CMLL (FRI) 07/28/2017Arena México [CMLL, Culticon, thecubsfan]
1) Eléctrico & Stukita b Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro 16:42. Tecnicos took 1/3.
2) Esfinge, Fuego, Pegasso b Puma, Raziel, Tiger 16:23. Tecnicos took 2/3.
3) Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón b Drone, Soberano Jr., Titán 16:06. NGD took 1/3.
4) Hechicero b Stuka Jr. [lightning] 7:15. Hechicero won via conjuro
5) Blue Panther, Diamante Azul, Valiente b Pierroth, Rush, Sam Adonis 7:06. Sam Adonis was DQed in fall 1, Blue Panther was DQed in fall 2, Panther submitted Adonis in fall 3.
6) Carístico, Mistico, Niebla Roja b Gran Guerrero, Mephisto, Último Guerrero 11:49. Gran Guerrero and Niebla Roja feuded.
This was a fun show. Nothing really bad, a loud (and large) crowd, and a good set up for next week’s show.
AAA concluded it’s La Llave de la Gloria tryouts today in Celaya. There were about 30 male luchadors trying out, and they split them up into seven matches: onetwothreefourfivesixseven. All the matches seemed fine, but no one really jumped out from me like the previous tryouts. (It was also a darker building and I didn’t really recognize anyone.) AAA’s been announcing winners in Record on Wednesdays, so we’ll figure out who advances from these quickly. After that, the next step is the Naucalpan show in August which we assume will have all the people who advanced past the first round.
We got the answer to the question I had about Hijo del Santo running the Zocalo. In Esto, Hijo del Santo says he plans to run in Tulancingo on September 23rd, the place of Santo’s birthday. He says it’s “80%” he’s also running in Mexico City, but he’s discovered September is a busy month due to the independence day holiday (!) and so maybe they’ll run in October instead.
Out in Ciudad Madero, there’s a show of ex-AAA wrestlers, including Cibernetico vs TBA in the main event. The silhouette they’re using is obviously Elegido, which has upset him since he’s not ex-AAA and says he’s not working this show.
CMLL (FRI) 08/04/2017Arena México
1) Drone, Fuego, Pegasso vs Disturbio, Sagrado, Virus
2) El Gallito & Microman vs Mije & Perico Zakarías
3) Rey Cometa, Soberano Jr., The Panther vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
4) Ángel de Oro, Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone vs Hechicero, Pierroth, Rush
5) Carístico, Niebla Roja, Volador Jr. vs Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero
6) Blue Panther vs Sam Adonis [hair]
This is another show where CMLL could’ve gone the iPPV route but appears to be just airing it like a normal Friday show. The secondary draw here are the micros making the Friday debuts, but it’s also a really good looking card. Niebla Roja vs the Guerrero continues in the semimian, and the tercera should be another strong NGD exhibition. The opener is much better looking than usual.
Hechicero beatStuka Jr.in a lightning match
(7:15, conjuro, good)
Blue Panther, Diamante Azul, Valiente vs Pierroth, Rush, Sam Adonis
(7:06 [1:38, 2:57, 2:31], 1/3, ok)
Carístico, Mistico, Niebla Roja vs Gran Guerrero, Mephisto, Último Guerrero
(11:49 [2:43, 3:27, 5:39], 2/3, good)
Niebla Roja beat Gran Guerrero in the main event and took his mask post match, further teasing a mask match between the two.
The first fall (Adonis) and the second fall (Panther) of the semimain both ended with someone shoving referee Edgar down. Blue Panther submitted Sam Adonis clean to the nudo lagunero in the third. Hype promos for next week followed.
The main event was solid, with Mistico really carrying it thru with big spots. (Carístico had a La Mistica issue in the second fall, and there was a nearly as awkward spot where he was standing on the apron forever waiting for the careta to be set up.) They’re trying so hard to make Niebla Roja/Gran Guerrero that it very slightly worked here but I think people would be disappointed with it as the Anniversario main event. It’s being forced to be something bigger than it is (a midcard match on the same lines of Adonis/Panther) and Niebla Roja is just not catching on. CMLL is so far behind this that it seems unlikely they’ll pull a detour, but it’s not a great path to be going down.
The semimain doesn’t fit the traditional good match description but it was a riot. Crowd keeps getting more into Sam Adonis; they’d be silly to have him lose right now, and the signs are he’s not. The disqualifications made the falls not be much but stirred up the emotion even more. The other four didn’t really fit in beyond having more people, but Diamante Azul third fall clothesline was really well timed and Rush played along with this well.
The lightning match wasn’t quite as good as some of the undercard, but it would’ve stood out on a lesser day. The early match work in this match was totally smooth. The rest of the match was more their ordinary bits, but done well. Maybe everyone in CMLL should stop going for moonsaults, they don’t work out for anyone.
The tercera looked like a show stealer on paper and lived up to it. The NGD as trios champs make sense because they come off as the possibly the best trio in Mexico. Their team work is great, their stomping the heck out of people to get boos is also great. The técnicos meshed together really well, with Drone stepping up level for the match and fitting in. There were some wild spots and some out of control moments: the triple corner dive looked like the end of them, btu they kept it together. There’s still room to improve with the NGD, they have moves that don’t come off as crisp or as impactful as they’d like. It’s crazy to think how much better they could end up getting.
The second match was good action the whole way thru. Fuego and these rudos have good chemistry, and Puma & Tiger push the pace really well. The match also randomly included a lot of hard running forearms to the face. Raziel looked a lot better than usual, with good people to push him to do more. All the lesser considers guys hit their spots and didn’t feel like they were lesser guys.
The opener looked like it was gong to be a pretty fun match, and actually was for a fall or two. They did a lot of good spots in the first fall and the rudos fought back with double teams nicely in the second. The crowd didn’t really give them a chance because it was an opener, but it was still watching until a lengthy and boring third fall. The rudos seemed to run out of things to do as they maintained control of the match, then técnicos comeback wasn’t all that exciting, and then the match just kept going and going for no particular reason. Match lost me by the end.
MDA (SUN) 07/23/2017 Arena Jose Sulaiman, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon [+LuchaTV, LuchaMania Monterrey]
1) Androide & Vasco Jr. b Babe Fox & Última Sombra
2) Panthro & Vaquero Romo b Furor & Galactar
3) Antifaz, Caifan, Toscano b Hijo de Pirata Morgan, Máximo, Rey Escorpión (Indie) Toscano & Pirata were added to the match. Pirata snuck in a foul on Antifaz. Pirata challenged Antifaz to an apuesta match (noting Pirata Sr. once lost his hair to Antifaz.)
4) Dos Caras Sr. & Hijo De Dos Caras DRAW Charles Lucero & Hijo de LA Park Charles Lucero replaced Super Parka. The fans didn’t like the draw finish but threw money in.
5) Alberto el Patrón b Cibernético, LA Park, La Máscara LA Park was the most over of the bunch, though Alberto was still well cheered. La Mascara fouled LA Park, Cibernetico fouled La Mascara, Alberto submitted Cibernetico. Challenges followed, with Alberto making fun of people for always making post match challenges that never happen (which got some brief booing.)
Today’s CMLL show is the quiet before a big couple months. It’s a show with some promising matches, but the bigger news shows are happening in August and September.
Right now, we’re still in the processing of guessing what’ll be on the big show on 09/16. CMLL again will present Niebla Roja against the Guerreros, which appears to be the best candidate because nothing else has been offered. Niebla Roja teams with Mistico & Caristico this week against Gran Guerrero, Ultimo Guerrero and Mephisto. It is about time they pick a direction, but there’s no sure sign they will.
The semimain has a clear direction: it’s Blue Panther & Sam Adonis meeting for the last time before their hair match. Rush & Pierroth will team with the only person hated more than them, and face Diamatne Azul and Valiente.
The rest of the card is just regular matches. Panther/Adonis should do OK on it’s own, but a second important match would help and perhaps something will emerge tonight. Hechicero faces Stuka in the lightning match. Drone, Soberano and Titan meet the new Mexican National Trios champs (and the still Occidente Trios champs) in the tercera. Puma & Tiger team with invincible Raziel to face Esfinge, Fuego and Pegasso. The show opens with an Electrico & Stukita vs Mercurio & Pequeno Nitro minis match, which is one of the better minis matches CMLL can do if Mercurio & Nitro aren’t fooling around. I wonder if Pequeno Nitro is going to have to become Pequeno Consejo? (CMLL did briefly tease a mask feud with him and Fantasy.)
Negro Navarro, Solar Jr. and Canek Jr. will in having MMA bouts for Lutador MMA tonight. This was just announced a couple days ago and it seems awful quick to have those kind of matches (which may mean they’re not actually those kind of matches.) It’s so last minute that they’re not on the only fight card I can find. Solar Jr. and Canek Jr. will face each other, while Navarro faces Jean Montanez. They’re using CMLL edecanes as well, trying to pull in a lucha libre audience.
Mexico City’s government held a special celebration of the El Santo’s 100th birthday Thursday, with photographs and important people. They announced the Santo outdoor photo exhibition will now be extended to September 6th. They did not say anything about Hijo del Santo’s plan to run a show in the Zocalo in September, though it did at least coming up in passing. This seems like a function where that sort of announcement would be made if it was locked in to happening, but there’s still time left to figure it out.
The Crash promoter Nacho de la O told media at a press conference in Mexicali that The Crash would be on TV by the end of 2017. They had previously said they would be on TV by July. Nacho said they actually had two TV offers right now – which must not be that good, because otherwise they would’ve taken one or the other already. The Crash should probably avoid saying anything specifically about TV until they have something to firm to announce.
08/18: Titan vs KUSHIDA (c) [ROH TV], Dalton Castle, Boy 1, Boy 2 (c) vs Jushin Liger, Delirious, Misticio [ROH TRIOS], Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs Rey Bucanero & Ultimo Guerrero
08/19 (iPPV): Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero vs Mistico & Titan
08/20: Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero vs Mark Briscoe & Jay Briscoe, Mistico & Titan matches still TBA
What we can learn from this is ROH still believes Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero are a tag team (or that their ROH fans will want to see them that way, which might be correct.) I’m going to guess that the 08/18 title match was going to be Mistico/Kushida originally, with the original idea doing a Masked Legends Trio to challenge for those belts.
IWRG (WED) 08/02/2017Arena Naucalpan
1) Celestial Boy vs Tentáculo
2) Climax Jr. & Shaolin vs Atomic Star & Lunatic Xtreme
3) Alas de Acero, Aramis, Kanon vs Kempo Jr., Monaguillo, Warrior Jr.
4) Demasiado, Diva Salvaje, Miss Gaviota vs Acero, Demonio Infernal, Picudo Jr. [lumberjack]
5) Black Dragón, Dinamic Black, Dragón Fly vs Diablo Jr., El Hijo del Diablo, Imposible
The tecnicos are going by the Dynamic Dragons. I don’t know why the semimain is a lumberjack match and neither do you.
CMLL (TUE) 08/01/2017Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Black Sugar & Vaquero Jr. vs Pitbull I & Ráfaga
2) Fiero, Magnum, Retro vs Grako, Maléfico, Templario
3) Astral, Blue Panther, Esfinge vs Disturbio, Sagrado, Virus
4) Johnny Idol, Niebla Roja, Titán vs Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora, Sam Adonis
5) Carístico, Diamante Azul, Volador Jr. vs Euforia, Terrible, Último Guerrero
The CMLL rookies advance in Guadalajara in mass. They must be setting up something else to have Niebla Roja not be in a main event against Ultimo Guerrero, but who knows what.
AAA TV (THU) 07/27/2017 Palenque de la Fiera Nacional De San Marcos, Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes [AAA]
1) Angélico b Joe Lider dark match. Angelico won via crucifix powerbomb.
2) Bengala b Australian Suicide, Venum, Máscara de Bronce, Niño Hamburguesa, Murder Clown, Monsther Clown [battle royal] Probably start of Part 1. Winner gets a spot in the Copa TripleMania (others may not be involved in it.) Order of elimination: Mascara de Bronce, Venum, Australian Suicide, Nino Hamburguesa, Murder Clown, Murder Clown, leaving Bengala as the winner.
3) Argenis, La Parka, Lanzeloth, Ricky Marvin b Averno, Chessman, Pirata Morgan, Súper Fly Averno fouled Pirata, and Lanzelot picked up the pin.
4) Hijo del Fantasma & Texano Jr. b Johnny Mundo & Kevin Kross Fantasma pinned Mundo after Texano was put thru a table. Vampiro confronted Mundo after the match.
5) Discovery (Aguascalientes) b Xtreme-X [hair, mask] Discovery kept his mask, took Xtreme-X’s hair.
6) Lady Shani b Big Mami, Goya Kong, La Hiedra [Reina De Reinas, #1 Contenders] Lady Shani beat La Hiedra to get the title shot at TripleMania.
7) Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Soul Rocker b Aerostar, Drago, Raptor Match went only about a minute. Raptor did a springboard plancha onto one of the other rudos before the match started, but the other two came thru the crowd and took out the tecnicos. Raptor was taken out (and said to be taken to the hospital) after a move in the aisle, and Drago was quickly double teamed and beat. The tecnicos lead the series 2-1.
8) Pagano & Psycho Clown b Dr. Wagner Jr. & El Mesías Psycho won, but Wagner once again left him unmasked.
Air Date: 08/26 (hours before TripleMania) and 09/02.
You know what? This is going to come off as cruel and maybe even small minded, but it’s a busy day for me and this is a simple way to hack thru it. Let’s make this a “what’s AAA did wrong in this match” post to be quick about.
1: at least Angelico won? But it’s a dark match. Angelico not being in the plans for TripleMania is sort of fair – it was his choice to go elsewhere for a while, AAA had other things to do – but there’s no real reason he couldn’t have been in the #30 spot battle royal. Or Lider, for that matter. Maybe things will get better after this event cycle, but is only reluctantly using someone who should be an important piece for them.
2: and then the battle royal itself has people who were announced for other matches on TripleMania. Does that mean they’re working Copa TripleMania and working twice? Maybe. Maybe AAA just needed more bodies for a battle royal, but they didn’t use two guys they had. Mascara de Bronce, who’s occasionally teased as challenging for the title in this promotion, is thrown out first. It’s totally going to backfire if AAA puts the titles on Bronce, I like him a lot and do not want to see his career screwed up by a bad creative decision, and I really don’t understand why they haven’t used him stronger to this point.
3: You may remember Pirata Morgan turned on the OGT last time we saw him and had a second mysterious speech to La Parka. You may not remember this, because it hasn’t been followed up in weeks. You may remember that the tecnicos didn’t want anything to do with Ricky Marvin because he abandoned them. It’s unclear if anyone remembers any of this. AAA is doing far more storylines this year, but the week to week consistency is barely existent.
4: Obviously Mundo doesn’t have any big problems if he’s taking pinfalls. The post match was Mundo & Vampiro replaying their bit from Tijuana, where Mundo wants to give up the belts but Vampiro says giving up the belts is disrespectful to lucha libre history and says Hijo del Fantasma & Texano are going to beat him for them. The AAA recap gives the impression that Hijo del Fantasma and Texano stand meekly off camera while this is happening, they are not functional character in their own storyline. On Facebook, Vampiro put over his favorite performer (Vampiro) for his performance. Vampiro is really good at getting himself over with these bits, Vampiro is not really good at getting anyone else over, it’s unclear if this bothers anyone in AAA. (Not just AAA – LU’s Cero Miedo was all about Vampiro being awesome for going thru the flaming table, and Vampiro being awesome for revealing himself as Pentagon’s master. It’s always going to be about Vampiro.)
5: No one should ever call themselves Xtreme-X. I want a national lucha commission just to veto stupid names, and I want to have that job. If you come in with any version of the word Extreme, any Dragon or any Sexy, you are being rejected. There are enough of all those already.
6: Lady Shani is now in line for the title shot at TripleMania. She still may not be the only one getting it; MedioTiempo mentions the possibility of unnamed foreign women being brought into get the shot too. On +LuchaTV’s podcast, Sexy Star made it clear that she was back in AAA to be champion but the actual women in AAA weren’t worth her time. Shani’s the best woman AAA could’ve chosen of those who were there, There’s a possibly really good story that could be told her about Shani avenging her real life friend/mentor Taya to get back the title she never lost, but she’s at best just the opponent for Sexy Star to beat, and possibly will still have only a minor role on TripleMania. AAA needs to be making stars who want to work for the promotion, and will instead be using them as filler.
7: Poder del Norte vs Aerostar, Drago and Raptor seems like the best match on the show, so it goes sub 2 minutes. When I saw this result, I thought the tecnicos were going to get forced into having Match 4 on the same night, battle valiantly but lose to tie the series. Instead, the whole thing goes on hiatus for weeks.
8: Dr. Wagner standing over Psycho Clown is a great visual to set up TripleMania. That match is slotted to air the week after TripleMania. I’d like to have hope that they’ll switch things around, but they haven’t bothered in the past.
The next main taping is August 26th for TripleMania – but AAA is doing La Llave a La Gloria on Saturday in Ceyala and 08/15 in Naucalpan, and I’ve realized those are parts of AAA I’m actually more interested in by right now. So look forward to those.
The semiannual Television Critics Association is taking place. El Rey, the home of Lucha Underground, doesn’t really rate high enough to get it’s own presentation time at this point. They do rate high enough to buy the critics lunch and have a quick conversation with them over the meal, and that’s what happened yesterday.
The headline grabber was IGN’s quick interview with Skip Chaissen, who’s technically the Chief Creative Officer for El Rey, but also probably better know to use as the guy who’s in charge of the Lucha Underground vignettes. Chaissen said LU S4 “looks good” and he and Robert Rodriguez love the show, but could not confirm a renewal. This is exact same thing other El Rey/Lucha Underground people have been saying for months, both on the record and behind the scenes, but it feels like news in a vacuum of any information about Season 4. It’s not really anything we didn’t know before, it just may stop people for panicking for a couple weeks before something else triggers it.
(It remains the position of this blog that El Rey wants to bring back Season 4 and would announce it this very moment if they could, but El Rey can not afford to pay for themselves and the hold up is seeing if the other owners – MGM? other mysterious people? – also want to come back for a Season 4. It remains the position of this blog that we’re not going to get a yes or no on Season 4 until Season 3 has finished airing. It also remains the position of this blog that this uncertainty is driving everyone involved insane.)
The actual news in that piece is El Rey is having discussions about “where to place [Lucha Underground] on the schedule going forward.” That means they’re at least considering moving it off Wednesday. It’d probably help a little bit not to be heads up against the “live” airing of NXT, but there’s not many places to move too which doesn’t already have some wrestling programming. Also, my hunch is that the percentage of delayed watching (DVR, Amazon/iTunes, even Netflix) is pretty high for Lucha Underground and a chance of time isn’t going to really affect that either way.
The thing El Rey actually wanted to talk about is it’s next new show, Bushido Battleground. If you’ve ever seen a UFC or MMA or WWE show that follows people behind the scenes training for a big match and then having the big match, that seems to be what this is. It’ll be a ten episode, two hour series (notable because everything else El Rey has done has been one hour.) Lucha Underground and the current El Rey martial arts films are mentioned in the release; this show is supposed to sit along with it.
Probably literally sit along with it. As we know, the reason Season 3 was cleaved in half was because El Rey wanted Lucha Underground to still be running when they had their new series ready, and those series weren’t going to be ready until Summer 2017. That press release for Bushido Battleground does not have even an estimated air date. It took about six months for Rite of Passage & Man at Arms to go from announcement to TV screen. LUS3 ends in the middle of October 2017. Six months from today is February 2018. Expect another significant break between seasons.
Arkángel Divino, Black Boy (Baja California), Zumbibeat Astrolux, Black Danger (Baja California), Último Maldito (8:02, Arkangel super mistica on Ultimo Maldito, great, via +LuchaTV)
They told everyone to go nuts in the opener and they went nuts for a crazy eight minute spot fest. Arkrangel & Último Malidto stuff depends on practicing positioning and good timing, but can look out of this world when it all lines up and this was a really good night for that. Astrolux was part of everything else exciting, whether it was planned ot be one or not. (No one was having a good night at catching dives.) Astrolux is so light that he can do incredible flips and be thrown around easily, and it’s all going to be about how well he can survive the insanity. This was totally insane and he did survive it.
Keira won the The Crash Women’s Championship in an elimination match (11:05, via +LuchaTV)
champion Sexy Star abandoned the match with an ankle injury
Keira Devil’s Wings Candy White (6:21)
Lady Maravilla northern lights suplex Laura Van Ness (7:24)
Lady Maravilla spinning side slam Santana Garrett (8:33)
Keira capture cradle suplex Lady Maravilla (11:05)
My philosophy on The Crash shows is to watch all the matches, provided there’s a full length version out there. This is a match I definitely would’ve skipped if was more choosey, and I would’ve missed a fun match. It doesn’t really hit the extra gear until the last couple minutes of usual partners Keira and Maravilla going full out against each other, but it’s still fun as soon as Sexy Star leaves the match. She’s not that bad, it’s just a whole lot of her to get in her time before her worked injury, and the match is just an OK point until Maravilla & Keira start taking everyone out. It’s better usage of random one off foreigners than usual. Garrett and Von Ness do fine, but the match is not really about them, they’re just bodies for the regulars to eliminate. Maravilla had some really impressive moments and still gets eclipse by Keira, a world class wrecking machine who probably should put this performance on some permanent highlight reel. All her offense looks devastating, and she comes off as much more imposing than her size would seem to allow. Keira’s been arguabale the best indie luchadora since 2015, but somehow she’s getting even better.
Rey Horuzwon a #1 contenders match for The Crash Cruiserweight championship over Laredo Kid, Mr. 450, Séptimo Dragón, Último Ninja, and DJZ (13:50 Rey Horuz super casadora bomb on DJZ, good, via +LuchaTV)
The six way contenders match is the one where DJZ suffered an injury (on the Laredo Kid stacked up 450 splash) that would led to him nearly dying in the hospital a few hours later. The injury is not at all graphic or even really identifiable: if you knew DJZ got hurt but didn’t know when, you might think it happened on the finish instead. Still, I have trouble enjoying or recommending a match where people suffer near fatal injuries and this one didn’t come together in a way to change my mind. It felt like they peaked early on and couldn’t get the match going to that level again, though that finish did look huge. eptimo Dragon looked better here than he has in other Crash matches, Último Ninja a little bit worse. DJZ fit in with these guys outside of the nearly dying that thing and would be a welcome addition if he ever heads back to Mexico.
Jack Evans, Máscarita Dorada, Willie Mackdefeated ACH, Bestia 666, Black Tauro (Elite)(15:49, The Mack Chocolate Thunder Driver Bestia, good, via LuchaTime)
I think a comedy match was a good change of pace in the fourth match but it still was kind of a goofy comedy match that probably won’t play well outside of that context. Highlight was Black Taurus asking his friend ACH if he would like to also beat up the small person. ACH declined. Action was fine, but not at the level of the other matches, and watching on the different camera made it a little less appealing. (They did pretty well for a fancam though.) It did get more serious as they went along and Jack looked really sharp in this match. Mack winning is really quite random given where they were going. ACH always gets over when he comes to Mexico and seems like he’d do exceptionally well in Mexico but he’d also probably get bored with the limitations of the format. A Mexican promotion bringing him for three weeks every few months would work well, but doesn’t seem realistic.
Dagabeat Extreme Tiger (5:24, backcracker, ok, via +LuchaTV)
I don’t know what happened with the Tiger/Daga match, but the result was disappointing given the names.It was simply a five minute match with a chinlock and Daga not doing that much. If you hadn’t seen him before, he looked like a random guy who happened to be facing Extreme Tiger. A slower match on a match with lot of crazy matches has to be something special to stand out, and this was nothing special at all.
Bobby Lashley, Carlito, Jeff Cobb beat Blue Demon, Brian Cage, Garza Jr.(9:21, Lashely foul Garza, ok, via LuchaTime)
If you want a long time spent watching Carlito trying to unmask Blue Demon away from the camera, this semimain is the match for you. This match is a waste of some entertaining people and also Carlito. Brian Cage nearly ends himself on a bad dive and that was the moment where it was clear nothing good was coming of this match. This was a baffling finish, Garza coming off like a good by ripping off his pants and immediately getting fouled. They seemed headed to Lashley/Garza at this point so it kind of made sense, but Garza as a tecnico didn’t seem to win a whole lot.
Penta Zero M, Rey Fénix, Rey Mysterio 619beat Cody Rhodes, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Sami Callihan (17:27, Rey Mysterio frogsplash Sami Callihan, good, via +LuchaTV)
The main event was better than the couple matches that preceded it, but it felt more like guys doing a B main even than the higher energy matches we had seen before. Some of it’s the length, with them slowing way down (a chinlock!) to stretch it out a bit. Nakajima seemed to disappear for about half this match, but he was fine while he was in, and I liked him better than Cody. It picked up at the end and wasn’t a waste of time, but it seemed more fun live on Periscope than on the rewatch months later.
I don’t know the Lucha Underground matches for the first time in a while, though they’ll probably reveal them all by Wednesday. The preview mentions Marty, so I’d guess it’s Fenix/Pindar in one of the quarterfinals. The preview also mentions Dario/Matanza (who hasn’t been seen since the hiatus) and the nearly long dormant police subplot.
This Monday’s Puebla show could be pretty good; Shockercito and Pierroth had good chemistry, and Caristico & Rush should at least be interesting.
Friday looks fun too, even if they’re probably heavy into build for next week. Stuka/Hechicero should be a fun lightning match and the NGD match should be good.
Title match looks like it had all the big Infernals spots and it wasn’t enough.
Olimpico actually hasn’t worked in Coliseo or Mexico since March, only a few matches here and in Puebla. I’d guess he’ll be back to pick up Ripper’s bookings.
IWRG FILL (WED) 07/26/2017Arena Naucalpan [Black Terry Jr. (Flickr), Estrellas del RIng, The Gladiatores]
1) Bambino & Kraken b Dinámico & Draxter Bonus opener. Dinamico’s partner is ether Dranzer or Draxter.
2) Fireman & Puma King b Guerrero 2000 & Matrix Jr. straight falls
3) Power Bull & Tentáculo b Celestial Boy & Fly Star
4) Acero, Atomic Star, Lunatik Xtreme b Blue Monsther, Picudo Jr., Vórtize
5) Ángel Oriental, Kanon, Shadow Boy b Kempo Jr., Monaguillo, Skanda
6) Marduk, Taylor Wolf, Warrior Jr. b Gallo Frances, Hijo del Alebrije, Mike Gallo Frances betrayed his teammates, fouling Alrbrije. Estrellas del Ring lists Marduk as Harry Sick, from Chile like Taylor Wolf.
7) Alas de Acero, Aramis, Black Dragón, Black Terry, Diablo Jr., Dinamic Black, Emperador Azteca, Eterno b Arez, Fly Star, Fly Warrior, Fulgor I, Fulgor II, Glenn Calavera, Mr. Leo, Séptimo Dragón [Copa Higher Power] IWRG (Black Terry) vs Indy Nation (Arez). Centvrion & Latigo, were listed but did not participate, replaced by Arez & Mr. Leo. Black Terry replaced Demonio Infenral. Arez beat Emperador Azteca (in a rare clean finish for one of these) to set up a title match.
This is a match I think I’ll really enjoy when I get to watching it in November. Indy Nation has had a lot of turnover for a couple months (which is one of the problems with having a dozen people), but they really need to actually beat people and win things and at least they’re doing it in this match.
AAA tapes tonight in Aguscalientes. The one match we’re pretty sure is happening is a #1 contenders match for the Reina de Reinas championship, with the winner getting on the TripleMania show. AAA announced it Tuesday at the TripleMania press conference and it should hold together, though it’s still 2017 AAA so who knows. Sexy Star as a champion came out of nowhere, so there’s no obvious contender. Faby Apache is the usual pick and probably will end up in the match, but she hasn’t been on TV much the last few months. Ayako Hamada appears to be back in Japan. Of the rest, AAA’s seemed to start and stop on doing something with Lady Shani the most, but it’s an outside shot at best. AAA probably really would like Taya to be Sexy Star’s opponent and might have gotten that if they handled the situation better from the start, but it doesn’t look like she’s headed to Aguascalientes today.
Mundo is heading to Aguascalientes. He’s supposed to team with Kross and Hijo del Fantasma & Texano Jr., which might end with both teams splitting up if it actually happens. You can see the whole card here, while thinking about how few of the matches will actually occur; this is kind of a lame duck taping giving the TripleMania lineup is already out. Outside of Sexy Star’s challenger, the only things left to determine are the La Llave de la Gloria winners (which will be later) and slotting people into the Copa TripleMania (which might happen tonight.) They’ll probably try to explain the Mundo angle in a way that might get over – Mundo should be teasing taking the belts to Konnan and mention him by name, Fantasma & Texano should be defending AAA – but we’ll see.
Sexy Star was on +LuchaTV’s podcast, and didn’t seem all that interested in facing AAA women. My guess is she’s back in AAA because she knows she’s more marketable as a wrestler under the Sexy Star name, part of this deal may give her a chance to use the name and mask elsewhere.
I guess Pirata Morgan’s not working Copa TripleMania at the moment. He and his son posted a video, asking luchadors if they’ll work the battle royal on a big show he’s putting on for 50 pesos or perhaps just the exposure of being on the big show. It’s a parody of Copa TripleMania, which Pirata implying AAA is not offering much to work that match and real professional luchadors would turn it down. It’s Pirata, so he’ll end up working it if they up his pay.
The WON says Jeff Jarrett is trying to get The Crash & AAA to work together “to at least a minor way” for TripleMania. It’s brought up in the idea of Maximo & La Mascara showing up to support Psycho Clown. Dorian specifically brought up people who left AAA showing up in the Copa TripleMania, so it could factor into those names.
The WON also makes note of another TripleMania lineup floating around Wednesday. I saw it – it had Pagano/Mesias in a hair match, which is why I was I thought I heard them announce it that way even though they never did. That other lineup had some stuff that would’ve been hard to guess (Aerostar & Drago and Monster & Murder challenging for the tag titles) – it probably was an early draft of the lineup, but it’s hard to tell from when. The notable thing is it had Alberto defending the GFW title against Lashley. Lashley’s now in the Copa TripleMania and Alberto wasn’t used. Perhaps it’ll be added after something happens to set up in GFW, but it also may be that there’s no real guarantee GFW will have Alberto as champ a month from now.
There’s also a bit about the AAA show on Frontrunner TV. The first show drew 14K (three times as much as any other show on the network.) The third week was down to 2K and the last show (7/5) was down to 1K. The network got complaints about the content not being suitable for prime time and the announcers were said to be terrible.
(This is possibly bad advice but: if you are someone with wrestling announcing skills and would like to work for a dysfunctional but still major wrestling promotion, maybe put together a lucha libre demo video and sneak it to AAA throw social media somehow. It’s probably not going to go anywhere, but AAA both wants something that’ll work and has no money/time to go look for people on their own. I’m guessing this announce crew got the job sight unseen because someone recommended them, so try being your own recommendation.)
Instead of a full press conference, CMLL held one of their smaller contract signings in the office for a the small hair match between Canelo Casas & Cholo. You can watch the whole thing here if you’ve got 11 minutes to kill. In the CMLL quotes from it, Canelo even talks about it being a stepping stone win, and that’s probably all it is.
CMLL Informa announced Michael Elgin as the final member of Team World for the 09/01 Gran Prix. The final teams are
El Consejo appears to be Nitro, based on the promo photo CMLL is using. Nitro was pulled from Consejo’s match at the same time as Consejo was added, so CMLL had him on the books with two different names at the same time. Nitro has been a poor rudo for some time and will be an even worse tecnico. He’s also the acting head of the wrestler’s union, now named the promotion itself and this seems like the most obviously shady move in some time. Even if CMLL needs to use the name El Consejo for some trademark reason, Nitro would be the worst person to have it.
CMLL also posted a video introducing Fiero. They should do that every time someone new is added to the roster – but of course, he’s not actually new, they just stopped booking him last year.
Douki, Black Terry, Sammy Guevera, Syrus were announced for KDojo’s 09/18 Lucha Fiesta show. Douki wrestled in KDojo back in 2015 and the idea is he’s coming back with his lucha libre friends. It’s a long way to go for one show for a promotion that doesn’t normally bring people in, so I wonder if they might be involved in others to be announced. This is Terry’s first match in Japan since 1991 and I would like him to bring home the UWA Middleweight Championship so I can stop updating that title history. Syrus is from Torreon and is billed as the nephew of Silver King & Dr. Wagner Jr.
NGCW (SAT) 07/29/2017 Florida Fire Frogs Baseball, Kissimmee, Florida
1) ? vs ??
2) ? vs ??
3) ? vs ??
4) ? vs ??
5) Ivelisse vs Santana Garrett [WS WOMEN]
6) Lightning (Puerto Rico) & Thunder (Puerto Rico) vs Minotaur & Mr. Águila
7) Blue Demon Jr. & Boricua Guerrero vs Noriega & Savio Vega
8) Fénix (LU) vs Mr. 450, Mil Muertes [#1 Contenders, WS SUBMISSION]
9) Ec3 & Son Of Samoa vs Apolo & Chicano
10) Pentagón Jr. vs Cage [WS SUBMISSION]
I wrote this at 1pm, and WordPress decided to schedule it for December 26. Better late than never.
CMLL (TUE) 07/25/2017Arena México [CMLL, Culticon]
1) Apocalipsis & Yago b Fiero & Sangre Imperial
2) Arkángel de la Muerte, Cancerbero, Sangre Azteca b Astral, Oro Jr., Star Jr.
3) Blue Panther Jr., Stigma, The Panther DQ Disturbio, Misterioso Jr., Sagrado Tecnicos took 1/3. Sagrado unmasked Stigma for DQ. Misterioso took one of the Panther’s masks.
4) Rey Cometa b Virus [lightning] Cometa won via plancha
5) Dragón Lee, Guerrero Maya Jr., Johnny Idol b Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora, Vangellys tecnicos took 2/3
6) Negro Casas, Rey Bucanero, Terrible b Ángel de Oro, Marco Corleone, Volador Jr. Bucanero challenged Angel de Oro to a title match.
I blanked on it, but they were doing a Bucanero/Angel de Oro feud last week and it makes sense they went to a title match. Show doesn’t sound good.
The real big news came in Guadalajara. The early Universal tournament opened the door for some titles changes to finally take place and Los Hijo del Infernales as Mexican National Trios Champions seemed like one which needed a shake up. The surprise is it was the Nuevo Generacion Dinamitas who won the belts last night in Guadalajara. The NGD had won a three team trios tournament last week to get this shot. Sanson, Cuatrero and Forastero are clearly going to be future top stars of CMLL, but this is pushing them upwards a bit faster than anyone had anticipated.
The now unlikely trio of Angel de Oro, Rush and Diamante won these same titles in 2011 as a message from CMLL that they were now to be taken seriously, and that’s the same message here. It’s Sanson & Cuatrero’s second title win in the span of days and I’m not quite sure how much they’re going to be doing with the Arena Coliseo Tag Team championships now. Hopefully one or both of these team titles get defended regularly, because these guys versus any group of tecnico seems pretty interesting.
The Dinamitas were already scheduled to be on Informa this week, so there will be a few highlights shown there. Informa might also be worth watching to find out the final name for the Gran Prix. They’ve been announcing about one name a week, so they might finish it off here. JCR billed it as a big international name last week.
Warrior Steel is listed as replacing Nitro on Saturday, which would be his first match since last March. (He’s the large guy from that year’s Gran Alternativa.) It’s odd CMLL just didn’t move Akuma or Templario up. CMLL does seem to have a thing about not putting large people in the normal opening matches.
El Popular interviewed Princesa Sugehit at the Arena Puebla show. She still wants Zeuxis’ mask. Sugehit is billing herself as the first Mexican luchadora to wrestle in WWE. I suspect that will be repeated forever and believed to be true, but Pantera Surena wrestled in WWE in 1995. It was probably Rhonda Singh/Bertha Faye bringing in an opponent she was familiar (from her time in Mexico as La Monster) with to help her get over, but Surena would actually be first.
Some extra thoughts about the TripleMania announcements
AAA’s lost a bunch of people early in the year, then seemingly intentionally focused on an even smaller group of people (with guys like Elegido, Dave the Clown, Parka Negra, the minis all basically disappearing from TV for the last half year.) It’s come across like AAA just couldn’t manage to convince people to come aboard after others left. Now, for TripleMania, it looks like they’re going to be bringing in a lot of outside people. Maybe AAA hasn’t been bringing people in because they just didn’t want to? I suspect most people will be in once and gone, but it’d be nice if AAA could keep some of the more useful guys around long term to help with the depth?
On the other side, I’m glad Alberto and Rey aren’t there; AAA needs to get people who are there all year over as stars and that can’t happen if they’re forced into minor matches to make room for the visitors. WWE does the guest star deal because they believe it’ll help WrestleMania in the short term, but I don’t think AAA needs that sort of help this year with Psycho/Wagner. (It’s the flipside to bringing back Sexy Star, which basically said AAA doesn’t have any confidence in the women they do have being useful at this moment.)
Ripper was feuding with Blue Panther Jr., which would’ve likely led to him getting a nice payoff for losing his mask. CMLL dropped the feud suddenly (after Ripper made some complaints about how the Invasors had been used in CMLL on Informa.) Ripper has now left CMLL and is back to being Psicosis, but I’d guess he hasn’t left his desire to get that payoff. I don’t know if it happens in AAA or elsewhere, but it’s probably happening before long.
I went back to listen to the attendance mention myself, and I still can’t tell if Zuniga says 60-65 or 70-75. I’m really bad at Spanish numbers. Even with the most favorable reading, AAA accidentally said they sold no tickets in the last month. I believe AAA sold tickets in the last month, and I believe AAA has been throwing out guesses at what percentage full they are all along either for pressure sales purposes or because they couldn’t keep track of what they’ve said. I think AAA is probably going to have sold 90+% by the time the show and the guessing isn’t really going to matter. Here’s what the ticket chart looked like at SuperBoletos this afternoon
Any section with a color in has at least one ticket sold. Some of those closest red and green ticket sections are literally one ticket left available. The closest open seats are the tickets they were talking about adding yesterday. The people who’ve bought tickets so far have gobbled up the most expensive seats, and the ones that are left over are going to be the casual fans who buy the week or day of the show. The best pitch to casual fans is talking about how big and important this show is, and so I’d expect a lot of Psycho Clown and Dr. Wagner from here on out.
In his Record column (helpfully photographed here), Leo Riano almost says he was wrong about Alberto appearing on TripleMania, and goes on to suggest Latin Lover and Charly Manson may appear. Latin had mentioned Vampiro reaching out to him in the past. Charly Manson seemed to be booked all over the place after he got out of jail in 2015, but he’s been seen a lot less this year.
Toscano’ name pops up on next Monday’s Cantu/AAA show in Nuevo Laredo. Cantu’s a rare AAA local promoter who uses indie names mixed in with the AAA guys, and doesn’t necessarily mean one’s going to be the other; Laredo Kid’s used here all the time and doesn’t appear to be going to AAA. Still worth keeping an eye on, since that Copa TripleMania opens the door for a lot of random appearances. Toscano was last in AAA in 2014, let go after a behavior issue at one of the Hard Rock resort shows. He’s been out most of this year after knee surgery, but has been working in Nuevo Leon the last month.
The preview promises more on Son of Havoc and Son of Madness.
This is Rey’s first LU match since Aztec Warfare, 17 episodes ago. With the hiatus, that’s a 252 day break between matches. Part of the reason to air those Mundo/Mysterio vignettes was to keep him in mind while he wasn’t being used in-ring for about half the season; it hasn’t felt like he’s been that far out of the show. Some of Rey’s matches were shot out of order so it probably didn’t feel like such a big gap live. Rey’s been treated like a big star when he’s been used in LU, but he hasn’t been used as much as would’ve been anticipated. If Rey is leaving LU (and if LU is continuing on), it’ll probably be more of an effect from a marketing standpoint of the show than on the onscreen product.
Consejo is on a lot of shows in his first week, so he’s clearly supposed to be someone important. Rey Bucanero worked hard in his last title match.
IWRG (SUN) 07/30/2017Arena Naucalpan
1) Fly Tiger & Voltar vs Lunatik Xtreme & Power Bull
2) Mike vs Pantera del Japon
3) Dinamic Black, Hijo del Alebrije, Shaolin vs Demonio Infernal, Kempo Jr., Monaguillo
4) Danny Casas vs Veneno
5) Black Dragón, Hijo De Dos Caras, Imposible vs Gallo Frances, Herodes Jr., Trauma II
6) Hijo de Pirata Morgan & Pirata Morgan vs Hijo del Pantera & Pantera and Black Warrior & Warrior Jr. and Diablo Jr. & El Hijo del Diablo and Villano IV & Villano V Jr. and Negro Navarro & Trauma I and Golden Magic & Mr. Magia and Bombero Infernal & Bombero Infernal Jr. [Legado Final]
The annual father/son battle royal, where one family member replaces the other family member after they’re eliminated. Sometimes they start with all fathers, sometimes all sons. Mr. Magia only seems to get booked in this sort of match. Villano V Jr. is not actually Villano IV’s son, but Villano V isn’t wrestling. Bombero Infernal Jr. is “debuting” – but they’ve acknowledged he’s one of the Ninja Turtles and are just not saying which one.
Mike/Pantera del Japon is what I really want to see, and Danny Casas/Veneno is probably what I’ll end up recording.
Pentagon Dark beat Drago (7:55, great, package piledriver)
Rey Mysterio beat PJ Black vs (11:27, springboard frogsplash, good)
There was no overarching character profile to this week’s episode. Instead, the biggest focus might have been in pinning a date to to the Cueto Cup final. The tournament has finished the second round and, with only seven matches left, they’re close enough to the end to feel safe promoting. The final will air four episodes from tonight, August 23rd. They made sure to emphasis it’ll be the same night as Rey Mysterio vs Johnny Mundo.
Mysterio’s warmup match with PJ Black went to form. Mysterio had the match possibly won at the same time as the ref went down, Mundo and the rest of the Worldwide Underground interfered, Dragon Azteca ran them off (after failing early) and Mysterio went on to win. The show concluded with Mysterio promising to beat Mundo for the title.
The tournament matches themselves feel like they’re trending at a 50% interference rate. That was the split tonight too. The Mack was the unlucky loser tonight, with his defeat stemming from Famous B sneaking in the ring and shooting him with a water gun right in front of the referee. The gun didn’t physically harm Mack, but it was enough of a distraction for Texano to immediately get in his powerbomb for the win.
Drago & Pentagon finished their match with no outside involvement, surprising considering the Reptile Tribe and Pentagon’s many enemies. Pentagon simply won clean after a package piledriver. Pentagon went to break Drago’s arm after the match and easily stopped Kobra Moon from getting involved. Aerostar instead made the save for his old friend, only for Drago to lay him out and Pentagon to break Aerostar’s arm instead. If Drago’s going to be freed, it’ll probably have to be by someone else. Of note, Vampiro was more positive about Pentagon than he’s been in the recent past.
Pentagon might need the support. Catrina confronted him in the hallway, reminding Pentagon that he cost Mil Muertes the title way back in Ultima Lucha 2 and they haven’t forgotten. (They may have forgotten Pentagon did it because Catrina refused to let Pentagon in the match.) They’re a possible seminfinal match up, but that’s getting ahead of things.
The Cueto Cup quarterfinals will be:
Pentagon Drago vs Texano
Mil Muertes vs Jeremiah Crane
Fenix vs Pindar
Dante Fox vs Prince Puma
In one vignette, Son of Madness tracked down Son of Havoc in a bar, and they mentioned a lot of plot points while fighting. It appears Havoc was part of the Invisbile Cult Motor Club (ICMC), but he doesn’t want to go back to whatever that is because something bad happened. Madness’ job is not to punish Havoc for leaving, but to convince him to come back by whatever it’ll take, or take him out.
In another vignette, Máscarita Sagrada gave the Rabbit Tribe a present: a rabbit’s tail foot. They did not like the gift.
The matches were generally good on this show, but it felt a less less than last week.
Last week’s PJ Black came off as a breakout performance for him. This week’s PJ Black match felt like him filling the designiated opponent role for Rey. Nothing was bad and there were pretty good moments, but there is a little repeattive in Rey matches (that first 619 never works) that harm it. The interference was set up awkardly, it’s tough to get that accidental ref kick spot to look anything but manufactured, and really didn’t end up meaning anything. It felt like it was just on the list of things to check off, but the same could’ve been done after the match.
The interference in the Texano match meant more, Famous B is still trying to win Texano over, but felt much more harmful. The water gun didn’t do much, but it was right in front of the ref and directly led to the finish. If you’re ever going to have disqualifications, that had to be one on Texano. Texano’s the one of the eight quarterfinalists who’s gotten nothing out of his wins: Mack controlled most of the match here and Texano’s first round win over Famous B wasn’t much. There was just enough to make this fun, but I expected more.
Pentagon/Drago was easily the best match of the night, and a more complete Pentagon match than I’m used to seeing lately. He still did his big standards (he doesn’t even have to quiet the crowd for the chops, they’re quieting each other), but Drago’s speed and offense forced Pentagon to mix it up more. They’re two guys who haven’t fought a lot on this show (and never had a singles match before this show), but had really strong chemistry. They’re headed in different directions from here, but it was great to see them cross paths.