CMLL Super Viernes Preview! Taven-Rush and the Kings of the Air
For what it’s worth, you cannot say that CMLL isn’t going to try and close the week in style. Two days after the first National Lucha Libre Day, lucha’s greatest institution has put together a card that has the potential to be one hell of a celebration. Whatever you want you’ll get from this card; there’s a load of intriguing tag and trios matches, a big singles match and another one of those wacky tournaments CMLL does that features a ton of talent and a ton of mystery (mainly because no one knows how the whole thing is going to be set up). I wouldn’t say it’s an Anniversary Show level card, but its close and if nothing else is worth checking out. That not a good enough endorsement? Then let me break it all down for you in depth style. Moses; get on your bikes and meme!
Oro Jr. & Star Jr. vs. Cancerbero & Raziel
What to Expect: This match looks hopeless…until you catch Star Jr.’s name out of the corner of your eye! Why the youngster isn’t in the Reyes del Aire match later is a mystery only Cthulhu can solve, but he’s at least on the card and he will make this match watchable. Will he make it good? Beats the shit out of me. At worst though he’ll hit a few good dives and his presence should motivate Cancerbero and Raziel to work at a higher level than usual.
Winners: It should be Star Jr. and Oro Jr.; inexplicably it’ll be the rudos in three falls. We now go live to the reaction of hardcore lucha libre fans.
Fuego, Pegasso, Soberano Jr. vs. Puma, Tiger, Virus
What to Expect: This is a second match right here folks. Restrictions or no restrictions everyone here can work, the match should get over from Fuego’s antics alone and did I mention everyone here can work?! The Match of the Evening competition is stiff, but barring something unforeseen this should be a strong competitor and could be even better. What will put it over the top is if Fuego keeps the antics to a minimum and tries to outdo his technico teammates and if Pegasso continues his streak of being absolutely white hot.
Winners: Everyone deserves to win here, which may be the first time that’s happened in CMLL’s history! Alas there can only be one (like in Highlander), so I’m going to say the rudos take this in three falls, with Puma and Tiger getting the pins.
Ángel de Oro, Johnny Idol, Titán vs. Bobby Z, Ephesto, Hechicero
What to Expect: Take away Ephesto and this match looks great. Sadly you can’t and thus this match only looks good with an outside shot of being great. The big factor will be who they put with the old timer and if I were CMLL it would be Ángel de Oro. He may not have the raw potential Johnny Idol has nor the explosiveness of Titán, but he’s as consistent as they come and has a big match coming this Monday against Dragón Rojo Jr. for the CMLL World Middleweight Championship. Taking it easy and putting him with Ephesto while Idol and Titán pair up with the far more exciting rudo tandem of Bobby Z and Hechicero sounds like a great solution to me. If CMLL goes that route then they should get the most out of everyone and a pretty damn good match.
Winners: At the least Titán deserves a nice victory after his epic match with Mephisto this past Tuesday and the technicos need to get on the board after two straight rudo victories. They’ll do that here, taking it in three falls with Titán getting the decisive pin/submission.
Atlantis, Marco Corleone, Stuka Jr. vs. Shocker, Terrible, Último Guerrero
What to Expect: This would normally be the part of the column where I’d pull out my Sulking Jack Evans impression and start to rant and rave about why Shocker is here. And frankly I’m still not far off from going that route. That said, Shocker has been pretty decent recently and better yet has been put in position by CMLL to look the best he possibly can. Silly me I think CMLL will keep the streak alive for at least one more show, and even if they don’t everyone else here is so good that it may not matter. Atlantis, Marco and the UG will be reliable and it’s great to not only see Stuka and Terrible back (after they were inexplicably left off the last several cards) but back in a match that should deliver. The thing to look forward to the most in this match by the way is Marco and Terrible trading left handed haymakers. I’ve been waiting to see this for a long time and if CMLL doesn’t at least give us one exchange between them then I’m going to go full Jack Nicholson Joker on this show.
Winners: Tough call here. I’ll go with the technicos again I guess if for no other reason but to make it 2-2 on the scorecard. Well that and because you never should bet against Atlantis. All the man does is win masks and deliver amazing backbreakers; why should this match be any different?
Rush vs. Matt Taven
What to Expect: Without question this is the most interesting match on the card, which is saying something once you see who the main event is packing. If nothing else this match clearly shows that CMLL has confidence in Taven; the man hasn’t even been in CMLL for a month, and already the company trusts him enough to have a headlining match with one of CMLL’s biggest stars in their home base. Perhaps even more surprising than how quickly CMLL has moved Taven into the spotlight is the fact that he’s utterly earned it. I had no idea what to expect from the ROH star, but he’s picked everything up super quick since arriving, looks to be fully healed (or close to it) from the injuries that sidelined him for over a year and best of all has instantly clicked with his opponent here. All of that leads me to believe that this match, at worst, should be pretty damn good. Granted there’s no guarantee that the chemistry will transfer over from trios matches to a singles bout and you never know if Rush is going to come in like he did against L.A. Park or if he’s going to mail it in. I expect he’ll be ready however and this will end up being a great showcase for Taven in his first singles match in Arena Mexico.
Winner: The spotlight may be on Taven but it’s hard to see CMLL putting him over Rush here unless there’s a big plan to continue this feud. As enticing as a hair vs. hair match between Taven and Rush would be I just don’t see that happening, so look for Rush to pick up the victory.
Reyes del Aire
Mistico vs. Negro Casas vs. Volador Jr. vs. La Máscara vs. Dragón Lee vs. Cavernario vs. Máximo Sexy vs. Mephisto vs. Valiente vs. Euforia vs. Máscara Dorada vs. Dragón Rojo Jr.
What to Expect: You’re going to have a lot of questions about this match and rightfully so. Let’s start with the most obvious for newcomers; what’s the Reyes del Aire? To sum it up quickly, Reyes del Aire (Spanish for “Kings of the Air”) is a tournament where CMLL puts anywhere from ten to eighteen luchadors together to compete for the right to be King of the Air. Beyond that the only thing we know is that the finals for this tourney will be next week between two luchadors; how they get there is a mystery. It may be that there’s a battle royal where the final two guys left get to face off next week, the battle royal may lead to a tournament where the two luchadors make it all the way to the finals, there may be no battle royal at all; hell there may be another battle royal next week where the winner of this week’s match faces the winner of next week’s. Basically no one knows and no one should try to figure this out. When it comes to CMLL and tournaments it’s like going with the mystery box over the boat. You just never know.
There is of course one other unknown besides how this will all play out, and that’s whether or not Máscara Dorada, he of Gran Metalik fame, will be there. CMLL is advertising him for this event in despite him notably not appearing on last week’s Leyendas show. Earlier in the week I had heard that Dorada was pulled because of his WWE contract, but now the rumor (at least according to Fredo Esparza) is that Dorada tried to make the show but couldn’t do to his flight arriving late. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which true or false but really it doesn’t matter. Barring Dorada’s replacement being absolutely brutal this tournament should be quite good regardless of the format. Look at the rest of the talent in there! That’s too many good luchadors for this to go wrong and I’m confident that however CMLL does this it will be entertaining. Hence in the end the biggest questions are how CMLL goes about booking this, whether Dorada is there or not and who replaces him if he isn’t.
Winners: I’m going to work under the assumption that the final two guys left standing will be the ones who face off next week for the prize at the end of the rainbow. As for who that is…my best guess is that it’ll be Dorada and Dragón Lee. Obviously this depends on Dorada making the show, but if he’s there it makes all the sense in the world to have him in the Finals so they can use his spotlight to promote the show and give his opponent a major rub. And what better way is there for CMLL to highlight Dragón Lee by giving him a finals appearance here to compliment his Anniversary Show main event spot? I could be way off but I think it’s those two (if Dorada is there), and holy shit don’t you want it to be just to see these guys tangles? Dorada vs. Dragón Lee is the easiest money since El Hijo del Santo vs. Atlantis and it would probably get attention from wrestling fans of all sorts. It makes too much sense not to do it, and if Dorada is there CMLL will do it.
That’s all from me folks. I’ll be back tomorrow to review this show at some point. Till then, Spidey is back!