CMLL (FRI) 11/03/2023 Arena México [CMLL, Kaiser Sports, The Gladiatores, thecubsfan]
***Dia del Muertos, 2023***
1) Angelito, Kaligua, Pequeño Magía b Full Metal, Minos, Pequeño Polvora
2) Magia Blanca, Okumura, Rugido b Dulce Gardenia, Espíritu Negro, Rey Cometa
Okumura replaced Crixus on Monday. Espiritu Negro suffered a shoulder injury and was stretchered away. (He wrestled two days later.) Dulce Gardenia also seemed to suffer a shoulder injury.
3) Hijo de Stuka Jr., Hijo del Villano III, Villano III Jr. b Blue Panther Jr., Dark Panther, Hijo de Blue Panther
Villanos won via mask pull when the referee was checking on a possibly injured Dark Panther. Blue Panther Jr. demanded a rematch for next week.
4) Euforia, Mephisto, Terrible b Atlantis Jr., Fugaz, Star Jr.
5) Máscara Dorada & Místico b Soberano Jr. & Volador Jr.
straight falls. Soberano/Volador had issues and fought post match. Dorada & Mistico grabbed Soberano to stop him and Euforia ran out to attack them. Soberano declared he was tired of the tecnicos and would now be a rudo. Volador challenged him for a signles match next week.
6) Bárbaro Cavernario b Stuka Jr. [Rey del Inframundo, final]
Cavernario became the new Rey del Inframundo. Stuka Jr. suffered an ankle injury during this match.
The Dia del Muertos shows are typically borderline non-cannon, just about the presentation. That wasn’t the case with this Friday show. The Panthers/Villanos was a normal match set up, the Soberano turn was a big deal on a CMLL scale. Soberano’s spent a lot of time as a rudo this year so it’s really the timing than the action. He sold it big enough to rebel against the ceremony of the night, attacking the mini demons and refusing to go through the hell portal like all the other losers.
Soberano has the attributes to be a tecnico, but he definitely has shown the personality to be a rudo. CMLL’s overstocked on the tecnico side as it, and Soberano’s matches as a rudo this year have shown he can work out fine on that side. Immediately getting into a feud with Volador, who also turned rudo despite wrestling a tecnico style, is a nice bit of symmetry.
Soberano as a rudo obviously fixes the issues with him and Ultimo Guerrero as opponents who can’t fight (though they still likely will team.) It also removes a headache for the programming department, who no longer have to figure out how to book Euforia and Soberano on the same cards when CMLL’s secret rules forbid them from wrestling each other. it is going to be interesting to see how to handle Soberano teaming with Templario and Dragon Rojo, two men he was feuding with earlier in the year. I wonder if the paused (or dropped) Infernales story might be tied in with this; maybe Soberano ends up in the group now, maybe there is no group if Euforia’s going to do stuff with Soberano instead of Mephisto and Averno.
Barbaro Cavernario versus Stuka Jr. was shorter than the usual big CMLL main event, but it worked that way. Stuka attacked Cavernario before the whistle and they quickly escalated the action. It was burtal as much as it was quick. Cavernario was also very over; the crowd chants around loudly with his war chant before the big springboard plancha. He’s seemed more motivated and in better shape this year as well, and hopefully he gets more after this. Stuka’s believed to have hurt an ankle on the missed moonsault to the floor.
The Villanos are good but they were also surprisingly over, even with the Panthers doing all their usual crowd pleasing bits. Dark Panther was supposed to miss his third dive to set up the distraction, but his arm/shoulder hit the barricade at an unfriendly angle. It was probably meant to be a worked injury spot but it’s possible he actually got hurt. A doctor was checking on him instead of letting the demons carry away. Dark Panther is also a serial Twitter name searcher and was liking tweets after the show, so it’s probably not too bad. Espiritu Negro was motionless after a bad tijeras spot; it probably was a shoulder injury and he was back wrestling two days later.
Arena Mexico appears to have sold out. The announcers did claim a sell out and there were signs near the ticket booths indicating that. The Dia del Muertos shows always do well – that’s why there’s four of them – but I don’t recall them ever selling out before. It’s hard to credit Stuka/Cavernario for it, since that match wasn’t set until a few days before and not treated like a hugely important deal, but Cavernario was very over during that match.
CMLL (SAT) 11/04/2023 Arena Coliseo [CMLL, thecubsfan]
***Dia del Muertos, 2023***
1) Brillante Jr., Diamond, Oro Jr. b Dr. Karonte I, Dr. Karonte II, Enfermero Jr.
2) Micro Gemelo Diablo I & Micro Gemelo Diablo II b Chamuel & Periquito Sacaryas
8:21. Straight falls.
3) Mini Tigre Blanco b Pierrothito
7:30. Mini Tigre Blanco is the first Mascarita Sagrada
4) Lluvia & Zeuxis b Makoto & Mei Suruga
15:38. Originally announced as a trios with Silueta and Johnnie Robbie, those two didn’t appear when the official poster came out. Infernales took 1/3. Last match on this tour for Makoto and Suruga.
5) Águila Solitaria, Pantera, Solar I b Felino, Negro Navarro, Satánico
6:57 (one fall)
6) Atlantis & Místico b Rey Bucanero & Último Guerrero
10:28. Tecnicos took 2/3.
CMLL put this up as a bonus show for members. It’s the first bonus show they’ve done since August 27th (Takahashi/Mistico). It was truly a test to see if CMLL was going to bother putting up any more bonus shows; at least now we know there’s a chance.
This isn’t a show you need to watch though. Most of the matches were short and not good. The women’s tag match was the only one I’d say approached good, and even that depends on how much you enjoy Mei Suruga. The others are easy skips. CMLL didn’t do the Arena Mexico look. They did have Metalico doing his ghost newsboy bit, and they had live music. I thought that worked well. Most wore Dia del Muertos variation of their usual gear.
Mini Tigre Blanco got loud “Mascarita” chants; fans knew who he was (the original Mascarita Sagrada) and treated him like a returning legend. The match went downhill from there. Sagrada couldn’t or just didn’t do much. The match ended abruptly. Pierrothito slammed Mini Tigre Blanco, then stalled for some time, then was clearly told by Olimpico to just pin him to finish the match. The YouTube edit for this show goes to replays and cuts to to the next match quickly. Maybe it was just a bad day, but it felt like a guy who was just done.
CMLL (SUN) 11/05/2023 Arena México [CMLL]
***Dia del Muertos, 2023***
1) Mercurio & Pequeño Violencia b Aéreo & Último Dragóncito
2) Espíritu Negro & Rey Cometa b Apocalipsis & Cholo
3) Dark Silueta & La Catalina b Amapola & Reyna Isis
4) Rey Bucanero b Felino [lightning]
5) Ángel de Oro & Niebla Roja b Averno & Hijo de Stuka Jr.
Hijo del Stuka Jr. replaced Stuka Jr. (ankle injury)
6) Blue Panther, Virus, Volador Jr. b Bárbaro Cavernario, Terrible, Último Guerrero
All the wrestlers on the card (and the injured Stuka Jr.) returned to the ring after the main event to ceremoniously unmask one by one.
CMLL (TUE) 11/07/2023 Arena México
1) Astral, Leono, Retro vs Dr. Karonte I, Dr. Karonte II, Enfermero Jr.
2) Acero, Aéreo, Galaxy vs Minos, Pequeño Polvora, Pequeño Violencia
3) La Jarochita, Lluvia, Skadi vs La Catalina, Stephanie Vaquer, Zeuxis
4) Star Jr. vs Guerrero Maya Jr. [lightning]
5) Atlantis, Blue Panther, Valiente vs Gemelo Diablo I, Gemelo Diablo II, Sagrado
6) Máscara Dorada vs Ángel de Oro
Dorada/Oro seems like a really good match for each other. The lightning match could be good as well.
If it feels like you never see Los Malditos any more, it’s because you have to dig to find them. This will be their first appearance on the YouTube channel (Tuesdays or Fridays) in five weeks.
There’s no Friday Arena Mexico lineup yet, which is unusual. There’s also no full card for the Tuesday Guadalajara show, which is just a day away. Their social media has announced five of maybe six matches. CMLL could be waiting on Stuka Jr.’s health status, but they’ve announced people and removed them before.
CMLL matches on NJPW’s 11/10 show in Garland, Texas
- Mayu Iwatani (c) versus Stephanie Vaquer for the IWGP Women’s Championship
- TJP vs Mistico
- Atlantis, Tiger Mask, Mascara Dorada versus Ultimo Guerrero, Rocky Romero, Hechicero – new
The Leyenda de Azul tournament returns on 11/17 (cibernetico) and 11/24 (final). This tournament is intended to feature heavyweights and light heavyweights, so I guess those Los Malditos will make a stream eventually. Euforia won last year’s tournament, when it was just a one night event. This has been a final Friday of November final the last three years; Blue Demon was born in April, debuted in March and passed away in December, so I’m not sure if there’s a specific reason CMLL keep it in the same place on the calender.
November 20th is a holiday in Puebla, and CMLL’s moving the regular Monday show to Sunday November 19th that week. They’ll also host a special women’s cibernetico. I think the intention is to be the female equivalent of the men’s Barroco championship back in July, which would mean mostly local luchadoras.
This airs on FITE for $20 USD in English. NJPW World will also have it as part of their normal subscription in Japanese only (though it’s the first show after they do a site relaunch so everyone will be crossing their fingers that it works.) The start time is 7 pm CT. If this show was a week earlier, most of it would’ve be done before CMLL started. The two singles matches will instead probably go on the same time as the CMLL as it’s currently scheduled.
Titan is back from Japan. It is a few days before we see him sometimes.
Martha Villalobos was at the IWRG Castillo del Terror show and Mas Lucha asked her about the “Diva del Ring” issue. Villalobos ran off her list of accomplishments and laughed off the idea that Catalina could be considered on her level.
This week’s TV was week one of the San Luis Potosi taping, which may be their worst attended taping of the year. It’s a small building, with almost no room between the ring and the barricade, so there was no real way for AAA to turn down the lights to hide the empties. And there are just so many empties in every camera shot. That half-empty look, during at a match built around the father and son referees fighting, felt like watching a very ill promotion. AAA’s next three tapings are in Juarez (AAA always do well) and Monterrey (small building with lots of guest stars) – these shows should feel better. It doesn’t change how deathly this taping came across.
The most interesting part of the show was the opener, when Chik Tormenta announced she wanted to cash in the title shot she earned from Copa Antonio Pena against QT Marshall for the Latin American champion. I feel like I safely know how Marshall/Octagon is going to go – Marshall will cheat early, Octagon will get in a few high spots, Marshall will unmask/foul him just like Penta. QT Marshall can not unmask Chik Tormenta and the foul spot is probably not going be as effective. It is also something that happened in AAA, it is likely to be mentioned again but unlikely to go anywhere.
(They also came close to writing off Cibernetico as leader of the Vipers; he hasn’t appeared here since July and has only wrestled twice in AAA this year. His purpose in AAA seems to have ended after he lost his hair to Pagano, they just never got around to writing him out.)
The matches themselves were forgettable. Lady Shani, Mr. Iguana, Nino Hamburgesa, Tirantes versus Argenis, Chik Tormenta, Hijo del Tirantes and Toxin was focuses on the two Tirantes as the most important characters. It’s not something I’m interested in at all, and it wasn’t well done. Hamburgesa & Iguana have some as a team and probably should be on a path to win the tag titles, but they’re feuding with people who are barely used on TV. Negro Casas & Zorro versus Absimo Negro & Psicosis was the only match which where DQs were possible on the show; it ended in a DQ. Zorro appears on this show about once every few months, teases a big character shift in a promo, and then is never mentioned again. Pagano & Psycho Clown versus Adonis & Texano was an unmemorable AAA brawl, where the real point was Texano winning cleanly again. Pagano getting that win back in Juarez makes sense, which doesn’t mean it was happening. It won’t happen now.
Pagano was scheduled to headline the Robles promotion show in Mexico City on Saturday. He instead appeared in a sling, announcing he’d suffered a shoulder dislocation and was unable to replace him. (Octagon Jr. replaced him.) In an interview with La Tijera Lucha Libre, Pagano says he underwent surgery and will be out “a month, a month and a half.” Guerra de Titanes in Ciudad Juarez is a half month away. Pagano also posted x-rays of his injury and of his surgery on his Facebook page; there he said he’d be out “a few weeks.” In both, he’s obviously disappointed to have underwent surgery for the second time this year.
Pagano will obviously not be able to wrestle on that show, AAA is obviously still advertising him for that show. It hurts more in Ciudad Juarez, where Pagano is the biggest local star, but it also what AAA typically does anywhere with any main eventer – they just did it with Vikingo in Mexico City. No one’s really surprised; it’s just what AAA’s decided to be.
Luchatitlan says they sold out Friday’s show. Meanwhile, tickets are on sale for an AAA spot show in Cancun for 12/02. Psycho Clown, Pagano, Dr. Wagner Jr., La Hiedra and Lady Shani are announced. The most expensive ticket to that show is 250 pesos. The most expensive ticket to the Luchatitlan show the same day is 1539 pesos, or about six times as much. These shows are targeting different audiences and a ticket buyer gets a lot more with a Luchatitlan ticket. Still, I’m surprised AAA is letting a local promoter run against them at much cheaper prices.
IWRG (SUN) 11/05/2023 Arena Naucalpan [IWRG, Mas Lucha]
1) Rey Aztaroth b Blue Win
2) Auzter & Dr. Cerebro Jr. b Gannicus & Mr. Mike
3) Bengalee & India Sioux DQ Lolita & Satania
Lolita hit India Sioux with a chair for the DQ.
4) Águila Roja, Ángel Negro, Rey Halcón b Dr. Cerebro Jr., Freelance, Último Legendario
Dr. Cerebro Jr. & Freelance replaced Noisy Boy & Spider FLy
5) Mocho Cota Jr., Súper Comando, Tito Santana b Hijo de Canis Lupus, León Dorado, Mr. Leo
Comando was elimianted but help his team win. Tecnicos deamdned a rematch.
6) Hijo del Pirata Morgan, Relámpago, Vito Fratelli b Estrella Divina, Hell Boy, Tonalli
I didn’t see anything besides this show beyond the results. It looks really empty in the seats, though the bleachers seem better when the lights are up enough to show them.
The Crash had their 12th Anniversary show Friday night. Mamba defeated D-Luxe in a hair versus hair match in the main event; it looks like a sell out. Mamba leaving AAA was a surprise at the time, but Mamba also wasn’t going to be put in position to main event a big show like this in AAA. I think he’s probably happy with the decision at the moment.
Both Rey Fenix and Bandido were scheduled for the show and neither ended up wrestling. Bandido did appear and challenged Metalik to a future match. Andrade, as a replacement, defeated Galeno del Mal in a three way with Metalik, then asked for a The Crash Heavyweight championship match. That’s a problem. DMT Azul is the current champion, but DMT Azul is currently suspended from wrestling in Tijuana for fighting outside an arena. Azul doesn’t even have the belt; that’s said to be still in the possession of previous champion LA Park. Andrade asks fans on Twitter if he should go after DMT Azul or Cinta de Oro’s titles; neither of these belts mean anything and most fans couldn’t name which titles they are. (Charlotte Flair was in attendance; that’s the case with many of Andrade’s matches, though she was spotted by more people this time around.)
We do know that the rightful women’s champion has her belt. Julissa, the former Yulisa Leon in NXT, was a surprise addition to a multiwoman match and won the title. This was Julissa’s first post-WWE appearance. Dulce Tormenta was the former champion, Keyra, Zamya, and Trish Adora were also in the match. Gallo Extreme won the The Crash Junior Cruiserweight title, Destiny retained Cruiserweight title over Tonalli. Bestia 666 wrestled on the show, which by past AAA rules means they’ll no longer book. There are always weird exceptions (and AAA saying they’ll never book a person again then booking that person again). The only thing we know for sure is neither member of La Rebelion is listed on the upcoming tapings, and AAA spent a lot of TV time on Rebelion stuff that has yet to go anywhere.
On Sunday, Dulce Tormenta posted on Instagram saying she was finished with The Crash for now. It was totally complimentary, The Crash account commented to thank her, so she seems to be leaving on good terms. Tormenta was also not a huge part of the Crash, even as former women’s champion, and probably was on a handshake deal. The only reason she’d have a reason to say goodbye to The Crash is if she already had an agreement to work somewhere else that wouldn’t allow her to work The Crash (which would be AAA, CMLL or WWE, though she doesn’t seem to fit what WWE is looking for.)
Arena Lopez Mateos had a Dia del Muertos theme for their shows too, including wrestlers dressing up like deceased wrestlers La Fiera, Black Warrior, Scorpio and Love Machine. Fresero Jr. appeared in a vest and ref shirt, like his father. It’s quite a bit to have Love Machine, who’s career tanked in his home country due to behavior outside of the ring, be portrayed by Trauma II.
The Wolf King – or maybe The Phantom Wolf, the Dia del Muertos name they used – did run their scheduled show on Friday in Arena Azteca Budokan. I’m still not sure if they were shutting down or doing some sort of bit to set up the new name. It didn’t work out either way; the event looked lightly attenended. Mas Lucha appeared to give up on results halfway through the show (or a lot of announced matches didn’t happen.)
In an interview with Mas Lucha, Demus said this was his final match before heading to Japan, and he’ll be wrestling for DDT and Dragon Gate. DDT has announced Demus as coming but Dragon Gate has not. That’s strange enough that there may be some confusion; like maybe Demus got booked by CIMA and (like most Mexican wrestlers) he has no idea there is a GLEAT and CIMA works there now instead of Dragon Gate.
Box y Lucha posted another group of old issues, these from August of 1955.