CMLL on ClaroSports.com: 2016-07-29 

La Mascara
La Mascara

Recapped: 07/29/2016

What happened: La Mascara defeated Dragon Lee in straight falls, though once by a fluke DQ and once by cheating. Super Crazy defeated Rey Bucanero cleanly again, continuing their issue. Mistico was hurt early on in his match and his status is unknown.

The last three matches were all quick, and this was the quickest ending Friday show (under 2 hours) in recent memory.

What was good:  I liked the first half of this card, with the second match being the best on the show. It stopped being a good show once Mistico got hurt and never recovered.

Where can I watch it: It’ll be up on my channel at least by Tuesday. (more…)

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. (more…)

CMLL Mexico: 2016-07-26 

Diamante Azul sends Ephesto into orbit
Diamante Azul sends Ephesto into orbit

Recapped: 07/26/2016

What happened: Rey Escorpión cheated to beat Máximo in the main event, setting up a title match next week. Not much else.

What was good: Not much. I guess the semimain was good, but this was a show where most everyone didn’t seem into doing much. Crowd was very into the show and it never bugged them, but this was two boring hours for me.

Where can I watch it: It’s on CMLL’s YouTube channel. (more…)

AAA on Televisa: 2016-07-09 

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trying to call a match and Pentagon’s in your lap

Recapped: 07/16/2016

What happened: Pentagon Jr. won the Latin American championship from Psycho Clown when Pagano ran in. Bestia 666 return as a member of Los Fronterizos and cheated Hector Garza. Gran Apache still hates Venum.

What was good: I liked the main event, even with obvious flaws. First match will look much better as a highlight package than it did as a match.

Where can I watch it: It’s on AAA’s channel and my channel. (more…)

CMLL Puebla: 2016-07-25

enough of the handstand
enough of the handstand

Recapped: 07/25/2016

What happened: Black Tiger defeated King Jaguar for his hair after they lost a relevos suicidas. UG cheated to beat Volador. Lluvia upset Dalys and asked for a title shot next week.

What was good: UG/Volador was fun and I liked the trios rematch.

Where can I watch it: It’s on CMLL’s YouTube channel. (more…)

CMLL on ClaroSports.com: 2016-07-22

Ultimo Dragoncito drives Demus into the barricade
Ultimo Dragoncito drives Demus into the barricade

Recapped: 07/22/2016

What happened: La Mascara won the Leyenda de Plata. Rey Bucanero and Super Crazy have issues.

What was good: The Sky Team/Guerreros match was superb. The minis match was strong, and everything was (but the main event) was better than it seemed on paper.

Where can I watch it: I’ll have it on my channel Tuesday. The main event is on Claro’s website. (more…)

Lucha Underground 2×26: Ultima Lucha Dos-Part 3

superkick
superkick

Matches

Aerostar, Fenix, Drago vs Jack Evans, PJ Black, Johnny Mundo (11:49, Fenix Fire Driver Johnny Mundo, great)

Dragon Azteca DQ Black Lotus (4:11, Pentagon attacks Dragon Azteca, OK)

Matanza defeated Pentagon Dark (11:35, Wrath of the Gods, great)

Taya defeated Ivelisse (6:46, northern lights suplex to double stomp, good)

Rey Mysterio defeated Prince Puma (16:40, off the top rope huracanrana, excellent )

Developments

guess we need a name for this
guess we need a name for this

Most of the big story points revolved around Pentagon. For one, he’s no longer “Pentagon Jr.”, but “Pentagon Dark..” Vampiro forced Pentagon to destroy his own past self, the self that was not enough to defeat Matanza, to finally become strong enough to beat Matanza. Pentagon Jr. had to be extinguished so Pentagon Dark could live. (That appeared to reference back to the season 2 slogan of “a much darker place”.)

Pentagon was not interested in waiting for his title match, interrupting the Dragon Azteca/Black Lotus match (where Azteca seemed to be winning) by attacking Azteca, then breaking both Lotus and Azteca’s arms as new sacrifices for his maestro. Pentagon indeed was much stronger against Matanza, taking the fight to him from an opening dive and dominating Matanza much more than anyone has yet. Dario seemed concerned and desperate thru most of the match, while Vampiro was unabashedly rooting for his student from the desk. Matanza did put up a fight, but seemed done or very close to it after a Mexican Destroyer. Pentagon did not pin, but looked over to Vampiro, who handed him the same barbed wire bat Vampiro had used earlier in the season. Pentagon took the bat and prepared to swing, only to be stopped by Dario. Pentagon easily stopped Dario and attempted to break his arm once again, only for Matanza to smack Pentagon in the back with the bat. One Wrath of the Gods later, it was over and Matanza had retained his championship once again. (The crowd was not happy with this finish, one of the more noticeable negative reactions.)

crazy splashes all over the place
crazy splashes all over the place

Vampiro tried to console Pentagon after the failure, but Pentagon angrily shoved him away and yelled at Vampiro, blaming him for the advice to use the bat. A disconsolate Vampiro rejoined the announce both, took his medicine, and eventually returned to his normal personality over the course of the following Taya/Ivelisse match. As Striker was closing out the show, Pentagon came thru the crowd behind them and hit Vampiro with the same bat, then took out Striker with a superkick. Pentagon grated the bat across the forehead of a defenseless Vampiro, destroying him while again blaming him for the loss and declaring himself to now be the real maestro. The in-ring season ended with a stare at Vampiro’s face covered in blood.

Dario did keep the title, but his future is less certain. The closing shot of the season was Dario (and only Dario, no Matanza or even Black Lotus) being loaded into a police van and taken away in handcuffs. Dario looked distraught about the situation, but was smiling as the show came to an end, in a repeat to how the first season ended.

springboard imploding tope con giro
springboard imploding tope con giro

There was a bit of unexpected super natural magic in the Taya/Ivelisse match. Ivelisse appeared to be close to victory (though, like Dragon Azteca, it didn’t seem certain) when the lights went out. When they came back on, Catrina had taken the place of the referee. Catrina took out Ivelisse with a Rosa DDT, then the same lights off/lights on trick put the referee back in the ring in time to watch Taya finish Ivelisse off.

The rest of the show was normal wrestling matches, by comparison. The Prince Puma/Rey Mysterio match was previewed with a long look back at how Puma got to this point (with much more Konnan old mic work than we’ve gotten the rest of the season combined), noting Puma was found fighting on the streets by Puma. Puma himself was somewhat darker in this match, both in costume and attitude. His normal arrogance seemed to betray him at moments, especially near the end: Puma paused on the top rope and told Rey Misterio he was sorry before going for the 630, which might have given Rey just enough time to roll out of the way. Rey won with an incredible huracanrana, and generally looked about half his age much of this match.

bad times for Dragon Azteca
bad times for Dragon Azteca

The only unusual thing about the opener was referee Rich Knox throwing a mild fit and demanding both sides start obeying the tag rules. It came after an extended period of the Worldwide Underground swapping in and out without tags, but he acted in time to stop a técnicos triple dive. The match calmed down for a while, but eventually got out of control again, culminating with Jack pulling out Knox as he was making a three count (and maybe knocking him out in the process, since Knox was down for a long time.) Worldwide rudos made copious uses of belt shots in attempt to keep their belts, but their actions were countered by the surprise return of Angelico. Angelico showed up on crutches, but they were more there for offense, as he hit Mundo repeatedly with them as he went for the Fin de Mundo. (Our impression is Mundo was the one who attacked Angelico – Angelico seemed to think so, and Mundo did take his spot on the team with Havoc & Ivelisse the week after he was gone – but Mundo didn’t have time to admit to it.) Fenix plucked Mundo off the top rope and dropped him with the Fire Driver to win the match and the trios titles. Fenix becomes the first and only person to win all three Lucha Underground championships.

End of Season 2 championship

  • Lucha Underground Championship: Mtatanza
  • Gift of the Gods Champion: Sexy Star
  • Lucha Underground Trios Championship: Aerostar, Drago and Fenix

(Of note in the real world, Lucha Underground’s Twitter specifically noted the wait between seasons would not be as long this time. From Dusk till Dawn, El Rey’s other original show, premiers on September 8th, which may factor into the date. )

Thoughts

seems familiar
seems familiar

Ultima Lucha 1 had some matches didn’t work at all, and some segments which wouldn’t great. Nothing on this show was as useless as the Texano/Demon/Chavo truncated segment from last season, but some of the highs didn’t feel as high as last season.

Let’s gett the complaints out of the way first. All Pentagon can seem to do of late is feud with luchadors who paint their face, are mostly bald, and need to do hardcore wrestling as a crutch to get thru matches. The Pentagon Dark video was superb (and also probably a surrogate for a longer end of the season video), but the prospect of more with Vampiro and Pentagon does not fill me with anticipation. My hunch is it was something to save face for Pentagon, after even the transformation wasn’t enough to get him the championship, and made sure we wouldn’t be thinking of Pentagon Dark as a failure during the offseason. (Vampiro as booking sacrifice, more or less.) The thing is, this totally felt like the moment to do the title change, the crowd was ready for it, and instead they’re going with Matanza a while longer with no clear next direction for the champ either.. (That, and the ending scene with extremely small amounts of useful information, did not give me much to ponder during this indeterminate break.)

Mexican Destroyer
Mexican Destroyer

The disappointing ending also hurt the Ivelisse/Taya match; the live crowd didn’t seem to get into it, and it couldn’t follow what we had seen on TV either. Maybe that’s fort he best, it’s never too wise to get into a match which ends via ghostly deportation. The show did strongly foreshadow Catrina getting involved, showing the previous run-ins with Ivelisse this season, but it didn’t quite remind us why they were angry with each other in the first place. (The trios titles? That neither of them care about the moment?) It was a very whatever moment, but at least there’s a direction there.

Dragon Azteca versus Black Lotus got as bad as reviews live as any match I can recall; even months later, when I was back there live, people still felt strongly about how not strong it was. You can’t totally tell by watching it; there’s obviously some edits, and some stuff slipped thru that didn’t look good (or was just plain weird – let’s not go into the chairs!) but they did manage to salvage it enough it where neither character were ruined by the match itself. The ending of the match didn’t do them any favors, but is a bit about how they follow up on it.

Ivelisse German suplex
Ivelisse German suplex

That, buried here many words into this review, is the big difference with Ultima Lucha 2. There were stories set to carry over to the next season, but Ultima Lucha 1 went for a lot of endings, or a lot of ends of acts at least, possibly because it could’ve been the end for all they knew. They know they’ve got at least one more after this one, so a lot of stuff is left waiting for some reaction from the people involved, as if participants were paused in the middle of sentences. Maybe this one will feel stronger in retrospect when there’s about 39 episodes that’ll air, but it definitely feels different right now.

The trios title match was one match which didn’t feel like it totally clicked on Ultima Lucha 1, but did much better this time around. It was a fun, active, high energy lucha trios match. The good guys were really good, the bad guys were not, there were a billion crazy spots, and we got a little bit of unexpected story advancement by the end. The past trios champions have gone their separate ways after losing the titles, but Worldwide Underground obviously should not, they’re too good together, and probably won’t. More matches between these teams would be cool too.

Catrina Special
Catrina Special

The expectations for Rey & Puma were very high, and they exceeded them. Maybe Puma’s just amazing (and he is), but Rey was wrestling like he was half his age. Just unbelievable both the moves he was pulling off and the crispness of the execution, all the way into the finish. This was a battle that build greatly to the finish, both guys wrestling their matches at their best. Puma paying up his arrogance worked great for the end, and gave him an out losing. Not that it totally mattered, with how insanely strong Striker was putting him over by the end. They clearly teased a rematch someday, and I guess we’ll see. I don’t even know what to say about this, this was just incredible.

Season 2 didn’t have the amazement of Season 1, the slow but shocking realization that they were going to pull everything off. Not everything was pulled off as well this season, and there’s definitely bits I could argue long against (and probably have already.) Still, this season had plenty of great moments, was a worthwhile expenditure of 27 hours, and I can’t wait for season 3.

20160720lu-10
it’s on
20160720lu-11
Misterio works it out
20160720lu-12
springboard spinning DDT
20160720lu-13
this was different

CMLL Puebla: 2016-07-18

Volador gets a seat
Volador gets a seat

Recapped: 07/18/2016

What happened: Negro Casas & Shocker kept the tag titles. Rush no-showed his match, but it set up a Volador/Ultimo Guerrero singles match anyway. King Jaguar & Black Tiger versus Disturbio & Arez with the losing team losing a hair and a mask seemed to be set up for next week (though it was hard to hear exactly what was the stipulation.

What was good: Nothing, this was a disappointing show with no redeemable matches. Skip.

Where can I watch it:  It’s on CMLL’s YouTube (more…)

Lucha Azteca7 Elite: 2016-07-08 

20160709elite_match6-1
Marcela actually scarier than Bane

Recapped: 07/14/2016

What happened: Extreme Tiger (over Rey Escorpion) and La Mascara (over Xtreme Tiger) won 3 points. Women had matches.

What was good: I liked Tiger/Escorpion and the CMLL vs Elite women’s match.

Where can I watch it: It’s on my channel and Azteca’s channel (more…)