It’s a regular show tonight in Puebla, with nothing following up from last week and some matches that might be good but nothing a sure bet. Caristico, Volador and Atlantis team up in the main event with Mascara, Negro Casas and Ultimo Guerrero. Titan, Johnny Idol and Angel de Oro face the Peste Negra trio of Felino, Mr. Niebla and Cavernario. The Cancerberos are actually in a trios match together for the first time this year (first time since August, really.) Esfinge, Fuego and Soberano are their opponents. Sugehit & Zeuxis are on the opposite sides of a women’s trios, which is bound to keep happening since there’s only about twelve luchadoras. Jarochita, Sanely, Amapola and Tiffany are scheduled to fill out the match. The only locals match tonight is the opener, with Lestat, Paris and Zaeta Roja against el Malayo, Guerrero Espacial and Sombra Diabolica.
I went to AAW’s show in LaSalle this Saturday to see Daga’s debut for the promotion. I figured, if you write on the internet a lot of times that people should book a dude, you probably should pay money to see the dude wrestle when someone finally does book him. (My photos turned up here.) Daga did well – it was helped by Elgin giving him much more than I would’ve expected, and there were about two things that didn’t go quite right, but it was an one of those matches that just keep going and keep getting bigger. Daga won over a crowd that was there didn’t really know him and knew Elgin, splitting the crowd by the end. Even the Hispanic families that I usually see when Pentagon & Fenix are around weren’t as much around this one; Daga went in front of an unfamiliar fanbase and got them asking him to come back. He’ll be back. That match and the main event, a time limit draw with Fenix/AR Fox and OI4k ts are worth checking out the show alone, plus there was some good stuff in the undercard.
IWRG FILL (WED) 04/26/2017Arena Naucalpan
1) Keshin Black, Vardeus, Voltar vs Fly Tiger, Guerrero 2000, Keshin Black
2) Ángel Oriental, Blue Monsther, Kesier Drago vs Atomic Star, Lunatik Xtreme, Power Bull
3) Hijo del Alebrije, Mike, Teelo vs Picudo Jr., Skanda, Vórtize
4) Acero, Alas de Acero, Aramis, Black Dragón, Demonio Infernal, Diablo Jr., Kanon, Shadow Boy vs Black Laser, Climax Jr., Hijo Del Villano III, Kortiz, Máquina Infernal, Tackle, Villano III Jr., Zhalon [Torneo Fill] Torneo FILL 58, Gym FILL (Black Terry) vs Gym Villanos (listed as Villano III, though it’s Villano IV who’s pictured)
Midweek shows returns! Only four matches this time. Villano IV would make more sense, since he’s wrestling in Naucalpan. I feel like Climax Jr. has shown up on three or four different teams over the years.
Keshin Black really is listed on both sides of the opener.
Fan photos showed CMLL installed a video screen in Arena Coliseo sometime recently, though it’s possible it was just a one time thing for a private show/sponsor event this weekend.
CMLL (SUN) 04/23/2017Arena México [CMLL]
1) Camorra & Cholo b Fiero & Magia Blanca Fiero and Cholo replaced Sangre Imperial & Templario on Tuesday. Billed as Fiero’s debut. (Fiero wrestled here back in July.)
2) La Vaquerita, Marcela, Skadi b Amapola, La Seductora, Tiffany Amapola replaced Metalica. Tecnicas took 1/3.
3) Drone, Fuego, Rey Cometa b Metálico, Puma, Tiger tecnicos took 2/3
4) Ángel de Oro, Guerrero Maya Jr., Stuka Jr. b Bobby Villa, Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora
5) Carístico, Marco Corleone, Máximo Sexy b Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Vangellys
Doesn’t seem like there was anything of note on this one.
Chilanga Mask (SUN) 04/23/2017Coliseo Coacalco, Coacalco, Estado de México [+LuchaTV, MedioTiempo]
1) Niño De Cobre b Jerry Calavera, Diablo Jr., Inmortal, Glenn Calavera, Novasonic The Hermanos Calaveras replaced Freelance and Ryan Kidd. Nino de Cobre (who appears to be trying to switch to simply Cobre) beat Diablo Jr. Good match.
2) Fly Star b Shiryu Dragón, Maldito Jr., Caifan III, Terremoto Negro no Fly Star, so they worked a five way instead of a trios. Fly Star beat Dragon.
3) Centvrión, Dragón Fly, Impulso b Lokillo, Mr. Leo, Próximo (Baja California) good match, money thrown in
4) Aero Boy b Bestia 666 Bestia 666 replaced Dave Crist
5) The Platino L Solar I, Makabre, Trauma I, Trauma II, Black Terry, Mr. Maldito [ruleta de la muerte] in a surprise, Trauma II took the mask of The Platino. (Most seemed to guess Makabre was losing.) Platino is Oscar René Castillo Castellanos, 39 years old, 18 years a luchador, from Tijuana. Bloody match.
6) Hanson & Raymond Rowe b Extreme Tiger & Rey Fénix (US) merging of two announced matches (Rowe/Hanson and Tiger/Fenix). Very good match.
7) Miedo Extremo b Masada (Texas), Wotan Muedo defeated Masada
Big turnout for the show, and the matches sound like they went well. Dave Crist missing the show sounds like it wasn’t his fault. Freelance was double booked. Not sure about the rest. War Machine versus Fenix/Tiger sounds like a more appealing and a better special match than the two singles matches.
I attended the Lucha Underground panel at C2E2. It was the last panel of the last day in the big panel hall of the convention, and they had a good turnout. They also had Pentagon stand ups around the building promoting the May 31st return. It got me to thinking that it probably cost as much for them to participate on this show as it would’ve around WrestleMania weekend, but being at a comic/entertainment expo is kind of their play: they’re taking for granted they’re going to get a certain portion of the wrestling audience but are hoping the untapped growth is coming from people who might attend something like C2E2. (Still, maybe they could’ve done both, not giving in on that.) The infernal “TV show vs Wrestling show” question came up, and Van Wagenen broke kayfabe to explain it’s kind of just a marketing show – conventional wrestling shows haven’t been on Netflix, but sci fi/reality/action shows are and now they are too. It’s a distinction meant to sway content gatekeepers, with how it changes how they approach the show a bit secondary.
This late slot didn’t seem great for casual or potential people – it’s a long weekend, there was a line of people going as long as people coming when I turned up early afternoon – but there were definitely people giving the show and presentation a chance just to get away from the convention floors. There were also a lot of people very enthusiastic about the show and the wrestlers and wrestling in general; these are two distinct audiences, but two with some significant overlap.
The presentation was preceded by El Rey president Daniel Tibbets promoting the new shows coming to El Rey. Last week’s minor wondering aloud (and every other one) about maybe LU not coming back was dumb because things like this. The reason we’re not getting Lucha Underground right now, the reason why everything is a little screwed up, is because LU is the sun the rest of El Rey orbits around right now. El Rey needs LU to shine whatever light it has on these three new shows Tibbets was pitching to a mildly interested audience, because LU is the only thing El Rey can call a success right now. (LU’s numbers aren’t much compared to WWE, but WWE’s only getting just above USA’s average. LU was getting 2-3x’s El Rey’s network average. It may not be a big deal in wrestling, but it’s a big deal in El Rey.) If El Rey can build new shows off what they’re getting off LU, then LU’s importance to the network only grows. If they can’t, it’s may still be the only thing LU has going and they’ll try to find other shows to work with it. El Rey’s going to continue to want to carry LU as long as El Rey itself exists as a concept.
The panel didn’t break much news, but these panels are never really about that. They did show yet to air clips. We got to see a meeting of Son of Havoc and the debuting Son of Madness, a similarly dressed but bigger character, who have some past association I didn’t completely understand. (This is the bar vignette with two “Sons of Havoc” shown way back in the trailer.) We also saw about three or four minutes of the first episode of part two, which was officially confirmed to be the All Night Long match between Johnny Mundo and the Mack, all the way to the first pinfall and what appeared to be the first break.
I wrote a lot (too much?) about the panel as it was going on. You can read it here. I was struck about how Rey Misterio’s obviously a key part to all of this, and Rey probably wouldn’t be at all involved if not for Konnan getting him to a show and now Konnan’s specifically one of their biggest enemies. Pentagon and Fenix were namedropped by Dorian in normal bits talking about people coming from different places on the show and people who’ve done on the show; if you’re not someone who follows sites like this, you’d have no idea there’s any issues there (and maybe there aren’t.) Most of the questions were to the wrestlers, but Dorian was asked about Season 4 and jokingly said El Rey’s Tibbets should come back out and answer that. Dorian seemed pretty confident a deal was going to get done and soon. (I don’t what “soon” means but, the way he said it, it’s even possible they could announce a pickup around the May 31st renewal.) Dorian was more evasive and roundabout when asked about a LU video game, ending with the “we’re working on it” conclusion that usually means they are working on it but nothing is particularly close. I know people want a grand full featured wrestling video game, but I think LU fans would gobble up even something as simple as a decent low priced phone app game – even if it wasn’t wrestling, like Aerostar in a space shooter or something random. (A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles style arcade side scrolling beat ’em up arcade game is my personal dream.) LU fans just want to interact with these characters even beyond the game.
Sexy Star/Dulce Garcia won her boxing debut, a four round unanimous decision. You can see the fight here. I’m uneducated on boxing but it didn’t seem like a fight Sexy barely won – not that she was ever in being danger of knocked out or even knocked down, but she also didn’t look that much better than a woman with a poor record. (On the other hand, that women didn’t bother to come to the center of the ring for the announcement; she didn’t think she was going to get her arm raised.) Garcia’s mentioned a goal of winning a title in boxing, and every indication is she’ll keep on fighting.
The local promoter for AAA’s Verano de Escandalo in Ciudad Juarez is hyping these four matches:
Dr. Wagner Jr., Soul Rocker, Psycho Clown, Murder Clown, Carta Brava Jr., Monster Clown, one person loses their mask
Pimpinela vs Mamba, hair vs hair
Drago, Aerostar, Bengala vs Lanzelot, Australian Suicide, Mascara de Bronce
La Parka, Argenis, Ricky Marvin vs Averno, Chessman, Super Fly
There’s more matches to come, and what AAA announced obviously has not been equaling what actually will take place. Those matches do generally match the ideas being presented on TV. The Traidor Clowns haven’t been in the mask feud yet (they’ve been in the tag feud), but it’s reasonable they might get involved. Argenis makes sense as the third tecnico to face OGT. Pimpinela and Mamba have been lightly feuding. I suspect it’ll still change more – some of the teams who threw challenges for the tag titles are listed in other matches – but it’s a starting point.
RCH returns with their 5th Anniversary show on 06/02 in Arena Naucalpan. Cibernetico vs Tinieblas vs Rayo de Jalisco is the main event, something that sounds like it may draw well but will be a struggle in the ring.
X-Torm and Zarco talk about why their mask match moved from one Tijuana indie promotion to another (though they don’t seem to agree on anything but Evolution Lucha Libre is going to be running for the moment.)
CMLL (FRI) 04/28/2017Arena México
1) Eléctrico & Fantasy vs Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Olímpico
2) Dalys, Marcela, Zeuxis vs Estrellita, Metálica, Sanely [Relevos Increíbles]
3) Soberano Jr. vs Sansón [Copa Junior Nuevo Valores, final]
4) Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone, Valiente vs Hechicero, Kráneo, Ripper
5) Carístico, Dragón Lee, Mistico vs Cavernario, Mephisto, Negro Casas
6) Volador Jr. vs La Máscara
Hechicero works a meaningless trio instead of Sabre, so it goes. More appalling to me, CMLL probably knew they were doing Volador/Mascara or something similar here for a few weeks and didn’t really do more than a faked foul to set it up.
No idea why they’re doing a relevos increible match with the women. Might just be something differnet to do something different.
CMLL (SAT) 04/29/2017Arena Coliseo
1) Bengala & Sensei vs Camorra & Cholo
2) Astral, Sangre Imperial, Star Jr. vs Cancerbero, Disturbio, Raziel
3) La Jarochita, La Vaquerita, Marcela vs Amapola, Reyna Isis, Tiffany
4) Blue Panther, Johnny Idol, Titán vs Luciferno, Mephisto, Sam Adonis
5) Diamante Azul, Dragón Lee, Volador Jr. vs Negro Casas, Rey Bucanero, Vangellys
A show, and one with no random rookie this week.
CMLL (SUN) 04/30/2017Arena México
1) Leono & Príncipe Diamante vs Cholo & Espíritu Negro
2) Pegasso & Starman vs Hijo del Signo & Metálico
3) Drone, Esfinge, Fuego vs Hechicero, Misterioso Jr., Virus
4) El Gallito & Microman vs El Perico Zakarías & Mije
5) Atlantis, Marco Corleone, Volador Jr. vs Cavernario, Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas
6) Carístico, Dragón Lee, Mistico vs Euforia, Niebla Roja, Último Guerrero
It’s really happening. Fourth from the top because CMLL is weird. Also, the segunda is a tag, so does that means each mascot is getting half pay? I dunno.
Main event has both Niebla Roja vs Dragon Lee and Niebla Roja vs his own teammates.
CMLL (SUN) 04/30/2017Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Capitán Cobra & Micro vs Destello & Guerrero de la Muerte
2) Fantástico, Johnny Dinamo, Tigre Blanco vs Carlo Roggi, Linterna, Mr. Apolo
3) Black Sugar, El Divino, Nautilius vs Gran Kenut, Mr. Trueno, Thunder Boy
4) Star Black vs Rey Trueno
5) Flash II, Metatrón, Vaquero Jr. vs Joker, Pitbull I, Pitbull II
Reminder that Star Black is the young upcoming guy in Guadalajara. Never a sure thing about anyone making the jump to Mexico City, but that’s what the singles match is about.
I’ll write the same things I write every time now: They filled the building, that’s good. They advertised a Psycho Clown/Dr. Wagner match and didn’t deliver and that seems dangerous towards TripleMania but maybe they’ll get away with it. They changed most of the card and fans should not take AAA lineups seriously at this point, though they still might end up with a better card. (This show had 2 titles matches advertised, ended up with 3, hope EMW didn’t spend money on a belt that’s never going to be used.)
Vampiro says Taya/Ayako was one of the top five matches of all time. People there thought pretty highly of the match as the match of the night. Taya coming back at the end to get Faby seems to point in that direction, but AAA spend two years not doing that match so it also could just be a return to the old nothing happening status quo. (There is a five way women’s match on the next show that could double as a #1 contenders match, if it happens at all.) Ayako’s not listed on any shows going forward, so it’s possible this was it for her. If it was, and at least AAA made heavy use of Ayako was she was around, a nice improvement from previous short guests. If she’s sticking around, maybe there’s more good matches to come.
The trios title stuff is all bizarre looking, but probably about what they had planned. The OGT had to lose the belts quick because they were splitting Ricky out of the group, Poder del Norte needs whatever credibility they can get from winning them, and it made the most sense to use the Apaches in between so they could get the big win if that feud is being dropped. They may have actually hoped to have Mary & Apache involved – Mary’s injury was a last minute thing, no one’s saying what the deal is with the father (a very troubling sign given history of ill people stops talking about) – but Wagner & Psycho fit with the more important story they’ll telling.
The Texano thing is hard to predict. This could be Texano doing a heroic return from injury to go after Mundo, or it could be Texano faking a neck injury to betray Fantasma and join Mundo/Taya/Kross. Texano is actually healthy enough to be in the ring, he wrestled last Friday in Naucalpan, so he should really be fine for whatever they’re setting up.
Verano de Escandalo looking like
Dr. Wagner Jr. & Psycho Clown vs Carta Brava Jr. & Soul Rocker in some sort of apuesta match
maybe Mamba vs Pimpinela in a hair match
maybe Mundo/Kross vs Texano/Fantasma
maybe Cuervo/Scoria vs Pagano/Mesias vs Aerostar/Drago vs Suicide/Bengala for the tag titles
maybe Chessman, Averno, Super Fly vs La Parka, Ricky Marvin and a third person
CMLL (FRI) 04/21/2017Arena México [+LuchaTV, CMLL]
1) Canelo Casas & Espanto Jr. b Flyer & Robin Rudos took 1/3
2) Drone, Fuego, Rey Cometa b Nitro, Raziel, Virus Tecnicos took 2/3
3) Guerrero Maya Jr. b Luciferno [lightning]
4) Sansón b Blue Panther Jr., Esfinge, Magnus, Stigma, Star Jr., Forastero, Artillero [Copa Junior Nuevos Valores, semifinal] Battle royal set sides. Eliminations went Artillero (Star Jr.), Stigma (Forastero), Star Jr. (Sanson), Magnus (Blue Panther Jr.), Esfinge (Sanson), Forastero (Blue Panther Jr., appeared Tirantes counted 3 when it wasn’t planned to be one), Blue Panther Jr. (Sanson), leaving Sanson as the winner to face Soberano next week.
5) Diamante Azul, Stuka Jr., Valiente b Mr. Niebla, Pierroth, Sam Adonis Niebla, Pierroth and Adonis replaced Euforia, Gran Guerrero and Niebla Roja on Friday.
6) Carístico, Dragón Lee, Volador Jr. DQ Cavernario, La Máscara, Negro Casas La Mascara faked a foul from Volador for the DQ.
Show was said to be an ordinary show with last week’s Copa Junior being better. Sanson/Soberano should at least be interesting. The lineup for next week as not available by the time I needed to post this.
A Twitter follower has a theory that Claro/CMLL might be geo-blocking the Friday night show on NJPW’s behalf, so the Japanese viewers will have to purchase NJPW World to see it. I still lean towards it being an oversight by Claro & lack of an interest on CMLL’s part in getting it right, but the NJPW theory is holding up at the moment. The Reyes del Aire, which was blocked, aired on NJPW World a week later and now it’ll be the same with last week’s Atlantis/UG show. Those NJPW World airings are for Japan only.
The former (and maybe future) Sexy Star makes her boxing debut in Metepec. She has a bout scheduled for four rounds for a card against a woman with a poor record. The card is scheduled to air live in Mexico, though it’s never been said if her match will air. (It does not appear it’ll air in the US either.) If it does air, it’ll be part of Sabado de Box, airing on Canal 5 starting around 10:30pm local, and she’ll probably be in one of the first matches shown.
Lucha Underground has a panel discussion (and an autograph signing for a few lucky winners) in Chicago. Past LU panels at comic/entertainment conventions haven’t really revealed all that much but have been a nice way for the fans to get a little closer to the people who run these shows. This seems like it’s the only really public press thing LU’s doing during this hiatus, so maybe they’ll get something unexpected. I may have talked myself into going to this in the late hours of Friday night, we’ll see.
Virus beatFuegoin a lightning match(4:16, Gori Bomb, good)
Euforia, Niebla Roja, Último Guerrero beatDragón Lee, Marco Corleone, Mistico(10:07 [3:54, 1:39, 4:34], 1/3, ok)
Máximo Sexy defeated Terribleto retain the CMLL World Heavyweight Championship (12:47 [2:48, 0:44, 9:15], 1/3, great)
Máximo kept the CMLL Heavyweight Championship over Terrible.
Niebla Roja didn’t get along with his team, was friendly with the técnicos, and won anyway.
Misterioso ran from Soberano early in their match, beat him quickly in the first fall. Soberano rallied to be both Sagrado & Misterioso in the second fall, and wasn’t involved in the third fall finish.
The main event got a lot of positive talk live and I didn’t really see it as I was watching early on. They did Último Guerrero style early falls and it was feeling like a routine match for a while; Máximo faking being tired to lure Terrible into a second dive was smart but it didn’t feel like anything much overall. They just kept on going though, and that’s the Máximo formula for his title matches: lots of big moves, lots of back and forth at a good pace, and lot of convincing moments where it can end. Máximo mostly wins with his kiss (which Terrible may have been immune to after a decade of exposure) but can and does win matches in plenty of other ways, which makes those near falls feel more weighty. Terrible too has a bunch of possible finishers they ran thru, and no problem going thru all of them. Máximo title matches are good for some bit of psychology, and they got a random hold over just by using it to win an early fall and teasing it again as the finish. This match didn’t rise any higher level than, say, his title match with Euforia and it’s not the epic heavyweight title matches of other promotions, but it was plenty satisfactory for what CMLL is offering. This is an easy watch and easy recommendation.
The semimain was overtaken by Niebla Roja’s turn, like Friday’s match. He’s entertaining at the sabotage, and Último Guerrero is great at doing a slow burn at this idiot who’s going to have to murder soon, but the matches are never really that good during this sort of angle and this was hurt just the same. The finishing kick was the best part, and Niebla Roja & Dragon Lee continue to have exchanges which make me frustrated we’re never going to actually get that singles match.
Short lightning matches usually don’t work, but this one did. Fuego coming out hot worked to get the fast pace this match needed, and from a logical strategy standpoint: you’re not going to win a mat battle with Virus, might as well cut it off before it can happen. Fuego kept the action going with Virus stopping him only a few times, and the finish looked devastating. There’s not a lot to this one because there isn’t the time, but it definitely worked and is a good alternative idea for this lightning matches.
Soberano continues to look outstanding in his recent matches, and continued on his feud with Misterioso nicely in the third match. I’m not convinced it’s going anywhere – it could use more focus on one show if it was meant to be, and it could be they just went with it because CMLL’s random match generator put them together this week – but they’ve got the roles well. Soberano was just as good if not better with the secondary rudos in this. Second fall ending minute was the best portion of this match and this was significantly better than the matches prior to it despite being about the same grade.
The rudos were more aggressive in the minis match, but nothing done that doesn’t feel like the same thing we’ve seen out of this decision for the last five years. There were small tweaks to the usual match – Mercurio getting in a hanging double stomp to the apron, and a failed attempt to mirror that in the ring only for Pierrothito to not take the right bump – but there’s more than small tweaks needed. Even when the luchadors put in more effort, there’s no great effort being put on the people who organize these matches and it limits how high they can go. This was good on the curve but nothing that would stand by normal standards.
I was never much into the opener and tuned out as soon as they badly blew Inquisidor’s front cracker spot
CMLL has it’s usual Friday night show with less going on than usual. Next week’s is usually CMLL’s annual Arena Mexico anniversary show, usually with one big match, but CMLL’s really set up nothing happening immediately outside the Copa Junior. Maybe something will come up out of tonight’s main event. Negro Casas, Barbaro Cavernario and La Mascara take on Dragon Lee, Volador and Caristico in a match with a lot of semi-dormant rivalries. Dragon Lee & La Mascara have their mask match feud, Cavernario & Volador won the incredible pairs tournament, and Caristico and Negro Casas have a long history of being friends and enemies. There’s also Volador & Carisico’s old simmering issues, which showed up briefly in the Reyes del Aire last week. It’s CMLL, so it’s also possible none of this could come up and they just have a fine enough three and a half star match, but at least there’s potential there.
There’s not quite as much potential in the semimain. The rudo side has strong personalities but not the best assemblage of wrestling talent; the match will be over but maybe not good. Pierroth, Mr. Niebla and Sam Adonis face Diamante Azul, Stuka Jr. and Valiente.
The Copa Junior is listed in the fourth match, up two spots from last week for no obvious reason (and with lesser talent.) CMLL rarely moves around matches, so I guess it’ll stay in the fourth spot. It’ll be the highest spot on the card Artillero has ever wrestled in, for the eight or so minute he’ll last in the match. Forastero & Sanson are the other two rudos and the natural opponents for Soberano Jr. Esfinge won the last Copa Junior of this type CMLL ran, and Blue Panther Jr. probably can’t be ruled out. Mangus, Stigma and Star Jr. will also be in the match.
The rest of the show are matches with mixed bags of luchadors and not the greatest promise. Guerrero Maya & Luciferno will be in the lightning match. Drone, Fuego and Rey Cometa take on Nitro, Raziel, and Virus, a trios match probably one luchador away from being good. Flyer & Robin, two second generation luchadors who coudn’t get in Copa Junior, face two who did, Canelo Casas & Espanto Jr.
There’s no results from last night’s Arena Coliseo show. CMLL didn’t seem to cover it.
AAA also tapes tonight in Tijuana. We know what the card lists for matches, but we also know these things change. La Parka versus Ricky Marvin is a match which doesn’t make any sense now, so maybe that won’t happen. (La Parka’s been generally dropped down the list a lot in the current creative direction and it’d be surprising if stays that way.) Wagner & Psycho are unlikely partners for the moment, so maybe their main event will get switched to something involving Poder del Norte. Ayako/Taya and Fantamsa/Kross were specifically brought up this week, so maybe they’re still on.
AAA’s taping is listed as 8:30 pm, but with the Pacific time zone and normal late starting time, it probably won’t actually start until about the time CMLL’s taping is completing. The taping also may not air for a couple more weekends, perhaps on May 6th.
We completed our lucha libre indie fantasy draft over on Wrestling With Words today. You can see the first part and the second part that just went up for all our eight picks, and I’ll put up a poll this afternoon, so you can decide who has the best.
Rush jumped Atlantis before the match, then ripped up his mask so bad during the match that Atlantis bailed to get a new mask but it somehow wasn’t a DQ. Atlantis got the DQ fall win in the third when he had Rush in the Atlantida and Mascara attacked him. Los Ingobernables left Atlantis fouled and unmasked
Dragon Lee landed on his head on a dive in the semifinal, scaring Mistico (who dove right next to him) and Carístico. He seems fine afterwards.
The Policeman/Espiritu feud barely continued. Policeman pinned Espíritu in the second fall, and they were both pinned at the same time off a weak looking double clothesline spot.
Rey Apocalispis wore a green and yellow outfit, which the announcers identified as a tribute to Fishman.
The main event was an explainer for why people think Rush is great. It was not a technical master piece or lot of near falls exchange, it was him relying up the crowd by being a jerk to Atlantis for most of 12 minutes. Atlantis showed fire when coming back and was a necessary part of the equation, but Rush came off like a giant star. It was his behavior as much as his wrestling, from going into the crowd to grab a piece of Atlantis’ mask back (not that he really wanted it, he didn’t want the crowd to have it), to grabbing a stretcher just to throw at Atlantis (and then swear loudly enough to get picked up on CMLL’s mic), to just playing with Tirantes’ suspenders to mess with him. He was super charismatic in this match, and made it as good as it was. I’m sure they want to save a decision in this for another day, but I Rush winning this match up cleanly until the day he has to lose it would work just as fine.
The semimain was a borderline match. The last two falls are the interesting ones, and they don’t last five minutes combined. It’s a good few minutes with usual stuff done well, but maybe not enough to be really a fully watchable match. La Mascara always looks at his best when facing Dragon Lee, which is probably more due to Dragon Lee willing to take big falls for Mascara’s offense more than anything. Lee landing on his head on the dive was more a freak occurrence than anything crazy he did, but he does go all out for every superkick sell.
The fourth match was the most entertaining undercard trios and came close to good at times. Crowd was into it from the start thanks to Adonis’ antics and the técnicos doing the matador bit and it everyone mixed well, it just got a little messy around the dives and the finish. Johnny Idol is basically the same simple high flyer he’s been so far, having to be directed to do the dive fake out spot by Máximo. Adonis seems like he’s come much farther in the one year.
The third fall in the tercera had Espíritu & Disturbio fail on tapatia attempt, both get pinned on weak looking clotheslines, and Drone cradle Olímpico for the three count in something the fans didn’t realize was the finish until after it happened. Stigma was one of the better guys in the match, which probablytells you all you need to know about the match.
Second match is not worth really going out of your way to see itself. It started off really slow, the DF guys were generally taking it easy, and only the end of the second fall really gets hot. It is notable for Astro coming off as a star, especially with strong work in the tercera. His dive looks good, his springboard cannonball before it was a neat idea.
It’s still better than the first match, which dragged and didn’t have a real highlight.
I’m all about scoops, so here’s something I’m probably not mentioning on Twitter for twelve or so hours: I am doing non-wrestling things on Friday night so you may be on your own for CMLL Claro. I’ll probably rig something up and attempt to remotely it remotely around 8:30, but no promises it’ll work. Hopefully, the stream just won’t be blocked and no one will miss me. The main event could be good and the Copa Juniors could be good, but it’s also not one of the more vital shows.
AAA in Neza seemed to be taped in order of how they planned to air, but San Luis Potosi looks more back to the normal mismatch. They taped five normal matches and one with locals, so there’s a chance AAA could shrink taping down to one week. I”m guessing the odd number matches will air.
IWRG is in a stretch of one week shows; there’s probably not a midweek one next week either since Memes is running on Friday.
If you’ve noticed this getting smaller, I’ve dropped the 52MX listings since I no longer have eyeballs on it. I expect it’ll continue to be the Puebla shows in edited form. We’re probably getting Puebla live only because they’re also taping it for TV; it’s too bad they don’t have a TV deal for the Sunday show.
Dark Cuervo & Dark Scoria defeatedAerostar & Drago to win the AAA World Tag Team Championship(7:00, Cuervo crossface on Drago, OK)
Australian Suicide, Dr. Wagner Jr., Lanzeloth, Máscara de Bronce, Psycho Clownbeat Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Monsther Clown, Murder Clown, Soul Rocker(6:48, Wagner casita Mocho Cota Jr., good)
The main event is originally billed as a trios match with Lanzeloth, Mascara de Bronce (in a new and totally different outfit) and Australian Suicide against Nuevo Poder del Norte. About two minutes into the match, with the rudos in control, Dr. Wagner’s music played him to ringside. He didn’t actually get in the ring, just stood on the ramp watching as Psycho’s music also played and he came down to the ring. The match came to a stop as they face off, and then they both attacked the rudos who attacked him for a DQ. This was not a DQ. Monster and Murder Clown ran in, first throwing the referee to the floor, then attacking Wagner & Psycho (and also Carta Brava, for whatever reason.) Everyone brawled for about a minute before Vampiro made his own appearance, though he had to wait until the music kicked into his part to appear. Vampiro played to the crowd and made a 5v5 match, though Wagner wasn’t much interested in teaming with the técnico 4. Wagner eventually participated with no issues, but did steal the pin from Psycho Clown.
Aerostar, already hurting from his match with Super Fly, was attacked by Cuervo & Escoria in the locker room. Aerostar proceeds not not really sell the attack in any noticeable way – he’s not hurt, he’s not delayed to the ring, he doesn’t angrily go after the Sect, he just does his normal entrance. The rudos gave Aerostar a spike martinete late, then submitted Drago soon after. In true AAA form, the new champions haven’t even been handed their belts before they’re interrupted by Pagano’s (very well done!) music video. Pagano hands over the belts himself, mugs for the crowd, gets in his catch phrases, mocks the new champions to their faces, steals their champagne, and lays them both out when they try to come after him.
There’s a one second shot of Texano getting his neck looked at by a doctor. Texano is back wrestling on non-TV shows, so this injury can’t be as bad as it’s being teased
Estrella vs Mamba is explained was Vampiro ordered it. Both this and the first part of the main event were officiated by a new unnamed referee.
An argument between Super Fly & Ricky Marvin aired, which seemed to foreshadow Super Fly replacing him last week! It’s one week off, but I guess at least they filmed it.
The main event was pretty fun, though I can only imagine what people at home thought when they started that trios match as the final match of the TV show and actually committed to letting it play out for a few minutes. (It’s the sort of slow play bit that AAA could use in other things and it was good to say it here.) The crowd was inescapably there for Wagner & Psycho and no one else, but having a hot match and hanging out with a top guys as near equals did a lot for the others here. The skinny flying técnicos got to do their flashy offense in a match that mattered to the crowd, and did not seem overshadowed at all. Nuevo Poder del Norte got beat, but they got in some on Wagner and Psycho and it didn’t feel just perfunctory. This was also just a really fun match for the time it lasted, and one the crowd actually cared about. This was totally enjoyable.
The tag title match never really found it’s rhythm, and just seemed awkwardly slower than expect at parts. Aerostar getting attacked and nothing really coming of it also threw me off, but I figured the two times the rudos got cut off going for a dive was going to lead to them finally hitting it on the third time as part of a really hot finish. And then Scoria & Cuervo did a totally illegal martinete, and did a sequence with Drago that seemed messed up, and somehow that was it. Cuervo & Scoria often seem like they could be good in trios and have a habit of not coming up big in big matches, and it happened again here. There was surprisingly little to this match and the crowd didn’t care about any part of it, even the martinete spot especially done to get heat. It seemed like it could’ve been a micing issue until Pagano came out, and then it was just clear the fans cared about that guy and not the rest of this. Same could be said about the people in charge. No one takes Cuervo & Scoria seriously to begin with, the tag titel win didn’t do much for them, and the bit with Pagano made sure everyone knew the new tag team champions were jokes. I don’t understand why AAA even bothered with this – they could’ve easily gone Aerostar/Drago vs Pagano/Mesias if they wanted. Maybe Cuervo & Escoria agreed to do some crazy stunt with Pagano coming up, maybe there’s some other reason that makes this worthwhile. It came off as a worthless waste of time here.
Mamba/Divina was a short if moved filled take on a CMLL lightning match. (They could’ve gotten to a more normal CMLL length by doing the pointless mat work, but they skipped it.) This was billed, as if it was a surrpise match but they had clearly worked out it long in advance. Mamba gave Divina most of the match, getting in a few key shots and the powerbomb at the end, but Divina doing a lot of moderately agile spots without an issue. Divina wrestled fine for a (virtual) TV debut, good enough to be used more and with better potential for good matches than Pimpi, though not anything must see. Neither woman did the usual exotico spots, interestingly.
Daga has his most high profile US indy match this Saturday in AAW in LaSalle, Illinois (about an hour or so outside of Chicago) against NJPW’s Michael Elgin. Daga’s been in AAA and had a small role in Lucha Underground, but isn’t as known as most of the Mexicans who came before him (Penta, Fenix, Aerostar, Drago, Fantasma) and hasn’t been as featured as Mil Muertes/Mesias, who’s also debuting Saturday.
Daga hasn’t shown the ability to connect with a crowd of Penta, and doesn’t wow you with flying moves like Fenix. Daga’s more a straight ahead MMA influenced striker, wearing his opponents down with kicks and elbows and chops and hopefully winning the fans over by his willingness to take the same punishment. In Mexico, he’s the very real black & white straight man who stands as a contrast to colorful and sometimes farcical opponents. In the US, where there a few less colors and a little less levity, he’s going to have to fight very hard to stand out. I think he can do it, but this is going to be test.
At the last AAW show, I was asked which Daga matches would be worth checking out before he debuted, to get a sense of how he wrestles. I immediately recommended the Fenix singles match from last year, arguably the best 2016 AAA match.
but the person had already seen it and I was stumped for a second answer. Which was not the greatest endorsement of a guy I like.
It’s not totally my falling as a lucha libre person – AAA seemed to think highly of Daga, but rarely scheduled him for singles matches. His only other AAA TV singles match was the apuesta match with Australian Suicide. That match was alright, but marred by usual AAA single matches issues. Daga’s had a few more singles since he’s left AAA (including one with ACH where ACH steals the show in usual fashion) but nothing that jumps to mind as a great exhibition for Daga.
Daga’s match with Texano in Season 2 Lucha Underground was great for both guys, but LU didn’t put that one online. You kind of have to go back all the way to his dream match against Davey Richards in 2011 for another spotlight singles match, who’s style Daga’s greatly resembles. (That’s also my guess why Elgin/Daga is the match; Elgin had some very highly rated matches with Davey Richards, so maybe Daga can recreate some of that.)
There’s plenty of other Daga of matches, if you’re willing to watch Daga matches where he’s not always the focus and there’s more people around. The four way for the AAA Fusion Championship wasn’t a 1 on 1, but was a pretty good match. It’s a shame the title didn’t amount to much.
There are plenty of tag matches from the last couple years though. Daga, Steve Pain and a changing third partner were a much enjoyed rudo trio in AAA in 2014-2015, and were part of a strong core of TV matches during that period
Daga & Steve Pain challenged Angelico & Jack Evans for the tag titles in 2014
They welcomed Fireball (Flamita) back to AAA in an superb TV match right before that year’s TripleMania.
they had a really good three way tag match with Angelico & Jack Evans and Pentagon & Joe Lider, which played off Daga’s split allegances in his own group and the Perros del Mal
and they meshed well with Australian Suicide & Speedball, in one of Mike Bailey’s last matches with AAA (and part of the long build to Daga/Suicide)
The best match of this run, at least to me, was an oustanding trios match with Aerostar, Bengala (Ricky Marvin) and Argenis, with Hijo del Pirata as the third rudo. This isn’t all Daga being great – Aerostar & Pain have an unreal chemistry and I’m disappointed we haven’t got to see them go one on one somewhere – but everyone comes out of this match looking good.
These matches are generally against smaller or same sized people, guys who don’t look a lot like Michael Elgin. (Not many people look like Michael Elgin!) Daga’s challenge on Saturday will be to adapt what he can do – the strikes might not be as effective against bulldozer, and he’s probably not going to take a headscissors. It’s going to be tough, but he’s got to not give up, and let the crowd know too that he’s to he’s going to keep fighting. Daga’s old catchphrase was #DagaEsLucha – Daga is Fight, and he’s got fight a lot on Saturday.