CMLL (FRI) 12/02/2022 Arena México [CMLL, Kaiser Sports, R de Rudo, thecubsfan]
1) Bengala & Neón DQ Apocalipsis & Difunto
7:43. Difunto unmasked Bengala, mask match challenges followed.
2) Akuma, Dark Magic, Espanto Jr. b Fuego, Hombre Bala Jr., Panterita del Ring Jr.
23:20. Rudos took 1/3.
3) Dalys, Reyna Isis, Stephanie Vaquer b Avispa Dorada, La Jarochita, Lluvia
14:56. Rudas took 1/3.
4) Euforia, Hechicero, Mephisto b Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Yota
17:06. Infernales took 1/3
5) Gran Guerrero, Stuka Jr., Último Guerrero b Atlantis, Atlantis Jr., Volador Jr. [Relevos Increíbles]
16:19. Gran Guerrero & Ultimo Guerrero cheated to beat Atlantis Jr., who declared he was done teaming with the Guerreros for that offense and challenge Gran Guerrero to a singles match.
Atlantis Jr. is done being in Los Guerreros del Altantida, seemingly done being a rudo for now. The match felt like a normal match and the screw finish was minor, but Atlantis Jr. was definite that this was the end of the team, and he was now feuding with Guerreros. Reckless speculation time:
- Templario is overdue for a return, and Atlantis Jr. leaving the trio opens up a spot again. Templario’s departure wasn’t also a minor deal that could be reversed easily.
- Atlantis Jr. made a point of saying he was a heavyweight and those were the titles he aiming for on this past week’s Informa. (He’s not a heavyweight, but he’s getting closer by CMLL standards.) Gran Guerrero’s unexpected title win makes more sense if it was moving a piece into place for a GG/Atlantis Jr. feud.
- I don’t want to overplay this but Gran Guerrero versus Atlantis Jr. has to be kept in consideration for the 90th Anniversario. Atlantis/Ultimo Guerrero is one of the most famous matches in CMLL history, both Atlantis and Gran Guerrero have won Aniversario mask matches in recent years, and round number years tend to feature call backs to the past. It’s a low chance of happening, it doesn’t seem big enough right now in December, but you can see a path from here to there if they wanted to do it. Homenaje a Dos Leyendas is a possibility too. I am not saying it’s happening, just that it has to be thrown in the list whenever you’re coming up with ideas from those shows.
Not a good show otherwise. Every match had stuff that just went wrong and didn’t look good. It wasn’t just those who usually struggle, everyone seemed to have a bad night.
CMLL did a red (blue) carpet entrance bit alongside the Christmas lighting ceremony on Friday. Salvador Lutteroth, increasingly visible in these sort of things, entered with the Atlantis family.
Tonight’s Arena Puebla show has Euforia vs Gran Guerrero for the CMLL heavyweight title and Fuerza Poblana vs Dulce Atrpasuenos for the Mexican national trios titles. Children tickets are marked down to 20 pesos in this venue from now until the day after the Christmas show.
CMLL (SAT) 12/03/2022 Arena Coliseo
1) Pequeño Olímpico, Pequeño Polvora, Pequeño Violencia b Acero, Aéreo, Pequeño Magía
Rudos took 1/3.
2) Cachorro, Leono, Valiente Jr. DQ Dr. Karonte I, Dr. Karonte II, Inquisidor
straight falls, Inquisidor unmasking Valiente Jr. to end it.
3) Diamond, Robin, Suicida b Cholo, Enfermero Jr., Raider
Tecnicos took 1/3
4) Blue Panther, Panterita del Ring, Volcano b Kráneo, Okumura, Pólvora
Tecnicos took 2/3
5) Volador Jr. b Dragón Rojo Jr.
Volador took 1/3.
Add Inquisdior and Valiente Jr. to the mask match list. That’s going to be a competition between luchadors CMLL fans barely knew they were in the promotion and luchadors CMLL fans have seen for a decade and a half. No in-between.
Box y Lucha not covering the show is probably just the one person doing it being busy elsewhere but it seems worth noting here after the video issue last week.
CMLL (SUN) 12/04/2022 Arena México [CMLL]
1) Angelito, Shockercito, Último Dragóncito b Full Metal, Mercurio, Pequeño Violencia
Pequeno Violencia replaced Pierorthito on Saturday.
2) La Guerrera, La Magnifica, La Vaquerita b Hera, La Seductora, Tiffany
Tecnicas took 1/3.
3) Magia Blanca, Magnus, Rugido b El Audaz, Okumura, Pegasso [Relevos Increíbles]
Depredadores took 1/3.
4) Cancerbero, Luciferno, Virus b El Coyote, Hijo del Villano III, Rey Bucanero
Cancerberos took 1/3
5) Dragón Rojo Jr., Gran Guerrero, Yota b Negro Casas, Valiente, Volador Jr.
Negro Casas replaced Soberano on Saturday. Rudos took 1/3.
The only way to stop the prelim guys from making mask challenges is not to book the prelim guys.
CMLL (TUE) 12/06/2022 Arena México
1) Acero, Aéreo, Pequeño Magía vs Minos, Pequeño Polvora, Pierrothito
2) Leono, Milenium (Puebla), Valiente Jr. vs Cholo, Inquisidor, Príncipe Odín Jr.
3) La Guerrera, La Magnifica, La Vaquerita vs Amapola, Metálica, Tiffany
4) Sagrado © vs Star Black [MEX HEAVY]
5) Negro Casas, Soberano Jr., Stuka Jr. vs Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Yota
The main event could be fun. I’m not so sure about the semimain.
Milenium has been an Arena Puebla luchador since 2009 and is making his Arena Mexico debut. I think he’s getting Asturiano’s spot; Asturiano announced on 11/23 that he’d be out 2-3 weeks after getting hurt on an Arena Puebla show. It would’ve made sense to put another Fuerza Poblana guy in there, but Perverso is the other guy who’s gotten used a lot and he’s an unmasked guy. I wonder if Big Lucha’s Extasis would’ve been considered for both this spot and the upcoming age match had he not been in the (thrown together to fill out the episode) AAA TV match in Puebla. He did work as part of the group in Guadalajara and is masked. Being “Big Lucha’s Extasis” makes me think it probably wasn’t going to happen for him anyway. This is great for Milenium to get the chance after 13 years, there is no problem with using these Tuesdays shows as rewards for people who’ve been grinding away for a long time.
CMLL (FRI) 12/09/2022 Arena México
1) Fuego, Okumura, Panterita del Ring Jr. vs Dark Magic, Disturbio, Guerrero Maya Jr. [Relevos Increíbles]
2) Dalys & Lady Frost vs Ivelisse & La Jarochita and Alex Gracia & Lluvia and Avispa Dorada & Reyna Isis [Copa Bicentenario Femenil, seeding battle royal]
3) ? vs ?? [Copa Bicentenario Femenil, semifinal]
4) ? vs ?? [Copa Bicentenario Femenil, semifinal]
5) ? vs ?? [Copa Bicentenario Femenil, final]
6) Atlantis Jr. vs Gran Guerrero
7) Místico & Rocky Romero vs Lince Dorado & Volador Jr. and Kenny King & Último Guerrero and Hechicero & Matt Taven [Copa Bicentenario Varonil, seeding battle royal]
8) ? vs ?? [Copa Bicentenario Varonil, semifinal]
9) ? vs ?? [Copa Bicentenario Varonil, semifinal]
10) ? vs ?? [Copa Bicentenario Varonil, final]
That’s probably not the correct order and I can’t say with complete certainty I know how these tournaments are supposed to work. Should be an interesting show though. Even the opener is very weird.
BUSHI & Titan picked up a fifth win in the Super Junior Tag Team over Sho & Dick Togo on Sunday. It’s a five-team race for two spots. The LIJ team faces Tiger Mask and Robbie Eagles on Wednesday, with the final the block final on Saturday.
Virus & Atlantis Jr vs Rocky Romero & Adrian Quest is up on NJPW’s YouTube page for free. It was a lot of fun, Virus looked very motivated to face his old rival one more time. They even played off the old finishing sequence. Atlantis and Quest were good too, but it was best appreciated by nerds who remember 2004 CMLL.
The thing I learned: I had presumed the audience for the NJPW Strong shows were mostly the English-speaking fans. I looked through the Twitter hashtag after the fact to see what people thought, and it seemed like 90% of it was in Japanese. This is where I’m supposed to draw an important lesson from that but I don’t have one at the moment.
AAA (SAT) 12/03/2022 Mullet Arena, Tempe, Arizona [ESPN Deportes, Lucha Central, Record]
1) La Perrush-K, Máscarita Sagrada, Willie Mack b Demus, King Dragó, Látigo
La Perrush-K is an exotico from El Paso, King Drago is a local wrestler.
2) Lady Shani & Sexy Star b Chik Tormenta & Maravilla
Shani picked up a leg injury but finished the match
3) Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón b Arez, Dave The Clown, Komander
Dave the Clown replaced Mr. Iguana (flight issues). Appeared to be a non-title match. Said to be best match of the night.
4) Blue Demon Jr., Cain Velasquez, Pagano b Gringo Loco, Sam Adonis, Taurus
Velasquez thanked the crowd earlier in the night (in a set up to get the rudos to confront him.) He wrestled in his El Toro mask for most of the match. Adonis used an entrance video that was just highlights of Argentina knocking Mexico out of the World Cup. Velasquez looked good, considering little training.
5) Hijo Del Vikingo & Pentagón Jr. b Daga & Flip Gordon
Pentagon got the win, and he and Vikingo thanked the fans supporting them in Arizona.
This AAA show was an important one in that it was AAA show in a new market, and AAA RT-ed any positive comment they could find that put over what a great time people they had. This AAA show was also an unimportant one, it that it was barely promoted before the week of the show, not mentioned on TV and (as best as anyone can tell) and not taped for TV. Tempe was not treated as much bigger show than a spot show in León for most of the lead up, and then suddenly became of TripleMania-level importance the day of the show.
This show did well enough that AAA will continue to refer to its existence – better than the Dallas show, maybe not well as the relocated New York City show, though with similar positive feelings coming out of it. (Those feelings then and now were ‘wow, had a great time, wish it was promoted better so more people would’ve come out to see it.’) AAA got the obligatory crowd shot and teased returning, though that depends more on the local promoter. It looks like they’re going to be on TMZ today, which will be considered a publicity win.
People who were there live guessed about 3,000 people in the building. That seems to be around the official number AAA will be going with. It looked less than that to me, given the normal 5,000 capacity, the closed-off end for the entrance, and the sections with a few scattered fans. Maybe the floor seats made it for it. I was told 25-30% of those people were believed to be comped, and maybe those people didn’t stay for the whole show. (A fan in attendance told me about a chunk of the audience got up to leave after the Cain match, believing it to be the main event. Some returned once they heard the music for the next match, some did not.) If we go with 2,000 as the actual tickets sold, 2,000 is a great number for an indie promotion with no TV in the US, it’s a better number than some promotions with (weak) US TV have drawn in the US of late. Two thousand or even three thousand is still short of the “four to five thousand” goal Dorian Roldan had set up for these US endeavors. AAA did not get crushed like it seemed they were early on, but they haven’t figured out their formula to make this work.
AAA got saved due to Cain Velasquez wanting to work this show. (Information points to this idea starting in the Velasquez camp when they found out about it happening; AAA was completely onboard with the idea once presented to them.) This was meant to be a “100 years of Blue Demon” celebration and that didn’t seem to happen; maybe it got moved to the Noche de Campeones title match. It became the Cain Velasquez show. UFC Champion Velasquez would’ve been a meaningful addition just wrestling near his university, Velasquez doing it while charged with controversial attempted murder charges made it more of a thing to see. It’s not exactly something AAA can count on for every US show, though it worked for this one, and I presume they’ll look at using him again in Los Angeles if available.
The complete video of Cain Velasquez’s match is here. Velasquez was into the match, and helped a lot by the rudos getting in the right places for the big moves. Taurus has quietly been dealing with an injury – I think it’s a puncture wound – and there was private concern if he’d be able to make this match to be Velasquez’s opponent again. He made it, though he did less than usual and it was often Adonis working with Velasquez. I read the finish was a superbomb on Adonis and that sounded a bit of a risk with a guy out of training, and it looked like a bit of risk. Everyone got home OK. Fans were said confused a bit by Velasquez wrestling in the “El Toro” bull mask again but got into it more once the match got going. Velasquez would be better off not wearing the mask but I don’t think in AAA anyone had him a problem with wearing it if it got him in the ring.
Fans seemed to be wowed by Komander’s antics in the trios title match. The main event came off a Penta & Vikingo showcase. Shani had a lower (right?) leg injury and was shaking it out on late in the match, though it didn’t seem too serious. (There is Facebook video of that match; I haven’t done a lot of digging on the rest, but I’m guessing it’s out there if you dig enough.) La Perrush-K got over well; having at least one exotico on these shows is useful. I see La Perrush-K listed on El Paso shows, but he’s actually based in Phoenix, according to Facebook, and must be making some long drives. Trying to make it from the Arizona/Colorado/New Mexico/Utah area must not be easy. The fans who attended the AAA show in Tempe seemed to really enjoy the night and would attend again; they just need to pull in two friends with them, and AAA will be all set.
I led off today with CMLL because the one minor Atlantis Jr/Gran Guerreros finish suggests a lot of CMLL’s plans for the near and medium term. With AAA and Tempe, it’s tough to know if any of this goes anywhere. None of the matches on the show set up something for the future, nor where they intended to do so. AAA ended with a vague hint they might return again, and this is a totally meaningful event if it’s the start of it being a regular stop. It’s also possible it’s another “remember when AAA did [X] and we all got focused on for a few months and then it never went anywhere”, because there’s of many of them. The local promoter dutifully pushed the show leading up to the day, and then hasn’t said anything since. That tends not to be a great sign, but we probably won’t know what this meant until months down the line.
Hijo del Vikingo versus Laredo Kid from this past Saturday’s TV show was must-see. This was more heated and more hard-hitting than their previous singles match. Laredo Kid attacked Vikingo with LA Park-level hate, Vikingo had to find that side of himself to fight back, and the match kept elevating and elevating until a beer bottle got involved. There was one reverse rana spot that went poorly, but everything else worked well and they just kept going. The intensity of the match came through, even on a shaky stream, weeks later. This felt closer to the V4/Penta match than the Fenix/Vikingo one.
Watching the match with Laredo Kid’s injury in mind made it a slightly different experience than it must’ve been live. The story of the match was Laredo going after Vikingo’s midsection, so the injury going the other way was a weird fact. Half the stuff they did seemed like it could’ve legitimately been responsible for an injury too. There’s no doubt to me that it was the 630 senton that actually did it after seeing it though; Vikingo landed very hard and direct.
Laredo Kid’s now beaten Hijo del Vikingo in both of their singles matches. That should set up a Mega title match between the two at a major show, but it’s AAA. TripleManias aren’t headlined by two full time wrestlers having a single match, and matches and feuds that happen on AAA TV outside of TripleMania are ignored on AAA TV. This Laredo/Vikingo match too was also pretty quickly moved on from AAA, lost in amplifying any and every positive comment about the Tempe show that evening. I think it was more unfortunate timing than a malicious act, but those moments were going to run into each other for some time.
The rest of the show was fine but nothing you have to see. Octagon, Aramis and Myzteziz and Hiedra and Chik Tormenta all tried, not everything came together and the crowd didn’t seem too into it. The crowd was there to see Vikingo and got way into his match with Laredo, and the tournament didn’t seem to mean much when it came to the Tormenta/Hiedra final. It’s a little bit biased by how AAA shoots the camera – the people on the stage we could see were mostly wearing Hijo del Vikingo gear and looked bored during the women’s match, while there was a faint noise to be heard off camera in the much larger seating area. That just is the way AAA shoots these things.
The 2023 Rey de Reyes will take place Poliforum Zamna, Merida, Yucatan on February 5th. Tickets go on sale Tuesday and will run between 300 to 1500 pesos before service charges, and there’s a 4×3 offer in some areas if you buy early. No names are announced. Rey de Reyes took place in February this year, moved earlier to make room for three TripleManias. AAA hasn’t officially announced they’re holding multiple TripleManias this year, but that’s clearly the plan. All three TripleManias drew well, and there’s no reason to give up that money if worked.
It’s possible that the February 5th show is the first TV taping of 2023. Now that we know Tempe won’t be airing, the best guess at the Space schedule is
- 12/10: Ciudad Juarez week 1
- 12/17: Ciudad Juarez week 2
- 12/24: holiday/best of?
- 12/31: holiday/best of?
- 01/07: Madero week 1
- 01/14: Madero week 2
- 01/21: Acapulco week 1 (Acapulco also airing live)
- 01/28: Acapulco week 2
- 02/05: Acapulco week 3?
It depends on if Space is going with repeat material on those holidays.
Psycho Clown said he had a big announcement to make on Saturday. Various YouTube lucha libre bloggers urgently posted videos talking about Psycho Clown’s imminent departure from AAA. I didn’t believe he was leaving – Psycho Clown is expected to be wrestling more in Mexico and less internationally in 2023, so leaving AAA wouldn’t make any sense. Still, even I was there watching it Saturday afternoon to be certain. Psycho Clown was well aware of those rumors and leaned into it, stretching out his announcement video as long as possible to set up his big news: an ugly Christmas sweater as part of a line of Psycho Clown-themed clothes. The sweater actually went on sale a few days ago, and he’ll be doing a (non-wrestling) appearance at Bandido’s Gym to sell it on Saturday.
Everyone gets stuff wrong, you feel embarrassed about it, you apologize for it, and you try to do better the next time. In the case of those vloggers, they’ve just let those videos with false stories up there with no correction. They’re just in the business of collecting views, not in getting something wrong, and a video teasing Psycho Clown leaving AAA is going to collect views forever.
AAA and Mexico sneaker/sportswear Panam have a press conference today at 4:30 pm to announce a partnership. AAA-themed sneakers would make sense. It’s possible Panam is replacing Charly as AAA’s “jersey” sponsor; we don’t know how long that deal was and the luchador-themed jerseys were meant to be a limited-time thing.
AAA removed Mamba from the AAA TV this week after quitting a couple of weeks ago. The current intro started out with an exotico section of Maximo, Pimpinela and Mamba. It’s now just Dulce Kanela alone.
A DTU show with AAA headliners (Psycho Clown, Absimo Negro Jr., Parka Negra) drew a sell-out on Sunday. That looks to be about 1,500 people. DTU shows are generally slow to turn up on YouTube but they been posting videos of their matches on Facebook in the days following a show.
EMW 12/09 has a main event of Rush, Hijo del Vikingo, and Nino Hamburguesa versus Daga, Gringo Loco, and Nick Aldis. That fits with Konnna mentioning wanting to find a way to bring in Aldis recently on a podcast. It’s a strange tecnico side, and I wonder what will befall Vikingo and Gringo Loco this time to prevent them from actually wrestling.
Black Taurus was announced for the 2023 Battle of Los Angeles. He’s the 12th person in. It’s one name a day and it probably is 16 people. That means the last and biggest name is being announced Thursday. I am not sure if Hijo del Vikingo is in the tournament – he’s either 16 or he’s not in, and we’ll find out Thursday.
Big Lucha (FRI) 12/02/2022 Bandidos Gym, Iztapalapa, Distrito Federal
1) Elipse, Limbo, Orbita b Andy Panda Jr., Sussy Love, Viajero
2) King b Black Skayde
Black Skayde replaced Kong (broken hand in training)
3) Skayde b El Potro de Oro
Skayde won the date with Lupita, but Action Jackson showed up to say he still wanted to fight for her
4) Carito b Máximo
Maximo praised Carlito but also wanted a hair match
5) Cometa Maya, Éxtasis, Little Star, Radioactivo b Forneo, Hannya, Sol, Torito Negro Jr. [TLC]
Little Star and Hannya were added to the match for unexplained reasons. Tables, Ladders and Chairs were the idea, Delta Force came out to the Hardy’s music and Cometa Maya dressed like Jeff, but it was worked more like a hardcore match with little ladder usage and lots of light tube spots. Explosivo bleed lot from his shoulder area after taking a light tube shot, left the match and returned later bandaged. Maya beat Forneo.
6) Jack Evans L El Bandido, Komander, Gravity, Galeno del Mal, Rey Horus, Flamita, Emperador Azteca, Elemental, Action Jackson, Bendito, Scarecrow, Vengador, Aaron Steel, Anarko, Dito [cage, mask, hair]
Gravity beat Jack Evans for his hair
This show worked out well as a spectacle. The “TLC” and the cage match were full of big and memorable spots. They also had ‘big’ finishes; Carito beating Maximo is an important win, and Jack Evans losing his hair is the most meaningful out that could come from the main event without an unmasking. It just wasn’t a show of great matches. The TLC match seemed inspired by the WWE matches, but they ended up doing one that felt much more out of GCW and not the best parts of GCW either. The announcers talked about the Hannya/Radioactivo masked match as if it was still coming, but it seemed no closer than usual. The main event had all the usual lucha libre cage match tropes, and a lot of people hanging by the edge of the cage so two or three people could do spots in the middle. Komander’s big spot went great and I can pass on the rest of it.
Mas Lucha stream went well, great news for a paid show. Everyone seems to have appreciated the irony of Jack Evans losing to a man named Gravity.
I presume these guys are off until 2023 but nothing was said.
Bandido and Psycho Clown are doing an autograph signing on 12/10 at Bandido’s Gym, which would mean Bandido isn’t on the ROH PPV that day. I had assumed he would be on that show.
IWRG (SUN) 12/04/2022 Arena Naucalpan [IWRG]
1) Rey Aztaroth b Águila Roja
2) Garra Mortal Jr. & Rey Halcón b Hijo del Pantera & Pantera Jr.
3) Relámpago b Tonalli
4) Dick Angelo 3G, Legendario, Rocky Casas b Asterboy, Noisy Boy, Spider Fly
5) Hell Boy b Hijo del Pirata Morgan
sets up an IWRG JUNIOR title match
6) Gran Pandemónium, Hijo de Pandemónium, Pandemónium Jr. b Diva Salvaje, Heavy Metal, Jessy Ventura
La Pandemia won via foul, losers challenged for a title match anyway
Top 4 matches have a very “we just realized we have a big show coming up soon and we have to set things up immediately” feel. Every outcome seems designed to set up a title match, even the one when the champions won.
Hijo de Canis Lupus and Rey Leon won the IWRG IC Tag Team titles in GALLI on Sunday. Those titles should be headed back to Arena Naucalpan for the first time since December 2019.
IWRG held its holiday party on Friday, which included handing out awards
- Revelation of the Year: Spider Fly
- Best Trio: La Pandemia
- Best Tag Team: Las Shotas
- Best Luchador: Tonalli
Those picks seem fair. The only thought I can think of to put here is it seems a lot fewer awards than usual and that’s preferred.
Tabasco luchador León Negro (Rafael León Ochoa, 75) passed away Saturday. His son said he’d been battling kidney failure for a year. Leon Negro had been a referee and a commissioner after wrestling.