Lucha Libre Vanguardia drive-in show canceled
Hidalgo based Vanguardia was to have the first drive-in show in Mexico on Saturday night. The show was originally supposed to air live on Mas Lucha, but switched late to airing on delay. Saturday night came and went without anything being said about the show. Ciclope, on his personal Facebook account, revealed the show had been shut down by the authorities moments before it was set to start. He apologized to the fans. Ciclope blamed an unnamed lucha libre person for alerting the authorities.
Comments by Vanguardia and others close to the promotion indicate they believe Crazy Boy & DTU are responsible for shutting down the show. Vanguardia is run by former DTU who left to form their own group. There have been occasional negative comments between the two promotions. It appears the younger wrestlers for both groups were told to pick one or the other. There’s not previously been sabotage. Vanguardia hasn’t publicized any proof Crazy Boy is responsible. Crazy Boy has said nothing. He is scheduled to appear for an interview on CuadrilateroTV tonight at 7 pm.
The other side of this is the Vanguardia show got shut down because it didn’t have the approval to exist. Vanguardia’s show was happening in a secret location, on a date announced very late, and not promoted much in the last day, seemingly in hopes of not getting found. Whoever called the authorities could only do it because Vanguardia was running a show they weren’t allowed to run. It’s was a bad idea for someone to call the authorities on them – DTU’s shows don’t appear to be any more legal, if it was them – but it also might be a bad idea to have wrestling shows during a pandemic. There is only unhappiness in what happened with this show but it was always a possible outcome.
Vanguardia held a Facebook press conference Sunday, mentioning they’ll have news on a next show on Monday.
Salvador Lutteroth on Comic-Con At Home
The San Diego Comic Con panel on lucha libre went live on YouTube on Saturday. It was pre-taped, in Spanish with English captions. It didn’t have time to go deep: everyone on the panel got one moment to talk about their own history with lucha libre and a second to talk about the legacy and future of lucha libre. Both Rey Misterio Sr. and the Lucha Libe Musuem’s Mauricio Limon were particularly concerned about the future of lucha libre for the same reasons I’ve heard for two decades; people not getting enough training or quality training before becoming wrestlers, commissions not being strict enough, too much flying, etc. CMLL’s Salvador Lutteroth – the younger of the father/son team understood to be running CMLL for about a year – was more positive about the future. There was no big discovery from any of his comments, though there was a consistent pattern: the success of lucha libre, and CMLL primarily, is due to developing the talents and abilities of Mexican wrestlers. Lutteroth spoke about this in reference to his grandfather (Salvador Lutteroth Gonzalez) starting the promotion, to maintaining the support of the fans for 87 years, and to the future of wrestling. It seems rare for a wrestling promoter to say “our future is dependent on our luchadors having really good matches our fans appreciate“, but there’s a lot of preserving the tradition/seriousness that makes Mexican people proud in there as well.
That view of CMLL and lucha libre, depend on development and good matches, suggests the people in charge of training are the most important people to the promotion. It also says the promotion and lucha libre will struggle when those talents aren’t being developed. The closest thing to palace intrigue is Salvador Lutteroth referring to himself as the third of four generations involved in promoting CMLL, which either means Sofia Alonso still counts or maybe there’s there another Lutteroth involved. This Lutteroth seemed to be interested and proud of lucha libre and its place in Mexico’s culture, but also notably did not mention a single luchador by name. Not a past one, not a current one.
Planchitas Report: Microman is among four CMLL luchadors rumored to have coronavirus maybe
The story, reported Saturday, goes like this: Julio Cesar Rivera passed along gossip to various luchadors that there are currently four luchadors in the promotion who have the illness. Planchitas only mentions Microman by name. People close to Microman confirmed he is ill, but he will not confirm or deny that he has coronavirus. Planchitas track record is not great and they’re passing along second-hand gossip in this case. Microman is not very active on social media and hasn’t said anything about the situation. CMLL has not either. The story has gotten little traction.
For my purposes, I’ve decided I’m not going to report coronavirus rumors unless people are missing shows during it, or a reliable source mentions it. There are no shows so that first part isn’t a concern. It’s unclear if Planchitas is more reliable than a random social media page at this point.
That same Planchitas column notes Salvador Lutteroth was spotted at a public meeting with the mayor of Cuauthemoc, the area where Arena Mexico is located, apparently looking at the possibility of running “audiovisual shows” (movies?) in the building if they can’t do wrestling. There’s also a mention of Lutteroth talking about different Mexico City venues to run. The one mentioned is an indoor venue, which seems like it’d be as unsafe to run as the ones CMLL owns.
R de Rudo did a lot of strong work to figure out how San Luis Potosi’s Arena Margarita was able to run shows with full attendance. This was the arena that caught attention for a full building of about 220 fans (plus wrestlers), at a time where indoor events are supposed to be limited to ten people. Arena Margarita is located in Soledad de Graciano Sánchez, where there is no lucha libre commission. It’s next door to the capital San Luis Potosi, which does have a commission but has no power outside of the city’s borders. The MARKA promotion at Arena Margarita says they got government permission. R de Rudo went to the different authorities and found some said no show was sanctioned and others said a show was allowed only at 25% capacity, but they sent no one to see if that policy was enforced. The building had switched to that 25% standard the past weeks, but this week the show was canceled by the government.
Vanguardia and Arena Margarita are far from the other places running lucha libre shows without authorization. Most are being a lot more clandestine about it. They’re like bars during prohibition; eventually, someone’s a bit too public about it and it gets shut down. Video of a show in Gomez Palacio posted on briefly Facebook. The shows at whatever hidden place had apparently been happening regularly, but the video was quickly disappeared so they wouldn’t be found out. None of this seems sustainable or a good idea.
This week’s Box Y Lucha #3432 has an article critical for Fantasma for not permitting shows while also agreeing to an autograph signing on August 1st; they’re not clear how one can be legal and not the other. There’s also an article about the CMLL Pequeno Estrellas division which mentions some previous characters for the longest-running minis. Ultimo Dragoncito’s been acknowledged as wrestling Misterosito before the larger version left for AAA. This adds that Pierrothito wrestled as “Iceberg” before coming to CMLL and Pequeno Olimpico/Cicloncito Ramirez wrestled as “Pequeno Gangster.” Sadly, there are no photos of Pequeno Gangster. This latest Box Y Lucha attempt at digital issues has gone off without a problem for me, much better than before. I think I’ve reached the end of my four issue subscription and I’ll probably re-up again.
Veracruz luchador and promoter Rayo Justiciero (Joel Eusebio Yépez Román) passed away Saturday. He ran the Coliseo Fraternidad arena in the city and was a member of the local commission at one point. This obit mentions the Rayo Justiciero name comes from his fandom of Rayo de Jalisco. Rayo Justicero wrestled in the 60s/70s, and an old photo shows the mask was similiar.
Queretaro luchador Fantasma Negro (José Luis Ballesteros Farfán) passed away Wednesday.
Pachuca luchador Chistorete (Angel Potanza Islas) passed away Friday.
Inspired by the Rey Mysterio Jr. madness, Miguel Reducindo writes about luchadors with one or no arms.
El Sol de Tampico has a long interview with former CMLL luchadora Luna Magica, who debuted at the age for 14 and was advised to leave home at the age of 16 to have a bigger career. She came to Mexico City because of an AAA open casting call (held by referee Piero) for new women. They had a minimum height of 160 cm to participate. Luna Magica was 150 cm but they let her tryout anyone, and she was one of few to pass. She was also still a minor, so AAA couldn’t actually hire her, and ended up going home to Ciudad Madero until coming back to be part of CMLL. She was teaching classes back around Mexico City, wants to return to Arena Mexico someday, and is making tamales during the pandemic.
Box Y Lucha has an interview with La Yaqui, the first woman to lose her mask in Mexico City after the ban on women’s wrestling was rescinded.
An article about the 50s-70s lucha libre boom in Venezuela has a retired wrestler claiming their TV show would do a “96 ratings points” at the peak. The show was eventually banned by the president because children would get hurt by imitating what they saw.
An interview with Morelos’ Falkho.
El Grafico has an interview with Sexy Violeta.