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CMLL Super Viernes Preview: Fall Back, Start Over
And so it begins boys and girls; the post LuchaPalooza period is upon us. We got through all four big shows of the two week period and we all came out of it better people and with a new found love and respect for lucha libre. But the work never ends and thus we move onto life after LuchaPalooza, starting with CMLL’s first Super Viernes since the Anniversary Show. I’ll tell you this much; it’s going to be a whole lot better than the Tuesday show was. Some of the matchups may be a little wonky in the talent department but you’d be hard pressed to find a match that didn’t feature at least two guys capable of making these matches work and I can’t see any match being worse than okay. It also marks the dawn of the CMLL/ROH relationship that we’ve heard so much about. But never fear; we’ll get to that. For now let’s start at the bottom and work our way to the top. Kind of like the Edmonton Oilers, only we won’t get stuck with terrible teams for years. ZING! Alright enough; Moses, let it be meme’d and let it be done!
Astral & Stukita vs. Pequeño Nitro & Pierrothito
What to Expect: Talk about a tale of two teams here. The technicos are absolutely tremendous and both come into this match white hot thanks to Astral’s great Mini-Estrella title match with Demus 3:16 a week ago and Stukita being Stukita. The rudos; oof. I wouldn’t necessarily say they’re bad but they aren’t on the level of the technicos and unless Pierrothito cuts down on the antics they won’t be here. This could easily be a good match regardless of how they perform but it only will be if the technicos are on offense the bulk of the match while Nitro and Pierrothito are limited to a quick beat down. Can CMLL do that? I’m dubious. Either way this will at least be a tad more interesting than most of the CMLL openers.
Winners: Astral and Stukita. I know, when in doubt with the rudos but I can’t bring myself to do that here. Who in their right mind could pick this rudo team over Astral and Stukita? I don’t care if I’m wrong; going against those two is a crime in Mexico, Canada, the UK, the Republic of Ireland and 45 of the 50 states. I ain’t going to prison. My chances there would be like Zack Snyder’s chances of making a remake of Dune everyone likes.
Blue Panther Jr., Pegasso, Soberano Jr. vs. Okumura, Tiger, Virus
What to Expect: We instantly get better with this match right here and I’m honestly not sure how you get this match wrong. Not that it’ll be the Match of the Evening or anything but the talent here virtually guarantees, at worst, this match will be very good regardless of the pairings. What would be the best pairings though? If it were me I’d stick Pegasso with Okumura, Soberano with Tiger and Junior with Virus. Pegasso is perhaps the weakest link here due to the occasional inconsistent performance but he usually raises his game with capable performers and Okumura is the right guy to keep him grounded for the bout until it’s time to fly. Soberano and Tiger meanwhile just mesh; they can both fly, they can both bring it to the mat; it feels like they were made for each other. And Junior and Virus throwing down just benefits everyone, first by giving you the two big names tangling and by also helping Junior’s rapid improvement by putting him with one of the best performers alive. You do those pairings and this has great potential. You don’t, well it still has good potential. Either way this will be a match worth watching.
Winners: Doesn’t seem like anything will be set up from this so it’s basically a pick ‘em. I’ll say the rudos with poor Junior likely getting the pin. Another rule folks; when in doubt always pick against the Panther family. If Blue Panther losing his mask to Villano IV and Panther inexplicably losing Lightning Matches hasn’t taught you that then I don’t know what will.
Ángel de Oro, Rey Cometa, Titán vs. Ephesto, Hechicero, Vangellys
What to Expect: Sort of like the opening match where the technicos team is really, REALLY good and the rudos team is not so good. Except perhaps they are because the rudos have Hechicero, perhaps the best rudo in Mexico right now and a man coming off a trios performance that almost singlehandedly raised the match up from okay to good and a Lightning Match with Soberano Jr. two weeks ago that was Speed Racer levels of good. His presence here is a huge help to this match and should take the load off Ephesto and Vangellys, two talents that are okay but not ones you should depend on to carry a match to Shambala. Provided Hechicero is allowed to carry the bulk of the action for the rudos and one or two of the technicos goes crazy this should easily be a good match.
Winners: The technicos, preferably over a rudo not named Hechicero. Let’s go with Titán, a man with big things coming on the horizon, getting the pin over Vangellys in the third fall. Everyone goes happy, except for the M. Bison cosplayers out there.
Valiente vs. Felino
What to Expect: Hechicero vs. Soberano Jr. will likely be the better Lightning Match but this one will definitely be a bigger deal to the Arena Mexico crowd considering the participants. I’m excited about it too. Valiente has been excellent these past few months and that’s while he’s had to share the spotlight in trios action. That goes for Felino too, a really good performer who you often forget is around because he has the unfortunate distinction of being paired with the funniest luchador in CMLL, one of the best young luchadors in CMLL and one of the greatest luchadors to ever walk the face of the earth (it gets worse; that guy is his brother!). I expect both guys will be ready to go here and at worst this will be very good with the potential to match Hechicero-Soberano. I’d honestly give them the same time that match had and just let shit happen.
Winner: Refreshingly it doesn’t seem like either result hurts either dude, as both Valiente and Felino are established guys well into their careers. So basically this is another pick ‘em. Let’s flip the Canadian Dollar, go head for Valiente and tails for Felino and…its tails! Felino wins and the Canadian Dollar continues to prove it’s better than everything not named Pepsi, Pizza Pringles, Zeuxis or Lucha Underground.
Máscara Dorada, Máximo Sexy, Volador Jr. vs. Matt Taven, Mr. Niebla, Shocker
What to Expect: So remember how I said that Monday night might’ve been the last CMLL show for Máscara Dorada? Yeah try to push that factoid out of your mind because he’s back working for CMLL on this show. At least it wasn’t as bad as the time I claimed Sucker Punch was going to become a misunderstood masterpiece. I’m still trying to live that down.
The story of this match, aside from the fact that it’s another great technicos team against a “meh” rudos team is the debut of Matt Taven, officially kicking off the CMLL/ROH working relationship. I have no idea if this will be a great start or not because I’ve never seen Taven work. The New England native (who actually runs a wrestling school in my home state!) had a good deal of success in both ROH and New Japan, where he won both the ROH and IWGP Tag Team Championships with Mike Bennett (they called themselves The Kingdom), the ROH Television Championship and even ROH Top Prospect tournament in 2013. But a lot of his and Bennett’s success has ultimately been attributed to the great work of their manager Maria Kanellis (a heat machine) and Taven hasn’t actually wrestled for almost a year due to a knee injury. He is a complete mystery, which frankly might still be enough to make him the best performer on his team unless Niebla is more serious (he won’t be) and CMLL decides to book Shocker like they did at the Anniversary Show (they won’t). Your best bet for this one is to cross your fingers and hope that Dorada, Máximo and Volador just go right out of their minds while Taven does enough to make the rudos look credible. Your CMLL/ROH working relationship everyone!
Winners: If you’re wondering if CMLL would really start off their ROH partnership with the ROH guy losing, the answer is they totally would. In fact I honestly think they should too due to unless Máximo is going to be defending that title against one of the three rudos soon. Barring that the technicos win with Dorada or Máximo getting the pin on Shocker or Niebla.
Carístico, Dragón Lee, Mistico vs. Euforia, La Máscara, Negro Casas
What to Expect: CMLL isn’t quite ready to let go of the Anniversary Show main event yet, which doesn’t bother me and shouldn’t bother you once you see this doozy. With the need to build to a big show gone this match should easily be given the time needed to be the Match of the Evening all while continuing to hot programs. I don’t know how much longer Lee and Máscara can possibly tangle against each other but they’ll do it again here with the same intensity as always. Meanwhile Negro Casas and Mistico will cross paths again and while it won’t be the main focus you can probably expect them to go full steam ahead to continue their budding program in Puebla. That just leaves Carístico and Euforia to battle, which should be fun because they’re both really good and Carístico is now so bored waiting for his next big thing that he’s taken to stealing moves from guys he was employed with during his WWE stay. It’s becoming enormously entertaining; we’ve seen the F-5 and the GTS from Carístico already and there’s no telling what he’ll do next. Can you imagine if he did the Pedigree?! The level of marking out I’d do from that would probably send me to the hospital. Whether it’s that or some mother move Carístico pulls out it should only help what looks to be an already exciting match. And there’s one more factor to consider; do we see any involvement from Rush? The post match activity from the Anniversary Show still lingers strongly and Máscara, to his credit, played coy about it during a CMLL Informa appearance (Informa is an interview show where an annoying host does annoying things, Blue Panther Jr. is referred to as, and this is a direct quote, “the delight of all the housewives” and Máscara Sagrada isn’t allowed a working mic. Needless to say it’s hit or miss). It’s going to be continued sooner or later; it’s just a question on whether CMLL wants to do it now or waits till after the Legends show next week.
Winners: I honestly don’t know. I could see the rudos stealing this one via a foul in order to a) set up Casas/Mistico more or b) to give Máscara some sort of victory over Dragón Lee. I could also see the technicos just straight up winning or by DQ if the rudos get caught fouling them. And that’s without factoring in that Rush might be involved. I’ll say that the rudos get the win and it’ll involve Máscara stealing the victory from Lee to continue the issues there before we get into the meat of the story after the Legends Show. There’s an over 9,000% chance that I’m wrong on this one, so be prepared.
That’ll do it folks! I’ll be back later with the closing ceremony of LuchaPalooza and an article directed towards all the people who think the lucha libre world revolves around Pentagon Dark/Jr. Till then, more Spidey!