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CMLL Super Viernes: Controversy in Arena Mexico
It’s probably a good thing I went to sleep early last night instead of banging out this CMLL review. I needed to sleep on it; who wouldn’t after some of the craziness that happened during last night’s Super Viernes, most of which took place at the very end. So what can I conclude on the morning after? Simply put last night’s CMLL was pretty damn good, with two good matches, one great match and one extraordinary effort. It also probably should’ve been even better; thanks to a finish to the show that, while sensible, left a taste in your mouth that only a batch of rotten grapes can leave. And trust me; I know all about those gorram rotten grapes. So let’s not waste time and get into what made this night so much fun and yet so controversial at the same time. Moses, the meme is calling.
Shockercito & Último Dragóncito defeated Demus 3:16 & Astral two falls to one
This was as good an opening match you could ask for from a CMLL show, and it probably should’ve been even better. The issue was that the match started off slowly, with Shockercito and Demus surprisingly not on the same page and Astral (predictably) adjusting to being a rudo after he was brought in to replace Pierrothito. Eventually they figured it out and the match got significantly better in the second and third falls. Shockercito in particular looked mighty impressive, dishing out his usual blend of cool arm drags and gulp inducing headscissors. It didn’t light the world on fire and I’m not sure I need to see Astral as a rudo again, but this was a good start to the show.
Lluvia, Sanely, Silueta defeated Dalys, Reyna Isis, Tiffany two falls to one
It’s a good thing Dragón Lee and Kamaitachi were giving lucha fans an alternative at the same time this match took place because there’d be a lot more unhappy people today otherwise. I struggle to find anything here that was worthwhile at all aside from Dalys, Silueta and maybe Sanely. The former two by far the best luchadoras in this match and did their damndest to save it, while Sanely (albeit a tad sloppily) showed off some more of the great improvement she’s making. The problem is those three alone couldn’t prop things up when the other three performers were nonexistent (Lluvia), useless (Tiffany) and downright awful (Reyna Isis). I don’t know if Reyna Isis just checked out because she’s off to Japan, but it didn’t seem like she could do anything right at all, especially in the third fall when she botched almost everything she did. I’d say REINA would be wise to boot her from their shows after this, but that would mean she’d have to stay in Mexico and I think we can all agree that we don’t want to see Reyna Isis again for awhile. In the end it definitely appears that CMLL either needs to get more luchadoras on the rudas side, or needs to trot out Zeuxis and Amapola to team with Dalys nearly every time. I guarantee you the match is far more enjoyable with those two teaming instead of Isis and Tiffany.
Bobby Z, Hechicero, Vangellys defeated Guerrero Maya Jr., Rey Cometa, Titán two falls to one
Calling this a strong recovery in comparison to the last match would be an understatement. In fact I’d say this exceeded my expectations, which were already high. The big thing for me here is how these six started the match; the general protocol is to start slow with mat work and build up through the match till you get to the big spots. Not so here. Hechicero and Titán started off with a super quick version of the normal formula and everyone else followed suit to deliver one of the most exciting first falls in recent memory. Hell they even broke out a couple of dives here, with Maya nearly killing himself with that through the ropes senton of his. It was such a strong start that you figured they wouldn’t be able to keep up the pace, and yet they mostly did, with very few slow spots, a better than usual rudo beat down (this usually happens when Hechicero is involved) and everyone getting a chance to get stuff in by the end of the third fall. Hell even Bobby Z got to hit a dive to the outside! Not much more you can ask from this one and it was easily the second best match of the night and normally would’ve been the best. And while they didn’t work often together, Maya (who was the best he’s been in months) and Hechicero gave us a nice preview of what to expect from them at the end with some nice sequences. But then again when does Hechicero not do something nice? If that guy isn’t main eventing the 84th Anniversary Show against Dragón Lee or Atlantis then Paco needs to go into further seclusion. Cause I will hunt him down otherwise.
Johnny Idol, Marco Corleone, Máximo Sexy defeated Ephesto, Mephisto, Niebla Roja two falls to one
Turns out there is no Johnny Idol-Ephesto feud folks; last week’s ending was just an ending to keep Idol from actually getting a pinfall win over Ephesto, I guess because Ephesto is someone worth protecting. Why? Fuck if I know. I suppose it’s fitting CMLL didn’t do anything with that because this match unfortunately got sidetracked when Marco accidentally pulled off Niebla Roja’s mask in an attempted spot during the first fall, causing an abrupt DQ victory for the rudos. I’m pretty sure that was accidental and it’s a shame because Marco usually pulls that off 99 times out of 100. Not this time though. I did think they salvaged this as best they could though, with Máximo keeping the crowd alive most of the match, Marco doing everything else well and Idol getting in a nice dive at the end. So it was by no means a failure; it just never seemed to get out of the gate like it normally would. Hey, mistakes happen and I’m pretty sure you won’t see Marco doing that again possibly ever.
Euforia, La Máscara, Último Guerrero defeated Carístico, Mistico, Valiente two falls to one
I initially thought this would be short due to Carístico once again needing to make the trek between Arena Mexico and Arena Naucalpan (which as of this morning I’m still not sure he made. What am I saying, of course he did!). Instead these six ended up doing a normal length match that unlike the other above average trios match went through the normal tropes; slow build up to an electrifying conclusion. Thankfully these luchadors are so good that they pulled it off well. The rudo beat down was quite fun in the first fall and a half, and I loved UG trying to wipe Carístico off the face of the earth by throwing him into the stands almost every chance he got. There were a few slow moments in between that and the end but it was worth it thanks to Valiente and Mistico nearly killing themselves on two spectacular spots. Only Carístico didn’t kill himself, but he was so smooth in this match otherwise and needed to get to that other show, so we’ll give him a pass. It wasn’t quite on the level of Hechicero-Maya trios match, but this was still really good and a nice appetizer before the main course. And holy shit what a main course it was.
Reyes del Aire Final
Cavernario defeated Volador Jr. two falls to one
Everyone knew this match would be crazy, and yet it looked like we had underestimated just how much when Volador started the match by diving off the stage onto Cavernario. Things never let up after that folks. These guys did anything and everything to each other; by the end the only move I think they left in the bag was Volador’s reverse hurricanrana, and there’s a great chance it did happen and I just missed it. That Volador by the way is on a whole other level. He reminds me of Prince Puma in a way; he’s surrounded by so many guys that you sometimes forget how good he is, leading to matches like this when you’re reminded that he’s the most diabolical hater since the so called Beautiful. It was a supreme performance, and Cavernario thankfully kept up the whole way. Some will argue he didn’t, mainly because he had the lone botch of the match when he kept slipping on the ropes when going for a huge dive and ultimately had to settle for a tame apron kick. I’m not holding that against him though. Not only did he improvise on the spot but he didn’t let it get to him and was tremendous the rest of the way. How many times have we seen the best luchadors mess up a spot and then suddenly get sloppy the rest of the way due to nerves? Cavernario could’ve easily done that; instead he shrugged it off and got better. I think we can forgive him for one moment that by the end of the match no one could remember outside of the biggest of buzzkills.
Of course part of the reason you wouldn’t remember that spot was because the ending to this match was…interesting. The good news is that Cavernario did win the match! The bad news is that the ending was so convoluted that you can understand people not taking it seriously. What was the finish? Basically Cavernario, having legit run out of tricks, lured both Volador and Tirantes close to him and tricked Volador into fouling Tirantes with a kick to the groin (the old UG strategy as it were). People probably would’ve been up in arms over that sequence alone, so naturally the booking set out to make things even more confusing by having Volador submit Cavernario (with Cavernario’s own hold no less) to seemingly give him the victory before Tirantes cleared everything up. All that’s left to do now is let Bill and Ted sum up what you’re thinking.
And yet, if you’ll allow me to, I’m going to defend the ending. No it’s not what I would’ve done (I’d have had Cavernario win clean) and it was a second straight Friday show with two bizarre finishes, which isn’t a good look. But it’s also clear to me that CMLL is doing a prolonged feud between these two, continuing next week with Cavernario challenging Volador for the NWA World Historic Welterweight Championship and then most likely again a few weeks later in a hair vs. hair match at this Day of the Dead show CMLL keeps hinting at. As that’s the case a Dusty Finish type ending not only makes sense but gives this a story; the technico Volador was rightfully screwed out of a huge honor and now will set out to get his revenge. It’s simple but effective storytelling; maybe you wish there was a better way to get here but it’s understandable. So I can’t hate the ending too much (even though I don’t love it) and it most certainly doesn’t hurt this match in my eyes, which was absolutely spectacular and by far the best of the evening. Now the question becomes can they top themselves in the next two matches. Again, they left everything on the table tonight, which is going to make it difficult to best going forward. If anyone can do it though it’s Volador and Cavernario, and I can’t wait to see what they give us next week.
That’ll do it boys and girls. I’m off till some point in the near distant future; hopefully I’ll see you there. Till we meet again on that sunny day, let’s close with some Spider-Man.