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.

Bandido & Último Guerrero off the CMLL Aniversario show after positive COVID-19 tests

This is a breaking news post and may be updated with more details later.

Bandido and Ultimo Guerrero both have tested positive for COVID-19, CMLL announced on Informa Wednesday. They join Lluvia and Princesa Sugehit as COVID-19 CMLL luchadors in the last few days. Four of the seven matches planned for the CMLL Aniversario show, CMLL’s biggest event, have now been changed due to COVID-19 positive results. CMLL still plans on running the show on Friday.

Mexico City wrestling regulations require regular COVID-19 testing. CMLL has said they’re following all testing regulations, have shown glimpses of testing, and have implied they’re doing tests once a week. There are no more further details, including the type of tests being used. Sugehit’s positive test came with her personal doctor in Monterrey. Bandido worked CMLL’s show on Friday, which wouldn’t have been allowed with a positive test. Any positive test seems as though it must’ve also been him getting a test himself. It is less clear when Lluvia or Ultimo Guerrero tested positive. Lluvia did miss Friday’s show with no explanation, but CMLL rarely explains missing wrestlers. Ultimo Guerrero has not appeared or been listed on a CMLL PPV card since their return, but did work some of their TV tapings.

CMLL fans overwhelming voted Bandido to face Volador Jr. for his NWA Historic Welterweight Championship. Bandido can no longer participate. Templario will take Bandido’s place as Volador’s challenger. Lluvia and Princesa Sugehit are to get their make up title matches in October. CMLL will also make up the missing world trios title match in October and plan to also have Bandido/Volador in October.

Box Y Lucha mentioned fan-circulated rumors of Bandido’s COVID-19 diagnosis in their issue on Monday, but the story didn’t get widely picked up until CMLL’s announcement on Wednesday. Ultimo Guerrero’s status has been in question since his partner Lluvia was announced as testing positive on Monday. CMLL quietly deleted graphics promoting both the trios title match and Volador/Bandido from social media on Tuesday.

If I’m right about CMLL testing before TV tapings on Thursday – a lot of guesswork there – CMLL may not know who else is COVID-19 positive until tomorrow. CMLL possibly will change the procedures because of these tests but they have may outward indications of a chance and are continuing on as normal.

reported AAA AutoLuchas plan, COVID-19 positives, panedmic loans

AAA will reportedly resume running events with their first AutoLuchas show on October 3rd. An article in RECORD, republished here, had the details on Tuesday. A press conference scheduled to announce this on Tuesday was postponed, so some or all the information may change.

The current plans are for three shows a day on Saturdays and Sundays at the Hermanos Rodriguez car racetrack. That is a change from running in at Six Flags Mexico. (Dr. Landru alluded to that change earlier Tuesday, mentioning the area around Six Flags is still dealing with a high number of infections.) The AutoLuchas shows would have room for 250 cars a show, hoping for 750 cars a day. The rest of the details are what had been announced in July; there is no new information on streaming or video accessibility.

The AutoLucha press conference is still happening this week at last word but I don’t know when. Obviously, if that press conference never takes place, then these shows aren’t happening yet.

CMLL announced today’s Informa guests will be the champions defending their titles at Aniversario. Expect additional news on that show. The Aniversario show remains on.

Hechicero and Gala Lutteroth appeared on a Mexican sensate sponsored panel discussion about the importance of lucha libre in Mexican Culture. Hechicero, Gala Lutteroth, Salvador Lutteroth Lomeli, Atlantis Jr. and Mystique appeared at the opening of a mask/photo lucha libre exhibit at the W Hotel. That will remain open for two weeks. Gala Lutteroth is officially listed as “CMLL Director of Cultural Relations and has appeared a little more often as a CMLL public representative of late, since the cultural connection appears to have allowed them to start running again.

Mephisto wants to go for the tag titles with Hechicero.

Microman voted for himself twice.

Pandmeic unemployment assistance loans for luchadors will be distributed this week, according to a press conference at the Mexico City lucha libre commission office. 250 Mexico City luchadors and 380 Mexico State luchadors signed up for a 25,000 pesos ($1,159) loan, which they’ll need to repay in three years. The luchadors will receive a card with the value by visiting their local welfare office, which means the lucha libre commission is now out of the process. Fantasma was asked again about the rumor people working on behalf of the office were pocketing a “processing fee” and maintained no one was asked for it while asking anyone who has proof otherwise to come forward.

There’s something funny about Fantasma telling people not to go to secret shows to a media outlet that’s been filming secret shows. On a similar topic, Mas Lucha’s podcast talks to two promoters – the Arena Mama Luchas and one outside of Monterrey – who was shut down by the government this past week.

Konnan Big has tested positive about COVID-19. He is not showing symptoms. Konnan Big later said he’d like to donate blood plasma with COVID-19 antibodies once he gets better, which humorously led to people on social media expressing their distrust for the safety and substances in Konnan Big’s blood.

Referee Babe Richard Jr. says he caught COVID-19 and was sick for some time but now has recovered.

Tijuana Pro Wrestling is advertising a drive-in show tonight (9:30 pm CT, 7:30 pm local) that apparently ill be airing on Facebook. They’re advertising names from Lucha Libre Vanguardia, but no matches are mentioned. I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere besides their Facebook.

MexaWrestling’s last show will premiere on Mas Lucha this Saturday. Their next show will be on October 17th and will include wrestlers from DTU, IWRG, and Lucha Time.

Metaleon announced he’d be going by Leon Dorado Jr. from now on, though promoters are generally slow on the uptake on these changes.

Vanguardia teased a surprise debut for their PPV this Sunday. I feel like I should look at the DTU roster and figure out who else has disappeared.

EMW’s drive-in show will now take place on 10/03 at the Toros de Tijuana baseball stadium. They didn’t have a location when they announced two weeks ago so this one might take.

Expo Lucha is going virtual for 2020. On October 10th, they’re going to have a panel discussion with Konnan and the hosts of the MMM show about Lucha Underground and show never before seen matches. This will all stream on their video platforms.

Periodico Correo has a good piece on Leon’s history of wrestling, which has greatly declined since the closure of former weekly stop Arena Isabel. The article argues that the most famous two luchadors from Leon were Black Shadow, who lost his mask to El Santo, and Bobby Lee, who lost his mask to Hijo del Santo.

I’m behind on the podcasts, so the Sam Adonis interview on Chris Jericho’s podcast is a few weeks old but definitely worth checking for lucha libre talk. A sad story inside: Chris Jericho has been DM-ing Negro Casas on Instagram for a couple of years and never gets a response. Jericho figures Casas doesn’t know how to use Instagram and he’s probably right.

Nino Hamburguesa appeared in a rap video.

Aeroboy appeared in a beer commercial.

Crazy Boy believes his biggest rival is himself.

Laredo Kid is raffling off a set of gear.

Periodico La Voz has a profile of Difunto II.

Lineups

IWRG (SUN) 09/27/2020 Arena Naucalpan
1) Chicanito vs Maradó
2) Atomik Star & Legendario vs Dick Angelo 3G & Shil-Kha
3) Alas De Plata & Diosa Quetzal vs Diosa Atenea & Fulgor
4) Karaoui & Veneno vs Jessy Ventura & Pasion Kristal vs Hijo del Alebrije & Relámpago
5) Demonio Infernal & Fresero Jr. vs Dragón Bane & Hijo de Canis Lupus [IWRG IC TAG, #1 Contenders, semifinal]

The tournament looks to have slowed down to one match a day. The feuds from the last few weeks are gone, this is more a normal pre-pandemic card. The last few shows have been surprisingly tightly booked, which hopefully will continue.