CMLL on Marca: 2018-11-09 

poor Mije

Recapped: 11/09/2018

Matches:

El Coyote & Grako beat Arkalis & Príncipe Diamante
(11:46 [5:33, 3:11, 3:02], 1/3, ok, 00:00:00)

Esfinge, Titán, Tritón beat Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora, Virus
(14:07 [5:30, 2:54, 5:43], 2/3, ok, 00:19:45)

Cuatrero, Hechicero, Sansón beat Kráneo, Stuka Jr., Volcano
(18:39 [6:29, 5:52, 6:18], 2/3, ok, 00:46:42)

Forastero beat Soberano Jr. in a lightning match
(7:24, headscissors/armbar, ok, 01:15:04)

Diamante Azul, Místico, Valiente beat Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero
(9:45 [5:18, 4:27], 1 DQ/2 DQ, ok, 01:27:20)

Ángel de Oro, Carístico, Volador Jr. beat Cavernario, Rush, Terrible
(11:02 [2:16, 2:50, 5:56], 2/3, good, 01:45:56)

What happened:

Diamante Azul and Último Guerrero feuded. Diamante Azul was meant to toss his mask to Último Guerrero to draw the DQ in the first fall, but dumbly spiked it on the mat instead. Último Guerrero legit unmasked him in the second fall.

Thoughts:

Forastero out dived Soberano

There wasn’t a lot to the main event, like there wasn’t a lot to all the matches on the show. The main event felt like an upper level house show main event, people working decently hard while not switching up from the usual routines. Angel de Oro seemed fired up to get a Friday night main event, and went thru his usual spots with more energy than usual. Cavernario took big bumps for him, for Carístico and made the finish looked spectacular. The little Caristico/Rush stuff they did worked fine.

Místico had a mostly good run in the second fall, being showcased well against the Guerreros like usual. The rest was fairly forgettable. Valiente had a really bad moment where he couldn’t get a tapatia on in the first fall, and recovered to be fine in the second fall. Azul & UG didn’t really work a lot together except for the finishes. There’s no reason to see them again so soon (or at all) after their recent title match.

The dives in the Soberano/Forastero match were nice, but they needed a lot more in between and the finish really didn’t feel built to at all. This felt like they were pacing it out for a match that would easily take them past ten minutes, and then Forastero just suddenly got on his usual armbar finish for the win. They never really found a higher gear or showed much depth. I expected more.

Mistico & Euforia

The tercera seemed pretty long to me. The crowd enjoyed the Gorillas, and the rudos meshed well as their opponents. Stuka & Hechicero themselves didn’t feel like they meshed well, with less chemistry in a long first fall sequence than you’d expect from guys who recently feuded. That match flowed better when Volcano & Kraneo were on offense or when all three rudos were working as a unit. Volcano was solidly ok, a step up from usual. Not something you’d need to see but was fine over the course of the show.

The second match got the crowd going, but there wasn’t a lot to it that the técnicos don’t do in every match. Titan taking out all the rudos from the apron is always well done, but not particularly novel. The catapult/DDT spot was an awesome idea that almost worked, just Pólvora was not taking a face-first bump on the apron. I’m not taking that bump either, I don’t blame him, but it could’ve worked a lot better. Triton had his one cool rope trick spot and then not much more. It’s still more than Esfinge. This was fine.

The opener fit the same mod as last week: everyone was more willing to do things than in the veteran openers, and everyone was much less smooth at doing those things than those veteran openers. I’d rather have the effort than the boredom, but there were hesitant and off moments here that could use work. Arkalis’ legdrop to win the second fall looked good, but he looked off in bigger spots in the third fall. Coyote & Grako were just alright, and the finish with Grako and Arkalis looked mistimed.

would’ve been awesome

CMLL back on Marca tonight, MLW, AAA in Xalapa

After last week’s Dia de Muertos iPPV showcase, CMLL goes back to a pretty normal show tonight. The one special part of the show seemed to be King Phoenix being in the main event, except he was always instead scheduled to be wrestling Kenny Omega tonight in the US. (It’s airing as part on Highspots Network, $10 gets you one month.)

CMLL instead now has Caristico, Volador and replacement Angel de Oro taking on Rush, Terrible and Cavernario. This might be a preview of next week’s Leyenda de Plata – we only know Soberano is in it and Volador should be defending his title two weeks from now. Knowing Leyenda de Plata is next week, and the  Los Guerreros take on Mistico, Diamante Azul and Valiente in the semi-main.

Soberano returns to Mexico to face Forastero in a lightning match. They’ve had interesting chemistry in a lot of trios matches. The other NGD members (besides Universo) team with Hechicero against Kraneo, Volcano and Stuka in a match likely high in comedy. Titan reunites with Triton & Esfinge to face Dragon Rojo, Polovra, and Virus, and the show opens with Grako & Coyote taking on Principe Diamante and Arkalis. That match has more hope than usual for an opener.

Friday night is back to the usual 8:30 pm CT time no matter what country you’re in. It will stream on Marca and Facebook. Neither is region blocked this week. If you can figure out why they are some weeks and not other weeks, please let me know.

Lucha Central has a preview of the show.

I went to the MLW TV taping last night in Cicero. It was good. It was very long. It was definitely a TV taping, which has a different feel than the local indie shows. There were a good chunk of people who do go to those indie shows and/or keep up with the MLW show. There was a much larger chunk of people who were there for the luchadors (LA Park, Rush, Penta, Fenix, and Puma was super over with a nationalistic flag match) and had no idea about these people, though they’d eventually get into it if the action was good enough. Kotto Brasil versus Trey Miguel was the best example of this: Brasil is a guy who’s pretty much only in MLW and being slowly being built up there, so the fans familiar with MLW were behind him, but it was just two dudes to the lucha fans. They eventually did enough hot moves to get people into it, but it was a lot more work than you’d expect from a crowd that size.

When the lucha libre fans care, they really did care. They were way into MJF vs Puma King in a silly flag match (helped by MJF doing a Sam Adonis-ish promo), and LA Park & Hijo de LA Park vs Penta & Fenix clearly was the reason 90% of the crowd stayed to the end of a four hour plus taping. Rush might have been the most over guy of the night. He worked very hard to get himself over in his debut match for the promotion with Sammy Guevera, but they were already into him the moment he came out. I thought the match went well for the most. He was there to tease LA Park versus Rush in MLW (to the point where I was expecting him to come out during the main event but nope), which seems like a match worth running during a busy WrestleMania weekend.

It’s really great for MLW that they had a big turnout, and I suspect they’ll do as well when they come back in March. But, the exact credit there shouldn’t go to MLW for the stories they’re telling on TV, but for the having the sense to book LA Park, Rush and the Lucha Brothers for a crowd that was already excited to see them. If this was just MLW alone, trying to get people in the door to see Callihan/Lawlor and Low Ki/Strickland, they probably would’ve drawn the same about half full building that Progress did (which is still pretty good!) but not the complete sell out they did. One of the things I used to write a lot about here is the potential for a promotion to really benefit if they could find a way to draw from both the indie crowd and the lucha libre crowd because they always felt like two very distinct fanbases. MLW figured it out, at least one night.

It is too bad everyone finds AAA too hard to work with on these things. It’s clear US indie/mid-level promoters are willing to give chances to guys they believe are over big in Mexico. Psycho Clown is over and Psycho Clown, at least as a novelty, would be good as one-time appearance in a US promotion. (Maybe more, but at least one.) Psycho Clown’s not getting these chances because of AAA, I think, though I guess that might be all. I know I wondered on Twitter why GCW hasn’t brought in Pagano, since that seems like a decent match, and I believe I was told that Pagano’s price was way more than they wanted to spend. That could also be part of the issue here – AAA’s going to want their cut of anyone signed with them, and the US indie promoters tend to look for discounts until someone’s proven they can draw in the US.

(I’d like a next wave of Mexico wrestlers to the US to be people along the lines of Dragon Bane and Aramis and Arez and Mr. Iguana and Keyra and Lady Maravilla and Latigo and more for Good Match Reasons. But if I’m putting my feet in a promoter’s shoes after seeing the reactions on MLW last night, I feel like guys who are over in major promotions in Mexico are the easiest untapped place. And that Dragon Lee might be getting booked everywhere in the US too if he wasn’t on that island.)

An Aro Lucha commercial aired during Impact again. There was no new info and – as people have helpfully pointed out in the comments – they didn’t specifically say they were coming to Pop TV. If you want to hold out hope that Aro Lucha is running commercials on Pop TV and only Pop TV while having a TV deal with some other TV network, then I can not stop you. Aro Lucha is really weird: you’d think by week 2, there’d be some “here’s why we’re spending money on commercials” press release, and there are just the same pre-scheduled tweets as always.

The Crash on 12/01 in Tijuana

It’s always impossible to know with lucha libre promotions if someone going unmentioned means they’re gone forever or just gone for one show. Fatu seems to be gone just for one show.

DTU says they’ll be in Tulancingo on 12/01 with a two ring show.

Mexa Wrestling on 12/08 in Arena San Juan has

LuchaWorld has the latest Lucha Report.

Puma King talks about his independent success.

TJ Sports ranks the top 5 hair matches in Tijuana.

Lineups

CMLL (TUE) 11/13/2018 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Black Sugar, El Rielero, Tigre Blanco vs Bobby Black, Frezzer, Ráfaga
2) Príncipe Diamante, Star Black, Súper Astro Jr. vs Furia Roja, Príncipe Odín Jr., Sangre Azteca
3) Pegasso, Stigma, Tritón vs Pólvora, Sagrado, Universo 2000 Jr.
4) Audaz, Flyer, Titán vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
5) Carístico, Diamante Azul, Valiente vs La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Terrible

Semi-main could be fun.

CMLL (TUE) 11/13/2018 Arena México
1) Arkalis & Robin vs Apocalipsis & Inquisidor
2) Magnus, Oro Jr., Star Jr. vs Cancerbero, Espíritu Negro, Metálico
3) Stukita vs Kaligua [lightning]
4) Black Panther, Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr. vs Kawato San, Misterioso Jr., Okumura
5) Kráneo, Stuka Jr., Volcano vs Dark Magic, Ephesto, Hechicero
6) Ángel de Oro, Atlantis, Niebla Roja vs Euforia, Rey Bucanero, Shocker

Rey Bucanero/Niebla Roja feud in the main event. Stukita, who left the minis division three weeks ago, gets his first singles match as a mini in three years. I don’t quite understand it either.

AAA TV (SAT) 12/08/2018 Arena Xalapa, Xalapa, Veracruz
1) La Parkita, Mini Gronda, Mini Psycho Clown vs La Parkita Negra, Mini Monster Clown, Mini Murder Clown
2) Dinastía, Lady Shani, Niño Hamburguesa vs Dave The Clown, Lady Maravilla, Villano III Jr.
3) ?, Hijo Del Vikingo, Laredo Kid vs Australian Suicide, Jack Evans, Taurus
4) Aerostar vs Monsther Clown [bull terrier]
5) Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly vs Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana © [AAA TRIOS]
6) Dr. Wagner Jr., Pagano, Psycho Clown vs Blue Demon Jr., Killer Kross, Rey Escorpión

This might be the last taping of the year. There’s still plenty of time in December, but nothing else has been announced. This taping was originally announced to include LA Park, Jeff Jarrett, Fenix and Penta among others when tickets were put on sale. To the local promoter’s credit, they did offer refunds to people who complained about the change. This is an 8:30 start time (so 9:00 pm) on a Saturday night.

Semi-main is the first defense for Poder del Norte, despite winning these titles in January and feuding with fellow rudo trio OGT for a large chunk of the year. They would have an impressive defense total if all the meaningless matches they won had been titles matches. The fourth match pays of the random mid-level feud from recent TV – that might be going somewhere for Guerra de Titanes. I suspect the mystery person in the tercera is another one of the recent opening match wrestlers getting a new character.

The minis match is really strange. AAA essentially ended the division after Dinastia lost the minis title to Mini Psycho, with the one-off Mascarita Sagrada match a rare exception. December AAA tapings are historically a bit more experimental and this is still a surprise. AAA’s having trouble finding spaces for everyone they want to use without bringing back a division. (On the other hand, maybe they’re seeing the reception the CMLL micros are getting and wondering why they’re not doing the same.)

Everyone beside Mini Psycho Clown is possibly a new luchador. There’s many La Parkita’s. I believe it probably the one character being done by the most different people (all claiming they’re the real one) in Mexico right now, and I’ve long since stopped trying to figure out which one is which. Mini Gronda & La Parkita Negra appear to be brand new characters. Mini Monster Clown & Mini Murder Clown, I don’t know. Mini Murder Clown is the Caristico family member who left AAA about the same time he did and has been wrestling as (Dr.) Karonte Jr. Except, he hasn’t been wrestling much the last few months. Mini Monster Clown was believed to be Mini Chessman – he stopped appearing after Mini Chessman died in 2014 and Mini Psycho Clown started wearing Chessman pants in an obvious tribute – but the remembrances of Mini Chessman never confirmed the other identity.

EMW’s November show in Tijuana has been pushed back to 12/15. The poster includes a lot of regular AAA names, Fenix, Cage and inexplicably Santana Garrett.

lucha TV preview for weekend of November 9th, 2018

full size

AAA is back on Twitch after a couple weeks off on Saturday night. It’s the first show after Heroes Inmoratles, and perhaps they’ll set up some directions up for Guerra de Titanes. (If the tapings we know or the only tapings, there’s only two more times on Twitch before that first 2019 show. Gotta get something going.) Ciclope & Miedo Extremo versus Joe Lider & Pagano is being hyped for Juarez, which makes it odd it’s scheduled to happen in Orizaba prior with no hype. Drago gets a rare main event appearance. Matches 1/2/5 have possibilities.

Just about the time the Twitch show is ending, CMLL’s Guadalajara show should be streaming on YouTube. That’ll include the Cavernario/Atlantis match form this past week. Not a banner week for the other CMLL shows.

I’m wondering if AAA on YouTube might cover the entire Cancun taping in just one week as part of an effort catch up. It’s may only be four matches. The opener is the Scarlett Bordeaux debut, which famously got posted on YouTube months ago. They can fit the rest in one week of TV without a problem.

Lucha Capital week 2, other notes

Aerostar

AAA , CAPITAL (WED) 11/07/2018 Pinche Gringo Barbecue, Miguel Hidalgo, Distrito Federal [AAA, MedioTiempoRecord]
1) Lady Shani b Lady Maravilla Facebook video (posted by luchalibreaaa)
2) Aerostar b Máximo Facebook video (posted by luchalibreaaa)
3) Killer Kross b Hijo Del Vikingo Facebook video (posted by luchalibreaaa)
4) Laredo Kid b Drago Facebook video (posted by luchalibreaaa)
Laredo won with a Spanish Fly

I saw roughly none of this (and probably won’t until at least Friday.) Sounded like the matches were generally good – with Maximo having his best match in AAA so far – and the show was not much changed from last week. No interference or heel refs, lots of fooling around between matches. Big Mami did the arm wrestling this time. Laredo winning is a bit of a surprise but makes sense if they still plan on doing the Fenix/Laredo title match at some point. Kross had words for Vampiro in the ending segment. They’ve teased an issue between them and MAD is supposed to not like Vampiro anyway, but I wouldn’t count on anything going anywhere.

Again, the people left for week 3 are Australian Suicide, Fenix, Golden Magic, Keyra, Mascarita Sagrada, Nino Hamburguesa, Taya and Texano. (Scarlett was again not listed on the standings page.) AAA probably should know what matches are happening next week but haven’t announced anything.

DTU is running tonight in Arena Aficion, a prelude to their year ending Anniversary shows. The main event is nearly half surprise people. There’s always a chance this could be a surprise +LuchaTV stream late toight.

Rey Bucanero & Shocker said they formed Senors Bien because of one night where they had a young female fans cheering for them, and they decided it was fashionable to be sugar daddies. Beyond female fans, their goals include challenging for the tag team titles and tag matches against Ciber the Main Man and The Chris and Angel de Oro and Niebla Roja. The last would be of course about who is more handsome. They don’t plan on recruiting a third member.

The Crash on 12/01 in Tijuana

The Crash hadn’t announced a return date after the last show (at least online), and have seemed to reset back to once a month shows.

Mexa Wrestling on 12/08 in Arena San Juan has

Alan Extreme hasn’t wrestled as Alan Extreme much lately. He would’ve been very good in this match a couple years ago, and it’s at least intriguing to see if he can do it now.

Arena Guatemala Mexico is getting local TV. It’ll are on Canal Plus Guatemala, which does stream on YouTube. The promotion has infrequently put some of their matches on YouTube. The taping for the show begins this Sunday when Rey Wagner is in for the main event. It’s not said when their shows will start airing or how often.

Lucha Talk has their latest episode.

Skayde, in Chicago for a show that I didn’t see advertised, mentions he was a judicial police officer before going full time as a luchador.

An interview with Pachuca’s PIloto Infernal.

Lineup

CMLL (SUN) 11/11/2018 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Amperaje & Dorado Jr. vs Frenético & Sangre Fria
2) Cosmos, Fugaz, Linterna vs Demonio Rojo, Destructor, Thunder Boy
3) Avispón Negro Jr., Magnum, Mr. Samurai vs Carlo Roggi, El Chakal, Mr. Apolo
4) Átomo & Microman vs Chamuel & Perico Zakarías
5) El Rielero & Vaquero Jr. © vs Gran Kenut & León Blanco [OCCIDENTE TAG]
fourth defense

The micros working a Sunday Guadalajara show is a surprise. I wonder if attendance isn’t doing well on these shows.

Website note

I’ve moved luchadb.com to a separate own server. (This site & the luchawiki remain on the original server, at least for now.) I’m hoping that helps the issues with the sites going down at times, but there will probably some hiccups along the way.

Lucha Underground 4×22: Ultima Lucha Cuatro – Part II

Penta (also all my GIFs came out weird today)

Matches

Fenix beat Dragon Azteca Jr. in a best of three falls match
(13:45, good)

2:20: Black Fire Driver
1:41: DDTJ
9:45: Black Fire Driver

the Mack beat Mil Muertes in a death match
(12:51, brick to the head + stunner, great)

Johnny Mundo beat Matanza in a sacrifice match
(11:55, Gauntlet punch, good)

Pentagon Dark beat Marty the Moth to win the Lucha Underground Championship
(12:26, package piledriver thru chairs, excellent)

Jake Strong beat Pentagon Dark to win the Lucha Underground Championship
(0:35, anklelock, n/r)

The final death total for the season is 17.

Developments

DDTJ on the floor

It was both a dark ending for Lucha Underground season 4 and a literal Dark ending. There were positive moments for the odd troupe of luchadors who fought in this temple, but even those usually turned bad later on. Things took a turn for the worse at the end, with the only hope coming from an unlikely source.

The big news first: Marty the Moth isn’t Lucha Underground Champion. Neither is Pentagon Dark, though he was champion for about 6 minutes. Season 4 concludes with Jake Strong holding the Lucha Underground championship. Marty and Pentagon’s Cero Miedo was as hellacious as anticipated. Marty was bleeding in moments, Pentagon wasn’t far behind, and the amount of blood from both men was high. Marty was eventually sent thru a glass pane, then given a package piledriver thru chairs for the win. Penta went to break Marty’s arm, and that’s where things started to spiral.

Reklusa made the save for her man, only for Vampiro to walk in the ring to scare her away. Reklusa helped Marty away while Vampiro made a show of giving his old protege the belt. Vampiro then punched Pentagon in the face, which seemed a bit rude. The two people who fought in the first Cero Miedo match fought again in the wreckage of the second. Penta started to get the best of Vamp, despite the battle he just had, only for a masked man to run in and catch him with a chair. He removed to remove one mask to reveal one that looked inspired by Penta’s mask. (It also had a hexagon on it – LU trademarks have a Hexagon Black, though that name was never actually said aloud.) Vampiro declared this man was his secret mentor, as teased long ago. Vampiro helped hold Penta for a Hexagon shooting star press off the balcony, and then a Red Arrow from the corner.

Jake Strong then came out to cash in the Gift of the Gods, with Vamprio and Hexagon leaving. (Vampiro was directing Hexagon here.) Pentagon got in no offense, with Strong quickly putting on the anklelock. The match lasted only as long as it did because Pentagon would not give up, even with his ankle broken, and it only ended with the referee stopping the match. That was not the end of the story for Jake Strong, but we’ll pick up that thread later.

Mack stopped

Each match had their own dramatics. The Mack & Mil Muertes had the least, but it was still a pretty meaningful ending. Mil Muertes brought caskets with “DEATH MATCH” spraypainted on them and had one of them filled with the same sort of weapons from their cage match. The Mack was unafraid of Mil this time, and battled much more evenly. It was a brick, a reoccurring weapon in Mack matches, that gave him the edge over Mil. A few stunners later, Mack pinned Muertes. Mack rolled Muertes into a casket, drunk some beers, and closed the casket. That’s happened to Mil before, but he’s always had Catrina around to bring him back. Catrina isn’t around now.

Melissa also wasn’t around after the opener. She inadvertently cost Dragon Azteca Jr. the three falls match by pleading for peace between them. Azteca paused from hitting to Fenix with a chair to look at her. Fenix did not pause, hit Azteca with a chair, and hit him with the Black Fire Driver for the win. A distraught Melissa walked out of the Temple, not even really bothering to announce the finish. The way it was done, there’s at least a chance that Melissa’s distraction wasn’t that accidental, but it would require an explanation of why she’s doing it.

(Striker made sure to note Fenix is undefeated at Ultima Lucha, while Mil lost for the first time at this event.)

The rest of the show required a ring announcer. Antonio Cueto announced he’d actually be working for months on signing someone, and he happened to have just finished the deal. Shaul Guerrero, the daughter of Eddie & Vicki Guerrero, made her debut in the promotion as the replacement ring announcer. That drew the ire of usual replacement ring announcer Famous B, who claimed not to know who this woman was. Shaul introduced herself and her family, and her uncle Chavo Jr. returned to help take out Famous B. Shaul did three amigo suplexes and Chavo added the frog splash.

Johnny Mundo didn’t have any personal backup – he had asked Taya to assist with Matanza, but she turned out to be otherwise occupied. Mundo instead had the Gauntlet. Antonio seemed frightened when Mundo appeared with it, and (new gear) Matanza immediately identified it as a problem. The match became a battle over control of the glove, with Matanza trying to keep it off Johnny’s wrist. Matanza tossed it to the floor early, Mundo later evaded Matanza and got to the gauntlet again, but Matanza knocked him down before he could put it on. Matanza tossed the glove to a high place in the Temple, on top of the entrance doors, and Mundo fought and leaped and used Matanza’s shoulders to get up there. Matanza climbed up after Mundo, chokeslamming him thru the roof just as Mundo got the glove back on. That glove made a difference. While everyone believed the match to be over, Mundo appeared from behind the entrance doors with the glove in hand. Matanza wasn’t able to get the glove off this time, and Mundo battered him around with super powered punches to finish him off. Johnny Mundo wasn’t sacrified to the Gods this night. Neither really was Matanza. Not that it would end too well for him.

Things got hairy from there. Aerostar was able to convince Mundo to give the gauntlet back. Aerostar explained that Mundo’s body would be taken over by a god if he held to the gaunelet, and Mundo had worked too hard for that body to give it up. Mundo instead went to celebrate with Taya, where he probably could’ve used that gauntlet. He found Taya, but Taya wasn’t home. Taya had been amazed that Rosa (Ricky’s doll) was talking on it’s own, and got sucked into looking at it. That was a bad call. Rosa apparently was another God all along, and escaped the doll’s body to take over Taya’s. The possessed Taya attacked Johnny, leaving him laying after a big choke to end their portion of this season.

(There’s an implication here that the doll could’ve possessed Ricky at any time, and decided he wasn’t strong enough.)

Aerostar didn’t have the gauntlet long. He met King Cuerno and Dragon Azteca. Cuerno seemed to want to put it back in hiding, while Dragon Azteca was insistent they needed to strike now before the Gods got stronger. Aerostar reluctancly gave the glove to Azteca, telling him to make it quick. Azteca said, “she meant to”. She was the returning Black Lotus! She confronted Matanza somewhere dark inside the Temple, still looking for revenge over Matanza killing her parents before the series began. Lotus killed Matanza, using the power of the glove to literally pull Matanza’s heart out of his body. I don’t think he’s coming back from that one. Black Lotus thanked Dragon Azteca and left him with the bloody guauntlet, vanishing. He didn’t have a moment to act before he was knocked down from behind by Jake Strong. Strong, wearing the Lucha Underground belt, broke Dragon Azteca’s ankle and used the gauntlet to do a bloody version of his usual pose.

Strong was next seen enterting the limo – yes, the limo which hasn’t been seen this season. Antonio Cueto was there. Agent Winter was there. Hexagon Black was there. Winter revealed the all of the Gods were now in human form. We know now that Taya has a god, Strong might have had one too, and Hexagon had a weird enough voice that he may be one as well. This is where Strong got in. Winter asked about the blood, and Strong revealed it was Matanza. Antonio was sadder than you’d think, given his behavior, but an unseen voice said Matanza would be honored for his sacrifice for the Order, but they’d need a new host for that God now. That voice was the Limo Guy, who revealed himself to be ex-WWE’s Wade Barrett, who checked if there was any more bad news. He got none, and declared it was now time to take over the wrold.

One segment remained, a flash back to episode one of the season. Antonio closed the casket on Dario Cueto and limped away. A moment and a flash later, Aerostar appeared. With the Amulet. Aerostar put it on Dario’s neck and said: “come with me.” The last moment of the show was Dario Cueto muttering “Aerostar”, then sitting up in his own casket yelping “what the f-” as the season ended.

Thoughts

Dragon Azecta and Fenix

Wow. This was not the strongest Ultima Lucha from an in-ring point. One match was good while still being a little disappointing, one was great more for being a spectacle, and one match worked from the they’re telling but would seem preposterous to anyone watching it out of context. The vignettes at the end were the best they’ve done of those, bringing together story points from this season and ones that seemed to have been abandoned. (Still wondering where Mysterio is though.) The peak of it was finding a way to bring back Dario Cueto in a way that did not walk back his death – he really died, Antonio is not Dario in a bad disguise – while also keeping true to the mythology of the series. They’d been starting the plot mechanisms to get Dario back alive from episode 2, from as soon as Catrina goes on her own quest of rebirth and loses her half of the amulet along the way. It’s complete sci-fi silliness, but it made sense in the story they told. It also, not so accidentally, sets up Dario Cueto to be the real hero of Lucha Underground in season 5, Dario Cueto saving the world. When I wrote about Lucha Underground this morning, I wasn’t skeptical they had any stories left I’d really be interesting in seeing play out. I’d really like to see Dario go for revenge against the people who murdered him and betrayed him.

The matches ended up being kind of secondary. None were bad, all were good, it didn’t rank up with the high standards of Ultima Lucha 1 & 3. The Shaul Guerrero thing sort of annoyed me in the moment. The segment was executed well and she did a great job of ring announcing (Melissa ought-to-be-worried level of great.) They gave her introduction a lot of time right after a three fall match where there first two falls seemed likely edited for time. Shaul Guerrero isn’t as important to this season or this episode as getting to see the Fenix/Azecta story play out, and I’d rather see the time being allocated differently.

With the editing, Fenix/Azteca was not the fast moving action match I anticipated. The first two falls were akin to a CMLL match in their briefness. They might have been selling unseen damage for those two falls to cause them to slow down in the third fall, but it became a little too much about setting up huge table breaking spots once Antonio added the falls count anywhere stipulation. Those big table spots looked impressive, even when the tables didn’t coopoerate, but I wanted something a little bit more complete.

This version of Mil Muertes/Mack was a lot more competitive match than their last meaning, which gave it something closer to completeness I was missing in the previous match. LU could’ve done to more explain why it was suddenly a closer battle – all we got was Mack staying he wasn’t scared anymore – but at least it wasn’t two versions of Taya vs Ricky. The weapons and blood help cover up Mil’s current weakness. He also just didn’t look as limited in this match, maybe just having a better laid out match for what he can do here than he usually gets in Mexico. Mack worked hard and pushed himself – the corner to corner dropkick wasn’t perfect but the effort was great, and he’s made the Flatliner looked great. I really wasn’t expected Mack to win, and that shock took the match up for it.

I’ll miss the slams

Mundo/Matanza was a storyline driven match which is probably not all that great out of content and worked perfectly within the story they told. The gauntlet chase threatened to overpower the match, but they mixed in enough other action to keep it going. Matanza narrowly beat out Melissa Santos for best Ultima Lucha gear. There’s matches on this show I’ve liked more than this, but he played a slightly different role than usual pretty well. It seemed as if the big parkour spot didn’t work as they expected, but they still had the drama. The first kickout of the Wraith of the Gods feels like it should’ve been a bigger deal than how it played out as just another sign of the gauntlet’s power. The gauntlet itself worked, so maybe it didn’t need to be more.

Pentagon Dark & Marty the Moth may have been the most brutal match they’ve done. Marty just kills himself in every one of these big matches. He bled a tremendous amount and took the sort of chair shots that no one’s really doing anymore. Probably for good reason. Killshot/Fox was a more insane match, but this wone seemed equal in destroying the people involved. Arez is no longer the person who took the worst beating Pentagon had to offer. It was a match to be amazed by if not exactly admired.

The post match seemed rushed to get where they needed to get at the end of the season while keeping Pentagon strong. Jake Strong as champion is not exactly an entertaining prospect given his performances this season. It’s at least slightly mitigated understanding the visual they wanted at the end – the Order has the gauntlet, the title, all the power – but I wish it was being done with someone more compelling than Jake Strong. Hexagon’s flips looked impressive but he looked so much smaller than Vampiro, Pentagon, and Strong that it hurt the first impression. He probably needed to do something ugly too, not just some flips.

They did get me with this story. I thought I was going to be ok letting this all go after this season. I kind of get the sense how it’s going to play out if they want to do a big resolution in Season 5, but they got me to the point where I actually want to see it happen. I’m not sure this season was a success, but the ending was.

Caveman new champion, same Cuatrero champ, Niebla Roja/Rey Bucanero hair match feud, Lucha Capital

they accidentally? let us see the dance number on the stream

CMLL (TUE) 11/06/2018 Arena México [CMLL, Lucha Central]
1) Metálico & Nitro b Magnus & Star Jr. LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES DE ARENA MEXICO 6 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rudos took 2/3.
2) Amapola, Metálica, Reyna Isis b Avispa Dorada, La Jarochita, Princesa Sugehit LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES DE ARENA MEXICO 6 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rudas took 2/3.
3) Kawato San, Okumura, Tiger b Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES DE ARENA MEXICO 6 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rudos took 1/3.
4) Cuatrero © b Titán [CMLL MIDDLELUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES DE ARENA MEXICO 6 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
3rd defense, first not against Angel de Oro. Cuatrero took 1/3 to keep his title.
5) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Soberano Jr. b Dark Magic, Rey Bucanero, Shocker LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES DE ARENA MEXICO 6 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Straight falls, Niebla Roja using the ropes to win? Hair match challenges followed.
6) Diamante Azul, Místico, Stuka Jr. b Mephisto, Negro Casas, Último Guerrero LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES DE ARENA MEXICO 6 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2018 FUNCION COMPLETA (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 2/3

I was distracted during portions of the fourth match, but it seemed very good. The finish especially looked good (and it’s helpful that both Cuatrero and Sanson have a couple of different finishes.) Cuatrero talked about his defense.

Niebla Roja versus Rey Bucanero is indeed a hair match feud. Niebla Roja and Rey Bucanero talked it up in promos. Unclear how Bucanero made it to the media room after being dragged to hell. It’s not clear which day of the week it’s happening after moving from Sunday to Tuesday, but it’s happening.

This is the final Dia de Muerto show this year. Catrina promised she’ll be back in 2019.

CMLL (TUE) 11/06/2018 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [CMLL]
1) Gemelo Pantera I, Gemelo Pantera II, Luminoso b Guerrero de la Muerte, Mr. Trueno, Rey Trueno
Tecnicos took 1/3.
2) Disturbio, Furia Roja, Sangre Azteca b Astral, Oro Jr., Pantera Blanca Jr.
Rudos took 1/3.
3) Black Panther, Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr. b Ephesto, Luciferno, Universo 2000 Jr.
tecnicos took 1/3.
4) Cavernario b Atlantis © [MEX LH]
Cavernario took 1/3 for the surprise title change (on his 25th birthday.) Atlantis falls on his 7th defense. Cavernario is the 71st champion. He had lost his last 13 title challenges.
5) Carístico, Flyer, Valiente DQ La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Terrible
Flyer replaced Volador. Tecnicos took 2/3, the last when the Ingobernables fouled Caristico.

Cavernario winning the championship made a lot of sense, but it’s still a surprise it happened. The match will air Saturday on the Televisa Guadalajara stream (and also Thursday locally on TV.) Cavernario winning a title doesn’t change the Universal math, but it does add another potential finalist – if the tournament is still happening this year.

Main event appears Volador decided to pass on the plane/bus trip to Guadalajara after getting back from Japan. Or maybe he picked up an injury we haven’t heard about.

Mascara 2000 will be on Informa today. Expect an announcement about his match on the 11/23 Mascara 2000 tribute show. It may not be the main event; the tribute matches haven’t been and the Leyenda de Plata final is scheduled for that day.

Besides Lucha Underground, tonight also has the second episode of Lucha Capital. They’re scheduled to overlap for about a half hour, but it’s AAA so it probably won’t be all that time. (They did get it started quicker than TV tapings; they don’t have a dark match to run.) The matches on today’s show:

  • Laredo Kid vs Drago
  • Hijo del Vikingo vs Killer Kross
  • Lady Shani vs Lady Maravilla
  • Aerostar vs Maximo

It appears Pinche Gringo BBQ is charging for admission this time – but they’re only charging $140 MXP ($7 USD) and you get food and drink with it. This is the greatest value in wrestling and I’m jealous this wasn’t going on when I was in Mexico.

There’s a story behind one of those matches if you’re a weirdo like me. Back in May, Vikingo won a tag team match in Tehuacan. His reward was a beatdown by Killer Kross. It was one of those meaningless attacks they have Kross do to make him seem scary, as if you couldn’t figure out he was supposed to be scary just by looking at him. It was also a thing that never went anywhere because nothing with Kross in AAA ever goes anywhere. Anyway, because it was everyone’s favorite Viking getting beat up, myself and other people were not really happy with that segment. Someone let Kross know, and Kross said he believed Vikingo was the future of lucha libre. And now he gets to face the future of lucha libre.

Mexa Wrestling on 12/08 in Arena San Juan has

Lineups

IWRG (SUN) 11/11/2018 Arena Naucalpan
1) Biosfera, Noicy Bog, Voltrex vs Cronier, Mardox, Siniestro
2) Canival, Carnicero, Matrix Jr. vs Coyote Azteca, Deirus, Viajero Jr.
3) Águila Oriental, Dinámico, Dranzer vs Antehus, Rosario Negro, Súper Dragons
4) Black Dragón, Dinamic Black, Toto vs Leo, Mike, Rafy
5) Cuervo vs Imposible vs Eterno
6) Chef Benito, Chicanito, Diablo Jr., Fireman, Guerrero 2000, Lunatic Xtreme, Puma de Oro, Shadow Boy vs Alas de Acero, Apolo, Chris Stone Jr., Dragón Negro, Iron Kid, Manchitas, Psique, Sairus [cage, mask, hair]
Torneo Fill 75. IWRG (Black Terry) vs Lucha Memes (Chiquilin)

A trainee focused show with a bigger show coming on Thursday.

Diablo Jr. hasn’t been around here as much of late (and hasn’t gotten to do as much in IWRG this year.) It’s too bad he hasn’t ended up in AAA instead of some of the other ELITE wrestlers. He did

CMLL (MON) 11/12/2018 Arena Puebla
1) Arkalis, Asturiano, Rey Samuray vs Gemelo Pantera I, Gemelo Pantera II, Perverso
2) Lluvia, Marcela, Skadi vs Dalys, La Comandante, Tiffany
3) Drone, Fuego, Pantera Blanca vs Máscara Año 2000, Tyson La Bestia, Universo 2000 Jr.
4) Atlantis, Blue Panther, Negro Casas vs Ephesto, Fuerza Guerrera, Mephisto
5) Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón

The main event is good, but the rest is not so much. Semimain is curious for Negro Casas being on the rudo side and Fuerza Guerrera being around at all. Mascara 2000 being in to work a tercera is also odd.

The women’s match is a rematch. There didn’t seem to be a story to Monday’s match, but Marcela won so maybe it’s time for another Dalys title match.

11/19 is a Mexico holiday, so perhaps all of this is to set up a bigger than usual card next week.

RO (SAT) 11/24/2018 Arena San Juan Pantitlan, Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Estado de México
1) Dalys vs Pequeño AzulHeroniaLa JarochitaLilith DarkSanely [RO WOMEN]
2) Mano Negra Jr., Veneno, Versus vs Akuma, Divo Jr., Killer Croc
3) Halcón Suriano Jr. & Príncipe Diamante vs Hijo de Canis Lupus & Warrior Jr.
4) Dragón Bane vs Súper Nova vs Aramis
5) Negro Casas & Yoruba vs Emperador Azteca & Valiente and Canek & Fresero Jr. and Black Warrior & Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. and Imposible & Mano Negra [Alternativa Indy, tournament]

Main event is the first part of a strange seeming Gran Alternativa style tournament. Semi-main looks good.

Lucha Underground Season 4 Finale tonight – will it be the series finale?

if LU can reuse images, so can I

Tonight is the last episode of Lucha Underground Season 4. It may be the final episode of the series. No one knows for certain if they’ll be back or not. Like many mysteries on this show, it’s continued existence is going may take a lot longer to be resolved.

I’m a bit exhausted with this perilous existence of Lucha Underground. Perhaps some of you are as well. I’ll save the future of the show until the end.

The matches on this two-hour episode

  • Matanza vs Johnny Mundo
  • Fenix vs Dragon Azteca Jr., best of three falls
  • the Mack vs Mil Muertes, in a death match
  • Marty the Moth (c) vs Pentagon Dark, a Cero Miedo match for the Lucha Underground championship.

That’s only four matches, which seems a little light for two hours. It may actually be the other way. On the most recent episode of The MMM Show, which I’m going to “borrow” significantly from here, Lucha Underground Executive Producer Eric Van Wagenen mentioned he actually asked El Rey if they could get a third hour for this episode. They were politely turned down, but it speaks to how much time some of these matches got. Everyone on the show – including the hosts who were in attendance – said it was a long day of filming. It’s not just the matches that’ll air: they revealed there will be another vignette montage to end the season. The idea of those vignettes, and maybe the entire last episode, is Lucha Underground will answer some questions while also opening the door for a lot more questions.

The MMM show had lots of thoughts from Van Wagenen and Lucha Underground writer Chris Roach about how the season was put together and progressed. It is a bit of a distant memory for those involved. This last episode was sent in months ago and filming finished months before that. A common thread about that production is while they’re happy with Lucha Underground Season 4 turned out, they don’t want to film another season like in such a compressed time period. Roach wishes they would’ve been able to get viewer feedback while they were on the air (this comes up in a discussion about Jake Strong), while Van Wagenen pointed at injury problems taking people out for a weekend meant people being off screen for months. Dante Fox missed all but the last tapings because of something that just took a couple weeks to be cleared up. It’s mentioned Fox would’ve probably been in Dezmond X’s spot if he had able to participate at that point, and Dezmond was in for that weekend only because it was the only time he was available. (Sort of the same: Joey Ryan was written out because he wasn’t available the last weekend and Sammy Guevera was.)

The visa issues come up again but Roach is careful to point out a lot of the big ideas they wanted to do in Season 4 did come off as planned. They wanted the Taya/Johnny wedding, the Johnny/Matanza Ultima Lucha match, and the Son of Havoc/Killshot mask match. That last one is interesting because it came off on screen as if it was something improvised only because Fox wasn’t around. Penta/Marty seems like it was also a planned destination, though Roach mentions they would’ve had Penta hold the championship longer if they had more than 22 episodes this season. He also noted that there were complaints Pentagon was booked too weak in Season 3, and then complaints he was booked too strong in Season 4, as pointing out there’s always going to be some complaints.

Speaking of complaints: Jake Strong! Chris Roach seemed aware while confused about the negative reaction to him. To me, it was people reacting similar as they did to Matanza early on – the vocal portion of the audience doesn’t like to see established characters look non-competitive against new wrestlers they haven’t embraced. It didn’t really turn around for Matanza until the story allowed him to win over fans by having good competitive matches, and Strong hasn’t had a chance to have many of those either. (They kind of acknowledged they’re saving up the first big win over Strong similarly as they did Matanza – we’re waiting a while for it because they want it to mean a lot when it happens.)  Strong coming into LU as a blank slate, essentially unchanged from xenophobic WWE character, hasn’t helped. Everyone noted Strong was a likable guy in real life, and Roach confirmed this role was always designed for Strong (and not something being saved for Kross and had Strong thrown in when Kross was doing a WWE tryout.) They noted Strong’s win over Drago & Aerostar was in part to play off a plot point – Aerostar saved a mind-controlled Drago from a Pentagon armbreak last season, so Drago did the same to save Aerostar from an ankle break this season.

Overall, this season was meant to be sort of “the Empire Strikes Back” season, where things go badly for the heroes. Strong winning is part of it. Where they go back is a question. Van Wagenen mentions the idea of a “major reboot” for Season 5 early on, but then he and Roach talk later about Season 5 kind of being the endpoint for stories they told in Season 1. (At one point, that seemed to me like the idea for Season 7.) “You can only see the same stuff with the same people” for so long.

They didn’t commit to different people coming or going for Season 5, because they don’t know if they have a Season 5. It’s not said on the podcast, to avoid spoilers, but there are obviously some people who are going to finish up with LU or already have. But I guess finishing is relative – if wrestlers are free to work on other TV shows, and the schedules match up, LU seems amenable to let people come in for short periods of time if they’re available only that way.

Some random trivia

  • This is not part of the podcast, but there’s a great Aerostar story at the end of this article on The Wrap about the vignettes on this show.
  • Big Bad Steve’s name was decided late. Like, late enough that he might have not known that was his name until they announced it on the way to the ring.
  • Reklusa was asked to dye her hair dark to fit the character better. They thought she was great.
  • There was an attempt to bring back Sexy Star this season. Sexy Star turned them down. Judging from how she’s doing a lot more wrestling lately, I’m guessing she’ll be back in Season 5 if the offer still stands.
  • The original plan was for Drago to drive the forklift, but the union said no to that.
  • The Rabbit Tribe was penciled in as winning the Trios titles the morning of Ultima Lucha taping. They changed it to the Reptile Tribe, feeling there was more they could do with the belts, the trios titles changing hands on every Ultima Lucha was being too predictable, and it would be the best way to give all three teams some sort of story.
  • Rich Swann was confirmed as being backstage at Lucha Underground at least one weekend and nearly signed to come on the show. It wasn’t Swann’s first LU connection. He tagged along with Ricochet back when he was brought to the original Temple before they started filming Season 1 to convince Ricochet to sign a deal. That finally did it for Ricochet – and it also convinced Swann, who strongly wanted to be on the show after seeing the setup. (It didn’t work out because he was under contract to someone else – WWN?)
  • The budget didn’t allow it, but Roach had an idea of a vignette for Catrina & Detective Vazquez to fill in the hinted at backstory. They’d be in the Old West, Catrina would get stabbed, Vazquez would give her half the amulet to keep her alive – and since he’s a time traveler, Aerostar would be watching from the crowd. They have a lot of Aerostar time traveler ideas.

Will they get to use those ideas? Now we’re to the not fun part.

It’s pretty clear the Lucha Underground staff sees it as a proud accomplishment to have taped the entire season within a week month. They also see it as something they’re not willing to do again. This season was about as cheap as possible because of the compressed taping schedule, so they’d need more money – from El Rey or from other investors – to do it at more measured pace. Van Wagenen talks about trying to bring in different partners, which suggests he does not expect El Rey to contribute additional money. The issue with getting more investors is trying to do that is what led to the long delay between Season 3 and Season 4 – and even then, it didn’t work out and they were left with the short taping schedule.

Neither Van Wagenen nor Roach had any recent conversations with the people higher up in the food chain about this show. Both work on other projects and only get information about the show when it’s in production or – for Van Wagenen – when they’re working on renewal. They got some information about Season 3 last year because they went to ComicCon, but that hasn’t happened this time around. That also means they’ve definitely not yet talked to the new El Rey Head of Programming, just announced in that position to today. The plan is for more original hours of programming on the network in new genres. Van Wagenen mentioned the show can survive as long as El Rey survives. Someone that takes El Rey into a different direction could harm that survival.

Van Wagenen always struck me as pretty optimistic about the chances of survival after Season 1 and Season 3. Some of those situations look now like they were a little bit bleaker than he let on. This time, Van Wagenen kept a neutral tone on the future. “I got no answers for you […] Good shows sometimes get canceled for business reasons. Sometimes shitty shows go on for years and years.”

It may be a while before there’s a decision. Van Wagenen mentions talks about a next season usually doesn’t start happening until about a month after they’re off the year. That’s complicated by the timing: not much is going to get done in December due to the holidays, and due to budgets for 2019 not being set until early that year. Everyone expects El Rey to have money for Lucha Underground, but they can’t act on until they have a number set. It may take even longer to find that additional investment money they’re looking for. On top of all that, they don’t want the same problem with work visa delays as this past season. They want to give themselves at least 24 weeks for the visas to get done, which is a big block of time to wait. If you add all that time up, Season 5 tapings would start in late summer at the earliest. If tonight’s not the last Lucha Underground episodes, it’s very possible it could nearly a year before you see the next one.

This is about the exact opposite of any scenario I want. I’d like Lucha Underground to have another season, especially one that sounds heavy on conclusions. I really hate the idea of another long break between seasons. I think I dislike the idea of a medium sized time where the future is left uncertain even more. At this point, I might even be willing to trade not getting any closure on the storylines for getting closure on series. I know uncertainty is not what anyone involved wants, but I’m also not sure if there’s a point to coming back if it’s going to take that long. There’s a lot of people who’ve found other ways to use their time during the previous hiatus. This season’s ratings suggests more are dropping while they’re on the air. I understand Lucha Underground is going to exist as long as enough people can make money doing it, but I’m not sure how many people will actually be waiting for Lucha Underground if tonight’s the last anyone hears about it for months.

Guerreros & NGD feud, Cuatrero versus Titan tonight

Guerreros

CMLL (MON) 11/05/2018 Arena Puebla [CMLL, Lucha Central]
1) Astral, Lestat, Pantera Blanca b Gemelo Pantera I, Gemelo Pantera II, Policeman LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 5 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2018 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Team Astral took 1/3.
2) Lluvia, Marcela, Skadi b Dalys, La Comandante, Tiffany LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 5 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2018 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicas took 1/3.
3) Drone, Kráneo, Stigma b Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora, Tyson La Bestia LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 5 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2018 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Tecnicos took 2/3. Tyson La Bestia’s debut in Puebla. (He was bad.)
4) Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón DQ Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 5 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2018 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
NGD took 2/3. Ultimo Guerrero unmasked Sanson via DQ.
5) Rush DQ Carístico LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 5 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2018 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rush faked a foul to get the win.

A shorter show, running about 100 minutes. Semi-main seemed to be build up to a singles match. Tyson la Bestia didn’t look good. Marcela should really be limited to a +1, not the bring the whole family.

Tonight is the last Dia de Muertos show. It’s also the only one which appears to be streaming for free this year. It’d be worth watching even without the costuming, with Cuatrero defending the CMLL middleweight championship against Titan. We haven’t seen Cuatrero in a big singles match outside of the Angel de Oro feud. He’s got the best tecnico CMLL continually uses as a title challenger as an opponent. (That’s probably a strong reason for Titan not to win in CMLL’s eyes; if he wins here, he can’t challenge for a different title in a couple months.) This could be at the same level as the Sanson/Templario match from Friday, which was a pretty high level.

Not a lot to say for the rest of the card. They’ve loaded it with names more than usual for a Tuesday show, but the matchups aren’t strong. The main event is an all-star match with Mistico, Diamante Azul and Stuka against Ultimo Guerrero, Mephisto, and Negro Casas. That should be fine. Soberano returns to Mexico to team with the Chavez Brothers against Dark Magic, Rey Bucanero and Shocker, which doesn’t seem like a great mix. Fuego, Maya & Cometa take on Kawato, Okumura, and Tiger in the best-looking undercard match. It’s really a shame that’s not a “drag loser to hell” match because both Fuego & Kawato seem halfway there already. There’s a women’s match and Metalico & Nitro being bumped all the way to the opener to complete the card. It’ll stream at 7:30 pm on CMLL’s YouTube channel – they’re back to normal times for all shows until March.

(I really like Titan/Cuatrero as a match but – to Fuego’s point – there’s no reason it couldn’t have been Fuego/Cuatrero or “someone else different”/Cuatrero. It’s the fourth match on a card that’s really focused on the Dia de Muertos scenery than the matches. CMLL could’ve put Audaz or someone else new in Titan’s spot, just like they put Templario in that spot on Friday night, and it’s obvious how little interest CMLL has in creating new stars when they do things like this. Templario is happening because he’s got the right person behind him, but that’s not a great system for CMLL.)

Guadalajara has Cavernario versus Atlantis for Atlantis’ Mexican Light Heavyweight championship. Like Titan, Cavernario seems likely to lose because CMLL needs him to challenge for a title at all times and that’s tougher to do if he’s already a champ. The difference is Atlantis really shouldn’t be doing singles matches at this point and this would be a good night to get out of them and the right guy to beat him. I don’t expect Cavernario to win but it would be a smart move.

CMLL is starting a look back at the Leyenda de Plata. They mention this year’s tournament will be on 11/16 and 11/23, which means Volador will be defending his title on that second date as part of the Mascara 2000 show.

Segunda Caida is up to episode 9 of this Lucha Underground season.

I’ve got a Lucha Underground things tow rite but I figured I might as well save everything for tomorrow.

+LuchaTV has a new episode of their podcast.

LuchaWorld has a great interview with Hechicero and this week’s Poster-Mania.

The Gladiatores has an interview with Zeuxis about her career.

Poseidon Jr. took Santana’s mask in Xalapa. This Santana is Yahir Alejandro Preciado, from Tijuana.

Lineups

CMLL (SUN) 11/11/2018 Arena México
1) Fantasy & Último Dragóncito vs Pequeño Nitro & Pierrothito
2) Eléctrico, Robin, Súper Astro Jr. vs Espanto Jr., Espíritu Negro, Hijo del Signo
3) Camorra vs Yago [lightning]
4) Blue Panther, El Audaz, Stuka Jr. vs Kawato San, Okumura, Templario
5) Atlantis, Místico, Niebla Roja vs Felino, Rey Bucanero, Último Guerrero
6) Carístico, Diamante Azul, Valiente vs Cavernario, Rush, Terrible

Yago & Camorra get their singles match. Niebla Roja versus Rey Bucanero still seems to be happening.

FLUFENAX (THU) 11/15/2018 Arena Naucalpan
1) Hijo del Solar vs ?
the mystery wrestler will be a MMA wrestler
2) Trauma I & Trauma II vs Blue Panther Jr. & The Panther
3) Dr. Cerebro vs Francois Montanez
4) Ricky Marvin vs Jack Evans
5) Heddi Karaoui & Zumbi vs Jean Montanez & Pierre Montanez
6) Lizmark Jr., Mr. Electro, Ramsés vs Charly Rockstar, Cibernético, Zorro
7) LA Park vs Penta 0M vs Rush

This looks like a Montanez promoted show or promoted by whoever they’re working with. Those French MMA brothers showing up for the Mexico vs the World match this week was a hint. At least they’ll have a ring this time.

Some matches are good. That semi-main is not good. I’m unsure the fascination with Silver King as Ramses, except maybe he won’t get in trouble for using that mask.

G21 , LLB , Lucha Memes (MON) 11/19/2018 Arena Lopez Mateos
1) La Magnifica vs Diva SalvajeChik Tormenta
2) Dragón Bane & Hijo de Canis Lupus vs Maremoto Jr. & Murciélago Plateado Jr.
3) Negro García vs Perro CallejeroHijo De Dr. PóluxAngeluz FlyKempo DragónHeroniaParduxShadowEl DivinoFantasma de la ÓperaCarta BravaCerebro NegroHijo De Brazo De Platino
4) Demus & Gato De Ecatepec vs Akuma & Wotan
5) Ángel o Demonio vs Cuervo (Puerto Rico)
6) Hijo de LA Park & LA Park vs Hechicero & Masada (Texas) and Caifan & Caifan II

This an all extreme show. It’s also a Monday show because that’s a holiday in Mexico that I forget about every year. (That might inform what CMLL does in Puebla on the 19th.) Masada is working the night before for G21 in Irapuato.

IWRG team falls to rest of the World, Caristico vs Rush tonight in Puebla

photo by Black Terry Jr.

IWRG (SUN) 11/04/2018 Arena Naucalpan [+LuchaTV, Black Terry Jr. (Flickr), The Gladiatores]
1) Power Bull & Sairus b Ángel Estrella & Chicanito
2) Chica Pantera & Lili Dark b Dulce Luna & Lady Cat
3) Black Dragón & Eragón b Death Metal & Picudo Jr.
4) Fantasma de la Ópera, Ra-Zhata, Shil-Ka b Lunatik Extreme, Ovett, Toto
5) Dr. Cerebro, Metaleón, Toscano b Capo del Norte, Capo del Sur, Hijo de Canis Lupus
Dr. Cerbero replaced Aliado de Dios. Mascara 2000 Jr. attacked Toscano post match.
6) Athoz Montanez, Cuervo (Puerto Rico), Demetrio El Gladiador, Heddi Karaoui, Hip Hop Man, Mosca (Argentina), Pierre Montanez, Zumbi b Eterno, Hijo del Alebrije, Imposible, Mr. Electro, Relámpago, Rokambole Jr., Tortuga Leo, Villano V
Cuervo won the match for the World team. Eterno replaced Dragon Bane.

Not sure if the lights went out here too, but the main event looks like it has very low light. Maybe it was a mood thing. Cuervo beat Eterno to get the big win for Team World. It feels like they’re setting up Cuervo for a big match by the end of this year, but it’s tough to tell with IWRG.

Tonight’s CMLL show has Caristico and Rush facing off in a singles match after Caristico’s feuded with the Munoz family for the last couple of weeks. They had the same match last August. It was ok. They did it in January 2016 and it was great then. I expect they’ll do a match that gets the fans to react, but I dunno beyond that.

The semi-main might be more interesting, a rare match between the world trios champions (Guerreros Laguneros) and the national trios champions (NGD). Those two teams haven’t wrestled against each other much since the young Dinamtias have come to the main roster. The rest of the show has some unusual names but not promising matches. Drone, Kraneo, and Stigma face Dragon Rojo, Polvora and guest wrestler Tyson la Bestia. Skadi makes her first stream appearance in over a year, teaming with Lluvia & Marcela against La Comandante, Dalys and Tiffany. The Panteras from northern Mexico return to CMLL, with the younger sons Gemelo Pantera I & II on the same side with policeman against Astral, Lestat and father older brother Panther Blanca. CMLL usually frowns on fathers against sons family against family, but there’s obviously something outside the normal rules going on with how the Panteras are part of these shows.

The El Planchitas column says six CMLL luchadoras were suspended from the promotion for two weeks. Amapola, Dalys, Reyna Isis, Avispa Dorada, La Jarochita, and Princesa Sugehit had a match on the 10/12 Arena Mexico show. Money was thrown in, and a photo of all six of them posing with the money backstage was posted on Twitter. The column claims Julio Cesar Rivera went to the programming department and got them suspended for the crime of tecnicos and rudos posing together in a backstage picture. I can’t prove if JCR was involved but the other parts check out. That photo was posted on Twitter and some of the six women worked thru the following Tuesday, but then all of them disappeared for a couple weeks.

At Estrellas de Lucha Libre, Miguel Reducino writes about the “brain drain” of CMLL losing people like Flamita and Bandido.

The documentary on Casandro is being presented in Mexico City thru November 10.

Lineup

CMLL (SAT) 11/10/2018 Arena Coliseo
1) Retro & Sangre Imperial vs Cholo & Inquisidor
2) La Guerrera, La Vaquerita, Lluvia vs Dalys, La Seductora, Tiffany
3) Black Panther, Blue Panther Jr., Fuego vs Cancerbero, Misterioso Jr., Sagrado
4) Rey Cometa vs Drone [lightning]
5) Flyer, Kráneo, Soberano Jr. vs Dark Magic, Ephesto, Luciferno
6) Ángel de Oro, Atlantis, Carístico vs Mephisto, Negro Casas, Último Guerrero

A normal Saturday show.

CMLL Dia de Muetros iPPV: 2018-11-02 

Ultimo Guerrero is normally a rudo

Recapped: 11/02/2018

Matches:

Oro Jr. & Súper Astro Jr. beat El Coyote & Grako
(15:56 [6:25, 1:59, 7:32], 2/3, n/r)

Átomo, Gallito, Microman beat Chamuel, Mije, Perico Zakarías
(17:13 [6:14, 1:59, 9:00], 2/3, good)

Hechicero, Rey Bucanero, Terrible beat Ángel de Oro, Audaz, Stuka Jr.
(11:19 [4:08, 7:11], 1/2, good?)

Atlantis, Hijo de LA Park, Mistico beat Cavernario, Ephesto, Mephisto
(12:55 [5:45, 1:44, 5:26], 2/3, good)

Sansón © beat Templario to keep the Rey del Inframundo championship
(16:46, 2/3, great)

  1. La Templaria (3:54)

  2. Sansón backbreaker powerbomb (2:36)

  3. Sansón super backbreaker powerbomb (10:16)

Diamante Azul, LA Park, Michael Elgin beat King Phoenix, Penta 0M, Último Guerrero in a relevos increíbles match
(13:45 [5:36, 4:00, 4:09], 1/3, good)

What happened:

Microman

This was the first of a weekend Dia de Muertos shows. There wasn’t as much of a set this year, instead relying on more video boards than usual to present a background. The lightning, the special makeup and the dragging people to hell (starting with the fourth match) continued on.

This was also an iPPV, announced just a day before the show. The iPPV was not good quality. Background music played instead of match audio for most of the first match, with the feed being cut off at the finish of that match. The feed buffered for the next four matches makes the matches unwatchable at times. The stream finally started working fine by the second half of the Rey del Inframundo match. It leaves this show as hard to recommend. The undercard is enjoyable and would be worth watching if it were either available for free or available complete, but neither option exists. The Sanson/Templario match and the main event aired well enough to watch and good enough to want to watch, but it’s tough to recommend paying for an iPPV where 2/3rds of the matches are messed up and no one involved seemed all that bothered about it.

During the show, CMLL announced the Leyenda de Plata would return on 11/16, and the 11/23 show will honor Mascara 2000.

Thoughts:

Templario

The good points of the main event outweighed the low points. This was one of these matches where Diamante Azul felt glaring out of place, caught between the delusion of the great luchador CMLL appears to believe he is and the guy who needed to repeatedly told where to go he actually was. It was still a great match when he wasn’t around. The Elgin/Phoenix sequences were strong, two guys who have some obvious chemistry and idea how to make each other look impressive. LA Park was more picking his spots than usual, but fit in better as a background player than he has in other matches. Último Guerrero and Pentagon has good moments, and this overall would’ve been better good as the similar Anniversary match if they had one better person.

The Templario/Sanson match had a slow start, working more of a technical match than expected between two rudos or a show with such big ideas. It turned out they were saving the bigger spots all for the last half of the third fall, which was full of dives and near falls. Templario looked impressive while coming up a little short, exactly what they wanted to get out of this match. The Dia de Muertos atmosphere added to the stakes of the match, but this seemed really Sansón establishing he can handle an important title match without a veteran in there to hold his hand. He did it last year with Soberano, he did it this year with Templario, and he’ll probably be doing it a lot to come with slightly more important titles.

I have notes on the other four matches, but nothing I really want to point towards after the feed hurt them. The micros match captured the fans, as it usually does – it’s strange that what could be the small comedy wrestlers instead push themselves harder to add and improve their matches more than the serious full-sized people. Coyote & Grako had shaky moments in the opener but put in a lot more effort than usual for that position. It’d be good if they worked more Friday matches, at least until being stuck in that spot kills their enthusiasm as well. The middle two trios matches were better than usual for Friday nights, but the show had killed my enthusiasm by that point.