01/29: Coliseo, FPU, AULL, Tijuana, Magazies

CMLL (SUN) 01/28 Arena Coliseo Results
1) Molotov, Sombra de Plata b Polvora, Vaquero
2) Danger, Super Nova, Trueno b Apocalipsis, Ramstein, Super Comando
3) Leono, Metro II, Tony Rivera DQ Hooligan, Loco Max, Mr. México
4) Felino, Mictlan, Negro Casas b Ephesto, Misterioso II, Shigeo Okumura
5) Dr. Wagner Jr., Místico, Volador Jr. b Atlantis, Olímpico, Último Guerrero

Clean finish in the main event.

Pop Matters has a long article about Lucha Libre in the US, including quotes from Keith of From Parts Unknown. I think there’s stuff that I’d quibble with if I was in a quibbling mood (and also if quibbling was a word), but it’s interesting read.

AULL (SAT) 01/27 Arena Lopez Mateos Results [El Halcon]
1) Angel de Fuego, El Conde, Siki Osama Jr. b Feniz, Mr. Potro, Yakuza
2) Rambo Jr., Supremo Jr. b Tortugullio Ninja II, Tortugullio Ninja III [AULL Tag, 2nd, torneo]
3) Astro Boy, Robin Maravilla b Dr. Karonte I, Dr. Karonte Jr. [AULL Tag, 2nd, torneo]
4) Coco Rojo, Coco Verde b Cerebro Negro, Fantasma de la Opera [AULL Tag, 2nd, torneo]
5) Mistico b Sepultuero [mask]
6) Olimpico, Rey Krimen, Sadico b Rey Bucanero, Terry 2000, Ultimo Gladiador

I’m thinking now that those are supposed to be the second part of the 1st round, not the 2nd round. We’ll see. As seems to be practice, Babe Richard was special referee for a Mistico mask match. Sepulturero had Mistico pinned and pulled him up a couple times; I’m surprised they’d be okay with that (but maybe he was kicking out anyway.) Sepulturero is Sergio Pancheco Hernandez. He’s 31, originally from Tlalnepantla (same city as the arena) and he’s been wrestling for 13 years.

I think the match order was switched due to people arriving late. People came for the mask match, and it sounds like people left before it finished. Rey Krimen got in a low blow on Terry 2000 and covered him for the win, setting up a Super Libre match for next week (and an AULL title match the week after?)

indy (FRI) 01/26 Auditorio de Tijuana Results [El Halcon]
1) Calabera b Hadez
2) Mr. Maldito, Voltio b Forastero, TG Power
3) Angel Negro Jr., Animaniac, Shamu b Hijo de Kendo, Kimura, Thunder Mask
4) Ninja, Ruby Gardenia, Super Astro b King Azteca, Pandillero I, Pandillero II
5) Espectro Jr., Inferno b Blue Demon Jr., Rayman

Espectro Jr. cheated to pin Blue Demon Jr. Setting up a rematch? Maybe? I dunno.

This Esto article talks about Los Dos Tigres plans for the future, if you go all the way down to the last paragraph. (Either a title shot or Dr. X vs Tigre Metalico, for some reason.) Slightly more newsworthy from Arena Mexico: Metro II got hurt, Sangre got in nothing before he yanked Dragon’s mask, and they don’t talk about Halloween’s injury either. Maybe it just looked more devastating on TV, because it looked like The End Of Halloween For All Time on TV.

El Manana talks about the beauty of masks.

Magazines
- Luchas 2000 353 speculates about a Corelone tecnico turn (I bet he’d still feud with Universo.) BTW, I believe Canek really went to the hospital, though not actually due to Mil and Rayo in LA/Chicago
- Super Luchas 197 headlines with Ricky Marvin winning in NOAH.

Lineups are below. Two notes
- Someone’s defending the UWF Middleweight Title. Or saying they are. Or whatever. Yay obscure titles.
- Mistico’s working three times on Sunday, which is three times more than any wrestler in the US is working on Sunday.

Read the rest of this entry »

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02/05 AAA TV preview

AAA TV (MON) 02/05 Plaza de Toros de Irapuato, Guanajuato Results
1) La Diabolica, La Hechicera, Martha Villalobos vs Miss Janeth, Rossy Moreno, Tiffany
2) Mascara Divina, Oriental vs Antifaz, Histeria vs el Angel, Laredo Kid vs May Flowers, Pimpinela Escarlata [AAA TAG]
3) Crazy Boy, Joe Lider, Juventued Guerrera, Psicosis II vs El Dandy, Fuerza Guerrera, Pirata Morgan, Sangre Chicana
4) Alebrije, Intocable, Octagon, Super Porky vs Alan Stone, Hator, Scorpio Jr., Zumbido
5) Charly Manson, Chessman, Cibernetico vs Cuervo, Escoria, Ozz

Well, THAT’s going to be an odd match.

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2006 Year In Review: October

the big story: Antonio Pena, the founder and driving creative force behind AAA, passed away on October 5th. He was 57.

It was revealed, after his death, Pena had been sick for a long time before his death and had a long hospital stay. The illness was kept from all but a close few, with Pena continuing to book and run AAA by phone without his wrestlers knowing what was going on. They had an idea he was sick, but not the extent of it till he died.

Pena was remembered and honored by those who worked for him, those who feuded with him like LA Park and even the Archibishop of Mexico City. Pena was not honored by CMLL, who worked for before starting AAA, as they made no mention of his death that night on the Arena Mexico show. CMLL’s TV show did mention it, but that was the choice of the network, not the promotion. (He was dead to the promotion long ago.)

AAA’s TV air liked normal that Sunday, but the following week was a three hour tribute to Antonio Pena’s life, and the rest of 2006 of AAA shows were in dedication to him.

There were lots of obits. The magazines had theirs, Konnan talked about the future of the promotion on Wrestling Observer Live, and Jose wrote the definite remembrance of Pena’s crazy mad genius.

There was a lot of question about what would happen with AAA without Pena. It seemed possible that the whole thing might fall apart, but by three weeks out, it seemed like they were staying pretty stable. Pena’s family took over operations, and kept the promtoion together. There were no major jumps or losses; the only notable change was Arena Coliseo Monterrey split, but that seemed to be more local promoter politics using Pena’s death as an excuse. Part of the reason everything stayed together is probably because there didn’t appear to be chaos; no one made that first move to jump off a sinking ship, so it never was a sinking ship. Another factor was CMLL’s official unwillingness to acknowledge Pena’s death, which angered the AAA workers and focused them to get revenge on CMLL for the slight.

Despite having six TV tapings this month, including a stretch of five TV tapings in ten days just after Pena’s death, there wasn’t a lot of huge AAA news this month. Things were ticking along slowly to build for Guerrera del Titanes show, with no big blowoffs before hand.

Chessman was now openly feuding with the Sect, leading to a match against Muerte. Chessman had Charly Manson as backup, but superior numbers helped Muerte take the win. Cibernetico returned on the 10/22 taping, vowing to return to the ring before the end of the year.

The other big angle was Intocable taking a piledriver from Alan Stone in a six man cage match, heating up that rivalry again. Intocable was off of TV for a month of shows due to the resulting neck injury (though he appeared fine on non-AAA TV shows), and Brazo de Plata Jr. took his place in a number of matches.

CMLL vs AAA: As if the handling of Pena’s death didn’t fully articulate CMLL’s upper management feelings on AAA, the rumored and then yanked interpromotional show said it. Super Luchas broke the story of a Televisa backed dual promotional show, as part of Televisa’s annual Teleton events. As part of the build, Televisa brought in former CMLL announcer and long time AAA announcer Arturo Rivera back to Arena Mexico for a set of shows. (Later, Dr. Morales appeared on AAA TV to return the favor.) CMLL was not down with this idea, wanting nothing to do with AAA, and called the show off. In it’s place, CMLL announced a CMLL vs Indy show for charity on 11/20. This wouldn’t be the last of the teleton, though.

CMLL to December: AAA wasn’t the only one focused on setting up it’s biggest show of the year. Many of October’s Arena Mexico action focused on heavyweights, and adjusting them around to a foreigners/hometown battle. Specifically, Universo had to be a good guy to feud with Kenzo and Corelone, with Univero teaming with Shocker & Rey Bucanero and the foreigners teaming with whoever.

This might have not been the whole plan throughout; in the middle of the month, both I and Ovaciones thought we were getting some sort of Dos Caras vs Marco Corelone feud, as they had started building that up since day Marco debuted. Instead, they ran an angle with Universo 2000, the tecnico, giving Kenzo, the rudo, an illegal Black Hammer to send him to the hospital. That is the way of Universo.

Mistico vs Warrior, stuck on repeat: Before they started prepping for later, CMLL decided to yank as much money as possible out of the Black Warrior/Mistico feud, running trios matches with the two constantly. The whole match didn’t matter, because everyone quickly figured out it was leading to the same finishing sequence: Mistico would attempt La Mistica on Warrior, and either the move would work, or Warrior would escape to immediately cause a foul. It was the kind of match you might do all across the country one or twice for fans who hadn’t seen it, but it instead was run in the same locations on a weekly basis. They kept running this in spot shows and Coliseo and Mexico until attendance dropped off (coincidentally, that was the week Mistico finally learned a counter to one of Warrior’s DQ tactics.) It might have been too late; the repetitive finishes had been a complaint about Mistico matches previous to this, and this set of matches magnified that problem, causing people to turn against him.

The matches just ended one week, with both guys off Arena Mexico shows. Black Warrior was explained to be suspended for his role in stealing Mistico’s Leyenda de Plata trophy, a minor angle from the previous month which hadn’t been mentioned much since it happened.

Lady Apache vs Hiroka: It was a surprise to see Hiroka successfully defend the CMLL Women’s Championship over Hiroka at the end of September; the more tenured and connected Lady Apache was the easy favorite, for reasons even extending beyond vague notions of internal politics. When they continued feuding, and agreed to a hair match, I was sure Lady Apache was getting her win back. Turns out, no, Lady Apache was shaved bald. While Lady Apache would win the title at the end of the year, Hiroka’s two big wins over her are still pretty cool. I still don’t see the logic of Lady Apache getting the title back, but the road there did accomplish something.

Other CMLL
- the annual Leyenda de Azul tournament took place. We probably spent too much talking about it, since it still featured 0 worthwhile matches. Rey Bucanero beat Atlantis in the main event, to end that feud for the moment in the most pointless manner possible.
- Maximo won his fifth hair of the year, beating Emilio Charles Jr.. While they were all midcard feuds, Maximo had a pretty good year.
- In an exclusive interview, Oro II talks about getting a new gimmick as a rudo. Oro II’s vanished, but no one’s yet turned up as rudo matching his description.
- Mistico is very delayed getting to an Arena Coliseo show and the promotion anticipates problems if he doesn’t show, so they stall by taking a undercard trios match very long, having the valets dance, and running a Hooligan/Mascara Purpura match until they get the all clear. None of this, except for clips of the dancing, makes air.

Other: William Boo, famous referee Argentina’s “Titanes en el ring”, died on 10/20. Boo become a national symbol for corrupt and incompetent refereeing. Nicho was reported to have been on armed robbery/reckless driving rampage; he later claims this was all a fabrication as part of an extortion job, but loses his WWE job in the process (though he probably was on his way out already)…Mistico vs Hijo del Diablo for a mask match, was announced to take place in December…Mr. Niebla worked an AAA spot show, though he was still months away from joining the promotion.

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What’s airing on “Lucha Libre Mexico”

(date unknown) Rey Misterio, Sicodelico, Depredador vs MS-1, Colosso Colosetti, Gargola.

One match of the half hour. This is promoted as WWO, so I presume it’s off those DVDs I see selling (or not) different places – anyone seen a match list for that? – and/or the Tijauna stuff that used to be on FSE that I never saw? My video was iffy all the way thru, so I don’t think you want a copy from me unless you’re really maniac.

But oddly, the half hour was sponsored by a local car dealership, so I think it’s sticking around a while.

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01/28: AAA TV, Nicho, IWRG, Accion

AAA TV (THU) 01/25 Gimnasio Agustin Millian Results
1) Pegasso, Super Fly, Terry 2000 b Policeman, Sepulturero, Toxico
2) Mascarita Divina, Mascarita Sagrada, Octagoncito b Jerrito Estrada, Mini Abismo Negro, Mini Charly Manson
3) Crazy Boy, Joe Lider b Alan, Decnnis [AAA TAG, 1st]
4) Juventued Guerrera, Psicosis II b May Flowers, Pimpinela Escarlata [AAA TAG, 1st]
5) Alberije, El Elegido, Laredo Kid, Oriental b Abismo Negro, Antifaz del Norte, Histeria, Mr. Niebla
6) Charly Manson, Chessman, Cibernetico b Cuervo, Escoria, Ozz

Mascaraita Sagrada was hurt badly off an impact to the back of his head. According to AAA’s report, he lost consciousness and went into convulsions. He’s hospitalized and apparently conscious and they’re checking for a spinal fracture.

No mystery tag team, unless Juvi & Psi II are a mystery to you. triplea.com does not note any breakup angle.

In the semimain, Abismo tried to throw fire at Elegido, but Oriental bumped him, Elegido pinned him, and Hijo de Tirantes fast counted him.

The Dark Family had some help in the main event, from Head Hunter I and someone they don’t make clear – Espiritu? After the match, Pres. Roldan came out and talked about the AAA/Hell Brothers alliance again.

UPDATED STANDINGS
P M
9 3 Super Fly & Rey Cometa/Pegasso
9 3 Crazy Boy & Joe Lider
6 2 Cuervo & Ozz
3 1 Alebrije & El Brazo
3 2 Alan Stone & Zumbido
3 2 Mascara Divina & Oriental
3 2 Charly Manson & Pirata Morgan
3 2 El Angel, Laredo Kid
3 2 Chris Stone & Hator
3 3 Alan & Decnis
3 3 Espiritu & Scoria
3 3 Alliens, Gran Apache
3 3 Juventud Guerrera & Psicosis II
0 1 Antifaz & Histeria
0 1 El Elegido & Intocable
0 3 May Flowers, Pimpinela Escarlata

Super Luchas posted their interview with Nicho, from last week’s magazines. Highlights include
- he was kidnapped for extortion money, and was framed for the non-existent crime by a retired police offer and a newspaper writer.
- WWE let go of him because they couldn’t get a hold of him during that time; they were going to reintroduce him as Psicosis in ECW
- He’s hoping to get another tryout with WWE in 2008, thanks to Rey Misterio
- CMLL stripped him and Familia de Tijuana of the trios titles because CMLL thought they were going to bolt with them (since they’re Mexican Nationals titles, that’s legal and been done.) Nicho wanted to bring his belt home one night to show off to his family, CMLL didn’t like that idea and suspected him of jumping.
- He’s planning to work in CMLL in March, but doesn’t want to be stuck working for one promotion, and will remain an independent. He’s friendly with Konnan and gotten feelers from TNA, but both AAA and TNA would want to control his dates, and that’s not what he wants right now.

IWRG (THU) 01/25 Arena Naucalpan Results
1) Vampiro Metálico b Celestial
2) Truama I, Truama II b Antaris, Puma King
3) Black Stone, Camorra, Macho II b Bacteria, Halcon Salvaje, Kid Tiger
4) Cerebro Negro, Esfinge, Freelance b Avisman, Black Terry, Shigeo Okumura
5) Nitro, Olímpico, Último Guerrero b Dos Caras Jr., Negro Casas, Negro Navarro

Negro Casas and Negro Navarro couldn’t get along as a team, which is a blatant excuse for a singles match next week. I’m okay with that.

IWRG (THU) 02/01 Arena Naucalpan Results
2) Trauma I, Trauma II vs Bactiera, Golem
3) Fabian el Gitano, Freelance, Kid Tiger vs Black Terry, Black Stone, Black Jaguar
4) Volador Jr., Suicida, Esfinge vs Veneno, Camorra, Nitro
5) Negro Casas vs Negro Navarro

Accion:

CMLL: Dos Caras Jr., Rey Bucnaero, Mistico vs Terrible, Halloween, Perro Aguayo Jr. – Dos murdered Halloween on the apron sunset flip powerbomb. About as violent as I’ve seen that look. Halloween was stretchered out. Mistico was wearing pink, which is odd. Rey was getting the best of Perro, so Perro just had enough off that and fouled him.

AAA: Super Porky, Gronda, Intocable vs Scorpio Jr., Alan Stone, Zumbido – this is from last taping, with the Oriental injury angle we don’t see. Scorpio’s bleeding as we start the clips, of course. There’s nothing quite like trying to see Intocable and Gronda work a partner whip and hunable to decide who’s actually getting whipped. Looks like every Guapo/Porky match ever, and then Chris and Hator came in to attack after the pin, but we don’t see much of that.

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in case you were wondering

(images by Black Terry de Box Y Lucha foro

Yes, Mistico beat AULL’s Sepulturero to win his third mask in about 4 months.

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2006 Year In Review: September

the big news: Mistico beat Black Warrior for his mask.

This feud started back in February when Warrior turned on Mistico during a tag team title match. The two had feuded thru the year, and the breaking point was their matches in the Leyenda de Plata. When Black Warrior won his block, you knew Mistico was winning the other one so they could have one more big singles match. (They’d previous had a NWA Middleweight title match, with Warrior beating Mistico for the title.)

On 09/08, Mistico beat Black Warrior, and they agreed to a mask match for 09/29.. As the tournament was in progress, CMLL also decided they might as well have Atlantis defend his title. Despite Warrior’s interference, Mistico won that as well, and is the reigning Leyenda de Plata champion.

In the main event on 09/29, Mistico defeated Black Warrior to win his first mask. The match was good, worthy enough of the build, though not great. Black Warrior was revealed as Jesus Toral Lopes, but not revealed for much, as he covered up his face and left before camera people could get much of a shot of him.

Black Warrior worked hard to create a new look for himself after losing his mask – he’d already had his hair died and painted in a Dennis Rodman story – and gained new fans in the months after his mask loss. His personal re-invention helped, but the 09/29 has seemed to be the peak of the general public support of Mistico. After this match, the amount of fans tired of Mistico and his matches repetitive nature increased, and Black Warrior benefited from being the guys who was trying to put a stop to it. Warrior seemed to have an increased confidence as well, drawing from getting his chance to be a main eventer and succeeding at it. As much was designed to benefit Mistico, it’s worked out well for Black Warrior so far.

Shocker returns, joins Perros, unjoins Perros: Shocker leaving AAA had been rumored thru the summer, so I dismissed it as the same rumor popping up again when it came up before the 09/02 show. I was wrong, Shocker was a new member of the Perros on that show.

On purpose or not, with Shocker joining the group immediately after jumping from AAA, the Perros del Mal were about as close to an invasion force as you could get without using the name. Perro Aguayo Jr., Hector Garza, Mr. Aguila and Shocker had all recently been AAA members before forming/joining the group, and the other two members Halloween and Damian were outsiders from Tijuana. The Perros feuded with the Guerreros all year, and in a battle between two rudo factions, the Guerreros were portrayed as the the hometown defenders, despite the Perros being the more popular team. I’m not sure they were supposed to be an AAA faction come to Arena Mexico (though Chessman may disagree), but they were definitely supposed to be outsiders.

Upon returning to CMLL, Shocker went on a media blitz, pretty much apologizing for his lackluster AAA stint and promising to be back to his old self in AAA. While he was soon back to his old status – refusing to be part of a group where he wouldn’t be leading it, Shocker turned on the Perros to cost them the trios titles on 09/29 – he hasn’t gotten back to the quality of matches from his peak in CMLL. Despite becoming a tecnico (and reuniting with Que Monito), groups of CMLL fans still hold a grudge against him and he gets more boos than you’d expect for a top tecnico.

CMLL on PPV: This 09/29 show was also CMLL’s first PPV since 2002, when the main events were all based on the Boricuas/Gran Markus feud. Mistico/Black Warrior was a bit better. It seemed like it could be a one time event then, but CMLL also ran the year end show on PPV, so they may be restarting them for the major shows. Much like boxing PPVs, matches from the show aired one year later on the normal CMLL TV show (and that week of tapings never aired.)

The lineup for the show was announced two weeks before it, but there was a lot of non match notes. CMLL never mentioned it was going to be a PPV on it’s website, till hours before the show; we found out thru a Sky PPV press release. Tickets for the show were the most expensive ever, as CMLL tried to mine the most money out of the Mistico/Warrior feud. It did appeared the show didn’t sell out as a result. The magazine press was very upset about their access being restricted and not being able to take ringside (or anywhere close to ringside) pictures during the PPV.

I had live coverage of the show (1st/2nd, 3rd, 4th, CMLL Trios, mask), and the results were about what I picked. There’s a day after recap too.

Verana de Escandalo: AAA’s big show of the summer took place on 09/17, and really didn’t have much of note. (partial results, full results).

The opener had as much impact as the rest of the card, with Laredo Kid winning the Dream Tournament earning himself a higher place on the card. Unlike CMLL’s Gran Alternativa, this actually stuck, and Laredo Kid was in the semimains the rest of the year. The downside is Laredo Kid’s job in the semimains was to be repeated killed by Abismo Negro and the Vipers. At least that was building to Laredo Kid’s brief moments of non-death.

Other news on the show saw Charly Manson join the Vipers as a new member (replacing Electroshock, not a long term member), Scorpio Jr. take over the Guapos and Hator join the group (replacing Shocker) and Groon II be the non-surprise surprise addition to the main event. There was plenty of TNA involvement on the show, with a group of random people (AJ Styles/Homicide/Low-Ki/Samoa Joe) winning a four team tournament. Jeff Jarrett wrestled in the main event trios, with a tease of a Jarrett/La Parka Jr. NWA World Heavyweight Title match.

Pena not sick: This month also included an infamous AAA press conference. The lawyer for AAA explained Pena was absent not because of a much rumored illness, but because he was busy organizing North and Central American tours. No one bought it.

Other AAA: Brazo de Plata Jr., Chris Stone (as a new Guapo member, and the sons of Pirata Morgan. Besides VdE, AAA just ran one more TV taping, building up the Scorpio/Porky feud, which wouldn’t peak till the end of the year.

WWE invades Arena Coliseo!: Well, no. But with WWE in Mexico City, and having a free day before their shows started, Edge & Lita took in an Arena Coliseo show, trying to hide their identity under lucha masks. It didn’t quite work.

Averno wins the Middleweight Title: Negro Casas held the championship since 2004, and it seemed to be a bit of a vanity title, with only four known defenses prior to the title loss. Averno had gotten a shot in August in Puebla, and earned another shot in September, winning the title on 09/18. This was a pretty big moment for Averno, allowing him to progress from a good rudo who put over young tecnicos, to one who got to beat those tecnicos some of the time, since he was now champ.

An oddity about this title change is Toxico, a wrestler in Guadalajara, had earlier also earned a shot for the title against Negro Casas. Negro was briefly injured soon after, and the title match never took place, and seems to have completely been forgotten.

WON HOF: Eddie Guerrero (and no other lucha-primary wrestler) was voted in the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame. It was expected he’d make it, and the debate was more about why he was making it – his life or his death. In other evaluations of wrestlers, with slightly less credibility, lucha wrestlers were on the PWI list though not the order we’d expect.

Other CMLL:
- Volador suffered a neck injury due to a dive gone wrong. It looked bad at the time, and he sat out a couple of weeks, and Volador unhappily sat out the PPV.
- I didn’t know this before, but there was an article detailed Arena Coliseo being built with Lottery winning
- Ovaciones wrote a whole article about Ultimo Guerrero and Atlantis celebrating Atlantis’ birthday by eating cake.

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01/27: Mexico, GdR

CMLL (FRI) 01/26 Arena Mexico Results [ova]
1) Tigre Blanco, Tigre Metálico b Calígula, Mesala
2) Dr. X, Misterioso II, Shigeo Okumura b Mascara Purpura, Metro, Virus
3) Atlantis, Eclipse, Sangre Azteca DQ Blue Panther, Sagrado, Último Dragón
4) Lizmark Jr., Mascara Ano 2000, Shocker DQ LA Park, Marco Corelone, Último Guerrero
5) Dos Caras Jr., Místico, Rey Bucanero DQ el Hijo del Perro Aguayo, Halloween, Terrible

Three straight DQs. At least they were all different DQs
3) Sangre was DQed for yanking off Ultimo Dragon’s mask and going crazy on him.
4) Marco was DQed for excessive violence on Shocker after already beating him
5) Perro was DQed for a foul on Rey

I think the Sangre one is going somewhere, the Marco one was just to establish him as angry man after losing his hair to Shocker, and the Perros one was a usual Perros one. Ovaciones has a story about a CMLL photographer getting in the way of a Mistico dive by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

There’s a brief article from the Antonio Pena tribute, and Ovaciones also has an interview with Sepulturero, who talks up his (non existent) chances of beating Mistico for his mask tonight.

GdR aired
01/12: Fabian el Gitano, Leono, Texano Jr. b Arkangel, Loco Max, Nitro
01/21: Averno, Mephisto, Pierroth b Mictlan, Negro Casas, Sagrado

CMLL (SAT) 01/20 Deportivo Oceania Results [thegladiatores]
1) Bestia Metalica, Lobo Vikingo b Flecha de Fuego, Senky
2) Infierno (DF), Disturbio b Robin Maravilla, Chico Maravilla
3) Ultimo Gladiador, Terry 2000 b Rey Crimen, Sepulturero
4) Felino, Hijo del Fantasma, Rey Bucanero b Mascara Ano 2000, Mascara Ano 2000 Jr., Macabro
5) Mistico, Heavy Metal b Universo 2000, Olimpico

indy (FRI) 01/19 Auditorio de Tijuana Results [the gladiatores]
1) Sparks b Harlequin
2) Angel Negro, Silver Star b Thunder Boy, Thunder Mask
3) Damian 666, Ifnerno, Rey Azteca b Ogun, Black Spider, Rubi Gardenia
4) Groon XXX b El Hijo del Solitario [torneo, losers advance, qf]
5) Electroshock b Coco Negro [torneo, losers advance, qf]
6) Lizmark b Coco Rojo [torneo, losers advance, qf]
7) Rayman b Super Muneco [torneo, losers advance, qf]
8) Blue Demon Jr. b Fantasma Jr. [torneo, losers advance, qf]
9) Hijo del Solitario, Coco Rojo, Fantasma Jr. b Coco Negro, Super Muneco [torneo, losers advance, sf]
10) Super Muneco b Coco Negro [torneo, final, mask]

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2006 Year In Review: August

the Big Story: Nacho Libre premiered in Mexico. It’d debuted in the United States in June, and this should’ve been mentioned there, but I sort of forget. And I’m not sure it’s a major story for any other reason than it’s supposed to be.

For those of you reading this in 2010 who aren’t familiar, Nacho Libre starred comedian Jack Black and featured the writer/director of recent the indy cult favorite Napoleon Dynamite. It was loosely based on the life story of Fray Tormenta, but really just lifting the concept idea of a religious figure who led a double life as a luchador and making up everything else from there. (It was still close enough that Fray Tormenta got interviewed dozens of times before the movie even aired.) The movie was promoted as a Nickeloden film, aimed at a young teens.

Nacho Libre received below average reviews, with critics complaining about the one joke nature of the film, and the movie trying too hard to be campy for it to work. The movie did find some fans, who were into the underdog story of the lead character. The movie cost $35 mil to make, and grossed nearly $100 mil in box offices alone, so it was certainly a financial success.

The lucha libre scenes weren’t authentic lucha libre, just what they could do to fit the movie in the time wanted to spend in the ring. The movie did feature appearances by lucha libre wrestlers, most notably Silver King as the lead rudo, Ramses.

One of the big questions surrounding the movie, at least for people already interested in lucha libre, was what effect the movie would have on those who didn’t know Mexican wrestling. There hasn’t been a big surge of interest as a result of the movie, but I think there was an increase of visibility from the movie. Nickeloden obviously liked the numbers they saw, as they’re working on a lucha libre cartoon, and airing a Kaiju Big Batte inspired wrestling show. It’s going to take some time to see if this has any long term traction, or if it’s just a minor fad.

In Mexico, the movie hit #1 in the box office during it’s run. (It peaked at #2 in the US.) Silver King continued his role as Ramses outside the movie (wearing the gold Ramses mask, but still being listed as Silver King since everyone knew it was him in the movie), and an indy wrestler or two took up the Nacho Libre gimmick themselves. The big promotions didn’t seem to take advantage of any crossover with the movie themselves.

I still haven’t seen Nacho Libre. I’d heard so much about it for the months up till it aired, and was just happy that part was over when the movie finally aired. The reviews didn’t help.

Masks banned: The big screen wasn’t the only place lucha was making news in August. For at least the last year, some Mexican soccer players had celebrated scoring goals by putting on lucha masks. After a similar bit was done in the World Cup, the federations decided they had enough, and banned wearing masks, declaring the illegal foreign objects. Gabriel Pereyra, a more well known soccer player with the Cruz Azul team, who would do this bit and was invited by CMLL to Arena Mexico for some photo ops with Mistico, seemed to be the focus of this regulation

Roberto Rangel passes away: the long time referee passed away on 08/22, due to diabetes. He’d been out of the ring since the start of the year due to his declining health. Rangel had been a long time part of CMLL, back to the time of the original Santo. He’d also wrote and run wrestling magazines.

RXLL: With Vampiro out of AAA, he and partners announced the formation of an indy group based in Guadalajara, called RXLL. The plan for it seemed closer to a US indy group – flying in big names, making the money back on DVD sales – though there were plans for local and eventually international TV. There was lots of hype for the first show on September 2nd.

Things started unraveling pretty quickly. The way I’ll always remember this promotion is the ‘faulty’ early lineup that was passed around. A poster on the Box y Lucha forum posted a lineup, I and others discussed it, and then there were that somewhat upset e-mail to me about posting bad information from a person involved in the promotion. I hate having incorrect information and sharing like it’s true – that’s why I try to question some things and indicate the unsureness of others – so I was more than happy to post a correction. Except, wait, no, the ‘erroneous’ lineup was the one listed on posters advertising the show. That experience sums up RXLL’s difficulties – the different parts of the group weren’t on the same page, and communication problems seemed frequent.

Looking back at it now, I think I spent way too much time on something before it actually delivered anything. I think the end total was 1 or 2 DVDs (nothing worth seeing), 2 or 3 tapings, and everything falling apart within about a month. One of the business partners walked of with sponsor money, Vampiro moved onto other projects, and some others tried to relaunch the promotion under a different name (LLX), but those shows are being promoted just as inconsistently as before.

Too bad we never got that Blue Panther/Ron Killings match.

Latin Lover makes CMLL cameo: This was a surprise. On the 08/19 show, Latin watched the show from the front row. When the Perros del Mal appeared for the main event, he was invited in the ring by friends Perro Aguayo Jr. and Hector Garza, and put on the Perros del Mal shirt while a million flashbulbs went off. Latin and the Perros were on every single magazine cover that weekend, gaining a ton of press.

CMLL said they were going to try to sign Latin Lover, but that never panned out. Latin has left AAA, and after back and forth in the press about who owns the name, appears completely at odds with his old promotion. That may have been the plan all along – it was just a bit of publicity for both sides.

Other CMLL

In his biggest CMLL match of the year, El Hijo del Santo beat Perro Aguayo Jr. on 08/25, with the help of foul.

Dr. Wagner Jr and LA Park finished their Arena Mexico feud in the much smaller Arena Lopez Mateos for AULL on 08/09. Wagner won while some referee shenanigans took place.

India Sioux beats Medusa for her mask: I was worried about this match. Not because I thought India was going to lose. It was pretty clear Medusa was being used to give the new young tecnica her first big win. India and Medusa just didn’t click together in the lead up feud, having exchanges that made you not want to see the match they were working hard to build. Happily, the mask match on 08/13 turned out good, which was impressive by previous standards.

Maximo beat Mr. Mexico for his hair on 08/07. This was Maximo’s fourth hair match win of the year, and he wasn’t done yet.

Universo actually defended the CMLL Heavyweight Title, beating Dos Caras Jr. in Guadalajara, his third title defense of the year. That’s huge for him. It’s huge for him that he knew where the belt was three times in a year.

Metro->Fabian, Neutron->Fabian: Fabian el Gitano, who’d spent the year as Metro (a sponsored gimmick) was replaced under the hood by Neutron. Despite the two men being different body types, different styles and wearing different outfits, CMLL didn’t actually acknowledge the change. Fabian kept working with CMLL as a regular, so the change is believed to be the sponsor’s decision.

Straight out of Russia: Alex Koslov debuted in Mexico as some random guy from the NJPW-LA Dojo. He became the first Russian to ever wrestler in Arena Mexico (we think) on 08/19, and a favorite rudo by the end of the year.

CMLL and Warners Brothers made a deal for t-shirt sales. It seems to be only on-site sales, as they still don’t have much merchandise on the CMLL site.

Other AAA

Thru the month, AAA pushed the Mexican Powers/Sect feud over the Atomicos titles, while Chessman continued to break away from the group. AAA started the Dream Tournament, but that and the Leyenda de Plata finished up in September, so we’ll save the talk for then. Super Porky and Scorpio Jr., and Alan Stone and Intocable, feuded elsewhere on the shows.

In the pages of Box Y Lucha, Chessman accused CMLL of stealing all their ideas from AAA, specifically citing the similarity between the Perros del Mal and the cool rudo groups of AAA.

Scoria breaks his leg – or not: There was this story about AAA’s Dark Family being involved in a cage of death match on an indy show, and it coming down to Scoria and the indy wrestler who was due to lose. As the story goes, Scoria tried to climb out, but fell, ‘breaking his leg’. Instead of the indy guy leaving the cage, they just stopped the match and awarded the win to Scoria, as that was the planned finish.

The problem with this story is Scoria wrestled a few days later at a AAA TV taping, showing no signs of a leg injury. I don’t know what actually happened here.

La Fiera, who had made a cameo at TripleMania, hurt himself badly on a dive on 08/07 in Nuevo Laredo. La Fiera didn’t wrestle much of the year, and had been deal with personal issues.

Other

El Dandy was telling people he was going to retire. No one actually retires, but Dandy’s kept a lower profile after not getting the right feedback from his request to join CMLL.

In IWRG, Panterita lost his mask, his hair and even his name (changing to Free Lance) in a short time, which seems to happen once a year with someone in IWRG (and usually has to do with money.) Amazingly, he kept his title belt in all of this, and is still IWRG Welterweight Champion.

Rey Misterio Jr. instigates a riot: Not on purpose. He was in Mexico to sign autographs to hype up a WWE RAW tour, which he wasn’t actually scheduled to participate on. That seemed dumb, even before 5000 people got in line for an autograph, and lots of those were left empty handed when Rey’s time was done. Some of the disappointed people worked thru their depression by tearing up the mall.

…I think this was my funniest month.

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01/26.2 : Box Y Lucha

There’s Box Y Lucha articles I didn’t notice before, and there’s some good stuff in them.

There’s a couple about Texano, now one year after his death. Negro Navarro, and Super Nova talk about their relationships with Texano. (This article mentions Vaquero is Texano’s nephew.) Another article briefly covers Texano’s career.

The rest of the articles are all AAA. Parka’s suspension is a headline story this week, so they’ve got an interview with La Parka Jr. and Joaquin Roldan.

Parka can’t believe he got suspended for month because of a single foul; if the Hell Brothers were treated as such, they would be banned for all time. Roldan makes the case that it’s not specifically the foul, but the attempt to break the alliance between the Hell Brothers and the rest of AAA by doing such a thing. Roldan reached back to Antonio Pena defending Cibernetico after the Sect and Foreign Legion turned on him on 07/30; he’s trying to carry out the plan of Pena by keeping everyone together until all of opposing forces are finished. (In this case, he just means the Dark Family.)

Parka can’t believe the rest of AAA is forgetting about all the times Cibernetico tried to take over the promotion, and all he’s done against the company in the past. Roldan figures La Parka will eventually make peace with Cibernetico, but Parka declared otherwise in his interview, vowing never to help Cibernetico and always to oppose him.

Park’s got valid points, but the way he’s described – an angry man who’s rage grows while discussing this subject – sure makes it sound like we’re getting a rudo La Parka Jr. when he returns.

- Mr. Niebla talks in general terms about his jump to AAA for the most part. He notes he’s closed some doors with his actions (he’s in AAA because CMLL said no), and also states that he didn’t want to be a rudo, but that’s the spot AAA decided for him, so he’ll be a professional and go along with it. Maybe I’m strange, but I’d keep that to myself.

- Charly Manson discusses his femur injury, from the ladder spot gone wrong in 2001. When he got hurt, he requested no one told his family – so they didn’t find out till they saw it on television. I can only guess he didn’t think it was as serious as it was (many long months of painful rehab included.) Charly’s doctor told him that he’s should thank God he’s still alive and give up lucha libre, but of course he didn’t.

The injuries till affect him. He loved to read books, but the impact on his head has left him unable to read. He’s in constant pain from his femur injury, and the platinum plate they stuck in it. That’s the big problem – the plate’s gotta come out this year, in November, and Charly thinks it’s very probable that will mark the end of his career. “There are hopes, but they are not many.” He vows to leave it all in the ring before he goes to the operating room.

If the article is an accurate in describing Charly as he gives this speech, he really needs to make this a promo on TV.

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