Lucha Memes & Martinez Entertainment: Guerra de Naciones (2021-01-23)

Recapped: 2021-02-13

What Happened:

US’s Martinez Entertainment co-promoted a show with Mexico’s Lucha Memes. This was billed as of Mexican wrestlers versus Jonathan Gresham’s endorsed (US) Foundation wrestlers. Mexico won five to two.

The show is available for VOD viewing on IWTV.

What’s Worth Watching:

There are two defining themes to this show

  • Most of the undercard were highly technical matches, similar in style to ROH’s Pure Matches (though not under those rules) and most of those were generally well done.
  • The (sparser than usual) Martinez crowd gets bored with that style of fighting quickly. They never turn on the show, but they’re remarkably disinterested in the majority of it.

Shows with little or no fan reactions have become standard for the last year; perhaps you’ve already given up current wrestling if you can’t watch without getting those reactions. It was hard to ignore; these matches were good but would’ve been more enjoyable in front of a crowd who wanted to see them. (This is a huge buzzed-about show if it happened at a WrestleMania weekend-like event with that crowd, though I’m not sure if it would’ve sold any more tickets.)

Gresham/Aramis was the best of the bunch, something obviously very skillful while going at an incredible pace. The match was a Gresham-style match and Aramis kept up with him the entire way, maybe pushed him to go even faster.

Deppen/Marvin did the strongest job of drawing in the reluctant crowd; Tony Deppen is just mentally built to irritate lucha libre crowds and get into arguments with children. He shifted back and forth well from comedy to serious well, and Ricky Marvin was super motivated to have a great match. It’s about as strong as you could expect a Deppen/Marvin match to be in 2021.

Tiger/Yuta had the hardest spot – being the sixth of the technical matches live, coming after Gresham/Aramis. Even I was tired of seeing these type of matches by that point. They pulled me back into it, with just really strong effort. The Tiger reverse crucifix faceslam thing was crazy.

Arez/Garcia was a very solid opener, the two working well together and establishing the style they were going for on this night. It felt at the time they could’ve gone a bit longer, but it was the right call to end it when they did in the big picture.

Laredo Kid versus Black Taurus, added in part because Taurus happened to be free after the Impact tapings, is totally unlike those other four matches. It’s a very Laredo Kid big spots match. It doesn’t go too long but both men look insane while it lasts, peaking with a Taurus piledriver that really could’ve been the finish. They’re capable of a bigger match but it’s easily enjoyable for a random US appearance.

You should turn off the show instead of watching the main event. Medina/Martin (late sub for Dante Caballero) is not much. Aeroboy looked great against Wavra, but there were more flaws in that match than the other similar matches.

The other production note is the announcing is fine for a person who’s seeing most of the people the first time. If you’re coming at it from a lucha libre standpoint, you’re probably coming in with more knowledge about the Mexican guys than you’re going to get, but it’s not going to take away from the show. I wish we got English lucha libre announcers who were both comfortable in English and also knowledgeable about lucha libre (or had the foresight to ask a million questions to people who are before calling the show), but just getting one of the two is better than average.

(There is no commentary for Laredo/Taurus; it appears that match wasn’t sent to the announcer. Wrestling is so weird.)

dumb match ratings

Arez vs Daniel García [good]
Aeroboy vs Joshua Wavra [ok]
Gino Medina vs Eric Martin [ok]
Ricky Marvin vs Tony Deppen [great]
Laredo Kid vs Black Taurus [good]
Aramis vs Jonathan Gresham [excellent]
Xtreme Tiger vs Wheeler Yuta [good but maybe higher]
Blue Demon & Low Rider vs Fred Yehi & Mecha Wolf [ok]