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CMLL Super Viernes: Thirsting for More
The clock has struck midnight on CMLL’s run of Super Viernes’ on YouTube. Next week the lucha giant returns to its normal home on Claro Sports to deliver the go home episode before the 83rd Anniversary Show. As far as tonight’s show goes, I say we have a lot to look forward to next week. The show started off really strong tonight, with three good to great in ring contests that allowed the final three bouts to breathe easy, entertain and in the case of the fourth and sixth matches set up more anticipation for the big show. Really aside from the first two falls of that forth match this was the Once More With Feeling of CMLL shows, minus the singing. Good Cthulhu, now I’m imagining CMLL: The Musical. But enough about future columns on my docket; let’s review. Moses, stop writing Negro Casas’ theme for CMLL: The Musical and hit me with that meme!
Flyer & Star Jr. defeated Canelo Casas & Espíritu Negro two falls to one
This was, in every sense of the word, a pleasant surprise and not just because the right team won. I did think it took a couple of falls before the action really started to click but once Star Jr. and Flyer found their groove this match turned out to be one hundred percent better than expected. I actually thought Canelo Casas gave an overall good effort tonight for his standards, but even still the most he and Espíritu did in this match was get out of the way and let the technicos do their thing. And boy did they; Flyer looked to have completely regained the confidence he lost against Cancerbero a few Puebla’s ago while Star Jr. continued his recent string of high quality performances. And yes, he broke out that beautiful corkscrew dive yet again! It’s stuff like that and effort like his and Flyer’s that made this match a great way to kick off the show, and that was despite Casas and Espíritu bringing nothing more than a little bit of effort to play along. Imagine if CMLL had given Flyer and Star Jr. Sansón and El Cuatrero here; we’d be writing sonnets and redoing our Match of the Year lists by now!
Esfinge, Hombre Bala Jr., Pegasso defeated Cancerbero, Raziel, Virus two falls to one
As if the first match wasn’t surprising enough, along came the second match to totally knock my socks off and deliver, from strictly a quality perspective, by far the Match of the Evening. Everything about this match worked; even gorram Cancerbero, who a few weeks ago looked like he was several pars lower than Shocker and Pierroth, somehow came out of this looking like a complete luchador thanks to a second fall that featured one of the greatest and most efficient rudo beat down sequences ever. Even more impressive was that there wasn’t any out of control lucha to make this a great match, aside from Hombre Bala Jr. nailing a classic Hijo del Santo style suicide dive in the tightest of spaces. It was really just a lot of great, crisp wrestling with a great pace and each guy playing their role right. Top to bottom CMLL and the six men here absolutely nailed this match. Oh and once again, the right team won. I don’t know who booked these first two matches tonight but Paco Alonso needs to give him a raise and encourage him to continue. Naturally I bet Paco is trying to get this guy fired right now and wondering why Cancerbero had so much less in ring action that Virus. What could anyone possibly see in that Virus guy anyway?!
Zeuxis defeated Estrellita
If Zeuxis had been given a better opponent here this would’ve been the Match of the Evening and quite possibly the best match CMLL put together this week. The problem; Estrellita couldn’t quite keep up with Zeuxis’ pace which caused the match to feel a little off kilter at times. Still this was by no means bad and I’m probably more down on it than most. In the end Zeuxis was impressive as always and any complaints anyone had of the match were washed away when she picked up the victory by doing that beautiful Caballete submission we often see Pentagon Jr. break out. And I thought she was going to Tombstone Estrellita there for a moment. Just an outstanding ending and further proof that Zeuxis is the best female wrestler around (and nothing’s gonna ever keep her down). Fight me Sasha Banks fans, fight me!
Bobby Z, Rey Bucanero, Vangellys defeated Kráneo, Ripper, Súper Crazy two falls to one
In the words of Konnan, this match through the first two falls was BRUUUTAL! Remember how I said the second match featured a great rudo beat down? This match had the opposite, featuring one of the most lifeless nonstop rudo attacks known to man thanks to Team Súper Crazy taking a DQ loss in the first fall, allowing them to dominate both the first and second fall. That might’ve worked fine it Crazy had other teammates. Instead he had Ripper, lifeless as always aside from two semi-impressive dives and Kráneo, a luchador more known for comedy than vicious rudo tactics. Just bad booking all around, and the first two falls of this match served to vaporize any chance this match had of being a worthwhile in ring experience. That’s right, I said vaporized. It was that boring.
Naturally of course the match then suddenly turned around in the third fall, salvaging this match from being dull into something of actual value. You can credit two reasons for that. First was Bobby Z. Finally let off the leash, the Texano of CMLL flew around in and out of the ring and looked like the only guy capable of being explosive at any time. There were points in the third fall you could literally feel him trying to elevate this match from humdrum to greatness. Second were Bucanero and Crazy interacting the further this match went along. When it finally got to just be the two of them instead of Bucanero getting beat down by all three rudos these two finally started to click again like they have in previous weeks. They also managed to further pull off last week’s double turn by making Bucanero a scrappy technico who kept fighting back and wouldn’t quit against the now arrogant Súper Crazy, a point fleshed out fully when Bucanero reversed a Crazy roll up into one of his own to score the victory. For that reason alone you cannot label this match a failure. It was certainly dull for the first two falls and good Cthulhu CMLL needs to stop booking matches like that with talent like this involved. But the third fall was fun and it didn’t further cement Bucanero as a guy worth cheering for, which will be very valuable come two weeks from now.
Pierroth, Rey Escorpión, Rush defeated Atlantis, Marco Corleone, Máximo Sexy two falls to one
We probably should’ve known the moment Los Ingobernables made their entrance dressed as nuns that this match was going to be a lot more flash than it was substance. That was indeed the case, although in the end I found absolutely nothing wrong with that outside of the continued evidence we’re getting that Pierroth cannot and should not be in this position at all. Take him away though and everything else here worked. Rush was Rush, Escorpión was Escorpión, Marco threw some nasty lefts and showed off his killer athleticism, Maximo kissed people and Atlantis was even allowed to pull out the Atlántida for the first time in awhile! All that combined for an entertaining experience that kept the crowd hot and served its purpose. That isn’t to say I wish they hadn’t done more. The interactions between Escorpión and Atlantis were highly intriguing to the point where a match set up between them would’ve gotten me excited, and CMLL didn’t hesitate to tease both a potential Rush-Atlantis match (with both men going after each other throughout the match) or Rush-Corleone, who was probably featured the most out of all three technicos. In the end nothing was set up, and with a big match still missing from the mysterious second big CMLL show in September you don’t walk away disappointed seeds weren’t planted here. Then again it’s not like they can do Rush vs. Atlantis at that show right? No offense to Dragon Lee vs. La Máscara, but Rush-Atlantis with the hair and mask on the line (and yes, both would’ve been on the line) isn’t just money, it would’ve out sold the damn Anniversary Show. No way CMLL would show up their big show like that…right?
Ephesto, La Máscara, Mephisto defeated Dragón Lee, Mistico, Valiente two falls to none
Then again maybe Rush vs. Atlantis wouldn’t outsell Lee vs. Máscara if CMLL continues to book the latter as well as they have. Alright either way Rush-Atlantis is probably more profitable, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that CMLL has done far better making me interested in this feud than I expected. This match here was absolute excitement and chaos, highlighted once again by Lee and Máscara going at each other with fantastic results. The chemistry is developing before our very eyes folks; Lee has turned his explosive offense up by eleven now that he has another rival to go after at full speed (and all due respect to Kamaitachi but that feud was built around competition; Dragón Lee never hated Kamaitachi the way you sense he hates Máscara) and Máscara looks like a new man. His strikes, his kicks, his whole move set has an extra pop to it now that he’s tangling with Lee, the sort of thing that was missing from his game when he was having big matches with the likes of Negro Casas earlier this summer. Whether Lee is bringing out the best in him or CMLL is finally giving him the time to show his stuff doesn’t matter; the important thing is Máscara looks capable of keeping up with Lee come the Anniversary Show, which means that match might just be the type of bout we all expect from the spot these two will be performing in. Good Cthulhu, did I just admit that maybe Paco was right all along?
The chaos didn’t just stop with them though, and this is where an interesting wrinkle is thrown in. While Mephisto and Ephesto were largely on hand to take part in beat downs and catch the technico dives, Mistico and Valiente were relegated to only a couple of aerial assaults and a whole lot of complaining about the officiating of Tirantes. That’s right; Tirantes was at it again tonight, only this time it seemed like it was part of the act with him counting slow for Lee and the two technicos lashing out at him for his transgressions (I suppose this could also be them just flipping out at his incompetence, but I’ll choose to go the positive root and claim it’s a work). Some people may have been annoyed by it but to me it added to the drama and the chaotic nature of this match, already at high levels because Lee and Máscara were trying to kill each other. It also begs the question of whether this will be something that plays into the Anniversary Show main event considering Tirantes could very well be refereeing that match. Is there going to be a rudo ref angle inserted into this match? Was this just a one off? Hell was tonight simply the actions of a bumbling referee who might be served riding off into the sunset never to be seen again? Whatever the case I know I’m more excited for the Anniversary Show main event than I was going in. That must mean something that CMLL did tonight worked right?
There you have it sports fans. I’m out till tomorrow, when I’ll probably be bringing you an early preview of Monday’s Puebla show. A lot of stuff will be flying off the books as we get closer to the biggest week in lucha history! Till then here's never before seen footage of that La Parka vs. L.A. Park gas station fight! Don’t ask me how I found it; let's just say I did some favors I'd rather not admit doing.
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