IWRG, FantasticaMania in Nagoya, Puebla preview

photo by Black Terry Jr.

CMLL NJPW (MON) 01/16/2017 Nagoya International Conference Hall, Nagoya, Japan [NJPW, Puroresu Spirit]
Attendance: 1402
1) Gedo, Jado, Raziel b Henare, Jushin Liger, Tiger Mask
8:40. Jado submitted Henare to a crossface.
2) David Finlay & Stuka Jr. b Ephesto & Okumura
4:21. Stuka defeated Okumura.
3) Bushi & Sanada b Ryusuke Taguchi & Soberano Jr.
9:33. Bushi beat Soberano with the MX. LIJ took the tecnico’s mask after the match.
4) EVIL & Naito b Blue Panther Jr. & Máscara Don
7:38. Evil beat Blue Panther with Evil. Naito unmasked Mascara Don post match.
5) Máximo Sexy, Mistico, Volador Jr. b Euforia, Hechicero, Último Guerrero
12:18. Hechicero submitted Mistico to a rolling half crab.
6) Hiromu Takahashi & Rush b Atlantis & Titán
7:53. Rush Driver on Titan.
7) Dragón Lee, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kushida b Bárbaro Cavernario, Okada, Will Ospreay
13:03. Dragon Lee powerbombed Cavernario

Dragon Lee getting the pin on Cavernario before Cavernario challenges for the title speaks to how highly NJPW sees Cavernario at this point. This is the final show pre-Korakuen Hall; they’re all off until Friday. Blue Panther Jr. says he’s hurt an elbow and a shoulder but is good to finish the tourTV Tokyo has a video story on CMLL.

IWRG (SUN) 01/15/2017 Arena Naucalpan [+LuchaTV, Black Terry Jr. (Flickr)]
1) Black Dragón b Omega
2) Demonio Infernal b Aramis
3) Emperador Azteca, Freelance, Veneno b Hip Hop Man, Oficial AK47, X-Fly
4) Herodes Jr., Negro Navarro, Pirata Morgan Jr. b Dragón Fly, Golden Magic, Hijo De Dos Caras
Hijo de Dos Caras actually showed up! He feuded with Herodes.
5) Mr. Electro © b Pirata Morgan [IWRG IC HEAVY]
first defense. Usual blah blah after the match
6) Trauma I b Herodes Jr.
Mascara didn’t get back from Jalisco in time, so Herodes Jr. worked in his place and lost.
7) Apolo Estrada Jr. L Imposible ©, Relámpago [mask, hair, IWRG IC MIDDLE]
Apolo lost his hair to Imposible in his first match here since July. 4th defense for Imposible.

Apolo coming back to lose his hair right is strange in anywhere but IWRG. Maybe the weirder part is Apolo wrestling in an Ephesto tank top of all things. Hijo de Dos Caras actually appeared and there doesn’t appear to be anything with that. IWRG claimed Mascara 2000 Jr. didn’t get back from Jalisco – maybe that was just confusion, he was in Cuernavaca, just a bit over an hour away. It’s not impossible he could’ve worked both, and it would explain why they bumped his match back.

Tonight in Arena Puebla is another chapter in the Carsitico/Negro Casas feud. They’ve been on opposite sides of matches since 2008, and this is the third singles match they’ve had since returning. Casas won on a Elite show last January, Caristico won in November in Guadalajara, and this will be the first match televised since Caristico’s return. Negro Casas singles matches have been on the short side lately, but hopefully Caristico will inspire him to do more than Maximo did on Tuesday.

There’s not a lot to look forward to on the rest of the show. CMLL’s depth isn’t great with the guys in FantasticaMania, but these cards seem worse this year than the last few. The semimain is Johnny Idol, Marco Corleone and Valiente against La Mascara, Mascara 2000 and Vangellys. Angel de Oro, Guerrero Maya and Stigma face Dragon Rojo, Polvora and Skandalo, which might be good outside of the Stigma/Skandalo feud. The tercera is a minis match, Astro, Shockercito, Ultimo Dragoncito against Espiritu Maligno, Mini Joker and Pequeno Violencia. Violencia & Shockercito feuded last week and seem headed to a singles match. The setup trios will likely be better than the singles match. Puebla opens with two locals only matches: Black Tiger & Tigre Rojo Jr. face Fuerza Chicana & Policeman, and Centella Roja and one of his sons face the Batilon del Muerte to kick off the show.

Puebla airs on CMLL’s YouTube channel at 9pm.

I watched the Blue Demon show last night. It’s not really about Blue Demon. It’s not even much about a fictional Blue Demon luchador, with his biggest match instead a framing device about his journey from childhood to becoming a wrestler. They start off with lucha libre because that’s what people are expecting, but it seems like it’ll be a long way before becoming lucha libre.

The show started with a big block of text saying names may be historic, but any relation to real events or real people is coincidence and it’s a work of fiction. It’s really a period drama where the lead character eventually becomes a luchador. The lucha libre scenes are treated like the sport is 100% legit, and that’s not even the hardest thing to believe on the show. The wrestling is a little bit like current Hijo del Santo, but generally something more akin to a modern match than anything Blue Demon and El Santo would’ve had in the 50s.

The premiere aired on Univsion, while the rest of the show will air on Unimas every night. Unfortunately, at least for me, Unimas hasn’t put in episode guide information. Every episode is listed as the same generic episode, making it very hard for a DVR to record it. You can get English captioning, but have to figure out how to get closed captioning 3 to work.

Segunda Caida reviews Valiente & Ultimo Guerrero from June, and Rey Escorpion vs Teddy Hart.

CMLL Martes de Nuevo Valores: 2017-01-10

the sabu point backfires!

Recapped: 01/11/2017

What happened: Negro Casas cheated to defeat heavyweight champion Maximo, in an outcome which is not setting up a heavyweight title match.

What was good: The fourth match is the only match worth watching. The Negro Casas/Maximo match was not much.

Where can I watch it: It’s on CMLL’s channel. (more…)

CMLL weekend results, FantasticaMania in Kyoto

CMLL (SAT) 01/14/2017 Arena Coliseo [CMLL]
1) Acero & Aéreo b Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Universo 2000
2) Flyer, Robin, Star Jr. b Canelo Casas, Hijo del Signo, Metálico
Tecnicos took 2/3.
3) Marcela, Princesa Sugehit, Skadi b Dalys, Reyna Isis, Zeuxis
Tecnicas took 2/3.
4) Blue Panther, Guerrero Maya Jr., The Panther b Misterioso Jr., Sagrado, Vangellys
Tecnicos took 2/3.
5) Felino, Mephisto, Negro Casas b Ángel de Oro, Carístico, Valiente
Rudos took 1/3. Mephisto snuck in a foul on Caristico, and Caristico wants a singles match.

An actual feud! One they could’ve started last week, when they had the same two people in the main event.

CMLL NJPW (SUN) 01/15/2017 KBS Hall, Kyoto, Japan [CMLL, NJPW, Puroresu Spirit]
Attendance: 778
1) Blue Panther Jr. & Henare b Ephesto & Raziel
7:41. Blue Panther Jr. German suplexed Raziel
2) Jushin Liger & Stuka Jr. b Jado & Okumura
6:20. Okumura beat Stuka with the hanging DDT.
3) Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi, Sanada b Kushida, Ryusuke Taguchi, Titán
10:44. Sanada defeated Taguchi with the Skull End
4) Dragón Lee & Tiger Mask b Bárbaro Cavernario & Gedo
8:34. Tiger Suplex on Gedo.
5) Euforia & Hechicero b Máximo Sexy & Mistico
11:!5. Euforia pinned Mistico with a jumping powerbomb.
6) EVIL, Naito, Rush b Atlantis, Máscara Don, Soberano Jr.
10:12. Rush Driver on Soberano Jr.
7) David Finlay, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Volador Jr. b Okada, Último Guerrero, Will Ospreay
12:45. Volador pinned Ultimo Guerrero after the top rope frankensteiner.

Continuing on with the tour. Monday is the last show outside of Tokyo.

CMLL (SUN) 01/15/2017 Arena México [CMLL]
1) Akuma & Artillero b Bengala & Leono
Rudos took 1/3.
2) Nitro, Sangre Azteca, Skándalo b Oro Jr., Pegasso, Stigma
Rudos took 1/3.
3) Blue Panther, Fuego, Rey Cometa b Luciferno, Misterioso Jr., Tiger
Tecnicos took 1/3.
4) La Máscara, Mephisto, Pierroth b Ángel de Oro, Drone, Johnny Idol
Rudos took 1/3.
5) Carístico, Marco Corleone, Valiente DQ Gran Guerrero, Negro Casas, Niebla Roja
Tecnicos took 2/3, the last by DQ when Negro fouled Marco.

I don’t believe they’re doing the Marco/Casas thing quite as much.

Friday in Tijuana, the scheduled main event was Psycho Clown and a surprise luchador versus Dr. Wagner & Pagano. The surprise was Joe Lider, which is not much of a surprise. Psycho lost (of course) to Wagner after a Goya Kong distraction. The semimain saw Fantasma & Angelico lose to Texano & La Parka when La Parka submitted Angelico.

Saturday in Arena Lopez Mateos, Sadico & Yoruba kept the AULL tag titles over Emperador Azteca & Flamita when Flamita & Sadico went to a double pin. It’s part of the never ending tease to Sadico & Flamita having an apuesta match. Earlier, Keneisha Moon defeated Diosa Atenea to win the WWS Women’s Championship. Atenea had been champion for about fourteen months, with at least seven defenses.

AAA’s TV is up, their first episode of new matches after four weeks of (planned) repeats. The show aired late on TV and was edited (with the Noti AAA segment cut out), as Televisa was broadcasting the NBA game in Mexico City and it went long.

Marco Corleone talks about being an American living the Mexican dream.

LuchaWorld has the latest Lucha Report.

Tier 1 Lucha Libre is debuting in New York on 02/19, and they’ve posted the full Fenix/Pentagon Jr. match from the previous lucha libre promotion in running that building.

Rayo de Jalisco, Pentagon Jr., Super Muneco, Super Pinocho, and a guys who I wouldn’t recognize if his name wasn’t listed there are on the cover of Box  Y Lucha #3267.

Ohtani’s Jacket reviews Cavernario vs Volador Jr. from 10/07.

Lineup

CMLL (SAT) 01/21/2017 Arena Coliseo
1) Bengala & Leono vs Artillero & Camorra
2) La Vaquerita, Marcela, Skadi vs Amapola, La Seductora, Tiffany
3) Blue Panther, Stigma, The Panther vs Puma, Tiger, Virus
4) Ángel de Oro, Johnny Idol, Valiente vs Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Vangellys
5) Carístico vs Mephisto

Tercera and main event could be fun.

CMLL (SUN) 01/22/2017 Arena México
1) Marvel & Sangre Imperial vs El Coyote & Grako
2) Astral, Fantasy, Stukita vs Mercurio, Pequeño Olímpico, Pequeño Universo 2000
3) La Jarochita, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit vs Dalys, Reyna Isis, Zeuxis
4) Blue Panther, Johnny Idol, Valiente vs Gran Guerrero, Niebla Roja, Ripper
5) Carístico, Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone vs Pierroth, Shocker, Terrible

This, on the other hand, looks like one of the rougher cards CMLL could put out. This is probably last Arena Mexico card without the Japan crew.

CMLL (SUN) 01/22/2017 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Avispón Negro Jr. & Capitán Cobra vs Destello & Destructor
2) Fugaz & Johnny Dinamo vs Linterna & Mr. Brisa
3) Neutrón, Sky Kid, Smaker vs Évola, Relámpago, Thunder Boy
4) Flash II, Star Black, Vaquero Jr. vs Exterminador, Gran Kenut, León Blanco
5) Joker © vs Frezzer [OCCIDENTE MIDDLE]
2nd defense

Frezzer goes from losing in the cage match to winning his way to a title match.

DTU (SUN) 02/05/2017 Unidad Deportiva Javier Rojo Gomez, Tulancingo, Hidalgo
1) Toto vs Drolux, Luigi, Hard Boy, Star Shock
2) Black Fire, Camuflaje, Kastigador, Lokillo vs Drastik Boy, Hormiga, Moria, Niño De Cobre
3) Angelito Mágico, Mini Crazy Boy, Parkita vs Aguilita Magica, Centellita De La Muerte, Mini Espíritu
4) Marcela & Zuzu Divine vs La Magnifica & Zeuxis
5) Cíclope & Miedo Extremo vs Jimmy & Kevin and El Gio & El Junior
6) Paranoiko & Solar I vs Black Terry & Virus
7) Crazy Boy, Flamita, Mistico II vs Aero Boy, Psicosis II, Ronnie Mendoza

Just pointing this out because of the semifinal.

Terrible defeats Rayo, FM Day 2, Lucha Memes

Terrible wins!

CMLL (FRI) 01/13/2017 Arena México [CMLL, thecubsfan, Yahoo! Deportes]
1) Astral & Eléctrico b Demus 3:16 & Pierrothito  (posted by thecubsfan)
13:07. Tecnicos took 1/3.
2) La Vaquerita, Princesa Sugehit, Silueta b Amapola, La Comandante, Tiffany Estrellita, La Vaquerita, Silueta vs Amapola, La Comandante, Tiffany (posted by thecubsfan)
14:26. Tecnicas took 1/3.
3) Kráneo, Ripper, Sam Adonis b Blue Panther, Johnny Idol, The Panther Blue Panther, Johnny Idol, The Panther vs Kráneo, Ripper, Sam Adonis (posted by thecubsfan)
16:26. Rudos took 2/6. Ripper feuded a bit with the Panthers, though it was Kraneo who got the big pin.
4) Guerrero Maya Jr. TLDRAW Bobby Z [lightning] Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Bobby Z in a lightning match (posted by thecubsfan)
A 10 minute time limit draw with neither man about to win when time ran out. They briefly continued fighting after the match.
5) Ángel de Oro, Marco Corleone, Valiente b El Cuatrero, Máscara Año 2000, Sansón Ángel de Oro, Marco Corleone, Valiente vs El Cuatrero, Máscara Año 2000, Sansón (posted by thecubsfan)
9:57. Tecnicos took 2/3.
6) Mephisto, Rey Bucanero, Terrible b Carístico, Diamante Azul, Rayo de Jalisco Jr. Carístico, Diamante Azul, Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs Mephisto, Rey Bucanero, Terrible (posted by thecubsfan)
17:31. rudos took 1/3, the last when Terrible snuck in a foul on Rayo. Rayo demanded a rematch for next week.

Terrible pinning Rayo de Jalisco is a great moment for mankind, though I’m probably not going to like it as much when Rayo beats Terrible in a singles match in two weeks. That seemed like the plan from how it went down last night, with Rayo talking about Terrible in a promo even before the match and Rayo wearing his FILL (Monterrey) Heavyweight championship to the ring. Rayo was over with the crowd, but the crowd was not especially big.

Kraneo teams with Ripper a lot because they’re Invasors, but Kraneo showing up with a new mask and repeatedly pinning Panther children makes me wonder if maybe he’s getting into the Ripper/Panther feud. Too soon to be sure but worth keeping an eye on.

Check out the Maya/Bobby match for sure, and the tercera which preceded it.

The show was broadcast on Claro Sports as usual. It’s not business as usual for Claro, though – they were taken over by Spain’s Marca this past week. A new ClaroSports website is apparently coming, but the main page now directs to Marca’s site, and Marca’s site didn’t mention the CMLL show at all. You could still view it fine via the direct link (and I didn’t get many questions about finding the link, so I suspect very few people watched it.) I’m not sure what this means for CMLL & Claro going forward, but Claro promoted the stream much less than have in the past.

A person passed away outside of Arena Mexico last night, though it does not be connected with CMLL in anyway. The individual, who’s name and gender isn’t mentioned, was 85 years old. (Other reports are reporting a different age.) They suffered a heart attack, and fatally injured their head falling down.

CMLL NJPW (SAT) 01/14/2017 Ehime World Trade Center, Ehime, Japan [NJPW, Puroresu Spirit]
Attendance: 1104
1) Ephesto & Jado b Henare & Jushin Liger
7:51. Ephesto beat Henare with the Ephesto roll.
2) Gedo & Raziel b David Finlay & Soberano Jr.
7:13. Raziel pinned Soberano Jr. with the Caida Mas Inferno (middle rope Falcon Arrow)
3) Bushi, EVIL, Sanada b Blue Panther Jr., Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask
8:52. Bushi beat Blue Panther Jr. with the MX. The Ingobernables unmasked the tecnicos after the match.
4) Dragón Lee & Stuka Jr. b Bárbaro Cavernario & Okumura
5:53. Stuka beat Okumura. Stuka won with the torpedo splash.
5) Hechicero & Último Guerrero b Máximo Sexy & Volador Jr.
14:27. Hechicero submitted Maximo to a bow and arrow variant. Hechicero declared Maximo’s kiss wouldn’t work on him.
6) Hiromu Takahashi, Naito, Rush b Atlantis, Máscara Don, Titán
9:31. Rush pinned Titan with the Rush Driver.
7) Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kushida, Mistico b Euforia, Okada, Will Ospreay
13:50. Mistico beat Euforia with La Mistica.

Raziel’s finish getting a name beyond “Raziel Driver” is the big news from these shows.

Coliseo tonight has Ángel de Oro, Carístico, Valiente vs Felino, Mephisto, Negro Casas in the main event. The Japan crew is in Ehime with a Tanahashi, Kushida and Mistico versus Euforia, Okada and Ospreay main event; that’s one I’m really disappointed isn’t airing.

Martinez Promotions returns in Texas with Epydemius & Pentagon Jr. taking on Aeroboy & Violento Jack. That show also has a Ronnie Mendoza vs Zack Sabre Jr. match. Elsehwere in Texas, Fenix & Laredo Kid team on the WrestleCircus show.

Today’s AAA TV show returns to new wrestling matches, or at least matches from a month ago in Chilpancingo.  Argenis/Lanzelot/Nino Hamburguesa vs Carta Brava/Dave the Clown/Soul Rocker, Aerostar/Drago defending the tag titles again Monster/Muder & Joe Lider/Daga and the main event of
Fantasma/Psycho/Texano vs Wagner/Mesias/Pagano will air. The remainder will air next week, and Guerra de Titanes will start airing the week after that.

On a Instagram Livestream, Melissa Santos said Lucha Underground is coming to Netflix soon. This would be great news if it happened, but it does seem like it’s supposed to have been coming “soon” for roughly a season and a half. I am doubtful this story means anything new, and I’m disinterested in promises of anything coming soon with LU that doesn’t have a hard date, but I’m putting it here so we can remember to give Melissa credit if she’s broken the news.

Lucha Memes Chairo 8 on 01/29 in Arena Naucalpan
1: Hechicero vs Dr. Cerbero
2: Silueta (c) vs Keira [REINA IJ]
3: Raymond Rowe vs Rush*
4: Demasiado, Diva Salvaje, ? vs Demonio Infernal, Black Dragon, Dragon Negro
5: Laredo Kid & Ronnie Mendoza vs Krimanal Boys (Toxin & Fly Star)*

This match will be the other match included in the $50MXP package with Rush & Raymond Rowe. It’s being billed as a bonus match, but it might be as big as a draw given Laredo & Ronnie both breaking into the US indie world in 2016. This is going to draw some interest as the first offering of this kind from a popular lucha group, so it’s a big chance for the Kriminal Boys to get a look from unfamiliar people.

The plan is to have this Lucha Memes package available to watch within 48 hours of the show.

AAA luchadors were part of fan activities for the recent NBA game in Mexico City.

¡Sorpresa! ¡Es Lucha! returns to talk about Dragon Lee, three Kings’ Day, and their picks for the best matches of the year.

Hijo del Santo writes about defeating Brazo de Oro in a hair match.

Lineup

CMLL (FRI) 01/20/2017 Arena México
1) Flyer & Oro Jr. vs Akuma & Inquisidor
2) Fuego, Pegasso, The Panther vs Disturbio, Sangre Azteca, Skándalo
3) Tritón vs Misterioso Jr. [lightning]
4) Guerrero Maya Jr., Johnny Idol, Rey Cometa vs Bobby Z, Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora
5) Ángel de Oro, Blue Panther, Marco Corleone vs Felino, Negro Casas, Sam Adonis
6) Carístico, Diamante Azul, Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs Mephisto, Rey Bucanero, Terrible

There’s some hope for some of these matches, but this is not an especially strong card and should do no damage to Guerra de Titanes across town.

Sam Adonis getting a semimain here – he even got to do the video preview – is a pretty big moment for his CMLL run. He still has a gringo on the other side, because it’s not safe for foreigners to go out in Mexico alone I guess.

CMLL on ClaroSports.com: 2017-01-13 

everyone doing exciting things in the Rayo match (besides Rayo)

Recapped: 01/13/2017

What happened: Rayo de Jalisco returned to Arena Mexico again, but this time in a loss. Terrible snuck in a foul on him to get the win. Rayo demanded a trios rematch next week.

Underneath, Guerrero Maya and Bobby Z went to the first time time limit draw in about eighteen months. Ripper continued his feud with the Panther family by helping his trios win (though it was Kraneo who actually pinned little brother The Panther.)

CMLL also brought back pre-match promos during the show, which went much longer than last week.

What was good: The lightning match and trios directly before it were the strongest matches on the show. The top two matches were successful given the limitations of luchadors everyone else had to work around, but aren’t really worth searching out beyond that context.

Where can I watch it: See below.

(more…)

FantasticaMania Day 1, Friday night preview, el Rey

CMLL (TUE) 01/10/2017 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Martes de Glamour]
1) Frezzer & Furia Roja b Sky Kid & Smaker
Rudos took 2/3.
2) Arkángel de la Muerte, Inquisidor, Rey Trueno b Leono, Magnum, Sensei
Rudos took 1/3.
3) Esfinge, Fuego, Tritón b Puma, Sagrado, Tiger
Tecnicos took 1/3.
4) Ángel de Oro, Blue Panther, Valiente b Bobby Z, Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora
Tecnicos took 1/3, Ángel de Oro defeating Dragón Rojo to set up a title match.
5) Carístico, Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone b Cavernario, Felino, Mephisto
Tecnicos took 2/3.

I’m actually a little disappointed we probably won’t get to see Angel de Oro versus Dragon Rojo and I wouldn’t have said that this time last year.

CMLL NJPW (FRI) 01/13/2017 EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Japan [Strong Style Spirt]
Attendance: 1015
1) Henare & Soberano Jr. b Jado & Raziel
8:30. Soberano pinned Raziel with a moonsault.
2) Ephesto, Gedo, Okumura b Jushin Liger, Stuka Jr., Tiger Mask
7:22. Okumura beat Stuka with the hanging DDT. Mima Shimoda seconded Okumura, as usaul for this tour.
3) EVIL & Sanada b Blue Panther Jr. & David Finlay
8:00. Sanada beat Finlay with the Skull End.
4) Dragón Lee & Titán b Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi
7:47. Titan defeated Bushi with El Inmortal.
5) Bárbaro Cavernario, Euforia, Último Guerrero b Kushida, Mistico, Volador Jr.
14:19. Ultimo Guerrero defeated Volador with the Guerrero Special.
6) Atlantis & Máscara Don b Naito & Rush
9:39. Atlantida on Rush.
7) Hiroshi Tanahashi, Máximo Sexy, Ryusuke Taguchi b Hechicero, Okada, Will Ospreay
12:02. Maximo pinned Hechicero after a kiss and a cradle, then kissed Tanahashi after the match.

A normal tour opening show, with wins to build up title matches on the way to title matches. (This is the show where Titan always gets a direct pinfall on someone, it seems.) Everything sounds watchable, nothing sounds must see. This show was to be taped for SamuraiTV and should turn up next week.

CMLL’s Ivan & Miguel are doing video on CMLL’s Facebook. They hung around the merchandise stand for a while, and walked around before the show to see the fans.

Last Friday was a really fun CMLL show. This week is a different show. Rayo de Jalisco returns to Arena Mexico to main event. His previous match in Arena Mexico got booed out of the building, but at least he was one of the better guys in it. Rayo teams with Caristico, Diamante Azul versus Terrible, Rey Bucanero and Mephisto in a main event which doesn’t seem good at all. Sanson & Cuatrero are back in a big match, mostly because Mascara 2000 is back around during the FantasticaMania break. They face Valiente, Marco and Angel de Oro. Bobby Z and Guerrero Maya face off once again in the lightning match, which sometime is a good thing and sometimes a very not good thing. Blue Panther & The Panther team with Johnny Idol against Sam Adonis, Ripper and Kraneo. Estrellita, Vaquerita and the returning Silueta face Amapola, Tiffany and La Comandante in the second, and the show opens Astral & Electrico against Demus 3:16 & Pierrothito. This is not a good card at all, not just in comparison with last week, but compared to a normal Friday show.

The show still airs at 8:30pm CT on ClaroSports.

Diamante Azul, interviewed about wrestling on this show, says he’s doing some MMA and rugby when he’s back in France in addition to the wrestling.

El Rey held their presentation as part of the semiannual TCA meetings. There didn’t seem to be any specific Lucha Underground announcements, though the network head did mention they were happy with the audience it’s delivered and they want it to remain seasonal, not year round like WWE. El Rey’s point of emphasis was shifting the network towards more male oriented programming. (Reporters met the comparison to UFC-era Spike.) They announced two new shows – “Man At Arms” (8 one hour weapon crafting episodes, based on a YouTube series) and “Rite of Passage” (12 part doc, man goes around world for that thing in the title.) Both shows feel a lot like Lucha Underground. They’re listed as airing “first half of 2017”. It’d make sense for LU to air the same time to help people know the new shows exist, but first half of 2017 and Summer 2017 have only a small overlap.

This week’s Masks, Mats and Mayhem talked about the Lucha Underground break, and were much more optimistic than me (while also pointing out the problems.) They may have people from the show on in recent episodes. CultIcon writes about the state of Lucha Underground, a bit more down on things. If LU makes noticeable progress while they’re off the air, then maybe we can all be happy.

Octagon, in talking about his identity lawsuit against AAA, says luchadors don’t need TV any more and can get by just on social media. (This is what you say when you’re not on TV.)

LuchaWorld has the latest Lucha Report.

Segunda Caida writes about Negro Casas, Ultimo Guerrero, Euforia vs Atlantis, Mistico and Valiente and the August 1, 1997 CMLL cibernetico.

+LuchaTV posted their top 10 moments of the week.

Aerostar is just focused on Super Fly for Guerra de Titanes.

6000 people attended a free AAA show in Boca de Rio, Veracruz on Wednesday.

lucha TV preview for weekend of January 13th

full size

LU goes away just as AAA returns. The taping from Chilpancingo, which you’ve likely totally forgotten about, will start airing this week. We’re guessing on matches for that show (and Retro), since it’s the start of a new taping. Expect a lot of hype for Guerra de Titanes as well.

Caristico versus Negro Casas should be a more interesting main event than usual in Puebla.

Mascara Dorada almost dies on this week’s of Elite on Azteca, so that’s a thing.

AAA upcoming taping schedule, TripleMania location guessing

Matanza: LU
Azteca: me

AAA announced two additional TV tapings yesterday. They’ll be in Plaza de Toros, Apizaco, Tlaxcala on March 5, and back in Gimansio Miguel Barragan on April 12th. I’ve finally put together the torturous AAA TV chart for their year, and it looks like Rey de Reyes much be around March 19th. They held it in SLP last year, so obviously it’ll be a some place new.

That SLP taping is Alberto’s home show and it’d make sense for him to be on it if he’s really coming back to AAA. Maybe it won’t even be that long: with Combate Americas in Mexico next Thursday, it’d be really easy to have him Alberto hang around an extra day just to wave at the crowd at the Friday TV taping. (Even if it’s not the plan now, it’s something they could work out next week.)

If Rey de Reyes is mid March (as normal), the Lucha World Cup takes place in May, and TripleMania is at the end of August, there’s no great spot for a Verano de Escandalo. I’d guess it’ll be a bigger than usual TV taping to run the big angles for TripleMania, but everything from May to August ought to targeting the big show.

This week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes TripleMania might be run in Plaza Mexico, the same building as TripleMania No one’s specified an arena to me, but I’ve got the impression of AAA aiming for that for months, and the oddness of announcing a date but not a location definitely suggests they’re at least thinking about trying something other than Arena Ciudad de Mexico. It’d make sense for them to announce it at the TV taping next week if it’s happening, but I think they’ll need more than Psycho Clown versus Dr. Wagner if they want fill that 50K building up.

The not-announced Queretaro February taping I had here back in December seems to be moved or canceled. The Twitter post mentioning it was deleted, and it doesn’t fit in AAA’s schedule.

There’s also a Perro Aguayo Jr. tribute in San Luis Potosi on March 15th. People going to keep trying to money off his life for decades.

Pentagon Jr. plans on winning the Latin American title back, going after Texano’s heavyweight championship, and then facing Mundo in a mask versus hair match if Mundo’s up for it.

CMLL writes about Dragon Lee’s title match with Hiromu Takahashi at NJPW’s New Beginning. The press release says Dragon Lee will be returning to Mexico in between FantasticaMania & New Beginning tour, and Dragon Lee is noticeably not booked on the first few days of that show. I’ve been wondering if the FantasticaMania tour might end with Dragon Lee going to NJPW full time, but that seems less likely if he really is coming back to Mexico in between tours. Could still mean it happens down the line: Dragon Lee said on +Lucha’s podcast he’ll be touring outside of Mexico a lot in 2017, so maybe there’s still something to the idea.

CMLL’s piece on the FantasticaMania tour makes special note of the Will Ospreay being involved as a rival of Titan & Volador. On Informa, Dragon Lee mentioned Ospreay as a guy who’s wrestled internationally this year. Ospreay in CMLL for a short time would work well, but I have no idea if it’s feasible given his schedule.

Also on Informa, Bobby Z was presented as the third member of Los Revolucionarios, and Dragon Rojo says they’ll have their first official team up on 01/20 (next Friday). Guerrero Maya will be one of their opponents.

This week’s Observer says CMLL is losing Azteca America soon. Of course, CMLL isn’t on Azteca America, Elite is. Maybe that’s what he meant? I tried asking Meltzer on Twitter, and he didn’t respond. There’s also a mention of Elite running a TV taping in February, which would be a great sign for them. No mention if they’d still be with Azteca, and that’s the important part. No date or location.

Jinzo replaces Mr. 450 on The Crash’s 01/21 show. He’ll team with Bestia 666 against Rey Horuz & Jack Evans.

I’m on the latest Strong Style Spirit, discussing the NJPW Tokyo Dome show and FantasticaMania.

+LuchaTV has a sit down interview with Rayo de Jalisco Jr. and a new edition of their podcast.

The Blue Demon TV show starts airing this Sunday on Unmas at 10pm ET. I’ve seen zero mention of it in lucha libre circles in Mexico since it debut on Blim. (Which may be just as much be a Blim issue.)

A new lucha libre movie, “Ni tu, ni yo”, starts filming today. One of actors mentions AAA is contributing luchadors to the project, so we’ll likely hear more about this later. The movie is said to be an attempt to bring back the Santo/Demon type movies, and it says something about how popular those were (and still are) that people keep trying to bring those back even though it hasn’t been successful in decades.

TKD and CultIcon review this week’s Lucha Underground

LuchaWorld has the latest Lucha News Report.

Aqui La Lucha posted the Pista Arena Revolucion results from 33 years ago.

MedioTiempo interviews WWS’s Hetzza.

Lucha Underground 3×19: Gods Among Men

Famous B is great

Matches

Texano defeats Joey Ryan (7:03, golden horseshoe to the head, OK)

Cage defeated Veneno (1:15, Drill Claw, not rated)

Matanza defeated Dragon Azteca (6:59, ref stop, good)

Developments

Dragon Azteca Jr. met his destiny. It turns out Dragon Azteca’s destiny is getting chokeslamed thru the bleachers to the floor. Not all of us are cut out for great things. Azteca put up a fight and survived longer against Matanza than others were managing at the start of the season, but the death match was nearly his own death. Azteca’s mentor Rey Mysterio appeared too late to do anything but check on Azteca. It was the first time Mysterio and Matanza were in the same ring since Aztec Warfare, and Matanza knocked down fans to get a hold of Rey. They fought for a few minutes, with Rey luckily backdropping Matanza thru the ceiling of the storage closet (the fall Fenix took in a death match in season 1.) Dario freaked out, immediately calling for the show to be over and everyone to leave.

Rey & Matanza are headed to a big match, assuming Matanza survived. Johnny Mundo and the Mack are headed to their own big match, an All Night Long title match. Mundo confidently declared the Mack wasn’t in shape to last a full show with him. Mack was good enough shape to surprise attack Mundo, then take out PJ and Jack with stunners in revenge for last week’s attack. Mundo sent security after the Mack, only for the Mack to give them all Stunners as well (in a very obvious Steve Austin homage.)

Dragon Azteca airborne

The other big match very obviously coming is Prince Puma versus Mil Muertes, once again. Vampiro opened the show by threatening revenge on Mil for his attack last week. Later, Prince Puma seemed tormented by thoughts of Mil and their Grave Consequences match. Catrina confronted Puma, and Puma bluffed that he was only distracted by visions of the pain and blood that was coming Mil’s way. Catrina wasn’t convinced or scared.

There were a lot of story this week. The last vision of this “half season” involved the Moth Tribe. First, Marty appeared to be stalking Melissa Santos, but then he was attacked by someone we didn’t see. Mariposa was revealed to be the attacker, and she tied up Marty much like Sexy Star was at the end of season one. Weirdly, Mariposa seemed happy with what Marty had done, and Marty seemed pleased with the approval. It wasn’t clear if Mariposa had new respect to Marty for attacking her last week, or if she liked the idea of Melissa as their next victim, or both.

The middle match on the show saw Cage face debuting luchador Veneno. This is sadly not the pride of Panama Veneno, but someone in a spider mask. Veneno got in a Argenis-like amount of offense on Cage, but was easily beat. Cage wore his new glove out to the ring, but not during the match. Still, the announcers pushed the idea that Cage was suddenly angrier and meaner. (It didn’t come across much in the ring.) Earlier, Councilman Delgado and Dario happily discussed their progress with the glove. Dario explained Cage felt more powerful with the glove, but the glove was actually becoming more powerful over Cage. Delgado said this would soon allow them to become Gods Among Men, though we have little more idea of how that’ll work.

the Temple works to Dragon Azteca’s advantage

Veneno losing the match wasn’t all his misfortune. Sexy Star attacked him after the match, and told Veneno to leave her alone. See, Sexy Star has been stalked by those spiders, and automatically assumed the mystery new spider themed luchador probably had something to do with it. I guess she could be right, but it seems unlikely. We’ve seen “Veneno” before: it’s the mask Captain Vazquez gave Officer Reyes to go back undercover to the Temple. Veneno is Cortez Castro, which you might be able to tell if you didn’t see the old vignette (shown as part of the previously to start the show.) The tattoo on his arm was exposed, and there was not a great deal of hiding his identity outside of the new outfit. We’ll have to wait and see if Joey & Dario can figure it out.

Joey Ryan was in the building, though as a secondary figure in the opener. Even as the announcers pushed the idea of Joey being a big underdog, he was fighting Texano pretty easily. Maybe Texano would’ve won eventually on his own, but it wasn’t clear. Texano did win, but it was only after some help. Famous B & Brenda came to the ring in cowboy gear and recruitment mood, and Brenda passed Texano a golden horseshoe to help him win. Texano still didn’t seem to be interested in Famous B’s services, but does seem to be interested in Brenda.

After the show ended, a El Rey commercial revealed Lucha Underground would return in Summer 2017. No date or even month was given, but that’s a lot longer then even my most pessimistic April 12th guess. Until they do come back, a run of selected best episodes will fill the gap.

Thoughts

the Temple works to Dragon Azteca’s disadvantage

This is a tough episode to evaluate, because it’s positioned as a finale it really doesn’t feel like anything final happened. The Marty/Mariposa/Melissa? stuff just started in the last 10 seconds, though at least it felt like the sort of teaser we got at the end of season 1. They’re early on in this new Cage story, and not much farther in the Texano one. They’re farther along in the Cortez/Joey stuff, but this is more clearly a storyline twist to prolong it, not anything approaching endpoint. Mundo/Mack’s big moment is their next one (and while they did a better job of hiding the audio edits this week, they didn’t do anything to let you know they’d be coming back with that All Night Long match whenever they resume.) Even Dragon Azteca/Matanza wasn’t as much a conclusion as another step to Rey/Matanza.

This is not an Ultima Lucha, nor was it trying to be one. I didn’t think it was as good as the pre-Aztec Warfare break episode from season 1 either. As a more normal Lucha Underground episode, with one big match and nudging along a lot of other storylines (like the Texano/Cage final from two weeks ago), this was fine LU work, but building it as something it was not didn’t do it any favors.

The problem with this episode was Dragon Azteca/Matanza just wasn’t at the awesome level as other shows with one big match and a couple of shorter ones. This was a fully powered up Matanza and it doesn’t make sense for him to do an even fight with Dragon Azteca, at least this point, but but it didn’t allow them to build much drama. Azteca was having enough problems staying alive that there was never even an idea of what a Dragon Azteca win would look like. They covered this up with the big scenery breaking bumps. (You’d think the fans would’ve been given a heads up the bleacher destruction, but those guys looked like they had no idea their seat was going to be demolished. Matanza taking the same bump Fenix did in the same kind of match was a little less impressive, but they were smart to do it in a way where Matanza got taken out by being over aggressive, almost not because Rey did anything.) This was not the epic of other death matches, and it’s a problem that Dragon Azteca hasn’t had an epic match yet on his own, but the highlights should look great when they use them for other shows.

The other two matches were missable. They did a great job of moving lots of things forward – you can see the next batch of big matches starting to take shape – but the action on this show was skippable. The Texano/Joey match didn’t work. Joey seems like he should be on that Argenis level of guys who are easily dismissed, and Lucha Underground wants us to be so impressed with Texano, but they end up having a six minute match as equals. Famous B’s antics were more entertaining than the match.

Dario’s got to re-enforce this floor before this happens again

I wonder if they had a time issue, realizing the main event wasn’t going to go as long as other big singles matches and trying to add time elsewhere. Texano/Joey felt longer than it needed to be, and the Mundo/Mack segment felt like Mundo was stretching for some reason. I can at least grasp the idea of giving Mack an impressive moment – he’s not been a real title challenger until this moment, so have him take out everyone – but it felt a little too much like your local indie doing a recreation of one of their favorite Attitude Era segments. Maybe some of that time could’ve gone to Cage versus Veneno (who’s name Striker couldn’t remember by the end of the match), but I guess Cage has to win dominantly if he’s been powered up. I dunno, it just didn’t all work together for me, even though I appreciated having a sense of direction for where all these ideas are going.

(Maybe some of that time could’ve been used on Dante & Killshot, who looked really great and have disappeared off the map for the last month. They wouldn’t have been on next week either with All Night Long, and their momentum is going to be down to zero by the time we see them next.)

I’m not sure where the show is going. Announcing “Summer 2017” is the bare minimum they could’ve announced and called it announcement, a three-month range which could mean anything and probably means no one’s actually figured out specifically when it’s coming back. (If you’re not locking in a day, or even in a month, you’re not locking in much.) A lot can change between now and then, though the one thing that won’t change is that footage will be more a year old once it starts airing again, and maybe longer than that. Lucha Underground isn’t dead, but they’ve already burned a lot of time when they could’ve been trying to grow themselves. Going into a shell for around six months means negative growth. I expect they’ll be back as promised, but I wonder which people (fans and talent) will be lost in the break.

Casas wins on his birthday, LU midseason finale (and some guesswork about the return)

Casas wins

CMLL (SUN) 01/08/2017 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Domingos Familiares]
1) Destructor b Micro
Destructor took 2/3.
2) Black Sugar & Fugaz b Gitano & Relámpago
Tecnicos took 2/3.
3) Évola & Thunder Boy b El Yaqui & Reycko
Rudos took 2/3, Thunder Boy sneaking in a foul on Yaqui.
4) El Divino, Explosivo, Javier Cruz Jr. b Destello, Espectrúm, Rey Trueno
Destello replaced Infierno. Tecnicos took 2/3.
5) Joker, Sádico, Vaquero Jr. b Frezzer, Furia Roja, Omar Brunetti [Relevos Increíbles]
Team Joker took 2/3. In the third, Omar dove onto Vaquero, the referee got knocked down, and all the rudos started fouling each other. Joker came out on top of Freezer for the win. Freezer & Furia Roja demanded a rematch against Sadico & Joker to determine the best team of rudos.

Those four rudos do indeed meet this week.

CMLL (TUE) 01/10/2017 Arena México [CMLL, Culticon, ESTO]
1) Mercurio & Pequeño Olímpico b Fantasy & Stukita LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 10 DE ENERO DEL 2017 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rudos took 1/3.
2) Cancerbero, Disturbio, Grako b Oro Jr., Príncipe Diamante, Robin LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 10 DE ENERO DEL 2017 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rudos took 1/3. Principe Diamante still hasn’t won.
3) Forastero, Okumura, Virus b Blue Panther Jr., Pegasso, Stigma LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 10 DE ENERO DEL 2017 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rudos took 1/3.
4) Ephesto, Hechicero, Niebla Roja b Dragón Lee, Stuka Jr., Titán LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 10 DE ENERO DEL 2017 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rudos took 2/3.
5) Negro Casas b Máximo Sexy LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 10 DE ENERO DEL 2017 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Casas took 2/3, sneaking in a foul in the third.
6) Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero b Atlantis, Mistico, Volador Jr. LUCHA LIBRE MARTES DE NUEVOS VALORES EN LA ARENA MEXICO 10 DE ENERO DEL 2017 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)

An all rudo night, which must’ve been odd for the tourists. Fourth match looked fun. Singles match was quick but nice.

The FantasticaMania luchadors are headed out to Japan today. Judging from social media, they were already in Dallas or wherever they’re connecting from around noon, and should be in Tokyo later tonight.

Today is Lucha Underground episode 319, Gods Among Men. This is the last before a hiatus. Matches announced:

  • Texano versus Joey Ryan
  • Cage versus TBA
  • Dragon Azteca Jr. versus Matanza in a death match (video to set it up)

Previous death matches include Mil Muertes putting Fenix thru the floor to the floor below. Dragon Azteca Jr. needs a mental health check. (For other reasons, this is an infamous match, and we’ll see how they handle that aspect when it airs.)

This is being promoted as a midseason finale. In no way was this meant to be a midseason finale. Texano versus Joey Ryan, and Cage versus [name redacted] are not the kind of matches you would seem on a midseason finale. Someone decided this was going to be it, and there may be decent reasons for it, but it wasn’t the plan when they put this together. It’s going to be judged by that finale name (and it’s going to be judged because people rightly assumed the All Night Long match would be this week), and there’s nothing wrong with that criteria, but I would suggest not expecting anything special just because they belatedly attached “finale” to it.

There’s been no statement or even suggestion from Lucha Underground or El Rey when they might be back. It will be a big mistake if they don’t announce something tonight; you can’t let people check out without making sure they know when to check back in. I don’t know anything for sure, but I did find a hint in the upcoming show listings. Next week (01/18), El Rey will air the first two episodes (“The Top of the Ladder”/”A Unique Opportunity”) from the Lucha Underground marathon on Thanksgiving. The following week (01/25), El Rey will air episodes three and four (“Aztec Warfare”/”Grave Consequences”) from the same marathon. That’s a pretty easy to follow pattern. The Thanksgiving marathon was 24 hours (22 episodes, a couple two parters in there). If LU just runs the same order of episodes, two hours at a time, the last repeats would air on April 5th, and Lucha Underground Season 3 would return on April 12th.

April 12th is a bit longer than I had heard, but still am unable to confirm. The pattern doesn’t exactly work either: both two hour episodes would either neither to be cut up, or rescheduled, or they’d have to give them an extra hour that night. Think of April 12 as the latest possible date Lucha Underground could return, and it’ll probably be back a few weeks before that. (April 12th would put the finale on August 30th – coincidentally, days after TripleMania. Again, I think it’ll be a little sooner than that, but that gives you a range.)

Lucha Memes Chairo 8 on 01/29 in Arena Naucalpan
1: Hechicero vs Dr. Cerbero
2: Silueta (c) vs Keira [REINA IJ]
3: Raymond Rowe vs Rush
4: Demasiado, Diva Salvaje, ? vs Demonio Infernal, Black Dragon, Dragon Negro

The mystery person is an exotico to form a new trio.

The Sam Adonis & Ultimo Guerrero vs Stuka Jr. & Mistico match in Orlando will take place on a show at 04/01 at 3pm.

There’s a benefit show for Tlaxcala luchador Batman.

LigerFever has a translation of Demus’ great interview in CaraLuchas on New Year’s Day 2016.

Lineups

CMLL (TUE) 01/17/2017 Arena México
1) Acero & Aéreo vs Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro
2) Magia Blanca, Robin, Sensei vs Arkángel de la Muerte, Cancerbero, Nitro
3) Pegasso, Star Jr., Stigma vs Sagrado, Tiger, Virus
4) Rey Cometa vs Puma [lightning]
5) Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr., Johnny Idol vs Gran Guerrero, Niebla Roja, Vangellys
6) Blue Panther, Diamante Azul, Valiente vs La Máscara, Pierroth, Shocker

Things are going to be even worse than usual on Tuesdays for a little while. There’s little hope for that main event, but Cometa/Puma is good and the tercera should be good.

CMLL (TUE) 01/17/2017 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Mágico & Vaquero Jr. vs Gran Kenut & Joker
2) Princesa Sugehit, Silueta, Skadi vs Dalys, La Comandante, Zeuxis
3) Esfinge, Fuego, Tritón vs El Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
4) Dragón Rojo Jr. © vs Ángel de Oro [CMLL MIDDLE]
17th defense
5) Carístico, Kráneo, Negro Casas vs Marco Corleone, Mephisto, Terrible [Relevos Increíbles]

Caristico, Kraneo, Marco and Mephisto repeat from this week. Marco/Kraneo and Carsitico/Mephisto could work, though Caristico/Kraneo would be fun too.

This is Angel de Oro’s 3rd challenge in Dragon Rojo’s title reign. Dragon Rojo has been champion for so long that Oro’s first challenge was in 2012. Dragon Rojo is going to be crushed if he ever loses this belt. He probably won’t on this show.