CMLL on Marca: 2019-02-15

:(

Recapped: 02/15/2019

Video links were not immediately available, perhaps due to issues. 

Matches:

Cancerbero & Raziel beat Pegasso & Stigma
(13:53 [5:30, 2:31, 5:52], 1/3, ok)

Black Panther, Blue Panther Jr., Guerrero Maya Jr. beat Okumura, Tiger, Virus
(15:49 [7:32, 2:56, 5:21], 2/3, below average)

Esfinge, Titán, Tritón beat Pólvora, Templario, Vangellys
(13:24 [5:05, 2:10, 6:09], 1/3, ok)

Ángel de Oro, Soberano Jr., Stuka Jr. beat Ephesto, La Bestia Del Ring, Mephisto
(6:51 [2:22, 4:29], 1/2 DQ, ok)

Carístico, Místico, Valiente beat Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero
(12:21 [4:23, 1:48, 6:10], 2/3, good)

Terrible beat Niebla Roja for the CMLL Universal Championship
(21:31, 1/2, good)

  1. Terrible German suplex (6:32)
  2. Terrible Styles Clash (15:00)

What happened:

Sky Team version 3

Early in the night, Bestia del Ring and Angel de Oro slightly feuded all match long, leading Bestia to foul Angel de Oro at the end.

They both returned as seconds for the Universal final. (La Comandante also tried seconding Terrible and was kicked out.) Angel de Oro was in his brother’s corner. Bestia grabbed Niebla Roja by the leg in the first fall, leading to Terrible beating Roja with a suplex. Roja was about to win a very long second fall when Bestia came in again and broke up the reverse campana. Terrible won seconds later with a Styles Clash. Angel de Oro protested the decision, while Niebla Roja challenged Terrible to a hair versus hair match. Terrible told Niebla Roja to name the time and the place. It was talked about as a singles match, but Angel de Oro & La Bestia del Ring were very involved. It appears to be heading to a tag version of that match.

During the match, Terrible twice grabbed onto the top of Niebla Roja’s trunks while upside down to pull him up for moves, which left Roja partially exposed to the cameras. It is hard to miss on the finish.

Thoughts:

a Cancerbero double team

Despite going only two falls, the main event delivered all the offense you’d expect from a match that went the normal distance. It did follow the usual your move/my move formula of a CMLL big match and Niebla Roja had some less than graceful moments (even when he was fully covered) but the freshness of the match made kept it compelling. It did become clear that something strange was going on when the second fall kept going and going. It would’ve been a memorable match in CMLL if the long second fall was setting up Niebla Roja just barely surviving into a third fall, but CMLL predictability gave away Niebla Roja losing in some crooked fashion in the second fall long before it actually happened. They had the best match they were going to have under the conditions, but those conditions and the match they’re building towards took it down a bit.

Most every undercard match on this show felt like a rerun. At least the semi-main was a good rerun. Carístico played the role of Volador in a familiar Guerreros/Sky Team match from a couple of years ago. Místico hit all his big spots and had a good night, got booed loudly all the same. The rudos generally stayed in the background and supported the técnicos thru a long third fall showcase. Something new would’ve been appreciated but the crowd still seemed to like the double Mistica finish.

The fourth match was rather quick to just get the finish. Stuka & Soberano put in good efforts for as long as they had time to show anything. Angel de Oro did about as well with Bestia del Ring as you could hope to expect, though Bestia is still allergic to catching dives. The tease of Bestia versus Angel de Oro as the Homenaje a Dos Leyendas hair match was the most distressing moment of the show.

needs to be faster but a good idea

What was remarkable in the tercera is someone actually got the ropes while being in a submission in the third fall of a midcard match. The tercera was a decent exhibition for the técnicos, especially in the closing moments. It didn’t seem the most exciting Templario performance, but the execution was smoother than in the match that preceded it.

The second match was a sloppier version of the usual match with those people. It started off with Black Panther & Virus mat work, something normally to get excited for, but they weren’t sharp and Black Panther felt out of a hold. It took to the last sequence with Guerrero Maya & Okumura to wake the matchup, and that wasn’t kind of the way for the whole three falls. Panther’s Boomerang kick spot looked badly timed this week. The third fall had a sequence with cradles where the referee stopped counting and was actually right to stop counting because someone forgot to kick out. They can and they often do much better than this.

The Cancerberos opening the show in their usual grinding fashion. They were generally effective at teamwork spots but the match itself was missing a little bit of a spark or speed to make it memorable. You’ve seen this before and it didn’t feel like it was going anywhere.

 

CMLL on Marca: 2019-02-08 

Niebla Roja plancha

Recapped: 02/08/2019

Matches:

Metálico & Nitro beat Príncipe Diamante & Robin 
(15:54 [7:54, 4:37, 3:23], 2/3, below average, 00:01:02 )

Okumura, Misterioso Jr., Universo 2000 Jr. beat Black Panther, Drone, Rey Cometa
(11:29 [4:09, 3:38, 3:42], 2/3, ok, 00:25:00)

Atlantis, Atlantis Jr., Místico beat Gran Guerrero, Hijo del Villano III, Villano IV
(8:18 [3:03, 5:15], 1/2 DQ, ok, 00:46:31)

Gilbert el Boricua, La Bestia Del Ring, Rush beat Ángel de Oro, Carístico, Valiente
(14:56 [3:18, 6:01, 5:37], 1/3, ok, 01:00:58)

The dumb battle royal went 3:32

Último Guerrero beat Diamante Azul in a CMLL Universal eigthfinal
(3:14, Pulpo Guerrero, ok, 01:29:24)

Cuatrero beat Soberano Jr. in a CMLL Universal eigthfinal
(4:42, crucifix powerbomb, ok, 01:43:58)

Niebla Roja beat Mephisto in a CMLL Universal eigthfinal
(3:40, reverse campana, ok, 01:51:00)

Volador Jr. beat Sansón in a CMLL Universal eigthfinal
(3:21, huracanrana, ok, 01:56:30)

Último Guerrero beat Cuatrero in a CMLL Universal quarterfinal
(4:02, Guerrero special, ok, 02:01:58)

Niebla Roja beat Volador Jr. in a CMLL Universal quarterfinal
(5:04, Canadian Destroyer, ok, 02:07:32)

Niebla Roja beat Último Guerrero in a CMLL Universal semifinal
(6:00, reverse campana, good, 02:13:39)

What happened:

Hijo del Villano III is out

Niebla Roja won the block to face Terrible next week in the Universal final.

The Villanos jumped Papa Atlantis before the match, and Hijo del Villano III fouled Atlantis Jr. to end it.

Thoughts:

I didn’t give most individual matches of the Universal tournament a strong grade, but it was still good as a package and significantly better than usual. Last week’s final had the better high end matches but everything here was watchable with more thought than usual. It’s also possible I would’ve got more into the individual matches if I wasn’t watching two other sat the same time. Only the Diamante Azul match was the traditional “loser uses up all his offense” tournament match. The Niebla Roja/Mephisto match felt like the opposite, Mephisto just getting in nothing in and taking the loss. Volador/Sanson & Cuatrero/Soberano had good counters out of usual stuff, and both the second round matches felt fresh. Niebla Roja really seemed to have a chance when he made the final and beating Ultimo Guerrero cleanly (after beating Volador cleanly seven minutes before) felt like a big deal. It was an interesting and surprising choice that played better than Valiente’s advancement three years ago.

Mistico headscissors

CMLL continues to put over Gilbert strong, even if he’s not very good at this point and they have no particular direction for him. It’s like they’re waiting for something to come up and just keeping him ready until it does. Rush & Carístico were in the semi-main trios a bit, Carístico definitely so, but there wasn’t much going on around them and this was a very forgettable match. Bestia attempted to use a finish that was very much beyond him; stick with the senton.

The tercera was a vast improvement in energy over the two matches. The Villanos are into the feud and the Atlantis are fighting to survive. Atlantis Jr. & Hijo del Villano III looked better this week until the very obvious slip late in the match. Hijo del Villano at least reacted well. Papa Atlantis and V4 brawled a lot, but it felt like the sons were the focus. Gran Guerrero & Místico were a level above everyone else and are the match I’d like to see, but that was clearly not the plan here.

The segunda was a standard midcard match, maybe a little worse than usual. Okumura coming in hurt the match, not just because it was Okumura. Kawato helps to add my interest in these because there’s a chance he might actually get better. There doesn’t seem to be chances for the rest of this group. A lot of it is people being overexposed, but The Panther feels less exciting than a year ago. The boomerang kick spot went quite bad, the topes aren’t as good and the mat wrestling is gone. Not that I’d expect it with these rudos.

Metalico’s flashy entrance distracts from the fact that he’s often counterproductive once the whistle blows. He seemed to cause Robin to be hurt at the end of the match. Nitro doesn’t have a flashy entrance. He was the better of the two there. Diamante has cool spots that seemed to take a long time to set up. Avoid this match.

Rush’s new move

CMLL on Marca: 2019-02-01 

Dragon Lee

Recapped: 02/01/2019

Matches: 

Akuma & Espanto Jr. beat Robin & Star Jr.
(12:03 [4:49, 4:40, 2:34], 1/3, ok, 00:02:34)

Kaho Kobayashi, Lluvia, Princesa Sugehit beat Amapola, Dalys, Reyna Isis
(14:16 [8:12, 3:06, 2:58], 1/3, ok, 00:21:47)

Atlantis, Atlantis Jr., Niebla Roja beat Hijo del Villano III, Mephisto, Villano IV
(12:15 [5:21, 2:36, 4:18], 2/3, ok, 00:46:40)

Flyer, Místico, Volador Jr. beat Euforia, Templario, Último Guerrero
(9:03 [6:00, 3:03], 1 DQ/2, ok, 01:09:00)

the dumb battle royal went 3:01

Terrible beat Stuka Jr. in a CMLL Universal quarterfinal
(2:31, top rope splash, ok, 01:39:48)

Gran Guerrero beat Valiente in a CMLL Universal quarterfinal
(5:16, super Samoan driver, ok, 01:44:08)

Dragon Lee beat Forastero in a CMLL Universal quarterfinal
(4:45, suplex powerbomb, ok, 01:51:12)

Carístico beat Cavernario in a CMLL Universal quarterfinal
(3:23, La Mistica, ok, 01:57:50)

Terrible beat Gran Guerrero in a CMLL Universal semifinal
(3:38, nudo lagunero, ok, 02:03:11)

Dragón Lee beat Carístico in a CMLL Universal semifinal
(5:00, suplex powerbomb, good, 02:08:57)

Terrible beat Dragón Lee in a CMLL Universal Championship
(10:06, blocked cradle with bottom rope, great, 02:15:20)

What happened:

Atlantis Jr.

Terrible won the first block of the 2019 Universal tournament. He defeated Stuka Jr., Gran Guerrero and Dragon Lee on this night. Dragon Lee was the star of the night, upsetting Carístico to reach the block final before fighting well against Terrible despite giving up a lot of size. Terrible hooked the bottom ropes on a pin to finally put away the lightweight champion. Terrible advances to the final on 15th against the winner of next week’s block.

Flyer suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury in the fourth match. Volador attempted to toss Flyer in the ring on the run from ramp, a spot he often does with Místico. Flyer did not get much height and his left leg hooked between the middle and top rope. It was not a gruesome injury but Flyer still appeared to be in a tremendous amount of pain, laying on the mat unmoving after he was freed and in tears as he was placed on the apron. Volador & Místico quickly finished up the match.

Atlantis Jr. made his official Arena Mexico debut, winning with an Atlantida on Hijo del Villano III.

Thoughts:

Forastero spear

The Universal tournament saved the show, shockingly. I didn’t care for most of the early matches, which stuck too close to the pattern of the losing luchador getting in all his usual offense before losing. (Cavernario/Caristico was the normal version of that. Valiente/Guerrero was the hyper version.) It was the Dragon Lee/Caristico match that turned it around, a competitive back and forth match with Carístico taking a lot of Dragon Lee’s big moves while still ultimately losing at the end. They played off their somewhat forgotten issue, and showed enough here that I’d really love to see a single match all day.

It also did a great job of setting up a tired Dragon lee against Terrible. Terrible tossed Dragon Lee around early and made Dragon Lee look like a heroic undergo for fighting back and coming so close to winning. Terrible cheating to win robs us all of another Dragon Lee singles match in a couple of weeks. Terrible was up to the task in this block final, but it was really about Dragon Lee being able to have a great match with anyone given the right amount of time.

You don’t need to spend much time on the rest of the show. The fourth match was just gearing up when Flyer got hurt. It was likely meant to go for a third fall and ended early when Flyer looked to be in bad shape. It is possible that time got tacked on the main event.

V3 splash

The tercera was a mixed bag. Atlantis Jr. had nice dive and no problem at all with the Atlantida. His big offense in the middle did not look good, with his spinning backbreakers being at Diamante Azul level. I think he did enough well that the crowd didn’t leave disappointed but he’s going to have to get a lot better. Hijo del Villano III looked smoother in his second match out, though both felt not really ready for the position they’re in. I guess the hope here is what happened with Gran Guerrero, where he was clearly over his head for the first year and a half Working with better guys seemed to eventually help him but there were a lot of bad gifs getting there. It’s going to be a marathon.

Kaho and Dalys messed up the first spot they tried together, which was not a great sign for their women’s match. Kaho seems like she could do things but maybe not with this crew. The match lacked some rhythm, with a strange técnico section in the first fall and an odd comeback to end the match. These matches are usually safe but solid and this was less solid than usual.

Robin did a great job of powerbombing himself for the finish of the opener. Akuma stood nearby, not really helping. It was still better than Espanto Jr.’s Destroyer. The younger tries a bit more than veterans in this pot but it still wasn’t close to being good.

CMLL on Marca: 2019-01-25 

best part of the match

Recapped: 01/25/2019

Matches:

El Coyote & Grako beat Eléctrico & Oro Jr.
(13:19 [6:16, 3:04, 3:59], 1/3, ok, 00:01:20)

Black Panther, Blue Panther Jr., Rey Cometa beat Misterioso Jr., Sagrado, Universo 2000 Jr.
(13:41 [4:57, 2:05, 6:39], 1/3, ok, 00:22:05)

Felino, Shocker, Vangellys beat Audaz, Flyer, Titán
(11:57 [4:23, 4:48, 2:46], 2/3, below average, 00:45:56)

Soberano Jr. beat Templario in a lightning match
(8:09, fire driver, good, 01:09:04)

Atlantis, Carístico, Volador Jr. beat Cavernario, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero
(9:47 [5:47, 2:11, 1:49], 2/3, ok, 01:23:10)

Diamante Azul, King Phoenix, Penta 0M beat La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Terrible in a relevos increíbles match
(10:56 [3:31, 7:25], 1/2 DQ, ok, 01:45:02)

What happened:

Penta

Rush fouled Penta to end the main event and ripped his mask after. Los Ingobernables eventually took off all the técnicos masks.

Thoughts: 

The main event was a great tease of a match that might not be happening any time soon in Arena Mexico (but sort of has happened on indies already.) Penta & Rush seemed motivated to make something out of the exchanges for how long they lasted and a rematch would be a fun counter balance to the Universal tournament, but the Lucha Brothers weren’t announced for next week. Just thinking about this match, the two teams did better than expected together. Besides Rush/Penta, Bestia and Terrible handled Fenix’s tricky offense fine, and the cameras helped out a lot on the not great double cutter spot. They got more of the match together than the veterans/tecnicos match earlier. Diamante Azul also dropped Bestia on his head with a German suplex so that was a thing. The crowd amped for Rush & Penta made this a bigger deal then it would seem given the time.

proof this happened

Semimain was a passable match. Carístico’s La Mistica looked so much better than the repeated Canadian Destroyers but such is life in 2019. The third fall was really short and it wasn’t like the previous falls had a lot to them either. They were taking it easy.

Templario and Soberano had a good exhibition match, with some of their best moves and one really cool reversal. It left room to get better; there was a slower pace than you’d expect, maybe because Soberano seemed to suffer a rib injury. The no-sell Canadian Destroyer sequence didn’t work well either; it’s not as much the no-selling the problem as them not selling the idea that the blocked the original moves (if that was even the idea). Still, they got in pop up powerbombs and gutwrench suplexes reversed into huracanrana, it was the kind of action you’d want from these two people.

The rudos dragged down the técnicos in tercera, as expected. Shocker did take one spiffy Audaz headscissors but everything else was slow. The finishes in the second fall were quite bad. The dives in the third fall, with Vangellys and Flyer being on two different pages, was not so great.

pobre Monito

Rey Cometa did a headscissors off the apron. Misterioso didn’t pay attention and got pinned. Blue Panther Jr. did a lot of quebradoras to set up the dives. This was like many matches you’ve seen with these guys, and there was a comeback bit later that looked bad. There was a little less energy than their better matches. Universo 2000 Jr.’s mask looked cooler than usual, though he didn’t show much here. He took the boomerang kick well at least.

Opener had an interesting first fall and went down from there. Grako & Coyote are firmly OK and had one team spot (which seems like more than they used to have.) Oro tried things, they just didn’t work out well. The big headscissors off the apron had poor timing. Eléctrico was present.

CMLL on Marca: 2019-01-18

Rush

Recapped: 01/18/2019. Video links will be added later.

Matches:

Akuma, Espanto Jr., Metálico beat Arkalis, Astral, Magnus  
(14:04 [5:15, 3:50, 4:59], 1/3, ok, )

La Jarochita, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit beat Amapola, Dalys, Metálica
(13:55 [5:55, 3:21, 4:39], 1/3, ok, )

Esfinge, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa beat Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora, Virus
(14:46 [6:30, 3:48, 4:28], 2/3, ok, )

Kráneo, Stuka Jr., Volcano beat Hechicero, Rey Bucanero, Vangellys
(10:20 [6:40, 3:40],
1/2 DQ, ok, )

Diamante Azul, Niebla Roja, Valiente beat Ephesto, Gilbert el Boricua, Mephisto
(14:14 [4:41, 3:25, 6:09], 2/3, ok,
)

Rush beat Euforia
(17:10, 1/3, good, 
)

  1. Rush corner dropkick (4:15)

  2. DQ Rush unmasking Euforia (2:7)

  3. Rush Driver (10:48)

What happened: 

Virus at work

Rush so destroyed Euforia’s mask that he had to leave to get a new one before the third fall. He also destroyed the second fall card over Euforia’s head. Euforia was stretchered out after taking the Rush Driver, only Rush attacked him on the stretcher and threatened to do more until Edgar tackled him.

Hechicero & Kraneo were pinned at the same time in the second fall. Stuka and Rey Bucanero were left to finish it. Stuka tried the splash, Rey Bucanero stood up to and tried to pull off Stuka’s mask as he fell to the mat, but missed. He got it after Stuka was on the mat.

Akuma, in his first unmasked match, had white face paint on resembling his brother Demus.

Thoughts: 

The third fall of the main event turned into a really fun match, with Euforia keeping up with Rush’s brawling and more moves in the ring than you’d normally get from Rush. Rush gave it more effort than he has in some of these other singles matches, and Euforia did well enough to survive the corner dropkick even though he never actually won a fall. Everyone seemed to like this much more than me, so don’t let my grade stop you from watching. I think it might play even better if you haven’t watched a largely boring two-hour show prior to it.

haven’t seen this one before

Gilbert isn’t moving any better than the last time we saw him, so having him battle Diamante Azul all match wasn’t ideal from an excitement standpoint. Both men would’ve been better off throwing around the smaller wrestlers and only got to do in the third fall. The finish, Azul pinning Gilbert clean with a German suplex, suggests there’s no great plans for this going forward.

The fourth match was boring, as expected with this rudo side. Hechicero trying to do mat work with Volcano was at least a little funny, though I wish he had better things to do this night. The messed up finish was enough to knock this down a level.

I could not get into the tercera at all, though there were moments where the técnicos were doing some impressive things in the third fall. Maybe it’s been too long of a day for me because the crowd seemed to appreciate it after the match. Cometa’s Brillo Cometa looked good, Virus had a nice submission at the end of the first fall, Esfinge’s timing seemed off a lot, cameras didn’t do a great job of catching Maya’s dive at the end.

brillo cometa

The women’s match was quiet even by their standards. They weren’t messing things up, but it wasn’t interesting.The ruda section felt like it went on forever, then the tecnicas were back in control for about 30 seconds before Dalys tries a double suplex that didn’t really fit. They gave Metalica a second fall pinfall over Marcela that normally would go to Dalys, the though tradeoff was Dalys not taking a pin at the end.

Opener had good moments and trouble keeping the pace up between them. Metálico works a lot faster dancing then he does in the ring nowadays. Akuma & Espanto seem motivated to make an impression as a team, which seems unlikely to go anywhere but at least thought is nice. The técnicos all did a couple things well without having a completely impressive match.

CMLL on Marca: 2019-01-11 

what better way to celebrate Fantsaticamania then posting a Drone GIF

Recapped: 1/11/2019

Matches: 

Cancerbero, Disturbio, Raziel beat Robin, Star Jr., Súper Astro Jr.
(14:14 [6:16, 3:39, 4:19], 1/3, ok, 00:05:20)

Drone, Esfinge, Guerrero Maya Jr. beat Kawato, Sagrado, Tiger
(13:18 [4:10, 3:24, 5:44], 1/3, ok, 00:25:30)

Pólvora beat Felino in a lightning match
(5:32, DQ for mask pull, below average, 00:48:51)

Máscara Año 2000, Rey Bucanero, Shocker beat Blue Panther, Rey Cometa, Tritón
(11:31 [4:41, 2:14, 4:36], 1/3, ok, 00:59:11)

Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto beat Kráneo, Stuka Jr., Volcano
(14:55 [5:38, 2:31, 6:46], 1/3, ok, 01:23:02)

Euforia, Niebla Roja, Valiente beat La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Villano IV in a relevos increíbles match
(9:27 [2:09, 7:18], 1/2 DQ, ok, 01:47:21)

What happened:

this is a “Shocker GIFs” level show

Rush ripped off Euforia’s mask and punched Edgar for the second fall disqualification. Euforia demanded a singles match and Rush rudely accepted.

They played off the mask pull finish of the lightning match as if it was an accidental finish, but it was clearly the planned ending to get them out of there. Felino couldn’t have tried harder to pull the mask.

The stream was down to start the show, but it appeared they picked it up just after the whistle of the first match.

Thoughts: 

The only match that had a lot of life to it was the main event. Rush seemed charged up, which made significantly more sense when the finish turned out to be building a singles match with him and Euforia. Villano IV had a good brawling night, with clotheslines that appear to be taking people’s heads off. Bestia del Ring is so not good, but the rudos did give an overall atmosphere of chaos and destruction. You could feel something watching it, which couldn’t be said for much else here.

The semi-main was a generic Kraneo/Volcano showcase, only they got in their big spots in the second fall instead of winning the whole thing. Volcano as big dumb guy has not turned out as endearing as I think they would’ve hoped. Maybe he needs to be dumber? Maybe I’m just stretching for anything to talk about.

Triton

Around the fourth match, I half gave up on the show and started watching NJPW backstage promos at the same time. What I saw of this match didn’t seem as bad as it could be – Shocker and Rey Bucanero were willing to take a headscissors or too. Still, the técnicos kept it easy and the rudos can’t help but do the same. This match could’ve used done of Blue Panther’s weird match layouts just to have a reason to exist, but those don’t seem to happen on Fridays (when they happen at all.) I guess it did have one weird match twist, with the match just coming to a very sudden stop.

The lightning match was exceedingly boring with a DQ finish. It was unclear who would want to see this and neither man wanted to participate in it. They did more than nothing, but they tried to get as close to nothing before the DQ spot.

The second was a professional match, though one which could’ve used a bit more excitement. I think I’ve just been used to these guys being treated like they don’t matter that it’s tough invest a lot of interest in them even in a solid match like this. Kawato didn’t show the same aggression as in the last match, though he felt some. Maya seemed to be fighting angrily and Drone booted Kawato right in the face to break up the pin. The dives and long finishing sequence made this feel like more of an important match than usual in the second spot. I can’t call it good, I’m not sure I’ll remember it hours from now, but it seemed like it’d be the best thing on this show.

The opener featured three very similar técnicos trapped in the early matches. Super Astro Jr. is still quite a bit just doing a homage to his father, but those moves are good enough to make him the most impressive of those three. Star Jr. and definitely Robin have had better matches; not that anything went wrong, but they didn’t impress. Rudos were about as ungiving as ever.

Astro

CMLL on Marca: 2019-01-04 

the beach seems really good right now

Recapped: 2019-01-04

Matches:

Ephesto, Gran Guerrero, Templario beat Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa, Stuka Jr.
(13:17 [5:41, 2:38, 4:58], 1/3, good, 00:01:48)

Titán beat Tritón in a lightning match
(8:04, headtrap cradle, good, 00:25:00)

Carístico, Valiente, Volador Jr. beat Euforia, Mephisto, Último Guerrero
(6:46 [2:26, 4:20], 1/2 DQ, ok, 00:37:10)

La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Terrible beat Atlantis, Kráneo, Volcano
(13:14 [3:21, 3:00, 6:53], 1/3, ok, 00:52:27)

Dragón Lee beat Cavernario
(17:56 [2:24, 2:51, 12:41], 2 DQ/3, great, 01:14:56)

  1. Cavernario springboard pump splash (2:24)
  2. DQ Cavernario mask pull (2:51)
  3. Dragon Lee mad scientist bomb (12:41)

Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón © beat Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Soberano Jr. for the Mexican National Trios Championship
(21:29 [6:19, 6:31, 8:39], 2/3, great, 01:41:41)

What happened: 

bad times for Angel de Oro

The DQ in the second fall was for Cavernario taking off Dragon Lee’s mask. It didn’t appear to be meant as a finish, just the usual sitting on the corner unmasking tease, but Tirantes called it a DQ anyway.

The fourth match also had an odd moment where referee Edgar shoved down Atlantis when he tried to come in illegally during the rudo section of the match.

Euforia fouled Valiente to end their match in two falls. Both are not going to Japan and announced for next week, so that appears to be a feud for the down period.

Thoughts: 

headscissors from the apron are played out, headscissors from the top rope are not

The main event finished at a high level, with an exciting third fall and a lot of near falls that felt real (despite following the usual patterns.) Soberano showed some good personality and NGD were effective destroying machines as usual. They gave that third fall a lot of time to develop while not short changing the other two; it was very positive to see this group both in the main event and given a real chance to deliver in that situation. The heights of this were not as high as the singles match, though it wasn’t far behind.

Dragon Lee and Cavernario unloaded on each other with the best they had to over for one fall. It probably wasn’t supposed to work as it did; Dragon Lee surely was going to win the second fall some other way, and there was an obvious effort to start off the third fall hot after the first two had been lackluster. They went very long in that third fall and just nailed each other with big move after big move, doing a couple of good near fall teases with the ropes. They didn’t pull out anything new, Cavernario & Dragon Lee are just ordinary a great fix for each other. I’m lower than most on this match because I count the not good first two falls against it. There’s no reason to watch them if you’re watching this after the fact, but they did happen.

I thought he missed the dive until I realized what happened

The Ingobernables did some Ingobernables things. This was the match that would’ve benefited from being much shorter because the ran out of what stream they had in the third fall. Atlantis wasn’t going to do much to start with, and Volcano & Kraneo stuck to their usual lanes. This didn’t look like it had any real place on a “best of” show and it lived up to that expectation.

Kind of similar to the UG/Caristico match, the veterans relegated to the tercera for the night went unusually hard for the time they were going, probably knowing they were only going half as long as usual. Valiente was the standout on his team, and this felt like a night where Volador & Carístico were trying. The opener was the better Guerreros performance of the night, though this wasn’t bad. I don’t think there was enough here to call it good, but it wasn’t something you’d have to skip past if you were watching the show later.

this also didn’t seem fun

Titan/Triton felt like one of Triton’s best matches in the while. The rope headscissors looked impressive, his 450 landed well, and he had no major problems. He still lost, stuck in one too many confusing Titan holds, but Triton seemed nervously excited before the match started and that doesn’t always turn out well for him. I expected a little but more, I was waiting for it to get crazy and it was mostly just solid back and forth with moments of brutality but never quite reaching a great flow; they had lots of ideas for spots but not a lot connecting them. Still, the effort was much improved over usual for a lightning match and that was good enough for me.

The opener had more action than they usually allow, feeling like what we might see two spots higher on a Friday show or three on a Tuesday show. Rey Cometa looked very sharp and the tornillo into an armdrag was superb. Too bad Templario had to kill him in the end. Templario & Gran Guerrero carried most of the action, which was great news for Ephesto. Stuka & Maya were the good versions of their usual selves.

CMLL on Marca: 2018-12-28 

welcome back

Recapped: 01/02/2019

Matches:

Arkalis & Oro Jr. beat El Coyote & Grako
(13:12 [5:41, 3:11, 4:20], 2/3, good,
VideosOficialesCMLL)

Estrellita, Lluvia, Marcela beat Amapola, Dalys, Tiffany
(13:35 [6:54, 3:08, 3:33], 1/3, ok,
VideosOficialesCMLL)

Audaz, Flyer, Guerrero Maya Jr. beat Kawato, Okumura, Vangellys
(12:24 [4:53, 2:01, 5:30], 1/3, good,
VideosOficialesCMLL)

Atlantis, Diamante Azul, Titán beat Hechicero, Rey Bucanero, Terrible
(6:29 [3:44, 2:45], 1/2 COR, below average, 
VideosOficialesCMLL)

Dragón Lee, Místico, Volador Jr. beat Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón
(14:36 [2:47, 3:16, 8:33], 2/3, good,
VideosOficialesCMLL)

Carístico beat Penta 0M
(13:25 [2:43, 2:32, 8:10], 1/3 DQ, great,
VideosOficialesCMLL)

What happened: 

Penta crowd dive also introduces his foot into a face

Carístico won the only clean finish to a fall in the first with a Canadian Destroyer. Penta kicked out of a second one in the third fall. Penta threw his mask to Carístico to draw the second fall DQ, and Carístico did the same in the third fall to get the deciding win.

Diamante Azul is out with a groin injury after his show. He appeared to pull it a couple minutes into the second fall. It’s either on the monkey flip he gives to Rey Bucanero or his usual misaimed spinning backbreaker run to Terrible. While the rudos are doing a usual regroup outside, Atlantis gets the referee to quick count them out to end the match as usual. Rey Bucanero dives in right at 20, expecting to break the count, but that’s it. Everyone besides Atlantis is confused and the rudos eventually just attack the referee and técnicos.

Thoughts: 

an Oro headscissors

Penta and Caristico brought the best emotions of the night by a good distance, even if others had more spectacular moves. The crowd came in wanting to see this match and they gave them a great back and forth performance. They both looked sharp and took the crowd along with them the whole way. Carístico showed a willingness to take Penta’s more fearsome looking moves and Penta sold big for Carístico (and accidentally kicked someone in the face while jumping in the crowd on a dive.) The lack of a third fall pinfall is going to be a turnoff, but it is a fair idea in CMLL’s técnico revenge psychology. Carístico proved he could outsmart Penta even if he couldn’t get La Mistica on him.

The semimain was a strong showcase, though at times for the wrong guy. Doing the standard Místico showcase match didn’t make a whole lot of sense when the crowd reacted huge for Dragon Lee coming out there and when the crowd was going to have a lot of people who see him as replacing their hero, but CMLL is weird that way. Dragon Lee looked sharper and more into this match than his return a few days earlier, a lot closer to the level he was at before the reality show. Volador was relegated to the third most important guy on his team (or maybe fourth behind Monito), which is weird for him. The match wasn’t much about NGD but they did well as foils. This wasn’t far off great for me.

does this count as catching a dive

The fourth match is bizarre. It must’ve been even more so live. Knowing Diamante Azul was hurt explains a bit after and it was heading to a two fall finish anyway. Still, there are more elegant ways to end a match that a panicked countout, and they’re usually willing to continue the match while the injured person gets checked on. It didn’t even seem to be that serious at the moment. Atlantis and the referee should’ve handled it better. At least they didn’t ruin what seemed to be a good match.

The tercera was a borderline match – I’d have the opener ahead of it – but the energy of the crowd and a solid performance from a few of the wrestlers was enough for me to recommend it as watchable. It’s standard CMLL tercera lucha with no surprises but well executed. Flyer had a better match than his last notable time out, taking an impressive bump from Okumura’s reverse spinning DDT. Having Kawato be the guy catching for an Audaz dive seems like a high risk move but it went fine. Kawato is very OK right now, which is a high compliment from where he’s been. I’d like to see him add stuff now that he doesn’t seem overwhelmed – he’s still doing the NJPW trainee standard issue German suplex as a big move and pretty much everything he came into CMLL doing. Though, just doing the same moves forever fits in fine enough here.

all out

Estrellita gets the crowd to care about these matches, even if she isn’t what you’d call good. The women’s match was more heated than usual with Estrellita & Dalys inventing a random feud, the sort of thing easily imaged as an apuesta match down the road with Estrellita’s increasingly reduced schedule. The generally excited crowd helped a lot too. The match peaked in that first fall and became very ordinary CMLL women’s match the rest of the way, though they tried a little more than usual with the finishes.

Coyote & Grako are on shows a lot lately. Maybe too much, maybe just a bit because some of the other opening match rudos are wrapped up in the garbage feud. They did demonstrate why it is helpful to have some young rudos around for these opening matches; the Inquisidor and Principe Odin types are probably not taking springboard headscissors to the floor from Oro Junior. They came off better here than their next match three days later, looking smooth and moving the match along. There was even the slightest flash of a personality. Oro did better than Arkalis, who is still doing the rookie bit where he doesn’t start getting in position for a move until it is actually time to do it, leaving the rudo to freeze for an embarrassing period. He got more on track later in the match, but it does seem like something that happens in Puebla a lot.

CMLL Marca: 2018-12-21

a tough night for Santa

Recapped: 12/21/2018

Matches:

Cancerbero & Raziel beat Robin & Star Jr.
(13:19 [5:32, 3:41, 4:06], 1/3, ok, 00:01:05)

Kawato San, Okumura, Virus beat Black Panther, Blue Panther Jr., Drone
(11:47 [4:56, 1:25, 5:26], 1/3, ok, 00:22:24)

Esfinge, Titán, Tritón beat Felino, Luciferno, Pólvora
(14:08 [5:13, 3:29, 5:26], 2/3, ok, 00:44:20)

Ángel de Oro beat Mephisto in a lightning match
(6:57, small package, ok, 01:09:15)

Euforia, Rey Bucanero, Terrible beat Kráneo, Stuka Jr., Valiente
(12:16 [5:11, 1:50, 5:15], 1/3, ok, 01:21:40)

Carístico, Diamante Azul, Volador Jr. beat Cavernario, Penta 0M, Último Guerrero
(9:50 [5:21, 4:29], 1/2 DQ, ok, 01:46:43)

What happened:

Penta fouled Carístico to end the main event. Post match challenges led to a non-title Penta/Caristico match for next week.

Thoughts:

who suplexed better

The main event had some energy because the Penta/Caristico feud gave them something to work around, though that was still not as hot as it had once been. Caristico & Penta also weren’t as smooth together as they were in previous matches. The match had the chaotic finish CMLL matches are good for, but the rest of it was not special.

Like all the other undercard matches, the semi-main was an easy match with crowd pleasing spots done in similar fashion to many other matches seen regularly. It worked for them, it was not something a regular viewer would care all that much about. Even Kraneo’s great Barney outfit wasn’t as much new as having hung out in the closet for a long time. It was fine.

The lightning match was a standard Angel de Oro showcase, helped by his willingness to break out all his big dives. The small package reversal on the finish didn’t look good, but I appreciate Angel de Oro changing up his routine even slightly. I’m going to miss Mephisto when he’s gone but I’m not really looking forward to his matches right now.

everyone lived

I didn’t like the tercera as much as other outings with the técnicos. They didn’t do a whole lot before the third fall, and these aren’t rudos who are going to make a match interesting on their own. No one was almost killed this week except my attention.

The second match was decent. Kawato looked better here, though his timing was off on his double team with Okumura. Black Panther feuded with Kawato a little bit, but his big brother had a bigger presence in the match until getting pinned at the end. Drone is still willing to throw everything into dives.

Raziel & Cancerbero are back to having forgettable opener matches. Robin continues to try a few things. Star Jr. really didn’t; he seemed to be the ascension starting the year with FantasticaMania and now is just another guy on these shows. He seems a casualty of CMLL not giving enough people opportunities.

CMLL on Marca: 2018-12-14 

a good moment

Recapped: 12/14/2018

Matches:

Halcón Suriano Jr. & Robin beat Espanto Jr. & Grako
(10:04 [3:53, 3:08, 3:03], 2/3, ok, 00:01:10)

Cancerbero, Disturbio, Raziel beat Astral, Eléctrico, Fuego
(16:14 [7:57, 3:20, 4:57], 1/3, ok, 00:18:43)

Esfinge, Titán, Tritón beat Misterioso Jr., Templario, Vangellys
(14:02 [4:51, 4:57, 4:14], 1/3, below average, 00:43:48)

Forastero beat Soberano Jr. in a lightning match
(9:24, Forastero spinning reverse slam, ok, 01:08:06)

Ángel de Oro, Diamante Azul, Niebla Roja beat Rey Bucanero, Shocker, Terrible
(10:06 [2:23, 7:43], 1/2 DQ, ok, 01:23:00)

Carístico, Valiente, Volador Jr. beat Cuatrero, Sansón, Último Guerrero
(10:02 [2:49, 2:42, 4:31], 1/3, ok, 01:42:20)

What happened: 

This was a very skippable show.

Rey Bucanero tried to fake a foul from Niebla Roja and got caught.

Titan hit the apron on a springboard moonsault to the floor, which followed some confusion about who was supposed ot be diving where. Triton hit the ropes as Titan was moonsaulting it, which caused the accident. Titan seemed more frustrated than hurt.

Thoughts: 

this wasn’t supposed to be quite this but it worked out okay

The main event was a walked thru match of no intensity. They blew the comeback spot and didn’t a lot before or after it. Monito challenging Sansón was the match highlight. The whole show felt like a b-show, and this was no different.

The semi-main alternated between bad and forgettable, which was the theme for the show. It was a match I would’ve gleefully and correctly skipped thru on a Tuesday show. Bestia is worse than Shocker.

Forastero & Soberano matches are missing the spark and energy they both show in trios matches. They executed their spots better than in the previous matches, but there was no particular order or build to make them more exciting. The last couple of spots were some of the less impressive moment of the match; they’re struggling at putting together what the know how to do in a meaningful way. Both could use some matches with people who do know how to do that, but I’m not sure who that would be. This was borderline ok/good match that I wasn’t really excited about so it go the lower grade.

The tercera was a very standard and not unemotional version of the usual Guanatos Style match for the first two falls, with a bonus moment of the técnicos looking really dumb to end the second fall. They seemed to get lost in the third fall, with Titan almost paying a big price for it. No one tried to do much they don’t already do in this one, and there’s a lot better matches you can see it.

The segunda was boring, even by Cancerbero standard. The first fall was interminable. Raziel was back in form if that form is not being in the right position for the tecnico moves. It got better in the third fall, though they had long lost the crowd. Fuego being in this match seemed like punishment and he wrestled like a guy who didn’t much want to be there.

Halcón Suirano celebrated his promotion to the main division by doing an illegal dive in the opener. He’s absolutely doomed and will never make it out of the first two matches but he’ll be a pleasure to have along for as long as he can manage to last. This wasn’t a good match – Grako is still not all the way there, Signo Espanto will never be there – but Suriano will probably eventually have the rare CMLL good opening match at some point. He just needs to find the right opponents on the right day.