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CMLL Tuesday: The Real Puma King
In times like these, with a President turning into the living version of Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, North Korea being North Korea and a bunch of white kids who have never been laid setting the United States back three decades, it’s nice to have some sort of escape. Unfortunately, my escapes are New Japan, Lucha Underground and CMLL; one of those is now on a month long break, the other only happens once a week and the latter has been so bad recently (on Monday’s and Tuesday’s) that I haven’t found the urge to write about a single thing they’ve done. So it’s with a sigh of relief I say thank Grodd for tonight’s CMLL Tuesday show. Oh it wasn’t that great; in fact overall I’d say it was an average show with only two matches worth checking out. But when one of those matches is one of the best Lightning Matches of 2017 and several other bouts feature interesting luchadors, I can’t help but feel a tad more invested than say, that garbage from last night’s CMLL Puebla show (aside from Zeuxis and Sugehit. They’re always great). And that children is the long winded version of why this review exists. Why don’t we get to the part where I break it all down now, okay? Moses, stop building your bunker and meme. You know No Balls Un ain’t coming to get you.
Inquisidor & Apocalipsis defeated Retro & Fiero two falls to one
Can the argument be made for this being the most interesting Tuesday opener since…ever? And yes, I’m saying that because it featured a newbie in Retro and an exciting young talent in Fiero. That last point is very unfortunate for Retro, as Fiero pretty much upstaged his debut, showing off his athleticism, giving full effort and making the most simple things (like jumping back into the ring) look impressive. He also made Inquisidor look good, and their sequences carried this match close to good at several points. Retro meanwhile…well I’m honestly not sure what to think. He appeared capable of doing some high flying, but his bulky build made him seem ill equip for that style all at the same time. That and the fact that he didn’t really get to do a whole lot leaves me unsure what to think; it doesn’t help that he was paired with Apocalipsis, who was in complete coast mode. I guess what I’m trying to say is Retro might be good, he may not be good and who really cares because Fiero is very, VERY good. If I’m CMLL, I’m putting him with Star Jr., Oro Jr. and some of the other Jr.’s in the second match and seeing what happens from here on in. Hey, speaking of those dudes…
Canelo Casas, Nitro, Sangre Azteca defeated Metatrón, Oro Jr., Star Jr. two falls to one
We should’ve known this match would be bad when it started off with Metatrón and discount Heavy Metal trying to do mat work and failing. The worst part is that that sequence may have been the high point of the match, aside from Star Jr. and Oro Jr. getting random moments of offense. I don’t know what possessed CMLL to do this, but we were inexplicably treated to the rudos controlling 95% of this match while Star Jr. and Oro Jr. (easily the two most talented guys here) were left selling ball shots, bad power moves and whatever the hell it is that discount Heavy Metal calls offense. Basically it was everything that’s wrong with the Tuesday show. The talented technicos get nothing to do, the grumpy old rudos get to show off why they need to be sent to the pasture and the technicos don’t even get to pull out a fluke win because…because. Yeah, this totally sucked. Grodd willing next week Oro Jr. and Star Jr. will get better opponents or will stay at home and avoid this bullshit. That’s a better alternative than being in a match where I spent most of the time happy that I’ll be seeing real Heavy Metal again soon as opposed to the discount version. That’s right folks; I’m calling Heavy Metal to be in that AAA battle royal, his denials be damned.
Guerrero Maya Jr., Johnny Idol, Rey Cometa defeated Misterioso Jr., Sagrado, Virus two falls to one
Who knew that a match featuring these six guys would be significantly better than the shit CMLL was feeding us in the first two matches? Well besides Fiero, Star Jr. and Oro Jr. This got off to a great start with Maya and Virus delivering a clinic in mat wrestling, the pace keeping up from there once the others got involved and things continuing strong in the second fall with, you’ll never believe this, the technicos controlling the action. It’s like these six guys saw the last match, took note of everything that was wrong with it and decided to go the exact opposite direction. Bravo to them, because through two falls this match was looking like the last ten minutes of Blade Runner. And not just the “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe” part.
Unfortunately, these matches have three falls and this third fall didn’t quite hold up. I don’t think it was anyone’s fault necessarily; all six guys were trying and had very good moments. It seemed to be more of a structure problem, with the pace slowing as the rudos took control and things only picking up once Rey Cometa cruised the vistas with a sweet crossbody to the floor. Naturally the match ended almost immediately after that with Idol getting a surprise win over Virus, a welcome result but one that could’ve happened after another five minutes. Granted, this wasn’t enough to fatally damage the match, but it was enough to keep it at the good level as opposed to the very good level. In other words, it was Baby Driver and not Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. What can I say; sometimes you’re a dude fighting off seven evil exes and other times you devolve into Jon Hamm trying to kill you in parking lots. This was the latter, despite being so close to the former.
Drone defeated Puma
I knew this would be good the moment I saw it announced. I did not expect this to be the best Lightning Match of the Year, narrowly beating out Virus and Maya’s close call and the Dragón Lee-Cavernario sprint. Holy Grodd was this awesome! We pretty much got nonstop action from the start, with Drone hitting Puma with a few topes, the Bala knees and a triangle tornillo to look like he was in full control. Then Puma snarled, got his second wind and was suddenly doing stuff like, oh I don’t know, reverse ranas and SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMBS OFF THE APRON! Yes folks; we got a move that is generally reserved for Volador come big singles matches and the Anniversary Show. Perhaps Puma felt bad for all of us suffering through the first two matches and wanted to give us something we wouldn’t forget. He did just that! Maybe you could argue these two should’ve had more time to space this out, but this was honestly what I wanted and more; a chaotic seven minutes with both guys cutting a great pace and doing awesome spots. The only nitpick I have is that Puma ultimately lost, and I probably wouldn’t have felt that way if he hadn’t done the Apron Bomb. What else needs to be said; this rocked. A surprising gem on a Tuesday show and further proof that CMLL needs to get on with giving these two a huge singles match.
Blue Panther, Carístico, Titán defeated Luciferno, Mr. Niebla, Pierroth two falls to one
This match suffered from two things. First, the rudos in this match couldn’t have been on autopilot more if they’re name was Tyler Godyn. Second, Gran Metalik was actually wrestling on 205 Live right as this match was going on and, more importantly, HE WON! That’s right; Gran Metalik has now won a match on 205 Live some six months after winning his first, and has now appeared on 205 Live twice in three weeks. You know, the same amount of time it’s been since I wrote that column telling WWE they were morons for not using him. Looks like someone listened to me. Now if only they had mentioned he would’ve been competing tonight, so I could’ve gone to see him in my hometown. You gotta love WWE; they do everything possible to make you not want to give them money, and then when they do they don’t let you know about it. And people wonder why I’m never getting the Network again.
Back to this match. Take away those two distractions and this was otherwise better than expected, which is to say that it wasn’t a waste of time like I thought. You can thank the three technicos. Carístico was trying because…well I’m not quite sure, but he was trying harder than you’d think. Perhaps the effort from Puma and Drone forced him to step up his game. Meanwhile Titán was his usual reliable self and my Grodd if Blue Panther wasn’t the most entertaining thing here. Yes, he even made stuff with Pierroth fun. I’m pretty convinced at this point you could put Blue Panther in there with Pierroth and Olímpico at the same time and he’d get something worthwhile out of them. That’s why Daniel Bryan loves him. Thanks to those three, this match wasn’t a complete waste of time. It was instead only a mild waste of time, which is more than I can say for the main event of this show.
Cavernario, Negro Casas, Último Guerrero defeated Mistico, Rush, Valiente two falls to none
The only reason this match is noteworthy is because it finally got us to where we should’ve honestly been this week; Mistico vs. Último Guerrero in a one on one match. Why we had to delay so these guys could do an even more watered down version of last week’s match mystifies me, but considering this is from the same company that’s probably announcing Niebla Roja vs. Gran Guerrero as the Anniversary Show main event tomorrow, I probably shouldn’t be too stunned. Whatever the case, this match was basically there to set up next week’s match, it did that and very little else. In fact, the only thing from this bout that was remotely interesting were the quick interactions between Rush and Cavernario. Even in his “my friends have left me so I’m not going to try anymore” state, Rush-Cavernario has an interesting feel to it and I saw enough tonight from the two to want to see that match at some point. Alas that was just a small thing that ultimately didn’t matter and probably won’t come up again. Hey, I just summed up this match perfectly. It didn’t matter, I’ll never think about it again and I’ll probably have forgotten it existed come next week when Mistico and UG are (hopefully) tearing the house down. I’m expecting big things from that one folks; perhaps even a title change. Did I just say that out loud?
Game…blouses. That’s all sports fans, but I shall return tomorrow to break down the CMLL Anniversary Show card announcements and to review tomorrow night’s awesome looking Lucha Underground episode. You know, the usual Wednesday stuff. Till we meet again, THIS!