Kind of a quiet tournament show tonight for CMLL. The B Block of Leyenda de Plata is Volador Jr., Templario and six guys who don’t appear to have a shot. Soberano’s interviews this week have focused on wanting Templario to come out of this block so they can fight in the final. It’s a coin flip. The rest of the show are just three matches with no reason to exist going into them, though maybe they’ll set up something going out. The show will air on TicketmasterLive as always.
Soberano also mentions he wasn’t very mature before he had his injury break. He’s since learned both to take care of his money and that he’s not going to be around forever so he’s got to make as much as he can while he can and be as big star as possible.
CMLL (SAT) 07/23/2022 Arena Coliseo
1) Diamond, Magia Blanca, Magnus vs Bestia Negra, Difunto, Zandokan Jr.
2) Hera, La Jarochita, Lluvia, Olympia vs Dark Silueta, Nautica, Sexy Sol, Valkiria (Jalisco)
3) Akuma, Dark Magic, Espanto Jr. vs Adrenalina, Explosivo (Jalisco), Fantástico
4) Dulce Gardenia, Espíritu Negro, Rey Cometa vs Furia Roja (Jalisco), Guerrero de la Muerte (Jalisco), Joker (Jalisco)
5) Soberano Jr., Star Black, Star Jr. vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Demonio Maya, Principe Daniel
This is the previously announced CMLL Mexico City vs Guadalajara show; team Guadalajara is on the right side of all these matches. This Coliseo card might get a little more media coverage than usual because of it.
Star Black was asked why he’s on Team Mexico City and basically explained “that’s the job CMLL asked me to do on that day.” He’d rather be on Team Guadalajara.
I’ve got a database trigger that alerts me to add a new wrestler to the database when they reach 10 matches in CMLL’s main arenas. It’s best used to identify people from older results, but I was using Olympia as a modren test case. Until now – when she got to 9 matches and I gave it up. She’s been here for four months already, CMLL is just very slowly booking her. (Hera was already in the database because there are multiple Hera’s to separate.)
CMLL (SUN) 07/24/2022 Arena México
1) La Guerrera & La Magnifica vs La Seductora & Olympia
2) Astral, Robin, Volcano vs Kráneo, Nitro, Raider
3) Arkalis, Guerrero Maya Jr., Pegasso vs El Coyote, Okumura, Rey Bucanero
4) Último Dragóncito vs Shockercito, Aéreo, Acero, Angelito, Fantasy, Kaligua, Pequeño Magía [cibernetico, cibernetico suicida]
loser faces Pequeno Olimpico on 07/29
5) Atlantis, Negro Casas, Titán vs Gemelo Diablo I, Gemelo Diablo II, Sagrado
Ultimo Dragoncito is the big opponent, Aereo is the cheap way to get to a hair match.
CMLL (MON) 07/25/2022 Arena Puebla
1) Asturiano & Centella Roja vs Espíritu Maligno & Fuerza Chicana
2) Mercurio & Último Dragóncito vs Angelito & Pequeño Olímpico [Relevos Increíbles]
3) Esfinge, Fugaz, Star Black vs Akuma, Dark Magic, Espanto Jr.
4) Dulce Gardenia, Espíritu Negro, Rey Cometa © vs Arkalis, Guerrero Maya Jr., Pegasso [MEX TRIOS]
5) Ángel de Oro, Atlantis, Niebla Roja vs Fuerza Guerrera, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero [Relevos Increíbles]
That title defense should be fine. Minis match could be a mask match preview, but they wouldn’t need to do a relevos increibles to set it up since it has to be tecnico/rudo anyway.
CMLL (TUE) 07/26/2022 Arena México
1) Acero, Aéreo, Shockercito vs Full Metal, Minos, Pequeño Violencia
2) Marcela & Skadi vs Stephanie Vaquer & Tiffany
3) Enfermero Jr., Hombre Bala Jr., Oro Jr., Robin, Sangre Imperial, Valiente Jr. vs Arkalis, El Perverso, Guerrero Maya Jr., Pegasso, Rey Samuray, Stigma [cibernetico]
CDMX vs Puebla
4) Blue Panther, Negro Casas, Stuka Jr. vs Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Terrible
That Ciebrnetico is a good way to make a random Tuesday show a bit more interesting. There’s at least a temporary pattern of pulling in the non-Mexico City arenas for these ideas a bit more. It’s also possible a way to set up a Stigma title match (or maybe even a Bala/Robin title defense?)
CMLL (TUE) 07/26/2022 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Ángel Rebelde, Halcón Negro Jr., Optimus, Trono vs Flash, Omar Brunetti, Ráfaga, Vaquero Jr.
2) Adrenalina, Explosivo, Fantástico vs Diamond, Magia Blanca, Magnus
3) Dalys, Lluvia, Sexy Sol vs Dark Silueta, Náutica, Valkiria
4) Akuma, Dark Magic, Espanto Jr. vs Bestia Negra, Difunto, Zandokan Jr.
5) Dulce Gardenia, Espíritu Negro, Rey Cometa vs Furia Roja, Guerrero de la Muerte, Joker
6) Atlantis Jr., Soberano Jr., Star Black vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Demonio Maya, Principe Daniel
The second half of the GDL/CDMX challenge. Dalys is going to have a long travel day – back to Mexico City then to Japan (with maybe another stop over in between?) to get to Japan by the 29th. Or maybe someone just replaces her.
TUDN has an interview with Valiente about his injury. When he got hurt and taken from the match last November, it looked like it might have been maybe a bit of covering for the spot went wrong and not a significant injury, and then it turned out he was gone for most of a year. It turns out Valiente thought the same thing: he felt hurt a little bit but didn’t think it was a big deal. The CMLL medical staff checked his knee the next day and told him he tore ligaments. Valiente did not believe them at all, wanted to keep working and wrestling, and it took some convincing for him to believe he was actually seriously hurt. The rehab sounds like it’s been tough as well and there didn’t seem to be a mention of a return date.
That Valiente injury in November would’ve been a couple of months after CMLL announced changes to the medical team (and after the Warrior Jr. training injury which may have led to those changes.) Maybe the previous medical setup would’ve caught Valiente’s injury and urged surgery as well, but the new medics have been much more present and involved and I can only wonder if that changed how Valiente’s injury has been handled.
the Gran Prix is getting it’s own section
CMLL announced the participants in the 08/19 Gran Prix on Wednesday
- Ultimo Guerrero
- Volador Jr.
- Stuka Jr.
- Atlantis Jr.
- Soberano Jr.
- Tiger Mask IV
- Matt Taven
- Lince Dorado
- Robbie Eagles
- Rocky Romero
- Kenny King
This is a 7 v 7 field, when past years have been 8 v 8. There’s no obvious reason to make that change, it would’ve been just as easy to add one more for each side.
The Team Mexico focus is on heavy on the Aniversario feuds. Stuka Jr. & Atlantis Jr. and Soberano & Templario continue their issues. Ultimo Guerrero is in though not Averno; maybe they couldn’t justify leaving Volador or Titan out. Averno in general is not booked much by CMLL. Atlantis and Fuerza Guerrera would be exposed in a match like this.
Mistico, Barbaro Cavernario, the Chavez Brothers and Hechicero are the big missing names. It’s possible Mistico is an injury wait-and-see; I saw a theory that the 7v7 is because CMLL’s waiting to see if Mistico’s healthy and will add him and Okumura if is possible. Mistico should be back next week on the original timeline, so I’m not convinced they’d hold off announcing him for a show three weeks later. Caveranrio got his title win last week and so that may be the justification to leave him off (instead of following the momentum.) CMLL seems to like the Chavez Brothers but thinks of them just below the top level. And maybe Hechicero is even lower than that; he’s taken the Blue Panther/Virus spot of a guy CMLL agrees has great technical ability but doesn’t see him as a star as much as his fans do. Like those guys, there’s really no where better for him to go. Hechicero is doing commentary for the Televisa show, seems like a guy who’ll get a training gig if he wants it one day, and probably can stay in CMLL forever even if it’s not as good as it could be for him.
As for Team World
Tiger Mask IV is a NJPW wrestler who’s currently the AJPW Junior Heavyweight champion. The gulf between those two companies is such that a person who rarely does much in NJPW can reasonably be a top guy in AJPW. (There are mitigating factors; Tiger Mask IV did win half of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight tag titles last year, AJPW is said not to have much of a junior division anyway.) Tiger Mask is truly booked here because Satoru Sayama was such a big deal in Mexico. The “Tiger Mask” gimmick lives forever in the mind of the Mexican people who grew up following wrestling in the late 70s and early 80s, and those are the people who are making the decisions in CMLL. This Tiger Mask IV is not that Tiger Mask I and everyone should be aware of that difference – the original Tiger Mask return to Arena Mexico in 2006, this one has a big IV in the center of the mask, they are clearly different people – but knowledge about Japanese wrestling in Mexico is about the same as knowledge of Mexican wrestling in the US. There’s a lot of people who assume the Tiger Mask in NJPW is still Sayama (only off by 40 years), including some people who work for CMLL. I guess what’s to watch here is if CMLL is interested in correcting that perception or if they’ll just let it go.
It sure seemed like Matt Taven being announced for Federacion Wrestling was one of the primary reasons ROH and CMLL had its falling out – CMLL demanded ROH pull Taven (and, to a lesser extent, the other ROH contracted wrestlers), ROH explained they didn’t have the rights to so, and so CMLL pulled the deal with ROH. I’m now not sure it made a lot of difference: ROH may have not be able to bring in CMLL wrestlers for the rest of Sinclair ownership, the Federacion show didn’t happen, Taven and CMLL are back together. I’m out about $20 USD but that’s nothing new. Taven had tours of Mexico in 2016, 2017, 2018 (losing a very confusing Aniversario main event) and 2019, being part of Gran Prix three of those times. He seemed to like working in Mexico – no one cared how hard ROH did or did not push him in Mexico City for one – and he clearly had big fans of CMLL management. I didn’t expect to be so big fans to bring him back, but it’s apparent through this list that CMLL was going to stick with people they knew well and they know Matt Taven. Taven has been in Impact this year as part of ROH invasion stable Honor No More as well as working in NWA. I read this as a direct Taven/CMLL relationship and not something that implies a relationship with another promotion.
Lince Dorado was the long time tag partner of Gran Metalik (Mascara Dorada) as the Lucha House Party in WWE. The two seemed close, especially after Kalisto (Samuray del Sol) was split off from the group and it became just a unit; they mutually made the decision to leave WWE. It’s surely the connection to get Lince to Arena Mexico. Lince talked Thursday about wanting to come to CMLL more than just one show, including teaming with Dorada. Lince has been doing a “Lucha Lit” character since leaving WWE, and I can’t think of anyone who’s done a drug referencing gimmick that strongly in CMLL (though there are references I catch and probably more I do not.)
Robbie Eagles (from Australia, not New Zealand) is a NJPW regular junior, well regarded by those who watch the promotion. He had a match with Will Ospreay that ended with Ospreay endorsing him; he came into NJPW as part of hell Bullet Club and was so well-liked that a switch to being a face made a lot of sense. He’s won both the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship and the Junior Tag Championship (w/Tiger Mask.) I saw him in person in PWG, and he came across to me as a guy who did an awful lot of Volador Jr. spots. Taven would probably be a bigger deal if they spun a 1v1 match out of this, but Eagles would probably have a better match. Titan defeating Eagles on the final group stage day of the BOSJ cost Eagles his chance to advance farther, and that’s an obvious setup for a singles match or even just an elimination if CMLL follows up on it.
Rocky Romero has a lot of history with CMLL and Mexican wrestling in general: he had a fondly remembered 2003/2004 as part of the Havana Brothers, then a 2008 stint as Grey Shadow that didn’t work out for anyone. (Among other issues, CMLL wanted to get him over as this new masked star, when it was already obvious that the new masked star was going to be this kid named La Sombra.) Romero jumped from CMLL to AAA, unmasking in the process, but didn’t seem to enjoy the couple of years he hung around there. He found his way back to NJPW, where his career really took off in and out of the ring. Romero is the NJPW foreign promotion liaison; he’s shown up in ROH and Impact as NJPW’s worked with them, and he and Tony Khan have talked about working together a lot to put together the NJPW/AEW Forbidden Door show. It’s a bit surprising Romero hasn’t been back to CMLL already for that reason – he knows the players in Mexico as well as anyone after working for both companies – though maybe NJPW’s so far just been content with Okumura being their voice to the Arena Mexico office. Romero is going to do well in a match like the Gran Prix, it just might not be his only or most important work in Mexico. If there’s anyone who can sit in an office with CMLL people and convince them it’s OK to let NJPW people be in the same ring with Andrade or Fenix or Pentagon, maybe it’s Rocky. (I’d also like to bet on AAA trying to set up a clandestine meeting with Romero while he’s in the country.)
Kenny King, like Matt Taven, has been spending time on Impact as part of their evil ROH invasion group. CMLL’s brought him in for the 2017 and 2019 Gran Prix, but hasn’t used him beyond those weekends and he didn’t go particularly far in the tournament. King had been part of the LFI group in ROH, closely associated with Dragon Lee, Rush and La Bestia del Ring, which seems like it’d be enough to cross him off the list most years. This again looks like CMLL pulling in someone they knew from the past rather than finding/trusting someone new.
Oráculo wrestled in the 2019 Gran Prix and, according to Cagematch, has wrestled 13 matches in the last three years. Most of those were The Crash matches, where he was both a regular and lost his mask. He hasn’t been back there since February. Almost all of the rest are small Florida shows. He appears to be someone who decided to pause wrestling during the pandemic, with no matches between February 2020 and October 2021. There may be other factors for why Oraculo isn’t booked much. As noted every time Oraculo gets reintroduced, wrestler Mia Yim has talked about (and been consistent in her details of) domestic violence suffered from her boyfriend of a certain time period. She doesn’t seem ever to say the name of that boyfriend and no one’s ever been charged with a crime to the best of my knowledge, but Yim was public about her relationship with Jay Rios during that time period, and everyone’s certain he is the person she’s talking about. Rios has repeatedly denied the accusations, and the story tends to go away because his career has gone such a low profile; most people don’t realize Oráculo is Jay Rios. It’s also at least possible his career has been so low profile because his peers have made the decision not to use him on shows – either they believe Yim’s story or they’ve decided he’s not worth the blowback from using him – but we can’t be sure of that, there may be other things going on. I know there was a suspicion CMLL might bring in a Travis Banks or Marty Scurll or even Michael Elgin in this year’s Gran Prix, and it was a relief not to see one of those guys involved in Arena Mexico for a few weeks. They’ve still brought in someone who can be lumped in the same pile, a person with accusations that have made him unbookable except in places run by friends or lucha libre promotions. I don’t think most CMLL fans know who Oráculo is, he’ll probably go out of the match early, and fans still won’t know who he is. It seems like an easy name to take a pass on, but CMLL’s limited contacts and likes others vouching for him got him on the list.
Team World is the heavy favorite. It’s just too easy for Team Mexico to self-combust. The bigger questions are if there’s a specific singles match coming out of a Team World, and if CMLL will hold off announcing the Anniversario plans until whatever happens on this show goes down.
Space’s description is “Mazatlan 1”, so it’s on to the July 2nd taping. If you’re reading this, there’s no lineup preview video yet. The highlight match is Vikingo & Penta vs Hermanos Lee.
I kinda want to move the Twitch stream so it’s not running against the same time of the ROH, but I had to move it last week too and don’t want to keep doing that and I’m not sure if anyone besides me cares about both the ROH show and the AAA TV show. It’ll probably be on the normal time.
Verano de Escandalo will not be airing live on FITE after all, according to a source. I’m pretty sure they announced it would be back at the press conference, but maybe I misunderstood or maybe it was a misspeak. It never made total sense. I expect AAA won’t be live again until TripleMania Mexico City in October.
AAA has Showcenter #4 on Sunday. The main event is Vikingo, Iguana and Hamburguesa against Puma King, Chessman and Toscano. Dralistico/Latigo is the only men’s tournament match. La Hiedra versus the debuting Natalia Marakova is probably meant to be a women’s tournament match. It’s hard to be all that involved in these shows when nothing on AAA TV matters outside of having good matches and it’s unclear if we’ll ever see the good matches. There was the usual late discount on tickets, though it doesn’t appear that’s going on. The ticket map shows a lot of empty seats. It also shows the upperdeck as being sold; it seems like they’ve closed that down and moved people closer the last couple of shows, so I’m not sure if the map is that useful.
We did get an answer is Showcenter 3 was taped; AAA is putting up highlights of Showcenter 3 on YouTube spread out through the weekend. Not sure when or if we’ll ever see the full show.
Impact Wrestling announced Bandido vs Rey Horus for their 08/12 Emergence show. This is an Impact Plus ($8/month subscription and probably like $10/15 on FITE as a standalone thing.) Emergence is taking place in Cicero Stadium outside of Chicago, where lucha libre promotions (and MLW) have run very successfully in the past, so it makes sense to bring in extra Mexican wrestlers for the show. Impact tapes TV the following day in the same location, and it’s safe to assume they’ll be on those shows as well.
Impact is billing Bandido and Rey Horus as AAA wrestlers and AAA is going along. Rey Horus hasn’t actually wrestled for AAA on TV since 2020. He was on in a Showcenter match taped for TV against Gringo Loco, but it didn’t air. I believe he was supposed to be Tijuana mascot Rey Xolo at one point, but it got switched to Extreme Tiger and then weirdly Villano III Jr. in the Copa TripleMania lost month. (Horus appeared on that show and did a run-in during that match, and I did a poor job matching up tattoos.) I don’t think either Horus or Bandido are actually under contract to AAA; this is just Impact going through AAA to find some Mexican wrestlers instead of contacting them directly out of politeness. Both Bandido & Horus would be assets to Impact if they were used past this show but it’d hard to imagine they’d be used to their full potential give Laredo Kid and Black Taurus’ roles in the promotion.
There’s a mention in today’s WON about a Channel 62 in Los Angeles airing TripleMania Tijuana as the start of regular TV. That’s the La Estrella TV deal (as previously mentioned in the WON), they aired TripleMania Monterrey, and it’s just the start of airing the TripleManias on long delays. It’s not a regular AAA TV deal, though obviously AAA hopes it would turn in to something like that. Whoever passed the info about the show to the WON probably has a vague idea of AAA – “they’re saying TripleMania, I remember they had a Tijuana show recently, it must be that” – similar to Rey Horus and Bandido being passed off AAA wrestlers because most Impact fans will have a vague idea either or both have wrestled there. Almost no one actually follows AAA, most just have a vibe of AAA they’re working off. It may be actually the more pleasurable way to follow AAA.
Former AAA wrestler Decnnis is working as a police officer in Cuautitlan Izcalli. He says started five years ago, which is about the last time he appeared in AAA.
IWRG (THU) 07/21/2022 Arena Naucalpan [IWRG]
1) Rey Astaroth & Súper Boy b Legado & Rey Minos
2) La Estrella & Takuma b Baby Star & X-Devil
3) Hell Boy, Limbo, Yorvak b Caballero de Plata, Noisy Boy, Vértigo
Hell Boy snuck in a foul on Caballero de Plata
4) Aster Boy, Diva Salvaje, Imposible b Paymon, Puma de Oro, Tonalli
5) Dick Angelo 3G b Abismo Negro Jr. [IWRG JUNIORS]
first defense. Abismo Negro Jr. seemed to be having a medical issue (overheating?) during the match.
I scanned through the main event and didn’t see a specific incident, but Absimo Negro Jr. was moving slow. They stopped the match to get him water at one point, and the ringside doctor looked like she was ready to stop the match for about the last half of it. Abismo needed help standing and staying on his feet after the match. It wasn’t especially warm in Naucalpan – it’s cooler there than it is where I’m typing this outside of Chicago – but it seemed like Abismo was trying to get air. I’ve been since told people there were very concerned about his immediate health after the match. Hope he’s OK today; he was back to posting Instgram stories this morning so that seems like a good match.
Aster Boy got a surprise birthday cake from his teammates. It did not appear to get smashed.
Mas Lucha (THU) 07/28/2022 Arena Naucalpan
1) Lady Amazona & Luna Mágica vs Princesa Águila (Chihuahua) & Sakura (Chihuahua) and Bengalee & Zuzu Divine and Artemiz & Princesa Azul
2) Atómico vs Yorvak vs Radioactivo vs Calibus
3) Alas de Oro & Alas De Plata vs Imposible & León Dorado
4) Rey León © vs Travis Banks, Kempo Jr., Karaoui [915-656]
5) Brazo Cibernetico Jr. & Villano V Jr. vs Brazo Celestial & Rokambole Jr.
6) DMT Azul vs Groon XXX
This is a Mas Lucha Premium show. Not every show should be for everyone. This is remarkably a prestige card of six matches I wouldn’t pay for individually. DMT Azul/Groon XXX will draw as a freak show and there’s other who have cult Mexico City popularity. I’d definitely check out Imposible & Dorada vs the Alas, even though I’m led to understand Imposible and Dorado are teasing a mask match and so that’s probably going to be a bad ending. The rest I would not watch for free. I think they’ll still draw fine and there’s obviously something going on with the Juarez/El Paso group to explain why so many of their wrestlers are on this card (and why the lineup is mostly working around them), but I can’t believe how much of a gap there is between what I think there’s a good show and what Mas Lucha thinks is a good show.
El Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. did a round of press in Mexico to talk about his time in NOAH. BolaVIP has some text quotes, Mas Lucha has their video version. He mentions he’s signed a one year deal with NOAH, lasting through July 2023. Wagner also notes he’s had to battle loneliness in Japan – he knows only a bit of Japanese, and the food isn’t spicy enough for him.
The main event of tonight’s Arena Neza show was scheduled as LA Park & Rush vs Blue Demon Jr. & DMT Azul. It’s Producciones Sanchez’s 25th Anniversary as a promoter. Being a promoter is hard work and it seems like it may have gotten harder tonight: Rush announced he, Vangellys and Bestia del Ring have pulled off the show earlier this afternoon.
ROH has their Death before Dishonor PPV on Saturday. No Mexican wrestler has been announced yet despite my best efforts at chaos. (My power only reaches as far as a scoreboard.) AEW did indicate more matches would be announced tonight (at least JD Drake appears to be booked) so maybe there’s news yet to come. I have no inside info.
Penta Oscuro faces Matt Taven on Sunday in Waterbury, Connecuit for North East Wrestling. That’s a bit more interesting with Taven headed back to CMLL soon.
Big Lucha announced Cometa Maya vs Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. as the first match in their 07/29 Big Lucha world championship tournament.
GCW announced Gringo Loco, Black Taurus, and Jack Carthweel vs Komander, Laredo Kid and ASF for their 07/29 show. They previously announced Joey Janela vs Psycho Clown for that show.
Laredo Kid called his appearance on the adjacent Ric Flair show one of the most important matches of his career in his hometown paper. It’s good news for those who are planning to watch if those guys are treating it like a big deal. Komander was added to the show’s Bunkhouse Battle Royal, which sounds like a terrible match for him but probably an easy payday.
Pro Wrestling Revolution announced Aerostar vs Super Astro Jr. for the PWR Junior Title for their August 20th show in King City.
Alpha Wolf & Hijo de Canis Lupus return to NOAH on August 27th. They haven’t been seen in Mexico since the last trip to NOAH.
MLW officially announced their 09/18 taping with Mucha Lucha Atlanta and teased it as involving multiple outside of promotions. Mucha Lucha Atlanta, one step ahead, revealed AAA would be involved.
Dragon Lee will be part of the 11/29 King of Indies tournament in San Francisco. He’s won the last two of those.
(Unspecified) lucha libre YouTubers were pushing a story that the October WWE Mexico shows were being blocked from happening by AAA. WWE happened to officially announce tickets go on sale on 07/25 for those shows today. Apolo Valdes mentioned the situation as part of a larger thread about lucha libre YouTubers frequently and unhelpfully putting out fake news stories to gather attention.
Many wrestling promotions in Cuernavaca were upset about changes in the local commission and held a demonstration to protest it, going as far as blocking a street. As best I can tell, they’re upset about the new people who voted in charge of the commission, feeling they didn’t have proper knowledge of wrestling to be in those roles.
Diario de Xalapa has an interview with local mask maker Moises Calderon Mestizo, who also wrestled as Dragon Killer, Cara Meca, Pato Donald (Donaldo Duck), Dragon Azul, Draogn Fuego, Dragon Rojo, Dragon Espacial and “during 10 years” Huracan Ramriez.