Trying to answer the big LU questions: the hiatus, Netflix, Pentagon/Fenix & S4

even Dario’s a bit confused (via)

Lucha Underground is a strange wrestling promotion that’s called a TV show for marketing purposes. It’s also a great source of news and confusion despite not having run any tapings in about a year. Maybe you heard a bit about things going on with LU during this long hiatus, maybe you don’t pay attention to Lucha Underground when they’re not airing shows but are curious now, maybe you’re just an onlooker trying to figure out how this works. Whatever the case, these are the four out of the ring topics which came up the most during this midseason break, and what we know about them right now

(Information is taken from interviews, podcasts, reporting and other sources. I don’t think anything here is all that secretive, but it is bundling a lot of information.)

Lucha Underground Season 3 wasn’t meant to have a midseason break. It was El Rey’s call (out of appreciation of LU)

The short version of this is “running a successful small cable channel in 2017 is really hard and may cause you to take some serious risks.” Even that much is not short.

El Rey, version 1.0, found a niche audience that liked it’s martial arts and horror movies and sampled other things but wasn’t big enough to compel enough cable systems to pick them up and enough advertisers to spend money there. LU’s own ratings were not impressive compared to other wrestling shows, but they’re easily the highest rated show on the network. They’re also the only surviving original show left on El Rey: the TV adaption of From Dusk Til Dawn concluded, and attempts at series like The Cutting Crew and El Matador never found an audience enough to sustain them. It left El Rey at a crossroads, trying to figure out what would work with the makeup of the audience they’ve reached at this point.

Lucha Underground’s return marks the start of an El Rey version 1.1. It’s not a total remake, you will still find dubbed movies on Friday nights, but there are changes. Lucha Underground is the one thing that seemed to work, so every new concept is something that might work like or along side of Lucha Underground. Wednesday night, in between LU and the repeat, a special on the Baja 500 will air. It’s an offroad car race with lots of action, and the special will focus on some of the stories behind it. Next Thursday, El Rey debuts Rite of Passage (a show with a lot of action based on mystical coming of age trials) and Man At Arms: Art of War (a show with a lot of action based on sometimes mythical weapons.) I hope you’re noticing a pattern.

El Rey didn’t decide on this direction until late last year, and it takes a while to produce these sorts of things. There’s no point in making adjacent Lucha Underground programming if LU is not still airing new episodes. El Rey took the gamble that people would still be with LU if they put them on the shelf for a while and brought them back when the new shows were ready. (That’s also why they went to a hiatus with no clearer return date than “Summer 2017”; those shows weren’t far enough along yet to know when they’d be ready.)

Lucha Underground had no idea their would be this shift when they were producing these episodes. The episode airing this Wednesday was taped way back in March 2016, more than half a year before any sort of decision was made. Instead, LU people were given a heads up that a hiatus was coming and asked which episode would work best as a break point. (They debated between after episode 19 – the one they actually went out on – or after episode 20. We can debate if they made the right pick later on.) El Rey wouldn’t have put Lucha Underground on the shelf unless they believed they could make this work. El Rey believes in LU and hopefully their belief will be warranted.

If you want to help out LU, give the new shows a try. It’ll help El Rey (and LU) to keep going on as it has if even one of them turns out well. There’s also no sign El Rey is in a make it or break it territory, but any media entity which can’t find a way to attract eyeballs is going to be in a little bit of peril in 2017.

Lucha Underground is on Netflix (but only in the US, Canada & Latin America so far)

Netflix

Lucha Underground getting on Netflix has been a public goal of the company since the end of season 1, and it seemed long to be a discussion about how much Netflix was willing to pay for the episodes. They came to an agreement early this year (which seemed to still be a bit disappointing to LU) and the episodes were added to Netflix in the middle of March. (Not February. March. Not February. March.) You can watch them now, in glorious HD, if you’re a subscriber. No one with LU knows how well they’ve done, but we all can look thru Twitter and see people regularly stumbling onto the show via Netflix and enjoying it. That seems good.

However, if you are not in the US, Canada or parts of Latin America, you don’t have Lucha Underground on Netflix. You probably aren’t going to get Lucha Underground any time soon, and there’s probably not much Netflix can do about it.

Part of LU’s ownership plan to make money on this show of monsters, murders an armdrags to sell the show to different markets around the world. They’ve had some good luck with that: it’s on TLN in Canada, it’s on SamuraiTV in Japan, it’s on TNT in Geramy – and now it’s also on an over the air station in Germany too. Netflix gives Lucha Underground some money, selling it to TV networks gives them more money, and the theory is making it available on Netflix in a market will make TV networks less willing to put it on their air.

LU’s looked for TV homes in places like the UK or Australia or Brazil or elsewhere, and hasn’t found anyone willing to take on the show for whatever amount it is they want. Their strategy probably isn’t going to change any time soon, so those places without LU on TV are unlikely to get it any other means any time soon.

If you are someone who’s come to Lucha Underground thru Netflix, you should know that you’re going to have a decent wait for new episodes. Seasons will continue to only show up on Netflix sometime after they finish airing on TV, which means Season 3 won’t be available until at least the middle of October, if not a little bit later than that. In the meantime, if you don’t get El Rey on cable, both iTunes and Amazon are selling individual episodes the day after they air, and there’s some digital TV services (Sling, Fubo.TV) which offer El Rey live as part of their package of channels.

Pentagon, Fenix and others leaving AAA doesn’t seem to affect their Lucha Underground status. Prince Puma is a different story.

La Reblion shirt, from LuchaShop

Last time Lucha Underground aired a new episode, Pentagon Jr. had not walked out on AAA and Fenix had not changed his name three hundred times. That seems very long ago. The short version is Pentagon (& Fenix) found wrestling in English speaking indies more rewarding than working in AAA, AAA started treating them like they were going to leave at any moment, and then that moment came.

This is the important thing, something no one on the outside understood early on but has been made clearer as time has gone on: Lucha Underground is not AAA, and AAA is not Lucha Underground. AAA owns part of LU (no one’s agrees exactly how much), LU has exclusive TV rights over any AAA luchador they use, and there’s a lot of people crossing over between both, but they’re independently managed and run. A wrestler’s status in one promotion is not supposed to affect another.

Lucha Underground officials have repeatedly said they want Pentagon back for a Season 4, they want Fenix back for a Season 4, they want Sexy Star back for a Season 4 – they want everyone back, and they also expect that everyone will be there. All the luchadors involved have also said they want to be back; guys like Pentagon & Fenix are appreciative of what Lucha Underground has done for their careers and how they’ve been treated there. Sexy Star, who’s limited her wrestling dates because she’s trying a boxing career, has said she’ll still find time to work for Lucha Underground. As far as everyone in that group of people are concerned publicly, this is a non-issue and everything will continue on as it has been.

The reason this is an issue is AAA. Reportedly, AAA luchadors were warned during season 2 that leaving AAA would cost them their spot in Lucha Underground. (And, in fact, Flamita never returned to the show as Nightclaw when he left AAA after season 2 – but we don’t know if he just didn’t want to be back.) AAA’s Dorian Roldan, who was likely behind that warning, has also come out in public to say everyone is welcome back to LU. It’s hard to know which side of that story to believe, and there’s been at least one reported attempt to remove any doubt from it – Pentagon was said to be offered a new LU deal which would pay him more and wouldn’t require him to go back to AAA, but would prevent him from working for any group in competition with AAA. It’s unclear if he’s signed, it’s unclear if he needs to sign.

It would be a tremendous no-win situation for Lucha Underground if they came back for a Season 4 with some of the most popular and identifiable people with the show all suddenly missing. Everyone seems super confident this will work out without that happening, and I don’t think there’s much to be concerned about that.

Ricochet/Prince Puma is a different situation. LU dearly wanted him to be on their show, and so gave him an option to leave his Lucha Undeground contract after three seasons. (Others, like Rey Mysterio Jr., are said to also have shorter deals, but most LU wrestlers were signed to seven season deals.) WWE can’t legally talk to Ricochet while he’s under contract to Lucha Underground, but it’s obvious they’d be making him a significant offer if he was available. They’ve offered and signed deals with stars from every major promotion in the world, it’s not going to by any different here. Ricochet will opt out, Lucha Underground may still make a great offer to keep him, but it’s tough to compete with WWE in a heads up battle.

Ricochet’s problem, his source of frustration, is a “three seasons aired” deal; LU contracts specifically prohibit their talent from appearing on another wrestling show while their season is still to air. If it was “three seasons taped”, Ricochet would’ve been a free agent as soon as last June. If El Rey stuck to the original Season 3 plan, Ricochet would be a free agent around now. Pushing back the season meant Ricochet instead has to wait until at least October, something like 16 months after the last time he wrestled in a Lucha Underground ring, to go talk to some one else about working on his TV.

(Pause here to note that even though Ricochet might be the only one who can leave LU after the third season, that 16 month delays pushed everyone involved in the series the same way.)

No one thought it would take this long, not Ricochet, not Lucha Underground. Ricochet’s been fortunate – or just been very good at what he does – so he’s gotten plenty of opportunities to work exciting places in the meantime. His LU’s deal does not affect NJPW TV taped in Japan, so he’s gotten to work there a lot – but he wouldn’t be allowed to work the NJPW TV taped in LA because Lucha Underground will still be airing. He wouldn’t be allowed to work for NJPW’s partner promotion ROH because it’s taped for the US. LU probably could’ve let it some of that slide because of hiatus, but they’ve held the line on protecting their content like so many other wrestling promotions.

Staring at a clock does not make it move faster. I’ve tried it a lot, and it doesn’t work. I wouldn’t blame Ricochet for doing it the next few months, though.

The Chances of Season 4 Are…Really Up To Whatever You Believe

??? (via uproxx)

El Rey definitely wants Lucha Underground back for a season 4 (and more). LU wants to be back for a season 4 (and more.) Even AAA, who might have reason to be conflicted a bit, have said they want LU to be back for a season 4. Yet, no one will actually go on record to say a season 4 is a go, and it’s probably not just because they’re waiting to make a big splashy announcement.

The problem is Lucha Underground does not make enough money to pay for itself, and AAA & El Rey alone can’t pay to keep it going. The show/promotion/brand is also owned by other investors, some well known and some not so much. It’s not public who owns how much, everyone who is involved, or exactly what they’d need to see to go forward with another season. We know MGM is one of the owners, and we can speculate MGM being able to sell Lucha Underground to stations like Germany’s Tele5 is a positive step for them, but we have no idea how much it means or what will be enough. We know that things like merchandising and live events have been pretty non-existent, which is a big failing if you look at at a wrestling company, but these investors might just see it as a TV product that can be monetized around the globe and those other things are just small potatoes. There’s plenty of shreds of evidence here to speculate on, but we don’t know what matters. It’d be easier if there was a cardboard thermometer so we could see how much heat LU needed to generate before they hit the magic mark to get Season 4, but there’s no singular indicator like that (not even the much obsessed about ratings.)

We do know all the same shortfalls have been there after season 1 and everyone decided to pick up the show not just for one season, but for two more at that time. Also, everyone associated with Lucha Underground, when asked, see season 4 as a virtual certainty, something the fans shouldn’t even worry about for a season. They’re confident there’s not even a story here. Sometime in October or November, they’ll be back taping once again with all the old crew reunited.

Still, the people involved have been talking about a Season 4 just needed to be funded since early this year, and then there will be firm taping dates. It’s not halfway thru the year, and there are no firm tape dates. (It’ll take just a moment for everyone to find out when there are some, since people will start getting pulled off indie shows.) Maybe there doesn’t even need to be funding until they get closer to the show and it’ll be find, but he lack of progress in other areas seems worrying. They did get on Netflix, they did add some foreign TV deals, but there’s been no evident progress in turning LU into a full fledged wrestling promotion in other ways. Their plans for live shows didn’t really pan out (limited to a handful of people working shows in Germany and Toronto), there’s still no way to buy a Prince Puma or Mil Muertes mask or most any other merch, they vanished in a lot of ways during the hiatus.

As a fan, I’d like there to be many more seasons of Lucha Underground. (And all of them in LA.) If I was an investor, I’d like to see signs of growth and I’m not convinced that’s happening or happening fast enough. It’s definitely possible Lucha Underground is coming back for a Season 4, but I’m not confident about it either way. I’m not going to argue with people who think it’s doomed or people who think it’s safe for sure – I feel like half the people I read strongly feel like they know it’s one or the other, and I’m just going to throw up my hands and walk away.

I am confident about Season 3: all of it will air, it’s been all taped, edited, and LU people saw the finished version of Ultima Lucha 3 about 10 days ago. I suspect we won’t definitively know about Season 4 until later this year. The Season 2/3 pickup didn’t happen until after Season 1 ended, so it’s at least possible this story could drift on for a while. I just wouldn’t let it impact your enjoyment of Season 3: while there are things which build onto the future, it’s a season finale built around resolving some storylines and final matches in big feuds. You’ll enjoy it no matter what happens next.

UG adds to his Niebla Roja mask collection, Terrible/Marco tonight

a happy Ultimo Guerrero

CMLL (MON) 05/29/2017 Arena Puebla [CMLL]
1) Asturiano & Zaeta Roja b Guerrero Espacial & Rey Apocalipsis LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 29 DE MAYO DEL 2017 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
tecnicos took 1/3
2) Ares & Metálico b Black Tiger & Espíritu Maligno LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 29 DE MAYO DEL 2017 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
rudos took 2/3
3) Arkángel de la Muerte, Canelo Casas, Fuerza Chicana b Lestat, Rey Samuray, Starman LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 29 DE MAYO DEL 2017 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rudos took 1/3.
4) Stigma, Stuka Jr., Valiente b Cuatrero, Máscara Año 2000, Sansón LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 29 DE MAYO DEL 2017 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
tecnicos took 1/3
5) Rush b Mr. Niebla LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 29 DE MAYO DEL 2017 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
Rush took 1/3.
6) Ángel de Oro, Mistico, Niebla Roja DQ Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero LA MEJOR LUCHA LIBRE EN VIVO DESDE LA ARENA PUEBLA 29 DE MAYO DEL 2017 (posted by VideosOficialesCMLL)
tecnicos took 2/3, Ultimo Guerrero again unmasking Niebla Roja.

The first two matches took about an hour. That’s not good.

CMLL added Dragon Rojo versus Rey Cometa in a lightning match to Friday’s show. The last thing CMLL needs to do is add another match to a tournament show, but at least it should be a good match. You should probably stop watching once it’s over.

Tonight’s Arena Mexico show is headlined Marco Corleone versus Terrible, which could be a title match soon. Or a least an interaction along the away. I suspect the “tournaments” we’re getting will be more along the lines of a cibernetico where the final two advance to a match the final week, so they’d like to run into each other soon even if not in that title match. Terrible cheated to beat Marco last week.

Niebla Roja faces the Guerreros again, but this time without Ultimo Guerrero so he could possibly not lose his mask. This is the semimain listed with Volador that’s physically impossible to make. Ovaciones has a preview of the show which lists Soberano in the spot, teaming with Niebla Roja & Valiente. The rudo side is Gran Guerrero, Mephisto and Rey Bucanero, replacing Euforia. CMLL keeps Soberano and Euforia from facing each other, so Soberano getting the spot probably gave his father the night off.

CMLL’s preview for this show still has the original lineup for this match, even though they’ve told others the correct lineup. It’s pretty obvious the promotions care less about false advertising shows much less than I do. I’m not going to stop pointing out and criticizing it, but while realizing they’re not inclined to change their practices unless someone much more important forces them.

The fourth match is The Panther, Blue Panther Jr. and Pegasso versus Dragon Rojo Jr., Polvora & Sagrado. Universo 2000 Jr. makes his stream debut with Puma & TIger as partners against Starman, Oro Jr. & Esfinge. It’s weird Puma & Tiger are so low, even weirder in a week when they’re going for the national trios titles. Principe Sugehit & Zeuxis meet again in the women’s match, with Estrellita, Sanely, Tiffany and Metalica rounding out the match. The show opens with a competent Leono & Bengala against Hijo del Signo & Artillero. It’ll air on CMLL’s YouTube at 7:30pm.

Guadalajara tonight had Rush versus Caristico, but Valiente will replace Caristico. Caristico suffered an injury at the end of Sunday’s match, but there’s no word on what exactly the injury is. The tercera, the match most likely to air on stream complete, is a women’s match.

Also, The Crash debuts in Arena Queretaro tonight with Daga, Penta and Rey Mysterio facing Bestia, Damian and Nicho. There’s a scheduled semimain of Garza Jr., Jack Evans, Willie Mack versus Black Taurus, Laredo Kid and Super Crazy, but Super Crazy suffered a neck injury over the weekend and may be off. The fourth match is Flamita vs Rey Horus vs Septimo Dragon, which sounds like it’ll be really good. Flamita & Rey Horus meet on Friday in a title match, so normally Horus would be a favorite to build up the match, but it’s likely few in Tijuana will know anyway – it’s unlikely we’ll get results from this show, much less actual video.

La Parka’s column says the TripleMania ticket sales are up to 75%, which would means they sold about a 1,000 tickets this week with nothing particular to push ticket sales. (This column would’ve been written even before Friday night’s show.) That’s an unusual ticket buying pattern, for AAA & lucha, but reason for them not to be worried about the things they’re doing if they’re really that successful.

Maximo changed his Facebook account to take CMLL out of the name.

Ancla has La Mascara versus LA Park on 06/24 in Arena San Juan. I’m not sure La Mascara’s style is going to translate to the indies well, but that match will be a good test. The same night, Mascara & Dr. Wagner take on LA Park & Maximo in Arena Lopez Mateos.

LuchaWorld has this week’s Poster-Mania.

Segunda Caida starts watching Metalico matches.

+LuchaTV has Satanico, Mini Psycho Clown and Centviron as guests on their podcast.

Juventud Guerrera turns up in a story about Lucha Britannia.

Lineups

CMLL (MON) 06/05/2017 Arena Puebla
1) Astro, Meyer, París vs El Perverso, Guerrero Espacial, Sombra Diabólika
2) Astral, Espíritu Maligno, Magnus vs Ares, El Malayo, Joker
3) Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr., Tigre Rojo Jr. vs Olímpico, Toro Bill Jr., Virus
4) Atlantis, Titán, Valiente vs Hechicero, Máscara Año 2000, Vangellys
5) Ángel de Oro, Mistico, Niebla Roja vs Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero

Main event is a rematch.

It was startling to look back at some 2012 footage and realize exactly how long we’ve been dealing with dancing Olimpico. So long.

Second match includes a rare Magnus appearance; it’s his first match there since September and he only wrestled there three times last year. And he’s there for an Arez/Espiritu Maligno feud.

Where did we leave that power glove? A Lucha Underground season 3 catch up

out of habit of seeing this shot about four times every Wednesday

Lucha Underground is going a breezy 140 days between new episodes. There’s just a slight chance you may have forgotten exactly what was going on last time Dario Cueto was in our life, so here’s a reminder of where we left Season 3 of Lucha Underground.

(I’ll handle the drama behind the scenes in another post.)

Give it to me quick: when is the new episode? What’s on it?

Lucha Underground returns on Wednesday, May 31st at 8pm ET/7pm CT with episode 20 of the season. The episode will have only one match, the All Night Long iron man match between Lucha Underground champion Johnny Mundo and challenger The Mack.

New episodes are expected to air weekly. There are 40 episodes this season, which means the season will conclude with Ultima Lucha 3 on October 18th.

Johnny Mundo (abs not pictured)

How did Johnny Mundo end up champion? I vaguely remember something with Sexy Star that made everyone either happy or very angry?

Matanza was champion to start the season. He lost it in Aztec Warfare when he was hit by many big moves and finished by a Code Red from Rey Mysterio. Sexy Star defeated Mil Muertes at the end of Aztec Warfare to win the title and everyone went nuts for a week.

She lost it the following week to Johnny Mundo, who had previously beaten Sexy for the Gift of the Gods title and was cashing it in. Mundo beat Sexy Star later again in a cage match; Mundo’s cheated to beat Sexy every time, but has defeated her three straight times.

The Mack, as surprised as everyone else that he actually won

Why is the Mack getting a title shot?

The Mack won a 16 person Battle of the Bulls tournament (a bunch of four way matches), the winner earning this title shot.

Why is the match an All Night Long match?

Johnny Mundo beat The Mack in a non-title match in episode 18, where the winner got to choose the stipulation for their title match. Mundo picked the show long iron man match “All Night Long” rules, figuring his superior endurance would allow him to outlast Mack in a long match.

Who’s the Gift of the Gods Champion? Who holds the Aztec Medallions?

There is no Gift of the Gods champion. Johnny Mundo cashed in the LU secondary belt for his title shot. Dario has not yet begun handing out Medallions.

Drago, in Kobra Moon’s throne room. Kobra spent all her money on that throne and none on a proper dungeon. 

Who are the Lucha Underground Trios champions? Who are their rivals?

The current trios champions are Fenix, Aerostar and Drago. They defeated the Worldwide Underground trio of Jack Evans, Johnny Mundo and PJ Black earlier in the season.

Their current enemies are the Reptile Tribe, led by Kobra Moon. Kobra Moon claimed Drago betrayed the Reptiles in a war, and brought back her two surviving generals (Pindar and the tall Vibora) to force Drago back into the group. Drago claims he was never part of the Tribe, simply a slave, but was recaptured and possibly brainwashed. Aerostar & Fenix freed their partner, but Drago didn’t seem to remember them or be completely aware he’d been rescued.

jailed for his own protection

What’s Matanza up to?

Matazna wants to murder Rey Mysterio. Mysterio is the first (and only) person to defeat Matanza in Lucha Underground; Matanza immediately destroyed and hospitalized Rey. Dragon Azteca Jr. tried to avenge both Rey and Dragon Azteca Sr. by going after Matanza, and ended up chokeslammed thru the bleachers. Mysterio escaped his own death by backdropped Matanza thru the Temple’s closet ceiling, which ended the action in the Temple on the last episode.

(Dragon Azteca Jr. still seems to believe it was Matanza who killed Dragon Azteca Sr., while we know it’s actually Black Lotus. Black Lotus definitely believes Dragon Azteca Sr. killed her parents, but we don’t know if Dario was telling the truth about that.)

0 arms

What happened with Pentagon Dark?

Pentagon paid a price for breaking Dragon Azteca Jr. & Black Lotus’ arms during Ultima Lucha 2. The Black Lotus Triad attacked Pentagon and caused him to be eliminated in Aztec Warfare 3. Pentagon faced the entire Triad in a guantlet match, breaking the arms of Doku and Yurei, but being defeated by Hitokiri. The Triad broke one of Pentagon’s arms, and stepped out of the way to allow Dragon Azteca Jr. to break the other one.

Vampiro may or may not have been helping the Triad, but seemed to greatly enjoy what happened either way.

Pentagon has not been seen since his arms were broke to end episode #13. He should be healthy enough to turn up at any moment.

Prince Puma, chilling in a casket

What’s going on with Prince Puma?

Prince Puma died. Mil Muertes put him in to the casket to win their Grave Consequences match on episode 10, which means death on this show. Vampiro some how resurrected Prince Puma, and convinced him to give into his darker side to grow stronger. Puma has still not been seen in the Temple since his death, only in training vignettes, and it’s unlikely anyone but Vampiro knows Puma is still around. It’s not clear who Puma is actually training for: Puma probably thinks revenge on Mil but Vampiro is clearly not done with Pentagon. Vampiro’s clearly manipulating Puma – he pushed him towards the Mil feud to start all of this – and it’s probably going to end badly for Puma unless he breaks free of Vampiro’s influence.

Why does Cage have a power glove?

Cage won a best of 5 series over Texano for a Unique Oppurtinty. That Oppurtinty turned out to be a metal gauntlet. Cage wasn’t interested until he was convinced to try it on, and then felt great power and strength coming from it. Cage now wears it to the ring for his matches.

Cage doesn’t know that the gauntlet is the representation (or possed) by an evil god Dario and the people he works for are summoning. Cage is being taken over by this essence every time he puts it on, and also becoming more addicted to it.

(Shoter version: Cage won the ring from the Lord of the Rings, doesn’t know it.)

Can we just run thru everyone else quickly? This is a lot…

Jeremiah Crane was introduced as Ivelisse’s new boyfriend, but later revealed to be an old boyfriend from Catrina. Crane recovered an object hidden to in the ceiling of Dario’s office “long ago” to remind her of their past relationship, but Catrina said she was in love with someone else. Crane believes this to be Mil Muertes because Crane just showed up, but it appears to be Fenix based on what we saw in Season 1.

Amulet in the past
Vasquez’s part of amulet
Catrina’s portion of the amulet

Catrina & Capitan Vasquez each have half of an amulet. We saw that same item given to a girl a 1,000 years ago, which gave the (female only) wearer eternal life. It appears the 1,000 year old girl is Vasquez, since Catrina has been mentioned as being closer to 100 years old, but we don’t know the relationship between the two of them or how they each ended up with half the amulet. They have not interacted on screen yet.

not spider-man

Captain Vasquez is still investigating Dario Cueto, though Councilman Delgado has put pressure on her to stop. Joey Ryan betrayed the operation, revealing it to Dario to get on his side on whatever’s coming next. Ryan exposed Cortez Castro as a fellow undercover cop; Dario had him destroyed by Matanza to run him out of the Temple. Vasquez sent Castro back as the masked Veneno, where he was beat quickly by Cage. His identity hasn’t been acknowledged, but it shouldn’t be too hard for Ryan & Cueto to figure out. I’m still curious why Captain Vasquez has a spare Veneno mask sitting in her desk, but that may not be an important detail right now.

Dario and Delgado were meeting with a mysterious man in a limo who’s identity was never revealed but obviously spooked them out. He may not exist in the form of body (and just be the spirit that’s possessing Cage’s glove.)

spider

Someone’s been harassing Sexy Star with spiders. She confronted Mariposa, who denied it. She suspected Veneno, but we know it’s not likely to be him.

Taya is filming a documentary on Johnny Mundo, in the margins of Mundo’s current story.

Texano lost that best of five series to Cage, and is now being recruited by Famous B to add to his clients (which just includes Dr. Wagner Jr.)

Son of Havoc & Mascarita Sagrada defeated Famous B & Dr. Wagner Jr. in their feud. They haven’t been seen since.

Killshot and Dante

Killshot & Dante Fox were military buddies. Were. Dante seems to believe Killshot left him behind on their last mission, Killshot doesn’t remember it like that. We’re inclined to believe Killshot’s in the right because he’s been portrayed as a tecnico since last season, but we really don’t any details of what happened (so it’s entirely possible Dante is actually in the right.)

Mariposa and Marty the Moth have been attacking each other since losing their feud to Killshot. (The last scene of the first half revealed Mariposa had tied up Marty.) They are weird, so it seemed like it might have brought them closer. Marty is also stalking Melissa Santos.

The Rabbit Tribe of Paul London, Saltador and Mala Suerte having been hanging around on the edge of the trios title situation, but don’t really have anything on going of their own.

Ricky Mandell took some mystery photos from Dario Cueto that he was trying to get rid of, and sees to be a big Johnny Mundo fan suddenly. None of that seems to go anywhere.

Vinny Massaro can’t eat in the bathroom in peace.

That wasn’t quick!

Yea, there’s a lot going on.

Who from this season might we not see?

Ivelisse and Angelico suffered injuries in the aired episode. Angelico had just returned at Aztec Warfare 3 before getting hurt. Ivelisse had already agreed to a match with Catrina for Ultima Lucha 3. Neither has been mentioned since they were hurt.

Chavo Guerrero lost a loser leaves town match to Rey Mysterio and appears to be obeying the stipulation.

Siniestro de la Muerte was killed off on screen earlier in the season.

Daga was said to be dead by Kobra Moon earlier in the season, but we have reason to believe she may have not been telling the truth (or the plans changed somewhere along the lines.)

Are there more people showing up?

Yes. A vignette for later this season aired at C2E2, introducing a new rival to an existing character. Other wrestlers were spotted in dark matches by this point, and could show up in a vignette at any moment (even if they don’t actually wrestle this season.)

Nightclaw and el Bunny are out there, somewhere.

new lucha videos for the weekend of May 26 2017

YouTube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYyNnOBGWP7Qh416Zi8H5bZEW3bkqy-49

IWRG Zona XXI: 2017-05-24
taped 2017-05-21 @ Arena Naucalpan
Cloud Drive
1) Aramis vs Villano III Jr.
2) Black Dragón, Dinamic Black, Veneno vs Cerebro Negro, Heddi Karaoui, Hijo de Pirata Morgan
3) Freelance vs Dr. Cerebro
4) Danny Casas, Imposible, Mr. Electro vs Black Warrior, Trauma I, Trauma II

CMLL on ClaroSports.com: 2017-05-26
taped 2017-05-26 @ Arena México
Cloud Drive
1) Flyer & Oro Jr. vs Cancerbero & Raziel
2) Fuego, Star Jr., Stigma vs Misterioso Jr., Sagrado, Virus
3) Blue Panther Jr., Rey Cometa, The Panther vs Puma, Sam Adonis, Tiger
4) Stuka Jr. vs Pólvora in a lightning match
5) Ángel de Oro, Mistico, Niebla Roja vs Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero
6) Carístico, Marco Corleone, Valiente vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Pierroth, Rush

CMLL Guadalajara: 2017-05-27
Cloud Drive
taped 2017-05-23 @ Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
1) Esfinge, Soberano Jr., Starman vs Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón

IWRG Zona XXI: 2017-05-29
Cloud Drive
taped 2017-05-28 @ Arena Naucalpan
1) Dr. Cerebro, Dragón Fly, Mr. Electro vs La Mosca, Pirata Morgan Jr., Veneno
2) Trauma I & Trauma II vs Black Warrior & Súper Mega

Black Warrior versus the Traumas, Puebla preview

IWRG (SUN) 05/28/2017 Arena Naucalpan [+LuchaTV, The Gladiatores]
1) Shaolin b Atomic Star
2) Rafy & Teelo b Miss Gaviota & Takle
Miss Gaviota replaced Maquina Infernal, first match back in three months
3) Aramis, Pantera I, Saruman b Ángel Extreme, Hip Hop Man, Pibe Alfajor
Angel Extreme (debut, maybe the same one as from Veracruz?) replaced Villano III Jr.
4) Oficial AK47 & Oficial Fierro b Apolo Estrada Jr. & Eterno and Black Dragón & Dinamic Black
Oficials want a hair match with Apolo & Eterno
5) Imposible b Máscara Año 2000 Jr.
Super Mega hit Mascara with a chair to set up the loss
6) Dr. Cerebro, Dragón Fly, Mr. Electro b La Mosca, Pirata Morgan Jr., Veneno
seems to be setting up another La Mosca/Dr. Cerbero match
7) Black Warrior & Súper Mega DQ Trauma I & Trauma II
straight falls. Black Warrior use brass knucks without being DQ, Trauma II used the same for a DQ. Challenges for Warrior & Trauma II

Given Warrior’s habit of dropped off the radar, IWRG’s hoping for a lot by having him feud with the Traumas.

CMLL tonight has Rush versus Mr. Niebla, a match with a lot of variance. It’s possible they’ll just clown around for eleven minutes, it’s also possible they start grabbing anything not nailed down to hit each other and CMLL scrubs the match from existence later. The match is much more likely to be in the middle, but it’s less predictable than most CMLL singles matches.

That’s the semimain. The main event is a rematch from Friday, Angel de Oro, Niebla Roja & Mistico against the Guerreros. The Dinamtias (Cuatrero, Sanson, Mascara 2000) take on Stigma, Stuka and Valiente in the fourth match. The tercera doesn’t look good with Arkangel, Canelo and Fuerza Chicano on the rudo side – they face Lestat, Rey Samuray and Starman. There’s two 2v2 matches to follow it: Black Tiger & Espiritu Maligno fight Ares & Metalico (Ares & Maligno were slightly feuding last week) and Asturiano & Zaeta Roja face Guerrero Espacial & Rey Apocalipsis in the superior of the two tag matches.

The show airs at 9pm on CMLL’s YouTube channel.

AAA is unsurprisingly still promoting the original lineup for Verano de Escandalo even though they changed the lineup on Friday. I was so annoyed about that that I didn’t even mention no La Mascara or Maximo at that show, that was kind of dumb of me. That must mean they’re getting enough indie offers to take those instead for now. Super Porky did an interview for CMLL this morning, so he must not have quit to follow them.

Highlights of Dick Togo vs Solar.

Martinez Promotions has Zack Sabre Jr. vs Ultimo Ninja on June 23.

Rush mentions his uncle Septiembre Negro Jr. is on Twitter. I don’t think we had those families connected before.

Flamita sings.

AAA on Televisa: 2017-05-20

Super Fly is quietly one of the best guy in AAA now

Recapped: 05/24/2017

All matches were taped at Paleqnue del Centro Expositor, Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala on 04/29/2017.

Matches: 

Niño Hamburguesa  defeated Máscara de BronceVenumJoe Lider to earn a spot in an upcoming AAA Mixed Tag Team Championship match (8:32, middle rope splash on Lider, below average)

Argenis & La Parka defeated Chessman & Súper Fly (4:36, Argenis cradle Chessman, ok)

Carta Brava, Mocho Cota Jr., Soul Rocker © defeated Faby Apache, Monsther Clown, Murder Clown to keep the AAA World Trios Championship (4:30, group pin on Faby, below average)

What Happened:

here’s the chokeslam GIF I’m a week late in posting

Early in the show, Faby Apache (in an awesome Aja Kong anniversary t-shirt) explains to Psycho Clown that Vampiro gave her a trios title rematch, but with Murder & Monster as her partners. Psycho Clown thinks this is crazy and he wanted to help her win the titles back, and says he’s got Faby’s back. Prior to the main event, they aired a recap of the trios title storyline, with the entire Vampiro/Faby vignette replayed and the entire Faby/Taya thing from last week, and a few minutes of the match were shown. It’s a lot longer than this match ended up going. The main event lasts about three minutes before Monster & Murder attack their partner Faby. Psycho immediately comes out for the save, cleans house, but is laid out by Kevin Kross. Poder del Norte pin Faby. Kross goes to chokeslam Psycho, but Faby pops to life (not selling a thing) and hits Kross with a chair. Kross doesn’t sell either, and chokeslams Faby out of the ring thru a table. AAA sticks with Faby being put in a neckbrace and stretchered away for a while. (AAA end the show still not having announced the main event for Verano de Escandalo.

Averno talked about cleaning out the trash from the group before the second match, which led to Ricky Marvin coming out. Ricky points out he won in Tijuana. Averno calls Marvin trash and a dog and an ugly man with no friends. Marvin calls out his partners, Argenis and La Parka. OGT are shocked. Averno explains the trios match is not happening because Vampiro gave him the night off, and decides to announce instead. The other OGT rudos attack Argenis and La Parka (though Super Fly gets the worst of that.)

Averno joined the announcers for the match, while Marvin hangs out at ringside. OGT beat up the técnicos for about four minutes, Averno tripped Parka, Marvin grabs Chessman to stop him from a dive, and Argenis small packaged Chessman for the win.

dictionary definition for “ill-advised”

In the opener, Mascara de Bronce has evolved into looking like Venum’s tag partner. Niño Hambruguesa is checked on after landing badly on a huracanrana. Finish involves Dalton showing up at ringside, giving Lider a springboard frontcracker when Lider was holding a chair, and Niño immediately splashing Lider for the win. Dalton seemingly beats Lider up after the match, but we’re shown replays instead. Niño Hamburguesa will be one half of one of the teams to challenge for the mixed tag titles based off winning this match

The entrance for the building they’re running looks so much like Arena Neza, but it’s a palenque so it’s a small circular area on the floor. It’s better than some they’ve run, with a bit of space around the ring to work with (they wouldn’t have been to able to do the table spot in the other ones they’ve run.)

The mystery new referee is finally introduced as Hugo “Negro” Rosas.

Session of La Llave de la Grloria was shown, focusing on the luchadoras. Mary Apache has one monologue that includes more talking from her than she’s gotten in some years.

AAA says 70% of the tickets are sold out for TripleMania.

Review:

a good idea with not great execution

This was not a good show if you like actual good matches – it’s probably the worse show this year for matches, but it feels like there’s a few which would be candidates for that spot. They didn’t give the matches all that much time – 17:38 bell time total, almost half in the opener – but they also didn’t put together matches which had a hope of being any good. The storytelling seemed not much better considered.

The main event was not much of a match and didn’t do anyone any favors. Poder del Norte got in a main event, but looked like a joke. Murder tossed them around easily, they only got anything on Faby, Faby was beating them before her partners turned on her and then Psycho Clown had no problem with them either. Putting Poder del Norte in main events is not alone going to make them special, they have to be effective in some way, and instead it comes more as if AAA just doesn’t have any thing better. The whole thing was a setup to make Kevin Kross look more impressive and I’m not sure why that’s important when he’s not in a big match coming up. (The priority definitely is to the weekly TV over building to Verano de Escandalo; the bit ended with most of the people in the VdE mask match working together.) They at least tried to get over the severity of a table spot but could’ve gotten to it in a more effective way.

I ran out of good wrestling GIFs this week

There wasn’t really anything to the tag match, calling it OK seems like an overstatement, but I’m not sure it’s their fault they had so little time. Super Fly’s moonsault and Estrada bump looked cool, maybe that’s enough. Moderately surprised Argenis got the win instead of Parka, who made sure to argue with Averno so he’d get talked about in commentary

There were decent moments in the opener, maybe enough good that’d I’d normally say OK, but this was also a super sloppy match. They tried to do team spots with Bronce & Venum against Ludxor to start the match and near the end, and both looked liked Lider was on a totally different page. Venum/Bronce’s sequence in the middle looked super indie with it’s timing issues. (Later, they tried for a double pin, which made no sense). Niño Hamburguesa almost broke his neck taking a frankensteiner. There was a bit built around Joe Lider catching dives, and he caught on one of two Bronce did a big tornillo and the camera missed most of it and they never found a replay of it. This wasn’t good. This whole show wasn’t good.

DragonMania, FULL in SLP, Raptor, Dinastia Casas trios title shot

photo by Black Terry Jr.

CMLL (SAT) 05/27/2017 Arena Coliseo [CMLL]
1) Leono & Sensei b Rocky Casas & Templario
Rocky Casas’ first match here since October.
2) Artillero, Canelo Casas, Sangre Azteca b Astral, Bengala, Magnus
Sangre Azteca replaced Nitro
3) Esfinge, Fuego, Pegasso b Disturbio, Universo 2000 Jr., Virus
Universo 2000 Jr. replaced Metalico on Saturday, making his debut.
4) Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., The Panther b Cuatrero, Máscara Año 2000, Sansón
5) Ángel de Oro, Rey Bucanero, Terrible b Kráneo, Ripper, Stuka Jr. [Relevos Increíbles]

Stat You Can’t Actually Use: Rocky Casas first match in CMLL was in March 2016. He’s had 4 matches in that time (and one dumb seeding battle royal.) He has won zero matches. He’s also apparently related to the wrong person if he’s back in the opener and Universo 2000 Jr. is solid midcard guy in week 1.

Toryumon Mexico (SAT) 05/27/2017 Arena México [Black Terry Jr. (Flickr), The Gladiatores]
1) Átomo, Shadow Boy, Shaolin b Gatillero, Solaris, Sonny
2) Blood Eagle, Fidel, Labernito b Adrian Quest, Dicky Mayer, Eli Everfly
3) Mima Shimoda b Vanilla Vargas, Reina Isis
No India Sioux, so they had a three way match instead. Vanilla Vargas is the same woman listed as Lady Boricua. Mima Shimoda won when Sam Adonis cost Vargas the match.
4) Súper Ciudadano b Patán, Fiero, Gallo (Jalisco), JC Navarro, OT Fernandez, Piel Roja, Hijo del Signo, Villano III Jr., Malefico, Ulises Jr., Hijo de Black Silver, Voltech Rivera, Dany Cruxiel [Dragon Scramble]
Ulises Jr. (with new hair) , Hijo de Black Silver and a whole bunch of Puerto Ricians were added to the match, with Super Ciudadano beating eternal rival Patan.
5) Arkángel de la Muerte & Rey Bucanero b Shocker & Yohei Nakajima
Arkangel replaced Ultimo Guerrero, while Shocker (with amateur wrestling headgear protecting his jaw) Nakajima replaced Marco & Maximo. Sam Adonis helped Rey Bucanero win
6) Dick Togo b Solar I
Added match. Double pin on a tapatia.
7) Bodyguard & Zeus b Daisuke Hanaoka & Douki
The AJPW team defeated Japones del Mal
7) Carístico, Jun Akiyama, Último Dragón b Joe Doering, Sam Adonis, Último Guerrero
Ultimo Guerrero replaced Mephisto. Dragon had come out to celebrate 25 years of wrestling early in the show, and received well wishes from Chris Jericho via video. He also got a cake, which Rey Bucanero threw in Dragon’s face. Dragon won the main event by beating Adonis.

The usual “I can’t believe that guy was wrestling in Arena Mexico” bit out of a DragonMania. This isn’t taped by CMLL and I don’t think +Lucha was even there, but SamuraiTV usually tapes it for later airing on their network. (It’s possible there may be handhelds around too; maybe keep an eye on Black Terry Jr.’s YouTube channel.)

FULL (SAT) 05/27/2017 Plaza de Toros Monumental el Paseo, San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí [Pulso SLP]
Attendance: 1000
1) Ludark Shaitan, Luzbel Jr., Pequeño Warrior b Ángel Del Amor, Reyna Dorada, Shadow Boy
2) Pibe Alfajor & Saru b Hip Hop Man & La Mosca (Argentina)
3) Mr. Águila b Alan Stone, Extreme Tiger
Alan Stone replaced Garza Jr.
4) Intocable & Zumbi b Alan Stone, Máscara Año 2000, Mr. Elektro
Universo 2000 Jr. & Alan Stone moved to antoher match.
5) Blue Demon Jr., Cibernético, Tinieblas b Pirata Morgan, Rey Escorpión (Elite), Zorro
6) Alberto el Patrón & Hijo De Dos Caras b Jack Swagger & Silver King and Roy Knight & Zak Knight
Alberto beat Swagger for the win.

The newspaper report has 1,000. That looks like a generous number given how the building looked in photos, but we can go with it. It’s still about a 15% turnout for a 6,000 seat building built around Alberto el Patron in his home town. I’m not sure what expectations were, but I’m sure they were a lot higher than that. Between this tour and Rey Mysterio Viva el Rey ones, I think the concept of non-TV promotion running an all star lineup at high prices is not a workable idea in Mexico. The press will cover it for the names, but the fans just aren’t interested in paying big prices unless it’s a big brand name promotion.

CMLL (SUN) 05/28/2017 Arena México [CMLL]
1) Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Violencia b Acero & Aéreo
2) Akuma, Inquisidor, Sangre Azteca b Magnus, Príncipe Diamante, Starman
rudos took 1/3
3) Estrellita, La Jarochita, Silueta b La Comandante, La Seductora, Metálica
tecnicas took 1/3
4) Guerrero Maya Jr., Soberano Jr., Titán DQ Hechicero, Terrible, Vangellys
tecnicos took 2/3, winning the third on the rarely seen toss over the top rope DQ on Soberano Jr.
5) Atlantis, Carístico, Mistico b Felino, Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas
Caristico suffered an injury, but the tecnicos still won.

There’s no details on the injury, other than it was in the third fall of the match. We’ll know if it’s serious if Caristico misses his singles match with Rush in Guadalajara on Tuesday

AAA’s Raptor said he was not a new person, but a new persona for an existing person and would be teaming with Aerostar & Drago for his trios title shot. Over on Twitter, it was guessed that Raptor is Atomic Boy; it sounds like him and people are wishing him luck in his new role over on Facebook, so it seems a good bet.

At a book fair, Rey Mysterio (Sr.) says he plans to start teach wrestling in Tijuana. He famously was a trainee prior, so this is more a restart of his prior work. He’s still in a wheel chair.

A Spanish Mexican goal scorer on a Portuguese team celebrated by putting on a Sin Cara mask he had hidden inside his shirt. This was actually put in the rules as a yellow card offense in Mexican leagues after a player starting doing with Mistico masks when he first got hot.

Segunda Caida reviews Black Terry & Romano Garcia vs Dr. Cerebro & Solar.

AAA put up this week’s TV update.

LuchaWorld has the latest news update.

Lineups

CMLL (SAT) 06/03/2017 Arena Coliseo
1) Acero & Aéreo vs Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Olímpico
2) Estrellita, La Jarochita, Sanely vs Amapola, La Comandante, Reyna Isis
3) Blue Panther Jr., Rey Cometa, The Panther vs Forastero, Sagrado, Sam Adonis
4) Ángel de Oro, Blue Panther, Valiente vs Dragón Rojo Jr., Morphosis, Pólvora
5) Atlantis, Marco Corleone, Niebla Roja vs Ephesto, Mephisto, Rey Bucanero

One day, I’ll find time to flip Niebla Roja to the tencico side.

Morphosis keeps getting listed and being replaced. He seems like a fill in name for Bobby Villa, and may be replaced yet again when they figure out who’s actually in that space.

CMLL (SUN) 06/04/2017 Arena México
1) Príncipe Diamante & Sangre Imperial vs Akuma & Inquisidor
2) Robin, Sensei, Starman vs Cancerbero, Raziel, Sangre Azteca
3) Johnny Idol, Stuka Jr., Titán vs Pólvora, Ripper, Sam Adonis
4) Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto © vs Negro Casas, Puma, Tiger [MEX TRIOS]
11th defense
5) Carístico, Mistico, Niebla Roja vs Cavernario, Euforia, Shocker

The Casas family won a title shot on November 25th. More than six months later, and after some frequent twitter badgering, they’re finally getting it – on the show CMLL doesn’t tape. No one gets to see it. CMLL never will stop being CMLL.

Shocker tries for a return, take two. At least he wrestled on the Toryumon show, there’s some hope for more, and maybe more matches for him to take La Mascara’s place.

05/26/2017 AAA TV Results (Mexico City)

AAA TV (FRI) 05/26/2017 Gimnasio Olímpico Juan de la Barrera, Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal [AAA, ESTO, Estrellas del Ring, MT (title), The Gladiatores]
1) Angelikal, Charly Madrid, Tigger b Ángel Mortal Jr., Canibal Jr., Tiger Boy
2) Aerostar & Drago b Australian Suicide & Bengala [AAA TAG, #1 Contenders]
Aerostar & Drago were announced as being added to the Verano de Escandalo tag title match (but that might have changed again by the end of the night.) Suicide apparently didn’t turn rudo, but freaked out again and cost his partner the match.
3) Máscara de Bronce b Venum, Lanzeloth, Raptor [Oportunidad de Oro]
New stip, where the elimination order determines which of the four mystery contracts they received. Venum was out first, and won a mixed tag title shot (as long as he can find a partner.) Lanzelot was out second, and will participate on Triplemania (in what sounded like a battle royal).) The debuting Raptor was out third, and will get a trios title shot with two partners of his choice. Mascara de Bronce was the winner, and will get a shot at Johnny Mundo. No date was announced for any of the matches.
4) El Mesías & Pagano © b Dark Cuervo & Dark Scoria [AAA TAG]
ordered as a title match by Vampiro. Cuervo & Scoria fall on defense two. Pagano & Mesias are the 19th champs.
5) Mini Psycho Clown b Dinastía [AAA MINI]
Pimpinela & Mamba were the seconds. Dinastia loses his title on his 8th defense (four years) when Mini Psycho uses the ropes to pin him. Mini Psycho is the 6th champ.
6) Argenis & La Parka b Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly
Prior to the 3v2 match, OGT told Parka & Argenis claimed they had scared off their partner (not mentioning Ricky Marvin by name.) The tecnicos still won when Pirata Morgan came to ringside, teased as though he was going to do something with Parka, and then tripped up Chessman to setup an Argenis roll up.
7) Dr. Wagner Jr. & Psycho Clown b Hijo del Fantasma & Texano Jr.
Psycho beat Texano when neither team could get along. Poder del Norte ran in to attack Wagner & Psycho. OGT ran into attack Poder del Norte, demanding a trios title match at Verano de Escandalo in addition to their mask match. Wagner also unmasked Psycho Clown.

Air Date: 06/17 & 06/24

This was a confusing show to follow from the internet, even by the standards of AAA tapings in 2017. It also followed the pattern of all the matches changes. Of the 20 matches on the last three TV tapings, 19 have not happened as scheduled. That trend will not end.

For me, the most amazing part of this show was the bravado behind golden opportunity match. These guys definitely getting those four matches when AAA is making a point of not doing any of the matches they’re announcing is hard to fantom. The idea that these guys are getting chances they wouldn’t get otherwise doesn’t work when there’s two unannounced title matches and a trio setting up their title challenge by losing a 2v3 handicap match. Maybe the matches announced will happen, but there’s no reason to believe something is going to happen just because AAA says so.

I hope AAA puts out a new Verano de Escandalo card this weekend. They’re going to look terrible if they’re promoting an old lineup when they obviously changed the card around. Here’s that original lineup again:

AAA TV (SUN) 06/04/2017 Gimnasio Municipal Josué Neri Santos, Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua
1) Aerostar, Bengala, Drago vs Australian Suicide, Lanzeloth, Máscara de Bronce
2) Argenis, La Parka, Ricky Marvin vs Averno, Chessman, Súper Fly
3) Dark Cuervo & Dark Scoria © vs El Mesías & Pagano [AAA TAG]
second defense
4) Pimpinela Escarlata vs Mamba [bull terrier, hair]
5) Hijo del Fantasma vs Kevin Kross
6) Dr. Wagner Jr. vs Psycho Clown, Monsther Clown, Murder Clown, Carta Brava Jr., Soul Rocker [mask]

They have acknowledged the opener and the third match aren’t happening as scheduled. They’ve definitely implied Ricky Marvin won’t be around in the second match. They had Pimpi & Mamba not wrestle and not get involved much, so I wonder if the hair match is off. Fantasma feuded with Texano, so maybe they’re the match now. And who knows what the main event is at this point with the OGT setting up their own match and Murder & Monster not appearing and not being acknowledged. (I’m sure it’s a 99% chance of nothing, but Ricky being written out makes me wonder about nothing.)This Verano de Escandalo card is not happening, AAA knows this card is not happening, AAA has acknowledged on their show it’s not happening. If they go around pushing this old lineup all week, they’re just lying for the sake of lying.

Vampiro was just complaining last week about people not telling the whole story of a complex situation. This is not a complex situation at all. This is really just a test for AAA. There are two correct answers here: “this is actually the correct lineup for our show” or “we don’t actually know what it’ll be yet, but it’s not that one.” If AAA gives anything but those two answers, I don’t really want to hear from Vampiro or anyone else with AAA complaining about people being unfair to them or yellow journalism or anything else about how hard it is for them. If AAA can’t be honest on the most basic things, than they should have no expectation of that treatment from anyone else.

Most of you reading this aren’t buying tickets to an AAA TV taping, so changing lineups aren’t affecting your life in that way. Maybe the only way AAA sees your money directly this year is if they air TripleMania on iPPV, and even then it’s almost just as much for the sake of buying one AAA show a year than the lineup (though people should rightly be angry if they pay for Dr. Wagner Jr. vs Psycho Clown and get anything else.) The effect of the changing lineups is the results don’t feel like they matter that much either. Those matches set up don’t seem important if there’s little belief they’ll happen. There’s no great story to Pagano & Mesias winning the tag titles at a random moment or Mini Psycho Clown being champion out of nowhere. If everything made sense in a way where it felt like there was a big master plan for everything with AAA and the poor fellow in charge of putting together the posters was just not in the loop, it might work, it might be tolerable. There’s just not that much consistency to even believe in a direction here. It’ll probably come together a bit better when we see it on TV, but I’m skepitcal.

I still think Psycho/Wagner will happen, and I think they wanted the Mexico City fans to believe it’ll happen and so the show ended with Wagner taking Psycho’s mask instead of something building up a show in Juarez. I also think that’s maybe the one anchor they have left tethering AAA to any sort of stability, and they’re going to be adrift in craziness once it’s cut loose.

I don’t know for certain that Ricky Marvin is gone. They did the thing AAA always does when someone is gone, referring to them but never by name – if he was hurt or sick, it’d be easier just to say that. The Pirata turn came out of nowhere and seemed like a way to make the sides even without Ricky. Marvin’s supposed to be part of an AAA spot show in his hometown of Veracruz today; missing that would seem to confirm he’s out.

Dinastia losing his title after four years in an unannounced match to feet on the ropes is fitting way to end the reign for an underutilized luchador. The minis division in both promotions are death to the few really talented guys on them. They could just be done better, but I’m more holding out hope Dinasita is just going to be dropped into the main group.

Next taping is Sunday in Ciudad Juarez.

Ultimo Guerrero takes another Niebla Roja mask, Gran Alternativa

photo by CMLL/Alexis Salazar

CMLL (FRI) 05/26/2017 Arena México [CMLL]
1) Cancerbero & Raziel b Flyer & Oro Jr. 2017-05-26 CMLL Claro (posted by thecubsfan)
2) Misterioso Jr., Sagrado, Virus b Fuego, Star Jr., Stigma 2017-05-26 CMLL Claro (posted by thecubsfan)
3) Puma, Sam Adonis, Tiger b Blue Panther Jr., Rey Cometa, The Panther 2017-05-26 CMLL Claro (posted by thecubsfan)
4) Stuka Jr. b Pólvora [lightning] 2017-05-26 CMLL Claro (posted by thecubsfan)
Stuka won in 8:54 with the torpedo splash
5) Ángel de Oro, Mistico, Niebla Roja b Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero 2017-05-26 CMLL Claro (posted by thecubsfan)
Niebla Roja’s return to the tecnico side. UG pulled off his mask for the DQ, then took a second mask later. He already had the Niebla Roja mask from last week and continued to demand Niebla Roja change his look.
6) Bárbaro Cavernario, Pierroth, Rush b Carístico, Marco Corleone, Valiente 2017-05-26 CMLL Claro (posted by thecubsfan)
Cavernario replaced Mr. Niebla on Monday. Rush Driver on Caristico for the win.

I didn’t see most of the show, but it sounded like it was just OK.

Polvora told the press that CMLL has rules and Bobby Villa broke them, but didn’t get much more specific than that. Rush talked about Los Ingobernables expanding to the indies; it didn’t sound like he was planning on leaving.

Niebla Roja says he’s not changing his mask. That seems like a poor decision.

CMLL has added a basic Q&A section to their page.

Chris DeJoseph was interviews on the Last Real Heels podcast, answering questions about Lucha Underground. He seemed completely confident about a Season 4 for the series and thought it would happen this fall. He said he was “helping out” in AAA, and being closer involved in that promotion has given him more ideas about people he’d like to bring to Lucha Underground. (Which would seem to make even more people off limits to Impact; I don’t understand how that thing is going to work.) DeJoseph even brought up the possibility of Nightclaw returning, though it sounded as if it might be a different person as Nightclaw. He did not answer answer the running joke of El Bunny’s identity; I know it’ll be end times when someone finally reveals that secret.

La Mascara & Rey Escorpion face Penta & Daga on 06/15 in Arena Lopez Mateos.

A Brazo de Oro tribute show is being planned for September.

The FULL show scheduled for Friday in Queretaro was canceled.  They end the tour today in San Luis Potosi.

LigerFever recaps the latest Podcast Boom.

Kcidis draws people who don’t want to know anything.

Lineups

CMLL (FRI) 06/02/2017 Arena México
1) Shockercito & Stukita vs Mercurio & Pequeño Violencia
2) Drone, Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Disturbio, Misterioso Jr., Virus
3) Hechicero, Pierroth, Rush vs Negro Casas, Rey Bucanero, Vangellys
4) Atlantis & Esfinge vs Sansón & Último Guerrero and Mistico & Star Jr. and Forastero & Shocker and Blue Panther & Pegasso and Cuatrero & Máscara Año 2000 and Stigma & Titán and Espanto Jr. & Kráneo [Gran Alternativa, semifinal]
5) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [Gran Alternativa, 8f]
6) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [Gran Alternativa, 8f]
7) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [Gran Alternativa, 8f]
8) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [Gran Alternativa, 8f]
9) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [Gran Alternativa, quarterfinal]
10) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [Gran Alternativa, quarterfinal]
11) ? & ?? vs ??? & ???? [Gran Alternativa, semifinal]

The Gran Alternativa returns not that long after the similar Copa Jr. ended. I think Pegasso is the only guy here who couldn’t have been in the Copa Jr. (and is just to make up the numbers.) This is Shocker return attempt #2, hope it goes better. Tournament shows are not usually good so the next weeks are going to be iffy.

AAA and CMLL busy tonight in CDMX, Maximo talks on Facebook, Jinzo/NXT

Maximo on Facebook (and me flipping the image because the mirror letting was annoying)

Today’s another Friday with both major promotions in action, both in the same town this time. CMLL has a regular Arena Mexico show tonight, while AAA tapes in Gimnasio Juan de la Barrera.

The AAA show is clearly the bigger deal. AAA’s been hyping it as their last show in Mexico City prior to TripleMania, but the real anticipation is going to be with the Alvarado family. It would make sense for Maximo, La Mascara and others like Bobby Zavala to show up tonight, but we’ve got not firm indication they actually will. We expect AAA wants them, but we don’t know for sure if they’ll want to go, or even if they’ll want to go this soon. Rumors of people jumping to AAA in the past have been more often wrong than right, but this is a unusual situation and I really have no idea about how it’s going to turn out.

Other thing I have no idea how it’s going to turn out: AAA’s lineup. We know what they’ve announced, and we know that the only match that has stayed the same on the last two TV tapings was the La Llave de la Gloria probable dark match. AAA’s flirted with turning these shows into more of a US format, running the shows as they’ll air on TV, and that would require at least the card order changing tonight. There’s really only match that looks genuinely interesting from a match quality standpoint, an all flyers match with Drago, Aerostar, Bengala, Lanzleoth, Mascara de Bronce, Venum, the debuting Raptor and the recently turned rudo Australian Suicide. The rest of the matches are the sort of running in places matches you’d expect before a big show, with nothing much likely from storyline or match quality. It would be no great shame if those matches were changed, but would continue the trend in AAA promising matches they’re not planning to deliver and promises whatever negative effect which will come of that. (So far, we haven’t seen it.) Maybe they’ll do something to leave people thinking about TripleMania, but the Alvarado situation is going to be the thing people are talking about either way.

AAA’s show is listed as starting at 9, which means it’ll really get started past 9:30 (or about three matches into the CMLL show.) There is no live stream, though there’s sometimes fan livestreams which pop up; it’s a safe bet someone will be shooting video if Maximo or Mascara appear. They’re really backed up on TV and these tapings will not air until June 17 and June 24th.

CMLL goes on. The main event tonight is Caristico, Marco Corleone and Valiente against Pierroth, Rush and Barbaro Cavernario. Cavernario’s obviously a replacement for La Mascara. Valiente is possible one for Maximo. CMLL’s instead is billing this as a big opportunity for Barbaro, and he’s not wrong – he could bring something to that main event that his partners aren’t, and Mascara probably wouldn’t either.

The semimain returns Niebla Roja to the tecnico side for the first time since June 2011. He teams with his brother Angel de Oro & Caristico against the Guerreros in the first match based off the turn. The crowd seemed into the story last week, though a bit more into cheering Ultimo Guerrero than the actual tecnicos, and it’ll be a good sign if they react strongly tonight.

The rest of the card are random matches, though some look like they may be good. Stuka Jr. faces Polvora in the lightning match. There’s another round of Panthers versus Cats, with Rey Cometa & Sam Adonis rounding out the teams. Fuego, Star and Stigma face Misterioso, Sagrado and Virus. Virus’ actual partners are in the opener against Flyer & Oro.

The show starts at 8:30 pm CT on ClaroSports. It looks like Claro will be streaming an MMA show on the usual show link; CMLL itself is still linking to that. I do not believe I’m going to be around tonight until late, but will do my best to record and stream the show remotely.

Maximo posted a 15 minute Facebook live (captured by Box Y Lucha) where he watches his relatives play arcade games, talks up his soccer team, and eventually talks about his situation, slightly. You may want to skip ahead to about the 10 minute mark, but I think his point in walking around where he was at and showing all the family members is hanging out, is showing how united they are to build his point that they’re all for one and one for all. They take that musketeers slogan a bit seriously. The bit is a little bit played for the TV – I’m guessing they don’t wear masks (or shirts over their faces) at family gatherings normally. It seemed like Maximo was having a hard time deciding exactly what to say; he mentions lawyers so perhaps part of it was not being sure what it was OK to say.

I think they’re going with the family sticking together concept because they believe it, and because they don’t really have any stronger explanation. I do wonder how seriously they’re going to take that, at least professionally. La Mascara did showed up an the indie show on Wednesday, but Maximo wasn’t there with him. Robin, at least we knew, was still in CMLL (his match Tuesday in Guadalajara.) Do they all end up supporting Psycho Clown in AAA? Do they end up separate in workplaces but together elsewhere?

Ronnie Mendoza was part of the NXT tapings last night, back under his Raul Mendoza name from Crusierweight Classic. This is not a one time thing; my understanding is he’s reported to NXT as a new signee a while ago and that’s why he’s disappeared from Mexican rings. You can see when his Twitter turned into only WWE hashtags and mentions of people passing away to figure out when he knew he was going for sure. He’s a lot more on the WWE message than other people who’ve gone.

WWE still hasn’t acknowledged Mendoza signing as of this writing. It’s been so long in between him reporting and being acknowledged that I was a bit worried that there was a hang up, but I think now it’s more likely WWE is just waiting for more (international) names to filter in to announce them as a group. It’s probably going to be a longer road for Mendoza because he’s not coming in with the notoriety of La Sombra or Mascara Dorada, but that ultimately hasn’t seemed to help them. Hopefully it’ll go better for Mendoza. It’s possible he may end up on the 205 show, that seemed to be the original concept, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Speaking of WWE, they did finally put a date to their upcoming women’s tournament will begin taping on July 13 & 14th (with the final taped live at a later date.) We still don’t know for sure if Zeuxis or Chik Tormenta or anyone else will be included in this tournament, but WWE announced the CWC participants well in advance and could do the same here.

CMLL’s gone on & off with the Zeuxis/Sugehit feud, teasing that mask match. It’s never been clear if they’ve been holding it off because Zeuxis has an out date that keeps changing, or if someone decided to make it a match on the Anniversario show, or if CMLL is just being as flaky as usual. There’s usually a CMLL medium sized show in June, but I lean towards Zeuxis not actually having a mask loss any time soon. If she’s going to WWE (which we guess is the case but don’t know) and they wanted her unmasked, it probably would’ve happened by now since WWE would soon be promoting her as unmasked. If Zeuxis is going to WWE masked, then they’d encourage her not to lose her mask right now (or maybe lose much in general) so no match would be happening. If Zeuxis is not going to WWE at all, CMLL doesn’t have any great history of doing additional apuesta matches when not forced into it.

ESPN has a Lucha Underground piece; it looks like it was done at around C2E2, because it’s the same information given then (including the same Mundo/Mack preview we saw there.) LU is talked up as a great success, while dancing around the thorny issue of no one knowing for sure quite when/if they’ll be taping again. It’s nice press, anyway.

SuperLuchas recap of the Carpa Astro puts the turnout at 60% (so about 2,000 on a 3,200 capacity.) It’s not the sellout Alberto brags he does everywhere he goes, but 2,000 at inflated prices for a indie show is not a bad number and better than it looked in photos.

Obscure CMLL 2012/2013 rookie Genesis has resurfaced on the 06/04 Arena Azteca Budokan show with other CMLL wrestlers.

MDA says they’re running Regionmania on July 9th.

LuchaWorld has the latest news update. Alfredo notes in the recap that Nitro said he would like to be voted in as official leader of the union in December. It wasn’t clear if he wanted that role prior. Hope he doesn’t have a nice car.

RobViper has a music video of the last ever Elite TV show

CultIcon wrote his Lucha Underground 3 catchup. I can’t remember if I linked to it before but no one’s going to stop me from linking to it twice.