07/03 AAA TV Results (Ecatepec)

AAA

AAA TV (SUN) 07/03/2016 Centro Civico Nueva Aragon, Ecatepec, Estado de México[+LuchaTV, AAA]
1) Atomic Boy, Gotita de Plata, Lanzeloth, Venum b Herodes Jr., Soul Rocker, Súper Fly, Tigre Cota
Venum beat Soul Rocker. Gran Apache wasn’t in the match, but didn’t let that stop him from continuing to attack Venum for no particular reason.
2) Argenis & Australian Suicide DQ Daga & Joe Lider
Los Fronterizos attacked the Perros, which somehow cost the Perros match by DQ.
3) Fénix b Drago, Aerostar [#1 Contenders, AAA CRUISER]
Moved up to the fourth. Aerostar was barely able to participate, left on a stretcher and apologized for his performance, saying he had an ankle injury. Fenix gets a shot at Fantasma at some point, but got attacked by Zorro after the match.
4) Bestia 666, Damián 666, Nicho el Millionario b Bengala, Garza Jr., La Parka
Dropped to the third match from the 5th. Bestia was the surprise rudo, making his return to the promotion in a win.
5) Brian Cage b Texano Jr., Dr. Wagner Jr.
Moved up to the fifth. Cage beat #1 contender Dr. Wagner and wants a title shot of his own.
6) Pentagón Jr. b Psycho Clown © [AAA LA]
To start the show, Psycho Clown came out to talk about his recent losses and Pentagon hit him with a chair. Pentagon is the new champ, Psycho falls on his second defense after Pagano attacked him and Pentagon used the Penta Driver for the win.

Air Date:  07/09 & 07/16 – give or take a week.

Pretty cool to see Pentagon Jr. win a championship, I have to say, though this one was in service of the Psycho/Pagano feud. This was the seventh non-tag (singles/three way) match Psycho Clown’s had this year. He’s lost five of them, and he’s won the time he won this title (where Wagner unmasked him after the match) and he won the LWC qualifying match. Psycho has to be winning in a big way at TripleMania at this point.

Cage getting into the title picture seems like a good use of him. Nice to see Bestia back, and I’m a little curious about the timing in ways I’m not allowed to see due to NDAs. Fenix winning the title shot was expected, though I don’t know why Zorro is still getting involved in there. I wonder if Aerostar has been dealing with this injury for a while; it’d explain what happened with the match length at the AAW show. I’m begging AAA to do one of those filler interview pieces with Apache to explain what’s supposed to be going on with his feud.

It looks like AAA filled the place. It’s not a big building, but AAA ran a lot around Mexico State this weekend – Arena Neza & Arena Lopez Mateos both got shows – and they still did fine.

AAA’s site is currently down – the domain renewal gets them every couple years – but it should be back soon. Their next show is Friday in Gimnasio Juan de la Barrera.

Ludxor says AAA left him Nuevo Laredo for a month, Sexy Star announces boxing career, Santo Jr. debuts

photo by Alexis Salazar/CMLL
photo by Alexis Salazar/CMLL

CMLL (SUN) 07/03/2016 Arena México [+LuchaTV, CMLL]
1) Flyer & Sensei b Akuma & Inquisidor
2) Fiero, Fujin, Raijin b Marvel, Oro Jr., Soberano Jr.
Debuts for Marvel (the GDL luchador) & Fiero. Rudos took 2/3. Thunder was honored after the match.
3) Guerrero Maya Jr., Stuka Jr., Titán b Dragón Rojo Jr., Hechicero, Pólvora
Tecnicos took 1/3. Dragon Rojo & Guerrero Maya are still feuding.
4) Marco Corleone b Euforia
Marco took 2/3. Euforia suffered a hand injury during the match.
5) Diamante Azul, Shocker, Último Guerrero DQ Michael Elgin, Tama Tonga, Tangaroa
Tecnicos took 2/3. Tama fouled and unmasked Diamante Azul.

Guerrero Maya & Dragon Rojo continuing to feud is mildly interesting this time of year. Two apuesta matches seems to be Anniversary standard.

Ludxor took to his Facebook to complain about the way he’s been treated by AAA, and it’s pretty horrible if true. If you watch AAA TV, the last you saw of the red half of the Space Cadets is on the April Mexico City taping, where he was clearly dealing with a bad knee injury and struggled to move during the match. On the following TV, the announcers said Ludxor was out of action due to that injury, but he continued wrestling on spot shows for at least another month, probably all the way to a May 30th show in Nuevo Laredo. Ludxor says he was marooned  in Nuevo Laredo for a month, apparently having needed surgery for the knee, but having no way to get home. AAA didn’t pay for the surgery or for the rehab, as promised, and didn’t pay for any transportation to get him home. Ludxor credits the fans and his friends for helping him, and calls out Dorian Roldan for being too busy traveling to help him. Ludxor calls out AAA for not paying him for shows, for awful travel conditions, and for generally humiliating him. Ludxor says everyone, at least among the guys who aren’t stars, has these same problems but everyone’s hoping AAA will make good on their promises eventually. Ludxor sounds like he’s given up on that, and has worked his last AAA match. AAA, as usual, has said nothing about the situation.

Last night, Sexy Star announced she’d be going into boxing. Sexy Star appeared in the ring with her husband (boxer Jhonny Gonzalez) to make the announcement. It’s being reported as an unmasking, but she didn’t physically unmask, she just appeared with out one (as she has at many boxing events the last couple years – this was just the time they put her in the ring.) Sexy Star has been preparing for the career change for well over a year and had been strongly suggesting she’d do a bout for just about as long. No date or opponent was announced.

The announcement was made at a Promociones del Pueblo show last night at Arena Coliseo. They’re the group that’s been running boxing events there about once a month; they’ve already announced they’ll be back the first Saturday of August. They’ll probably be promoting Sexy Star’s eventually first match. It won’t be under that name – AAA owns the rights to “Sexy Star” – and her decision to change her Twitter name to “Sexy Dulce” was in preparation for the announcement to incorporate her real name. Women’s boxing isn’t a huge deal in Mexico, but stars are always a big deal and there will be a good bit of attention on at least her first match.

Sexy Star is believed to still be under contract with Lucha Underground and this should not change her status with that promotion. The sense I got from last week’s Ultima Lucha 3 tapings is Sexy Star wasn’t going anywhere and was going to be around for the foreseeable future unless they’ve taped some very dramatic behind the scenes. (This was much to my surprise, and likely much to the unhappniess of AAA – they seem to want her gone from LU after the way she left AAA.) I’d still expect her to be masked when Season 4 starts, and there’s plenty of time for Sexy Star to have a boxing match (or two!) and return for Season 4 tapings. Sexy Star’s not wrestled in Mexico since leaving AAA. She probably could get away with wrestling masked again if she wanted to, but it’s unclear if she ever will.

Santo Jr. – the grandson of the original Santo and son of Hijo del Santo – debuted under that name on Saturday in London. He got the win teaming with Cielto (Magnifico II) against two unnamed locals. He had his first match under the name “Tempestad” on the previous year’s tour, and wrestled under that name in the first day of the two show tour. He’s not wrestled in Mexico at all – he only shows up in training footage occasionally posted on Twitter.  Santo Jr.’s NOAH training stints were during the summer too; at this point, wrestling seems like something he does just during the months off from school. Which is probably not the best way to become good as a wrestler, but may be the right decision for him.

AAA posted this week’s TV show. It’s not listed as a “Part 1”, which means the rest of the Naucalpan show probably won’t air.

RobViper has highlights of 11/20/15 CMLL.

LuchaWorld has the latest Lucha Report.

Volador wins it for Mexico, Cavernario shaves Cometa (again), new DTU champ, AAA in Ecatpec, Flamita in DG

20160701cmll3-6
Brillo Cometa

CMLL (FRI) 07/01/2016 Arena México [CMLL, ESTO, SuperLuchas, thecubsfan, TKD]
1) Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., The Panther b Felino, Puma, Tiger
14:12 Panthers took 1/3.
2) Atlantis, Mistico, Stuka Jr. b Euforia, Mr. Niebla, Terrible
16:19. Tecnicos took 1/3.
3) Rey Cometa b Cavernario [hair]
22:59. Cavernario took 2/3 to take Cometa’s hair again, escaping the cavernaria twice before applying it himself for the win.
4) Diamante Azul, La Máscara, Máximo Sexy, Rey Escorpión, Rush, Shocker, Último Guerrero,Volador Jr. b Johnny Idol, Kushida, Marco Corleone, Michael Elgin, Okumura, Sam Adonis, Tama Tonga, Tangaroa [Gran Prix]
50:47. Team Mexico defeated Team Rest of the World. Eliminations went Okumura (by Volador), Rey Escorpion (Marco), Maximo (Tama), Adonis (Rush), Idol (Shocker), Marco (Diamante Azul), Azul (Tanga), Rush (Elgin after Mascara attacked Rush), Kushida (Mascara), Elgin (Guerrero), Mascara (Tama), Tanga (UG & Volador), UG (Tama), and Volador defeated Tama for the win.

This was a really fun show with a great atmosphere. It came off as an Anniversary level atmosphere, with the crowd very much into the Mexico versus the Rest of the World atmosphere. Even Rush got cheered (eventually), and the match itself was better than it looked on paper. It was also the longest match in Arena Mexico I can recall. CMLL would be crazy not to make this resume doing this as a yearly event. Cometa/Cavernario had very high expectations and lived up to them. They can keep doing it every two years and I don’t think I would get tired of it. This is a show I would’ve liked to be in the building for.

It’s not clear how many people were there and watched it. The CMLL recap says 15,000 fans. It didn’t look like 15,000 fans, with big areas of the floor empty and CMLL reluctant to do the big pans of the arena they use whenever there’s a really big turnout. On the other hand, photos of the upper deck showed much more fans than a normal show (though there were sections that appeared empty and maybe closed off.) There seemed to be less talk about the iPPV than usual on Twitter; I don’t think many people bought it this time around, and it’s a shame they don’t have VOD available because people would pick it up after the fact with the good reviews it’s getting.

If you bought the show via Playstation, you didn’t get this show at all. The feed shows Tuesday’s (free) Arena Mexico show instead, according to the two people I know who watched it. That’s no good, and hopefully they’ll give refunds, but CMLL’s entire presence on that system has been a mystery. CMLL’s never promoted it and I’m not sure who’s running it. It’s definitely shown the actual iPPV on past events, but I’d recommend avoiding using in the future unless someone explains what happened in next couple days.

Barbaro Cavernario wants to main event an Anniversary show. Rey Cometa was saddened by losing againVolador would face Tama Tonga in a hair match, but Tama would only do it in Japan.

TKD also has a review of this show.

DTU (FRI) 07/01/2016 Arena Femenil, Monterrey, Nuevo León [+Lucha, DTU, Lo Mejor de Lucha]
1) Licántropo b Drolux
2) Jimmy, Kevin (DTU), Zuzu Divine b Fly Danger, La Maligna, Tiburón and Destello, Krystal, Niño De Cobre
3) Kastigador & Vengador b El Gio & El Jr.
4) Black Fire © b Moria, X-Zafiro, Lokillo, Tony Iron [DTU AI]
5) Drastik Boy & Ronnie Mendoza b Pesadilla & Rocky Lobo
good match
6) Miedo Extremo b Cíclope (DTU) ©, Sharlie Rockstar, Ángel o Demonio, Ovett [DTU]
Miedo Extremo is new champion!

Miedo Extremo is the new champ. Maybe that’s why his match in Japan’s FREEDOM promotion hasn’t been announced, it could be a title defense. DTU has shows tonight and tomorrow, though this was the one with the title matches. Drastick Boy & Ronnie Mendoza are likely the next tag team challengers (again Titan & Triton) if they can keep winning.

Elite’s big announcement is they’re moving, again. It’s the TV slot this time, and it seems like good news: starting July 16th, the show will air at 9pm on Saturdays. They’re airing movies in that slot, and the show would now be a lead-in to their boxing coverage.

Today’s AAA show will have

3) Joe Lider & Pentagón Jr. vs Damián 666 & Nicho el Millionario and Monsther Clown & Murder Clown
5) Dr. Wagner Jr. vs El Mesías
6) Pagano vs Psycho Clown

It’s a bit strange, because airing both singles matches this week means the trios title match is the only thing left to main event next week’s half of Naucalpan – or they’re just airing one week of Naucalpan to make up for airing the Lucha World Cup last week.

AAA tapes new TV tomorrow night in Ecatepec. The main event has Psycho Clown and Pentagon Jr. directly against each other, after both have been facing (and losing to) Pagano on recent shows. Pentagon has a shot at a title change, especially if Pagano gets involved. We’re not sure who is all involved in the semimain: it’s Bengala, Garza & Parka versus Damian, Nicho and someone TBA. It could just end up being Pagano or Halloween, or someone new to be added to the group.

The other obviously important match is a #1 contenders Cruiserweight match between Fenix, Drago and Aerostar. There’s no sign of the actual title match on any of the next three tapings, which points to the winner getting a title match (against Hijo del Fantasma) at TripleMania. Aerostar & Drago seem otherwise busy the rest of the moment and Fenix is the favorite. There’s also a Texano vs Dr. Wagner Jr. vs Cage triangle match, where Wagner’s the #1 contender to Texano’s title, and there’s no sign of when that title match would be happening either. Cage might find a way to get involved in it before it happens.

The show starts with an atomicos (with Herodes Jr. debuting and Tiger Cota returning), and the second match brings back the Suicide/Daga feud with Argenis & Lider involved. It’s a 6:00pm listed started time, so results should be coming in relatively early for an AAA show.

LigerFever has a translation (in one two parts) of the latest Podcast BOOM. Konnan mentions Konnan Big’s 2009 appearance on Heroes Inmortales was as a replacement for Latin Lover.

LuchaWorld has an obit for Thunder. Ultimo Guerrero talked about his rival in a Facebook video, saying the match was rescheduled because Thunder was already feeling the affects of the cancer.

Voices of Wrestling reviews this week’s Lucha Underground show.

Segunda Caida watches random Juventud Guerrera.

This Facebook page has photos from yesterday’s Lucha Libre London show. For what it’s worth, Magnifico II looks to have worked the show. There’s video of one of the matches here.

Lucha Libre in Japan

07/02 Dragon Gate: BxB Hulk, Kzy, Flamita [O] beat CIMA, Dragon Kid [X], Peter Kaasa – Flamita’s back in Dragon Gate, even getting the win himself. He’s the new member of the Tribe Vanguard unit, and will challenge for the Open the Triangle Gate championship on July 24th (and will be in Japan at least until that point.)

Lineup

ELITE (THU) 07/07/2016 Arena México
1) La Jarochita & Lluvia vs Keira & Muñeca De Plata
2) El Bandido & Último Ninja vs Heddi Karaoui & Okumura
3) Ángel de Oro, Golden Magic, Máscara Dorada vs El Hijo del Medico Asesino, Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr., Karonte Jr.
4) Xtreme Tiger vs Negro Casas [Liga Elite]
5) Carístico & Michael Elgin vs Diamante Azul & Kushida [Relevos Increíbles]
6) Cibernético vs La Máscara [Liga Elite]

Cibernetico, La Mascara and Negro Casas have only had 2 matches in this tournament, so it makes sense they’ll have one here. There’s now no sign of the Volador/Kushida match – maybe he’s facing Caristico instead? That semimain just seems weird. Karaoui saying he’s leaving Mexico and getting booked is just about right.

CMLL (FRI) 07/08/2016 Arena México
1) Astral & Último Dragóncito vs Pequeño Olímpico & Pierrothito
2) Esfinge, Fuego, Tritón vs Bobby Z, Hechicero, Virus
3) Máscara Dorada, Máximo Sexy, Rey Cometa vs Cavernario, Dragón Rojo Jr., Rey Escorpión
4) Mistico vs La Máscara [lightning]
5) Mephisto, Shocker, Último Guerrero vs Johnny Idol, Kushida, Sam Adonis
6) Atlantis, Diamante Azul, Volador Jr. vs Michael Elgin, Tama Tonga, Tangaroa

Top two matches are Mexico versus Foreign Legion. Kushida’s trip feels like a bit of a waste at this point; I would’ve liked to see him in the main event, but that’s about Tama vs Volador. At least Tama finally gets his hands on Atlantis.

Mephisto’s back one week after missing the Gran Prix – how would’ve they’ve handled Rush’s elimination if Mascara didn’t get in the match as a replacement? (Maybe he interferes anyway.)

Hechicero hasn’t been around much of late – this will be his first streaming match since the last day of May – but is back in a good match. Third match should be fun too. Lightning match continues the Munoz/Mascara feud.

CMLL Grand Prix iPPV: 2016-07-01 

ganador por Mexico
ganador por Mexico

Recapped: 07/01/2016

What happened: Team Mexico defeated Team Rest of the World in the 2016 edition of the Gran Prix. Volador Jr. defeated Tama Tonga for the victory, despite Rush and La Mascara turning on each other. (Those two rise to the top of the list for Anniversary match.)

Bárbaro Cavernario once again defeated Rey Cometa in an an excellent match.

What was good: Everything, with the top two rising the MOTYC level

Where can I watch it: Sigh. An editing version will air on Azteca in about a month. I’d suggest tracking down the show however you can find it. (more…)

Gran Prix, Elite announcement tonight, Karaoui, Fiero

tonight
tonight

IWRG (WED) 06/29/2016 Arena Naucalpan [The Gladiatores]
1) Águila Oriental & Osisis b Pumita & Salchichita
2) Adrenalina & Voltar b Geo & Magic Dragón
3) Araña de Plata, Galaxy, Skanda b Fireman, Keiser Drago, Omega
4) Aramis, Dragón Fly, Zatura b Camaleón I, Camaleón II, Fight Panther Jr.
Promocion del Norte team was scheduled to be Angel Dorado I & Ares I & Ares II
5) Black Terry & Shadow Boy b Apolo Estrada Jr. & the Tiger (Tamaulipas)
Team IWRG took falls 2/3. The Tiger tried pulling off Shadow Boy’s mask, but Shadow Boy cradled him anyway for the win.

Tonight’s the Gran Prix show. The main event is a cibernetico of the same name, an 8 vs 8 elimination match. Team Mexico is Ultimo Guerrero, Rush, Volador Jr., Maximo, Rey Escorpion, La Mascara, Diamante Azul and Shocker. Team Rest of the World are Michael Elgin, Kushida, Tama Tonga, Tonga Loa, Marco Corleone, Okumura, Sam Adonis and Johnny Idol. Ciberneticos are reliably good in CMLL, and the nationalism behind this match should make for a great atmosphere. The expectation is Mexico will win, perhaps setting up Volador versus Kushida for next Friday.

The semimain is a rematch, Rey Cometa trying to take Barbaro Cavernario’s hair once again. Cavernario took his hair two years ago (and is the favorite to do it again.) My expectations for this match are sky high; anything less than a match of the year candidate will be a bit of a disappointment.

I’ve got a longer preview up on Voices of Wrestling. (And I got it done late, so thanks to them for still posting it.) It’s not a critical storyline show, but every match (all four of ’em) should at least be good. My feeling is CMLL’s done a strong job of promoting this event, and might get a really good turnout out of this show.

The show will air at 8:30pm CT on Cleeng for $17.55, including fees. If you use the code JKGbxe, they’ll take about $5 off to $12.69. You can also watch it on the Playstation Live Viewer; it’s listed as $10, but I’m not sure what fees they may add on. The show is only available live – there’s no VOD option.

Ultimo Guerrero says his plan is to figure out who the best guy is on the Gran Prix team and try to beat him to demoralize the whole team, though he says he’ll have to be careful with Michael Elgin. He’s also concerned his team may fall apart and fight each other, and with good reason given the lineup.

El Grafico writes about the Rest of the World’s trip to the Zocalo and all the pictures they took with fans.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: something’s up with Elite. One of their announcers says they have an important announcement on tonight’s TV show. That could literally mean anything with this promotion, but it seemed like something had to be changed after the International tournament bombed. The rest of that tournament will air tonight. Cibernetico, in the first public comment I’ve seen him make since not showing up in Puebla, dismissed a Facebook post saying Elite promotion was in trouble.

Letra Roja has a column trying to figure out why the Elite International tournament was such a failure, and theorizes the 8 Mexico vs 8 foreigners format tonight will sell better.

Heddi Karaoui says he’s done wrestling in Mexico due to politics. As noted by LigerFever, Karaoui seems to have been scheduled for both the International Elite tournament and tonight’s Gran Prix, but ended up excluded from both. I’m not sure what the politics are – Karoui works for other non-NJPW promotions in Japan, so maybe they didn’t want him in their matches? Karoui says he’s looking elsewhere, which I guess means he’s not defending the IWRG Middleweight Championship any time soon.

Oaxaca Mira has a brief interview with Fiero, who debuts this Sunday in Arena Mexico. Fiero was born in Oaxaca and comes from a family of luchadors. He trained with local Furia Poblana before moving to Mexico City to learn under Black Terry, Arkangel and Virus. Fiero debuted as a wrestler at age 14; I have him on Oaxaca lineups back in 2013 and he worked his first Toryumon show at 15. He’s looked talented when he’s turned up on indie shows, and CMLL might have wanted to wait for him to turn 18 (which he now is) before debuting him.

AAA’s posted the full English language version of this Lucha World Cup final.

Chilanga Mask announced an 08/21 show in Coacalco
1: Black Terry vs Wotan
2: Caifan 3 vs Solar

Mas Lucha posted highlights of Alex Daniels vs DJ Z vs Flamita. Flamita’s family is selling Flamita Dragon Gate shirts, which is surely an amazing coincidence with a mystery man showing up in Dragon Gate in a few hours.

LuchaWorld has the latest news report and Kurt writing about a well researched piece on Charro Aguayo.

LigerFever has the second part of the interview transcript with Mascara Dorada. Dorada directly says he’d take an NXT deal if it’s offered.

CMLL luchadors cut the ribbon on a Arena Mexico photo gallery in a Celaya mall.

Lineup

IWRG (SUN) 07/03/2016 Arena Naucalpan
1) Fireman vs Atomic Star
2) Dragón Fly, Hijo del Alebrije, the Tiger (Tamaulipas) vs Diablo Jr., El Hijo del Diablo, Imposible
3) Emperador Azteca, Freelance, Zatura vs Apolo Estrada Jr., Dr. Cerebro, Relámpago
4) Black Terry, Chicano, Súper Nova vs Eterno, Negro Navarro, Toscano
5) Hijo De Dos Caras & Mr. Electro vs Canis Lupus & Máscara Año 2000 Jr.

It’s a show. Weird Tiger is a tecnico here, but not weird for IWRG. Chicano’s back?

WS (SUN) 08/07/2016 Teatro Caupolican, Santiago, Chile
1) Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs Mr. Anderson
2) Alex Hero vs Twiggy [CHILE CHAMP]
3) Drago (AAA) vs Mr. 450 [WS Submission, #1 Contenders]
4) Cage vs León Apolo
5) Santana Garrett © vs Ivelisse [WS WOMEN]
6) Ricochet vs Pentagón Jr. [WS Submission, submission]
7) Jeff Hardy & Matt Hardy vs Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson

Hugo did an interview talking about bringing the Hardys to Chile, which is where I first saw the YouTube video promoting this very weird card. Does Ricochet have a submission hold? I seem to know Pentagon has one.

07/29 AAA TV Lineup (Toluca)

AAA
AAA

AAA TV (FRI) 07/29/2016 Gimnasio Agustín Millán, Toluca, Estado de México
1) Dinastía, Mini Drago, Octagoncito vs Lanzeloth, Mini Abismo Negro, Mini Histeria
2) El Elegido, Faby Apache, Mary Apache vs Hijo de Pirata Morgan, La Hiedra, Súper Fly
3) Angélico & Jack Evans vs ? & ??
4) Argenis, Bengala, La Parka vs Averno, Chessman, Ricky Marvin
5) Aerostar, Drago, Texano Jr. vs Daga, Joe Lider, Pentagón Jr.
6) Psycho Clown vs Pagano [bull terrier]

Air Date: 08/20 & 08/27 – these dates are right, but everything else is wrong because they aired the Lucha World Cup. The TV chart has the correct info.

KrisZ found this one. He also found the unreleased Oaxaca card, so now we’re two tapings ahead of what’s officially been released. This is also essentially the last taping which will take place before TripleMania; there’s a spacer/lame duck TV taping scheduled for early August, but it won’t air until after the PPV.

The location of that last taping and TripleMania’s date were supposed to be released last week, but I didn’t see it unless I missed on the TV show. Perhaps this weekend instead, or maybe they’re holding it back for the Mexico City taping next Friday. TripleMania’s seems a solid bet for August 28, which means this show finishes airing a day before the PPV.

We can pair this bull terrier main event with Leo Riano’s column from Wednesday (also first found by KrisZ), where he mentions Psycho Clown versus Pagano in a mask vs hair match is likely taking place at TripleMania. Pagano has generally been a bald luchador, but has been growing out a red mohawk since he’s started with AAA. Pagano’s been completely protected in booking, beating Psycho Clown and Pentagon Jr. repeatedly in singles matches since March, which starts to make sense if a big loss was the destination all along. It’s also hard to argue Pagano’s not important enough to be in a big TripleMania, when Mascara 2000 Jr. just lost his mask in one not too many years ago. AAA seems to want to recreate the history of it’s Antonio Pena years, and Psycho getting a second big apuesta win in three years helps move him towards the tecnico fan friendly hero of AAA spot La Parka’s held for many years.

The issue is I really don’t like Pagano matches. I haven’t liked them in AAA. I haven’t liked them before he wasn’t in AAA. I haven’t liked them on video, I haven’t liked them when I saw him live. The highest he’s risen is “that’s not as bad as I thought it would be, but still.” I don’t like the style of matches he wrestles, but I also don’t think he’s all that good at the style of matches either. I know there are a group of people who love those style of matches, and I think the car crash stunt show should do OK in front of a TripleMania crowd, but it’s personally a turnoff for me (and I think it’s for other people too, or I wouldn’t be saying this – my happiness isn’t really important here.) It’s not for a lack of effort – the three way for Pachuca had guys working hard to throw themselves thru many pieces of furniture, but I was barely interested enough to keep my eyes on the screen. I don’t see Psycho/Pagano as something really entertaining, or something where I’m happy Psycho gets a win, but something I’m going to have to endure for a half hour. It’s the same way those CMLL Tuesday openers must be endured, only this match is going to be on one of the biggest shows of the year, instead of something else that might get that spotlight.

The positive way to look at this is it’s only going to be 1 of 6 or 7 or 8 matches at TripleMania, and it’s still probably going to be better than the worse match at last year’s TripleMania. And, if I don’t like it as much as I think I’m not going to like it, I could instead spend time on my true favorite pasttime: posting stupid things on Twitter. (Except if I go live, because the internet in Arena Ciudad de Mexico is so awful during a show.)

But what about the rest of the card? I don’t know. I do know that semimain seems really strange. It’s strange to see Texano teaming with Aerostar & Drago, but he’s slowly been moving to the tecnico side. It’s still strange to see him against the Perros del Mal – he’s been again the foreigners, and the Perros have otherwise been busy. Perhaps it’s just something to use up the bodies on the card, but it’s a little bit suspicious that Pentagon Jr. seems to be exiting the Pagano feud for a moment. AAA’s slower than we’d like with Pentagon, but they know enough to make sure he’s got something to do. Dr. Wagner Jr. is due a heavyweight title shot, but maybe this is Pentagon’s path to one of his own as well.

The rest of the card is a bit mysterious. There’s either angles coming on the tapings lead up to this, or they’ve just shuffled people around to not do much before TripleMania. Averno & Chessman are on the same card as Faby & Mary Apache, which probably should be trouble. The champs have to get by another title match first, but the Apaches challenging for the tag titles feels like it can be penclied into TripleMania given how much attention they’ve given to that feud. (I do wonder if the DF commission is going to be OK with that; the Pentagon/Hamada match seemed to be billed as an exhibition to get around those rules.) There’s no hints as to who Jack & Angelico face (if it’s not the Apaches themselves.)

Lanzeloth is bouncing back and forth between tecnico and rudo side, but it’s nice to have him around however we can get him. A minis title defense seems unlikely for TripleMania, but it’d be great to get one on the lame duck taping; that’s the best best way to use those.

Thunder (1981-2016)

Thunder's cradle suplex, from one of his last TV matches.
Thunder’s cradle suplex, from one of his last TV matches.

Thunder passed away on Thursday. His real name was Luke Fordward and he was 34*. He passed away after a battle from stomach cancer back in his home country of Australia.

Fordward started on local indies under both his real name and “Taipan”. He spent some time in Super Delfin’s Okinawa Pro wrestling in 2010 and 2011, usually facing “Kijimuna” – a friend from Australia who now wrestlers under the name Ryukyu-Dog Dingo. The two had been partners in Australia as the Croc Masters. Taipan returned to Australia and perhaps might have never left that area of the world for wrestling if not for a chance meeting. He met a vacationing Mexican named Daniela, they became romantically involved, and she convinced him to move back to Mexico with her and to train lucha libre under her father. Daniela’s father is the legendary Satanico – Daniela herself was an edecan for a time – and there are few better people to teach someone lucha libre.

Fordward debuted in CMLL at the start of 2013. He was first billed as Thunderbird, though quickly shortened to Thunder (perhaps because someone else had the name.) The masked Thunder was introduced in a series of vignettes, which was doubly strange at the time – CMLL never did vignettes and never brought in foreigners. It only started to make sense some months later when his relationship leaked out. Thunder began as a tecnico, and made sense as an idol on paper. He had uncommon height for Mexico, a bodybuilder’s physique and some surprising athleticism – his dive looked great, when they had enough people to safely catch him. It just never clicked for Thunder in the ring, as he looked slow and had trouble grasping the lucha libre style.

CMLL tried very hard with Thunder for about three years. They pushed him strong while protecting him from being exposed in singles matches. When he didn’t catch on as a tecnico, they took him out of the ring for a while and brought him back as a menacing rudo teamed with Ultimo Guerrero.  When that didn’t work, they had him feud with Ultimo Guerrero. When that didn’t work, CMLL seemed ready to cut their loses and get a mask match out of him, but even that didn’t work out. Thunder likely would’ve lost his mask at last year’s Anniversary show had Sombra not decided he was going to WWE. Thunder was announced to be defending (and likely losing) his mask this past Christmas, but the match was replaced by others.

Thunder publicly vented after having the mask match pulled for (at least) the second time, complaining about CMLL on Facebook. He disappeared for a short time, but returned and was wrestling as recently February. Thunder’s final match was teaming with Dragon Rojo & Polvora against Mr. Niebla, Niebla Roja and Euforia. It came after an odd week where Thunder had two singles matches – a win over Euforia and his first ever loss (by DQ) to Rush – which were as many as he had the rest of his CMLL career.

Thunder’s career was marked by periods where he’d just be inexplicably missing from lineups, and it’d be later explained that he had some sort of injury, usually with his knee. This was assumed to be the same situation, and he’d occasionally be mentioned on CMLL Informa as out with an injury or having had surgery. It’s being reported now that Thunder quit CMLL at that time. (My guess is he was told the mask match wasn’t happening at Dos Leyendas either and walked out, but I’m not sure.) Satanico also appears to have broken off ties with CMLL at some point over the last few months, as indicated by his appearance at the Lucha World Cup.

Thunder returned to Satanico & Daniela’s hometown of Guadalajara, and then eventually his own home in Australia as the cancer got worse. It’s unclear when he was diagnosed. Medical sites say stomach cancer is both a relatively rare cancer and one that’s tough to detect until it’s far along. News reports say the cancer developed in less than a year. It’s a possible it may have been something he may have been deal with for a while, back as far as when started wearing a strange black padding or belt around his stomach area that was never explained. Still, he seemed in normal condition as recently as five month ago and it’s incredible how much things have changed.

Word started to go around the Australian wrestling community of Taipan being in bad shape in the last month. No one from the Mexican side had worked out his previous identity, so it wasn’t until the last few days where it was the dots got connected and it was revealed how dire the situation was.

I mean no disrespect, by my favorite memory of Thunder is the time Rob trolled him into swearing at him at last year’s Anniversary. That’s really what I wanted out of that moment, and Thunder delivered. To us, on this side of the curtain, Thunder was an obstacle to the kind and quality of wrestling matches we were hoping to see. On the other side of curtain, his fellow luchadors remember just as a friend. Magnus recalled a moment where he was knocked out, and the only guy try to keep him awake was Thunder. Alexis remembered how nervous Thunder was when they were shooting those first vignettes and revealed Thunder was originally planned to be in this Gran PrixMarco and Dark Angel and Shocker and Rush and Dragon Rojo and many others expressed their sadness at this sudden news. It’s a shock when someone this young dies from illness, especially when they seemed perfectly fine such a short time ago.

Thunder will be remembered at tonight’s show with a moment of applause.

(* – I had 35, but his birthday isn’t until October.)

lucha TV preview for weekend of July 1st

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bigger version

CMLL has an iPPV tomorrow on Cleeng. It’s a good show for four matches.

Elite, after the iPPV, will air the matches from Saturday’s section of the International tournament.

AAA should be back to normal programming after airing the Lucha World Cup. (They’re actually sticking in the order.) This should be the first week of the Naucalpan taping.

The Lucha Underground preview suggests the first week of Ultima Lucha Dos will focus on the Unique Opportunity tournament in for week 1.

Furia Roja unmasked, Gran Prix, Stuka to ROH

photo by CMLL
photo by CMLL

CMLL (TUE) 06/28/2016 Arena Coliseo Guadalajara [Martes de Glamour]
1) Magnum & Vaquero Jr. b Carlo Roggi & Diplomático
Tecnicos took 2/3.
2) Fujin, Raijin, Skándalo b Pegasso, Starman, Tritón
Rudos took 1/3.
3) Esfinge b Furia Roja [mask] Lucha Mascara vs Mascara Esfinge Vs Furia Roja 28-06-16 Entrevista con Esfinge (posted by José Salvador Padilla Ponce) Lucha Mascara vs Mascara Esfinge Vs Furia Roja 28-06-16 Pierde La Máscara Furia roja (posted by José Salvador Padilla Ponce) Lucha Mascara vs Mascara Esfinge Vs Furia Roja 28-06-16 Primera Caída (posted by José Salvador Padilla Ponce) Lucha Mascara vs Mascara Esfinge Vs Furia Roja 28-06-16 Sengúnda Caída (posted by José Salvador Padilla Ponce) Lucha Mascara vs Mascara Esfinge Vs Furia Roja 28-06-16 Tercer Caída (posted by José Salvador Padilla Ponce)
Esfinge took 2/3, the last with a Nudo Egipcio, to win Furia Roja’s mask. Furia Roja is Iván Alejandro Lemus Pérez, Guadalajara, 20 years old, 6 years a luchadors.
4) Diamante Azul, Máximo Sexy, Michael Elgin b Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Vangellys
Tecnicos took 1/3.
5) Mr. Niebla, Tama Tonga, Tangaroa b Atlantis, Kushida, Volador Jr.
Tecnicos took 2/3. Mr. Niebla replaced Negro Casas (and looked in no condition to be wrestling.) Tama fouling Volador for the DQ. He attacked the ref too.

There’s video of the mask match! (I haven’t watched the video of the match yet.) Main event sets up Volador/Tama next week, which sounds fun.

Yesterday was press day for Rest of the World Team of the CMLL Gran Prix. They were also on Informa, where they were entertaining (sometimes unintentionally so), though there wasn’t any news. We’re now sure Atlantis is not on the CMLL team, that’s for certain. Michael Elgin was surprised to be so applauded by the fans already. Okumura & Sam Adonis also appeared on Azteca to hype the show. I feel like CMLL’s doing more press for this show than most any show they’ve done in the past.

The other parts of the show included Nitro mentioning he’s heading back to Europe from July 2nd to the 19th, to train European wrestlers in lucha libre style. Sangre Azteca used to go on these tours with him, but has not the last few years.

There’s no ELITE show tonight. They’re back next week.

Ring of Honor announced Stuka Jr. will debut against Kamaitachi on July 16th. This is a TV taping and the match should air sometime in the four weeks after. This match was at one point planned to be Dragon Lee versus Kamaitachi, but Dragon Lee’s not expected to be ready to return at that point. Stuka wasn’t the first name that I would’ve gone with for the first CMLL rep in ROH, but he’s a reliable guy who always seems to be solid matches so he should do fine – the goal is probably more to give Kamaitachi a lucha opponent to look good against, and try out the CMLL/ROH alliance before committing to anything major.

LigerFever has a transcript of Mascara Dorada’s interview with RudoVision. Dorada mentions NJPW had offered him a one year full time contract for some time, but Dorada only wanted to do tours so he could go home to his family.

Dragon Lee posted an old photo with Cibernetico, which reminds me there’s been no mention of Cibernetico anywhere since Monday. Hope he’s good.

RobViper has highlights of 06/08 & 06/15/2010 CMLL.

TKD & Eric have reviews of last night’s Lucha Underground episode.

Lucha Memes on 07/17 in Coliseo Coacalco
1: Caifan vs Rush
2: Demasiado vs Soberano Jr.
3: Draztick Boy vs Freelance

There’s a video game conference going on in Guadalajara this week. Among the many presentations was one by Larva Game Studios, the company (under a previous name) which published the AAA video game six year ago. It was the first game they made, and there’s a still of their presentation about the mistakes they learned from in making the game.

Violento Jack talks about his upcoming trip to Japan.

Reversos has a story on the Arena Azteca Budokan/Morenos documentary.

El Grafico talks about the rise of Volador.

Debate interviews the host of the Metal Libre YouTube channel.

Lucha Libre in Japan (???)

Dragon Gate has a mystery man starting on Saturday. Flamita has spent the last couple months criss-crossing Mexico, working shows everywhere and often. There’s no matches announced with him going forward. I haven’t been told this is his Dragon Gate return, but Flamita did mention wanting to go back and the pieces fit.

Lucha Underground 2×23: Phoenix, Dragon and Spaceman

Fenix combo
Fenix combo

Matches

King Cuerno vs Mil Muertes (4:32, head into the chair + inside cradle w/tights pull, good)

Prince Puma beat Dragon Azteca (8:44, 630 senton, great)

Johnny Mundo beat Fenix (7:47, belt shot, great)

Developments

The last show before Ultima Lucha Dos was mostly about firming up the last few matches, as well as previewing some of the bigger ones.

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death has a grip on Cuerno

Four matches were added to round out the UL2 card. Two were made outside of matches. Dario is pitting Ivelisse and Taya against each other to determine who’s the baddest…woman in the Temple. (Catrina, who certainly might have an argument for that honor, had a brief run-in with Ivelisse after. They’re still not friends.) A quick in-ring segment set up a Unique Opportunity Tournament with Texano, Cage, Son of Havoc and the Mack – the four people of note who hadn’t yet been assigned a match. We don’t know how the tournament works, only the winner gets the biggest Unique Opportunity ever.

King Cuerno and Mil Muertes will also be fighting at Ultima Lucha, after a less than clean result in their match tonight. (Of note, Striker believes this feud goes back to Catrina costing Cuerno a match against Siniestro, while we know it’s been a season long story.) Muertes shrugged off a chairshot to the head, but knocked himself silly by spearing a chair in the corner, and Cuerno used the ropes to get the win. Dario initially refused Catrina’s demand for a rematch – citing the entire first half of this season as a reason – but when Catrina upped it to a Death Match, Dario was seduced by the prospect of violence.

Azteca
Azteca saved from the steps, introduced to the post

The main event furthered the final match to be included. A trios title defense, Mundo/Evans/Black (now Worldwide Underground) against Fenix/Aerostar/Drago was announced at the start of the show, and the biggest stars of each team faced off. Fenix and Johnny Mundo never had faced in a singles match before, which is a shame because this was pretty good. An even battle saw Fenix have a real shot at a win via top rope Spanish Fly disrupted by Taya taking the referee. Mundo took his trios belt, and took out Fenix with a shot to the head for the win. Jack & PJ came to the ring for an impromptu “stomp on Fenix” party. Drago & Aerostar tried to make the save, but it was really Ivelisse spearing Taya which turned the tide.

The middle match was between former trios champions Prince Puma and Dragon Azteca. The third member of the trio, Rey Mysterio, coached on Azteca from ringside. This was easily Azteca’s best performance since his debut at Aztec Warfare, but it was not enough to beat Prince Puma. Puma and Misterio had a tense confrontation leading into their match. (Vampiro hinted at the parallels between Rey & Azteca and himself & Pentagon, which might be something important later.)

Thoughts

top rope bodyscissors bomb
top rope bodyscissors bomb

This was an excellent show. Muertes/Cuerno was the weakest match, but it’s also one that would’ve been one of the better matches on another show. It’s also one where they seemed to be holding back a bit since they’re coming back for the rematch pretty quick, but showed enough that match should be exciting. I’m not exactly sure what a Death Match will mean in the context of Matanza murdering people on the regular, but the in-ring part has great potential.

Prince Puma versus Dragon Azteca Jr. had cross purposes: Puma’s got to stay rolling to into facing Rey, but Dragon Azteca is teetering on the edge of relevance and needed a strong performance to establish himself more firmly. (No offense to Black Lotus, but that’s obviously got to be a storyline match.) This was that match, this was Azteca coming off the level of where Fenix was when he debuted, a talented guy who can push the top guys very far and only needs to get a little bit better to be a top guy. And still Prince Puma looked like a million dollars in this match at the same time, while working a bit more arrogantly to set up the dynamic against Rey next week. The build up that match didn’t need a turn or a big angle to make it work, the little moments have built the tension fantastically.

Fenix gets his jaw adjusted
Fenix gets his jaw adjusted

Striker make a point about how Fenix isn’t the same guy as he came into the temple. I’m reluctant to agree with Striker, but it kind of felt right in this match: I’m not sure the Fenix of 18 months ago has a match this solid and still spectacular with Johnny Mundo as this one did. There were so many great looking spots, and they built to the big moves at the end really well. This match, plus four other people, sounds like an outstanding idea.

Even beyond the matches on this week’s show, they really got me excited for the next few weeks. Most everything seems like a big deal or a really promising match or even both. This is a good looking card with a good build to it, and a really strong go home show to build it up.

Ultima Lucha Dos (7/6 & 7/13 & 7/20)

  • Pentagon Jr. vs Matanza (c) for the Lucha Underground Championship
  • Aerostar, Fenix, Drago vs Johnny Mundo, Jack Evans, PJ Black (c) for the Lucha Underground Trios Championship
  • Rey Mysterio vs Prince Puma
  • Night Claw, Daga, Marty the Moth, Killshot, Siniestro de la Muerte, Mariposa, Sexy Star in a Gift of the Gods championship match
  • King Cuerno vs Mil Muertes in a death match
  • Taya vs Ivelisse
  • Dragon Azteca Jr. vs Black Lotus
  • Texano, Son of Havoc, Cage and the Mack in the Unique Opportunity Tournament (winner gets a unique opportunity)