CMLL (FRI) 09/25/2020 Arena México [CMLL, El Universal, ESTO, Factor4tro, Lucha Central, Marca, Mas Lucha, Ovaciones, R de Rudo, thecubsfan, Voices of Wrestling]
CMLL 87th Aniversario
1) Chamuel © b Microman [CMLL MICROS]
13:14, Chamuel winning clean via modified standing surfboard. First defense since belt was decided.
2) Titán © b Soberano Jr. [CMLL WELTER]
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 WOMEN]
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 TRIOS]
17:07. 15th defense (previous announced 15th defense was canceled)
5) Marcela © DQ Dalys [CMLL WOMEN]
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 WELTER]
19:35 after a poison rana. Sixth defense. Templario replaced Bandido.
7) Carístico & Místico © b Espíritu Negro & Rey Cometa [CMLL TAG]
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
Nitro took 1/3
2) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Stuka Jr. b Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto
Tecnicos took 2/3
3) Diamante Azul b Terrible © [MEX HEAVY]
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
- Pro Wrestling Resurrection is offering the Hijo del Pirata Morgan vs Jean Montanez for an 80 peso Facebook PPV.
- Legend is doing a two show Facebook PPV package for 250 pesos, with the first event taking place tonight at 7pm.
- MexaWrestling’s show from last weekend debuts on Mas Lucha’s Premium service Saturday
- Vanguardia has a 150 pesos Facebook PPV on Sunday, a taped show from last 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.