CMLL Super Viernes: Showstoppers
There are nights, there are great nights, there are legendary nights, and then there are nights when the Cubs win one of the best pitching duels of recent memory while CMLL is putting on one of their best shows of the year. Naturally I feel like a dude who just got asked how by Yvonne Strahovski after all of that. I’d like to say I have no clue what to say, but that would be a lie as I have so many thoughts concerning this CMLL show, which featured a Match of the Year candidate, a borderline Match of the Year candidate, a very good trios match and a show ending angle that was (gasp) actually really well done! So let’s not waste time, mainly because I may or may not have a Cubs after party to go to (spoiler alert; I don’t). Moses; meme the night away!
Fantasy & Último Dragóncito defeated Pequeño Nitro & Pequeño Olímpico two falls to one
I’ll let Immortan Joe sum this one up for you.
I suppose you could argue that there were some moments here, such as Fantasy nailing a GREAT second rope Spanish Fly at the end of the third fall. Everything else though was mediocre as holy hell, with the rudos looking the best while Dragóncito struggled and Fantasy looked sluggish aside from his big move. Even the finish sucked, with Olímpico seemingly forgetting he was eliminated and getting himself accidentally DQ’d to cancel whatever Nitro and Fantasy had planned. Judging from the rest of the match he may have been doing us a favor. It was the first poor match of the show; it was also the last.
Okumura, Puma, Tiger defeated Hombre Bala Jr., Soberano Jr., Star Jr. two falls to one
So much for needing dives! Even with the limitations CMLL set for this match these six went out there and put on an utter tour de force that sadly will get lost in the greatness that happened later in the show. Any other night this would’ve been the Match of the Evening and even still its well worth going out of your way to see. You got everything you could’ve wanted out of every guy here, and even more in the case of Hombre Bala Jr. This was a breakout performance for a luchador who, despite being talented, never seemed to get the right match up to show off. He did tonight, feeding off the energy of his two amazing partners to deliver an eye opening piece of work that included a split legged Spanish Fly, a Three Up, Three Down Driver and a corner knee so good that Hechicero may file a lawsuit against him for infringing. If nothing else tonight showed Bala has amazing chemistry with Soberano and Star Jr. (who despite being overshadowed by Bala were breathtaking in their own rights) and that they should be teamed together from here till the end of time. What a performance by them, and what a performance by the rudos too! Okumura picked his spots and was his usual reliable self, while Puma and Tiger were right there with the technicos the whole way. I can’t say enough about the job they did; hell the job every luchador did here. A borderline masterpiece was this match, and gorram can you imagine if they had actually been allowed to do dives?! That Volador-Cavernario match may have had a legit run for its money.
Lluvia, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit defeated Amapola, Dalys, Tiffany two falls to one
It’s a damn shame CMLL clumsily put this match third instead of flip flopping it with the previous bout, because this was actually really good overall. Switch them around and I think this bout looks better, the previous match gets a chance to have even more action and everyone wins. Ultimately though this was well done from my point of view, largely because Marcela was back in form and often working with Dalys, who she works great with. That was the case here, with Marcela flying around, Dalys grounding her, and everyone else contributing little bits of offense so to not get in the way. The only downside was that Sugehit didn’t get to do too much, and I’ll take that over her having to get pulled down by another mediocre Tiffany performance. Overall this was just fine, if misplaced on the card, and a welcome return to excellence for Marcela. Whatever caused her to flop at the Anniversary Show was long gone here and thank goodness; we have enough luchadora’s in CMLL who need help to look good. We didn’t need one of the best suddenly turning into M. Night Shyamalan after Signs.
Atlantis, Máscara Dorada, Valiente defeated Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora, Felino two falls to one
This was a far more traditional styled trios match than the second bout on the card, which was just fine because this match was also quite excellent. And it was excellent despite the fact that Valiente, Pólvora and even Felino having little to do in this match outside of a couple of spots (admittedly Felino was more active than the other two). The reasons; Máscara Dorada and Dragón Rojo Jr., who did indeed get time to work together tonight and looked even better than they did a few weeks ago in Reyes del Aire. Rojo seemed to have an extra gear tonight and looked better than he did when he was carrying Ángel de Oro to a good match a few weeks ago in Puebla. And gorram Dorada, even with his days numbered continued to go all out and look absolutely spectacular doing it. You won’t find a better pro than him other than maybe Atlantis, who was the third most active guy in this match and actually was allowed to hit dives and FOUR beautiful backbreakers (he also got the win via La Atlántida). It wasn’t quite on the level of the match that followed it or the match two bouts prior, but this was a very good, very fun match by six really good luchadors. With everything else going on this evening, you couldn’t ask for much more than that.
NWA World Historic Welterweight Championship Match
Volador Jr. (c) defeated Cavernario two falls to one
If there’s one thing you need to know about this match it’s this; the only criticism I can lay on it was the fact that Claro Sports’ feed died just as the match was about to reach its conclusion! FOR SHAME CLARO SPORTS! Thank goodness CMLL showed a replay after; otherwise this would’ve been the least satisfying climax since The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ended without actually ending. Notice how the franchise never recovered from that either; that’s what you get when you hire the guy who made Constantine and I Am Legend to shepherd your features.
Take that critique away and this match was KILLER! It was without question the Match of the Evening and in my opinion was superior to last week’s effort. Why? Three reasons. First, they did actually change up the match style by allowing Cavernario to control the pace and the offense most of the match, with Volador settling for quick strikes to regain control (such as when he hit the first ever Canadian Destroyer out of nowhere to steal the second fall). Second, Cavernario improved on his performance by last week and seemed to thrive with more responsibility, nailing every one of his spots and even a huge Caveman Splash off the stage, which should serve to be the highlight of the match. Third and perhaps most importantly, they actually went with a clean finish this time (though again, some of us missed it!), with Volador hitting a really cool Crucifix Driver to retain his title. Combine all three of those factors together and to me it just slightly puts it over the top of last week’s match, a bout that may I remind was an instant classic in its own right.
And by the grace of Cthulhu and Paco Alonso, it appears these two will get one more chance to top themselves. Volador erased any thoughts that a victory for him would end this program by demanding a hair vs. hair match with Cavernario in the post match, a challenge Cavernario was willing to accept right then in there if not for Okumura (his second) and the referee holding him back (important to note; Soberano was Volador’s second. Really cool, even if he played no part in this match). Like I said in my preview column, it appears the question isn’t if this match will happen but when. Can CMLL wait till the end of the year show to deliver this? Or will they blow their load later this month by having this co-headline one of the four Day of the Dead shows alongside the Universal Championship final? This would be the most important thing to keep an eye on if CMLL hadn’t surprised us with a potentially even bigger angle in the main event. Oh yes folks; we’re not done by a long shot yet!
Dragón Lee, Mistico, Rush defeated Euforia, Mephisto, Último Guerrero two falls to one
You’d be forgiven for thinking through two falls that this was a by the book match where all six luchadors knew they weren’t topping the previous contest and were just trying to get through this as quickly and efficiently as possible. Then the third fall started and boy oh boy were we wrong. It started with Dragón Lee nearly killing himself and Mephisto with that wonderful hurricanrana to the floor that Lee loves to do. It continued with Mistico and Euforia having a couple of great sequences that ended with Mistico getting huge air on a hurricanrana to Euforia while he was outside the ring. It escalated even further when Rush and UG delivered a slap fight for the ages that was better than anything they did in their Puebla match, followed by a beautiful Rush dive. Awesome sequences like this continued (the best being when Euforia actually moved out of the way of a Mistico moonsault, something that NEVER happens in CMLL) until the end, when we got what might’ve been one of the most shocking endings CMLL has done in quite a bit. Rush and UG where going at it in the ring when the lights suddenly came up on the stage and someone walked down to the ring before stopping to do the Tranquillo pose. This naturally distracted UG, allowing Rush to foul him while Tirantes was checking on Mistico (who hurt his knee on the missed moonsault) and steal the win. Who was this mystery man? At first it looked to be La Sombra (in a moment that would’ve legit sent shockwaves from Mexico to the US), but it turned out to merely be someone masquerading in his mask. The luchador doing so? None other than La Máscara.
That’s right folks; for the first time since the Anniversary Show, CMLL actually gave us something more to the Máscara/Rush friendship story by having Máscara help Rush steal this victory. This naturally didn’t sit well with Dragón Lee, who noticed Máscara leaving and tried to confront Rush about it. I never would’ve expected CMLL doing this to end the show, but they have, they executed it perfectly and now there’s something to look forward to in the next several weeks. Is Máscara fully back in the Ingobernables fold? Will this lead to a fracture in the relationship between Rush and Lee? And if it does, is this leading to a Máscara/Rush vs. Lee/Mistico match or (mega gulp) a hair vs. mask match between Rush and Lee?! Holy shit would that be something. It’s too early to tell and for all we know this is the last thing CMLL does with this issue for months. But man oh man does it get the excitement levels up for yours truly, on a night where I’m already super psyched thanks to this show and the Cubs victory. Could you imagine if CMLL closes out their end of the year show with Cavernario vs. Volador in a hair vs. hair match AND Rush vs. Dragón Lee in a hair vs. mask match?! I can’t speak for everyone in the lucha community, but I wouldn’t be surprised if most (if not all) of us were on the verge of being comatose after those two bouts. Thus there’s no way CMLL could possibly do them together. Just keep telling yourself that Cult; just keep telling yourself that.
And I’m spent. I’m off to sleep, dream of wonderful things (like Javier Baez home runs and this show) and may or may not be back tomorrow for more. I’ll definitely be back by Sunday night though, where I’ll be previewing CMLL’s Puebla show, which most definitely won’t be as good as tonight. Till we meet again some sunny day, I give you the Spider Man.