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CMLL Super Viernes: The Power of Santo Compels You!
For Joe and Amanda. Congratulations!
If tonight’s episode of CMLL Super Viernes is any indication, the promotion would do well to hold events on El Santo’s birthday more often. Tonight, on what would’ve been the 99th birthday for the greatest luchador that ever lived, the company that made him brought out the big guns and delivered one of the best final hours in Super Viernes history thanks to an amazing one two punch from the semi-main event and the main event. And the rest of the card was pretty solid (if flawed) too, with only the first match sticking out like the sorest of thumbs. It can lead you to only one conclusion; the power of Santo compelled them to greatness! Somewhere El Hijo del Santo just got really excited. But we’ll talk more on that later! Moses, meme the night away.
Cancerbero & Raziel defeated Oro Jr. & Star Jr. two falls to one
I missed this match getting back from my buddy’s wedding and it seems to be a good thing I did as the rudos dominated and Star Jr. hardly got to do anything from the highlights I’ve seen. Whatever happened here, it turned out to be the only black spot this evening. As such let’s leave it far behind like how CTU has apparently left Jack Bauer to rot away in Russia.
Puma, Tiger, Virus defeated Fuego, Pegasso, Soberano Jr. two falls to one
This was a borderline great match through the first two falls that got off course a tad in the third thanks to some sloppy exchanges between Puma/Tiger and Soberano. It looked to me like Soberano awkwardly hit the ropes at one point trying to do a handspring and afterwards just seemed a bit off; regardless of the reason he just wasn’t the same as he was during the first two falls and it hurt the match prior to Puma and Tiger taking it home with some bad ass double teams. Those two were definitely the stars of the match, with Virus close behind while Pegasso and Fuego seemed to fade into the background a tad. That was fine when Soberano was doing excellent work during falls one and two; it wasn’t so good when he fell apart for a brief stretch in fall three. Overall this was still pretty fun, but it felt like it should’ve been better and probably will be when these six cross paths again. It was still good, but not quite the level of everything that followed it (minus the fourth match).
Ángel de Oro, Johnny Idol, Titán defeated Bobby Z, Ephesto, Hechicero two falls to one
Take away some Ángel de Oro awkwardness during the second fall and this match was damn good. I was worried going in how Ephesto would fit in but he was thankfully kept out of the action for the most part and when he got involved was relatively good. With that problem neutralized it allowed everyone else to work freely and it showed. Oro had some flaws but he was overall just fine, Titán looked every bit the superstar he showed himself to be this past Tuesday and as expected Hechicero carried the bulk of the early action with supreme mat work. The best guys however were Johnny Idol and Bobby Z. They worked with each other often here and I loved how they clicked. Idol in particular was tremendous and I felt this was his best work yet in Arena Mexico. I don’t know if it was the larger work load, more confidence or what but he carried himself well here and managed to look like the most exciting star in the match, which is saying something because Titán was one of his partners. The only thing I would’ve liked to have seen differently was for him to get the pin on Ephesto instead of a DQ victory. It’s not a huge deal, but it would’ve been a better visual for Johnny, especially after his great performance. Alas you take what you can, and this match should serve to build his confidence even more.
Shocker, Terrible, Último Guerrero defeated Atlantis, Marco Corleone, Stuka Jr. two falls to one
Much like the second match this was something that was good but felt like it should’ve been better. And it wasn’t even because of Shocker; he’s an easy target obviously but overall I felt like CMLL used him pretty good here once again and there was nothing about his performance that was offensive at all. Heck it's possible that I'm *gulp* starting to like Shocker!
So what didn’t work? Honestly I think it was a combination of CMLL not pairing the right guys against each other and the match not getting enough time. Terrible and Marco was something that on paper made a lot of sense given their penchant for awesome left handed punches, but the two only squared off once and didn’t even trade lefts. Atlantis meanwhile felt like he had nothing to do and the UG was pretty much just going through the motions (which isn’t a bad thing when you’re the UG). Only Stuka seemed to be really into this match, and the best parts where when he went on offense early in the third fall before the match was quickly ended. Again, there wasn’t anything offensive about this match and I liked the ending of UG getting out of the Atlántida to roll up Atlantis for the rudo victory. It just felt like there was more to be had and CMLL didn’t take it. Then again with the matches that came after this, maybe it was for the best these guys took it easy.
Rush defeated Matt Taven two falls to one
The only bad thing you can say about this match is that it wasn’t L.A. Park vs. Rush. And let’s be real; nothing in this world is on the level of L.A. Park vs. Rush besides Surge soda, the series finale of Friends and the Keepin It 100 drinking game. Other than that this match ruled and it made me feel really good to see that it ruled. Once again certain commentators at Cageside Seats were out in full force today commenting on how poor a worker Matt Taven is, which pretty clearly means none of them have seen his work since coming to CMLL. He made them look even stupider tonight, especially in the third fall where he pretty much threw caution to the wind and just went nuts. In close order he broke out a Lionsault, a backpack stunner, an amazing over the rope dive where he nearly decapitated himself, a top rope splash and a neckbreaker. It was, as Bobby Roode would describe it, GLORIOUS! And it worked very well to compliment the first two falls, carried by some great brawling where Rush showed he was more than game himself while Taven gamely kept up despite issues with his knee brace. I’ve said it about these two leading up and I’ll say it now; the two just click really well together. Maybe it’s the similar bad boy personality, maybe it’s something else entirely but Taven and Rush just complement each other so well, to the point that it’s a shame we won’t be getting this match again unless Rush is coming up to ROH soon. And we won’t be, barring you thinking Rush getting the win with the Rush Driver (an insanely awesome double underhook Piledriver) wasn’t done to write Taven off so he could head back to ROH. Spoiler alert; it was and I’m sad about it. Come back soon Matt! We’re going to miss you in Arena Mexico.
Reyes del Aire Part Torneo Cibernetico
Volador Jr. and Cavernario defeated Mistico, Negro Casas, La Máscara, Dragón Lee, Máximo Sexy, Mephisto, Valiente, Euforia, Máscara Dorada and Dragón Rojo Jr.
Much like Taven-Rush, this match only had one flaw; unlike Taven-Rush it had nothing to do with match quality and everything to do with the stream crapping out for over five minutes on everyone, from myself to Dave Meltzer. Other than that gap this match was unfairly and stupendously good from start to finish. I didn’t think it could get much crazier than the first part of the match, which saw Dragón Rojo Jr. and Máscara Dorada (he made the show!) delivering a tour de force sequence of work, Dragón Lee suicide diving La Máscara’s soul right out of his body and Mistico…you know I’m still not sure what he did but it was so awesome I made funny noises. Not only did it get crazier in the second half, it got so crazy it made the first half look like Star Trek: The Next Generation minus the four lights.
There’s understandably a lot to cover here from this match so let me first say that everyone involved, whether it was for a few minutes or a few seconds, had something really cool to do and did it well (La Máscara may be the lone exception, and that’s mainly because his only job in this was to tear off his pants, get his soul knocked out of him by Lee and then unmask Lee so he could get DQ’d). There are however some luchadors I’d like to single out. Dorada and Rojo may not have been in this long but that brief sequence in the first half was so good that it would’ve been one of the top matches of the night by itself (it also should lead to CMLL giving serious consideration to letting these two have a one on one match before Dorada departs). Euforia didn’t fly around much but he was so underrated in usual at selling and pulling out unique moves. Mistico was electrifying, especially in the first half with that awe inspiring dive. But naturally the three best were the final three; Volador, Mephisto and especially Cavernario. You can always count on Volador and Mephisto to be consistent and both were highly entertaining in their own ways tonight (Volador’s dive into the crowd looked to take out the whole first row and might be the most memorable moment of the show). But neither guy was the man tonight like Cavernario was. The young rudo walked into this match a cult hero and walked out a star. The way he kept up with everyone, the way he carried himself; everything he did was amazing and he was far and away the best performer in the match. He was so good that by the time it got down to him, Volador and Mephisto I was actively rooting for Cavernario to take home the gold. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one either.
Lucky for all of us he’s going to get the chance. If this match did nothing else for you, it clearly showed that the Reyes del Aire competition was more than a one week thing and that Volador and Cavernario (as the last two guys) will compete for the crown next week in a match that already has me working on “this would be a five star match if it was in Japan” jokes. Of course Cavernario has already won due to his performance tonight and technically so have we. This match was an amazing spectacle that got better and crazier the more the field thinned, culminating in a great triple threat sequence between Volador, Mephisto and Cavernario. I’m not sure it’s one of the best matches I’ve seen this year, but it was on the level with several matches from the Anniversary Show and most certainly is the strongest CMLL Super Viernes main event from the past few months. Without question you should go out of your way to check this match out, not only because it’s fantastic but because in theory it sets up and ever crazier, better match up for next week’s show. Cavernario vs. Volador Jr. folks! I’ll bring the Surge.
That’s a wrap boys and girls. I’m off to get some sleep, but I’ll be back tomorrow to preview Monday’s Puebla show and perhaps give you a last minute preview of the big show The Crash promotion is putting on tomorrow! Till then, some 2001: A Space Odyssey for the soul!