Mexico City announced they’ll remain at the red light health code for the upcoming week due to COVID-19 hospitalization rate. This means sports events, including closed-door lucha libre shows, will continue to be banned through at least January 17th. The COVID color light decision is mostly CMLL and AAA decision; they are too high profile to get away with running without governmental permission. Micro-promotions may continue to attempt to run secret shows in Mexico City, though the venues allowing them have shrunk for the moment. Mexico State has allowed different cities to enact their own rules; Arena Mama Lucha has already re-opened in Tultitlan while other towns are strictly against events.
The actual “January 17” date is unrealistic. Mexico City is setting highs in hospitalization rate and ventilator usage. It’s unlikely those will drop to safe levels within a week; if I understand that, the people making the decisions get it as well. (The Centro Citibanamex expo center, long ago the home of the Lucha Libre Expo, has been converted into a temporary hospital to meet the needs for hospital beds.) I’ll keep reporting what dates they’re saying on Fridays, but it seems obvious the red light health conditions will likely maintain through January and into February. (And again, I know people will keep running and doing what they want despite the regulations.)
IWRG’s all cage match show, scheduled first for 01/01 and then for 01/17, is now pushed back to 01/31. The Arena Lopez Mateos show scheduled for the 16th will also likely be postponed, though nothing had been announced yet. (The building is selling COVID-19 tests this weekend; it occurs to me that many arenas should have extra COVID-19 tests they don’t currently need if they were buying them in advance or buying them at all.)
The full COVID Mexico traffic light map should be announced tonight.
There is a change in CMLL’s programming department. Franco Colombo has retired from that job, according to Miguel Reducindo column on Mas Lucha’s website. Reducindo partially confirms a rumor: Colombo, Juan Manuel Mar (Panico) and Jose Luis Felicano have been asked not to come to Arena Mexico due to health protocols, but it has not affected their employment status and is not a reason why Colombo is retiring. Referee Edgar Noriega has been said to be part of the programming department in the past and has continued to appear on the empty arena shows, though the details about who’s actually in charge of deciding CMLL are scarce. Reducindo is unsure if someone new will be added to the programming team once CMLL is able to resume running shows.
Barbaro Cavernario made an unadvertised appearance on CMLL Informa, saying he’s taking his time to rehab from his foot injury. He needs two more months of conditioning before he’s back in his normal ring shape. I suspect Cavernario might be coming (or might be pushed to come) back a bit quicker if CMLL shows were going on normally; the COVID-19 situation likely is helping him take as much time as he needs.
CMLL announced a new TV partner, Heraldo Television. Heraldo Television is an over the air channel, at least in Mexico City – it’s actually the callsign of the old CadenaTres station, though it’s a different channel number and different ownership. (It makes for a confusing Wikipedia entry.) Heraldo is a newspaper, this is their TV arm, and they’ve had luchadors on their morning talk shows in the past. CMLL will air on Heraldo Saturdays at 7 pm for an hour. The station streams a live feed on DailyMotion though it’s not up all the time.
CMLL's current Mexico TV picture pic.twitter.com/XBmAxKpxpD
— luchablog (@luchablog) January 7, 2021
The Televisa Guadalajara show may return whenever they can run shows again but isn’t currently running. The Azteca America show is using CMLL footage apparently bought off the promotion four years ago but otherwise not connected to the promotion. NJPW World also broadcasts two shows a month, showing between two and five matches on each.
CMLL adding TV and while being unable to produce TV seems like an obvious issue, but it’ll probably be fine. It’s unclear if CMLL has week or months of unaired TV taped and sitting around, but they should have a lot – they were marathon taping weekly even after the PPVs switched to monthly shows. They’ve also sprinkled in a lot of repeat matches – or matches just cycled from one TV show to another. The depressingly repetitive nature of CMLL TV matches makes it easy just to keep showing the same matches in perpetuity.
CMLL’s show tonight on AMX (7 pm) will include a Templario/Bandido singles match. I’ll have it up on my Google Drive later tonight. The CMLL show going up on YouTube Sunday includes a good Stuka/Euforia singles match, which has already aired on NJPW World.
Super Astro Jr. says he wants to form a new Cadetes del Espacio with Halcon Suriano Jr. and Sonic. This would be a fun idea if I wasn’t tired of CMLL luchadors tossing out ideas that CMLL programming never does anything with. I don’t think prelim guys get to even have trios matches right now.
R de Rudo reports a source close to Alberto Rodriguez (Alberto el Patron) claims his recent sexual assault challenges stemmed from an extortion attempt. That same story seems to be sent to Roberto Figueroa, so this is a media campaign to clear Rodriguez’s name. In this version, the story fell apart because the accuser’s family went to the police and told them the accuser was making up the story, and that a drug showed Alberto was clean. There is no documentation provided for these claims. The source close to Alberto says he will not sue because he’s focusing on his wrestling career, though he’s also not wrestling until COVID-19 clears up. Both R de Rudo and Figueroa say they’ve been shown proof this is true; neither seems allowed to share it publicly.
Given Alberto’s history, it is impossible for a reasonable person to believe Alberto is innocent simply because people close to him say so. The point here, though, isn’t to change anyone’s mind. It is to give permission for the next promoter to bring Alberto Rodriguez in, allowing them to hold this flimsy story up as proof they’re not employing a bad person. If you can somehow get past Alberto’s personal reputation, his professional reputation is also recently terrible – the only time he’s been a positive draw in the last half dozen years is when he was in a freakshow MMA bout, but he’s going to get chance after chance because he was a draw long ago. Someone’s trying to use the press to wash Alberto’s reputation, just for the opportunity to lose a lot of money on him and end up with nothing more than a smiling photo at a press conference. The only self-awareness here is Alberto and his family understanding no one will believe this story if they tell it themselves.
Climax III passed away on Wednesday from complications related to COVID-19. He appears to have wrestled in EMLL briefly in the mid-80s, while much more often wrestling in Mexico State. He’s the brother of the original Climax and the uncle of DTU luchador Blaze.
SuperLuchas reports both Tawa Vera and Hercules Negro passed away on Wednesday. Tawa Vera hits me surprisingly hard because he’s a regular name the 70s lucha libre results I’ve been going through, wrestling in midlevel Mexico State buildings and challenging for titles. Those arenas were feeder buildings for Promociones Mora/UWA, and he appeared on their bigger shows as well. Hercules Negro wrestled much more recently in Hidalgo and Mexico City, but most people probably know the name from when he participated in the CMLL bodybuilding contest. He finished 2nd in the students in 2018 and 3rd in 2019. I’m not sure if he was still a student in CMLL this past year. CMLL did not acknowledge his passing.
Septimo Dragon apologized for not posting on Facebook recently. He’s out of intensive care and obviously doing better; he thanked everyone for their support. It was earlier reported Dragon had a fourth surgery.
KAOZ Lucha Libre, which has not run a show in months and has not publically revealed plans to run a show again at any specific date, signed El Impostor & Dragon from Ciudad Juarez to contracts. No length was mentioned. (I presume they’ve secretly taped something and didn’t fly these guys in just to appear in a contract signing video.)