CMLL Puebla: Back in the Lucha Groove
As the world continues to get crazier and crazier (seemingly by the minute), one of the things I could always count on was that CMLL would be on every Monday, Tuesday and Friday to offer an avenue away from the bullshit and a chance to have a good time analyzing the business I love. Naturally the craziness then had to come for Mexico, with the country being hit with a huge earthquake that led to CMLL going off air for two weeks and, more importantly, a whole lot of damage that Mexico City is still recovering from. Tonight was CMLL’s first show back since the earthquake and while it’s not enough, it’s at least something that allows things to get back to normal down in Mexico. Best of all is that CMLL delivered nicely with their first show back. It wasn’t a perfect show and holy hell do they need to fix the opening match tomorrow. But things got better as they went along and the big match of the night, Soberano vs. Cavernario, turned out even better than many of us hoped, and we all hoped it would be special. Even if it hadn’t, it’s just nice to be able to sit here, talk lucha libre and give a spotlight to talent who deserve more recognition than they get. And with that, let’s get to doing exactly that. Moses, we’re back! Meme it up.
Policeman, Guerrero Especial, Fuerza Chicana defeated Arkalis, Black Tiger, Tigre Rojo Jr. two falls to one
You know CMLL is back when the Puebla opener is as by the numbers dull as this match was. I’ve seen arguments against Killshot vs. Dante Fox being awesome with more going for it than this. In fairness, I’m not sure why we should’ve expected anything from these six with the exception of Arkalis and Tigre Rojo; it’s not like Black Tiger, Policeman, Especial and Chicana were suddenly going to turn into world beaters. I did think maybe they would give more of an effort though, considering it was their first match back after the earthquake. Instead it was the same effort as always from this group, which meant the same type of match we always got. This is why we need Rey Samuray and Fiero opening every match till CMLL decides to finally push them. You know, in the year 3001, when Frank Poole is finally discovered in space a thousand years after HAL 9000 kicked his ass out of the Discovery.
Lestat, Principe Diamante, Star Jr. defeated El Hijo del Signo, King Jaguar, El Malayo two falls to one
Well at least it was better than the opener! It honestly could’ve been good too if CMLL had allowed Lestat, Diamante and Star Jr. to keep the momentum they got from fall one going; they were very active from the start all the way to the middle of fall two. Then the rudos took control, the match grinded to a screeching halt and the technicos only got thirty seconds to work their magic before Lestat put Signo away with a Swanton Bomb. Have I mentioned how much CMLL is still the same old CMLL?! It’s mediocre enough that I’m starting to wonder if maybe Star Jr. would be better off trying to find work elsewhere. Can you even remember the last time he had a breakout performance in a match? Just like The Rock thought.
Princesa Sugehit & Sanely defeated Dalys & Zeuxis two falls to one
Keeping with the theme of the show (to this point), this match was better than the last, despite not quite reaching the level of good. In fact, I dare say this match was the definition of the word mixed. There was a ton of stuff here that hit very well for me, with Zeuxis looking great (as always), both teams playing off each other very well and several nice double team sequences, including a never ending corner attack sequence by Sugehit and Sanely that was so unlike anything the luchadoras generally do. Unfortunately with the good came a lot of sloppiness courtesy of Sanely and what seemed to be a lot of miscommunication. Or as we like to call it, almost every average CMLL match ever! I do think you probably make this match a lot better by putting the more polished Maravilla in instead of Sanely, but Sanely is CMLL’s girl at the moment so we’re left to watch her do some cool stuff in between selling moves too soon or hitting the ropes like they’re made of steel. Hence you get matches like this with some flashes, then a lot of stuff that makes it harder to get through. At least this did set up something between Sugehit and Dalys going forward. I don’t know if CMLL has the balls to go with a unification match, but the two worked well enough together tonight that I’m open to seeing what they can do together. Just don’t try to best the Sugehit-Zeuxis match Dalys; you aren’t bettering the Queen. It just doesn’t happen!
Esfinge, Stigma, Ángel de Oro defeated Virus, El Cuatrero, Sansón two falls to one
You have got to love Esfinge sports fans. The dude has been given ample opportunity after ample opportunity by CMLL to succeed, almost always fails to live up and still thinks he’s important enough to come out looking like a cross between Aniversario Volador and Spider-Man. Never change Esfinge. Well aside from your theme song. If I have to hear that dumbass Soulja Boy song again…well I’ll just let the dude from Billy Madison sum it up.
The good news is that Esfinge wrestles far better than he dresses, as seen by this match. I wouldn’t go as far to call this a great match, but it was definitely good. Every guy was trying, there was a sense that they were all trying to get this match to the point where it was above average and CMLL wisely matched everyone up with the right dance partner. Ángel de Oro and Virus looked great together, first keeping the match grounded and then picking up the pace in fall three. Cuatrero and Esfinge, which doesn’t seem like it should work, kept up well despite not being on the level of the other four guys. And hot damn, Sansón and Stigma showed off some very nice chemistry! We know Sansón is great and, with the right guy, Stigma sometimes looks like a top tier guy. Sansón is one of those guys and they did a lot of nice stuff, enough to make me wish they got a singles opportunity someday. For now they may have to settle for more tag and trios action, as it seems CMLL is setting something up between Sansón/Cuatrero and Esfinge/Stigma, judging on the big technico victory. Either way I’m down; this was a fun match that continued the theme of things getting better as the show went along.
Mexican National Welterweight Championship Match
Soberano Jr. (c) defeated Cavernario two falls to one
And here I was thinking we’d have to wait a bit before we got a match close to Dante Fox-Killshot level! Holy shit this match was the win, the whole win AND NOTHING BUT THE WIN! Sure I think we all expected it considering Soberano and Cavernario are two of the best luchadors alive, but this good?! In Arena Puebla, the place where matches that look good go to die? There was at least a little concern that these two would have a good, serviceable match but that their best effort would be saved for Arena Mexico. Instead they went out and killed it in a twenty minute classic that was so good that it’s earned a Blade Runner meme.
You know what made it such a treat sports fans? They kept a great pace and yet took their time and built to stuff. The first fall was the two going back and forth on the mat, with Soberano occasionally sending Cav to the floor, only for the rudo to back away, thus preventing the dive. Soberano took the fall anyway, but Cav quickly got back in by overcoming Soberano’s high flying game with a cool new submission early in fall two. And then it was just balls to the wall, slow burning yet fast paced action in fall three, with both men delivering everything they had and then some. Cav did some dives. Soberano had an all time great tope con tornillo that had Hector Garza applauding up in the sky. Cavernario hit, honest to Grodd, the greatest Blockbuster DDT in history in the spot of the match. There was a great back and forth exchange of elbows on the ropes where the match momentarily turned into a New Japan bout. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. They did all the cool shit you’d want (or at least most of it) and best of all they made it matter during the course of that spectacular third fall. Perhaps they could have a crazier match in Arena Mexico, but I don’t know if they would have better. This was an out of this world match, the best one in Arena Puebla this year and quite possibly the best CMLL match in 2017. It’s Soberano and Cavernario’s world sports fans; we just live in it.
Euforia, Marco Corleone, Último Guerrero defeated Flip Gordon, Pierroth, Rush two falls to none
If ever there was a match that succeeded in “we’re not following that last match, let’s just get the hell out of here and off to our reservation”, it was this one. These six (who are all talented save for Pierroth and whatever Rush is doing these days) knew they had no chance of topping what Soberano and Cavernario brought to the table, so they gave the fans a little taste of what they could do and got out while the getting was good. You can’t ask for more than that; well maybe you could ask for Pierroth to have been left at home but besides that. I will say I do appreciate Flip Gordon hitting a nice Asai Moonsault. It wasn’t on the level of the other stuff we saw but still pretty chill and it’s a shame we didn’t get to see him do more during his stay. Alas I have no regrets over them not getting more time here. They weren’t following the semi-main and did what they had to do. Can’t ask for any more than that.
That’s game sports fans! It’s good to be back writing about these shows again. I’ll be back to do it all over again tomorrow when CMLL does a Tuesday show that’s probably not going to be nearly as good as this one. Who cares; CMLL is back babay! Till we meet again, THIS!