CMLL Super Viernes: The GOAT
There was a brief moment today where it looked like CMLL was going to leave us all hanging for the second straight Friday. In fact it looked like they were going to leave us hanging for every Friday going forward once Claro Sports announced their CMLL stream would be region blocked outside of Mexico. I didn’t take this well; say what you will about CMLL but more times than not they leave me entertained and the thought of going through life without their best show available to watch live left me feeling like this.
Luckily someone wisely came to their senses, decided this region block was stupid and at 9:30 I was settling in to watch the second best wrestling show of the week after Lucha Underground. And yes, CMLL did live up to that title tonight. Aside from the luchadoras match (which featured a really good performance from the best luchadora alive) every match was good to very good, with a Lightning Match and the main event ultimately stealing the show. Sure some of the finishes were weird but that’s what you get with CMLL; you just gotta hope the rest of the night is worthwhile. It was tonight. Let’s break down why. Moses; get the meme!
Cancerbero & Raziel defeated Oro Jr. & Príncipe Diamante two falls to one
In a sign of things to come the show started off with, get ready to gasp, a hot opener. I KNOW RIGHT?! I guess CMLL was thinking they could try harder with the Americans and Canadians not watching, then once they decided to let us watch said “fuck it, let’s go all out anyway!” The funny thing is that Príncipe Diamante was the least impressive of the guys here to me. He was good mind you, especially when he started doing Dragón Lee/Máscara Dorada esq stage hurricanranas into the ring, but more often than not it felt like he was holding back. I can understand having the jitters though in your first night back so we’ll wait and see. Everyone else was pretty damn good. Cancerbero and Raziel took the time to make the technicos look good and gorramit are they a fun tag team when they’re on; they were hitting great double team move after great double team move throughout this match. Best of all was Oro Jr. continuing to look good and more confident, a positive sign that he’s not letting these losses get him down. I have no idea why he and Príncipe lost tonight but I won’t hold this one against CMLL as much as I did the ones on Tuesday. The rudos were good, the technicos were good and this was a good start. Hell it could’ve been better if it didn’t lose a little steam in the third fall.
Blue Panther Jr., Drone, The Panther defeated Disturbio, Okumura, Virus two falls to one
This was another good match that unfortunately peaked a little too early to fulfill its full potential. The first fall was absolutely great, with Panther and Virus controlling the action with some great mat work and the other four gradually working their way in. There was some cool stuff after that but sadly the match never got close to that level again unless Panther and Virus were involved. I tell you; whatever happens to these CMLL guys in ROH is big because they come back better than ever. Panther has been white hot since his stint with them and he was Virus’ equal tonight in every way. I do wish I had gotten to see Junior get a little more in, but there’s no question Panther is just a tad better right now and there’s plenty of time for both to get something going. Everyone else here was decent too, with Drone getting the most exciting spots while also getting the most curious booking (he beat Disturbio in fall three and then got pinned by Okumura a few seconds later). I don’t know what CMLL wants this guy to be but they better figure it out fast, because right now it appears they turned Hombre Bala Jr. into Hombre Bala Jr. with a sillier costume.
Estrellita, Marcela, Sanely defeated Metálica, Tiffany, Zeuxis two falls to one
Like most of these luchadora matches, watching it is like watching two separate bouts. On the one hand you have excellent work from Zeuxis and Marcela, who are so far ahead of everyone else here that it’s borderline laughable. There was one point in the match where Zeuxis kneed Sanely so hard in the face that I was pretty sure someone was going to catch Sanely’s head in the fifth row. That’s what makes Zeuxis (and Marcela to a lesser extent on account of her offense being more flight based) so much fun to watch; there’s realism, an edge, intensity to what she does. And it’s something that becomes more and more apparent when you watch her in these matches and see the luchadoras around her working with the intensity of Tommy Wiseau.
There’s that and more as to why this match was the worst of the evening. I’m all for giving the benefit of the doubt to Sanely and Metálica, two girls I’m normally impressed with, but this was not a good night for them. In fact, outside of a Swanton Bomb, I’m starting to wonder if Metálica is actually good or if I was just thinking so compared to the rest of the division. Speaking of that, Estrellita and Tiffany did exactly what I thought they would, which is take a lot of time away from the youngsters who need it (though in fairness, Estrellita was a lot better tonight than Sanely) or do absolutely nothing at all. Put all of that together and Zeuxis and Marcela can only do so much. Oh I almost forgot; the only thing worse than this match was the ending, where the Estrellita and Marcela actually cheated to win and screw Zeuxis out of the match, followed by them taunting her as she cut a pretty good promo fairly calling them out for that. Unless I’m misremembering, Estrellita and Marcela are the technicas and Zeuxis is the ruda; shouldn’t that finish go the other way? I get that they’re setting up a match (Zeuxis/Estrellita or, Grodd willing, Zeuxis/Marcela) and I think the point was that Zeuxis deserved to get screwed. Unlike later finishes on the show however this didn’t come across well at all and, if anything, made me like Zeuxis more and dislike everyone else more. Then again maybe that would’ve happened anyway seeing as Zeuxis is the Queen and all. Whatever; Zeuxis was great, Marcela was good, everyone else was bad, the finish was bad and let’s move on because I’m wasting too much time on this.
Negro Casas defeated Ángel de Oro
The only things left to determine after this match is whether or not it was as good as or better than the Panther/Okumura and Hechicero/Soberano Lightning Matches. Right now I’m going to say it was slightly better than Panther/Okumura and not quite Hechicero/Soberano level, though it was damn close. What a performance by both guys here. Casas, having his first big singles match since the Leyenda de Plata final against La Máscara, came in ready to make this special and boy did he. This guy is 56 years old folks, yet he moves, bumps and works like a 26 year old; it’s absolutely amazing to see and luckily he had an opponent tonight in Ángel de Oro who was up for matching him. Even more so than Panther that ROH stint has done wonders for Oro’s motivation, and while he didn’t break out that handspring moonsault tonight he did everything else and most importantly kept up with Casas on the mat. That was most important when the two went crazy with reversals, near falls and a couple of dives for a final two minutes that was out of this world before Casas got Ángel in the Sharpshooter (all while fixing his hair!). Tremendous stuff, tremendous match and for my money the best match CMLL offered this evening. It was so good that I’m not sure I need to see another bout between these two; maybe they’d throw in more stuff for a longer match but this sprint felt 100% the right way to book these two together.
Marco Corleone, Máximo Sexy, Volador Jr. defeated El Cuatrero, Máscara Año 2000, Sansón two falls to none
This won’t be remembered as a great match, but it should be remembered for CMLL (for once) actually getting everything right. Máscara Año 2000 wasn’t a ghost in this match, but he was used sparingly and did actually put forth a good effort when in the ring. That left his nephews, Los Cientificos, to get a lot of time with the technicos and they took advantage with some great offense in the first fall and some excellent selling in the second. That last part may be most important; all three technicos, most notably Volador, seemed to love what those two brought to the table, something that should hopefully get them more primetime slots going forward. They just make things so much easier for everyone. Volador got his stuff in, Marco got his stuff in, Máximo looked awesome getting his stuff in and ultimately CMLL kept this short and to the point, allowing it to be a fun little precursor to the main event. The only cause for concern was that Máximo didn’t pin Año clean, but unlike the luchadoras match a) Máximo is well liked by everyone and b) Máscara Año isn’t. Thus no one had a problem and most were happy Año was put in a place where he couldn’t kick out. Good Grodd he probably kicked out anyway and I just missed it huh?
Euforia, Hechicero, Último Guerrero defeated Atlantis, Carístico, Valiente two falls to one
Remember back when CMLL was building to the Anniversary Show and they had a ton of trios matches featuring La Máscara and Dragón Lee where their feud was the only thing that was actually entertaining? This match was the polar opposite of that, serving as a super fun, super energetic match while simultaneously building up more heat for the inevitable Carístico/Último Guerrero clash that’s happening in the next few weeks. Valiente got in more dives as his trunks seemed to get shorter. Euforia got some stuff in, actually pinned Carístico to end the first fall and was partially responsible for the rudos victory at the end of the day (more on that soon). Atlantis did Atlantis things, including that award winning backbreaker. Hechicero was brilliant, not that anyone’s shocked; being in the main event picture really agrees with him and he definitely proved he should be working these types of matches from here till the end of the world. Any other night and he’d be the story; alas there’s Carístico and UG standing in his way.
It’s been quite a week for Carístico. He gave an interview just a few days ago where he came across as the same dude who allowed his WWE run to go up in flames, showing off an ego Alberto El Patron would shy away from (who am I kidding; Berto would probably be even more delusional). This came on the heels of Carístico admitting he hadn’t been motivated that much this year and was looking for something to sink his teeth into. It appears this program with UG is just that. You can mock Carístico, his high opinion of himself and his lackadaisical ways all you want, but tonight once again proved that when he’s on, he’s still capable of being the luchador that was once of the biggest stars Arena Mexico had ever seen. He didn’t even show off the full arsenal either, but he did enough and he did it crisply enough to show that his match with UG is probably going to be off the charts too. UG deserves credit here too; I haven’t seen many others get this out of Carístico recently, especially with as much emotion. That’ll be the big takeaway here too, largely because of the creative ending where UG grabbed an eliminated Euforia for leverage in order to steal the win from Carístico and the technicos. This lead to a long (and I mean long) promo after the match where an enraged Carístico called out UG and challenged him to that mask vs. hair match (UG didn’t accept yet, but he did return, tear off Carístico’s mask and throw it to some lucky fan in the crowd. What a swell guy UG is!). I don’t need to speak Spanish to know that this was a simple but effective promo by Carístico and it had fire that’s been missing from him aside from a few individual matches this year. If he continues this then I cannot wait to see him and UG go at it with the mask and hair on the line. That could just be the match where Carístico, once and for all, shows the world that he’s truly back.
That’ll do sports fans! I’m not sure if I’ll be back tomorrow or Sunday. If it’s tomorrow then I’ll have a column on the “Battle of the Bulls” tourney that LU is doing. If it’s Sunday, expect a CMLL Puebla preview. Either way you’ll see me soon. Till whenever, the power of DUCHOVNY compels you!