Hey, these are back. This is out of order from the TV show watch order but who cares, it’ll flow better this way.
Arez vs Belial vs Impulso in a three way apuesta match (WMC @ Arena San Juan on February 26, 29:41, good, via +LuchaTV)
Impulso Fire Driver Belial (23:54)
Belial top rope double stomp Arez (29:41)
I’m probably going to be the low person on this match because match logic is a big deal to me and outweighed the action. I was so frustrated by the opening half of the match. So much time spent with two guys teaming up, than turning one each other when it didn’t really make any sense. It’s like there’s a timer the luchadors can see but we can not in the three ways, and they have to switch alignment as soon as it hits 0:00. There’s no more logic than that and it’s frustrating to watch – even more so when it’s elimination and there’s no reason to attack each other (maybe steal pins, but that’s about it.) Still, this did eventually settle down into something more conventional before the first elimination and the damage and blood leading up to it made those big moves feel more dramatic. I really liked it when it came down to Arez and Belial battling to service the last few minutes, though I think they were both so tired that it looked sloppy on it’s own. This was an ambitious effort that didn’t quite work for me but I appreciated the effort. It is getting to the point where I should probably stop reviewing three way matches because my reviews of them aren’t useful if it’s the same complaints over and over again.
This was a rare all technical match, with need team event really hinting at being rudos and wrestling a clean title match all the way thru. Veneno is totally serious (probably too serious, maybe don’t need him bleeding off headbutts back and forth with Terry) and Chicano looked good; I was picking this one out more for the other two but they were their equal. There’s not as many highs and lows in this match, Chicano is somehow pinned after doing a move in the third fall, and the finish is typically bad IWRG stuff, but the action leading up that point a good use of time.
LA Park & Rey Escorpión vs Daga & Penta Zero M
(AULL/Klandestino on March 1, 31:09 [8:23, 10:16, 12:30], good, via +LuchaTV)
There’s a great bit of hilarity on insisting on doing a very traditional three falls match where you’re throwing entire rows of chairs at each other. This match seems to suffer for it by the end, as the match runs out of stream as the third fall goes along and probably would’ve been better without it. It’s got a usual LA Park screwy finish too. It’s great early on, with Penta get thrashed for quite a while and impressively so. He knows how to sell for those kind of brawls and set up the next big spot, something Daga is definitely not as good at (but obviously is going to get a lot of practice at as long as he’s in the indie matches.) LA Park worked hard, and Rey Escorpión is the right kind of partner for a match like this. There’s a great match here with a little editing.
Sky Man vs Saturno [MUCHAS LUCHAS CHAMP]
(Cara Lucha @ Arena San Juan on March 3, 20:46, excellent, via +LuchaTV)
Esto es lucha libre – Saturno shows up here, absolutely kills it, and then disappears into the ether for the rest of the year. Saturno’s been well regarded by lightly seen by virtue of the Guadalajara indies being barely visible, but this caliber of match should’ve gotten him and booked anywhere. It’s the kind of match Sky Man and Rayo Star were trying to have when feuding, but Saturno’s just a bit better than them. Just a bit insane too; I don’t know if he knew this was his best shot to make a name for himself, but he’s clearly throwing everything into it from the opening moment, trying to kill Sky Man as much as he’s trying to kill himself. Sky Man meets Saturno on his level, trying to fight fire with fire. The match breaking down into a scrum of punches and gouging on the mat feels completely earned, and that hatred seems to flesh out the match a little bit more than just seeing the spots. Sky Man comes out the winner but it felt like he survived a war rather than conclusively won. This one of the matches of the year to watch.
I’m just going basically by date on my list, couldn’t remember why I wasn’t doing that before, and then realized it’s because I try to avoid seeing two similar matches in one recap. That’s the case here, as this is not that far off from the other Terry/Diablo tag title match. Those two play very slight rudos here, but it’s still a heavily technical match done in a similar style. This one had the big advantage of no Danny Casas, and I think the kids stood out well here. Diablo Jr. looks really smooth and has some great dropkicks, and Black Dragon impressed with his agility. I’m giving this one a better grade but there’s not a lot that separates the two, they’re both really solid action for an extended period of time, with a bit more drama in this one.
Imposible vs Emperador Azteca
(IWRG on April 23, 9:41, good, via iwrgtv)
This was much more of a crazy brawl than I would’ve thought, and one that gets better as it goes along (Azteca has a rough start.) I wanted more stuff in ring, but they were entertaining grabbing anything they could to throw at each other. This is a much more Emperador match than usual – no chair sit spot Imposible for one – and he shows some good life. The crowd is really loud for the finish, but it looked messed up, with Emperador clearly kicking out before three on a move that didn’t seem like the thing that would end a match. Emperador made challenges that made sense only if he won too, so it was probably not the designed finished.
Fenix beat Pindar in a Cueto Cup quarterfinal (5:17, top rope double stomp, good)
Prince Puma beat Dante Fox in a Cueto Cup quarterfinal (10:55, 630 splash, excellent)
Johnny Mundo beat Dragon Azteca Jr. (8:53, Fin de Mundo, great)
(This is another episode way way more GIFs than I could use; you can see them all here.)
The big news was at the end. Johnny Mundo defeated Dragon Azteca cleanly, then went to break his neck with a chair. Rey Mysterio made the save. Mysterio and Azteca got Mundo to back off and left, but Mundo snuck back – he noticed Rey’s family was sitting in the front row. Mundo and Dominic got into a war of words and Mundo called security on Rey’s son. Rey ran back out, and right into an ambush by the rest of Worldwide Underground. (They’d been banned from the match, but now the match was definitely over.) Worldwide Underground held Rey for a belt shot – but Johnny hit Dominic, with his buddies making Rey watch. Their match is now three episodes away.
Taya, Jack and PJ accepted that ban from the match because they were offered a spot in a 3v3 Azteca Medallion match next week by Dario Cueto. I’m not sure what or if Dario promised the same to other people, but there was a noticeable lack of in match interference on the show.
That meant Fenix didn’t have to deal with Marty or Mariposa in his match, and he was able to win and move to the semifinals with Melissa cheering him on. Pindar put up a competitive fight but ended up being no match. As Striker pointed out, Fenix was able to get a little bit of revenge for the Reptile Tribe winning the trios titles. We did catch the Moth later, stalking Melissa in the parking lot again as she and Fenix flirted. Marty’s decided he could break those two off if he could just take Fenix’s mask away.
There was similarly no interference in the Puma/Fox match, an incredible battle that had the crowd cheering for both men who currently posses questionable ethics. Dante Fox lost but was so over by the end that the crowd didn’t much care for Killshot attacking Dante after the fact for some revenge. Killshot confirmed it wasn’t over between them.
Fenix and Prince Puma will face in the semifinals (in two episodes). They leave these matches for next week:
Pentagon Dark vs Texano in a Cueto Cup semifinal
Mil Muertes vs Jeremiah Crane in a Cueto Cup semifinal
PJ Black, Jack Evans, Taya vs TBA for 3 Aztec Medallions
The show featured a couple more plot check-ins. Matanza appears to be physically healthy as his fall thru the upper level, but Dario has some questions about his mental health. Dario feels his brother hunger for revenge on Rey led him to be weak minded enough to be thwarted again by Mysterio, and more failure will cause the Gods to cast Matanza aside or even destroy him.
Meanwhile, Captain Vazquez has noticed Councilman Delgado is very much dead and knows Cage did it, but she’s more focused on getting the gauntlet than the man himself. Officer Reyes/Cortez Castro/Veneno wants no part of that idea, saying no man alive could get that gauntlet off of Cage right now. Vazquez seemed to have a plan as she looked at her half locket.
This was one of the best Lucha Underground episodes ever. Prince Puma versus Dante Fox might be the best non-stipulation match they’ve had on this show; I’m only not saying it absolute because I may have forgotten something, but it’s way up there.
The Lucha Underground taping situation makes the show unlike any other wrestling show. They don’t have the luxury of hearing criticism and adjusting their course, because these shows were taped months (over a year now!) before anyone saw them. This is one of those episodes that felt strangely like it broke thru the time barrier, as if they in 2016 traveled forward in time to 2017, heard people complaining about all the interference in recent episodes, and went back to 2016 to very specifically fix it. In reality, I think they must do a good bit of self-criticism (and maybe listening to some Temple regulars) to figure this stuff out. A big part of why this episode worked was that neccesary correction, that purposeful decision to keep the run-ins out of the matches. They still got the same stuff over – and the Mundo/Mysterio build was better for the way they had done it instead of Worldwide Underground just costing someone a match – but they did it while getting out of the way of the matches.
This was a great week to get out of the way of the matches! Pindar/Fenix was good and Pindar/Fenix was clearly the third best match on the show. I had a little bit higher hopes for it and it didn’t breakout Pindar (that went to someone else!) but got to show a lot more than he had leading into this point. He was finally a luchador who could do some nice stuff, not just Reptile Goon #2, and that’s important progress. He also meshed as well with Fenix as expected, and the double knee drop at the end looked devastating. There’s definitely more there if they go back to it, and I hope they do.
Johnny Mundo/Dragon Azteca was even more successful. It hearkened back to those first season Mundo vs X showcase matches, where someone new-ish would push Mundo for about 8 minutes in a fun match before he could put them down. Mundo’s more aggressive as a rudo and controlled a lot of the first few minutes, but Azteca pulled off super move after super move in rallying back. I don’t know that they ever quite got the point where Mundo ever felt truly in trouble, but Azteca showed more in this match than any one prior to it. The post match angle with Dominic was really well done; they probably didn’t need to spend more time on building that Rey/Mundo match, but this was the most effective thing they’ve done.
One of the most memorable moments of this episode was one of the few things which didn’t go well. The Temple crowd was so loud all show long, but so quiet when Killshot came out and dropped their guy Dante Fox. Because Dante really was the Lucha Underground Temple’s guy at that point. It’s tough to credit this as a breakout performance when Fox is breaking out every single match he’s in of late, but he looked every bit as good as Prince Puma in this match. And Prince Puma looked every bit as good anyone in the world this match. This was incredible fast and fluid and dangerous and impressive all at once, a match that you have to see to believe. It was just under 11 minutes, flew by, and packed in twice as much stuff in that time. Fox was so unbelievably good that he turned both the fans and the announcers away from the intended story (Dark Puma’s darkness is making him impossible to beat) into just rooting for Dante Fox to pull off the impossible upset. They really shouldn’t have been surprised as the reaction to Killshot, the last few moments of this match was Dante Fox heroically to keep going in the face of incredible punishment. Maybe the really great thing is they didn’t give Dante Fox the win quite yet, because a big part of the future should be Dante finally getting these sorts of wins.
The other vignettes were fine. The comedy around Jack being unable to talk with his mouth wired show was good (if a little hurt because he actually had his mouth wired shut.) I’m glad they finally got some plots touched on. The downbeat note is the reveal of three Medallions being given out next week. Nothing says the season is starting to wind down than Medallions being quickly handed in time to have a Gift of the Gods match as part of Ultima Lucha 3. The reality is there’s still plenty of episodes left, but I don’t even want to think about the end after a show like this.
This is generally another week where there’s no reason to watch the Monday/Tuesday shows and yet I did for some reason. I think I probably underrated the Niebla Roja/Gran Guerrero match but it’s nothing I’m going to think about the end of the year so it doesn’t much matter.
The main event look good from what I saw and the rest of the show lived down to exceptions. I haven’t heard it for myself yet, but it sounded like the CMLL announcers went with the idea that El Consejo is a new young person, even though he’s dressed in Nitro’s gear and looks exactly like 50 year old Nitro.
CMLL changed Saturday’s lineup to have Chamuel (evil small clown) instead of Chico Temido (blond mohawk) in the micros match, begging the question: Did CMLL book the wrong little person? Note that they had Nitro and Consejo booked on shows at the same time.
Lucha Underground tonight is episode 29, “The Hunger Inside”. Matches announced for the show
Fenix vs Pindar in a Cueto Cup quarterfinal
Dante Fox vs Prince Puma in a Cueto Cup quarterfinal
Johnny Mundo vs El Dragon Azteca Jr.
The preview also mentions catching up with the Dario/Matanza relationship, checking in Captain Vasquez (who hasn’t been on the show in months) and Marty messing with Melissa some more.
The Azteca/Mundo match fits the same mold of all the Cueto Cup quarterfinals: one guy who’s been near the top of Lucha Underground for about the entire run versus one guy who’s come in later and been stuck on the third tier of guys looking for a breakout match. “El Dragon Azteca Jr.” should be an important character in the mythos of Lucha Underground but has been mostly been portrayed as hapless and hot headed sidekick for a couple seasons. His role in the plot and the possible departures of others makes it likely he’ll be leaned on a lot more in any possible future seasons, and he could use a strong performance to get him going again.
If you’re a person who watched AAA when Steve Pain was around, and know that Pindar is Steve Pain, you’re probably pretty excited for that quarterfinal. If you’re the vast majority of people, you’re somewhat surprised about the fourth most important person in the Reptile Tribe making it this far with no discernible character traits. A recent Lucha of the Hidden Table mentioned Cage was having some knee problems at this point, which was the reason the Cage/Pindar match was so short, and maybe the reason why Pindar is wrestling Fenix while Cage gets some time on the sidelines. Hopefully, Pindar gets to make something out of this opportunity.
On the Way 2 Real podcast this past week, Justin Harvey of the MMM Podcast mentioned his sources say it’s actually MGM who owns the rights to distribute Lucha Underground in the US, not Lucha Libre FMV or El Rey. His version, which probably comes from people who work directly in the production side of Lucha Underground, is MGM is actually selling the rights to the show back to El Rey. I’d always understood it the other way, that El Rey owned the show and MGM just had the international rights. It’s an importance difference – it’d mean that if El Rey doesn’t pick up LU S4, MGM would be free to take the show to another US network.
Edit: I got the general sense of it correct but the details not quite; should’ve listened again before writing. The correct idea is MGM does not have the LU US rights now , but those rights would revert back to MGM should El Rey not agree to renew by a cut off date and MGM would be free to try and sell them elsewhere and may or may not have any success doing so.
Finding networks willing to pick up wrestling shows has been tough for TNA/GFW/Impact (and LU has some content that might be a bigger concern to other networks), but almost any other network would be carried by more providers than El Rey.
This is deep dark guessing at LU future, but – as Justin alludes to – could explain what’s the hold up with the renewal. MGM wants $X per season now, El Rey wants to pay something less than X, and the two sides might be having a staring contest until they get close enough to the drop dead date and a deal gets done. A wrestling only company might be more eager to take what El Rey’s offering because they need to keep the running, but a corporation like MGM isn’t going to be affected to wait six more months if it means they get paid a bit more in the end. This is all assuming is Justin right, which, no slight meant to anyone, but no one person saying something on the internet should be held up as the definite truth of what’s going on.
Ivelisse, who has said some things on the Twitter deal recently that have not exactly been correct, says “filming is resuming soon” in a plug to book her on shows. I think that’s probably just trying to get some urgency in getting bookings, but I’m putting it here just in case it turns out Ivelisse knew it first. I credit everyone here.
Wrestle Corner interviewed Vampiro, which is totally delightful if you want to hear Vampiro explain the history of Japanese wrestling. It was taped as San Diego Comic Con so you maybe can read into something he was saying. He says it was Dorian who called him to work for Lucha Underground way back when.
AAA announced Vendaval, Arabe Jr., Rocky Lobo, Delirius, S/N, Celestial, Cosmico, Pequeno Talisman, Chicano, Dragon del Baijo as the winners of their Round 4 La Llave a la Gloria tryout. Some of these are familiar: Rocky Lobo is overqualified to be involved, having just been on Elite TV last year with experience in NOAH & Dragon Gate – Rocky was even in the 2012 AAA Quien Pinta Por La Corona contest, where he advanced out of Puebla but did not win. Celestial, Cosmico and Pequeno Talisman are the Perros del Mal minis. Chicano is the occasion IWRG luchador who’s based in Chihuahua.
The other names are a bit obscure. There’s a Vendaval around Mexico City, but I suspect this is the one who wrestles in Tabasco. Arabe Jr. is long time early match wrestler in La Laguna, but hasn’t shown up yet on the AMLL channel. (He’s in this match on Facebook.) Delirius wrestles in Queretaro, but there’s not many new videos from there. I have nothing in the database for a Dragon del Baijo, and S/N is literally “sin nombre”; they put his registration number up there so he would know he won, but his identity is a mystery to everyone else.
If we count the people who have appeared in La Llave de la Gloria matches on TV tapings but haven’t actually been listed as finalists in tapings, I believe they’re at 65 people. Even that number is suspect, because there’s obviously another way into the tournament (training with someone associated with AAA?) and we don’t know exactly how many people will get in that way. And maybe some of the people who advanced thru tryout don’t make it to the final for some reason or another. I’m going to go with “there’s a lot of people left.”
The final stage is August 12 at Arena Naucalpan. It starts at 9AM, so it must be an all day thing.
Other AAA Things
Leo Riano’s column says it’s a 99% chance TripleMania airs on Televisa. Riano also seems to praise the idea of TripleMania being on the same night as a big boxing show but thinks CMLL should avoid being on the same night as a big boxing show, so I dunno.
EN+CARADOS, +LuchaTV’s podcast, had Lady Shani, el Caifan, Dr. Cerbero, and Hijo de Dos Caras. It’s pretty easy to root for Lady Shani based on someofhercomments on this podcast, and there’d be some sound reasons for her to beat Sexy Star: TripleMania is a great place to make a new star and Sexy Star needs some in-house opponents with some credibility. They could even do a double turn, since Sexy Star seems to want to be a tecnica and Shani would rather be a ruda. There’s absolutely zero chance Shani’s going to win; the goal here seems not to be “put on matches people would be interested in seeing” but actually “keep Sexy Star happy”.
On the same podcast, Hijo de Dos Caras said AAA invited Alberto to TripleMania, but he doesn’t think Alberto is going. Alberto himself said he was going last month, so something changed. AAA and Alberto have had a rocky relationship, so it’s not necessarily the recent airport incident, could be any number of things.
DTU’s July shows are showing up, in some form, on Smark Mark Video in the US. There’s a trailer up for them and it mentions four shows – maybe it’s full shows, maybe it’s just the GCW matches? It’s coming soon.
Ciclope & Miedo Extremo debut for GCW in New Jersey on 09/16, as part of the DTU/GCW talent sharing. Aeroboy & Drastick Boy are working the ChilangaMask copromoted shows that same weekend and there’s the (Cicero) Chicago show with Hijo del Santo and others that Sunday. I’m kind of surprised how many luchadors are working outside of Mexico that weekend, but I suspect that’s all about the economic differences.
IWRG (SUN) 08/06/2017Arena Naucalpan
1) Celestial vs Lunatic Xtreme
2) Fly Tiger & Shaolin vs Demonio Infernal & Diablo Jr.
3) Mike & Teelo vs Argos & Dr. Karonte Jr.
4) Bombero Infernal, Freelance, Hijo del Alebrije vs Eterno, Kempo Jr., Monaguillo
5) Black Dragón vs Gallo Frances
6) Herodes Jr., Hijo del Pantera, Internacional Pantera vs Emperador Azteca, Golden Magic, Hijo De Dos Caras
7) Hijo de Pirata Morgan & Pirata Morgan vs Black Warrior & Warrior Jr.
These cards getting longer is something I only think about because AYM typically will only tape the last four matches. We’ll never get to see who wins between a Ninja Turtle and a Caristico Brother. Warrior Jr. getting a main event probably years because he’s ready simply because his father is there.
CMLL (TUE) 08/08/2017Arena México
1) Acero & Aéreo vs Pequeño Universo 2000 & Pequeño Violencia
2) La Vaquerita, Marcela, Sanely vs La Seductora, Metálica, Tiffany
3) Rey Cometa vs Forastero [lightning]
4) Drone, Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Ephesto, Felino, Luciferno
5) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Titán vs Mr. Niebla, Rey Bucanero, Terrible
6) Mistico, Rush, Valiente vs Cavernario, Negro Casas, Último Guerrero
This is a better card than last night, you can start watching about 40 minutes in. I thought this might be Forastero’s first singles match here but he had one back in November against Fuego. Rush booked as a tecnico because they actually believe that’s the side he belongs on.
CMLL (TUE) 08/08/2017Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Mr. Trueno & Rey Trueno vs Frezzer & Furia Roja
2) Príncipe Diamante, Starman, Stigma vs Arkángel de la Muerte, Disturbio, Inquisidor
3) Lady Maravilla, Silueta, Skadi vs Amapola, Dalys, Zeuxis
4) Blue Panther, Johnny Idol, Stuka Jr. vs Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora, Sam Adonis
5) Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone, Volador Jr. vs Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Pierroth
No results from last night, but Volador, Diamante Azul & Euforia are the carry overs from that main event so the feud’s in there somewhere. Diamante Azul brings the Occidente Heavyweight Championship with him in every match but has not defended it since May of 2014 – and I think everyone pointed it out when he was in the Universal tournament, so perhaps they’re getting on it.
Pequeño Olímpico & Pequeño Violencia beat Angelito & Fantasy (11:56 [4:41, 3:43, 3:32], 1/3, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Akuma, Arkángel de la Muerte, Metálico beatFlyer, Príncipe Diamante, Robin
(15:42 [6:15, 3:15, 6:12], 1/3, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Fuego, Oro Jr., Pegasso beat Disturbio, Nitro, Sangre Azteca
(10:51 [3:06, 3:41, 4:04], 2/3, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Vangellys beat Johnny Idolin a lightning match
(5:41, northern lights suplex, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Gran Guerrero, Hechicero, Negro Casas beatRey Cometa, Titán, Valiente (13:06 [5:05, 3:42, 4:19], 1/3, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Mephisto, Rey Bucanero, Terrible beat Ángel de Oro, Carístico, Mistico
(13:23 [5:16, 2:17, 5:50], 1/3, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rey Bucanero started a feud with Angel de Oro in the main event.
Johnny Idol clearly had his foot on the ropes on the finishing northern lights suplex pin. CMLL referees are usually reluctant to count pins if someone’s not completely down, but the referee ignored the foot on the ropes here. Idol made sure to point it out, even though it felt like the finish and that he was not actually supposed to do that.
This opener was Angelito’s return after being gone for more than a year. Angelito took a package piledriver from Mercurio as the finish to the opener and went in spasms. They cut away from the ring for a long time and Angelico was quickly being stretchered out when they came back. There was no update and the fans and the promotion treated it like it was nothing important. He continued on with his normal schedule.
Easy show to skip.
The main event was sufficient if not special. Mistico & Caristico are a fun team. I’m interested if Rey Bucanero will be as good with Angel de Oro as he was with Hechicero (which seems unlikely when I type it like that.) You can skip this though.
The semimain has good pace, good action, and people trying. Even if wasn’t the best action, you had them looking good and trying new things. Rey Cometa’s frogsplash is looking better. His spot with Hechicero getting flipped onto the guardrail chest first. This was a fun match on a show with not much fun on it.
Johnny Idol was a better opponent than Pierroth for Vangellys, and it’s not like he or Vangellys were much better. They were just both competent and able to go for longer than three minutes at stretch, so it’s was a setup from the hair match.
It’s hard to care about a match with Nitro & Sangre Azteca. Fuego & Pegasso did look good in their runs, Oro treated his win like a big deal, but it’s quickly forgettable.
Arkangel is one of the least fun guys to watch. He’s not good and he’s not good for a long time, as his matches always seem to go longer. Robin and Flyer’s matching Super Sky Team (Sombra/Volador era) gear looked god, and the second fall finished well. I kind of wonder what Akuma would turn into outside this environment. This one of the matches where looked useful but it’s going to be tough for him to get better in these matches.
The minis match was better than usual because of Angelito being back. He had a good fall two and three, and was looking to make an impression. The third fall seemed like it ended early.
Ultimo Guerrero defeated Niebla Roja to retain the NWA Middlweight Championship.
Mistico replaced Rush in the main event. Caristico had been feuding with Rush, so he feuded with Volador again and Volador unasked him for the DQ. Carístico asked for one more fall. He did not get one more fall.
In the fourth match, the the usual tower of doom bit for near falls and actually got three counts. Luciferno & Ephesto had Angel de Oro & Stigma pinned at the same time Stuka splashed Mephisto. No one kicked out, and that combination of pinfalls meant the match was a draw. They kind of set up a rematch for next week.
Pierrohito challenged Shockercito to a title match, which explained why Shockercito actually had his title belt.
Not great matches, though some weirdness with finishes and people playing different roles.
Ultimo Guerrero just went thru a shorter version of his usual match, stripping out a few of the spots but still doing the usual thing. I wanted to see more out of Niebla Roja, but he didn’t really show that much more and the crowd was more into Ultimo Guerrero. They did tease an idea of Niebla Roja out smarting UG early on and last week, but didn’t follow thru in a way to make it meaningful.
The semimain was fun for being absurd: it was just as weird to see Mistico being evil as Euforia being heroic. Diamante Azul and Pierroth got totally lost at one point, and Volador was screwing around with this, but it was still fine as a different match than usual.
The Hijos del Infierno match was the best energy match of the night, even while being routine. Someone in this rudo group – maybe Mephisto – has decided to pick up the weird finish torch from Blue Panther and Averno and more weird is always appreciated.
The tercera was an exceedingly boring rudo squash, compounded by the second fall finish being screwed up. The rudos were DQed for being in the ring too long, which didn’t seem a planned finish, and the tecnicos were cost a comeback from it.
Astro’s really good, but even here it felt like he didn’t get to show it as much in the minis. The rest of the guys were just doing the same things they do on other shows, but not as much of it. Joker didn’t feel as big part of the match as usual, and it usually takes the local guys having a strong night to make an early match worth watching.
The opener had some action but was slow and awkward and times.
RIOT (SAT) 07/29/2017Arena Femenil, Monterrey, Nuevo León [LuchaMania Monterrey]
1) Hell Raider b Black Raider
2) Low Rider b Sayrus (Laguna)
3) Hooligan Byron b Psicótico, Muerte Extreme [hardcore] Hooligan Byron added himself to the hardcore match.
4) Black Terry b Erick Ortiz Terry submitted Erick Ortiz. Low Rider thought it would be a good idea to challenge Terry after the match and Terry accepted for the next show.
5) Arez b Kratoz, Dralion, Sammy Guevara, Fuego Del Sol (Oklahoma) Many many many moves. Sammy dominated the match late, but Arez took him out with a RKO (into Sammy’s birthday cake) and beat Fuego del Sol with a piledriver. Sammy declared he still wanted his match with Jack Evans that he was denied when Jack was hurt.
6) Fly Warrior b Shane Strickland [POWERBOMB.TV CHAMP, quarterfinal] Strickland controlled much of the match, but Fly Warrior got the win in the end.
I saw the main event and it was good. Reports on the five way make it sound insane.
Sounds like it was going well until the main event and then Rush did a 2017 like Rush performance.
Tonight’s CMLL main event is totally reliant on effort, which seems ominous after last night. Rey Bucanero’s average match is not especially good at this point, but he showed in his title match with Hechicero that he could up his level a lot if put in a bigger situation for one night. He’s in a bigger situation again tonight, this time challenging Angel de Oro for the CMLL middleweight championship. Angel de Oro is not the level of Hechicero either, but so this is going to be a challenge, but it’d be nice if Rey could turn back the clock one again.
The rest of the show is not that much. Mr. Niebla makes his latest return from unexplained absence to weight down a trios match with Negro Casas & Felino against Mistico, Valiente and Stuka. Fuego, Drone, and Stigma face Sangre Azteca, Misterioso and Raziel in the fourth match – something that wouldn’t look good on a normal show but appears to be the best trios match on this show.
This show also has the long awaited meeting of Arkangel and Consejo in a tercera unfit for human consumption. There are more promising people in the matches prior to it but they can’t be that good if they’re behind that terrible match.
The card starts at 7:30. That main event won’t be until around 9;15 or later and you probably shouldn’t tune until them. I need to take my own advice at some point.
Guadalajara has Caristico, Volador and Marco Corleone (replaced Diamante Azul) vs Euforia, Terrible and Ultimo Guerrero in the main event.
AAA press release on the Llave de la Gloria tryout in Celaya says the Naucalpan final stage is on August 12th (Saturday), not the 15th as I had previously. I’m not sure what AAA is going to exactly do for iPPV this year, and I’m not sure they’ve decided either, but that would be a great event to use as a test run – they’ll get some interest, and it’s better it breaks there than two weeks later. (I suspect we’re more likely to get same Facebook video we’ve gotten of late, which is still watchable.)
Record has a couple pieces up today about some of the tryout participants, which you can zoom in here. (The Thamus one is up on their website too, but I’ve been getting one of those “Your Computer Has Been Hacked” junk ads from Record’s site today, so you may want to stay away.) One article is on Celestial, Cosmico, and Talisman, who were the regular minis on the Perros del Mal shows, haven’t been seen much, but talk about trying to honor their old bosses’ name. There’s also an interview with Thamus from Queretaro. A side bar on that piece says 60 people tried out and 9 people impressed enough to go to the next round. We should get the winners tomorrow midday.
Occasional IWRG title holder Chicano also was spotted among those trying out.
Johnny Mundo is going to be working the GFW shows as John Hennigan. If this was some sort of LU/GFW deal, it would’ve been easy to work out something to use the name he’s using on TV right now. It appears to be simply a AAA/GFW deal with LU not at all cut in. It also says AAA can’t have much control of LU trademarks if they can’t even get “Mundo” on their own.
RevoLucha The Crash (SUN) 08/06/2017Arena Coliseo Monterrey
1) Guerrero Vida vs Black Impuls
2) Chik Tormenta & Lady Maravilla vs Dulce Kanela & Larry Miranda
3) Damián 666 & Hijo Del Espectro vs Genocida & Psicótico [sin reglas]
4) Rey Horus vs Sammy Guevara, Black Taurus (Indie), Delta
5) Jack Evans & The King (Rey Fenix) vs Bestia 666 & Último Ninja
6) Garza Jr. vs Daga
A new lineup for this weekend’s show. Santo Jr.’s off the card. I didn’t see an explanation, but Santo not doing well in Tijuana might explain it. He’s caught in a bad situation – really needs to be working constantly to get better, but asking so much because of the Santo name that he’s barely going to get used. He really should’ve stuck with Tempestad for years just to get the experience. The outlook is not great.
In his place, the Daga/Garza feud comes here, with the idea that they might doing a hair match in December. (Skeptical, and definitely not the singles match.) Jack Evans gets moved up to feud with Bestia, and Delta’s added to the card. Zorro is also quietly missing from the show.
The main event is weird – maybe they’re doing Marco vs Diamante for the heavyweight title?
At the TripleMania press conference, Ripper/Psicosis II apparently said Morphosos/Histeria had also left CMLL. CMLL books people after they’ve left because of either a) makes people look bad for not showing up or b) some sort of unemployment/severance rights issues where it gives CMLL leverage if they can show the luchadors stopped showing up. Someone else will be in that spot. Kraneo still appears to be around.
CTLL MARTINEZ (SAT) 08/19/2017 Turf Zone Arena, Kennedale, Texas
1) El Burrito vs Sajbran
2) The Mecha Wolf vs Taurus (Indie)
3) Bestia 666 vs Kapoeria Kid, Taylor Jet, Silver Tiger, Epydemius, Brindis Del Aire, Fuerza Aérea, Douki
4) Chik Tormenta vs Keira, Christi James, Mystique, Lady Maravilla, Kayle Rae [MARTINEZ WOMAN]
5) Penta 0M & Rey Fénix (Indie) vs Arez & Low Rider
6) Rey Mysterio Jr. vs Matt Cross, Último Ninja, Xtreme Tiger
This is a stacked show – even for Martinez, which hasn’t run as often and hasn’t put as many people on shows this year. It would make a great VOD purchase and there’s a giant +LuchaTV add on it, but the only thing that’s shown up the last couple shows were highlights of Ultimo Ninja vs ZSJ.
IWRG had a thing about skipping semimains this week. My understanding is the La Llave a La Gloria match I have will be up on the AAA YouTube channel later (as well as the missing match from Mexico City.)
I’m putting shows up as playlists now because that seems to be the easier way for people to get up; it’s kind of what I’d like to see other channel to do so maybe I should do it myself? That’s what I decided anyway.
IWRG Zona XXI: 2017-07-24
taped 2017-07-23 @ Arena Naucalpan mega/YouTube
1) Black Dragón, Dinamic Black, Gallo Frances vs Argos, Kempo Jr., Monaguillo
3) Villano III Jr., Villano V Jr., Zorro vs Imposible, Internacional Pantera, Sharly Rockstar
4) Carístico vs Trauma II, Black Warrior, Mr. Electro [Prisión Fatal] and for the hair and for the mask
CMLL on ClaroSports.com: 2017-07-28 mega
taped 2017-07-28 @ Arena México
1) Eléctrico & Stukita vs Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro
2) Esfinge, Fuego, Pegasso vs Puma, Raziel, Tiger
3) Drone, Soberano Jr., Titán vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
4) Stuka Jr. vs Hechiceroin a lightning match
5) Blue Panther, Diamante Azul, Valiente vs Pierroth, Rush, Sam Adonis
6) Carístico, Mistico, Niebla Roja vs Gran Guerrero, Mephisto, Último Guerrero
AAA on Televisa: 2017-07-29 mega/YouTube
taped 2017-06-30 @ Gimnasio Miguel Hidalgo, Puebla, Puebla
0) Ashley, Dragón Solar, Némesis vs Black Fury, Mini Rocker, Royer Boy
1) Bengala vs Australian Suicide
2) Aerostar, Drago, Raptor vs Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr., Soul Rocker
3) Argenis, La Parka, Lanzeloth vs Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly
4) Máscara de Bronce vs Hernandez, Kevin Kross [briefcase]
CMLL Lucha Azteca: 2017-07-29 mega
taped 2017-07-21 @ Arena México
1) Carístico, Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone vs Kráneo, Pierroth, Rushin a relevos increíbles match
2) Blue Panther vs Sam Adonisin a lightning match
3) Dragón Lee, Niebla Roja, Volador Jr. vs Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero
IWRG Zona XXI: 2017-07-29 mega/YouTube
taped 2017-07-26 @ Arena Naucalpan
1) Celestial Boy & Fly Star vs Power Bull & Tentáculo
2) Ángel Oriental, Kanon, Shadow Boy vs Kempo Jr., Monaguillo, Skanda
3) Gallo Frances, Hijo del Alebrije, Mike vs Marduk, Taylor Wolf, Warrior Jr.
IWRG Zona XXI: 2017-07-31 mega/YouTube
taped 2017-07-30 @ Arena Naucalpan
1) Dinamic Black, Hijo del Alebrije, Shaolin vs Demonio Infernal, Kempo Jr., Monaguillo
2) Danny Casas vs Veneno
3) Black Dragón, Hijo De Dos Caras, Imposible vs Gallo Frances, Herodes Jr., Trauma II
4) Hijo de Pirata Morgan & Pirata Morgan vs Hijo del Pantera & Pantera and Black Warrior & Warrior Jr. and Diablo Jr. & El Hijo del Diablo and Villano IV & Villano V Jr. and Negro Navarro & Trauma I and Golden Magic & Mr. Magia and Bombero Infernal & Bombero Infernal Jr. [Legado Final]
In a vignette, Mocho Cota tries to raise Carta & Soul’s spirits after losing their masks. We’re shown that backstage, and then shown a camera with Jesus Zuniga coming into interview them. It’s like two different styles of interviews happening at once. OGT pop up from nowhere to reiterate their challenge for the title match. Soul Rocker is called “Tito” here and Tito Santana on the graphic – Arturo eventually explains it for those who don’t know. it stills says Soul Rocker on Tito’s Poder del Norte shirt. Poder del Norte is mostly the Milicia now, borrowing that look (which was also Mocho Cota Sr’s look for a time) as a trio. Raptor has the 3 briefcase to cash in for this title match.
Raptor gets a visual pin on Carta Brava, but Piero is looking outside for reasons not clear. Mocho Cota lips in a foul soon after and pins Raptor, and Tito adds a frog splash for the win. Poder del Norte’s music play for about 5 seconds before Vampiro’s music interrupts. He walks to the ring, and Poder del Norte walk around him to pose on the stage. Vampiro says it was an exciting match but that isn’t the way to win a title match in AAA. Vampiro announces he’s throwing out this match, and Poder del Norte vs the técnicos in a best of five series where the winning team keeps the trios titles. The tencicos do a triple dive on the rudos, which is half missed by the camera.
The new Panini Album is released July 19th and is pushed hard as a result. Noti AAA focuses on the plane unveiling.
Mascara de Bronce looks for Vampiro before his match, and finds him with Hernandez. Neither are happy to see either, and Vamp points out Mascara de Bronce doesn’t have his briefcase. Vampiro explains they’re partners for a tag team title match tonight. He doesn’t explain why, because there is no explanation. Hernandez refuses a tag in the first minute of the match. Cuervo and Scoria repeatedly knock Hernandez off the apron anyway, which appears to anger him to enough to want to get into the match. He still can’t for a while, but does come in with a double clotheslines on the rudos when they mess up, works with Bronce for a minute or two, then pulls Bronce off a pin. Hernandez talks Bronce into continuing, and of course they mess up their next spot (in storyline and in real life.) Bronce gets pinned, then Kevin Kross comes out and throws him around for a bit. Hernandez gets Mascara’s briefcase from somewhere – and now it’s the #4 one, and Bronce definitely didn’t bring it to the match – gives it to Kevin Kross for some reason. I have no idea.
La Hiedra tries flirting with Venum to be his partner for the mixed tag title match, but he says he’s already got a partner. Lady Shani shows up just in time to pull Venum out of that mess and to their match. Announcers are still billing Lady Shani as a ruda, though she’s been on the tecnica side for months. (I haven’t fixed it either, guess I should.) Venum has a “1” briefcase, which isn’t the right number and appears to be an actual briefcase as opposed to the one they had earlier. Shani has the match probably won with a backcracker on Big Mami, but lets go of the pin and stands up because La Hiedra’s music is playing. (This is so dumb.) Hiedra is still nowhere near the ring when Shani, motionless, gets inside cradled by Big Mami.
The Marty/Texano match didn’t air on the TV show but is included on the YouTube channel. Something the announcers say is very obviously removed around at the 5:10 mark.
The main event was a little sloppy at time – a problem with all the matches this week – but had some exciting moments and these two teams have potential for a good series of matches if they get better as they go along. The Poder del Norte work much better against these técnicos in action matches than they were getting out of the main event feud and they’re obviously motivated by their recent focus. Raptor is not yet at the level of his partners but these matches will help him get there. This could’ve gone a bit longer, but it’s one of probably six, so it’s fair that they’re going to save things for other matches. It would’ve been less dramatic but less forced if Vampiro had earlier decried there would no more fouls in title matches as part of making the matches more serious rather than coming off as inconsistent by bringing it up here only after the main event was over. The general idea – AAA is going to take title matches seriously now so title should be taken seriously – makes sense as a big concept, but it’s tough to believe in when both the other title matches had silly/dumb finishes and weren’t about deciding who was the best team. Saying you want title matches to be serious on the same show where two people who’ve never teamed and are feuding getting a title match is incongruous. AAA’s track record is they’re going to ignore this push when it suits them too, so there’s no reason to buy in caring until they prove otherwise, and they didn’t prove anything on this show
The tag match was whatever.. They did try to have it make internal sense, but it was still a match which made little sense to exist and accomplished little. It doesn’t even benefit Scoria & Cuervo to get an easy win because no one took the match seriously and they were bit players in it. It’s not doing all that much for Mascara de Bronce (or Hernandez, who was so dumb that he didn’t want to win the tag titles.) It didn’t do much for storyline Vampiro commission, booking a match that didn’t make any sense. There were a couple good spots, but there was also some awkwardness and nothing worth checking out outside of the context.
What we learned about in the mixed tag title championship is that title is less important than a Shani/Hiedra feud, about the twelfth most important feud in the promotion right now. Yet, that feud isn’t important enough to actually give them the mixed tag titles to fight over (so maybe they really are going to fight for the Reina de Reinas championship.) Instead, Hamburguesa and Mami win the belts in a match where they seem much less over than usual and do not look especially good in the ring. Shani & Venum do some cool things, enough to just pull this up to OK for me, but there are some groaners of bad spots, no particular flow or story to the match since they’re both sort of tecnica teams and a terrible cliched finish. That OK is a generous grade.
There may be other weirder reasons why Texano/Marty was cut out of TV, but it comes across as easy to skip anyway. It’s not bad, but it’s a cold match – the crowd doesn’t really know Marty, there’s not much to get him over, and they don’t care about this fight all that much. The biggest reactions are to the normal lasso spots, which leads into the finish. I’m not sure what Texano is supposed to be at this point: he’s the slight técnico here and hasn’t been presented as rudo much since the turn. It’s also a little bit sloppy at times, not enough to tank it but it never gets a high level.
IWRG (SUN) 07/30/2017Arena Naucalpan [+LuchaTV, The Gladiatores]
1) Lunatik Xtreme & Power Bull b Fly Tiger & Voltar
2) Mike b Pantera del Japon Mike won despite injuring his left leg.
3) Demonio Infernal, Kempo Jr., Monaguillo b Dinamic Black, Hijo del Alebrije, Shaolin
4) Danny Casas DQ Veneno Veneno hit the referee for the DQ.
5) Black Dragón, Hijo De Dos Caras, Imposible b Gallo Frances, Herodes Jr., Trauma II Hijo de Dos Caras wants a shot at Herodes Junior title.
6) Villano IV & Villano V Jr. b Hijo de Pirata Morgan & Pirata Morgan and Hijo del Pantera & Pantera and Black Warrior & Warrior Jr. and Diablo Jr. & El Hijo del Diablo and Negro Navarro & Trauma I and Golden Magic & Mr. Magia and Bombero Infernal & Bombero Infernal Jr. [Legado Final] Fathers on each team started and were replaced by sons when they were elimianted. Villano V Jr. beat Trauma I for the win (though with a foul), and earned a shot at Mr. Electro’s IWRG Heavyweight title.
They’ve focused a lot on the Villanos here of late so it makes sense to try a title match with them.
Today’s Arena Puebla is a busy show, closing out it’s typical July run of bigger than usual shows. The main event is a rare Caristico/Rush amtch. It’s a feud that’s been teased off and on in Arena Mexico, but has only happened once before. That match was back in January 2016, with those two getting a main event while half the roster was in Japan for FantasticaMania. That time, Caristico got a visual submission with the referee down, but Rush recovered to beat him cleanly with the Rush Driver. This matchup doesn’t seem like it’ll be a great techinical battle, but they should be good at getting emotion from the crowd.
Shockercito and Pierrothito meet in the tercera for Shockercito’s CMLL minis championship. CMLL’s mini division is not popular at the moment, but this is one of the better singles matches they can throw it out. Pierrothito is getting up there in age but still can move pretty well and is a good bully to go against the undersized Shockercito. These two met back in March to decide this title in what was their first ever CMLL singles match. (They’d also met on the 2016 DragonMania show.) It’s too soon in Shockercito’s title run for a title change, but otherwise Pierrothito would seem like someone could unseat him. The title match and positioning will let these guys go all out and, as long as Tirantes doesn’t screw up a count again, they should put together a pretty entertaining match.
The semimain is Dragon Lee, Mistico and Stuka Jr. vs Ephesto, Mephisto and Negro Casas, which could be a quick good match. Rey Cometa, Soberano, and Stigma face Puma, Tiger and Malayo. Local Puebla guys getting in a high position normally doesn’t get any follow up, but there’s a chance Malayo could be set up as Stigma’s next victim, and it’ll be at least interesting to see what he shows against higher level competition. The second match is a women’s match with Sugehit but not with Zeuxis: the sides are Vaquerita, Sanely and Sugehit vs Amapola, Dalys and Tiffany. The show opens with Arkalis, Espiritu Maligno, Rey Samuray versus Ares, Guerrero Espacial and Rey Apocalipsis. It’ll air on CMLL’s YouTube channel at 9pm.