CMLL Puebla: Solid and Satisfying
Monday night has come to a close and yet another CMLL Puebla show is in the books. And praise Cthulhu, it was a much better Monday show than last week. It wasn’t a classic mind you; there were no Match of the Year candidates and sadly there was a lot more Shocker than I cared to see. But despite that and a second match that stunk worse than that gasoline smell that filled Robert Duvall’s nostrils in Apocalypse Now this was a pretty fun show, featuring some Sharlie Rockstar goodness, a better than expected opening match and another example of just why so many WWE fans are so excited about Mascara Dorada/Gran Metalik. If only they’d expand their horizons and actually check him out on a show that isn’t WWE sanctioned! But enough about wrestling fans confusing me, it’s time to review. Moses, meme it all night long. Wow that came out dirty.
Akuma, Espíritu Maligno, Inquisidor defeated Centella Roja, Millenium, París two falls to one
Confession time folks; I only got to see glimpse of this match until the third fall, as I was watching the final twenty minutes of Batman v Superman at the time. Turns out I might’ve made a mistake there as the match looked pretty solid from the little I saw. In fact, the only times the match didn’t click was when I was watching it, particularly the sequence where Paris couldn’t get a submission onto Akuma (though he did a smooth job improvising to get a roll up on the rudo instead). Besides that this appears to be a match worth checking out, especially with Millenium and Roja each pulling out a couple of impressive dives. Overall a much better match than expected, and further proof that me bashing the opening match in the preview means that it’s going to end up being good to great.
Arkángel de la Muerte, Espanto Jr., Policeman defeated Arkalis, Pegasso, Tigre Rojo Jr. two falls to one
Naturally the good opener was immediately followed up by a match that somehow may have been worse than anything CMLL did on last week’s Puebla Show. And that’s saying something, because that show left me feeling like Angel after he got his soul back and realized all the atrocities he had committed over the years. There were several problems with this match. First, and this a Puebla problem as a whole, CMLL goes to the “mat work first, maybe dives later” formula way too much, and this match was no exception. The first fall was just boring mat work for the sake of having boring mat work, and it killed any interest I had in the match and the Puebla crowd as well. Secondly, the rudos here (with the exception of Espanto Jr.) couldn’t have been less generous. Policeman looked like he was actively going out of his way to not allow the technicos any shine, while Arkangel was so bad that he ended up making Shocker look like a combination of Ultimo Dragon and Dean Malenko. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THAT IS?! Roll that up with the fact that the rudos ended up getting the win despite their unprofessional effort and this match was just devastatingly bad. My sympathies to all three technicos, who were trying their best and were the only ones who delivered any bright spots in the match. The lesson as always; become a rudo. CMLL apparently lets you get away with everything if you’re one of them as long as your name isn’t L.A. Park.
Ares, Bobby Z, Virus defeated Black Tiger, Titán, Stigma two falls to one
This was a good match that should’ve been even better. The best example of this is the start of the match, which saw Titan and Virus go to the mat for some mat wrestling that actually made sense and was actually excellent because, unlike Policeman and Arkangel, Virus is a talented bad ass who is great at both establishing himself and making his opponents look good. The problem; that was the most anyone from the Virus/Bobby Z/Titan/Stigma (who replaced Triton) combo was allowed to do, with Ares and Black Tiger getting the bulk of the work the rest of the way. There wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with that as both guys were serviceable and it’s pretty clear they’re setting up a big mask match between the two for a future Puebla show. Of course there’s also no heat between the two and the other four guys outshined them considerably throughout the match DESPITE being limited to short spurts while Tiger and Ares controlled the action (Bobby Z in particular was highly impressive down the stretch). All that conspired to deflate this match a tad, even though it’s still a solid bit of wrestling that is at least leading to something. It’s just a shame it’s not leading to more stuff involving Virus, Titan, Stigma and Bobby Z is all.
Atlantis, Máscara Dorada, Mistico defeated Cavernario, Felino, Mr. Niebla two falls to one
As expected this match was the runaway Match of the Evening, even though a) Negro Casas was replaced with Mr. Niebla prior to the match and b) it took a little while to get going thanks to a rudo dominated first fall. Once it did get going however the match was fast, furious and fun, with Dorada standing out as a star. I’ve said it before but it bares repeating; Dorada likely has a deal with WWE ready to go and thus could be taking it easy to make sure he doesn’t jeopardize said deal. The fact that he continues to go all out and have sequences like he did tonight where he just danced circles around the rudos (it was almost superhero like I tell you) is a testament to how great he is and how much he cares about what he does. Of course this will just make it sadder when he’s stuck on Superstars wrestling Jinder Mahal a year from now, but hey what can you do? You know, besides cry yourself to sleep at night over the thought of that scenario.
The Artist Soon to Be Known as Gran Metalik aside, everyone else chipped in here too. I loved seeing Atlantis getting something to do, and he was wonderful during a sequence where he hit a backbreaker on everyone that moved, followed by a nice suicide dive. Niebla may not be Casas, but he’s entertaining in his own unique way and provided plenty of laughs and support for the technicos throughout. Felino had the least to do, but was just fine with what he was given. Perhaps the most exciting part however was the Cavernario-Mistico interactions; the two had great chemistry together and aside from Dorada and the Atlantis sequence provided the biggest highlights of the match. There’s money to be made there, and judging from the fact that Cavernario low blowed Mistico twice to cause a DQ finish probably means we’ll be seeing these two tangle in the future (and more than likely next week as Dorada issued a challenge post match). Overall this was a fun semi-main event and definitely something worth checking out, even if it’s not quite a Match of the Year candidate.
Sharlie Rockstar & Shocker defeated Marco Corleone & Último Guerrero two falls to one
If the second match of the night was CMLL booking to formula in the worst way possible, this was them booking the best way possible. This was by no means anywhere close to the semi-main that preceded it, but overall this match was also vastly better than expected thanks to it being kept brief and in the hands of two experienced pros like UG and Marco. They dominated the action throughout the first half of the match, building it nicely until Shocker gained momentum in the late second fall and third fall to ultimately get his win over UG. Shocker was definitely still a problem here; he was gassed incredibly early, his offense was awful and he was on the attack far too much for my liking here. Unfortunately there’s not much any one can do about that at this point, and despite all of that he did remain over enough that the Puebla fans didn’t seem bothered and probably won’t be next week when he and UG clash for UG’s Middleweight Title. Shocker aside though, this was as fun of a match as you could hope, and once more I was thrilled to see Sharlie Rockstar deliver the goods. His movement in this match was great yet again, and even though he wasn’t given much to do he made the absolute most of his limited minutes. Seriously CMLL; you couldn’t put Sharlie against UG next week instead of Shocker? Perhaps the UG pulls a rabbit out of his hat and delivers a semi-classic against Shocker (it is the UG, so anything is possible), but a match against a rejuvenated Rockstar right now would be far more appealing. There’s always next time I suppose.
This is the end, beautiful friends. I’m off till later today, where I’ll be reviewing the CMLL Tuesday show and may even knock out a lucha tribute. Depends on my mood. Till then, I leave you with a Chandler Bing meme. I’m on a Friends kick, what do you want from me?!
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