taped 2013-12-14 @ Hard Rock Hotel, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco El Elegido, Faby Apache, Mascarita Sagrada vs Dark Cuervo, Mini Abismo Negro, Taya Valkyrie: OK mixed trios match with very little memorable in ring action. Sexy Star wandering out, as if she had bad directions for the restaurant and somehow ended up in the wrestling area, was the most entertaining portion of the match. I think it took her a couple of minutes to realize her friends were actually in a match, and then she broke up a pin for a DQ except it’s not a DQ because she’s Sexy Star. She had quite the outfit, maybe that’s how she got away with it. They made sure this felt like a normal AAA taping by having the técnicos win and then immediately get destroyed by the rudos. (Or at least I think that was the point, because there didn’t seem to be any other one.)
Angélico, Australian Suicide, Jack Evans vs Daga, Steve Pain, Toscano: Another in the regular series of good matches for this trio. This wasn’t as smooth as some of the other ones, but they did get more time than usual and used it for so many double teams. Toscano worked well for his one match rudo turn, which it seemed like the announcers sort of tried to explain but still came off as random. This probably would’ve felt bigger in a enclosed arena; the crowd was making noise at the high spots but the ambient noises seemed to escape.
Blue Demon Jr., Cibernético, Fénix vs Hijo del Fantasma, Pentagón Jr., Silver King: Standard AAA main event. There weren’t any great matches here, but they definitely didn’t take the night off because they were on the beach on vacation. The AAA luchadors put in the normal level of effort. Maybe the most interesting bit was Fenix getting to do his run off offense last. It worked fine because his is the most spectacular and set up his double dive bit nicely. Cuervo being with Sociedad doesn’t really make any sense but that’s La Sociedad. Wish they caught the run in double dive better. The run-ins and the announcers made for a really anticlimatic end to the show.
taped 2014-01-03 @ Arena Mexico Máximo, Shocker, Super Porky vs Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Tiger: Of the many TRT matches lately, this is definitely the one with the most edited fall fall. Not one did anything horrible but this was pointless. This is still a promotion putting the live show first; TV really needed a shorter match they got here. JCR’s claim of TRT being top contenders to both trios titles falls a tiny bit flat when they seem to lose a lot of these.
Titán vs Negro Casas in CMLL’s Leyenda de Plata Tournament final match: EXCELLENT. I’m surely going to put Titan on this list so many times again in 2014, but it’s going to be tough to beat this one. Negro Casas was superb in working with him, giving him enough to think Titan was actually going to pull off the upset (again!) and in putting him over after the match. (It feels unfair to compare this to Ultimo Guerrero’s performance against Valiente, but it’s also very obvious.) Titan more than held his side of the bargain in way few guys his age on this roster would’ve been able to; this wasn’t the crazy spectacle with Niebla Roja, but one with plans and strategies that lasted more than a move, and counters that were actually surprising and organic. That’s stuff Titan does with the right guy, and Negro Casas is the right guy for everyone. I thought this felt short watching it live, but it’s more a case of it just flying by for being fun.
Máscara Dorada, Valiente, Volador Jr. vs Averno, Mephisto, Último Guerrero: Main event formula – triple dive spot, everyone gets a big move but someone else breaks it up, rudos fail at a triple team and técnicos all get cradles but it doesn’t work. Generally good but generally the same as other matches with different offense plugged in. Volador & Ultimo Guerrero doing the Shocker & Ultimo Guerrero reverse casadora spot is amusing since Volador is the new Shocker (but missing some of that self confidence.) I was surprised UG took the top rope headscissors at the end, but Volador needed that.
taped 2014-01-07 @ Arena Mexico Camaleón, Oro Jr., Soberano Jr. vs Artillero, Canelo Casas, Súper Comando: This was a disguised opener match for the first half, but got more interesting when the rudos took over and pulled off their double teams. Third fall went well too – Oro even got to do a dive! – but it seemed like something went wrong about a minute before the finish and it wasn’t as sharp as planned. It looked like an innocent Camaleon dropkick to break up a Super Comando pin threw him off for a moment. There were a lot scarier looking things in this one – Oro’s freefall to the floor in the first, and Canelo’s positioning on the splashed second. It seemed like he was for sure getting squashed by his partners, but they knew what they were doing and worked fine with the four less experienced guys here. Hope they get more chances at this matchup because it has potential.
Negro Casas, Puma, Tiger vs Black Panther, Blue Panther, Cachorro: Nice match to debut in for the new Panthers. You got more of a sense of them then in the Copa Junior last week, and they had some people who can cover up for their weaknesses, plus a reason for the crowd to care about the match right away. They were excited the moment Negro Casas stepped in the ring. Cachorro seems Super Halcón/Hombre Bala sized, but Black Panther is way bigger (and more muscular) than most técnicos outside his level, and uses more of a stronger rudo style. He might ultimately be better of being on the rudo side. They both need to work on their timing, and there were issues that Casas family were able to get past here but other rudos might not be, but this was a fun good match to start out with.
Delta, Guerrero Maya Jr., Shocker vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Euforia, Niebla Roja: Shocker feuding with Barbaro Cavernario is too random even for the CMLL booking hat. Barbaro did deserve a beating by interfering in the first fall about a million times and livened up a match that was not otherwise that memorable. Tecnicos didn’t do interesting things and rudos were not as sharp as normal. Guerrero Maya’s post match strut was hilariously awful, for the one second we saw of it.
Rush, Stuka Jr., Titán vs Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Virus: The Rush/Terrible stuff was on a different level than the rest of the match and made it feel like a main event enough though it wasn’t the usual names. The other guys were fine but those two had something more. Titan using the inverted Gori stretch is a cool idea, but he’s got to be a 100 times more careful dropping the guy after it – he came close to really messing Virus up, and it was only luck that it didn’t turn out worse. He lost his balance dropped Virus very carelessly.
taped 2014-01-01 @ Arena Coliseo Guadalajara Dark Angel, Goya Kong, Silueta vs Amapola, Princesa Sugheit, Zeuxis: Not a super match, but easily better than the average women’s match from a few weeks ago. Very much a match to have a match, but a competent one (in front of a small and quiet crowd.) Amapola really wiped out Silueta on the after the second fall Devil’s Wings, and Silueta’s springboard splash in the third fall look good. Finish came really quick after the comeback – actually, they were basically the same thing – and that comeback didn’t get off to the strongest start.
taped 2014-01-05 @ Arena Mexico Eléctrico vs Astral, Stukita, Shockercito, Último Dragoncito, Demus 3:16, Mercurio, Pierrothito, Pequeño Olímpico, Pequeño Nitro in a Pequeno Reyes del Aire match: A good first half of a cibernetico that fell apart near the end due to the body count. All three final guys ended up messed up. Astral is covered here. Eléctrico getting knocked silly by Demus sticks out on the rewatch (as does some behavior indicating how groggy he was) and Pierrothito was clearly in pain after Electrico’s elimination. It’s too bad, because they were having one of the better minis matches before everything starting going wrong. The pre-elimination section and the first few were all pretty good, as well as the short psuedo-tag portion with Demus/Pierrothito vs Eléctrico/Astral. Hope they get another chance at something like this.
taped 2013-07-27 @ Gimnasio Juan De La Barrera Centvrión vs Imposible: I like both of these guys, but I didn’t like this match at all. The first half of the match was highly annoying, with guys doing big moves at random in no particular order, as if they were shuffled in a card deck. It only got better later because they switched to your move/my move kickouts, and at least the big moves fit in better there. It still wasn’t good and stuff didn’t go right. The match felt longer that it needed to be or what they were ready for. I don’t know if the one fall format threw them off, but this wasn’t up to their capabilities. The dark arena really didn’t do much to hide the emptiness (especially the seats right across from the hard camera) but did obscure one of the bigger dives.
Rossy Moreno vs Esther Moreno and Lady Apache: Essentially two matches in one. The first ten minutes of this match felt like the best women’s match on a TxT show yet. It was good action, the three way fight worked well and the crowd got into both Lady Apache winning and the Moreno sisters costing each other the match. This was much better than the opener. It was a good build to Moreno vs Moreno on another show – except they just did it here for some reason, and it wasn’t much good. They changed the tone a punching submission fight. There were some people loudly chanting for them (mostly Rossy, who seemed to be the ruda), but most of the crowd seemed to check out until the very last couple of near falls. The your move/my move stuff bugged me here, but more because I was done with this and really wanted them to go home. I guess this was essentially what they had planned to do for the hair match (though maybe with a different winner), but there didn’t seem any point to do it here.
El Hijo del Medico Asesino vs Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr.: A slow, but more solid match than I figured. I don’t have high expectation levels for a singles match with these two guys, but they kept it together better than I would’ve guessed. It was again way too long; they don’t have 15 minutes of stuff to do and were moving at a snails pace by the end, but they didn’t fall on their face either. Nothing you need to watch but somewhat promising. Strange finish of Medico Asesino clearly fouling Wagner, referee Terry watching the foul and seeing the foul but counting the three count anyway. You’re not really protecting Wagner by having him lose to a foul if the referee sees it, you’re just making the match look dumb. (And you really shouldn’t need to protect Wagner at this point.)
Brian Cage, Heddi Karaoui, Oliver John, Zumbi vs Angel Blanco Jr., Blue Demon Jr., El Hijo del Solitario, Rayman: A half hour half long match, so everyone did everything they do just to stretch it out even farther. Three straight hot tags was the funniest instance of this. It didn’t hold my attention for that long and it didn’t seem to hold the crowd. They’d still cheer for the técnicos but were totally uninterested in anything the rudos had to do in the second half of the match. John beating Solitario seemed really weird in that context, but the finish did look killer. Cage did some good goofy selling but was totally unmemorable; they probably should’ve given him some strong guys spots somewhere in here.
Cien Caras Jr., Máscara Año 2000, Universo 2000 vs Canek, LA Park, Rayo de Jalisco Jr.: I was really hoping there would be a good gif to prove I actually watched this match and didn’t just fake it. This’ll have to do. It seemed unlikely this lineup would produce a match I’d like, and the unlikely did not happen. Strangely the only three fall match on the show (though the other matches weren’t worked much different.) So many chops as comedy, with the rudos being less the Dinamitas and more the three stooges. I didn’t get much into it and neither did the crowd, by little how they were reacting to the late stages of the match. A really long way to go for a mask pull DQ finish, and a weird show where the rudos win all the meaningful matches.
08-12 Delta, Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa vs Boby Zavala, Namajague, Shigeo Okumura
GREAT. Definitely one where other people would have matches which don’t make the final list higher than this one, but I enjoy this guys work and they were working hard here. Not any new ground but one where everything were trying went off well and they were going full effort despite ‘only’ being in Arena Puebla. Rey Cometa really only tried the running Spanish Fly with Namajague and this was the best one they pulled off, plus there was some good Delta/Guerrero Maya tag team work (and hoping for more of that in 2014.) Surprised the finish happened when it did; not used to seeing Namajague successful!
08-19 Rey Escorpión vs Último Guerrero for the CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship
The longest first fall in an Ultimo Guerrero singles match in years! (The second fall lasted under a minute.) And then a third fall much like any other. The other Escorpion/UG worked because it Escorpion was super aggressive and threw Ultimo Guerrero off his predictable match. This was the opposite, Ultimo Guerrero having his Ultimo Guerrero match, with the bonus of Tirantes going all Tirantes in the last few minutes. This was better than most UG matches have been of a late but nothing worth seeking them out.
08-25 Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Black Terry
GREAT. Black Terry really brings out the hate in Guerrero Maya. Maya was so different here than his CMLL appearances, almost the rudo (though maybe it’s just both guys were the rudos.) Straight brawl from before the bell which finds it’s way back into the ring but always feels a bit of control. This was a fight and a good one. There was was some technical oddness (like Maya pulling Terry off the mat while covering him after the Tormenta Maya to stop his own count), but the match flew by and the finish was neat.
08-25 Valiente & Virus vs Trauma I & Trauma II
GREAT. The Traumas trying tricks and cheap shots, only they try it against the wrong two guys and are lucky to keep it even. This match was already great in the first couple minutes when Valiente met Truma II eye gouge for eye gouge and Virus was taking down Trauma I when he tried a cheap slap. Everything was very solid and it was a very close match. Crowd was super into this match the entire way. It did seem out of order early, with Trauma II and Valiente attempting to rip out each other’s eyeballs leading into more sedate mat wrestling from Virus & Trauma I and then just a normal match for a while, but they picked the intensity back in up in the last third of the match. Finish was well down for what it was, but will still a let down after all that had let up to it. If that sort of finish is the trade off to get the match to happen, then it’d take it 10 times out of time, but obviously the match would’ve been better with something even slightly conclusive.
09-08 Dinamic Black vs Golden Magic for the IWRG Intercontinental Welterweight Championship
Another IWRG finish missed by LAS camera work – they were in replay and had no idea a double countout was coming so they would’ve missed the ref counting 20 anyway. The little we did see included both guys standing right next to the ring staring at each other instead of going in, so I’m not sure this would’ve been a finish to help the match. This became Dinamic Black’s last match, which was also the end of the very short lived Golden Magic & Centviron rudo turn. (You wouldn’t have known they were meant to be rudos until after the match. Centviron’s towel as scarf was hilarious.) It’s obvious there were issues about Dinamic Black around this time just by the way everything changed after it. (I believe the story is this wasn’t the finish they were originally supposed to have, but I’d guess there was more that led up to that.) Different issues than Fenix/Dinamic, or at least a different type of match as a result – this one was missing a spark or some energy. There was a good match here but not a great one, not what you’d hope for when two long time partners finally face each other. Enough spots for highlights but not a complete match. That said, crowd was into (and ref was way into it!) so I may be just be thinking too much and not just seeing things. This match just seemed less fun than it should’ve been.
09-30 Atlantis, Blue Panther, Shocker vs Black Terry, Negro Navarro, Solar I
I got completely derailed by the sound not matching up at all with the video; it took me a while to attempt to fix that, and longer to get back to watching it. (It still didn’t fix; I should’ve broken it down to individual falls.) This was a very good match, worked intensely for a maesto match and breaking down into more of a normal style match with different spots by the third fall. The finishes in the first fall and third fall seemed very sudden; all the CMLL 2013 maestros matches have felt like they could’ve gone longer but just abruptly end. It was weird for Blue Panther to be downplayed (and eliminated) in his own anniversary celebration – it was Shocker and Terry feuding which actually came off strongest.
Atlantis, Super Porky, Volador Jr. vs Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Vangellys: Anticlimatic paint by numbers main event trios match. There must be some (finical? union?) reasons they do these trios matches after much more interesting ciberneticos, but this did not feel like the bigger match at all. Volador is now doing the stage dive in meaningless trios matches with Vangelis. I wish that wasn’t being dulled as a special spot. I liked him better here in his third fall run than I did in other matches, though he’s still not showing much emotion.
taped 2014-01-01 @ Arena Mexico Pegasso, Sagrado, Sensei vs Puma, Raziel, Sangre Azteca: Though the first fall and half of this was pretty good, but it lost it’s momentum with the second fall DQ (a very quick 10 count for too many rudos in the ring for too long) and the third fall was more ordinary. Puma was over the top in his protest of the DQ and seemed to annoy Tirantes something fierce, but played to the crowd well the rest of the match.
taped 2013-12-25 @ Arena Coliseo Guadalajara Esfinge, Gallo, Tritón vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Nitro, Nosferatu: The back of Esfinge’s trunks – replacing Fuego, my results were wrong – say “Kiss Me.” Camorra would approve. He was fine here until part of the third fall. Most of that was with Nosferatu, so he gets a pass. Barbaro again came of as charismatic and worked well with Triton. That seems good, since they’ll probably work with each other 200 times if Barbaro gets called up soon. Gallo versus the Tuareg seemed like a good idea until they both fell over each other for the finish.
taped 2013-12-29 @ Arena Mexico Máximo, Super Porky, Valiente vs Kráneo, Morphosis, Pierroth: Máximo selling Pierroth’s Body Slam like death was a high point of this match. The Mije splash seems more devastating. Once upon a time, Super Porky went to AAA with the idea he’d be doing comedy matches, never did many comedy matches, and is now in CMLL doing comedy matches with a guy from AAA. This didn’t interest me, but the crowd enjoyed it and they’d have something with Kraneo & Porky if it was a decade ago and a lot of pounds less. Porky was gassed by the end of this.
Felino, Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas vs La Máscara, Shocker, Volador Jr.: Note this really great women’s title match did not air on this show; they aired these three matches and gave that a 30 second video package. (Which is more than usually do for other matches.) Not that his match got much time; it was cut down from a short match to begin with, but it’s not a match that had a reason to air and one where they had edit out some of Shocker’s misadventures. (This was not a good night for him.) Volador & Negro had a kick battle in the second, but really didn’t feud as much as expected given where they were and where they were going.
Marcela vs Princesa Sugheit for the CMLL World Women’s Championship: (So I decided to recap it anyway) GREAT. Best women’s match of the year on the last show of the year. They did more in the first than usual; they did a lot of the third fall near fall spots, which mean the third fall was full of variety with other stuff. It also wasn’t really a match full of dives; they did lots of holds and reversals. Sugheit still kicked a lot, but seemed multidimensional compared to her last big title match with Estrellita, and having her fight off one of two of Marcela’s trademark spots made this feel more unpredictable.
taped 2013-12-20 @ Arena Mexico Leyenda de Plata, Block A: This one was extra exciting live, because Titan advancing to the end, much less winning, was totally unexpected. It’s still fun watching it much later, though it doesn’t quite have the same excitement. It was equally nice to see Virus get so far in the tournament, and the set up of Atlantis taking out all the rudos until they all worked together to beat him was nicely done. Delta has had better nights and Tiger seemed underused, but this got a lot of the field they had. Olímpico even had a good moment.
Volador Jr. vs Reapper: A match. It didn’t feel particularly big; this was a chance for Reapper to show something even in a loss, and he really didn’t do anything much. This feud was built around the Invasors very angry with Volador for his betrayal, but there wasn’t much of the emotion here outside the first fall run-in. Reapper could’ve done a lot more in the second fall but just did some moves and the third fall was the usual Volador move trading only shorter than usual. Maybe this is more about establishing Volador as a tecnico, but then there’s no reason to even try to establish Reapper as some meaningful. This was like a half executed attempt.