One of the frequent points brought up comparing the debut of the original Mistico and the soon to be Mistico are the amount of television appearances. Mistico debuted in 2004, when CMLL was usually limited to a hour of TV in Mexico City.* Astro Boy would turn up on in the Stellar Moments highlights, but he was largely hidden from TV view and only seen by fans who already cared enough about the product to go to live events and arrive in time for the openers. Astro Boy had been around for a few years, but he was an unknown to most regular viewers when he debuted as Mistico.
CMLL now airs 6.5 hours of weekly television in Mexico City* every single week. If you don’t want to watch matches on TV, you can also find most of them on various YouTube channels. It’s impossible to not make a recorded match in some form, and everyone gets on a little. 152 wrestlers have had at least one TV appearance in Mexico City so far this year, compared to 58 the first half of 2004***, right before Mistico debuted.
The big unknown**** is how typical fan is treating all the secondary shows. We know the CMLL on Televisa show gets a poor rating, but numbers for all the other shows are complete unknown. Logic would should the Televisa show would be the most widely watched because it’s the most accessible channel, but how much more watched is unknown. People who visit this website tend to watch many different shows*****, but there are definitely people who only watch Televisa.
If you were one of those people, your view of CMLL might be very different:
CMLL luchadors who’ve had 7 or matches on CMLL on Televisa this year
13 Rey Escorpion, Black Warrior
10 Último Guerrero, Rush
09 Volador Jr.
08 Estrellita, Guerrero Maya Jr., Amapola, Delta, Terrible
07 Mr. Águila, Mephisto, La Máscara, Psicosis II
All TV appearances are not the same, but the two guys who’ve been the focus the last few months easily rise to the top. Estrelita & Amapola and the national trios champions are also points of emphasis.
If you follow CMLL overall, either by watching shows or reading blogs, Escorpion & Warrior were two guys in the middle who had a hair match that might be good but didn’t seem important in the grand scheme. If your only interaction with CMLL is watching it’s television show on it’s main station, they’re two of the biggest stars in the promotion.
I’m not sure if there’s a conscious effort to focus more on a smaller group of luchadors, or if the longer than usual feuds have just happened to cause this outcome. Warrior going straight from the hair feud to a trios title feud and Escorpion going straight to a possible breakup with Ultimo Guerrero seems to imply this is an intended result.
The rest of the roster…
6 Stuka Jr., Ángel de Oro, Marcela, Marco Corleone, Valiente, Ephesto, Pólvora
5 Mr. Niebla, La Sombra, Lady Apache, Dark Angel, Princesa Blanca, Máscara Dorada, Averno
4 Olímpico, Máximo, Misterioso II, Hijo del Fantasma, Blue Panther, Dalis la Caribeña
3 Shigeo Okumura, Felino, Virus, Tiffany, Fuego, Triton, Rey Bucanero, Euforia, Princesa Sugheit, Negro Casas, Super Halcon Jr.
2 Ángel Azteca Jr., Prince Devitt, Shocker, La Comandante, Ayumi Kurihara, Metro, Namajague, Hombre Bala Jr., Astral, Yujiro, Pegasso, Electrico, La Seductora, Hooligan, Brazo de Plata, Kráneo, Goya Kong, Skandalo, Titán, Nitro
1 Bobby Zavala, Sagrado, Disturbio, Apocalipsis, Dragon Lee, Cholo, Rey Cometa, Aereo, Luna Mágica, Lady Afrodita, Mercurio, Pequeño Nitro, Pequeño Olímpico, Tiger, Vangelis, Raziel, Súper Comando, Último Dragoncito, Puma King, Dragón Rojo Jr., Diamante, Zeuxis, Demus 3:16, Pierrothito, Sensei, Cancerbero, Niebla Roja, Pequeño Warrior
If you’re someone who only follows the Televisa show, Dragon Lee may be as new to you as Astro Boy was. He’s appeared exactly the same amount of times as Cholo, and that one match was on their best of show way back on January 7th. (Again, key point: We have no idea the percentage of fans who also watch something else.)
A large portion of Dragon Lee’s disappearing act has been the run of tournaments: Sangre Nueva was a C3 deal, Gran Alternativa aired on Fox Sports, and En Busca de un Idolo didn’t air anywhere. In fact, the Busca tournament almost served as CMLL’s usual vacation before someone changes characters, taking Dragon Lee off a lot of TV for about eight weeks prior to the gimmick change. The 1,000 of us who go to CMLL’s YouTube channel saw him plenty, but he just disappeared for most.
Flipping this around, what shows has Dragon Lee been appearing on?
8 C3 (and En Busca de un Idolo)
5 Fox Sports (over 3 episodes; 3 matches in the GA)
3 52MX, TVC Deportes
1 Televisa, Guadalajara
Not counting the web only En Busca de un Idolo matches, Dragon Lee last made TV on either of Friday night tapings in April.
Since I’m doing this for CMLL, here’s the comparable chart for AAA. Note that AAA’s had 30 minutes longer for a while, so there’s a little more opportunity to make TV. Also, I’ve left in the ‘classic TripleMania’ matches, so some odd names will pop up.
10 Nicho el Millionario/Psicosis
8 Dr. Wagner Jr., Texano Jr.
7 Jack Evans, el Hijo del Perro Aguayo, Héctor Garza, Fenix (AAA), Mesías, Halloween, Fabi Apache, LA Park, Mascara Ano 2000 Jr.
6 Extreme Tiger, Mascarita Dorada, Dark Dragon, Toscano, Joe Lider
5 Tito Santana II, Silver King, Electroshock, Juventud Guerrera, Sexy Star, Atomic Boy, La Parka Jr.
4 Mari Apache, Lolita, Mini Psicosis, Octagoncito, Octagón, Argenis
3 Teddy Hart, Heavy Metal, Mini Histeria, Último Gladiador, Murder Clown, Gran Apache, Psycho Clown, Monster Clown, Drago
2 Semental, Aerostar, Mini Charly Manson, Argos, Decnnis, Cinthia Moreno, La Hechicera, Jeff Jarrett, Ozz, Relampago, Ángel Mortal, Zorro, El Elegido, Daga, Cuervo
1 Sexy Lady, Tigre Cota, Mini Psycho Clown, Sugi, CIMA, Yuriko, Abyss, Pasion Kristal, Pimpinela Escarlata, Alan Stone, Dinastía, Dizzy, Escoria, X-Fly, Billy Boy, Perro Aguayo Sr., Villano III, Damián 666, Súper Fly, Charly Manson, Kenzo Suzuki, Villano IV, Gallego, X-Pac
Note that Aerostar, someone considered underused by AAA, has actually appeared more times on Televisa than Dragon Lee. This measurement isn’t quite as relevant for AAA, since luchadors are much more likely to make appearances outside of participating in matches. Not all matches mean the same, too.
* As it does now, the length of the TV show could vary during different points of the year. CMLL wasa definitely producing a 90 minute version, since that eventually turned up in Canada and may have popped up elsewhere. Guadalajara appears to have an hour of TV at this time, but only locals would’ve had access to it. I’m unsure when CMLL Puebla started airing on TVC Deportes but do not believe it goes this far back.
** 2 hours of Tuesday & Friday tapings, 1 hour of the Sunday taping, 1.5 hour of Monday. That doesn’t include the recent En Busca de un Idolo web matches (between 15 minutes and 1 hour in TV time), the GDL show (1 hour), the Terra stream (1.5 hours) and whatever else might turn up.
*** Even that 58 number is inflated. CMLL was running the second Guapos U segment. A lot of rookies – Psycho Clown, 3 gimmick changes before being Psycho Clown! – made TV appearances they wouldn’t have otherwise earned.
**** maybe even to CMLL
***** I’d love to know which shows the people who visit SuperLuchas watch.