taped 2014-02-11 @ Arena Coliseo Guadalajara Stigma, Stuka Jr., Tritón vs Boby Zavala, Camorra, Sangre Azteca: Much more a 3 versus 3 match than Stigma & Camorra feuding, though they still went with the feud in the end. Camorra was better than last week in that I didn’t notice him much at all; best for the match, probably not great for getting me to care about this match. This was a shorter match without a lot of individual highlights but Triton’s usual dive in the third floor looked great.
taped 2014-02-16 @ Arena México Pólvora vs Mistico for the CMLL World Welterweight Championship: Fine enough match, significantly better than I thought it would be after the previous week’s disaster finish, and proof of Polvora’s magical singles matches powers, but not something particularly memorable. Crowd wasn’t as into the match as they have been for the Titan singles matches or the Volador ones. They’ve really cut down with this Místico is allowed to do – headscissors, armdrags, cradles and dives. It wears a bit thin on longer matches, which they tried to fix by editing down this match. I didn’t see the live version, but the edits seemed mostly speeding up the match by removing the rest breaks and not taking out action. Not sure why they kept going to a crowd hot of people chanting for Pólvora for that, though.
Marco Corleone, Super Porky, Volador Jr. vs Dragón Rojo Jr., Kráneo, Mr. Águila: Of course they didn’t edit out the finish. Of course they showed many replays. CMLL TV editing is not so great at making their luchadors look like stars. They did show Marco talking about in the post match interview, and Porky and Volador recovered for it quickly. Rest of the match was an easy half comedy match that seemed to amuse the crowd and was nothing much to write about. Marco’s punch on Aguila (and Aguila’s spin sell of it) looked great.
taped 2014-02-09 @ Centro Civico Nueva Aragon, Ecatepec, Estado de México Jinzo, Ludxor, Venum vs Carta Brava Jr., Fresero Jr., Súper Fly: Typical opening match has different connotations when referring to AAA and CMLL. This was a typical AAA opening match with young guys – a billion spots, some of which got lost in the mixed but an overall entertaining package. Super Fly looked strong and got the win in the end. Jinzo looked sloppy, especially early – but if the idea was to the two AAA regulars were supposed to look like bigger stars, they did accomplish that. Probably could’ve skipped the post match beating since there’s already plenty of those on this show.
Angélico, Australian Suicide, Jack Evans vs Chessman, Daga, Pentagón Jr.: EXCELLENT. There’s plenty of reason to expect a super man with this lineup, but this surpassed that. Rudos were great taking over the match for the first half, and then it was just an amazingly level of action the rest of the way. The técnicos doing the same sequence to finish of guys for a few months now has me ready for anything to happen when the rudo disrupt it. Everything after it got disrupted this time was controlled insanity, and there were a lot of convincing near falls. Pentagon was super throughout and he and Suicide worked well together in their frequent late match fights. Daga seemed invisible for the first half of the match, except helping out with moves, but then had some great moments later on like the duck under the clothesline, jumping kick, dive sequence.
Cibernético vs El Elegido, el Hijo del Perro Aguayo, Electroshock in a AAA’s Rey de Reyes semifinal match: really a nothing match; an eight minute that was slow to actually start and didn’t have much to do it. It did give me Cibernético and Electroshock exchanging holds, but not nearly for enough to be real comedy. Even the Perro/Cibernetico segment at the end wasn’t much, not even a minute before the run-ins. The crowd was more into the tease of fighting then the actual fighting at points, so maybe doing little was the way to go. This finish felt more like Perro getting past Cibernético to go do something else rather than reheating their feud – I have no idea what they point was of the doing the Perro/Cibernetico teased friendship then breakup outside of filling TV time, because there doesn’t seem to be any payoff going. I don’t need to see that match again so I guess that’s fine.
(Two weeks later edit: obviously, they’re not ending this, so I don’t know why this happened. More than usual!)
Espiritu Negro: Espiritu Negro’s Shocker imitations trust was even more random than what Herodes did earlier. Espiritu didn’t really get to do much else, but he took a couple good bumps and seemed to go up easy for Sh–ocker’s finish. You can’t get much out of this.
Canelo Casas: stood on the apron for a very long time. Never seemed in danger of falling off the apron. Didn’t sell enough for Rush’s shots at first, eventually was hit harder by Rush. Some guys really got the short end of the stick.
Black Panther: Black Panther also didn’t get to do a lot to do, but worked well with Azul in the little they got to do together. Black looks like a smaller size Azul.
Star Jr.: Star Boy’s whole match here was leading up to one big dive, and he had every single problem on that. That was too. Bad. Another day.
Dragon Lee: Everyone who doesn’t follow CMLL closely must be so confused about there being a Dragon Lee and Místico at the same time. (Was the IP so valuable they had to reuse the name?) Dragon Lee’s dive looks good, the hanging German suplex is going to end badly at some point. I didn’t feel like the original Dragon Lee had a lot of charisma, but this one just seem more like a random guy in a mask.
Hechicero: Hechicero was limited from doing too many crazy moves on the open and Barbaro seemed to screw up a move he was trying in the second, but he still generally set up UG well and bumped for the técnicos. Short tournament matches aren’t really the best use of him right now, and every match was a short tournament match.
Barbaro Caveranario: Barbaro and Azul trying to do spots was not the greatest idea; they struggled at the beginning and I don’t think the finish went quite right. There was a messed up spot with Hechicero in the second match, where UG seemed to take Barbaro around and talk to him after it. Barbaro did go impressively out of the ring soon after. Mr. Niebla seemed super motivated to work with him; he barely does the moonsault, but pulled out one to the floor here. Barbaro’s willingness to do the splash to the floor is impressive, but Herodes being eliminated by it was never explained. Barbaro’s win would’ve felt bigger if he actually got it by a countout at the end, but again the rookies played second fiddle to the existing stars.
Herodes: Herodes doing Shocker’s entrance behind him was the greatest thing. Herodes doing a snake dance upon facing Reaper was not bad either. He’s still got to improve on the wrestling part – he almost elbow dropped Reaper in the face to end the first match and his timing with Rush wasn’t great – but he’s good enough on the rest that other people should be able to help. He’s willing to get beat up pretty bad. I don’t know if I really trust the CMLL doctors if they let Herodes, who was in spasms selling the Rush Driver, to wrestle another match on the same show. He didn’t sell it at all in the second match, and they didn’t really play off the two partners being against each other. (Two guys being put on the same team one week and facing each other for the first time the next week is annoyingly familiar.)
match 7 gif: 804
taped 2014-02-04 @ Arena Coliseo Guadalajara Stigma, Stuka Jr., Tritón vs Boby Zavala, Camorra, Sangre Azteca: Camorra inexplicable has been pushed harder after his mask loss, and so it’s a chance to prove to everyone he should’ve gotten a chance previously. He’s not taken advantage of that opportunity. He was bad here, bad in the first fall, bad in screwing up the comeback spot in the second fall, and only not bad in the third fall because they didn’t give him much to do. There was a normal tercera around his inabilities. This match also featured one of convoluted applications of the Tag Rules in quite some time, as Triton was not allowed to just roll out for tag (?) so Sangre Azteca just whipped him into a slide out instead. Triton, who seems to be on all these Guadalajara bonus matches but doesn’t win many of them, did look nice in his ocean colored outfit. That’s all I got of this match. This really didn’t near to air – the main event from Coliseo had it’s own screwed up spots, but at least that one was heading somewhere.
taped 2014-02-09 @ Arena Coliseo Delta & Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Puma & Tiger for the Arena Coliseo (DF) Tag Team Championship: This was a good match but disappointing live and still disappointing on TV. Delta got harsh reviews during the live broadcast, but didn’t look as bad this time thru – because they did a lot of editing, especially in the third fall. (What is reality?) The one take home from this is Puma seemed to be hurt even before we noticed on the broadcast; he was shaking his arm like something was wrong on the failed clothesline over the top on Maya before his dive. Maybe he strained it trying to get Maya over, or maybe it was even something bugging him coming thru. They did get in a lot of the tag spots they were doing in the lead up trios, but I would’ve expected more than the lead up trios in the title match itself, and Puma limited himself to kicks and chops in between. Finish came off as bland – Delta did a move, got a two count, did another move, won. It doesn’t need to be back and forth but it does need to be fought for more to feel dramatic. CMLL’s done a lot of rematches for this title and I hope these two teams get another shot at it soon.
taped 2014-02-09 @ Centro Civico Nueva Aragon, Ecatepec, Estado de México Aerostar, Faby Apache, Jennifer Blake vs El Apache, Sexy Star, Taya Valkyrie: a good mixed quick trios match. The dives were the roughest parts; Taya’s moonsault usually goes better than it did here, and I’m not totally sure even what move Ludxor was going for in the post match triple dive. Taya and Sexy had a bunch of double team moves to get in and Aerostar and Gran Apache work well together.
Crazy Boy & Joe Lider vs Juventud Guerrera & Steve Pain: Another Mexican Powers weapons filled slow unathletic brawl that got the crowd chanting for lucha extrema but didn’t do much for me. This would seem to be a feud ending outcome but storylines aren’t going to advance in Ecatepec. Camera work was not so great, missing the hamburger power up spot and getting an unimpressive shot of Pain going thru the fire table – they showed it from an angle that hide the fire, and never went to a replay (so maybe the fire went out quick and they were actually doing a good job of hiding it? Hmm.) I was much more interested in Niño and Crazy Boy’s attempts to hide the lighter fluid bottle than the end game. Don’t know about pouring thumbtacks in the ring, setting a table on fire, and then bringing in kids in the ring to dance.
Fénix, La Parka, Monsther Clown, Psycho Clown vs Jeff Jarrett, Parka Negra, Texano, Zorro: The most about of rudo bumbling you’ll see in a match. I kept waiting for the comedy to stop and the rudos to take over the match, and it never really happened. The rudos just kept on hitting each other and dong comedy and then suddenly there was chair shot and it was almost over. It was an odd match to for how serious they apparently want us to take this issue. Crowd not reacting at all for Jarrett’s music was amusing, and so they did everything they could to get him a reaction after the fact. Unsure why Hijo del Tirantes was doing normal counts when Texano was pinning Psycho, despite doing a slow count when Psycho was pinning Texano for the finish. Crowd was way behind Psycho. I guess they’re going to do the drink spot on every show ever. There were about 30 things going on at the end, so I don’t think it even registered. Psycho beating Texano after the guitar shot was also probably supposed to be a big deal, but they completely neutralized it after the fact. Konnan’s the only guy who gets to talk.
As usual, there’s no point in reviewing each match. It’s rare there’s a useful match on these tournament shows. I’ll recap each novato instead
There was nothing bad about Rebelde here, but I need to see more of him before having nay feeling about him. It was nice they got him a pinfall over Panther here. More real matches (or at least lightning tags) than past tournaments, though they’re also clearly edited.
Akuma didn’t do much but get facesmashed by Sombra and give him his own finisher, which actually seemed to shake up Sombra a bit. He was down for far longer than normal and was still walking it off at the finish.
No time here for Hombre Bala Jr. to do much; they even cut in in mid move, then went right to his Destroyer. (The show ending video package showed he did get in his corner tope, but that was cut in the match footage. This was a longer than usual tournament.) This might have been his last chance to win; he should move up enough in 2014 not to really be belong in this next year.
Espanto and Rebelde might have not advanced out of the first round, but they got free Avernos hoodie t-shirts for participating. Much like Espanto, this match was short, sometimes a mess, and very generic. (When kicking out of the middle rope Devil’s Wings doesn’t get a big reaction, you’ve done it too many times.) Espanto also might not make it back to this tournament next year, but it’s because he’s going the other way. CMLL debuting 8-10 new people a year means people are constantly getting pushed out of the way to make room; Espanto’s got to show something more this year or he’s in danger of ending up in Robin-land or worse.
Cachorro reversals of the Devil’s Wings wasn’t nearly as smooth as his father (few are), but they booked him like a guy who knows how to sneak out wins he shouldn’t get. Using him as the anti-Misterioso would be an interesting way to set him apart. His short bit as a Tiger-like rudo in the second match was good, though it also seemed like his father was literally calling spots for him at times. (“Bite the foot, son!” may not be an actual quote.)
Guerrero Negro had a good look for once. Soberano was a really good fit for him. He looked strong throwing around the lightest guy in the division and set up Soberano’s moves well. He didn’t do anything super memorable in this tournament but did well for what he was asked
The Soberano/Volador Spider-Man outfits looked great, and it actually made Soberano look less skinny. Soberano’s standing moonsault into a double knee drop on Mephisto, not as much. These two did a lot of teasing of certain loss, including one of moment where they were doomed in every round. It was more dramatic than these matches are usually allowed to be. Other things were more to form – of course we got the double stage dive, though Soberano maybe needs to work on his form if he ever tries that again. (And of course it lead to the other team just walking to the ring and getting their own dives.)
Oro has a Mascara Dorada like willingness to take big abuse; the powerbomb onto the apron looked not fun. I thought he looked like the more elegant high flyer than Soberano, but then I always think that. He seemed a little limited when he started repeating moves in just the second match and it would’ve been nice if he brought out his submission finish, but both he and Soberano held together well in the kickout filled block final. I also enjoyed how Sombra set Blue Panther up in a faraway spot, so he wouldn’t be reliant on anyone having to remember to roll. Better. Sombra seemed to be in an unhappy mood
taped 2014-02-04 @ Arena México Pequeño Halcón & Último Dragoncito vs Mercurio & Pequeño Warrior: Pequeño Warrior tried to claim a foul on armdrag, and even the referee didn’t care. This turned into a usual Pequeño Warrior goofing around match for stretches and was an okay match for other stretches. Nothing not involving him went too wrong, but there wasn’t too much to it. Shorter match than usual for minis, though maybe not for an opener.
Oro Jr., Soberano Jr., Starman vs Disturbio, El Rebelde, Hijo del Signo: Good for the level. Oro & Soberano both looked good with their bigger spots. Hijo del Signo did better job working with them than I was expecting, and Disturbio was solid as usual. Glad he’s keeping the bald head for the moment. This was a better read on Rebelde than the Gran Alternativa match. I was wondering if he’d be a guy who takes crazy falls like his father. Rebelde managed to nearly fall on his head twice in this match, so that seems like a yes. He’s going to be fun if he lives. Starman seemed slow or just didn’t have great timing, he’s been better in other matches.
Fuego, Hombre Bala Jr., Súper Halcón Jr. vs Espiritu Negro, Guerrero Negro Jr., Shigeo Okumura: This was a fun tercera. The top three are all good matches but this was my favorite. Espiritu Negro dressing in all white for his first match was weird. Espiritu Negro doing the Black Warrior hamstring flip bump was near. He also helped Guerrero Negro get revenge on Super Halcón by using one of the Gen11 moves on him, so good debut. The match did fall apart for a moment in the second fall (when Espiritu fell too soon on a dropkick and Guerrero nearly did a senton onto Bala’s head) but was generally good. It’s amusing Bala has a top rope version of his corner headbutt, but the normal one actually looks cooler. Fuego seems more confident since coming back from Japan and the crowd was actually chanting for him; I don’t know what they should do with Fuego, but they really should be doing something.
Delta, Guerrero Maya Jr., Máximo vs Euforia, Niebla Roja, Virus: This was another good match, but the crowd seemed to die sometime in the third fall. I don’t know if they thought it was over with the kiss, but there was a weird lack of noise for guys wrestling the same level the rest of the match. There was nothing noteworthy about this match, everyone was good, but Niebla Roja is another guy I hope gets a bigger chance in 2014 because we haven’t seen what he can do in a feud in a while.
Rey Cometa, Rush, Titán vs Cavernario, Felino, Mr. Niebla: Rush is an unprompted jerk to Tirantes and pays for it. Rush is an amazing técnico. Mr. Niebla playing mentor to Cavernario is so great for both characters. Cavernario generally did well here, though there was at least one point where he was not in the right position for Cometa and the slide to the floor needs a little bit of work. (It’s a good idea for him.) The Titan/Barbaro opening section went better than I would’ve figured. It didn’t feel like Rey Cometa got a whole to do here, but the Brillo Cometa looked superb. It seems like they’re setting up a trios match, but I’d be alright seeing the Niebla/Rush singles match from this.
taped 2014-01-28 @ Arena Coliseo Guadalajara Gallo vs Arkángel de la Muerte: Perfectly OK match which I’ll have no memory of this time next week. Match was a bit better with Arkangel in control, and could’ve used Gallo to show some more personality or identifiable characteristic. He came off as an OK luchador but not a remarkable one. Using a generic CMLL big match nearfall/finish spot for the finish didn’t help in this case.
taped 2014-02-02 @ Arena Coliseo Atlantis, Delta, Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Negro Casas, Puma, Tiger: This rematch wasn’t that much less than last week’s match, but the crowd was very less into it this time. There was more of a focus on the tag teams to set up that feud and the crowd did perk up when Atlantis & Negro were in to end it, but event that wasn’t as hot as last week. This match did still feature a lot of neat tag team spots between the two teams and the stage seems set for a really fun match between them next week.
La Sombra, Mistico, Valiente vs Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora, Rey Escorpión: A match with some exciting moments and sometimes some crowd reactions, but this again wasn’t a crowd that was very into the show. The two triple dive bits were very exciting, and the rudos worked had for the técnicos before getting the win. Sombra seemed well in the background on this one, which is weird for him.