CMLL (FRI) 11/11/2016Arena México [CMLL, CultIcon, ESTO, MT, thecubsfan]
1) Flyer & Magnus b Akuma & Espanto Jr. 8:45. Tecnicos took 2/3. Espanto Jr. suffered a lower leg/foot/ankle? injury on a baseball slide, while Flyer was hurt on a badly botched springboard in the second fall.
2) Soberano Jr., Star Jr., Stigma DQ Okumura, Sangre Azteca, Skándalo 10:53. Tecnicos took 1/2.
3) Fuego, Rey Cometa, Stuka Jr. b Dragón Rojo Jr., Hechicero, Pólvora 14:14. Tecnicos took 1/2.
4) Mephisto b Carístico [lightning] Caristico took it with La Mistica in 8:55.
5) Atlantis, Diamante Azul, Máscara Dorada b Cavernario, Felino, Negro Casas tecnicos took 2/3, the last with Mascara Dorada beating Casas with the casita. The locker room came to the ring to congratulate Dorada and Dorada said farewell to the crowd.
6) Último Guerrero b Rush, Volador Jr. [seeding battle royal] 2:48. Volador tossed Rush, UG tossed Rush nearly at the saem time.
7) La Máscara, Pierroth, Rush DQ Marco Corleone, Máximo, Volador Jr. [semifinal] Rush fouled Volador and faked his own foul to draw a DQ win.
8) Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero b La Máscara, Pierroth, Rush [final] UG blocked Rush’s foul and cleanly beat him with Pulpo Guerrero.
Dorada’s farewell was the best thing on the show. The main event was not any good.
Máscara Dorada told the press he signed a three year contract with WWE. That’s more about WWE being able to keep him for (a standard) three years than Dorada being with WWE for three years; Super Porky signed WWE three year deal once. I think it’ll work out much better for Dorada. Dorada’s been insistent that he’d leave CMLL thru the front door, which he did, and now that he’ll return to CMLL whenever he’s done with WWE.
Lucha Underground is briefly mention in Variety article about AG Studios getting out of creating content business. The big idea is the studio, which is one of the owners of the promotion/TV show, feels there’s too much content out there, reducing the odds of a success project too low to make it worthwhile. Lucha Underground is mentioned as a studio success, so I don’t think it’s going to be affected. Maybe something to just file away.
Lucha Libre Boom has a 11/14 show in San Luis Potosi with another four way mystery man main event (which seems to be their current formula.) LA Park posted the mystery person poster. I’m going to take a wild guess that LA Park is one of the people in the match.
El Grafico writes about second generation luchadoras, and the reactions for their families about following their path. They have quotes from Lluvia (Sangre Chicana), Tiffany (La Diabolica & El Vasco), La Magnifica (Gran Cochisse) and Reyna Obscura (father unrevealed.)
Bad Luck Fale Produce 12/11: Jon Strong Man b Terrible (4:44) – Terrible went all the way New Zealand to have a 5 minute match, pretty cool.
CMLL (FRI) 11/18/2016Arena México
1) Fuego & Pegasso vs Tiger & Virus
2) Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa vs Bobby Z, Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora
3) Ángel de Oro, Dragón Lee, Volador Jr. vs Cavernario, Felino, Negro Casas
4) Atlantis vs Stuka Jr., Marco Corleone, La Máscara, Máximo Sexy, Diamante Azul, Valiente, Blue Panther, Último Guerrero, Terrible, Máscara Año 2000, Rey Bucanero, Gran Guerrero, Euforia, Hechicero, Kráneo [Leyenda de Azul]
Atlantis is the reigning Leyenda de Azul champion, last time they ran this in 2014. These have been ciberneticos the last few times and I hope his is the same. It’s not a great field and I have no idea why Mascara 2000 is here. This just seems like a tournament to do a tournament. Going to be funny if Valiente is back to being the fourth guy out, like normal.
Hit my goal of reaching two of these in a week. If I kept up my pace, I’d be caught up around December 2nd. There’s no chance that happens. I think I was lower than most on Valiente/Volador, but I do definitely still like the Elite match better.
Emperador Azteca, Hijo de LA Park, Zumbi vs Diamante, Imposible, Karonte Jr.
ELITE (THU) 11/10/2016Arena Naucalpan [+LuchaTV, Plantilla Deportiva]
1) Pequeño Warrior & Shaolin b Pequeño Gigante & Solaris
2) Mr. Leo & Rocky Lobo b Belial & Impulso
3) Diamante, Imposible, Samoano b Emperador Azteca, Metaleón, Zumbi
4) Dr. Karonte Jr., Hijo De Dos Caras, Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. b Decnnis, Fresero Jr., Zumbido Fresero replaced Intocable.
5) Black Tauro & Rey Escorpión b LA Park & Mr. Águila Lots of screwiness on the finish. The referee was taken out, everyone fouled everyone else, and Tauro and Escorpion ended up on top.
6) Blue Demon Jr. b Xtreme Tiger
7) Carístico b Blue Demon Jr. Demon suffered a shoulder injury on Carstico’s small package (Caristico had been kicking at the taped right shoulder all match.) Caristico & Xtreme Tiger made the save. Demon challenged Cibernetico for a heavyweight title match.
8) Blue Demon Jr. DQ Cibernético Demon heroically came off a stretcher to have this match. Billy el Malo & Tabu debuted by attacking Demon for the DQ.
They didn’t fill Arena Naucalpan, but it was much better than an average IWRG show in the building. Looked like the setup was darker too. There’s no real notes about the matches except that tag match finishing being absurd and the Demon angle in the main event. Demon’s shoulder seems to be hurt a lot at dramatically convenient moments.
The big news from the show was the announcement Elite would return to tape TV in Naucalpan next Friday, but that would be the last TV taping of the year for Elite. There’s ways to make this work – Elite now has two unaired tapings and will have a third, they can split the tapings in half and air six weeks of TV if they want – but it more sounds like an ominous sign. The most likely reason for Elite’s TV year to come to such an early end is because Azteca doesn’t want to air it any more.
Elite’s only running TV tapings. If there’s no more TV tapings, there might not be any more Elite. Their only saving grace is whoever’s funding this was willing to throw money at it before when they had TV, and maybe they will again if they’re off TV for two months or permanently. Money might not be enough. Luchadors have gravitated to Elite because the TV exposure – Cibernetico probably knew of the Azteca deal when he made the jump, and he and a lot of others will probably be considering their options elsewhere if they’re off TV for an extended period of time. (That also might explain why Billy & Tabu are showing up just as TV goes away – just getting friends one or two TV appearances while they still can.)
(The Elite name is being to promote Blue Demon vs LA Park show in Tijuana on 12/09, but it doesn’t seem like it’s Elite promoting it, just a local promotion using the name. Whatever’s actually going on with Elite, I’m sure we’ll still see the name on posters for a long time to come.)
Tonight’s the final match for Máscara Dorada in CMLL. He started on CMLL’s main roster in 2008, in a trios match with Sombra and Mictlan La Mascara against Averno, Mephisto, Ephesto. He’s finish up tonight teaming with Diamante Azul & Atlantis against Cavernario, Felino and Negro Casas. Dorada’s farewell initially seemed low key compared to the most recent departures: Dark Angel got her favorite opponent and a sendoff and, even though we didn’t know he was going, Sombra got to face his best friend in a singles match for the one and only time before leaving. Dorada is simply getting a trios match, and his goodbye wasn’t acknowledged on last week’s show. (And, for all we know, maybe Dorada just prefered the trios match or CMLL couldn’t book a singles match and have Dorada win on his way out.) The reality of the situation has overwhelmed whatever plans they had – Dorada’s departure is the headline on the wire story about the show, Dorada was celebrated by the locker room in Puebla and Guadalajara and will surely be again tonight. It’ll be a nice moment, and one he deserves: Dorada’s had fantastic matches and has created more opportunities for luchadors with his success in Japan and the US. Dorada’s performance the last few months has been at it’s highest level, and I’m sure it’ll be no different tonight.
Máscara Dorada – or Metalik, as he started out – really struggled in CMLL the first year. He had shown spectacular offense in rare video footage from Guadalajara, but he looked unsafe and nervous when he came to Mexico, seeming to lose his confidence. Dorada wanted Atlantis and Casas in this match for how they’ve helped his career, but it’s just as appropriate Felino is included tonight. Dorada and Felino worked against each other a lot after the early struggles, and Felino’s often credited as one of the veterans who helped Dorada turn his career back around. Maybe this isn’t happening without Felino, or someone like him. It’s also nice to see Barbaro Cavernario in the match. Titán seems to be taking Dorada’s place as the upper card high flyer who can be a challenger for any title and put on an exciting match (with maybe Drone taking Titán’s spot), but Cavernario feels like a successor as the possible international star. No Mexican got a one year deal with NJPW before Mascara Dorada. If anyone gets it again, it seems most likely to be Cavernario. (I’ve got no reason for Diamante Azul to be there.)
Tonight’s main event will have Marco Corleone, Maximo and Volador on one team, La Mascara, Pierroth, Rush on another team, and Euforia, Gran Guerrero and Ultimo Guerrero on a third team. I’m sure about that. I’m not sure exactly how it’ll work. In the past, they’ve done some coin tosses, to determine who faces who first, and all three teams (or people) face each other once. In CMLL’s preview, they explain it more like their normal single elimination tournaments: there’s a seeding battle royal with the captains, the winning captain advances to the final, and the other two two trios have a semifinal to decide who advances. Whatever they’re doing, it’ll probably start to make sense about half thru. It’s not as clear where they’re going – maybe CMLL’s still going to do a cage match before the end of the year?
The rest of the card is better than average. Caristico faces Mephisto in a lightning match. It’s Caristico’s first lightning match in eleven years; he’s obviously had lots of short singles matches in that time, but he became such a big star as Mistico right away that they weren’t going to put him in midcard singles matches after his first year. Mephisto is a big name and a regular opponent, and it’s still strange they’d put Caristico in a lightning match today. Mephisto beat Caristico in the finals of the incredible pairs tournament back on April 29, something that seemed meaningful at the time but has never come up again.
AAW announced Rey Fenix is off their 11/19 show, because he’s not been medically cleared. Drago will replace him. There’s something a little weird going on: Rey Fenix is also booked in CaraLucha on the 19th and San Diego on the 19th. It’s possible Rey Fenix is off all those other dates and the announced hasn’t been made yet (or just won’t.), but it’s strange he was in three different places the same night to start with. It’s not a way to keep getting indie bookings. At the same time, Fenix had been make appearances at shows he can’t wrestle on just to apologize about not wrestling, so it doesn’t seem like he’s trying to mess with anyone. Hope this is just a weird blip.
The second part of Konnan’s interview with Rey Fenix was also posted yesterday. Rey Fenix mentions he’s heading to Australia, Germany (February), and England (March) among other places. This is a tricky thing with Lucha Underground’s uncertainty – everyone’s heard it might be back in January, but no one knows when, so they’ve got no choice but to fill up their weekends and hope those dates don’t cause a conflict later. Konnan mentions Fenix will be adding a child to his family, which sure seems like a reason he might have suddenly decided to relocate.
Lucha Memes put up a promo with lead referee Chiquilin explaining the “El privielgio” rules (translated here): one time during the match, each guy can have the privilege of using a foul, having someone interfere for 30 seconds, getting a countout waved off, or getting free exit from a hold. Basically, both guys get to legally cheat once. This could work, but they need the wrestlers to understand the rules and adhere to them – if Ultimo Guerrero uses his one privilege to have someone interfere, but then wins via foul anyway, then it’s all kind of silly. (And the more times you can explain the rules for something, the better chance fans will understand them.) This is still better than a lucha cage match or a lucha battle royal.
DTU is posting photos of various luchadors traveling to Tulancingo for their three day seminar starting today. People who won’t be there, but were at a past one, are Morelia luchadors Rene Rocks, Cruz del Silencio and Toto Machine – they’re in Japan! No idea with who. Rocks was a standout in the one match I’ve seen with him, a FILL cibernetico.
Arena Coliseo Guadalajara’s Leyendas Inmortales show will be on 11/27, a Sunday. Rayo de Jalisco, Canek, Huracan Ramirez, Fuerza Guerrera, Satanico, Mascara Sagrada, Mascara 2000, Cien Caras Jr. (?), Solar, Pantera, Hijo de Fishman, Hijo de Huracan Ramirez, and Septiembre Negro Jr. are advertised.
No DST issue this week, but there’s other possible time changes going on this week.
AAA is listed as starting at 11pm this week, on the Mexico TV listings site I used. It’s still listed as the normal 5pm time on Televisa’s site, and AAA’s not announced a change. The listing site has paid programming as airing instead, which makes no sense to me. I’ve got the 11pm time up there, but I’m not sure about it at all. It shouldn’t matter to most of you, you’ll be watching it on YouTube anyway, but it may go up later than usual if the show is late.
CMLL Retro on Fox Deportes airs at 7pm, two hours earlier than usual (and no longer running against Claro.) It’s unclear if this is a one week change; CMLL shows tend to get bounced around on Fox networks depending on what sporting events they have to cover and this will probably be no different.
PROESA is listed as an eight pm start. That’s more likely to be correct, but they also haven’t said anything.
A lucha libre slot at 3:30pm is listed on Azteca US this week, which probably means Elite if it airs, but I’m ready to expect anything.
Lucha Underground is not changing hours, but will be polarizing. It’s the most spoiled episode of the season; congrats if you have no idea what I’m talking about. There’s more going on in the episode than the one thing that went everywhere, but the reaction to this show is going to be interesting.
CMLL (TUE) 11/08/2016Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Martes de Glamour]
1) Gran Kenut & Ráfaga b Nautilius & Neutrón Rudos took 2/3
2) Astral, Cosmos, Stukita b Mercurio, Pequeño Olímpico, Relámpago Tecnicos took 2/3.
3) Amapola, Metálica, Tiffany b La Vaquerita, Silueta, Skadi Rudas took 2/3
4) Cavernario, Hechicero, Sam Adonis b Ángel de Oro, Johnny Idol, Valiente Rudos took 2/3.
5) Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone, Máscara Dorada b La Máscara, Pierroth, Rush tecnicos took 1/3, in Dorada’s last match in Arena Coliseo Guadalajara (for now)
The recent cluster of the three biggest lucha promotions on Fridays is broken up for at least a while. AAA is off this week and their next taping is on a Sunday. (They could be done with Fridays for the year.) CMLL is still on Friday, but Azteca is moving their taping to Thursday for at least this week. Thursday’s figure to be a slightly tougher draw, even in a venue that’s had a history of Thursday shows like Naucalpan. On the other hand, taping on Thursday may give Elite a day to post produce their TV. Elite/Azteca production has appeared to be done live since they moved to Fridays, and the quality of the broadcasts has suffered – they have no feel of when to show a replay and when to show live action. If they can use the extra day to produce a better flowing show, taping on Thursday long term would be for the best. Elite is basically a TV product (some might even say a TV show!) at this point, and so anything they can do to make the TV better should be the top priority.
Of course, if Elite really wanted to TV to flow better, they wouldn’t be putting Blue Demon in three singles matches tonight. No one understands why Elite is doing this, and even Blue Demon Jr. fans probably aren’t going to like the matches either (which will likely be CMLL tournament length.) Elite desperately needs some long term direction. There’s a idea of a Park/Escorpion/Carstico apuesta match, but everything else is just randomly assembled matches. Some times they’re good, sometimes they’re bad, but none of them have any weight. It’s an antiquated model (and yet, if you look back at the UWA shows from three decades ago, they had a better idea of week to week booking) and it’s going to hold the promotion back from growing.
Besides the main event, La Park teams with Mr. Aguila to take on Rey Escorpion & Black Tauro. Intocable, Zumbido and Decnnis take on Hijo de Dr. Wagner, Hijo de Dos Caras, and Dr. Karonte Jr. No Argos, hooray. Emperador Azteca, Zumbi and Metaleon (no more Leon Dorado?) face Imposible, Samoano, and Diamante. Rocky Lobo & Mr. Leo take on Impulso & Belial; the Indystructibles seem to be regulars in the matches that just don’t make the TV cut. Solaris, Pequeno Gigante vs Shaolin, Mini Black Warrior open the show. The show starts at 8pm and will air on Saturday (at least it’s on the schedule right now)
AAA has an interview with Daga & Pentagon, explaining they’re against Johnny Mundo and all the foreigners, and find the Wagner/Pagano/Monster/Murder group just as bad.
Wednesday is typically AAA announcement day, and there’s no announcement on Guerra de Titanes’s date or location as of yet. I’ll give it another week before getting concerned.
Tony Rodriguez replaces Dralion (injury) against Alberto Dos Rios on RIOT’s 11/19 show.
PWPonderings has introduction articles to CMLL, AAA and Elite.
IWRG (SUN) 11/13/2016Arena Naucalpan
1) Araña de Plata & Fireman vs Adrenalina & Guerrero 2000
2) Demonio Infernal vs Omega, Black Dragón, Diablo Jr., Cadillac, Dragón Fly, Pantera I, Astro [IWRG IC Light, battle royal]
3) ? vs ?? [IWRG IC Light, quarterfinal]
4) ? vs ?? [IWRG IC Light, quarterfinal]
5) ? vs ?? [IWRG IC Light, quarterfinal]
6) ? vs ?? [IWRG IC Light, quarterfinal]
7) ? vs ?? [IWRG IC Light, semifinal]
8) ? vs ?? [IWRG IC Light, semifinal]
9) ? vs ?? [IWRG IC Light, final]
10) Danny Casas, Imposible, Súper Nova vs Dr. Cerebro, Heddi Karaoui, Relámpago
11) Canis Lupus, Chicano, Golden Magic vs Herodes Jr., Máscara Año 2000 Jr., Trauma I
Impossible held the lightweight title, and it’s been vacant since he’s moved up in divisions. His current partner Diablo Jr. challenged for the title multiple times and seems like the best bet to become champion.
Cara Lucha (SAT) 11/19/2016Arena San Juan Pantitlan, Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Estado de México
1) Estrella De Oro & Limbo vs Rey Carnero Jr. & Rocker Boy
2) Alas de Acero, Alas de Oro, Alas De Plata vs Imperio Negro, Toro Negro Jr., Ying Yang
3) Astral & Demus 3:16 vs Mini Drago & Tiago [Relevos Increíbles]
4) El Bandido, Fly Warrior, Rayo Star vs Freelance, Mike Segura, Pantera I
5) Látigo vs Templario [CaraLucha The Best]
6) Volador Jr. vs Rey Fénix vs Flamita
A little bit weird that you’re deciding your The Best championship on a show with three guys who seem to be a bit better, but the three top matches are really strong. Brothers Tiago and Mini Drago get to team up, and I can’t believe he’s getting away with using that gimmick. Probably won’t happen much longer.
Mil Muertes defeated Prince Puma in Grave Consequences (16:27, great)
The Prince is dead. All hail the Prince. Mil Muertes defeated Prince Puma in a Grave Consequences match, sealing the first Lucha Underground champion in a casket and seemingly ending their rivalry once and for all. Puma came close to winning at least one time, but generally seemed possessed by the dark side of himself, the part of him which Vampiro has been pushing him to embrace. It backfired, with Puma attempting to put Mil thru tables instead of simply ending it. Mil gave Puma a super chokeslam thru two tables instead. Mil finished off Puma by carting out the same casket he’d put Konnan in way back in Season 1, and stuffing Puma inside. Vampiro seemed (creepily) excited about Puma’s dark turn, and surprisingly unbothered by the outcome. It’s clear Vampiro has a secret motivation. It’s remains unclear what that motivation is – to get rid of Puma?
It’s unclear if this is meant to be the end of Puma. Striker walked back Konnan’s death, or at least the announcer’s knowledge is Konnan just hasn’t been seen since he was put in that casket, not that he’s specifically dead. It would’ve death for Mil had he lost; Catrina opened the show by threatening not resurrect Mil if he lost this match once again. She stayed out of the match, but appeared pleased with the outcome.
With Grave Consequences over, next week’s Aztec Warfare takes center stage. Striker said Drago (#20), Matanza (#1, shown getting a pep speech from Dario to prepare him for “WAR!”) and Rey Mysterio (via beating Chavo last week?) are in. Marty Martinez, Mariposa, the Mack, Ivelisse, and Jeremiah Crane earned the right to be in the match after defeating Argenis, Cage, Texano, Killshot and the debuting Dante Fox. Fox and Killshot had a run-in backstage where Dante said Dario hired him after being impressed with his attack on Killshot, and both men pretended to make peace while clearly wanting to stab each other in the back. Dante was the one who did it, ending a five minute sprint by dropping his “brother” Killshot with a DDT to give old rival Marty an easy pinfall. Cage & Texano had their own issues in the match, but the big story was Ivelisse suffering another foot injury. She pulled off a cool huracanrana on Killshot, but her feet were trapped under her on impact and something broke – she was screaming and grabbing her right foot even as she got the near fall, and rolled out in obvious in pain. Ivelisse technically is in Aztec Warfare, but it’s unlikely she’ll be able to compete.
That’s (maybe) eight in the field, with twelve unknown spots. Fenix, Aerostar, Killshot, Dante Fox, Argenis, Cage, and Texano are specifically out, Prince Puma may be dead, and Chavo Guerrero Jr. is gone. The Worldwide Underground (Johnny, Taya, PJ, Jack) seem good for four – Taya’s been missing, but they haven’t drawn any attention so it’s probably more a taping issue. Dario’s running it this time, so Pentagon Jr. probably not going to be excluded. Joey Ryan actually hasn’t wrestled at all this season, but he’s been around and he’s Dario’s friend at the moment. Usual characters Dragon Azteca, Sexy Star, Son of Havoc, Dr. Wagner Jr., Máscarita Sagrada gets us to nineteen. (Guessing Famous B is staying retired.) One spot – or two if Ivelisse can’t go – but not an obvious pick. Injured Cortez Castro? Paul London and friends? Black Lotus’ return? Someone else we haven’t seen this season? Someone new? Ricky Mandall or Vinnie Massaro?
The only other vignette (no Rabbit Tribe this week!) was Kobra Moon catching up with Drago in the bathroom again. This was a bit of a plot dump: Drago now says he was never a member of the Lizard Tribe, only their slave. Kobra Moon seems to want to go back to that old setup, but Drago’s not a fan. Daga is finally brought up, with Kobra Moon claiming “Daga was torn apart by Lord Pindar.” That sounds bad. Vinnie Massaro again wandered on this meeting with a food item, but this time decided to just go find a different bathroom.
The Famous B/Máscarita Sagrada Believers Backlash match opened the show. It was a total comedy prop match, intended just to be fun. Dr. Wagner Jr. ran in to help out, Famous B might have gotten the win but couldn’t bring himself to break a portrait of himself, Son of Havoc even the odds, and Máscarita Sagrada finally got the win by beating his old manager. Son of Havoc awarded Máscarita a biker vest for the victory, and this felt like the end of the feud.
This feels like the middle hour of a usual Lucha Underground chapter break – Rey/Chavo last week ended that feud, Puma/Mil (at least for now?) and Mascrita/Famous B are over this week, and the “Matazna as unbeatable champion” story looks like it’ll climax one way or another next week. You might even be able to stretch it back a week farther, with Johnny finally getting his gold by defeating Sexy Star. Of what we’ve seen so far, this is easily the best hour, and is one of the best of the season.
Doing a year Grave Consequences match, or just doing another Prince Puma/Mil Muertes match – is a challenge. There’s a lot to measure up to, and a level of shock and surprise at the level of barbarity that’ll going to be near impossible to match. (If this show runs for another twenty seasons, they may never exactly match that first match.) This match didn’t have the raw emotion or the blood of that first Grave Consequences match and it didn’t have the feel of ending with a giant move at any time like the Ultima Lucha 1 finale, but it was still a very great match, keeping up the high standards of the gimmick. Puma going crazy from the start made it feel out of control, and the huge chokeslam at the end looked very impressive. This wasn’t one of Puma’s most aerial matches – he did a 450 onto a casket and that still feels fair to say – but these need to feel like a fight and they got that feel. The Dario/Matanza vignette leading into this, had Matanza screaming about next week being a War, but it’s hard to imagine it’ll feel any more like a war than this one. They left it very unclear if we were meant to think Prince Puma was dead. Mil was warned he was going to die, but they had Striker specifically mention Konnan might not be dead (in a way where it seemed like they were setting up for a return.)
Máscarita/Famous B was an entirely opposite tone, and fun to watch. This was the best way they could’ve done this match – comedy just worked better for this than a serious match would’ve, and it being the opposite of the main event made both seem different. They threw in some references to other stuff – there was a perfume sprayer of Arrogance, Rick Martel’s old WWF bit, that blinded Famous B for a moment. There was a popcorn bad spot early which made me recall an infamous Owen Hart/Mick Foley WWF house show match, where they knew Dave Meltzer was in attendance and they wanted to see if they could get him to rate their match negative five stars by having the worst match possible, including selling big for getting hit with bags of popcorn. I’m not sure if that reference was the intention, and it was entertaining even if you weren’t looking for inside jokes – easily the best part of this feud.
The 5v5 tag seemed shortened on time to fit in the two longer matches, and probably could’ve been fun longer, but they were ending with the turn no matter how long it lasted so I’m okay with investing it the time elsewhere. It was good while is lasted. Ivelisse has had terrible luck on this show – she got hurt while being trios champions, then gets hurt while doing an awesome looking spot with Killshot. The show makes it unclear at first if it’s a real injury or a storyline – it’s both real, but maybe not the last we see of her for now. Both Jeremiah Crane and Dante Fox fit in fine in their first official matches, with Dante’s Aerostar-like springboard reverse 450 dive making him stand out more.
The Drago/Kobra Moon felt like such a repeat of the previous vignette, even though there was different plot information being communicated. If this was a more traditional sci fi drama or a soap opera, maybe this would’ve been the same scene but split over two episodes. I guess you needed to do it twice to not overwhelm people with an info dump in one night, but I’m skeptical about how much of this sinks in right away anyway. Vinnie’s repeated cameo seemed to be lampshading how forced this was. It’ll be better when they get somewhere, and it’s nice to find out poor Daga’s fate (though that trailer scene with him and the sword suggests we haven’t seen the last of him.)