CMLL Super Viernes: Legends Night
For Malcolm Young.
Yes it’s Legends night, and the feeling’s right! Come on, how else can I start a column on the CMLL Leyendas Show? Indeed, last night’s was the night where CMLL set out to honor some of the biggest lucha names still active and, with one glaring exception; they did a damn good job. Armed with a hot crowd and several guys capable of still being able to go, us lucha fans were treated to three matches that were good to great, a better than expected opener and the crowd turning on a luchador so badly you couldn’t help but be entertained. All that and more helped save the show when the main event came around, a match so putrid that…well we’ll get to that soon. Needless to say it sucked and on any other show it would’ve sunk the rest of the card. Let me explain why that didn’t happen however. Moses, you know what time it is!
Super Muñeco, Super Pinocho, Super Raton defeated El Gallego, Mr. Condor, Rocky Santana two falls to one
Things I never expected going into this show; this match to be passable. And yet it was thanks to all three rudos and Super Raton. I would’ve bet the technico team would’ve given absolutely nothing to this match, but the 57 year old Raton was surprisingly spry, moving around well, striking well and showing some nice bursts of athleticism. It wasn’t earth shattering, but it was a respectable effort that stood out more because Gallego, Condor and Santana all played their roles to perfection. Their presence in this match should’ve been enough to convince me it had hope, especially since Gallego and Condor were so solid just a year ago during a run with DTU. Then again maybe it’s a good thing I forgot; it led to me going into this match with no expectations and I wound up enjoying myself a lot more due to the pleasant surprise of several decent performances. A good opener to the show, and a match that, dare I say, could’ve been legitimately good if CMLL had given Raton partners other than Muñeco and Pinocho. Seriously Paco; you couldn’t have called up my main man Máscara Sagrada?! I know he’s up there in years now too, but I guarantee he’s giving you more than two guys who looked as mobile as Rayo de Jalisco. Hold on, I need another moment to mourn the main event again…and I’m good. Next!
Blue Panther Jr., Guerrero Maya Jr., The Panther defeated Hechicero, Misterioso Jr., Sagrado two falls to one
What we had here were six dudes who knew this was a big show, walked in determined to make this something worthwhile and did exactly that. This was a very good match, and it was despite the fact that Terror Chino seemed to do everything in his power to sabotage it in the first fall. Luckily he was powerless to stop the action once it got going and this turned out to be a highly entertaining contest, largely carried by Hechicero and Guerrero Maya. These guys were so good that there were times I thought one of them was destined to be the best performer of the match, only for the other to come along seconds later and top him. Absolutely stupendous work from them; the only negative was that it overshadowed the solid work from everyone else, especially Sagrado and Misterioso who compared to the rest seemed to do very little. In the end, you don’t need to do too much when Maya and Hechicero are doing awe inspiring feats of athleticism.
Solar & Super Astro vs. Black Terry & Virus ended in a draw
Of all the legends matches going into the show, this was the one EVERYONE had their eye on. I mean look at the talent in this match. On one side we had the ageless Black Terry and one of the most underrated luchadors in history in Virus, while on the other we had the similarly ageless Solar and the Master of the tortas himself Super Astro. You couldn’t have put together a better side of legends unless Atlantis had come back or Negro Navarro was healthy. This was expected to be a hit and it absolutely was. I’m pretty sure the only way you couldn’t like this match is if you have no soul or…nah that’s pretty much it.
Now granted, this wasn’t a perfect match. Bless his heart, Super Astro was trying his damndest and at times looked like the innovative high flyer he was years ago, but his timing was not the best and most of the “oops” moments in this match came from him. But aside from that and a few down moments you’d expect from guys in their 50’s and 60’s, this was as pure of lucha libre as you can get. Virus and Solar had some absolutely tremendous sequences on the mat, Black Terry (though a bit slower than usual) was a delight and some of the stuff they did defied what guys that age should be able to do. As such, you ignore some of the sloppy moments and just enjoy the fact that these guys can still do some spectacular stuff long past when they should. Not the best match of the night, but a strong effort none the less and if I were CMLL, Solar would be a guy that should be brought back. If you can give Máscara Año 2000 a payday he doesn’t necessarily need, you can sure as hell give Solar one. Imagine him vs. Hechicero in a mask match? Excuse me while I take an hour to fantasize about that!
El Satánico, Fuerza Guerrera, Negro Casas defeated Blue Panther, Mano Negra, Octagón two falls to one
I’m going to be honest; you could make the argument that this was the worst match on the card, only it doesn’t matter because its existence was worth it just to hear Octagón get booed out of Arena Mexico. As it turns out sports fans, Paco Alonso may have forgiven Octagón for bolting CMLL to form AAA all those years ago, but CMLL fans haven’t! They were vicious to him all match and I’ll be damned if myself and many others weren’t having a good time watching it. Thank goodness we had that going on because the rest of this match was…yikes. Blue Panther and Negro Casas were on their game and their finishing sequence was super good, but they appeared to be the only guys who had any gas left in the tank. Satánico was out of his element (he’s more of a mat guy), Fuerza (father of Juventud) Guerrera was given very little to do, Mano Negra should probably work as little as possible and well, let’s just say Octagón didn’t help himself with the crowd with his sloppy offense and all time terrible selling. Really, take away the fans booing him and this match is a forgettable farce that made you long for Atlantis and (in my case) Máscara Sagrada. Thankfully we got to see Octagón get booed all the way to Naucalpan, so it was worth it anyway!
Dragón Lee, Rush, Volador Jr. defeated Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero two falls to none
Let’s start with the flaws shall we? The ending of this match, between a sloppy Rush/Dragón Lee double team attempt and Edgar making a four count, was pretty lame. On top of that…actually never mind, that was the only flaw! Otherwise this match was an outstanding sprint and probably the best two fall match of the year. I’m sure the action stopped at some point, but it didn’t seem like it, with the Guerreros getting things started with a gang attack on the technicos, followed by a technico comeback and then Volador, Dragón Lee and (yes, believe it) Rush throwing everything but the kitchen sink out there. It was tremendous stuff and probably the best work Rush has done this year that didn’t involve Atlantis, LA Park or The Crash. I wouldn’t doubt for second that it was designed to be completely balls to the wall in order to make the main event look even slower than it was! Whatever the case, this was super fun and holy shit can you imagine what it would’ve been like if they had gone three falls? If only. Oh yes, before I forget, Rush did offer Volador the Ingobernables spot again, as well as to his brother Dragón Lee. The answer for both; undecided. This is either leading to one of them joining, or Rush getting sick of them stalling and bringing in another guy. May it be the first scenario.
Dos Caras, Rayo de Jalisco Jr., Villano IV defeated Cien Caras, El Canek, Máscara Año 2000 two falls to one
I mean…how does one describe how big a pile of shit this match was? And make no mistake about it; this match was a pile of shit, a disgrace to lucha libre and, if we’re being honest, a shameful exercise in CMLL by putting these six guys out there. Never mind, I think I just figured out how one describes this match! I wish I could find something nice to say about it, but the only thing that comes close is the passable (barely) mat sequence Canek and Dos Caras had in the first fall. Beyond that this was horrifying. Dos Caras looked immobile. Canek looked like he’d rather be anywhere but this match. Villano IV and Máscara Año 2000 were trying, but neither man can do much of anything these days. Rayo de Jalisco is so slow, I’m pretty sure a glacier stuck in an ocean with no current could beat him in a race. And I don’t know if I even want to talk about Cien Caras’ performance. We’re talking about one of the best luchadors ever, the guy who headlined the first ever Triplemania and a bonafide living legend. He resembled nothing of the sort tonight, and looked so out of synch and so broken down that I can’t believe CMLL actually cleared him to compete in this match. Shame on them. I can understand why Cien Caras took the booking; lucha libre is in his blood and he can’t help himself. But CMLL should know better, and the fact that they didn’t is a disgrace. The only thing more disgraceful was that CMLL also let Jalisco work this match. Cien Caras at least can say he’s nearly 70 and shouldn’t be working; what the hell is Rayo’s excuse?
By the by, if you think it can’t get worse than what I just described, guess what; it does! In the only good move of this main event, Sansón, Cuatrero and Forastero ran down to help their father and uncle (or in Forastero’s case, uncles), abruptly ending the match with a DQ and sparing us (and the luchadors) having to work any longer. That should’ve been the end and could’ve even been a nice ending where Cien Caras got to enjoy a moment with his sons. NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND! Instead, we got Rayo challenging Caras to a match and (gulp) Caras accepting the challenge. That’s right sports fans; in theory, we may be looking at Rayo de Jalisco vs. Cien Caras as the headliner for next week’s Super Viernes, something that would be funny if it wasn’t so terrifying. Did CMLL officials not see what happened tonight? Do they actually believe putting together a match featuring a guy who can barely move taking on Cien Caras is actually a good idea? I’m hopeful that this challenge goes nowhere, but good Grodd what if it does? Nothing good can come out of it and all it does is serve to make this match look even worse. And that’s hard to do considering how bad this was. Even if it wasn’t quite as bad as last year’s debacle or any of Pierroth’s big matches this year (and hot damn were those bad), this was something to behold in terms of suckiness. Thank Grodd CMLL got the rest of the show almost entirely right, or else this would’ve left a really bad taste in one’s mouth.
And scene. I’m out till later sports fans. Till we meet again, THIS!