Bandido can add this championship of a promotion that doesn’t actually exist to his Elite Welterweight Championship. I totally expected it would be Santo Jr. who beat Angel Blanco Jr. for the title as his first big win. Hijo del Santo seems to have always thought highly of Bandido, bringing him to the UK (under a variety of names) and picking him as his most recent singles opponent. The Karaoui/Rayman bit suggests they have plans for another show at some point, but I have no idea when.
This 100 Years of Santo show wasn’t as big a deal as hoped when it first teased months ago. By the standards of a indie show taking place on an odd day in smaller town, they seemed to draw pretty well.
CMLL announced they will resume running shows in Mexico City on Tuesday. The government has given them approval to start running next week, and they’ll begin with the already announced Tuesday show. Everything will be normal from there.
AAA held a press conference to finally announce the Lucha World Cup. The show is 11 days away and AAA had been weird about not mentioning it until now (or the LU themed show before hand.) They quickly introduced the two person team concept and listed all the teams.
1: Mexico (AAA): Psycho Clown & Pagano
2: Mexico (LU): Drago & Aerostar
3: USA (NOAH): Cody Hall & Quiet Storm
4: USA (LU): Marty the Moth & Son of Havoc
5: Japan (NOAH): Taiji Ishimori & HI69
6: International Japan (IGF): NOSAWA & Kendo Kashin
7: International (LU): Vampiro & Mil Muertes
8: UK/New Zealand (FREE?): USA (Impact) DJZ & Andrew Everett
You can see there’s been some changes. I really want DJZ/Everett vs Drago/Aerostar. I’m sure Psycho & Pagano are winning. I’m sure Vampiro & Mil will be in the tournament too long.
No matches were announced for 10/09. I suspect that’s coming soon, though that’s only airing as highlights so we may never seen it either way. It’d be good Twitch content if they could get it, but there was no sign of that happening.
AAA also unveiled the new AAA lottery tickets being put out by Mexican National Lottery. The tickets go on sale today for 25 Mexican Pesos ($1.37 USD.) One has the Pena/Roldan family (Antonio, Joaquin, Dorian, Marisela), one has wrestlers (Fantasma, Psycho, Wagner and Parka.) The money from the tickets will go to reconstruct hospitals and schools damaged by the earthquake. Lottery tickets in Mexico seem to work more like what I would think of as raffle tickets in the US, where every ticket has a serial number on it and a few of those numbers are drawn for prizes.
Rob and I finally return to talk about the best match on this Lucha Underground season, CMLL being on hiatus, AAA’s recent shows, and The Crash’s upcoming ones. This podcast goes about 100 minutes, no matter how many times I say it went two hours.
This was Chamuel’s Arena Mexico debut after wrestling in Arena Coliseo previously. He is twice Microman’s size.
The main had teases of what might happen if we ever got to see a 2017 Cavernario/Dragon Lee full length match, and just enough action to send the crowd away satisfied. Not something you need to rewatch, and Shocker fouling Stuka wasn’t built to at all and doesn’t set up anything interesting. Cavernario was entertainingly in Dragon Lee’s face in this one.
The fourth match has some good ideas – Luciferino getting battered 3 on 1 by dropkicks to set up a pin is a nice change of pace with the teammates actually working together – but it doesn’t totally come together as something worth watching. Esfinge coming into too early in the ending sprint was amusing. Tiger has good timing on his big strikes.
The third match was a another fun micros match. This Tuesday crowd didn’t seem as into it at first as other ones, but they were getting showered by coins as well. Chamuel did well, selling big for the smaller técnicos to make them see more impressive. Mije had a problem with his tapatia and Gallito seemed like not everything went right, but Microman was the start as always.
The opener was not as exciting as the Fiero-fests, but Templario was out to impress. He was also out to do some springboards, and did a lot of those. Retro does bad quebradoras and I’m really becoming a quebradora snob as I grow older. My Facebook friend Yago still needs a better finish.
IWRG (WED) 09/27/2017Arena Naucalpan [+LuchaTV, The Gladiatores]
1) Dinámico, Dranzer, Pumita b Dragón Infernal, Kraken, Satán X
2) Chicanito, Guerrero 2000, Voltan b Black Puma, Fly Tiger, Príncipe Omi
3) Lili Dark b Lady Kat, Hija Del Pantera
4) Avisman, Leroy, Skanda b Hijo Del Bombero, Príncipe Mexica, Voltar Avisman replaced Power Bull.
5) Chico Che, Leo, Teelo b Hijo del Alebrije, Ovett, Súper Brazo Jr. Hijo del Alebrije replaced Picudo Jr. Ovett & Super Brazo had problems.
6) Ángel Oriental, Aramis, Black Dragón, Demonio Infernal, Dinamic Black, Lunatik Xtreme, Power Bull, Warrior Jr. L Centvrión, Fly Star, Fulgor I, Fulgor II, Glen Calavera, Látigo, Mr. Leo, Séptimo Rayo and Ángel Drago, Cadillac, Gargoli, Keiser Drago, Kilvan, Marduk Jr., Mr. Snake, Taurino [cage, hair, mask] GYM FILL (Black Terry) vs Indy Nation (Arez) vs Gym Zeus (Oficial 911). Warrior Jr. & Power Bull replaced Diablo Jr. & Avisman. Latigo (back in Indy Nation?) replaced Jerry Calavera. Only Lunatik & Demonio were betting their hair. Centviron suffered a shoulder injury and was left along with Aramis and Lunatic, who attacked the joint. Aramis and Lunatic turned to leave, but Arez cut off Lunatik and helped Centviron to win.
Indy Nation is doing well in IWRG, and so did IWRG itself. There looks like the biggest turn out for a Wednesday (trainee filed) showed. Maybe 3 gyms sold a lot of tickets?
Yesterday’s CMLL Informa explained CMLL’s plans for the moment. They clearly are not sure when the state of emergency in Mexico City will be lifted or when they’ll be able to run shows, but they want to start getting work for their wrestlers and fresh TV product for their partners.
The altered schedule would begin on Sunday. CMLL hasn’t taken down the Friday & Saturday Mexico City lineups, but they’re not selling tickets for those shows and everyone would be surprised if they happened at this point. From there:
Sunday’s usual Arena Mexico show is being held instead in Guadalajara.
There appears to be no restrictions in Puebla, so Monday’s show will take place as normal
Tuesday will have the usual Guadalajara show, and they’ll run (and stream) Arena Mexico if the ban on events is lifted
Friday will have an event whatever happens. If they can run in Mexico City, it’ll be the normal show. If they can’t run in Mexico City, they’ll run a second weekly show in Arena Puebla. There should be a stream either way.
They’re hoping things revert closer to normal soon.
On CMLL Informa, Sofia Alonso mentions they promotion had collected 11.5 tons of food during it’s drive, much of went to the to Xochimilco, which suffered the worst damage from the earthquake. Dragon Rojo & Polvora were credited for coming up with the idea, with Puma and Hechicero being part of it as well. Akuma, Zeuxis, Caristico and referee Edgar Norieaga were also brought on to talk about the work they did in helping people.
The Todo x el Todo show to celebrate Santo’s 100th birthday takes place today. It was originally supposed to take place on Saturday and pushed back due to the earthquake. The card has Hijo del Santo, Santo Jr., Mil Mascaras and Santo Jr. vs Hijo del Solitario, Satanico, Silver King and a Silver King Jr. as the main event. Angel Blanco and El Bandido face off for the WWA Welterweight Championship.
Title change in the main event is unlikely. Looks like the Traumas are coming for the tag titles. The Comando Elite are back for the first time in over a year to face IWRG’s new trio. Super Brazo has had problems with Ovett & Tackle on the last two shows, and will face them both.
Centella Roja, Hijo de Centella Roja, Meyer beat Ares, El Perverso, Fuerza Chicana
(15:11 [4:38, 5:36, 4:57], 1/3, n/r, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Disturbio, Espanto Jr., King Jaguar beat Arkalis, Rey Samuray, Tigre Rojo Jr.
(14:34 [5:09, 4:00, 5:25], 1/3, n/r, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Misterioso Jr., Sagrado, Vangellys beat Blue Panther Jr., Stigma, The Panther (10:38 [2:47, 3:51, 4:00], 2/3, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Ángel de Oro, Kráneo, Valiente beat Cavernario, Felino, Johnny Idolin a relevos increíbles match
(11:37 [3:12, 3:50, 4:35], 2/3, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Carístico, Octagón, Volador Jr. beat Gran Guerrero, Kojima, Negro Casas
(12:44 [3:54, 2:40, 6:10], 2/3, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Nothing really. Octagon submitted Negro Casas in the main event in what appears to be his last appearance for the moment.
The main had not much interesting, except for how strongly they’ve put over Octagon in this test run. The crowd enjoyed the match and most of the action on the show, but there’s not much needed to watch. Volador, probably only here because Niebla Roja wasn’t, pretty much worked like it was his day off. He didn’t appear to have gear except for his wristbands and armbands and took it easy. Octagon is the master of looking behind him before he falls down bumping. Negro Casas never looked younger than he did with these guys around him.
The semimian was an average match. Kraneo returning to his técnico roots but warped from his years as a weird rudo was a sight to see, and the only thing that seemed to justify the really weird sides. Johnny Idol is trying to bounce his pecs now. It didn’t work. Cavernario wildly smack Angle de Oro from the apron while Idol was going after his mask did work. No one else stood out.
The tercera was a good match in the first fall that slowed down when the rudos took over and didn’t regain pace until much later. Everyone hit their big spots: Misterioso got pinned while not paying attention, Stigma blew a spot, and Sagrado did his best to pick up the pieces. Vangellys forgetting he was meant to be pinning Stigma for the second fall was also a delight. The técnicos didn’t get to make a full comeback and got clowned in the end, which I guess is at different than usual but not don very interestingly. Tirantes was out of his mind in this match often. I don’t know if he’s drinking before these matches but he might as well, because he’s giving off the impression he’s under the influence of something anyway.
Dr. Wagner & Famous B beat Texano (4:24, Famous B inside cradle, ok)
Killshot defeated Dante Fox in the Hell of War (25:13, two falls to one, excellent)
first blood: Dante Fox backdrop Killshot thru a glass panel to cause him to bleed (10:20)
no DQ Killshot Storm Cradle Driver: (6:12)
stretcher match: Killshot places Dante into the stretcher (8:41)
This show had one match mostly about plot developments and one almost not at all. I mean, Killshot definitely did win the feud over Dante Fox, but that wasn’t the the biggest issue in the moment.
The opener, which appeared to exist just to be something completely different, saw Famous B finally win Texano’s contract. B got a little help from Dario, who made it a real handicap match. B got a little help from the returning (and still masked) Dr. Wagner Jr., though Wagner was visually pinned by Texano before realizing B was the legal match. B got a lot of help from Brenda, who’s flirting with Texano most of the season paid off with a kiss here, and that kiss led to B rolling up Texano for the win. Texano seemed upset about the predicament to end the segment.
The Hell of War was the most ultraviolent style match in the history of Lucha Underground, even outpacing the light tubes of Cero Miedo. Dante found a pane of glass and brought it to ringside to tease a big move off the apron to cut Killshot, brought it inside later, and reversed a Killshot move to send the masked wrestler back first thru the glass to cut him. Dante pulled out barbed wire from underneath the ring during the second fall, but was driven thru it by Killshot, then dropped on his for the tie fall. Killshot seemed enroute to having the third fall won when he had Dante strapped to the stretcher, but went for a double stomp off a railing for even more punishment. This led to a few moves on the stretcher, with barely survived. Dante barely survived as well. He and Killshot fought up to the music platform, with Killshot surprising Dante with a bottle to the end, and Dante taking the plunge off the stage and thru glass to the floor. Killshot picked Dante up and placed him in the ambulance to win the match. Announcers said the feud was over, but praised Dante’s performance in the match.
This was incredible. The Lo Mein Pain on the ladder would be a crazy moment in a normal match. It was a normal moment in an utterly crazy match. The effort matched the spectacle Killshot and Dante Fox were two men who wanted to steal Ultima Lucha with their match and completely succeeded. The long length legdrop and the springboard into a Spanish Fly made this match memorable even outside the props. They made the most of what those props too, teasing the moments out so they meant a lot when they happened, and making them feel big when they occurred. The first fall was all chair focused, pushing the importance of cutting each other open to win the fall. The glass pane started on the floor so they could tease a big plunge into it, so they could prepare the fans for the moment when they actually did that plunge two falls later. The barbed wire had near misses, came off a big move, and went into a decisive finish. The end was definitely the end.
This match, a lot like Cero Miedo, is not for everyone. The blood is uncomfortable, the glass is uncomfortable, the barbed wire is uncomfortable, and the piece of Fox’s flesh left behind on the stretcher is super uncomfortable. I don’t want to see this style of match normally, I’m not going to be happy with the lesser imitations that are going to be done, and I hope this is not the style either man has to wrestle in the future. I won’t argue with anyone saying it was too much or maybe not that great idea, because I was considering those same ideas when it happened (and I didn’t even see what Dante laid behind live.)
If you’re going to do this kind of match, I prefer you make the most out of it. Dante Fox & Kilslhot made the most out of it, at least the most that can be made out of something on a third season episode of Lucha Underground, and both should be made men going forward. Killshot won and Killshot went two for two in big matches on this season, he’s got to be in store for more. Shane Strickland’s even better now, a year removed from this insanity. But this was really Dante Fox’s night, a LU version of Mick Foley’s 1998 King of the Ring performance that should follow him around forever. The last third of the season was a Dante Fox’s breakout performance, just as strong as Pentagon & Fenix in season 1. If they can come back for a Season 4, he should absolutely be on their level. They don’t even need to turn him face; that win was the turn.
(For what it’s worth, the glass appeared to be sugar when I grabbed a small bit of it from the ring after the match. I was wrong, and LU says it was tempered glass. Still cut them – and Rich Knox! – pretty well.)
As for the other match: it was weird at the time that Texano and Wagner came off as minor figures on this show. This was taped right before they were in the TripleMania title match (with Cage), and they were in a few minute comedy match. Now, it seems about normal for how they’re used on the show. Texano & Wagner as two-thirds of a trio (with Famous B or another partner) might work, and it’s not like they’re going anywhere on their own.
Still To Come On Ultima Lucha 3
episode 103 (October 4, Ultima Lucha Week 2)
Ivelisse vs Catrina
a unique opportunity battle royal with Paul London, Saltador, Mala Suerte, Argenis, Cortez Castro, Son of Madness, Vinnie Massaro, The Mack, Joey Ryan, Ricky Mundo, PJ Black, Mascarita Sagrada, and Pimpinela Escarlata
Fenix vs Marty the Moth, mask vs hair
episode 104 (October 11, Ultima Lucha Week 3)
Taya vs Sexy Star, last luchadora standing
Pentagon Dark vs Son of Havoc for the Gift of the Gods Championship in a Ladder match.
episode 105 (October 18, Ultima Lucha Week 4, the end?)
(a match that hasn’t been announced)
Cage vs Jeremiah Crane vs Mil Muertes for the gauntlet
El Dragon Azteca Jr. vs Matanza Cueto in a cage match
Johnny Mundo (c) vs Prince Puma, title versus career for the Lucha Underground championship
DTU loses two titles in one night – one to XLAW and one to GCW. I’m sure we’ll be seeing both again. Fourth match sounds like the match of the night. I wonder if Miedo Extremo & Ciclope will switch to Los Nomados, as in Japan.
We do know there’s no show in Arena Mexico on Sunday. They’ve also announced lineups for Monday in Puebla and the usual Tuesday Guadalajara and Mexico shows. Everything’s tentative until the first one happens.
Lucha Underground tonight is episode 3×37, “Ultima Lucha Tres – Part I”. Matches on the show.
Texano Jr. vs Famous B in a handicap match where Texano must join Famous B if he loses.
Killshot vs Dante Fox in the Hell of War (fall one is first blood, second fall is no DQ, third fall is stretcher)
The Killshot/Dante Fox match is one of the most insane matches I’ve seen live. You never how this is going it’s going to translate to TV – I’m dreading a situation where the wrestlers are doing some incredible and the announcers (and producers) are working in their 20th war related pun of the match – but it was just an experience live. This would be a career making match if enough people saw it. The whole weekend had both really great matches and really great stories moments, but this was the match of the weekend.
Yesterday was the international day of organ donations. UniObergon has a story about an organ donor from 2016: Mocha Cota. His kidneys and corneas helped eight different people.
The Blue Demon, La Park, Huracan Ramirez show in California is not only expecting to get 10,000 people, but also for it to serve as a pilot to run 15-20 shows a year and get on TV in both Spanish and English. Their theory is they’ll draw 40-50 year olds who want to go these shows based on nostalgia. Please get your money in advance if you’re working this show; every novice promoter who tries this idea draws 10% of what they expected and loses a massive amount of money. It’d be wonderful is this broke that trend, but there’s just about every red flag waving here.
Puebla returns strong with that Soberano/Cavearnio title match. Policeman is scheduled to appear for the first time since June.
CMLL (TUE) 10/03/2017Arena México
1) Eléctrico & Último Dragóncito vs Pequeño Olímpico & Pierrothito
2) Astral, Pegasso, Starman vs Arkángel de la Muerte, Metálico, Templario
3) La Vaquerita, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit vs La Seductora, Tiffany, Zeuxis
4) Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Tiger [lightning]
5) Rey Cometa, Stuka Jr., Titán vs Dragón Rojo Jr., Felino, Pólvora
6) Marco Corleone, Niebla Roja, Volador Jr. vs Cavernario, Euforia, Gran Guerrero
Maya/Tiger should be fun. Niebla Roja is still around (but then they still need to do the title change somewhere.)
CMLL (TUE) 10/03/2017Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) El Yaqui & Neutrón vs Gran Kenut & Pitbull I
2) Acero, Aéreo, Micro vs Mercurio, Pequeño Violencia, Relámpago Azul
3) Flyer, Magnus, Oro Jr., Príncipe Diamante, Robin, Star Jr. vs Esfinge, Explosivo, Mágico, Omar Brunetti, Star Black, Vaquero Jr. [cibernetico] CDMX vs GDL
4) Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., The Panther vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
5) Carístico, Diamante Azul, Flip Gordon vs Kráneo, Pierroth, Rush
I’m always up for city versus city ciberenticos. Flip Gordon on Twitter seemed to believe he was finishing up this weekend until he was shown he was on Sunday’s show, so who knows if he’ll still be here.
The Crash (FRI) 11/03/2017 Plaza de Toros Nuevo Progreso, Guadalajara, Jalisco
1) Arkángel Divino, Astrolux, Black Boy vs Black Danger (Baja California), Draego, Último Maldito
2) Christi Jaynes & Keyra vs Chik Tormenta & Diosa Quetzal
3) M-ximo, Máscarita Dorada, Rayman vs Demus 3:16, Hijo de Pirata Morgan, Makabre
4) Flamita vs Sammy Guevara
5) Damián 666 & Jack Evans vs Bestia 666 & Black Taurus (Indie)
6) Mr. 450 & The King vs Hanson & Raymond Rowe and Brian Cage & Willie Mack
7) Blue Demon Jr., Penta 0M, Rey Mysterio 619 vs Carlito, Garza Jr., La Máscara
The Crash debuts in Guadalajara. No Rush (or Pierroth); I suspect the deal with CMLL does not currently allow them to be used in the cities where CMLL runs buildings. Looking ahead, Penta/Rush would be a big match in Mexico City but it may be tough to put together.
Flamita/Guevera could be great. War Machine is back in. Good to see Makabre & Rayman getting a shot.
Lady Maravilla vs Keyravs Diosa Atenea [for the AULL Women’s Championship (AULL @ Arena Lopez Mateos, 06/03/2017, 8:36, good, via +LuchaTV)
I picked this one out after really liking the Lady Maravilla/Keyra ending of The Crash match. This is like that. It’s literally like that, with them repeating a bunch of the same sequences. Diosa Atenea is first out and doesn’t seem on their on the level at all. Early on, she forgets she’s supposed to stay on Maravilla so Maravilla can bridge out, so she goes back to cover her and the whole thing looks silly. Atenea might have had a better showing if she wasn’t eliminated early by what seemed like a bad referee count. Maravilla and Keyra are absurdly hard hitting, much harder than Maravilla goes in CMLL matches. It’s almost too much at times, and it was nothing like any other women are doing in Mexico.
This was the long delayed title shot that was pawned off on a Sunday show. (Mostly so we’d stop bringing it up, I still presume.) It’s weird watching a match without hearing the mat. The Casas family haven’t played técnicos much of late and feel awkward doing it here. They’re also not quite in form as a team, with Tiger and Negro Casas almost landing on each other in an early spot. Crowd doesn’t seem to know what to make of it early, but they got behind Casas and the match by the third fall. The dives were the turning point in the intensity but it still felt like it missed something to be a big match; maybe just watching it so far out of context is the problem. Still a good effort. Puma and Tiger refusing to shake hands with the Hijos and trying to stop Negro Casas was an odd deal that doesn’t seem to have gone anywhere.
Trauma I & Trauma II vs Oficial AK47 & Oficial Fierrofor in a Number One Contenders for the IWRG Intercontinental Tag Team Championship (IWRG @ Arena Naucalpan, 06/04/2017, 10:11, ok, via IWRG tv)
The Oficials aren’t around IWRG much this year – AK-47’s Gym Zeus shirt is a clue – but I still wanted to get a match with them. It was alright. The brawling was good, but not enough of it or strong enough to make this super memorial. Trauma II either always had bad clothesline and I didn’t notice until now, or had some bad ones just here. The Oficiales look like they’ve slowed down a bit, or they just didn’t put quite as much into this. The finish is usual screwy IWRG stuff. This is not bad but, even as they stomp the Traumas like big time rudos at the end, it kind of feels like an act from the past.
IWRG (Alas de Acero, Aramis, Black Dragón, Demonio Infernal, Diablo Jr., Dinamic Black, Eterno, Golden Magic) vs Indy Nation (Fly Star, Fly Warrior, Fulgor I, Fulgor II, Glenn Calavera, Jerry Calavera, Mr. Leo, Séptimo Rayo)in a Copa Higher Power (IWRG @ Arena Naucalpan, 08/09/2017, 26:04, great, via IWRG tv,)
A fun cibernetico, feeling a little more polished than usual IWRG ciberneticos. The Indy Nation guys are still crazy people by normal wrestlers standards, but more polished and experienced than the usual outside team. There’s some bumps here and there but it’s still reliably exciting with a few super moves. The Calaveras come off really well as a team who’s got these characters down and fit together. Diablo Jr. looked good in his sequences, and Fulgor II stood out positively too. I wish Mr. Leo hung around longer, and the machine gun speed eliminations are always a little disappointing. The big near finish was amazing. Not the coach Centvrion throwing a chair at Black Dragon’s head, I’ve seen that, but Fly Warrior lost his mask while Dragon reversed a powerbomb into a huracanrana. Dragon nicely smacked the mask towards Fly Warrior while he was selling, which was nice of him. The actual finish was the usual Naucalpan overbooking, but at least explained why Black Dragon was the last guy over so many other people.
A really strong one man show by Arez, who looks great most of this match. Emperador Azteca is as vanilla as ever, with his main contribution to this match being a willingness to take a lot of punishment before the finish. This match is handicapped a couple ways: the mat is wet from Indy Nation’s beer celebration in the last match which might have caused Arez’ to come woefully short on a tope, and the second fall spends a lot of time on the seconds which slows down the match without setting up anything in particular. Still, Arez looks really sharp when he’s running the match, and handles Azteca’s mask coming loose really well. It felt like the better man lost.
Black Dragón vs Gallo Frances, mask vs mask (IWRG @ Arena Naucalpan, 08/13/2017, 16:50, good, via IWRG tv)
This has a big match feel, and has a crowd really passionate about Black Dragon winning and keeping his mask. It has a really ordinary feeling mask match inside of it. It could just be what I’m looking for – I want moves and dives and wild action, and this is more a brawl with a standard bit of wrestling between. I like a fast pace, and this is more leisurely trips to the freezer. They both go the Naucalpan freezer, because it’s that kind of match, but neither grabs a beer bottle, because it’s notactually that kind of match. This is an IWRG mask match you can feel safe to bring your kids to, though not one that will resonate as seriously. Neither plays to the crowd a lot, which doesn’t hurt the crowd’s enthusiasm at more. This seems like one that would’ve been more fun to attend live.
All matches aired live from Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo. Spanish announcers were the default three (Arturo, Jesus and Andres). English announcers were Vampiro and Jeremy Borash.
The show was proceeded by a Red Carpet arrival (and then 45 minutes of nothing happening.)
Drago beat Aerostar, La Parka, Mocho Cota Jr., Carta Brava Jr., Tito Santana in a Guitarra de Oro qualifying match
(6:54, Drago DDT Mocho Cota, ok)
Marty The Moth Shaman? beat Monsther Clown, Murder Clown, Dark Cuervo, Dark Scoria in a Guitarra de Oro qualifying match
(5:40, Marty foul? Scoria, ok)
Australian Suicide beat Súper Fly, Averno, Chessman, Argenisin a Guitarra de Oro qualifying match
(6:59, tornillo senton Chessman, ok)
Texano Jr. beat Hijo del Fantasma, Eddie Edwards, James Storm, EC3 in a Guitarra de Oro qualifying match
(8:11, Texano pin EC3, ok)
Lady Shani beat La Hiedra
(7:53, front facelock submission, ok)
Dr. Wagner Jr. & Pagano beat Psycho Clown & Rey Escorpión
(13:50, legdrop, ok)
Texano beat Drago, Marty The Moth, Australian Suicide to win the Guitarra de Oro (8:14, Texano foul/small package Suicide, good)
The undercard was four qualifying matches for a golden guitar final. (The guitar wasn’t as gold as you’d think.) Texano won with a foul on Australian Suicide. Fantasma came to the ring after the match, everyone else came out to fight for no real reason, everyone else left for no real reason, and Texano took Fantasma’s mask.
Rey Escorpion is not a tecnico, and started trying to steal the pin from Psycho midway thru. Psycho eventually turned on him to give Pagano the win. Wagner fouled Psycho after the match. (Pagano had no problem with Wagner; Pagano’s pre-TripleMania tecnico turns seems to have stopped cold.)
Lady Shani used the Sexy Star cross armbreaker in the women’s match, in a purposeful reference to the TripleMania bit. It didn’t go anywhere. She won by another submission. Tirantes helped Hiedra in the match for no explained reason.
El Fantasma (Sr.) joined the commentators, who explained Fantasma has suffered a heart attack earlier this week after a match but was doing better now. Late in the match, Texano tried to get James Storm to threat Fantasma (Sr.) with a chair. Storm took about two steps in that direction, Hijo del Fantasma kicked the chair into Storm’s face, Texano knocked Fantasma to the floor, then stole his pin on EC3 after Fantasma had already hit him with his finish.
Averno talked up the dome of cage match before attacking Argenis to start their match.
Marty is a shaman now for some reason. Vampiro definitely gave a reason, but it was a long and winding story that didn’t make a lot of sense and it was just easier to accept Marty is a shaman for some reason and move on.
The opener was changed to a trios match with Tito Santana added to the match, which seemed to go unnoticed by the announcers. An unmasked Kahn-Del-Mal ran in as a replacement referee after Tirantes was taken down, and quickly ended up stomped by all the rudos. (This seemed like an inside joke.)
The show seemed sparsely attended. It was mostly the resort sold ringside seats which looked empty, but the glimpses of the bleachers (which were sold available to locals or people who weren’t part of the resort package) didn’t seem that full. It wasn’t that big of a building. The earthquake – and the money either lost due to it or being used to help people out instead of on entertainment – is probably going to mean lesser turnout to lucha libre for some time. It’s unclear if this was all due to disaster, but it obviously was a factor.
Like normal for the Hard Rock shows, the matches weren’t much. The effort level isn’t there as much usual (especially with the foreigners), but the match arrangements didn’t really lend themselves to being good matches. All of the qualifying matches were 3v2 handicap matches, with maybe the patners getting around to stealing pins from each other on the end. The idea was not so great that it needed to be seen four times. There were also too many rudos on the card, which meant a bunch of people who just turned (Texano, Sucidie, Escorpion just showed up, who knows what Cuervo/Escoria are right now) had to play tecnico for the night due to the numbers. The tournament final was the lone multiman match worked with everyone for themselves for most of the match, and was easily the most exciting match of the night even though they did another foul on a show that had a few of them.
The women’s match was the only totally normal match of the show – except, even then, it was built around Tirantes helping La Hiedra for no real reason. Or maybe the reason is they didn’t have confidence in the women to tell a story without that crutch. I’m not sure they would’ve been wrong: there were moves, some good, but not too much of a rhythm or a story here. Neither woman is far along enough to have a good match without help. Shani can do some cool and hard looking spots, but she doesn’t come off as a complete wrestler. It’d be great if the singles match with Ayako at Heroes Inmortales is the moment where Shani finally can put it all together, but it feels too soon for her to be champion if that’s going to mean something. It’d be another false start, but she could use a series of matches to finally overcome Ayako and not just the win right away.
Still, despite the criticisms. this was an easy show to watch, like the strangest possible CMLL b-show. There’s little you have to go back and watch, but you didn’t mind it while it was on. Once the matches started, it was only about two hours. There were no big angles to get thru. (The tease of Fantasma being attacked was over so quick, you didn’t have time to be offended about it.) The tournament gave the show some sort of self confined direction. Vampiro pushed it as something they might do on this show every year, which might work if the tournament was a little bit better centered up. AAA has a lot of dead time that could be cleaned up and it’d be better experience if they explained what time the show was actually going to start, but it wasn’t really presented as a live show anyway. It was a free peek into an AAA TV taping, and they made no changes because it happened to be airing live.
The presentation had more to talk about than the show. I listened to both versions of the show. The Spanish announced were as usual. They got so close to saying Shooting Star Press right. Jeremy Borash & Vampiro said they were doing the English version on two hours notice. You wouldn’t have known it. Borash sounded like he generally followed the promotion. He got tripped a few things on some stuff – he made the La Parka mistake, in the great tradition of everyone who does that job – but he got most of it and it felt like you were listening to a professional broadcast. Everyone has and will make the obvious comparisons but, to be fair, it’s worth noting this was a lot easier show to call than the obscure came filled TripleMania, and Borash is appears to be Impact’s connection to AAA – part of his current job description is literally to know what’s going on here. That didn’t make the job easy: beyond the matches, there was also the donation requests and the craziest cohost to navigate. Vampiro was a better than his TripleMania misadventures, as he’s obviously way more into the product now that he’s responsible for it. We got insights into storylines that didn’t seem to be explained elsewhere – like that the women’s match had Lady Shani’s title shot on the line, which wasn’t mentioned on the Spanish side. We also got insights into thinks that weren’t meant to be the show. Vampiro leaving the desk to instruct camera people about how he wanted something shot, or to yell at the OGT to cut out the fake breakup bit they were starting, were amusing as part of a broadcast but probably not the best thing for the show. That’s not Vamp’s fault – doing live announcing of a show you’re also producing seems like too much for anyone to do both jobs well, and yet they probably couldn’t find anyone else on short notice for that chair. I think Borash might have been able to handle it on his own, but that’s a tough ask for someone who’s never called the promotion before, and Vamp didn’t kill the show this time.
I don’t know what they’re going to do next time. Borash definitely suggested there will be a next time, strongly suggested Heroes Inmortales will air on the service again. Vampiro started off his part of the show by apologizing to Matt Striker for not having him there, did it again a second time later, and put over Kevin Gill when his name came up in passing. Borash will be an option as long as there’s the alliance with Impact, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the others are back to join him. I do think they (both AAA & Twitch) were pleasantly surprised about how well TripleMania did and would guess it opened the door to more tapings airing live (something AAA’s talked about doing in the past).
At the same time, I was disappointed there wasn’t more money in collected for the charity by the end. I think it ended up around $3500, around $1 for every viewer at the peak. I know most things I follow using the “free but please donate money if you like it” don’t really come anywhere close to $1/viewer, so I guess it’s not bad, but it feels like it should be more. Charity fundraising is pretty common on Twitch thru gaming, and maybe there are some ideas that could be ported over from there if this is tried again. For my part, I think I had a good idea with the dive bit but executed it wrong – the best idea is to keep the donation total moving, so I should’ve just been dropping $5 every time that dive happened.
It IS ~$3500 (plus whatever ad revenue AAA made) that’s going to Save the Children that wouldn’t have happened before. That’s a success. And it was an enjoyable show. That’s also a success.