CMLL in ROH’s Honor Club match reviews

I have a month of membership to ROH’s new video service, Honor Club. I got it to watch the Ultimo Guerrero/Volador appearances on their recent New York show. That show was good, worth the $10 fee I paid for the month. I still have access for the rest of the month and there’s other CMLL guest appearances on the service in the VOD section. I thought I might as well check them out and let you know if it’s worth checking out. I wouldn’t say anything is here is worth the $10/month alone, it just might be an extra reason to pay for the service if there’s a live show you also want to see.

One of the reasons it’s hard to check out luchadors in US (or English speaking) promotions is the announcing is usually dreadful. I made a joke of a rating scale to demonstrate the problem. It’s not easy for an unfamiliar person to find out about luchadors, but it can be done and it should be done if your job is to explain these people to the audience. If someone thought a (Mexican) wrestler was important enough to be in your ring, you should know who that person is and what they do in that ring. Lucha libre isn’t easy to follow but small children manage to do it so it doesn’t seem impossible.

(Disclaimer: I’m always willing to help this situation. Sometimes I try to help without being asked, and it’s usually met with indifference, so I’m not really doing that any more. But I’m willing to make the situation better as long as I’m not actually involved in the product. I’m not looking for a job, I’m just looking for a broadcast that won’t cause me to throw something at my TV.)

I don’t find many of the Mexican announcers to be great at their jobs either, I’ve just learned to tune them out. It’s harder in English.

The Ring of Honor broadcasts varied. It changed a lot after Steve Corino moved on to WWE. He and Kelly were doing a jokey broadcast where Corino not knowing what was going on was one of the sources of comedy. It didn’t work for me but I can understand people like the vibe. Colt Cabana and Ian Riccaboni are a newer to the spots and a bit more focused on proving they know what’s going on to build some credibility with the audience.

Here’s what I saw:

Angel de Oro vs ACH vs Kamaitachi vs Matt Jackson

When: 10/14/16 Chicago Ridge, entrances at 26:45.

Should you watch: Yes, and it’s an easy call. It’s an all action match that moves fast and goes pretty well, except for the guy who gets pinned at the end. The crowd seemed totally unfamiliar with Angel de Oro but whoever put this match seemed to know him pretty well to make sure he got his impressive dives in. They only missed the campana from hitting all of his usual spots, ad they look great for a first time audience. He doesn’t have any noticeable issues working with the other opponents, even when he’s not working with Kamaitachi. This would be a borderline Great match under the normal rating system.

Kamaitacihi and Angel de Oro have a singles match on the following day’s show; the TJ Hawke 2016 ROH best of list (which also inspired me to find these matches) said it was even better than this. That show is oddly not in the current archive as far as I can tell.

Things a lucha fan will care about: they actually use Angel de Oro’s correct music, which is a surprise when you’re used to seeing them on TV with other songs. That’s consistent thru these VODs. The ring announcers wrongly goes with “Mexico City” as his hometown though.

Things a lucha fan will be confused about: The announcers make a running joke of some controversy ACH was involved in but never explain it; this is a reference to ACH making a surprise appearance on an AAW show ending with a strange speech about a divorce, which was an illusion to him quitting ROH soon. Matt Jackson and the crowd go crazy for Delete chance, which is part of a looming feud with the Hardy Boys.

Announcer grades: Kevin Kelly 2 (had the pronunciation, looked up Angel de Oro’s wikipedia for championship info), Steve Corino 0 (trying to be funny but running the pronunciation bit into the ground.)

Will Ferrera vs YO vs The Panther vs Silas Young

11/03/16, San Antonio, Texas (0:00:34 entrances, 0:04:07 bell)

Should you watch: Yes. These guys also oddly work well together, with more The Panther/Silas Young interaction than you’d expect. It’s often just 1v1 pairings with a third person breaking up the pinfall after a big move and no one really having extended control. The action keeps on moving that way, and everyone makes the most of their moment to look good. Panther’s early tope looks good (though Young oddly moves backwards when he’s attempting to catch it) and his springboard dropkick is on point. This looks a like 2018 The Panther, though he wasn’t doing this well in CMLL at this point.

Announcer grades: Kevin Kelly 1, Steve Corino 0

Ring Announcer: “the PANTHER!”
Steve Corino: “which is Spanish for The Panther.”

That’s a joke I would make. It’s that bad. Kelly says he contacted the CMLL office for some info on both Panther and Misterioso. It doesn’t seem like they gave him much.

Misterioso Jr. vs SHO vs Adam Page vs Lio Rush

11/03/16, Arlington, Texas (1:10:35 entrances, 1:14:28 bell)

Should you watch: No. Misterioso is not really motivated by the appearance, doesn’t fit in this match anyway, and he’s not much of a focus of the match. It comes off as a three way with Misterioso making occasional appearances. Even without him, it’s not as exciting as a match between our old friend Raijin and Lio Rush might seem to be.

Announcer grades: Kevin Kelly 0, Steve Corino 0

Steve Corino: “Misterioso Jr. told us he was 100kgs. I think that was the first lie he told us.”
Kevin Kelly: “What town did he say he was from?”
Corino: “Mexico…[incomprehensible noise]”
Kelly: “It had a lot of rolling r’s in it. We said how about just ‘Mexico’ and he said ‘Si.’”

That bit at least plays funnier than it reads. Kelly, in another bit later, says he talked to Okumura about calling some CMLL matches but realizes it may not be a great idea when Corino warns him about Mexico.

Announcers grades for psychic predictions: Kevin Kelly 4! In a discussion intended simply to bury Bone Soldier, Kelly accidentally lays out the Elite/Bullet Club OG split without even known the Elite are the Elite yet. He has Page in the wrong group, or it might be the right group at that point.

Rhett Titus, Kenny King, Caprice Coleman vs SHO, YO, Misteiroso Jr.

When: 11/04/16, Arlington, Texas (leads off shows with entrances & Promos, 7:49 bell)

Should you watch: Nah. It’s a basic opening trios match to get over the Coleman team for stuff late on. Their control period feels long and the action doesn’t really pick up enough to make worth the time. There’s more of attempt to get in a big Misterioso spot here, but he can’t get up his opponent for the Gori Special despite two attempts and help from Sho. It’s so off that the announcers had no idea what he was doing. That seems fair.

Announcer Grades: Kevin Kelly 0, Steve Corino 0. Kevin Kelly talks about Misterioso being part of a family of wrestlers, specifically mentioning uncles who are wrestling. I can’t figure it he’s mixed up Misterioso and The Panther (with uncle Black Warrior) or if he thinks Misterioso is part of the Rey Mysterio family. They otherwise say nothing of note.

The Panther vs Jax Dane vs The Punishment Damien Martinez vs Bobby Fish vs Lio Rush vs Dalton Castle

When: 11/04/16, Arlington, Texas (2:17:57 bell, 2:27:28)

Should you watch: Maybe. There’s some entertainment here with a lot of caveats. Half the eliminations have some storyline to them, and ROH expect you to already know and care about those stories. More critically, the Panther is the first out and the match goes about twenty five minutes longer after he leaves. It’s good action but really long to space out the eliminations. They do a solid job of the story they’re telling, this just might be too much work for a casual lucha fan.

Announce Grades: Steve Corino 0, Alex Shelley 3?

Steve Corino calls him “the Tiger” before correcting himself. The discussion at the start of the match is also great.

Alex Shelley: “Tell me what you know about The Panther”
Steve Corino: “I know absolutely nothing.”

Shelley seems to be here to root for Lio Rush during this match. He also happens to be a lucha libre fan. It does not appear he’s seen The Panther before, but he’s the only one of these announcers to immediately realize he’s Blue Panther’s son, and then calls Blue Panther “the best wrestler ever.” There’s bonus points in that. Shelley also starts saying words like “tope”, “quebradora”, “casadora”, like someone who knows what they’re talking about. Given prep time, Shelley would be a great pick to announce for one these matches again.

Jay White, Dragon Lee vs Will Ospreay, Volador

When: 04/01/17, Lakeland, Florida (2:05:37 entrances, 2:09:00~ bell)

Should you watch: YES. Four guys trying to steal this show with every big move they know in an exciting match. Volador & Dragon Lee make a strong impression in Volador’s first match in the promotion. Ospreay try to top them, and really does with the dive at the end. White is not as much a big moves guy. He never feels out of place, but doesn’t have the highlight moments as the other three. There’s moments where you’d wish they’d keep going instead of stopping to play to the crowd and “selling” is more “rolling out of the way so other people have space for move”, but it all works.

Minutia: We’re into the generic replacement music era. They have not entered the era of knowing where the luchadors are beyond “Mexico.” Dragon Lee gets told to leave the ring on a tag early on and threatens to punch the referee (?!?) but then it works as a lucha libre tag rules anyway so maybe the referee should’ve just left him alone.

Announcing Grades: Ian Riccaboni 2, Kevin Kelly 1, Colt Cabana 1. Everyone tries to get “Volador” right. Riccaboni is the only who did (wikipedia) research and makes use of it. No one says anything dumb.

Esfinge & Rey Cometa vs The Dawgs (Rhett Titus & Will Ferrara)

When: 11/17/17, San Antonio, Texas (1:28:16 entrances, 1:31:42 bell)

Should you watch: Yes, and I didn’t think I was going to write that half way thru. It’s the first match so far that’s US hot tag style. It’s a little slow building to that moment. It turns out to be worth the trip. Esfinge & Cometa put forward good efforts. Cometa pulls off the Brillo Cometa and Esfinge seems sharp. Their opponents handle them well and the crowd really was into it for the finish.

Minutia: This seems like a much bigger building than the year before, and they probably could’ve gone even bigger given how many people are in the standing room overlook. The CMLL luchadors, especially on these Texas shows, do the Kalisto/Lucha Dragon fist pumping, which is hilarious and nothing they do at home. This one has an Alberto Si! Si! Si! chant too, and also the more traditional Si Se Puede. The luchadors are more over in San Antonio than Dallas but that seems like the case for everyone.

Announcer Grades: Colt Cabana 3 and BJ Whitmer 1

Cabana drew the wikipedia straw. He took notes, he even knows Esfinge’s family tree, seems happy about the knowledge he’s dropping, and then…

Cabana: “Rey Cometa! Used to wear a mask, lost it to the Puma King.”
Whitmer: “How long ago?”
Cabana: “[searches notes, realizes it’s not in there]…a while ago”

BJ is not a good friend! Whitmer seems to be an emergency fill in for Riccaboni. Both are making a fair attempt at the pronunciations. The effort is there. What really blows me away is Cabana calls the Nudo Egipico as it’s happenin. He knew the name and he even knew the set up to the cradle. That’s a thumb up from me.

Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin vs Esfinge & Rey Cometa vs Rhett Titus & Will Ferrara vs Silas Young & Beer City Bruiser

When: 11/18/17, Dallas, Texas (55:01 entrances, 1:01:03 bell)

Should you watch: Maybe. The match is fine, maybe even as far as good. The nature of a four way tag match means Esfinge & Cometa aren’t really in all that much and don’t get a lot of time. The announcers note this was Team CMLL versus the Motor City Machine Guns before the other teams were added, which is something I would’ve liked to see a lot more. Shelley is barely in the match, giving the impression this change was to hide him due to injury or something along those lines. I really want Alex Shelley doing lucha and it never seems to work out. Titus/Ferrara and Young/Bruiser are perfectly acceptable teams and Esfinge & Cometa get to do moonsaults onto everyone at the end, so this is totally watchable. Just not must watchable.

Announcer Grades: Colt Cabana 2 & Ian Riccaboni 2 – and maybe those are too low. Theyr’e trying on the names, and there’s really not a lot of time to in to much more about these CMLL guys when they’ve got this many people in the match. They do seem to think it’s an elimination match until people start breaking up pinfalls, which might be another sign this was put together late.

CMLL Martes: 2017-09-12 

no mountain too big for Microman

Recapped: 09/25-26/2017

All matches aired from Arena Mexico live.

Matches: 

Retro & Sangre Imperial vs Templario & Yago
(11:56 [5:00, 4:19, 2:37], 1/3, ok, via
VideosOficialesCMLL)

La Vaquerita, Marcela, Sanely beat La Comandante, La Seductora, Metálica
(12:45 [6:34, 3:54, 2:17], 2/3, n/r, via 
VideosOficialesCMLL)

El Gallito & Microman beat Chamuel & Mije
(11:07, good, via
VideosOficialesCMLL)

Luciferno, Tiger, Virus vs Esfinge, Fuego, Pegasso
(13:54 [6:21, 3:08, 4:25], 1/3, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)

Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Vangellys beat Drone, Johnny Idol, Titán
(12:43 [5:26, 3:34, 3:43], 1/3, n/r, via VideosOficialesCMLL)

Dragón Lee, Stuka Jr., Valiente beat Cavernario, Negro Casas, Shocker
(12:33 [4:07, 1:48, 6:38], 1/3 DQ, ok, via 
VideosOficialesCMLL)

What Happened:

gotta springboard

Shocker fouled Stuka to finish the main event.

This was Chamuel’s Arena Mexico debut after wrestling in Arena Coliseo previously. He is twice Microman’s size.

Thoughts: 

behold the power of Chamuel

The main had teases of what might happen if we ever got to see a 2017 Cavernario/Dragon Lee full length match, and just enough action to send the crowd away satisfied. Not something you need to rewatch, and Shocker fouling Stuka wasn’t built to at all and doesn’t set up anything interesting. Cavernario was entertainingly in Dragon Lee’s face in this one.

The fourth match has some good ideas – Luciferino getting battered 3 on 1 by dropkicks to set up a pin is a nice change of pace with the teammates actually working together – but it doesn’t totally come together as something worth watching. Esfinge coming into too early in the ending sprint was amusing. Tiger has good timing on his big strikes.

this was not good

The third match was a another fun micros match. This Tuesday crowd didn’t seem as into it at first as other ones, but they were getting showered by coins as well. Chamuel did well, selling big for the smaller técnicos to make them see more impressive. Mije had a problem with his tapatia and Gallito seemed like not everything went right, but Microman was the start as always.

The opener was not as exciting as the Fiero-fests, but Templario was out to impress. He was also out to do some springboards, and did a lot of those. Retro does bad quebradoras and I’m really becoming a quebradora snob as I grow older. My Facebook friend Yago still needs a better finish.

Templario has a lot of finishes.

03/20 CMLL Arena Mexico Lineup: 2015 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas

CMLL (FRI) 03/20/2015 Arena México
Homenaje a Dos Leyendas, 2015 (El Faraon)
1) Dark Angel, Estrellita, Marcela vs Amapola, Dallys la Caribeña, Tiffany
2) Blue Panther Jr., Stuka Jr., The Panther vs Hechicero, Vangellys, Virus
3) Mistico, Titán, Valiente vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Felino, Negro Casas
4) Dragon Lee vs Kamaitachi [mask]
5) La Máscara, La Sombra, Rush vs Euforia, Thunder, Último Guerrero
6) Máximo & Volador Jr. vs Rey Bucanero & Terrible [hair]

This was revealed near the end of today’s CMLL Informa show.

Air Date: 03/28 in Mexico on Fox Sports 2, 04/04

There are good matches on this show, but there’s nothing interesting to the card besides the two apuesta matches. And the outcomes in those are not in any doubt. This is far from an exciting card.

CMLL’s run the Ingobernanles/Guerreros feud into the ground; this is the third time they’re bringing back that exact trios match. It’s about 10 TV matches from those TV. It’s never been over or produced some great matches or been interesting. It made sense to take advantage of Ultimo Guerrero’s support after the mask match, but it’s not a feud that makes since now. And it’s probably not the last time we’ll see that match, with everyone figuring a trios title tournament is just around the corner.

The rest of the matches are the usual big match show undercard: mostly good workers randomly thrown together, with bigger names than usual. Felino continues his role of being in every match that might be good without him (though he’s more likely to be good this show.) Vangellys, out hurt for months, is rewarded with being on a big show. Women get to be on this big show, but they’ve recently gotten to have an apuesta match on this show and there’s nothing much going on with them at the moment.

This show should be good. The main event guys will go all out in that spot, and Dragon Lee and Kamaitachi will be a success as long as they don’t get hurt druing the match. At least one of those trios, maybe the segunda, will a pretty good match (that will likely never air on TV.) It’s still very dry.

The TV show covering this needs to be just the two apuesta matches, or they’re crazy.

06/17 Arena Mexico Lineup (Juicio Final)

CMLL (FRI) 06/17/2011 Arena Mexico
***Juicio Final, 2011***
1) Shigeo Okumura & Yoshihashi vs Metro & Stuka Jr.
2) Brazo de Plata, Hijo del Fantasma, Valiente vs Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Texano
3) Diamante, Hijo del Signo, Negro Casas vs Blue Panther, Fuego, Pólvora
4) Delta, Guerrero Maya Jr., Shocker vs Ángel de Oro, Rey Escorpion, Último Guerrero
5) La Sombra, Rush, Strong Man vs Mephisto, Mr. Niebla, Shinsuke Nakamura
6) La Máscara vs Averno [mask]

Lineup via The Gladiatores, though the press release says July.

Really nothing besides the main event (though I did want to see Nakamura vs Rush, so hooray.)

It looks like the Forjando un Idolos are doing a round robin, which would leave these matches for 06/10
?) Ángel de Oro, Rey Escorpion, Último Guerrero vs Diamante, Hijo del Signo, Negro Casas
?) Delta, Guerrero Maya Jr., Shocker vs Blue Panther, Fuego, Pólvora

Hijo del Fantasma actually makes the card! I wonder how that will go…

Recent (and not so Recent) Box Y Lucha Articles

Box Y Lucha posted many magazine’s worth of articles at the end of last week. Let me try to link to everything for no good reason:

CMLL Owner Slightly Upset

Francisco Alonso is a somewhat angry man. Apparently, after the CMLL vs AAA match on the telethon, someone on air suggested they do a show together – the CMLL owner says no way, and the last time they did, AAA ended up hiding in it’s locker room at the end of the show, and he doesn’t want to deal with that again. He’s also very unhappy with Arturo Rivera coming to CMLL for a few weeks and Alfonso Morales going to AAA for a few weeks. He notes that was out of his control, but states that they have at least 50 new faces they want to get over (QUE?) and has no time for helping out other companies.

In a completely random and seemingly unrelated note, Alonso sounds very enthused about how the CMLL Bodybuilding event and hopes it becomes an annual event. I would be worried about such a statement, but if it’s anyone added more muscle, it’s Olimpico, and he’s got absolutely no push out of it. This fits with the general belief Alonso is divorced from the day to day decision making.

Year End Voting

– Rudo of the Year: Black Warrior (CMLL) and Chessman. Both have new legions of fans – Warrior’s surprised, but Chessman figures people just started using common sense.
– Mistico’s listed as wrestler of a year on the cover, but that article wasn’t posted. If they’re doing split ones there, I’d assume Cibernetico would be the other one.
– Four Man Team Of The Year: Los Mexican Powers. They do have the belts. Juvi says all of us who thought they were an imitation of the Mexicools were wrong. I’m going to hang my head in shame.

Inexplicable
Mil Mascaras bio, which is explicable. The crazy section is where they discuss the idea of a Mil Mascaras Jr., Mil’s all “no one else could live up to me” as you’d expect Mil to be, and then mentions a conversation with Rey Misterio Jr. the other day, where Rey explained to Mil that there’s another international guy who’s a copy of him – Tiger Mask.

(what?)

Mil also gives a thumbs down to Nacho Libre, in case you were waiting to find out.

Feud Hype

– Before their match at Guerra de Titanes (that’s how old some of these are), Muerte Cibernetica and Cibernetico cut promos on each other. Muerte thanks his fans, who obviously recognize him as he truly is: the messiah. Cibernetico is nicknamed “The King Of Pumping Iron”. That’s an opening for like 500 jokes and I’m not going to make any of them for some odd reason.

– Mistico wants to fight Averno for masks because it’s a match the fans want to see, and Averno doesn’t want to wait to the anniversary show to do it. They’re very much pushing that the match is agreed to, just not the date.

AAA pretty boys angry, still pretty

Remember how Latin Lover claimed AAA wrestlers were ripping him off and wouldn’t go back unless they were ditched? Yea, well, Intocable and Elegido took that one as well as you might think.

Intocable says Latin Lover has hated him from day one and Super Calo and Winners were the true innovates of dancing. Unlike Latin Lover, Intocable notes he didn’t abandon his wrestling fans one he found a little bit of mainstream popularity. Intocable would actually NOT like to face Latin Lover in a match – they’re both tecnicos and the fans wouldn’t want to see them fight, but he’s defintely not scared of Latin Lover. Intocable notes Latin Lover isn’t coming back to AAA any time soon, so he must be totally scared.

Elegido also goes with the “Latin’s abandoned his fans” idea. Elegido states that he’s not imitating or stealing from anyone, he’s got his own unique style. Elegido notes that he came to AAA to take Latin Lover’s place, which kinda makes Latin Lover right, but I shouldn’t be arguing with a professional stripper who just wants to share his talents with the public, as he proclaims. (I imagine Elegido bellowing all these quotes for some reason.) Elegido, AAA historian, says Latin Lover didn’t know how to dance and didn’t have a good body until Antonio Pena made him into the man he is today – Elegido knew all that stuff before he started wrestling, so he couldn’t be ripping anyone off. It took Latin Lover 14 years to get the fans Elegido’s gotten in 7 months, which proves something. Elegido ends by thanking Latin Lover for leaving AAA.

Bios/Intervews
= Blue Demon Jr. talks about wrestling in Arena Mexico for the Teleton show and whatever, but the real thing I took out of this one was the 11/20 Teleton show was supposed to be CMLL vs UWA! Maybe I’m just dumb for taking two months to understand this, but I think that’s topped by CMLL doing an interpromtoional rivalry angle like 13 years after the other promotion died. If AAA dies this year, we can look forward to a big AAA vs CMLL show in 2020. Anyway, Demon does say some noteworthy stuff – he was 70% sure he’d be wrestling in Arena Mexico to start ’07 (not yet) so he can prop up attendance, he’s hoping the CMLL vs indy show becomes an annual event, and he’s thinking he’s not still a member of the Perros.
Konnan states it was never even a consideration that he would run AAA, but he’s just there to help – like by bringing people with actual talent fron TNA. (LANCE HOYT!)
– Coloso Colosetti, who debuted in 1963 and claims still to be wrestling occasionally, had testicular surgery on 12/20. He says he’ll recover in three months, and then go on a farewell tour.
Alex Koslov! talks about wrestling in Mexico. He’s learned more in the time in Mexico than the 4 years prior; he chalks that up partially to wrestling guys with a lot more experience, rather than the young men of similar age you’ll find on the US indy scene. Alex loves Mexican women and is looking into making one his fiancee. Also, Alex’s lost his hair while in Mexico – but not in a match, he just had a barber who had no idea what he was doing.
Octagoncito talks about the death of his father last November and his goals for 2007.
Mano Negra talks about winning the mask. When the referee raised Atlantis hand, Mano Negra was not sad. He knew, inside, he was a winner who just lost a battle, but not the way. (How’s that war going against Atlantis now?) He’s been wrestling for 36 years now.
Brazo de Plata Jr. talks about joining AAA. His mother was a little bothered by him changing his name to Kronos, so he’s happy to be back to Plata. He sidesteps any real talk about why he changed names in the first place.
Flash which is basically the same one elsewhere I posted a week ago.
Sergio Iván Angulo, Arena Coliseo Ring Announcer? I mean, they say he is, but I don’t remember ever seeing him. I’ll look closer.
Wolf Ruvinsky
Bio of Dr. Gama

Obits
Merced Gómez
Tigre Canadiense
Blue Demon
Love Machine
Eddie Guerrero

Random

thoughts on recent Tijuana news
Bio of Golden Boy, who’s real name is Alfonso Morales but isn’t that Alfonso Morales. Unless this is an elaborate prank.
– Various wrestlers share stories of Dia de Reyes when they were children. For Nemesis and Super Fly, this may have been last year. They ask Alex Koslov about Dia de Reyes in Russian, and he’s like “we never had it – must’ve been too cold!”