(photo by Black Terry Jr.)

IWRG (THU) 08/02/2012 Arena Naucalpan [Black Terry Jr. (flickr), Estrellas del Ring]
***Festival de Mascaras***
1) Comando Negro, Eita, Imposible b Centvrión, Matrix Jr., Panterita
Matrix Jr. replaced Chicano. Freelance was back as Panterita for one night. Straight falls for the rudos.
2) Dr. Cerebro, Orito, Trauma II b El Hijo del Diablo, Eterno, Oficial AK47
All wrestlers wore their old mask (or current one, Trauma II.) Eterno had lost his mask his mask in the early days of his career as a Coliseo Coalaco wrestler; it turns out to be a green and black mask.
3) La Cobra, Pantera, Veneno b Alan Extreme, Black Terry, Temerario Infernal
La Cobra’s debut. The original was a 60′s and 70′s Naucalpan luchador. He introduced his successor here. Nuevo Temerarios first loss. Bombero Infernal wore his old mask.
4) Villano III, Villano IV, Villano V b Cuchillo, Kahoz, Rambo
“100% Toreo de Cuatro Caminos style”. Villano III, La Cobra, and Black Terry were honored after the match.
5) Canek, Octagón, Solar I b Cien Caras Jr., Fuerza Guerrera, Negro Navarro
Fuerza and Octaogn feuded. In the third, Solar & Navarro pinned each other for the elimination, Octagon & Fuerza ripped at each other’s masks, and Canek slams Cien Caras Jr. Fuerza & Octagon challenged for a mask match, while Canek asked for a title match versus Cien Caras Jr

Tonight is the start of a big three day sequence of shows. The most pivotal show is tonight. AAA has a lot of notable matches, but nothing as important to the future of their promotion as Dragon Lee’s debut as the second Mistico.

Tonight’s show can not turn CMLL’s shows into a hot event once again. There’s nothing that’ll happen tonight which will turn around business instantly. The previous Mistico looked good, was used well and protected strong, and it still took months before he was an actual draw. The new Mistico will draw based on curosity the first time out in every location. Arena Mexico attendance will probably be up a little tonight, and the various other shows he’s already booked on will do okay, though not great. It will take longer to convince people this is someone they need to see every week. It does not take nearly as long for it to go wrong. (This is where I need the Sagrado debut video.)

On the Figure Four Daily podcast, I predicated Mistico would be main eventing in a month’s time, out injured in six, and just another guy in twelve months. It’s pessimistic, but also largely the sentiment of those outside CMLL. There’s been no shortage of explanations of why this will not work over the last month. Instead of repeating the same points again, let’s take a moment to look at the points in his favor.

  • When he’s on, Dragon Lee is capable of spectacular maneuvers. The run up the corner diving headscissors to the floor spot is as jaw dropping as anything anyone else is doing right now. He’s got other big flying moves, and likely has been working a few more during his hiatus. CMLL is also being careful to protect his maneuvers and keep them unique; I’m sure Triton could be doing a shooting star press right now, but it doesn’t help CMLL for others to do it.
  • Dragon Lee’s family has no problems with confidence; early booing should not affect him. There’s no doubt the rudo fans in Arena Mexico will be loud in their disapproval of New Mistico, and the only question is if the rest of the crowd goes wit them. Still, Mistico’s brother has had to deal with constant disapproval from fans who were meant to be cheering him, and it did not shake him like it has others. Dragon Lee often appears overconfident and oblivious in interviews. Those aren’t great qualities in a lot of situations, but perfect for the reaction he’ll receive.
  • CMLL is more unified than they’ve been since the original Mistico. Many concepts have not reached their full potential in CMLL because different each part of the company work for in their own interests and don’t support others. We’ve seen this on a small level with En Busca de Un Idolo, a decently presented idea that was promoted poorly on the television shows. We’ve seen this on a larger level over focus on the top tecnicos. Sombra, Mascara Dorada, and La Mascara have sometimes been pushed together as a great team, sometimes individually pushed as the next great star, and sometimes left adrift for months on end. There’s not just a an strong plan this time around, but a much better job of getting everyone onboard with the plan. They’ve done everything right from when they announced the Dragon Lee as Mistico.
  • Mistico has an a lot of great people to work against.We’ve bemoaned CMLL creating an infinite number of identical Mistico clones over the last few years, but the flip side is CMLL is loaded with rudos who know how to work with those tecnicos. From the Avernos to the Cancerberos to the Invasors to free standing guys like Niebla Roja and others, there are plenty of possible opponents for to keep the new Mistico having exciting matches for the foreseeable future.
  • Maybe Valiente will steal the show! This one probably doesn’t count, but I would be fine with this.

This is a small point, but CMLL really should encourage Triton to try La Mistica again tonight. If they don’t plan on having New Mistico use it as his hold, it’s best not to have the crowd spend all night waiting to see that move.

The actual main event of the show is Atlantis & Diamante Azul challenging for the tag team titles against Ultimo Guerrero & Dragon Rojo. There’s no real build here, since last week’s show was canceled, and no special reason to believe the titles will change hands. The last known defense for this champions was billed as their 15th. We have 17 known defenses for Rey Bucanero & Ultimo Guerrero, though they’ve said the number is actually 25 on TV, and that is the record Rojo & Guerrero chasing.

The post match may be a good indicator of CMLL’s plans for September; if they start talking up Ultimo Guerrero & Atlantis for the masks again, then the Anniversary show is headed to another cage match. If they don’t, then maybe Terrible and Rush will actually get to settle things themselves.

In an interview with the ex-Hermanidad, Joe Lider became the first person in the relevos suicidas match to say he’d like to lose the match, just so he can finally confront Psicosis with hair on the line. If not know,he’ll have to challenge for it later.

The rules for the Copa de Siempre this time are eliminations via throwing over the top or disqualification for unmasking people, then the last two will have a one fall match. One new wrestler ever minute. Also, two pairs, Imua-Koa & Ehecatl and Holkan & Voltan, have agreed that if they they’re eliminated by the other member of their pair, they will lose their mask. Pretty harsh way to risk your mask.

DTU’s announced the lineup for it’s Rey del Requetazo (the formerly named “King of the Shoop”) tournament on the Friday of the Lucha Libre Expo. Again, this is something borrowed from Dragon Gate, and is just guys determining who has the hardest chop by hitting each other very hard. The eight man field is Super Mega, Arana de Plata, Cerbero Negro, Rey Latino, Eita (who won the DG contest), Fantasma de la Opera, Gemelo Fantastico II, and a wrestler to be determined. If I’m remembering right, the Dragon Gate contest had the fans determine who hit harder, but since this is happening 3pm on a Friday, it’s probably a good idea to not assume any fans will be there. Instead, the Tercera Caida guys and fanatic Chabelo will be the judges. Prior to the match, they’ll have a exhibition match between Poison and Cruz de Silenico; Silenico is a deaf luchador.

Rob has 07/17/2012 CMLL C3 highlights and 2002 CMLL bloopers. This was back when they filmed vignettes and could actually have bloopers.

LuchaWorld has Alfredo’s TripleMania preview.

Links

Lucha Libre in Japan

08/03 NJPW: Rush [4] b Lance Archer [2] – 7:30, small package. Rush remains tied for first, following the Angel de Oro path.

08/02 WNC: Kouji Doi & Hijo del Pantera [O] b Yusuke Kodama & Jiro Kuroshio [X]
08/03 WNC: Hajime Ohara b Hijo del Pantera
they’re running this same match the next 3 shows.