CMLL Tuesday: Face Palm City
What a day it has been girls and boys. It began with me writing a column about a luchador needing to wear pants, which strangely became the most read column of mine in months. Hours later it ended with CMLL putting together a show that couldn’t have resembled a seesaw more if it were an actual gorram seesaw. You probably noticed I didn’t preview this Tuesday show and with good reason; the card didn’t look terrible, it looked like a travesty of match making. And yet for a moment CMLL seemed to defy the odds with this show, with matches 2, 3 and 4 ranging from good to very good. I was ready to cue up the Dr. Cox video and happily apologize to CMLL for doubting them; thankfully I didn’t do that as the booking for the show immediately went to hell (Kenny in South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut style) and all of us did too. What a day indeed. So to make sure it doesn’t go any longer, allow me to bang out this review so we can end the face palming and get closer to the good stuff that should come tomorrow. Moses, meme it like you mean it.
Sensei & Bengala defeated Grako & Apocalipsis two falls to one
I’ll say this; this wasn’t the worst match of the night nor did it feature the most inexplicable decision of the night. That said I spent this entire match hearing Immortan Joe scream “MEDIOCRE!” every few minutes. That’s just going to be the case when you’ve got guys like Bengala, Grako and Apocalipsis involved. I must admit I did feel bad for Sensei though. He looked like he was capable of doing more and was itching to do more. He’ll learn the opener is a dream crusher soon enough if tonight didn’t hammer that home already. Oh well; at least the show got better after this and we got to see a cool Electric Chair Missile Dropkick combo from the rudos. I now know what it must be like when Kevin Can Wait actually has one funny joke during its otherwise 23 minutes of hell.
Último Dragóncito, Eléctrico, Astral defeated Pequeño Nitro, Mercurio, Pequeño Olímpico two falls to one
Better than I expected, mainly because Astral and Eléctrico were far better than I expected. You never can tell with those two; some nights they look great and other nights I just want to beat them with the pants they and Valiente should be wearing. Tonight they were pretty good though, nailing all their big spots and breaking out a super cool tandem turnbuckle senton in the third fall. I think some people may overlook that because the dives were almost too graceful but I thought it was pretty great and highly unexpected considering it was the second match. Everyone else was above average as well. Nitro and Olímpico moved around better than they usually do, Último did some things in limited minutes and Mercurio proved why it’s always nice to have him around. He just does everything well (like that double stomp he hit while Astral was in a codebreaker position) and seems to motivate the guys around him to work harder due to his work ethic. Now if only we could put that into Astral and Eléctrico all the time!
Fuego defeated Forastero
I was sitting here before this match, ready to concede that poor Fuego was about to get stomped by Arkángel in five minutes for reasons that only Paco Alonso and his crackpot booking team would know. Then all of a sudden an entrance theme that wasn’t Arkángel’s hit the speakers and out walked Forastero, the third wheel of the Los Cientificos team. And just like this match went from Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes to Rise of the Planet of the Apes. If that doesn’t explain it well enough for you then perhaps these pictures will.
Forastero replacing Arkángel would’ve been enough to make this match passable to me regardless of what he and Fuego did. Thankfully they did end up having a nice little seven minute match that seemed to end just as they were getting going. I wouldn’t yet say Forastero is on the level of his cousins but he has the makings of a really great talent and looked good in the early stages when he got his showcase. Any flash he lacked was made up for by Fuego, who did a few more dives than usual and broke out his usual antics to keep things interesting. I really just wish they had gotten more time; it felt like there were a few more minutes of action in these guys when Fuego rolled up the youngster to win a match he seemed destined to lose before the show. Alas it was just fine and I’ll take what we got here over what Arkángel would’ve given Fuego any day. A massive step up.
Olímpico, Misterioso, Sagrado defeated Star Jr., Oro Jr. Pegasso two falls to one
By far the best match of the night and the contest where I started to wonder if we had underestimated this show…until the ending proved that CMLL was up to its usual bag of tricks. Till that point though there was a lot to like and a lot of surprises. Oro Jr., Pegasso and Olímpico aren’t what you call top notch luchadors on their best day, something that’s generally rare when it comes to those three. Tonight was a great day for all of them. Olímpico, decked out in that ridiculous half mask of his again, actually looked pretty spry and didn’t screw anything up. Ditto for Pegasso. And good Grodd Oro Jr. looked like a completely new man, doing cool moves he’d never done before (such as a senton over the turnbuckle to the floor) and actually hitting all the moves he generally tries and fails to do effectively. I hadn’t anticipated those three living up to the capabilities of the three reliable luchadors alongside them, and the fact that they did instantly made this match a fun, action packed affair. Hell these six even managed to have a fun sequence of breaking up near falls/submissions, something that’s almost unheard of in CMLL. This was really good and it would’ve been even better if CMLL had decided to give Oro Jr. Star Jr. and Pegasso the win. Instead all three were pinned/submitted by the rudos at the same time and it quickly becomes apparent why we don’t see more performances out of this from Oro Jr.; why try hard when you’re just going to be putting over Olímpico in your big matches? This didn’t hurt as much as the later finishes did and at least Sagrado, who’s been really good lately, benefited from this. You just hate to see that effort from Oro and Star Jr. go to waste and you hope their enthusiasm isn’t hurt by this.
Pierroth, Ephesto, Luciferno defeated Rey Cometa, Guerrero Maya Jr., Blue Panther two falls to none
I don’t know what CMLL was looking to accomplish here but whatever it was they failed. This was a BAD match and for my money the worst of the night. You may be wondering how a match with great talent like Rey Cometa, Guerrero Maya Jr. and the legendary Blue Panther could go so wrong when all it takes is a quick glance at the rudo team. Seriously CMLL; you paired Pierroth with Luciferno and Ephesto?! Those two look lost when they’re paling around with Mephisto, a legitimately great luchador; you really thought it be different with the travesty known as Pierroth backing them up? For all the cool things the technicos tried to do (and there were some) this rudo team canceled it out by just being awful. Their moves looked awful, their selling looked awful, their timing looked awful; the only thing more awful than them was a fucking Awful Awful, and that’s just because it has the word in its name twice. And just to rub more salt in the wound CMLL had this team, a team which featured a member getting scolded in the ring by Blue Panther because he couldn’t hit the Luciferno Clash on him correctly (yes this happened), win the match in TWO STRAIGHT FALLS! Hey, when you have a chance to put three fifty year old wrestlers drenched in mediocrity over a gorram legend and two exciting young luchadors, you gotta do it. Fuck me man. The lone silver lining I had at this point was that Pierroth had at least been removed from the main event and was hopefully replaced by someone cool to work with Dragón Lee, Mistico and Ángel de Oro. Naturally here I am left playing the Dr. Cox clip on that one.
Ripper, Shocker, Vangellys defeated Ángel de Oro, Dragón Lee, Mistico two falls to one
Here was the point of no return sports fans. I could stomach Star Jr., Oro Jr. and Pegasso losing their match because at least it was highly watchable. I could even get past the semi-main’s bullshit with just an eye roll because what’s a CMLL show without at least one eye roll? But three bad finishes in a row? To ignore that would be like saying M. Night Shyamalan still had it after making The Village, Lady in the Water and The Happening back to back to back. The match itself wasn’t horrendous. Yes Ripper was lifeless, Vangellys was meaningless (aside from a nasty cut he received between falls two and three) and Shocker wasn’t giving the same effort he gave last night but all three technicos were lively and gave us a few cool moments. This was at least an okay match…until CMLL decided that it was just fine for the technicos to lose to the rudos, a result that was like Goldberg beating Brock Lesnar in two minutes minus the part where everyone inexplicably loved it.
I really don’t understand this one folks. Look at this technicos team. Mistico is a top star, donning one of the most famous gimmicks in the history of lucha libre. Dragón Lee is one of the best luchadors alive today and a dude who just headlined CMLL’s biggest show of the year nearly three months ago. Fuck even Ángel de Oro, who himself would probably admit he’s not in the same league as those two, has some hype due to a sudden renaissance after his successful run in Ring of Honor. These three guys are big deals and talented luchadors you should be protecting…and yet you’re jobbing them out to a corpse, an over the hill legend and Vangellys? I saw some bad decisions on this show but this one was the one true Mega Maid, going from suck to blow in a matter of seconds. I’ve got no idea what CMLL was thinking and I honestly think wasting time trying to figure out would be just as pointless as Valiente choosing between pants and Speedos. It was dumb, it was compounded by the stupidity of the other terrible finishes that preceded it and it left me with a bad taste in my mouth regarding this show, which for a few minutes actually looked like it could be better than anyone thought. Just another day for the CMLL creative staff I suppose.
That’s a wrap. Gorram I feel like I was just possessed by Rob Viper; all that negativity! I’ll return tomorrow with (hopefully) positivity that should be provided from Lucha Underground’s episode. There could be more too, depending on if I get another zany idea like my Valiente one. Till then, drop the zero and get with DUCHOVNY! You’re gorram right I just ripped off Cool as Ice for that line.