News for you

CMLL.com reports that Shocker beat Dr. Wagner Jr. yesterday in the Copa Jr. finals. Babelfish would indicate that it was a great match with the crowd being split (or, as Babelfish put it “the public divided in two sides, those that went to him to Shocker and those that they supported Dr Wagner, thus being clear that both they are the great masters of the popularity”).

No word on match quality or attendence, although the 1/28 show drew 14,500 and the tournament as a whole has been a big success, so it could turn into a large annual event (although it would seem you would use largely the same guys over and over).

In fact, business has been so good, this was the second best January in the history of arena Mexico, lagging only behind 1999 as the best.

Not sure if this was covered, but CMLL dropped Zumbido a month ago due to drug issues. He may start with AAA soon.

Lastly, Puroresu Power’s 39th edition of the Puroresu Power Hour has an interview with Ultimo Guerrero, Rey Buccanero, Virus, and Felino, conducted with the help of a translator. The segment starts about 1:12 into the show. Nothing earth shattering, but certainly something different. Can’t seem to link right now, but I’m sure you can figure it out.

Untitled

Just a quick fill-in by me while Cubs is away. I actually got to watch the 12/11 show–it was OK. Cubs already reviewed it and I don’t have anything else to add.

From KrisZ:

“EMLL is doing a special show at Arena Coliseo tomorrow where they will re-enact the birth of Jesus with wrestlers playing the roles from the bible. Alan Stone will play Joseph and EMLL valet Xiomara will play Mary, Brazo de Plata Jr. will be playing the Archangel Michael and Sagrado will be the Archangel Gabriel. The 3 Wise Men will be Brazo de Plata/Hijo del Gladiador/Tony Rivera. Other wrestlers taking part in this will be Angels (Loco Max/Ringo Mendoza/Veneno/Volador Jr.) vs. Demons (Averno/Damian el Terrible/Mephisto/Pierroth/Satanico.)”

You have to admit that’s some pretty good casting of the Demons.

“Rayo de Jalisco Jr. had to have emergency surgery done on his right knee after his match with Canek on Sunday at Arena Coliseo and he is recovering in a hospital in Mexico City. Rayo is expected to be out at least a month.”

Here are the 12/14 Arena Coliseo Results, although KrisZ did not have specifics.

1. Los Rayos Tapatios I y II beat Polvora & Redentor
2. Hijo del Texano/Mr. Power/Starman defeated Jeque/Koreano/Ramstein
3. La Mascara/Misterioso II/Tigre Blanco beat Arkangel de la Muerte/Mazada/Veneno by DQ.
4. Hijo del Pierroth/Mephisto/Pierroth Jr. defeated Felino/Sagrado/Virus
5. Revancha Match: Canek/Emilio Charles Jr./Tarzan Boy beat Dr. Wagner Jr./Dos Caras Jr./Mr. Niebla with a foule behind Wagner’s back.

The big year end show is tomorrow, and I’ll try and get results up ASAP.

Blast from the Past

Christmas comes early as I got to watch Lucha today, and damned if I didn’t pick a good week to return.

WHAT WORKED

Hot dancing girls! Atlantis says something! Alfonso Morales talks while there’s a match going on in the back! Tarzan Boys shows up and irritates him! Sniff, it’s good to be back.

Hey, minis! Mascarita Sagrada &Tzuki & Shockercito vs. Fire & Pierrotito & Espectrito, to be precise. Espectrito looks like Super Porky’s satanic mini. Primera caida is Sagrada-centric, as he works fun sequences with Espectrito and Pierrotito. He flattens Espectrito with a slip dive on the floor while Tzuki and Shockercito take out the other rudos with bodypresses for the first fall. Hell, this works just for tiny Tzuki actually making it to the top rope. Segunda caida sees Sagrada work another fun sequence, especially the “where did Sagrada go?” bit. Rudos take over as fire takes out Shockercito with a submission and Espectrito doing the same to Sagrada. Pierrotito gives Tzuki a gorilla press into a hotshot on the top rope, and the little guy takes a hideous bump. Tercera caida sees Shockercito say “You think that’s a bump? I’ll show you a bump” as he takes a flapjack right on his face/neck. Rudos go on to terrorize Tzuki with a cool suplex/dropkick combo. Sagarada gets the comeback started by ducking a Fire and Pierrotito clothesline (actually, he so much tinier than the rudos he barely had to duck at all). Fire halts the momentum and gets Tzuki with a Cerebrolock, only to walk into a Reinera from Shockercito. Lil’ Shocker shows he’s watching his Rey Jr. tape, as he hits a 619/West Coast pop combo on Pierrotito, then flattens him with a tope. Sagarada seals with the deal with a rollup thingee on Espectrito. Good action all around.

Not making us watch the Pierroth match works every time.

Who are all these guys? Oh, this must be “Guerrero U.” We’re helpfully informed that it’s Arkangel, Nitro, Sangre Azteca (woo hoo!), Coreano, Dr. X, and Loco Max (apparently doing a Gimp gimmick this week). Wow, Bucky really went all Big Poppa Pump with his haircut.

OK, main event sees Santo & Negro Casas & Atlantis & Mistico vs. Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Buccanero & Tarzan Boy & Averno. This is my first time seeing Mistico, so we’ll see what he’s got. Ultimo and Mistico start us off, as we get the “disrespect the rookie” bit, until Mistico knocks UG outside and hits a ka-razy pescado into a ‘rana. Neat. Hey, how about Santo and Buccanero and Ultimo? Don’t mind if I do. Santo hits a HUGE dive to the floor on Ulitmo while Mistico hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors into a Fujiwara Armbar on Tarzan and an Atlantida takes care of Averno for the first fall. Segunda caida opens with a quick sequence between Casas & Averno, then switches to Bucky bullying Mistico some more, until Bucky gets knocked outside with a springboard ‘rana. Tarzan blocks a Mistico dive, but gets taken down with a “run up the ringpost” armdrag. God, Tarzan’s facial expressions are so great. No matter as the rudos take over at that point and win with an Ultimo Guerrero submission to crazy to try and describe. Tercera caida sees the tecnicos makes a comeback in a goofy manner as Buccanero takes out Averno with his “vaulting splash while the other guy’s on the ropes.” Things settle down for about a minute until chaos breaks out again. Santo hits his tope onto Averno, while Mistico tries an Orihara Moonsault and nearly kills himself crashing into the apron. In the ring, Atlantis gets Tarzan with a guillotine choke, but Bucky blocks the Casits and puts his feet on the ropes to pin Casas and win the match for the rudos. Great match. Mistico looked fine, although I’m not sure why they’re elevating him over the 4,000 other guys they’ve got floating around the undercard.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK

The refer-eye camera thing. Yeah, let’s show grainy 8mm footage from the ref’s point of the view that’s no better than the usual camera angles.

Not too much to Stellar Moments this week. Hey, I’ve got to pad out this side of the ledger. Good to see old SM regulars Ramstein and Sangre Azteca again.

Vampiro walks away from Pierroth mid-match, allowing him to get beat on by Black Tiger, Apollo Dantes, and Universo Dos Mil. Pierroth’s kids run in for the save. Hey, it’s La Nazi! This gives me flashbacks to 2002. Where’s Bulldog? Veneno? Gran Markus?

Shoot

Couple tidbits from the Observer:

–CMLL is going to copy the Taboo Tuesday concept with fans voting on matches maybe one out of every four show. They’ve done stuff like this before, but never to this degree.

–Dos Caras Jr. quit AAA. While he wasn’t a big star, it comes at a bad time, since Perro Aguayu Jr. and Hector Garza having left the company a while back as well. Dave doesn’t mention it but you’d have to imagine he’d be showing up for CMLL soon.

Get this: Caras has done a fair share of shoot fights in Japan, mostly for the DEEP promotion (although he did appear at the first Pride Bushido show to get murdered in 46 seconds by Mirko Crocop). Antonio Pena made a play to get Shocker, and his big idea for an angle would be Shocker would have a shoot fight with Caras (which would be worked) and win. Caras refused, saying it would make him look bad in Japan (it’s dubious anyone would care, and he hasn’t been booked over there in ages). Shocker ended up not coming in anyway.

What a dumb sounding angle. Shoot fighting has already seeped into wrestlig in Japan, do we really need it infesting Mexico as well?

Evil Doctors

Some news from last week’s Observer:

Good crowds continue as the 9/24 Arena Mexico show (headlined by Negro Casas vs. Perro Aguayo Jr) drew 8,500, while the 10/1 show (with Atlantis & Santo & Mistico & Casas vs. Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero & Tarzan Boy & Averno on top) drew 9,000.

Some more notes on the original Dr. Wagner:

The name Dr. Wagner came about in 1962, when North Mexico promoter Elias Simon wanted Manuel Gonzalez to take the name El Hijo del Medico Asesino (the original MA had died two years prior). But Gonzalez didn’t want to be the fake son of a wrestler.

Later, Gonzalez was either listening to music by composer Richard Wagner, or reading a book about him, and came up with the name Dr. Wagner. Interestingly, there was already a Dr. Wagner in Mexico who used the name back in 1941 and didn’t last long.

Talking about the original Medico Asesino, Meltzer notes there were tons of copies over the years, and “the idea of an evil doctor who laughed about screwing up paitents went back years in Lucha Libre tradition.” Someone should write a research paper about that.

Dave also had an obit on Enrique Yanez, who went by Enrique LLanes (so it would be easier for the fans to remember). He and Tarzan Lopez were a top tag team known as La Pareja Ideal (the Ideal Pair). Some interesting tidbits.

–He was working as a locksmith when he started watching the early days of lucha. He idolized Lopez, and when they met, Lopez agreed to train him as a wrestler while LLanes returned the favoe and trained Lopez to be a locksmith.

–Llanes was best friends with Gori Guerrero, and in fact Guerrero married Llanes’ sister Herlinda, who was on Smackdown a few months back having a heart attack thanks to JBL. The Guerrero-Llanes family may very well be the most successful in history, as besides all the Guerreros, Enrique’s brother Mario and Sergio, along with son Javier, all went on to become decent sized stars in the business.

–He had a tournament match with Lopez that was so good, fans pelted the ring with money afterwards. The tournament was to get a #1 contender for Sugi Sito’s NWA World Middleweight title, at the time the most important belt in Mexico. Llanes won the tournament and later the title.

–Best story ever. He had a mask vs. hair match with the original Santo on July 3, 1949 in Arena Mexico. Santo won, of course, but the match was so emotional fans stormed the ring and carried LLanes backstage to avoid the haircut. Booker Francisco Flores told him to go back out and get his hair cut, but the fans blocked the aisle. When he got home, his mother started crying because she saw he had his hair and thought he unmasked Santo. When he told her what happened, she told him he had to live up to the stipulations and made him shave his head right there. As Dave asks, “where are mothers like that in wrestling today?”

Bellhops

I’m alive yaaaaay

Hijo Del Santo & Negro Casas & Felino vs. Silver King & Villano III & Villano V

This would be from late ’98 early ’99, and is a rematch from the trios tournamemnt covered in TTT Recap #4. I think Casas and III are the respective captains, but don’t quote me on that.

The Villanos come out dressed like bellhops for some reason. Silver King comes out to “Wanted Dead Or Alive,” which is doubly cool since his brother also uses a Bon Jovi tune for entrance music. Felino has a bitchin’ robe with his picture on the back. Casas grabs a child from the crowd (hopefully his son) and holds him up. Santo does nothing of note making his entrance other than getting jumped as soon as he gets in the ring.

Primera Caida: Rudo beatdown to start, and not a terribly exciting one. A hearty helping of kicks, punches, and chokes carry us through the first few minutes. Then Santo grabs Casas as he’s thrown into the ropes (a common transition involving those two), baffling the rudos and allowing the Tecnico comeback. Felino chases King all the way up the rampway as his partner take care of Los Villanos. These settle down into a regular match momentarily, until King and III try a double kick to Felino’s gut, only to have him grab both the rudo’s legs, allowing Santo to come off the top with a double cross body. Felino pins King with a fugly second rope ‘rana, while Santo takes out III with la Caballo. (4:10) Casas rams V into the post afterwards for good measure.

Segunda Caida: We join the rudo beatdown in progress as Casas gets tossed into the seats and V looks to have Santo’s mask almost completely ripped off. Not much to speak of here. A Villano (let’s say V) gets Santo with a Gory Special while King takes out Felino with the Whirly Bird Slam (2:30).

Tercera Caida: Things settle down Casas is getting beat on by Villano III, until he sticks a boot right in his face and things break down again. Santo and Felino storm the ring as Casas tries to remove III’s mask. Felino and Santo team up and reduce V’s mask to ribbons. We get a brief King/Felino segment that ends with King missing his double jump moonsault. Felino goes up top for a somersault senton on King, and misses. Villano V goes up top for a somersault senton on Felino, and misses. Santo goes up top for a splash on V, and misses. Villano IV goes up top, and well, crotches himself, so that’s the end of that. V and King try to whip Santo and Felino into each other, and it works! Then V holds Felino as King tries a dropkick, and that, well, doesn’t work out as well for the rudos, as V sails out of the ring to the floor. Felino shows the rudos how to double team, as he holds down King so Santo can hit his somersault senton from the top and follow it up with a dive to V on the floor. Felino hits a victory roll from the apron to the ring on King, but only gets two. He tries to follow up on Silver King, but the end result is both men tumbling to the floor. Now we’re left with Casas and IV. Casas makes a quick try for the Casita but IV escapes and counters with a powerbomb for two. Spinebuster gets two, as Casas tries to get support from the crowd. IV tries a powerbomb, but Casas escapes, hits a drop toehold, and this time scores the Casita for the win (4:33). Santo blocks V before he can break things up.

Santo lifts Casas on his shoulders to celebrate the big win. We get replays of Santo’s dive and the finish. We come back as V is taping up his mask (while he’s still wearing it). Santo was apparently unmasked by the rudos as Felino helps him put it back on. Taunts are exchanged, challenges made, the usual post-match lucha shenanigans.

Good match. Most of the good wrestling was reserved for the final caida, but the brawling was heated and the crowd was way into it. Casas’ repeated attempts at the Casita were a nice storyline touch. Not a classic but a rock solid match with everything you like about lucha.

Up next: rudos contra rudos.

Figures

CMLL drew 13,000 on 8/13 for the first singles match between Hijo del Santo and Perro Aguayo Jr., and then on 8/20 they drew 11,000 for the Gran Alternativa tournament. The Thursday and Sunday shows are averaging 3,000. You have to hand it to CMLL, as no company in the world is drawing these kinds of numbers these days.

If that wasn’t enough good news, the Rayo/Universo mascara contra mascara match on 9/17 has already sold out the first 10 to 15 rows. This is big news because CMLL does almost all of its business walk up, so it’s sure to be a sell out. When Rayo won Cien Caras’ mask in 1990, not only did they sell 23,000 tickets, another 6,000 people broke through security and watched the match from the rafters, actually causing structural damage. Yikes.

CMLL actually posted the results of the 8/17 show while the main event of Ultimo Guerrero and Atlantis was still going on. Oops.

The year end special is looking like Shocker vs. Terrible in a hair match, and we may see a mask match between Atlantis and Wagner next March (personally, I wouldn’t bet the house on that happening).

Remember Hijo del Rayo de Jalisco Jr/El Hombre Sin Nombre? The exciting rookie who left CMLL for AAA because he felt he wasn’t getting a fair shake? Well, after dropping off the face of the earth, there was a report that he’s gotten really fat and out of shape. Sorry Cubs.

Juvie

Wow, I suck. Sorry I haven’t posted in forever. Actually, I was working on a big writeup for H2 wrestling for their first show, which I was planning on attending. It was funny and informative and it was going to rock. Then the company went out of business. Sucks to be me.

Rayo de Jalisco Jr. [c] & El Dandy & Hector Garza vs. Vampiro [c] & Fuerza Guerrera & Juventud Guerrera (12/8/98)

Rundown:

Rayo: Still the same
Dandy: Same, actually in WCW at the time
Garza: Same, in WCW also, wearing lWo trunks
Vamp: Still has his dreads here
Fuerza: Same
Juvie: This is after he lost his mask, and before he put on a bit of muscle.

Garza actually wears a Zorro outfit to the ring, which the ladies seem to love. Rayo and Vamp seem to have some sort of issue here.

Primera Caida: A lot of yelling and jaw jacking starts us off. Finally we get Rayo and Fuerza. I never realized how tiny Fuerza must be, because Rayo looks like Andre the Giant next to him. Vamp jumps Fuerza from behind the rudos take over. Weird spot as Vamp hits a superkick, we get a crowd shot in slow motion, and then Rayo is back on his feet. Vamp’s now having his way with Garza until Rayo decides it’s his turn for a sneak attack. Juvie and Fuerza come in and start flailing away at Rayo, until Rayo steps to the side and they blindly flail away on each other. Garza and Dandy come in to clean house, Garza getting Fuerza with a standing moonsault and Dandy punching out Juvie with an armbar. (4:43)

Segunda Caida: We’re back with father and son beating down Garza. Hey, Juvie did some crotch chops! Garza manages to escape and tags Dandy. Vamp gets in the ring for the rudos, but Dandy wants Juvie, dammit. Vamp’s drawing some great heat. Juvie tags in and he and Dandy work an awesome little sequence that sees Dandy come out on top. He tags in Rayo, who does a chop, then tags out to Garza. Garza goes to pin Juvie after a flying clothesline, but Fuerza breaks it up, and it looks like the beatdown is on. That is, until Vamp comes in and goads Rayo into the ring. He gets the advantage, rips Rayo’s mask, and sends him to the post outside (no blade job, sadly). Now Juvie and Fuerza run in and now we’re got a rudo beatdown. Juventud gets Dandy after the old Billy Kidman powerbomb reversal, while Fuerza pins Garza after an Iconoclasm of sorts and a senton (7:23).

Tercera Caida: Vamp takes some time to yell at the announcers. Rudo beatdown continues, this time concentrated on Rayo. He finally makes a comeback against Vampiro and splats him with a tope. Garza clothesline Juvie to the outside, while Dandy takes out Fuerza with a piledriver (hello, DQ?). Majistral cradle eliminates Fuerza. Juvie’s back in and he and Dandy work another great sequence that sees Juvie get revenge with a Juvie Driver (hello, DQ?). Garza comes in and blocks the Juvie driver, only to get felled with the Kidman DDT. Juvie goes up top, only to be knocked off balance by Garza. Garza attempts a frankensteiner, but gets pushed off the top, but rebounds by dropkicking Juvie when he tries to come off the top. Garza locks on the Gorry Special, and when Vamp comes in Rayo takes him out with a cross body. Vamp retaliates with a mule kick low blow for the DQ (6:02)

Vamp gets a few more stomps in on Rayo, then everyone yells at each other on the mic. And that’s it.

Match went a bit longer than your usual trios match, and some great heat and some fine wrestling. Juvie was awesome in this. I wonder if he and Dandy ever had a singles match? I’d get that.

Back soon, I hope.

Trios Trios Trios Part IV

Hey, I’m alive! And we’re back with match #4.

Silver King/Villano III/Villano IV vs. Felino/Negro Casas/El Hijo Del Santo (12/11/98)

Breakdown:
Silver King (pre-Black Tiger, other than that, the same)
Villano III (still has his mask)
Villano IV (same)

And we already covered the tecnicos.

This is the first round of a one-night, four team tournament that also included Atlantis & Emilio Charles & Lizmark Jr. and Dr. Wagner Jr. & Blue Panther & Black Warrior. All twelve men come down to the ring to decide who fights who first. As you can expect, there are tensions with twelve wrestlers in the ring. Warrior and Felino get into a shoving match on the floor while Wagner and Charles exchange some punches. Finally everyone is separated and we get a coin toss, leading to the above listed match.

As are most tournament matches, this is one fall only.

Interesting story: King and the Villanos were in WCW at the time (King even wears an lWo short for the early portion of the match), while Santo, Casas, and Felino were set to work the WWF’s Super Astros program, so this is actually an interpromotional match years before the Invasion.

I’m sure I mixed up the Villanos about a thousand times in this match. You’ve been warned.

A Una Caida: The other two teams take their sweet time leaving the ring, and when the do, the rudos attack to kick off the match. King takes out Santo and Felino while the Villanos take Casas outside and ram his head into the announce table, then drop a row of stairs on him. This injury is so devastating, Santo actually goes outside the ring to cover up his partner. Then they go back in the ring and leave Casas lying on the floor (?). Felino gets in the ring with Silver King but is quickly beat down by all three rudos. Santo comes in and fares no better, getting planted by a DDT from Villano III.

Santo ends up in the rudo corner and gets a beatdown of his own. Silver King tries a move where he jumps onto the second rope and spin kicks Santo in the corner, but hits more of his partner than Santo. Villano IV tags in and hits Santo with a back elbow, which allows him to tag Felino back in, who promptly gets beat down some more.

Villano IV, apparently bored, heads outside to beat up Casas some more. He’s joined by III, and they ram Casas into the steel pole battering-ram style. Santo checks on his partner while Casas makes the questionable decision to get in the ring, where he is promptly met by the Villanos. After a slam, Silver King comes off the top with a big elbow, but only gets two.

Casas tries fighting back with chops, but King trips him with a drop toehold and tags in Villano IV. IV tries a back bodydrop, but Casas hits him with a kick and clkothesline him to the floor in a nasty bump. King comes in and takes out Casas with a dropkick, which brings in Santo to dispose of SK with a satellite headscissors. Now III is in the ring and takes out Santo with something, bringing in Felino who tries a dropkick and misses. Felino gets whipped to the ropes but counters with a jumping armdrag to clear the ring.

Rudos regroup on the ramp and tease walking out, but eventually come back. We get Santo and Villano IV, and Santo inexplicably turns his back on Villano, and the end result is another beatdown. Felino gets the tag, but Silver King gets the advantage with the Rick Steiner “catch the guy in a leapfrog and powerslam him” spot.

Santo gets tagged back in and beat down some more, until his partners grab him in the ropes during a whip, allowing him to hit both Villanos with a double facebuster. Silver King tries a corner splash but misses, allowing Felino to flatten him with a moonsault press. Now it’s the tecnicos turn for a three way stomping. Villanos IV comes in and gets the same result. III charges at Santo, only to miss and splat on the floor. King’s back in the ring, and he nails Santo with a superkick, only to get back bodydropped himself onto III on the floor. IV tries to whip Santo into the ropes, but he flattens III with a tope on the floor! Felino knocks IV to the floor with a spinkick, but when he tries a somersault dive from the apron, he flattens Santo!

Now we’ve got Casas and King in the ring. Casas quickly drops King with a drop toehold and locks in the Casita, but Villano IV makes the save. King hits a big powerbomb but only gets two. He puts Casas up top and tries a top rope Frankensteiner, but Santo grabs his partner and King does a header off the top. A second casita with Santo on top of the pile seals the deal (10:49).

Tecnicos celebrate as the rudos ask “Wha happn’d?” We get replays of the ending.

Interesting match. Usually these one fall tournament matches are compressed down to three-four minutes, but this one got some room to breathe (because it’s only a four team tournament?). Didn’t follow the usual formula—rudos control a fall, tecnicos make a comeback, go the finish. Rudos controlled a good portion of the match, but the momentum switched back and forth quite a bit. And I liked Negro coming back from his earlier beatdown. Good action overall.

I’ll continue with the rest of the tournament, uh, later.