Euforia, Niebla Roja, Valiente beat La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Villano IVin a relevos increíbles match (9:27 [2:09, 7:18], 1/2 DQ, ok, 01:47:21)
Rush ripped off Euforia’s mask and punched Edgar for the second fall disqualification. Euforia demanded a singles match and Rush rudely accepted.
They played off the mask pull finish of the lightning match as if it was an accidental finish, but it was clearly the planned ending to get them out of there. Felino couldn’t have tried harder to pull the mask.
The stream was down to start the show, but it appeared they picked it up just after the whistle of the first match.
The only match that had a lot of life to it was the main event. Rush seemed charged up, which made significantly more sense when the finish turned out to be building a singles match with him and Euforia. Villano IV had a good brawling night, with clotheslines that appear to be taking people’s heads off. Bestia del Ring is so not good, but the rudos did give an overall atmosphere of chaos and destruction. You could feel something watching it, which couldn’t be said for much else here.
The semi-main was a generic Kraneo/Volcano showcase, only they got in their big spots in the second fall instead of winning the whole thing. Volcano as big dumb guy has not turned out as endearing as I think they would’ve hoped. Maybe he needs to be dumber? Maybe I’m just stretching for anything to talk about.
Around the fourth match, I half gave up on the show and started watching NJPW backstage promos at the same time. What I saw of this match didn’t seem as bad as it could be – Shocker and Rey Bucanero were willing to take a headscissors or too. Still, the técnicos kept it easy and the rudos can’t help but do the same. This match could’ve used done of Blue Panther’s weird match layouts just to have a reason to exist, but those don’t seem to happen on Fridays (when they happen at all.) I guess it did have one weird match twist, with the match just coming to a very sudden stop.
The lightning match was exceedingly boring with a DQ finish. It was unclear who would want to see this and neither man wanted to participate in it. They did more than nothing, but they tried to get as close to nothing before the DQ spot.
The second was a professional match, though one which could’ve used a bit more excitement. I think I’ve just been used to these guys being treated like they don’t matter that it’s tough invest a lot of interest in them even in a solid match like this. Kawato didn’t show the same aggression as in the last match, though he felt some. Maya seemed to be fighting angrily and Drone booted Kawato right in the face to break up the pin. The dives and long finishing sequence made this feel like more of an important match than usual in the second spot. I can’t call it good, I’m not sure I’ll remember it hours from now, but it seemed like it’d be the best thing on this show.
The opener featured three very similar técnicos trapped in the early matches. Super Astro Jr. is still quite a bit just doing a homage to his father, but those moves are good enough to make him the most impressive of those three. Star Jr. and definitely Robin have had better matches; not that anything went wrong, but they didn’t impress. Rudos were about as ungiving as ever.
Sanson & Okumura unmasked the Atlantis Family after the match, though the Young Lions put up a fight to stop it.
Forastero has the most inexplicable music of all the replacement themes.
The main event felt slower paced than I’m used to in a CMLL match. It really was Terrible guest staring in an NJPW match, so I guess that makes sense. It was the longest match of the night with plenty of Shingo & Henare in particular and a finish that seemed to come out of nowhere despite all that time. Terrible and Kojima seemed alright together but there’s no spark that makes me want to see that singles match. It wasn’t a big priority here anyway.
The semi-main had some good moments but didn’t really stick with me at all. Caristico seemed to be motivated to do well in this tour, showing the most effort in the time he was in. Soberano and Cavernario matched up promisingly but didn’t get too deep in what they did.
The fourth match seemed like it was on the verge of being spectacular at times and didn’t just get there. They were looking just a bit off. The big Dragon Lee & Místico stuff was good enough for the live crowd but they weren’t really hitting their marks as well as they often do. Similarly, I have no idea what was supposed to happen between Cuatrero & Angel de Oro but it didn’t really happen. Their own standards are a little bit higher they delivered here. It seems too obvious that Guerreros are going to be facing Dragon Lee & Místico in the tournament winners against tournament winners match, which would suggest some sort of set up in another promotion.
Atlantis Jr.’s debut is the match worth watching, both for the fascination of finally seeing him in action and because it’s a fun match. I’m fixated on comparing Atlantis Jr. and Santo Jr., as sons of legends who’ve debuted in recent times. It comes up here because Santo Jr. debuted outside of Mexico (on a Todo x el Todo show in London.) This isn’t Atlantis Jr.’s actual first match, but it’s still pretty close, and he looks far more natural than his peer. The rope grab headscissors looked smooth and fluid, something Santo Jr. has a problem within his limited action. Atlantis Jr. didn’t radiate star charisma but still showed enough to be a respected midcard técnico. He’ll get the chance to be much more, but that’s a good floor to start with.
The opening couple of matches had a lot of the NJPW wrestlers wrestling against each other, the CMLL wrestlers against each other, and never the two should meet. Flyer had about once nice bit with Kanamaru and that was it. Forastero and his partners having no chemistry didn’t really help the situation. Titan was a ghost until the ending sequence, and that was mostly about trying to introduce Forastero. An easy match to skip.
The seemingly sixty seconds of Audaz & Templario was fun in the opener. Audaz really wowed this crowd early with his dive, especially since they weren’t expecting something that spectacular at that point. They seemed to fade into the background of a Taguchi/Ishimori build-up match, which was not as interesting.
CMLL , NJPW (FRI) 01/11/2019 Osaka Prefectural Gym, Osaka, Japan [CMLL, Lucha Central, NJPW] Fantastica Mania, 2019 Day 1
1) Gedo, Taiji Ishimori, Templario b Audaz, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask 7:44. Templario pinned Audaz after a powerbomb.
2) Forastero, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru b Flyer, Jushin Liger, Titán 7:32. Forastero submitted Titan.
3) Okumura & Sansón b Atlantis & Atlantis Jr. 10:16. Okumura pinned Atlantis Jr. after a spinning DDT. This was Atlantis’ debut.
4) Cuatrero, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero b Ángel de Oro, Dragón Lee, Místico 12:13. Cuatrero beat Angel de Oro with the Cuatrero Bomb (crucifix powerbomb)
5) Bárbaro Cavernario, Carístico, Namajague b Kushida, Místico, Soberano Jr. [Relevos Increíbles] 8:37. Caristico used La Mistica to submit Volador Jr.
6) Bushi, Shingo Takagi, Terrible, Tetsuya Naito b Fujin, Raijin, Satoshi Kojima, Toa Henare 14:14. Bushi beat Fujin.
The kickoff show for Fantastica Mania tour took place earlier today. I set my alarm to watch it, but my brain decided I really needed the sleep more. I’ll watch it later and maybe get a recap up before the usual Friday night show.
I did find time to see the Atlantis Jr. debut already. He was better than expected, at the level of a second/third match guy in his debut, maybe a little bit better than what we’ve seen of Hijo del Villano III so far. Atlantis Jr. showed only his father’s offense in his debut, which is going to make him look a little too retro for 2019, but it is also only one match.
The results are the usual tour opening stuff, with the rudos getting the early wins and finishes setting up matches later on. Namajague did acknowledge on Twitter that he lost this mask to Stuka & Rey Cometa long ago, but is wearing because he likes and wanted to get into the spirit of the tour. That’s for me the difference with this year’s tour: it’s a general lucha libre themed set of shows rather than a CMLL dream match factory. It feels like it should be going the other way – NJPW fans probably saw more CMLL this year than ever with all of the broadcasts on NJPW World – but this is more about the novelty of seeing Fujin and Raijin wrestle in masks (which they never really did in Mexico.) They know the NJPW fans better than I.
There are Fantastica Mania shows on Saturday/Sunday/Monday. The next streaming show is Wednesday morning.
CMLL continues on without the 20 wrestlers in Japan. CMLL has enough wrestlers, talented wrestlers, that they could still put together interesting lineups. That would take more effort in programming than CMLL usual provides, and it appears they’re providing two weeks of filler shows instead. Tonight’s main event is Euforia, Niebla Roja and Valiente against La Bestia del Ring, Rush and Villano IV. CMLL is treating that match as if it is the only thing that could main event shows, running variations of it Saturday in Arena Coliseo, Monday in Arena Puebla, and Tuesday in Arena Coliseo Guadalajara. It’s not a rivalry or any issue – what feud there is between Euforia and his partners. Maybe Euforia throwing out a challenge to Ultimo Guerrero (among the people he’d like to have a singles match with) is going somewhere, maybe it’s a late substitute for Diamante Azul, or maybe CMLL doesn’t think enough of the remaining tecnicos to put any of them in the main event spot. Could be a combination.
Kraneo & Volcano again team up with Stuka against the Hijos del Infierno. Blue Panther, Rey Cometa, and Triton are a promising trio if they weren’t wrestling Mascara 2000, Rey Bucanero and Shocker. Polvora & Felino meet in a rudo/rudo lightning match. Drone, Esfinge and Guerrero Maya take on Kawato, Sagrado, and Tiger in the most promising match of the night. Cancerbero & Raziel team up with Disturbio to face Robin, Star Jr. and Super Astro in the opener.
CultIcon has a preview of the show. It’ll air at the usual 8:30 pm mark on Marca and Facebook (no link yet.) I’ll probably stream the show on YouTube.
Tonight is also the first of two Impact tapings in Fronton Mexico. It seems like the more interesting show of the night They taped four weeks of TV last time around and probably will do again. The shows should start airing around 01/25. (Impact moves to Friday starting tonight and is streaming on Twitch, but they won’t be streaming these Mexico City shows quite yet.) I expect a better turnout this time, there’s really not any strong wrestling competition like last time.
Add Psycho Clown & Aerostar to the list of AAA people saying they’ll be on the Impact taping. The standout matches on the last set of shows were the trios matches featuring AAA/indie talent, and I hope they sneak thru a few more of those as well.
For what it’s worth, this twitch stats site has TripleMania peaking with 35,247 viewers on their Spanish language channel. I think Impact could top that tonight, but I’m not really sure.
CMLL (TUE) 01/15/2019Arena México
1) Acero & Aéreo vs Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Violencia
2) Oro Jr., Retro, Star Jr. vs Metálico, Nitro, Sangre Azteca
3) Drone, Pegasso, Stigma vs Kawato San, Misterioso Jr., Universo 2000 Jr.
4) Sagrado vs Tiger [lightning]
5) Black Panther, Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr. vs Felino, Luciferno, Pólvora
6) Kráneo, Niebla Roja, Volcano vs Mephisto, Rey Bucanero, Shocker
The non-Rush main event is the Kraneo/Volcano main event. Which is not a great alternative. No one else can headline, apparently.
I try to make sure to write about at least one match one every B-show and I have no idea what match I’d want to see from this bunch. May take Sagrado/Tiger just to make it quick.
CMLL (TUE) 01/15/2019Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) El Alteño, Fantástico, Tigre Blanco vs Mr. Trueno, Paymon, Rey Trueno
2) Magnum, Sangre Imperial, Star Black vs Difunto, Hijo del Signo, Ráfaga
3) Avispa Dorada, La Vaquerita, Sanely vs La Comandante, La Seductora, Tiffany
4) Esfinge, Rey Cometa, Tritón vs Ephesto, Hechicero, Máscara Año 2000
5) Euforia, Stuka Jr., Valiente vs La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Vangellys [Relevos Increíbles]
Even the women’s sides seem not as strong as usual when they’re running out the Comandante/Seductora/Tiffany team.
Still no sign of Fuego. Seeing Signo there reminds me that Yago, Akuma, and Camorra have all not appeared since their double apuesta match either. Yago was said to be hurt and Camorra may be finished up, but no idea on Akuma.
First Sangre Imperial match in nearly four weeks. I know you missed him.
AAA TV (SAT) 01/19/2019 Pepsi Center WTC, Benito Juárez, Distrito Federal
1) Dinastía, Lady Shani, Niño Hamburguesa vs Lady Maravilla, Lanzelot, Villano III Jr.
2) Hijo Del Vikingo, Laredo Kid, Myzteziz Jr. vs Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana
3) Killer Kross vs Dave The Clown vs Parka Negra
4) Máximo, Murder Clown, Taya vs Chessman, Faby Apache, La Máscara
5) Brian Cage & Pagano vs Joe Lider & Texano Jr.
6) Dr. Wagner Jr., La Parka, Psycho Clown vs Blue Demon Jr., Hijo del Fantasma, Rey Escorpión
AAA’s started the year off with big shows in Mexico City the last few years. This is not one of those. A lot of not great looking matches and wrestlers not being put in matches to succeed. The big theme here is no one is less invested in AAA storylines than AAA themselves: Pagano & Joe Lider spent the last six months as partners sometimes feuding with Texnao Jr., and they’re on opposite sides here. Faby Apache pretty clearly turned back to the tecnica side on recent shows and is back to being a ruda here. (Lady Shani is back to being an opening match lady; not really going to make new stars if you keep treating the existing ones as bigger deals.)
There’s nothing here that couldn’t have been announced a few days ago, it is not immediately clear why this wasn’t announced at the press conference on Tuesday.
Matches 1 and 2 should be pretty good. Lanzelot was on the rudo side last time we saw him (back in November); there was no turn or explanation, but at least they’re consisent. Poder del Norte versus Jientes del Aire should be great.
I totally forgot about last week. That holiday season really made me lose track of days of the week.
FantasticaMania starts up in a few hours. It’s a 3:30 AM CT start time Friday morning, and the back again on Wednesday at 4:00 AM. I do not think I’m watching either of these live, though I may try to wake up a bit early to watch them on VOD right after the fact. I figure I’ll mess up my sleep next week instead. If you’re going to pick up one, I’m sure people are more excited for the Osaka show because it’s the first, but the Chiba show looks like the better show to me.
The CMLL B-shows in Puebla and on Martes continue. Lots of rudo/rudo lightning matches if that’s what you’re looking for.
AAA’s YouTube upload will be interesting. It should be Guerra de Titanes, but how much of it? If they’re still in desperate catch up mode, they may skip over a title match or the main event feud.
Fantastica Mania kicks off tonight. Here’s the schedule for those shows the next week, all times Central
01/11 Friday 3:30 AM – from Osaka
01/16 Wednesday 4:00 AM – from Chiba
01/18 Friday 3:30 AM – from Tokyo Night 1
01/20 Sunday 3:30 AM – from Tokyo Night 2
01/21 Monday 3:30 AM – from Tokyo Night 3
You can see the entire crazy schedule for the next couple of weeks here. I believe there’s boxing on that Saturday.
Tomorrow morning’s show is a basic build-up show, with all tag matches. It’s going to be notable as Atlantis’ official debut, teaming up with his father against Sanson & Okumura. The fourth match (Angel de Oro, Dragon Lee & Mistico vs Cuatrero, Gran Guerrero and Ultimo Guerrero) and the fifth match (Kushida, Mistico & Soberano vs Barbaro Cavernario, Caristico, and Namajague) are the two most promising matches. The main event is all NJPW regulars + Terrible, which just seems weird for a Fantastica Mania tour. I’m not sure I’m going to lose sleep over watching this; a recap will be up later.
I’m still confused at what happened with AAA’s press conference on Tuesday. I thought perhaps I had overinflated in my mind, assuming it’d be like previous year opening press conferences when AAA had really barely promoted it. They never really did promote it leading in as they do with most major press conferences – I had to go back to the previous press conference just to confirm the date.
Maybe it was supposed to be something and plans changed. Leo Riano talked about that Media Day press conference in his (sometimes) weekly Record column today, only he talked about things that definitely did not actually happen at that press conference as if they did. This seems like it was a column written days ago after having been told what would happen, and then not updated when plans changed. The three key points:
Konnan and Vampiro will have a retirement tour, and retire at the end of the year
AAA’s big goal for 2019 is to run Madison Square Garden
AAA already has shows scheduled for Queretaro, Veracruz, San Luis Potosi, and Monterrey; they’ve got a calendar for the year worked out similar to past years.
Again, I think Riano was probably told by AAA what they planned to announce, so these were real plans for AAA and might still be real plans for AAA whenever they get around to announcing things again.
The last one seems likely to be still already done, just not announced. A taping for May in Queretaro popped up on sale yesterday, which confirms AAA probably has many dates set already. They’ll change a bit and it’s probably not solid past September if it’s like the last couple of years.
Vampiro & Konnan teased a match where one of them would have to leave AAA wrestling forever, which doesn’t quite fit with the idea of both of them retiring. But it’s AAA and retiring, so it probably won’t make sense in the end. Vampiro posted on Facebook that he was hospitalized for three days with pneumonia, which also might explain why he wasn’t at the press conference and the focus of it changed. (Vampiro was also asking for advice on the best boxes to steal cable in the US during the period he was hospitalized, so who even knows with him.)
The Madison Square Garden idea has been coming up for the last six months. It would help to hear a solid idea of how they plan to accomplish what seems very risky and incredibly unlikely. (If you aren’t following the story, just getting access to the building for an event seems harsh. It appeared WWE attempted and did block NJPW/ROH from running the event until ROH’s parent company got their lawyers involved. AAA would need a similarly strong partner to get in the door.) This is AAA, so even if it was announced, I’d expect no real details about how they’re getting it done, just aspirations.
Perhaps there will be another press conference next week to actually announce these details? AAA’s going to have trouble getting people in for press events if there’s not much to talk about, so there’s gotta be something to announce next time.
AAA did announce a 02/16 taping in Morelos. That gives AAA six announced tapings for 2016 and zero matches announced. At some point, AAA is going to send a card to (for example) the Mazatlan taping with orders of them not revealing it, then they’re going to reveal it anyway, and we’ll have some lineups.
Mexa Wrestling mentioned Carxyus’ YouTube will be the only place fans will be able to see full matches of their shows going forward. I assume that means they’re not working with +LuchaTV any more (and people will still be bootlegging them.) They’ve announced Garza Jr. & Mecha Wolf for their 02/23 show.
WWE has filed a trademark for the word “Worlds Collide” according to SEScoops. WWE announced the event today. For our purposes, this is interesting because WWE usually puts up themed shows around events, and there’s obviously a lucha show by a similar name, AAA’s When World’s Collide That show was produced by WCW and presumably purchased by WWE as part of that purchase. (I think the famous mask match turned up on a Eddy Guerrero DVD.) You can find the show uploaded in places, but WWE’s never put the full show up on their WWE Network service. Perhaps this announcement is a hint of them putting it up as one of their Hidden Gems in upcoming events.
CMLL (MON) 01/14/2019Arena Puebla
1) Astro, Millenium, Rey Samuray vs Black Tiger, Perverso, Sombra Diabólika
2) Halcón Suriano Jr., Robin, Tigre Rojo Jr. vs El Malayo, Policeman, Toro Bill Jr.
3) Súper Muñeco, Súper Pinocho, Súper Ratón vs Gallego, Rocky Santana, Romano García
4) Niebla Roja, Stigma, Stuka Jr. vs Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto
5) Rush, Vangellys, Villano IV vs Euforia, Kráneo, Valiente [Relevos Increíbles]
Last week’s Puebla main event was a stupid match where Hechicero didn’t get along with Kraneo & Valiente and cost them the match. This week’s Puebla main event appears to be a stupid match where Euforia won’t get along with Kraneo & Valiente. I hate you so much, Arena Puebla programmer. SO MUCH.
Do you think they’re building to a singles match with Trio Fantastia and Los Diabolicos? I think that would be a terrible thing in practice so I expect it to happen.
CMLL (TUE) 01/08/2019Arena México [CMLL, Lucha Central, R de Rudo, The Gladiatores]
1) El Coyote & Grako b Bengala & Sonic Rudos took 1/3.
2) Amapola, Dalys, Metálica b La Jarochita, Princesa Sugehit, Skadi Rudas took 2/3.
3) Audaz, Flyer, Titán b Kawato San, Okumura, Virus Tecnicos took 2/3.
4) Ángel de Oro b Templario [lightning] Angel de Oro won 6:07
5) Gran Guerrero, Terrible, Último Guerrero b Carístico, Soberano Jr., Volador Jr. Rudos took 1/3.
6) Dragón Lee, Místico, Rush b Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
This show sounds like it was ok/good, though everyone heading to the airport after this one was over did affect the show a bit.
CMLL (TUE) 01/08/2019Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [CMLL]
1) Mágico, Magnum, Rielero b Furia Roja, Maléfico, Tyson La Bestia tecnicos took 1/3
2) La Comandante, La Seductora, Tiffany b La Guerrera, Marcela, Mystique Mystique replaced Vaquerita. Rudas took 2/3.
3) Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora, Vangellys b Blue Panther Jr., Star Black, Stigma Stigma & Star Black replaced Fuego & Black Panther. Rudos took 1/3.
4) Ephesto, Euforia, Rey Bucanero b Kráneo, Valiente, Volcano Rudos took 2/3.
5) Niebla Roja b Mephisto Niebla Roja took 2/3, though the third fall sounds like it included the referee counting a pinfall that wasn’t supposed to be the finish. Mephisto attacked the referee, then he and Niebla Roja continued the match for a little while longer before Mephisto fouled Niebla Roja.
Good to know the Guadalajara referees are up to Mexico City standards. Fuego missing a show is now Interesting since he hasn’t been seen since 12/17. Still need to wait a couple week to see if he’s escaped.
That’s not the interesting TV situation today. The big rumor/theory/guesswork of 2018 TV situations was AAA’s deal with Space was a precursor of AAA & Televisa parting ways. A lot of people expected it to happen at some point, but it was simply business as usual most of the year with AAA airing on both Space & Televisa. That may have changed.
There are some important caveats here. Mexico TV listings are frequently incorrect, so I wouldn’t count this as certain until Saturday comes (or AAA says something.) Also, AAA shows are continuing to air on Televisa’s cable sports channel, TDN, as they have for the last few years. If you live in Mexico and get cable, you still can watch AAA, but that’s a downgrade from being over the air.
AAA hasn’t said something. I probably need to ask, though this seems like something that would’ve been brought up in a media event yesterday. It does stick out now that AAA’s been mentioning the Wednesday night TDN airing of their show a little bit more often.
(Standard anti-confusion disclaimer: Televisa owned AAA at the outset, came up with the name, but hasn’t had any ownership in the promotion in many years.)
Psicosis (Ripper) posted a video on Facebook saying Histeria is in bad health (heart issue) and asking for fans to send donations. There’s a bank account listed in the comments to that post (which doesn’t seem to have gotten into many of the reposts of that video.)
Sammy Guevera will defend the AAA Cruiserweight championship against Laredo Kid in Tijuana on a non-televised AAA/EMW show on 02/01. This is his first defense. Guevera has been wrestling in DDT for months, not available for AAA to use. Though that might have been a reason not put the cruiserweight title on him right then when they could’ve saved it for later. It probably doesn’t matter.
Dave the Clown mentioned Killer Kross or LAX as people from Impact he’d like to face. The AAA interviews gave off a sense that most of those wrestlers believe there’s a good shot they’ll be on the Impact taping this week.
Reporte Indigo talks to Mascara 2000 about his career and his start in wrestling. He did not watch wrestling growing up, and only got involved with it after Cien Caras lived in the US for a time and discovered it there.
CMLL (SUN) 01/13/2019Arena México
1) Angelito & Shockercito vs Mercurio & Pierrothito
2) Avispa Dorada, La Maligna, Sanely vs Amapola, La Comandante, Tiffany
3) Black Panther, Blue Panther Jr., Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Kawato San, Universo 2000 Jr., Virus
4) Blue Panther, Esfinge, Tritón vs Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora, Vangellys
5) Stuka Jr. vs Hechicero [NWA LH] 2nd defense
6) Euforia, Rey Bucanero, Shocker vs Kráneo, Niebla Roja, Valiente
NJPW doesn’t usually show back to back weeks of Sunday shows, so it’s likely either they’ll get the Reyes del Aire or a rematch of a really good title match. It is frustrating that CMLL won’t put those matches on the show that stream (or stream this show instead), but CMLL does not really care about streaming.
I’d be surprised if the title switched back quickly.
CMLL (MON) 01/07/2019Arena Puebla [CMLL]
1) Black Tiger & Sombra Diabólika b Ares & Guerrero Espacial Team Black Tiger took 1/3.
2) Astral, King Jaguar, Príncipe Diamante b El Malayo, Fuerza Chicana, Joker Tecnicos took 2/3.
3) Gallego, Mr. Cóndor, Rocky Santana DQ Súper Muñeco, Súper Pinocho, Súper Ratón Perverso was oddly listed on the rudo team, but regular Diabolico Mr. Condor appeared after all. Diabolicos were DQed in the first fall for excessive violence, lost the second, then won the third when Tirantes DQ Super Muneco for a foul that did not appear to be one. Rematch was set up.
4) Ephesto, Felino, Mephisto b Niebla Roja, Stigma, Stuka Jr. Stigma replaced Kraneo (moved up). Rudos took 1/3.
5) La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Vangellys b Hechicero, Kráneo, Valiente [Relevos Increíbles] Kraneo replaced Diamante Azul (injured, never should’ve been advertised). Rush fouled Kraneo in the first for a DQ, Hechicero betrayed the tecnicos in the second. The rudos won the third and left the tecnicos unmasked.
This show sounds bad, but everyone assumed it would be. The main event might have been worse than expectations. Vangellys got along with the guys who spent many months mocking him and taking his hair, what a forgiving world war 2 enthusiast.
Tonight might be the best CMLL card for some time. CMLL’s loaded up the Arena Mexico card with those wrestlers how are headed over to Japan, which means Friday night star power on a Tuesday night. Dragon Lee, Mistico and Rush team up against NGD, for the first time ever in Arena Mexico, as tonight’s main event. Caristico, Soberano and Volador versus Gran Guerrero, Ultimo Guerrero and Terrible is also a unique match and has Volador & Carisitco on the same side before they face off for a couple weeks. Angel de Oro versus Templario seems like it could be pretty fun.
The question about all these matches is if the effort level will be there, or if everyone will be taking it a little bit easy to make sure they don’t get hurt right before they go on a lucrative trip. The answer to that question has varied from wrestler to wrestler in the past. If they’re trying. all three of those matches should be good.
Audaz, Flyer, and Titan are in the bottom half of the card, teaming against Kawato, Okumura and Virus (who all are not going.) The women’s match includes new champion Metalica and rarely seen Skadi. Coyote & Grako have another streaming match – it’s their sixth in about a month – facing Bengala & Sonic in what should be a solid opener.
The show starts at 7:30 pm and will air on YouTube.
AAA had a media event today. There really wasn’t much to stay about it. This was not the big year preview AAA’s held the last two years. The big announcement about the TripleMania event didn’t happen. No announcement happened: there is still no lineup for any upcoming AAA TV show, and no announced timeline of when they might come. Instead, this was a simple media event to get the dates for the Mexico City taping (01/19) and the Impact in Mexico (this Friday & Saturday.) The best I can figure is AAA decided to not hype their matches until Impact held their show since AAA seems to be helping out with the Impact show at least to a small degree. I’m not sure, but it’s going to leave not much time to hype that first TV taping.
It did leave Lady Shani, Poder del Norte, Texano Jr., and Dave the Clown with not much to talk about. They did say all of those people would be on the Mexico City show and talked up the Pepsi Center WTC as the new AAA Mexico City home. They said the usual platitudes about trying to be even better in 2019 and avenging their losses.
Lucha Underground has a sit-down interview with Fenix. These would be more effective if they were airing before this recent season or leading into something specifically, they’d get people excited if there was something to be excited for.
IWRG (SUN) 01/06/2019Arena Naucalpan [+LuchaTV, Black Terry Jr. (Flickr), Estrellas del Ring, The Gladiatores]
1) Atomic Star b Ángel Estrella Jr.
2) Chicanito & Mexica b Fly Man & Neza Kid
3) Apolo Estrada Jr., Black Dragón, Juan Diego b Death Metal, Shaolin, Tackle Apolo Estrada Jr. replaced Chico Che
4) Karaoui, Oficial AK47, Zumbi b Galeno Del Mal, Gato De Ecatepec, Manchitas AK-47 replaced Demus (wrestling in Colorado). He talked Galeno del Mal to joining the rudo side after the match.
5) Leo, Mike, Rafy DQ Demonio Infernal, Eterno, Lunatic Xtreme AK-47 ran in to take a DQ.
6) Aramis, Imposible, Rokambole Jr., Villano V Jr. b Capo del Norte, Capo del Sur, Dragón Bane, Hijo de Canis Lupus Hijo de Canis Lupus bled a lot.
The travel for Fantastica Mania doesn’t start until later this week, but tonight’s Puebla card is the first show to really show the effects of the tour. Puebla returns to the normal Monday day of the week, without anyone who is heading to Japan next week. A lack of available talent and the lack of creativity in using the talent has produced a pretty uninspired card.
The main event is scheduled to be Rush, Vangellys, and La Bestia del Ring versus Diamante Azul, Hechicero, and Valiente. Azul appears to still be out with a groin injury, but CMLL hasn’t bothered to mention a replacement. There’s no one who’s really going to save that match anyway. The semi-main fits in the “I guess that’ll be fine but there is no way anyone is excited to see it” category, with Kraneo, Stuka and Niebla Roja taking on Ephesto, Felino and Mephisto.
To make up for the lack of attractions, CMLL’s brought the Trio Fantastia versus Los Diabolicos match off the legends show and placed in Puebla. Perverso fills in for Mr. Condor for whatever reason. The good part about this match is CMLL’s absolute refusal to acknowledge the Trio Fantastia breakup angle, despite them doing it after every match CMLL puts them in. Astral & Principe Diamante join the usual group of locals in the opener.
The show is back to streaming live on YouTube at 9 pm CT, but this is a show you should probably skip. It’s not going to pretty for the next couple of weeks.
AAA’s press conference is tomorrow (the 8th), not today. It’s good I write this site because it’s helpful when I can’t remember dates and go along thinking the wrong one for days.
CMLL (SAT) 01/12/2019Arena Coliseo
1) Acero & Aéreo vs Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Violencia
2) Astral, Eléctrico, Príncipe Diamante vs Hijo del Signo, Inquisidor, Metálico
3) Magnus, Pegasso, Stigma vs Sagrado, Sangre Azteca, Universo 2000 Jr.
4) Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Vangellys [lightning]
5) Black Panther, Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr. vs Ephesto, Felino, Luciferno
6) Kráneo, Niebla Roja, Valiente vs Euforia, La Bestia Del Ring, Rush
CMLL is built around Kraneo versus Los Ingobernables for a couple weeks.
CMLL (SAT) 01/05/2019Arena Coliseo [CMLL]
1) Apocalipsis & Inquisidor b Bengala & Leono
2) Estrellita, La Maligna, Sanely b Amapola, La Comandante, La Seductora tecnicas took 1/3
3) Black Panther, Blue Panther Jr., Drone b Nitro, Tiger, Universo 2000 Jr. Tecnicos took 1/3.
4) Flyer b Okumura [lightning] Okumura replaced Polvora.
5) Ephesto, Felino, Hechicero b Ángel de Oro, Guerrero Maya Jr., Soberano Jr. Rudos took 1/3
6) Atlantis, Carístico, Valiente b Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero tecnicos took 2/3.
Flyer talked about his win. Polvora seemed to be at the building – a fan posted a photo with him – so no idea why he didn’t end up wrestling.
CMLL (SUN) 01/06/2019Arena México [CMLL]
1) Fantasy & Último Dragóncito b Pequeño Olímpico & Pequeño Violencia Pequeno Olimpico replaced Pequeno Universo 2000. Tecnicos took 2/3.
2) Espanto Jr. & Espíritu Negro b Magnus & Oro Jr. Tecnicos took 2/3.
3) Hechicero, Rey Bucanero, Shocker b Blue Panther Jr., Guerrero Maya Jr., Stuka Jr. Rudos took 2/3, Hechicero beating Stuka and asking for a title (re)match. Stuka accepted.
4) Titán b Flyer, Tritón, Esfinge, Rey Cometa, Drone, Black Panther, Audaz, Templario, Virus, Sagrado, Pólvora, Kawato San, Vangellys, Tiger, Universo 2000 Jr. [Reyes del Aire] No battle royal, rudos versus tecnicos. Elimination order: Universo 2000 (Black Panther), Drone (Virus), Sagrado (Triton), Black Panther (Tiger), Virus (flyer), Esfinge (Polvora), Tiger (Rey Cometa), Polvora (Audaz), Rey Cometa (Vangellys), Audaz (Kawato), Vangellys (Titan), Triton & Kawato double elimination, Flyer (Templario), Templario (Titan) leaving Titan as the winner.
5) Carístico, Dragón Lee, Volador Jr. DQ Cuatrero, Sansón, Último Guerrero straight falls, UG once again fouling Caristico.
This show might air on NJPW World eventually, though it’s unlikely we’ll get both the Rey del Aire and the Hechicero/Stuka match. CMLL is definitely booking the Sunday shows stronger than the Tuesday ones over the last six or so months for whatever reason.
Men’s Health has an interview with Soberano Jr., who talks about his workout and eating habits in addition to his career. I really don’t think about how much you’ve got to put in yourself to look like that, seems like an underrated nuisance.
Marisela Pena, La Parka and others were honored Plaza de las Estrellas mall today. Zona Ruda pointed out Pena’s photos of the ceremony include a second La Parka – possibly a La Parka son. La Parka having a son in training was mentioned a while back but it didn’t sound like he was close to debuting. Maybe we’ll hear something more at the AAA press conference on Monday.
AAA’s TV from this week combined the two November tapings (so 3 matches out of the 13 that were taped.) The ones that make the cut were the exoticos versus Mercenarios & Jinetes del Aire versus Poder del Norte from Orizaba, and just the Pagano/Lider vs Macizos match from Juarez with a Pagano feature before it. Can’t think of the last time multiple tapings were combined like that. They’re still very behind and have some urgency to catch up. The rest of the matches will go up on Wednesday.
The Fantastica Mania lineups came out Sunday night. They’re not as strong as recent years. Instead of scheduling big matches on the Tokyo shows, they’ve built around another family tag team tournament. It means most of the card for the 18th and 20th is TBD, not that we should expect a lot of stuff given what’s been announced elsewhere. The shows should be fun, but it’s not as interesting as they could’ve been. I’m going to focus on the streaming shows.
CMLL , NJPW (FRI) 01/11/2019 Osaka Prefectural Gym, Osaka, Japan Fantastica Mania, 2019 Day 1
1) Audaz, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask vs Gedo, Taiji Ishimori, Templario
2) Flyer, Jushin Liger, Titán vs Forastero, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru
3) Atlantis & Atlantis Jr. vs Okumura & Sansón
4) Ángel de Oro, Dragón Lee, Místico vs Cuatrero, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero
5) Kushida, Místico, Soberano Jr. vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Carístico, Namajague [Relevos Increíbles]
6) Fujin, Raijin, Satoshi Kojima, Toa Henare vs Bushi, Shingo Takagi, Terrible, Tetsuya Naito
Atlantis Jr. makes his debut teaming with his father and facing Sanson & Okumura. Atlantis Jr. is tied to Okumura for the entire tour.
The show opener has a lot of people. Kanemaru and Taichi do not typically work these shows. Taichi is now a heavyweight, so Kanemaru would normally team with El Desperado. That man is nowhere to be seen. Instead, Namajague – not seen since the end of 2013 – is scheduled for all the shows. Sho & Yo also revert to their Fujin & Raijin identities.
Okada & Tanahashi are not present on this shows, except for a last night cameo in a strange form. They only worked the province shows last year and skipped Korakuen Hall. Kushida also announced tonight that he’s finishing with NJPW at the end of the month, but will work these shows.
CMLL , NJPW (WED) 01/16/2019 Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan Fantastica Mania, 2019 Day 5
1) Kushida, Ryusuke Taguchi, Titán vs Forastero, Gedo, Taiji Ishimori
2) Fujin & Raijin vs Bushi & Shingo Takagi
3) Ángel de Oro, Audaz, Soberano Jr. vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Namajague, Okumura
4) Satoshi Kojima & Toa Henare vs Terrible & Tetsuya Naito
5) Carístico, Jyushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask vs Gran Guerrero, Templario, Último Guerrero
6) Atlantis & Atlantis Jr. vs Cuatrero & Sansón [CMLL FAMILY, semifinal]
7) Dragón Lee & Místico vs Flyer & Volador Jr. [CMLL FAMILY, semifinal]
This is the bonus streaming show added this year. It makes sense with the main events being the family tag team tournament again. This was fine last year but nothing extraordinary and seems to be getting in the way of more exciting matches.
Fujin & Raijian vs Bushi & Taguchi should be good, but an all NJPW match feels like someone missed the point of the tour somewhere along the line. The fourth match isn’t far of either.
CMLL , NJPW (FRI) 01/18/2019Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan Fantastica Mania, 2019 Toyko Day 1
5) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [CMLL FAMILY, final] winner of the matches in Chiba
6) Soberano Jr. vs Bárbaro Cavernario
7) Fujin, Raijin, Satoshi Kojima, Toa Henare vs Bushi, Shingo Takagi, Terrible, Tetsuya Naito Black Cat Memorial match
The annual Japan/Mexico match features exactly one Mexican. Soberano/Cavernario is a battle of champions with neither title on the line. Perhaps that is to make the winner harder to guess, though it’d be a surprise if Cavernario isn’t that winner.
The undercard is TBA depending on the results of the tournament.
CMLL , NJPW (SUN) 01/20/2019Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan Fantastica Mania, 2019 Toyko Day 2
1) ? & ?? vs ??? & ????
2) ? & ?? vs ??? & ????
3) ? & ?? vs ??? & ????
4) ? & ?? vs ??? & ????
5) Satoshi Kojima vs Terrible
6) Fujin, Raijin, Toa Henare vs Bushi, Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito
7) Gran Guerrero & Último Guerrero vs ? & ?? winners of family tournament
Last year’s tournament final was Gran Guerrero & Ultimo Guerrero beating Dragon Lee & Mistico. That looks the most likely match here because neither Munoz brother has much to do for the rest of the tour without it. I’d prefer Dragon Lee versus Namajague somewhere in here, but it seems unlikely.
Kojima broke his knee facing Rush last year, will get a chance at revenge on Terrible.
Again, an all NJPW semi-main. There’s a purpose to these matches, those two junior teams will meet in a title match in February, but it makes these shows a little less novel.
Volador and Caristico is a big match and one that hasn’t been done on this tour so far. Overall, it seems like the solution to running out of new singles matches for these shows is “less singles match.”
The semi-main are NJPW wrestlers in the personalities from the recent “My Dad is a Heel Wrestler” movie. Dragon George is Okada, Gorilla Maruyma is Togi Makabe, Ginbae Mask is Taguchi and Gokiburi Mask is Tanahashi.
The fifth match also points to Dragon Lee & Mistico winning the family tournament. Trios title match would be much better with almost any other tecnico besides Atlantis. (Audaz is in the spot of getting nothing to do this time around.)
This was one of the best CMLL shows, top to bottom, in a long time. The fourth match was not much good and some of the others were short, but the top two are worth making time for and the undercard was all good. The luchadors treated this like it was an important show and the effort showed thru.
FantasticaMania lineups normally come out around 11 pm ET tonight. There’s no guarantee that they will again, but it’ll be worth checking around NJPW’s website for them.
Arena Lopez Mateos on 02/01 has Maximo vs La Mascara in a seconds hair match. Brazo de Plata is Maximo’s second, which means La Mascara’s second (Goya Kong) is just a footnote; they’ve found a way to do a Super Porky hair loss payoff without him wrestling.
Lady Maravilla is happy with her 2018, for both joining AAA and for getting the WWE tryout. She says the Mexicans were told they did the best as a group, which makes sense given they probably get much more matches than a lot of people coming from South America. (And also they could’ve just been told that.)
CMLL (FRI) 01/11/2019Arena México
1) Robin, Star Jr., Súper Astro Jr. vs Cancerbero, Disturbio, Raziel
2) Drone, Esfinge, Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Kawato, Sagrado, Tiger
3) Pólvora vs Felino [lightning]
4) Blue Panther, Rey Cometa, Tritón vs Máscara Año 2000, Rey Bucanero, Shocker
5) Kráneo, Stuka Jr., Volcano vs Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto
6) La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Villano IV vs Euforia, Niebla Roja, Valiente [Relevos Increíbles]
It was always going to be bad in Mexico with the names CMLL was sending to Japan. This outdid expectations. I am guessing Villano IV had the good timing to have a strong match right when CMLL was casting about for a short-term Diamante Azul sub, but that main event wouldn’t be much better with Azul and it’s a condemnation of all the regular guys left that they’re not getting that spot. Shocker & Rey Bucanero are among the wrestlers rarely used on Fridays any more. If you’re a rudo lower on the card from them, you probably should give up any hope of doing anything here.
The first FantasitcaMania show will happen earlier this night. I don’t expect it to be special but it will be more worth your time.