It’s finally official! I guess the downside to actually announcing things is it only leads to more questions – when? where? are two good ones to start with – but I’m so tired of writing about Netflix that the rest of the post is just some randomly chosen Lucha Underground gifs that I had already uploaded.
CMLL (SUN) 02/12/2017Arena México [CMLL]
1) Magia Blanca & Marvel b Artillero & Camorra tecnicos took 1/3
2) Disturbio, Okumura, Virus b Astral, Star Jr., Starman rudos took 2/3. Astral is now 0-2.
3) Blue Panther, Drone, Tritón b Bobby Villa, Forastero, Sam Adonis Tecnicos took 2/3. Bobby Z is now Bobby Villa. He didn’t get along with Adonis, and their fight cost the rudos the match.
4) Dragón Rojo Jr., Felino, Pólvora b Guerrero Maya Jr., Johnny Idol, Valiente rudos took 1/3
5) Gran Guerrero, Niebla Roja, Último Guerrero b Mistico, Titán, Volador Jr.
Probably should’ve seen Sam Adonis and Los Revolucionarios not exactly being friends. Oh well.
IWRG (SUN) 02/12/2017Arena Naucalpan [+LuchaTV, Black Terry Jr. (Flickr), Estrellas del Ring]
1) Aramis b Alfa
2) Acero & Araña de Plata b Kanon & Mr. Magia
3) Súper Mega b Eterno
4) Cerebro Negro, Dr. Cerebro, Relámpago b Imposible, Odin, Pantera I Odin replaced Chicano.
5) Danny Casas b Veneno hair match challenged followed
6) Negro Navarro, Pirata Morgan, Villano IV b Herodes Jr., Máscara Año 2000 Jr., Mr. Electro Herodes Jr. was hurt during the match. Black Terry came out as if to replace him, but ended up fighting Mr. Electro and joining the Consagrados. Trauma I tried to make the save and fought his father, but was unmasked by the veteran rudos.
7) Golden Magic b Pirata Morgan Jr. [mask, hair] Golden Magic took Pirata’s hair after Pirata Sr. hit his son with a chair by mistake and Golden Magic landed the 450 splash.
Golden Magic winning was expected, but they tried to create drama by having Pirata Morgan interfering a lot and Golden Magic ending up in as a bloody mess.
IWRG has quite the old man stable. Usually, this leads to the youngsters challenging and proving themselves. In this case, Mr. Electro (47) is a youngster and I’m not sure about proving themselves.
Today’s Puebla show has a Rush versus Diamante Azul singles match. They did this match in October in Arena Mexico. It was pretty bad, and you should not actually click on that link. Maybe it’ll be better, but it does set up as match that they might take easy. Dragon Lee is back and should take it easy, but he’s in a main event with Mistico & Volador against Euforia, La Mascara and Negro Casas, so he may not take it easy. This would be Casas’ first match in about a week, having been replaced by Mr. Niebla repeatedly last week.
The rest of the show is unusual, with a cibernetico and a set of 2v2 tag matches. It’s not clear why they’re doing it like this – the thre tag matches could easily be two tag match and there’s nothing on the line in the cibernetico – but different is fine. The cibernetico has Fuego, Guerrero Maya, Soberano, Star Jr. and Stigma against Okumura, Polvora, Sagrado, Skandalo and Virus. There’s no champions involved, so this is probably a 10 person match just to do a 10 person match. The tag matches are Lestat & Rey Samuray vs Disturbio & Polcieman, the Batillon de la Muerte against Asutriano & Black Tiger, and Centella Roja & Flyer taking Ares & Guerrero Espacial.
CMLL (SAT) 02/18/2017Arena Coliseo
1) Bengala, Flyer, Leono vs Akuma, Camorra, Cholo
2) Estrellita, La Jarochita, Princesa Sugehit vs Amapola, La Comandante, Zeuxis
3) Blue Panther, Drone, Tritón vs Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora, Vangellys
4) Carístico, Titán, Valiente vs Gran Guerrero, Niebla Roja, Rey Bucanero
5) Rush vs Último Guerrero
Ultimo Guerrero and Rush had four matches last year, and Ultimo Guerrero won every single one of ’em. They’ve had 10 singles matches and Rush has only pinned UG once (and got a DQ win later.) I’m not certain that pattern is gong to change.
CMLL (SUN) 02/19/2017Arena México
1) Robin & Sensei vs Artillero & Inquisidor
2) Fuego, Magnus, Starman vs Arkángel de la Muerte, Metálico, Nitro
3) Eléctrico vs Pequeño Astro, Stukita, Fugaz, Aéreo, Pierrothito, Mercurio, Pequeño Violencia, Pequeño Universo 2000, Espíritu Maligno [CMLL MINI, #1 Contenders]
4) Ángel de Oro, Johnny Idol, Stuka Jr. vs Bobby Villa, Felino, Misterioso Jr.
5) Atlantis, Carístico, Máximo Sexy vs Cavernario, Ephesto, Mephisto
With Astral now starting in the main division, CMLL’s getting around to determining a new mini champion. It’s the “final two move onto next week” format; they really ought to put that 02/26 show on VOD if they’re determining a champion. It’s an odd 10 person field for having a few non-DF guys while not all the usual minis are in it. Acero, Fantasy, Pequeno Nitro, Ultimo Dragoncito and Shockercito are among those not in (and yet Violencia and Universo are there.)
Remember how Mini Psicosis went 3 years between AAA TV matches? Espiritu Maligno is going 12 years between Arena Mexico matches. La Mascara, Shocker, Olimpico, Rey Bucanero, Ultimo Guerrero and Terrible are the only guys still in CMLL today who were on that card. Pequeno Aereo is likely Astro (Astro Jr.) from Puebla, who’s look good. Still a little surprised he got picked ahead of Mini Joker. Fugaz (Facebook) is from Guadalajara, wrestling for only 10 months, and in matches which wouldn’t make TV even if we could get the Guadalajara TV. He did win rookie of the year in the arena. He’s probably the son of 90s Guadalajara luchador el Brujo, since they teamed in a father/son tournament, and Smaker & Sky Kid appear to be his cousins.
CMLL (SUN) 02/19/2017Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Avispón Negro Jr. vs Quca
2) Cosmos & El Alteño vs Relámpago & Thunder Boy
3) Mágico & Reycko vs Linterna & Mr. Brisa
4) Explosivo, Metatrón, Neutrón vs Demonio Rojo, Difunto, Gran Kenut
5) Flash II, Star Black, Vaquero Jr. vs Frezzer, Furia Roja, León Blanco
Main event has the winner of yesterday’s cibernetico (Star Black) against the losers of the hair match (Frezzer & Furia Roja.)
CMLL (SAT) 02/11/2017Arena Coliseo [CMLL]
1) Bengala & Leono b Akuma & Sangre Imperial Sangre Imperial was a rudo for unexplained reasons. Tecnicos took 2/3.
2) Arkángel de la Muerte, Nitro, Sangre Azteca b Flyer, Magnus, Sensei Rudos took 1/3.
3) Misterioso Jr., Sagrado, Skándalo DQ Blue Panther Jr., Fuego, The Panther Sagrado was DQed for unmasking Blue Jr.
4) Ángel de Oro, Atlantis, Mistico b El Cuatrero, Máscara Año 2000, Sansón tecnicos took 2/3
5) La Máscara, Pierroth, Rush b Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero Ingobernables took 1/3, Rush sneaking in a foul on UG. UG wants a singles match next week.
A show! CMLL’s Twitter has a habit of not publishing the result of the main event (guessing because these shows are so boring that they’re in a hurry to get out of there and forgot about it.) The main even result here only appears on the website, and there’s no Sunday results here because of the same thing.
CMLL’s running their annual features on the legend being honored at Homenaje a Dos Leyendas, with the first video on Villano III. You’ll see this all week on the streams.
Amapola says she was surprised but is honored to get the chance to work in Ring of Honor, and she and Marcela will will represent Mexican women’s wrestling well.
SoloWrestling interviewed Zorro, which LigerFever also translated. There’s a lot of talk about his career and the different ways his character changed during his time in AAA. Zorro liked being able to play different roles in the ring, and wanted to continue that out of the ring by working on the production side. (It reads like some work on creative and maybe other things behind the scenes.) Zorro says Joaquin Roldan agreed to it, but they never followed thru with it. He decided to leave AAA about a month ago, but had been thinking about it for about five years. There’s a lot more in that article.
Penta was supposed to wrestle earlier today for What Culture Pro Wrestling, facing Drago on an iPPV. WCPW announced that Penta was pulled from the show for personal reasons. Penta’s Facebook doesn’t mention any specific issues, but talked in generalities about blockages and bickering. It’s unlikely AAA would’ve been OK with Drago wrestling against Penta (or any of the Rebelion guys), but it’d be surprising if a promotion went with AAA over Penta in this moment. Drago ended up facing and defeating Hijo de Dos Caras, who was there with Alberto.
What Culture earlier in the day announced the Mexican tournament in their World Cup. It’s scheduled to be held in Coventry, England (not Mexico), on 04/30 with Alberto, Rey Mysterio, Caristico, Penta, Rey Fenix, Hijo de Dos Caras, Drago and El Ligero (who is English but plays a Mexican character.) Two men from each group advance. I hope they have back up plans for the lineup. Drago and WCPW would have a tough time convincing AAA to let him work the tournament; they might be able to pull it off if he’s never in the same ring with Fenix & Penta, but even that’s not a sure bet. CMLL probably has less control of Caristico, but would be just as much as opposed to the idea of him being on the same show as an AAA guy and doesn’t seem friendly to the Rebelion group either. Even if they do get them all in, at least one out of Rey, Alberto and Caristico has to lose, likely to each other, and that’s going to be an issue in itself. Penta did say he’s in the tournament in his interview.
Black Terry Jr has photos from the WMC show (where I need to find results for the women’s opener to finish it off.) The ropes broke three separate times on the show and the canvas looked to be 50% duck tape and 50% fraying fabric. You’re not going to have a good show or have wrestlers who want to work for you under those conditions.
PowerBomb.TV launched Saturday. MedioTiempo wrote it up. I’ll write more tomorrow, because I’m way behind tonight.
Full card with the two title matches. The main event is one of the additions. It’s a clash of styles, but feels like something where CMLL could actually regain the belts. Cuatrero & Sanson are about the level of guys who normally should have these belts, though it’d be disappointing if Terry & Navarro lost without every actually making it to Arena Coliseo. The Mexico State tag titles are the other titles on the line. I think there’s at least three different championships being called the Mexico State tag team titles, but these mean the most because people might actually know who Alas de Acero & Iron Kid are.
Astrolux vs Demus is listed as “the great opportunity.” It is in fact a great opportunity for Demus to murder a small child. There’s going to be nothing left of Astrolux beside a pony tail.
IWRG (SUN) 02/19/2017Arena Naucalpan
1) Voltar vs Power Boy
2) Cadillac & Kanon vs Acero & Picudo Jr.
3) Aramis, Freelance, Pantera I vs Cerebro Negro, Súper Mega, Yakuza
4) Apolo Estrada Jr. vs Relámpago
5) Veneno vs Danny Casas
6) Hijo De Dos Caras & Hijo del Alebrije vs Diablo Jr. & Pirata Morgan and Emperador Azteca & Máscara Año 2000 Jr. and Black Dragón & Pantera I and Herodes Jr. & Hip Hop Man and Imposible & Mr. Electro and Demonio Infernal & Negro Navarro and Dragón Fly & Villano IV [El Protector]
7) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [El Protector, quarterfinal]
8) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [El Protector, quarterfinal]
9) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [El Protector, quarterfinal]
10) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [El Protector, quarterfinal]
11) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [El Protector, semifinal]
12) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [El Protector, semifinal]
13) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [El Protector, final]
El Protector is IWRG’s novato/veteran tournament. You’re smarter than me if you can figure out how Imposible and Emperador Azteca still count as young guys. Too much tournament lucha going on (though these tend to be longer matches because IWRG tends to be longer matches.)
AAA TV (SAT) 02/11/2017Gimnasio Benito Juárez, Cuautitlán, Estadio de México [AAA]
1) Dave The Clown, Hijo de Pirata Morgan, Mocho Cota Jr., Soul Rocker b Atomic Boy, Bengala, Lanzeloth, Máscara de Bronce Moved to the opener. Prior to the match, a moment of applause was held for the recently deceased Chavo Guerrero. Soul Rocker got a very rare pinfall win, fouling Bengala to accomplish it. It’s Soul’s first TV win since May.
2) Dinastía & Octagoncito b Mini Psicosis & Mini Psycho Clown Mini Abismo was replaced by Mini Psicosis, in his first TV appearance since 2013. Psycho beat Dinastia and (again) challenged him to a title match, but so did Octagon & Mini Psicosis.
3) Carta Brava Jr. & Súper Fly b Aerostar & Argenis Super Fly moved out of the way of an Aerostar tope con giro, and Aerostar was hurt. He was stretchered out, and Carta pinned Argenis.
4) Dark Cuervo & Dark Scoria b Faby Apache & Mary Apache and Averno & Chessman Billed as a trios match with OGT & the Apaches. No reason given why Marvin & El Apache were missing, or why Cuervo and Scoria were added. They won in their first TV match since Zorro quit AAA.
5) Hijo del Fantasma & Texano Jr. b El Mesías & Pagano Texano Jr. & Hijo del Fantasma replaced Daga & Pentagon Jr. on 01/25. They got the win when Mesias & Pagano had issues. Pagano was going to splash Fantasma thru a table when Mesias pulled him off and Pagano went thru on his own. Fantasma beat Pagano with the Thrill of the Hunt.
6) Dr. Wagner Jr., Monsther Clown, Murder Clown b Angélico, La Parka, Psycho Clown Dr. Wagner replaced Dave the Clown on 01/25. Monster & Murder betrayed Wagner (no explanation) but Wagner still beat Psycho Clown. Wagner declared nothing would stand in his way of getting Psycho Clown’s mask at TripleMania.
Air Date: 02/25 & 03/05
There’s no real explanation for Monster & Murder’s betrayal. AAA track’s records for storylines being explained later is poor; they’d have to pull off the next half dozen of them well to get up to “below average.”. Something is going to have to happen here, because Wagner needs tag partners for these never ending trios matches with Psycho Clown. (Maybe Wagner can be an OGT?) He’ll be fine on the next taping, since that’s simply a three way match.
Pagano splitting with Mesias at the same time as his clown buddies are splitting with Wagner could mean they’re doing some tweener stable with all the evil clown characters. Pagano feels like the Pentagon replacement, which is odd because they started the Pagano turn before Pentagon actually left. (Then again, the way they had been using Pentagon – and Fenix before he left – suggested AAA didn’t have faith they were staying and was already moving on with them. They may have been guessing at a Pentagon departure and got it right.) Pagano, Murder, Monster and Dave being a Perros del Mal replacement is far from ideal, but AAA hasn’t left themselves many options at the moment.
As fan of good wrestling matches, it’s mildly disappointing that AAA is spending all this creative energy on those four guys and Texano & Fantasma continue to be generic talented guys to fill out the midcard. AAA obviously thinks highly of Fantasma, he seems to have taken Taya’s spot as AAA luchador not named La Parka at all the public relations functions, but it doesn’t translate into programming much. I’m excited to see him take on Low Ki out here in Chicago on Friday, and I’m unsure if we’ll get to see him have any sort of interesting match in AAA. He’s everything AAA wants out of a wrestler, has been one of the few people out there defending AAA in recent times, something the people who own the company seem afraid to do, and he still is just a guy on the show. AAA is eventually going to give him something to do – if only because there’s so few people around that they’ll have no choice – but it should be a bigger priority than the times and travails of Monster Clown.
Mini Psicosis last appeared on TV in 2013. His last TV appearance was for the short lived IWL TV show on TVC Deportes, a thing I’m sure you don’t believe actually exists but you’ll have to trust me. His last AAA TV appearance was a few months earlier, when he challenges Dinastia for this same title and lost. Nothing much has happened in the last three years, and AAA’s back to the usual thing to do with the minis: multiman title match. At leas they’ve sort of set it up this time.
I keep saying saying referring to those past things as “his”, as possessive, but it’s hard to tell if a masked man who’s been off three years is actually the same masked man. I’d guess Mini Abismo’s reoccurring knee injury flared up, but who knows. I don’t think he quit, but I wouldn’t have guessed at Zorro quitting. Everything in AAA is unknowable except Dr. Wagner versus Psycho Clown.
The next taping is on 03/05 in Apizaco, Tlaxcala; we’re still waiting on an updated lineup with Zorro, but maybe that’ll turn up Monday. AAA’s next big event is the 02/25 La Llave de Gloria tryout.
1) Cancerbero & Raziel b Astral & Príncipe Diamante 11:48. Straight falls, with the match coming to an early end when Diamante suffered a knee injury trying to springboard into the ring.
2) Amapola, Dalys, Zeuxis b Princesa Sugehit, Sanely, Silueta 13:39. Rudas took 2/3. Sanley replaced Estrellita
3) La Máscara, Ripper, Rush b Atlantis, Stuka Jr., Valiente 11:25. Rudos took 1/3. Rush & Atlantis feuded. Rush beat Atlantis clean.
4) Ángel de Oro & Carístico b Marco Corleone, Diamante Azul, Volador Jr., Rey Cometa, Máximo Sexy, Blue Panther [natl pi, seeding battle royal] 2:38.
5) Máscara Año 2000 & Máximo b Blue Panther & Tiger [natl pi, 8f] 5:36.
6) Cavernario & Volador Jr. b Puma & Rey Cometa [natl pi, 8f] 4:43.
7) Diamante Azul & Pierroth b Kráneo & Marco Corleone [natl pi, 8f] 4:03. Pierroth & Diamante Azul fought during the match but won.
8) Carístico & Mephisto b Ángel de Oro & Rey Bucanero [natl pi, 8f] 0:23. Bucanero turned on his partner quickly.
9) Cavernario & Volador Jr. b Máscara Año 2000 & Máximo [natl pi, quarterfinal] 2:45. Mascara & Maximo had issues.
10) Carístico & Mephisto b Diamante Azul & Pierroth [natl pi, quarterfinal] 2:54 Diamante Azul & Pierroth fought, this time leading to the finish.
11) Cavernario & Volador Jr. b Carístico & Mephisto [natl pi, semifinal] 9:21. Caristico suffered an elbow injury, returning to the match after a few minutes with an elbow wrap. Cavernaro & Volador advance to the 02/24 final.
The links to these shows are buried on my Twitter (or you can just use the playlist.) The Puma/Cometa match and the main event are the only two matches to watch. The tournament is a lot of time wasted for two weeks, but putting Cavernario & Volador thru (and not Pierroth & Diamante) means the final on 02/24 is going to be pretty good. As usual, no particular update on injuries – Caristico hasn’t popped up on Twitter since yesterday.
The best CMLL related match in the last 24 hours was Dragon Lee’s latest battle to the death against Hiromu Takahashi. Takahashi won and kept the IWGP Junior Championship, as expected, but it was another crazy move fight, as they attempted to maim each other and maybe themselves. I’m not sure it was my favorite match between them, though it’s up there, and it definitely felt the most dangerous. Takahashi won totally clean – and it’s weird to see him use the relatively sedate Time Bomb finish after some of the more deadly spots prior – but Dragon Lee did very well for himself. They’ll bring this match back again someday. I think Lee will probably be back in NJPW for the Best of Super Juniors, if not prior.
Chavo Guerrero Senor passed away today. He was 68. His son says Chavo Sr. was diagnosed with liver cancer just a month ago. Chavo’s greatest fame came north of the border and in Japan, but he also made appearances in Mexico from the 70s to the early 90s. Chavo and Mando & Eddie were also trios champions for Tijuana’s WWA during the strongest days of that promotion. Chavo’s last TV appearance was on this season of Lucha Underground, interfering in a Chavo Jr. vs Rey Misterio Jr. retirement match, which also is Chavo Jr.’s last TV appearance (at least for now.)
Powerbomb.TV is scheduled to launch today at 6pm CT. The wrestling video on demand service is set to include lucah libre footage from Black Terry Jr. & Carxyus, and from RIOT in Monterrey. I’m just generally impressed they found logos for the tiny lucha libre promotions. It’s not clearly exactly how much of this will be available on launch, but they do say they’ll be offering a 10 day free trial. This timing works perfectly for me (and maybe only me), since no more CMLL matches in NJPW for the moment means I can drop that service and pick up this one instead.
AAA tapes tonight in Cuautitlan. It’s their only taping of the month, will air in a couple weeks, and a show that was changed around quite a bit after the departures. The new main event is Angelico, La Parka and Psycho Clown against Dr. Wagner, Monster and Murder Clown. AAA’s remaining roster actually leaves them in a good point for people who just like matches: Monster & Murder have been moved from the midcard to fill main event gaps. Those matches won’t be good, and poor Angelico is stuck in a not good match, but pretty much all the questionable luchadors are in the top few matches, leaving a lot of young, talented luchadors in the opening few matches. There’s still a few early match people who aren’t going to be able to help matches – Dave’s one of them today, and it’s generally helped by not having the usual relevos AAA – but at least we’re getting stuff like Dinastia & Octagoncito vs Mini Psycho and Mini Abismo now. It does say something about my feelings about AAA that the stuff that excites me most is farthest away from their main storylines, but this is not a new issue.
Aerostar & Argenis vs Super Fly & Carta Brava is the spotlight match for the first half of the card. Super Fly & Aerostar have a match set for Rey de Reyes and AAA’s recaps are teasing something with Argenis & Carta Brava as well. The semimain has a Hijo del Fantasma & Texano vs Pagano & Mesias 2v2. I wouldn’t have picked up that Pagano & Mesias had an issue at all from watching Guerra de Titanes if I didn’t know it going in, but it’s definitely the direction. The NotiAAA airing today teases an upcoming argument between the two thing, and suggests the reason Pagano is angry with Mesias is because Mesias & Mundo took out Dave the Clown when they were beating up Lady Shani at Guerra de Titanes. Who could’ve figured Dave the Clown would be a plot point? (Meanwhile, Fantasma keeps saying he wants a shot at Texano’s title, so both teams breaking up is not out of the question.)
The rest of the show has another Apaches vs OGT match (assuming el Apache is good to wrestle, unclear) and an atomicos matches with the lowest ranked male wrestlers. The show is listed at starting at 8:45, so results should start to turn up around 9:30.
WMC has a show in Arena San Juan tonight, with a 10 man cage match as the main event. The undercard includes Mr. Leo & Metaleon vs Mr. Leo & Centvrion, members of the Lion Brothers & Mala Hiebra on both sides.
Hijo del Sangre Chicana was badly burned in an extreme match in Arena Tigre Padilla on Thursday. The pictures are graphic. It was bad enough to make the local paper, who say he suffered second and third degree burns and might have died had an ambulance not gotten their quick enough. They poured gasoline on a wooden pallet and set it on fire. I don’t think you’re supposed to actually use gasoline to do those spots (if you need to do those spots at all.) There’s a photo of the fire spot here, and Chicana was on fire for several seconds before they were able to put him out.
1) Shadow Boy vs Araña de Plata
2) ? vs Avisman
3) Alfa, Black Dragón, Omega vs Diablo Jr., Douki, Hip Hop Man
4) Emperador Azteca vs Oficial AK47
5) Leo, Mike, Rafy vs Demasiado, Diva Salvaje, Nigma
6) Apolo Estrada Jr., Eterno, Heddi Karaoui vs Cerebro Negro, Demonio Infernal, Relámpago
An all rudo main event. Avisman doesn’t technically have a mystery opponent, they just forgot to put his opponent’s name on the poster. The singles matches are listed as one fall.
1) Eléctrico & Stukita vs Mercurio & Pierrothito
2) La Vaquerita, Marcela, Sanely vs Metálica, Reyna Isis, Tiffany
3) Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone, Volador Jr. vs Kráneo, Pierroth, Yoshi Tatsu
4) Mistico & Negro Casas vs Rush & Terrible and Último Guerrero & Valiente and Dragón Lee & La Máscara and Atlantis & Euforia and Dragón Rojo Jr. & Guerrero Maya Jr. and Ripper & Titán and Hechicero & Stuka Jr. [natl pi, seeding battle royal] likely all rudos in the match
5) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [natl pi, 8f]
6) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [natl pi, 8f]
7) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [natl pi, 8f]
8) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [natl pi, 8f]
9) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [natl pi, quarterfinal]
10) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [natl pi, quarterfinal]
11) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [natl pi, semifinal]
This is an actual really good group of teams for this sort of thing, with no obvious stinkers. (Rush & Terrible are partners because CMLL still books Rush as if he was a tecnico.) Ultimo Guerrero & Valiente are the favorites because UG, but Mistico & Negro Casas, Dragon Lee & La Mascara, and former tournament winners Atlantis & Euforia ll have chances.
Atlantis & Rush feuding last night seems to go nowhere for now. Ripper’s feud with Blue Panther Jr. seems dropped; they haven’t been doing that since Ripper complained about the CMLL programming department not doing enough with the Invasors. I may be connecting dots which aren’t meant to be connected, but luchadors are usually more careful in their criticisms on that show for that reason.
Yoshi Tatsu debuts, as promised. (That announcement was made back in December, only because CMLL couldn’t be bothered to hold a January press conference.) The little bit of I’ve seen of him in NJPW the last couple weeks has seemed to indicate they’re ending his current character. This trip is probably more about getting him away from NJPW to try something new rather than helping CMLL. (It did work out for Naito & Nakamura, though we shouldn’t expect anything on those lines.) Booking Tatsu in a match with Pierroth and Diamante Azul is not a good start for him and suggests CMLL may not have any big plans for him while he’s around.
Dragon Lee is working Monday, Tuesday and Friday next week. No rest for the young.
What happened: Volador & Cavernario won this block of the Parejas Increible tournament. Carístico suffered an elbow injury in the block final, but returned to finish the match. Both the teams of Mascara 2000 & Máximo and Diamante Azul & Pierroth had problem as a team, with the later ending with the other Ingobernables beating up and unmasking Azul.
Rush also feuded with Atlantis in his trios match. Astral’s debut as a técnico ended in an embarrassing straight falls when Principe Diamante hurt himself with a ramp running climb up move and the rudos decided to end the match early.
What was good: Volador & Cavernario carried the show, with their opening round match against Puma & Cometa and the block final being the most watchable matches on the show. The final gets derailed for a while by Caristico’s injury but still turns out ok. The women and Atlantis trios were solid but nothing special.
For the sake of this post, I’m just reviewing the two matches as part of the VOD, offered for $3USD. I’ll add Hechicero/Cerbero to another post if/when it turns up, and I may do other matches from that show, but I wanted to write about it as the distinct product that’s been sold.
I really liked the atomicos match. It was the sort of action I was hoping for with the originally announced Ronnie/Laredo vs Kriminal Boyz match, but taken farther because of having so many people and probably helped out a little bit by spreading the more experienced guys on both sides. I don’t care for the Rush/Rowe match, which is consistent on where I’ve felt on Rush for the last few months. I would probably keep using him on my shows if I was promoter because he appeared to be the most over guy in the building, but it also felt like he was coasting. The other match, with guys wrestling like they had something to prove, is obviously going to appeal a little more to those looking to an alternative to the main promotions.
+LuchaTV handled the production of these matches, and they look at their usual high level we’re used to with them. You could put these matches on TV and they’d production looks as good or better than usual lucha libre TV. Besides the matches, there’s also highlights of the post-match interview from the night before, building up the Rowe/Rush match at Arena Mexico. The commentary, handled by Jose Manuel Guillen and Bernardo Guzman, was good.
The only criticism I’d have is more could’ve been done to identify the luchadors in the opening match. The appeal of the match was having unknowns or barely known guys get a spotlight shot, but it also meant most people didn’t know who those luchadors were before they all started moving 50km and hour. Those name and identities can and were communicated on commentary, but it still seemed like an obstacle to newer fans and non-Spanish speakers. I’m a bigger believer in a lot of information on screen than most people, but even something as small as a graphic indicating with each guy’s name on it the first time they come in goes a long way. Maybe some feature like the Rowe/Rush interview was prepared for the originally planned match and then couldn’t be done again for the replacement one, but it’s a thing to consider for the future.
I’m generally supportive of this sort of endeavors because it feels like Mexico wrestling is in the embryonic stages of this and even an interesting failure would still be pretty interesting at this point. Still, in a world with where these kind of offerings were the norm, I’d still thing the opener was worth the three dollars itself (and the Rush/Rowe match added a little bit too.) The only disappointing was not being able to spend a few more dollars to get the rest of the show.
Astrolux, Baby Star, Black Metal, Jack Evans vs Alas de Acero, Aramis, Iron Kid, Rey Horuz
Arena Naucalpan, 01/29/2017
Winner: Team Rey Horuz (quadruple pin) Match Time: 13:50 Notes: everyone hit a top rope move at the same time at the end.
Review: [great] an insane spot fest from before the bell to the big finish. It wasn’t nonstop, there was a warmup sequence with Horuz and Jack Evans after the dive to kind of reset things, but they went at a crazy pace once the big dives started up again. Astrolux and Babe Star are both particularly tiny – the Kamikazes are not really big themselves but towered over these guys – but their small size helped them fly around great. Astrolux’s early headscissorsspot was crazy. The Kamikazes have really come along in the last couple year sand looked like the more steady team of the two trios, and Rey Horuz & Jack Evans felt like a big time battle when they did sequences. I have no idea how Horuz didn’t get knocked out again in Arena Naucalpan near the end on the German suplex spot. There were things that could’ve been cleaned up (Black Metal avoiding breaking up the Horuz pin to run to a new spot near the end frustrated me more than anything that looked a little off), but this was an amazing spectacle.
Rush vs Ray Rowe
Arena Naucalpan, 01/29/2017
Winner: Rush (Rush Driver) Match Time: 12:49
Review: [ok] An alright match but nothing to get too excited about, never getting to a high level. It was a long stretch for Rowe with Rush playing dead, a long stretch for Rush, and a back and forth ending that was technically fine but didn’t pull me in all that match. This felt like it should’ve been two big guys hitting each other hard, and the chop fight they was disappointing. It was generally a match with much loud clapping on strikes that didn’t look like close to connecting. Some of this was Rush, because Rush seemed no more into this than a miscellaneous Puebla match. Still, the match up with Matt Taven last August was much better.
Good to find out who the national trios champions are, three days later.
I was reading CultIcon preview of today’s CMLL show, and he makes a good if alarming point: the best show on tonight’s CMLL show might be Amapola, Dalys & Zeuxis vs Silueta, Princesa Sugehit and Esterllita. It’s one of the better CMLL women’s trios possible, but it’s not something that would be notable on most Friday nights, much less the best match. Welcome to the CMLL Parejas Increíbles Tournament, where there is no hope.
CMLL’s Parejas Increíbles tournament is an annual event teaming one tecnico and one rudo. CMLL started it back in 2010, when the idea was the teams would represent wrestling homebases. Atlantis & Mascara Dorada won the first two, representing Guadalajara. CMLL’s dropped the location part of the teams, but Atlantis has since won two more. The tournament has sometimes been used as a way to set up apuesta matches for later in the year, and can be useful in that structure. The final is usually pretty good. The rest of the tournament is usually pretty frustrating. The early rounds matches have the same problems in every other CMLL one night tournament – not much time, matches built around the one team getting 90% of the offense and then losing so their other team can save their moves for later, the dumb seeding battle royal! – with the added problems of lucahdors either wrestling out of character or betraying their partners. They will be rushing thru their usual matches, so there will be some excitement on what they can work in, but it’s usually a unsatisfying experience. CMLL is surely aware of the issues with the tournament and has little inclination of fixing them, which adds to the annoyance. Unless you’re a completest CMLL fan, you should skip all of these matches and simply watch the final on 02/24.
Adding to the issues this year is CMLL pushing the Diamante Azul & Pierroth feud strong, setting up the possibility they may wrestle three matches tonight to continue their terrible rivalry. There’s not many alternatives for winners. Cavernario & Volador Jr. teaming in a final would be great no matter who they faced and they have an outside chance. Caristico & Mephisto are partners after being on opposite sides of the final last year and just had a title match, giving them the best chance of advancing out of the this bracket besides Azul & Pierroth. The five other pairs (Kraneo/Marco, Angel de Oro/Rey Bucanero, Mascara 2000/Maximo, Puma/Cometa, Panther/Tiger) are classic CMLL filler teams.
The rest of the show are normal trios matches. The women’s match was already mentioned, maybe they’ll start a title match program tonight. Atlantis, Stuka & Valiente face Rush, La Mascara and Ripper in the tercera. Ripper’s feud with Blue Panther Jr. seems to have been dropped – we’ll really know it’s dead if they don’t team up next week – and the timing seemed to come after he was critical of CMLL’s use of the Invasors on Informa. The opener is Astral’s welcome to the main division. He goes from teaming with a short man who’s not really a mini in a tag match opener against rudos who may or may not want to do things that week to teaming with a short man who’s not really a mini in a tag match opener against rudos who may or may not want to do things that week. (It’s Astral & Principe Diamante vs Raziel & Cancerbero.)
Prior to the show, Janeth Guadalupe and her band will be performing, as part of a tie up with a radio station. This probably won’t air on the stream. I’ve been in Arena Mexico when they’ve had bands before shows and few people have cared about the band (much to the band’s frustration.) Maybe it’ll go different this time? Here is a song of theirs. The real hope is it brings people to the show who might have not thought to go.
Dragon Lee faces Hiromu Takahashi on the New Beginning show in Osaka early Saturday morning if you live in North America; you’ll have about a four hour break after the end of the CMLL Claro show. You can sleep an hour or two longer if you’re only watching that match live, since it’s the semimain. (Start time for your time zone here.) NJPW has posted the preview video that’ll air before the match, which pushed their rivalry as going around the globe. I’m excited for the match, even while not really believing Dragon Lee has a chance to win.
Lucha Underground, Netflix, and roster changes
Eric Van Wagenen was on the Masks, Mats, and Mayhem show last night, around 1 hour and 6 minutes in, talking about the recent Lucha Underground big topics. As always, I’ve got some quotes about it below but you’re always better off listening to the whole thing.
Lucha Underground is coming to Netflix. It just probably won’t be there on February 15. EVW could not officially official confirm it, not wanting to pre-emept whatever press release, but talks about it as if it is a done deal on their side. Lucha Underground expects to have delivered the episodes by February 15, but doesn’t know when they’re going up. EVW didn’t completely rule out the possibility of the episodes up on the 15th, but said it’s unlikely given what he knows about both the process it takes to roll out videos and the advanced marketing Netflix usually does prior to releasing a new series.
Everyone on the show made a point of not referencing them by name, but it’s came off as they believe MLW pulled the 02/15 date out of thin air and LU sees this as spreading bad info to make the promotion look bad. I wonder if it’s possible someone else in the LU structure saw that episodes were to be delivered to Netflix by the 15th, misunderstood that as the date it would go live. I am no defender of MLW by any means, but I’d at least leave open the possibility they got fed bad info themselves rather than were intentionally putting out bad info. (Of course, that info could only be coming from people associated with LU.)
At this point, you should assume everyone – wrestlers, news sites, even Netflix Twitter folks included – are all working off the original MLW story (though they may have heard it thru other people.) Those episodes will be up but not right away.
EVW said he did not know which places would get the episodes, only that it was cleared for multiple territories. The Spanish language versions of season 1 will also be included. EVW noted the long lead up to getting this deal done – “The Netflix deal is like giving birth to an elephant…it’s taken two years” – and cited the challenge of aligning the interests of the various different pars of management. There is no Netflix & Series 3 at this point. That’s more a LU issue than a Netflix one. LU is still working on editing season 3 as we speak (based on the hints, they’re on episode 31 – hi WON readers) and Netflix is just going to want a complete season. There’s also an element of LU betting on themselves here – “We’re more optimistic about our Netflix audience than Netflix. I think Netflix is skeptical about getting into the wrestling game, but I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised.”
The other big story is the future of those who’ve left AAA. Eric Van Wagenen was as definite as you can be: “I have zero reason to think those guys [Pentagon, Fenix, Sexy Star, etc] won’t be there for Season 4. We’re planning that they’re going to be there.” EVW sees his job description in part as ‘protect Lucha Underground’, and is also used to dealing with actors and crew who have multiple contracts with different groups at once. Everyone on Lucha Underground is under Lucha Underground contracts, and still is whatever else is going on with them. “As long as they’re honoring my contracts, I don’t get into the rest of it.”
EVW noted Prince Puma/Ricochet was an exception, and one he didn’t want to comment on, but was positive about the status of everyone else. “Johnny Mundo’s still got another year with us, and we’ve got some other people we’re excited to bring in.” EVW said he didn’t know anything about the patents, and found out the same way everyone else did. (Sorry!)
EVW talked about plans to improve the communication between the LU side and the Mexico side with yet to come announcements. He also pushed the idea of being more a full time promotion, recognizing that they need to help find work for the LU luchadors when they’re not taping. “It does us no good if people are starving in between seasons…we understand people need to work year round.” EVW said it make sense to go with Dorian as taking care of things like merchandise for Lucha Underground because he does a good job with those things in Mexico. (Uh.) Finally, we got an answer to the most important LU question of all: the GIFs disappeared because the old El Rey social media guy left, and the new person is just new at this point.
AAA’s next TV taping was originally planned today, but pushed back to Saturday weeks ago. They were in Aguascalientes last night, and Angelico says they sold out. That crowd was seemed hot on the TV taping last year.
Speaking of AAA, a couple of people pointed out that TNA promoting Nicho as “Psicosis” is a potential issue, since AAA owns that name. They filed a US trademark long ago under AAA directly, and again during the early days of Lucha Underground. I think Impact would be wise to change the name they list Nicho as next week, and I have no idea what happens if they don’t – if AAA’s going to threaten people for using the Pentagon/Fenix names, they’re kind of obligated to step in here. (Plus, Impact’s working with The Crash, another reason to get involved.)
Sam Adonis is featured on BBC Mundo today, also on Vice and mentioned he’s filming something for CNN. Foreign media services love to write about the foreigner who goes to Mexico and plays the evil American, to play off immigration and other political issues. They went nuts for it when it was RJ Brewer and Lucha Libre USA – and all that media didn’t help Lucha Libre USA all that much. Hopefully Adonis and/or CMLL can get something more out of it.
Lucha Memes announced their 02/19 show will be on VOD. It’ll be the same deal as the previous show, with just two matches from the show being offered. This time, they’re going to wait until after the show, see which matches get the best reviews, and choose the two matches that way.
I’ve done series of posts in the past deriving different sorts of records based on a year’s results. I’m going to combine some of the highlights in one post this year, just for brevity’s sake. (This could all just be called stupid database tricks.)
CMLL Appearances By Days Of The Week
Here’s the deal: Friday Arena Mexico is the show a CMLL luchador wants to be booked on. Everyone’s generally paid on the gate, that’s got the best turnout and usually the most expensive tickets. Tuesday Arena Mexico appears to be the polar opposite, with low crowd and low turnout. CMLL tends to split it up so people who work Fridays don’t work Tuesdays in that same building, so the Tuesday crew has increasingly become the dregs of the promotion, decent people CMLL doesn’t have a plan for at the moment, and a couple of names to make it not a total waste. Who’s working where the most?
Tuesday Arena Mexico: Guerrero Maya (31), Blue Panther Jr. & Blue Panther (26), Hombre Bala Jr./Drone, Fuego, Stuka (23)
Friday Arena Mexico: Volador Jr. (43), La Mascara (42), Ultimo Guerrero (39), Mistico (35), Marco Corleone (35)
Volador led Fridays last year too. Titan led Tuesday Arena Mexico, and that seems to fit the pattern of a near top tecnico who can fill a gap between the top and semimain spots and is over but isn’t given much to do on Fridays that’ll take him off the Tuesday shows.
In Puebla, local star Stigma worked 33 shows. Black Tiger, who is just in Puebla, worked 31 (mostly boring) shows. Ultimo Guerrero wrestled on 29.
Esfinge worked the most Tuesday Guadalajara shows at 25. Maximo, Atlantis and Marco were right behind him at 24. Magnum (who’s in charge of programming for the arena) and Vaquero were the most of the GDL only group at 20.
Blue Panther worked the most Saturday Coliseo shows at 20. Valiente & Guerrero Maya worked 19, Hombre Bala/Drone and somehow Leono worked 18. Leono only had 47 matches, so over a 1/3rd were in this building alone.
Volador worked the most Sunday Arena Mexico shows at 23, with Maya & Marco behind him.
Jocker and Star Black, who seem like the top rudo and tecnico prospects of the moment in Guadalajara, each worked 26 Sunday Guadalajara shows (or half of ’em.)
Acero worked 22 shows Pequeno Universo worked 21 shows on the regular roster without ever getting booked on a Friday night. (That’s not changed this year.) Metatron actually worked 29 matches, but a lot of them were local Guadalajara matches.
Marco & Rush were never booked on a Saturday. Ripper worked no Sundays. Bengala, Sensei and Leono never made a Puebla trip.
Delta worked almost half his matches on Tuesday before he quit, which easily explains why he quit. (Super Halcon too, though we still don’t know if he actually quit.)
Here’s the full chart
You can see other oddities, like Super Crazy only working Fridays nights, or Sharlie Rockstar only working Puebla and Fridays. 284 people worked at least one match in CMLL. If you throw all the Puebla and Guadalajara only guys, and those who only worked one show (like the 09/16 Legends show or the Arkangel tribute Coliseo show), there were 158 people who worked at least two matches for CMLL Mexico City in 2016.
Events/Matches by States
Which states are running the most shows? I dunno. These numbers are sort of bogus, since they’re driven by which locations are more likely to put up posters some place where one of us can find them. Still fun!
Estado de México
Judas el Traidor
Antrax Jr. (Laguna)
Black Golden (Jalisco)
Guerrero Escarlata Jr.
Black Tiger (Puebla)
Piloto Suicida (Laguna)
San Luis Potosí
Rey Cobra (Baja California)
Kid Silver (Guerrero)
Rocket Boy Wilson
Rayo de Oro (Guatemala)
Vértigo (Chiapas), Asgard, Lluvia de Estrellas
Súper Águila (Oaxaca)
Halcón Rojo Jr.
Merack, Juventud Azteca
Serpiente India Jr.
La Puma, Zeven, Rayo Plateado
Drackull, Necro Mysterio, Dr. Blood, Rayo de Plata
Ángel Star, Prodigy
These numbers give me many questions. I don’t have many answers. Guerrero Escarlata Jr. wrestling twice a week in Ciudad Juarez alone – not even counting any matches in El Paso! – is kind of amazing for a person who’s name I’ve never really noticed. That’s 1 out of 3 shows from the entire state. Black Golden is a non-descript on a week to week basis but seems to get himself booked twice every weekend. Rocket Boy Wilson is surely not the most prolific luchador in all of California, or even Los Angeles, but tends to work shows where full cards are actually listed on the poster (and that isn’t the norm.) Everyone who has “(state name)” probably has it because someone else is or was using the same name elsewhere, but they’re all important enough people to be booked a lot in their home area.
I’ve only included States without at least 10 events. If someone’s running in Baja California Sur on a regular basis, they’re keeping it very quiet.
AAA TV Win Loss Records
The shows that really matter for AAA are the TV ones, so the results from them might be more useful than including the spot shows and other appearances. There were 28 AAA TV tapings last year, including the Lucha World Cup shows.
Most Matches: Psycho Clown (27) – he wrestled twice sometimes, but he almost made every single TV taping. Texano was right behind him at 23, and Pentagon, Faby and Wagner had 21.
Most Wins: Faby Apache (15). Weirdly, that entire feud is at the top: Chessman & Averno had 13 each, Mary is in a group with 12.
Most Losses: Psycho Clown (19), but you knew that if you’ve been paying any attention. He’s a useful argument for wins/losses alone not mattering on getting a guy over, I guess. Daga, Wagner, Mamba and Parka are behind him.
Best Win %: Lanzeloth win the year without losing (6-0), but Faby would be the best of those with at least 10 TV matches (74%).
Wort Win%: Mamba went 3-14 for a woeful 17% winning record. Of note, Daga went 5-15.
AAA has the first of the two weeks in the new venue in Toluca. I’m kind interested in how it looks and sounds on TV. It’s also going to be interesting to see if they air Zorro’s match, after cutting out as many La Rebelion wrestlers as they could.
Puebla has Diamante Azul vs Rush, be warned. It’s not a great week for CMLL, with the dreaded tournament starting on Friday and nothing much on Tuesday.
The US TV listings site I use actually lists Llaves y Candados as being back on early Monday morning. I doubt it, but we’re getting to the point where I need something new to be airing or I’m going to drop those channels.