Dragon Lee/Cavernario next Sunday, Santo coming to Monterrey

photo by CMLL/Alexis Salazar

CMLL (SAT) 04/08/2017 Arena Coliseo [CMLL]
1) Grako & Yago b Magia Blanca & Marvel
Yago’s return, with a win.
2) Estrellita, La Vaquerita, Marcela b Amapola, Tiffany, Zeuxis
Estrellita’s return from injury. Tecnicas took 1/3
3) El Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón b Drone, Fuego, Soberano Jr.
Fishman was honored before the match. NGD took falls 2/3 (and had a fair bit of crowd support.)
4) Blue Panther, Johnny Idol, Titán b Luciferno, Misterioso Jr., Sam Adonis
Tecnicos took 1/3
5) Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone, Stuka Jr. b Hechicero, Kráneo, Mephisto
Hechicero replaced Ephesto on Tuesday.

Yago returned for a one off in October. Hope it’s longer this time.

CMLL (SUN) 04/09/2017 Arena México [CMLL]
1) Apocalipsis & Cholo b Bengala & Leono
2) Magnus, Pegasso, Stigma b Hijo del Signo, Metálico, Nitro
tecnicos took 1/3
3) Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa b Artillero, Puma, Tiger
Artillero replaced Skandalo. Tecnicos took 1/3.
4) Marco Corleone, Máximo Sexy, Valiente DQ Kráneo, Pierroth, Rush
DQ not specified, but usual things from Los Ingobernables.
5) Cavernario, Felino, Mr. Niebla b Atlantis, Dragón Lee, Volador Jr.
Cavernario submitted Dragon Lee, challenged him for a title match, then took his mask after the fact.

As we know, Sunday CMLL shows aren’t generally taped, but they can be taped if CMLL wants them to be. They even did an unexplained VOD for one for them with no particular important match. CMLL can film next Sunday’s match if they think it’s worth their time, or they’re convinced it’s worth their time. Any big Dragon Lee match should absolutely be worth their time.

I’m going to be annoying all week (and maybe next) until CMLL says they’re filming and airing the complete Dragon Lee/Cavernario match. The presentation they have for Tuesday shows, even on a taped show, would be great – but all I’m really asking for is one camera pointed generally towards the ring to see this match. I’d pay for it too. I think the Crash DF debut showed that just having a really good match doesn’t mean you’ll do great business, but a Dragon Lee/Cavernario match seems like it wouldn’t do too much worse than Pierroth/Azul (especially since the iPPV/VOD market seems generally foreign fans who are lean towards buying for match quality.)

AAA put up this week’s TV show. The show was mentioned on social media as being dedicated to Joaquin Roldan, the death being too late to mention him this week. They didn’t seem to have any problem with last week’s show being taken down and say it’ll be back up soon.

At Llaves y Canados show tonight, they announced Hijo del Santo will be wrestling at Arena Coliseo Motnerrey on May 14th. It would be his first match in the arena in about a decade.

DTU announced a deal with New Jersey’s GCW, with talent coming to Mexico in June and July. Crazy Boy had appeared on GWC’s Joey Janela Spring Break show.

LuchaWorld and SuperLuchas both have very good obits for Fishman. LuchaWorld has also talks about Joaquin Roldan’s passing in the news update.

Black Terry Jr. has photos from the LuchaRama show.

Hetzza won her debut match in Stardom, and challenged for the High Speed championship.

Kraneo talks about his other job as chiropractor.

A candidate for Mexico State governor just happened to run into Atlantis at Arena Azteca Budokan, a venue he hasn’t wrestled at in for years, and Atlantis just happened to have his CMLL Universal Championship for a photo op.

Funcion Estelar has an interview with Coco Rojo II.

 

Fishman passes away

Fishman

Fishman, José Ángel Nájera Sánchez, passed away on Saturday. He had just reached his 66th birthday on Thursday.

Fishman was born in Torreon, but started wrestling and first grew to fame as a Juarez luchador. He’d return to that city often in his career. He became a national star in Arena Mexico in the late 70s, with his iconic green and yellow mask standing out on magazines. (It’s a mask that resonates even today; when Daga & Garza did their run-in debut on The Crash a few months ago, they picked Canek and Fishman’s masks becuase they look cool.) Fishman won the masks of El Faraon, Sangre Chicana and Cobarde I, three luchadors who would go onto have long and important careers, in the span of 16 months. He also defeated Blue Demon twice for titles, first for the NWA Welterweight Championship and later for the national version, in that same period of time.

Fishman jumped to the rival UWA promotion, where he was consistently among the top light heavyweight stars thru the 80s as both a tecnico and a rudo. He traded wins and championships with Perro Aguayo, Villano III, and old rival Sangre Chicana, and headlined many shows during the strongest period in the history of the company. He was an opponent for foreign wrestlers when they came to UWA, and was brought to the US and Japan as a visiting star.

Fishman’s drop off mirrored the UWA. Fishman actually was part of the original group of luchadors in AAA, but his (by then) slower style didn’t work in that context or on TV. Fishman had stretches in both AAA & CMLL thru 2000, but generally as a name from the past rather than an important star of the moment. Fishman lost his mask in 2000 to Mascara Sagrada, the main event of a short lived promotion GWAS, with a disappointing turnout and suggestions Fishman wasn’t paid what he was promised for the match.

Fishman hasn’t been forgotten by lucha libre, but his place at the end probably wasn’t what he was expecting when he was main eventing packed El Toreo shows. If UWA had survived, he probably would’ve been brought back forever as a star of their best days. Without his home promotion, Fishman wasn’t afforded the same long term high respect as a Canek. His mask match wasn’t the memorable classic that gave a reason for people to always remember him like Villano 3’s. Instead, Fishman was sort of a relic of a bygone era, still a huge star to people who followed and admiring lucha libre of that time but not meaningful to younger generations. He spent the last few years of his active career wrestling for small independents, for promoters who remembered the name. He teamed with one son as Hijo de Fishman for a time, then stripped him (the current Black Fish) of the name after a falling out and gave another son the name. Fishman was still listed on shows as recently as last year, though some of those may have been his son being listed under his name.

There’s no details on Fishman’s funeral service.

Angel de Oro wins Reyes del Aire, Copa Junior begins next week

I thought Niebla Roja was saving his brother until he started to move him into positionCMLL (FRI) 04/07/2017 Arena México [CMLL, CultIcon, thecubsfan]
1) Acero & Aéreo b Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro 2017-04-07 CMLL Viernes (Reyes del Aire 2017) (posted by thecubsfan)
14:46. Rudos took 2/3.
2) Princesa Sugehit, Silueta, Skadi b Dalys, Metálica, Reyna Isis 2017-04-07 CMLL Viernes (Reyes del Aire 2017) (posted by thecubsfan)
14:42. Tecnias took 1/3.
3) Sam Adonis b Rey Cometa [lightning] 2017-04-07 CMLL Viernes (Reyes del Aire 2017) (posted by thecubsfan)
Added on Monday. 9:10, Adonis beat Cometa with a powerbomb and his feet on the ropes.
4) Atlantis, Diamante Azul, Stuka Jr. b Kráneo, Negro Casas, Último Guerrero 2017-04-07 CMLL Viernes (Reyes del Aire 2017) (posted by thecubsfan)
9:03. Tecnicos took 2/3. Atlantis challenged UG to a title match for this week.
5) Ángel de Oro b Carístico, Cavernario, Mistico, La Máscara, Volador Jr., Mephisto, Máximo Sexy, Euforia, Valiente, Luciferno, Niebla Roja, Dragón Lee, Hechicero, Titán, Gran Guerrero [Reyes del Aire] 2017-04-07 CMLL Viernes (Reyes del Aire 2017) (posted by thecubsfan)
29:44. Lucifierno replaced Ephesto on Monday. Tecnicos vs rudos. Eliminations: Luciferno (Volador), Titan (Cavernario), Gran Guerrero (Maximo), Dragon Lee & Mephisto at the same time (Hechicero & Volador), Valiente (La Mascara), Cavernario (Mistico), Maximo (Hechicero), Mascara (Caristico), Hechicero (Volador), Caristico (Euforia), Mistico (Niebla Roja), Niebla Roja (Volador), Volador (Euforia) and Euforia (Angel de Oro) seconds later. This is Angel de Oro’s third Reyes del Aire win. Caristico & Volador attacked each other during the match, with Mistico playing peacemaker. Niebla Roja generally got along with his partners.

Reyes del Aire was really good when a lot of people were involved. Like last year, it slowed down during an extended three way portion near the end (though at least this time we got a winner.) Angel de Oro was about the 12th or 13th most impressive guy in the match and it’s hard to grasp why CMLL is so strong behind him. He’s now ended Dragon Rojo’s title reign and won this competition in a short period of time. Perhaps they’re building to something – maybe a reunion with his brother – but Cavernario winning this last year really didn’t set up anything. Regardless of the finish, you’ll want to see this match.

Atlantis/UG came out of nowhere and seemed shoehorned in for no obvious reason. Not sure we need a second Ultimo Guerrero title match in about four weeks when there’s so many people they could choose for. It may be in service of whatever they’re doing with Niebla Roja. That breakup was not played up much last night – the Guerreros came out together, but Niebla Roja was hanging back from the other two.

The idea of a Zeuxis/Sugehit mask match as the big event on a 04/28 Arena Mexico anniversary show seems to be off. The Copa Junior Nuevo Valores final will take place on that date instead, and CMLL typically does not have two midcard singles matches on the same show. It’s not impossible CMLL could’ve moved it to the 04/30 Kid’s Day show – that’s gotten all the attention with no mention of an Arena Mexico anniversary show – but it doesn’t appear to be happening on a Friday night any time soon. (In possibly related news, WWE’s Women’s tournament was announced as “sometime in quarter two or three”, which suggests it may not take place until deep into the summer.) They’re the lightning match on Tuesday, so it hasn’t been totally dropped, but it looks like plans changed.

CMLL changed Tuesday’s title match. The Panther will now team with his father Blue Panther Sr., instead of his brother, to face Negro Navarro & Black Terry for the Arena Coliseo Tag Team championships. Not sure if it’s an injury or other reasons; Blue Jr. hasn’t been listed on any show since Tuesday.

Last week’s AAA episode is off their official YouTube channel because of a copyright violation notice from El Rey. If you own the rights to a video, you can ask YouTube to block (or monetize) any other video uploaded to the service which matches your video. In this case, the scenes from the Lucha Underground Netflix commercial matched up with El Rey’s video and an automated program took down AAA’s video. This probably can and will be cleared up (though it’s obviously not going a priority), and it’s more about the flaws in YouTube’s content blocking situation than anything AAA or LU did. It still looks bad and probably is frustrating for everyone involved.  It also may delay or prevent AAA from posting shows on that channel for the time being.

There’s a lucha libre photo exhibit open for one week only in Juarez.

Fuego en el Ring has the latest edition of their podcast.

Lineups

CMLL (FRI) 04/14/2017 Arena México
1) Shockercito, Stukita, Último Dragóncito vs Mercurio, Pequeño Nitro, Pierrothito
2) Soberano Jr. vs The Panther, Drone, Oro Jr., El Cuatrero, Canelo Casas, Hijo del Signo, Espanto Jr. [La Copa Jr. Nuevo Valores, semifinal]
3) Diamante Azul, Stuka Jr., Valiente vs Ephesto, Mephisto, Negro Casas
4) Carístico, Dragón Lee, Mistico vs Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Niebla Roja
5) Último Guerrero © vs Atlantis [NWA MIDDLE]
11th defense

Atlantis has gotten title shots in Arena Puebla and Arena Coliseo, but not yet in Guadalajara, so this is not the magic fourth chance. (He’s also the Mexican Light Heavyweight champion, which means this title change would have to set up another.)

Semimain teams up Niebla Roja with the other Guerreros, so there’s going to be problems.

There’s a good four (Soberano, Panther, Drone, Cuatrero) and a not as good four (Oro, Canelo, Signo and Espanto) mixed in that Copa Junior. I’d bet on Soberano right now.

Five matches seems short. The eight man cibernetico is probably not going longer than a normal trios match. The main event may go longer, but the semimain may go short. Guessing another match may be added during the week.

AAA’s Joaquin Roldan has passed away

Joaquin Roldan

AAA announced Joaquin Roldan passed away early this morning. He was 63.

Roldan, the brother in law of AAA founder Antonio Peña, had been involved with AAA for about 20 years. He was a lawyer and worked in that role in his first years in the promotion. Roldan took over operation of the promotion when Peña suffered an illness and passed away in 2007 2006. Joaquin, his wife Marisela (Peña’s sister) and their son Dorian became the public face of the promotion in Antonio Peña’s absence. (Joaquin is also survived by a daughter who’s helped with AAA but in a less public role.) It’s believed Marislea was given ownership of AAA by her brother, but Joaquin was person running the promotion due to social norms of Mexico. Joaquin may have had the most power of the family members, but it seemed like the big decisions were things the family made as a unit.

Joaquin Roldan is also one of the people responsible for Lucha Underground existing. He owns some part of the promotion, and is visible sitting in the crowd on the first few tapings.

Joaquin Roldan was also the onscreen face authority figure for many years, feuding with Dorian Roldan & Konnan constantly. The rudos were always kept strong for the perennial blow-off down the line, so Joaquin was often outmaneuvered by his opponents between a few victories. Roldan broke his nose when he was tripped into a turnbuckle at one TripleMania, was tricked into having his head shaved at another TripleMania, vowed La Sociedad would be gone forever from AAA really soon a few times. Roldan didn’t seem comfortable in his role at first, but grew to like it and improved in the role. He appeared much less in that role the last couple years, with AAA dropping the feuding family members after Konnan left the company. Marisela continued to sit in the front row as the face of AAA, and Joaquin appeared to be backstage helping run the TV tapings.

Joaquin had not been seen at AAA events as much in recent months. He was at the Psycho Clown/Dr. Wagner contract signing press conference, and was part of the remembrance of Chavo Guerrero Senior. I’m not sure if he had been at the La Llave de la Gloria tryouts or the work AAA did on the movie, but those all fell under the idea of “new projects” that Dorian would be leading on. There was no outward sign something was wrong, but now I look back at Joaquin looking a little thinner and tired at that contract signing and wonder if wasn’t because it was a trying week, but because of health issues. (Plantilla Deportiva says a source has told them Joaquin died of cancer, which would certainly fit. Edit: Arturo Rivera also said it was cancer.) Joaquin was put in AAA’s Hall of Fame last year at TripleMania by Marisela & Dorian, something that seemed a little tone deaf at the time. Maybe they knew, and wanted to make sure he had a moment of recognition.

The Roldans are holding a wake for Joaquin Roldan today at the Capilla de Gayosso funeral home in Mexico City.

CMLL on ClaroSports.com: 2017-04-07 – Angel de Oro wins Reyes del Aire

dives everywhere

Recapped: 2017-04-07

Matches:

All matches were taped taped on Arena México at 04/07/2017, and aired on ClaroSports. They’re on my youtube channel.

Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro (2/3) Acero & Aéreo (14:46 [6:45, 3:41, 4:20], ok)

Princesa Sugehit, Skadi, Silueta (1/3) Dalys, Metálica, Reyna Isis (14:43 [7:15, 3:40, 3:48], below average) 

Sam Adonis  defeated  Rey Cometa in a lightning match (9:10, powerbomb w/feet on the ring, good) 

Atlantis, Diamante Azul, Stuka Jr. (2/3)  Kráneo, Negro Casas, Último Guerrero (9:03 [2:29, 2:30, 4:04], OK)

including a GIF strike exchange in Reyes del Aire, I dunno

Angel de Oro won the 2017 Reyes del Aire (29:44, great)
taped on Arena México at 04/07/2017

06:14 Volador backcracker Luciferno
10:15 Cavernario mammoth dropkick Titan
12:01 Máximo rope walking plancha Gran Guerrero
14:32 Hechicero cradle Dragon Lee
14:32 Volador quebrada Mephisto
17:39 La Mascara double knee smash Valiente
18:22 Mistico Mistica on Cavernario
19:57 Hechicero conjuro Maixmo
20:25 Carístico Carsitica La Mascara
21:41 Volador backcracker Hechicero
23:41 Euforia Soberana Carístico
24:15 Niebla Roja middle Furia Roja Mistico
24:47 Volador top rope headscissors Niebla Roja
29:35 Euforia Soberana Volador
29:44 Angel de Oro mecedora Euforia

What Happened:

Titan takes out everyone with the moonsault

Angel de Oro won the 2017 Reyes del Aire. Yes, Angel de Oro. For the third time. He submitted Euforia a second after Euforia submitted Volador.

Carístico and Volador got into a fight with each other during the match, with Mistico trying to play peacemaker. Niebla Roja and the Guerreros didn’t seem to be friendly, but Roja otherwise fought as normal rudo. (The match had been billed as having a battle royal, but they cut it out.)

Atlantis submitted Último Guerrero in the semifinal and challenged for a NWA Middleweight Championship match next week. UG accepted.

Sam Adonis defeated Rey Cometa, using the ropes to get the pin.

CMLL announced a Copa Junior Nuevo Valores would begin next week.

Skadi replaced Sanely in the women’s match.

Thoughts:

Valiente Special

The main event had some incredible stretches of action, sequences as good as they’ve done in any one of these crazy ciberneticos. The pace was incredible most of the way and very compelling; I couldn’t find time to make any notes beyond keeping track of eliminations because I didn’t want to take my eyes of the screen. The lower level of the last five minutes – from Niebla Roja and Volador both nearly landing on their head on the headscissors slip thru the finish – hurts this from being a match of the year contender, and Angel de Oro as the winner also doesn’t help. Still, this is a match you really ought to see just to be amazed. Valiente looked great during his portion, Hechicero got a few big moments, there was a finisher move melody that came off fantastic, all the Misticos and Volador doing dives in a row was cool, and Carístico & Volador was a great touch that works even if they never bother to follow up on it. Endings are overaly important to me, and you may get more out of this if that doesn’t concern you, because there was about 20 minutes of incredible action in this one.

The semimain seemed super rushed, as if CMLL was mostly worried about having enough time for the main event. (They did!) Atlantis and UG is a well trod feud, so it doesn’t really matter they didn’t do all that much to build up a title match here. Diamante Azul stole the match, looking more impressive tossing around Kraneo than anything he did with Pierroth. His ramp dive at the end looked awesome too. It also felt more like build to the Kid’s Day show, with Zacarias & Mije beatup por Monito.

Their were some iffy moments in the lightning match – the Canadian Destroyer didn’t look right, Adonis couldn’t find the ropes with his other foot stood out – but I thought it was still a good effort for the first single’s match they’ve given Adonis. Adonis took most of Cometa’s offense well, had stuff he could do on his own, and the crowd was really into the match. Cometa seems to have a knack to play the heroic Mexican better than most guys in his spot, and comes off sympathetic easily.

he lands on his feet on this, amazing

The women’s match was messy and not up to even the usual level for these things. Metalica & Skadi worked a lot together here it and it was compelling, not always for positive reasons. Some exchanged looked bad, some looked surprisingly OK, and sometimes it looked like Metalica was really getting kicked in the face. It’s strange they trust the people who display the less skills do more dangerous spots in this second match.

The técnicos tried hard to make the opener something noteworthy. It didn’t quite work, but the first fall was pretty good for this position. The rudos did go with the big spots and Pequeño Nitro took a big bump to the floor, but Mercurio also clowned around a bit. This match mostly proved Aereo is much better than Acero and might be useful in an environment where he was allowed to do things. Acero can do things too, but he can only do them slower than average and not as gracefully. This was good on the sliding scale of openers but I think it needed a little more for me.

!!!!!

CMLL Reyes del Aire tonight, Ringo Mendoza tribute show, DJZ recovering

tonight

Tonight’s the 14th CMLL Reyes del Aire, CMLL’s kinda annual tournament of high flyers.

All Time Reyes del Aire leader board

3 Volador Jr. (2005, 2007-1, 2009)
2 Valiente (2008, 2012-2)
2 La Sombra (2013, 2015)
2 Angel de Oro (2011, 2012-1)
1 Barbaro Cavernario (2016)
1 La Mascara (2006)
1 Stuka Jr. (2014)
1 Virus (2007-2)

Sometimes you can forgot how long Volador’s been around, and then you see that he won his first Rey del Aires twelve years ago (and somehow hasn’t won another in eight years.) CMLL’s preview insists they’re just doing a normal cibernetico tonight, none of that final two go to next week. Quickly sorting out people into tiers of chances.

good chance: Místico (odd he hasn’t won yet), Volador Jr. (is Volador Jr.), Dragon Lee (is actually the best guy)

mild chance: Carístico (probably too high for a guy who never wins), Titán (good underdog story), Máximo (would make no sense, way over), Valiente (no UG to beat this time), La Máscara (would be annoying but could set up something), Hechicero (fits if they want to deal the same good working rudo steal the win story as last year)

no chance: Ángel de Oro (just got his one win for the decade), Bárbaro Cavernario (repeat unlikely), Mephisto (but a good shot at being in the final two), Luciferno (no), Niebla Roja, Euforia, Gran Guerrero (issues with the Guerreros will eliminate)

They’re going to do a battle royal to set sides, which works with the Niebla Roja situation: he can face his partners and Dragon Lee if they’re on the other team. Whatever sides they set up, this should be one of the best CMLL matches of the year.

The rest of the show looks decent. The semimain has Atlantis, Diamante Azul and Stuka vs Negro Casas, Kraneo and Ultimo Guerrero, which should be a good solid match. Sam Adonis gets his first lightning match, facing noted hero of the Mexican people Rey Cometa. The early stuff is questionable as usual. Princesa Sugehit, Sanely and Silueta face Dalys, Reina Isis and Metalica. The random minis match of the week is Aereo & Acero versus Pequeno Nitro & Mercurio.

The show will air at 8:30pm on ClaroSports. They’re back to the normal time, though you’ll only miss the less promising matches if you tune in late.

Okumura’s doctors found a fracture in the sixth disc in his neck and dislocation of six and seven discs. He’s going to have surgery soon.

Ringo Mendoza will be honored on a special Arena Coliseo (Mexico City) show on April 20th. It’s on CMLL’s site, so they’re running the show, a rare Thursday night Coliseo show. The last one of those was a tribute show to Texano back in 2005. Mendoza was honored last month in Guadalajara and there was a report having health issues.

The CMLL mascots did an interview to promote their match on April 30th, which is going to be a big deal if they’re going to promote it for four weeks. Micro Man revealed he’s actually the 18 year old son of KeMonito and will be debuting on this show. Zacarias claimed he was an exotic dancer in Monterrey before coming to CMLL. (He was wrestling in La Laguna, so that would’ve been a long trip.)

DJZ’s surgery went well. He’s going to be recovering and not wrestling in Mexico City for a while, but it reads like it could’ve gone a lot worse. Between this and the wrist injury, DJZ has has no luck of late.

Pentagon is off today’s DEFY show in Seattle due to a personal emergency. I suspect that means he’s also not in AAW tomorrow but it hasn’t been announced yet.

Lucha Memes/MDA has Chairo 10 on April 28 in Arena Naucalpan

The Crash now has tickets on sale for their 05/05 show in Tijuana with the Young Bucks vs the Lucha Brothers.

Mike Quackenbush has been announced as a trainer for the AAA/WWC/Vampiro tryout.

Hoy Los Angeles does the usual “lucha libre has died but we’re going to revive” it article for LA. Jesse Hernandez and Heredero Rey Misterio are interviewed.

Lucha Report has the latest news update.

lucha TV preview for weekend of April 6th

 

full size

I’ve taken Elite off the schedule since it’s just repeats of repeats. This feels like the fewest number of shows in some time, and the IWRG stuff is mostly hopeful than solid. AYM’s been flakey about actually airing the promotion of late.

CMLL has Reyes del Aire. And hopefully no blocks.

AAA starts the Neza taping, which looked completely weird reading the results and probably the same when we see it. Maybe we’ll get Parka Negra/Elegido or maybe the debut of Dalton Bragg. Or maybe a good match.

Lucha Underground’s dropped back down to airing only two episodes a week, which puts them right on schedule to run thru Season 3, with the last repeat episode airing before the first new episode. Not sure running episodes at times that weren’t advertised at all really served a purpose but you’ll have caught them all if you DVR a season pass.

Pantera keeps IWRG title, Piratas back in Naucalpan

IWRG (WED) 04/05/2017 Arena Naucalpan [The Gladiatores]
1) Power Bull b Puma King (Iwrg)
2) Keiser Drago & Lunatic Extreme b Atomic Star & Shadow Boy
Atomic Star replaced Fireman.
3) Kanon b Skanda
4) Aramis, Black Dragón, Golden Magic b Apolo Estrada Jr., Eterno, Hip Hop Man
money thrown in
5) Trauma I & Trauma II b Black Terry & Diablo Jr.
good match
6) Pantera I © b Demonio Infernal [IWRG IC Light]
first defense. good match.

People actually attended this show! Not a lot, but I’ve seen worse for IWRG.

CanuckPro in British Colombia says they’re bringing in Puma & Tiger on December 8th and 9th.  Hope it goes well, but promotions promising to flying in people in 8 months from now is unusual.

DJZ’s surgery went well; he’ll be in the hospital for 3-5 more days.

LuchaWorld has an interview with Mano Negra.

Wrestling With Words reviews both parts of Rey de Reyes.

RobViper has a music video of 07/28/16 Elite.

Lineup

IWRG (SUN) 04/09/2017 Arena Naucalpan
1) Shadow Boy vs Keiser Drago
2) Aramis & Black Dragón vs Lunatik Xtreme & Skanda
3) Demasiado, Diva Salvaje, Nigma vs Diablo Jr. I, El Hijo del Diablo, Imposible [EdM Trios]
first defense
4) Relámpago vs Cerebro Negro
5) Leo, Mike, Rafy, Teelo vs Black Terry, Demonio Infernal, Hip Hop Man, Ovett
6) Hijo de Pirata Morgan, Pirata Morgan, Pirata Morgan Jr. vs Dr. Cerebro, Heddi Karaoui, Herodes Jr.

All the Pirata waste no time into returning to IWRG (which suggest the departure was agreed on for a while.) Pirata Morgan Jr. is the real winner of his brother leaving AAA. Marichi Locos winning the trios titles owul dbe fun but unlikely to happen in the first match.

04/05 The Crash results (Mexico City debut)

Astrolux/Zumbi – imagine if they actually pulled this off (GIF from a Twitter video)

The Crash (WED) 04/05/2017 Gimnasio Olímpico Juan de la Barrera, Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal [Estrellas del Ring, La Aficion, MedioTiempo, Por el Titulo Mex, Record]
1) Arkángel Divino, Black Boy (Baja California), Zumbi b Astrolux, Black Danger (Baja California), Último Maldito
Octagon opened the show, announcing an alliance with his Legado Dragon promotion. Alberto also appeared, saying he’d for sure be on the next show. Carlito confronted him to tease a match. After this match, the main event heels beat up the tecnicos.
2) Keira b Sexy Dulce ©, Santana Garrett, Lady Maravilla, Candy White, Laurel Van Ness [The Crash WOMEN]
Sexy Dulce injured her ankle on a plancha and left the match. Keira beat Lady Maravilla.
3) Rey Horuz b Laredo Kid, Mr. 450, Séptimo Dragón, Último Ninja, DJZ [#1 Contenders, The Crash CRUISER]
Rey Horuz gets a title shot against Flamita. DJZ was hurt taking a 450 splash and taken to the hospital with an undetermined injury. The main event rudos attacked again, but this time Rey & the Lucha Brothers made the save. Said to be a great match.
4) Jack Evans, Máscarita Dorada, Willie Mack b ACH, Bestia 666, Black Tauro (Elite)
Demus 3:16 debuted after the match, attacking old rival Mascarita Dorada and promising to chase him anywhere in the world and challenged him to a mask vs hair match. After this, The Crash (Konnnan), NOAH and Impact formerly announced an alliance.
5) Daga b Extreme Tiger
Scheduled as a four way, but Sami was moved up and AR Fox missed the show (flight?). Said to be a disappointing match. Hijo del Pirata Morgan debuted post match, attacking Daga and saying he was against La Rebelion.
6) Bobby Lashley, Carlito, Jeff Cobb b Blue Demon, Brian Cage, Garza Jr.
Lashley snuck in a foul on Garza. Everyone challenged for every match.
7) Penta Zero M, Rey Fénix, Rey Mysterio 619 b Cody Rhodes, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Sami Callihan
Sami Callihan replaced Matt Sydal (flight issues)

The matches sound good. Good good – the cruiserweight match might the one to see if/when it turns up elsewhere, but I didn’t see anything complete beyond the main event. The people who wrote about the show on social media seemed to have a very good time, and the Rey Mysterio entrance was crazy. The main event was about a ***1/2 exhibition-y all star trios match that was done well and got very good in the last third, with Nakajima feeling much more out of place than Rhodes. It was worked more US style, they all got in big spots at the end, the crowd went nuts for the 619 spot on everyone and Rey picked up the win. If you’re interested in just the quality of matches, they sound like they were all pretty good, and you can skip the next 2000 or so words.

Apolo Valdes guessed attendance at 60%, maybe a bit more. Estrellas del Ring says 70%. It looked a lot more empty that in the photos, with sections of empty seats and the wide ranges of the upper level completely empty. It looked like Arena Mexico on a Tuesday or a Sunday. It was tough to imagine how The Crash was going to make money running this show even if they drew a great gate, and this sort of turnout surely hurts.

The Crash picked a tough day to run. People have also brought up the high ticket prices and the fans being burned by other people who didn’t bring in scheduled names. These are legitimate issues, but the biggest reason is still the old obvious one: The Crash didn’t convince enough people to spend money on the matches they were offering. This was not a show that more than a few thousand people wanted to see, because that’s all who showed up.

The “all-star card” of meaningless matches has to go. I like seeing lot of luchadors getting work, but most of their efforts were wasted and most of the names didn’t mean much. This style of show has been proven not to be effective, especially in Mexico City, many times. Not enough has been learned from the failure of Elite. Elite brought in any big name they could, brought even more foreign stars for it’s international tournament , and drew horribly for a major league promotion. They drew great for a minor league promotion aimed at fervent wrestling fans, and so did The Crash did tonight, because all the Mexico City people who follow non-WWE international wrestling came to those shows. There’s just not enough of those people to fill Arena Mexico or fill Gimnasio Juan de la Barrera, not even close.

Gimnasio Juan de la Barrera is the home of AAA because that’s how AAA hypes it. They’re not the only promotion who’s run there. FULL wanted to two shows there run there last year, got Mexico City mainstream attention doing an angle with Pirata Morgan and a clown, and sold so few tickets that one show was canceled and the other was pretty vacant. (They’re going to try again with Alberto & Distromania, and it’s likely going to end the same way.) Baracal, who has experience promoting concerts around Mexico, had the hardcore pick for feud of the year, LA Park versus Rush, and drew no better than The Crash did in this same arena a month ago. Maybe a bit worse. The Crash can take pride in outdrawing Baracal, but probably at twice the price.

And AAA, who everyone diehard fan hates, who does have that history of not delivering what they’ve promised, who were putting out really bland cards at the time, filled this same Gimnasio Juan de la Barrera. And they filled much larger arenas with the same sort of cavalcade of foreign stars for the Lucha World Cup. AAA convinced people the (completely new and invented) Lucha World Cup because they got advertisers and media to treat like the competition was an important deal, because AAA had existed in the market for 20 years, and because they convinced people that winning the last match meant a lot. The same thing happened in January: AAA convinced people Johnny Mundo versus Pentagon Jr. was a match they had to see, at prices that weren’t much cheaper than these. The Crash told people they were the new alternative company, and did a great job in convince people they would have really good matches, and drew all the people who would come to a Wednesday night show to see really good matches. There’s not enough of those people to fill the building.

(aside 1: Lucha Memes should’ve also been a warning sign. Lucha Memes does great crowd, much better than the many other Mexico City area promotions who are trying to the same concept. They just had a really good card last month, have a track record of delivering on their shows, and still drew less last time. The quality of matches alone only appears to a relatively low amount of the people, important matches draw more people.)

(aside 2: PWG seems to be the cited example for The Crash, I bring it up too, but the goal should be NXT. PWG isn’t running 5000 seat buildings, and is getting friendly wrestler discounts because being there is so important. NXT is getting discounts in their own way, but their big show started in the sizeof buildings The Crash tries. NXT also made their shows easy to see for people who were not in the arena, which substantially helped spread the word about the brand. This is a horse I’ve beaten long past the point of death, but The Crash and other promotions inability to broadcast their shows isn’t just costing them the money they make from people buying iPPVs, but greatly diminishing the benefits they’d get for running good shows. In 2017, if people can’t see a professional looking version of your event, no one but the most diehard fans are going to care. Distributing their should not be something The Crash “should be trying to get to” or “aiming for”, this is something they should’ve been doing for months and everyone involved with the company should be freaking out that this hasn’t happened yet.The Crash is trying to start a fire with two rocks when there’s a convince store with matches around the corner, and it’s craziness. It’s nice of the Crash to take a cell phone into the crowd and shoot video from the 20th row, but that means nothing.)

This is not bleak. Any buzz for a good show helps. The Crash didn’t drew well in Tijuana when it started out, and worked it’s way there by being the Tijuana show people had to go to see. They started off with a Mexico City with a good show, and should draw better if they keep delivering good shows. This is not hopeless, this show is just a stark reminder of the job ahead of them. I suspect the spin is going to be that The Crash knew they weren’t going to draw well in the first try and it would always be this hard, but then it would’ve made sense to built to a show this jammed with stars instead of trying to take over night one. The Crash can still get where they want to be, but it’s going to cost them a lot of money in the short term to build their name in Mexico City. They’re going to figure out if it’s worth it.

The decision to run Wednesdays seemed to be because it was the only day they could get a lot of these wrestlers, especially Fenix & Penta. The Lucha Brothers schedule shows no sign of slowing down, and I wonder if The Crash is ultimately going to have to choose between centering around those guys or choosing more friendly days to run. The show ended live around midnight, which is a rough end time on a Wednesday. The fans were into the main event, but there were people visibly walking out before the show ended.

Hijo del Pirata Morgan actually announced he was leaving AAA earlier in the day, but word generally hadn’t gotten out before he debuted. Pirata quit AAA in the fall, but came back at Heroes Inmortales as a surprise entrant in Copa Antonio Pena. He left AAA for such a short time that most people who follow AAA probably just thought he wasn’t used on a few TV tapings. AAA didn’t have any more interesting plans for Hijo del Pirata of late, occasionally teasing a breakup and feud with Pirata Sr. (who might also be gone.) Pirata was talked up by Konnan when he was still with AAA and fits in better with the Crash. Pirata is listed on both the San Luis Potosi and Tlaxcala tapings, but AAA taping cards are expected to change anyway.

Demus 3:16 is a logical jump along the same lines. He’s already working a lot of indies, and he’s got no hope of doing anything in CMLL. CMLL’s decided most of the minis matches are going to be the first or second card, once in a great while they’ll have a title match or an apuesta match in the fourth card, but no more, and not many of those chances. Those matches pay about nothing, while Demus can make some good money by being Mascarita Dorada’s opponent in Mexico, in the US, and beyond. He wasn’t as definite about leaving CMLL, but the gig he’s taking is much better than one he has. Demus bringing up the idea of merging the minis with the regular division was reflective of this reality: the minis have no chance of earning bigger opportunities in CMLL as it’s currently run, are just dependent on the rest of the promotion getting hot and everyone being paid well. (Of course, the minis who did move up aren’t doing much better.) Both Demus & his brother Akuma were listed as working at least one US lucha indie, and in upcoming months, and I’d assume there will be a lot more.

Sexy Dulce’s suffering an ankle injury, which conveniently took her out of a title match she repeatedly implied she wasn’t doing, is suspicious. I know there’s a report saying it’s serious, but it’s the third straight Mexican title she’s lost without actually losing. It doesn’t really mean anything. Everyone Mexican promoter should’ve already been aware that Sexy is essentially the new female Mil Mascaras, someone who’s going to be forever popular but isn’t going to be putting anyone over. She has value and could be useful, but probably shouldn’t be around anything important. (The Crash’ Women’s title is not important and probably will never be, so whatever happened is pretty much irrelevant.)  I’d say we’d know this is a legit injury if she misses the boxing match, but she still doesn’t have an opponent for it right now and reports about her career have mentioned plans for her debut being pushed back previously. This could be a convenient way to push it back again.

The latest update on DJ Z is he’s going to have surgery on his colon, which they believe he fractured in the match. That sounds awful and they’re not even sure if that’s it. DJ Z was scheduled to be in Mexico for a while, but I’m sure he wasn’t hoping to be in a hospital bed.

Matt Sydal posted on Twitter that weather issues caused his flights to be delayed for eight hours and he apologized for missing the show. Sydal was flying out of Atlanta and I believe man of no social media AR Fox is based out of Atlanta, so I would guess he had the same issue. It didn’t appear either absence was mentioned to the crowd. It didn’t seem to matter except for people looking for autographs before the show. Most of the roster was in the day before for the press conference.

Fenix’s name was listed as both Rey Fenix (US) and The King on the video screen. I could not tell you what that man’s name is right now.

Kind of wonder if the Carlito/Alberto thing was actually setting up the new DistrioMania main event, since that’s probably the next show Alberto is working in this building and he needs a someone to replace Drew Galloway.

La Aficion reported there were problems with the meet & greet (Rey showed up late and fans only got about 15 minutes with him) and online ticketing. There was also a paragraph about being unhappy about the media area being overcrowded which seems to have been removed during the night. They took advantage of their media access to write a story that still included Matt Sydal in the main event. (Again, Sydal can’t be that well known if people didn’t even notice he was not there.)

No next date in Mexico City was announced. Actually, the Crash hasn’t announced any next dates yet, likely because they’re were so focused on this show. They’re expected to run in Tijuana on May 5th with the Young Bucks.

 

AAA on Televisa: 2017-04-01 

Aerostar being Aerostar

Recapped: 04/05/2017

All matches were taped at Arena Jose Sulaiman, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon on March 19, and aired on their TV show.

Matches: 

Ayako Hamada defeated Taya to win the AAA Reina de Reinas championship (12:55, Michinoku Driver, ok)

Johnny Mundo defeated Hijo del Fantasma and Texano Jr. to retain the AAA Latin American Championship and win the AAA Cruiserweight & Heavyweight Championship (16:27, Fin de Mundo, good)

Aerostar beat Súper Fly to keep Aerostar’s mask & win SuperFly’s hair (8:28 + 0:03 on the restart, rana, good)

What happened: 

flecha negra

Aerostar took Super Fly’s hair, though Vampiro appeared to be 99% responsible for the win. Super Fly used concealed knuckles to knock out Aerostar. A light show and music heralded Vampiro to the ring, where he dramatically kicked out the referee responsible (Copetes) and ordered the match restarted. Before Super Fly even realized the match was happening, Aerostar cradled him for three. Super Fly tried to leave, but Vampiro brought him back to the ring to get his head shaved. The match had been no DQ and falls count anywhere up to that point.

Johnny Mundo won all three men’s singles titles, in a three way that was turned into a title match by an off camera Vampiro. (They saved his reveal until the main event.) Fantasma and Texano had differing views on how handle this match: Texano wanted to straight team up to take out Mundo, while Fantamsa wanted it to be every man for themselves. This eventually cost Texano, who relented on hitting his friend with a chair. Fantasma repaid the kidness by giving Texano a Thrill of the Hunt on that same chair. Texano was put in a neck brace and on a stretcher and that’s the end of him for now. (This came off like an angle, though perhaps one to explain an already existing Texano injury. He didn’t seem quite himself.) Mundo only won after the second ref bump, instigated by the debuting Kevin Kross. Kross wasn’t named, and the editing made it tough to tell where he came from, but he laid out Fantasma to set up the win for Mundo and presented him with the belts after the match.

This DDT didn’t look good

Ayako Hamada cleanly defeated Taya to win the Reina de Reinas championship.

Noti AAA focuses on a childen who tried out for La Llave de la Gloria. AAA is for the kids. There does seem to be more than 30 people here but it’s hard to get idea from what they show.

AAA was part of filming for a Ni Tu Ni Yo movie. People are drinking wine at a lucha show in Arena San Juan, which is the most unlikely thing I’ve seen.

Enterances are back this week, and the new idea is to mix shots of a video of the wrestler as they walk out.

Where can I watch it: 

This one did look like it hurt a bit

This was the better show of the two Rey de Reyes and one where it felt like things were happen. The matches just didn’t totally live up to the occasion; two finishes were totally in service of new angles and the third match just never clicked.

Aerostar/Super Fly was great for the first eight minutes. I’m not sure how badly Super Fly was hurt – his elbow and arm had pads he usually doesn’t have and seemed to be protecting it at times – but it didn’t stop him from giving a full effort. Starting a match by diving to the floor to hit no one is the message, and he made the brawling really work well. AAA was better prepared to cover a crowd brawl than usual, and while they missed some points (like whatever wound caused Aerostar to lose 10% of his blood), it was easier to watch than usual. Notably, and very happily, this wasn’t the old AAA singles match where the rudo second took half the match and the tecnicos second stood around dumbly until getting in one dive. There were no seconds, and all the attention was on the guys actually in the match. Super Fly & Aerostar were on a great pace, they just lacked a few (maybe five?) minutes to do near falls to play off the drama of the moment. Instead, they got about one minute, a silly ref bump and Vampiro becoming the true winner of the match.

There was no confusion about who was the man of the moment. Aerostar was dead from the moment he got hit until four minutes later when Vampiro restarted the match, then dead again after the pin. Vampiro literally had the bright lights shined on him and played to the crowd, and it’s he who has the feud with Super Fly going forward. Aerostar was incidental to the while thing, and Super Fly was only involved to give Vampiro someone to foil. It’s hard to appreciate a match when it’s so obviously been repurposed to be someone else’s moment in the end.

back suplex!

The intention might have been to do something along the lines of Dario Cueto restarting the Chavo Guerrero versus Rey Mysterio Jr. loser leaves town match, with the match being restarted because the stakes were so high, but that Lucha Underground match continued for three more minutes. It gave time for the focus to shift back to the people in the match, and the statement there was they’d have a decisive winner in a big match. AAA already had a decisive winner in this match – there’s no explanation why chairs were legal but knucks were not – and ending it immediately after the restart kept the focus on Vampiro’s decision to restart it. Even if they absolutely had to do a spot where Vampiro does something positive to re-enforce it being a “new era”, it shouldn’t have been a weapon spot. Those are going to keep on happening anyway. It should’ve been Hijo del Tirantes running in, fast counting for Super Fly, and Vampiro declaring Tirantes’ antics were over to blow off that storyline instead of ignoring it. They had part of that idea by kicking out Copetes (who also has been a rudo at times), but they either didn’t execute it well. Or they executed it perfectly to make Vampiro the focus, because they feel like they need new top stars and decided to go with Vampiro. The original idea seemed to elevate Aerostar, but it did the least for him out of everywhere involved.

Texano versus Fantasma versus Mundo didn’t live up to it’s potential early, but got there at the end. They just seemed out of sorts at first, with Mundo blowing a springboard that couldn’t be hidden, then later doing a neat escape dive onto his feet on the floor but everyone being totally confused as to what they were supposed to do next. Even when the moves were going right, they didn’t seem to be landing well. The one part I did like early on was everyone pulling each out and into another cradle, something I’ve not see quite that way before. Still, I could’ve happily skipped most everything that happened before the first ref bump. (Lot of ref bumps on this show.)

the start

Texano appeared heavier than usual and, while he didn’t take it totally easy, he seemed to do less than usual to the point where I was watching it trying to figure out if he had just come into the match with a neck strain and this was their way of writing him out. It flowed a lot better with Fantasma and Mundo, and Fantamsa’ tope on this show was his best in AAA in a long time. Mundo trying a half dozen times to cheat was a good character bit, and he seemed to be the most over rudo of the night. Kross looked impressive in his moves, especially the back suplex, and the extra-bit of Mundo still hitting his finish made a difference. This was a setup for a new direction but at least the direction looked promising.

Taya/Ayako didn’t work at all; it’s generous to call it even OK. They did a match heavily built around strikes while seemingly being cautious about actually touching each other. Every slap of the mat was super loud, and even the side kicks to chest were making no sound. I don’t know if they were both just concerned about being too hard with a person they didn’t know, but it just didn’t look good for most of the way, slightly picked up in the last few minutes and then still had those same problems. Crowd didn’t care about this at all, which isn’t too surprising: it’s a ruda versus someone they haven’t seen in years (and was a ruda then), and Ayako’s doesn’t play up being a tecnica strong enough to make it work. Taya’s work is not great but it’s more Ayako not being even as into the match as she was the goofy elimination match either and sleep walking in what should be a big match. It never feels that way, and Taya’s long title reign ends just quietly.

the end