CMLL Puebla: The "Eh" Show
Time for the first round of good news/bad news in this column. The good news; tonight’s CMLL Puebla was better than the last several weeks! The bad news; it still was more on the okay side than the good side. No matches were terrible, but aside from a tease of a potential legend vs. legend match in the next few weeks there was nothing that stood out on this show either. It was, in effect, just your average every day wrestling show. Or as Lucha Underground calls it, a myth. But enough about the LU’s unique greatness that people ignore because Pentagon Dark doesn’t win all the time, let’s get to business at hand. Moses, go go Memezilla!
Inquisidor, Fuerza Chicana, Guerrero Espacial defeated Astro, Vega, París two falls to one
Would you believe this was a semi-decent opener?! Who knew that CMLL could have these on Monday nights? There were still problems because París, Fuerza Chicana and (to a lesser extent) Guerrero Espacial are pretty mediocre as luchadors and were so here outside of a few moments. Everyone else though was just fine. Vega looked electric at times; Inquisidor was mighty impressive in carrying the load for the rudos and once against I came away very impressed with Astro. This guy is really, REALLY good and I imagine would look even better in a setting where he was allowed to use his full skill set. I don’t know if he’s a Puebla exclusive or what, but CMLL would do well to give him a full look sooner or later. He was without question the best part of this opener.
Astral, Eléctrico, Asturiano defeated Pequeño Violencia, Mini Joker, Saurón two falls to one
Another decent match, though this was expected more so than the opener. Again, there was only a certain level this match was going to reach because guys like Saurón can only give you so much while Eléctrico remains one of the most inconsistent and frustrating luchadors I watch every week. Yet again though the match was picked up by several good performances. Violencia looked to be working above his normal skill set tonight. Mini Joker, quietly a really entertaining rudo, showed off some nice athleticism both with a top rope splash and by countering a hurricanrana by landing on his feet in the first fall. Their work only served to highlight just how good Astral and Asturiano were. The minis division has several great luchadors (Shockercito and Demus 3:16 come to mind), but Astral and Asturiano seem to be the only ones whose best can reach Stukita levels. They showed it here. Astral was moving so well that there were times it looked like he belonged in a league higher than this match, while Asturiano cut a great pace and nailed his usual good offense. It’s a shame these two are both technicos, as a singles match between them could probably get Calgary Flames levels of heat from the Arena Puebla crowd. And that’s pretty hot.
Stigma, Guerrero Maya Jr., Stuka Jr. defeated Kráneo, Ripper, Olímpico two falls to one
I got caught up with the return of Goldberg (which was a great moment brought down by a mediocre promo if you ask me) during this match so I can’t say I got to see as much as I wanted. What I did see was pretty good though and some of the best action we got this evening. Stuka got to his moonsault, Guerrero Maya continued to look as impressive as he has been the past few weeks, and to my surprise all three rudos seemed to do okay. Yes, even Ripper, who had a couple of cool moves tonight that he generally doesn’t break out because he apparently wants us to think he’s a lifeless corpse. See Ripper?! This is a sign for you to do more stuff so I don’t end up making jokes about how you wrestle like a 1,000 year old zombie Mummy. And I’m not talking about that dude from the shitty Brendan Fraiser movies.
Atlantis, Máximo Sexy, Johnny Idol defeated Shocker, Sam Adonis, Negro Casas two falls to one
There’s good news and bad news with this match. The bad news was that it didn’t really seem like anyone got a whole lot to do here than their usual spots. The action was fine, but knowing what these guys are capable of it was sad that we didn’t get to see them really cut loose (especially Sam Adonis and Johnny Idol, who have looked great these past few weeks and whose feud seemed to be thrown to the waste side to a degree tonight). The good news; the reason there wasn’t much was because CMLL was setting up and angle and that angle looks like it’s leading to the holy grail; Atlantis vs. Negro Casas! Yes the story of this match was the two lucha legends going at it, starting with Negro blind siding Atlantis with a kick and continuing throughout the match as the two legit brawled all over Arena Puebla. It was highly compelling stuff because a) it’s freakin Negro Casas and Atlantis tangling and b) the two have only wrestled a couple of times in singles action over the years (and both matches I can find of theirs on YouTube were short). There’s no guarantee where this will lead and it’s conceivable that CMLL will set up another Shocker/Negro Casas tag title defense with Atlantis finding his own partner. Whatever the case it’s clear they’re setting something up due to all the brawling and Casas fouling Atlantis to end the match. For that alone this match was worth watching, although it still was disappointing that the rest of the guys weren’t given much aside from Johnny Idol breaking out a few new moves. Don’t think I’m going to let you off the hook CMLL; Atlantis-Casas is good, but so is Idol vs. Adonis. The people want it; THE PEOPLE NEED IT!
La Máscara, Euforia, Gran Guerrero defeated Místico, Valiente, Máscara Dorada two falls to one
For the second straight week, a good looking Puebla main event ended up disappointing. There was a difference this time around though. Last week it felt like everyone was going through the motions during the main event, with Máscara Dorada being the lone exception. This week everyone was trying to go out; the problem is that spots that normally would work didn’t, most notably a Místico hurricanrana attempt on Euforia (while Euforia was standing on the shoulders of Valiente, Gran Guerrero and La Máscara mind you). Every other time those two would’ve nailed that move; this time it looked like a scene from Arrow where Felicity Smoak tries to scold Oliver and comes across as the worst human being since the guy who moved the Whalers to Carolina.
There were more problems with this match besides that botch however and it once again speaks to how Puebla just doesn’t have the same sort of freedom and mystique that Arena Mexico has. A guy like Valiente in Arena Mexico is going to get the time to hit all of his amazing offense and maybe a few new things here or there. Tonight he was confined to one dive and a lot of selling. Ditto for Dorada and Místico (aside from his botched rana), although Dorada once more found a way to go balls to the wall by taking Gran Guerrero’s devastating running Death Valley Driver to the turnbuckle; somewhere Triple H’s voice rose several octaves watching that. I don’t want to be too hard here because the match wasn’t difficult to watch and it does appear that CMLL is at least being consistent with the La Máscara/Rush angle they’re doing by having Máscara win the match and then steal Místico’s mask, a big deal when you remember Místico is Rush’s brother. It just feels like there should’ve been more to this even if the big spot had been hit, and you’re just left wondering if CMLL is ever going to allow guys to go all out the way they do in Arena Mexico. I guess the big test will be whether or not we see Atlantis and Negro Casas go full blast if they do indeed get their Puebla match.
And scene! That’s it for me folks. I’ll be back tomorrow with three, yes three, columns. What will they be? Let’s just say they involve Lucha Underground, a Lucha Tribute and a review of tomorrow’s CMLL show that I’ll be watching while the Cubs dismantle the Dodgers (hopefully). Until we meet again, know that Leo DiCaprio is making a Captain Planet movie. This is why we never should’ve given him the Oscar.