LuchaPalooza: CMLL Super Viernes (Ride the Lightning)
If ever there was a CMLL show that simultaneously reminded me of both The Room and Blade Runner in the course of an hour, tonight’s Super Viernes was that show. Holy crap on a cracker was this something. CMLL gave you everything you could want tonight; there were great matches, there were bad matches, there were great performances, there were bad performances and all the while I was glued to the screen like Brian was glued to Stewie. Maybe it’s just because this is about to be the biggest week in lucha libre history but man did I enjoy this show! I haven’t had this much fun since Angelico looked down at the ring below, said “fuck it” and turned into gorram Superman. But enough about other great moments in lucha libre history, it’s time to chat about tonight. Moses, throw a bucket of cold water over yourself and meme it like you mean it.
Disturbio & Sangre Azteca defeated Sensei & Starman two falls to one
Every party needs a pooper (besides Shocker and Pierroth of course) and this match was the party pooper tonight. It wasn’t terrible, but it certainly wasn’t great and couldn’t have been less interesting if it had changed its name to Erik Watts. Nothing of consequence happened in this match. Disturbio had a nice spot here or there, Sensei tried but was restricted to the opening match limitations and the other two guys were Ripper levels of active. The less we say about this one the better. Now then; time for the good stuff.
Fujin, Okumura, Raijin defeated Blue Panther Jr., Fuego, The Panther two falls to one
You could argue that this was very much the same as the other matches these two sides have had thus far. I’d argue this was the best of the encounters; even with the dive count limited there was never a dull moment and seemingly no pauses in the action other than the end of falls. I didn’t get the Panther performance I wanted to see, but he was more explosive than usual and overall did fine, while Fuego and Okumura got their stuff in and looked good doing it. Once again though this was the story of the two Japanese youngsters and Blue Panther Jr. Fujin and Raijin were great here; they were fast as usual but there was a vicious streak here that has been lacking in some of these other encounters. They seemed more violent, especially in the latter stages when they put away their opponents for victory. And as for Junior…my goodness this kid has gone from looking like an unknown to being a potentially special talent. I’ve seen him improve more and more as the weeks have gone on but I’ve never seen him as fast or as confident as he was tonight. There’s still plenty to learn and there were some spots that could’ve gone smoother but you can see this kid getting there. And not just that; he wants it, he needs it. Maybe these matches with Fujin, Raijin and Okumura were what he needed to get going or maybe he just finally figured it out, but whatever the case Junior looks like he’s ready to go places. He was the best performer here in what was, in my opinion, a really good match. Unfortunately no one will remember it because it was that kind of show.
Hechicero defeated Soberano Jr.
I talked about this match being a potential Match of the Evening candidate in my preview and maybe even a potential Match of the Weekend contender. Truthfully I didn’t believe it, mainly because Lightning Matches don’t quite afford the time for performers to deliver greatness. But good freakin Cthulhu did these guys come through. This was an absolutely special match from open to close. For the first five minutes you could’ve made the argument that Hechicero was the best wrestler on the planet earth, delivering some of the best mat wrestling CMLL has seen in eons and even pulling out some moves I was pretty sure CMLL had banned. The gorram wizard did a fucking Ankle Lock; AN ANKLE LOCK! I haven’t seen one of those since Jack Swagger was still considered something respectable.
But maybe the best part of Hechicero’s performance tonight was, unlike so many other veterans in CMLL, he actually allowed Soberano to look every bit as equal to him, always being in the right position to take moves and always assisting to make the kid look good. Not that the kid needed him all that much. Soberano was brilliant here too and got better as the match went along and he was allowed to break out some awe inspiring dives into his arsenal. He made this match just as much as Hechicero did and together these two not only created doubt about who would win but whether or not there would actually be a winner. This was the first Lightning Match I can recall making it all the way to the 9 minute mark and beyond, and for a brief moment it looked like there would be a draw before Hechicero pulled it out with two CM Punk like corner knees. On the one hand that bums you out because a draw likely would’ve meant a rematch between the two in the near distant future, and good Cthulhu sign me up for that. On the other, this match was so great and so deserving of a winner that ultimately I can’t complain. Really there were no losers; Hechicero built upon his already impressive mystique, Soberano looked like a superstar even in defeat and we all got the pleasure of seeing a classic. My initial instincts were right; this was by far the Match of the Evening and right now is the early front runner to be the Match of the Weekend. All my pals working Triplemania Sunday, you’re officially on the gorram clock.
Golden Magic, Sharlie Rockstar, Súper Crazy defeated Euforia, Gran Guerrero, Rey Bucanero two falls to one
The preceding bout may have been the best match of the show but this one…this one symbolized this show in the best way possible. There was a lot about this match that was just brutal to watch, and by that I mean every time Súper Crazy and Rey Bucanero squared off. I’d been a fan of the buildup leading into tonight but their interactions here greatly hurt the anticipation for their Anniversary Show match. Just a lot of sloppy wrestling with an incoherent pace that saw Bucanero looking out of shape and lost most of the time while Crazy desperately tried to get him back on course. It was a huge bummer that really brought down this match, which is a huge deal when you consider the four guys not named Rey Bucanero or Súper Crazy were all EXCELLENT. It was like a scene from The Last Airbender when all the main protagonists looked completely lost and were then immediately upstaged by Dev Patel.
I mean it folks; Rockstar, Magic, Euforia and Gran Guerrero were that good here. The comeback tour continued for the former Charly Manson and the best in ring sequences of the match generally involved him squaring off with Guerrero and Euforia, who matched him step for step. And Magic…FUCKIN A THAT GOLDEN MAGIC! Ladies and gentlemen I seen grown men run around the street when CM Punk won the WWE Title at Money in the Bank 2011, I saw tears of joy cried during Vampiro vs. Pentagon Jr.; I’ve even witnessed a grown man satisfy a camel (just kidding. Or am I?) When Golden Magic hit what was the dive of the night and maybe the dive of the year (a ridiculous corkscrew plancha where he spun around at least five times) I yelped, screamed, spasm’d; every reaction you could think of I had it. That was gorram Shakespeare play that dive and if that doesn’t get Golden Magic onto every CMLL card then Paco Alonso needs to fire himself. The only shame is that the dive and the good performances from Rockstar and the Guerreros came during an otherwise underwhelming match. Stick those four by themselves and this becomes a challenger for Match of the Evening against Hechicero-Soberano Jr. Instead it’s just a fine match with two poor performances salvaged by four great performances and one awe inspiring moment.
Pierroth, Rey Escorpión, Rush defeated Máximo Sexy, Shocker, Terrible two falls to one
I will give this match this much; no matter who you were you never once looked away from the chaos that unfolded. And this was absolute chaos; we’re talking about a match that started off with Los Ingobernables coming out dressed as gangsters, followed by them dominating the match for nearly twenty minutes only for the “technico” team to fight back and make this competitive in the final fall. Whether that’s a good thing or not is for you to figure out. I was often entertained; Rush and Rey Escorpión are always fun to watch for me and them beating down Shocker throughout the first few falls tickled me to no end. Terrible and Máximo weren’t given much to do other than get beat down for most of the match, but they had moments in the third fall and Terrible actually threw out a pretty damn good suicide dive during this period (Máximo tried one as well. The evidence continues to suggest he retire that attempt). But damn it all there was still too much Shocker and Pierroth in this match to make this worthwhile. I actually thought Pierroth was better here than he has been at any other point, but that still doesn’t mean he was good. In fact he at one point botched a dropkick so badly that Dave Meltzer even ragged on him on Twitter for a good several minutes. It’s a good thing for Shocker’s sake that happened because my enemy is getting a huge pass. Whoever made the decision to have Shocker be the one to lead the technico comeback instead of Máximo or Terrible is either a complete dumbass or the worst person alive. It completely deflated the match, was 100% unbelievable and of course looked like shit because it was Shocker and he just can’t go anymore. The Pierroth dropkick was bad; that was worse. I’ll give CMLL that the crowd reacted well to it and that there were plenty of spots here that were entertaining. But with Pierroth and Shocker looking as bad as expected, it just makes you wish they had gone with a three fall Los Ingobernables squash instead. The worst part of all this; we get to see Pierroth and Shocker against each other again in Puebla Monday. Cthulhu help us all.
Carístico, Dragón Lee, Mistico defeated La Máscara, Negro Casas, Último Guerrero two falls to none
In my preview I asked CMLL to give this match twenty minutes and three falls in order to make this match great. Instead CMLL gave us only two falls and a little less than fifteen minutes. It didn’t matter because this match was great anyway, with the ton being set by a) another Dragón Lee-La Máscara match starting brawl that saw Máscara powerbomb Lee on the stage and b) Negro Casas making his return while Máscara and Lee brawled, a sight so wonderful that it instantly lifted the spirits. From that point forward the match was straight fire. Lee and Máscara were again a model of intensity and excitement, and they were also given more room to show us more tricks than the previous two weeks. It’s been great to see Lee continue to rise to the occasion and even better to see Máscara take himself to a whole new level. A few weeks ago he looked DOA; now he looks like one of the most exciting performers in CMLL and a completely different luchador.
But the key to this match wasn’t how well those two did but how well the other four did. I enjoyed each match featuring Máscara and Lee over the past few weeks, but there’s no question there was more done to set things up then to have great matches. Not tonight. Mistico, even more so than his singles match with Cavernario, was let off the leash and was allowed to work freely with the always great UG. The two combined to bring us the best spots of the match, first when Mistico flew off the top rope to hit a hurricanrana on UG outside the ring and towards the end when Mistico went for a dive, only to get caught by UG and powerbombed on the floor. If not for Golden Magic, the latter would’ve been the spot of the night. Meanwhile Casas picked up right where he left off and was super sharp working with Caristico, with the two turning back the time to some of their battles back in the mid 00’s. Dragón Lee and La Máscara may have brought the heat again, but these four carried the action and helped make this a worthy main event and the second best match of the night. Now the only thing left to wonder is how CMLL plays the Lee-Máscara card this Monday in Puebla. Lee has won the last two matches but on both occasions by DQ. Does he do it again Monday? Does he win to create doubt in the internet fan’s mind about his victory next Friday? Or does Máscara get a cheap win and signal the result we’ve all long thought. All I know is this; the next go home show will be just as interesting as tonight’s go home show. I know; that made no sense to me either.
We’re done here folks! I’m off till tomorrow, where I’ll bring you a preview of Monday’s CMLL show and maybe a Lucha Tribute as we get closer to Triplemania XXIV! Till then, a friendly reminder that I’m the only person who didn’t think Pierroth was the worst thing on tonight’s show. Come at me folks!