Atlantis, Diamante Azul, Valiente vs La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Terrible (6:22 [1:10, 1:47, 3:25], 2/3 DQ, ok, via thecubsfan)
Soberano & Cavernario feuded thru their match.
Hechicero kept the NWA Light Heavyweight Championship over Esfinge.
Rush fouled Valiente for pretty much no reason.
Hechicero/Esfinge was about as good as an Hechicero/Esfinge match. There was one badly blown spot, but that’s about what you expect with Esfinge. Hechicero got in most of his trademark spots, but his bigger skill was being there for Esfinge’s moves. He was smooth in the smaller moments and sold the big dives well. The match felt longer than I was expecting it go, though they never ran out of things to do. Hechciero has become a bit CMLL-ifed, focusing on a set of trademark spots instead of mixing it up, and I found myself wishing he brought a little bit more different stuff for a bigger match. Esfinge did about as much as Esfinge is going to do, and they reached the limit of that here.
The other two matches didn’t give much to write about. The opener was a standard build up trios matches for Soberano and Cavernario. Audaz working with Dragon Rojo wasn’t always smooth, but Audaz can do enough stuff with the ropes that he’s going to be fine no matter who he’s working with. The main event seemed edited down, but it’s not like Los Ingobernables matches are long. The foul came in the flow of the match but also just felt like a quick end.
Espanto Jr. & Hijo del Signo beat Astral & Eléctrico (16:19 [6:24, 4:49, 5:06], 1/3, below average, VideosOficialesCMLL )
Okumura, Puma, Tigerbeat Blue Panther Jr., Drone, The Panther (12:58 [3:45, 2:26, 6:47], 1/3, good, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Guerrero Maya Jr. beat Fuegoin a lightning match (7:15, Sacrifica Maya, good, VideosOficialesCMLL)
Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón beat Ángel de Oro, Mistico, Soberano Jr. (13:41 [3:43, 3:57, 6:01], 1/3, great, via VideosOficialesCMLL )
La Bestia Del Ring, Rush, Terrible beat Atlantis, Diamante Azul, Kráneo (11:57 [1:34, 3:42, 6:41], 1/3, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Flyer & Volador Jr.beat Templario & Último Guerreroin the CMLL Gran Alternativa final (20:56 [4:38, 3:11, 13:07], 2/3, excellent, VideosOficialesCMLL)
As soon as the match ended, Los Ingobernables hit the ring to attack Volador & Flyer. Their attack lasted only a few seconds before LA Park and Hijo de LA Park made the save. LA Park thanked the fans on social media for asking for his return, and then asked for a mask versus hair match with Rush for those fans. Rush thanked CMLL for letting a real fighter back into Arena Mexico. He wanted to fight LA Park right then and there, though Terrible and Besita did nt let that happen. Los Ingobernables left and LA Park & Hijo del LA Park celebrated with Flyer & Volador.
Los Ingobernables attacked Atlantis as he walked out, which left him laying on the apron for the entire first fall, only getting up I time to get beat up after the fall. Atlantis wasn’t in at all in the second fall except to do his new side slam finish. Bestia has given up wearing his Bestia outfit, at least for the moment.
Fuego untied Guerrero Maya’s mask early in their match, and Maya did the same to him. Maya’s mask came off on turnbuckle smash on the apron. Cameras missed it. Maya protested for a DQ but didn’t get one.
Finish of the second match saw The Panther pin Puma as Okumura pinned Drone, but Drone was the captain and Puma was not.
Like last year, the 2018 Gran Alternativa was a dramatic match where the young wrestlers came off as important and as skilled as the veterans. Everyone showcased their best material and were able to blend it together for a match that was exciting until the end. They built it well, and they built in front of a crowd that was completely behind the idea. This was so much of a better night than the Magia Blanca match for Flyer, who wrestled smoothily and impressively thru the match. Templario got show off his agility and his strength in a typically strong performance. Ultimo Guerrero & Volador were wrestling as if this was as important to them as the rookies, and their strong chemistry remains intact. The Guerrero Special/gutwrench powerbomb was huge, the crowd knew what it meant when Volador rolled out without getting pinned. This was a great success.
Rush getting a clean win in the semifinal and Los Ingobernables looking more energetic made a lot more sense after the main event. The extra energy helped the normal set up for the match. Kraneo still seems to be having a lot of fun in his new role. Atlantis was kept out of action, and most of his offense was moving slightly to cause the rudos to run into each other. He took bumps, but he never took a wrestling move.
NGD had one of their better trios matches of late. They seemed more energetic and broke out some of their biggera moves that have been put on the shelf of late. Forastero was good on offense and reacting to the técnicos flippiness, and the técnicos did a lot of flips. Soberano was pulling off all his trickiest spots with ease, Angel de Oro was sharp. Mistico seemed like the sixth best wrestler in this match and he was still very good and more over than usual. Worth going out of your way to see.
Maya/Fuego was a good técnico match with some unexpected energy for the crowd being really into Fuego and quick to turn on Maya. They didn’t do anything special besides the mask untying, the crowd just likes Fuego (and he should’ve won here.) Everything was just done cleanly and the back and forth worked well.
The segunda was yet another Panthers/Gatos really good match in the never ending sequence. The bigger spots, like Blue Panther Jr.’s double slam, are getting progressively more over and they speed and mix of action worked really well here. Okumura picked his spots fine, though Drone was the definite better third wheel. They did lose the crowd a little bit after five straight dives and the intentionally confusing finish didn’t help. It still was very good, just you could tell a slight difference between this match and the other really good trios match.
The opener was a sloppy boring mess. The headscissors gone wrong by Eléctrico on Hijo del Signo was as long a sustained bad moment as you get in CMLL, and those weren’t even the worse two. Signo looks like he really had not interest in wrestling today, and his effort is minimal.
Chef Benito vs Power Bull (IWRG @ Arena Naucalpan on 3/14, 7:54, ok, via thecubsfan)
Someday, someone will ask me “Did you watch any of the short lived chef character in IWRG?” and I will now be able to prove I did. Power Bull has been around IWRG trainee shows forever at this point, and works with Benito to find a few things he can do well. I do not know if Benito was wrestling under another gimmick before this weird one, but they put together a match better than you’d expect for a rookie, building around a couple spots he can do and the punishment he’s willing to take. Benito can do a backcracker, he can take a powerbomb onto a barricade, all the IWRG essentials. He doesn’t do enough Chef spots for my liking but he’s fine here.
Tiago vs Látigovs Astroluxvs Rayo Starvs Torito Negrofor The Crash JUNIOR championship (The Crash @ Auditorio de Tijuana on 03/17, 8:17, good, via MegaKakashi619)
It’s been a moment since I’ve watched a The Crash show on video. This renewed my frustrations of watching a spot fest with two heads blocking out the screen while a ringside camera taped a version of the match that will never be seen or, worse yet, will only be seen years after everyone’s moved on. The match itself as a good spot fest though it never seems to develop a lot more beyond just every big spot and it’s tough to tell the success rate when some of the moves are just noise. Crowd was well into the match despite not having a Tijuana local involved, and received the surprise winner well. This is an all highlight match, so you can probably get just as much from the cutdown versions at better angles.
El Bandido & Flamita vs Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentzvs Aeroboy & Séptimo Dragón [The Crash TAG] (The Crash @ Auditorio de Tijuana on 03/17, 11:04, good, via MegaKakashi619)
A good exhibition match, especially showing off the Xavier/Wentz and Flamita/Bandido teams. The three way nature prevents it from building all that much. Everyone gets a turn on offense, there are dives, and there are pinfall breakups, but there’s also probably a better match with just two teams. This wasn’t as frantic as the other Crash match, and probably needs to be seen in full to be appreciated. It’s too bad that’s not an option. Xavier & Wentz did enough here to impress and you’d probably be better off watching them against Flamita/Bandido from elsewhere.
Atomic Star, Metaleón, Rafy vs Fly Star, Fulgor I, Fulgor II (MexaWrestling @ Arena San Juan Pantitlan on 03/24, 20:09, good, via Carxyus)
A usual super indie brawl, in that it looked a lot of fun in the building and hard to follow on video. The two sides meshed well, and Atomic Star gave the most to this match – both in blood and balcony dives – but no one stood out too much above each other. The twist about which match they were building up to at the end was well done.
Aramis vs Toxinvs Moriavs Séptimo Dragónvs Látigo winner gets a shot at the The Crash Junior championship (MexaWrestling @ Arena San Juan Pantitlan on 03/24, 14:19, good, via Carxyus)
A fast moving five way match, almost exclusively staying as with a multiman structure (1 vs 1, with people being bounced in and out) and a lot of action. It wasn’t all clean, and it got a little too sloppy for me in the middle, but they were plenty of moments to make a highlight reel. Moria looked pretty good outside his DTU environment but was clearly the least over of the group. Aramis had the best match and was the crowd favorite. Septimo Dragon did a lot of head drops and I liked him more than usual
Eterno & Ricky Marvin vs Belial & Impulsovs Astrolux & Freelance (MexaWrestling @ Arena San Juan Pantitlan on 03/24, 12:22, Arena San Juan Pantitlan, great, via carxyus)
Easily the best of the three Mexa Wrestling matches on this show for me. It’s got the same level action as the other two – in fact, it’s a little numbing to watch all three together because it’s such similar action – but it’s a cleaner execution. The tag team format does give it a little bit different feel, even if it’s still mostly big moves and pinfall breakups. Belial & Impulso come off as the most coordinated team, with a few good team spots and sequences. It seems really easy for everyone to do spectacular stuff with and to Astrolux. Ricky Marvin has his monster moments, destroying people leading to the finish, and this fits well with his strong 2018. And Freelance steals the show at times with his flying. This doesn’t come off as a deeply meaningful match but it’s a well done one.
Akuma & Euforiabeat Astral & Niebla Rojain a CMLL Gran Alternativa eighthfinal (5:52, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Carístico & Star Jr.beat Cavernario & El Coyotein a CMLL Gran Alternativa eighthfinal (9:045, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Audaz & Kráneobeat Príncipe Diamante & Valientein a CMLL Gran Alternativa eighthfinal (4:38, ok, via Video: VideosOficialesCMLL)
Templario & Último Guerrerobeat Máscara Año 2000 & Universo 2000 Jr.in a CMLL Gran Alternativa eighthfinal (4:38, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Carístico & Star Jr.beat Akuma & Euforia in a CMLL Gran Alternativa quarterfinal (3:37, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Templario & Último Guerrero beat Audaz & Kráneo in a CMLL Gran Alternativa quarterfinal (3:30, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Templario & Último Guerrero beat Caristico & Star Jr.in a CMLL Gran Alternativa semifinal (7:13, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Ángel de Oro, Mistico, Volador Jr.beat Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto (7:07 [0:22, 2:41, 4:04], 1/3, good, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Templario & Ultimo Guerrero advanced to the final of the Gran Alternativa
The no time limit rematch of the ten minute time limit draw between Soberano & Negro Casas went less than ten minutes.
The main event was a Tuesday style short main event after a very long show, but they tried to get in as much as they could with the time. Only the first fall felt cut short, everything else was just worked at twice the speed as normal, with no time to rest. It was mostly a técnico exhibition and the técnicos looked good – not quite good enough to get the crowd to stop booing Mistico, but good enough.
On this block of the Gran Alternativa
Star Jr. was having a nice night before the big slip at the end, and it threatens to overshadow the entire run. He’s very close to being very good, but just a little bit off.
Templario got to do a little bit of everything in his tournament matches and pulled it all off well. I was surprised Carístico was willing to take the gutwrench powerbomb at the end, but that’s a good sign for the rudo. The final should be great for him.
I wished they switched around the order of the matches to give Audaz more time; he’s got in about 20 seconds of hot spots in the match with Último Guerrero & Templario, but is capable of more than he showed. It’s still surprising they didn’t just do the Templario/Audaz final, and hopefully that means they’re saving his big day for later.
Akuma has a good tope, nice looking offense and can set up técnicos well enough. I keep thinking there’s more for him than he’ll get to show here.
Universo and his uncle went with mostly in-ring brawling, which wasn’t the most exciting way of controlling their match but fit with their image. It’s tough to make punches to the gut look dangerous when people are taking super powerbombs, and I don’t think they quite achieved it.
Principe Diamante working with Audaz didn’t really benefit either of them. They both had to slow down to get a hang of it and it made them look a lot more artificial.
Coyote’s made a great effort to look a like Cavernario, but couldn’t wrestle at his level tonight. He was shaky with both técnicos, and didn’t stand out on his own.
Astral seems between weight cuts at the moment, looking more like old Valiente than current Valiente, but it didn’t seem to affect his flying – he seemed less than a robot than usual.
A modern Negro Casas special: faster pace singles match with some surprisingly big bumps, a fight over a casita, and a finish in under ten minutes. It looked like Soberano was going to be one to take the bigger falls early, but Casas outdid him by receiving that super powerbomb. He was up surprisingly quick after, because they just got to keep matches moving with Casas involved. They got in a lot of Soberano’s trademark spots while making them work in the flow of the match, and this one where he’s not hurt by losing. I thought this was slightly better than the Aramis/Casas match, and you’ll like this if you liked that.
The tercera was a borderline match, with parts really fun and a feud to liven it up. They did a lot with Hechicero & Esfinge, and fans who don’t follow anything but the local arena are probably going to be confused when that feud is never followed up because it got finished in Guadalajara. Crowd went nuts for Titan’s Mistica into a backslide. The Mexican crowds always react well for a tricky technical move done impressively. Titan & Triton had a normal match, but it was solid, which can also be said for the rudos.
The second match was better than usual, even if it wasn’t quite enough to get a higher grade for me. The second fall seemed to be just a long stretch of Pegasso being unable to legally tag Fuego and that’s a big anchor to the rest of the match. Still, Raziel & Cancerbero seem to be more in to the matches when they’re working with good veterans they trust, and Fuego & Pegasso are good veterans. Stigma was also there, at least until Raziel totally missed catching him on the match ending dive.
The opener was exactly the boring match you’d expect from these two teams. They did a lot near falls for a match no one would’ve missed if it was skipped. Mercurio appears to be growing out his hair, even though there’s no minis hair match obviously coming. CMLL is falling in love with the overhead camera at the wrong times; the bump Mercurio took from the tecnico’s doomsday dropkick finish would look a lot more impressive if we could see how far he was falling. Same thing on the package piledriver at the end.
Blue Panther, Kráneo, Soberano Jr. beat Okumura, Rey Bucanero, Terrible
(12:30 [4:40, 3:32, 4:18], 1/3, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Atlantis, Diamante Azul, Stuka Jr. beat Gran Guerrero, Mr. Niebla, Último Guerrero
(9:21 [2:36, 2:03, 4:42], 2/3 DQ, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Último Guerrero & Stuka randomly started feuding to set up a title match in a couple weeks. UG unmasked Stuka at the end.
The main event was the standard building stuff with Stuka & UG, plus Diamante Azul doing strong people stuff. There was nothing special to the feud, except for UG calling the handwaving chants on himself after getting himself disqualified at the end. Atlantis did very little in this, and couldn’t take a bump when his time killing hold was broken up in the third fall. They didn’t pin him either, so he wouldn’t have to take that bump. At this point, I’m kind of left hoping he’s picked up a minor injury that he’s working his way thru, because there needs to a chance of an improvement at some point.
The lightning match was solid and no one died on a dive, though Tiger did his dive in a way where he landed on his feet about the same time he made impact. Tiger made sure he wouldn’t have to worry about being caught. Kawato showed more varied offense in this than has in his singles match and didn’t build towards the double stomp, so I can’t hate him. It was alright and that’s about what I expected.
The tercera was a cut above usual CMLL midcard matches. The guys involved are usually good, but they were totally clicking in this match. Audaz was unremarkable on Monday and totally impressive in this match better designed to show his talents; the first big evasion spot was amazing. No one else is doing the things like his middle rope springboard backwards into a sunset flip. Audaz does a cool dive here, which reminded me that he’s not really doing all that many dives yet – his big spots are in the ring, just using the ropes in crazy and fast ways. They’ve downplayed the Virus/Audaz stuff – even here, when Audaz submits Virus, it’s not treated as a big deal – but I hope they go back to it to at least give us one awesome. It wasn’t just him. Puma was nailing people with superkicks, and he and Rey Cometa had their usual great chemistry thru the match. Sagrado worked well as a rudo and a base, and Maya was efficient in what he did. Always glad to have new people involved to learn more individual quirks and peculiarities, but can’t say I was impressed by the new women. Mystique has the flashier moves of the two, including lots of cartwheels, but also seemed like she was struggling the ropes. La Guerrera outright struggled in a couple of moments and didn’t show a personality. The double corner headstand spot was clearly supposed to be their big showcase moment, and instead came off as slow and clunky. Then they seemed lost for a moment on what to do that next. Metálica nailed Maravilla with a forearm in the second fall , one of those ones that remind me why she seemed interesting at first here. She hasn’t been great lately, in a group where not a lot of people are great. Maybe having some young girls to destroy will wake her up; she gave Guerrera a piledriver she’s not doing with the other women.
Kráneo, Rey Bucanero, Terrible beat Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Rushin a relevos increíbles match (8:44 [1:52, 2:05, 4:47], 1/3 DQ, below average, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Valiente & Volador Jr.beat Carístico & Último Guerrerofor the CMLL World Tag Team Championship (19:11 [5:55, 3:54, 9:22], 2/3, good, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Universo 2000 was remembered before the semimain.
Rush and Kraeno feuded in their match. Terrible laid down for Rush in the first fall and did not help out his teammates in the second fall. He did jump in to pick up a pinfall victory to end that fall. He also talked Kraneo down from attacking Rush outside the ring at points.
The title match had a good closing stretch and got the fans to react like it was a big match. I think it was good, and it was enough for a main event title match, but it’s also nothing I’d think I’d need to watch twice. There was no great story or effort to the match, and some parts didn’t work well. Carístico failing on a tapatia was peculiar, as was he and Volador having problems on a spot early in the second. Volador’s Mistica at the end didn’t look great either. Último Guerrero & Volador really wedged in all the checklist top rope spots in a minute’s time, with no regard to if they fit in the match. They were just set on getting those spots in as quick as possible. Valiente seems half committed to the rudo role. This was still four of the top guys doing their usual things but didn’t transcend that.
The semimain never turns into much of a match. The Guerreros work hard, which is odd because no one else is. Rush & Kraneo pushing their feud would come across better if they were part of natural teams instead of Terrible refusing to fighting his friend.
The fourth match was underwhelming for a 2018 Audaz match, seemingly relegated to the third most important técnico in a brief match by CMLL standards. There’s potential in Felino, fastest luchador in the world, not being able to catch up to Audaz if they do something with it. Sagrado telling Zacarias that he should fight Stigma instead because they’re about the same height was good. Stigma looked a little slow and a little robotic tonight.
Not a lot to the lightning match despite being on the long side for that sort of match. Malayo occasionally had a plan to go after Pegasso’s right knee. It seemed sound, except Pegasso didn’t sell it all that much. Neither man pressed the action much earlier on and it didn’t get that much exciting later. Pegasso’s 450 splash looked not good, was still called perfect.
Carístico, Diamante Azul, Niebla Rojabeat Mr. Niebla, Rey Bucanero, Último Guerrero (10:27 [4:40, 1:39, 4:08], 2/3, n/r, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Último Dragoncito replaced Pequeño Nitro as a fill-in rudo.
Flyer/Magia Blanca was two young guys getting a chance try things in a big match. Soberano/Magia Blanca was a complete match, from start to finish. The opening fall was well done; holds and counters done with purpose and inventiveness. The second fall wasn’t much, but the third fall made up for it with big moves and dramatic near falls. Magia Blanca got to look more than a generic técnico, and more than a guy with just one big finishing move in this one, flashing a couple creative ideas like his tricky armdrag and showing a continuedwillingness to take big bumps to the floor. Soberano still was obviously the better wrestler, sharper when they did similar moves and more spectacular with his attacks. It wasn’t a sure bet they’d be able to keep this together, but they came off as experienced wrestlers who put a good match together. Hopefully they’ve earned more chances to do that.
The fourth match seemed like something I should like – lots of action and a good pace – but I just wasn’t staying interested in all that much. It didn’t feel as an inventive as the trios match prior, and there wasn’t much of a story to it. Titan’s moonsault to the floor looked great though.
The tercera had a lot of controlled chaos, especially in the third fall. The slightly uncoordinated corner clothesline spot was a good reflection of the madness at the end. Puma, Tiger and the Panthers are doing a few new things to freshen up their matches. Drone and Universo 2000 Jr. worked very hard in this match, with just one sequence that looked a bit off. Universo 2000 getting the victory on the day his father died was the right call, and no one’s that always made. This match seemed a little better the first time I saw it, and a little less so on the rewatch, but it’s still a worthwhile use of time.
Atlantis, Diamante Azul, Rush beat Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Rey Bucanero
(8:32 [3:09, 3:56, 1:27], 1/3, ok, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
Carístico, Kráneo, Último Guerrero beatTerrible, Valiente, Volador Jr. in a relevos increíbles match
(11:47 [2:18, 3:01, 6:28], 2/3, n/r, via VideosOficialesCMLL)
The main event set up a tag title match the following week.
The micros had a one fall match. Atomo & Guapito worked as the rudos in this match between four micros who aren’t working as mascots.
The tercera didn’t fire on all cylinders. Templario screwed up a trip spot early, then totally lost on a torito later. In between, he mostly just put a hand on his head on shock over what had just happened repeatedly. Maya had two dives where he seemed to stop flying at the point of impact, and the impact itself wasn’t all that much. Fuego was very popular, but everyone involved has had better matches.
The Micros match showed they’re going to have trouble having good matches in this concept without the principal people involved. The crowd was the match and rooted for Gallito, but the action was a lot shakier than the previous micro matches. MicroAngel seems to get lost at times and was clumsy at other times. He may turn out fine. For now, he seems like a guy rushed to the ring because they needed one more people. Guapito looked rough too. It really didn’t matter to this crowd how good the match was, and maybe it’s just going to need CMLL picking their spots well.
The crowd reacted huge to Ares and Asturiano exchanging simple chops. It makes me wonder how they would’ve gone if there were a lot of energy in the match. Millenium did a few impressive things, but there wasn’t a lot around them. These rudos will go with those moves but aren’t interesting on their own.