CMLL Puebla: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
If there’s one downside to being a dog sitter, it’s having to hit the showers early so you can be up early to take care of said dog. That was the situation last night, which is why this review of CMLL Puebla is coming out now. Well that and I couldn’t have brought myself to review last night’s show right afterwards even if I wanted to. What do I mean by that; pretty much that half of this show was a dumpster fire that made me long for the days of twenty minute Triple H promos and 50/50 booking. Alright it wasn’t that bad, but it still wasn’t good, and if not for the headlining match and a solid second half this column would’ve just been a picture of Mascarita Sagrada giving the middle finger. Alas right? So without any further gilding the lily and with no more ado, let’s get this party started. Moses, I want to ride the memecycle, I want to see that meme! Help me Cthulhu, I’m losing it.
Astro & Centella Roja defeated Mini Joker & Saurón two falls to one
The only thing I got out of this match is that Astro is quietly pretty good and probably should get more opportunities. Beyond that this was the typical CMLL opener that featured some good, some bad and in the case of Saurón a whole lot of ugly. Mother of sweet things he was bad here; he looked completely off pace, had no “oomph” in his moves and botched a Package Piledriver so badly near the end of this match that it looked like a Pedigree. And we all thought we didn’t have to worry about Triple H on CMLL programming! At least the good guys won, though the crowd was so flat by the end that I don’t think it mattered.
Flyer & Star Jr. defeated Ares & Fuerza Chicana two falls to one
Exactly how I expected it to go. When the rudos were in control things grinded to a halt and were at times painful to watch. When Flyer and Star Jr. were on offense the match picked up and both guys came out great. Why CMLL insisted on giving them two guys who can’t really keep up with them is a mystery to me and hopefully it’s a mystery they solve quickly. Star Jr. and Flyer are guys that should be tangling with Los Cientificos, a Virus led team or a Hechicero led team, not low level talent like Ares and Fuerza. There’s always next time I guess, and they did rightfully get the win here which I didn’t expect. Say what you will about match quality, but at lease CMLL seemed to get most of the results right this evening. Well except the next match, which I’ll let Dr. Cox sum up for you right now.
Arkángel de la Muerte, Metálico, Nitro defeated Arkalis, Black Tiger, Rey Samuray two falls to one
This match lived up to the hype, and by that I mean that it sucked long and it sucked hard. It was so bad that I’m currently re-evaluating things I once thought to be bad like Dawson’s Creek and every Nicolas Cage film after the year 2000, for surely they can’t be as awful as this train wreck. Whatever issue you can think can be found here; the effort wasn’t very good, the luchadors who gave an effort were either marginalized or had an off night and holy Cthulhu do Arkángel and Nitro need to retire right now? The only way I’d watch them wrestle again is if it was a trios match involving Ripper, Skándalo, Cancerbero and Raziel, where we’d at least get the high comedy of the six worst luchadors in CMLL showing just how bad they are. Here it was just a miserable experience and one that I thankfully should forget by the end of the day. It was by far the worst match of the night and thankfully the last uninteresting thing on this card.
Esfinge, Stigma, Titán defeated Bobby Z, Misterioso Jr., Olímpico two falls to one
Let the record show that I may be overrating this match due to how uninteresting (aside from Flyer and Star Jr.) the first half of this card is. In the end who cares because this match was a hundred buckets of water for a thirsty man in the desert. It wasn’t a great match in any sense but it didn’t need to be; it just needed to be good and good it was. Frankly I was beginning to doubt anything would be good on this show when Olímpico walked out in place of Okumura, a moment that nearly caused me to torpedo my face through a window pane.
Instead of harming the match though (like he does most of the bouts he appears in these days), Olímpico actually was pretty good till he started losing steam in the third fall. This doesn’t suddenly make him someone to watch all the time, but it’s pretty clear he’s still capable when working with above average talent and thankfully the technico team was above average tonight. Esfinge and Stigma stepped up and Titán was tremendous; it’s getting harder and harder for CMLL to keep him down in wake of the great last couple of weeks he’s had and I reckon it only gets better from here. Combine that with another fantastic Bobby Z performance and Misterioso staying out of the way and this was more than acceptable. I doubt anyone remembers it fifteen days from now but on a show in desperate need of anything positive, this match and the luchadors in it did their job.
CMLL World Middleweight Championship Match
Dragón Rojo Jr. (c) defeated Ángel de Oro two falls to one
I get the feeling that some point down the road I’m going to look back on this match and realize this was far better than I thought it was at the time. And right now I think this match was very good and possibly even great. The problem is that the Arena Puebla crowd didn’t seem to think so; I don’t know if they were drained by an otherwise below average show or if they just didn’t care about these guys, but they were quiet during this match regardless of what either guy did. It didn’t help that Ángel de Oro wasn’t particularly good during the first couple of falls either; I was getting flashbacks to that La Máscara match from earlier this year early. Frankly, after the second of two average at best suicide dives, I thought to myself that Oro simply didn’t have it this evening, which would’ve been understandable if matches 1-3 hadn’t been the equivalent of watching Batman and Robin three times in a row.
It takes two to tango though and luckily Dragón Rojo Jr. did have it this evening and had it from the start. It was subtle at first but as the match went on you started to see just how excellent a worker Rojo is and as he started to deliver the goods Oro suddenly started to raise his game to the next level too. And just like that this match went from an okay to good match through the first two falls and a quarter to an excellent final third that saw some great dives (including a Rojo springboard plancha and an Ángel de Oro moonsault to the floor), some good action and a lot of believable false finishes. I think it was already unpredictable going in on whether Rojo would retain the CMLL Middleweight belt (which I’ll remind you he’s held for almost five years now), but these guys really added to that and there was one point I was so certain Oro had won the match that I nearly fell off the chair when Rojo managed to keep things going. They had really turned this into something by the end and even with the crowd being hot this was something worth seeing. I can only wonder what it would’ve been like if the crowd had been up for this and if the referee here hadn’t made Tirantes look like friggin Edgar. Just goes to show you how important a strong undercard and role players are huh?
Marco Corleone, Pierroth, Rush defeated Euforia, Máximo Sexy, Último Guerrero two falls to none
We got everything we needed here; not a lot of Pierroth (and he was okay when he was in), some fun exchanges and a whole lot of build to Rush vs. UG next week. If tonight was any indication then that match should be amazing to watch; UG is an exceptional rudo, but he looks to be an even better tweener and was really exciting taking things to Rush tonight. If he brings that next week and Rush brings the kind of unpredictable intensity he brought to his matches with L.A. Park and Matt Taven then this could be excellent. Hell we got a glimpse of that tonight when Rush, for reasons I’m still not sure of, dropkicked Tirantes all the way to holy hell and for a moment it looked like may have even given the poor man a heart attack. That’s the kind of thing that makes you fear that Rush will be suspended, but it’s also why we love him; you just never know when he’s going to bring in the chaos and if he’s willing to bring it in a random trios match then you can bet he’ll be doing it next week against an above average luchador in UG. In short, this match needed to give us more reason to care about Rush-UG than we already did, and that’s what we got. Bring on next week, with a better undercard for the love of all things!
That’s it for me folks! Barring it running way too long I’ll be back tonight with my review of the CMLL Tuesday show. Till we meet again, let’s close with some Nathan Drake.