Again, a lot of gifs. And I should probably post the full list later today.
10-21 Máscara Dorada, Mistico, Valiente vs Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora, Rey Escorpión for the CMLL World Trios Championship (Puebla) – very good, borderline great, probably a great if I saw it earlier in the year or (more definitely) if the anniversary match wasn’t already on the list. Místico was better in this match in points, but but the trios title defense from the Anniversary just felt like a more epic match. This one ended a few minutes before I was ready for it and didn’t break out much new, just did what they usually do very well.
11-03: La Sombra vs Volador Jr. (Puebla) – A three fall match where they weren’t very interested in the first two falls, and where the third fall was just dives and kicking out of finishers. The downside of CMLL singles matches were way there were many with no story except for guys doing big moves so the other guy could kick out for about seven minutes, and this is strongly in that group. There was no build to them kicking out, and there was a lack of drama as they did the kickouts – there’s no struggle to do the moves, they’re always going to be set up for the next trademark move, though at least there was a moment where Sombra was able to hit two moves in a row. It’s numbing often and it was numbing here.
11-11: Negro Casas vs Rush and Shocker (Puebla) – GREAT. A video game threeway in terms of involvement; this wasn’t one of those matches where one guy sits out for a minute while the other two have a normal, but all three guys getting involved frequently. It was the right style for this matchup, which needed to be a brawl and stayed that way the whole way. Shocker was up to the challenge of the other two, and kept up with their intensity. Match was shorter than I’d like but it was good action for the time. Rush’s pose just before the foul was hilarious.
11-17: Aero Boy, Astro Rey Jr., Titán (CMLL), Latin Dragon, Magnifico (Chilangamask) – Finally, science proves an unblocked chair shot to the head is less painful than a Canadian Destroyer, so everyone can just stop doing unblocked chairs shots to the head now. (I’m not sure “cumulative damage” exists in Mexico, quiet.) This was truly a secret Titan/Aeroboy/Latin Dragon three way with guest appearances from the other two. Elimination matches are fun and all, but the logical person in me wants everyone to switch to one fall to a finish for multiman matches so everyone can do all the pinfall break ups they want without looking like they don’t understand the rules of the match. Also, people who really don’t want to get pinned will no longer have to take weird countout eliminations. If I could actually write about the match itself for a second, it was a fun multiman match with exactly what you’d want out of a match like this – big moves and some dives. It was good with all five guys but the three man back and forth was the best stretch. I’d want to see a Titan/Aeroboy match after seeing this, which is good since they did one of those.
11-17: Rey Cometa vs Impulso, falls count anywhere [Chilangamask] – Rey Cometa had Impulso scouted! Get your knees up on his big dive to the outside and win (and hurt your knees, but a win is a win.) I liked the stuff in the ring even though it was their dives which were the bigger selling point; the experienced major promotion guy came off as such, and Impulso looked good just for being able to hang with him. The chops in here where fierce, as was Cometa’s reversal of the satellite armbar into a Michinoku Driver. Good match.
11-17: Belial vs Ricky Marvin – EXCELLENT. Belial had no chance at winning this. Ricky Marvin knew this, Belial knew this this, everyone on the crowd knew this was a mismatch. Still, Belial wants to win this, so he surprises Ricky to start and goes after him hard until Ricky stops him and slows him down. Belial gets in a few more shots, but Ricky out does him every time is more frustrated at the referee for not ending this than by anything Belial can do. Belial just continues to survive, then throws bombs every chance he gets, bombs the crowd believes once or twice might actually finish the international star. Belial pushes Ricky farther than he thought he would have to go on this day, and so Ricky has to murder him at the end. It was a good way to die.
08-12 Delta, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa vs Boby Zavala, Namajague, Shigeo Okumura
GREAT. Definitely one where other people would have matches which don’t make the final list higher than this one, but I enjoy this guys work and they were working hard here. Not any new ground but one where everything were trying went off well and they were going full effort despite ‘only’ being in Arena Puebla. Rey Cometa really only tried the running Spanish Fly with Namajague and this was the best one they pulled off, plus there was some good Delta/Guerrero Maya tag team work (and hoping for more of that in 2014.) Surprised the finish happened when it did; not used to seeing Namajague successful!
08-19 Rey Escorpión vs Último Guerrero for the CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship
The longest first fall in an Ultimo Guerrero singles match in years! (The second fall lasted under a minute.) And then a third fall much like any other. The other Escorpion/UG worked because it Escorpion was super aggressive and threw Ultimo Guerrero off his predictable match. This was the opposite, Ultimo Guerrero having his Ultimo Guerrero match, with the bonus of Tirantes going all Tirantes in the last few minutes. This was better than most UG matches have been of a late but nothing worth seeking them out.
08-25 Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Black Terry
GREAT. Black Terry really brings out the hate in Guerrero Maya. Maya was so different here than his CMLL appearances, almost the rudo (though maybe it’s just both guys were the rudos.) Straight brawl from before the bell which finds it’s way back into the ring but always feels a bit of control. This was a fight and a good one. There was was some technical oddness (like Maya pulling Terry off the mat while covering him after the Tormenta Maya to stop his own count), but the match flew by and the finish was neat.
08-25 Valiente & Virus vs Trauma I & Trauma II
GREAT. The Traumas trying tricks and cheap shots, only they try it against the wrong two guys and are lucky to keep it even. This match was already great in the first couple minutes when Valiente met Truma II eye gouge for eye gouge and Virus was taking down Trauma I when he tried a cheap slap. Everything was very solid and it was a very close match. Crowd was super into this match the entire way. It did seem out of order early, with Trauma II and Valiente attempting to rip out each other’s eyeballs leading into more sedate mat wrestling from Virus & Trauma I and then just a normal match for a while, but they picked the intensity back in up in the last third of the match. Finish was well down for what it was, but will still a let down after all that had let up to it. If that sort of finish is the trade off to get the match to happen, then it’d take it 10 times out of time, but obviously the match would’ve been better with something even slightly conclusive.
09-08 Dinamic Black vs Golden Magic for the IWRG Intercontinental Welterweight Championship
Another IWRG finish missed by LAS camera work – they were in replay and had no idea a double countout was coming so they would’ve missed the ref counting 20 anyway. The little we did see included both guys standing right next to the ring staring at each other instead of going in, so I’m not sure this would’ve been a finish to help the match. This became Dinamic Black’s last match, which was also the end of the very short lived Golden Magic & Centviron rudo turn. (You wouldn’t have known they were meant to be rudos until after the match. Centviron’s towel as scarf was hilarious.) It’s obvious there were issues about Dinamic Black around this time just by the way everything changed after it. (I believe the story is this wasn’t the finish they were originally supposed to have, but I’d guess there was more that led up to that.) Different issues than Fenix/Dinamic, or at least a different type of match as a result – this one was missing a spark or some energy. There was a good match here but not a great one, not what you’d hope for when two long time partners finally face each other. Enough spots for highlights but not a complete match. That said, crowd was into (and ref was way into it!) so I may be just be thinking too much and not just seeing things. This match just seemed less fun than it should’ve been.
09-30 Atlantis, Blue Panther, Shocker vs Black Terry, Negro Navarro, Solar I
I got completely derailed by the sound not matching up at all with the video; it took me a while to attempt to fix that, and longer to get back to watching it. (It still didn’t fix; I should’ve broken it down to individual falls.) This was a very good match, worked intensely for a maesto match and breaking down into more of a normal style match with different spots by the third fall. The finishes in the first fall and third fall seemed very sudden; all the CMLL 2013 maestros matches have felt like they could’ve gone longer but just abruptly end. It was weird for Blue Panther to be downplayed (and eliminated) in his own anniversary celebration – it was Shocker and Terry feuding which actually came off strongest.
05-26 Chico Che, Dr. Cerebro, Golden Magic vs Alan Extreme, Apolo Estrada Jr., Imposible: A fun trios match aspiring to be nothing more and fine for what it was. Thought it might turn out not so well after Golden magic missed with his 450 splash but Apolo survived and they want onto to have the usual match. Chico Che is very good at what he does and the rudos worked well.
05-26 Dinamic Black, Fenix (AAA), Trauma II vs Black Terry, Fresero Jr., Pentagón Jr.: GREAT – Disappointed this match existed, disappointed that Dinamic Black and Fenix didn’t just start head kicking each other during the pre-match promo (with Trauma II picking up all the title belts and walking away.) No reference at all to that last match in this one, so I really wanted to dislike it, but they won me back. A great first fall, with some awesome Black Terry mat work near the end led into a superb second fall with the rudos being absolute jerks. It was the usual brawling, but it wasn’t the usual brawling because the rudos were so gloriously evil the whole way. There was a spot here in between falls where Fresero stepped on one of Fenix’s hands, Terry stepped on another hand, and Pentagon stopped Fenix in the head repeatedly which was the great rudo moment ever. Tecnicos comeback was good as well. I would’ve declared this excellent and one of those matches to show people when they claim to know that lucha libre is just people flipping around, but then production managed to miss the finish while showing replays and never actually got a replay of it. Still worth checking out if you are prepared for AYM being awful.
05-26 Negro Navarro & Trauma I vs Hijo de Pirata Morgan & Pirata Morgan for the IWRG Intercontinental Tag Team Championship: Okay, maybe Negro Navarro knows the most ways to do a double pin. He’s a UWA veteran after all, where there appeared to be one draw a night. This was epic length technical title match which seemed good but didn’t totally connect with me. Maybe I needed to see more of the Piratas/Navarros leading into it. Better production would’ve helped here too; the announcers were cranked up to the max, the fans were barely audible and the ring was mute. Ending it with a few minutes of just Trauma I and Hijo de Pirata was a nice twist and everything was solid.
06-02 Angel Blanco Jr. & Dr. Wagner Jr. vs LA Park & Villano IV [ACM]: Much more the fatty travelogue version of Dr. Wagner versus LA Park, as they visit many sites of Arena Coliseo Monterrey and bring back souvenirs to use on each other. Meandering brawling at times, making for a much more drawn out match than it needed to be.
Noches de Coliseo only has the one hard camera. That man did a really good job of trying to keep track of the action but this is a hard match to follow into the crowd without someone on the ground (or on a crane.) Wagner & Blanco working as tecnicos strange decision given Park was the hometown favorite but that’s just the way they do this match. Blanco and V4 were here to give Park & Wagner breaks, and breaks from fighting each other – they are background characters to be easily rid of in the end. It kind of amazes me how many people approach the luchadors during the match. La Park punched a fan, punched a drunk fan in that very building, give him a wide birth if you know what’s good for you. I think this was probably a great match in the building (definitely the announcers felt so) but it felt much too long on TV (and wasn’t help by knowing how long it was going in.)
06-02 Centvrión, Chico Che, Golden Magic vs Fulgor I, Fulgor II, Imposible: Another enjoyable midcard match with some really good moments. Chico Che only made occasionally appearances in IWRG in 2013 but seems to be the same. The Fulgors started appearing on TV much more regularlly from here on out and are good additions. The other guys are consistent. Not special enough for a year end list but good enough if you were checking it out on TV that week. Chico Che is good at many things, but applying the Nieblina is not one of them.
06-06 Centvrión, Dinamic Black, Golden Magic vs Oficial 911, Oficial AK47, Oficial Fierro: I put together this list on a weekly basis without really thing about it in aggregate. Now that I’m spending a lot of time over a few days watching everything, I apparently reimagined the first half of 2013 IWRG as a youth oriented federation centered around the adventures of amigos Golden Magic, Centvrion and Dinamic Black. That period, even in my distorted reality, is shortly coming to an end. It didn’t include a lot of the Oficials as a trios – they’re an effective trio who just wasn’t one in Naucalpan for long stretches, but this match was more about their rudo antics than the técnicos. They’re still smooth with a team and working with the técnicos highspots, and they got a lot of mileage out of one America jersey for what’s basically a regular good build up trios match. Finish was done well. Golden Magic and Centviron have nice time on their double dive spot, especially for two guys doing totally different dives.
04-07: Centvrión, Dinamic Black, Golden Magic vs Alan Extreme, Carta Brava Jr., Imposible: GREAT. A fun trios match between guys who are skilled have worked against each other many times most of the way, enough so that the first two finishes are surprise counters to set up moves. They found a couple extra gears in the third fall when the rudos were just wrecking the tecnico’s lives. The toss into a dropkick in the third fall was the best one anyone’s ever done. They got the money thrown in treatment and deserved it.
2013-04-11 Mr. Leo & Saruman vs Alan Extreme & Fulgor: I don’t know how Mr. Leo didn’t break Alan Extreme for all time on that German suplex. First fall ended with three men hurt on the mat; Leo was the survivor more than the winner. Rest of the match was good quality (with even more head droppy) but it doesn’t crack the list. Fulgor had a really nice tornillo in the third.
04-11 IWRG: el Ángel vs Eterno for the IWRG Intercontinental Middleweight Championship: Technically fine match which didn’t connect with me at all. Technical throughout but also feeling like they could’ve had this match in an empty gym without changing anything. Angel wasn’t bad, but the most entertaining thing he did was take the towel away from Alan Xtreme in between, wave him off, and then pull out the old matador bit. I think he’s got a personality but it’s never come across during the match. Finish came off well because everyone was generally surprised it happened and reacted like it was a big deal, but the match itself didn’t do a lot for me.
04-14 IWRG: Black Terry, Centvrión, Golden Magic vs Canis Lupus, Carta Brava Jr., Imposible: Seemed like it was sizing up as a good match, but then that gif happened and they had to finish the rest of it 3 técnicos on 2 rudos. Refereee Rosas worked as blatant heel referee the rest of the way to make it work as best they could but it was not an appealing match and everyone seemed a little thrown off by Impossible getting streteched out. I know I was – I wouldn’t be using that gif if this wasn’t months ago and Imposble was back and threading his dreadlocks thru his nose hole. Finish was an absurd bit of Carta Brava clearly fouling the técnicos twice in front of the referees and getting away with it, maybe because of how plans had fallen apart.
04-14 ACM: Blue Panther & Sagrado vs Caifan & Rey Hechicero: GREAT. First fall was outstanding, with just creative and awesome mat work. Rey Hechicero is a wizard (that’s sort of the gimmick) but Sagrado kept up with him with some stuff he never shows, and Panther and Caifan also really good. The rest of the match wasn’t as much that way, but there was plenty going on here to make this easy call for great and maybe more. The only real flaw was production missing the finish while showing replays; the draw came quickly and felt more random when they missed it live. I bet no one knows more ways to pin themselves than Rey Hechicero.
05-20 Puebla: Asturiano, Meyer, Tigre Rojo Jr. vs Akrón, King Jaguar, Siki Ozama Jr.: Useful as a look at a couple of the new Arena Puebla guys but not a good match in itself (and those new guys aren’t so good that you really need to look at them.) Akron had some problems and King Jaguar was wrestling one armed by the middle of the second fall, so this wasn’t going to work out. Meyer and Akron look like they need more time to develop. I think I put this on the list because Asturiano and Siki Osama are quality and they still are, but there wasn’t enough to work with here. Things did get interesting to end the third fall. This match might have set the record for most people selling being beat up by sitting in an empty seat.
03-14 IWRG: Centvrión, Dinamic Black, Trauma II vs Argenis, Drago, Fenix (AAA): Trauma II replaced Golden Magic, and Trauma II is not doing a crazy go nuts match from this start, so this was a bit more sane. Still, it was crazy enough for Fenix to dropped on his head to end the second fall and either did his best selling job ever or was seriously messed up the rest of the way. (I’d really believe either.) It’s sticks out stronger in a marathon watching how lucky they (and we) are that more guys don’t disappear with injuries for months at at time given the current style. Third fall was worked around Fenix’s injury a bit, but it was stilla pretty good build up match. Fenix not knowing what the title was called takes it down a little bit.
03-15 CMLL (Handcam): La Máscara, Máscara Dorada, Valiente vs Averno, Ephesto, Mephisto: GREAT. This is a handcam – there’s probably a Samurai TV version but I haven’t seen it, and this is the ancient days of lore pre-Terra. Really fun trios which would be bigger than most Tuesday main events but relegated to the segunda for Dos Leyendas. Pretty standard formula which got very good by the end. This match had a stacked up superplex – has the 2 on 1 superplex actually been completed by anyone in the last five years without more people getting involved? Crowd would’ve exploded if Averno beat Máscara clean with the Devil’s Wings at the end of the finisher run – and then they did after the big powerbomb. That’s really enough to push into the list; it’s completely lost without the context (of them never actually just doing that finish), but it’s my list so it’s in there.
03-15 CMLL (Hanicam): Delta, Guerrero Maya Jr., Tritón vs Felino, Puma, Tiger: watched out of order and mildly distracted, but this was a pretty good match with an outstanding finish. Finishes were generally pretty good on this show, but the Cats just destroyed the técnicos at the end here. Felino’s best work all year has come when he’s been paired with his sons and this was no exception. Really surprising CMLL stuck with the Delta/Maya pair all year given how forgetful they are on some midcard concepts (Triton and his Cadetes!) but maybe they’ll stick together next year and we’ll get that tag match against Puma and Tiger.
03-17 IWRG: Dinamic Black vs Carta Brava Jr. for the IWRG Intercontinental Welterweight Championship: I had the AYM version of this playing on my TV. It’s so much easier to watch on my TV than YouTube. I noticed I could watch this on YouTube with the TVCD crew instead, and changed immediately. TVCD not being the flagship IWRG broadcaster is most frustrating story of 2013. This was a IWRG title match, right down to the rudo second interfering and being thrown out, and a very good match in front of a very excited crowd. I’m fairly certain this inverted DDT before the finish wasn’t supposed what it turned out to be, because the finish itself was Carta Brava mostly pinning himself, but it was quite a move.
03-21 IWRG: Dinamic Black vs Fenix (AAA) for the IWRG Intercontinental Welterweight Championship: GREAT. Occasionally, some sequence goes horrendously poor and it causes me to believe lucha libre may be fake. This match caused me to believe lucha libre is real. Very very real. Things kind of broke down at the end of the first fall; it might have been earlier, but it stuck out to me when Dinamic Black just didn’t go for Fenix’s handspring cutter, Fenix responded by not submitting to the motocicleta, and Dinamic Black decided to try to break Fenix’s shoulder. Match wasn’t the crazy move fest I was expecting even before that, but it turned into one of the most hate filled matches of the year for seemingly very genuine reasons. Moves which relied cooperation did not go well for a while, moves that required just hitting someone else very hard were very frequent. Dinamic Black took some hard shots in the second fall, and Fenix did the same in the third (though he ducked out of one dropkick to protect himself.) It’s always possible they did a masterful job of faking the hatred, but it felt very genuine and very intense. It’s conflicting, because giving people acclaim for appearing unprofessional is not a good idea (and usually leads to bad matches), but this was undeniable an entertaining match. It’d probably be an excellent match if they were not (purposefully?) screwing up moves at times – it added to the authenticity of a real fight going on but did make both guys look silly to keep trying them. I think Dinamic tried to screw over Fenix over in the finish, trying to get him down for a five count, and it ended up working out better for Fenix. Fenix was happy to point out the two count to have an out and book his own match. Remind me never to have Trauma II as my corner man – he let Dinamic Black put Fenix in the hold after the match, didn’t do much about it, and sided with the IWRG guys. Argenis couldn’t have been that busy.
03-24 ACM: Silencio vs Símbolo for the Arena el Jaguar championship which might be the FILL Absolute Championship and probably doesn’t specifically matter either way: A generally good title match with some flaws but a lot of effort. I liked parts of the third fall finishing sequence. Silencio tried to go all Mascara Dorada and slipped on the ropes, which was sad. Second fall finish was Silencio losing by being dumb, which is probably not the way to go in a title match. Finish looked clunky, but there was still a lot of good stuff here.
02-17 IWRG: Centvrión vs Golden Magic, Carta Brava Jr., Dinamic Black, Alan Extreme- A match where Alan Xtreme gets piledrived so hard that he loses his mask – and then Dinamic Black piledrivers him again. (I think they screwed up the finish.) More sane than I was expecting, working it mostly as a series of one on ones with a third person jumping into to take over at points – though there was some crazy five way action. Ambitious but too choreographed to set up the planned spots. Fun good if flawed match.
02-26 GDL: Astral, Fantasy, Último Dragoncito vs Demus 3:16, Pequeño Olímpico, Pierrothito: a time when I was excited about the CMLL minis! For good reason, because this was much better than the matches of most of the year. The guys were more creative here – first fall finish is a good example – and generally working smoothier. This is not great, with Astral specifically having good and bad moments, and it’s helped by having a having healthy Demus. It’s also helped by guys appearing more motivated and more practiced. There’s a four man spot which goes perfectly fine here which was blown many ways ten months later with the same exact guys. The CMLL minis division has fallen on tough times, but they had better moments not that long ago.
02-26 GDL: Rey Escorpion, Okumura, Namajague vs Hijo del Fantasma, Rey Cometa, Stuka Jr.: A match so old, Namajague is wearing a mask. Hoped for a hot trios match but they were focused on building up the upcoming mask/hair match and this didn’t develop into anything more, especially given the time and the abrupt DQ finish. This is a match with an extended Rey Escorpion/Hijo del Fantasma pose off. (Escorpion does pull off a big flip to the floor soon after.) You can skip this.
02-28 IWRG: Dinamic Black, Dr. Cerebro, Golden Magic vs Canis Lupus, Carta Brava Jr., Eterno: Fun build up trios match that didn’t feel like one. They were setting up Dinamic/Carta for next week, though Dinamic getting the win is a bit mitigated by Dinamic Black laying face first on the mat after the finish for an extended period of time and had to be strechered out. (And so, in that, it wasn’t a great build up.) Rudos were sharp and Golden Magic did destroyed some chairs.
03-03 IWRG: Centvrión, Dr. Cerebro, Pantera vs Apolo Estrada Jr., Eita, Tomahawk: back in the day where Tomahawk didn’t have gear despite about 50 different people in the Mexico City area who make gear (including probably a couple guys on this card.) If you’re making a list of the best running lucha libre jokes of 2013, Tomahawk’s shorts are somewhere behind Fusion/Evolucion. This was a very average match with some occasional good moments. Apolo and Doc Cerebro have good chemistry, they should try to feud about 8 months from here.
03-07 IWRG: Centvrión, Dinamic Black, Golden Magic DCOR Argenis, Drago, Fenix (AAA): I watched this while trying to watch something else. It worked out OK; there was no story to be miss. Crazy go nuts match from the start which kind of lost a bit of steam after the first fall. This is a good match of big moves and break ups but absolutely nothing more, and one with an unsatisfying finish to build to the rematch next week. Great if you want the moves. I wanted something different than they they were doing but this will work if you just want high spots – they were pretty on with most of them.