CMLL Martes de Nuevo Valores: 2016-10-25 

the build up to the tope is as good as the tope
the build up to the tope is as good as the tope

Recapped: 11/07/2016

What happened: Mistico, Diamante and Mascara Dorada earned a title shot next week. So did Hechicero, with a bit of cheating.

What was good: The cibernetico was good, though there’s been better.

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

CMLL Puebla: 2016-10-24 

Negro Casas is great
Negro Casas is great

Recapped: 11/07/2016

What happened:  La Mascara, Euforia and Gran Guerrero beat the Sky Team to set up a trios title match. Negro Casas and Atlantis feuded and Casas won clean.

What was good:. Nothing. Not much was truly bad, but it was colorless time filler lucha, with out at least one highlight match. An easy skip.

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

Lucha Underground 3×10: Ready For War

Prince Puma wastes no time
Prince Puma wastes no time

Matches

Máscarita Sagrada defeated Famous B in a Believer’s Backlash match (8:17, flying DDT, great)

Marty Martinez, Mariposa, Ivelisse, Jeremiah Crane, the mach beat Dante Fox, Killshot, Cage, Argenis, Texano (5:15, cradle DDT, good)

Mil Muertes defeated Prince Puma in Grave Consequences (16:27, great)

Developments

recycling is weird
recycling is weird

The Prince is dead. All hail the Prince. Mil Muertes defeated Prince Puma in a Grave Consequences match, sealing the first Lucha Underground champion in a casket and seemingly ending their rivalry once and for all. Puma came close to winning at least one time, but generally seemed possessed by the dark side of himself, the part of him which Vampiro has been pushing him to embrace. It backfired, with Puma attempting to put Mil thru tables instead of simply ending it. Mil gave Puma a super chokeslam thru two tables instead. Mil finished off Puma by carting out the same casket he’d put Konnan in way back in Season 1, and stuffing Puma inside. Vampiro seemed (creepily) excited about Puma’s dark turn, and surprisingly unbothered by the outcome. It’s clear Vampiro has a secret motivation. It’s remains unclear what that motivation is – to get rid of Puma?

It’s unclear if this is meant to be the end of Puma. Striker walked back Konnan’s death, or at least the announcer’s knowledge is Konnan just hasn’t been seen since he was put in that casket, not that he’s specifically dead. It would’ve death for Mil had he lost; Catrina opened the show by threatening not resurrect Mil if he lost this match once again. She stayed out of the match, but appeared pleased with the outcome.

With Grave Consequences over, next week’s Aztec Warfare takes center stage. Striker said Drago (#20), Matanza (#1, shown getting a pep speech from Dario to prepare him for “WAR!”) and Rey Mysterio (via beating Chavo last week?) are in. Marty Martinez, Mariposa, the Mack, Ivelisse, and Jeremiah Crane earned the right to be in the match after defeating Argenis, Cage, Texano, Killshot and the debuting Dante Fox. Fox and Killshot had a run-in backstage where Dante said Dario hired him after being impressed with his attack on Killshot, and both men pretended to make peace while clearly wanting to stab each other in the back. Dante was the one who did it, ending a five minute sprint by dropping his “brother” Killshot with a DDT to give old rival Marty an easy pinfall. Cage & Texano had their own issues in the match, but the big story was Ivelisse suffering another foot injury. She pulled off a cool huracanrana on Killshot, but her feet were trapped under her on impact and something broke – she was screaming and grabbing her right foot even as she got the near fall, and rolled out in obvious in pain. Ivelisse technically is in Aztec Warfare, but it’s unlikely she’ll be able to compete.

dives everywhere
dives everywhere

That’s (maybe) eight in the field, with twelve unknown spots. Fenix, Aerostar, Killshot, Dante Fox, Argenis, Cage, and Texano are specifically out, Prince Puma may be dead, and Chavo Guerrero Jr. is gone. The Worldwide Underground (Johnny, Taya, PJ, Jack) seem good for four – Taya’s been missing, but they haven’t drawn any attention so it’s probably more a taping issue. Dario’s running it this time, so Pentagon Jr. probably not going to be excluded. Joey Ryan actually hasn’t wrestled at all this season, but he’s been around and he’s Dario’s friend at the moment. Usual characters Dragon Azteca, Sexy Star, Son of Havoc, Dr. Wagner Jr., Máscarita Sagrada gets us to nineteen. (Guessing Famous B is staying retired.) One spot – or two if Ivelisse can’t go – but not an obvious pick. Injured Cortez Castro? Paul London and friends? Black Lotus’ return? Someone else we haven’t seen this season? Someone new? Ricky Mandall or Vinnie Massaro?

The only other vignette (no Rabbit Tribe this week!) was Kobra Moon catching up with Drago in the bathroom again. This was a bit of a plot dump: Drago now says he was never a member of the Lizard Tribe, only their slave. Kobra Moon seems to want to go back to that old setup, but Drago’s not a fan. Daga is finally brought up, with Kobra Moon claiming “Daga was torn apart by Lord Pindar.” That sounds bad. Vinnie Massaro again wandered on this meeting with a food item, but this time decided to just go find a different bathroom.

The Famous B/Máscarita Sagrada Believers Backlash match opened the show. It was a total comedy prop match, intended just to be fun. Dr. Wagner Jr. ran in to help out, Famous B might have gotten the win but couldn’t bring himself to break a portrait of himself, Son of Havoc even the odds, and Máscarita Sagrada finally got the win by beating his old manager. Son of Havoc awarded Máscarita a biker vest for the victory, and this felt like the end of the feud.

Thoughts

poor door
poor door

This feels like the middle hour of a usual Lucha Underground chapter break – Rey/Chavo last week ended that feud, Puma/Mil (at least for now?) and Mascrita/Famous B are over this week, and the “Matazna as unbeatable champion” story looks like it’ll climax one way or another next week. You might even be able to stretch it back a week farther, with Johnny finally getting his gold by defeating Sexy Star. Of what we’ve seen so far, this is easily the best hour, and is one of the best of the season.

Doing a year Grave Consequences match, or just doing another Prince Puma/Mil Muertes match – is a challenge. There’s a lot to measure up to, and a level of shock and surprise at the level of barbarity that’ll going to be near impossible to match. (If this show runs for another twenty seasons, they may never exactly match that first match.) This match didn’t have the raw emotion or the blood of that first Grave Consequences match and it didn’t have the feel of ending with a giant move at any time like the Ultima Lucha 1 finale, but it was still a very great match, keeping up the high standards of the gimmick. Puma going crazy from the start made it feel out of control, and the huge chokeslam at the end looked very impressive. This wasn’t one of Puma’s most aerial matches – he did a 450 onto a casket and that still feels fair to say – but these need to feel like a fight and they got that feel. The Dario/Matanza vignette leading into this, had Matanza screaming about next week being a War, but it’s hard to imagine it’ll feel any more like a war than this one. They left it very unclear if we were meant to think Prince Puma was dead. Mil was warned he was going to die, but they had Striker specifically mention Konnan might not be dead (in a way where it seemed like they were setting up for a return.)

Puma's doom
Puma’s doom

Máscarita/Famous B was an entirely opposite tone, and fun to watch. This was the best way they could’ve done this match – comedy just worked better for this than a serious match would’ve, and it being the opposite of the main event made both seem different. They threw in some references to other stuff – there was a perfume sprayer of Arrogance, Rick Martel’s old WWF bit, that blinded Famous B for a moment. There was a popcorn bad spot early which made me recall an infamous Owen Hart/Mick Foley WWF house show match, where they knew Dave Meltzer was in attendance and they wanted to see if they could get him to rate their match negative five stars by having the worst match possible, including selling big for getting hit with bags of popcorn. I’m not sure if that reference was the intention, and it was entertaining even if you weren’t looking for inside jokes – easily the best part of this feud.

The 5v5 tag seemed shortened on time to fit in the two longer matches, and probably could’ve been fun longer, but they were ending with the turn no matter how long it lasted so I’m okay with investing it the time elsewhere. It was good while is lasted. Ivelisse has had terrible luck on this show – she got hurt while being trios champions, then gets hurt while doing an awesome looking spot with Killshot. The show makes it unclear at first if it’s a real injury or a storyline – it’s both real, but maybe not the last we see of her for now. Both Jeremiah Crane and Dante Fox fit in fine in their first official matches, with Dante’s Aerostar-like springboard reverse 450 dive making him stand out more.

The Drago/Kobra Moon felt like such a repeat of the previous vignette, even though there was different plot information being communicated. If this was a more traditional sci fi drama or a soap opera, maybe this would’ve been the same scene but split over two episodes. I guess you needed to do it twice to not overwhelm people with an info dump in one night, but I’m skeptical about how much of this sinks in right away anyway. Vinnie’s repeated cameo seemed to be lampshading how forced this was. It’ll be better when they get somewhere, and it’s nice to find out poor Daga’s fate (though that trailer scene with him and the sword suggests we haven’t seen the last of him.)

Lucha Azteca7 Elite: 2016-10-22

kaboom
kaboom

Recapped: 11/07/16

What happened:  Carístico won a cage match with LA Park, though mostly only because LA Park helped him out of the cage after Rey Escorpión earlier stoppped Park from leaving. Earlier, Rey Escorpión beat Blue Demon with a mask pull

What was good:  The semimain tercera was great, and the cage match was fun until the usual Elite booking kicked in at the end. Arena Lopez Mateos looked good on this TV show and the crowd was very into the show.

Where can I watch it:  It’s on the Liga Elite YouTube channel complete Read More

AAA on Televisa: 2016-10-22 

this was fun
this was fun

Recapped: 11/06/2016

What happened: OGT beat the Xinetez and beat up the Apaches.

What was good: I liked the middle trios match. It was a fun AAA trios match uncomplicated by being AAA storylines. They overpowered the other two matches.

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

CMLL Martes de Nuevo Valores: 2016-10-18

Maya tope con giro
Maya tope con giro

Recapped: 11/05/2016

What happened: The main event ended with a trios title challenge. That’s still a couple weeks away. Drone debuted.

What was good: The Drone match was the best match on the show, but this was mostly a lot of competently boring matches to please tourists.

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

CMLL Puebla: 2016-10-17 

Durango Stampede
Durango Stampede

Recapped: 11/01/2016

What happened: La Mascara beat Mistico and unmasked him. Casas fouled Atlantis.

What was good: The third match was the best match and is a slight recommendation. This was a hurried and not very interesting show.

Where can I watch it: It’s on CMLL’s channel and has aired on 52MX Read More

CMLL on ClaroSports.com: 2016-11-04 

mini doomsday
mini doomsday

Recapped: 11/04/2016

What happened: Dalys kept their titles. Los Ingobernables cheated to win, so that’s normal.

What was good: The earlier matches were better than the late matches for sure. I liked the opening minis match the most, and the three that followed had some value, but those last couple matches were as rushed as anything you’d get Monday/Tuesday.

Where can I watch it: It’ll be on my channel soon. Read More

Lucha Underground 3×9: Loser Leaves Lucha

this is a video game move
this is a video game move

Matches

Matanza beats Cortez Castro (2:20, Wrath of the Gods, OK)
Son of Havoc beats Dr. Wagner Jr. (5:34, shooting star press, good)
Rey Mysterio defeated Chavo Guerrero in a loser leaves Lucha match (15:22 including the stoppage, springboard splash, good)

Developments

Havocsault
Havocsault

Chavo Guerrero Jr. is gone from Lucha Underground. Rey Mysterio defeated him in this week’s main event, though not without a typical attempt at circumventing the rules from the Guerreros. Chavo Sr. was in attendance for the match, and came to the ring threatening to hit Rey with a chair. He instead hit his son, not to betray him, but to draw a DQ and cost Rey Jr. his career. Dario interrupted, refusing to let his main event end in such a manner, and ordered a restart. Mysterio got the best of both Guerreros, and Chavo was cleanly defeated.

Next week’s show might also be the end of a career. In an in-ring promo, Prince Puma challenged Mil Muertes to a Grave Consequence match next week, vowing to put Mil in a casket as Mil did to Konnan. Catrina wasted no time in accepting, and distracted Puma from a Mil attack. Puma was able to knock Mil out of the ring in a preview for next week.

That show will also include a Famous B/Mascarita Sagrada match, after Dario agreed to the request from Son of Havoc and Sagrada. Dario even upped the ante: the winner of this week’s Havoc/Wagner match would get to name the stipulation. Havoc won, and cleanly, then offered Sagrada the choice himself. Vampiro suggested an All Night Long Iron Man match, but Mascarita Sagrada instead decided to do a Believer’s Backlash. Instead of belts, it’ll be fans bring the weapons for them to use.

eh
eh

That match doesn’t seem like it’ll go well for Famous B. This week’s Dial of Doom didn’t go well for Cortez Castro. The wheel landed on Dario’s Choice and, after teasing picking Mysterio and dismissing it because Rey was already in a match, Dario teased Pentagon Jr. before giving a chance to a man who suffered a broken arm from Pentagon. Cortez has not healed yet and was still in cast. Matanza fixed that by rebreaking Cortez’s arm and the cast. Cortez tried using the cast as a weapon, but still went down without coming close. Dario taunted Cortez while dropping the words “undercover” and “a rat”, making it clear he knew Cortez was police without letting the announcers know. All in all, Cortez ended the episode alive and technically could come back to the Temple, so it could be worse. His cover is totally blown and Dario and Joey Ryan celebrated humiliated Cortez after the match; Dario’s good mood led to the Wagner/Famous B stipulation.

The only vignette was for, of course, the Rabbit Tribe. They’re still coming, and now it’s more definitely a “they” – glimpses of Paul London’s two associates were shown this week. The announcers also suggested an interesting theory for Matanza entering #1 as a good thing: he could beat so people so fast that he would always be waiting for the next guy, and then there’d be no way for everyone to group up on him as if he came in later. (Vampiro did still believe Dario was nuts for putting Matanza number #1)

Thoughts

Show was overall better than last week, though still not one of my favorites. Havoc/Wagner and Mysterio/Chavo were both fine matches, sliding over into Good category for me, but still missing something. Mysterio/Chavo needed the false finish to hit top gear, and Havoc/Wagner really never got to that level.

Havoc/Wagner was still much better than the Ultima Lucha 2 match (referenced this time around), but lacking a dramatic end game that we’ve been trained to expect from big matches. This just wasn’t a big match, and Dr. Wagner losing cleanly in a non-big match is really hard to comprehend to someone used to seeing him in Mexico. Wagner’s the rare LU person who’s probably fine with Lucha Underground not airing in Mexico right now. I’m totally OK with Dr. Wagner being used as a C level player existing to put over other people, but that may just be me being looking for some childish karmic revenge for Wagner stealing attention away from other people in Mexico for years. To someone else not watching as much Wagner, this must just be totally bizarre: Wagner’s essentially taking over Blue Demon Jr.’s role, but is far less protected than Demon. AAA could’ve sent literally anyone else for this role, and it would’ve meant no difference except for the initial reaction of Dr. Wagner showing up (and Brenda’s outfits), and it’s strange they picked a guy who could be a top guy for it.

this looked better
this looked better

Wagner’s usage really struck me earlier than his match. In the opening segment (a match only existing to move along the police storyline), Joey Ryan replaced Killshot on the wheel. Matanza’s beat some people, and some people aren’t on the wheel because they got title shots before, and Rey’s very carefully specifically never been on the wheel to this point, which leaves a motley crew of options. Johnny Mundo is still there, but the rest are no one’s choices for top contenders – Joey Ryan, Ivelisse, Dragon Azteca Jr., Mariposa, Chavo Guerrero, Kobra Moon – and Wagner. Wagner was undefeated until tonight, but he’s also been in a goofball feud with a mini. Wagner would normally fit being a top contender, but his importance far from Mundo and closer to (similarly early undefeated) Kobra Moon. LU could’ve brought back Super Fly and accomplished just about the same thing they’ve done with Wagner, so it seems like a waste of Wagner.

(and, again, it’s Dr. Wagner so I’m kinda OK with it even though I shouldn’t. I’ve seen enough TV built around Dr. Wagner to last me.)

That’s too much about Wagner, but I just find it interesting. The main event was technically sound, but I couldn’t really get into it at all. They tried hard to make Chavo worked as a rudo and it just never connected for me. Too many years of him not being a threat makes it hard to suddenly take him as one, and “his only friend, the chair he calls Amigo” stuff felt forced. The stipulation didn’t help – or more, doing this stipulation with Drago as a way to bring him back three weeks later with new gear really is the problem. They picked ignoring that issue rather than explaining why it wouldn’t happen. I guess you can’t just say “this is definitely not going to happen” on a wrestling show, because years of wrestling has also taught us it will actually happen, but it was tough not to think about that as the announcers were selling the finality of this match. That Drago farewell was also much better presented; there was nothing close to Dario and Drago having one final stare off before Drago turned into a ball of flames.

Mild Spoiler: The irony of this is, even though not believing in the stipulation was a major problem for the match, I know Lucha Underground appears to have lived up to it. This is the final Chavo match from this season that will air. It’s technically not his last match – they taped this feud out of order, so the Azteca/Chavo match that already aired was really his last one – but Chavo doesn’t appear before the live crowd again on this season. He didn’t even wrestle in the last week “everyone in the promotion who isn’t booked” battle royals they ran. I assume Chavo’s still working backstage, and he may turn up in a vignette or return in Season 4, but LU had a real thing they were doing on a very unreal show, and just couldn’t make it feel real.

The set up to the first 619 spot didn’t look much real either, and there was some heroic editing attempted to try and save it. The Chavo Sr. chair shot DQ following – which, in the story, Chavo Jr. didn’t seem to know was coming – was a cute bit to get heat and get one real moment where the fans believed things might end the other way. And the interest did pick up from there, with any near feeling like it could now be it. It was the more gripping of the two matches, but also nothing that feels like it’s going to make the top 30 matches of the season. The reversal of the DQ was a little interesting – it fits Dario’s character, but he’s clearly the face for doing it, and that’s not something they do (especially in front of the live crowd) all that often. Dario’s not a complete evil bad guy – his love for violence overpowers everything else, as seen back in his pep speech to Sexy Star – but it was such a face GM bit.

bye Chavo
bye Chavo

Of all the things hyped for the future, it’s unexpected that Sagrada/Famous B came off the best. They gave that time to be adsorbed. The Grave Consequences is obviously going to be a great match, but the hype wasn’t there for it – maybe we’ve seen Puma get attacked from behind but run people off too many times, maybe the elephant on this one (Mil never seems to win his signature match) is the problem. The third thing, Aztec Warfare is a big thing and should feel like a big thing, but it’s very much in the background with just one week left before the show. I guess that’s all it needed the first time, but they haven’t created the anticipation for the waypoint of the season yet.

I watched this show in HD on VOD; I think it’s the first time I’ve seen the show in full on HD since they were on Unimas. (It worked out nicely this week, since the VOD didn’t have the video issues the El Rey did during the live airing.) The video still looks so much better in HD, but the audio seemed much sharper and clearer too. Maybe too clear: it could very much simply hearing the show a different way, but it sounded like there were more Matt Striker fixed in post production lines than usual. In other things I could be totally over-reading into, the tone of the commentary changed from Matt Striker making references and trying calling every move to Vampiro threatening to break Striker’s table if he made another reference and focusing more on overall themes. The Matanza/Cortez match, for instance, had as much talk about the history of Aztec Warfare and Matazna being in first than the match itself. It wasn’t good or bad, but it was different. It’s also just one show.

AAA on Televisa: 2016-10-15 

Big Mami versus the world
Big Mami versus the world

Recapped: 10/31/2016

What happened: Suicide lost his mask. Pimpinela won Copa Antonio Pena. Johnny Mundo is still champ.

What was good: I didn’t like anything, and this generally felt like a time sink. What was good was this wasn’t an iPPV, because I think we would’ve been frustrated/disappointed with the show had we paid for it (even it aired without issue!)

Where can I watch it: It’s on AAA’s channel, including the match which did not air. Read More