IWRG’s meeting with the Mexico State Box and Lucha Libre commission took place Tuesday. The short version of the resulting press release is IWRG agreed to run no more shows while Mexico State is in a health emergency and the commission will do nothing to them as long as they stay with that. The threatened punishments to the luchadors have been dropped, the promotion gets their license back as long as they break the rules again before the end of the year. Arena Naucalpan is also going to host semi-annual luchador licensing exams (for new and renewing wrestlers) at some point. IWRG’s press release says they will not run empty arena events until Mexico State is in orange health status and will not run shows with fans until the state reaches green. (The colors go red->orange->yellow->green and are updated on Fridays.) IWRG plans on running the second part of Rey del Ring whenever they can run empty arena shows and the Gran Hamada tribute show afterward.
It doesn’t really seem like anything happened here. IWRG ran their show, got slapped on the wrist to not do it again, and at least now they’re saying they won’t do it again. The commission maintained some control of the situation – IWRG respects their power enough not to keep running right now – but the lesson is the threat of punishment is always a lot less than what will actually happen.
Juan Jose Herrera Rodriguez of Mexico State Boxing and Lucha Libre commission spoke to El Universal about their side of the situation. While IWRG seems to be relatively fine, the doctor who worked the show is being sanctioned for working the show. The doctors are supposed to be assigned by the commission. The commission didn’t approve this show, so no doctor should’ve been there – except the IWRG promoter called up the doctor themselves and asked them to come.
The commissioner is against the idea of closed-door shows entirely, feeling it’s too easy to spread COVID-19 in that situation. He says the commission canceled a show on 06/14 in Arena Cuautitlan Izcalli with help from that city, prevented shows in Neza and Tultitan, and talked to the Coliseo Coacalco promoter to stop an event on June 21. No event was ever publically announced for June 21 in Coliseo Coacalco. It’s possible a private show hadn’t ever been announced, but this sounds like they’re referring to the Lucha Memes show which obviously did happen. (It also make me suspicious about all of this.) Herrera Rodriguez says they limit the amount of accredited promoters in the state to 25; it sure seems like many times more than 25 people were running shows. Ambulances are required at shows and their must be a commissioner. There is a protocol for wrestling returning in the state but it hasn’t been approved yet.
Luchadors and others involved in the lucha libre business who’ve been noted as passing away since the last update:
- Cash (Gaspar Herrera Rodriguez, 53), who mostly wrestled in Arena Azteca Budokan.
- Anubis Black (Francisco Javier Lizárraga Meza, 31), who was an IWRG trainee at least 2013 to 2015, and possibly past that point. He resurfaced as a one-off as Toshiharu, the third Evil Ninja Turtle.
- Anubis (?, 44), a luchadora from Tampico, no relation to Anubis Black. She’s the husband of Mensajero de la Muerte, mother of Mensajero de la Muerte Jr. and Anubis Jr. She reportedly passed due to cancer.
- Julio Rosales (Fidel Hernandez), a referee from Matamoros.
- José Juan Guerra Flores, ex-president of the Monterrey boxing and lucha libre commission
- Soldado de Plata (José Luis Ovando, ?), a luchador.
- El Lider (?), a 80s/90s luchador.
- Édgar Ortiz, an interviewer who had recently been doing interviews on YouTube. One of his last posts was organizing a closed-door show for Father’s Day. I don’t believe that show happened; it looked like a group of luchadors did charity work on that day instead.
I believe “there’s a lot of luchadors passing away” has become a story in itself, where deaths which might not have been noticed are getting more attention because of the trend. I’m not sure I would’ve known about a Soldado de Plata passing away six months ago (and today I still don’t know much about him beyond his name.) The volume of people considered professional wrestlers seems much higher per capita in Mexico than anywhere else and Mexican wrestlers seem more likely to stay part of the wrestling community long after their in-ring days are done. This is not, at least yet, a situation where coronavirus is ripping through the AAA or CMLL rosters, or though the bigger indie names. Anubis Black was active at least as of last year, Ares el Guerrero was active this year, while most of the other names were either wrestling in smaller spheres or were inactive. All those people are important and leave behind people who cared about them deeply, it’s just an attempt to put these depressing lists in some sort of context.
AEW announced Sammy Guevara is suspended without pay indefinitely and will undergo sensitivity training after his comments from four years ago about Sasha Banks during a YouTube interview resurfaced. Sammy Guevera posted an apology on his YouTube channel. The interviewer on the show where Guevera made the original comment admitted to finding and sharing the comment in revenge for Guevara distancing himself from the show. Apparently, that sort of conversation was normal on that channel, Guevera no longer wanted to be part of it, and the host was upset enough about that rejection to go after him.
Fenix posted his usual stopover photo in Houston for AEW tapings. Penta similarly posted a travel photo indicating he’s flying into Flordia, which would be his first appearance for AEW in three months. AEW appears to only be taping one episode today and they’ve got two episodes of a pseudo-PPV next. The Lucha Brothers don’t seem to be in the plans for anything on those shows, so set your expectations for a couple of squashes on AEW Dark. I’m conflicted between wanting to see a couple of my favorite luchadors back on TV and concerned about them traveling into a state where COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing. There’s no immediate sign if Jack Evans and Angelico, who’ve also been in Mexico for the last few months, have returned.
CMLL kicks off a new feature of wrestlers watching their first match with Caristico looking back at his debut in 2004. It’s his first Mistico match, anyway; I haven’t listened to this to know if they talk about Astro Boy. I did look through it and found something interesting: this is not the airing of the match on YouTube or any version off TV. There are no Galavision or Televisa logos. It includes the entrances and a Fray Tormenta appearance that’s not on the TV version. It suggests CMLL’s archive contains at least one match from 2004.
CMLL has also started putting up listings of which matches are airing on which TV shows this week. TUDN (and YouTube) is getting the Atlantis/Sombra mask match, TV Mexiquense will air Atlantis & Blue Panther vs Satanico & Fuerza Guerrera among other matches from the 75th Arena Coliseo show (2018), MVS has Titan vs Soberano from December and MegaCable is airing a Tuesday show from August. They’re skipping over a Bestia main event in that one. Televisa seems to be missing, though that’s usually announced on Informa. Weekly CMLL TV listings are a thing I’ve been begging for fifteen years. I’m just beside myself to actually see them.
CMLL will have Atlantis, Titan, Soberano Jr., Super Astro Jr., and Espanto Jr. on Informa today. It’s a rare appearance by Atlantis, who probably would’ve returned around now.
KAOZ announced they’ll be airing another iPPV starting Sunday.
8) Ayako Hamada, Lady Puma, Puma de Oro vs Baby Love, Diosa Quetzal, Origen
9) Rico Rodríguez & Vazco Jr. © vs Komander & Puma de Oro [KAOZ TAG]
10) El Divo vs Dark Scoria
11) Galeno del Mal & Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. vs Charro Negro & Oro Negro
12) Diosa Quetzal & Emperador Azteca (Indie) vs Dulce Kanela & Mecha Wolf
13) Fresero Jr. vs Black Taurus (Indie), Daga
It’s the same 100 Mexican Pesos + service fees. The promotion is now being up-front about the show airing in half over two weeks,. The first three matches will air this Sunday, the last three on July 5th. There is no way to watch an episode once it’s aired. The matches for this show reportedly took place the same day (or close by) as the last iPPV. There likely enough for one more PPV after this group.
100 pesos (about $5 USD) is not much for this sort of thing. It’s also not a particularly appealing show. I would like to see the main event and everything else I could take or leave; the match quality more often disappointed than surprised last time around. The lack of a VOD option, the weirdness of splitting a PPV over two weeks and the lack of communication about how these were going to work the first time around makes this a pass; who knows what they’re doing this time around that they’re not going to explain until after it happens.
Lucha Time says they’ll have a special on their Facebook show tomorrow night. The promotion has gotten a deal with the Monterrey TV Azteca station for local TV, and this seems like special content to build to their TV debut on 07/04.
+LuchaTV announced Reina Dorada & Diosa Quetzal for their Torneo Suprema Mas Lucha. I didn’t make it to the end of the podcast this week so I’m still not sure if they’ve announced how many women will be in the tournament.
Zona 23 announced a show in the junkyard with no fans, no ring and no media. There is no date and it is-invite-only. That seems like a way to run a show without getting in trouble for breaking quarantine, but there’s likely more to it. There were strong rumors of issues with the promotion about money after their last show – as in, people on the show expecting to get paid not getting paid, donations specifically directed to one person being kept instead by the promoter – and so I wouldn’t even hazard a guess of who would even be on this show. I don’t think any fan of Zona 23 is delusional enough to believe a group running unauthorized shows in a junkyard is completely on the up and up, and maybe the shadyness is part of the allure for some, but it’s still worth pointing out the obvious.
MechaWolf posted on Twitter that he was likely going to retire at the end of the year, then posted a list of people he’d like to face. Wrestling retirement vows are tough to take seriously, especially during a pandemic.
Latin Lover vaguely alluded to problems with bullying from Konnan early in his career in an interview while also noting they got along better on later. Latin Lover mentioned not forgetting about the issues but moving on, including sending a get well card to Konnan when he was in the hospital.
Luchas Noticias interviews Villano III Jr., who mentions he had been training two years with AAA (and six years overall) when the La Llave de la Gloria tournament was announced. Apache was his trainer at the time, and told them that everyone training would enter.