CMLL (FRI) 03/17/2023 Arena México [AS Mexico, CMLL, ESTO, Estrellas del Ring, Kaiser Sports, Quadratin, R de Rudo, The Gladiatores, The Gladiatores, thecubsfan]
***Homenaje a Dos Leyendas, 2023***
1) Dulce Gardenia, Espíritu Negro, Rey Cometa b Magia Blanca, Magnus, Rugido
9:53 (seemed to end early when Rugido failed to break up a pin.) Rey Cometa pinned Magia Blanca, and challenged him to a MEX WELTER title match next week.
2) Gran Guerrero, Stuka Jr., Último Guerrero b Euforia, Hechicero, Mephisto
14:30. Guerreros challenged for a CMLL TRIOS match next week.
3) Titán b Virus [lightning]
4) Princesa Sugehit b Hera, Metálica, Stephanie Vaquer, Reyna Isis, Zeuxis, Amapola, Marcela, La Jarochita, Lluvia, La Catalina, Sumie Sakai, Sanely, Valkiria [Copa Irma Gonzalez]
38:50. Battle royal split sides as Reyna Isis, Amapola, Princesa Sugehit, Lluvia, Sumie Sakai, Sanely, Valkiria vs Marcela, La Jarochita, Metálica, Zeuxis, La Catalina, Hera, Stephanie Vaquer. Order of elimination: Metalica (via Sanely), Valkiria (Hera), Amapola (Marcela), Sanely (Reyna Isis), Hera (Sumie Sakai), Marcela (Lluvia), Sakai (Catalina), Catalina (Isis), Lluvia (Jarochita), Jarochita (Sugehit), Vaquer (Isis), Zeuxis (Sugehit), Isis (Sugehit) leaving Sugehit as the winner. Irma Gonzalez was honored before the match, had a moment with each participant as they entered, and presented the trophy to Sugehit. CMLL gave Gonzalez her own trophy and plaque. Planned to be an annual match.
5) Atlantis, Atlantis Jr., Místico b Dragón Rojo Jr., Niebla Roja, Templario
11:42. Atlantis replaced Soberano on Thursday. Everyone got along, then Dragon Rojo unmasked Templario after Templario took the pin.
6) Rocky Romero L Ángel de Oro, Oráculo, Volador Jr. [hair]
21:24. Angel de Oro & Orcaulo were eliminated in the first ten minutes, then Romero and Volador fought for about 10 minute before the winning Canadian Destroyer. Rocky got his head shaved in the ring.
The fans were very into the Volador/Rocky Romero near falls at the end, they gave the fans the Romero/Volador ending fans deserved, and those are the most positive things you can say about Homenaje a Dos Leyendas. It was a mildly disappointing show, and maybe mildly only because the lineup didn’t look impressive on paper. It didn’t live up to those expectations. The first half of the card has issues, the fourth and fifth match were good but not standouts. The four guys in the main event were clearly trying to make something big out of it, but the show was missing the atmosphere of a big show; the recent Copa Escuelas tournament felt more intense than most of this show. CMLL did give us the ‘good’ ending and the Irma Gonzalez segment was done very well. That was enough not to dismiss this show, but it was still a so-so affair.
Rocky Romero came to CMLL, appeared to invent a top-level program out of thin air, had a dozen good ideas to keep it going and get it even hotter, and then put over Volador cleanly at the end. There aren’t enough Rocky Romero’s in wrestling. He’s still Historic Welterweight Champion and so this is probably not the end of the story. Hope we get more.
It was strange to include Oraculo and Angel de Oro in this feud if they were going to the singles match in the end. Maybe it’ll make sense later, maybe it’s CMLL trying to improve their image by giving people the big endings when they haven’t before in these situations. Maybe they just think Oraculo is really cool. I don’t know.
The opener absolutely seemed to end early, but this show still went very long for a CMLL show (nearly 3 hours.) Maybe they made up the time in the women’s match, because that got the most time out of anything.
Stephanie Vaquer’s elimination got loud boos from the crowd. She’s the most famous woman in CMLL at the moment. I’m not sure if they absolutely have to turn her face but she’s going to get cheered either way. Catalina had her best night so far in the match; some of the WWE-style character stuff makes her standout a bit among this group.
Ticket sales looked good prior to the show. CMLL never did the big camera shots of the arena, so they must’ve not thought it turned out noteworthy. The crowd noise seemed quiet for most of the show. (I found myself turning down the sound early because the announcers were loud; maybe it was a mixing issues?)
CMLL (SAT) 03/18/2023 Arena Coliseo [CMLL]
1) Angelito, Kaligua, Pequeño Magía b Full Metal, Mercurio, Pequeño Violencia
Pequeno Sky Team took 2/3
2) Apocalipsis, Cholo, Disturbio b Dr. Karonte I, Dr. Karonte II, Enfermero Jr.
Team Disturbio took 2/3.
3) Raider b Cachorro [lightning]
Just over 9 minutes.
4) Difunto, Kráneo, Zandokan Jr. b Capitán Suicida, Hombre Bala Jr., Robin
Rudos took 1/3.
5) Esfinge, Fugaz, Star Black DQ El Coyote, Okumura, Pólvora
Tecnicos took 1/3. Okumura fouled Esfinge.
6) Bárbaro Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Volador Jr. b Euforia, Templario, Titán [Relevos Increíbles]
Euforia replaced Atlantis a few hours after it posted it up. Titan replaced Soberano on Thursday. Team Dragon Rojo took 2/3.
A KeMonito short documentary premiered at San Diego Latino Film Festival earlier this week. You can see the trailer here. I did not know this existed, but this seems well produced. It’s focused on his retirement struggles; he’s like to retire, but he may not be able to afford to do so.
Team Mexico (and Tampa Bay) baseball player Randy Arozarena wore a Mistico mask in the dugout before one of the World Baseball Classic games. This got some attention, Mistico noticed and invited Arozarena to Arena Mexico. Arozarena said he’d love to go when he has time and joked that he’s ready to fight Mistico too.
CMLL (TUE) 03/21/2023 Arena México
1) Acero & Aéreo vs Full Metal & Pequeño Polvora
2) Astral, Oro Jr., Sangre Imperial vs Apocalipsis, Cholo, Disturbio
3) Brillante Jr., Neón, Valiente Jr. vs Raider, Tonalli, Vaquero Jr.
4) Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Dark Panther [lightning]
5) Esfinge, Fugaz, Star Black vs Felino, Felino Jr., Hijo del Villano III
6) Atlantis, Místico, Panterita del Ring Jr. vs Averno, Gran Guerrero, Templario
Should be good. Main event Panterita del Ring Jr. is cool. Maya and Panther is a fun lightning match. Brillante, Tonalli and Vaquero Jr. filtering onto the normal shows (and Noen getting a bump up.)
CMLL (FRI) 03/24/2023 Arena México
1) Halcón Suriano Jr. & Hombre Bala Jr. vs Difunto & Inquisidor
2) Audaz, Capitán Suicida, Fuego vs Cancerbero, Luciferno, Virus
3) Magia Blanca © vs Rey Cometa [MEX WELTER]
4) Atlantis Jr., Soberano Jr., Titán vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Niebla Roja, Yota
5) Volador Jr. vs Ángel de Oro [lightning]
6) Euforia, Hechicero, Mephisto © vs Gran Guerrero, Stuka Jr., Último Guerrero [CMLL TRIOS]
Ultimo Guerrero usually has a big role in Universal tournaments, but his team has to win the main event to be part of it. Cometa defeating Blanca would reduce the number of champions by 1, which might be helpful if Angel de Oro isn’t actually doing both the national and CMLL blocks.
AAA on Space was slightly better than last week. The two notable stories of the show were Aerostar and Parka Negra trying really hard to make their rivalry something in a match also with Aramis & Antifaz, and Anitfaz del Norte beating up Laredo Kid again. Negro Casas also did a promo talking about wanting to go for the Mixed Tag Titles, though just seemed like they had Casas at the show and sent him out to make up a title match to justify having him there. Same thing led to this long Taya/Flammer holding pattern.
The Aerostar/Parka Negra match is interesting, the other two matches didn’t seem as much. (The main event I’ve only seen parts of it due to stream issues.) The story with Centinela seem to be that she trained to wrestle previously back in Tuxtla Guiterrez, joined the military, and was having her first match in five years. Chessman led her through most of her spots. That “Chessman leads unfamiliar wrestler through highspots” part is so close to the endgame with influencer Adrian Marcelo that I wonder if one idea led to the other. It appeared like a good portion of the crowd knew who Centinela was and were cheering loudly for her.
WrestlingInc has an interview with Christopher Daniels on the Lucha Libre World Cup. It’s uncommon to see English language promotion of today’s show. Daniels is asked, in multiple ways, how the relationship between AAA and AEW is going. Daniels says the relationship is in a good position every time. No one’s going to say “eh, our relationship is shaky” in a media interview but Daniels is consistently positive; he wants to focus on the future, not whatever may have happened in the past. Daniels is involved on the talent side for AEW and mentions that his role isn’t to scour wrestling to find AEW talent. It’s more along the lines of Tony Khan bringing up a name, and Daniels looking more into that specific name.
Taya was listed as a “former women’s champion” in her AEW debut on Rampage Friday. That comes off like maybe she’s no longer meant to be AAA Reina de Reinas champion. I think it was meant to come off as “everyone complains AEW has too many belts so we’re going to avoid mentioning the AAA one for now.” I guess it’ll come up today if it’s anything more than that.
I guess I haven’t posted since Hijo del Vikingo versus Keny Omega was announced for Dynamite. I think that will be a good match.
Mas Lucha had a brief interview with Hijo del Vikingo on Saturday, about half on the World Cup and half on AEW. Vikingo said he has never wrestled anyone on first-round opponent Team Latin America (Hip Hop Man, Carlito, Zumbi.) It feels like he must’ve run into Zumbi or Hip Hop Man like on a random Arena Neza show or something, but my records match his memories. Vikingo is rooting for a Mexico/Mexico final, not just so Mexico wins, but because he thinks it’d be a great match. On AEW, Vikingo found out he was facing Kenny Omega when his phone started dinging like crazy from notification noises. He checked it, didn’t believe the Omega match was actually happening and had to check with other people to make sure it was real. It’s a dream match for him, something he’s wanted for a long time. Vikingo is also aware of the comments about the match, both positive and negative, and it’s motivated him to have the best match possible – he promises it’ll be five stars. The Vikingo/Omega match on Wednesday is a non-title match, and Vikingo makes a point of saying he still wants to defend the AAA Megachampionship against Omega at some point.
My hunch is Omega wins in AEW and AAA hopes to get the win back on a TripleMania later. We still don’t have a Vikingo match for Monterrey, that was the place where Omega/Vikingo was supposed to happen the first time and it’d take take advantage of the buzz from the AEW appearance the best.
El Justiciero (Marcos Sergio Contreras, 68) passed away Friday. He’s been remembers with moments of applause on indie shows around the weekend.
Justicerio broke in with the Pavillon Azteca promotion in the mid-70s, a sort of third promotional competition to then EMLL & LLI/UWA on a similar level to IWRG is now. He started his career wrestling as Magnifico, then changed his name to Justiciero after a tie-up with a magazine. (His son would latter wrestle under the Magnifico name.) He wrestled for both CMLL and the UWA in the 80s, then was one of the founding members of AAA. Justiicero left AAA in less than a year, returned to CMLL for a couple of years, and ended up as an indie wrestler. It’s not a super remarkable career in the record book, and Justiciero’s a guy whose biggest contributions didn’t come on big shows.
Justiciero, in a Mas Lucha interview last year about AAA reaching 30 years of existence, felt he had been incorrectly written out of the promotion’s history. Justiciero said it was him who Televisa reached out to first. A TV executive knew Jusiticero back from his days at Pavillon Azteca – which briefly had Mexico City TV in the 80s before the union shut it down. Luchadors in CMLL and LLI/UWA were all part of a single national wrester’s union through the 80s and to 1992. Justiciero says he was responsible for setting up AAA’s competition unions to all the promotion to employ their own wrestlers legally. Justiciero ran that union until quitting AAA. He felt the AAA paid wrestlers very little while Antonio Pena kept the money for himself. Justicierio talks about a show where no one in AAA got paid, then going to the office and seeing stacks of money sitting behind Antonio Pena when arguing about it. He quit AAA over it. Justiciero seemed to feel founding AAA would make conditions better for wrestlers, regretted it, and was unhappy about the unserious elements AAA brought to wrestling. The popular historic version of AAA’s founding is it just being an Antonio Pena, Konnan and Octagon project (with those wrestlers played up or down depending on how good terms they are with AAA at the moment) and Justiciero mentions that version, but also says it’s not full story.
For the last 25 years, Justiciero was the owner and primary promoter of Arena Coliseo Coacalco, in the Mexico State town. It’s really just a ring in an empty lot, surrounded by gravel and underneath a canvas roof. It wasn’t originally supposed to be a Justicero project. In a different Mas Lucha interview, Justiciero told Hip Hop Man that the Coliseo Coaclaco was originally a project of ten wrestlers. They ran two shows and everyone lost a lot of money; Justicero had to sell a watch to keep it going. Justiciero happened to run into Los Hermanos Dinamita when he took his brother to the airport, they were having an issue with CMLL and offered to work a show for Justiciero instead, and it was a main event of the Dinamtias versus Tarzan Boy, El Dandy and Justiciero himself that got the building going.
The arena improved over those 25 years, but it was the sort of outdoor low budget wrestling set up that exists in a lot of towns around Mexico. Coliseo Coacalco became the most famous of these. Justiciero trained wrestlers and found some gems. Daga, Aramis, and Abismo Negro Jr. got their starts in that ring, and all wrote the last few days about how much Justiciero meant to their lives. The promotion did OK with family shows in front of small crowds. They gained fame off proto-super indie put together by people like current Lucha Memes promoter Danny Ledesma, with video shared to the internet by people like photographer Black Terry Jr.. It was the setting, the wrestlers, and the film style that made it feel like the most authentic lucha libre there was. Justiciero provided the platform for it to happen. Ledesma has said his show on Monday will take place, and that Justicerio’s family is planning on keeping Coliseo Coacalco going in the future.
Mas Lucha (FRI) 03/17/2023 Arena Azteca Budokan, Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Estado de México [Mas Lucha, Record, Zona Ruda]
1) Dark Mayem & Rey Eclipse b Escapulario & Séptimo Elemento
2) Alas de Oro & Alas De Plata b Kauris & Leo Cristiani
3) Camaleón b Belial, Dante, Dinastía, Dinamic Black, Mr. Leo, Saruman, Último Legendario [Copa Perros del Mal 2023]
Camaleon beat Mr. Leo
4) Kundra b Halloween Jr.
Justicero was honored with a moment of remembrance before the match. Jeque helped his son Kundra win. Mask/hair challenge followed.
5) Sakura (Chihuahua) b Ludark Shaitan, Ayako Hamada, Cinthia Moreno [PDM WOMEN]
First women’s champion.
6) Groon XXX b Elemental
7) Bestia 666, Damián 666, Joe Lider, Lizmark Jr. b Pig Decapitador, Pig Destroyer, Pig Destructor, Pig Pool
Fan cheered for the Pigs over the Perros. Perros won via mask pull.
I don’t see a lot of shows at this arena so context isn’t perfect, but it looked like they drew pretty well with this lineup. I don’t know that it was the Perros del Mal theme that did it though – both reports I saw about the main event mentioned the crowd was much more behind the Pigs and the Perros del Mal concept felt like old news. (It kinda is.)
Mas Lucha mentioned during the show that Belial, Dante, Saruman, Dinastía, Último Legendario and Dinamic Black would be in their upcoming Ruleta de la Muerte tournament. Camaleon was announced previously, so they’re one short. That’s an interesting group of people who felt close to breaking through at one point but never got there. I am intrigued by this idea, we’ll see how it goes.
Big Lucha (SAT) 03/18/2023 Arena Big Lucha, Iztapalapa, Distrito Federal [Big Lucha, Mas Lucha]
1) Brujo De Iztapalapa b Reiyel, Andy Panda
2) Cometa Maya, Radioactivo, Sussy Love b El Machote, Kendy, Máscara Año 2000 Jr.
3) Black Skyde, Forneo, Skayde, Vórtize b Elipse, Iku, Orbita, Vengador
Hell Flyers helped Team Skayde won, then betrayed them after the match.
4) Carito & Tirano b Joey Marx & Mason Conrad
5) Jack Evans & Killer Destro b Gravity & Potro and Mr. Win & Viajero
Killer Destro is a new unmovable monster. Brujo De Iztapalapa attacked Gravity during the match.
6) El Bandido & Rey Horus b Bestia 666 & Damián 666
talk about a cage match
7) Emperador Azteca & Flamita b Trauma I & Trauma II
Flamita beat won via fast count, Traumas beat up the referee, the rest of Negocio Traumado ran in. Bendito (and only Bendito) ran in for the save, then Golden Guns ran in for the save. Flamita & Bandido agreed to work together to get rid of Negocio Traumado.
I didn’t watch this show completely. It seemed fine when I was playing attention to it; nothing to go out of your way to see but also nothing terrible. The Traumas had a Traumas match in the main event. They had fans loudly chanting for them but the turnout didn’t seem to be any bigger than usual (maybe even a little less.) I’m unsure if the angles in the main and semi are meant to set up one big cage match or two separate shows. Carito & Tirano making surprise returns got good reactions. Hell Flyers/Skaydes seems like a new feud, as does Brujo/Gravity. Potro still has the Golden Ticket, but that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere at the moment.
Only Bendito making the run-in at the end for Black Generation is notable. Action Jackson announced he left Big Lucha, and I think Elemental’s left with him. He was off working the Lucha Capital show Saturday instead. They’re all still part of Black Generation (especially since they’re all going together to GLEAT next month), but they seem done here for the moment. There may have been other departures.