2018 watch later catch up, part 17 of 17

Virus is neat

This is the last one of these general indie catchups for 2018. You can read the rest of the posts under this tag. This bit went a little bit longer this year, but a lot of The Crash shows got folded under this.

Aramis vs Virus
(PROLLM @ Coliseo Coacalco on 12/02, 14:33, good, 

What Happened: This video suddenly and unexpectedly changed from a hard camera far away from the ring to a ringside camera five minutes in with much better picture quality. It’s also very loud. The video quality changes again near the finish.

Review: There’s a pretty good match here shot very weirdly. It would’ve been neat to see the good mat work from less than twenty feet away, it would’ve been nice if the sound wasn’t screaming for most of the match, but it’s good to see the match at all. Aramis and Virus mix pretty well, with Virus having moments looking as quick as the much younger man. Aramis dutiful destroys himself on a tope and comes back in for some flashy moves. This deserves a rematch in a better video setting.

Aramis knows a tricky hold

Dragón Bane vs Alan Extreme
(9:18, Mexa Wrestling @ Arena San Juan Pantitlan on 12/08, 9:14, good,

What Happened: Alan Extreme is in his old mask and gear and is completely unrecognizable as the guy who’s been a Ninja Turtle for the last while.

Review: [good] Really, I can’t get over how much weight Alan Extreme has lost. It would’ve been a perfect time to sneak him under a new character because it might as well be a new person. Some of his old basing skill there and he’s a good fit for the flying spots Dragon Bane wants to do, but they’re a little off at times. These guys might be better suited for a tag match at the moment. It might be worth waiting to see if +LuchaTV puts up this show because there’s some outside the ring action that Carxyus can’t capture from his angle. It’s still a pretty fun match with what we can see.

Xtreme bomb

Rey Horuz vs Arez vs Aramis vs Toxin
(Mexa Wrestling @ Arena San Juan Pantitlan on 12/08, 15:43, good,
Carxyus Pro)

I liked this match much more when I was watching it half asleep than when I watched it a week or later while mostly awake. Not sure how that helps as a review. Maybe it helps explain the match, with a lot of big spots that’ll wake up a drowsy person in between some dead moments. The match gets smoother as it goes down but it’s only after Aramis’ near death on a tope (and the match being stopped to check on him) where it picks up some sort of rhythm. There’s still more dead moments than you’d expect from a four-way, accompanied by a lot of outstanding looking spots. They were close to even more spectacular things and it just didn’t really work out. Toxin was good but tough to identify when he’s not wearing his normal mask; I had to check both times that I didn’t mistake him for someone else. The finishing sequence was good but the run-in coming so sudden and meaning nothing really didn’t help the match at all.

Toxin step up inverted huracanrana

Volador Jr. vs Último Guerrero
(CMLL @ Arena Coliseo Guadalajara on 12/11, 9:21, ok,

This match wasn’t as competitive heartless as the Arena Mexico singles match. It still didn’t have much to it, just checking off half their moves before going to the finish. The finish itself was amusing for the referee dying for about 12 seconds after a superkick, to the point where Volador stopped selling to see if the referee would ever recover. That’s not really a great selling point.

I try not to post GIFs of finishes but you needed to see this

Fly Star vs Demus in a hardcore rules match
(MexaWrestling @ Arena San Juan Pantitlan on 12/08, 11:40 seen, good, Estrellas del Ring)

Estrellas del Ring is missing about three minutes from the start. It’s better than the Carxyus version: this is a brawl around ringside and you need to see it from that angle to get much of it. It’s definitely bloody and brawly, though messy even by the usual standards. The effort is really strong and Demus is a fine mood; I can tell it’s good and it doesn’t really connect with me. The big spots are worth checking out at the least.

many types of death in this match

Aramis, Hijo del Alebrije, Relámpago vs Demonio Infernal, Hijo de Canis Lupus, Lunatic Xtreme
(IWRG @ Arena Naucalpan on 12/21/2018, 11:01, good, via mluchatv)

What Happened: Alebrije & Relampago are wearing split outfits to set up a team I’ve forgotten was supposed to be a team.

Review: There’s a moment, in what turns out to be late in the match, where Hijo del Alebrije attempts to monkey flip Demonio Infernal over the top rope. It’s not high enough, so Demonio instead hits the ropes and lands on his head. It’s as if everyone in the match collectively realizes that they’re going to get grounded for that but, since they’re already going to be grounded, they can do whatever they want with no further consequences. It really picks up with Lunatik blindsiding Alebrije with a chair shot as a lead into a dive train and it peaks with Lunatik doing a balcony splash for no particular reason. Aramis getting dropped on his head multiple times is the actual finish, but this is less about the actual finish and more about young Naucalpan wrestlers going crazy for moments of this match. It has all the shakiness you might expect but the way it escalates is definitely compelling.

would’ve been better if Canis Lupus didn’t walk into the shot

2018 watch later catch up, part 16 of ∞

Mr. Iguana barely survived 2018

Sammy Guevara vs Jack Evans
(RIOT @ Arena LLF on 07/28, 14:36, great, no publicly available link)

What Happened: This match isn’t publicly available at this point in time. I got to see the match by annoying one of the promoters into sharing, then losing the link to where he posted it, then asking someone else if they could ask them where the match was at. I do not recommend this strategy. RIOT may put up matches on some service at some time?

Review: [great] A tremendously fun match with a memorable moment or three. Sammy & Jack are goofy before the bell, and at times during the match, but they also show genuine dislike and anger. Some of the shots occasionally come off sloppy, but they work as just angry people who are a bit too emotional to always hit right. The crowd helps raise this up too, being into the match and hilariously taunting Guevera by singing happy birthday when the match is going poorly for him. This resembles a lot more of a wild brawling match at times – they end up outside and dunking each other in a tank of water – than both guys just doing highspots and is better for it. If this ever available, it’s worth checking out.

this is not the ice bucket challenge
look how messy his back looks

Mr. Iguana vs Taurus vs Vasco Jr. in a tournament final ladder match
(KAOZ @ Arena Coliseo Monterrey on 10/28, 12:34, great, mluchatv)

A lucha libre ladder match where the ladders held up, the people in the match knew the rules, and they did cool stuff using the ladders, what a great thing. I think we’re in a period where ladder matches in Mexico are no longer catastrophes and that’s a pleasant things. Taurus is at his best in this match, not doing stuff just to do it and instead of coming off as a monster destroying things while still being able to base for the crazy things. Mr. Iguana has some crazy ideas, most of which work out and make the feel wild. I liked the Terry Funk homage, and the corner dive was insane. I wish Mr. Iguana wouldn’t take crucifix bombs out of the ring because I’d like to see him in wrestling a lot longer. Vasco Jr. is a guy. This was borderline good/great but there were a few spots that’ll stick in my memory more than most good matches.

animal on animal violence
when you really wish you had a floor cam

Cuatrero, Forastero (CMLL), Sansón vs Bestia 666, Garza Jr., Mr. 450 in the KAOZ TRIOS tournament
(KAOZ @ Arena Coliseo Monterrey on 10/28, 15:41, good, mluchatv)

Seemed like it was going to be a fine if a bit exhibition trios match between these two teams for the half dozen or so minutes. They found another level after the careta spot, picking up the pace and coming up with some sharp looking spots. Rebelion doesn’t seem to team in trios much (or I skip it because I can’t find a full video, probably), but came across as a group on NGD’s level here. The badly timed finish took it down a bit; this isn’t much of the ladder match with a better-executed ending.

hooray team kick
confused by Garza Jr. flashy offense

Zumbido vs Ricky Marvin
(LLB/HUMO in Arena Lopez Mateos on 11/03, 9:10 seen, Estrellas del Ring)

What Happened: This is three falls, but the first two falls are clipped to nothing. Also, a random Angel o Demonio appearance as a second, which feels weird at the moment.

Review: Zumbido politely asks for his second to move the barricade away from the ring before he does a dive, then cracks his head on the apron on the dive because there’s not enough room and bleeds from the back of the head for the next while. Perhaps we can heed Zumbido better next time. Zumbido completely whiffs on catching a Ricky Marvin dive later on. They’re much better when they’re inside the ring, a solid hard hitting match with a good bit of action and some calls backs to their hair match. Zumbido’s worked himself into shape where I hope he gets a nice opponent for a big hair match at some point. This showing that both guys can still go, though it doesn’t hit the highest heights.

unclear why my only GIF is the injury

Penta 0M, Puma King, Rey Fénix vs Eterno, Trauma I, Trauma II
(Cuervo Benefit show @ Arena Naucalpan on 11/22, 15:09, good, +LuchaTV)

Fun exhibition style, peaking with the brawl early. Fenix’s dive near the end was nice too. It didn’t feel like they did all they could’ve done but they did go 15 minutes on a free show so not exactly complaining. Pentagon really wants a match with Eterno from the looks of this one and I hope he gets it at some point. Actually, Fenix/Eterno would be pretty good too.

no matter how many people are in Arena Naucalpan, an empty section of chairs can always be found
Fenix reaching the fans

Alas de Acero, Aramis, Freelance vs Arez, Belial, Toxin
(Cuervo Benefit Show @ Arena Naucalpan on 11/22, 7:43, good, +LuchaTV)

This was totally rushed but sometimes that’s really OK. This was really great in a different way than the short Negro Casas matches, they just used the time to do anything and everything they could think of. The lack of smoothness could be forgiven because something else exciting was happening a second later. Freelance’s backdrop dive to the floor was the biggest moment, but Arez stood out with his spots and Aramis was good as usual. This is the kind of that would get these guys over anywhere they went.

Freelance behaving normally
Alas de Acero in the wrong part of town

2018 watch later catch up, part 15 of ∞

Aramis doesn’t care if you’re signing autographs

Negro Casas vs Virus
(Lucha Memes @ Coliseo Coacalco on 10/21, 7:18,
+LuchaTV, great)

Knowing now that Casas was working short matches because he was working with a knee injury, this match is all the more impressive for how much Virus and Casas get out of it without doing a lot of movement. There are grappiing battles which feel like an actual battle and not people just going thru normal sequences, there’s hard strikes exchange, and there’s Virus doing most of the running. It’s not a great match for IGFs if GIFs is what you’re looking for, but it does have the character of Casas taking his eyes off Virus for a second and paying for it. This felt like a borderline match, because it is quite short, but it is really enjoyable for how long it lasts.

Virus knot

Ricky Marvin vs Hechicero
(Lucha Memes @ Coliseo Coacalco on 10/21, 11:52+2:34, great,

What Happened: It’s about a five-minute break between the end of the match, the obviously planned screwy finish of the match, and the match getting restarted. Except, there is no referee since they already killed him off, so it is just weirdness for a while. A referee does show up just in time for the finish.

Like Virus/Casas, Marvin is not much for moving, and he and Hechicero have a more built on creatively struggling than big action spots. There’s some good submission work, there’s idea sat big spots that don’t quite come together, but it is a fun time. The epilogue to the match is delightful overshadows the match; they clearly wanted to get out of the match with the screwy finish of the match (which was as absurd as hyped) and it completely backfired with the crowd demanding one more fall and the wrestlers having no way to get out of doing it. They also had no way to get out of it. Hechicero was clearly thinking they’d go 20 seconds for a submission but there was no referee to call the submission. Everyone who does a pointless screwy finish on an indie show simply because they don’t feel like losing should also have to fall out of the ring into the Coacalco dirt like these two. I recommend this match for this level for of comeuppance but I’m being a weirdo here.

forearm battle

Eterno vs Aramis, hair vs mask
(Lucha Memes @ Coliseo Coacalco on 10/21, 17:46, excellent, +LuchaTV)

What Happened: This is a three falls count anywhere match, though there’s no real breaks between the falls.

Review: One of the best matches of the year. It started incredibly hot and somehow managed to keep up an amazing level of action. There were moments of Aramis doing crazy things, there was Eterno being a super base, there was the kind of battling on the dirt floor that only seems to happen from Coacalco, and it was a huge war by the end. They could’ve ended earlier, I thought they were going to end earlier, and it still would’ve been a super memorable match. They played off a real injury for the finish but still made you wait for it to happen, and they made what seemed to be a sure outcome really in doubt. The best big apuesta matches have been on the indies this year and it is great we’ve gotten to see them like this.

dirt or chair is a tough choice

Daga vs Hechicero in a half hour ironman match
(The Crash @ Auditorio de Tijuana on 10/06, 21:15 seen, good,
Arena Clandestina)

What Happened: This is a 30 minute iron man match. In indie lucha libre fashion, they start the clock before the match has started, making it more of a 28:22 iron man match. This is the most complete version I could find of it, and they still cut off a few minutes.

Review: I did not get into this version of the match. It felt like a slower pace, maybe because they were working to the clock. There was little benefit to using that stipulation, feeling most of the way like a normal three falls match that just had a clock playing. (This pace might have been better if they were doing the 30 minute time limit draw, not one with a lot of falls.) The Tijuana crowd really wanted to hate Daga but they didn’t play into a lot. They were trying to build up some reactions with how hard they were fighting evenly, but that’s not what the crowd was looking for. The action had positive moments but didn’t look as sharp as other matches with them. This wasn’t a bad match by any means but you’d be better off watching the other two.

this seems familiar

Willie Mack vs Austin TheoryZumbiFlip Gordon
(The Crash @ Auditorio de Tijuana on 10/06, 5:57, good,
Arena Clandestina)

Review: A standard multiman match in form, with everyone getting their own moment and no structure beyond that. People reacted for the spots and got into a couple of the wrestlers, but the match didn’t have much weight to it. Seemed pretty complete even for a normally edited match. Borderline ok/good match; I didn’t hate it and it’s a decent use of six minutes but nothing made an impression.

this came off well

El Bandido & Flamita vs Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe
(The Crash @ Auditorio de Tijuana on 10/06, good, 13:06,
La Poesia De La Lucha Libre)

What Happened: This version is clipped.

Review: If there’s one Briscoes in Mexico match you need to see this year, this isn’t it. (It’s the trios in Arena Mexico.) There’s some hints of a much better match here, enough that it’s still a good match. Neither team seems at their very best, and the way they drift from a normal hot tag setup to a crowd brawl and then back to normal disappointing. The dead crowd doesn’t help; this is very much a super indie special and those work better with a crowd that sees these matches as something special. There are people who care, but there’s a lot of empty red seats. Still, this gets better as it goes along, and it’s a better match than four way.

Flamita gets flipped

2018 watch later catch up, part 14 of ∞

Aramis bomb

Aramis, Dr. Cerebro, Xtreme Tiger vs Hechicero, Imposible, Último Gladiador
(IWRG @ Arena Naucalpan on 08/16, 15:43, good, +LuchaTVIWRG tv)

A really good brawl that adapted back into a straight trios match better than most. They kept the emotion high even as people were suddenly waiting for tags. It’s nice to see Último Gladiador still exists, though his kilt is too shinny for me nowadays. Imposible and Aramis have a solid exchange that makes one hope IWRG’s random match generator puts them together at some point. Messy finish leads to nothing, but that’s the way it goes.

not many Imposible matches this year so I haven’t overused this spot

Penta 0M & Rey Fénix vs Mistico II & Rush
(Klandestino @ Arena Lopez Mateos on 08/19, 16:26, good, +LuchaTV)

Another match with a heated crowd making for a better live atmosphere than it came across to me on video. The brawling works well to get them to care while being harder to follow on a screen. Fenix & Penta look easily superior to Rush & Místico for most of the match, with the Munoz brothers just not as adept or practiced a team. This match is mostly four people in, and it was inescapable that two of them were much more used to working together than others. This was good as a novelty but didn’t reach the heights these guys have done in other setups. The dumb finish is not unexpected and suitably over the top.

talk about how they’re not much of a team, undercut it by posting a GIF of them working as a team

Trauma I & Trauma II vs El Bandido & Flamita
(PALL/AMLL @ Arena Azteca, Torreón, Coahuila on 09/23, 15:56, good, Tribuna cuadrilateroTV)

What Happened: Video is occasionally clipped. This is a three fall match, though there are no real breaks between the falls.

Recap: Bandido coming back to Torreon for a big match after his big US breakout drew a packed building. It was good in an exhibition sort of way. It doesn’t really take advantage of Bandido being the returning star, with the Traumas more working their normal spots and Mexablood fitting themselves around the margins. There are some good moments here but you can see much better matches from that team, and the finish is inexplicable for a match that’s not coming back. Probably a bigger match live in a packed building than on video many months later.

Bandido tornillo

Eterno vs Aramis
(RO @ Coliseo Coacalco on 09/23, 10:12, good, HECTOR GODFREY TV)

A nice Aramis exhibition where maybe Eterno doesn’t take enough of the match for himself. The first time I watched it, it felt like the match was all Aramis once he came back from an early attack. It comes thru as more competitive on the rewatch, with Eterno putting off Aramis a few times if never being able to mount a series of attacks after he’s put down. Aramis’ flashy offense generally looks good, save one or two headscissors that don’t grab much of the head, but it still feels off a bit.

four rotations

Aramis & Dragón Bane vs Demonio Infernal & Freelance in a relevos suicidas match
(IWRG @ Arena Naucalpan on 10/07, 8:59, great, +LuchaTV)

Demonio Infernal vs Freelance, mask vs hair
(IWRG @ Arena Naucalpan on 10/07,
9:38, good, +LuchaTV)

This plays out like one long match but is two different matches for record keeping. The first match/half is superior, with all four looking sharp while going a thousand kilometers an hour. The flyers are as expect, but late addition to this feud Demonio Infenral fits in well. He’s really not that big but played a power guy well against this trio of smaller guys. Aramis & Dragon Bane fighting as teammates is goofy, but they do sell the idea that they hate each other so much that they can’t stop fighting. They have great moments while they’re in, just in point with their crazy offense, and they make their feud seem like the big thing going forward.

Which is a problem for the second half, because the fans aren’t really buying the microwaved rivalry between Demonio & Freelance. The lack of a reaction to the result (with +LuchaTV doing slow pans of people looking a lot disinterested) doesn’t help. They also spend a lot of the last few minutes around the ring, setting up some violent moments and one spectacular dive, but not giving the match much time to build in the ring. It is still pretty good, just not as strong as what came before it.

Dragon Bane tornillo
Demonio powerslam
Freelance balances into a dive

Angelikal & Hijo Del Vikingo vs Chicano & Villano III Jr.
(AAA/Bandolera @ Gimnasio Olímpico Juan de la Barrera on 10/21, 18:02, great, Bandolera 1410am)

What Happened: The match doesn’t get started until 6 minutes into the video.

Review: If all AAA crowd were as loud as this free (?) ticket sponsor deal, AAA would be the hottest promotion in the world. They were into the match before it got started, and they stayed into it the técnicos flashy offense. Vikingo and Angelikal didn’t go completely crazy, but they did go tornillos and shooting press level of crazy. Angelikal doing handspring runs with tornillos is probably not really necessary while still being really impressive. AAA wrestlers appear to be having a contest over who can take a cutter in the way that most looks like it’ll cause a broken neck. Hijo del Villano III shows both charisma and skill here, as well as a cool tope con giro. Chicano is not as good as Hijo del Villano III but he breaks out the Rayo de Jalisco headbutts for no reason so he’s definitely not bad. There’s no real depth to this match but none is needed. If you’ve liked Vikingo & Angelikal as a trio, you’ll like this.

double tecnico dive
head remained attached
Mexico has a surprising amount of good spinning powerbombs

2018 watch later catch up, part 13 of ∞

Daga probably just should’ve let go

Alas de Oro, Centella Oriental, Mexica, Yakuza vs Danger, Loquillo, Sádico, Yoruba
(Klandestino @ Arena Lopez Mateos on 08/04/2018, 26:18, good, HECTOR GODFREY TV)

This was a good action tag match in front of a crowd who was very excited to see it. Everyone did well, there wasn’t a particular direction to it. It seemed like a fun match to experience live but there were a few points of obvious repositioning and releasing holds for no reason that bothered me on video. Sadico always makes these roundups and then I don’t think to see him the rest of the year, but he remains really good with his dropkicks and his dive among the highlights here. I don’t think I’ve seen Yakuza since he lost his mask. He could use some bigger trunks.

annual Sadico dive gif

Penta 0M vs Rush vs Carístico
(IWRG @ Arena Naucalpan on 08/16, 12:39, ok, +LuchaTV)

I’m not sure why I included this one on the list to watch. Maybe I hit the wrong button? It is more energetic than most matches involving all these people, but not a great match by any standards. They brawl a bit, they use some weapons, there’s an convoluted finish. It’s fine, it’s a little bit better than fine, but it’s not a particularly satisfying match.

Rush with a bucket

Lady Maravilla vs Keyra
(LLB/Lucha Memes @ Arena Lopez Mateos on 09/16, 5:59, +LuchaTV)

This version of the eternal rivalry seemed surprising for how fast they were getting to the big stuff. It may a little more sense when they were only going six minutes. Still, this flowed better than the Mexa Wrestling match while giving you a look at some of what they could do – it’s a better introduction match for sure. The sequence leading into the campana and Keyra crushing Maravilla’s face was really well done. Keyra is a rare human being who will give her friend a hard elbow in the face and then smile and laugh about it. Maravilla’s finish looked good. Easy enjoyable match.

the laugh is colder than the elbow
Maravilla Fly

Hechicero vs Daga
(LLB/Lucha Memes @ Arena Lopez Mateos on 09/16, 19:55, great, +LuchaTV)

This version of Hechicero/Daga was going along better than The Crash September version, and then the referee counted three on a spot where it sure didn’t seem like was the plan and that was it. This match was still building up and it was just cruel for it to end so soon. I’d probably put that match over this one because it had an ending, but this would’ve been easily better had it kept going for a couple more minutes. The smaller sequences were really good. I liked the battle over Hechicero’s anklelock, and Hechicero’s corner knee smash was one of the best he’s done. Daga’s German suplex looked great too. I still have the Crash Iron Man match to watch and my recollection is that didn’t go quite as well. Hope they eventually get a chance for it to go as far as it seemed like it was going to go here.

a sort of wrap around cradle

El Bandido, Flamita, Rey Horus vs Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Templario (CMLL)
(The Crash @ Auditorio de Tijuana on 09/21, 8:45, good, Arena Clandestina)

What Happened: This version is edited, heavily so near the end.

Review: [good]

A strong all action tercera from what we could see. The Mexa Blood & Horuz team are really spectacular throughout the match, looking like the more major league side. Templario carries things for the CMLL team. Angel de Oro & Niebla Roja are fine but didn’t make much of an impact in what we see. (It’s a bit telling that Niebla Roja’s move for the big run of finishes is a Canadian Destroyer, a CMLL version of the fantastic moves, while the indie teams are doing more cutting edge stuff.) An easy fun watch, if frustrating that it had editing where not much was really needed.

Horuz cuts off Niebla Roja

Aramis, Freelance, Relámpago vs Cerebro Negro, Dr. Cerebro, Dragón Bane
(AAA/IWRG @ Arena Naucalpan on 10/04, 16:58, good, Internetv Deportes)

Easily the best of the three trios/atomicos in this batch. It built better, it had a fun mat wrestling section with Aramis/Dr. Cerebro while also matching big highspots. The crowd was into this one too, and the screwy finish feels irrelevant because we still got a three count. Relampago had a weak performance in his highlight run, but so many other guys looked great in their time. The dives were pretty cool too. Dragon Ban hasn’t gotten to act like much of a rudo in AAA, gets to do so here, and shows a little bit of a personality. The third fall goes a decent amount of time but doesn’t amount to a lot. This would’ve been a stronger recommendation with a bit more.

Cerebro submission
or you could just nail someone with a tope

2018 watch later catch up, part 12 of ∞

this kind of had to be the GIF on the top

Mistico vs Último Guerrero
(CMLL @ Arena Coliseo Guadalajara on 07/17, 12:12, ok, 

A by the numbers Mistico/Ultimo Guerrero match, only notable for Último Guerrero saving the dropkick off the apron to the end of the match. It’s a good set up to an unexpected Místico comeback, which goes wrong when Místico slips on a springboard anyway. The floor of the standard UG match is decently high but the ceiling is not much higher, and this doesn’t break that pattern.

good trios wrestler Mistico

Dragón Lee II vs Último Ninja
(RevoLucha @ Gimnasio Nuevo León Unido on 07/22, 16:13,
great, doncelladehielo89 (part 1), doncelladehielo89 (part 2))

July seems long ago. This was Ninja’s farewell to Mexico match and one of Dragon Lee’s last matches before his reality show trip. In the great tradition of Mexican luchadors with impending NXT deals, Último Ninja gives everything in a high impact battle, feeling like more like a big title match than an all-star exhibition. You probably shouldn’t be taking hanging double stomps to the floor when you’re packing for Orlando, but Ninja took that and more in what might have been his best match under that name. I really liked his match with Rey Horuz in RIOT and this was easily better than that, pretty close to a MOTYC level. It’s a lot of Dragon Lee’s big match moments, but Último Ninja steps up to the challenge and it feels like a huge battle all the way to the end. They did a lot and it all comes off really well. Worth going out of your way to see.

seems like cheating
Ultimo Ninja handspring armdrag suplex?
double stomp to oblivion

Kunai vs Iron Kid
(Lucha Tlahuc @ Gimnasio Raton Macias on 07/22, 12:16, great, 
Adrian Martinez)

Just complete insanity. There’s a spot with a basketball hoop support and it’s not even the craziest spot in that minute. Iron Kid is entertaining whenever he shows up in IWRG or the super indies. I had no idea who Kunai was before this match. I really wanted to know more about Kunai (or maybe it’s Kunay) after this match, and still don’t know much. If he’s got a Facebook, I can’t find it and the few promotions he’s working for don’t mention it. Kunai is athletically gifted, pulling off inside springboard moves with ease. It’s outweighed by his willingness to do outrageous stuff that’s not going to help him last too long but sure made him stand out here. I’m not sure if Kunai was going far above and beyond because this was a match with a much more visible (though hardly older) opponent, or if he’s always this way, but it was something to watch. Kunai wasn’t just taking silly bumps, he was also hitting all the spots he wanted to hit and looking like the equal of a far more hyped luchador. I’d love to see more of him.

Destello Azul on a basketball court
dropkick onto a basketball court

The King (Rey Fenix) vs Laredo Kid
(MDA @ Arena Coliseo Monterrey on 07/29, 16:53, excellent, 

This match is probably why AAA set up a Fenix/Laredo Kid match during their Yucatan weekend of shows. I guess it’s all the same that they’ve since forgotten it and moved on to other matches which won’t actually happen either since it’s unlikely it’ll be as smooth as this one. Fenix and Laredo Kid are similar wrestlers, separate more by years than style, with Laredo’s major deficiency being coming along a half-decade too soon to be cast in a cult favorite US wrestling show. Outside of Lucha Underground, Fenix has become the US guy who just has great matches every time they put him into a situation to have one, and also someone who gets little character attention seemingly because the people in charge see having good matches as his ceiling. In Mexico, Fenix is the top guy and Laredo Kid is Fenix, the likable guy who gets no character attention because the people in charge see him just as a good who can have really good matches. The similarities in style and effort are shown throughout the match, though Fenix always seems to be giving a little bit more than Laredo. It comes up pretty early when Laredo Kid does a tope to thru first row and Fenix does a tope con giro thru the first row. Laredo Kid has a few beautiful spots, and Fenix looks spectacular with his jumping cutters. (Fenix maybe does too maybe of those cutters, here and in general, but at least he’s overdoing a move that’s not overdone in Mexico.) This match is all about the spectacular spots, but it still feels like they’re competing to win – they’re competing in a spectacular fashion.

The shorter version is I thought this way superb. I don’t think it’ll make my top ten because it’s a match with no context – if this really was a built-up AAA title match with the same hot crowd, it may have a bigger place in my memory – but that doesn’t seem something you can put on the wrestlers. Neither can you put on them the weird mid-match break for some crowd hype. I think I’m really more partial to both Laredo Kid & Fenix than most, but I still think you should definitely watch this even if you’re not.

You better move when Fenix starts running
Laredo’s German suplex is inescapable
all the kicks

Demus vs Príncipe Legendario
(MDA @ Arena Coliseo Monterrey on 07/29, 7:45, ok,

A CMLL lightning match of an indie match, both in length and approximate effort. I had to rewatch it because I felt like I must’ve met something interesting happen. It remained alright but didn’t stick out beyond the weirdness of Principe Legendario playing rudo against Demus, an odd choice. There are moments where it seems like it’s going to turn into a brawl, and that would’ve been more interesting than how it ended up with more normal action.

guillotine double knee smash

Mephisto © vs Titán for the CMLL World Welterweight Championship
(CMLL @ Arena Coliseo Guadalajara on 08/07, 17:47, great, 

This match gets more (TV) time than most Guadalajara title matches and makes the most of it. Titan is better at getting sympathy than most CMLL luchadors. It sticks out more in CMLL style matches, and this is definitely a Mephisto CMLL title match. Titan’s willing to go longer without getting in any offense, and to be on the wrong side of the match for an extended period. The third fall doesn’t go “my move, your move” instead turning into Mephisto just hitting Titan with his usual finishing moves (and repeatedly) and Titan just barely surviving. Even when he mounts a comeback, it may not end well. The apron powerbomb here definitely didn’t end well, and that sort of stuff made the match feel a bit more unpredictable than usual CMLL title match. It still is recognizable as a CMLL title match and might be worth passing if you’re just tired of those, but it was better than average as far as those are concerned.

things go badly for Titan

2018 watch later catch up, part 11 of ∞

this seems no fun

Keyra & Zumbido vs Lady Maravilla & Steve Pain
(LLB @ Arena Lopez Mateos, 06/17, 14:41, good,
CaritaJC LuchaLibre)

Video Note: This is lightly clipped.

Review: I’ve got this match as good, but its borderline higher. I haven’t seen a lot of Zumbido in the last decade, but this is the best I’ve seen him look since he was in CMLL. He’s great as the técnico who isn’t going to put up with any of Maravilla & Pain’s cheating, plays to the crowd well, and is effective in his moves. Keyra & Zumbido are the best working team thanks to what seems like Zumbido’s ideas. He’s a little off at times but still worth the show. Everyone is good, Maravilla shows more personality as a ruda than the Keyra does a tecnica, and the finish looks outstanding.

a good idea that needed a little better timing
this was way more of Zumbido than Steve Pain was expecting

Hijo de LA Park & LA Park vs Dragón Lee & Rush
(IWRG @ Arena Naucalpan on 06/17, 22:28, good,
IWRG tv)

This match is one where almost everyone writing about lucha libre has already written about this match and I have nothing interesting or new to add. I think I like it a little less than most, but it’s still pretty good. It’s a great Naucalpan brawl around the building for two falls. Park & Rush bring more intensity to the usual wandering around the building, and the younger Park & Dragon Lee fit in fine when they mix the fights. The third fall loses the plot a bit – it goes too long, Dragon Lee & Hijo de LA Park are going back to a highspot match (and less than perfectly done) that just seems like an interruption to Park/Rush – but the first half of this is well worth watching.

Rush doesn’t seem to like LA Park
LA Park spear

Aramis © vs Freelance for the IWRG Rey del Aire match
(IWRG @ Arena Naucalpan on 07/01, 5:05,
good, via +LuchaTV)

Video note: This aired live on one of +Lucha’s first times streaming from Naucalpan, but the feed died a few times in that show. This is joined in progress after one of those dead moments. The announcing comes and goes during the match, seemingly as they try to figure out if they’re on air. It never got posted as a stand along match later.

Review: I don’t know if this match counts as a sprint, because they’re not moving faster than the usual rapid speed Aramis & Freelance wrestle at. It’s more this one goes only five minutes (of what we see) because they’re throwing big moves from the start. It’s not going to last long and shouldn’t last long if they’re just throwing the IWRG lightweight equivalent of big bombs. Freelance got Aramis in a position where the next move was probably going to win, and Aramis escaped to land that move himself. Five minutes doesn’t make much of a remarkable match, and it doesn’t reach the insane level to make it a must see level. It’s still a good fireworks show.

this match has some more GIF worthy spots but it doesn’t last long enough to give more away

Soberano Jr. © vs Cavernario for the Mexican National Welterweight Championship
(CMLL @ Arena Coliseo Guadalajara on 07/10, 20:28, good,

Video Note: my video is dropping frames at different points. It’s a little distracting but never unwatchable.

Review: I know I watched this one back in July but I guess I never wrote anything about it. Watching it again, it’s striking how much of it is Cavernario control. Soberano gets in almost nothing in the first two falls, just getting a surprise pinfall. Cavernario’s good enough that they don’t seem to lose the crowd at the end. Cavernario’s good enough at the end too to keep them going after the finishing sequence doesn’t work right the first time. Soberano adds his big spots and dives but this is Cavernario making the match work.

Soberano (and some frame skipping)

Penta El Zero M vs Senza Volto vs Gringo Loco vs El Bandolero
(GALLI @ Arena GALLI on 06/24, 22:00,
great, GALLI Lucha Libre)

Video Note: Match actually starts at 8:41, though there’s still a bit of interior decorating before anyone fights.

Review: This match is turned into an extreme match before it starts – the long delay before it starts is for people gathering weapons, and then tossing those same weapons back out so they have room to do stuff. They certainly make use of the rules to do some crazy stuff. There’s total insanity in this one, punishment they’re taking in the first half of the match they probably shouldn’t be doing in front of this size crowd (or maybe any side crowd.) It probably didn’t need to get 20 minutes and it never developed into more than just craziness, but it was a good crazy match. Bandolero takes the most brutal things. I have not seen France’s Senza Volto prior; he’s obviously super athletic to do big dives with ease. He could use more refinement in some areas, but there’s a lot of potentials to tap into – like, the pull up he does to get on top of the entrance set is somehow more impressive than the dive off it. I was going to rate this as good, and then the finish happened. The finish came off as insane enough looking on video to push it over the line. It was probably a normal bump for the situation but it just looked amazing the way we saw it.

Senza DDT
Bandolero coming thru

Daga vs Matt Riddle
(The Crash @ Auditorio de Tijuana on 07/14, 9:53, good, 
Lucha Libre De Tijuana)

Video Note: This version is edited. All the version are edited and this one had the longest running time. The editing doesn’t seem bad at first, then it gets more present and more obviously being used to cut out any point where there’s no action as it goes on.

Review: The Daga/Riddle match is built around them being equals, while Riddle also comes off as the more impressive guys. He’s better at taking Daga’s offense, and his own looks more impressive. Daga looks good too, though getting distracted to tell of a fan doesn’t help his cause much. I was expecting a little more grappling than they get to, at least until the final moments. The moves they do instead look good, it’s just more of a regular indie match done well than a different style of match. This was good fun.

not a good sign for Daga


a better sign for Daga