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CMLL Super Viernes: Hot Hot Heat
We’re going to half to keep this short; I’ve had this column done for a bit now but have been delayed thanks to a long Twitter conversation and my brother texting me about the Looney Tunes. College kids, amirite?! The short gist of tonight’s CMLL is that it was pretty solid, the crowd ruled, the stream sucked, the third match sucked, the tournament was fun and a miracle happened in the second match. The long story is…well you’re about to find out aren’t you? Moses, meme time!
Mercurio & Pierrothito defeated Eléctrico & Stukita two falls to one
I’d dare say this lived up to being pretty good! And it wasn’t all Stukita’s doing either if you’d believe it. I did find some spots to be a tad choppy and the timing wasn’t always there, but more often than not this match clicked and the good moments were really good. Like Mercurio’s awesome tornillo to the floor in the third fall. Not only did it leave me in awe because of how awesome it was but also because I had no idea Mercurio could even do that! Have you ever seen him do that dive before? Me neither. Super cool moment that rounded up a nice performance from him, save for the one time he had to bite Stukita’s ass. Throw in Stukita being Stukita, a better than usual Eléctrico performance (even if he could’ve been a tad crisper) and Pierrothito doing decent work in limited action and this was a pretty solid opener. If you wanted to argue it was the best match of the night I wouldn’t stop you. I’d tell you that you were more wrong than the critics were with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but I wouldn’t stop you.
La Vaquerita, Marcela, Sanely defeated Metálica, Reyna Isis, Tiffany two falls to one
At least with the first match I had an inkling that it would be entertaining. This second match here was a gorram miracle, so much so that I’m about to utter something I didn’t think I would when I previewed this a day ago; this match not only didn’t suck, it was kind of fun. I KNOW! Unbelievably these six, who outside of Marcela and Metálica have no business doing anything above aggressively mediocre, all came together to deliver a match that was watchable and at times halfway decent. Tiffany and Reyna Isis didn’t fuck anything up, and Isis may have had the best performance of her career (not a high bar to clear but still). Vaquerita was better than usual (maybe she thought Zeuxis was there?). Sanely still can’t run the ropes to save her life, but she did everything else quite well and had the highlight spot of the match with a crossbody to the floor. Marcela was solid. And huge props should go to Metálica, who shepherded Sanely through a decent portion of their work together and managed to sneak in some pretty chill spots of her own. It wasn’t a masterpiece and I won’t remember it come next week. Thank Grodd, because I feared this would be one of the worst matches I’d ever seen. Instead it was a highly watchable match with some good moments that made me feel a little bit better about the future of the luchadoras division. Metálica definitely has some skill and Sanely, if she ever learns to run those ropes like they aren’t barbed wire, has star potential. Somewhere, several dozen of lonely, love sick lucha fans are vigorously nodding in agreement.
Kráneo, Pierroth, Yoshi Tatsu defeated Diamante Azul, Marco Corleone, Volador Jr. two falls to none
Looking back on this match an hour and a half later, the only reaction I can come up with is this.
Good Grodd folks; this match was so bad it was hysterical. I can count on one hand what decent moments there were; Volador throwing Violencia (one of Pierroth’s mascots) into the stands, Edgar wearing an old school striped ref shirt, the crowd (who ate up everything in this match for reasons I still don’t understand) and the ending, partially because Diamante Azul ripping Pierroth’s mask was cool and mostly because the match was finally over. Everything else sucked to comedic levels. Diamante Azul was merely there to get beaten up and tear the mask at the end. Marco did nothing. Volador got one dive that Yoshi Tatsu poorly sold. It was all rudos all the time and aside from Kráneo (who couldn’t get out of there fast enough when the match ended) they were abysmal. Pierroth is Pierroth and Yoshi Tatsu looks every bit as awful as I’ve heard him to be. Sure the spinning kick off the top was cool, but he had no convincing offense besides that and he couldn’t have sold Volador’s dive any worse if he was Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior combined. This was not the start he needed to have in Arena Mexico and I doubt it gets much better. Hell I doubt it gets better for any of us as Diamante-Pierroth definitely appears to be in full swing. The only thing I can say is that at least Arena Mexico seems to be into it (I’d rather watch a live, energetic crowd that’s into the story than a dead crowd, even if it’s for a story I don’t like), which should help once the time comes. It won’t help a lot but it’ll help. Did I grasp enough for straws there?
Torneo Increible de Parejas Block B
Atlantis and Euforia defeated Guerrero Maya Jr. and Dragón Rojo Jr.
Once more we skip the battle royal. Don’t worry; unless you like seeing dudes tossed over the top rope you missed little. Skipping this match however would’ve meant missing a lot. I’ll probably end up being a bigger fan of this one than most, and that’s mostly because I liked how they took their time here. Most of these tournament matches last five minutes or less; this one felt like it went closer to ten, with everyone getting something in and unique match ups being explored. Guerrero Maya really came off well here thanks to his interactions with Euforia and that amazing dive us his that nearly took out Euforia, himself and the front row barricade. How he’s still walking after his a mystery to us all. Ultimately this would’ve likely been more memorable with a few more minutes and a hotter crowd, but I enjoyed it as a kick off to the block. It also did feature the best double pin I’ve seen in awhile by Atlantis and Euforia, so props for that.
Rush and Terrible defeated Stuka Jr. and Hechicero
The problem with this match was less what happened in the ring and more that CMLL’s stream started to act like it was being hacked by Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara edition). That would be a problem for the whole show the rest of the way and thus I’m not sure if I missed a really good match here or if it was just okay. I’m going to go with it just being okay. Rush was engaged, Terrible looked so thrilled to be doing more than usual and Hechicero and Stuka did some intriguing things. In the end though there just wasn’t enough time to reach the potential this could’ve and the time they were given was wrecked by CMLL’s transmission team. I’ll say this though; if nothing else, this match got me really excited for a potential Rush-Hechicero match down the road. Who says no to that? Honestly.
Valiente and Último Guerrero defeated Dragón Lee and La Máscara
A much livelier match even with the stream issues acting up even more. The reason is twofold. First, it turns out Valiente and UG make for a pretty great rudo tag team, with Valiente coming across far better here than he usually does as a technico. Second, even with all their infighting, Dragón Lee and La Máscara came to play, with Máscara getting into intense mode and Lee going into his usual bag of tricks, including the from the ring, to the apron, to the floor hurricanrana on Valiente that the Man with No Pants sold/took brilliantly. Even with the stream issues I’d argue this match did just enough to be the best of the first round, and it was the first match where you started to notice the crowd getting really into things. My only regret is Lee and Máscara didn’t win. Why? The chaos it would’ve caused! UG and Valiente were expected to win; take them out and suddenly there’s a realistic chance any team in the final four could’ve won. Instead Máscara had to get greedy, he and Lee imploded and now (spoiler alert) we’re sitting here having to deal with Rob Viper being right again. Thanks a lot Máscara.
Mistico and Negro Casas defeated Titán and Ripper
This where the crowd really became noticeable. They weren’t just white hot for these four; they were NUCLEAR hot. The only way it could’ve gotten hotter is if Zeuxis had appeared or if Sam Adonis was involved. I don’t know what it was but the crowd really loved them this match…until the end, when Tirantes reared his ugly head and ended up screwing Titán and Mistico out of a couple of minutes. Can we just fire that guy already? Everything was going fine, Titán was having good sequences with Casas and Mistico and even Ripper wasn’t doing anything to fuck it up. A few more minutes of action between Titán and Mistico and who knows where we wind up. Instead Tirantes chose to count Titán out DESPITE Titán’s shoulders being off the mat, and from there the only good thing that happened was that Mistico got to pin both rudos to win the match. Of course that naturally turned the crowd, who was hot for Mistico prior to that, against him the rest of the night, thus making Tirantes’ blunder even worse than you previously thought. I guess the one good thing to come out of it is that he didn’t get to ref the main event tonight. I’d like to believe that’s because CMLL recognized he deserved it as much as I deserve a billion dollars, but the likelihood is Tirantes couldn’t get his shoes tied in time and by a stroke of luck we were spared.
Atlantis and Euforia defeated Rush and Terrible
You gotta hand it to CMLL with this one. Like many, I was upset there was no Atlantis/Rush team and figured it meant CMLL didn’t have any serious plans for the two of them feuding. Then we got to this match, I realized they were matched up against each other and suddenly I was looking like this.
Well played CMLL, well played. And once more the interactions of those two turned out to be the best parts of this match. Not that Terrible and Euforia didn’t have anything to do, but the Rush-Atlantis stuff was key. Rush targeted Atlantis again before anyone could even get off the stage and we slowly built from there till Atlantis was taking Rush to Backbreaker City and hitting him with suicide dives. Hell even after Atlantis won the match by submitting Rush with Atlantida it wasn’t over. Why? Because Atlantis, pure and good Atlantis, needed to beat up Rush some more! It was beautiful, amazing even and it instantly renewed my faith that, even if it’s not at Homenaje a Dos Leyendas, Rush vs. Atlantis is in the pipeline. Thank Grodd, and New Japan. Don’t think for one second that feud was in the cards before New Japan ran that match at FantasticaMania, leading to Rush and Atlantis tearing the house (and each other) down. Gedo really is a genius.
Último Guerrero and Valiente defeated Mistico and Negro Casas
Really cool, really short; your every day CMLL tournament match! Alright it wasn’t quite that; not every CMLL tournament has Negro Casas and Último Guerrero beautifully milking every last drop from the crowd. Honestly I think that sequence, as great as it was, was part of the problem for this bout. It was less about what actually happened and more about the possibilities of what could happen, like Casas and UG teasing an extended sequence or Valiente continuing to look at home as a rudo. CMLL gave us a taste of great possibilities here, but they didn’t give us the full meal. As such this was fun for what it was, but it’s not hard to believe there was much more waiting. Luckily that much more was coming up immediately after this.
Valiente and Último Guerrero defeated Atlantis and Euforia
In retrospect this was what CMLL had been building to all night and it turned out to be exactly what we all wanted and needed it to be; a spectacle match with tons of big moves and a whole lot of crowd involvement. The key to this working however was Euforia. Don’t get me wrong, everyone was damn good here, but Valiente didn’t do much aside from rudoing it up, Atlantis’ best work was the previous match and UG did what UG always does; check things off the list and hope no one realizes this is the 9,001st time he’s done it. That’s all well and good but there needs to be more to it, and that’s where Euforia came in. He sold everything, he kicked out of everything, he hit UG and Valiente with everything; he even at one point did a dive, finally fulfilling my dream of seeing a Euforia dive (maybe Soberano has been giving him pointers?). Even better was that he used his knowledge of being UG’s closest confidante to his advantage; he was all over UG’s attempt to hit Atlantis with the Guerrero Special, refused to walk into UG’s Gordbuster trap and became the first person in history to be hit with the Guerrero Special without going up to try and his a moonsault first. That stuff may seem insignificant to most but I thought it worked really well and showed just why Euforia is such an unsung hero within the CMLL confines. It’s just shame he couldn’t win, it’s a shame that Rush didn’t come out to screw Atlantis (I was really hoping for that) and even more a shame that once more, Rob Viper was right. Dammit all. At least UG/Valiente vs. Volador/Cavernario will be a hoot next week.
That’s it sports fans. I’m off to sleep. Glorious sleep. Till next time, GILES!