New CMLL matches will return to TV tonight. Here’s the card.
CMLL (THU) 07/30/2020 Arena México
1) La Jarochita & Sanely vs Amapola & Reina Isis
2) Guerrero Maya Jr. & Stuka Jr. vs Okumura & Vangellys
3) Ángel de Oro, Carístico, Star Jr. vs Gran Guerrero, Templario, Terrible
(Somos el Medio has an article about the show along with interviews. It mentions the opening match as Black Panther versus Dark Magic. CMLL has not advertised that match. The Somos El Medio article also seems to believe Dark Magic is Normal Smiley, so maybe this isn’t the most reliable source. Maybe CMLL did run a singles match, and it won’t air it.)
CMLL quietly taped this show last Thursday; the leaked video showed the second match. It’ll stream on Mexico City’s Capital 21 (channel 21) tonight at 8 pm CT, with a repeat scheduled for the same time on Sunday. I’d suspect it’s an hour show. It does not appear it’ll stream on CMLL’s YouTube, though Capital 21 does stream their video for free on their website. (Their feed has been up and down the last couple of days; I may try to repeat it over to my new YouTube channel if it’s working. I’ll also put up for VOD if it works and if CMLL does not.) A show taped in front of no audience in the first real action for most luchadors in months probably isn’t going to be anything notable. Set your expectations as “happy to see CMLL in any form again.”
Capital 21 is a Mexico City government-owned station. The CMLL airing is in partnership with the Mexico City Secretary of Culture. It’s the city’s tourism department giving the OK for CMLL to run this show, while the health department’s policies state no wrestling (closed-door or otherwise) can happen during orange health conditions. Mexico City’s health department just happened to come up with new rules which permit a closed-door show just hours after the show announcement. The health department sent the policies to the Mexico City Lucha Libe commission, and Dr. Landru of The Gladiatores posted them first. Notable rules include:
- The promotion must sanitize the ring between each match
- everyone participating on the show (wrestlers and staff) must have a temperature check
- shows are approved for established locations, not for shows in the street or for sites not used to accommodating shows
That ruleset allows shows at fixed buildings like Arena Mexico & Arena Coliseo. It does seem to permit the Miguel Hidalgo Mayor’s proposed outdoor show or AAA’s AutoLucha concept. Both are outdoor shows and atypical locations. The intent appears to restrict shows where either the wrestlers might be crammed together waiting for their match or where fans might gather in groups to watch the show. AAA and others might still be able to run if they can show that won’t be an issue. I suspect that’s all of AAA’s focus at the moment.
Those restrictions are harder to abide by the rules for independent promotions. Most lucha libre locations in Mexico City are tight indoor spaces or outdoors. Many of the indie promoters don’t run in Mexico City for those reasons and another big one: the Mexico State commission has historically been laxer than the Mexico City one, so it’s safer to run just across the border. (“The border” sometimes being the other side of the street.) Now is a brief moment where it is easier to run in Mexico City. Mexico State may eventually enact the same rules, though it’s unclear when that happened; other parts of the government are probably not going to step in to help them as they have for CMLL.
COVID testing is not part of the Mexico City regulations, which means these rules aren’t going to do a lot to stop the spread of the coronavirus. It’ll catch people who are already visibly sick, but those who have the coronavirus and are not yet showing symptoms will continue to spread it. These policies mitigate the risk slightly, but it’s still present. CMLL did seem to be going beyond these rules by requiring everyone to wear facemasks during matches. They could also be doing COVID testing on their own, but CMLL’s health policies remain as secretive as ever.
These rules mean CMLL can run shows regularly if they want. It’s uncertain if that’s happening. The show airing tonight is a sponsored show. It’s no different than the Saturday Arena Mexico shows, where photos turn up on social media, but CMLL never acknowledges it happening. CMLL’s generates revenue for typical shows through ticket sales, concession sales, sponsorships, and TV revenue. The first two do not exist for closed-door shows, the sponsorship money may be down with no fans to see the ads, and the TV revenue is minimal. (There are a few good “CMLL TV money” stories over the years. A tale that comes to mind now is it being very hard for other lucha libre promotions to get into the US because CMLL was charging a ridiculously low amount for the TV shows, and it was all the same to channels taking them.) CMLL luchadors traditionally get paid by the ticket sales – with mentions of separate checks for TV – and there are no ticket sales now. The Lutteroth family is believed to be supremely wealthy, enough so that they could eat the costs on the show if they want. They’ve historically left CMLL to fend for itself instead. Maybe that’ll be different this time, but it may be another gap until the next CMLL show. Don’t take it for granted that the old schedule is immediately coming back.
CMLL Informa talked about this show and ended with an announcement of an announcement. Julio Cesar Rivera mentioned next week’s Informa would reveal details on the Aniversario show. This time of year is the usual time for an Aniversario show announcement; we would’ve spent the last few months debating what would be the main event and which day (18th? 25th?) in an average year. This year is anything but an average year. Last year’s cage match was a giant disappointment, but I’d be surprised if there were an apuesta match at all. CMLL running shows in any form are going to be a struggle while fans are out, CMLL running a typical Aniversario show is an impossibility. CMLL is aware of that too, so maybe this year’s celebration will take a different form.
A third notable part of CMLL Informa came early on, when Julio Cesar Rivera emphatically told viewers they should not believe what they read on Facebook or elsewhere, and the only place to find out real CMLL news is from CMLL. It came across clearly that Cesar Rivera (and probably CMLL himself) were upset about one of the recent stories. Both the “Microman coronavirus rumor” (reported by Planchitas as being spread by Cesar Rivera himself) or the MLW story about AAA purchasing CMLL surely upset CMLL. Either story could’ve caused the anger. Both stories appear false. The idea that you should only trust CMLL when it comes to CMLL doesn’t seem reasonable either.
Mexico City expects to stay in orange health conditions this week, with the number of people hospitalized reducing. It’s gotten better in Mexico State as well. Museums and theatres are going toopen with reduced capacity next week. There’s a path to fans being back inside lucha libre buildings in the next couple of months, which seemed unlikely recently. The national health map will be updated next week.
CMLL’s Wednesday virtual media day included Mascara 2000 praising Perro Aguayo, talking about their match, which will air on Televisa this week. Atlantis Jr. finished college during the pandemic. He’s got a degree in animation and digital art. Jarochita‘s interview makes me wonder if there’s someone in those CMLL interviews who asks every single person if they’re going to switch tecnico to rudo or vice versa. It’s never leads to an interesting response.
AAA announced they’ll be turning their annual pre-TripleMania march & mass into a virtual event this year. It’ll stream on all their social media at 1 pm next Friday. I don’t know how it works as a virtual event, but I’m sure they’ve thought of something.
The ChinampaLuchas show airs Saturday night both on their own Facebook page (30 pesos) and on Mas Lucha (99 pesos/month.)
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter says Rey Mysterio will re-sign with WWE. That was the expected outcome. The surprising bit is AEW matched the WWE per match offer, but WWE was offering more matches.
An article on next week’s Arena Neza iPPV pitches it as “streaming saving lucha libre,” and I’m not sure that’ll be true for this show. The iPPV (card, link to purchase) hasn’t gotten much attention. It’s still a week away, and maybe it’ll be a more significant push in the next few days.
08/30 DTU Cantina Extrema iPPV
- Samuray Jr., Dariux, Meta Tiger vs Aero Panther, Dragion Suicida, Principe Aereo
- Blaze vs Crazy Boy – new
- Brazo de Oro Jr., Brazo Cibernetico Jr., Brazo Celestial vs Paranoiko, Pesadilla, Black Fire – new
Should be 2/3 more matches, with Monterrey, CMLL, and the Dragon Gate guys expected for the shows.
El Fantasma says he’s in charge of the greatest lucha libre commission in the world (according to El Fantasma.) There aren’t many good commissions. He could be right.
SuperLuchas has a good interview with Hidalgo luchador Kulikitaka, who says he doesn’t plan on wrestling even when health conditions are “green” if the coronavirus is still out there. He feels he could survive the coronavirus, but family members who might receive it from him would not. Kulikitaka believes promoters aren’t paying the luchadors even enough to get a COVID-19 test (“3500 pesos”), much less sufficient to compensate for the risk, so he’s not doing it. He does put the responsibility on luchadors themselves on deciding to wrestle or not.
Migala talks about wanting to go back to wrestling.