Tonight’s card, available on Ticketmaster Live:
CMLL (FRI) 05/20/2022 Arena México
1) Angelito, Shockercito, Último Dragóncito vs Mercurio, Pequeño Violencia, Pierrothito
2) La Jarochita, Lluvia, Princesa Sugehit vs Dark Silueta, Reyna Isis, Stephanie Vaquer
3) Atlantis, Blue Panther, Negro Casas vs Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Fuerza Guerrera
4) Místico vs Volador Jr., Soberano Jr., Stuka Jr., Atlantis Jr., Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Mephisto [Copa Junior, semifinal]
No changes to the Copa Junior after all. Soberano reacted like he suffered some severe leg injury, but instead announced on Wednesday he only bruised a tendon. He believes he’ll be fine to go for this match tonight and CMLL says the same.
It’s possible to talk oneself into believing the CMLL Universal tournament matters. It is not possible to do the same with Copa Junior. It’s just another tournament. Anyone could win, it’s more interesting in what CMLL might set up coming from the final, and it seems more likely lately that a good match or two might come out of it. It’s also impossible to predict because it has no meaning, it’s just checking off the monthly big show by throwing another tournament on there. (CMLL deciding a tournament final counts as the required important monthly but a title match does not explains a lot about the current booking style.)
The rest of the show is a show. Fuerza Guerrera will get a nice reaction and will likely look as old as the guys in the TripleMania tournament, though he’ll have a trios match to hide it. The women are on every week but don’t seem to have a direction, and probably won’t be getting one with another tournament taking up space next Friday. The minis are on Fridays far less. Something interesting might sneak through on that tournament, but it’s impossible to know for sure.
Hera talked about her battle with depression and anxiety. She was having a tough moment recently just before finding out she was going to CMLL. Hera says lucha libre itself has been her coping mechanism, but even that is a challenge – fans expect wrestlers to be superhero, and so they’ve got show a happy face even when they’ve got internal struggles.
ESTO talked to Fuerza Guerrera about his retirement tour, which might be the third time they’ve done this interview; their CMS automatically links to a retirement tour announcement from 2019. To be fair to Fuerza, the planned retirement tour would’ve started right at the start of the pandemic and he decided to wait. This week’s article is from last week’s CMLL media availability to promote tonight’s appearance. It does not include an end date. (Kaiser Sports version has Fuerza saying he wants it on a big CMLL show, but isn’t choose on which one.) It also does not include any of the past teases of one last match with Octagon, focusing on in house CMLL names (Atlantis, Blue Panther, Negro Casas) instead.
KeMonito is appearing at Merida’s Tsunami anime/comic/kpop/cosplay convention this weekend, so I think he’s not on the CMLL show tonight.
CMLL (MON) 05/23/2022 Arena Puebla
1) Centella Roja & Hijo de Centella Roja vs Espíritu Maligno & Sombra Diabólika
2) Marcela & Skadi vs Amapola & Dark Silueta
3) Dark Panther, Robin, Volcano vs Kráneo, Okumura, Raider
4) El Audaz, Hijo del Villano III, Stuka Jr. vs Felino, Rey Bucanero, Stigma [Relevos Increíbles]
5) Atlantis & Último Guerrero vs Euforia & Soberano Jr. [Relevos Increíbles]
The tag match was set up last week and is actually happening now. Audaz & Stigma are on opposite sides of a tag match for a second week; I haven’t seen results, I presume that’s an incoming title match.
Titan lost his second match in the NJPW’s BOSJ tournament to Lindaman on Thursday. Titan’s next tournament match comes early Sunday against El Phantasmo.
The QROLL lucha group, which seems to be an offshoot of the Guadalajara offshoot, has a show this Sunday and posted a detailed explanation of match
AAA has shows in Mexico City and Monterrey Saturday. Neither are airing on FITE. The Mexico City one was never meant to stream anywhere, though it’ll undoubtedly show up on a dozen different YouTube pages. The Showcenter events were all meant to stream on FITE and that appears to have stopped after one episode. I don’t know it for a fact, but I presume the interest in the first show was so minimal that FITE decided they’d only pay to broadcast TripleManias and AAA decided it wasn’t worth their money to do it themselves. It’s reasonable that it ended this way: it was hard to imagine AAA having a wide enough reach after a year plus of being cut off from the rest of the world to justify $13 b-shows, especially when $13 is enough to get you a month or more of a subscription to every other wrestling service. (One of the confusing parts of Mexican wrestling is the in-person tickets are priced much lower than comparable events elsewhere, but the digital/streaming tickets is consistently higher than elsewhere because they’re not doing subscriptions.) There may not be a strong market for single show streams of AAA content outside of shows called “TripleMania” at this point, and they’re probably won’t be until AAA convinces viewers it’s worth paying for the additional content. I enjoy AAA enough that I’m going to watch and pay for AAA TV quality matches that are just happening to do so and I think many people who read this blog would do the same, but there’s just not a big enough sphere of people accustomed and willing to do so. Hopefully that changes someday.
I’m not entirely convinced AAA’s taping the Showcenter event if they’re not streaming it. They may, they could always air it later, but the last event eventually just went up on TV and I’m not sure YouTube pays out enough to justify the cost alone. The way of wrestling in the US is just to tape as much (at least decent) content to add to a library and then sell that library to a streaming network, which would be a reason to tape it even if you’re not going to use it, but that concept seems not to have worked in Mexico yet. I’m sure we’ll find out Saturday and not a moment sooner.
The tickets for the show have improved. I went and counted every dot around noon Friday, and 939 tickets were listed as sold. (That would also include any tickets given as comps; we have no idea how big or small that number is.) There were 2,183 on sale; AAA should clear 50% on Saturday with a decent walkup. It’s the cheaper sections that are mostly unfilled. They must’ve thought someone would’ve bought those if they opened them, but that seemed wildly optimistic.
AAA’s Aguascalientes Facebook page says they’re hosting an AAA TV taping in August and it’ll be Verano de Escandalo. No date as of yet. If any of the numerous dangling plot lines and teased matches are going to be resolved, that would be a logical place to do it.
Mas Lucha asked Justiciero what he thought of 30 years of AAA. This was a mistake: both asking him and AAA in general, in Justicero’s opinion. Justiciero says it was him, not Konnan, not Octagon, not Antonio Pena, who is responsible for AAA, as a union action to increase pay. He hates that he did it, feeling Pena shortchanged the wrestlers while keeping the money for himself, feels AAA’s style has deeply harmed lucha libre and can’t think of a single positive thing that’s come out of AAA in the last 30 year. Justiciero was part of the wrestler’s union and was part of AAA for the first five months of the promotion, leaving quickly.
IWRG (THU) 05/19/2022 Arena Naucalpan [IWRG, Mas Lucha]
1) Rey Aztaroth & Súper Boy b Nativo & Rey Minos
2) Artemis & Therius b Black Fury & Mary Caporal
3) Freelance b Tortuga Leo
4) Dick Angelo 3G, Puma de Oro, Tonalli b Fly Warrior, Fulgor, Mr. Mike
Tonalli pinned Warrior after Pandemia distracted him, the first lost for Old School. Mr. Mike suffered a knee injury.
5) Imposible, La Momia, Luka b Cerebro Negro, Dr. Cerebro, Shocko
Imposible replaced Aster Boy, pinned Dr. Cerebro, asked for an IWRG IC MIDDLE match.
Mike’s knee injury was explained to me like Arez’s reoccurring issues before I even watched it, and that’s a better description than I can come up with. His knee went out, he got help getting it back into place, and he was relatively fine. It’s probably going to go bad for both of them someday but it’s also unlikely anything more will be done until the knee forces the situation.
IWRG (SUN) 05/22/2022 Arena Naucalpan
1) Baby Star vs Rey Eclipse
2) Genex, Jhon Tito, Leyenda Negra vs Beretta, Bomba, Granada
3) Caballero de Plata & Noisy Boy vs Hell Boy & Limbo
4) Diva Salvaje, La Momia, Luka vs Fly Warrior, Fulgor, Yorvak
5) Gran Pandemónium, Hijo de Pandemónium, Pandemónium Jr. vs Accion Jackson, Shaun Moore, Travis Banks
6) Blue Demon Jr. & Hijo del Fishman vs Canek Jr. & Hijo del Pirata Morgan
IWRG posted a media day interview where Demon mentioned he thought he was teaming with Aster Boy, then was corrected to say it would be Las Shotas instead. He’s now teaming with Hijo del Fishman. I don’t understand the Mexican wrestling business.
Fernando Robles of Robles Promociones gave an interview with Diario Basta about his plans and hope for his promotion. The group has talked about big ideas constantly, and this interview is no different:
- he’d like to book the Rush versus LA Park apuesta match and dreams of it in Plaza de Toros Mexico in Mexico City or Plaza de Monumental in Monterrey
- he’d like to build a Robles arena in Mexico City
- he’d like to combine wrestling shows with music groups and comedians because he used to promote those
- he’s open to the possibility of running a lucha libre school
- he’d like to work with AAA and CMLL, feels he and AAA have no issues and CMLL is just a little bit more difficult, but he can convince him if he can just talk to them.
Robles (and the article) talk about the promotion being a big success. Back in reality, Robles’ next Mexico City show is moving from Gimnasio Juan de la Barrera to the smaller Deportivo Oceania. At least we know Fernando Robles’ enthusiasm for this project hasn’t dampened, because those are statements of a person so into the idea of running a wrestling promotion that he doesn’t seem grounded in reality.
I think the LA Park versus Rush apuesta match isn’t going to happen at this point. I do think that if it’s going to happen, it’s going to be a not established promotion hoping to leap to being a top promotion immediately like Robles. It would draw big for AAA & CMLL, but both companies likely believe they’ve got plenty of options to draw nearly as well or exactly as well as that match without the headaches that come working with both guys. It’d have to be a promoter like Robles (though not just him specifically) who would be so seduced by being the one who put together the match that they’d happily give into all the demands and obstacles that would come with it. LA Park & Rush could run it themselves, promote it as their own show, but everyone knows the show might end up a financial disaster even if the match is great, and they’re not going to take that risk with their own money. The safest bet is just to keep doing matches teasing that the big match is around the corner, and that’s the most likely outcome.
the big question for this show is if RIOT will get around to releasing the last show before this one airs.
Blue Demon Jr. was on Multimedios and was asked why he never went to the WWE. He was critical of the style and presentation of WWE, and says WWE would’ve wanted to own his name. Blue Demon did wrestle for WWE on the 1997 Royal Rumble card. Blue Demon Jr. also told a story about going to Japan for a planned short tour, but then staying longer because Tiger Mask (Misawa) suffered a knee injury and they asked him to fill in. Demon said he worked two months tour regularly. Blue Demon never wrestled in AJPW as as best as I can tell, and his first known matches in Japan would’ve been after Misawa unmasked.
LuchaWorld has thier latest Lucha Report.