AAA has the first of the two weeks in the new venue in Toluca. I’m kind interested in how it looks and sounds on TV. It’s also going to be interesting to see if they air Zorro’s match, after cutting out as many La Rebelion wrestlers as they could.
Puebla has Diamante Azul vs Rush, be warned. It’s not a great week for CMLL, with the dreaded tournament starting on Friday and nothing much on Tuesday.
The US TV listings site I use actually lists Llaves y Candados as being back on early Monday morning. I doubt it, but we’re getting to the point where I need something new to be airing or I’m going to drop those channels.
It’s a short week, thankfully. I may actually catch up next week, or just keep fooling around with year end stuff. Not a lot of standout stuff this week, though some of the CMLL stuff (Panthers/Casas, Cavernario/Titan) was higher regarded by others.
Good or better matches
Meyer, París, Tigre Rojo Jr. vs Ares, El Malayo, Sombra Diabólika
CMLL YouTube: 2017-01-30
Tritón vs Razielin a lightning match
CMLL YouTube: 2017-01-31
Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., The Panther vs Negro Casas, Puma, Tiger
CMLL YouTube: 2017-01-31
Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa vs Bobby Z, Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora
IWRG (WED) 02/08/2017Arena Naucalpan [+LuchaTV, The Gladiatores]
1) Kanon b Acero
2) Omega b Adrenalina
3) Diablo Jr. b Aramis, Araña de Plata, Alfa, Shadow Boy said to be a good match
4) Black Dragón, Chicano, Pantera I b Hip Hop Man, Violencia Jr., Vortice Violencia’s first match since November. Vortize’s first match here in a year.
5) Demonio Infernal b Dragón Fly Demonio Infernal wants a shot at Dragon Fly’s Argentina title, but Hip Hop Man interrupted to declare himself the number 1 match.
6) Demasiado, Diva Salvaje, Miss Gaviota, Nigma b Leo, Mike, Rafy, Teelo Exoticos all back for the first time in a while (a long while for some of them.) Nigma hit Rafy with a chair to give Diva the win. Tortugas want a rematch.
IWRG (SUN) 02/12/2017Arena Naucalpan
1) Aramis vs Alfa
2) Kanon & Mr. Magia vs Acero & Araña de Plata
3) Eterno vs Súper Mega
4) Chicano, Imposible, Pantera I vs Cerebro Negro, Dr. Cerebro, Relámpago
5) Veneno vs Danny Casas
6) Negro Navarro, Pirata Morgan, Villano IV vs Herodes Jr., Máscara Año 2000 Jr., Mr. Electro
7) Golden Magic vs Pirata Morgan Jr. [mask, hair]
It’d be a big surprise if Golden Magic lost his mask in the main event. His father, Mr. Magia, gets a rare booking on the show. Super Mega is here for Lucha Memes shows, but hasn’t been on a regular IWRG show since a one shot in June.
What happened: Rey Bucanero unmasked Stuka to set up a singles match next week (even if Bucanero doesn’t want it.) Casas family maintained a hegemony over the Panther family with another win. I remembered the world hegemony and used it correctly in a sentence.
What was good: The Casas/Panther trios match is as good as it every time, but though I liked the 01/06 bout better. On this show, I actually thought the Raziel/Triton was the best (or at least fresher) match up, but the crowd did not care at all about that one and got into the family trios much more.
CMLL (SUN) 02/05/2017Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Arena Coliseo Guadalajara, Domingos Familares]
1) Quca b Avispón Negro Jr. Quca took 1/3.
2) Cosmos & Johnny Dinamo b Destello & Destructor tecnicos took 2/3
3) El Alteño, El Divino, Reycko b Carlo Roggi, Demonio Rojo, Thunder Boy Alteno replaced Nautilius. Tecnicos took 1/3.
4) Mágico, Magnum, Vaquero Jr. b Difunto, Maléfico, Rey Trueno Tecnicos took 2/3.
5) Frezzer & Furia Roja DCOR Joker & Sádico [super libre] hair match challenges followed (setting up a double hair match next week.) Joker & Sadico appear to be the crowd favorites of the two rudo teams.
Difunto is a new name here (and does not appear to be the Monterrey one.) He did the Espectro entrance, being brought to the ring in a coffin and rising from the dead. It’s more pageantry and a bigger spot than locals usually get here (and interesting that they’re trying things at all.)
CMLL (TUE) 02/07/2017Arena México [CMLL, SuperLuchas]
1) Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Olímpico b Acero & Aéreo Rudos took 1/3.
2) Oro Jr., Pegasso, Starman b Canelo Casas, Hijo del Signo, Metálico Starman’s first match since October. Tecnicos took 1/3.
3) Cancerbero, Sagrado, Virus b Blue Panther Jr., Stigma, The Panther Cancerbero replaced Skandalo. Rudos took 1/3.
4) Hechicero, Misterioso Jr., Vangellys b Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr., Soberano Jr. Soberano replaced Johnny Idol on Friday. Rudos took 1/3.
5) Rey Bucanero b Stuka Jr. Stuka worked despite being injured the day before (and was the better guy in the match.) Bucanero took 2/3 used the the ropes to get the pin.
6) Carístico, Máximo Sexy, Volador Jr. b Felino, Mr. Niebla, Último Guerrero Tecnicos took 2/3. Mr. Niebla replaced Negro Casas on Friday
It sounds like Stuka put on a one man performance in his match and that might be worth watching.
A recap of Dragon Lee’s recent matches in NJPW ends with a mention that Lee will be there more frequently in upcoming months. My guess that he’d be going to NJPW full time looks wrong, but it seems like he’ll be going back whatever happens on Saturday’s title match. Shueisha also has a twopart interview with Dragon Lee about his feud with Takahashi. Dragon Lee admits he has no idea if he’ll win or not in their title match this weekend, but guarantees it’ll be interesting.
AAA, Roshfrans and Record announced La Llave a la Gloria, a talent search competition. Aspiring luchadors, 15 to 45, can send in their information by February 22, and will get to participate a tryout on February 25. The winner will participate on TripleMania. (I’d assume that means a match, but it’s worded in a way where it could just be waving to the crowd as part of a sponsor segment.)
This is similar to the Quien Pinta Para La Corona AAA talent search in 2011 and 2012. That one was more nationwide search, where they held events at various cities around the country, with the best being invited to Mexico City for the finals, and one women, man and mini would win. The 2011 winners were La Magnifica, Daga and Dinastia (with Samuray del Sol/Kalisto and Lucky Boy/Venum two of the notable runner ups.) The 2012 winners were La Jarochita, Saturno and Rey Celestial. That first year went better than the second year, but I’m skeptical how much this helped AAA actually find talent. Daga was known to AAA, known to anyone who followed Mexican wrestling, and actually appeared on TV (as Rocco) in between qualifying for the finals and winning the whole thing. He was getting picked up by AAA win or loss. I don’t know that he was in the competition as a ringer, but he wasn’t found by the talent search. You could say the same thing about Dinastia, who was a regular in DTU while they were working with AAA, had already had a Japan tour, and is a relative of Super Crazy; he is great, but he was not some undiscovered gem who would’ve only been found by this contest. La Magnifica wasn’t around AAA much – I believe she left wrestling to have a child soon after the competition, and then wasn’t much booked much when she came back. The second group of winners didn’t do much better, with only Jarochita being booked even semi-regularly. (You have to look hard for the Saturno and Rey Celestial AAA TV bookings.) The success of this competition is probably dependent on which high level indie talent they get to participate.
That’s an issue. Getting notable/capable luchadors to participate a tough situation in the current AAA climate. The first comments on Facebook (since deleted) were people joking about how sending in your character name to AAA means AAA is going to trademark them all. (I don’t think they’d do it for all of them, but there’s no mention of that issue that’s at the top of everyone’s minds – there’s no real long legal section like you’d normally see for a contest.) Beyond the name issue, I think there’s word out among the top indie guys that AAA is not a place where you want to be tied to at the moment, given what’s happened with La Rebelion and others leaving. If you’re an indie luchador who has the talent or name to make it someplace, The Crash or even Elite are still out there to aspire to join. They may not being better more successful than AAA in the long run, but they don’t have the baggage AAA does at this moment.
I have no doubt AAA will have a lot of people at this tryout on the 25th, because you might as well give it as shot if you’re a lower level guy just who doesn’t have a name and really wants to make it in a main promotion. The higher end talent who might have given this a try a few years ago seem less likely to give a shot. AAA really does only need 1 really great person to make this a success, but they also have to find and select that one person, and their own recent AAA additions haven’t been strong selections. An AAA who’s added Dave the Clown and Big Mami in 2016 may not make the greatest pick in 2017. If I was AAA, I’d follow that model from 2011 and “encourage” a safe pick to sign up so AAA knows they’ll have someone they like at the end, but I’m not confident about AAA’s ability to make a good safe pick right now.
Ideally, AAA makes contact with a lot of new promising people, because they could use a lot of new wave of people to make people forget about the wave of people who are going out the door. The problem is what AAA really needs more is new big stars, and a reason people are leaving are because of AAA’s inability into making people big stars in Mexico. The past years of this competition didn’t help with that either, Daga and Dinasita didn’t advance much more from the day they joined AAA to where they ended up in 2017. They’ll have to do better with the next group.
Zorro’s departure from AAA also comes up in Leo Riano’s column, who mentions Zorro was getting the same run around as Garza (promoters asking for him were told he wasn’t available), and is certain Marisela Roldan didn’t know anything about this. Riano’s trying to protect the Roldans as innocent, but he’s actually making them seem clueless about what’s going on in their own business. It also comes off as though the person in charge of bookings spot shows is much more valuable than the luchadors, since they keep going and he isn’t.
Elite resurfaced with an image promoting a Night of Champions. (I’ll give you until the end of this paragraph to remember who are the Elite champions.) There’s no date, there’s no location, there’s really nothing at all to go on, but it’s the first time Elite’s said anything in about month and a half. They did tag Azteca7 in their tweet, for what it’s worth. Bigger indie shows for early March are starting to be announced (see below), so Elite probably ought to have that date/location stuff worked out by now if they’re really running in late February, as Golden Magic mentions on the +Lucha podcast. Elite seems to wait until the last minute to announce things so maybe not having hard info yet means it’s business as normal.
The Elite champions, at least check, are Heavyweight champion cibernetico, Middleweight champion Caristico and Welterwegiht champion Bandido. Caristico won the Liga Elite and Michael Elgin won their international tournament, but no idea if those are meant to be defended. I suspect any Night of Champions will include 1 to 3 more titles being randomly added. Zorro might also make sense for this group now, though there’s been nothing hinted along those lines.
NPR’s All Things Considered has a story on Sam Adonis and his pro-Trump gimmick. The comments from the Mexican fans make the story for me – they just seem him as a caricature who’s entertaining to watch lose, not someone with actual malice.
CMLL (TUE) 02/14/2017Arena México
1) Shockercito & Último Dragóncito vs Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Olímpico
2) Magia Blanca, Marvel, Sangre Imperial vs Grako, Raziel, Sangre Azteca
3) Soberano Jr., Star Jr., Stigma vs Okumura, Skándalo, Virus
4) Pegasso vs Disturbio [lightning]
5) Ángel de Oro, Johnny Idol, Rey Cometa vs Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Vangellys
6) Marco Corleone, Máximo Sexy, Volador Jr. vs Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto
This is a lesser version of the usual not that interesting Tuesday show, with the tercera and lightning match not as promising as usual. Trios champions against a random tecnico trio again in the main event.
CMLL (TUE) 02/14/2017Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Mágico & Nautilius vs León Blanco & Relámpago
2) Magnum, Príncipe Diamante, Starman vs Cancerbero, Canelo Casas, Difunto
3) Blue Panther Jr., Drone, The Panther vs Cavernario, Puma, Tiger
4) Diamante Azul vs Pierroth
5) Carístico, Dragón Lee, Mistico vs Euforia, Niebla Roja, Último Guerrero
Azul/Pierroth happening, and maybe as a test run for running in Arena Mexico later. At least the match before and after are better (and note Dragon Lee is back a few days after the tour.)
AULL (WED) 03/01/2017Arena Lopez Mateos
1) Príncipe Mexica & Tigre De Oro vs Rey Inmortal & Violento
2) Hijo De Ciclón Ramírez, Mike Segura, Súper Astro Jr. vs Holkan, Impulso, Ironía
3) Gallo Tapado Jr., Hijo de Máscara Sagrada, Hijo del Solar vs Hijo de LA Park, Hijo de Zumbido, Hijo del Fishman
4) Golden Magic vs Laredo Kid, Imposible, Extreme Tiger, Sádico
5) LA Park & Rey Escorpión vs Daga & Penta Zero M
Years ago, Arena Lopez Mateos Wednesday shows used to be regular deals. I suspect this one is simply happening because they couldn’t get Penta Zero M on a weekend.
Cara Lucha (FRI) 03/03/2017Arena San Juan Pantitlan, Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Estado de México
1) Astrolux & Torito Negro vs Black Metal & Moria
2) Keira & Lady Maravilla vs ? & Chik Tormenta
3) Sky Man vs Saturno [MUCHAS LUCHAS CHAMP]
4) Glen Calavera & Jerry Calavera vs Brian Villa & Willy Banderas and Corsario Negro & Drako and Crazy King & Makabre [super libre]
5) Demus 3:16 & Yoruba vs Black Terry & Toxin [Juventud y Gloria, semifinal]
6) Hijo de LA Park & LA Park vs Black Tauro (Elite) & Daga
What happened: Averno & Chessman got a cheap victory over the Apaches yet again. The slight difference this time it was the Xinetez who helped them, either turning back rudo or remaining rudo the entire time but having a mystery plan. Aerostar & Super Fly were the final two in a cage match and will meet at Rey de Reyes in a mask/hair match.
AAA did their best to edit Daga out from existence in the cage match.
There’s a tremendous amount of time spent on video packages to start the show and a replay the Psycho/Wagner press conference. If you’re not interested in all of that, you need to
What was good: Both matches were better than expected but neither was satisfying.
And that’s it. I don’t plan on doing any more 2016 stuff (outside of Lucha Underground matches.) I’ve updated the 2016 MOTYC list one last time. By my count, I wrote about 1390 lucha matches (up from 1194 last year), 109 (8%) were rated Great, 24 (2%) were rated Excellent. I don’t know what those numbers mean, but I’m fairly certain they are numbers.
Review: [good] an athletic match, which is to be expected with these two guys, and one without a lot of serious errors, which is better than expected for these guys. Still, it seemed a slower match than usual, with a lot of time setting up spots and not a lot of build. They two big near falls before the finish were kind of more impressive than the finish itself, but those too suffered from spots being done for the reason than it was that guys’ turn. They can play a lot of great notes but still haven’t grasped how to put a song together (and don’t have someone to help them.) This was far smoother than expected with these guys, but they need to regularly work with better guys to take the next step up.
Winner: Hijo del Diablo (2/3) Match Time: 16:33 Notes: Acero hands Diablo a guitar about nine minutes into the third fall, which he swings at Terry but hits the referee instead. Terry fouls Diablo walks around a bit, then covers. A second referee comes in, but Diablo kicks out at two. Acero distracts the referee, and Diablo gives Terry a martinete for the win.
Review: [good] It’s at this point where I can’t totally remember if I’ve seen this before, or if I just saw Diablo throwing the purse into the stands in clips. I don’t remember seeing the guitar bit before. This match, at least this time didn’t work for me. Terry destroys Diablo with brawling that didn’t always look good, but was so one sided that Terry came off like the rudo. Only, Diablo’s clearly the rudo in the end. It also felt a long and slower than the match needed, and it’s only affect was to get both guys to bleed (but the match went long enough that blood was dried by the time they got to the end.) I’m not sure how Diablo isn’t disqualified for hitting the first referee when he wakes up after the match. This was good but nothing to go out your way to see.
Puma King & Tiger Casas vs Neza Kid & Ronnie Mendoza
Arena Neza, 12/17/2016
Video: Adrian Martinez
Winner: Ronnie & Neza (Ronnie Spanish Fly TIger) Match Time: 8:32 (joined in progress)
Review: [good] a medium level sprint; it’s better than you’d expect given the 5% attendance turnout but still something well short of the biggest/bestest match with all these four guys. (The ever mysterious Neza Kid doesn’t take out any seats with his dive.) The CMLL cats seem to flow better with Ronnie than Neza Kid, but the match is at a good level whichever guys is in it. There’s just not a lot to this one. Another good match but not anything you need to go out of you way to see.
Review: [good] an entertaining comedy match, with the Turtles getting in some of their usual spots and playing off other ones. It never hits a competitive level for a great title match, but it’s solidly entertaining match with the rudos stooging around and the Turtles looking unbeatable when they have things going their way. I didn’t watch nearly enough 2016 Ninja Turtles but it’s nice to end with an easy to watch match.
CMLL (MON) 02/06/2017Arena Puebla [CultIcon, Plantilla Deportiva]
1) El Malayo, Fuerza Chicana, Perverso b Arkalis, Hijo de Centella Roja, Meyer
2) Dalys, La Seductora, Zeuxis b La Jarochita, La Vaquerita, Marcela
3) Okumura, Puma, Tiger b Drone, Esfinge, Soberano Jr.
4) Cavernario, Felino, Mr. Niebla b Máximo Sexy, Stuka Jr., Titán Mr. Niebla replaced Negro Casas. Stuka was stretchered off after a knee injury.
5) Diamante Azul, Euforia, Valiente DQ Pierroth, Rush, Volador Jr. [Relevos Increíbles] Rush fouled Azul.
Third match is the match worth watching on the show.
Stuka appeared to be hurt on a plancha in the second fall of his match. That’s an issue more than usual because Stuka’s getting a rare three fall singles match tonight against Rey Bucanero. We’ve seen guys leave matches with injuries and then show up fine soon after, but this is a quick turnaround in what looked like it would be a tough match normally. CMLL hasn’t said anything about Stuka being replaced, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a sub. (Stuka’s also weirdly booked in Guadalajara too, and someone’s definitely replacing him.)
There’s also got to be something up with Negro Casas, since Niebla’s replacing him in multiple places this week. That includes the main event tonight, with Niebla teaming with Felino & Ultimo Guerrero versus Carsitico, Maximo and Volador Jr. in the usual go home happy main event. There’s some maybe good stuff in the middle of the card. Drone, Guerrero Maya, and Soberano face Hechicero, Misterioso and Vangellys, and the Panthers & Stigma take on Skandalo, Virus, and Sagrado. The second match of the doomed is Oro Jr., Pegasso and Starman against Canelo Casas, Hijo del Signo and Metalico; we’re spared Arkangel this week. The partnership of Acero & Aereo, who really need a team name, take on Pequeno Nitro & Pequeno Olimpico.
CultIcon has a preview. The show airs on CMLL’s YouTube channel at 7:30pm.
Guadalajara has a main event for the national trios titles, with the Hijo del Infiernos against Atlantis, Angel de Oro and Titan. A title change would be a surprise but can’t be totally ruled out.
ESPN Mexico had a nicely lengthy interview with Atlantis. Not a lot of new info about his career but it’s a good recap. His sons come up. He’s got two, one 20, one 18. Both trained with Ringo Mendoza for a few years, but the older one is interested in other things besides lucha libre. The younger one was the one seen at Arena Coliseo but is also years away from debuting. Atlantis wants to retire someday with zero warning, which is the way I want to go too.
Lucha Memes promoter Dhani had to put up a video explaining why they were bringing in Tatsu and not Liger or Tanahashi, which seems like a ridiculously thing to have to answer. (They’re bringing in Tatsu because he’s in Mexico thru CMLL and the only way to get people from NJPW is when CMLL brings them in.) He does say Tatsu is in Mexico for only two weeks, which is going to crush the hopes and dreams of the NJPW fans and I could not be happier.
CMLL (MON) 02/13/2017Arena Puebla
1) Centella Roja & Flyer vs Ares & Guerrero Espacial
2) Asturiano & Black Tiger vs Rey Apocalipsis & Toro Bill Jr.
3) Lestat & Rey Samuray vs Disturbio & Policeman
4) Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr., Soberano Jr., Star Jr., Stigma vs Okumura, Pólvora, Sagrado, Skándalo, Virus [cibernetico]
5) Rush vs Diamante Azul
6) Dragón Lee, Mistico, Volador Jr. vs Euforia, La Máscara, Negro Casas
Rush/Diamante Azul was awful last time and Puebla probably won’t make it better. Main event looks good (if Casas is there and not replaced by Niebla) and the cibernetico should be fun.
MDA (SUN) 03/05/2017Arena Coliseo Monterrey
1) La Chocolata & Sexy Piscis vs Chica de Arabia & La Gaviota
2) Babe Fox & Extreme Boy vs Gallardo & Mini Bengalí
3) Tekilita & the Tiger (Tamaulipas) vs Faceman & Vazco Jr.
4) Hijo de LA Park & Quinto Elemento vs Galactar & Ninja Jr.
5) LA Park, Masada (Texas), Rush vs Carlito, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Hernandez
That’s a very strange main event with guys who don’t exactly make sense together, but these shows seem to be more about names than good matches.
CMLL on ClaroSports.com: 2017-02-03 Cloud Drive – matches 1 and 3 did not record complete
taped 2017-02-03 @ Arena México
1) Eléctrico & Shockercito vs Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Olímpico
2) Fuego, Pegasso, Soberano Jr. vs Disturbio, Okumura, Virus
3) Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa vs Bobby Z, Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora
4) Titán vs Cavernarioin a lightning match
5) Ángel de Oro, Marco Corleone, Máximo Sexy vs El Cuatrero, Máscara Año 2000, Sansón
6) Atlantis, Diamante Azul, Volador Jr. vs La Máscara, Pierroth, Rushin a relevos increíbles match
CMLL Guerreros del Ring on 52MX: 2017-02-04 Cloud Drive
taped 2017-01-23 @ Arena Puebla
1) Esfinge, Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Kráneo, Olímpico, Ripper
2) Ángel de Oro, Blue Panther, Diamante Azul vs Rey Bucanero, Shocker, Terrible
3) Johnny Idol, Marco Corleone, Valiente vs La Máscara, Máscara Año 2000, Vangellys
IWRG Zona XXI: 2017-02-04 Cloud Drive taped 2017-02-01 @ Arena Naucalpan
1) Odín & Shadow Boy vs Araña de Plata & Keiser Dragón
2) Alfa, Aramis, Omega vs Adrenalina, Avisman, Diablo Jr.
3) Black Dragón, Dragón Fly, Pantera I vs Hip Hop Man, Mosca (Argentina), Pibe Alfajor
4) Chicano, Hijo del Alebrije, Imposible vs Cerebro Negro, Demonio Infernal, Eterno