CMLL Super Viernes: Cinderella, Thy Name is Valiente!
Ladies and gentlemen I have seen Battle of Los Angeles 2015 Night Two, I was there opening night for The Dark Knight; I’ve even witnessed a grown man satisfy a camel (just kidding. Or am I?) But gorramit I’ve never seen a show quite like tonight’s CMLL Super Viernes and I’m not sure in what way I mean it. In many ways tonight’s show was mediocre; of the twelve matches CMLL ran tonight over half were average at best and a resounding “meh” at worst. And yet despite all of that the show managed to have some awe inspiring moments. A future WWE superstar tore down the house with one of the best dives of the year in the best match CMLL had all week. A five minute lucha clinic was put on by a legend and a soon to be legend. And in a CMLL Universal Championship tournament no one wanted, we were treated to a Cinderella run that ended in the most shocking way possible. Like I said; it was a night sports fans. Let me show you why. Moses; frailty thy name is MEME!
Astral & Eléctrico defeated Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Violencia two falls to one
A match that featured a lot of ambition while still being really ordinary. The ambition was provided by Eléctrico, who attempted some daring moves in this match and, unless I’m mistaken, nailed none of them. It was like watching Carístico in WWE all over again only somehow worse. Luckily for him and the rudos (who couldn’t have been any more “just kind of there” if they tried) Astral was pretty solid and lifted this match up to a level just above mediocrity. In the end though it wasn’t enough to keep this match from being your typical CMLL opener. I guess you can at least say a) the technicos won and b) this wasn’t the worst match of the night. But we’ll get to Shocker soon.
Amapola, Dalys, Tiffany defeated La Vaquerita, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit two falls to one
This wasn’t nearly as bad as many lucha fans on Twitter made it out to be; then again Lucha Twitter was ready to shit on everything and anything not named Máscara Dorada tonight so their reaction to this should come to no surprise. I’m not saying this match was a classic or anything, and the fact remains that CMLL cannot keep using below average talent like Tiffany and Vaquerita as consistently as they are. But overall the match did a good job of limiting them after the first few minutes, and no one can deny the action picked up quite well once Dalys and Marcela came in. The two picked up where they left off last week and gave us some good action in the first fall, and after that managed to mix and match with Amapola and Sugehit to help them get a few good minutes of offense. Yes Zeuxis needs to come back and yes the problems in the CMLL luchadoras division remain, but you can do a lot worse than this. Credit to Dalys, Marcela, Amapola and Sugehit for raising their game enough to overcome the other two and make this match watchable.
Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Niebla Roja defeated Dragón Lee, Guerrero Maya Jr., Máscara Dorada two falls to one
It looked like the best match on the show going in and it ended up being just that by a decent amount. I know; who knew a well hyped CMLL match this week could live up?! It was a case of where the luchadors knew exactly what was needed and delivered; the action and dives started almost immediately and never let up throughout, with the rudos adding some cool submissions along the way. And while we’ll get to the most notable part of this match, it should be noted that everyone here was superb. I was highly impressed with Niebla Roja for the first time in awhile; there was viciousness in his offense that he brought tonight that has been missing for quite awhile. Gran Guerrero who was sometimes sloppy but made up for it with devastating offense of his own. Euforia did Euforia things (more on him in a moment). Guerrero Maya Jr. was excellent in carrying the first part of the match and on any normal night he would’ve been the star. And Dragón Lee continued to show why he’s one of the best young luchadors alive. They were amazing; just not as amazing Máscara Dorada.
It’s no secret that the future Gran Metalik isn’t just awesome, he’s the man the same way Bill from Kill Bill is. Even after being signed by WWE Dorada has continued to go hard, work his ass off and show everyone why he was so coveted by WWE. Tonight he outdid himself with what has to be the best spot of the year. You know how Angelico does running dives over the turnbuckle corners to the floor? Well Dorada did something like that tonight (although arguably not to the extent Angelico did); only instead of a crossbody or a rolling senton he did a (all caps alert) HURRICANRANA TO THE FLOOR ON EUFORIA! You read that right and you can check it out on gif master Jocay’s Twitter account if you don’t believe me. To describe how difficult it is to do this move would be an understatement; if Dorada slips or doesn’t get enough height his head crashes into the turnbuckle/ropes, he’s seriously injured and Triple H’s face looks like Zoom’s after he found out Barry Allen got his powers back. Instead Dorada hit it perfectly and leaving Hunter and Steph with this look and the smell of shit in their pants.
It was absolutely amazing sports fans, a testament to Dorada’s ability and quietly another example of just how trustworthy a guy like Euforia is as a base worker. Many luchadors would’ve dropped Dorada or been out of position there, but Euforia was placed perfectly and took the bump like the champion he is to make it all work (unlike a certain female wrestler who was too far away to take a crooked moonsault. But I digress). Just astounding and the perfect way to sum up this beauty of a match; a match that Dorada lost by the way via submission, ending any doubt that WWE was in any way influencing him to win every match on his way out of CMLL (in fairness, Lee and Maya also submitted as they were caught in one of those triple submissions the Guerreros like to do). Who cares about that though? This match featured great lucha libre, great performances from everyone and an all time spot that left Hunter Hearst Helmsley searching for new pants. That’s a win in my book.
Atlantis, Marco Corleone, Stuka Jr. defeated Cien Caras, Máscara Año 2000, Universo 2000 two falls to none
Dave Meltzer summed this match up best; you went into this like a surgery fearing how painful it would be, then it was over and wasn’t nearly as bad as you thought. Sure it wasn’t anywhere close to what most people would consider good. Caras, Año and Universo may be legends, but they can barely move at this point and weren’t exactly wanted back in Arena Mexico after stinking up the joint at that legends show a month ago. Luckily they were limited by the short length of the match and benefited greatly from facing a far better team than they did the last time. Atlantis, Marco Corleone and Stuka Jr. may have nothing to prove to anyone, but the fact that they got a semi-passable match out of these three geezers should be proof at their greatness. My only regret is that we didn’t get any Atlantis backbreakers! I’m guessing Caras, Año and Universo might’ve shattered into glass if that happened so perhaps it was for the best. In the end this was nowhere near the embarrassment I expected and I hope we never get another chance to see if it can get worse. Seriously CMLL; if you’re going to bring legends in, just get L.A. Park, Santo and Máscara Sagrada on the phone. They can at least move and show off charisma unlike these three jokers.
CMLL Universal Championship Tournament (Block A)
Shocker and Mephisto defeated Último Guerrero, Mistico, Valiente, Negro Casas, Máximo Sexy and Rey Cometa
As expected the CMLL Universal Tournament kicked off with a seeding battle royal that barely lasted three minutes and was as unexciting as they come. The only notable part I found (besides CMLL inexplicably setting up a Shocker-Mephisto match that even the families of Shocker and Mephisto didn’t want) was Negro Casas and UG briefly going at it in a pretty cool sequence. Otherwise this was as skippable as they come, and it wouldn’t be the last thing from this tourney to be so.
Máximo defeated Rey Cometa
I expected this to be a fast paced match to kick things off, but these two started out slow and then tried to pick things up as they went along. It never quite clicked and ultimately the highlight of the match was Cometa going for a suicide dive, getting his left leg caught in one of the ropes and smacking Máximo in the face before landing right on the floor. Not only did Máximo have his lip cut but he was so annoyed that I was pretty sure he was channeling Bruce Willis during his Friends appearance. He was happy when this was over and so were the rest of us.
Valiente defeated Negro Casas
The first fun match of the tournament, even though I do wish Valiente had been a little more aggressive at times (such as his ring post powerbomb on Casas, which was basically a love tap). The big story was Valiente upsetting Casas, which would’ve seemed like a blip if not for everything else that happened afterwards. But don’t worry; we’ll be getting to that.
Último Guerrero defeated Mistico
This was strictly a Mistico showcase, which turned out to be a great thing because Mistico is really, REALLY good and he was allowed to hit all of his big moves here. I was hoping he would pull this one out, but ultimately UG took this one after a sick Reverse Superplex and it looked for the entire world that this would be the best of the Universal Tournament matches tonight. Is it too early to play the Dr. Cox video? What am I saying; it’s never too early!
Shocker defeated Mephisto
The worst match of the tournament and the worst match of the night; honestly are you really surprised? I don’t know who thought putting Shocker against Mephisto, two guys who work better as rudos against high flying technicos, was a great idea but they were proven wrong in a big way here. Even worse was that Shocker inexplicably won. Don’t ask me why but he did, and it unfortunately led us down a road where we got our second Shocker-UG match of 2016. What a world we live in.
Valiente defeated Máximo
It was about the time Valiente hit the first of many cool moves he’d do in upcoming half an hour that I started to wonder if maybe he could make a Finals run. Then I laughed to myself and thought there was no way. Then he submitted Máximo, I marked out and much like Kevin Garnett believed that anything was possible. This was yet another shock of the night and by Cthulhu’s hand it would not be the last.
Último Guerrero defeated Shocker
All you need to know is that UG rightfully won and we were spared Valiente having to carry Shocker to any type of respectability. Well that and it was better than Shocker-Mephisto. Then again what isn't?
You aren’t seeing things folks. That result isn’t a mirage, it’s not a fake and it’s not a joke; Valiente, the Buff Bagwell of lucha libre and the third wheel of the Sky Team, did indeed upset Último Guerrero in a high action, surprisingly long and very good match (minus a little too much playing to the crowd) to make it to the Final of the CMLL Universal Championship tournament. Cinderella, thy name is Valiente!
There are many things to discuss here. The first point is that CMLL, for the first time…ever, actually did tell a story throughout this block in the form of Valiente’s Cinderella run. I don’t think there was anyone who thought he’d get out of the first round, let alone have an appearance in the block final, and he ended up defeating CMLL’s top title holder and two legends to win the whole thing. It was a legit upset across the board and it was handled perfectly aside from the Arena Mexico reaction. Secondly it greatly helps next week’s block by making it far more unpredictable than anyone thought. Any luchador in Block B can win that now; there will be favorites obviously, but you can put Valiente against almost anyone other than Ephesto and maybe Luciferno from that group and it’ll work well (imagine Valiente-Volador? Valiente-Dragón Rojo? VALIENTE-DRAGÓN LEE?!). The unpredictability is strong in that one. Third and most important, this was a really cool and a well deserved moment for Valiente. He may be the third, lesser known member of the Sky Team and he may have come out of nowhere to win this block. He’s also an exceptional luchador and one of the most underrated members of the CMLL roster, which is saying something because CMLL is crawling with those types of luchadors. I was hoping beyond hope he’d pull this one out and I’ll admit I marked out when he won. It was an awesome moment, a surprising moment and if nothing else a finish that adds a little mystery to next week and the possibility of some great match ups. An unexpectedly good end to one weird ass night.
That’s a wrap folks! I’ll be back Sunday evening for a CMLL Monday preview, provided the card doesn’t make me want to puke. If it does, I’ll perhaps throw out a CMLL Tuesday preview or maybe even a LU preview. We’ll see where the wind takes me. Till we meet again, some Barry Allen for your troubles.