Lucha Azteca7 Elite: 2016-04-15 

Park plancha
Park plancha

Recapped: 04/16/2016

What happened: LA Park and Cibernetico went to a draw in the first match in the tournament. Xtreme Tiger picked up a win in his second tournament match over Ultimo Guerrero. Rush cheated to defeat Argos & Caristico, though Dragon Lee suffering a knee injury during the match seemed a bigger deal.

What was good: The main event is the one match worth watching.

Where can I watch it: It’s on YouTube and on Azteca’s website, if you’re not in the US.

The show begins with a recap of the LA Park angle from last week. The open is now focused on the 12 people in Liga Elite, instead of just everyone who was mentioned.

Edgar continues to be the sole referee for Liga Elite matches. He wore a CMLL logo shirt the first two weeks, but is wearing an Elite shirt now. The CMLL logo on the stage is covered up. The CMLL logo is still visible on the sign boards on the upper deck on the announce desk, but you’d have to be looking for them to see them. After the second match, when Rush goes over by the announce desk, the CMLL logo is bizarrely blurred out. Read More

CMLL on ClaroSports: 2016-04-22 

new dream team
new dream team

Recapped: 04/22/2016

What happened: Cibernetico & Caristico won the second block of the incredible pairs tournament, and will face Mephisto and Mephisto in the final. It will be the first match between the two different Misticos. (Also, the two Hell Brothers.) Dragon Lee & La Mascara and Gran Guerrero & Atlantis turned on each other during the match.

Dragon Lee showed he still has a significant right leg injury, and was limping around in his appearances. The rudos eventually caught on and started attacking the leg to cover it up.

The first tournament match, Carístico & Cibernético versus Tiger and The Panther, was the best of the block.

What was good: The first few matches were good, and the main event may be more enjoyable if not coming after a long pointless tournament.

Where can I watch it: The main event is on Claro’s site, the matches will be on my channel Tuesday, and the show itself will air on Azteca (US) in mid May

Read More

Lucha Azteca7 Elite: 2016-04-08 

La Mistica
La Mistica

Recapped: 04/16/2016

What happened: Atlantis (over La Mascara) and Caristico (over Volador) picked up their first win in their first Liga Elite matches. LA Park & son, watching the show from the front row, got involved in the trios match and fought with Cibernetico. They’ll have a singles match next week, with LA Park added to the tournament as the 12 man.

What was good: The main event was the only match I really liked, a big spot exhibition. The LA Park angle is good, but you can skip the rest of the match.

Where can I watch it: It’s on YouTube and Azteca’s website. Read More

Lucha Underground 2×13: Monster meets Monster

Matanza is a strong monster
Matanza is a strong monster

Matches

Aerostar defeated Drago for an Aztec Medallion (good, springboard splash, 6:36)

Jack Evans, PJ Black, Fenix defeats Disciples of Death (good, springboard 450 splash, 9:05)

Matanza and Mil Muertes went to a no contest (good, referee stop, 7:03)

Aerotornillo
Aerotornillo

Developments

The Mil Muertes/Matanza match took place, though we didn’t quite get a result. Mil did far more damage to him than anyone had done in the last month, beating him to the ground earlier and taking him down off a dive. (That one legit injuried Matanza, who was noticably hobbling around the rest of the match. Dario and Catrina each took a turn getting involved to give Matanza recovery time, and there was a noticable edit.) The two battled up the steps and onto Dario’s office roof, teasing throwing each other off. Finally, Mil gave Matanza flatliner on the roof, which collapses the roof and caused them both to go to the floor. Striker explained the referee stopped the match that point. Both Catrina and Dario helped up their objects and signaled this wasn’t over for them.

It is over for the Disciples – or at least two of them. They lost again, this time in the trios tournament, and Catrina demanded to know why she shouldn’t end them. Siniestro de la Muerte (purple) gave her a reason, by ripping out the black heart of Trece (gray). Catrina said that wasn’t enough, and Siniestro did the same to Barrio Negro (gold), who must’ve been the dumbest member of the crew if he didn’t see that coming. This satisfied Catrina, and either she or the black hearts themselves seemed to give Siniestro new powers and a new look. He’s a solo act now for sure.

Fenix tornillo
Fenix easy into the springboard tornillo

The team which defeated the Disciples, and did advance, was Fenix, Jack Evans and PJ Black. This was another Dario concept. He had considered putting Fenix, Drago and Aerostar together in the tournament, but noted he had done so last year and Drago & Aerostar fought leading to their elimination, making them undeserving of another shot. Dario did find them deserving of another fight, and instead put Drago and Aerostar against each other in the second Aztec Medallion match. Aerostar stumbled badly at one point, falling hard to the floor, and Drago perhaps took it a little easy on his friend instead of capitalizing. Aerostar seemed to be hurting thru the match, but came back to win and claim the second medallion. He and Texano await five more winners.

One of those winners will be decided next week. A vignette at the Johnny Mundo Dojo (I’m assuming) revealed Taya had called Dario on Johnny’s behalf to demand a shot at a Medallion – he hadn’t gotten the chance last year. Taya explained Dario agreed to the idea, but the opponent would be Cage. In a cage match. Johnny’s high self confidence seemed a bit damaged by this news.

Going back to the trios match from earlier: Jack declared himself leader of the trio, loudly ordering around his teammates. PJ got pushy with Fenix as well. Neither PJ or Jack wanted to much to do with Fenix after the win, but the team looked pretty strong when they were working together and would seem to have a decent chance to win the final.

how is this possible?
how is this possible?

They weren’t the only team to advance to the last round. Angelico, Son of Havoc, and Ivelisse were informed they would not face the winners of the tournament, but would be defending their titles against all three teams who’d won so far in a four way match. Dario poked at champs and their issues, pushing them against each other again.

Next Week:

  • Angelico, Son of Havoc, Ivelisse (c) versus Cortez Castro, Mr. Cisco, Joey Ryan versus Prince Puma, Rey Mysterio, Dragon Azteca Jr versus Jack Evans, PJ Black, Fenix for the Lucha Underground Trios championship

  • Johnny Mundo versus Cage for an Aztec Medallion

There was one last moment to close the show. Captain (Maureen) Vazquez – the superior officer of Castro & Ryan – was visited by a mystery councilman named Delgado who said he was representing Boyle Heights, warning her back off Dario Cueto (which seems to be working in secret.) Delgado and Vazquez appeared to have some history together. Vazquez said she was unconcerned about the Mayor, but Delgado said he was working for someone bigger. Vazquez seemed worried she’d gotten herself into a bad situation after the councilman left.

see, it is a good superkick
the superkick I mention in a few pargraphs

This was a really fun show. I felt like 90% of the conversation is going to end up about the unrealistic nature of electrified zombies pulling out each other’s hearts, but there were also some good wrestling matches here.

Mil Muertes versus Matanza was the more exciting Matanza match yet. He took far more damage than in the previous few weeks while they were in the ring, but still looked like a complete monster by how he was able to thru Mil Muertes around. And everything after the dive was interesting. I knew both the injury and the non-finish going in, which probably greatly affects my view of the overall match – it was impressive how much Matanza was able to still do with a leg injury which they had to be fearing would end him for the season, and the flatliner thru the roof looked incredible enough to mitigate the lack of a finish. I can understand if that lack of outcome detracted for other people, but this gave me more than expected and the eventual rematch should be super.

Jack shows you how to do it
Jack shows you how to do it

The Disciples went out on a good note. Well, before the death scene. The Jack Evan, Fenix and PJ Black team were the stars of the match and intended to be so, but the DoD kept up with them well and looked as effective as they have been all season before taking another loss. Jack & PJ Black came off as annoying but really good, and Fenix got in a Brillo Cometa. Striker always talking about the different personality of each henchman seemed to accidentally drive home the problem: we never actually saw those personalities, wtth them coming off more as if they had been told not to show different personalities. On a show with a lot of big characters, they didn’t seem to have one. Maybe one will work better than three – at least the one with the best superkick survived.

They left in an Aerostar springboard mishap, which was a very different way of doing things. It turned into one of Striker’s better perfomances, as he tried to weave it into a big story about the gambles of the lucha libre style and a specific one about how Aerostar was suffering from the fall to make sense of it all. The problem was Aerostar didn’t seem to know they were doing that story, not selling as much as you’d need to really tell it. It was still a fun match and at least an interesting experiment.

Councilman Delgado is Lorenzo Llamas, of all people. Definitely an unexpected bit of casting. It seems like the police story is going to explain how/why Dario’s able to run an underground fight club without getting shut down, but I was not expecting the star of the Renegade to be part of that story.

Mundo’s cage match with Cuerno (who’s vanished here) was really good last season, and the four way trios match should be great if they can keep all the bodies out of the way. I hope it’s a fun as this episode.

the end
the end

CMLL Arena Mexico: 2016-04-19

??
Bala tornillo

Recapped: 04/19/2016

What happened: Mephisto annoyed Mascara Dorada into giving him a singles match. Dragon Lee was on, off and on the card. He didn’t end up wrestling much.

What was good: Nothing really. Maybe the semimain.

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

Read More

CMLL Puebla: 2016-04-18

Mascara Dorada flies up the aisle
Mascara Dorada flies up the aisle

Recapped: 04/18/16

What happened: Ultimo Guerrero defeated Rush, setting up a singles match next week. And that’s it.

What was good: I didn’t mind the main event, but only the Rush/Ultimo match is worth seeking out.

Where can I watch it: It’s on CMLL’s YouTube channel Read More

Lucha Underground 2×12: Three’s a Crowd

this was a great sequence
this was a great sequence

Matches

Killshot defeats Argenis (4:34, Storm Cradle Driver, OK)

Texano Jr. defeats Daga for an Aztec Medallion (7:03, sit down powerbomb, GREAT)

Prince Puma, Rey Mysterio, Dragon Azteca Jr. defeat Cage, Johnny Mundo, Taya (12:52, 630 senton, GREAT and I may be underrating it)

Developments

The show made a few visits to Dario’s office, but most of the happenings this week took place in the ring.

fosbery flop
fosbery flop-sault

The opener was the launch of a Killshot 2.0. It’s the same guy, but with a new military look, a prayer before the match to his dog tags, and a more disciplined style (or at least that’s what Striker kept on saying.) The match came off as an exhibition of his new style; Argenis wasn’t squashed, but he made less of an impression than Killshot did when he was in that role.

Daga was introduced in a meeting with Dario, with Dario hyping him as the hottest young star from Mexico but wanting him to prove it against Daga. Neither Daga nor Texano played strong tecnico or rudo in this match, though the size difference made Daga the underdog. They had a hard hitting match where Daga shined and escaped the powerbomb the first time, but not the second. Texano captured the first of the seven Medallions

Dario also met with the Cage, Johnny Mundo and Taya three some to explain he wanted this year’s trios tournament to top last year, and thought they would be unstoppable if they could just find a way to work together like Angelico, Son of Havoc and Ivelisse did. That didn’t work out, with friendly fire eventually leading to Mundo outright attacking Cage at one point. The rudo team was still strong enough to hold their own for a long and close main event, but it was the new tecnico trio who advanced.

Texano leg lariat
Texano leg lariat

Vignettes in Mil Muerte’s lair and Matanza’s cell established the two would meet for the Lucha Underground championship next week. Catrina used the earthquake the motivate Mil again (saying Matanza would be even stronger), and Dario claimed he was keeping Matanza in the cell for his own protection but vowed Matanza would destroy death itself next week. Dario actually might not be lying about the first part: Dragon Azteca Jr. confronted Black Lotus about working for Dario, and Lotus claimed it was the only way to get out her own cell, blamed Matanza for Dragon Azteca Sr.’s death, and said she was staying close to Dario to get to Matanza. We know different, though Dragon Azteca Jr. appeared to by the explanation.

As a footnote, the Mil vignette also established the Disciples of Death were in the trios tournament next week, and begged for forgiveness for their recent failures.

Thoughts

This was a really good night of matches. The top title is necessarily not the highspot battle it was before Matanza debuted, but this show – especially the main event – had the feel of the best of the Prince Puma championship run. They got a lot of time, more so than in recent weeks, and it felt like they really took advantage of it in the last two matches to put together some moments where it felt like that match must be over, and yet kept on going.

This show had a purpose too: they had two new characters and one reconstituted existing wrestler to get over with the crowd and the viewers at home, and it felt like they pulled it off. The opener did the least for me as far as overall match quality, but it also felt completely successful as far as breaking Killshot from his role to someone we need to take seriously again. Argenis is vanilla and didn’t show much here, but it wasn’t about him all that much either. Killshot getting the tricky dive and the big finish were big moments.

cage is really strong
cage is really strong

The Dario video with Daga did a fair job of conditioning the television viewer to care about Daga, but few in that live audience had any idea about him. Daga won them over with his wrestling by the end of that match, just coming in and making a fantastic first impression. Texano was pretty good too, getting his first match where he could go straight ahead and fight someone hard since the Alberto feud. Both men looked strong (and the person upping the volume on the strikes had a busy but productive day.) Daga does continue the grand trend of a debuting luchador losing in their immediate match, but he made it so people will be very interested in a second one.

The idea of Cage, Mundo and Taya as the opposition for the Dream Team (LU version) didn’t seem like the best choice on paper, just because it felt like the rudos failing to get along would limit the match. The rudos definitely didn’t get along, but it didn’t really harm the match much. Rey got kept out for a long time at the start, but then was all over the place near the end. Prince Puma had his usual excellent spots, and Dragon Azteca had plenty of his own too. Azteca could’ve easily been overshadowed by his partners, but instead made a name for himself really quickly. The best news is we’re getting at least one more match with this team.

This is one of their strongest shows so far. It’s a special recommendation to check out if you’re a person who’s tuned out because of the vignettes aren’t your style – the matches themselves don’t need the context to be enjoyed.

super Dragon DDT
super Dragon DDT

CMLL Puebla: 2016-04-11 

Shockcercito lived
Shockcercito lived

Recapped: 04/11/2016

What happened: The main event trios title match didn’t happen. The match happened, it wasn’t a title match, and Sky Team won anyway. Rush & Ultimo Guerrero feuded in the main event.

What was good: The main event was good, though not the blow away match it seemed like it would be on paper. I liked the minis match and the incredible trios match was not bad, but most everything on this show underdelivered and it’s not something that felt like a good use of a couple hours.

Where can I watch it: It’s on CMLL’s YouTube channel. It’ll air on 52MX on April 23rd. Read More

AAA on Televisa: 2016-04-09  (Rey de Reyes Part 2)

this show in one GIF
this show in one GIF

Recapped: 04/10/2016

What happened: Xinetez are the trios champions. Dr. Wagner defeated Psycho Clown (via foul, but made sure to get in a Wagner Driver after that.) Pentagon won the Rey de Reyes in the least convincing manner possible, then the Perros del Mal were attacked by La Familia de Tijuana & Pagano.

What was good: The trios match was good I guess, but a show where Fenix and Psycho Clown lose and Pentagon Jr. is made to look like a joke is a pretty dispiriting way to spend 80 minutes. Maybe take a long walk instead of watching.

Where can I watch it: It’s on AAA’s channel and will be on mine soon enough. If you are going to watch it, I’d recommend checking out the +LuchaTV clips of the main event, because it looks like they edited out a chunk of high spots from Psycho/Wagner.

Fantasma’s in the open, but so is Goya Kong so I guess that doesn’t mean much. The bit where they try to find former Rey de Reyes to sell the history of this is nice.

Hype for Brian Cage returning airs during the show. Read More