPISODIO 2 #QuédateEnCasa (posted by Lucha Libre AAA)
4:43. Pagano beat Octagon Jr. with a rebound inverted suplex. Chessman attacked after.
14) Pentagón Jr. b Niño Hamburguesa LUCHA LIBRE AAA: Lucha Fighter LIVE | EPISODIO 2 #QuédateEnCasa (posted by Lucha Libre AAA)
8:26. Pentagon won with a top rope double stomp and then praised Hamburguesa. Pentagon was revealed as a surprise earlier.

This was a weaker overall show but it wasn’t bad. LA Park/Laredo Kid was very strong. Pentagon/Hamburguesa was fun in a non-traditional big match way. There were a lot of run-ins to set up storylines, likely leading to some non-tournament matches in the next couple of weeks.

Sunday night, LA Park posted that he fractured his tailbone and toe in the match with Laredo Kid, but would still continue in the tournament. (I noticed this from David Chairez’ Twitter post, but other people following LA Park had it too.) LA Park has since scrubbed the post from his Facebook. LA Park is a man who retweets and reposts every mention of himself on social media so you can still see those posts responding to his post on Facebook; it’s not an entirely thorough scrubbing. (You need to count to 20 at least!)

The issue here is LA Park somewhat gave away the taped nature of the shows by revealing his injury. He has had the injury for a week, if they shows were all taped together last weekend as believed, and acknowledging the injury after it happened is not a problem in itself. LA Park saying he was going to continue in the tournament seems like more of an issue: either AAA has to admit they’ve taped those matches already or AAA has to pretend they’re asking a fifty-year-old luchador to fly back and forth from Mexico City the next two weeks on a broken tailbone and with a foot in a boot. Whatever you want to think of AAA, they’re not that cruel, but they look that cruel if LA Park publicizes the injury now. So the injury needs to go away for two weeks.

A broken tailbone can take between 8-12 weeks to heal, though LA Park seemed to be more concerned about the toe and so maybe the tailbone is not a severe as is reads. It does seem like might not see LA Park again after this tournament ends until July, even if lucha libre is going on before then.

A photo of a woman using a Lady Shani mask as protection in Merida got a lot of attention in Mexico over the weekend. Some of it was less than polite, but Shani says she felt honored by the gesture and is looking for help locating the woman.

Mas Lucha Torneo Supremo started on Saturday. New matches are going up at 9 pm CT, except Saturdays will go up at 10 pm CT (right after Lucha Fighter), and all the matches are going into a playlist. Arez vs Payaso Purasanta Jr. will air tonight.

I’m going to eventually write about these in more detail. For now, I’ve only watched the Demonio Infernal versus Ciclope match. The production quality on these are high and there seems to be a focused intent on showcasing the various personality, but it does come off as almost too much. The second episode, with Ricky Marvin and Miedo Extremo, is apparently a twelve-minute match where the entire video lasts thirty-eight minutes. That’s asking out of a lot out of people and makes it hard to recommend to sample for people who aren’t already in. The Infernal/Ciclope match was a weird choice to kick off the tournament. The wrestling seemed fine, there was no issue there. The finish was confusing, with run-ins with characters who’d not be seen on that program, as part of continuing feuds in promotions like Lucha Libre Vanguardia & Welcome to Mi Barrio. It sent the message that this was more for someone who just absorbs all of +LuchaTV programming and not for casual lucha libre fans (or even casual indie lucha libre fans) and that you should be prepared to get disappointing finishes. I’m guessing the entire tournament won’t be that way – it sounds like Marvin/Extremo was not – but that’s why making it the run-in heavy match pick for episode 1 was so strange.

+LuchaTV has columns defending the Guadalajara promotion that has children wrestling (they’re trained, there are kids playing other sports) and the case against empty arena shows, which is obviously a surprising thing to read on a site promoting their own empty arena show.

Pasala has an interview with Mariela Rodriguez, the widow of Mr. Niebla. He passed away last December 23 and she’s upset with the treatment CMLL offered him. She says Niebla suffered an elbow injury in Oaxaca, where liquid came out. Kraneo, who also works as a chiropractor, saw the injury and told Niebla he had an infection. Rodriguez told CMLL Chief of Medical Services Omar Palacios that Niebla was still ill, and Palacio insisted Niebla only had a high temperature and no infection. Niebla apparently later got checked on elsewhere and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and kidney failure. Rodriguez feels Palacios didn’t listen to her or her husband’s concerns, didn’t sound the necessary alarms, never apologized, and didn’t even show to the funereal – though that part was probably for the best since she’s not sure how she would’ve reacted. Pasala writes Omar Palacios was recommended to CMLL by Brazo de Oro and believes he is technically a physical therapist, not a doctor. They also pass on a rumor that Palacios was close to being removed from his position, but was saved when the Lutteroths took control of the company from Sofia Alonso.

CMLL has an interview with Rayo de Jalisco about the 64th Anniversary of Arena Mexico (which is today.) It is unclear why Julio Cesar Rivera is traveling to Arena Mexico to have video interviews with people not at Arena Mexico. There’s also a 100 questions with Soberano segment.

Arena Mexico reaches 64 years of life today. Ovaciones has a bit of history about the opening on the building, on a Saturday in 1956. There’s a great bit about how they test the resistance of the building. The current capacity of 16,750. The original Arena Mexico (originally Arena Modelo) is listed at 4,500 people. CMLL is also starting a video series.

Marca has an interview with Cinta de Oro/Sin Cara, about a wide range of topics. He says he left WWE because he didn’t feel he was getting any opportunities. He does appreciate other latinos have gotten chances and he’s not envious of them. He’s asked if there is racism in WWE and says he doesn’t know, but the only Mexican born luchador who’s gotten to the top has been Alberto del Rio and even he had issues dealing with racist behavior. Cinta de Oro says the original Cinta de Oro’s family gave him permission to use the name and he’d have no problem with Cinta de Oro Jr. using it – he wasn’t going to call himself a Junior – and seem to feel the issues have been more Cinta de Oro Jr/Steven Juarez using it for publicity. Cinta de Oro says there’s are possibility he’ll return to AAA, but he has lots of independent opportunities once the quarantine lifts and would work with CMLL or NJPW if they were interested. Cinta de Oro says he got into four fights while in WWE but everything went back to normal soon after each, and that his son has Olympic wrestling aspirations.

Warrior Steel II (Refugio Duran), passed away Saturday morning. The Warrior Steel (occasionally Steel Warrior or other translations) team worked indies and early matches from both UWA/LLI and CMLL in the early 90s. Furia de Titanes mentions he also used the names of Magnicidio & American Star. Warrior Steel II was most recently the promoter of small arena Arena 2 de Junio in Mexico City. He wrestled there, most recently on March 8th. Warrior Steel II is also the father of current CMLL luchador Volcano, who was previously wrestling as Warrior Steel Jr.

Tamaulipas luchador Flash (Felix Guerrero Aguilar) has passed away. Box Y Lucha also reports Isaias Noriega Alcantara, a photographer for various magazines, passed away last Monday at the age of 69.

Box Y Lucha has been posting old columns from Dr. Rafael Olivera Figueroa, who passed away recently. It’s a fantastic use of their archives. One of the ones from this weekend is the story of the first time he meant Antonio Pena.

The stories on Hijo del Soberano and Puebla’s Gato Gris making face masks have gone viral. The demand for Soberano’s mask is so high that he’s been able to buy another machine and hire two more people.

Ring of Honor has a video of Dragon Lee talking about his masks.

Segunda Caida writes about LA Park vs PCO from MLW.

DTU’s Black Fire is going to be doing a training seminar on the promotion’s Facebook tomorrow at 8 pm.

The Fuerza Guerrera Jr. lead 05/01 empty arena show is now a 50 pesos PPV, though it appears that may be a recommended and not required price. No matches announced.

+LuchaTV will be airing a Tijuana empty arena show on May 3rd.

An interview with Morelos’ Magic Boy.

Dr. Morales talks about Mil Mascaras’ career. I have hot takes on Mil Mascaras’ career after reading through those magazines but those must be saved for another time.

NVI Noticas has a slight history of luchadoras in Oaxaca.

Both the Tampico “empty arena show” (backyard match) and the Arena Union Veracruz empty arena shows are up on Facebook.

AAA Lucha Fighter (1×2): 2020-04-25

Laredo Kid Spanish Fly

Recapped: 2020-04-25

Matches:

Big Mami beat Vanilla
(5:39, Gori Special, below average, 00:14:26)

Lady Maravilla beat Keyra
(7:13, Maravilla back bridge neck crank, ok, 00:28:27)

Lady Shani beat Faby Apache
(8:05, powerbomb, bridge cradle, good, 00:45:03)

Chessman beat Myzteziz Jr.
(7:11, spear, ok, 01:00:14)

LA Park beat Laredo Kid
(10:35, hanging DDT, great, 01:17:22)

Pagano beat Octagón Jr.
(4:43, rebound inverted suplex, ok, 01:35:44)

Pentagón Jr. beat Niño Hamburguesa
(8:26, top rope double stomp, good, 01:47:50)

What happened: 

amigas

Lady Maravilla did a promo about beating mixed tag champion with Villano III for years to come. It seemed only to exist to set up a mixed tag title match to come. She also attacked Big Mami after her match (with Faby Apache making the save), only for Mami to do the same to her and Keyra after her match.

Laredo Kid attacked Chessman after his match for no explained reasons. Carta Brava Jr. ran out for the save, only for Laredo Kid to attack both of them. This bit made no sense. Myzteziz was laying hurt on the mat being checked on (though seemed fine late), so perhaps his part was missing wand would’ve explained it.

Lucha Fighter did a more thorough job of explaining the concept, though they’re hazy on some details. It remains a single-elimination tournament. Next week is the semifinals, which makes sense for the women’s tournament (four people left) but not the minis (two people left) or the men (eight people left.) The minis could just be skipped. The size of the men’s field suggests AAA is going to sidestep having to pin most of these people by doing a non-elimination four-way match or a battle royal similar to Lucha Capital. It also leaves open a question of what would be left for the final week – surely it can’t only be the three final matches.

There were many run-ins on the show, nearly one after most matches. Many seemed to have little or no purpose on this episode. (Also, if we’re to believe this was live, as insisted by the announcers, that meant AAA had Carta Brava Jr. come to a show he didn’t have a match on, simply to catch a dive. That seems non-essential.)

The announcing did mention some of the people’s donations via SuperChat, so either the commentary was live or they had people working the chat room.

Those still alive:

  • Men: Hijo del Vikingo, Dr. Wagner Jr., Texano Jr., Psycho Clown, Chessman, LA Park, Pagano, and Pentagon Jr.
  • Women: La Hiedra, Big Mami, Lady Maravilla, Lady Shani
  • Minis: Laredo Boy, Dinasita

Thoughts:

Faby may be the best

The main event was truly an extended squash. Hamburguesa got in offense solely to prolong the match. He was never in danger of actually winning a thing. He was only in danger of suffering, the suffered Pentagon was more than happy to provide. Pentagon showed respect to Hamburguesa before and after the match, while enjoying destroying him in between it. He had fun doing it and the joy was infectious.

I will never think about Pagano & Octagon Jr. again. It was fine for a TV match. Pagano worked a technical style and nothing went wrong. Octagon was steadier than his teammate Myzteziz but didn’t steal the show.

They took away the crowd, so LA Park could not brawl among them, could not rely on them to go nuts for spots, could not steal the drink trays in between. LA Park still did great. It’s like he’s a great wrestler. He did a great number of things with Laredo Kid that I was sure were not happening when the match started, especially taking the Spanish Fly spot. LA Park also seemed to be watching his Kenny Omega taped judging by the V-Trigger spots. I doubt we’ll ever get an interview with LA Park where he’s totally open and introspective about his wrestling thoughts but he seems like a guy who makes a point of adapting his style to the times. He adapted to the situation here, going heavier on the action in a short time. Laredo helped a lot, sold big, wasn’t totally hurt by this, but this was another LA Park show. (It’s also got to be the shortest LA Park singles match in quite a while.)

Chessman rare singles TV matches in the last decade have tended to be lumbering brawls, and he’s not looked like his younger self in basing for tecnicos. It was a pleasant surprise to get him doing as much as he did for Myzteziz Jr. in their match. The tecnico seemed a little hesitant at times, but Chessman was right there with him for his high spots. Maybe Chessman getting the win motivated him, but he came off as the better guy of the two in the match.

Chessman doing this at a decent rate of speed, as opposed to the slower CMLL version

The best women’s match was easily the Shani/Apache encounter. Shani’s progressed that she can go hold for hold with Faby. She’s also not afraid to kick hard, knowing the hard kick is coming back the other way. Faby teasing being stopped early by a shoulder injury seemed like a bad sign – not that she was actually hurt, but that it felt like a veteran who was very unhappy about being asked to lose and might tank the match – but she did great as a sarcastic ruda here. Clapping on the tapatia for the non-existent fans was nice. They mixed up what they did well, and Faby can still go at a high level.

The running theory on Dr. Wagner’s tired performance last week is it was actually his second or third match that night, with AAA quietly having taped earlier that day. That might have happened with Lady Maravilla too. Or maybe she was just gassed from the run-in prior, or not having wrestled for a month, because she looked exhausted early on. She got a second win later on, but Keyra carried most of a match that doesn’t really live up to the ones they’ve had in the past (or might again in the future.) The kicks to the face were nice and the last few minutes were good, but better is expected here.

Vanilla is a limited wrestler. Big Mami is a very limited wrestler. Putting them in a cold match was not ideal. Mami’s limitations are easier to overlook in a bloody match where she’s fighting for her life with the crowd rooting her on. The empty arena just showcased her kicks that came nowhere close to the intended target and struggles selling. Vanilla probably can be carried to a good match with a strong opponent but wasn’t the person who could make this Mami match work. In a better situation, Mami is left out of a tournament like this entirely; she’s instead wrestling at least two matches (and maybe a third based on the promos.)

Lucha Fighter episode 2, notes on the first show, Arena Lopez Mateos

The second episode of Lucha Fighter airs Saturday at 8pm CT. It’s billed as live and listed on YouTube as airing live, though it is believed to be taped already. AAA has indicated Nino Hamburguesa, Myzteziz, Lady Maravilla, and Lady Shani will be on the show. Octagon Jr., Chessman, and Pagano have also been announced for the tournament and haven’t wrestled on the men’s side, so they’re probably in action. Matches are unclear, though that’s maybe the idea if they’re going to do fan polls. How fan polls are going to work for matches that have been taped is above my pay grade.

On Keepin’ It 100, the hosts discussed the first Lucha Fighter show. AAA was held to a 25 people in the building rule for the show, which dashed a plan to have people around ringside cheering as AEW has done. Konnan booked the show from home though he indicated this isn’t the first time he’s been working on AAA show while not being there. He’s had situations where he sent in voice messages for each match on the AAA card while at an Impact event. Konnan intentionally kept the Lucha Fighter matches short, both to keep people interested and because a lot of people were coming off a month of not wrestling. Mr. Iguana/Wanger did good numbers, as well as the idea of voting for matches.

The Fantamsa remasking comes up in terms of Disco being amazed Fantasma got paid big money to lose his mask in Mexico and then just gets to put it back on in the US. Konnan’s asked about how those mask losses happen with top stars; he says it’s a negotiation (not an order) and a tough negotiation when it came to Fantasma. In general, it’s typically the wrestler telling a promotion they’d be willing to lose their mask at any time and the promoter getting back to them to hash out the details (time & money) if they want to proceed, though there’s also sometimes where a promotion will make the offer to the wrestler first. That scenario costs more, though typically a promotion is only going to approach someone they believe would be willing to lose for the right price.

Debate has an interview with Mr. Iguana, as part of a series in checking in with how people in different lines of work are doing during the pandemic. He says he had five minutes notice he was going to have the match with Wagner, due to the fan vote, but both really enjoyed it. Iguana says they were all kept separate while waiting to wrestle and the place was disinfected regularly. Iguana says AAA is paying their wrestlers under contract.

Cody Rhodes was answering text messages from fans yesterday. A person got through to ask if AEW would be doing more with AAA, and Cody said he hopes that travel and border issues would be smoother after the crisis passed. Also, “I really like Taurus!”

SuperLuchas has an interview with Hector Guzman, who’s been doing a lot of press to get his donations drive going. (That’s a smart thing to do.) They have been told the building is recommended to be closed for three or four months, “we’ll have to wait until practically August to hold the Anniversary show.” That is notable because of Lucha Memes continuing to promote a show on July 5th in Arena Lopez Mateos (and seemingly selling tickets for the show.) It seems highly unlikely that show will take place on that date given what Guzman says here, but maybe Lucha Memes knows something we don’t or Guzman hasn’t talked to Memes about the situation recently.

The donations Guzman is looking for would go to help fund the Arena Lopez Matoes anniversary show; Guzman says Blue Demon, LA Park and Hijo de LA Park vs Dr. Wagner Jr., Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr. and Galeno del Mal was the planned main event, with people who had made their name internationally but had not been seen in that arena later also being used. They’ve been turned down when asking to run empty arena shows. Arena Lopez Mateos still has maintenance people coming to a couple of days a week, never more than two at a time, to clean, repair and paint. They also want to buy things to improve sanitary conditions when they can run (antibacterial gel dispensers, temperature gauges come up.) Guzman is also considering limiting all shows to two and half hours or less, feeling there’s less a risk of contamination than with the shows going three or four hours like normal.

other empty arena shows

Segunda Caida goes back to 2012 for a Black Terry/Chico Che match.

Box Y Lucha has a 2006 interview with Rambo.

AAA’s Verano de Escandalo rescheduled to September, loans for luchadors, Arena Lopez Matoes fundraiser

Verano de Escandalo was to take place on May 23rd at Morelia’s Palacio del Arte. The ticket website has now changed the date to September 12 in the same building. It’s still listed as Verano de Escandalo, though what it was supposed to be, matches to set up TripleMania, doesn’t work with the new date. It would also mean AAA would have five major shows – TripleMania, Verano de Escandalo, TripleMania Regia, Heroes Inmortales, and Guerra de Titanes – in the final five months of the year. AAA hasn’t acknowledge any date change yet. That seems prudent: it might be worth saying Verano de Escandalo won’t happen in May, but it’s tough to announce new dates when no one’s sure when shows with fans can begin again.

Luchadors, at least those with valid Mexico City wrestling licenses, are now eligible a loan from the government during this pandemic. These are 10,000 ($400 USD) loans being currently given to microbusiness, which will need to be repaid in two years. El Fantasma explained to SuperLuchas that this came out of the meeting with the government including himself and Canibal Jr. & Principe de Seda, who were going to hold a sit in to protest their inability to get independent lucha libre work. Fantasma is helping handle the paperwork at the Mexico City lucha libre commission and is insistent he and the commission will receive nothing. Their only role in the process is to affirm those applying are actually licensed luchadors, they’re going to allow people who’ve let their license expire to participate, and there are even plans to help redirect people who have licenses from other states. This interview seems to have been done Monday, and a hundred people had signed up already.

Fantasma reads frustrated with allegations of using his commissioner position for power or money, though the context is not obvious. In another article about the SuperLuchas, Principe de Seda is said to work within the government and allegedly wants to take over the wrestling commission, causing this protest to appear as more a campaign stunt. Whatever the situation, they all posed together for a photo announcing this deal.

On +LuchaTV’s podcast, Canibal Jr. claimed he lost four bookings a week each week wrestling has been shut down. I have him in nine known matches over the first twelve weeks of the year. Canibal Jr. absolutely has wrestled more than, in smaller shows which aren’t advertised or where I’ve just never come across the lineup. It’s still hard to get to four shows a week from that, and those unadvertised shows tend to also be low paying shows. (In US wrestling, the wrestler joke is getting paid “a hot dog and a handshake” for the bottom of the barrel shows. In Mexico, the joke is those shows are “funciones moleras”; that’s chicken bathed in mole as the payoff. Canibal has leaned into the joke; his organizing Whatsapp group is called Luchadors Moleras.)

Many luchadors in CMLL & AAA, more than most fans realize, work an outside job because even those major promotions don’t pay enough to fully support their luchadors. It’s hard to imagine those at a much lower rung on the ladder being able to support themselves fully via wrestling. Wrestling can be an important secondary income or one of many gigs. Any extra income is welcome and needed right now, when those other gigs may also be impacted. But there also seems to be some creative license about how much impact this is having and a strong desire to return to normal as soon as possible.

There are a few different interviews about the Arena Lopez Mateos situation. The costs in fixing up the building and cleaning it up even after social distancing is over are a big part of the issue. Hector Guzman says the family is considering renting the arena, remodeling it for a different business, or selling the land should they not be able to raise enough money to run an Aniversario show. Asi Sucede also has an interview with Guzman, who mentions Arena Lopez Mateos lost money in 2019 and the outlook has been bleaker in 2020. The donations page is open now. They’ve got 110,000 pesos as the goal but feel like 50,000 pesos would be enough to run a show. There are only a few donations early on. Lucha Libre Store says they’ll donate the revenue from 10 mask and shirt sales to the fundraiser, so maybe check out that site in case there’s anything you want.

+LuchaTV’s podcast has interviews with Guzman and Canibal, as well as talk about the situation in Mexico. They hardly get to talk about their own tournament or Lucha Fighter before time is up (it’s like the last six minutes.)

Mas Lucha officially announced their Torneo Supremo Mas Lucha 2020 tournament in a press release. The tournament will begin to go up on their YouTube channel on April 25th (Saturday). They’ll air a match a day in the 16 man tournament until the final on Sunday May 10th at 9 pm. The press release confirms the tournament was already taped.

Mas Lucha taking donations in a variety of fashion, where all the money will go to the luchadors and the referees. The press release has a variety of methods; people who read this site will likely prefer the Paypal option: https://www.paypal.me/maslucha. There’s also a bunch of sponsors mentioned, so it’s possible the wrestlers and referees will be supported beyond just the donations.

The tournament field is Aramis, Arez, Camuflaje, Cíclope, Corsario Negro Jr., Demonio Infernal, Fresero Jr., Hijo del Alebrije, Hijo del Pirata Morgan, Hip Hop Man, Jitsu, Metaleón, Miedo Extremo, Payaso Purasanta Jr., Ricky Marvin and Súper Nova. Mas Lucha has teased a tournament bracket but hasn’t announced the match ups yet.

On his podcast, Dave Meltzer reported the AAA Lucha Fighter shows have all been taped. A wrestler hinted at this as well. AAA continues to promote the show as airing live. My impression is Saturday’s opening show aired live, but they taped other shows before and after it that weekend. Taping in bulk is the far safer option for everyone involved. It’s not great AAA is advertising taped shows as live but it’s a fine tradeoff for minimizing exposure.

The YouTube polls AAA ran were legit but also done in a way where the outcome didn’t matter; the four people Hijo del Vikingo could’ve faced were all luchadors who all ended up losing a first-round match. There is no bracket, so AAA could fairly offer the fans the option of picking who faced Vikingo (and the other winners) without having to adjust their plans. That’s going to be tougher on future shows; perhaps they’ll change the polls to asking fans who they believe will win rather than picking matches.

El Sol del Puebla checks in with Arena Puebla administrator Benjamin Mar, who is in the same waiting pattern to come back as everyone else. The arena is open a couple of days a week for cleaning and not much more. Mar says ticket revenue is typically between 130,000 and 160,000 Mexican Pesos ($5300 to $6500 USD) per night, and so he figures they’ve lost out on a million pesos by now. The Arena Puebla anniversary show is scheduled for on 07/18, and he hopes to be back to 100% by then (and before then.)

A promotion in Zacatecas is looking for governmental approval to run empty arena shows using local and nearby talent every two to three weeks. Facebook page Tampico Lucha Page is going to air a backyard match on Friday night. There’s an empty arena show scheduled for Guadalajara on May 3rd.

Function Estelar has an interview with DTU luchador Blaze.

AAA Lucha Fighter episode 1, Wagner back in AAA (for now), Sin Cara/Cinta de Oro

AAA , FIGTHER (SAT) 04/18/2020 Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal [+LuchaTVAAAAAA (Highlights)ESTOthecubsfan]
1) Dinastía b Octagoncito Lucha Fighter LIVE | EPISODIO 1 #QuédateEnCasa #Conmigo (posted by Lucha Libre AAA)
8:49. Spanish Fly
2) Laredo Boy b Drago Kid Lucha Fighter LIVE | EPISODIO 1 #QuédateEnCasa #Conmigo (posted by luchalibreaaatv)
6:50. Springboard moonsault.
3) La Hiedra b Hades Lucha Fighter LIVE | EPISODIO 1 #QuédateEnCasa #Conmigo (posted by luchalibreaaatv)
6:19. Sit down powerbomb. Mr. Iguana appeared after the match to try to pick up Hiedra.
4) Hijo Del Vikingo b Mamba Lucha Fighter LIVE | EPISODIO 1 #QuédateEnCasa #Conmigo (posted by luchalibreaaatv)
7:40. Mamba was a surprise participant. Vikingo won via Cuerno de Vikingo.
5) Dr. Wagner Jr. b Mr. Iguana Lucha Fighter LIVE | EPISODIO 1 #QuédateEnCasa #Conmigo (posted by luchalibreaaatv)
6:35. Wagner won via front slam and a five count when the referee didn’t believe it was actually the finish.
6) Texano b Dave The Clown Lucha Fighter LIVE | EPISODIO 1 #QuédateEnCasa #Conmigo (posted by luchalibreaaatv)
6:10. Texano won via piledriver, a rare non-DQed one in AAA.
7) Psycho Clown b Drago Lucha Fighter LIVE | EPISODIO 1 #QuédateEnCasa #Conmigo (posted by luchalibreaaatv)
8:14. Psycho Clown won via sit down powerbomb.

This was an enjoyable way to past time for an empty arena show. It felt like AAA was as serious about taking the health condition as a wrestling company could be expected; things have progressed a lot sense the Vanguardia show. The matches were all watchable; it’s challenging to have a great match in this scenario but they weren’t boring. I could’ve used more explanation of how the tournament was going to work but I’m not sure it mattered to most people; they just wanted to see (AAA) lucha libre and they got some.

Lucha Fighter also may have been an illegal show. El Fantasma says he didn’t give any permission to AAA to run the show. AAA never gave a location; while everyone assumes it was taped in Mexico City, it’s at least possible they found a warehouse in Ecatepec or elsewhere outside of Fantasma’s jurisdiction. Pasala has a “news” article that’s mostly just critical of AAA for running the show, a rare exception to most articles just ignoring the context of the show. There’s more on the general lucha libre situation around Mexico City in a bit.

Dr. Wagner’s return to AAA was treated as huge news. It was a four-month stint away, including one month where no one was running. I’m not sure if most AAA fans had grasped Wagner had actually left, though that planted “he’s talking to CMLL” story probably helped. It’s also unclear if this is a return for beyond this tournament. Wagner’s left AAA when it appeared he would not get to be a top guy – he seemed to be slotted in behind at Los Ingobernables, Blue Demon, and the Lucha Brothers, maybe others. All of those people seem to be sitting out of this tournament, so Wagner’s back to being a top guy and might even be the winner. All those people are expected back once AAA starts running again, and Wagner’s unlikely to stay unless he’s been convinced things will be different.

For his part, Wagner says he appreciated all the offers but he’s in AAA at the moment. And also Mr. Iguana reminded him of the first time he faced Mistico.

PAGANO (SUN) 04/19/2020 Arena Kalaka, Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua [+LuchaTV, Pagano (YouTube), Solo Lucha]
1) Miss Fussion b MundanoSky Bird De Juarez Para El Mundo, Pagano y Ex-Sin Cara VS Aereo y El Hijo Del Impostor (posted by Pagano El Noa Noa Style Oficial)
2) Miss Kath b Sakura De Juarez Para El Mundo, Pagano y Ex-Sin Cara VS Aereo y El Hijo Del Impostor (posted by Pagano El Noa Noa Style Oficial)
3) Cinta De Oro & Pagano b Aéreo & Hijo Del Impostor De Juarez Para El Mundo, Pagano y Ex-Sin Cara VS Aereo y El Hijo Del Impostor (posted by Pagano El Noa Noa Style Oficial)

I had the sound on while paying attention to other things, so I can’t give you a good review of the matches. This was mentioned as airing live but YouTube listed as taped content, among other tells. At the time, I thought it was reckless of Pagano and company to be going back and forth to run this show when they were already in Ciudad Juarez together promoting the show and could’ve filmed it then. The reality seems like they probably actually filmed it back then. It’s wrestling, I should know better. Things which appear to be an unnecessary risk are sometimes a bit of slight of hand.

YouTube didn’t allow Pagano’s channel to accept SuperChat donations, so they’re reliant on the bank account donations. I hope it worked out.

That main event was billed as the reveal of Ex-Sin Cara’s new name, which was the Cinta de Oro gimmick he announced months later. Both he and Pagano pushed the idea of Cinta de Oro coming into AAA again soon. Sin Cara said he left WWE because he wanted freedom, and to show fans he could do more than have 3-4 minutes matches. He did ask WWE if he could continue using the Sin Cara name and they said no. He’s using Cinta de Oro to raise awareness of the original and got family permission, dismissing the complaints about it. Steven Juarez (via Furia de Titanes) reacted to the new Cinta de Oro by posting that he was satisfied that the original Cinta de Oro believed in him and the fans knew he was the true heir to the legacy. Cinta de Oro said he’d be interested in having a match with Caristico but thinks CMLL may have an issue with it.

A sit in Mexico City’s Zocalo was planned for this morning at once point. A group led by indie luchadors Canibal Jr. & Principe de Seda announced the protest over the shut down of wrestling, which they say is their primary source of income. They’ll instead get a meeting with government officials. El Fantasma will be present for that meeting.

Chetumal’s Arena Vidal noted they’ve run shows every two weeks for 32 years, even through hurricanes, but the pandemic has caused them to cancel shows.

Luchadors are appearing in Mexico City Metro PSAs for coronavirus prevention. The Metro is now requiring facing covering to use the train system.

Arena Verdugo Nazi, the Guadalajara promotion who was ordered shut down by the government, appears to still be running anyway based on the new videos going up this week.

thecubsfan YouTube channel going away

As mentioned last night on Twitter, my YouTube channel is set to be suspended in a week. Copyright claims were made on twenty videos Sunday afternoon, giving my account four strikes. Three strikes means you’re out on YouTube. They have given me a week to appeal the decisions. These are all CMLL videos. The copyright notice states that someone manually reported each video – this wasn’t the result of CMLL uploading the video themselves, nor do I understand they have any immediate plan to do so. CMLL, through a third party, has said they are not responsible for the copyright claims. The copyright claims list the email contact as a person known to work for CMLL. It’s always possible someone else was using that account. It’s also possible CMLL could retract the copyright claims between now and next Sunday which would allow the channel to continue to exist. If not, the channel goes away.

Please do not complain to CMLL about this. It’s only making them more angry with me.

My next step is to do nothing. I’m going to give it the full week to see if CMLL changes their mind. It’s unlikely, but it’s a lot better option than just about anything else. People have suggested a lot of ideas – going back to Dailymotion, used a Google Drive, making a torrent, creating a new YouTube channel – and all of them seem like lesser versions of what I have now. I’m not even quite sure what I can safely put anywhere with this new policy, so it seems best to take a step back and see how this proceeds.

All the videos are backed up, both locally and in a cloud backup. (The only exception might be stuff CMLL’s already posted on their own channel.) I’m fortunate in that my local internet company has dropped their bandwidth cap for the moment and so it’d be possible to upload everything if I’d like. I’m just not sure I want to do it yet without knowing if it’ll all go back down.

The videos I’ve got on the channel are in that gray area – they’re absolutely the property of the promotions and TV networks who put those shows together, but they’re also abandoned with a week after airing, almost all never to be used again. I’ve never collected a single cent from those videos. AAA probably have – they’ve filed revenue share claims on them. I don’t believe CMLL or another promotion has ever done the same. I’ve always said I’d have no problem removing videos promotions didn’t want available, and I’d do it again for the CMLL stuff.

There’s some behind the scenes database stuff that’s going to messed up in the short-term if that channel goes away and takes my YouTube API access with it. I’m not telling you because I need you to do anything, but to warn you if certain things look odd or don’t get updated as quickly for a while.

Other News

Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. and his partner Rene Dupree won the NOAH Global Tag League, the first foreign team to do so. That was a big surprise. Wagner & Dupree then won the (NOAH) GHC Tag Team Championship, which was a bigger surprise. It is a time to do an upset; you’re not risking the crowd going down where then are no crowds. It was still a big statement in doing that with these two guys. Dupree hadn’t been in NOAH for nearly a decade prior to the tournament and Wagner hadn’t been seriously pushed.

On Informa, Atlantis said he’d soon have a press conference to announce “various details” including his return date. I supposed that’s waiting until it’s safe to hold a press conference.

Both the CMLL Guadalajara show and the CMLL Teleformula shows appear to be off the air. The Guadalajara show appeared to be paid for by a local tequila sponsor, who may have decided to stop paying for it while there are no new matches. (They’d aired Mexico City repeats instead of Guadalajara ones, oddly.) The Teleforumla slot has been replaced by a COVID news program. Hopefully those shows come back when lucha libre does, though there’s no guarantee. CMLL remains on Televisa (getting old major shows) and TV Mexquiense (airing matches from January.) They may still be on Megacable and MVS Sports.

Hugo Savinovich says he’s retiring. In 2025.

ChilangaMask announced their Anniversary show, which is the only show the promotion runs each year, has been postponed from it’s scheduled date of 05/16.

Edgar Lopez, who was Mexico (American) football player signed by WWE after their Southe American tryout, was cut by WWE this past week as part of their massive cutbacks. He’s the guy who was signed the same day as Hijo del Fantasma.

SuperLuchas has a great detailed obituary for Doctor Rafael Olivera Figueroa, the lucha libre writer who passed away recently. If you want the big picture quick explanation of his place in history, he came up with the “Kahoz” gimmick for Antonio Pena and, in the process, convinced him of the value of creating new and vivid lucha libre characters, the trademark of Pena’s wrestling promotions. Dr. Olivera touched wrestling in a lot of other different ways, treating it more as a creative art than a sport or business.

+LuchaTV writes about Chucho Mar Jr., who was stretched between lucha libre and academics world and eventually left lucha.

CMLL has Ultimo Guerrero talking about his 2009 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas main event against Villano V.

The Talk ‘n’ Shop podcast is getting a lot of attention this week because two of the three hosts were fired from WWE, but you should listen to this episode for the Marco Corleone interview. It’s a quick listen.

Myzteziz Jr. says Caristico was his idol growing up.

AAA Lucha Fighter (1×1): 2020-04-18

#1

Recapped: 2020-04-18

Dinastía beat Octagoncito
(8:49, Spanish Fly, good, Lucha Libre AAA)

Laredo Boy beat Drago Kid
(6:50, springboard moonsault, ok, Lucha Libre AAA)

La Hiedra beat Hades
(6:19, sit down powerbomb, good, Lucha Libre AAA)

Hijo Del Vikingo beat Mamba
(7:40, Cuerno de Vikingo, good, Lucha Libre AAA)

Dr. Wagner Jr. beat Mr. Iguana
(6:35, front slam that’ll we’ll pretend was the Wagner Driver, good, Lucha Libre AAA)

Texano beat Dave The Clown
(6:10, piledriver, ok, Lucha Libre AAA)

Psycho Clown beat Drago
(8:14, sit down powerbomb, good, Lucha Libre AAA)

What happened:

Wagner one-armed powerbomb

Lucha Fighter is a limited-run series featuring men’s, women’s, and minis tournaments. The show will include 16 men, 8 women, and 4 minis. Both Wagner and Mamba were surprised. Pagano, Chessman, Nino Hamburguesa, Octagon Jr., Laredo Kid, Myzteziz Jr. and two more yet to be announced wrestlers are left to compete on the male side. Lady Shani, Big Mami, Faby Apache, Lady Maravilla, Keyra and Vanilla are left for the women.

These are believed to be single-elimination tournaments – the idea that the winner would advanced was mentioned after matches – but there was no explanation of the overall concept. (The minis tournament may instead be a round-robin tournament or be just about over, it’s not immediately clear.) There was a lot of emphasis on having fan votes determine the matches. A Facebook poll set the Mamba/Hiedra match and the men’s matches were determined by YouTube poll results through the night.

Dr. Wagner appeared as a surprise at the start of the show, announcing his return to AAA. (He’d been gone 108 days.) Mr. Iguana tried to pick up Hiedra after her win and met no success.

This was the first of four shows from a closed set – a TV set or a warehouse judging from the ceiling. AAA showed the set being fumigated before the show and the ring cleaned in between each match. The two announcers for the show sat at opposite sides of the entrance set. The referees and ringside personal all wore masks and gloves. There seemed to be a half dozen people standing behind the hard camera when that side very occasionally made it on air.

Thoughts:

Psycho Clown cutting a corner

This was a positive show. I’m not excited about these types of shows for both health and quality reasons, but they did as well as possible with both. It did seem as though they took the health concerns as well as possible for something that still is a professional wrestling show. The quality was helped by keeping matches under ten minutes, keeping the show under two hours, and setting up an environment where it felt like the noise was bouncing off the close walls rather than overpowered by the stillness. Nothing was exceptional – a factor as much of the odd matchups as much as the environment – but it was still an easy watch.

Drago & Psycho meshed well despite not having a great dynamic. Psycho was among a few guys who play to the crowd a lot as part of their normal matches and had to adjust. He didn’t have too many problems with that adjustment. (He also was really good at finding the camera to play to it instead; don’t let WWE find out.) I would’ve liked to see Drago in a different match but a tournament of Pyscho Clown singles matches could be pretty fun.

The dynamics between Texano & Dave the Clown didn’t really work. It didn’t work as a hard-hitting enough match to make the rudo/rudo bit work, and neither was much of a tecnico. The piledriver at the end looked bad for old Dave.

A fun thing about this tournament, like the Lucha Capital shows, is it provides a lot of non-tag matches to a promotion that’s 90% tag. There’s going to be twenty-eight singles matches by the end if AAA follows this out in a normal pattern, and it is unlikely there will be 28 singles matches on normal AAA TV the entire year. (There were 18 last year.) Even in a promotion full of singles matches, it’s unlikely AAA would get around to do a Wagner/Iguana match. This tournament gave us that Wagner/Iguana match and so it justified itself. The match was not the greatest match ever and Wagner was a tired doctor by the end, but the rest of the match was everything you’d want out of the matchup. Wagner sold for Iguana for his submissions, Wagner went along with Yeska spots, Wagner generally made Iguana feel like a bigger deal just by being in there with him while still putting him away fairly at the end. Wagner generally did a lot more in this match than he had in his last few AAA matches – I guess you can’t just sell and look at the crowd as much when there’s no crowd – and that might have contributed to the last couple of spots not going well. It was still a fun interaction from two people unlikely to interact even in AAA.

Hades tornillo just gets there

The Vikingo/Mamba clash, but it was really just nice to see Vikingo do Vikingo things again. He was on point, even landing the Cuerno de Vikingo cleaner than usual. Mamba had a lot of size over Vikingo but didn’t really use it during their control part of the match. Mamba wasn’t a negative but didn’t add a lot.

I think Hiedra/Hades have a better match in them a couple of years now if they’re still at it, but this was enjoyable for a random tournament match. Hades and Hiedra messed up the first big high spot they tried, though they got it back a bit with the two dives. Hades still needs the right situations to look good and singles matches may be pushing it. Hiedra impressively destroyed Hades in the end.

Laredo Boy and Drago Kid was rough, though it has some moments. Drago Boy seemed to come short on dives and catching them, and there were some spots that didn’t go well. Laredo Kid versus Dinastia looks like the match of this group. This seems like a decent experience for Drago Boy even if the matches don’t turn out great.

Dinastia & Octagoncito had a lot of spots. It held together well enough for being two tecnicos, but they weren’t really didn’t have any direction. Dinastia is good enough to make Octagoncito interesting, but the best comes out of him with a rudo. Four tecnicos in this tournament is a bit of a limitation in styles.

Lucha Fighter, other empty arena shows, Arena Lopez Mates in danger of closing their doors?

Mexico’s sub-secretary of health announced the national social distancing policy is extended to May 30th, with the possibility of ending it early in locations with a lower amount of COVID-19 cases on May 17th. They expect the disease to peak in cases between May 8-10 and that 95% of the cases will happen between June 25. They expect a gradual reduction of social distancing, not an immediate return to life was prior, and there may be restrictions or advertisements about traveling between different regions.

AAA will be starting their four week Lucha Fighter Live tournament on Saturday night at 8 pm CT. The show will air on YouTube and Facebook. It appears to be only in Spanish, as with all non-Twitch AAA content. There’s been no announcement about how the tournament will work. AAA announced there would be a 16 men, 8 women, 4 minis on the show. They’re staggering the announcements about every hour. As of 1 pm Friday CT, the participant list looked like this:

Women: Lady Shani, Lady Maravilla, Big Mami, Hades, Faby Apache
Men: Nino Hamburguesa, Octagon Jr., Laredo Kid, Chessman, Drago, Dave the Clown, Psycho Clown
Minis: None yet.

This is being billed as content for fans stuck at home, which it certainly is. There are also other reasons the show may be happening. It’s possible these shows are happening at all because Azteca asked AAA for new content. Konnan mentioned there was TV pressure in that direction on the Masked Republic segment of his podcast this week. (That appeared to be taped prior to AAA’s announcement of these shows.) AAA does get a rights fee from Azteca in exchange for AAA getting to air their shows, the first time AAA’s gotten such a fee, and it’s likely money they can’t afford to lose. Azteca has not yet announced airing these shows. They tend to make those announcements either on Friday night AAA TV show or the sports wrap up that follows it later that night. Multimedios has also announced they’ll also be airing this show live; AAA may getting paid for those airings as well, though it’s unlikely to be the near same fee.

Laredo Kid’s name sticks out among the participants. AAA has enough wrestlers in and around Mexico City that they don’t need to fly people in for this. Laredo Kid is a fly-in. AAA may not be paying Laredo Kid if he doesn’t work – he’s not under contract – so Laredo Kid’s going to fly back and forth for four weeks at a time where flying seems like a poor idea. I’d expect Mr. Iguana and perhaps others will be doing the same. The tournament will definitely be better for having those people involved but the match quality is not the thing most interests me at the moment.

AAA has not announced a venue for this show. There’s a lot to these shows feel like they’re being put together at the last moment – AAA hasn’t explained how the tournament is working – but not naming a location is probably an intentional move. It’ll keep fans away at a time when they’re trying to keep a closed set, and it may keep away government officials as way too. Mexico City is threatening to enforce their social/safe distancing program via fines. Those threats have been inconsistently applied to wrestling promotions in other locations, but it is a reason not to announce where the tapings will take place in advance. It’s also an additional reason why it would be better to tape in advance rather than go live. AAA’s advertising some sort of fan polling to determine matches – maybe someone gets saved from elimination as in the last season of Lucha Capital – which seems to exist to enhance the interaction but isn’t absolutely necessary to tape a tournament.

In an interview with Roberto Figueroa and Hugo Savinovich, Konnan named Primo, Epico and Lio Rush as recent WWE cuts he’d like to see in AAA. Konnan’s also talked about being wary about bringing anyone new in, fearing not having enough work to go around and leading to disgruntled wrestlers; he felt this was an issue for WWE and had been for AAA back in 1995.

AAA and Kenny Omega are teasing Omega taking part in their eSports competition. They haven’t announced when it’s happening, but it’s clearly happening.

Pagano’s empty arena show at Arena Kalaka takes place Sunday at 6 pm local (7 pm CT). It’s a three match show, where the big draw might be figuring out what Sin Cara is calling himself now. They’re looking for 100 pesos as a virtual ticket donation.

Facebook page Veracruz Lucha will also be hosting an empty arena show on Saturday at 8 pm. The announced card is all local luchadors, where Rocco Marvin might be the only one known outside the area. They’re not saying where the show will be held, only “Arena de Lucha Virtual.”

The family who owns Arena Lopez Mateos says they will be shutting down the arena within the next year if they can not raise money the needed money via fundraiser. The fundraising site is up, though not yet taking donations. They’re looking for $4,600 USD. The arena dates back to 1967, always owned and operated by the Hector Guzman family. It’s used as a venue for prestige indies like Lucha Libre Boom, DTU and Lucha Memes, their own in-house big name shows under UWE and other names, and shows using their students and regulars as AULL. Those AULL shows are the backbone, but they’ve drawn a miniscule amount of fans in recent years, even canceling a recent show because so few people showed up. (Those shows also seem to feature the same names on top year after year; it’s hard to think of the last indie star who graduated through that school and promotion.) Arena Lopez Mateos is a historic venue and also one seemingly necessary as a venue for the indie promotions.

Kaoz also ran empty arena shows, with the idea they’d use them for their own content. Not sure if it’s going to be a fundraiser or just a video to have new video, Strangely, some may some dumbly, they were also OK with someone bootlegging the show and putting it up on their own, kneecapping their strategy.

The Kaoz story reminds me of Arena Verdugo Nazi in Guadalajara being shut down earlier this week. I don’t know this for sure, because people were hinting at “underground” shows happening in other ways, but others might have found out the building was still running when the group who bootlegs the indie Guadalajara shows continued to post videos of matches in that arena. This is an X-Fly main event from one of these shows, where he (and the tightly packed fans) are unconcerned about any health issues. I thought I had missed a poster or lineup for an old show – the channel had been posting old content from 2017 recently – but it appears to be new matches. They’re continuing to post matches from Arena Verdugo Nazi, which suggests the arena decided to ignore the order to shut down or it was rescinded. The owner of the arena ran a few food/supply drive in the last couple of days. There’s photos of them being back in the arena for it.

CMLL Informa had the official introduction of the third Blue Panther son, Cachorro Lagunero. The 20-year-old luchador has been wrestling on non-CMLL shows the last couple of years and was expected to debut in CMLL some time this year. Like with the Gemelo Diablos, he’s billed as coming to CMLL when they restart but it’s not clear when.

Blue Panther Sr., who had previously said he was sticking around just long enough to get his youngest son started, appeared only in pre-taped video from his home to introduce the segment. Atlantis, who is two years younger, appeared in studio to talk with his son. I haven’t watched the piece to see if he gave an idea of his return date yet, but the news for Mexican sports has dried up enough that there are paid reports recapping Informa segments now for media outlets so we may get a report in a few days.

CMLL will be airing the 2016 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas this week on Televisa. That’s the Volador/Negro Casas main event (and probably Rush/Maximo not airing.) It’s possible it’ll turn up on CMLL’s YouTube later. If Azteca is putting pressure on AAA to record new matches, it may just be a matter of time before Televisa asks the same of CMLL.

Lucha libre writer Dr. Rafael Olivera Figueroa, “El Aribitro”, passed away. Both CMLL and AAA acknowledged his passing. I didn’t recognize the name, but maybe I just haven’t gotten far enough in my magazine reading; Furia de Titanes obit mentions him as a writer for Combates, El Halcon, and Lucha Libre magazines, and also the author of his own “Memorias de Lucah Libre” book chronicling the history of lucha libre. He was around for the start of both LLI/UWA and AAA and worked as a doctor in his other life.

The 04/25 Lucha Libre Boom show has been officially postponed.

Puma King teaches you how to make your own mask. I’m in the need of the mask so I should probably watch.

The Asociacion Nacional de Luchadors Profesionales Independientes, the Octagon led attempt at a wrestlers union, got press for handing out food and necessities to some of their members. This group is usually not mentioned outside of Octagon interviews; their Facebook page hasn’t been updated in a year and a half and it was unclear if it was an ongoing concern. This is Octagon’s first media appearance since the allegations of not paying his children came out.

Ciber the Main Man is currently embroiled in his own paternity issue. Sabrina Sabrok, an Argentinan TV host/adult actress, told celebrity press that she’s unsure who is the father of her daughter. Sabrok was married to filmmaker Erick Farjeat, so it could be him – but she revealed she was also with Cibernetico at the same time, so she’s really not sure. Cibernetico said this was the first he knew of the possibility, acknowledging they had a “very passionate” relationship but weren’t looking to start a family together. He and Sabrok had not kept in touch since that time, wasn’t looking and felt that Farjeat was the real father since he’d been the one in touch with the daughter.

Intocable says he’s broke without work, living on a loan from his brother. Super Porky says he’s only getting by on money and food Psycho Clown has gotten him.