No one’s promoting it, not El Rey or Lucha Underground, but they’re running a S2 marathon starting this weekend. Starting this Saturday, El Rey will air six episodes Season 2 episodes a night starting at 7pm CT. It ends an hour early on Tuesday, so they can air all four hours of Ultima Lucha back to back to back leading to the 2 hour final. (The final will repeat right after, as always.)
AAA has three way matches from Ecatepec this week, with a shot for the Cruiserweight title on the line and another heavyweight three way.
Elite moves to Saturday night at 9pm CT. Rush/LA Park is something to talk about in the morning but, for the purposes of this post, remember that CMLL’s stopped people from airing matches which they’ve felt have gotten out of control in the past (Volador/Niebla in Puebla.) Rush/Park should air, but there’s a slight chance it might.
Puebla looks more interesting of the two early week CMLL streams.
I still don’t believe this tournament will resolve as initially promised, and announcing Diamante Azul (not in the Liga Elite) versus Caristico convinced me I’m right. However, I’ve long decided I might as well treat it like it’s genuine until it falls apart, and so far it hasn’t fallen apart.
20 matches have been completed, with 46 matches left to take place. The good thing about this tournament is we know all of those matches, at least until Rey Escorpion fills in for someone again. And, since it’s the internet, I might as well rank them.
46) Cibernetico vs Xtreme Tiger
I like Tiger, you’ll see him higher on this list. The problem is he was utterly squashed by Lashley, which doesn’t give me any hope for him against any one else in this tournament. Outside of the LA Park match, Cibernetico’s not really shown up for these matches, and this seems most certain to be a 4 minute walkthru. (more…)
Elite returns tonight with one of the biggest possible matches in their Liga Elite tournament, Rush versus LA Park. It’s listed as super libre, which means no DQ, but the line of what is and isn’t allowed in Arena Mexico is never totally clear. There’s a non zero chance LA Park does something that makes this his last match for a while; the last time someone tried this feud (August), LA Park said things on the microphone which made it his last match for quite a while. It’s going to an event; their recent match in Tijuana was quite good and this should be the same.
It’s packed top of the card. Dos Caras makes his first appearance in Arena Mexico since 1997, teaming with Atlantis against Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000 (the youngest person in the match at 53.) The fourth match, the other TV match on a normal week, is Caristico vs Diamante Azul in what’s listed as a Liga Elite match. It doesn’t make sense as a Liga Elite match unless Azul is replacing someone (like Escorpion did last week) and it’s not clear if Caristico is actually wrestling the match. If he had the injury he said he had, he probably shouldn’t be.
The show opens with new CMLL luchador Ciclon Ramirez Jr. & rarely seen Principe Diamante versus Cancerbero & Raziel, Felino & Tiger against Super Crazy & Ronnie Mendoza and Hijo de Dos Caras, Hijo de LA Park & Rayman vs Hijo de Medico Asesino, Hijo del Dr. Wagner & Karonte Junior. The show now airs Saturday at 9pm CT.
It’s another big night for Elite. Rush versus LA Park is one of the biggest matches they can run, and you can’t bring back Dos Caras after twenty years every week. This should draw better than the International tournament, but that’s a low bar. They need to do much better than that.
I’d go to the premiere tonight, but I really don’t want to miss the Leyenda de Plata tomorrow night. It just got a better this morning: Dragon Lee will return for the tournament, taking Negro Casas’ spot. That’s how the Leyenda de Plata is supposed to work: Casas is the former winner so he’ll defend against the winner of the cibernetico. And it’s a killer lineup for that: Mistico, Volador, Guerrero Maya, Titan, Triton, Dragon Lee, the Panther, La Mascara, Mephisto, Cavernario, Ripper and Virus. I’d love it if Hechicero was in there instead of Mascara but there are some really good names in that list.
(Dragon Lee returns 1 day before Stuka makes it to ROH, which must be a little bit disappointing since that was Lee’s spot. They probably couldn’t be sure he’d be ready by now, and Dragon will likely end up in ROH later.)
I skimmed thru yesterday’s CMLL Informa. Segments were with rookies Escorpion Negro, Fiero and Maquiavelo (Fiero revealed he’s the nephew of the previous Fiero, Maquiavelo had been training for 7 years before debuting), Reina Isis fitness segment, Arkangel & K-Fu about Saturday’s Anniversary show (K-Fu will be debuting on a real show soon), Stuka Jr. & his son about going to ROH and his son training in lucha, and Guerrero Maya, Titan, Triton and The Panther talking about the Leyenda de Plata and Titan going to the Super Junior
I didn’t put it together yesterday, but the August Lucha Memes show in Mexico City is the same day as the ChilangaMask show. The former co-promoters are going to be running against each other for the first time. (CMLL people are working both shows.)
We’re halfway thru the year, so it’s long past time I’ve posted a working MOTYC list. Working plan is to update this after every month of TV. You can find it linked here even after it gets moved off the top of the page. I use air dates, because the post is recommending matches rather than an arbitrary date limit.
– Sexy Star eliminated Mariposa (15:04, Marty punch→ Sexy Pin)
– Sexy Star eliminated Marty the Moth Martinez (17:52, cross armbreaker)
Mil Muertes defeated King Cuerno in a death match (13:47, martinete, great)
Only two matches tonight, which were more definite conclusions than setting stuff up for later. That was saved for the outside the ring moments.
Night Claw debuted in the Gift of the Gods match, which was turned into an elimination match this time. The layout of the match took advantage off that change (and was likely the reason for the cage.) The first half of the match was showcase for Claw, breaking the curse on new wrestlers by picking up two pinfalls and a moonsault off the cage. Killshot beating Night Claw moved the match to the second part, built around the two Moth feuds this season. Killshot was unable to gain revenge on Marty, and Marty still has the dog tags. It went better for Sexy Star, who was able to defeat both her tormentors (with a little accidental help from Marty hitting Sexy) to win the championship. Sexy’s been in every Gift of the Gods match so far, and becomes the first woman to win the title or any singles gold in Lucha Underground.
Of note, Kobra Moon is still hanging around watching Daga. No progress on that front.
There wasn’t much story in the main event, just brutality. King Cuerno’s natural arrogance caught him at moments, but mostly the reborn (again) Mil Muertes was way too much for him or anyone else. Mil put Cuerno thru four tables, smacked him with a crowbar to the back of the head, and dropped him with a martinete for the win. Cuerno was attended to by paramedics. He did not appear to be literally dead, but he was pretty well killed off. I’m still not convinced of Sexy Star’s chances, but Muertes appears to be a fearsome challenger to whoever comes out of Ultima Lucha with the big belt.
That title match came up at the end of the show. Striker directly asked Vampiro what his relationship was with Pentagon Jr. at the moment. Vampiro responded by dumping his meds in the garbage and announcing he was leaving to go train his protege.
The Crew and Joey Ryan do not have a match at Ultima Lucha 2, but they made their own payoff. Mr. Cisco was sent into to talk to Dario while wearing a wire. Dario had no time for him, then paranoid thought Cisco was working against him. I guess it’s not paranoid if you’re right, and Dario quickly figured out Cisco was working for the police. Dario snuffed out the microphone, then snuffed out the life of poor Mr. Cisco, beating him to death with the same red bull that Dario says was used to kill his mother. (Joey & Cortez were shocked by being found out, but didn’t rush in to make a save.) While Dario’s hands were still covered in blood, he picked up the phone and told someone “it’s time.”
I liked this episode better than last week’s, although I’m not sure either match hit it’s peak potential.
The 7 way match was seriously great during the Siniestro/Daga/Claw/Killshot dominated portion, with some incredible sequences and great big spots. Night Claw came off as a star on Day 1, looking spectacular in the ring, getting those first two pinfalls, and wowing everyone with his moonsault. I would’ve liked to see him go any farther, but they gave preference to the story they were telling from that season and Night Claw was being set up more for Season 3. It’s just that Sexy Star didn’t have a good performance tonight, looking slow and awkward at time, and it was hard for me to get into her story. It seems like her and the Moths feud is over now, but it felt like it was over at No Mas and it just keeps hanging around. The crowd was into her winning, but it didn’t connect with me.
The death match was a near one sided bulldozing, but an entertaining one. Cuerno got some hope spots in, but never felt like he was that close to defeating Mil. Mil’s utter destruction of him was impressive. The biggest challenge for Mil’s big matches is he’s had so many of them on this show already, and every new one has to compete against the old ones. This didn’t have the passion (or blood) of the Fenix matches, and seemed more designed to repair Mil than to be interestingly competitive.
The irony is the Mil Muertes match was laid out with the idea King Cuerno wouldn’t be available to Lucha Underground for a long time if ever again, the Night Claw match was to make him a big deal going into season 3, and it would’ve been more useful the other way. As best as we can tell, this was Night Claw’s one and only match with Lucha Underground. Perhaps they quietly taped some vignettes, but he didn’t appear before the crowd in Season 3 and seems unlikely to again given his harsh breakup with AAA. It’s shame, because just this taste of him set up so many more matches I would’ve loved to see him here. The ultimate destination of a match with Prince Puma would’ve been incredible, as their alter egos have shown elsewhere.
Night Claw won’t be the first LU character to suddenly vanish between seasons – maybe we’ll see him up on a wall in S3? – but they had already set him up as a big part of the mythos and it might be tougher to extract him. And they might not have even been sure what to do with him at first, because his status wasn’t clear for a while.)
Meanwhile, Cuerno was unable to go elsewhere and is eventually going to have to return here. He’s still a cool character, but the later half of this season has done him no favors and he’s going to need some of his own repairs to recapture his original spot. You never know how things are going to turn out – hey, maybe things will change and they’ll find a way to use Night Claw too.
There’s no repairing Mr. Cisco, who’s true and well dead. (That’s three out of the four Crew members gone, with Bael murdered by Matanza and Big Ryck offed in the comic books.) He had his best run as a psuedo-tecnico in the last few weeks, though there was always only going to be so much run with that setup. “Dead” people on this show have ways of sneaking back in under other identities and hopefully we’ll get to see him in one which better allows that style.
How did Ryan and Cortez not make a move when their informant is exposed? Their work leaves much to be desired.
This was not a blowaway show, but it was pretty strong one. Next week lines up to be great.
AAA aired the Lucha World Cup, so there’s no recap this week. No IWRG, no Proesa, no Noches, so there’s nothing on my TV list else to check out. I really liked the Gran Prix and Fenix/Mundo more than other people.
CMLL (TUE) 07/12/2016Arena México [CMLL, thecubsfan, Yahoo! Deportes]
1) Astral, Fantasy, Stukita b Mercurio, Pequeño Nitro, Pequeño Olímpico 15:38. Tecnicos took 2/3.
2) Estrellita, Lluvia, Princesa Sugehit b Amapola, Dalys, Zeuxis 14:35. Tecnicas took 1/3.
3) Blue Panther Jr. b Sagrado [lightning] 6:23. Blue Panther Jr. won via nudo lagunero.
4) Kráneo, Okumura, Ripper b Blue Panther, Stuka Jr., Valiente 13:22. Rudos took 1/3.
5) Rey Escorpión & Tama Tonga b Kushida & Niebla Roja [seeding battle royal] 2:03.
6) Kushida & Marco Corleone b Felino & Niebla Roja [semifinal] 6:03.
7) Rey Escorpión & Shocker b Tama Tonga & Tangaroa [semifinal] 3:17.
8) Kushida & Marco Corleone DQ Rey Escorpión & Shocker [final] 5:25. Escorpion fouled Kushida & Marco for the DQ, then fouled Shocker after the decision
Show was generally better than Monday’s show, though the best matches from Puebla were better than the best here and it was another tournament that ended with someone decided they’d rather just get DQed.
Lucha Underground has episode #25 of the season, Ultima Lucha Dos – Part 2, the final 1 hour show of the year. Next week is 2 hours. Matches announced:
Mil Muertes vs King Cuerno in a death match
Mariposa vs Sexy Star vs Killshot vs Marty the Moth vs Daga vs Siniestro de la Muerte vs Night Claw for the Gift of the Gods championship – opening clip here
There’s usually a third match, but it hasn’t been announced. Those were the first two TV matches taped on that day, and the third was the trios title match. I’ve also seen mention that they may air Taya/Ivelisse. They’ve tended to announce the last match Wednesday afternoon, so you’ll know soon.
WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic also kicks off tonight, at 8pm CT. (That’s directly after Lucha Underground airs.) If they follow the same order as the matches were taped, Gran Metalik/Mascara Dorada versus Alejandro Saez is the first match tonight. Raul Mendoza’s first round match would air two weeks from today. All three were interviewed on WWE’s Espanol site. Mendoza says he couldn’t use Jinzo due to a trademark issue and that an agent contacted after seeing him in his work in Japan. That’s a few years ago now. Over on +Lucha, Mendoza gives a WWE Network plug. UPDATE: WWE’s saying Ibushi/Maluta airs tonight; that was the third episode live, so they have changed around the other of matches. Mendoza’s match aired on that episode, but they have made more changes in order; your guess is as good as mine.
TripleMania tickets suddenly went on sale today. Tickets run from 240MXP ($13USD) for obstructed view up to 2160MXP ($117.58USD) for ringside. Ringside is more the 2X than the next section. Of note, the description mentions three wrestlers: Psycho Clown, Pagano, and Dr. Wagner. Leo Riano’s column today says Pagano/Psycho and Mundo/Pentagon are set for the show.
SuperLuchas also has a piece writing about the rise and recent fall off of women’s wrestling since the Mexico City ban was lifted. I like a lot of it, but the author asks “when’s the last time Mary Apache has wrestled on AAA TV?” and it feels like she’s done it pretty often. (They did skip make the last women’s match YouTube only.)
Box Y Lucha’s magazine published this lineup. Mr. Electro’s the favorite but it’s not a certainty. I wonder if Pagano will be the ex-AAA TripleMania apuesta loser here in a few years. Trauma I is listed in two matches, oops.
CMLL (TUE) 07/19/2016Arena México
1) Bengala & Flyer vs Apocalipsis & Camorra
2) Metatrón, Oro Jr., Soberano Jr. vs Cancerbero, Metálico, Raziel
3) Hombre Bala Jr., Pegasso, Star Jr. vs Fujin, Okumura, Raijin
4) Fuego vs Virus [lightning]
5) Ángel de Oro, Blue Panther, Súper Porky vs Kráneo, Olímpico, Ripper
6) Johnny Idol, Marco Corleone, Máximo Sexy vs Pierroth, Rey Escorpión, Sam Adonis
I guess Johnny & Sam are the Nuevo Valores. Idol as a trios partner with Marco & Maximo might work.
Fuego and Virus had this same lightning match three week sago. Fuego won that time.
Third match is first streaming appearance for Fujin & Raijin in a month (or just about as long as the NJPW guys were around.) Could be best match of the night.
CMLL (TUE) 07/19/2016Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Magnum & Vaquero Jr. vs Diplomático & Mr. Apolo
2) Magnus, Starman, Tritón vs Arkángel de la Muerte, Canelo Casas, Sangre Azteca
3) Marcela, Princesa Sugehit, Skadi vs Amapola, La Comandante, La Seductora
4) Atlantis, Máscara Dorada, Valiente vs Cavernario, Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas
5) Carístico, Dragón Lee, Mistico vs Euforia, Mephisto, Último Guerrero
That’d be Dragon Lee’s first CMLL match back since his injury; he confirmed on Twitter that he’s working the MDA Monterrey show on Sunday, so he should make it to this match. Less sure about Caristico (the Guadalajara Twitter believes so), but that’s going to be quite a trio if they’re in there. Semimain would be Mr. Niebla’s return, after a three week break.
What happened: Kushida & Marco won the tag team tournament when Escorpión gave up and fouled them both for the DQ. Marco & Kushida seemed like they were going to win anyway, and Escorpión fouled his partner Shocker for good measure. No other feud were set up.
What was good: I liked the tercera and the opener wasn’t bad. The Kushida/Marco vs Felino/Niebla Roja tag match was the best match of either tag team tournament on both days, though nothing you must see.
Getting back on track. The best match this week was savaged pretty hard by the feed dying. I very much wish CMLL would put it up in full, mostly so I could get people who don’t watch CMLL to check it out.