seven title matches on CMLL’s Aniversario show tonight, AAA AutoLucha plans announced (streaming on 10/03)

The CMLL lineup, as it stands at the moment.

CMLL (FRI) 09/25/2020 Arena México
CMLL 87th Aniversario
1) Chamuel © vs Microman [CMLL MICROS]
first defense since belt was decided
2) Titán © vs Soberano Jr. [CMLL WELTER]
First defense. Replaces a Guerreros vs Hechicero/Terrible/Templario (in for Cavernario) CMLL TRIOS match.
3) La Metálica © vs Reina Isis [MEX WOMEN]
3rd defense, first since last year’s Aniversario. Reyna Isis replaced Lluvia.
4) Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón © vs Cancerbero, Raziel, Virus [MEX TRIOS]
15th defense (previous announced 15th defense was canceled)
5) Marcela © vs Dalys [CMLL WOMEN]
sixth defense. Dalys replaced Princesa Sugehit.
6) Volador Jr. © vs Templario [NWA WELTER]
sixth defense. Templario replaced Bandido.
7) Carístico & Místico © vs Espíritu Negro & Rey Cometa [CMLL TAG]
second defense

If you’re interested in buying this show, it’s still available on Ticketmaster for about 13 USD. (Price hasn’t gone down, but the peso fell in the last week.) It’s still at 8:30 pm, it’s still live only. I wrote about this show, and my distress over it, over on Voices of Wrestling. That’s a more general wrestling audience and it caused me to think about how they might think about this card: like, not at all. CMLL and Mexico wrestling doesn’t ever get a lot of attention, but this specific Aniversario show exists in worldwide oblivion even beyond the COVID-19 situation. It’s counter-intuitive because CMLL has tried to market the PPVs in Japanese and English, something they’ve never tried before, but it feels like there’s no knowledge of this show existing outside of people who talk about lucha libre all the time. The lack of significant mask or hair match takes away an important hook at a moment when wrestling fans who might take a look at non-WWE wrestling have three different tournaments in Japan to watch or AEW to see. There’s a lot of lucha libre stuff I do with the feeling that if I don’t do it, it’s just not going to be done in English or maybe at all. I didn’t really guess writing about CMLL’s big show would be one of those things.

I am writing about this show. All wrestling feels like some degree of guilty pleasure to me; I’m not as skilled at “separating the people from the art,” and wonder if I’m doing more harm than good by giving some light to people with obvious self-destructive tendencies or bad intentions. This show feels more guilty than most, but I feel some responsibility to follow this all the way through and some resignation that nothing I do or not do is going to make all that much of a difference. Doing stuff because it needs to be done even if you’re not sure it amounts to anything doesn’t really make sense, but that’s where I am most days.

What we do know from this past week is CMLL will announce changes on their own schedule or not at all. I hope these matches happen and I hope they happen because everyone is safe, but it should be no surprise if something gets changed. I’ve seen a few people pushing to get a refund because the card isn’t what was advertised, but I’m not sure if that’s actually working out.

Still seven matches. Everything is one fall, which is going to be weird for everyone. I don’t think the whistle to pinfall time is going to be all that different, but I guess they’ll be able to shave off a couple of minutes of fall breaks per match and that does add up.

Espirtiu Negro & Rey Cometa pulling off the 100 to 1 upset in the main event would make this show memorable and would set up a rematch for next month. That would also give Caristico & Mistico an ongoing story, instead of just a one-off match and back to having no direction. CMLL seems to favor tournaments over storytelling, so it seems unlikely anything is going to happen.

I’m guessing Caristico & Mistico, Volador, NGD, and Titan retain. Both women’s titles will change hands and Microman wins that title as well are my predictions. Soberano/Titan will be the match of the night.

CMLL announced plans for October on Informa. The National Women’s Tag Team Tournament, originally scheduled for March, will take place from October 2nd to the 16th. The original tournament included ten teams, including some people who are with COVID-19 and some who have not appeared since shows resumed. It’s likely the previously announced teams will change. CMLL will be running the annual Dia del Muertos show on 10/30. That includes a Rey del Inframundo (Sanson) championship match, with a challenger decided on 10/23. The four title matches pushed off the Anniversary show will also happen in some form during October, assuming the participants are healthy.

These October shows will air on Ticketmaster Live. No pricing has been announced and no tickets are on sale. If CMLL is going to push on through with tonight’s show, it would’ve been a smart move to sell a package of it and the future shows as an impulse purchase. Oh well.

Bandido told Milenio Thursday that he had a slight pain in his chest but otherwise was OK. He was planning on visiting a doctor that day. Bandido also filmed a video for CMLL, thanking their fans for their support.

Ultimo Guerrero seemed fine on a Facebook video, indicated he’s planning on spending two weeks away from people.

Box Y Lucha posted the CMLL interviews with Marcela & La Metalica and Mistico & Caristico. The two Misticos pushed the idea of taking their tag team to New Japan and Ring of Honor. ROH and CMLL seem to be ignoring each otherwise at the moment. A story reported by the Super J Cast (but originally investigated by DOUKI) says there are rumors of both a NJPW Best of Super Juniors and a World Tag League tour still to take place this year. I’m not sure Mistico & Caristico are working either of those. It’s also going to be tough for FantasticaMania to happen without everyone staying in a hotel for two weeks beforehand. We usually start to hear about those shows in the next month, though NJPW themselves haven’t gotten around to talking about the 01/04 show yet.

ESTO has a big article with Euforia, hyping his trios title match. Which is now postponed, as the article notes near the end. CMLL did most of their media work before they announced Bandido & Ultimo Guerrero being off, and don’t appear to get a heads up to the media.

AAA AutoLuchas 

AAA officially announced the AutoLuchas shows, taking place the Mexico City car racing track. No change in the dates: October 3rd & 4th and 10th & 11th, Saturdays and Sundays. Shows take place 1 pm, 4:30 pm, and 8:00 pm. The idea is five-match shows, giving enough time for people to come and before the next show. Tickets per car run $947.00 – $2152.00 ($43 to $98 USD); there are different distances to the ring and bigger vehicles will be placed towards the back. They’ll have screens around the make-shift arena to help everyone have a view, and announcers will be calling the shows on radio.

All shows will be taped. The 10/03 8 pm show will be shown live on AAA’s social media. (I presume this meant Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook.) The rest will air as normal TV shows on Azteca and Space. Those make their way to YouTube eventually; we may not see them right away, but I’d estimate they’ll be available in November. They are not giving out lineups ahead of time, as a precaution in case of COVID-19 issues. The idea is each show will have different matches and there won’t be a lot of storylines. They’re open to running more of these shows and running them in other parts of Mexico should they prove successful. Monterrey came up as a possible next location for AutoLuchas.

Everyone producing, wrestlers (said to be 75 wrestlers on the current roster) and production, will start getting COVID-19 testing on Monday. They’re also figuring out their COVID-19 protocols on Monday, including when they cancel the show. They’ll be doing temperature checks, checking for masks and handing out gel as each car comes to the arena. Dorian Roldan emphasized they were taking COVID-19 very seriously and that it’s important for all sports companies to keep the people safe; if they can’t do that, they should cancel their event. This certainly came off as a reference to the CMLL situation, though they didn’t come up by name and there’s plenty of other outbreaks Roldan could’ve been thinking about.

Doran Roldan briefly went over a partial list of names. Pagano, Laredo Kid, and Pentagon Jr. were in addition to those among those who are in AAA full time. Surprises were also promised, as required in hyping every lucha libre show ever. Lady Shani, Chessman, and Psycho Clown talked to build up the show. They made a point of pushing this as something people who have never gone to lucha libre (or maybe never gone to AAA lucha libre.)

Other Notes

The next Mexico health status update is tonight at 6 pm. Mexico State’s governor says they will remain in Orange health condition for the next two weeks; they seemed close to going yellow last week. Mexico City’s governor says they’re improving but also remaining in Orange. There’s one state who has a chance of turning green (50% capacity) but it doesn’t seem like there will be big news.

Zona 23 tried to run a secret show on Sunday. They got caught by the police, who blocked the show. They ran the show in an empty field anyway. Ciclope beat Miedo Extremo for their title in the main event. Those guys have found a way to do a punishing amount of violent matches. They wrestled in the Vanguardia exploding ring match on Saturday (airs this upcoming Sunday), did this match for Zona 23 on Sunday, and had another death-match on a Vanguardia branded show in Tijuana on Wednesday. That one seems more like TJ indie guys and Ciclope vs Miedo on top than a normal Vanguardia, but I’m sure it doesn’t feel good all the same.

Hijo del Pirata Morgan hypes his hair versus mask match with Jean Montanez. I had no idea this was meant to be an 80 peso PPV. It would probably help if the ad included a date and time for the show (Saturday at 7 pm) but these things happen. I really hope Pirata isn’t losing that.

LEGEND has a package of two shows on PPV for 250 pesos this weekend, which include fans in attendance. They posted their COVID-19 protocols.

EMW held a press conference for their 10/03 drive-in show. Damian and Bestia appeared, talking about the need to restart wrestling for the luchador’s sake.

10/04 Lucha Memes Battle of Coacalco tournament participants

Crazy King and Judas el Traidor will also appear in non-tournament action.

Lucha Memes has a deal where wrestlers and even referees are being “sponsored” by fans. You have to DM the promoter on Facebook to find out sponsorship details; they’re keeping the amounts quiet. That’s been done in some American promotions too. (A fan paying a promotion to bring in someone is occasionally done on indie shows, though usually not with that fact promoted.) It’s great for the promotion, making a little extra money by slapping a logo on any poster like any other sponsor. It doesn’t seem like a great deal for the person paying to sponsor a wrestler, but it’s their money and they can use it any silly way they want. I’m concerned that’s there some precedent being set here that’ll be a problem later on. It’s also a thing that an indie lucha promoter is doing and so – no offense meant to Lucha Memes – the most likely outcome is it happens twice and never again so why did I even write this paragraph.

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

That match was previously with Crazy Boy. MexaWrestling says it was a mix up over dates on their side. They still list DTU as one of the promotions participating, which is unlikely with the Vanguardia guys involved.

Promoters in Leon are hoping to be able to run again in October.

Aeroboy will appear in GCW’s Nick Gage Invitation on 11/07 in New Jersey.

Fenix has a CBD sponsorship, That is a natural fit.

LuchaWorld has the latest news update.

El Diario de Victoria remembers an old El Santo appearance in Ciudad Victoria.

Cuatro Poder has a profile of Chiapas luchador Tury Jr. He’s hoping to run a show with 4,000 people, 50% capacity, by the end of the year.