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CMLL Lucha Kingdom Preview
You may not have noticed, but this week of wrestling has been VERY good. Like Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight good. CMLL didn’t trip over themselves to start the year. Lucha Underground was on and entertaining (if not as much as it usually is). Wrestle Kingdom 11 was, on a scale from one to LUGER WON THE TITLE, a flat out LUGER WON THE TITLE, and would’ve been even if Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada hadn’t conspired to create the greatest wrestling match in the history of the western hemisphere (deal with it Cageside Seats, you hipster fucks). And now, to bring it full circle, CMLL is closing out the week with a show that is so unlike CMLL I make at least five jokes about it in this column. This is a stacked show sports fans; we’ve got three singles matches with huge potential, a luchadoras match with promise besides Zeuxis (gasp!), a pretty good tag team match and two, count ‘em, two trios matches that should be excellent. This isn’t your mom and dad’s Super Viernes show, oh no; in a way it’s very much a Wrestle Kingdom esq card for CMLL. Hence I am going to dub this show Lucha Kingdom, and anyone who wishes to say otherwise is welcome to fight me to the pain. No takers? I knew you’d all wise up. So without any further gilding of the lily and with no more ado…let’s break this Lucha Kingdom down. Moses, pause Omega-Okada and get the meme out. It’ll be there for you when you’re done dammit!
Estrellita, La Vaquerita, Marcela vs. Amapola, Dalys, Zeuxis
What to Expect: If only Princesa Sugehit had replaced Estrellita or Vaquerita; do that and this is easily the best luchadoras trios match CMLL has to offer. Even still it should be better than usual; Vaquerita has looked more motivated since losing the mask, Marcela is good, Estrellita’s capable when she’s not busy stealing the spotlight from everyone, Dalys and Amapola are reliable and, most importantly, THE QUEEN IS HERE! Like Zeuxis would ever miss a big CMLL show. Put that all together with the extra motivation of this being a big show and I think this could be pretty good. At worst I expect one Zeuxis dive, a whole lot of running knee attacks and everyone one of the technicas bowing to the Queen when this is over. Even you Estrellita; be ready to be weighed, measured and found wanting by lucha royalty!
Winners: Remember when everyone except me thought Zeuxis was losing her mask in the cage a few weeks ago? Fools; how many times do I tell you to never bet against the Queen! Be sure not to make the same mistake here, as Zeuxis and her pals will take this in three falls. Beware the knees!
Rey Cometa vs. Cavernario
What to Expect: Maybe there’s a really, really good second match over the course of CMLL’s history that I’ve forgotten, but barring that this match should easily be the best second match in the history of the promotion, an early 2017 Match of the Year candidate and the first Match of the Evening candidate. I told you this card was stacked more than a Double Stuffed Oreo.
The only question about this match (and the others really) is how long will it go for? It’s a legit one to ask as well. There are seven matches on the card after all, including two more singles matches following this, which makes it hard for me to believe all the singles will be the usual two out of three falls affairs. Naturally CMLL hasn’t explained what’s happening here either, meaning we likely won’t know till the first fall of this match ends. I’m guessing one of two things; either CMLL is doing one fall matches for all the singles bouts (which I wouldn’t mind) or the singles will be two out of three falls with the first two falls going Speed Racer fast (which I also wouldn’t mind, even if it’s a bit pointless). Either way I can’t imagine it’ll affect this match too much. Cometa and Cavernario are simply too good (especially together) to let that flounder this match, and whatever the time is I expect them to have a pretty crazy affair. Maybe it doesn’t end up the best match of the night, but with the aerial assaults both men are capable of it should be the most exciting.
Winner: Cavernario took the big hair match between the two during the summer, so it only feels right that Cometa takes it here. Whether it is three falls or one, he wins with a 450 splash.
Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr., The Panther vs. Negro Casas, Puma, Tiger
What to Expect: Another Match of the Evening contender! I should pretty much just stop saying that as every match from here on in qualifies for that status. The good thing about this match though is that it’ll be completely different from every other match here, largely because you have two legends in Blue Panther and Casas putting it together. Every possible pairing will work together, mat work will be prominent (especially if Casas and Blue Panther are together), double teams will be prominent and the only way this isn’t fun is if these six don’t come to play (they will) or if someone is hurt mid match. Otherwise this should be super fun, and you know I’ll be invested just to see what Junior and Panther do against a vet like Casas. The two of them have come so far as is and this should be a good test to see just how far.
Winners: Legit too close to call and either result works. If I had to bet though I’d roll with Team Casas. They’ll take it in three falls after Casas inexplicably outsmarts Blue Panther. It will be both the first time in history that’s happened and the last.
Volador Jr. vs. Mephisto
What to Expect: These two actually worked together not too long ago on a Tuesday show. That match was considered by many, including myself, to be very uninspired, by the book and really disappointing. I’d eat my hat if that was the case again here. Volador and Mephisto, world class workers might I add, may go through the motions on a Tuesday show but there’s little to no chance they do the same here when the Arena Mexico crowd will be large and hot all the way through. I’m not sure it’ll be as good as Cavernario-Cometa or even the preceding trios bout, but it’s a Match of the Evening contender thanks to who’s in it and could be special if Volador decides to work it like he did every big match of his in 2016.
Winner: You know how I never bet against the Queen? Yeah, I never bet against Volador either. That’s like betting against Clint Eastwood in a Sergio Leone western. The Luchador of 2016 will prevail over Mephisto here in three falls, winning with a Poison Hurricanrana. Hey he has used that in awhile; feels like he’s due to break it out.
La Máscara & Rush vs. Marco Corleone & Máximo Sexy
What to Expect: You know how they always have trios matches with La Máscara and Rush taking on Máximo and Marco, only Pierroth and some other dude are there for some reason and you’re wishing they’d just cut out the fat and make it a tag match? Guess what; they did! Seriously, who booked this show?! Was it actually me? Did Konnan slip back into the Arena Mexico offices while Paco was eating shrimp at Blue Demon Jr.’s Miami Villa? Is a mind reading robot now booking the show based off what ten to twenty American lucha fans want? SOMEBODY TELL ME!
Whatever the reason, we have the match we should’ve had eons ago instead and silly me I think this could be really good. There’s many times where Rush, easily the most talented dude in this match and maybe on this show, simply chooses to go through the motions and not be the crazy locomotive of a rudo we know he can be. But on this Lucha Kingdom night, where Arena Mexico will be rocking and every other match on the card looks to be spitting hot fire, I can’t imagine he goes any speed less than bat shit crazy. The same goes for Máscara, Marco and Máximo too, all of whom are capable of stepping up when the moment calls themselves. I wouldn’t say this is quite in the conversation for Match of the Evening, but it does have a shot if everything goes well and it’ll play huge with the hot crowd thanks to Rush, Máximo and Marco.
Winners: Feels like another rudo victory here, with Rush stealing a pin on Máximo after some sort of shenanigans involving a third Los Ingobernables member. Maybe it’s Pierroth. Maybe it’s someone new. Memo to CMLL; please be someone new. There’s only so much more Pierroth I can take!
Valiente vs. Último Guerrero
What to Expect: You can’t have a “Best of 2016” show without a match that happened over 9,000 times for CMLL in 2016. That’s probably the reason this is the singles match I’m least excited about; well that and a) the prospect of UG going through the motions again (even with the big show atmosphere) and b) Valiente not wearing pants again. The struggle will be real folks. Even still I can’t imagine this match being anything less than decent and both men have the ability to get this into Match of the Evening territory if they so desire. The keys will be them changing up the usual shtick from their previous matches, not doing the spot where Valiente goes for a moonsault that’s just leading to UG hitting him with the Guerrero Special (unless Valiente kicks out afterwards) and more dives from Valiente aside from the Valiente Special and the suicide dive. Those are great, but I see them all the time and after Kenny Omega made the Valiente Special obsolete on Wednesday Valiente needs to break something different out or do the exact same thing Omega did. Do that and this match has a shot. Otherwise it’ll be a good, predictable affair that doesn’t quite live up to the other matches its competing with.
Winner: I’d be tempted to pick UG because the UG always wins these matches. That being said, there are no titles on the line here nor is there any competition to be one. Basically; there’s nothing to gain from winning other than street cred, and other than 7 Up no one has more street cred than the UG. Thus Valiente will actually win this match after nailing UG with seven Valiente Drivers. Hey I said he’d win; I didn’t say UG wouldn’t make himself look like Yvonne Strahovski in the process. Never mind that UG couldn’t make himself look like Yvonne if he went full blown Face-Off on us.
Atlantis, Carístico, Mistico vs. Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Niebla Roja
What to Expect: I’d normally consider this to be the “get in and get out as fast as you can” main event, but considering the magnitude of this show I actually think CMLL will let these guys go free. If that’s the case then this has a great chance of being Match of the Evening, even with Niebla Roja in for the UG. He and Gran Guerrero are good for one move at least and the presence of Euforia means both Carístico and Mistico will be doing at least one cool dive each, always a plus. Throw in a few Atlantis backbreakers, a few more crazy sequences and some more Atlantis backbreakers (seriously; Atlantis taking someone to Backbreaker City is an extra star every time) and this should be a fun way to close a super fun show. By the way, big ups to Atlantis and Carístico finding a way to headline the first ever Lucha Kingdom. No matter what they can always hold that over UG’s head, especially since UG probably booked this show! Seriously, I cannot wait to read the story about how UG slipped and fell, suffered amnesia and was convinced to book this show by Hechicero, Blue Panther and Negro Casas. I bet you that’s what happened; not as much as I bet next week’s card being meh, along with Star Jr. losing to Skándalo again, but still.
Winners: Barring CMLL really stunning me and setting up a Carístico-Euforia match (please do CMLL, please do), this ending will merely send the crowd home happy, with Team Atlantis following a La Mistica on Gran Guerrero and La Atlantida on Niebla Roja. Be sure to stop by Super Astro’s restaurant after the show kids!
That’s a wrap sports fans. Are you psyched for Lucha Kingdom? You gorram better be. I’ll be back tomorrow to review it, as well as a two part preview of Sunday’s Golden Globes! It’s gonna be (Mike Francesca voice) YOOOOGE, if you forget that none is actually going to read those columns. Till all of that drops, it’s DUCHOVNY time!