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CMLL Super Viernes Preview: Final Exam
Well sports fans, I’m depressed. Yesterday CMLL announced their Homenaje a Dos Leyendas card, a card that, aside from the return of Matt Taven and a Zeuxis match, sucks more than 2016 Jason Heyward with runners in scoring position. Diamante Azul vs. Pierroth will indeed headline the March event, guaranteeing both one of the worst main events in wrestling this year (possibly ever) and me saving however much it’ll cost to watch the show but not buying it. That’s right folks; there will be nothing from me in regards to Homenaje a Dos Leyendas 2017, barring a miraculous changing of the minds by CMLL higher ups in the next day (which is possible, if unlikely, now that the news of a mysterious press conference has been announced for tomorrow night). No preview, no review; I’m not watching the damn thing, and I’d invite all my fellow lucha fans, writers, whomever to do the same. The only thing any top person in lucha/wrestling listens to these days is money and viewership, which means our only power is to not watch that show and make CMLL realize this idea was the dumbest thing since Máximo vs. Máscara Año 2000.
So yes, I will be boycotting Homenaje a Dos Leyendas, but until then the show will go on, starting with tomorrow’s Super Viernes episode that, unlike Diamante Azul-Pierroth, isn’t a complete waste of my time. Yes those two will continue feuding, but in between all of that are several intriguing matches, a good looking Lightning Match and a potentially great main event that closes a better than expected Torneo Nacional de Parejas Increibles tournament. Unlike Homenaje a Dos Leyendas, there’s a lot to like and a lot to look forward to. Let me tell you why. Moses, take us down to the meme city where the grass is green and why the hell am I doing this?
Robin & Star Jr. vs. Cancerbero & Raziel
What to Expect: Man I would’ve loved to have been there when Raziel found out this was his match for Friday. He probably reacted the way CMLL wished we all had about Pierroth vs. Diamante Azul! The good news is that Raziel and Cancerbero, unlike Pierroth and to a lesser extent Diamante, can actually work and they’ll probably be able to do some cool stuff here with Robin and Star Jr. I wouldn’t go as far to say this will have any awe inspiring moves or the works, but this is a semi-big show (all shows with tournament finals are to a degree) and Star Jr. always seems to have something cool up his sleeve. If nothing else this should be a better than usual opener, even if it’s more moments than an actual good match.
Winners: The only way Raziel and Cancerbero are losing this match is if CMLL actually does reverse course on Pierroth-Diamante tomorrow at their mystery press conference, and even then I don’t think Grodd or Cthulhu are kind enough to give us two miracles. The rudos take this in three falls after a sick double team on poor Star Jr. while Rob Viper cackles in the distance.
Esfinge, Soberano Jr., Tritón vs. Misterioso Jr., Okumura, Sagrado
What to Expect: Like the first match, only with a greater chance of there actually being dives and more talented technicos and rudos all around. Well except poor Esfinge; why CMLL didn’t swap him and Star Jr. so we could see a parade of moonsaults by Star Jr., Soberano and Tritón will haunt me for the rest of this paragraph. Even without that swap this should still be fun. You know Okumura will be solid, you know Sagrado will do one or two things that make you wish CMLL pushed him harder, you know Esfinge will likely step up surrounded by two really good partners and you especially know that Soberano and Tritón will likely tear the house down, restrictions be damned. Don’t be surprised at all if this ends up being one of the best matches of the evening; I’ll have to get back to you on whether that’s a sad statement on CMLL affairs or not.
Winners: Silly me but I like the technicos in this one. I say Soberano gets one over Misterioso in the third fall to seal the deal.
Drone, Guerrero Maya Jr., Stuka Jr. vs. Rey Bucanero, Terrible, Vangellys
What to Expect: If this was a three on one handicap match between the technicos and Terrible I’d say this match had a great chance of succeeding. Unfortunately Terrible is teaming with a likely unmotivated Rey Bucanero and a Vangellys who has gone from being one of the more underrated luchadors CMLL has to the M. Bison version of Shocker. It’s bad enough that we already have one Shocker; do we really need a version of him that resembles a Street Fighter villain?
In any event, this is going to come down to how much the technicos are able to get in. If CMLL wants to, they can let Drone (seen for the first time in awhile), Maya and Stuka go nuts with dives and this match could turn into something pretty good. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the theme of recent TGR matches, with Terrible and co. generally grinding things to a halt before the technicos get minor offense in and lose. They’re probably losing here too, but there’s at least a right way for them to if CMLL wants. Let’s hope for some high flying here, because this is otherwise going to be a very okay, just kind of there bout otherwise.
Winners: The rudos, all day, every day and twice on Friday. They take it in three falls following a poorly applied Vangellys submission and a wonderful Terrible last right. Someone really needs to tell Terrible to drop the zeros and get with Los Ingobernables. I know he and Rush have feuded but can you imagine how much better they’d be with Terrible palling around with Rush and Máscara? This is one of the ideas that will come to fruition when I eventually take over CMLL (you heard me Paco).
Ángel de Oro vs. Dragón Rojo Jr.
What to Expect: Hey; an early candidate for Best Lightning Match of 2016! Just last year these two had a CMLL World Middleweight Championship match in Arena Puebla that was quite good and the best thing about it was that both of these guys could’ve done better. I’m not sure they’ll have the time to do so here, but they have a shot and unlike the last match they have an Ángel de Oro who’s looked increasing better since his ROH stint (though he has leveled off to a degree recently). As long as this goes deep into the clock, this has a chance to be really, really good.
Winner: Too close to call. If it was me I’d have them go to a draw, but my guess is Dragón Rojo will squeak out a win with a double stomp at around the 8 minute mark. Note that I feel as good about that prediction as I do Pierroth vs. Diamante Azul. You’re gorram right I’m going to bring up that atrocity and it’s…atrociousness every chance I get. Now I’m wondering whether atrociousness is a word. Score one for the writer!
Atlantis, Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone vs. Pierroth, Rush, Yoshitatsu
What to Expect: Come for the likely Atlantis-Rush interactions, stay for…well pretty much just those two. Everything else about this match (save for poor Marco, who will understandably be essaying Buffy Summers’ “Going Through the Motions”) is unwatchable. Diamante and Pierroth interacting will continue to suck, Yoshitatsu will more than likely continue to be a huge mess and dear Grodd it’s a good thing Atlantis and Rush are involved in this match, otherwise I’d be off doing something productive with my life. Your best bet is to simply hope this match is over really quickly, or that the mystery press conference reveals CMLL is changing gears and that Atlantis-Rush becomes the focal point. Otherwise, take cover.
Winners: The technicos win after Pierroth takes off Diamante Azul’s mask in the second fall to cause a DQ. Nothing else to see here folks, move along.
Torneo Nacional de Parejas Increibles Final
Cavernario & Volador Jr. vs. Último Guerrero & Valiente
What to Expect: The match everyone is coming to see and by far the most intriguing match of the night. You should know the stories by now but just in case you don’t here’s the recap; sworn enemies Cavernario and Volador (who feuded in the fall of 2016) stormed through Block A of this tournament to make the finals, defeating Puma/Rey Cometa, Máscara Año 2000/Máximo and Carístico/Mephisto along the way (the first and final matches were terrific and you should see them both). In contrast, UG and Valiente (also sworn enemies) won Block B by going through Dragón Lee/La Máscara, Mistico/Negro Casas and Atlantis/Euforia, with Valiente showing off some surprisingly great rudo skills along the way. Now they square off here, with Sky Team teammates Volador and Valiente on opposite sides (again) and Cavernario and UG have their first interactions…ever from what I recall. Like I said; lot’s on intrigue.
The question now becomes will that intrigue turn into a match that’s simply good or a match that’s really good? I think it’ll be the former regardless but this could be something more if UG and Valiente work as rudos while Cavernario and Volador work as technicos. That to me is the key. Not that UG and Valiente can’t pull off being the good guys, but they worked so well as rudos last week that it be a shame for them to switch sides now. On top of that, Volador and Cavernario are more suited for the high flying, high spot technico role anyway, which should make the decision easier. As long as CMLL goes the common sense root (and that is a big IF after yesterday), then this has a chance to be an excellent match. Yes Volador and UG will probably be doing their usual, but Volador’s usual is so good you can watch it over and over again, and as last week proved the UG’s usual works great when it’s against new guys. With Cavernario there, the interactions between UG and the youngster could prove to be pretty dynamic. All in all this is definitely a match you should go out of your way to see; it’ll have a great atmosphere, it’ll have big stars and at worse I can’t imagine it being any less than good. The only way you’ll be disappointed is if you’re expecting the best thing ever.
Winners: If you want to talk about a match that could go either way, this is the one. On the one hand, UG always seems to win these big time matches. On the other hand, Volador always seems to win these big time matches. You see the dilemma. Personally I think this was one is way too close to call, but if I have to nut up and do so, I’ll play it safe and go with UG/Valiente. Maybe it’s the fact that everyone else seems to be going that way too and I’m caving to peer pressure, but I just got a feeling it’ll once again be UG’s night, with Valiente along for the ride. They take it in three falls after UG hits Cavernario with a second Guerrero Special while Valiente hits Volador with…is it a Codebreaker or a Valiente Driver? Whatever it is he’s hitting Volador with it twice; Volador is that tough that you have to after all.
And scene. Farewell sports fans; I’ll be back tomorrow to review this show and, if I’m feeling up to it in the morning/afternoon, may even do a quick column with some theories as to why CMLL’s holding a mystery press conference before the show. I’ll keep you posted. Till then, RUPERT G BABY!