CMLL Tuesday: Hechicero Night
You may have noticed I didn’t do a review of last night’s CMLL show in Puebla. Why didn’t I? Because that show sucked more than a free throw shooting contest between DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard. I’m not joking; somehow CMLL turned a show that has been mediocre in recent weeks and turned it into something that was borderline unwatchable for myself and almost 2,000 other people. It was that bad folks and too bad to review. Luckily tonight’s CMLL show in Arena Mexico wasn’t that bad; in fact it was quite good thanks to a high octane semi-main event that produced a result all us lucha fans can be happy with. Sure the rest of the show was only okay but...wait what was my point? Oh yes; the show was better than last night and that’s all that counts. Dodged a bullet there huh? Let’s get to the review before I have to dodge more. Moses, meme it fast because Cult Was Right. Rob Viper knows what I’m talking about.
Shockercito & Último Dragóncito defeated Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Olímpico two falls to one
I’ll give this match a tiny break here because the Cubs game had just started and I was half paying attention that and this. That said there didn’t appear to be much here one way or the other. The guys worked fine and there wasn’t anything that made you want to tear your eyes out, but there was also nothing to keep your interest outside of one or two Shockercito spurts and a solid performance from Nitro. In short; your standard CMLL opener. I hope I’m around on the day CMLL changes shit up with these matches.
Lluvia, Princesa Sugehit, Skadi defeated La Comandante, La Seductora, Tiffany two falls to one
I have seen some inexplicable decisions in my time but none quite like CMLL’s call to put this match together. Seriously; who in their right mind thought that a ruda team of Comandante, Seductora (who in fairness wasn’t an embarrassment) and Tiffany was a good idea? Was Amapola taking the day off? Was Dalys not available? Is Zeuxis in the dog house or something? I cannot begin to tell you how bad I felt for the technica team here. Say what you will about Skadi and Lluvia, but they were trying here alongside the always reliable Sugehit and it was just no use. Comandante may be an entertaining manager for TGR but she has little to no business being in the ring; the fact that she wasn’t the worst luchadora in this match speaks volumes to how awful Tiffany is. They were bad in this match and they singlehandedly brought this down no matter what the technicas tried to do. Just a tough match to watch and a sad match to watch. Please CMLL; this has got to stop. There’s talented luchadors in your division and they deserve better than being saddled with this bullshit.
Kráneo, Pólvora, Ripper defeated Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr., The Panther two falls to one
Here’s where the show started to turn around. You read that right; a match involving Ripper was involved in making a CMLL show go from eh to pretty good! It’s the biggest miracle since the Planet of the Apes reboot worked. No, not the Tim Burton one.
Granted, this match didn’t light the world on fire and Ripper still more or less resembled a lifeless snake charmer most of the match. But after those first two matches anything would’ve looked like the largest oasis in the driest desert and this match was that, largely thanks to the technicos and Kráneo. The loveable big rudo can be really good when he wants to and was tonight with some good looking offense. Guerrero Maya continues an impressive streak of good performances, although he didn’t quite go all out as he has in recent weeks. Panther was solid and managed to make Ripper look like an above average luchador when they squared off early in the match. And Drone (The Artist Formerly Known as Hombre Bala Jr.) looked far more comfortable this week, even breaking out a Soberano/Star Jr. esq corkscrew dive that I’d never seen him do before! It’s nice to know he’s got that in his back pocket alongside the rest of his arsenal. It’s still not the best he can do and I’d like to see him incorporate his full skill set that made him so great in his old role, but this was good improvement from week one. What else can you do but tip your hat and call this match your daddy. Whoa, what just happened?
Number One Contender’s Cibernetico for the NWA World Historic Light Heavyweight Championship
Hechicero defeated Atlantis, La Máscara, Valiente, Gran Guerrero, Johnny Idol, Vangellys, Stuka Jr., Bobby Z, Blue Panther Jr., Esfinge, and Misterioso Jr.
After going over a week without a must see match, CMLL finally got one here in a Cibernetico that was as fun and wild as one would’ve hoped. I was worried they may go with the Universal Championship tournament style format for this one (you never can tell with CMLL), but they ended up doing the right thing and we all walked away winners because of it. Save for Misterioso, every luchador here had a something to offer. Johnny Idol looked really good in the opening few minutes and his elimination was one of the few downers and a big surprise, considering many thought he was a sleeper to win. Non internet faves like La Máscara and Esfinge came across well, with the former continuing his streak of impressive performances and the latter looking like a different luchador. I mean that literally and figuratively; he had a rad new outfit and even radder new moves like a spin kick. Bobby Z was his usual basement dropkicking self (seriously, he needs to get some more moves. Come on Bobby!). Gran Guerrero looked great and for a moment had me thinking he could pull off the upset before reality smacked him upside the head. Stuka had some tremendous moments of action and was consistent throughout. Atlantis was Atlantis, only with more beautiful backbreakers this time around. Most of all I was very pleased to see Junior get an opportunity here and I loved his work with Vangellys in the early stages. I wish he had gone longer (much like Idol), but this was another sign of his improvement and CMLL’s confidence in him. He’s come a long way. If you had told me a year ago that Blue Panther Jr. be looking this good in a big Cibernetico while his brother was contained in meaningless trios action I’d have assumed Blue Panther had revealed a third brother in the meantime that was soon to surpass him.
The big stars here were the final two however and not just because they were the final two. Valiente is just on fire now folks. I don’t know what it is but he’s almost always the best luchador in his match nowadays and was the man who carried the action most of the way here. That’s a little unfair considering Hechicero did great (and far more grounded) work, but a match like this needs a jolt and Valiente was always there providing a jolt. He’s earned this push right now and it wouldn’t have shocked me if he did indeed win this match to give him three straight high profile main event matches in a row. In the end it wasn’t to be because finally, CMLL appears to be coming around on Hechicero. I predicted he would be the winner of this match (it’s true, ask Rob Viper) and he proved me a prophet, lasting all the way till the end before pulling out a slightly tainted victory (Hechicero had his feet on the ropes) after a few good minutes with Valiente. Make no mistake folks; this was the right call. You won’t find many luchadors who are more complete and more capable than Hechicero. He once again showed tonight that he can work with anyone, can adapt to anyone and can even pull out big air moves (did you see his double jump moonsault attempt?!) to go along with his technical skill. This victory was a long time coming for the Monterrey veteran, as is next week’s title match with Rey Bucanero. The latter may not be what he once was in the ring, but if anyone can get the best out of him it’s Hechicero, and I expect this match to be something. All the more reason why the right guy won tonight in an excellent match. Well done CMLL.
Diamante Azul, Máscara Dorada, Mistico defeated Ephesto, Luciferno, Mephisto two falls to none
The usual case of a main event that’s forced to follow a super fun match and sees its participants get everything out of the way as quickly as possible. This was fun while it lasted though, even with the rudos not in top form (especially Mephisto, who was shockingly bad this evening). Diamante Azul was back in the form he was prior to that catastrophe of a match with Rush, showing off his power, the Monkey Flips and a nice suicide dive. Místico looked sharp and got in a nice moonsault towards the end on Mephisto (whose catch there was the only bright spot of his night). And as usual Máscara Dorada was a treat to watch and thankfully this doesn’t appear to be his last hurrah down in Arena Mexico. Of course the question now becomes what do you do with these two teams? The technicos made a challenge for the NWA Trios Titles after the match and for all intents and purposes earned the right for the match with a 2-0 sweep. The rudos however said no, which then prompted Dorada to challenge the rudos to a trios mask vs. mask match, something I cannot see CMLL agreeing to do (why would they want to unmask a top rudo team for a team featuring a luchador that’s leaving) nor WWE wanting to happen (unless they’ve told Dorada they want him to lose the mask, which would be the DUMBEST thing in history). It’s something to keep an eye on and also something I don’t think will be resolved till next week as Hechicero-Bucanero will be the focus. It’s certainly an intriguing, if not frustrating, way to end the show.
And scene. That’s all for tonight sports fans, but I’ll be back tomorrow to review some Lucha Underground and either preview CMLL’s big Super Viernes show Friday or talk about this FloSlam thing that’s about to rock wrestling like a hurricane. Till we meet again, the Spider is in and I don’t mean Eddie Guerrero’s bodyguard in WCW.