Sunday, January 15, 2017

2017 Great Match Round-Up



Flamita vs AR Fox - CRASH 1/21 ****
Angel Metalico/Black Boy/Oraculo vs Ryan Kidd/Tiago/Tony Casanova - CRASH 1/21 ***1/2
Volador Jr. vs Ultimo Guerrero - CMLL/NJPW 1/22 ***3/4
Aramis vs Arana De Plata vs Black Dragon vs Demonio Infernal vs Freelance - IWRG 1/22 ****
Relampago vs Imposible (IWRG Intercontinental Welterweight Title) - IWRG 1/22 ***3/4
Drone/Guerrero Maya Jr./Rey Cometa vs Bobby Z/Dragon Rojo Jr./Polvora - CMLL 2/3 ***3/4
Fenix vs Volador Jr. - CaraLucha 2/4 ****


Fenix vs Flamita vs Volador Jr. - CaraLucha 1/1
Volador Jr. vs Mephisto - CMLL 1/6
Mistico & Volador Jr. vs Euforia & Ultimo Guerrero - CMLL/NJPW 1/21
Atlantis vs Rush - CMLL/NJPW 1/21
Blue Panther/Stigma/The Panther vs Puma/Tiger/Virus - CMLL 1/21
Mistico vs Euforia - CMLL/NJPW 1/22
Alas De Acero/Aramis/Iron Kid/Rey Horus vs Astrolux/Baby Star/Black Metal/Jack Evans - CHAIRO 1/29

Thursday, March 10, 2016

2016 Great Match Round-Up


Dragon Lee vs Kamaitachi - CMLL/NJPW 1/24  ****1/2
Dragon Lee vs Kamaitachi - CMLL 3/4 ****3/4
Octagon Jr. vs Pentagon Jr. vs Hijo Del Fantasma vs Fenix - AAA 3/4 ****1/2
Dragon Lee vs Rey Horus - CHAIRO 3/6 ****1/4
Caristico vs Volador Jr. - ELITE 4/6 ****1/2
Caristico/Flamita vs Mascara Dorada/Volador Jr. - Nuevo Laredo 5/16 ****1/4
Rey Cometa vs Cavernario (Hair vs Hair) - CMLL 7/1 ****1/2
Gran Prix - CMLL 7/1 ****1/4
Mascara Dorada vs Rey Escorpion - ELITE 7/28 ****1/2
Dragon Lee vs La Mascara (Mask vs Mask) - CMLL 9/2 ****1/4
Volador Jr. vs Cavernario - CMLL 9/30 ****1/4


Maximo vs Kamaitachi - CMLL 1/1 ***3/4
Mistico/Volador Jr. vs Mephisto/Ultimo Guerrero - CMLL/NJPW 1/22 ****
Volador Jr. vs Mephisto (NWA Welterweight Title) - CMLL/NJPW 1/24 ***1/2
Dragon Lee/Stuka Jr./Volador Jr. vs Gran Guerrero/Kamaitachi/Negro Casas - CMLL 2/19 ***3/4
Aereo/Alas De Acero/Aramis/Iron Kid vs Freelance/Mike Segura/Pantera I/Sadico - CHAIRO 3/6 ***1/2
Volador Jr. vs Negro Casas (Hair vs Hair) - CMLL 3/18 ****
Caristico vs Ultimo Guerrero - CMLL 3/21 ****
Mascara Dorada vs Cavernario (CMLL Welterweight Title) - CMLL 3/28 ****
Mascara Dorada vs Xtreme Tiger - ELITE 3/30 ***3/4
Negro Casas vs Hechicero - MTY 4/24 ****
Hechicero vs Virus - CHAIRO 5/15 ****
Caristico vs Mascara Dorada - ELITE 6/2 ***1/2
Rey Cometa vs Cavernario (Mexican National Welterweight Title) - CMLL 6/10 ****
Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Dragon Rojo Jr. (CMLL Middleweight Title) - CMLL 6/14 ****
Volador Jr./El Bandido vs Flamita/Fly Warrior - CaraLucha 6/24 ***3/4
Fenix vs Daga - AAA 7/8 ****
Mistico/Valiente/Volador Jr. vs Ultimo Guerrero/Gran Guerrero/Euforia - CMLL 7/22 ****
Rayo Star vs Skyman- CaraLucha 8/20 ****
Volador Jr. vs Ultimo Guerrero - CMLL 8/30 ***3/4
Mistico/Valiente/Volador Jr. vs Ultimo Guerrero/Gran Guerrero/Euforia - CMLL 9/2 ***3/4
Canis Lupis vs Trauma I (Mask vs Mask) - IWRG 9/4 ****
Titan vs Mephisto (CMLL Welterweight Title) - CMLL 9/20 ***1/2
Trauma I vs Tiger - CHAIRO 9/25 ****
Fuego/Soberano Jr./The Panther vs Misterioso/Puma/Sagrado - CMLL 9/27 ***1/2
Volador Jr. vs Cavernario (NWA Welterweight Title) - CMLL 10/7 ****
Caristico vs Mascara Dorada vs Titan vs Volador Jr. - BOOM 10/16 ***3/4
Bandido/Golden Magic/Zumbi vs Hijo De Dos Caras/Hijo De Dr. Wagner/Karonte Jr. - ELITE 10/28 ***1/2
LA Park vs Fly Star vs Wotan - XMW 11/12 ***1/2
Dragon Lee vs Polvora (CMLL Super Lightweight Title) - CMLL 11/21 ***3/4
Astral/Arez/Belial/Impulso vs Shockercito/Alas De Acero/Aramis/Iron Kid vs Ultimo Dragoncito/Freelance/Pantera I/Sadico - CHAIRO 11/27 ***1/2

This is where the next category for good/okay/above average matches would go but other people have that covered so I'm changing it up...

THE FUN ZONE: (RobViper-specific approved matches sure to entertain!)

The Panther vs Boby Zavala - CMLL/NJPW 1/20
Alas De Acero/Aramis/Dragon Fly vs Adrenalina/Atomic Star/Vortize - IWRG 1/27
Gym IWRG vs Gym Arkano - IWRG 1/27
Mistico/Mascara Dorada/Volador Jr. vs Negro Casas/Mephisto/Cavernario - CMLL 2/5
Rayo Star/Skyman vs Andy Boy/Guerrero Mixtico vs Toxin Boy/Wasson - Kamikazes 2/6
Golden Magic/Triton vs Puma/Tiger - ELITE 2/7
Volador Jr. vs Negro Casas (NWA Welterweight Title) - CMLL Puebla 2/15
Mascara Dorada vs Mephisto (CMLL Welterweight Title) - CMLL 2/19
Venum/Ludxor vs Gran Apache/Carta Brava - AAA 2/19
Gym IWRG vs Gym Toluca - IWRG 2/24
Centvrion/Latigo vs Metaleon/Mr. Leo - LuchaRama 2/27
Caristico/Mistico/Mascara Dorada vs La Mascara/Ultimo Guerrero/Volador Jr. - ELITE 2/28
Venum/Ludxor vs Carta Brava/Super Fly - AAA 3/4
Mistico/Dragon Lee/Mascara Dorada/Valiente vs Okumura/Kamaitachi/Fujin/Raijin - CMLL 3/18
Atlantis/Caristico/Mistico vs Ultimo Guerrero/La Mascara/Volador Jr. - ELITE 3/30
Rey Cometa/Stuka Jr./Titan vs Cavernario/Felino/Mr. Niebla - CMLL 4/8
Centvrion/Latigo vs Drastik Boy/Rocky Lobo - WMC 4/23
Freelance vs Sadico - Lucha Memes 4/24
Caristico/Mistico/Mascara Dorada vs Ultimo Guerrero/Euforia/Rey Escorpion - ELITE 5/4
Flamita & Johnny Idol vs Drastik Boy & Ronnie Mendoza - DTU 5/29
LA Park vs Rush - Tijuana 6/3
Puma/Tiger vs Traumas I y II - CaraLucha 6/24
Volador Jr. vs Michael Elgin - ELITE 6/25
Mascara Dorada/Rey Cometa/Titan vs Cavernario/Dragon Rojo Jr./Rey Escorpion - CMLL 7/8
LA Park vs Rush - ELITE 7/14 (***** spectacle)
Centvrion vs Fly Warrior vs Latigo - WMC 8/7
Gotita De Plata/Lanzelot/Venum vs Carta Brava Jr./Mocho Cota Jr./Soul Rocker - AAA 8/19
Aero Star/Drago vs Angelico/Jack Evans vs Hijo Del Fantasma/Garza Jr. vs Matt Cross/Paul London - AAA 8/28
Mascara Dorada/Hechicero vs Flamita/Angel Blanco Jr. - CaraLucha 9/3
Leo vs Mike vs Raffi vs Teelo - Innov Aztec Power 9/4
Danger vs Jimmy Madrid vs Loquillo - Innov Aztec Power 9/4
Reyes Del Aire - CMLL 9/23
Fenix vs Mascara Dorada - The Crash 9/24
Dragon Lee/Guerrero Maya Jr./Mascara Dorada vs Euforia/Gran Guerrero/Niebla Roja - CMLL 10/14
Emperador Azteca/Hijo de LA Park/Zumbi vs Diamante/Imposible/Karonte Jr. - ELITE 10/21
Rey Bucanero vs Hechicero (NWA Light Heavyweight Title) - CMLL 11/1
Metaleon vs Centvrion - XMW 11/12
Flamita vs Negro Casas vs Ronnie Mendoza - DTU 12/15

2016 Great Match Round-Up


Dragon Lee vs Kamaitachi - CMLL/NJPW 1/24  ****1/2
Dragon Lee vs Kamaitachi - CMLL 3/4 ****3/4
Octagon Jr. vs Pentagon Jr. vs Hijo Del Fantasma vs Fenix - AAA 3/4 ****1/2
Dragon Lee vs Rey Horus - CHAIRO 3/6 ****1/4
Caristico vs Volador Jr. - ELITE 4/6 ****1/2
Caristico/Flamita vs Mascara Dorada/Volador Jr. - Nuevo Laredo 5/16 ****1/4


Maximo vs Kamaitachi - CMLL 1/1 ***3/4
Mistico/Volador Jr. vs Mephisto/Ultimo Guerrero - CMLL/NJPW 1/22 ****
Volador Jr. vs Mephisto (NWA Welterweight Title) - CMLL/NJPW 1/24 ***1/2
Dragon Lee/Stuka Jr./Volador Jr. vs Gran Guerrero/Kamaitachi/Negro Casas - CMLL 2/19 ***3/4
Aereo/Alas De Acero/Aramis/Iron Kid vs Freelance/Mike Segura/Pantera I/Sadico - CHAIRO 3/6 ***1/2
Volador Jr. vs Negro Casas (Hair vs Hair) - CMLL 3/18 ****
Caristico vs Ultimo Guerrero - CMLL 3/21 ****
Mascara Dorada vs Cavernario (CMLL Welterweight Title) - CMLL 3/28 ****
Mascara Dorada vs Xtreme Tiger - ELITE 3/30 ***3/4
Negro Casas vs Hechicero - MTY 4/24 ****
Hechicero vs Virus - CHAIRO 5/15 ****
Rey Cometa vs Cavernario (Mexican National Welterweight Title) - CMLL 6/10 ****
Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Dragon Rojo Jr. (CMLL Middleweight Title) - CMLL 6/14 ****
Volador Jr./El Bandido vs Flamita/Fly Warrior - CaraLucha 6/24 ***3/4

This is where the next category for good/okay/above average matches would go but other people have that covered so I'm changing it up...

THE FUN ZONE: (RobViper-specific approved matches sure to entertain!)

The Panther vs Boby Zavala - CMLL/NJPW 1/20
Alas De Acero/Aramis/Dragon Fly vs Adrenalina/Atomic Star/Vortize - IWRG 1/27
Gym IWRG vs Gym Arkano - IWRG 1/27
Mistico/Mascara Dorada/Volador Jr. vs Negro Casas/Mephisto/Cavernario - CMLL 2/5
Rayo Star/Skyman vs Andy Boy/Guerrero Mixtico vs Toxin Boy/Wasson - Kamikazes 2/6
Golden Magic/Triton vs Puma/Tiger - ELITE 2/7
Volador Jr. vs Negro Casas (NWA Welterweight Title) - CMLL Puebla 2/15
Mascara Dorada vs Mephisto (CMLL Welterweight Title) - CMLL 2/19
Venum/Ludxor vs Gran Apache/Carta Brava - AAA 2/19
Gym IWRG vs Gym Toluca - IWRG 2/24
Centvrion/Latigo vs Metaleon/Mr. Leo - LuchaRama 2/27
Caristico/Mistico/Mascara Dorada vs La Mascara/Ultimo Guerrero/Volador Jr. - ELITE 2/28
Venum/Ludxor vs Carta Brava/Super Fly - AAA 3/4
Mistico/Dragon Lee/Mascara Dorada/Valiente vs Okumura/Kamaitachi/Fujin/Raijin - CMLL 3/18
Atlantis/Caristico/Mistico vs Ultimo Guerrero/La Mascara/Volador Jr. - ELITE 3/30
Rey Cometa/Stuka Jr./Titan vs Cavernario/Felino/Mr. Niebla - CMLL 4/8
Centvrion/Latigo vs Drastik Boy/Rocky Lobo - WMC 4/23
Freelance vs Sadico - Lucha Memes 4/24
Caristico/Mistico/Mascara Dorada vs Ultimo Guerrero/Euforia/Rey Escorpion - ELITE 5/4
Flamita & Johnny Idol vs Drastik Boy & Ronnie Mendoza - DTU 5/29
Caristico vs Mascara Dorada - ELITE 6/2
LA Park vs Rush - Tijuana 6/3 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

CMLL Trios Titles Match & FIL 5 Way

The only two matches you really must watch this week...

Ultimo Guerrero/Euforia/Niebla Roja vs Mistico/Volador Jr./Valiente - 2/13/15

I was a huge fan of the way this match was laid out. I'd like to think this match was our reward for those of us who sit through so many generic CMLL Trios Titles matches that just stick to the same formula. They started with the usual matwork and had the rudos take over immediatly afterwards as the crowd was getting restless. (*) We got to see the star of the match - Ultimo Guerrero - bust out his old double submission combo which he hasn't used in ages. Second fall had the rudos doing their usual beatdown spots including Niebla Roja's assisted tornillo on the floor. This leads to the tecnico comeback and three awesome dives! Instead of the countout win we get Ultimo Guerrero eating the triple finisher combo of a superkick -> backcracker -> Valiente's finisher for the tecnico win. Then comes the 3rd fall and this is where the match comes off the rails but in a fantastic way! Every twist & turn you'd expect from the usual match, they go the opposite way! Ultimo Guerrero was clearly made into the monster of his team as twice they built to traditional finishes where he was left alone first with Valiente, then with Volador Jr., and both times he took their finishes only to survive. Instead of doing the usual stacked up superplex spot in every trios match they went to multiple submission spots with UG doing another great power spot trying to submit two guys, countering two guys trying to submit him & then the great spot where he & Volador ended up face-to-face when applying submissions and he got caught in an abdominal stretch. They teased legit finishes that have ended many matches before including the Guerrero Especial getting a 2 count/save along with Volador going for his Spanish Fly only for Euforia to counter and attempt his own submission finish only for Valiente to stop it. One of my favorite spots that defied all #CMLLogic was Guerrero/Euforia taking the same bumps they've taken a billion times to set up double dives from the tecnicos only for Niebla Roja to sneak in and stop it with a double clothesline. Such a simple spot that some may have not even noticed but I was marking out huge. They also reversed things in the 3rd fall with the tecnicos wiping out to the floor and eating combo dives from Euforia/Niebla Roja. Of course in between all the great twists & turns you had the usual expected craziness like Mistico getting LAUNCHED INTO THE AIR for a rana on the floor which is definite spot of the year material. Couldn't put the finish over more with another little twist as Euforia caught Volador's assisted rana and power bombed him into the turnbuckle only for Mistico to hit a springboard rana, Euforia winds up outside - Volador slingshot headscissors, VALIENTE ESPECIAL, LA MISTICA~! WIN! Just a tremendous sequence to cap off a great match. Easy MOTYC for me.

(* -> This is one thing that people often complain about - the quick tecnico comebacks or rudo beatdowns. What you need to understand is the crowd dynamic of Arena Mexico has completely changed over the years. This was the 6th match starting more than 2 hours into a Friday night show in the year 2015. Yes, after 2 minutes of matwork the crowd got restless. That's just how it's going to be and there's no way around it. Instead of criticizing the wrestlers for not forcing their own style on the fans, I'd like to think we should be applauding them for adapting to what the fans want in this day and age where WWE wrestlers are grabbing headlocks in matches where the crowd is already sitting on their hands in silence.)

Aramis vs Black Angel vs Dragon Black vs Alas De Acero vs Voltar - FIVE MATCH FIGHTERS 2/8/15

WHAT. IN. THE. FUCK. These guys clearly spent significant time putting this together and memorizing everything which I have no problem with at all because THIS RULED! Five young guys trying to make names for themselves on a rookie show and I'd like to say it worked because halfway through the match I realized I once saw Aramis live in Coacalco! Way too many crazy spots to go through including a never seen before rope trick rana by Voltar & oodles of dives both onto people and straight onto the concrete. Loved that just when you thought things were winding down at the end they went into elimination mode where each guy took a death bump to eliminate themselves leaving the final two guys to hit their big spot and end things. This wasn't the best match of the week... and actually it wasn't the funnest either b/c CMLL FOX had that incredible trios titles match but holy crap this was such a blast to watch and IWRG is such shit this year I have a feeling it won't be topped for quite a while. I need more FIVE MATCH FIGHTERS matches in my life.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Random Matches

ALL ELITE 2/8/15:

Atlantis/Xtreme Tiger vs Ultimo Guerrero/Super Crazy: A typical UG match but in front of a crowd actually reacting to his big spots. Thought Crazy looked really good which was bound to happen as he's trying to get in here as a regular between Japan gigs and it looks like he'll succeed. Never been a huge fan of Xtreme Tiger but he's certainly much better than his AAA days. He had some nice spots but didn't really stand out as I can name 20 better flyers without even hestitating. 3rd fall dragged a bit but crowd was into it so I'll say this was good.

Negro Casas vs Fuerza Guerrera: Man the reactions for the entrances were great. The main thing this match proved to me is Negro Casas is the greatest of all-time (after Rey obviously). I know everyone will be all about Fuerza but I've seen a few Fuerza matches over the last couple of years and he's bad. Real bad. But he looked great here. Was he extra motivated? Sure. But he also wasn't in there with someone like Octagon or Veneno or Villano IV where he had to do the heavy lifting. That was Casas' job here and Casas did it beautifully. There is no way Fuerza would be able to replicate this performance on a regular basis nor without Casas on the other side. First two falls were pretty generic and slow but I thought the 3rd fall was just oustanding. Casas was doing everything he could to make Fuerza look great including that sick dropkick to the floor bump and eating the senton off the apron. There were some really nice nearfalls and I fell in love with the multiple Casita counters before Casas finally managed to grab Fuerza and pin him. A definitely must-watch match but not a MOTYC. Would love to see a tag with these guys mixing it up with Terry/Navarro.

La Sombra/Dr. Wagner Jr. vs Volador Jr./LA Park: I think I'll be in the minority but I enjoyed this a lot and thought it was the best match of the show (that I've seen so far). Wagner/Park are the greatest at being one-and-dones. I can watch them once every 6-8 months and their act is great. But if they were weekly attractions I'd be so bored of their antics. So as a one-off I loved their brawling and interacting with the crowd like a lot of younger luchadors are incapable of doing. But the real MVP in this match was La Sombra. Just a super fucking dick refusing to do the Wagner hand sign, then tricking him into doing it and kicking Wagner over when he did his pose. Oh, and when he hit the enzuigiri in the corner and just laid on the ropes doing his pose. I cannot see how anyone can NOT dislike Sombra as a natural rudo. There was this spectacular 3rd fall sequence with the stage dive, dragon screw & ramp dive by Wagner. I even accepted the ending because I knew it was coming - it ALWAYS is with Wagner/Park involved. Like I said, I give them a pass this time but if ALL ELITE runs again next month with these same guys and same finish it'll be a different story. Should definitely go out of your way to see this from entrances to finish.

AAA Toluca 1/30/15 Part 1:

Gotita De Plata/Super Nova/Nino Hamburguesa vs Apache/Mamba/Belial: God bless random AAA TV openers! Super Nova really doesn't fit in with this crew as you'd expect him to be much higher with his talent and family connections but he was actually the worst guy here. Not that he was bad, he just did nothing. Maybe he thought he was better than being in this match. Gotita was the star! He hit a ton of crazy shit including our first DOTYC! Crazy that he's only 16. Belial did good as a rudo and still got his trademark spots in. Apache & Mamba were great as usual and kept the tecnicos in check. Every promotion should have openers like this.

Angelico/Jack Evans vs Averno/Chessman: The tecnicos were fantastic. They always are. I thought the rudos - particularly Averno - couldn't keep up. Averno has come off like that for the entire AAA run except when he works Myzteziz. He clearly is so set on working with generic CMLL high flyers he has no idea what to do with anyone else. The same thing was evident in CMLL if you ever saw him working with Rush or tecnico Hector Garza. Averno is the guy you want as a base, not a guy who has to take strikes which he seemed to be very afraid of here. This is the second match with these teams and I've yet to see any chemistry. Would reccomend AAA not doing it again.

Mesias vs Cibernetico vs La Parka vs Parka Negra: My main takeawy from this match was Parka Negra was so obviously being played by Ultimo Gladiador. He didn't even try to hide it except for not using a piledriver as he's prone to do. The Mesias/Parka Negra finishing run was good enough but this isn't a match you really need to see.

CMLL FOX 2/7/15:

Maximo vs Terrible: Really wanted to enjoy this and was pleasantly surprised to see it got so much time on TV but... I just couldn't. There was some really good stuff like Maximo changing up his offense, the Cavernaria/armbar fakeout which I popped for & Terrible's killer dropkick. But Maximo blew a big spot really badly and the entire ending stretch just killed it for me. That's a finish I can accept in AAA or Park/Wagner one-off matches but as a finish for a big title match that just went 20 minutes... eh... that's annoying. I'll give Maximo lots of credit though - he is trying to be more than just an Exotico act.

Mistico/Volador Jr./Valiente vs Ultimo Guerrero/Euforia/Niebla Roja: Perfect. Exactly what I want from this crew - moves, dives, more dives, rudo beatdown, more dives. That's really the only thing they are great at when working each other. All the big spots looked fantastic and they got out before UG got the chance to be annoying and selfish. If you want to see a quick sprint this match is definitely for you.


Ninja Turtles & Seiya vs Black Terry/Dr. Cerebro/Cerebro Negro/Dragon Celestial - IWRG 2/8/15: Seiya didn't even play along and get stuck when he fell on his back! NOT COOL! As the biggest Turtles mark on the internet (there was a fan with a "MIKE! VAMOS A GANAR!" sign so she is clearly the real #1 fan) I can safely say this ranks in the upper half of all their matches. Lots of really neat exchanges especailly when Dragon Celestial was in there working. Thought it was funny when Leo/Seiya exchanges outfits for a moment and Leo got all dizzy doing Seiya's martial arts moves. Rudos winning clean was not cool! Think of the children!

Freelance/Mike Segura vs Rayo Star/Skyman vs Andy Boy/Guerrero Mixtico - 2/7/15: Super fun match! Always nice to see Guerrero Mixtico in action and he delivered here with a couple great spots and his usual fun basing including catching a springboard Dragon Rana by Rayo Star and turning it into a Code Red basically all on his own as Rayo looked to be dead-weighting him. Skyman looked better than he did on the CaraLuchas show. Freelance & Segura even looked better than they did on the OTHER CaraLuchas show. The highlight was Freelance/Mixtico getting to work together. I'm happy to see the cheap finish may be setting up a straight up Freelance/Segura vs Andy Boy/Mixtico tag match on the next show. If there is a god (or if AAA keeps taking ideas straight from my brain) Guerrero Mixtico finds his way into an AAA random opener this year and gets a role to work matches against their young flyers.

Dragon Rojo Jr. vs Niebla Roja - CMLL 2/3/15: Weird match. The first fall was real good and I liked the counter to finish things. The second fall definitely seemed like someone screwed up because Roja kept wearing the same mask that got torn off which usually doesn't occur when they plan mask removal spots. The third fall turned into a generic CMLL by the numbers title match although I will say Dragon Rojo had an extra bounce in his step. Niebla Roja is a hard guy to figure out. He'll occasionally show brilliance but then go through long stretches of just doing enough to get by. Not to mention his big matches almost always fail to deliver (see: vs Titan). Maybe he's just better as a trios wrestler?

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Lucha Underground, CaraLuchas, AAA TV, CMLL, More!

Lucha Underground - 2/4/15:

Great video package summing up everything leading into this episode. An underrated thing on this show is their ability to balance feuds out on various shows instead of insisting the same guys stay on every week. Keeps things fresh.

Angelico vs Son of Havoc: Wasn't sure how these two would match up but it worked out! Angelico busted out his knee strikes that I really like including one that the camera edit kinda missed where he did that deal where you step on the bottom rope re-entering the ring and then he knee'd Havoc (think of ACH's flatliner executed the same way). Great dive by Angelico. Finish was well timed and started the Havoc/Ivelisse angle nicely. Looking forward to more Angelico.

DARIO! The more Dario the better! Something tells me he's not really interested in being friends with Mundo.

Pentagon Jr. video pacakge is greater than the first one! They're making him into a no nonsense killer which is perfect.

Pentagon Jr. vs Famous B: PACKAGE PILEDRIVER! BROKEN ARM! What else do you say? The arm breaking deal came off great. I think they even added a sound effect but I'll have to re-watch. Either way Famous B sold it great and I'm happy the show is letting the Mexicans cut promos in Spanish. Feels more authentic.

DARIO AGAIN! Ah... his monster is the one the Asian chick is looking for. I knew he was lying last week! They're really stretching out the build as to who this monster is so he has to be something special but I have no idea who it could be unless it's Goro. Maybe Hernandez? Very curious.

Aero Star vs Drago: Very short but full of cool stuff. In another life these two were part of a great series of matches with the Fuerza Aerea & Barrio Boys so I know these two can work together. Aero Star's dive was so gorgeous. He was floating in air! I still can't figure out how he does that springboard from the 2nd rope over the top inside the ring. Margain for error is TINY. Drago's dive was also great. Messed up leapfrog spot was ugly. Always confuses me when botched spots make it into this show given how much editing is done to the matches. Drago's DDT to finish was really great. Looking forward to Round 2!

Catrina is interested in Fenix? Maybe she should see some of his infamous tweets before getting too far into this. LOL But... if Lucha Underground is doing a long story arc where Fenix morphs from talented high flying luchador into his legit emo self who loses his love of Lucha Libre and just whines about women... I think this could be the greatest thing ever. But back to the actual storyline... Mil Muertes is going to kill them both and it's going to be GLORIOUS!

Johnny Mundo vs Cage: I thought this was pretty great. Mundo is the perfect guy for this type of show and always delivers. Cage came off good again. The moonsault spot was neat but I still prefer his power spots. Also he could do with the lariat or multiple power bombs as a finisher. Not digging the Gory Special Flatliner deal which takes too long to setup. Dario was great restarting the match. Obviously he's screwing Mundo but he covered it up nicely so he comes off as just wanting to give the fans what they want. That's how you do it. You don't need a 20 minute promo trolling the fans making inside references and putting babyfaces in handicap matches to come off as a heel if you know what you're doing.

And finally... "... but, you already knew that." *wink" AWESOME ENDING!

BREAKING: The greatest wrestling show on TV is still the greatest wrestling show on TV.

AAA TV @ Arena Naucalpan 1/23/15:

Venum/Ludxor/Dinastia/Arez vs Apache/Carta Brava/Mini Psycho Clown/Ciclope: FREAKIN' AWESOME! As usual everyone can learn from AAA. The opener needs to be a fun match full of spots to get the crowd going. Fuck that "burn out the crowd on highspots" shit. The crowd is hottest when the show starts. You can't kill them by sending out fucking Leono & Metatron to do nothing. Fucking CMLL. Anyways... these guys just went all out. It was a tecnico showcase with the rudos just getting a minute or so before the tecnicos fought back. Arez looked really good and professional. He has zero charisma but a great look. The opposite for Ciclope who has a shit look but was sort of charasmatic and I guess was just there to eat Arez' offense which he did a fine job of doing. They mixed up the pairings a lot which was a nice twist. The dives were off the charts and the finish was super sick with the power bomb/Air Raid Crash off the top rope at the same time! MORE OF THIS PLEASE!

Australian Suicide/Bengala vs Joe Lider/Pentagon Jr.: Good match! Pentagon has entered 2015 with new moves in his arsenal and even some cool tag spots with Lider. They kept showing a stapler in the corner but thankfully Lider never used it. Suicide looks to be in great shape and was ON in this match. Well worth watching.

Aero Star vs Monster Clown vs Super Fly vs Hijo De Pirata Morgan: Sadly just an angle. Aero Star did his tope into the crowd but the match only went 6 minutes or so and nobody else did anything. Kind of a bummer but I'll overlook it since the right guy won. AERO STAR FOR REY DE REYES! MAKE IT HAPPEN!

La Parka/Drago/Jack Evans vs Cibernetico/Chessman/Averno: Jack Evans did a SUPER QUEBRADA INTO A BACKFLIP FOR A RING ENTRANCE! Then he had a cool exchange with Chessman involving multiple flips! And... that was it. A largely nothing match.

Myzteziz & Psycho Clown vs Perro Aguayo Jr. & Texano Jr.: This is the type of match Cubs & I will disagree on. He'll probably dislike it. I loved it! Crowd was super hot for the brawling and then especially the comeback which included two seperate crowd dives by Myzteziz! If that wasn't enough for you - Psycho Clown did one later as well! Perro & Texano are a great stooging rudo team bumping all over the place. Clean win followed by beatdown from multiple rudo factions to get things going for 2015.

A fine start to the year for AAA TV! Looking forward to the Toluca show.

CaraLuchas 1/31/15:

Freelance/Mike Segura vs Demus 3:16/Pierrothito: A bit of a disappointment. Freelance came to work, Segura didn't. The CMLL guys came to base but not do much else and certainly not work the match like a feud was starting. Freelance's dives were great as was a quick exchange with Demus but there was really nothing else and you can totally skip this unless you really need to see probably the only time Freelance/Demus will cross paths.

Ultimo Guerrero/Hechicero/Magnifico I vs Negro Navarro/Traumas I y II: Fantastic match. Tim Cooke called it "very good" but I'll go as far as excellent. Even though I just said fantastic. I have no idea what my own scale is. The match was centered around Ultimo Guerrero vs Trauma II which is fine by me. They both brought it and the crowd was really into seeing that match-up. The Hechicero/Navarro stuff was great too and I especially loved when Hechicero did Navarro's own kip-up spot three times in a row to mock him. But Navarro got his revenge with this wacky submission I've never seen before to take the second fall. It would have been nice to see Magnifico get to do something as he's actaully good but he was a fish out of water involved in this match and largely ignored. Only thing this match could have used was a longer 3rd fall as it seemed they just decided to wrap it up as quick as possible after going long in the first two falls. Probably ends up on the edge of being a MOTYC. Depends how the rest of the year goes as no bar is set yet.

Flamita & Aero Boy vs Dragon Lee & The Panther: Fucking loved this. FUCKING. LOVED. THIS. There was this one Flamita/Dragon Lee exchange where my mouth was just hanging open. This wasn't the Fenix/Flamita beating the shit out of each other style match but instead worked more like a Dragon Gate back-and-forth match where guys were doing moves and countering each other's moves. For example Aero Boy countering the Tree of Woe double stomp with a belly-to-belly suplex off the top which was crazy! Crowd was cold to the CMLL guys early on and the CMLL guys didn't help by having negative charisma but it picked up later on when the crowd stopped chanting against the CMLL guys and got into the match being great. Will surely end up a MOTYC for me and I will legit cry if we don't get Dragon Lee vs Flamita before Flamita becomes an official AAA guy and the match can't happen.

DF vs GDL Torneo Cibernetico - 1/20/15: This was a pile of trash. Poor Virus, Tiger & Puma wasted against a group of awful GDL local guys. The only GDL guy who seemed even semi-decent was Esfinge but he was clearly outclassed by everyone on team DF. Leo's elimination sums up his team's performance. This match was pretty much an indictment on the CMLL system failing to produce any new stars. None of these GDL guys are even 1/2 as good as the better Puebla guys and yet they'll all get shots before anyone in Puebla. Heck, Stigma was the guy pulled out of Puebla and he was hardly the best guy there, he just had the right family name. No other Puebla guys have that going for them and so we'll be stuck with Esfinge & probably Omar Brunetti stinking up CMLL undercards in DF for years to come down the road.

Stuka Jr. vs Hechicero - 2/1/15: Good for a lightning match. Stuka has gotten really tubby which made Hechicero throwing him around all the more impressive and also made Stuka's finishing Torpedo Splash actually seem like a legit finisher!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year In Review/Preview

10 Best Wrestlers of 2013:

1. Rush

The future of CMLL. Became a one man show in 2013 who could go into the ring with almost anyone and make it interesting all by himself. Feud with Negro Casas was must-watch TV and is clearly going to be the money match for CMLL in the coming year.

2. Negro Casas

The constant pro. Worked maestros matches giving us great 80's flashbacks, worked with young high flyers showing age doesn't matter & was willing to sacrifice his life to make Rush look like a killing machine. The ultimate compliment is finishing #2 to the guy who is the future of CMLL. Possibly the best wrestler in the world at this very moment.

3. Mascara Dorada

Rebounded after a very disapointing 2012 to make 2013 his best year yet. Never took a night off and had a few nights where he delivered possibly the best single performances of the year (3/29, 5/10 & 8/6 come to mind). Easily the most complete high flyer in the world.

4. Rey Escorpion

The only man who can even challenge Negro Casas when discussing the best rudos in Mexico. Carried the most lazy of opponents to the best matches possible, was a one man show in various trios matches to make limited tecnicos look like a million bucks and was involved in the best match of the year. Truly unbelievable to think only a couple years ago AAA decided they had no use for him and CMLL was putting him in opening matches with Molotov.

5. La Sombra

One could argue he certainly had the biggest/most important year for any wrestler in Mexico with his unmasking of Volador Jr. & winning the IWGP Intercontinental Title from Shinsuke Nakamura. His feud with Volador Jr. carried CMLL for much of the year when Atlantis/Ultimo Guerrero were on break & he was positioned as the top future tecnico in CMLL.

6. Titan

Started off the year rough as he had to deal with a pesky injury than took away all the mometum he had coming in from 2012. Thankfully he kicked it into gear in the second half of the year to re-establish himself as right there with Sombra & Mascara Dorada as the 3 tecnico building blocks CMLL needs to focus on. SHOCKINGLY well booked by CMLL tecnico standards and one still has to wonder if that is intentional or not. Any singles match of his post-June is well worth checking out.

7. Rey Cometa

Much like Rey Escorpion, Cometa is another example of a guy who AAA completely wasted & CMLL had stuck in generic trios matches until he got his big break at last year's Anniversary Show and carried the momentum into 2013. Feud with Okumura/Namajague was shockingly great and provided one of the best matches of the year at Dos Leyendas. Work ethic pretty much unmatched as he'd bring his A game to even pointless Sunday shows. Will hopefully return from injury in 2014 and get the chance to stick in semi-main events.

8. Jack Evans

An AAA wrestler! Can be classified exactly as Rey Cometa - a guy who always delivers no matter if it's a TV show or not or no matter who his opponents are. Would be higher if AAA had given him anything to do this year. His tag team with Angelico (later trio with Australian Suicide) consistently provided great matches throughout the year. One can only hope he will be more focused on in 2014 and perhaps get the big singles feud we are all waiting to see.

9. Volador Jr.

Rinse/repeat what was said about Sombra. Only thing knocking Volador down on the list is his post-unmasking run was very disappointing as he headlined some very weak Tuesday shows and is currently involved in a poorly done tecnico turn. But even that can't dismiss being involved in the best match of the year with Rey Escorpion and the feud with Volador Jr. that led to no less than 5 MOTYC's.

10. Pentagon Jr.

IF ONLY. The sky is the limit with this guy IF ONLY AAA would focus on him. Was probably due to do more this year if not for his rival Octagon Jr. leaving for WWE. Had limited appearences on TV but whenever he showed up he demonstrated he had main event talent and charisma. One of the best future prospects AAA has although one wonders if the promotion realizes it.

Just missed:

- Guerrero Maya Jr.: Consistent performer but stuck in too many meaningless trios matches.
- Virus: Same as above. Had a couple excellent singles matches though.
- Texano Jr.: Big matches just didn't deliver this year, mainly due to overbooking.
- Terrible: Underrated big man always bring his A game but focus wasn't on him this year.
- Steve Pain: Showed up out of nowhere and had a great 6 months. Sure to crack the list in 2014.

Top 10 Matches of 2013:

1. Volador Jr. vs Rey Escorpion (CMLL Light Heavyweight Title) - 1/29/13
2. Mascara Dorada vs Negro Casas (NWA Welterweight Title) - 6/2/13
3. Rey Cometa & Stuka Jr. vs Namajague & Okumura (Hair/Mask vs Mask/Hair) - 3/15/13
4. La Sombra vs Volador Jr. (Mask vs Mask) - 9/13/13
5. Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Virus (CMLL Super Lightweight Title) - 10/6/13
6. Titan vs Averno (Mexican National Welterweight Title) - 12/1/13
7. La Sombra vs Volador Jr. (IWGP Intercontinental Title) - 6/28/13
8. Shocker/Negro Casas/Terrible vs Rush/Maximo/Rey Escorpion - 6/28/13
9. Titan vs Polvora (Mexican National Welterweight Title) - 1/1/13
10. Rush vs Shinsuke Nakamura - 6/9/13

Note: Weird year as if I was making a list of personl 3 *FAVORITE* matches the top 3 would be Dorada/Casas & 2 matches that didn't even make the list - those being the trios titles match from the CMLL Anniversary Show & the 8/16 Aero Star/Angelico/Jack Evans vs Pentagon Jr./Machine Rocker/Soul Rocker match from Queretaro. Lots of matches left off this list such as AR Fox/Flamita, Ricky Marvin/Belial, Panther/Averno & Sombra/Nakamura just goes to show what a strong year it was for high end match quality.

Top 5 AAA Shows of 2013:

1. 11/3 Tonala

AAA needs to use this show as the blueprint for how they can be great. A big singles match with a talented foreigner, stable warfare, the debut of two new stables in excellent matches, Relevos AAA opener & the biggest shock of all - A FRESH MAIN EVENT INVOLVING NEW BLOOD!

2. 8/16 Queretaro

AAA shows are always extra great when you get to see the full package. This show had it. Mini's, a hardcore match & the best AAA match of the year. All that before even hitting the semi-main event.

3. 4/15 Leon

Much the same as above. Mini's, women, great high flying midcard match & the debut of a new trio that got over big and was then ignored the rest of the year. Perros/Secta was a sleeper great brawl.

4. 8/2 Mexico City

Best opening match of the year in Mexico set the tone for an excellent show that ended with the best angle of the year (even if the follow-up sucked). The Ciber/Perrito match was everything their Triplemania match wasn't. Show may have been even higher on the list if not for a very short and disappointing semi-main likely due to timing issues.

5. 7/7 Ecatepec

Action packed showed with the debut of a new stable, elevation of undercard acts & unforgettable midcard spotfest. A great sign of how fun a combo Galavision/Fusion TV taping could be.

Top 10 CMLL Shows of 2013:

1. 9/13 (Anniversary Show)

Not much else to say other than the best show of the year in Mexico. Nothing else was even remotely close.

2. 3/15 (Homenaje Dos Leyendas)

Strangely an amazingly put together show with... count 'em... *4* big matches! Match order was even jumbled the day of the show which turned out to be for the best and provided 4 distinct top matches including a main event that won't be soon forgotten. Two unaired undercard matches even popped up on youtube and were excellent. In any other year this is an easy best show of the year.

3. 6/28

CMLL finished off a strong month with a show that set the stage of what was to come later in the year. Great title match with Sombra/Volador, a Relevos Incriebles match that was really CMLL at it's finest if they had any focus in the programming department & the true start of the Panther/Averno feud. Relevos Incriebles match also had the Rush/Negro feud get thrust into the spotlight.

4. 4/26

Another shockingly well booked show. Wasn't even considered a major show by CMLL standards but had 3 big matches that all delivered. Gran Alternativa finals, Rey Cometa/Namajague hair match & Mistico II/Averno title match.

5. 8/16

Blue Panther tribute show complete with maestros match, the complete opposite in an Estetas Del Aire vs Hijos Del Averno match & another great Sombra/Volador Jr. singles match where the bomb was dropped as to the Anniversary main event.

6. 6/16

A Sunday show! A very good Sunday show! Finals of the tournament to crown new CMLL Trios champions & a semi-main event where Rush turned in an incredible performance. Women's Torneo Cibernetico wasn't half bad either.

7. 9/20

Post-Anniversary show was an excellent overall card with a fantastic midcard trios match involving Rey Cometa/Fantasma/Triton vs Ishii/Puma/Tiger. Excellent wrestling combined with setting the stage for the feuds to carry the last part of the year (Porky/Escorpion & Marcela/Dalys).

8. 6/9

A show with a tournament! Very generic description by CMLL standards but in this case it was an 8 team tournament to crown finalists for the CMLL Trios Titles that ended up being 6 very wild matches. Combine that with a MOTYC main event where Mexico hero for the night Rush absolutely obliterated hated foreigner Shinsuke Nakamura and this was a very enjoyable 2 and a half hours of free internet TV.

9. 2/22

A show kicking the year into high gear with all the Dos Leyendas feuds taking center stage. Two excellent mid-card matches & a shockingly good La Mascara/Averno lightning match.

10. 10/18

What should have been the last CMLL major show of the year ended up being just a regular show but still delivered. Porky/Escorpion was a wacky sight, Estetas Del Aire delivered as usual & Marcela/Dalys topped all expectations. If only the main event had actually been a tag title match instead of a screwjob who knows how high this show could have finished.

5 Things I Want in 2014:

1) No more Canadian Destroyers. Or any Canadian Destroyer variations. EVERY wrestler seems to use it & it seems to happen in EVERY match. It's a horrible move that isn't even used in the U.S./Canada any more so please please please... Mexican wrestlers... stop using it. It looks dumb. Also, piledrivers are illegal - remember?

2) The growth of promotions like Chilanga Mask & DTU. Companies that put on good creative lineups & listen to what their fans want should be rewarded with more fans coming to the shows so they can start running bigger buildings and making more money. Mexico needs more companies like these instead of EAW returning or TxT existing.

3) CMLL continuing to work with Terra to show events online. Don't get me wrong - I hope they get a real TV deal because they deseperately need one for the sake of the future of the company - but watching shows live is always better than even waiting a day or a week when you already know the results. Other companies should take advantage of new technology to try and do the same. Even setting up a camera and hitting record on a wide shot for a live IWRG show would be neat. AAA tried ustream and failed miserably but I'm hoping they even give something else a shot in 2014.

4) Instead of En Busca De Un Idolo I'd like to see a similar tournament to the G-1 Climax that New Japan does or Champion Carnival in All Japan. You can't just create a "new idol" every year. That defeats the purpose of someone being an "idol". Instead use the 2 months to have your best wrestlers in a big tournament... and perhaps because you are doing this tournament you can cut down on the number of other tournaments during the year. Pretty please? #nomoretournaments

5) AAA focusing more on individual/tag/trios rivalries rather than the generic umbrella of (randomly named faction of 10+ rudos) threatening to destroy their own company. AAA had a fantastic roster and an unlimited tap of great potential feuds. Psycho Circus vs Consejo, La Parka vs Parka Negra, anyone vs Jeff Jarrett & Mexican Powers vs Psicosis/random partner are COMPLETELY OVERDONE and well past stale. It's time to move on. Moving on does not mean Joe Lider turns on Crazzy Boy, La Parka tries to go rudo again and Psycho Circus vs Secta. Moving on means some Daga singles matches, the trios titles being moved into a position where the great trios teams can compete for them & Jack Evans/Angelico feuding with Texano/Hijo Del Fantasma either in tag matches or for singles titles. Like I said, the talent is all there... the creativity & dedication to changing things is not. 2014 is a new year - it's time for a (long overdue) change.

10 Legitimate Predicitions for 2014:

1) Mistico/Sin Cara shows up in AAA. All goes well until Triplemania before things fall off a cliff due to his ego combined with unprofessionalism from various AAA wrestlers who don't like him. By the end of the year he's working indies with LA Park & Dr. Wagner doing comedy hardcore matches ending in DQ.

2) Rush/Negro Casas have a hair match at Homenaje Dos Leyendas & Atlantis/Ultimo Guerrero finally have their mask match at the September Anniversary Show.

3) El Hijo Del Santo returns to the ring, finds a moneymark to sponsor one big show over the summer & on that show unmasks El Hijo Del Solitario.

4) The Volador Jr. as a tecnico experiment is done by the summer... if it takes even that long.

5) Titan wins his first mask in Arena Mexico... possibly Efesto, Reapper or Morphosis.

6) Kazuchika Okada makes his CMLL debut, has a quick feud with Rush. (Unfortunately likely beats him)

7) DTU has more of an influence on AAA undercards by providing new talent and thus the phasing out of a lot of AAA regulars who have no affiliation to Crazzy Boy.

8) More maestros matches on special CMLL shows including an apuesta match involving Black Terry.

9) Some sort of supershow at a decent sized arena promoted by Chilanga Mask involving a couple of US indy promotions.

10) Breakout years internationally for Mascara Dorada & Bestia 666.

(I'm not touching the AAA in US deal!)

~HAPPY 2014!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

20 Thoughts: Lucha TV Nov. 16 & 17/2013

1. Best match of the weekend was clearly the Rush/La Mascara vs Terrible/Tama Tonga tag title match. Rush is just a blast to watch when he's killing people. La Mascara is still throwing way too many superkicks but Tonga kept him in check here. Shit finish but at least Rush was hilarious in the post-match.

2. Another completely dreadful C3 episode. Not a single even average match.

3. So the CMLL mini's aren't allowed to do dives but the women are? And the women allowed are Goya Kong & Estrellita? Am I watching WWE?

4. Mini's on C3 completely embarassed themselves. Blown spots, guys completely gassed, guys not even trying at half speed... just a sad state for the division right. Best example of how far they've fallen: Mini Fantasy used to do a run-up-the-ropes moonsault finish. Now he struggles to just step on the 2nd rope and do the moonsault.

5. Atomic Star & Electro Boy are GREAT at the dumping your opponents on their head thing. Now if only they could master at least ONE of the following: actual wrestling, making your oppnents moves look good, remembering spots, selling & acknowleding a crowd is watching the match.

6. Really evident how much better trained the IWRG guys are. Fulgor II doesn't make TV a lot but he did this week and between knowing exactly where to be for the next move and being able to carry weaker opponents he is clearly a competent wrestler. In comparison to Eterno's guys & Tony Rivera's guys (aside from Guerrero Mixtico) who look completely lost all the time and are only interested in doing their big moves/dives.

7. Guerrero Mixtico is better than people seem to be giving him credit for. Tons of charisma and does spots you would think a guy with that gut wouldn't be able to do. Hope he sticks around in IWRG even after Tony Rivera loses his hair.

8. Remember when La Sombra/Euforia in the same match meant at least some good creative exchanges? I guess Sombra has already checked out for Japan.

9. Mask or no mask Alan Xtreme is still amazing.

10. Still waiting to see the full version of the AAA matches so skipped Mesias/Styles for now. The trios to opener the show was good. Not really good but good enough. I think I'll like it better unedited. Some of the camerashot choices were beyond annoying though. Why was Jack's insane tornillo barely shown? Why did they go to an extreme wideshot when Australian Suicide went for his corkscrew 630 splash? Juvy's group looked very promising though. Hopefully they get to spread their wings so to speak and work with teams like the new Cadets & possibly other rudos instead of wasting their time with the Mexican Powers.

11. The Lucha Azteca show looks nice. I'm happy they aired the missing 10/11 matches - especially the semi-main with Escorpion beating the crap out of Porky. Loved Maximo absolutely snapping and beating the crap out of Escorpion for the DQ.

12. Sombra vs Volador Jr. from Puebla was the usual real good match between those two. Even though they match is being overdone they still come up with a couple new things like the double moonsault counter. These two just seem to like working with each other which is a good thing.

13. The Puebla Relevos Incriebles match was made by Rush being Rush. Too bad they didn't show the fan trying to attack him. Hyped for the 3 way next week and upcoming Casas/Rush singles match.

14. Golden Magic vs Canis Lupis was another good match. I feel like it would have been better had anyone actually been in the crowd to make noise. Lupis is very underrated but this gimmick sucks balls.

15. Was it just me or did Mistico II look very uncomfortable working with Olimpico on C3? As if he didn't trust him at all.

16. Opening match on DTU TV was the best mixed match of the year. Everyone got to look good and it was better paced than usual DTU multi-person matches. This remains one of the funnest shows on TV right now.

17. Puebla undercards are still a mess. I understand having some rules for DF openers not getting too crazy but why are you limiting what the locals in Puebla do? It makes them insignificant and the shows much more boring since the usual CMLL crew tends to mail it in.

18. Marcela vs Dalys was passable. Strangely I liked the Princesa Blanca/Dalys match from Puebla much better and that was 2 years ago when Dalys was much worse.

19. If you are going to air one match from Guadalajara every week I'd rather it be one with effort - i.e. no top CMLL guys. Either go midcard or air an extra Sunday DF match.

20. HYPED FOR MASCARA DORADA VS VOLADOR JR. THIS SATURDAY! May actually PVR the Leafs 3rd period so I can watch it "live".

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

AAA Triplemania XXI Review

(Disclaimer: I am a huge AAA fan. It's my current favorite promotion. Anyone who knows me is aware of this. So if you intend on reading my comments and then calling my biased - you're barking up the wrong tree. Also, if you happen to work for AAA this may not be the review for you because it's full of honesty and while I appreciate all the hard work it takes into putting on a show and certain things I complain about are out of the control of the people who put the show together - I am reviewing this solely as a fan who (tried to) pay to watch the company he loves.)

I'll start doing a simple PRO/CON list for those of you who don't want to read match-by-match...


- Entrances. Over an hour alone was dedicated to everyone getting their own entrance and each one looked better than the next.

- Abismo Negro/Hector Garza ceremonies. Very nice touches and both well done.

- Unlike at Guerra De Titanes, the main event stipulation was kept. The loser got his head shaved instead of just ripping off the fans and getting a shorter haircut.

That's it. I'm done.


- Audio. I'm not sure who AAA will blame for this one but the PPV audio was atrocious. Announcers sounded like they were in a studio. Crowd was clearly loud (youtube handheld videos confirm this) but they came off as deathly silent on TV. I would suggest the problem was acoustics in the building but last year's show sounded fine.

- Camerawork. Lots of missed spots. When the opener built to Pimpinela kissing Silver King - the camerashot switched to 50 feet away from the ring just as he did it. Dives were either missed or out of frame. Random cuts to the crowd as action was going on but delayed focus on the ring when time stood still and guys were setting up various chairs/tables.

- No standout matches. In fact, the best match on the show was HEAVY METAL vs Texano and even that was MAYBE just an average match at best. The bar was set very low on this show. It's not that the guys weren't given time, they were. They just didn't deliver at all and in some cases really underperformed. An average show can turn into a great show if there is a memorable match. This show didn't have a single one come close.

- ARE THERE ANY RULES? This is actually the thing that most bothered me during the show. In a way I'm glad the show didn't air on iPPV because it would have been really difficult to explain these matches to newer fans. There was a parade of people interfereing in matches or flat out JUST WALKING THROUGH THE RING FOR NO REASON AT ALL DURING A MATCH while the ref either watched or just pretended to be distracted. In no particular order: Nino Hamburguesa, the WWL boss, Karen Jarrett, Dorian Roldan, Mini Clown, Loquillo, Daga, Nicho, a random woman with the WWL boss, Cuervo, etc. At one point in the main event Cuervo was just walking around in the ring while Daga/Nicho were setting up tables/chairs all over the place and referee Piero was just sitting in the corner doing nothing. This came off as incredibly amateurish and it wasn't even the worst example.

- Use of horrible foreigners. Is AAA aware how minor league they come off using unknown foreigners who just embarass themselves? It's one thing to fly in people nobody knows like Davey Richards or Willie Mack. At least they are decent wrestlers and won't embarass themselves or the company they are working for. But when you foreigner list includes Los Mamitos, Matt Morgan, Monster Pain, a drunk male manager, a random female manager, Jeff Jarrett & Karen Jarrett - your company comes off looking *minor league*. It screams "we can't get real stars, our fans will have to settle for these nobodies who we pretend are stars in America." I'm sure Jeff & Karen Jarrett are real nice and easy to work with but the truth is they aren't over and there is no reason for them to be around unless Jeff is being used to put over an AAA wrestler. But that's never going to happen. We've been promised it for years and it never happens. Jeff & Karen are on vacation in Mexico, end of story. He stands in the ring doing racist stuff and people throw stuff at him. That's not a talent. That's racism. Anyone can do that. The WWL guys made fools of themselves in their matches and their boss/owner/manager was clearly drunk while out there. Made me embarassed to be an AAA fan.

- Where were Ozz/Espiritu/Escoria/Halloween? AAA spent the entire year building up the Ciber/Perrito feud as Secta vs Perros Del Mal. So how come when it was time for the big matches Cibernetico only had Cuervo & Perrito only had Daga/Nicho? It made no sense. If you have money to waste on paying the WWL guys you should easily have money to pay for everyone who has been a part of this feud to be there for the blowoff match.

- AAA's "bright future" was non-existent. Daga, Fenix, Aero Star, Pentagon Jr., Jack Evans, Angelico, Drago, etc. were either nowhere to be found on this show or were in completely unmemorable matches where they didn't stand out in any way at all. Aside from Texano Jr. & Dinastia this show was all about older wrestlers being put in the spotlight which is a giant step backwards. If you aren't using your biggest show of the year to put over the young guys - what's the point? It's just a 4 hour masterbation session for washed up old guys who want to get off on being the stars once again.

- The booking. Mind blowingly awful. From building up Texano vs a retired wrestler to using a 5 way tag match to set up a KONNAN VS VAMPIRO FEUD IN 2013 to Marisela Pena being the center of attention in 3 different matches to putting Dr. Wagner Jr. over to having Heavy Metal wrestle two matches to having random foreigners beat your trios champs (and top act)... the hits just kept on coming. I was waiting for Teddy Hart to return, Fuerza Guerrera to attack Octagon & LA Park to randomly challenge Texano and win the belt in 30 seconds. It really felt like the booking was done to accomplish two things: Keep the older guys happy & make sure the fans knew the Roldans were still the stars. If you want to disagree with this I will hear your argument as long as you can give me good answers to the following two questions:

1) Instead of Marisela Pena being attacked and making the save for herself - why not send Fenix or Aero Star or Jack Evans out there to protect her and thus be the center of attention?

2) Instead of throwing Drago & Daga in a silly 5 way tag match where nobody stands out - why not put Halloween in Daga's place, Argenis in Drago's place & give Drago/Daga a chance to do a Cruiserweight Title match?

- The entire iPPV deal of course.


1) Relevos AAA: This was great when Dinastia was in the ring & okay when the women were in the ring. Otherwise this was a very weak version of the usual Relevos AAA matches that are the funnest matches you'll ever see. Pimpinela looked simply atrocious. I don't know if it's age catching up with him or something else but he was an embarassment. I'm not a Taya Valkyrie fan but she was fine aside from one awful double duck-down spot with Fabi. Dinastia's two dives were fantastic as was the entire dive train. Would have liked to have seen Dinastia get the win in the end but Fabi getting it was fine. Second best match on the show.

2) Heavy Metal vs Chessman: Within 40 seconds Chessman was on the floor grabbing weapons. That says it all. I actually enjoyed this match in a sadistic sort of way. Chessman killed Heavy with multiple brutal chairshots and basically just threw him around. The spear through the table was an incredible spot and one of the highlights of the show. The actual highlight of the show came soon after when Chessman FUCKING MURDERED Loquillo with a guitar shot that had the little guy clearly knocked out. That didn't stop these two from doing nearfalls beside his prone body though! Finish was all wrong. Heavy Metal is in terrible shape so asking him to do 2 matches is dumb. He's not over so Texano beating him is not any sort of accomplishment. Having Chessman win here would have at least guaranteed a good title match later on. Instead after being destroyed for 10 minutes Heavy Metal rolls up Chessman. Eh. If you love carange this was your favorite match of the night besides the main event.

3) 5 Way Tag Team Title Match: It's funny... the night before the show I was saying I hope they don't use weapons and turn it into a hardcore match. Yet after watching the match I wished they had just made it a TLC match. It was just 25 minutes of moves, moves, more moves, a few dives, more moves and MAYBE some selling in between but mostly guys just standing outside the ring waiting for their turn to do more moves. The most impressive team seemed to be Jack Evans & Angelico and naturally they were eliminated first. Los Mamitos were in way over their heads but thankfully went out next. Fenix/Drago made a great team and did some really good stuff but all of it was lost in the fact people just kept doing moves with nothing being memorable. If you're a huge EVOLVE fan I guess this is your thing as you just want to see moves but matches with cool moves are only good when the crowd is eating it up. The crowd (at least on TV) seemed silent and couldn't keep up with everything being thrown at them. I counted two piledrivers in the match. I thought we were going to tell wrestlers to stop doing those? In retrospect after watching the main event doing piledrivers in this match is even dumber. Crazy Boy/Joe Lider winning was obvious since they are office favorites. I'm not too down on that since they had a shockingly good match with Jack/Angelico two weeks ago on TV but hopefully these belts don't just turn into a set of hardcore matches titles.

The post-match stuff isn't even worth addressing but I will anyways. Vampiro is back. Joy. He's apparently going to feud with Konnan. Joy. The year is 2013. I'm hoping someone in AAA will realize this one day. This entire deal came off so sad and I can't believe two guys that worked for WCW and were there for Hogan/Piper/Savage/Nash nonsense have such little self-awareness as to how ironic this all is.

4) Psycho Circus vs who cares: The less said about this match the better. A complete mess and easily the worst match on the show. AAA should be ashamed for using those awful foreigners and even more ashamed for letting them win. The drunk WWL manager dude fell down throwing a kick and gave two of the most awful belt shots you'll ever see. Remember folks - he got paid to be on this show! It all built to Karen walking over to Marisela and getting a drink tossed on her so she could be there in a wet dress with her huge boobs almost falling out of her top. Great visual, got a pop but in the end this leads nowhere. Marisela was trying hard not to laugh and is so limited she couldn't even be bothered to do anything but pour a drink. That says it all. One of the worst matches you'll see all year on the biggest AAA show of the year. Shameful.

5) Texano Jr. vs Heavy Metal: As I said earlier, Heavy Metal is in no condition to being two matches in one night. He's physically shot. But to his credit he tried hard here and on a show with so very little redeeming stuff happening in the ring this actually didn't seem so awful. Some good nearfalls and it built well. Texano won with a scary looking top rope Styles Clash. This accomplishes zero for Texano. Nobody expected Heavy Metal to win and Texano didn't even dominate him. Plus it was just a mid-card match. The third least important singles match of the show. To compound matters after the match Texano accepted a challenge from Ray Mendoza Jr. which is just idiotic. That is not the type of match that will work in front of an AAA audience on a major show. Maybe on a random Sunday in Arena Lopez Mateos. Not sure it'd even sell that building out though. If AAA is serious about Texano (and they were on the right track at Rey De Reyes!) they need to stop letting the big names run thing and tell Wagner or Park or Canek they need to stop doing bullshit matches amongst themselves and have Texano beat at least two of those three. Otherwise fans will continue to see him as a notch below the real stars.

6) Blue Demon Jr. vs El Mesias: As someone else noted "were they wrestling in a library?" Crowd seemed deathly quiet for most of this match. This late in the show doing extended matwork is not going to work with an AAA crowd. It sorta picked up near the end but this wasn't even close to on the level of their Rey De Reyes match or even their Arena Naucalpan match. When the match ended clean and there was no angle it really came off as a giant waste of time. The post-match with LA Park was good and the crowd reacted strongly but again... Park is back. Maybe to feud with Mesias. Maybe to feud with Demon. Most likely to feud with Wagner. Nothing changes. Same glass ceiling in AAA as always.

7) Legends Atomicos Match: Would have been the worst match on the show if not for the debacle with the WWL/TNA guys. Terrible brawling and no focus at all from anyone. I was actually shocked Canek/Wagner didn't try to sabatoge things by doing mask ripping since that seems right up their alley. Did they really care so little about this match/show that they couldn't even be bothered to sabatoge things??? Dinamitas looked dreadful. Universo in particular. Totally out of shape compared to his CMLL appearence earlier this year. I didn't understand why Dorian Roldan was interfereing or why the referee was watching him and not doing anything. But maybe it's just me. I rarely understand anything that has to do with the Roldans in AAA but if things follow the usual pattern this won't be followed up on at all and they'll do an angle on TV that totally counters anything that happened in this match. (Remember the AMAZING FIRING ANGLE THAT WAS GOING TO CHANGE AAA FOREVER?) Anyways... Wagner wins. Obviously. He wasn't coming back for this show unless he was winning but at least AAA was smart enough to bring in people for him to pin rather than have him beat an AAA guy. Awful match that sets up a bunch of feuds for the future that only work to set AAA back 20 years if we're getting Canek/Wagner, Parka/Villano IV & Octagon/?Fuerza? down the line.

8) Cibernetico vs Perro Aguayo Jr.: I'm being honest here - I *really* wanted to like this match. I was hoping it would be like the Parka/Cibernetico mask match or Parka/Muerte Cibernetica mask match that ended up being huge brawls with crazy bumps from the stables connected with the match. But this match just instantly turned me off when Daga/Nicho walked right into the ring and began setting up equipment while Piero had to pretend to be busy with Cuervo or stand there like an idiot. Also, Ciber/Perrito are two incredibly sloppy workers. Some of the stuff they had in mind was a good idea in theory but their execution was terrible (see: the two low blow nearfalls). Perrito has this rep as being a good worker but since he's left CMLL what has he actually done? He's a pure garbage match wrestler now and a bad one at that. The best moment of the match was when Cibernetico hulked up and speared Perrito, threw Nicho through a table & then choke slammed Daga to the floor through a table. The ref bump by Piero was awful. The tombstone on Copetes made no sense from Ciber's perspective since he had the match won. Perrito finally won with a double stomp onto a board laying on Ciber. Crowd was red hot but in my opinion moreso because these two guys are super over - not because the match was anything special.

Best matches in order:

1. Heavy Metal/Texano (average at best)
2. Relevos AAA
3. 5 way tag
4. Ciber/Perrito
5. Mesias/Demon
6. Metal/Chessman
7. Legends Atomicos
8. Clowns/Foreigners

Overall I'd give the show a 2 out of 10. I would not reccomend any new viewers trying to get into AAA by watching this show. There's just too much unexplainable nonsense going on and most of the guys that make AAA as great as it is aren't featured at all. In fact, the AAA I spent 4 and a half hours watching here didn't remind me at all of the AAA I've loved all year so far. I feel like the promotion took a HUGE step back by building things around washed up older wrestlers & foreigners who mean nothing while treating the few young guys who actually made the show was third-class nobodies.

On the scale of all-time Triplemania events I'd put this one in the bottom three. Just above the awful 1998 show & the all-time atrocious 2003 show.

I had such high hopes but this event was a total and complete failure in the eyes of this hardcore AAA fan and I didn't feel happy writing any of the above.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

2013 MOTYC's

Titan vs Polvora (Mexican National Welterweight Title) - 1/1/13 (*)

Rush vs Terrible (CMLL Heavyweight Title) - 1/22/13

Ricky Marvin & Super Crazy vs Fenix & Pesadilla (GHC Jr. Tag Team Titles) - 1/26/13

Volador Jr. vs Rey Escorpion (CMLL Light Heavyweight Title) - 1/29/13 (*)

Alan Xtreme vs Canis Lupis vs Centvrion vs Eterno vs Fulgore - 2/7/13 (*)

Carta Brava Jr. vs Cerebro Negro - 2/7/13 (*)

La Sombra vs Volador Jr. - 2/15/13

Alan Xtreme vs Carta Brava Jr. vs Centvrion vs Dinamic Black vs Golden Magic - 2/17/13

Akuma vs Bobby Zavala vs Camaleon vs Cholo vs Espanto Jr. vs Herodes Jr. vs Hombre Bala Jr. vs Horuz vs Soberano Jr. vs Stigma - 2/26/13

Fuego & Stuka Jr. vs Namajague & Okumura (Arena Coliseo Tag Team Titles) - 3/3/13

Argenis/Drago/Fenix vs Centvrion/Dinamic Black/Golden Magic - 3/7/13

La Sombra & Volador Jr. vs Atlantis & Ultimo Guerrero - 3/15/13

Rey Cometa & Stuka Jr. vs Namajague & Okumura (Hair/Mask vs Mask/Hair) - 3/15/13 (*)

Crazy Boy vs Daga vs Fenix vs Juventud Guerrera (AAA Fusion Title) - 3/17/13

Dinamic Black vs Fenix (IWRG Intercontinental Welterweight Title) - 3/21/13

Dinamic Black & Saruman vs Alan Xtreme & Imposible - 3/23/13 (*)

Mascara Dorada vs Rey Escorpion - 3/29/13

Atomic Boy/Flamita/Jinzo vs Gran Apache/Lucky Boy/Nino De Ebano - 3/29/13

AR Fox vs Flamita - 3/31/13 (*)

Blue Panther/El Averno/Shocker vs Black Terry/Negro Navarro/Villano IV - 4/7/13 (*)

Dinastia/Mascarita Divina/Rey Celestial vs Mini Abismo Negro/Mini Charly Manson/Mini Histeria - 4/15/13 (*)

Atlantis & Hombre Bala Jr. vs Rey Escorpion & Bobby Zavala - 4/26/13 (*)

Rey Cometa vs Namajague (Hair vs Hair) - 4/26/13 (*)

Blue Panther vs Virus - 5/12/13

La Sombra vs Shinsuke Nakamura (IWGP Intercontinental Title) - 5/31/13 (*)

Mascara Dorada vs Negro Casas (NWA Welterweight Title) - 6/2/13 (*)

Rush vs Shinsuke Nakamura - 6/9/13 (*)

Negro Casas/Stuka Jr./Valiente vs Virus/Fuego/Vangelis - 6/14/13

Mascara Dorada vs El Averno (NWA Welterweight Title) - 6/18/13

Aero Star vs Drago vs Fenix vs Pentagon Jr. (AAA FUSION Title) - 6/23/13

Shocker/Negro Casas/Terrible vs Rush/Maximo/Rey Escorpion - 6/28/13

La Sombra vs Volador Jr. (IWGP Intercontinental Title) - 6/28/13 (*)

Drago/Fenix/Flamita vs Pentagon Jr./Steve Pain/Ultimo Gladiador - 7/7/13

Titan vs El Averno (Mexican National Welterweight Title) - 7/9/13 (*)

Flamita/Lucky Boy/Nino De Ebano vs Carta Brava Jr./Eterno/Steve Pain - 8/2/13

Angel De Oro vs Puma - 8/4/13

Ultimo Guerrero vs Rey Escorpion - 8/13/13

La Sombra vs Volador Jr. - 8/16/13

Aero Star/Angelico/Jack Evans vs Pentagon Jr./Machine Rocker/Soul Rocker - 8/16/13

Blue Panther vs El Averno (Hair vs Hair) - 9/13/13

Mistico II/Mascara Dorada/Valiente vs Rey Escorpion/Dragon Rojo Jr./Polvora (CMLL Trios Titles) - 9/13/13 (*)

La Sombra vs Volador Jr. (Mask vs Mask) - 9/13/13 (*)

El Hijo Del Fantasma/Rey Cometa/Triton vs Puma/Tiger/Ishii - 9/20/13

Guerrero Maya Jr. vs Virus (CMLL Super Lightweight Title) - 10/6/13 (*)

Negro Casas vs Rush vs Shocker - 11/11/13

Belial vs Ricky Marvin - 11/17/13

Mascara Dorada vs Volador Jr. (NWA Welterweight Title) - 11/19/13

Titan vs Averno (Mexican National Welterweight Title) - 12/1/13 (*)

(* -> Closer to MOTY)