CMLL Reyes del Aire 2017!
Well gang, tonight’s CMLL Reyes del Aire show was real. And I mean that in the best possible way…well at least with the main event I do. It wasn’t an easy path there; the first two matches of the night ranged from boring to “why are these people even in this profession?”; trust me, you’ll understand who I’m talking about once we get there. After that though everything was on the upward, from a decent lightning match to a fun trios bout to a scorching main event that will leave even the most cynical lucha libre fan breathless. Well at least till the end, but we’ll get to that too! I don’t think any more hyping is required; Moses, get on your bikes and meme! It’s lucha time!
Mercurio & Pequeño Nitro defeated Aéreo & Acero two falls to one
There’s only two things you need to know about this match; the technicos tried, the rudos didn’t and Acero is so mediocre anyway that his effort didn’t really matter. Well then, I guess I mean to say three things! Either way this match was mediocre, despite Aéreo doing everything in his power to make it good with cool arm drags (including one off the apron to the floor), moonsault attempts and even a bad ass arm drag transition into an arm bar. He and Acero really did try to make the most of a rare Friday appearance; sadly Acero just isn’t on the same level while Mercurio and Nitro (save for two splashes) were really complacent. And to think we’re stuck with those guys as the top mini-estrella rudos now that Demus is off with The Crash. DAMMIT ALL!
Princesa Sugehit, Silueta, Skadi defeated Dalys, Reyna Isis, Metálica two falls to one
When Skadi came out in place of Sanely before this match, I must admit I had some hope; sure Skadi is…well, Skadi, but she at least tries really hard and knows how to run the ropes, a quality Sanely really, REALLY lacks. Alas Reyna Isis then came out a second later and I went from hopeful to this.
Sam Adonis defeated Rey Cometa
Expectations were high for this one, what with it involving Cometa and being Sam’s first big singles match since coming to CMLL. Overall I’d call it a success. Sam got to do a lot more than we usually see from him, hitting a dive, an awesome Superplex and several other moves while simultaneously getting Arena Mexico riled up as only he can. In fact I’d argue he was more active than Cometa, who was really good but seemed to tone down the high flying more, only connecting with an Asai Moonsault and a tornillo during the match. I think that’ll give some people pause with this match; we know Cometa can do more and he didn’t. Part of that is because this is a Lightning Match and part of it is because these two probably have something coming later on this year; you don’t want to show everything you’ve got right now. So overall I can’t blame these guys for not breaking everything out and I’d say this was a complete success, especially from Sam’s perspective since this was his first singles opportunity. The key will now be whether CMLL actually gives Sam more to do or just sticks him in trios action till the end of days, and I don’t mean that crappy Ahnuld movie with the bald chick from Empire Records.
Atlantis, Diamante Azul, Stuka Jr. defeated Último Guerrero, Negro Casas, Kráneo two falls to one
You know how CMLL has those main events that follow big matches where the guys just get in and out quickly so they can make their dinner reservation? This match was like the really, REALLY great version of that, with Negro Casas doing Negro Casas things, Stuka looking really spry, Kráneo and Diamante Azul having really fun sequences that made you wish it was Kráneo Diamante feuding with these past few months and, most importantly, Último Guerrero and Atlantis renewing their rivalry. Yes sports fans; the feud that once grossed CMLL over $1 million for one show is back on! I guess UG was just playing the long game all these years to lure Atlantis back in for revenge, which makes it even more funnier that he lost here and was basically shamed into accepting Atlantis’ challenge next week! Either way it should be a treat; sure they’ll do the usual big match thing UG does, but Atlantis is still really great (and aside from the Rush match at FantasticaMania hasn’t had a huge singles match since 2015) and the crowd for this match will be nuclear. Plus Atlantis is one of the few dudes who can realistically take UG’s NWA Middleweight Championship, so a title change is possible. Between Atlantis-UG and this Copa Junior thing CMLL announced tonight, CMLL is starting the dangerous trend of setting up big shows every Friday. I LIKE IT!
Reyes del Aire 2017
Ángel de Oro defeated Euforia, Volador Jr., Niebla Roja, Mistico, Carístico, Hechicero, La Máscara, Máximo, Cavernario, Valiente, Dragón Lee, Mephisto, Gran Guerrero, Titán and Luciferno
Oh…man. Ladies and gentlemen I saw Reyes del Aire 2016, I have witnessed many a ladder match in my day; hell I’ve even see a grown man satisfy a camel. This match…hot damn this match was a special kind of insanity. If you’ve ever wanted to see lucha libre at its most hectic, insane point then this was the match for you. With the exception of Luciferno, everyone in this match had at least two moments that made you go “I desperately need to throw cold water on myself because THIS IS INSANE!” It was that good folks. It won’t be for anyone (especially the “MUH PSYCHOLOGEH!” crowd) and I’m honestly not sure it quite pulled ahead of the Torneo de Parejas Increibles final, especially since the three ending to this match was a little clunky at times. But hot damn if this isn’t easily one of the three best matches CMLL has produced this year and one of the most fun times I’ve had watching lucha libre this year. If you didn’t enjoy at least one part of this match, then you probably need to find something else to do with Friday night. Like watching Fired Up! or something.
Of course going into too much detail on this match would be a buzzkill for you because you should really see it for yourself. Luckily this match had other talking points besides its quality and that comes from the upset ending that saw Ángel de Oro defeat Euforia to win the whole gorram thing. That’s right sports fans; Ángel de Oro, a lifelong midcarder, outlasted several former Anniversary Show main eventers, top stars and countless other big names to win the 2017 Reyes del Aire (not only that, but he officially joined Volador as the only three time winner). That’s a pretty big development and a controversial one considering Oro isn’t on the same level as the other guys. To that I say so the fuck what. Is Ángel de Oro the most exciting luchador in CMLL? No. But he’s an above average worker who has been really, REALLY good ever since his short Ring of Honor stint and he’s a guy who, despite his success in this competition, hasn’t moved up the card. We’re always complaining about CMLL guys and now we’re going to get hot and bothered just because one may be over Volador, Dragón Lee, Carístico, Mistico, Valiente or Cavernario winning something they really don’t need to win? Come on now. With this win and his victory over Dragón Rojo Jr. a few weeks ago to become the new CMLL World Middleweight Championship (a win that ended Rojo’s SIX YEAR REIGN mind you), CMLL has set up Ángel de Oro to be a pretty decent player this year and someone who can put their mask on the line at some point and potentially lose it. It doesn’t mean that there weren’t guys who deserved to win this more (I personally would’ve given it to Hechicero, who I thought was the MVP of this match) or that CMLL won’t screw this up like they do everything else. But right now I like the decision. It’s surprising, it’s different, it’s shocking and it gives a dude a chance to sink or swim, something CMLL hardly ever does. This I applaud the move, I marked out when Oro won and it did nothing to detract from the match at all. Now it’s time to hope CMLL knows what they’re doing. Shit, now I realize why everyone’s being so cynical.
That’ll do sports fans, that’ll do. Barring a Sakura Genesis preview tomorrow, this will be my last column till Thursday; I’ve been struggling to get motivated so I think it’s time to take a little break and recharge the batteries. I’ll still be watching all the CMLL shows though, so if you want my thoughts on them just follow me at @CultIcon on Twitter; I’m just as zany there as I am here. Till we meet again, a DUCHOVNY for the road.