CMLL Super Viernes: The Good, the Bad and the Carístico
Tonight’s CMLL was…well it was something. The oldest lucha libre super power delivered a roller coaster of a show, with many things tonight ranging from the forgettable to the laughably bad spectrum. You could make the argument it was a terrible show and I wouldn’t hold it against you. And yet I sit here, and hour or so after it’s ended, and I find myself still really happy with what I saw. Sure there were objectively three, maybe four things about this show that you could say were enjoyable, but I found that they were so enjoyable that they in fact made this show, one that I was semi-dreading going into the evening, pretty damn fun. Good Grodd I must be losing my mind. Or maybe I’m not. I guess we’ll know by the end of this column huh? Moses, let’s get crazy; MEME crazy!
Cancerbero & Raziel defeated Astral & Príncipe Diamante two falls to none
Somehow this match managed to be even more unintentionally hilarious than I anticipated, probably because this actually ended with the rudos beating the technicos in two straight falls. Only in CMLL folks! In fairness to these guys they did try, especially Astral and the two rudos, who definitely were looking to impress. On top of that it appears the match only went two falls not because it was designed that way but because Príncipe Diamante hurt himself on an attempted springboard hurricanrana (somewhere, Flyer watched that and nodded grimly at the botch). Once that happened the finish needed to be rushed and this is what we got. Even with those excuse though you can’t deny that it’s so CMLL for the two new guys to not only get crushed by the veteran rudos but to be outshone by them too. There were times in this match a first time watcher could’ve mistaken Raziel and Cancerbero as the two newcomers; they looked that much more motivated and crisp than the technicos. It was hilarious and also kind of sad, and I reckon it’s only going to get sadder for Astral going forward. Poor guy; I bet getting dropped on your head by Demus 3:16 is looking far better to him now than it was two hours ago.
Amapola, Dalys, Zeuxis defeated Sanely, Princesa Sugehit, Silueta two falls to one
This was a match where some of the pieces came together and others didn’t. Naturally I was impressed with Zeuxis (when am I not?), Silueta proved once more why she needs to be featured often and regardless the reason I was pretty pleased Sanely was here instead of Estrellita. She may not be as good as Estrellita, but Sanely doesn’t hug the spotlight like the veteran does and working with some of the best women in CMLL as opposed to facing Tiffany, Seductora and the works is definitely something she should be doing. But whether it was her inexperience or a lack of chemistry between a lot of the luchadoras, this one didn’t seem to click as much. As a result we had a lot of Zeuxis and Silueta looking good, a lot of chaotic moments, a lot of sloppy moments and a match that didn’t come as close to being a Match of the Evening contender as I thought it would. Oh well; at least the Queen won. That’s always cause for celebration in my book.
La Máscara, Ripper, Rush defeated Atlantis, Stuka Jr., Valiente two falls to one
This was significantly better than I anticipated for two reasons. One, it turns out that Rush and La Máscara teaming with anyone that isn’t Pierroth is a significant improvement. Regardless of how you feel about Ripper (I myself have referred to him as a lifeless corpse before), there’s no question he’s a better worker than Pierroth and his presence here not only enhanced this match but seemed to enhance Rush and Máscara. They seemed more focused more energetic and just plain old better than they have been when old man Pierroth has been around. Two, and even more importantly than point number one, CMLL actually teased an Atlantis vs. Rush feud!
Yes folks; it actually happened and it was as glorious as you’d hope it would be. I don’t know if CMLL saw how they worked over in Japan and made the decision to start a feud up or if they’ve come to their senses and realized Diamante Azul-Pierroth is the worst idea in the history of the western hemisphere (more on that later). Whatever it was, there were definitely things put in motion for an Atlantis/Rush match sometime down the road. For tonight it served as the spark of the match. Atlantis went after Rush with gusto and Rush cowered as only Rush could, even finding the time to steal a camera from a ringside photographer to take Atlantis’ picture; all while hiding behind Máscara! It wasn’t anything we haven’t seen before but it was super fun and super refreshing to see Atlantis and Rush doing something meaningful. Most importantly, if you took their interactions out of the match than this would’ve merely been a “just kind of there” trios that everyone would’ve forgotten by now. It wasn’t a world beater even with Rush and Atlantis doing their thing, but at least now we can say this was an entertaining bout that clearly started something between two of CMLL’s top stars and may have given us some hope for Homenaje a Dos Leyendas. We’re not out of the Diamante-Pierroth woods yet folks, but issues between Atlantis and Rush (never mind how much bigger that match is than Diamante-Pierroth) at least gives us something to speculate on.
Torneo Increible de Parejas Block A
Máximo Sexy and Máscara Año 2000 defeated Blue Panther and Tiger
First off; yes there was a seeding battle royal, yes it sucked and no we aren’t talking about it. Get it? Got it? Good. Unfortunately this first match wasn’t much better than the battle royal, mainly because it was Máximo trying to kiss Blue Panther the whole match and Máscara Año 2000 continuing to wrestle like Máscara Año 2000. The only bright spot of this bout was Tiger, who managed to get in a good dive and looked spry for the whole five seconds he got. Take him away and this was a dud, which is a shame because Máximo, Tiger and Blue Panther are capable of having a good match with each other under the right circumstances.
Volador Jr. and Cavernario defeated Rey Cometa and Puma
The only thing to figure out with this match is whether it was the best or second best match of the evening. I’d go with second, if only because… well we’ll get to it later. Even still this match was sublime. Both teams carried over the chemistry they have as opponents into being partners and thus you got a lot of crisp action, great pace and a shit ton of sequences you normally wouldn’t see because CMLL still doesn’t give Cometa or Puma the respect they deserve. How they can still do that when Cometa was matching Volador move for move here is a mystery to me, but whatever; this was super fun, everyone clicked and hopefully one day we get to see this match again. If nothing else I hope we see CMLL eventually turn Cometa rudo or Puma technico so they can become a regular tag team. They worked so well together that I half expected Cometa to pull his face off and reveal it was Tiger in a Cometa mask all along.
Diamante Azul and Pierroth defeated Kráneo and Marco Corleone
This match was three things; a whole lot of nothing, a whole lot of Diamante and Pierroth bickering and a whole lot of Diamante Azul being pretty good. No one will admit that because a) no one (rightfully) wants to see Diamante-Pierroth and b) no one cares for Diamante Azul because…I don’t really know. Objectively speaking though he did quite well here; it wasn’t anything life changing but he hit his power moves well (difficult considering he had to deal with two 260 plus pounders in Marco and Kráneo) and even became the first dude to successfully catch Marco’s diving crossbody from the stage to the ring. Even the most hardened lucha fan had to admit that was cool. So props to you Diamante Azul; your feud may suck and I was desperately rooting for you to lose here, but you did well and made me forget Pierroth existed for a moment or two.
Carístico and Mephisto defeated Ángel de Oro and Rey Bucanero
When Ángel de Oro made it to the final two in the seeding Battle Royal, I actually thought it was a sign his team may have had a shot. Instead he and Rey Bucanero were out of it by the 29 mark after Buc got rolled up and Oro tapped to La Mistica. And so it goes. I won’t complain about this decision too much since the time this match would’ve gotten went into the main event, but my Grodd was this a colossal failure. The only comparison I can make is if someone remade 2001: A Space Odyssey and then ended the film right as Bowman asked Hal to open those gorram pod bay doors.
Volador Jr. and Cavernario defeated Máximo and Máscara Año 2000
Carístico and Mephisto defeated Diamante Azul and Pierroth
All you need to know about these two matches is that the right teams won. Well that and CMLL clearly is still planning something between Pierroth and Diamante Azul, as evident by the post match beat down Los Ingobernables gave Diamante. That’s something we can deal with later though. For now let’s just be thankful that CMLL made the right decision and had the two best teams win to make the Block A finals. Imagine if they hadn’t and we got Máximo/Máscara Año 2000 against Diamante/Pierroth. For all of you complaining about this show, always remember that it could’ve been significantly worse.
Volador Jr. and Cavernario defeated Carístico and Mephisto
I’m not gonna sugar coat this sports fans; I LOVED this match. Loved, loved, loved, LOVED this match. I loved this match so much it rivals the love Buffy and Angel had for each other. Alright maybe not that much but still; this was my match of the night by a country mile and the best match I’ve seen from CMLL thus far this year. That good! Why was it that good? Well for one there’s a good chance I’ve lost my mind and just judge things differently than the rest of the class does. But the likely reason I was into this match is because it left me like Ron Burgundy here.
For me at least, this match was an emotional roller coaster. We started off with Volador and Carístico just going nuts with hurricanrana’s and dives to get the crowd going, and doing it in a way that you momentarily forgot that they were fighting each other (mainly because they were diving on the two rudos). Then the match got even crazier when Volador and Carístico BOTH dove into the crowd in what might be the spot of the year thus far, a spot that also resulted in Carístico hurting his elbow. And that’s when the match really hit high gear. Whether Carístico was actually hurt or not, that moment helped create a story where it was Mephisto trying to survive both Volador and Cavernario, who are only two of the best luchadors alive. Kayfabe wise that’s tremendous drama. Mephisto is a bad ass but even he shouldn’t be able to hold off those two for that long. And yet he did, scratching and clawing until Carístico was finally able to get his elbow taped up and get back in there, flying around as though nothing ever happened. And just when it looked like hope was lost again when Carístico got eliminated, Mephisto roared back again, hit an amazing Canadian Destroyer on Cavernario and then put Volador down with a top rope Devil’s Wings. It was excellent stuff…and then it was over just like then when Cavernario caught Mephisto taking a moment to relax and making him submit with La Cavernaria. It was pretty sweet, not only because it was a great ending but because (and many people missed this) it was a moment where a young luchador actually got to go over a veteran! I can’t have been the only one who noticed that right?
And look, maybe I am crazy. Maybe the rest of the night was just that average that I’m overrating this bout. Maybe I’m not as jaded as others are when it comes to these tournament matches. I don’t know; I just know that I had a hell of a time watching this. It had great spots, great action, a nice story that may or may not have come about accidentally, a fantastic conclusion and gutsy performances from all four guys (especially Mephisto and Carístico, a guy who people once mocked for not working on a hurt finger. It’s a shame none of those people saw this match tonight). I greatly enjoyed it and I can’t wait to see who Volador and Cavernario get in the finals. Whoever it is, it’ll be a tall task for those four to do what these four did tonight.
And I’m spent. I’m off to get some sleep before I wake up tomorrow to read people laughing at me for liking that main event. It is what it is! Till then, SCULLAY!