CMLL Super Viernes: It's Friday, Lucha Rules!
Sweet cream on an ice cream sandwich, what has gotten into CMLL?! Paco Alonso and the gang can suddenly do no wrong (unless it’s on Tuesday night) and tonight’s Super Viernes serves as more proof. What a show. I don’t know if it was as good as the Anniversary Show but it was packed to the brim with some really great wrestling. In fact I’ll go on record in saying only one match on the show wasn’t at least good; the rest were good, very good, great and in one case so entertaining it couldn’t help but be great. That kind of night folks; I guess we should be thanking Lucha Libre Elite for running a show opposite CMLL and potentially forcing them to roll out the maximum effort. But enough about promotions Paco Alonso will bury beneath Blue Demon Jr.’s Miami villa (it’s already started; Demon infiltrated Elite tonight!), it’s time to review. Moses; meme strike confirmed!
Astral & Stukita defeated Pequeño Nitro & Pierrothito two falls to one
It might not have been the high point of the night but this opener turned out to be the best case scenario of what we hoped for going in. The first fall was a little slow for my liking with only Stukita working a good pace, but that changed in the second fall thanks to a surprisingly great double team sequence from Nitro and Pierrothito, where they eliminated the technicos with the help of two exceptional double team moves, the first was a double stomp from Nitro to Stukita and the second was a Nitro codebreaker (in fairness, Pierrothito submitted Stukita with a Bret Hart style sharpshooter, but that wouldn’t have happened without the stomp. How were these moves double teams you may ask; because Pierrothito held Stukita and then Astral in a wheelbarrow position both times while Nitro wiped them off the face of the earth, Frieza style.
From that point forward the match picked up and the third fall was excellent minus a few stalls. I would’ve liked to have seen Stukita and Astral get a little more to do, but they made the most of it and Astral in particular had a nice moment where he swung Nitro into the barricade. Overall a great way to start the show, largely thanks to the rudos. The technicos effort was never in question, but the rudos was, hence it was great to see them step up and in many ways get the match going with that good second fall.
Blue Panther Jr., Pegasso, Soberano Jr. vs. Okumura, Tiger, Virus
The moment Junior came out for this match I should’ve known it was going to be fire. I’d have to watch this and the main event again but this might’ve been the best match of the evening as was certainly the most complete. They never let up here, starting off really hot with great mat work from Pegasso and Okumura, continuing with a nice brawling sequence between Junior and Tiger before Soberano wowed people with a great corkscrew dive. The rudos did get the first fall, then effectively carried the second fall by actually keeping the advantage via one on one beat downs instead of a gang attack. How original! Soberano got the comeback started, Pegasso (who was at the top of his game tonight) then hit an awesome Ricochet like dive and Junior put Okumura away with a slingshot corner dropkick. And then that third fall; hot damn that third fall! Tiger and Soberano hit some amazing dives, Okumura hit an amazing Randy Orton style DDT and most importantly Junior and Tiger slowly built to a conclusion between the two that was electric. It truly is amazing how far Junior has come and the biggest difference appears to be his pace; what used to take him awhile now comes much quicker and he was able to hang with the always reliable Tiger step by step at the end, with the two exchanging German’s before Junior got Tiger to submit via a pretzel like submission. It was a great ending to a great match that did a great job of highlight both Junior (who got the pin) and Soberano (who started the comeback that got this match into high gear), two of the young guys who can and should be huge stars for CMLL going forward. The best part; the crowd got super hot in this match and never relented the rest of the show. Who knew that the good guys winning could have such an effect?!
Ángel de Oro, Rey Cometa, Titán defeated Ephesto, Hechicero, Vangellys two falls to one
I didn’t think this match would be able to follow the previous one and yet against all odds it almost did. With the exception of Ephesto, who tried but just couldn’t keep up most of the match, everyone was on their game here. I loved the Oro-Hechicero match up to start the match and no sooner were they done killing it did Titán and Vangellys come in and equal them. I don’t know if it was Hechicero rubbing off on him or what but Vangellys, a normally okay performer, really seemed to gel tonight. Things just built from there; we saw Cometa flung into the crowd by Hechicero and Vangellys during fall one, Hechicero delivering a CM Punk style knee better than CM Punk (apologies Punk, apologies!), Cometa sticking the landing on a Fenix style first rope springboard corkscrew dive, dueling moonsaults from Titán and Cometa; name it and it happened in this match. Unfortunately that includes the bad, and the ending of the match was hurt by Oro tweaking his knee after Hechicero (brilliant otherwise) hit him with a buckle bomb that eventually forced everyone to improvise a DQ finish for the technicos. First off, that buckle bomb looks to be as dangerous as coming across 1980’s Mike Tyson in a dark alley. Secondly, no I don’t know how it hurt Oro’s knees. Thirdly, it was such a shame that happened because this match was really good up to that point and while he hadn’t been the star, Oro had done a good job in this one (as he is wont to do). Here’s hoping to a speedy recovery.
Felino defeated Valiente
Quietly this match had a pretty big subplot as Felino’s ex-wife, Princesa Blanca, debuted for Elite tonight in Arena Naucalpan and from what I understand had a few things to say about their marriage (although I didn’t read the full reports on her appearance so I could be wrong). Whether or not Felino new about it or not it didn’t affect his performance here, which was terrific and far more expansive than usual. The problem is Valiente wasn’t on the same level and it led to this being the only “okay” match of the night. I’m sure you’ll assume that my issue here was Valiente only doing one dive but that wasn’t the issue; the issue was that he seemed to be far more interested yapping with the crowd and taking far too long to do moves. There was one sequence where Valiente had Felino in the corner for what seemed like forever, with Felino waiting for the next spot while Valiente kept playing to the crowd. It was super weird, it killed the flow of the match and ultimately it’s probably why I’m the only one who had no issue with the result. I get that Valiente is the more exciting guy and all, but when you don’t put the effort in while the other guy is, it’s hard to be mad when he loses. On top of that, at least judging from the results of the next match, it seems as though CMLL has plans for Felino and Valiente beyond this, which hopefully means we’ll see more of the Anniversary Show Valiente and less of this version. It was like going from Jurassic Park to The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
Matt Taven, Mr. Niebla, Shocker defeated Máscara Dorada, Máximo Sexy, Volador Jr. two falls to one
What was supposed to be a showcase for newcomer Matt Taven turned out to be a balls to the wall comedy match with a whole lot of Máscara Dorada craziness. I loved every minute of it, and so did Arena Mexico judging from the enthusiastic response they gave everything. Normally the nonstop parade of antics from Máximo and Niebla probably would’ve worn thin, but I thought CMLL did a good job of timing the spots, adding some originality to them (such as KeMonito splashing Niebla after he slipped off the apron to the floor) and using them to integrate Taven into the craziness; I was actually convinced he might bolt from Arena Mexico at one point due to Máximo psyching him out so bad. While that dominated the match there was definitely a lot of excitement. Volador didn’t get to do much but he was still pretty good as he usually is. Shocker once again was used only in spurts and didn’t take away from this bout at all. Ultimately though the big stories coming in were the big stories coming out; Taven started out slow but ultimately did impress. He has some nice athletic ability (I loved his over the rope dive, on which he stuck the landing on) and his take on the Beautiful Disaster kick was pretty damn good. If this is how he looks just off of injury then he should be great when he’s fully healed. And what can I say about Dorada that hasn’t been said already? Once more he was electric from start to finish and for a guy less than a week away from competing in a huge WWE sanctioned event he showed no signs of letting up. And oh yeah, he too stuck the landing on the dive; it was that kind of night folks. You’ve got to love that effort and it’s just another reason why I and so many others are going to miss Dorada. I don’t think his effort was enough to make this match traditionally good, but it was one of the many things that made this a highly entertaining bout and good debut for CMLL’s newest member. It also set a potential big match into motion. Niebla pinned Volador to win this match for the rudos, which coupled with his pal Felino pinning Volador’s pal Valiente in the match before might signal a Sky Team-La Peste Negra match in the future. How does one say “sign me up” in Spanish.
Carístico, Dragón Lee, Mistico defeated Euforia, La Máscara, Negro Casas two falls to none
First off, big ups to Carístico for not only competing in this main event here but then somehow making it to Arena Naucalpan some thirty to forty minutes away to compete in Lucha Libre Elite’s main event tonight too. There’s legends and then there’s Carístico, who I’m partially convinced is either an Aerostar esq time traveler, an honest to Cthulhu wizard or Sonic the Hedgehog in luchador form. Whatever the case, you just know that Alberto Del Rio was fuming at a local Hooters upon hearing the news, while Paige tried to calm him by ordering some more chicken wings.
Oh yes, almost forgot about the match! This was right up there with the second match of the night for the best CMLL offered tonight and even though that one had an extra fall it didn’t quite match this match’s intensity. There was an extra oomph to everything here, particularly in the kicks each man gave to the other; there were times that Máscara kicked Dragón Lee’s head so hard that it felt like his head was going to wind up in the third row. Really what else can you say about those two at this point. It may never have the mystique of the recent big Anniversary Show feuds, but damned if these two aren’t going to try their hardest to make it so by stiffing the fuck out of each other with slaps, knees, kicks, elbows. You can’t say enough about the effort they’ve given and the strides they’ve made, especially Máscara, who has gone from a guy that you shrugged at to someone I actually look forward to seeing. Let’s not forget about everyone else here though. Carístico started out slow but closed strong (as he did in the Elite match forty minutes later), Mistico was electric in his spurts and Negro Casas was gorram Negro Casas, nailing all the little things, bumping around like a twenty five year old and even hitting a running seated senton off the apron. It makes you feel bad for poor Euforia, until you realize he made everyone look like a million bucks here. My only complaints here were that there was no Mistico/Casas interactions to play off their Puebla feud (looks like that’s strictly a Monday night thing), a spot where Mistico hit an over the rope senton on Carístico by accident didn’t even lead to mild tension and CMLL still looks like they’re continuing the Lee-Máscara program despite the fact that Rush was nowhere to be seen and no advancement has been made on the Anniversary Show ending angle. They have to do something with that and soon. Beyond that though this was a very good match despite being rushed (I’m guessing because Carístico had to jet) and capped off a stellar night for a promotion that, in ring at least, is firing on all cylinders right now.
That’ll do sports fans, that’ll do! I’m off till tomorrow, where I will finally get my LuchaPalooza closing ceremony stuff completed while also doing a column on CMLL as a whole. We’ll see! Till then, Spider-Man! Spider-Man! Providing them memes like no one else can! Alright I’ll stop now.