CMLL (SAT) 06/17/2017Arena Coliseo [CMLL]
1) Shockercito & Último Dragóncito b Mercurio & Pequeño Olímpico
2) Canelo Casas, Nitro, Templario b Bengala, Magnus, Robin
3) Blue Panther Jr., Stigma, The Panther b Cancerbero, Puma, Tiger tecnicos took 2/3
4) Hechicero, Terrible, Vangellys b Blue Panther, Johnny Idol, Rey Cometa rudos took 1/3
5) Marco Corleone, Niebla Roja, Valiente DQ Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto tecnicos took 1/3, the last when Mephisto fouled Maximo Valiente
CMLL announced they’d be doing a live stream of this show at 4:53pm, seven minutes before the show. They are surely the masters of promotion. I watched most of the show and am not sure if I’ll do a proper recap. Terrible/Marco is the only match worth watching.
Zeuxis vs Princesa Sugehit continues on unchanged by other events. CMLL didn’t acknowledge Sugehit’s WWE participation but she did mention in her post match back stage interviewer.
A second video of the Alvarados destroying Ultimo Guerrero’s car has surfaced. To be clear, this is more video of the same incident. This one appears to be taken by Maximo himself, who taunts Ultimo Guerrero while it’s going. Brazo de Platino also appears to be shooting video at the same time, so it’s possible more may be out there. It’s a surprise the video still exists at all: it’s a people involved admitting to the crime they’re committing while it’s happening and deleting would normally be the first thing to do, but it’s obviously got passed around instead. The Box Y Lucha version of the video says Ultimo Guerrero has said he’s in the process of legal action, and that’s the about all we know since it happened.
CMLL (SAT) 06/24/2017Arena Coliseo
1) Fiero & Sonic vs Grako & Yago
2) Bengala, Leono, Príncipe Diamante vs Espanto Jr., Metálico, Nitro
3) Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., The Panther vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
4) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Soberano Jr. vs Dragón Rojo Jr., Hechicero, Pólvora
5) Diamante Azul, Valiente, Volador Jr. vs Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto
Maybe hope the Monday revisions take Diamante Azul off all these lineups again. Valiente & Mephisto match up again, so that’s probably the title match coming up here.
Opener would be a debut for Sonic. He wrestled in the opener in the DragonMania show, and actually was on the last ever Elite show in an untelevised opener. He’s wrestled in other indies and is a small guy.
CMLL (FRI) 06/16/2017Arena México [CMLL, Culticon, thecubsfan]
1) Raziel & Virus b Magia Blanca & Sangre Imperial Rudos took 1/3.
2) Dragón Rojo Jr., Misterioso Jr., Pólvora b Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr., Stuka Jr. 13:40. Rudos took 2/3
3) Shocker, Terrible, Vangellys b Kráneo, Pierroth, Rush [Relevos Increíbles] 16:18. Vanegllys’ team took 2/3, the last via foul.
4) Dragón Lee b Cavernario [lightning] 9:42
5) Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Valiente DQ Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Negro Casas 5:09. Straight falls, Gran Guerrero unmasking Niebla Roja for the DQ as part of their campaign to make him stop wearing the mask. Valiente replaced Diamante Azul on Monday
6) Carístico & Soberano Jr. b Sansón & Último Guerrero [Gran Alternativa, final] 19:39. Tecnicos took 2/3 to win the tournament. Caristico joins Ultimo Guerrero as a three time winner.
You should go out of your way to see the main event and Dragon Lee/Cavernario had a lot of what you’d want from that match. The Vangellys/Pierroth trios was nearly as bad as the main event was good.
Super Astro (FRI) 06/16/2017Arena Azteca Budokan, Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Estado de México [Black Terry Jr. (Flickr), Estrellas del Ring]
1) Alas de Acero, Demasiado, Diva Salvaje b Astrolux, Centvrión, Pegazus
2) Rossy Moreno b Keira, Lady Apache
3) Fresero Jr. b Boby Zavala Zavala was welcomed to the indies by losing via foul to Fresero Jr. Zavala wants a hair match.
4) El Bandido, Emperador Azteca, Mr. Leo vs Imposible, Látigo, Metaleón
5) Máximo, Mr. Águila, Silver King b Black Taurus (Elite), Oriental, Septiembre Negro Jr.
6) Daga, Garza Jr., Golden Magic b Hijo De Dos Caras, Hijo de LA Park, Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr.
7) Penta 0M & Rey Fénix b Jack Evans & Rey Horus and Flamita & Laredo Kid [PWG TAG] Penta & Rey Fenix retained the tag titles.
8) La Máscara & Zorro b LA Park & Rey Escorpión Before the match, La Mascara showed a Rush promo saying he was coming on June 29th. Referee Teddy was knocked down during the match, with Maximo, Hijo de LA Park and Penta 0M all running in. Rey Escorpion betrayed LA Park to give La Mascara the win and to rejoin Los Ingobernables.
Black Terry Jr. has video of La Mascara & LA Park fighting, Rey Escorpion betraying LA Park, and Rey Escorpion talking about being an Ingobernable (again.) The promo tease was Rush vs LA Park, and Rush hanging out with his indie buddies. Rush seems to have a free reign to do things CMLL might not allow others, but it’d be something different if he’s allowed to work many shows with the guys who were fired from CMLL and The Crash guys. That’s definitely the tease, but a show where he simply wrestles LA PArk without some of the usual names is possible. (On the other hand, with how much money “Super Astro” seems to be spending on talent, maybe everything is possible.)
Zavala talked about starting on the indies. Losing to Fresero in his debut suggests he’s not going to be booked in a strong place to start on the indies. Rey Escorpion seems to have gotten the trios spot with Mascara & Maximo instead.
On Konnan’s Podcast Boom, he says Impact wants Aerostar & Drago as LAX’s opponents for Slammiversary on 07/02. Aerostar & Drago are obviously under contract to Lucha Underground. There’s obviously a piece we’re missing here, because that facts don’t make any sense with the information we have and they’re not stupid people. Impact’s not going to put themselves in a position to get a legal threat from Lucha Underground, so AAA (Dorian) must be telling them something to put them at ease. Either AAA is outright lying to Impact (seems unlikely since they’d still want them to work TripleMania) or AAA believes they have some way of getting around their Lucha Underground contracts. Maybe they cover TV but not PPV? Maybe they’ve been violated in some way? There has to be something.
Either way, as much as AAA says they’re behind Lucha Underground, doing things to undermine that show like sending two guys who are meant to be feuding as a team to another TV promotion suggest they may not be as behind it as they claim. It hasn’t happened yet – the story is Jarrett wants those guys, not that they’re the guys who are going – but it’s feels a little shady.
More on that podcast in the lineups.
Lots of shows this weekend, many with Father’s Day promotions or themes. Starting on Saturday
Zapopan (Guadalajara) has a lucha libre festival this weekend. Saturday has an AAA show with Averno, Monster Clown, Murder Clown against Joe Lider, Ricky Marvin and Gronda II as the scheduled main event.
CMLL (FRI) 06/23/2017Arena México
1) Flyer & Robin vs Arkángel de la Muerte & Disturbio
2) Eléctrico, Shockercito, Stukita vs Mercurio, Pequeño Nitro, Pequeño Violencia
3) Estrellita, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit vs Amapola, Dalys, Zeuxis
4) Vangellys vs Pierroth [lightning]
5) Ángel de Oro, Dragón Lee, Niebla Roja vs Gran Guerrero, Negro Casas, Rey Bucanero
6) Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone, Volador Jr. vs Cavernario, Euforia, Rush
This card does not look as good. Gran Alternativa finalists have usually come back the following week for a trios match, but not so much this year.
Diamante Azul is back this time, maybe. Perhaps CMLL was one week off like with Volador. The semimain looks like the best match on the show. Vangellys/Pierroth will be bad no matter how much they have on it. Sugehit right back on Friday night shows and against Zeuxis – that might be the first time we hear from her on the WWE spot unless media goes to the Sunday show.
The Crash (SUN) 07/02/2017 Estadio Eduardo Vasconcelos, Oaxaca, Oaxaca
1) ? & ?? vs ??? & ????
2) ? & ?? vs ??? & ????
3) Séptimo Dragón vs Astrolux
4) Diamante (Elite), Mr. 450, Rey Horus vs Bestia 666, Black Taurus (Elite), Hijo de Pirata Morgan
5) Daga & Zorro vs Damián 666 & Nicho el Millionario
6) Penta 0M, Rey Fénix (US), Rey Misterio Jr. vs La Máscara, Máximo, Rey Escorpión (Elite)
Konnan gave this lineup on his latest podcast. I’m guessing there’d be a couple locals matches to get to the usual length, but I’m just guessing that. The upcoming schedule was said to be Mexicali & Puebla in August, Mexico City (Naucalpan) maybe in August, Guadalajara in November and WrestleCon next year. Konnan’s been trying to get a show on WrestleCon back to his last few years in AAA, but the lucha shows have a way of not coming thru every year on that show. Hope this changes it; it’d be easier to do because a lot of The Crash guys figure to be working other shows but more challenging because a lot of what makes The Crash different in Mexico (using those guys for a super indie style) makes them similar to many of the groups running that weekend. Konnan also mentioned he and Roberto Figueroa filmed a TV pilot for The Crash.
Shocker, Terrible, Vangellys beat Kráneo, Pierroth, Rushin a relevos increíbles match (16:18 [2:12, 5:36, 8:30], 2/3, bad)
Dragón Lee beat Cavernarioin a lightning match (9:42, hanging double stomp, good)
Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Valientebeat Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Negro Casas (5:09 [3:36, 1:33], 1/2 DQ, ok)
Carístico & Soberano Jr.beat Sansón & Último Guerreroin a CMLL Gran Alternativa Tournament final (19:39 [4:25, 2:50, 12:24], 2/3, excellent)
Soberano Jr. & Carístico won the 2017 Gran Alternativa, cleanly defeating Sansón & Último Guerrero by taking the last two falls of a spectacular main event.
Gran Guerrero unmasked and humiliated Niebla Roja in the semifinal, at the cost of losing his own match in straight falls. The Guerreros continue to make Niebla Roja pay for his behavior and for wearing the Guerrero mask.
Vangellys fouled Pierroth to defeat him, somewhat getting the best of him two weeks in a row.
CMLL promoted a concert taking place on July 29th harder than they promote most of their shows (and we’ll probably see the ad for the next six weeks.)
Misterioso is making a low key point of unmasking a técnico after every match now. It doesn’t look like he’s getting that Soberano feud, so he’s going to go after everyone.
This looked like a really strong complete show on paper. It turned into a two match show, but those two matches really delivered.
The main event was all about making Soberano. Último Guerrero was the exact perfect opponent for him, working with him as he had with Mistico and Sombra and another Mistico in the past, making each other look brilliant from their first fall exchange on. Guerrero sold it like he was frustrated by this youngster, and bested by him at the end. Carístico was obviously super motivated by both the spotlight and the outcome, trying to keep up with Soberano’s spectacular moves. Sansón wasn’t given as much in this match – the Copa Junior was a better spotlight for him – but he made the most of what he got to do and didn’t feel out of place. Soberano did everything he needed to do as well as he could do it. CMLL’s gotten behind him in a major way, and he’s shown they made the right call.
There’s some shakeyness near the end. Sansón & Soberano have a super complicated sequence when seems to end not how it planned. The actual finish of the match seems a little too soon. It’s enough to make me debate which grade to put on it. The idea behind a scale is that an excellent match is that anyone who has interest in wrestling, not just lucha libre, should check the match out. This match has a few flaws but fits that criteria.
Dragon Lee & Cavernario shouldn’t be overlooked. This was not their best match, due a malfunctioning front cracker spot early on and whatever plans they had for apron insanity going awry, but 85% of what they wanted to do is still pretty exciting. It got better as they want along, and Dragon Lee seems like he’s picked up a few tricks from Japan that he’s just waiting to try out: the rolling slam into a moonsault into a Spanish Fly was new for Arena Mexico. This was oe where the time limit draw would’ve been an acceptable finish, but at least we’ll get a few more minutes of them in upcoming matches.
The rest of the show had some low moments. The semimain just wasn’t much, a hurried match just to re-enforce the storyline. It might have been cut short because other things went long. The Pierroth/Vangellys match very visibly derailed for a while; I think people were out of position for the comeback spot and it took about two minutes of talking and standing around to get them where they wanted. The rest of the match was not good. It’s a testament to how hot the crowd was for the show that this they survived one of the worst matches of the year without really being hurt for the rest of the show. The second match was missing a lot of the usual rhythm and crispness with that group of guys. Only half the opener aired on the stream, but what we saw included Sangre Imperial screwing something up badly and/or Virus sabotaging him, so I don’t think we missed all that much.
Klandestino (THU) 06/15/2017Arena Lopez Mateos [@PlantillaDepor1, Black Terry Jr. (Flickr), Estrellas del Ring, R de Rudo]
1) Dragón Force, Hijo de Zumbido, Vampiro Metálico b Pegazus, Shibata, Spider Boy
2) Chucho el Roto, Súper Terry, Yakuza DQ Factor, Rayan, Spector
3) Dante, Euro, Filder b Arez, Belial, Impulso Los Incontenibles took 2/3, though they apparently cheated to win the second fall. Los Indystrongtibles wanted a title shot despite losing.
4) Kilvan, Sádico, Yoruba b Emperador Azteca, Imposible, Terry 2000 Imposible & Emperador Azteca could not get along and made challenges after the match.
5) Black Taurus, Daga, Penta 0M, Samoano DQ La Máscara, Máximo, Rey Escorpión Samoano was helping the Rebelion team for unclear reasons, making this a 4v3 match. La Mascara fouled & unmasked Penta, covered for the pin, then got DQed anyway.
Today’s the final of the Gran Alternativa tournament, where Ultimo Guerrero & rookie Sanson taking on Caristico & rookie-ish Soberano to determine the 22th winner of this sometimes annual tournament. Ultimo Guerrero is already a three time winner, having won as a novato with Blue Panther in 1999, then as the veteran half of the team with Dragon Rojo in 2008 and Rey Escorpion in 2011. Caristico is a two time winner, winning as a novato in 2004 with Hijo del Santo (which rocketed him to top) and as a veteran with La Sombra in 2007 (which started his big push.)
Ultimo Guerrero & Sanson are the favorites. Soberano & Caristico have to overcome CMLL bookings patterns, which tend to spread the wins out. They’d also have to overcome the booking pattern of Caristico always losing the big match in this CMLL run, losing in the final of the incredible partners tournament last year and losing his title challenges in the last year. Their seems to be a definite ceiling on how far CMLL is willing to push Caristico this time around, and he may be bumping his head off it again today. The best hope is CMLL decides the story they’re telling with Niebla Roja & Ultimo Guerrero is more important and has Roja somehow coast UG the victory. The match has the makings of being a great match whatever way it ends; Ultimo Guerrero & Mistico are classic opponents, Sanson & Soberano just had that very strong match, and both teams compliment each other well. This is a situation where they’re going to be given a full opportunity to have an outstanding match.
There’s other promising matches on this show. Dragon Lee and Cavernario might steal their show in their lightning match. Both seem to have bigger singles matches coming up – Cavernario/Volador on Tuesday, possibly Dragon Lee/Negro Casas a week from Monday – but they’ve produced great matches against each other in the past. The semimain would be the best match on most shows: Angel de Oro, Niebla Roja & Valiente taking on Euforia, Gran Guerrero and Negro Casas.
The Vangellys/Pierroth feud, a real thing, continues in the third match. Kraneo & Rush team with Pierroth while Shocker & Terrible team with Vangellys. The second match has a bunch of people used to working a little higher, as Drone, Guerrero Maya & Stuka face Dragon Rojo, Misterioso and Polvora. The show opens with Virus & Raziel against Magia Blanca & Sangre Imperial, which at least might produce some GIFs. Raziel is currently 10-3 in regular Arena Mexico matches their year, an incredible record for an early match rudo (who traditionally lose about 2/3rds of their matches.) It’s probably not an accident, but it’s also something they’re not hyping.
This show should air on ClaroSports at 8:30pm. Hopefully it’ll go smoother this time. It’s also supposed to be on Facebook Live, but that got cut when the feed has issues last week. We do not know if CMLL will be posting it on YouTube.
ESTO talked to Sanson & Ultimo Guerrero about this final. Ultimo Guerrero states that he’s not going to take it easy on Soberano even though he’s Euforia’s son, because UG’s a professional and the goal is to win. UG feels his team is the favorite but doesn’t want to be over confident, and believed Volador & Flyer were going to be their opponents in the final. UG throws a hair vs mask challenge to Niebla Roja for the Anniversario. Sanson just says he wants revenge on Soberano for beating him in Copa Junior.
Tonight also has another Super Astro show in Arena Azteca Budokan with a cornucopia of indie guys. LA Park & Rey Escorpion versus La Mascara & Zorro is the main event. Flamita, Laredo Kid, Rey Fenix vs Jack Evans, Penta 0M, and Rey Horuz is probably the best match. Bobby Zavala has his first post-CMLL match in the undercard.
WWE announced the first four participants in it’s Mae Young Touranment. There was a CMLL name on the list, and it was surprising pick: Princesa Sugehit. Sugehit has been a solid luchadora in CMLL, as a both a ruda and a tecnica, for many years and would be a fine representative but she’s never been the most exciting luchadora and is older than any woman WWE would normally bring in. She also just won the Mexican National Women’s championship from Zeuxis a couple months ago from Zeuxis, which seemed like a sign Zexuis was the one losing since CMLL took their title off Mascara Dorada before he went into this tournament. Perhaps Sugehit’s assured CMLL she’s staying somehow.
The connection I missed and look obvious now is Princesa Sugehit is Dark Angel’s most famous opponent. Dark Angel lost her mask to Sugehit when she was starting out in Monterrey and the two were opponents for a number of years. Dark Angel’s farewell match was against Sugehit in Arena Mexico. Dark Angel now works as a producer for WWE and probably has a voice in these selections.
It’s hard to tell if CMLL knew. CMLL took the welterweight championship off Mascara Dorada when he was going to WWE for the Cruiserweight Tournament last year, but put the national women’s title on Sugehit about the same distance in advance. CMLL’s also been heating up the Zeuxis/Sugehit feud and it seems likely they’ll have a mask match sometime in the next three months, but WWE might throw a wrench in that. Sugehit figures to have a much harder path to getting signed full time by WWE than Dorada or Raul Mendoza for a variety of reasons, so maybe it’s not as much a concern to CMLL.
WWE only released the first four names. There’s scheduled to be 32, just like the Cruiserweight Classic. There were two Mexicans in the CWC, so it’s very possible someone else from Mexico could be invited. (There was also one Puerto Rician and one alternate from Puerto Rico, and Zeuxis specifically has a couple ways of being invited.)
Sugehit’s next CMLL match is scheduled to be Sunday in Arena Mexico. It’s unknown when WWE will announce the rest of the tournament.
The other issue here is the Wrestling Observer Newsletter previously reported Konnan (who manages LAX) was promised he and his team would never have to interact with the AAA wrestlers due to his bad relationship with the company. AAA probably isn’t all that thrilled with interacting with Konnan, and this is a big political mess for a match that will be getting only a small bit of attention going into that PPV. There’s other goals here – Impact might be looking to introduce AAA luchadors to it’s audience before including them on house shows later this year – but it’s a challenging way to accomplish them.
It may be unrelated, but t feels like this is heading to end of the formal The Crash/Impact relationship. The Crash hasn’t brought in any Impact wrestlers since March, after Bobby Lashley was pulled off the show late and The Crash ran an angle teasing the alliance would be over until/if Lashley came to Tijuana to defend against Garza. (Jeremy Borasch has been at the shows, but the TNA involvement has definitely been downplayed.) The Crash has been bringing in US indie names since that point and done just as well with them; you could argue that most of the people TNA could offer themselves would be a downgrade to that audience, or at least not really be worth any additional hassle or cost. What Impact’s parent company really wants is video content, so maybe this all changes whenever The Crash starts recording their own shows (or maybe even Impact/Anthem eventually produces them), but the relationship doesn’t seem to have grown the way it was expected when it was first announced.
Misterioso Jr. beat Fuegoin a lightning match (4:56, Gori Special, via VideosOficialesCMLL, ok)
Hechicero, Morphosis, Rey Bucanero beat Blue Panther, Rey Cometa, Titán(13:35 [6:12, 4:22, 3:01], 2/3, via VideosOficialesCMLL, ok)
Cavernario, Felino, Mr. Niebla beat Stuka Jr., Valiente, Volador Jr.(4:56 [1:29, 3:27], straight falls, via VideosOficialesCMLL, ok)
Cavernario beat Volador quickly in straight falls to set up a title match next week. Volador still wants to do the hair match after, and Cavernario tried to break his arm for suggesting it.
Princesa Sugehit unmasked Zeuxis on a cradle to win their match.
Rey Bucanero has new non-TGR music, though the group still appears to be a thing.
This was Morphosis (ex-Histeria)’s first streamed match since losing his mask since back in December.
A skippable show, one I had trouble maintaining interest in for two hours. There’s nothing really worth going back for except a couple minutes of Panther & Hechicero on the mat. Everything else happens elsewhere, or better.
The main event and the lightning match looked like the best chances for a good match on paper, and both were cut much shorter than usual. The short main event worked for the story of Cavernario being a huge threat to Volador, but a sub five minute match is a flat way to end a show. The lightning match was all Fuego doing as much as he could before Misterioso hit one move to put him down.
Morphosis has obviously given thought to his unmasked look, but he may want to consider hair dye or something more. He looks older than his birth certificate, even though he’s moving fine. That semimain started off building to something with Blue Panther & Hechicero and just never seemed to get back to it, ending with a random double pin instead. It was unsatifying.
I’m starting to believe CMLL’s actually going to do the Zeuxis/Sugehit mask match. Feuding every match is not anything new and isn’t definitive itself, but every match finish involving them is something CMLL only goes out of the way to do if they’re planning on a direction. It may still not be soon, neither woman is getting to make the challenge after the match, but it seems back on the schedule. The match had some problems and wasn’t as good as other versions of this same match has been, but the rivalry came across strong.
The second match had Sangre Azteca try to do mat wrestling spots with Oro that Oro was incapable of doing but Sangre Azteca would not stop trying. It was bad first fall, the match never recovered and the match went for far too long like usual. The minis didn’t do as much as they normally do in the opening match and it’s not like they normally do a lot.
This is one of those busy CMLL weeks with big matches, and they’ve hit on a few interesting ones. Friday on Claro has the Gran Alternativa final along with Dragon Lee versus Cavernario. Monday in Puebla will see Hechicero defend against Atlantis. Tuesday has a Cavernario title challenge against Volador.
AAA has a big TV week itself, starting it’s Mexico City taping. It’s another 7 taping show, so something might get left off. I’m guessing they’ll skip the La Llave match, but they’ve aired those all so far.
This is a two IWRG show week, although neither show was announced much ahead of time.
Flyer, Meyer, Parísbeat Joker, King Jaguar, Policeman(11:55 [5:50, 3:25, 2:40], 1/3, via VideosOficialesCMLLok)
Ares, Disturbio, Hijo del Signo beat Arkalis, Espíritu Maligno, Rey Samuray(14:36 [6:45, 4:48, 3:03], 2/3, via VideosOficialesCMLL, ok)
Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora, Sagrado beat Drone, Esfinge, Tigre Rojo Jr (12:45 [5:09, 3:17, 4:19], 1/3, via VideosOficialesCMLL, good)
Atlantis, Johnny Idol, Marco Corleonebeat Hechicero, Máscara Año 2000, Ripper(8:12 [4:28, 3:44], 1/2, via VideosOficialesCMLL, ok)
Carístico, Dragón Lee, Misticobeat Cavernario, Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas(10:27 [3:12, 1:34, 5:41], 2/3, via VideosOficialesCMLL, ok)
Atlantis’s team beat Hechicero’s team in straight falls in the semimain, Atlantis submitted Hechicero in the second. Atlantis immediately demanded a NWA Light Heavyweight title shot next and Hechicero unhappily accepted.
Negro Casas fouled Dragon Lee in the main event.
The Mexico City focused matches were all watchable this week, an improvement for usual.
The tercera was the most complete match, even if it was the one which ended up meaning the least. The Revolucionarios bring a lot of energy to their matches and CMLL técnicos work well with energy. Tigre Rojo unsurprisingly looked a lot more impressive in this match than usual because he had those guys to work against. Drone’s Tiger Corner Kick being used as a knockdown to set up his finish looks really good (I only wish his finish was faster and more impactful.) Sagrado blends into these matches perfectly and it’s going to be really disappointing when someone else gets the third Revolucionarios spot.
The semimain didn’t have that caliber of work, but was effective in making the Atlantis/Hechicero feud seem important with little to work with prior. Hechicero and Atlantis played it big in the post match, like it would make fifty year old Atlantis’ year if he won another title. Hechicero having a singles match with Satanico and with Atlantis in the same building in 2017 is amazing.
The main event was going pretty well and the Mr. Niebla felt apart badly in the last segment and that was said. Dragon Lee & Negro Casas were facing off the whole match and were involved in the finish, so that seems to be a direction this week. I hope they do it, but I’d like it more if it was one fall – Negro Casas has really hot 30 seconds stretches with Dragon Lee but I think it’s going to be harder the longer they go.
The second match was the trademark boring Puebla match, though Ares was crazy on his tope and Arkalis’ gear looked very Carsitico. King Jaguar seemed really uncomfortable with flyers, which is a problem when he’s in the opener with all flyers. He did take a nice bump on the set up dropkick to Flyer’s new finishing springboard dropkick.
IWRG (WED) 06/14/2017Arena Naucalpan [Black Terry Jr. (Flickr), The Gladiatores]
1) Power Bull b Vardeus
2) Fly Tiger & Skanda b Ángel Oriental & Keiser Drago
3) Dowki, Picudo Jr., Vórtize b Dragón Fly, Kanon, Shaolin Dragon Fly replaced Saruman
4) Atomic Star & Lunatik Xtreme b Black Dragón & Shadow Boy Shadow Boy was hurt.
5) Aramis, Dinamic Black, Emperador Azteca b Látigo, Metaleón, Mr. Leo Metaleon was teaming with Indy Nation but is not part of it.
6) Cerebro Negro, Demonio Infernal, Súper Mega b Centvrión, Eterno, Ovett Centvrion pinned Cerebro Negro, but Cerebro snuck back in and unmasked him to set up Super Mega’s pin. Centvrion challenged IWRG for a Indy Nation versus FILL match. Eterno accepted the match, and Centvrion, Fulgor, Latigo and Mr. Leo took the win to end the show.
Yesterday, the Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather boxing match was made official. That match seemed about as likely to happen as the Octagon versus Fuerza Guerrera mask match, but they teased it so well that both believe they’re going to take home a huge amount of money so it kinda had to happen. The match was announced for August 26th. August 26th is the date of TripleMania. TripleMania may be cursed, something happens every year.
It’s likely that someone in Mexico dedicated to seeing both could do so, TripleMania’s the one AAA show run on a normal schedule and stands a strong chance of finishing before the boxing match gets to the ring. It’s going to be more a problem of attention: AAA wants a big spotlight for the week leading up to their show, to sell the show and to build it’s brand, and they’re going to struggle to get it even just in Mexico City. AAA could try to move their show to Sunday to avoid running the same night, but it wouldn’t help getting the notice they’re looking for every year with this show.
(Digression: I haven’t made my sarcasm clear enough about the ticket sales. I believe AAA has already sold a lot of tickets, but AAA rapidly reporting higher sales over a two week period when there was no reason for tickets to be moving that quick means they’re probably just saying those “70%! no, now 80%!” percentages as obvious hype to get people to hurry to the box office before they were all gone. It was definitely positioned like that on TV. My guess is the real sold number was something less than that at that point and AAA’s stopped talking about tickets sold after that couple week blitz.)
The good news for AAA is they announced TripleMania’s date and their main event way back in January, and plenty of people got their decided to come to the show. They’ve sold tickets, people have made plans to come to the show, and they’re all going to do that. There’s a Mexico City and greater Mexico country fanbase who make TripleMania their destination show every year and that’s probably not going to change. This show is still going to probably be AAA’s first $1,000,000 USD gate. It’s also another reason it was very smart & fortunate AAA went with the Wagner/Psycho mask match for this year’s show, because it’s important enough to the fanbase to be a big attraction no matter what else is going on. This would’ve been a bigger blow if it was last year’s Pagano/Psycho match.
The bad news is TripleMania is usually AAA’s one big chance to expand their brand, because it’s the only show AAA can get people who don’t normally follow lucha libre to notice, and and it’s gong to be very difficult to do that if this fight sucks up all the oxygen in the room. I know there were talks about putting it on US PPV again this year. I think having Impact wrestlers on the show was part of the idea there, and to generate some interest in AAA luchadors prior to them being brought onto Impact house shows in the fall. I don’t think that would’ve been a big number of people, but it’s less today, and it’s possible PPV providers won’t even want to carry any show that’d distract from the fight that’s going to carry their whole year. Hopefully AAA still tries, does iPPV and spends some effort getting people out there to talk about the show in multiple languages, but it’s a much harder road.
CMLL Informa ended it’s show yesterday by revealing the first two members of Team World for the 09/01 Gran Prix: Matt Taven & King Haku. Taven is not popular among most people who read sites like this, but it is logical from the inter-promotion storyline they’re telling: Taven & UG had the match at H2L, Taven & Vinny Marseglia take on Ultimo Guerrero & Terrible at ROH’s PPV next Friday and Ultimo Guerrero and Matt Taven will have another singles match on the TV taping the next day. It may not be an exciting option, but Taven/Guerrero is now even an obvious possibility for the CMLL Anniversario main event since it’s the feud CMLL keeps on going back towards.
There’s no logical defense for King Haku being on the show. King Haku is still a cult favorite, but he’s hardly a luchador at this point. He’s 58 and mostly retired, only wrestling for rare nostalgia appearances or as special cameos teaming with his sons on NJPW related shows. I suspect the latter is what is actually happening here, that Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa are also on Team World for this Gran Prix and it’ll make slightly more sense when they’re announced. Still, this is a guy who is retired and who hasn’t been in Mexico in over two decades, being billed as one of the drawing points for a big CMLL show. There’s no clearer sign of CMLL management being out of touch than deciding believing the return of a foreign star from 1994 is big news.
The Crash says Marty Scurll is coming in soon, continuing the pattern of ROH/NJPW luchadors getting brought into The Crash and not CMLL. I don’t think it was timed this way, but it’s an interesting juxtaposition with the King Haku announcement.
Leo Riano’s column says the current make up for the CMLL union board is Nitro, Arkangel and new addition Dragon Rojo Jr. Riano says all three men love wrestling; having seen Nitro’s recent matches, I’m not sure that’s the case.
Riano also pushes the idea that The Crash/Konnan is trying to get Rush. This is something we talked about when La Mascara was fired, that Rush might follow his good friend. Since then, Rush has shown no interest in leaving CMLL. It totally makes sense for The Crash to float the idea and see Rush’s interest, but I don’t think it’s going to happen at this point. The Crash is only running a couple shows a month, and has new TV outlet – their big selling point to wrestlers is freedom, and no one seems to have more freedom to do what they want in CMLL than Rush (and Riano makes the same point.) I don’t think there’s anything to this right now.
AAA started airing in the UK yesterday. It’s simply the same recordings that were airing on The Fight Network but haven’t been airing recently. They started back with the TripleMania 24 show, which is strong in terms of presentation and scale but features a lot of people who were only for that show (Prince Puma, Matanza, Dragon Azteca) and people who are now gone (Pentagon). It’s not going to help AAA much if 10 months behind, but I’m still unsure many people will have seen it any way.
Carta Brava Jr., Dr. Wagner Jr., Soul Rocker beatMonsther Clown, Murder Clown, Psycho Clown(9:26, Dr. Wagner Jr. foul Murder Clown, ok)
The concept that Verano de Escandalo’s main event is a tag team apuesta match is established on this show. Psycho Clown & Dr. Wagner make a pact to not betray each other so their TripleMania match will stay intact, Monster & Murder Clown talk about working together and the main event post match is firmly team against team. This show was taped nearly three weeks before Verano de Escandalo and seemed to show AAA knew what the rules were going to be in that main event, but either decided or was incapable of explaining it fully.
That main event, the Psycho Circus reuniting to take on Wagner, Carta Brava and Soul Rocker, predictably ended with the Traidor Clowns betraying Psycho Clown again. Wagner still fouled Murder Clown to get the win. The other rudos attacked Wagner after the match, then Poder del Norte attacked the Traidor Clowns to and those sides brawled away to leave Wagner & Psycho alone in the ring.
Psycho hyped the TripleMania match with Wagner, which led to a fight. It started to play out a lot like in San Luis Potosi, where Wagner & Psycho had their advertised singles match as a bonus after the normal TV portion had ended (seemingly as a make good.) That match was also advertised on this taping instead, but Tirantes made a point of sticking around while refusing to count pinfalls this time or treat it like it is a match. Wagner unmasked Psycho Clown to end it
La Parka had Averno beat in his match, but Hijo del Tirantes stopped his count to look at Pirata Morgan. Pirata Morgan was just standing on the apron. Pirata Morgan than whispered something to Parka which Parka found concerning. Meanwhile, Averno stole the win on Pimpinela from Mamba with the Devil’s Wings. Mamba was annoyed but Averno didn’t pick up on it. After, Mamba and Estrella Divina attacked Pimpi in the backstage area.
The announcers said La Hiedra was angry at Lady Shani for going to the tecnica side, which is a switch from the previous story (Vampiro was forcing Shani to be on the tecnica side.) Hiedra and Goya had a miscommunication leading to their defeat, and they too fought after the match.
The show ended with a long video feature on the Mexico City taping. It both felt like something they were airing because they were short on time (it was still a couple minutes shorter than usual) but also because it looked really good, like TripleMania quality. Either way, they wanted you to know that the next couple of weeks of TV were a big deal.
(Faby Apache’s win over Ayako Hamada, which was said to make her the #1 contender’s to Taya’s championship, did not air and was not mentioned.)
Another week of whatever match quality. The effort was there, and there were stretches were the last two matches were fun. They didn’t stay that way, and the finishes didn’t help. It also can’t be an accident that every match that aired, baring the rookie Llave de la Gloria match, featured partners not getting along. That came across in the taping results, but even stronger on TV. When you’re teasing Averno/Mamba tension, it’s reached an absurd level.
On the other hand, I’m not sure any of these matches would be that good if there were neutral or even good finishes. It occurs to me, maybe not as often as it should, that there’s just not a lot of guys in AAA I’m all that into seeing in matches right now and it’d hard to find many combinations of matches that I’d be excited to see. AAA’s done a lot of rearranging of what they have, and I’m not sure it’s been all that good, but there just may not be a good arrangement right now. The creative has been a mess, but not being able to bring any new people aboard four months after they lost their last batch of guys is the bigger mess.
This is absolutely the right year to have Dr. Wagner versus Psycho Clown, because it still overshadows all of this and will carry the company the rest of the year. And so, if it was a sort of make good or just a shifting of focus, ending the show with that back as the big issue was the way to go. This was actually the most (and only) effective show to build up Verano de Escandalo and it’s so weird it came six days after that show took place. But the show that matters is TripleMania and that match and literally ushering all the timekillers off stage to put the spotlight back where it belongs was the right way to end show.
The rest was the rest. I don’t have the pair of eyes to see Big Mami as the native star of the women’s division, they must be seeing things I’m not seeing. I don’t have any great hope or interest in Pirata Morgan’s mystery words to Parka, but Argenis & Marvin looked good in their few moments of shine. (I am starting to wonder why exactly they bothered to make Argenis Rey del Ring when he’s now the seventh or eight most important guy in matches. He’d be in the same sport regardless, because they just don’t have that many people.)
The Noti AAA segments seem really barren of late – all recaps and corporate announcements and nothing that I’d find that interesting as a fan. It’d take more planning, but it ought to be a place where they follow up one of the ‘A’ week feuds on the ‘B’ week to re-enforce it – like, air the Hijo del Fantasma backstage flip out for this first this week, so to keep that story moving on the week they’re not going to be in the ring.
The Mexico City video package was really nice. Hope the matches are too.
Pentagon Dark beat Argenis (5:43, package piledriver, ok)
Texano beat Famous B (0:25, sit down powerbomb, ok )
Drago beat Aerostar (7:23 Dragon’s Lair, good)
(Second rounds matches will be Drago vs Pentagon and Texano & the Mack.)
Uh, where to start? This episode (and the next three) are all first round matches in Dario Cueto’s 32 person Cueto Cup. The winner faces the winner of Rey Mysterio/Johnny Mundo for the Lucha Underground championship at Ultima Lucha. We know the bracket because Lucha Underground posted it on social media but, for the purposes of the story, it appears Dario is still putting it together as the show starts. (At the very least, he’s still assembling it on his own big bracket board.) It’s not clear if the announcers know the matchups – they do most of the show, but Striker is surprised by Pentagon Dark appearing. Only this week’s block of matches is shown on the tournament graphic they used.
Rey Mysterio & Johnny Mundo aren’t around, but we got a video package giving their backgroudn as they set up for the fight. It seemed like the beginning of something we might be seeing for a few weeks.
There’s no story to Mack/Suerte, Suerte just lasts longer than expected. Same really for Argenis, thogh Striker notes this is a rematch from season 1. It ends the same way, with the package piledriver and an arm break. Pentagon definitely hasn’t learned his lesson about breaking random people’s arms and still seems to want revenge on Black Lotus. Dario tells him Lotus has gone back to Hong Kong (unclear if he’s telling the truth) and gives Pentagon the tournament spot as a way to keep him from breaking Dario’s arm. Pentagon warns Dario that he’s either going to be champion at Última Lucha 3 or he’s going to break Dario’s arm at Ultima Lucha 3. Dario doesn’t seem thrilled with either possibility.
Famous B offers to throw his match with Texano in exchange for Texano taking Famous B on as his manager. Texano declines, powerbombing Famous B quickly instead. Texano and Brenda keep flirting though.
Drago and Aerostar was the match with the most attention to it. Drago is now wearing red, and still is has the collar and leash, even though it doesn’t seem like he’s going to leave. Drago’s in a weird place: he’s mostly under Kobra Moon’s control and responds quickly to her orders, but there’s still a little bit of his técnico side left in him causing him to hesitate when left uninstructed. Aerostar tried to talk some sense into his friend, then tried to springboard some sense into his friend. Neither worked.
In between, Dario caught up with Cage. Cage is wearing the metal glove all the time now. It’s later revealed the mental control the glove has over him is making it impossible for him to take it off. Dario insists Cage visit Councilman Delgado (even offering to trans!), and Cage eventually relents and agrees. Cage goes to city hall, where Delgado clearly is seeing Cage less as a person and more as an empty vessel to pour their ideas and/or god in. Cage argues and nearly punches Delgado, apologizes, and then loses it when Delgado calls him just a man. He’s not a man, he’s a machine, Cage explains as he punches Delgado so hard in the head that Delgado’s head explodes. The closing shot is an unbothered Cage walking away from Delgado’s headless corpse, squishing an eyeball with his foot.
Is it good if I’m laughing for a couple minutes after the show ends? I think it might be good, but I’m not sure if it’s meant to be that way. That closing scene, which will totally overshadow any thoughts about the matches on this show, came off going so far over the top as a challenge to the critics: “you thought we were going too far with our murders on this show? Well, here’s far we’re really willing to go, check the eyeball!” It was so over the top that it was hard to take seriously and maybe not meant to be taken that way.
It also seems to have major plot ramifications. A decapitated body in City Hall is going to be noticed, even in this universe. The police plot was about getting to Delgado and his people, so where does that go now? Dario and his people have to know they’re going to have a hard time possessing Cage or whatever it is they’re doing if he’s smashing heads, so what happens there?
Drago/Aerostar was the match of the night for me. It wasn’t the match the announcers were making it out to be, and it didn’t work for a story of two guys now more aggressively fighting each other because of the break up. It actually was Aerostar going full Aerostar, unloading his notable of tricky lucha moves because he might not get work with a guy he trusts as much as Drago again on this show and so he was going for it. Aerostar’s creatively is unmatched, as is his willing to dive head first into things, and this was an amazing exhibition. Maybe it wasn’t what it should’ve been but it was totally unique and I liked it.
The Mack/Mala Suerte also didn’t follow the expected story and that hurt it for me much more than the main event. The Mack, coming off nearly winning the big title two straight shows, should have no problem with one of the lesser members of the Rabbit Tribe. Instead, he was pushed for about eight minutes and could’ve believably lost a couple times. We know the guy under the Mala Suerte match is good and this might have been the best showcase of his skills on this show so far, but it was just an odd occasion for it to happen when Mala Suerte is such a blank slate.
Pentagon & Argenis was much more of what I was expecting. It was long too, longer than their first match, but it was a one sided fight. Argenis got in offense and even a dive, but most of that was to space out Pentagon’s offense so he could get in a lot of his arsenal. The fans went nuts from Pentagon showing up again, he didn’t lose much with them by getting his arms broken, and they definitely wanted to get that same idea over to the fans at home. This worked to reestablish him as a threat.
Texano & Famous B seemed to exist to remind you that plot was still around. It is! And the interaction with Brenda and Texano made it clear it’ll still be around when Texano’s second round match takes place.
Last week’s show was one only Lucha Underground could do. This one was one only Lucha Underground would do. I’m not sure it works the same, but it does keep you on your toes.