I may be moving the Wednesday news updates to the evenings in upcoming weeks to accommodate CMLL’s lineup release schedule. This week looks like a normal show – the second block of the tag tournament and Euforia/Forastero – but other lineups may have more information.
The presumed remaining women’s tag teams, which should be announced this afternoon
- Lluvia & La Jarochita
- Princesa Sugehit & Sanely
- Dalys & La Infernal
- Estrellita & Mystique
- La Vaquerita & La Guerrera
Amapola & Metalica were originally in the second block and won the first block instead, so either Lluvia & Jarochita were scheduled to win their block or plans have changed. Lluvia & Princesa Sugehit’s participation is dependent on their COVID-19 status, which has not been made public. It’s obviously possible that Sanely & Jarochita just team in a four-woman tournament. I’m curious who CMLL would call up to fill out the spots if they insisted on a five-team tournament; do they still have Yeska and Luna Magica’s numbers?
CMLL Informa has Caristico, Amapola, Metalica, Dalys, and Estrellita as guests. Seems a safe bet Caristico is on Friday’s PPV. CMLL later added Bandido to the guest list, so maybe we’ll get a date for his pending match with Volador.
Villano III Jr. announced he was becoming an independent luchador on Monday. Villano III Jr. talked further about this decision on Mas Lucha’s podcast, saying he had a recently expired three-year contract with AAA. Villano decided he wanted to go on his own. Villano III Jr. is not considering joining his brother (Hijo del Villano III) and mother (La Infernal) in CMLL. He’d be happy to team with them if an independent promotor put it together, but he does not want to sign a full-time deal with any group. Villano’s aspirational goal is to work in the best promotions around the world. Villano III Jr. & Lady Maravilla are the current AAA Mixed Tag Team Champions, but Villano did not see this as necessarily giving up that title. He hoped he’d be allowed to defend it (and work AAA TV tapings) in much the same way independent wrestler Laredo Kid can defend the AAA Cruiserweight Championship. AAA hasn’t mentioned the situation.
This was an unexpected development. Villano III Jr. was among AAA names notable AAA missing, but not the only one. Villano III is a great rudo prospect who AAA saw enough to keep him in the periphery of pushed luchadors. He didn’t get a chance to be much of a personality in the Lady Maravilla/Nino Hamburguesa/Big Mami telenovela, but Villano was useful in keeping those matches together. Villano III can sometimes appear out of control, but AAA believed in him enough to put with the flyers and limited wrestlers. AAA or a local promoter thought highly enough of him to have him be the big rudo who unmasked local Aereo in Ciudad Juarez earlier this year.
Perhaps that mask win success led Villano III Jr. to believe there’s interest to be found for him on the indie scene; his first announced date is 10/25 back in Ciudad Juarez. The Villano III name still means a great deal in communities; his father spent years going from town to town winning masks even before LLI/UWA existed. It’s also possible AAA’s contract offer included a lot of years or lower money due to the pandemic, and Villano III Jr. left in hopes of getting a more favorable offer later on. AAA definitely has used guys like Laredo Kid, Pentagon, and Pagano without exclusive contracts. Still, it would be unexpected if they gave the same freedom to someone on Villano III Jr.’s level. It seems like AAA is still probably the best place for Villano III and my guess is he’ll be back there eventually, but maybe he’ll get something out of the experience of going it on his own.
Villano III Jr. definitely has value – promising young rudos who can get tecnicos over are too scarce – but AAA was overflowing with undercard talent who couldn’t get regular TV time. Villano III Jr. does not seem to be a difference-maker on the level of Vikingo. A pattern of AAA wrestlers making this choice would be concerning, but now it’s just maybe two people.
Rush’s contract status also came up Monday. Lucha Libre Online reported Rush’s contract expires at the end of the year. This is not new news – you may have read that his contract will expire at the end of 2020 on some blog a year ago. The news is Rush seemingly wants people to know he’s available in January. This is a weird time-distorted year, and so it had not yet hit me that the end of the year is relatively close; people in Rush’s spot are naturally looking around to see their options. Rush is the current Ring of Honor World champion, ROH likely will be taping at least one more set of TV shows before the end of the year, so they could find a way to resolve that situation if need be.
My guess is Rush remains in Ring of Honor for at least one more year. There still seems ideas for him there, with Faccion Ingobernables just getting started before the shutdown. ROH paid wrestlers through the pandemic and, while I do not think the wrestlers owe the promotion anything for that if it was a contractual obligation, that’s the sort of choice that breeds loyalty. An ROH schedule would also leave Rush free to pursue whatever Mexico dates he wants. WWE remains a viable option. I can’t see Rush being thrilled to do armdrag drills in the WWE PC, and there’s a cap on how far a wrestler can go there without being able to recite scripted English language dialogue, but WWE can offer the best money. They also seem most able to help foreign wrestlers and their families live in the US, which has been a deciding factor in other situations and has come up specifically with Rush in the past. (There been lots of contradictory stories about Andrade telling Rush to come to WWE or not to go come to WWE depending on how his career has been going; I wouldn’t put much stock in past stories because surely the discussion is happening anew.) I think Rush has the talent to be in AEW, but he doesn’t seem like a strong fit with their product. Anything else would be a lateral move for the sake of making a move.
(Dragon Lee’s NJPW contract expires in December. It would be shocking if he didn’t re-up.)
Nissan is one of the sponsors for AAA’s AutoLuchas. They sent out a press release talking about their partnership of four weeks of events, twenty-four shows in total. AAA only announced two weeks of shows (twelve in total.) The press release mentions the first two weekends will be held at the Mexico City car racing track and AAA has repeatedly talked about taking this concept elsewhere. Maybe that’s already on the books for October 16th? Maybe they’re going back to Six Flags? Maybe this is all dependent on what the health status is; the next update is on Friday, or maybe they’re not going to want to say anything about more shows until they get people to buy this weekend’s shows.
Of note, Lady Shani is listed on the press release as appearing. She did not appear on the shows last week, a weird bit where AAA seemed to have only four women around (Faby, Hades, Big Mami, and Keyra), then lost one when Keyra had to ask out due to a non-COVID situation.
NJPW officially announced the Best of Super Junior and World Tag League from November 15th to December 11th. The two tournaments will take place on alternate shows. There is no word when NJPW will announce the participant list; it may be as late as November 7th on their Power Struggle show. Terrible participated in the World Tag League last year. Dragon Lee, Titan, Bandido, and DOUKI were in the Best of Super Juniors. NJPW is currently running their G1 tournament, alternating blocks which each show. A one block Best of Super Juniors likely precludes CMLL participation; they’re unwilling to let their wrestlers face Dragon Lee, and Dragon Lee’s going to be in. DOUKI has already stated he plans to be in this tournament. There’s always a chance of a Bandido return, but a one block tournament may be a much smaller field than normal and leave both those guys on the outside. CMLL’s never had steady World Tag League participation, and a cut-down field would likely leave out Mexico’s participation.
R de Rudo interviewed Dr. Wagner after his match in IWRG on Sunday. Dr. Wagner got booed by the Nauacalpan fans, apparently picking Mascara 2000 Jr. over him. Wagner acknowledged the crowd reaction (while belittling it) and stated that Torreon, Neza, and Arena Mexico, “where I have plans to go,” would support him. Wagner has cried wolf on returning to CMLL so many times that it’s tough to treat this as meaningful. Wagner could absolutely show up in CMLL if that’s what he wants to do (and it would sell a few weekly PPVs), but Wagner saying he’s going to do it doesn’t make it more likely.
Psycho Clown put up a video promo to clarify he’s earnest about wanting to face Atlantis in a mask match. This would make everyone a lot of money. It is not going to happen. Maybe it shouldn’t happen. Atlantis didn’t make that my list of “CMLL people we saw in February/March who haven’t turned up” because he was gone for a lot longer than that. Atlantis said he was 100% during the hiatus, but he hasn’t been seen on any CMLL card I know since the restart. (It’d still draw well even if it were a terrible match, to be fair, and I think they’d do enough to make it not terrible.)
Zeta Tijuana has a short interview with Tijuana Lucha Libre commissioner Rene Cubillas Lopez, who took over the job in December 2019. He mentions the EMW drive-in show followed all health protocols “masks, temperature checks, and healthy distance from the cars.” Notably missing are COVID-19 testing. Maybe that’s an oversight. The previous reporting mentioned that the commission required COVID-19 testing for all participants on boxing and lucha libre shows. Perhaps that’s changed.
Former referee Chabelo (José Guadalupe Barrón Medina, 76) passed away on Monday. He is Gran Cochisse’s older brother.
Pachuca luchador Alma Llanera (Pascual Ramirez Hernandez) passed away on Monday. He had a 25 year wrestling career.
Promoters in Coatepec, Veracruz are still waiting to get health permission to run. There’s been talk of drive-in shows, but some wrestling community members are concerned because of infections and deaths to other wrestlers.
Torreon-based Emperador Azteca (not the one seen in IWRG & Monterrey) has been bed-ridden for nine days battling COVID-19. His temperature had finally gone down the day of that interview. At the same time, he’s concerned Torreon’s lucha libre scene will not be able to recover from this long shut down. He runs local Arena Azteca and says he’ll battle to keep it alive.
Puma King returns with his first video in a while to tell a story about the time he accidentally sold a mask for 20 pesos.
ROH’s ROHStrong Podcast with Angelina Love took an unexpected digression to her two-match stint in AAA (back when she was known as Angel Williams.) To say she didn’t like the experience is to put it kindly. Angeline Love says Cinthia Morena was abusive towards her during the match, pulling Love hair so hard that Love’s head bled and double stomping so hard that Moreno’s boot print was still visible on Love days later. Konnan gave Cintha Moreno the riot act after the match, as Love laid on the floor half comatose. Konnan offered Love more bookings, she declined. When Love returned years later with TNA, Moreno avoided her and sent an apology via an intermediary. I’ve snuck up a video of that match; I think AAA’s video misses the double stomp.
IWRG (SUN) 10/11/2020 Arena Naucalpan
1) Atomic Star vs Shalom
2) Mexica vs Shil-Kha
3) Jessy Ventura, Pasion Kristal, The Tiger vs Alex Black, Fulgor I, Toxin
4) Dragón Bane, Hijo del Alebrije, Súpernova vs Cerebro Negro, Demonio Infernal, Hijo Del Espectro (Nuevo Leon)
5) Hijo de Canis Lupus © vs Fresero Jr. [IWRG IC HEAVY]
That main event will leave a mark.
The Tiger and Lady Flammer just had their child. Obviously, that might mean he skips out on this trip.
Hijo del Espectro had a back and forth with Adrian and Vic of Mas Lucha. I haven’t gotten to Lucha Time since Mas Lucha started doing their own commentary, but maybe that’s leading to a bit on this show.