The Mack won The battle of the Bulls final over Jeremiah Crane, PJ Black and Cage (good)
PJ Black beat Cage with a 450 splash (6:01)
Mack beat Crane with a middle rope stunner (10:29)
Mack beat Black with a stunner (11:31)
Johnny Mundo beat Sexy Star to keep the Lucha Underground championship (escape after mask pull, 12:07, ok) – first defense
Johnny Mundo is your Lucha Underground champion, and he won it all by himself this time. He didn’t do it cleanly, because he is Johnny Mundo, but he’s still champion and I doubt much else matters to him. Mundo escaped the cage to win, in a match where Sexy Star had most of the chances to escape. She also had the clearest close call, getting free at the top of the cage, but opting for a top rope plancha on Mundo instead of escaping. Vampiro loudly insisted Sexy wanted to make a statement about never running away. Sexy didn’t run, but, like in telling Mack not to help out a few weeks ago, it wasn’t the right decision as far as winning the match. Mundo and Sexy battled next to the cage soon after, with Mundo pulling off Sexy’s mask and escaping as she scrambled it to the back. (Striker sold this as Sexy choosing the mask over her title; he probably would’ve aged better if he had explained more as a distraction technique.)
Mundo’s next opponent will be the Mack. Mack won the four way Battle of the Bulls match, which was elimination rules for the final. Cage was dominant early, but a Texano lasso punch followed by big moves from the three legal participants set up his elimination. Crane was caught via middle rope stunner from the Mack. PJ tried to beat Mack at his own stunner game, only for Mack to no sell Black’s stunner and pull of one of his own for the win. The Mack and Sexy Star hoped to have a title match, but the show instead ended with Mack dishing out one more stunner to his future opponent Mundo.
Crane’s loss might have been because he had other things on his mind. After his match, he went to Dario to request a match for next week, and to reach into Dario’s ceiling to pull out a stone table object Crane claimed he’d left there when he was a child. Dario was a befuddled by that sequence as the home viewer (and it seems pretty miraculous it wasn’t damaged in last season’s Matanza/Muertes roof collapse.) Crane immediately confronted Catrina, revealed the match he asked for was against Mil next week, revealed he knew Mil’s real Mendoza identity, promised to have Catrina all to himself, and passed thru her like a ghost. We’re still over due an explanation of what’s going on here, but at least we’ve got a match out of what we’ve heard so far.
In business for last week, Fenix and Drago searched the bathroom for any sign of Drago. They didn’t find him, but they did find Kobra Moon. Kobra insisted Drago had rejoined her tribe, but the trios champions didn’t believe it. Kobra, Pindar and Vibora beat up Fenix & Aerostar and told them to leave Drago to them. Later, we saw Drago was chained in Kobra’s throne room, not having rejoined the tribe and not happy with his current situation.
Is that it? There was a spider in the Sexy Star/the Mack vignette, though they didn’t see it. That seems like it.
This is not one of my favorite episodes of Lucha Underground, by any means. The bathroom fight had the most satisfying action on the show, even if it was heavily edited and stylized making it a bit hard to follow.
The cage match is getting a Gentleman’s OK. It didn’t really work for me at all, it had just about all the same problems as other singles matches during this run, and the announcer’s lines trying to hype Sexy Star were the hardest thing to believe on a show that had reptiles fighting a spaceman. Striker talking about the strength and athleticism between Sexy Star and Johnny Mundo was among the craziest things he’s ever said. He did slightly back away from it late in the match, but it took me out of the match to a degree that surprised me. They fell into a trap of insisting Sexy was the equal of every man she was facing, when her most competent offense in this match was running in place on Johnny’s back. Sexy as an underdog who was showing heart to sneak out victories might have been plausible, but they insisted on trying to sell a dynamic that anyone possessing two – or maybe even one! – good eye could tell was not plausible. There’s more to criticize here beyond the presentation, and it’d be easy to argue for a lower grade, but I’m mostly happy it’s over. Sexy Star will be around, but she thankfully won’t be in A stories, won’t be having a singles match every other week, and we’ll get to see what Mundo can do as a champion with someone who might be able to do a little bit more.
I trot out the point about some matches likely being better received when they’re watched without commercials on demand. Maybe that’ll be the case for the fourway, but I’m not even sure this time. Cage was always going to be the most over guy and likely the most impressive guy, but by having him do his run of super offense (and it was absolutely a super run of offense) before he was eliminated first, everything else felt a lot less impressive. It followed the normal pattern of these matches, where the guy who’s going on next takes over the match so the guys who are left at the end can save their spots until then, only Cage as so good, no one was really going to be able to follow him. It didn’t help that three guys left haven’t been on Cage’s level until now. Plus, the Texano/Cage thing is so not over, Cage being pulled back into that felt like a downgrade. The last segment going under a minute, just moments after an ad break, made the finish flatter than it should’ve been. They needed more time to build some momentum, and just felt like it got cut off suddenly. Maybe it was planned that way, maybe they had to edit a longer section into a small time because they needed the minutes elsewhere, but it didn’t come off like the big deal end of a tournament.
The bathroom fight was good, and someone worked hard to make Drago’s flame look much better here than it did in the season preview trailer. I’m not in love with the Crane back story – even if it was clear to me, they’re bordering on too many people with secretly intertwined histories – but Crane/Muertes sounds like a really fun match and I’m all right with that.
(Maybe the biggest deal on the show was a commercial advertising the Blue Demon show as airing on Unimas, with English captions even. Unimas seems like a fine place for a lucha libre show.)
CMLL (TUE) 12/20/2016Arena México [CMLL, Yahoo! Deportes]
1) Bengala & Leono b Camorra & Cholo
2) Cancerbero, Nitro, Raziel b Príncipe Diamante, Sensei, Star Jr. Rudos took 1/3.
3) El Cuatrero, Sansón, Skándalo b Drone, Fuego, Pegasso Rudos took 2/3.
4) Bobby Z b Blue Panther Jr. [lightning] Blue Panther replaced Bobby Z
5) Rey Bucanero, Shocker, Terrible b Guerrero Maya Jr., Johnny Idol, Titán Rudos took 2/3.
6) Ángel de Oro, Marco Corleone, Volador Jr. b Cavernario, Felino, Negro Casas
One good match and no sign of any angle at all. These just feel like shows to fill out a work schedule, which isn’t enticing when you’re not the one to get paid.
Lucha Underground tonight has episode 3×16, “The Battle of the Bulls”. That’s not to be confused with “The Bulls of Boyle Heights”, the name from two episodes ago. The matches
Johnny Mundo (c) vs Sexy Star in cage match, for the Lucha Underground Championship
“Drago’s fate is revealed”
It appears to be a two match show. The cage match appears to be a culmination of the feud they’ve been running since the start of the episode. Mundo has been in every cage match they’ve had on the show (King Cuerno, Cage). The winner of the tournament is owed a title shot against the winner at the cage match at some point. (Given the current status of the Best of Five, it could be some point down the road.) CultIcon has a preview of the show. Also, go watch Johnny Mundo’s music video.
CMLL (TUE) 12/27/2016Arena México
1) Acero & Fantasy vs Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Violencia
2) Magia Blanca, Oro Jr., Stigma vs Arkángel de la Muerte, Canelo Casas, Inquisidor
3) Estrellita, La Vaquerita, Marcela vs Amapola, La Comandante, Zeuxis
4) The Panther vs Puma [lightning]
5) Guerrero Maya Jr., Johnny Idol, Rey Cometa vs Bobby Z, Sam Adonis, Vangellys
6) Atlantis, Máximo Sexy, Valiente vs Ephesto, Gran Guerrero, Mephisto
Another show. The good tercera is maybe a good fifth match. Lightning match should be good. Whatever you think is happening with Zeuxis, Sunday does not appear to be her last match.
CMLL put out a holiday video with the Casas family yesterday, which didn’t include Canelo. I thought that meant he was gone; he hasn’t had a match in CMLL since October (as a fill in), and none in Mexico City since September. Of course, he’s instead back a day later.
What happened:Everyone hates La Mascara, but he still got a DQ win over Volador. Mr. Niebla fouled Atlantis and unmasked him. Marcela wants a title match, Dalys agreed, but it’s CMLL so it’s not actually happening until they face one to three more times.
What was good:The tercera and nothing else. This is a broken record. The main event was rather annoying.
Where can I watch it:It’s on CMLL’s channel if you dare.(more…)
CMLL (SUN) 12/18/2016Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Domingos Familiares]
1) Black Sugar & Micro b Guerrero de la Muerte & Quca Tecnicos took 1/3
2) Javier Cruz Jr. & Reycko DQ Gran Kenut & Relámpago Tecnicos took 1/3, the last when Kenut fouled Cruz.
3) Diplomático & Pitbull I b Nautilius & Neutrón Diplomatico replaced Leon Blanco (ankle injury). Rudos took falls 1/3, Leon Blanco throwing a drink in Neutron’s face to set up Pitbull.
4) Frezzer, Magnum, Star Black DQ Infierno, Mr. Trueno, Ráfaga Tecnicos took 2/3, with Leon Blanco and Pitbull running into attack Magnum. Nautlius & Neutron made the save to set up the cage match next week.
5) Espectrúm, Exterminador, Maléfico b Esfinge, Gallo, Tritón Rudos took 1/3, Malefico pulling Gallo’s mask in the third.
There were more events on this show than a month’s worth of Tuesday Arena Mexico shows.
CMLL (MON) 12/19/2016Arena Puebla [Culticon, Efekto10]
1) Black Tiger, Lestat, Millenium b Ares, Fuerza Chicana, Policeman Tecnicos took 1/3
2) La Vaquerita, Marcela, Sanely b Amapola, Dalys, Metálica straight falls. Marcela challenged Dalys to a title match.
3) Hechicero, Puma, Tiger b Blue Panther Jr., Stigma, The Panther Rudos took 2/3.
4) Ángel de Oro, Atlantis, Johnny Idol DQ Cavernario, Mr. Niebla, Sam Adonis Tecnicos took 2/3, Niebla fouling Atlantis.
5) La Máscara, Marco Corleone, Máximo Sexy b Ephesto, Mephisto, Volador Jr. [Relevos Increíbles] Team Mascara took 2/3, Mascara sneaking in a foul on Volador.
Third match sounds like it was the best match of a show that fits right in with the recent early week CMLL offerings.
Arena Mexico tonight has Angel de Oro, Marco Corleone and Volador versus Cavernario, Felino and Negro Casas. There were no angles starting on last week’s show, so perhaps they’ll start something on this show, and at least it’s a good rudo crew to do that. The semimain has Guerrero Maya, Johnny Idol and Titan against Rey Bucanero, Shocker and Terrible. The lightning match returns, with Rey Cometa and Bobby Z. That could be good. The usual tercera match might be, but we’re stuck with Skandalo. He’s teaming with Cuatrero & Sanson against Drone, Fuego and Pegasso. Principe Diamante is on his third straight Tuesday show, teaming with Sensei & Star Jr. against Cancerbero, Nitro and Raziel in a challenging match. Bengala & Leono face Camorra & Cholo in the opener.
CMLL (MON) 12/26/2016Arena Puebla
1) Asturiano & París vs El Malayo & Espíritu Maligno
2) Lestat, Rey Samuray, Robin vs Disturbio, Espanto Jr., Policeman
3) Drone, Fuego, Stigma vs Okumura, Sagrado, Skándalo
4) Atlantis, Johnny Idol, Stuka Jr. vs Felino, Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas
5) La Máscara, Marco Corleone, Máximo Sexy vs Ephesto, Mephisto, Volador Jr. [Relevos Increíbles]
They’re just running in place. Doesn’t make sense to me why they’re stretching out the Volador/Mascara feud but not a lot does.
CMLL on ClaroSports.com: 2016-12-16
taped 2016-12-16 @ Arena México Cloud Drive
1) Shockercito & Stukita vs Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro
2) Flyer, Soberano Jr., Star Jr. vs Misterioso Jr., Okumura, Sagrado
3) Estrellita, La Jarochita, La Vaquerita vs Amapola, La Metálica, Zeuxis
4) Atlantis, Marco Corleone, Stuka Jr. vs La Máscara, Pierroth, Rush
5) Máximo Sexy vs Máscara Año 2000
6) Carístico, Valiente, Volador Jr. vs Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero
AAA on Televisa: 2016-12-17
taped 2016-10-26 @ Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan Cloud Drive
1) Angélico & Hijo del Fantasma vs Ikuto Hidaka & Masato Tanaka
2) Drago vs Aerostar, Taiji Ishimori
3) Daga & Taya vs Aja Kong & Australian Suicide
4) Psycho Clown vs Pagano
CMLL Guerreros del Ring on 52MX: 2016-12-17
taped 2016-12-05 @ Arena Puebla Cloud Drive
1) Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa, Stigma vs Disturbio, Hechicero, Virus
2) Ángel de Oro, Marco Corleone, Stuka Jr. vs Euforia, Sam Adonis, Shocker
3) Mistico, Valiente, Volador Jr. vs Gran Guerrero, La Máscara, Último Guerrero
AAA TV (FRI) 01/20/2017Gimnasio Olímpico Juan de la Barrera, Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal Guerra de Titanes, 2017
1) Bengala, Big Mami, Dinastía, Pimpinela Escarlata vs Dave The Clown, Lady Shani, Mamba, Mini Psycho Clown
2) Faby Apache & Mary Apache vs Averno & Chessman
3) Hijo del Fantasma vs Garza Jr. [AAA CRUISER] 5th defense (4th on TV)
4) Aerostar vs Súper Fly, Argenis, Australian Suicide, Angélico, Carta Brava Jr. [cage] final two will have a hair/mask match at Rey de Reyes
5) Pentagón Jr. vs Johnny Mundo [AAA LA] 2nd defense
6) La Parka, Psycho Clown, Texano Jr. vs Dr. Wagner Jr., El Mesías, Pagano
Air Date: 01/28 and 02/04.
This card did come out right away! It’s…ok? It’s OK.
The idea is it’s a major card by including two title matches and a cage match, but the main event being the usual TV trios match doesn’t feel like a major card. Maybe, if they were going to do two title matches, a Texano/Mesias or Texano/Pagano title match would’ve made more sense. I’m not eager to see those matches, but Texano hasn’t defended the heavyweight title since TripleMania. They’ll probably set something up here to get around it at Rey de Reyes, but there’s no reason anyone should take a title seriously if it’s defended once every half year.
I have no idea how Pentagon versus Mundo is going to end up. I know how it’s going to go, probably close to how it went in Aguascalientes (or how it goes in every AAA singles match), but I’m not sure of the results. Pentagon losing a title chance again hurts his momentum, and sends a very specific message about where AAA has him slotted (and how unlikely they are to change it.) But, Mundo’s their top rudo who’s not in a mask match at TripleMania, and AAA’s been very behind him in 2016. Maybe that just makes this very likely to have an unclean ending to stretch this out seven months or so. Mundo doesn’t have an obvious next opponent as it is.
The cage and the stipulation in the fourth match feel tacked on to dress up a midcard random trios match into a bigger deal. As always, it’ll probably make the match worse, but they’re hoping just the novelty of a cage still draws people. (We’ll find out Sunday?) The stipulation though: the only feud they’ve built up is Super Fly versus Aerostar, so either the outcome is really obvious, or they end up with a match no one wants to see as a surprise. Look, I’d like to see Angelico versus Carta Brava at Rey de Reyes, but I may be alone on that one and I’m not holding my breath. Worth remembering there was a hope Jack might be unfired by this show, but he’ll be off working indie bookings instead. AAA fans will be treated to La Parka in the main event instead.
I can’t think of why Garza Jr. is getting a title shot – I’d rather put him in the cage match and take anyone else out – but it appears they’re raking up Fantasma wins to get to a big number and Garza is just a next number.
An Averno & Chessman versus Mary Apache & Faby Apache rematch is not for me. I guess they’re saving Faby versus Hijo del Tirantes until Rey de Reyes. (AAA’s rigid structure is a problem here.) The opener is also a match.
2017 will be AAA’s 25th anniversary as a promotion, something they’ll be pushing all year. Next taping is probably around 02/04 somewhere in the Mexico State
Last week with five shows for a while. This week, I remember I’ve been meaning to put the good stuff above the cut line, since there’s no great stuff. The Battle of the Bulls matches were the best of the week even if I didn’t have them high enough. It’s possible (likely!) December just makes me miserable. I can’t imagine watching the Ultimo Guerrero/Valiente match from CMLL Retro and I believe you all would be disappointed in me if I did watch it.
actual good matches
Blue Panther Jr., Pegasso, The Panther vs El Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
CMLL Internet Exclusives: 2016-12-13
Jeremiah Crane vs Killshot, Dante Fox, Mariposa [Battle of the Bulls] and in a tournament semifinal match
Lucha Underground: 2016-12-14
PJ Black vs Jack Evans, Son of Havoc, Angélico [Battle of the Bulls] and in a tournament semifinal match
Lucha Underground: 2016-12-14
Flyer, Soberano Jr., Star Jr. vs Misterioso Jr., Okumura, Sagrado
CMLL on ClaroSports.com: 2016-12-16
Carístico, Valiente, Volador Jr. vs Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero
The new poster isn’t out, but the main three matches for Wednesday’s Arena Naucalpan Anniversary show appear to now be
Cerebro Negro defends the IWRG IC Welterweight Championship against Pantera I
Máscara Año 2000 Jr. vs Pirata Morgan, hair vs hair match
Golden Magic & Pirata Morgan Jr. vs Imposible & Relampago in a relevos suicidas
the losing team immediately faces off in a mask match
Everyone rightly expects Pirata Morgan Jr., who wasn’t even in IWRG until two weeks ago, to lose his mask. Relampago’s the second most likely choice, but he’s a big enough star that they’d just do the direct match if that was going to the final. It may be a situation where both Morgans lose on the same show. Killer Jr. appears to be out of the promotion – he could’ve balked at losing, he could’ve balked at not losing, no idea.
Hijo de Dos not showing up after last week’s incident with his brother is not a big surprise.
Today’s Puebla show has another annoying relevos incredible match. La Mascara, Marco and Maximo take on Ephesto, Mephisto and Volador, setting up another Volador/Mascara match as their Christmas special main event. It’s not really a special match to people who follow lucha outside of Arena Puebla, where it’s been seen three times in the last four months in Arena Mexico. These shows aren’t geared at the streaming audience at all, so none of that matters, but I’m hoping CMLL gets a bit more creativity for Christmas.
The rest of the card is a regular Monday affair. Angel de Oro, Atlantis & Johnny Idol are scheduled to take on Sam Adonis, Mr. Niebla and Cavernario. Barbaro hasn’t been on a stream since November 18th and just hasn’t been around much since then. (He and Titan have been in the Dominican Republic apparently filming a movie for part of that time.) He’s on Monday, Tuesday and the-yet-to-be-announced Sunday stream this week. The tercera is the Panther Boys & Stigma against Hechicero, Puma and Tiger, which is very familiar but still probably the best match on the night. La Vaquerita, Marcela, and Sanely face Amapola, Dalys and Metalica in a cage match preview, and Black Tiger, Lestat & Millenium open against Ares, Fuerza Chicana and Policeman.
CMLL (SUN) 12/25/2016Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Capitán Cobra & Micro vs Destello & Destructor
2) Fugaz, Sky Kid, Smaker vs Linterna, Mr. Apolo, Mr. Brisa
3) Javier Cruz Jr., Metatrón, Tritón vs Gran Kenut, Joker, Mosco X Fly
4) Esfinge & Gallo vs Exterminador & Maléfico
5) Neutrón vs Frezzer, León Blanco, Mr. Trueno, Nautilius, Pitbull I, Magnum, Star Black, Infierno, Ráfaga [cage, mask]
Neutron losing his mask would be the biggest news to us from his Mexico City run, but some of these guys have been around Guadalajara. Some, like Freezer & Nautilus, seem new. It may be more obvious locally or whenever yesterday’s results turn up, but it seems like anyone could lose right now.
Semimain is the tag team champions teaming up for the first time as a 2v2 team since their title match. That’s likely setting up a rematch on 01/01.
By next June/July/August/whenever TripleMania happens, Psycho Clown’s wife, baby, dog and exploding guitar may also turn on him. It’s tough out there for the lead tecnico. Goya was already working on the ruda side on AAA spot shows. She’s taking the bookings which might have gone to Taya, and it sets her and Big Mami as touring opponents. Doing the angle where she turns on Psycho (rather than just ignoring the difference like they’ve done with Psycho and Mini Psycho) is a surprise, but fits their pattern of doing whatever they can to make Psycho look like an underdog for this entire year build up. The concept of the Brazos family being embarrassed by one of their family members losing a mask match is bordering on ludicrous, but perhaps we’re supposed to think she’s having a ludicrous thoughts because she’s a ruda.
Aerostar & Drago keeping the titles is a pleasant surprise, and perennial third wheel Argenis gets to be an actual third wheel. His tag team with Suicide seems broken up, but at least Suicide is back at all – it wasn’t clear if he was going to be after the mask loss.
OGT got help from Hijo del Tirantes as usual – it’s kind of their finishing move – but they really should be done with both the Xinetez and the Apaches at this point. Averno’s team has now beaten Zorro’s team four straight times, it’d take some explanation come up with a fifth.
So ends the AAA year. No idea when we’ll see the 01/20 Guerra de Titanes card. They could wait until it gets a lot closer, they could just put it on today to have something to push for the next month. There are matches they seem to be teasing (Mundo/Pentagon, Fabi/Tirantes) but there’s no telling if they’ll actually happen.