CMLL Arena Mexico: 2016-03-01 

The Panther tope
The Panther tope

Recapped: 03/01/2016

What happened: Hijos del Infierno successfully defended the trios titles over Divinos Laguneros. Puma fouled Stigma to end the third match in straight falls. Rey Cometa was stretchered out after a piledriver.

What was good: Really just the main event, though there were some semimain moments that were good.

Where can I watch it: It’s on CMLL’s YouTube channel. Matches will air in MegaSports next Monday, and may air on LATV at some point. (more…)

CMLL Puebla: 2016-02-29 

Astro & Millenium
Astro & Millenium

Recapped: 02/29/2016

What happened: Ultimo Guerrero fouled Caristico in the main event. Princesa Sugehit defeated Zeuxis clean. Both outcomes may set up singles matches.

What was good: Nothing. This was a boring show you can easily skip unless you’re nostalgic for Caristico & Ultimo Guerrero but only want to watch it in HD.

Where can I watch it: It’s on CMLL’s YouTube Channel and will air on 52MX in about 12 days. (more…)

CMLL on ClaroSports.com: 2016-02-26 

Monito!
Monito!

Recapped: 02/26/2014

What happened: Máximo outsmarted Rush in the main event to win in straight falls. Negro Casas gave Super Parka a tombstone (or tried to, anyway), and Volador attempted to do the same to Casas before it was broken out. Parka was stretchered out, and this came off as if it might be the last time we see him for a while. Both Dragon Lee and Dalys beat champions in what came off as the build up to title matches, but neither made challenges. The lineup given for next week suggested there isn’t a women’s title match planned (or they’re running two of them.)

What was good: Third match was the best match. I have a lot of stuff marked as OK, but it was all generally watchatble; the opener and the lightning matches are the ones most worth skipping.

Where can I watch it: The main event is on ClaroSports’ website (eventually, not yet.) I’ll have the show up Tuesday. It should air on Azteca on 03/26.

(more…)

03/23 AAA TV Lineup (2016 Rey de Reyes)

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Rey de Reyes
AAA TV (WED) 03/23/2016 Plaza de Toros Monumental El Paseo, San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí
Rey de Reyes 2016
1) ?, Faby Apache, Máscarita Sagrada, Pimpinela Escarlata vs Mamba, Mini Charly Manson, Taurus, Taya
2) Aerostar, Drago, Fénix vs Dark Cuervo, Dark Scoria, Zorro [AAA TRIOS]
first defense
3) Averno & Chessman © vs Daga & Joe Lider and Australian Suicide & Jack Evans [TLC, AAA TAG]
first defense
4) Blue Demon vs Villano IV, La Parka, ? [AAA Rey de Reyes]
final participant will be determined on the Toluca TV taping.
5) Psycho Clown vs Dr. Wagner Jr.
6) El Mesías vs Texano Jr. [AAA HEAVY]

Air Date: maybe 03/26 and 04/02?

It happened again. 2016 Rey de Reyes, like 2015 Guerra de Titanes, was announced for Tampico and then pushed to the next TV taping instead. This time, the next TV taping was a few days later. San Luis Potosi’s show moves from Auditorio Miguel Barragan to the 7000 seat bullring.

I don’t think we’ll see another show announced in Tampico any time soon. I also tend to believe this is not AAA’s fault (except maybe for giving it a second try.) There’s only been one other lucha libre show known to be scheduled in Tampico this year, a CMLL show that was quietly canceled and moved to Queretaro. You have to go back to November to find a show, in what had been a pretty active area for indie lucha. It’s also been an active area for cartel activity this decade, and my educated guess is the violence has made it unsafe to run a show in the city. It certainly would explain why AAA hasn’t wanted to talk about the cancellations. Maybe they’ll give it another try again later, but it seems like it’s not working.

It also would explain why AAA had another TV taping scheduled soon after a major show. It doesn’t quite fit their pattern, they only do that with the Hard Rock resort shows, but perhaps this was a little bit of insurance in case Tampico fell thru again. It does still leave them a TV gap. AAA can (and probably will) add another match to the Toluca taping next week to stretch it for an extra week of TV, but would still either need to air this show on Saturday (a quicker turnaround than usual) or make up a TV week anyway. This SLP event was is scheduled to have a Perro Aguayo Jr. tribute element, and perhaps that’s done in a different way to also account for the missing week of TV.

A Wednesday night show is doubtful to be a PPV and unlikely to be an iPPV either. Again, I’d prefer to see it live, but it’ll turn up on TV rather quick anyway.

The local promoters seem to have known of this change for maybe just 24 hours. They were still promoting the normal TV taping on Tuesday, then started vaguely promoting a big event at the bullring on Wednesday night. Wednesday is all big AAA decisions seem to be announced, so they can be part of that week’s TV show. They were just waiting for the actual poster to announce it today. (The whole Wednesday TV thing is why getting this show on TV in time is going to be tricky.)

I guess I should talk about the matches! Rey de Reyes looks not far different from Guerra de Titanes: the same three titles which were on in play will be on the line again on this show. I kind of like the idea of focusing on a few titles, rather than having them disappearing for half a year. I’m not sure these are the ones I would’ve picked, but better than nothing.

Mesias has not been on a taping since he won the main event title shot and maybe turned tecnico. Neither has Texano. They’ve had them on NotiAAA to do promos, but this is the strangest build to a main event title match I can recall. They’ll both be on the Toluca show – which now will air BEFORE Rey de Reyes and becomes relevant – but they’ve been lost in the mix and a couple of disconnected matches isn’t going to make this feud click. Especially when both characters were coming into cold. I advocated for the Rey de Reyes tournament to double as a AAA Heavyweight Championship Tournament this year as a way to make both more meaningful. What didn’t occur to me, but seems obvious in retrospect, is doing the title tournament and Rey de Reyes separately meant one was going to be pushed into the background. The Rey de Reyes has a higher volume of matches, so the Heavyweight title was always going to be stuck in the background. As is, Mesias/Texano, the titular main event for the biggest championship in AAA, is either the fourth or fifth most important feeling match on the show.

Psycho Clown versus Dr. Wagner is not for Psycho’s Latin American championship, but Psycho probably has the same chance of winning with or without a title on the line. (It’s not a good chance.) This’ll be interesting to see how well they mesh and what direction they head next – a longer Wagner/Psycho feud probably helps Psycho, but I’m not convinced that’s the direction until it happens.

Fenix, Pentagon, Fantasma and ??? are in the Toluca Group. Fenix has a spot, and the ??? is probably booked in the opener. That means either Fantasma or Pentagon is sitting this show out. Comedy voting schemes aside, I tend to believe Pentagon is advancing to the Rey de Reyes final and has a half decent of winning: all the effort they had for him with the Mixed tag title storyline makes more sense the context of bigger plans. It would require AAA’s impression of Pentagon to have greatly changed in the last few months, but going thru those three guys to win the Rey de Reyes would be the perfect way to start to move Pentagon up. (Giving the Perros a big win on this show makes sense.) That leaves Fantasma as off the side, weirdly.

The TLC is usual AAA show randomness and there’s no real reason for the two challenging teams to be getting a title shot, but at least there’s feuds between the people involved. Joe Lider doesn’t like Averno & Chessman, Daga doesn’t like Suicide, Jack Evans doesn’t like three way matches. This will be something, something probably involving really cheap looking ladders. Angelico’s knee is going to appreciate being in Europe.

Trios title match should be good! (Really, everything but the Rey de Reyes final should be OK to much better than OK.) I am a big fan of the challengers, but would understand the champions keeping the titles to give someone momentum. This feels like the title less likely to change of the two.

I hope I live long enough to see another AAA major show without a Relevos AAA atomicos opener, but I fear I may not. Everyone involved seems like perfectly wonderful people and I wish them much health and prosperity, but I don’t want to see that match any more. Please stop. (The underlining issue is AAA won’t book more than six matches on these shows, so they’re keep needing to do that match to get everyone represented instead of doing actual different matches.)

Next taping makes sense as being on the 04/03 weekend, but, uh, that may not be a great day to run a show. AAA people are announced as appearing in Dallas on 04/01 and 04/02. Your guess is as good as mine.

Lucha Underground 2×5: The Machine

Edit: Here’s Famous B’s voice mail message

Johnny Mundo double springboard tornillo
Johnny Mundo double springboard tornillo

The Matches

  • Jack Evans defeated PJ Black (3:50, Jack backslide PJ, OK)
  • King Cuerno defeated Killshot (5:28, Thrill of the Hunt, OK)
  • Texano defeated Mr. Cisco (0:09, superkick,)
  • Texano defeated Cortez Castro (2:26, powerbomb)
  • Chavo Guerrero defeated Texano (2:33, Cortez trip, entire segment OK)
  • Johnny Mundo defeated Cage (7:53, lead pipe, Good)

The Developments

There were a lot of different plots moving forward tonight. Let’s see if I can get them all.

The main event saw Cage and Johnny Mundo have their rematch. It was a back and forth match and one of the longer matches of this season so far. Cage evaded the Fin de Mundo and dropped Johnny with Weapon X, which seemed to mean another win (and one step closer to Mil.) However, Cage was distracted by the debuting Taya, who argued with Cage from the apron while also slipping in some sort of pipe to Mundo. Mundo smacked Cage right in the face with the hard looking object, and Cage was knocked out. Mundo got the win, and he and Taya put the boots to Cage after the match. Taya is in her AAA persona and appears to be Mundo’s new ally.

the full Jack Evans experience
the full Jack Evans experience

The main event for next week was set up thru the night. King Cuerno got back on the winning side by beating Killshot with the Thrill of the Hunt. Announcers heaped praise on Killshot despite the loss. After the match, Cuerno went to add in his new piledriver move (called the Thrill of the Kill), but Fenix made the save. The show ended with Cuerno complaining to Catrina about being the hunted instead of the hunter because of the Gift of the Gods belts, and wanting to change things immediately – he wanted Mil Muertes next week. Catrina reminded Cuerno of their deal, but Cuerno wanted no part of that. Catrina switched tactics, revealing she’d already set up a match for Cuerno next week: he’ll defend the Gift of the Gods championship against Fenix, in a ladder match.

King Cuerno wasn’t the only luchador getting on Catrana’s bad side. Pentagon confronted Catrina, demanding a match with Prince Puma after being beat last week. Catrina and Pentagon actually fought, with Pentagon getting Catrina in the armbreaker but Catrina using her vanishing powers to escape. (This segment was a lot of video edits/Catrina vanishing.) Catrina gave Pentagon his match, while warning him he’d pay for attacking her.

The show also caught up with the old boss of the Temple. Dario Cueto and Black Lotus were still setting up people to be thrashed by Matanza, with Dario explaining Matanza had to get ready before they could return to the Temple (and blaming Lotus for this situation.) Dario talked about how much Matanza meant to him. Their mother was an awful person who beat them both. Dario tried to stand up to her one day and would’ve likely been murdered by his mother if not for Matanza making the save – by beating their mother to death with the red bull Dario had on his desk all last season. Dario still has the bull with him as a reminder of that day. Not because of his mother’s death, because that moment made him realize how much he loved violence. Black Lotus did not seem comfortable with this story.

Killshot tornillo
Killshot tornillo

There were actually matches on this show too in between the drama. The opener saw Jack Evans continue to win and PJ Black continue to lose. Jack Evans boasted about being the Dragon Slayer once again, which drew out Drago to watch from the upper level. A distracted Jack threw a water bottle at Drago. It missed, and Jack nearly lost to PJ in the process. Drago came down to ringside, but his mist attack got PJ instead of Jack, and Jack’s all powerful backslide got the three count. Jack escaped. PJ angrily stared at both Drago and the pair of nunchuks he brought to the match, but didn’t attack Drago.

Texano got his hands on Chavo Guerrero, though he had to go thru the Crew to get there in a gauntlet match. Texano beat Mr. Cisco (in a shoulder sling) in seconds, when Cisco was distracted by Chavo’s advice. Cortez Castro lasted longer, but taunted before running into the powerbomb. Chavo didn’t seem a match for Texano either, but Cortez used the bullrope to trip up Texano and hold him down while Chavo got the pin. There was still discord among the rudos after the win, but Texano ran them off before they could act on it.

To start the show, Ian/Vampiro explained his behind the scenes actions from season 1. Vampiro is a personality Ian had locked away for many years, but Vampiro used Pentagon to get out. Vampiro ordered Pentagon to make the sacrifices so Ian would feel no choice but to give in to his darkside, and Vampiro would be fully in control again. (This seemed to fit together with similar scenes in the comic book released today.)

A commercial during the show had Famous B giving out a phone number and promising to make the someone who called famous. It came off a bit like a used car commercial, but the message on the phone had Famous B explaining that he wanted to make the right deserving person famous – kind of like a manager or an agent.

I think that’s everything! No sign of Sexy Star, Willie Mack or any moth. Rey, Dragon Azteca and the ex-trios champs also had the week off. Puma was mentioned on the show but not seen. Mil was on his throne the whole show but didn’t react much.

Thoughts

Arrow From Hell (and to your screen)
Arrow From Hell (and to your screen)

This was a busy show! Lots of outside of the ring stuff, plus four different match segments. (I’ve got the gauntlet match listed as individual matches, but it was one continuous stream as televised.) It’s a lot of different plots to keep straight, but it felt like they were mostly successful in getting what they needed to get over. There’s so much stuff to get over that maybe some of the minor stuff might get lost, but the really important stuff – Puma/Pentagon, Fenix/Cuerno, Dario’s coming back at some point – went well.

All the different directions meant less time for matches than I’d like, but all the matches were at least OK. I’d like to see what PJ Black and Jack Evans could do with more time, but maybe doing a short match isn’t that bad idea when it’s going to end with a mist attack anyway. Black’s losing seems to have a direction, which is much better than losing for no reason.

Killshot looked better with Cuerno then he did against Mundo to start the season. Te announcers – or those feeding them their lines – are trying to do their best to protect Killshot despite the losses.

The Chavo/Texano stuff feels like a solid early 90s story and wrestling, a different time and place than the rest of the show. It’s not hard to figure out where it’s going – Texano finally defeats Chavo, but in a way where Chavo keeps his credibility – but I think it’s supposed to be a big positive feud for Texano and feels more like killing time until something better opens up for him.

this was just impressive
this was just impressive

Cage/Mundo was obviously the match of the night, better than I had expected it to be. It could’ve been these two guys doing a lot of moves, and they did do a lot, but it felt like more of a battle. The small bit of Cage taking a look at Mil before finishing his move was a nice touch. It’s hard to believe Cage is actually getting his hands on Mil, with Puma, Pentagon, Fenix and Cuerno (and now Mundo!) seemingly all ahead of him in line, but Cage doesn’t know that – Cage thinks he’s winning and he’s getting the belt that should be his, and he acted appropriately. I wasn’t thrilled with a distraction finish – especially after they seemed to go out of their way to point out those finishes don’t necessarily happen on their show in the opener – but Cage looked like he got destroyed by the pipe shot. I’m sure they had the good sense to protect Cage, but it looked convincingly brutal on TV. It’s too quick to tell how Taya is going to with Mundo, but her first big obstacle is definitely going to be overcoming the stigma of being Replacement Melina.

No one else in wrestling could’ve pulled off the Dario’s Red Bull story better than Dario. He had to go thru a lot of different emotions in a short period of time. The Pentagon/Catrina segment was not on that level, but the way they used Pentagon’s translation captions was effectively done.

Is that everything? I think that’s everything. This felt like the best show since episode 1. Next week, with both Puma/Pentagon and Cuerno/Fenix, figures to challenge for the best episode of the season.

Metal objects finally have their revenge on Cage!
Metal objects finally have their revenge on Cage!

CMLL Arena Mexico: 2016-02-23 

the champ
the champ

Recapped: 02/23/16

What happened: Zeuxis retained the Mexican Women’s Championship over Silueta in a very good match. The Panthers defeated Hijos del Infiernos in straight falls and challenged them for a title match; Mephisto said no

What was good: The women’s title match was the only one you really need to see, but it was very good.

Where can I watch it:  It’s on CMLL’s YouTube channel. It should may air LATV on March 13th, and maybe Claro Sports TV a week prior.
(more…)

CMLL Puebla: 2016-02-22

proof Caristico was really there
proof Caristico was really there

Recapped: 02/22/2016

What happened: Caristico made the save after Atlantis was fouled in the main event, with a tease of a match versus Ultimo Guerrero (or a tag match with Atlantis & Rey Bucanero.) Zeuxis tossed her mask to draw a DQ from Princesa Sugehit in the women’s match.

A Homenaje a Dos Leyendas press conference was announced for Wednesday at Noon (Central). The main event of the show is expected to be announced.

What was good: Not much. This was a show that ranged from boring to bad. I liked the opener, but even it was not as good as usual. It is possible CMLL used up all it’s energy for the next six months on Friday and we are very well doomed now.

Where can I watch it: It’s on CMLL’s channel. It’ll air on 52MX in a couple weekends. (more…)

AAA on Televisa: 2016-02-20 

Aerostar reverse
Aerostar makes this look too easy

Recapped: 02/20/16

What happened: Fenix, Aerostar and Drago defeated the trios champions and asked for a title shot. They were told no. Joe Lider & Pentagon Jr., attempting to do the same with the tag team titles, instead loss. Pentagon blamed Lider for the loss and they came close to fighting.

ALSO, I managed to get the AAA recap up on the first weekday after it aired, a miracle. 

What was good: I enjoyed the minis match and the trios match.

Where can I watch it: It’s on AAA’s YouTube channel.

Previously: Taya & Daga challenged for a Mixed title shot, which put them in the sights of Pentagon Junior. Daga threw a chair very hard at Australian Suicide. Taya & Daga got that mixed title shot. Blue Demon Jr. got a spot on Rey de Reyes due to issues with Psycho & Demon. (more…)

CMLL on ClaroSports.com: 2016-02-19 

Dorada tries to break thru Mephisto
Dorada tries to break thru Mephisto

Recapped: 02/19/2016

What happened: Los Ingobernables kicked Marco Corleone to the curb after sided with Máximo over Mascara and Rush. Marco & Máximo are reunited as a unit and challenged their former friends to a double apuesta match. Volador has the same challenge to Negro Casas, and might be getting closer to it actually happening. Mascara Dorada kept the CMLL Welterweight Championship, but the crowd did not embrace him.

What was good: Both the fourth match (Casas trios) and the fifth match (title match) are strongly recommended. The angle in the main is worth seeing. Skip the undercard.

Where can I watch it: It’ll be up on my YouTube channel. The main event is up on ClaroSports’ site. (more…)

AAA on Televisa: 2016-02-13

This spot should've lead to an four month Arena Coliseo Monterrey feud
This spot should’ve lead to an four month Arena Coliseo Monterrey feud

AAA on Televisa: 2016-02-13
taped Auditorio Bentio Juárez, Cuautitlán, Estado de México, 02/06/2016 
Recapped: 02/13/2016

What happened: Blue Demon Jr. advanced to the Rey de Reyes final, thanks to Psycho Clown/Dr. Wagner issues. Daga & Taya earned a mixed tag title match. Pentagon Jr. wasn’t angry about his (so called) allies challenging for his titles, but he said he’d beat them. Daga also broke open Suicide’s head.

What was good: I liked the opener and the mixed tag.

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