missing CMLL wrestlers, TuriLuchas, Villanos, SLP arena shut down maybe

CMLL is about four weeks into the restart. They’re airing at least four shows a week (it’s CMLL, it’s possible there are more shows they just haven’t advertised), so a lot of matches have aired, and we can start to get a sense of who’s around and who isn’t. I’ve got a list of luchadors who were listed on CMLL cards in February and March and haven’t popped up yet. I’ve cut out the visiting Guadalajara and Japanese wrestlers, and this is what’s left:

midcarders: Fuego, Mascara 2000, Misterioso, Shocker, Universo 2000 Jr., Volcano

Mascara 2000 & Shocker may not be medically cleared to participate in the current conditions. Misterioso (Torreon) & Fuego (Oaxaca) probably are back in their home states for the moment. I do worry we might not see Fuego again, given the past mutual unhappiness between himself and CMLL. Volcano & Universo are mysteries.

puebla: Arkalis, Pegasso, Stigma

Puebla’s not so long a drive that I’m still a bit surprised these guys haven’t shown up at all.

minis: Acero, Fantasy, Kaligua, Pequeno Nitro, Pequeno Olimpico (he appeared), Pequeno Universo 2000, Pequeno Violencia, Shockercito

CMLL’s not interested in booking minis matches in the best of times, though it’s not a great sign when the champion isn’t even getting booked. It was surprising when Mercurio turned up last week. It may take the return of Tuesday or Sundays shows for these guys to get work.

micros: Atomo, Mije, Zacarias el Perico, Guapito, Gallito

Gallito might not be traveling in from Guadalajara. CMLL’s not using seconds – no KeMonito either – and many of these micros do not seem like a good bet for the singles matches they’ve mostly given prelim acts. There also may be health concerns.

women: Avispa Dorada, La Comandante, La Magnifica, La Seductora, La Vaquerita, Mystique, Silueta, Stephanie Vaquer, Skadi

Avispa Dorada seemed to relocate back to the US during the shutdown. I hope we get to see her again but who knows how things work out. La Magnifica & Silueta just haven’t been brought in from Guadalajara yet but would figure to be in the tag team tournament. Vaquer may have to be considered Mexican to have enough healthy people for that tournament. I guess we technically haven’t gotten Lluvia in a match also yet but you know that one. Mystique has been doing press but not wrestling.

prelims: Apocalipsis, Artillero, Bengala, Cholo, Electrico, Espanto Jr., Halcon Suriano Jr., Hijo del Signo, Inquisidor, Leono, Magnus, Starman

CMLL has a lot of prelim guys. A lot of older prelim guys that probably wouldn’t be missed if some of the people training in the gym forever got their spots. (It means something to someone that Grako & Coyote were brought back these names.) Magnus may not be in Mexico City. Halcon Suriano Jr. is another out of towner.

pending debuts/returns: Astral, Gemelo Diablos, Mascara 2000 Jr.

All these people were introduced on Informa as coming soon after the restart. Not totally soon, I guess. The Gemelo Diablos are the Gemelos Panteras, who live in northern Mexico. Mascara 2000 Jr. may have been introduced well before he was actually ready to debut. Astral is the mystery guy, but he may be no more important than the ones in the last category.

CMLL will have Diamante Azul, Terrible, Templario, Reyna Isis, Tiffany, Raziel, and Cancerbero on CMLL Informa. Tiffany is likely in the first block of the women’s tag team tournament if she’s on this show. I assume they’ll also have the reveal for the CMLL lineup this Friday since it still hasn’t released one. CMLL’s dropped the ball by not getting a card out to capitalize on whatever momentum they had for the tournament; there’s no reason to wait until Wednesday outside of waiting for COVID results (and even then, they could announce changes in the same way they did for Anniversario.) Waiting to announce the card on Informa, a small portion of their potential audience is yet another sign they’re only expecting the people who pay for anything CMLL to buy these shows.

If you’re in Mexico City and want to see Psycho Clown or Murder Clown, maybe go to a show the first weekend of AutoLuchas and not the second. Both Clowns headline a show in Dallas, Texas on October 10th. It’d be tough to get back to Mexico City for all but maybe the evening AutoLuchas show on Sunday. I thought maybe this was just an out of date poster, but there’s a (seemingly) new Psycho Clown poster promoting this show.

Ovaciones talked to Reyna Isis about her title win and mentioned the teams for the upcoming tournament are still not clear. That tournament starts in two days. CMLL seems to be going with the “y” version of her name (not “Reina”) as of late.

ESTO follows Atlantis Jr. on a recent Turiluchas bus trip. The article talks about it being the first trip, so this must’ve happened a few weeks ago (and wasn’t the anniversary show.) Those buses seat between 100-150 people; the article says they had “five couples” on Atlantis’ trip. The person in charge says they expected just three or four people, so ten is considered a positive start. The fans on the bus watch the CMLL show on a screen at a brewery; they get three beers as part of the package. It does seem like they’re watching inside, though it’s an open-air building.

Villano IV told a YouTube collector that their famous mask design was inspired by the cartoon Birdman. Not the title character, but X the Eliminator, whose color scheme and X looks similar to the Villanos mask. As I type this, I’m vaguely remembering having typed this story all before and forgot about it until now. Villano I and II originally had a different design, but they were told it was too close to Solitario’s. In his other work, Villano II came up with the look everyone associates Los Villanos with every since. The numbers on the gear only came when they started appearing on TV, a request of the announcers to help keep them straight. The video’s actual purpose was Villano IV selling the Brazo de Plata mask he won in Monterrey to the collector.

Dave the Clown led Milenio through the (rough) neighborhood where he grew up. He says of about 30 fans he had growing up, 28 are dead.

Tormento says he was skeptical of how many people actually had COVID-19 before he came down with it. So was his doctor: he was originally diagnosed with a cold when he came in with a cough. It was only a few days later, when the symptoms got worse, where they approved a COVID test for him and found he had it. He currently has no smell or taste and occasionally headaches.

Mexico City luchador KFU (31) passed away Monday in Cuautla. He was a CMLL trained luchador (under Arkangel) who only got to wrestler in a CMLL ring on a Dragonmania show a few years ago.

Tijuana luchador Depreador (Marco Mireles, 51) passed away on Tuesday. No cause of death is reported. He was most often seen in the late 90s and early 00s at Auditorio de Tijuana; he had apuesta matches with Rambo (Depredador won) and Blue Demon Jr. (Depredador did not win.)

The Puebla cemitas sandwich vendors still are opening their shop in front of Arena Puebla, though the sales are way down without any shows. Same with the mask vendor.

Rocky Marvin talks about wrestling at a standstill in Veracruz. Like everyone else who is in wrestling, he’s upset that other things have been allowed to return and not them. He says an empty arena show they ran drew one-third the usual gate, so they didn’t try a second.

San Luis Potosi’s Arena Margarita was closed indefinitely on Sunday, by the local directorate of commerce, because lucha libre functions are not currently authorized. The promoter of Sunday’s event says that’s not true and they have a permit from the same directorate, and they’re totally going to run this upcoming Sunday. I assume they’re going to run unless someone shows up to keep the door shut. This controversy does help clarify what’s going on with this building generally: there are actually two different promotions, and they alternate months. One is named Marka, one is named Marca. That is about as confusing as you can get. It’s the Marka shows that are being shut down; the Marca ones seemed like they were running without a problem previously.

10/17 MexaWrestling “Mexa War II” at Arena San Juan

CMLL Lady’s Ring would’ve originally had an event today with Mystique, Microman, and Chamuel. That’s not possible, so they instead held a talk show with Tae Honma and Tsukushi talking about their experiences in Mexico. Ticket purchasers also got a DVD of the two women’s matches from the Anniversary show.

El Zocalo interviews Jerry Estrada about his CMLL Light Heavyweight title win over Pierroth, 29 years ago.

Mas Lucha has a column critical of fans at the MexaWrestling show for ignoring all health guidance, sitting in seats they weren’t allowed, and refusing to wear masks.

Legend is running an open-air Lucha Fan Fest on 11/01. No names have been announced.

This week’s En+carados talks about the CMLL Anniversario show.

I appeared on the Winter Palace podcast talking about the CMLL Aniversario show.

Lineups

REX (SAT) 10/03/2020 Centro de Alto Rendimento The Crash, Ecatepec, Estado de México
1) Dragón Boy vs Falcón FireSkylerPerseo
2) Lilith Dark vs GatubelaStarfire
3) Gasparín & Símbolo Azteca vs Diosa Quetzal & Tromba
4) Draztick Boy vs Séptimo DragónPríncipe Aéreo
5) Halloween vs Miedo ExtremoFly StarCíclope

A new promotion, and one I can’t even find the Facebook page for. It’s not listed on the poster because why would it be. This looks like a Vanguardia show, but the gimmicks is the promotion is doing a cross over show with Vangurida on it’s very first event. Who is actually in REX? What is REX? No idea. Starting a promotion when you can’t go more than 30% capacity means you’re not in it for the money, at the least. Tickets are 200 pesos, which is also still somehow expensive for this arena.

IWRG (SUN) 10/04/2020 Arena Naucalpan
Festival de Mascaras, 2020
1) Mexica vs Dick Angelo 3G
2) Diosa Quetzal, Jessy Ventura, Shil-Kha vs Diosa Atenea, Fulgor I, Zoy Raymunda
3) Black Warrior & Guerrero Maya Sr. vs Oficial 911 & Oficial AK47 and Cerebro Negro & Relámpago
4) Galeno del Mal & Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. vs Trauma I & Trauma II
5) Dr. Wagner Jr., Dragón Bane, Hijo de Canis Lupus vs Demonio Infernal, Fresero Jr., Máscara Año 2000 Jr.

The third match is a special “lots of people remarked”, but it otherwise feels like a normal show plus Dr. Wagner. “Also, Dr. Wagner” seems like the hook for a lot of indie pay content, possibly because he’s one of the few true big names who are available right now. The sort of legend who’d normally be brought back for this show may not be able to safely wrestle right now. It is a good this is an additional show on Mas Lucha’s premium service and not a stand-alone PPV because it doesn’t feel big.

The new name for the no longer endorsed “Máscara Año 2000 Jr.” appears to be Máscara Año 2000 Junior. I guess this is only confusing if the new one actually wrestlers.

LLB (SAT) 10/31/2020 Arena Lopez Mateos
1) Aguilita Oriental, Chinacito, Demonio Gato vs Especie Maligna, Kid Jaguar, Sumed Black
2) Brazo de Platino Jr., Divino, Espartano vs Juan Diego, Ninja de Fuego, Randy
3) Ángel o Demonio, Ovett, Pinochito vs Demus 3:16, Fantasma de la Ópera, Súper Comando
4) Dragón, Hijo Del Impostor, LA Park Jr. vs Herodes Jr., Hijo del Pirata Morgan, Lunatik Extreme
5) Hijo de LA Park & LA Park vs ? & Joe Lider

A very Lucha Libre Boom show. If it doesn’t make sense for CMLL guys to be coming from Guadalajara and Puebla to work CMLL shows, how are the Juarez guys (Dragon, Hijo del Impostor) affordable for so many Mexico State shows?

BELLO (SAT) 11/14/2020 Auditorio Benito Juárez, Veracruz, Veracruz
1) Emperador, Poseidón Jr., Tigre de Bronce vs Demente, Explosivo I, Explosivo II, Flash
3 vs 4?
2) Hijo Del Rey Pantera & Rey Pantera vs Consquistador & Tiburón Jarocho
3) Baronessa & Hija De La Gatubela vs Diosa Quetzal & Lady Pink
4) Hijo del Tirantes, Poseidón, Rey Infierno vs Alas de Oro, Alas De Plata, Súper Nova (Indie)
5) Flamita, Laredo Kid, Puma King vs Dragón Bane, Hijo de Canis Lupus, Último Legendario
6) Wotan vs Joe LiderHijo del FishmanDemus

This card replaces the Wotan/Hijo del Fishman mask match, originally scheduled in Xalapa for June and now postponed to sometime in 2021.

Vanguardia, IWRG weekend results, Memes tournament

Vanguardia (SAT) 09/19/2020 Estadio Primero de Mayo, Tulancingo, Hidalgo [Mas Lucha]
1) Alfa Jr., Aster Boy, Dayami b Amnesia, Misionero, Zuzu Divine
2) Billy Gamer, Dark Biker, Murdock b Caballero de Atena & Dragón Boy
3 vs 2
3) Gasparín & Símbolo Azteca © COR Drolux & Moria [BMLL TAG]
4) Crazy King b LátigoLobo Blanco Jr. [VANGUARDIA 4X4]
Crazy King beat Lobo Blanco to retain, then vacated the title, then  Santy Hernandez beat up a staff member and declared him champion.
5) Falcón Fire b OrientalArezDraztick Boy [BMLL CRUISER]
Falcon Fire beat Draztick Boy in a big upset to win the title. Calibus became the latest ex-DTU wrestler to debut here, challenging for the next shot.
6) Jitsu & Santy Hernández b Cíclope & Miedo Extremo [explosion]
Ciclope was hurt after being thrown from a truck and Santy Hernandez couldn’t make it back to the ring, which left Jitsu alone to pull the upset win on Miedo with a bat and explosives.

This was the iPPV that aired Sunday. There didn’t seem to be much talk about it from what I saw, though Vanguardia posted some photos of people who were watching on their Facebook page so maybe I’m just missing it. It reads like they made an effort to put different people over. They introduced the Vanguardia Tag Team Championship, which makes three (Black Mask, GCW) tag belts in this promotion. Maybe that’ll be narrowed down by the time that gets decided. Vanguardia’s next idea is an outdoor socially distanced show sometime next month.

IWRG (SUN) 09/27/2020 Arena Naucalpan [Mas Lucha, R de Rudo]
1) Maradó b Chicanito Chicanito vs Marado Mano a Mano desde la Arena Naucalpan (posted by Estrellas del Ring) Eliminatorias para encontrar a los retadores al Campeonato de Parejas | IIWRG (posted by +LuchaTV)
2) Dick Angelo 3G & Shil-Kha b Atomik Star & Legendario Atomick Star y Legendario vs Shil Kah y Dick Angelo 3G desde la Arena Naucalpan (posted by Estrellas del Ring) Eliminatorias para encontrar a los retadores al Campeonato de Parejas | IIWRG (posted by +LuchaTV)
3) Diosa Atenea & Fulgor b Alas De Plata & Diosa Quetzal Diosa Quetzal y Alas de Plata vs Diosa Atenea y Fulgor I desde la Arena Naucalpan (posted by Estrellas del Ring) Eliminatorias para encontrar a los retadores al Campeonato de Parejas | IIWRG (posted by +LuchaTV)
4) Jessy Ventura & Pasion Kristal b Karaoui & Veneno and Hijo del Alebrije & Relámpago Eliminatorias para encontrar a los retadores al Campeonato de Parejas | IIWRG (posted by +LuchaTV) Pasión Cristal y Jessy Ventura vs H Alebrije y Relámpago vs Veneno y Karoui desde la Arena Naucalpan (posted by Estrellas del Ring)
Ventura hit hard on the ground on the Alebrije tope but finished the match
5) Demonio Infernal & Fresero Jr. DQ Dragón Bane & Hijo de Canis Lupus [IWRG IC TAG, #1 Contenders, semifinal] Dragón Bane e Hijo de Canis Lupus vs Fresero Jr y Demonio Infernal desde la Arena Naucalpan (posted by Estrellas del Ring) Eliminatorias para encontrar a los retadores al Campeonato de Parejas | IIWRG (posted by +LuchaTV)
Canis Lupus hit the referee for the DQ

The undercard sounds like it went well. The main event was one of those matches where participants take photos of their bruised up chests afterward to talk about how real lucha libre is. Canis Lupus tried to dropkick Fresero Jr. into light tubes, Fresero dodged but the referee wandered away and went into light tubes, the second referee (?) let the match go until Canis Lupus got the pin, then got the DQ. File that with the Dalys/Marcela finish. Demonio Infernal & Fresero face the winner of Los Traumas & Jessy Ventura & Pasion Kristal.

Next week’s IWRG show is their Festival of Mascaras show (everyone’s allowed to wrestle in their mask). It’ll include Dr. Wagner Jr. and it will only be on the Mas Lucha Premium service. That’s the first IWRG show to go that way.

Jean Montanez defeated Hijo del Pirata Morgan for his hair on Saturday’s Pro Wrestling Resurrection show. That seems beneath Pirata Morgan but at least the Montanez are said to pay pretty well.

San Luis Potosi state Arena Margarita got attention a couple of months ago for running a packed show when no shows were to be allowed. Everyone passed the blame on how it was even allowed, the arena ran a couple closed building shows, and then just went back to doing what they were before. I guess someone just noticed this weekend; there were threats of the building being shut down if they ran their show Saturday.

San Luis Potosi promoter Rayo de Plata uploaded a video asking that the local government allow them to start running again, arguing they only usually draw 50 people in an 800 person building.

A profile of young Chetumal luchador Guerrero Galactico Jr.

NVT Noticas has a bio of Oaxaca luchador La Llorona, who started in 1974.

Lucha Talk talks about the CMLL Aniversario.

Box Y Lucha 3441 covers the CMLL Aniversario.

Lineups

Lucha Memes (SUN) 10/04/2020 Coliseo Coacalco, Coacalco, Estado de México
1) Judas el Traidor vs Crazy King
2) Aeroboy vs Ricky Marvin
3) Sádico vs Perro De Guerra Jr. [Battle of Coacalco, quarterfinal]
4) Arez vs Blazer [Battle of Coacalco, quarterfinal]
5) Taurus (Indie) vs Fly Star [Battle of Coacalco, quarterfinal]
6) Látigo vs Garrobo Punk [Battle of Coacalco, quarterfinal]
7) ? vs ?? [Battle of Coacalco, semifinal]
8) ? vs ?? [Battle of Coacalco, semifinal]
9) ? vs ?? [Battle of Coacalco, final]

All four first-round matches are touring indy guys versus lesser-known people. Taurus/Fly Star is the closest thing to an exception, but it’s still a pretty big gap. Someone’s going to have to pull a big upset to make this less obvious.

good CMLL Aniversario show under bad circumstances, quiet title change, upcoming PPV plans

CMLL (FRI) 09/25/2020 Arena México [CMLL, El UniversalESTOFactor4troLucha CentralMarcaMas LuchaOvacionesR de Rudo, thecubsfan, Voices of Wrestling]
CMLL 87th Aniversario
1) Chamuel © b Microman [CMLL MICROS] CMLL 87 ANIVERSARIO CHAMUEL VS MICROMAN CAMPEONATO MUNDIAL DE MICRO ESTRELLAS 25 DE SEPTIEMBRE  2020 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
13:14, Chamuel winning clean via modified standing surfboard. First defense since belt was decided.
2) Titán © b Soberano Jr. [CMLL WELTERCMLL 87 ANIVERSARIO TITÁN VS SOBERANO JR. CAMPEONATO MUNDIAL WELTER  25 DE SEPTIEMBRE  2020 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
25:24. Titan wins clean with El Inmortal. First defense. Replaces a Guerreros vs Hechicero/Terrible/Templario (in for Cavernario) CMLL TRIOS match.
3) Reina Isis b La Metálica © [MEX WOMENCMLL 87 ANIVERSARIO METÁLICA VS REYNA ISIS CAMPEONATO NACIONAL FEMENIL  25 DE SEPTIEMBRE  2020 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
17:19. Reina Isis is the 21st modren champion. Metalica falls on 3rd defense, first since last year’s Aniversario. Reyna Isis replaced Lluvia.
4) Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón © b Cancerbero, Raziel, Virus [MEX TRIOSCMLL 87 ANIVERSARIO LA NGD VS LOS CANCERBEROS  CAMPEONATO NACIONAL DE TRIOS 25 DE SEPTIEMBRE  2020 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
17:07. 15th defense (previous announced 15th defense was canceled)
5) Marcela © DQ Dalys [CMLL WOMENCMLL 87 ANIVERSARIO MARCELA VS DALYS CAMPEONATO MUNDIAL FEMENIL  25 DE SEPTIEMBRE  2020 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
14:45. Dalys cleanly submitted Marcela to a scorpion deathlock, but the finish was reversed to a DQ when Dalys didn’t let go after a (rapid) five count. Sixth defense for Marcela. Dalys replaced Princesa Sugehit.
6) Volador Jr. © b Templario [NWA WELTERCMLL 87 ANIVERSARIO VOLADOR JR. VS TEMPLARIO CAMPEONATO HISTÓRICO WELTER  25 DE SEPTIEMBRE  2020 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
19:35 after a poison rana. Sixth defense. Templario replaced Bandido.
7) Carístico & Místico © b Espíritu Negro & Rey Cometa [CMLL TAGCMLL 87 ANIVERSARIO MÍSTICO Y CARÍSTICO VS REY COMETA Y ESPÍRITU NEGRO  25 DE SEPTIEMBRE  2020 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
13:22 via double Mistica. Second defense for the Misticos.

If this show had to happen, and with this lineup, it was one of the best possible versions of his show. Most matches were as good or better than expected.

AtrapaSuenos got to have their Aniversario main event moment, but it didn’t feel close to level of the usual Aniversario match. It was instead a relatively straightforward tag match where the challengers never felt close to winning. (Part of the issue is the Misticos are never going to lose without at least trying La Mistica, and they weren’t going to allow these two to escape the first shot at that.) Cometa’s big spot, the Brillo Cometa, went very badly but the match otherwise held together fine. Espiritu Negro proved doubters wrong by hanging well here.

Volador & Templario came out with such a fast pace that it seemed like maybe they were getting cut on time, but they were just working face. A credit they could keep it together for so long given how they worked. The pace helped a bunch; it turned into the usual Volador big match fall trading, but at least the pauses between moves were going quicker (and it didn’t stick out that they were trading moves as much.) Templario looked really good and like there’s still another level to unlock with his athleticism. Volador should be asking to work with him on a regular basis; he was so much better than Gran Guerrero last week.

I misread the situation with the women’s championship so wrong. It had seemed to me that everything fell into place for CMLL: Sugehit going out mean Dalys was in line to get the long-planned title win. It’s now clear that’s not the case; either they’re saving it for Sugehit or otherwise do not want Dalys to have another title. It’s also still clear Dalys absolutely will not take a loss (which is maybe why they can’t put this title on her.) The finish played out like an unfair Olimpico call screwing the ruda, which makes no sense and wasn’t entertaining. This is a pattern with Dalys, who had a similar awful finish last year in an apparent attempt to get out of doing a clean job. There’s no other man or woman in CMLL who is so frequently involved in these sorts of things, which suggests Dalys probably wouldn’t still be in CMLL if she didn’t have connections. I presume she’ll be in the tag team tournament too, so it’ll be fascinating to see how CMLL handles it if she’s not scheduled to win that one either.

Dalys got a lot of negative comments about both getting the title match and her performance in it on social media. She melted down in a Facebook post while declaring this would be the last time she would respond to criticism. Dalys stated she really is the best wrestler because she’s won two titles and had may defenses, apparently treating her championship wins as shoot victories. That’s a weird attempt to win an argument with a fanbase that still goes along with kayfabe for the most part, but it doesn’t even make sense that way – Amapola or Marcela should be considered the best if we’re counting titles won. This is probably not the last time we’ll hear Dalys complain about complaints, since she’s now going through her comments and reading each one to give a thumbs up to a positive ones (and maybe hiding the negatives.)

There were some brief shining moments for mean old Cancerberos against NGD, culminating when Cancebero became (maybe) the first guy to break up the Capault Dinamita by just dropkicking them to pieces. The Cancerberos usual match (fight rough against the kids) was a lot more appealing than the NGD usual match (run through the same sequences every week) and this was little more than taking turns in those match styles. It worked better in the parts where the old rudos were in control. Raziel, Cancerbero & Virus felt the moment and tried to make something of this, even if the NGD didn’t bring much creative energy. It delivered on the oddness of the show, even if the match itself was just OK.

Reyna Isis & La Metalica were in a very hard position to follow the previous match and compounded it by not doing a whole lot interesting in the first five minutes. I think it was a product of wanting to have a lengthy match, but cutting it down by a third would’ve made a bit more exciting. Neither woman truly committed to playing the tecnico role in this match, and neither would’ve been all that experienced in it had they tried, so they just did a lot of moves instead. There was an occasional moment where they got lost or it felt they were going very slow to telegraph spots, but it was overall solid. Metalica had a better night than last year for sure. Reyna Isis has been positioned the highest of the younger crew and makes more sense as champion. Still not sure what’s going to happen when Lluvia returns.

Last year best CMLL singles matches always involved two of Soberano, Titan and Cavernario (or someone’s career on the line.) Cavernario is gone, probably for the year. There’s probably not going to be a hair or mask match, and the career bit is unlikely to happen again. I don’t think any new combination is beating the match Soberano and Titan had on this show, because they beat what they did last year. Both are working this even smarter and harder than they had both, giving a full house effort in front of no fans. Both are putting more thoughts in how to get into moves and how to changes up usual routines, keeping these matches much fresher than the usual top CMLL matches. Soberano specifically looks like a more well rounded and interesting wrestler when he has these matches with Titan than he does against any other opponent. That’s a credit to Titan, absolutely one of the best wrestlers in Mexico who doesn’t get a chance to show it because his promotion gives him so few opportunities. Hopefully, we’ll get more big match Titan with CMLL doing more singles matches in this new format. (The pessimistic feeling is we better enjoy this, because CMLL/Dragon Lee and COVID issues might make it tough for Titan to get to do some BOSJ work this year.)

Chamuel worked so hard in the opener, coming off as a monster while also setting up Microman for his big spots. The timing on the headscissors off the lightboard was perfect, and he’s always doing that. Microman deserves his share of credit too, but he seemed off of peak condition and tired quickly. The title match falls apart with any other micro rudo on the roster than Chamuel, and all the best future matches involve him too. It would’ve been a mistake if he had lost and I was impressed when they gave him a clean win.

This show did not feel like an Aniversario show, from the presentation to the lack of fans to the lack of general interest. An all fan-voted champions show did feel like a worthwhile concept, though. CMLL’s looking for as many themed shows as possible in general, so bringing this back as a concept once a year during an otherwise quiet month is a good idea. They may want to cut down to six or five title matches instead to shorten the show, but both the title matches picked by fans will get over and will create new matchups every year. This should be brought back some time in 2021.

CMLL didn’t really address the COVID-19 situation outside of a couple of shows of a man with a leafblower cleaning championship belts. Seems like a Clorox wipe would be easier there. It would’ve been simple for CMLL to say “everyone on the show passed their COVID-19 tests today, all the matches are still on, enjoy the show!” but CMLL doesn’t think in terms of getting people to like them. The concern about the situation was loud enough for Leo Riano to reference it in his weekly column, though he also dismissed the idea of a postponement without a second thought. Hopefully is everyone is OK. In reality, since CMLL is announcing one lineup a week and only a few days in advance, it’ll be very easy for people to just disappear from lineups for a while if something happens with them. We only found out the positives tests we did because CMLL had to explain why they were off the Aniversario card, and they might not say anything if they’re off pulled off lineup or not listed entirely.

Heavyweight Title Change as an afterthought

There was only one title change on this show, but there were two title changes on the night. The CMLL show airing on AXS TV also had a title change.

CMLL , AMX (FRI) 09/25/2020 Arena México
1) Nitro b Retro  (posted by Google Drive)
Nitro took 1/3
2) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Stuka Jr. b Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto  (posted by Google Drive)
Tecnicos took 2/3
3) Diamante Azul b Terrible © [MEX HEAVY (posted by )
Diamante Azul is the new champion

CMLL did not advertise this match was happening and did not acknowledge the change until the next day (only then promoting the Sunday replay.) This is strange on so many levels: there was a long build to Diamante Azul finally winning this title (or any heavyweight title) and it finally happened without a noise. Why not do this on the bigger TV show? why didn’t they save it for one of the PPVs if they’re downplaying TV? Does the CMLL social media have no idea what’s going to air and when? It feels like there should be someone paid by CMLL to keep track of what is airing and what needs to be hyped, and it also seems like no one is doing that job.

Likewise, CMLL appears to have accidentally skipped an episode of the shows they’re airing on YouTube. They should be airing the show with the Atlantis/Flyer vs Tiger/Villano III title match, but instead are showing a different set of matches tomorrow. I guess that match will just never air, or maybe they’ll figure it out next week.

CMLL October PPV pricing

CMLL and Ticketmaster put virtual tickets on sale for the October shows. It’s a complex nest of individual shows and packages that could’ve used an explanation. What I’ve figured out

  • There are five shows, up from four last month, still all on Fridays
  • The Women’s Tag Team Tournament final (10/16) and the Dia del Muertos show (10/30) are premium shows at 287.50 pesos each
  • The other three shows are 113.75 pesos each.
  • The full month package is 687.50 pesos
  • There’s also a women’s tag team tournament package covering just the first three weeks for 412.15 pesos.

There’s a little bit of money to be saved by just purchasing the Dia del Muertos show and the Women’s Tag Team tournament (which could include some missing Aniversario title matches) over the entire month package. You should get the monthly package if you’re looking to watch any more than that.

You can see the comparison to last month here; the shorter version are prices are up across the boards. It seems very weird that it’ll cost more to watch the women tag team tournament than the Aniversario, but this is more CMLL & Ticketmaster seeing how high a price they can get away with. CMLL always did actual real tickets variable pricing on tickets, so it shouldn’t be too big of a surprise they’re doing it now.

It still feels pricey. A month of CMLL is still cheaper than a single AEW PPV, but $30 USD of shows is much more expensive than any streaming service. The prices going up suggest CMLL and TicketMaster saw plenty of people buying. The situation has changed – this isn’t the Aniversario, fans have had a month to experience the good and the bad of the streaming, and there isn’t a giant long gap without new CMLL. Either wrestling content has generally underpriced themselves in Mexico if this works for CMLL, or we’re going to see something much different down the line.

(There’s usually some people who are contacting Ticketmaster on Twitter due to an issue with not getting the right link to the stream on all Friday night shows, but there were an awful lot of them last night. The advantage with Ticketmaster for CMLL is there was actually someone there to solve the problems and most people seemed to be able to get to the show eventually. They still missed part of the show they could never watch again and may see that as a reason not to spend again.)

I may need to enact a fee for any “hey, I didn’t pay for the show/no VOD is a problem for me” related inquiries starting October 1st.

Other Lucha Libre notes

There’s a lot of PPV lucha libre content this weekend

Mas Lucha seems to have a hand in all four of these, either just taping them all the way to broadcasting them. I was curious if they’d promote the one on their own service the most. Instead, it’s all been about equal, with perhaps the Vanguardia show getting the most attention.

I think I’ve donated for every free Vanguardia show and won’t be getting this one because they’re not offering a Paypal option and I don’t want to deal with Facebook. I don’t think that’s the norm at all though, and they’ll probably make more money this way.

Tormento was scheduled for the Legend show that I think is airing today. (They’re running a live event today, and I’m unclear if that’s the show airing or if it was the one they taped two weeks ago and this one airs later.) Tormento is off the Legend show after a COVID-19 positive test, something the promotion announced in advance. Tormento had symptoms and got his own testing done. He’s not in a big match, he’s in the second match, they just wanted to be up front about it.

The current Exatlon season is bringing people back from past seasons. It won’t include Hijo de Octagon, the endorsed son of Octagon, because he’s still seeking missed pay from years ago and threatening a lawsuit. If I recall right, it was implied there was some issue over the Octagon name involved that.

Salamanca luchador Rey Muerte (Luis Alberto Espinoza) was shot to death on Wednesday  He wrestled for twenty years, became a trainer, and was worked as a wrestling licensing evaluator in his city in addition to his real job (which seems to have included a role in the police.) The article focuses on his wrestling/sports career and nothing on the circumstances of his shooting.

Segunda Caida watches some 1996 CMLL.