CMLL Puebla: Not as Good as Tuesday
Welp…that didn’t go as well as I hoped. Not that tonight’s CMLL Puebla was bad; it wasn’t and there were definitely aspects of the show I enjoyed very much. But compared to my excitement going into the show, it didn’t quite meet expectations. Thus instead of getting a darkhorse MOTY contender and a slew of intriguing undercard matches, we got one very good match, one good match and a whole lot of inconsistent matches with some interesting things and some boring/bad performances. Must be that other Monday show rubbing off on this one! Whatever the case, it’s time to review it before hitting the showers. Moses, meme it so we can get this over with.
El Malayo & King Jaguar defeated Meyer & Zaeta Roja two falls to one
A better than expected opener that still found a way to be average. Only in CMLL! I was told to look out for Zaeta Roja before this match and that turned out to be good advice; he’s got a little ways to go but you can tell he’s got some potential and he looked pretty good in this match. Ditto for Meyer, who actually got a dive off in this match and continued to look like one of the more underrated guys on the roster. Ultimately there was only so much these two could do though, and even though Malayo and King Jaguar tried their best wasn’t anywhere near the technicos. Not a total loss by any stretch though, and frankly this match was probably better than it would’ve been if Policeman was in it like originally planned. Then again, maybe he was in it if you believe the “Policeman is King Jaguar” truthers that apparently frequent the chat in the CMLL stream.
Black Tiger, Flyer, Soberano Jr. defeated Espanto Jr., Rey Apocalipsis, Toro Bill Jr. two falls to one
This was really good for the first two falls, especially from the technicos end. Flyer got the ball rolling in the first fall and never looked back, showing off some improved mat work and just being really active. Soberano Jr. was great as always. Black Tiger looked re-energized thanks to who he was teaming with. And for the first time in awhile Apocalipsis and Toro Bill actually had a pulse and kept pace, preventing this match from going grinding to a screeching halt. The only thing missing from them was a Canadian Destroyer, which Espanto was more than happy to provide to finish the second fall. Whatever way you slice it, this match had the makings of being a potential challenger to the main event for Match of the Evening through its first two thirds. Not even Cotton from Dodgeball could’ve foreseen that.
And then the end of the match happened. Whatever good work the rudos did throughout the match suddenly vanished right as they went to the finishing sequences, with Toro Bill and Apocalipsis first failing to hold up Black Tiger so he could arm drag them, leading to one of the sloppiest sequences in history. Not a minute later Soberano launched himself from the stage for what looked to be the start of a beautiful springboard hurricanrana, only Espanto was out of position, forcing Soberano to hit the prettiest springboard rolling headlock in the history of time. Flyer and Soberano managed to salvage the end somewhat with a nice double team move to finish off Espanto, but even that wasn’t enough to get the bad taste of those final few minutes out of the mouth. It’s such a shame because everyone had been doing good up till that point. Thankfully the rest of the match was good enough that it didn’t diminish the whole bout; it just prevented this from reaching its full potential, which given what these guys were able to do despite the limitations would’ve been quite remarkable.
Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr., Stigma defeated Bobby Z, Okumura, Skándalo two falls to one
This was a good match that would’ve been better if anyone but Skándalo had been the final member of the rudo team. Good freakin Cthulhu you’d think CMLL would’ve seen enough by now to know that this lumbering stiff should be kept as far away from the streamed shows as possible. Alas there he was getting in his lame offense in while poor Fuego, Maya and Stigma had to sell for it. Once he disappeared however the match was just fine. Maya was subdued as expected, but he did get a nice dive off in the second fall, did some cool technical wrestling throughout and got the win he needed going into his match with Hechicero. I’d venture he’ll be more electric come tomorrow, but for tonight he was just fine. Meanwhile Fuego, Bobby Z and Okumura were their usual solid selves, and Stigma was particularly good. He seems to be fully recovered from that injury and looked really active, hitting a couple dives, some impressive armbars and simply looking like he wanted to will this match to greatness. Damn shame he has to go from this match to the second match on tomorrow’s Arena Mexico card, which looks like a Mad Max style wasteland. At least he can say he was the best part of a solid match this evening.
Johnny Idol, Titán, Valiente defeated Gran Guerrero, Niebla Roja, Sam Adonis two falls to one
As expected the crowd was hot for this one, with Sam Adonis getting them involved early and often by turning up the chickenshit heel routine to over 9,000. Unexpectedly everyone else save him, Johnny Idol and Valiente were rather ordinary. Gran Guerrero got in one great finisher to end the first fall, but otherwise was an afterthought. Titán was strangely subdued, though he did have a nice offensive flurry in the third fall. And mother of puss bucket did Niebla Roja prove why he’s the fourth string Guerrero tonight or what? He was brutal in the first fall, and while he got better as the match went along it wasn’t nearly to the level as you hoped. This was by far the worst individual performance of the night, which is saying something considering how all three rudos ended the second match. It was like watching the Mega Maid scene from Spaceballs all over again.
As I said though, Idol, Adonis and Valiente were all solid here and together they ended up saving the match. The argument that Titán wasn’t allowed to do anything holds no water when you see Valiente had the same restrictions and yet ended up making the most of it anyway, hitting some cool Monkey Flips and just looking much more energetic than his technico teammate. Meanwhile the Idol/Adonis parts were the most entertaining, with Adonis trying to play keep away from Idol, who got the most exciting spot of the match where he kneed Adonis Hechicero style and then hit an awesome dive to the floor. It appears that was merely a prelude for what’s to come as Adonis low blowed Idol to end the match. Granted that’s happened to Idol a lot recently and has led to nothing, but the fact that Idol and Adonis always seem to wind up together in these matches does make one think. Personally I think it’s a great idea; the two work deserve a singles match anyway and they’ve shown they have good chemistry. Let them go at it one of these Monday’s and see what they can do on their own. That certainly would be a lot more interesting than seeing Niebla Roja trying to do lucha for fifteen minutes.
Ephesto, Mephisto, Felino defeated Rey Bucanero, Vangellys, Terrible two falls to one
An amazingly boring match that was notable for only three things; Felino replacing Súper Crazy, Ephesto hitting a nasty looking suicide dive on Vangellys (who either barely caught him or didn’t at all) and Felino nailing Terrible with a toilet seat lid to bring the match to a close. Otherwise this was the cool down match to end all cool down matches, which became apparent the moment it was made obvious CMLL made the decision to make Ephesto, Mephisto and Felino technicos and Bucanero, Terrible and Vangellys rudos. Evidently CMLL learned nothing from that brief technico run Mephisto and Ephesto had when they were feuding with the world class talents known as Ripper, Olímpico and Kráneo. I actually feel a little bad for Felino, because he came out looking to prove a point and ultimately couldn’t do anything with it because this match simply wasn’t designed to work. That poor bastard can’t win; he’s either getting overshadowed by Negro Casas, Cavernario or Mr. Niebla in trios matches, catches Valiente on his off night in Lightning Matches or gets put in no win scenarios like this one. There’s always next time I suppose.
Último Guerrero defeated Rush two falls to one
This match was a microcosm of this entire show; it was good and at times really good, but never felt like it go into high gear. A few more minutes and I think it might’ve, but CMLL chose to end the match early with UG stealing the win after fouling Rush while Tirantes was down on the mat after Rush had pushed him. The ending itself wasn’t a problem and made sense after Rush ran down UG for not being much of a rudo a few weeks ago; it’s just that UG and Rush could’ve gotten an extra ten minutes to do more before doing that finish. Never the less everything leading up to the finish was good to great; UG switched up his style a little bit and actually pulled out some tricks he saves for big occasions like this, while Rush started off with that unpredictable intensity of his by starting the match right near the entrance. I’m not sure he kept it up as much as I would’ve liked, but he didn’t do too bad sliding into the traditional rudo role and I thought his dives in this match were excellent. A few more minutes and this could’ve been an instant classic. Instead, while being the best match of the evening, it was merely very good and a match that ended a tad too quickly for my taste.
That’s the show folks. I’m off till tomorrow, where I’ll be previewing Wednesday’s Lucha Underground and reviewing tomorrow’s Tuesday show, which once again looks to be in position to be better than tonight’s show was. What is it with Tuesday wrestling shows outperforming Monday ones?! Till next time, Spidey!