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CMLL Puebla: The Return of the Review!
Hey look; it’s a normal CMLL review from yours truly! Those things are rarer than a Mew in Pokémon’s Red and Blue these days. Why the return to the old format? Well for one, doing running diaries over and over again can get exhausting (as I’ve said before), so changing it up every now and then seems like a good idea. Secondly, last night’s show actually wasn’t a pain in the ass to just take notes on and review afterwards. There wasn’t anything mind blowing on this show, but overall it was very watchable, with little to no depressing action, some good performances and a fun main event. In fact, the only thing I’d say that really annoyed me was CMLL teasing a feud and then not doing it; you’ll see why that’s a big deal when we get to the match in question. For now though, let’s be like Drake and start at the bottom. I really just said that didn’t I? Moses, wipe the reader’s memories so they forget I just went full nerd and post the meme.
Astro, Meyer, París defeated El Perverso, Guerrero Espacial, Sombra Diabólika two falls to one
Are you ready for “statements we never thought we’d hear about a CMLL opener?” Here it goes; this match needed another five minutes. I know! Who would’ve ever thought that? Considering how everyone performed here though, five minutes would’ve been welcome. París and Meyer were very solid, Sombra Diabólika continues to remind people why he should be getting the shots dudes like Ares, King Jaguar and Black Tiger get in Arena Puebla, Perverso and Guerrero Especial didn’t get in the way and, in a non shocking development, the returning Astro was over. Why CMLL won’t use this kid more is beyond me; even worse he’s starting to rebel against them by growing his hair out like he’s Robin. WE CAN’T LET SOMEONE LIKE ASTRO START ACTING LIKE ROBIN PACO! It’s just not right. At least the new haircut hasn’t affected Astro yet; he was very strong in this match and even got a springboard rolling senton dive off towards the end. Another reason this match needed more time; that move got the crowd into it after nine minutes of solid yet unspectacular action. Give them a little more time to build on it and CMLL had something here. Instead they wound up with a solid opener that could’ve been better if they had only given it five more minutes. Who would’ve ever thought I’d be sitting here, saying that? I’m so shocked I’m not even sure this paragraph was coherent!
Astral, Espíritu Maligno, Magnus defeated Ares, El Malayo, Joker two falls to one
Let’s get it out of the way first folks.
Yes, Magnus returned and thank Grodd he did because I’m not sure the ending of this match would’ve been as good if he wasn’t around. There wasn’t much to this match prior to the third fall actually; the work from all six guys was serviceable, but it was mostly by the book work. Then Astral went into his comeback in the third fall and suddenly things got exciting. Wannabe Captain America actually got to hit a cool dive (which he nailed perfectly for once), Maligno hit a really good suicide dive (albeit after he and Malayo did the poorest imitation of the UG-Atlantis Monkey Flip reversal sequence in history) and then Magnus finished this match off with what I can only describe as a Jackknife Underhook Powerbomb. Maybe I’ve got the terminology wrong but that’s what it looked like and it was AWESOME! It also makes up for the fact that Magnus was barely allowed to do anything prior to that spot. The fact that Magnus and the rest of these guys were given little to do to start brings this match down a tad, but the ending was good enough that the match just squeaks by being worthwhile. And even if you don’t agree, you should watch it anyway just to see Magnus get the win with his awesome new move. Seriously sports fans; it’s the bomb diggity, Lex Luger winning the WCW Title and every scene in a TV/movie featuring Yvonne Strahovski all rolled into one.
Olímpico, King Jaguar, Virus defeated Fuego, Guerrero Maya Jr., Tigre Rojo Jr. two falls to one
Leave it to the match with Olímpico to finally remind us we’re watching a CMLL show. In fairness, it wasn’t entirely the doofus’ fault. Whereas the other matches tonight were merely fine, but really got you excited going into the final third of the match, this one failed to do that thanks to a rudo triple team that went just a few minutes too long and a technico comeback that lasted a minute before the rudos took the match via a couple submissions. You need to give the comeback a little more time to breathe if you want to get a match to the next level, and this match didn’t allow that to happen. It wasn’t a disaster by any means and the Tigre Rojo 450 was a pretty cool spot. Unfortunately that came in the first fall; you know you’re match isn’t succeeding all the way if you peaked with a 450 in the first fall.
Atlantis, Titán, Valiente defeated Hechicero, Máscara Año 2000, Vangellys two falls to one
You gotta hand it to CMLL; they may come across as dumb a good portion of the time, but deep down they know what we want and know how to get our hopes up. Take this match, which featured Atlantis and Hechicero as captains and started off with the two having a really nice mat based battle. If that isn’t planting the idea of those two coming together for a singles match in your head, I don’t know what will. Even worse, CMLL actually kinda sorta hinted at a feud here, with Hechicero targeting Atlantis specifically, followed by the legend gunning for the NWA World Historic Light Heavyweight Champion towards the end of the bout. If you were only half paying attention, you’d have thought a feud was going to happen. Sadly (or fortunately) you would’ve missed that CMLL wasn’t going all the way, and ultimately the tease of a feud was just that; a tease. Like Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club.
Ultimately that was the biggest problem this match here, aside from the fact that two of the guys were pretty much useless (Vangellys, Valiente) and Máscara Año 2000 being involved. You can’t give people even a little hope of something decent and then ultimately go nowhere with it. And it’s not like CMLL was teasing Atlantis-Hechicero as something to continue next week because they had UG-Niebla Roja planned, as the main event clearly showed CMLL isn’t yet sure what to do with that feud. It’s such a shame. The match itself wasn’t offensive in the slightest and I’ll never complain about Titán doing cool shit or Hechicero and Atlantis interacting. But the fact is that the only things of interest that happened here were Hechicero and Atlantis teasing something that ultimately went nowhere. As such, it’s tough for me to care too much about this match afterwards. Basically the polar opposite of tonight’s main event. Speaking of!
Ángel de Oro, Mistico, Niebla Roja defeated Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero two falls to one
I’ll probably be alone in this opinion, but I found this match to be good. Not a world beater or anything like that, but for the time they got and the story they were trying to tell, these six kept it light, breezy, full of cool moments and accomplished exactly what they needed to do in getting the Niebla Roja-UG story more momentum. And boy does it seem like those two have a nice chemistry together. I thought Roja came off very well tonight with a much quicker, high flying style than he has been recently, while UG was dialing up the rudo antics to an 11, which is always a treat when you have a bad guy as talented as him. I’m still not entirely sure why CMLL settled on this being their big feud for the summer, but it’s coming together nicely at the moment and I dare say the match these two will eventually have is shaping up to be a good one. The only problem is no one seems to know when or where the match will take place. It feels like they’re setting up a match between the two in Arena Puebla, but there’s no way they’re blowing the feud off there as opposed to Arena Mexico. There’s no big CMLL show scheduled between now and the Anniversary Show in September, but I can’t see CMLL stretching this out that long without it losing significant steam. The point is CMLL better figure out what they’re doing with this feud and fast because it could end up petering out rather quickly. That be a shame seeing as CMLL has made Niebla Roja important, given UG something to do and even raised Ángel de Oro’s stature a bit throughout this whole thing. If they want to keep that all going (and hey, maybe they don’t) they need to act fast. For now though, they’re continuing to get this mostly right, with this fun main event being further proof of that.
That’s game sports fans. I’m off to play FIFA 17, but I’ll return tonight for a review of the Tuesday show, likely in Running Diary style. There may be a Lucha Underground preview in between, but no promises. Till we meet again, THIS!