CMLL FantasticaMania Tokyo Day 2: 2018-01-21

Gran Guerrero, new master of the chokeslam

Recapped: 1/21/2018

Matches: 

Disturbio & Puma beat Drone & Star Jr.  
(9:21, Puma casita Drone, ok)

Fuego, Ryusuke Taguchi, Soberano Jr. beat Okumura, SHO, YOH
(11:07, Soberano tornillo Okumura, good)

Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi, Rush, Tetsuya Naito beat Atlantis, Hirai Kawato, Kushida, Satoshi Kojima
(11:47, Rush Driver on Kawato, ok)

Ángel de Oro & Niebla Roja beat Gran Guerrero & Último Guerrero in a CMLL Hermanos semifinal
(11:18, Gran Guerrero top rope toss Niebla Roja, good)

Dragón Lee & Mistico beat Cuatrero & Sansón in a CMLL Hermanos semifinal match
(10:24, Mistico La Mistica Sansón, good)

Volador Jr. © beat Bárbaro Cavernario for the NWA World Welterweight Championship
(22:01, Canadian Destroyer, excellent)

What happened:

Sofia Alonso talked to the crowd to start the show, thanking NJPW for their partnership on these shows.

Thoughts:

super hero stuff

It’s really the main event as the only match you need to see from this show. And that’s Volador as his most Volador, which sparks some wildly diverse opinions. The rest of the show wasn’t bad, but it was definitely worse than the first show and there were under delivering matches.

The main event surpassed their own match from Arena Mexico last year, which might have been the best match singles match there. They’re both really good at what they do. This was Volador’s high spot match turned up to the once a year max, with Cavernario matching him move for move. Both men looked sharp and were thorough; the Japanese commentators were trying to figure out what they both had left by the end of it. The superkick versus slap fight at the end felt like a Japanese twist to the usual style. It’s going to be hard for them to go back to this match, because they did everything they could do and their only story is to do everything they can, but this was as good as they could do that story. Cavernario remains super popular in Japan despite hardly ever winning a big match; if tomorrow’s show included an announcement that NJPW was getting to keep him for the year, the crowd would go nuts.

thru the corner we go

This NGD/Munoz tag match was good but disappointing. The Dinamtias brothers came of as stronger singles wrestlers in their matches on the previous show than they came off as tag wrestlers here, and that’s not at all the way it seemed like it should go. They left their team offense back in Mexico for some reason, seemingly trying to wrestle as singles guys instead of what made them interesting in the first place. It wasn’t like they were just avoiding the springboard moves because of the ropes, there’s wasn’t much of anything else they normally do in a trio, even when Forastero isn’t around. There were still some good spots here, with Dragon Lee having the best night and the start of the match being really fun, but this should’ve stolen the show with a better rudo performance and instead was just alright. I’ve got it good because Dragon Lee was so good but can see people having it lower.

The Guerreros/Angels tag match had some nice moments. Both the Oro/Roja dive combination and the Guerreros own version got over well. The crowd reacted well for the tapatia spot, though the rest of the Angel de Oro/Utlimo Guerrero open dragged a bit. The Niebla Roja/Gran Guerrero finishing sequence felt a little bit too much like the same order of things as the previous match and didn’t get quite as over as last time. Still, there was enough good to be worth watching.

 

The LIJ match wanted to build up Kojima/Rush for tomorrow and do one last LIJ send off for Kawato. They got so much mileage out of Kawato surviving and surviving and then being killed dead. It’s something in favor for the NJPW way of doing things, though Kawato’s own ability to show fire and fight back strong helped too. The Kojima beat down segment didn’t do much for me. The brawl with Rush afterward too. Atlantis relying on La Parka like rudo stooging and an armdrag doesn’t seem a great sign for him. Hopefully it’ll get better.

this went much safer this time!

The second match was a simple fun trios match, heavy with Taguchi comedy. Soberano still got to show off a lot. Soberano never got to work with Sho & Yoh much in Mexico in front of the cameras. They worked well together here, and I wonder if they might have met much more often as training partners given their similar experience levels. The early Soberano/YOH sequence was really clean despite Soberano doing some tricky headscissors escapes. Soberano getting the pinfall again was a good sign for him. Fuego was way in the background for most of it, just getting in his signature stuff.

Kawato loses his head

The difference between Drone & Disturbio’s drowsy opening and Star Jr. & Puma’s fast pace start was immense. It told the story of the whole match quick: Star Jr. & Puma were wrestling on a much higher sharper level than their the partners Drone was acting erratic throughout the match and seemed to realize he had an bad performance by the end. Disturbio looked like he was trying to get his way thru a segunda. It made Puma & Star Jr. stand out even more, but this match should’ve been much better. The super press powerbomb spot went a lot better for Star Jr. & Puma this time around and the crowd really got into Puma around the time of his delayed suplex. I was surprised he got the pinfall win, though it clearly was the right call the way the match played out.

Terrible/Azul (once more) in Arena Mexico, Mundo in AAA, AroLucha live debut, The Crash

Triton

CMLL (FRI) 01/19/2018 Arena México [CulticonF4WOnlineMarcaClaroOvacionesthecubsfanWrestling With GIFs]
1) Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro b Fantasy & Último Dragóncito LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 19 DE ENERO DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
10:56. Rudos took 1/3.
2) Lady Maravilla, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit b Amapola, Tiffany, Zeuxis LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 19 DE ENERO DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
14:24. Tecnicos took 1/3.
3) Raziel, Sagrado, Tiger b Esfinge, Rey Cometa, Tritón LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 19 DE ENERO DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
17:04. Rudos took 1/3.
4) Kráneo b Hechicero [lightningLUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 19 DE ENERO DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
9:12. Kraneo won via legdrop with plenty of help from Mije.
5) Euforia, Felino, Mr. Niebla b Stuka Jr., Titán, Valiente LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 19 DE ENERO DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
8:38. Tecnicos took 1/3.
6) Carístico, Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone b Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Vangellys LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 19 DE ENERO DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
8:43. Tecnicos took 2/3. Azul pinned Terrible to set up a title match next week.

Matches 3/4 are the ones to watch. It didn’t occur to me how short the matches were running until I did the math later. That means it was probably fine going short.

The usual backstage interviews were exciting last night. Kraneo called Psicosis (Ripper) and Histeria prostitutes for going back to AAA and insulted their current ownership. Zeuxis assured the media she’s not leaving CMLL, just doing some indie dates. Tiger can’t get over the Misterioso issue. Marcela and others wondered why the women never get to go on FantasticaMania or a similar tour of Japan. (Probably would help if CMLL wasn’t partnered with a promotion which only runs a few events a year.)

CMLL’s website revealed the Torneo Incredible de Parejas tournament would return in February. That’s the normal time for it, and no date is announced. It didn’t come up in the broadcast last night. They also put up an article to specifically remind us Atlantis & Mascara Dorada won the first one. Dorada was wrestling on the first 205 Live house show tonight.

AroLucha (FRI) 01/19/2018 Azteca Music Hall, Amarillo, Texas [AroLucha]
1) Low Rider b Trey Miguel
2) Gringo Loco (Illinois) & Steve Pain b Aaron Solow & Ricky Starks
3) Draztick Boy, Máscarita Dorada, Taya b Demus, Hijo de Pirata Morgan, LuFisto
4) La Máscara b Black Taurus (Indie)Laredo Kid
5) Low Ki NC Hurricane Helms
La Mascara & Pirata Morgan ran in, evidentally setting up a tag match
6) Juventud Guerrera & Súper Crazy b Carlito & James Storm

This was the first live show for the group, and the ticket situation looked a little dire going into the night. This group is doing a lot of local media the day of the show. The turnout doesn’t look bad., maybe half full in a small building, about what you’d expect for a new group. The show sounds like it was fun, and they announced a return date here of 04/28 with Rey Mysterio.

Alberto’s Luchando Por Ellos benefit show is about to happen as you read it. They announced the lineup about two months ago and it’s an indie show, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it change again. They’ve been talking about adding Hijo del Fantasma to the show tonight. Many of the people working on this show will be working an MDA show tomorrow night in Monterrey, and I suspect they’re the people actually running the nuts and bolts of the show. Alberto has been doing a lot of promoting of this show – there’s an image shaping aspect to this event, but he seems to be taking it seriously. Speaking of image, this would be Sexy Star/Sexy Dulce’s first match in Mexico City since TripleMania.

This was initially advertised as airing on Claro’s website, but there’s been no mention of it in the last week and they haven’t promoted it on Facebook so I don’t suppose it’s happening.

The Crash runs it’s first Tijuana show of the year tonight in a few hours. The main event is scheduled to be Daga, Masada and Penta vs Bestia, Garza and Mr. 450. The semimain will now by Rey Horus (making his return to the promotion) versus Joey Janela (making his debut.) That was the Matt Riddle spot; The Crash finally announced Riddle as off the show Friday afternoon,  posting the flight information and some Twitter DM conversations with Riddle taking the blame. Unlike you and me, The Crash’s Twitter DMs do not appear to include dates or times under the messages. Either The Crash uses a special version of Twitter not available to the rest of the world, or they took those items off to hide how long they’ve known about the cancellation.

Here’s the thing: this didn’t start out as The Crash screwing up. The Crash totally legitimately booked Matt Riddle for this show. This was Matt Riddle double booking himself, as Matt Riddle has been known to do. My belief is Riddle wanted to go to Tijuana tonight and thought he could talk AAW out of letting him out of the 01/20 show, which is why he mentioned the show on Twitter. He could not, because it turned out AAW had planned on Riddle being the main event of their own show on that day. Riddle found this out, and didn’t immediately let The Crash know the bad news. (As best I can tell, he didn’t tell them until he asked.)

The Crash’s problems came to light the moment AAW announced Riddle, but started from having a misguided view of their own importance. I write (and will continue to) write a lot about The Crash. I am one of the few people in the entire world writing much about The Crash. The promotion puts on good shows and draws a lot of fans to Tijuana and that actually really matter a whole lot in wrestling in 2018, as hard as it may to believe if you’re in Mexico. What matters for a wrestler is how much they’re getting paid, and their likelyhood to get paid more. I dunno what AAW & The Crash were offering Riddle for tonight, but I’m guessing AAW also previously agreed to bring in Riddle at least a half dozen dates in 2018. I’m 100% sure that working in front of an AAW (or any bigger US indie) crowd is also getting Riddle more dates because people who promoter and program other shows are 100% more likely to see Riddle on an AAW show than The Crash show. Running a show in front of 5,000 people is great and I wish everyone could do it, but the way you get people work in 2018 is to get them on (good quality) video so people elsehwere can see them, and then can book them elsewhere.

The Crash (and every other Mexican indie) insistence on not taping their shows is making it less attractive for outsiders to want to work there. I doubt Riddle was working their even if they were live on Twitch – again, one booking versus a handful – but I’d suspect it makes a difference for a few. It’s probably costing The Crash money and I’m absolutely sure it’s costing the wrestlers work. Just to name a few, Arkangel Divino had a strong 2017 in the Crash, so did Black Danger, so did Bestia 666, so did Mr. 450 – and none of those guys are really getting booked elsewhere because of their work in The Crash because no one’s watching cellphone videos of matches besides me. Those same people are going to work WrestleMania weekend and – because a whole bunch of people who been able to easily see them might stumble upon them – they’re going to suddenly get a lot more inquiries. Visibility matters. The Crash is really visible to about 5,000 people but might as well be on the moon for the rest of the people. And same with most everyone else in Mexico.

Anyway: The Crash assumed Riddle was coming because they’re The Crash, and hopefully this was a cup of cold water to the face waking them up to what being The Crash really means at this point. We’re about eighteen months into The Crash pinning all their hopes on a TV deal which is clearly not anywhere close to happening, so I’m not expecting this to be the wake up call. Still, there’s definitely an opening in the Mexican indie wrestling market for someone to promote like an adult.

Adult thing: today’s Record had an interview with Johnny Mundo hyping Guerra de Titanes. AAA confirmed to me Mundo’s good to go, so whatever reason Mundo said he wasn’t going to come has been resolved.

This week’s AAA show is up on YouTube already.

FantasticaMania is in – uh, 6 hours from now because taking forever to write. That’s 3:30CT. Tonight’s show has the Volador/Cavernario match and the first half of the brothers tag team tournament (UG & GG vs Angel de Oro/Niebla Roja and Dragon Lee/Mistico vs NGD.)

Sofia Alonso has been on the FantasticaMania tour. She’s very visible on the SamuraiTV FantasticaMania show and Mr. Cacao posted a photo with her today. I don’t know if this is anything but just getting an understanding of this tour and NJPW, I don’t expect some big announcement to be coming. Still, every time you read me or someone else say “changes coming in CMLL, new generation of leadership”, that’s talking about Sofia Alonso and the people close to her. She’s really already at this point the public face of the family which owns the promotion, since her father Paco Alonso hasn’t ever done this public stuff. The harder part to know when/if she’ll the one making the decisions; anything change this point forward is going to be attributed to something decision she’s made, but CMLL is a black box of decision making and any number of people could be pulling the strings at any moment. Trying to figure out who’s exactly doing what from the outside of CMLL is really tough.

+LuchaTV has a sit down interview with Penta. It goes 48 minutes, and it’s a fine listen, talking about his year and The Crash’s plans for a gym.

Pushing Upwards writes about the Rey Pantera Jr/Hijo de Rey Pantera vs As del Espacio & As del Espacio double mask match from Xalapa.

SegundaCaida reviews Lucha Underground episode 3 x 26 and Tim makes me consider the possibility of Tirantes t-shirts.

Aerostar & Drago picked up tag team titles in Australia (so I guess they’re going back!)

Lineups

CMLL (FRI) 01/26/2018 Arena México
1) Flyer & Robin vs Akuma & Espanto Jr.
2) Astral, Eléctrico, Star Jr. vs Cancerbero, Nitro, Raziel
3) Audaz, Drone, Starman vs Disturbio, Misterioso Jr., Virus
4) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Stuka Jr. vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
5) Terrible © vs Diamante Azul [MEX HEAVY]
second defnese, second time versus Diamante Azul
6) Atlantis, Dragón Lee, Volador Jr. vs Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero

Everyone’s back from Japan next Friday. Main event is probably good outside of Atlantis. Diamante Azul might get the title win. Fourth match continues the NGD vs Hijos de Apolo Chavez matches. Audaz is in a high position. Star & Astral are reunited to fight Grumpy Rudos. Opener would be hot if Espanto Jr. was good.

CMLL on ClaroSports.com: 2018-01-19 

Mije lived, I think.

Recapped: 01/19/2018

Matches:

Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro beat Fantasy & Último Dragóncito  
(10:56 [4:28, 3:04, 3:24], 1/3, ok, VideosOficialesCMLL)

Lady Maravilla, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit beat Amapola, Tiffany, Zeuxis
(14:24 [6:22, 3:33, 4:29], 1/3, ok, VideosOficialesCMLL)

 

Raziel, Sagrado, Tiger beat Esfinge, Rey Cometa, Tritón  
(17:04 [5:33, 3:19, 8:12], 1/3, good, VideosOficialesCMLL)

Kráneo beat Hechicero in a lightning match
(9:12, Kraneo legdrop, good, VideosOficialesCMLL)

Euforia, Felino, Mr. Niebla beat Stuka Jr., Titán, Valiente
(8:38 [1:56, 2:43, 3:59], 1/3, ok, VideosOficialesCMLL)

Carístico, Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone beat Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Vangellys
(8:43 [3:00, 2:00, 3:43], 2/3, ok, VideosOficialesCMLL)

What happened:

Diamante Azul beat Terrible again, setting up a title match next week.

Thoughts: 

Triton can do this every week

The lightning match and the tercera are the only ones you should spend time watching if you missed the show.

The main event was the usually Tuesday main event. The técnicos hit their usual big moves, with a big run in the second fall. The rudos really didn’t feel like they were going to an extra level for the rare Friday main event as a trio, just doing the same stuff they did most of the time. It was sufficient to set up Terrible/Diamante Azul and to send people home happy, but I wasn’t excited to watch it.

The semimain had trouble following some of the action that preceded it. It wasn’t as crazy as the lightning match, and the técnicos in the tercera did a lot of the same stuff better earlier in the night. The crowd wasn’t there for the match except for the mascot spots, and they didn’t really have anything to change their minds. There was enough action to make it acceptable, Stuka’s monkey flip dive always looks good, but it was on the short side and fit the lineup feeling like a skippable show.

Hechicero tope

My favorite parts of Kraneo/Hechicero

  • Kraneo taking it to the mat against Hechicero
  • Hechicero apparently deciding the over the top dart tope is just a thing he’s doing to be doing regularly from now on
  • Mije attempting to do a tope and getting caught
  • Kraneo squashing both Mije and Hechicero from the apron
  • Kraneo taking a backdrop
  • Hechicero getting Kraneo up on his shoulders

Kraneo doesn’t need to be winning these matches and Hechicero definitely does, so the result wasn’t great. The match before it was really strong at putting together what they could do well together for a fun outcome.

The tercera has the best action of the night. The rudos were (even Raziel) were working very hard and the técnicos looked pretty spectacular. Triton had one spot go really wrong amid a lot which went really well. Sagrado handled the mess good, and continues to look over qualified for his current role. This match got the most time of the night, just didn’t feel that way. They kept moving it along.

Sagrado brainbuster

The women’s match was alright for the most part, but kind of dry and without any real focus. It was a lot of the usual offense done fine, some stuff done really well, and Tiffany struggling to keep up with the rest. She seemed lost a couple times, and maybe in the way another.

Just a regular tag to open it. Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro have spurts of trying but don’t sustain it over the entire match. Fantasy has about two good spots and doesn’t interact with the crowd at all. No idea why they bothered to do the Último Dragoncito surprise pinfall on Nitro if Mercurio was going to win five seconds later. Mercurio using a piledriver to get heat didn’t get much heat.

Niebla Roja & Soberano keep the titles & Cuatrero wins his at FantasticaMania, Alberto/Luchando por Ellos

the winning move

CMLL NJPW (FRI) 01/19/2018 Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan [411ManiaCMLLCulticonNJPWthecubsfan]
Attendance: 1522
1) Okumura b Fuego
6:45. Okumura won via reverse DDT.
2) Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi, Rush, Tetsuya Naito b Dragón Lee, Hirai Kawato, Satoshi Kojima, Star Jr.
15:46. BUSHI submitted Kawato to the Boston Crab. Rush attacked Kojima with a chair post match. Naito attacked announcer Milano before and after the match.
3) Atlantis, Drone, Mistico, Volador Jr. b Bárbaro Cavernario, Disturbio, Puma, Último Guerrero
12:33. Atlantida on Puma.
4) Cuatrero b Ángel de Oro © [CMLL MIDDLE]
11:43. Cuatrero won via crucifix powerbomb. He’s the 19th champion, Angel de Oro falls on his second defense
5) Soberano Jr. © b Sansón [MEX WELTER]
11:17. Soberano won with the sit down piledriver (now La Soberana.) 2nd defense
6) Niebla Roja © b Gran Guerrero [CMLL LH]
16:18. Niebla Roja won with the super double chickenwing faceslam (which he appears to be calling Rompecaras Rojo now.) 3rd defense.

This show overdelivered, with two really strong matches to end the show. It was the best Niebla Roja/Gran Guerrero and Soberano/Sanson matches in those feuds, and probably the best match in at least Niebla Roja & Gran Guerrero’s careers. Gran Guerrero’s career has come a long way from being the guy struggling after he was moved into a big position way too soon. Niebla Roja’s gone form a guy I thought could be quitting CMLL and maybe lucha libre after losing his mask to getting a standing ovation to end a Korakeun Hall show. This was a good night for wrestling matches and a great night for the future of CMLL.

The rest of the show was watchable if not notable. The other title match wasn’t on the level of the last two, but it’s the one that created some history. This was the first title change on FantasticaMania show since Kamaitachi defeated Dragon Lee in 2016. This won’t put Cuatrero on the map like those guys, but it was a good moment for his career. The NGD wanted to win singles gold in 2017 and one of them already did it.

Last year’s Friday show had a reported attendance of 1515, so this was about the same. (The other two shows did 1559 and 1592.)

FantasticaMania is off tonight, and back early Sunday morning with Volador/Cavernario and the first round of the tag tournament.

CMLL also has a normal show in Arena Mexico. The main event is Caristico, Diamante Azul and Marco vs Rey Bucanero, Terrible and Vangellys, which doesn’t feel like a Friday night show. Last week’s show seemed to be setting up Diamante Azul & Terrible. They’re running Diamante Azul singles matches everywhere else, so maybe they’ll change their mind here.

Stuka, Titan and Valiente form a tecnico trio against Euforia, Felino and Mr. Niebla. The lightning match is clash of large men with different styles, Kraneo taking on Hechicero. I’m interested in seeing what they can pull off together.

The best match on the card is the tag team of Esfinge & Triton teaming with Triton against Raziel, Sagrado and Tiger. The women’s match is Maravilla, Marcela, Sugehit versus Amapola, Zeuxis and Tiffany (so about one person short of being good.) The show opens with another minis match, Mercurio & Pequeno Nitro take on Fantasy & Ultimo Dragoncito.

The show will air on Claro & their Facebook page at 8:30pm, and will be on YouTube sometime after – but if you’ve got access to NJPW World, then I’d tell you to go watch that show instead of this one if you have to choose.

Alberto’s press tour for Saturday’s Luchando por Ellos show took him to MedioTiempo. This was the show that was canceled at the last minute last time ago, which Alberto somewhat blames the people running the building while believing it actually worked out better for them because now they have an even better card to offer. Alberto said AAA & Dorian Roldan offered for him to appear on their benefit show. Alberto was busy in New York that day, so AAA instead offered him the ability to use Dr. Wagner. Alberto says CMLL offered Caristico, and now he’s also trying to include Hijo del Fantasma. The gate from this show is going to children who lost their parents in the September 19th earthquake. Alberto mentions the son of journalist Julio Cana and two girls who will be helped out. Alberto’s original plan was to run two of these shows a year, and is thinking of expanding it to four this year because he’s got offers to run similar shows in Monterrey and Reynosa. I’d guess those would be MDA promoter shows.

Alberto also talked about his plans for the future. He’s still sticking (for now) to a 2020 retirement date. He’s pictured a big retirement tour, including one more special appearance in WWE. This is surprising because Alberto spent parts of the last couple years saying some harsh things about WWE & HHH in social media (mostly Periscope videos), blaming the company for causing problems towards his then-fiance Paige. Alberto told MT that he’d apologized and shook hands with them about, and hopes to make a last special appearance in 2019.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m too cynical about Alberto el Patron. I am a miserable persona and tend to hold onto my dislike for some people for an unhealthy amounts of time, maybe everyone else moved on. This charity event is a way to improve his public perception, for now and for whatever he decides to do after wrestling, but I know running any charity event can be a tremendous amount of work and Alberto seems to be doing a fair amount of that work. Anyway, after I quoted that article on Twitter, I got so many negative responses about the idea of Alberto going back to WWE that maybe I’m actually relatively soft on Alberto. WWE fans on Twitter did not seem to like the idea at all.

Ciudad Juarez legend Rocky Star will be honored on 02/18. He says he’s thinking about retiring this year, and would like to face Flama Roja, Legionario and the Crazys one last time.

Promociones Juniors says they’re hosting an AAA TV taping in San Luis Potosi on 03/21. This finally made me break down and create the AAA taping chart page for 2018.

+LuchaTV has an interview with Fabi Apache talking about Guerra de Titanes.

Wrestling with GIFS writes about Gran Guerrero vs Volador Jr.

LuchaWorld has the latest Lucha Report.

CMLL FantasticaMania Tokyo Day 1: 2018-01-19 

Soberano Jr.

Recapped: 01/19/2018

Matches: 

Okumura beat Fuego  
(6:49, reverse DDT, good)

Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi, Rush, Tetsuya Naito beat Dragón Lee, Hirai Kawato, Satoshi Kojima, Star Jr.
(15:57, BUSHI boston crab Kawato, good)

Atlantis, Drone, Mistico, Volador Jr. vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Disturbio, Puma, Último Guerrero
(12:33, Atlantida on Puma, good)

Cuatrero beat Ángel de Oro © for the CMLL World Middleweight Championship
(11:42, spinning crucifix powerbomb, good)

Soberano Jr. © beat Sansón for the Mexican National Welterweight Championship
(11:16, fire driver, great)

Niebla Roja © vs Gran Guerrero for the CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship
(16:14, super Furia Roja, excellent)

What happened:

when things were going well for Angel de Oro

Cuatrero won the middleweight championship in a surprise.

Los Ingobernables beat up Kojima and Star Jr. after their match

Disturbio pulled up a little lame near the end of the match, appearing to have pulled a hamstring.

The second match was the annual Black Cat memorial match.

Thoughts: 

back at it again

The final two matches are worth going out of your way to see. I thought the main event had a little more to it and felt a little less like an exhibition. Sanson/Soberano had more athletic amazement, a better pace, so I could see people enjoying it more. It’s closer in my mind than the great/excellent difference up there.

No one rose to the occasion more than the two guys in the main event. This was a really tough ask for guys who’ve not been in that position a lot, but Niebla Roja & Gran Guerrero put together their personal best match and the best built match of the night. It was hot from the start by the powerbomb catch, and they found little ways to keep escalating it. The clothesline/spinning forearm exchange was the moment where it was clear they had something, and the Japanese crowd loved Roja’s spinning forearm even more than I do. Both men really leaned into taking their opponents big moves in the most destructive looking ways. They also showed more offense than usual; I don’t know where Gran Guerrero got the super Michinoku drive but it looked great here. Everything pretty much went well, and you can say that for a most of this show – it was especially clean show given some of the youth in key positions. Niebla totally won over the crowd by the time it was done. Hope he can get that feeling in Arena Mexico too.

The Sanson/Soberano match was a super Soberano showcase, with him unloading all the biggest dives in his arsenal. He nailed every move had had to, with all his tornillos coming off well and the rare in-ring move going OK too. Sanson’s much more of a personality than his brother, and he’s also got much more he can do in singles matches at this point. I liked how they surprised with his near finish at the end, and they gave Sansón enough spots where he looked almost as good Soberano.

 

fair catch

The fourth match seemed all the world like a good Angel de Oro match, and a safe way to use Cuatrero in a single match. Angel de Oro picked up a knee injury, which didn’t stop him from doing his extended dive package, and it seemed like he was cruising to the campana win, until he lost it. Cuatrero winning clean with his crucifix powerbomb was an absolute shock. Cuatrero was fine for his first televised singles matches. His strikes, his stomps and small kicks, look really on point and painful. He could’ve used a bit more offense and he had one dropkick that looked horrible. Cuatrero didn’t come off as an undeserving champion, but a more overwhelming performance would’ve made more of an impact. He was more just moving around for Angel de Oro’s spots for a lot of this.

The second atomicos was more a getting to know you match than one going full out, but they accomplished their goal well. Disturbio’s done well for himself on this tour, showing more aggressiveness. Mistico & Último Guerrero continue to play a lot to the crowd on these shows, which gets over and their big moves later in the match get over. Cavernario seemed to talk to the crowd in-between every move, and the crowd really liked it, so I’m not going to stop him. Atlantis looked fine, which is probably partly due to Puma. It’s possible they could’ve had a better match but this worked for what they were going for.

Sanson bomb

This played out a lot like the Day 1 tag, just with slightly longer Dragon lee/Takahashi and Kojima/Rush segments to build that latter match. (You’d think they were doing the other one too soon, but that’s it for them as a combo on this tour) Star Jr. had an an eye opening performance for new fans, with the beautiful tornillo and surviving long in the match with his mask ripped. Rush destroyed Star Jr.’s mask pretty completely, and he had to kind of just work thru it or a while, then Star got crushed by a Rush chair shot to the head. Kawato shows some good fire and it’ll be interesting to see what happens when he gets to do some moves.

The opener worked for me. Fuego did so much more in an opener here than he does in an average match in Arena Mexico, though that’s not much of a surprise. It was nice to see the fosbery dive back for one night. Breaking out the springboard moves explained why he went thru his crowd playing moves so early. Okumura slapping Mima got the wrong kid of heat, and I think they quickly realized they had messed up there.

everyone dropkick

lucha TV preview for weekend of January 19th, 2018

full size. I hope you can find something to watch this week! This doesn’t even include the Cancun indie that’ll be on a streamed TV show this week with Misterioso Jr.

One more time: FantasticaMania is EARLY FRIDAY, EARLY SUNDAY, and EARLY MONDAY. All shows start at 3:30 AM CT, and will go between two and three hours. Probably closer to the short side. There’s VOD up usually right after the show if you’re a sane person not getting up/staying up for this. This are paid shows.

Luchando Por Ellos, Alberto’s benefit show for children affected by earthquakes, was announced and mentioned a couple times as airing on Claro in the same way the CMLL shows do. I have not seen a mention of it of late, so take it as 50/50. Marca probably will keep it on their Facebook like they do CMLL shows, but they don’t have a known YouTube place to put it later. (I’m thinking about recording it, not sure if it’s appropriate to upload.)

In more traditional shows, AAA starts it’s last taping of 2017 with a Faby/Shani title match, and Mephisto & Titan meet in Arena Mexico on Tuesday.

CMLL on SamuraiTV: 2018-01-18 

the tornillo looked good, probably didn’t feel well

Recapped: 1/18/18

All matches are from the Aichi Congress Center Event Hall, Nagoya, Japan, taped on 01/12/2018

Matches:

Drone beat Disturbio
(6:49, Drone headscissors submission, ok)

Okumura & Puma beat Fuego & Star Jr.  
(9:44, Puma casita Star Jr., good)

Cuatrero, Rocky Romero, SHO, YOH beat Ángel de Oro, Jushin Liger, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask
(9:40, Cuatrero spinning crufix powerbomb, ok)

Niebla Roja, Soberano Jr., Volador Jr. beat Bárbaro Cavernario, Gran Guerrero, Sansón
(9:23, Soberano tornillo Sansón, good)

Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi, Rush, Tetsuya Naito beat Dragón Lee, Hirai Kawato, Kushida, Satoshi Kojima  
(12:47, BUSHI boston crab Kawato, good)

Atlantis, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Mistico beat Gedo, Kazuchika Okada, Último Guerrero
(10:57, Mistica on Ultimo Guerrero, good)

What happened: 

Soberano magic

This was the tour opening show, and people are working about the level of a tour opening show.

Niebla Roja is now wearing a Chippendale style bow tie. Rocky Romero decides to wrestle in the Black Tiger mask for about 10 seconds into his match.

Sofia Alonso is sitting directly in the center of the picture for the whole show.

Thoughts:

Puma & Star were OK with dying in this match

This was a fine enough show, but – like most years – just for people who have to see anything. The 2nd and 4th matches were the best two on the show and the two to watch if you’re going to watch any of this. (It’s on the RealHero drive if you’re looking for it.)

Main event was well worked if not extraordinary. Mistico and Último Guerrero had a great night working with each other, with Mistico’s tricky stuff connecting well and UG coming off super strong on the front superplex. It’s probably just a quirk of the schedule, but it’s weird to see Mistico be presented as the star of the show at the end when he’s not booked that way. Tanahashi & Okada didn’t totally mail it in. Atlantis looked slow and a little bit heavy. I was scared when he was going to dive. It was a relief he didn’t.

The semimain was pretty long, with face in peril sections for both Kushida & Kojima. That meant plenty of Rush but really a lot of Dragon Lee. He and Takahashi did give the crowd their usually really strong exchange early on, but not much more. The crowd really wanted Kawato escape the crab at the end but it wasn’t happening. Match told that story well, and Los Ingobernables were as popular as anyone on the show. I could’ve used a little better comeback, but the match still had it’s moments.

The fourth match was the best of the night. Soberano was popular from the moment he appeared and won the crowd even more over during the match. Sansón and Cuatrero lose something not being together. There’s still good, but there’s a stronger confidence together. The finish played into the upcoming title match, but they actually seemed to go cross rivalry for most of the match and did it pretty well. Gran Guerrero worked well Volador and seemed to have the best night of the rudos.

Mistico tricky armdrag

 

This is three parts goofy comedy match and one part the CMLL guys. Angel de Oro & Cuatrero pick up the speed of the match dramatically when they get it, and seem lost at all the various Romero & Taguchi based shenanigans. The CMLL guys felt like they were barely in, just really an exchange in the middle, and the finish. The rest was fine for a touring show but nothing must see.

The second tag match had good pace and sharp looking moves. Fuego is over in Mexico, but he’s really over in Japan and that got the crowd into the match from the start. Puma did well, though Star may have a difference of opinion about his catch on the tornillo. He probably could’ve gotten the pin on the super powerbomb, that looked more brutal than intended. (Sofia seemed very concerned.) Star looked sharp in his performance. Okumura isn’t anything great, but he knows all the parts and where to be at the right time. This was usual FantasticaMania match fun.

The show little bit of a dry opener. Both Drone and Disturbio used their bigger moves, but there wasn’t a great flow to the match and neither man was had experience working with this crowd. Disturbio didn’t really do a lot more than he’d at home. Drone didn’t stick out.

Dragon Lee

Alberto & AAA, Crash female recruiting, luchador age limit

Reminder: The Tapatia awards for the best in lucha libre are open thru January 28th.

Other Reminder: The first NJPW World FantasticaMania show is early tomorrow morning, 3:30am. The SamuariTV show may be out later today.

Leo Riano’s column says there’s movement in AAA & Alberto talks. Dorian Roldan, on a recent Zona Ruda, mentioned they were negotiating with a big national name. He didn’t say who, but the assumption was Alberto. Riano says Dorian, Alberto and Fantasma talked at the Impact taping this week, and now Alberto will “probably” be seen in AAA. Fantasma was also invited to appear on the benefit show Alberto is throwing on Saturday (though AAA still has to giver their approval.)

Riano also mentions something I’ve see elsewhere: AAA was holding tryouts at their spot shows at Irapuato & San Luis Potosi. Averno & Chessman were leading them. On the surface, AAA would seem to have plenty of people already after Llave a la Gloria contest last year, but maybe they’re assuming not all of those people are going to stick with them.

The Crash’s women tryout did occur later. La Avispa, all the way from Washington, was among those there and posted a photo of other people who tried out. I recognize Lady Drago & Diosa Atenea among them. Monterrey’s Lady Flammer was also among the group trying out. She’s already worked co-promoted The Crash/Revolucha shows in her hometown and would be most likely person to be brought in.

The Box Y Lucha commission of Tepic, Nayarit says they’ll no longer license boxers or wrestlers over the age of 35. The president of the organization explains they don’t believe it’s safe for people to participate in that age, and people who are allowed to participate in lucha libre forever inevitable end up in a wheelchair or have other quality of life issues. Ringo Mendoza is specifically cited here and said to be paralyzed, which they’re assuming is a wrestling related injury. Mendoza has been mentioned as being in poor health before, though I don’t believe anyone’s said he’s paralyzed, and his health issues seem to be not from a specific incident but instead a lifetime of wrestling. EDIT: Ringo Mendoza was on Informa last year, saying he had been paralyzed and regained some movement after a surgery.

This is more a thought experiment than anything to be concerned about. Nayarit is the quietest wrestling scene in Mexico; I only had one event (an AAA spot show) in the state in 2017. It probably would only affect local wrestlers, but even then they could go to Sinaloa or Jalisco to get a license if they were denied in Tepic. (Assuming anyone even checks licenses.) Something like this age restriction would be very tough to actually apply, but it’s an interesting idea. 35 seems too young for a cut off like that. 50 might be a better idea, even with some people over 50 who are very good. The damage might be done by that point, but the chance of a serious injury seems to go up greatly with age. (Fray Tormenta is wrestling tomorrow in San Luis Potosi, is 72, and that seems like a really bad idea no matter how little he actually does.)

Chario 12 (02/05 @ Arena Naucalpan) so far

  1. Manchitas, 19 y Medio and Gato de Ecatepec vs Tony Cirio, Luis Cirio y Many Cirio
  2. Leon Rojo, Angel o Demonio, Ovett vs Arez, Impulso Belial
  3. Ricky Marvin & Keyra vs Corsario Negro Jr. & Drako vs Psique & Skyman

Averno was on the latest Zona Ruda.

Lucha Sorpresa has recent lucha reviews.

MedioTiempo has a Lady Shani interviewAnd one more video interview with Lady Shani, who says she’d like to travel to Impact or Japan. She had an interview with ESTO too recently which didn’t seem to get posted online. Faby has seemed to do zero interviews.

Lanzelot says Australian Suicide is a tough opponent, but also has lost his mind. He notes Australian Suicide’s presidential campaign, which is a real thing.  He’s vowed to expel Lanzelot from the country if he wins (the presidency, probably not fthe title.)

Lineups

IWRG (SUN) 01/21/2018 Arena Naucalpan
1) Dragón Orus & Shadow Boy vs Leroy & Lunatic Xtreme
2) Odín vs Demonio Infernal
3) Diablo Jr. & Eterno vs Fly Warrior & Séptimo Rayo
4) Emperador Azteca vs Cerebro Negro
5) Black Dragón, Dinamic Black, Dragón Fly vs Liderk, Rayan, Spector
6) Chico Che, Hijo del Alebrije, Veneno vs Hijo del Pantera, Internacional Pantera, Rokambole Jr.
7) Bombero Infernal, Imposible, Villano V Jr. vs Dr. Cerebro, Trauma I, Trauma II

Cerbero & Emperador had words after the main event last week, so that singles match makes some sense. The Dynamic Dragons are back together facing the Comando Elite.

CMLL (SUN) 01/21/2018 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Owen vs Frenético
2) Johnny Dinamo & Principe Daniel vs Demonio Maya & Thunder Boy
3) El Divino & Tigre Blanco vs Destello & Exterminador
4) Omar Brunetti, Rielero, Vaquero Jr. vs Guerrero de la Muerte, León Blanco, Ráfaga
5) Joker, Metatrón, Neutrón vs Difunto, Magnum, Sádico [Relevos Increíbles]

Joker had issues with the other rudos last week. Difunto is the current Occidente middleweight champion.

CMLL (TUE) 01/23/2018 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) El Alteño & El Divino vs Mr. Trueno & Rey Trueno
2) Eléctrico, Mágico, Magnus vs Arkángel de la Muerte, Freezer, Metálico
3) Blue Panther Jr., Starman, The Panther vs Hijo del Signo, Misterioso Jr., Sagrado
4) Blue Panther, Carístico, Valiente vs Johnny Idol, Máscara Año 2000, Sam Adonis
5) Diamante Azul vs Terrible

Electrico starting in the main division a few days earlier than advertised.

CMLL (TUE) 01/23/2018 Arena México
1) Shockercito & Stukita vs Pequeño Olímpico & Pierrothito
2) La Jarochita, La Vaquerita, Sanely vs La Comandante, Metálica, Tiffany
3) Magia Blanca, Pegasso, Stigma vs Sangre Azteca, Tiger, Universo 2000 Jr.
4) Esfinge, Rey Cometa, Tritón vs Hechicero, Pólvora, Vangellys
5) Mephisto © vs Titán [CMLL WELTER]
9th defense
6) Guerrero Maya Jr., Marco Corleone, Stuka Jr. vs Mr. Niebla, Pierroth, Rey Bucanero

This is Guerrero Maya’s first Arena Mexico main event since 2015, when CMLL was still doing the trio with Atlantis & Delta. Remember Delta? I’d rather see Delta than that rudo side.

I really want to see Titan’s run of good fortune continuing with a championship win. Titan singles matches just seem more fun than Mephisto ones. It seems doubtful it’ll happen, CMLL’s pretty heavy on tecnico champions already and also heavy on not having title changes.

MEXA WRESTLING (SAT) 01/27/2018 Arena San Juan Pantitlan, Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Estado de México
1) Leo, Mike, Rafy, Teelo vs Astrolux, Lunatik Fly, Pumita, Torito
2) Metaleón vs Centvrión
3) Keyra vs Lady Flammer
4) Freelance & Mike Segura vs Corsario Negro Jr. & Drako
5) Aramis vs Toxin vs Ricky Marvin
6) Trauma I & Trauma II vs Arez & Eterno

Full card for htis show looks pretty good. Metaleon and Centvrion seem headed to a mask match at some point.

Caristico & Marco pick up wins, FantasticaMania in Toyama, so much Diamante Azul

Titan

CMLL (TUE) 01/16/2018 Arena México [CMLL, CultIcon]
1) Pequeño Olímpico & Pequeño Violencia b Acero & Aéreo LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 16 DE ENERO DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
2) La Jarochita, La Vaquerita, Sanely b Dalys, Metálica, Reyna Isis LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 16 DE ENERO DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
tecnicas took 1/3.
3) Magia Blanca, Pegasso, Starman b Nitro, Templario, Virus LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 16 DE ENERO DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 2/3
4) Johnny Idol, Sam Adonis, Vangellys b Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., The Panther LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 16 DE ENERO DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Panthers rolled up Idol & Adonis in seconds when they were still messing around with their flags. Rudos came back to win the final two.
5) Stuka Jr., Titán, Valiente b Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 16 DE ENERO DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 2/3. Titan challenged Mephisto to a title match.
6) Carístico b Euforia LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 16 DE ENERO DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Caristico took 2/3.

Main event seemed good from what I saw. Titan did did a stage dive. Fourth match was a very Blue Panther thing.

CMLL (TUE) 01/16/2018 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [@Arena_GDL]
1) Ráfaga & Thunder Boy b Metatrón & Tigre Blanco
Tecnicos took 1/3.
2) Arkángel de la Muerte, Cancerbero, Gran Kenut b Ángel Del Amor, Sensei, Vaquero Jr.
rudos took 2/3.
3) Misterioso Jr., Sagrado, Tiger b Astral, Audaz, Oro Jr.
Rudos took 1/3.
4) Diamante Azul b Guerrero Maya Jr.EsfingeRey CometaTritónTerribleHechiceroRey BucaneroForasteroPierroth [cibernetico]
Order of elimination: Forastero (hit ref by accident, Triton pulled his mask and rolled him up), Guerrero Maya (Hechicero), Hechicero (Esfinge), Triton (Pierroth; Triton needed medical help), Pierroth (Diamatne Azul), Esfinge & Bucanero went to a double pin, and Terrible won with a foul on Diamante Azul. Diamante Azul wants a rematch next week.
5) Marco Corleone DQ Mr. Niebla
Corleone took 2/3, the last when Niebla tried to toss his mask to Marco to draw the DQ but was caught.

this is driving me crazy so I’ll drive you crazy too by refusing to let it go

01/15: Diamante Azul challenges Marco Corleone for the CMLL Heavyweight Championship
01/21: Diamante Azul versus Euforia
01/23: Diamante Azul versus Terrible (or maybe the week after)
01/26: Diamante Azul versus Terrible for the Mexican Heavyweight Championship, probably

Why. Why can’t this be, like, Hechicero. He’s got a title. He could defend it. Why couldn’t it be four different people? Diamante Azul is probably going to lose half of these, it’s not really helping him either, and it won’t help him of they do all of this and then he’s back to meaningless tags for four months. Is it possible that no one in a position of power in CMLL actually noticed this is happening?

CMLL NJPW (WED) 01/17/2018 Toyama Techno Hall East Hall, Toyama, Japan [CMLLNJPW]
1) Disturbio b Star Jr.
8:33, Disturbio won via front backcracker (now called the Golden Breaker.)
2) Okumura & Puma b Drone & Fuego
8:45. Puma beat Drone via backcracker and casita.
3) Rocky Romero, Sansón, SHO, YOH b Jushin Liger, Kushida, Soberano Jr., Tiger Mask
12:09. Sanson defeated Soberano with his torture rack powerbomb (which may be called Polvo Dinamita now.)
4) Ángel de Oro, Atlantis, Niebla Roja b Cuatrero, Gedo, Gran Guerrero
11:01. Angel de Oro defeated Cuatrero via campana.
5) Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi, Rush, Tetsuya Naito b Dragón Lee, Hirai Kawato, Ryusuke Taguchi, Satoshi Kojima
14:22. Takahashi defeated Kawato via Boston Crab. Rush went after Kojima’s knee with a chair post match.
6) Hiroshi Tanahashi, Mistico, Volador Jr. b Bárbaro Cavernario, Okada, Último Guerrero
11:51. Volador defeated Cavernario via backcracker.

Polvo Dinamita, “Dynamite Powder” would make a lot sense, but I dunno if that’s right.

The FantasticaMania tour is off today, and then the NJPW shows start early Friday morning. I wrote a preview over on Voices of Wrestling about those shows.  All the shows start at 3:30AM CT. I think they’ll be good and I’ll be recapping them live, but I was also pretty messed up sleepwise for a while after the 01/04 show so I’m not sure I can recommend everyone do that. The shows go up on VOD pretty much the moment they finish.

CMLL announced they’ll open Arena Mexico during the day so fans can come by and purchase the 85 Years of Lucha Libre book. On one hand, the idea that there would be people who would want this book and can go to Arena Mexico to buy it but wouldn’t just go during a show seems strange to me. On the other hand, as Arena Mexico turns into a tourist destination, they ought to have a gift shop open 365 days a year in case a foreigner happens by.

The original plan for this book was to make it available in stores in January, but there’s been no mention of that of late and I haven’t found any place selling it. They are pushing the book hard on the streams, which suggests they might not be moving that many of them.

The benefit show being put on Alberto (“Luchando Por Ellos) is this Saturday. The poster is on his website, though the poster says you can buy tickets on Ticketmaster and that does not appear to be the case. (You can buy tickets in person at locations, and people have.) It hasn’t been advertised recently, but the show is also supposed to stream via Claro on Saturday night at 8pm. That’d be a few hours before the second night of FantasticaMania on NJPW World.

RIOT announced their next show will be on 02/03. It’s called No Sabes Quien, and they’re not going to announce the card for the show until that day. (Tickets are cheaper if you buy in advance.) This means RIOT is the only promotion in Mexico we can be sure of isn’t advertising a false lineup.

La Maglina told El Grafico that she’s been most recently training with Ultimo Guerrero.

@ChuckieCHK on Twitter found what appears to be the AroLucha schedule. They’re basically running every third weekend thru April. They start this weekend in Amarillo and Lubbock, run on 02/16 & 17 in Beaumont and Humble, and then have unlocated shows on March 2 & 3, March 23 & 24, and April 13 & 14.

LuchaWorld has the latest Lucha Report.

Super Luchas has an interview with DTU champ Crazy King, who’s favorite luchador growing up was Sabu. Probably don’t bring Sabu to DTU to wrestle in 2018, it’ll be a bit sad. (Hanging around and taking photos would be good.)

This coming Saturday has been declared The Day of the Yucatan Luchador in that state.

This article on the upcoming Generacion XXI show lists Martin Landeros Mendiola as the director of the promotion.

El Grafico writes about Valiente & Hechicero.

It’s been a while since a Cholita article, so here’s one in French.

Lineups

CMLL (MON) 01/22/2018 Arena Puebla
1) Hijo de Centella Roja & Meyer vs Policeman & Sombra Diabólika
2) Arkalis, Black Tiger, Tigre Rojo Jr. vs El Malayo, Fuerza Chicana, Perverso
3) Lady Maravilla & Princesa Sugehit vs Amapola & Reyna Isis
4) Esfinge, Rey Cometa, Tritón vs Ephesto, Luciferno, Tiger
5) Diamante Azul, Stuka Jr., Titán vs Hechicero, Johnny Idol, Sam Adonis
6) Carístico, Kráneo, Valiente vs Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Vangellys [Relevos Increíbles]

Kraneo’s actually explained away as Relevos Increibles this week. They’re heading to Caristico/Terrible on 01/29. This card…maybe the fourth match will be alright. Maybe the third will be the Reina Isis breakout performance. Probably not.

Marco remains champ, Santo movie, FantasticaMania Day 4, Caristico/Euforia

Hechicero es loco

Reminder: The Tapatia awards for the best in lucha libre are open thru January 28th.

CMLL NJPW (TUE) 01/16/2018 Edion Arena Osaka, Osaka, Japan [CMLLNJPW]
Attendance: 1150
1) Drone & Star Jr. b Disturbio & Puma
7:30. Drone beat Puma with a moonsault.
2) Jushin Liger, Ryusuke Taguchi, Soberano Jr., Tiger Mask b Rocky Romero, Sansón, SHO, YOH
10:52. Soberano beat Sanson via tornillo.
3) Cuatrero & Okumura b Ángel de Oro & Fuego
8:28. Okumura pinned Fuego via DDT, and thanked the Osaka doctor who took operated on his neck.
4) Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi b Dragón Lee & Hirai Kawato
11:13. BUSHI submitted Kawato to a crab once again.
5) Gran Guerrero & Último Guerrero b Mistico & Niebla Roja
10:46. Gran Guerrero pinned Niebla Roja after a super Falcon arrow.
6) Kushida & Satoshi Kojima b Rush & Tetsuya Naito
13:58. Kojima beat Rush via lariat.
7) Bárbaro Cavernario, Gedo, Kazuchika Okada b Atlantis, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Volador Jr.
12:23. Barbaro Cavernario submitted Volador to the cavernaria. Cavernario thanked the fans in Japanese.

They drew 1025 and 1015 in Osaka the last couple years, so that’s a significant improvement. In post match interviews, Dragon Lee said Kawato would be a superstar after two years. FantasticaMania travels to Toyama for tomorrow’s show, the final one before the NJPW World shows.

NJPW announced the lucha libre piggy banks sold out, and they’re hoping to get more in June. They were so popular that they were limiting them to one per person, and that still wasn’t enough.

CMLL (MON) 01/15/2018 Arena Puebla [CMLL, Efekto10Notimex]
1) Meyer & París b Guerrero Espacial & Sombra Diabólika LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 15  DE ENERO DEL 2018 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
tecnicos too 1/3
2) Flyer, Príncipe Diamante, Rey Samuray b Hijo del Signo, King Jaguar, Perverso LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 15  DE ENERO DEL 2018 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
tecnicos took 1/3
3) Audaz, Lestat, Stigma b El Malayo, Raziel, Universo 2000 Jr. LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 15  DE ENERO DEL 2018 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Audaz Arena Puebla debut. Tecnicos took 2/3.
4) Hechicero b Guerrero Maya Jr. [lightningLA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 15  DE ENERO DEL 2018 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Hechicero submitted Maya in a great match. Went about 8:30.
5) Carístico, Kráneo, Valiente DQ Rey Bucanero, Shocker, Terrible LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 15  DE ENERO DEL 2018 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 2/3. Terrible fouled Caristico.
6) Marco Corleone © b Diamante Azul [CMLL HEAVYLA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 15  DE ENERO DEL 2018 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Marco took 1/3 to retain. 6th defense

You should go out of your way to see Hechicero/Guerrero Maya Junior. They went for it. The only disappointing part was Hechicero winning so there’s not a title match. Main was alright. Audaz wasn’t eye catching as in his farewell/debut match but he’s still pretty good.

Today’s Arena Mexico has a Caristico/Euforia match, set up much the same way as the Terrible/Caristico match up there. (CMLL figuring out they can run singles matches outside the same tight group would be a vast advancement.) The semimain has Stuka, Titan and Valiente versus Hijos del Infiernos, which would’ve been a hot match a few years ago. Templario & Magia Blanca are in the tercera.

The show airs on YouTube at 7:30pm.

The Crash says they’re turning Salon Citlali into their own gym/training center. That seems random. They’ll have a gran opening and press conference on 01/26. By the way, it’s now 17 days since it was obvious Matt Riddle wasn’t going to be coming to The Crash. That show is Friday, and The Crash still hasn’t pulled him off the card. The Crash is supposed to have a public event tomorrow – that tryout for women in Gym Hercules – which I understand is still on but hasn’t been promoted much.

THR3 Media Group and El Hijo del Santo announce they’re working on “Santo, el Enmascardo de Plata”, a Santo bio movie. Hijo del Santo has been wanting to do this for ages, telling the ‘real’ story of his father. THR3 just came into existence about a week ago, and includes a former Teleivsa director. They’ll starting production this year, and there’s no release date announced.

The very end of a Variety interview with Turner Latin America mentions a wrestling themed show, “His Last Fall” (or probably Su Ultima Caida) that they’re working on with AAA. They say it should air in September. This is the project Vampiro and others were working on last month.

El Rey says Man at Arms will be back for a second season. That’s one of the two series El Rey debuted last year along side of Lucha Underground and delayed the second half of S3 Lucha Underground so they could run alongside each other. I guess El Rey was happy with how it went. This series is back sometime in the second half of 2018; I wouldn’t expect El Rey to hold the start of LU to run with it, but we don’t have a start air date for LU S4 at this point. LU’s first taping S4 taping is thought to be 38 days away, with nothing announced so far.

The Awl has a Sam Adonis article, which unexpectedly includes a Jinder Mahal defense.

Dave the Clown calls La Parka a grumpy old man.

Averno appeared on a Televisa Deportes Facebook Live stream to promote Guerra de Titanes.

El Grafico writes about Miguel Reducino’s ring creations

LuchaWorld has this week’s Poster-Mania.

Segunda Caida writes about the Leyenda de Plata.

+LuchaTV has an interview with Ovett on their newest edition of the podcast.