CMLL on Televisa: 1995-04-01/04-08

everyone lived

These recaps exist to tell you not to actually watch these shows for the matches. The March editing issues are worse in April, turning most of these matches into just intros and finishes. There’s a few matches of historical importance, so it’s nice to see them at all, but the action is frustrating for how little we get to see of it. These shows feel like they’re produced by someone who wasn’t really much a fan of wrestling.

This is also the last batch of spring CMLL TV we have. There are a few matches here and there for the rest of the year before some full episodes late in the year. Those last few episodes are much better.

The April 1st show: 

El Fierito, Felinito, Ultratumbita beat Cicloncito Ramírez, Máscarita Magica, Último Dragóncito
(Arena Coliseo @ 03/28, 4:41, 1/2 DQ, ok, Roy Lucier CMLL)

What Happened: Ultratumbita and Mascarita Magica set up a mask match next week with a lot mask ripping. Ultratumbita fakes a foul in the second fall.

Review: Just a brief heat building exercise and not much of a match. The first fall may have been edited a bit but there’s not a lot here. Dragoncito’s dive looked great.

The minis match leads into a summary of the Gran Alternativa league, the first I’ve noticed it being mentioned. It’s apparently been going for weeks since many of the participants have finished their matches. The concept is twenty young/undercard wrestlers split up into four groups, with round-robin matches in each group. The top two in each group are seeded into more familiar Gran Alternativa eight-team single-elimination tournament. The league matches are happening in Pista Arena Revolucion and Arena Coliseo, during a point where we rarely have information from those two arenas.

I’ve got El Dandy, Héctor Garza, La Fiera beating MS-1, Pirata Morgan, Satánico listed here, but it’s really just about two minutes of intros, one minute of match shown, and then post-match promos. They too have a mask match next week.

Likewise, Bestia Salvaje, Emilio Charles Jr., Sangre Chicana beating Dr. Wagner Jr., El Hijo Del Gladiador, Gran Markus Jr. © to win the CMLL World Trios Championship is cut down to four minutes of the third fall. It’s a decent four minutes, with Charles getting a surprise roll-up win for his team after Salvaje was eliminated, but it’s another match cut to very little.

This editing proves to be more a production choice than a time limitation: they roll next into a repeat of the March 21th Salvador Lutteroth cibernetico highlight package. That eats up 8 minutes of TV. They also repeat some of a couple of matches from trios tournament, though not all of them or the relevant final. It’s just there to eat up space, which could’ve been used to show any of the new matches.

The main event of this week is the Brazos triangle match. The three-way match doesn’t exist in CMLL, at least this point, so it is a bit different. The concept instead is each Brazo will toss a coin and the two who match will start a singles match. The winner of the match will face the third brother in a single match. The loser of the first singles match faces the loser of the second match in a three fall match. Someone’s going to lose twice and lose their hair. Of course, these are all edited too; the second match has the most obvious jump cut.

Brazo de Plata beat El Brazo
(Arena México @ 03/31, 1:32, n/r, Roy Lucier CMLL)

Brazo de Oro beat Brazo de Plata
(Arena México @ 03/31, 3:32, n/r, Roy Lucier CMLL)

El Brazo beat Brazo de Oro for the hair
(Arena México @ 03/31, 5:37, 1/3, ok, Roy Lucier CMLL)

This whole thing feels like it was ten times better in person, and it’s a downer to get it cut down so much. Brazo de Oro and Brazo de Plata can still very much go at this point, but we only get to see a little of it. What we see doesn’t quite come through well either. The second fall ends with Brazo begging off to trick his brother into a cradle, only the cameras miss the trick. The crowd for the final reacts slightly for the near falls and comes across quiet in between. This might have been memorable in person, but it feels underachieving on TV.

The April 8th show starts with a mask match. Or part of it.

Ultratumbita beat Máscarita Magica for the mask
(Arena Coliseo @ 04/04, 4:13, ok for what was seen, rnrwrasslin)

The insane Mascara Magica dive was cool. This was still just a glimpse of the match and not really something worth rating against other matches.

There’s still plenty of time to fill: the cibernetico airs again here, and then the same tournament matches. Then onto another clipped tournament: the Gran Alternativa finals. All eight-team meet in the ring for an explanation of the seeding and tiebreaker rules. There’s no battle royal; the league finishes decides who faces whom.

Astro Jr. & Dr. Wagner Jr. beat Guerrero De La Muerte & Mocho Cota in a CMLL Gran Alternativa quarterfinal
(Arena México @ 04/07, 1:55, n/r, Roy Lucier CMLL)

Atlantico & Atlantis beat MS-1 & MS-1 Jr. in a CMLL Gran Alternativa quarterfinal
(Arena México @ 04/07, 0:56, n/r, Roy Lucier CMLL)

Bestia Salvaje & Corazón Salvaje beat Emilio Charles Jr. & Halcón Negro in a CMLL Gran Alternativa quarterfinal
(Arena México @ 04/07, 1:55, n/r, Roy Lucier CMLL)

Shocker & Silver King beat Chicago Express & Pierroth Jr. in a CMLL Gran Alternativa quarterfinal
(Arena México @ 04/07, 1:16, n/r, Roy Lucier CMLL)

Astro Rey Jr. & Dr. Wagner Jr. beat Atlantico & Atlantis in a CMLL Gran Alternativa semifinal
(Arena México @ 04/07, 2:52, n/r, Roy Lucier CMLL)

Shocker & Silver King beat Bestia Salvaje & Corazón Salvaje in a CMLL Gran Alternativa semifinal
(Arena México @ 04/07, 0:34+0:40, n/r, Roy Lucier CMLL)

What Happened: Shocker & Corazon Salvaje each pin the veterans, then go to a double pin draw. That’s a bit of a problem in a single-elimination tournament. The ring announcer actually announced before the matches started what would happen in the unlikely case of a draw: the two rookies face off in a singles match. It doesn’t go well. Corazon stumbles on a spot, Shocker puts him in a hold for the winning submission, Silver King comes in to celebrate but the referees never actually called the submission, and the Shocker improvises a German suplex to get the three count. Corazon Salvaje is down for a while on the mat, while the others fight to distract from the messed up finish.

Shocker & Silver King beat Astro Rey Jr. & Dr. Wagner Jr. in a CMLL Gran Alternativa final
(Arena México @ 04/07, 8:52, ok, Roy Lucier CMLL)

The best part of the final, and the whole tournament, is the giant faceplant Dr. Wagner takes about five minutes in. It’s otherwise just a standard match with the crowd reacting nicely for team Shocker’s win. The work is fine, but there’s no great drama to it. The moment means more to the fans, who got to see a lot more in this tournament than we did. I’m still fascinated by how far Wagner & Mephisto (Astro Rey) are from being the people they’d become. Shocker has a ways to go but it’s possible to see the evolution coming, and obviously CMLL’s way into him at this point to have him win this tournament. There’s no obvious line for those other two.

Héctor Garza beat Satánico for the hair
(Arena México @ 04/07, 2:13, n/r, Roy Lucier CMLL)

It’s two minutes. It’s a good two minutes, highlighted by Humberto Garza running to ringside to cheerlead for his son and nearly getting arrested for it. (I think it was a planned bit but not one they clued in security about; announcers recognize him immediately.) It’s still just two minutes. CMLL is so different in 1995 than 2020 that it is actually not a terrible issue: these two run the same match back in December, which is up complete.