CMLL Dia de Muetros iPPV: 2018-11-02 

Ultimo Guerrero is normally a rudo

Recapped: 11/02/2018

Matches:

Oro Jr. & Súper Astro Jr. beat El Coyote & Grako
(15:56 [6:25, 1:59, 7:32], 2/3, n/r)

Átomo, Gallito, Microman beat Chamuel, Mije, Perico Zakarías
(17:13 [6:14, 1:59, 9:00], 2/3, good)

Hechicero, Rey Bucanero, Terrible beat Ángel de Oro, Audaz, Stuka Jr.
(11:19 [4:08, 7:11], 1/2, good?)

Atlantis, Hijo de LA Park, Mistico beat Cavernario, Ephesto, Mephisto
(12:55 [5:45, 1:44, 5:26], 2/3, good)

Sansón © beat Templario to keep the Rey del Inframundo championship
(16:46, 2/3, great)

  1. La Templaria (3:54)

  2. Sansón backbreaker powerbomb (2:36)

  3. Sansón super backbreaker powerbomb (10:16)

Diamante Azul, LA Park, Michael Elgin beat King Phoenix, Penta 0M, Último Guerrero in a relevos increíbles match
(13:45 [5:36, 4:00, 4:09], 1/3, good)

What happened:

Microman

This was the first of a weekend Dia de Muertos shows. There wasn’t as much of a set this year, instead relying on more video boards than usual to present a background. The lightning, the special makeup and the dragging people to hell (starting with the fourth match) continued on.

This was also an iPPV, announced just a day before the show. The iPPV was not good quality. Background music played instead of match audio for most of the first match, with the feed being cut off at the finish of that match. The feed buffered for the next four matches makes the matches unwatchable at times. The stream finally started working fine by the second half of the Rey del Inframundo match. It leaves this show as hard to recommend. The undercard is enjoyable and would be worth watching if it were either available for free or available complete, but neither option exists. The Sanson/Templario match and the main event aired well enough to watch and good enough to want to watch, but it’s tough to recommend paying for an iPPV where 2/3rds of the matches are messed up and no one involved seemed all that bothered about it.

During the show, CMLL announced the Leyenda de Plata would return on 11/16, and the 11/23 show will honor Mascara 2000.

Thoughts:

Templario

The good points of the main event outweighed the low points. This was one of these matches where Diamante Azul felt glaring out of place, caught between the delusion of the great luchador CMLL appears to believe he is and the guy who needed to repeatedly told where to go he actually was. It was still a great match when he wasn’t around. The Elgin/Phoenix sequences were strong, two guys who have some obvious chemistry and idea how to make each other look impressive. LA Park was more picking his spots than usual, but fit in better as a background player than he has in other matches. Último Guerrero and Pentagon has good moments, and this overall would’ve been better good as the similar Anniversary match if they had one better person.

The Templario/Sanson match had a slow start, working more of a technical match than expected between two rudos or a show with such big ideas. It turned out they were saving the bigger spots all for the last half of the third fall, which was full of dives and near falls. Templario looked impressive while coming up a little short, exactly what they wanted to get out of this match. The Dia de Muertos atmosphere added to the stakes of the match, but this seemed really Sansón establishing he can handle an important title match without a veteran in there to hold his hand. He did it last year with Soberano, he did it this year with Templario, and he’ll probably be doing it a lot to come with slightly more important titles.

I have notes on the other four matches, but nothing I really want to point towards after the feed hurt them. The micros match captured the fans, as it usually does – it’s strange that what could be the small comedy wrestlers instead push themselves harder to add and improve their matches more than the serious full-sized people. Coyote & Grako had shaky moments in the opener but put in a lot more effort than usual for that position. It’d be good if they worked more Friday matches, at least until being stuck in that spot kills their enthusiasm as well. The middle two trios matches were better than usual for Friday nights, but the show had killed my enthusiasm by that point.

CMLL Gran Prix iPPV: 2018-10-05 

Hechicero flying in

Recapped: 10/05/2018

Matches:

Akuma, Camorra, Star Jr. beat Hijo del Signo, Robin, Yago in a relevos increíbles match
(14:03 [7:35, 6:28], 1/2, ok)

Avispa Dorada, La Jarochita, Marcela beat Dalys, Metálica, Reyna Isis
(9:53 [5:23, 2:46, 1:44], 1/3, ok)

Gran Guerrero beat Valiente in a lightning match
(9:10, super fireman’s bomb, ok)

Hijo de LA Park, LA Park, Mistico beat Cavernario, Ciber the Main Man, The Chris
(17:06 [5:11, 4:00, 7:55], 1/3, ok)

Dark Magic, David Finlay, Flip Gordon, Gilbert el Boricua, Jay Briscoe, Mark Briscoe, Matt Taven, Michael Elgin, Okumura beat Carístico, Cuatrero, Diamante Azul, Euforia, Hechicero, Sansón, Terrible, Último Guerrero, Volador Jr. in CMLL’s Gran Prix
(59:57, good)

  1. Sansón Bomb Okumura Okumura (17:00)
  2. Jay/Mark crucifix powerbomb/neckbreaker Cuatrero (19:57)
  3. Hechicero Magia Negra Black Magic (23:05)
  4. Michael Elgin double powerbomb Diamante Azul (26:34)
  5. Carístico Caristica David Finlay (29:40)
  6. Matt Taven frogsplash Sansón (34:12)
  7. Terrible powerbomb Flip Gordon (35:21)
  8. Jay Driller on Terrible (36:06)
  9. Pulpo Guerrero on Jay (36:25)
  10. Carístico fisherman’s suplex Mark Briscoe (37:23)
  11. Mark Briscoe double pin Carístico (37:23)
  12. Gilbert spear Hechicero (40:23)
  13. Volador Canadian Destroyer Matt Taven (45:07)
  14. Gilberg backcracker Volador (47:28)
  15. Euforia la Soberana Gilbert (50:57)
  16. Michael Elgin powerbomb Euforia (55:35)
  17. Michael Elgin spinning powerbomb Último Guerrero (59:57)

What happened:

this happened

Volador & Taven feuded during the Gran Prix, with one of Volador’s ears bleeding (earring pulled out?) after an early skirmish. UG challenged Elgin to a singles match for next week and Elgin accepted.

LA Park walked out of the ring immediately after the semi-main, visibly upset with how Cibernético failed to take his spear a moment early.

It appeared Signo and Camorra are feuding in the opener. It explains a lot about CMLL that enough people thought it was an OK idea for that to happen.

Thoughts:

also this

This year’s Gran Prix was not at the level of others. The emotion of the fans made the moment in the last two years. It wasn’t present during most of the match. The brawls early were good and people cared about the Taven/Volador fights and the UG/Elgin stuff at the end. They came across as quiet most of the match, as they were all night. The action was good but never got to an intense level until the last elimination. Last year’s match had some rapid sequences taking advantage of having so many people involved. This year’s match had a slow mass of people moving towards the stage to catch some dives (which somehow turned out to be only the second worst version of that bit on the show.) There were solid individual performances without a lot of standout one. Elgin was again the best guy in the match, though trying to do more lucha spots sometimes didn’t work out for him and there was a long awkward moment with Euforia and a superplex at the end. The match was overall good, though nothing I’d recommend someone who missed it spending $10 after the fact.

Volador & Taven played their feud well and the accidental blood helped with the emotion. Volador beating Taven after both kicked out of each other’s big feud seemed like Volador’s revenge for now, though they left it open enough to come back again later. Gilbert continues to look sluggish and not sharp. I’m still holding out a little hope he’ll get better with more time away from his surgeries but it’s not looking good. Dark Magic was fine, and his exchange with Diamante Azul went well. David Finlay had a good early exchange with Hechicero and a less smooth one with Carístico. He didn’t make a big impression. Flip Gordon looked more spectacular but also didn’t seem to be around for a long time. The NGD vs Briscoes bit was a nice way to give those teams something in this match. Hechicero & Euforia got to last a longer than most thought, with Hechicero getting in more. He could stand to do the shoulder wave magic spell about 10% less though. Someday, the CMLL announcers will find out they’ve mixed up Jay and Mark Briscoe every time and feel so embarrassed.

did you know the Bruce Lee film “Enter the Dragon” was called “Operacion Dragon” in Mexico? now you know

The semi-main featured the slowest developing stage dive spot of all time, in a match that often moved pretty slow. The Guerreros style of match kept things moving with the Cl4n. An LA Park match means more meandering, and they’re not any better in that style. The Chris had to do a lot more work for his team than previous matches. He did take a Spanish Fly but wasn’t really that great. Cibernético was worse, having some awkward sequences with LA Park right until the end. Maybe the Guerreros are better than we thought because Cibernético looked worse than usual. It’s hard to consider this good when Ciber was so bad.

Valiente has had way too many lightning matches of late and he’s not a guy who’s going to vary those up in the best of times. It’s really about how cool his dives are that night, and the Valiente Special seemed to miss a little bit tonight. Gran Guerrero was a suitable though not exciting opponent himself. Maybe the most notable thing is he seems to have changed his middle rope finisher to a safer fall than just tossing someone off the top rope.

not many dragon supelxes on the unbudging Arena Mexico mat

The women’s match was a little bit better than average, maybe because of the stunning moment where Dalys didn’t actually win. Avispa did better than most of the new women debuting, making an impression with her tope con giro. Dalys & Avispa worked a lot together, which was good at times and also had them going thru practiced sequences without things actually happening. (Thinking of whatever the spinning powerbomb spot was supposed to be.) No one really stood out.

The opener was a dead match outside of Robin’s contributions and the fun dive train at the end. The weird sides were a determent to the match and set up a feud no one wants to see between the two obvious worst guys involved. The fans couldn’t have been more dead for this, and the action was poor at times. Robin really tried to make something out of it and it got better as it went along, but it felt like a bad Tuesday match for a while.

CMLL Aniversario: 2018-09-14 

brother teamwork

Recapped: 09/19/2018

Matches: 

La Jarochita, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit beat Dalys, La Metálica, Reyna Isis
(11:16 [5:53, 2:33, 2:50], 1/3, below average)

Ángel de Oro, Audaz, Niebla Roja beat Felino, Mephisto, Negro Casas
(11:20 [3:55, 4:38, 2:47], 1/3, ok)

Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón beat Atlantis, Mistico, Soberano Jr.  
(14:21 [6:11, 4:11, 3:59], 1/3, good)

Ciber the Main Man, Scharly Rockstar, The Chris beat Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero for the CMLL World Trios Championship
(11:31 [5:23, 3:22, 2:46], 1/3, below average)

Diamante Azul, King Phoenix, Penta El Zero M beat Carístico, Hijo de LA Park, LA Park
(18:51 [5:53, 5:41, 7:17], 1/3, great)

Bárbaro Cavernario & Rush beat Matt Taven & Volador Jr. , hairs vs hairs
(22:56 [3:54, 2:54, 16:08], 1/3, great
)

What happened: 

got to stay aware in the front row

In the main event, Taven is eliminated in the third fall but then comes back into springboard kick Volador. It’s played up like a mistake for a moment like he was meaning for Rush, but Taven is attacking Volador and friendly with the rudos after. Taven tries to run away without getting his hair cut, and Volador brings him back. They get some hair cut in the ring.

Ciber (barely) used the ropes to pin Último Guerrero

Reina Isis is wearing cat ears. Bastet is the cat Egyptian god, not Isis. It doesn’t matter.

Thoughts: 

The main event fell short of being a top end match, though it was still an entertaining match and the most dramatic one on the show. It didn’t all come together for the all the problems which could’ve been seen from the start. The entrances spell out that this should’ve been Rush & Volador, with Cavernario & Taven literally being afterthoughts. Taven appears to be here and a técnico just to give Volador an out for losing. Cavernario doesn’t even have that much of a defined role but needed to here because he was the one guy the crowd was totally behind. Except that means the match is one guy the crowd hates (Rush) & one guy the crowd loves (Cavernario) versus one guy the crowd seems to have limited interest in (Taven) and one guy they’re not as much behind as usual (Volador.) It’s a weird dynamic that distracts from the match and then is overshadowed by the Taven turn at the end. Even putting aside this wasn’t the match people want, this wasn’t well put together.

I complain about lucha production a lot (and will do more), but this great moving cinematic shot of Cavernario & Rush hitting their big moves is something you’d get nowhere else

The actual match is very good, doing their best to overcome the hand they were given. Cavernario does the crazy splash early, and then often. Rush is working his hardest while still antagonizing this crowd. Volador looked sharp. They put together nice series of moves and had some spectacular moments near the end. Taven was the weak link match in this match, unexpectedly not being on the same page as the Mexicans at points and just seeming off in a way he hasn’t this tour. Cavernario shined brighter, coming thru in all the big moments in a way that would’ve won over the crowd if they weren’t already behind him. These four guys did all you would expect out of them in a big match, and this would’ve been exceptional for most Friday night shows. It just still didn’t feel like a big Aniversario show main event.

The semi-main was the one match that over delivered. They had to overcome some odd teams, and one spot that very much didn’t go right. It didn’t matter in the end because they did so much that one moment going wrong was overshadowed by so many that went right. Fenix & Penta pushed the match farther than anyone else, adding sequence and not just moves. Hijo de LA Park was shaky a little early – doing mirror spots with Fenix doesn’t benefit him – but added big moments as they came on. Diamante Azul was fine though the idea of him matching up with LA Park seemed like a waste of LA Park. Carístico fit nicely with both Penta & Fenix and I’m still not sure why they haven’t done either of those matches. This wasn’t the big LA Park match that could’ve been but he put in a solid effort.

Operacion Dragon

I didn’t in find title match as much as much terrible as terribly underwhelming and terribly boring. The Cl4n got a lot of offense, which has a hit or miss rate of looking any good. Cibernético struggles with falling down, which seems to be something most people need to be able to do as professional wrestlers. The Guerreros didn’t do as much as their first match, and the finish came off as screwed up. I don’t know why they’re bothering about this, but finally giving them an entrance video was a pretty big tell that they were going to be sticking around for a while.

The NGD match wasn’t among the best ones they’ve had – Atlantis was both figuratively and literally in the way of that – but it was a good showcase for the rudos. They ran thru some, though not all of their big offense in the second fall and the rudo crowd was pleasantly surprised to see Mistico take the loss in the end. Soberano looked good except for the one big slip and surprised everyone by using an actual submission hold. Mistico continued his run of doing well on big shows and getting booed for it.

flying Forastero

Didn’t really think a lot of the second match. The veterans were present and trying, but not bringing a lot extra to the match. Angel de Oro & Niebla Roja aren’t adventurous on their own. This was better than the Tuesday version of this match would be, but it still felt short of something notable. They did build the match on making Audaz a bigger star by the end, and the dive he tried looked pretty cool.

The women’s match wouldn’t stick out positively even on a regular CMLL show. It was not Aniversario caliber or close. They had less energy than usual and no one outside of maybe Metalica was trying things they don’t normally do. The comeback spot by Marcela looked messed up or badly timed, Dalys took a lazy bump on a dropkick out of the ring, and the most of the work was forgettable. Isis probably shouldn’t be doing a stripping routine if she’s meant to be booed, but who even knows if rudos are supposed to be booed in CMLL. You’re probably supposed to jump over a drop down but Isis wasn’t doing that either. It is embarrassing this match it on to the Aniversario show and so many people who would’ve tried did not.

Cavernario smash

CMLL Homenaje a Dos Leyendas iPPV: 2018-03-16 

things went badly quick for Angel de Oro

Recapped: 03/16/2018

Matches:

Audaz, Flyer, Star Jr. beat Disturbio, Templario, Virus
(10:55 [4:20, 2:55, 3:40], 1/3, great)

Dalys, La Seductora, Zeuxis beat Kaho Kobayashi, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit
(14:16 [6:24, 2:33, 5:19], 2/3, ok)

Dragón Lee, Mistico, Rush beat Forastero, Máscara Año 2000, Sansón
(12:13 [4:05, 8:08], 1/2, good)

Atlantis, Matt Taven, Niebla Roja beat  Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero
(11:29 [5:09, 2:43, 3:37], 2/3, ok)

Valiente & Volador Jr. beat Rey Bucanero & Terrible for to win the the CMLL World Tag Team Championship
(16:59 [3:22, 1:56, 11:41], 2/3, good)

El Cuatrero beat Ángel de Oro in a mask vs mask match mask
(18:43, 1/3, great) 03/16/2018

  1. Cuatrero inverted bear hug (3:34)

  2. Angel de Oro campana (2:18)

  3. Cuatrero crucifix powerbomb (12:51)

What happened: 

Audaz & Star Jr.

Angel de Oro is Miguel Ángel Chávez Velasco, 29, 12 years a wrestler.

Rush put his feet on the ropes to beat Mascara Año 2000 Jr.. He really didn’t need to.

While Virus & Audaz did work together, Audaz submitted Templario to win their match (so maybe that feud is over for now?)

Thoughts:

Angel de Oro versus Cuatrero lived up to the tradition of emotional mask matches. The crowd, pro-Dinamita all the way, made this a moment along side other similar matches. It was better than last year’s Diamante Azul/Pierroth effort, but Niebla Roja/Gran Guerrero was definitely better. That mask match seemed to have people go far and beyond a normal match. Angel de Oro just doesn’t posses the ability to go any farther than he has before. He pulled off All his usual spots. They were also all his Usual spots. Maybe the failed top rope move near the end would’ve lead to something different. He did kill himself on the tope early on and took a lot of punishment from Cuatrero. Angel just didn’t really rise to the occasion like his brother did last summer. Cuatrero was solid all the way thru, looking impressive throwing Oro around and being in the right spot for his big moves. The inverted bear hug was a strange finish. At least it was an idea. The loudest portion of the crowd so badly wanted him to win that it came off like a huge victory for him. He could’ve just used a little more exciting opponent.

Volador & Valiente dives

The tag title match was good as it was going to be given the people involved. Bucanero couldn’t do much on his own but was willing to try – the monkey flip over the ropes spot was back, he was the one who took Volador super headscissors, he was one the one who caught (or tired) on the Valiente Special. Terrible continues to look great, and Valiente and Volador got enough of their big offense. It just still felt like a main event on a B—show and never a great match on it’s own. Terrible & Bucanero never came that close to winning, and they do much as a team that would give you a reason to believe they’d over come their obvious disadvantage. If they do something with Volador & Valiente, their defenses will probably be all better than this match. Like a lot of this show, this one seemed like it might be much better live with the crowd caring more than you’d expect.

The fourth match had the stream dying early on, and didn’t last for too long when we did get to see it. Gran Guerrero & Niebla Roja mixed got to mix it in, the Guerreros got to go thru their team offense, the técnicos got to make a big comeback, but nothing really sank it to it. Nothing wrong with it and the crowd got into it.

everyone lived

The tercera was highlighted more by the crowd reactions than the match. Dragon Lee & Mistico looked off their usual. It just fed into the crowd hating them even more. Rush laid it in on the closing dropkick and Mascara 2000 didn’t seem to have a lot of fun there. The Dinamitas didn’t stick out strongly in this match, but were there for the offense. They got two falls and not a lot of time, so this wasn’t a big showcase.

The women’s match was an OK match which still really didn’t feel like it should be on this show. They were doing more than usual because of the occasion, but it came off as slow and really had a hard time following the match which came before. Seductora’s first spot in this match to duck an invisible clothesline. At least she got a new outfit and the splash went well. Zeuxis crushed Kaho with the double knees. Kaho seemed thrilled to be there anyway and her energy helped the match. It would’ve helped if they got her into it a little quicker.

The opener was a great display. Audaz has looked good this year. He somehow got even better in this one. He was leaping around the ring like gravity was an optional thing, looking like the mostly easily agile person on the planet. Star Jr. wasn’t far behind him, his frog splash to win the first fall was outstanding and he was getting amazing height on his springboards thru the match. They were so spectacular that Templario walking the ropes for a dropkick or Flyer’s moonsault got over shadowed. It felt a little pre-planed but the plan was strong and they pulled it off well.

Cuatrero bomb

CMLL 84th Anniversary Show: 2017-09-16 

we could all use a hug

Recapped: 09/16/2017

All matches aired live from Arena México on iPPV

Matches:

Dragón Rojo Jr., Hechicero, Pólvora beat Blue Panther Jr., Stuka Jr., The Panther
(21:23 [7:42, 5:27, 8:14], 2/3, good)

Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone, Valiente beat Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
(13:21 [6:49, 2:17, 4:15], 2/3, good)

Cavernario, Felino, Negro Casas b Rush, Kraneo, Sam Adonis
(9:21 [5:02, 4:19], 1/2 DQ, ok)

Zeuxis beat Princesa Sugehit in a mask vs mask match
(20:49, 2/3, great)

  1. Princesa Sugehit rana (3:21)
  2. Zeuxis bridging cradle (3:45)
  3. Zeuxis Spanish Fly (13:43)

Carístico, Flip Gordon, Volador Jr. beat Kojima, Mephisto, Último Guerrero
(16:04 [5:22, 2:40, 8:02], 2/3, ok)

Gran Guerrero beat Niebla Roja in a mask vs mask match
(18:38, 2/3, great)

  1. Niebla Roja springboard plancha (2:06)
  2. Gran Guerrero wristlock armscissors (1:35)
  3. Gran Guerrero fireman’s carry powerbomb (14:57)

What happened: 

king of spades?

Niebla Roja was unmasked as Sergio Raymundo Chavez. He is 31, 11 years a wrestler. He wrestled without any side of an injury, though they checked on his knee after the second fall.

Princesa Sugehit was unmasked as Ernestina Sugehit Salazar Martinez. She is 37, 21 years a luchadora.

Sam Adonis and Negro Casas continue to feud in their match. Adonis gave Casas an inverted atomic drop, which was ruled to be a knee lift foul.

Mima Shimoda accompanied Kojima for his match.

The iPPV feed aired without any major problem, though they continued to replace the dance numbers with video packages (even though they’re in no danger of being taken down by YouTube whe they’re not on YouTube.)

Thoughts: 

he did it!

CMLL’s two big matches delivered on their promise. Roja wasn’t hampered by any leg injury or by a negative crowd reaction (they were definitely cheering for Gran Guerrero but did not reject the match.) The crowd got into the women’s match as much as they have for any big women’s match. Both matches were about as good as they could’ve hoped to be, and fans of those four luchadors left happy with the effort (if maybe not all happy with the results.)

The problem for this show is there weren’t enough fans of those four people to make for a strongly attended show, and they didn’t do enough with the other luchadors people might care about to make up the difference. There were sections of the show booed, but it came across more as indiference on the iPPV stream, and for good reason. The opener was the kind of extra effort match normal for a big show, but the other trios matches didn’t have that extra bit. The NGD match was good given who was involved but was unexpectly more a showcase for the técnicos. The third match was an early match feud, one that didn’t feel near hot enough to make it worthwhile. And the semimain was kind of a more, a match that didn’t feel like it should be be part of a big show on paper and one where the participants didn’t work all that hard to change that perception. The malaise that’s overtaken the rest of CMLL cards this year was just as present on the biggest show of their year. An underwhelming anniversary show is an accurate representation of the last year.

Zeuxis will steal your beer!

If Niebla Roja does a run of interviews swearing that he wasn’t injured, that everyone was making it up, people would have a hard time disproving him on based on his performance here. Both he and Gran Guerrero talked about wanting to prove they belonged in this spot. This was not an epic on the level of the Atlantis matches, but this did feel like the best possible Niebla Roja/Gran Guerrero match, one that was capable of pulling in a disincllined crowd to react to the big near falls. (All the near falls felt big too. Unexpectedly, CMLL doing such a lackluster job of building interest into the match made the match seem a little bit more fresh – this was not simply a better version of a match they’d done many times because they not had a singles match before this.) I wish Gran Guerrero was more his own man and not such an Último Guerrero cover band, but he did the best version of UG’s style with his own finishes as he could. Niebla Roja didn’t connect strongly with the crowd, but he did try everything he could here to make the match dramatic. This would’ve been a breakout singles match if it had happened prior to the Anniversary, and feels underwhelming mostly because of how CMLL positioned it and not what they did.

The semifinal definitely feels underwhelming based on what they did. CMLL’s going to roll out Kojima and Flip Gordon in trios matches for a while, and you’ll liable to see ones just as good as the semimain from the Anniversario show. Gordon didn’t really stand out beyond the kip up spot. Kojima seems like a nice guy, but is definitley in the wrong promotion, and wasn’t a great pick for an extended tour. The other guys coudl’ve made up for it, but were just checking off moves from their big matches with no particular excitement. There was no urgency or pressure that you’d expect for a match on this level of show, and just that made it more disappointing than it would’ve been on a regular show.

this was a good match but I think Angel de Oro took the best bump

The woman’s match was actually a little disappointing to me for the first couple of minutes, with both women working unconvincing holds unlike they had done in previous matches. The finishes were good, and it really picked up in the third fall. (Though, I am still disappointed Sugehit next landed the Asai plancha.) The crowd was more into this match from the start, but it didn’t feel like they knew these women as well. Sugehit using the satellite armbar she’s won with the last couple weeks to no reaction stood out as the crowd liking the idea of this match but not as diehard fans as you might expect. Thye should have new fans after this one; they did a lot of big stuff and it came thru well. The cradle reversal out of Sugehit’s armbar was cool, as was Zeuxis accidentally taking out a fan with a knee. Even the Spanish Fly went well, and that’s no guarnatee here.

The tercera served the purpose of getting the next big feud over in front of this crowd, but it didn’t come across as strong enough to get people to really care. I don’t think Negro Casas is into this right not as much as Blue Panther was from the start. Panther sold Adonis bigger as a foreign invader, while Casas more treats him as the guy he happens to be facing at this moment. The other guys around it weren’t much help. Cavernario/Rush sounds like an interesting match on paper, but Rush just kind of ate up Cavernario and that was that. Kraneo & Felino were not big factors.

Flip baffled the Mexicans

I misread the second match. It wasn’t another NGD exhibition. They were just taking the spot of the Hijos del Infierno or the Revolucionarios or any other midcard rudo stable, there to stooge around to set up the técnicos offense on a big show. That might have still worked great if the técnicos were Soberano, Mistico and Dragon Lee, but these guys weren’t quite as exciting. The técnicos did generally break out the best stuff in their cabinet (except Valiente’s mask and blond hair, which is about the worst look), but it’s also the same general stuff (except the Valiente moonsault) we get to see from them a lot. Forastero got to land his dropkick on a big show, and they looked good when they worekd as a team. There just could’ve been more of it. This still would’ve been a good show is this was the least quality match on it. It just was not.

The sole trios match which felt like luchadors going at top effort for a top show was the opener. I guess it really shouldn’t have been a surprise that the person who was the best when everyone was at their best was Hechicero. The second fall was just a showcase for all he could do, and he totally won over the crowd. (I wonder if he was watching some of the MYC, because the “leap into my submission hold” finish was seen there too.) This was a little messy at times, with Dragon Rojo and Pólvora not really connecting cleanly on things. It was still a lot of fun.

the end

CMLL iPPV: 2017-03-17 

spot of the night

Recapped: 03/20/2017

Matches:

Amapola, Tiffany, Zeuxis beat by DQ Estrellita, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit  (falls 2/3, 13:09 [6:34, 3:22, 3:13], ok)

Dragón Lee, Stuka Jr., Titán beat Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Niebla Roja (falls 2/3, 11:52 [3:19, 2:35, 5:58], good)

Kráneo, La Máscara, Rush beat Atlantis, Carístico, Marco Corleone  (straight falls, 8:01 [2:03, 5:40], ok)

Último Guerrero beat Matt Taven  to keep the NWA World Middleweight Championship (falls 1/3, 16:26 [4:51, 2:11, 9:23], good)

Sky Team (Mistico, Valiente, Volador Jr.) defeated  Hechicero, Luciferno, Mephisto  to keep the CMLL World Trios Championship (falls 2/3, 16:01 [2:31, 1:39, 10:27], good)

Diamante Azul defeated Pierroth in a mask vs mask match (falls 2/3, 12:20 [0:46, 2:16, 9:18], below average])

This was a $3 VOD on CMLL’s YouTube channel. All matches were taped the day of the iPPV in Arena Mexico.

What happened:

ouch

Diamante Azul unmasked Pierroth, who was announced as Arturo Munoz, 48. Pierroth took the first fall cleanly, then lost the second by unmasking Diamante Azul. La Mascara tripped Diamante Azul as he ran in the ropes in the third (not that he was any close to winning.) Maximo went after La Mascara, and Marco, Terrible and Rush all got involved in a very brief but intense scrum. Commissioner Rambo, with no help from anyone else, got all five guys to walk to the back. Azul & Pierroth froze to watch this, restarted as they were leaving, and Azul had German suplexed Pierroth for the win before they actually got to the back. Pierroth went after Azul after the match, their feud must continue.

Zeuxis and Princesa Sugehit had issues thru the match, with Zeuxis unmasking Sugehit for the DQ. Zeuxis was wearing a Navarro/Trauma mask and walked out to their music as a tribute to her original maestro. Estrellita slipped climbing the ropes for a dive and fell hard on the floor on her hip (but reported no major injury in the following day.)

Rush stole a pin on Marco Corlone with outside help from La Mascara (not eliminted, but using the ropes.) He and Atlantis had minor issues.

team work makes Niebla Roja hurt

Niebla Roja & Dragon Lee slightly feuded in their match, though you’d have to be looking for it to even notice it was there.

There’s nothing much to note about the title matches, there were no stories or controversy to the results (except the Sky Team briefly forgot Mephisto was the captain.) Fans threw in money after the UG/Taven match. Mephisto dressed in pink, with a pink mask and robe, as a tribute to Villano III.

Villano III was honored prior to the main event, joined by his two sons to accept a plaque. He seemed touched by the fans reaction and his son’s praise, and was moved to tears after removing his mask.

CMLL again cut out the dance segments, showing the Villano III autobiographical interviews instead. We appeared to miss a Pink Panther themed dance before the main event.

Thoughts:

superkick

There’s nothing must see here, with the big title matches falling a little short and nothign really surprised it. You’ll miss nothing that’ll show up on anyone’s MOTYC list if you skipped it becuase there was a price attached or because Azul/Pierroth annoyed you.

The main event was not as terrible as it could be, and not as destructive as Volador/Yoshitatsu, but not at the level of Volador/Ephesto in matches that probably shouldn’t have happened. Pierroth’s offense looked as horrible as usual, Pierroth sucked at catching dives as much as usual, and their best attempt at hiding it was doing a shorter version of a normal CMLL main event. It didn’t work, and Diamante Azul wasn’t great shakes either. The fans whistling came thru much louder on the periscopes I was watching than live, and there was a bigger reaction for the finish than I would’ve thought, but it wassn’t close to the level of a big show main event. My favorite part, also clear on the periscopes than the VOD, is how both men missed top rope moves by so much that the other person didn’t really even have to roll out of the way (maybe because they didn’t trust it happening.) The brawling outside the ring came across as much better than anything did in the actual match.

Sky Team vs Hechicero/Mephisto/Luciferno was good, but sloppier than usual. Hechicero & Mistico started off really well together, and then didn’t come finish well with a couple of noticable spots. They haven’t worked a lot together, and the big show fans were all over Mistico for existing. The Sky Team did all sorts of dives, and this was as much an exhibition for them as all the Sky Team matches are on big shows, but there’s now been quite a lot of those and this one didn’t quite meausre up to the intensity of those. They went as far to have Volador eliminated in the third fall to tease the title change, but then rushed the match over so quick that the rudos never even got a near fall before Valiente took the win. They could’ve gotten more of that sequence and of this match. It did mean Valiente got another big win on a big show.

they love UG

Ultimo Guerrero vs Matt Taven was just Taven plugged into every UG match. The first two falls were not much at all. It picked up in the third fall, with Taven using some offense (headlock DDT, neckbreaker) that’s at least novel in this part, but otherwise looing not quite as impressive as his match with Rush last September. Crowd got into it because they love Ultimo Guerrero and they billed it as a Mexico vs USA thing, but the quality of the match was just average for this type of match. CMLL really needed one or both of these title matches to come up big to make this show worthwile. Both were good, but neither were special.

first two fall really not much, third fall totally the UG special with Taven’s offense plugged in. Taven looked better close to the end, but rarely came close to winning and ddin’t really stand out. Can’t believe they threw monye in, but that’s part of the bit.

The Ingobernales put together a better match for the big show and the crowd reacted to the big moments (mostly Atlantis related), but the match itself wasn’t really all that memorable. Rush was the star of this match, both on offense and selling dramatically for the técnicos before getting the pin. He made Marco look great before stealing the pin. Caristico sliding in a second too late for a countout and complaining about it was a great Caristico moment.

the main event in a GIF

The segunda was both good and disappointing; I didn’t realize it short than usual (and shorter than opener) until adding up the times, but it did feel like they didn’t get to go as far as usual. What they had time for generally went well, though I was surprised to see Euforia help Dragon Lee with his ramp springboard headscissors rather than let him climb or jump himself. Guess they wanted to make sure that didn’t go wrong on a big stage. I wanted more out of Nieba and Dragon Lee, but the big stuff they all did near the end worked well and the dive counters in the third fall. Still, no near falls, they were just doing the normal midcard match. I was not a big fan of the Guerrero fashion. Neon green and Niebla red don’t work well together, and Gran Guerrero going with plain trunks under the battle skirt feels imcomplete.

The effort was up on the women’s match, but the results were not. Amapola & Marclea looked like they’re getting ready for their ROH matches with better work here, and Sugehit & Zeuxis had a fun last minute (especially the smart way they did the mask pull), but Tiffany struggled as usual and Estrellita wasn’t much good before her blown dive at the end of the match. Zeuxis’ mask looked great and I enjoyed the other rudas being totally supportive of Zeuxis’ decision to unmask Sugehit.

CMLL Domingo: 2016-07-10

Elgin treats UG like UG treats the rest of the world
Elgin treats UG like UG treats the rest of the world

Recapped: 07/11/2016

What happened: CMLL offered a show after the fact as a $1 VOD, to the surprise of all. I only paid a lot of attention to the main event and the rookie debuts. Ultimo Guerrero defeated Michael Elgin in a non title match.

What was good: Elgin/UG was very good. Could skip the rest, though the Stuka trios seemed fine.

Where can I watch it: It’s still on CMLL’s channel for $1. Read More

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. Read More

CMLL Homenaje a Dos Leyendas iPPV: 2016-03-18 

triple kiss!

Recapped: 03/18/2016

What happened: Volador defeated Negro Casas for his hair in the main event, winning cleanly with no interference from any family members (and Casas even had Mephisto instead of one of his nephews in his corner.) Rush also defeated Máximo for his hair in their match, though he had a little help from Comandante Pierroth. They acknowledged each other as family (though it didn’t seem like Rush outright admitted Pierroth was his father) and suggested they would continue to be together (though again it wasn’t outright said Pierroth would be an Ingobernable.)

The semimain saw friendly fire between Cibernetico and Ultimo Guerrero led to an all out fight. The rudos lost the match, and the two argued their way to a singles match next Friday. It was a rare case of CMLL building to a next week’s show on a major show.

The feed mostly held thru; it died in the main event (just around 11pm local, suggesting there was an automatic setting to cut it off then.) They got it back, but not everyone was able to get it working again. CMLL also quietly offered the show on Playstation’s Live Viewer, and the feed apparently did not come back for people using that service.

The changes to Arena Mexico were slight: new video boards and maybe a new ringside floor were all that were visible. 

What was good: I though both hair matches were excellent and the atomicos was great. The second match was fun and you can skip the rest.

Where can I watch it: You can’t legally right now. Claro Sports will air matches 2, 3, and 5 whenever they air these things, and Azteca will air the two hair matches four weeks from now.

Read More

CMLL iPPV missing matches: 2015-12-25 

Caveman knocked back to prehistory

Recapped: 01/04/2015

What happened: The iPPV failed! And then they put up the matches for free on YouTube and I decided I needed to watch them even though it was fairly obvious none of them were going to be any good. (This justification means I’ve got some lightning matches to watch soon.)

In the actual matches, Kamaitachi & Maximo and Super Parka & Negro Casas signed their contracts for hair matches. No one could quite decide if the matches were being announced for the first time there only being finalized (though they had been announced a few days ahead of time.)

This is neither here or there, but this show is the best example not to judge attendance by what it looks like during the first match. It looked dire during the opener and increased greatly by the middle of the card.

You can find my reviews of the two matches which did air as scheduled here.

What was good: Not much. Cavernario was really good and Super Porky had a Super Porky match.

Where can I watch it: They’re on CMLL’s website and YouTube channel, but only linked to a hidden page sent to people on their mailing list. They’re also linked below. One of these matches may turn up on Lucha Azteca Read More