Depsite being the biggest day of the show, the crowd seemed dead again here. There was good stuff here, but it was not the final day show the previous years had been. There was nothing on the level of Sombra/Volador or Mistico/Averno or the Apollo 33/Golden Lovers tag match the last couple years. They did the best they could to tell a story leading up and thru the main event, but they could’ve just not made it the main event.
This was the show where I figured out that a) SamuraiTV/NJPW must only have footage of CMLL’s big shows and that’s why some of the footage was odd (the establishing Titan shot is the one where he’s wearing half of Triton’s mask?) b) Samuari TV decided the June big show was Rey Escorion vs Black Warrior, and not the women’s match and c) they must’ve not sent the Busca en un Idolo footage over and that’s why Euforia didn’t have a video clip. He wasn’t on the other big shows. Useful factoids are what you come here for, totally.
taped 2013-01-20 @ Korakuen Hall
Máximo vs Taichi: EH – Taichi, and the crowd, didn’t seem to be much into this match except for the occasional exotico spots. Even the multiple kiss finish and the post match skit didn’t get any reaction, when it clearly was supposed to be a big spot. I recall last year’s match being actually good, and this wasn’t near that. TAKA’s fall from the kiss was pretty great.
Bushi, Diamante, Jushin Liger, Máscara Dorada, Tiger Mask, Titán vs Gedo, Ishii, Jado, Misterioso Jr., Shigeo Okumura, Yoshihashi in a cibernetico match: OKAY – A rare cibernetico where the match gets less exciting after the eliminations. At least Mascara Dorada looked good and Titan’s moves continued to get the biggest reactions. (Compare him to Diamante, who pinned no one, got no reaction except for his dive, and missed his springboard 450 splash by meters.) Yoshihashi beating Mascara Dorada is a horrible thing, and it generally sucked that all the CMLL guys were out of this match well before the finish, especially when the finish is partially a comedy bit about Ishii not tagging into the match until he was the last one left. I understand Ishii was getting a title match and this finish was to build him up towards that, but the CMLL aspect of the match was pretty well abandoned. Bushi has his fans, no doubt, but wouldn’t the context of the match been with Mascara Dorada being the one to survive until the end?
Rush vs Rey Escorpión: GOOD – A good brawl, as you’d expect between the two. Rush isn’t going to break out the apron dropkick on the average Sunday show, so maybe better than a good brawl. Felt a little bit like a dispassionate formula match for a little bit, but the intensity increased. The crowd never got into it like they might, but did seem to like Rush.
Dragón Rojo Jr. vs La Sombra for the NWA World Middleweight Championship: GOOD – Sombra, so sure he was going to win here, called for title shots with Nakamura and Tanahashi in his promo. He does not give up. This match was definitely in the CMLL style – in that it probably could used a little fewer dives and maybe more variety in the end. (And of course, the double moonsault spot is a little off, because it just is that way.) I enjoyed how NJPW had a more focused effort to get over the Dragon Bomb as a killer move than CMLL really has, and I liked how Dragon Rojo found a counter to the Brillante Driver (back elbow to save your life), and that was just enough to push it into the good category.
La Máscara vs Volador Jr. for the Mexican National Light Heavyweight Championship: OKAY/GOOD – As expected, this was the same title match they did all of 2012, with little changed. It was good for the audience and it was good for anyone who didn’t have the sequences memorized, but insane people like me might have drifted out of the match at times. There’s nothing wrong with this match, but if you have to see it, it’s much more enjoyable in front of a vocal crowd. Mascara did much better this time in Japan, but the Volador superkick where Máscara fell down too soon and then both decided to lay on the mat as if the move had actually looked good was not his best moment.
Atlantis, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Prince Devitt vs Euforia, Kazuchika Okada, Mephisto: OKAY/GOOD – The Friday match was midcard so it didn’t matter, and the Saturday match was irrelevant, but this match was where it hurt not to have Místico – or not to shuffle the card a bit with no Místico around. Any of the three matches prior to this would’ve made more sense as a main event for a CMLL show, instead of this irrelevant trios match. Match was alright, but more for the NJPW guys – the Rainmaker repeated escape sequence was more fun than Atlantis surviving a super Devil Wings to immediately Atlantida Mephisto.