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]
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.
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.
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.
- Takuma & SB KENTo vs Arez & Latigo
Erik Ortiz vs BandidoErik Ortiz vs Demonic Flamita
- Aramis vs Prometeo – new
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.