CMLL announced their lineup for Friday. It’s not as expected.
CMLL (FRI) 10/16/2020 Arena México
1) Microman & Perico Zakarías vs Chamuel & Gallito [Relevos Increíbles]
2) Diamond & Súper Astro Jr. vs Akuma & El Coyote
3) Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
4) Amapola & Metálica vs La Jarochita & Lluvia [MEX WOMEN TAG, final]
5) Carístico & Místico vs Titán & Volador Jr.
Bandido versus Volador is again postponed. CMLL met with Bandido on Monday, who told them he was having trouble breathing in his match on Friday and asked for more time to get in shape before the title match. The hope is the match will now take place on 11/06. Bandido hopes he’ll be able to improve his lung capacity in that time.
CMLL was still advertising Bandido & Volador on Tuesday, a day after they say they knew the match was off. It is now clear that no CMLL advertising should be believed until the end of CMLL Informa.
We’re still learning about the long term effects of COVID-19. Studies of hospitalized victims showed long term lung damage, though that damage did decrease over time. Bandido’s description of his COVID-19 battle sounded serious, but he was not hospitalized. It’s possible this damage could stick with him for a while to come, but we don’t know for sure.
Caristico & Mistico, in a non-title match, will now face Titan & Volador. It’s a rare all tecnico match, though we did see the same rare match a couple of weeks ago. This one should be better than with Rey Cometa & Espiritu Negro. It seems unfortunate that the only time we see Titan is when Bandido is feeling unwell. He’s the “break glass” emergency luchador at the moment. I think CMLL may be running the CMLL Universal tournament in November (11/13 & 11/20 blocks, 11/27 final), so Volador/Bandido will have to be pushed way back if it can’t happen on 11/06.
Everything else is generally as expected. I watched the Lluvia & Jarochita interview on Informa and Lluvia’s positive COVID test somehow never came up. It doesn’t sound like it came up with Ultimo Guerrero. No idea why the micros are a relevos increibles.
The Masks, Mats, and Mayhem Show interviewed Konnan as part of Lucha Central’s Expo Lucha. The interview originally aired in parts during the expo and now is available in two hour-long parts (one and two.) There’s a lot in there; you’ll have to listen to the show itself to get stories about trying to work with Juventud Guerrera and how Penta & Fenix got their AAA spots. The main topic was Lucha Underground, although they drifted around to some different topics. There’s one big notable in there, but I’ll save that for last. Please credit The Masks, Mats, and Mayhem Show and Lucha Central if you use any of this. Some of this has come out from other sources, but it’s always good to get the first-person perspective.
Konnan was originally told he would be a writer on Lucha Underground, to the point where other people interviewing him for writing spots would talk to him after their interviews to find out how things were going and share plans. He was later brought into a meeting and told Chris DeJospeh was the head writer, and Konnan would be an agent instead. Konnan did suggest ideas early on, but he had minimal input on the direction. That caused his basic conflict. Writers and fellow agents Chavo Guerrero & Vampiro felt the show should feel more like a WWE/US product, while Konnan strongly felt it needed to be more lucha libre/Mexico style. The Super Fly/Sexy Star mask match was his breaking point: Konnan felt it was disrespectful to lucha libre to do a mask match with no build and economically wasteful to waste a stipulation that’s typically a big money-maker that way. Konnan shared two memories of that match: DeJoseph surprised at the match not being good because believed Sexy Star was actually a great wrestler, and Konnan vocalizing his very negative opinion of the whole scenario to one of the owners. That first part is amazing – even most defenders Sexy Star would agree she wasn’t that great actually in the ring – but the second part was obviously more damaging. Konnan’s words painted himself as hard to work with and a destructive person, leading to him being written out of the show. It wasn’t the only incident or his last day, but he sees that moment as the beginning of his end. Konnan of today actually agrees with those sentiments and seems to feel it was the best for him to be asked to leave. He wanted season 1, part of season 2, and then only vaguely followed the show through people’s reactions to it.
Konnan was also frustrated at Lucha Underground being treated more like an art project than a wrestling one, citing the group running a show at the South by Southwest festival and not other shows he wanted to run, which sound like WrestleCon/WrestleMania weekend shows. The lack of merchandising is another sore spot. Konnan still has an overall positive feeling about Lucha Underground, feeling it was the first (and maybe only) show to produce lucha libre as the main item – not an extra, not just something a couple of people do – as a US wrestling program. He’s been surprised how far the show reached, with people bringing it up as he traveled around the world the last few years, including in the many countries who never legally got the show. And he’s proud of the wrestlers who came through there.
(The idea of lucha libre as the focus, not something extra or just the spice to the meal, comes to mind as I see AEW’s idea for Penta and Fenix being “what if they just face each other?” And that’s the good outcome for Mexican wrestlers in the US this week.)
Konnan’s departure from Lucha Underground led to his departure from AAA and joining The Crash. The end of his time in The Crash comes up, though sadly, no one references The Crash Code of Ethics by name. Konnan’s version is Impact’s Ed Nordholm – where Konnan is working and who remains friends with Dorian Roldan – warned Konnan that AAA was doing to sue if Fenix & Pentagon Jr. used those names and would sue if they wrestled on TV. Fenix was very concerned, and Konnan was concerned this would be a big issue for The Crash, so he called Dorian Roldan to see if they work out a contract buyout or percentage fee or something. Roldan was upset about Konnan’s negative personal comments on his podcast, among other things, and refused any deal. The Crash found out, thought Konnan was going behind their back to work with AAA and fired him. Roldan heard about the firing and called Konnan to find out if it was some angle. Konnan confirmed it was not, they finally worked out their problems, and Konnan did come back to AAA. Konnan says the last three years of working for AAA have been great, and he has no complaints. He feels the exodus of wrestlers around that time period gave Roldan a wakeup, and he now treats the wrestlers better.
There are many tidbits thrown around the topics that I then wrote down, and now I’m deleting it because it’s too much sampling. You’ll find out more info if you actually listen to the shows.
On a couple of AAA notes: Konnan says AEW’s checked in about using Taurus, Vikingo, and Laredo Kid. Konnan feels Laredo Kid would’ve been on AEW more had he not taken the reality show gig. Kenny Omega versus Laredo Kid still is penciled in as the next Mega title match, though they’d be fine with AEW using the title more often in their own promotion. (There’s been some speculation about if AAA should strip Omega of the title due to the pandemic and travel issues, but there’s not the slightest hint of it happening.) Konnan alludes to a new project for lucha libre in the US that’s early on. It’s only talked about briefly, but it comes off as if it’s something he is working on personally, not an AAA project.
Aerostar says he suffered a cervical strain among other injuries in his match on Sunday. He says he’ll be back soon, but I guess he won’t be on the shows this weekend.
AAA will run one day of shows for Dia del Muertos on 11/01. The Ticketmaster schedule is now this upcoming weekend, then a weekend off, then back just for Sunday. Two shows a day, six shows left in total. They’ll probably look to run the same idea somewhere else next.
Dave the Clown was on morning TV, promoting Autoluchas by giving a fan a ticket if they could take an airplane spin.
Rush popped up on Ring of Honor’s Week By Week, with an English language promo talking about his eventual return. I think his English is better than Andrade right now, though Rush doesn’t have to deal with WWE dialogue. Of note, ROH mentioned that all foreigner wrestlers are currently blocked from coming into the country. That claim seems strange given where we’re seeing the foreign wrestlers – not just in WWE or AEW, but Aramis and Aeroboy popping up on midwest indies – but one consistent part of this pandemic are rules being applied differently depending on the people and location.
Lucha Libre Online reports Dragon Lee’s ROH contract ends in the first week of December. As I wrote one week ago, it’s the NJPW one that matters, and that ends in December. Dragon Lee is obviously frustrated about not wrestling, but I expect he’ll stay in the companies he’s currently in for another year. WWE could always show up with a big enough truckload of money to make it impossible for anyone to sign anywhere else, but nothing has really changed in a year; there’s still more for Dragon Lee to do in NJPW and nothing he’s been able to do has raised his value any higher than it was a year ago.
Mini luchador Espantito (52) passed away on Monday. His biggest claim to fame is wrestling for AAA in the early 90s.
The “Fray Tormenta battling COVID” story got turned into a “Fray Tormenta has passed away from COVID” false story early Tuesday morning. Fray Tormenta is still dealing with the virus but very much alive as of Wednesday. He’s improving.
The Toluca Boxing Y Lucha Libre commission says they will not permit shows until there’s a green health light. Local promotion LLPT says they’re postponing all shows until next year.
Lucha libre events will only have to pay half the normal amount of fees in Chihuahua next year, as part of the government helping out local cultural and sporting promotions.
It’s never a good sign when someone posted Whatsapp messages and receipts on Facebook. Juarez’s 915-656 promotion seems to have had an issue with IWRG over a show earlier this year in Juarez. The 915-656 post doesn’t totally explain what happened, but the implication is IWRG didn’t pay the wrestlers what they were owed for the show and blamed it on the Juarez group. 915-656 posted information to show the amount they agreed to for the luchadors and the receipts to prove they sent it. IWRG has not responded.
Wrestlers representing 915-656 Juarez guys have shown up often on pandemic shows and in places where they don’t seem to have a great purpose. I was a little curious if this was a situation where a promoter was sponsoring his way onto shows to raise awareness in his promotion, but this fight with IWRG suggests they take their money more seriously than that.
MexaWrestling says they may be sending their wrestlers to an upcoming IWRG Lightweight Championship tournament. IWRG hasn’t announced any tournament yet. IWRG currently runs one show a week and has five singles champions. The lightweight title last was active in 2018. Pantera I missed a defense, said do due to illness, in August, and IWRG vacated the belt. Pantera I never wrestled for IWRG again. The last three IWRG Lightweight Champions vacated it for one reason or another; you have to go back to 2012 to find the time when a challenger beats a champion. Getting back to the original point, I’m uncertain who MexaWrestling wrestlers are; every indie works everyone unless a promoter gets annoyed with them.
Chicago lucha libre promotion WOWT says they’re going start lucha libre classes at the Berwyn Eagles Club and bringing in Psicosis Ripper as the trainer. This seems like an unfortunate time to start something like that, but some US lucha libre groups seem to live in their own universe.
Lucha Libre Total, which runs the same venue but is a different group, runs their show on Sunday as a $10 iPPV. I think these are intended to be an option for people who want to see the show but don’t feel safe coming to the building and few people beyond that.
Misterioso and Dulce Gardenia will appear at a lucha libre expo in Torreon.
The current Mascara 2000 Jr. (“Omar Reyes”) says he’ll now go by the name “El Capo Mayor.” We’ll see if anyone goes with it.
El Diario de Victoria writes about 30s/40s star Murcielago Velazquez.
IWRG (SUN) 10/18/2020 Arena Naucalpan
1) Chicanito vs Shalom
2) Atomic Star & Mexica vs Dick Angelo 3G & Sobredosis
3) Eragón, Freelance, The Tiger vs Baby Xtreme, Fulgor I, Toxin
4) Dragón Bane vs Cerebro Negro vs Demonio Infernal
5) Big Chicoche, Big Ovett, Hijo de Canis Lupus vs Fresero Jr., Hijo Del Espectro, Karaoui
6) Jessy Ventura & Pasion Kristal vs Trauma I & Trauma II [IWRG IC TAG, #1 Contenders, semifinal]
The winner of this match faces Demonio Infernal & Fresero, and the winner of that face is Bryce Benjamin & Marshe Rocket. (IWRG hasn’t announced when or where that might happen.) Not a lot obvious going on, though the Los Negociantes and Los Golepadors continue to run into each other in matches 4/5.