Rush signs with Ring of Honor, NGD vs Dragon Lee/Mistico in NJPW final, AAA TV lineups

Audaz and Namajague

Rush has signed with Ring of Honor in a deal announced yesterday on Twitter. Ring of Honor announced it as an exclusive deal. CMLL posted a statement saying this was part of the interchange of talents between the promotions and Rush would continue to belong to their promotion. Rush responded to that statement saying it was not part of the interchange of talent, and ROH was his new home.

This is what I know: Rush is signed to Ring of Honor and that will be his first priority however long that contract lasts. (No one’s stated a contract length – on this or any other ROH deal I’ve seen.) The “exclusive” is more referring to US dates and the Canada locations Ring of Honor runs. As mentioned previously with Bandido, Ring of Honor contracts don’t cover Mexico, so Rush would free to continue working in CMLL whenever he wants. ROH and CMLL’s relationship means they’ll probably try to work together on Rush’s schedule as well, but ROH has the top priority.

The immediate fallout is Rush was pulled from his match with LA Park on WrestleMania weekend. (Pentagon versus LA Park is mentioned instead, but doesn’t seem a sure thing as long as Penta is likely expected to work WrestleCon & Impact at the same time.) Any other Rush bookings, like the upcoming Mucha Lucha Atlanta date, are up in the air. ROH has not announced when Rush will start, but it’s a safe bet he’s working most shows going forward. Ring of Honor had previously filmed a segment teasing the Matt Taven/Rush feud as coming to their promotion which was already scheduled to air this week, and that seems like something that could lead to a match on the 04/06 ROH/NJPW Madison Square Garden show.

One of the factors mentioned in Rush signing with Ring of Honor is getting more NJPW bookings out of it. That suggests, even while a profitable Fantastica Mania tour is going on, the CMLL/NJPW relationship isn’t as strong as it suggests if Rush has to go to the US to get booked in Japan. It’s a strange situation.

Rush being signed is part of a wave of signings, with ROH, AEW, and WWE all seemingly operating out of fear of the others signing talent before they can. Between Bandido & Rush, this competition has reached Mexico. Fenix & Penta can’t be signed by someone else until their Lucha Underground commitments cease. That seems to leave Dragon Lee as the most valuable luchador at the moment (though I’d have to guess plenty more people have been contacted.) Dragon Lee might be behind everyone else because he was on an island and out of contact for months, and now he’s another hemisphere away from everyone else. I think we might hear more about his situation soon.

I’m think it’s likely there are going to be more signings. I think there’s also going to be people being locked in to more concrete deals than before, so no one gets the same egg on their face MLW is getting over Rush/LA Park. I’m really curious about where this leaves LA Park and MLW, since both big matches they were leading to (PCO & Rush) are no longer options. It’s also not a great situation for CMLL that anyone who becomes a draw in CMLL can easily get plucked to work elsewhere.

I’m not convinced Rush & Ring of Honor is a great fit over the long term – Rush has been in an environment with the freedom to do whatever he’d like, and he still manages to get suspended periodically – but it seems sure to be fascinating mix.

I may watch Informa today just to see Julio Cesar Rivera to give one of those straight to the camera CMLL statements on this. Those are always fun. Not always true, but that’s what makes them fun. The last time there was one of those was he and Rush stating that the Rush/Park still would happen, just not at the Aniverasrio, and that seems less likely with this announcement.

CMLL (TUE) 01/15/2019 Arena México [CMLL, Lucha CentralThe Gladiatores]
1) Acero & Aéreo b Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Violencia LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 15 DE ENERO DE  2019 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
tecnicos took 2/3.
2) Metálico, Nitro, Sangre Azteca b Oro Jr., Retro, Star Jr. LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 15 DE ENERO DE  2019 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
rudos took 2/3.
3) Drone, Pegasso, Stigma b Disturbio, Kawato San, Universo 2000 Jr. LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 15 DE ENERO DE  2019 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 2/3. Disturbio replaced Misterioso.
4) Sagrado b Tiger [lightningLUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 15 DE ENERO DE  2019 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Sagrado won via La Casita
5) Black Panther, Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr. b El Coyote, Felino, Pólvora LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 15 DE ENERO DE  2019 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Coyote replaced Luciferno. Tecnicos took 1/3, the last when Felino & Polvora had problems. Felino unmasked Polvora after the match.
6) Kráneo, Niebla Roja, Volcano DQ Luciferno, Mephisto, Rey Bucanero LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 15 DE ENERO DE  2019 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Mephisto fouled Niebla Roja and challenged to a title match. Luciferno replaced Shocker.

CMLL promos: Pegasso & Stigma, Sagrado, Niebla Roja & Mephisto. No Felino or Polvora interview seems a solid indicator they were working their own feud and CMLL doesn’t have plans for it at the moment. I wouldn’t be too excited for a big Felino/Povlora match but it is better than the usual nothing.

Mephisto & Niebla Roja just has a singles match in Guadalajara. (It didn’t end well.) They teased mask/hair. A title match would make more sense. Either guy winning a title would fix the CMLL Universal math. If they announce a title match, expect a title change.

CMLL (TUE) 01/15/2019 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [CMLL]
1) El Alteño, Fantástico, Tigre Blanco b Mr. Trueno, Paymon, Rey Trueno
2) Difunto, Hijo del Signo, Ráfaga b Magnum, Sangre Imperial, Star Black
rudos took 2/3.
3) La Comandante, La Seductora, Tiffany b Avispa Dorada, La Vaquerita, Sanely
Rudas took 2/3.
4) Dragón Rojo Jr., Máscara Año 2000, Vangellys b Esfinge, Rey Cometa, Tritón
Dragon Rojo & Vangellys replaced Ephesto & Hechicero. Rudos took 1/3.
5) Ephesto, La Bestia Del Ring, Rush b Euforia, Stuka Jr., Valiente [Relevos Increíbles]
Ephesto replaced Vangellys. Rush was DQed in the first unmasking Euforia, then took two and three (foul on Euforia) to win.

Switching people around on a show like that is strange, especially when there’s no feud they need to build up.

CMLL , NJPW (WED) 01/16/2019 Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan [CMLLNJPWthecubsfan]
Fantastica Mania, 2019 Day 5
Attendance: 1015
1) Forastero, Gedo, Taiji Ishimori b Kushida, Ryusuke Taguchi, Titán
7:41. Forastero beat Titan with the armbar again.
2) Fujin & Raijin b Bushi & Shingo Takagi
10:21. Raijin surprised BUSHI with a casita.
3) Ángel de Oro, Audaz, Soberano Jr. b Bárbaro Cavernario, Namajague, Okumura
12:10. Soberano pinned Okumura after the guillotine moonsault.
4) Terrible & Tetsuya Naito b Satoshi Kojima & Toa Henare
12:02. Terrible Clash on Henare.
5) Carístico, Jyushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask b Gran Guerrero, Templario, Último Guerrero
11:21. Misitca on Templario.
6) Cuatrero & Sansón b Atlantis & Atlantis Jr. [CMLL FAMILY, semifinal]
9:52. Sanson beat Atlantis Jr. with a torture rack powerbomb on Sanson
7) Dragón Lee & Místico b Flyer & Volador Jr. [CMLL FAMILY, semifinal]
14:35. Dragon Lee defeated Flyer with a powerbomb. Sanson & Cuatrero came out to hype up the tournament final on Friday.

NGD & Hermanos Lee have promos to hype up the final. CMLL is shooting their promos separate from the ones NJPW does, which is a little odd but whatever works. Nothing out of note from a CMLL standpoint outside of the tournament. Main event was the best match on the tour so far. The other tournament and the Soberano trios are the most worth your time.

The off/on schedule continues. They’re back on Friday night with Dragon Lee & Mistico vs Cuatrero & Sanson and Soberano vs Cavernario. Most of the card is to be announced – maybe sometime later today.

Lucha Underground came up in the news a lot yesterday. It started with Shane Strickland announced he was a free agent. I know some people thought that was an MLW deal, but I’m convinced that was his Lucha Underground contract lapsing. Ivelisse seemed to think the same and took to Twitter to complain that Lucha Underground had not granted her own request for release. (The technical difference appears to be Strickland had asked for his release before the season 4 and Ivelisse sounds like she was talked into staying but now wants out.) Joey Ryan backed Ivelisse and, without outright saying it, appears to also be looking for his own LU release. ProWrestlingSheet got a quote from Eric Van Wagenen, who says those decisions are not his or MGM’s, but Dorian Roldan and John Fogelman (Factory Made Ventures). The Joey Ryan article even more specifically blames Dorian Roldan. Roldan, as usual, has said nothing. This has generated a lot of anger at Lucha Underground and not much of any solution.

SoCalUncensored wrote that, from what he’s seen, the LU contracts give “at most 9 months from when the season ends to renew them for another.” That would put everyone under a Lucha Underground contract on ice until at August 7th. The guess for when a decision might be made about another season has been “April?”, but that decision took a lot longer than anyone expected for Season 4. I’m still thinking the most likely outcome is MGM does not get the money they want to produce a fifth season and the whole thing goes away, but it’s a long wait until then and a hope that the offers that are being made now still are there when these wrestlers are finally free to take them.

Do you remember Dark Magic? Maybe? He hasn’t been seen since November 23rd and there’s been no mention of him, which made me think he might have just returned home. That turns out not the be case. Dark Magic doesn’t use a lot of social media (at least that I know of), but he did mention recovering from surgery on his Facebook. In a comment, he says he “tore all the ligaments in my right ankle and have a fracture about the foot.” The timing of the surgery suggests it was an injury in that last match, and he did look hurt at the end, though it didn’t seem this serious. Not sure when Dark Magic would be back if he’s going to be back.

Diaro Basta interviews Mystique and Malgina about their trip to Japan. They both liked the experience, though Mystique felt the Japanese women wrestled too strong and dangerous and that’s why many of them have short careers.

The Ciudad Juarez lucha libre commission says everyone locally needs a new license and the luchadors have been slow at getting them. The license costs 250 pesos for 2019, plus urine and blood tests. (Getting an extra year is 150 pesos more.) The commission says 330 wrestlers had the old license from 2016 to 2018.

LuchaWorld has the Lucha Report.

@anotherspammer has a GIF list of the best lucha spots of the year.

Lineups

IWRG (SUN) 01/20/2019 Arena Naucalpan
1) Atomic Star & Shaolin vs Guero Palma & Neza Kid
2) Black Dragón, Black Terry, Gato De Ecatepec vs Death Metal, Ra-Zhata, Shil-Kah
3) Liderk, Rayan, Spector vs Demonio Infernal, Eterno, Lunatic Xtreme [super libre]
4) Multifacetico 2.0 vs Multifacetico (Puebla)
5) Cerebro Negro, Oficial 911, Oficial AK47, Oficial Fierro vs Dragón Bane, Hijo de Canis Lupus, Séptimo Rayo, Último Gladiador and Aramis, Dinamic Black, Imposible, Internacional Pantera and Demasiado, Óscar El Hermoso, Pasion Kristal, Soy Raymunda [Zona de Ejecucion]

Zona de Ejecution is a four team match with one person from each team in the ring at the same time. No tags, just the next team member in once their partner is eliminated until no one is left.

CMLL (MON) 01/21/2019 Arena Puebla
1) Centella Roja & Meyer vs Espíritu Maligno & Policeman
2) Halcón Suriano Jr. & Tigre Rojo Jr. vs El Malayo & Toro Bill Jr.
3) Marcela & Princesa Sugehit vs Amapola & La Comandante
4) Guerrero Maya Jr., Stigma, Stuka Jr. vs Rey Bucanero, Shocker, Tyson La Bestia
5) Niebla Roja vs Luciferno [lightning]
6) Rush, Vangellys, Villano IV vs Euforia, Kráneo, Valiente [Relevos Increíbles]

I think there’s a CMLL depth issue where there’s a rudo side of Rey Bucanero, Shocker (if he shows up) and Tyson la Besita. The big problem, which maybe I’m pointing out too often, is the lack of depth on the rudo side. Los Guerreros and NGD are the best on that side, there’s not much left with them in Japan, and that’s where all the veterans who have jobs for life get dumped.

Halcon Suriano & Tigre Rojo had matching gear last week and are teamed up again. If there were still promos in Puebla, we might find out why. Alas!

AAA TV (SAT) 01/26/2019 Centro de Convenciones, Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas
1) Máscara de Bronce, Raptor, Vanilla vs Australian Suicide, Jack Evans, La Hiedra
2) Hijo Del Vikingo, Myzteziz Jr., Niño Hamburguesa vs Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana
3) Drago © vs ArgenisParka NegraGolden Magic [AAA LA]
first defense
4) Joe Lider & Pagano vs Cíclope & Miedo Extremo
5) Drago, Laredo Kid, Murder Clown vs Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly
6) Aerostar, Dr. Wagner Jr., Psycho Clown vs Hijo del Fantasma, Monsther Clown, Rey Escorpión

Everything happened and then there were also AAA lineups also announced. AAA seems serious (or as serious as they are about anything) about going somewhere with Laredo Kid, which apparently means he can’t team with his teammates for the moment. He can team with Drago, who’s also somehow defending his title. This was pointed out to AAA on Twitter (not just by annoying me, other annoying people too), but AAA reposted the lineup as is and has Drago working twice on their lineup page. They’re sticking to the story, at least for now.

Even if that changes, this is a show where the main event focus appears to be on the Aerostar/Monsther Clown feud (!?!?!). Mascara de Bronce makes a real TV taping for the first time since April, and Raptor does the same for the first time since February. Joe Lider & Pagano are apparently going to friends again after one show.

AAA TV (FRI) 02/08/2019 Centro de Usos Múltiples, Mazatlán, Sinaloa
1) Dinastía, Lady Shani, Niño Hamburguesa vs Lady Maravilla, Lanzelot, Villano III Jr.
2) Sammy Guevara vs Flamita vs Hijo Del Vikingo [AAA CRUISER]
will be second defense (1st on TV) assuming Guevera keeps title in Tijuana
3) Aerostar, Máximo, Taya vs Faby Apache, Monsther Clown, Taurus
4) Drago vs Jack Evans
5) Dr. Wagner Jr., Laredo Kid, Puma King vs Blue Demon Jr., Hijo del Fantasma, La Máscara
6) La Parka & Psycho Clown vs Killer Kross & Rey Escorpión

A Sammy Guevera title defense on TV! I guess his chances of beating Laredo Kid on 02/01 in Tijuana are strong. I make fun of Sammy Guevera because it’s fish in a barrel but I’m fairly sure the issues with the Cruiserweight title not being defend in AAA aren’t his issues. I’d also guess Hijo del Vikingo might end up champion when that’s all said and done.

Wagner/Demon is still going on. Drago versus Jack Evans is good though any reason for it to be happening in AAA is still a mystery. This is the the first show of a two taping weekend, so people like Taya & Faby are probably around for Tepic and maybe in a bigger role. That lineup is probably coming five minutes after I finish this post.

CMLL Fantastica Mania in Chiba: 2019-01-16 

team Volador powerbomb

Recapped: 01/16/2019

Matches: 

Forastero, Gedo, Taiji Ishimori beat Kushida, Ryusuke Taguchi, Titán  
(7:44, Forastero armbar Titan, ok)

Fujin & Raijin beat Bushi & Shingo Takagi
(10:19, Fujin casita BUSHI, ok)

Ángel de Oro, Audaz, Soberano Jr. beat Bárbaro Cavernario, Namajague, Okumura
(12:10, Soberano guillotine moonsault Okumura, good)

Terrible & Tetsuya Naito beat Satoshi Kojima & Toa Henare  
(1209, Terrible Clash on Henare, ok)

Carístico, Jyushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask beat Gran Guerrero, Templario, Último Guerrero
(11:21, La Mistica on Templario, ok)

Cuatrero & Sansón beat Atlantis & Atlantis Jr. in a CMLL Family tournament semifinal
(9:51, Sansón super torture rack powerbomb Atlantis Jr., good)

Dragón Lee & Místico beat Flyer & Volador Jr. in a CMLL Family tournament semifinal
(14:41, Dragon Lee Mad Scientist Bomb Flyer, good)

What happened: 

Sanson & Cuatrero will meet Dragon Lee & Mistico in the CMLL Family tournament final on Friday.

Thoughts: 

international friendship elbow drop

The main event was the strongest match on the show, with some hot sequences and the biggest moments. Flyer kept up with the other three, though his hesitations and lack of smoothness also popped up. (Not sure who’s fault the long pause before the Spanish Fly was, or if was even meant to be a Spanish Fly at first.) Getting to see Dragon Lee and Volador fight was a treat, and Lee looked great through the match. Místico & Dragon Lee could use a non-dropkick two-man spot, but they do work well as a pair. I expect more out of the final but this was a good lead up to it.

Probably overrating the semi-main, just because Atlantis Jr. continues to look impressive. He was better here than in his debut and carried the majority of the match for his side. His offense is still not super flashy but he executes it well. He took NGD’s moves nicely. Papa Atlantis was trying but maybe too much for his own good; he was limping noticeably after the plancha to the outside. NGD showed enough to come off the as the deserving winner but their next match should be better.

didn’t get all of the headscissors (but didn’t fall on his head)

The last trios match started really slow, with a fair bit of comedy and stalling before they got rolling. (You can safely skip everything until Último Guerrero gets unmasked in most UG Fantastica Mania matches.) They ended up meshing without issue once they got going, and there was more Tiger Mask versus Último Guerrero than could’ve been figured. It would’ve been nice to see a bit more of Templario, but he seemed oddly not on the same page of his partners and probably was just happy to be there.

The LIJ heavyweight match was dragging early. They never ended up doing anything with Kojima & Terrible to make it an attractive match, with this focusing a lot on Henare as an underdog instead. The last few minutes picked up well, Terrible & Naito had some good timing as a team. Nothing you need to see though.

NGD power

The tercera was leaps better than the matches which preceded it, with flowing sequences and fast-paced actions. Soberano & Cavernario got to interact a lot leading into their singles match, though they weren’t involved in the finish. Cameras missed two different Audaz spots in the comeback, but at least he did the chops spot well. He and Namajague worked well together and Audaz got to show off some of his weird escapes.

LIJ versus Fujin/Raijin was a fine match that I wasn’t all that emotionally invested in. Thought the Raijin/Takagi sequence in the middle of the match was the best part of it, but it never really got to as high as you’d expect for something setting up a title match down the road.

The opener followed the pattern seen on the first day’s shows, where the Mexican wrestlers mostly worked with just each other. Forastero & Titan got the ending sequence to themselves at the trade-off of not being in much early. They were fine, though seeing Forastero & Titan wrestler just each other is less than novel. The Taguchi/Ishimori fight was the real focus.

Raijin spear

2018 watch later catch up, part 17 of 17

Virus is neat

This is the last one of these general indie catchups for 2018. You can read the rest of the posts under this tag. This bit went a little bit longer this year, but a lot of The Crash shows got folded under this.

Aramis vs Virus
(PROLLM @ Coliseo Coacalco on 12/02, 14:33, good, 
REPORTE LUCHA)

What Happened: This video suddenly and unexpectedly changed from a hard camera far away from the ring to a ringside camera five minutes in with much better picture quality. It’s also very loud. The video quality changes again near the finish.

Review: There’s a pretty good match here shot very weirdly. It would’ve been neat to see the good mat work from less than twenty feet away, it would’ve been nice if the sound wasn’t screaming for most of the match, but it’s good to see the match at all. Aramis and Virus mix pretty well, with Virus having moments looking as quick as the much younger man. Aramis dutiful destroys himself on a tope and comes back in for some flashy moves. This deserves a rematch in a better video setting.

Aramis knows a tricky hold

Dragón Bane vs Alan Extreme
(9:18, Mexa Wrestling @ Arena San Juan Pantitlan on 12/08, 9:14, good,
CarxyusRing)

What Happened: Alan Extreme is in his old mask and gear and is completely unrecognizable as the guy who’s been a Ninja Turtle for the last while.

Review: [good] Really, I can’t get over how much weight Alan Extreme has lost. It would’ve been a perfect time to sneak him under a new character because it might as well be a new person. Some of his old basing skill there and he’s a good fit for the flying spots Dragon Bane wants to do, but they’re a little off at times. These guys might be better suited for a tag match at the moment. It might be worth waiting to see if +LuchaTV puts up this show because there’s some outside the ring action that Carxyus can’t capture from his angle. It’s still a pretty fun match with what we can see.

Xtreme bomb

Rey Horuz vs Arez vs Aramis vs Toxin
(Mexa Wrestling @ Arena San Juan Pantitlan on 12/08, 15:43, good,
Carxyus Pro)

I liked this match much more when I was watching it half asleep than when I watched it a week or later while mostly awake. Not sure how that helps as a review. Maybe it helps explain the match, with a lot of big spots that’ll wake up a drowsy person in between some dead moments. The match gets smoother as it goes down but it’s only after Aramis’ near death on a tope (and the match being stopped to check on him) where it picks up some sort of rhythm. There’s still more dead moments than you’d expect from a four-way, accompanied by a lot of outstanding looking spots. They were close to even more spectacular things and it just didn’t really work out. Toxin was good but tough to identify when he’s not wearing his normal mask; I had to check both times that I didn’t mistake him for someone else. The finishing sequence was good but the run-in coming so sudden and meaning nothing really didn’t help the match at all.

Toxin step up inverted huracanrana

Volador Jr. vs Último Guerrero
(CMLL @ Arena Coliseo Guadalajara on 12/11, 9:21, ok,
thecubsfan)

This match wasn’t as competitive heartless as the Arena Mexico singles match. It still didn’t have much to it, just checking off half their moves before going to the finish. The finish itself was amusing for the referee dying for about 12 seconds after a superkick, to the point where Volador stopped selling to see if the referee would ever recover. That’s not really a great selling point.

I try not to post GIFs of finishes but you needed to see this

Fly Star vs Demus in a hardcore rules match
(MexaWrestling @ Arena San Juan Pantitlan on 12/08, 11:40 seen, good, Estrellas del Ring)

Estrellas del Ring is missing about three minutes from the start. It’s better than the Carxyus version: this is a brawl around ringside and you need to see it from that angle to get much of it. It’s definitely bloody and brawly, though messy even by the usual standards. The effort is really strong and Demus is a fine mood; I can tell it’s good and it doesn’t really connect with me. The big spots are worth checking out at the least.

many types of death in this match

Aramis, Hijo del Alebrije, Relámpago vs Demonio Infernal, Hijo de Canis Lupus, Lunatic Xtreme
(IWRG @ Arena Naucalpan on 12/21/2018, 11:01, good, via mluchatv)

What Happened: Alebrije & Relampago are wearing split outfits to set up a team I’ve forgotten was supposed to be a team.

Review: There’s a moment, in what turns out to be late in the match, where Hijo del Alebrije attempts to monkey flip Demonio Infernal over the top rope. It’s not high enough, so Demonio instead hits the ropes and lands on his head. It’s as if everyone in the match collectively realizes that they’re going to get grounded for that but, since they’re already going to be grounded, they can do whatever they want with no further consequences. It really picks up with Lunatik blindsiding Alebrije with a chair shot as a lead into a dive train and it peaks with Lunatik doing a balcony splash for no particular reason. Aramis getting dropped on his head multiple times is the actual finish, but this is less about the actual finish and more about young Naucalpan wrestlers going crazy for moments of this match. It has all the shakiness you might expect but the way it escalates is definitely compelling.

would’ve been better if Canis Lupus didn’t walk into the shot

Fantastica Mania tomorrow morning, CMLL Universal tournament returns in February, Lucifierno/Niebla Roja

lucha libre

CMLL (MON) 01/14/2019 Arena Puebla [CMLL, Lucha Central]
1) Astro, Millenium, Rey Samuray b Black Tiger, Perverso, Sombra Diabólika LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 14 DE ENERO DEL 2019 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 1/3.
2) Halcón Suriano Jr., Robin, Tigre Rojo Jr. b El Malayo, Policeman, Toro Bill Jr. LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 14 DE ENERO DEL 2019 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 2/3. They had matching gear, though it’s unclear if that means anything.
3) Súper Muñeco, Súper Pinocho, Súper Ratón b Gallego, Rocky Santana, Romano GarcíaLA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 14 DE ENERO DEL 2019 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Trio Fantasia took falls 1/3. A poor match.
4) Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto b Niebla Roja, Stigma, Stuka Jr. LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 14 DE ENERO DEL 2019 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rudos took 1/3. Luicferno beat Niebla Roja, asked for a title match. Roja accepted.
5) Rush, Vangellys, Villano IV DQ Euforia, Kráneo, Valiente [Relevos IncreíblesLA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 14 DE ENERO DEL 2019 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Straight falls. Euforia fouled Rush. V4 said Rush was more of a rudo than Euforia and he and Vangellys would continue to have his back. Rush and Euforia built up their match for Friday.

The legends match sounds like it went very poorly. Luciferno challenging is a bit random but perhaps there’s an urgent need for a title change.

CMLL announced last night that the Universal tournament is returning. l tournament will return next month. CMLL’s tournament of champions is meant to be an annual thing, one they didn’t seem to get around to in 2018. The timing of it suggests another annual tournament, the incredible pairs tag team tournament, might be getting bumped to a later date or to non-existence.

The Universal tournament will have blocks on February 1st and February 8th, with the final on 15th. It also currently has too many people. CMLL typically has 16 champions entered in the tournament. They’re over that number, in part because CMLL’s brought back the national heavyweight championship since the last time they ran this tournament. The current champions are:

  1. Volador Jr. [NWA Welterweight]
  2. Caristico [NWA Middleweight]
  3. Stuka Jr. [NWA Light Heavyweight]
  4. Dragon Lee [CMLL Lightweight]
  5. Mephisto [CMLL Middleweight]
  6. Cuatrero [CMLL Welterweight, Mexico Trios]
  7. Niebla Roja [CMLL Light Heavyweight]
  8. Valiente [CMLL Tag Team]
  9. Diamante Azul [CMLL Tag Team]
  10. Ultimo Guerrero [CMLL Trios, CMLL Heavyweight]
  11. Gran Guerrero [CMLL Trios]
  12. Euforia [CMLL Trios]
  13. Sanson [Mexico Trios]
  14. Forastero [Mexico Trios]
  15. Electrico [Mexico Lightweight]
  16. Soberano [Mexico Welterweight]
  17. Cavernario [Mexico Light Heavyweight]
  18. Terrible [Mexican Heavyweight]

Electrico’s title (and Electrico himself) has been ignored since moving up to the main division, so that’s one to drop. It’s harder to figure out the second one to drop. Luciferno taking a title with Niebla Roja wouldn’t take change the count. Atlantis, Niebla Roja and Titan winning the national titles in Tokyo would actually create one more champion. There’s not really much time left to do title changes that would create one less champion, though we’ve seen CMLL pull title changes out of nowhere strictly to make the math work in the past.

CMLL has a less interesting Tuesday show tonight. It’s not like the CMLL Tuesday shows are generally good, but this one seems more unnecessary than usual. Kraneo & Volcano bring their Gorillas del Ring act to the main event, teaming with Niebla Roja against Shocker, Rey Bucanero, and Mephisto. The Panther family teams up against Luciferno, Polvora, and Felino in the semi-main. Sagrado & Tiger have a lightning match between guys who were definitely good at one point but haven’t looked motivated to have great matches in some time. Drone, Pegasso, and Stigma take on Misterioso, Universo, and Kawato in the tercera. The show includes an opener and a Nitro level match. It starts at 7:30 pm.

Fantastica Mania finishes up the pre-Korakuen Hall show run tomorrow morning at 4 am (CT/Mexico time) in Chiba’s Makuhari Messe. Chiba is close to Tokyo, so there’s a good chance the CMLL luchadors are just based there for the next week. This show, and every remaining Fantastica Mania show will stream on NJPW World.

The lineup has a little bit more going on the tour opening show did, with the top two matches being the first round of the CMLL Family tournament. Atlantis Jr. has rebounded from losing his first two matches on this tour to win the following two. He and his father are still significant underdogs against the NGD pair of Cuatrero & Sanson. Dragon Lee & Mistico are favorites to beat Flyer & Volador, though the outcome there isn’t as interesting as the chance to see a clash of tecnicos unlike which would normally be booked in Arena Mexico.

The undercard includes Templario getting his one chance to team up with the Guerreros on these shows, facing the legends trio of Liger, Tiger Mask, and Caristico. Audaz gets a higher position than usual, teaming with Angel de Oro & Soberano against Barbaro Cavernario, Namajague, and Okumura. This card could be interesting, and I might find myself watching it live tomorrow morning. There will be a recap sometime Wednesday even if I sleep in.

Mexa Wrestling on 02/23 (“New Idols” in Arena San Juan)

Pretty sure everyone Mexa Wrestling books either fits or doesn’t fit as New Idols. Garza & Metaleon are both new in a world where a Trio Fantastia/Los Diabolicos match happened in Puebla but are not really new to people who follow Mexa Wrestling. Maybe it’ll make more sense later.

In a clip from an interview on Marca, El Hijo del Santo says Todo x el Todo has plans of returning this summer (though that might be London shows again.) A luchador who seemingly was wrestling primarily to get his son bookings is not going to be wrestling much when he son has gone back to school.

An interview with Monclova’s Rebelde Rojo Jr, who’s been wrestling since 1993. He suffered a heart attack, was told to stop wrestling, stop wrestling for a year and a half, and then decided he liked wrestling too much to stop.

Chicago’s Yakuza explains he decided to become a wrestling promoter because the promoters he was working for were shorting him on pay. He mentions there’s still a promoter in the area who don’t pay their wrestlers and doesn’t let those wrestlers work with his ones.

One of Enrique Llanes’ sons (not Javier) talks about his father’s career. He says he and his brother didn’t know his father was a wrestler until long after he retired. He had a second career as a sports radio/TV host.

+LuchaTV has a new edition of their podcast.

Did You Know: LA Park wants an apuesta match with Rush, says Rush needs huevos.

LuchaWorld has this week’s Poster-Mania.

Lineups

CMLL (SAT) 01/19/2019 Arena Coliseo
1) Kaligua & Último Dragóncito vs Mercurio & Pierrothito
2) Astral, Halcón Suriano Jr., Príncipe Diamante vs Cancerbero, Grako, Raziel
3) Star Jr., Stigma, Súper Astro Jr. vs Sagrado, Tiger, Virus
4) Pegasso vs Kawato San [lightning]
5) Esfinge, Stuka Jr., Tritón vs Dragón Rojo Jr., Felino, Pólvora
6) Diamante Azul, Kráneo, Niebla Roja vs Máscara Año 2000, Rey Bucanero, Shocker

The big news here is AAA no longer has the worst looking main event on Saturday night.

Super Astro Jr. clearly being ahead of the ex-minis is somewhat interesting.

CMLL (SUN) 01/20/2019 Arena México
1) Bengala & Sonic vs El Coyote & Príncipe Odín Jr.
2) Angelito, Fantasy, Shockercito vs Pequeño Nitro, Pequeño Olímpico, Pequeño Universo 2000
3) Drone, Robin, Súper Astro Jr. vs Disturbio, Misterioso Jr., Virus
4) Tritón vs Universo 2000 Jr. [lightning]
5) Black Panther, Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr. vs Hijo del Villano III, Vangellys, Villano IV
6) La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Shocker vs Diamante Azul, Niebla Roja, Valiente [Relevos Increíbles]

Diamante Azul is fully back to have lackluster matches with Rush. Panthers & Villanos have old history. Vangellys is a fan of old history.

2018 CMLL on NJPW World (first half)

a sumation of Flyer’s 2018 post Gran Alternativa

NJPW had been posting delayed versions of the Friday night CMLL shows as bonus NJPW World subscription content. They switched to showing Sunday shows in July. Those shows are not streamed on CMLL’s YouTube. These are technically blocked in Mexico, perhaps they air on some obscure TV station CMLL’s never bothered to mention, though I know the Mexican people are clever enough to find a way to bootleg these shows anyway.

The shows are not complete. There’s usually the top four matches, but sometimes it’s three if there’s no lightning match. There are no women’s or minis matches. There are 10 shows from 2018, and it’s not always clear why those are chosen. They also air irregularly, used to keep the live stream arm when NJPW is between their own events. They’re also hard to find on the website after they’ve aired, not tagged like most of their content.

All commentary is done in Japanese, with various NJPW wrestlers (usually with some Mexican connection) joining in. The announcers are knowledgeable enough to identify the CMLL finishing moves and sometimes name them. Their crowd & ring mics do end up being quieter than usual in the mix.

I’m trying to pick out at least one match from the ten shows, though it is a stretch on some of them. I probably wouldn’t be doing this unless there were a couple of matches I knew I needed to see; not sure this website needs any more CMLL recaps.

Mistico, Valiente, Volador Jr. © vs Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero for the CMLL World Trios Championship
(Arena México on 07/01,
15:40, great, NJPW (50:51))

There’s also a handheld version of this match: tonyzorr

I’m not listing finishes based on my habit for catch up posts, but you probably already know this turned out to be the end of the Sky Team. At least they went out with a good match if it took a while to get there. It’s a good encapsulation of what the series of matches between these two teams have felt like, though it felt like the pace and the action was better in some of the previous matches. The first two falls don’t really feel like a big title match, even with the spectacular finishes. They get there in the end, though doing it with the usual CMLL problem of the first believable finish being the only one. Euforia looks sharp in his third fall exchange with Volador, Último Guerrero’s powerbomb catch of Volador’s dive seemed like the latest it ever has been, and the announcers were thrilled to see a Valiente special.

Euforia swats down Volador

Audaz, Blue Panther, Rey Cometa vs Hechicero, Okumura, Templario
(Arena México on 07/08, 11:37, ok, NJPW (5:49))

What Happened: Audaz falls harshly trying an around the ringpost headscissors. He’s not moving immediately after. Blue Panther checks on him and waves in the medics, who immobilize his neck and take him away with some caution. The match still goes on a couple minutes longer. They kept him off the following Tuesday show but he was back a few days after that.

This was a general standard midcard match. Rey Cometa’s personality and heart shines thru well in these sorts of matches, battling Hechicero well. Audaz and Templario looked impressive in their glimpses but were not showcased in any particular way. They kept it together thru an injury better than most of these situations.

Templario dropkick

Drone vs Kawato San in a lightning match
(Arena México on 08/05, 7:43, ok, NJPW (6:04))

This is doldrums Kawato, but the pairing of the Japanese guy with the guy who messed up his career in Japan is too wonderful to miss. They don’t disappoint on the dives: Drone gets crushed by Kawato’s tope con giro for being too close, Kawato gets bulldozed by Drone’s tope. When they get back in, a rope flip moonsault spot barely comes together, then is sabotaged by Tirantes refusing to count for one of them being under the ropes (neither are close.) Kawato can’t sustain the bridge on a big Dragon suplex This is Kawato trying to do what he thinks he’s supposed to do and not really getting it, and Drone not really having a good night either. There are worse matches it’s fine on a surface level

more of a crash than a catch

Cavernario, Christopher Daniels, Último Guerrero vs Matt Taven, Mistico, Niebla Roja
(Arena México on 08/05, 12:40, good, NJPW (56:25))

Christopher Daniels making a one-off appearance. He waved at the crowd on the previous Friday night but was really mostly around for the ill-fated (& seemingly final) Pura Raza show on Saturday. This match does treat him well, going out of their way to have him get in both the Best Moonsault Ever and Angel’s Wings to pin people in the first fall. (Someone getting two finishers in one fall seemingly never happens.) He gets to mix it up with Místico too in the first fall, but sort of fades into the background of a Niebla Roja/Cavernario heat up match. It’s good for being that, and the six people mesh well together for an unnatural combination. This is during the short-lived and ultimately nonsensical Matt Taven técnico run, and his offense is good for what CMLL wants a técnico to be. This holds a little more value than just the curiosity, though it’s nothing you have to go out of your way to see.

Daniels might not be in CMLL much but his move sure has been

Niebla Roja vs Cavernario
(Arena México on 08/12, 16:20, good, NJPW (29:35))

didn’t like Niebla Roja/Cavernario as much as I was hoping. It got good at the end but mostly felt like the intensity of a lightning match (with pointless fall breaks) until they turned it up in the late stages. This might be an audio issue because the crowd and ring noise seemed especially quiet and it’s tough for me to get into a muted match. At the same time, Niebla Roja’s cradle to win the first fall was so horrendous that it may justify me not loving the match.

Cavernario fly

Flyer vs Mephisto in a lightning match
(Arena México on 09/02, 7:55, ok, NJPW (5:47))

Mephisto seemingly murdered Flyer with a powerbomb on the floor, a great finish. Except they kept going for a couple more minutes because they had spots (and a very predictable finish to get in.) Flyer’s biggest problem is he seems to believe he’s got these matches solved when they’re not that good and the repetitiveness of them is not helping. This was fine.

Mephisto getting Flyer over

Oficials retain tag team titles, FantasticaMania Day 4, Euforia/Rush trios in Puebla

CMLL , NJPW (MON) 01/14/2019 Gifu Industrial Hall, Gifu, Japan [NJPW]
Fantastica Mania, 2019 Day 4
Attendance: 1607
1) Audaz, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask b Gedo, Taiji Ishimori, Templario
7:21. Audaz tornado armbar on Templario
2) Cuatrero & Taichi b Ángel de Oro & Flyer
8:06. Cuatrero beat Angel de Oro with the inverted bear hug
3) Atlantis, Atlantis Jr., Kushida b Okumura, Sansón, Yoshinobu Kanemaru
7:43. Atlantis Atlantida (!) on Sanson
4) Dragón Lee, Soberano Jr., Titán b Bárbaro Cavernario, Forastero, Gran Guerrero
14:03. Soberano beat Cavernario via guillotine moonsault.
5) Jyushin Thunder Liger, Místico, Volador Jr. b Carístico, Namajague, Último Guerrero [Relevos Increíbles]
9:47. Mistico on Ultimo Guerrero via Mistica.
6) Fujin, Kojima, Raijin, Toa Henare b Bushi, Shingo Takagi, Terrible, Tetsuya Naito
15:36. Naito beat Henare.

There are promos with Cuartero, Atlantis Jr., and Mistico. They’re off until Wednesday morning, with the first round of the family tag team tournament. The final four shows will stream live on NJPW World and the final two will have English commentary.

IWRG (SUN) 01/13/2019 Arena Naucalpan [+LuchaTV, Black Terry Jr. (Flickr)Estrellas del RingThe Gladiatores]
1) Chicanito b Neza Kid Chicanito vs Neza Kid mano a mano en la Arena Naucalpan (posted by Estrellas del Ring)
2) Atomic Star & Death Metal b Chef Benito & Juan Diego Juan Diego y Chef Benito vs Atomick Star y Death Metal en la Arena Naucalpan (posted by Estrellas del Ring)
3) Ra-Zhata, Shaolin, Shil-Kah b Gato De Ecatepec, Manchitas, Metaleón Gato de Ecatepec, Manchitas y Metaleón vs Ra Zhata, Shil Kah y Shaolin (posted by Estrellas del Ring)
4) Demonio Infernal, Eterno, Lunatic Xtreme DQ Liderk, Rayan, Spector Rayan, Spector y Liderk vs Eterno, Demonio Infernal y Lunatik Extreme en la Arena Naucalpan (posted by Estrellas del Ring)
DQ for excessive violence towards Eterno, setting up a super libre match. Eterno’s team wants a title match (Comando Elite are still Mexico State trios champions)
5) Freelance, Multifacetico 2.0, Súper Nova b Galeno Del Mal, Multifacetico (Puebla), Último Gladiador
tease of the mask/mask match
6) Capo del Norte & Capo del Sur b Rokambole Jr. & Villano V Jr. and Dragón Bane & Hijo de Canis Lupus and Aramis & Imposible
Eliminations: Draogn Bane/Canis, Aramis/Imposible, and then the Capos cheated the Villano kids to win, setting up a super libre match.
7) Oficial 911 & Oficial AK47 b Leo & Mike [IWRG IC TAGOficiales AK 47 y 911 (C) vs Tortugas Leo y Mike (R) CAMPEONATOS DE PAREJAS IWRG (posted by Estrellas del Ring)
Ninja Turtles fall on their first defense. Ofiicals first defense The first referee was taken out when it came down to 911 & Mike,, Mike had a visual pin, and a second referee turned up just in time for 911 to turn it around.

Second straight IWRG Tag Team title change with zero defenses. Oficials were last champions in 2014, or ten champions ago. Oficials retained theri titles, though I was confused about them being champions. I’m not 100% sure why IWRG has had so many police characters over the year. I did notice, reading thru the 1960s magazines, that original Arena Naucalpan owner Adolfo Moreno worked as a police detective.

Rush and Euforia face off again tonight in Puebla. It’s the strange teams of Rush, Vangellys and Villano IV versus Euforia, Kraneo, and Valiente. It probably won’t be good, but the same is true about the same show. Hijos del Inferino will walk thru a match against Niebla Roja, Stigma and Stuka. Trio Fantasia and Los Diabolicos rematch after the rudos cheated to win last week. The undercard includes a Halcon Suriano Jr. appearance. The show streams at 9 pm on YouTube.

Stuka keeps his title, Fantastica Mania Day 3, AAA on Multimedios

CMLL (SAT) 01/12/2019 Arena Coliseo [CMLL]
1) Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Violencia b Acero & Aéreo
2) Hijo del Signo, Inquisidor, Metálico b Astral, Eléctrico, Príncipe Diamante
3) Sagrado, Sangre Azteca, Universo 2000 Jr. b Magnus, Pegasso, Stigma
4) Vangellys b Guerrero Maya Jr. [lightning]
5) Ephesto, Felino, Luciferno b Black Panther, Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr.
6) Kráneo, Niebla Roja, Valiente b Euforia, La Bestia Del Ring, Rush
Euforia and his partners did not get along.

Vangellys talks about his win, Rush and Euforia talk up their match and their failure to work together here.

CMLL , NJPW (SUN) 01/13/2019 KBS Hall, Kyoto, Japan [CMLLNJPW]
Fantastica Mania, 2019 Day 3
Attendance: 801
1) Gedo, Taiji Ishimori, Templario b Audaz, Jyushin Thunder Liger, Ryusuke Taguchi
5:30. Templario beat Audaz via powerbomb.
2) Ángel de Oro & Kushida b Cuatrero & Taichi
8:31. Angel de Oro defeated Cuatrero using his campana.
3) Atlantis, Atlantis Jr., Flyer b Okumura, Sansón, Yoshinobu Kanemaru
9:24. Flyer pinned Okumura after a Spanish Fly, so this is Atlantis Jr.’s first time on a winning side.
4) Místico, Soberano Jr., Titán b Bárbaro Cavernario, Forastero, Último Guerrero
16:16. Mistico beat Forastero via swanton bomb.
5) Carístico, Gran Guerrero, Namajague b Dragón Lee, Tiger Mask, Volador Jr. [Relevos Increíbles]
10:38. Gran Guerrero beat Dragon Lee using a top rope Michinoku Driver.
6) Bushi, Shingo Takagi, Terrible, Tetsuya Naito b Fujin, Raijin, Satoshi Kojima, Toa Henare
14:31. Naito beat Henare after a Destino

Flyer is a bit too hyper in this promo.

Taichi’s been doing a bit where he has no idea who these Mexicans are and isn’t even sure if he won or loss because he can’t tell them apart. (He’s playing a familiar type of NJPW fan, more or less.) Taichi did suddenly recall Angel de Oro after this match, because Angel de Oro beat him back in his Best of Super Juniors appearance with the same move. Taichi seemed upset Angel de Oro is unmasked and handsome now.

The final non-streamed show on the Fantastica Mania tour is tomorrow morning.

CMLL (SUN) 01/13/2019 Arena México [CMLL]
1) Angelito & Shockercito b Mercurio & Pierrothito
tecnicos took 1/3
2) Amapola, La Comandante, Tiffany b Avispa Dorada, La Maligna, Sanely
Rudos took 1/3.
3) Black Panther, Blue Panther Jr., Guerrero Maya Jr. b Kawato San, Universo 2000 Jr., Virus
Tecnicos took 2/3. Universo 2000 Jr. was hurt and left the match in the third fall.
4) Blue Panther, Esfinge, Tritón b Dragón Rojo Jr., Hijo del Signo, Pólvora
Hijo del Signo replaced Vangellys. Tecnicos took 2/3.
5) Stuka Jr. b Hechicero [NWA LH]
Stuka took 2/3 to keep the title. 2nd defense
6) Kráneo, Niebla Roja, Valiente DQ Euforia, Rey Bucanero, Vangellys Shocker
Straight falls. Rey Bucanero can not let go of his feud with Niebla Roja and fouled him for the DQ.

Sanely is looking for a shot at Metalica. Stuka gives Hechicero credit but points out he was better once again.

I’m not 100% sure what’s going on with the CMLL Friday night show. They deleted the original version that streamed on Friday night, then put up a new version that seemed to cut out portions in between the matches. I assumed they were cutting out the mentions of Fenix & Penta, but those are still there between fallsAnd then they put up the video teaser for Penta & Fenix appearing, even though CMLL’s not advertising them. It’s weird and not helpful for CMLL but it doesn’t really matter for what we’re going to see.

On his podcast, Konnan said he believed Televisa pre-empted AAA from Televisa last week because of holiday pre-emptions and they’d be back on this week. They weren’t, but that suggests it hasn’t been some hot topic around AAA’s offices.

Meanwhile, AAA has started on Monterrey based Multimedios TV, airing Sundays at 3 pm, starting with a reair of TripleMania. That gives AAA a different over the air network. It generally is in northern Mexico, but they do have affiliates in Mexico City, Puebla, and Guadalajara (Wikipedia). It also means AAA is on over the air in a few US cities and available (usually on an extra tier) on a lot of cable systems. You’d have to look and pay extra in many cases, to find it but it does exist. Multimedios officials had previously teased doing a similar deal with CMLL, which was mentioned for one day and never again. This is a good alternative to the Televisa deal, but also one they probably wouldn’t do (or maybe even be permitted to make) unless they were off Televisa Nueve.

Konnan’s podcast mentioned that because they’re trying to get a deal done for AAA TV to air in Europe, they’re planning on adding an English language Twitch feed for AAA TV tapings and Vampiro would be involved. That’ll be a disaster. If I’m trying to be positive, maybe doing live AAA (a different animal than taped LU) regularly will allow him to get better than doing it once a year, or maybe he’ll do it badly enough or be frustrated by it that AAA will finally stop using him.

If that happens, that means AAA show would have at least four different sets of announcers: the Televisa crew, the Space crew, the English language crew, and the Multimedios show has their own announcers as well.

You can read Impact spoilers from Saturday night here, which includes some significant news at the end. If you’ve somehow managed not to hear it, I believe it airs in about five weeks so good luck.

LuchaWorld has the latest news update.

WWC aired a Demus versus Torito match this week. And Dragon Lee’s MLW TV match aired this week.

Euforia versus Rush, Fantastica Mania Day 2, Impact in Mexico, Bandido ROH debut

Rush weak versus tall people spears

CMLL (FRI) 01/11/2019 Arena México [CMLL, Lucha CentralMarcaOvacionesthecubsfan]
1) Cancerbero, Disturbio, Raziel b Robin, Star Jr., Súper Astro Jr. LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 11 DE ENERO  DE 2019 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
14:14. Rudos took 1/3.
2) Drone, Esfinge, Guerrero Maya Jr. b Kawato, Sagrado, Tiger LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 11 DE ENERO  DE 2019 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
13:18. Tecnicos took 1/3.
3) Pólvora DQ Felino [lightningLUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 11 DE ENERO  DE 2019 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
5:32. DQ when Felino “accidentally” unmasked Polvora.
4) Máscara Año 2000, Rey Bucanero, Shocker b Blue Panther, Rey Cometa, Tritón LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 11 DE ENERO  DE 2019 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
11:31. Rudos took 1/3.
5) Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto b Kráneo, Stuka Jr., Volcano LUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 11 DE ENERO  DE 2019 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
14:55. Rudos took 1/3.
6) Euforia, Niebla Roja, Valiente b La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Villano IV [Relevos IncreíblesLUCHA LIBRE VIERNES ESPECTACULAR DE ARENA MEXICO 11 DE ENERO  DE 2019 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
9:27. Straight falls. Rush unmasked Euforia to finish the match, setting up a 1v1 next week.

CMLL Promos: Super Astro Jr. (wants to avenge his father versus Hijo del Villano III), Felino (wants a rematch ), Polvora (wants a rematch), Los Senores Bien, Euforia (wants Rush), Rush (going to show Euforia what a real rudo is)

The bad looking show was not good. Rush & Euforia brought a bit of life int he main event and the first two matches had moments. You should not go back and watch if you missed. Go enjoy your weekend another way.

CMLL , NJPW (SAT) 01/12/2019 Texport Imabari, Ehima, Japan[CMLLNJPW]
Fantastica Mania, 2019 Day 2
Attendance: 1090
1) Audaz, Kushida, Ryusuke Taguchi b Gedo, Taiji Ishimori, Templario
8:00. Audaz beat Templario with his tornado armbar.
2) Flyer & Titán b Forastero & Taichi
8:39. Titanics on Forastero.
3) Okumura, Sansón, Yoshinobu Kanemaru b Atlantis, Atlantis Jr., Tiger Mask
9:53. Sanson torture rack powerbomb on Atlantis Jr.
4) Bárbaro Cavernario, Cuatrero, Último Guerrero b Ángel de Oro, Místico, Soberano Jr.
15:42. Guerrero Special on Mistico.
5) Dragón Lee, Jyushin Thunder Liger, Volador Jr. b Carístico, Gran Guerrero, Namajague [Relevos Increíbles]
8:30. Dragon Lee double stomp on Gran Guerrero
6) Bushi, Shingo Takagi, Terrible, Tetsuya Naito b Fujin, Raijin, Satoshi Kojima, Toa Henare
14:51. Destino on Henare.

The rudos left the Atlantis family (& Tiger Mask) unmasked again. Atlantis Jr. is going to take the pinfall in probably every match he’s in. The question is if it’s going to take upset Okumura in his singles match. They’re back again in Kyoto on Sunday morning.

I have quick results from the Friday night Impact taping if you’re interested. The AAA/Mexican wrestlers were generally used as enhancement talent on the taping itself, then given a bonus match so they could go home with a win. They did an angle in it, so I assume it’s airing on Impact proper and not just taped for Xplosion or the local crowd.

The Impact taping was interrupted by a protest about Mexico’s current gasoline shortage. CMLL posted a message about the different public transportation ways to get to Arena Coliseo tonight. I have no feel for how big a deal this is from outside of Mexico, but it sure seems like something that’s got to cut down on people traveling to non-essential things like wrestling shows for the time being.

AAA indeed appears to be off of Televisa Nueve. They’ve not said anything – they never do! – but people looking for the show have been asking about the situation on Facebook and getting no response. I think AAA will be ok, but then I never actually hear about anyone watching their TV and I know they must be out there – they’re just not the people who are going to waste their lives talking about lucha libre on the internet. CMLL’s lack of strong TV didn’t hurt them when they had LA Park & Penta & Fenix in, though you could argue if it’s the lack of strong TV or their own programming that’s causing CMLL to be unable to make their own stars.

Bandido starts tonight in Ring of Honor. He faces Mark Haskins tonight in Atlanta on a TV taping, then PJ Black Sunday in Concord, North Carolina.

Lineups

CMLL (FRI) 01/18/2019 Arena México
1) Arkalis, Astral, Magnus vs Akuma, Espanto Jr., Metálico
2) La Jarochita, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit vs Amapola, Dalys, Metálica
3) Esfinge, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa vs Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora, Virus
4) Kráneo, Stuka Jr., Volcano vs Rey Bucanero, Shocker, Virus
5) Ephesto, Gilbert el Boricua, Mephisto vs Diamante Azul, Niebla Roja, Valiente
6) Rush vs Euforia

Penta & Fenix were announced as appearing thru the show, appeared in the video for this week, and are not actually on the show. (The video was pulled from YouTube.) They’ve been booked for PCW Ultra on this date for some time, and CMLL appears to not be great at knowing when those guys are available. I’m guessing they were in the Ephesto & Mephisto spots.

Euforia seems to be in Diamante Azul’s spot, though Diamante Azul is back in time to watch it from the semi-main. Not a lot going on the rest of the card.

CMLL on Marca: 2019-01-11 

what better way to celebrate Fantsaticamania then posting a Drone GIF

Recapped: 1/11/2019

Matches: 

Cancerbero, Disturbio, Raziel beat Robin, Star Jr., Súper Astro Jr.
(14:14 [6:16, 3:39, 4:19], 1/3, ok, 00:05:20)

Drone, Esfinge, Guerrero Maya Jr. beat Kawato, Sagrado, Tiger
(13:18 [4:10, 3:24, 5:44], 1/3, ok, 00:25:30)

Pólvora beat Felino in a lightning match
(5:32, DQ for mask pull, below average, 00:48:51)

Máscara Año 2000, Rey Bucanero, Shocker beat Blue Panther, Rey Cometa, Tritón
(11:31 [4:41, 2:14, 4:36], 1/3, ok, 00:59:11)

Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto beat Kráneo, Stuka Jr., Volcano
(14:55 [5:38, 2:31, 6:46], 1/3, ok, 01:23:02)

Euforia, Niebla Roja, Valiente beat La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Villano IV in a relevos increíbles match
(9:27 [2:09, 7:18], 1/2 DQ, ok, 01:47:21)

What happened:

this is a “Shocker GIFs” level show

Rush ripped off Euforia’s mask and punched Edgar for the second fall disqualification. Euforia demanded a singles match and Rush rudely accepted.

They played off the mask pull finish of the lightning match as if it was an accidental finish, but it was clearly the planned ending to get them out of there. Felino couldn’t have tried harder to pull the mask.

The stream was down to start the show, but it appeared they picked it up just after the whistle of the first match.

Thoughts: 

The only match that had a lot of life to it was the main event. Rush seemed charged up, which made significantly more sense when the finish turned out to be building a singles match with him and Euforia. Villano IV had a good brawling night, with clotheslines that appear to be taking people’s heads off. Bestia del Ring is so not good, but the rudos did give an overall atmosphere of chaos and destruction. You could feel something watching it, which couldn’t be said for much else here.

The semi-main was a generic Kraneo/Volcano showcase, only they got in their big spots in the second fall instead of winning the whole thing. Volcano as big dumb guy has not turned out as endearing as I think they would’ve hoped. Maybe he needs to be dumber? Maybe I’m just stretching for anything to talk about.

Triton

Around the fourth match, I half gave up on the show and started watching NJPW backstage promos at the same time. What I saw of this match didn’t seem as bad as it could be – Shocker and Rey Bucanero were willing to take a headscissors or too. Still, the técnicos kept it easy and the rudos can’t help but do the same. This match could’ve used done of Blue Panther’s weird match layouts just to have a reason to exist, but those don’t seem to happen on Fridays (when they happen at all.) I guess it did have one weird match twist, with the match just coming to a very sudden stop.

The lightning match was exceedingly boring with a DQ finish. It was unclear who would want to see this and neither man wanted to participate in it. They did more than nothing, but they tried to get as close to nothing before the DQ spot.

The second was a professional match, though one which could’ve used a bit more excitement. I think I’ve just been used to these guys being treated like they don’t matter that it’s tough invest a lot of interest in them even in a solid match like this. Kawato didn’t show the same aggression as in the last match, though he felt some. Maya seemed to be fighting angrily and Drone booted Kawato right in the face to break up the pin. The dives and long finishing sequence made this feel like more of an important match than usual in the second spot. I can’t call it good, I’m not sure I’ll remember it hours from now, but it seemed like it’d be the best thing on this show.

The opener featured three very similar técnicos trapped in the early matches. Super Astro Jr. is still quite a bit just doing a homage to his father, but those moves are good enough to make him the most impressive of those three. Star Jr. and definitely Robin have had better matches; not that anything went wrong, but they didn’t impress. Rudos were about as ungiving as ever.

Astro

CMLL Fantastica Mania 2019 Day 1: 2019-01-11 

Atlantis Jr. doing things

Recapped: 01/11/2019

All matches from Osaka Prefectural Gym.

Matches:

Gedo, Taiji Ishimori, Templario beat Audaz, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask
(7:53, Templario sit down powerbomb Audaz, ok, NJPW)

Forastero, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru beat Flyer, Jushin Liger, Titán
(7:29, Forastero triangle armbar Titan, ok, NJPW)

Okumura & Sansón beat Atlantis & Atlantis Jr.
(10:17, Okumura reverse spinning DDT Atlantis Jr., good, NJPW)

Cuatrero, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero beat Ángel de Oro, Dragón Lee, Místico
(12:13, Cuatrero crucifix powerbomb Angel De Oro, ok, NJPW)

Bárbaro Cavernario, Carístico, Namajague beat Kushida, Soberano Jr., Volador Jr. in a relevos increíbles match
(8:39, Carístico la Mistica Volador Jr, ok, NJPW)

BUSHI, Shingo Takagi, Terrible, Tetsuya Naito beat Fujin, Raijin, Satoshi Kojima, Toa Henare  
(13:11, BUSHI bridging cradle Fujin, ok, NJPW)

What happened:

Sanson & Okumura unmasked the Atlantis Family after the match, though the Young Lions put up a fight to stop it.

Forastero has the most inexplicable music of all the replacement themes.

Thoughts:

Audaz coming thru

The main event felt slower paced than I’m used to in a CMLL match. It really was Terrible guest staring in an NJPW match, so I guess that makes sense. It was the longest match of the night with plenty of Shingo & Henare in particular and a finish that seemed to come out of nowhere despite all that time. Terrible and Kojima seemed alright together but there’s no spark that makes me want to see that singles match. It wasn’t a big priority here anyway.

The semi-main had some good moments but didn’t really stick with me at all. Caristico seemed to be motivated to do well in this tour, showing the most effort in the time he was in. Soberano and Cavernario matched up promisingly but didn’t get too deep in what they did.

The fourth match seemed like it was on the verge of being spectacular at times and didn’t just get there. They were looking just a bit off. The big Dragon Lee & Místico stuff was good enough for the live crowd but they weren’t really hitting their marks as well as they often do. Similarly, I have no idea what was supposed to happen between Cuatrero & Angel de Oro but it didn’t really happen. Their own standards are a little bit higher they delivered here. It seems too obvious that Guerreros are going to be facing Dragon Lee & Místico in the tournament winners against tournament winners match, which would suggest some sort of set up in another promotion.

pay attention caveman

Atlantis Jr.’s debut is the match worth watching, both for the fascination of finally seeing him in action and because it’s a fun match. I’m fixated on comparing Atlantis Jr. and Santo Jr., as sons of legends who’ve debuted in recent times. It comes up here because Santo Jr. debuted outside of Mexico (on a Todo x el Todo show in London.) This isn’t Atlantis Jr.’s actual first match, but it’s still pretty close, and he looks far more natural than his peer. The rope grab headscissors looked smooth and fluid, something Santo Jr. has a problem within his limited action. Atlantis Jr. didn’t radiate star charisma but still showed enough to be a respected midcard técnico. He’ll get the chance to be much more, but that’s a good floor to start with.

The opening couple of matches had a lot of the NJPW wrestlers wrestling against each other, the CMLL wrestlers against each other, and never the two should meet. Flyer had about once nice bit with Kanamaru and that was it. Forastero and his partners having no chemistry didn’t really help the situation. Titan was a ghost until the ending sequence, and that was mostly about trying to introduce Forastero. An easy match to skip.

The seemingly sixty seconds of Audaz & Templario was fun in the opener. Audaz really wowed this crowd early with his dive, especially since they weren’t expecting something that spectacular at that point. They seemed to fade into the background of a Taguchi/Ishimori build-up match, which was not as interesting.

Caristico