Mistico returns, La Jarochita Universal champion, NGD/AAA, Big Lucha/ROH

CMLL

CMLL (FRI) 08/27/2021 Arena México [CMLLFuria de Tiatnes (main event)Furia de TitanesKaiser SportsMas LuchaR de RudoReformaThe Gladiatores, thecubsfan, W Deportes]
1) Akuma, Espanto Jr., Magnus b Arkalis, Pegasso, Stigma CMLL - ARKALIS - PEGASSO - STIGMA VS MAGNUS - AKUMA - ESPANTO JR. / ARENA MEXICO 27 DE AGOSTO (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) CMLL | Akuma, Espanto Jr y Magnus derrotan a Stigma, Pegasso y Arkalis (posted by Más Lucha) Espanto Jr, Akuma y Magnus VS Stigma, Arkalis y Pegasso en los Viernes de Arena México (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
11:55. Rudos won the one fall match. Magnus replaced Coyote on Thursday.
2) Ángel de Oro, Luciferno, Terrible b Blue Panther Jr., Dark Panther, Stuka Jr. CMLL | El Terrible, Ángel de Oro y Luciferno derrotan a Blue Panther Jr, Dark Panther y Stuka Jr (posted by mluchatv) CMLL-DARK PANTHER-BLUE PANTHER JR.-STUKA JR. VS LUCIFERNO-A. DE ORO- TERRIBLE/A. MEXICO 27 DE AGOSTO (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) Terrible, Ángel de Oro y Luciferno VS StukaJr, Dark Panther y Blue PantherJr en Viernes Arena México (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
16:53. Rudos took 2/3.
3) Dalys, Metálica, Tiffany b La Guerrera, Lluvia, Marcela CMLL - LA GUERRERA - LLUVIA - MARCELA VS METÁLICA - TIFFANY - DALYS /ARENA MEXICO 27 DE AGOSTO (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) CMLL | Dalys, Tiffany y Metálica vencen a Marcela, La Guerrera y Lluvia (posted by mluchatv) Dalys, Tiffany y Metálica VS Marcela, Lluvia y La Guerrera en los Viernes de Arena México (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
17:14. Rudas took 1/3. Tiffany replaced Amapola and Lluvia replaced Magnifica on Wednesday.
4) Hechicero, Místico, Valiente b Atlantis Jr., Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero [Relevos Increíbles¡Místico (Carístico) volvió a presentarse en la Arena México! (posted by Más Lucha) CMLL - VALIENTE-HECHICERO- MÍSTICO VS ATLANTIS JR.- GRAN GRO. - ÚLTIMO GRO. /A. MEXICO 27 DE AGOSTO (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) CMLL | Místico, Hechicero y Valiente derrotan a Último Guerrero, Atlantis Jr y Gran Guerrero (posted by mluchatv) Místico/ De hoy en adelante me entregó 10 veces más para ustedes. (posted by thegladiatores.com) Triunfal regreso de Místico, Hechicero y Valiente Vs Último Guerrero, Gran Guerrero y Atlantis Jr (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre) Último Guerrero da la (posted by Revista BOX Y LUCHA)
12:45. Return to the Mistico gimmick for Caristico, which was very positively received. His team took 2/3.
5) La Jarochita b Dark Silueta [CMLL Universal de Amazonas] ¡Jarochita hace historia en la Arena México, es la nueva Campeona Universal de Amazonas 2021! (posted by Revista BOX Y LUCHA) CMLL - CAMPEONATO UNIVERSAL DE AMAZONAS / JAROCHITA VS DARK SILUETA / ARENA MEXICO 27 DE AGOSTO (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) CMLL | Jarochita vence a Dark Silueta y es la Campeona Universal de Amazonas (posted by mluchatv) Jarochita es la campeona Universal 2021. (posted by thegladiatores.com) Jarochita Vs Dark Silueta gran final por el campeonato universal de amazonas del CMLL Arena México (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
13:05. One fall match. Jarochita won with the running corner boot to become the second champion (and got booed a bit for it.)

It turns out there’s nothing CMLL could do in 2021 to get their existing fanbase more excited for their shows than to turn back the clock and put Caristico back into the Mistico gimmick. It’s probably something they wouldn’t have done unless Mistico Munoz had quit and it’s obviously a move both the fans and the front-facing parts of the promotion are super excited about it. Mistico’s return to the character got the loudest reaction of anything during this pandemic period, with the announcers noting it was the highest turnout they’ve had in a long time. The match itself was standard Mistico fare, which was exactly what the fans wanted on Friday night. Caristico/Mistico was overjoyed in his post-match interview and the crowd was with him. I was at the CM Punk return to wrestling the previous Friday; that felt like a bigger deal because AEW was allowed to have a 10x bigger crowd, but the people who made it into Arena Mexico on Friday night were similarly enthused, even though this same guy had been around for years as Caristico.

I’m not sure where this goes from here. CMLL people’s excitement for the return reaction led to them vocalizing a hope this will start a new boom. My concern is this will be something hard to keep hot and may fade quickly. (Sunday’s show with Mistico on top didn’t draw well.) Still, they might as well go hard with and find out. Pandemic CMLL seems like a lot of nothing but busy work to keep everyone occupied until something comes along to spark them again. That “something” might have been “tourists returning”, but something else dropped in their laps and they might as well see it through for a while just in case.

Mistico’s return is on the cover for this week’s Box y Lucha 3487.

La Jarochita & Dark Silueta tried very hard yet were stuck in the ultimate death spot following Mistico’s return. The fans who were very into Mistico haven’t been given a lot of reason to care about these ladies prior. They got the crowd into the end of the match, but it took a lot of work to get there. I thought it was a good match, one you should check out when it turns up on YouTube in a couple of weeks, though another one was hampered by needing to end as close to 10:30 pm as possible. The crowd seemed to be pro-Silueta and a bit upset with Jarochita winning, probably just because Sillueta has a bigger fanbase.

Nothing much notable. Akuma & Espanto don’t feel like two guys are about to headline an Aniversario show. They’re fine, it just is going to be a big adjustment.

Sunday results

CMLL (SUN) 08/29/2021 Arena México [CMLL, Kaiser Sports]
1) Fantasy & Último Dragóncito DQ Pequeño Violencia & Pierrothito
Pierrothito unmasked Dragoncito for the DQ.
2) Apocalipsis, Cholo, Inquisidor b Eléctrico, Oro Jr., Sangre Imperial
Rudos took 1/3, leading Inquisidor to challenge Electrico
3) Dark Magic, Magnus, Okumura b Diamond, Hombre Bala Jr., Magia Blanca
Rudos took 1/3. Magia Blanca got hurt early and left the match, but wrestled later in the night elsewhere.
4) Raziel, Terrible, Virus b Mephisto, Pólvora, Rey Bucanero
5) Místico b Cavernario
Mistico took falls 2/3 to win.

Cavernario was probably winning the main event by cheating last week. Caristico returning to Mistico wasn’t going to lose his first singles match and definitely shouldn’t.

The Inquisidor/Electrico title program may possibly have been birthed out of some goofball noting the lightweight title was one of many national championships not defended in over a year when the commission used DMT Azul not defending a title in 90 days as a reason to strip him. That post really didn’t get much traction but the numbers got picked up elsewhere that did and suddenly Electrico has a title defense.

CMLL has 22 world and national titles, not all of which are filled. If CMLL were to truly defend every title every 90 days, they’d need to have two title defenses almost every week, or about seven a month. They will have held one title defense in August. Seven title defenses a month is not impossible – there are North American promotions that seem to do that often – but would require CMLL to completely how they program cards. It’s tougher to do the more titles they add.

The semi-main seems like it should’ve had Cancerbero’s spot. He, unlike Magia Blanca, also missed his booking on the Valiente Gym show. The main event was originally a Cavernario/Felino program; Felino hasn’t appeared since the August 16th show in Puebla. Templario hasn’t been around since the weekend before. Not sure if these are minor injuries or something else, but those last couple of guys have some big matches coming up.

CMLL (MON) 08/30/2021 Arena Puebla
1) Meyer vs Black Tiger
2) Shockercito & Último Dragóncito vs Espíritu Maligno & Joker
3) Pegasso & Stigma vs Dark Magic & Okumura
4) Stuka Jr. & Valiente vs Ángel de Oro & Terrible
5) Gemelo Diablo I, Gemelo Diablo II, Místico vs Atlantis Jr., Cavernario, Último Guerrero [Relevos Increíbles]

Relevos Increibles will never stop. They didn’t list the semi-main as one, but they’re inconsistent on that with Angel de Oro.

CMLL (TUE) 08/31/2021 Arena México
1) Átomo & El Gallito vs Chamuel & Mije
2) Arkalis, Oro Jr., Robin vs Apocalipsis, Disturbio, Hijo del Signo
3) La Jarochita, Lluvia, Princesa Sugehit vs Dark Silueta, Metálica, Tiffany
4) Dark Panther, Fugaz, Panterita del Ring vs Hechicero, Mephisto, Rey Bucanero
5) Místico, Valiente, Volador Jr. vs Ángel de Oro, Cavernario, Terrible

The main event forces us to consider if this is still the Sky Team with a different Mistico.

Mije has barely worked in CMLL since the pandemic – just a couple of matches last year – but he’s been active lately on spot shows. The micros entirely haven’t been around much since the fans came back, which is a bit surprising.

CMLL (TUE) 08/31/2021 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Bello Antuan, Cosmos, Temerario vs Destello, Destructor, Rumbero
2) Bobby Black, Carlo Roggi, Fúnebre vs Infierno, Mr. Trueno, Rey Trueno
3) Adrenalina, Estrella Oriental, Minotauro vs Bestia Negra, Demonio Maya, Difunto
4) Bulkano, Jaivo IV, Pantera Blanca Jr. vs Furia Roja, Guerrero de la Muerte, Ráfaga
5) Gallo & Joker vs Espíritu Negro & Rey Cometa
6) Explosivo, Fantástico, Star Black vs Hijo del Villano III, Principe Daniel, Zandokan

Only three CDMX wrestlers here, which is less than usual. Atrapasuenos may be on this card to build up a tag title defense (or the next Queretaro show.) The Fourth match features a lot of Matamoros talent for the second straight week.

Stephanie Vaquer & Dalys have moved into first place for the Mexican National Women Tag’s title shot, ahead of Dark Silueta & Reyna Isis by 30 votes when I checked around noon. That’s gone back and forth twice and may again before the CMLL poll closes. I’m just not sure when that poll closure is. It originally was this week, when the national heavyweight title qualifier was scheduled on September 4th. That match is no longer needed, so it may stay open through next week. The Women’s Tag match is also catching up on the National Middleweight poll; if the poll stays open another week, there’s a good shot of the women’s tag match main eventing the Aniversario.

CMLL announced they reactivated their relationship with Ice Ribbon and Ladys Ring, who will soon be sending Tsukasa Fujimoto, Tsukushi, and Nao Ishikawa to Mexico. Tsukushi previously came to Mexico in February 2020 for a week, which will probably be the same here – they need to get to Mexico long enough to make a photo book out of it.

Costa Rica Wrestling Embassy, who’ve sent wrestlers to CMLL in the back, announced they’re bringing in Star Jr. & Rocky Romero for their 12/18 show. CWE is running a bunch of normal shows prior to it. I don’t believe Star Jr. & Rocky Romero are making a photobook but you never know.

La Jarochita, last week in promoting the Universal tournament final, said independent luchadoras are scared of CMLL women and not at their level.

Mephisto pitched himself, Euforia and Hechicero as Satanico’s new Infernales on Facebook, as mentioned on the De Futbol y Otros Demonios blog.

Mexico’s Monica Rodriguez set a world record in 1500m at the Paralympics, then she and her guide runner put on lucha libre masks. CMLL honored the Paralympics athletes before they went to Tokyo and I’d guess they’ll bring her and others to celebrate their medals in September.

NGD

Mas Lucha had a 90 minute interview with Sanson, Cuatrero and Forastero on Friday. They said it was an acclimation of reasons to leave CMLL, not one breaking point. They had no issue with Ultimo GuerreroCMLL actually helped Cuatrero & Sanson trademark their names, giving them the option to own them. CMLL seems to have helped out some of the top-tier veterans to do that when they were getting names trademarked, but it’s surprising they’d give that option to guys just starting. It also is confusing that CMLL would help them get those names, and then attempt to file for their own trademarks on those names later on.

NGD signed with AAA in Mexico and have the freedom to work where they want in the US. They’ve taped two AAA matches already: versus Hijo del Vikingo, Psycho Clown, Laredo Kid and versus Monster Clown, Murder Clown, and Pagano. That means the Poder del Norte/NGD match hasn’t been taped; maybe it’s happening at Heroes Inmortales.

BIG LUCHA

Big Lucha (SAT) 08/28/2021 Bandido Gym, Iztapalapa, Distrito Federal [Mas Lucha]
1) Usumaki Otai & Yutani b Destello & Limbo Komander vs Emperador Azteca | BIG Lucha (posted by Más Lucha)
2) Tirano b ForenoÉxtasis Komander vs Emperador Azteca | BIG Lucha (posted by mluchatv)
3) El Bendito b Cometa Maya Komander vs Emperador Azteca | BIG Lucha (posted by mluchatv)
4) Ciclón Ramírez Jr. b Elemental Komander vs Emperador Azteca | BIG Lucha (posted by mluchatv)
originally a DCOR, match was restarted with Ciclon winning.
5) Demonic Flamita b Gravity [falls count anywhere] Komander vs Emperador Azteca | BIG Lucha (posted by mluchatv)
Bandido tried to help Gravity but was restrained by security (in his own gym!)
6) Skayde b Mil Almas [bull terrier] Komander vs Emperador Azteca | BIG Lucha (posted by mluchatv)
7) Emperador Azteca b Komander Komander vs Emperador Azteca | BIG Lucha (posted by mluchatv)
Komander suffered a leg injury, ending the match early. Emperador & Flamita faced off with Bandido, Bendito and others when they were all attacked by masked men said to be from ROH, setting up a show for September.

I watched this show Sunday (didn’t realize it was streaming live on Saturday) and it was a worthwhile watch. It ends sadly with the Komander injury but the other matches were all watchable. Bendita/Cometa Maya was the best match, with the opener and Flamita/Gravity sticking out as well. Like pretty much every show, I wish the matches were a little shorter – a six-match show shouldn’t be three hours long – but at least they didn’t waste too much time between the matches.

Komander tore a ligament in his left ankle and will have surgery Monday night. That’ll put him between three and six months. As bad as that sounds, it was better than the leg/ankle fracture feared Saturday night. Komander getting hurt in the main event seemed to mess up wherever exactly they were going with the angle, but they got to the ROH introduction at the end. The full lineup for that show:

Big Lucha (THU) 09/16/2021 Bandido Gym, Iztapalapa, Distrito Federal
1) ? vs ?????????????? [Torneo Alas de Independencia]
2) Delirious vs Skayde
3) ? vs PJ BlackCiclón Ramírez
4) Emperador Azteca & Flamita vs Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe
5) El Bandido vs Matt Taven [ROH HEAVY]

Federacion Wrestling promised ROH stars in May and imploded before it happened, so I suspect the reaction to this announcement is going to be muted until people believe it’s happening. Still, that’s five people coming in (including the ROH booker), so this may be the start of a regular deal if it comes off right.

This would be the third ROH title match in Mexico

Other News

IWRG (SUN) 08/29/2021 Arena Naucalpan [IWRG, Mas Lucha]
1) Chef Benito, Gran Felipe Jr., Spider Fly b Perro de Guerra, Tirano, X-Devil Caerá una Máscara o Cabellera| IWRG 29 de Agosto (posted by Más Lucha)
2) Elemental, Limbo, Skayler b Carnicero, Epidemia, Skanda Caerá una Máscara o Cabellera| IWRG 29 de Agosto (posted by mluchatv)
3) Comando Negro Jr., Halloween Jr., Vudu Max b Baby Star Jr., Centella Oriental, Shocko Caerá una Máscara o Cabellera| IWRG 29 de Agosto (posted by mluchatv)
4) Aster Boy, Caballero de Plata, Hellboy, Kenji, Lunatik Fly, Sol, Tonalli b Dick Angelo 3G, Halcón Mágico, Legendario, Lunatik Xtreme, Noicy Boy, Puma de Oro, Rey Halcón [Copa High Power, mask, hair] Caerá una Máscara o Cabellera| IWRG 29 de Agosto (posted by mluchatv)
Caballero de Plata beat Halcon Magico, who is Héctor Omar Lorenzo Gutiérrez, 26 year old, 15 years a luchador. Order of escape: Hell Boy, Lunatik Xtreme, Sol, Noicy Boy, Lunatik Fly, Rey Halcon, Kenji, Legendario, Aster Boy, Dick Angelo 3G, Puma de Oro, Tonalli, Caballero de Plata leaving Halcon Magico as the loser.
5) Mafioso, Medico Brujo, Sick Boy b Big Chico Che, Big Mike, Estrella Divina Caerá una Máscara o Cabellera| IWRG 29 de Agosto (posted by mluchatv)

Thanks to Mas Lucha for getting the elimination order tracked, that’s not a normal or easy inclusion. IWRG seems to be doing more blood of late in the top matches.

ROH TV’s newest episode is up on their website, including a Dragon Lee versus Eli Isom match. The show also includes a change: Bestia del Ring replaces his son Rush teaming with Dragon Lee & Kenny King against Shane Taylor Enterprises for the ROH Six-Man Titles on their 09/12 show. Rush is out due to a knee injury that’s bothered him for a while. Rush may get surgery – recovery would take the rest of the year, which is the remaining portion of his ROH contract – so it’s possible Rush has wrestled his last Ring of Honor match. Dave Meltzer brought up this situation on Wrestling Observer Radio and was certain AEW and ROH would have a lot of interest in signing him Rush (and Dragon Lee, who’s also up) in 2022. I’m much more skeptical about those promotions having interest, but it’s still a lot of time until the end of the year for things to sort out.

Bestia 666 & Mecha Wolf won the NWA Tag Team Championships on their PPV on Sunday. Konnan was inexplicably seconding them; the only thing that’s in more places at once in 2021 than Konnan is COVID. Actually, I’d be OK with more Konnan and less COVID if we can work on that. The La Rebelion duo of Bestia & Mecha have gotten good reviews for the NWA work and so the title win wasn’t a big surprise.

El Fresero (Demetrio Guadalupe Aguilera Arrendondo) passed away Friday. Fresero was a referee mostly for both Promociones Mora (UWA) and AAA. He had retired in 2009. His son, Fresero Jr., is an active wrestler and announced his father’s passing. SuperLuchas has an obit, mentioning Fresero being in charge of Arena San Juan Pantitlan at different points of his career.

Penta, repeating a bit from Thursday’s Robles Patron show, took to Facebook to call Alberto “a Patron of no one, a guy who pretends to represent Mexico but adopted a different nationality and doesn’t live in Mexico. I represent my people around the world with a Mexican passport, not like you who only say it to get applause.” Penta said the match between the two of them should happen in Ecatepec. This is probably just a promo to build to another match. Fenix & Penta are announced from Mexico City in AEW maybe because that’s just what everyone is used to hearing, but it’d be nice to hear Ecatepec someday.

Octagon Jr. would like to wrestle Kenny Omega, feeling he could learn a lot from it win or lose.

RIOT announced they’ll return with “the Secret Lucha Society” on September 18. No location was announced. The only show RIOT’s been able to hold this year has been the no-fans show in March.

A show in Cholo de Tijuana headlined Blue Demon Jr., Cinta de Oro, and Misterio versus Blue Demon Jr., Dr. Wagner Jr., LA Park is said to have draw 7,000 fans. Another live report put that number closer to 3,000, which would still mean it’s one of the bigger shows so far this year in Mexico. There are some pictures here and here. That’s about a 21K bullring where half the building seems not to be used, so the other half would have to be 50% full to get to 7,000. I don’t think it’s that full.

Arturo Rivera will be part of Mas Lucha’s Supremo Tournament in October.

Oaxaca’s Diosa Quimera is interviewed about making it to five years of wrestling.

Dark Silueta versus Jarochita headline Arena Mexico tonight, Robles Patron CDMX debut

CMLL

CMLL (FRI) 08/27/2021 Arena México
1) Arkalis, Pegasso, Stigma vs Akuma, Espanto Jr., Magnus
Magnus replaced Coyote on Thursday
2) Blue Panther Jr., Dark Panther, Stuka Jr. vs Ángel de Oro, Luciferno, Terrible
3) La Guerrera, Lluvia, Marcela vs Dalys, Metálica, Tiffany
Tiffany replaced Amapola and Lluvia replaced Magnifica on Wednesday.
4) Atlantis Jr., Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero vs Hechicero, Místico, Valiente [Relevos Increíbles]
5) La Jarochita vs Dark Silueta [CMLL Universal de Amazonas]

This lineup came out late Tuesday and still had three different revisions if you count Carisitco switching to Mistico. I’m not sure what is going on – injuries? tests? people just taking work elsewhere – but lineup changes are more common in CMLL right now.

La Jarochita versus Dark Silueta is the first CMLL women’s single match since the Marcela/Tiffany hair match in 2012, a Sunday show that was going up against TripleMania. The 1992 Lola Gonzalez/Bull Nakano match to decide the initial CMLL Women’s champion may be the most recent women’s title match to headline Arena Mexico. This seems like the biggest match in Jarochita and Silueta’s careers, even bigger the Silueta’s mask match. Both are capable of having good matches and are probably preparing for a great match, though the pressure is going to be immense. CMLL main events tend to be predictable, in results and actions. This one’s a wild card.

Satanico (Dark Silueta) and Ultimo Guerrero (La Jarochita) will second their students today. Satanico says he wants to form one last version of Los Infernales before he retires. He probably should get on that quick. Satanico coming all the way to Mexico City seems to make it more likely Silueta is going to win, but they may just have him and Guerrero to sell the fans on this being a big match. These women haven’t really been built up as stars before now and I’m not sure how the crowd is going to react to them suddenly being put in this position.

The rest of the show is fine. The show is available on streaming through TicketMaster Live, and hopefully, they’ll remind people who already bought it that they have a working link.

CMLL’s hyped this for the last few days as “come see Mistico!” Caristico is indeed back as Mistico. He’s also been on four of the last five Arena Mexico shows, and will be on Sunday too. The ideal way of doing this would’ve been similar to how they rolled out Mistico II: take him off shows for a bit then bring him back for a big show. CMLL seems like they can’t afford to do that at the moment like they can’t escape booking very short term. I’m concerned this is going to go like Arena Puebla, where there was a lot of interest in the first show and then it taped off immediately.

Both TripleMania and Robles Patron Promociones show went well over two hours, which seems to be the CMLL limit. Robles Patron was also trying to get more than 1,500 tickets sold that been CMLL’s limit. Maybe CMLL is keeping these limits for safety reasons and I don’t really mind two hours shows. If these are rules being enforced on only CMLL because they’re run all the time and so they get noticed, it seems unfair.

Sunday’s show

CMLL (SUN) 08/29/2021 Arena México
1) Fantasy & Último Dragóncito vs Pequeño Violencia & Pierrothito
2) Eléctrico, Oro Jr., Sangre Imperial vs Apocalipsis, Cholo, Inquisidor
3) Diamond, Hombre Bala Jr., Magia Blanca vs Dark Magic, Magnus, Okumura
4) Raziel, Terrible, Virus vs Mephisto, Pólvora, Rey Bucanero
5) Místico vs Cavernario

They started there as Felino/Cavernario, ended up with Caristico replacing Cavernario, and ended up as Mistico versus Cavernario. And Cavernario probably needs to lose.

Magnus is taking Vangellys spot so that may be an exception, but there’s a lot of guys here who went from openers to the 2nd and 3rd matches with no more reason for people to care about them. They didn’t get moved up as much as the shows got moved down. CMLL’s title belts are largely useless but it’d be worth at least trying to hand out some of the vacant ones to new guys to see if something comes of it. It’d be better if there was some build to winning those, but it seems too late to do that.

If you’ve got 12 minutes, this Mas Lucha interview with Ultimo Guerrero, Rey Bucanero, and Nitro is well worth your time. They’re on a boat to promote appearing on an upcoming ChinampaLuchas show, but they’re stuck on the boat for a while so there’s time to talk about other things. Ultimo Guerrero’s asked about NGD and Mistico leaving and answers it by explaining people say harsh things on social media but he knows the truth – that everyone other promotion in the world looks to CMLL and CMLL is the promotion the world revolves around. I’m sure he feels that is close to reality too, despite not really appearing that was to most rational observers. Nitro talking about following CMLL since 1974 and having seen bad times before is nearly admitting they’re in a bad time now. This ends up with a pull quote of “CMLL will not die” which is never a good pull quote for a promotion to have.

Robles Patron in Mexico City

RPP (THU) 08/26/2021 Pepsi Center WTC, Benito Juárez, Distrito Federal [Arturo Rosas PlataESTOMas Lucha, R de Rudo]
1) Máscara De Ángel, Máscara Mágica Jr., Rey Pegasus b Antheuz, Brazo Celestial, Brazo Cibernetico
Brazo Cibernetico & Brazo Celestial were added and the match changed
2) Estrellato & Rey Astral b Brazo De Oro Jr. & Súper Nova and Bugambilia & Tonina Jackson Jr.
3) Diosa Quetzal & Dulce Sexy b Baronessa & Estrellita and Diosa Atenea & Reina Dorada [COPA ROBLES Y PATRON]
Atenea & Dorada were out first, then Quetzal & Dulce beat Estrellita & Baronessa.
4) Hijo De Dos Caras & Hijo del Fishman b Dark Cuervo & Dark Scoria and Rayo de Oro (Guatemala) & Voltron (Guatemala) and Hijo de LA Park & LA Park Jr. [ROBLES TAG]
LA Parks wanted the first shot at the new champs. 
5) La Máscara, Máximo, Toscano b Averno, Joe Lider, King Charro
Toscano replaced Apolo. King Charro replaced DMT Azul but betrayed his partners. Damian 666 ran in to save them as Perros del Mal members, then Negocio Tramuado (Demonio, Fresero, Traumas, Atomic Star) ran into attack, then Toscano came back with two mystery men as La Perra Sociedad.
6) Cinta de Oro & Penta 0M b Alberto del Rio & LA Park and Carlito & Texano
Alberto had Texano in his armbar, Penta to rope splashed Alberto and covered him for the pin. Alberto challenged Penta to a match in November. Carlito & Texano had issues.

The official Twitter account put out a Tweet asking fans where they’d like to see the Alberto/Penta match, so I guess maybe it’s not necessarily happening in Mexico City. Might be for good reason; the show drew far less than a half house even considering required social distancing. The “look how many people are here” social media shot shows completely empty sections. The show was scheduled to start at 8:30 pm and didn’t wrap up after midnight. Live reports say the show was run with the same speed and urgency of a normal lucha libre show – started late, long breaks between matches, random music performances. The post-match angle seems like Alberto is going to be a heel, but who knows.

Alberto teased Rush showing up in interviews on the day of the show, then the promotion sent out a photo of the stars all doing Mistico poses to tease his brother appearing. Neither did. I think they believe it to be just fun bits to create buzz, but it’s the sort of thing that turns ticket buyers against the promotion. No sense in burning off goodwill, unless you just think of the fans as marks who are going to be easily suckered next time anyway. The lesson here is Alberto is not to be trusted, which is honestly a lesson I should’ve already learned.

Other News

Mexico City will stay at the orange COVID light for the next two weeks. These designations haven’t meant much lately, but it’s nice to read they’ve had the biggest drop in hospitalizations in three months.

The Lucha Brothers face the Jurassic Express tonight on AEW Rampage. The match was taped Wednesday night and said to be great. Worth noting this (or next week) is the last Rampage people in Mexico will legally be able to watch as it stands now. Mexican AEW fans could watch AEW Dynamite & Rampage through AEW’s international FiteTV service. Space in Mexico moved the first-run airing of Dynamite to midnight the same day, which is close enough for AEW to discontinue the ability to FiteTV service for Mexico. Space hasn’t picked up Rampage, and there’s no word when they might. I don’t sense there’s a big AEW fanbase in Mexico yet, though it seems like Mexican lucha libre sites have started covering it closer to WWE in the last few months.

DMT Azul said he’ll begin legal proceedings to get the national heavyweight title back. He might have a case but it’s more surprising he hasn’t moved on. Not sure if it’s really about the title or the commission at this point. DMT Azul did not wrestle on the Robles show – probably because he was busy with the AAA TV tapings – and is next scheduled to wrestle in Mexico City on September 17. He’s annoyed the commission so much that it’s possible they could pick a reason to suspend him.

Texano Jr. joked on Twitter about changing his name to Texanistico and entering the national heavyweight tournament. That list is supposed to come out next Friday.

IWRG (THU) 08/26/2021 Arena Naucalpan [IWRG, Mas Lucha]
1) Limbo b Skanda Big Strippers vs Los Reyes del Norte, Thursday Night Wrestling | IWRG (posted by Más Lucha)
2) Bengalee & Kariel b Diosa Atenea & Satania Big Strippers vs Los Reyes del Norte, Thursday Night Wrestling | IWRG (posted by mluchatv)
3) Leo, Mexica, Relámpago b Black Dragón, Death Metal, Fly Warrior Big Strippers vs Los Reyes del Norte, Thursday Night Wrestling | IWRG (posted by mluchatv)
4) Aster Boy, Hijo del Alebrije, Veneno b Mafioso, Medico Brujo, Sick Boy Big Strippers vs Los Reyes del Norte, Thursday Night Wrestling | IWRG (posted by mluchatv)
Hijo del Pirata Morgan returned to IWRG to challenge Alberije for the IWRG JUNIORS ittle.
5) Big Boy, Big Chicoche, Big Mike b Apolo Estrada Jr., Billy Jones, Chris Stone Jr. Big Strippers vs Los Reyes del Norte, Thursday Night Wrestling | IWRG (posted by mluchatv)
Billy Jones may be Lunatik Fly
6) Toxin © b Dick Angelo 3G [IWRG MEXICO] Big Strippers vs Los Reyes del Norte, Thursday Night Wrestling | IWRG (posted by mluchatv) Toxin Vs D1ck Angelo 3G por el Campeonato de México de IWRG (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
Jessy Ventura asked for the next title shot.

which leads into Sunday’s show.

IWRG (SUN) 08/29/2021 Arena Naucalpan
1) Chef Benito, Gran Felipe Jr., Spider Fly vs Perro de Guerra, Tirano, X-Devil
2) Elemental, Limbo, Skayler vs Carnicero, Epidemia, Skanda
3) Centella Oriental, Cyber, Shocko vs Comando Negro Jr., Halloween Jr., Vudumax
4) Dick Angelo 3G, Halcón Mágico, Legendario, Lunatik Xtreme, Noicy Boy, Puma de Oro, Rey Halcón vs Aster Boy, Caballero de Plata, Hellboy, Kenji, Lunatik Fly, Sol, Tonalli [Copa High Power, mask, hair]
5) Big Chico Che, Big Mike, Estrella Divina vs Mafioso, Médico Brujo, Sick Boy

Running essentially a FILL show on Sunday after not using many names on Thursday isn’t a great sign. The main event opposition is the Lucha Time side; I’m not sure how a person in Naucalpan would follow Lucha Time at this point.

There’s a strangely loaded lucha libre show in 12/11 on Raleigh, North Carolina. Some Alberto guys, a lot of AAA guys. So many AAA guys that I think it means those AAA guys believe TripleMania Regia isn’t that weekend; it’s probably 12/04 or 12/05.

Space’s listing show one more week of AAA from Oaxtepec. No preview yet.

“Sangre, Sudor and Llaves”, a documentary on lucha libre in Coliseo Coacalco, will debut as part of Mexico City’s Macabro film festival tomorrow. You can tell they’ve been working on this for a while; the Vimeo trailer is 9 years old and Emilio Charles Jr. (passed away 20212) is in it.

This weekend’s ROH TV has Dragon Lee defending the ROH TV title against Eli Isom. Isom’s grown on me and that should be a really good match. You should go back and watch Horus/Flamita if you haven’t already. The 09/11 weekend show will have Dragon Lee & Kenny King versus Chris Dickinson & Homicide for the ROH Tag Titles.

DTU announced they’ll restart with shows in Veracruz from 09/17 to 09/19. They’ve been off since their 06/27 show was canceled due to COVID.

Former SuperLuchas photographer Raul “Speedy” Gonzalez passed away.

Morelos luchador Exagoncito passed away Wednesday due to respiratory issues. He’d been wrestling since 2007 and was active as recently as June.

LuchaWorld has the latest Lucha Update.

Mistico II leaves behind Mistico, Caristico regains the Mistico gimmick

Two luchadors who will forever be connected in lucha libre separated on Wednesday. Mistico II, the Munoz family member, filmed a video in Arena Mexico announcing he was leaving immediately and then informed CMLL of his decision. CMLL decided, in a matter of minutes, to keep the Mistico gimmick alive by putting the original luchador back inthe mask. Caristico, who famously wrestled as Mistico and is the wrestler most fans identified as the authentic Mistico even after the character was passed on, received the Mistico mask on CMLL’s Informa show that afternoon. CMLL host Julio Cesar Rivera strenuously pointed out that the promotion will maintain ownership of the Mistico name; Caristico received the right to use the mask and name only as long as his relationship with CMLL stays intact. Caristico’s first match back as Mistico will take place Friday night, replacing Mistico II’s scheduled booking.

CMLL’s decision to give Caristico back the Mistico decision seems to have come rashly. The idea had been floated since Caristico returned to the promotion in 2015, with various big ideas of name versus name battles. It never seemed like CMLL was interested in going in that direction. Guadalajara luchador Fugaz seemed to be in line for the spot, with talk he had been instructed to start learning the big Mistico moves. It ultimately feels like Caristico got the name back partly because of an emphasis of bringing back ideas from the past and partly to make sure the story of the day would be the original Mistico returning to his thrown and not the second Mistico joining other names in leaving CML this year.

Mistico II’s CMLL career is a handy encapsulation of CMLL’s issues in the last decade. The creative forces at the promotion believed they could get sell the fans on any idea they wanted for themselves and lacked the ability to actually do so. Mistico II, upon being offered the Mistico gimmick at a press conference in 2012, declared it both a great honor and a great burden. He was proven correct on both points. “Mistico II” was part of a shift in the marketing of wrestling based more around recognizable brands and less around what they actually did. He’s the symbol of a promotion that turned their luchadors into interchangeable action figures, with the actual people in the gimmicks meaning less and less. It’s a strategy that’s appeared to actively harm CMLL, reducing interest over time as fans become disinterested in seeing familiar match time over time. Returning the Mistico gimmick to Caristico will be very well received by the longtime Arena Mexico fans – they never stopped chanting for him as Mistico – but is a sign that nothing’s going to change. It’s not as blatant as Yago & Drone taking on old gimmicks Enfermero Jr. & Hombre Bala Jr., but it’s just another part of the nostalgia vortex CMLL’s willing trapped themselves in. CMLL is where new ideas go to die, where the only good things in wrestling happened far in the past. Current CMLL is somehow the sort of reunion promotion seen popping up after a big group dies, only they’re still the original group and have not died yet.

“Mistico II” was doomed from conception. It would have been near impossible for any wrestler to be put in that spot and not be rejected by the fans. Mistico I/Caristico was a mainstream star responsible for a wrestling boom, the biggest reason a generation of fans became interested in lucha libre. The guy who would replace him could be more spectacular – and at times Mistico II could be – and it wouldn’t matter. CMLL inadvertently asked their fans to decide between the Mistico they knew and grew up with and hated tecnico Rush’s kid brother. It wasn’t a fair battle. Mistico II got chants of “Mistico Pirata” (pirate/fake Mistico) from the moment he took over the character. CMLL’s presentation of the new character didn’t help the situation. They made noise about how the new Mistico wasn’t going to get anything handed to him, would start in the middle and earn it his way to the top, and might not even use La Mistica. CMLL then did the opposition, pushing Mistico into main events hoping to boost slumping attendance and having him wrestle as closely to the previous Mistico as possible. A few moves from his previous Dragon Lee gimmicks remained, most noticeably the Operacion Dragon ramp dive, but he was a man whose identity was taken away by forcing a new one upon him. The best comparison to the Mistico situation is the La Parka one, where the second character mimicked the first to start but had years of experience, was eventually allowed to take the character in his own direction, and got the big wins to cement him as being a star on his own. CMLL’s Mistico II was a 20-year-old rookie, didn’t have the experience or freedom to grow the character, and never got the real wins prove to turn those fans to his side. CMLL and Mistico II surely thought giving him the character would help his career, but it ended up putting a cap on his growth.

I’m not sure Mistico can shake off that career malaise just by switching to his own name. It might have worked at one time, but injuries have taken their toll despite not yet turning 30. Mistico II’s never been the same wrestler following both his 2014 serious motorcycle accident and his rushed return to the ring. He’s lacked the agility and speed he had prior to messing his leg, been surpassed by many more impressive flyers in CMLL, and there have been plenty of indications CMLL didn’t see him as a specially skilled wrestler beyond the name. CMLL’s priority of protecting the gimmick kept him in top weekly spots, but it wasn’t enough to get him in Aniversario or Homenaje a Dos Leyendas main events. Mistico II won lots of singles matches on normal shows but was generally kept to being part of a trio on the biggest shows of the years. His luchawiki page has no Lucha de Apuesta sections because CMLL never put him one. CMLL ran the much anticipated Caristico vs Mistico singles match at their b-arenas, and Caristico went over both in Puebla and Guadalajara, a seeming conclusion to where they saw him. The wrestlers didn’t seem to treat him much different. Mistico II was wished well by many of them on social media, though it was a running bit how Volador and others would treat him like a kid brother who didn’t quite have his head screwed on straight in interviews. The wrestler itself had no particular incentive to get better and mostly did the same general matches over and over. The only recent changes in years have been to adapt signature spots from brothers Rush and Dragon Lee, moving him from an imitation of one single wrestler to a few wrestlers. The situation feels similar to ex-CMLL La Mascara, who had coasted in CMLL for many years and struggled to regain form when he left on his own. Mistico II is a better wrestler than La Mascara when he left CMLL, but they were very much products of an antiquated system, one that doesn’t teach skills to live outside of it.

Mistico II’s helped a bit because his brothers already have indies connections, and he’s gotten himself in a position for more. There’s a good chance Mistico II will be showing up on the Robles Patron Promociones show tonight. He was at the press conference to announce this show. He didn’t appear in front of the press but he’s been thinking about his move for a while and the timing matches up. Mistico II also appears to be good friends with Cinta de Oro Jr., who will be headlining this show. Mistico’s brother Rush has also been teasing showing up to confront Alberto on the show. I’m skeptical this promotion is viable but it’ll give Mistico a few high-profile bookings to start with. That family connection also means Mistico’s likely been pitched to Ring of Honor – and really, anywhere Dragon Lee or Rush are working has probably gotten or will get a pitch to bring in Mistico II, similar to what’s happened with La Bestia del Ring. Some will bite, and it’ll get Mistico going, though he may have to prove he can stand on his two feet to keep getting shots.

As for CMLL, this should be a short-term boost for a promotion that could use the help A lot of kids whose first favorite wrestler was Mistico are now adults with spending money. Maybe they’ll be excited to revisit their childhood one more time and buy some tickets; CMLL should run with it for the moment. There are long-term structural issues here when top talent is repeatedly leaving the promotion, but it’s nothing that wasn’t said two weeks ago when NGD left (and at least CMLL got a positive story for people to talk about out of it this time.) Titan and Cavernario, who both are attempting to get their visas through the same process as Mistico II, will have their future status a bit more in question, especially after the Aniversario. Mistico leaving opens up a spot, and guys like Audaz, Fugaz, and Star Jr. be in higher positions, though it’ll seem like less star power unless CMLL does something to get those guys over first. CMLL probably won’t do anything, and we’ll be back talking about another departure sooner rather than later. There must eventually reach a point where the people in charge get tired of these issues and make a change but there’s no obvious indication CMLL’s any closer to the breaking point. Maybe someday, instead of a wrestler walking into Salvador Lutteroth to tell him he’s leaving, it’ll be Salvador Lutteroth walking into someone else’s office to say he’s out. There’s no sign it’s happening soon.

Various minor ripple effects

  • Mistico & Caristico were scheduled to defend the CMLL World Tag Team Championships on the 09/24 CMLL Aniversario show against the winner of a fan poll. It will now be the top two finishers in the poll meeting for the vacant titles
    • Mistico & Caristico were likely going to lose the tag titles on that show because everyone figured this Mistico departure would happen soon. It just happened sooner than CMLL could get to it.
    • That original scenario would’ve had Volador & Titan winning the belts from Mistico & Volador. The match is now probably Volador & Titan versus Los Gemelos Diablos. CMLL may have expected those Diablos to do better in the poll and now they can give them the tag belts anyway if they show choose.
  • Being removed as champion means Caristico/Mistico I will no longer be on the 09/24 CMLL Aniversario show in any form
    • CMLL also announced Wednesday a new tournament Copa Independencia for the 09/17 show, so figure on Caristico being involved in that instead.
  • Caristico/Mistico was scheduled to wrestle in Houston on Thursday and Brownsville on Friday. Volador Jr. will replace him, in his first US appearance since the 2019 Global Wars Espectacular shows.
  • Caristico/Mistico was originally understood to be a freelancer with CMLL – he took CMLL dates but was in charge of his own schedule. I’m not sure if that’s changed now with the gimmick. That also may inform what name he uses for non-CMLL bookings.
  • Guadalajara has tried to use Black Warrior recently – he didn’t make it due to injury – and this is even more reason to try him back as one of Mistico’s old rivals. It seems similarly likely Averno will be back in CMLL – if this was any other promotion, he probably would’ve returned already. The nostalgia will feel good, but won’t be healthy for CMLL in the long term unless they use it to do more than revisit the past.
  • The production company behind “Heroes of Lucha Libre” still owns the US trademark to “Mistico” – but since their production company website has vanished, this may be a dead issue.