CMLL Tuesday: Friday on Tuesday
You know a show was good when you’re reviewing it the morning after it happened and you still feel the need to splash cold water on yourself. Hottest of damns did the CMLL Tuesday show deliver in spades this week sports fans. You wouldn’t have known it from the start, as the opener was serviceable but boring while the second match was borderline disgrace. But after we got that the show turned into something special; three great matches in a row (one of which is a Match of the Year contender for me), a strong main event, highlight reel moment after highlight reel moment, a white hot crowd and even a near fight in the stands! It was as though the atmosphere and general excellence of the Friday show had suddenly been transported to Tuesday; that or the guy booking the show thought it was Friday and thus here we are. Whatever it was I don’t know and I don’t care; this show ruled and I’m using the semicolon too much, which means it’s probably time for this review to get a move on so you can enjoy the excellence too. Moses, meme it like you’re Guerrero Maya Jr. with five seconds left on the clock (so clutch!).
Cholo & Inquisidor defeated Bengala & Leono two falls to one
The best thing I can say about this match was that it wasn’t the dud the next one was. Actually at times it was quite good; I don’t know if Pólvora pulled double duty and wrestled as his brother tonight (think about it; did you see either Inquisidor or Pólvora at the same time last night? Hmm? HMM?!) or if he was extra motivated cause he knew this show was going to rock and roll but he looked pretty good out there, especially his sequences with Bengala. Even Cholo brought something to the table in the form of a really cool Piledriver to put away Leono in the third fall. The point is there was some redeemable stuff in this match, which is great because I expected nothing of the sort. It was still relatively boring and I may or may not have spaced out at a few points, but overall this was an acceptably okay opener. And considering how poor the next match was and how great everything was after that, I think we can give this a pass no?
Nitro, Sangre Azteca, Skándalo defeated Magia Blanca, Sangre Imperial, Starman two falls to one
This match, to put it kindly, was a disgrace to humanity. Yes, that is in fact me being kind. The positive I can say is that Magia Blanca, for the full twenty five seconds he was allowed to do stuff in this match, was great. The problem is he was only allowed twenty five seconds of action on account of him having to be stretchered out because Nitro couldn’t be bothered to base for Blanca when he attempted a hurricanrana from the ring apron to the floor, resulting in Blanca landing back first. Now I’m usually a pretty calm person when it comes to grumpy, old, confidence killing luchadors pulling shit like this, but this time I was left with the urge to go full mafia bag man and do to Nitro’s ankles what Kathy Bates did to Jimmy Caan’s.
Seriously Nitro; it’s bad enough you’re a piece of shit performer that nobody gives a single solitary fuck about most of the time. You then have to go do this? Is it because you’re a piece of shit performer who nobody gives a single solitary fuck about and you thought this was a way to actually get people talking about you? Did your mother not love you enough? Or do you just take pride in knowing you can get away with this because some asshole in CMLL’s front office is living in a world where bad wrestling is the right way to go and fuck the younger performers and their safety? As you can see I’m a little pissed! Magia Blanca is a really exciting, really talented young luchador and Nitro not only didn’t put himself in great position to make sure he performed this move safely but didn’t even seem to care. That’s an insult to Blanca, it’s an insult to all the guys like Euforia, Virus, Negro Casas, Mephisto and Hechicero who bust their ass to protect the technicos on dives, it’s especially insulting to us fans who are forced to watch this bullshit and most importantly it could’ve led to Blanca getting seriously injured. It’s no wonder that youngsters like Sangre Imperial are gun shy in these matches; how can they want to do anything when old never was’ like Nitro aren’t basing for them properly while other’s like Skándalo and Sangre Azteca are doing the lazy same old shit routine? The rest of this CMLL show was fantastic and the best of what the company offers; this was the worst. If I were Paco Alonso, I’d be firing Nitro today, I’d be firing the guy who insisted he be booked for this show, and I take a long hard look what the fuck your staff thinks it’s trying to accomplish by putting these no win, confidence killing matches together week after week. It’s no longer something that would be funny if it wasn’t so sad; it’s now just a disgrace.
El Cuatrero, Forastero, Sansón defeated The Panther, Drone, Tritón two falls to one
I, and I suspect others, desperately needed something to get the bad taste of the last match out of our mouths. We immediately got it with this bout, which in my humble opinion was sensational. We got nonstop action all the way through, with back and forth offense in fall one before Tritón sealed the deal with one of the greatest 450’s I’ve ever seen, technico dominance to start the second fall before Sansón, Cuatrero and Forastero turned the tide with an onslaught of amazing double and triple teams and then all out wackiness in the third fall which saw more double and triple teams from the rudos, more back and forth action and a dive train towards the end that was simply sublime. The only thing missing was Forastero attempting that running springboard dropkick from the ramp to the ring; he instead did a modified version we he just jumped from the apron to the ring. I get him being gun shy there but I hope he tries the other version again soon; accidents will happen and safety is important, but I’m confident he can hit that spot consistently and you never want your confidence shaken on something like that. That aside this was excellent, everyone involved was excellent and this was exactly what we needed following the disgrace of the last match. If CMLL was wise, they’d find a match like this for the Diamantes, Drone and Panther every week and they offer a boatload of cash to make Tritón reconsider going back to Chicago. I may be overselling it, but that guy has been the best worker in CMLL since he came back. The effort he brings to every match, the stuff he tries every match…seriously CMLL, bring the dump trucks full of cash, give this man a push and watch the magic happen.
Guerrero Maya Jr. defeated Virus
Remember how I doubted this match? Well I do and it brings me great shame. This was, dare I say, a quasi-masterpiece of a match that you can only get from someone like Virus. For the first seven minutes of this match we were treated to something you generally only see for two minutes each mat; mat work and submission holds. Some may find that boring, but that’s only because you haven’t seen Virus or Guerrero Maya do this. These two were exceptional transitioning from hold to hold and somehow topping themselves each time; there were a few submissions Virus did in that sequence that I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen before and will never see again. The final two minutes of the match could’ve gone exactly like this and I’m pretty sure it would’ve worked really well. The best thing about this match though is that they didn’t; instead both men realized time was winding down, desperation set in and the final two minutes consisted of both guys going all out to beat each other, including Maya turning into King Cuerno/Cavernario/Sami Zayn and hitting a suicide dive through the turnbuckle area. And just when you thought it couldn’t get more awesome, Maya put Virus in one last submission with the clock winding down and, upon realizing Virus wasn’t going to tap, hit Virus with the Sacrifico Maya and pinned Virus for the win at the 9:59.9 mark! Or in other words, HE WON WITH A GORRAM BUZZER BEATER!
As you can see, I freakin loved this match and unless you have no soul you will too. Virus was every bit the maestro his reputation suggests he is and proved that when motivated only Blue Panther, Negro Navarro, Negro Casas, Hechicero and the guy he was in the ring with can hold a candle to him. And hot damn how about Maya?! Not only did the guy hang with Virus on the mat every step of the way but he even showed off that he’s an exception high flyer as well with the dive towards the end. Honestly I can rave about this match all day long. The ring work was flawless. The layout of the match was flawless. The timing of both Maya to know when to hit Sacrifico Maya and referee Bestia Negra (who doesn’t have the greatest reputation in CMLL ref circles) to get the three count perfectly was so amazing (and arguably shocking) that you might be able to get me to say it was art on a good day. Everything about this was lucha libre at the highest order and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. This was the best Lightning Match we’ve seen since Soberano and Hechicero tore the house down last year (and it may have been even better than that one), one of the two best matches CMLL has produced this year (alongside Volador/Cavernario vs. UG/Valiente) and, along with his match with Bobby V, the bout that should cement Guerrero Maya Jr.’s reputation as the king of Lightning Matches. If he’s in one folks, you know it’s going long and you know it’s going to be something to behold.
Negro Casas, Puma, Tiger defeated Luciferno, Mephisto, Pólvora two falls to one
You may be thinking to yourself, “Surely after two straight great matches the show is going to cool down. It’s CMLL!” Well to that I say NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND (and don’t call me Shirley. Sorry, had to do it). Granted this match wasn’t quite on the level of the previous one but you wouldn’t have known that going off the crowd. They helped make this match feel like a big fight in a way Arena Puebla failed to do so for Carístico and Mephisto the night before, hanging on every move and getting behind Negro Casas early and often. As such this match turned into something sensational in its own right, and that was with all the guys doing great work anyway. Puma and Tiger are always on form regardless of what level they’re working at and they showed why they should be in this position all the time, dishing out double teams and doing some excellent work as technicos (an unusual role for them). Casas was amazing at getting the crowd in the palm of his hands and never letting them out. Pólvora, who will likely get little credit for this because his role wasn’t flashy, couldn’t have been a better foil for Casas; his beat downs of the legend were what helped get the crowd even more into the match and he was so good in his role he actually got booed. A RUDO GETTING LEGIT HEAT IN ARENA MEXICO THAT ISN’T SAM ADONIS! I told you there’s a reason I loved Pólvora. Those four, and the crowd, made it an easy night for Mephisto and Luciferno, who still did some really good work anyway (Luciferno hit a rolling senton off the top that made you wonder why he doesn’t do cool shit like that more often). Maybe it wasn’t the in ring marvel that the last match was, but the action was right there with the third match and the crowd made this something to behold. Let’s hope it’s leading to Casas, Puma and Tiger getting that trios title shot when Ephesto gets back; hell let’s do it without him anyway! Luciferno and Mephisto have been lights out with Pólvora or Hechicero as their new partner; let’s just bring them in for the title match and let the magic happen again!
Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero defeated Carístico, Dragón Lee, Marco Corleone two falls to one
Only in CMLL can you have a match where Último Guerrero nearly throws down with a fan, Dragón Lee hits a hurricanrana from over the ropes and to the floor, a triple submission, Gran Guerrero breaking out one of the craziest and coolest new finishes, a molten hot crowd and it’s arguably only the third and maybe even fourth best match on the show. That’s exactly what happened with the main event, which on any other show would’ve been Match of the Evening without one single solitary second guess. The Guerreros were an exceptional unit like always, bolstered by the fact that Gran Guerrero was even better than usual, Euforia’s exceptional basing (take notes Nitro), UG nearly getting into a fight with a fan (if he adds that to the checklist I’m all for it) and a surprisingly funny moment where all three mocked Marco by doing pushups on top of him! Great stuff. On the other side Dragón Lee was his normal crazy self, Marco actually showed a little more than usual by doing some quick mat work with Euforia and Carístico…well actually he only got to do a suicide dive and several “play to the crowd” moments, but he did those well and he earned a night off after his decent match with Mephisto in Puebla. Ultimately this may have needed just a little more Carístico and Marco to make this work and looking back I would’ve liked to have seen this match get five more minutes to see if they could’ve raised it up another level. But nitpicks aside, the Guerreros were excellent, Lee’s spot was the best of the night, the crowd was white hot throughout and overall this was a damn good main event that’s only crime was that it followed a minor Match of the Year candidate and two really great trios matches. The Tuesday show baby!
That’s game sports fans. I’m off for the rest of the day, but I’ll be back tomorrow to break down a CMLL Friday show that legit may not be as good as this one. I know; I can’t believe I just said that either. Till we meet again, all hail the DUCHOVNY!