CMLL Friday, Ultraclash, Vaquer/Cuatrero


CMLL (FRI) 12/08/2023 Arena México
1) Leono & Robin vs Draego & Inquisidor
2) Astral, Diamond, Hombre Bala Jr. vs Akuma, Crixus, Raider
3) Andrómeda, Marcela, Skadi vs Olympia, Reyna Isis, Zeuxis
4) Magia Blanca © vs Fugaz [MEX WELTER]
5th defense
5) Esfinge, Flip Gordon, Star Jr. vs Ángel de Oro, Hechicero, Niebla Roja
6) Máscara Dorada, Titán, Volador Jr. vs Rocky Romero, Stuka Jr., Último Guerrero
Stuka Jr. replaced Gran Guerrero on Thursday.

It’s a big Friday night with the return of a no-doubt CMLL hall of famer after a long absence. They’ve provided some great moments, defined an era, and will help guide a new generation of their family to stardom. I refer to, of course, Marcela’s return to CMLL after knee surgery back this spring. She explained on Informa that she had issues in both knees for years and worked through torn ligaments but was finally told she had to get surgery on both knees or she risked serious damage. Marcela says she’s a very disciplined person, and that’s helped her get through all the therapies. Marcela will probably never be peak Marcela again (see this match with Ayumi), but she’s had really slowed down the last couple of years. Maybe the knee surgery will help her regain some of her old form.

The main event has Rocky Romero back in town, fresh off beating Mascara Dorada via mask pull in MLW to keep both of his titles. Romero seems to be matched up with Titan a bit on the shows listed so far, so he may have a new opponent. Flip Gordon and Angel de Oro are again on opposite sides of the semi-main. Fugaz and Magia Blanca have a title rematch from May; it’s unusual to do a title match like in the same building, and it usually means a different result. Hopefully it means a better match than last time. Match 2 is the bodybuilding special.

CMLL Informa announced there’d be more about the mystery person on tonight’s show. It sounded like it’d be the reveal of Andrade, but they didn’t absolutely promise that. (Also, they’re going to put on social media the moment it happens so don’t buy the show just for that.) Andrade himself is headed to GCW in Los Angeles on Saturday.

CMLL is offering the show on PPV as always, but they’re only selling it in pesos now. I wrote about this on Twitter but not here: the USD price was screwed up for all the December shows last week, and that’s maybe why no one can buy USD shows now. The prices for the regular CMLL PPVs shows is normally 4.95 on the USD stream, and 86 pesos on the MXN stream. The USD streams were mistakenly set as 4.95 pesos, which is obviously about 95% discount. There must be a reality check minimum of 1 USD, which showed up on my card when I bought the shows. At any rate, they’re not risking it now, you can only buy in pesos (and you may be paying a currency exchange fee when you do.)

CMLL (SAT) 12/09/2023 Arena Coliseo
1) Bengala & Retro vs Grako & Inquisidor
2) Capitán Suicida, Eléctrico, Halcón Suriano Jr. vs Dr. Karonte I, Dr. Karonte II, Scorpió Jr.
3) Arkalis, Pegasso, Rey Samuray vs Apocalipsis, Cholo, Disturbio
4) Dulce Gardenia, Espíritu Negro, Rey Cometa vs Cancerbero, Difunto, Luciferno
5) Blue Panther, Panterita del Ring, Valiente vs Gemelo Diablo I, Gemelo Diablo II, Rey Bucanero
6) Flip Gordon & Titán vs Rocky Romero & Templario

This is what I mean by Titan and Romer booked against each other.

CMLL (SUN) 12/10/2023 Arena México
1) Oro Jr. & Valiente Jr. vs Misterio Blanco & Misterio Negro
2) La Guerrera & La Vaquerita vs Hera & Metálica
3) Fuego, Neón, Stigma vs Felino Jr., Misterioso Jr., Pólvora
4) Blue Panther Jr., Guerrero Maya Jr., Volcano vs Hijo del Villano III, Kráneo, Villano III Jr.
5) Hechicero, Niebla Roja, Rocky Romero vs Euforia, Mephisto, Stuka Jr.
6) Atlantis, Star Jr., Titán vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Terrible

Lots of Los Barbaros main events are coming.

Atlantis Jr. & Soberano Jr. defeated Zandokan Jr. & Yota Tsuji in the final league night of the NJPW World Tag League. Zandokan took the loss and then a bigger defeat: Naito said no to him joining LIJ. Naito did allude to Zandokan getting another chance someday. The reviews on the CMLL wrestlers were generally positive, stronger for the experienced two. Zandokan, even doing just OK, is a good sign, given where he’s at in his career. All three CMLL wrestlers participated in Friday morning’s show (where Soberano & Atlantis won with AEW’s Gates of Agony over an all-star NJPW team, and Zandokan surprisingly didn’t take the pin in his match.) They’ll finish up the tour on Sunday with matches TBA. Soberano teased something after his tag losses but has returned to calm down the last couple of matches.

Rocky Romero beat Mascara Dorada in MLW to retain their MLW Middleweight Championship and Historic Welterweight Championship. The match was said to be all right. There is no news on further CMLL appearances in MLW, though I expect there will be at some point.

KeMalito is showing up on CMLL video a lot, including holiday TikToks. My guess is KeMalito has a reign of terror for a few weeks and KeMonito is a Christmas present to combat him.

The 01/01 (Monday) Arena Mexico show is officially the latest edition of the Sin Salida cage match, with all the minis putting their hair or mask on the line. They all signed contracts on Wednesday’s Informa.

CMLL announced on Informa that La Jarochita & Lluvia will head to Japan in February. They’ll work a Ladies’ Ring show on 02/25 and probably more shows to be announced.


Ultraclash aired on Impact Thursday night. They aired almost the entire taping, skipping the locals match and the NGD tag title match. It was presented as filler TV, with the announcers heavily focusing on Impact’s (many) upcoming shows and paying only cursory attention to the matches. The announcers were respectful, but there were no stories to tell, and there were a lot of wrestlers they and their audience just didn’t know, so there was only so much they had to work with. There was a good amount of talent here and both promotions could’ve used them in ways to make their wrestlers feel like stars on TV; the goal here was just to eat up a few hours of TV.

Impact didn’t have perfect notes here; Dinamico and Myzteziz were pronounced incorrectly, they believed Sexy Star was the original one, and they decided Abismo Negro Jr. was Toxin in the main event. I think they were given bad information, I don’t think the announcers were getting it wrong intentionally. It’s less clear if they noticed it and missed that it was a different person or if they just decided it was AAA and it didn’t matter. (Seemingly, no one else watching the show noticed.) If AAA had a significant English fanbase, they’d be upset about ‘their’ promotion being treated badly. AAA doesn’t have much one, so no one noticed enough to care. That’s where AAA is at right now.

The plus side for me personally is I can skip the next two weeks of AAA TV; I’ve seen everything I need to see. AAA will have different in-between-match promos, but they were pointless on week one and probably won’t be any better on the next two. It’s tough to have a worthwhile promo without a direction and AAA is completely directionless. (I’ve also got other obligations on Saturday so if you’re counting on me to put the show up, you may be waiting a bit.) If you are going to track Impact, the main event trios and the Octagon/Josh Alexander versus Moose/Toxin match are the two to watch, though nothing you have to go out of your way to see.

The next special Luchatitlan show is 12/16 with Psycho Clown, La Hiedra, Mr. Iguana, and Nino Hamburguesa participating.

A Cuatrero/Vaquer update

Record reports Cuatrero was denied a request to leave jail and switch to home confinement on Wednesday. Cuatrero has been imprisoned since March 11th on charges of family violence and feminicde against then-girlfriend Stephanie Vaquer. There’s been little publicly revealed about the case since the imprisonment. The next meeting before the judge is December 22nd and the case is expected to be resolved in the first two months of 2024. The judge ruled against releasing Cuatrero because he felt he still had an aggressive nature and was a possible risk to his victim. The judge additionally cited “constant harassment towards the luchadora, both in person and on social media, by friends and family of Cuatrero” as a reason Cuatrero should not be allowed to leave jail.

Cuatero’s supporters have been harassing Vaquer the last eight months; they might be arguing the phrasing but not the actions. Cuatrero fans and friends have mobilized under the slogan “#JusticiaParaCuatrero” to question Vaquer both online and in person. They’ve also come up with conspiracy theories to explain what is going on; once you’ve decided that Cuatrero couldn’t have possibly committed the crime, you apparently open your mind to many strange possibilities. The one possibility the group has latched on is a vast international plot, where Vaquer is now dating wealthy lucha libre memorabilia collector Christan Cymet, and he’s using his political influence all the way to the top of Mexico’s government to keep Cuatrero in jail. Powerful people do abuse their power, and Mexicans have reasons not to trust their institutions, but there’s no strong reason to believe that is what’s going on here. It’s a person who was charged with a violent crime whose job involved violence; it’s not a big surprise they’re going to be concerned about letting him out of jail prematurely.

A great conspiracy is an absurd idea to myself but not to Cuatrero’s fans and Mexican wrestling vloggers looking for ways to get more views. They’ve been spinning up the intensity of this story for months. It got enough attention to be vaguely asked in one of the most public places in Mexican political life: the President’s daily press conference. Neither Cuatrero nor Vaquer’s name is mentioned by name, but it’s a question about a luchador who’s been stuck in jail without a trial for an extended period of time by powerful people. Only the people inside the bubble of this weird story would have any idea what that dialogue was really about. The president of Mexico is not inside that bubble and gave an answer that wasn’t addressing the question, as politicians tend to do.

It is a tremendous backfire by those people seeking to help Cuatrero to act in such a fashion that they are partially responsible for keeping Cuatrero in jail. I would still be surprised if they saw the flaws in their choices, and I expect those people would instead see his continued dentition as another sign of their grand conspiracy. The bigger problem is that harassment has reached a notable level already. It will be much more intense whenever this case comes to a decision, and Mexico may become a tough place for Stephanie Vaquer to work and live.

Big Lucha

They’re back streaming Big Lucha World.

Big Lucha World (FRI) 12/08/2023 Arena Big Lucha, Iztapalapa, Distrito Federal
1) ? vs La Brava
2) Tirano vs Black Skayde
3) Iku & Orbita vs Black Andrómeda & Cody 1-8

This might be the final Big Lucah World of the year. The main Big Lucha show is next Saturday and then it’s holiday team.

Google Drive

I will begin removing non-essential 2020 and 2021 CMLL videos from the Google Drive in the near future, likely the last last week of te year. These will be the sorts of regular TV matches that no one remembers exist a week later. The matches I deem important – title matches, apuesta matches, tournament finals, other newsworthy matches – will stay up, just as they’ve stayed up for previous years.

It’s mostly just a matter of getting close to the 2 GB limit and having no intention of paying for increased storage for matches no one’s probably going to ever watch. I’ll still have a copy of the matches if someone ever needs them, but everyone’s stopped needing those for a while. I’ll wait to see how much is left before looking at other promotions, but I expect this will be an annual thing.

Other News

12/09 RIOT

Those three matches sound good. No idea what they’re doing for the rest.

The Rey Mysterio cartoon debuts tonight on Mexico’s Cartoon Network at 7 pm and on demand on HBO Max. There’s no known air date for the US; I’m not sure if it’s actually coming.

Vampiro has been doing a podcast. I’ve not paying it too much mind because the combination of “Vampiro”, “other old wrestlers” and “podcast” means there’s a high chance of stuff just being made up. Whatever the validity, Vampiro’s a rare Mexican wrestler podcast to talk about the behind-the-scenes of Mexican wrestling. There’s an underserved Spanish language fanbase who gets constantly fed those types of stories about US wrestling but rarely about their own countries’ wrestling, so they will have a great thirst for this sort of content. (And, as we’ve seen in English, accuracy is beyond the point.) Vampiro had Latin Lover on a recent podcast, and two clips from that got a lot of attention: one where Latin Lover talks about how Jaque Mate was the person he got along least within CMLL, another where he talks about having issues with Konnan early on.

With the actor’s strike settled, Gael Garcia Bernal is on a belated press tour to promote the Cassandro movie on Amazon Prime. He’s interviewed in Variety about the movie. In Deadline, he credits Pimpinela Escarlata and Rudy Reyna as being as important exoticos in addition to Cassandro.

Wrestlers in Guadalajara and Torreon had special holiday masses.

Dralistico out of AAA, CMLL early week shows, WTL


CMLL (MON) 12/04/2023 Arena Puebla [Porra Fresa]
1) Dreyko & Rencor b Black Tiger & Rayo Metálico
2) Astro & Xelhua b El Malayo & Hijo del Perverso
3) Perverso, Prayer, Rey Apocalipsis b Halcón Suriano Jr., Meyer, Valiente Jr.
4) Último Dragóncito © b Mercurio [CMLL MINI]
1st defense, title rematch. Mask challenged followed.
5) Magia Blanca, Magnus, Rugido b Guerrero Maya Jr., Stigma, Valiente
Rugido beat Maya after a mask pull
6) Hijo del Villano III, Templario, Villano III Jr. DQ Atlantis, Octagón, Volador Jr.
Villanos unmasked Atlantis & Octaogn’s mask for the DQ.

Porra Fresa notes it was a weaker turnout than usual. I assume they’re heading to a Rugido/Maya title match, maybe something out of the main event as well.

Pegasso told El Sol de Puebla that he’s proud to represent his home city on the FantasticaMania tour.

CMLL (TUE) 12/05/2023 Arena México [CMLL, Kaiser Sports]
1) Micro Gemelo Diablo I & Micro Gemelo Diablo II b Átomo & Chamuel FUNCIÓN COMPLETA DESDE LA ARENA MÉXICO MARTES 5 DE DICIEMBRE DE 2O23 SOLO MIEMBROS (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
2) Galaxy, Minos, Pierrothito DQ Fantasy, Full Metal, Pequeño Olímpico [Relevos IncreíblesFUNCIÓN COMPLETA DESDE LA ARENA MÉXICO MARTES 5 DE DICIEMBRE DE 2O23 SOLO MIEMBROS (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Pequeno Olimpico’s turn to unmask Pierrothito
3) El Coyote, Okumura, Pólvora b Futuro, Max Star, Neón FUNCIÓN COMPLETA DESDE LA ARENA MÉXICO MARTES 5 DE DICIEMBRE DE 2O23 SOLO MIEMBROS (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Max Star suffered an injury on a Brillo Dorada attempt at the end of the third fall.
5) Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., Dark Panther b Felino, Rugido, Sagrado FUNCIÓN COMPLETA DESDE LA ARENA MÉXICO MARTES 5 DE DICIEMBRE DE 2O23 SOLO MIEMBROS (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rugido replaced Rey Bucanero just prior to the show
6) Máscara Dorada, Místico, Octagón b Averno, Euforia, Mephisto CMLL - AVERNO - MEPHISTO - EUFORIA VS OCTAGÓN - MÁSCARA DORADA - MÍSTICO / ARENA MEXICO /05-12-23 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)

The CMLL stream died during the Tuesday main event; right as Mistico and Mascara Dorada were about to dives. CMLL uploaded the main event later that night, as well as the missing 11/24 show they didn’t go up on its Sunday schedule. CMLL has a very good product this year but their subscription product is still not up to standard. On the other hand, other promotions seem to have staffed departments to handle these sorts of tasks and CMLL seems to have one person doing when they’re not doing four other jobs.

CMLL really needs more variety in their minis finishes to set up this match. I liked Difunto/Virus. Max Star messed up his dive pretty badly and seemed to get out of OK all things considered. That match wasn’t going great. Panthers match was trying to do their usual bit. Main event wasn’t much to talk about it, but it also died in the middle of the second fall comeback.

CMLL (TUE) 12/05/2023 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Mas Lucha]
1) Gallo Jr., Rafaga Jr., Temerario b Avispón Negro Jr., Luminoso, Quka Arena Coliseo GDL️ Martes 05 Diciembre ‘23. (posted by Martes de Glamour Oficial )
2) Ángel Rebelde, El Gallero, Trono b Insólito, Misterio Blanco, Misterio Negro Arena Coliseo GDL️ Martes 05 Diciembre ‘23. (posted by Martes de Glamour Oficial )
3) Astro (Puebla), Blue Shark (Puebla), Fénix SO, Rayo Metálico (Guanajuato) DQ Arlequín, Bestia Negra, Cris Skin, Star Black Arena Coliseo GDL️ Martes 05 Diciembre ‘23. (posted by Martes de Glamour Oficial )
Gallero attacked Star Black, who a was a replacement for Halcon Nero Jr.
4) Barboza, Draego, Persa b Brillante Jr., Felino Jr., Halcón Suriano Jr. Arena Coliseo GDL️ Martes 05 Diciembre ‘23. (posted by Martes de Glamour Oficial )
5) Apocalipsis, Cholo, Disturbio b Leo, Omar Brunetti, Vaquero Jr. Arena Coliseo GDL️ Martes 05 Diciembre ‘23. (posted by Martes de Glamour Oficial )
6) Bárbaro Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Terrible b Halcón Negro Jr., Niebla Roja, Principe Daniel Arena Coliseo GDL️ Martes 05 Diciembre ‘23. (posted by Martes de Glamour Oficial )
Halcon Negro Jr. replaced Angel de Oro (nose injury against Flip Gordon Saturday.) Principe Daniel had issues with his partners and ended up helping Los Barbaros (and his brother Cavernario.)

Crowd seemed a bit down for this one. Not a strong show and a weak main event story. Maybe the idea was to set up the Chavez/Cavernarios as a match for next week, but I’m still not sure it would’ve worked.

Draego told Mas Lucha that he cried tears of joy when he found out he was going to debut in Arena Mexico on Friday.

There was a private show at Arena Coliseo Tuesday night for the Inter-American Associate of Intellectual Property (ASIPI).

Thursday is the final league night of NJPW’s World Tag League, with Zandokan Jr. & Yota Tsuji versus Soberano Jr. & Atlantis Jr. in a match where neither team has a realistic chance to advance to the final. Zandokan Jr. is still requesting to join LIJ, Soberano and Atlantis are still simmering towards an explosion. Neither story must resolve on Thursday, there’s shows on Friday and Saturday as well, but it seems likely something is going to happen.

Thursday also has Mascara Dorada against Rocky Romero in MLW, for both the (NWA) Historic Welterweight Championship and the MLW Midldeweight Championship. It airs as part of Fite+. That match will certainly be better than the NJPW one, it may be historically more important and yet I’m thinking about getting up around 2 AM to watch the NJPW one and can’t find any interest in the MLW one.

CMLL (MON) 12/11/2023 Arena Puebla
1) Astro & Blue Shark vs Dreyko & El Malayo
2) Meyer & Xelhua vs Dr. Karonte I & Dr. Karonte II
3) Pegasso, Rey Samuray, Valiente vs Perverso, Prayer, Rey Apocalipsis
4) Guerrero Maya Jr., Stigma, Valiente vs Magia Blanca, Magnus, Rugido
5) Ángel de Oro & Rocky Romero vs Flip Gordon & Titán
6) Atlantis, Octagón, Volador Jr. vs Hijo del Villano III, Templario, Villano III Jr.

4/6 are rematches. I’m sure the Villanos will actually be thrilled to main event against Octagon and Atlantis, no matter how bad the match will be. Anyway, this is just a reminder that while “Octagon and El Hijo del Santo” is the team remembered as the big deal from tape traded in the 90s, Atlantis & Octagon seem to be a much more enduring pair in fans’ memories.

There’s the usual list of guests on CMLL Informa, but the thing to watch for is Andrade news. The big CMLL announcements have tended to come on Informa this year. The KeMalito/KeMonito news might also come on that show. No knowing which week, it’ll be a surprise.

The guests officially on the show:

  • Templario – ???
  • Marcela – return from injury
  • Fugaz/Magia Blanca – title match Friday
  • Pequeno Estrellas – the usual
  • Astral, Akuma, Diamond, Olympica, Hombre Bala Jr. Scorpio Jr. – bodybuilding

Just to make it extra clear, “Scorpio Jr.” is not the guy who was around CMLL in the 90s/00s. I believe this is the one who’s been going as Scorpio NG in Mexico State indies. The graduation rate from the Student group Scorpio Jr. won to the main roster is very low, so this might be his biggest CMLL win.

I’m sure I’ll remember why Templario is being interviewed as soon as I finish this post but nothing comes to mind. Maybe it’s another international booking.

CMLL officially announced they’d be running Arena Mexico on Mondays 12/25 and 01/01, in place of the usual Sunday shows. The moves are as expected – anyone looking at a calendar could’ve figured them out – but formally announcing these shows as happening clears the way for CMLL to announce a match for them. Like a minis cage match.

Puebla’s also running 12/25 and 01/01. A good chance Guadalajara will run as well.

CMLL will have an art sale on Thursday in Mexico City. I actually don’t think I know what’s happening. there.

Mascara Dorada will appear on Prestige Wrestling’s 02/25 show at the Los Angeles Globe Theatre The Vermont Hollywood. It is notable to see him booked out to a English speaking US indie.

Voices of Wrestling looks back at the month of November for CMLL.

On TJ Sports new YouTube wrestling channel, there’s an interview with Tessa Blanchard where she seems to say she’s got a deal with CMLL on a per date basis but has more dates scheduled. There’s notes in the other one. Stephanie Vaquer mentions she’s booked on the January NJPW show (presumably the 01/13 San Jose card.) Titan says his US work visa has actually expired, he’s in progress of getting it renewed, but he’s just working in Mexico and Japan for the moment.

A common thread in the TJ Sports CMLL interviews is the interviewer asking these guys who they’d be interested in wrestling in AEW and Titan, Vaquer and Dorada having no answers to that question. Vaquer focuses on the people she’s faced before (Mayu and Mone), Titan says he’ll go whevever CMLL wants to send them, and Dorada seems to know “Daniel Bryan” only from his WWE work. The AEW stuff is far off the radar of even three of the most internationally facing luchadors.


Dralistico announced he’d finished up with AAA and was going to take independent bookings on Tuesday. Dralstico’s challenged for the mega championship, lost, and there’s no indication AAA had any plans for him beyond that, so it’s a smart time to check out. His last angle – insisting he was going to be a tecnico unlike the rest of his family – ends up being weird. The title match may have gone better if he just worked rudo. Maybe it says something about when this was all decided but it doesn’t really matter. Dralistico is a known enough names that he can get booked without TV exposure in Mexico, and he’s probably going to be fine just on his AEW deal alone. Dralistico didn’t seem important to AAA’s business and I don’t think they’re going to be hurt by him leaving individually, but it does add to an overall feeling of AAA not being the place to be and being cold.

If AAA knew who was leaving in advance, that Guerra de Titanes was well booked out: both Dralistico and QT Marshall apparently finished putting over tecnicos on their way out. It also fits with the WON story about AAA wanting to get away from using people who have AEW commitments. It’s just so unlike AAA for the right thing to happen on purpose.

Publicly distancing yourself from AAA is often a prelude to working with CMLL wrestlers. My immediate guess with Dralistico is that he took a booking with the Crash, though. They’re also off limits. It may make it easier to book Dralistico on the same show as CMLL wrestlers in AEW, but AEW hasn’t booked any CMLL wrestlers outside of one Mistico booking.

Rush hasn’t worked AAA since the last TripleMania, and his status is unclear. He was on a handshake deal for those, so he’s unlikely to them at all, but he also hasn’t distanced himself from AAA. TripleManias are going to come up again, AAA’s going to need names, and they’re probably going to talk again.

Sunday was the one year anniversary of AAA running the Mullet Arena in Arizona. At the time, AAA told the Wrestling Observer Newsletter the show was successful enough to run in the area again, though they may run in a different Arizona city. There has been no mention of running AAA running in the US at all this year.

Impact has their airing of Ultraclash Thursday on AXS.


IWRG (SUN) 12/10/2023 Arena Naucalpan
1) Águila Oriental vs Rey Aztaroth
2) Bengalee & Sagitarius vs Kali & Sádika
3) Diosa Quetzal vs Keyra
4) Hell Boy, León Dorado, Mr. Leo vs Keyra, Lion Dog I, Lion Dog II
5) Hijo del Fishman & Rey Espectro vs Águila Roja & Hijo del Pirata Morgan and Dragón Yuki & Hijo de Canis Lupus
6) Mocho Cota Jr., Súper Comando, Tito Santana © vs Gran Pandemónium, Hijo de Pandemónium, Pandemónium Jr. [IWRG IC TRIOS]
third? defense

Poder del Norte are going to keep having to defend these titles until someone finally beats them.

Dragon Yuki is back from Japan for at least the rest of December. The Lion Dogs are from Leon. They primarily work for a group called “Toffy’s”, which is bringing in La Pandemia later this month. Bobby Lee Jr. may be involved.

IWRG is changing its format to their annual Tryout show; it’s essentially The Voice (or La Voz). The judges sit in swivel chairs, pick teams, turn around when they’ve seen enough, and the match gets stopped if all the judges turn around. These shows always focus heavily on the judges and’ll be even more so in this format.

Other News

The Rey Mysterio cartoon series debuts (in Mexico) on Friday on Cartoon Network and HBO Max. The first season has 10 episodes. Misterio was in Mexico promoting the show with a lot of press, with Crazy Boy, Fight Panther Jr., and Aero Panther helping show kids lucha libre. This is outside the WWE project, so they won’t be mentioning it all, but there seems to be good interest in Mexico about it. A common statement by people who only watch lucha libre when presented in WWE is Rey Mysterio is the best luchador ever. Rey Mysterio himself says he would like to be considered among the top three luchadors ever, granting El Santo, Mil Mascaras and Perro Aguayo also had outstanding careers.

Damian 666 is the new lucha libre commission in Tijuana. Damian also said he might retire from wrestling next year. There was talk about more harmony between the commission and the locker room, which makes me wonder about the recent suspensions.

Box y Lucha 3580 has lots of CMLL photos.

Big Lucha will have a press conference on Friday to discuss their “Culmination” show on December 16.

Box y Lucha 233A-237A (September 1956)

These issues are part of Box y Lucha’s Coleccion Diamante.

Box y Lucha 233A (September 7, 1956)

EMLL (FRI) 08/31/1956 Arena Coliseo [Box y Lucha 232A, Box y Lucha 233A]
1) Enrique Camarena b Kid Vanegas
2) Memo Rubio DRAW Carlos Segura
3) Chivo García b Kiko Torres
4) Canelo Segura b Akio Yoshihara
5) Huracán Ramírez b Giuliano
6) El Gladiador b Black Shadow [MEX MIDDLE, semifinal]
Box y Lucha claims this match went 90 minutes, which seems hard to believe. Said to be the match of the year
7) El Santo b Cavernario Galindo [MEX MIDDLE, semifinal]

Box y Lucha claims Gladiador/Shadow went ninety (90) minutes, which is tremendously hard to believe. Match 5 is the EMLL debut of Huracan Ramirez, who was most recently wrestling in Guadalajara and said to have been previously in Guatemala and El Salvador. He’s billed as not being actor David Silva – who had played the character in the same named movie in 1952 – but his 21-year-old stunt double. It is actually Daniel Garica, who’s closer to 30 years old. The magazine teases a younger brother of Huracan Ramriez is working prelims, but I don’t think any of the three brothers are at this point unless they’re doing it under unfamiliar names. Maybe it’s confusion with the unrelated Chivo Garcia?

Sunday’s show includes Tarzan Lopez and Joe Grant advancing to the final of the Mexican Light Heavyweight tournament.

Elsewhere, the magazine is fascinated by results from a show in Texas: all the matches were one fall! Also, Kimura is telling people he’s going to bring four wrestlers back with him to Japan. Kimura doesn’t seem to return to Japan as a professional wrestler, and maybe it’s just an idea to start a new promotion that never ends up taking.

Box y Lucha 234A (Septmeber 14, 1956)

EMLL (FRI) 09/07/1956 Arena México [Box y Lucha 233A, Box y Lucha 234A]
1) Akio Yoshihara b Chico Veloz
2) Huracán Ramírez DQ Gorilita Flores
3) Bobby Bonales TLDRAW Ray Mendoza
4) Masahiko Kimura b Steiko Watanabe [judo]
5) Tarzán López b Joe Grant [MEX LH, final]
Tarzan took ⅓.
6) Medico Asesino b Lotario [MEX HEAVY, final]
Medico took ⅔ to win

Medico Asesino is the biggest star of the heavyweights, but he’s also not a full timer in EMLL. He’s not long for this promotion. Tarzan Lopez is also closer to the end of his time in on top in EMLL than the beginning, though he’ll at least be around for a few more years to come.

Steiko Watanabe starts to take over here as Kimura’s traveling partner. They have a judo exhibition, which again must’ve looked different than what fans (and writers) were used to. Clinch 227 calls it a bore.

Box y Lucha 235A (September 21, 1956)

EMLL (FRI) 09/14/1956 Arena Coliseo [Box Y Lucha, Box y Lucha 1456, Box y Lucha 234A, Box y Lucha 235A]
1) Frankenstein b Centella Inca
2) Dr. Castro DRAW Moloch
3) Giuliano b Canelo Segura
4) Joe Grant b Bobby Bonales
5) Black Shadow b Cavernario Galindo
6) Medico Asesino b Masahiko Kimura
7) El Santo b Gladiador [MEX MIDDLE, final]

Santo takes falls 2/3 to claim this vacant title. Gladiador, frustrated, immediately challenges Santo for a mask match. The magazine believes Gladiador was outclassed in the tournament final and stands little chance against Santo in a mask match.

Santo winning the title is odd given the other title situation. It’s two conflicting stories: Santo wouldn’t be normally allowed to be a national champion if he’s considered a NWA champion, so whomever booked this tournament seems to have signed off on the title change.

Box y Lucha notes this show had a bad turnout, unusual for an El Santo main event.

There’s also an interview with Medico Asesino, bragging about the fancy cars he owns thanks to his winnings and talking about how he’s manged by former luchador Black Guzman. El Santo interrupts, and tells Medico Asesino is doing so much better as a masked man than when he was wrestling unmasked here years ago. It doesn’t seem like that’s a fact Medico Asesino wanted out. Asesino does reveal he’s now suspended from EMLL for the next three months, though it’s not clear why. I haven’t any more Medico Asesino in EMLL before he passes away in 1960, so this may be his last match with the promotion. His name still will come up in magazines often in the next few years.

September 16th, 1956 – Independence Day – is the first ever day where EMLL ran Arena Mexico and Arena Coliseo on the same day. (They didn’t have both arenas until then.) Bobby Bonales & Gladiador defeat Cavernario Galindo & the returning Verdugo in Coliseo, while Dorrel Dixon and Joe Grant win a one night tag team tournament in Arena Mexico. Grant & Dixon are said to have earned 10,000 pesos for winning the tournament. Box y Lucha notes a disappointing turnout led to a gate of 16,000, which meant EMLL lost money running the shows if the prize amount is accurate.

Box y Lucha notes that Jorge Allende and Ray Mendoza nearly got suspended for brawling into the crowd; the ring announcer Maximiliano Aguilar is credited for calming the situation.

Box y Lucha 236A (September 28, 1956)

EMLL (FRI) 09/21/1956 Arena México [Box y Lucha 1456, Box y Lucha 236A, Clinch 227, DJ SpectroEl Hijo del Santo, Punos 13]
***EMLL 22nd Aniversario***
1) Chivo García DRAW Kiko Torres
2) Orquídea DQ Adolfo Bonales
Box y lucha has this as a DQ, Clinch 227 lists as a draw
3) Lotario b Miguel King
4) Huracán Ramírez b Carlos Segura
Canelo Segura replaced Jorge Allende
5) Henry Pilusso b Ray Mendoza
6) Black Shadow & Tarzán López b Cavernario & Mongol
7) El Santo b El Gladiador [mask]
35 minute match. Santo takes fall 1/3. Santo submits Gladiador to win, though Gladiador argues he didn’t give up and the match is resumed. Santo again submits Gladiador to a double armbar and there was no doubt that time. Gladiador is Luis Ramirez Romero.

Gladiador’s been built up with big wins over 1955 and 1956, but the Aniversrio main event really gets set up with just one week build.

I’m guessing Torres/Garcia actually took place after the main event and that’s why there’s no results. This is a sellout, though what a sell out means depending on the source. Box y Lucha 1456’s history piece calls it “20,000” fans. Box y Lucha 236A’s report the week of the show says 15,000. That report also guesses at payouts, based on the gates and what they must know about percentages:

  • King/Loatario 460 pesos
  • Pilusso/Mendoza 675
  • Tarzan/Shadow/Caverario/Mongol 1,600 pesos
  • Santo/Gladiador could not be making more than 2000

Box y Lucha 237A (October 5th, 1956)

EMLL (FRI) 09/28/1956 Arena México [Box y Lucha 236A, Box y Lucha 237A]
1) Bobby Rolando b Carlos Segura
2) Centella Inca b Chico Veloz
3) Pepe Mendieta b Giuliano
4) Black Shadow b El Santo [quarterfinal]
an opening round tournament match! Rated 7 ¾
5) Gladiador b Dorrel Dixon [quarterfinal]
6) Cavernario Galindo b Tarzán López [quarterfinal]
7) Bobby Bonales b Blue Demon [quarterfinal]
8) Black Shadow DQ Gladiador [semifinal]
Gladiador fouled Shadow by accident. Rated 7 ¼
9) Cavernario Galindo b Bobby Bonales [semifinal]
10) Black Shadow b Cavernario Galindo [final]
Shadow wowed with his technique. Rated 7 ¼

This is previewed in 236 as a #1 contenders tournament to the NWA Middleweight Championship. The Mexico City commission puts it foot down, declaring they recognize Santo as champion, he can’t be in a #1 contenders tournament for his own title, and so the commission is out. The commission tries to fix the situation by recognizing Santo as the rightful champion, but Santo refuses that. He believes titles are meant to be won or lost in the ring and he lost the title, simple as that. Santo also makes it clear he doesn’t want to be in another title tournament to decide a new champion – he’s tired from the recent tournaments – and he’ll either face Vera in a decision match for the vacant title or he’ll have no part in it.

Black Shadow wins what’s was supposed to be a title show. Box y Lucha nonetheless brings him up as rightful contender for a time to come.

In other championship news, Mexican National Women’s Champion Rosa Williams says she’ll be retiring soon to marry luchador Tony Lopez and become a housewife. Times are different, but it’s evident things are tough for luchadoras right now; there’s no talk about lifting the ban in women’s wrestling in Mexico City, so anyone left is stuck traveling long distances and working on small shows

Clinch 227 – October 1956

Box y Lucha has two monthly magazines: CLINCH and PUÑOS. It would make sense for one to be wrestling and one to be boxing. They’re the usual half boxing, half lucha libre mix instead. They cover the previous month’s notes.

Highlights include

  • a editorial complaining about kids under 15 being banned from attending lucha libre
  • an interview with Salvador Lutteroth, which seems re-printed from the year prior. Some details here: the key office people are Lutteroth Jr., Manuel Flores (who seems to be the accountant), Antonio Andere (publicity) and Chucho Lomeli (programmer.)
  • A look back at Medico Asesino’s 1952
  • September 1952 rankings:
    • El Santo is wrestler of the month, most popular, biggest villain and half of the best team with Medicno Asesino
    • Top 10 best: Rolando Vera, Santo, Gori Guerrero, Rito Romero, Blue Demon, Chico Casasola, Black Shadow, Tarzan Lopez, and El Enfermero
  • An article with wrestlers talking about the lowest and highest pays they’ve got. Black Shadow says he got 7,000 pesos for his mask match and about the same for a NWA MIDDLE challenge. Gladiador mentions he got 4,000 pesos for his match on the Arena Mexico opening show.

One bio that caught eye was a long profile of Rosa (Rosita) Williams, the current national woman’s champion. The headline feels very 50s: “Rosa Williams, weaker sex? Yes, but she’s also a champion!” There’s more of a point to it. Young Rosa saw a photo of a woman covered in blood in a newspaper, noticed it said “This is the weaker sex?” and asked her father about it. He explained it was a luchadora. She forgot it about it, but later got became a boxer when a friend was invited here to her own match. Williams says she was an undefeated boxer until the day her boxing match and toured a bit, eventually fighting in the semimain of a show main evented by a Pantera Surina match. (This has to be a previous Pantera Surina luchadora; the famous Pantera Surena was born the same year this magazine was published.) Williams had never seen lucha libre before, and talked to luchador Octavio Gaona Jr. at the show to understand what was happening. She fell in love with it, starting training, and gave up boxing completely.

Williams’ first match was a mixed tag in Plaza el Progreso Guadalajara, teaming with Mario Prado against Golden Terror and the same Pantera Surina. She was very nervous, but her partner helped her get through it and they won the match. Her hardest match was in Torreon’s Palacio de los Deportes, another mixed tag with Raul Torres against Rudy Galindo and Pantera Surina again. Galindo was not yet a Cavernario but fought like one; Williams talks about all the hard shots she took in the match, which left her crying in the corner after the she tagged out. She had a headache for two weeks, and ended up shaving her head to reduce the pain. Williams wrestled around Mexico as a tecnico for five years, got tired of the beatings, and retired – to become a bull fighter instead. That didn’t work out (she didn’t have the right size for it) and she ended up returning to lucha as a ruda instead. She seems to be having much more fun in that style, and won the title as a ruda.

Williams says she won the women’s championship from Irma Gonzalez in El Toreo Cuatro Caminos (!) in February 1955. That’s a pretty big building for a women’s title match and suggests Mexico State didn’t ban women’s wrestling immediately after Mexico City did. Gonzalez is also said to be the first champion, which is different than what we have on the wiki right now. (There, Dama Enmascarada is the first champion; Williams actually says Enmascarada’s never had a chance but would make a good champion.) Williams says she’s since defended against Irma Gonzalez in Cuernavaca and Acapulco, with another match coming in Guadalajara.

Williams plans on getting married to fellow wrestler Tony Lopez in February or March of 1957 and retiring then. “Like any other woman, I want a home, a spouse, and a couple of children.” She cautioned one of her sisters not to train wrestling like Rosa. Her sister isn’t an athlete and won’t want to take the beating. William’s parents also have mixed feelings about this career: her mother hates seeing her get beat up, and her father wish he had never let her see the bloody woman photo, thinking she might have never taken this path. That bloody woman turns out to be Mildred Burke, and Williams is very proud to be the champion and The Best just like Burke was. She wants to retire as champion.

(The story doesn’t end the way Rosa Williams plans here; she’s back wrestling and champion again in 1959.)

The other profile is with referee Gonzalo Avendano. The referee gig is the less important job: he’s the original EMLL trainer, meeting Salvador Lutteroth in 1933 and training the first generation of Mexican born wrestlers. Avenando is military vet and a world traveler. He learned greco-roman wrestling and jiu jitsu in 1908 while attending military college. He says he reached the sixth grade of jiu jitsu and was the only one in America to do so. He also became friends with US wrestling pioneer William Muldon, and learned wrestling from him. Avendano served in World War I, earning the rank of Coronel, then ended up wrestling in Hollywood as “Maravilla Enmascarada” for four matches. He was invited back to Mexico by the governments to teach wrestling and lucha libre in 1931, and met Lutteroth a few years later.

Others lucha libre historians have pointed to Avenando’s jiu jitsu background as a reason for the rolling bumps and other peculiarities of Mexican wrestling style. He definitely seems to have great historical importance for someone we know little about.

[Previous August 1956. Next October 1956. Full index]

mystery man, Vaquer keeps the woman’s title, KeMalito, Ultraclash


There was a CMLL spot show in Arena Aficion on Thursday. Nothing much notable in the wrestling, crowd as OK (though that’s better than some CMLL shows there in the past.) The notable event was a wedding proposal; she said yes.

CMLL (FRI) 12/01/2023 Arena México [CMLL, Kaiser SportsPubliMetroRecordThe Gladiatores, thecubsfan]
1) Pequeño Magía, Pequeño Violencia, Último Dragóncito DQ Mercurio, Pierrothito, Shockercito [Relevos IncreíblesCMLL -P. VIOLENCIA-P. MAGIA-U. DRAGONCITO VS SHOCKERCITO - P. PIERROTH-MERCURIO/A. MÉXICO /01-12-23 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) CMLL | Último Dragoncito, Peq. Violencia y Peq. Magia vencen a Mercurio, Shockercito y P. Pierroth (posted by mluchatv) Fugaz, Star Black y Esfinge vs Magnus, Rugido y Magia Blanca ARENA MÉXICO (posted by Estrellas del Ring) Increíbles Último Dragoncito, Full Metal y Pequeño Violencia (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
8:58. Usual challenges for a cage match followed
2) Apocalipsis, Cholo, Disturbio b Futuro, Halcón Suriano Jr., Neón CMLL - CHOLO - DISTURBIO - APOCALIPSIS VS HALCÓN SURIANO JR. - NEÓN - FUTURO /ARENA MÉXICO /01-12-23 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) CMLL | Los Indestructibles derrotan a Neón, Futuro y Halcón Suriano Jr. (posted by mluchatv) El Cholo, Disturbio y Apocalipsis vs Futuro, Neon y Halcón Suriano Jr ARENA MÉXICO (posted by Estrellas del Ring) Los Indestructibles imparables derrotan a los jóvenes Neón, Futuro y Halcón Suriano Jr (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
3) Esfinge, Fugaz, Star Black b Magia Blanca, Magnus, Rugido CMLL - MAGNUS -RUGIDO - MAGIA BLANCA VS STAR BLACK - ESFINGE - FUGAZ/ARENA MÉXICO /01-12-23 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) CMLL | La Fuerza Tapatía derrotó a Los Depredadores (posted by mluchatv)
11:31. Straight falls. Fugaz challenged Magia Blanca to a title match.
4) Flip Gordon, Titán, Valiente b Averno, Euforia, Mephisto CMLL - EUFORIA - MEPHISTO - AVERNO VS VALIENTE - FLIP GORDON - TITÁN /ARENA MÉXICO /01-12-23 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) CMLL | Fugaz reta a Magia Blanca (otra vez) por el Campeonato Nacional Welter (posted by mluchatv) Flip Gordon, Valiente y Titan vs Mephisto, Averno y Euforia ARENA MÉXICO (posted by Estrellas del Ring) Infernales destruidos por Valiente, Titán y Flip Gordon en la México Catedral (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
5) Stephanie Vaquer © b Tessa Blanchard [CMLL WOMENCMLL - CAMPEONATO MUNDIAL FEMENIL / TESSA BLANCHARD VS STEPHANIE VAQUER /ARENA MÉXICO /01-12-23 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) CMLL | Por el Campeonato Mundial Femenil Stephanie Vaquer (C) y Tessa Blanchard (R) (posted by mluchatv) El campeonato mundial femenil del CMLL: Stephanie Vaquer (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre) Stephanie Vaquer (C) vs Tessa Blanchard (R) CAMPEONATO MUNDIAL FEMENIL CMLL (posted by Estrellas del Ring)
12:56. 2nd defense
6) Máscara Dorada, Místico, Volador Jr. b Bárbaro Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Terrible CMLL - LOS BÁRBAROS VS VOLADOR JR. - MÁSCARA DORADA - MÍSTICO /ARENA MÉXICO /01-12-23 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL) CMLL | Místico, Volador Jr. y Máscara Dorada vencen a Los Bárbaros, Kemalito y la Comandante (posted by mluchatv) Místico, Máscara Dorada y Volador Jr vs Kemalito, la Comandante y los Bárbaros ARENA MÉXICO (posted by Estrellas del Ring) Místico, Volador Jr y Máscara Dorada le dan su bienvenida a Los Bárbaros, Ke Malito y La Comandante (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
Prior to the match, a video aired of a mystery man coming soon to CMLL. (The video implied it was Andrade/Sombra.) La Comandante returned to CMLL as second to the newly named Los Barbaros. KeMalito made his in-ring debut (introduced at a CMLL post-Aniversary party) to help the rudos win the seond fall. Comandante & Maldito worked together to help Cavernario pin Mistico after a third fall mask pull. Referee Edgar was distracted by KeMalito far longer than normal, Cavernario held the pin for about 20 second, Mistico kicked out before three when Edgar finally counted the pin, Edgar counted three anyway, the match went onto a La Mistica. Cavernario complained he had the three count post match.

Here’s that vignette. Most are guessing it’s Andrade. I’ve been told they’re correct; this is indeed the former La Sombra’s return to Arena Mexico. Andrade’s name has come up positively in 2023 – primarily around relatives Lady Shadow and Brillante Jr. making CMLL appearances and doing interviews – where he wasn’t talked about at all when he was working AAA shows. There are must’ve been some work to smooth things over before this point. I believe Andrade’s return will lead to more attention on his other family members.

La Sombra was actually never a notable draw in CMLL the first time around; he was a star but not that kind of star. Returning to Arena Mexico after many years away will definitely make him that attraction. There are the obvious big mask match rematches with Volador Jr. and Atlantis, the dream match with Mistico, and new top stars like Mascara Dorada & Soberano he can work against.

(I don’t think AEW ‘sent’ Andrade as part of CMLL/AEW deal. The people who need to understand this won’t read this, but there is no massive talent-sharing deal. There is just an open line of communication. It’s much more likely Andrade is using his freedom to take outside dates and making an agreement with CMLL for some shows on his own. It helps that AEW and CMLL have talked, and I would assume Andrade gave the top people in AEW a heads-up. Andrade/CMLL probably means nothing towards Rush or Dralistico status for the moment; they will be separate peace accords, ones I don’t expect in the near future.)

There are a lot of unknowns, even going with this mystery person as Andrade. There’s also lots of reckless speculation to be had for the moment. Does Andrade’s return have anything to do with the surprises Soberano teased? (Soberano teased something Monday morning.) Is it simply a coincidence that CMLL’s stopped using the Los Ingobernables for Angel de Oro, Niebla Roja, and Terrible? Is Brillante Jr.’s surprise inclusion on the FantasticaMania roster related to this? Will Andrade in CMLL now clear the way for Andrade to appear on NJPW shows? When is this guy even showing up? (Does Andrade’s presence on a 12/21 show with AAA wrestlers indicate it won’t be any time soon?) Will Andrade’s personality and expectations fit in CMLL’s culture than Metalik did? All we know is that CMLL is having a good year and adding another big outside name seems like a strong positive.

KeMalito is obviously one of the Micro Gemelo Diablos and an idea that was meant to be rolled out months ago alongside a new KeMonito. It appeared the original KeMonito making public his complaints about CMLL delayed both ideas. Debuting KeMalito in the second fall of the match seemed to set up the new guy showing up to help the tecnicos in fall three. Instead, there was a poorly performed finish that felt like something got changed and confused. Introducing a new KeMonito will be controversial unless CMLL’s somehow made things right things with the original blue monkey. It’s just a matter of time until something happens. I’d suggest doing it on the Christmas show, but what do I know.

(I might not know things but the outside vendors sure do; Dr. Landru noted mask sellers had KeMalito masks for sale that night when they hadn’t in previous weeks.)

We can’t be sure where things are headed. Or at least I can’t be that sure. In the women’s match, I thought I was seeing a build to Tessa Blanchard winning the title. The reality ended up being different. I do not know what she was like to deal with behind the scenes (and that seems to be where she causes most of her problems), but she seemed completely professional in the ring. Blanchard worked hard and put Vaquer over strong in Guadalajara and strong against in Mexico – to the point where she got humiliated in the post-match. She lost again to Vaquer in Tijuana on Saturday; there was no face-saving win or outgiven. I am sure Tessa Blanchard will be back in CMLL someday if she wants to be back in CMLL, and I also feel confident CMLL would give a strong recommendation on her if asked.

The title match itself though I’m not as positive about it. They worked hard, they hit each other hard. They had one spot that went very badly on the outside, but they recovered naturally and moved on. Stephanie Vaquer and Tessa Blanchard would’ve gotten over great in NJPW Strong or maybe Impact or some other US TV promotion, but it didn’t feel of Mexican wrestling enough to work for this Arena Mexico. After her last NJPW appearance, I saw comments praising Vaquer for being a great babyface and I didn’t understand it. Still don’t; in the context of lucha libre, she’s a total ruda and doesn’t really have that connection to the crowd a good tecnica needs. Vaquer gets cheered because she does some showy things and is better at the physical portion of wrestling than any other luchadora does, but she also comes across as cold and distant in the ring, like nothing would be changed if she was still doing this match in empty arena times. That works for a ruda, that works in situations elsewhere, just not as well with the casual Arena Mexico fanbase that thrives on well-defined good people and bad people. It left this particular title match as two people who were emotionally shut off from the crowd and capped the excitement it could provide. The match was not at all bad, it was pretty good, but it didn’t fit the vibe, and they’re not over enough to change the vibe just with the presence. Bringing in Blanchard was a good experiment, but CMLL needs to look at finding more babyface characters to throw at Vaquer if they’re going to have their biggest successes.

(The resulting feeling does make me wonder about Mercedes Mone. I don’t know that it’s ever actually happening but I would figure she’d expect to be the similar outsider ruda if she ever came to Arena Mexico, and the match would probably go a lot better with her as the hero of the story.)

There were other matches on the show. The main event finish – two people cheating for the rudos, Cavernario getting a three count that was not a three count, the losers doing the usual post-match winners interview – would make more sense if the new Los Barbaros were initially meant to win. Most of the undercard was fine. Not really sold on another Fugaz/Magia Blanca match, and everyone’s really ready for the minis cage match setup to move on to another chapter.

CMLL (SAT) 12/02/2023 Arena Coliseo [CMLL]
1) Aéreo, Angelito, Minos DQ Acero, Full Metal, Galaxy [Relevos Increíbles]
today’s DQ was Galaxy unmasking Minos
2) Hera, Metálica, Tiffany b La Guerrera, La Vaquerita, Skadi
Skadi replaced La Malgina
3) El Coyote, Okumura, Pólvora b Capitán Suicida, El Audaz, Halcón Suriano Jr.
4) Blue Panther Jr., Dark Panther, Hombre Bala Jr. b Akuma, Dark Magic, Espanto Jr.
5) Flip Gordon b Ángel de Oro
crowd was negative towards Flip. Angel de Oro needed post match medical attention.
6) Dragón Rojo Jr. & Octagón DDQ Atlantis & Terrible [Relevos Increíbles]
Terrible & Atlantis took fall 1, Dragon Rojo & Octagon took fall 2, Terrible and Dragon Rojo betrayed their partners in fall three for a rare double DQ.

CMLL’s recap noted Flip Gordon’s got booed. Nothing is impossible, but a white guy wearing US military fatigues who does not speak Spanish is going to have a very tough road to get over as a face in Mexico. This has generally been Gordon’s problem his entire career: he presents as a classic 1980s babyface so every booker wants to push him that way, but tastes has changed and he’s missing some sort of edge or bigger personality trait to make it work. (In the Being the Elite universe, that trait became “dumb as a rock but likable”, and then he lost a lot of his support by being dumb as a rock in unlikable ways on social media.) CMLL will eventually turn him rudo, it’ll work better, and he may get over enough to end up a tecnico again down the line – the Marco Corleone path worked out.

CMLL no longer provides live results of their Mexico City shows on Twitter or Facebook. Those can only be found on their Whatsapp channel. The Whatsapp channel has less than a 1,000 followers, a lot less than either of those other two platforms. The Friday results did later pop up on Twitter. CMLL used to post delayed recaps on their website but has only done it once in the last six months. I think this is a short-term attempt to build up that follower count on WhatsApp, which may or may not be necessary if Twitter (or X) becomes less viable as a platform.

CMLL (SUN) 12/03/2023 Arena México [La Tijera]
1) Inquisidor & Sangre Imperial b Leono & Robin Sangre Imperial e Inquisidor Vs Robin y Leono, Arena México (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
2) Astral, Diamond, Halcón Suriano Jr. b Dr. Karonte I, Dr. Karonte II, Enfermero Jr. La Ola Blanca del CMLL Diamond, Astral y Halcón Suriano Jr en el domingo de Arena México (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
3) Crixus, Kráneo, Okumura b Fuego, Stigma, Volcano Fuego, Volcano y Stigma “chamaqueados” por Kraneo, Cryxus y Okumura en el CMLL (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
Kraneo snuck in a foul on Volcano.
4) Felino, Felino Jr., Rey Bucanero b Espíritu Negro, Panterita del Ring, Rey Cometa Felino, Felino Jr. y Pólvora Espíritu Negro, Rey Cometa y Panterita del Ring (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
5) Hechicero, Niebla Roja, Templario b Star Jr., Valiente, Volador Jr. Volador Jr, Star y Valiente caen en la trampita de KeMalito con Hechicero, Niebla Roja y Templario (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
KeMalito, who earlier disconnected the CMLL Christmas Tree, distracted Volador and helped Hechicero get the pin.
6) Máscara Dorada b Gran Guerrero Máscara Dorada Gran Guerrero poderoso mano a mano estelar (posted by La Tijera Lucha Libre)
said to be more than 20 minutes

I make this point like three times a year and it’s a useless point but I’m going to do it anyway: the CMLL heavyweight championship is not the centerpiece of CMLL like that title is for any other promotion. CMLL has no title that occupies that role. It’s never been clearer than that main event, where Mascara Dorada beat heavyweight champion Gran Guerrero in a match that is absolutely not setting up a heavyweight title match. Dorada is instead next challenging for the welterweight championship, which is three divisions lighter than the heavyweight title.

This only matters in that every year Pro Wrestling Illustrated puts whoever is the CMLL World Heavyweight Championship way high in their rankings based on having the most important title, and it may be the least important “CMLL” branded title most years. PWI’s lists are based on kayfabe accomplishments, but the heavyweight title is not the biggest kayfabe accomplishment in CMLL; it’s not even in the top ten. This is a very CMLL-only way of doing things and I’m happy with a lot of the weird CMLL-only stuff they do, and it doesn’t work if you treat them like any other promotion.

CMLL did a tree-lighting ceremony prior to Sunday’s show. The half-hour streamed card was mostly wrestlers who had big 2023’s reflecting on their success. KeMolito snuck in and unplugged the tree as the big ending bit. (They plugged it back in.)

Both CMLL teams were eliminated from advancing in the World Tag League on Monday morning. Soberano and Atlantis lost to Hikuelo and ELP in a must win match. Zandokan Jr. and Yota Tsuji won the main event, but appear to be mathematically eliminated by other results. (Announcer Milano Collection AT argued that if two other teams go to a double DQ and get 0 points as a result, Tsuki and Zandokan could still advance. That is not happening.)

Soberano again was upset with Atlantis after their loss and then went heavily rudo in the post match promo. The split is coming, it’s just a matter of which show. The two CMLL teams happen to wrestle each other on the final league night of the tournament, Thursday morning.

CMLL (TUE) 12/05/2023 Arena México
1) Micro Gemelo Diablo I & Micro Gemelo Diablo II vs Átomo & Chamuel
2) Fantasy, Full Metal, Pequeño Olímpico vs Galaxy, Minos, Pierrothito [Relevos Increíbles]
3) Futuro, Max Star, Neón vs El Coyote, Okumura, Pólvora
4) Virus vs Difunto [lightning]
5) Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., Dark Panther vs Felino, Rey Bucanero, Sagrado
6) Máscara Dorada, Místico, Octagón vs Averno, Euforia, Mephisto

Atlantis and Soberano need to get back home quickly to spare us from these Octagon main events. CMLL seems short on good rudos on this card. Difunto/Virus could be fun.

CMLL (TUE) 12/05/2023 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Gallo Jr., Rafaga Jr., Temerario vs Avispón Negro Jr., Luminoso, Quka
2) Ángel Rebelde, El Gallero, Trono vs Insólito, Misterio Blanco, Misterio Negro
3) Astro (Puebla), Blue Shark (Puebla), Fénix SO, Rayo Metálico (Puebla) vs Arlequín, Bestia Negra, Cris Skin, Halcón Negro Jr.
4) Barboza, Draego, Persa vs Brillante Jr., Felino Jr., Halcón Suriano Jr.
5) Leo, Omar Brunetti, Vaquero Jr. vs Apocalipsis, Disturbio, El Cholo
6) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Principe Daniel vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Terrible

Terrible versus his old friends the main event. Los Indestructibles defending against local teams would make some sense.

CMLL (FRI) 12/08/2023 Arena México
1) Leono & Robin vs Draego & Inquisidor
2) Astral, Diamond, Hombre Bala Jr. vs Akuma, Crixus, Raider
3) Andrómeda, Marcela, Skadi vs Olympia, Reyna Isis, Zeuxis
4) Magia Blanca © vs Fugaz [MEX WELTER]
5th defense
5) Esfinge, Flip Gordon, Star Jr. vs Ángel de Oro, Hechicero, Niebla Roja
6) Máscara Dorada, Titán, Volador Jr. vs Gran Guerrero, Rocky Romero, Último Guerrero

Dorada & Rocky are coming here from MLW on Thursday; I didn’t really process that was an odd day of the week (and so MLW might get a little more attention than getting lost in the usual weekend rush.) Angel de Oro and Flip Gordon matched up again the semimain. Blanca/Fugaz is a rematch from May, which was not a memorable match. It’s hard to beat a challenger twice in the same building.

The standouts in the bodybuilding contest get a Friday night match in the segunda. Olympia and Reyna Isis, the two CMLL women in the contest, are together in the third. Drago, a former Guadalajara indie standout who’s been on the Arena Coliseo Guadalajara shows the last year or so, also gets an appearance following his bodybuilding performance.

Some of the CMLL bodybuilders appeared at a contest put on by the same bodybuilding commission who judged the CMLL contest. Crixus won the men’s division, while Reyna Isis was recognized in the “Amazon Fitness” category. It appears Astral and Olympia did not compete; they participate in bodybuilding contests unmasked under their real names, so maybe they didn’t want to double up here.

Match three would be Marcela’s return from her knee injury, but they’ve announced her and pulled her back previously.


AAA aired part one of the Ultraclash on Saturday, airing three matches.

  • the locals match was guys doing all the spots they could think to do in the time they had, with no logic or structure to it
  • Chris Sabin looked great in the tag match with Trinity, Dinamico, and Chik Tormenta; it’s good he’s showing up again.
  • NGD worked hard again versus Arez & Kazarian, and I was mildly surprised Kaz took the pin

This was a short broadcast, even with lots of filler to stretch it out. They aired interviews between the matches, but no one had anything to talk about or ask about. There is no plot to this, just some matches, so asking, “wouldn’t you like to challenge for [X] title” makes sense as a generic question, but it also is frustrating to the viewer – why aren’t they challenging for those titles instead of doing all these meaningless matches? Sabin pointing out he hadn’t wrestled Taurus and Laredo all the time they’ve been in AAA was surprising to me.

Impact will air this show Thursday. They look like they’re going to air in one week in what AAA will stretch out for three weeks; Impact needs their TV to build to a show, AAA is just killing time.

The INJUVE Lucha X El Barrio finalists don’t seem to have been announced at the same pace as the previous rounds. Maybe there’s another press conference coming for that announcement. Big Lucha wrestlers appeared at a concert INJUVE put on this weekend.

West Coast Pro Wrestling had a great Latigo, Toxin, Black Taurus versus Wicked Wickett, Iron Boy, and Aramis match on Sunday night. It was pretty great and you should check it out if you can: it streamed for free on YouTube and will pop up on IWTV later on. WCPW seems to be making Iron Boy as their own find; he wins these lucha matches every time. The only problem with it is Black Taurus is always really good and really cool and so he’s the one who’s getting most over with the crowd.

The bigger picture is that a match with five AAA guys was better than maybe one or two AAA TV matches had all year. AAA used to make a point of having a hot match on each show but hasn’t gotten it done, and bringing them back would be the #1 improvement they could make in 2024. My friends at the ThROH The Years podcast, reviewing early Ring of Honor, occasionally touch on how TNA got annoyed/frustrated/bitter about ‘their’ wrestlers having more critically praised matches and those wrestlers talking more positively about working ROH than the company that actually had their contracts. That end result was not TNA doing those things that made those fans and critics happy with ROH, but changing their outside bookings rules to make it more difficult for TNA wrestlers to work Ring of Honor.  If I had a crystal ball to see in 2024, that sort of drama is kind of what I fear we’re headed toward.


IWRG (SUN) 12/03/2023 Arena Naucalpan [IWRG, Mas Lucha]
1) Rey Aztaroth b Thunder Storm ¿Se Retirará Pirata Morgan? - IWRG (posted by mluchatv) REY AZTAROTH THUNDER STORM (posted by hector godfrey)
2) Danessa & Shocko b Auzter & Deyna ¿Se Retirará Pirata Morgan? - IWRG (posted by mluchatv) SHOCKO Y DANESSA VS AUZTER Y DEHYNA. (posted by hector godfrey)
3) Auzter, Freelance, Tornado b Centurion, Rey Espartano, Rey Halcón ¿Se Retirará Pirata Morgan? - IWRG (posted by mluchatv) FREELANCE, TORNADO Y AUZTER (posted by hector godfrey)
4) Carnicero, Lendaor, Minero b Caballero de Plata, Dr. Cerebro Jr., Último Legendario ¿Se Retirará Pirata Morgan? - IWRG (posted by mluchatv) ÚLTIMO LEGENDARIO, CABALLERO DE PLATA Y DR. CEREBRO JR. MINERO, CARNICERO Y LEÑADOR (posted by hector godfrey)
5) Pig Decapitador, Pig Destroyer, Pig Destructor, Pig Pool b Jessy Ventura, Mamba, Sádika, Shocko ¿Se Retirará Pirata Morgan? - IWRG (posted by mluchatv) SADIKA, MAMBA, JESSY VENTURA Y SHOCKO LA PUERQUIZA EXTREMA (posted by hector godfrey)
6) Hijo del Pirata Morgan, Pirata Morgan, Pirata Morgan Jr. b Gran Pandemónium, Hijo de Pandemónium, Pandemónium © and Mocho Cota Jr., Súper Comando, Tito Santana © [IWRG IC TRIOS, EdM Trios, hair¿Se Retirará Pirata Morgan? - IWRG (posted by mluchatv)
Piratas won the EDM Trios titles after fouls and mask pulls. Pirata Morgan said he would retire if he had lost his hair again here, a stipulation that got little attention.

Pirata Morgan went on social media and said if he lost his hair one more time, he was definitely going to retire. I don’t think any one believed he would retire, and the show drew nothing special. Maybe down a bit.

IWRG is introducing a book on the 61 year history of their family running shows in Mexico State. I would very much like to acquire that book.

Other Notes

Zeta has an interview with Lucka Moreno, the titular promoter of Tijuana’s Lucka Libre, which works with CMLL. He is a teenager. I do not believe the local commission has actually licensed a teenager to run a wrestling promotion; this is a misdirect. The past Lucka Libre shows have drawn well, but this Saturday’s show was half full or less, less than what The Crash and EMW have done in their most recent shows.

Bandido spoke more in-depth about his injury issue with Mas Lucha, though you’ll be mostly distracted by his daughter seizing on the microphone as a new toy. Bandido has three options in front of him: his US doctors are giving him two surgical options, one of which would involve inserting a screw and limiting mobility. His Mexico doctor is suggesting rehab, and Bandido’s taking that tactic for right now to see if it gets any better. I’m not a doctor, but I’d normally suggest just getting the surgery. If you had the surgery and it didn’t work, it does make sense to try rehab. Bandido is positive because he’s always that way, but he’s also clearly bugged that he used to go someplace to wrestle every few days, and now it’s been months between matches with no clear path back.

The government of San Luis Potosi held a free lucha libre show with lots of names on Saturday. It drew well, as free shows often do. Someone named Mini Regio Rayado, who I have no other known matches, lost his mask to (one of the two) Mini Psycho Clown(s) on the show. No name is mentioned in the article about the show. That article also bills a Travis Banks/Jesse Jackson vs Ludark/Septimo Dragon match as “US versus Mexico” so they may not have been paying close attention.

At a press conference for the event on Saturday, Blue Demon Jr. claimed he will retire soon. Demon claims he will introduce his own junior in March or April of next year and then run a 12-18 month retirement tour. 0% of luchadors who talk about retiring years in advance actually retire when they say they will. Fuerza Guerrera exposed the game a few months ago, saying that announcing his retirement increased booking, and now he doesn’t want to retire. (It’s worked out the same for Dark Scoria, of all people.) The wrestlers know the deal, so this is Blue Demon saying his bookings are getting a little bit light, and he’s running his own angle to get people interested again.

La Mascara, who hasn’t been around wrestling this year, popped up Thursday on the JAALL show. He was backing his fellow Brazo/Alvarado family members against Negociantes Traumados. La Mascara looked increasingly physically and mentally struggling during his last few active years as a luchador. Hopefully, he’s doing better; he looked better in the brief video and talked about returning in 2024 in another one. His family’s trade is lucha libre, and I don’t know him at all, but he looked so much better after getting away from lucha libre for a while that I wonder if he’d be better off staying that way.

San Luis Potosi luchador Johnny Ventura passed away. I have a couple of lineups with him wrestling in 1979, and he seems like a 70s/80s guy. His nephews, Mini Maniaco and Black Ventura, are more recent wrestlers.

56 men and 9 women attended Puebla’s lucha libre licensing exam on Saturday. Pegasso, Asturiano, Prayer, and Sombra Diabolica worked as teachers. The way they’re phrasing it is that wrestlers have to get licensed to have a chance to wrestle for CMLL and AAA, which sidesteps the reality that some of them have already been wrestling for years for small Puebla groups. The hopefuls had to do “about an hour” of physical tests and an hour of tumbling. 36 of the 65 people who started were left then and went on to do three hours of Olympic wrestling and lucha libre. This seems no different from what the influencer got in Monterrey before TripleMania, which he felt was unfair treatment. The license winners will be announced in January.

Mexico City indy workers Drako and Ancla are setting up a hair match on 12/25 in Coliseo Ecatepec. This is not interesting in itself; most people will forget who won and lost by 12/27. The gag here is Drako showed up wearing a Puerquiza Extrema t-shirt in a match where all four Pigs were wrestling. Drako and long-time partner Corsario Negro Jr. have wrestled less often since the Puerquiza Extrema debuted.  They’re working small shows, but not the bigger shows where the pigs are now working. There’s also just not a lot of people around the sizes of those pigs. It’s commonly assumed Drako & Corsario Negro are two of the wrestlers under the pig masks, to the point where Drako showed up here during their match and wearing their shirt to play off it. I belief he is truly one of the Pigs and this is an intentional misdirect.

An El Grafico article starts “Drago is perhaps more recognized as a collector of lucha libre items than as a professional wrestler.” Seeing as this is not either of the two AAA Dragos, nor any other Drago I’m familiar with, I would have to say that’s a fair statement.

Queretaro referee Rielero Cortes (José Jesús Rosales Machica) retired after a show on Friday. He’d been working as a referee since 1985.

Segunda Caida reviews more early 90s Monterrey

CMLL Bodybuilding winners, Blanchard/Vaquer title match tonight, Bandido

The CMLL bodybuilding contest took place Wednesday. I forgot how very long it can be. This year’s edition clocked in at over two hours fourty minutes. The winners in every division:

Beginner (School): Scorpio Jr. (a new one)
Beginner (2): Akuma
Novato 1: Hombre Bala Jr.
Novato 2: Diamond
Women: Olympia
Main: Astral

Astral was the overall winner for winning the main men’s class. They’ve had the winners of each division pose off at the end in previous years. There would’ve been no point here anyway, the top male division would win.

The women’s division has gone from Dark Angel winning all the bodybuilding contest and almost no one else participating to Dalys and almost no one else participating, and now it looks like it’ll by Olympia who wins all the time. Reina Isis and Bengalee were the runners-up this year.

CMLL (FRI) 12/01/2023 Arena México
1) Pequeño Magía, Pequeño Violencia, Último Dragóncito vs Mercurio, Pierrothito, Shockercito [Relevos Increíbles]
2) Futuro, Halcón Suriano Jr., Neón vs Apocalipsis, Cholo, Disturbio
3) Esfinge, Fugaz, Star Black vs Magia Blanca, Magnus, Rugido
4) Flip Gordon, Titán, Valiente vs Averno, Euforia, Mephisto
5) Stephanie Vaquer © vs Tessa Blanchard [CMLL WOMEN]
2nd defense
6) Máscara Dorada, Místico, Volador Jr. vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Terrible

Los Barbaros debut (under that team name) in the main event. Match four should be a solid match. Match three is a rematch from last week. Match one will end up in a DQ. I originally had Vaquer as a 60/40 favorite, and now I think it’s 60/40 Blanchard.

The PPV link is here. For what it’s worth, Boletia has links up for all Friday nights through December. They’re all 5 USD. The minis cage match is likely to be 01/01, and I wonder if that’ll just be part of the CMLL YouTube subscription. Lining up the big shows with the PPVs has not been a priority in the past.

The new Stolas gimmick in Guadalajara appears “borrowed/inspired” from a character of the same name on the YouTube anime series Helluva Boss about an assassin business in heell. I’m completely unfamiliar with this series (and hoping not to sound a million years old.) Plenty of people seem to know it; the channel has close to 9 million followers. I stumbled upon that mention of that show Tuesday when trying to find social media info on the luchador, just thinking it was a similar name. The “Stolas” name for a Demon does reach back to a far older creative work. The fans of the anime seem certain it’s the inspiration for the gimmick’s look. I can see it.


AAA will air an hour and a bit ore early on Saturday. It’s a 5:19 pm CT start time. They’ve got a live sports event later in the night bouncing everything around. This week’s episode will be the first part of AAA/Impact Ultraclash, which might last three weeks. No knowing what’ll air. Impact is also starting on Ultraclash next Thursday.

AAA’s 01/06 Retro show is headlined by La Secta. They’re also on the 01/19 The Crash show. AAA’s rule is no one can work both; the rule isn’t consistently applied and may not apply at all to guest talent. Cibernetico previously worked The Crash shows and is back again in AAA on the 01/06 show.

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter briefly mentioned Konnan hadn’t had a chance to QT Marshall this week following his announcement that he was leaving AAA. It was left unsaid if AAA was among those who knew about Marshall’s plans in advance (and is that affected the AAA booking) or if it was just a lucky break to change the title.


Mas Lucha (THU) 11/30/2023 Arena Naucalpan
1) Arceus, Drakula, Thunder Storm, Tornado b Caballero de Plata, Nativo, Sol, X-Devil KickOff | Torneo Suprema 2023: Julissa + India Sioux + Mary Caporal + Kaho Kobayashi + Nix (posted by mluchatv)
Drakula pinned Caballero after a foul, setting up a hair match
2) Julissa b India Sioux [Torneo Suprema, quarterfinal] KickOff | Torneo Suprema 2023: Julissa + India Sioux + Mary Caporal + Kaho Kobayashi + Nix (posted by mluchatv)
3) Mary Caporal b Big Mami [Torneo Suprema, quarterfinal] KickOff | Torneo Suprema 2023: Julissa + India Sioux + Mary Caporal + Kaho Kobayashi + Nix (posted by mluchatv)
4) Mary Apache b Sádika [Torneo Suprema, quarterfinal] KickOff | Torneo Suprema 2023: Julissa + India Sioux + Mary Caporal + Kaho Kobayashi + Nix (posted by mluchatv)
5) Kayo Kobayashi b Diosa Nix [Torneo Suprema, quarterfinal] KickOff | Torneo Suprema 2023: Julissa + India Sioux + Mary Caporal + Kaho Kobayashi + Nix (posted by mluchatv)
6) Cerebro Negro, Cirujano Jr., Relámpago b Hell Boy, Tonalli, Yorvak KickOff | Torneo Suprema 2023: Julissa + India Sioux + Mary Caporal + Kaho Kobayashi + Nix (posted by mluchatv)
Relampago beat Tonalli. Hell Boy and Cerbero Negro had a pull apart post match to build to their 12/17.
7) Julissa b Mary Caporal [Torneo Supremo, semifinal]
8) Kaho Kobayashi b Mary Apache [Torneo Supremo, semifinal]
9) Flammer & Maravilla ?? Cinthia Moreno & Reina Dorada
no finished reported
10) Julissa b Kaho Kobayashi [Torneo Suprema, final]

I haven’t seen much of Julissa and came away with a positive impression. She was working a power style for a luchadora, and seemed to mesh fine with India Sioux. She’d fit in fine with CMLL. She’s the sort of person AAA would get very excited about six months before getting very excited by something else.

The finish of Caporal/Mami appeared to be Flammer distracting the referee and Maravilla hitting Big Mami with a chair when Mami turned around, but Mami didn’t do her part and time stood still until Marvilla just hit her in the back. It was not good. Apache/Sadika was as wild as expected, Kobayashi/Nix was fine.

Cerebro Negro/Hell Boy fought ‘for real’ after their match. I think that’s going to be the best IWRG match all year and they’re probably going to to talk me into the Mas Lucha subscription on 12/17.

IWRG will have its annual holiday party on 12/15. It’s back open to the public this year.

Big Lucha

They’re back streaming tonight.

Big Lucha World (FRI) 12/01/2023 Arena Big Lucha, Iztapalapa, Distrito Federal
1) Ditto vs Morfosis
2) Radioactivo vs Skayde
3) Vengador vs Black Andrómeda

Ditto finally gets a singles match, might be the biggest match on the show.

The next big show is

Big Lucha (SAT) 12/16/2023 Arena Big Lucha, Iztapalapa, Distrito Federal
1) ? vs ??
2) Dios del Inframundo & Súper Fly vs Cometa Maya & Radioactivo and Limbo & Torito Negro
3) Platino & Skayde vs Black Terry & Negro Navarro
4) Elipse, Iku, Orbita, Vengador vs Atómico Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Súper Nova, Tito Santana
5) Viajero vs El Brujo [mask]
6) Emperador Azteca, Flamita, Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. vs Dark Cuervo, Dark Ozz, Dark Scoria

The main event is for control of the promotion. I would prefer new control of the promotion; one match with guest stars is good, all of the matches with guest stars is less of what I’m hoping for. Seeing Super Fly and Drago in the second match is cool but it seems to reduce their importance to bring them in for a low level match. It seems weird to have spent so much time on someone like Black Andromeda for them not to be on the show, but that’s the direction they’re going.

Other News

Gran Hamada has been hospitalized all week in “delicate” condition, according to his daughter Ayako Hamada on Thursday. She seemed hopeful things had gotten better on Thursday. Gran Hamada has seemed frail in his public appearances this year.

Black Taurus, Latigo and Toxin wrestle Iron Kid, Aramis, and Wicked Wickett on Sunday in West Coast Pro Wrestling. That match streams for free on their YouTube channel.

12/09 RIOT

Bandido is off the 12/09 RIOT because he has not been medically cleared since undergoing wrist surgery. Bandido took to Twitter to clarify the situation: his wrist hasn’t gotten better, he’s got three paths he can choose to get them fixed. Two would be more surgery, the other therapy, but he’s got to wait long to see how it’s healing. He does not have a return date at this point; it may be a long wait.

Komander defeated Gringo Loco on Thursday’s ROH on Honor Club, as part of the Survival of the Fittest tournament. That means Komander will wrestle in a six way on the 12/15 Ring of Honor PPV for the vacant TV title. (Dalton Castle is the only other wrestler who’s advanced so far.)

AAA Cruiserweight Champion Komander being on that show means there will be no CMLL talent. I had looked at that Final Battle as maybe a side door for some CMLL/AEW involvement – being a different show and promotion in name could help with the issues and Texas always seems like a good place to bring in luchadors. Instead, there has really been no CMLL wrestlers in AEW outside of that one Mistico match on Rampage nearly two months ago.

Vaquer/Blanchard, TripleMania Tijuana, QT/AA


CMLL (MON) 11/27/2023 Arena Puebla [Grada, Porra Fresa]
1) Astro & Meyer b King Jaguar & Sombra Diabólika
Meyer replaced El Novato
2) Angelito, Galaxy, Pequeño Magía, Shockercito, Último Dragóncito b Full Metal, Mercurio, Minos, Pequeño Olímpico, Pierrothito [ciberneticoFacebook video (posted by )
Shockercito won after Mercurio helped cheat for him to beat Pequeno Magia. Dragoncito earlier pinned champion Mercurio. Challenges followed.
3) Apocalipsis, Cholo, Disturbio b Guerrero Maya Jr., Pegasso, Stigma Facebook video (posted by )
4) Tessa Blanchard b La Catalina [lightningFacebook video (posted by )
5) El Hijo de Stuka Jr., Hijo del Villano III, Villano III Jr. b Esfinge, Fugaz, Star Black
Villanos beat Esfinge & Fugaz
6) Bárbaro Cavernario, Templario, Terrible b Ángel de Oro, Euforia, Niebla Roja Facebook video (posted by )
Cavernario & Terrible beat Angel de Oro & Niebla Roja.

I presumed 5 or 6 was building up a tag title match, but none of those are happening next week. Blanchard and Catalina had some bad communication on a sequence.

CMLL (TUE) 11/28/2023 Arena México [CMLL, thecubsfan]
1) Aéreo, Fantasy, Kaligua DQ Full Metal, Pequeño Olímpico, Pequeño Polvora
Full Metal pulled off Kaligua’s mask in the usual mini madness.
2) Brillante Jr., Max Star, Valiente Jr. b Grako, Raider, Vegas
3) Hombre Bala Jr. b Misterioso Jr. [lightning]
4) La Jarochita, Lluvia, Zeuxis b Andrómeda, Reyna Isis, Skadi [Relevos Increíbles]
5) Hijo del Villano III & Villano III Jr. b Gemelo Diablo I & Gemelo Diablo II
6) Gran Guerrero, Stuka Jr., Último Guerrero b Atlantis, Blue Panther, Volador Jr.

Villanos/Gemelos had a lot of ideas and missed something in between. Brillante looked great and terrible within seconds of each other. Max Star looked great all the time. The minis seem to believe they’re doing a cage match (a reverse cibernetico is the other option they’ve tried recently, guess a ruleta de la muerte is also possible.)

CMLL included mentions of capitans and how many falls each match is on their graphics on this show. It’s nice to see that basic stuff explained a little easier.

CMLL (TUE) 11/28/2023 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Arena Coliseo Guadalajara, Mas Lucha]
1) Astro Oriental, Lince Del Bajio, Último Ángel b Eclipse Jr., Ráfaga, Rav
2) Hatana, Katara, Magia Azul b Estrella Maldad, La Pantera, Yemaya
3) Adira b Lady Amazona [lightning]
4) Dulce Gardenia, La Fashion, Star Black b Gallero, Ráfaga, Stolas
debut of Stolas
5) Dark Silueta, La Catalina, Stephanie Vaquer b Mystique, Persephone, Tessa Blanchard
return of Mystique
6) Barboza, Difunto, Guerrero de la Muerte b Magia Blanca, Magnus, Rugido
7) Dark Panther, Máscara Dorada, Místico b Averno, Flip Gordon, Furia Roja

Vaquer beat Blanchard with her own move in Guadalajara. I believe Blanchard is now likely to win the CMLL title on Friday. Maybe I’m just too used to the 50/50 nature of modern wrestling booking, maybe I’m crediting Guadalajara with being too plugged into what’s the plan is in Mexico City. Still, the long CMLL pattern is that whoever loses in the last lead up match wins in the title match. Blanchard lost in Guadalajara in the lead up to the Gran Prix as well.

Tessa Blanchard beating Stephanie Vaquer outcome will upset a fair amount of people; most of which don’t watch much CMLL and probably won’t be watching much CMLL anyway, but not just them. I don’t know a title change is happening as a fact, just the signs are pointing that way.

Stolas appeared to be a re-gimmicked veteran; he has no social media I can find. He didn’t appear to be Extasis or Yutani under a mask; much heavier.

CMLL Informa starts at 2:30 pm today to lead into bodybuilding contest. Guests

  • Terrible, Dragon Rojo and Barbaro Cavernario: maybe they have a team name
  • Tessa Blanchard & Stephanie Vaquer: title match preview
  • Flip Gordon & Angel de Oro: Saturday singles match
  • Hechicero: Leyenda de Azul
  • Pequeno Magia & Shockercito: Puebla minis, general mini madness

The bodybuilding starts at 4 pm. No mention of a training session beforehand; they did it in previous sessions. Astral, Crixus, Fugaz, and Olympia did interviews to promote today’s bodybuilding contest. All talked about how it’s tough to balance bodybuilding with lucha libre. Olympia said they’re like oil and water; lucha libre needs elasticity and strength to prevent injuries, which bodybuilding reduces. It seems to suggest that doing both of these at a high level is not a great idea.

Atlantis Jr. & Soberano Jr. went to a 30-minute time limit draw against Hiroko Goto and YOSHI-HASHI in the World Tag League. That’s a bit of a surprise; the CMLL team doesn’t usually battle evenly against NJPW champions. They’re now at 5 points (3rd place) with 3 matches to go against teams all around their point level. Zandokan took the fall in his tag match, with he and Yota Tusji losing to Jack Bonza & Bad Luck Fale. The next tournament day for both teams is Saturday. Atlantis/Soberano face Yuya Uemura/Taichi, Zandokan/Tsuji against YOSHI-HASHI/Goto.

Costa Rica’s Einar el Salvaje was profiled in his home country’s La Teja media outlet. In this telling, CMLL recruited Einar to come to them. He compares wrestling in CMLL to playing soccer for Barcelona or Real Madrid for soccer players. Fellow CWE wrestlers Ares, Sonya, Heyden Sixx and Escualo came to Mexico City for Einar’s debut on Sunday; all of them except Sixx have wrestled in CMLL prior.

Full Metal explained to La Presena that his father worked as a beer vendor at CMLL shows, he’d come along with and fell in love with lucha libre.

CMLL (SAT) 12/02/2023 Arena Coliseo
1) Aéreo, Angelito, Minos vs Acero, Full Metal, Galaxy [Relevos Increíbles]
2) La Guerrera, La Vaquerita, Maligna vs Hera, Metálica, Tiffany
3) Capitán Suicida, El Audaz, Halcón Suriano Jr. vs El Coyote, Okumura, Pólvora
4) Blue Panther Jr., Dark Panther, Hombre Bala Jr. vs Akuma, Dark Magic, Espanto Jr.
5) Flip Gordon vs Ángel de Oro
6) Dragón Rojo Jr. & Octagón vs Atlantis & Terrible [Relevos Increíbles]

Two safe bets here: the opener will end with people making challenges and the main event will be a rough match.

CMLL announced they’d have a Christmas Tree lighting on Sunday, prior to the start of the Arena Mexico show. Any other promotion and this is the setup to an angle. I’m like 99% sure CMLL’s just going to turn the lights on a tree. Maybe we’ll also get the holiday show date announcements (but I think you might already be able to figure out when Christmas and New Year’s Day will take place.)

CMLL (SUN) 12/03/2023 Arena México
1) Leono & Robin vs Inquisidor & Sangre Imperial
2) Astral, Diamond, Halcón Suriano Jr. vs Dr. Karonte I, Dr. Karonte II, Enfermero Jr.
3) Fuego, Stigma, Volcano vs Crixus, Kráneo, Okumura
4) Espíritu Negro, Panterita del Ring, Rey Cometa vs Felino, Felino Jr., Rey Bucanero
5) Star Jr., Valiente, Volador Jr. vs Hechicero, Niebla Roja, Templario
6) Máscara Dorada vs Gran Guerrero

(I forgot to put this here so if you got the email you’re not reading this.)

Ultimo Guerrero pushed off his work on his little brother. It is intersting they got a non-title non-touranment main event. Not too much of note otherwise.

CMLL (MON) 12/04/2023 Arena Puebla
1) Black Tiger & Rayo Metálico vs Dreyko & Rencor
2) Halcón Suriano Jr., Meyer, Valiente Jr. vs Perverso, Prayer, Rey Apocalipsis
3) Último Dragóncito © vs Mercurio [CMLL MINI]
1st defense, title rematch
4) Guerrero Maya Jr., Stigma, Valiente vs Magia Blanca, Magnus, Rugido
5) Atlantis, Octagón, Volador Jr. vs Hijo del Villano III, Templario, Villano III Jr.

The minis match wasn’t quite set up by the cibernetico. That division is purposefully chaotic, so a title change is plausible. The rudos are going to have to work hard in the main event.

Box Y Lucha 2023 has Hechicero on the cover.


Zeta has an interview with EMW promoter Mario Fuentes Jr., who’s happy how their 2023 went. They ran only five shows, taking a break around TripleMania, and seemed satisfied with that experience. So much so that Fuentes states TripleMania will return to Tijuana next year as part of their events. Dorian Roldan was asked about the three TripleMania strategy by Mas Lucha around a month ago, didn’t commit to it, but did indicate they were going into planning for 2024. A Tijuana TripleMania on the schedule suggests they will be running (at least) three again next year.

AAA held the semifinal of the Lucha X El Barrio tryout on Tuesday. They posted footage from about three of the practice matches on Instagram Stories. It looked like other people were there, so maybe more footage will turn up. (It’d actually be a great idea to turn these tryouts into an episode of TV to build some interest in who wins, but that seems unlikely to happen.) Mas Lucha posted photos, with a lot of familiar names. Jornada reports 64 people participated, out of 132 who were part of the earlier rounds. Those include Monster Xtreme, who is 13 and wanted to be a wrestler since 7.

AAA has been releasing the t-shirt numbers of those who advance in each round after a couple of days. We may find out how many people are set to advance to the final in January, but perhaps not whom right away. I’d expect they’ll get that part out eventually.

QT Marshall announced on Twitter he was leaving AEW at the end of the year. From a pure Best Job Available, it seems like he’d be going to WWE – he’d easily fit in with their Performance Center, he has friends there, and it seems like they’ve had interest in him for that sort of position before. It may not be that simple; Marshall’s talked a lot about wanting to make it big as a wrestler. (The Latin American championship reign and the gimmick of defending it all over the place, was clearly about trying to raise his stock. It didn’t seem to work out.) WWE is unlikely to use him any stronger than AEW did; maybe not at all. If he wants to still be a wrestler, he probably needs to do it elsewhere – and so then he’ll be more likely to stick around AAA. It could be Marshall

(Aside 1: I don’t know who does what and how well they do it, I just know the final product that AAA puts on Space is not good. QT Marshall was heavily involved in putting AEW TV shows together for their first few years, and those were generally pretty good shows. AAA is another beast entirely but Marshall seems like a decent bet to bring aboard to see if he can help make things better, if he’s interested in working for AAA beyond the in-ring. I have no indication that’s even in play here.)

(Aside 2: I don’t actually believe QT quit AEW because he thought it was becoming too much like NJPW.)


Mas Lucha did the drawings for their first round matches in Torneo Suprema 2023 on Thursday. (No IWRG show tonight.)

  • India Sioux vs Julissa
  • Big Mami vs Mary Caporal
  • Sadika vs Mary Apache
  • Kaho Kobayashi vs Diosa Nix

Guessing the final is Kobayashi losing to Julissa, but I would wager no money on it. Sadika/Mary Apache could be explosive in good and bad ways.

Sunday’s lineup:

IWRG (SUN) 12/03/2023 Arena Naucalpan
1) Súper Boy Jr. vs Golden Power
2) Águila Oriental & Danessa vs Dehyna & Rey Astaroth
3) Auzter, Freelance, Tornado vs Centurion, Rey Espartano, Rey Halcón
4) Caballero de Plata, Dr. Cerebro, Shocko, Último Legendario vs Carnicero, Granjero, Lendaor, Minero
5) Pig Decapitador, Pig Destroyer, Pig Destructor, Pig Pool vs Diva Salvaje, Jessy Ventura, Mamba, Sádika
6) Gran Pandemónium, Hijo de Pandemónium, Pandemónium © vs Hijo del Pirata Morgan, Pirata Morgan, Pirata Morgan Jr. and Mocho Cota Jr., Súper Comando, Tito Santana © [IWRG IC TRIOS, EdM Trios, hair]

Piratas have their hair on the line (and surely not losing.) Maybe they’re moving the national titles to the Piratas before they win the IC ones? Maybe Poder del Norte wins both sets of trios titles because IWRG doesn’t really need to have two sets of trios titles?

The new names in match 4 are the Sindicate del Terror, teased as coming in on a recent IWRG broadcast. They briefly popped up in Arena Neza feuding with the Pigs and will do the same here, probably on IWRG’s anniversary show.


Other News

Big Lucha announced Elipse, Iku, and Orbita won the IWT trios titles. IWT is a Tijuana group – I believe they’re where the Payasos came from. I haven’t seen their posters in a while though. They seem to be running an angle in the comments where Locos Evans will wrestle champions from Costa Rica.

Big Lucha also poster their matches for Big Lucha World on Wendesday, but I’ll handle that later.

Ring announcer at Monterrey’s Arena el Jaguar Juan David Rodriguez Cadena has passed away.