2006 Year In Review: Numbers

It’s the half way point of the year in review, so it’s a good time for a break, and a chance to throw some random statistics at you. This is probably going to be the least newsworthy actual post, but it’s stuff I wanted to write about, so that’s what I’m doing.

Elsewhere on this site, I’ve been keeping track of all the shows and match results I could track down in 2006 and plugging them into a database. You see it turned into things like the wrestler cards or event lists. There’s a lot of events included which never actually made the news updates; if I cover every indy event, it detracts from pointing out the ones that actual matter. I’m sure I only get between 20% to 60% of the actual shows going on in Mexico at any time (and probably closer to the low side), but piled together, they do bring up some interesting patterns.

The upside of all this otherwise semi-pointless busy work is, at the end of the year, I can stack all the events up and check out some totals.

As of now, I’ve got at least a partial lineup for 2201 different lucha events – most in Mexico and a handful of US events. In those 2201 matches, I counted 9833 matches. That’s 4.4 per show; dragged down by shows where only partial lineups were announced (and results never mentioned) and dragged up by shows that featured tournaments.

Counting the participants in those matches is a little bit funky in my database. 422 of the guys I’ve identified and set up profile pages wrestled in 2006, and I’ve got 5803 ‘other’ wrestlers who participated in at least one match, but haven’t wrestled enough (or in a big enough place) to be counted. Some of that 5802 count is misspellings of other wrestlers or double counting of wrestlers who’ve switched gimmicks, so I wouldn’t claim 6225 wrestlers, but then I’m sure there’s a ton of guys who escaped notice all together.

I counted 858 different arenas as well, but there’s a high amount of duplication and misspelling there, so I wouldn’t take that number seriously.

I broke this down by promotion, and put in a table to save on the paragraphs. Anything featuring AAA or CMLL stars was recorded as such unless it was clearly supposed to be it’s own promotion (think IWRG) This reaches beyond the TV tapings and includes all the spot shows. (I don’t think I ever included the teleton, in case you’re wondering which area it goes in.)

   shows  matches  IDed wrestlers  Other wrestlers   Arenas
CMLL     664    3136         287           1389            164
AAA      389    1654         208           1289            278

You’ll notice that, even including every indy show where there was a name main event and a bunch of indy guys on the undercard, less than half of the total recorded lucha cards in Mexico were indy shows. The stars of lucha libre are the wrestlers people see on TV and in huge events, but the importance of the local indy guys should be noticed – those are the people fans outside of Mexico City are seeing on a more regular basis.

While I’m on frivolous database stats, here’s some current ones from the luchawiki.
Pages: 9633
Files: 3691
Users: 520

Edits: 21,841
Page Views: 3,412,317

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01/24: Merida, AAA

CMLL

indy (SUN) 02/04 Poliforum Zamna de Merida Lineup [Por Esto]
1) Cobra Man vs Angelito Vengador vs Amenaza Roja vs Misterio Maya vs Lobo Salvaje vs Haragan vs Angel Infernal vs Imperio Dorado [trofeo Gladiador Torino]
2) Super Muneco, Super Muneco Jr. vs Halcon Rojo, Halcon Rojo Jr.
3) Rayo de Jalisco, Hijo de Solitario, Ultimo Dragon vs Negro Navarro, Mr. Aguila, Canek Jr.
4) Latin Lover, Hijo del Santo vs Blue Demon Jr., LA Park

No Villano III.

AAA posted a Pena bio on their news update. They’re running a tribute card to him – it’s not a TV taping and no matches are announced (I’m not entirely sure there will be matches), but the usual names should be there. They’ve also put a preview of tomorrow’s taping, with no lineup changes.

Monclova wrestlers are complaining about the local Box Y Lucha commission being completely worthless.

I totally forget about the Villano 3 chat at Box Y Lucha. They’ve posted the usual video clip. The poster they have up for Intocable is quite something.

Televisa’s annual award voting is going on now. This is the award La Parka Jr. wins every year and I never can figure out quite why. You can vote for it at http://www.esmas.com/trofeostd/

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2006 Year In Review: June

big news: TripleMania (06/18): The lineup was announced at the beginning of the month, but it was long before known that the main event would be Muerte Cibernetica/La Parka Jr. TNA involvement was also off, because they had their own major show on that day. Muerte vowed to break Parka’s bones, which would be something since he’s a skeleton and all. Box Y Lucha did the most AAA coverage it did all year in the lead up to the show, and there were a lot of bigger than usual shows that weekend from CMLL and IWRG that weekend. Coincidence? Not? Still not completely sure.

Results saw Parka indeed win, and Muerte Cibernetico reveal himself to be Ricky Banderas (which isn’t his actual name.) I finally saw this match, and I think I counted 14 different guys interfering in some way, including Cibernetico (on crutches) and surprise jump Brazo de Plata. There had been talk of a big jump from CMLL in the days leading up to the event, but no one really understood what the rumor meant by big, I guess. Plata’s jump involved a falling out with CMLL (they weren’t going to do anything with him at his age and shape) and El Brazo convincing him to change sides.

For a taping, Muerte switched his name to Asesor Cibernetico, but it got dropped. In the undercard, Charly Manson beat Zorro for his hair, but also forced him to wear an evil demonic mask, which he still wears today. The Fuerza Aera/Black Family atomicos title match had no finish, with the commission throwing the match because of all the hardcore stunts. (Initially, it seemed as though the commission perhaps had stripped the titles as well, mirroring what happened with the middleweight title previous, but we just got a normal rematch a few weeks later.)

Brazo de Plata jumped from CMLL at the show, starting a partnership with La Parka Jr. and wrestling in his corner. Nieto del Santo made a cameo as well.

In one of those other shows the same day, Okumura lost his hair to Rey Bucanero in an 8 man cage match, and La Mascara wins the Reyes de Air cibernetico (which wasn’t that great.)

CMLL’s Gran Alternativa:

Teams were announced in late May for the annual young star/experienced star tournament. Some of the particpants talked their chances up in Box Y Lucha, and Ovaciones picked Texano, Maximo, and Misterioso II (which is only 38% of the field.) Everyone noted that the “new stars” being presented this year were repeats and guys actually older than the vets they were teaming with (particularly Nitro and HsN.)

The tournament itself actually took place on 06/03. I pretty much nailed the preview; the results saw the plot points of Rey Being Turned On Yet Again, and Perros refusing to fight each other. In the finals, Misterioso II & Perro Aguayo Jr. beat Ultimo Guerrero & Nitro to win the title.

Beating the odds, this was actually the start of a significant push for Misterioso II, as we’ll see in later months. He was an associate member of the Perros thru the summer, and got slightly higher position on cards. They’ve since dropped the Perros relationship (although it’s still there neough that they could bring it back if the mood strikes them and/or they need someone to lose), and he’s since fallen to about the same position. The GA didn’t break Misterioso II out of the pack – the AAA equivalent did a better job of that – but it did give him something to separate himself from the other at his level.

Guadalajara Walk Of Fame: This match had been announced back in April, but was finished up the first week of June. You can see a good picture of it on this post. Lots of people showed up for the dedication. The first class was Salvador Luttertoh, Diablo Velasco, Santo, Rito Romero, Mil Mascaras and Rayo de Jalisco, and the second class was announced as El Solitario, Angel Blanco, Alfonso Dantes, Perro Aguayo, Gori Guerrero, Black Shadow and Cavernario Galindo, but I haven’t heard more about it. It’s a Guadalajara Lucha Libre hall of fame, so that’s why some regional names might go in before the likes of Blue Demon.

Hiroka wins the CMLL Women’s Title: This surprised me. It was one of those things where I didn’t like the idea when it started but was unhappy when it was over.

Hiroka was a below average ruda worker; not horrible by women’s standards, but she wasn’t one of the best for sure, and she was most notable for having like a billion indy trios matches opposite of Sahori. In April, Hiroka got a title shot versus Marcela in Arena Coliseo. Remarkably, it was a pretty good match, Hiroka’s best match in Mexico for sure. I chalked it up to Marcela being better than I had figured and when they announced a rematch for 06/09 in Arena Mexico, it seemed like they were just going to repeat the match for a larger audience.

Hiroka won, becoming the 10th champion. It was another good match. Hiroka’s reigned seemed filled with tecnicas beating her, and demanding a title match, but she clearly improved as a wrestler and raised her status as champion (with the help of a couple really big wins later) to the point where she actually seemed like a champion by the end. Maybe I should have a little more faith in CMLL, huh?

teased double mask match: Averno & Mephisto feuded with the Lizmark on some Arena Mexico shows with some mask ripping. The magazines – I believe Luchas 2000 in particular – pushed the idea of a mask match, and it seemed like they were headed that direction. I was quite worried that the more tenured/famous Lizmarks would take the masks, though Lizmark Sr.’s rumored retirement gave a little bit of hope. And then it was dropped.

Later on, it was leaked that that the plans was actually to have Averno & Mephisto take both Lizmark’s mask as a major attraction of the bigger summer show, but it didn’t come together for whatever reason.

Maximo beats Loco Max for his hair: a basic Arena Coliseo midcard feud, one of quite a few while thinking about it. This was set up the end of May, and it was no surprise Loco ended up bald. That’s going to happen every 9 months he wrestles, it seems.

spanish fly is deadly: Joe Lider got hurt on apron Spanish Fly to the floor gone bad, and Averno and Volador tumbled hard to the floor off a blown one in Arena Mexico, putting them out of action for a bit.

shoe still hasn’t dropped: There was a lot of talk this month about Univision, which also owns Galavision (and a couple other channels) which was put on the market. It was initially expected that Televisa Mexico would pick up the company, and that would have [whatever] effect on lucha libre broadcasts. Near the sale, some of Televisa’s investors dropped out, and Texas Pacific Group/Haim Sabin swooped into get in the high bid and control of the network. This angered Televisa, who a partial stake in the company already and was expecting on getting it rest. The stockholders aren’t thrilled with the deal either, so nothing has come out of this, not even Televisa Mexico on internet, as promised.

At some point, it would seem there should be fallout, but if because of stockholder issues or inertia, there’s been absolutely no affect on lucha libre broadcasts on Galavision as of yet. Eventually, the people deciding what airs when will be different, but they don’t appear to be right now.

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AAA 12/16

The 11/18 taping. I had this done about a week ago and didn’t get around to posting it. I liked parts of the opener and Konnan noting he never loses, but not really much of the rest.

I’m not really up at 3:00 AM (I hope), but I’m really loving the Scheduled Posting feature here and talking about it here sure eats up space well.

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GdR #61

from 01/20. 14 minutes of wrestling! That would’ve been one okay match.

On Figure4 Monday, Bryan stated that the back to back DCOs to start the second match was the first time that’s ever happened in the history of CMLL. I refuse to believe that’s actually true, but haven’t actually found proof to refute it yet. Of the top of my head, I recalled a Capos/Vampiro/Pierroth/Perro match from ’04 which had back to back double DQs and it feels like we hear about that sort of thing happening once ever 15 months or so (which means it actually happens much more often), but I’m still looking for something to state it’s not just a faulty memory. Anyone else got a good example?

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01/23: Coliseo, IWRG, Monterrey, Tijuana

CMLL

Who is this man? He was hanging out with the Perros on Sunday.

CMLL (SUN) 01/21 Arena Coliseo Results [cmll]
1) Polvora, Vaquero b Explosivo, Karisma
2) Molotov, Sensei, Starman b Calígula, Hooligan, Mesala
3) Canek Jr., Dr. X, Mr. México DQ Metro II, Stuka Jr., Virus
4) Averno, Mephisto, Pierroth b Mictlan, Negro Casas, Sagrado
5) Dos Caras Jr., Dr. Wagner Jr., Místico b Damián 666, el Hijo del Perro Aguayo, Halloween

Mictlan got hurt and strechered out yet again. Pierroth replaced Misterioso.

IWRG (SUN) 01/21 Arena Naucalpan Results
1) Lexur I b Diablo Jr.
2) Black Stone, Fantasma de la Ópera b Bacteria, Halcon Salvaje
3) Avisman b Freelance
4) El Hijo del Diablo, Fantasma de la Ópera, Ultimo Gladiator b Cerebro Negro, Dr. Cerebro, Solar I
5) Electro Shock, Mr. Niebla, Negro Navarro b El Destructor, Mascara Ano 2000 Jr., Veneno

Avisman insisted on a IWRG Welterweight match – which means Freelance is still champ. Knowledge! Too bad he’s not getting it.

indy (SUN) 01/21 Arena Coliseo Monterrey Results [rfc]
1) Marrullero b Angel Negro
2) Borrico, Burrito, Mini Burro b Corazon Adicto, Guerrero Griego, Toro Blanco
3) Androide, Rey Sagitario b La Pulga, Red Flamer
4) Pancho Tequilla, Potro Jr. b Ejecutor, Nacho Libre
5) Huracan Ramirez b Huracan Ramirez Jr.
6) Casanova, Enrique Vera, Konnan Big, La Kalaka b Axxel, Black Dragon, Humberto Garza Jr., Vudu

indy (TUE) 01/23 Arena Coliseo Monterrey Lineup [RFC]
2) Corazon Adicto vs Guerrero Griego
3) Hijo de Senor Tormenta vs Black Diamond
4) Huracan Ramirez Jr. vs Pancho Tequila
5) Tsunami, Humberto Garza vs La Bella, La Bestia
6) Axxel vs Huracan Ramirez

Mistico may be in on Sunday.

indy (SUN) 01/28 Gimnasio Nuevo Leon Lineup [RFC]
4) Ultimo Dragoncito, Mini Olimpico vs Mini Damian 666, Mini Halloween
5) Blue Panther, Rayman, Silver Star vs Satanico, Silver King, Angel Blanco Jr.

AULL (SUN) 01/21 Arena Lopez Mateos Results [Octavino Silva at El Halcon
1) Dr. Del Futuro, Veneno Maligno b Angel de Fuego, Black Sabath
2) Infierno, Torbellino, Yakuza b Jose el Caporal, Mohicano I, Mohincao Jr.
3) Rey Krimen, Sepulterero I, Sepulterero II b Tortuguillo Ninja I, Tortuguillo Ninja II, Tortuguillo Ninja III
4) Black Terry, Dr. Psiquiatra, Negro Navarro b Juan el Ranchero, Solar I, Ultimo Gladiador
5) Terry 2000 b Psicopata [AULL LIGHT]

indy (FRI) 01/26 Auditorio de Tijuana Lineup [Princesa Alexa at Satanico's Mansion]
1) Calabera vs Hadez
2) Voltio & Mr. Maldito vs Forastero & TG Power
3) Animaniac, Angel Negro Jr., Shamu vs Black Spider, Kimura, Hijo de Kendo
4) Super Astro, Ruby Gardenia, Ninja vs Pandillero I, Pandillero II, King Azteca
5) Blue Demon Jr., Rayman vs Espectro Jr., Inferno

The Box Y Lucha commission of Tijuana has announced nominees for it’s local year end awards. (El Sol de Tijuanan)
* Wrestler: Damian 666, Nicho, Rey Misterio, Rey Misterio Jr.
* Rudo: Depredador, Fobia, Pandillero I
* Tecnico: Extassis, Rey Misterio, Ruby Gardenia, Star Boy
* Midcard? Rudo: Animaniac, Felino Salvaje, Scream, Viernes 13
* Midcard? Tecnico: Black Spider, Ruby Gardenia, Thunder Mark
* Prospect: Bengali, Hijo de Rey Misterio, Riochet
* Rookie: Mister Maldito, Phantom, Voltio
* Referee: Roberto “Cabrito” Ortiz, Miguel “Pensamiento Negro” Alvarez, Ruben “Vampiro” Hurtado
* Match
— 02/17 Bino Gambino vs Depredador vs Extassis vs Fobia vs Infierno vs Mr. Tempest vs Thunderbird vs Venum Black
— 10/06 Extreme Tiger, Extassis, Star Boy vs Principe Arandu, Mortiz, TJ Boy
— 10/20 Rayman vs Angel Blanco [WWA MIDDLE]
* Midcard? Match
— 01/08 Extassis, Star Boy vs Shamu, Angel Negro Jr. vs Animaniac, Espia Chono
— 01/22 Felino Salvaje vs Morfosis Jr.
— ??/?? Apolo Oriental vs Halloween vs Hijo de Kendo vs Inferno vs Ninja vs Silver Star [copa TG Power]
* Tag Team: Principe Arandu & TJ Boy, Extassis & Star Boy, Pandillero I & II
* Trio: Principe Arandu, Mortiz, TJ Boy; Depredador, Fobia, Inferno; Scream, Tazmaniac, Viernes 13′

El Halcon #85 is up. Inside
- Q&A with Canek Jr. His favorite foreigner? Dennis Rodman. Well, he did wrestle.
- Second part of their interview with the Kaoma Family
- Interview with Zocar, middleweight champion of Morelos.
- Profile of El Africano, a rudo from the 60s and 70s in Morelos, who passed away last August.

Noticas de Oaxaca profiles Vuelo Espacial, who wrestled a lot around there and Mexico City, including a long tag run with Rayo Tapaito and CMLL wanted to sign, but he turned them down so he could go back Oaxaca and finish his medical degree, and I have trouble believing it for some reason. They mention Vuelo Espacial was winner of the 2001 Gran Alternativa – except that was Psicodelico Jr. I’m confused here.

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2006 Year in Review: May

the big story: This was a bad month for CMLL and storylines they wanted to get across. It’d take over the summer for everything to be felt, but it started here, so I’ll group it together.

Dr. Wagner vs LA Park: As noted in previous months, this one got started after LA Park beat Black Tiger for his mask, and Black Tiger was shockingly revealed to be Dr. Wagner’s brother. Dr. Wagner wanted revenge, and battled LA Park outside of Arena Mexico. The fans turning on LA Park in Arena Mexico worked to the benefit of the feud; after not getting along as tecnicos, Park turned rudo and they feuded some more. It even continued during the Mexico vs the World Gran Prix on 05/12, where Park caused Dr. Wagner’s elimination from the match (betraying his own country!)

On May 19th, La Park and Dr. Wagner participated in a mostly unnoteworthy main event. LA Park and Dr. Wagner were scheduled to come back in the main event next week in a circulated lineup…

…and then, out of nowhere, CMLL announced LA Park was suspended for 15 days. LA Park had used a chair to beatdown Dr. Wagner during the match, which is atypical for CMLL, but no one had made much of a deal of it at the time. The Arena Mexico card was reshuffled, and the referees for the match were also suspended for letting LA Park use the chair.

LA Park returned after his suspension for a trios match, lost to Dr. Wagner in a singles match the next week, and appeared only twice more till November. Park feuded with Wagner (and also worked tecnico in some locales), but never had the big title match, much less the mask match they were teasing (though probably never planning on delivering.) A feud that had been built for months never peaked, but fizzled out.

What happened here? After the fact gossip said LA Park was scheduled to lose the program to Wagner, probably losing a title match to finish it off. LA Park either wasn’t happy with this or wasn’t happy with how much he was receiving for this. Whatever the reason, he and CMLL had a hard falling out, leading to Park’s official suspension and unofficial banishment.

In 2005, it was Dr. Wagner Jr. vs Atlantis which was teased and never fulfilled. In 2006, it was Dr. Wagner Jr. vs LA Park. Wagner was a loser in all of this, missing on a big show main event he never really got back. CMLL was off one main event.

Rey Bucanero vs Ultimo Guerrero: The breakup of the Best Tag Team In Mexico, four years and running, should’ve been plenty enough to keep CMLL going in place of Wagner/Park. Instead, it was a failure. Of any of the stuff I’ve recounted so far, this is the hardest one for me to go back and look thru. I really wanted this to be awesome, and it’s not fun to relive the disappointment.

In storyline, the Bucanero turn had been foreshadowed back to last fall, when Atlantis joined the Guerreros and immediately usurped Rey as Ultimo Guerrero’s best friend. Rey held a grudge towards Atlantis, and eventually led to them fighting in matches. In real life, it appears Bucanero had been promised a bigger role and probably a turn to accomplish it, to stay with CMLL. Everything was building fine, thru Atlantis and Rey losing a match to Ultimo Dragon and Great Muta because of their infighting.

And then it all fell apart:

Motive: The logical progression, to me, would’ve been building to the moment where Ultimo is forced to choose between his two partners, and chooses Atlantis over Rey. I wouldn’t be saying “the logical progression” if that’s what actually happened. The focus of the turn got switched, from a feud with Atlantis, to a more general and more without a point “I just don’t like being a rudo and other rudos being rudos anymore” bit. Rey just woke up one morning, and decided to stop being a bad guy, we were told.

Orgin: Rey could’ve started his turn with Atlantis, the man he despised on for months. Rey could’ve started his turn with Ultimo Guerrero, angry at his long time partner. Rey could’ve started his turn with Tarzan Boy or Olimpico, allies who could’ve sided with him against Atlantis but choose not to get invovled. Rey could’ve even started his turn on various members of the Guerrero Pandilla b-squad, taking out Ultimo’s students in preparation of fighting the top man himself.

Instead, Rey’s turn started with Averno and Mephisto, two guys he didn’t have any particular association. They’re rudos, he was a rudo, he stopped being a rudo, they got mad – not because they really cared if Rey was a rudo or a teammate, but because he was willfully throwing the match.

Usually, the idea for a guy turning rudo to tecnico is that he’s been wronged, and he’s standing up to the people who cheated him. No one cheated Rey here, and he was wronging people by costing them matches. As various fans noted, and the Guerreros actually picked up on, Rey was not a man looking for revenge for some slight, he was a traitor to all of his fans, selling them out to the tecnicos.

Visbility: That turn on Averno & Mephsito? Happened on an Arena Coliseo show. It aired on Guerreros del Ring, I actually loved the interaction between Rey & Heavy Metal in that match, but it was match in Arena Coliseo (the b-arena) that aired on Guerreros del Ring (the b-show). That’s a great presentation for a midcard storyline. It’s perfect for Stuka Jr. vs Flecha, an opening card bit. It’s not good for Rey turning tecnico, a supposed major deal. Major deals air happen in the big arena on the big TV show.

They did follow up on the turn on the big Galavision show the next week, pretty much repeating the same match from Coliseo. This was good.

That Sunday, they broke up the Guerreros – one of the biggest and long running groups of the decade – on another Arena Coliseo show, in a match that never aired. CMLL would find time to air the Stuka/Flecha match, a mask match between opening match workers who were normally lucky to get on TV once a year. CMLL would fine time to air the complete India Sioux/Medusa feud, a rivalry between two women who neither highly pushed nor really in-ring ready for the exposure they were getting. CMLL could not find time, on it’s Galavision show, on it’s Canal52 show, on it’s website, or anywhere else, to show the breakup they were going to base a couple months of main event angles on.

When they buried the match, that was the sign that this going to be a disappointment. I don’t care if the match was bad or if the crowd didn’t buy into or what, you’ve absolutely got to air the match where the team breaks up if you want people to actually care about the team breaking up. They buried it.

followup: Recall February, when Black Warrior turned on Mistico and was instantly moved to the rudo side. Somehow, the power CMLL had to change all those lineups disappeared when Rey turned tecnico. For one week, this was semi believable, and it got a chance to get over the turn to those who hadn’t seen it (which would be everyone). But one week turned into two, two weeks turned into three, and things were slow to change. Rey Bucanero appeared to spend a month, in arenas small and large, being turned on and beat up by his teammates time and time again, occasionally screwing his own team and helping the tecnicos win.

At this point, the new tecnico star was a traitor who turned in unimportant matches and then got destroyed for a month. At least he was still Rey Bucanero!

attitude: Or not. Rey had been doing the ladies man bit as a rudo, but he turned it up a few dozen notches. He was aiming to appeal to women fans, which appeared to work, but any male fan who was him at that time was a little put off. This may have worked fine in AAA, with a different mix of fans, but it seemed to backfire with the CMLL audience.

Look, a great wrestler can overcome all kinds of handicaps – you can put them in all sorts of stupid positions or give them unfair situations, and they’ll eventually shine thru, because that’s what makes them great. Rey could’ve overcome this to be a bigger star, Rey and Ultimo could’ve seized upon the CMLL Light Heavyweight Title match they had (which Rey won, ending Ultimo’s long reign) and if they were better, could’ve turned into one which would’ve made Bucanero by itself. It certainly was still possible at that point.

And while I’m at it, let’s also be clear and acknowledge that, even at his best, no one believed Rey Bucanero would be a promotion carrying babyface. He’s a good worker, who can have great matches with good and great people, and he’s got charisma, but not enough to make him. His upside is probably a second tier guy, not one who can carry everything all year, but who can step up at times to that level. He’s not going to be Mistico, but no one can be – that’s why he’s Mistico.

Still, the bottom line is they took a great storyline people easily would’ve bought into, and ran it into the ground before it even had the chance to succeed or fail on it’s own. When I’m feeling extra conspiratorial, I wonder if this may have been a case of being careful what you wish for – Bucanero wanted his turn, so they gave him his turn, but didn’t promise to make it good. I think it’s more likely this was simply ill thought out and badly presented. Whatever it was, it was a clear miss. Rey was less over than he started, and they had to restart pushing him in the fall, and it still hasn’t seemed to paid off for CMLL at all.

Great Muta cameo: He came in for a weekend of Dragon shows, he acted like a horror movie villain, and then he left. Those who knew Muta’s history were awed by seeing him live and in Mexico and those who were expecting 1991 Great Muta and got 2006 Great Muta were disappointed and wondering what the hype was all about. By the way, this is how I feel every time a Canek or a Mil Mascaras or a Hulk Hogan comes to a Chicago show.

AAA notes: Cibernetico was officially suspended around the 12th, and talked about the injustice to Galavision ten days later and we got confirmation at the end of the month that it was cover for a knee injury.

Also, Zorro won the Mexican Heavyweight Championship in a bloody cage match from Charly Manson, and La Parka Jr. and Muerte Cibernetico continued towards their mask match.

New Santo Statue: The statue was put up in Tepito district of Mexico City, with a lot of older wrestlers showing up for the dedication. (The best picture is linked to in this post)

Others: Once the Wagner/Park feud fell thru, CMLL started ratcheting back up the Warrior/Mistico feud, with Black Warrior getting an actual big win over Mistico by taking the NWA Middleweight title. Speaking of NWA Titles, Dragon revived the NWA Welterweight Championship, with prospect Hajime Ohara beating La Mascara in a decision match. Ohara would wrestle in in CMLL while holding the belt, but it was functionally a Toryumon Mexico championship…Sangre Azteca participated in NJPW’s Super J tournament, and lost a lot…El Dandy asked for a chance to return to Arena Mexico, and was seemingly ignored…“Are you dying in anticipation of how they spell Jindrak?” How little did I know…

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01/22: Guadalajara, Laguna, VIP, IWRG, Tijuana, Magazines

Mistico fights beats AULL’s Sepulturero in a mask/mask this Saturday at Arena Lopez Mateos. (Super Luchas)

CMLL (TUE) 01/16 Arena Coliseo de Guadalajara Results [CMLL via KrisZ]
1) Virgo b Milenio
2) Frayle de la Muerte, Imposter b Estrella de Jalisco, Neon
3) Anthrax, Carlo Roggi, Evola b Danger (Guadalajara), Depredador, Guero Loco
4) Gallo, Maximo b Arkangel, Toxico
5) Black Warrior, Eclipse, Ultimo Guerrero DQ Hijo de Lizmark, La Mascara, Rey Bucanero
Rey got caught holding Ultimo’s mask for the DQ, and to set up the title shot Sunday.

indy (THU) 01/18 Arena Olimpico Laguna de Gomez Palacio Results [Chui]
1) Jerry Brown, King Azteca b ?, Insolito
2) Angel de Oro, Espacial, Scriba Jr. b El Scriba, Guerrero Inca, Moro Jr.
3) Brillante Jr., Piloto Suicida b El Scriba, Piloto Negro
4) Sobearno Jr., Stuka Jr., Trueno b Espanto V, Misterioso II, Mr. Guerrero

This Thursday’s show has Piloto Suicida vs Piloto Negro in a hair match. The president of Arena Olimpico Laguna says he’s hoping to bring in Místico, Hijo del Santo, Blue Demon Jr., Ultramán Jr, Hijo de Huracán Ramírez, Aníbal and Fishman Jr for shows this year. Do you really have to get Fishman Jr.? (El Siglo de Torreon)

CMLL VIP (SAT) 01/20 Salon 21, DF Results [CIO]
1) Skayde, Turbo b Cerebro Negro, Dr. Cerebro
2) Dark Angel, Sahori b Amapola, Princesa Sujei
3) Nitro, Tarzan Boy, Terrible b Brazo de Oro, Brazo de Platino, Super Brazo
4) Super Muneco DRAW Coco Rojo
5) Dos Caras Jr., Lizmark Jr. b Kenzo Suzuki, Ultimo Guerrero

Lots of replacements on this show; Hiroka and Marcela were booked her originally, Lady Apache is still MIA, Tarzan Boy has reappeared (though he’s not booked in DF next week) but he’s only here because all the Villanos weren’t, and still no Corelone (explained later.) Besides the 8 changes, everything was fine.

ONAC (SUN) 01/12 Auditioro de Tijuana Results [thegladiatores.com]
1) Kimura & TG Power b El Duende & Calavera
2) Voltio & Mr. Maldito b Ricochet, Super Rhino
3) Shamu Jr. b Scream [AMERICAS]
4) TJ Boy, Principe Arandu, Mortiz b Super Astro, Rayman, Bobby Lee Jr.
5) Mistico & LA Park b Olimpico & Atlantis

IWRG (THU) 01/11 Arena Naucalpan Results [the gladiatores]
1) Shuriken b Golem
2) Kid Tiger, Puma King b Trauma II, Truama I
3) Bacteria, Fabián el Gitano, Freelance b Camorra, Macho II, Supremo Jr.
4) Cerebro Negro, Dr. Cerebro, Suicida b El Hijo del Diablo, Fantasma de la Ópera, Veneno
5) Dr. Wagner Jr., Negro Navarro, Volador Jr. b Alex Koslov, Black Warrior, Pierroth Jr.

There’s a lot of show reports up over on thegladiatores besides these.

IWRG (THU) 01/18 Arena Naucalpan Results
1) Shuriken b Comando Gama
2) Trauma I, Trauma II b Bacteria, Valiente
3) Avisman, Black Terry, Estallido b Fabián el Gitano, Freelance, Kid Tiger
They’re building up an Avisman (newly rudo?)/Freelance feud
4) Cerebro Negro, Fabian el Gitano, Sagrado DQ El Hijo del Diablo, Fantasma de la Ópera, Veneno
Veneno fouled Sagrado to save himself from beating pinned. Sagrado wants Veneno’s hair, but they’ll just do a super libre match at some point instead.
5) Felino, Negro Casas, Negro Navarro b Alex Koslov, Olímpico, Pierroth Jr.
Rematch of the preivous week, said to be good.

CMLL.com’s preview of this week’s Arena Mexico show mentions that Marco Corelone missed last week’s show due to airplane issues. Esto‘s report on the Arena Mexico couldn’t find an explanation of Dos Caras’s absence. And also LA Park still hates Arena Mexico fans.

Milenio has an interview with Super Porky – am I correct when I read that he says he’s got three sons wrestling? Porky explains he can’t lose weight, because than he’d look ugly.

Magazines:
- Box Y Lucha 2802 has La Parka Jr.’s suspension.
- Super Luchas #196 has an interview with the Hell Brothers
- Guerreros del Ring # has Alex Koslov
- Luchas 2000 352 has Mr. Niebla crotch chopping, which makes me laugh and laugh. This was posted on the Box Y Lucha forum Saturday afternoon, which kinda spoiled his debut (though I doubt many people at the taping knew about it.)

If you’ve missed the comment (or the thread over on DVDVR), LA Park & Santo versus Shocker & Blue Demon Jr. on 03/11. Sunday’s show getting a sell out proves I know nothing.

El Halcon is celebrating it’s 2nd anniversary.

So Saturday, when CMLL updated it’s news, and half of the update was “Dark Angel was really hot last night”, I just assumed they were also stretching to find something to talk about off of Friday’s show. And then I saw the pictures in Super Luchas and decided “Dark Angel was really hot last night” should’ve been the lead story. She had new gear, which appears to be a skin tight speed skating outfit, and it’s completely unfair. It’s a bitter disappointment that CMLL.com hasn’t gotten pictures from that show up yet so I could share them here. (You can see it in the Super Luchas preview.)

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01/20 AAA Results

AAA TV (SAT) 01/20 Parque de Beisbol, Guan Results [triplea.com, Box Y Lucha]
1) Dizzy, Mini Dizzy b Kaoma Jr., Mascarita de la Muerte
2) Miss Janeth, Rossy Moreno, Tiffany b Cinthia Moreno, Estrellita, Fabi Apache
3) Chris Stone, Hator b Alliens, Gran Apache [AAA TAG, torneo]
4) Pegasso, Super Fly b Espiritu, Scoria [AAA TAG, torneo]
5) Crazy Boy, Joe Lider, Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis II b Barba Roja, Drake, Pirata Morgan, Pirata Morgan Jr.
6) Alberije, el Ángel, El Elegido, Laredo Kid b Abismo Negro, Antifaz del Norte, Histeria, Mr. Niebla
7) Gronda II, Intocable, Super Porky DQ Alan Stone, Scorpio Jr., Zumbido

This was the Octagon tribute show, for 25 years in wrestling, but he was replaced in the main event by Intocable (and Alan fouled him for the loss.) Why didn’t Octagon wrestle? Before the main event, Octagon was honored and given a plaque by Intocable. Octagon made a speech, and dedicated this anniversary to Antonio Pena. Tirantes arrived, and said there was one more who wanted to honor Octagon – Fuerza Guerrera, who honored him by breaking the plaque over his head.

I dunno about you, but I refuse to take this seriously until they actually announce the mask, instead of this “Fuerza reappears every five months, punks out Octagon, and vanishes” bit. It’s not like the match is going to be any good, but they need to do it already.

Mr. Niebla did indeed debut as the newest Viper (as spoiled a day early in Luchas 2000) and under that name, but was overshadowing by continuing Hijo de Tirantes/Abismo Negro issues. The Hell Brothers made a cameo in the Sect tag team match, busting up Espiritu (so he’ll be MIA for the 3v3 main event next taping.) No sign of a Mexican Powers breakup this week; Juvi got fouled in that match, but still manged to win.

UPDATED STANDINGS
P M
9 3 Super Fly & Rey Cometa/Pegasso
6 2 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 Alan & Decnis *
3 2 Chris Stone & Hator
3 3 Espiritu & Scoria
3 3 Alliens, Gran Apache
0 0 Yet To Be Announced Mystery Team On Next Taping *
0 1 Antifaz & Histeria
0 1 El Elegido & Intocable
0 2 May Flowers, Pimpinela Escarlata *
0 2 Juventud Guerrera & Psicosis II

Tournament chart. I’m going to presume unaired matches counted until told different. Is the Caida show still doing updates on this? It’d be nice to compare notes.

Next taping is Thursday. To echo the comments, I’ve also heard 02/04 is the taping after that.

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2006 Year In Review: April

the big story: On a non-wrestling TV show appearance, Ciberentico gets into a brawl with ex-boxer turned politician Jorge Kawaghi. All involved act as if the fight is a unscripted incident, which garners a lot of press in Mexico.

On one hand, I totally missed the boat when it happened and didn’t think it was a big deal at the time. On the other hand, I was sure it was a work to begin with – as were many wrestling fans when they saw the video – and eventually the mainstream press caught on. Cibernetico, Antonio Pena and AAA were steadfast in maintaining that this was all real, and keeping up other angles related to Cibernetico, like his feud with Pena. Kawaghi kept up his end by threatening to sue Cibernetico.

Obviously, the idea was to do a Kawaghi/Cibernetico match at some point – it might’ve finally confirmed to all that the fight was never real to begin with, but by then there would’ve been plenty of interest in the story no matter how it was conceived. It was always supposed to put off for a few months, figuring that if it went to the ring right away, it’d look too fake.

As of 01/2007, the match hasn’t happened, and hasn’t even been hinted at in a great long time. Circumstances have conspired against it. Cibernetico suffered a knee injury in the following couple of months, which they managed to weave into the story (Kawaghi’s political clout forced Pena to suspend Cibernetico for the six months he’d need to recover), and Antonio Pena’s illness and death surely affected keeping Kawaghi involved. The shelf life of the angle hasn’t completely expired, but with Ciberneitco’s new tecnico role, it doesn’t seem to work unless Kawaghi is willing to act as the rudo. Looking back, Muerte turning on Cibernetico was the sign that they’d given up on this direction.

Even if the angle never comes off, there was some nice ancillary affects from it. I don’t live in Mexico and I don’t watch a lot of other spanish language TV, so I’m picking this up second and third hand and may be over or under playing it, but it sure seemed like Cibernetico got a lot more mainstream attention int he second half of the year, even much past the initial Kawaghi fight. While out with his knee injury, he was a guest on daytime talk shows, and often they’d do a ‘real unscripted fight’ as with the original Kawaghi bit. Sometimes Cibernetico would be involved, and latter in the year his girlfriend Esterllita would get into fight with Tiffany on these shows. Individually, these were far lesser deals, but it got Cibernetico in front of a lot of female viewers while he was reshaping his gimmick. When he returned to the ring at the end of the year, Cibernetico suddenly had a ton of screaming female fans (and male fans too). A lot of it was being the returning rudo who’s now a tecnico and going to save us all, but the talk show appearances and his new popularity couldn’t have been a coincidence.

I don’t know that Pena figured the mainstream pub of the Kawaghi fight would turn out this way, but establishing Cibernetico as a big tecnico star probably will gross AAA more in the long term than just the one match with Kawaghi would’ve.

Gran Apache beat Billy Boy for his hair: Gran Apache had opposed his daughter Fabi’s relationship with Billy Boy, and was angry when he found out Fabi was pregnant – till he realized/decided it wasn’t Billy’s son. This didn’t sit well with Billy Boy, and he feuded with his father-in-(common?)law leading up to a hair match on 04/30. Due to sparse coverage of AAA, both on their own website and elsewhere, it wasn’t really easy to get a good feel for how over this feud was before this match unless you were watching the TV show (which was still months behind in the US.)

The hair match between Billy Boy and Gran Apache has since been acclaimed as one of the best matches of the year. Bloodied and battered, Billy Boy can not overcome old man Gran Apache, and the match ends with the emotional scene of Fabi bringing her newborn son into the ring to watch as his red faced father gets his hair shaved off. This was AAA doing what it does at it’s best; going in, the thought was Billy Boy needed a win to establish himself as a singles star, but everything coming together as it did a better job of making him as an individual (and he can always get the win later.)

AAA would downplay the feud during the summer (starting a triangle with Gran Apache claiming Brandon was the real father but never really going anywhere with it), but ramp it back up during the fall. Gran Apache would kidnap his grandson, starting another round of matches.

The Mexican Powers debut: On the same show, Juventued Guerrera returned to AAA, starting a new group that was obviously intended to be a mimic of his previous WWE stable. They originally called it the MexiPowers (to be like the MexiCools), but split into two names. Replacing Psicosis was the AAA Psicosis (who left the just reformed Vipers to join this group), and replacing Super Crazy was his cousin, Crazy Boy – who was a CMLL undercarder up until that moment, and had just missed an Arena Mexico show days before, due to injury. Juvi didn’t just borrow from his own WWE group; he also took Rey Misterio’s area code gimmick and got his whole team jerseys with their own area codes.

The Mexican Powers, particularly the non-Juvi members, were way into hardcore/extreme/garbage wrestling styles; that’s how Crazy Boy had made his name, such as it was, on independent shows and AAA gave them free reign. Crazy Boy’s frequent indy partner/rival Joe Lider was later brought into the group to do more of the same style. Some of the younger AAA wrestlers went along with it, some of the older ones didn’t seem too impressed.

The Mexican Powers actually had more legs than the group they were mimicking, and got over well as an undercard tecnico group. Their matches provoked definite opinions – you either liked that style or you hated them (like me), and the wrestlers weren’t that great at doing their stunts; over the course of the year, there were a lot of botches AAA never bothered to edit out.

Other AAA Notes Lots of continuing angles…
- Muerte Cibernetica, Cibernetico’s hired mercenary, started his feud with La Parka Jr.
- Zorro defended the Mexican Heavyweight Champion quite a bit as part of a three way feud with brothers Electro Shock and Zorro. As the feud progressed, Electro was slowly becoming rudo-ish, like his brother.
- Cassandro and Pimpinela Escarlata continued their feud, which never got around to a payoff
- Vampiro, Konnan, Cibernetico and Shocker had a four way chain match, which sounds like it should been a big deal, but wasn’t.
- Laredo Kid, Némesis AAA, Super Fly and Rey Cometa, dubbed the New Air Force, made their way up the cards and a feud with the Sect.

Besides the AAA stuff, there were three different important CMLL shows on the month.

Dark Angel beats Amapola for her mask on 04/14: When CMLL restarted the women’s division, Amapola and Dark Angel were initially the rudas, but they stole the match, Dark Angel got over as a tecnica, and everything got redone for that and seemingly a dozen other reasons. The two spent the first part of the year feuding, with Dark Angel yanking Amapola’s mask multiple times, but I don’t it occurred to me how big a deal CMLL was going to make it until it was announced as a semi-main of an Arena Mexico show.

It was proclaimed to be the highest women’s match and first mask match in Arena Mexico history. There was a discussion of women’s lucha libre history in that week’s Box Y Lucha; I was unaware until then that women had been banned for wrestling from around ’58 to ’88 due to local morals legislation (that same that kept lucha off TV.) Dark Angel seemed primed for the top spot in the division, so there as no doubt Amapola was losing her mask in the preview, and she did, but got herself in trouble for storming off after taking her mask, not allowing any of the magazine photographers to get a good shot off her. (I think they’re going to have to position themselves on the ramp to get people as they walk to the back, one of these days.) Amapola apologized for her actions in the press in the days after, but seemed to drop in rank on the ruda side as punishment.

Surprisingly, this win actually didn’t springboard Dark Angel. The match was fine, but outside of winning the CMLL bodybuilding title on her own, she wasn’t given major matches or feuds the rest of the year. She’s still seems to be the fan’s choice, but maybe not the promotions pick for the center.

Mistico & Negro Casas end Averno & Mephisto’s reign, win the tag team titles: Negro finally found the right partner. Title change went down the same day as the mask match. Averno & Mephisto had a great reign as tag champions, especially on the sliding scale for championships in Mexico, defending the titles often, in high visibility, and against top competition. The titles were raised to their highest level since Ultimo & Bucanero were trading them with Negro & Santo. Despite not having the titles, Averno & Mephisto are still casually referred to as the best team in the country and it’s assumed they’ll get the belts back at some point.

As of this writing, Mistico & Negro Casas have been near non-entities as champions. Outside of one defense versus the former champions (to promote Mistico in a music video), CMLL hasn’t done much with the duo as a team and Mistico’s individual issues would’ve made it tough for them to do a lot with this title even if they wanted to. Negro, as a guy who’d been chasing the titles, and Mistico, a frequent opponent of Averno & Mephisto, made sense as a team to finally stop the ex-champs, but didn’t make sense as a team that’d keep the belts valuable.

Guerreros defeat Perros on 04/28: This was the traditional end of April big card by CMLL. The top two matches were another outgrowth of the feud between the two rudo stables.

In the semimain, Ultimo Guerrero defeated Hector Garza to retain the CMLL Light Heavyweight championship.
In the main event, Tarzan Boy & Rey Bucanero beat Mr. Aguila & Damian 666 for their hair.

Neither match ended up meaning all that much by the end of the year; Ultimo and Hector’s match wasn’t as good as it might have sounded, and the double hair match was one you had to strain to remember a few months later. It really had no impact.

What we didn’t know at the time was how this card was probably a compromised rethought out lineup. Apparently, the original plan – maybe for this show, maybe for a show later in the summer – was to culminate the Perros/Guerreros feud with a cage of death match, everyone on both sides involved, and Rey Bucanero taking the loss and losing his hair. Bucanero, having started the Guerreros with Ultimo as his equal partner and since been passed in importance by every new member, balked at taking the loss, and considered a jump to AAA. CMLL changed it’s booking to keep Rey around, turning him tecnico later in the year – which flopped bad. He probably would’ve been better going.

Tecnicos lose on Kids Day!: CMLL ran a special Arena Mexico show on a Sunday, drawing lots of younger fans (at reduced prices) for a Kids Day show. Since the beginning of time, or at least since CMLL started running these years ago, the good guys would win on shows for kids, sending all the children home happy.

In 2006, La Park was a grinch. As noted in previous months recaps, LA Park had some issues with fellow tecnico Dr. Wagner and was upset with the crowd going against him. Despite Wagner not being involved in the main event (it was the Perros versus Negro Casas, Heavy Metal, LA Park and Mistico), LA Park got booed once again. Park became angry and bitter, taking it out on Mistico. He attacked his teammates, and then laid down to allow the Perros to beat him. Park teased joining the Perros at the time, but ended up being an independent rudo (and sometimes a tecnico in other parts of the country.)

historical note: at one point, it was hinted Black Warrior vs Mistico for the masks would happen on 04/30, to give Mistico the big win in front of all the kids, but they wisely waited for a day where they could for full price (and even more than that) tickets.

Stuka Jr. beats Flecha for his mask: This was an opening match feud that slipped under my radar till they were at the mask challenges. Stuka won on a pretty fun Guerreros del Ring show, and then Flecha disappeared off everyone’s radar, wrestling only rarely and not in the main arenas. In hindsight, this was Flecha putting over a youngster one last time on the way out, typical of his career.

Other: US indy wrestler Sabu did a weekend in Mexico, including a bloody brawl in a Luchas 2000 promoted card at Arena Coliseo. Sabu tore a nail off in one of his matches, which actually sidelined him for a bit

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