El Luchador

This is the A&E Mexico reality one hour show that started airing Saturday. Got a chance to watch it on Wednesday Sunday, and I should have a link to it tomorrow. It’s a very talkitive show, so you may not be able to get a lot out of it if you do not have a good grasp of spanish. I have a poor grasp but was able to follow most things.

The first episode was mostly introductions, to the characters and the story arcs. You knew what they were setting up if you had read the previews for the season: Magnus is the youngest guy in CMLL trying to be a star (no Mistico mention, yet), Shocker is trying to come back from a big injury, Felino is trying to guide his sons, and Rey Bucanero is trying to be a better father & husband after some time apart.

The scenes in the first episode take place around the end of the league stage of Forjando en Idolo and the start of the tournament (late March/April.) They play up the Bucanero/Felino bitterness, so it feels like this is going to go thru the Anniversary show, or at least thru the Felino/Bucanero singles match that preceeded the cage match. They’re doing a very strong build to that rivarly, and always feels better than what was presented on the main TV show. They’re going to wish they could’ve aired this as part of the main TV show by the end, it might have gotten people to show up for the cage match. And, knowing this was the plan for the reality show, it’s odd they they did Felino vs Bucanero in the cage in September, rather than waiting until Decemeber when it would’ve had this additional build. Any other match they do out of the TRT/Peste feud doesn’t seem like it’ll be as strong.

El Luchador is a realitiy show. It’s about as real as most reality shows. There’s not just the obvious time/scene manipulation – Fuego/Magnus, Puma/Hombre Bala and Guerrero Maya/Angel de Oro are all presented as happening around the same time here, but happened weeks apart in reality – but there are many scenes that are clearly happening for the benefit of the cameras. It’s a show where Tiger & Puma train for their matches by practicing with Felino & Princesa Blanca (who, along with Shocker’s dog, is one of the secret breakout stars), where TRT figure out tag team moves by trying them out on children, where Magnus plays FIFA with his friends while still wearing his mask, and where young just starting out luchador Magnus appears to live all by himself in a nicely decorated house. It’s a show where the match results are solely determined by the performance of the luchadors in the ring. Either you accept the show on it’s terms or you’ll get annoyed quick.

It’s not a documentary, it’s an extentsion of La Mascara Trains To Stop The Brazo’s Curse! skit. CMLL’s been desperately lacking in those sort of personality building skits, it’s actually a good thing they’re finally doing it somewhere.

And there is some reality in the El Luchador reality show. Rey and his ex-wife share a meal and their body language alone is enough to tell you there is real sadness there. Instructor Tony Salazar breaks down film of Magnus’ match with him, and the meticilous and harsh way he criticizes Magnus’ flaws lets you know he’s not just doing this for show. There’s enough real here to swallow the rest.

The show takes for the weird in the last fifteen minutes, when the four protaganists are all called late at night for a meeting with Hombre en Negro – the black masked, cane weilding mystery man from Dinamitas angles of long ago. He’s reimagined here as some cross between Paco Alonso & the Grim Reaper, and seems to just order the four to complete their narrative arcs Or Else. It’s an attempt to raise the narrative stakes – something’s on the line now – but on a show so desperately trying to tether itself to reality, the idea that a mysterious man in a black mask with no particular decides the hirings and firiings of a lucha libre company stretches that line of credibility to it’s breaking point.

(even if that man may actually have that job.)

If you’re in Mexico or elsewhere where this version of A&E is avaialble and are at all interested in CMLL, I’d definitely recommend this show. For everyone else, it’ll be up on the site tomorrow.

Other News

Ray has returned back to Japan.

No results have turned up from Friday’s Guadalajara show (though you can figure them out in the lineups), but it sounds as though the show did not draw well.

Black Terry Jr. has video of Magnus vs El Hijo del Medico Asesino from the Toryumon Mexico show for Medico’s FILL championship.

Also, Black Terry Jr. has photos of last night’s Arena Naucalpan show. Trauma I vs Hijo del Pirata Morgan is here: fall 1, fall 2, fall 3

Rob has highlights of 10/22 & 10/29/10 CMLL.

Lucha Libre in Japan

10/24 NJPW: Yuji Nagata & King Fale [O] b Strong Man & Kyosuke Mikami [X]
(not a tournament match)

Links

Lineups

CMLL (FRI) 10/28/2011 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Rayo Tapatío I & Rayo Tapatío II vs Mr. Trueno & Rey Trueno
2) Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr., Stuka Jr. vs Exterminador, Malefico, Ráfaga
3) Dalis la Caribeña, Estrellita, Goya Kong vs La Seductora, Mima Shimoda, Princesa Sugheit
4) Olímpico, Psicosis, Volador Jr. vs La Máscara, Metro, Sagrado [MEX TRIOS]
5) Atlantis vs Último Guerrero

So it was the trios match that set up the title match and the main event setting up the singles match. La Mascara, Metro and Sagrado are about as random a trio as they have, so they have  a shot.  CMLL’s otherwise moved on from Atlantis vs Ultimo Guerrero, not sure how much it’s going to still mean.

CMLL (SUN) 10/30/2011 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Esfinge vs Metalik
2) Black Metal & Leo vs Evola & Exterminador
3) Hombre Bala Jr. & Super Halcon Jr. vs Mr. Trueno & Rey Trueno
4) Delta, Sagrado, Sangre Azteca vs Ephesto, Euforia, Vangelis
5) Ángel de Oro, Hijo del Fantasma, Shocker vs Felino, Negro Casas, Volador Jr.

Only Sagrado is on both the Friday and Sunday show (among DF guys.)