CMLL Super Viernes: The House that Soberano Built
I must admit, I was really excited to get to this CMLL Super Viernes review after the show ended tonight. First, it’s my first actual review of a CMLL show in weeks that didn’t involve me doing a running diary on it. Second, I thought tonight’s show was very good, which was not something I thought possible when I looked over the card again this morning. Thus it was a little disappointing when I saw several other members from the lucha community after the show treating tonight’s events like this.
Look I get it; in the grand scheme of things, tonight’s CMLL show wasn’t one that will go down in history as one of the greats. It probably won’t be one of the twenty best Super Viernes shows from this year even. But considering how hopeless the card looked going in and how skippable this show felt, I think any person who really paid attention to this show would say it over delivered, with a better than expected Lightning Match, an excellent fourth match, a really good semi-main that solved a lot of problems in the story they’ve been telling, and a main event that was fun till the predictably lame ending CMLL likes to run. Yes this show doesn’t hold up to say, the one where Cavernario and Volador Jr. beat UG and Valiente to win the Torneo de Parejas Increibles, but there’s going to be few shows that do that. On the whole, this show exceeded expectations, was enjoyable to watch and wasn’t a waste of time if you judged it on its own merits while not comparing it to shows it was never going to equal. At least in my opinion. So with that, let’s get more into why I felt this way. Moses, meme it hard! But not too hard; you may be out of health insurance soon!
Oro Jr. & Starman defeated Arkángel de la Muerte & Espiritu Negro two falls to one
I learned three things from this match. One, Oro Jr. is slowly starting to turn a corner and it’s just a matter of time before people realize it and stop automatically thinking he’s an average screw up. Two, Espiritu Negro can be good, mostly isn’t good and I’d be just fine if I never saw him again. Three, and most importantly, Arkángel de la Muerte is the biggest tool in all of lucha libre. I cannot even recall how many times this guy has slacked off and left young luchadors out to dry. So of course he decided to give a shit when placed with Starman in this match, probably because Starman is a veteran and not a “dastardly young rook who needs to pay his dues because I’m Arkángel de la Muerte and I have a Redwood tree implanted up my ass!” Sure it’s nice to see him do well, but it just makes it more infuriating that he refuses to do the same with guys who could really use the confidence and the exposure. In any event this match was pretty much what you’d expect; Oro and Starman were the best guys, the match died when they weren’t in control and it was really only acceptable because Oro Jr. was able to get a second straight pinfall victory over Arkángel. This begs the question of whether CMLL is starting to realize they should’ve been doing this all along or if Oro has incriminating evidence against Arkángel and is using it to his advantage. If it’s the former, good. If it’s the latter, good. Also, if it’s the latter, you may want to spread the wealth Oro! Help your fellow youngsters in need.
Amapola, Dalys, Zeuxis defeated Estrellita, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit two falls to one
This match rotated from being pretty good to catastrophically bad, sometimes within the span of a few moves. For example; Zeuxis and Marcela kicked this match off with a five minute sequence that, if you didn’t know better, would’ve indicated we were on our way to a good match. Then Estrellita came in, botched several times by my count, and the match wasn’t the same till a nice finishing sequence in fall two. And even then it didn’t recover. The problem is the clear disconnect between the talents in this match. Zeuxis, Amapola, Sugehit and Marcela are all capable of being excellent and they were generally on their game here (though Marcela did seem to fade as the match went along). Unfortunately Dalys seems to be regressing as a performer and Estrellita is so bad I’m about to launch an investigation to find out if she’s actually Jackie Gayda in disguise (shout out to the two old school WWE fans who got that reference). The women couldn’t even do her signature bridging pin correctly for crying out loud! Maybe I’m wrong, but I have to believe that someone like Silueta would’ve been able to deliver far better than Estrellita did if put in her position tonight. Alas we’ll never know and thus this match was a mixed bag of decent lucha libre and awful lucha libre that left me feeling bad for Zeuxis, Sugehit and Amapola. They deserve better. So do we.
Ángel de Oro defeated Ripper
I think I may be the only person in the world who thought this match was really good. Then again I’m also the only person in the world who thinks Speed Racer is a cinematic classic that’s only got a bad reputation because of Spritle and the chimp. Take those two away and we’re talking about that film like its Mad Max: Fury Road.
Oh yes, I almost forgot about this match! I think the problem many will have here is that this wasn’t exactly exciting, which I can understand; there are more charismatic luchadors out there than Ángel de Oro and especially Ripper, who I’ve at times compared to a deceased human being. That said, I thought these guys were smooth together, I found a lot of the spots clicked a lot better than I expected and they did a pretty good job of convincing you that anyone could win. That’s an important thing mind you, considering Ángel de Oro has been on a roll recently and Ripper is, well, Ripper. In the end though Ripper did enough to make you think he had a shot, Ángel de Oro did enough to remind you that he’s pretty good (and has it in him to be very good) and this match was overall a very solid affair that told a decent story, used it’s time well and did exactly what it needed to do. Put Panther and Sagrado in that situation, have them do the same match and I’m betting people would feel the same way I do about the match. Hell they did, seeing as we just had an identical Lightning Match with Panther and Sagrado about a week ago!
Esfinge, Guerrero Maya Jr., Soberano Jr. defeated Dragón Rojo Jr., Pólvora, Bobby Villa two falls to one
You’ll never believe this, but the best looking match on the card ended up being the best match of the show. What a surprise! It wasn’t always a sure thing as this match started somewhat slowly and Pólvora wasn’t moving as well as he usually does, but things picked up once Guerrero Maya hit his between the ropes senton and just got crazier during an action packed second fall. When I say it had everything, I mean it. Two sets of triple dives from the technicos, Bobby Villa catching Esfinge to hit a powerbomb on the floor, a Dragón Rojo double stomp; like I said it had everything (which more than made up for a slightly shorter than normal third fall). And oh yeah, it also had Soberano stealing the show every time he was in the ring. I’d like to say this is nothing new but it kind of is; ever since CMLL decided to give Soberano the ball, he’s been even better than the normal high standard he always works at. Tonight was no different; he was active whether he was waiting to get into the match (restlessly moving around on the apron like he was on a bicycle) and then he was really active once he got involved, looking like a complete superstar and even taking the time to hit that unbelievable 900 corkscrew off the Arena Mexico stage that woke the crowd up for good. I can’t say enough good things about the kid. He was the best performer in this match (a match that featured four other guys I really, REALLY like) and best of all, stands as an example of what to do when your promotion gives you an opportunity to hit a home run. This match was awesome, Soberano was electrifying and my Grodd I can’t even begin to think about how great his match with Rey Cometa will be next week. That’s a Match of the Year contender waiting to happen.
Euforia, Niebla Roja, Último Guerrero defeated Stuka Jr., Titán, Dragón Lee two falls to one
Finally, after weeks of giving us the same booking during these Los Guerreros matches, CMLL found the perfect balance of focusing on breaking Niebla Roja up with his teammates while also giving us a match we could sink our teeth into. I guess practice really does make perfect. That or UG took the book away from the rest of CMLL’s front office to become the promotion’s Stanley Kubrick.
Speaking UG, wasn’t he great in this match? Not only does he continue to be highly entertaining in reacting to Roja’s antics (if you don’t believe UG’s facial expressions have been the highlight of this Guerreros break up, I don’t know what to tell you), but he got all his usual stuff in and took the time to make his opponents look good. Case in point; Titán. Sure Titán doesn’t need anyone to make him look strong (he does a great job doing that himself), but UG really went out of his way to make Titán look like a star tonight, taking a pinfall to the technico in fall two, selling for him big in fall three; hell it even looked UG tapped out to Titán’s figure four lock at the end of the match, only to escape defeat because Euforia had submitted Dragón Lee just a second earlier. That’s how you create interesting matches and that’s how you get people more invested in talent. Well done to UG, and honestly well done to the rest of these guys. No one else was quite on his level, but the effort was all there and Dragón Lee in particular seemed like he was out to prove that Soberano wasn’t the only dude who could steal the show. Maybe you could say that they still haven’t figured out how to get a great match while still breaking up the Guerreros, but this was by far the best match we’ve seen since the angle started and it had the crowd in the palm of its hand the entire time. In fact that may have been the only negative of the match; the crowd was so into it and so into UG and Euforia that they actually turned on Niebla Roja. You know; the guy who is supposed to be turning technico! Either the crowd is revolting against that because they love UG and Big Euf so much (can you blame them?!), or there’s been a change of course. Either way it’s an interesting new wrinkle in this story, and if I’m Niebla Roja I may want to keep an eye on that. He’s done everything right so far till tonight and it would be a shame if his technico turn was DOA before it even began.
Marco Corleone, Diamante Azul, Carístico defeated La Máscara, Pierroth, Rush two falls to none
If you take away the ending of this match, I think people not only look at it differently but look at the show differently. Leading up to it everything was just fine; hell I’d even say this match was kind of fun. We got a nice tribute to Brazo de Oro from Los Ingobernables during their entrance, an above average Ingobernables beat down before the technicos came back to take fall one and then a fun second fall that featured the usual Ingobernables antics, several dives and Pierroth somehow hitting a pretty good tope con hilo that nearly made me fall over the side of my couch. End this match with anything other than Pierroth fouling Diamante and taking off his mask and we’re talking about all that. Instead they went with the usual finish (which was botched because “Tirantes gonna Tirantes”) and thus here we are. I don’t think the ending should be the be all end all here and ultimately, much like this show, I thought the match exceeded expectations overall. But it’s hard not to be disappointed that CMLL went back to this well again, especially with Diamante and Pierroth when they could’ve set something up between Carístico and La Máscara (who had good chemistry throughout this match). Overall, I’d classify this as a missed opportunity on CMLL’s part, even with a surprising ten minutes leading up to that point.
That’s game sports fans. I shall now disappear into the night, but I’ll hopefully be back tomorrow to talk about the 84th Anniversary Show or this new project I’m working on. Let’s just say that I’m looking to try a few new things to spice up my writing about lucha and this may be a way to do that. We’ll see if it works in time for tomorrow. Till whenever we meet again, THIS!