GdR #44

Aired 09/23. Not a show for people looking for straight wrestling, but lots of good goofyness by Shocker.

I know I taped 45, but it’s completely vanished on me. Sorry about that, nothing I can do now, wish I could.

I plan on having #46 up tommorow.

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10/08: magazines, Accion

Magazine cover roundup
- Luchas 2000 #338
- Luchas 2000 Special #14 (body paint)
- Super Luchas #182
- Box Y Lucha

Every normal edition is going with a Pena cover, though Luchas 2000 is the only one who who shows a picture of Pena from the casket. I’ve started to grow used to this, because it’s done with every death to the point where I’m figuring it’s a normal Mexican thing, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it freaks me out a bit.

Ernesto Ocampo posted a obituary on the (relaunched?) superluchas website – I presume it’s what is in the magazine this week. Interesting facts: according to this report, Pena was in a coma for over a week (and no one seemed to know this previous, so there must’ve been only a tight circle who knew how bad he was doing and they weren’t talking), and the cause of death listed here is brain-related (and specifically not cancer or AIDS), the third or fourth different cause of death I’ve read.

As mentioned in comments below, CMLL on Televisa this week were selected (though not all) matches from last week’s PPV. They include announcer standups (taped Friday?) and did talk about Pena’s death. CMLL’s website does not mention his death.

Friday night, on the Baja Star Auditorio de Tijuana show, there was a remembrance of Pena. Of all people, it was led by LA Park, with the original Mascara Sagrada nearby. Park was said to be near (or past) tears when crediting Antonio Pena for raising his family out of poverty. Both men had long unfriendly legal battles over who owns their gimmicks, and it speaks to how much Pena’s meant to everyone that even his enemies are distraught at his passing.

TNA posted a short tribute on their website.

Accion:

CMLL: Mistico vs Black Warrior, mask vs mask – clips of Warrior winning fall one, Mistico winning fall two, and assorted dives form fall three leading into the finish. Warrior’s briefly unmasked face is shown as well.

AAA: La Parka Jr., Super Porky, Octagon vs Muerte Cibernetica, Konnan, Chessman in San Luis Potosi – today’s TV main event, I gather. All Chessman highlights – he becomes the first rudo in history to run thru all three tecnicos without a problem! Only tecnicos do that sort of thing, which must be why Konnan and Muerte Cibernetica promptly turn on him. Tecnicos are a bit too willing to go along pinning him. They do seem a little bit reluctant about it.

And from there, there’s brief AAA clips leading into a memoriam for Antonio Pena, including clips from his funeral. Various archived press conference and AAA footage is shown. This only goes about 8 seconds.

I think the AAA show, taped before Pena’s death, aired like normally today. There’s supposed to be a press conference on Monday to bring people up to speed on future plans. I figure the people who’ve been mentioned as taking charge – some combination of family members and Konann – will do just that. The short term key isn’t who’s mentioned as in charge, but everyone else trusting the person in charge to keep things going, and that may take a few days to sort out. The next TV taping is Thursday, and that’ll air in Mexico Sunday.

10/07: Mexico, GdR, Pena

CMLL (FRI) 10/06 Arena Mexico Results [el alburero, Galeno del Mal
1) Leono, Stuka Jr. b Hooligan, Loco Max
2) Amapola, Hiroka, Princesa Sujei DQ Dark Angel, Diana La Cazadora, Lady Apache
Apache got DQed trying for knocking the down the ref while she was giving Hiroka a fisherman’s suplex. Hair match is offical for next week.
3) Alex Koslov, Hirooki Goto, Kenzo Suzuki b Felino, Rey Bucanero, Texano Jr.
In his debut, Goto beat Rey in the final fall for the win. Sucks to be Rey Bucanero.
4) Hijo de Lizmark, La Mascara, Negro Casas b Damian 666, Halloween, Shocker
Shocker was not getting along with his partners, even stealing the cane from Damian and breaking it – tecnicos took advantage for the win.
5) Dr. Wagner Jr., Mistico, Volador Jr. DQ Atlantis, Black Warrior, Ultimo Guerrero
tecs took the first fall, and Warrior yanked off Mistico’s mask in the second.

There were reports last night that Zumbido has shown up as the newest Perros del Member, but I don’t see any mention of it in the show reports.

Guerreros del Ring has
10/01 Coliseo: Arkangel, Hooligan, Mr. Mexico b Oro II, Tigre Blanco, Tigre Metalico
10/01 Coliseo: Averno, Emilio Charles Jr., Mephisto b Lizmark, Maximo, Volador Jr.

AAA update their site yesterday with a message about Pena’s death.

Pena articles
Mundodehoy.com has an article aout the wake. Cibernetic, Shocker, Tinieblas, Porky, La Parka Jr., Octagon, Pirata Morgan, and Canek are mentions as some of the wrestlers there.
- AM.com.mx has the photo of Pena in the casket. (Edit: Steve Sims points out that the’s unmasked Octagon standing behind Juventud Guerrera in the picture; superluchas includes the same picture, with Octagon’s face blurred out.)
- And so does La Cronica

CMLL PPV

Hey, remember there was a CMLL PPV last weekend? The anniversary show? The one with Mistico vs Warrior? Yea, anyway, I finally got that recap done. Bullet points!

1) The opener’s women’s match was almost too short to have a point of existing. Rather than six people trying to get their stuff in, this would’ve been better served being either a random women’s lightning match or the previous week’s singles match with a couple more minutes tacked on. They’re clearly booking this with the idea of doing the Hiroka/Lady Apache hair match, which only makes sense to do if Hiroka’s winning, and I have little expectations that Lady Apache is losing her hair.

2) Not much to say about the second match. Because I’m behind on various things, this was the first I’ve seen of Koslov, and I think he fits in well. Everyone – not just here, but all over the card – seemed to be turning it up a notch for the PPV. Even Dragon seemed to be trying (and it’s a little depressing that doesn’t mean much.)

3) Third was all about the Dos/Corelone feud. You know, coming into this show, there was talk about what CMLL has left to do once Mistico/Warrior was wrapped up. Dos Caras vs Marco Corelone as a strongly pushed program is what they should be doing – I don’t know if they’re going to work at the level of that spot, but it’s worth finding out now. And Corelone is certainly not going to be around forever; at some point, someone who matters in WWE is going to see some of his highlights here and decide they can find a use for him (this time for sure!). Might as well see if the people are interested in Dos yet, or if more work has to be done.

4) Fourth match felt just like it looked on paper, an excuse to get some guys on that they felt had to be on, and to bring in Groon. Thing is, Groon seemed to be a lesser star compared to Wagner, and Groon wasn’t at all protected in this match – the old Groon would’ve run crazy over all three rudos, with them getting scared of taking him on one and one and Groon having no problem beating them two on one. Here, he was just a Guy In A Wacky Red Suit, no longer a killing machine. He was booked as a human, and I’m not sure there’s a point to a human Groon. (It was almost like something they’d do to get bury him on the way out, but that can’t be the idea.)

You know, YOU may be looking forward to the now-more-possible La Parka vs La Parka match, but all of the sudden, I’m dying to see GRONDA VS GRONDA. (and then neither man ever again.)

5) I thought this was much better than I had heard. This may just be me marking out for groups of my favorite guys, and like everything else, you could easily point to a place where they’d benefited from five more minutes, but with the time they had, they did a great job with it. I was surprised with the crowd reactions – I don’t think Shocker can go tecnico, at least not in Arena Mexico, with the reception they were giving him. In the abstract, I think they’d be okay with Atlantis as a tecnico again – the fans seem to be back with him – but he’s working well where he’s at. The weird thing about the Shocker turn is it didn’t definitely cause the loss – Hector was distracted by the shirt toss, but the Perros were already down a man and it was a 2 on 1 situation in the ring. (Garza more screwed them over, by accidentally kicking Shocker and not paying attention to break up the pin – maybe this was an attempt to keep Shocker tecnico as part of the turn.)

6) The third fall made it work – it was a night where both guys were hitting everything they needed, it made the match memorable enough that it was the Big Match Win for Mistico they were looking for, and they did enough that people will still pay to see them match up again. This beat my expectations, easily.

Maybe if I didn’t know about the short matches going in, I would’ve been disappointed, but knowing what I did, I was pretty happy with the show. Now, I’m going to post this, and then go over to Robert’s site, and find out he saw this 180 degrees different, surely.

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Jose is great

There’s a lot of stuff written about Pena and will be written about him in the next few days. I don’t know if anything’s going to beat this:

Ultimately I’ll personally remember him as a guy that, at several points in time, created and pushed a human ice cream, Power Rangers, mariachis, football players, hockey players, teenage soccer players, soccer goats, a pumpkin, ninjas with colorful attires, ninja turtles, Elvis, one eyed monsters, a stable of kickboxers, a Tiger Mask clone, a fourth rate Dump’s Army, a dozen different types of insects, Chucky, several stables of wrestling clowns including gay clowns, Micro Konnan, two monkeys, Acapulco beach bums, a gringo lion, evil goblins, a shark, male and female mentally ill wrestlers (including an insane version of Gloria Trevi, a famous star convicted for being a this document contains no data), rabbits, mafiosi, midget versions of Mankind, Goldust and Vader, zombies, bats, ghosts, spectres, dead men, evil monks, two dozen masked martial artists, Japanese kamikazes, satanists, aliens, a very fat guy and a very tiny guy with currency names, crying monsters, an evil policeman called Policeman, whatever Alebrije and Cuije are supposed to be, street gang members, midget street gang members, evil witches, Andre The Midget, mini Head Hunters, a fuhrer, several monsters coming from deep in the sea, Blue Demon from other space, Hannibal, American farm boys, several scarecrows, bullfighters, mummies, yetis, roosters, transvestites, the wolfman, an over the top gay mocking a rival network’s president, snakes, dracula, the hunchback, Aladdin and the genius, rappers, skaters, underage street cleaners, female strippers, themed male strippers (an Aztec, a nazi and a pharaoh), a stable of wrestlers named after guns, Kiss and Marilyn Manson themed wrestlers, the Crow, a male version of the Spice Girls, a sultan and his slave, a wrestler based on a serial killer, sewer rats, second and third versions of half of those mentioned before, evil Santo, a stable of American rebels, a Canadian vampire, five dancing skeletons and GRONDA.

- Jose, in the DVDVR thread

Pena and AAA

Antonio Pena, the owner, booker, and financer of Mexico’s AAA promotion, passed away Thursday night at the age of 53. Initial reports say his death was caused by a massive heart attack, though that might have simply been the final stage of an undisclosed illness that had kept him away from the promotion for months. AAA had steadfastly maintained Pena was never seriously ill, likely because Pena is such a central figure to the promotion, any instability in his condition meant the same for the promotion. Now that Pena has passed on, AAA’s future is in grave doubt.

In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to find deeper obituaries than any I could provide, so here’s a concise version instead: Antonio Pena was the nephew of luchador/traineer Espectro I, and wrestled most under the names of Espectro Jr and Kahoz. Pena didn’t have much of a in-ring career, but he knew the business, and was brought into EMLL’s front office. He ascended to a booking position, disagreed with the direction (or lack thereof) with EMLL, and split from EMLL, taking wrestlers, local promoters, and a TV contract with him. In the US, AAA’s most well know for it’s stretch between ’93-’95, featuring great matches with the likes of Rey Misterio Jr., Juventued Guerrera, Psicosis, La Parka, and many others who’d later go on to ECW and WCW, and the Gringos Locos vs El Santo feud, culminating on the tape-trading famous When World’s Collide PPV. After Konnan and the others split from AAA to a separate promotion and WCW full time, AAA suffered many leans years while trying to rebuild. It’d become a success – finically, if not aesthetically – in recent years, based on Pena created wrestlers and angles (with some obvious US influences.) AAA’s last major show drew around 20,000 (as do most of their recent major shows), with nothing particularly special on top, and their weekly 3 hour TV show draws better numbers than CMLL’s. This is a promotion that appears to be profitable, but it was making money because of Antonio Pena.

It’s not easy to sum up one definite opinion on Antonio Pena. Pena took far more chances and was far more progressive in presenting lucha libre than EMLL/CMLL was (or is), and forced the rest of Mexico to start to modernize if they wanted to keep up. Antonio Pena’s a big reason Rey Misterio Jr. was WWE Heavyweight Champion – Pena was the first guy to put him on national television and feature him as a star. CMLL thought Eddie Guerrero was better of being a generic man in a generic mask – Antonio Pena brought him to AAA as the latest in the line of the Guerrero family. Pena’s also pushed tons of all-body, no-talent wrestlers (often for personal reasons), badly copied late 90s US wrestling angles (which still often got over to those who hadn’t seen the originals), and made sure he was a central figure in AAA’s storylines and credited with success. Antonio Pena’s going to be ultimately compared to Vince McMahon, but in one way, he was able to even out do the billionaire – AAA not only presented new guys in the identities (and full body costumes) of wrestlers who’d left, but he even got the people to believe they were still the original wrestlers! Like many wrestling promoters, he appeared to be a vindictive, egocentric guy (but if you were with him, he’d take care of you and keep you out of trouble) with the inability to identify and fix his blind spots, but like the few successful promoters, he had the entrepreneurial and creative skills to make it all work. It’s impossible to image the last 15 years of lucha libre without Antonio Pena’s influence.

And now, Pena’s gone, and most of the identity of AAA goes with him. AAA isn’t modern day WWE or even CMLL, where the structure is in place to keep things going if the owner passes away, becuase duties are delegated and there’s some order – Pena controlled everything in AAA, and pretty much was the office himself. Even at the end, when he was unable to come to AAA’s version of Summer Slam, he was reportedly calling in instructions on how to run the show from his sick bed. Pena was unable to make up the lineups for upcoming TV Tapings, but it’s clear whoever did was ordered to the status quo while he was gone – Antonio Pena was the only one Antonio Pena trusted to run the promotion, and their were no plans for what would happen if he was gone.

The early assumption is AAA will mostly like cease to exist as a promotion – it could be as soon as as week from now (when their next TV taping is schedule), it could keep going thru the dates already signed and then just vanish like ECW did, but it’s hard to believe there still will be AAA shows in 2007, unless it’s vastly different AAA. As Antonio Pena’s AAA, it’s forever gone, and there’s no sure thing about someone else picking up the pieces. The problem may be the other way – there’s an obvious power struggle ahead, between Pena’s relatives (both his sister and his nephew are thought to have been close to Pena and the promotion), and Konnan, the prodigal son who was finally allowed back in late 2004, and may have the support of some of the wrestlers – but certainly not by those who still feel betrayed by his split. Even if they’re able to work out who’s in charge, there’s still the matter of convincing the wrestlers that the new management will be able to keep things running (and that it’s not a better idea to abandon ship before everyone else does) and convincing the local promoters that they’ll still have wrestlers to put on events with (and that it’s not a better idea to switch to a CMLL affiliation before everyone else does.) The only safety net is keeping their television coverage on Televisa, and that’s because Televisa owns (or owned) part of the promotion – will they use that stake to try and take control of the situation? For anyone, this would be a huge task, and for a guy with one failed promotion to his name (Konnan’s Promo Azteca) and some complete unknowns, the odds seem greatly against them.

There’s lots of ripple effects from Pena’s death, affected far more than his promotion. TNA’s been putting it toe in the Mexican market, cross promoting with AAA – will they still be able to run their show next month in Monterrey without AAA’s help? If CMLL becomes the only (top) game in the country, will they still feel the imitative to push new faces or go back to exerting little effort? Will Vampiro attempt to relaunch his failed promotion (from debut to chaotic failure in five weeks) now that well known Mexican talent is more available to him? Will TV Azteca, who’ve seemed to want lucha libre of their own, swoop in and start it’s own promotion? Will AAA talent flood CMLL offices looking for work, and which will be taken? And if that does happen, will we see a repeat of ’92 (as often suggested when theorizing AAA’s collapse), where a bloated roster of displaced and underutilized talent leads to a fracture in CMLL, and a group of wrestlers and front office people striking out on their own, just as Antonio Pena did to start AAA?

Questions about what the future holds will start being answered Friday. Pena will be buried during the day, and CMLL’s reaction to it later that night at it’s weekly Arena Mexico show will be watched at all – will they acknowledge the death of their former booker and rival? (Highly unlikely.) Will individual wrestlers make note of Pena’s passing? (Possibly.) Will a top AAA wrestler make a surprise appearance as a mad dash for spots in a secure promotion breaks out? (Seems probable.) Whatever the case, the entire landscape of Mexican wrestling is about to shift multiple ways over the next few weeks.

As others have pointed out, Antonio Pena changed lucha libre in his life, and he’s going to change it again by his death.

10/06: Pena, AAA

Video of Televisa Deportes on Antonio Pena’s death is up on youtube

Ovaciones has a Antonio Pena bio. They don’t list a cause of death, but do mention he recently had knee operations, and was hospitalized in Los Angeles and Monterrey at different times in recent weeks. Ovaciones gives Pena a lot of credit for the Rayo de Jalisco vs Cien Caras mask match (full Arena Mexico sell out with more than 3000 people outside the building), and for the gimmick created of guys such as Octagon, La Parka, Mascara Sagrada, Alebrije, Pentagon, los Vipers and Black Family.

La Aficion also has an article on Pena’s death and life. Referee Copetes is mentioned as the one who informed the wrestlers. Copetes seems to indicate it was an issue with his lungs here.

AAA’s has not updated their website, nor would I expect them to.

AAA JUBA (TUE) 10/03 Arena Juba de Reynosa Results
1) Rey del Camino b ?
2) Black Star & Misterio Negro b El Bufalo & El Patriota
3) Maldicion, Rey del Camino, Titan b Chamaco Ortiz, Chiva Rayada I, Chiva Rayada II
4) Alan Stone, Zumbido b El Brazo, Pimpinela Escarlata
5) Corazon de Barrio b Hator [UWF MIDDLE]

AAA TV (WED) 10/04 Gimnasio Miguel Barragan de San Luis Potosi Results
1) Mascarita Divina, Mascartia Sagrada, Octagoncito b Mini Abismo Negro, Mini Charly Manson, Mini Psicosis
2) Crazy Boy, Joe Lider, Psicosis II b Alan, Billy Boy, Decnnis
3) Abismo Negro, Antifaz del Norte, Charly Manson, Histeria b Cuervo, Espiritu, Ozz, Scoria
Antifaz replaced Electroshock in the Vipers, at least for one night.
4) Elegido, Intocable, Oriental, Zorro b Alan Stone, Hator, Scorpio Jr., Zumbido
5) Brazo de Plata, La Parka Jr., Octagon b Chessman, Konnan, Muerte Cibernetica

AAA (THU) 10/05 Serdan Arechavaleta Results [escualoasesino]
1) Triple X & Cancerbero Jr. b Hijo del Cirujano, Astro Boy (Veracruz)
2) La Jarochita b Rott Wailer
3) Black Baby, Sangre Y Fuego, Rey Egipto b Guerrillero Camboyano, Aracnofobia, el Buitre
4) Quimico, Practicante, Paramedico, Matrix b Extasis, Apolo, Ferrari, Conquistador
5) Joe Lider, Crazy Boy, Ferrari Jr. b Mr. Condor, Angel Mortan, el Hijo del Buitre
6) Alebrije, La Parka Jr., Gronda II b Muerte Cibernetica, Charly Manson, Chessman
They actually found out about Pena’s death during this match, and at least Charly Manson and referee Tropicasas were seen crying during it.

non AAA news: Black Warrior has an interview with Ovaciones, talking about the mask loss. He puts the blame for his loss on overconfidence – he thought he had the match won multiple times during the final fall, and never thought for a second he’d lose his mask. Mistico will pay for taking Warrior’s mask in blood, every time they meet. Black Warrior appreciates the postive reaction from the fans after losing his mask, but has no plans to turn tecnico. Outside of making Mistico’s life miserable till the day one of them retires, Black Warrior’s goal is to get into WWE in the next year.

Antonio Pena, RIP

Source: here and here

2nd Source: Superplex

Condolences to his loved ones.

Lucha Times

AAA on Gala: Porky and Scorpio Jr. in a bull terrier match, semifinals of the dream tournament. TNA guys are NEXT week.

What’s great about Galavision is they posted a lot of new articles to thier lucha libre page, and they’re all CMLL or WWE related, neither of which actually airs on the channel at all. (I’m sure the web folks are just making due with what they’re given.)

CAN52/FSE: I think we should be back to mostly Coliseo stuff, but I never actually heard what aired in Mexico on Televisa last week, so I guess anything’s possible. Anyway, intentionally or not, I think we may have a better idea of which of this shows is mejor – the B+ show is the one getting the first Mistico vs unmasked Black Warrior match.

CMLL on FSE is way late (3 AM EST) in the evening due to baseball playoff games, some of which may or may not take place on that day, and I have no idea what that would do to the schedule. I’d suggest taping the normal slot too if you can, just in case.

There’s no lucha libre show listed on the FSE schedule next week. This may be a baseball thing, or it may be something else. Who knows.

PBS: the “Mexico: One Plate At A Time” cooking show on lucha libre looks to be repalying next week – check your local listings.

10/05: Coliseo, Niebla

CMLL (TUE) 10/03 Arena Coliseo Results
1) Flash, Super Nova b Polvora, Vaquero
2) Danger, Trueno, Valiente DQ Apocalipsis, Ramstein, Zayco
3) Fabian el Gitano, Leono, Texano Jr. b Arkangel, Dr. X, Okumura
4) Emilio Charles Jr., Mascara Ano 2000, Universo 2000 b Lizmark, Sagrado, Satanico
5) Blue Panther, Heavy Metal, Sagrado DQ Atlantis, Misterioso II, Ultimo Guerrero
Half the match changed – Metal and Sagrado replaced Bucanero and Lizmark, and Misterioso replaced Eclipse.

AAA (MON) 10/09 Arena 4 Caminos Nuevo Laredo Lineup
2) Black Mamba, Danger (AAA), Ministro vs Sobredosis, Maravilla Lopez, Insolito
3) Babe Rap, Sky, Billy Boy vs Ozz, Cuervo, Escoria
4) Mr. Niebla, Mocho Cota, Sangre Chicana vs Sergio Romo Jr., Tito Santana, Antifaz
5) La Parka AAA, Hombre Sin Miedo, Intocable vs Escorpio Negro, Chessman, Alan Stone

Not sure if Niebla has joined AAA or is just working as indepedent here. Haven’t heard about the AAA taping last night, but I guess we’d know more about that.

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