People always ask me my opinion of various CMLL wrestlers so I decided about a week ago to put together a list ranking them and giving little comments about each. Obviously this isn't an official list - it's just one man's opinion so I don't expect anyone to agree with all my choices but I try to explain most of them. The rankings are purely based on in-ring talent. They don't take into account anything to do with push.
On with the list...
1. Negro Casas
The best wrestler in Mexico right now and possibly the last 20 years depending on who you ask. A veteran who isn't afraid to work with young guys and try and make them better which is a rarity these days.2. Averno
The best rudo in Mexico at the moment. It's a shame CMLL has no idea what to do with him. I feel he really needs to be split off from his partners and start establishing himself on his own. With the said, everything he touches turns to gold and the crowd seems to actively dislike him at times which is a rarity amongst CMLL rudos.3. Virus
What can I say that everyone doesn't already know? Great wrestler, lots of charisma and if he were a foot taller he'd probably be a big star. If it were up to me he'd be the head trainer in CMLL.4. Blue Panther
Just like Casas he's the perfect example of a veteran you can actually respect for his willingness to work with youngsters. I wonder how much longer he'll be working an active schedule so best to enjoy him whenever he does pop up in a trios match. (Hoping for a rematch with Casas at some point but his hair really isn't growing back...)5. Volador Jr.
Another misused member of the CMLL roster. Crowd loves him but he's booked as a rudo which only hurts the tecnicos he gets matched up with. Would be amazing as a tweener who teamed with the tecnicos but wasn't part of any group. Arguably the most charasmatic guy in CMLL.6. La Sombra
The top young tecnico who can have great matches with anyone. He's pretty much interchangeable with Volador on this list which makes them great natural rivals.7. Guerrero Maya Jr.
Who would have thought a year ago he'd be where he is now? Got a lucky break via injury to Dragon Lee in the Forjando un Idolo and ran with the ball. Showed everyone what an amazing wrestler he is and is now firmly established as one of the most promising youngsters on the CMLL roster. Could easily be top #3 in a year or two...8. Escorpion
Another 'where the hell did he come from?' guy. Also used Forjando un Idolo to establish himselff and as soon as hooked up with Ultimo Guerrero he turned himself into a main eventer by working hard. I see him as a modern day Jerry Estrada. Has the ability to make any tecnico look interesting (see: Warrior, Black) and doesn't seem to ever take a night off. I love creativity in my wrestling and one thing I notice is when tecnicos are paired with Escorpion they try new stuff because they trust him and they know he will work his hardest to make them look great.9. Valiente
Another guy who never takes a night off. I still fully expect this to be his breakout year in terms of a major feud and main event push.10. Ultimo Guerrero
Still an excellent wrestler and just might be the best base in Mexico. Where he loses points... and it's a lot of points... is that he is LAZY. He will try in maybe 1 or 2 matches per month... if that. He's clearly capable of more which he shows by having good matches when he does try. He used to be the Escorpion type guy who tecnicos would work harder against but that time has passed. Now I've seen him do the same exchange with Sombra for about 3 years. His singles matches are as formulaic as you'll ever see. Will only sink further on this list unless he decides to start trying again.11. Rey Bucanero
A constant. Not very spectacular so he often gets hidden in the shadows of his partners but he's as solid as they come.12. Mephisto
Perfectly capable right hand man in any stable. He's been where he is for so long that I don't think he'd ever be accepted as a top guy by himself. Very underrated worker.13. Atlantis
Can still go! Has been showing he can hang with the youngsters and is still a vital part of the CMLL roster. Associating young tecnicos with him gives them credibility which makes Atlantis invaluable.14. Mascara Dorada
Spot monkey turned excellent wrestler! Has worked hard to round out his game and it shows. I've been critical about his work so far this year and still hopes he kicks it up another gear like we know he can but he's still as spectacular as they come.15. Euforia
Very happy to see this might be his year to get elevated. His height/size makes him perfect to work with the small tecnicos and any heavyweights CMLL may introduce in the future. Has a lot of charisma which many people overlook. If CMLL let's him run with the ball he may end up higher on the list in the next version.16. Psicosis
The most underrated wrestler in CMLL? Always gives 110% and has yet to have a bad singles match against any opponent. Promotion clearly notices his value as he's the only ex-AAA guy they have allowed to main event.17. Raziel
Probably tied for the 3rd best technical wrestler in CMLL with Virus. He will never be a main eventer but he is the perfect guy in the midcard to reign in young flyers and make them actually learn something before they take the next step. Failed with Dragon Lee but nobody (not even Virus) has yet to solve that puzzle.18. Misterioso II
Another in the long list of guys lost in the shuffle. Is he feuding with Stuka? I certainly thought so but CMLL disagrees. Would be a great 3rd for a Mephisto/Efesto trio if Averno ever leaves or goes on his own as a single.19. Rey Cometa
#porraReyCometa is sweeping the nation! Has suddenly been bumped up the cards which is a good sign and shows someone in the office is clearly noticing him. He sure deserves it as he constantly kills himself no matter where he's booked and seems to have a nice little following at the live shows which is special for a guy who hasn't been pushed as anything special by the promotion.20. Felino
It's hard to tell with him... he clowns around way too much but then he'll show moments of being the Felino we know who is amazing. I think he just needs to be involved in a feud to get that extra motivation.21. La Mascara
If this was list was based on only singles matches he'd be near the bottom or at the very bottom. I happen to think he is a better than average wrestler who always delivers in six man tags. He's got great timing and is an awesome seller. His only issue is how redundant his offense is which is why singles matches expose him. But those who say he's terrible or has a no talent are completely off the mark. He's way better than he needs to be considering he could get by doing nothing like his brother.22. Terrible
Finally starting to come into his own as a major player in the heavyweight division. The possibilities with him are endless. I imagine a Rush/Terrible hair match would do monster business for CMLL but it's hard to get excited since CMLL always finds a way to disappoint. He's got the perfect look for a luchador and could be a great mainstream crossover guy if CMLL got hot again.23. Sagrado
Stop rolling your eyes Cubsfan! Sagrado is good! He has his clumsy moments but they are getting rarer to spot. He's definitely stuck in a rut since his gimmick is associated with an era gone by. A rudo turn or gimmick change would do him wonders. Still one of my favorite wrestlers in the company.24. Rush
#1 Most Improved over the last year! Keeps getting better and better. I'm happy CMLL hasn't turned him rudo yet b/c his current role as tecnico who the fans hate is fantastic to watch. The build to him being a rudo will be worth it and he really shouldn't turn until CMLL has a major tecnico the crowd likes. He got much smarter in the ring around the time he worked with Nakamura and Goto in the spring/summer of 2011. Now relies less on generic tecnico offense and more on hard strikes and understands he can't sell any time he is touched or it takes away from his size/strength. Really stands out which is the goal as a wrestler.25. Hijo Del Fantasma
Politics are a bitch, eh? Very good wrestler who was on the verge of being a top guy (perhaps in Angel De Oro's spot) if not for the entire Mistico situation. Now he works segundas sometimes. Clearly deserves more based on his talent and charisma.26. Stuka Jr.
I fear he will spend the rest of his career stuck in the midcard which sucks but some folks are just destined to do that and at the very least you want someone like Stuka who is an amazing wrestler.27. Hooligan
How much greater would the Hijos Del Averno be if Hooligan was cast in the Efesto role instead of Hombre Sin Nombre/Safari? He's one of the best catchers/bases in CMLL and the only downside is you rarely get to see it as he's stuck in Tuereg matches that feature long beatdowns that go nowhere. Seems to content making gear and working a light schedule so if he's okay with it, I'm okay with it. Always a joy to watch!28. Tiger
Could probably stand to bulk up a bit more as his size really gets exposed at times. He's fun to watch and has some devastating moves.29. Niebla Roja
Has made an immediate impact since his arrival. No secret who he used to be - Angel De Plata. A pointless gimmick since all it did was keep him in Oro's shadow and also terribly miscast him as a tecnico. Everything about him screams rudo which is why this Niebla Roja gimmick has gotten over as well as it has. Sky is the limit and with the right pieces fall into place he could easily be a future top 10 guy.30. Arkangel
A constant. Annoying to watch at times when he is bored and just wants to get by doing as little as possible but also fun to watch when he's toying with the young tecnicos and trying to get them to learn to pace themselves in the ring. Crowd respects him which is why any time someone beats him it gets a better reaction than a Nitro or Skandalo getting beat.31. Titan
One of my favorites! #porraTitan coming up for En Busca De Un Idolo! This guy has it all and hopefully the tournament will be a chance to show it. His spectacular offense will clearly win over the fans but don't think he's just a spot machine - he's shown he can take it to the mat and hang with a veteran in a singles match (Polvora). Also, a rarity for a guy who does what he does - he also seems to be a great base! This guy is a future star!32. Diamante
Another case of politics gone bad (and an injury at the worst time possible). He has great athleticism for a guy his size and seemed to fit in perfect during the CMLL/NJPW shows. He'll also have a chance to reclaim his status in En Busca De Un Idolo. Far more talented than his ex-partner Delta.33. Cancerbero
The lesser part of the Cancerbero/Raziel team but still very talented. A team like that is invaluable to a promotion like CMLL.34. Diamante Azul
Improves more and more in every match I see. Superstar potential written all over him. The only negatives are pretty major ones though: Works too stiff and doesn't make a habbit of protecting his opponents. Sure it makes him stand out but it also pisses off a lot of rudos and if they stop playing along he stops looking so good. Needs to clean up that part of his game. 1000x better than Blue Demon Jr.!35. Mr. Aguila
Had some sort of resurgence in 2011. Perhaps due to the fact he was finally able to show his true self with the makeup and entrance music. Good for him! Had an amazing performance in the Reyes Del Aire which surprised a lot of people. Great guy to have around since he can be a fine semi-main event act or inserted into a main event feud without losing credibility.36. Angel De Oro
Not as high on him as most people are. He's got the generic CMLL tecnico offense down but I think he only looks good because of the rudos he is often booked against. When the matchup isn't there he often looks beyond lost. Doesn't help that he's a lesser version of the guys CMLL is trying to get him to emulate (Sombra/Mascara Dorada/La Mascara). Maybe he'll improve when he becomes the new Mistico. LOLOLOLOL37. Polvora
Underrated! Seriously! He showed it by fitting in perfectly fine when he took Dragon Rojo's place due to injury. Has a great moveset and is an acceptable base. What hurts him is that most CMLL hardcore fans still remember him and Vaquero working opening matches for years. You can change your look all you want but you can't change the memories of fans who saw you losing to the Rayos Tapatios every week.38. Fuego
He has one spot that is over with the crowd. Once he does it they really stop caring about him. That's not good. Personally I enjoy his work but not above a bunch of other midcard tecnicos - some of whom are ranked lower on this list.39. Super Comando
Gotta give the man his respect! He's really good! Too small to ever be pushed but one of the best rudos from a pure workrate perspective. If CMLL wouldn't keep overpushing new guys he'd probably be the one working with Dragon Lee, Delta & Triton right now.40. Loco Max
Fun to watch. Limited ability but makes the most of what he has. Can always be counted on to lose his hair once per year and that time is usually when he ups his game.41. Puma King
Might be higher on this list if he had chosen the name Tiger King? He's solid in the ring but is missing any sort of connection with the crowd. Will be interesting to see how he fairs in En Busca De Un Idolo.42. Olimpico
His career didn't die after losing his mask! In fact it seemed to motivate him to work harder than ever! But with no mask or hair it's hard to imagine him ever getting a major feud. Luckily for him he has a CMLL job for life and will probably be a staff member when he retires.43. Efesto
Age is finally catching up with him. Moving slower than ever and very content to get through matches doing as little as possible. Would be much better off working IWRG where he can do more matwork but he's a CMLL guy until he drops that mask.44. Okumura
Perfectly acceptable wrestler. Not much else to say really. It could be much worse (remember when Ohara was the generic Japanese guy? UGH!).45. Bobby Zavala
Bobby, not Booby or Boby! I admit I am a huge mark for him after only seeing the few matches he's been in. Definitely has the 'it' factor and seems way beyond great for his experience level. Expecting great things for him soon and praying he won't be lost in the shuffle like Mortiz was.46. Angel Azteca Jr.
Has accepted his fate as mid to undercarder for life. How do I know that? Watch him work a match now and then watch him work a match in early 2010. The difference is incredible.47. Vangelis
The man everyone loves to hate! But a guilty pleasure of mine! I will always give points for trying hard and Vangelis sure does try hard! It's just his natural ability can only go so far. Still I'd rather see him in generic midcard trios matches than guys like Nitro, Loco Max or Skandalo who may be more talented but don't give 1/4th the effort. Vangelis also oozes charisma. Seriously! My one question would be how an AAA/indy guy for life made the jump to CMLL and has been treated so well. Someday I hope someone has enough courage to answer that question.48. Morphosis
Always thought he was super underrated in AAA but hasn't stood out at all during his time in CMLL.49. Bengala
Solid but as far from spectacular as you'll find. Has slowed down a lot since the change in gimmicks but still has amazing technical ability and can work a good match with a broomstick. But if he and the broomstick were in En Busca De Un Idolo the broomstick would win the charisma category.50. Marco Corleone
This is unfair. I fully admit that. Corleone is not bad at all and he tries very hard all the time. It's just he has almost nobody to work with in CMLL so all he can do are his comedy spots and punches. Fun to watch at times but very redundant and off-putting at other times. I'm a fan but just wish he had someone who could do a serious match with him so we could truly judge his ability.51. Sangre Azteca
You have no idea how much 1999-2007 Rob would kill me for this ranking but it's pretty accurate of his work these days. Being a tecnico sucks... he's terribly miscast. That's still no excuse for how lazy he is in the ring. No wrestler should be winning matches with dropkicks to the thighs. Used to have a great offense that he could probably still use as a tecnico... just chooses not to since his (not) low blow spots gets pops. His true talent won't be judged until he is turned rudo again.52. Nitro
Lazy. You'll see that word pop up a lot more now as we get lower on the list since laziness is a pet peeve of mine. If you ever want to take a nap watch Starman or Angel Azteca Jr. work with Nitro.53. Metalico
The new version of Sombra De Plata. Talented but stuck in opening match hell. Has his fun moments but not much else.54. Skandalo
Little ball of lazy! I used to dislike him more than I do these days. Is that considered a compliment?55. Tigre Blanco
His time has passed. Still fun to watch on the rare occcasions he makes TV but doesn't put half the effort in he used to.56. Hijo Del Signo
Technically solid but a black hole of negative charisma. His style is so IWRG it makes me question how he ended up in CMLL?57. Robin
Very talented but not enough matches to judge whether it's an illusion or not. If he's really good I'm sure the family connections will kick in once he bulks up a bit. Definitely needs a gimmick change.58. Maximo
A favorite of the live crowds but easily the worst TV wrestler especially if you watch CMLL religiously like I do. His act is beyond stale by now and he has no intention of changing it. People keep telling me he's actually talented. Really? Prove it. Show me a good match.59. Mr. Niebla
#1 when it comes to 'show' but so out of shape and lazy when it comes to actual workrate. Blows up after mere seconds in the ring and is a terrible base because of it. A good sideshow but doesn't have 1% of the ability he used to have.60. Shocker
Pretty much the exact same comments as Niebla. Still needs to prove himself after his latest return.61. Namajague
He's only this low because he's still learning! I really enjoy him and he could end up being great but right now he's still adapting to the new style. Flashes of brilliance will surely ensure he has nowhere to go but up on this list.62. Artillero
He's no Super Comando! Opening match guy for life and really can only work opposite other small opening match guys because of his size.63. Kraneo
Easily the biggest disappointment of the AAA guys to come to CMLL. A big guy with great agility who really just doesn't give a crap any more. Relies on Cuije/Mije to get him through matches and has zero interest in trying to prove himself to anyone. Sad to watch since I used to be a big supporter of his.64. Disturbio
He makes funny faces! Other than that he's a lesser Skandalo. Might get a push eventually due to family connections but perhaps his size will limit how far he can go.65. Black Warrior
The dirt worst of the main event crew. Okay I lied... second worst. Warrior just doesn't care. I recently saw him win a match by using a single leg trip and then turning Morphosis onto his back. It was pathetic. He's clearly just back regularly to lose his hair and make a little extra money for his extra curricular activities. Just a waste of space in any match he's in.66. Triton
One of my favorites! Has some mind-blowing dives and rope tricks that you'd never thought were possible! But is faaaaaaaaaar too inconsistent and lacks any knowledge of what to do in between his high flying. Pay attention to him next time you see a match of his and watch his movements in between spots or while he's selling. It's as if he hasn't been trained properly. TONS of fun to watch when on offense but he is the definition of one dimensional.67. Dragon Rojo Jr.
THE dirt worst of the main event crew. Completely useless outside of posing for the crowd. Someone on twitter recently compared him to Elegido and I'm inclined to agree. Has the body the office loves but no talent at all. Can't sell to save his life and is so tenative in the ring it actually physically bothers me. During rudo beatdowns he seems afraid to tackle a tecnico or hit them from behind as if he thinks they will fight back. Comes off as very weak when he does that. Would be best served working primarily with Atlantis & Blue Panther so he can learn. A total CMLL creation who will be in terrible shape if he ever falls out of favor.68. Delta
I won't bash him too much because he has looked much better lately but his 2011 was a disaster. I've ranted about him before and won't do it again. Bottom line is he's a guy who isn't meant to be as big as he is and is trying to do stuff he is incapable of doing. Bad combo. He needs great rudos to look like a star and even then it sometimes isn't enough.69. Bronco
Big man doing little man spots! Not a fan of that! Needs to wrestle more like his size if he wants to succeed. Watching him work like he was Robin against Raziel in the Torneo Sangre Nueva was so silly. Will likely eventually get re-gimmicked and pushed as a monster... I just hope he learns to work like a monster before that happens. (Stop letting tecnicos suplex you!)70. Pegasso
Hasn't been the same since he suffered that major knee injury and then re-injured it in his second (or third?) match back. Still has flashes of brilliance but is obviously working slower and safer to make sure he doesn't get hurt again. Recently got seperated from Rey Cometa which is not a good sign for his upward momentum.71. Ramstein
Once promising CMLL youngster now shows up every few weeks to work openers and appears to be out of shape. He certainly made his debut in the wrong time period. Blew a spot badly in his first match at Arena Mexico using the gimmick and announcers still bring it up to this day. Never got a chance after that disaster. These days blown spots like that occur in almost every match and nobody blinks. Feel sorry for him.72. Starman
*yawn* Has overstayed his welcome. Adds nothing to any match he is in and appears to be sleepwalking through them anyways.73. Sensei
Unlike my friend Cesar (lacatedraldelaluchalibre.blogspot.com) I am not a fan of his act. His kicks are beyond terrible for a guy doing a martial arts gimmick and his act is beyond dull even though I rarely see him. I can't imagine how angry I'd be if he was making TV weekly.74. Inquisidor
Perfectly fine opening match rudo for a guy with no charisma and little talent. Has a job for life with CMLL and you can tell that by the way he wrestles.75. Soberano Jr.
Very young so lots of time to improve. Has his regular spots down perfect but appears lost most of the rest of the time. That's natural for a guy at his age with his experience level. Will only get better.76. Dragon Lee
The golden boy of certain CMLL bookers right now. Has done absolutely nothing to earn what he's been given and has not used the opportunities given to improve at all. Evidence: Got the chance to let Raziel guide him through a singles match and after not being able to do a simple exchange on the mat 1 minute into the match he hit the panic button and did a dive. It's not his fault the promotion is pushing him so hard when he isn't ready but I do blame him for not trying to improve his weaknesses and instead trying to get by on his spectacular spots alone... half of which he botches all the time.77. Cholo
Much like Inquisidor he's another perfectly fine opening match rudo. I've never been offended by him any time I've seen him but he also hasn't stuck out as memorable for any reason.78. Horuz
A lesser version of Triton. Has some unbelievable incredible spots but has the tendency to embarass himself when he goes overboard. I could probably make a music video of him and paint him to be an incredible flyer with enormous potential but in reality he's just a creative guy who doesn't have the ability to pull off the stuff he thinks up. Crowd really dislikes him which may have something to do with him trying to steal other wrestlers gimmicks in the past.79. Molotov
Might have tried to emulate his cousin Olimpus a little too much as not only does he use the same moveset but he's also just as boring.80. Zayco
Could have potential? I'm not really sure. The few times I've seen him he hasn't blown me away and he often appears to be injured which is usually the warning sign of a bad wrestler. Needs a new gimmick. Wrestlers who have names starting with 'Z' are rarely successful.81. Freesbe
He's... uh... more competent than Camaleon? Has a cooler mask?82. Camaleon
He's... uh... less competent than Freesbe? Mask isn't as cool? The two are interchangeable. They might wanna consider that and either start a regular team or one needs to change their look.83. Leono
If you just became a CMLL fan in 2008 would you laugh at me if I told you this guy was once projected to be a top guy and was being built up with hair match wins? It sounds ridiculous now but it was fact back in 2007! Thankfully CMLL realized their mistake and put at end to that nonsense. Leono is just not good. Very robotic in his movements and brings nothing special to the table.84. Camorra
The lowest of the low. A completely generic opening match rudo. I might not even be able to pick him out of a lineup if it wasn't for the cool mask.85. Hombre Bala Jr.
Very green. Will hopefully improve. Certainly has the genes to be a good wrestler but sometimes genes aren't everything (isn't that right Magnus?). Has an interesting headbutt based offense but appears to be set for openers for a while to come which actually isn't a terrible thing at all because in the long run it may make him better than guys like Dragon Lee & Delta.86. Apocalipsis
Chubby. Sloppy. Slow. This is how you describe the 3rd worst wrestler in a promotion of almost 100 wrestlers.87. Super Halcon Jr.
Should be working the FIL shows once a week in Naucalpan. He'd fit in perfectly with those guys because they are all at his level. In fact most of them are ahead of him. Really has no place on the main CMLL roster right now and there is ZERO EXCUSE for having work any match that isn't a tag team opener with Super Comando or Ramstein on the other side. Makes CMLL look bad every time he ends up on TV and is pushed as a rising young star.88. Metatron
One of the most boring wrestlers I have ever seen. Has a moveset straight from 1992 and wrestles as if there is no crowd watching him. I don't understand why CMLL even bothers using him in Distrito Federal. The most ridiculous thing is even when he goes back to Guadalajara he often works opening matches there which is below most of the local talent that hasn't gotten a sniff of CMLL yet! He isn't even good enough to escape opening matches in his own arena! Clearly he gets booking as a favor to someone but it certainly does no favor to those of us who have to watch him wrestle. His mere presence also hurts folks like Bobby Zavala, Bronco & Disturbio who are all young guys still learning and they can learn nothing working with this stiff. A waste of space. That's why he is my pick for the worst male wrestler in CMLL.
N/A: Brazo De Plata (sad sideshow)
N/A: Stigma (only one match)
N/A: Rayos Tapatios (retired?)
Tomorrow: CMLL mini's & women!
Labels: cmll, lucha libre, mexico, rankings, wrestling