CMLL Puebla Preview: An Anniversary Show Main Event in Arena Puebla
First I was afraid; I was petrified! Thinking I could never do this column without OH MY GRODD CULT, YOU SWORE YOU WOULDN’T DO THIS ON YOUR FIRST COLUMN BACK! Alas I did and there’s no turning back; actually there is in the form of the spacebar, but isn’t it more fun to laugh at my randomness then for me to change this to a boring intro? I’m glad you agree. In any event, yes my vacation from writing is over and it’s back to the grind, starting with a CMLL Puebla show that’s…kind of big? I guess it depends on your point of view; if you put a lot of stock into the first three matches, this show is pretty much a vicious, life sucking bastard from which there is no escape. If you put more stock into matches 4-6 however, you could say this match has a pretty good shot of being good, especially considering the main event might be a preview of the headlining match for this fall’s Anniversary Show. In short; it’s a mixed bag, but it’s a mixed bag that’s worth it because, again, the main event may be a preview of the Anniversary Show main event. Who wouldn’t be excited for that?! I can’t think of a preview more worthy of my comeback from self imposed exile. So let’s get to it; Moses, meme like the break is over!
Arkalis & Vega vs. El Perverso & Rey Apocalipsis
What to Expect: The only redeemable aspects of this match are Vega and Rey Apocalipsis if he’s decided that Monday is going to be a day he gives grade A effort. Otherwise this has all the makings of the usual Puebla opener, where the one talented performer in the match is weighed down by the Puebla restrictions, the opening match restrictions and the other three luchadors in this match. Of course now that I’ve said this Vega is going to go all out, Apocalipsis is going to try and Arkalis is suddenly going to be good. Don’t worry; Perverso will still be Perverso. Some things just never change no matter how much you try.
Winners: The rules haven’t changed in the past week; when in doubt, go with the rudos. They take it in three falls, with Vega taking the pin because your hopes and dreams are meaningless.
Astro, Eléctrico, Último Dragóncito vs. Joker, Pequeño Nitro, Pierrothito
What to Expect: The good news; Astro is in this match (first time in awhile), everyone else in this match has potential to do good work and did I mention Astro is in this match?! The bad news; three of these guys (Último, Nitro and Pierrothito) were just in a match that looked good on paper this past Friday and only Pierrothito seemed interested in giving any sort of action. Suddenly I’m supposed to believe Último and Nitro are going to care more in Arena Puebla, the place where dreams that go to die go to die? The Calgary Flames have a better chance of having a controversial goal decision go their way this postseason. And that has no chance of happening.
Maybe I’m being a bit negative on that aspect folks but let’s be real; if talented dudes like Nitro and Último aren’t going to try in Arena Mexico, on a show that was semi-big no less, why are they suddenly going to give a crap more in Arena Puebla? It’s not likely, and it all but guarantees that they’ll weigh this match down with their lack of effort. It’ll still be fine; Astro, Pierrothito and Joker are all consistent, good to great luchadors who will give a good effort and Eléctrico…well he’ll try, and that at least gives him a 50-50 chance either way. It’s just hard to get too excited about what the good performers can do here when you know not everyone will be bringing their A game. I hope I’m wrong on this one, but I doubt it.
Winners: Technicos take this in three falls, with Astro getting the pin on Joker and Eléctrico pinning Nitro after that springboard elbow drop of his.
Drone, Espíritu Maligno, Stigma vs. Disturbio, Olímpico, Policeman
What to Expect: If you thought the terror of Espíritu Maligno vs. Policeman was over; if you thought the nightmare of them feuding had ended…alright we all know where this is going so I’ll stop. Yes it appears CMLL is giving us at least one more week of Maligno-Policeman, despite the fact that their feud was the equivalent of watching me trying to beat Final Fantasy X and that their hair match (the lone high point of the program) happened just a week ago. The only reason I can see this match happening is so Policeman can get some sort of pinfall/submission revenge on Maligno before they both return to doing absolutely nothing in the midcard. Way to build new stars CMLL! At least the rest of the match has some hope. Sure Olímpico is popping up to remind us that he’s still somehow employed, but Drone, Stigma and Disturbio will all be there too and all have proven to be reliable. If nothing else they should create some excitement in between Olímpico being shitty and whatever the hell CMLL is trying to pull with the Maligno-Policeman situation.
Winners: Nothing would surprise me with this feud anymore, but my educated guess is that CMLL is going to give Policeman a “cookie” if you will for putting over Maligno last week and losing his hair. So look for the rudo to lead his team to victory in three falls, with the last ending when Policeman nails his senton on Maligno. Can you wait till this is over and we can all move on with our lives? I can’t!
Johnny Idol, Máximo Sexy, Titán vs. Kráneo, Ripper, Sam Adonis
What to Expect: You only need to take one look at this match to see exactly how it will go. Johnny Idol will give his usual good effort, efficient performance. Máximo will do his antics and probably take it slow considering he has a big match with Terrible in Arena Mexico the next day. Titán will do an awesome moonsault and frustratingly not do much else. Kráneo will be funny. Ripper will be as lively as Hayden Christensen in Jumper. And “The American Heatwave” Sam Adonis will draw huge heat from the Arena Puebla crowd that will get and keep this match hot going all the way. It won’t be anything special from a workrate standpoint, but it’ll have a hot crowd, it’ll be entertaining and it’ll get the job done. In other words, it’ll do what the first three matches on the show couldn’t do. CMLL Puebla everyone!
Winners: If it were me, Sam would either sneak a foul on Titán to get a win or would be caught unmasking Titán to cause a DQ, setting up a big singles match between the two next week. Sadly I don’t see that happening, so look for Kráneo to crush Idol with a splash while Sam catches Titán with the Trump Card (Fisherman Suplex) to secure a rudo victory in three falls. The heat Sam will get when he hits Titán with that move…oh man it’s gonna be great.
Carístico, Dragón Lee, Mistico vs. La Máscara, Negro Casas, Último Guerrero
What to Expect: On paper this match looks like Sarah Michelle Gellar in season two of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s basically an All Star technico team taking on an All Star rudo team, made even better considering two of the rudos (Máscara and UG) are actually better in tag/trios matches because it limits the amount of bloat they usually have. This has all the makings of being a barnburner…which is a great indication that it’s probably not going to be.
Now to be fair, I’m not trying to be a buzzkill; I’m just being realistic. CMLL has constantly advertised big time matches in Puebla that look like sure things, only for them to only wind up being good at best and Auston Matthews through the first two games of the Capitals series levels of disappointing at worst. On top of that, this Puebla show has a main event that a) has a chance to be great and b) is probably going to get a lot of time, making it very likely that this match gets only a few offensive spurts and nothing else. That’s not a given and these six could easily have a great match if CMLL gives them the time and lets them go all out. But my guess is that won’t come to pass, which means we’re getting ten minutes of solid action with one cool Dragón Lee spot and the feeling of “my Grodd this could’ve been something if CMLL wanted it to be.” The good news is that it going short (and the fact that CMLL has recently been setting up something for every show) suggests there could be an angle here, which at least gives us something to look forward to next week.
Winners: Both La Máscara and Último Guerrero have singles gold (the CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship and the NWA World Historic Middleweight Championship respectively). UG just defended his belt while Máscara hasn’t; if something’s going to happen here I’d suggest it involves something that sets up a title defense for next week. Thus I’ll go with Carístico getting Máscara with La Carística in fall three to secure a technico victory, followed by the usual awesome post match Carístico promo where he challenges Máscara for the title. You heard it here first…and probably just here. I’d be floored if anyone else makes the batshit prediction I just did.
Rush vs. Atlantis
What to Expect: How excited am I for this match? Let me put it to you this way; CMLL could’ve run an undercard that featured a continuation of the Maligno-Policeman feud, a Reyna Isis-Sanely Lightning Match, Olímpico, Ripper and Kráneo squashing Los Revolucionarios in five minutes, Arkángel de la Muerte and Nitro doing a recreation of Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker and I’d still watch every minute of it just to get to Atlantis-Rush. This matchup was not only my favorite thing about FantasticaMania 2017, but it’s likely the main event of the 84th Anniversary Show this September and the next chapter in a story that goes back to when Atlantis unmasked Rush’s best friend at the 82nd Anniversary Show. I don’t care if I’m significantly higher on this than everyone else; I wouldn’t miss this for a chance to meet Yvonne Strahovski. Okay that’s a lie; I’d totally invite Yvonne over so she could watch the match too.
With that out of the way, the $64K question becomes how good of a match can these two have. We know they’re capable; the FantasticaMania match showed the two have awesome chemistry together and that Atlantis can play the LA Park role just fine. There are a few problems though. One, they won’t have the freedom to go as hardcore as they did at FantasticaMania, where they beat each other with chairs and Atlantis lost a ton of blood. Two, this will be the third big match Atlantis has had in four days, following his good match with Último Guerrero on Friday and an appearance on Pro Wrestling Revolution’s FloSlam show on Saturday. Atlantis is a marvel at 54, but he’s still 54 and it’s hard to know how much he’ll have in the tank for this one. Three, how much are these two going to want to do when it’s very likely they’re going to be main eventing the biggest show of the year just a few months from now? Those issues are enough to make me believe we won’t entirely get the full potential these two could deliver come Monday night. Even still it shouldn’t matter; Rush will undoubtedly be motivated, Atlantis in a big match situation is always money and aside from the FantasticaMania encounter this match remains very fresh. If nothing else, I expect a great preview of what we’re going to get come this September, nothing more and nothing less. And frankly, that’s the way it should be.
Winner: I will be stunned if there’s a clean finish here and frankly, if it were me, I wouldn’t do one; there’s no reason at all to give away a clean result between these two when you have a bigger fight between them happening down the road. So look for this to be a three fall match that ends with controversy, with La Máscara coming out to distract Atlantis and Rush taking advantage by hitting the Rush Driver for the win. And so it shall begin.
Man it’s good to be back sports fans. Hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed writing it. I’ll return tomorrow to break down the Tuesday show, perhaps review this show (depends on how late it goes) and maybe even bring another column to the table. We’ll see! Till then, the return of DUCHOVNY!