Cain Velasquez will wrestle in Tempe, 2023 FantasticaMania roster announced


Cain Velasquez will wrestle on the 12/03 AAA show in Tempe. He will reportedly team with Pagano and Blue Demon to face Taurus, Sam Adonis. and Gringo Loco in the main event. Velasquez was cleared to participate on Tuesday morning, under conditions including paying for the police in charge of watching him for the weekend. There is a new lineup for the show:

AAA TV (SAT) 12/03/2022 Mullet Arena, Tempe, Arizona
1) Dave The Clown, Máscarita Sagrada, Willie Mack vs ?, Demus, Látigo
2) Lady Shani & Sexy Star vs Chik Tormenta & Maravilla
3) Arez, Komander, Mr. Iguana vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
4) Cain Velasquez, Pagano, Blue Demon Jr. vs Gringo Loco, Sam Adonis, Taurus
5) Hijo Del Vikingo & Pentagón Jr. vs Daga & Flip Gordon

This is crazy. There are unemotional ways to look at Velasquez on this show and I’ll get back to that in a second. It’s impossible to talk about this without acknowledging how crazy this is. It is valid to have a wide range of feelings on a wrestling promotion using someone currently charged with attempted murder. It’s about the most sympathetic case of attempted murder situation possible, but it’s still attempted murder. This idea isn’t good or bad, just well into the grey, and about the craziest thing I’ve written about that didn’t involve Ultimo Guerrero’s car.

Cain Velasquez is the best thing to happen to this Tempe lineup, which hadn’t sold many tickets so far. The hope seemed to be a huge walkup on day of the show, or for the show to be quickly forgotten when AAA moves onto their next US adventure. Velasquez will either sell a lot of tickets because of increased awareness or attention or will be a handy excuse if the show continues to do sell poorly. AAA’s efforts to this point are largely irrelevant, the guy whose addition to this show is being covered by TMZ and ESPN is now everything. It’s also great exposure for Hijo del Vikingo (and Daga!) if the expected extra press on this show take it seriously. This creates a lot more awareness of the Lucha Libre AAA brand as well. Some of that awareness will be negative, but AAA’s never been that concerned about that. (It was shocking that Velasquez was allowed to and wanted to do this, it was not a surprise that AAA would agree to it.) I don’t know if the match will be any good – Velasquez hasn’t wrestled in years and his training with WWE didn’t seem to go well for anyone – but the match quality is largely irrelevant. This is about as a freak show main event as it gets, and the task here is just to make sure it gets to the ring.

There is a history of AAA using people who are currently and famously charged with crimes. Charly Manson was arrested in May 2011 after attacking police officers. He was released on bail and continued wrestling on TV. The police officers pushed for bail to be revoked and Manson was taken back into custody directly after an AAA TV taping in July. It’s wrestling, so I’m sure that wasn’t the only legal situation with a Mexican wrestler, just the only one to come to light.

Lost in the Cain situation is this lineup is still not great. I can’t believe AAA is going to main event a show with major exposure in the US with Daga and Flip Gordon in 2022. I can’t believe that because it probably won’t happen, they’ll flip the Cain match to the main event on the day of the show if not prior. It has to end with Velasquez in the ring if AAA’s putting him on the show. AAA is totally behind Velasquez as a good guy in this situation, and so it would’ve made more sense to team him with their most important stars (Penta, Vikingo) if they’re going that route, and just let everything else fall where it may. I guess the idea is Penta/Vikingo vs Daga/Flip is the “workrate” match, but that’s more confidence than I’d have into those two guys and I’m not sure that should even be the priority. And, if they were going to do a workrate match and add Arez on the card, he’d make more sense for that spot than Daga or Flip; few outside of AAA see Flip Gordon as a bigger star or a better wrestler than Arez in 2022.

Penta and his mask were all over Monday’s Arizona/San Francisco NFL game at Estadio Azteca. George Kittle, a Penta superfan going back to Lucha Underground, wore the mask walking into the building and at a post-game press conference. He scored 2 touchdowns in between. Kittle and Penta exchanged masks before the game, something ESPN just seems to catch in passing during their pre-game show and then replayed with more focus during the broadcast and in recaps of the game.

Garbage collectors/TikTok stars “Los basurologos” told El Sol del Acapulco say they’ll be wrestling in the semi-main on an AAA show being taped for TV on 12/09. There is of course no known AAA taping for 12/09, so it’s probably a local Acpaulco show said to be an AAA TV taping. The story is more about their surprise rise in popularity and background in wrestling; they were fans growing up, one of them wrestled prior, and they have been training over the last two years.

RIOT announced Arez is off their 12/17 show, following AAA announcing Arez for Madero.


CMLL (TUE) 11/22/2022 Arena México [CMLL, Kaiser Sports, Mas Lucha, The Gladiatores]
1) Full Metal & Minos b Acero & Aéreo CMLL: Full Metal y Minos derrotan a Aéreo y Acero (posted by mluchatv) Minos y Full Metal Vs Aéreo y Acero; Martes de Arena México (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
2) Apocalipsis, Disturbio, Raider DQ Hombre Bala Jr., Neón, Robin CMLL: Neón, Hombre Bala Jr. y Robin son descalificados ante Apocalipsis, Raider y Disturbio. (posted by mluchatv) Neón, H. Bala Jr. y Robin Vs Apocalipsis, Rider y Disturbio; Martes de Arena México (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
Rudos took 1/3, the last when Neon unmasked Apocalipsis.
3) Avispa Dorada, La Magnifica, Marcela b Amapola, Hera, La Seductora CMLL: Marcela, Avispa Dorada y La Magnífica vencen a Amapola, Hera y La Seductora (posted by mluchatv) Marcela, Avispa Dorada y La Magnífica Vs Amapola, Seductora y Hera en martes de Arena México (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
tecnicas took 2/3. Avispa hit her head on the apron on a tope con giro at the end of the match.
4) Dulce Gardenia, Espíritu Negro, Rey Cometa b Arkalis, Pegasso, Stigma CMLL: Dulce Gardenia, Rey Cometa y Espíritu Negro derrotan a Pegasso, Stigma y Arkalis (posted by mluchatv)
Dulce Atrapsuenos took 2/3.
5) Guerrero Maya Jr., Místico, Stuka Jr. b Atlantis Jr., Hechicero, Mephisto Místico, Guerrero Maya Jr. y Stuka Jr. VS Atlantis Jr., Mephisto y Hechicero (posted by mluchatv)
Straight falls, rudos DQed in the first for mask removal.

Not sure if the main event was supposed to go anywhere or if they were just doing something different for the sake of it. Avispa says she took a couple of stitches to the back of the head but is otherwise OK, will rest and return.

CMLL (TUE) 11/22/2022 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Arena Coliseo Guadalajara]
1) Atilus, Maxiums, Rey Urano b León Blanco, Relámpago Azul, Thunder Boy Transmisión en vivo de Martes de Glamour Oficial 22 noviembre 2022 (posted by Martes de Glamour Oficial )
2) Black Boy, Carlo Roggi, Maléfico b El Divino, Persa, Temerario [Relevos IncreíblesTransmisión en vivo de Martes de Glamour Oficial 22 noviembre 2022 (posted by Martes de Glamour Oficial)
3) Ángel Rebelde, Optimus, Trono b Furia Roja, Guerrero de la Muerte, Ráfaga Transmisión en vivo de Martes de Glamour Oficial 22 noviembre 2022 (posted by Martes de Glamour Oficial)
4) Rugido b Halcón Negro Jr. Transmisión en vivo de Martes de Glamour Oficial 22 noviembre 2022 (posted by Martes de Glamour Oficial)
5) Averno & JKR b Yota & Zandokan Jr. Transmisión en vivo de Martes de Glamour Oficial 22 noviembre 2022 (posted by Martes de Glamour Oficial)
6) Euforia & Soberano Jr. b Valiente & Valiente Jr. and Flyer & Principe Daniel and Misterioso Negro & Misterioso Jr. [Torneo Herederos, semifinalTransmisión en vivo de Martes de Glamour Oficial 22 noviembre 2022 (posted by Martes de Glamour Oficial)

Flyer ends up wrestling, Volador did not. They didn’t just sneak him in and out either, he went to the end of the match with Soberano. I presumed this was a two block tournament but there seemed to be even more family teams announced for next week.

CMLL (SUN) 11/27/2022 Arena México
1) Fantasy & Pequeño Magía vs Pequeño Olímpico & Pequeño Polvora
2) Leono, Oro Jr., Retro vs Cholo, Difunto, Zandokan Jr.
3) Diamond, Magia Blanca, Rugido vs Akuma, Okumura, Pólvora
4) Fugaz, Panterita del Ring, Star Black vs Dragón Rojo Jr., El Coyote, Misterioso Jr.
5) Atlantis, Místico Blue Panther, Volador Jr. vs Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero, Yota

Zandokan and Difunto in the second match. Yota’s getting put in main events immediately, though it’s not an overwhelming rudo side. (He came along at a good time.)

CMLL (MON) 11/28/2022 Arena Puebla
1) Black Tiger & Rey Apocalipsis vs Fuerza Chicana & King Jaguar
2) Asturiano, Oro Jr., Valiente Jr. vs Disturbio, Príncipe Odín Jr., Zandokan Jr.
3) Dulce Gardenia, Espíritu Negro, Rey Cometa vs Arkalis, Guerrero Maya Jr., Stigma
4) Atlantis Jr., Gran Guerrero, Misterioso Jr. vs Euforia, Hechicero, Mephisto
5) Último Guerrero vs El Mesías

Mesias both fouled UG and put his feet on the ropes to beat him on Monday, setting up this singles match. They Atrapsuenos/Poblana matches continue. Zandokan is opposite Oro Jr. again. I had a joke in here about buying Zandokan’s Christmas presents should be stuff he could use traveling between Mexico and Guadalajara often, but maybe he’s already making the move.

NJPW unexpectedly announced the full CMLL talent roster for FantasticaMania 2023 on their Tuesday show.

  • Mistico
  • Volador Jr.
  • Titan
  • Soberano Jr.
  • Dulce Gardenia
  • Rey Cometa
  • Magia Blanca
  • Suicida
  • Ultimo Guerrero
  • Atlantis Jr.
  • Hechicero
  • Templario
  • Barbaro Cavernario
  • Okumura
  • Hijo del Villano III

15 is way down from 22 in 2020, but NJPW’s scaled back in ways visible and not since the start of the pandemic. A smaller roster was expected too, and that means CMLL’s own shows should be a bit stronger than time around. It’s a different group from that 2020 tour, with only 6 wrestlers (Okumura, Dulce, UG, Soberano, Caristico/Mistico and Cavernario) repeating.

There are three first timers: Suicida, Magia Blanca and Hijo del Villano III. Suicida worked his way from the fringes of the CMLL roster to making this tour. I’m more positive about Villano getting this trip after his great title match with Angel de Oro. Magia Blanca gives Volador a tag team partner; those Depredadores versus Mistico & Suicida would make sense as a match somewhere on that tour.

Barbaro Cavernario and Templario included are good signs for their recovery. Cavernario’s probably helped by these shows being later than usual. Templario’s original recovery timeline had him back weeks ago.

No Stuka Jr. is a surprise; the CMLL Aniversario main event rematch has been a staple of these shows. The usual family tournament isn’t happening either. I really wanted Panterita Jr. but he’s probably a year or two away based on tenure. Maybe more so with usual opponent Raider. Volador, Mistico, Templario and Magia Blanca are champs, but no tag champs and it’s strange Hechicero lost his title if he was going to be on these shows. He’s out of sight so out of mind, but Mascara Dorada probably also should be on these shows and it’s not a good sign for his immigration situation to be left off.

NJPW is still running some shows with no cheering allowed and some shows with cheering but limited capacity. Not sure where they’ll be in February 2023. NJPW is unlikely to announce lineups before until around these February shows.

Atlantis Jr. is grouped with the rudos, in case anyone else is trying to figure out tecnicos or rudos.

CMLL Informa has the FantasticaMania debuts (Hijo del Villano III, Suicida, Magia Blanca), the Jalisco visitors (Zandokan Jr. & Difunto), Kraneo to talk about the Leyenda de Azul and Star Black and Blue Panther to talk about something else since they’re not in the Leyenda de Azul.

Titan and BUSHI defeated Ryusuke Taguchi & Clark Connors to improve their Super Junior Tag League record to 1-1.


IWRG (THU) 11/24/2022 Arena Naucalpan
1) Cosmic & Kalu vs Nubilus & Osogbo
2) Balak, Cheff Benito, Último Caballero vs Güero De Tijuana, Skanda, Yetti
3) Legado, Nativo, Rey Minos vs Milagro, Rey Eclipse, Taurino
4) Aster Boy © vs Spider Fly [IWRG IC Light]
7th defense
5) Águila Oriental, Águila Roja, Ajolot, Hell Boy, Jhon Tito, Kenji, Rey Aztaroth, Súper Boy vs Adamarino, Cometa Boy, Makro, Pequeño Joker, Rey Kratos, Súper Tiger, Tiger Boy, Tigre Fly [Copa Higher Power]
FILL vs Gym Cuchillo

FILL 101. Gym Cuchillo appears to be a Puebla group of luchador.

Other News

LuchaWorld has this week’s Poster-Mania.

El Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. retained the GHC National Championship.

KDNA is running Arena Coliseo Monterrey on 11/27 with Psycho Clown and indie wrestlers. That’s the first non-KAOZ show in the building since the pandemic.

NOAH has a Great Muta retirement show on 02/23 in the Tokyo Dome. Nosawa has recently announced he’ll also be retiring on that show. In an interview talking about his retirement, Nosawa says his Japan-based Perros del Mal group will also go away in February. Nosawa claims he licensed the name, the license actually lasts through June, but he’s not going to do anything with it once he retires and the license itself is expensive. Many people do not believe Nosawa is actually retiring, and he repeatedly insists he’s done after February.

A profile of retired Tamaulipas luchador Spirt, who’s since moved to Iowa and still works wrestling shows as a referee.

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