What happened: Wagner/Psycho set up a singles match (for next week). Fantasma kept his cruiserwieght title. Mascara de Bronce debuted, and lost. Super Fly is set on ending Aerostar. A mystery person has now trapped the Apaches twice.
What was good: Nothing really? The title match and the opener worked less than you’d expect. The main event was actually better, but the expectations were pretty lose there.
Where can I watch it: It’s no AAA’s channel in much better quality than on mine.(more…)
CMLL (FRI) 11/18/2016Arena México [CMLL, Culticon, thecubsfan]
1) Tiger & Virus b Fuego & Pegasso 15:14. Rudos took 2/3.
2) Bobby Z, Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora b Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa 11:36. Tecnicos took straight falls, the last when Dragon Rojo unmasked Guerrero Maya Rojo.
3) The Panther b Okumura [lightning] 8:59, Panther winning with a frog splash.
4) Ángel de Oro, Dragón Lee, Volador Jr. b Cavernario, Felino, Negro Casas 14:58. Tecnicos took 1/3.
5) Último Guerrero b Atlantis, Stuka Jr., Marco Corleone, La Máscara, Máximo Sexy, Diamante Azul, Valiente, Blue Panther, Terrible, Máscara Año 2000, Rey Bucanero, Gran Guerrero, Euforia, Hechicero, Kráneo [Leyenda de Azul] 34:34. Order of elimination: Stuka (Gran Guerrero), Blue Panther (Maximo), Rey Bucanero (Diamante Azul), Gran Guerrero (La Mascara), Maximo (Mascara 2000), Marco Corleone (Kraneo), Hechicero (Euforia), Kraneo (Atlantis), La Mascara (Valiente), Terrible (Ultimo Guerrero), Euforia & Diamante Azul DDQ for pulling masks, Maximo (Ultimo Guerrero), Atlantis (Vailente), Ultimo Guerrero (Valiente) leaving Valiente as the winner.
A good show, with the semimain being the best to me. This cibernetico was better than the one on Tuesday a few weeks ago.
ELITE (FRI) 11/18/2016Arena Naucalpan [@PlantillaDepor1, +LuchaTV]
1) Átomo, Pequeño Warrior, Shaolin b Shadow Boy, Solaris, Sonic
2) Baronessa & Diosa Quetzal DQ Muñeca De Plata & Rossy Moreno
3) Fresero Jr. & Samoano b Metaleón & Mr. Leo Mr. Leo replaced Hijo del Pantera. Rudos won in straight falls.
4) El Bandido b Golden Magic, Emperador Azteca, Argos, Ciclón Ramírez Jr., Imposible, Eterno, Flamita, Diamante, Zumbido [ELITE WELTER] Bandido beat Imposible to become the first champion
5) Black Tauro & Willie Mack b Mr. 450 & Mr. Águila usual challenges followed
6) Carístico b Rey Escorpión [Liga Elite, final] Cibernetico distracted Rey Escorpion which allowed Caristico to win. Backstage, Cibernetico announced that – in season 2 – he’d form a group of members of the Vipers (Maniaco & Mosco de la Merced), La Secta (Ozz & Espiritu), Los Hell Brothers (Sharlie Rockstar), and Los Bizarros (Taboo & Billy el Malo) as Los Radicales. Black Tauro was in the group photo as well.
This will air next Saturday. No Season 2 start date was mentioned or even hinted at. Really, the only S2 stuff set up was Cibernetico and all his friends doing the promo after the show, which seems like the latest Cibernetico stable not to go anywhere.
AAA tapes tomorrow night in Ciudad Juarez. Garza Jr., La Parka and Texano Jr. face Johnny Mundo, Brian Cage (hopefully) and a TBD wrestler. Bringing in Mundo & Cage for a match with La Parka seems like a waste of effort, but maybe they’ll figure something out. It’s a lineup I didn’t like when it was announced and doesn’t seem any better now: Psycho Clown vs Dr. Wagner Jr. vs Pagano is a replay of match which didn’t work from Heroes Inmortales. Perros del Mal versus the Traidor Clowns & Dave the Clown has little chance of being good. Faby & Mary vs Chessman & Averno isn’t working for me, and probably won’t happen as scheduled: both El Apache & Faby have been trapped by the mystery OGT ally, so it’s probably Mary’s turn and likely a handicap match. Pimpinela & Mamba are having a chain match, which probably will get over live but doesn’t sound like it’ll be interesting on TV. The opener is the usual mixed opener. They’ve mentioned honoring Eddy Guerrero & Art Barr, which might be the best thing on the show.
CaraLuchas also has a show tonight, with a Volador vs Flamita vs ??? main event, and Latigo vs Templario to determine their first champion. Latigo seems like the favorite, as he’s had success in that promotion and Templario is getting a few dates with CMLL which might eventually take him away from here.
CMLL (FRI) 11/25/2016Arena México
1) Astral & Eléctrico vs Demus 3:16 & Mercurio
2) Drone, Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Misterioso Jr., Ripper, Sagrado
3) Lluvia, Princesa Sugehit, Sanely vs Amapola, Dalys, Zeuxis
4) La Máscara vs Hechicero [lightning]
5) Dragón Lee, Mistico, Pierroth vs El Cuatrero, Máscara Año 2000, Sansón and Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., The Panther and Negro Casas, Puma, Tiger [torneo]
6) Carístico, Valiente, Volador Jr. vs Euforia, Niebla Roja, Último Guerrero
Valiente & Ultimo Guerrero rematch in the main event. Caristico’s got his Fridays freed up now.
Semimain is a trios tournament with one older family member and two younger family members. (So that’s the justification for booking Mascara 2000, though it still doesn’t make sense.) Dinastia Munoz is the heavy favorite, and it’s more a question of which team faces them. Puma & Tiger vs Mistico & Dragon Lee should be happening all the time.
There’s one too many matches here with the torneo (and the stupid four man battle royal which will precede it.) One or two of these matches is going short. As much as I’d like to see the weirdness of Hechicero/Mascara, they probably should’ve saved it for another week.
This is so late the AAA’s already put up their preview: Pentagon vs Mundo will air this week. Also, I did such an inaccurate job last week that I didn’t have to change the Elite show (back in Naucalpan tonight) and Retro (though I may have to spend time editing myself out.)
Beyond the title match already set up, the Lucha Underground preview mentions the Rabbit Tribe debuting and something with Crane & Catrina (which probably means we find out Ivelisse’s status.)
The Elite show that airs in the US is probably my least favorite Elite show of the season. The matches are both disappointing and not any good, and the Liga Elite is essentially meaningless once they start handing out vanity titles. It’s really the moment where they should’ve pivoted to being a normal wrestling promotion. Sticking to the concept for a few more months gave us LA Park vs Rush, and I’m glad we got that, but the concept comes off as meaningless and soon descends into nonsense. The titles themselves have no value and have never been used.
The CMLL streams have two title matches this week: Polvora & Dragon Lee on Monday, Mephisto & Volador on Tuesday.
CMLL (TUE) 11/15/2016Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Martes de Glamour]
1) Mr. Trueno & Rey Trueno b Mágico & Magnum Truenos took 2/3
2) Arkángel de la Muerte, Furia Roja, Hijo del Signo b Magnus, Star Black, Templario Templario’s first match in this building (and now a tecnico?) Hijo del Signo replaced Canelo Casas. Rudos took 2/3.
3) El Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón b Esfinge, Oro Jr., The Panther Rudos took 1/3.
4) Dragón Rojo Jr., Hechicero, Pólvora b Blue Panther, Drone, Valiente Rudos took 2/3.
5) Cavernario, Felino, Negro Casas b Carístico, Diamante Azul, Máximo Sexy Rudos took 1/3. Negro snuck in a foul on Caristico in the third.
Next week has Caristico & Negro in trios, so they’re setting up a single match, probably on 11/29. Really wish Guadalajara lucha wasn’t blacked out on the internet.
Even in Guadalajara, they’re making sure never to pin Drone. Universal champion Valiente took the pins instead. I think Grey Shadow got protected this way; it worked better with Mistico before him. We started 2016 hoping CMLL would do something with Hombre Bala and it appears they’re doing something in a big way.
(Templario is not the Templario who used to wrestle here if he’s debuting, I think.)
Tonight is the Leyenda de Azul. I don’t think it’s a coincidence this tournament is back the same time as the Blue Demon series is debuting on Blim. CMLL press release advertises it as “the return of Blue Demon“; the article mentions the show and says they mean the essence of Blue Demon. That headline make it sounds like Demon Jr. is showing up, which is probably not happening, and I wonder if we’ll see the actor who’s playing Demon make the presentation at the end.
The tournament itself is as random and pointless as most CMLL tournaments, without the history of starting plotlines or great matches that the Leyenda de Azul. It’s a cibernetico, ciberneticos can be good, but it could be one without a trophy at the end to mean the same. There’s no real plot going into the cibernetico either. It’s just an assemblage of 16 people: Atlantis, Stuka, Marco Corleone, La Mascara, Maximo, Diamante Azul, Valiente, Blue Panther, Ultimo Guerrero, Terrible, Mascara 2000 for some reason, Rey Bucanero, Gran Guerrero, Euforia, Hechicero and Kraneo. Valiente won the more important Universal tournament, literally anyone in this match could win the Leyenda de Azul.
Attendance should be up this week, probably not just because of this tournament. This weekend is “Buen Fin” in Mexico, an attempt to replicate the Black Friday shopping weekend from the US. There’s discounts on shows and merchandise across the country; CMLL is contributing with 10MXP tickets for kids. Hopefully it produces a hot crowd, because the undercard looks very good and could be great if the crowd is into it.
The semimain is Angel de Oro, Dragon Lee, Volador Jr. versus Cavernario, Felino, Negro Casas. That’s good. The Panther versus Okumura in a lightning match could be good. The unbeatable Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr., and Rey Cometa take on Bobby Z, Dragon Rojo and Polvora, and that could be great. Fuego & Pegasso take on Tiger & Virus, a match I would die for on a Monday or a Tuesday that’s just being thrown out as a Friday opener. This could end up being one of the best CMLL shows of the year – it will be if everything delivers.
The show airs on ClaroSports at 8:30pm. This week is not a NJPW World week.
CMLL made a change to Sunday’s lineup: they try to avoid Pierroth facing his sons, so he and Ephesto will swap places. Ephesto’s now in the main event, Pierroth in the semimain.
The Nuevo Dinamtias promoted the bodybuilding contest in an interview with ESTO.
CMLL has an article talking the international traveling of it’s luchadors. They write about Reina Isis (who’s still in REINA in case you forgot) and Pierrothito (who’s resuming his work as Mascarita Dorada’s favorite opponent this weekend; Dorada is name checked.) One other fellow of some importance who is working internationally is Rush. As reported, he was Naito’s mystery partner last night in the World Tag League. Los Ingobernables won their opening league match over Tanahashi & Juice Robinson. Naito & Rush figure to do pretty well in this tournament, but, because the winners usually get the tag title shot at the Tokyo Dome and Naito already has a match, it’s unlikely they’ll win the whole thing. Rush will be in Japan for the next three weeks.
Elite Season Final
Today’s the “season final” of Elite. The Liga Elite was always meant to have a final, but this season finale concept seems like something to cover up a long gap before their next show and an uncertain future.
The main event is Rey Escorpion versus Caristico in the Liga Elite final. The tournament fell into nonsense months ago, so much so that they avoid directly referring to it on TV, and it’ll be interesting if they try to explain this at when it airs or if they just gloss over it. (Glossing over it is more the lucha libre way.) Rey Escorpion just beat Caristico in a singles match three weeks ago, and Caristico getting his win back makes the most sense if they’re not going to be able to follow up it for a while anyway. There still seems like there should be an apuesta match between the two of them, but it does not seem like it’s happening here any time soon.
None of the other people in the Liga Elite – not the people who are with CMLL, not the people who replaced them, not even guys like Ciberentico or Extreme Tiger who were with Elite the entire time – are on the show with the final.
Elite will also have a ten man cibernetico for the new Elite Welterweight championship. There’s no sure way to kill a title’s momentum than to hand it and do nothing with it, and that appears to be the plan here. (If Elite was so sure they were coming back, they would’ve been better off waiting to do this early next season.) Flamita is in this match, so Flamita is the best guy in the match, but Golden Magic, Argos and Bandido are more regulars for this group and figure to be in the title.
The rest of the show are random tag matches. Mr. 450 & Mr. Aguila (Team Mr.) take on Black Tauro & Team Willie Mack (Team wait a second); Mack’s confirmed he’s coming in for this show. Metaleon & Hijo del Pantera vs Fresero Jr. & Samoano are in the third spot, so they might sneak onto TV in some form depending on how long the other three matches go. Baronessa & Diosa Quetzal vs Muneca de Plata & Rossy Moreno, and Shadow Boy, Solaris, Sonic take on Atomo, Pequeno Warrior and Shaolin in likely dark matches.
The show starts tonight at 8:30pm. It’ll air next Saturday at 9pm on Azteca 7, and sometime in May in the US.
DTU in Arena Aficion
DTU had a show on Wednesday in Celaya, and Thursday in Arena Aficion. The bigger news was on the Thursday show
DTU (THU) 11/17/2016Arena Aficion [+LuchaTV]
1) Erwing & Irving b Masizito & Porrito money thrown in
2) Camuflaje b Lokillo, El Exótico, Moria, Niño De Cobre good match
3) Ángel o Demonio & Ovett b Rey Celesital & Tony Iron Rey Celestial replaced Rey Infierno. Gio & Junior were scheduled but were moved up.
4) Gallego & Mr. Cóndor b Jimmy & Kevin Kevin fould Mr. Condor but the referee was out of the ring. Mr. Condor did the same to Kevin, and the referee recovered in time. Nerds challenged the Diabolicos to a hair match for DTU 9.
5) Dalys & Zeuxis b La Magnifica & Lady Maravilla Lady Maravilla replaced Zuzu Divine.
6) Drastik Boy, El Gio, El Junior b Dragón Rojo Jr. & Pólvora Ronnie Mendoza wasn’t there, so Drastick Boy tried to fight 2 v 1. Gio & Junior arrived to help him out, and they won the 3 v 2 handicap match. Gio & Junior challenges for a tag title shot at DTU9.
7) Diva Salvaje & Yuriko b Cíclope & Crazy King Paranoiko & Toxico attacked Ciclope & Crazy King, setting up a match for DTU9. The Masizos accepted, and made up a barbed wire match.
8) Aeroboy, Black Fire, Negro Casas b Flamita, Hormiga, Mistico II Negro Casas cheated to beat Flamita for the second straight night. Flamita demanded a singles match. Black Fire & La Hormiga also confirmed their match.
DTU9, on 12/15 (Thursday) was announced as being the promotion’s first iPPV. There’s no details yet, no price or system. It’s a safe guess +LuchaTV is filming it, but that’s about all we know. The matches are
Negro Casas vs Flamita
Black Fire vs La Hormiga for the DTU Alto Impacto championship
El Gio & El Junior vs Dragon Rojo Jr. & Polvora for the DTU Nexo (Tag Team) championship
Paranoiko & Toxico vs Ciclope & Crazy King in a barbed wire match
Los Nerds (Jimmy & Kevin) versus Gallego & Mr. Condor in a hair match – not official yet, but clearly the plan
They’ll be more matches added and this card is already changing. It was probably Ronnie Mendoza & Drastick Boy challenging for the tag titles until Ronnie didn’t show last night, and DTU seemed like they were setting up a Zuzu Divine/Zeuxis match until Zuzu wasn’t there. Beyond the obvious technical issues, that’s the big obstacle for DTU to overcome – every show seems to have a few people missing, and that’s not going to do well for the promotion on iPPV.
DTU iPPV is a great unknown. I want it to work, not just because I want to see the show, but being able to say “even DTU figured out iPPV, I can’t believe [X] couldn’t get it to work” for the rest of time. But the history of iPPV – we don’t even especially know if it’ll be live at this point. It’d be less fun if it went up on delay like the CMLL Anniversary show, but it’d certainly work – this is going to be a first time iPPV for the promotion and the building, and Arena Aficion didn’t strike me as a great place for technology when I was there. This is going to be walking a tight rope. There’s no simple way to make sure it’ll work on show day, but I hope they’re doing a lot of testing beforehand.
There’s also a Reuters story (Spanish, English) story about DTU and extreme wrestling today too. It doesn’t tell you anything besides noting it exists, but that’s a help. The article mentions they’ve pulled an ESPN – “DTU” used to stand for Desastre Total Ultraviolento, but now just stands for DTU. They’re trying to be promote more diverse styles of wrestling.
Steel Dragon, the Yucatan luchador who impressed enough in last week’s DTU seminar to be part of a match with Flamita & Nino de Cobre, was written up in his local paper. He’s only 20 years old, has been wrestling since 2013, and was invited to the seminar by Crazy Boy when he worked in the area.
The DTU main title won’t be defended on this iPPV, because Violento Jack & Miedo Extremo are still trying to win it back in Japan. In the meantime, Miedo Extremo won the UWA Junior Heavyweight championship on the FREEDOM 11/17 show. He’s the first Mexican champion of the title from the defunct Mexican championship since 2001. I am fan of anyone who may take the UWA titles back from Japan. I hope they will all be buried right next to where El Toreo used to stand (possibly with Canek.)
Other Indies (we really need a better category for these promotions)
Lucha Memes (SUN) 11/27/2016Arena Naucalpan
1) 1 vs 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, Alberto Dos Rios [Memes Rumble]
2) Arez, Astral, Belial, Impulso vs Alas de Acero, Aramis, Iron Kid, Shockercito and Freelance, Pantera I, Sádico, Último Dragóncito
3) Cavernario vs Negro Navarro lucha clasica
4) Star Jr. vs Soberano Jr. vsDragón Lee
5) Rey Cometa vs Laredo Kid [falls count anywhere]
6) Valiente vs Black Terry [super libre]
7) Felino vs Dr. Cerebro [el privilegio]
8) Hechicero vs Caifan three fall match
Final card for the show next week. Cavernario/Navarro and Star/Soberano/Lee were both announced in the last few days and both sound interesting. The three way match probably doesn’t last longer than 10 minutes because no one will survive that long, but it’ll be a great 10 minutes.
Lucha Memes has hinted at working on more with CMLL, including possibly a Hechicero title defense. A big difference between CMLL and the other similar promotions is Lucha Memes goes thru CMLL to get the CMLL guys (so CMLL gets a cut in exchange for keeping the day open), while other promotions go to the luchadors themselves (and CMLL may end up pulling those luchadors from the shows.) It also leads to ‘bigger’ matches, like the idea of having Mephisto defend his title on a previous Chairo show, and maybe that’s how they’d secure a Hechicero title defense too.
RIOT has a show this weekend, with Impulso vs Kratoz and Drastick Boy & Ronie Mendoza vs Arez & Belial among their matches. This is a show that should eventually show up on Powerbomb.TV, though I don’t think we know how fast the turnaround will be even when the service is up and running. Just already edited video out of Mexico and to people in the US can be a slow/frustrating process, so I’d advise people to keep expectations in check about how fast you may see some of these shows.
The week prior to the DTU show, Lucha Libre Boom on 12/08 has Volador vs Caristico vs Barbaro Cavernario vs Rey Fenix (if healthy) in the same building. Pantera, Freelance, Suicida vs Belial, Arez, Sadico is the semimain.
That’s a lot of shows! I am good on people wearing scary makeup for at least 12 months. Sadly, it was a lot of shows with a bunch of good stuff but not much great stuff. Star Battle was the most watchable show of the week, even if there’s not a match that made the cut.
What happened: Hechicero is the new NWA Light Heavyweight Champion, having defeated Rey Bucanero. Hijos del Infierno are still the trios champions. Mascara Dorada was sent to hell, but is now free from the hell of Tuesday Arena Mexico shows.
What was good: The Hechicero/Rey Bucanero match was great, but I’m not sure how well it’ll resonate to people who haven’t been following his career. The title match was routinely good trios title match – that one actually my translate better to more casual watchers, because most of my problems were with the routineness of it.
Where can I watch it: It’s on CMLL’s channel.(more…)
Sexy Star won Aztec Warfare Three, becoming the 5th Lucha Underground Champion. (great, 36:53)
00:00 Johnny Mundo & Matanza start
01:19 Son of Havoc IN
02:49 Jeremiah Crane IN
04:04 Pentagon Dark IN
(break at 4:24)
05:27 PJ Black IN
06:41 Mariposa IN
07:34 Jeremiah Crane OUT (Matanza German suplex)
08:07 Mariposa out (Matanza chokeslam)
08:19 Rey Mysterio IN
(break at 8:39)
09:40 Dr. Wagner IN
10:51 Marty Martinez IN
12:02 Jack Evans IN
12:54 Son of Havoc OUT (Jack Evans tornillo moonsault)
13:03 Sexy Star IN
(break at 13:19)
14:15 Ricky Mandell IN
15:41 Pentagon Jr. OUT (Johnny Mundo pin)
15:49 Ricky Mandell OUT (PJ Black pin)
16:12 Máscarita Sagrada IN
16:24 Máscarita Sagrada OUT (Matanza Wrath of the Gods)
16:50 Famous B IN
17:41 Famous B OUT (Rey Mysterio springboard splash )
18:32 Marty OUT (Rey Mysterio headscissors cradle)
18:41 The Mack IN
19:38 Joey Ryan IN
20:32 Mil Muertes IN
21:25 Dr. Wagner Jr. OUT (Matanza spinning back suplex)
21:25 Joey Ryan OUT (Mil Muertes flatliner)
22:02 Kobra Moon IN
22:45 Jack Evans OUT (the Mack Stunner)
23:02 PJ Black OUT (the Mack Pounce into a Stunner)
23:15 Drago IN
24:10 Kobra Moon OUT (Drago Dragon’s Tail)
24:27 Drago OUT (Matanza flipping powerslam)
26:53 Matanza out (Rey Mysterio Code red)
(break at 27:11)
28:36 Rey Mysterio out (Johnny Mundo pin)
31:01 Johnny Mundo OUT (Sexy Star pin)
32:15 The Mack OUT (Mesias Flatliner)
36:53 Mil Muertes OUT (Sexy Star double stomp after fall thru the table)
Sexy Star is the new Lucha Underground champion, and, as Matt Stirker made sure to emphasize in an extended (and scripted if passionate) monologue at the end of the show, she’s the first woman to win the championship. Sexy and Mil Muertes, the final two, had about a four and half minute exchange to close the match, with Mil seemingly more intent on destroying Sexy than beating her. Sexy got one near fall after Mil speared a table (a moment similar to the Ivelisse/Mil match), but Mil kicked out. Sexy kept kicking out and Mil decided to finish her with a flatliner off the corner thru a table. Sexy shoved Mil off and thru the table instead, then followed with a double stomp for the win. In addition to the Striker’s speech, the show was careful to get reactions of groups of women in the final moments, including reacting to Sexy Star’s win. They got the reactions they want (though it’s worth noting most of the people who ended up on camera felt similarly, and most lucha shows don’t have groups of women.)
There was a new champion, because the old champion was eliminated before the final commerical break. Matanza was still in the ring after eliminating Drago easily, and got caught by big moves from the others left. It wasn’t a coordinated attack, just people passing thru and getting in a shot. Matanza was hit with a Mundo kick to the head, a Mil spear, a Sexy Star front cracker, a Mack jumping knee and stunner, a Mundo springboard kick, and a Mysterio 619 – and yet, he still caught Rey going for another 619. It was only when Matanza went for a behind the back piledriver that Rey was able to turn it into a Code Red and defeated the previously undefeated monster.
Both Cuetos flipped out. Dario screamed at the referee that Matanza should still be in, while Matanza destroyed Rey, smashing him into the steel guardrail many times among other beating. Referee Rich Knox tried to stop Matanza and got punched out. Dario tried to calm Matanza with the key, and his brother punched him in the face too. Matanza did storm off after that. Matanza’s general level of awareness of what’s going on around him wasn’t clear when he was first introduced, but he obviously is aware enough to be very angry about losing his title.
Rey wasn’t doing well either. Mundo stole the pin on him after Matanza left Mysterio for dead, and Mysterio left the arena on a stretcher. Rey was positive as he was being taken away. Still the clear idea is he might have won the Loser Leaves Town match a few weeks ago, but he may be done anyway.
Matanza is the former champion, Sexy Star is the current champion – will Johnny Mundo be the next champion? Mundo claimed he was confident enough that he’d be champion, but still wanted to cash in the Gift of the Gods title next week against the winner. Neither I nor Dario understood how that would actually work if Mundo did win, but at least Dario wasn’t concerned about the possibility – he was certain Matanza was winning. Dario was also quickly annoyed with Mundo’s bragging, and moved him up from #12 to #2 as punishment. Mundo was #2 in the first Aztec Warfare, where he lasted until the end. He didn’t last quite as far this time, despite lots of him from Jack Evans & PJ Black. The two came back even after they were eliminated to help attack Sexy Star, only for Angelico to return and wipe up the trio with another dive from Dario’s office. Sexy Star picked up the pin.
(Taya wasn’t present in the match, but was filming Mundo backstage for a movie they’re making during the conversation they were having. This is mostly an excuse for Johnny to take his acting to another level, but no prop is without a purpose. It’s not exactly Chekov’s Gun, but characters doing their own camera work on TV dramas almost always end up recording something they were not meant to see. Something to keep watching for.)
Mundo moving #2 to meant Sexy Star moved from #2 to #12. Sexy Star probably would not have won if she was in danger of being eliminated the whole match – she might have not lasted the full first 90 seconds alone against Matanza. Sexy Star’s won with on her own at the end, but some bounces also definitely broke her way. Mundo’s elimination by surprise return was one. Pentagon also being eliminated by surprise return was another. Black Lotus return to the Temple midway during the match, with three unidentified fellow Black Triad ninjas, attacking Pentagon in revenge for Pentagon breaking Lotus’ arm last Ultima Lucha. The new ninjas are Kairi Hojo, Mayu Iwatani, and Io Shirai from Stardom to us, but the announcers had no idea who they were in the Lucha Underground world. Their bit only lasted a little bit more than a minute; unless you’re a fan of Japanese wrestling, you’d also have no idea who they were. They did give them a few impressive moves on Pentagon Jr. before dropping him with a Canadian Destroyer, and Mundo snuck in the pin.
It didn’t go as well for the rest of the Lucha Underground woman. Cartina helplessly watched as Mil was defeated. Neither Mariposa and Kobra Moon lasted all that long. Mariposa tried seducing Matanza. It didn’t take. Kobra Moon spent much of her time in the match sitting on the announce desk and this week’s recruitment pitch to Drago seemed to involve running him into the post. It didn’t take. There was no direct reference to Ivelisse missing the match, only Striker implying Mandell was a replacement due to injuries. Vampiro pointing Mandell was in at 13, saying “trece!” repeatedly. That was too over the top even for Matt Striker.
Joey Ryan tried handicuffing himself to railing again. Mil broke the handicuffs and beat him without much trouble. A person who looked a lot like Dr. Wagner Jr., but could not possibly be, was pinned cleanly at the same time, as if he was on the same level as Joey Ryan. There was an earlier Wagner/Pentagon/Rey sequence, with the clear idea that they know that’s actually a big deal, but being a big deal didn’t last for Wagner.
Famous B revealed he was in the match, tried to recruit Rey, and failed. Pentagon and Matanza had a big face off at one point. Son of Havoc and Jeremiah Crane did not have any special interaction, though it was the one time where announcers brought up Ivelisse. Sagrada was in the shortest time. Jack Evans appeared to wrestle his entire stint in his walkout gear, only taking it off when he ran back in later.
Is that all? I think that’s all? That was a lot of stuff.
That WAS a lot of stuff. Aztec Warfares usually have a lot of story involved, but this might have had the most. It definitely was a strange pace to it. If you’re reading it now, probably the only way you have to watch it is without commercials. With those breaks, it was not a great rhythm: two segments that went about four minutes, and then one long going fourteen minutes where everything seemed to be happening at once. There always seemed to be a lot of people hanging around outside the ring and brawling just off camera. There were seven people in before one was eliminated, and eleven people in before three left; it was chaotic and hard to keep up with. (I was looking for a recap of who was left near the end, only to watch back later and realize it had been said, only I had missed it trying to keep up. It was that kind of chaos.)
All the storyline advancement and general bodies all around makes the match worth recommending, even to non-Lucha Underground viewers; if they don’t like the action they’re getting at that very moment, all they have to do is wait about 30 seconds and something else will be happening. That same reasons make it hard to rate over Aztec Warfares; there wasn’t the one big story from beginning to end, there were a lot of smaller stories competing which each other at the same time.
The real talking point is Sexy Star winning the title. Only, it doesn’t feel like a talking point, because we all (or at least me) had heard this was happening seven months ago and the shocking moment is now yesterday’s news. Generally, this came off better on TV that I would’ve thought. Sexy Star matches have worked best with the levels of violence which aren’t done (or maybe allowed) in other matches – Sexy Star got punched in the face, and Sexy Star hit Mil with several unproected chairshots to the head. They didn’t have her do a lot of complicated moves for near falls – she did a DDT, she did a cradle, she jumped off the ropes and hit her target. Sexy didn’t beat Matanza, but she beat someone of note in a way where you could believe that person was beating. She came off much better than in the Mundo match. She benefited from a lot of things breaking her way, but that seems like that’s just going to be the thing in these matches with a bunch of other storylines going on. If Lucha Underground had to make Sexy Star champion in Aztec Warfare 3, this is probably as good as they’re going to be able do it.
I don’t know if they had to do it, and I don’t think they should’ve. Sexy did just have that terrible match to start of this season. Matches like No Mas are the exception for her. LU’s put a lot of creative energy behind Sexy Star since the start of the first season, and yet she doesn’t seem any more popular than Ivelisse or Catrina. Or the Mack! The Mack being in the final three totally came off as if someone forgot to eliminate him earlier, but I’m sure that crowd would’ve gone nearly or even more crazy if the Mack beat Muertes to win the title. He’s gotten almost zero creative energy behind him, he’s just really good and gets over just being out there. But the Mack is a guy, Sexy Star is a woman and that’s the difference.
That’s not me making judgments, Striker (or the person who wrote his lines) was very clear that this was about women breaking thru a glass ceiling to by winning a championship. Lucha Underground, from day one, has promoted itself around the idea that intergender wrestling on their show makes sense because their women can beat their men just like in a video game. Their words haven’t always matched their actions but, if they’re really believing in what they’re saying, a woman had to get the biggest win of all at some time. I’m just skeptical Sexy Star, even with all they’ve put in her, is the woman to pick. And I don’t think it’s the right time – Matanza getting bumped off in midmatch and Sexy Star following a dominant champion isn’t a great story.
Sexy winning right at that moment being not a great idea isn’t just a problem with Lucha Undergrund context, but the greater wrestling context. Sexy Star refused to show up to lose a title belt just two months prior in AAA, arguing she didn’t understand she was ever meant to defend it and believed it was a trophy the company had given her to keep forever. A month before that, Sexy happened to have a car accident on the way to another show where she thought she would be asked to lose – but no worries, her good friend happened to be ready to replace her. Sexy would later explain she had no idea why anyone was upset with her. After this LU season ended, Sexy Star did interviews saying she was done with wrestling and would start boxing, and then has returned to wrestling still without having a bout. That’s just this year.
AAA deserves some some of the blame for those situations – both for their own actions, and for enabling her in the first place – but Sexy Star has acted like a ridiculous person so often that there’s no way I’d make her the centerpiece of anything. There’s been no reports of things like that happening with Sexy Star in the US, and it’s possible – likely! – the experience Lucha Underground has had with her has been completely different, but it doesn’t erase what I’ve already seen of her. And, again, it’s not like she’s shown to be a great wrestler or really over – the concept of the top female wrestling star on an intergender show is really over. I think it makes business & creative sense to have a female Lucha Underground champion, this just wasn’t the person to go with and it’s discouraging that she’ll be able to bank of this the rest of her career. There will be a second female Lucha Underground champion someday and I’ll probably be happier about them winning, but you can only have one First champion and I wish it was more careful chosen.
I’m kind of excited for the rest of the season now, despite or maybe even because of the outcome. Sexy Star’s title reign was something always looming on this season, always inescapable. Now that it’s here, it’s closer to being over, and the stuff I’ve been dreading gets put in the rear view mirror. I don’t really want to debate the worthiness of Sexy Star, I’d rather find out more about the Black Lotus Ninja (or at least see them more than a minute.) Still 29 of these to go.
What happened: Pagano got a rematch win over Psycho Clown, though it took a lot of Tirantes helping. Nothing much else – this wasn’t really an angle show, but more of a loaded house show for the foreign audience. (Theoretically, this is the newest “maybe last ever Rey Mysterio appearance in AAA!” but who knows.)
At least on SamuraiTV, this seems a bit like a vehicle to promote Lucha Underground airing on the station – it was brought up even by NOAH guys.
What was good: Nothing jumped out as must see but the show overall was easily more enjoyable than Heroes Inmortales. The Angelico/Fantasma vs Hidaka/Tanaka match was the best match on the show to me, with the three way and main event watchable too. Nothing was bad, though the times indicated the first few matches were decently edited (probably as much for time as spots.)
Where can I watch it: It’s in the RealHero archive. AAA’s teased they may show it complete on their own show at some point – they probably should show 2/4/5/6.(more…)
CMLL (TUE) 11/15/2016Arena México [CMLL, CultIcon, Yahoo! Deportes]
1) Mercurio & Pequeño Olímpico b Acero & Aéreo
2) Grako, Metálico, Nitro b Magia Blanca, Metatrón, Robin Magia Blanca’s first match here since the March Gran Alternativa. Rudos took 1/3.
3) Pegasso b Disturbio [lightning]
4) Misterioso Jr., Okumura, Sagrado b Soberano Jr., Star Jr., Stigma Rudos took 2/3.
5) Olímpico, Ripper, Vangellys b Ángel de Oro, Johnny Idol, Rey Cometa Rudos took 1/3.
6) Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto b Mistico, Titán, Volador Jr. Straight falls in a nothing main event. Sets up a Mephisto/Volador title match
I didn’t watch the show. It did not sound good, with the main event rushed thru just to get it done. It’s also quite a dispiriting show, as the older veterans (and usually the least interesting teams) won every single match. Whoever is putting together this show, theoretically the new star, seems to aggressively dislike new stars and young people. This was a failure of a show but it’s also an overwhelming failure of a concept.
Olimpico is wearing a half Olimpico face, though the straps are numerous enough that it covers up a decent portion of his unmasked phase. Felino was doing something like that for a while and it was dumb when he was doing it. Felino at least had a cat look, Olimpico’s mask was neither distinctive or memorable or really adds to his act at all.
Today is Lucha Underground 3×11, “Aztec Warfare 3” Matches on the show:
Aztec Warfare (the third one)
I worked out what we ‘know’ yesterday – Drago is 1, Matanza is 20, Johnny Mundo’s number is revealed in this video – but the elephant in the room is a lot of people know the result. The outcome of Aztec Warfare has been the most spoiled discussed in advance airing story development of the season, probably in the history of the show. Congratulations if you’ve made it this far without knowing. It’s only one (very important) detail that’s been focused on; I’ve seen the some of the context incorrectly misconstrued and other (not as big) plot details mentioned once and quickly forgotten. There’s other stuff on this show that people are going to talk about, but the clear overarching idea tonight is get people talk about the show in general.
I have very definite thoughts about the decision and there’s stuff we can not talk about in bigger picture topics too. The Aztec Warfares have been among Lucha Underground’s biggest shows, but I’m honestly more interested in the reaction to the show than the show itself tonight; I don’t think my opinion on the creative direction itself is going to change, but I’m less sure how much everyone else will care.
Brian Cage has a busy weekend coming up. He’s wrestling for New Era Wrestling in El Paso on Friday, for WrestleCircus in Austin on Saturday, for WrestleCircus in Arlington on Sunday, and in Ciudad Juarez on Sunday. Those last two seem tricky and I initially assumed that he was off the Juarez show when he was on the WrestleCircus show. Cage says he’s working both. WrestlingCircus starts at 3pm, AAA is maybe around 6pm – but really 7pm, because it’s a different time zone. I’m terrible at Texas geography, so I had to Google this, and Arlington and Ciudad Juarez are not particularly close. It’s an 8 hour drive, but I don’t think he’s driving. There are a few flights which could get Cage from Dallas to El Paso (and then he’s got thru the border) while the AAA show is ongoing. It’s possible, it doesn’t seem like a great idea because so many things could go wrong, but it’s also not that far off from what AAA & Alberto said they were doing with Heroes Inmortales. (And again, that didn’t go so well.) I hope it works if that’s what Cage is doing, but I also hope AAA has a backup plan ready to go and would just stop trying these things.
Mascara 2000 is booked on a Tuesday, after being booked on a Friday. It appears he’s a regular now. What year is this? Where am I? What is going on? This is absurd.
Mascara was terrible, just outrageously bad, in his first return appearance and only better in the second appearance because it was nigh impossible to reach the abyss of the first match again. He still wasn’t good, he probably isn’t going to start magically being good, he wasn’t a draw in his second appearance, and it’s extremely doubtful people are going to be coming back to see him on a Tuesday after seeing him on Friday. It’s not like CMLL is short on veterans – they’re overwhelmed with veterans who are on the downside of their career, and they decided to add one more. Mascara 2000 being booked on this show will make it worse, and serves no purpose other than friends helping friends at the expense of everyone else or at the expense of putting on shows.
It’s definitely possible CMLL needed a replacement for bookings which were intended for Mr. Niebla. The issue is CMLL has 200 people who work for them, most of whom are going to get less bookings this week than Mascara 2000. Put Disturbio in that spot, maybe people don’t react to Disturbio as a semimain guy – but maybe they do or maybe he gets something out of it. Maybe bring in someone else from outside CMLL who has not recently been awful as his job?
I’ve never heard anything bad about Mascara 2000 and I’m sure there are people who happy to see him getting work. I hope he does great. But everyone should be up in arms about seeing him added to this show and apparently to the full time roster. Last night’s show, and all these shows, prove this isn’t just an isolated case but the standard practice.
Volador and Mephisto have had this title match three times already. Volador won all those times. Volador will win this time. CMLL will do their best not to switch up the top guys (even though putting Gran Guerrero in the spot would change the draw and the outcome little.) It’ll be alright. Volador will do some things.
CMLL (TUE) 11/22/2016Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Metatrón & Smaker vs Exterminador & Maléfico
2) Flyer, Magnus, Vaquero Jr. vs Akuma, Artillero, Joker
3) Pegasso, Stigma, The Panther vs Cancerbero, Disturbio, Raziel
4) Blue Panther, Johnny Idol, Valiente vs Bobby Z, Sam Adonis, Vangellys
5) Atlantis, Carístico, Mistico vs Cavernario, Felino, Negro Casas
Caristico and the rudos repeat the main event from last week, so that’s probably the program.
IWRG (SUN) 11/20/2016Arena Naucalpan
1) Black Dragón & Cadillac vs Skanda & Vampiro Metálico
2) Leo & Mike vs Acero & Demonio Infernal
3) Danny Casas, Emperador Azteca, Freelance vs Picudo Jr., Violencia Jr., Vórtize
4) Chicano, Imposible, Súper Nova vs Diablo Jr., El Hijo del Diablo, Relámpago
5) Axel, Golden Magic, Pantera I vs Canis Lupus, Killer Jr., Máscara Año 2000 Jr.
Imposible and the Diablos are partners, on opposite sides. IWRG always has a bunch of interesting trainees, and they’re doing a Pantera I/Killer feud. All lucha libre programming is awful, throw it in the bin.