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CMLL Tuesday: Drone Strike
Welp…this night could’ve gone better. I went from having three columns today to just this one, all while my dearly beloved Chicago Cubs got beat down by the Los Angeles Dodgers in a game that saw peeps jump off the Cubs bandwagon faster than Robert Kardashian leaving O.J. after the trial. Not good folks. At least tonight’s CMLL show was good though! No it wasn’t a world beater but unlike the Cubs it was nowhere near close to sucking, with a few good matches and good performances sprinkled across the card. On a day when things went wrong, it was exactly what it needed to be, even if it won’t be as good as Lucha Underground tomorrow night combined with the Cubs tying the series up at two while all the bandwagon hoppers come back screaming “I BELIEVED IN THE CUBS ALL ALONG!” Looking at you “Gamblin” Matt. But enough about the future; let’s kick the present’s ass. Meme me Moses!
Akuma & Metálico defeated Metatrón & Robin two falls to one
This was a match where the most interesting things were Metálico coming to the ring with a teddy bear and CM Punk throwing shade at Joe Buck on Twitter. Seeing as the latter had nothing to do with this show, that’s a bad sign. I thought Robin tried his damndest here and had some moments, while Akuma continued his run of consistent performances every Tuesday night. The issues arose from the two guys you’d have expected to be difference makers. Metálico looked sluggish all match and never got into the groove. Meanwhile Metatrón looked cool and that was pretty much it; perhaps he’s better against better opponents but he showed nothing tonight that made me want to see him again. All in all it was your standard CMLL opening match. Thankfully everything else this evening was at least interesting following this.
Fuego, Pegasso, Rey Cometa defeated Okumura, Disturbio, Virus two falls to one
A fun match on paper instantly became a fun match in reality once Okumura appeared in place of Arkángel! I don’t know if he got lost on the way to the arena (highly possible) or if CMLL finally saw the light, but he was out, Okumura was in and this turned out to be pretty good. I loved the Cometa/Virus sequences here; those two clicked the moment they stepped in to face each other in the first fall and it continued throughout, even if they weren’t together as much as I wanted them to be. Luckily everyone else was reliable or in the case of Pegasso brilliant. That silly bastard apparently did not heed the “no dives in the first and second match allowed” sign and proceeded to hit his usual springboard dive and a 450 to bring this match to a close. I know; a 450 in Arena Mexico and Rey Cometa had nothing to do with it! Miracles happen every day I guess. Now if only we can get more of those miracles so Arkángel can never appear again. I’d rather see Clayton Kershaw right now.
Skándalo defeated Star Jr.
CMLL was faced with two options going into this match. They could allow Skándalo, the veteran and CMLL’s resident lumbering log, to control the match and make us all wish that we had better things to do. Or they could give Star Jr., the young up and coming luchador, an opportunity to take to the air and make something out of this match. What did CMLL do in the end? They went with both options! Leave it to Paco and the gang to give you know answer when there were two available. Luckily for CMLL their plan worked this time as I found this match to be pretty entertaining. I could’ve done without Skándalo nearly squashing Star Jr. for the first portion of the match, but his offense was admittedly better looking than usual and the veteran for once looked like he gave a shit. And once Star Jr. started getting it going it was impossible to have any complaints; that kid is money and he proved it tonight without showing off everything in his playbook. It was a great performance from him, which makes it all the more frustrating that CMLL Panther’d him and had him put over Skándalo. Perhaps one day I’ll understand why CMLL makes decisions like this but it won’t be tonight (especially when they proved they know how to put young talent over in the very next match!). Star Jr. is a special talent and alongside pals Hombre Bala Jr. and Soberano Jr. should be getting quality wins and better looks than he is right now. The great performance tonight doesn’t hurt, but man it would’ve meant more if he had actually beaten Skándalo. Instead the veteran gets a win he doesn’t need and we’re all left looking like Dave Roberts at the end of Game 1. Or Joe Maddon after Game 3!
Ángel de Oro, Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr. defeated Hechicero, Misterioso Jr., Sagrado two falls to one
This match was all about the debuting Drone, and at times I thought it was a hindrance. While the youngster was getting a ton of ring time during the first and second falls, Ángel de Oro and Guerrero Maya Jr. were at best background noise. That’s unbecoming of what those two bring to the table, and it’s no coincidence that the match truly kicked into high gear when Maya was finally allowed to do stuff in the third fall. He was tremendous here again and looks to finally be hitting his groove after disappearing a tad earlier in the year. Addison Russell, take notes!
As I said in the first sentence though, the big story was Drone and a good chunk of recapping this match should be dedicated to him. So how was he? I’d say pretty decent, with some room to improve of course. His move set looks pretty good, he cut a decent pace overall and I honestly thought he excelled the most in the early parts of the match where CMLL portrayed him as the inexperienced rookie being ganged up on by the rudos. He wasn’t as crisp as I expected though and there’s no doubt that he got a large assist from Hechicero, who CMLL put in here to make sure Drone’s first appearance wasn’t a stinker. The veteran did just that and alongside his teammates (who were quite vicious tonight) set Drone off on a good start with pinfalls over Hechicero in both falls one and three. All in all I’d say it was a good start to the character and certainly something Drone can build on. I wouldn’t be shocked in the end if nerves attributed to tonight’s performance in a big way and that he’ll show us more of what he’s capable of in his next showcase.
Atlantis, Stuka Jr., Valiente defeated Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Vangellys two falls to one
This week in Controversial Statements by Cult; I enjoyed this match more than the last one. Come at me lucha crazies! Look the Drone debut was fun and that match got really good by the end, but I’m still left bothered by the fact that CMLL basically left Guerrero Maya and Ángel de Oro out to dry for two falls (or in Oro’s case, three). They easily could’ve given them more to do while still telling the Drone story. Alas it was not to be and so I have to take points off. This match at least used everyone the right way and was fun from start to finish. It was great to see Terrible as the focus of the rudo squad and he worked great with all three technicos, all of which looked great tonight. How could they not when Stuka was doing great jumps (including a no look plancha towards the end of the third fall), Atlantis was backbreaking every with effortless ease (including Bucanero, who I thought was going to combust before Atlantis finished the move) and Valiente was…well he was doing the same shit he did this past Friday? The man with the tiniest trunks in wrestling (besides Marty “the Moth”) is white hot right now and he showed no signs of slowing down tonight. None of the guys did. Not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but this was a fun match that’s worth checking out.
Diamante Azul, Máscara Dorada, Mistico defeated Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto two falls to none
This was a good main event that should’ve been a better main event. Unfortunately it wasn’t thanks to a slow start from some luchadors and a finish that was used to set up a rematch between these two teams next week. So much for that Dorada-Mephisto singles match as Dorada disappears into Vince McMahon’s abyss! Never the less there was a few moments here to enjoy. Místico took it upon himself to go extra crazy here, hitting multiple moonsaults and even a stage dive, which naturally no one saw until the replay because LOLCMLL. Dorada actually looked human at some points tonight, but was still really good and should only be better when this next match happens. As for Diamante Azul, we got to see both the good and the bad tonight. He was putrid in the first fall, mistiming a sunset flip and dropping Luciferno on his shoulder during his German Suplex, and I legit wondered for a moment if the Rush match had broken him. Then the second fall happened and Diamante was Diamante again. The movement was better, the pace was back to normal, the moves had the oomph back, and best of all Diamante was allowed to break out those Monkey Flips again as only he can. I guess I just have to accept there’s two Diamante Azul’s and you never know which one we’ll see; hopefully for the rematch it’s the second one because if it is, an expanded trios match between these sides looks good. It’s not entirely how I want Máscara Dorada to go out, but I suppose it’ll have to do.
That’ll do sports fans. I’m off to prepare my speech for Canek’s memorial service after Pentagon Jr. rips off his arms and beats him to death with them during their match. I should also have that Lucha Tribute I promised you out by tomorrow, as well as an LU review. Till then, go Cubs go. Don’t quit guys; you can’t give in!